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: Roku adds new sound bar, remote, and streaming device

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Roku Inc. announced updates to its operating system Tuesday while also adding a new streaming device, voice remote, and sound bar to its product lineup.

On the product side, Roku
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+2.92%

is introducing what it calls the Streambar Pro, a sound bar that comes with a voice remote and the ability for users to enter a private-listening mode by plugging in included headphones so that they can stream shows without disturbing others.

The device, which Roku says will “virtualize” sound to create a more immersive listening experience, will sell for $179.99 and become available online at the end of May, with in-store availability starting in June.

The company is also introducing the $29.99 Voice Remote Pro, which is rechargeable and can play a beeping sound when users activate a voice command upon losing the remote. The company has a new $39.99 streaming device as well, called the Express 4K+, which Roku says has a better processor than its predecessor while offering support for dual-band WiFi, third-party Ethernet adapters, and the HDR 10+ video format.

Those using Roku’s newest operating system will be able to customize their channel guides by adding favorites and hiding other channels. Roku OS 10 will also feature “instant resume” capabilities, letting viewers return to what they were previously watching in a given channel. This function will begin to roll out with 15 channel partners including AT&T TV and Starz, and the company plans to expand it to others.

Roku previously allowed users of certain 4K streaming devices to connect via Apple Inc.’s
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AirPlay 2 and HomeKit, and the company is making that option available to those with HD devices through its latest update. It is also rolling out a feature that chooses between WiFi bands to determine which would show streaming content best.

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