A Few Words on…the Roku Premiere+ Streaming Device
*I am not paid, compensated, flattered, approached, complemented, seduced or otherwise influenced for any product reviews. If it’s crap, I will tell you so.
ROKU PREMIERE+ (2018)
Since buying my first streaming device in 2012, I have owned virtually every major brand: Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, and even a couple inexpensive off-brand models. But in all that time and trials, the brand I keep returning to is the Roku.
I don’t know if it’s the familiar curves of the remote, or the bouncing purple letters on the startup screen, but that plucky little device has become my go-to gadget for A/V entertainment.
Not every model Roku has been a good winner, especially their recent Roku Streaming Stick HD. I had that laggy hunk of junk for four months and was glad to be rid of it. At $29.99, it seemed like an ideal buy, since my TV is still the good ol’ 1080p kind. I thought any greater upgrade would be a waste. I was wrong.
Perhaps underpowered, or because it dangled precariously behind my TV, there was an infuriating lag between the remote and screen. Enough to make you mash your finger until the knuckle whitened. You had to count clicks to land on the screen selection. My waste-not, want-not fortitude lasted only a few months before I found myself browsing again.
I jumped up a couple models, mainly because I thought spending an extra $20 might improve that annoying lag, but also because I was tired of juggling two remotes during a program…which my toddlers learned to call the Big ‘Mote (TV) and the Little ‘Mote (Roku).
The Roku Premiere+ had a nifty little remote that had a universal ON/OFF and VOLUME buttons. It could handle HDR and 4K Ultra HD, which didn’t mean much to me. I wasn’t shopping for a new TV. Since my glasses are pretty scratched up, 4K would probably be wasted on me. 1080p probably is as well.
The voice remote option was nice…I guess. I am not a huge fan of voice control functions. The only time I use Siri is when I’m driving and even then I find her wanting.
After bringing the Roku Premiere+ home, it took me a week to yank it out of the box. Not because I didn’t want to use it, but because I had no idea what my passwords were for the Hulu, Amazon Video, Netflix, PBS Kids and YouTube accounts (not to mention my wife’s channels). A 21st Century problem.
Hooking it up was a cinch, and the company thoughtfully provided an adhesive strip to keep the featherlight unit firmly on or next to the TV.
My username/password for those accounts were pretty much unneeded. Roku had me open the individual apps on my laptop and then input the codes shown on the TV screen. That feature’s been around for years, I know, but I’ve never had EVERY SINGLE APP use it. What I thought would be an afternoon of cursing turned into twenty minutes of click-clacks.
No lag from the TV to remote. Oh yeah! It was perfectly responsive and the ON/OFF and VOLUME buttons worked like a dream after programming it to my TV.
If you’re in the mood for a new streaming device and aren’t wedded to the whole Google/Apple thing, you can’t do better than Roku, and the Roku Premiere+ has everything all but the biggest streaming snobs might need. And $40 or $50? Come on, that’s a steal.
My complaints? It’s a tiny remote and since there’s no remote location, and since I have toddlers, I end up searching the couch cushions and toy box for the remote a couple times a week. It’s a feature on the more expensive ($99) Roku Ultra Streaming Player, but that really seemed like overkill. Of course, I could just use the Roku app, which puts the remote on your phone or tablet. But I still prefer the actual remote.
My second complaint? The customized buttons on the bottom of the remote. I have seen those buttons since buying my first Roku and they literally only save you two or three button clicks.
I cannot count how many times I accidentally pressed the Rdio button on my Roku Express. And the Rdio button led to a service that gone belly up months before I purchased the device. Instead of those buttons, Roku, how about tucking in a lost remote finder in the mid-range units?
Other than that, the Roku Premiere+ is the perfect streaming device for all but the most snooty streaming snobs…