The long rumored and much anticipated Roku 4 is finally here. While it may have been a longer wait than most expected, the Roku 4 is an impressive set top streaming box, competing against the new Apple TV, new Amazon Fire TV, and the new Google Chromecast. Whew, that’s a lot of new streaming devices.
What’s New in the Roku 4
The Roku 4 Highlights:
Support 4K UHD TVs and HD TVs
Quad-Core processor, up to 60 fps 4K streaming, HDCP 2.2 and Optical Audio Out
1080p home screen and user interface
802.11ac MIMO Wi-Fi for optimal wireless
Access to more streaming channels for 4K entertainment than any other streaming player with selections from Netflix, M-Go, Amazon Instant Video, ToonGoogles, Vudu and YouTube
Curated 4K Spotlight channel, exclusive to Roku 4, offers instant access to 4K movies, TV shows and more
4K UHD category within the Roku Channel Store to make finding streaming channels with 4K entertainment quick and easy
Remote control with voice search, headphone jack for private listening, and Remote Finder
Roku mobile app for Android and iOS offering full device control, personalized screensavers for the Roku 4 and soon on-the-go access for following entertainment when away from home
If you have a Roku 3, should you upgrade? Let’s take a close look at what the Roku 4 offers that the Roku 3 does not have.
Roku 4 Features the Roku 3 Lacks
The Roku 4 offers 4K video. Even if you do not currently own a 4K TV we suggest buying the Roku 4 over the Roku 3 as new TVs are starting to support 4K video.
Find My Remote
I have a two year old daughter and the Remote Finder feature is a plus for our family. With the new Roku 4 if you lose your remote it will help you find it, most likely in the coach where your child hid it.
Twice the Speed
The Roku 4 with a new quad-core processor is twice as fast as the old Roku 3. Even if you do not have a 4K TV the Roku 4 should be lighting quick, streaming 1080p video to your TV.
Twice the RAM
The Roku 4 has 1.5GB of RAM compared to just 512 MB in the Roku 3. This should make for smoother buffering and better game play.
What’s New to Both the Roku 3 and Roku 4
Hotel and College Dorm Support
The new Roku 4, and the older Roku boxes made since 2011, will have the ability to connect to hotel and college dorm networks. If you travel often, or are one of the estimated 50 million college students in the United States, you will now be able use your Roku device even when a browser is needed to log in.
Roku OS 7
The Roku 4 will come with the new Roku OS 7. The Roku OS 7 is filled with new discovery features that give consumers more access to entertainment choices. With a major update to the Roku Feed consumers can now follow movies, TV shows, actors and directors to receive automatic entertainment updates about pricing and availability. In addition, the redesigned Roku mobile app brings more control to the Roku experience from a mobile device, and soon will feature an on-the-go mode that allows for access to features such as the Roku Feed while away from home.
What if you own an older Roku?
Do you own a Roku made since 2011? If so good news! You will be able to use the new Roku OS! This huge update will allow you the ability to connect to hotel and college dorm networks among other upgrades. Roku plans to start releasing the Roku OS 7 update mid-October and have all devices updated by mid-November.
The new Roku OS 7 should start rolling out to older boxes mid-October 2015 and finish its roll out in November.
If you want to pre-order the Roku 4 you can do that today at Roku.com, or wait for other retailers to make it available. The projected shipping date is October 21st 2015.