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The 4 Reasons to Avoid a Roku Ultra At All Costs

Roku-Ultra

The 4 Reasons to Avoid a Roku Ultra At All Costs

At first glance, the Roku Ultra seems like a good option for a convenient and affordable way to stream your favorite movies, TV shows, and other media content. It’s a top priority in most homes today. We all value that time to relax and watch our favorite shows, whether alone or with friends and family. 

However, the Roku Ultra may not be what you’re looking for. Let’s explore some of the pros and cons you should know before deciding to purchase a Roku Ultra.

What is the Roku Ultra?

The Roku Ultra is a streaming player that connects to Wi-Fi and hooks directly into your TV with an HDMI cable, instantly connecting you to your favorite channels and apps. Most of these channels come with a subscription fee to access them, although there are some free apps such as PBS and PBSkids.  

It also allows you to stream music or podcasts from your TV. Its Bluetooth capability gives you the option for privacy, too. The remote includes hands-free controls and a convenient lost remote finder.     

The Roku Ultra: A Brief History

Roku launched its first streaming device in 2008 and it was an instant hit. In just a few short years, Roku sold 10 million of its streaming players worldwide. The founders of Roku had recognized there was a demand for viewers to watch their favorite shows without having to hit record or wait for that Netflix rental to come in the mail.

Roku solved a mainstream consumer problem by combining streaming technology with companies like Netflix and Hulu. The team at Roku continued to improve on their product and eventually came out with the Roku Ultra. 

We’ve come a long way since then, and many more streaming technologies have been developed and have hit the market over the years.  

Highlights of the Roku Ultra

The Roku Ultra can plug directly into your hardwired internet through an Ethernet cable. This is a decent option if your wireless internet is spotty and it could mean uninterrupted streaming from multiple devices.  

The addition of Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos can create a cinematic experience if your TV and sound system or the platform you’re streaming from can support those features.  

The voice control remote and remote finder features are advantageous, especially if you habitually misplace the remote. It can also link to a smart speaker such as Alexa or Google Assistant.  

Roku ultra app loading screen.
Roku Ultra offers a streaming service that you attach to your existing TV.

Reasons to Avoid a Roku Ultra

We don’t want you to purchase a streaming device you won’t like, and we want you to go into this with your eyes wide open. Let’s go over some of the most significant disadvantages of owning a Roku Ultra. 

Smart TVs Are Everywhere

Why not purchase a smart TV instead? If you need a new TV, chances are you’ll buy a smart TV. The popularity of smart TVs has created many options, with several affordable choices that make more sense than purchasing a new TV as well as a separate streaming device.  

Smart TVs offer the same features in one handy package, keeping all of your entertainment needs in one place.

You Likely Don’t Need it

Do you really need another streaming device? Probably not. Independent streaming devices are quickly becoming irrelevant, not unlike DVD and CD players. Most people already have a smart TV, gaming system, or some other streaming device, rendering the Roku Ultra an unnecessary expense. 

High Cost

Not surprisingly, the Roku Ultra costs quite a bit more than its predecessor. You can pick up one of these streaming devices for about $100. In contrast, the other Roku streaming devices run between $30 and $70, depending on the features they include. The extra cost you’re paying is the ability to plug right into the hardwired internet with an Ethernet jack cord with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.  

These features can enhance the overall movie-watching experience if you have the right speakers and are streaming from a platform that supports those upgrades. 

If you don’t have those things, you’ll want to upgrade to take full advantage of those features, which will be an additional cost. It’s probably easier to stick with a smart TV.   

Out-of-Date Home Screen Menu

The Roku Ultra’s screen menu is a little antiquated compared to its competition. Navigating through the text menu column can be tricky when looking for the app you want. The left side of the screen opens up the text menu column, and you have to scroll through levels while searching through the grid of apps on the rest of the screen. 

Roku ultra app highlighted on iPhone screen.
You can download the Roku app to control the Roku Ultra from your phone.

