Meet the Roku Streaming Stick
The new Roku streaming stick is an HDMI attachment that plugs directly into your television through a USB port to provide the direct streaming capacity of your computer. With 1,000 plus channels and over 31,000 movies, you can also stream Netflix and YouTube. The included remote makes the experience just like regular TV. Essentially, it’s a way to merge your computer and TV into a single super media machine, allowing you to watch online media on the television with as much ease as your cable.
Roku is a streaming device that not only allows you to stream items to your TV, but also to your phone or tablet. The device is comparable in price to Google’s Chromecast, and about half the price of an Apple TV. Their newest device, the Roku 3500R Streaming Stick, is available for shipping on April 15, 2014.
Roku provides a large variety of apps and channels to choose from including PBS and Showtime online.
The benefits of media streaming are numerous, but the first and foremost is that it can help lower or entirely eliminate your costly cable bill. With Roku, you may find that you use your cable package a lot less, and if that’s the case, then you might as well downgrade it, or cancel it all together. The Roku streaming stick is a one-time purchase, with no monthly subscription fees. You are also not obligated to purchase any apps, there are hundreds of free viewing options available, including Crackle.
For apps that allow you to rent or purchase newer content, you have many choices including the built in M-GO. M-GO is a streaming service similar to Netflix and it offers access to movies and TV shows on a per purchase basis, with no monthly fees. Of course, you can also download your favorite apps such as Netflix, Vudu and Redbox. This means that you have the convenience of renting the newest releases without having to get out of your pajamas.
What Equipment Do I Need?
Your Roku purchase includes the Roku streaming player, remote control, two AA batteries, a USB cable and a user’s manual. In order to use the Roku you will need an HDTV with an HDMI port and High Speed Internet with a recommended minimum speed of 1.5 Mbps.
How Does Roku Work?
Multiple manufacturers have partnered with Roku Streaming to create Roku Ready devices. Simply plug your device in and it’s ready to go. Once plugged in you can use the remote to select your favorite apps and programs. Many apps are free to stream, but some may cost additional fees such as Showtime, Netflix, or Hulu Plus. There are many products out there that are already Roku compatible, but soon many newer products will also display the Roku Ready badge, letting you know they’re compatible at a glance. Many manufacturers have already teamed up with Roku, including:
What are the Product Specs?
The product specs for the Roku Streaming Stick include:
- Less than 2W of power usage when streaming.
- 11 dual band with WEP. WPA, and WPA2 support.
- 720p or 1080p video outputs.
- 1 and 5.1 digital pass through surround sound.
- 5V-1A power input adapter.
- 1×1.1x.5 inch size.
- 0.64 ounces.
What’s New About this Roku?
The new Roku streaming stick is smaller than the Roku HD or the Roku LT. The old boxes cost around $99 and didn’t have a remote. Roku was somewhat limited in the apps it supported, but with this new release their repertoire has vastly improved, and they promise much more to come.
Whether you watch a little television or a lot, Roku has an option that can fit your needs at a fraction of the price of cable. Without any extra cords to hook up, installation is simple and easy. The added remote provides a traditional TV viewing experience, with many programs to choose from.
The Roku streaming stick is small, portable and easy to install. This is a fantastic option for anyone that is on the road frequently because it means that you can easily hook up many of the hotel televisions to watch your favorite programs. You no longer have to huddle over your laptop, listening to its tinny sound system. You can now sit back and relax while you catch up on the latest movies or your favorite series.
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