Roku Announces New Streambar and Roku Ultra Gets a Bit More Ultra with 2020 Update

Today, Roku’s taking the wraps off a couple of new pieces of hardware as we speed toward the holiday buying season. Headlining the new 2020 class is an updated Roku Ultra that the company says will bring better WiFi performance and Dolby Vision HDR support to the top-end streaming device.

All New Roku Ultra

While some of Roku’s earlier streaming devices supported high-dynamic range, or HDR, video, the new Ultra is the company’s first box to go beyond the HDR10 standard with support for the more advanced Dolby Vision. And for a quick explainer of how HDR works and why the addition of Dolby Vision is a nice upgrade, we recently published a video on that very subject here.

Beyond the HDR upgrades, the new Roku Ultra boasts a quad-core processor, Dolby Atmos support, personal shortcuts, and private listening mode. As we’ve seen in our recent Roku comparison video, the Ultra line tends to be the fastest and most responsive among the company’s streaming device lineup and we look forward to seeing how this latest version performs.

The new Roku Ultra will retail for $99.99, the same price as the outgoing model, and the company expects its newest top-tier streamer to hit store shelves in October.

Roku Streambar

On the audio hardware front, Roku also announced a new Streambar, a compact soundbar-plus-streaming-device combo. The four-speaker unit features two forward-facing channels backed up by two more angled outward to help spread the sound. Roku says you can expand upon the unit by adding the company’s Wireless Subwoofer for punchier bass or add its Wireless Speakers to serve as satellite units to enhance the surround sound effect.

Like the new Ultra, Roku expects the Streambar to ship in October, and preorders for both products start today.

Meanwhile, Roku also announced the latest version of its operating system — Roku OS 9.4. For more information about the company’s latest software and new features, check out our post here.

Roku is also trying to sweeten the holiday shopping deal by offering free trials of various services for those who pick up an eligible device later this year. If you’re curious about those deals, here are some details:

  • Pandora Premium: Get a three-month trial of Pandora Premium if you buy an eligible device by Nov. 6 and redeem the offer by Nov. 8.
  • Apple TV+: If you pick up a qualifying Roku device between October 23, 2020, to January 31, 2021, you’ll get a code good for three months of Apple TV+.
  • Showtime, Starz, Epix: You can get a 30-day free trial via The Roku Channel if you pick up an eligible Roku device before October 4.

You can find more details over at Roku’s site via this link.