This post gives you a complete review on the Roku Streaming Stick Canada, in the pursuit to find the best streaming player for your homes in Canada.
Roku is also one of the candidates, apart from the Android TV Boxes, Amazon FireStick & Nvidia Shield in providing internet TV to people in Canada.
Roku is one of the major player in providing streaming player in the market today. This quite evident, when they launched the very first Roku Streaming Stick in 2012, which was a big failure.
But recovered completely in the year 2016, by making compact design and faster specifications.
They again outdid themselves with the 2017 edition, bringing the 1080p output format and the edition to play 4K format, with the plus edition.
In the post below, we will check out the Roku Streaming Stick Canada Edition, available online in the Amazon.ca store.
Roku is very competitive brand in the streaming set-top box market, by providing compact-sized like the Chromecast sticks, giving you the same amount of performance capabilities like your 4K boxes.
You can also read our detailed post on: Get the Latest Internet TV Canada Edition – Complete Guide
Roku – Key Specs
Unknown Quad-core Processor
Software: Roku OS 8
Connectivity: 802.11ac dual-band MIMO Wi-Fi
Resolution: 1080p on Stick, 4K on Stick+
Charging: 5V 1.5A microUSB port
Design and Hardware
We always loved the shape and size of Roku Streaming Stick. It looks extremely compact, just like a usb-flash drive. You get a Roku logo on the side, with a protruding power light near it.
There is an HDMI connector and the microUSB port on either sides.
You also get an extendable HDMI adaptor cable that will help you to insert the Roku in your TVs HDMI port easily and comfortably.
You can directly stick in the DC adaptor charging or use the microUSB pot and connect it to your television for power.
The Streaming Stick comes with the internal WiFi setup, and runs the quad-core processor, which is very unknown. You get the 802.11ac dual-band MIMO Wi-Fi connectivity that has a great stable and wide range connectivity for your internet.
You do not get any other port, except the microUSB port that is only used for charging, hence you cannot get the external ethernet connection or can connect with an external media device.
The Roku Streaming Stick Canada Edition supports upto 1080p, while on the streaming stick plus, you get 4K HDR playback support at 60FPS.
You also get a Roku remote that looks very compact, with batteries supplied by the company to help you get started with the system quickly. You can read more about Roku Remote in our section below.
Overall, the hardware and design looks completely good to us, and there’s not much to talk on. These tiny looking streaming stick just do the job in streaming media on our television over the internet with ease.
They are nice blend with our television set, and do not look any flashy, than the Best Android TV Streaming Boxes Canada we see.
Roku Streaming Stick Review
- Ease of Use
- Value for Money
Roku is truly a superior player, giving you ultimate and smooth streaming over the internet at your homes. This device is made specially for people that need an easy to use, plug-and-play, not head-ache setup, quick and faster streaming needs.
- Extremely small and compact
- Great streaming capability over strong WiFi stability
- Simple and easy to use OS
- Voice powered remote works pretty well
- Does not have an option for expandable storage
- Again no USB port for storage or connecting ethernet port
- Need more app control or apps for streaming IPTV or Kodi app
- Voice control still needs development for minute control
Also, read our post on Apple TV at: https://www.wittyedge.com/apple-tv-canada-review/
Roku Remote Canada
The Roku remote is just the same we have seen in the previous Roku Stick. It is plain simple, with a directional keypad, a back and home buttons.
You also get basic media controls and a exclusive buttons to open app or use the playback options.
The Roku remote also has a strap with the Roku logo embossed on the strap. The remote uses RF for communication, hence making it very easy to operate your Roku stick in any direction.
You also get 4-media buttons for Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, and DirecTV Now. The Prime Video has now been replaced, to give competition to Amazon streaming sticks.
One of the problem here is that you cannot remap the buttons with another app, as this seems to be a monopoly with streaming publishers.
Along with the RF control, the Roku remote also gets a IR connection as well, through which you can control the power to your television, using the power button and control the volume of your TV using the volume buttons at the side.
This eliminates using your television remote, and be dependent only on your Roku remote for streaming.
Here the volume control is only possible to control the sound from your television, and not from any connected surround sound system. Hence the Roku Remote does not have advance capabilities to control your home theatre system.
Another feature here is that you also get a dedicated microphone button, near the directional keypad. This brings the use of voice control in the Roku OS 8.
You can directly hit the voice button and start talking and complete the actions you want without the use of hand. We’ll review the voice capability in our section below.
One of the advantage of Roku is that they supply premium AA batteries along with the streaming player. You can use the batteries to power your Roku Remote.
One thing that I didn’t like of the remote is the build quality. Over time, the remote starts developing scratches and even looses out its paint due to the rough wear and tear it undergoes.
But, we won’t complain due to the price offering of this streaming player.
You can also go to the Roku website and purchase a spare remote for a nominal pricing. Click here to view Roku Remote at Amazon.ca
Software – Roku
Roku runs a customized version of Linux-based operating system called as the Roku OS. We loved the simplicity the company brings in its set-up process.
The straight forward process begins by setting the WiFi network, setting the display resolutions, adjusting the TV volumes, and finally creating & logging to your Roku account.
That’s it. Now you can go ahead and watch your favorite streams on your Roku Player.
The UI of the Roku is well designed and simple, giving you direct access to all the Roku Channel apps on the home screen. In Roku, every app is described as a channel, which you can customize, based on your liking and taste.
