review

Roku Premiere Model 3920X Supports 4k HDR Streaming At 60Hz

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Before forking out a lot of money on a smart television to stream Netflix movies or YouTube videos, it's worth looking into a portable streaming player such as Roku Premiere, which has just about every major streaming service platform on it, including cord cutting choices like DirectTV and Sling.
Even if you have a smart TV, you may even need to result to getting a streaming player because smart televisions are known to lose access to streaming apps. Case in point, if you own a Samsung TV (2013 to 2015 models), the BBC iPlayer app is currently unavailable due to a glitch that won't be fixed until early 2020. And, it isn't just Samsung. LG, Panasonic, and Sony smart televisions fair the same way.
Roku Premiere is a very small streaming player, measuring 2cm tall, 8cm long and 4cm deep and, it's also very lightweight, weighing just 37 grams, thanks to its hard plastic construction. The connectivity ports face the backside of the Roku Premiere and include a reset pinhole button, USB power port and a HDMI port that supports HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2.
Roku Premiere connects directly to a TV via HDMI connection and, you can stream in 720p, 1080p, and 4k resolution (30Hz and 60Hz), as well as 4k High Dynamic Range (HDR) in both 30Hz and 60Hz.
If you have a dedicated 4k TV, Ultra HD TV or UHD TV, you won't have worry about 4k up-scaling issues but, if your TV doesn't support true 4k screen resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels), any 4k content you watch will be up-scaled (or enlarged) from 1080p, which obviously won't look as good.
Before getting the Roku Premier, it's worth looking into whether your TV supports HDCP 2.2 or HDCP 1.4. Roku Premiere does support HDCP 2.2 and HDCP 1.4 but, if your TV doesn't, you won't be able to stream 4k content because of High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP), which is a copy protection implemented on HDMI connections to prevent illegal copying of 4k content. If you have the latest 4k TV, it most likely supports HDCP 2.2 but, bear in mind that not all 4k TVs do since older 4k TVs from 2013 do not support HDCP 2.2.
As long as your TV HDMI port supports HDCP 2.2, you can watch 4k content at 60Hz, including Netflix HDR content. If your HDMI TV input only supports HDCP 1.4, you will only able to stream 4k content at 30Hz.
If you plan to stream sports channels with Roku Premiere, you will, definitely, want 4k at 60Hz for higher frame rates (up to 60 frames per second). During the setup process, the Roku Premiere streaming player automatically analyzes the HDMI input of your TV and will tell you the maximum resolution your HDMI TV is capable of playing at.
Talking about setup, Roku Premiere does have to be activated in order for you to complete setup. You will have to visit https://my.roku.com/link and enter the code presented during setup.
Roku Premiere is powered via USB-A to micro USB connection and, a cable is included along with a USB power adaptor to power Roku from a wall plug. Roku Premiere can also be powered via USB.
If your TV has a powered USB port, you can power Roku directly from your TV as long as the powered USB port on your TV can deliver a minimum of 1A.
A high-speed HDMI cable is also included with Roku Premiere, which is needed if you want to view 4k content. Regular HDMI cables only support 1080p video/audio signals.
The base of the Roku Premiere contains cross hatch markings where the included double-sided adhesive strip has to be stuck on so, you can stick Roku Premiere on the top or side frame of the TV. The adhesive strip can be removed but it's single-use only; hence you cannot reuse it.
It's worth noting also that the front of the Roku Premiere houses the infrared receiver so, you have to position Roku Premiere in direct line of sight to you for the Roku remote to work properly. Two Duracell AAA batteries are included with the Roku remote.
tactile, rubberized buttons
Not often you find the remote control being larger than the actual streaming player but, that is the case with the Roku remote, which is twice as large as Roku Premiere. Having the remote is still a practical add-on. You get four dedicated buttons for Netflix, Google Play, Rakuten TV and Spotify, as well as the ability to power off Roku.
Speaking of the Roku remote, there is also a Roku remote app that you can download to your phone and use instead of the physical Roku remote. The Roku remote app does everything the physical remote does and also includes a voice search feature to search Roku channels with your voice.
If you are looking to buy the Roku Premiere or another streaming player, it's worth remembering that not all streaming players support the Apple TV channel, which will also include the new Apple TV Plus. Roku players that support the Apple TV channel include the Roku Premiere Model 3920X (pictured) and Roku Streaming Stick+ (models 3810X and 3811X). Also, subscription channels or paid content are ad-free and, you can also enable closed captioning if the content support it. Most free channels do have ads though.
Compared to most streaming boxes, Roku Premiere is different because it mainly focuses on channels, rather than apps or games; hence there is no app store but rather a channel store with channels for you to download.
You can download a variety of free channels without requiring a subscription from several sources, including Roku's own channel - The Roku Channel. The Roku user interface also provides a useful search feature for you to find what you are looking for. You can either type in on the search box or, you can press the voice search from the Roku remote. There is also a "My Feed" tab that shows everything you follow. For instance, if you follow a TV show, it will show up on the feed area so, you can keep track.

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