The Ultra is not new - they just eliminated the digital optical audio port. Otherwise, the hardware remains the same and the price drops.
I just want them to make the Ultra a stable device. Every firmware release recently has brought more problems for me. It started with some audio chirps, which eventually were replaced by volume so loud it was distorted. While that got better (still too loud, but no distortion), I then began experiencing HDCP errors when playing 4K material. That eventually was fixed, too, but now my device will randomly lose its wireless connection, and the only fix is to reboot both my wireless router and the Roku (none of my other wireless devices have any connectivity issues). Our non-4K Roku models have been fine, but the 4K Ultra has been aggravating.
I am scared what Roku OS 8 will bring, based on their current track record.
My 2016 model Ultra just died, and I have to send it back to Roku for a warranty replacement. It will be interesting to see if they replace it with a 2016 or 2017 model. I do not really need the features which have been removed from the 2016 model -- digital optical output and DD+ to DD conversion -- so a 2017 model would be fine. I used the digital optical output when I first bought the player, but do not need it since upgrading my AVR.
I received my replacement Ultra from Roku yesterday, and it was another 2016 model. Not really a big deal, although I was hoping ti would have the new OS 8 installed. No such luck -- it's still running OS 7.7 and will not upgrade yet to OS 8 when I force it to look for an upgrade. Roku has been slow to roll out the new OS to the 2016 models so far, so it may be awhile before mine gets an upgrade.
I am happy to be back in business with a working Ultra, though. Hopefully this one will be more stable than the lemon I had.
We have been out of town for the past two weeks, and while we were away my Roku Ultra upgraded to OS 8. I checked it out briefly today, and here are my first impressions:
Auto display resolution seems to create some issues. With this setting, UHD + HDR10 material plays as 1080p on Amazon Prime. If I force the setting to 4K HDR 60Hz it plays as 2160p and HDR10, as expected.
The 4K upsampling settting of 4.2.0 that I had to set previously via the Ultra's secret menus is now available under advanced display settings, and the upgrade kept my 4.2.0 setting.
The too high volume issue I had experienced with both Ultra units seems to have gone away. I had compensated for this high volume via my Denon receiver, but removed that setting on the Denon today.
I need to put the Ultra through its paces for the next few days to see if there are any bugs which will affect me. I did notice the NHL.tv app has a new interface. I plan on watching the Montreal - Columbis game this evening, so I will check out that app more tonight.
I received the latest software release for my 2016 Roku Ultra a couple of days ago, and now I am experiencing an issue similar to what I have experienced on 7.7 on my previous Ultra unit, which Roku finally replaced as a defective device. The Ultra will just stop communicating randomly with the Internet, and the only way I can get it to work again is to pull the power on the Roku and then reboot my Xfinity router. The device is communicating via WiFi, and I have over a dozen other devices on the network communicating without an issue -- including a Roku Premiere (not the plus model) and Roku Express. The Ultra shows it is communicating with my WiFi network fine, but cannot communicate to the Internet. If I check the connection via the network "secret menu", the device communicates fine with both my WiFi network and the Internet. The replacement device had been working fine since I received it back in October. However, I had to reboot my router three times in the past day, and the Ultra locked up again while watching a program on Amazon Prime. I gave up and finished watching via my Vizio display.
I've about had it with this company. Their software development quality assurance is a joke. For now, I am just going to use the apps on my Vizio M70-D3 in our main home theater setup, and will continue to use the other Roku devices in the other rooms. If Roku doesn't get their sh*t together soon, though, I am moving on to a different company. I'm not paying to ship back another defective unit to Roku because of their incompetent engineers.