Roku Ultra Review

Roku Home Screen

What is the Roku Ultra?

Roku Ultra is a top-of-the-line streaming device. Unlike other contemporary Roku devices that come in a stick-shaped design, the Ultra is a set-top box. Besides having a fast processor, it offers several advanced features unavailable on the less expensive models, such as remote finder and enhanced controls.

It also has accessories like premium JBL headphones to optimize your private viewing experience.

How much does the Roku Ultra cost?

At $99.99, the Roku Ultra is the most expensive of the Roku streaming devices. Prices may vary from store to store — although there’s typically not much difference between what the device costs at Best Buy, Kohl’s, and the official Roku website. 

Roku Ultra at a glance

 

Roku Ultra
Device style  Set-top
Size 4.9 x 4.9 x 0.85 inches
Voice remote  Yes
Voice assistant  Yes
Streaming quality 4K, HD, or HDR

 

Roku Ultra streaming services and apps

Besides a few free channels, the Roku Ultra gives you access to paid programming from the most popular streaming services. The device provides free access to CBS News, PBS Kids, and The Roku Channel, to name a few.

And you can use your subscription from a partner cable or satellite provider to watch authenticated channels or TV Everywhere without paying extra fees. With TV Everywhere, you can enjoy ABC, FOX NOW, HBO GO, HGTV, USA NOW, and more.

In addition, Roku Ultra lets you stream high-quality videos using leading streaming providers such as:

Apple TV+

At just $4.99/mo., an Apple TV+ subscription gives you up to 6 simultaneous streams. This is one of the highest limits among popular streaming services, which generally offer anywhere from 2 to 4 simultaneous streams. The service features exciting original programming such as Beastie Boys Story, Dickinson, The Banker, The Morning Show, Truth Be Told, See, and Snoopy in Space.

fuboTV

fuboTV lets you stream live sporting events in 4K. With plans starting from $54.99/mo., the service comes with an extensive selection of channels showcasing a wide variety of sports. It gives you access to AMC, beIN SPORTS, CNBC, MSG, MSNBC, NBC, Olympic Channel, and more. Depending on your plan, you can stream on up to 3 devices at the same time and get up to 500 hours of cloud DVR storage.

Hulu

Hulu is one of the most popular streaming services on the market due to its extensive collection of original programming and customization capabilities. The most basic Hulu plan costs $5.99/mo., and you have the option to customize your package with premium add-ons like Cinemax, HBO, Showtime, and Starz. Hulu gives subscribers access to 2 simultaneous streams, and you can upgrade to unlimited streams for $9.99/mo.

Netflix

With hit original productions and an impressive user interface, Netflix comes with plans starting at $8.99/mo. It’s also one of the few services that offer 4K HDR videos to stream with your Roku Ultra device. It’s a great option if high-quality video images are important to you. Based on your plan, you can stream on up to 4 devices.

Sling TV

Sling TV offers three plans: Sling Orange ($30/mo.), Sling Blue ($30/mo.), and Sling Orange + Blue ($45/mo.) Sling Orange and Blue offer different channels. Sling Orange + Blue is a combination of the two. All plans give you access to over 50,000 on-demand movies and shows. Sling Orange features 32 channels and Sling Blue, 47. You also get up to 10 hours of cloud DVR storage at no extra cost. And depending on your plan, you can watch from up to 4 devices simultaneously.

YouTube TV

With YouTube TV, you can enjoy more than 70 live TV channels — including ABC, AMC, CNN, ESPN, FOX, HGTV, and TNT — for $49.99/mo. You can share your account with up to six family members and watch simultaneously on up to 3 devices. The service provides unlimited cloud DVR storage, which lets you record your favorite programs and store them for up to 90 days.

Roku Ultra features

Compared to other Roku streaming devices, the Ultra works a bit faster as it comes with a quad-core processor and 802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless. It also features an Ethernet 10/100 port, so you can get the best connectivity possible for uninterrupted streaming. 

Audio and Visual

The Roku Ultra lets you stream compatible videos in 4K HDR, which is one of the best qualities available today. It also supports Dolby Atmos and DTS Digital Surround.

Storage

The Ultra, unlike other Roku streaming devices, features storage expansion capabilities. It has a microSD card slot in case you need extra storage space and a USB port for local playback.

Remote

But the enhanced Roku Ultra remote is the biggest highlight. It comes with a built-in remote finder, so you no longer have to look everywhere in case you misplace it. Just press the Finder switch on your Roku Ultra, and the remote will give you an audio signal. You can even choose from several pre-programmed audio clips to customize the signal.

Personalization

The Roku Ultra remote also has personal shortcut buttons that you can program based on your channel preferences. This makes it easy to switch to your favorite channels by pressing a single button. Like previous Roku models, this remote lets you use voice commands to control playback settings, find channels, and more.

The final cut

The Roku Ultra offers an upgrade from some of the less expensive Roku streamers and plenty of high-end features. But keep in mind that it still doesn’t come with Dolby Vision. If this isn’t a deal-breaker for you, the Roku Ultra might be a good choice. Before you decide to buy one, however, be sure to compare Roku prices from various retailers to get the best deal.

Don’t forget to check out the streaming services you can enjoy using the device. Hulu + Live TV may be a great choice for those seeking variety and live TV, since it lets you add premium channels like HBO, Showtime, and Starz to your package. But for affordable live TV streaming, Sling TV is a fantastic solution. Other streaming services with live TV to consider include fuboTV and YouTube TV. If you’re just looking for a way to watch on-demand content, take a look at Netflix and Hulu.

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