Network and cable TV are becoming a thing of the past in this world of emerging technologies. Many people are now switching to video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime to access their favorite movies and shows. One of the best ways to access the online videos and shows is to invest in a smart TV.
However, these don’t come cheap. The good news is that you have other options. Streaming media players, for instance, are a more affordable option you should consider trying. Roku 4 is an example of one of the best streaming media players you will find in the market.
Below is an insightful review of the Roku 4 streaming media player.
What is the Roku 4?
The Roku 4 is a streaming media player that gives you access to over 2,500 channels on demand. Whether it’s used to stream TV shows, kids’ programs, popular TV shows, movies, sports, news, or music, this device gives you access to a huge selection of streaming content.
It combines brilliant clarity with captivating picture quality. In fact, the Roku 4 streaming media device will automatically adapt as well as deliver the highest picture quality that your TV can display. If you have an HD TV or and 4K Ultra HD TV, you will enjoy the best picture quality because this streaming media player is made for such TVs. Keep in mind that to view 4K content, your TV must be 4K UH compatible.
Advanced upscaling is also possible with this device. That is, you can optimize the resolution of your TV to allow you to view the best-quality pictures possible whether you have a 4K Ultra HD TV or simply an HD TV.
Roku 4 will work virtually on any TV provided it supports HDMI connections. Depending on how you prefer to connect the device, you can plug it into a receiver or directly into your television.
|Weight and Dimensions||Length||6.5 inches|
|Input and Output||Video Output||1 × HDMI Female|
|Audio||1 × 3mm Output 1 × Optical TOSLINK Output|
|USB Ports||1 × USB 3.0 Type A|
|Media Card Reader||1 × micro SD|
|IR Receiver||Yes (Front)|
|Media Support||HDR Compatibility||No|
|Resolutions||3840 × 2160p (60 fps), 1920 × 1080p|
|Video Formats||MPEG-4, MKV, HEVC, H.264, H.265|
|Audio Formats||MP3, MWA, AAC, Apple Lossless|
|Sound Output Mode||Stereo|
|Audio System Functions||Network player, digital player|
|Image Formats||PNG, JPEG|
|Built-in Decoders||DTS decoder, DTS Digital Surround, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital|
|Network||Functionality||Online video playback, playback of internet radio, online gaming streaming, digital photo playback|
|Connectivity Interfaces||Ethernet, High-Speed Ethernet, Wi-Fi|
|Ethernet Speed||10/100 Mb/s|
|Smart Antenna Support||MIMO|
|Power||Power Consumption Operational||12 Watt|
|Battery Type||2 × AA|
Other Unique Features
The Roku 4 comes bundled with a unique set of extras that makes it stand out from the competition:
One of the outstanding, unique features of the Roku 4 is its 4K capability. This streaming media player delivers 4K video, which is the best video quality you will find today when streaming. The images will look sharp with excellent detail as well as clarity. But that’s not all: Compared to other streaming media players, Roku 4 offers the widest variety of 4K-capable apps.
What’s more, finding 4K TV movies and shows is easy thanks to the dedicated Roku ‘4K Spotlight’ channel that showcases individual 4K movies, videos, and TV shows. Remember that you will only have access to 4K content if your TV is 4K-compatible.
The Remote Finder Function
How frustrating can it be trying to change the channel to catch your favorite show yet can’t find the remote? The Roku 4 has the solution to this problem with its remote finder function. All you have to do to find your remote is to press a button on top of the box and the remote will emit an alarm sound. You can even customize the alarm to the sound you prefer.
The performance of the Roku 4 is also exceptional thanks to its quad-core processor that allows for faster response times. The device offers speedy performance as well as responsive control, whether you are using Wi-Fi or wired connection.
If you are using a wireless connection, it’s worth noting that the remote functions via Wi-Fi Direct, which means you don’t have to worry about line of sight with the media player when using it. Also, if you want the best performance for 4K streaming, you should use Ethernet connection higher-bandwidth and more reliable streams than Wi-Fi.
If you are keen on the design of your devices, the Roku 4 delivers exactly that. The flat black box has glossy sides and a matte black top.
