Roku Extremely (2020) overview: | TechHive

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The 2020 Roku Extremely is a surprisingly powerful streaming field to overview.

Whereas Roku’s {hardware} and software program haven’t modified a lot from last year’s model, the broader world of streaming TV has modified rather a lot. Between new providers like Apple TV+, Peacock, HBO Max, and the forthcoming Paramount+, there are extra streaming choices to juggle than ever. In response, we’ve seen units such because the Chromecast with Google TV and the TiVo Stream 4K emerge to make sense of these choices, funneling content material from a number of apps right into a single, unified menu.

Roku, in the meantime, has held steadfast to its much less formidable method: Make free content material straightforward to seek out, however make customers dig by particular person apps for all the things else.

This overview is a part of TechHive’s protection of the best media streamers, the place you’ll discover evaluations of competing merchandise, plus a purchaser’s information to the options you need to think about when looking for this sort of product.

In case you nonetheless agree with that method, the $100 Roku Extremely has rather a lot to love. It helps Dolby Imaginative and prescient and HLG excessive dynamic vary video, Bluetooth audio, and Dolby Atmos audio decode. It’s additionally a smidge quicker than different Roku gamers, and it nonetheless has the comfiest distant you’ll discover with any streaming participant as we speak.

However for those who’re rooting for a brand new paradigm in streaming, the place digging by a dozen totally different apps is now not needed, the brand new Roku Extremely will inevitably disappoint. (Roku can be transport a brand new mini soundbar. You may read our Roku Streambar review here.)

Slicker field, higher specs

The 2020 Roku Extremely is straightforward to inform aside from earlier variations. The plastic enclosure has a matte end all through as a substitute of being shiny across the edges, and the edges of the field curve inward on the high as a substitute of outward. I feel it’s extra enticing.

Jared Newman / IDG

2019’s Roku Extremely on the left, 2020’s Extremely on the precise.

The port association has modified as effectively. There’s no extra MicroSD card slot for expandable app storage, although the Extremely does have extra built-in storage. (Roku gained’t say precisely how a lot.) In the meantime, the USB slot for native media playback has moved from the aspect of the field to the again, the place it’s joined by the ethernet port and HDMI output.

rokuultrarear Jared Newman / IDG

MicroSD for expanded app storage is gone, however USB for native media playback stays.

That is additionally the primary Roku participant with Bluetooth, so you’ll be able to pair a cellphone, pill, or laptop and play music by the TV. It’s a nice addition, although it doesn’t assist pairing wi-fi headphones to play audio from the Roku. (For that, you need to use Roku’s cellular app, which affords non-public listening by headphones or earbuds related to the cellphone.)

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