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Roku releases new streaming soundbar

The new Roku Streambar hides streaming equipment within a soundbar, providing users with an audio upgrade in addition to making their TV smarter.

Roku has unveiled a new streaming device and software lineup, including a redesigned Roku Ultra and a new Roku Streambar. The Roku Ultra offers 4K streaming to non-smart TVs, and was specifically designed for binge streamers. The new remote also features a 3.5mm jack for headphones, which allows users to carry on streaming while the rest of the house is asleep.  

For streamers looking to add streaming and premium sound to their TV, the Roku Streambar is an all-in-one solution for consumers to upgrade and de-clutter their home entertainment systems. 

Roku also announced Roku OS 9.4 for all Roku devices.  

These updates are available in the US market, and would need to be imported by South African retailers or customers: 

Roku Ultra

The Roku Ultra offers Dolby Vision for enhanced picture quality and Dolby Atmos sound for a richer audio experience. Inside the box is a Roku voice remote featuring TV power and volume controls, personal shortcut buttons, headphones for private listening, and now a High-Speed Premium HDMI® cable. Features include:  

  • Power and performance: Loaded with a quad-core processor and channels that launch in a snap.  
  • Better wireless connectivity: Enjoy smoother streaming in rooms further from the router now with up to 50% more range.  
  • Dolby Vision: Watch films and series with better colour, contrast, brightness, and detail.  
  • Dolby Atmos: Immersive entertainment with sound that moves all around with high levels of realism.  
  • Private listening: Use the included headphones to pump up the volume on shows without disturbing the house. It features a 3.5mm jack so most wired earphones will work with it. 

Roku Streambar  

Roku Streambar is a 2-in-1 entertainment upgrade with premium sound for any TV with HDMI. Crisp, clean audio makes dialogue easier to hear and, with its compact design, Roku says it fills the room with sound. The Streambar can also be controlled by speaking to Amazon Alexa and/or Google Assistant devices. Later this year, Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit capabilities are expected to begin roll out on 4K Roku devices, including the Streambar. With Apple AirPlay 2, customers can stream videos, music and more to the big screen, and with HomeKit, they can securely control their Roku device using the Home app and Siri. Additional features include:  

  • Big sound: Four internal speakers provide a rich audio experience with Dolby Audio.  
  • Smarter than the average soundbar: Advanced audio engineering within the Roku OS helps Roku Streambar produce sound beyond its size while increasing speech clarity. 
  • Simple sound settings: Simple volume modes make it faster to adjust sound. It also automatically lowers loud commercials. 
  • Expandable: Add deep, rich bass with Roku Wireless Subwoofer and immersive surround sound with Roku Wireless Speakers.  
  • Spotify Connect: Spotify is available on the Roku platform and with Spotify Connect, so users can launch a playlist from a smartphone and listen through the soundbar. 
  • Bluetooth support: Stream music from mobile devices via Bluetooth. 

Roku OS 9.4 Update 

The new update for Roku devices features the following feature updates: 

  • Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit – Roku customers can enjoy Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit capabilities on most 4K Roku devices. With AirPlay 2, Roku customers can stream, control, and share content directly from their iPhone, iPad, or Mac to their supported Roku device and bring the experience to the big screen. HomeKit allows customers to securely control their Roku device using the Home app. 
  • Live TV Channel Guide on Roku TVs – Roku TV users can now access The Roku Channel’s Live TV Channel Guide directly from their home screen. Users can select the “Live TV” input tile on the Roku home screen and access more than 115 free live streaming channels from The Roku Channel. Users can also choose between two program guide views, including recently watched channels.  
  • Helpful Hints for Roku Voice – Helpful hints will appear directly on the user’s TV screen to inform them of voice commands they can use on their Roku device. These hints are designed to help users enjoy quick, simple control of their Roku device using a wide variety of voice commands.  
  • Surround Level Control for Multi-Channel Audio – Users of Roku audio products who have a multi-channel speaker configuration will be able to adjust the volume of their rear surround speakers relative to the volume of their soundbar to match their personal preference.  
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