You can also use the My Feed option that allows you to set alert for your favorite movie and shows. For example, you can set an alert to know when a movie is releasing in theatre or get alert when the new release of a particular show.
Most of the apps we tried are optimized for the TV.
You get the Search where you can search for the desired channel, the channel store just like the Google AppStore to view and install the channels, and the settings page to configure the settings of your Roku Streaming Stick.
Use the channel store to download various apps supporting additional streaming for entertainment.
Roku Channels Canada
For anything that you want to stream on your Roku, you need a Roku Channel. The Roku store has the largest collection of streaming channels, available for downlaod for the Roku Stick and Roku Stick Plus.
The best part is you can also access local TV channels, but you need to have a valid login with the cable companies in Canada.
We loved the support of Amazon Prime Video on our Roku Stick, and the performance & quality was really smooth, just like the one we get on the web version.
You can try all the popular streaming media content providers like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and Plex channels. In addition, we also tried CBS, YouTube, Google Play Movies, PBS.
We didn’t encounter any issues or trouble, while streaming media on our television.
You can also read more about Best Android Tv Box Apps – Canada Edition
Always ensure that you have the right login code to access your Roku channels, or you may face issues in streaming the content.
In most cases, the Roku account should suffice, but for major streaming provider like Netflix, you need to have a dedicated username and password from the main website, to view the content.
If you are interested in Kodi, then check out Best Android Tv Box Kodi Canada Edition – Buyer’s Guide 2018
We faced an intermittent problem with Google Play Movies, where the sound output from our Roku was bit distorted. We didn’t face the problem on our chromecast.
However, this was completely solved in the next update. So always update your channels to the newer version to experience better result during streaming.
Another post for you to refer: Best Streaming TV Canada Edition – Alternative to Your Cable!
One of the other highlight of Roku is that you get a dedicated Roku Channel that houses a massive collection of free movies and TV show, ready available for streaming on your television.
The collection is not the one you get to see in cinema. But, pretty descent streams you can view, while sitting at home. Most of the collection are historic, or back from the 90s and early 2000s.
You can also enjoy hidden jewel in the collection, and experience a whole lot of entertainment for free, like RoboCop, men in Black, King Kong, Terminator, Battlefield, etc.
The collection spans across several genres from Action, Sci-fi, Mystery, Romance, Comedy, etc. a huge collection to choose from in the list.
You can also get more IPTV channels on our post on: Best IPTV Box Canada Edition – Get IPTV for CA $1.99 | Best IPTV Subscription Providers Canada 2018 – Review
Roku Voice Search Feature
Roku OS 8 brings to you the power of voice. Noe, use your Streaming Stick and Stick + to activate the search feature using your voice, via the voice powered remote. You can also use the Roku app as the remote, which we will talk in the next section.
The voice functionality is very classy and fluid. We could use our voice to open any Roku Channel like Amazon Prime or Netflix, or search for any particular show or movie.
Roku would search for content across the channels running or installed on our Roku stick.
Roku would then list all the available search results, and give you the option to open the specific movie or show from that channel.
For example, searching for Friends, would bring up Google Play Movies, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, etc. You can then choose the channel/app that would stream the episode.
Here the disadvantage is that you cannot use Roku to play the stream directly from the channel. You can also use the voice search feature to navigate onscreen, control the volume and settings for your Roku stick.
Also, you cannot resume playing a specific episode from the channel. You will have to search for the specific stream and then select the channel that would run the stream.
We know that AI is still improving, and hopefully, these controls should be available in the upcoming updates from Roku.
In all, the voice search was pretty sensitive and bought about the right content we needed, with actual recognition of our voice.
Roku Mobile App
Roku also has a dedicated mobile app that allows you to control your ROku device using your phone. You can also manage the channels that are installed on the Roku, through the one-synce feature and also, cast local photos/videos from your phone to your television.
Most of the features are a warm welcome, given that the Roku does not have expandable storage or use ethernet connection.
The remote on the app works very well. Another interesting feature we liked is the Private Listening feature, where you can plug in your headphone and listen the audio from your phone, while watch the stream on your television.
The feature was really interesting without any lag, but you need to be on the same WiFi network for better and stable connection. We also loved the way we could use the voice control feature through our phone and search for content on Roku.
One of the private listening problem we faced was that Roku simply sets our sound volume to 50%, and we couldn’t change this setting to normal volume.
Conclusion – Roku Streaming Stick Canada
Roku has bought about an interesting device that allows you stream content from various OTT provider on your television, over the internet.
This is to give a stiff competition to Amazon and Google. The main USP of these streaming sticks is the cost.
You can also read our post on: Get the Amazon Fire TV Canada Edition – Review + Buying Guide!
The Roku Streaming Stick is available for a cheap cost for streaming media over 1080p on your television, where any streaming box may be an overhead in cost + hardware and software.
Roku has the most apt hardware specs, looks very compact and can be carried anywhere in your wallet.
You also get the most simple software that is easy to use and operate, plus does not lag during streaming or accessing any streaming channel.
Even the WiFi support was really apt, and we didn’t feel any buffering or stuttering during streaming.
If you are looking for a cheaper alternative in replacing your set TV box that looks bulky and difficult to operate, then opt for the Roku Streaming Canada that is cheap, yet a better alternative for your entertainment and streaming needs.
Also read our post on Nvidia Shield: Nvidia Shield TV Canada Edition Review + Buying Guide