Hands-on Review: Roku Streaming Stick
Tons of features, good performance and an unbeatable price make the Roku Streaming Stick by far the best value in the increasingly busy Smart-TV add-on category.
If you already own a Smart TV—a WiFi-connected, app-enabled HDTV—you really don’t need to read this. That’s because the Roku family of devices (to which the Roku Streaming Stick is the latest addition) is for all of us poor shmoes stuck with TVs that have no way of talking to the internet and thus no way to access content providers like Netflix, Crackle, CrunchyRoll or YouTube unless we stretch a very long and trip-hazard-creating HDMI cable from our PC/laptop to our TV sets. Don’t laugh. People do that. For real.
There is obviously a better way. It took a few years for electronics companies to figure it out, but simple WiFi add-ons are finally here.
Roku’s Streaming Stick takes the best part of Roku’s earlier efforts, namely the amazing collection of hundreds of “channels” that give the Roku its ability to deliver streaming content, and pairs them up with a dead-simple receiver and an included remote control, all for the rock-bottom price of $59 CDN.
Tech questions for you: my external Seagate hard-drive for media (movies, music) is rapidly running out of 2T space now that I’m aggressively digitizing my entire film library.
I’m looking at daisy-chaining some of the Seagates I have, but it doesn’t look like they’ll be recognized as a single drive on my iMac, which is kinda what I want/need.
Are there NAS solutions worth considering? I don’t mind a reasonable investment, but it looks like I’d need to spend $600 for NAS disk drive bay, and THEN buy the internal disk drives to be inserted into that bay, and that’s going to start getting unreasonable for a personal solution pretty quickly.
Or should I simply migrate my 2T of movies to a 4T external drive and wait for 1P externals to become possible/reasonable?
Any advice gratefully received and considered . . .
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Hmm, yes getting into a proper NAS config can be a bit pricey. The market seems to have divided itself into two areas: Single units with non-upgradeable storage i.e. 1TB, 2TB 4TB etc. which tend to be in the sub-$250 range, and then the swappable drive units which are way more flexible but conversely more expensive too. The real benefit to a NAS is that it makes your files available as easily to your PC as it does to your smartphone or tablet when on-the-go without needing to keep your PC on and running acting as the gatekeeper. But if you only use the storage for streaming content via your PC e.g. from iTunes, then a big honkin’ desktop hard drive like this: http://www.thesource.ca/estore/product.aspx?language=en-CA&catalog=Online&category=Hard+Drives&product=8018895 seems like a much better value. You can then keep you smaller drives attached to your PC and simply run them as back-up devices should the 4TB monster ever die (which, I think we can all agree will happen eventually) :-)
Thanks Simon, that’s most helpful — and thanks too for so graciously accommodating the off-topic tangent! It’s just that you made me think about getting content from point A to point B (my TV). ;-)