Roku undercuts Chromecast price, announces cheap 4K streamer
Shifting price points downward on the company’s lineup of streaming set-top boxes, Roku is launching a $30, 1080p streaming stick called the Roku Express as well as a $80 4K streaming set-top box called the Roku Premiere. This both undercuts Google’s $35 Chromecast streaming device as well as Amazon’s $30 Fire TV streaming stick.
Interestingly, they are also going after consumers that don’t have televisions with HDMI ports yet. The Roku Express+ ($40) includes options for consumers that want to use simple A/V inputs rather than HDMI. It would be ideal for consumers that are still using televisions made more than a decade ago.
Moving up to the 4K set-top box, the Roku Premiere streaming 4K content at 60 frames per second and comes with a line-of-sight remote. For an additional $20 at a $100 price point, the Roku Premiere+ supports HDR (for a wider range of colors) and includes an wired Ethernet port as well as the “point-anywhere” remote with the headphone jack.
On the high end, Roku is launching a Roku Ultra at $130. It has everything that the Roku Premiere+ offers in addition to voice searching, a remote finder and a digital optical audio output for anyone that prefers that audio format when pushing out to a receiver. That model basically replaces the Roku 4 flagship model.
If you are looking for a 4K player for your new 4K television, you may want to wait until after October 4, 2016 when Google is expected to announce a couple of streaming player upgrades. The rumored “Chromecast Ultra” will stream 4K content to televisions for a possible price of $70, $10 cheaper than the Roku Premiere. It’s not clear if the Chromecast Ultra will also support HDR.