Roku Ultra HD/4K/HDR streaming media player voice remote review

Roku Ultra HD/4K/HDR streaming media player voice remote review
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Does Roku Ultra HD/4K/HDR streaming media player voice remote support Apple TV? Experience your favorite TV in stunning detail and clarity; Perfect for HD, HDR, and 4K streaming, enjoy picture that’s optimized for your TV with sharp resolution and vivid color. Roku Ultra lets you stream free, live and premium TV over the Internet; right on your 4K TV. Get details in Roku Ultra HD/4K/HDR streaming media player voice remote review.

Pros & Cons – Roku Ultra HD/4K/HDR streaming media player voice remote

Pros

  • Great performance
  • Lots of high-quality channels
  • Can connect via Ethernet
  • Supports Dolby Vision 4K HDR
  • Remote finder is awesome
  • USB port for external media
  • Remote has a headphone jack for private listening

Cons

  • Weaker voice assistant than Amazon and Google streamers
  • Missing HBO Max and Twitch
  • Twice the price of Streaming Stick Plus

Specs – Roku Ultra HD/4K/HDR streaming media player voice remote

  • Video: 4K, Dolby Vision HDR
  • Processor: Quad-core CPU
  • Voice remote with TV power and volume buttons
  • Internet connectivity 802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless
  • Dimensions: 4.9 x 4.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Picture quality: 1080p HD, 4K UHD up to 2160p at 60 fps, HDR 10, HLG
  • Supported Audio: DTS Digital Surround, Dolby Audio and Dolby ATMOS pass through over HDMI, Digital stereo over HDMI
  • JBL headphones, remote finder, personal shortcut buttons, headphone jack, microSD/USB/Ethernet ports
  • Smart assistant support: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Access to 500,000+ movies and TV episodes, with search across 1,000+ top channels
  • Connect to TV via HDMI
  • Free Roku mobile app to control your player, watch The Roku Channel, use private listening

Price

While the Roku Ultra is more than just a 4K streaming device, $100 is a mighty high price for UHD streaming these days. You can get 4K video from the Roku Streaming Stick Plus — the best streaming device in our book — which is just $49, the same price as the 4K-enabled Chromecast with Google TV. Meanwhile, the $179 Apple TV 4K makes the Roku Ultra look like a bargain, and the $119 Amazon Fire TV Cube is also more expensive.

Compare Roku Ultra HD/4K/HDR streaming media player voice remote vs Streaming Stick Plus

Roku Streaming Stick+ | HD/4K/HDR with Long-range Wireless and Voice RemoteRoku Ultra Streaming Media Player 4K/HD/HDR 2019 with Premium JBL Headphones
The most popular streaming channels
Connect to TV viaHDMI (cable included)HDMI
Picture quality4K Ultra HD with support for HDR, HDR 10, HLG, 1080p HD1080p HD, 4K UHD up to 2160p at 60 fps, HDR 10, HLG
Long-range-wireless
Internet connectivity802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless
Lost remote finder, personal shortcut buttons, headphone jack
Voice remote with TV controls
Supported AudioDTS Digital Surround, Dolby Audio and Dolby ATMOS pass through over HDMI, Digital stereo over HDMIDTS Digital Surround, Dolby Audio and Dolby ATMOS pass through over HDMI, Digital stereo over HDMI
Works with Alexa and the Google Assistant
Free Roku mobile app to control your player, watch The Roku Channel, use private listening

Roku Ultra HD/4K/HDR streaming media player voice remote review

Design

Its sides are all matte, ditching the glossy black plastic frame of its predecessor. They also taper up and curve in. The Roku Ultra is still a rounded square, measuring 4.9 inches on each side and 0.9 inches tall, but this year’s model goes for a slightly different look. The Roku Ultra, just like those streaming boxes sit on top of a cabinet or inside a home entertainment center, rather than behind your TV, like the Chromecast with Google TV (6.4 x 2.4 x 0.5 inches) or the Roku Streaming Stick Plus (3.7 x 1.0 x 1.0 inches).

