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Roku Express Plus (2017) review: The best way to get Netflix, YouTube and more onto an old TV

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The Good The Roku Express Plus is one of the only ways to add Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube and more to an old TV. It's ultra-affordable, easy to use and packed with streaming apps.

The Bad Since there's no wired Ethernet option, it needs a solid Wi-Fi signal to work properly.

The Bottom Line If you want to stream video to an old TV, your best (and pretty much only) option is the Roku Express Plus.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 6
  • Ecosystem 9
  • Features 6
  • Performance 7
  • Value 9

"So there's this thing called Netflix, and it lets you watch TV over the internet. You don't need to pay for cable or futz with an antenna. Want to check it out?"

If you've had this conversation with a friend or family member, the next question might be "How do I get it on my TV?" After you confirm that they have Wi-Fi, you might recommend a device like the Roku Express: Cheap, simple, and it plugs into their TV's HDMI port.

But what if their TV is so old it doesn't even have an HDMI port? That's when you tell them about the Roku Express Plus.

Almost as cheap and sold exclusively at Walmart, it's just like the Express but includes an analog AV cable complete with red, white and yellow plugs. There's no reason to buy the Plus if the TV you're connecting to has HDMI, but there are plenty of older TVs that don't. This little device is the best way to revive an old TV in the streaming age.

In fact, short of buying an old game console, it's one of the only ways.

Old TV, meet new Roku

If you're not familiar with Roku, it's our favorite streaming system for a few simple reasons. It's extremely easy to use and it supports more apps than any other competitor like Fire TV or Google Chromecast. In addition to big names like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and YouTube, it has thousands of smaller apps and niche services. Some of the best, like the exclusive Roku Channel, are free (although many have ads).

Despite their cheap prices, the newest Roku players like the Express Plus are quick satisfying to use -- provided you have good Wi-Fi. And no, the Express Plus doesn't work with wired Internet connections. 

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