Roku Premiere (and Premiere+) review

What is Roku Premiere? 

The best way to enjoy your favorite apps on your TV is with a streaming device. Such devices are essential for cable-alternatives, music streaming and video-on-demand subscription services. But with all the big names out there, like Amazon, Google and Roku, choosing the right one can prove somewhat daunting. 

In 2019, Roku reported higher sales than any other brand in all of streaming. An extensive selection of Roku models has debuted over the years with various capabilities and price points. First, before you buy, it’s a good idea to see how each of Roku’s devices stack up to other streaming devices in our full review. And, get a better sense of Roku devices with our Roku review. Roku’s Premiere and Premiere+ are mid-level media players that are a great solution if you’re new to streaming. Here’s what to expect.  

Roku Premiere pricing 

Roku Premiere costs $39.99 on Roku’s website.

However, you may be able to save a few bucks if you purchase elsewhere. Make sure to search nearby stores, as sometimes you can find the device at a discount. The savings are even better on Amazon. You can get the Premiere for $33.99 — and with Amazon Prime, shipping is free. 

By comparison, Roku Express is priced at $29.99, while you can get a Roku Streaming Stick+ for $49.99. 

Roku Premiere features 

Roku Premiere comes with a comfortable array of features that’ll fulfill the needs of most streamers. Just don’t expect extra storage or wireless connectivity like you’d get with Roku Ultra. 

Premiere design

Roku Premiere is a miniature set-top box — so small that it comes with an adhesive strip in order to secure it to the back of your TV. The exact size of the box is 1.4 x 3.3 inches, meaning it’s even tinier than the remote it comes with. 

How to setup Premiere

Setting up your Premiere is a cakewalk. Insert the micro-USB end of the power adapter into the set-top box and the other into a power source. Then, use the HDMI 2.0a cable to connect the set-top box to your TV. Power your TV on and select the correct HDMI input. Use your Roku remote to also turn your Roku Premiere on. Follow the prompts and sync up with your Wi-Fi. You’re all set to start watching!

Type of remote

Roku Premiere’s remote isn’t anything special, just a simple infrared (IR) remote. So, don’t expect voice controls for quick and easy navigation. There are shortcut buttons on the remote that you can use to quickly open your favorite apps like Hulu, Sling TV and Vidgo. We recommend that you also consider the Roku mobile app. With its free mobile app, you can transform your smartphone into a Roku remote. That way, you’ll be able to use voice controls and even headphones to listen to your content privately. 

Streaming quality 

The Premiere model is Roku’s most affordable 4K ultra-high-definition (UHD) media player. Not only does it support 4K UHD streaming at 60fps, but it also provides high-dynamic-range (HDR), which delivers stunning pictures. Unfortunately, no Roku product supports Dolby Vision. Instead, the Premiere uses HDR10, which isn’t as effective as Dolby Vision.

The Premiere is compatible with audio qualities like Dolby Audio, Dolby ATMOS and DTS Digital Surround. 

Roku’s next 4K compatible device is the Streaming Stick+. For an extra $10, you’ll experience fewer buffering issues with the Streaming Stick’s 802.11ac wireless technology. 

Roku content 

Since Roku Premiere lets you stream 4K content, you’ll be able to take full advantage of the 4K Spotlight channel where you can enjoy 4K movies. And in addition to Roku channels, there’s a wealth of 4K content with apps like Amazon Prime Video and Disney+

What is Roku Premiere Plus?

Roku Premiere+ essentially is an upgrade of the Premiere. It’s pretty much the same as Premiere, but unlike its base model, Roku hasn’t updated the Premiere+ since 2018. Let’s take a look at how it compares to Roku Premiere. 

Roku Premiere+ pricing

Walmart has the Premiere+ listed on its website for $39.95, as does Amazon.

Roku+ is no longer available in the Roku Store, but fear not! You can still find its latest model in online and physical stores. The difference is if you have a Prime membership, you can look forward to free two-day shipping. 

Roku Premiere+ features

Premiere+ design

Both the Premiere and Premiere+ share the same PEZ dispenser-shaped design. And like Premiere, an adhesive strip is available in order to attach it to your TV.

How to setup Premiere+

Fortunately, the setup is just as easy as the aforementioned Premiere. Plug the cables in the necessary ports, power up your TV and follow the prompts. 

Type of remote

The biggest difference between the Premiere and Premiere+ is the remote. Premiere+ comes with a more formidable “enhanced” remote. The remote is more robust, which gives you a better grip. There’s also a headphone jack on the side, so you can play audio as loud as you wish without disturbing your household. And with its voice controls feature, navigation is a breeze. Cruise to The Sopranos by simply saying, “Open Sopranos.” 

Streaming quality 

Premiere+ lets you enjoy all the 4K features as you would with Premiere along with HDR10 upscaling capabilities. Although, you’ll also suffer Premiere’s main disadvantage, being relegated to its outdated 802.11n single-band wireless technology.

Roku content 

Indulge in all of the 4K content you’d like. This means, if you’re a cord-cutter and have a subscription with a cable-alternative service, you’ll be able to enjoy all forms of 4K UHD movies, shows, sports and more. 

Our hot take

Roku’s Premiere and Premiere+ provide two of the most affordable ways to enjoy 4K UHD content. And with Roku’s street cred, you know you’re getting a solid product. The main difference between the two comes down to their remotes — which may be a reason why the Premiere+ was discontinued. Roku’s mobile app is a simple fix. However, with their outdated (2.4GHz) single-band Wi-Fi capabilities, you’re subjecting yourself to less efficient buffering speeds. For an additional $10, you’d be better off with Roku’s Streaming Stick+. Or, opt for Roku premium with the Ultra. 

Zack Kulm

Zack Kulm is a writer and contributor of He covers a variety of topics from entertainment and gaming technologies to pop culture commentary. Kulm received a degree in English from Penn State University and Film Studies from Pittsburgh Filmmakers Institute. He also produces award-winning documentaries.