Four years after announcing the Streaming Stick Plus, Roku is bringing two new streaming sticks to its hardware lineup: The Roku Streaming Stick 4K and Roku Streaming Stick 4K+, both of which come with added support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+ and promise faster performance speeds than their predecessor.
Identical in size and shape to the Streaming Stick Plus, the 4K is also designed to plug seamlessly into your TV’s HDMI port and retails for $US49.99 ($69). The device adds a new quad-core processor that the company says boots up to 30% faster and a “redesigned” wifi adaptor that, according to Roku, will offer “up 2x faster Wi-Fi speeds.” The accompanying voice-controlled TV remote has support for push-to-talk voice commands, which customers can use to find their favourite channel or movie without scrolling through a clunky keyboard feature like we did in the days of yore. In another nifty feature, the updated device also includes ecosystem compatibility, allowing users to control their sticks using Alexa- or Google Assistant-enabled devices and giving them the option to use AirPlay 2 to stream and share content directly from iPhone, iPad, or Mac devices.
The 4K+, which retails for $US69.99 ($96), includes a voice remote that will also allow you to perform hands-free searches, and tacks on the bonus feature of a voice-activated lost remote finder that emits a beeping sound to help you track down your hardware. That feature can be accessed with the command, “Hey Roku, find my remote” (spoiler alert: it’s in the couch cushions). Unlike the 4K, the 4K+’s voice remote also comes with a rechargeable battery.
Both streaming sticks are set to become available on Roku.com and at all major online retailers in the U.S. by October, a release timeline that critically heads off the hardware sales that usually happen a little later in the spring, closer to the holiday season.
As part of its spring lineup, Roku also announced that TCL will be coming out with a Roku TV Wireless Soundbar for $US179.99 ($247) in October, which can be paired easily with any TV running Roku’s software. On the software side, Roku OS 10.5 will soon make live TV easier to stream by allowing users to pin the live TV guide to their home screens. It will also add updated support for voice commands, including the ability to use the feature to summon Spotify and Netflix — two apps the function had previously excluded.
Editor’s Note: Roku products don’t typically launch in Australia. Stay tuned for more news on this front.