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Do I need a Roku Ultra?

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
37,881
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Consumer Reports likes it. I have a Sony 930E TV, which already seems to have a lot of apps like Netflix and Prime and Youtube (though I'm not sure how to add some more).

The pics of the Roku don't seem to show things in addition to that I'd want much (e.g. ESPN, no interest). I have an old Roku I never installed (and an old Fire TV stick I never installed), so there's that, though the Ultra is described as a lot better. The ultra is on sale for $49 today, possibly 20% off that, so I'm thinking if I would want one, get it now, but not sure if it would be useful.
 

spacejamz

Lifer
Mar 31, 2003
10,062
411
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unless you want the advanced remote (tv control, 2 personalized buttons and connect headphones), want to hardwire your connection or micro SD Storage, you probably don't need the Ultra...

you can compare the difference between their models here: https://www.roku.com/products/compare
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
37,881
220
106
I saw reviews saying 'the Roku looks much better than the tv apps' and others saying the opposite, when I'd have expected no difference.
 

spacejamz

Lifer
Mar 31, 2003
10,062
411
126
I saw reviews saying 'the Roku looks much better than the tv apps' and others saying the opposite, when I'd have expected no difference.
using any streaming device (roku, firestick, apple tv, etc) should be better than using the TV apps....using most TV apps will feel sluggish compared to a roku or firestick....and updating/adding apps is typically easier on a streaming device...
 

DaaQ

Member
Dec 8, 2018
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Plus the 3rd gen Roku (not sure if 2nd gen and certainly not 1st) support 5Ghz WiFi connectivity.
The Roku has much better app support than most smart TVs. Under news apps alone there were 900+ last I looked at it.
 

mdram

Golden Member
Jan 2, 2014
1,506
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you may not need it now, but in a couple of years when they stop updating things on your tv, you will need something
 

ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
26,685
6,125
136
The ultra is a solid box. I picked one up for $50 during the sale to replace my roku 3. I get the ones with USB expansion, I have a ton of media that I put on a usb hdd and just play it like that. I got fed up with running a full time media server, and this way it's portable.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
37,881
220
106
I'm just still not clear on the benefit. Maybe it would run apps faster, though they seem fine now?
 

ch33zw1z

Lifer
Nov 4, 2004
26,685
6,125
136
I'm just still not clear on the benefit. Maybe it would run apps faster, though they seem fine now?
If your happy with your Sony, dont sweat it. I definitely prefer to have a separate device, but built in works for others.

I also picked up a fire stick about a year ago. It's so slow compared to the Roku 3 or the newer ultra, I hate the thing sometimes lol
 
Feb 4, 2009
23,627
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If your happy with your Sony, dont sweat it. I definitely prefer to have a separate device, but built in works for others.

I also picked up a fire stick about a year ago. It's so slow compared to the Roku 3 or the newer ultra, I hate the thing sometimes lol
Pretty much me right there.
Current TVs do not have apps however I have noticed my Parents TV does load the apps kind of slow and they just got hit with the end of support thing. Netflix app no longer functions and Samsung no longer supports the TVs app.
I picked them up the $50 Roku ultra. Admittedly at some point Roku will stop supporting older units I just feel they will support them longer because that is what their business is about. I’m okay having to buy a new Roku when the first one is 8+ years old and the replacement cost will be $30-60. Replacing a whole TV because a dumb app doesn’t work is beyond irritating.

I had the same experience you had with a fire stick, slow to load, not as good WiFi caused buffering and the thing got close to alarmingly hot. Roku has an amazon prime app and it works fine.
 
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Micrornd

Senior member
Mar 2, 2013
919
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I'm just still not clear on the benefit. Maybe it would run apps faster, though they seem fine now?
We picked up a Roku Ultra on sale. Our Samsung is "smart" and has many apps. But was prone to buffering and slow responses which we attributed to being a 2.4 only device.
The Ultra sits under the Samsung (it has short legs) but since the Ultra is dual band (2.4/5) we connected on 5 and no buffering, no hesitations. And it has a huge amount more apps/channel providers available.
The wife loves the voice command/search on the Ultra also, so we got Rokus (on sale) for the other (dumb) TVs.
The Roku Premiere Plus also has the voice control but deletes the headphone jack and 2 assignable buttons, but keeps the on/off, mute, and volume control buttons.
Finally cut the cord on cable tv.
 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
4,655
126
106
We picked up a Roku Ultra on sale. Our Samsung is "smart" and has many apps. But was prone to buffering and slow responses which we attributed to being a 2.4 only device.
The Ultra sits under the Samsung (it has short legs) but since the Ultra is dual band (2.4/5) we connected on 5 and no buffering, no hesitations. And it has a huge amount more apps/channel providers available.
The wife loves the voice command/search on the Ultra also, so we got Rokus (on sale) for the other (dumb) TVs.
The Roku Premiere Plus also has the voice control but deletes the headphone jack and 2 assignable buttons, but keeps the on/off, mute, and volume control buttons.
Finally cut the cord on cable tv.
all my tv's have 8 core android boxes with 3gb ddr4 and 2+tb usb drives. i cant stand the slow speed of roku or firesticks, hit the button wait for the thing to respond. (also i wouldnt trust anything with voice controls but hey i guess im more paranoid then the regular person)
 
Feb 4, 2009
23,627
4,927
136
all my tv's have 8 core android boxes with 3gb ddr4 and 2+tb usb drives. i cant stand the slow speed of roku or firesticks, hit the button wait for the thing to respond. (also i wouldnt trust anything with voice controls but hey i guess im more paranoid then the regular person)
Need to hold a button to activate the voice, otherwiseI agree with voice stuff
Older Roku “sticks” are significantly less powerful
 
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