Roku Streaming Stick Review

Sep 18, 2016 | Streaming Devices

It was time to give the Roku Streaming Stick a try. We’ve long been fans of the Amazon Fire TV, but wanted to see how the Roku system compared.

We “Amazon Prime Now’d” it and within two hours we were up and running. Pretty impressed with how easy the Roku was to get set up.

Lucky for you we turned the short journey into a Roku Streaming Stick review! The video shows the unboxing, setup, and full Roku system tour. I set up our Amazon Video, Netflix, and PlayStation Vue channels in the video as well.

The video does most of the talking, but below the video is a quick Roku Streaming Stick review.


Roku Streaming Stick Review




The Roku Streaming Stick is comprised of the stick with HDMI connector, a cord with power adapter, and the controller. The stick itself is extremely portable – you could carry it in your front jean pocket if you wanted to.

The controller has shortcut buttons on it that give direct access to main channels such as Netflix and Amazon. Overall, I like the controller for the Roku better than the one for the Amazon Fire TV.



Overall, we were pretty impressed with how easy the Roku Streaming Stick was to set up. We plugged it into one of the open HDMI ports on our receiver, plugged it in, and off we went.

After connecting to our home WiFi, the stick had a software update. Pretty standard to see that when first turning on a device and always recommended to do. Might as well start with the newest firmware.

After the installation, the system walks you through setting up a Roku Account. Wow – great user experience here. I did it all via my iPhone and every step was well done on a mobile device.

During the account setup you’re prompted for a credit card and I didn’t see a way to opt out of that. There are paid channels to buy on the Roku and a credit card is needed for that. One step my wife and I liked here is the option to set up a pin for purchase. If one of the kids finds a channel they like and downloads, they may not realize that they’re charged for it. With the pin they’ll need us to put the pin in (after we approve of the channel, of course).

I cover some of this in the Roku Streaming Stick Review video, but setting up your main channels such as Netflix, PlayStation Vue, Amazon Video, etc. is also quite easy. All you really need are your username and passwords along with a phone or computer in case prompted to associate the device with an account.


Channels and Navigation

The experience of navigating within a channel is pretty comparable to the Amazon Fire TV. We found the layout of the channels to be about the same with similar functionality. There is some slight “clunkiness” at times, but overall pretty good.

System options on the left sidebar are fairly standard. Some options weren’t obvious at first and took a little figuring out but that is common when learning a new system.

There are a ton of channels to explore. We haven’t dug in too deep on new channels yet – probably a subject for a future post. But, there are quite a few content options for cord cutters to explore here.


I’ll leave the rest of the Roku Streaming Stick review for the video above. Let us know what you think of the Roku or what questions you have in the comments below.

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