Roku has unwrapped its latest streamer, the Roku 4, which boasts support for 4K Ultra HD video at up to 60fps – DOUBLE the frame rate of what’s possible on Amazon’s new Fire TV box.
Of course, this technical advantage over the new Fire TV box is somewhat moot unless services start making 4K content available at such frame rates – at the moment Netflix Ultra HD content is delivered at 24fps.
Aimed at customers with 4K tellies sitting proudly in their living rooms, the Roku 4 will let you access 4K content from Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube as well as non-UK services including M-Go, ToonGoggles and Vudu.
Related: Mario Kart 8 upload reveals YouTube 60fps support and Has Amazon’s 4K Fire TV box already blown the new Apple TV away?The Roku 4 will feature a separate 4K UHD section and a curated 4K Spotlight channel that’ll make it easy for customers to get straight to the best-looking content available.
Roku CEO Anthony Wood called the Roku 4 ‘our best streaming player yet’ and talked up the universal voice search feature in a blog post.
The platform agnostic voice search tool lets users search for content based on title, actors and directors on over 20 apps (or ‘channels’ or Roku calls them). The combined content libraries of all of Roku’s services totals 300,000 movies and TV titles and Roku’s search tool ranks everything according to price.
Wood called this aspect of the Roku search feature ‘unique’ in the market. While Amazon’s Fire TV services do indeed feature excellent voice search, this IMDb-powered tool is currently only limited to titles in Amazon’s Prime Instant Video and Amazon Instant Video libraries.
Earlier this week, Apple announced plans to roll out its voice search tool to other services besides iTunes on its new Apple TV box, but with no release date for this product (still), it looks like it’s been beaten to the punch by Roku.
New Chromecast (2015) vs new Apple TV vs 4K Amazon Fire TV Box vs new Now TV BoxWood said that that the new device will start hitting shelves in the US later this month and priced the new unit at $129, which currently converts to £85. There’s no official word on a UK price or release date yet, but we’ll keep you posted.
As well as the new Roku 4, the company announced the launch of Roku OS 7, which will start rolling out to older devices this month.
The new OS builds on the movies recommendation service announced back in March. This will let punters ‘follow’ TV shows, as well as get updates on when shows and films starring their favourite actors are available.
Another feature is ‘Hotel and Dorm Connect’ which will let you take your Roku on holiday with you. This promises to make streaming media over hotel WiFi networks (the type that normally requires you to sign in through a web browser) possible.
The iOS and Android Roku apps are also due for an refresh, which promises streamlined access to features like voice search.