With over 15 million monthly users, the Roku platform has steadily increased in popularity. And soon Canadians will have a much more powerful option at the same affordable price of $39.99, because the new Roku Express for 2017 is on its way. Don’t be fooled by its small stature, because this is one beefy streaming media player.

The Roku Express (2017) is already available in the US for $29.99, but now the company is bringing the tiny player north of the 49th parallel too. The new player looks fundamentally the same as its identically-named predecessor. The main differences can be found on the inside as the 2017 version is five times more powerful. That means faster performance and an even better entertainment experience.

As before, Canadian consumers have access to over 4,000 streaming channels, easily navigating their way to some 150,000 movies and TV shows. “The Roku Express is one of our most popular streaming players,” said Chas Smith, general manager of Roku TVs and players. It’s a “great starting point for first time streamers or for people looking to extend the Roku experience to other TVs.”

Everything you need to get started is included in the box. In addition to the compact media player itself, you get a simple-to-use remote control and an HDMI cable. If you’d prefer to control your media experience through your mobile device, you can download the Roku app for iOS and Android. That effectively transforms your smartphone or table into a remote for your Roku Express, including voice control, private listening, and a keyboard.

One of my favorite features of the Roku 3 I reviewed a couple years ago was private listening. Just plug in some headphones and you don’t have to disturb anyone else in the house while binge-watching the new season of Stranger Things on Netflix.

The new Roku Express (2017) is scheduled to start shipping in Canada next month. You’ll be able to find it on Amazon.ca for $39.99, the same MSRP as the version it replaces. It’ll also be available through Best Buy, Walmart, Staples, The Source, London Drugs “and other fine retailers.”

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