Roku 4 announced with 4K and new revamped Roku OS 7


Roku has announced the much leaked new Roku 4. As expected, the new box supports 4K UHD and improved 802.11ac wifi. The mysterious rectangle on top, first seen in the image I uncovered, is a remote locator button that causes a small speaker in the remote to sound off when pressed. Other than that, the remote is identical to the Roku 3 remote. Also being released is an update to Roku’s OS with some nice new features.

The new Roku 4 packs in a quad-core CPU, but no mention of its clock speed, GPU, or RAM. It still has the same Ethernet, and USB ports, along with a newly added optical audio port that was pulled from the Fire TV to make room for a microSD slot, which the Roku 4 also has. The device is capable of 4K at 60 fps, an improvement over the new Fire TV’s 4K at 30 fps, but it only supports that frame rate when the content uses HEVC (h.265) compression. That means YouTube, which uses VP9 compression and is one of the main sources for 4K 60 fps video, will be limited to 30 fps on the new Roku.

In addition to new hardware, the company announced Roku OS 7 with some nice new features. You’ll be able to “follow” content which the device will then alert you about when that content becomes available through one of your channels. So you can, for example, follow a movie currently in theatres and be alerted when that movie becomes available on Netflix several months later. The follow feature is also supported through their revamped Roku mobile app, so you can follow interesting content you hear about when you’re away from your living room.

Roku OS now finally supports connecting to wifi that requires you to authenticate through a browser, like at hotels and college campuses. Instead of displaying a browser on your TV like the Fire TV does, it has you connect to a wifi hotspot with a smartphone, tablet, or laptop that the device creates, and has you use your computing device’s browser to authenticate. Roku OS 7 will be making its way to select older Roku devices later this month.

The new Roku 4 is available for preorder today for $129.99 and will be released October 21.


  1. Craig says:

    After “Watch ABC” came to the Fire TV yesterday, I’ve came to the realization and made the decision that I’m about to phase out my Roku’s entirely. The Fire TV is simply getting all the apps I need, as devs continue to release more apps big name 10-foot apps for it than any other platform.

    So, I think I’m gonna pass on this…

  2. clocks says:

    I will always need a Roke, since it has apps like Vudu and others than FTV doesn’t.

    After not using my Roku 3 for several months, I hooked it up last night. It is amazingly fast considering the low specs on it. I was surprised to see it was as fast or faster than my FireTVs (even the full box). Netflix opens faster, and movies seem to start faster on the Roku. Not sure if the gui and software is just that much better than it is on FTV?

    I am hoping with the improved specs of the new Roku 4, it will get a Kodi app. Then it will have just about everything I need.

    • Ottis says:

      I’m with you after several months with the FireTV I am missing Roku more and more one of the main reasons is also Vudu. Thankfully Roku has added an optical jack which was the only thing Fire TV had over Roku 3. Once Roku 4 is released my Fire TVs are going to have a prime spot in my junk closet.

    • Justin says:

      It’s not a matter of the specs for kodi it’s a matter of the platform not being supported. At best someone could possibly hack up a kodi port but it’s doubtful kodi will ever officially support roku. I’m also not sure if the os is robust enough to even support kodi.

  3. JAY says:

    The lack of HBO Now on Roku is the only thing preventing me from buying one. I’m really leaning towards the AFTV.

    • Ramos says:

      The lack of “manual DNS setting” with DHCP IP configuration is the only thing preventing me from buying one.

      AFTV team take note on this very critical config which is a must for people staying outside of U.S. Nobody want to change DNS setting on the gateway router with SmartDNS IP which is quite dangerous.

      ***Feature request on upcoming FireTV 2015 V2 ****

      – While IP address is obtained from DHCP server , the AFTV box should allow manual DNS entry for SmartDNS. ( Similar to Samsung TV feature ).
      – 1Gbps LAN
      – HDMI2.0 with upto 60fps
      – USB 3.0 port
      – Increase price to $110.99 ( still $20 cheaper than Roku 4 ).

      • pmcd says:

        The current Fire TV (gen 1) allows you to edit network settings, including specifying your favorite DNS servers. Has this changed with the new 2nd generation Fire TV? The Roku and Chromecast have hard coded Google’s DNS servers. Moreover, even changing your DNS settings in your router doesn’t override that. You have to do much more. If the ability to use your favorite DNS server is important that really rules out both the Roku and Chromecast for most people ( unless you don’t mind editing iptables or putting everything behind a VPN). That being said, most people don’t really case or want to edit their network settings so it probably doesn’t affect their sales much.

        • tom says:

          Are you referring to manual static IP config where you can define IP,Subnet,GW and DNS ? I’m referring to dynamic IP config but you are still able to manually override the preferred DNS entry.

