"When it comes to TV, Roku does it right!"5.0 starson by IrvingArnold
Pros: + Updated user interface, an RF remote control with a very unique feature
+ Remote - very intuitive and easy to use
+ Interface visually appealing and intuitive
+ Lots of international channels
+ Fast loading apps
Cons: - Remote control seems a little cheap
- No YouTube channel
Summary: After all my years in the computer industry, its become a very high expectation of mine that hardware and software be easy to setup and get started with. That being said the Roku 3 is the fifth Roku I have personally installed. It is amazing that its ease of setup continues to get ever better. Take it out of the box, peel off the protective plastic, hook up the HDMI cable to your TV or monitor and the back of the Roku 3, connect the power brick and a Ethernet cable and you're done. That's it, you can't complain about 3 cables now can you?
Unlike many other products, the Roku has no power button, it consumes so little power it really doesn't need one. This means when you are ready to watch a show, there is no waiting. I knew from previous models (Roku 2) to put batteries (included) in the remote prior to going through setup. This ensures the Roku finds the remote and synchs up with it right away. Speaking of the remote, the new Roku 3 remote has an earphone jack built right into it's side. What a great feature, now when sitting in bed you can easily add earphones so as to watch TV without ever bothering the other half. The volume control is handled by two buttons on the opposite side of the remote, just where they should be. It is features like this that demonstrate the folks at Roku actually use their own products and pay close attention to detail. Small things like this really make the experience much more pleasurable.
Once you have powered on, the mostly automatic setup is a breeze and super easy to deal with. Just for the sake of seeing how well it worked, I connected the Roku 3 through both a Ethernet cable and over wireless to my dual Netgear wireless router. Added the Mac: address to the router and had it reserve an IP. Ran the wireless detection and it configured first time through without a hitch. Then I switched the cable for the faster speed over the gigabit network. I can always fall back on the wireless in case something goes bonkers with the cables.
Once the Roku 3 was up and running with my Roku account, it downloaded the new firmware, updated all my channels and I played a game of Angry Birds Space. Love the new remote, really works well for playing games like Angry Birds. As much as I like Angry Birds, it was time to put the Roku to it's best use, watching movies in HD on my 27" monitor. Went straight to Amazon Prime, linked the new Roku to my account and rented SkyFall in full 1080P. The picture was outstanding, not one hiccup or stutter, and no buffering at all, not once. skyfall is a killer movie by the way, I highly recommend it:)
All in all, the Roku 3 is just another prime example of how to do things right. Check out the new interface, search capability, and channel store look and feel, you won't be disappointed. Changing settings has never been easier. With a great new interface which allows you to go right where you need, to change between network types, interface themes, audio modes, time, etc. you'll be watching and playing within minutes of opening the box.
This new Roku is a real pleasure to use, never even looked at the literature that came with it and was watching a new release HD movie in under 15 minutes, and two of those were waiting for the popcorn in the microwave. Next ill try the USB channel with one of my slim drives with all my media, but I have a bunch of movies to catch up on first!
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You can't go wrong with the Roku 3, the best Roku yet, five stars at least!