The New Roku 3: The Review

#1
View attachment 2993

The Roku has been one of the top contenders when it comes to set top boxes. Apple TV, ChromeCast, and plenty of others have tried to take the throne, but the Roku 3 that was recently released has the potential to put them all in their place.

The Channels

One of the big problems with choosing between the different streaming boxes is the channels that are available. Some don’t support YouTube, some don’t support Netflix. You have to make a choice. Fortunately, that isn’t the case with the Roku 3. This newly redesigned device has the ability to use almost any streaming service you like to put video on your television. ESPN, HBO Go, Youtube, Netflix, Hulu, it has virtually everything you could want, in addition to some third party “private” channels.

Private channels are unique here in that they allow you to use a lot of features that might not otherwise be available. By manually installing channels, you can use all kinds of streaming services and apps specially designed for the Roku, but not officially supported.

What’s New?

New for the Roku 3 are a few features, including the remote that we’ll get into later. Some of the things that stand out the most are the inclusion of Ethernet, USB and microSD card slots, a processor that is five times faster than any of its predecessors, and the updated user interface that makes use of the new Netflix design.

The new design shows itself best in the interface. The older models could show a limited number of channels at a time, and adding new channels could be a hassle. They have solved that in the most recent addition and included more view options than before, the ability to add channels directly from the main menu, and menu options that let you access movies, television shows, games, and more directly. Not to mention the ability to search across all of your channels for the perfect movie that you know you saw on a streaming service, but you can’t quite remember which one.


Convenience

Part of the makeover for the new Roku was designing a new remote that makes watching videos even more convenient. The remote uses a Wi-Fi Direct connection that means you don’t even have to point the thing at your television to get it to work. Important, though, is the inclusion of a headphone jack right in the remote. It comes with a pair that you will probably want to replace, but plugging your favorite pair of headphones into it for silent viewing is a great feature to include.

The Setup

Setting up the Roku 3 is easier than you could imagine. A lot of other boxes have the problem of making you have at least a little bit of technical knowledge to set up. Not here. The Roku 3 simply plugs into the HDMI port on your TV and it’s ready to go. You’ll have to add some channels to it before you can watch anything, but it guides you through the process and makes the initial turning on a breeze.

The Price

The Roku LT comes in at $49.99, while Roku 2 boxes are $79.99. The newest offering will code you $99.99, but that is keeping in line with most of the other options out there, with the exception of the incredibly cheap Google ChromeCast. At that price it can seem steep, but if you use a lot of streaming services it shouldn’t be a turn off for you. For the best deal, get it over at Amazon.

Is It Right For You?

Overall, the Roku 3 is a solid competitor. For fans of the older Roku models this should be a no brainer. Converts of Apple TV might not be as convince since it’s in the same price range, but the features outshine virtually all of the competition without being overbearing and without sacrificing simplicity.
 
#2
I'm confused about the job of an Roku. What is the purpose of owning a roku. Is a roku kind of like a router/broadband. Does it supply internet or something of that nature?
 
G

Guest

Guest
#3
PecolaR;bt1530 said:
I'm confused about the job of an Roku. What is the purpose of owning a roku. Is a roku kind of like a router/broadband. Does it supply internet or something of that nature?
Roku is a set top box for streaming media. That's all. But it does it very well. It allows you to set up different channels such as Netflix, HuluPlus, Youtube, movie rental sites such as Vudu and Blockbuster, and LOTS of other channels, some free some paid, some good quality, some a waste of time.

A Roku does NOT have a web browser. Streaming media only.

Many such as smart televisions, gaming consoles, and DVD players include streaming media abilities. I own a Panasonic smart television and the interface and perfomance for streaming media are awful compared to Roku - the Roku has a faster and easier to use interface than my Panasonic.

Roku does provide the capability to stream media already on your computer via a Wifi connection though I haven't tried it yet.
 
G

Guest

Guest
#4
PecolaR;bt1530 said:
I'm confused about the job of an Roku. What is the purpose of owning a roku. Is a roku kind of like a router/broadband. Does it supply internet or something of that nature?
A roku is a streaming device that allows you to watch TV shows, movies and listen to music from various sources over an internet connection. if you already have internet the roku device will connect to the internet and allow you to play video through various sources such as Netflix, hulu, amazon prime and so on. There are free sources and some that require subscription such as the ones already listed. The thing that makes a roku stand out is that it supports more sources than any available device that is on the market right now and it has a very simple interface.
 
G

Guest

Guest
#5
PecolaR;bt1530 said:
I'm confused about the job of an Roku. What is the purpose of owning a roku. Is a roku kind of like a router/broadband. Does it supply internet or something of that nature?

The Roku connects with Internet based services, such as Netflix. Unless you have a Smart TV, you need something to interface between your TV and your Internet connection to receive these services.
 
G

Guest

Guest
#6
Using the free PLEX app, Roku3 lets u access content from the 'Unsupported App Store',
as well as ALL content within your personal network, SEAMLESSLY!
The UAP store gets u IceFilms, 1Channel, Navi-X, etc. Terrific box!
 

Similar threads

Top