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I Used a Roku Express 4K+ and It’s Worth It

Roku Express 4K+

I Used a Roku Express 4K+ and It’s Worth It

Key Points

  • The Roku Express 4K+ is a cost-effective streaming player that retails for $39.99 ordinarily and is capable of working with both HDR and 4K video resolution.
  • The installation process for the Roku Express 4K+ is easy and can be completed in under 10 minutes.
  • The Roku Express 4K+ is extremely affordable, making it a great option for those on a budget.
  • The Roku Express 4K+ has a simple interface that is easy to navigate, even for young children.
  • The Roku Express 4K+ offers a wide range of streaming apps, including popular ones like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+.

So, just how is the Roku Express 4K+ as a streaming device? I have been a long-time proponent of the Roku streaming devices. My family and I first started using them with the launch of the first official device after being unsatisfied with the then-new Chromecast from Google.

I purchased the Roku Express 4K+ for around $34.99 at my local Target earlier this year. It has proven to be a fairly stable device, but I have some gripes I’ll have to air out. I’m not the biggest movie buff or TV fanatic. As such, it serves more as a source of family entertainment than a selling point for a home theater experience for my own needs.

What Is the Roku Express 4K+?

Excellent Value
Roku Express 4K+
$38.49
  • Stream content in 4K with HDR to any TV in your home
  • Dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi ensures a steady connection
  • Access to more than 20,000 downloadable apps
  • Voice remote control
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/16/2024 11:02 pm GMT

The Roku Express 4K+ is a cost-effective streaming player that retails for $39.99 ordinarily. You can find it on sale routinely for under $30, especially during the holiday special seasons near Black Friday. It is capable of working with both HDR and 4K video resolution, making it a great fit for older 4K TVs that might not have smart functionality.

You can of course use it on older TV sets that are displaying at 1080p and lower resolutions. That isn’t exercising the full power of this diminutive streaming box, but does give you access to some of the hottest apps. In terms of streaming app compatibility, just about anything you could want is available on the Roku Express 4K+.

SpecsRoku Express 4K+
Maximum Resolution4K
HDR SupportHDR, HDR10, HLG, HDR10+
Wi-Fi Standard802.11ac
ConnectivityHDMI, Micro USB
Audio Codec SupportDolby DTS Digital Surround
Height0.8 inches
Width3.4 inches
Depth1.5 inches

What I Like About the Roku Express 4K+

roku express 4K+
The back of the Roku Express 4K+ only has a pair of ports and a reset button.

The Easy Setup

After a decade of working with computers and networks professionally, the last thing I want is an involved install. Thankfully, the Roku Express 4K+ keeps things light. The installation process itself is an absolute breeze, which is quite welcome. You plug up your HDMI cable to your TV, and the included USB cable into a power brick of some sort, and you’re off to the races essentially.

You don’t truly need a Roku account to finish the setup, although it is a good way to allow for migrating apps from previous devices. After plugging everything up and powering it on, it’s simply a matter of entering your Wi-Fi info. The Express 4K+ doesn’t have a wired ethernet connection natively, so that is a bit of a bummer.

All of that aside, I had ours up and running in under 10 minutes. It took more time for it to run through firmware updates and add channels than it did to actually get connected to the network.

Low Price

As I stated previously, I’m not a huge movie buff. Once you factor in the three kids I’m raising, feeding, and clothing, I like to keep things low-cost where I can. After our third-generation Apple TV kicked the bucket, we were stuck looking for an affordable means to get a hold of our iTunes movie library in addition to the programming on PBS Kids that my kids like.

With an MSRP of $39.99, the Roku Express 4K+ is extremely affordable. We paid five dollars less than that and I thought we were getting an absolute steal. It does what it says on the box, and works quite well after going through the setup.

Simple Interface

Anyone who has been into computing for a long enough time can talk about the importance of user interfaces. You want something that is simple, yet effective. The Roku Express 4K+ provides that in spades. Every single function is readily seen and easily accessible.

