I've always had the top of the line devices, but I have purchased other devices along the way. I bought some sticks, but never really liked them until the Streaming Stick+ was released in 2017. However, the sticks went on secondary TVs. I always kept the better devices on my main TV.
Right now, though, I don't have a Roku Ultra on my main TV. Now, to be clear, I maintain the Internet and streaming setup in four residences, my own and other family residences. On the main TV in my home, I actually have a Streambar. The Roku Ultra finally gave out after a little over four years, and I replaced it with a Roku Streambar. I had a Streambar on another TV at another residence, and liked it, so I put one on my main TV when my Roku Ultra died. I also have a Streambar Pro on a family member's main TV, which replaced a Premiere+ model 4630. I have sticks on some TVs, and a Premiere+ model 3921 on one guest room TV.
Notice that I've not mentioned the Roku Express anywhere along the way. The closest is that Premiere+ model 3921, which is the Premiere series that looks like the Express, rather than the older series that looked like an Ultra or Roku 4.
No, I've never had an Express. I don't usually buy the lower end Roku devices. I've used them, but I personally don't care for them.
I once bought a Roku 1 model 2710. The idea was to put it on a secondary TV. I didn't really like it. The device was noticeably slower than the Roku 3, and slower than the older but upper tier Roku devices I was retiring.
Perhaps that soured me on the low end, or entry-level Roku devices. I've never bought one for me. I did help a friend set up a Roku, and she wanted the cheapest one, so I got her the Express. It was okay. I mean, it was a heckuva lot better than the Roku 1 from a few years back, but I didn't like the infrared remote that required line of sight to operate. I always used the better remotes on my Roku devices. Heck, I once bought an Enhanced Remote to go with a Roku 2 model 4210. That turned it into a Roku 3, for all practical purposes. That was actually a cheaper way to get a Roku 3, since the Roku 2 (4210) and the Roku 3 were identical devices inside the housing, and the cost of a Roku 2 (4210) and an Enhanced remote was actually one cent cheaper than a Roku 3, and I got a space remote out of the deal.
However, I've never found it to be cost effective to get an entry level Roku and upgrade the remote. And the lower tier Roku devices were never really my thing. I started with top of the line, liked it, and stayed there.
That's not to say you should not buy an entry level Roku device. If I thought that, I would have insisted my friend upgrade to something other than an Express. But for me, personally, I like the better devices. Yes, I see that the low end devices get a lot more complaints than the upper tier devices, but I suspect that's just because there are more sold. Another factor would be someone complaining about the remote or some feature that's only on the upper tier devices. For many people, a low end Roku is fine. It's just not something that is, nor will be, a part of my Streaming Life.
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