Free Roku Accounts, Recently, I realized that I often turn on the TV to watch Netflix and Youtube. Once upon a time, I was connecting my Grundig brand Full HD TV, which I bought by saying “I don’t watch much TV anyway”, but without any extra features (Smart TV, internal satellite receiver, etc.) and my notebook via HDMI cable. I managed this way for a few years, but I bought an external display (ViewSonic 4K) for my video and photo editing programs (Photoshop and Premiere). With the arrival of this screen, it became a pain to constantly plug and unplug the HDMI cable, since my notebook only has 1 HDMI port.
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There was such a thing as Apple TV, what was it for?” I started researching and saw that a 4K Apple TV cost around $300 in March 2019. Of course, apart from Youtube and Netflix, playing games (you can even play tennis like a Nintendo Wii with the remote), surfing the internet, etc. like dozens of works, but none of them interested me. Because my main aim was to use only these two platforms, so I would not come to marketing tricks and look for alternative solutions (Youtube blocked 4K video watching from Apple TV, so 4K feature would only work for me on Netflix).
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The first option other than Apple TV was the Xiaomi Box 4K, which I saw at a friend’s house. This product, which was sold for about half the price of Apple TV, was Android-based and had dozens of content that you could download from the application market like Apple. While I thought, “Yes, this is the product I was looking for”, the problems that I read on the internet for freezing problems during long-term use and the fact that Netflix sometimes loses sound and image synchronization (sound comes first) made me think again.
Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV were still other Android-based options. I had heard that the Google Pixel smartphone and Google Chromecast were great together, but the Android reviews really scared me. Although Amazon Fire TV is also a preferred product, those who gave it 1 star as well as those who gave it 5 stars talked about almost the same problems. Moreover, Google banned access to Google platforms from Amazon devices due to the conflict (I don’t know what the situation is at the moment).
I continued my research for a while and met Roku, which has almost as much Turkish content as a finger. Working on its own platform, Roku was a very fast and satisfying product. The only drawback was that it was not on sale outside of America and a few countries, so it generally had applications of American origin. Moreover, to obtain these applications, you had to go through complicated ways such as making DNS settings. However, there are also applications that will meet my real needs. Some of those; Netflix, Youtube, Spotify, TED… There is also an IPTV application called Turkish TV, which includes many national channels. Even though I don’t use applications that I can feel the lack of, BeinConnect, PuhuTV, BluTV etc.
Models and Price
Roku, which has no problems other than the scarcity of Turkish content, has several models. FullHD, 4K, box-shaped (external ethernet connection) etc. The product I purchased is the Roku Streaming Stick +, which is 4K and in the form of a “stick”, one end plugs into the HDMI port and the other end into the USB port of the TV for power. The “+” sign at the end is important, because with the “plus” comes a wider Wifi coverage, a voice command system, a remote with the ability to turn the TV and TV volume on and off. As of March 2019, the price of the product was $57 + $9 shipping, but after I bought it, the April 2019 price became $59 + $19. Even though it is $79, it is one-third the price of the Apple TV and almost half the price of the Xiaomi Box 4K.
Let’s get to the installation of the product… Installation is as easy as connecting the Roku stick to the HDMI input and the USB output on the back to the USB input of the TV. After making these connections, it charges itself for a while, and then you see the installation steps. First the “language” option, then the automatic display setting option, then the Wifi connection option… After doing a small software update on its own, it warns you to go to a site to create a Roku account. On the website you go to, you are asked for your credit card information. Even though it says “I want it for convenience if you want to buy a paid membership”, it’s bad that you can’t pass this place without filling out. I suggest you enter a virtual card number just in case. As soon as the Roku account is created, the Roku bar detects it and redirects you to the homepage. That’s how simple the installation is.
There are also IOS and Android applications for Roku use, but unfortunately the IOS application cannot be downloaded from Turkey. I am looking for alternative methods for him, but the remote control is very successful in keyboard, although it cannot be downloaded. As far as I understand, the application serves to mirror the image on the phone to Roku, if I solve it, there will be no problem. (Solution: There is no problem when you make USA instead of Turkey with Itunes or by clicking “Change Region-Country” in the Settings of your IOS device. After the change, you can enter the AppStore again and download Roku)
It is very easy to transfer the image from the Windows computer to the TV via Roku. From the Windows settings, press the “Add New Device – Add New Device button and let it find Roku. That’s all!
In summary, if you, like me, spend 90% or more of your time watching videos on Netflix and Youtube and don’t want to spend a lot of money on Apple TV and its derivatives, Roku is for you.