Roku Device Features, Settings & Updates

Help configuring Roku device settings, using Roku OS features such as screen mirroring, adjusting display type and audio settings, using Guest Mode, and assistance with software updates.
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Level 8

Roku TCL TV vs. Roku Ultra

I have a new TCL TV with Roku and a Roku Ultra, so I am curious if there are significant differences between the two? I plan on plugging directly to either device for internet (faster than wifi?), so are there other major differences in functionality? Video quality? Processor speed? Thanks!

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Level 21

Re: Roku TCL TV vs. Roku Ultra

In theory WiFi is capable of faster speeds than the Ethernet jack. The jack is 100 Mbps max, while 802.11ac is (again theoretically) capable of more than a Gigabit. However, my personal experience hasn't worked out that way, with a wired connection still being better. But others have reported their wireless connection exceeding 100 Mbps.

I'm assuming your TCL is a large screen 4K TV. If so, it's likely very similar to the Ultra in general performance. But you have to remember that Roku doesn't make/supply any of the hardware in the TV, so it's certainly possible that one or the other has more performance. The TCL might support Dolby Vision, where your current Ultra does not (the new Ultra available next week will support DV). 

However, would any difference be noticeable with the usual Internet streaming providers? Probably very little if at all. Nothing online streams at a rate higher than the low 20s Mbps, if that. Netflix maxes out at 16 Mbps. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), 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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Level 8

Re: Roku TCL TV vs. Roku Ultra

Thanks for the help! Interesting about the wifi vs. wired... I guess I would have to do a speed test to figure it out? Using a Google Wifi with Fios.

My TV is a 65 inch 4K, bought it a couple months ago. I think it only supports Dolby Digital/Digital Plus with a HDMI Arc port.

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Level 8

Re: Roku TCL TV vs. Roku Ultra

The main difference that would occur to me is that your Roku TCL TV would be able to integrate OTA channels from its antenna + tuner, where your separate Roku Ultra would not be able to do that.

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Level 8

Re: Roku TCL TV vs. Roku Ultra

Thank you, great call on that. Still wondering about the processing of video and sound quality. Do you know anything about that specifically? It seems the wifi vs. wired doesn't really have a solid answer.

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Level 21

Re: Roku TCL TV vs. Roku Ultra


@bjsalter wrote:

Thank you, great call on that. Still wondering about the processing of video and sound quality. Do you know anything about that specifically? It seems the wifi vs. wired doesn't really have a solid answer.


Sound quality can't really be compared, since the TV has audio built in and the Ultra does not. But if you run them both through an external AVR, there really should be no difference. 

Video quality too is a tough comparison. The TCL TV has what it has, while the Ultra can be connected to hundreds upon hundreds of different displays. The Ultra will only look as good as the display that is connected. Both the Ultra and the TCL TV will be upscaling any content that isn't at the native resolution of the connected display. I've never really looked at or compared the video quality on a TCL TV, but they do seem to be highly regarded by professional reviewers. I've had my Ultras (4640 and 4670) connected to both Samsung and LG TVs. Right now the 4640 is connected to the same LG TV as my 2019 Shield, and both look outstanding on it. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), 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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Level 8

Re: Roku TCL TV vs. Roku Ultra

Thank you! I am going to be connecting both of them to a Sonos Arc, so sound quality speaker-wise is the same. Was just wondering about actual sound processing, if there is even a difference. But it seems like its more about the source (Netflix, Sling, etc) than the device. That's probably true to video source as well? I will try them both and see if there is a difference I guess! Thanks!

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Level 21

Re: Roku TCL TV vs. Roku Ultra


@bjsalter wrote:

Thank you! I am going to be connecting both of them to a Sonos Arc, so sound quality speaker-wise is the same. Was just wondering about actual sound processing, if there is even a difference. But it seems like its more about the source (Netflix, Sling, etc) than the device. That's probably true to video source as well? I will try them both and see if there is a difference I guess! Thanks!


Roku does offer some sound processing, but it differs between players and Roku TVs. Most have some sort of volume leveling, but it forces all audio to two channel only, no 5.1. There might also be some settings on the TV for dialog enhancement, and so forth. When using outboard audio, they should all just be left off. And then yes, it's up to the source to provide quality audio. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), 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.