Which Roku Should I Buy?

 

 

The Roku comes in various models, however, the most recent models, the third generation models, are the only ones still in production and are all available in Canada as well as America (as of April 2014):

Roku Streaming Stick (Super Portable)

Roku 1 (Base model)

Roku 2 (Best value for RCA only TVs)

Roku 3 (The Ferrari)

It’s important to note that there has been many versions of the Roku throughout the last few years and many of them have their advantages over others. You can purchase an older model through Amazon or EBay and the like, however, I suggest one of the newer models. They are already very affordable and have the most up to date firmware and hardware. So the answer to your question, “which Roku should I buy,” is one of the follow four models. That’s my suggestion if you want the best for the price. If you aren’t worried about the cost so much, because you know you are going to be getting an awesome system that has the potential to replace cable, then I would definitely suggest the Roku 3 model – hands down the best!

Don’t worry about “Canadian Version” I have a Canadian Version Roku XD and Roku 3 and they work just like the American Version. Honestly I think the only difference is the inclusion of French, and the exclusion of American only channels on the packaging. Just be sure to utilize the Overplay smartDNS service to maximize the experience.

Which Roku should I buy? Consider the reviews below…

Where can I buy a Roku? Information here…




Roku Streaming Stick (3500) [HDMI only Connection]

 

Roku Streaming Stick

Retail Price $59.99 CDN

Where can I buy a Roku online today?

Amazon.ca | BestBuy.ca | Walmart.ca | Futureshop.ca

 

The biggest benefit with this device over the others is that it is essentially the same as the Roku 2 in that it plays full HD(1080p) with dual-band wireless whilst being small and indiscreetly fitting into the HDMI port on your HDTV (uses a USB-port or wall adapter to power itself). The only real differences between this and the Roku 2 is that it doesn’t have the headphone jack in the remote, it does have a Wi-Fi-connected remote (for non-line-of-sight control), and features the YouTube channel.

Roku Streaming Stick Options

Careful not to confuse this model with the Roku HD Streaming Stick 3400M! That model only works with Roku Ready TVs.

This is definitely the best value if you own an HDTV. If you own a TV without HDMI and only have RCA ports than this device is not for you. Unless you purchase a HDMI-to-RCA converter, however, these are only temporary fixes in my opinion because they can stretch video that is designed to be widescreen (unless your RCA TV is also widescreen) and you won’t get the full HD experience that the Roku offers.

Roku 1 (2710) [HDMI/RCA Connection]

 

Roku 1

Retail Price $59.99 CDN

Where can I buy a Roku online today?

Amazon.ca | BestBuy.ca | Walmart.ca | Futureshop.ca

 

This device is essentially the base model. As such it is probably the best model for someone on a budget and without an HDMI ready TV. If you have a HDMI port on your TV I would suggest going with the Roku Streaming Stick (3500R, seen above). This model is without dual-band wireless so buffering time will likely increase and perhaps increase the occurrence of the video stopping during playback to buffer.

Roku 1 Options

Roku 2 (2720) [HDMI/RCA Connection]

 

Roku 2Retail Price $89.99 CDN Now $79.00 CDN @ Amazon.ca

Where can I buy a roku online today?

Amazon.ca | BestBuy.ca | Walmart.ca | Futureshop.ca

 

The Roku 2 was the most popular value model before the Roku Streaming Stick came out just recently. I see the Roku 2 as being mostly for non-HDMI ready TV’s. After all the Roku Streaming Stick is $20 cheaper and has the YouTube Channel and the WiFi-connected remote. For a non-HD TV this is the best model available, barring the Roku 3 with a RCA-to-HDMI converter.

Roku 2 Options

 

Roku 3 (4200) [HDMI only Connection]

 

Roku 3Retail Price $109.99 CDN Now $89.98 CDN @ Amazon.ca

Where can I buy a roku online today?

Amazon.ca | BestBuy.ca | Walmart.ca | Futureshop.ca

 

The Roku 3 is the flagship model and by far the most capable of replacing your cable! This is my personal favorite the only other model that compares is the Roku Streaming Stick. Both these devices are the only ones with the YouTube channel (as of April 2014). This model has a Wi-Fi-connected remote, which comes in handy, you can be anywhere in the house, with headphones plugged into the remote, listening to your favorite podcasts or radio shows! It is the only model to date with a motion control ready remote, for games such as Angry Birds, it’s also sporting a 5x faster processor which cannot be praised enough. This model also includes Ethernet, USB and a microSD slot. The video playback is limited to only .mp4 & .mkv files, however, with channels such as Plex I do not use the USB and microSD slots very often. With the notable exceptions of showing your camera photos on the big screen and sharing a home video with a friend.

