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Consumer Comparison: Roku 3

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Watching TV shows on TV is fine.
But using streaming services on computers and mobile devices is so much more convenient. You can watch any show at any time with a click of a mouse.

Here at The Foundist, however, we’re even over watching TV on computers. We’re on to the next, groundbreaking thing: Watching TV on computers on TV. That’s why we decided to take a look at the Roku 3— one of the leaders of streaming devices. To get a fuller perspective, we decided to compare the Roku 3 with two other similar devices: Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast. Let’s see how they stack up.

Roku 3


Roku 3, like the other two devices, is incredibly simple to use. Plug it into your TV, connect it to the internet, and you’re watching whatever you like on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and WatchESPN. Roku 3 specifically has over 1,000 channels in addition to the old stand-bys. There’s even a cross-platform search so you can find the shows and movies you want to watch… wherever it is.

The Roku 3 is lightning fast with almost no noticeable lag. The interface has been updated and is a breeze to navigate through as well.

Roku 3’s remote is simple and easy to use. There’s a headphone jack right on the remote for private listening and watching which comes in handy much more often than you’d think.


The remote has a motion-sensor but with very few gaming options, there isn’t much use for it at the moment.

If you’re interested in watching or listening to anything from your personal library, Roku doesn’t make it easy to do.

Amazon Fire TV



Amazon has a large and dependable roster of apps and programs to make sure you can watch your favorite shows and movies. The gaming library is much more extensive than Roku.


It greatly favors content from Amazon Instant, and because you basically need an Amazon Prime subscription, you’ll keep paying for your purchase long after the initial $99.

Google Chromecast



It’s super cheap and it works very well. It may not have the  selection that other devices have, but it can also cast your computer screen on your TV. Anything that plays on your laptop will play on Chromecast. You can also still use your computer while the Chromecast is streaming.


It’s very limited and dependent on your other devices to run. If you choose to cast directly from your computer screen there are two drawbacks. The screen can only be visible in 720p and there’s a slight time lag between the two screens.

The Verdict

All three are dependable, but The Roku 3 is the superior device with the best variety and interface. If you’re only going to use a streaming device to watch Netflix on the big(ger) screen though, you can’t beat Google Chromecast for doing the job effectively and cheaply. It all depends what you’re looking for.

Take a look at the comparison chart below to see which device best works best for you.

Roku 3 review table