Roku focuses on voice with new streaming stick, platform updates

Roku is rolling out a pair of new streaming sticks and an operating system update that provide more voice functionality for the popular streaming platform.

The company today introduced the new Roku Streaming Stick 4K and Streaming Stick 4K+, which is priced at $69.99 and comes with the rechargeable Roku Voice Remote Pro. The Remote Pro also features TV controls, personal shortcut buttons, private listening, hands-free and push to talk Roku Voice support.

That device, along with the 4K model priced at $49.99, should provide a performance improvement with support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+ and up to 2x faster Wi-Fi speeds.

Roku is also releasing the Roku Ultra LT, a $79.99 streaming box that will be sold exclusively through Walmart.

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Roku is also beginning to roll out its 10.5 OS update and said that it will expand the number of channels that support voice commands for direct to playback. The company said that now nearly any channel in Roku Search supports the feature, including Netflix and Spotify.

10.5 users will also now be able to add the Roku Channel’s live TV guide, which includes more than 200 free linear TV channels, directly to the home screen.

The update also provides a handful of other new features including:

  • A Home tab in the Roku Mobile app that features Zones, browsable collections of movies and shows, and the ability for users to add movies and TV shows to the Save List to watch later on their TVs
  • A Roku Voice feature for completing device setup or login to supported apps by entering email, password and PIN information by voice
  • A wireless private listening feature that adjusts based on the type of headphones connected and lets users to make further adjustments via their smartphone camera by measuring the TV screen and automatically adjusting the audio delay between the wireless headphones and the TV
  • A new Roku Voice Help feature that shows users the supported commands for searching, launching channels, playing music and controlling playback