Roku 3 Options

76 thoughts on “Which Roku Should I Buy?

  1. I must say wow! I didn’t know about Roku. I just checked out the other page and saw the video about Roku. Truly seems very convenient for TV/movie/series lovers! I just don’t understand how is this really working. Can you tell me more about it? do you plug this to your TV? how is it? Thank you!

    • One thing there not telling you if you buy a roku in Canada it is very limited, I have 3 from the US, firmware is different, works brilliant ! We spend $70 dollars a month, includes unlimited internet! Hulu plus! All the worlds Netflix! Free UK live TV! Unlocator DNS server makes it all possible! At $5 a month, doesn’t include the ,100s of free channels history, fox etc

      • I don’t believe the firmware is different Dave, I’ve not found any confirmation on this and I have two ‘Canadian Version’ Roku’s that were simply setup with American Roku accounts. They work perfectly fine with all the American content, although you’re absolutely right on that any non-American would need a SmartDNS or VPN option to access US content. I use Overplay personally.

        The important thing is setting up the router with SmartDNS or VPN and setup your Roku account as American before turning the Roku on and connecting it to the internet.

  2. Yes Andrea, thank you for the interest! The Roku is a media player plugged directly into your TV and connected to your internet through Wi-Fi or Ethernet cable (Roku 3). Once you are set up and running you can stream all sorts of TV/Movies/News/Sports directly to your TV. You can then select your entertainment, pause, rewind, bookmark for later, etc. Its really quite powerful, often you can watch a lot for free but I recommend at least one subscription service, such as Netflix or Hulu Plus, for about $8 USD per month. They often have a trial period also so you can try the service for a month or week for free.

    There is also lots of free entertainment such as Pandora (create personalized radio stations), iTunes Podcasts (lots of entrepreneurial podcasts and vlogs!), even yoga channels with free yoga workshops from instruction on poses to whole sessions (YogaSessions.TV).

    Typically its plugged into the TV with the old RCA (red, white, yellow) connection or the modern HDMI port.

    Also you can take the Roku with you when you travel, all you need at your destination is an internet connection and a TV and you can bring your personalized media experience with you to the cottage or vacation villa 😉

    Daniel

      • Yes you can watch PGA live on TNT via the SlingTV service. For LPGA you can get live coverage on the Golf Channel via SlingTV.

        So yes you can get live PGA/LPGA via SlingTV on the Roku with the purchase of the ‘Blue Package’ plus the Golf Channel. Or try SlingTV free for 7 days and watch the PGA/LPGA for free.

        If you are in Canada consult my guide for getting SlingTV here.

        Cheers,

        Daniel

      • Hello Ryx,

        I’m not sure of the details but it seems that Roku has made a deal with a company in the Philippines, PLDT press release click here and Roku’s press release click here.

        Not sure if you can get the Roku in Philippines just yet but it looks to be coming in Q2 2017, so not too long from now.

        Best of Luck,
        Daniel

    • I have a ROKU 1 and love it. but I need to get Hulu (through PLEX & PLEX won’t work with ROKU1) so will be purchasing ROKU 3 soon. I saw on an earlier post that I would need to set up the router with SmartDNS or VPN and setup your Roku account as American before turning the Roku on and connecting it to the internet.I live in Canada. how do I do this? I have an account already, can I have 2 accounts?
      Do I need to order a ROKU from the USA? Can I do this with the Canadian version ROKU?

      Thank you,
      –Nicole

      • Hello Nicole,

        I love PLEX and recommend it as one of the best channels for the Roku but I’m not sure why you think you need it for Hulu? The Roku Hulu channel can be used (independent of PLEX) on any Roku that is connected to an American Roku account.

        For Canadians looking to access the American content on the Roku I wrote this article here. It will help you setup the SmartDNS/VPN on your internet/network router so that you can setup the American Roku account via Roku.com and then have access to the American Roku channels such as Hulu and SlingTV.

        I would delete your existing Roku account via the Roku.com members area. Then create a whole new one (American account) with the guide mentioned above. You can have two accounts though, you would just need a new email address for the second account.

        You can get your Roku from where ever, those sold in Canada will also function with an American Roku account and content. If the Roku has previously been connected to an account it will need to be “factory reset” and left unplugged while you setup the American Roku account. Turning it back on only when the account is fully set up.

        Happy Streaming,

        Daniel

  3. sorry complete roku rookie here….could this replace my cable servie completely and I would still have access to local news and sports channels??

