Roku 3 – Back With More Features

Roku-3-with-headphonesI love having media on demand. We’ve got a Roku or some type of online media streaming device in rooms all over the house. With them, we get Netflix, Pandora and much more on demand. When Roku announced its latest incarnation of the popular device I knew I had to get one.

Like the models before it, the Roku 3 allows users to access a wide range of video, music, and entertainment services. We are talking about hundreds of channels! That is a lot of entertainment.

Weighing only just a few ounces, the Roku 3 is packed with power. Thanks to it’s HDMI output, the Roku 3 is able to output 1080p HD video and 7.1 and 5.1 surround sound. Unfortunately, the HDMI output is the only output on the device. This means people with older TVs are out of luck. You will need to resort to an older model Roku with the RCA connections.

The Roku 3 also has a built in USB port as well as a Micro SD slot. The SD slot is used to expand the Roku’s built in memory allowing you to install more apps and games. The USB slot allows users to plug in a USB drive to enjoy their own personal music, movies and pictures. When I first got my Roku, I wasn’t sure how to watch files from the USB. I was expecting the Roku to automatically detect it, but that never happened. In order to use the USB port, you need to install an app from the Roku store. While the app is free, I don’t understand why it didn’t come bundled with the software in the first place.

Roku-3-remote-with-headphones When the Roku 2 came out, one of its newest features was its specially designed motion remote. For the Roku 3, the makers upped the ante and added a cool headphone jack built into the remote. This allows someone to use the device, while not disturbing others, for example the person sleeping next to you in bed. While the Roku 3 comes with headphones you can use any kind you’d like as long as they fit a standard headphone jack. Don’t like the included remote? There are many apps you can download for your smartphone, turning it into a Roku Remote.

While the games on the Roku are not a huge selling point for me, they fun to have on there. I think the best game on there is the “You Don’t Know Jack” games. They are perfect for parties or for when you’ve got some friends over. We played the demo version and were having a great time yelling at the tv trying to guess the answers. While the Roku 3 comes with Angry Birds: Space built in, it does not work with the previous Angry Bird games. I am hoping this is just an OS thing and a future update will fix that issue.

DVD Extras:
The Roku 3 was featured in a We Used That television segment showcasing Father’s Day gifts for Dad.

This past weekend, we went out of town and had to stay at a hotel. I thought I was being smart and packed my Roku in my bag. Knowing there was an HD TV and Free WiFi at the hotel, I thought I’d bring some entertainment with me. After getting it all hooked up, I still couldn’t use the device. Unfortunately, some Hotels make you log into a web browser first to agree to their terms of use. Without any way of being able to access that from the Roku, I could not get connected to the web. Here I was, thinking I was so smart. Drats.

I have a few favorite apps and channels for the Roku 3. Be sure to check back soon for reviews on a few of my favorites.

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