Roku announced updates to its streaming media players this week. The Fall 2017 models offer faster processors and other enhancements, while two models were dropped from the lineup. Some models have advanced remotes that will now operate the power and sound volume on compatible TV sets.
Roku's last major overhaul was a year ago when Rokus 1 through 4 were replaced with the Roku Express, Roku Express+, Roku Premiere, Roku Premiere+ and Roku Ultra, while maintaining the Roku Streaming Stick. This year Roku is updating the Roku Express, Roku Express+, Roku Streaming Stick, and Roku Ultra, while adding the Roku Streaming Stick+ and dropping the midrange Roku Premiere and Roku Premiere+. Roku's announcement promises that the new and updated devices will "offer better performance, improved wireless reception, new convenience features and greater value than ever before."
Following is a quick look at all models in the refreshed lineup, which are available for preorder now and expected to ship and be available in stores on or around October 8. Through October 31, 2017, if you purchase a new Roku player you will get a $10 credit towards a Vudu video rental or purchase.
Roku Express and Roku Express+
These are Roku's entry-level devices, starting at only $29.99 MSRP and aimed at first-time users and those looking for a low-cost device for occasional use, such as on a TV in a guest bedroom. The Roku Express and Roku Express+ boast processors that claim t be five times more powerful than last year's models. Both models are essentially the same device, but the Roku Express+, available only at Walmart, includes composite A/V ports (red/yellow/white jacks) for older TVs lacking an HDMI port, although an HDMI can be used on both models.
Roku Streaming Stick and Roku Streaming Stick+
The Roku Streaming Stick and Roku Streaming Stick+ (pictured) both have a quad-core processor and 802.11 AC dual-band MIMO wireless, and both now come with a voice remote that that can control volume and power on compatible TV models. The Roku Streaming Stick offers exceptional HD streaming. The Roku Streaming Stick+ adds increased wireless performance with a wireless receiver built into the power cord, providing up to four times the wireless range last year's Roku Streaming Stick. It also offers 4K Ultra HD and HDR picture quality.
The Roku Ultra is the top-of-the-line model, described by Roku as "our most powerful and feature-packed player" that "offers our best wireless performance and can stream HD, 4K and 4K HDR with up to 60 fps." The Roku Ultra is the only model with an Ethernet port for wired connectivity and a micro SD slot to help speed up streaming channel load times. The Roku Ultra also includes the new voice remote with headphone jack that can control power change volume on compatible TVs. $99.99 MSRP.
RokuGuide.com may receive a referral fee for any purchases or subscriptions made through links on this page. See our full FTC Disclosure Statement for more information.