Is Roku Ultra Remote IR or RF?


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The Roku Ultra allows you to stream movies and gives you access to many different channels and subscriptions. Since the Roku Ultra is controlled with the small included remote, you might be wondering if it’s an infrared remote (IR) or a radio frequency remote (RF). 

The Roku Ultra uses an RF remote. This means you do not have to aim the remote directly at the Roku for it to work. This makes it easier to install the Roku because you can put it on a side table or behind the TV. 

You might be wondering what the difference is between an IR remote and an RF remote. We will go over the details in this article. We will also discuss why the RF remote makes streaming easier and go over some troubleshooting tips in case the remote stops working. 

Is the Roku Ultra Remote IR or RF? 

The Roku Ultra is an RF remote. Not all Roku devices are RF remote though. 

Many of the older devices still use the IR remote including:

If you aren’t sure which remote your device uses, you can check. Remove the battery cover and check if there is a pairing button on the bottom. Only RF remotes have a pair button

Almost all the newer Roku devices have an RF remote, including the Roku Ultra.

Why are RF Remotes Considered Better? 

Many people want to know if the device uses RF or IR remote before buying it because they only want RF remotes. RF remotes have many advantages over standard IR remotes. 

RF remotes are said to be easier to control because they don’t require you to point the remote directly at the device for it to work. This means you can put the Roku device anywhere you want. It does not have to be directly under the TV or beside the TV to work. 

Some other advantages include:

  • The signal can go through walls 
  • Can work up to 100 feet from the device 
  • Makes it easier to organize the living room and TV stand 
  • Allows you to stay in the same position on the couch without moving 
  • Change the channel or volume from a different room 
  • Better overall for home theaters 

Now, let’s see if you can use an IR remote with Roku Ultra.

Can I Use an IR Remote with Roku Ultra? 

Maybe you have the new Roku Ultra but lost or broke the remote. If you have an old Roku remote, you might be wondering if you can use it. 

IR remotes are only compatible with other IR devices. This means you cannot use an IR remote with the Roku Ultra. If you had a Roku 1, though, and upgraded to a Roku 2, you would still be able to use the older remote because both of these devices use IR remotes. 

For Roku Ultra, you can use any of the Roku device remotes that are RF including:

  • Roku 2 (only model 4210)
  • Roku 4
  • Roku Premiere 
  • Roku Premiere +

So, if your Roku Ultra remote breaks and you only have old IR remotes, you will need to get a replacement. 

Roku Ultra Remote Not Working 

Since the Roku Ultra remote uses enhanced RF technology, you might be confused when it stops working. Obstacles in the way or being too far from the TV are usually not the issue with advanced technology. 

There can still be a few reasons why it has stopped working though and most are very easy to fix. 

The Batteries are Old 

The RF remote still needs two double AA batteries to work. Make sure the batteries are new. If it’s been a while since a battery change, swap them out and try to see if it starts working. 


Although uncommon, Roku remotes are subject to overheating just like any other technology device. If you feel like your remote feels much warmer or hot to touch, set it down and leave it alone for a while. 

If the remote is regularly overheating, you might need to buy a new one. 

Fixing the Remote 

If your remote is not working here are some simple steps you can take.

They are:

  • Turn the Roku device off, wait a few minutes, then turn it back on. 
  • Reset the device from the settings menu. 
  • Change the batteries.
  • Try another RF Roku remote if you have one to ensure the issue is with the remote and not the TV. 
  • Buy a new remote if no solution is found. 
  • Contact Roku Support.

Now you know everything about the type of remote Roku uses on its different models.

Final Thoughts 

The Roku Ultra remote uses an RF remote. You don’t have to point the remote directly at the device for it to work which makes streaming easy and convenient. RF remote also rarely experiences issues since obstacles and signal blocking are not an issue.

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