Roku 4 looks like it could be a 4K rendering powerhouse

Roku's latest hardware patent means something big is coming

Roku 2

Between the new Apple TV, revamped Amazon Fire TV, 4K-ready Nvidia Shield Android TV and the rumored Chromecast 2 that's supposed to be announced tomorrow, it's been a turbulent few months for set-top lovers.

To add fuel to the fire a new patent filed with the FCC last week suggests that Roku will have updated hardware - quite possibly the Roku 4 - as early as next month. The new device, we think, will be 4K-capable as the company admitted at CES 2015 that it has plans for a 4K reference TV that comes with Roku TV built-in.

Also spotted last week was a promotion from streaming service CinemaNow that offered "four free high-definition titles with the purchase of a new Roku system." The promotion, which has since been taken down, was scheduled to start as early as October 1 and run until April 30, 2016.

The patent released on Friday, which lays out details for a new Roku system with a model number of 4400X, includes plans for a better internal wireless adapter that supports 802.11ac and the latest version of Bluetooth. All these details came out of a 95-page test report the company submitted alongside the request for approval and, the kicker, a request for temporary privacy of photos and technical specs.

Roku 4

It's far from definitive proof, but the upgraded internal antenna in conjunction with the auspicious timing of the patent suggest that Roku very well might be planning on releasing a 4K set-top box of its own to rival Amazon and Apple's new kit. Add to that a possible late October launch and you have a recipe for another all-out streaming war.

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