When you cut the cable, you need to make sure that you are getting the best possible performance from the 4K / HDR capabilities of your newer TV. A cheap Roku streaming box is a great way to do just that. With literally hundreds of streaming channels available on the service, there is a lot to see and will likely save you a ton of money. Save the streaming device here with the offers listed below.
If you’re not sure which to choose, we’ve described each of Roku’s set-top box options in more detail below to make the buying process a little easier. Whether it’s the basic Roku Express or the top-of-the-line Roku Ultra, we have it all for you.
Today’s Best Roku Deals
- – – $ 30
- – – $ 39was $ 69
- – – $ 90was $ 100
- – – $ 180
- – – $ 229, (was $ 330, cheapest 4K Roku TV)
The Roku Express is the company’s entry-level streaming box. It only supports a maximum resolution of 1080p and has no HDR support as well as the slower 802.11 b / g / n Wi-Fi standards. There is no way to permanently connect your streaming box to your router as the Express does not have an integrated Ethernet connection.
The included remote control is a less feature-rich version of the remote control found in other Roku boxes and does not support speech recognition. You will also need to use your TV remote control to turn your TV on and off, as well as control the volume on your TV. High-end Roku devices can do this directly from the remote control.
Although the functionality of the Express is significantly limited, you still get access to every Roku channel in the Channel Store, as well as HDMI and Dolby Audio and DTS pass-through. For those looking for a streaming box for an older HD TV, the Express is the best (and cheapest) choice.
Roku Streaming Stick +
The Roku Streaming Stick + is the next step up from the Roku Express and the cheapest Roku that supports 4K HDR content. You also get 802.11ac dual-band MIMO, which means better connectivity and performance, especially for 4K HDR content. The wireless connectivity inside allows four times the range of the Express, so you can move the device further away from your router.
The included remote control provides voice recognition support and the ability to control the power and volume of your TV directly from the remote control. For many, this is the Roku model that we’d recommend given its extensive feature set and competitive price when compared to other streaming options on the market, especially the Fire TV Stick.
Another attractive feature of the Streaming Stick + is its size. For wall televisions. The stick fits into the space your connections are in, so you can hide the device for a cleaner look. If your TV has a USB port, you can also use this to power the device to avoid excess cables.
The Roku Ultra is Roku’s premier device and is aimed at home theater enthusiasts with a feature set that takes these users into account. While, like the Streaming Stick +, it also supports 4K HDR video and 802.11ac dual-band MIMO, the Ultra also has a built-in Ethernet port. This allows you to firmly connect your set-top box to your network for essentially the most reliable streaming experience available.
But that’s not the only feature that sets the Ultra apart: it also includes a USB port and a microSD slot. The former allows for local playback of content and the latter gives you additional storage space for additional Roku channels. The remote has other features that allow you to add personal shortcuts to any item, whether it’s a channel or a frequent search, etc.
It comes with premium JBL headphones that plug into your remote for private listening – a great way to enjoy content without disturbing others. If you are looking for the best Roku experience, this is it.
Roku Express vs. Roku Streaming Stick +
Not sure which to choose between Roku Express and Streaming Stick +? The biggest difference between the two is the resolution. The Express can only stream in Full HD, while the Streaming Stick supports Full 4K. If you’re buying a Roku for an older TV that isn’t scheduled to upgrade anytime soon, the Express might be a better choice.
Another major difference is the Wi-Fi connectivity. While the Express supports 802.11 b / g / n networks, the Streaming Stick + also supports the newer and faster 802.11ac dual-band MIMO routers. The latter works much better when streaming and therefore offers a much more reliable streaming experience. The Wi-Fi chip inside also has better range, making it a better solution for TVs farther from your router.
Digital Trends can earn commissions on products purchased through our links. This supports the work we do for our readers.