I think the HDMI cable also comes in to play. But my Roku 4 Ethernet port only connects at 10Mb. I have a Roku 4 and Plex Server and when trying to play movies which are trying to stream at higher resolutions like 8 or 10Mb Plex will eventually lock up with an error that my server can not stream as fast as needed. I started doing a speed test on my Roku wireless and wired and can never get above 35Mbps on either. I noticed these issues as I started to replace my HDMI cable from the Roku to the TV with Higher and newer specs. Until recently, I didn't know that there are versions of the HDMI cable, and I had just been using one which I had lying around. It was like 1.1. Then I replaced it with a High-Speed cable and got different results, and I just got an HDMI VERY High-Speed cable; the Roku says it's HDMI 2.2. The picture quality is noticeably different on the 4k TV. Whatever the issue (update to the Plex App on Roku) tells the Plex server that sure stream that movie at higher resolution and speed because the device can handle it. However, what it doesn't know is that the Roku and the LAN connection are bottlenecks. So I will look at the new Android TV 10/100/1000 boxes that just came out because I also would like to surf the net, which I have wanted Roku to do forever. As someone mentioned previously, it's 2021 now 10/100 is so last century, and so is 802.11N technology; all it takes is one of those devices on your network, and everything else will slow to its speed. To upgrade to a 10/100/1000 chip is less than $1.00. Roku, upgrade your technology! Why are you keeping us in the slow lane? Step ahead.
If you're getting 10 Mbps on a Roku 4, there's something wrong with your network. The 4 has Fast Ethernet, as do all Roku devices with an Ethernet port. My 4 would easily play my ripped BD movies from my server. I've seen bitrates over 40 Mbps with BD rips, so a 10 Mbps connection would choke badly with them. Kind of like when I try to watch a UHD movie rip from my server with a Roku. The UHD rips have a base average bitrate in the 60-80 Mbps range, but I've seen peaks well over 150 Mbps. Of course, Roku can't keep up with that on a wired connection, so I use my Shield for those.
I don't know for certain what version HDMI Roku has on the 4. but it's probably 2.0. HDMI 1.4 supports 4K, but no higher than 30 Hz, and the 4 is capable of 4K/60. I also found my 4 was just fine with plain old HDMI cables, but when I updated to an Ultra I had to replace the cables with 18 Gbps cables. 4K/HDR requires much more bandwidth than without HDR, and the 4 doesn't have HDR support.
There is no such thing as HDMI 2.0 or "4K" HDMI cables. They are speed rated, with 18 Gbps has the required speed for 4K/60 HDR/Dolby Vision. Some cables also offer Ethernet over HDMI, but naturally the devices at both ends of the cable must support it. HDMI 2.1 also now offers eARC, which has sufficient bandwidth for the audio to stream Dolby TrueHD/DTS Master Audio back to an AVR. Again, both the TV and the AVR must support eARC.
There is no HDMI 2.2 standard. 2.1 is the highest version, which was released in Nov 2017. You might be thinking of HDCP 2.2, which is the encryption format used for HDMI.
Back on topic, I completely agree that Roku needs a top level player that support Gigabit Ethernet. Probably cost the 50 cents, or maybe a buck at most. Many users would upgrade for that. For me, they would need to also add full audio bitstreaming (so TrueHD and Master Audio would passthrough) and support for image based captions. With those two items, I would not need my Shield players. But for now, I have both Roku and Shield players on my two large screen sets.
I think the blow would be lessened if the advertised 802.11ac wireless radio supported speeds advertised for that standard.
As it stands, I can't get Roku WiFi to connect even close to 100mbps. My phone hits about 240mbps farther away from my router
What about plugging a USB3.0---RJ45 adapter into the TV's USB port so you can get 1gbps, or at least 480mbps if that USB port in the TV happens to be 2.0 and not 3.0 like your adapter.
There is no excuse why 1gbps is not the standard. Cat6 can do 10gbps @ 55m(180ft) or less and 1gbps up to 100m(328ft).
Another topic, USB2 is 480mbps, USB3 is 5gbps. TV's need to catch up to the times.
