Community Discussions

Connect with other Roku users to learn more about streaming, cord-cutting, finding your favorite content, or talk about the latest entertainment happenings. It's all on Roku!
cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
esjfc
Level 8

Roku replacement device? Suggestions?

Jump to solution

Any suggestions from folks who have moved on from Roku?  Hulu and HBOMax simply don't work on my Roku devices, and I've done enough deleting and reinstalling to last a lifetime.  Some say it's Roku's fault, others say the app developers are to blame.  I don't really care, bottom line is that Roku devices don't work.  Any recommendations for a device that works?  Some around here seem to like Apple TV.  I'm not picky, I just need something that works.

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
DBDukes
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Roku replacement device? Suggestions?

Jump to solution

@esjfc 

I will answer your question. But first...

You didn't say which Roku device you have, but from a brief look at other post you wrote on other threads, I'm thinking it's a Streaming Stick+. While I don't use HBO Max, I do use Hulu, and it works well. Now, I only use the Hulu service, not Hulu + Live TV, so if you use that service, it may be not be an even comparison.

Of course, on your Hulu post where you mentioned your device, you didn't ask for help, you just complained. Whether or not anyone could have helped, I don't know. I would suggest that if there is a problem that's focused on you -- don't take that personally, but you're having issues and others aren't -- then it could be that Roku device is defective. Not the model, as it works for @makaiguy and for me and for so many others, but your specific device. If it's under a year old, I'd suggest warranty replacement.

But, you want to do something different. Okay then. Stay away from Fire TV. Many many people will tell you it's a great device. To me, it's an overrated and underpowered device. To my experience, they work fine short term, but seem outdated within a year. I've had rock solid Roku devices that have lasted for years. Amazon is short term good and long term bad. Roku is long term good.

Apple TV is very good. If you're into iPhones and Macs, it's even better. I've not used the latest model with the newer remote, but the touch remote from the previous model Apple TV is difficult for older individuals, or anyone with less than perfect touch control. That's me. Apart from the remote, it's fantastic. With the previous generation remote, it's simply very good.

Chromecast with Google TV is a very good option. The remote is pretty good, the interface is good, and if you're into Google Assisstant, you have some great options too.

Other Android/Google TV devices aren't quite up to par, except for Nvidia Shield. I've nto used one, but those that have rave about it. Consumer Reports rates the $200 Nvidia Shield TV Pro as the top streaming device, just ahead of the $99 Roku Ultra. It rates the $150 Nvidia Shield as the 3rd best streamer.

For what it's worth, here's CR's top streamers:

  1. NVIDIA Shield TV Pro
  2. Roku Ultra
  3. NVIDIA SHIELD TV
  4. Amazon Fire TV Cube (2nd Gen)
  5. Apple TV 4K (32GB, 2021)
  6. Roku Express 4K +
  7. Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K
  8. Apple TV 4K (32GB)
  9. Apple TV 4K (64GB)
  10. Roku Streaming Stick+ Headphone Edition
  11. Google Chromecast with Google TV
  12. Roku Streaming Stick +
  13. TiVo Stream 4K

While I do like the Roku Streaming Stick+, I do like the Ultra better. Apart from the placement of the Amazon devices -- I really don't like Amazon -- the CR ranking is pretty close to mine. For what that's worth.

DBDukes
Roku Community Streaming Expert

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."
Note: I am not a Roku employee.

View solution in original post

16 REPLIES 16\
JimmyGee
Level 9

Re: Roku replacement device? Suggestions?

Jump to solution

I bought several devices in order to see which is the best fit for me.  I too use Hulu and HBOMax.  For my money I like the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K.  Even if you don’t have a 4K TV it is worth the price as it is a bit faster.  In addition, the remote can also operate your soundbar as well as your TV and it is frequently on sale.  

I decided to switch for several reasons from technical glitches to the possible/impending loss of YouTube TV.

