Apple CEO Tim Cook likes to say that the future of TV is apps. If the explosion of streaming devices such as the Apple TV, Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV have not been enough evidence to that trend, then the industry’s dedication to making these gadgets smaller and faster should lend the necessary credence.
After the success of streaming boxes, Amazon and Roku have worked to make streaming sticks no larger than a traditional USB drive. Roku just came out with its latest version — the Roku 2016 Streaming Stick — and it immediately became the best streaming device on the market.
One of the primary reasons to get a Roku streaming stick is the price. At $50, it is only $10 more than the Fire Stick. (Both sticks are half the cost of the box devices). And what the Fire Stick gains on the Roku in price, it loses on speed and performance. The Roku stick has a new quad-core CPU, which makes it eight times faster than any other device on the market. No more stalling and waiting for apps to load. You can watch what you want, when you want it.
The Roku’s other main advantage over the Fire Stick and the Fire TV is its egalitarianism — that is, the ease with which you can access any content, no matter the distributor. The Roku itself has four shortcut buttons on the remote itself, so all it takes is one click to get to Amazon Video, Netflix, Sling TV or Google Play. You can also search for all content at the Roku homepage. Because Amazon is a competitor with Netflix, it won’t tell you what that service has available unless you first go into the app.
On that note, the Roku still has more apps than any other streaming device. The new Roku really has everything. It is inexpensive, it has the most content, and it is the fastest streamer on the market. And since it’s a stick, you will never notice it, and you can take it with you any place you go.
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