Are you confused between Roku Express vs Ultra? For many years, Roku has provided budget-friendly solutions for content streaming. Roku Express is the most affordable option in the line-up and is available for less than thirty dollars. Roku Ultra is a high-end model available for about a hundred bucks. Find out which Roku that is better for the money below!
What we will discuss below include:
- The similar features that both Roku devices have
- The comparison of their physical dimensions
- The maximum image quality supported on each model
- The supported connectivity features on each model
- The remote control of Roku Express vs Ultra
- Which model that is generally more recommended for you
First of all, let’s see what features that you will still get regardless of the model that you choose. Both Roku Express and Roku Ultra are running on the same operating system, and they both can receive the latest OS 8 update which will allow you to use voice commands to control them. See also: Roku Ultra vs Fire TV.
So, with either model, you can use natural language such as “show movies starring Anthony Hopkins” or “launch Netflix” and get results. The operating system is quite smart and reliable. It almost always gives accurate results.
You will also get lots of channel options regardless of whether you go with Roku Express or Roku Ultra. According to the company, Roku Express will give you access to more than 500,000 channels. The same thing goes with Roku Ultra. So, by choosing the least expensive model, you are not going to give up any channel.
Both Roku Express and Roku Ultra have been updated with the single sign-on option. With this feature, you won’t need to enter your login information repeatedly anymore. You only need to login once for all cable login credentials. This is definitely a huge improvement for our convenience.
The first notable difference between Roku Express vs Ultra is the dimensions. This is not really a big issue, but you still need to make sure that you actually have enough space for your Roku device.
Roku Express is much smaller. It measures only 35.6 mm x 83.8 mm x 17.8 mm. The size of the main unit is easily dwarfed by the remote control. Hence, this is a nice choice if you are looking for the most compact and space-friendly unit.
Roku Ultra is quite larger. It measures 124.5 mm x 124.5 mm x 21.6 mm. The increased dimensions are due to the increased processing power and additional features, such as the MicroSD card slot, optical output, and Ethernet input. Still, it is not too big, so most people will still find it easy to fit into their set-up.
Most people agree that the primary difference between Roku Express vs Ultra is the maximum resolution. Roku Express only supports a maximum resolution of 1080p Full HD. On the other hand, Roku Ultra supports a maximum resolution of 4K Ultra HD with a frame rate of 60fps.
Roku Express only supports a maximum resolution of 1080p Full HD, so it won’t be able to stream 4K content to your television. However, this is not a big issue if your television does not support 4K and you are not planning to upgrade your television any time soon. With the 1080p Full HD resolution, the image quality is already very good with excellent sharpness and details.
Roku Ultra supports a maximum resolution of 4K Ultra HD with a frame rate of 60 fps. It can give you impressive content quality with superior sharpness and details. The high frame rate also ensures that all motions in the images are smooth and detailed. However, don’t forget that you need a 4K-capable display in order to actually enjoy the content. If your display doesn’t support 4K Ultra HD, you will only see the maximum resolution supported by the display.
In addition, Roku Ultra also supports the HDR (High Dynamic Range) technology. By activating this feature, you will enjoy enhanced color depth and accuracy. The images will look much more vibrant and vivid. However, once again, you need a display which supports the HDR technology to benefit from this feature. Otherwise, it won’t give a real difference.
Roku Express only has one standard HDMI port on the device, which is the port that you use to connect the device to your display monitor or television. The HDMI port provides image output and audio output. It also has a USB port, but this port is only for powering the device and is not for content input or output.
For wireless connectivity, Roku Express supports Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n. This is pretty much basic. But it works well. It can stream content in a fairly fast speed.
Roku Ultra, on the other hand, comes with an HDMI port with HDCP 2.2 which will allow you to get premium 4K content. In addition, there is a USB input port which will allow you to play locally stored content, such as videos and music from a USB flash drive. You can also use the USB input port to connect the device to a USB hub which is connected to several hard drives.
Furthermore, Roku Ultra has a MicroSD card slot. However, this slot is not for playing local content. Instead, the memory card is used to increase the storage space of the unit so that you can install more channels and apps.
For Internet access, Roku Ultra supports Wi-Fi 802.11ac dual-band MIMO. So, if your Wi-Fi router supports this technology, you will enjoy significantly increased streaming speed and overall performance. Alternatively, Roku Ultra also has an Ethernet port for a wired Internet access.
It is said previously that Roku Express can support voice commands. Unfortunately, this model only comes with a basic remote that doesn’t have a built-in microphone to receive the voice commands. The basic remote also doesn’t have any audio output jack. In order to use voice commands, you will need to use the Roku mobile app on your mobile device.
Roku Ultra comes with a much better remote. It has a built-in microphone, so you won’t need to use your smartphone all the time for voice commands. You can just use the remote to control the device via voice commands. In addition, the remote has an audio output port which will allow you to use a headset for personal listening.
Roku Express vs Ultra
In general, Roku Ultra is more recommended. It offers significantly better streaming performance. It can be quite faster, thanks to the increased processing power and 802.11ac dual-band MIMO technology. In addition, it also has much better features. It supports 4K Ultra HD at 60 fps as well as HDR content.