Roku saw the potential in digital media players well before companies like Amazon and Apple did, and it’s already used that head start to dominate the market, but with its competitors releasing some pretty enticing devices like the new Apple TV and the new Fire TV, Roku is going to have to step up its game if it wants to stay on top. That’s where the new Roku 4 comes in. The new digital media player was officially announced last night, and it has some new features and hardware that are sure to give the likes of Amazon and Apple a run for their money.
Roku, one of the earliest players in the over-the-top video streaming market, has just announced its newest device, the Roku 4. The announcement should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following Roku rumors and leaks in recent weeks, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a significant product launch — especially since it’s now going head-to-head with Apple, Google, and Amazon. The new Roku 4 streaming video box has a faster, quad-core processor than its Roku 3 predecessor, support for 4K video at up to 60 frames per second, and better WiFi technology (it now has 802.11ac wireless networking capabilities). It has the same HDMI, Ethernet and USB ports for connectivity, but there’s a new one in the mix: an optical audio output for patching sound through speakers or a soundbar. Physically, the Roku 4 is definitely larger than the palm-sized Roku 3, but Roku says it was designed to accommodate all of the new tech packed inside of it. The Roku motion-sensor remote looks pretty much the same, and while it’s not quite as easy to misplace as, say, the Apple TV remote, Roku has got you there: the Roku 4 box has a “Find Me” button that pings the remote.