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Streaming media players & services

Roku 1
 
Price range:
$33.99 - $72.61
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Community icon1 person has reviewed this model.
About - Roku 1

The Roku 1 is part of the streaming media player & service test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, streaming media players models like the 1 are rated on multiple criteria, such as those listed below.


Picture quality:
Picture quality includes image clarity, color accuracy, and contrast of streaming video. It's based mainly on the judgments of a panel who compare each device's output to a reference. However, the quality of the video that you'll get is largely dependent on the speed of your wired or wireless network. We tested all the players using a wired Ethernet connection, if available.

Features:
This score reflects the presence or absence of features, including the number of streaming video services, other internet services, and the ability to play media files

Everyday use:
This score reflects how easy it is to use on a normal basis. It looks at how the remote and user interface interact for common tasks like powering on the device, navigating the menus for access to content, and how easy it is to perform common tasks like visiting websites and playing games.
Features & Specs - Roku 1
info App or channel store Roku Channel Store
info Streaming video services Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, Hulu Plus, Blockbuster, Redbox Instant, M-Go, HBO Go, Showtime Anytime, Target Ticket, WWE Network, MLB.TV Premium, NBA Game Time, UFCTV, MLS Live, NHL Gamecenter
info Web browsing No
info Supports dual-band Wi-Fi No
info HDMI input No
info USB ports 0
More features and specs
User Reviews - Roku 1
User Reviews
Already own it? Write a review
(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)
 
5.0
Great Netflix box for $50
2/24/2014
Pros
Compact
Easy setup
Inexpensive
lots of content
User friendly
Cons
Infrared Remote
Ir Remote
Single-band Wifi N
Best Uses
Cord Cutters
Comment:
The Roku 1 is a great inexpensive streaming player. The user interface is easy to navigate, aesthetically pleasing, and responsive. The remote, while IR-based, is intuitive and simple to use. It includes (non-customizable) hot-keys for Netflix, Amazon, M-Go and Blockbuster (?) It is also one of the few players that includes composite AV output, in addition to HDMI output, allowing use with older TV's.<br /><br />The available content partners eclipse those available on most competing players, including Blu-Ray players and game consoles. It includes Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Crackle, HBO-Go, ESPN, Vudu as well as Pandora Radio and iHeartRadio support in the same device, a combo un-matched by competing units. A Channel Store available on-line and in the Roku itself allows individual channels to be installed and removed. The interface also includes a unique search function that works across all installed services simultaneously. Initial setup is slightly cumbersome, requiring manual configuration of the Wifi, and creation of a Roku account via web browser, to which your Roku 1 is linked. <br /><br />Unfortunately, some channels such as ESPN, Disney, A&E, etc. require that you have the corresponding pay TV subscription from a participating provider, putting a damper on the device's utility for cord cutters. In fairness, the Roku is not unique in this regard, and a great deal of content is available even without a pay TV subscription. At any rate, the setup process to authenticate your TV subscription is web-based, much like the initial setup.<br /><br />Roku has a free iOS and Android app. The app allows you to use your phone or tablet as a remote, and (contrary to the CR review) makes it possible to stream local music, photos and video to the Roku. A Roku Media Player channel similarly allows playback of local content on PC's in your home network.<br /><br />Stepping up to the pricier Roku 2 buys you dual-band Wifi (useful only if your wifi router is also dual-band) as well as an RF-based remote, with head-phone jack, that doesn't need line-of-sight to operate. The Roku 3 further adds motion-controlled gaming, Ethernet and MicroSD slot, and YouTube support, while losing support for analog TV's. <br /><br />Unless one of these features is a deal-breaker to you, the Roku 1 provides the identical core functionality and user experience at a price point that makes it an easy, even impulse buy.
How long have you owned it:
A month or less
Bottom Line
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
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