New Roku Players for 2016

Discussion in 'Streaming Media' started by Admin65, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. Admin65

    Admin65 Administrator Staff Member

    While this may not be the latest news, Roku did announce new streaming video players. Express, Express + (Walmart Exclusive), Premiere, Premiere +, and Ultra.

    I find this to be a bit confusing for the non tech consumer, but it is pretty easy and straight forward. No streaming stick but Roku did lower the price to $30 for the Express which does 1080p, but no fancy remote. If you do not have a 4K set, I do recommend last years Roku 2 and 3, if you can find a good deal.

    Here is the breakdown!

    Express is the basic 1080p wifi streamer with basic remote. Express+ (Apparently a Walmart exclusive) adds composite video for SDTV's. Uses a USB port for power, so you could use a USB charger or power it through a TV's USB port. $30 for Express, add $10 for the Express+ ($40).
    Premiere and Premiere Plus add 4K at 60 fps support while Premiere+ adds HDR. Not sure why they could have not just made 1 model and had HDR, but I digress. ($79.99 for Premiere, $99.99 for Premiere+).
    Ultra is the Premiere + but with Dolby Digital Plus support! Models look good, but again, if you don't need 4k, but want the nicer features, last years models are pretty good. Roku Ultra also includes a USB port and an enhanced remote capable of Voice search with A & B buttons for games on Roku. Even the streaming stick is nice as well. ($129.99)

    I guess the Express plus with its cheap price is designed to compete with streaming sticks! I really like the Roku interface, but I am contempt with my Samsung 4K TV apps! I still have my Roku 3 hooked up to a Sony 55" TV, and it works great. I do wonder if the Roku Express gets the enhanced Netflix interface, as I also have a Roku 1 and it does not have that. Express might make a good stocking stuffer for those who want a nice streaming device. Who knows, if Roku will offer a Black friday deal, but I think this is poised to sell a lot of units during the holiday season.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  2. DRB

    DRB Member

    Which of those new Roku models also have a USB port for playing videos from a USB flash drive using the Media Player app like the current Roku 2,3,4 support, but the current Roku sticks don't?
  3. DRB

    DRB Member

    Looking at the new Roku products page, it appears they have removed the USB device port for playing videos from a USB flash drive on all but the top of the line model the expensive Roku Ultra!
    So best to get one of the current Roku 2 models for half the price if you want a USB drive port and only need 1080p output.
    I got a Roku 2 a few months back when they were on sale, the new replacement models (Express) appear to have fewer features and may not have the faster multi-core CPU too?
  4. Admin65

    Admin65 Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, only the roku ultra has the USB port. DRB, you did a good job in choosing a Roku 2 as it is still reasonably priced and has the features you want or need. Roku streaming stick will carry on unchanged from it's debut. Express does have a slower CPU, you will need the Roku Premiere and Ultra models for that. I guess Roku found out that people were not using the USB port on lower end models that have it. Plus the 2015 Roku 2 shares the same CPU as the Roku 3! You can use a 4K roku on a HDTV, so they must want you to have their best player if you want the best features.

    Express/Express+ = Roku 1 (though Express+ is closer to Roku 1 spec)
    Premiere = Roku 2
    Premiere + = Roku 3
    Ultra = Roku 4
  5. Admin65

    Admin65 Administrator Staff Member

    Also, the streaming stick is another good option for HD sets, as it has a Quad Core CPU.
  6. Admin65

    Admin65 Administrator Staff Member

    One cool feature of the new Roku players (Premiere, Premiere + and Ultra) is Night mode, which will not be back ported to older players, and requires HDMI. Night mode helps balance out the audio levels, primarily meant for action movies, or if you want to quietly stream. It raises the dialog and quiet sounds, but lowers the non dialog tracks to help balance out, so you don't have to constantly raise and lower the volume.

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