Televisions are an essential part of our daily entertainment. Even more so during the current era of lockdown (at the time of writing). However, not everyone wants to update their TV to the latest one, and besides, it really isn’t good for the environment. Take me for example. I bought a ‘relatively smart’ LG TV back in 2014. It wasn’t the latest model back then, but it came with apps for Netflix, Now TV, BBC iPlayer, and a few others. It didn’t use Web OS and Android TV wasn’t a thing back then. Fast forward to 2021, and I still have the same TV. The Now TV app doesn’t exist any more, Spotify has been deleted off of it, and the iPlayer app leaves a lot to be desired. Similarly, newer services like Disney Plus are just not available. For anybody with such a conundrum, Roku provides a bunch of devices that take any TV and open up a whole world of channels to you. In this review, we look at the Roku Premiere, a small and smart device that lets you do exactly that.
Roku Premiere – Features
- Streams HD, 4K Ultra HD, and HDR with sharp detail and vivid color
- Setup is easy with the included Premium HDMI cable, simple remote and intuitive home screen
- Enjoy live TV, news, sports, movies and TV episodes on thousands of free and paid channels like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4, Disney+, Prime Video, NOW TV and many more
- Enjoy an always fresh selection of free movies, TV, kids entertainment and more on The Roku Channel
- Easily search across top channels to see where you can stream shows for free or at the lowest cost
- Use features private listening, cast music & photos to your TV, and an extra remote with the free Roku mobile app (iOS & Android)
What’s in the box
- Roku Premiere streaming player
- Remote with pre-set channel shortcut buttons
- Two AAA batteries
- Premium High Speed HDMI® Cable
- Power adapter & USB power cable
- Adhesive strip
Initial setup is reasonably easy as promised. You do need a Roku account, but you’ll be guided through the process. You start by popping the device in the back of your TV after plugging the supply in. The supply that comes with this is 1A rated, so you might be able to use other USB charging options too. Once on screen, simply follow instructions, and while it takes a little while to sign up, it isn’t too difficult.
Once you’re done with Roku setup, you can add channels of your choice, and have to sign into most of them. Some need you to enter a password, while others have smoother operations where you get a URL to go to and a code, and if you’re already signed up to the service on your phone, then that will sign you there too.
Ease of use
I have to say, it is remarkably easy to use. Pretty much all feature’s you’ll need are available via the remote, and if you can’t find it, just use the app on your phone to use the device. You can set up channels, look for items, go forward or back, enable or disable subtitles, and there is even an ‘Instant Replay’ button which scrolls back a bit in case you missed something. You also get to choose subtitles just for that, which makes it just that bit more handy.
Another handy feature on both the device and through the app is to find items you would like to watch. Look for anything you like, and it will present all the options that are available. Look for Peppa Pig and you’ll find it on Netflix and Prime. Look for Wonder Woman 1984, and you’ll find option to buy or rent it.
All the channels!
Oh yes, it pretty much has everything you can imagine. I even found a Pakistani channel or two while I was browsing. While not everything would be available for you, a lot of it is. It also has ways of playing TikTok, though I haven’t quite tried it.
This device also lets you cast things. Be it casting from Google devices, so letting it act like a ChromeCast, or like what’s available on Apple devices, you have all the options.
More information on the Roku Premiere can be found on the Roku website.
It generally retails for £39.99, but at the time of writing is available at a discounted price of £29.99, available both from Roku’s website and other online retailers such as Amazon.
While other options like Google ChromeCast exist, for just £29.99, this presents a really complete and easy option to allow users to watch TV through all the channels they mean to and want to, and turns any old TV into a smart one.