What is Roku? What you need to know about the popular streaming stick
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Roku devices are small streaming boxes or streaming sticks that connect to . They stream content from , Spotify, Hulu, Disney + and more (subscriptions required) in one easy-to-find place on a TV screen. They also offer access to a lot of free content, including over 150 channels available for free on the Roku channel and over 250 channels available for free through Pluto TV.
(Note: CBS Essentials and Pluto TV are both subsidiaries of ViacomCBS.)
Roku boxes and streaming sticks are popular for people looking to make a high-tech upgrade to older TVs, as well as those just looking for a simpler interface. Some TVs even come with Roku technology already built in.
Roku makes a number of different models, so choosing the right one isn’t always easy. But that’s where CBS Essentials comes in. If you want to give Roku a try, here’s how to choose the best Roku-enabled streaming box, streaming stick, or TV for your needs.
Roku Express 4K +
Enjoy 4K picture quality and voice control via a Siri, Alexa or Google assistant that lets you search all channels, turn on closed captions and more with the Express 4K + streaming box affordable. It features dual-band wireless connection for a smooth streaming experience, and a premium HDMI cable is included to connect the Roku to the TV. the Roku Express 4K + does not require a smart TV to operate, but does require a TV with an HDMI input. While some Roku devices support older TVs with an A / V input, this one doesn’t.
“I can finally have the apps I want and not worry about running out of storage space on my TV” Lotte review says. “It is very easy to set up and use. The remote control is very simple and easy to learn.”
With a new quad-core processor, the Roku Ultra is the company’s fastest and most powerful media player. It has all the features of the Express 4K +, as well as support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. It works both wirelessly and with an Ethernet port, and it comes with headphones for private listening. If you lose your remote, you can press a button on the streaming device and your remote will play a sound. You can listen to music, podcasts and more on your TV with a connected Bluetooth streaming device.
“I have found that Dolby Vision (offered on many Netflix originals) is superior to standard HDR”, critic Gary says. “If you’re not as picky as I am about getting maximum picture quality, getting Dolby Vision may not be important to you.”
Roku stream bar
The flow bar is a Roku streaming device and soundbar all in one. The sound uses Dolby Audio technology, which automatically reduces the volume of loud advertisements and increases the volume of quiet conversations. It also has a long range wireless receiver. Roku makes an add-on wireless subwoofer and wireless speakers which combine with the Streambar for an enhanced surround sound experience.
“I bought [the Roku Streambar] due to its compact design and the audio mixing from my LG TV, it was impossible to watch movies “, an Amazon customer says. âThe Streambar solved my audio problem. I can now watch movies without turning up the volume for dialogue and lowering the volume for action sequences. I also like the scalability of this device with wireless speakers. and a subwoofer, which I’m sure to take advantage of over time. “
Roku Streaming Stick +
The Roku + Streaming Stick has a long-range wireless receiver and enables Bluetooth streaming, and includes all the features of the Roku Express 4K + in a smaller, easier-to-hide device. Instead of connecting to a TV via wires, it connects directly to an HDMI port. Note that the Roku Streaming Stick + should always be connected to a power source, either through a USB TV input or a wall outlet.
“It doesn’t have the same bells and whistles as my Roku Ultrasâ¦ but again, I also paid almost twice as much for those.” critic K. Krueger says. “This Stick + is much cheaper and basically offers the same user interface and playback performance.”
The Roku Express is an affordable option for people with older TVs. It makes things simple with HD picture quality; a standard remote control and an HDMI cable; and wireless and standard connectivity. It still works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple AirPlay and HomeKit.
“I finally decided to buy one to help keep my TV relevant”, reviewer Mike T says. “Most of the apps on my 2011 model TV no longer work and their functionality was limited. I wish I had bought one a few years ago.”
50 Inch Class 4 TCL 4 Series 4K UHD Roku Smart LED TV
Some TVs already have Roku built in. Choose from 45-inch, 50-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch, 75-inch, and 85-inch sizes in this Roku 4K smart TV, for example, which comes with a simple super remote. The 85-inch model can be purchased in combination with TCL soundbars for an enhanced sound experience.
“I have no complaints considering the price,” critic Ross K. says. “The sound, picture quality, ease of installation, digital antenna and all of the other features advertised are above my expectations.”