Last fall I was able to get in on this great ROKU Ultra deal, $50 for a $100 streamer! I was replacing an Amazon Stick for my in-laws as a Christmas gift and I was high on it for two reasons. The first is that it was one of the larger units, physically, and that let it house more higher end hardware with ideally less stability issues than the Amazon stick. The second perk was the “premium” remote that had all the buttons but also the killer feature – the headphone jack! Hearing and volume issues being what they were this seemed like a great way for one of them to use the TV to watch and keep the audio from blasting. There were a couple of bad surprises when I opened the box, however…
The first biggest show stopper was the lack of HDMI cable in the box. This surprised me for a couple of reasons. The first being that the stick I was replacing was directly connected to the HDMI port, so I didn’t have an HDMI cable to carry forward. The second was that at $100, I had figured like many of the other consumer pieces of kit that I had purchased fairly recently, it would have included a 3′ cable rated for its advanced 4K and HDR streaming capabilities. This meant that I didn’t even get to hook it up until after they had returned from their vacation after the holidays to even set it up.
More nasty in it’s appearance, though, was the *requirement* that we input a credit card when setting up the Roku account. They promise it will never be charged unless many hoops are jumped through but my family members are naturally very cautious of entering their credit card information online – especially when it is not needed and would just be sitting there. I could sense their reservation so I insisted we simply use the same credit card that I use personally for all of my online transactions so they wouldn’t need to feel uncomfortable. Had I known this before buying the Roku, I think I would have chosen a different device.
That said, I think I am still set on trying to find a deal on a Roku again this summer/fall for the fact that iTunes content will be available on it and I would really like the Crunchyroll native app for my workout room come next winter. Now I know, I will be entering in credit card info.