Roku 4 Review

Roku 4 Review

Roku is a private company that only makes streaming devices. How does that affect the product they produce? Apple, Google and Amazon all have streaming devices that are secondary products in larger ecosystems. Roku has 25% of the streaming market. It is rare when a small company has a such strong foothold in a major electronics category. Is it because this David is the best in a field of Goliaths?

Roku 4 Design and Connections

The 4th Roku has a flat and wide design, with HDMI , ethernet, micro sd , and optical audio.

Roku 4 Remote

Even though the remote is made of plastic, it still feels solid in my hand. It has a d-pad, with voice search and four buttons for direct access to apps. As well a, b buttons for playing games. The feature of the remote that I like most is …(show pressing the button and then hearing the locator chime). I have wasted so much time looking for my apple tv remote. This is such a simple feature, but it adds so much to the experience. Another simple but nice feature is the headphone jack on the remote. This is great, the audio sounds good and you still get the benefit of the full size television as oppose to your phone or tablet.

Roku 4 Remote App

The Roku remote app is full featured and offers away to input text, a must have. A feature missing in the 2015 Apple TV.

Roku 4 Performance

Even though the Roku 4 has the lowest processing power of this year’s generation of streaming devices, the performance while watching television is fine. 4k performance looks good, when it is not limited by a fluctuating Internet connection. Yes, you can get games on the Roku 4, but skip this device for gaming. And you can use the micro SD slot to expand upon the internal 32 GB of storage.

Roku 4 Voice Search

You can search for movies and tv shows across multiple services. It will show you options with the associated price. You can choose to follow a particular movie and you will be notified when the price drops. With the Roku 4’s voice search your need to be specific and not conversational like you’d be with Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri. But I don’t care about having a conversation with my streaming box. The Roku 4’s voice search works well enough.

Roku 4 Streaming Channels

Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Vudu are all here for streaming. For those of us who own a 4k TV, the Ruku 4 includes an app to help you locate 4k movies and TV shows. This is really helpful.

Roku 4 User Interface

The user interface is simple and easy to navigate. One thing that I was surprised to find was that the layout for Amazon Prime Video is better on the Roku 4 than the layout on the Amazon Fire TV.

Roku 4 Review

With simple but really helpful features like the lost remote finder, the 4K video locator app, and the headphone jack on the remote, it shows that their are advantages to being a company that only focuses on making one type of device. Not including the Nvidia Shield, which I consider to be more of a gaming device, the Roku 4 is the best new streaming box of 2015. At the time of this review, I’d recommend the Roku 4 over the 2015 models of the Amazon Fire TV and the Apple TV.
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2015 Chromecast Review

Chromecast Review

Amongst the current generation of streaming devices, Chromecast is unique in it’s approach in that it requires a device with significant computing power and it is unique with its price, costing only $35. That price is the lowest of any streaming device from any major manufacture. How much can you expect from such an affordable device? The new design of the Chromecast is simple and compact. According to Google, the circular design incorporates a stronger antenna enabling better wifi performance. On the device it has an HDMI plug and a micro usb connect for power. It connects using Wifi up to 802.11 ac. The big selling point of the Chromecast is that you can use of the computing power in your phone, laptop, tablet or computer to watch video and play games through this small device. Whichever device you use, hands the stream over to the chromecast so that you can see it on your television. All of the major streaming services have the Chromecast feature in their apps.

Chromecast on iOS

Even the apps on iOS have this option. The chrome cast will not win any awards for its gaming performance. Most of the games I came across remind of games from old school arcades. Chromecast features screen mirroring from the Chrome browser on your laptop or phone. Google says that the Chromecast maxes out at 1080p. When I tested the performance of the Chromecast I did not see anything above 720p. Now this may be limited to my test but I found the image quality to significantly be lacking. 720p looks especially bad on this 4k television. Unlike the 2015 Amazon Fire TV and the Roku 4, the 2015 chrome cast does not offer 4k video. So, if you have a 4k television the Chromecast is not a good option for you. For $35, the chrome cast is versatile and allows for you to connect every mobile screen you have to your television. I find myself being willing to overlook the weaknesses of the Chromecast, because it is so affordable. And I love that it is platform ambiguous. Whether you use Android or iOS devices you will be able to take full advantage of this device.

Amazon Fire TV (2015) Review

Amazon Fire TV 2015 Review

This is the WaysToWatch.com review of the 2015 Amazon Fire TV. Does it live up to the hype? How does it rank amongst the new streaming devices from Google and Apple?

Amazon Fire TV Design

It features the same design from the previous model. There is not much more than a square box. But who cares about the exterior? It is about how it feels and performs.

