The Roku Streaming Stick+ is a digital media player released by Roku, Inc. in 2017 and updated in 2019. It is one of the eighth generation of products released by Roku Inc.
The Roku Streaming Stick+ is a digital media player that takes the form of a streaming stick. It looks like a data stick a bit bigger than a normal USB drive. This makes it much smaller than other streaming devices like the Amazon Fire Pro.
The stick uses a built-in wifi receiver so it can connect to the internet. Its connection established, the device now streams and shows the media through the TV.
The streaming stick promotes itself as one of the best in the market today, and is fierce rivals with the Amazon Fire TV, another streaming stick sold by Amazon itself.
The Roku Streaming Stick+ boasts the capability to support multiple internet services, both free and paid. The internet services supported include Netflix, Youtube, HBO Now, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Pandora, in addition to many news networks like CBS, NBC, and Fox.
In addition to the internet services stated, The Roku Streaming Stick+ comes with free access to the Roku Channel. The Roku Channel is Roku’s own internet service that contains hundreds of free movies of series. These films and series include Hell’s Kitchen, Leverage, Without a Trace, and Spanglish.
The Roku Streaming Stick+ offers support for streaming in HD, 4k, and HDR. This allows it to stream with phenomenal picture quality when using the supported internet services, optimized for the TV.
The streaming stick gets its power from two AA batteries, with the option of plugging in an outlet if the batteries aren’t enough. The cord attaches to the side of the streaming stick, and is made for the device itself. Other cords do not work when used to power the streaming stick.
The Roku Streaming Stick+ has 4x the range of Wi-fi connection than the previous streaming stick models allowing the device to perform smooth streaming at extreme ranges. What’s more, the streaming stick advertises itself as capable of capturing signals when obstructed, ensuring that the streaming stick can function anywhere in the buyer’s house. This is a must for people who wish to stream in places like the outdoors.
To supplement the portability of the streaming stick, the Roku Streaming Stick+ advertises that it is easy to use, requiring only a TV, and an internet connection to start streaming. It can be said to embody the concept of “plug-and-play”. It works in tandem with the advertised range so that it can stream from anywhere at all times.
The streaming stick comes with a remote capable of pairing with both the TV and the streaming stick itself. This makes it less cumbersome to use the streaming stick since the user doesn’t need to switch remotes whenever he or she uses the streaming stick.
With all these features, is it worth it to use the Roku Streaming Stick+?
Roku Streaming Stick pros:
- The Roku Streaming Stick+, though released back in 2019, has remained as one of the best streaming sticks in the market. It is still capable of playing without problem all the streaming services it has in the past, including Netflix, Starz, and Amazon Prime Video. Also, Roku has added Disney+ and Apple TV to internet services supported by the streaming stick, increasing the media accessible by the device.
- The price of the streaming stick is another good thing about the device. Costing at 43 dollars, the streaming stick comes packaged with a remote control. The buyer can order an HDMI cable from Roku itself for free. This makes its price competitive when compared to rivals since it’s at the price spectrum’s lower end. Compare it to the Amazon Fire TV, which costs 50 dollars.
- Further driving the cost down is having no monthly fee for continued use of the Roku. While apps like Netflix, Amazon Video Prime, Hulu, and Sling do have subscriptions or monthly, the streaming stick also supports many free apps. These apps include Youtube, The Roku Channel, Crackle, and CBS news. The number of free supported apps means that you can spend the money on the Roku Streaming Stick+ and nothing else. Many users have done this, buying the streaming stick so they can access their favorite apps without the need to pay a monthly fee.
- Speaking of which, the Roku Streaming Stick+, in addition to supporting many apps, can also avail channel bundles, offering an alternative to the expensive cable tv companies such as Comcast and Optimum. It can support Sling, AT&TV, Youtube TV, and Pluto TV, to name a few. These channel bundles charge tens of dollars a month for selected cable channels, compared to cable TV companies which charge hundreds of dollars for channels that the customer will not need. These channel bundles are just another instance of the freedom that owners of the streaming stick have.