    • This replaces cable for me however I’m neither a local news buff or a sports fan. So to be honest if you are really insistent on local news and an array of sport shows cable is still a simpler option.

      But it’s not a simple question to answer because if you are in the US there is tons of local news coverage, both live and on-demand.

      Also there is hockey, baseball and football subscription services that are very good only they often charge for access. I could answer your question better if I new the local news you wanted and the sports you follow.

    • In Canada yes – All you need is internet and Vmedia. However Vmedia is a subscription service that will require an account and will cost anywhere from $18.00 monthly and up, but much cheaper than cable.

    • Hello Ken,

      One Roku per TV unless you want to watch the same thing on multiple TVs, in which case maybe an HDMI splitter, not sure though.

      Most Roku models require HDMI. Some of them like the older Roku 1 (model 2710) are compatible with RCA. Also you can use an HDMI-to-RCA adapter for the HDMI compatible Roku’s so that they will work on a RCA compatible TV, like this one, click here. I use this adapter for my parents Roku 3 (4230) on their older upstairs TV which only has RCA.

      Cheers,
      Daniel

  4. Is there a page listing step by step instructions on what somebody setting up a Roku (4 hopefully) in Canada should follow? It sounds like you’d have to fool it to think you’re in the US and such which seems like it needs some work. I’m hoping there’s a guide for rookies.

    • Hello AM,

      Check out my article, here, along with Overplays SmartDNS setup instructions, here.

      Between the two you should have no problems setting things up. If you do just give me a shout.

      Cheers,
      Daniel

      • Thanks Daniel.
        What about TVs that come with the Roku app? Is the app a possible replacement for the Roku box or stick? I guess since its hardwired into your TV you would not be able to fool it to think you’re in the US…

      • Hello AM,

        The app on the smart TV’s is a possible replacement for the Roku boxes. It may offer different features than a Roku box, depending on the smart TV or the Roku box used for comparison. Such as there is no 4K Roku app installed in any of the smart TV’s that I know of, at least not presently. Basically they are the same and the channels and services (Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now) offered through them will likely be identical.

        The TV’s should work with the SmartDNS as the setup changes the wireless router that the TV’s connect to. In essence with the SmartDNS setup on the router all the devices connected to the internet through the router will have the SmartDNS working for them.

        Cheers,
        Daniel

      • Well, I followed all the steps meticulously. It seemed that everything worked fine, but when I try the Pandora test you recommend on the final step, it tells me its unavailable in my country, which I supposed means the whole thing didn’t work. Any troubleshooting tips?

      • Hello AM,

        What is the make and model of router you are using?

        Just a couple checks:
        – was the Roku player un-linked from any account, factory reset and turned off when you setup your Roku account?
        – was ‘ Roku, Inc. [US] ‘ in the address bar before the URL?
        – did you use an american address (in particular an american zip code) when registering your Roku account?
        – did you test your Overplay setup with US only content websites… like Hulu? Or search your Netflix (via the computer) for US only titles, such as: 30 Rock or Alias?

        Dan

  5. Can I use the Roku box for recording live from tv, such as news shows?
    Also, from a hardware standpoint, how does this coexsit with an over-the-air digital antenna?

    • Hello Lance,

      There is no convenient way to record live TV on the Roku, except for maybe USTVNow and SlingTV. There is some live TV though such as CBS, Huffington Post, SkyNews, BBC, etc.

      There is also (as of this writing) no real synergy between the Roku and OTA antennas.

      Cheers,

      Daniel

    • Hello AM,

      Yes there is no difference whether your Roku is ‘US’ or ‘Canadian’ version. That is just a packaging difference. The important bits are your geo-location as seen by online services/websites (this is modified with SmartDNS and VPN services) and the Roku account address (and payment) information.

      Cheers,

      Daniel

  6. Hi Daniel,

    My router make and model is Cisco, DPC3825.

    As for the checks:
    – the Roku was brand new, just purchased and I never had an account with them prior; I set it up during the process.
    – yes, Roku, Inc. (U.S.) was present and still is when I go to the website
    – i did use an american state and zip code as required by the procedure
    – i didn’t actually test with any other websites as every step of the procedure was going through smoothly so i assumed i was on the right track.

