Salon Beauty Best Books of the Year So Far Introducing Prime Wardrobe nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Unlimited Music. Always ad-free. Learn more. Starting at $39.99 Grocery Handmade Personalized Jewelry Home and Garden Book a house cleaner for 2 or more hours on Amazon TheGrandTour TheGrandTour TheGrandTour  Echo Fire tablets: Designed for entertainment Kindle Paperwhite GNO Shop now STL18_GNO

on October 11, 2017
I have used Roku for years,including several different models.The best new thing of note is Roku has recently released The Roku Channel,which has hundreds of free movies.It is ad supported.Roku has just about every app you can imagine (YouTube/Pandora/Netflix/Amazon/Hulu/HBO Now) and thousands of more apps in many different categories.This Roku Streaming Stick PLUS does have more advanced WiFi antenna than the regular Streaming Stick.Here are some points to consider when deciding on which model of Roku to buy:

1)If you need to connect by WiFi in a room far away from your WiFi router,I would recommend the Roku Streaming Stick PLUS or Roku Ultra.

2)If you have a 4K TV,I would recommend the Roku Ultra or Roku Streaming Stick PLUS.

3)To search for content using your voice,go with either the Streaming Stick,Streaming Stick PLUS or Ultra.All 3 of these models also have a remote that can control the power and volume on a TV.

4)If you want a wired ethernet connection,go with the Roku Ultra.

5)If you want to connect to an old TV with RCA/Composite audio/video jacks,you will need the Express PLUS

6)The Express models have a remote where it has to be pointed at the device,unlike the other Roku models.

7)If you are only going to buy one Roku device,I would recommend the Roku Ultra.The Ultra has many unique features that the other Roku models don't such as:
-Gaming buttons to play video games
-Remote finder to find a lost remote control
-Ethernet port for a wired connection
-Micro SD card slot
-USB Port
-Night listening mode (this lowers the volume of loud,explosive sounds and raises the volume of soft sounds like whispers.Very useful!)
-Headphone jack on the remote for listening without disturbing others

For those who have not used a Roku before,here are some tips that might be helpful:

1)There is no monthly fee to use a Roku.There are many free channels/apps with free movies,music and TV programs and some people use Roku only for the free channels and do not pay any fees.

You do NOT have to enter credit card info if you only wish to view free content and you can always add credit card info to your account later for paid channels/apps.If you plan on viewing free content only,I suggest setting up a Roku account before you activate the device.When you reach the page to enter credit card info,some browsers will show a "Skip,I'll add later" option at the bottom.If you do not see this option,simply log out of your account,then log back in.You may have to then enter a different activation code for your device if you skip entering credit card info during device set up,but you do NOT have to enter credit card info if you only want to view free content.

2)Some of the most popular free channels/apps are: YouTube,Pandora radio,The Roku Channel,Pluto TV,Tubi TV,Crackle,CBS News,NBC News,ABC,PBS, PBS KIds and many more.You can also find a free live stream of FOX News on YouTube by searching "Fox News Live" on YouTube.

3)Some of the most popular paid channels/apps are Netflix,Hulu,Amazon video,HBO Now,Vudu,Sling TV,Spectrum TV and Direct TV Now.

4)If you are looking for a bundle of channels of live TV to replace cable TV,check out Sling TV,Spectrum TV,Direct TV Now,Hulu,Pluto TV and Playstation Vue.All of these are paid services except for Pluto TV,which is free.

5)To find and add new channels on Roku,just press the Home button on the remote control,scroll down and select "Streaming Channels".There you will find thousands of channels/apps in many different categories and many of them are free.

