Roku Inc. ROKU recently announced the launch of its $129 Roku Ultra streaming set-top box in Canada starting October, following its successful launch in the United States.
The Roku Ultra includes streaming capabilities of 4K HDR10+. Additionally, as most of the premium services now support Dolby Vision, the Roku Ultra also includes that function. It has a dedicated USB port, an Ethernet port, and an HDMI port. The streaming box also features Bluetooth, allowing users to connect wireless headphones to listen privately.
An improved remote is included alongside the Roku Ultra. This remote includes a rechargeable battery, a far-field mic and a headphone jack. For charging, the Roku Ultra’s remote does include a micro-USB cable that connects to the bottom of the remote.
With the new remote, users can plug in a pair of headphones (included in the box) for private listening. Alternatively, Ultra’s bluetooth enables users to connect a pair of wireless headphones for the same effect.
The remote features quick navigation buttons to Netflix, Crave, Disney+ and Apple TV. Roku has also implemented two programmable buttons. These buttons can be optimized at the user’s discretion. For instance, you can set a button to navigate directly to your favorite show. Other custom searches can also be conducted using the programmable buttons.
Roku’s Ultra is fully compatible with smart home ecosystems, including Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit and others. However, the device has its own onboard hands-free voice control system. By default, the remote can conduct searches through the far-field microphone.
Alongside the launch of Roku Ultra, the company is rolling out its new Roku OS 11.5 update. The new software update adds some new features to the operating system. One of these is the ability to filter and show all content that is available to watch for free. Additionally, Roku is adding the ability to easily save movies and shows across the platform to a “Save List.” Roku OS 11.5 will be rolling out in the coming weeks.
Roku, Inc. Price and Consensus
Roku, Inc. price-consensus-chart | Roku, Inc. Quote
Stiff Competition in the Streaming Space Creates Threat
Roku faces significant competitive pressure from Amazon’s AMZN Fire TV Stick, Alphabet-owned GOOGL Google's Chromecast, Apple’s AAPL Apple TV and others despite the strength of its brand.
Roku’s stock has grossly underperformed as it has fallen 74.2% year to date compared to its peers, Amazon, Google and Apple, which have lost 31.4%, 32.7% and 14.5%, respectively. The Zacks Broadcast Radio and Television industry has seen a decline of 56.4% in the same period.
The company expects global supply chain disruptions to impact its player unit sales in terms of shipping delays, product availability issues and product price increases. Lower spending from certain advertising verticals due to limited product availability is expected to hurt the top line. Ongoing recessionary fear, inflationary pressure and higher interest rates will be some challenging factors for this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company.
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