6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

First Look: Superior streaming stick, but a tad underpowered

About Video Transcript

First Look: Superior streaming stick, but a tad underpowered

3:36 /

Roku's Streaming Stick offers tons of apps, a real remote, and a compact design for just $50, but its slow boot-up time on some key apps keeps it from being the ultimate streamer.

[MUSIC] [MUSIC] Roku streaming boxes have gotten smaller and smaller over the years. Roku streaming boxes have gotten smaller and smaller over the years. And now, they've finally whittled it down all the way to the Roku Streaming Stick. And now, they've finally whittled it down all the way to the Roku Streaming Stick. This is actually the second streaming stick that Roku's made, but the new model is a huge leap forward. This is actually the second streaming stick that Roku's made, but the new model is a huge leap forward. Now that it works with any TV that has an HDMI port and it's half the price at just $50. Now that it works with any TV that has an HDMI port and it's half the price at just $50. Hey, I'm Matthew Moskovciak for CNET. Hey, I'm Matthew Moskovciak for CNET. And if you've been waiting for Roku's answer to Google's $35 Chromecast, this is it. And if you've been waiting for Roku's answer to Google's $35 Chromecast, this is it. It has the same compact form factor with essentially, all the hardware of a full-size Roku box, packed into a device that's not much bigger than a USB flash drive. It has the same compact form factor with essentially, all the hardware of a full-size Roku box, packed into a device that's not much bigger than a USB flash drive. The plastic casing sports Roku's signature purple color, which won't be on display, since it's designed to live behind your TV in the spare HDMI port. The plastic casing sports Roku's signature purple color, which won't be on display, since it's designed to live behind your TV in the spare HDMI port. The back of the TV placement would leave the stick almost entirely concealed, except it needs power, which it can get from a USB port on your TV or by connecting the included power adapter. The back of the TV placement would leave the stick almost entirely concealed, except it needs power, which it can get from a USB port on your TV or by connecting the included power adapter. There's not much else to the device. There's not much else to the device. Say, for a micro-USB port, a tiny indicator light, and a small button that you can use to reset the stick if it freezes up. Say, for a micro-USB port, a tiny indicator light, and a small button that you can use to reset the stick if it freezes up. In terms of internal hardware, it has dualband WiFi support as well as full 1080p output. In terms of internal hardware, it has dualband WiFi support as well as full 1080p output. Now, while the Chromecast relies on your smartphone or tablet for all its navigation, the Streaming Stick includes an actual remote. Now, while the Chromecast relies on your smartphone or tablet for all its navigation, the Streaming Stick includes an actual remote. It's essentially the same remote you get with Roku's other budget streaming boxes, although it works for your WiFi direct, so it can communicate with the stick when it's hidden behind your TV. It's essentially the same remote you get with Roku's other budget streaming boxes, although it works for your WiFi direct, so it can communicate with the stick when it's hidden behind your TV. Roku also lets you control the stick using its mobile app. Roku also lets you control the stick using its mobile app. And the Streaming Stick supports some casting functionality, similar to the Chromecast, for Netflix and YouTube. And the Streaming Stick supports some casting functionality, similar to the Chromecast, for Netflix and YouTube. So with the Streaming Stick, you get to choose which kind of control scheme you prefer. So with the Streaming Stick, you get to choose which kind of control scheme you prefer. The Streaming Stick is also packed with apps. The Streaming Stick is also packed with apps. There are over 1,200 apps on Roku's platform. There are over 1,200 apps on Roku's platform. And while many of those are filler, there's a lot of great content, including Netflix, Amazon Instant, HBO GO, Hulu Plus, Pandora, MLB. And while many of those are filler, there's a lot of great content, including Netflix, Amazon Instant, HBO GO, Hulu Plus, Pandora, MLB. TV, Amazon Cloud player, VUDU, and Showtime Anytime. TV, Amazon Cloud player, VUDU, and Showtime Anytime. Even better, the Streaming Stick has cross-platform search, so you can search for a movie or TV show, and it will show you all the services that offer that content and how much it costs. Even better, the Streaming Stick has cross-platform search, so you can search for a movie or TV show, and it will show you all the services that offer that content and how much it costs. Now, everything sounds pretty great about the Streaming Stick so far, but it does have a bit of an Achilles heel. Now, everything sounds pretty great about the Streaming Stick so far, but it does have a bit of an Achilles heel. And that's speed. And that's speed. Well, it's fast enough when you're navigating menus. Well, it's fast enough when you're navigating menus. Some apps like Netflix and YouTube take forever to load. Some apps like Netflix and YouTube take forever to load. Over 30 seconds of just looking at the loading screen. Over 30 seconds of just looking at the loading screen. Every other Roku box I've seen loads Netflix in 12 seconds or less. Every other Roku box I've seen loads Netflix in 12 seconds or less. So it really feels like a step backwards when you're using the Streaming Stick. So it really feels like a step backwards when you're using the Streaming Stick. Now, once you load up the app, the speed is fine. Now, once you load up the app, the speed is fine. And it's worth pointing out that the sluggishness doesn't affect every app on the Streaming Stick. And it's worth pointing out that the sluggishness doesn't affect every app on the Streaming Stick. But Netflix and YouTube are two of the most important apps, so the speed issues are more than just a nuisance. But Netflix and YouTube are two of the most important apps, so the speed issues are more than just a nuisance. So that's the major drawback with the Roku Streaming Stick. So that's the major drawback with the Roku Streaming Stick. Its huge library of apps, the included remote, and cross-platform search all make the Streaming Stick worth the $15 over the Chromecast. Its huge library of apps, the included remote, and cross-platform search all make the Streaming Stick worth the $15 over the Chromecast. And it's still an impressive streamer at just $50. And it's still an impressive streamer at just $50. But, the speed issues on Netflix and YouTube mean the $100 Roku 3 is still our favorite streaming device, even at twice the price. But, the speed issues on Netflix and YouTube mean the $100 Roku 3 is still our favorite streaming device, even at twice the price. I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET, and this is the Roku Streaming Stick. I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET, and this is the Roku Streaming Stick. