The Roku Ultra is billed as Roku’s “fastest and most powerful streaming device.” However, you want to make sure that you are buying the latest model of the Roku Ultra. You generally find two types of Ultra for sale: the Roku Ultra and the Roku Ultra LT. Let’s look at the differences between the two and also review the models, and what to look for so you don’t unknowingly purchase an outdated Roku Ultra LT.
For information on how Roku works and a comparison of all their device models, please see our article: What is Roku? How does Roku Work?
Roku Ultra vs. Roku Ultra LT
The hardware for the latest Roku Ultra is from 2020. That model was initially released with the model number 4800. However, Roku repackaged the same device with an updated remote in 2022. That model number is 4802. Yes, a Roku Ultra with the 4802 model number has identical hardware to a Roku Ultra with model number 4800, but make sure you buy the newer version to get the better remote. However, another version, the Roku Ultra LT, has model 4801.
The Roku Ultra (4802) has the following features not found with the Roku Ultra LT (Model 4801):
- The Roku Ultra has a USB 3.0 port for watching video stored on an external hard drive. The LT version does not.
- The Roku Ultra supports Dolby Atmos audio. The LT version does not.
- The Ultra also has a remote finder button that will play a tone on a remote if you lose it. The Roku Ultra LT lacks the remote finder feature.
Both Roku Ultra and Roku Ultra LT have a voice-activated remote that you can pair with Siri, Alexa, and Hey Google to control channels, volume, and other settings on your TV. However, the Roku Ultra remote has a speaker for the find remote chime feature and programmable quick launch buttons to start your favorite streaming services at the click of a button. The Roku Ultra (4802) comes with the rechargeable Roku Voice Remote Pro that you can charge through a Micro USB port.
That’s where the differences end. The Roku Ultra and Roku Ultra LT both have the following features:
- 802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless (backward compatible with a/b/g/n/ standards)
- 10/100 Base-T Ethernet
- 2 GB of Memory
- 4 GB of app storage space
- Works with Alexa and Google voice assistant
- 720p, 1080p, and 4K UHD with HDR, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision video, and HLG at 60 frames per second
- Night listening mode
- Advanced point-anywhere remote with voice search, headphone jack, and gaming buttons. It also has customizable launch buttons for launching services like Philo, Hulu, ESPN+, Sling, and more.
- IR receiver for universal remotes
- Dolby Audio pass-through via HDMI
- Includes Premium headphones for private listening.
Which One Should You Buy
The hardware in both of these devices is dated. Both use the Wi-Fi 5 standard, which meets the needs of most users. I still use an 802.11ac router at home. But Amazon has Fire TV Sticks on the Wi-Fi 6 standard. I recommend Roku over Firestick because I find them much more user-friendly than any streaming device on the market, but I would go with the Roku Streaming Stick 4K. You can usually find them on Amazon for well under $50. They are significantly cheaper than the Ultra and provide a similar streaming experience.
However, like the Ultra LT, they don’t support Dolby Atmos. I don’t see any reason to buy the Roku Ultra LT. The Roku Streaming 4K matches the Ultra LT in nearly every function. The only thing an Ultra LT has over the Roku Streaming Stick 4K is slightly more processing power and an Ethernet port. Both devices support the same audio and video standards. If you need Dolby Atmos support, or the ability to plug in external media, get the Roku Ultra.
Be Wary Of 3rd Party Roku Ultra LT Sellers
If you buy a Roku Ultra LT, ensure you get the latest model. Roku Released a Roku Ultra LT in 2019 with very similar packaging to the most current model released in 2021. Make sure that the box indicates that the device supports Dolby Vision. The previous version released in 2019 did not. You can also check near the UPC on the box. If the device ID or serial number is on the box, it will either show a “SKU” or “Model” new the UPC. If the Model or SKU shows “4662,” that is the 2019 version. The 2021 model will show a “4801” for the Roku Ultra LT.
I’m not suggesting a seller is doing this intentionally. It’s most likely a mistake. However, I’ve seen several older Roku Ultra LTs online that don’t indicate the year they were made.
What’s In The Box
When you purchase a Roku Ultra or Roku Ultra LT, you will find the following inside the box.
The Roku Ultra includes the following:
- Roku Ultra Device
- Roku Voice Remote Pro
- Premium High-Speed HDMI® Cable
- Power adaptor
- Power Adapter
Roku Ultra LT
The Roku Ultra LT includes the following:
- Roku Ultra LT Device
- Roku Voice Remote
- Power adaptor
- 2 AA Batteries