My one gripe about Roku (and other streaming devices) is the lack of a fully functional web browser and I hope Roku will include web browsing on models in the near future.I have been surfing the web on the big screen for years and find it ridiculous when an internet connected TV device does not allow you to surf the internet and forces one to switch to yet another internet connected device to do so.
I am aware of the screen mirroring function from smartphone/PC/tablet but find that a poor excuse to not include a web browser.People who type a lot of messages and/or emails like myself much prefer typing on a wireless keyboard rather than a phone/tablet/remote control.
844 people found this helpful
|99 comments|Report abuse
on October 20, 2017
I'm a long-time Roku user, having purchased devices from every generation throughout Roku's evolution. I've had the very original Roku N1100, Roku 2 XD, Roku 2 XS, Roku 3 (2013 version), Roku 4, a TCL Roku TV, Roku Ultra (2016 version)...and now this Stick +. While I've only had it for a couple of days now, this might be the best Roku I've seen from a value perspective.

My house is a Roku house. We have 5 televisions but don't have a cable or satellite subscription.. One of the TV's is a Roku TV and the other 4 all have a Roku attached to them. Literally everything we watch is delivered via the Roku. Our OTA material is delivered from a Tablo DVR to our Rokus. Our local media is served up via a Plex server to the Rokus. We also have PS Vue, Netflix, Amazon video, etc. etc. Bottom line, we use Roku a lot, and I'm very familiar with them. I wouldn't consider myself to be a Roku "fan boy", though. While most of the Roku's I've had have been great...there have been some clunkers. The Roku 2XS was a turd that never got any better. The Roku 4 was a turd at the start, but gradually got better with each subsequent firmware update. Unfortunately, the cooling fan in one of my Roku 4s (The 4 was the only Roku model to ever have one) has begun to make the dreaded "grinding" noise in recent weeks, so I decided to try replace it with a stick+.

I've generally been leery about all of the "stick" form-factor devices. They've generally lagged behind the more traditional "box" form-factor devices as far as specs go. The Stick+, with its quad-core processor, HEVC support, and 4K capabilities convinced me that the gap may have finally been closed.

So, after a couple of days with the are my thoughts on this device

- It's snappy and smooth. It's maybe not quite as quick as my Roku Ultras...but it's every bit as fast as the Roku 4.
- The new remote is great.The ability to control the TV's power and volume without a second remote or a universal remote is loooong overdue.
- Excellent wireless reception. I had two walls between the Stick+ and my router, but was easily streaming 16mbps local media through Plex.
- Powering via the TV's USB isn't optimal. Assuming your TV stops providing power to the USB when turned-off, the Stick+ will have to go through the boot-up sequence and then connect to your wireless before you can do anything with it each time you turn on your TV. This can take ~30 seconds. I highly recommend plugging it directly into an outlet using the provided adapter.

So, this is a great Roku device. It doesn't have the same bells-and-whistles that my Roku Ultra's have...but then again, I also paid nearly twice as much for those. This Stick+ is much cheaper, provides basically the same UI/playback performance, and also has a remote that will make having to juggle your Roku and TV remotes a thing of the past. That's why I say, absent some deal-breaker that I haven't encountered yet, this is the best dollar-for-dollar Roku yet.
284 people found this helpful
|11 comment|Report abuse
on October 14, 2017
The Roku Streaming Stick+ is simply awesome. It's super easy to set up, it's powered by your TV, and the signal booster that is built in to the USB cable ensures a strong wireless connection. This thing attaches entirely to the backside of your TV and is completely out of sight once it's installed. I bought this for use with a bedroom TV because I didn't want any unnecessary electronics cluttering up the room, and I couldn't be happier.
137 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on February 2, 2018
I purchased the Streaming Stick+ after having repeated difficulties and problems with the Amazon Fire TV Stick. The difference in quality between these two products is astounding. While the Fire TV Stick required constant reboots and had consistently poor network performance, the Roku has been flawless and completely without problems. The addition of 4K support is a huge bonus. I'm especially impressed with the connectivity. My room, where I'm using the device, is on a different floor, on the other side of the house from our router, but I've never had an issue with connectivity or performance.
The menu/interface is a little outdated, but I'd gladly sacrifice a flashy menu for good performance. It's astounding to me what a bad product the Fire TV Stick was now that I've switched to Roku. I enjoy the wide selection of channels as well - every streaming service seems to be available through Roku. The voice functionality on the remote works well, and I like that I can turn my TV on and off with the Roku remote as well as adjust the volume. All in all it's an awesome product.
56 people found this helpful
|11 comment|Report abuse
The manufacturer commented on the review below
on October 30, 2017
Original title was: Perfect streaming stick with poor supporting (but mandatory) accessories… however, see updates below

I have bought three units. Two were installed successfully and are working great (with small adjustments described below)!

