The Streaming Stick 4K is Roku’s top-of-the-range fashion, however is competitively priced in comparison to opponents. With apps for many main streaming products and services, voice make stronger and Dolby Vision, there are many causes to shop for it.
It is dearer than Roku’s Express 4K, however now not by way of a lot. And it does include a significantly better far flung regulate.
But how does it examine to opponents, together with the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max? Let’s in finding out.
Design & Build
- HDMI dongle
- Remote regulate with integrated mic
- Compatible with the Roku far flung regulate app
This Roku Streaming Stick 4K is a vintage stick/dongle, so it plugs immediately into an HDMI enter in your TV. Streaming containers, against this, plug into an HDMI port by way of a cable.
It’s harking back to the Roku Streaming Stick+ design, with a matt black end. The stick additionally features a microUSB port for the energy cable, a guide reset button, and an influence indicator gentle.
Unlike Amazon, Roku does not provide an HDMI extender cable in the field so it’s a must to plug it in immediately to an HDMI enter. That generally is a ache in case your TV’s ports face the wall and there is not a lot area. It’s beautiful narrow and did not block the use of adjoining ports on my TV, however the energy cable may just get in the manner of different HDMI cables.
It connects at the rear of the stick, however I discovered the energy cable – at slightly below 1.5m – was once just a little too brief to succeed in the energy adapter on flooring.
Alongside the stick, you get a Bluetooth far flung regulate. As that is Roku’s flagship streaming stick, it comes with all the bells and whistles. There are the playback, navigation and streaming platform buttons, plus quantity controls and an influence button on the facet (which will regulate maximum TVs). The different further is a microphone button, which you press when you need to make use of you voice to look.
The far flung can in part exchange your major TV far flung, even though I on occasion had problems with the mute button now not operating now and again, even though this can have been as a result of I used to be the usage of it to regulate a legitimate bar reasonably than the TV. The total design is daring, chunky and simple to make use of – and the huge, colored buttons make it a lot more user-friendly than the remotes equipped by way of rival Amazon.
You too can obtain the Roku far flung regulate app in your phone to regulate your TV, which contains playback and voice instructions. There’s no headphone jack on the far flung, however you’ll be able to direction sound by way of the app in your phone, after which concentrate by way of Bluetooth headphones paired along with your phone.
Software, Compatibility & Performance
- Dolby Vision, 4K, HDR10+ photo high quality
- Roku OS 10.5
- Interface now not as detailed as Amazon’s
Setting up the Roku Streaming Stick 4K is a breeze. Once it is plugged in, all you want to do is connect with the web by way of deciding on your Wi-Fi community, synchronise the far flung for your TV (you merely practice the directions on display screen), check in for your Roku account (or create one) and make a choice which channels and streaming platforms you need in your homepage.
The stick runs Roku OS 10.5, which incorporates a segment for tune and podcasts, a ramification on the products and services that make stronger voice instructions (together with Netflix and Spotify), in addition to enhancements to the Roku cell app.
The Roku Streaming Stick 4K can be utilized on HD, 4K and 4K HDR TVs. It has make stronger for HDR10+ and HLG as much as 60fps. The stick may be in a position to upscaling from 720p and 1080p. If you need 4K, you’re going to desire a 4K TV with an HDMI enter that helps HDCP 2.2.
If you might be not sure of the way to take a look at this (and your TV’s ports are not obviously labelled), take a look at our HDMI information, in addition to Roku’s personal make stronger pages.
One of the largest sights of this tool is the make stronger for Dolby Vision. Again, to learn, your TV should make stronger this HDR structure. Roku has additionally showed that it helps Dolby Atmos, even though your TV should have this selection for it to turn in the settings. The tool additionally has Dolby-encoded audio.
The Roku Streaming Stick 4K comprises voice make stronger for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant-enabled gadgets, and compatibility with Apple HomePackage, permitting you to regulate the stick by way of Siri or on the Apple Home app. The voice regulate on those gadgets lets you release streaming channels, seek for motion pictures and presentations and regulate playback.
Apple customers can use AirPlay 2 to circulate content material from their iPhone, iPad or Mac. Meanwhile, Android customers too can solid content material by way of display screen mirroring – you can wish to pair your phone with the Roku tool to permit get right of entry to.
With Roku, you get the majority of the main streaming apps corresponding to Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Spotify, Now, All 4, My 5 and extra. There are a couple of products and services lacking, together with the Amazon-owned livestreaming platform, Twitch.
Roku additionally comprises sections for various genres corresponding to tutorial apps, commute apps and extra. If you might be after one thing subscription-free, then The Roku Channel has 1000’s of hours value of content material, together with Hell’s Kitchen and the new liberate, Swimming with Sharks.
Everything on the Roku homepage is obviously laid out, with sections to your apps, the settings in your TV and extra. It has much less of a focal point on self-promotion like Amazon does and comprises the approach to customize the homepage by way of converting the background and screensaver.
That stated, it’s missing in relation to movie and TV suggestions. Whilst you’ll be able to manually ‘practice’ content material, Amazon comprises complete sections devoted to presentations and movies according to what you may have watched, with out you having to open any apps or take any further steps.
The Streaming Stick 4K has Wi-Fi 5 which Roku says is as much as two times as speedy as earlier gadgets from the logo.
Thanks to this, and the fast processor powering the Stick 4K, I encountered no lag or problems: it was once responsive and all the apps I used ran easily.
The voice regulate may be spectacular inside apps. It makes it fast to seek for issues on YouTube, particularly in comparison to the usage of the on-screen keyboard from the far flung which is terribly tedious.
I want that Roku had the approach to trade what kind of commercials display up on the interface. I saved getting Fox News commercials, however had no real interest in staring at it. I would like to have one thing extra related to my pursuits.
Pricing & Availability
That’s £10/$10 greater than the Roku Express 4K. However, for that you just get energy and quantity buttons on the far flung, plus voice regulate, making it a extra versatile and out there choice.
For handiest reasonably more cash, there may be Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max. This rival features a extra detailed homepage with a variety of TV and movie suggestions, in addition to integrated Alexa with picture-in-picture make stronger with Ring doorbells. You can learn our complete evaluation of the Fire TV Stick 4K Max.
For different choices, see our roundup of ideal streaming sticks and containers.
The Roku Streaming Stick 4K is one in every of the best-value dongles to be had at this time. The far flung regulate has the entirety you want, together with voice make stronger, and Roku’s easy interface make this an excellent tool for first-time customers of streaming sticks.
Although it has make stronger for Dolby Vision, 4K, HDR10+ content material and Dolby Atmos make stronger, it does not relatively stack up in opposition to Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K Max, which boasts good house integration with Alexa, and higher movie and TV tips about the homepage. It’s additionally a disgrace the energy cable is not just a little longer, and that there is not an HDMI extender in the field.
If these items do not trouble you, it is a nice purchase.
Roku Streaming Stick 4K: Specs
- Media streamer
- 4K, HDR10+, Dolby Vision
- 1080P as much as 60fps
- 802.11ac MIMO dual-band Wi-Fi
- Support for Google Assistant and Alexa
- Apple AirPlay and Homekit intergration
- HDMI 2.0b, USB for Power & Long-range Wi-Fi receiver
- DTS virtual sound, Dolby-encoded audio and Dolby Atmos
- Remote with energy, quantity and voice controls