In case you do not know what Roku is all about, it can be simply defined as an internet based media streaming device that allows you to watch online content on the large screen of your Television.
Depending upon your location (US, Canada, UK), Roku 3 can connect you to anywhere from 450 to 2,000 online media streaming channels, many of which are free.
Roku 3 Review
The current edition of Roku known as Roku 3 is widely considered to be one of the best streaming Media Players in the market, competing with the likes of Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Xbox One and Google Chromecast.
Size : 89 x 89 x 25 mm thick
Weight : 170 grams
Roku 3 is a cute little device with rounded edges, which is a slight change from previous versions which lacked the curves. The device is shiny black in color, except for a tiny ‘Roku’ label at the side, which is purple in color.
At the back of the Roku you will find an Ethernet port, HDMI output, Micro-SD slot, and a power plug. There’s also a USB port on the side of the device.
Roku has non-skid rubber finish at the bottom, this helps it to stay firm and prevents it from sliding.
Roku 3 Remote
The most outstanding feature of Roku 3 remote is its private listening mode. This can be accessed by simply plugging the headphones into the built-in headphone socket of the remote.
Once the headphones are plugged into the remote, your TV will go mute – unplugging the headphones will bring back your TV to its loud self!
This is a really useful feature that can let you watch TV or listen to music without disturbing other people in the house.
The remote has a volume control button, which only works in headphone mode, you cannot use this to control the volume of your television set.
The Roku remote is also equipped with Wii like motion-sensing technology and game-ready buttons. This means you can use the remote like a Wii-mote and play family friendly games like Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy and others.
Roku 3 has a USB port, that provides users with the option of playing video files from any USB drive like a USB stick or a portable hard drive.
The USB port has limitations when it comes to supported file formats. For Video’s, the supported file format is limited to MKV and MP4 video, while still pictures are limited to GIF, JPEG and PNG images.
Audio support is comparatively better – You can play MP3, FLAC, AAC, WAV and WMA files. However, do not expect Roku 3 to play digital rights management (DRM) protected files.
Roku 3 User Interface
Roku 3 has a friendly user-interface with neatly organized menus. Roku has used high quality graphics which makes the animations look good and contributes to a pleasing user experience.
With so many channels you will find the need to organize and group them. Roku lets you organize and group channels into Movie, TV, Game or My channels, so that you can easily find all your channels.
Another useful feature in Roku 3 is its recently added ability for Voice Search. This allows you to search across multiple services for a movie, video or a TV program using voice commands.
For example, you can search for something like ‘How I Met Your Mother’ and Roku will list episodes available on Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, Netflix, and others.
How to Set Up Roku 3
Roku 3 is fairly easy to set up, assuming that you have a HDTV and high-speed internet connection. You will also need a laptop, smartphone or a tablet to create a free Roku account.
- Unpack the device and connect it to a power supply source (your wall socket)
- Connect Roku to your television set using an HDMI cable
The unit begins booting up and prompts you to select whether you want to use a wireless or wired network connection.
You can connect Roku 3 to your modem if you prefer using a wired connection.
In case you select wireless, the device begins to look for WiFi networks and displays a list of WiFi networks that it has detected. Select your WiFi network from the list and enter your network password.
Once connected to the network, the device will display a four digit activation code on your television screen. You will need this code for linking your device to your Roku account.
Creating Roku Account and Registering the Device
Head over to roku.com and simply follow the prompts to create your account and enter the four digit code that was displayed on your TV.
Once you enter the code you will be prompted to add payment info, just in case you want to buy a channel or game in the future. You cannot by-pass this step, although you can later choose to delete your payment information.
Once the account is created and your device is linked to the account, Roku automatically begins to download channels that you selected during the account creation process.
Why Roku 3
Roku reportedly has the highest selection of free and premium channels compared to any media streaming device in the market.
All the big players like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, Vudu, Pandora and Spotify are available on Roku, apart from tons of other ones like like PBS, Crackle, MLB and others.
With Roku you can practically go cable free and save money. Roku has channels for everything ranging from Live News, Movies, Sports and Music to informative and motivating channels like TED Talks.
While there are tons of free channels on Roku, premium channels like Netflix and Amazon Videos are not that expensive and you can use them on Roku 3.
You can subscribe to Netflix for as little as $7.99 per month and Amazon Prime will only cost you $99/year, while providing free shipping on all your purchases and tons of digital content – movies, TV shows, music, games, videos, books and more available on Amazon’s vast ecosystem.
You can buy Roku 3 Media Player with Voice Search from Amazon
Image Source: roku.com