A beginner's guide to the Roku Streaming Stick: How to install and use the device

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The Roku Streaming Stick is, like the name suggests, a streaming video device sold by Roku. Roku offers a number of streaming products, but the Streaming Stick is the smallest, most compact one that the company sells.

The Streaming Stick is notable due to its small size — it’s a device that’s about the size of a typical flash drive. But rather than connecting to a PC and containing some gigabytes of memory for portable storage, the Streaming Stick is a complete streaming device that plugs into the HDMI input of a television, effectively turning that TV into a Smart TV.

The Roku Streaming Stick is a self-contained gadget that plugs into the HDMI port and turns your TV into a Smart TV. Dave Johnson/Business Insider

The Roku Streaming Stick adds thousands of streaming channels to your television — all of the usual mainstream channels like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO, YouTube, and others, but many less common channels as well. Many of these are channels you may be familiar with, like Crackle, Adult Swim, and Vevo. But with so many channels in the Roku library, there are hundreds you probably haven’t heard of which cater to very niche interests.