What is the Roku Streaming Stick?
Streaming has become the most popular way of viewing TV in modern society. Most young people and adults know all about streaming and many have left the regular TV and cable behind.
The Roku Streaming Stick is becoming increasingly more popular. It is a device that turns your TV into a streaming device, which allows you to watch high-quality TV shows, movies, and more. It is more practical than cable TV or any other traditional means of watching television.
Roku has over 3,000 channels on all of its devices. Keep reading and find out everything about the Roku Streaming Stick.
What Is Roku?
Fun fact, Roku means six in Japanese, because it is the sixth company of Anthony Wood, the founder of Roku. Initially, he wanted to make Roku a physical device that will get you Netflix more easily, but Netflix didn’t want to produce hardware.
Instead, Roku became much more, it became a streaming platform. When Roku devices were first released, in 2008, there was only Netflix. Now, there are tons of streaming services, and you can watch all of them using Roku. In fact, all Roku devices have over 3,000 available “channels,” some of which are actual channels, while others are subscription services like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime.
Roku devices used to be TV boxes, similar to Set-Top Boxes you’re probably familiar with. The Roku Streaming Stick is an improved version of a streaming device, as it is a thumb drive that fits into any TV with an HDMI port.
How Does It Work?
All Roku devices work on the same principle, so let’s go over that before going into the specifics of the Roku Streaming Stick. Here is how Roku works:
- You plug in a Roku device into your TV’s HDMI port, using an HDMI cable (not included with the purchase).
- Then, you connect the Roku device to your home internet network using a wireless or wired connection.
- Finally, Roku streams the content from the internet to your TV. The content is not physically saved, so there is no need for extra storage.
This is just the basic stuff. Roku has an app too, and the channels that are streamed to your TV are very much like apps. It is easily comparable to Netflix. It is a subscription service, but it works like an app. Roku is the middle man that allows you to watch Netflix and other channels on your TV.
You buy their device, which is a one-time fee, and you are free to use it as much as you like. However, you are paying the streaming services or channels on your Roku. This comes down to your personal preference, though people generally like Hulu and Netflix which offer a lot of content for a decent monthly fee.
Roku Streaming Stick vs Roku Streaming Stick Plus
Now that you know the basics of how Roku works, let’s talk about the Roku Streaming Stick and why it is so good. First of all, it is very small, being similar in size to a flash drive. You can fit it in a pocket due to how light and compact it is.
It is also fairly inexpensive. There are the regular Roku Streaming Stick and the Roku Streaming Stick Plus, which is a slightly improved version. If you want to invest in your streaming experience, better get the plus version and here is why.
It provides you with 4k ultra-HD video streaming at 60 fps (frames per second). It also offers HDR (high dynamic range imaging) support. The Wi-Fi connectivity range is also improved, and you’ll need a good signal to stream in HD.
In fact, standard definition streaming requires at least 3 Mbps connection speed, HD in 720p requires 5 Mbps, HD in 1080p requires 10 Mbps, and Ultra HD in 4k requires at least 20 Mbps. This is just a rough estimation, having an even faster internet connection is advisable if you want the smoothest streaming experience.
What’s in the Package
The Roku Streaming Stick and the Streaming Stick Plus are both amazing, but here is what’s in the box. All Roku boxes and sticks offer the same quality standards and it is great that Roku offers a unified experience to all its users, without any exclusive packages or deals. Here is what you get when you buy a Roku device:
- Every Roku device runs on the Roku OS (operating system).
- As previously mentioned, you get access to more than 3,000 channels.
- Every Roku can connect to a TV with an HDMI port (you need to buy the HDMI cable).
- You can watch Full HD content on any Roku (1080p).
- Every device supports the free Roku smartphone App (Android and iOS).
- Every Roku has a remote controller included in the box.
- Each Roku can connect to a Wi-Fi connection.
That’s all you get with the Roku Streaming Stick. It is probably the most versatile Roku device, if not the best one of them all. Additionally, you get a micro-USB power cable and a wall adapter for charging.
The audio quality of streamed content is also very high and it supports both 5.1 and 7.1 audio.
Can the Roku Streaming Stick Replace Smart TVs?
This is a very good question and people ask it a lot. The Roku Streaming Stick does add some “smart” qualities to your TV, but they are still limited. Everyone knows how expensive smart TVs are, especially the bigger ones.
However, Roku does not have a dedicated browser and that’s the main reason it cannot replace a traditional smart TV. You are limited to the capabilities of the Roku mobile app and the channel store. These do offer many things, like streaming content, viewing videos and photos from Facebook, casting content from your smartphone to your TV, and even playing video games.
Excellent Streaming Choice
The Roku Streaming Stick offers fantastic streaming capabilities. It will turn (nearly) any TV into an almost fully functional smart TV.
What do you think of this device? Has Roku hit or missed the target with this one? Let us know in the comments section below.