Roku introduced on Wednesday its third-generation streaming player, the Roku 3. (opens in new tab) The refresh includes a faster processor and an enhanced remote packed with a headphone jack (and included earbuds) for private listening. It also introduces the company's new user interface which promises a more fluid experience during browsing and navigation.
"Roku 3 introduces thoughtful new features that customers will love," said founder and CEO Anthony Wood. "The intuitive new interface makes it easy to find movies and shows quickly while the private listening mode is perfect for late-night streamers who don’t want to wake up the family."
In addition to the headphone jack, volume buttons on the remote allow the user to control the audio while private listening mode is in use. The new remote also doubles as a motion-sensing controller for playing games like Angry Birds Space. Even more, there's an Android and iOS app that transforms a phone or tablet into "the ultimate Roku command center".
As for the new interface, Roku said it will also be rolled out as a free update to all current-generation Roku devices including the Roku LT, Roku HD 2500R, Roku 2 HD, Roku 2 XD, Roku 2 XS and the Roku Streaming Stick. "Roku’s new interface maintains the simplicity that Roku is known for, while providing improved access to channels," the company added. "And the fully integrated Roku Channel Store and one-stop search lets customers easily pinpoint what they want to watch – and get there instantly."
The new Roku 3 offers more than 750 channels of entertainment including Time Warner's TWC TV, Blockbuster On Demand, iHeartRadio, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Crackle, Amazon Instant Video, NBC News, and more. Other channels launching soon include FOX NOW, PBS and PBS Kids. On the specs end, Roku doesn't provide a detailed list, but said it sports dual-band Wireless N connectivity, an Ethernet port, USB ports, a microSD card slot, and 1080p HD support. It weighs 5 ounces and measures just 3.5- x 3.5- x 1-inches.
The new Roku 3 is available now in the States for $99.99 USD through Roku.com and online retailers like Amazon. It will be offered in retail stores nationwide beginning in April.
By the time I get one in, it'll do everything Roku does plus play android games, emulators and play streaming games from my pc.
Now if they dropped the price sub $50 it might be worth giving a second look, but at the $99 price point the only thing Roku has going for it is a snazzy remote.
Ouya cost $150, you can have a roku for much less but the roku is appealing for people who don't have a smart tv, smart blu-ray player or don't want to connect the laptop every single time they want to stream something online. My biggest complain with my Roku is that it doesn't support multiple video formats like other similar devices.
$150 (US) is the price for an OUYA with a 2nd controller, $99 (US) is base price for a console and single controller.
Toms, do you think you could do a review and compare it to Western Digital TV Live?
The last time I was shopping for a non-tech friend, I was going to go with Roku but the lack of youtube forced me to buy WD Live TV.
As far as I'm concerned, yes it still doesn't support network streaming. Playon works but isn't free.
I've found Plex to work well with multiple formats and does support a crappy version of youtube as well.