Things to know about New Roku Streaming Player Lineup

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Roku will be announcing the two of its most popular players that will be getting a hardware refresh for 2019 that should make videos load up to 20% faster.

The players up for a refresh are the 4K HDR-capable Roku Ultra that’s getting more memory and the cheaper, HD-only Roku Express which will be see a reduced physical footprint and new SoC.

The new versions of the Roku Express (MSRP $29.99), offering easy HD streaming in a sleek new form factor, and the Roku Ultra (MSRP $99.99), featuring fast channel launch and a remote with personal shortcut buttons designed to get to content quickly, will be available to customers. Five additional Roku streaming players round out the lineup in the U.S and will be available broadly in the coming weeks..

New Roku Express

Roku Express is 10% smaller than its predecessor and is designed to blend in when connected to a TV. It can be fully powered by most televisions if an outlet is not nearby, reducing clutter. Additional Roku Express features and accessories include:

Easy and smooth HD streaming
Simple remote featuring channel shortcut buttons
High-Speed HDMI Cable
Power adaptor

ROKU OS 9.2

As per usual, Roku’s fall update isn’t only hardware-focused. The operating system that powers its players is being updated, too, with the launch of Roku OS 9.2.

The standout feature is a search and discovery update called Roku Zones.

These “zones” are actually curated content collections organized around a genre, like “drama movies and TV,” or a theme, like holiday movies, for example. The zones will appear in the search results when you do a relevant search. Unlike the typically text-based search results, zones are visual guides with thumbnail images, scrollable rows, and content sourced from Roku’s partners — the same partners whose content would otherwise appear in its search results.

Roku Voice search can now find 4K movies and users can now control personal music, movies, and photos using voice commands, too. Alexa and Google Assistant users can control multiple Roku devices in the home with voice commands, with the 9.2 update.

The update will also bring support for the new Roku Wireless Subwoofer when Roku TV Wireless speakers are paired to a Roku TV, as earlier promised.

And it’s introducing a new “shortcuts” feature that will let you stick common actions — like adding channels, setting sleep timers or powering off the TV (soon) — right on the Roku homescreen.

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