Roku devices have long become not only popular and in demand, but also leading the market for similar equipment. For example, in the United States of America, every third user has a Roku set-top box.
In the latest update, Roku has ditched the mid-range premium Premiere and Premiere+ and reduced its range to five separate standalone products. The company also announced a brand new operating system, Roku OS.
Because of the new features, it’s worth taking a few minutes to update. Here’s a quick overview of some of the most notable improvements in Roku.
- Voice control: You can use your voice to switch inputs, scroll to free local channels and more (US only).
- Smart Guide for Roku TVs. If you own a Roku TV, you can now use the updated 14-day EPG (US only).
- TV Antenna Listings in Roku Search Results. For example, if you search for The Big Bang Theory, you’ll see results from both your streaming apps and TV networks.
- Private Listening for TV Antenna: If you have an antenna connected to your Roku, you can now listen using headphones connected to your remote or smartphone app.
You can check if an update is available for your device by going to Settings > System > System update.
As mentioned above, if you’re looking to buy a new Roku, you only have five devices to choose from. They are: Roku Express, Roku Express+, Roku Streaming Stick, Roku Streaming Stick+ and Roku Ultra. We won’t be discussing Roku TVs here as they are not Roku devices but are available for those who want them.
- Roku Express is the cheapest of the five devices in the new lineup. On the Roku website, it sells for $29.99. You can also buy the device from Amazon. Considering it’s an entry-level model, the Roku Express is great for new streamers and people who want to add smarts to other less-used TVs in their home. The remote also differs from some of the more expensive models. The device only comes with a simple remote and therefore cannot control your TV or provide private listening.
- Listed at $10 more, the Roku Express+ sells for $39.99 on the Roku website, but can be bought on Amazon as well. There is only one difference between Express and Express+: Express+ can connect to your TV via HDMI or composite A/V ports. It is the only model in the line to offer composite connections.
- The next device in the Roku range is the Streaming Stick. The Roku Streaming Stick is easy to set up and retails for $49.99 on the Roku website. Or you can buy one on Amazon. The Streaming Stick is an end product that only offers 1080p HD resolution.
- As the name suggests, the Streaming Stick+ is broadly similar to the cheaper Streaming Stick, but there are a couple of important differences. The first major difference is the inclusion of an advanced wireless receiver. This allows you to position your device further away from your router, making it a great choice if your TV is in an area of your home where the network signal is weak.
- The premium device in the new line is the Roku Ultra. If you can afford the inflated price tag, then this is the best model for the main TV in your home. The remote control for the Roku Ultra marks another upgrade over the Streaming Stick models: it includes game buttons to let you play games on your Roku. easily. It even has a remote finder so you’ll never have to search at the bottom of the couch again.