Roku remains the market leader for streaming TV devices. They got there by being largely the first to market way back in 2008 in collaboration with Netflix when they began their streaming business.
These days Roku’s are cheap and functional with support for nearly all streaming providers. Their latest entry level model, the Roku Express, is the subject of my latest review.
The Express is a no frills device – it lacks some of the universal remote capabilities of other Roku’s in the product line and only outputs at a 1080p resolution. But for an old dumb television they work quite well. Just note that Roku dropped support for older standard definition sets – you’ll need an HDMI port to use it.
Roku ladders their product line in such a way that an additional $10 or so gets you to the next level. So if you’re looking for universal remote capabilities the Express 4k+ will deliver that for only $10 more and will work on 1080p and 720p televisions.
But for an entry level streamer the product is quite functional. It performs adequately enough for navigating between apps and streaming media. And when paired with their excellent mobile app you pick up the ability to do private listening via headphones and stream your personal media to the television.
Roku’s interface remains fairly clean and although it has advertising it’s not as intrusive as what you’ll experience on a Fire TV or Google TV these days.
And for Apple users Rokus work exceptionally well as Airplay destinations. You can mirror your iPhone, iPad or Mac’s screen to the Roku with just a click or two. It works just as well as it does on Apple’s much more expensive Apple TV devices. I demo all of that in the video.
All in Roku remains a great choice for people looking for simple streamers. They support all of the major subscription services (at the moment anyway) and offer a ton of great free advertiser supported content options.