Published: Mon, September 24, 2018

Roku Announces New Set-Top Boxes, Google Assistant Compatibility

Roku Announces New Set-Top Boxes, Google Assistant Compatibility

Once again, Roku doesn't say which Roku devices will see the update.

As it does at this time every year, Roku has announced an updated lineup of living room set-top boxes.

Roku is also taking the opportunity to boost the value offered by its most powerful and feature-packed player, the Roku Ultra.

Roku's new Premiere streaming player is available to pre-order from today and will be available to purchase at retail in early October along with the new Roku Ultra JBL bundle.

The new Premiere costs just $40 and has 4K HDR support, but it's only HDR10 and not Dolby Vision.

Roku's video streamers are about to get a whole lot smarter, with Roku OS 9 previewed along with Google Assistant integration and new support for streaming music services. The only difference between the two is the Premiere Plus will offer voice capabilities. It doesn't need a direct line of sight to the box, a power button that can control your TV through HDMI-CEC and comes with a microphone built-in. This applies to the Premiere+ as well as other current-gen Rokus with voice control remotes. Sorry UK/Australia, unfortunately, it's just a US-exclusive for now. Instead of the rounded box of earlier media streamers, the Premiere is a small black plastic block a few inches long, created to be placed under or in front of your TV. You'd find it the most useful if you bought an ultra-cheap 4K TV during Black Friday or Cyber Monday, only to realize after that it doesn't have the best on-board operating system.

Roku Express and Express+ These devices carry over from previous year.

Finally, Roku is also rolling out Roku OS 9 for its streaming devices and Roku OS 8.2 for Roku TVs. Roku will then show you a list of free content that you can access.

With Roku OS 9, there'll be a boosted voice search feature that allows viewers to focus exclusively on free content.

The latest slew of updates Roku's Director of Product Management Lloyd Klarke had to show us were subtle tweaks on an already great platform.

Another new voice command will allow you to change channels on Roku if you have an OTA antenna attached.

Roku has basic voice search capabilities, but a new software update rolling out today lets people enable Google Assistant.

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