If you want access to unlimited content, then Roku could be one of the best options that you can go for. With Roku, you can watch movies, get access to Amazon, Hulu, Netflix and much more though it’s very popular, which is interesting that when I googled about it, there is not much information about it. So, I thought about writing a detailed review covering all the important aspects. Today, in this article, we’ll talk about everything that you should be aware of. We’ll include all different version and accessories of Roku devices.
With Roku, you get access to the enormous content. You can watch Youtube, Sling TV, Netflix, and others. Once you open the Roku TV, you will get different options to choose from, and then you can enter that particular module. Most of the content that you get with it is pre-recorded, but with Sling & Hulu, you can watch the content live as well.
Roku is the perfect combination of cable and satellite TV. If you have a Roku device and a TV antenna, then you won’t need a cable TV. Some people call its device as Roku Box as well. With it, you get the 6-inch square device, and if you are looking for Roku TV, then it has the inbuilt device in it. Roku came long back in 2008 and at that only Netflix was available, but since then the things have changed now you have access to an unlimited number of channels and streaming networks. There are mainly three types of Roku devices available and below are all of them.
Roku Box: This is one of the options that you can go for. This standalone box needs an internet connection which can be done through broadband or wifi. Roku Box connection happens with TV and home theater through HDMI cable. You have five different types of Roku box.
Roku Streaming Stick: You also have a streaming stick option as well. This is a very compact and a little bit larger than the size of a USB stick. For this also, you need to use the HDMI input with TV and Home Theater. For internet connection, you can go for broadband or WiFi.
Roku Streaming Stick
Roku TV: If you want to buy a TV which has everything inbuilt and no separate setup box or stick required then you can go with this all in one solution. Roku Operating System is already built in with the TV. For internet connection, you again need either broadband or wifi. There are multiple varieties available to choose from in this case. Companies like TCL, Insignia, Sharp, Hitachi & Hisense also offer the Roku TV Models.
With each Roku device, you will have different features available. With some, you will be able to access HD content which gives you enhanced color and picture quality. These devices you can buy online at an affordable price.
A lot of people are also asking that “Does Roku Require Internet?”, Yes, it needs the internet. You won’t be getting internal storage with the TV that you have to take care separately. You also need a cable TV Provider as well to get access to the channels to get live streaming. It is very affordable as well, and you get everything under $50.
To get the HD Quality streaming, you should have at least 10-15Mbps speed which will give you the glitch-free viewing experience.
Roku Advanced Features
In this section, we’ll talk about some of the best features of Roku devices. These features make the whole experience more convenient and smooth.
This is the forte of Roku TV. It brings in the multiple streaming services together and gives you an ample amount of content to enjoy. You can see thousands of free movies, TV Shows, and live channels as well. It also has a Roku channel as well where you don’t have to pay any subscription or any other extra fee. What I appreciate that you watch the content, you are not bombarded by advertisements here like other streaming devices.
This is a cool feature. With voice search, you can have really easy navigation without touching the remote control. But for that, you must have a Roku Device or the app installed in your smartphone. When it comes to search, you can use multiple options with it. You can say some actor name; it will show all the movies of the actor. You can use categorization as directors, program title or movie name. If you are not a native speaker, you can face a little bit problem but if your native language is English then will take your command without a problem.
You can use the commands to change between channels or launching apps. Voice commands can be done through remote control or mobile app. So in case you don’t have a remote control, you can download the app.
HD Quality Transmission:
You get 4k content which makes the viewing experience pretty good. To access the 4k spotlight channels, you should have a stick, box or a TV. You can find the content through categories or genres as well. You can also use the Antennas and have access to more channels.
Ease of Use:
The user interface that you get with the Roku is very simple; you can easily navigate through the different channels. Its smart guide allows you to set your favorite channels and you can also resume once you come back to the same content. There is also an option for selecting the broadcast listing 14 days in advance. Searching is also very simple here; you can search through over the air content or up to 500 channels. You can also use headphone and have a private listening experience.
How to Setup Roku
In this section, we’ll talk about the setup process. In this section, we’ll cover the setup process as well as the things that you have to keep in mind. You can carry the Roku Stream device anywhere in the world, what you need that you have to connect it with HDMI port and also internet connection is required.
- After connecting to the device, you have to log in to your account. If you are traveling from one place to another, also don’t forget to carry the HDMI cable as well.
- You can also install the Roku App which is supported to Android and iOS both. With the app itself, you can take over the control and do everything. You can also use voice command and other advanced features as well. You can also control streaming function, Channel scanning, picture & audio settings and much more.
- It also allows you to send the videos and photos from your smartphone to TV and watch in on a big screen.
- You also get multiple language options to choose from. So, you can choose the one that is suitable for you.
- When you connect the Roku device very first time, you need to enter the activation code that you can find with the product. Read the instructions properly before going for activation.
- After activation, you need to create user, password and payment details as well. There is no charge for Roku device usage, but you have to make the monthly rental payments for your subscription.
- Once the setup process is completed. Then, you will get the home screen where you can easily navigate between different available channels.
How To Add Channels To Roku
Once the installation is done, you can easily add the channels in Roku.
