Roku undercuts Amazon, Google with new $30 streaming device

Roku Express. (Image: Roku)

Roku today announced five new variants of its streaming box including the $30 Express, which undercuts competitors like the Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV stick.

“Roku stands for streaming innovation and today we’re celebrating the biggest player launch in our company’s history, including the introduction of the Roku Express player which delivers a complete streaming experience for a shockingly low price of $29.99,” said Anthony Wood, Roku founder and CEO, in a statement.

The $30 starting price point for the Express comes in under the $35 Google charges for the Chromecast and the $40 Amazon charges for the Fire TV stick.

The Express supports TVs with HDMI and can handle 1080p HD streaming. The Express+ sells for $40 and offers support for older model TVs that don’t feature HDMI ports.

In addition to the Express and Express+, Roku rolled out a trio of higher end models. The Premiere and Premiere+, $80 and $100 respectively, both support UHD 4K and 60 fps streaming, while the Premiere+ adds HDR support. The Roku Ultra, which sells for $130, can do everything the Premiere+ can do, while offering Dolby Digital/Dolby Digital Plus decoding for surround sound. It also has a USB port for local media playback.

Official news of the newly revamped Roku lineup comes after ZatzNotFunny last month obtained vendor authorization reports that hinted at the upcoming releases.

With the new lineup and low starting price point, it’s reasonable to think that Roku will be able to continue its market dominance among streaming devices. According to Comscore’s numbers from June, Roku holds a 49 percent share of the streaming device market in the U.S.

Also notable, Roku is thus far the only streaming device manufacturer to join Comcast’s Xfinity TV Partner Program, which aims to make it easier for devices to feature Comcast’s TV Everywhere app by using open HTML5 standards.

For more:
- see this press release

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