Updated: 04/03/2014 10:30 | By Steve May, contributor, MSN Tech
Do I need Sky? – The ultimate set-top box guide

Roku 3 media streamer

Roku 3 media streamer (© Roku)
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Roku 3 media streamer

The new hero in the Roku media streamer range is the fastest yet. The Roku 3 features a Broadcom processor that positively blazes along, making navigation more sprightly than ever; animations are silky smooth and menus responsive. This uprated silicon also significantly improves gameplay. Bundled free is a great implementation of Angry Birds, and there’s more arcade fodder available to purchase, including the retro shooter Galaga.

The Roku 3’s design is much like previous models, but comes with both integrated wi-fi and an Ethernet port. There’s also a microSD storage expansion slot, which can be used to increase the capacity of the player. Also new is the provision of a headphone jack in the Bluetooth remote, enabling you to listen privately. In theory this is excellent, however the supplied buds are poor and even plugging in some decent cans doesn’t really improve matters.

Content options include mainstream must-haves such as Sky’s Now TV platform, Spotify, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, Vimeo and DailyMotion, to a barrowful of the bizarre (Zombee TV anyone?). However there’s no ITV Player, 4OD or YouTube. As a multimedia player, the Roku struggles, with video support limited to MP4 and MKVs. The device is unable to downmix 5.1 into PCM stereo, so files will offer play silent if your box is connected to the TV rather than routed through an AV receiver. It is undoubtedly the best Roku yet, but expensive for what you get.

Price: £99

Need a new telly box to go with your chosen set-top box? Then check out the top 10 TVs coming this year.

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