I can go one place to watch Netflix, YouTube, NASA TV, Plex (menu for movies stored on a HD), and many other apps.
I don't need a Smart TV to use it, just an HDMI input, although I'm sure it can connect to RCA or other connections too.
If I want to I can pack it in a suitcase and plug it into a TV in a hotel when I travel, and all my regular stuff is available.
We're considering completely eliminating our cable TV because it's rare we watch cable instead of something on the Roku.
The ROKU sticks I have in the bedrooms need rebooting from time to time, but the ROKU 3 in my living room rarely does.
I can't say enough about how much I love Plex and my collection of approx 900 movies and complete TV series that only occupy a small portion of an 8 TB hard drive sitting next to the Roku.
Yes, a very happy Roku 4 user here. I considered the Apple TV, Amazon Fire stick, Google and a few of the other USB offerings before making the Roku purchase. To me, the Roku has the fewest Cons and the most chanel opportunities. I can connect all of my Amazon content on the Roku, as well as 300+ other channels, such as Netflix, Vimeo, Hudu, YouTube, and so much more. It displays on my 65" TV at 4K with never a hiccup. It's easy to navigate and use with an intuitive menu system. Highly recommended.
Yes we have Rokus on 2 of the 4 TVs in the house. The one in the bedroom is used mainly for Netflix and Amazon. The other one is in the wife's yoga room and is used only for Yoga channel videos. No problems.
I am a Roku fan. It's the only way we watch TV now. All of our TVs are connected to a Roku (or have Roku built in). We have a Tablo over-the-air DVR hooked to our home network. It records up to four channels at once. We control the DVR and watch live and recorded programs through Roku at home.
I've tried other media devices, but like the Roku best. It's easy to use, doesn't try to force paid programs on you, and just works well. The remote is simple and well-designed. I prefer the more expensive models of Roku mainly for the RF remote which works a little better than the infrared one.
If you have a Roku, check out the Pluto TV app or channel or whatever they call it. Pluto TV gives you a selection of second (or third) tier cable and internet channels for free. There are live news channels (we watched local coverage of the hurricane last night), sports, entertainment, and music. NASA TV is one of the channels.
Also, check out Shout Factory TV. Lots of free movies and shows including MST3K and Rifftrax.
I love roku! I just purchased a second one. Right now they have a offer for 2 free months of hulu with a roku purchase. I recommend getting a unit that can connect with an ethernet cord so that you do not have to depend on a wireless signal for streaming. The headphone jack on the remote is also a great feature, as is screen mirroring which allows a tablet or phone to display on the tv.
We have Plex at my house. You can Google it to learn more. You need digital content - like Movies, TV shows, Music, Photos, etc. on a hard drive. And you need a "smart" TV - If you don't have a smart TV you need a box like roku or chromecast that turns your dumb TV into a smart tv.
We have hundreds of movies and TV shows too. We get some of our movies from RedBox, and burn a copy to the hard drive.
Ask a teenager, they are usually pretty good at this technology stuff.
In the picture below - Plex is playing "Invaders From Mars" using Chromecast in my Rocket Lab.
While we're on the subject of Plex, there's another option called Emby. See www.emby.media
Similar to Plex, Emby consists of a server that stores/accesses ripped movies (ripped from DVD, BluRay or downloaded from Amazon or whatever), and any number of clients that actually display the content.
So, the server can live in a big ugly box of a computer in a closet somewhere, and you can have a Roku or a small home theater PC close to your TV to actually play the content. OR access the content via Android or iPhone apps, or just about any DLNA -compliant device, or... there's many different apps for all kinds of different hardware. Plex versus Emby is for people kind of a religious war like iphone versus android. I've tried both, and settled on Emby. Actually been using it since 2009 way back when it was called Media Browser.
I rent content from the usual sources in the form of DVDs and Blurays, rip the content to MKV files (using a tool called MakeMKV), then store it on my server until I watch it. Point of ethics here: I pay for all content I watch, and I delete it after I watch it if the content is rented instead of purchased.
Emby also supports recording TV from off the air sources, typically via an HDHomeRun network-attached tuner. The Emby Server software will let you download a TV guide, and you can pick what to record and when... your standard DVR application. It works quite well. If anybody is interested in more on Emby, let me know. But I don't want to threadjack here... start a new thread.
I also have a Roku, but don't use it much because both my TVs are smart and have the NEtflix/Amazon/Hulu apps I need to stream. I use the Roku when traveling. My dad, who has two "dumb" TVs, has a Roku on each TV. He loves the British TV channels (Acorn and Britbox I think they are).