Roku Streaming TV and Media Player: A Must Have

Cord cutting is here to stay. It’s just a matter of time until you get into it as well in one way or another. After all, why spend a fortune in a la carte content when you can pick and choose from a buffet?

My family consumes a good amount of TV every day. My kids today are ages 2 to 6, and a large portion of what they watch is cartoons. Cable has great positive content for children on Disney, Nickelodeon, Boomerang, Cartoon Network. But they also offer a ton of content you may not want your children to watch, along with hours of advertisement, in a schedule you cannot control. Years ago I heard of streaming devices for the first time and I went on to make due diligence on everything that was available then. On top of our list came the Roku Streaming Player, and it offered precisely what we needed and more. The Roku is in my honest opinion the best streaming platform out there today. And at $29.99 a piece (for the Roku Express model) virtually anyone can afford to try it.


PROS

⦁    Control what and when you watch your favorite shows
⦁    No extra costs aside from internetRoku Express
⦁    Rewind, fast forward and pause your favorite shows at any time – much better than DVR
⦁    Over 3,500 free and unique channels
⦁    Option but no obligation to add paid programming and channels
⦁    Take it with you anywhere where there is internet and a TV (although some models only support WiFi connections)
⦁    No extra channels you do not care about
⦁    No contracts, no installation fees, no outages due to weather, no recurring fees for having one or more streamers around the house

CONS

⦁    Not all local channels available at this point
⦁    Somewhat limited live sports programming
⦁    Not a lot of live news channels
⦁    Games are available, but are very limited in terms of graphics and most are paid

Although most of the above apply for most other streaming platforms available in the market today, the Roku has one clear distinction. It is dedicated to distributing streaming content and nothing else. Among its competitors you will find content providers and others who have a very diverse business aside from streaming. Chromecast is made by Google, Apple has Apple TV and Amazon has the Fire TV. Sometimes one platform will limit, refuse to carry or outright block content from the other. Some versions of the Apple TV for example do not have YouTube. With Roku you have no such issues to worry about. Plus they offer different products at different price points. Meaning if you are interested in 4K and HDR programming, Roku still has you covered with the Roku Ultra.

Roku Express Specs:

  • What’s included
    Roku Express streaming player
    Remote with channel shortcut buttons
    Two AAA batteries
    Removable adhesive strip
    High Speed HDMI® Cable
    Power adapter & Micro USB cable
  • Networking
    802.11 (b/g/n compatible) with WEP, WPA, and WPA2 support
  • Video outputs
    720p
    1080p
  • Video Up-conversion
    Up-scaling 720p to 1080p on HD TVs
  • Audio features
    Dolby Audio pass through via HDMI®
  • Remote control
    Roku standard IR remote with channel shortcut buttons
    Roku RemoteStreaming player includes IR receiver (compatible with various universal remotes)
  • Power consumption
    Less than 2.4W (typical) when streaming
  • Power input
    5V – 1A
  • Size
    1.4 x 3.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Weight
    1.3 ounces

So my recommendation here is clear. Buy it and you will not miss cable. And if you are a bit unsure at this point, there is a strategy that fits right between quitting cable/satellite outright and relying solely on Roku. It’s called cord shaving. As the name suggests, rather than cancelling your current subscriptions you can just downside to a minimum, say a basic package with local channels and adding a Roku box to it.

PS: The purpose of the website is to educate and help, but it will grow over time in terms of useful content and tools. In the meantime please feel free to contribute with your comments and feedback. That will help us steer our resources in the direction that’s more useful to you.

ROKU, the ROKU Logo, STREAMING STICK, ROKU TV, ROKU POWERED, the ROKU POWERED Logo, ROKU READY, the ROKU READY Logo, “STOP DREAMING. START STREAMING.”, “HAPPY STREAMING”, “THERE’S A TON OF ENTERTAINMENT IN THIS LITTLE BOX,” and “NOW THIS IS TV” are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Roku, Inc. in the United States and other countries.