There are so many streaming devices out there and they are very useful to upgrade your older TV into a more modern smart TV without spending more money to purchase a new one. Roku has been known as one of the best streaming device manufacturers in the last several years and two of their popular units are Roku 4 vs Roku Express. These two are almost equally powerful but also has some difference. If you are confused about which to choose, go check our article below.
In this article, we are going to give you information about:
– What are Roku 4 and Roku Express
– What Roku 4 and Roku Express Look Like
– What Roku 4 and Roku Express can offer to you
– Roku 4 vs Roku Express
About Roku 4
Roku’s product has been known to offer such a good performance and just like many other manufacturers, they keep to make better devices in each releases. Continuing their popular Roku 3, the company now already have the next model, Roku 4 which is launched quite long after the former model, so it is not weird that many people are expecting much upgrade in this new model. The most prominent benefit of this streaming device is now it can be used to stream 4K content.
Roku 4 Design
If you also used the older model, you will instantly notice the difference in Roku 4. Just from the outside, we can see that it is noticeably bigger but flatter than Roku 3 which makes the unit somehow looks like a Frisbee. It is measures at 0.8 x 6.5 inches and the flat top will allow you to stack items on top of it. Moving to the back side, here you can find a new optical audio out connection, HDMI 2.0a, USB 2.0 and 10/100 Base-T Ethernet ports.
Roku 4 Features
What makes Roku 4 is faster than its predecessor is because the company decided to put a quad-core ARM processor, an 802.11 ac Wi-Fi antenna and 1.5GB of RAM which when combined will let you stream that 4K content. However, just in case you think it will turn your regular TV into 4K TV, it is wrong. To stream the 4K content, you will still need to own a suitable (4K) TV, the right subscription to access the content, and of course a fast connection. Read also: Roku 4 vs Fire TV 4K here.
So, even though it is indeed upgraded from the older version, if what you have is a regular TV, it still won’t give you that quality and even though you have the suitable one, most 4K already can access those contents even without a streaming devices. The aforementioned USB port in Roku 4 can be used to connect USB sticks and hard drives to view the content like photo, music, and video. One of the best thing from the connections available is the audio out connection which is sure a huge feature to get 5.1 channel surround.
The quad-core processor in this streaming device is claimed to be faster and when tested, it is indeed true because you can navigate through menu and other tasks seamlessly. The availability of Ethernet port is also great for those who don’t have strong Wi-Fi connection since it is more reliable or faster than wireless connection. The remote even has finder function that will emit a sound when you press the box in case you forget where you put it last time.
About Roku Express
As it has been mentioned earlier, it is no use to own a 4K capable streaming device if you doesn’t own a suitable TV and for those who only have regular TV or just want to find a dependable streaming device with a more affordable price, you may want to take a look at Roku Express. This streamer is one of the best option if you are looking for the budget version to upgrade your TV into a modern one that can stream various content from different channels.
Roku Express Design
Even though this device is described and actually has the capability of streaming box, the design and look is more like a streaming stick since the unit is very small measuring only at 0.7 x 3.4 x 1.4 inches almost at the same size like the company’s streaming stick and what’s interesting is, it is also even smaller than the remote it is coming with in the package. There is an issue here however, because it is only using an 802.11 b/g/n antenna which makes it slower and reduce the range compared to those devices with 802.11ac one.
Roku Express Features
When talking about a streaming device mostly about the entry-level ones, performance are measured and decided by the device’s three components; the Wi-Fi antenna, its processor, and of course the platform in this case Roku platform. As it has been mentioned earlier, the Wi-Fi antenna is an issue here because the choice is making your streaming device has short range and lackluster bandwidth, but we still need to look at the last two components.
Since the company don’t mentioned the name of Roku Express processor, we don’t know what the name is and just like what you have expected, it is actually a kind of middle level ones. This processor is quite decent and if you gave a fast connection, starting up the device will need approximately 25 seconds or less while slower connection will also need longer time.
To counter the average antenna and processor, here comes the Roku platform. It is well-known among users that the platform is lightweight and fairly minimalist in nature and since there are only a few of boxes on the screen, it will minimize loading when waiting the content to appear.
Now, let’s compare Roku 4 with Roku Express. As it has been mentioned earlier, Roku Express is the budget friendly of the company’s streaming device, so it is slower and can’t stream 4K content as well as less in port connectivity compared to the more expensive streamer Roku 4.
Roku 4 vs Roku Express
All in all, the decision is all yours to make. In our opinion, both of them are good option depend on your need. If you want a streaming device to complement your 4K TV, the choice is Roku 4 but if you are only wish to have a decent and affordable streaming device for regular TV with HDMI inputs, the best and most affordable option is clearly Roku Express.