Boston – Roku’s recently updated Roku 3 streaming settop box excels in its ability to search for movies, TV shows and actors/directors across top streaming channels, but its user interface is less visually appealing and more outdated than those of other connected devices, Strategy Analytics found.
The UI “could ultimately become a deterrent to adoption of the Roku 3 for some consumers," the research company said.
The $99 device, which is Roku’s top-end streaming device, delivers “an unbeatable search feature when comparing it with other connected media devices on the market today,” Strategy Analytics said.
"When it comes to the discovery of content,” said senior analyst Taryn Tulay, “the Roku 3 has excelled in providing a seamless search for movies, TV shows and actors/directors by providing results from the top streaming channels … including on-demand content from pay TV providers.” That capability “makes it easier for users to discover content available and pricing options they might have overlooked, if required to search each service individually.”
On the other hand, she said, “while the Roku 3 provides the typical apps/services and features available on most connected media devices as well as value-added features unavailable on other devices, consumer expectations of a UI for a streaming device stem from the look and feel of personal devices used on a daily basis (for example, smartphones or tablets).” Unfortunately, she said, “when compared to other connected devices on the market, the UI of the Roku 3 was considered less sleek and polished. The images, graphics and layout used were less visually appealing and more outdated, which could ultimately become a deterrent to adoption of the Roku 3 for some consumers."
On a positive note, Tulay found the Roku 3’s UI to be easy to navigate. “The option to customize the theme of the UI as well as the ability to modify the order in which the 'channels' appear on the homescreen are considered great value-added features that allow users to personalize their device to their individual interests,” she noted. The Wi-Fi Direct remote, Roku Feed, the Roku App, and a headphone jack on the remote -- features unavailable on competitor devices—“were also found to be highly valued by consumers,” she noted.
Roku Feed provides consumers with updates on when new in-theater movies will be available for streaming and at what prices. The Roku App enables control from a smartphone.