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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mjnoles1
Level 7

Roku Ultra 4640 vs 4661 vs (3500r)

Finally looking to cut the cord and get rid of cable. It seems my current Roku (3500r) is not up the the task of constant scrolling through channels and watching live content as there is a lot of buffering and jerky performance. I believe it is understandable as this was the entry level unit back in 2014.

I am now looking to upgrade to the Roku Ultra which I presume has a lot more power and everything SHOULD fly pretty quickly and provide me that traditional cable box smoothness, correct?  With that being said and with my current sluggish performance from the 3500r, I am looking for the most powerful Roku so I no longer have any jerky feel and buffering. The problem is I have only an Optical input for digital audio on my surround sound receiver. So, I am looking to purchase the old Roku Ultra 4640, but, I am concerned as I read that the new 4660/4661 has increased processor power over the 4640. Is the increase in the 4661 that big of a difference over the 4640? Will the 4640 is be super smooth and provide me the feel of traditional cable that I am looking for? Or should I finally give up on my optical input only receiver (which I love the sound) and just listen through my tv speakers to ensure I get quick/smooth performance and go with the new 4661?

Finally, I have read a lot of threads about not normal issues with Rokus. Is the Roku 4660/4661 less prone to technical issues then the 4640?

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10 Replies
atc98092
Level 16

Re: Roku Ultra 4640 vs 4661 vs (3500r)

The 3500 is the first non-MHL streaming stick. Purple case I believe. So how are you using an optical connection? 
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I have the 3600, and it is quite responsive. I also have an Ultra 4640, and it too is extremely responsive. The 4640 and the 4660 have the same CPU (ARM Cortex A53 quad core), but I don't know what the processor speed is on the 4660. I have my doubts the 4660 is noticeably faster. The 4640 also has twice the memory for channel storage (1GB vs. 512 MB) and also has a Dolby Digital encoder (which no other Roku player has), so if your AVR doesn't support DD+ it can downconvert the audio to DD. 
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The 4660 has newly reported support for bitstreaming DTS Master Audio, but you need to use HDMI audio to get it. Both versions of the Ultra will bitstream the DTS core audio, but again I believe HDMI audio is required for that. But that is only important if you are playing local media from a server of USB drive. 
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Yes, some people have reported issues with the Ultra, but I personally have not had any real problems. Not discounting the issues others have had, simply stating it's not universal. If 4K isn't a requirement for you, you could consider almost any newer Roku and use an HDMI audio extractor. Amazon search for one. Or, if you want to get ready for 4K, I suggest considering an AVR update with HDMI ports that support HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2. 
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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NightHawk
Level 7

Re: Roku Ultra 4640 vs 4661 vs (3500r)

I bought a new Roku Ultra 4640 on amazon a few weeks ago since I was in the same situation with an old DD5.1 AVR with no HDMI, only optical and coax inputs, also no DD+ capability that is needed for many streaming services for multichannel audio now (netflix, amazon, etc).

Using the 4640's optical audio output to my older Denon AVR this works perfectly with the services I have tried the last few weeks getting DD5.1 audio on my receiver including amazon, netflix, vudu, youtube, Roku channel on titles that offer 5.1 audio.  The Roku Ultra 4640 is unique in that it can convert the DD+ to DD5.1 output on its optical output port, no other Roku model offers this capability so its perfect for this situation. 

Only other alternative is to buy a newer HDMI with DD+ capable receiver! I looked at those HDMI audio extractors but they don't appear to offer the DD+ to DD5.1 decoding/conversion capability required to use many of the services that now use DD+ 5.1 audio since optical does not support DD+.

The Roku Ultra 4640 has also been full speed on apps for me, same CPU I believe as the newer Ultra as well as the newer Roku Stick+ model which I also have on another TV.
Roku Ultra 4640R, Roku Streaming Stick+ 3810R
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MozartMan
Level 8

Re: Roku Ultra 4640 vs 4661 vs (3500r)

"mjnoles1" wrote:
Finally looking to cut the cord and get rid of cable. It seems my current Roku (3500r) is not up the the task of constant scrolling through channels and watching live content as there is a lot of buffering and jerky performance. I believe it is understandable as this was the entry level unit back in 2014.
...
Or should I finally give up on my optical input only receiver (which I love the sound) and just listen through my tv speakers to ensure I get quick/smooth performance and go with the new 4661?

