After uncovering Roku’s new naming conventions and specs a month ago, Zatz Not FUnny has jut posted the first images of Roku’s unreleased line of next generation streaming media boxes. Not surprising, the Roku Premiere and Ultra models, which are set to replace Roku’s flagship models, look just like the existing Roku 4. The Roku Express however, appears to be an all new device which is interestingly powered via a micro USB cable.
Roku Express & Express Plus
The Roku Express and Express Plus are Roku’s new least expensive models, likely to replace the Roku 1 and Roku SE. It’s still unclear what the difference between the two will be, but the addition of more ports in the Plus version is probably a safe bet. The use of a micro USB port for power is an interesting decision for a set top box. This could imply the specs are similar to the Roku Stick.
Roku Premiere & Premiere Plus
The Roku Premiere and Premiere Plus are Roku’s middle tier models, likely to replace the Roku 2 and 3. We already know these two models both support 4K, and the Plus model also supports HDR. The Premiere Plus also appears to include an ethernet port and micro SD card slot.
The Roku Ultra is the new flagship model set to replace the Roku 4. It contains all the features of the Roku Premiere Plus, including 4K, HDR, Ethernet, and a micro SD card slot, but also adds an optical audio port, USB port, and remote locator button.
SourceZatz Not funny!
I’ll wait until I see the overhauled Roku OS and the new features there-in, before I jump to any conclusions. So far? Just kinda “meh” about it all. I don’t have a 4K TV and not in a rush to get one so 4K and HDR doesn’t appeal to me in the least. I wanna see a fast, fluid overhaul of the Roku GUI, myself.
Does your TV have to be HDR compatible to take advantage of the Plus or Ultra?
To use the HDR feature of the Premiere Plus and Ultra, yes, but they will still work on non-HDR TVs. So, for example, if you really want optical audio but don’t have an HDR or 4K TV, you can still use the Roku Ultra on a 1080p TV.
Roku’s OS and lack of development tools for apps other than streaming services make me hope they die off in favor of more Android TV, Fire TV and Apple TV sales.
Fire TV is way too proprietary and pushes Amazon content too hard for my tastes. Android TV is awesome in terms of openness and versatility, but it’s missing some of the most important apps like Vudu (Fire TV also missing it) unless you have A Shield TV.
Roku is simple, and the sheer number of apps makes it my streamer of choice. I do keep a nexus player around for Kodi though.
If you want the widest range of content options, Roku is the one to get. I suspect that’s the case because they’re the only major play that doesn’t actually sell content themselves, so everyone is willing to put their content on Roku. Amazon, Apple, and Google (Android) all distribute content themselves.
Then we can only hope someday Roku decides to make a modern Android device(I think one of the Roku 2s was based on 2.2 or 2.3. I forget).
Even thought the Roku interface is simple it still gets the job done and unlike the fire TV it has a true universal search and voice search. Fire TV finally added voice search to Netflix and it still sucks as it takes you out the app to do the search and still shows Amazon stuff first. So yeah Roku and apple TV got Android beat there.
Can you give me an example where Amazon stuff comes up before Netflix for a specific search? If you search for the show Leverage for example, which the first episode is available on both Prime and Netflix, it doesn’t come up with a “Watch Now with Amazon Prime” button. It just has a “Watch” button that when clicked, brings up a selection for Prime or Netflix.’
I hear the argument a lot that the Fire TV favors Prime, so I’m just trying to understand what people mean when they say this.
Hey look, Optical!
Hey look Amazon, OPTICAL!
I say this as someone lucky enough to own a TV (Vizio) that passes Dolby Digital and DTS through Optical, but most TVs (ie. my Panny plasma) don’t, thereby leaving people without HDMI capable sound systems stuck with stereo sound over their five expensive speakers.
I learned all this when I first upgraded to the FireTV from my venerable WDTV Hub and was still on my Panisonic. The solution was a splitter between the FireTV and my TV and sound system. It worked, but it was a kludge, and it didn’t support HDCP 2.2, which meant I would have been back to stereo when I upgraded to 4k if Vizio wasn’t awesome and included Dolby and DTS passthrough over their optical ports.
I suspect other 4k brand owners aren’t as lucky and have to discard otherwise perfectly fine surround sound systems. (or maybe there are better splitters for HDCP 2.2, I thankfully haven’t had to look)
But back to my original point: Hey, look Amazon, Optical!
Roku will never be as popular as AFTV or like devices because it can’t be jail broken and no fun.
Roku has been the leading seller of streaming devices http://www.parksassociates.com/blog/article/pr-05172016
Not entirely true. I’ve owned a Roku for years (though I do prefer my FTV’s now), It is possible to put a Roku into “Developer Mode” and a launch a single channel that would be otherwise unavailable in the official channel store. (I’m not talking about the so-called private channels). You must upload a specific package to your Roku via a pc. And it will only allow 1 developer channel per device. Google it. Works for me.
My one concern of the non-budget models, do they have fans? I hate moving parts.
Agreed! The noisy fan was only one of many reported problems with the Roku 4. It’s the main reason I returned mine.
I would guess they do. It looks they are using the same case as the previous version which is awful. There’s no reason for the case to be that large and for it to have a fan. The Fire TV is smaller and has no fan and is just as powerful.
Where’s the USB port on the Ultra? I don’t see it there and don’t see space for it….
It will be on the side of the device… most likely to the right (as you look from the front) or, conversely, to the left (if you’re looking from the rear of the device where the other ports / connections are located). This was (most likely) to make it easier to plug in the USB stick, without disturbing the unit too much, or having to reach over the back with all the other leads connected – as it could be too fiddly, not to mention over-crowded with ports, if everything was squeezed-in on the rear! ;-)
You will likely find it’s directly opposite the purple Roku tag (i.e. on the other side of the box from the tag and the remote finder button). I’m basing this on the fact that the form-factor of the ‘Roku Ultra’ is similar to the ‘NowTV Smart Box’, which we have here in the UK, and that’s where the USB port is located on that device. Hope that helps! ;-)
Roku Premiere is a waste of money , dont buy it , There are no Ubs ports on it what so every , can not add storage , or stream you own movies for it . , the device is lacking