Hey everyone, I'm David Katzmaier.
Here we've seen at streaming expert Eli Blumenthal to run down the latest news from Roku.
The company makes some of our favorite devices and powers more smart TVs than anyone today at announced a new remote for 30 bucks a new 4k HDR streamer for 40 bucks a refresh of its best soundbar and a free software update rolling out soon to all of its devices But we're gonna concentrate on the remote and this is crazy, but it literally just showed up at Eli's house so he's gonna see it for the first time now with us.
You I got the box there?
I do, here it is, and we should be clear this is actually, since I think it's our first sample.
This isn't the final, final retail Box as you can see here at the bottom has these four placeholder black buttons.
I believe on the actual remote that will be available, starting on April 13.
It will be for Netflix, Disney plus Apple TV and Hulu, but we can take this out of the box here.Here we go.This is it.
The Voice remote pro It looks a lot like Roku's other remotes, particularly the enhanced watch remote or the remote that comes bundled with the ultra.
As you'll see on the front, there's these customizable shortcut buttons for 1 and 2. These are whereas you have these dedicated streaming buttons.
You can set these to open HBO max which doesn't have a dedicated button.
Or to open a YouTube TV or Sling TV.
Again well, this one has Sling TV.
The actual remote may swap that button out for Apple TV.
Other notable features here include control for audio on your TV.
Like other Roque remotes it privacy switcher for turning on the midfield microphone, which we'll get to in a second And this guy, which is a micro USB port, not USBC for recharging the battery.
So it's got all the features of the standard enhanced remote that's been found on the ultras and all that including the headphone jack, those customizable buttons.
The new stuff is this near field, mic, medium field mic, whatever you want to call it, and the rechargeability so what's the deal with the medium field?
Mike, how's that work?
Yes Roku says has a range of about 12 feet so it's always listening the same way.
Other smart virtual assistants such as Google's assistant or Amazon's, Alexa can say hey Roku find the remote and if this thing is lost in the couch cushions, there's actually a little speaker on the back and it will start to play a beeping sound to help you find it which could help save a lot of people.
A lot of Arguments and time.
And then as you mentioned, there is that rechargeable factor here.
So Roku says that he plugged this in with this micro USB cable.
Two to three hour charge will get you about two months of battery.
The exact number will vary on how often you're using features like That midfield microphone to say, hey Roku turn on the TV or open up a particular app or show.
So that's pretty cool.
I mean I have a Roku ultra remote as you saw this thing feels like it runs out of batteries kind of all the time.
I know Roku is gonna continue to offer these ones with rechargeable batteries if you want to go that sorry.
The ones with the Double A battery, replaceable batteries in here.
It's gonna continue to be on sale, for that same $30 price but, this new one, seems to me, worth it again, you can get that rechargeable battery built in, which cool.
Is it worth it to spend $30, to upgrade your remote, on a on a streaming player that cost you $40, or whatever to begin with.
If you're planning to hold on to these devices for a long period of time, which I imagine a lot of people probably are, you're not really updating your Roku every years or two or three the same way.
You upgrade something like say a phone.
It could be it could very well make this a Much more enjoyable experience.
A lot of older Roku as we've covered Roku remotes a fair bit in the past came with remotes that only use infrared so you had to not only did you not have features like a voice assistant, but you got to point directly at a specific spot on your TV or on your Roku this.
Like most other voice remotes can point anywhere, it's more responsive in that way.
It's a better experience overall.
At least what I found comparing the enhancer notes these voice remotes to Roku is original remote.
Now if you already have A voice remote.
Is it worth it?
We're gonna have to test this out to really find out.
For me the ability to say hey Roku find a remote could kind of be a game changer.
I wish more companies did this.
Roku previously limited this at least as far as like a remote box functionality to just its highest end Roku ultra which costs $100.
So if you have one of those boxes, maybe not worth it there either, but if you have a Roku TV, this again could be a real nice upgrade.
Yeah, the ability to work with Roku TVs is key.
And again, those are most generally a lot more bare bones than this one and you don't get that headphone jack and all that.
So, Roku says it's this thing's gonna be shipping now.
It's gonna be available on Roku site and widely on the very near future 30 bucks.
The products I mentioned earlier $40 streamer soundbar and the software update, those are gonna be a little bit later subgroup is rolling out now We have full info on CNET site.
Thanks a lot, Eli for going through the remote today.
Check out cnet.com.