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ForkWNY
Level 9

YouTube Streaming at 4k on Roku 4 4400x

I have a Roku 4 4400x (with the optical audio output) from 2017. I've noticed something odd with YouTube...even though the Roku is set to 4K@60Hz (10-bit for HDR), and my 4K Sharp TV specifically states that the resolution from the Roku is 3840*2160p (60Hz), I've noticed that 4K videos on YouTube display the following when using the "Stats for Geeks" overlay...

Viewport: 1920x1080*2.00 (indicating there is upscaling going on)

Current/Optimal Res: 3840x2160 (video is streaming at 4K, but to a 1920x1080 viewport - doesn't make sense)

When streaming 4K YouTube content from a PS4/PS5 from YouTube (geek stats enabled) to the same TV, the Viewport always shows up as 3840x2160p, indicating that it's actually streaming in 4K. My internet connection is 1Gbps down/up, so bandwidth is certainly not an issue here.

My Roku software version is 9.4.0, build 4200. Display Type is set to 4K (10-bit) HDR at 60Hz, HDCP 2.2

Why would the Viewport be stuck at 1080 when the Roku is clearly outputting 4k @ 60Hz for YouTube? Doesn't make any sense when the Roku itself is registering at 3840x2160p @ 60Hz on the TV. Does the YouTube app on Roku simply not support streaming to a 4K Viewport? Just looking for clarification (this isn't a support-related question, just an observation). Thanks.

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3 Replies
atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: YouTube Streaming at 4k on Roku Ultra

The Roku 4 and Roku Ultra are two completely different players. The Roku 4 does not support HDR. It sounds like you have the Ultra 4640. 

YouTube uses adaptive streaming, and doesn't always reach full resolution immediately. Also, there's a resolution setting when the YT video is playing. Leaving it on Auto doesn't always give you the highest possible resolution. I've often started a video, and after noticing the lower resolution, I manually change the resolution as desired. 

Dan

Roku Community Streaming Expert

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ForkWNY
Level 9

Re: YouTube Streaming at 4k on Roku Ultra

The model is Roku 4400X, Roku 4 Ultra (from the product purchase receipt I have for it). 

I understand that YouTube ramps up resolution as the video plays, but in my case the "Stats for Geeks" overlay indicates the Viewport is 1920x1080*2.00, instead of 4K. That is not the case when streaming from a PS4 or PS5 to the exact same TV using the exact same HDMI cable and port on the TV. Viewport is always 4K, and so is the resolution of the video.

If the YouTube Viewport is 1920x1080*2.00, streaming at 4K is a pointless waste of bandwidth because the Viewport is the actual size of the display window. What also doesn't make sense is that my TV status indicates the display being 4K, not 1080. 

Search for a 4K UHD video in YouTube from your Roku, ensure you have the resolution set to 2160p (or higher), then open up the "Stats for geeks" to see your output. Let me know if your Viewport is 1920x1080*2.00 or 2160.

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atc98092
Community Streaming Expert

Re: YouTube Streaming at 4k on Roku Ultra

The 4400 is the Roku 4. It has never been called an Ultra. There's significant hardware differences with that player. Most important is that it will not provide HDR output. Yes, it will do 4K, but not HDR. I've had a 4400 in the past, but my granddaughter uses it now.

Yes, I see full 4K resolution on YouTube. I can't switch my TV at the moment (grandkids watching a movie) to state accurately what the Stats for Nerds shows. As I said, I've often needed to manually set YouTube to see it in 4K. 

Dan

Roku Community Streaming Expert

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."
If you appreciate my answer, maybe give me a Kudo.

I am not a Roku employee.
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