This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

The Roku 3 Makes Apple TV Look Like a Lame Attempt

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- You don't hear much about Roku, but the private Saratoga, Calif., company has quietly sold around 5 million streaming media players. In a January 2013 blog post, Roku claims it unloaded one Roku player every second on Black Friday 2012 with Q4 same-store sales up 40% year-over-year.

Over at Business Insider, Steve Kovach writes a glowing review of the new Roku 3, arguing that it "blows away the Apple (AAPL - Get Report) TV." Couldn't agree more. In fact, both my old Roku (the basic model LT) and the Roku 3 I received last week make Apple TV look like a half-assed attempt at a streaming player.

Here's an example of where Apple runs into trouble by putting out hardware that's a clear attempt to lock users into its ecosystem.

It ends up with a subpar streaming player that, as Kovach indicates, you should only buy if you have tons of iTunes video content. I say video because with the Roku iPhone app, you can actually play your iTunes music library and view photos through your Roku. I haven't quite figured out how to make it work yet, but I think you can also stream video from devices such as laptops and tablets via a USB connection.


As Intel (INTC - Get Report) prepares its set-top box, it's clearly looking to include some features in its device that will overlap with what Roku already does.

For instance, Intel Media VP/GM Erik Huggers claims he wants to address personalization by user across one household Netflix (NFLX - Get Report) account. Worthy task. Roku hasn't done that yet -- it might be more a developer issue at Netflix than anything else -- but it did take care of one of my biggest annoyances.

On the Roku 3, you can search for movies and television shows by title, name or by actor or director. The results display the streaming services that license what you're looking for, prices -- in standard and HD quality -- and available seasons/episodes on each.


So, this past weekend when I wondered about the availability of season three of Louie, I searched the Roku 3, got instant results, discovered no Netflix availability and made a choice between Amazon.com (AMZN - Get Report) Prime Instant Video and Wal-Mart's (WMT - Get Report) Vudu. (I went with Vudu just to try it out. I was pleasantly surprised. Well-done interface that's actually better than both NFLX and AMZN at first look).

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $129.36 0.21%
AMZN $384.61 -0.27%
DTV $88.48 -0.52%
INTC $34.10 0.10%
NFLX $474.71 -1.15%

Markets

DOW 18,203.37 -85.26 -0.47%
S&P 500 2,107.78 -9.61 -0.45%
NASDAQ 4,979.9010 -28.1950 -0.56%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs