Debra asked: “I would like to know if you could hook up a Roku Stick to any TV, especially the “older” type of TVs.”
Debra, Roku sticks will work with most modern TVs, but you may be out of luck.
Roku sticks are very simple devices, they have a USB port for power, and an HDMI port that you connect to the television so it can actually display video. That’s it. That means that HDMI is expected and you probably won’t be able to get around it.
For starters, the HD in HDMI stands for High Definition, so your older type of TV won’t have it. The HDMI standard includes a requirement for HDCP compliance. HDCP stands for High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection. That’s bad news for you.
HDCP exists to ensure that you don’t play your content on a device capable of making a copy, so it will check and make sure that your TV is a TV. If it’s not or if it’s not sure that it is, then it won’t play.
Unfortunately, you don’t have many streaming options that won’t have the same issues. Every streaming device we can think of uses HDMI and HDCP, that’s partly because copyright holders want HDCP checks to reduce piracy.
That means that you will probably have to think about replacing your TV if you can, going forward you will probably continue to see HDMI ports on just about everything, and fewer devices that give you other options.
If you do end up replacing your TV and you’re on a budget, the good news is, you can find semi-decent smaller HDTVs at places like Walmart for a little over $100.
In terms of features, the big things missing from the Roku Stick as opposed to a Roku set top box are support for a headphone jack on the remote, for private listening, and a voice search feature. The good news is that Roku makes a smartphone app that works with the Roku Stick and offers both of these functions. So you’re giving up nothing to use the less expensive and more discreet Roku Stick.