It’s no secret that we love Roku — the interface and streaming channel selection are second to none, and there’s a version of Roku for every need and budget. Surprisingly, one of the best Roku models is also one of the oldest still in the lineup: Thewhen CNET reviewed it last fall. In fact, there were precious few nits, and probably not complaints most people would care about. That’s why I’m jazzed that I found it on sale. Usually priced at $50, right now the at Amazon.
Here are the basics: The Roku Streaming Stick Plus is a 4K UHD model, so you’ll get the most out of it if you have a 4K TV to plug it into. The slim little stick plugs into a free HDMI port behind your TV, out of sight, and can either be powered using a USB port on the TV or an AC adapter (though the AC adapter route is better since the Roku won’t need to boot from scratch each time you turn on your TV).
There’s a broad selection of 4K and 4K HDR content on Roku. Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Vudu, Apple TV and Fandango Now all support 4K HDR on Roku; apps with 4K (but not HDR) include Plex, UltraFlix, Toon Goggles, 4K Universe and Smithsonian, along with a handful of others. No one, not even Amazon Fire TV, can match that.
And it’s hard to beat the clean, simple, and platform-agnostic interface, which makes it easy to browse and search, and doesn’t favor or try to push any specific content or apps on you.
I’ve been using a Roku Streaming Stick Plus for a couple of years now, and I have never wanted to change, even though I frequently get to test other streaming players. So my advice is to grab this stick now, or if you miss the deal, keep your eyes open for the next time it rolls around (which probably won’t take too long).
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