I'm looking into getting a Roku. I see "Roku premier 4K streaming media player" as well as "Roku streaming stick" and "Roku express media streamer with remote".
I understand that the stick plugs in directly into the HDMI port on the TV. The others use a cable. Besides that can someone explain the other difference? Any difference in services or performance? Looking for the cheapest option to give it a try.
First of all where are you looking at these Roku devices? Amazon? Don't. If you want to know which one suits your needs best then do a side by side comparison right on the Roku website itself. All newer Roku's use an HDMI cable. If you are referring to the Roku with A/V cables those have been discontinued for a very long time now. I highly recommend the Roku Streaming Stick 4K+. Your local Best Buy, Walmart or Target sell them. Do not buy the cheapest one. Especially the Roku Express basic. It only works on 2.4GHz WiFi
For the most part, if you see simply Roku Express or Roku Streaming Stick, these are previous/earlier models.
The newer generation (latest) of these same devices are the Roku Express 4k/4k+, and Streaming Stick 4k/4k+. These have newer hardware capabilities and can all support resolutions "up to and including " 4k. (You do not need a 4k TV in order to use them.)
In addition, the newer generation of Roku devices are all dual-band (can use on both your 2.4 ghz and 5ghz bands of your home network) and the Express 4k/4k+ allows for ethernet connection with the purchase of a seperate USB ethernet adaptor ($10-20). The older non-4k+ Express will only work on the 2.4 ghz band of your network.
If you want the cheapest option, then the older Express and Streaming Sticks are probably going to be the cheapest. For the best value, would probably recommend the newer line of the Roku Express 4k/4k+ and Streaming Stick 4k/4k+. I would probably also opt for the '+/plus" versions in order to get a better remote.
Everyone has their preferences. I prefer the players (like Express and Ultra), while others prefer the sticks.
If you are just introducing yourself to streaming then either of the above will be a good choice.
Overall, I think the Roku Ultra is probably the best value overall, but can always wait for them to go on sale,which they do multiple times a year if your streaming needs increase. (increased speed and performance).