Playback Issues - Audio/Video & Power

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MikeFromMesa
Level 7

Upstreaming to 4K

I just replaced my old HD Roku with a Premiere+ thinking that I would probably buy a 4K TV and, when I did, I would to be ready. One of the questions I have been trying to get answered was whether or not the Roku device itself upscaled a non-4K signal to 4K (if attached to a 4K TV) as I then wondered what a 4K TV would then do with the input signal - try to upscale it again or just let it pass. 

Roku technical support tells me that the Roku does not upscale but the Roku blog spends some time talking about how great a job the Roku does in upscaling so clearly there is some confusion concerning this subject. Can anyone tell me if the Roku itself upscales input signals? Would it upscale a 720p signal to 1080p if it was attached to a 1080p TV? Would it upscale a 1080p signal to 2160p if it was attached to a 4K TV?

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
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11 Replies
netnothing
Level 10

Re: Upstreaming to 4K

If you buy a 4K TV, and set the Roku to 4K, everything out of the Roku will be sent to the TV as 4K 3840 × 2160.  Roku will be doing all of the upscaling.  Your new 4K TV won't upscale anything as the signal coming in is already 4K.

There have been a lot of people wanting most of the streaming devices on the market to just natively pass the signal to the TV, to let the TV do the upscaling.  Sadly, there isn't a device on the market that does that.

Not sure about 720p/1080p (as in, will it upscale 720p to 1080p if attached to a 1080p TV) - as I have my Roku Ultra in 4K mode.

-Kevin
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MikeFromMesa
Level 7

Re: Upstreaming to 4K

Thank you for a clear and definitive answer.

If all of the streaming devices upscale on their own, it is important to know what the quality of the upscale is for each device so as to pick the best device to use. Can you comment on the 4K upscale quality you see from the Roku?

Thank you again for your answer.
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netnothing
Level 10

Re: Upstreaming to 4K

"MikeFromMesa" wrote:
Thank you for a clear and definitive answer.

If all of the streaming devices upscale on their own, it is important to know what the quality of the upscale is for each device so as to pick the best device to use. Can you comment on the 4K upscale quality you see from the Roku?

Thank you again for your answer.

Only two 4K devices I have used have been the Roku Ultra and Nvidia Shield.  Both upscale everything to 4K.  To me, and my setup, both looked about the same.  Some hard core pictures geeks I have heard complain about the Nvidia Upscaler.  I couldn't really see that much of a difference.  Overall I'm happy with Roku's upscaling.   For 1080p content on the Roku we watch Vudu HDX movies, Hulu shows, Netflix non-4K shows.  All of them look good on our TV.

I have a Samsung KS9000 for a TV.  Samsung and Sony tend to have the best upscalers right now - if you have other devices that won't be upscaling.

Overall been happy with the Roku other than the chirping issue that a lot of people are having: https://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=100035
Have not been happy with the lack of updates from Roku.

-Kevin
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MikeFromMesa
Level 7

Re: Upstreaming to 4K

"netnothing" wrote:
"MikeFromMesa" wrote:
Thank you for a clear and definitive answer.

If all of the streaming devices upscale on their own, it is important to know what the quality of the upscale is for each device so as to pick the best device to use. Can you comment on the 4K upscale quality you see from the Roku?

Thank you again for your answer.


I have a Samsung KS9000 for a TV.  Samsung and Sony tend to have the best upscalers right now - if you have other devices that won't be upscaling.

Overall been happy with the Roku other than the chirping issue that a lot of people are having: https://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=100035
Have not been happy with the lack of updates from Roku.

-Kevin

I don't want to hijack my own post  Smiley Very Happy , but I was wondering if your Samsung has built-in streaming apps and, if so, why you are using the Roku instead of the apps on the TV.

I ask because when I was checking out the 4K TVs at the local electronics store the sales guy told me that the Sony has all of the streaming apps built in, including Amazon, but a check on the Sony web page indicates that it does not have the Amazon video app installed and that it can not be downloaded from the Android app store. If I can not get the Amazon streaming app on the Sony it would mean that I would have to either use the Roku for that source only or get a different TV. Hence the question.

