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Roku is getting a pile of new 4K and other content from Smithsonian, Encore, CW as well

by on November 19, 2015

Stephan Jukic – November 19, 2015

Roku unveiled its new 4K-capable Roku 4 set-to box to the world just about a month ago and the company behind the device is already putting together some interesting native 4K UHD content options for loyal early adopters of the new device.

For starters, we have Smithsonian Earth, which was launched this past Tuesday for both Apple TV and the new Roku 4. However, it is only on the Roku box that the new Smithsonian channel’s 4K UHD content will be visible in its crystal clear native resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. Users can sample out the service from the Smithsonian Institute for free on the Roku 4 and after that, they will have to pay a fairly modest monthly $4 fee if they like what they see and want to continue.

In addition to this Smithsonian content, owners of the Roku 4 will also have access to CW’s Seed comedy network and a premium channel called Encore Play. This means that Encore will new join Starz Play on the Roku and like Starz (which was launched in September), Encore Play is a subscription service that requires users to be signed up to the cable channel if they also want access to their content.

In other words, users of the Roku can’t get the content from either of these channels on an individual selection basis. However, the breadth of new content options for the Roku that these services add to the set-top box are quite large. The CW Seed service alone offers access to a number of feature films that include titles such as: Who’s Line is it Anyway, The Ben Stiller Show, The OC and Almost Human, along with a few other Original Programming options.

the Smithsonian Earth content channel will come to the Roku 4 in full 4K resolution

the Smithsonian Earth content channel will come to the Roku 4 in full 4K resolution

Other selections that are already available on the Roku 4 also include content providers like the History Channel, A&E Network, HBO Go and Showtime, along with access to online streaming content from both Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video in 4K ultra HD and lower resolutions.

Not all of the content delivered by the above-mentioned services for the new Roku 4 is going to be available in 4K UHD resolution but users of the Roku who do subscribe will be the first to get whatever 4K programming does arrive through any of these services, via the 4K-capable set-top box. Furthermore, if your ultra HD TV is capable of some very decent upscaling of HD content to an ultra HD appearance, any Full HD programming from the above services will look absolutely spectacular.

Some of the 4K ultra HD TVs with the best internal upscaling engines belong to both Sony and Samsung, particularly their 2015 models, several of which will be going on sale for the upcoming Black Friday weekend that starts as of November 27th. Potential owners of a new 4K TV or users who want a model that can handle high quality content upscaling on its UHD screen, should check out some of the massive TV discounts that are coming next week.

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  • N V Ramanan
    November 22, 2015 at 5:45 am

    Smithsonian Earth is a terrific channel!

    You cant watch the others if you have cut the cord—-so this is all a little meaningless! Every body makes this out to be cord cutting….how is this cord cutting if you cant watch it if you have cut the cord!!


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