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] [MUSIC] [MUSIC] Roku streaming boxes have gotten smaller and smaller over the years. Roku streaming boxes have gotten smaller and smaller over the years. And now, they've finally whittled it down all the way to the Roku Streaming Stick. And now, they've finally whittled it down all the way to the Roku Streaming Stick. This is actually the second streaming stick that Roku's made, but the new model is a huge leap forward. This is actually the second streaming stick that Roku's made, but the new model is a huge leap forward. Now that it works with any TV that has an HDMI port and it's half the price at just $50. Now that it works with any TV that has an HDMI port and it's half the price at just $50. Hey, I'm Matthew Moskovciak for CNET. Hey, I'm Matthew Moskovciak for CNET. And if you've been waiting for Roku's answer to Google's $35 Chromecast, this is it. And if you've been waiting for Roku's answer to Google's $35 Chromecast, this is it. It has the same compact form factor with essentially, all the hardware of a full-size Roku box, packed into a device that's not much bigger than a USB flash drive. It has the same compact form factor with essentially, all the hardware of a full-size Roku box, packed into a device that's not much bigger than a USB flash drive. The plastic casing sports Roku's signature purple color, which won't be on display, since it's designed to live behind your TV in the spare HDMI port. The plastic casing sports Roku's signature purple color, which won't be on display, since it's designed to live behind your TV in the spare HDMI port. The back of the TV placement would leave the stick almost entirely concealed, except it needs power, which it can get from a USB port on your TV or by connecting the included power adapter. The back of the TV placement would leave the stick almost entirely concealed, except it needs power, which it can get from a USB port on your TV or by connecting the included power adapter. There's not much else to the device. There's not much else to the device. Say, for a micro-USB port, a tiny indicator light, and a small button that you can use to reset the stick if it freezes up. Say, for a micro-USB port, a tiny indicator light, and a small button that you can use to reset the stick if it freezes up. In terms of internal hardware, it has dualband WiFi support as well as full 1080p output. In terms of internal hardware, it has dualband WiFi support as well as full 1080p output. Now, while the Chromecast relies on your smartphone or tablet for all its navigation, the Streaming Stick includes an actual remote. Now, while the Chromecast relies on your smartphone or tablet for all its navigation, the Streaming Stick includes an actual remote. It's essentially the same remote you get with Roku's other budget streaming boxes, although it works for your WiFi direct, so it can communicate with the stick when it's hidden behind your TV. It's essentially the same remote you get with Roku's other budget streaming boxes, although it works for your WiFi direct, so it can communicate with the stick when it's hidden behind your TV. Roku also lets you control the stick using its mobile app. Roku also lets you control the stick using its mobile app. And the Streaming Stick supports some casting functionality, similar to the Chromecast, for Netflix and YouTube. And the Streaming Stick supports some casting functionality, similar to the Chromecast, for Netflix and YouTube. So with the Streaming Stick, you get to choose which kind of control scheme you prefer. So with the Streaming Stick, you get to choose which kind of control scheme you prefer. The Streaming Stick is also packed with apps. The Streaming Stick is also packed with apps. There are over 1,200 apps on Roku's platform. There are over 1,200 apps on Roku's platform. And while many of those are filler, there's a lot of great content, including Netflix, Amazon Instant, HBO GO, Hulu Plus, Pandora, MLB. And while many of those are filler, there's a lot of great content, including Netflix, Amazon Instant, HBO GO, Hulu Plus, Pandora, MLB. TV, Amazon Cloud player, VUDU, and Showtime Anytime. TV, Amazon Cloud player, VUDU, and Showtime Anytime. Even better, the Streaming Stick has cross-platform search, so you can search for a movie or TV show, and it will show you all the services that offer that content and how much it costs. Even better, the Streaming Stick has cross-platform search, so you can search for a movie or TV show, and it will show you all the services that offer that content and how much it costs. Now, everything sounds pretty great about the Streaming Stick so far, but it does have a bit of an Achilles heel. Now, everything sounds pretty great about the Streaming Stick so far, but it does have a bit of an Achilles heel. And that's speed. And that's speed. Well, it's fast enough when you're navigating menus. Well, it's fast enough when you're navigating menus. Some apps like Netflix and YouTube take forever to load. Some apps like Netflix and YouTube take forever to load. Over 30 seconds of just looking at the loading screen. Over 30 seconds of just looking at the loading screen. Every other Roku box I've seen loads Netflix in 12 seconds or less. Every other Roku box I've seen loads Netflix in 12 seconds or less. So it really feels like a step backwards when you're using the Streaming Stick. So it really feels like a step backwards when you're using the Streaming Stick. Now, once you load up the app, the speed is fine. Now, once you load up the app, the speed is fine. And it's worth pointing out that the sluggishness doesn't affect every app on the Streaming Stick. And it's worth pointing out that the sluggishness doesn't affect every app on the Streaming Stick. But Netflix and YouTube are two of the most important apps, so the speed issues are more than just a nuisance. But Netflix and YouTube are two of the most important apps, so the speed issues are more than just a nuisance. So that's the major drawback with the Roku Streaming Stick. So that's the major drawback with the Roku Streaming Stick. Its huge library of apps, the included remote, and cross-platform search all make the Streaming Stick worth the $15 over the Chromecast. Its huge library of apps, the included remote, and cross-platform search all make the Streaming Stick worth the $15 over the Chromecast. And it's still an impressive streamer at just $50. And it's still an impressive streamer at just $50. But, the speed issues on Netflix and YouTube mean the $100 Roku 3 is still our favorite streaming device, even at twice the price. But, the speed issues on Netflix and YouTube mean the $100 Roku 3 is still our favorite streaming device, even at twice the price. I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET, and this is the Roku Streaming Stick. I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET, and this is the Roku Streaming Stick. [MUSIC] [MUSIC]