Alternatives to the Roku Ultra

If you’re in the market for a new streaming device and you’ve decided the Roku Ultra isn’t for you, there are many other options. We have a few alternatives for you to consider right below!

VIZIO 40-inch D-Series Smart TV 

Best Picture Quality
VIZIO 40-inch D-Series
$169.99
  • 1080p high definition
  • Full Array LED backlight
  • IQ Picture Processor
  • V-Gaming Engine
  • SmartCast (intuitive navigation)
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/21/2024 10:14 am GMT

The VIZIO 40-inch D-Series Smart TV is a budget-friendly smart TV that costs only a little more than the Roku Ultra and has all the same features.

You won’t be disappointed with this purchase if you want streaming capabilities at a low price.  

  • 1080p full HD resolution 
  • Full-array LED backlight
  • IQ picture processor 
  • V-gaming engine optimizes screen for gamers 
  • SmartCast that offers intuitive app selection

The VIZIO 40-inch D-Series Smart TV can be found on Amazon.

If you have a larger budget and are in the market for upgrading your TV, the LG G2 65-inch evo Smart TV is a great way to go.

The brilliant colors and crisp, clear sound stand out among its many other convenient smart features. You’ll get streaming access and so much more with this purchase. 

  • 8 million self-lit OLED pixels 
  • Hangs flat on your wall like art
  • Exclusive LG α9 Gen 5 AI Processor 4K that adjusts with what’s on the screen
  • Built-in access to LG channels, Netflix, Apple TV Plus, Prime Video, and Disney+

Check out the LG G2 65-inch evo Smart TV on Amazon.

INSIGNIA 32-inch Class F20 Series Fire TV

Great Connectivity Options
INSIGNIA 32-inch Class F20 Series Smart HD 720p Fire TV
$179.00
  • 32-inch HD 720p display
  • Apple AirPlay
  • Compatible Kwalicable high-speed 6 ft. HDMI cable
  • Microfiber cleaning cloth included
  • Alexa compatible
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/21/2024 05:25 am GMT

The INSIGNIA 32-inch Class F20 Smart TV has all the same features as the Roku Ultra with a cheaper price tag.

It’s hard to believe that you can access all of the Roku Ultra’s streaming capabilities plus a TV for less than just the cost of the streaming device. Purchasing a TV like the INSIGNIA Fire TV just makes sense — it’s like an upgrade of the Amazon Fire Stick.

  • 720p high-resolution screen 
  • Alexa voice control 
  • Fire TV experience with more than 1 million streaming movies and TV episodes
  • Supports Apple AirPlay
  • Supports HDMI ARC

You can find the INSIGNIA 32-inch Class F20 Smart TV on Amazon.

Wrapping Up

The Roku Ultra is indeed cheaper than its competitors for what it offers. It does have some pretty nice features like a voice control remote, remote finder, Ethernet capability, and Dolby Vision. It could be a smart purchase if you don’t have any of these features at home on another device. 

However, many consumers already have these functions and more through smart TVs and other streaming devices. For most, it’s an unnecessary expense that can lead to binge-watching. Ultimately, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons before purchasing and take a good look at the existing streaming capabilities and internet setup you have at home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Roku Ultra worth getting?

Because there are many other worthwhile options for streaming, most people would say it’s not worth getting. Investing your money in a smart TV or checking to see if you already have these streaming features on a cable service or other device at home would be better.

What is the difference between Roku and Roku Ultra?

Roku is the base model for streaming, and you can pick it up affordably if you really need one. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but it can get the job done. The Roku Ultra has a few extra features that make it cost extra. It has a voice control remote, remote finder, Ethernet connection, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos.

What does a Roku Ultra do?

The Roku Ultra is a streaming device that plugs into your TV through an HDMI cable and connects to the internet, allowing you to stream your favorite shows. The main difference that sets the Roku Ultra apart from its competition and previous models is that it has an Ethernet connection that can connect directly to a router.

