Roku is a staple in the world of streaming. The streaming giant provides numerous ways to access your favorite apps with its streaming players, smart TVs, and soundbars. That way, you can choose the device that’s perfect for your situation. One of our favorite examples is Roku Express+. It’s an affordable model that includes a composite cable so you can stream your apps on an older TV. Or, if you’re searching for something on the higher-end, there’s Roku Streambar — a soundbar that also functions as a streaming player. And, there’s every kind of device in between.
The Roku Express and Roku Ultra LT streaming devices are very popular among cord-cutters but provide very different experiences. They both take the appearance of set-top boxes and share the Roku interface, but that’s where their similarities end. So, how does Roku Express vs Roku Ultra LT stack up against one another? Let’s perform a side-by-side comparison.
Roku Express vs. Roku Ultra LT features and specs
|Roku Express||Roku Premiere||Roku Streaming Stick Plus||Roku Ultra||Roku Ultra LT|
|Dolby Vision support||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|Remote control||Standard IR Remote||Standard IR Remote||Voice Remote||Voice Remote||Voice Remote|
|Google Assistant compatible||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Dimensions||1.5 X 3.0 X 0.75 inches||1.4 X 3.3 X 0.7 inches||3.7 x 0.8 x 0.47 inches||4.92 X 4.92 X 0.83 inches||4 X 4 X 0.80 inches|
Roku Express vs. Roku Ultra LT cost
There’s a $50 difference between Roku Express and Roku Ultra LT. Roku Express costs $29.99 for its set-top box streaming player, basic IR remote, a high-speed HDMI cable, power adaptor, and USB cable. The set-top box is so small (1.5 x 3.0 x 0.75 inches) that it includes an adhesive strip so you can easily secure it to the back of your TV.
Now, Roku Ultra LT is no longer available in the Roku Store, but you can still purchase it at retailers like Amazon and Walmart. The average cost of Roku Ultra LT is in the ballpark of $79.99 — but in some cases, you may find it for as low as $59. To add some perspective, Roku Ultra is priced at $99.99. With the Roku Ultra LT, you’ll get the wireless Roku Ultra LT streaming player, headphones, a voice-activated remote, and a power adaptor.
Roku Express vs. Roku Ultra LT interface and personalization
As long as you have the most recent Roku updates, both Roku Express and Roku Ultra LT should have very similar interfaces. However, be careful as some older Roku models no longer receive updates for features and new apps. Roku’s classic interface is simple and sleek, with a useful menubar located to the left of your screen and your apps organized in a grid.
There are a few ways to personalize your Roku device. For instance, you can add “channels” or apps, from Hulu to CuriosityStream, as well as games and other miscellaneous applications. While some apps are free, premium, higher-quality apps like STARZ come at an additional cost. You can also customize the appearance of your Roku interface by modifying your screensaver and theme pack.
Roku Express vs. Roku Ultra LT streaming quality
The greatest difference between Roku Express and Roku Ultra LT is 4K quality streaming. Roku Express is compatible with videos up to 1080p and upscales visuals from 720p. If you don’t have a 4K-capable TV, then a 4K streaming player won’t make much of a difference.
The Roku Ultra LT does everything Roku Express can, and more. It supports 4K ultra-high-definition (UHD) high-dynamic-range (HDR) content. So, if you’re streaming the game on Sling TV, you’ll be able to do so in the best quality. One thing to note is that Roku Ultra LT is limited to HDR10. The latest Roku Ultra is your best bet for the best quality streaming. It not only supports Dolby Atmos but now supports Dolby Vision, too.
Roku Express vs. Roku Ultra LT compatibility
Roku Express is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, but not Siri. So, you’ll be able to say, “Alexa, play The Defiant Ones on HBO Max” to navigate quickly without going through a series of time-sucking steps. Newer Roku players that support 4K quality content can play AirPlay 2 and support Siri and iOS devices. Since Roku Ultra LT is no longer in production and no longer receives updates, you won’t be able to use Siri or AirPlay 2. So, if you have an iOS device, you might want to consider Roku Streaming Stick Plus or Roku Ultra with the latest Roku OS 9.4.
Take advantage of extra storage with Roku Ultra LT and Roku Ultra. Roku Ultra LT possesses a Micro SD slot that’s useful for storing photos and videos. But the more premium Roku Ultra has a USB port that’s great for USB sticks and external hard drives.
The final cut
Roku Express and Roku Ultra LT are both reliable streaming players, but they serve very different purposes. While Roku Express works for older TVs without 4K-capabilities, Roku Ultra LT is a lite version of the wireless Roku Ultra, which is Roku’s most premium streaming player. One thing to note is that Roku Ultra LT has been discontinued in the Roku Store but is still available from third-party retailers. And you may not be able to get the latest OS updates with older Roku models. This could be an issue if you want new apps or feature updates.
Do you like what you’ve read about Roku Express so far? Then, we recommend reading our comprehensive analysis of Roku Express to make sure you get the most out of your entertainment experience. Now, if you’re leaning more towards Roku Ultra LT, you might also be interested in Roku Ultra for just a little more money. But, before you buy, take a look at its features and capabilities with our Roku Ultra review.