Full written review: Blog.BestBuy.ca
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More and more people are cutting the cable cord and moving to streaming TV for their entertainment needs. There are lots of streaming devices out there including Apple TV, Google Chromecast and of course the full lineup of streamers from Roku.
I recently received a Roku Express device for testing and review in my home.
Roku Express is a compact video streaming device. It connects to your TV via an included HDMI cable and once you create a free account you’ll be able to watch any number of streaming channels, including YouTube, Netflix (a paid account is required), Cineplex and Reuters TV, just to name a few.
One quick note on what’s in the package; having the HDMI cable included is a big deal as far as I’m concerned. A lot of streaming devices don’t include them, but since they’re mandatory, and you’re unlikely to have an extra just hanging around, it makes sense for it to be included in the package, particularly for the lower price of this device.
Right away the biggest difference is that the Express device is quite small, particularly when compared to the Premier or Ultra. It’s also said to be five times more powerful than the previous generation Roku Express.
Which Roku device is right for you will depend on whether you have an older HD TV, a newer 4K set, how much power you need, and whether you want features like private listening and voice search.
Roku has a great selection tool online that can help make the choice straightforward.
Roku says the Express is best for new users or those unfamiliar with streaming, for adding to secondary TVs and — since it’s inexpensive — it’s a good choice to give as a gift.
Setting up Roku Express is very easy. You plug it into AC power, then connect the HDMI cable. Your first sign into your home Wi-Fi network then you'll sign into, or create a free Roku account. Once you’re ready to go you can sign up for or sign into accounts for other services. I had everything set up and ready to go in about 5 minutes.
There is an included remote control in the Express package. It's very small and quite ergonomic for this price point and comes (yay!) with two AAA batteries. It has only the most crucial buttons so it's very uncomplicated.
The Roku Remote app is much more my speed. With it, you'll be able to control most of the functions on the TV with your phone. Having the app means you can surf the content a little easier, Plus there is a voice search option.(More on that in just a sec.) The app will also give you quick access buttons to your most-watched TV channels and allows you to access your music, photos, and videos from your phone so you can play them on TV.
Voice search is available when using the app. In the Remote view, just tap the microphone button and ask for what you want. Just say the name of the program, actor etc without extraneous words.
I did several tests and it recognized my request and found what I wanted probably about 95% of the time.
Playing music, videos and showing photos from your phone onto your TV is easy with Roku Express.
There’s a button in the app on the Main Menu titled Photos that lets you access any media on your phone, and that’s true even if it’s an iPhone.
I did notice when playing videos they took an average of about 10 seconds to begin playing on the screen after they’re selected on the phone.
The Roku Express also has Private Listening mode which lets you listen to the TV with headphones. Just click the headphone button on the app once your headphones are connected.
I found there was a noticeable delay in the sync between the audio and video. I tried it with two sets of wireless headphones to be sure and that was the case with both. For me, I wouldn’t be able to handle watching a video that’s this out of sync; it would be maddening.
Roku's troubleshooting ideas: https://support.roku.com/en-ca/article/217479488-solving-problems-with-private-listening
I’m a fan of the Roku streaming experience. I find the operating system flawless and it’s easy to use, even for non-technophiles. I like the new voice search feature and think that this device is plenty fast enough for the HDTV I have it installed on.
I wasn’t impressed with the delayed audio in Private Listening mode. I’m not sure exactly why the delay exists, but it does and it would prevent me from enjoying movies or dialogue-based programs.
Overall If you’re looking for a compact, portable and easy to use streamer with plenty of options, Roku Express is a good pick.
11 месяцев назад