Roku LT Streaming Player Review
The Roku line of streaming set top boxes allow the user to stream many different internet channels of content straight to their television.
What comes in the box with the Roku LT streaming player
The box that the Roku LT comes in is pretty small, less than eight inches square and three inches deep. Here is what is included in the box:
- Roku LT streaming player, about the size of a hockey puck
- Remote control
- Batteries for the remote, very nice!
- Power adapter
- A/V cable RCA to 3.5 mm
What's not included that you may want? A HDMI cable for connecting the Roku box to a TV with an HDMI input. I used the A/V cable as my old TV is not high definition and doesn't have an HDMI input port.
The actual Roku device does not have a power button, it is always on, but consume very little power. I plugged mine into the power strip that gets turned off when the TV gets turned off.
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What is not in the box that you will need
As stated before there is no HDMI cable included with the Roku device, and obviously there is no TV. You will also need to have an existing wireless network for the Roku device to connect to the Internet. Finally you will need a credit card or a Paypal account for registering on the Roku website.
Setup the Roku LT streaming player
To physically hook the Roku up simply connect the desired video cable to the TV and plug in the power. The Roku player will boot up and automatically detect any available wireless networks. If you have a password on the wireless network you will need to enter that using the Roku remote.
Once the Roku streaming player is connected it will go out onto the Internet and download the latest version of the Roku software. Depending on your Internet speed this shouldn't take more than a couple minutes. It will reboot after the download is completed.
When the device boots back up you will be asked to register the device by going to roku.com/link and enter a code displayed on the television. You be asked to create an account and unfortunately they will want credit card information from you "for future purchases". You can setup it up to use Paypal instead.
After the account screen you will be prompted to enter a pin if you would like to require it for different things. I'd recommend setting the pin being required for any purchase, that way you wont mistaken make one. If you want to control the channels, there is also an option to require the pin when adding even free channels.
The final step of the setup will be to select the initial channels to make available on the Roku LT streaming device. The options are:
- Amazon Instant Video
- Hulu Plus
- Roku Newscaster
After checking the channels you want to include you get the opportunity to review your settings, before finally linking our device. On this screen you can:
- Add a Private Channel (Learn more about Roku Private Channel Codes)
- View Purchase History
- Deactivate Account
Just click link a player in the lower right hand corner of the screen. It will ask you for the code on the TV screen again. Small annoyance, should have remembered that from the beginning. It actually then ran me through the channel selection again but that may have been because I'm doing it slowly as I write this review.
At this point the Roku LT streaming device will detect the update from the website and download and install the selected channels.
Setup Netflix on the Roku LT Streaming player
As far as I could tell there is no way to associate your Netflix account with the Roku channel via the web site. This would be somewhat easier than entering your email and password via the simple Roku remote. You have to move the 'cursor' around with the arrows on the remote and hit 'Ok' on the remote to select the character. Delaying my streaming experience even more! This can be somewhat annoying if you have issues with remembering your password.
Setup Amazon Instant Video on the Roku device
By default the Amazon Instant Video channel will just make the movies available and want you to buy them. Amazon Prime members get free unlimited streaming of over 10,000 movies and videos.
Select a 'Amazon Prime Instant Video' and move through the screens until you are asked to link your Amazon Prime account with your Roku device at www.amazon.com/roku.
Select the button 'Begin Registration' and follow screens. You will again be prompted to select the credit card to use for purchases. And you enter another PIN required to make purchases, nice if there are children that use the device. This one is 5 digits as opposed to the 4 digits that Roku wanted.
After this is completed the video will become available for Amazon Prime members.
Review of Roku LT Streaming Player
All in all I'm very happy with the device. There were some annoyances while registering the device and getting everything setup, but nothing too bad. I went with the low end Roku streaming device since I don't have a high definition TV. I also didn't really need to be able to play Angry Birds on my Roku so that wasn't a big draw for me, I have other game boxes.
About the only true downside is the lack of a YouTube channel. Roku is supposed to be working on complying with Google's requirements for streaming YouTube, but as of this writing it is still not available.