If you’re considering the purchase of a Roku device, then you probably have a Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime or HBO Go account, and you want to watch this content on your TV. There are a number of different options available to you that will accomplish this goal, but many of them are expensive, complicated, or don’t offer all of the features you want.
The Roku 1 is the ideal choice for many people in this situation, because it has a low price, yet offers all of the most popular content sources. So if you have been on the fence about getting a video-streaming solution for your TV, then continue reading below to learn about 10 reasons why the Roku 1 is for you.
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1. The Price
The Roku 1 has a number of different competitors in the form of other Roku models, video game consoles, Blu-Ray players, smart TVs, and other set-top box streaming options. The Roku 1, however, is on the lower end of the pricing spectrum of these options, yet doesn’t sacrifice any of the functionality that some other options do.
2. Easy to Set Up
The entire setup process for the Roku 1 takes about ten minutes, and all that you need is a wireless network, the password for that network and access to a computer so that you can set up a Roku account.
You will also need an HDMI cable if you want to take advantage of the 1080p resolution that the Roku 1 can generate, but it does include a set of AV cables if you are connecting it to an older TV, or if you don’t have or don’t want to use an HDMI cable.
3. Easy to Use
The menu for the Roku 1 is very simple, and it has a search feature that will simultaneously check for content across all of the channels that you have installed. The Roku 1 also comes with a dedicated remote control, unlike the Google Chromecast, which forces you to rely on a phone, tablet or computer to control what is displayed on the screen. Some people may prefer the Chromecast’s method for controlling the device, but my preference is for the remote control. I just find using my phone to be a little clunky in comparison to a standard remote control.
4. Hundreds of Channels of Content
Roku has a massive selection of content channels, including all of the popular subscription video-streaming services like HBO Go, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, Netflix and Vudu, as well as radio subscription services like Pandora and Spotify. There is also an impressive amount of free content channels, too, so there are things for you to watch without spending any of the monthly subscription fees that the previously mentioned services entail.
5. Minimal Power Usage
The Roku 1 does not consume a lot of power at any point while it is being used, and Roku compares the power consumption of the device to that of a nightlight. This is important to note, as the Roku 1 never actually turns off. It simply enters a sleep state after it hasn’t been used in a while, then returns instantly when you are ready to start watching again.
6. Up to 1080p Resolution
This is an important distinction when comparing the Roku 1 specifically to some of the other lower-end Roku models, like the Roku LT. The Roku 1 can transmit video in full 1080p resolution when it is connected to your TV with an HDMI cable, ensuring that you get the sharpest possible picture from your streaming content.
7. Access to the Plex App
If you have a lot of local video content stored on a server or computer in your house, then you probably have a solution in place that allows you to watch that content on your TV. The Plex app is a popular method of accomplishing this task, and the inclusion of an easy-to-use Roku channel means that you won’t need to have the computer connected to your TV.
8. Works with any TV
Some of the higher-end set-top streaming boxes only offer the option of an HDMI connection. While most newer flat-screen TVs will have an HDMI connection, people are often purchasing these types of devices to connect to an older TV in a bedroom, dorm, basement or garage. The Roku 1 has the option of both an A/V connection (the red, white and yellow plugs) as well as an HDMI port.
9. No Additional Fees
The Roku 1 will only cost you the amount of money that you initially spend to purchase it. There is no monthly or yearly fee to use a Roku, and the only costs that will you incur that are related to it are the monthly subscription fees that you are already paying to services like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime. You will need to provide a credit card when you sign up for the device in case you choose to purchase any of the paid channels, but I have been using Roku devices for about three years now and have never needed to buy any of those channels, so my credit card has never been charged by Roku.
10. It Changes the Way You Watch TV and Movies
My Roku has become my primary source of viewing entertainment, and I find that I am rarely watching live TV, unless it is for a sporting event or a TV show episode that I need to watch live (like the Breaking Bad finale). If you can find enough sources to watch TV, whether it’s through Hulu Plus, Netflix or Amazon, then you can seriously consider eliminating your monthly cable TV bill. You will need to continue paying for Internet, however, as that’s where all of the Roku’s streaming content is coming from.
As you can see, the Roku 1 is a pretty impressive device, and it can be a viable primary entertainment source for a lot of people. It has a lot more functionality than other comparably priced streaming solutions (like the Google Chromecast), and it competes admirably with more expensive options like the Apple TV or the Roku 3. The Roku 1 is well worth your time and money, and makes for an easy transition into the world of Internet streaming video.
Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.
After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.
His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.