- The Roku Streaming Stick+ and its capability to support 4K and HDR streaming is phenomenal. Most users have said that it streamed in awesome quality with no stuttering. Even though it uses up more bandwidth compared to streaming in HD, the graphics shown has made the increased data usage a price worth paying.
- The Roku Streaming Stick+ is very easy to set up. Users said that all they did to start the streaming stick was attach it to the TV, then establish a connection with a Wi-fi router. Overall, the streaming stick is very user-friendly. Its ease of setup has enabled it to embody the “plug-and-play” concept that it advertised itself as. Helping this is the streaming stick’s smooth interface. The interface is very sleek and uncluttered, with the only glaring feature being the ads shown since the streaming stick is ad-supported.
- Another thing that makes the Roku Streaming Stick+ easier to use is the remote. Since the remote is capable of pairing with both the streaming stick and the tv itself, using two remotes is no longer necessary. The remote itself is simple, having pause, rewind, fast forward, repeat, and voice control commands. Besides the commands, the remote control has shortcuts for Netflix, Hue, Sling, and Hulu.
- Speaking of portability, the streaming stick is comparable to its rivals when it comes to size. Having the size of a slightly bigger USB stick, this allows the owner to carry the stick anywhere, allowing the buyer to use it at a friend’s house and even outdoors. However, the stick being longer than its contemporaries might be a problem, since the stick can disturb the other attachments a TV might have.
- Aiding this portability is the Roku Streaming Stick+ is capable of receiving signals even through thick walls or underground. This makes the streaming stick able to function with no problems even though the Wi-fi router is multiple rooms away or even at the basement. Of course, even this feature has limitations.
Roku Streaming Stick Cons
- The Roku Streaming Stick+ appears unable to support the older HD TV models, not functioning at all when connected to the old TVs. If your TV is ten years old, then it is better to use the Roku Express Plus. Roku also did not package an HDMI Adaptor with the streaming stick, requiring a call to support to deliver it to the buyer’s home. Another problem with the device is that it requires an HDMI outlet to connect to the TV. Thankfully, most TVs nowadays have their HDMI slot. However, in case that the TV does not have an HDMI slot, then the customer needs an HDMI to USB converter.
- When it comes to storage, the Roku Streaming Stick+ does disappoint. It is only capable of storing 8GB of data. What’s more, it does not have a microSD card slot like its equivalents, making it incapable of storing much compared to its rivals. This makes the Roku Streaming Stick+ be good only for streaming. If the customer would prefer additional functions, like a game console or a smart home hub, then they need to look for alternatives.
- The Roku Streaming Stick+ doesn’t have much of a bigger range when compared to its competitors. A direct comparison with competitors like the Amazon Fire TV has shown that they have the same range, performing alike at the same ranges. The improved receiver of the streaming stick is not as effective as Roku hoped.
- The streaming stick is also incapable of connecting to the internet through the Ethernet, making direct connections impossible. This makes it required to use Wi-fi routers to stream media. Unfortunately, if something disrupts the Wi-fi connection, this means the streaming stick cannot function at all.
- Another thing to note that the device is extremely data-hungry, once it starts streaming in HDR. It is not uncommon to find that the streaming stick has used gigabytes of data in one hour of streaming. This might not be a problem for those with unlimited data plans. However, if the buyer lives in an area where bandwidth and data are at a premium, then the buyer should either upgrade their data package and router or don’t buy the streaming stick at all.
