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Old Mar 6, 2013, 08:46 AM   #1
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Roku Announces Roku 3 Set-Top Box




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.

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.

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.
Quote:
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.

Article Link: Roku Announces Roku 3 Set-Top Box
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 08:47 AM   #2
madsci954
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My first thought: that remote looks like a Wii-mote.
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 08:48 AM   #3
JaySoul
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That headphone jack in the remote is such a great idea!
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 08:48 AM   #4
DDaddyx2
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Please, Apple, add more service providers to Apple TV so I am not jealous of Roku. Amazon Instant, Spotify, Pandora....come on!!
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 08:48 AM   #5
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Sadly, as with AppleTv it's only viable in the US, anywhere else not so much.
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 08:51 AM   #6
Xenomorph
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I have a Roku, and a few people I work with got one as well.

Biggest issues:

- That D-pad on the remote? It's one of those really crappy ones. There is no pivot point in the middle, which means you can push all 4 directions at the same time.

- No YouTube app.

- Poor indication of if anything was "happening" in an app, menus, interface, etc. Is something loading? Did it hang? Who knows! There's no activity indicators.


Galaga is actually my favorite thing on Roku. It's a nice, arcade-perfect game that even saves my high score between plays. But that D-pad is horrible. If they fixed the D-pad on the new Roku, I would get one.
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 08:55 AM   #7
thederby
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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).
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 08:56 AM   #8
ikev85
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With the Roku iOS app you can stream music and pictures from your phone to your TV. it isn't Airplay but it's something
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 08:58 AM   #9
leon44
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Plleeaassee put the iPlayer on the Apple TV
and 4OD,
then the UK will really listen
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 08:58 AM   #10
UnfetteredMind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenomorph View Post
Galaga is actually my favorite thing on Roku. It's a nice, arcade-perfect game that even saves my high score between plays. But that D-pad is horrible. If they fixed the D-pad on the new Roku, I would get one.
OMG! Galaga is one of my all-time favorite games. Even more tempting now to get a Roku. I'd really like to stick to one strategy for streaming though (and I have a 3rd gen AppleTV right now). I really wish Apple would open Pandora's box by opening up the AppleTV to third party app developers. For this I keep waiting and hoping.
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 09:05 AM   #11
Xenomorph
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thederby View Post
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.

----------

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.
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 09:06 AM   #12
JaySoul
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leon44 View Post
Plleeaassee put the iPlayer on the Apple TV
and 4OD,
then the UK will really listen
Just AirPlay the BBC iPlayer from your iPhone/iPad to the Apple TV. It works well now, even "Africa" looked beautiful through this.
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 09:10 AM   #13
Jamie Clay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenomorph View Post

- No YouTube app.
There is (now) a dandy YouTube app on the Roku called VideoBuzz, works quite well.

Also, PlayOn in conjunction with a desktop can serve local (on your home network) media, (Free Hulu) and most of the popular streaming sites.

The only thing Apple TV has going for it is Airplay as far as I can tell.
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 09:14 AM   #14
samcraig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenomorph View Post
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.

----------

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.
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 09:24 AM   #15
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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 TV. I'd like to see what the "hobby" would look like after a year or two of dedicated attention.
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 09:29 AM   #16
milo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thederby View Post
can it stream my existing media from a network share? if so, what codecs?
It can with the Plex software plugin. And it's pretty amazing, I'm doing it with the last Roku and it's way better than any apple media software I've used.

I don't know specifics on codecs, it probably doesn't play iTunes store content because of DRM but it has played any other files I've tried.
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 09:29 AM   #17
samcraig
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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)
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 09:36 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenomorph View Post
Lots of people mess with jailbreaking their Apple TV ... just to do what Roku already does.
Because of what the Roku can't do and you can't 'jailbreak' to get that to work since it's hardware based.

As for my Apple TV, it has around 300k apps thanks to my being able to Airplay anything I want off my devices. For me, and many, that's good enough. We don't need them onboard the set box

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by HobeSoundDarryl View Post
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 TV. I'd like to see what the "hobby" would look like after a year or two of dedicated attention.
1. That's basically their only product. So yeah they are focusing on it
2. You don't know that Apple doesn't have a team. They could have 1000 folks working in this. And you still won't like the results because they didn't do it the way you (and most of this board) want them to. But it will probably still sell hand over fist to 'the sheep'
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 09:45 AM   #19
Tiger8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenomorph View Post
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.

----------

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.
You speak the truth! I love my Roku 2 nothing else comes close in terms of Apps and flexibility.

One often overlooked feature of Roku is how WELL it streams netflix over low-speed connections. Not all network streaming devices are the same.
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 09:47 AM   #20
Ptjones1968
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"The only thing Apple TV has going for it is Airplay as far as I can tell".

Airplay has a huge advantage over Roku. I can convert my HDTV to a giant monitor by activating Airplay on my iMac. The Bluetooth keypad and trackpad easily work in a different part of the house. I can then watch Amazon TV or play Angry Birds or whatever else takes my fancy.
Face Time is also great through Apple TV.
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 09:48 AM   #21
samcraig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenomorph View Post
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.

----------

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.

You can also get a 1080p version for $79. http://shop.roku.com/ offers the comparison in models.
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 09:49 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaySoul View Post
That headphone jack in the remote is such a great idea!
Probably sarcasm but I think it is a good idea
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 10:01 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaySoul View Post
That headphone jack in the remote is such a great idea!
I use my iPhone as an ATV3 remote, it's also got a headphone jack...
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 10:07 AM   #24
Carlanga
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Headphone jack in the remote umm I would prefer bluetooth headphone support .
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 10:09 AM   #25
JaySoul
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Originally Posted by Hastings101 View Post
Probably sarcasm but I think it is a good idea
No not sarcasm at all.

Honestly, when watching TV in bed my partner will invariably fall asleep within 5 minutes, leaving me to watch the rest of the program at a miniscule volume.

This would solve that brilliant. I'd literally use it every night.
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