Customer Review

1,499 of 1,616 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roku 3: The cable company killer well worth waiting for, March 11, 2013
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This review is from: Roku 3 Streaming Media Player (Electronics)
I wrote a scathingly negative one-star review (see my other Amazon reviews) of the Roku 2 XS when it first became available here on Amazon.com in August 2011.

My final comment after returning the, in my opinion, not ready for prime time Roku 2 XS was something to the effect that I would intentionally be waiting for Roku 3 before ever purchasing another Roku.

Well Roku 3 is finally here and boy oh boy am I ever glad to have waited!

Initial setup of this extremely compact streaming device is truly a breeze and takes just a few minutes.

All of the annoying issues of interference with other devices (sound bar, digital picture frame, Internet radio, etc.) in my living room - in which absolutely nothing has changed since August 2011 when I took the Roku 2 XS for an extremely disappointing spin - have been completely resolved in this new incarnation of the Roku product line.

Internet connection problems are no more even with the very same wireless router and modem that I had back in 2011: The Roku 3 connects quickly and easily to my private/secure WiFi network and streaming of the available channels (a truly overwhelming selection with hundreds of free channels and others at nominal monthly cost) is fast and smooth just like a conventional TV program not originating via the Internet. The audio signal is loud and crystal clear. As of 05/21/2013, I have an approximately 50 Mbps broadband download speed available, but 20 Mbps also has worked fine in the past.

To avoid disappointment before purchasing any Roku model be sure to do your research concerning available programming/channels beforehand. Check the Roku Web site on the Internet to see what is and what is not available as far as channel selection is concerned, as well as what is absolutely free and which programming is associated with a clearly specified recurring monthly fee.

Two sites on the Internet - Roku Guide and Roku Channel Database - also can provide extremely useful information on Roku programming, especially the lowdown on free private channels (such as BBC World News and others) and the needed codes to add them to your Roku device. As of 12/30/2013, I have 123 absolutely free channels installed on my Roku 3 and this includes YouTube which has just recently been added to the impressive lineup.

Especially if you are news junkie, you will be able to get much more than your needed fix and possibly be at serious risk of overdosing from all the English language (and many foreign language) newscasts available from the USA and diverse international sources (UK, Japan, China, Australia, Canada, Russia, the entire EU - most notably Germany and France, Israel, South Africa and many others).

I have read several reviews posted here on Amazon giving the Roku 3 a single star, because the purchaser's incorrect and unrealistic expectations were not met, namely being able to see everything live on all broadcast channels just like he/she could with cable/dish television but for free. Get real! Obviously these individuals did not properly research what this device does and does not do before purchasing it. They are the ones who have earned a one star rating, not the Roku 3!

The remote control provided is simple to use and responds quickly when appropriate buttons indicating one's selections are actuated and it need not be pointed at the Roku 3.

I haven't yet had occasion to use the provided earphones or try out the memory expansion capability with a microSD card, but I really don't expect any problems here.

Overall, this is a very impressive example of technical virtuosity. The device is well worth the price of approximately $100.00 which for many people represents the monthly cost of cable/dish television. It may sound good to have potential access to 200-300 channels, but in reality you're probably really only interested in regularly watching a small percentage (10% ?) of what you're being forced to pay for in those inconvenient channel packages. With Roku 3 and other streaming devices channel selection is always a la carte.

If you're a really smart consumer what you'll do is purchase one of these newly available game-changing Roku 3 streaming devices, pair it with a small and nifty indoor antenna like the Mohu Leaf or the Terk HDTVa Antenna Pro (see my reviews here on Amazon) to also receive TV channels the old fashioned and free way via the airwaves and then cut the cable company/dish cord for good.

I have done this and have been cable-free since August 2011 and am loving it! You too can liberate yourself from cable company/dish slavery and save the cost of a brand new HDTV every year (about $1200.00 annually). Go ahead, cut the cord and finally set yourself free!

