2019 Roku Premiere Plus (3921) Review
The Roku Premiere+ (3921) is a 4K streaming device that was originally introduced October 2016 in the fifth generation but the seventh generation was released September 2018 (R). This streaming device is not a stick or a dongle. It is a tiny set-top box that needs to be visible to be used.
The Roku Premiere+ is the upgraded version of the Roku Premiere and is definitely worth the extra $10. This media streamer is one of the least expensive 4K HR10 devices on the market giving users a crisp picture with rich colors. This device is great for 4K and HDR TVs and is an easy upgrade from older models.
Roku Premiere+ Hardware
The Roku Premiere+ streaming device is very fast and responsive because it is powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex A53 processor. Navigating between menus and applications is very fast but does rely on the aging 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi technology.
The device connects to your television via an HDMI cable. The device must be powered by using a micro USB adapter and cable or you can power the device via the USB port on your TV; however, this will slow down the device. Micro USB adapter and cables are included.
Also included is the upgraded Roku remote with voice-enabled controls that operate using Google Assistant. As opposed to the Premiere which only uses IR and requires line-of-sight for the remote, the Premiere Plus also utilizes Bluetooth technology making it a lot easier to use. The remote is matte black and very lightweight. The remote contains directional arrow buttons, a back, and home button, and also has reverse, fast-forward, and play buttons.
The remote also includes four shortcut buttons at the bottom that allows you to go directly to a streaming service app such as Netflix or Sling TV. Depending upon where you get the Roku Premiere Plus these four buttons may be different. Roku also offers the Roku mobile app which allows you to use your smartphone as the remote, which also offers some advanced capabilities such as voice search.
Roku Premiere+ Performance
Roku Premiere’s Plus performance is superb for the price point. At under $50, the Roku Premiere Plus delivers outstanding 4K HDR picture quality at an affordable price. Loading video is a seamless experience and despite being inexpensive the device is not cheap.
The performance of the Roku is largely determined by the Wi-Fi antenna, processor, and Roku platform. The Premiere+ can’t access less-crowded 5GHz Wi-Fi networks, just standard 2.4GHz ones. This isn’t necessarily a deal breaker but is disappointing since 4K streaming requires a strong Wi-Fi connection. If your home Wi-Fi network is spotty or weak it could affect the 4K picture quality and may force the device to downscale to 1080p.
The device isn’t an audiophile’s dream but does support digital stereo, DTS Digital Surround, Dolby Audio, and Dolby ATMOS pass through over HDMI. For the average cord-cutter, this is typically more than enough to enjoy high-quality sound.
The platform is where Roku absolutely nails it. It’s lightweight and fairly minimalist. The platform is not cluttered making scrolling smooth and quick with very little hints of lag. Users are able to stream content from the most popular streaming services and applications with ease.
Roku Premiere+ Setup
Getting set up with the Roku Premiere+ is very easy. Simply plug in the device, connect the HDMI to your TV, and follow the on-screen instructions. The device will ask you to connect to your Wi-Fi and then it will check for firmware updates and will optimize the resolution. The resolution may start out fuzzy, but do not worry because the device will automatically adjust to your televisions proper resolution settings.
After you have connected to Wi-Fi and run the initial setup you will be asked to go to Roku’s website to register the device. You can pick and choose which apps you want to download to your Roku. You can go back and change this at any time. Roku will start you off with a handful of apps at first but there are thousands of apps available.
Once set up, simply select and open an application and you’re ready to start consuming your favorite content.
Roku Premiere Plus Channels
Roku’s platform gives cord-cutters access to over 5,000 different channels and applications. This includes both free and premium based content. Roku arguably has the greatest ecosystem of applications and games. All of these can be downloaded at no cost from the Roku Channel Store.
Mainstream content includes streaming services such as Sling TV, fuboTV, YouTube TV, Hulu, Netflix, and more. Users also get access to free content such as PlutoTV, tubi, PBS, Crackle, and more. Roku offers users the capability to listen to music, watch TV and movies, and even get up-to-date news and weather information.
The Roku mobile app gives users extra features. Use your iOS or Android device to enhance your streaming experience. Additional features include:
- The Roku Channel: Stream hundreds of hit movies, TV shows, and more—anytime, anywhere.
- Voice Search: Just say it to search by title, actor, or director across 1,000+ channels.
- Private listening: Use headphones to listen as loud as you want without disturbing the house.
- Cast to TV: See your photos, videos, and music up on your big screen.
Roku Express Technical Specs
|Networking||802.11 (b/g/n compatible) with WEP, WPA, and WPA2 support|
|TV Compatibility||HD TVs – Up to 1080p (1920 x 1080) with up-scaling from 720p, 4K UHD TVs – Up to 2160p at 60fps (3840 × 2160) with up-scaling from 720p and 1080p. TV must have an HDMI input that supports HDCP 2.2, 4K UHD HDR TVs – Supports HDR10. TV must have an HDMI input that supports HDCP 2.2|
|Ports||Power, HDMI 2.0a|
|Audio||Digital stereo over HDMI®, DTS Digital Surround™ pass through over HDMI, Dolby Audio™ and Dolby ATMOS® pass through over HDMI|
|Size||1.4 x 3.3 x 0.7 inches|