Roku 3 - Your Favorite And Easiest-To-Use Media Streamer (Part 2)

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While Roku 3 has hardware innovations in both inside and outside, it software has received most of the TLC this time. Users will immediately realize a difference in UI: instead of the old-fashioned horizontal layout, there’s currently an icon grid, which increases the amount of info on the screen at any time. Roku has imitated a bit from the classic gaming control panel and it’s clear – like the developing experience on (most noticeable) Xbox 360 and PS3, the new screens also includes a lot of advertising space for the supplemental channels and content. However, navigation is pretty simple and the advertising space is pretty far away so we predict it won’t annoy users. In general, the changes work as expected, providing faster access to the channel you want and delivering small channels that most of users don’t even know that they existed from the more than 750-channel category.

At this time, the apps are still the same, though many new released channels (Spotify, Amazon) has runs significantly slower on Roku 2. There’s no such signal here, with the upgraded CPU be able to handle each option we try. There’s still a small annoyance: not all channels have the same features. For example, pressing down on d-pad doesn’t at unfailingly reveal the image quality or the left info about the time. In our limited test with Plex, the apps loaded faster and began to transmit video more quickly. Video performance seems to be the same between the old and new model, while the forum poster announce that Roku 3 is more than capable of handle 1,080pMKV transmission. Another addition is the chance to change UI with different themes. It’s not a major change, but we have tried some themes and notice that they’re pretty interesting, none of them have any negative effect to the experience

At this time, the apps are still the same, though many new released channels (Spotify, Amazon) has runs significantly slower on Roku 2.

At this time, the apps are still the same, though many new released channels (Spotify, Amazon) has runs significantly slower on Roku 2.

Still new on the software field is a feature which is actually released at the end of last year –cross-provider search of Roku. While other devices (TiVo, Xbox 360) and services (Flixster, provide the same function, the implementation of Roku seems to be superior, especially with the upgraded hardware. If you’re trying to find a special movie, special casts, etc., one of the accompanying services will have it and you can quickly find them, especially when you’re using iOS or Android monile apps for the keyboard. Of course, choices which are limited in video service subscription means that most of what you will find will cost more to transmit, granted that it’s available online. Namely, the wide coverage of the services of Roku and no monthly service fee turn it into an ideal solution.

Related to these mobile apps, we don’t realize any important updates. And that assumes our opinion about the software changes –they haven’t gone far enough. If you’re looking for a remarkably expanded support for the different file/codec formats, it’s not here; the list of the new channels (at this time) is restricted and even UI update will appears on the older boxes in the next few weeks. We have seen Roku continuing to found it devices through the updates and we don’t expect anything different from this model. But currently, the experience difference from 2 to 3 doesn’t feel like it’s a generation leap.


Compared to the other boxes in the segment, the position of Roku is mostly the same. If you’re looking for integration with iLife of Apple, Apple TV with the support of music, video streaming, and AirPlay gaming will win, regardless of fewer options for the separate apps. If you like to bring the specific content to the box through the compressing file library, download or…, WDTV Live line will provide more consistent file/format support, the ability to network and enhanced local player interface, though having client Plex app here is of service to the playground. The strong point of Roku 3 is not a game changer (yet) with a role as a platform independent box (mostly) provides accesses to many media services that certainly you have already used with a reasonable price, its position is still safe.

Some of the biggest competitors of Roku which are new to the customers will come from its predecessor. At present, Roku 3 replaces Roku 2 XS, and unless you need the analog audio output, it will be an upgrade in every respect with the equivalent price. The difference in software experience will be much easier to evaluate once the old box is updated with the new menus – next month as expectation – but the value matter here is mostly the same. The 99USd box provides some features you have never taken use of compared to its cheaper (1080p, gaming remote); however, especially with the processor difference, if you’re planning to use it for many tasks than just a Netflix box, it’s the only choice at present.

Roku 3 replaces Roku 2 XS.

Roku 3 replaces Roku 2 XS.

For those who already have Roku, it creates a worth replacement if you have gifted that box to your friend or moved it to another room. Of course we will wait a little longer to see the software changes, upgrades and differences announced in the future. A box which is faster and smoother in operation and the remote control/headphone sounds nice, but not nice for 99 USD.


Like the Roku devices that come before it, Roku 3 is the media streamer that is easiest to recommend on the market. An attractive service pack, the accessibility and price all turn better with this update, and we want it to continue to improve in the next few months. YouTube continues to be the hole having odd shape in the streaming channel library of Roku, which of course can be a problem when you’re looking for the videos, but many premium contents helped to hide that problem in the backstage.

Like the Roku devices that come before it, Roku 3 is the media streamer that is easiest to recommend on the market.

Like the Roku devices that come before it, Roku 3 is the media streamer that is easiest to recommend on the market.

Any failure of Roku with a role as an official decoding box seems to fade when you consider its competitors, all fails in one or many fields; notwithstanding DVR, game console, media player or HDMI-connected PC, they all have complex UI, high subscription fee or high prepaid expenses which Roku doesn’t have. We just want to lean on the sofa and watch, and regardless of having things to improve, Roku 3 still does that in a cheaper, faster and better way than the rest.


·         Price: $100


·         The new UI is a welcome improvement

·         Upgraded CPU rejects the performance problem.

·         Simple, capable of doing things and cheap


·         There’s still no official YouTube or DLNA support

·         No AV analog output

Key point

·         Roku 3 keeps everything that made the brand success and have some welcome innovations without increasing the price or destroy the basic settings.

Technical specs


·         Width: 1 inches

·         Depth: 3.5 inches

·         Height: 3.5 inches

·         Weight: 0.3125 pounds

·         Color: Black


·         Audio codecs supported: AAC, MP3

·         Video codecs supported: H.264, MP4, MKV

·         Notable app support: Netflix, Hulu Plus, Blockbuster, Amazon Instant Video, Facebook, Pandora, Flickr, Picasa, Vimeo, HBO Go

Audio / Video

·         Audio channels: 7.1

·         Max. video resolution: 1080p

Storage / Data

·         External storage support: Yes

·         USB: 1

·         Supported external memory: SD

Output ports

·         HDMI output(s): 1

·         Composite video output(s): 1

·         Composite / Component combo output(s): 1


·         Ethernet: 1

·         Wi-Fi: Yes

·         Built-in Wi-Fi support: 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11a

·         Bluetooth: Yes



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