back to article 4K-ing-A! Roku bangs out broad range of new streaming boom boxes

Roku has updated and expanded its line of streaming media boxes to cover both ends of the market. In what would be the Roku 5, the company has moved away from numbers toward names and brought out five models that range from $30 to $130 in a bid to cover the entire market. The lowest end Roku Express costs just $29.99 making …

  1. Barry Rueger

    Um. With my Oculus headset?

    "Where the Roku falls down is where it isn't leaping ahead: where is 3D support? "

    Seriously? I thought 3D TV kind of stopped being kewl about two years ago.

    I'll check out the new Roku boxes very soon in the hope of replacing the truly pathetic Sony software that our "smart" TV inflicts on us.

    1. asdf

      Re: Um. With my Oculus headset?

      Nothing but good things to say about my Roku 1 and 3 I bought a few years back to the point the kids usually want to take them on vacation. Only feature missing really is voice search which newer kit has and its a very minor inconvenience. Most of the other solutions tend to have a vested interest in selling you only in their ecosystem. A must along with Leaf digital antennas for the cord cutter. Best part one time outlay no monthly bullshit.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      3D

      Yep, 3D utterly failed in the market. It was the gimmick they used to sell TVs before they had 4K. Asking why a modern set top doesn't support 3D is like asking why a modern TV doesn't support DVI.

  2. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

    What's driving them?

    Any ideas what the SoCs are? Mostly curious because the Roku 2 used the BCM2835...and we all know where that ended up.

    On a side note... "sheer"not "shear" unless you are implying that buyers are going to get fleeced.

  3. I Like Heckling

    3D for home viewing is dead, it's been dead for a long time... so dead in fact that it never actually took off in the first place... It's a Dodo... a beautiful Norwegian Blue... no wait... it's just sleeping.

    I have a Samsung 3D TV, and I even bought some 3D glasses (on sale for less than £15 the pair) to try it out... I've seen 3D movies in the cinema... I'm old enough to have seen the 2nd 3D fad of the 80's, but not wasn't born for the first in the 50's.

    3D cinema is pathetic in the most part, very rarely does it add anything to the experience.. in fact it gets in the way and annoys more often than it impresses. The movies that are actually filmed with 3D cameras are a little better, but still annoying... The ONLY movies that have looked good and been done well in 3D are animated ones that are entirely CGI. They're the only movies that manage to actually create depth on screen... Everything else is pointless.

    and don't get me started on the con they run to make out 3D cinema is booming and doing well... it isn't. Everytime a movie is released in equal 2D & 3D formats... 2D wins out... So they stopped releasing them in the same formats... Want to see that nice shiny blockbuster in IMAX... here, have it in 3D only because we don't want to damage the marketing spin that 3D is great and wonderful and worth twice the price of admission.

    Want me to go to the movies instead of waiting for the best rip out there to watch at home... let me watch it in 2D in IMAX (if it was filmed in IMAX), otherwise stop charging me for crap that it's true... like charging twice the price for an IMAX movie that wasn't filmed in IMAX and then had a 3d 'process' applied to if afterwards to make it look even shittier.

    3D TV is shite, it's not worth the effort and the only 'content' out there is the double blu-ray releases that include a 2D & 3D version of the movie and that people only ever watch the 2D version... but it allows them to claim 3D is a success instead of the colossal failure it really is.

    1. VinceH
      Thumb Up

      There aren't enough upvotes to do that justice.

    2. Dr. Mouse

      Completely agree.

      I have yet to find any non-animated film where 3D adds anything to the experience. I barely even noticed it in Star Wars TFA, and in other non-animated films it has just been an irritation. I have already decided I won't bother with 3D again at the cinema, at least not until I hear better things.

      For animated content, I have seen a few where it has made the world a little more immersive, but it's a tiny improvement and not worth extra admission charges.

      The only time I have seen 3D done well is at Disney. Honey I blew up the dog was brilliant, but that involved more than 3D. The whole experience was designed to pull you in, from the video to the physical elements (do sneezes, water sprayed in your face, something running around your feet, you feel it etc.) That wasn't a film, though, it was an attraction/ride/whatever.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Headmaster

        I think you mean Honey I Shrunk the Audience!, but aside from that entirely agree as well.

