Getting Started - Setup & How-to

Help getting started with Roku devices, including setup, connecting your device to your TV, linking a Roku device to your account at my.roku.com/link, adding channels, subscribing to services, and more.
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sivartk
Level 8

Using Roku 3 4200X in 4:3 mode

I have a Roku 3 4200x and a great Sony Trinitron TV that I'd like to use with it.  There are a couple of problems.

1. The TV only has composite and s-video inputs

2. The Roku only has HDMI output

3. You can't buy a Roku with analog outputs any longer.

I bought an HDMI --> Composite adapter but it literally only converts the signal to composite.  So when I turn on the Roku I can see the screen but it is a 16:9 image squeezed into a 4:3 screen.  Not ideal for watching TV.   In the Roku I can not find a way to set the output to 4:3 aspect ratio.  You can only adjust the resolution.  I'm assuming I'd have the same problem even with a 4:3 HDTV, too.

Any way to get this Roku to work on my 4:3 TV?  I can't buy a new Roku because they no longer sell the Roku with composite outputs (which I assume would work). 

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8 Replies
atc98092
Level 15

Re: Using Roku 3 4200X in 4:3 mode

Short answer, no. However, you can still buy a new Roku Express+ with composite output from Amazon for $36 (https://www.amazon.com/Roku-Express-Streaming-Player-Composite/dp/B01M2AJZ5P/)

The only Roku players with the ability to support a 4:3 aspect ratio are the players with composite output. The Express+ is the most recent version available. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Nvidia Shield, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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sivartk
Level 8

Re: Using Roku 3 4200X in 4:3 mode

I tried the Express+ (2018) (got it on clearance for $20) thinking it would be a good replacement for my Roku 3 from 2013 and perform better.  Wow!  What a mistake that was.  It doesn't perform as well and has fewer features so I ended up returning it.

Looks like I'll look for an Android TV box and give up on Roku. 

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atc98092
Level 15

Re: Using Roku 3 4200X in 4:3 mode


@sivartk wrote:

I tried the Express+ (2018) (got it on clearance for $20) thinking it would be a good replacement for my Roku 3 from 2013 and perform better.  Wow!  What a mistake that was.  It doesn't perform as well and has fewer features so I ended up returning it.

Looks like I'll look for an Android TV box and give up on Roku. 


I've never used an Express, so no experience with one. I certainly would have expected it to perform at least as well as the Roku 3, though. Not certain what features you might be referring to, although I do see the 3 has an Ethernet jack, SD card slot and dual band wireless. Those could be important for some. Roku seems to have moved away from wired connections, other than the Ultra. And with more internal memory the SD card is of less importance. 

Not certain what Android boxes will have composite outputs, but best of luck in your search. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Nvidia Shield, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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sivartk
Level 8

Re: Using Roku 3 4200X in 4:3 mode


Not certain what features you might be referring to

You are correct, mainly the Ethernet part.  (Although it has the other features along with the ability to listen via the remote -- which I've used once since 2013).

The main performance issue I had was direct playback of MPEG2 streams.  The 2018 Express+ simply wouldn't do it.  Even with a solid wireless connection (60Mpbs) and working with support we couldn't get it work in any of the 3 apps we tried (Roku Media Player, Plex, HDHomeRun app).  The main problem is that it would pixelate widescreen HD material and SD material would be stretched and zoomed.  Roku support couldn't solve it, where I bought the unit had already sold out so I couldn't determine if it was a hardware issue.  I just returned for a refund.   I was willing to live without the Ethernet, but the processor couldn't handle the MPEG2 streams and I have hundreds of ripped DVD's in this format.  

My old 2013 Roku 3 has none of these performance issues. 

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atc98092
Level 15

Re: Using Roku 3 4200X in 4:3 mode

I wasn't aware the Roku 3 even had MPEG-2 support. They only added MPEG-2 support in the last year or so, and not on all players. My Roku 4 didn't support it while I still had it (my granddaughter uses it now). But my Premiere plays them just fine, as does my old model Ultra. I'm surprised the Express couldn't play them

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Nvidia Shield, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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sivartk
Level 8

Re: Using Roku 3 4200X in 4:3 mode

You can check out what the express was doing in this thread.  (You may remember it Smiley Tongue )

https://community.roku.com/t5/Playback-Issues-Audio-Video-Power/MPEG2-Issues-with-2018-Roku-Express-...

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atc98092
Level 15

Re: Using Roku 3 4200X in 4:3 mode


@sivartk wrote:

You can check out what the express was doing in this thread.  (You may remember it Smiley Tongue )

https://community.roku.com/t5/Playback-Issues-Audio-Video-Power/MPEG2-Issues-with-2018-Roku-Express-...


Oh yeah... Smiley Embarassed I remember now, and still puzzled by it. I haven't traveled in quite a bit, so I'll pull my Stick out of the suitcase and see if it's been updated to support MPEG-2. In the past it didn't support it, so my server has to transcode it to H.264. Perhaps they've finally updated the older players with H.262 support. Of course, that has nothing to do with display on a 4:3 display. I don't even have that old of a set around anymore. Smiley Wink But I can see if H.262 will play and if so how it looks. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Nvidia Shield, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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church2016
Level 7

Re: Using Roku 3 4200X in 4:3 mode

ALL Roku's are able to have 4:3 mode....ROku just took it away from Non Compostite Roku's because they thought it was a good idea...which its not....

THey don't realize they will sell a bit more ROKU devices if they left the 4:3 Option available besides the 16:9 or 720 or 1080 options.

People who have Roku's usually buy more for their other displays...including 4:3 VGA monitors and CRT TVs.....even thought Newer Roku devices no longer have Composite out...that's OK, we find a way BUT we need 4:3 mode.

It is a TERRIBLE suggestion to tell a customer to Just get a Roku Express+ or something like that.....nobody should have to buy another device just to fix a problem that can easily be fixed on their current device.

I personally Use my NON-Composite HDMI Only Roku's on many different displays for single purposes....and unfortunately was infuriated to see a simple removal of a 4:3 option ruined them all.

 

Put 4:3 mode back PLEASE ROKU!

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