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MULTIMEDIA

Roku 3 - Your Favorite And Easiest-To-Use Media Streamer (Part 1)

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The media streamers of Roku have created a suitable position, with the beginning as a Netflix box, but quickly developed to include hundreds of other entertaining options. Regardless of what they lack in terms of style, they always make up with a menu and easy-to-navigate remote, not mentioned cheap price. In fact, they have become our default proposal in the media streamer category, and currently the company is returning to the 3rd version.

Its methodology doesn’t change: Roku 3 is still a simple 99USD box carrying the internet content which includes video, some simple apps and even games to your TV. But this model is advertised as the most powerful Roku till now, and the team standing behind it dares to change the menu system that is boring but simple. There’s always something that need to fine-tune, along with the holes in its products – let’s review with us to see if it’s good enough to be the best.

The media streamers of Roku have created a suitable position, with the beginning as a Netflix box, but quickly developed to include hundreds of other entertaining options.

The media streamers of Roku have created a suitable position, with the beginning as a Netflix box, but quickly developed to include hundreds of other entertaining options.

Hardware

The design of Roku 3 is a small redirection from the shape of a small on-ice hockey puck that comes before it, with the bulged shape and having fewer sharp edges. It’s still in black with just a small purple tag and a painted “Roku 3” label – one thing that you won’t certainly have to see one more time when it’s hidden in you entertaining center. The material on the bottom takes a smaller area than on Roku 2, but thanks to slightly heavier weight, it seems to be better in keeping its position, while sometimes Roku 2 becomes the victim of the dangled HDMI cables and etc.

The design of Roku 3 is a small redirection from the shape of a small on-ice hockey puck that comes before it, with the bulged shape and having fewer sharp edges.

The design of Roku 3 is a small redirection from the shape of a small on-ice hockey puck that comes before it, with the bulged shape and having fewer sharp edges.

One factor disappears this time: breakout port providing the support for video analog on Roku 2 XS. If you’re living in the all-HDMI style, for sure you will never notice, but the owners of an old TV or visitors going to such forgotten hidey-hole should prepare for disappointment. The USB port and SD card are still there, however, power adapter changed a little bit from the prior generation – it looks the same, but won’t plug into older models and vice versa. The new Roku is packing 2 antennas inside and we don’t have any trouble connecting to home or hotel network in the test session, though we have never faced any problem in receiving signals on the old box. There’s also an upgraded CPU, but due to having to detailed performance technical specs, we will consider it later by reviewing how the software runs.

The USB port and SD card are still there, however, power adapter changed a little bit from the prior generation

The USB port and SD card are still there, however, power adapter changed a little bit from the prior generation

Remote is the way many users will interact Roku, and luckily it’s mainly unchanged. Switching to WiFi Direct for communicating to the box, along with headphone output and the small volume controlling buttons, doesn’t affect significantly to the size, shape or feelings. That’s good news to the current users, those who don’t have to relearn anything, and it’s extremely simple setting, easy to attract new comers. D-pad is fast when navigating through the menus, and the back and home buttons still work consistently ever since in the apps. One thing that may be good is the ability to control the volume if the TV with these side-mounted buttons, in order to lessen the potential remote swapping. Roku 3 still supports IR control, so if placed correctly, your joint remote will take over without any pause. Unfortunately, there’s now support to control HDMI-CEC for the feature which are similar to those found on Roku Stick.

Remote is the way many users will interact Roku, and luckily it’s mainly unchanged.

Remote is the way many users will interact Roku, and luckily it’s mainly unchanged.

About the new ability to transmit audio, we don’t have any problem when listening to Netflix, Hulu or Amazon with the headphones plugged into the jack of the remote. Stereo sound is clear though we doubt that you will be well-serviced by tossing away the accompanying earbud and use any other headphones you may already have. We tried to run down the battery, but regardless of more than 20 hours streaming what was equipped with headphones along with regular use, we still have some battery life remain without low-battery indicator.

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