March 06, 2013 by Grant Clauser
We’re big fans of Roku’s streaming media boxes—I have one in my home theater and use it constantly. The company just announced the Roku 3, which improves on the device with a faster processor, and new remote.
The new processor, combined with an updated interface is supposed to make navigation and browsing faster. The biggest change to the interface appears to be a switch from the single horizontal navigation style to a grid style, which puts more of a user’s channels on the screen at once. Instead of navigating left and right only, you can go left, right, up and down.
The other big change is in the remote which now includes a headphone jack (and a set of purple earbuds). Audio is wirelessly sent to the remote and into the headphone output, making any set of headphones essentially wireless—that’s pretty neat. The remote also doubles as a motion-sensing game controller for Roku games.
Roku 3 comes fully loaded with 750 channels, 1080p output, dual-band wireless, Ethernet and USB ports, and a microSD slot.
It will be available in April for $99.
Related: Understanding Media Streamers and Servers.
The new users interface will also be available as a firmware update to current generation Roku devices – Roku LT, Roku HD (model 2500R), Roku 2 HD, Roku 2 XD, Roku 2 XS and the Roku Streaming Stick.
Related: Rent or Buy: The Future of Movie Servers and Services.
Also check out new streaming media boxes from Control4, Western Digital and IOGEAR.
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Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.
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