Your days of tearing apart the couch cushions looking for the remote control may soon be over.
Roku’s newest streaming player, the Roku 4, which the company announced on Tuesday, comes with feature that will ensure you never lose the precious remote ever again: a button on the set top box that, when pressed, prompts the remote to emit a sound.
It’s a positively “why didn’t I think of that” button — it just makes so much sense, it’s surprising Roku didn’t do it sooner.
You can set the remote to emit different sounds, too. The remote on the Roku that the company demonstrated for me last week was set to make whistling sound of the intercom on the Starship Enterprise from “Star Trek.”
The new feature is only available on the Roku 4, which costs $US130 and is available for pre-order beginning today. The Roku 4 is the only player from the Saratoga, Calif. company that streams video in ultra high definition 4K.
A relatively small number of people have 4K TVs, and there’s not much programming that’s available in 4K, but Roku clearly feels there’s enough of a market to generate interest in the device.
Plus, the Roku 4 menu has a section showcasing 4K content.
Roku’s latest streaming player, which connects to the internet to allow you to stream content to your TV from companies like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Amazon, comes at a time of intense competition amongst streaming devices.
The new Apple TV, announced in September, comes out later this month. Amazon’s updated Fire TV, which also streams in 4K, just went on sale. And Google last week announced a new version of its Chromecast player.
Still, a streaming device from Roku is probably the best one for most people. Roku offers the widest variety of apps, or “channels” — Amazon, HBO, Netflix, YouTube, Sling, Pandora, and more, are all there — and it’s simple to use. Plus, both the Roku 3 and new Roku 4 come with a headphone jack on the remote control, a great feature that allows people to watch a movie or TV show without disturbing other people in the room.
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