CNET First Look
Roku Streaming Stick Plus streams 4K and HDR for lessRoku's latest streamer is the size of a USB stick, belts out 4K and HDR from Netflix, Amazon and others, and costs just $70. And now the remote controls your TV too.
Roku has been making my favorite streaming devices for years. And in 2017 the company's new lineup looks better than ever. There's only one entirely new product, but it's a doozy. The Roku Streaming Stick Plus delivers the highest quality streaming video content, 4K and HDR, for a rock bottom price of just 70 bucks. That's less than half of the new Apple TV 4K, for example, and the same price as Google's Chromecast Ultra. For that price you get an incredible functionality packed into this tiny convenient stick. One of the coolest extras is this included cable, which functions as a Wi-Fi boosting antenna. If your stick is in a place with poor reception, Roku says the antenna will help the signal, which is especially important with 4K video. Also new this year is revamped remote. It has voice search built in, so you can easily find TV shows like this. American Ninja Warrior. But the biggest improvement is the ability to control your TV. Volume and power buttons are available on the remote, and Roku says programming the clicker for your TV is a cinch. Of course, the new stick enjoys all the stuff found in previous 4K Rokus, including industry's best selection of 4K and HGR compatible apps. 4K Spotlight app gets an update that categorize available shows and movies and even breaks out HDR separately from standard 4K. Still no Netflix however. Beyond the new stick, Roku has updated all of its streaming players this year. $30 Roku Express gets a new processor that was super zippy in my hands-on preview and it seems like a big improvement over its Roku predecessor. The $40 Roku Express Plus is exactly the same, but includes older CD's with an included analog cable. The $50 Roku Streaming Stick was my favorite streaming product of last year, and the new version has that improved remote with TV control and voice search. At the top of the line is the $100 Roku Ultra. It has the same 4k streaming as the new Stick Plus but an improved remote with a headphone jack for product listing, and a remote finder. It's very similar to the 2016 version except there is no optical output on the back anymore. And once again, no dolby vision. Roku sticking a standard HDR 10 for its 2017 streamers. From what I've seen so far, Roku's new devices look like some of the best streaming [UNKNOWN] ever. Check out CNET in the near future for fuller views.