Roku's latest streaming device puts the focus on UHD

  • TECH
  • Thursday, 08 Oct 2015

User friendly: The new Roku 4 streaming player aims to make it simple to find the types of films and TV shows that people want to watch.

The Roku 4 set-top box is all about streaming content in the best possible quality and making it simple to find the types of films and TV shows that people want to watch, whether sitting comfortably at home or stopping in a hotel room. 

While a growing number of truly global competitors from Apple and Google to Amazon have been talking up how their devices give users access to an ecosystem of other services, be it gaming, smartphone-like apps or internet access, Roku has been quietly going about the business of making set-top boxes that deliver content quickly and smoothly. 

It's the company that popularized the concept of a set-top streaming box, and, with its latest device, the Roku 4, its first new player for almost two years, the company clearly hasn't lost its focus or been distracted by what its competitors are up to. 

So the features that are making their debut on the new box – which will cost US$129.99 (RM555) when it goes on sale later this month – are all about usability and quality. The biggest new feature, support for 4K content, is combined with access to the widest selection of channels that currently offer content in ultra-high definition. 

Roku isn't pushing its own content so it can give users access to everything from Netflix and Amazon to Vudu and YouTube's current UHD offerings. 

Despite a growing choice, 4K content is still in its infancy so Roku has built a special discovery channel into the box to make finding films and TV shows that make the most of the latest generation TVs even easier. 

This freedom also makes the device's search credentials excellent. Users can keep track of favorite movie genres, actors, directors or box office releases and get notifications when a film is available to watch and how much it will cost. 

The remote control has a location system so that it will never be lost behind sofa cushions again and a new log-in feature means that the Roku 4 is portable. Use it in a hotel room or on a college campus as long as there's a password-protected WiFi network available. Connect the device to the network, sign into your Roku account and start streaming. 

"The Roku 4 is our best streaming player ever," said 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." — AFP Relaxnews

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