|Pros:||Fantastic User Interface, Great Design|
|Review Date:||October, 2016|
|Check price on Amazon.com|
I have had a Roku 3 Streaming Device for years. It was the first device we bought when we subscribed to Netflix back in 2013, and it still is powering the living-room TV as of today 3 years later. Roku has become my favorite streaming device (by a very wide margin), and I've tested quite a few over the years. If you are a serious Cord Cutter, you need to get a Roku device. The Roku 4 is out now, and is probably better, but since there is nothing wrong with my Roku 3, it is staying on my TV stand for the foreseeable future.
I am glad you asked! Roku is a small device that plugs into your TV and internet that allows you to stream (watch via the internet) certain channels and shows. The three most popular Roku channels are Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and the ever-popular Netflix. Roku also has some lesser known apps such as Vudu, Sling TV CBS News, and Youtube.
I consider Roku an essential part of any cord cutter's arsenal. Roku has a wide ranging array of apps that are available that allow you to do things like listen to music (Pandora), watch what you have saved on your DVR (Tablo) and browse Facebook.
One of my favorite things about Roku is its very mature and user-friendly interface. It is friendly, accommodating and easy to navigate around. My kids do it daily, including my 5 year old.
Installing a Roku device is easy. It can connect wirelessly to your wifi internet router, or plug in directly via an Ethernet cable. It also has a power cord and HDMI port that needs connected. Powering the thing on was easy, but you would need to purchase an HDMI cable if you don't already have one. Once you pair your device with the remote (done through dead-simple prompts on screen), the next step is to register the device. Roku isn't looking for your details, but presumably just registering the device on their network. They provide a really simple way of doing this through a website URL and a 6 character code provided on-screen that will activate your account.
The Roku 3 performs best when plugged into your Internet router via an Ethernet cable. To be honest, I only started doing this once we moved our internet router to be under our living-room TV. Prior to this, we always had it connected wirelessly, and there were very few problems with this setup. BUT, hard-wired is best, especially when streaming movies.
It is no surprise that it will take something significant to change my mind about Roku. I would recommend this device to anyone needing a streaming media player, whether you've cut the Cable TV cord, or not.
You may need to purchase a microSD card if you plan on watching more than Hulu, Amazon and Netflix on this Roku device. I recently tried to connect to Sling TV, but it said I needed to install a microSD card in order to save the program to my device. I bought the Kingston Digital 16 GB Class 4 microSDHC Flash Card and have had no problems since.