Feeds
Roku Streaming Stick

WORLD CUP TRAUMA? Just Streaming Stick a Roku in it

Change the channel with a dongle doohickey

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Review If you share telly viewing with a masochistic soccer fan, you might well be tempted to consider alternative goggle box entertainment... er, Wimbledon perhaps?

At least Blighty's entrant into the southwest London tennis competition stands a chance of winning – having prevailed last year. There’s more to telly than sport, though, in much the same way that there’s more to streaming telly than the BBC iPlayer and YouTube.

Roku Streaming Stick

Roku's Streaming Stick – smarten up your old TV with a dongle doobry

Google’s Chromecast stole a march on Roku’s latest Streaming Stick in marketing a simple dongle to plug into any HDMI telly, PVR or projector. Roku had done this before but in its earlier model, the interfacing relied on the functional but less common MHL connector to draw power and deliver video.

The new Streaming Stick isn't too different to its predecessor and compared to the Chromecast, these two devices are much the same from the outside, each with an external power supply.

Roku Streaming Stick

Just in case your telly or projector has no USB, you get a PSU too

Where they vary is that Roku provides a remote control and supports dual-band wireless (2.4GHz and 5GHz), whereas the Chromecast lingers in the 2.4GHz domain and provides an HDMI extender out of the box. If you want one from Roku, you have to fill in an online form to receive your complimentary cable. I gave it a try and, as my Roku serial number was rejected, I’m wondering if this offer is US-only.

To get the Streaming Stick up and running, you need to create your own login on the Roku website and then go through the motions of configuring the dongle for remote pairing and Wi-Fi access from the TV screen. After that, the Roku generates an activation code on-screen that you need to enter into your web browser to link the device to your account.

Roku Streaming Stick

If all goes a bit Pete Tong, there's a reset button

As some of the 450 streaming channels available require subscriptions, credit card details have to be entered to enable registration. Naturally, there’s the BBC iPlayer, YouTube and Netflix as well as 4OD, Demand5 and Now TV, which provides access to Sky Movies and Sky Sports.

While appearing easy enough, set-up wasn’t entirely glitch-free. At first it didn’t get beyond the Wi-Fi authentication, but after pulling the power from the micro USB port and trying again, all was well. The remote is certainly worth having and easy to get used to, apart from the lack of volume control, something which graces the Roku 3.

Roku Streaming Stick

The remote app does more than just navigation

At twice the price of the Streaming Stick, the Roku 3 remote has a headphone jack socket tucked away in the device which receives soundtrack audio wirelessly so you can listen privately. It’s a nice touch but eats the batteries.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Next page: Discovery channels

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.