The Roku Express will replace the Roku 1. There seems to be two versions of the Roku Express because there is also a Roku Express Plus, but we are unsure what the differences are. If I had to guess the Plus version will come with a remote that has a headphone jack. Sadly it looks like the RCA option of the Roku 1 that made it so popular for older TVs is going away. You will likely still be able to get older Roku 1s for some time if you need the RCA option.
One interesting feature is the fact that the Roku Express looks to be powered by USB. It is possible that you could power the Roku Express with the USB port on most modern TVs.
The Roku Premiere and Roku Premiere Plus will replace the Roku 2 and 3 that are currently on the market. The Roku Premiere seems to offer 4K, which is something the current Roku 2 and 3 do not have. There will be an Ethernet and a micro SD slot for at least the Plus version. It seems the main difference between the Premiere and the Ultra on the body is the find my remote feature and optical audio out. Two options that the Ultra has but are missing in the Premiere to likely help lower the cost.
The Roku Ultra will replace the Roku 4. In addition to the features in the Premiere the Roku Ultra will have the remote finder and optical out. The Ultra is likely to have HDR and 4K support that the other two models do not have.
New Roku OS
We just learned that there will also be a new Roku OS. Yesterday Roku reached out to developers with an offer to join a beta developer program. This program will give developers early access to a new OS called Roku OS 7.5. (The current Roku OS is 7.2.)
The fact that Roku is offering a beta developer program likely points to a major OS update. If you want to be part of this program, you must sign a confidentiality agreement. Typically Roku just gives the beta of the new OS to developers without any restrictions.
Details of the new Roku OS 7.5 are thin, but it is likely to include many of the features we recently added to the Roku Developer Toolbox including a new menu system and menu overlay over streams.
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