Roku Launches All-New Roku Ultra and Roku Streambar
Last year, Roku made minor changes to the Roku Ultra for the 2019 edition. With it came two personalized remote buttons and a small speed-bump. For the 2020 edition, however, they’ve done a complete overhaul of their top-of-the-line streaming player.
2020 Roku Ultra
Roku says the 2020 Roku Ultra is the most powerful and fastest streaming player they’ve ever made. They’ve told us that users can expect a 30% increase in channel launch and video start times.
The device has a slightly new look and has bluetooth support for the first time, as well as 50% improved wireless range. Don’t worry though, if you want to continue to use a hard-wired connection, the device still has Ethernet built-in. The new Roku Ultra has replaced the microSD slot, with a USB 3 port to bring your media library to the device.
With the new power under-the-hood, the Roku Ultra is now the first Roku streaming player to support Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. For services like Netflix and Disney+ that have Dolby Vision support, that means you’ll get better color and screen brightness while streaming. Dolby Atmos brings better audio to give a more realistic audio experience when there is motion in a scene.
Previously, Dolby Vision and Atmos were available only on select Roku TVs.
The 2020 Roku Ultra comes with the Roku voice remote that can control TV power and volume, private listening headphone jack (with headphones in the box), and personal shortcut buttons. If you lose the remote, the Roku Ultra has a “lost remote finder” like previous models.
In the box though, Roku now includes a High-Speed Premium HDMI cable, so you won’t have to look for one after you get your new device.
The 2020 Roku Ultra remains at $99.99 and will begin shipping in mid-October.
Last year, Roku launched their first Smart Soundbar which combines a soundbar with a 4K Roku streaming player. With the success of the audio-lineup, which includes wireless speakers and a wireless subwoofer, the company announced new smaller Smart Soundbar called the Roku Streambar.
Unlike it’s bigger sibling, the Roku Streambar is just the size of an egg carton at 2” tall and 14” wide. This means that it’s not only an option for the living room, but could be put in a bedroom or a kitchen — improving your audio, while giving you a 4K streaming player.
Just like the Smart Soundbar, the Streambar also has 4 speakers inside, albeit smaller ones though. You can still add to your audio set-up and it can be added to the Roku Wireless Speakers and Roku Wireless Subwoofer to create surround sound.
In the box, comes both a HDMI cable (for those with ARC support) and optical cable for those without.
On the streaming side, the built-in 4K streaming player should see near identical performance to that in the Smart Soundbar, so you won’t sacrifice streaming performance.
With the smaller size, also comes a lower price at just $129.99 ($50 less than Smart Soundbar) when it begins shipping in mid-October. When you think of it, at just $70 more than the Roku Streaming Stick+, it’s almost a no brainer to add better audio to your streaming experience.
Rest of Roku Streaming Player Line-up
The rest of the Roku Streaming Player line-up remains unchanged — starting at $29.99 with the Roku Express. They will continue selling the Roku Streaming Stick+ Headphones Edition at Best Buy and Roku Ultra LT at Walmart for $79.99, which is based on last year’s model.
- Roku Express: $29.99 (HD & Simple Remote)
- Roku Express+: $39.99 (HD & Voice Remote)
- Roku Premiere: $39.99 (4K & Simple Remote)
- Roku Streaming Stick+: $49.99 (4K & Voice Remote)
- Roku Streaming Stick+ Headphones Edition: $59.99 (4K & Voice Remote w/ Private Listening)
- Roku Ultra LT: $79.99 (4K, Ethernet, & Voice Remote w/ Private Listening)
- All-New Roku Ultra: $99.99 (4K, Dolby Vision/Atmos, Ethernet Voice Remote w/ Private Listening)
All users who purchase a Roku device will get access to 3-month trial to Apple TV+ and Pandora Premium. You can also redeem a 30-Day free trial of Showtime, STARZ, and EPIX from The Roku Channel.