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Review: Roku 3 – The Most Serious Apple TV Competitor Yet!

Review: Roku 3 – The Most Serious Apple TV Competitor Yet!

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* Giveaway – Scroll to the bottom for a chance to win a brand new Roku 3 of your own from MacTrast!

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Roku has officially unveiled the latest version of their streaming media player – the Roku 3 – and it aims to give the Apple TV a serious run for the money. The device sports a brand new, completely redesigned interface, including the ability to search through all available videos on every channel from a single search box. The interface has also been optimized for speed, efficiency, and better content discovery.

Roku 3

Aside from the impressive-looking new interface, the Roku 3 itself has also gotten a nice facelift, trading in the hard corners found on previous models with smooth curves. The Roku 3 also packs serious performance improvements over its predecessors, including dual-band WiFi, and should be capable of loading content, navigating channels, and so forth much more quickly and smoothly.

One of the more interesting parts of the Roku 3, however, is the remote. The remote  is capable of carrying audio from the Roku over WiFi, and includes a headphone jack for “private listening mode.” This allows you to watch your favorite shows without disturbing others with the noise. That’s impressive, and something I would use all the time. The remote is also gesture-sensitive, adding Wii-like controls when playing games on the device (such as Angry Birds).

All in all, the Roku 3 looks like a seriously impressive device – and it’s pricing is extremely competitive at just $99  (the same price as an Apple TV). It also does a great job of showing just how behind-the-times the Apple TV is as a video streaming solution. If not for AirPlay on the Apple TV, and the ability to play back DRM-protected iTunes content, there’d be no reason to choose the Apple TV over the Roku 3 at all!

The Roku 3 is available now direct from Roku for $99, and is set to arrive in retail stores in April. It’s also available from Amazon for the same price, with free shipping and no sales tax in most states!

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Giveaway

The Roku 3 looks seriously awesome – and we’ll be posting our review of the new player in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we want to give you a chance to try one out for yourself for FREE!

To enter the giveaway, simply post the following message on Twitter:

Win a brand new @RokuPlayer 3 from MacTrast – the most serious Apple TV competitor yet! http://mctr.st/13Gwov0 #MTRoku 

To be eligible to win, you must follow @MacTrast and tweet the message. The giveaway begins immediately, and will run until Tuesday morning, March 12, 2013, at 8 AM MT. A winner will be selected and announced shortly thereafter. Location doesn’t matter – we can ship your prize anywhere in the world!

Good luck!

WINNER!

Congrats to @TGines – he’ll receive a brand new shiny Roku 3! Thanks to everyone for participating! Stay tuned for more giveaway opportunities in the near future!

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