Amongst all the Apple TV rumours circulating, streaming hardware company, Roku, has decided to steal some of the limelight by releasing a new line of its streaming boxes. A Roku 1 and Roku 2 refresh will be coming to the UK alongside the Roku 3 that was released in the US earlier this year.
The new line brings some useful features to each of the devices along with a more curved ‘bubble’ design. The US devices currently have 1000 channels available but for now in the UK we get around 450, just under half. However, Roku’s SVP of product management, Jim Funk, says they are currently adding channels at a rate of 1-2 a day. The US exclusive entry level Roku LT is the same feature wise and still limited to 720p playback while the Roku 1, has been bumped up to 1080p. The Roku 2 now comes with dual band WiFi and a headphone jack, two features previously exclusive to the Roku3. Many said the lack of headphone jack is what drove them to buy the flagship so including it on the lower tier model may boost its sales.
As far as specs go, the Roku 3 includes a higher clocked processor and more RAM, but the real fun is in the remote, which has a motion sensor for playing games like Angry Birds on the big screen. Other exclusive features include a USB port for external storage and an Ethernet port for those who don’t like wireless connections.
The Roku 3 is available immediately in the UK at £99 while the new Roku 1 and 2 are available for pre order, priced at £59.99 and £79.99 respectively. Shipping is anticipated to begin in October.
KitGuru Says: Chances are you have a games console lying around that does all of this stuff but on the off chance you don’t, this may be worth considering if you long for Netflix and other on demand services on your TV.