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Roku Debuts New Version of the Roku Ultra Streaming Media Player

Posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 6:30 PM

Roku Ultra Media Player

Roku just released a new version of its flagship media player, the Roku Ultra, and the reviews are beginning to roll in. Is it worth the upgrade from a previous Roku unit, or if you have a different model, jumping ship to a new device? Read on!

What's Different?

According to the press release, the following features are new to the Roku Ultra for 2020:

  • Dolby Vision®
  • 50% more WiFi range

More Details and Purchase Information

Buy from Amazon.com

Why Buy the Ultra Instead of Another Roku Device?

Roku provides a device at many different price levels and feature sets. Fortunately, they provide a handy Comparison Tool on their website which should help you see which model has the features you want.

Comparing the $100 Roku Ultra to the $40 Roku Premiere, the primary differences include:

  • Dolby Vision HDR support
  • 802.11ac dual-band, MIMO wireless vs. 802.11 b/g/n single-band wireless
  • Ethernet networking (in addition to WiFi)
  • Upgraded voice-enabled remote with headphones for private listening
  • USB port for playback
  • Bluetooth support

Roku vs. Amazon Fire vs. Other Streaming Devices

Whether to buy a Roku device of any model over other streaming devices from other manufacturers (such as Amazon's Fire devices) largely comes down to the apps that are made available and how entrenched into one manufacturer's world you want to be.

One thing that got me to look at the Roku Premiere was the lack of VUDU support on the Amazon Fire Stick 4K. This is the issue with all of these companies; you are limited to the relationships that these manufacturers wish to make with the app providers. Even though VUDU is now owned by Fandango and the Amazon Fire Stick 4K has the FandangoNOW streaming service, they do not offer VUDU. Frustrating? Yes. Worth getting real worked up over? No. Perhaps if I was more into streaming (I like physical discs for their higher quality and reliability), it would bother me more, and I would then be willing to pay more for a device that "did it all" if such a device actually exists.

Until that time, however, we may all be consigned to having multiple such streaming devices connected to their home theaters/media systems. Whether a Roku Ultra should be part of that lineup is up to you and your individual needs.

Disclaimer: We did not have a new Roku Ultra to review, so we are only going on the press release issued by Roku, by what is published on their website, and by our own experiences with the Roku Premiere that we purchased earlier this year. If you purchase a product through the links in this article, we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!

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