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kdford
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:33 am

Help choosing Roku4 -vs- Roku3

Thu Oct 15, 2015 4:05 pm

I have older roku players (three roku XD players from several years ago).. It's time to upgrade. The features missing from Roku 3 and available in Roku 4 are listed below... Most of them don't matter to me.. The question I have is about the quad-core processor (in red below), and also if there are any other missing features that are not listed on the Roku comparison chart that I should consider? Also is there a difference in the formats (video encoding) capability between 3 and 4? If not, I may as well save some bucks and take advantage of any deals that might come up for Roku 3.

  • 4k UltraHD
    • Unimportant to me as I don't have a 4k tv and likely won't buy another tv for the next 5 years)
  • mimo wireless
    • most of my devices are wired and without the 4k, not sure this is important/needed
  • Quad-core processor for 4K Ultra HD
    • Is this an additional processor, used for 4k video, or one processor that is merely capable of processing the 4k video, but that the rest of the interface of the unit will also benefit from?
  • Optical digital audio port
    • I don't use optical audio
  • Remote Finder
    • This is actually kind of neat, as my daughters like to possess/hide the remote from each other.

Thanks, Kevin
 
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RokuDale
Roku Engineering
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Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:59 am

Re: Help choosing Roku4 -vs- Roku3

Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:40 pm

If you have a 1080p tv the roku4 with display photos at 1080p resolution.
The Roku3 currently only displays photos as 720p resolution and then scales that up to 1080p for a 1080p monitor.
The Roku4 can go into sleep mode, saving power when not in use, whereas the Roku3 is always on.
 
Voldemort
Posts: 437
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Re: Help choosing Roku4 -vs- Roku3

Thu Oct 15, 2015 6:55 pm

RokuDale wrote:
The Roku4 can go into sleep mode, saving power when not in use, whereas the Roku3 is always on.

Is the hdmi port off in sleep mode? IOW, will this shut off my television when it goes into sleep mode?
http://freetvforme.wordpress.com
 
raqball
Posts: 119
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Re: Help choosing Roku4 -vs- Roku3

Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:51 pm

If you can spare the extra $30 then get the 4 as the processor and RAM upgrades alone should make everything much faster and snappier like channel load times ect..
Last edited by raqball on Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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RokuDale
Roku Engineering
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Re: Help choosing Roku4 -vs- Roku3

Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:54 pm

If your TV is configured that way (and I think most are), and the active input is the Roku4, it should.
 
dssonic
Posts: 332
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Re: Help choosing Roku4 -vs- Roku3

Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:03 am

Unless money is a critical issue I would get the Roku 4 - this because the Roku 3 is already 2+ years old (the 2015 version is basically the same as the 2013 version) so why not get something with the longest probable shelf life.
 
Jake100
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Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:36 pm

Re: Help choosing Roku4 -vs- Roku3

Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:29 am

@RokuDale: How much hotter does the Roku 4 get compared to the Roku 3? Does the unit get noticeably warmer after streaming 4K videos for a long period of time?
 
kdford
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:33 am

Re: Help choosing Roku4 -vs- Roku3

Fri Oct 16, 2015 11:59 am

raqball wrote:
If you can spare the extra $30 then get the 4 as the processor and RAM upgrades alone should make everything much faster and snappier like channel load times ect..


I might end up doing that but I am expecting, since the 4's release, for there to be more discounts offered on the 3, so if another $20 off comes around (like I missed two weeks ago), the diff would be $50, which for three replacement devices (two of mine are terribly old, the third is only really old), means $150... But I suspect if discount codes don't come along soon I'll spring for the 4.

Does anybody know if the apps (channels) are different on the 4 than the 3, or even if the api/platform is different such that newer apps won't be ported to roku3? Currently I have two Roku XD's and a Roku 2 XS (from 2011 -- looks pretty different from the current Roku 2), and the apps are very different on the two models.
 
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vnazario
Posts: 1637
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:51 am

Re: Help choosing Roku4 -vs- Roku3

Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:03 pm

kdford wrote:
raqball wrote:
If you can spare the extra $30 then get the 4 as the processor and RAM upgrades alone should make everything much faster and snappier like channel load times ect..


I might end up doing that but I am expecting, since the 4's release, for there to be more discounts offered on the 3, so if another $20 off comes around (like I missed two weeks ago), the diff would be $50, which for three replacement devices (two of mine are terribly old, the third is only really old), means $150... But I suspect if discount codes don't come along soon I'll spring for the 4.

Does anybody know if the apps (channels) are different on the 4 than the 3, or even if the api/platform is different such that newer apps won't be ported to roku3? Currently I have two Roku XD's and a Roku 2 XS (from 2011 -- looks pretty different from the current Roku 2), and the apps are very different on the two models.


Hello:

Pure speculation but I suspect that perhaps only the new 4K Showcase channel may not work on other boxes unless the content can be played on lower 720p and/or 1080p resolutions.

