With the introduction of the new Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV streaming devices this month, many have been patiently waiting for Roku to show its hand. Recently, two new photos have surfaced, one of which was reportedly unearthed from Roku’s own website. The pics appear to show the long awaited Roku 4, complete with an all new design, an updated remote, and most recently, an optical digital audio port.
The photo above was posted last week by Elias Saba of AFTVnews, who claims to have discovered it via his own photo-finding script that was originally designed to sniff out the new Amazon Fire TV. However, after finding the new Fire TV to look virtually identical to the original device, Saba says he pointed his weapon at Roku’s website, resulting in the discovery of the photo.
“The script worked to find images of the new Fire TV before it was announced, but they were useless since … the new Fire TV looks exactly like the old Fire TV,” Saba writes in his post. “Since we’re expecting a new Roku to be announced soon, I decided to point my script at roku.com and what do you know. It found the image you see above.”
Saba goes on to point out some interesting new additions pictured in the photo, including what appears to be a YouTube button, and possibly even a WatchESPN button on the familiar Roku remote. The remote also appears to have swapped out the Hulu button with a Google Play button, which would be an interesting switch-up, especially since Hulu has recently made some major additions to its lineup, as well as adding a new commercial-free tier.
Saba tells Digital Trends he linked his photo to its original home on Roku’s website, but says the photo has since been taken down. For all you Roku conspiracy theorists out there, that fact could lend more credence to the photo’s legitimacy — or less, since it’s no longer on the company website.
More recently, technical blog Zat’s Not Funny dug up another new photo, this one showing the backside of the device. As you can see below, the photo shows an Optical port on the back of the Roku 4, appearing to offer yet another option for delivering sound from the new device. As the site reports, the option is notable as the Amazon Fire TV has dropped its Optical port for the second generation device unveiled last month.
Zat’s Not Funny reports with confidence that 4K UHD and 802.11ac wireless support are a good bet, though it’s always difficult to know for sure. Often, leaked pictures and FCC filings can be misleading, as we’ve learned from so many Apple releases in the past.
Still, the evidence for the Roku 4’s imminent release is piling up, adding to another cryptic finding in the form of a promotional deal for four free rentals from CinemaNow with the purchase of a Roku 4 that surfaced a few weeks back. That promotion was supposed to have started on Oct. 1, and here we are 4 days later with no Roku 4. It’s enough to drive a first-adopting Roku fan a little batty.
Suffice it to say that we’ll be vigilantly watching for any more Roku news until the new device is finally unveiled to the public at large, so stay tuned.
Updated 10/5/2015: This report was updated to add new leaked photos, and more rumored information leading up to the expected release of the Roku 4.