0 Kudos
DBDukes
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Roku replacement device? Suggestions?

Jump to solution

@esjfc 

I will answer your question. But first...

You didn't say which Roku device you have, but from a brief look at other post you wrote on other threads, I'm thinking it's a Streaming Stick+. While I don't use HBO Max, I do use Hulu, and it works well. Now, I only use the Hulu service, not Hulu + Live TV, so if you use that service, it may be not be an even comparison.

Of course, on your Hulu post where you mentioned your device, you didn't ask for help, you just complained. Whether or not anyone could have helped, I don't know. I would suggest that if there is a problem that's focused on you -- don't take that personally, but you're having issues and others aren't -- then it could be that Roku device is defective. Not the model, as it works for @makaiguy and for me and for so many others, but your specific device. If it's under a year old, I'd suggest warranty replacement.

But, you want to do something different. Okay then. Stay away from Fire TV. Many many people will tell you it's a great device. To me, it's an overrated and underpowered device. To my experience, they work fine short term, but seem outdated within a year. I've had rock solid Roku devices that have lasted for years. Amazon is short term good and long term bad. Roku is long term good.

Apple TV is very good. If you're into iPhones and Macs, it's even better. I've not used the latest model with the newer remote, but the touch remote from the previous model Apple TV is difficult for older individuals, or anyone with less than perfect touch control. That's me. Apart from the remote, it's fantastic. With the previous generation remote, it's simply very good.

Chromecast with Google TV is a very good option. The remote is pretty good, the interface is good, and if you're into Google Assisstant, you have some great options too.

Other Android/Google TV devices aren't quite up to par, except for Nvidia Shield. I've nto used one, but those that have rave about it. Consumer Reports rates the $200 Nvidia Shield TV Pro as the top streaming device, just ahead of the $99 Roku Ultra. It rates the $150 Nvidia Shield as the 3rd best streamer.

For what it's worth, here's CR's top streamers:

  1. NVIDIA Shield TV Pro
  2. Roku Ultra
  3. NVIDIA SHIELD TV
  4. Amazon Fire TV Cube (2nd Gen)
  5. Apple TV 4K (32GB, 2021)
  6. Roku Express 4K +
  7. Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K
  8. Apple TV 4K (32GB)
  9. Apple TV 4K (64GB)
  10. Roku Streaming Stick+ Headphone Edition
  11. Google Chromecast with Google TV
  12. Roku Streaming Stick +
  13. TiVo Stream 4K

While I do like the Roku Streaming Stick+, I do like the Ultra better. Apart from the placement of the Amazon devices -- I really don't like Amazon -- the CR ranking is pretty close to mine. For what that's worth.

DBDukes
Roku Community Streaming Expert

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."
Note: I am not a Roku employee.

View solution in original post

JimmyGee
Level 9

Re: Roku replacement device? Suggestions?

Jump to solution

I and others have had the same problems with our Roku devices dying after a year and esjfc is having a problem right now.

There are all kinds of ratings from all kinds of places.  We should take them with a grain of salt.

PC Magazine, a long-time technical savy publication rates them differently than what you posted - here is a link:

https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-media-streaming-devices

0 Kudos
esjfc
Level 8

Re: Roku replacement device? Suggestions?

Jump to solution

DB - many thanks for the thoughtful and thorough reply!  I've heard positive reviews from others about Apple TV.  I preferred Roku because it doesn't have its own streaming service to push, and I'd been put off by the Apple TV price.  But I guess a $150 device that works is better than a $40 device that doesn't.  (To address one question you raised, we have two Streaming Sticks, one old and one new.  HBOMax doesn't work on either.)  Thanks again!

0 Kudos
esjfc
Level 8

Re: Roku replacement device? Suggestions?

Jump to solution

Thanks for taking the time to reply.  What I found frustrating with the commercial reviews is that they start from the assumption that all the apps work, and review the device based on interface, streaming quality, utility of the remote, etc.  I posted my request because I couldn't find any reviews that discussed the basic issue of which devices can best handle the most services.  Just looking around at various sites and fora suggests that Roku may have more problems than most, but other devices have problems too.  A review ranking devices according to "how often does it crash?" would be really helpful.

