Roku Announces New OS 9.2 and Updated Player Lineup

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Roku Announces New OS 9.2 and Updated Player Lineup


Roku announced today a big new OS update slated to coincide with a refresh of the company's media player lineup. The new updated, dubbed OS 9.2, promises to bring with it better search and navigation functionality, as well as the ability to control multiple Roku devices from your personal digital voice assistant of choice (Alexa or Google Assistant).  

The company also announced a new Roku Express that's ten percent smaller than the previous model, as well as more energy efficient, as well as an updated Roku Ultra with faster processing, more memory, and programmable personal shortcut buttons for quick access to your favorite apps. The Roku Express+ (a version of the new Express available exclusively at Walmart) will be available at the end of September with the rest of the devices on sale in October.

More details are provided in the press releases below:

Roku OS 9.2 to Deliver New Search and Discovery Features and Enhanced Roku Voice Functionality

Roku, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) today announced Roku OS 9.2 will start rolling out to Roku devices in the coming weeks. The software update focuses on getting customers to content quickly and adds new ways to control the home entertainment experience. The 4K Spotlight channel has been redesigned making access to stunning 4K entertainment even easier. The new "Roku Tips & Tricks" channel features videos to help Roku users get the most out of their Roku devices. Roku Voice enhancements provide new voice control options while new channel performance improvements enable smoother streaming experience. Additionally, Roku announced a new streaming player line up in another announcement today. 

"The Roku OS allows consumers to easily get to the content they want to watch so they can sit back and relax," said Ilya Asnis, senior vice president of Roku OS at Roku. "With Roku OS 9.2, we are giving our customers new content-rich experiences around 4K, voice and home screen controls."

Features coming to Roku devices in Roku OS 9.2 include:

Search & Discovery

      • Roku Zones - Search for a genre or topical subject for a curated selection of relevant content from channels across the Roku platform. Roku Zones are organized into browsable, categorized rows that may include new releases, titles that are free to watch, rentals and more. Examples include the "Drama Movies & TV Zone" or the "Superhero Movies Zone" which will be frequently updated providing users with a refreshed selection of entertainment. Additional genre and topical Zones may be added over time.
      • 4K Spotlight Channel - A content-first, hand-curated selection of brilliant 4K entertainment from channels across the Roku platform now leverages the new Roku Zones architecture. Browse a wide variety of 4K titles across a number of categories such as Most Popular, Action, Drama, TV shows, 4K channels and more.

New Roku Voice Features

      • Set Sleep Timers on Roku TVs - Roku TV customers can use their voice remote or Roku mobile app to quickly set a sleep timer on their TV by saying things like "Go to sleep at 11 p.m."
      • Search by Movie Quotes - Enjoy finding movie results by searching for the top quotes from thousands of popular movies across the Roku platform
      • 4K in Roku Search - Use Roku Voice to say "4K movies" to see results for a variety of popular 4K movies. Entering a text search for "4K" will now return results including the 4K Movies & TV Zone.
      • Support for Roku Media Player - Customers who use the Roku Media Player to play their personal music, movies and photos can now use Roku Voice to find, play and control stored files by using commands such as "Play," "Skip," and more
      • Control Multiple Roku Devices with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant -Customers who use Alexa-enabled devices and/or Google Assistant to control their Roku device can now control multiple Roku devices in their home

Roku Tips & Tricks
The new Roku Tips & Tricks channel is packed with helpful videos created by Roku to assist customers in getting the most out of their streaming experience.The channel is installed on all Roku streaming devices; and videos cover a variety of topics, including notable features, new products, popular support topics and more.

Additional updates in Roku OS 9.2 include:

      • Roku TV support for the new Roku Wireless Subwoofer when Roku TV Wireless Speakers are paired to a Roku TV
      • New shortcut section on the Home Screen designed to reduce the number of steps needed to complete popular actions. At launch, Roku players will have a shortcut tile to add channels and power the TV on and off. Roku TVs will have shortcut tiles to add channels and set a sleep timer. More shortcuts are expected to be added over time, including a shortcut on Roku players to turn your TV's power off.
      • Channel performance improvements have been made to video start times within channels on the platform, as well as smarter caching of channels to reduce the number of load screens customers see when launching channels they watch the most, and making initial setup of new Roku devices faster.

Availability
Roku OS 9.2 will begin rolling out to select Roku players this month and is expected to roll out to all supported streaming players, including the Roku Smart Soundbar, in the coming weeks. Roku TV models are expected to receive the update in phases over the coming months.

