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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Carolina2020
Level 8

question about roku devices

Hello,
 
I am confused with all of these products I have that have Roku built into them.
 
1. I have a 65" 4K UHD LED ONN Roku Smart TV w/ HDR
2. I have a 42" ONN 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos soundbar 
 
3. I am looking at buying a Roku Ultra 2020 streaming media player HD/4K/HDR/Dolby Vision/Atmos.
 
My question is that - I want the best sound and picture so does the built in Roku in my Onn TV going to do all that? Or do I need to add the Ultra 2020 to get the extra HD/4K/HDR/Dolby Vision/Atmos.
 
Thanks for your help,
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7 Replies
theuser86
Level 10

Re: question about roku devices

Never heard of this ONN brand before, looks like a Walmart brand. As a result I cannot locate the manual for the HDTV to tell you if it’s capable of sending Dolby Atmos to your sound bar.

The other real question is how many streaming services actually have Dolby Atmos? For example Netflix is Dolby Digital Plus only.

atc98092
Level 21

Re: question about roku devices

First remember that Roku doesn't manufacturer the Roku TVs, so sound quality from any of them is completely dependent on how they are built. 

Feeding the audio from any TV to almost any soundbar will sound better than the built in TV audio. Also, no soundbar will offer a convincing Atmos sound field since there are no physical speakers overhead. How well the Onn soundbar does Atmos, I have no idea. I have an AVR that I use in a 5.1.2 configuration, with two speakers pointed at the ceiling to provide the upper sound. While I can tell it's there, it is in no way close to having real speakers overhead.

The Ultra will likely not offer any improvement over the built in Roku functions of your TV. If the TV doesn't support Dolby Vision, then you won't see any difference in the image quality. Your TV already offer 4K/HDR, so the Ultra won't be any different there. I don't know how you are getting the audio from the TV to the soundbar, and I don't think Atmos from online sources such as Vudu will pass over optical. Does your soundbar have HDMI-ARC for feeding the audio? If so, then adding the Ultra won't offer anything other than perhaps a faster processor and a smoother, faster user experience. But if your soundbar has HDMI input(s) for attaching an external device, and it doesn't have HDMI-ARC, it's possible you could get better audio with an Ultra connected directly to the soundbar. To be honest, I believe your existing setup would not see any benefit by adding an Ultra. 

Dan
Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), Ultra (4800), 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.
Carolina2020
Level 8

Re: question about roku devices

Onn is just a walmart house brand, the smart tv has Roku built in but Roku markets upper price devices with more features that I suspect the roku built into the TV doesn't have.  So i sense that I can increase the picture quality and unlock my sound bars sound with an upper level external roku device and just buypass the built-in tv Roku.  Does this make sense or am I over thinking it and the built in Roku will do it without the up grade. The Ultra 2020 roku mentions HD/4K/HDR/Dolby Vision/Atmos.

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Carolina2020
Level 8

Re: question about roku devices

Thanks for the reply,  I guess when you start seeing how they market these Fire TV vs Fire TV 4k or basic Roku vs Ultra - then I start to think that the upper class ones will enhance/unlock the TV/sound to its full potential but with built in roku i just wonder if thats all that and you can't get any better.  If they didn't market these upper class devices then I would only have one choice and so be it. just a bit confusing when you start to build an AV system

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theuser86
Level 10

Re: question about roku devices

To be frank, if you wanted the best video quality for a 4K TV you likely should have bought a better or “upper class” TV. As this price point I have a feeling a Roku Ultra will not improve the video quality you’re getting on the TV. The built in Roku should support streaming of 4K HDR, try a 4K movie on Netflix and see how it looks to you.

atc98092
Level 21

Re: question about roku devices


@Carolina2020 wrote:

Onn is just a Walmart house brand, the smart tv has Roku built in but Roku markets upper price devices with more features that I suspect the Roku built into the TV doesn't have.  So I sense that I can increase the picture quality and unlock my sound bars sound with an upper level external Roku device and just bypass the built-in tv Roku.  Does this make sense or am I over thinking it and the built in Roku will do it without the up grade. The Ultra 2020 Roku mentions HD/4K/HDR/Dolby Vision/Atmos.


If Onn cut corners with the display quality or image, adding an Ultra won't make it look any better. That's why I don't feel you'd see much if any difference with the Ultra. If the TV doesn't support Dolby Vision, it doesn't matter if the Ultra supports it or not. Everything in the video chain has to support DV for it to appear. Your TV already has HDR support, so with "regular" 4K/HDR content it should look the same regardless of the source. I don't know the features of your TV, but if it has an Ethernet jack and a USB port (the larger TVs usually have both), then there's no hardware features that the Ultra offers that the TV doesn't have. As I mentioned, the latest Ultra is probably more powerful, so the user interface should be a bit faster and possibly smoother than the native TV's UI. Noticeable? I have no idea since I've never seen an Onn TV to compare. 

For audio, it's unlikely that they did anything that would alter the digital audio bitstream, so again the Ultra probably wouldn't add anything noticeable.  

Dan
Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), Ultra (4800), 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.
atc98092
Level 21

Re: question about roku devices


@Carolina2020 wrote:

Thanks for the reply,  I guess when you start seeing how they market these Fire TV vs Fire TV 4k or basic Roku vs Ultra - then I start to think that the upper class ones will enhance/unlock the TV/sound to its full potential but with built in Roku i just wonder if that's all that and you can't get any better.  If they didn't market these upper class devices then I would only have one choice and so be it. just a bit confusing when you start to build an AV system


For the Fire TV, the difference between those two products is 4K support, and that's about it. Comparing a Roku Ultra with "lesser" models, there are some differences. With the Ultra and the Stick+ you get dual band wireless support, and the 2020 Ultra has Ethernet and USB ports, Dolby Vision, faster processor and support for AC-4 audio. With the Premiere, you still have 4K and WiFi Direct support but single band wireless, and the Express is 1080 only and IR only remote. 

The audio is digital, and it's unlikely that there's any noticeable difference between the least expensive Roku or Fire TV and the top of the line models. Unless you are using a high quality AVR with really nice speakers, hearing any audio differences would be near impossible. Digital video can of course be more susceptible to lower quality components, but still the ability to see any difference will depend on the quality of the display itself. There's a visible difference when comparing the latest OLED displays with "general" LCDs, but you have to spend a lot of money to see that difference. When comparing displays in the same price range, there are usually few that show any noticeable differences. 

Dan
Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), Ultra (4800), 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.