    Some more background on my case though: it seems like my laptop is “fooled” by OverPlay that I’m in the US, just not my Roku. I can say this because I was even able to set up a Sling TV account from my laptop (I’m sure you know that in canada you cannot even access the sling website, let alone create an account). When I try to watch Sling through the Roku, it tells me error and doesn’t let me watch live tv; but on my laptop I am able to watch Sling programming normally. This further confirms my hunch that my laptop is convinced i’m in the US, but my Roku is not. I’d love to hear why you think this might be happening. My only guess is that it’s due to the fact that I bought a Canadian Roku, over the U.S. one. I’m hoping not and you have mentioned previously that this shouldnt be the case, but can you think of any other potential reasons for this?

    Thanks for all your insight so far. I appreciate the time you put into this site and answering all our questions here.

    • Hello AM,

      – Is the Cisco router also your modem? Are you with Shaw?

      – Did you manually set the Overplay DNS Settings on the computer? Or only on the router?

      If I understand you correctly you were able to install the Pandora channel on the Roku and other US only channels. So that rules out the Roku account being the problem as you wouldn’t have access to them if your Roku account wasn’t setup correctly…

      It isn’t likely its a problem due to the fact that the Roku is a Canadian model. Two of mine are ‘Canadian’ and work fine with Overplay. I also have one of the latest Roku 3 models so its not a new model issue…

      It may be your ISP is causing issues… I have heard of this before. My sister had similar problems where she was able to connect to US Netflix on the computer but not on the Roku.

      Dan

      • Hi Dan,

        Yes my router and modem are the same devide; 2 in 1. My provider is Rogers, not Shaw.

        As for OverPlay, I went to my wireless network settings on my laptop and replaced the DNS settings as for the procedure. I’m not sure if that means I changed them just for the computer or the router as well.

        I hear you about the Pandora app; I didn’t realize that I shouldn’t even normally be able to see it as an option to download the app on the Roku. Yes, I was able to get it, and the Sling app (which also I shouldn’t be able to do). Just that both don’t let me watch/listen through Roku.

        Was your sister able to find a work-around? I may have the same issue she had.

        Also, another difference between my laptop and the Roku is that my laptop is wirelessly connected to the router, while for the Roku I opted for to use a wire for potential better streaming. Could that possibly make a difference? Long shot I know but I’m just thinking through every possibility.

      • Hello AM,

        I think I see your issue clearly now. You say you have set the DNS Settings on the laptop through your network settings in Windows, it seems we will still need to provide the DNS settings for the router, specifically.

        The only way to get the Roku to benefit from the settings is to apply the DNS addresses, provided by Overplay, directly to the router’s settings.

        This is likely your issue. The router settings, by default can be reached by opening Chrome or some other internet browser then in the address field where the URL appears, type ” 192.168.0.1 “. This should bring you to a router’s login page. If you are unsure what the username and password are try these:

        Username: cusadmin
        Password: password

        Set the DNS addresses in the settings and refer to this link, here, for assistance.

        Don’t worry about the Roku being wired and the laptop wireless, that’s all good. Also because you have Rogers, as do I, don’t worry about it being the ISP (Rogers in this case) as this all works on my Rogers service. My sister was using an independent smaller ISP provider that I believe was employing DNS hijacking or something, that’s beyond my understanding though, lol.

        Cheers, let me know when it works 😉

        Daniel

  7. Hi Daniel,

    You’re a genius!! It works and I can now taste the freedom. Thanks a lot. I really appreciate it.
    Just to double check you need to pay the monthly subscription for Overplay right, otherwise settings will revert back?

    Ariel.

    • Hello Ariel,

      Awesome! Glad to be of service and yes Overplay, like other similar services, is subscription based like Netflix. If you for any reason cancel in the future be sure to set your DNS settings on the router back to ‘automatic’ or some internet based things won’t work properly.

      Cheers,

      Daniel

    • Hello Mike,

      All that is necessary is the SmartDNS service, the VPN service is more comprehensive and is not necessary for the Roku. If you are nervous of your tech skills consider the VPN, but honestly the SmartDNS is all you need to access American content on the Roku.

      Cheers,

      Daniel

  8. I just bought used Roku 3 Digital HD Media Streamer Model 4200X from ebay, Whats the 4200X model difference then other roku 3 models ?

    • Mike,

      The Roku 3 model 4200 is nearly identical to the newer Roku 3 model 4230 (the latest model at the time of writing: April 26 2016). The only difference I’m aware of other than design of the box shape is that the newer model (4230) has voice search on the remote. So basically the difference is minimal.

      Cheers,

      Daniel

  9. Hi, Daniel! A U.S. user here. I have Roku 1 Model 2710X and Amazon Fire stick Model W87CUN. I want to cast from my Android tablet to the TV but neither device is “seen” by my tablet. In reading your review and the questions/answers, I see that Roku 1 is not capable of doing this. Do you know anything about the Fire stick? I am considering replacing my Roku 1 with either the Roku stick or Roku 3. Any input you have is greatly appreciated. Casting is my main issue as everything else is fine. Thanks!

