If you’re looking to buy a streaming device, there are a lot of things you need to consider: Do you need one? Which features are important to you? How much will it cost?
If you’ve worked through everything and decided on a Roku, you’ve made a smart choice. There are lots of hidden tricks and private channels to explore. But now you have another choice to make: Which model should you buy?
Unlike Chromecasts, Nvidia Shields, and Apple TVs, there are a dizzying array of options. In fact, at the time of writing, there are six models! For an entry-level product, focus on these three: the Express, Express+, and Streaming Stick. But what are the differences? Let’s take a look.
More Similarities Than Differences
The three models have a lot of similarities. All three of them are dongle-based (rather than set-top boxes), they all support up to 1080p resolution, they all have a universal search function, and they all offer private listening via the mobile app.
So, where do they differ?
If you’ve got an old television with composite A/V inputs, you need the $39.99 Express+. It’s the only product in the entire Roku family that has A/V ports, and is the perfect way to give a new lease of life to an old TV stuck in the back of your garage.
The Streaming Stick, which also costs $39.99, is the most powerful. It boasts a quad-core processor, so apps open and run much faster as a result.
Lastly, the Express ($29.99) and the Express+ both have line-of-sight IR blaster remotes. The Streaming Stick uses a point-anywhere Wi-Fi connection.
Which Roku do you have? Are you happy using a dongle, or would you prefer a set-top model such as the Premiere, Premiere+, or Ultra instead? Let us know in the comments.