Finally, I have read a lot of threads about not normal issues with Rokus. Is the Roku 4660/4661 less prone to technical issues then the 4640?

I cut the cord on January 1, got rid of DirecTV satellite service. I bought two Roku Ultra 2018 (4661) one Roku Ultra (4640 with optical out, new on Amazon) and one Roku Streaming Stick+. All three Ultra devices perform the same - fast. Important thing that I learned from this forum is to insert Micro SD cards in them to make performance even better.

So, go with 4640 if you want to keep using your receiver. And don't listen through TV speakers because almost all TV speakers suck.
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mjnoles1
Level 7

Re: Roku Ultra 4640 vs 4661 vs (3500r)

Thank you both for your opinions.

In addition to concern with sluggishness of the 4640 compared to the newer ones, which from you two does not seem to be a cause for concern at all.

I also have concern how buggy the 4640 is, from what I have read, compared to the 4660/4661.

For example, the users from Amazon has rated the 4640 very low:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M05030B/re ... rCbHXHYS2S

While the new models has a much higher rating, I assume not as buggy.

Thoughts?
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atc98092
Level 16

Re: Roku Ultra 4640 vs 4661 vs (3500r)

I don't think the 4640 is any more buggy than the 4660, but of course I'm only speaking as an owner of a 4640. If you don't need the optical out or the DD encoder, then I personally wouldn't hesitate buying a 4660/61. If Roku announced today that the 4660 would now bitstream Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio, I would get a new one immediately. Or at least once the government lets me go back to work. I guess getting a paycheck would be nice before I go spending money. 
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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NightHawk
Level 7

Re: Roku Ultra 4640 vs 4661 vs (3500r)

"MozartMan" wrote:
Important thing that I learned from this forum is to insert Micro SD cards in them to make performance even better.

I thought a micro SD card only helps on the Roku Ultra if you add lots of channels/apps and then running low on internal flash memory storage?
I don't think a micro SD card speeds up the unit if you only have a few channels?
Roku Ultra 4640R, Roku Streaming Stick+ 3810R
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DBDukes
Level 10

Re: Roku Ultra 4640 vs 4661 vs (3500r)

"NightHawk" wrote:
"MozartMan" wrote:
Important thing that I learned from this forum is to insert Micro SD cards in them to make performance even better.

I thought a micro SD card only helps on the Roku Ultra if you add lots of channels/apps and then running low on internal flash memory storage?
I don't think a micro SD card speeds up the unit if you only have a few channels?

It won't help the interaction in the menu or within an app run any faster at all. It is, as you said, for app storage. The Ultra has 512MB storage, so if the user has enough apps to fill that up, then the launch of an app will have to await the download, but one the app starts running, the microSD card does nothing, as you suspect.
DBDukes
http://www.dbdukes.com/
Roku Ultra (4660)
Roku Premiere+ (3921)
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MozartMan
Level 8

Re: Roku Ultra 4640 vs 4661 vs (3500r)

"NightHawk" wrote:
"MozartMan" wrote:
Important thing that I learned from this forum is to insert Micro SD cards in them to make performance even better.

I thought a micro SD card only helps on the Roku Ultra if you add lots of channels/apps and then running low on internal flash memory storage?
I don't think a micro SD card speeds up the unit if you only have a few channels?

May be I misunderstood.
Anyway, my 4640 has 14 channels installed and I have 1.7GB used on micro SD card.
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MozartMan
Level 8

Re: Roku Ultra 4640 vs 4661 vs (3500r)

"mjnoles1" wrote:
Thank you both for your opinions.

In addition to concern with sluggishness of the 4640 compared to the newer ones, which from you two does not seem to be a cause for concern at all.

I also have concern how buggy the 4640 is, from what I have read, compared to the 4660/4661.

Thoughts?

I used 4660 for a few weeks and then gave it to my kid for his bedroom, and bought 4640 for myself and am using it for a week. I don't see any difference between 4640 and 4660 except that remote that came with 4640 doesn't have power button for TV, and, of course, 4640 has optical out that 4660 does not. And I don't have any issues with 4640 so far.