Roku Introduces New Streaming Player Lineup

Roku, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) today unveiled its new streaming player lineup for the U.S and other markets. New versions of the Roku Express (MSRP $29.99), offering easy HD streaming in a sleek new form factor, and the Roku Ultra (MSRP $99.99), featuring fast channel launch and a remote with personal shortcut buttons designed to get to content quickly, will be available to customers. Five additional Roku® streaming players round out the line up in the U.S and will be available broadly in the coming weeks. In addition, Roku also announced Roku OS 9.2 in a separate announcement.

"We're driven by the goal of delivering an exceptional streaming experience to our customers that includes endless entertainment and intuitive ways to find it," said Mark Ely, Vice President, Players and Whole Home Product Management at Roku. "Our new streaming player lineup continues to offer a device for every type of streamer. Whether you're streaming to your TV for the first time or are a cord-cutting power-house who wants our ultimate streaming device - we've got something for everyone."

New Roku Express
Roku Express is 10% smaller than its predecessor and is designed to blend in when connected to a TV. It can be fully powered by most televisions if an outlet is not nearby, reducing clutter. Additional Roku Express features and accessories include:

      • Easy and smooth HD streaming
      • Simple remote featuring channel shortcut buttons
      • High-Speed HDMI Cable
      • Power adaptor

New Roku Ultra
Roku Ultra remains the ultimate streaming player delivering brilliant HD, 4K & HDR picture quality and Roku's best wireless performance. With an enhanced quad-core processor and 802.11ac dual-band wireless, Roku Ultra offers exceptional streaming and is feature-packed for power streamers and cord-cutters. The new fast channel launch feature get users to entertainment faster, improving channel launch times for the top channels across the Roku platform. Additionally, new programmable personal shortcut buttons on the Enhanced Roku Voice Remote offer personalization and one-touch control of entertainment. More Roku Ultra features and accessories include:

      • 4K resolution for ultra-sharp picture quality
      • HDR for rich, more true-to-life imagery
      • Both Ethernet 10/100 and 802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless
      • USB port for local media playback and MicroSD slot for channel caching
      • Dolby and DTS Digital Surround pass through over HDMI
      • Lost remote finder
      • Enhanced voice remote with personal shortcut buttons, a headphone jack for private listening and buttons for TV power, volume, and mute
      • Premium JBL headphones included for private listening

The Roku OS provides access to 500,000+ movies and TV episodes including live TV, news, sports, hit movies, popular shows and more. Unbiased search across top channels makes it easy to find entertainment for free or at the lowest cost. There are hundreds of free channels, including The Roku Channel. Featured Free offers one-click-access to free entertainment including high-quality movies, shows and in-season network content from channels across our platform. The free Roku mobile app enables viewers to control their Roku device, use Roku Voice, Private Listening, stream The Roku Channel on the go and more.

Pricing and Availability
The Roku streaming player lineup offers a variety of devices made with unique streamers and customers in mind.

      • Roku Express (MSRP $29.99) - Features an even smaller form factor and offers easy HD streaming
      • Roku Express+ (MSRP $39.99) - Features the new sleek form factor and a Roku Voice remote. Available exclusively at Walmart.
      • Roku Premiere (MSRP $39.99) - Delivers easy 4K & HDR streaming with a simple remote
      • Roku Streaming Stick+ (MSRP $59.99) - Offers a powerful, portable HD, 4K and HDR streaming with the long-range wireless and a Roku Voice Remote with TV controls
      • Roku Streaming Stick+ HE (MSRP $59.99) - Available exclusively at Best Buy and includes the Enhanced Roku Voice Remote with a headphone jack and Roku headphones for Private Listening
      • Roku Ultra LT (MSRP $79.99) - A Walmart exclusive featuring HD, 4K and HDR streaming, ethernet, 802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless, an Enhanced Roku Voice remote with TV controls and Roku headphones
      • Roku Ultra (MSRP $99.99) - Delivers brilliant HD, 4K & HDR picture quality and Roku's best wireless and new features such as fast channel launch, personal shortcut and mute buttons, premium JBL Headphones and more

The Roku Express and Roku Ultra are available for pre-order at Roku.com today. The Roku Express+ will be available at the end of September with the rest of the devices on sale in October.

International Availablity
Roku is also expanding its streaming player lineup internationally in Canada, the UK, the Republic of Ireland and select countries in Latin America. The Roku Express, Roku Premiere and Roku Streaming Stick+ are expected to be available in the coming weeks.

Additional Resources
• Visit the Roku website for additional specs and information.
• Why All AV Enthusiasts Should Be Upset About Roku Losing Twitch at HomeTheaterReview.com.
• One Thing We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Cord-Cutting at HomeTheaterReview.com.


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