All current model boxes will get the new Roku OS7 upgrade including older Roku 2 models like the XS. So most channels will work for most of us. Only a handful of channels apps that only run on the 3 and not older models are available. I imagine that there may be Roku 4 exclusive channels/apps that may not work with the Roku 3 and older but I'm sure if you run a Roku 3 you will most likely be able to run/install pretty much anything that is not 4K or maybe games that may require quad-core processing.

If I see more "exclusive" apps to justify the upgrade I may go for a Roku 4 but in my case, to upgrade to a Roku 3 to play "Tetris" and some other apps, not really worth me upgrading my 2 XS's as I have them connected to VCR and capture devices for recording of some streams that I can't do now with HDMI-only models like the 3. I have wireless headsets already so I don't need to upgrade to a 3 for that. Analog video/audio connections give me more connectivity options and the Roku 2 XS model gives me the USB port, Ethernet, gaming BT remote that I need. I just wish there was a Roku model with the internals of a Roku 3 with the analog ports of the Roku 1 and older 2 models.
vnazario

2xRoku2 XS,Roku1+SE,Logitech Revue GoogleTV,Raspberry Pi+XBMC,Mac Mini+EyeTV DVR+RabbitTV+PLEX+Kodi,TiVo Premiere,Sony BluRay+streaming apps,Equiso Android TV,FireTV,Nexus player,Simple.TV Local TV:QAM from ISP coax line. PLEX+unsupported apps
 
kdford
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:33 am

Re: Help choosing Roku4 -vs- Roku3

Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:27 pm

vnazario wrote:
kdford wrote:
raqball wrote:
If you can spare the extra $30 then get the 4 as the processor and RAM upgrades alone should make everything much faster and snappier like channel load times ect..


I might end up doing that but I am expecting, since the 4's release, for there to be more discounts offered on the 3, so if another $20 off comes around (like I missed two weeks ago), the diff would be $50, which for three replacement devices (two of mine are terribly old, the third is only really old), means $150... But I suspect if discount codes don't come along soon I'll spring for the 4.

Does anybody know if the apps (channels) are different on the 4 than the 3, or even if the api/platform is different such that newer apps won't be ported to roku3? Currently I have two Roku XD's and a Roku 2 XS (from 2011 -- looks pretty different from the current Roku 2), and the apps are very different on the two models.


Hello:

Pure speculation but I suspect that perhaps only the new 4K Showcase channel may not work on other boxes unless the content can be played on lower 720p and/or 1080p resolutions.

All current model boxes will get the new Roku OS7 upgrade including older Roku 2 models like the XS. So most channels will work for most of us. Only a handful of channels apps that only run on the 3 and not older models are available. I imagine that there may be Roku 4 exclusive channels/apps that may not work with the Roku 3 and older but I'm sure if you run a Roku 3 you will most likely be able to run/install pretty much anything that is not 4K or maybe games that may require quad-core processing.

If I see more "exclusive" apps to justify the upgrade I may go for a Roku 4 but in my case, to upgrade to a Roku 3 to play "Tetris" and some other apps, not really worth me upgrading my 2 XS's as I have them connected to VCR and capture devices for recording of some streams that I can't do now with HDMI-only models like the 3. I have wireless headsets already so I don't need to upgrade to a 3 for that. Analog video/audio connections give me more connectivity options and the Roku 2 XS model gives me the USB port, Ethernet, gaming BT remote that I need. I just wish there was a Roku model with the internals of a Roku 3 with the analog ports of the Roku 1 and older 2 models.



The website shows that the 4 also has a usb port (plus ethernet port and sd card reader), but I guess the analog ports are now missing -- no biggie for me but I see why you care.
 
kdford
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:33 am

Re: Help choosing Roku4 -vs- Roku3

Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:33 pm

I don't think anybody replied to the question about the playback formats/capabilities. Reason it matters is that I use my rokus about 50% of the time as a streaming client for a media server. The server will transcode video to the acceptable formats for each client and the more formats the clients can handle, the less transcoding the server has to do. I'm about at my limit for my current media server's cpu capability to transcode to multiple rokus. If the Roku4 supports more playback formats than my 2xs, it might alleviate the need to upgrade the media server, as it might be able to stream instead of transcode.

Below is an example of the video section of mediainfo for one of my encoded files. It's in a Matroska Version 2 container.

Video
ID : 1
Format : MPEG Video
Format version : Version 2
Format profile : Main@Main
Format settings, BVOP : No
Format settings, Matrix : Custom
Codec ID : V_MPEG2
Codec ID/Info : MPEG 1 or 2 Video
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 5 332 Kbps
Maximum bit rate : 9 800 Kbps
Width : 720 pixels
Height : 480 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate mode : Variable
Original frame rate : 29.970 fps
Standard : Component
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Progressive
Scan order : Top Field First
Compression mode : Lossy
Time code of first frame : 00:59:59;00
Time code source : Group of pictures header
Language : English
Default : No
Forced : No
Color primaries : BT.601 NTSC
Transfer characteristics : BT.601
Matrix coefficients : BT.601
 
Fugus
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2015 10:24 am

Re: Help choosing Roku4 -vs- Roku3

Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:36 pm

As it stands, unless you have a 4k TV, you have little reason to upgrade from the Roku 3 to the Roku 4.

