The independent-flavoured Roku 4 box has recently been announced with immediate pre-orders available in the United States.
Over on this side of the pond though we have no idea when we’re likely to see the new 4K-capable Roku 4. All we’ve been given are some software updates to the existing line-up of Roku products.
But that’s not necessarily a bad thing right now.
There’s a dearth of 4K content, with just Netflix and Amazon Prime offering much in the way of accessible 4K content. With Nvidia’s recently released 4K-capable SHIELD box struggling away with the current iteration of Android TV, and the Amazon-focused Fire TV box only capable of 4K at 30Hz, competition’s not as fierce as it could be.
So, if you’re already sitting on a Roku streaming product, then you’re actually in a pretty good position right now, because the new Roku OS 7 and mobile apps are getting released this month.
As is the current trend in TV-streamers discovery is the big watch-word and Roku OS 7 is all about “the need or desire to find the show you want to watch,” Mike Duin of Roku told us recently.
A key component of this is the upgraded ‘Follow’ feature.
Now you can choose to follow anything you find in the search field, whether that’s a movie, a TV show, director or actor. You will then find an announcement in your Roku feed telling you when that TV show or movie is available to stream, or when your favourite actor or director has something new to watch.
That’s going to be super-handy with the new Roku mobile app too.
The upgraded app, for both iOS and Android, gives you access to the features like Roku Search, your personal Roku Feed, Remote Control and Play on Roku. Now you can use the search and Follow things wherever you are, as well as throw photos and videos from your phone to your Roku-connected TV.
So while we may not be seeing a super-powered Roku 4 box anytime soon on these shores, all our existing Roku devices are getting an upgrade. Silver linings and all that...