The Amazon App
Almost every video streaming platform will provide access to some of the best streaming apps available. However, the Roku 4 has the edge over other streaming media players in the sense that it comes with an actual Amazon App.
While you can still watch some of the Amazon videos on your device using the screencasting features of Google, for instance, an actual app is more convenient. It allows for better user experience, and you don’t even have to use your computer or phone.
- 2,000+ entertainment channels choose from the widest variety of streaming entertainment, including movies, TV shows, music, sports, news, and more
- Stunning HD video quality immerse yourself in the action with rich, vibrant video streaming up to 1080p HD
- Quick and easy setup sets up wirelessly in minutes with just a few simple steps
- Channel shortcut buttons jump straight to favorites with one push of the remote
- One stop search find your favorite movies and shows in a flash from top channels like Netflix, Hulu plus, amazon instant video, VUDU, and MGO
Just like any other product, the price of the Roku 4 will vary depending on the marketplace. You can buy the deviceon Amazon. You can even buy it from your local electronics store. Wherever you buy the Roku 4, you will surely get value for your money.
Comparison with Other Similar Products
The Amazon Fire TV
- Experience true-to-life picture quality in 4K Ultra HD and HDR.
- Now supports Dolby Atmos audio—feel scenes come to life in three dimensions.
- Access 500,000+ movies and TV episodes from popular channels and apps including Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, SHOWTIME, NBC, and more.
- Do more with Alexa—find and control content, play music, check movie showtimes, order a pizza, and more. Just press and ask using your Alexa Voice Remote (1st Gen) or pair an Echo device for hands-free control.
- Navigate millions of websites such as YouTube, Facebook, and Reddit with browsers like Silk and Firefox.
This is another streaming media player on Amazon. Similar to the Roku 4, this device has excellent picture quality in 4K Ultra HD. Perhaps its main advantage over the Roku 4 is that it supports HDR as well. It also uses a quad-core processor that delivers smoother and more responsive performance.
The Amazon Fire TV offers voice control with Alexa. With Alexa, you can perform multiple functions, including checking movie show times, controlling content, and playing music. You can also access several apps but not as much as Roku 4.
When it comes to usage, the Amazon Fire TV is relatively easy to use. It’s not only simple but also fast and fluid.
All you have to do to start enjoying your favorite shows and movies is plug the device into the HDMI port of your HDTV and connect either via the internet or through the Amazon Ethernet adapter. The quad-core processor, is quite fast at a speed of 1.5 GHz will be ultra-responsive.
The device is also compact and portable, which means you can easily bring it with you any time you travel. These features make this device comparably easy to use.
The build quality is not that different from the Roku 4. Both devices have a solid build. The Roku 4 has a 1-year limited warranty for parts on Amazon. The Amazon Fire TV, on the other hand, also has a 1-year limited warranty on Amazon but with service included.
What’s more, it has an optional 2-year and a 3-year extended warranty that’s available for the US customers. The warranties are sold differently.
The Apple TV
Apple is a competitor with almost every electronic item in their product line-up, and the Apple TV is no exception when it comes to streaming media players. You can buy the 32GB model, or the 64 GB one that’s more expensive.
Apple thinks different, and the first thing you will notice on the Apple TV is the remote controller, which is different from the other remotes used on most streaming media players. The remote has a touchpad that makes the device stand out among other streaming media players.
The device comes with a voice search too similar to the Roku 4.The Apple TV has a 2160p video output with Dolby Vision as well as HDR 10. It runs on the A 10X Fusion chip processor with a 64-bit architecture. When it comes to ease of use and build quality, this product easy to use and has an equally solid build as the Roku 4.
The product’s warranty may differ depending on the where you are buying this streaming media player. Many retailers have different warranties for their products.
The SkyStream TWO
- STREAM FROM ALL YOUR FAVORITE STREAMING APPLICATIONS! The SkyStream TWO is ready to start steaming your favorite TV shows, movies or sporting events through hundreds of streaming applications that come on the box or are available through the Google Play Store!
