Roku 4Roku unveiled Tuesday its first Roku over-the-top (OTT) streaming video player supporting 4K UHD content.

The Roku 4 player also includes the new Roku OS7 supporting new discovery features that provide access to more entertainment choices and an updated “Roku Feed” that now lets users follow movies, directors, actors, and TV shows to receive automatic updates on streaming availability and pricing.

The Roku OS 7 and Roku Feed also will be rolled out to current-generation Roku players and Roku TVs through a software update beginning in mid-October and are expected to be completed in November, the company said.

The Roku 4 unit also packs a new remote finder feature that makes it easy to find misplaced remote controls.

More on the Roku 4 4K UHD player after the jump.

The Roku 4 is available for pre-order today at a $129.99 suggested retail price and will be available in October. The Roku player family is also being updated to support users who like to travel and bring their streaming media player with them on the road to hotel or dorm rooms. The new Hotel and Dorm Connect feature looks for and accommodates quick wireless connectivity in locations that require log-in credentials to access the network.

A newly redesigned Roku mobile app improves control of the device when using a mobile device, and soon will offer an on-the-go mode that allows for access to features such as the Roku Feed while away from home.

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The Roku 4 features a quad-core processor, up to 60 fps 4K streaming, HDCP 2.2, optical audio out, 802.11ac MIMO WiFi connectivity and a 1080p home screen and user interface.

For 4K UHD video streaming the Roku 4 will support up to 4K UHD at 60fps and will include “access to more 4K entertainment than any other streaming player.” Roku 4 will include 4K streaming from: Netflix, M-Go, Amazon Instant Video, ToonGoggles, Vudu and YouTube.

Roku told HD Guru that the Roku 4 will not support high dynamic range (HDR) metadata at this time. According to a spokesperson: “We believe it’s best to wait to see where the industry discussion goes, and where standards net out, before adding support for this feature to our product.”

However, Roku 4 will include an exclusive curated 4K spotlight channel offering instant access to 4K movies, TV shows and other content. A 4K UHD category will also be added within the Roku Channel Store to make it easy to find streaming channels with 4K entertainment from among the system’s expansive channel lineup containing more than 300,000 movies, TV episodes and games, the company said.

“The Roku 4 is our best streaming player ever,” stated Roku Founder and CEO Anthony Wood. “It provides an amazing 4K experience with powerful performance and brilliant picture, at up to 60 frames per second on 4K TVs, and access to the most streaming channels with 4K entertainment, plus innovative features like Remote Finder. Powered by the new Roku OS 7, the Roku 4 gives consumers a new era of streaming performance and control over their entertainment.”

The remote control that ships with the unit will support voice search, includes a headphone jack for private listening, and the new Remote Finder feature.

Roku said it is also releasing a major update to the free Roku Mobile App for iOS and Android to simplify accessing key features including Roku Search, Roku Feed, Remote Control and Play on Roku.

The updated app enables instant access to voice-controlled content searching with the tap of the screen to view and add to Roku Feed, and launch play on Roku to display photos and videos on the big screen. The Roku Mobile App also displays notifications to make consumers aware of new updates in the Roku Feed.

Roku said the new “Travel and Connect” capability for hotel and dorm use is designed to ease connectivity to Wi-Fi networks requiring a browser log-in. The capability will be found on the Roku 4 and extended to other Roku players, Roku TVs and Roku Streaming Sticks. With the capability, users will only need to connect their Roku device to a password-protected network, and use the Roku Mobile App to sign-in with login credentials.

By Greg Tarr


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