Today Roku introduced its new Roku 3 set-top box, and the company is promising that it’s the best streamer available on the market.
The box, which retails for $99, comes equipped with a faster processor, 1080p video, HDMI, Ethernet, USB ports, microSD, improved dual-band Wi-Fi, and — something most Roku 2 users will appreciate — a new search interface.
The Roku 3 combines content searches to one central search instead of thumbing in and out of multiple applications.
Roku had this to say,
“In the spirit of simplicity, the new Roku interface features a streamlined layout to provide quicker access and greater visibility – especially if you have many channels installed. The Roku Channel Store and Search are now fully integrated into the home screen, and both have been redesigned with our new on-screen experience. Over 750+ channels are available on Roku, and you’ll find that perfect movie or show effortlessly in our updated Roku Channel Store.”
Check out Roku’s new interface in this video:
The new interface will debut on the Roku 3, but current Roku owners shouldn’t fret; A free software update in April will roll out the software to Roku 2, Roku HD, Roku LT, and Roku Streaming Stick models.
Roku’s new remote, dubbed the Enhanced Remote, features an integrated headphone jack (with included headphones) that makes late night viewing a breeze if you don’t want to disturb a significant other, or roommates.
Is it possible that with the Roku 3 announcement Apple might step its game up and add channels to its Apple TV streamer? HBO has already said that it wants to be on Apple TV, but as of now HBO Go isn’t offered on the device.
Roku on the other hand provides HBO Go and a plethora of other network services, audio streaming applications like Pandora, and even pre-installed games like everyone’s favorite pastime, Angry Birds.
For now it looks like Roku and its newest device, the Roku 3, might be the industry leader.
Will you be picking up a Roku 3? Are you a current Apple TV or Roku user? What’s missing from the market and how can existing products improve?
Chase Williams is a serial entrepreneur, professional procrastinator, dreamer, explorer and risk taker. He's been weightless aboard a NASA C9-B aircraft and his head hasn't quite come back down from the upper-atmosphere. To keep up with his low-oxygen chatter, follow him on Twitter @ChaseHWill