Over at Business Insider, Steve Kovach writes a glowing review of the new Roku 3, arguing that it "blows away the Apple
Here's an example of where Apple runs into trouble by putting out hardware that's a clear attempt to lock users into its ecosystem.
It ends up with a subpar streaming player that, as Kovach indicates, you should only buy if you have tons of iTunes video content. I say video because with the Roku iPhone app, you can actually play your iTunes music library and view photos through your Roku. I haven't quite figured out how to make it work yet, but I think you can also stream video from devices such as laptops and tablets via a USB connection.
For instance, Intel Media VP/GM Erik Huggers claims he wants to address personalization by user across one household Netflix
On the Roku 3, you can search for movies and television shows by title, name or by actor or director. The results display the streaming services that license what you're looking for, prices -- in standard and HD quality -- and available seasons/episodes on each.
So, this past weekend when I wondered about the availability of season three of Louie, I searched the Roku 3, got instant results, discovered no Netflix availability and made a choice between Amazon.com
Solid. I can stream hockey through the Roku via NHL GameCenter. I put my old Roku in my office/bedroom where I can catch games and other content absent a DirecTV
Shortcomings? I can only think of one big one and one small one, outside of dreams of further innovation that somebody else -- Apple, Intel, Roku's next update, whom or whatever -- could have coming.
First, the onscreen keyboard you use to search programming sucks as bad on Roku 3 as it does on the other models. It's the type where you select each character one-by-one. There's got to be a solution -- motion technology, voice recognition, whatever. That said, it might be tough to keep the Roku at its $99 price point with too many bells and whistles.
Second, while Roku imports your downloaded channels when you hook up your new device and log into your existing Roku account, it doesn't preserve links between services such as Netflix, Amazon, Pandora
Some of the apps aren't the greatest, particularly when you compare them to mobile versions and desktop experiences. For instance, you can't share music you listen to on Pandora or Spotify to social networks. Small deal. And, ultimately, it comes down to developers at these companies making the platforms they deliver to Roku better.
Overall, it's really the best $99 you can spend on a streaming box. And, as somebody who has played with Apple TV quite a bit, there really is no comparison. Roku nails this one across the board, whereas Apple TV merely serves Apple's desire to sell content through iTunes.
--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.
- 5 Top Cars at the New York Auto Show
- 10 Ways to Cut the Cost of Airfare
- Your House Is For Sale, You Just Don't Know it Yet
- Technology & Electronics
- Arts & Entertainment