- QUICK & SIMPLE SET-UP! SkyStream TWO connects to any TV with an HDMI port. Super easy set up with using the SkyStreamTV Updater App with unlimited streaming content available from streaming apps like Amazon Video, Netflix, Hulu, HBO and more!
- START STREAMING WITH AWESOME APPS! Get apps like Sling TV, NBC News, ABC, CBS, PBS, and more. With thousands of apps to download, you will never miss another episode again - pair this with the Mohu HD Antenna and get all your local channels in HD too!
- 4K UHD STREAMING! Up to 4K UHD Streams! 4K Ultra High Definition streaming capability, giving you best-in-class television experience with true-to-life picture quality when used with compatible 4K Ultra HD TVs! Experience the best streaming possible!
- LARGEST STREAMING LIBRARY - With immediate access to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube, SlingTv and the entire Google Play Store & Amazon Underground, the SkyStream TWO’s streaming library is constantly growing with endless content and unlimited streaming options!
This is another streaming media player that might interest you if you are in the market for one. Set up is quick and simple and the device will connect to any TV with an HDMI port. With this device, you will experience one of the best streaming experience thanks to its 4K capabilities. The streaming library is large too, and you will have easy access to thousands of your favourite movies, TV shows, and videos.
This media streaming device comes with the SKyStream TV updater. This feature ensures that your box is constantly kept up to date. Your media centre apps will always be up-to-date to give the best media experience when it comes to movies and TV shows. This streaming media player is not so different from the Roku 4.
Pros and Cons of Roku 4
- Number of apps it offers
- 4K streaming
- Easy to use
- Improved universal search
- Supports voice command across multiple channels
- My Feed capability
- Updated Androind and iOS apps for smartphones
- Streaming media player does not support HDR
One of the biggest selling points of the Roku 4 is the number of apps it offers. In fact, the device offers the most apps of any streaming media players with 4K. That means you will access to more content with the Roku 4 than with any other streaming media player.
The Roku 4 is also easy to use. The device has an intuitive interface that is easy to use. It organizes the content in a distinct straightforward fashion. The device also has an improved universal search that supports voice command. The voice command will work across multiple channels.
While the voice command itself is quite limited compared to Siri for Apple TV and Alexa for Amazon TV, it does not prioritize the content from different services as most streaming media players with voice command do.
The Roku 4 also has an enhanced My Feed capability. This feature is not just limited to movies alone. You can use the My Feed feature to search TV shows, actors, and even movie directors. What’s more, you can follow them to receive alerts when they are available for streaming.
The Roku 4 also has excellent performance. It has updated Android and iOS apps for smartphones, which offer greater control over some of the features of the device such as search. The 4K performance of this streaming media player is also an element worth talking about. Content looks sharp with excellent clarity and detail, especially if you own a 4K TV.
Perhaps one of the biggest disadvantage of the Roku 4 is that the streaming media player does not support HDR. HDR has better image or content quality than 4K. Nevertheless, the 4K UHD content is still exceptional, so you don’t have to worry much about that.
The Bottom Line
|Roku Ultra||2,500+ streaming channels 4K Ultra HD, 4X resolution Advanced up-scaling of 720p for HD TV1080p HD streams to brilliant 4K Ultra HDVoice searchWorks with virtually any TV with an HDMI connection||Buy on Amazon|
|The Amazon Fire TV||4K Ultra HD and HDR Supports Dolby Atmos audio 500,000+ movies and TV episodes Alexa assistant||Buy on Amazon|
|Apple TV||1080p HD Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound A8 chip Voice search by Siri Remote View photos from iPhone and iPad Access to Netflix, iTunes, Hulu, ESPN, etc.|
|The SkyStream TWO||Stream from all your favorite streaming applications Quicks and simple set-up 4K UHD streaming Largest streaming library||Buy on Amazon|
The Roku 4 is worth the money you will pay for it. The streaming media player is easy to use and has excellent performance. What’s more, by using the Roku 4, you will have access to more streaming apps than most of the other streaming media players in the market. The 4K capability of this streaming media player is also exceptional and will give you the best picture quality.