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Roku’s new Streaming Stick promises Chromecast-crushing power and private listening

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Roku’s new Streaming Stick promises to run rings aroundGoogle’s Chromecast and the Amazon Fire TV Stick in the processing stakes.

The tiny HDMI dongle comes with a quad-core processor which should allow for content to be launched more quickly alongside slicker menu navigation, something that’s already not too shabby thanks to previous updates.

The new Streaming Stick is also the first device from Roku to offer a private listening mode through the mobile app. While devices like the Roku 3 have shipped with a remote that comes with a 3.5mm jack, which lets you listen to the audio of shows like Daredevil on headphones, the new Roku Streaming Stick will support this same feature through the Roku apps for iOS and Android.

Roku’s senior vice president of product management Sharad Sundaresan said in a blog post: “Our popular Roku Streaming Stick is now better than ever! The latest model, announced today, features a quad-core processor giving it more processing power than any other pocket-sized stick in the industry.

“With 8X more processing power than its predecessor, the new Roku Streaming Stick gets you to your favorite entertainment fast with smooth and responsive navigation.”

We don’t know how fast the CPU is – all we know right now is that it’s got four cores, compared to the dual-core processors of the Fire TV Stick and 2015 Chromecast. Roku’s previous streaming stick featured a single-core processor, so there’s some substance to Sundaresan’s claims.

We also know that the new device will support dual-band MIMO WiFi, as did the previous model, and the Home and Dorm Connect feature, which will let you stream content when you’re away on holiday, instead of, you know, enjoying your holiday.

The previous Streaming Stick cost £50, a hair above the likes of Amazon’s £35 Fire TV Stick and Google’s £30 Chromecast. We’ve yet to be given a UK price or release date for the new Roku Stick.

We’re still waiting for more details on Sky’s forthcoming Now TV Smart box, a mini streamer that blends free to air content with catch-up services. The device, due for release later this year, is based on Roku hardware and is said to be ‘priced competitively.’ Given that previous Now TV boxes have sold for £10 and £15, we’re keen to see just how competitive this is.

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