There are a bunch of streaming boxes and sticks that you can add to your TV, such as Google’s Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire TV and many more. But, there’s another option that you may not have heard of – Roku Express.
Coming in at just £29, the Roku Express may just be the best value for money streaming stick out there. Allowing you to add Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube and many other streaming services to your TV.
Setting it Up
The Roku Express comes with everything you’ll need to get started, it includes the device itself, infrared remote (with batteries included) and also an HDMI cable and micro USB cable and power brick. There’s also an adhesive strip in the box that you can use to stick the Roku to the underside of your TV or media stand since it is very light and is most likely going to slide around a little bit.
Setting up the device was simple and easy, plug it in and connect it to your Wi-Fi network. Then you’ll need to use your browser to do the initial setup such as creating a Roku account and picking what apps you’d like installed. If you want to create a Roku account without entering your payment information use this link.
Using the Roku Express
For a device so cheap, I found using the Roku Express a very pleasant experience – it didn’t stutter or freeze at all. The interface is very smooth and fluid and generally nice to use, it is also very simple to use so it is ideal for first-time users of streaming devices.
The Express is controlled by the infrared remote. This is something to consider because it means that this isn’t a device that can hide behind your TV, the remote needs to be aimed at the front of the front of the streaming box. The remote is nice, it has all the controls that you need but does have some app buttons that you can’t adjust – so if you have no intention of using Netflix, the Netflix button will still be stuck on your remote forever.
There are also some nice extra features that I liked about the Roku Express, was that it supported the DIAL protocol. This means that you can use it a like a Chromecast, casting videos from the YouTube app, for example, to the Roku. It also supports Miracast, so if you have an Android or Windows device you can mirror your entire screen to the Roku.
If you are looking for a streaming device, that is affordable and works well the Roku Express is a great choice – it has plenty of apps for all the main streaming services and provides a good experience.
If you have invested in the Alexa or Google ecosystem then you may want to look at Amazon’s or Google’s offerings. But if you want a no-frills experience to stream services such as Netflix then the Roku Express is what you’ll want to get.