CNET First Look
Roku makes 5 great streamers. Here's the one to getOur favorite is the Roku Streaming Stick with 4K HDR for $70, but maybe you want to pay less, or get more features.
Roku makes my favorite streamers, but it has a whopping 5 new models for 2017. Which one should you get? My pick for most people is the $70 Roku Streaming Stick+. Sure it's more expensive than most of the others, but it's still affordable, and its mixture of features and capabilities is the best on the market. I'll tackle the other Rokus later in this video but for now let's take a closer look at the plus. This tiny stick is designed to plug into the HDMI port on your t.v. and remain out of sight. It includes a cable with something called an advanced wireless receiver that's supposed to improve wi-fi reception. In my test, it didn't make much of a difference, but wi-fi reception was still fine. More important is this 4K HDR video output. [UNKNOWN] Plus is one of the least expensive streamers to deliver the highest quality 4K and high-dynamic range videos from Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, and other apps. If you have a compatible 4K TV, that means you'll be getting the best picture for your streaming dollar. And if you don't have a 4K TV yet, chances are good that your next TV will be 4K The Plus is cheap enough you might want to get it now anyway and be ready for the future. My favorite new feature is the remote's ability to control your TV. Buttons for power and volume are programmed automatically during setup, using the information contained in your television. You probably won't have to do anything to set it up. Worst case, you'll have to type in the TV maker's name. Otherwise, everything I like about Roku is onboard. Including the best search in the business, simple menus that are easy to customize, and more apps, 4K and otherwise, than the competition. And all that goodness trickles down to the cheaper Rokus too. My next favorite is the $50 streaming stick. Which is basically the non 4K version of the Plus. The remote can do TV control and voice search to, and response times were just as snappy. If you have absolutely no plans to get a 4k TV, save the $20 and get the standard stick. And if you don't care about that TV remote with voice search, get the Roku express. Unlike [UNKNOWN] version, it's plenty snappy to respond. It's not a stick. So you need an HDMI cable, but it is till tiny. This is my go to pick for ultra budget streaming hardware. For people with older TVs that lack HDMI ports, Roku sales the $40.00 Express Plus. It comes with a set of yellow, red and white analog cables. You can infuse that [UNKNOWN] set with a full set of modern apps. Finally, there is the most expensive set of Roku. The $100.00 Roku Ulta. It has all the capabilities of Streaming Stick Plus, including 4K HDR, in traditional streaming box form. Its remote has a headphone jack for private listening. There's a cool remote finder that makes the clicker beep if it gets lost. And you can connect an. Ethernet cable if your wifi isn't great. Those features probably aren't worth another thirty buck to most people, unelss they just want the best Roku period. In the end, Roku's 2017 lineup has a streamer for everyone but the star is the streaming stick plus.