The New Roku 3 Is the Best Streaming Player Yet

The new Roku 3 is faster and more responsive than ever. It has amazing new features, it’s easy to set up, it has more than 750 channels, and it includes a cross-platform search box — where you can search for an actor, title, and genre. Its channel selection includes Netflix, Amazon Instant, HBO GO, Hulu Plus, Pandora, MLB.TV, Amazon Cloud Player, and VUDU (but still no official YouTube channel). Plus, the remote has a headphone jack!


Roku 3 Has Been Fully Redesigned

Roku 3 is the new “flagship” streaming device, and at $99 it’s one of the best. It has a totally new look and a new menu bar with a grid of channels — making it much easier to find things. The Channel Store is now integrated into the main menu, which makes things easier, better, and quicker. The Roku 3 has a new improved “faster” processor, and the dual-band WiFi upgrade is superb with super-fast Internet speeds (remember: the best way to test your WiFi at home is with a mobile speed test).

In the back: a power source, HDMI port, Ethernet port, microSD port, and USB 3.0 port. It’s heavier now (interesting!), so it’s sturdy enough to sit — not slide — off your TV stands with a heavy cable attached (an issue with the past versions). You want to watch something loud, but keep it private? Now you can plug your headphones into your remote and control the volume (a very smart addition indeed).

But What’s on the New Roku 3?

Besides the normal streaming apps, Roku 3 has Time Warner Cable, TBS, Syfy, Fox, and more. You can play local content (max 1080p) in 7.1-channel surround using the USB or microSD slots. It plays MP4, MKV, AAC, and MP3 files, plus it opens JPG and PNG images.

The Roku 3 also has a great search feature. Select “Search” and enter what you want. If you search for Drive with Ryan Gosling, you’ll find that Amazon, VUDU, and Blockbuster all show up with their rental fees (between $2.99 and $3.99 for 24 hours). Searching for other movies show same results, plus free streaming with Netflix or Amazon Prime (very cool!).

The Roku 3 Breakdown

Roku 3 is fast, with an excellent interface and a huge amount of content (although YouTube is missing and AirPlay on the Apple TV has better functionality). Overall, it’s a super-polished update. If you want the most out of your streaming player, get the Roku 3!