OT: Those of you with Roku

My dad is considering ditching DirecTV in favor of streaming via Roku. But his sets are too old for streaming capability. My understanding is that he could get around that with Firestick, Chromecast or something similar. Is that correct and what would you recommend?

If his set has a USB port he can just plug in the Roku device and start streaming. I’m assuming he has Wi-Fi available.

It works great and you can select from a large list of provided applications (YoutubeTV, ESPN etc) or you can search and add applications.

I don’t use it but have helped several in my family setup their Roku.

Thanks, yes he has WiFi. His set is a big old Sony, probably 20 years old. I would think it has USB ports but will let him know.

Paramount just signed up on Roku which is nice move by both.

Further update: The Sony is so old it doesn’t have USB; it has HDMI input. He has another set, a Samsung, with USB. But in looking at Roku Streaming Stick and Roku Express, they both say they are HDMI compatible. So I dunno.

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I’ve had Paramount on my ROKU device for the last 3 years. What paramount did recently was to buy Showtime and it’s now included on Paramount+ through ROKU after a modest price increase.

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This is correct. I have 2 ROKU devices, one new and one 5 years old and they both are HDMI compatible. Your TV just needs to have at least one free HDMI port. My one TV is 17 years old and the other is 5 years old. If you have 2 TVs you have to have 2 ROKU devices.

Are those devices also USB compatible?

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I don’t believe so… Neither of my devices came with a USB cable, only an HDMI one.

USB would just plug into the TV directly. I think. That’s what Chromecast does.

Dad says he’s specifically considering Roku Ultra. The Roku website says Ultra includes a USB port, whatever that means. I guess he could connect using that.

The ROKU HDMI cable also plugs directly into the TV. You just need to input your WIFI password and ROKU gets all the all the info it needs through that.

OH, I just looked at my new ROKU, which is also the ULTRA, and yes, it does have a USB port. I still have the box and it did not come with a USB cable though, so he might have to buy one. It has both an HDMI and a USB port.


Oh, by the way, that new ULTRA device has the easiest on-screen installation set-up I’ve seen. It literally walks you through every step. My granddaughter set up my first ROKU device 5 years ago and I’m not sure I could have done it…

I have multiple devices

Two Apple TV
One TCL TV with built in Roku (which is a very elegant way to do it)
Several Rokus which connect by HDMI

I don’t believe they can connect by USB. I don’t think USB transfer can handle the data needed for video and audio

Just my 2 cents. I bought a 75" TCL Roku TV last year for well under a grand.
Money very well spent…so easy to use.
I have been trying to hook a Roku up to my dad’s older Sony TV for a while but can’t so far because he lost the remote the TV came with, and I don’t know how to change the input without it.

Sounds like somebody needs a Birthday present or Christmas gift LOL.


Agree, but I don’t think Dad wants to buy a new TV at his age (84).

Does your Dad have a universal remote or is he changing the channels by hand? If he has a universal remote, look for the “source” button. That should give you options to change to HDMI-2.

If he’s changing channels on a cable box, then look where that cable box is plugged in on the TV, and in that same area, there should be another plug in that looks similar. Just plug the ROKU unit into that 2nd plug-in and when you turn the ROKU unit on it will open that HDMI source? Turn the ROKU unit off and it should return to the TV cable channel.

I’ll have to check, Larry. He has DirecTV and is using that remote.

Roku external boxes are inexpensive at Walmart & plugs into our tv’s HDMI port without any problems. The setup is easy.

We have not yet to upgrade to a new & larger Samsung SmartTV since our very old Panasonic plasma still works great with Roku box & YoutubeTV subscription ($58/mo) - definitely less expensive than local cable.

I had DirecTV several years ago and I’m pretty sure it has a “source” button. It might be labeled “input”?