Six Reasons You Need a Roku in Your Life
by Evan Wade
What's a Roku? You might have seen them around, but aren't sure what they do. Maybe you felt the same way about smartphones a few years ago. Now you know that your smartphone isn't just a communication device; it can also work as a GPS, a flashlight, a calculator, a translator and a bunch of other cool things. Apply that same consolidation approach to the boxes beneath your TV, and you get Roku, a streaming media player designed to combine all sorts of services into one easy-to-use device. Here are six reasons why you need one of these in your life:
1. More Price Points + More Hardware = More Options. The one-size-fits-all approach might work for sweatpants, but choosing a streaming media player requires a little more finesse. Instead of the single-model approach, the whole lineup features four unique offerings, giving experienced techies, basic users and everyone in between an option that fit their needs and their budgets.
Looking for something you can use to stream Netflix on your TV? You're covered. A streaming connection for content on your computer? A box to hook up to the old TV in the guest bedroom? Yes, and yes.
2. Streaming Content Galore. Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have become very popular. That's why every streaming media player under the sun carries them. Roku's hook? Their devices have all the staples plus a lot more.
If you're in the mood for something refined, just download the PBS channel and boom: instant culture. Sports fans can tune into a bevy of on-demand competitions, and the kids' section comes packed with tons of popular programs.
3. The Cable Connection... Several networks feature their own Roku channels, and you can access many of them without adding to your bill. In a word, that's huge. HBO Go alone has enough content to keep you occupied for months!
If news is more your style, several major networks have their own channels as well, including NBC, CBS, WSJ and Sky. So do cable staples such as FX and History ("Pawn Stars," anyone?).
4. ...and the Computer Connection. Sometimes you want to see your own content on the TV screen: videos of family gatherings on your iPad, or maybe a big movie and music collection stored on your computer.
These devices can help you with all that. By "mirroring" (read: broadcasting) your computer, phone or tablet screen on your TV, the Roku box gives you access to content you couldn't otherwise put on your TV. If you remember the days of vacation slide shows, you understand how important that is.
5. Apps and Extra Content. Some streaming media players only offer streaming media, but Roku's capabilities go beyond that. Popular games such as Tetris, social media services such as Facebook, and even major social sites such as Reddit are available in the app store, giving you even more reason to love your TV.
Other apps offer more specialized services: One channel lets you display stock updates on your TV screen, while several others let you choose from a variety of screen savers.
6. Entertain With Ease. These devices are among the most popular streaming boxes on the market for a reason: They do a lot without being difficult to use. They offer the ability to entertain yourself, your family and your friends with just one streaming device.
From games to TV shows, and even Web browsing, Roku's sure to boost you into a new entertainment era. You may not have a flying car or robot butler yet, but these devices prove you're definitely living in the future.