As A Single SolutionIt's possible to use a Roku device as your single sources for television content. Most broadcast network shows -- CBS is a primary exception -- are available through a Hulu subscription. Most new content is available on-demand the next day. Favorite shows that aren't part of the Hulu package can be purchased from Amazon, Hulu, or Google Play, among other sources, giving you an even greater selection of content. Live sports from ESPN is and other live TV cable channels are available with a Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, or DirecTV Now subscription. CBS content is available through a CBS All Access subscription.
While the additional purchases and subscriptions will increase your overall cost, you may still come out cheaper, depending on how much you save by dropping cable or satellite.
DevicesRoku has three main type of devices:
- The standard Roku set-top box. There are four models.
- Roku Ultra - The new top of the line Roku set-top box has a four-core processor, and supports Ultra HD (4K) TV plus it sports an optical digital audio port, and Ethernet port, and a USB port. It also supports voice search via the wireless remote, which includes a headphone jack for private listening and gaming ability.
- Roku Premiere and Roku Premiere+ - These devices also have a four-core processor and support Ultra HD (4K) TV. The Premiere+ also has an Ethernet port and a wireless remote for private listening.
- Roku Express and Roku Express+ - The new entry level devices perform as well as the top-level devices from 2015. The $39 starting price makes it one of the most cost-effective ways to start streaming. The Roku Express+ also supports older composite input television sets.
- The Roku Streaming Stick. It plugs directly in to an HDMI port on your TV, and is hidden from view.
- Roku TV models. These are full television sets with built-in Roku functionality.
The wireless remote supports games, voice search, and private listening with the included headphones.
The Roku Ultra requires a TV with an HDMI input. Most modern TVs come with multiple HDMI inputs, so this shouldn't be a problem. The Roku 4 is priced at $129.
Roku Premiere+ also comes with a wireless remote, that allows private listening via headphones. It also sports an Ethernet port and a microSD slot for channel storage.
The Roku Premiere+ also require a TV with an HDMI input. It sells for $99.
While the Roku Premiere is similar to the Roku Pemiere+ device, it is a slightly difference device, missing the Ethernet port and microSD card slot.
A Roku Premiere comes with a standard IR remote, which requires line-of-sight. It sells for $79.
|Roku Express series|
The Roku Express+ box allows you to use your older TV to be able to play online content, without having to purchase a new TV. It connects wirelessly to your local network, and allows you to watch content on your older TV.
The Roku Express+ sells for $39. The Roku Express sells for $29. The difference is the composite output. If you don't need that, save the $10 on this entry model. If you need composite output, get the Roku Express+. If you don't require composite output, get the $29 Roku Express instead.
Roku Streaming Stick
The new Roku Streaming Stick also has a four-core processor, supports all the same streaming channels, and is cheaper than the Premiere, Premiere+, and Ultra. It could be the best bargain of the bunch. The Roku Streaming Stick sells for $49.
Some models support UHDTV (sometimes called 4K) and all perform on par with the other devices. This may be the right option for you.