Ten Reasons Why The Roku Express Rocks

Ten Reasons Why The Roku Express Rocks

After owning a Roku 3, 4 and now a Roku Ultra, we never gave the humble Roku Express all that much thought.

That is until we bought one for an elderly friend who did not own a 4K TV to help get her away from her monthly $100 DirecTV bill

Not wanting to risk any WiFi connection issues because of distance to the Router which can happen with the standard non 4K Roku Stick, or the remote losing it's pairing connection and needing to be re-paired again, a Roku Express really seemed like the best and simplest choice for this application. This also gave us a nice opportunity to see what it had to offer while we set it up.

Roku Express Best for 1080p

After the Roku Express was installed and we went through the initial setup, it turned out to be quite impressive. Here are some observations and 10 reason why this little entry Roku Express model really rocks.


   Most Affordable Roku

At $29 The Roku Express is The Lowest Cost Roku Available. It costs less than a Fire TV Stick or practically every other media streamer out there.


   Everything Is Included

When you buy a Roku, there is nothing else to buy. Batteries and a HDMI cable are included, so it won't cost you another $12 to $15 more to set it up. Even though it can plug directly into the USB port on your TV to get power, in the box is a UBS to AC adapter. Using the adapter is recommended as some TV's don't put out quite enough power from their USB ports and this can cause flaky behavior.


   IR Remote No Pairing

The Roku Express comes with an IR Remote  so there are no annoying pairing issues. One thing that really annoys many Roku users is the more expensive Roku Stick models don't come with a way to use an infra red (IR) remote. All models except for the Streaming Sticks can still use a Universal IR Remotes. WiFi remotes have their own set of issues and sometimes they will loose pairing with the Roku, this requires you to press the pairing button and repair it. You won't ever have any of these issues with an IR remote.


   Reliable WiFi

More reliable than a Roku Stick. The original Roku Stick had some issues with WiFi buffering and lag because the way they are typically installed they tend to be shielded by the TV screen. Roku offered a way to help this by given away free extender cables to Roku Stick owners. You can get a free HDMI Extender here if you own a Roku stick.

With their latest Streaming Stick + Roku made WiFi range a lot better by moving the antenna out from inside the stick and making it part of the power supply cord. The Express did not seem to have any issues connecting to WiFi and streaming was nice and smooth even from 25' away in another different room from the Router.


   Small Footprint

Compact and unobtrusive, the Roku Express is really quite small. It can easily be placed in front of your TV and you will hardly even notice it. This where you will want to place it so there is a good line of site between it and the infrared remote. If your TV is on the wall also included is a little piece of Roku double-sided tape which can be placed underneath your Express so can be stuck to the bottom of your television for a neat installation.


   Great Performance

Roku did not get cheap when it came to powering the new Express. When it comes to performance it is now 5X faster than the last model it replaced and has a quad-core CPU. Every current Roku model released in 2017 now comes with a quad-core processor. With a much faster processor menus were smooth and fluid. When navigating the menus you won't really notice much difference between it and an Ultra. Although some channels will still run a little faster on the more expensive Roku models.


   Perfect For 1080p HD TVs

Picture quality looks beautiful and is quite stunning in 1080p. Unless you have a 4K TV and plan on watching a lot of 4K content the Roku Express may be all you need. Otherwise if a 4K TV is something your looking at getting soon, you will want to get either a 4K Roku Streaming Stick + or a Roku Ultra.


   Access 5000+ Roku Channels

The Roku Express lets you access the same huge list of Great Roku Channels. One of the great things about Roku is there are now 5,000+ channels on their platform, more than any other medias streamer. You can find and add new channels from their Roku channel store, or from our curated list of both public and private Roku channels.


   Cooler Than a Stick

While it is quite small, the Roku Express still offers a little more space inside than a Roku Streaming Stick. This may help it run a little cooler and give it's electronic components a little more room to breathe.



Roku can easily be found in the Electronics department of any Walmart or many local department stores. Although, the Roku Express seems to be one of their most popular sellers so don't be surprised if they may be out of stock when you want to get one. If that's the case, you can always order a Roku Express on Amazon and get free shipping.

Roku Express Rocks
We walked away quite impressed with the base model Roku Express. It is an impressive piece of technology wrapped up in a small and unassuming package. Performance wise, it seemed very capable for something that costs so little.

If you own 1080P TV and have no plans to buy a 4K model any time soon, the inexpensive Roku Express can easily hold its own against even the more expensive models offered by Roku. If your TV is older and does not have a HDMI port, then you can spend ten dollars more and get the Roku Express + which comes with with the Red, White and Yellow component cable to use on your TV. It also has HDMI cable should you update your TV to HD later your can still continue to use it. The plus also comes with the private listening jack for your headphones on the remote control.

If you need a simple easy to use media streamer to play content from Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime Video, and the many other great channels available on Roku. Then a Roku Express for its lower cost and great performance is really pretty hard to beat.

The Roku Express is really a very capable media player that deserves your consideration and it gained a lot more respect from the crew at mkvXstream.

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