    • Hello Karina,

      I’m not super familiar with the screen-casting options of other devices, like the Amazon Fire stick. However you are correct in thinking the Roku stick or newer Roku 2,3 or 4 will have screen casting capabilities. With the Roku stick, Roku 2 and Roku 3, which I’ve had first hand experience, all three work good to great with screen casting. Overall my favorite is Roku 3, however if you are already happy with what you have and are just looking for screen casting features I would suggest looking into the Roku Stick which is the cheaper option.

      I found this info on the Amazon Fire Stick that might help you.

  10. Hello Daniel,

    I bought a Roku1 yesterday, and got disappointed with the Netflix interface, it seems so limited. For example, when I press the Netflix button, it goes to the search page without allowing me to choose one of the three profiles I have previously created on Netflix. As you probably know, when you access Netflix, it asks “who is watching”, so you can select your personal profile. But I can’t get that option with Roku (as opposed to Chromecast). Is there a way to update the Netflix interface on Roku?

    • Hello Nilton,

      With the older Roku models I believe you may always have that problem as they may not support the updated Roku Netflix software which accommodates the Netflix feature for profile switching. The Roku 1 is also quite old now and out of the box it certainly won’t support this, try updating the Roku through the ‘Settings’ using this guide, here. Although honestly I think the only fix would be to return the Roku 1 and purchase a later model, preferably any of the new ones released this year (2016). This includes Roku Express, Roku Express+, Roku Premier, Roku Premier+ and Roku Ultra. Or also very good models try the Roku 2 (4210) and Roku 3 (4230) which are now discontinued but can still be found in some stores and online.

      Sorry I don’t have better news!

      Daniel

  11. Can anybody tell me if the Canadian Roku models support Amazon Prime Video yet? APV was officially rolled out in Canada December 1st but I can’t find a single stick, box, or BD player available in Canada with an app to play it. I really like the Samsung BD-J5700 BD player which has an APV player in the US (ZA) model but it is not present or installable in the Canadian (ZC) version.

    • Hello Mr.Green,

      Roku US accounts already support a fully functional Amazon Prime Video channel/app. The app is not yet available on the Roku for Canadian accounts but Amazon and Roku are working to get the shortly in the new year.

      In the mean time it’s important to note that your Canadian Amazon Prime Video subscription that was setup on Amazon.ca can be used to register on the Amazon Prime Video app on the Roku that is available with an American Roku account. It’s easy to setup the US Roku account and I’ve made instruction here. This process requires a SmartDNS or VPN service such as Overplay.

      Happy Holidays!

      Daniel

  12. I just purchased a Roku Ultra and set it up on a Canadian subscription yesterday. Today I was browsing what else one can do with it which brought me to this web site. Am I able to change to Overplay and USA content?

    • Absolutely Ronvdh,

      Go into the Roku’s settings via the TV and reset the Roku to factory settings, then leave the device unplugged before reconnecting to an account or network.

      Then log into the Roku account via Roku.com and delete the account entirely.

      After this its like your account never existed and the Roku is brand new again. At this point head over to Overplay and subscribe to SmartDNS. Then update the router settings with the DNS servers provided by Overplay. Then follow the instruction in my article Canadian Roku with American Content.

      Best of Luck! Let me know if things don’t go smoothly!

      Daniel

  13. I have a Roku 2 and would like to set up Overplay but, I currently subscribe to NHL network. If I set up Overplay and change DNS, will this cause problems with my NHL subscription?

  14. Daniel,
    I have a Sony XBR65X930D television connected to an Onkyo AV receiver TX-NR656, both of them hardwired to a Telus router. Do I still have to connect the Roku via a third ethernet cable? I was told I would get the best quality if both the TV and AV receiver were hardwired. Which Roku would you recommend for this setup since they range in price from $40 to $140?

    • Hey J.P.,

      I would suggest at least the Roku Premier+ for your setup and the Roku Ultra if optical audio output with remote finder are worth the larger price tag. It’s true that hardwired Ethernet is theoretically more stable and reliable, perhaps even faster. That being said Wifi has advanced so much in the last few years that it’s really not an issue anymore. So if you can hardwire (direct connection with a cable) the Roku to the router then ya it’s a good idea. If not though don’t loose any sleep over it, just make sure your router is fast enough for 4k streaming.

