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Roku Ultra - Any disadvantages?

brawnybrawny Posts: 3Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

I've been using Plex now for a few years primarily with an Amazon Fire TV. Plex server is running Ubuntu with ~ 9TB of media (12 TB including audio). I have a Netflix account, and Amazon Prime but as I'm in Canada, Prime doesn't work on my Fire TV. :-/ (Long, horrible story...)

I'm looking at getting a second player for a second TV, and can get a new Roku Ultra at a discounted price. ($89 CAD, or ~$70 USD).

Wondering if there are any reasons not to buy this device as a player? I see lots of comments that Roku is stable and robust, but slightly behind the curve sometimes on new functionality. Not looking for anything bleeding edge - just want to make sure I'm not spending money on something that's inferior, or on the fast track to being obsolete...

Thanks for your opinions!
Brawny

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Comments

  • JuiceWSAJuiceWSA Posts: 7,995Members ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2017

    Apart from these 235 pages?
    https://forums.roku.com/search.php?keywords=roku+ultra&sid=d824033f97bebfe59e65051e4d5fa330
    Naw, looks good.... (LOL)

    All of those posts aren't problems, but a whole LOT of them are.

    Tony

    FileBot For Easy Plex File Naming: http://www.filebot.net/

    Automated Plex Naming With Filebot: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/191687/plex-naming-schemes-for-filebot

    Plex Friendly Handbrake Guide - DVDs/BluRays: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/comment/1335697/#Comment_1335697

    Plex Clients: AFTVs, Androids, PMP, Rokus (running RARflix: http://mkvxstream.blogspot.com/2014/09/roku-plex-setup-guide.html ) Link May Work - May Not

  • brawnybrawny Posts: 3Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Yikes!!! I guess that's out of the question... I see the new AppleTV is being released (or has been). I suspect its probably more robust than what I'm seeing in your Roku forum links!!!

    Thanks JuiceWSA for talking me down! :-)
    Brawny

  • tycho1974tycho1974 Posts: 254Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    JuiceWSA's disingenuous forum search aside, I have to say that I'm quite happy with my Ultra (purchased last year). It hardware-decodes my HEVC encoded media nicely, can handle 4K resolution (haven't tested that myself yet, as my TV tops out at 1080p), and runs cooler and quieter than my previous Roku 4. I use a Harmony remote, so I can't speak on the remote, and I use primarily Plex, Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO GO, Hulu, and YouTube.

    Roku recently announced their updated line of players on Monday, I think, so the Ultra has been updated, and the rest of their line has been re-tooled. I'm a longtime Roku user (grand total of 7 personally owned devices), and while they aren't perfect, no one device is going to be the end all be all to everyone. I also have an Amazon Firestick, and while it integrates nicely with my Prime account, I'm not crazy about its speed or its ability to crunch through large files. I prefer Roku's agnostic approach to content delivery, which doesn't bind you to a single ecosystem like Amazon, Apple, or Google.

    Do your research, watch some videos, and decide what features are dealbreakers. And if you don't like whatever you get, just return it and try something else.

  • JuiceWSAJuiceWSA Posts: 7,995Members ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2017

    True enough that some work ok for some users while other users can't get them to work at all - hence a wall of posts from unhappy users wondering WTF is going on over at Roku Inc.

    There were a LOT of Ford Pintos (Type One Lighter) sold and a comparatively small number of people were roasted alive in them after a rear end collision. It's probably safe to buy your Son or Daughter one for them to take to college... right?

    If Rokus New Operating System - Windows 8 for Roku - works out as they hope and Roku can once again get at least some of their boxes to fall into a 'Reliable' category then you can feel pretty good about buying one of them. Roku 3 used to be in that elite group and has held the Roku Banner high for many years as a Reliable Ship in a Shakey Fleet, but recent FW issues leave Roku with NO STABLE UNITS. NONE.

    Buy that Ford Pinto from Amazon - the return policy is bulletproof - but install ejector seats in case it ignites.

    I have Rokus and Fire TVs.
    My Roku 3 is now as stable as it always was, but I had to jump through some flaming hoops to get to this 7.7 - 4139 FW that fixed it. The Standard 7.7 FW everyone else is running turned it into a Hockey Puck Shaped Brick. That New Disaster App Plex just squeezed out and pinched off for my FireTV makes it pretty much a more square shaped brick. If I can get a show or movie out of it before I have to bail out to Home, Force Stop, Clear Cache and reboot the AFTV I'm lucky.

    Rokus enjoy the best Plex App, but right now 7.7 has the Rokus in varying states of disrepair.