Is a Roku Ultra better than a smart TV?

Everyone has different opinions, but we would say no, it’s not better than a smart TV unless you’re trying to save money and already have a TV without streaming capabilities. Otherwise, a smart TV would be a better investment, as you get the same features and more in one product. It would not be practical to purchase a Roku Ultra and a TV, as most new TVs come equipped with streaming devices.

What are the downsides of Roku?

Most people no longer need a separate Roku streaming device. Roku once solved a problem and filled a previously unmet demand. Since the first release of the Roku streaming device in 2008, the market has been saturated with countless options for nearly every budget and lifestyle. It is now an extra expense that very few people need or want. It can also lead to binge-watching, which can affect your mental health.

Amber Brubaker, Author for History-Computer

Read articles by Amber Brubaker

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Read 59 comments

  • Chris Jones
    says:

    You obviously have not used the Roku next to most smart tvs.
    It’s far superior in every way, for example my LG C1 at retail was $3500 and you can’t add ESPN/+ Roku can add almost any providers apps along with 3rd part apps.
    Also some apps on smart TVs are not full featured such as Netflix or Disney plus not the same audio formats such as Atmos and DTSX.
    While the menu might seems antiquated to you it’s far more simple and easy for none tech savvy people to use.

    Reply

    • Max B
      says:

      AMEN! I have 7 tv’s. Some of them are smart but don’t provide all the features of an Ultra plus we like the uniformity of having our set-top boxes be all the same. Then we don’t have to hit different buttons on different remotes to get what we want plus we have all of them programmed the same for ease of use.

      Reply

    • JonP
      says:

      I’ll second that. I also have several TVs of various makes and models and a Roku Ultra on each.
      Unified, simlified remote control makes it easy for everyone to use.
      I agree with all of the benefits of the Roku Ultra, with one more that I haven’t seen anyone go after yet. SPEED
      Sticks and lower end models do not have the processing speed. If you are running a fast internet connection or pulling data from a local media server you WILL see a speed difference and that is where the Ultra shines.
      Most TV’s interfaces are far too slow to quickly browse through large amounts of content.

      Reply

    • Steve
      says:

      Agree. Roku is the best!

      Reply

    • spellchecker
      says:

      Non tech, not none rech.

      Reply

    • Jes
      says:

      What he said! I have 3 Ultras and love them all

      Reply

  • Bob Forapples
    says:

    LG Smart TV requires using the LG app store which lacks items available elsewhere.

    Reply

  • Deb Perron
    says:

    I have a Roku Ultra & won’t trade it at all even though I have a smart tv. I have had it for 5yrs and love it. I also have a Roku tv too

    Reply

    • Steve
      says:

      Agree.

      Reply

  • Randy
    says:

    This article lacks awareness of one of the primary reasons to buy Roku. Nearly all Smart TV’s have at least one app they dont support. I would say exacly the opposite. Put Roku on all your tvs, smart or not, so you have a common experience across them all. If the TV manufactures, much like auto, would all have the same underlying media tech stack or instead software framework, we would all be better off. Same reason using Waze is far better than gps in car media.

    Reply

  • Jared
    says:

    The alternatives presented are much worse user experience than a Roku Ultra. I am going the writer did not actually do a test comparison between the products.

    First of all the smart TV software built into TVs are typically poor. I’ve used many different kinds. On most of our TVs we prefer the stand alone streaming device for many reasons.
    1) built-in software on TVs do not have all the apps you may want.
    2) The app support is not great. Sometimes it will show it could be Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos but both the TV and app needs to support it.
    3) Limited storage
    4) limited memory/RAM which combined with #3 makes the TV software slow and buggy. Stand alone streaming devices are much quicker to respond.
    5) Roku works with home automation services easily like Control4, Creston, Elan, etc. Many smart TVs do not or you have to get a higher end TV.
    6) If you go from Roku to receiver or soundbar you don’t have to use eARC. eARC is buggy and your TV and receiver/sound bar plus the cables all need to support eARC if one does not you will either get ARC or stereo sound.
    7) It is nice to have different software choices in case there’s a dispute. I have several Google TV and Roku devices.
    8) Smart TV software is usually slow when apps are added. For example it took months before HBO Max was added to LG WebOS when it was new.

