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We also like that Roku’s customizable interface doesn’t prioritize content from any particular service over another.
Roku Streaming Stick costs more than the similar Streaming Stick, but it’s worth the slight premium because it’s more future-proof.
Gaming consoles and Blu-Ray players also have a decent amount of built-in streaming options that may obviate the need for a separate streaming device.
Otherwise, the main reason to get a streaming device is to gain access to streaming services and apps you wouldn’t otherwise be able to access.
In my past I spent time at Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity, running the Blu-ray and DVD Benchmark they created and updating it as features changed.
With the help of Stacey Spears, we devised a testing system to determine which Blu-ray players were actually accurate and which were not, working to show that even in digital, bits are not always bits.
You can access and play media stored on your home network (either on a computer or on a NAS) without needing to hook a PC up to your display.
And Apple users have few other options besides Apple TV if they hope to watch i Tunes purchases.
You get the user-friendly Roku OS; an RF remote works through walls and lets you search with voice and control your TV’s volume and turn the TV on and off; and the i OS or Android app lets you watch shows and movies with headphones to avoid disturbing others.
I’m also ISF-trained for evaluating image quality and am up-to-date on all the current and future HDR standards and what to look for while evaluating those on players.
Almost all recent TVs have Netflix and Amazon or have support for those two services built in, and many remotes include a dedicated Netflix button, so if those are all you watch, you don’t need a separate media streaming box.
Finally, it’s super-easy to set up and gets all the power it needs from your TV’s USB service port.
It’s a fantastic update to what was already an excellent streaming device.