I’ve had a first generation Roku for ages. It’s been great. I watch Netflix, sometimes Amazon prime. It’s simple, it works. It’s the source of almost everything I watch on TV.
But Amazon plans to stop supporting it. I suppose I could connect the nearby desktop computer. But hey, maybe it’s time to upgrade my Roku.
My needs aren’t major. My TV is small by modern standards, I don’t have any external speakers or anything to consider. Probably anything will work. But I figured I may as well ask for advice. Maybe there’s something I haven’t even thought of that I’d really like.
I don’t see any news about Amazon Prime not supporting Roku, unless you mean they plan to stop supporting a first-generation Roku. If that’s the case, as long as you have an HDMI port and wireless, a new Roku stick should work fine.
It’s basically a mini computer (think Android phone or tablet). It can play all the major streaming services, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu as well as other streaming services even without Kodi. With Kodi (which BTW, despite what some say isn’t illegal as long as you stay away from pirate services), it’s easier to find and organize your video apps.
Also, as I stated above, they almost always have an SD card slot as well as USB. Roku’s (only the high end ones allow playing external content) and the built in media player on HDTVs are very limited in the types of external video/audio files that play, often requiring reencoding to work. On the other hand, as I stated above, an Android Box will play almost everything your computer can. No need to reencode, which takes time and loses quality.
If you get an Android Box, I highly recommend getting MX Player. It’s $4.99 for the Pro Version and is, IMO, the best media player for Android.
I’m sure to get flack for this, but to me, buying a Roku is like buying a Mac. It can’t do anything better than a PC and you’re paying a premium for the name.
IMO, never, ever rely on the build in media player (Roku or otherwise) on your TV for playing external videos. The format support is extremely poor compared to the Android OS, whether it’s on your phone, tablet or box. I’m a regular at videohelp.com and there are hundreds of threads with people asking why their video files won’t play on their TV’s media player.
You’re way over my head, I’m afraid. What sort of content are you thinking I might play? Videos I take on my camera? Are MP4s generally available for sale? It’s there a reason to prefer them over, I dunno, discs?
I don’t suppose any of these would work to record TV? I mean, I watch TV via an antenna, but sometimes i have a time conflict. Once upon a time i sometimes recorded stuff on video tape. Does anyone still do the equivalent? Do any of these boxes do that?
My budget is flexible, but I don’t really want a new TV. This one is fine, and it talks nicely to my antenna, and has enough ports to attach a bunch of stuff to it, including the antenna, the Roku, the blue ray player, and couple of video game consoles my daughter uses. It also fits the room without blocking the windows.
Looking at what’s available, and since you’re comfortable with the Roku already, I’d say either the Express (for a regular HD TV), or a Premier (if you’ve got a 4k TV, or think you might in the near future). I’d probably get the latter, as cheap future-proofing. Thirty or forty bucks, depending on which one you want.
Android is just system software. While a media player like Kodi will support all the latest and greatest video formats, don’t expect them to play back smoothly if the “box” does not have hardware support for them.
Live TV and video recording will similarly work if you have hardware or software support for it and you know how to set everything up.
Yes, the videos you take with your camera are a prime example of something you could play on an Android Box, regardless if they’re .mp4 or some other format.Be sure to copy the files to another SD card, flash drive or external drive so your original is safe.
For now, the main distribution of videos are either discs or streaming. However, you can legally backup your discs* (so you don’t potentially damage them) to a flash or external drive (SD cards aren’t recommended because they’re smaller capacity and more expensive) and play them though the box.
*If you need help with this, I suggest heading to videohelp.com and asking how to backup your DVDs and Blu-Rays. I’m usually there and there are lots of others willing to help too. You’ll likely be directed to the many posts on the topic, but take it slow. It’s not as complicated as some make it out to be.
For recording from live TV, you can use one of the devices here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=digital+recorder+for+tv&ref=nb_sb_noss_2 . The first box also has good reviews at videohelp. The catch is it only has one tuner, but you could split your antenna signal and watch one show while recording another on the box, then switching to the box to watch the recorded show. The catch is that you have to get an external hard drive (~$60-70 for 2TB) to record the programs. Get two drives and you can connect the ones with your recordings to the Android Box for watching, and use the second drive for recording another program at the same time! In essence instead of tapes you’re using hard drives.
I highly recommend sticking with a Roku. You already know the interface, it’s cheap and easy. I would suggest getting a Roku 4 mainly because you’ll be able get as many years out of it as you did your first generation device
If you want to fiddle with a computer like lingyi suggests, get Plex for your Roku and install a Plex server. But if you’re just wanting to stream stuff, stick with a Roku.
Almost all but the very cheapest Android Boxes, say <$50 are capable of playing videos the average consumer will come across. Even my old Core 2 PC from 2007 can play 4K H265 video through the onboard video.
The DVRs I linked to are pretty foolproof for antenna TV.
Thanks. I can’t recall there ever being two shows I wanted to watch at the same time, so one tuner would be fine. And we have a couple of external hard drives knocking around. So that might be a good option.
Just to keep from confusing Puzzlegal. I said an Android Box is like a mini computer but no fiddling necessary other than installing MX Player (no need to add Kodi if you’re not interested in searching out other streaming apps), plug in an SD card, flash drive or external hard drive with videos and play. Works for a single TV use. IMO Plex is for when you want to stream your own videos to multiple devices like TVs, phones, tablets, etc.
If you’re not concerned with being able to playback your own non-streaming videos, a Roku is fine, but IMO overpriced when compared to an Android Box.
FYI, I’ve owned several Rokus, Android Boxes and other media players and have switched to using my laptop and an old desktop PC for my streaming and playback needs. Recording is through my cable provider’s DVR.
Back before i had a Roku, I played video by connecting the nearby computer to the TV with a cable. Does it work to buy a USB C to HDMI cable to display my phone on my computer? (Android) I know i can do that with with my husband’s Linux box or my Mac laptop.
Because that seems like an easy solution to play my own videos.