- The Roku Streaming Stick+ is also very power-hungry, to the point that the TV itself can’t power the streaming stick itslef. Most of the time, the stick needs to an electric outlet to perform adequately. This increases the number of wires at the TV, which might tangle up. Even more worrying are the few reports where the streaming stick gets very hot, which might cause damage to the streaming stick. It might even become a fire hazard
- The Roku Streaming Stick+ has a few cases where problems occur when multiple Wi-fi networks are in the area. When multiple Wi-fi networks are in range, what happens is that the device tends to start switching from one network to another. This affects the remote for the device, causing the remote to not pair properly unless the remote is near to the streaming stick.
- The remote control that comes packaged with the device also has very limited voice control, especially when the Amazon Fire TV has full Alexa support. The remote is capable of opening apps and performing basic searches using voice control. However, Alexa is far more capable when it comes to voice control support. The remote control is not capable of processing more complicated queries. Customers reported that the voice control can search for media according to genre or the actors involved.
- The Roku Streaming Stick+ is not good when it comes to ads. There are reports where the ads take up over half of the streaming stick’s onscreen. The buyer might prefer using streaming devices whose ads up to less of the TV’s screen.
- Another unfortunate feature that the Roku Streaming Stick+ has is that the streaming stick doesn’t turn off automatically with the tv that it is connected. What’s more, users have reported that router activity still happens during this time, which means that the streaming stick has continued streaming even though no one is using it. This requires users to constantly remember to turn off the television and the streaming stick at the same time so that they don’t waste data. Owners who previously owned other streaming devices might have it even harder since those devices are automatically off alongside the TV.
- There are a few cases where the Roku Streaming Stick+ has stopped working after a few months. This lack of durability has manifested in the streaming stick not working at all. Other issues include the broken display, constant rebooting, and the device becoming too hot when used. The owner plugging in the streaming stick increases the likelihood of heat occuring.
- Furthermore, the remote control has instances of malfunctioning, being unable to work at all, even with charged batteries. Other problems include the remote and the streaming stick not pairing, needing its battery replaced every night, and needing a reboot after ten minutes. Cases of device and remote malfunction are, fortunately, not common.
- To compound the problems stated above, Apple and Roku’s customer support has been unhelpful. Most reports have stated days, weeks, and even months of delay in customer support. One case about how solving the device’s inability to support 4k streaming took ten months after it the report, with the device in question already returned. Another case where support replaced the device after two weeks, only for the replacement device to not work. All these cases point to either incompetence or apathy in the company’s Roku support. In short, pray that your device does not malfunction since you’re going to experience headaches trying to solve it.
The public has still considered the Roku Streaming Stick+ as one of the best streaming sticks in the market when it came out, and the updated version continues to prove its worth.
Its support of 4K and HDR streaming, the many apps that it can use, its consistent performance, and the easiness of its interface have all contributed to its reputation. Add to this the Roku Channel, which offers hundreds of shows and series for free.
Priced at 43 dollars, the Roku Streaming Stick+ is a steal. The device was sold years ago and updated in 2019, yet it didn’t show at all.
However, the device has serious problems. Although some of these problems are about the remote’s quality and durability, the worst problems are about Roku’s customer support. The customer support’s sheer amount and duration of delays in providing support gives the impression that the customer can’t rely on them. This is without mentioning the cases where the support delivered no help at all.
Overall, if the buyer is careful( or believes they don’t need) customer support, then the reviewer recommends the Roku Streaming Stick+ is for their use.
Roku Streaming Stick
The public has still considered the Roku Streaming Stick+ as one of the best streaming sticks in the market when it came out, and the updated version continues to prove its worth. Its support of 4K and HDR streaming, the many apps that it can use, its consistent performance, and the easiness of its interface have all contributed to its reputation. Add to this the Roku Channel, which offers hundreds of shows and series for free. Priced at 43 dollars, the Roku Streaming Stick+ is a steal. The device was sold years ago and updated in 2019, yet it didn't show at all.
- Simple to set up and use
- Affordable Price
- Extensive free movie channels & Apps
- Only supports HDR-10, not Dolby Vision HDR
- Voice control doesn’t work as well as other streaming devices
- No Program Storage.