Roku 4: Our favorite TV streaming system gets 4K video and a remote locator
This is the Roku 4 streaming box.
The company's latest streaming box is bigger than the others, and more expensive at 129 bucks.
What you get for the extra money is ability screen 4k videos, TV shows and movies, as well as one of the coolest features we've seen on any living room device, a remote finder.
If you misplace your remote on the couch cushions on a regular basis, this is the feature for you.
Just tap the button on the top of the Roku 4 and the remote emits a loud sound until you find it and hit any button.
You can even choose from a few different sounds including a whistle and submarine style sonar.
Like a couple of other devices including the Nvidia Shield and Amazon Fire TV, and unlike the new Apple TV, the Roku 4 can stream 4K video.
To take advantage, you'll need a 4K TV and a relatively robust internet connection.
But the payoff will be better quality than 1080 high def streaming video.
The catch is lack of content.
Only a few apps currently support 4K, including Netflix, Amazon, VUDU, and YouTube.
And only a handful of TV shows and movies are available via those apps.
The Roku 4 does make finding that content easier than other streamers, however, with a dedicated 4K Showcase app and a category in its app store devoted to 4K providers.
The box has most of the same connectivity as other Rokus, including an ethernet port and an HDMI output, but it also adds an optical digital audio output for older AV systems.
Roku also said it has a better processor and faster wi-fi.
Aside from its little built in alarm, the remote is the same as that on the Roku 3.
Including a headphone jack for private listening and the ability to search by talking into its microphone.
Unlike, the Apple TV and some other devices, Roku's voice support doesn't extend to commands or general questions, just search terms.
Roku makes our favorite streaming device software with its content-agnostic approach and excellent cross-app search.
And the company is also rolling out a new software update for all late-model Roku boxes and Roku TVs.
With it, you can receive notifications for current TV shows, movies, and even actors and directors become available to stream.
Complete with pricing information.
The software update also allows connection to certain hotel and dorm Wi-Fi networks that require a web page to sign in.
Roku is also improving its mobile app for iOS and Android devices, adding better notifications and improved casting of photos from your phone to the TV.
I'm David Katzmaier, and that's a quick look at the new Roku 4. Stay tuned for the full review, coming soon to CNET.
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