One of the best budget 4K TVs is now just $250 at Best Buy — and it comes with Roku TV

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All the entertainment you could wish for is within reach with a TCL 4K TV with Roku.
All the entertainment you could wish for is within reach with a TCL 4K TV with Roku.
Image: Tcl

Let’s say you’re ready not just for a new 4K TV, but also to finally cut the cord. All of your TV comes via streaming and you need a quick, affordable solution to prepare for the new season of Stranger Things. If budget and simple streaming features are all you need, the latest deal on a TCL 4K TV is what you’re looking for. 

At Best Buy, you can save an extra $90 off a 49-inch TCL 4K UHD TV with Roku TV for a final price of $249.99. Not only does that qualify for free shipping, you even get Sling TV free for 30 days. That’s a month to live stream your favorite channels and shows (like a certain collegiate basketball tournament) to help you decide if you want to fully subscribe to Sling TV when the free trial is up.

Don’t let the word “budget” scare you away. There are plenty of features in this TV to help you get the most out of any entertainment. While you might not get the eye-popping picture quality of a high-end Samsung or Sony 4K TV, this TCL model offers great contrast, low motion blur, and an even lower input lag. That low input lag makes this a perfect choice for gamers who value performance most of all. And with three HDMI inputs to deliver up to a 2160p picture, you’ll have enough space for multiple consoles. 

Beyond solid performance, the included Roku TV puts access to over 500,000 shows and movies right at your fingertips. Whether you use a remote or your smartphone with the mobile app, Roku offers a very friendly interface that makes it easy to navigate all of your streaming options, including the ability to quickly cast Netflix and YouTube on your TV.

A new TV doesn’t have to break your budget, and a good place to start is a low-cost TCL 49-inch 4K TV that will only set you back $249.99. 

Image: Best Buy

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Roku Ultra 4K is on sale for just $79.99 on Amazon — that's $20 off

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Get your own Roku for $20 off at Amazon.
Get your own Roku for $20 off at Amazon.
Image: Roku

Looking for the best way to stream 4K? The Roku Ultra 4K is one of the best devices that can stream 1080p HD, HDR content, and 4K and it’s on sale for only $79.99 on Amazon.

Now $20 off its $99.99 list price, the Roku Ultra 4K is a small but mighty streaming device that features  dual-band wireless connectivity and an Ethernet port, so you can always have constant stream of bandwidth when watching TV. 

The Roku platform has more streaming apps and channels than the Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. In fact, there are more than 1,000 streaming channels, including favorites like Netflix, HBO Now, ESPN+, Hulu, YouTube TV, CNN, and more. 

While this streaming device is impressive on its own, its included remote control is just as spectacular with voice control features that makes it so much easier to search across all channels for the movies and TV shows you want. The remote also features a standard headphone jack for private listening. This comes in handy if you’re watching Game of Thrones on HBO Now at night and your partner is sleeping next to you in your bedroom. Now you can watch TV without disturbing the people around you. It even comes with a pair of premium JBL headphones to get you started, but you could also use your own headphones, of course.

If you’re a cord-cutter the Roku Ultra 4K is a must for streaming high quality content on a big screen 4K TV.

Amazon customer Joe Gomolchak writes:

“We cut the cord on cable and satellite service a few years ago and stream our TV content. We replaced our Fire Tv with the Roku Ultra mainly to see if we would get better streaming quality. So far it’s been great. Also, I don’t miss the overbearing presence of Amazon when we used the Fire TV. Available content is great. For live TV we use PSVue, and along with Amazon Prime Video and all that Roku offers, we do not miss cable.”

Image: Roku

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Roku could add AirPlay 2 support soon


Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Apple wants as many people as possible to have access to its upcoming streaming video service — even if they don’t have Apple TV. It’s been working with a number of TV makers on AirPlay 2 and iTunes compatibility, so they can easily watch Apple’s original shows and movies on larger screens. Now, Apple is close to sealing a deal with Roku for AirPlay 2 support, according to MacRumors.

If the two sides come to an agreement, AirPlay 2 compatibility will likely arrive on Roku devices through a software update, but it’s not yet clear which models will support it. It seems Roku smart TVs, such as those from TCL and RCA, will enable AirPlay 2 as well. With Apple preparing to announce its video streaming service (perhaps even next month), we might get official confirmation on the Roku deal soon.

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Roku devices now play nice with Amazon Alexa

Roku's new 4K-ready streaming stick.
Roku’s new 4K-ready streaming stick.
Image: roku

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Own a Roku media streaming device or Roku TV? If you also have an Amazon Echo smart speaker or smart display, you can now control your Roku device with Alexa voice controls.

Starting today, Roku users with Alexa-enabled devices such as the Amazon Echo, Echo Show$129.99 at Amazon, Echo Dot, Echo Spot$129.99 at Amazon, or Echo Plus can pause a show, launch a streaming channel, or search for content using Alexa voice commands, Roku announced. To try it out, open the Alexa app, go to settings, select TV & Video, enable the Roku skill, and link your account. Note that your Roku device needs to be running Roku OS 8.1 or higher for this to work.

Once you get it set up, just utter a command like “Alexa, find comedies on Roku,” “Alexa, pause Roku,” or “Alexa open Hulu on Roku.” If you have a Roku TV with an OTA antenna connected, you can also use Alexa voice controls to turn it on, change the volume, switch inputs, and change channels.

You can already control Roku devices with other virtual assistants, including Roku’s own and Google Assistant. The addition of Alexa support gives Roku users another option.

“Consumers often have multiple voice ecosystems in their homes,” Roku OS Senior Vice President Ilya Asnis said in a statement. “By allowing our customers to choose Alexa, in addition to Roku voice search and controls, and other popular voice assistants, we are strengthening the value Roku offers as a neutral platform in home entertainment.”

This new voice control option should help users “get to the entertainment they love faster so they can enjoy more of it,” Asnis added.

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A new Alexa skill lets you control your Roku devices


Roku

Roku’s devices aren’t exactly suffering from lack of hands-free control: they already support Google Assistant and their built-in OS has its own voice AI. That list could still feel incomplete if Alexa is your virtual assistant of choice, though, which is why the company’s latest update is a welcome one. The company’s streaming devices and TVs are now finally compatible with Amazon’s voice AI, thanks to the new Roku skill for Alexa. You can issue commands through an Alexa-powered device, such as Amazon’s Echo speakers, and by adding “on Roku” as a suffix.

The new feature can switch Roku TVs on or off and change channels with spoken commands. You can also adjust the volume by saying “Alexa, turn up the volume on Roku.” Quite a mouthful, but certainly useful if you don’t want to be bothered finding the remote. You can also ask the voice assistant to search for entertainment (“Alexa, find [shows] on Roku”), pause your device (“Alexa, pause Roku”) and launch particular apps (e.g. “Alexa, open Hulu on Roku).

To be able to access the feature, your Roku devices must be running OS 8.1 or greater. If they are, then fire up your Alexa app, select TV & Video under settings and enable the skill to link your accounts.

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