Tue. Mar 5th, 2024

Editor’s be aware, Nov. 1, 2023: Though it was launched again in 2021, the Roku Specific 4K Plus stays our Editors Selection decide for 4K streaming gadgets in 2023. Even two years on, the Roku Specific 4K Plus stays responsive working Roku’s newest software program, maintains its easy app-based menus and is a greater than succesful streamer that provides spectacular worth for the cash. As we talked about in our Streaming Stick 4K evaluation, the variations between the Specific 4K Plus and Stick 4K are minimal and since each are repeatedly on sale we suggest going with whichever of the 2 is cheaper. We give the Specific 4K Plus the slight edge primarily as a result of it typically is at a cheaper price.  Take a look at our Roku Streaming Stick 4K vs. Roku Specific 4K Plus comparability for extra particulars.

Our unique evaluation, from Could. 11, 2021, is as follows.


The Roku Specific 4K Plus units a excessive bar for options and worth, beating out different Rokus just like the $50 Streaming Stick 4K, as properly inexpensive streamers like Google’s $50 Chromecast with Google TV and Amazon’s $50 Fireplace TV Stick 4K. 

Watch this: Which Roku Is the Go-To? We Break It Down

03:43

Easy
Roku
interface? Verify. 4K HDR streaming? Verify. Wired Ethernet assist with an elective adapter? Yup. Cheaper value? At $40 in comparison with Roku’s personal Streaming Stick 4K’s $50 sticker worth, the Specific 4K Plus has that, too. After utilizing the machine for a couple of days, watching every thing from Netflix and Disney Plus to Apple TV Plus and 
YouTube TV
, I can say the Roku Specific 4K Plus deserves CNET’s Editors’ Selection award as one of the best streaming machine for the cash. 

9.5

Roku Specific 4K Plus

Rating Breakdown

Options 9Value 10Design 9Ecosystem 10Performance 9

$30 at Amazon Like
Tremendous easy, app-based menus

Cheaper than 4K HDR rivals

Quick and responsive

Ethernet assist (with third-party adapter)
Don’t love
No Dolby Imaginative and prescient assist

Roku’s voice assistant stays weaker than rivals from Amazon, Apple and Google.

A easy, acquainted design

All the pieces you want is included within the field. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

As with different current refreshes, corresponding to Roku’s 2020 Extremely or Apple’s new Apple TV 4K, the skin of the Specific 4K Plus will look awfully acquainted. It is barely bigger however retains the half-moon dongle design of the cheaper, HD-only Specific, and on the rear, there’s an HDMI output and a Micro-USB port for energy, in addition to a reset button. 

The entrance is shiny and nondescript, with only a single indicator gentle. The underside is the place you’ll be able to apply the included adhesive strip to connect the miniature field to the again or backside of your TV. As a result of the Specific 4K Plus ships with Roku’s “level wherever” voice distant, you’ll be able to disguise the field just about wherever close to your TV and it’ll nonetheless work — it would not require direct line-of-sight to manage the participant.

Sarah Tew/CNET

In my testing I had the Specific 4K Plus positioned behind a few-years-old Samsung 4K TV and encountered no points controlling it with the distant. I used to be additionally in a position to energy the Roku straight from my Samsung’s built-in USB port, no energy adapter required. Utilizing the machine with a 2019 TCL 6-Sequence Roku TV equally produced no points. Assuming you have got a reasonably current TV with a 5V USB port, the Roku ought to work nice hiding utilizing your TV’s energy.

Along with the tape, Roku contains Micro-USB and HDMI cables and AAA batteries for the distant, together with a wall adapter for energy in case it’s essential use that as a substitute. Retaining the Roku plugged into the wall for energy, versus your TV, can even save a couple of seconds of boot-up time.

Whereas it will’ve been good for Roku to lastly embrace USB-C, on this machine — which is supposed to be plugged into your tv and left alone — I do not thoughts using the getting old port. 

The distant has the identical easy format and design discovered on different Rokus, with TV quantity controls on the right-hand aspect. There isn’t any rechargeable battery or always-listening microphone (for that you will have to shell out one other $30 for the corporate’s Voice Distant Professional), however it’s a completely good controller that paired immediately with each the Specific 4K Plus and simply managed quantity, mute and energy on my TV. 

The one actual distinction I seen was a brand new shortcut key: this distant has the brand new Apple TV Plus button to associate with devoted keys for Netflix, Disney Plus and Hulu. 

Observe: An Specific 4K with out the “Plus” within the identify will likely be accessible for $35 at Walmart. The one distinction between this machine and that one is the Specific 4K Plus comes with this higher distant versus a easy, IR one which lacks voice and TV management. I would suggest spending the additional $5 to get the Specific 4K Plus. 

Stable 4K HDR streaming 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Working on Roku’s newest OS 10 software program, the interface is basically the identical as all its current gadgets, full with the identical shortcomings corresponding to the restrictions of its voice assistant in comparison with these of Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. 

