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What is a Roku Device and How Does it Work

Roku devices allow you to watch video streaming content on your TV via the internet. With Roku devices you can access multiple streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ among others. You can also stream much of the terrestrial TV broadcasts. This article will explain all you need to know about Roku devices.

Who Are Roku Devices For

If your TV is not a Smart TV (it does not have internet access, and can therefore not access apps and streaming platforms directly through your TV), and you want to watch shows on Netflix, you will need some form of external streaming device - in this instance a Roku device. However there are alternatives to Roku devices such as Apple TV, the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Chromecast.

How Does it Work

Roku devices plug into your TV via an HDMI cable and connect to the internet via an ethernet or wireless connection. Once installed you can explore all of the streaming options available for your device.

How Much Does it Cost

There are 4 different versions of Roku devices available ranging from 29.99$ for the express version to 99.99$ for the ultra version. There is also the Roku Premiere for 39.99$ and Roku Streaming Stick for 49.99$.

While you do not need to pay Roku to access certain streaming services, however you will need to have paid for the relevant subscription - for example Netflix, to watch Netflix programs.


The features that are included with the device depend on which model you choose. There are some universal features that are included with each device, no matter the model:

  • Access to over 3000 TV channels.
  • Connect to the TV via and HDMI cable
  • Minimal 1080p HD support
  • All devices are can be controlled with the free Roku Mobile App
  • Supports wireless internet connection up to Wi-Fi 5 and soon Wi-Fi 6.

Below are the features that differentiate each device.

Roku Express

  • HD only
  • Includes a Simple Remote

Roku Premiere

  • 4K and HDR streaming
  • Includes a Simple Remote

Roku Streaming Stick

  • 4K and HDR streaming
  • Portable device
  • Includes a voice remote with TV controls

Roku Ultra

  • 4K and HDR streaming
  • Includes an enhanced voice remote

Do I Need to Buy a Streaming Device

If you already own a smart TV then it may be pertinent to assess which streaming services you wish to access, and decide whether or not you need to purchase a supplementary streaming device to watch your chosen programs.

You can even buy Roku Tv’s which have Roku’s streaming capabilities built directly into them which can be an excellent option if you are in the market for both a new TV and a streaming device.

Photo: 123rf.com


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