Home > Articles

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Watching Roku

The most popular streaming media players today are those from Roku. Roku offers a variety of models in both stick and set-top form factors, at a variety of price points.

What makes Roku so popular? First, Roku players have been around for more than a decade, so there are many apps and services available. Second, Roku is agnostic in terms of streaming services; unlike Amazon and Google, which compete in both hardware and streaming services (and block each other’s services on their own devices), Roku plays nice with everybody and offers just about every streaming service available. Third, Roku devices just work; plug ’em in and start watching, few hassles involved. Finally, Roku offers a nice variety of models at affordable price points, so you can easily find the right unit to fit your needs.

Comparing Roku Models

As of early 2019, Roku offers seven different models in the U.S. market”two sticks and five set-top boxes, ranging in price from $29.99 to $99.99 USD. Here’s how they break down:

  • Streaming Stick: This is Roku’s lowest-priced stick model, with 1080p HD resolution and a voice-controlled remote. It sells for $49.99 USD.

  • Streaming Stick+: Priced at $10 more than the basic Streaming Stick, the “plus” model adds 4K Ultra HD playback, HDR, and Dolby Atmos sound. It sells for $59.99 USD.

  • Express: This is Roku’s lowest-priced set-top box. It offers 1080p HD resolution and sells for $29.99 USD. (If you don’t need 4K UHD, this is the model to buy.)

  • Express+: This is the same as the Express, but it has a composite audio/video cable output in addition to HDMI, in case you need to send audio to a separate receiver. It sells for $35 USD.

  • Premiere: This set-top box is Roku’s lowest-priced model with 4K Ultra HD, HDR, and Dolby Atmos support. It sells for $39.99 USD”just $10 more than the non-4K Roku Express.

  • Premiere+: This unit, sold only at Walmart, adds a voice-controlled remote to the basic Premiere unit. It sells for $49.99 USD.

  • Ultra: This is Roku’s top-of-the-line unit, adding a headphone output to its voice-controlled remote, as well as an Ethernet connection. It sells for $99.99 USD.

Table 6.4 compares all of these Roku models. Learn more at www.roku.com.

Table 6.4 Comparing Roku Models

 

Streaming Stick

Streaming Stick+

Express

Express+

Premiere

Premiere+ (Walmart only)

Ultra

Format

Stick

Stick

Set-top box

Set-top box

Set-top box

Set-top box

Set-top box

Voice-controlled remote

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Remote with headphone output

No

No

No

No

No

No

Yes

1080p HD

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

4K Ultra HD with HDR

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Dolby Atmos sound

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Wi-Fi

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Ethernet connection

No

No

No

No

No

No

Yes

Price (USD)

$49.99

$59.99

$29.99

$35.00

$39.99

$49.99

$99.99

Using Roku

All Roku devices—including Roku TVs—have the same interface. You find apps for your favorite streaming services on an easy-to-navigate Home screen.

  1. common-01.jpg Select the Home tab or press the Home button on the Roku remote to display the Home screen. Use the up and down arrow buttons on the remote to scroll through the available tabs.

  2. common-02.jpgPress the right or left arrow buttons to scroll left and right through the tiles, or press the up or down arrows to scroll up or down through the tiles.

  3. common-03.jpg To launch an app, select the tile and press the OK button on the remote.

  4. common-04.jpg Select the Featured Free tab to view selected programming available for free.

  5. common-05.jpg Select the Search tab to search for programs across all the services available on Roku.

  6. common-06.jpg Select the Streaming Channels tab to add new apps/services to your Roku device.

  7. common-07.jpg Select the Settings tab to configure various settings for your Roku device.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account