With the new Apple TV not supporting 4K streaming, there’s an opportunity for rival manufacturers to offer something Cupertino can’t (or won’t). The new Amazon Fire TV, announced recently, offers 4K – and so does the forthcoming Roku 4.
Unveiled in the US earlier today, this is the new version of Roku’s flagship set-top box. It’s a little bit larger than its predecessor, but then there’s a lot of new stuff inside.
4K video playback is one thing, obviously. But there’s also Roku’s new OS 7 (which we covered earlier this morning), faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi (which should increase wireless range and speed, meaning higher resolution videos are more frequently played), a beefier quad-core processor, and improved audio options thanks to an optical output.
Even the remote control has been given a useful new function: a speaker. If (or rather when) the clicker gets lost, hitting a button on the Roku 4 box will make it sound a tone, leading you straight to the sofa crevice where it’s no doubt lodged itself.
The Roku 4’s interface will now be rendered at a crisp 1080p rather than the current model’s 720p, while 4K content will be made available via a “4K Spotlight” section of the home screen. Expect movies, TV shows and internet video in ultra HD.
The box will be on sale later in October in the US, with pre-orders available now. The rest of the world? Well, a Roku rep told us that the company hopes to bring the Roku 4 to other countries “over time”. We’ll let you know when a UK launch happens.