Are you searching for the best streaming media device for the money and confused about which one to buy? Roku has been around for years now and is one of the market leaders in streaming media devices. We’ll take a look at the main features, price point, customer comments below in this roku 3 review below. Let’s get started!
Roku 3 Features
Roku delivers nearly all of the best online streaming services, which also includes Netflix, Sling TV, HBO Go, Watch ESPN Vudu, Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus. You can have access to over 2000 streaming channels, 250,000 tv shows and movies. This also includes access to sports, music and online games.
Roku 3 has a newly added remote control and voice search. There is also a point anywhere Wi-Fi and a headphone jack for those who want to listen in private. The Roku is currently one of the top streamers on the market offering subscription free viewing for cord cutters.
It also has as Ethernet network port to use if you are close to your router, USB port to plugin in external hard drives, and microSD card port in case you have movies or photos to play through the Roku 3.
The unit is self is 3.5 x 3.5 x 1 inches which is easy to fit on your stand or shelf for storage.
1. The remote
The remote control easily fits in your hand and is very simplistic in nature. The Roku 3 remote uses Wi-Fi Direct therefore it doesn’t require line-of-sight to operate it. This means you can hide your Roku 3 box and point the remote anywhere and it will still work. There is a cute button with a magnifying glass that summons the voice search dialog.
The biggest change is the voice search capability that works via an embedded mircophone on the remote. They also added buttons for direct access to popular streaming services like netflix, amazon instant video, Rdio and hulu plus.
Roku 3 has retained the A/B keys for gaming, although the selection of games does not match Amazon Fire TV and Android TV. The Roku 3 also responds to IR commands, this means one can use it with almost any universal remote control. Although the remote control will work with both Roku 2 and 3 it cannot be purchased separately.
3. User experience
The Roku 3 has a really good user experience and is the main reason why this box is one of the best sellers and is so popular among media streamers. All the apps and features work very well and are affordable. Roku’s interface to use the apps you want and remove the ones you don’t want and lets you move any app you want anywhere and remove those you don’t use. The interface is easy to understand and use.
The new addition to Roku’s software is Roku Feed. If you want to watch a show that isn’t yet available to stream, you can follow it by adding it to your feed. Then you can check for updates for when the show can be streamed. Along with this you can use their new price tracking option that will allow you to get notified when a movie you have marked to buy drops in price.
Feeds could be improved though. The list of new releases is tiny. Roku should consider including ” Coming Soon” into its main search results. Now with a Roku 3, you can search by talking into the remote which will suit some people and saves fumbling in the semi dark for buttons.
5. Voice Search
With this feature you press the search button on the remote and hold it, wait for the on-screen prompt, and speak your search and then release it, it’s that easy. This will search across 17 different streaming networks trying to find matches for what you are looking for.
The voice recognition software is responsive and mostly correctly recognized on the first try and quickly. Searches for app names were also recognized quickly. Most people will find voice search useful and a handy addition.
6. Gaming Apps
So, it does have games that you can play but it is not near as extensive as amazon fire or nexus player. So, keep that in mind when purchasing this. If gaming is a big deal to you then you need to look at the amazon fire stick instead.
Roku 2 vs Roku 3
The Roku 3 has recently been updated to include a remote control with voice search but otherwise much the same as the previous model Roku 2. The device has also an added headphone jack for personal listening. The Roku 3 has constant updates and more apps than any of its competitors. It has an excellent, easy to use interface which is responsive and is customizable. It also comes in a stylish box.
Roku 3 Vs Amazon Fire
Both are very similar in that they have a lot of movies to rent and have a voice search. Roku has the option for head phones only where Amazon Fire does not. You can of course see more sources to buy or rent the movie you want and the prices on the Roku so you are not locked into one option like on the fire. the Amazon Fire TV does have better game selections though.
What is not included:
There are a couple of things you will need that it does not include which is an hdmi cable and the wall mount if your setup is geared toward that. The mount can be purchased separately if you want to mount it next to your tv mount.
The Roku 3 box is still one of the market leaders and is a very popular device. It is affordable and within most people’s budgets. The box is well designed stylish and will look good in any living room. The interface is simple and easy to understand and use without any major learning curves. It can if desired be hidden away out of sight and still be functional. If you have no need a remote or headphone jack or voice search, then choose the Roku 2 which has all other features but at a smaller price tag.
Outside of all the great features of having access to the main streaming providers with one device and it’s cheap price here is the final reason why you would want to buy the Roku 3 over the others. It does not lock you into one Eco-system. Apple TV and Amazon Fire limit you to what you can see and purchase in their devices, for obvious reasons. 🙂 With the Roku 3 you can purchase content and watch content in all of them. The best part is that you can see all the difference sources and what prices they are willing to rent to you. This is awesome! You can save money by going with the network that has the lowest price to watch your movie.