Roku says it will no longer update its first 4K streaming device

Mike Wheatley

Roku has announced that it’s ending support for its first streaming player with 4K support, the Roku 4. It has been on sale for seven years, and while it will continue to work, it will no longer receive any software updates, meaning no new channels will be added.


One of the main reasons why people choose a media streaming device over a smart TV is because they generally tend to be updated frequently, whereas televisions are often stuck with the original operating system that they shipped with. Roku, especially, is known for pushing out regular updates to its platforms with new features and channels often being added.

The Roku 4 device was the company’s first to support 4K resolution when it launched back in October 2015, and it has received plenty of updates over the years. However, the company said in an email to owners that Roku OS 11.5 is the last version that they’ll get. The device itself stopped being sold in 2017 when it was replaced by the Roku Ultra.

Seven years of support isn’t bad, but we should note that the first Nvidia Shield also launched in May 2015 and still receives OS updates, as does the first Apple TV 4K that debuted in 2017.

In its email to customers, which was first reported by Cord Cutters News, Roku stated that the Roku devices will continue to stream and receive critical security updates, but it will stop receiving feature updates, meaning they will no longer have the latest capabilities, such as the new features that are being introduced with Roku OS 12.

“You can keep using your Roku player to stream the channels you currently have,” the email reads. “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.”

The end of support for Roku 4 comes shortly after the launch of Roku’s first-ever branded Smart TVs, the Roku Select and the Roku Plus, so it may be that the end of updates is being announced now as a gentle push to get older customers to consider upgrading to one of those.

Indeed, some owners report being offered discounts ranging from 20% to 40% if they purchase a new 4K-capable Roku device. However, Cord Cutters News said that not all Roku 4 owners were made such an offer.