That stated, all of the apps I attempted on the Specific 4K Plus appeared to open and cargo shortly and painlessly. I had no issues opening exhibits or motion pictures on Disney Plus, Netflix or Apple TV Plus, and playback of a baseball recreation on MLB.TV or a Champions League soccer match on YouTube TV each opened and loaded shortly. I seen it was additionally barely zippier opening apps in comparison with my Streaming Stick Plus. 

(I used to be in a position to get YouTube TV to reinstall from a backup of older Rokus regardless of the corporate’ ongoing carriage dispute with Google, which has additionally added a method to watch YouTube TV by means of the common YouTube app.)

I had to enter my TV’s settings to ensure my Samsung was set correctly to HDMI UHD Shade to allow 4K HDR. As soon as that was arrange, the Roku was in a position to benefit from the upper high quality streams. I had no such points organising 4K HDR on the TCL. 

I used to be equally impressed with how properly the Specific 4K Plus dealt with Apple AirPlay, which, as with all current Rokus, is out there on the machine. Streaming movies off of YouTube or mimicking my
iPhone’s
display labored nice, and I used to be even in a position to play video games solid from an iPhone through Apple Arcade or the Xbox Cloud Gaming iOS beta. 

The previous labored quite a bit higher than the latter, and whereas the Roku is not designed to play video games, it labored properly sufficient casting that I do surprise if apps for cloud-based gaming might be in Roku’s future. 

Additionally new on this Specific 4K Plus is the flexibility to attach Ethernet, a function that on its gamers has most not too long ago been restricted to its Extremely bins. As with different streaming gamers just like the Amazon Fireplace TV Stick 4K. I used a $12 cable from an organization known as UGreen. With this, I merely plugged within the cable to the Roku’s micro-USB port, linked the adapter’s USB energy to my TV’s USB port and plugged in an Ethernet cable.

The large distinction between this and the Extremely is that the Specific 4K Plus lacks Dolby Imaginative and prescient assist. Seeing as how rival $50 streamers corresponding to Google’s Chromecast with Google TV and Amazon’s Fireplace TV Stick 4K each assist Dolby Imaginative and prescient, it will have been nice to see Roku embrace it right here. However, we do not contemplate Dolby Imaginative and prescient vital, partly as a result of it is not a significant picture high quality improve over commonplace HDR.

Dolby Atmos audio is supported by the Specific Plus 4K on sure apps when you have the right sound system.

Roku Specific 4K Plus vs. Roku Streaming Stick 4K

The Specific 4K Plus and its distant, left, subsequent to the Streaming Stick 4K.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The most important query for these taking a look at Roku’s lineup might be which of those two gadgets you should purchase. Roku costs the Specific 4K Plus at $40, whereas the Streaming Stick 4K sells for $50. What does that $10 distinction get you? Not a complete lot. 

The principle distinction is that you simply get Dolby Imaginative and prescient on the Streaming Stick 4K, plus a sleeker stick design that’s good for wall-mounted TVs and long-range wi-fi. Dolby Imaginative and prescient assist is the largest promoting level right here, on condition that the Specific 4K Plus can simply tuck below or behind a TV. Roku additionally by no means quantifies its Wi-Fi enchancment and I’ve discovered that sign on the Specific 4K Plus works nice, and in contrast to the Streaming Stick Plus, this machine is suitable with Ethernet adapters for wired connections if wanted. 

So is Dolby Imaginative and prescient value the additional cash? For some folks, perhaps. But it surely’s a function that’s solely helpful for many who personal TVs that additionally assist Dolby Imaginative and prescient. In case you personal a Samsung TV, for instance, do not hassle — your TV would not assist it. And even on TVs that do assist Dolby Imaginative and prescient, its enchancment over commonplace HDR is normally minimal. 

My decide? Save the $10 and get the Specific 4K Plus. 

Roku Specific 4K Plus or Chromecast with Google TV? 

Google’s Chromecast with Google TV is the closest competitor to Roku’s gamers. We in contrast the most recent Chromecast with Roku’s Streaming Stick Plus in December, and whereas Google’s participant has glorious search and voice management, it was exhausting to beat Roku’s super-simple interface. 

Whereas it stays to be seen what sort of updates Google will give its revamped Google TV platform at its I/O developer convention

9.5

Roku Specific 4K Plus

Rating Breakdown

Options 9Value 10Design 9Ecosystem 10Performance 9

$30 at Amazon Like
Tremendous easy, app-based menus

Cheaper than 4K HDR rivals

Quick and responsive

Ethernet assist (with third-party adapter)
Don’t love
No Dolby Imaginative and prescient assist

Roku’s voice assistant stays weaker than rivals from Amazon, Apple and Google.
, for now, Roku stays the selection for most individuals, particularly when you think about the Specific 4K Plus is $10 cheaper than Google’s participant. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *