Roku OS v9.4 Brings AirPlay 2, Homekit In Select Devices
In tandem with the imminent release of the new Roku OS v9.4 firmware update, Roku said today that it is bringing support for Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit to select 4K Roku devices.
AirPlay 2 and Homekit will now be available through the following devices: Roku Ultra, Roku Streambar, Roku Smart Soundbar, Roku Streaming Stick+, and Roku Premiere. The capabilities will be part of the Roku OS v9.4 update rolling out in coming days.
With AirPlay 2, Apple device owners will be able to stream, control and share their favorite content directly from an iPhone, iPad or Mac to a supported Roku device and view it on a connected big screen display.
The addition of HomeKit will also allow compatible Roku device users to easily and securely control a Roku device with their voice using the Home app and Siri available on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, or HomePod, the companies said.
“With regular automatic software updates, the Roku OS enables consumers to easily get to the entertainment they want via the new features we add over time,” stated Ilya Asnis, Roku OS senior VP. “With Roku OS 9.4 now available on streaming players, we are adding all-new ways to navigate and control content-rich experiences on Roku devices as well as ensuring Roku devices provide a great entertainment experience for customers, regardless of what other technology products they prefer in their homes and particularly with the addition of Apple AirPlay and HomeKit.”
Roku devices getting many of the new benefits include: the Roku Ultra, Roku Streambar, Roku Smart Soundbar, Roku Streaming Stick+, and Roku Premiere. Check the links for the latest prices during the Holiday selling period.
Roku Ultra 2020 ($99 retail) is the company’s latest version of its top-of-the-line streaming set-top media player. It features a more powerful system with snappier response and the company’s most robust onboard wireless connectivity, said to have up to 50% more range than prior versions. It also offers Bluetooth support, and Dolby Vision High Dynamic Range (HDR) playback from supported streaming content. The media player also supports Dolby Atmos sound when paired with compatible devices.
The Roku Streambar ($129 retail) is the company’ latest soundbar with an integrated Roku media streamer. The compact Streambar fits in front of and below most tabletop placed televisions to deliver bigger and more dynamic sound and most built-in TV speakers are capable of delivering.
The Roku Streambar connects to almost any TV with an HDMI, and will deliver up to 4K HDR10 picture quality when played on a compatible 4K TV set.
Meanwhile, in addition to Apple AirPlay 2 and Homekit, the newly arriving Roku OS 9.4 will also bring a Live TV Channel Guide to Roku TVs along with helpful hints for Roku Voice, Surround Level Control for Multi-Channel Audio, updated Theme Packs, and performance enhancements, the company said. All-in-one Roku TV models are expected to receive Roku OS 9.4, which enables Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit for select 4K Roku TVs, in phases over the coming months
The Roku Ultra and Roku Streambar devices are available now in the United States at Roku.com and all major retailers. The Roku Streambar is also available in Canada, Mexico and the U.K.
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By Greg Tarr
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