Roku refreshes entire lineup of streaming hardware for 2017

Roku has refreshed their hardware lineup of streaming media players for 2017. Their lower end models are getting fast processors, their highest end Roku Ultra is getting a price drop, and their mid-tier Premiere models are being replaced by a new Roku Streaming Stick+ capable of 4K and HDR video.

Starting at the high end of Roku’s 2017 hardware lineup is an updated Roku Ultra. The new box is very similar to last year’s model and still includes 4K at 60fps, HDR10 (no Dolby Vision support), an SD card slot, USB port, and wired Ethernet. This year’s model drops the optical audio port from last year but also lowers the price from $129.99 to $99.99. The Ultra is now the only Roku that includes their premium remote which includes features like a headphone jack, gaming buttons, and a remote finder.

To replace last year’s Roku Premiere and Premiere+ boxes is an all-new Roku Streaming Stick+. Like the Roku Ultra, it’s capable of the same 4K at 60 fps and HDR10 video playback, but offers nothing else as far as ports or expandability. The Stick+ does come with an “advanced wireless receiver” that moves the WiFi radios into the power cable, which Roku claims delivers 4x the range. Included with the Stick+ is a new remote that now has power and volume buttons to control your TV. It will cost $69.99.

The regular Roku Streaming Stick is sticking around and getting a slight processor bump that Roku says is 50% faster than last year’s model. It also comes with the same new remote as the Stick+ and will cost the same $49.99 as last year’s model.

Lastly are the budget-friendly Roku Express and Express+, which return this year with slightly faster processors than last year’s models. They will still cost $29.99 and $39.99 respectively.

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32 comments
  1. clocks says:

    I wish they published more detailed info on the SoCs used, so I can see how much of an Upgrade these are over the current models.

  2. Darren says:

    I would jump ship to Roku if they every updated their hideous UI. It’s worse then some of the original Smart TVs…

    • Darren says:

      This article actually is missing the Roku OS 8 announcement… but my original comment stands… even with the “new” features of the OS, it’s still crap compared to FireTV OS, Android TV and Apple TV.

    • Michael says:

      I do agree that their home screen UI and OS is very dated looking. It is also dead simple to use – which was likely their goal – but it’s almost too simplistic. On the reverse side, I personally find the Fire TV UI to be cluttered and a bit chaotic – sort of the other extreme. I have both boxes and actually use the Roku more just because it supports HDR and also services I enjoy like Vudu. It all comes down to preference :)

      I will say though that once you get beyond the Roku UI and OS, a lot of apps have been updated lately and look a lot better. HBO Go, Fox Now, CBS All Access, Pluto TV – to name a few. You can browse the Roku channel store online to see what the apps you are into look like on the Roku.

      Seeing as how you won’t spend much time in their UI (it’s basically a launch pad for all of your apps and services) it might be worth giving Roku a look.

    • JoeB says:

      Love my Roku 3 with the simple UI, it has all the apps/channels and it just works. Don’t need UI for eye-candy, rather have stable functionality.

    • Y2Bogus says:

      Call me crazy, but I absolutely love the simple interface. I see my apps, I can arrange the order they show up in, I’m not hit in the face with content from the box’s manufacturer, and I’m not bombarded with ads for things I don’t want to buy. One of my biggest criticisms of the FTV is how busy the home screen is/was. The move to a modified version of the Leanback Launcher was a huge improvement, but unfortunately, it looks like google is also now cluttering up their UI with Oreo.

  3. ChrisC says:

    Man if they would allow you to install Kodi, I’d be on it in a second

  4. Charlie says:

    They just had to update the Ultra from 4640 to 4660, making mine no longer top dog.:-)

    70.00 for a Roku stick? It will be interesting if it can fill the void. I see they left the Ultra at 99.99, instead of the 129.99 we paid last year. I’m hoping FTV4 will 99.99 too.

  5. Tony Ramirez says:

    Where can you buy this? Amazon search just gives me the older products.