          DHCP IP with manual DNS override works with my ISP. So it’s perfectly works for me. Maybe some ISP prevent user from using this technique.( I know some put second router right in front of devices to get that same result , I can’t imagine the latency they got with another hop in their network).

          Although I don’t have Roku , I pointed back -well known- Google public DNS entries to my home router itself.

  4. Bill says:

    I phased out my Roku Boxes a while back. I have had one since they were invented, I gave the very first to my sister but I still have the second one that was ever built, it isn’t connected but I still have it. I can’t see the justification of spending $129 on this new one, what is special about this model besides 4k and it being a bulkier device? At $99 it might be a buy but not at $129,but that is only my opinion.

  5. CitrusFizz says:

    I really want to pre-order this, but the 2day shipping and tax make it over 153$
    i’m going to wait till it hits ebay i think

  6. Justin says:

    I had considered a roku before getting a fire tv but lack of decent games and lack of kodi kept me from buying it.

    Fire TV is catching up on apps but could really use the universal search of roku. Would also be nice if vudu and other rental services were allowed on fire tv. Probably wouldn’t use it much but I don’t like things being locked away like amazon has been doing.

  7. Wakey says:

    Their updated interface still looks like it belongs in the 1990’s. Could really have done with something slicker

  8. grinder says:

    No Kodi = no interest.

  9. Toolio says:

    I’m wondering whether they will allow DNS configuration in the new operating system so we can more easily use DNS unblockers with Roku.

  10. BillH says:

    I have roku 3 and firetv. The roku 3 is blazing fast considering its specs. I barely notice any difference in speed between fire TV and roku 3. I actually prefer roku user interface over firetv user interface. The roku 3 had lot more dedicated apps but amazon closed that gap and firetv has more that could be side loaded and used with keyboard. No kodi hurts roku but it has a very underrated Firefox casting. I could watch online website movies from my tablet, cast it to roku and then shutoff my tablet. It also has mirroring as well. There isn’t any reason for me to upgrade my firetv or roku 3 because they do everything I want…. My WD TV live is still needed though.

    I think the roku 4 price is too much especially with firetv being $99.

  11. Arctic says:

    “That means YouTube, which uses VP9 compression and is one of the main sources for 4K 60 fps video, will be limited to 30 fps on the new Roku.”

    I thought the new fire TV doesn’t even support VP9?

  12. Vanb says:

    I may breakdown at some point and get a Roku Stick, perhaps when they’ve come out with the next version of it. However, without Kodi support, I can’t justify spending the money on a full box. I already have a FTV. This really doesn’t do much of anything that I can’t already do with my FTV. I’ve heard that some things like Sling TV and Netflix run a bit more smoothly on the Roku than on the FTV, and the UI appears to be more user friendly, but that’s not $129 worth of difference. I’ll stick with my FTV and get a Roku Stick on eBay or something.

  13. Greg says:

    Too bad they had no place to go but up with price. The Roku 3 is already taking up the $99 price point. If I had a 4k TV, a Roku 4 at $99 would get it into the conversation. And, I don’t like the “OK” button moved outside the dpad. After using a regular remote for years, it’s annoying.

    • Bill says:

      Thanks for pointing out the OK button outside of the D-Pad that’s a deal killer for me, now I would not purchase the Roku 4 even if it was $99. That’s a shame, this could have blown away the Fire TV with a good feature set, I am disappointed.

      • BillH says:

        My Roku3 has the OK button in the same spot. I’m pretty sure the new remote is pretty much exactly the same as the old. It is under the down button. I constantly switch between the fire tv and roku 3 and I don’t think there is much difference between how they feel.

  14. Pedro says:

    They just annihilated themselves with a higher price than the new Fire TV box, their only advantages is more channels.

    • pmcd says:

      The Roku channels are not for everyone. Not being based on an OS that is widely supported is a major disadvantage. They will keep falling behind the AFTV, ATV and Chromecast I suspect. On the other hand, the GUI for the Fire TV is really pushing it with its horizontal setup. In order to find an app I had bought I had to scroll horizontally for miles. It would really be nice to be able to hide purchased apps that one might rarely use.

      • fjtorres says:

        I delete the apps I rarely use.
        They’re all small enough to re-download when I do need then and that way they don’t clutter up the GUI or the storage space.

  15. Rob P. says:

    I think the Roku 4 will replace my 1st generation Fire TV box. I use the Wetek Openelec edition box for Kodi. I couldn’t get the Fire TV to stream my 12-20gb 7.1 dts-hd movie rips. The Wetek handles that very well. Fire TV has been stuttering very bad with Netflix no matter what I do.

  16. cosmos79 says:

    I concur with 100% with one of the posters above. No Kodi = No interest.

  17. Connor Clark says:

    Will I be able to watch online content from ABC with a service like arcvpn?

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