Roku Device Features, Settings & Updates

Help configuring Roku device settings, using Roku OS features such as screen mirroring, adjusting display type and audio settings, using Guest Mode, and assistance with software updates.
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HBOwithdrawl
Level 7

Best Roku Alternatives?

What Roku alternatives are the best? For Xmas I'm looking to upgrade to a device that supports HBO Max as well as the other services I pay for (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Shudder). I pay $15 a month for HBO Max, which is $180 a year. For that money, I can't just only watch it on my laptop. The cost to replace Roku with a fully functioning device is a fraction of that and well worth it in my opinion. Any suggestions?

And Roku, any luck on getting HBO Max on your device? I'd be happy to keep with Roku in the future, but only if it can offer everything it should. Roku without HBO Max is like McDonalds without fries...

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8 Replies
atc98092
Level 21

Re: Best Roku Alternatives?

First, there is no streaming player that has "everything". The all lack something, so you just have to decide what is an absolute must for you. Reading sites such as AVSForums, you'll see that the majority of people have at least two different brands of players for that reason.

First question: what are your needs? Do you only stream from Internet providers, or do you also watch your own media? If you are strictly an online streamer, any of the other major brands are pretty much equal. Apple TV is favored by some, but it has some limitations and is expensive. Fire TV devices are reasonably priced, but not everyone likes the Amazon-centric user interface. Personally it annoys me, and I'm a heavy Prime Video user. There are many versions of Android based players on the market, and most would be fine for online streaming. 

If you're playing personal media from an attached drive or streaming from a media server on your network, there are again some questions. Are they all ripped DVDs, or are there some Blu Ray and UHD rips? Do you want to bitstream the lossless audio that is available on Blu Rays? If so, an Android device offers the greatest support for your media. If you do have ripped 4K movies, you want the Nvidia Shield, since it has a Gigabit Ethernet connection. Ripped UHD movies need more than 100 Mbps network speed. The Shield will also play practically anything without needing a file to be transcoded. 

If HBO Max is your driver for a different player, it's available on almost everything else now. My guess is it'll show up on Roku eventually, but that doesn't help you right now. The lowest cost player for Max would either be a Chromecast or a Fire TV device. But I strongly suggest keeping your Roku as well, as you never know what the next app battle will be about, and Roku might be the one that has what you want. Doesn't cost anything to keep what you already have. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), Ultra (4800), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Nvidia Shield, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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RokuDanny-R
Roku Employee
Roku Employee

Re: Best Roku Alternatives?

@HBOwithdrawl 

Thanks for the inquiry.

Please be aware that HBO Max is currently not available on the Roku platform.

In regards to device recommendation, it highly depends on what you are looking for in a Roku device. We would strongly recommend taking a look at the differences and capabilities of Roku devices on our Support page here: https://www.roku.com/products/compare


Thanks,
Danny

Danny R.
Roku Forum Moderator
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Strega
Level 12

Re: Best Roku Alternatives?

I agree with atc98092, especially on the part about keeping multiple devices.  When content providers battle with satellite and cable TV companies, some people SWITCH because most people don't want 2 ~$100 monthly TV bills.  (And then many of these people find that whoever they switched TO would have a dispute a few months later anyway!)

But with streaming devices mostly costing under $100 as a one-time payment, if you need to have all channels all the time, I don't see any reason not to have several of them.  The only reason I haven't gone that route is that any one of them provides more than I could possibly watch and the knowledge that some specific channel isn't there hasn't bothered me. (yet?)

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Gary-94080
Level 11

Re: Best Roku Alternatives?

as much as I hate Apple products, Apple TV has peacock and HBOMax.

the only reason I got an Apple TV a couple of years ago was for Channels TV.

the only reason I got the Roku was for Xfinity Stream.  I had been using it for music streaming but their upgrade to Roku Media Player put an end to that. 

I recently got an HP G2 Chromebox.  now I don't use the Roku much.  the only reason I check back here from time to time is the faint hope that Roku will get it's act together and fix the RMP.

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Panaman14
Level 8

Re: Best Roku Alternatives?

I do hope that Roku recognizes that, when Christmas shopping, people, such as me, are looking to gift a device that picks-up all streaming channels (and, at a minimum, ALL MAJOR streaming channels). A major new movie is coming-out on HBO Max on Christmas Day and I'm not going to wait much longer before buying streaming devices as gifts. Although Roku is my favorite device, I'm not going to buy devices that can't stream that major movie. Good luck on building your customer base when other comparably-priced streaming devices do carry all of the major streaming services! Oh, and as far as casting or streaming, I've tried it and it's not user-friendly/easy and, in my case/setup, it doesn't work at all! Thanks in advance for considering my feedback...   

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atc98092
Level 21

Re: Best Roku Alternatives?


@Panaman14 wrote:

I do hope that Roku recognizes that, when Christmas shopping, people, such as me, are looking to gift a device that picks-up all streaming channels (and, at a minimum, ALL MAJOR streaming channels). A major new movie is coming-out on HBO Max on Christmas Day and I'm not going to wait much longer before buying streaming devices as gifts. Although Roku is my favorite device, I'm not going to buy devices that can't stream that major movie. Good luck on building your customer base when other comparably-priced streaming devices do carry all of the major streaming services! Oh, and as far as casting or streaming, I've tried it and it's not user-friendly/easy and, in my case/setup, it doesn't work at all! Thanks in advance for considering my feedback...   


There's no such thing. Every player on the market is lacking something. The closest you can get is the Nvidia Shield, but it too is lacking in places. It doesn't support YouTube HDR, CBS All Access is stereo only (no 5.1 audio), and there's a couple of other little things like that. Roku has YT HDR and 5.1 audio on CBS. It's only lacking HBO Max at the moment. 

The day may come where one player will do it "all". But for now, you won't find one. 

Dan
Roku Stick (3600), Ultra (4640), Ultra (4670), Ultra (4800), Premiere (3920), Insignia 720p Roku TV, Sharp 4K Roku TV, Nvidia Shield, Windows 10 Pro x64 running Serviio and Plex on a wired Gigabit network.
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Panaman14
Level 8

Re: Best Roku Alternatives?

Problem Solved! Roku just added HBO Max to its streaming service selections list. Thank you Roku!!! 

boogernose
Level 18

Re: Best Roku Alternatives?

HBO MAX is available sometime today.

It has had Peacock and pretty much everything else.

Roku is still rated the very best streaming device hands down.

---A problem clearly stated is a problem half solved---.
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