      The reason for the Roku model selection is that Roku Express and Express+ don’t do 4k or dual-band Wifi and both of them and Roku Premier don’t have ethernet outputs to hardwire them to your router. Those three models also don’t have the very handy wifi-remote. I suppose Roku Premier is ok if you are going the Wifi route but for the price… the Premier+ is more value in my opinion.

      Best of luck!
      Daniel

      • Daniel,
        My situation continues to be complicated. I bought the Sony TV at Best Buy with a Geek Squad monthly membership, which staff told me comes with a free movie rental every month from the Cineplex Store. When GS set up the system, they didn’t provide a web browswer on the TV so there was no way to access the Cineplex Store. GS and Cineplex were no good at installing a browser but a Sony rep downloaded Opera browser. Then I couldn’t play the two movies I rented and Cineplex finally discovered you can’t play their movies on a Sony, only Samsung and LG TVs, not explained earlier by anyone. So Cineplex recommended buying the Roku which I did yesterday so I could watch their movies, but just got an email from Cineplex that if I want the US programming, “Cineplex Store is only available in Canada. If you have it set to the US, the app will not be able to be found on the Roku Channels for download. This is to prevent any confusion regarding purchases. As well, streaming content will only work with a Canadian IP address.” So I guess I would need two Rokus to get Cineplex as well as US programming. Grrrr!

      • Wow J.P.,

        That sounds like a real pickle… I guess you could get a second Roku and connect it to a Canadian Roku account with the Cineplex channel. That would work…but that’s a little annoying.

        That being said I don’t see another way to utilize those free movie rentals through the GS.

        Daniel

  15. Technical question: I bought HDMI cords with Ethernet channels but am getting confusing info on how they are used. Best Buy guy wasn’t sure (hello?). Rocketfish guy told me you use them instead of an Ethernet cable by connecting it to the HDMI plug on the router and then to the HDMI plugs on the TV, blu-ray, receiver or Roku. That seemed like a waste of HDMI capabilities to me, especially in my case where the distance from the router to the home theatre setup takes a 50- to 60-foot Ethernet cable (I use two). I thought if you connected an Ethernet cord to one of those four, then the HDMI with Ethernet channel could carry Ethernet from one to the other. The other question is whether the HDMI plugs on the Sony, Onkyo, Samsung blu-ray and Roku Premiere+ have the capability of using the Ethernet channel to connect to the internet.

    • Hello J.P.,

      I found HDMI’s description of the HDMI with Ethernet channel cable. Check it out for clarification, it appears you need to ensure the device you are connecting the HDMI cable with Ethernet channel (HEC) to has the capability of utilizing the technology of the cable to access the shared connection to the internet.

      I have done some digging and can’t find information to identify that Roku devices support this technology, but for the others I am unsure. If I were you I would make sure all your devices have the ability to utilize the HEC cable before going that route. Try testing it with a HEC cable connected to each device directly connected to the router.

      If they all support the HEC technology then in theory you can simply connect an Ethernet cable from the router to your TV/Receiver and use HEC cables for all other connections.

      Best of Luck!

      Daniel

      • Thanks. I’m thinking of printing that information off and forwarding it to Best Buy in Kelowna so they know what to tell consumers. As I suspected, not all TVs, receivers, blue-ray players and perhaps even Roku are yet up to speed on HEC cables.

  16. Continuous challenges. On the weekend, we tried to watch the movie Tarzan on Cineplex but the picture and sound started and stopped briefly and repeatedly even though we had already watched Miss Peregrine’s without that problem. I think I figured out what happened. When Michael from the Geek Squad installed the Roku, he recommended we buy a D-Link five-port Gigabit Desktop Switch (DGS-1005G) from Best Buy. To explain, we currently have two ethernet cords connecting the router to the home entertainment system and we had connected them to the AV receiver and the Sony TV. Michael needed a hardwire ethernet connection for the Roku (Wifi only provided a signal strength of two bars) so he took the one from the TV which left it without internet.
    Michael said we actually need four Ethernet hard-wire connections to our receiver, TV, Roku and blu-ray player. But instead of buying two more 50-foot ethernet cords, he recommended the desktop switch which only needs one ethernet connection to the router and the switch then could connect via four short ethernet cables to the four home entertainment devices.
    So I left one ethernet cable from the router connected to the Roku for the best signal from Cineplex, and bought Leviton CAT 5 G460-5E Gigamax 5E Patch Cords to connect to the receiver, TV and blu-ray. The switch box says we need CAT 5 or better.
    My wife then asked if anything had changed between Miss P and Tarzan; the switch/new ethernet cables were the only change. So to try to resolve the problem, I disconnected the ethernet cable from the router to the switch and re-connected it to the receiver. Tarzan then played without the same start and stop.
    The problem then is with the switch and/or Leviton ethernet cables. When I bought the switch, I noticed the Best Buy ethernet cables were CAT 6 which I assume is better than CAT 5. So I’m wondering if the Leviton cables are enough to watch HD signals from Cineplex (or maybe a bad cable)? I can certainly replace them with CAT 6 if needed.