    Then the smart TVs you chose are among the worst smart TV software and not all of them are even 4K. At least the Roku Ultra is 4K and more future proof. Vizio and LG software is not great and they don’t have as many apps as Google TV or Roku.
    I have 2 LG TVs with the newer WebOS but prefer Roku Ultra (I do like the LG magic remote).

    At least have some Google TV options which is the best interface. Vizio’s software is commonly known for being one of the worst.

    Reply

    • Josh
      says:

      So the alternative is to buy a new TV, you’re kidding me, right? Would have thought you would recommend another streaming device, apparently you have not used an Ultra. Processing power, USB port can play movies through external Hard Drive less than 4TB.

      Reply

    • Victor Bolak
      says:

      This is one of the most uninformed review articles I have ever read. It feels like the author has a “bone to pick” with Roku and is going anything possible to denigrate the brand. Very transparent.

      Reply

      • Brittany Correa
        says:

        That’s what I was thinking! Whomever is responsible for this article clearly has it in for this device.

        Reply

        • spellchecker
          says:

          Whoever, not whomever.

          Reply

    • Ahmad
      says:

      Exactly. That article was totally so obviously wrong, it is laughable. Was this supposed to be a comedy ? I agree with everything you said. They should go check nightmare reviews for LG interface and boot time Amazon is full of it. So in Best Buy review

      Reply

  • Stephen Phelan
    says:

    It is true that many tvs come with smart capabilities these days, and long past are the inferior smart tv capabilities gone to the junk heap of time. I will say that if I have a fire tv, I’d still buy a roku to use instead. I’d also say that a nvdia player allows you to install any android app you want without these limitations. I will admit, that a roku tv is almost exactly the same as a roku ultra, with only the limitation of private listening via the remote not available and instead uses the roku app, which is glitchy when used in conjunction with the remote (it wants you to use one or the other app or remote not both).

    Reply

  • Milo
    says:

    Another issues with ulrea is the remote constantly flashing on screen, charging it for ever and using it 10 minutes and is halfway discharged. Press to scroll and it wont stop going.

    Reply

  • Steve
    says:

    Completely disagree with premise of the review. Smart TVs are too static and hopefully the beauty of the picture and sound will outlast the software. Rokus are much more flexible if you want more than the big Couple apps and rokus are 100% more likely to get updated versions of all apps as one of the major streaming devices. Wired headphone roku remotes are nice too.

    Reply

  • Patti DAMM
    says:

    I disagree! I love our rokus! And the amount of FREE channels is amazing. Especially Christian ones! Love Roku!

    Reply

  • David Wilkins
    says:

    Use mine with my projector it’s excellent for streaming throughout my av amplifier would actually recommend, also it has access to many streaming channel which are not always available on smart TV’S

    Reply

  • Ahmad
    says:

    Okay Roku hater. It’s obvious you have bias. Otherwise no one will say don’t buy Roku Ulra HD 4k streaming and buy this 720 p 1980 technology instead. Or an LG OLED for 3500 You should name this article biased advertisement. No an information article Have you seen latest TCL TVs, mini LED etc ? Uses the same Roku platform and it is not outdated screen. It is the easiest to use I guess no one will trust what you say anymore

    Reply

  • Al R
    says:

    Ask yourself how long tour smart TV mfgr will keep updating the firmware? Not more than a handful of years. Once that stops your smart TV may not get updates the app requires if a streaming service makes an update. A dedicated device stands a much better chance of being updated after the TV is forgotten about by the mfgr.

