"NIce features, good potential, low video quality"2.0 starson by eboy
Pros: - Headphone on remote control is a neat feature
- simple interface
- the channel developers can improve the user experience tremendously if they get on their act.
Cons: - poor video quality
- streaming inconsistency
- Interface design is not very attractive, and it's lacking depth.
Summary: I'm a big believer of future's movie and video service will be network and cloud based. The little box come out from Apple which call Apple TV caught my attention right away when it's available, even though it's not a huge deal in any respects. Roku 3 is a attempt to further that idea as to compete. But I have the most disappointment for the video quality. Most of the reviews I read has been talking about features and all, many compare that with Apple TV. I think feature are important, more functions and possibilities are good, but how can you neglect the most important and basic feature of all: Video quality!! I was surprise when I start using Roku 3, at first I thought I make a mistake, the images shown on my TV through Roku is like a SD scale up quality, the interface, the video are all like that...I check and it say it's outputting 1080p. ThenI check it with my Apple TV, it's like heaven and earth, Apple TV outputting crisp, high quality video, good contrast, smooth tone transitions... all is lacking from the Roku 3.
I'm plugging these 2 boxes into a Pioneer Elite Plasma TV, and I'm somebody who work with images and video daily as a profession.
That difference between Roku and Apple TV is a big deal to me, more than any extra features. No matter how many channels and features you add to it, if you cannot get the basics right, I mean if you're doing video and you don't know what a good image mean, I see it as a failure.
Roku has good channels, like Vudu, which streams 1080p video, but it's so lacking in quality through this box. Vudu on PS 3 is exceptional. So as Netflix, which looks so good on Apple TV.
Roku should put their effort to improve this single aspect for their next upgrade.
That's why I do not agree with CNet's review because they do not review the quality of the product.