I have an Xbox 360 gaming console that I primarily use to watch streaming movies and trailers. My parents aren’t very familiar with this type of technology, but they are interested in it. The other day they told me they want to buy an Xbox so they could watch “Netflix” on their TV. “You don’t play video games” was my response. They agreed but they still wanted to stream movies and TV shows. I suggested that they save 100 bucks and get and “Apple TV” or a “Roku box”. By the look on their faces I could see that these words had no meaning to them. I assured my parents that I would look into it and find them what they needed.
Media players have been around for years and I am somewhat familiar with them. I have never owned one, but I have tried them, and several of my friends own various makes and models. I watched a few online reviews and demo videos and I have to admit, it was impressive. The interfaces are very user friendly and the video offerings are amazing. My only hang up was that all of these streaming services come with a price. Is anyone really going to pay 8 bucks for Netflix and 8 more for Hulu+ and 8 more for something else? That would get pretty expensive pretty quickly.
Having decided in a previous article that “Amazon Instant Video” delivered the best value for home video rentals I eliminated the Apple TV. It doesn’t offer that service, but the “Roku 3″ does, so I am going with the “3”. This player is Roku’s latest offering, many reviews that I read put it right on par with the Apple TV. In the end it all came down to streaming service, the “3” doesn’t have Youtube, but it does have Amazon Instant Video. I don’t need youtube.
My Mom’s birthday is coming up so I ordered her a “Roku 3″ as her present. I should be arriving in a bout a week or so. Once I have it and hook it up I will give you my first impressions.