    Reply

  • Teresa
    says:

    Anyone who has real experience with streaming devices knows that an external box like a Roku is always way faster than what is inside a TV set. The Roku Ultra is worth the extra money over the other versions of the Roku. Have you ever tried using one of the Roku streaming sticks? They get so hot that I would be scared to leave one plugged in a TV when I’m not around. I have experience with all of them including Smart TVs. The Roku Ultra is the best buy of all of the Roku’s. The Roku Ultra’s on screen menu is so much more user-friendly than any other brand of streaming device that is why the Roku is the most popular streaming device of them all. I could not disagree with your article more.

    Reply

    • Brittany Correa
      says:

      That picture is outdated, anyway. The latest Roku Ultra remote model has buttons for Disney+, Paramount Plus, Apple TV and Netflix.

      Reply

    • Lowell
      says:

      With some TV’s like the Sony Bravia’s they come with Google TV. These TVs are getting updated as soon as there are new updates released by Google. Also Roku TV’s which I also have in other parts of the house are being updated when Roku releases their updates

      Reply

  • Karen W Byrd
    says:

    You are so full of nonsense! I “cut the cord” several years ago and my Roku has literally thousands of free tv and movie watching options hi

    Reply

  • Steve
    says:

    Smart TV’s have a very limited capability of updating apps so you end up with outdated apps in a year or 2.

    Reply

  • Harryhendo
    says:

    What a stupid article. Throw out your TV and buy a new one just to get streaming content? All the TVs listed are much more expensive than a Roku. Yes, the menu on the Roku needs help, but have you seen the awful menus on “smart” TVs?

    Reply

  • TiredTeck
    says:

    Purchasing a so called “Smart TV” is the dumbest thing you could do for streaming. The apps age out and are not upgradable after a while. A Roku is regularly updated for apps and its operating system. I have two smart TV that I purchased after my Roku. They can no longer be updated and are basically dumb monitors. So yeah go buy a smart TV with its state of the art interface. In 2 years you will need to buy another one due to the apps not working. Bottom line. Smart TV are DUMB.

    Reply

    • Evelyn Richardson
      says:

      I agree

      Reply

  • John Miller
    says:

    I have a 65″ Samsung Smart TV that has the Samsung TV Plus, 300 approximate stations. BUT, I’d NEVER give up my Roku Ultra. I use my Roku Ultra every night.

    Reply

  • Onewaypockets
    says:

    An exceptional poor understanding of the product

    Reply

  • Brittany Correa
    says:

    The Roku Ultra was on sale for a really long time, starting around last Christmas. What consumers are paying for is a device that can stream material faster than a lot of stuff on the market, has a larger Marketplace and greater streaming provider versatility than other devices on the market, and comes with the opportunity for great deals from marketing partners. I got six months of Dashpass for free after I got my Roku Ultra. I would have gotten a smart TV, but the sector seems to have a real problem with making the concept accessible. When you’re space-restricted, it’s kind of out of the question, since nobody in the industry seems willing to make a smart television smaller in size than 24 inches. Before you criticize people for not buying a smart TV, take the issue of availability and design up with manufacturers. It’s not like Roku TVs are tied to the most popular television brands anyway. God knows you can’t expect all the best in streaming experience to come to you at market, anyway. Do you realize how much prices of streaming services have gone up because streaming service providers have been pork-barreling their service offerings?

    Reply

  • Brittany Correa
    says:

    The newest Roku Ultra models can also communicate with Apple AirPlay, but don’t bother trying that if you don’t have an Apple device.

    Reply

  • Gary Hatch
    says:

    This is a great article… if your purpose is to sell new TVs.

