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WildRam
Channel Surfer

What do I need to watch something on ROKU?

My daughter wants a subscription to WOW Present Plus and ROKU is one of the options to subscribe to this channel for Drag Race content.

i have created an account on my smart Tv but it still says I need to buy a player.

what do I need? What would you suggest? ROKU is a new world to me and I don’t really understand it. HELP!

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14 REPLIES 14
DBDukes
Community Streaming Expert

Re: What do I need to watch something on ROKU?

@WildRam 

Short answer.

Roku is a device you hook up to a TV to give it good quality "smarts" that is probably better than what your smart TV offers.

Now, the long answer.

There are four major streaming platforms: Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Android/Google TV. There are other platforms, mostly proprietary platforms that some TV manufacturers use.

Many manufacturers will license one of the above (not Apple TV) listed major platforms. You can see TVs in stores listed as Roku TV (Roku doesn't make them, only supplies the "smarts" for those particular smart TVs, such as TCL, Hisense, Hitachi, Element, onn, and others), or Fire TV (which Amazon like Roku, licenses to manufacturers such as Toshiba, Insignia, Pioneer, and others), or Android/Google TV (which Google licenses to Samsung, LG, TCL, and others).

Some TV manufacturers, as I said, use their own smarts. Those are generally inferior to the four I listed.

You can purchase streaming devices to add to a TV. Roku, Amazon, Google, and Apple all make streaming devices. You can even put a Roku device on a Google TV television, or an Apple TV on a Fire TV television. or whatever.

The TVs cost whatever TVs cost. The streaming devices cost $25 and up. Apple TV devices are $150 and up. The high end Roku devices are $100, but they have low end, mid range, and high end devices.

I would suggest not getting a Roku Express, because some ISPs have been making changes to WiFi routers that can impact them. All other Roku devices are not impacted by the changes Comcast and other ISPs are making. The Express 4K+ is the lowest Roku device to get to avoid issues, unless you know how to manipulate networks good enough to overcome Comcast/others screwing around.

Walmart carries Roku devices. Best Buy does. Target does. Lots of stores like those carry them. Or you can order them online from Roku, Amazon, or other places. Ordering directly from Roku usually takes longer than other places.

Roku devices come as low end set top boxes (Express, Express 4K, Express 4K+), mid-range sticks (Streaming Stick 4K, Streaming Stick+, Streaming Stick 4K+), and high end set top boxes (Ultra LT, Ultra). There are also sound bars with built-in Roku functionality (Streambar, Streambar Pro).

DBDukes
Roku Community Streaming Expert
Note: I am not a Roku employee.

If this post solves your problem please help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution."

MilesT
Roku Guru

Re: What do I need to watch something on ROKU?

+1 to @DBDukes excellent explainer.

My recommendation for Roku is Express 4k+ at the low end, but strongly recommend starting at high end if you can afford it (better reliability and longer life). Ultra if you are happy with current TV sound, Streambar/pro if you want to improve TV sound. Both Ultra and Streambar can be used with wired Ethernet connection which can help with networking problems (extra $10 Ethernet dongle required).  Both can also use inexpensive universal remote controls in case you lose Roku control or find it too small.

Only buy the sticks if you really cannot abide extra cables/boxes visible near your TV.

 

Not a Roku employee
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WildRam
Channel Surfer

Re: What do I need to watch something on ROKU?

Does being in the UK change anything you have told me. 
if not I will look at the Express 4K or 4K+ as will only need it for one thing.

once purchased - does it just connect to TV via a wire or is it wireless?

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WildRam
Channel Surfer

Re: What do I need to watch something on ROKU?

Does being in the UK change anything you have told me. 
if not I will look at the Express 4K or 4K+ as will only need it for one thing.

once purchased - does it just connect to TV via a wire or is it wireless?

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HDMIGuy
Roku Guru

Re: What do I need to watch something on ROKU?

The Roku Express 4k+ is available in the United Kingdom.  It attaches to an HDMI input on your TV.  

WildRam
Channel Surfer

Re: What do I need to watch something on ROKU?

Where from? im struggling to find the 4K plus?

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HDMIGuy
Roku Guru

Re: What do I need to watch something on ROKU?

I may have found wrong information.  It appears that the Roku Express 4k is available in the United Kingdom.

WildRam
Channel Surfer

Re: What do I need to watch something on ROKU?

I can definitely see that at various retailers

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Strega
Roku Guru

Re: What do I need to watch something on ROKU?

This page shows the players available in the UK:

https://www.roku.com/en-gb/products/players

I don't know enough about buying in the UK other than looking at amazon.co.uk, which does show the express 4K as being available.

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