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 Premiere+ is the upgraded version of the Premiere and is definitely worth the extra $10. This media streamer is one of the least expensive 4K HR10 streamers 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 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 set-top box connects to your television via an HDMI cable. The streamer 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, Premiere Plus also utilizes Bluetooth technology making it a lot easier to use. The remote is matte black and very lightweight. This 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 cord-cutting service app such as Netflix or Sling TV. Depending upon where you get the Premiere Plus these four buttons may be different. The company also offers a 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
Premiere’s Plus performance is superb for the price point. At under $50, the Premiere Plus delivers outstanding 4K HDR picture quality at an affordable price. Loading video is a seamless experience and despite being inexpensive the streamer is not cheap.
The performance of the Roku is largely determined by the Wi-Fi antenna, processor, and Roku platform. 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. This 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 Premiere+ is very easy. Simply plug in the set-top box, connect the HDMI to your TV, and follow the on-screen instructions. The box 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 television’s 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 streamer. 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.
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. This streamer 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 cord-cutting 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 mobile app gives users extra features. Use your iOS or Android device to enhance your cord-cutting 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 Premiere Plus 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|
Roku Premiere Plus Review Conclusion
The Roku Premiere Plus is a streaming device for cord-cutters looking for 4K and HDR10. This is one of the best 4K devices available for under $50. However, while we think this device is pretty good it doesn’t offer the dual-band Wi-Fi connection that the Roku Streaming Stick Plus does (and for only $10 more). This device offers a voice-enabled remote featuring both Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa but voice-controls are not as good at Amazon’s 4K Fire Stick. With that said, this is still an all-around great device capable of delivering high-quality video and audio. It’s also worth noting that this is a great option for those not looking to spend the extra for the Roku Ultra.
Compare Roku Premiere Plus To Other Streaming Devices
Wondering how this streaming media player stacks up vs other devices? Compare our Roku Premiere+ review to other popular cord-cutting TV devices reviews. We have reviewed the most popular streaming media players on the market including brands such as Amazon, Apple, Roku, and more. Check out our full list of streamer reviews here:
- AirTV – Dual network tuner that transmits OTA signals to a device connected television. Rating: 7.0; Price: Discontinued.
- AirTV Player – Unique device that combines cord-cutting television with over-the-air antenna local channels in one platform. Rating: 6.4; Price: Discontinued.
- Amazon Fire TV Cube – Central hub for connecting and controlling all of your home theatre equipment including TV, cable box, and even audio equipment by using the Amazon Alexa voice control technology. Rating: 8.6; Price: $119.99.
- Amazon Fire TV Stick – Amazon’s budget streamer for cord-cutters looking to for 1080p resolution. Rating: 8.4; Price: $39.99.
- Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K – Amazon’s 4K streaming stick. Great value. Rating: 9.0; Price: $49.00.
- Apple TV – Original set-top box by Apple. Rating: 8.4; Price: $149.99.
- Apple TV 4K – One of the most powerful set-top boxes on the market. Apple’s 4K version. Rating: 9.2; Price: 32G $179.99 and 64G $199.99.
- Google Chromecast Dongle that allows users to cast from a separate device. Rating: 6.4; Price: $35.00.
- Google Chromecast Ultra – Google’s 4K version of the dongle. Powerful but awkward. Rating: 7.4; Price: $69.00.
- Roku Express – Ultra budget 1080p set-top box. Rating: 7.6; Price: $29.99.
- Roku Express+ Tiny set-top box for older televisions. Rating: 7.8; Price: $35.00.
- Roku Premiere – Inexpensive 4K and HDR10 set-top box. Rating: 8.6; Price: $39.99.
- Roku Premiere+ Upgraded version of the Premiere. Rating: 8.6; Price: $49.99.
- Roku Ultra Top-of-line 4K and HDR set-top box. Rating: 9.6; Price: $99.99.
- Roku Streaming Stick Non-4K streaming stick for budget cord-cutters. Rating: 8.6; Price: $49.99.
- Roku Streaming Stick+ Very powerful 4K streaming stick for power cord-cutters. Rating: 9.6; Price: $49.99.