The third one needed to be sent back to Amazon for replacement due to the poor quality and design of its unique power / antenna cable (you can’t find this cable anywhere and it cannot be bought separately). It easily snapped when installed on one of my wall-mounted televisions.

In addition, I have a 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD television (Sony XBR-65X900A, a model from 2013) and my single 4K UHD HDCP 2.2 port is placed on the television’s back in an area that cannot fit this stick (due to its size and shape). I needed to add a small flexible extending cord to connect it. Finally, I also got an error message (from Roku) on that same television saying it is not getting enough power from the television’s USB port ... so I had to use the power adaptor that comes with this product. However, the power extender is also a very short cable ...

Bottom line, once you get it installed and running (after one week of viewing) the product is great. The sound and picture quality are amazing. I loved the Roku user interface and speedy response. Its only Achilles’ heel is related to its poor proprietary power / antenna cable.

UPDATE (November 10, 2017): Amazon quickly replaced the damaged cable and I was contacted by Roku. Roku team provided me with all the help I have needed (well, it should be on its way to me, so I will keep you updated once I'll get it). Thanks a lot Amazon and Roku!

UPDATE (November 19, 2017): Today I have opened the door to my beloved FedEx delivery guy and look what I have got from Roku! The three (3) HDMI extenders (as promised) and an additional (and totally new) Roku Streaming Stick+ - all for FREE. Just as a reward for writing this review and adding my comments to it. To remind you, my original review had only four (4) stars (due to the issue with the product's accessory, as described above) – however, now I have updated it to five (5) stars. Because in my book - caring for customers and addressing their needs (and beyond) and making customers feel cared and important – it what makes a company (and its products) prefect. We all know, there are no real perfect products out there. For every product out there, we can always apply our hopes and wishful thinking ("I wish they have added that feature to it", “I wish the screen was bigger”, "I wish they have used that my preferred CPU " and so forth). But a company with a great product and a perfect customer care, how many can you find out there?

So, once again - Thank You Roku so much! I really like your product and now admires your service!
review image
90 people found this helpful
|33 comments|Report abuse
on January 30, 2018
What an incredible little piece of equipment! Because the wifi pickup is in the wire that connects to the power, it balances on top of my TV, and because of that, I get my wifi through 3 walls of the house (wood frame house). The picture quality is, can I say, better than Cable? yes. The selection of endless movies, documentaries. I can scroll down through types of things I want to see. I am only paying for my PBS Passport station through a donation that amounts to $5/month that allows me into an amazing array of viewing. I get my local TV channel every evening for news. If I miss the news time, I can see it again at 9, 10pm, whenever. We don't watch too much on broadcast tv, can't stand the 40 minutes of commercials sometimes and 20 minutes of show. After checking out the Roku experience for 4 weeks, we are going to cancel all TV with Comcast. We do need them for internet, but we can use 55 mbps from them and it will accommodate all streaming. I think we will save $100 to 140/month!! So easy to use. The remote turns the TV on and off, one simple remote. Nice.
35 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
The manufacturer commented on the review below
on January 8, 2018
Functionally this a great Roku and one of the best I've used.. The remote has volume and power controls which completely eliminates the need for the TV remove, it even programmed itself by talking to the TV over HDMI. It's magic!

The problem however is that the stupid thing is too long and won't plug into some ports on the back of my Vizio TV because they're in a recessed hole. This is incredibly annoying because the TV only has one HDMI port capable of 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 color, guess where it's located?

