Why get ROKU over a Tablet?

vcr1980

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What is the actual advantage of having a ROKU box as opposed to just getting a tablet that is connected to the internet?

I know ROKU advertises thousands of free content but is any of that stuff even good? What does a ROKU actually give you that simply using the internet does not?
 

msmith198025

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For me it isnt really a content advantage, but a delivery to the TV and a convenience advantage. Far easier to watch the content on a bigger screen, even if the tablet is capable of chromecast or airplay.

Would you be watching on the tablet itself? Or delivering to a tv?
 

arlo

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For me. Having a few streaming boxes over the years.
Roku, Apple devices have you strapped to their belt. Meaning they approve the apps you use.
Android tablets, PC's. With HDMI out. You're pretty much free to do what you want to.
Unless things have changed, Roku will let you put one...only one "developer app" on it. And it's not a breeze to do.

Roku and Apple makes it easy. Out of box easy. If you can accept that you have to do it their way.
Android devices make it more flexible. Amazon streamers still have you a bit captive. But I've learned to like them.
Nvidia is nice. Real nice.

Easy options to "cast to" or "mirror to" is always a nice option also.

If you're into rooting and jailbreaking. For those boxes you can do it to. Life with streaming is better.

Dammit. I just capped my 100mbps service data limit in 2 weeks. Too much 4k content watching. The ISP wants 10 bucks more a month for unlimited data.
Maybe try cranking my video quality back to 720p and watch data xfer stats on the router. Glad it's the end of month, when it gets cranked back up.
A thing to beware of.
 

harshness

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It is a no-brainer for me and it mostly comes down to having a remote control. The Roku is considerably cheaper than a tablet and it comes with features that allow you to adapt the UI to your TV.
 
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Jim S.

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Roku and Apple makes it easy. Out of box easy. If you can accept that you have to do it their way.
Android devices make it more flexible. Amazon streamers still have you a bit captive. But I've learned to like them.
Nvidia is nice. Real nice.
The nice thing about Roku is that the apps are tailored to work with their device. I know the OP was asking about tablets, but for watching on TV I bought a cheap Android box (there are dozens of brands available from China.) Trying to use the Hulu app on it was ridiculous, since it assumed a touchscreen. Even using a ubiquitous cheap wireless keyboard/trackpad gizmo was no fun at all. (But I hate Android anyway; I will NEVER give up using some variety of desktop or laptop OS for 99.9% of my non-emergency internet use...)
 

msmith198025

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The nice thing about Roku is that the apps are tailored to work with their device. I know the OP was asking about tablets, but for watching on TV I bought a cheap Android box (there are dozens of brands available from China.) Trying to use the Hulu app on it was ridiculous, since it assumed a touchscreen. Even using a ubiquitous cheap wireless keyboard/trackpad gizmo was no fun at all. (But I hate Android anyway; I will NEVER give up using some variety of desktop or laptop OS for 99.9% of my non-emergency internet use...)
The boxes that run android (not android tv) are horrible for a tv experience IMO.

Android TV is much better, as it is more optimized for the tv screen, and the apps are tweaked to run on it, instead of in a touch environment. Still, I much prefer Roku for my streaming box needs.
 

harshness

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Android TV is still fairly rare in the wild but as msmith198025 says, it is a pretty neat setup if you have something like a Shield or a Sony TV that were built around it. As compared with conventional Android, Android TV is designed to work with a remote control rather than a touch screen.
 
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navychop

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I did not like fooling with an Android Phone or Android tablet.

But Android TV on my new Sony is my favorite way of accessing Internet entertainment. YouTube and Amazon Prime, mostly.


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mwdxer1

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What is the actual advantage of having a ROKU box as opposed to just getting a tablet that is connected to the internet?

I know ROKU advertises thousands of free content but is any of that stuff even good? What does a ROKU actually give you that simply using the internet does not?
Whatever is easier. I have Roku, Fire TV, and a Chromecast. I use the Fire TV and Roku more, but sometimes that app is only available streaming on a computer, so I can cast it to the TV.
 

norman881

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Roku has thousands of free movies and tv shows and yes it's worth the $29 bucks for a Roku box.
I stream 1080 movies on Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, and Amazon prime without a single hiccup.
Best investment i ever made
I made a spare PC into a dedicated Plex Server. My wife and I stream everything that we watch through our Roku. We have seen very few commercials in the last 6 years. :)
 

Jagosaurus

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Agree on remote comments. FF, RW, Pause, etc were a pain on mobile while casting too. More TV like on Roku with remote.

Roku also allows for hardwired via Cat 5e/6 if you're near your internet modem or can run cable to TV locations. Media over Coax (to RJ45 Ethernet) is an option as well.

Even on wireless, the Roku ecosystem seems more steady than casting from wireless device to another wireless TV. It worked okay for me. Got 1 Roku Ultra to test & I noticed a big stability improvement. I went & bought 2 more. Great purchases. Don't regret it.
 
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navychop

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I don’t understand the appeal of Plex or other ways of viewing Blu-rays from a PC. With my Harmony remote, I just need to insert a disc and press play. No PC to fool with. What could possibly be simpler?


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Tampa8

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What is the actual advantage of having a ROKU box as opposed to just getting a tablet that is connected to the internet?

I know ROKU advertises thousands of free content but is any of that stuff even good? What does a ROKU actually give you that simply using the internet does not?
Two things about your question.
1. The two are barely comparable. If you don't watch an actual TV the tablet if it is a good one that will be somewhat expensive may be enough. As an example the Amazon Tablets are not good enough in my opinion to use all the time to watch shows. I have now had two and both were not speed demons to begin with and both quickly slowed down, even after deleting all apps etc. Resolution is ok, they don't natively run Google Play apps. They are cheap and fine for more ocassional things. I bring them up because they are among the only less expensive ones I could even recommend if you were going to try and watch TV shows on it all the time.

2. Roku is inexpensive compared to a Tablet to do what you want to do. It is watched on your TV not held in your hand. However I no longer think the Roku is the one to get, the Amazon 4K Fire TV Stick is the best out there now in my opinion. It streams better for me, the Amazon amount of things to watch is great especially if you have Amazon Prime anyway. You can still watch from Hulu or Netfix etc. Though it also does not use Play Store apps natively for this device that isn't so much a problem like it would be for a tablet or cell phone.
 

comfortably_numb

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I don’t understand the appeal of Plex or other ways of viewing Blu-rays from a PC. With my Harmony remote, I just need to insert a disc and press play. No PC to fool with. What could possibly be simpler?


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My PC is connected to the TV via HDMI. I have a wireless keyboard/mouse combo on the coffee table. I can easily shuffle between my many blu-rays without having to get up off the couch :)
 

navychop

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But you have to have a PC running.


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harshness

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I don’t understand the appeal of Plex or other ways of viewing Blu-rays from a PC. With my Harmony remote, I just need to insert a disc and press play. No PC to fool with.
Plex isn't intended as a media player -- it is a media server. It brings all of your media together in one place that you can access through pretty much anything that can stream. If the viewing device can't stream it natively, Plex will transcode it.

Having everything work more or less the same across platforms is always good for the WAF.
 

navychop

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I’d hate to teach my wife to use such a system when hundreds of video discs and CDs are next to the TV. I don’t even show her how to switch between using the Sony and OPPO players. But she could figure it out. But the OPPO is still there just for DVD-A and SACD discs, which only I listen to.


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