Published: Wed, September 26, 2018
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Roku unveils affordable Premiere and Premiere+ 4K streaming media boxes

Roku unveils affordable Premiere and Premiere+ 4K streaming media boxes

The Premiere+ will also be available in October, but it can not be pre-ordered; it will be a Walmart exclusive. These members of the Roku family had technically been on the market already, but these new models have notable upgrades, not to mention slashed prices. The new versions of the Roku Premiere and Roku Premiere+, however, are now being sold at $30 and $50, making them the company's lowest-priced 4K HDR players.

The Roku Premiere and Premiere+ will begin shipping early October.

Roku is also taking the opportunity to boost the value offered by its most powerful and feature-packed player, the Roku Ultra.

Even before that, there'll be better voice support courtesy of the Google Assistant. Instead of the rounded box of earlier media streamers, the Premiere is a small black plastic block a few inches long, created to be placed under or in front of your TV.

Now, in 2018, the reverse is true: the new Premiere will take the shape of the Roku Express - i.e. a petite, crescent-shaped player with rounded edges. The update includes features like the ability to browse free content with voice requests such as "let's see free sitcoms". Even if you don't now have a 4K television, this is a streaming player that can grow with you.

Google Assistant is coming to Roku streaming devices and TVs

The differences between them, according to Roku, is that the Roku Streaming Stick+ offers four times the range thanks to its antenna and supports 802.11ac wireless compared to the 802.11b/g/n that will be supported on the Premiere and Premiere+. It's missing voice remote control, a headphone jack, MicroSD, USB and Ethernet ports, and remote finder...but it'll get you streaming 4k/HDR for less than $40 bucks.

In the other news related to Roku, the company proclaimed that it would support Spotify once again, after the music streaming giant citing poor user experience pulled its app a year ago.

Google Assistant - Soon, you'll be able to use Google Assistant devices to control select Roku streaming devices to pause and search for content and launch channels. That low price is not something even Amazon can compete against.

Amazon's 4K Fire TV is also pretty similar to Roku's lineup.

The Roku Premiere, the cheaper of the two at $39.99, includes a standard-issue remote with channel shortcut buttons while the more expensive Premiere+ comes with a voice remote with TV power and volume buttons.

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