If you have an old TV that you wish had access to catch-up and on-demand streaming service then the Roku LT could be the gadget for you. Priced at an affordable £50, the Roku LT comes in a purple and black design and is so small you can fit it into your hand. So even if you're short on space underneath your TV, the LT will squeeze in somewhere. See also: Apple TV review.
Setup seemed fairly simple at first until we were asked to login with a Roku account. Setting one up took a few minutes including a code to key into the LT. The service is subscription free, but you have to give credit card details in case you wish to purchase content.
Physical setup is easy with just a power cable and an AV cable. There's an HDMI port but the cable supplied is a 3.5mm jack AV cable – handy if you're TV isn't new enough to have an HDMI port. Hooking the Roku LT up to the internet is simple thanks to built-in wireless – there's no ethernet port.
Although the Roku LT has an HDMI port, the device is limited to 720p quality. If you want full HD 1080p you'll have to pay twice the price for the Roku 2 XS. Alternatively, the Philips HMP2000 offers full HD for the same price as the Roku LT, but has a much smaller choice of content – it doesn't have much beyond Netflix.
You'll need a fairly decent internet connection to stream content without constant buffering. Roku recommends a minimum of 1.2Mbps.
Once the Roku LT is setup and you're logged in, you can choose from over 600 channels from which to get your content, according to the firm. Headline apps in the Channel Store include Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Crackle, YouTube and, most recently, Sky Now TV. While a lot of the channels are free, services like Netflix and Now TV do cost extra.
Other content services available include Vimeo, Facebook, Flickr, WSJ, Picasa and CNBC.
Although there are hundreds of channels to choose from, the vast majority aren't appealing or are even services we've heard of. It's a shame that catch-up services including 4OD and iTV Player are missing – the headline ones we've mentioned will have to be enough if you go for the Roku LT.
We like the well-built remote control which sits and feels nice in the hand. The Roku interface is easy to navigate and responds to input quickly. If you have an iPhone, iPad or Android device you can download a free app and control the Roku LT and steam content like photos and music to your TV. We found the app particularly convenient for inputting text.
In general we found the Roku LT a joy to use. The only thing which really annoyed us was awkward and jerky fast forwarding and rewinding.