0 Kudos
JimmyGee
Level 9

Re: Roku replacement device? Suggestions?

Jump to solution

That would be great.  So few publications do any long-term tests any longer. I read reviews by publications but then try and read as many customer reviews as possible.  For example, many publications rate the nVidia Shield very highly but in their reviews will say that unless you are also using it for its gaming capabilities it is overpriced.

There is something to be said for the Fire TV Stick 4K - it has a 4.7 user rating based on over 671,000 reviews. If they all died after a year that would not be the case.  As a Kindle user of many years I have found the quality and support of Amazon electronic devices to be quite good and am quite happy with my Fire TV Stick 4K’s.

The Roku products get good reviews on Amazon as well but in much lower numbers of users.  

Apple products are solid.  That has always been the case.  A certain amount of buy-in to the Apple way of life is the usual (says the man typing this on his iPhone) and you will have to pay a premium price.

Most companies these days have fairly long return-for-no-reason policies so you can always buy and try.

0 Kudos
DBDukes
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Roku replacement device? Suggestions?

Jump to solution

@JimmyGee 

I did not mean to imply that after a year the Firesticks stop working, merely that they are noticeably sluggish compared to other devices. A Roku 3 still responds well today, although not as good as a Roku Ultra. I can't say the same for the multiple Firesticks I've purchased over the years. It doesn't take 8 years for a Firestick to seem out of date.

Now, I would not make the same claim about the Roku 1 (model 2710) for instance. I considered it obsolete within a year of its release, much like my many experiences with Firestick. But the top of the line Roku devices? Top of the line streamers.

DBDukes
Roku Community Streaming Expert

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."
Note: I am not a Roku employee.
0 Kudos
esjfc
Level 8

Re: Roku replacement device? Suggestions?

Jump to solution

Part of the problem seems to be that older Rokus can’t handle some of the new apps.  That’s not a surprise; we all understand that software outpaces hardware and hardware needs to be replaced.  Roku and other device makers should acknowledge this and, when a user attempts to download an incompatible app, respond with a message such as, “This app is incompatible with your Roku device.  We suggest that you upgrade to….”  Instead, they respond with the “uninstall/reinstall, restart your device, rub your stomach while patting your head” nonsense and when that doesn’t work they blame the developers.  I would understand the former response and might react by purchasing a new Roku device that would support the app I want to use.  The latter response infuriates me and leaves me doubting that any Roku device will do the job.  I’d rather spend $40 on a new Roku than $150 on an Apple TV, but I have no confidence that I’d be able to watch HBOMax on any Roku.  There are moments when I enjoy suspense and uncertainty - an action movie, a blackjack table.  But not when I just want to watch a TV show.  

0 Kudos
DBDukes
Community Streaming Expert

Re: Roku replacement device? Suggestions?

Jump to solution

Here's one bit of info. If the app isn't supported on the device, it can't even be installed. It won't even show in the Channel Store from the device.

However, it's up to the app developer to decide which devices to support. It appears that bad choices are sometimes made.

Personally, I would not expect apps to work on devices prior to 2016, with the exception of the Roku 3 or Roku 2 (model 4210 only; that model is identical to the Roku 3, with the only difference being the accessories in the box).

Even some low end devices prior to 2018 may not be fully supported. All top of the line devices from 2013 should suport everything.

Having said that, most apps will and should work on all devices 2013 or later. Some processor intensive apps won't work well, and should not be supported. Roku lets the developer make that call, and that's where the problem lies.

Roku is letting the developer make the decision. Some developers make bad decisions. Customers get mad at Roku, but give money to the developers who can't make a good decision. Such is the streaming world in which we live.

DBDukes
Roku Community Streaming Expert

Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."
Note: I am not a Roku employee.
0 Kudos