  6. Charlie says:

    The new remote appears to be flat. That might be an improvement. The clunky remote, compared to FTV remotes, is one of my pet peeves.

  7. Andy says:

    It’s the clunky interface that has to go. Plus there is no word on whether any of the new models will allow 5.1 passthrough, right now only the Ultra will do that, does anyone have any info on that .?

    • Charlie says:

      I agree with you. I’ve been using Roku’s for don’t know how many years and the UI is basically unchanged. I would like to see it changed, just to keep things interesting. I too wonder about standard Dolby Digital 5.1. My Ultra does it and is the first Roku that ever made it possible to get 5.1 to an older surround system without HDMI inputs. My Rotel system cost me a couple of thousand dollars and still works like new, so I was frustrated about standard Dolby with every new device, until the Ultra. The new one drops the optical out, but the current Ultra gets standard Dolby with or without using the optical, so I would be hopeful the new will do it too.

  8. Trololoooooooooooo says:

    If only their ecosystem were more open to international buyers. A Roku in a non supported country barely works only for Netflix, Crunchyroll and Youtube.

    Amazon Prime Video on Roku ?
    Prime Video available almost worldwide ?
    Well, if you got a Roku to watch Prime Video outside of USA, you are out of luck.

    Mexico’s Blim. It is also available for latinamerica. But if you use it on Roku being in Colombia, you are out of luck.

    The same happens with Amazon’s Fire TV, but actually worse. You can not use a globally supported Prime Video service on Amazon’s Fire TV. Amazon’s own device for its service.

    Here in Colombia it is only available on Samsungs and LGs TV, and only in the newer ones.

    Most of the world has to rely on Chromecast and Android TV, not bad, but Chromecast doesnt have a remote as the Rokus and Fire TV has, and Android TV is barely breathing, it is almost abandoned by Google itself.

  9. Trololoooooooooooo says:

    Oh God, it seems like Roku is going to support Colombia : D

    https://www.roku.com/es-co/products/roku-express-plus at COP $179.000 (like 56 dollars)

    https://www.roku.com/es-co/products/streaming-stick-plus at COP $299.000 (like 100 dollars)

  10. Tony Ramirez says:

    Okay I found out you can pre-order on October 8th. Good idea to update the article to reflect that as I could not find it at all on Amazon.

    • ChrisC says:

      This article read like just a “new production roll out” announcement rather than a “now for sale” post, similar to the new Amazon offering the other day.

  11. mikah says:

    !@#$!@#$@# Wayyyyyyy too many models. Just have the $29, the $49 and the $99. Too much consumer confusion. Don’t want to even bother trying to learn the differences between all the models. This is as bad as Apple and their ipad and iphone options.

    • clocks says:

      I agree. There should be 2-3 models. In recent years Roku has gone crazy.

      • Andy says:

        I agree also, they’d do better to get what they have working properly, rather than introduce new models faster than I change my underwear !

        • AFTV Fan says:

          Also allow modders to root it. Their devices are so locked down that I don’t want to buy one because of it.

          • ChrisC says:

            Believe it or not, Roku doesn’t market their products to modders, but to consumers . I know ,crazy huh? =)

          • TechyChris says:

            You can put the Roku into developer mode and push a modified channel package to your device, but you can only install one at a time, i’ve been using a custom Reddit channel for years, works great, FYI the developer mode channel is installed locally on device so Roku cannot block it

  12. Chris says:

    The Roku Ultra is amazing and far surpasses the Fire TV by a long shot, especially the backwards direction Amazon has taken the new generation. It’s a pity it doesn’t support Kodi.

  13. Roku would be great if every single update did not break every single device.

    https://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=104029
    https://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=104331&hilit=tcl
    https://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=96176&hilit=tcl

    they need less devices, more programmers, and a product quality function.

  14. Charlie says:

    Just saw the full lineup at Walmart already. I was only slightly tempted to buy the 4K stick, but since I already have an Ultra I’ll be taking a pass this year.

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