Improvements to Roku’s high-end set-top boxes don’t add up to a better value—unless you need 4K HDR video.
Even before the Roku Ultra arrived, spending more than $100 on a Roku box wasn’t really necessary. Last year’s Roku 4 was a compromised device at $130, with an internal fan and an unusually large footprint for a media streamer. And besides its support for 4K streaming, the experience wasn’t much different from the $100 Roku 3, which remained the better value for most people.
Pricier Roku models are an even tougher sell now. While the $130 Roku Ultra is more compact than its predecessor and adds 4K HDR video support, those same features are also available in the even-smaller $100 Roku Premiere+. And if you don’t have a 4K television, you’ll probably do just fine with the excellent Roku Streaming Stick, which launched earlier this year for just $50.
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