Last year I got a Roku Express from a white elephant gift exchange. For the most part I find it to be an awesome streaming media player. It does have a few quirks that could be better. Are you considering getting a Roku? Read my Roku Express review here.
If you’re in a hurry (or just curious!) –
✅ Check out the Roku Express here.
What is a Roku Express?
Roku’s are one of a number of streaming devices. This means they are physical hardware that plugs into your TV and allows you to stream media from the internet and have it play on your TV. This media can be videos, or it can just be music. It depends on what you choose to stream.
The Roku Express is the entry level model of Roku that is currently sold. It is a streaming media player that allows you to use Netflix, Amazon Prime, Google Play and more on your TV. Which streaming services you use will depend on which you have accounts for. Roku doesn’t handle the monthly fees, it just gives you a convenient way to view all of your streaming media channels. Roku also has quite a number of other channels that have free content on them for most anyone’s tastes.
Why should I get a Roku Express?
If you subscribe to multiple streaming services like Hulu, Disney + and Netflix, then you should seriously consider getting a streaming device like the Roku. With the Roku, you setup all of your accounts in one place. Then, you have one remote (physical or on your phone) to control all of your streaming services. Having a streaming player like the Roku makes watching TV a much more pleasant experience.
A Roku is super great if you are looking at cord cutting at home and replacing your expensive TV cable bill. With the Roku and streaming channels there is always something good to watch.
The Roku can be controlled by either a physical remote or by the Roku app on your phone. We personally use the phone app more than the remote, just because we are always losing the remote. Also, with the phone app you do not need line of sight to control your Roku. So you can be in the other room listening to music or a show and pause it with your phone without having to walk in range. The physical remote with the Roku Express requires line of site to use.
The Roku also works with Alexa and the Google assistant, so you can ask them to play your show on TV.
What are the Roku Express specs?
The Roku Express has the lowest tier of specs of all of the Roku devices. This is Roku’s basic model. That said, this device still delivers the goods (streaming media) at a high quality.
This device connects to your TV with an HDMI cable, and uses a USB to USB micro cable to get power. So make sure that your TV can accept an HDMI cable and you have a spot to plug a USB cord into for power.
- CPU: ARM Cortex A53
- RAM: 512 MB
- Graphics API: OpenGL ES 2.0
- 1080 HD up to 60 fps
- Dolby audio with DTS pass through
- Wireless 802.11 b/g/n
How hard is it to setup a Roku?
Roku Express setup is really easy. Plug your new Roku into a power source and plug the HDMI cable into your TV. You will need to go online and create a Roku account next, with your phone or computer. You will need to then pick channels to view media on your Roku. Once you add them in, they stay put so you don’t have to insert your login credentials for the media accounts more than once. Adding Roku Express channels is super easy, you just search for and select the ones you want. I’d recommend also downloading the Roku express app for your phone and getting it setup while you’re at it.
Roku Express Review – is it any good?
We have both a Chromecast and a Roku. The Roku Express has become our default media player that is used. We really like that the Roku has an app that is compatible with our phones. This app allows us to change channels quickly, search for specific shows or movies to play, and control the playback settings.
One of the things that we dislike about the Roku is how small the remote is. We lose the remote for the Roku almost as soon as we find it. Since there is a phone app for controlling the Roku, we usually default to that. Phones are much harder to lose than the tiny remote.
Something annoying with the Roku Express is that it does not turn off the TV or control the volume. We can turn the TV on with the Roku controls, but to turn the TV off or adjust the volume we need to find the TV remote or walk across the room. This all changed with the Roku Streaming Stick Plus, so if you are looking to be able to turn off your TV or change the volume, be sure to check out my review of the Roku Streaming Stick Plus.
Another small issue with the Roku Express is that occasionally it will lock up. When this happens, we simply unplug it from it’s power source, wait a few seconds, then plug it back in. Doing a reboot this way has always gotten the Roku working perfectly again.
Overall, even with these issues we love our Roku Express and use it daily. We would buy another Roku device immediately if this one ever died (just like the other two Roku Streaming Stick Plus that we purchased).
Overall, we really love the Roku Express. My review of the Roku Express is that everyone should own one. We prefer to use it over the Chromecast. It allows us to easily stream our favorite media to the TV and rarely has issues.
- Not interested in a Roku Express but still looking for a streaming stick? Check out my review of the Roku Streaming Stick Plus
- Or read about the Roku Express vs Roku Streaming Stick Plus here
- Already have your streaming stick, but want to hide your TV cables? Read this review of the Cable Clear in wall cable kit