Sunday, December 4, 2016

Roku streaming stick in the Fuse


Roku Streaming Stick

I continue to look at the best way to gain a little more entertainment in the Fuse.  I really don't think I need satellite and my last post discussed showing Amazon Prime Video on the bedroom TV using my iPhone.  During Black Friday, there were several sales I took advantage of to see about a slightly more permanent solution.   One of these was a Roku Streaming Stick (3600R).

Roku Streaming StickRoku Streaming Stick


I did some research and asked some more knowledgeable friends and they pointed me towards the  Roku devices as being the leaders in this area.  Not looking to spend much and wanting to keep everything as compact as possible, I picked their latest small model -  the Roku Streaming Stick.  It is the size of a USB thumb drive.  Not as powerful as the bigger Roku units and missing some features such as support of 4K displays.  The small size and the TV in the Fuse only needing 1040p output made it perfect for the TV in the Fuse.

HDMI Extension Cable


The Streaming Stick is designed to be plugged directly into the HDMI port on the back of the TV.  In the Fuse this did not work.  The ports are too close together and it did not want to fit.  Roku has an option through their support site for them to send a short standoff cable at no cost since this must be a common occurrence.  I had them send me one.  I ordered a  slightly longer HDMI Extension Cable from Amazon to give me some more flexibility.

Roku USB cable


The Streaming Stick comes with a 110v adapter to power it, but all that does is provide a USB power feed like the charger from most cellphones.   On the TV in the Fuse, there is a USB port for displaying photos.  I am not using it.  I used the USB port to power the Streaming Stick. I ordered a Roku Mini USB Cable to make the connection.  Now this setup can run without needing 110v power since the TV is powered off of the 12v system.  If there is WiFi it will work without the generator or being plugged in.

Roku Streaming Stick


I wound up putting some black tape over the power light so it would not bother us at night.  I also put some Velcro around the streaming stick to help with dressing the cables and the streaming stick together.  It also helps keeping it from rattling.

Now that I had it set up, it was time to see how well it worked.   I turned it on.  I picked the Amazon  Prime application and it downloaded.  A small downside was I had to use a separate computer (in my case my iPhone) to authorize the application using a web browser.   Once that was done I was in business.

I went to our test video, "the Grand Challenge".  It worked fine.  It worked as well as the iPhone and I did not need the cable to the iPhone.  The Roku only connects to the Internet using WiFi.   The Streaming Stick has the latest 802.11ac WiFi so it can connect to either 2.4 or 5ghz wireless (a/b/g/n).

Roku Video


The Roku has many other applications other than Amazon Prime.  If you have cable TV at home you can get access to many of the channels that you have there via applications on the Roku as well.  I tried the CNN app. I entered in my Xfinity password over the web to authorize the Roku and I could watch the news.

Another device that directly competes with the Roku Streaming Stick is the Amazon FireStick.  We are going to review that next.

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