The launch of the Roku 4 has been confirmed for the US and the new device comes out swinging, in terms of providing Ultra HD 4K content.
There’s no announced HDR compatibility yet but the Roku 4 will definitely have access to more UHD services than the new Amazon Fire TV and the NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV; and it certainly has more than the latest Apple TV, which has no 4K capability at all.
We need to stress again that this is the US roster and we won’t get the same line-up when it releases in the UK but it is, nevertheless, an impressive set of services. Lucky US owners will be able to get Ultra HD streaming via Netflix, M-Go, Amazon Instant Video, ToonGoogles, Vudu and You Tube; in the case of Amazon, at least, we have no chance of getting that over here.
The R4 also features a curated 4K Spotlight with instant access to 4K movies, TV shows and more plus a dedicated 4K UHD category within the Roku Channel Store to make finding streaming channels with 4K entertainment quick and easy.
There’s also a mighty useful voice search feature which scours more than twenty channels and displays all availability results sorted by price. There is also a total chassis redesign over previous generations – it’s wider and flatter looking – and it comes with a new handy Remote Finder feature, which enables you to locate your remote control at the touch of a button in case it goes missing.
The Quad-Core processor is capable of 4K at up to 60 frames per second (in your face, Fire TV) and it has the requisite HDMI 2.0 output with HDCP 2.2 clearance and, importantly for some, there’s a digital audio out so you’re not reliant on HDMI. There’s also 802.11ac MIMO wireless and a mobile app for Android and iOS offering full device control, the ability to play your phone’s photos, videos, and music on TV, personalised screensavers for the Roku 4 and, soon, on-the-go access for following entertainment when away from home.
Pre-orders open in the US today at $130. Roku tells us there are no immediate plans for a UK release and, initially, it will be a US only product; over time Roku does hope to bring the player to other countries but there are no timescales at present.
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