        Disney have replicated it a few times, there's also a Bugs Life one and a Muppets one at the various parks. The latter is particularly fun, but works on the same principle of 3D plus environmental stuff too.

        The best one though was undoubtedly Soarin'. Same idea again, but with wind and scent effects coupled with wonderful images of flying around various locations and the unusual "seating" position of being basically in a hang-glider mock-up.

        1. Dr. Mouse

          I think you mean Honey I Shrunk the Audience!

          D'Oh! Yes, of course I did.

          In my defence, it WAS over a decade ago, and I struggle to remember what I did yesterday...

      2. I Like Heckling

        Toy Story 3 in 3D was excellent... I know what you mean about the D-Box or 4D experience depending on which chain you go to... I've not been to one yet because at £8 for a regular 2D ticket (I go during weekday mornings when the kids are at school because you get about 6-10 people in there and can actually enjoy the movie)... or £13 for a 3D (Faux) IMAX one, or about £18 for the 4D one.... I know which one I'm picking... The £8 ticket where I show the parking stub and get that refunded of the ticket price... Seriously, everytime I take a trip down to Milton Keynes I get to see a movie for less than £5 (plus parking) and I take my own drink/snacks... because f*ck their price gouging.

        A friend on the other hand raved about the 4D, because the seat moved, vibrated, had extra speakers in the seats and sprayed water or blew puffs of air at you... Call me cynical, but I'd rather not be sprayed with anything in a darkened public auditorium that I cannot identify the exact source of with 100% accuracy. :)

        I know my little rants on the subject make me sound like I hate cinema... but the opposite is true. I love movies, I consider myself a bit of a cinephille and have a movie collection that numbers close to 2000... and that DOESN'T include any porn... ok, maybe a couple of DVD's from 10-15yrs ago... But as I always say... the ease of access to internet porn destroyed my enjoyment of porn. :)

        Just let me watch movies without all the fake extras that do nothing to enhance the experience at all and actually make me NOT want to go to the cinema more than a few times a year... Instead of the near weekly trips I used to make. 10yrs ago I had an unlimited membership and would go at least 2 times a week... that membership cost me the same each month as going to see a single 3D movie these days... which meant more money to spend on actually buying food/drink from the cinema... thus bringing the company more profits.

        Instead you force me to bring my own snacks because I can't justify spending £25 to see a movie in a format I don't want to see it in, along with watered down soft drinks and an overpriced bag of minstrels... You forced me into doing it on the cheap... and now including parking... I can do it for less than half that (a little more than half if you count fuel costs on the drive over).

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Pint

          "and I take my own drink/snacks... because f*ck their price gouging."

          I have a better solution to that dilemma. I can survive the length of a film without starving to death or dehydrating. Being a fat bastard probably helps as I have my own personal store of calories to depend on for the up to 180 or so minutes the longest films generally last,

    3. gryphon

      Latest Con

      Is stuff like vueXtreme

      Larger screens and supposedly 'immersive surround sound'.

      That'll be £1 extra per ticket please.

      Uh huh, I'm over 35 I'm probably not going to get the full benefit of the sound anyway since I seem to recall hearing starts to deteriorate at that point if not earlier, and the one experience I had of it was that it was simply too damn loud and spoiled the movie.

      1. VinceH

        Re: Latest Con

        "That'll be £1 extra per ticket please"

        Yes. One of the counter staff at my local Vue tried to upgrade me from a normal showing to the extreme nonsense - by actually ringing that up on the till without asking if that's what I wanted. He then tried to justify it on the basis that "it only starts 10 minutes later than the normal screening" and "But it's better because [claptrap]".

        It annoyed me because if I wanted to see that version, I would have *asked* to do so. At best, what the guy on the counter should have done, if unsure, is ask me whether I wanted to see the normal or extreme screening *before* ringing it up and asking me for more money than I expected to pay.

        That was a good few years ago, and I haven't been there since. (And I love seeing fillums on the big screen - I used to go a lot.)

        I'm stubborn like that.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Latest Con

        "Is stuff like vueXtreme

        Larger screens"

        I'm old enough to remember the days before multiplex cinemas were invented. Back when the screens were usually huge. Now that there are so few of those ones left and most people only have experience of multiplexes where the screens range from medium to small, a re-launch of 30+ year old large screens can be marketed as "new" and "revolutionary". The marketing wonks probably have no inkling that these so-called large screens have already existed in the past and were often larger than the "new" large screens because it from an era before they were born.

