Is this the easiest way to make your ´dumb´ TV Smart?
Stream Netflix and iPlayer to your TV via a device no bigger than a USB stick with the Roku Streaming Stick
06 Mar 2014
Love the idea of streaming films and programmes from the internet to your TV but don't have space for yet another black box in your living room?
Then the thumb-sized Roku Streaming Stick will be right up your street.
The tiny device shrinks an entire streaming set top box into a USB stick that plugs directly into your TV's HDMI port - making it perfect if you want to stream online content to a TV that's up on the wall.
Despite its diminutive size it gives you access to more than 450 streaming channels and apps such as iPlayer, Netflix 4OD and loads more.
All you need is a regular TV and an internet connection.
Here's why we love it…
It delivers the flexibility of online TV streaming to your living room telly
Online streaming services have changed the way we watch telly. In January the BBC iPlayer received more than 300 million programme requests, for example.
Much of this viewing is likely done via tablets, with TV Licensing finding more than half (55%) of tablet owners use their device for viewing video content.
Though tablet viewing is convenient and flexible, YouGov reckons more than half of us want to access online content through our full size TVs.
Now the Roku stick combines the flexibility of online viewing with the big screen experience by allowing you to stream online TV and film services direct your TV - for less than £50.
You can watch Netflix and iPlayer on it
Two of the most popular services for watching TV online are Netflix and the BBC iPlayer - and once you have plugged the Roku Stick into your telly you can stream them both.
With the iPlayer you can catch up with shows you've missed for seven days after they were broadcast - last night's EastEnders, for example.
Meanwhile with Netflix you can catch up on films and shows you've missed whenever you want. Missed out on House of Cards season? Find the whole series on Netflix - and watch it on one glutinous session on your full size TV. You also get Now TV, Sky News and oodles more channels.
It brings YouTube funnies and virals to the big screen
Video-sharing site YouTube has revolutionised life - changing how we laugh at things, watch things, share things and learn things.
You can do everyting from learn guitar to find out how to change the oil in your car - but YouTube was born for funnies.
For example some 88 million people watched a video of a man mimicing the way a number of wild animals ate - the most popular YouTube video in the UK last year.
With the Roku YouTube appy ou can watch such daft videos on the big screen, with all the family veging out on the sofa.
It can stream in full HD
Worried the picture quality from the streamed content may not match up to your TV's full HD capabilities? Stop worrying - depending on your broadband connection and channel provider, the Roku can stream content in 1080p HD.
It's tiny and it's tidy
Even in these days of wireless broadband and iPads our living rooms are still full of cables and black boxes. Games consoles, TVs, DVD players and cable boxes all vie for space - avoid more clutter by opting for Roku's streaming stick rather than a streaming box.
You can use its remote control or your tablet to change channel
You can control what you watch by using the included remote control or by using your tablet or smartphone by downloading the app for Android or iPhone.
Matthew Moskovciak at Cnet said the traditional remote was "good news for anyone like me who thinks real buttons still win when it comes to the living room".