Roku 3 Streaming Player Review

  • Setup
  • Interface
  • Features
  • Entertainment
3.88 Star Rating
Reviewed By Nathan Watson Video & Media

Roku 3 Streaming Player is the latest product released by Roku. It is the most powerful media player they have developed so far. It provides simple methods to enjoy multiple choices of entertainment. This streaming player has hundreds of channels to choose from all ranging from free to rental to purchase. It can also play 1080p HD videos.

If you didn’t know yet, Roku was first launched in 2002 with the mindset that people should be able to watch, listen and enjoy whatever entertainment right there on the TV. Now, they have branded themselves as having the best choices and value when it comes to TV entertainment.

Roku 3 Setup

The setup for the Roku 3 Streaming Player is fairly simple, but a little time consuming. Basically to get started, you would have to:

  • Plug in Roku 3 device to TV
  • Connect to the internet via WiFi or Ethernet cable
  • Update software
  • Activate device with given code
  • Create a Roku account
  • Add wanted channels
  • Enjoy streaming

In total, I believe it took approximately 20 minutes for me to setup and get started. The act of having to create an account was definitely a negative for me. But seeing as how you can control the channels that will show up on the Roku 3 player from the account, I can look past it.

Roku 3 Interface

The Roku 3 Streaming Player was given a facelift and features a new interface that is beautifully designed and can be browsed smoothly and effortlessly. With the use of the remote controller, I was able to easily navigate my way through and find the channels that I wanted. This interface is very user-friendly that even a new user to Roku equipment like myself can surely find the specific video that I was searching for.

Roku 3 Search Function

The Roku 3 streaming player has the most powerful search function that I have experienced out of all the media type players out there. The universal capabilities of this streaming device to search through all the 750+ channels for a specific movie, sports or song is truly impressive. All I had to do was enter a specific keyword such as a movie title, sports or song and the search engine will go through all the channels that are available. I don’t believe that it can get any better.

With the search results, I found my favorite movie available from channels such as Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video. It also showed me options for purchasing, renting or watching it for free. Since I already had a membership with Netflix, I was able to watch the movie free of charge. The search capabilities are very useful since I don’t have to manually go through each individual Roku channel and attempt to find what I intended to look for.

Roku 3 Channels

Roku has a network of entertainment that delivers the best selection obtainable. Although unfortunately, an official YouTube and iTunes channel  is not yet accessible. But as a consolation prize, Roku presents a massive amount of channels for me to browse through and enjoy the endless amount of entertainment provided. Right now, the number of channels that I can enjoy easily exceeds 750 channels! And as mentioned before, I can also watch all my videos in 1080p HiDef!

Out of all the channels available, I am most likely visiting the movie channels since I am a movie snob. So, you can be sure that I will be spending the majority of my time with Roku 3 visiting channels such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video and HBO Go.

Although if movies aren’t your preferred entertainment, Roku 3 channels have a ton of live sports for those sports enthusiast to watch forever. You can watch popular sports from MLB TV, NBA League Pass, NHL GameCenter and the UFC. Roku even offers international sports such as the Indian Premier League Cricket and the Brazilian Pro Soccer.

And if both the movies and sports channel doesn’t satisfy your appetite for entertainment, you can enjoy the unlimited music available from music channels such as Spotify, Pandora and VEVO. You can even access your mp3 library remotely. I tried this and I love it!

Roku 3 Remote Control

The remote control that comes with the Roku 3 Streaming Player is one step away from being truly remarkable. The remote has a standard d-pad, back/home button, settings button, play/pause/reverse button, and volume control. The Roku 3 remote also has motion control for games/navigating and a headphone jack. I can confidently say that the control feels splendidly in the palm of my hand.

The motion control for this remote is very much similar to how Wii controller operates. So, it is very exciting to play games such as angry bird with this remote. I can also use the motion control to navigate my way through channels. So instead of using the d-pad, I can just flick my wrist around and browse all the channels.

And as I don’t live alone, the headphone jack is perfect for me. I can just plug in the stock in-ear headphones so I don’t bother the people around me and enjoy my movies privately and quietly. Although instead of the annoying in-ear headphones that are given, I instead plug in my Beats by Dre and spend endless hours watching movies comfortably.

Roku 3 iPhone/Android App

Roku 3 also offers an iPhone and Android app for smartphones to turn into a device that can manipulate the Roku 3 Player. This app allows me to start a show, replay, browse all the channels and add a new channel. I can even type in searches using the functional virtual keyboard.

Pros of Roku 3

  • Excellent new interface
  • Over 750 channels
  • Plenty of free content
  • iPhone/Android App

Cons of Roku 3

  • No official YouTube
  • No iTunes
  • Limited file type support
  • Cannot control TV volume

Overall Verdict

The Roku 3 Streaming Player really stands apart from its competitors. The extensive selection of channels that Roku has is really difficult to beat. And when you add in all the other features available, a price of $99 for the Roku 3 certainly has value.

Although, I wouldn’t buy this if I already own a similar media player. But if you don’t have anything remotely similar, the Roku 3 Streaming Player is definitely something I would recommend to buy.

Get Roku 3 Streaming Player

2 Comments. Leave new

I use to pay $70/month for my cable TV that I was barely using. I decided to get this instead and cancel my cable subscription. It was the best decision I’ve made. The roku 3 is only $100, so it was an easy choice. The best part is that they have a lot of channels.


I have the Roku3 both at my house and at my summer home. It works great and the amount of channels available is overwhelming. I mainly just use Netflix and hulu though. It is a great equipment to get as long as you have a fast internet connection. I was deciding between this and the apple TV. I’m glad I chose this instead.


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