Roku Releasing 4K Streaming Video Player For $130

r4-in-the-boxWeeks after Amazon announced that its new generation of Fire TV boxes will support 4K video, the folks at Roku are also jumping onto the ultra-HD bandwagon with the release of the Roku 4.

The $130 device, coming out later this month, works on both HD and 4K sets (though obviously you’ll need the latter to enjoy 4K content) and adds some new features not found in previous Roku devices, like a tweak to the Roku Feed feature that lets users get updates about streaming availability and price of movies and TV shows.

There’s also a new “Remote Finder” that the company says will help you locate your lost controller. The Roku remote now has a headphone jack that lets users hear what’s being streamed without waking up people in other rooms.

For travelers and college students who want to bring their devices to networks that require logins, there is the new “Hotel and Dorm Connect” feature. Using the browser on their phones or other devices, users enter the password for the network and their Roku will then be able to access the Internet.

There’s a bit of a staring contest going on between manufacturers and content providers over the super hi-def streams. Content companies don’t want to sink time and resources into providing 4K video if not enough people are going to watch it. Meanwhile, manufacturers — many remembering all too well how badly they were burned by the promise of 3D — have not made 4K as much of a priority because of the lack of content.

Devices like the Roku 4 and the new Amazon Fire TV can help bridge that divide by offering a product that will still work when someone upgrades their TV set to 4K.

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