I have 3 of XS, so won't be jumping on the Roku 3. If it can stream 24GB MKV files, I might change my position.
Apparently we get the updated interface later this month. That I'm looking forward to, but would really like updates to the apps themselves. The Netflix app is in bad need of a makover. I'll say this, it's fast, but the ATV interface is better. Having a kid, I like Just For Kids option and searching for shows by character.
The Roku 3 is pretty nice but I wont be keeping it..
The new GUI is much, much better than the previous version and the menu system is a lot easier to navigate. Every thing loads instantly including the channel store. It's a really nice media streaming device.
The absolute killer feature is the remote control with integrated headphone jack. It works great and the sound is pretty darn good.
The actual channels have not been updated to reflect the new GUI though and thats a bummer. Every channel I tried was still stuck using the old GUI. Maybe in time the channels will be updated but for now the new GUI is only accessible from the main screen..
The Roku 3 is a LOT faster and snappier. It also weighs a little more which helps keep it in place when the HDMI and other cables are connected..
The new GUI is pretty sweet
It's fast and snappy
More weight to keep the box in place
The remote with integrated headphone jack
Integrated search feature that searches all channels for a movie or TV show
Channels have not been updated with new GUI
The home screen area has an ad that uses about 30% of the home screen space
No youtube (there are workarounds)
HDMI only connection
Overall this is a pretty sweet little streaming device. Is it better than the Apple TV? Well that depends on each intended persons use.
If you are a heavy iTunes user or if you Airplay a lot of video from another iDevice then the Roku 3 is not for you. If you don't do either of these then the Roku 3 is the better choice because it offers so many channel options in the channel store.
In my use I found most of the channels to work well even with the old GUI. The exception is the NHL channel. This channel is slow, clunky and an absolute nightmare to use. If you are an NHL fan and want to use the device to stream live games then go with the Apple TV..
I'd say the Roku 3 is a serious contender / threat to the Apple TV. It's biggest and killer feature is the headphone jack on the remote. It works flawlessly and the sound is pretty darn good!
I am returning the Roku 3 but only because I purchased a Mac mini to take the place of it and my Apple TV.
If you are in the market for a media streaming player the Roku 3 deserves a serious look!
Great write-up. A number of the reviews I've read failed to talk about the GUI of the apps. I spend my time split between Netflix and Amazon Instant. I suppose I might use the new search when seeking a movie to rent. Does it offer comparison price shopping. For example, I have Vudu and Amazon Instant installed. It would cool to search for a movie and see how much it cost from the various sources.
Yes I forgot to mention the search feature on the Roku 3.. I will edit my post because it is also a killer feature.
If you search for a movie or show it will pull it up on every service / channel and show you the options for viewing. It will also list the prices if any and if it's a TV show it will list the number of episodes available on each service / channel..
Kind of like this:
Name of show here
Nexlix 28 episodes
Hulu Plus 19 espisodes
Amazon 28 episodes
Name of movie here
Vudu $1.99 rent $9.99 purchase
I have already unplugged the Roku but I can set it back up and get the specifics on the search feature if you want but what I listed above is pretty close to what it displays