Roku introduces 5 new streaming players, including the tiny Roku Express
If you've been thinking about upgrading your streaming setup, Roku just gave you five new options to choose from.The company unveiled its new line of streaming players on Monday, ranging from the $129.99 Roku Ultra to the tiny $29.99 Roku Express, which are available for pre-order now before they hit stores on Oct. 9.
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the Roku Ultra will replace the Roku 4 as the company's flagship offering. It supports 4k and HDR streaming (if you have a compatible set). The box itself doesn't look much different from the Roku 4 — it has the same microSD slot, ethernet port, USB port and optical-digital-out port for soundbars — but Roku has added a few tricks to the player. The Ultra comes with a new night-listening mode that automatically adjusts the volume, so quiet sounds are a bit louder and loud ones are slightly quieter.
There's also the "lost remote finder" feature, which is meant to help you find a misplaced remote. Push a button on the set-top box and it will activate an alarm on the remote to make it easier to find.
On the cheaper end of the spectrum is the $29.99 Roku Express, the company's smallest and cheapest player to date. The Roku Express is fairly limited feature-wise — the company actually lists the adhesive strip on the bottom of the device as one of the device's "features" — but it might be enough for those looking for a simpler setup.
It offers HD streaming at 1080p resolution and comes with the necessary HDMI cable. The remote will look familiar to anyone who has used another Roku model, though it lacks the private-listening feature and dedicated gaming buttons found on other models.
The company is also selling another variant of the Roku Express, the $39.99 Roku Express Plus, which is essentially the same device with an additional hookup for older, standard-definition televisions. Rounding out the Roku lineup are the $79.99 Premiere and $99.99 Premiere Plus, the company's two mid-range options. The Premiere supports HD and 4k content and, like the Roku 4, has an upscaling feature that will allow you to watch 1080p HD content in 4k resolution. It also has the night-listening mode of the Ultra, but lacks many of the latter's extra ports.