    However the competition for the Ultra is not most “Smart TVs” with the exception of Roku TVs (not the brand but the operating system).
    The competition is Apple TV set top boxes and the higher end Android/Amazon units. Here the Ultra, antiquated, I prefer proven, interface wins hands down. Unless you are fully invested in the Apple ecosystem, the Roku Ultra is the hands down winner. If a premium product isn’t the goal the alternative Express and Stick units are less expensive while still maintaining the best part of Roku…
    The user interface. The remote on the Ultra is also worth a note of praise, built in headphone jack and extra assignable channel buttons are extremely useful and well implemented.

    Reply

  • AndyMcJ
    says:

    I totally disagree with this article. I can tell you that having a streaming device if any type is way better than using the built-in streaming services that TV’s offer.
    The problem with built-in TV streaming is that the TV manufacturer wants you to upgrade, because that is how they make money. So first of all the cheapest TV’s are underpowered and cannot stream 4K content without buffering, the more expensive TV’s have better hardware, so you have to pay a lot more for a TV to get decent hardware that will playback 4k.
    Normally TV manufacturer’s stop updating the apps after a couple of years, so you are stuck with older apps that become unable to connect or outdated. Nobody can update these apps only the Manufacturer, and they just tell you to buy a new modern TV to get the latest apps (Of course).
    Then you have the issue of something going wrong with the Apps, the TV manufacturer blames the streaming app company and the streaming app company blames the manufacturer. Changing out the TV to solve these issues is costly, but changing a streaming device that plugs into the TV is cheap ($20-$100).
    I have gone through 3 TV’s that have stopped updating apps or removed apps from streaming companies that they fall out with. But my Roku Ultra has been updated regularly and has all the apps I need and more and has been working for the last 6 years without issues and is still going strong. All my other household TV’s have 4K Roku Express USB Wireless dongles. We have the same interface everywhere and when you change TV like I just did, no need to put usernames and passwords back in every time, just plug in the Roku and away you go. TV manufacturer’s should now just produce large monitors (dumb TV’s) and then we can choose whatever type of streaming setup box we like, without having to pay for features we don’t use and to lessen the chance of failures.

    Reply

  • Dan G
    says:

    I have several newer cheaper Roku’s and one of the very earliest most expensive ones. They all work well and are regularly updated. I miss some beta channels I used to have that were removed. My smart tvs are not updated. They are not supported by the manufacturers.

    Reply

  • Hugh
    says:

    I only stream my Sony tvs remote has to many buttons confusing

    Reply

  • Larry
    says:

    What hasn’t been mentioned is the fact that Smart TV’S aren’t upgradeable as new features come out. Add on Rokus, etc., do come out with more memory and faster processors. In other words a Smart TV is probably going to be outdated in a few years whereas an add on internet streamer can be upgraded every few years at a lower cost.

    Reply

    • madmax2069
      says:

      Exactly, the hardware in a Smart TV (Even Roku TVs and Android TVs) is not upgradeable and over time it’ll lose support because it’s hardware isn’t as capable as the newer streaming boxes are (older streaming hardware isn’t as fast or supports the features newer streaming hardware does). You can easily switch out a streaming box for a newer faster unit when the old unit is no longer supported (or becomes so slow you want to pull your hair out), you can’t do the same with a smart TV unless you feel like replacing the TV itself every time the streaming hardware inside the TV becomes outdated and or no longer supported. This article is all bunk.

      With each software update the smart TVs get more slow and sluggish to respond to the point of it being a lesson in frustration.

      One thing I didn’t see mentioned in the article is that the Roku ultra also has a USB port which you can attach a USB storage device up to and load it down with videos/movies, music, pictures and such you can play through the Roku Ultra using Roku media player (most Roku TVs support this, and some Smart TVs support this).

      Reply

  • David Morarity
    says:

    So this “Add” is trying to push Smart TVs over streaming devices. Reading the responses, they have not fooled anyone that has used the ROKU devices. One thing i did not see mentioned is the life expectancys of any SMART TV or Streaming device. I been using ROKUs since they have started aling with SMART phones, SMART DVD players and so on. They average about 6 to 8 years of support on the OS platform, before they stop supporting upgrades. I actually want TV Monitors instead of SMART TVs. I keep my TVs for long time and i would rather replace a streaming device for $70 to $100 every 8 years than a $1200 to $3500 SMART TV.

