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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Level 7

Streaming Stick versus Streaming Stick + Responsiveness/ Speed

Will a Streaming Stick + be more responsive/ faster than a Streaming Stick?

According to Wikipedia both the Streaming Stick and Streaming Stick + have an ARM Cortex A53 processor (all units from this generation, including Express units have the same processor). The only (hardware/ speed related notwithstanding 4K) difference between the Streaming Stick and Streaming Stick + is that the Streaming Stick + has 1 GB of memory and 512 MB of channel storage while the Streaming Stick has 512 MB of memory and 256 MB of channel storage.

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Level 8

Re: Streaming Stick versus Streaming Stick + Responsiveness/ Speed

More than likely you won't notice any difference in performance on a 2K TV.  The Stick+ has a better antenna so if your wifi signal is weak then the Stick+ might give better streaming with less buffering.  However the regular Stick wifi performance often can be improved by adding a HDMI extension cable to move it further away from the TV.
On a 4K HDR TV the Stick might be a bit more responsive because the Stick+ will be busy decoding/upconverting everything to 4K or 4K HDR using more wifi bandwidth.  Where as the Stick will be decoding/upconverting everything to just 2K and the TV with then upconvert from 2K to 4K.
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Level 10

Re: Streaming Stick versus Streaming Stick + Responsiveness/ Speed

I too would like to know how the Stick+'s doubled RAM improves performance.  I just have subjective feel...

But I wish Roku had put in more channel storage flash in their 2017 players and TV's that don't have microSD expansion.  I'm seeing the percentage "Loading" prompt more often (worst on the 256MB Stick, but also some on the Roku TV, and now even the 512MB Stick+ and Ultra once in awhile).  Seems modern (SceneGraph/NDK?) apps are getting larger, and apps like YouTube, Sling, etc have a noticeable wait to redownload the app code even with fast Internet.

For that reason, I wish I hadn't purchased some of the 256MB Stick's and had gone higher-end.

I think minimum 1GB storage on the lower-end models, and 2GB or more on the higher end, would provide a more consistent user experience now and in the near future (and displace the need to bother with a microSD slot and user trial-and-error for a compatible card).

No Fire TV has ever had less than 8GB storage (along with 1-2GB RAM), though to be fair Roku OS is supposed to be more lightweight.

Shouldn't bring up the 32-64GB Apple TV or 16-500GB Shield TV (with unlimited adoptable storage) since they're in a different price class...

P.S.  Would be nice to have a secret screen that lists the full app sizes.
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Level 7

Re: Streaming Stick versus Streaming Stick + Responsiveness/ Speed

Please realize that the ARM Cortex A53 varies widely in speeds. With streaming device manufacturers using from 1 to 6 processors. 

That being said, the ARM Cortex A53 ranges from 1.0ghz to 2.6ghz. So, without a speed, it's extremely vague as to the device's performance.

I know the responsiveness of my 1gb ram 2nd gen Fire Stick, vs my 2gb ram 4K Fire Stick is like night and day. While my 1gb ram 1st gen Fire Stick is almost completely unusable with recent OS updates. Full specs below.


The 4K Fire Stick has 2gb ram (double even the 3810R: 2019 4k Roku streaming stick), vs 1gb ram in the 1st & 2nd gen 1080P Fire Sticks (This Roku device has 1gb ram).

The 4K Fire Stick         = 1.7ghz Quadcore ARM Cortex A53, 2gb Ram, 8gb storage

The 2nd gen Fire Stick= 1.3ghz Quadcore ARM Cortex A7, 1gb Ram, 8gb storage

The 1st gen Fire Stick   = 1.0ghz Dualcore ARM Cortex A9, 1gb Ram, 8gb storage


How Roku, Amazon Fire TV & Google Chromecast turn a profit:


That being said, Amazon doesn't turn a profit on the devices, and can actually lose money on some of their sales. They use the device to cement you to Amazon Prime, which will then result in more products sold, and a larger online emarketplace dominance. (Just make sure to disable "Device Usage Data", "Collect App Usage Data" and "Interest-based Ads," in the Privacy Settings)

Much of the data that Amazon is able to collect (unless you disable those settings) is used internally, although some is sold to 3rd parties. However, even if you disable the privacy settings, Amazon will still be able to view your Prime Video movies & shows viewing habits. Just not your viewing habits in other apps on the Fire Stick.


Roku by comparison, has admitted that they don't make enough money from device sales to pay for all costs involved, including development. However as of 11/2019, they make ~$92/yr per user, based on selling user data, demographics (gender, email, ip address, wifi SSID, name) channel viewing habits, app usage habits, a [30%?] cut of each Roku channel's commercials revenue, etc. They also send this info continuously to 3rd parties, such as Facebook, Amazon, Google, Netflix, etc., even if you've never used that app or site on the device, regardless of if you even have an account with that company. (you can check your router logs for verification)

In addition, Roku has recently sent device OS updates, which will disable [ransomware?] the device until you provide your name, email, gender, location, etc. & Credit Card info. The device will simply have a large bar on the screen, which is essentially impossible to bypass (even preventing a Roku TV owner from using regular TV, as Roku is the OS). There are guides online on how to bypass the CC requirement, but you still need to scroll past many streaming television packages that they try to sell you. Resetting the device to a prior OS will restore functionality, but only until the update is automatically downloaded again. Many users are blocking Roku http addresses from their routers to prevent this update from being downloaded.


Google also sells your app usage on the ChromeCast, and other data it is able to collect, such as ip address, wifi SSID, location, etc. They then compile this with all the info they already have about you (limitless), and use for internal purposes, as well as helping them with advertisement targeting, and selling the compiled data to 3rd parties.


We would all be naive to believe that there are many, if any, companies that provide super cheap services, sometimes below cost, and not do it to turn a profit from a different angle. There would be no incentive to provide these services/devices otherwise. 

Using android apps such as FireFox Focus, you can actually see how many trackers are blocked on each site you visit. News sites are generally the worst at ~50 trackers, while I've seen as many as 488 trackers blocked on a simple news article page. Even tech articles about security and trackers will often have 50-85 trackers (the irony.)

You'll never be able to prevent all data tracking, but there are many ways that you can minimize what they collect. Such as VPN's with AdBlocker DNS's, clearing cookies, privacy browsers, blocking domains on your router, resetting samsung/google/etc. device advertising ID's, and countless others. In as many ways as they're able to collect, there are ways to counteract it. When you use these devices/sites/apps, you're consenting to this data monitoring, however you must accept these terms if you want to receive these services which should theoretically cost money from the user. They just happen to get the money from other vectors, rather from the end-user directly.

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