    It's a total crap shoot right now - no matter what you do.

    I maintain an HDMI cable from Server to TV and have a 20 foot mouse extension cable installed to the end table. I do employ the Plex Backup Plan - Plex Media Player dragged from Server to TV and used from there with the trusty remote mouse. Here lately it's been seeing more use. If Plex 'Improves' PMP any more - that too will become useless - so it's a waiting game to find out which part of this space ship to Mars explodes first. It has many moving parts, none of them particularly reliable and seemingly built from recycled Russian Sardine Tins.

    Tony

    FileBot For Easy Plex File Naming: http://www.filebot.net/

    Automated Plex Naming With Filebot: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/191687/plex-naming-schemes-for-filebot

    Plex Friendly Handbrake Guide - DVDs/BluRays: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/comment/1335697/#Comment_1335697

    Plex Clients: AFTVs, Androids, PMP, Rokus (running RARflix: http://mkvxstream.blogspot.com/2014/09/roku-plex-setup-guide.html ) Link May Work - May Not

  • interconnectinterconnect Posts: 216Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @tycho1974 said:
    JuiceWSA's disingenuous forum search aside, I have to say that I'm quite happy with my Ultra (purchased last year). It hardware-decodes my HEVC encoded media nicely, can handle 4K resolution (haven't tested that myself yet, as my TV tops out at 1080p), and runs cooler and quieter than my previous Roku 4. I use a Harmony remote, so I can't speak on the remote, and I use primarily Plex, Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO GO, Hulu, and YouTube.

    Roku recently announced their updated line of players on Monday, I think, so the Ultra has been updated, and the rest of their line has been re-tooled. I'm a longtime Roku user (grand total of 7 personally owned devices), and while they aren't perfect, no one device is going to be the end all be all to everyone. I also have an Amazon Firestick, and while it integrates nicely with my Prime account, I'm not crazy about its speed or its ability to crunch through large files. I prefer Roku's agnostic approach to content delivery, which doesn't bind you to a single ecosystem like Amazon, Apple, or Google.

    Do your research, watch some videos, and decide what features are dealbreakers. And if you don't like whatever you get, just return it and try something else.

    The Ultra was not updated. The fact that it can't play DTS audio without major lag/lip sync issues is a deal breaker. If I had to do it all over again, I'd go with an Apple TV. Roku is aware of these issues and they continue to drag their feet; their support is total crap compared to Apple's support.

  • spikemixturespikemixture Posts: 1,620Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I currently own and use a Roku 3 - say 3 years old and a Roku 4 - about 18 months.

    I have previously owned a Roku stick and another Roku 3
    I have also recommended 2x Roku 3 to a friend.

    ALL have worked pretty much faultlessly for years/months and get on average 20-30 hours a week use!

    I also have a Fire TV Box, Xbox one and 360, 2 Shield Pro (2015 and 17) and apple TV4.
    Currently my Shield pro 2017 gets the most use
    Then the Shield 2016
    Roku 3
    Roku 4
    Fire TV
    Xbox 1

    The reason the Shields get most use is the Remote has volume control - real important to me.

    But I guess I just have been lucky with all my Rokus!!

    Plex related : NAS Qnap TVS-1282, (Plex server & main storage) Synology 1817+ (backup Plex server & backup storage), 2x NUC (Skull i7 , i5), Drobo 5N and 2 Nvidia Shield Pros (backup Plex servers)(2017 and 2015)
    Client hardware used or using - Shield 2015 pro and 2017 pro, ATV4, Xbox 360 and one, Fire stick and TV, windows PMP, Raspberry PI, Roku Stick, 3 and 4 plus several Android Phones and Tablets.

    I give MY opinion from MY experience!

    So much importance is put on the processing power of your PMS box.
    I say equal or more should be put on correctly formatting and optimizing your media !

  • JuiceWSAJuiceWSA Posts: 7,995Members ✭✭✭✭✭

    I do hope Roku gets all their **** together in one wheelbarrow.

    It would be nice to be able to buy one at random and have a reasonable chance of getting one that works. It would also be nice when you have one that's working you're not constantly in fear of Roku Bricking it with the next mandatory and surprise FW upgrade!

    As far as I'm concerned a Roku is pretty much required in a Plex Environment due to the inability of Plex to develop an app for anything else that's worth a ****!

