CNET's review of Roku 4

CNET reviewer says that, “Image quality with 4K streaming isn’t a big improvement over standard HD streams.” The jump from HD to 4K isn’t as dramatic or impressive as the previous jump from SD to HD.

The first time I saw HD it was jaw-dropping. When I saw 4K, it was a so so experience.

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When is the plan for OTA to go 4K? 2020?

I got the Roku 4 to replace my Roku LT 2700x, which only does 2.4 GHz WiFi. My Tablo experience has improved in the bedroom. The Roku 4 also has a quad core processor. The Roku 3 is still good.

A cautionary note with 4K streaming… be careful to monitor your internet usage to ensure that you don’t exceed your ISP’s caps. I intentionally degraded SlingTV slightly, as well as Netflix and Hulu after I initially cut the cord and increased my streaming because I wanted to stay well away from the limit. As I now watch more OTA than streaming, I’ve gradually increased quality again.

Antennas should still work for 4K OTA since physical RF transmission and propagation hasn’t changed in decades. MPEG2 has been the format through the SD and HD eras. One wonders what in the transmission stream protocol will change for 4K? This may affect the tuners one has in TVs, DVRs and PC cards. We had to transition over from NTSC to ATSC tuners for the digital cutover.

Stations may have to compress 4K streams using MP4 (the way DirecTV does since MPEG2 is inefficient for high bandwidth streams); today most OTA tuners in TV sets and DVRs expect MPEG2. When DirecTV did that, everyone had to swap out their receivers.

Will stations transmit HD, 4K and SD streams in parallel? What is the bandwidth required for multiple streams that include both HD and 4K? Or will stations cut out HD thus invalidating most tuners? What impact will a non-SD, non-HD stream with only 4K and non-MPEG2 have on a Tablo? At least the good ole antennas will still function

2020 may be a shocker to a lot of people who may wind up shelling more bucks for OTA devices and conversion boxes. Tablo2 anyone?