Roku TV and Streaming Devices: Everything You Need to Know
- What is Roku and Roku TV?
- What are Different Roku Devices?
- How Much Do Roku Players Cost?
Streaming devices like the Roku are the best way to enjoy streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, ESPN, HBO, and more. You only need to plug it into your TV, and you could get access to basically all the video streaming services you have a subscription to. This means you can watch your favourite shows on TV to be enjoyed by the whole family.
If you’re considering getting a Roku device, it’s best to know everything you can about it. Make sure it meets your needs.
With that, you will know more about the following in this guide:
- What is Roku and Roku TV?
- What are the different Roku devices?
- How much does Roku cost?
- How to set up your device
- What is the best broadband plan for Roku?
What is Roku and Roku TV?
Roku is a big company that manufactures digital media players. Like Amazon and Apple, the company has also built its own streaming device. However, Roku players come in a variety of models, each with specific features and can be bought for varying prices.
Nevertheless, these devices have the same goal: you’ll be able to stream your favourite shows via streaming services.
Besides Roku devices, the company has also manufactured a Roku TV, which is practically a TV “but better.” It’s the product of the company’s collaboration with Hisense, an electronics company that manufactures smart TVs, among others.
Basically, this smart TV comes with a Roku interface, meaning you won’t need a Roku player to access streaming services you want to access via a Roku device. This is an excellent choice if you're going to upgrade your TV.
However, you can just choose a Roku streaming device if you already have a smart TV or you’re not ready to make the jump yet.
What are Different Roku Devices?
Besides the Roku TV, you’ll find Roku streaming devices, which resemble thumb drives that will allow you to watch streaming devices from any TV.
There are newer and older models, and you can find pre-loved earlier models such as the Roku Streaming Stick. Newer models include the Roku Ultra, Roku Express, Roku Premiere, and the updated version, Roku Streaming Stick+.
How Much Do Roku Players Cost?
Several Roku devices are available in the Australian market. You can get such devices either from Amazon Australia or even from the American Amazon as they ship internationally. But, you can also get it from eBay and perhaps other third-party electronics shops in the market.
However, do note that you’ll typically have to wait longer for an international shipment to arrive and that you might have to pay for the customs.
Among the devices you can get are the following:
- Roku Ultra - This is the best choice if you like 4K HD streaming, plus it also comes with an Ethernet connection in case the internet connection is terrible. You can get it for around $110 on eBay.
- Roku Stick+ - It’s the newest and also an excellent choice for 4K HD streaming, plus it has a newer and nimbler design as well as a better remote control. A brand new product is available for around $140, but you can also get a pre-owned for about $63.
- Roku Express - Although you can only watch up to 1080p resolution, this player is perfect for smaller TVs and can be set up faster. You can get it for around $87 to $93 on eBay.
- Roku Premiere+ 4K - This is a wireless choice and perfect for those on a budget. The remote comes with quick launch buttons for Netflix and Hulu, among others. You can get it for around $94 for a new one.
There are a few more choices, such as the Basic and the Premiere choices. Remember that the prices could change, and you may find even cheaper pre-owned devices.
Roku devices only require a one-time payment. After that, there’s really no monthly fee, except for the subscriptions you pay for monthly. For example, Netflix Australia starts at $9.99.
How to Set Up Your Device
Before anything else, Roku is manufactured for the United States, the United Kingdom, and Mexico, meaning the device’s configurations are specifically made for them. However, it is possible to use Roku outside of these areas, so you can definitely use it in Australia.
There are also a few streaming services you can access, such as Netflix Australia. Others are geo-locked, so if you want to access them, you might require a Smart DNS, as there is no VPN app available on the Roku OS.
Moreover, if your device supports Ultra HD (UHD) or High Dynamic Range (HDR), but your TV does not, it will still not work.
No matter what your Roku device is, the setup is basically the same.
Of course, you’ll have to plug the device into your TV on the HDMI port through an HDMI cable. If you have the streaming stick, it can be directly plugged into your TV. You also need to power it up via a USB-cable and a power adapter.
Once you do that, turn your TV on and then switch to the right input where your device is plugged into.
There will be on-screen set-ups, including the language, connecting to the network, and, finally, the internet. If there’s an important update, it will be downloaded. Plus, a few other processes will also be done.
You should also create a Roku account to activate your device. Then you should end up with the Roku interface and use whatever app you want.
What is the Best Broadband Plan for Roku?
No matter what streaming service or device you use, you should upgrade to an unlimited broadband plan. This is essential as you would exceed your monthly data if you don’t, especially as an hour of streaming is enough to consume gigabytes of data.
Looking for the right internet plan? Compare Broadband has a list of Australia’s best unlimited broadband plans available for the NBN. When it comes to speed, you can start with the 12Mbps, which is already enough to watch continuously. But if several people are using the internet and streaming, you might want to upgrade to 25Mbps, 50Mbps, or even up to 100Mbps.