Roku Ultra adds Dolby Vision and Atmos to take on Apple TV 4K

Roku Ultra (2020)
(Image credit: Roku)

Besides dropping the news about the Roku Streambar today, Roku has also announced that the Roku Ultra is getting a bit of an upgrade for 2020 as well. 

Among the upgrades coming to Roku’s top 4K streaming player are the addition of Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, which should help the Roku Ultra compete with the Apple TV 4K in terms of visual fidelity and immersive sound quality.

For folks who’ve struggled to get Wi-Fi signal to the streaming player, Roku says it will boost the player’s range by 50% and has increased the general responsiveness of the player by adding faster memory.

The new Roku Ultra will be available in the US, Canada, and Mexico starting in mid-October and will cost $99 – the same as the old Roku Ultra costs today. 

Roku Ultra vs Apple TV 4K: more similar than you'd think

While they don't have quite the same clout as Dolby's AV formats, Roku is also updating its players with Apple AirPlay and HomeKit this year, too. 

With both Apple technologies plus Dolby Vision / Atmos, Roku is really closing the gap to Apple's flagship streaming device, the Apple TV 4K.

Where the two devices differentiate themselves is on price (Roku Ultra is $99 vs Apple TV 4K's $179 sticker price) and smart platform. With Roku, you get the Roku OS, which offers a great egalitarian search feature – although tvOS has great gaming compatibility with Apple Arcade and a slew of games from the App Store.

Apple may have gamers and iOS users wrapped around its finger, but now that it has Dolby Vision and Atmos support alongside its lower price, Roku's making a strong case for cinephiles to convert over to the new Roku Ultra.

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.