Roku 3500R Streaming Stick Highlights -
Pros: Compact stick design. Plenty of content. Remote or Smartphone control. Cross-platform search feature
Cons: Slow load time for some apps.
Roku 3500R Streaming Stick is very similar to Google's Chromecast in that it enables you to stream content from the internet. It packs all the hardware of a full-size Roku 3 Streaming Media Player into a device smaller than a USB flash drive. The Roku 3500R streaming stick plugs into the back of a high definition TV via the HDMI port and can support up to 1080p full high definition content. The installation is super quick and easy. The streaming stick also supports dual-band wireless-N (802.11 a/b/g/n compatible with WEP, WPA, and WPA2 support), so it can stream content over the wireless network. The streaming stick draws it's power from the USB port on your TV or via the included power adapter. Unlike the Chromecast, Roku has it's own operating system controlled by a remote control that traditional television users will be more accustomed to. It comes with it's own mobile app as well (for both iOS and Android), so you still can control the streaming stick with your smartphone if you wish. Ultimately, the streaming stick gives you the best of both worlds - providing the traditional remote experience and letting you control via your smartphone.
Roku's biggest advantage over competitors is it's interface and content giving you options to choose from over 1,000+ entertainment channels. The visual interface of Roku 3500R streaming stick looks polished and includes cross-platform search with support for over 1,200 apps like Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Crackle, ESPN, MLB.TV, NBA GameTime, Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, Amazon Cloud Player, YouTube, Yahoo Screen, CNET and TED Talks. As you can see, there are quite a few big-name mainstream apps but occasionally you'll also see a lot of filler channels, including local church and school channels. As for Netflix and YouTube, you can also stream content straight to Roku 3500R streaming stick from your smartphone.
With so much content, it can be hard to remember where a specific TV show or movie is offered, which is where Roku's cross-platform search comes in. You just need to type in a few letters and the streaming stick will search through several major media streaming services, find where it's available and how much it costs. This can potentially save you money as you will be able to compare prices for the content from all different services in one single screen. The Roku 3500R streaming stick also supports cross-platform search using Roku's mobile app.
The device measures 3.1 x 1.1 x .5 inches and weighs 0.64 ounces.
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In addition to streaming content, this device allows access to your personal media stored on a computer using the Plex app and media server. You can also stream music, videos and photos stored on your smartphone straight to the streaming stick and onto your high definition TV.
Everything is great about the Roku 3500R Streaming Stick. It is compact and portable with tons of apps and content. The combination of the remote and the onscreen interface makes it a great choice if you have been thinking about buying a media streaming device. Please make sure before buying this device, that your TV has a HDMI port and that you have a wireless network with high-speed internet. In general, the faster your Internet connection, the better the video quality. For the best viewing results, we recommend a minimum of 1.5 Mbps for standard definition and 3.0 Mbps for HD content. To test your network speed, visit www.speedtest.net. Considering that most households have fast internet connection, we highly recommend this wonderful little device.