The TV would still have to have drivers available to support the adapter. At this time, no one has ever reported a Gigabit USB adapter is supported. Only 100 BaseT adapters have worked.
Defending Roku strategy is fine. But there are two things you aren't addressing. 1) Gigabit was first introduced in 1999. Gig devices like NIC cards sell for almost nothing. Is it really that expensive to support a gig?, 2) as video streaming technology improves, it seems likely that 100 MPS is going to be too little pretty soon. If Roku's strategy is planned obsolescence as the goal it will work just fine, now. People who prefer high speed wired will buy another device when it matters more. It may not be a Roku though when they find out how little it would have cost to provide for a gig presently. Look at how planned obsolescence played out for the inventor of it, General Motors. They have struggled for years and lost massive market share to companies that built cars to last.
@rbuswell Not sure if that was directed at me. I'm not defending Roku's strategy, as I too would prefer a Gigabit connection. But I do understand their initial business plan that was focused on Internet streaming. Even today, there's nothing online that approaches saturating a Fast Ethernet connection, so a few cents saved on hardware, over the number of devices built, adds up. But once they began supporting local streaming with their own channel (Roku Media Player), they should have recognized the value of a Gigabit adapter. I agree that we can't be talking much of a cost difference to add Gigabit Ethernet.
Even before Roku themselves offered a local streaming channel, they certainly knew about other channels such as Plex and Emby that were designed for local streaming. Of course, the ability to rip a UHD Blu Ray has only existed for a couple of years, and before that there wasn't any local content that could max out a Fast Ethernet connection.
My first Roku was the 2 XS, which has an Ethernet connection. However, the system itself would choke on a bitstream that exceeded around 16 Mbps, so a faster network would have been pointless. The performance bottleneck was finally resolved in Roku players starting around 2015. I have no issue with any of my 1080p Blu Ray rips, wired or wireless. They max out around 35-40 Mbps, with the majority closer to 25 Mbps. But I can't play my UHD rips on any Roku without buffering. Since I have heard from others that do so successfully using 802.11ac WiFi, it's likely not the Roku processing power, but my network connection that is the limiting factor.
When Roku released the Ultra 4800, they should have bumped it to Gigabit. That player has plenty of processing power and operating memory, and would be a great 4K streaming player for my DLNA server. But as it is, I'll stick to my Shield for local media playback, since it does have a Gigabit Ethernet connection, and works perfectly with all my media.
Maybe so. If Roku wants to be the leader, their devices should anticipate the future rather than be "good enough for now". That's the General Motors way and shows arrogance. When manufacturing millions of physical devices, the big cost is in the invention not the building of the device on a per unit basis.
Right now, a wired Roku device costs around $70. Not a big deal to buy another one in a year or two when the current one is obsolete. But I will be open to switching makers if it turns out they could have built it in anticipation of the (near) future but didn't.
I would guess that the generation of streaming devices and TVs that gets released over the next year or so will start having better Ethernet adapters or better wireless radios. UHD is becoming the norm and many people are seeing the benefits of higher bitrate audio streams (DD+ to TrueHD is a massive improvement). Manufacturers are indeed behind today.
If Roku simply supported true 802.11ac wireless speeds, it would all mostly be a moot point. At present, their hardware is underpowered.
As stated by @atc98092, the goal was to meet the needs of current gen channel capabilities and Netflix and Amazon are under 25mbps for UHD content. I think YouTube can peak over 50mbps.
Once these channels start increasing their high end tiers to allow lossless audio and higher qualities, things will change. Until that time, if you need higher bandwidth, do what I did and get an Nvidia Shield Pro. I did and haven't looked back. Full UHD rips of my blu rays on Plex with lossless audio. The Roku devices are for the kids.
The Roku devices are for the kids.
May or may not be true, but what they are is not for people that are only interested in streaming their own content. You all fail to recognize or accept that Roku has shown little to no interest in local streaming and until they find a way to monetize it (and no, selling devices isn't going to compare to an ongoing revenue stream) I doubt they ever will. The local streaming market is very much a niche market.