Having been an Apple TV user for the past two years, when I was offered the chance to try a Roku 3 I thought I would give it a shot.
As someone who uses a MacBook Pro and iPhone 5s the Apple TV makes perfect sense but lately I have found my interest in Apple TV to be waning.
I’m not a fan of the small and clumsy remote that comes with the Apple TV and have found that its interface needs a bit of an update. The Roku 3 remote was a huge improvement and so was its interface.
Roku 3 Setup
When I unboxed the Roku 3 I was impressed by how easy it was to set up and install. I connected both a HDMI and Ethernet network cable to it as I wanted to be able to run through my TV and make sure I had a strong internet connection and not just relying on Wifi. I’ve included a quick video on setup below.
Setup was a breeze and I followed the instructions closely configuring the hardware first and then moving over to the software. Be forewarned you’ll need to make sure that you have enough HDMI ports. I already have an IOGear HDMI Hub because my Samsung TV has only two HDMI Ports. I had to add this to convert my TV to a smart TV.
Roku requires that you create an account so that you can complete setup and for when you want to use any of its paid features including over 1400 channels you can subscribe to in the Roku Channel Store.
I stuck with the basics included in the software which are YouTube, Netflix, I already have an account, Rdio and Google Play.
I also checked out Google Play on the Roku. Added last October, Google Play acts like the Movies and TV function on the Apple TV allowing for you to watch new releases or iconic classics for both movies and television.
I am avid streamer of channels and music from YouTube and used this regularly on AppleTV so when I saw the option to use it I thought I would check it out.
The YouTube interface for the Roku 3 is a nice one and it was here that I realized I could use voice search to find videos that I wanted. I found this worked reasonable well with about 60 percent of my requests. The remote also has a unique headphone jack for private listening which was nice as well.
All in all the Roku 3 is a great streaming media device and player. I would highly recommend it to anyone that doesn’t own a streaming device or is looking for a change from their current device.