David's Take: Here Comes The New Roku Premiere

David Susilo


Published: 11/13/2019 09:00:02 AM EST in Vision

David's Take: Here Comes The New Roku Premiere

In 2018, Roku introduced Roku Premiere, but what I'm most excited about is the addition of HDR support this year.

The 2018 version of the Premiere is more affordable than most other 4K streamers and offers more 4K apps. Unlike the Chromecast Ultra, it actually includes a remote (and an Amazon Video app). Plus it offers better search and more customization than any other. But the lack of HDR and other important features made it a worse value than the rest of the streamers out there, most of which are HDR capable. Which is why this addition had me eager to try one.

Like other Roku streamers, the Premiere comes with a handy remote with headphone output, an included pair of decent earphones, and an HDMI cable. This way, everything you need to install the unit to your TV/home theatre setup is included and ready to go. Best of all, a finder function to locate the clicker if it goes missing is included.

Also added is the capability to add the AppleTV+ app to the unit and now, the Disney+ app, too. Note that this feature can also be added to any older Roku as well (such as my multi-years-old Roku Ultra). But of course, the new Premier is better tuned for AppleTV+ and Disney+ capability.

Setup is very easy and straightforward. Follow everything on screen to the "T" and you're ready to party.

Beyond the new AppleTV+, the usual Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube, along with hundreds of other channels (thousands in the U.S.), Roku TV also gives you access to hundreds (if not thousands) of free movies (advert supported) and TV episodes without any monthly fee or contracts. The fun thing about it is that I can discover obscure movies that are fun to watch and I likely never would have come across or watched had they not been free.

The best thing about the Roku Premiere is that, well, it's a Roku. To go with its superior app support, Roku's interface is the best amongst all streamers I've used, providing a simple list of apps you can add to, delete, and arrange anywhere you want. Roku still offers more TV-centric apps than anyone, so unless you absolutely have to have Amazon Fire or Apple, it makes the best all-around choice for convenience and overall value.

Roku uses the newest Netflix interface, complete with family profiles and moving video backgrounds, as well as the updated Amazon interface. And like most current streaming devices from Roku, response time is lightning-quick across every app I tried, and stable without major usability issues.
As for picture quality, however, this is where it's a bit lacking. Comparing the unit playing the same movies using AppleTV 4K and NVidia Shield (2017), the picture quality ranges from the same to a lot worse. Mind you, however, my "a lot worse" usually means "slightly worse" for most users.

I'd still give it 7/10 for performance whereas AppleTV 4K and NVidia Shield (2017) are 8/10 - I'd only give 10/10 to the best UHD physical media playback, which I get from my Panasonic UB9000 reference player. But then again, at just $50, the value of the Roku Premiere easily shoots it up to an overall 9/10 rating.

So should you buy one? The only answer I can give you is, at that price and for the simple access to a full streaming world of content, why not?





Article Tags:  roku, premiere, 4k, uhd, hdr, video, streaming, television, hands-on review, home entertainment, apple tv+, disney+

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David's Take: Here Comes The New Roku Premiere








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