- Go to the Home menu and there scroll down and go to the option of streaming channels. Then click the purple button on the remote.
- After clicking the button, you will be navigated to the Channel store, and there you can select the channel that you like.
- You can search here by category or the name. Once you found the right channel, then you can click on it, and it will be installed on the home screen.
How Does Roku Work with Cable
People are asking a lot of questions how does Roku work with cable? If you want to use the local channels while using the Roku TV as well, then cable subscription is required. The cable subscription is a bit weird because in this case, the cable is used for network purpose only.
Sometimes these local cable costs a lot of money. In that amount, you can have Roku subscription for a couple of months. So, if you don’t want to have a cable connection, you can also go for Roku alone.
Best Roku Channels & Apps To Watch
In this section, we’ll talk about some of the best channels that you can watch on Roku. Roku provides more than 4000 channels all together which are location dependent as well. There is a lot of free content also on Roku that you can go for if you don’t want to pay for monthly subscriptions. Below is the list of some of my personal best channels.
NBC News: If you love news then this is going to the best channel for you. You will also find audio and video clips. Though you won’t find the full shows, it’s free, and you remain updated what’s happening around the world.
NASA TV: If you are a geek or love science then you are going to love this channel. It gives you the live streaming, and you get the latest update by NASA. You will see a lot of shots from the international space station. If you love these kinds of stuff, then you’ll love it. If you don’t like these kinds of things, then you will hate it.
Facebook: This is a unique channel. With this, you can have access to the trending content on Facebook.
Youtube: You can also watch youtube here. Here the content is completely free, and it’s available in all Roku devices.
History Channel: You want to watch shows about war, ancient times then this is the right channel for you. Here, you get educational documentaries, and you get a better understanding of history.
Vevo: If you want to enjoy the music of diverse category then it could be the right channel for you. Subscribe to this channel and listen to your favorite bands.
Crackle: This is the channel for watching old movies. Here, you won’t get any blockbuster movie. Instead, all the movies here are either B level or C level.
Popcorn Flix: This is also another free movie channel. Here also you will get movies which are of C or D level.
Roku Cost Per Month
There is a lot of free content on the device that will cost you nothing. You can enjoy the free contents like youtube, Hasbro, Crackle, VEVO, Pandora and others. If you want some more channels, then you can go for premium subscriptions which will give you Netflix and HBO like channels.
So, the monthly cost varies depending on your monthly usage. If you are happy with free content, then you don’t have to pay anything at all. If you want some cool channels, then I would recommend you to go for one or two subscriptions.
Roku Pros & Cons
In this section, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of the Roku. What are its advantages and what are the disadvantages? So, read this section carefully so that you can know both the sides and then only you can decide whether it’s the right choice for you or not.
Roku has all the channels that you would find in all the mainstream connections.
It is very affordable as well considering the value and content access that you get out of it.
It is also very easy to use. It makes things very clutter-free, and you can easily navigate between different channels.
You get multiple options to choose from. You can choose among device, stick or TV itself.
A lot of users complained about its voice recognition. It’s not as good as Amazon Fire or Alexa.
You can’t do mirroring with Apple devices, and also you don’t have iTunes access in it.
Chromecast is also a very good alternative of it. You can read about chromecast here and then you can decide which one is better for you?
How to find the Best Roku option for you
As you get a lot of options to choose when it comes to Roku. Today, I’ll discuss how to decide which option is the best for you. Possibilities and requirements will vary from person to person. So, read the below points carefully and then only decide which is the right option for you.
- If you have an old TV which doesn’t have the HDMI input then either you can buy the new Roku TV, or you can go for Roku Express+ which supports audio and video input connections.
- If you have a TV which has the HDMI connection but doesn’t have the smart features in that you can go with Roku stick or box.
- If you have a smart TV, but it doesn’t offer the channel streaming, then you can go for Roku Streaming devices.
- If you are looking for a new TV. Then, you can buy the Roku TV itself as it comes with 4k Quality.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which are the free channels on Roku
There are a lot of free channels on Roku. You can use Crackle, VEVO, Youtube and many others.
Can you watch normal TV on a Roku TV?
Yes, you can. If you have a cable connection, then you can also watch normal TV as well.
How much does Roku cost per month?
There are different subscriptions packages. The streaming players start at just $29. If you don’t want the premium channels, then you can go with free channels, for that you don’t have to pay for anything.
What to do if your Roku is not working?
Sometimes, you might face the problem of Roku not working. In that case, you have to reboot the device. For rebooting, replug the power, wait for 5 seconds and then press hold the black button and the booting process will start.
Can you get local channels with Roku?
Yes, if you have the antenna connection, then you can also have local broadcast through the Roku.
Is fire stick better than Roku?
They both have pros and cons. With Roku, you get simple navigation, and you can easily choose the channels free from clutter.
Where do we buy the Roku devices?
Below, we have mentioned all the available devices where you can have a look and buy the one that suits your requirement.
What are the best private channels for Roku?
There are a lot of cool channels on the Roku. You can go for Wilderness channel, EuroRoku, Neon Party and other great content private channels.