The new Amazon Fire TV isn’t the only media streaming box with support for 4K video anymore. Rival Roku has launched a new TV box with a quad-core processor, 802.11ac WiFi and support for 4K Ultra HD video.
The Roku 4 is priced at $130 and it should start shipping October 21st.
Roku’s box is a little more expensive than a $100 Amazon Fire TV, but the Roku 4 does have a few nifty features to help it stand out from the competition.
Among other things, the Roku 4 has optical audio output and a new button that helps you find a missing remote control. Press a button on the Roku and you remote will beep so you can find it even if it’s fallen into the couch cushions.
Speaking of the remote, it connects to the Roku over WiFi instead of Bluetooth, which should make it more responsive than earlier Roku remotes. The new remote also has a built-in mic that you can use for voice search. There’s also a headphone jack on the remote, allowing you to listen even when your TV is muted.
If you’ve already got a Roku, the main reason to update is probably for the 4K video support. The Roku 4 can play Ultra HD video at 60 frames per second. Not sure where to find 4K video? There’s a 4K Spotlight channel that makes it easy to find content from across multiple video sources.
The company has also updated its iOS and Android apps. You can use your phone or tablet as a remote control for the media streamer to play or pause video. But you can also search or browse for content without interrupting the video that’s playing on your Roku. And the mobile apps support voice search.
The Roku 4 is a little bigger than earlier models, and measures about 6.5″ x 5.5″ x 0.8″. But it packs more horsepower than any Roku device to date.
Other hardware features include a microSD card slot for channel and game storage, a USB port for personal media, Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 channel audio through HDMI or optical output, and a 10/100 Ethernet port.