New Roku Premier is more of the same awesome


Originally published at:


After a year or so fighting the terrible built-in streaming players of various “smart” TVs and DVD players, the Roku has been a joy to use. I have no experience with other dedicated streaming appliances but I can’t find anything to complain about with the Roku.


Roku is one of those products that really just does what it says and without the baggage of the large brand affiliations and preferences. It may take a bit for a new app to make it to Roku, but everything does get there and work as well if not better than the big branded hardware streamers.

Plex really needs to get better on XB One.


Jason, have you ever posted specifically about Plex?

I see you mentioned it several times, but I’m not familiar with it.

We’ve got a Roku 2 and 3 and looking to cut some cords…


I use plex. It’s a pretty comprehensive media server, and for a monthly subscription you can stream to official apps, but by default you can stream via http to browsers both on your lan or optionally out to the internet.


Pretty sure I’ve linked it in a few of those posts – likely on a Drobo one. I’ll do a “How I use Plex, from Drobo to Roku” post.

It a video file server and streamer.


We really love the Roku IIs we have. Trouble is, they’re so functional and trouble-free, I don’t really have a reason to upgrade if the only improvement is speed and resolution (no 4K sets in the house).

Now, if they’d finally get around to adding a Caller ID feature, they’d have me…


Upgrading from R2 to R3 gets you the Netflix Profiles - that keeps my wife’s reccomendations from being spammed with kids shows.

My profile, of course, thinks I would prefer to watch Bo on the Go or Ninjago.


I’m curious. Does Plex support the 4k resolution? i.e., if I have a video on plex that’s 4k resolution, will it stream it or try to transcode it down to 1080p? Anyone know?


I don’t believe that is entirely true.
My Roku 3 has huge (bummer when accidently hit) app specific launch buttons on the bottom of the remote. Surely there is some behind the curtain exclusivity rights going on there. (One day I will disassemble the remote and remove those buttons)

Meanwhile, the Roku Spotify app is almost useless, I don’t know whether to blame Spotify or go with my gut feeling that Roku is boxing them out for some reason.

I love my two Rokii and do recommend them, but they aren’t quite perfect. My Chromecast still gets use as there are a couple of things that it offers that Roku does not.


Is a “teevee” anything like a TV?


Plex, will transcode if you ask it to, but its default mode is direct streaming straight from the source file.

So if you have a smart tv you’re streaming to, and for example it only has the AVC codec, but the video file is encoded in HEVC, plex will transcode the file as it streams. But there’s a lot of settings and you can change the server’s behavior pretty readily.

If you have 4k video files, plex will stream in 4k.


Sort of. Yes, but with caveats.


Thanks. I did a little digging myself and found this (in my defense, I did this search a couple weeks ago and I swear this wasn’t there then!):


…but is it wrong? :wink: or does it know your secret.


FWIW, I’ve been using Plex for a while now- 2 years, maybe?
It’s excellent. Easy to work with, clients run on nearly anything (including, and I’m totally serious here: a iPod Touch 1st generation. Running iOS 3.x.x or 4.x.x). Runs nicely on my original iPads, too.
If you’re running a lot of streams and a lot of transcoding, the processing power demands can ramp up a bit, but it’s a lovely system. I can’t recommend it highly enough.


Agreed. They’re obviously sponsored buttons but I like them. Use 'em all the time (except where a Pandora button used to be, there is now an Rdio button. [After some Googling] wait, is that just Pandora by a different name?


Looks like Pandora bought some of the tech or rights rdio owned when rdio closed shop.

Also, if one were so inclined… The interwebs have lots of people furious at the Spotify app and there are excuses by both companies explaining it is the other’s fault. Personally, I can’t understand why Spotify would be happy with a useless app for years, meanwhile Roku obviously has an agreement with Pandora, so…


The remote appears to be missing the VR search button that is so convenient on Roku 3. Is this true?


Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Netflix all offer 4k content. It would be nice to upgrade to a 4k roku if I had a 4k TV but otherwise the roku 3 is fine.

While Roku is nice, I’ll stick with the $50 FireStick w. Alexa because I can install Plex and KODI! Actually, I can live without Plex but I need my KODI. I’m slowly finding uses for Alexa as well and this firestick is anything but slow.