Note that if you do decide to pursue a cable-free, dish-free TV lifestyle, don't skimp on the broadband connection that you will need to ensure smooth streaming with minimal buffering; this is especially important with a WiFi connection. Sufficient bandwidth is essential for the Roku 3 to provide an enjoyable TV viewing experience; it can't work miracles without it.
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Comments

Tracked by 8 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 36 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 12, 2013 10:13:45 AM PDT
Wrightn221 says:
Well written and thanks so much for your review. I also appreciate the tip on the antenna, cause Cable is way too high!!!

Posted on Jun 12, 2013 12:31:14 PM PDT
Travlr says:
I am very new to this area. Do I need a Roku device for every tv? How do I watch the major network channels? What about HGTV? Will I have a problem with streaming if I have 4 tvs? Thanks for your help!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2013 9:57:09 PM PDT
I do think that you will need multiple Roku devices if you plan on having more than 1 TV on at a time; one Roku connects to one TV at one time. Otherwise as long as only one Roku is on at any given time, one should be enough. The channel selection on Roku does not necessarily mirror everything that is available via the airwaves or on cable television. Simply go to the Roku Web Site on the Internet to see what programming choices are currently available; the lineup does change every now and then.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2013 8:28:53 AM PDT
Travlr says:
Thank you for the information, this is very helpful! I think we're getting closer and will end up with multiple Rokus and hopefully cut the ties to cable soon.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2013 9:23:42 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 16, 2013 9:26:59 AM PDT
I almost forgot, to receive the major broadcast channels such as ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, etc. for free get an HDTV indoor or outdoor antenna such those offered by MOHU or TERK (see my reviews). I have a MOHU Leaf Basic indoor antenna myself and am able to receive about 23 distinct channels for free over the airwaves this way. If you then also add a ROKU, you will have a lot to watch.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2013 8:19:23 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 20, 2013 8:21:09 PM PDT
I appreciate all your helpful reviews and comments! I'll add that you can only use an antenna to pull in over-the-air TV broadcasts if those broadcasts exist near where you live. In other words, if nobody locally is broadcasting "ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, etc. for free" locally, you can't use an antenna to receive them.

For those considering buying a TV antenna to receive local TV broadcasts, make sure you get return privileges on the antenna in case the antenna can't pull in the free TV broadcasts you want.

By the way, a friend has an indoor TV antenna in my city and I'm surprised that she can pull in a dozen or so local TV channels for free. She lives on a hillside that is a good location for TV reception. These newer types of antennas are worth trying!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2013 1:55:05 AM PDT
leon714 says:
Thanks for sharing. I have been reviewed about all this cable free and streaming device but yours is the Best and very helpful. Thank you for your recomend of "Mohu Leaf" and Terk antena Pro.
Awesome !!!

Posted on Jul 30, 2013 3:42:36 PM PDT
Cole Train says:
I've been using a Roku 2XS for anout 2 years and i have no issues with it-none. Riight now i'm listening to MOG streaming and it sounds great and the user interface, tohugh nothing special, works as it was designed. movie plaing and loading on Netflix is good too.

Posted on Oct 25, 2013 2:09:56 PM PDT
Scholar2Be says:
Thank you for your great insights!
I am new to this area and surely helped your detailed description of this products.
I DO want to cut a tie to my cable company but obviously still need to subscribe internet. Is there any better, cheaper yet reliable companies that you can suggest to me?
I would greatly appreciated!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2013 2:31:16 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 25, 2013 2:31:45 PM PDT
Internet service provider options available will very likely depend on where you live: for example, I have Cox cable, but not Comcast where I live.

You can certainly do an Internet search for this using Google, etc. and see what turns up in your area.

There are also some ISPs available via satellite, but I am not all that familiar with these as far as pricing and quality of the service provided is concerned.

The only "cable company killing" that I have been able to do using the Roku 3 has been with regard to cable television (saving about $100.00 monthly).

I do still subscribe to the broadband Internet service (about $67.00 monthly for 50 Mbps download speed via WiFi) provided by my local cable company since it is still the best option with regard to performance and price available overall.
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