Roku has been selling streaming devices since 2008, but they aren’t built to last forever. The company is now ending software support for its first 4K player, the Roku 4.
The Roku 4 was introduced in October 2015, and was notable for being one of the first streaming devices capable of playing 4K content. It was priced at $130, with a remote enhanced for games, 802.11 dual-band Wi-Fi, and a headphone jack on the remote. The player was discontinued in August 2016, and was eventually replaced by the first Roku Ultra in 2017.
Sadly, eight years later, Roku is saying goodbye to the Roku 4. According to Cord Cutters News, Roku sent an email to anyone still using the aging player, informing them that it won’t receive any more feature updates:
Dear Roku Streamer,
Thanks for being such a loyal Roku user! You’ve been streaming with us for a long time and we’re glad you’ve been enjoying your Roku player even after all these years. While your current player will continue to stream and receive critical updates, it doesn’t have the latest capabilities and will soon stop receiving feature updates.
You can keep using your Roku player to stream the channels you currently have. However, this device will no longer get new features or streaming channels, updates to existing channels, or other software-related updates. You may lose access to some channels over time as those channel partners make updates.
Roku is also reportedly providing discounts on new hardware current Roku 4 owners — one email posted to Reddit mentioned a 40% off deal for a Roku Streaming Stick 4K, bringing the price down to $29.99. The Stick 4K is much newer, but it’s lacking most of the ports available on the Roku 4, such as Ethernet and optical audio output. The current Roku Ultra is a more direct replacement with more ports, but it costs $100.
Unfortunately, it seems like the Roku 4 won’t even get the Roku OS 12 update as a final send-off, which was announced earlier this month. The Roku 4 had a model number of 4400, which isn’t included in the list of supported devices for Roku OS 12. Unless the company’s plans change, the player will remain on Roku OS 11.5, which arrived in September 2022 and introduced a new home screen design (plus other features).