What is Roku and How Does It Work? Streaming Device Information

What is Roku

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With the advancement in technology, the traditional method of saving data on hard drives and then watching them have now been substituted by streaming media via the internet. Media streaming has become one of the biggest sources of entertainment. As a result, the amount of time spent by an individual on streaming media has increased drastically.

One can now access media easily, anywhere from mobile to television, with the help of the internet without any issue. However, if you want to stream your favorite shows and movies on your television, you either need to have a smart tv or a media streaming device.

Media streaming devices are a one-stop solution for all people who do not own a smart tv. These devices, as the name suggests, help you stream your favorite shows and movies. In other words, we can say Media Streaming Devices are the devices that convert your ordinary old television into a smart tv.

With the change in demand of people, the number of available media streaming devices has increased. As a result, many media streaming devices with different features can now be seen in the market. One of the most cost-effective and most popular streaming devices in the market is Roku.

What is a Roku?

Roku is a media streaming device that allows you to stream tv shows and movies on your television with the help of a reliable internet connection. Just like one installs applications that offer streaming services on their mobile phone, and individual installs apps like Netflix, Apple TV, Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video on their Roku device to stream media on their television. Not just this, but you can also stream Live TV on Roku. Apart from this, some Roku devices also have a USB port that you can use to load local media.

In today's world, almost all people have a good Wi-Fi connection. However, we can say the same about smart TVs. Unfortunately, not everyone has a TCL smart tv in their house. Roku helps all such people by allowing them to stream paid and free videos on their old tv. The best thing about Roku is connecting the Roku box to the internet via both a Wi-Fi connection or an ethernet cable.

Netflix was the only streaming service that people could stream in the initial years of Roku. However, after the big success, only some of the content is left on the cable tv that Roku can not stream on your television.

How To Set Up Roku For The First Time?

Setting up Roku is not a difficult task. You can easily connect your streaming device to your TV by following these easy steps:

Step 1: The first step is to connect your Roku streaming device to the TV via an HDMI cable. Connect one end of the HDMI cable to the Roku device and the other end to the unused HDMI port of your TV. It is very important for your TV to have an HDMI port since you will be connecting your device with it.

Note: There will be no need to use the HDMI cable if you want to connect the Roku Streaming Stick to your TV. You can simply just insert the stick into the TV’s HDMI port to use it.

Step 2: Once done with step one, you will need to connect your Roku device to the AC adapter. It provides your Roku device with an external power supply. The plug may vary depending on the Roku device you own. For example, the new Roku models use a micro-USB connector, whereas the old models use a round plug.

Step 3: When you are done connecting the Roku device to the TV, all you need to do now is select the appropriate input in your TV for the Roku device. Once done, you will see the Roku welcome screen on your TV.

Step 4: Now, for further steps, you will need to pair your remote to the Roku device. And for that, first, insert the batteries in the remote. If your remote is not paired, your TV screen will show you the instructions to press the reset button located on your remote for a few seconds.

Step 5: After pairing the remote, you can easily set up your Roku device. First, you will need to select your language and then set an internet connection. Almost all Roku devices can connect to the Wi-Fi connection. However, some Roku devices also give you the freedom to provide an internet connection using an Ethernet cable. You can easily connect the Roku device to the router using the ethernet port. The connection will be faster and more reliable if connected via the ethernet cable.

Step 6: If you are not connecting your Roku device via the ethernet cable, you get one other option to set up a wireless connection. It is fairly very easy, as all you need to do is find your network and enter the password if required. Once done, the screen will show that you are now connected to the internet.

Step 7: When connected with the internet. Your Roku device may update and restart. And if so, let the update finish.

Note: Do not turn off the TV during the update.

Step 8: After the update, the Roku device will ask to detect the Tv’s display. For this, you will need to use the remote to start the test.

Step 9: The screen will show instructions to open the Roku website on your mobile phone or desktop and enter the code that you are provided with.

Step 10: On the website, you will need to log in to your Roku account. However, if you don't have one, you can simply create a new Roku account.

Step 11: Give your Roku device a name and add the information about which room you are using the Roku device in. It will help you a lot if you are using more than one Roku device in your house.

Step 12: Last but not least, the new screen on your TV will ask you to choose and add various channels like Netflix, Spotify, Pandora, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many more. Once done, just press the continue button, and your Roku device will complete the setup.

Note: Your Roku device might take some time to complete the setup. Be patient and do not turn off the TV.

