Roku Buyers Guide

Roku Buyer's Guide

What You Need to Know Before Buying a Roku

Roku Will Not Get All Your Cable TV Shows for Free

Many people still don't know exactly what Roku does and how it works. Roku is simply a small media streamer that hooks to your television much like an Apple TV only better. It's better because Roku opened up their platform to private channel developers. With Roku, instead of only seeing the handful of channels that Apple gives you, you can choose from over a thousand public and private channels to watch.

Don't expect to find the same channels you normally watch on Cable or Satellite. Nor will you find live streaming on every channel, although a handful of Roku channels do stream live content. Roku is more like YouTube where you can browse and play video files. Videos are organized inside of channels that you browse from your TV and open much like folders on a computer. When you choose a file to play, it streams the video files directly from the internet right onto your television.

Roku Model Comparison


Roku has 4 models in their current line: Roku LT, Roku 1Roku 2Roku 3

Since there is not much difference in price between the lowest to the most expensive Roku (less than $45). Our recommendation is to go straight for the top of the line Roku 3. It has a 5X faster processor so menus load quicker than the other three. It has the ability to play games using a motion control remote. The Roku 3 also features an Ethernet port along with a USB port for playing back files on your TV from an external USB drive.

Roku Supports These File Types:

Music (AAC,MP3)
Video (MP4, M4V, MKV)
Photo (PNG, JPG)

The Roku 3 also features a Micro SD slot for additional space for more games and channels. These features makes the Roku 3 the best value especially if new channels come out which need the additional processing power.

Don't Forget These When Buying a New Roku

The following items are not optional and are required if you are thinking about buying a Roku.

1. You will need a good broadband internet connection. Faster is better when it comes to streaming media from the internet. Minimum of 5 Mbps Download speed is recommended.

2. If you don't have a wireless router, the Roku 3 is the only current model that has a wired Ethernet port. Some cable routers have additional Ethernet ports built in, otherwise a wireless router will also be required.

3. If there is not an Ethernet cable near your Roku, a wireless router is required. Here is a list of compatible models

4. Roku's do not come with an HDMI cable. There is no need to buy a very expensive one. This HDMI cable has great reviews, is good quality and only costs $6. Lower quality HDMI cables can hurt picture quality or cause HDCP (Purple Screen) issues.

5. If you would like to watch Free HD local TV channels hook up a small HD antenna to your televison like the excellent Moho Leaf. This highly recommended as you will get many of the same channels Cable and Satellite charge for. NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS and Fox are all example of local network channels that broadcast their signal over the airwaves for free. Your results may vary based on distance to towers and interference from local conditions.

Setting Up Your New Roku

Create an account at Roku. You will need to log in to add Roku channels from your computer. Link your Roku by entering the code on your TV screen at the Roku webpage. Click this link for full setup instructions.

Visit our Roku Channel List and our Top 70 Best Roku Channels List and start installing channels on your Roku. Just don't get too carried away and try to install them all at once. Just like any computer the more you load it up the slower it can get. So try a few at a time, if you like them keep them if you don't delete them from your Roku. To delete a channel just press the Asterisk button on your remote with the channel highlighted on your TV and choose remove channel from the menu.

If You Experience Technical Difficulties with Your Roku

Sometimes things can happen like poor wireless signal, overheating and other annoying glitches. These can interfere with the awesome bliss and joy that owning a Roku can provide. If you are experiencing technical difficulties, be sure to contact Roku for support. If your Roku is less than 90 days old, they may even replace it so don't wait to contact them. For more trouble shooting tips, Click here

Get a Roku 3 On Sale

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