Best Roku streaming device: which Roku is best for you?


Although the majority of mid and high-end TVs sold these days include Smart TV interfaces that allow access to all your favorite streaming services, there are still plenty of older or cheaper sets out there that couldn't dream of getting connected to the internet. 

If you've got one of these televisions and want to enjoy the world of streaming, then you should think twice before spending hundreds on a new set. 

Manufacturers like Roku produce a number of very cheap streaming devices that you can easily plug into the back of your existing TV. These will then connect to your Wi-Fi and offer you access to streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. 

They're cheap, they're simple, and they're easy to set up. 

The only catch is that over the years Roku has released dozens of different devices, all with slightly different specs and features. 

We've cut through the lineup to work out exactly which streaming devices you should focus your attention on if you want to get the best Roku experience for you. 

Best Roku for 4K TV owners: Roku Streaming Stick+

A small stick that does 4K and HDR

Resolution: 4K | HDR?: HDR10 | Wi-Fi: 802.11ac | Sound: DTS Digital Surround

4K content supported
HDR10 compatible
Large selection of apps
No Dolby Vision HDR
More expensive

The Roku Streaming Stick+ is perfect for owners of modern 4K HDR TVs. Although many of these televisions have their streaming services built in, if you opt for a cheaper set then the built-in operating system might be slow and difficult to navigate. 

The Roku Streaming Stick+, in comparison, is lovely and snappy to operate. It's equipped with every major streaming service, and you can use its built-in search functionality to find content across many of them. 

One note of warning is that although the hardware itself supports 4K/HDR content, this isn't a standard across all streaming services just yet. Amazon and Netflix are early adopters, but others haven't been quite so quick on the uptake. 

A final point is that the Streaming Stick+ only supports HDR10 rather than the expanded functionality of the Dolby Vision HDR standard. The amount of content that makes use of Dolby Vision is currently very small, but if you want to be completely future proofed then you might want to opt for a Chromecast Ultra or an Apple TV 4K.  

Read the full review: Roku Streaming Stick+

Best Roku for HD TV owners: Roku Streaming Stick (US-Only)

A budget stick with a great OS

Resolution: Full HD | HDR?: No | Wi-Fi: 802.11ac | Sound: DTS Digital Surround

Rock bottom price
Same great Roku OS
Large app selection
No 4K
No voice search on remote

If you want to get your Full HD, 1080p TV hooked up with streaming services, then your best bet from the Roku lineup is currently the non-plus Roku Streaming Stick. 

It's got the same great operating system as its more expensive sibling, and the same wide variety of apps (although, naturally, not in 4K HDR). 

The biggest issue with the device is that it's not available internationally. UK readers with HD TVs are better off going for a streaming stick from a competitor such as the Amazon Fire TV Stick or Google Chromecast, as the UK equivalent, the Roku Express, has a number of issues. 

Read the full review: Roku Streaming Stick