Roku’s New Streaming Devices Promise to Be Faster

Roku Streaming Stick 4K
I am Roku, watch me stream. Photo: Roku

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.

Roku’s New Streaming Devices Promise to Be Faster