If they wanted to give users a compelling reason to upgrade, they could upgrade their USB Media Player to software decode the older media formats since the hardware is more than capable of it and that way many of us wouldn't require 2 media streamers or Plex just to play our older videos off a USB Hard drive.

I mean the original Xbox had a P3 750 processor and only 64 MB of ram it had to share with the video card and it still managed to get about everything up to Xvid at dvd resolution and a little higher. I am betting a quad-core that is probably at least double that speed with much more ram should be able to do that. I have seen $50 android boxes able to as well.

They throw that on the Roku 4 and they will have a compelling reason to upgrade as many prefer to have their media streamer and media player being the same box because they are both fulfilling the same role to the user for the most part.
 
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vnazario
Posts: 1637
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:51 am

Re: Help choosing Roku4 -vs- Roku3

Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:51 pm

kdford wrote:
I don't think anybody replied to the question about the playback formats/capabilities. Reason it matters is that I use my rokus about 50% of the time as a streaming client for a media server. The server will transcode video to the acceptable formats for each client and the more formats the clients can handle, the less transcoding the server has to do. I'm about at my limit for my current media server's cpu capability to transcode to multiple rokus. If the Roku4 supports more playback formats than my 2xs, it might alleviate the need to upgrade the media server, as it might be able to stream instead of transcode.

Below is an example of the video section of mediainfo for one of my encoded files. It's in a Matroska Version 2 container.

Video
ID : 1
Format : MPEG Video
Format version : Version 2
Format profile : Main@Main
Format settings, BVOP : No
Format settings, Matrix : Custom
Codec ID : V_MPEG2
Codec ID/Info : MPEG 1 or 2 Video
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 5 332 Kbps
Maximum bit rate : 9 800 Kbps
Width : 720 pixels
Height : 480 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate mode : Variable
Original frame rate : 29.970 fps
Standard : Component
Color space : YUV
Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Progressive
Scan order : Top Field First
Compression mode : Lossy
Time code of first frame : 00:59:59;00
Time code source : Group of pictures header
Language : English
Default : No
Forced : No
Color primaries : BT.601 NTSC
Transfer characteristics : BT.601
Matrix coefficients : BT.601


Hello:

No one has replied because Roku has not added additional codec support than what is available today. We have always asked for this under "feature request" but Roku has never done much about it. It seems to me that they are not willing to pay for codec licensing OR are unable to port "VLC Media Player" to Brightscript. But buying a Roku 4 will not help you much. You will still need to transcode from Media servers like PLEX or convert your files to Roku-friendly/compliant formats to play.

Many people have asked for this. If this is a deal breaker, then maybe get a WD streaming box. These play the most formats which is great for local playback but they are really crappy for streaming. Most of us use more than one streaming device since Roku can't do everything. I myself use a Roku plus an XBMC/Kodi enabled device per TV to watch content I can't view on my Roku.

There is nothing wrong with using more than one device. But I agree that Roku 4 would sell more if it added more codec support but so far this is just wishful thinking.
vnazario

2xRoku2 XS,Roku1+SE,Logitech Revue GoogleTV,Raspberry Pi+XBMC,Mac Mini+EyeTV DVR+RabbitTV+PLEX+Kodi,TiVo Premiere,Sony BluRay+streaming apps,Equiso Android TV,FireTV,Nexus player,Simple.TV Local TV:QAM from ISP coax line. PLEX+unsupported apps
 
steelersrule
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:41 pm

Re: Help choosing Roku4 -vs- Roku3

Fri Oct 16, 2015 2:17 pm

dssonic wrote:
Unless money is a critical issue I would get the Roku 4 - this because the Roku 3 is already 2+ years old (the 2015 version is basically the same as the 2013 version) so why not get something with the longest probable shelf life.


+1 Always get the latest if you are upgrading from where you are. It will be a HUGE difference.

Heck, the difference between the XS and ROKU 3 was HUGE IMHO. That is what I upgraded from. The SPEED alone was worth it, and the speed of the ROKU 4 is supposed to be better.
 
kdford
Topic Author
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:33 am

Re: Help choosing Roku4 -vs- Roku3

Fri Oct 16, 2015 2:50 pm

Thanks for all the help and opinions guys. My current plan is to wait a couple of weeks and see if there are any deep discounts floated for Roku3. If so, I'll pick up three of them and be good to go for the next 3 years or so. If not, I'll grab Roku4's.

** just another note -- The last time I tried the roku media player, it wasn't even an option. Compared to something like Plex's UI, I can't imagine searching through hundreds of videos in the roku media player interface. I think they were all just icons too, not even thumbnails. Has this improved in more recent versions of the USB media player interface?

Thanks Again,

Kevin

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