Ports

In terms of ports, you’ve got USB-A, power, HDMI and Ethernet on the back. Roku’s ditched the lost the microSD port used for increasing local cached memory, but that doesn’t seem to be a big loss — as the Roku Ultra still moves plenty fast.  You can use the USB-A port for external storage and accessing media, which the Chromecast with Google TV offers via its USB-C port, which supports hubs. The Ethernet port could help you get more stable 4K streaming, and it’s good to see this feature stick around even when the Roku Ultra (2020) has been designed with better wireless performance.

Processor

The Roku Ultra specs include a quad-core processor and 802.11ac dual-band wireless antenna that, according to Roku, helps expand the range of the player by twice the distance. 

Picture and audio quality

The Roku Ultra supports 4K HDR video, which allows for both higher resolution and more color detail in highlights and shadows, but the new arrival of Dolby Vision means those color optimizations can happen on a scene-by-scene basis. Of course, you’ll need a TV with Dolby Vision HDR support to take advantage, along with supported content in apps like Netflix or Amazon Prime. Dolby Atmos decode support means that some content can produce object-based audio effects if you have an Atmos-enabled speaker system.

Content search

When I used the Roku remote’s voice option to search for “What We Do In The Shadows,” the system found both the excellent film and its also-great TV show spinoff. The Roku Ultra sorted the results by putting Hulu (which I subscribe to) up top and pay-per-episode options below, saving me the mistake of buying something that I already pay for. The related search results were also strong, showing What We Do In The Shadows producer Taika Waititi’s film JoJo Rabbit and series star Matt Berry’s The IT Crowd. 

Earphone

Aside from the remote, the Roku Ultra comes with a pair of earphones, an HDMI cable, the power adapter, and batteries for the remote. You can plug the earphones into the remote to mute audio going to the TV and listen directly through the remote (you can also use your own headphones if you prefer).

Remote

The remote still includes the plastic finish and rubber buttons like other Roku devices, with volume controls on the right side and a 3.5mm headphone jack for private listening on the left. Unlike last year’s Ultra, the streaming maker doesn’t tout that the included buds are “premium JBL” headphones.

The remote finder feature remains one of my favorite features about the Ultra and one that I wish every streaming device would incorporate. 

The remote also has two programmable shortcut buttons in addition to the Roku preloaded options for Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu and Sling TV. Just like last year, you can have it set to whatever your last voice command was, such as opening an app like Peacock or ESPN or doing a task like searching for a favorite movie or TV show. 

Apps support

As for apps, Roku continues to impress with support for nearly all major streaming services, including finally adding support for HBO Max. Support for Apple AirPlay is also a nice perk and at least allows Apple users to stream the app from iOS and Macs, while screen mirroring remains an option for most Android users.

Streaming service support
DeviceHBO MaxPeacockApple TV Plus
RokuYesYesYes
Fire TVYesNoYes
Chromecast with Google TVYesYesComing in 2021
Apple TVYesYesYes

When it comes to content Roku has it all — almost. Yes, the thousands of channels and apps available on the Roku Ultra (2020) are practically unrivaled, unless you love yourself some HBO. While Peacock and HBO Max made it to Roku months after thier launch, the wait was annoyingly long.

Apps such as Disney Plus support Dolby Vision and Atmos (which makes sense as compatible Roku 4K TVs have had Dolby Vision support for a while). Netflix, Vudu and Apple TV Plus also have shows and movies available in Dolby Vision and Atmos, though there’s no easy way to see a full list of which apps work with the premium HDR and sound format. 

Searching the Roku channels section, you will find anything and everything else, though. You get the basics (Netflix, Prime Video, ESPN, YouTube, Hulu, Disney Plus, Sling), plus other valued applications (Vimeo, Spotify, Tubi, Plex) and even stuff you’ve never heard of (HORRORMAX, frndlyTV, Stirr). 

Apple TV

Thanks to its AirPlay support, the Roku Ultra can effectively work effectively like an Apple TV 4K: You can directly stream the screen of your iOS device or Mac to the Ultra with just a few taps or clicks. It even comes with three free months of Apple TV+ for accessing the subscription video service and its exclusive shows and films. Combined with the Apple TV app, the Ultra offers basically the same features an Apple TV does, with one exception: Siri.