In order to use this on my TV at the best quality I have to buy an adapter that costs like $10-15. Roku could have included something like this in the box for pennies.
14 people found this helpful
|11 comment|Report abuse
on October 23, 2017
First, the bad. It took me forever to figure out why the unit wouldn't connect at 5 GHz - it can't see "DFS" channels. In plain english, you need to select channels 37-48 or 149-161; it can't see any channels between.

Now the good, this thing is awesome! It boots quickly, can run off of USB power from the TV, and the addition of volume control and TV power are fantastic. We cut the cord and only use Roku for content - now we have only one remote that can do everything, including search for content using voice. The user interface is significantly improved from previous generations. It is very simple to use, even my four-year-old has no problems.

Overall, I get it 4.5 stars. The 5 GHz channel issue is easily compensated. Otherwise, is perfect.
17 people found this helpful
|22 comments|Report abuse
on January 12, 2018
Roku Streaming Stick+ is useful if your TV is set far enough to cause lag or connection problem using other streaming stick. Previously, I used Amazon Firestick. Over time I started having lag where it took long time if I switch between programs or even lost signal completely.

I searched the web and I was intrigued by Roku's claim of improved Wifi reception of Streaming Stick+. I was dubious at first because while checking for other reviews on internet, I read articles where the reviewer didn't seem to notice any improvement in Wifi reception of their test unit.

Set up was pretty straight forward. You will have to set up Roku account if this is your first Roku. I found Roku remote superior to Amazon's Firestick remote because it also double as TV remote.

Of course, you don't need Streaming Stick+ version if you have no lag issues on Wifi reception.

Update: I still have some lag issues but compared to my old Amazon stick lag is shorter duration and recovery is quick once I get out and get back in.
8 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on November 23, 2017
Stuff I like: Super Simple to use, supports 4K with HDR, much faster than previous models, can be plugged into a USB port on the television for power with the included cable, (preventing the need to buy the little $5 stick-to-USB cable to avoid using the AC cord), remote as always is so simple with only a few buttons and this one controls the TV on/off as well as the volume - though I still have four remotes for my TV! :(

Stuff I don't like: Does not support Dolby Vision, remote has the sponsered one-touch pre-programmed buttons with channels most of us have no need whatsoever for

I do use three streaming platforms on one television - Roku, Chromecast, and Fire Stick.

Roku is by far the better of the three and this is my second Roku streamer. The simplicity is what gives Roku the edge over the others. Even though I've only used the iPhone app for my pre-existing Roku, the included remote is simple with only a few buttons and no clutter. I do wish the "included pre-programmed" buttons, like the one-touch Netflix, Sling, Hulu, and Vue, (what the heck is VUE???) buttons were not there and instead we were given the option to add our own one-touch favorites instead of letting those companies pay Roku for the privilege. It's just wasted space on the remote, except maybe for Netflix. Roku could have used one of those buttons for a much needed mute button for the volume.

My favorite for supporting Roku over the others, and I'm sure many agree, is the extremely simple home screen. Many web review sites say it could be called "dated" but in this case, it's welcomed and Roku's biggest asset. It's too simple and attractive. My favorite positive Roku has over the others is there is little to no bias whatsoever on the home screen as the others can add so much clutter, advertising, and pushing their sponsored marketing stuff on you. I also like the idea that I can plug the power for the stick directly into an unused USB port on the TV to avoid using the included AC power cord and adapter. Our TVs today have enough unsightly wires in the back from stuff as it is!

My personal biggest negative with the Roku Streaming Stick + is it does not support Dolby Vision, only HDR10. I can't figure Roku out on this, the days of regular 4K are far behind us and a televison without both HDR10 and Dolby Vision should ** never ** be considered if you're really into televison specs and display quality. Thankfully my Vizio supports both Dolby Vison and HDR10 on Chromecast. The lack of Dolby Vision is why I gave this review 4 stars instead of 5. It would be nice if the remote would control my Vizio's input options in addition to the volume and power on/off buttons allowing me to put my Vizio remote away.

Overall, for the price, quality, and features, this is an excellent streamer I highly recommend.
15 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse