I am an absolute technophobe so having been told by Someone Who Knows that I need a Roku Box, I am completely lost when it comes to choosing the right one? I had hoped someone in Roku Sales might have been able to help but it appears not?
If you guys could lower yourselves to my level for a moment, perhaps you could help me please?
I have a reasonable internet connection and a smart TV (smarter than me, that's for sure!) which, until I cancelled it, was connected to a dish through a Sky box.
What I want is to be able to watch Freeview channels, catch-up TV (like BBC i-player) and connect an external hard drive to my Roku box and with my remote, play the films and things I've downloaded on to it without having to connect a computer?
I don't want Netflix, Amazon or any of the pay channels.
I hope I've explained myself properly and would be really grateful for some advice please?
I assume you're in the UK. You are severely limited with what you can get other than importing it which may or may not bring other problems with it (someone from the UK would know better than me). The only Roku with a USB port is the Ultra and I don't know if it's available there. Since you already have a smart TV it can probably play anything on the hard drive and probably better than a Roku since a Roku will only handle a limited number of formats.
Looking here, I only see 3 players and the Stream bar. None have a USB port (they all have a microUSB port for power only). I have a thing against the sticks, but that's just me. It's the only one other than the bar with a point anywhere remote which is nice, but is often more trouble than it's worth.
I should add that any of those will perform about the same. The only difference (other than the Stream bar) is whether you need 4k (if your TV isn't 4k then you don't), the size, and the remote. The stick also supports the 5GHz Wi-Fi band and the other two do not (2.4GHz only).
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and yes I am in the UK.
At the moment, I am using a laptop, connected to the TV via an HDMI cable. This allows me to watch the i-players, steam sports through websites and watch films I have downloaded using VLC media player.
I would like to move my laptop into another room so asked a friend what sort of new laptop I would need to buy to just use with the TV and he suggested I use a Roku as a cheaper alternative but left me to "investigate" which one which is where I have hit the brick wall!
Despite your answer (thanks again), I am none the wiser as to whether or not a RBoku would do what I want it to or not and if so, which one?
They have a feature comparison that tells you which units have which features. For me, the least expensive model is just fine. I know nothing of iPlayer, but Wikipedia says it runs on Roku, and I see it listed in the (UK) channel store. (I'm in the US so I first had to convince the Roku website I was interested in UK content, using a link at the bottom of the page – I assume it will default to UK for you.)
For me, I decided the most basic Roku was cheap enough that it was easier to just get it and start playing with it than to "research it" like I do with more expensive products.