Roku Models

After the big success of the 1st generation Roku device, Roku has introduced many new devices in the market. Roku has come up with various devices that offer different features. Apart from the streaming media player, Roku has also introduced Roku TV and Roku Streambar, also known as Roku Soundbar, in the market. The most recent releases from Roku are:

  • Roku Streaming Stick 4k
  • Roku Ultra
  • Roku Express 4k Plus

Roku Streaming Stick 4k

Roku Stick was the upgrade to the original Roku Box streaming device. These sticks, just like the Roku Box, help people stream content on their television. The key difference between Roku Box and Roku Stick is that the stick version of Roku is more compact than the box.

Roku Streaming Stick 4k is the successor to the older Roku Sticks. Unlike the previous Roku Sticks, the new upgraded model comes with features like Dolby Atmos Audio and HDMI 2.0a.

As the name suggests, Roku Streaming Stick 4k allows people to stream content at 4k at 60 frames per second. The content will be more crisp and clear, thanks to the HDR 10 support. In short, we can say that the overall quality of the content streamed by Roku Streaming Stick 4k will be way better than all the previous versions.

Roku Ultra

Roku Ultra is one of the most powerful devices introduced by Roku. It is the better version of the old Roku box. In addition, it comes with all-new features that make the streaming experience even better. It will not be wrong to say that Roku Ultra is one of the most popular streaming devices available, providing high-end features to all people.

The better and updated version of Roku, also known as Roku Ultra, allows people to stream content at 4k Ultra HD at 60 frames per second. Not just this, but to make the streaming content even better, Roku Ultra supports HDR streaming and Dolby Vision Video.

Apart from this, Roku ultra supports Bluetooth connectivity, 10/100 Base-T Ethernet, and 802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless connection. You also get a headphone jack on the remote control, which allows you to connect your wired earphone for private listening.

Roku Express 4k Plus

Many people often get confused between Roku Ultra and Roku Express. Roku Express is a budget-friendly version of the Roku Ultra. Roku Express 4k provides people with the high-end Roku media streaming experience at an affordable price.

Roku Express allows people to stream content at 4k at 60 frames per second. However, some features like Dolby Vision support and headphone jack in remote are missing in the Roku Express 4k Plus. Apart from this, Roku Express is a one-stop solution for all the people who want to stream their favorite tv shows at an economical price.

What do you get with the Roku (in the box)?

Roku believes in customer satisfaction, which is why Roku provides all the items necessary for using the Roku devices inside the box. Therefore, you will not have to buy any additional items to use Roku.

Roku has introduced various streaming devices like Roku Express, Roku Stick, and Roku Ultra. And each one of them has a device-specific item in the box. The common items that you will get in the box of all the streaming players are:

  • Roku Streaming Device
  • USB Power Cable
  • Power Adapter
  • Two AA Batteries

Apart from these items, the specific Roku devices you choose will have specific device-only items in the box. For instance, the Roku Streaming Stick 4k USB cable will have a long-range Wi-Fi receiver.

Roku Ultra will have a high-quality, fast-speed HDMI cable and a premium quality Roku earphone inside the box. You can plug the earphone into the remote and enjoy private listening.

The Roku Express 4K Plus has a removable adhesive strip and premium quality high-speed HDMI Cable. The adhesive strip can be used to stick your streaming device to any flat surface. For example, you can use it to stick the Roku Express on the television, table, or any cabinet.

What can the Roku do?

Roku is a very powerful media streaming device. You can use Roku either to stream your favorite movie or can use it to play games. It's a one-stop solution if you want to spend some quality time with your friends and family. You can easily access a wide number of movies and tv shows by loading streaming services providers like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more on Roku.

You can add various streaming channels to your Roku device by following the given steps:

Step 1: Before starting the process, make sure that your Roku device is connected to a reliable working Internet connection.

Step 2: To add more applications to your Roku device, you must press the home button. You can easily locate the Home button at the top right corner of your remote.

Step 3: Locate the Streaming Channels option and click it to open the Roku Channel Store. You can easily find the Streaming Channels option on the top of the left sidebar.

Step 4: The new interface will show you different channels categorized into different groups that you can add. Here you can use the fast forward button and the rewind button to navigate up and down on the page.

Step 5: Once you have found the channel that you want to add to your Roku Device, you can press OK from your remote to know more about the channel.

Step 6: The new page opened will show you the app's rating that you want to add, along with some screenshots. On this page, you will get the option to add the app to your device. For the free channels, you will see an Add Channel option. Whereas, if the application is paid, you will see a Buy option. You will have to buy the app before adding and using it.

