Categories: RemotesRoku

New Roku Remote Will Control Your Television

As Roku typically does, they’ll introduce a variety of hardware updates later this fall. And, as ZNF typically does, we’ll break that news to you first.

A trusted source indicates several 2017 models will be bundled with a revised Roku remote that expands television control — including a new handy dandy power button and brining the volume rocker to more models, independent of remote listening. However, instead of going with IR like Sideclick, I wonder if this represents an expansion of the HDMI-CEC capabilities Roku introduced last year. Update: It’s IR. Can I get an amen?!

Beyond that bit of practical news, I can now confirm that a 4K HDR Roku Streaming Stick+ will join the lineup mid-range, with the universal remote, while maintaining an elongated stick presentation — versus taking on a more chunky dongle form like Google has and Amazon will, with an incoming Fire TV. On the lower-end, the 2017 Roku Express will see a significant performance bump … and may finally make my list of recommended streamers. At about 1/4th the cost of Apple TV, why not?

As to other Roku rumblings, looks like the company has taken a renewed interested in audio as they march towards an IPO.

View Comments

  • I wonder if it will be worth replacing my Roku Ultra? I've had the Ultra since it was launched at it has performed very well. In my setup I've only run into minor issues. Plus Roku gave me a $50 credit to use toward the Ultra since I had owned the Roku 4 turd. And I had traded in my Roku 4 to Gamestop for $50. So my Ultra only cost me $30 out of pocket.

    I use HDMI-CEC with my current Ultra remote but only to control volume. I don't have my UHD TV power set to work with HDMI-CEC and I don't think I will be changing that.

    I guess if the new Rokus introduce 24P output then I might consider getting a new version. But currently I am very pleased with the voice search of my Roku Ultra remote. And the performance of my Roku Ultra.

  • "As I mentioned on Twitter, I hope I’m wrong about HDMI-CEC. IR would be much more practical."

    I've long been baffled that none of the Big Three streaming boxes offer an optional remote with learning IR. Sell the thing for $49, or even more. It would have low sales, but my guess is that it'd enhance their brand pretty dramatically. (I'd buy one, of course, but the good press coverage it'd get would seep through to folks who wouldn't buy one.)

    More broadly, I'm also always baffled that the streaming box companies seem to care so little about the UX of their remotes. I mean, it's kinda a large part of how people experience these things. One of the reasons I love my TiVo is because the remote is so damn nice. And one of the things I prefer the Roku over the Fire TV is that its remote is somewhat more pleasant to use, merely because of the raised physical button design. This kind of non-obvious UX thing won't move units in the store or on the web to new users, but if you want to build an ongoing business in a market that's still shaking out, it pretty much makes sense to give your users a better experience...

  • All remotes should have volume control, or at least a mute button. That's my biggest pet peeve with streaming box remotes.

Published by
Dave Zatz