Amazon Fire TV Remote

The remote is well made, but there are issues with the back of the remote. It is hard to remove it. After working through the back of the remote, the remote actually feels really good in my hand. It works well and is really responsive. The iOS Fire TV App is helpful and easy to use.

Streaming On The Amazon Fire TV

It performs well for streaming, but is limited when it comes to gaming. Amazon’s ASAP feature aims to eliminate buffering time by assuming what you will watch. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime work on Fire TV. If you have a Plex Media Server, good news, the Fire TV can stream movies from the server.

Alexa on Amazon

Amazon’s Alexa voice service can play music, do searches, check sports scores, and provides weather forecast.

X-Ray, FreeTime On The Amazon Fire TV

Another feature from Amazon for the Fire TV is X-Ray. X-ray gives you information about a movie or TV show, like which actors are in a particular scene. Parent can use FreeTime as their parental control tool. All of the main streaming services are available on the Fire TV. The user interface on the Fire TV can be confusing, overall it is a decent streaming box.

The Equalizer Blu-ray Unboxing

The Equalizer Blu-ray

Buy From Amazon

This set includes Blu-ray disc and a digital copy. The digital copy can be redeemed through UltraViolet. The Blu-ray disc has the movie in 1080p video with DTS-HD surround sound. It currently cost $24.45










The Equalizer Blu-ray Special Features

  • Vengeance mode
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Wes Ball
  • Navigating the Maze: The Making of the Maze Runner Documentary
  • The Chuck Diaries
  • Gag Reel
  • Visual Effects Reel
  • Ruin Short Film
  • Still Galleries and Storyboards

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The Maze Runner Blu-ray Unboxing

The Maze Runner Blu-ray

Buy From Amazon

This set includes Blu-ray disc, DVD and digital copy. The digital copy can be redeemed through iTunes or UltraViolet. The Blu-ray disc has the movie in 1080p video with DTS-HD surround sound. It currently cost $17.99










The Maze Runner Blu-ray Special Features

  • Audio Commentary by Director Wes Ball and Co-Screenwriter T.S. Nowlin
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Wes Ball
  • Navigating the Maze: The Making of the Maze Runner Documentary
  • The Chuck Diaries
  • Gag Reel
  • Visual Effects Reel
  • Ruin Short Film
  • Still Galleries and Storyboards

Other Post on WaysToWatch.com

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Guardians of the Galaxy Blu-ray Unboxing

Guardians of the Galaxy Blu-ray

Buy From Amazon

This set includes 3D Blu-ray disc, Blu-ray disc and digital copy. The digital copy can be redeemed through iTunes or UltraViolet or Disney Movie Anywhere. The Blu-ray disc has the movie in 1080p video with DTS-HD surround sound. It cost $19.99










Guardians of the Galaxy Blu-ray Special Features

  • Audio Commentary
  • Guide to the Galaxy with James Gunn
  • The Intergalactic Visual Effects
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes
  • Exclusive Look at Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Gag Reel

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Terminator Anthology Blu-ray Disc Set Unboxing

Terminator Anthology Blu-ray Disc Set


Buy From Amazon

This set includes 5 Blu-ray disc. The Blu-ray disc has each movie in 1080p video with DTS-HD surround sound. It cost $47.50










Terminator Anthology Blu-ray Special Features

  • Disc 1: The Terminator
  • Creating The Terminator: Visual Effects and Music
  • Terminator: A Retrospective
  • Terminated Scenes
  • Humans and Apes: The Cast of Dawn
  • Disc 2: Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  • Audio Commentaries
  • Interactive Modes
  • Terminated Data
  • Trailers
  • Skynet Access
  • Disc 3: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
  • In-Movie Picture-in-Picture Experience
  • Audio Commentaries
  • Behind the Story
  • Additional Footage
  • Fun & Games
  • Trailers
  • Disc 4 and 5: Terminator Salvation
  • Maximum Movie Mode
  • Focus Points
  • Reforging the Future
  • The Moto-Terminator

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Edge of Tomorrow Blu-ray Unboxing

Edge Of Tomorrow Blu-ray


Buy From Amazon

This set includes a Blu-ray disc, DVD and a digital copy. The digital copy can be redeemed with UltraViolet or iTunes. The Blu-ray disc has the movie in 1080p video with DTS Master Audio 7.1 surround sound. It cost $23.28.








Edge Of Tomorrow Blu-ray Special Features

  • Storming the Beach
  • Weapons Of The Future
  • Creatures Not Of This World
  • On The Edge With Doug Liman
  • Deleted Scenes

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Does This Sound Bar Deliver?

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