    Reply

  • K W M
    says:

    I’m clicked to read this article in the hope of gaining some insightful reasons why I shouldn’t buy a 5th Roku Ultra. I was sorely disappointed, and felt the author clearly hadn’t done enough research nor spent enough time with a Roku Ultra.

    Please perform the basic due diligence by spending proper time with the Roku Ultra device and update your findings. The alternatives suggested are, at best, laughable. Recommending a new TV (upwards of thousands of dollars) rather than $100 (especially in this tough economy) clear shows how out of touch the author is.

    This post is not meant to be mean & nasty to the author. I just wish the author was better informed and done the basic research/due diligence before publishing this article.

    Reply

  • JohnM
    says:

    Completely uneducated article. I’ve been in the AV business for twenty years and I’ve seen how things progress. Almost every Roku ever made is still relevant and updated, whereas smart TV apps stop getting updates or functioning properly after just a few years. Why? Because the processing power and memory in a smart TV is shared with the functions of the TV itself, where a Roku is dedicated to streaming. The interface is “antiquated”, yes, which is excellent for those who are intimidated by streaming interfaces. There are better streamers out there, like Nvidia shield, but Roku is a great reliable product

    Reply

  • Ezee Eee
    says:

    I agree with the other posters. The built-in streaming services on my samsung, LG, and Vizio televisions are crappy. They are buggy and slow and don’t offer all the channels that Roku does… Apple TV may be a more apt comparison but the Apple TV is far far more expensive and I don’t feel is worth the extra cost.

    Reply

  • Larry Thrasher
    says:

    I have 8 TVs 1 with Roku Ultra, Sharp with Smart, (LC-48LE653U) not sure of OS or brand of sharps smart, Also Firestick, Chromecast II, ChromecastTV, as well a Romu Premium. I like the Ultra best. Hardwire beats wifi hands down especially with 1G inet and 25+ devices on WiFi. I saw a way to jailbreak them but havent tried. It’s great stock. I use Prime and a 2nd that I swap depending on offerings. We also have PC computer. Hooked to the 6 Larger Ones. The ChromecastTV has my favorite remote. (If it just wasn’t white, black or grey would have been nice.

    Reply

  • Mike
    says:

    Every option you showed is more expensive than the Roku ultra and the tvs shown don’t produce Dolby vision.

    Reply

  • Matthew B
    says:

    I was coming to the comments to express my disagreement with the article and claim how uninformed and poorly researched it is… but, it seems the readers before me have made all those points quite well. So, I’ll just say, “I agree with most of these other commenters. I love my Roku devices including the Roku Ultimate in my living room.”

    Reply

  • Ratcat
    says:

    Fact-free article designed to sell the linked smart TVs. Fact is Roku does a much better job at updating its operating software than many smart TVs. Have a friend with a pricey smart TV set up (about 5 years old) increasingly unable to run newer streaming apps. Solution? Plug a Roku into an HDMI port and he’s back in business.

    Reply

  • Dsw
    says:

    Buy a device for 50-100 or a new TV for a 1000 or 2. Not a smart choice.

    Reply

  • Gunther
    says:

    Most smart TV apps will stop being updated long before a Roku version of the same app. Thus, your so-called “smart” TV will be no better than a “dumb” after a certain amount of time.