While I do not watch a lot of Amazon videos it does seem silly to lock such a big provider out of use simply because the app is not on the TV.

I read the post you listed but fortunately I have not seen (or heard) the chirping issue on the Premiere Plus, at least so far.
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netnothing
Level 10

Re: Upstreaming to 4K

"MikeFromMesa" wrote:
"netnothing" wrote:
"MikeFromMesa" wrote:
Thank you for a clear and definitive answer.

If all of the streaming devices upscale on their own, it is important to know what the quality of the upscale is for each device so as to pick the best device to use. Can you comment on the 4K upscale quality you see from the Roku?

Thank you again for your answer.


I have a Samsung KS9000 for a TV.  Samsung and Sony tend to have the best upscalers right now - if you have other devices that won't be upscaling.

Overall been happy with the Roku other than the chirping issue that a lot of people are having: https://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=100035
Have not been happy with the lack of updates from Roku.

-Kevin

I don't want to hijack my own post  Smiley Very Happy , but I was wondering if your Samsung has built-in streaming apps and, if so, why you are using the Roku instead of the apps on the TV.

I ask because when I was checking out the 4K TVs at the local electronics store the sales guy told me that the Sony has all of the streaming apps built in, including Amazon, but a check on the Sony web page indicates that it does not have the Amazon video app installed and that it can not be downloaded from the Android app store. If I can not get the Amazon streaming app on the Sony it would mean that I would have to either use the Roku for that source only or get a different TV. Hence the question.

While I do not watch a lot of Amazon videos it does seem silly to lock such a big provider out of use simply because the app is not on the TV.

I read the post you listed but fortunately I have not seen (or heard) the chirping issue on the Premiere Plus, at least so far.

Partially a personal preference to use a Roku instead of the apps.  Most 4K TVs all come with the major apps.  Sony uses Android TV for their smart features, and the only Android TV platform that has access to Amazon is the Nvidia Shield (they just added it this year).  My Samsung has the major apps (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Vudu) and for the most part would work fine.  Couple of tech issues when you use the TV apps:

- If you have a full home theater setup (AVR, surround, etc) - you need to get audio out to your AVR for surround.  Audio out of TVs is usually either via ARC (HDMI) or optical cable.  Most times that limits to Dolby Digital 5.1, meaning you can't get DD+ or any 7.1 or Atmos etc.  In my setup I wanted DD+, so I went with the Roku.

- My TV apps can be flaky and slow at times.  Roku has been very fast for me.

- The Vudu app on my Samsung isn't able to play 4K UHD movies yet.  I got sick of waiting for them to implement it.

- There are a few apps that weren't available on the TV.  Much like what you talked about with the Sony and Amazon - the TV apps are not always loaded with tons of options.  On Samsung you have a handful of entertainment apps and that's it.

Hope this helps.

-Kevin 
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MikeFromMesa
Level 7

Re: Upstreaming to 4K

"netnothing" wrote:
"MikeFromMesa" wrote:
"netnothing" wrote:
"MikeFromMesa" wrote:
Thank you for a clear and definitive answer.

If all of the streaming devices upscale on their own, it is important to know what the quality of the upscale is for each device so as to pick the best device to use. Can you comment on the 4K upscale quality you see from the Roku?

Thank you again for your answer.


I have a Samsung KS9000 for a TV.  Samsung and Sony tend to have the best upscalers right now - if you have other devices that won't be upscaling.

Overall been happy with the Roku other than the chirping issue that a lot of people are having: https://forums.roku.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=100035
Have not been happy with the lack of updates from Roku.

-Kevin

I don't want to hijack my own post  Smiley Very Happy , but I was wondering if your Samsung has built-in streaming apps and, if so, why you are using the Roku instead of the apps on the TV.

I ask because when I was checking out the 4K TVs at the local electronics store the sales guy told me that the Sony has all of the streaming apps built in, including Amazon, but a check on the Sony web page indicates that it does not have the Amazon video app installed and that it can not be downloaded from the Android app store. If I can not get the Amazon streaming app on the Sony it would mean that I would have to either use the Roku for that source only or get a different TV. Hence the question.