The only real menu-diving you’re going to be doing is any sort of configuration in the settings. Even then, the actual configuration options are robust and readily seen by any user. I don’t have any complaints about the Roku operating system at this point. It is extremely familiar and easy enough for my five-year-old son to use for watching Spider-Man cartoons.

Plenty of Streaming Apps

My wife and I have been long-time cord-cutters. As such, we flip between quite a few different streaming apps, depending on who is running specials for monthly subscriptions and the like. So far, out of all the subs we’ve held at one point or another, I don’t have any complaints. I’ve found literally everything you could possibly want to stream.

BritBox, Hulu, Netflix, Paramount+, MAX, Disney+, and anything else under the sun is on Roku. You’ve also got access to the Roku channel, which provides free movies and TV shows on a regular basis. If you’d like to keep costs low after

What I Don’t Like About the Roku Express 4K+

roku express 4K+
The Roku remote just doesn’t have a whole lot going on in terms of controls.

The Simplistic Remote

The remote on the Roku Express 4K+ is just super simple. You’ve got some basic streaming app options, which are useless if you don’t subscribe. It serves its function just fine in handling selecting streaming channels just fine. I do wish there was just a little more going on.

No Power Brick Was Included

When you open up the box for the Roku Express 4K+ you’ll be greeted with an HDMI cable, a USB cable, and an adhesive strip. Nowhere in the box will you find a USB power brick to plug it up. So, you’re left with a few different options. You can plug it into your TV’s USB port, which is fine. Mine doesn’t have one, but I know plenty of higher-end ones do for external media usage.

Alternatively, you can do what I did and purchase a generic power brick from Amazon Basics. This is less of a major dislike and more of a gripe if I’m being truly honest. It would’ve been nice to have the means to connect the power right off the bat, however. We ended up having to wait two days just to use our new device while the Prime delivery took place.

Occasional Freezes

It is exceedingly rare for this to happen, but there are occasional freezes with my Roku Express 4K+. I don’t know if this is just a quirk with my specific unit or an inherent flaw in the device itself. Things will be going swimmingly, my kids will be happily watching something, and then it just freezes up.

Since you don’t have a power button or anything on the device itself, I have to reach behind the TV and unplug the power cable. Thankfully, that usually sorts the issue out. It has happened about a half-dozen times in the last nine months. That said, it is uncommon enough that I’ve just learned to deal with it.

When I remember using the third-generation Apple TV, there were far more hard freezes and crashes while trying to load up Netflix.

The Packaged HDMI Cable Was Too Short

Another minor gripe is that the HDMI cable that came with the Roku Express 4K+ is extremely short. It has to be less than two feet or so in length. As such, I suppose Roku is assuming you’ll just mount the device directly on your television with an adhesive strip. I didn’t and ended up having to purchase a longer HDMI cable to get what I wanted for the setup as a whole.

I suppose they likely couldn’t have packaged a three-foot-long cable inside of the box, given the size of the packaging itself. Still, it was just another tiny purchase to get the Roku Express 4K+ functioning how I wanted.

Closing Thoughts

So, is the Roku Express 4K+ worth purchasing? I certainly think so. I did stop using mine recently, but that isn’t due to any fault of the device itself. Instead, we ended up purchasing a Hisense 55-inch Roku TV which made the device unnecessary. That said, if you’re looking to integrate the ease of the Roku into your watching, an Express 4K+ is worth a purchase.

  1. Roku Express 4K+
    $38.49
    • Stream content in 4K with HDR to any TV in your home
    • Dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi ensures a steady connection
    • Access to more than 20,000 downloadable apps
    • Voice remote control
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/16/2024 11:02 pm GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Express 4K+ have Netflix?

It does, it is one of the default options on the remote as a matter of fact.

Are free channels on Roku?

Yes, you’ll find options like YouTube, Tubi, and Pluto on the channel store.

Can you use the Express 4K+ as a media server?

Yes, there is a Plex client you can download for the device.

Can the Roku use a soundbar?

If your soundbar can connect through Wi-Fi or HDMI passthrough, then yes.

Is the Express 4K+ a good buy?

For the price point, it is unbeatable in my opinion.

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