4 Enhancements I Need to See in a New Roku Streaming Stick

Roku’s streaming gadgets are in style and rating constructive evaluations right here at CNET for his or her simple setup, plethora of streaming channels, and easy menu design. Each Roku runs the identical software program, so all of them share lots of Roku’s strongest options. Nevertheless, particular person gamers have {hardware} enhancements that set them aside. 

Our two favourite gamers are the $40 Roku Categorical 4K Plus and the $50 Roku Streaming Stick 4K.  Proper now, the one distinction between the fashions is the inclusion of Dolby Imaginative and prescient compatibility on the Streaming Stick 4K. Each gamers sit in the course of the Roku lineup and provide a terrific mixture of options for the cash, together with 4K HDR streaming and voice remotes that may additionally management your TV. They’re glorious streamers, however they’re additionally greater than a 12 months previous and due for updates.

Ideally, Roku would mix the 2 gamers and provide one gadget that sits within the $40-to-$50 vary. This could simplify the corporate’s lineup and assist make it simpler for all of us to determine which gadget fits our wants. Even so, this new gadget will nonetheless want important upgrades to make it attractive to customers. 

Listed here are 4 strategies for enhancements that might persuade me to get a brand new $40 or $50 Roku streaming stick. 

Learn extra: Roku Extremely 2022: The 5 Issues on My Want Checklist

1. Constructed-in Bluetooth compatibility

A pair of headphones

Bluetooth headphones ought to work immediately with the Roku.

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Generally you simply wish to watch TV on the large display screen with out disturbing the remainder of the home. Roku at the moment permits you to join Bluetooth headphones to your gadget by the Roku app in your cellphone. That is nice, however it will be even higher should you did not have to contain your cellphone in any respect. Amazon Fireplace TV gadgets have already got Bluetooth built-in and I feel it is time for Roku to catch up. 

I might love to have the ability to rapidly pair my headphones immediately with my Roku, so I can get to watching my reveals as rapidly as attainable.The Roku app additionally has a strategy to sync the audio to your headphones so that you needn’t fear about lag within the dialog. It is a nice function, however I want I may entry it simply from the on-screen menus as an alternative of as soon as once more digging by the app on my cellphone. 

I recognize all the options on the cellular app, however I feel Roku may provide a extra streamlined expertise if we will go away our telephones charging within the different room. 

2. A strong password administration system

A person holding a remote in front of a TV with app icons displayed

You need to use your cellphone to kind in passwords, however it will be higher if a password administration system did it for you.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Whereas establishing and signing in to your Roku could also be simple, remembering your whole streaming passwords is a significant ache. Each streaming service has to have its personal username and password and it’s important to register to every service earlier than you can begin watching in your Roku. 

Roku has tried to make this simpler by letting you utilize the keyboard in your cellphone by the Roku App. You may even let Roku do the typing by activating voice management and talking every letter right into a appropriate distant or by the app. 

Particular person apps additionally attempt to ease the password burden by having you go online by your pc and typing in a code onto the TV. All of those choices assist a bit, however they nonetheless require you to recollect your password. 

Roku would profit from implementing its personal password administration system or teaming with an organization like Final Cross to create a state of affairs the place the person solely must enter all the passwords as soon as. 

A password administration system will help create and retailer your whole passwords from numerous websites and providers in a single place. The person creates one grasp password for all of their accounts which they use to login in. From there, the service mechanically makes use of the saved site-specific password to signal you in to no matter you are making an attempt to entry.  

Such a service on a Roku may make logging into your streaming providers sooner and safer. I do know my password-averse mom would recognize it. 

3. Add a remote-finder button to the gadget

Roku Ultra 4K bundle with Voice Remote Pro

The Roku Extremely already comes with a bodily remote-finder button.

Sarah Tew/CNET

It may be so annoying to lose the distant. It is a ache to look below the tables and thru the sofa cushions to seek out your misplaced clicker. Roku at the moment has two options to this drawback. The primary is discovered on the Voice Distant Professional, a $30 distant improve that works with any present Roku gadget. The second, is a bodily misplaced distant button on the Roku Extremely.

The rechargeable Voice Distant Professional comes with hands-free voice controls, which implies you possibly can merely say “Hey Roku, discover my distant” and the distant will emit a beeping sound that can assist you find it. Whereas the distant will be purchased individually, it is at the moment bundled with Streaming Stick 4K to create the $70 Streaming Stick 4K Plus package deal. It is also discovered with the $100 top-of-the-line Roku Extremely. 

The Extremely additionally includes a small bodily button on the facet of the gadget which, when pressed, will inform the distant to emit a beeping sound. I am unsure why the Extremely wants two alternative ways to discover a misplaced distant, however I feel a $50 streaming stick may use considered one of them.

I feel it is high quality to depart the flamboyant distant to costlier packages, however I might like to get a bodily remote-finder button positioned on the facet of the stick. This manner I can simply stroll as much as the gadget, hit the button and hear for the distant’s response. 

4. Colour choices for gamers and remotes 

Chromecast with Google TV and voice remote

Chromecast with Google TV already is available in blue, white and pink choices.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Roku’s branding is synonymous with the colour purple. That is nice. Purple is my favourite shade. However the gadgets themselves, together with the physique of the remotes are all black. It is skilled and innocuous, however finally fairly boring.

Chromecast with Google TV already is available in three colours: white, salmon pink, and light-weight blue. Colour is a giant a part of the Roku model, so why not go all out? How a few comfortable purple stick? I might additionally recognize blue, crimson, white and pink. Let’s not cease on the gadget and embody a colourful distant as properly. It could make the distant stand out in a room and due to this fact even more durable to lose. 

The bodily look of TVs and streaming gadgets are typically uniform and forgettable. I feel it will be a cool change of tempo to get a streaming stick and distant which might be additionally good on the eyes.

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