If your TV doesn’t have smart features, you’re missing out on a world of easy streaming from your favorite services like Netflix of Hulu. But Roku streaming sticks can help, as they are a cheap and easy way to add new functionalities to your old TV without having to upgrade everything. Roku devices plug into the back of your TV and are controlled using the included controller, allowing you to access a ton of content right from your TV.
You can save money on the streaming device with the Roku deals listed below. If you’re unsure of which one to choose, we’ve described each of Roku’s set-top box options in a little more detail below to help make the buying process a little bit simpler. Whether it’s the basic Roku Express or the top-of-the-line Roku Ultra, we have you covered. You’ll also find great deals on TVs and soundbars with Roku built-in.
The Roku Express is the company’s entry-level streaming box. It only supports maximum resolution of 1080p and has no HDR support, and the slower 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi standards. There is no way to hardwire your streaming box to your router as the Express doesn’t have a built-in Ethernet port.
Its included remote is a less feature-rich version of the remote included with other Roku boxes and doesn’t support voice recognition. You’ll also need to use your TV remote to turn your TV on and off as well as control the volume of your TV, something higher-end Roku devices can do directly from the remote.
While the functionality of the Express is considerably limited, you’ll still get access to every Roku channel in the channel store, as well as HDMI and Dolby Audio and DTS pass-through. For those looking for a streaming box for an older HDTV, the Express is your best (and also cheapest) bet.
The Roku Streaming Stick+ is the next step up from the Roku Express and is the cheapest Roku that supports 4K HDR content. You also gain 802.11ac dual-band MIMO, meaning better connectivity and performance, especially for 4K HDR content. Also, the wireless connectivity inside allows for four times the range of the Express, meaning you’ll be able to place the device further away from your router.
The included remote adds voice recognition support and the capability to control your television’s power and volume directly from the remote. For many, this is the Roku model we would recommend due to its extensive feature set and competitive price compared to other streaming options on the market, most notably the Fire TV Stick.
Another attractive feature of the Streaming Stick+ is its size. For wall-mounted TVs. The stick can fit in the space where your connections are, allowing you to hide the device away for a cleaner look. If your TV has a USB port, you can also use this to power the device, further eliminating excess cables.
The Roku Ultra is Roku’s top-tier device, aimed at home theater enthusiasts with a feature set that has these users in mind. While it also supports 4K HDR video and 802.11ac dual-band MIMO like the Streaming Stick+, the Ultra also includes a built-in Ethernet port. This allows you to hardwire your set-top box to your network, essentially giving the most reliable streaming experience available.
But that isn’t the only feature that sets the Ultra apart: it also includes a USB port and MicroSD slot, the former allowing you to playback content locally, and the latter to give you extra storage space for additional Roku channels. The remote adds other functionality enabling you to add personal shortcuts to whatever you want, whether it be a channel or a frequent search, and so on.
Included in the package are a set of premium JBL headphones, which can be plugged into your remote to allow for private listening — a great way to enjoy content without disturbing others. If you’re looking for the best Roku experience, this is it.
Not sure which to choose between the Roku Express and Streaming Stick+? The biggest difference between the two is resolution. The Express can only stream in Full HD, while the Streaming Stick supports full 4K. If you’re buying a Roku for an older TV that you don’t plan to upgrade any time soon, the Express might be the better choice.
Another key difference is the Wi-Fi connectivity. While the Express does support 802.11 b/g/n networks, the Streaming Stick+ also supports the newer and faster 802.11ac dual-band MIMO routers. The latter works much better for streaming, and as a result, will provide a much more reliable streaming experience. The Wi-Fi chip inside also has better range, making it a better solution for TVs further away from your router.
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