You can add both media streaming channels and games to your Roku device using this method. There are several different games available in the Roku Channel Store that you can add and play. You do not need any extra controller to play games on Roku as all the games available are arcade games. All these games can be played easily with the help of a remote that you get with Roku.

How much does Roku cost?

There are many different Roku devices available in the market. All of them offer different features and are available at different specific prices. Roku Express is available at an affordable price of just $29.99, which comes with a simple remote and can stream content in HD. By investing an extra $10, you can get the Roku Express 4k plus that comes with 4k HDR support and an advanced remote with voice control.

Apart from the Express Device, Roku also offers Roku Streaming Sticks. The base variant of the Roku Streaming Stick is available at $49.99. It comes with 4K HDR support along with support for Dolby vision. The plus variant of the stick is available at $69.99. By paying an extra $20, you can get features like a lost remote finder and private listening. Not just this, but you also get a rechargeable remote with personal TV shortcuts.

Roku Ultra, one of the most powerful devices by Roku, available at just $99.99, features 4k HDR support along with features like voice remote with personal TV shortcuts. You can easily buy Roku devices from amazon, the official Roku website, your local retailer, or any Walmart near you.

Roku vs Firestick

Both Roku and Amazon Fire TV sticks have made a big fan base in the market. People often get confused about what streaming device they should choose. Both the companies offer a variety of different media streaming devices available at varied prices. In order to make it clear which streaming device is perfect for you, it is very important to make a proper Comparison.

Pricing

Both Roku and Firestick offer a wide variety of media streaming devices. Each of them comes at different prices and offers different features. Amazon Fire Tv Stick is offering the base variant model at $21.99. However, the device does not support 4k, HDR, and TV control on the remote. It is put at a price for all the people who are looking for a budget-friendly streaming device.

Roku is offering Roku premiere at a discounted price of $19.99. Roku premiere allows you to stream content in 4k and HDR. Considering the price and features, Roku is the best streaming device that you should choose as it offers better features at a lower price.

Usability

Generally, both Roku and Firestick are easy to use. For better understanding, we will compare the installation and overall interface of both devices. The installation and setup of both models are pretty much the same. All you have to do is just connect the device to the internet and complete the setup by following a few steps.

The interface of both the devices is where the difference arises. In Roku, you can see all the channels on the right side and the menu on the left. You can easily access all the options on the menu and see the channels by navigating on the left menu using the remote. You also get the “my feed” option in Roku that allows you to keep track of the content you like.

Whereas, Firestick interface does not have an option like “my feed”; instead, it displays the apps that you use the most. Other than this, the interface of Firestick is easy to use. However, the option of “my feed” makes Roku a better option.

Mobile Apps

Both Firestick and Roku have mobile applications that you can use as a remote. THe application is available for both android and ios devices. Not just this, you can also search movies and can use the mobile device to use voice search. One key difference that makes Roku app a better option is that it gives its user the freedom to use the ‘play on Roku' option that allows them to stream the mobile’s videos and pictures to the TV.

Remote Voice Control

Voice Control is a feature in which Roku devices lack in comparison to Firestick. Roku offers various different streaming devices to all people. However, not all devices come with a remote that supports voice control. In contrast, a voice control feature is available in all the Firestick remotes. You can use both Google Assistant and Alexa to control both of the devices.

Video and Audio Quality

Both Roku and Firestick have multiple devices in the market. The video and audio quality on these different devices differ and improve with the increase in price. Apart from the Roku Express, all the other models of Roku support 4k and HDR. In contrast, only Firestick 4k and Fire TV cube support 4k streaming.

When it comes to Dolby Vision and Dolby Audio, it is only supported by Roku Ultra, which comes at a price of $99.99. In contrast, all the models of Firestick support Dolby Atoms and only Firestick 4k and Fire Tv Cube support Dolby Vision.

In short, we can say that the quality of Video and Quality depends on your budget. You can get better video and audio quality by paying more.

Summary

Overall, Roku devices are a great way to turn your simple TV into a smart one. Not just this, but Roku also gives you the option to choose from a wide variety of streaming devices. So you can just set a budget and choose the streaming service that suits you the best.

Before making a decision, it is very important to compare with all of Roku's competitors, including chromecast, Firestick, and more. We have tried to cover almost everything that one needs to know while buying their ideal media streaming device.

Still, if you have any doubt regarding your best Roku device, you can visit their website at https://www.roku.com

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