    • Hello J.P.,

      Sorry to hear you’re still experiencing issues with your entertainment setup, glad its not Roku specifically that is the cause. The CAT 5 cable is less capable than the CAT 6, for greater clarification read this short article from LifeHacker, here.

      The summary at the bottom of the article is particularly relevant for your situation. Essentially the speed you’re receiving the streaming content is mostly if not entirely dependent to type of internet service you receive from your provider (Bell, Rogers, etc). To give clarification the average ISP service in Canada is in the range of 3.2 MB/s download speed and 1.2 MB/s upload speed. Where the CAT 5 cable is theoretically cable of up to 1000 MB/s, it’s unlikely to perform at peak but you get the picture I’m sure.

      So I would check what your ISP service is first before concerning yourself with the Ethernet cables. Also what router and/or modem are you using?

      Cheers,
      Daniel

  17. The router was supplied by Telus, our telephone/internet/Optic TV provider and is a Telus VSG1432. We have the Internet 15 plan which provides 15 megabytes per second download but only one mbps upload. We were concerned about the router’s ability but when a Telus technician came over to replace it with an upgrade, he said this one is fine.

    • Hey J.P.,

      Do a speed test on your internet, here. The modem/router Telus provided you is sufficient for HD streaming however you may want to upgrade your internet service if you are looking to do HD streaming on the regular. Compare the results of your test to the guidelines below, being careful to use Mbps (Mb/s) results not the MBps (MB/s). For quick comparison my connection has a typical range of 15 Mbps – 94 Mbps (Mb/s) I consider it very fast and capable of nearly everything I’ve ever tried to stream with only rarely having delay/buffering issues with 4K. The references here are rough but will give you an idea of what you want from your ISP service to stream the content you want.

      Here are the following minimum internet speeds for Netflix:

      1 Mb/s for viewing on a laptop computer

      2 Mb/s for viewing standard definition video (480p) on a TV

      4 Mb/s for viewing High Definition video (720p, 1080p)

      5 Mb/s or more for the best audio and video experience

      15 Mb/s or better for 4K (25 Mb/s preferred)

      A quick google research says the TELUS service Internet 15 averages 3 – 15 Mb/s.

      Best of Luck!
      Daniel

  18. Daniel,
    Thanks for the great research and info.
    I did two two tests
    Download: 13.99 and 12.85
    Upload: 0.83 and 0.82
    And as you noted, I need 15 Mb/s or better for 4K (25 Mb/s preferred).
    So this router is giving me almost what I am paying for, 15 and 1. So I’m going to check the price for the next highest internet rate. Thanks again.
    p.s. I’m not sure if I mentioned it before, but Best Buy, Roku, Onkyo and Sony reps said ‘What’s that?’ when I asked them about HDMI cables with ethernet channel. It turns out Roku, Onkyo and Sony units don’t have it.

  19. Daniel:

    I will be soon flying to Canada and I would like to buy the Roku 3 if there’s any chance to use it in Colombia. I have a copy of Tunnelbear installed on my laptop and through this service I can simulate I am connected through an IP address either in Canada or the US. I am a newbie regarding this device and I have many questions in case the ROKU works in South America so I will ask them if you tell me I can use it here. I have no bank account in the US so I wonder if I can pay whatever monthly fee is required directly through my bank account in Montreal. Thanks for your help.

    • Hello Gustavo,

      I’m not sure if the Roku will work in Colombia, but I think so. However, I would think it is very likely it will work there with a VPN, such as Tunnelbear.

      Just be sure you have a network router for your internet connection and have the VPN (ie. Tunnelbear) setup on the router. This is the only way for the Roku to utilize the VPN service.

      There is no monthly fee to gain access to the Roku’s many channels and many are free to watch. However the paid subscription content providers on the Roku like Netflix, Hulu, SlingTV, etc are a different matter. Sometimes you need to pay from a US credit card and others are less restrictive, it all depends on which channels you are wanting to watch.

  20. Daniel,
    Great information! I am considering a Roku for my hubby for his birthday. But I have a few questions (which may have already been answered, sorry – I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with all the info!)

