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Roku introduces a new Ultra player, a 2-in-1 ‘Streambar,’ and a new OS with support for AirPlay 2 – TechCrunch

Streaming media gadget maker Roku is updating its lineup prematurely of the vacation season with the addition of two new merchandise: a redesigned model of its high-end Roku Extremely which, for the primary time, provides Dolby Imaginative and prescient help in addition to Bluetooth. The corporate can be introducing a mixture participant and soundbar gadget, referred to as the Roku Streambar. And the Roku OS software program replace will deliver a handful of recent options to clients, together with, most notably, Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit help.

On the {hardware} entrance, Roku continues its technique of refreshing units and plugging different holes available in the market with the launch of the 2 new gamers.

With the revamp of the Roku Extremely, the corporate guarantees as much as 50% extra wi-fi vary and the addition of Bluetooth help. The expanded vary will enable clients to make use of their Extremely even additional away from the web router with out compromising their streaming high quality and expertise. In the meantime, the addition of Bluetooth means you’ll be capable to pair your smartphone with the gadget with the intention to stream music or different audio by the Roku Extremely to the TV.

Picture Credit: Roku

The up to date Roku Extremely provides Dolby Imaginative and prescient help together with Dolby Atmos sound, to cater to clients who’ve Dolby Imaginative and prescient TVs. And Roku is future-proofing the gadget with the addition of the AV1 codec, which gives larger high quality video at a decrease bitrate.

The gadget will ship with an HDMI cable in addition to the Roku Voice distant with TV energy and quantity buttons, private shortcut buttons, headphones for personal listening and the misplaced distant discovering performance. The value stays the identical, at $99.99.

Roku Streambar Side Shot with Remote

Picture Credit: Roku

The second new gadget is the Roku Streambar. This 2-in-1 gadget combines 4K HDR streaming and premium audio into one product. On the participant aspect, the egg carton-sized gadget is the equal of the Roku Streaming Stick+ and works with each Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The soundbar attaches to the TV by way of an HDMI cable, and if the TV gives ARC help that’s all you’ll have to get began. In any other case, you should use the included optical cable that comes within the field.

The soundbar has 4 premium drivers together with two forward-facing drivers to deliver out the dialogue and heart channel and two on the aspect, angled to assist fill the room with sound. The gadget will even help Roku options, like the power to quiet loud commercials, enhance the quantity of voices, or optimize the sound for evening listening.

The gadget additionally helps Bluetooth, Spotify Join, Alexa and Google Assistant, and a voice distant that controls the TV, sound and streaming.

Roku Audio Family

Picture Credit: Roku

Whereas the soundbar is essentially being pitched as an entry degree gadget for newcomers to Roku or an all-in-one answer to be used with a brand new TV, it nonetheless permits a buyer to develop their house theater setup over time. Clients can select to later add encompass sound with Roku’s Wi-fi Audio system and bass with the Roku Wi-fi Subwoofer, says Roku.

Over the subsequent few week, these units and others will be capable to obtain the Roku OS 9.four replace which brings a variety of new options, together with AirPlay 2 and HomeKit help. With AirPlay 2, clients with Apple gadget will be capable to stream content material on to their Roku participant — whether or not that’s private content material from their very own library or from different streaming apps.

Live TV Channel Guide for Roku TV

Picture Credit: Roku

The addition can be significantly helpful for these occasions a streaming service launches with out Roku help. In latest months, Roku has gotten slowed down in negotiations with media firms now that it runs its personal subscription channel platform by its personal hub, The Roku Channel. Throughout its negotiations with NBCU, for instance, a dispute led to NBCU threatening to tug its TV In every single place apps off Roku earlier than the two sides worked things out. As we speak, HBO Max, one other main new streaming app, remains to be not obtainable on Roku. Clients are those who actually lose in these kinds of battles, after all, so the AirPlay 2 help can be a good workaround for these occasions when apps are usually not obtainable.

Roku OS 9.four will even deliver HomeKit help to pick out 4K units so clients can management their Roku by way of the House app and Siri on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch or HomePod.

The Roku Channel mobile app darker background

Picture Credit: Roku

The replace will even deliver a brand new “Stay TV” tile to the homescreen that includes a reside information to The Roku Channel’s over 115 free reside channels. Customers will even see useful hints on utilizing voice instructions on their TV at occasions and can obtain up to date theme packs with non-obligatory sounds. These will function themes like Jungle, Western, Nautical, Children, and extra, which might be swapped rather than the usual background and design. The replace will deliver different efficiency enhancements, extra free channels to The Roku Channel, and encompass degree management for multi-channel audio, amongst different issues.

Roku will even quickly ship a devoted free app for The Roku Channel for iOS and Android smartphones.

The Roku OS 9.four replace will roll out this month and can attain all supported gamers, together with the brand new Extremely and Streambar, within the weeks forward. Roku TVs will get the replace within the coming months.

The brand new gamers, in the meantime, can be found for pre-order immediately on Roku’s web site, and can ship in October. They’ll additionally arrive in main retailers and on-line subsequent month.



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Sarah Perez