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

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.

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.