Two weeks ago, before we went on a staggering production binge of 64 concerts
in five days at SXSW, we were able to drop by the Roku booth in the conference center. Since we are too cheap (poor) to buy the SXSW pass David P. and I snuck in as I think "Jill" and "Robin" on borrowed credentials. We had our "Bosom Buddies" moment and were thankful that security was un-interested in looking at the photos on our credentials hanging around our necks. We got up to the Roku booth and were greeted with traditional trade show swag and stuff. We passed on the Roku Snuggie as neither of us wanted to carry this little delight back to NYC on Sunday. There we received our first taste of the all new Roku 3
and liked it very much. Our rep that we were meeting with gave us the rundown on the 5x increase in processing power and improved wifi performance and most importantly the headphone jack in the remote. After we were finished turning every device in the booth onto the Baeble Channel we bid our friends goodbye and handed our pilfered credentials back to their owners. How did I end up with a Fox News microphone key ring as swag from their booth?
On our return to NYC we duly ordered a Roku 3 for testing purposes and it arrived yesterday. We love it. The Baeble channel on the device loads much faster as do its videos. Even on a fully used wifi router - other people are regularly streaming video on the same router simultaneously - performance was not visibly affected. The real win on the new device is the headphone jack on the remote. It is one of those 'I don't know how it works, but it's cool' moments when you plug your headphones into the remote and magically your TV falls silent and your headphones come to life. This is without having to do anything on the set up side. It's a small item, but it's very cool. The consensus in the room was that this was a winning feature. One member of our team shares a small loft and this solves his problem of being able to watch TV without disturbing his partner. I later that evening watched a mindless action film at top volume without getting the inevitable request to turn the volume down. The great audio on Baeble Concerts and Sessions can be fully appreciated. We found the new on-screen interface to be a large improvement as well. For the price of a reasonable set of headphones you can get a new Roku 3 that comes with decent earbuds - and unlock a new programming world. OTT devices and services are still in their early days of use and adoption, but Roku has made a significant step in the right direction with the new device and interface.
Grab yourself your own Roku 3 here