Faster speed

Compared to last year’s Ultra, the new model launched Amazon Prime about 1.5 seconds faster and The Roku Channel about a second faster, but launch times for Disney+ and YouTube were comparable on both. The Ultra does have a more pronounced advantage over the $50 Roku Streaming Stick+, launching Prime roughly 4.5 seconds faster, and loading The Roku Channel, YouTube, and Disney+ about 1.5 seconds faster, but none of those differences are enough to justify upgrading for speed alone.

Roku Ultra HD/4K/HDR streaming media player voice remote customer review

It’s great

I have all versions of Roku Ultra (2018,2019, 2020) and I have to say there is NO BIG difference from each one! The 2018 version doesnt have the tv off, mute, volume buttons, button shortcuts, that the 2019 and 2020 has, but the loading times of channels, the channel selection, is the same on all versions.

The big difference I see mostly is the support for Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus, HDR vision, HDR10, or the 4k Home theater hard core fans. I can finally play all my Vudu 4k movies with Atmos or hear my 5.1 dolby plus sound bar at its full Potential. There was 4k support before on the 2019 roku but no dolby vision or dolby atmos at the time. Glad they added it in the 2020 version cause pretty much all the new 4k movies are in hdr10 or vision, with dolby plus or atmos.

I havent checked if the the 2020 roku is cooler than the previous versions, its only been 2 hrs since I turned this on, but I can say that the old power cable of the roku 2019 version does work with the roku 2020 version. The old remotes of all ultra versions work on the 2020 roku, setup was pretty simple. just register it when you login into your roku account on any laptop, phone, computer etc and make sure to allow it network access and you should be streaming in no time.

I’d say the only big thing or turn off for the roku is that it only works really well if you have all the equipment to take full advantage of the goodies u get. For me I have a decent 4k tv, 4k player, soundbar, cables, and watch alot of streaming channels that only Roku offers. $100 is not so bad I have chromecast 4k and apple 4k tv too but most of my movies, channels, and overall preferences goes to roku first.

For people that are new, old, curious, the roku 2020 is a good choice it offers all the 4k standerds, hdr, atmos, hd, channel selection, fair price, EZ remote friendly, and convenient you wont get disappointed. Again if your struggling to decide which player is best for just pick the one that fills all your needs. I use both apple 4k and roku, apple 4k tv works great with my apple exclusive only tv shows, movies or things I can only do on apple, my ipad 2020 version and iphone SE works amazing with the tv mirror option and sharing from ipad or iphone to appletv options, love watching Twitch TV and HBO Max that are only available on apple tv. However Roku has all movies and tv shows that I bought when we first started “DigItal Copies)” Ultraviolet, UV, before Movies Anywhere , most of my digital movies and tv show redemptions were only available to “Vudu”, even with movies anywhere not all my movies show up when I connected my vudu to movies anywhere.

Also apple has a crappy player software or a really bad player gui that all the apps must use, but the roku vudu version is amazing or at least decent enough to move around and have the basic play, next chapter, fast forward, chapters, etc organized enough that you dont have to keep sliding and sliding compared to the apple remote. Also you can buy/rent movies on the vudu roku version, on the apple tv you can only watch on the app version. I only payed 50$ or half off for the 2019 roku ultra the apple tv never goes on sale or if it does good luck paying under 100$. The free 4k upgrade is nice of apple but I hate the player options or constant battle to slide back and forth to skip scenes, switch languages with a big giant menu box on top of the screen blocking most of the picture. Plus I hate rebuying some of my movies or tv shows on Apple Tv because movies anywhere doesn’t recognize my UltraViolet movies.

Again great roku but I just dont see the BIg Bang or alot of changes that makes it the Best. Kudos to bestbuy for the fast shipping, Shipped out Sunday and got it Tuesday as promise and no damage to the product. Might get another one for sure if I get a 8k tv and if Black Friday has it on sale again am definitely getting 2.

By piddy at Best Buy

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