Roku 4 release likely imminent, 4K streaming is a possibility

Competing directly against Amazon and Apple for streaming set-top box dominance in the living room, there are multiple signs pointing to a fall 2015 revision of the Roku set-top box line along with a new model called the Roku 4 added into the mix. A barrage of filings went through the FCC today, an indication that revisions to existing hardware will roll out for the holiday shopping season.

Regarding the Roku 4, streaming company CinemaNow accidentally pushed a customer service page (cached here) live this week detailing a promotion that offered four free high definition movie rentals with the purchase of the Roku 4. This promotion is specific to “participating warehouse club retailers” that are selling the Roku 4. The promotion is scheduled to start on October 1, 2015 and run through April 30, 2016.


If this promotion is accurate, Roku will likely announce the Roku 4 within the next week, specifically on or before Thursday, October 1. While Apple and Amazon make consumers preorder revisions of set-top boxes, Roku has taken a different approach with previous releases. New hardware is usually available on the same day of the announcement or very close to it. It’s likely the Roku 4 and other hardware revisions will appear on Roku’s retail site first, then be distributed to retailers like Amazon and Best Buy.

With Amazon announcing Ultra HD support on the new Fire TV, 4K streaming on one or more of the new Roku boxes is a definite possibility. Interestingly, a 4K showcase channel was spotted by Roku enthusiast site UK Roku Channels, but that page was quickly removed from the channel store after being publicized on Twitter. In addition, we already know that Roku has been working on support for 4K Ultra HD streaming on future Roku TV models; an announcement that was made at CES 2015.


As a company, Roku has always been aggressive about upgrading set-top box hardware. Creating a set-top box that’s 4K capable would keep Roku competitive with Amazon and retain a strategic edge over Apple. There’s also a significant volume of UHD streaming content being published by companies like Amazon and Netflix, much greater than a year ago. Just today, Amazon announced six new shows that will be filmed and eventually streamed in Ultra HD resolution. Netflix is doing the same with original programming as well as popular shows like Breaking Bad.

In addition, the consumer electronics industry is at more of a tipping point with Ultra HD hardware this holiday season. HDMI and HDCP requirements have been finalized for all new Ultra HD devices, including the Ultra HD Blu-ray players that are rumored to hit retailers prior to Christmas or by early 2016 at the latest. In addition, studios are prepping to release films on Ultra HD Blu-ray when the players are released.

It’s also likely that prices on Ultra HD televisions will hit all time lows during November, specifically during Black Friday weekend. LG, Panasonic and Samsung are predicting that Ultra HD television sales will quadruple in the United States this year, according to Twice. If that holds true, any company that releases a player capable of streaming 4K content will be in a great position to take advantage of new UHD television owners this holiday season.

Available at: Amazon

Home Theater

Roku adds automatic sign-out mode, for those with regular houseguests

Being able to use a Roku device while staying at a hotel or Airbnb is awesome. What is less awesome is leaving yourself signed in after you leave. With a new automatic sign-out feature, Roku is making it easier to relax.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Home Theater

Sling TV offers free shows, a la carte subscription channels to Roku users

If you are among a select group of Roku users, Sling TV has added free TV shows and the option to subscribe to individual channels without having to subscribe to the company's base level of channels.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Movies & TV

New trailer for 'The Punisher' season 2 teases a bloody showdown

The Punisher is getting a second season on Netflix, with Jon Bernthal returning to play Marvel Comics' gun-toting antihero Frank Castle. Here's everything we know about season 2 of The Punisher so far.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.
Home Theater

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.
Home Theater

How much are the initials ‘LV’ worth? $700 if you put them on your earphones

If you're looking for truly wireless earbuds that make as much of a statement about the state of your finances as they do about your high-tech street cred, Louis Vuitton's Horizon earbuds fit the $995 bill.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (February 2019)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in January and February, from new original series to classic films.
Home Theater

What are HDMI ARC and eARC? Here’s how they can simplify your home theater

HDMI ARC is one of the coolest TV features at your disposal. But if you're like most folks, you have no idea how it works, if you even know what it is at all. Here's our primer on HDMI ARC, as well as the next generation technology, eARC.

Netflix’s latest price increase heralds the end of streaming’s golden age

Netflix’s recent price rise is just the latest in a string of signs that streaming’s golden age is nearly over. As more services enter the fray, content will be further partitioned, signaling the end of streaming’s good old days.
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.