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New Roku Ultra & Streambar Players, Roku OS 9.4 on the Way

Roku has added two new players to its device lineup, and confirmed the new OS is on its way.

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Roku is updating its Ultra and soundbar players with the 2020 Roku Ultra and Roku Streambar. At the same time, the company also announced the release of its newest Roku OS 9.4, with the software upgrade due to make its way out to existing Roku players and devices in the coming weeks and months.

Roku players have proven to be a popular option for streamers with the company occupying a significant portion of the market, along with Amazon’s Fire TV. One of the reasons for Roku player popularity is the variety of players available and priced to suit different streaming needs and budgets.

Now, Roku is expanding those options to include a newer version of the Roku Ultra as well as adding the Roku Streambar. Both new devices are due to go on sale in the U.S. starting October 15, although they are already available to pre-order from the company’s online store. The 2020 Roku Ultra is priced at $99.99 while the Roku Streambar costs $129.99.

2020 Roku Ultra

New Roku Ultra player
Source: Roku

Roku has always referred to its Ultra player as “our ultimate streaming player” and the new model is designed to continue that trend. Priced at $99.99, the 2020 Roku Ultra is no more expensive than the previous one. In spite of the lack of price increase, Roku claims it comes with a number of improvements, including a faster process, better Bluetooth and connectivity range, as well as Dolby Vision support.

2020 Roku Streambar

Roku Soundbar
Source: Roku

Roku already offers a soundbar option with the Roku Smart Soundbar. However, the new Roku Streambar does not appear to be a direct replacement but, instead, another soundbar option for those looking for a combined solution. For example, while both models support HD, 4K, and HDR, the new Roku Streambar is $50 less than the Roku Smart Soundbar.

It also does not come with the additional option of adding a subwoofer to the package. As a result, the Roku Streambar is more of an affordable all-in-one streaming and audio product than the Smart Soundbar.

Roku OS 9.4

New Roku design
Source: Roku

Along with the new hardware, Roku also confirmed the release of Roku OS 9.4. Overall, Roku says the new operating system version will make it easier to navigate and control the system, thanks to Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support, a live TV channel guide on Roku TVs, and greater surround sound support for those looking to customize the volume of multi-channel setups.

As to be expected, Roku OS 9.4 will be available on both new Roku players. In addition, existing Roku models will also begin to get the update in the coming weeks. Roku TVs are also eligible for the upgrade, although the company says it will roll out to these devices over the coming months, instead of weeks.

Source Roku 1, 2

John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Clarity to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingclarity.com or on Twitter

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