The streaming specialist challenges Amazon, Apple and Google with five updated TV players priced from $30 to $100.
Roku specializes in streaming, and so far that focus is paying off.
The scrappy Los Gatos, California-based firm just came off a big initial public offering, but as a company it’s still dwarfed by its main rivals in the streaming hardware game: Amazon, Apple and Google. Roku’s streaming sticks and boxes are more popular than their competitors, however, and they routinely earn my top recommendations.
Roku’s latest hardware lineup, with five players ranging from $30 to $100, looks capable of winning a streaming championship once again. Four have the same names as last year but they’ve been working out in the offseason, bringing upgrades like faster processors. And three of the five get a new feature so smart and basic I can’t believe it hasn’t been done before in a streamer: their remotes can control your TV’s volume and power.
I got the chance to play around with the new Rokus in a brief hands-on session. Here’s what I think so far.
The remote on the new Streaming Stick and more expensive 2017 Roku players has voice search and can control your TV’s volume and power.
The Wi-Fi extender on the Streaming Stick Plus is designed to help improve reception.
The new players are available for preorder now and hit stores around Oct. 8.
I look forward to more time testing Roku’s new gear and comparing it to the other streamers on the market. Expect full CNET reviews soon.