Roku’s popular media players will be getting a refresh later this fall, according to a new report, as well as a rebranding which will see the device models renamed from those sporting numerical characters (e.g. Roku 1, Roku 2, Roku 3, Roku 4) to names like “Premiere,” “Ultra,” “Express,” and others. It appears that select devices will also receive support for the HDR picture format, the report states.
The leaked information appears on the blog ZatzNotFunny.com, which found the new models listed on two Canadian websites, along with other product details. This further confirms the information spotted in an FCC filing earlier this month, which hinted at a refreshed line of devices. From the initial report, it appeared as if Roku is ditching USB ports on its cheaper streamers.
According to the new findings, the Roku 1 will be rebranded “Roku Express.” There’s a “Roku Express Plus,” too, but it’s unclear what will be different between the models. Speculatively, it could be that the Plus models could ship with extra ports or support the voice-controlled remote that offers a headphone jack for private listening. (Or one can only hope!)
The Roku 2 will then become the “Roku Premiere,” while Roku 3 will be the “Roku Premiere Plus.” These will also be upgraded to support 4K, while the “Plus” model will offer Ethernet and microSD, as well as HDR.
Meanwhile, the Roku 4 will be renamed “Roku Ultra” and will include a remote control finder and optical out, as with the prior model, but will add USB for accessing local media. This device, too, will offer HDR support, the leak indicates.
The information on one of the Canadian sites has already been pulled down, but a Google cache still shows the details. One site states that the new models are arriving September 7th, but that seems early.
In any event, it’s likely the new models will ship this fall ahead of the holiday sales season. Whether or not the rebranding will work in Roku’s favor, of course, remains to be seen. While “Roku #” may not be a sexy name, it’s easy to understand where a device fits into Roku’s product line. Names like “Premiere” and “Ultra” are more ambiguous, and could lead to consumer confusion.
Roku declined to comment.