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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