While I do not watch a lot of Amazon videos it does seem silly to lock such a big provider out of use simply because the app is not on the TV.

I read the post you listed but fortunately I have not seen (or heard) the chirping issue on the Premiere Plus, at least so far.

Partially a personal preference to use a Roku instead of the apps.  Most 4K TVs all come with the major apps.  Sony uses Android TV for their smart features, and the only Android TV platform that has access to Amazon is the Nvidia Shield (they just added it this year).  My Samsung has the major apps (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Vudu) and for the most part would work fine.  Couple of tech issues when you use the TV apps:

- If you have a full home theater setup (AVR, surround, etc) - you need to get audio out to your AVR for surround.  Audio out of TVs is usually either via ARC (HDMI) or optical cable.  Most times that limits to Dolby Digital 5.1, meaning you can't get DD+ or any 7.1 or Atmos etc.  In my setup I wanted DD+, so I went with the Roku.

- My TV apps can be flaky and slow at times.  Roku has been very fast for me.

- The Vudu app on my Samsung isn't able to play 4K UHD movies yet.  I got sick of waiting for them to implement it.

- There are a few apps that weren't available on the TV.  Much like what you talked about with the Sony and Amazon - the TV apps are not always loaded with tons of options.  On Samsung you have a handful of entertainment apps and that's it.

Hope this helps.

-Kevin 

Yes, it does. Thank you for taking the time to explain.

I had been wondering if the cost of the Roku was worth it if the TVs have the same apps, but you explained some of the reasons for using the Roku and that seems to answer the question for me. Now all I have to do is get the actual 4K TV ...
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netnothing
Level 10

Re: Upstreaming to 4K

"MikeFromMesa" wrote:
I had been wondering if the cost of the Roku was worth it if the TVs have the same apps, but you explained some of the reasons for using the Roku and that seems to answer the question for me. Now all I have to do is get the actual 4K TV ...

Good luck.  Also note that most of the new 2017 models are coming out in the next few months.  So definitely look around and and read reviews.  If you watch a lot of 720/1080p content, watch out that the TV you choose upscales nicely.  I tried a normal LG SUHD and it was awful with regular cable.  Samsung was much better.
-Kevin
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cgood311
Level 7

Re: Upstreaming to 4K

I have a Samsung KS8500 with a Roku Ultra. So far the I run the Roku at max resolution 4k HDR 60Hz. I noticed that the 1080p content that is forced upscale to 4k does not look great with some blurring. A 1080p movie on say, Google Play seems to look the worst so far.

It seemed to look better when I forced the Roku back to 1080p max, so most of the content played native without issues. The issue I ran into with setting the Roku to 1080p is now the Amazon Prime App and Netflix are all locked into 1080p and will not play 4k context without me setting the Roku back to 4k in the settings.

The my main issues are if I leave the Roku on 4K it forces everything to 4k and blurs the lower resolution content during the upscale. If I set the tv to 1080p its locked in and won't go any higher. The reason I got the Roku is to have all apps in one locations and the Samsung Smart TV apps are slow and crash but the resolution was always top notch. Has anyone seen these issues?
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jontalk
Level 8

Re: Upstreaming to 4K

I have a bit of a different question since I just upgraded my TV to an LG OLED55B7A.

My Marantz non-4K AVR has all video sources (Roku 3, TV, Blu Ray) are plugged into it. I'm getting all surround formats other than Atmos without any problems.  On the AVS forum one of the members said were I to upgrade the Roku and plug it directly into the ACR port on the LG, I'd be able to view full HDR in 4K, though the surround formats would be the same. I use a Harmony 650 to control everything, though plugging the Roku direct into the TV changes things. To be honest, I'm pretty happy with the 'new improved' viewing experience since OLED is amazing. Thanks
Roku 3 - Power User (film maker)
Mill Valley, CA

Jonathan
LG OLED55B7A, Roku 3, Marantz SR-6005, Panasonic Blu Ray, Definitive Studio Monitor 450 (L/R), Definitive LCR 2000 (center), Definitive 10" sub-woofer, Definitive surrounds.
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