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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Roku Gets Personal with the Roku 3 Set-Top Box

More than ever, people are looking to the web as a major source of entertainment. For a while now, Roku has been making easy, affordable ways to bring that experience to your not-so-smart TV. The latest in the company's line is the Roku 3.

The Roku 3 set-top box will put more than 750 channels on just about any TV. That includes options from Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, VUDU, Blockbuster on Demand, Pandora, HBO Go, Spotify, Time Warner's newly launched TWC TV channel, and much more. It's an endless amount of movies, TV shows, sports and games -- although some of those may require subscriptions and/or fees.

What makes this box different than the rest of the Roku lineup is a new processor and an enhanced remote. That remote features a headphone jack with in-ear headphones, for private listening and late-night viewing. The same remote also doubles as a motion-sensing game controller for playing tons of titles, including Angry Birds Space and Wheel of Fortune. Of course, users can tap into Roku's free app for iOS and Android devices for an additional source of control.



Roku is also introducing the Roku 3 with a new interface, which promises more fluid content browsing and navigation, as well as the fully integrated Roku Channel Store. Available now on the Roku 3, the free software update will automatically roll out to the rest of Roku's devices in April.

Other Roku 3 features include full 1080p HD and support for 7.1 and 5.1 surround pass-through via HDMI, as well as dual-band wireless, Ethernet and USB ports, and a microSD slot.

"As Roku continues to build the largest selection of streaming entertainment, we are always exploring ways to improve the TV experience for our customers," said Anthony Wood, founder and CEO of Roku. "Roku 3 introduces thoughtful new features that customers will love. The intuitive new interface makes it easy to find movies and shows quickly while the private listening mode is perfect for late-night streamers who don't want to wake up the family."

The Roku 3 streaming player will start showing up on retail shelves sometime in April. However, it's available now online, with an MSRP of $99.99.


 A peek at Roku's new user interface, which arrives as part of the Roku 3 package.

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