    Reply

  • Luis G
    says:

    This is one of the worst half-baked reviews I have read in my life. Amber is trying to say… why buy Roku Ultra when the TV has app capabilities and you can use directly on TV? Granted… by now, everyone should have a “Smart TV and here a some you can get… duh!”.
    Try to get the ESPN app on LG (maybe thay have finally added it but when an app is not there, you will feel as a child of a lesser god, similar to what it feels wuth Amazon Fire tablets that will not have the full selection of apps you could download on Google Play.
    If a Roku Ultra, or any other Roku has no place, nor do Apple TV o Firesticks or any other streaming device have, for that matter. You will be subject to the TV brand app selection.
    Also, I have a samsung TV, an LG and a TCL (Roku) and I so much prefer the menu/app standardization a less clutter from Roku than the rest.
    The TV apps are just there, just in case, but I rely on Roku for apps.
    My family, I no longer need to explain what each TV remote from each TV brand does.
    In fact, like Roku’s simple interface.
    In the end what matters is the final app.
    Each TV brand and even generations within a brand have different menus, smaller memory for adding apps, software updates stop after a few years, etc. I can rely on Roku’s software updates, app updates and my TV is just a monitor for that matter.
    Then TV come with clutter apps you can’t remove, some you can’t get, different menus, their own advertising, user tracking, etc.

    Roku is not some Apple TV or Fire Stick preventing some rival app. I like the fact they have remained agnostic.
    I feel what others are posting here about how disconnected this review is with reality. This can be seen with the experience others have had and why Roku Ultra, other Roku or other streaming devices bring to the table. There is a space for them compared to the TV’s own “smartness”.
    There is a reason each TV brand wants to have its own walled garden and I really do not want to fall for that.

    Reply

  • Roku User vic
    says:

    Biased opinion. Roku has almost 1,000 free channels, Pluto TV has 350 channels. Had a Visio that was no longer updated and the few smart channels no longer worked. Roku Ultra has a USB port that you can connect to a hard drive with all your digital copy movies and have your own Netflix. There is a free Roku app to view that content too. The Roku channel is free and has more content than many of the subscription services. Roku Ultra is faster to navigate and you get to select from thousands of channels not a few hundred. There is no better value out there.

    Reply

  • Chris
    says:

    TV money should be spent on the panel, not streaming services. Most TV’s equiped with smart capabilities have limited resources dedicated to streaming which can lead to poor performance. TVs do the display, streaming devices do the streaming.

    Reply

  • Dana
    says:

    Very shallow.
    1. For number 1, a Roku ultra which is $70 currently is a lot cheaper than a new TV.
    2. For number 2, my smart TV is 2 years old and after updates has gotten sluggish and doesn’t support the latest codecs for high quality video and sound
    3. For number 3, again.. $70 vs new TV? And you can’t buy a TV under $500 that is as snappy as the Roku ultra.
    4. Outdated UI? You mean a clean interface without ads in my face?? Google and FireTV are cluttered and slow me down from opening the 1 or 2 apps that I am there for.

    You Skip the actual flaws on the Roku ultra that matter, like the outdated 100 megabit ethernet port that can’t even stream video from a GoPro or other common digital cameras because those are 100 megabit or more. Or that the rechargable remote uses microUSB in 2023. But you got the claickbait win lol.

    Reply

  • Jaime Sanchez
    says:

    The author clearly has no actual technical foundation, thus clearly has no clue what she is talking about. A third party streaming device such as a roku ultra or apple tv will ALWAYS be superior to on board streaming offered by smart tv’s.

    Do not listen to this article.

    Reply

  • Daniel
    says:

    No. Roku is better than Smart TVs.
    I even have the new samsung Oled and it is slow. Roku ultra is faster by much and has better performance.

    This is the least researched article I have read regarding the topic.

    Reply

  • Dave
    says:

    Dumbest review I’ve seen. Sorry.

    Reply

  • Karen
    says:

    I do not want another smart TV, I use an antenna and the newer TVs will not bring in the local networks, they are often considered old before it gets out of the chinese box. I have a 20 yr old Sony that has never given me any problems, the picture is great and the sound are still working like new. In essence, I refuse to purchase more overpriced chinese crap that fills our landfills. within months

    Reply


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