    Tony

    FileBot For Easy Plex File Naming: http://www.filebot.net/

    Automated Plex Naming With Filebot: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/191687/plex-naming-schemes-for-filebot

    Plex Friendly Handbrake Guide - DVDs/BluRays: https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/comment/1335697/#Comment_1335697

    Plex Clients: AFTVs, Androids, PMP, Rokus (running RARflix: http://mkvxstream.blogspot.com/2014/09/roku-plex-setup-guide.html ) Link May Work - May Not

  • spikemixturespikemixture Posts: 1,620Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited October 2017

    What is the excepted formula for positive and negative responses.
    4 out of 5 will pass on a negative experience and
    1 out of 5 pass on something positive.

    On this board those numbers are likely wrong ;)

    Plex related : NAS Qnap TVS-1282, (Plex server & main storage) Synology 1817+ (backup Plex server & backup storage), 2x NUC (Skull i7 , i5), Drobo 5N and 2 Nvidia Shield Pros (backup Plex servers)(2017 and 2015)
    Client hardware used or using - Shield 2015 pro and 2017 pro, ATV4, Xbox 360 and one, Fire stick and TV, windows PMP, Raspberry PI, Roku Stick, 3 and 4 plus several Android Phones and Tablets.

    I give MY opinion from MY experience!

    So much importance is put on the processing power of your PMS box.
    I say equal or more should be put on correctly formatting and optimizing your media !

  • Elijah_BaleyElijah_Baley Posts: 5,057Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    The Ultra started as a poor device for Plex. But after several false starts and even steps backward it has finally become one of the most stable.

    Also, for me, it is by far the best Plex interface. It is also pretty good for Emby.

    If you plan to stick with Plex and you do not plan on the advanced video and audio features (I cannot attest to the Ultra's performance with the advanced setups as I do not use them) the Ultra is one of the best, most stable, clients there is, at this point.

    One further disclaimer, if you have any plans to move to Emby the Ultra is a good Emby client but both the Fire TV and even more the Shield TV are better Emby clients but they are poor, at best, for Plex.

    Emby's developers on Android based clients are VERY good but Plex's are less so.

    On the Roku side it is Plex that is leading but not by the margin the Emby is leading on Android.

    However anyone considering new hardware needs to be concerned that the new improved Plex interface seen on Android may ooze its way onto the Rokus. If that happens no matter how good the Plex/Roku programmer is the direction will be the start of a downward spiral.

    But back to the Ultra. Roku just announced new firmware "8.0" and it is hoped, with some reason, that the new firmware will stabilize the product and make it as great as it could have been from the start. If I needed to buy a new client for Plex there is a very good chance it would be a Roku Ultra particularly since there seems to be nothing better in the set to box category for Plex with the exception of devices like the Raspberry PI running an embedded client. But those are single function and the Rokus have many other uses.

    “The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use them.” Philip K. Dic*k (This STUPID forum software does not allow a perfectly valid last name, hence the unusual looking formating)

    From a High School paper on Greek Philosophers:
    "Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock."

  • ambidexjessambidexjess Posts: 5Members ✭✭

    After my experience tonight with the roku premier, if you are looking for a device mainly for plex, then don't get the roku.

  • AllanMarcusAllanMarcus Posts: 21Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @interconnect said:

    @tycho1974 said:
    JuiceWSA's disingenuous forum search aside, I have to say that I'm quite happy with my Ultra (purchased last year). It hardware-decodes my HEVC encoded media nicely, can handle 4K resolution (haven't tested that myself yet, as my TV tops out at 1080p), and runs cooler and quieter than my previous Roku 4. I use a Harmony remote, so I can't speak on the remote, and I use primarily Plex, Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO GO, Hulu, and YouTube.

    Roku recently announced their updated line of players on Monday, I think, so the Ultra has been updated, and the rest of their line has been re-tooled. I'm a longtime Roku user (grand total of 7 personally owned devices), and while they aren't perfect, no one device is going to be the end all be all to everyone. I also have an Amazon Firestick, and while it integrates nicely with my Prime account, I'm not crazy about its speed or its ability to crunch through large files. I prefer Roku's agnostic approach to content delivery, which doesn't bind you to a single ecosystem like Amazon, Apple, or Google.

    Do your research, watch some videos, and decide what features are dealbreakers. And if you don't like whatever you get, just return it and try something else.

    The Ultra was not updated. The fact that it can't play DTS audio without major lag/lip sync issues is a deal breaker. If I had to do it all over again, I'd go with an Apple TV. Roku is aware of these issues and they continue to drag their feet; their support is total crap compared to Apple's support.

    Well, the plex app on the Apple TV 4k works well, but the ATV4K doesn’t support Dolby Atmos. If that’s important to you, as it is to me, then the ATV4K is a non-starter, unfortunately.

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