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2017 Roku Models and OS8


Roku has officially announced some new models alongside a new OS. What makes this release unique is the new remote and OS8. OS8 has a couple of new features including Single sign on and an emphasis on OTA TV, where the new OS can list live TV content if you search for a show (if available). Roku OS8 should be coming out soon for most of the Roku lineup, though not all of them will get the update (First gen aka models with a model number below 2400)

The other big change is the hardware. Roku Express and Express plus now have a CPU that is 5x more powerful than last year which should bring an improved experience for those who like to stream their content in HD. Express Plus is still only available at Walmart, but there probably is not that much demand for a SD capable streaming box.

Not to be forgotten, the current 1080p streaming stick gets a CPU that is now 50 percent faster, and a new remote with voice search, power and volume control buttons.

Another change is the new 4K streaming stick which now includes a new USB power cable that integrates a Wifi antenna which should improve Wifi reception along with HDR. Still uses the stick form factor, but it is a great option for those who want a cheap Roku 4K streamer. I believe this takes place of the Premiere and Premiere Plus boxes as I found those to be a bit of an oddity in the lineup.

Finally, we have the carryover Roku Ultra which now includes a lower price ($99 instead of $129) and a new IR remote that includes Power and volume control capabilities and can even do private listen of OTA content in addition to streaming.

In the end, we have a solid streaming player lineup, and while others might be more attractive to some, Roku is probably the best all around streaming device.

Edit: All Roku devices with a model number above 2400X will get the update.
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CordCuttersNews has some great speed comparisons on last year vs this years Roku models. Roku Express is pretty quick and it has an animated boot up screen and boots up faster. Many of the apps work better with the new CPU. 2017 Ultra is a little bit faster but not by much. All 2017 Roku's are running OS 8, though existing players will eventually have it by the end of the year including Roku TV's. Roku TV's will be getting OS 8 starting next month.
I have a 2017 Roku Ultra and it seems to be solid when compared to a 2016 Ultra that had a lot of HDCP issues. Funny thing is when I hooked up my Roku Ultra (2016) to a old Sony 55" TV, the HDCP issues practically went away.
Walmart is selling the 2017 Express+ for only $22 during Black Friday. One heck of a deal considering that it can stream 1080p as well as support older SDTV's. Not only that, Roku made some improvements under the hood by putting in a new CPU that is significantly faster than last years model. It even has the current Netflix UI with Profiles and can support DirecTV Now and even PS Vue now has a UI inline with the other platforms.
Walmart is also selling the Streaming Stick Plus for only $48.00. Amazon and Best Buy will be selling Roku Premiere Plus for only $50.00 (49.99). Both are excellent players for the price.