giftguide-graphic-008For another of our weekend “one post” Gift Guides, we’re going to revisit a cool device we told you about last year. It may seem a little odd hyping the Roku, now that it’s basically mainstream, but they do have new models to talk about. It’s even more tempting than ever to cut the cord and kiss your cable bills goodbye. The newest upgrades to the Roku streaming device is better than ever and ready for the future of Ultra High Definition Television.

roku-tvRoku TV is a Smart TV with Roku already built in. You can do everything that you can with the Roku, but you don’t have to mess with wires or hookups. Easy setup and simple navigation makes Roku TV the perfect smart TV for the entire family. All of your favorites are in one-place, switch between your cable box, gaming console or favorite streaming channel the simple remote control.These start at $139 for tiny screens, while larger models are comparable to other Smart TVs.

Roku Ultra is their ultimate player, with stunning 4K and HDR picture quality and advanced technology and features. With brilliant picture quality for 4K Ultra HD & standard HD TVs and powerful wireless for the best streaming experience, the Roku Ultra is a winner. The included point anywhere remote offers voice search, headphones for private listening, gaming capability, and even a lost remote finder. You can enjoy more than 2,500 streaming channels, most of them free, offering access to 300,000+ movies and TV episodes. Plus there are games, music, sports, International, kids programming and more.


You will need WiFi and an HD TV is recommended. The Roku will pull in pay subscription services like NetFlix, The WWE Network, HBOGo and others, plus there are component channels like FXNOW, which offer you on demand access to existing cable and satellite channels. The real treat is the free stuff. You can surf YouTube in your living room, or watch any of the thousands of free channels that offer up everything from wild niche and genre programming to sports, hobbies, exercise, foreign news, public access and more.

roku-express-plusThat’s the top of the line model that retails for $129. If you’re on a budget you can still experience the coolness that is Roku with Roku Express, a smaller unit that comes in two models, one stripped-down version for most HD television sets and for ten bucks more, a model that turns old analog televisions into Smart TVs. That’s thirty bucks for HD sets and forty for older TVs. For that low price you’ll still get the complete assortment of entertainment channels available on the more expensive models.

And there are other models at different price points with varying degrees of bells and whistles. Some allow you to play games, some have other features, like headphone jacks on the remote. You can check out all the different models at the Roku website. After you decide which one you want, shop around, because there have been price wars with these units.

Roku is a wonderful device that opens up your television to almost as vast an array of programming as the internet-only you get to watch from the comfort of your own couch. The Roku experience is as much fun as the early days of cable, only with thousands more channels to explore. For all ages, but parents of young kids might want to use the parental controls.