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Roku 3 - Reviews, Prices, Specs and Alternatives
Roku has been king of the hill in the TV Box market for a while now, and while I've looked at their great recent releases, I'm throwing back this time and looking at the Roku 3. Considering this is a previous release I'll be as partial as I can.
Taking the Roku 3 out of its box. It was textbook Roku at 170 grams and its plastic body seems a bit cheap. However, it was also small at just 89 mm x 89 mm and 25 mm high making this as inconspicuous as possible. But despite its plastic shell, the Roku 3 looks all right, with its signature rounded edges and shiny black body. The Roku 3 is the first to abandon support for old, analog TVs. To use it you’ll need a modern HDTV with an HDMI input, but ironically it doesn't come with an HDMI cable, hmm. The Roku 3 supports full 1080p HD video as well as 720p HD video, and of course since this an older model it doesnt support 4k yet. Digital audio is handled over HDMI (7.1 and 5.1 surround pass through). Supported video formats are MP4 (H.264) and MKV (H.264), while supported audio formats are AAC and MP3. The Roku also supports JPEG and PNG images. But older formats like AVI are gone. The remote looks awful but I love what it does, It uses Wi-Fi direct to control the box so it doesn't require line of sight. You can use it as a game controller by turning it sideways, and you can even plug in headphones for privacy.
The Roku 3 is the first Roku as well to use its trademark UI. Roku’s 450-channel Channel Store in built right into the main UI without having to load separately. This has you quickly see what channels are available to you and add them without having to bounce back and forth between separate interfaces which can get tedious. 450 channels may seem small compared to some TV Boxes out there today, but bear in mind, this was a lot at the time this box was first released.
At a very affordable price of roughly $80 this is still a good buy in today's standards, but of course you'd like the newer releases even more. This makes me regret buying Chromecast or Apple TV back then. Now I'm a Roku convert and its a pity I didn't see the light sooner.
- 450 channels
- Easy to navigate UI
- Utility of the remote
- No AVI format
- No HDMI cable included
- No 4k support