In 2021, it shouldn’t take more than a few seconds to turn on your TV and find Seven Samurai or RuPaul’s Drag Race or whatever else you might want to watch tonight — but all too often, it does. Remotes lag, or your TV’s too far from your Wi-Fi router, or your picture settings aren’t quite right. Roku’s announced new gear today that might address some of those problems: One of its most popular gadgets, the Roku Streaming Stick, will see a 4K upgrade in the form of two new products, the Roku Streaming Stick 4K and the Roku Streaming Stick 4K+.
Retailing for $50 and $70, respectively, the two sticks come with faster streaming speeds capable of handling two HDR formats, Dolby Vision and HDR10+ (basically, video standards that pack metadata into scenes telling your TV how to display them best), and a newly redesigned Wi-Fi receiver twice as fast as Roku’s old hardware. Adding a new quad-core processor means the Roku Streaming Stick 4K boots up 30 percent faster, the company says. The 4K model ships with Roku’s standard Voice Remote, while the more expensive 4K+ includes the company’s fancy little Voice Remote Pro, which has a rechargeable battery and a very handy voice-activated remote finder.
Now, if you’re looking at the 4K and the 4K+ and still think you need more oomph in your entertainment setup, the company’s also rolling out a Walmart-exclusive Roku Ultra LT for $80. A variant of the Roku Ultra, the LT model is a small streaming box with a new processor, more storage, and a longer Wi-Fi reach. If at that point you’re still seeing some lag when you’re trying to boot up an Akira Kurosawa film, it may actually be HBO Max’s problem.