Roku already set an enviable performance precedent with the release of the “2 XS” streaming media player in 2011. Now the California-based technology enterprise seeks to raise the bar much higher with the all-new Roku 3 player that sports many fresh features all at a competitive product price of merely USD 99.
But it’s the Roku 3’s revamped user interface that has invited the most accolades and a comprehensive review of its several facets follows:
The user interface sports a vibrant and distinctive grid layout as compared to the previous iteration, which had a plain single-screen display. Highlights of the new layout:
a) A menu panel has been inserted into the left corner of the screen replacing the Roku 2 XS’s system of having a separate screen altogether for the purpose. The menu panel initially reveals the following options:
- My Channels used to house your favorite stations.
- Channel Store containing the complete gamut of offered stations.
- Search allowing you to home in on your preferred stations and shows.
- Settings containing controls to customize the display.
b) You now have nine media stations blocks visible on the starting screen (to the right of the menu panel). Note that the earlier Roku player had only 5 station blocks visible. Thanks to the added number of large-sized blocks, the updated framework provides greater freedom to select your channel choice.
c) Besides the menu panel and the nine-station presentation, you get an options button (with further personalization choices) at the top right edge of the screen as well as a small digital clock display (to the left of the button).
d) Activating the “Channel Store” option affords access to all the stations provided by Roku that’s over 750 stations with new ones being invariably added. Further, the menu panel automatically transforms into an extended list showcasing various entertainment categories like Sports, Music, Internet TV, News and Weather, Top Paid, and Most Popular.
The absence, however, of YouTube access is a major letdown. Non-display of stations offering complimentary material is another minor grouse. Nevertheless, the overall mechanism is speedy, responsive, and greatly assists in finding your preferred programing.
e) The refreshed “Search” option facilitates location of a specific station, show, film, and even a particular actor. Once the search result is successful, a helpful icon indicates the nature of the found entity; for instance whether a film or an actor. In addition, you can also access previews and further data about the searched entity by navigating to the right corner of the screen. In case of station search, the interface beneficially apprises you whether you possess a current subscription to the particular network. If not, you can easily subscribe to the same via the menu.
f) The “My Channel” catalog can be populated easily with the provided remote control. Upon selection, a tick mark gets added to the particular station block conveniently aiding recall.
The spruced-up user interface owes much to the state-of-the-art innards that the Roku 3 possesses. The media player newly embeds:
a) A swift dual-core ARM Cortex (A9) central processing unit that it touted to be five times as fast as that on the earlier model. You really feel the consequent effects option display, game play, and application processing are exceedingly fluid and expeditious.
b) Dual-band wireless (802.11n) capabilities that engenders speedy data exchange and transfers. Further, the provided remote control has been imbued with Wi-Fi Direct technology that obviates line-of-sight operation while maintaining energy-efficient functioning.
c) The capacity to render 1080-pixel (HD) videos to please movie enthusiasts.
The Roku 3, due to its winning interface and boosted interiors, is abundantly recommended as a new-age media player.
About the Author: Sharon Thomas
This is a guest post by Sharon Thomas of thecornersuite.com, a site that offers savings and current information on dish network internet, as well as dish.com services.