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Roku unveils 2016 line-up, enters the 4K HDR era

Following some in-depth leaks, Roku has officially unveiled its new range of streaming boxes, some of which come packing 4K and HDR capabilities.

Last week’s leak from Zatz Not Funny was bang on the money when it comes to hardware, but we now have US pricing and release dates for the boxes.

First up there’s the Roku Express and Express+ which come with support for 1080p streaming, and 802.11 b/g/n wireless.

Both are smaller than the included remote, but you’ll need to keep them in front of your TV as they’re IR-based, meaning they’ll need a clear line to the remote in order to work.

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Roku Express

While the Express allows you to connect via HDMI, the Express+ supports older TVs through its composite jack and A/V cable.

Although we don’t yet have UK pricing, the Express will go on sale for a very reasonable $29.99 in the US, which is $20 less than the existing Roku 1. The Express+ will come with a heftier $39.99 price tag.

Next up are the Roku Premiere and Roku Premiere+, priced at $79.99 and $99.99 respectively and capable of supporting 4K streaming at 60fps.

One standout feature on the Premiere+, however, is HDR support. This means, providing you’ve got an HDR-ready TV and are watching HDR content, you’ll get brighter whites, more natural colours, and more detail in each scene.

You’ll also get an ethernet port, a microSD card slot to expand the storage, and an RF remote with headphone jack with the Premiere+.

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Roku Lineup

The Premiere and its more capable counterpart replace the current Roku 2 and 3 in the existing lineup.

And finally, on the top-end of the scale is the new $130 Roku Ultra, which will take the place of last year’s Roku 4.

The Ultra packs in a range of features, including 4K and HDR capabilities, and all the other features that come with the Premiere+.

But it also comes with Dolby Digital and Digital Plus decoding for those with a surround sound setup, alongside an Optical audio port so you can hook it up to your receiver or sound bar.

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Roku Ultra

Accompanying the audio enhancements are a USB port for playing back your own media, a remote with a headphone jack, and a ‘lost remote’ feature that lets you hit a button on the box in order to track down the remote.

All the new hardware will be available in the US on October 9, and Roku is yet to announce anything when it comes to the UK.

When contacted, the company said: “Today’s launch is focused on the North American market. We often launch products in different markets at different times.
“Our current streaming player line up in the UK offers consumers an easy way to stream entertainment to their TVs.”

We’re sure more will be revealed shortly, however, so stay tuned for the latest.

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Do you want to see the new Roku lineup in the UK? Let us know in the comments.

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