    4. zebthecat

      I agree

      Got a 3DTV a few years ago by accident purely as it was at a huge discount (and a bloody good plasma screen as well).

      Have watched a fair few 3D movies on it and only two have ever worked well (even Gravity was so-so). This two were TT Closer to the edge because the on bike 3D sequences are terrifying and it really brings home how scary the TT course is. The other was Dredd purely for the 3D blood flying everywhere in balletic slomo.

  4. GruntyMcPugh

    I'm still rocking a Roku LT,... the 720p limit doesn't bother me (although I was drooling over some 4k tellies in John Lewis recently) but it can't do Miracast,... so I might upgrade. Oh, and I just had a tax rebate,... time to shop for toys perhaps. But which one?

  5. Badvok
    Pirate

    ... boom boxes?

    Headline written by a millennial? For a moment I though Roku were branching out into new stuff.

  6. Wade Burchette Silver badge

    Why?

    "Where the Roku falls down is where it isn't leaping ahead: where is 3D support? And its operating system needs a refresh."

    Why? Why update something that works very well and is well understood? If ain't broke, don't fix it. This is same idiotic thinking that first led to Windows 8. And the same idiotic thinking that makes websites cluttered messes (like the ones where you scroll to the bottom only to find more content was added at the bottom, so you can no longer find footer links like "about" or "contact" or "privacy policy"). I find the Roku to be easier than Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV. What is this obsession of changing things that work quite well?

    1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

      Re: Why?

      Hear hear! I regret that I can only upvote you once. As you say, "Why update something that works very well and is well understood? If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I sincerely wish more companies would understand that. New features or capabilities, definitely. If they want to change the OS because of user feedback, that's one thing. But "Change simply for the sake of change"? How about a great big "NO!"

      My Roku3 is fine just the way it is. The only change that might be nice is the ability to add new channels directly from the Roku without having to use my phone or laptop. When I get a 4K TV, I'll update my Roku. Until then, I'm happy with things the way they are.

  7. Ru'
    WTF?

    "enough processing power to provide a full home entertainment system."

    Did you stop to wonder what this even meant, before blindly copying the press release??

  8. dmacleo

    maybe I am remembering/thinking wrong but wouldn't 3d support drive the price up (due to processing power and no onboard stream storage) too far to make it worth it?

  9. Marty McFly Silver badge
    Go

    Works for me!

    Apple & Amazon's feuding annoys me. I pay for Amazon Prime, I pay for an Apple TV. I refuse to be a pawn in their game. Even though the Roku seems to be aging, I am staying with it.

  10. David 132 Silver badge
    Boffin

    Watch out for the HDCP "gotcha"

    I bought a Roku 4 device earlier this year, specifically for the 4K support. Unfortunately, discovered too late that my 2.5-year-old 4K TV only implements HDCP v1.4. The Roku 4 (and, I assume, these new boxes) demands HDCP v2.2 compliance. The upshot was that my Roku refused to output anything beyond 1080p.

    This infuriated me to ears-leaking-steam levels, because I don't watch any premium content; all my *cough* "home movies with titles resembling commercial movies" *cough* are in unencumbered formats.

    In my case I purchased an HDCP 1.4-to-2.2 converter box; about $100, it sits between the TV and the Roku and now I have perfect 4K output.

    For what it's worth I bought mine from here:

    http://www.hdtvsupply.com/hdcp-2-2-to-hdcp-1-4-converter.html

  11. JeffyPoooh
    Pint

    Content spreading...

    In a few years, when everyone is paying $15/month EACH to 27 different content providers ($400/month total), then the older folks will gently explain to the kids how, once upon a time, we paid just $80 per month to just one content provider (responsible for both content aggregation and delivery over a private analog coaxial cable Wide Area Network). These outfits were called 'Cable TV' providers.

    Anybody out there yet achieved cross-over? Where you "cut the cable" to save money, but now pay MORE in aggregate to Netflix + Amazon + Roku + Apple + ... If not, the time is coming...

  12. annodomini2

    Shouldn't this have Promo in the title

    For what is a blatant 4K-ing advert

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