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I have always been a Roku fan and I own two Roku XDS, a Roku 2 and a Roku 3. The Roku 3 is lightning fast compared to previous models and is fantastic, the included remote with headset support allows you to watch TV with earbuds at night in the bedroom without disturbing your partner for example.
I also have a Google Chromecast and I can tell you I used it 6 times only in 6 months, I constantly go back to the Roku. The channels, options and remote are just too easy to use and offer so many more choices than the Chromecast.
Now Roku has the Roku Streaming Stick, which has all of the features/channels of the Roku plus the direct streaming capability of the Chromecast for YouTube and Netflix. This means the one channel missing from Roku (YouTube) is now solved with the Roku Stick as you can stream YouTube from your tablet or smartphone. BAM, lack of YouTube channel problem solved by Roku.
The Streaming Stick doesn’t have the motion control sensor or remote with headset support, but honestly I never played games on my Roku and the headset support I rarely used. The streaming stick has a much improved Netflix interface, it is quicker though not nearly as fast as the Roku 3 and makes a great option.
The streaming stick will only support HDMI input to the TV and either leverages 1 USB port on the TV (if it has one) to power it, or plugs into an AC adapter.
If you weren’t thrilled by the Chromecast and/or have been wanting to test the Roku I can tell you the Roku Streaming Stick is a great deal at a great price, it is about 40% less than the Roku 3 and will more than serve the purpose if you don’t need the motion controller or the headset support in the remote.
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