New releases

The Renault Megane 275 Trophy is a Lord of the Ring
8:56 November 27, 2014
When someone dared to take the FWD lap record at the Nürburgring away from Renault, the Frenchmen fought back The result is the Megane...
Play video
How the Samsung Galaxy Note got its pen in CNET UK podcast 412
20:16 November 27, 2014
The Samsung Galaxy Note almost came with a toothpick, we're going back to "Jurassic World", and BT has its sights on O2 -- or maybe...
Play video
Apple looks to Virtual Reality
4:55 November 26, 2014
Apple is pursuing virtual reality harder than it ever has before. The iPhone 6 can play 4K video, and the best Black Friday deals for...
Play video
Olympus E-PL7's mainstream appeal
2:24 November 26, 2014
A good interchangeable-lens series for budding enthusiasts gets better.
Play video
Tomorrow Daily 093: Underwater cities, MST3K's new website, robot security guards and more
23:17 November 26, 2014
On today's show, we discuss a Japanese design firm's plans for a futuristic underwater city, the newest way to watch your favorite...
Play video
Sparing no expense, 'Jurassic World' features Gear smartwatch
2:56 November 26, 2014
Samsung products find a way into the latest "Jurassic Park" movie, Amazon launches Local Services, and Twitter tests coupon offers...
Play video
Tablet tips for traveling with kids
2:47 November 26, 2014
Learn how to use the tech you already have to entertain your kids during a long trip.
Play video
Razor scooters drive electric
1:54 November 26, 2014
Razor's small E100 and larger E300 electric scooters make for a fun ride, but don't expect much in the way of features.
Play video