The Roku streaming stick is simply an HDMI dongle which plugs into an HDTV then using its inbuilt wireless connectivity it gives you right of entry to many streaming channels such as BBC iPlayer, Now TV and Netflix. Far from beginners to the media streaming, this is basically Roku’s smallest gadget yet, and is obviously a reply to the entrance of Google’s Chromecast dongle.
Roku streaming stick may be marginally more costly than Chromecast but it has a larger channel selection, a bundled remote as well as several Chromecast-style abilities. It is one of the cheapest and easiest ways of making your TV smarter with modest fuss.
Roku streaming stick is a little lighter and slimmer compared to the bulbous Chromecast, hence it should not obscure any HDMI ports of your TV. However, this streaming stick does not come with an HDMI streaming cable as it is the case with Google Chromecast.
This streaming stick is powered by USB; therefore, you should have the ability to plug the provided Micro USB cable into an extra port on your television. In case you do not have one, or you discover that your television’s ports do not provide adequate power, there is a 1A mains USB adaptor for power in the box.
The streaming stick does not require you to send any content to it from a tablet or a Smartphone, but instead it runs its own independent apps as well as operating system. One benefit of this system is that the stick is very simple to set up and configure. This is because you do the whole thing on-screen with the use of the bundled remote control.
Although the remote is pretty basic, with a cursor pad, back, OK, home and playback controls, it suits the easy interface of the streaming stick. However, one downside of this remote is that it lacks a headphone port of Roku 3’s remote. This port would be very helpful as it makes it easy to watch late-night TV without disturbing other people in the house or room.
Setting up the streaming stick is easy. It might take over a minute for it to start. If you turn off your TV at the mains or utilize its physical power button when you are not using it, then you will have to wait a little bit each time you want to utilize the streaming stick. This can be a little frustrating.
The initial time it powers up, you will be required to log into your Roku account (if you do not have one, create one free of charge) and join the gadget to your house network. It contains an 802.11n Wi-Fi adaptor within and supports both 5GHz and 2.4GHz networks.
After getting the streaming stick on the home network you may then make use of the remote for Roku iPhone or Android app. The advantage of these is that you can utilize the software keyboard of your phone to enter text, which is quicker than using the on-screen keyboard of the streaming stick through the remote control.
If you are familiar with Roku’s other media streamers then you will immediately be home here, since the streaming stick comes with precisely the same interface. A big tiled home screen gives you an idea about the apps (referred to as Channels) that you have got installed. If you wish, you can add new channels through the Channel Store. The Channel Store is split into categories but there is no way of searching for a specific app (channel), which might make it quite difficult to search for a specific channel, particularly when there are more than 450 to search from. Some channels are not free, which explains why you must provide your credit card details when creating your Roku account.
While Roku streaming stick has many benefits such as being very easy to use, plenty of channels and Smartphone working great as remote control, it is not without limitations. Users of this streaming stick sometimes complain of it being a little slow when maneuvering between screens, with occasional sluggish transitions and animations. Also, it takes a while to set up. This is a real dishonor since one of the finest things about regular Roku streamers is their responsiveness and speed. Luckily, the content breadth available mostly compensates for any slight shortcomings, and users love it.