Micro SD port offers extra storage. Sound transitions smoothly from TV to headphones when listening privately.
Doesn't have gaming buttons on the remote. If overheating becomes an issue, it can periodically freeze.
Roku app allows use of voice searches. Quad-core processor provides uninterrupted streaming.
Sometimes drops off Wi-Fi and doesn't stream 4k. Remote cannot be used for motion gaming.
Good Wi-Fi connectivity with an HDMI port that provides extra options. Easy, fast setup and good selection of streaming stations.
Has to be physically attached to the TV. Some units unpredictably drop Wi-Fi.
Good price for 4k video plus the same access to other streaming services and channels. Crisp, clear picture quality with smooth streaming.
Some problems connecting to surround sound systems. Could have problems with audio syncing.
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Roku streaming devices are the perfect gadgets for anyone looking to bring streaming video from the internet directly to their TV. Although big names like Amazon, Apple, and Google all have their own streaming products, Roku released their first products years before anyone else, and they’ve maintained the lion’s share of the market ever since.
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Learn more about which features matter most on Roku devices, and then consider the various Roku models above. There’s one for every lifestyle.
Roku offers a wide variety of streaming devices, but they all fit into one of two physical form factors: Roku sticks and Roku boxes.
Roku sticks are small devices that plug directly into any HDMI port on your TV and are powered by your TV’s USB ports. The stick form factor is unique because it’s so portable; at about the size of a pack of gum, it can go just about anywhere with you. While not as fast as their box counterparts, Roku sticks are perfect for anyone who needs streaming video on the go or who doesn’t need top-of-the-line hardware.
Roku boxes look like small, unassuming hockey pucks. They include a host of nice-to-have features that streaming sticks don’t offer (such as USB ports for connecting external storage or an Ethernet port). Roku boxes are perfect companions to your existing entertainment set up, and their improved internals deliver a lightning-fast user experience.
Roku devices can output sound in both stereo and surround formats. If you have a surround sound system, visit the settings menu to verify that your Roku audio is being delivered accordingly.
Roku does not charge a subscription fee for using its platform. However, in order to access some paid online streaming content like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Video, you will need a valid subscription for each service.
As you’re considering which Roku model to buy, keep the resolution of your TV in mind. Is your TV is a standard model, a 1080p HDTV, or one of the newer 4K models?
If you have a 1080p HDTV, there isn’t a lot of sense in buying one of their 4K models, especially considering the cost savings. If one of the 4K models has a “killer feature” that you need, it will still work on your 1080p TV, but without the benefit of 4K resolution.
Roku’s premium 4K models support High Dynamic Range (HDR), a new technology that displays video content with a wider range of colors and increased color contrast. If you own a 4K TV that’s HDR-compatible, get a Roku that delivers HDR – the visual improvement is stunning.
Although all Rokus typically cost less than $100, it’s important to know what you might be missing if you choose a lower-cost model.
Roku sticks cost between $30 and $70. Pricier Roku sticks include additional features like voice search and the ability to use the Roku remote to turn your TV on and off.
Q. Will a Roku stick work if I’m traveling abroad?
A. Roku sticks can connect to WiFi networks wherever they are available. However, it’s important to note that if your Roku is powered by plugging into the wall (and not via USB), you may need a power converter to be able to plug it in outside of the U.S. In addition, many American streaming content providers limit your access to their content when connecting from another country, so you may have fewer things to watch, depending on where you are.
Q. Can I play video games on a Roku?
A. Many Roku models are compatible with games from the Roku online store and can be played by using the remote control as a game controller. Video games on Rokus are very similar to those found on Android and iOS devices.
Q. Can I use a wired network with Roku?
A. Roku boxes commonly have Ethernet ports for connecting via a wired network connection (in addition to their built-in WiFi), while Roku sticks can only connect via WiFi.