    1) Do I have to have a EtherNet hookup for the videos to stream properly or is WiFi ok? My router is in my basement office and the TV is upstairs.

    2) Is there a simple way to switch back and forth between Canadian content and American or do we have to pick between them? We enjoy some CBC shows (ex Murdoch Mysteries) that would not likely be available on US channels.

    3) Do I need a US bank account or credit card to set up a US account? How specific is the “US address” requirement? Just a state and zip code or a specific mailing address?

    4) Are CFL games offered anywhere that would be available to Roku users? Is TSNgo yet available? This is a very important consideration because we “have to” watch every game (according to hubby) 😉

    5) This may be a silly question but are there minimum tv requirements for Roku usage? I have a 1080p HD Samsung LCD that is about 7 years old.

    Thanks for your help!

    • Hello Amber,

      1. WiFi is what I use and is great for the Roku. Just make sure you have a strong enough signal upstairs to play the streaming video at the quality you like. Sometimes when the WiFi signal is weak and the video streaming is 1080p or 4K you will experience buffering/lagging issues with the video. This can also be due to the internet service speeds supplied with your internet service from your ISP.

      2. After setting up your US Roku account most services can be “switched” back and forth from Canada/US/UK/etc. using Overplays location settings inside the members area under the “SmartDNS” tab, explained here.

      3. You do not need a US bank account or credit card for Roku US account setup or most services. US address is more of a tweak most of the time like in the Roku US account setup it’s not necessary that the address is a specific real address just a real state and zip code should work fine.

      4. I don’t think there is any way to watch CFL games on the Roku. If you can watch them on your mobile device perhaps “Screen Mirroring” will make it possible although I’ve never tried that myself.

      5. The only real TV requirement is to make sure the Roku can physically connect to the TV. For most Roku’s that means the TV has to have an HDMI input.

      Happy Streaming!

  21. Hi Daniel,
    Great forum! Before buying one, I’m interested in confirming that a Roku Streaming Stick (3700CA) can be plugged directly into an HDMI port of my A/V Receiver instead of the TV – much like our BluRay player. My TV is older (HP 60″ Plasma) and has only one HDMI input – which is currently fed from the A/V Receiver.
    Thanks!

    • Hello Wilyums,

      Check out Roku’s article on just this concern here, scroll to near the bottom for your purposed setup (Roku Streaming Stick 3700 -to-> AV Receiver -to-> TV). The short answer is yes of course 😉

      Cheers,
      Daniel

  22. Wow, hi daniel..ive read alot of useful info here for sure. I currently own an mx plus android box, such issues right now..lots of the third party add ons dont work anymore.. So annoying..waiting for strams takes forever..so now im thinking of just getting a netflix subscription and ive heard the roku boxes are good for this..is this true?
    Which roku is best for it.
    Thnks

    • Hello Lynn,

      Roku works excellent with Netflix for sure.

      All the current models are great, the best bargain is the Roku Express and the best value is the Roku Premier with the top of the line being the Roku Ultra.

      You should read up on the Roku model you’re interested in before purchasing to ensure you are getting the right one for your TV setup. Two examples are if you have a TV that still uses composite (RCA) connections than Roku Express+ is the only new model that will work on your TV. Also if you don’t have a 4K TV then the Roku Ultra might be unnecessary. I like to use the Wikipedia for Roku to compare the latest models. We are currently on the 5th generation.

      Happy Streaming!
      Dan

  23. Hi we are thinking of getting a Roku, but I enjoy watching certain TV channels like History TV, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet – am i able to get these channels on Roku in Canada?

    • Hello Janell,

      When it comes to History TV, Discovery Channel and Animal Planet you can get them on the Roku but they all require existing cable or satellite subscriptions. Also for History TV I believe it is only available in the US, there may be a work around if so though I’m not aware of it.

      Cheers,

      Daniel

  24. When will the Roku Express Canada 2017 be available for purchase and what is the model numbers.
    The sales people at Best Buy were totally clueless when I asked.

    • Hello Andre,

      I’m not positive about that specific Roku model, however the trend in the past has been that the US model will also work in Canada. The models don’t appear to of ever been geo-locked. The Roku account origin (US/Canada/etc.) and one’s IP/DNS determines the content available. I myself have purchased both CA and US models in the past and they all have worked the same. The only noticeable differences have been the model name/number and the packaging. Those Roku models for US have Hulu, HBO, Pandora on the packaging where the CA models don’t because naturally that would be false advertising as these channels/services are not readily available to Canadian Roku users.

      Cheers,

      Daniel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*