Roku: Everything to know about Roku in 4K

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Nov 2, 2020 — 5 min read

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  • Roku device users can watch channels, movies and TV shows in 4K video quality
  • Roku streaming devices and Roku smart TVs enable users to stream 4K video
  • Roku provides a range of affordable streaming devices for cord cutters
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Roku is a technology provider that creates streaming media players. Its devices plug into TVs, enabling users to watch various streaming services. It also provides its technology to smart TV manufacturers, which enable cord cutters to stream content directly on their TV sets. 

The highest picture quality currently available to watch on Roku devices is 4K. Content that’s considered 4K is so-called because it offers a four times greater pixel resolution than standard high-definition (HD) video. This 4K video features 2,160 x 3,840 pixel resolution, compared to the 1,080 x 1,920 pixel resolution of HD.

This added pixel resolution means the picture quality is four-times crisper and more precise than standard high-definition. As a result, it offers a more vivid viewing experience and a wider color spectrum, which sees dark shades appear darker and bright colors stand out against them. Images also look sharper and smoother, which makes movies, TV shows and video games appear more realistic.

Roku’s products range from entry-level streaming boxes to 4K-capable streaming sticks and a powerful media hub. Its basic, more affordable devices don’t support 4K, but it’s possible to get a Roku device that supports 4K at a good price point.

This article will explore Roku 4K options, explore does Roku have 4K and advise cord cutters how to watch 4K on Roku. For an overview of everything Roku has to offer, check out our Roku review

Roku 4K pricing

Roku’s 4K capable devices range in price between $39.99 and up to $179.99. The entry-level Roku 4K device is the Roku Premiere, which costs $39.99. At the other end of the scale are the Roku Ultra, which costs $119.99, and the Roku Smart Soundbar, which is available from $179.99. Roku TV sets also enable 4K viewing and start at $129.99.

User experience and navigation

Roku provides a range of easy to use devices that are simple for users to navigate and watch their favorite content on various streaming services. 

The Roku device opens up on a home screen that presents users with Home, Search, My Feed, Streaming Channels and Settings tabs. The Home tab presents a list of block images showing the apps and channels the user has downloaded. It’s also simple to find specific movies and TV shows and the streaming services they appear on through the Search tab. My Feed provides curated lists of movies and TV shows, while the Streaming Channels tab takes users into the Roku Channel Store, which shows all the apps available on Roku. The Settings tab enables users to make changes to their audio, network and payment settings, add new Roku devices and change the background wallpaper and theme of their device.

Content

Roku users access channels through the Roku Channel Store. The store is separated into categories such as Featured, Just Added and Recommended, which are based on users’ interests. It’s then also sorted into specific categories like Apps, Comedy, Education, Film & TV, Fitness, Food, Games, International, Kids & Family and News & Weather. 

Roku 4K channels

Channels and streaming services that support 4K content and are available through Roku devices on the Roku Channel Store include:

  • 4K Spotlight (free)
  • Amazon Prime Video ($12.99/mo.)
  • Disney Plus ($6.99/mo.)
  • FandangoNOW (rental and purchase fees)
  • fuboTV ($59.99/mo.)
  • Netflix’s Premium plan ($17.99/mo.)
  • UltraFlix (rental fees)
  • Vudu (rental and purchase fees)
  • YouTube (free)

Roku 4K movies

Roku’s streaming devices enable users to watch a wealth of great movies in 4K video quality on the various channels mentioned above. It’s not only new movies that are available in 4K, plenty of classic films can also be enjoyed in the highest video quality.

Movies available in 4K quality on Amazon Prime Video include Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, all of the James Bond franchise, Jerry Maguire, Logan Lucky, Manchester By The Sea, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Rambo: Last Blood, Spider-Man 3 and Thor.

Disney+ subscribers can also watch plenty of the streaming service’s movie collection in 4K on their Roku device. Popular movies available in 4K on Disney Plus include all of the Marvel franchise, every Star Wars film and all four of the Toy Story movies. 4K films on the service also include animated classics like Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, Moana, The Incredibles, Up and WALL-E.

Netflix has a huge collection of movies available in the highest video quality. Roku users can enjoy movies like Angel Has Fallen, Dolemite Is My Name, El Camino, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, The Da Vinci Code, The Mask of Zorro and The Two Popes in 4K on Netflix.

Roku 4K other features

To stream 4K content on a Roku device, users need to have a TV that supports the highest video quality. Users who have a 4K TV can connect it to their 4K capable Roku device. Roku’s technology also powers several 4K ready TVs, which enable users to stream their favorite movies and shows directly on the device with no need for a Roku device. 

Streaming content in 4K video quality also requires fast and consistent internet speeds. A 4K stream typically requires users to have a connection that exceeds 25 Mbps. 

Roku provides five streaming devices that are compatible with 4K video streaming, in addition to its smart TV range. The entry-level 4K streaming device is the Roku Premiere set-top box that connects to a 4K ready TV via an HDMI cable. It provides quick access to popular channels and streaming services for $39.99. The Roku Premiere+ also offers 4K content and comes with a voice-enabled control that pushes its price up to $49.99.

Roku also provides a 4K capable stick, the Roku Streaming Stick+. The device plugs directly into a 4K ready TV’s HDMI port and features advanced 802.11ac wireless connectivity. It costs $59.99.

Roku’s high-end streaming device is the Roku Ultra, which supports 4K streaming in addition to being a powerful media hub. The Roku Ultra costs $119.99. Another option is the Roku Smart Soundbar, which is a media hub and a high-quality speaker. The Bluetooth compatible device offers 4K support and costs $179.99.

Roku powered TVs use the same platform as its streaming devices, which enable users to watch channels in 4K directly on their TV set. Manufacturers that use Roku’s technology include Element, HiSense, Hitachi, Insignia, Sharp and TCL. Prices for Roku TVs begin at $129.99.

The bottom line

Roku offers a wide range of devices that enable users to watch their favorite streaming services, movies and TV shows. This includes five devices that enable Roku customers to watch content in 4K, the highest available video quality for streamers. They also offer good value for money, with Roku 4K streaming devices available from $49.99.

Roku 4K FAQs

Does Roku have 4K?

Yes, Roku devices enable users to stream movies and TV shows in 4K. Watching 4K content is reliant on having a 4K ready TV, a device that supports 4K video quality and content that is 4K ready.

It depends on which Roku device you have, but most Roku devices do support 4K. Roku’s 4K capable devices are the Roku Premiere, Roku Premiere+, Roku Smart Soundbar, Roku Streaming Stick+, Roku Ultra and Roku powered smart TVs.

To watch 4K content on Roku, users need to use a channel from the Roku Channel Store that supports the video quality. Roku 4K channels include Amazon Prime Video ($12.99/mo.), Disney Plus ($6.99), fuboTV ($59.99/mo.), Netflix Premium ($17.99/mo.) and YouTube (free). Several video rental channels are also available on Roku, such as FandangoNOW, UltraFlix and Vudu.

Roku reviews are generally positive, with reviewers positioning the company’s devices as some of the best for cord cutters to stream their favorite movies and TV shows. Reviews generally state that Roku streaming devices load quickly, offer good video quality and are good value for money.


By Rob Latham

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