Media streaming is now a mainstream thing. With the rise in demand of streaming service both live and on-demand, the demand for streaming devices is also rising. Users can access them via smartphones, tablets or PC. But of course, we all love sitting down in front of google box. Here come the set top boxes in clever boxes, which let you turn your dumb TV into smart TV, and they are capable of streaming on-demand content.
By these set top boxes we can watch our favorite content whenever, wherever, and whatever device. There are now plenty of big names in the market of set-top boxes like Apple, Roku, Google, and Microsoft. Apple Tv is still a contender, but there is one more name in digital streaming Roku. Among all the big name with the variety of streaming devices is Roku. Today we will look at Roku 3, which is one of the best digital streaming devices.
Design and Connectivity
Roku 3 is very light out of the box and its plastic seems a bit cheap as compared to Apple TV. The surface footprint of Roku is also small. But despite all this Roku 3 looks nice with its rounded edges and shiny black body. Once you connect it to your TV, chances are that you will never touch it again. So its cheap plastic build feel is not a drawback. The Roku 3 talks to your network via built-in 802.11 dual-band Wi-Fi (a/b/g/n compatible) with WEP, WPA, and WPA2 support. It also offers a 10/100 Base-T Ethernet port on the back.
This is the first Roku to ditch the support for analog TVs. For using Roku 3 you will need a modern HDTV with an HDMI input. Beneath the HDMI port at the back, you will also find a micro SD slot at the back, for additional storage of game and channel storage. There is another slot for USB that allows you to play back the digital media files. For more information, Roku support can be taken.
Software Interface, Channels, and Content
Roku has a long way its user interface. Now you can view nine channels at a time. This makes browsing and watching the content easier. Roku offers more than 450 channels, but they are not installed by default, even they are not in the main menu. Though it’s good as browsing through 450channels if difficult. You can get the channels from Roku Channel store which has now been built into the main UI. If we compare channels from apple Tv, Roku is far better as Apple TV just offers less than 30 channels. Most of the big guns are offered by Roku like BBC iPlayer, Netflix, NOW Tv, Sky Store, Spotify, Demand 5, YouTube along with the hundreds of smaller channels that are sure to offer something.
Video, Audio, and Multimedia
Roku 3 supports full 1080p HD video along with the 720p video. Digital audio is also supported. The video formats that are supported are MP4 and MKV, while supported audio formats are AAC and MP3.
Roku 3 also acts as a gaming console. It supports casual gaming and Angry Birds is included free.
You will have a love hate relationship with Roku remote. You will hate its looks but love it that it can do. It is big, bulky, and looks like it should be embedded in the back of an airplane seat. If you will compare it with Apple TV remote, then you will find it seven times thicker than Apple TV. The remote of Roku uses wi-fi direct technology to talk about the Roku box. This remote also doubles as a game controller. Another interesting feature I am that built-in headphone jack. These features allow you to do the private listening without disturbing anyone.
If you are a PC user, then Roku 3 is the best set top box for streaming any content. But if you are a Mac user, then you should opt for Apple Tv as it is tightly integrated into OS X and iOS ecosystem to make it the but obvious choice.
For most people who are not tied to Mac, Roku 3 is no brainer. At an affordable price, you will get a lot more than your price. 450 channels of free and on-demand content, an easy to stream and share your media, and even a light gaming console. Roku could be one of Apple’s main challenges in near future.