Roku Announces Roku 3 Set-Top Box

Wednesday March 6, 2013 5:46 AM PST by Husain Sumra
Roku yesterday announced their third-generation set-top box, and Apple TV competitor, Roku 3, with new features like a brand new interface and motion gestures for its remote.

roku3
Like previous Roku boxes, the newest version also hosts entertainment apps like Hulu Plus, HBO GO, Amazon Instant Video, Netflix and more, in addition to music streaming apps like Spotify and Pandora.

The big new addition, however, is a brand new interface with a new search function. Search now allows users to search by movie title, director, actor and more and pulls in information from all of the installed apps. Once the user finds something they're looking for, they're able to watch it on whichever app they like.

roku_3_interface
The company has also included a motion controller, much like the controllers for Nintendo's Wii game console, so that users can play games like the bundled Angry Birds Space. The controller also has a headphone jack that allows users to plug in the included earbuds and listen to their programming without disturbing others.

Roku also claims that the box consumes less power than a nightlight when streaming, has dual-band wireless for fast streaming and is the most powerful box they've built.

Although the Roku has 750 apps, more than the handful available on Apple TV, Business Insider says that Roku doesn't have a feature similar to AirPlay.
On the flipside, Roku doesn't work as well with mobile devices as the Apple TV does. You can't wirelessly beam content from your smartphone or tablet to your Roku like you can with Apple TV.
The new Roku 3 is $99, in line with Apple TV pricing, and will begin shipping in April.

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 21 months ago
That headphone jack in the remote is such a great idea!
Rating: 19 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago
See the kinds of little niceties that can be innovated when you have a team focused on a product line instead of treating it as a hobby? I wish Apple would take a tiny fraction of that war chest and put a dedicated team together that focuses on nothing but :apple:TV. I'd like to see what the "hobby" would look like after a year or two of dedicated attention.
Rating: 6 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago

I use my iPhone as an ATV3 remote, it's also got a headphone jack...


Can you listen to the audio on the iPhone whilst watching the AirPlayed video on Apple TV?
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago
Please, Apple, add more service providers to Apple TV so I am not jealous of Roku. Amazon Instant, Spotify, Pandora....come on!!
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago

No. But if I'm using headphones I might as well use my MacBook or iPad instead of the TV.

It's neat but not a must have.


If you use your MacBook or iPad to watch something, you subsequently can't use it for much else.

I have the TV on and do stuff on my MacBook or iPad at the same time.

Failing to understand your original point here.

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Maybe you should turn up the TV louder so they don't fall asleep in the first place! :D


Maybe they should make better TV programmes! :D
Rating: 4 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago
Sadly, as with AppleTv it's only viable in the US, anywhere else not so much.
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago

can it stream my existing media from a network share? if so, what codecs?

this is my #1 requirement for a box like this and the main reason why an appletv3 won't be in the running until it gets a jailbreak (so it can run xbmc).


The Roku hardware has a Network connection, USB port (for massive multi-TB hard drives), and an SD card slot.

The Roku OS has multiple programs for playing/streaming from any of those, including popular software such as Plex.
So right there that tells you that anything Plex understands (MKV, MP4, H.264, etc) can be played on the Roku.

There's a lot of people that will tell you that a Roku is a hundred times better than an Apple TV, simply due to the wide variety of apps.
Lots of people mess with jailbreaking their Apple TV ... just to do what Roku already does.

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Something to keep in mind is the Roku's price.

The basic unit (WiFi, 720p, APPS) is just $49.99.

The $99 unit (WiFi, Ethernet, SD, USB, 1080p, APPS, etc) is $99. Way more features and functionality than the $99 Apple TV.

The new Roku 3 is still $99, but adds a multi-core Cortex 9 CPU, which really kicks the speed up.
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago

The Roku hardware has a Network connection, USB port (for massive multi-TB hard drives), and an SD card slot.

The Roku OS has multiple programs for playing/streaming from any of those, including popular software such as Plex.
So right there that tells you that anything Plex understands (MKV, MP4, H.264, etc) can be played on the Roku.

There's a lot of people that will tell you that a Roku is a hundred times better than an Apple TV, simply due to the wide variety of apps.
Lots of people mess with jailbreaking their Apple TV ... just to do what Roku already does.

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Something to keep in mind is the Roku's price.

The basic unit (WiFi, 720p, APPS) is just $49.99.

The $99 unit (WiFi, Ethernet, SD, USB, 1080p, APPS, etc) is $99. Way more features and functionality than the $99 Apple TV.

The new Roku 3 is still $99, but adds a multi-core Cortex 9 CPU, which really kicks the speed up.


I know it would never happen - but apple should really create an iTunes app so people can use their Roku and watch movies/tv from their iTunes account.

While it might make Apple take a hit on hardware - they would be getting revenue from media consumption.
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago
I don't have a roku - but two things would make it "perfect" for me

1 - ability to add a tv tuner or built in tv tuner
2 - be able to use usb to attach a hard drive to record (DVR)
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago
For me I prefer the Apple tv, and I'll tell you why:

The UI to be is intuitive and much easier to use (dummy proof, not all of the people that use my Apple tv are tech people). For them the folders and the way it's set up is alot easier than any other system I've tried.

Ya it's inconvenient to have to re-cod all my videos and put them into itunes. Ya I wish there was a little more structure where I could group all my tv shows by show and not by season.

But at the end of the day, the pros very much outweigh the cons, so I'm sticking with the apple tv.
Rating: 2 Votes

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