Roku is a major player in changing the way we watch television. Sure, there are other streaming services like Netflix that give you a good mix of original content as well as well-known films and TV shows. That said, Roku has convinced quite a lot to finally cut the cord. After all, if you want Netflix, Hulu and all those other streaming services, plus a good collection of popular TV stations like NBC, then Roku is the answer. With the product, you get access to thousands of streaming channels – something that TV can’t quite beat.
But which Roku product is best for you? There are several but this article will focus on two: the Roku Streaming Stick and the Roku Ultra.
The Stick variant looks like a USB but is a bit larger. On the other hand, the Ultra is resembles a digital box. The Stick has a slight advantage in that it is highly portable and costs less. The Ultra seems intended for an audience who has super-sized televisions and astounding sound systems.
Both products come with a remote for browsing, adding and organizing channels. Generally, it’s what you use to access Roku content. But if you find that rather difficult, you can turn your smartphone into a Roku remote.
Whichever device you choose will give you access to thousands of movies and TV episodes. You will be spoiled with the amount of choices presented to you. Where they differ though is with TV compatibility as well as other features. Both support HDMI but the Ultra supports 4K video. Also, in terms of technology and features, Ultra has the upper hand given it’s a fifth generation device and one of the latest released by Roku.
There’s no comparison here as both feature a grid layout, much like Netflix does. However, you have to be a diligent user and organize the channels you add because hunting for a specific channel can ruin the fun. So as you add channels, make it a habit to get them organized so you don’t have to endlessly scroll until you find what you’re looking for.
There’s nothing much to complain about in terms of the basics because both offer the same thing. A wide range of channel options? Check. Can turn smartphone into remote? Check. Voice search? Check. Show personal media (pictures or videos from smartphone or any other device) on screen through Roku app? Check. Screen mirroring? Check.
If they are so similar, what makes Ultra so much pricier? There are a couple of features that Ultra has that Stick doesn’t. Plus, Ultra is so more technologically advanced. For instance, Ultra has a USB port, microSD slot and gaming buttons on the remote. That and Ultra also supports 4K and HDR.
If you want access to thousands of movies and TV shows from a wide range of streaming channels, then the Roku Stick will do fine. But if you want all those plus have options for 4K and HDR, then get the Roku Ultra. Basically, it can be summed up like this: the Ultra is suited for home theaters while the Stick is a cost-effective alternative to cable.