Digital streaming players have become incredibly popular as consumers make a break from traditional cable companies. Roku is one of the older names in the business, so there have been dozens of streaming boxes released over the years.

If you want to test out the early Roku or are just curious about what sets these devices apart, keep reading.

In this review, we’re going to compare the original Roku and Roku LT, the two devices that popularized the streaming box brand.

Roku vs. Roku LT: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Roku DVP N1000Roku LT 2400
What is it?Digital Streaming PlayerDigital Streaming Player
IntroducedMay 2008November 2011
Generation1st2nd
Processor400 MHz PNX8935600 MHz BCM2835
Memory256 MB256 MB
Channel Storage64 MB256 MB
Video OutputsComposite, HDMI, S-VideoComposite, HDMI
Video Resolution480i, 480p, 720p480i, 480p, 720p
Audio OutputAnalog, Optical, HDMIAnalog, HDMI
USB slotNoNo
NetworkEthernet, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/gWi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
RemoteIRIR
MicroSD CardNoNo
DiscontinuedYesYes
Still SupportedNoNo
Last update3.19.1

Roku: 5 Must-Know Facts

  • Roku launched its first branded smart TV in 2014 through TCL, HiSense, and Westinghouse.
  • There are 10 generations of Roku streaming media players.
  • A custom version of Linux is used as the operating system on Roku streaming players.
  • The Roku Channel was introduced as an ad-supported free channel in 2017.
  • Roku devices provide more than 300 free TV channels with no subscription required.

Roku vs. Roku LT: What’s the Difference?

With 10 generations of devices, there are more than 40 Roku streaming gadgets to choose from. All of them fall into three categories.

Current Roku models are classified as devices that are currently in production, along with newer models several generations old. Updatable Roku models have been discontinued, but still receive support from the company and can run the latest operating system.

There are also Legacy Roku models, which is where you’ll find the subjects of our comparison with the Roku DVP N1000 and Roku LT. These discontinued devices aren’t capable of running new versions of the company’s operating system, even if they are still useful.

Roku released two versions of the LT with the second generation, the Roku LT 2400 and Roku LT 2450. The only difference between the two in performance is the processor. The Roku LT 2450 is rated at 400 MHz while the Roku LT 2400, which we’re using in this review, is 600 MHz.

Roku on tv streaming with remote
Roku devices have come a long way since their earliest models, but the DVP N1000 and LT created the name we love today.

Performance

As the first streaming device from Roku, the DVP N1000 was a technical marvel in 2008. Things have changed considerably since that time, even if they didn’t change much between the release of that device and the Roku LT 2400 in 2011.

The original Roku uses MIPS 400 MHz microprocessor, compared to the Roku LT with a 600 MHz ARM BCM2835 processor. Both have 256 MB of memory, but the LT series has a significant edge with channel storage.

Both versions of the Roku LT have 256 MB of storage reserved for channels whereas the Roku DVP N1000 only has 64 MB. To put things in perspective, newer models like the Roku Streaming Stick 4K have 1GB of memory and 4GB of storage space.

Resolution

New Roku streaming devices can display content in 4K resolution with Dolby Vision and HDR. While that wasn’t exactly feasible with the early LT series or Roku DVP, both are quite capable.

Like many of the early digital media streamers, the Roku DVP and Roku LT could stream in 480i or 480p along with 720p. Neither box can stream in FHD or 1080p. That didn’t come along until the Roku 2 XD, which is in the same generation as the Roku LT 2400 and 2450.

All Roku media players related after the Roku 2 XD 3050 can stream in 1080p aside from the Streaming Stick 3500 and Roku LT 2700.  The first device that could stream in 4K resolution wasn’t introduced until the Roku 4 in October of 2015.

Connectivity

Roku streaming devices are geared toward cord-cutters, so they need to have excellent connectivity options. As with video resolution, things were a little rough in the beginning before the company introduced systems that could stream with Dolby Atmos and use dual-band Wi-Fi.

This is another area where both streaming devices have HDMI and composite ports that allow you to connect the Roku to a television set. The Roku DVP N1000 has an advantage with an S-Video connection, which wasn’t available on either version of the Roku LT. The DVP also had an optical output for audio compared to the LT series.

How you get the signal to stream varies as well, with the original Roku DVP N1000 having the advantage in this respect. That’s because it has an Ethernet connection and 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi while the Roku LT only has 802.11 b/g/n connectivity. Neither media streamer has a USB or micro SD slot and both have infrared remote controls.

Software

This area can make or break the decision to use an older Roku, even if both of these devices are discontinued. While you can’t find them on a store shelf, both are for sale through a variety of online retailers, but one has much newer software.

The Roku OS is what powers these streamers, and neither has seen an update in quite some time. The Roku LT series is the winner considering the Roku LT 2400 and 2450 are updatable to Roku OS 9.1. By comparison, the Roku DVP updates stopped at version 3.1.

Roku or Roku LT: Which One is Better?

These early versions of Roku’s popular streaming device helped the company expand quickly and gain a lot of new fans. While they can’t hold up to current models of the Roku media streamer, millions of users remember them fondly.

If you plan to dust one of these old streamers off and test them out, the Roku LT is the only real option in our Roku vs Roku LT battle. The original may still function, but the operating system capped at 3.1 is hard to get around, and it doesn’t hold nearly as many channels as either version of the Roku LT.

Last update on 2022-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Roku vs. Roku LT: Which Classic Streaming Box is Better? FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Can a Roku media steaming device overheat?

Yes. Newer models can alert you when they sense overheating, which is common if ventilation is blocked or they are used in an enclosed space.

 When was the first Roku made?

The first Roku was produced in May 2008 in partnership with Netflix.

Can you buy replacement parts for a Roku?

There are a number of tutorials to address various issues with these streamers, but replacement parts usually aren’t an option given their price and design.

Are private channels available on older models of the Roku?

No, Roku recently stopped support for private channels and replaced them with Beta channels.

How many devices are listed as Legacy models with Roku?

There are 14 devices currently listed as Legacy models, although that number will grow as new devices are introduced.

About the Author

More from History-Computer

  • Roku Available here: https://www.roku.com/en-ca/
  • Wikipedia (1970) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
  • Spectrum Available here: https://spectrum.ieee.org/the-consumer-electronics-hall-of-fame-roku-dvp-n1000
  • Cordcutters News Available here: https://www.cordcuttersnews.com/roku-is-ending-support-for-roku-lt-players/
  • Roku Developer Available here: https://developer.roku.com/en-ca/docs/specs/hardware.md?fbclid=IwAR2ytxK8riNKJF8xjyWK6G-jxgz3_ba0I54HhiMYckJnRZcd-X1JQebNZVc#legacy-models