You’re sitting on your couch on Friday evening, wondering why yet again you have to get up and fiddle around with the Blu-Ray player. You just want to have dinner, and relax to a nice movie, not mess around with your old TV…again! That might be a pretty convincing argument to just go out a buy a new Smart TV, but luckily, there’s a cheaper way to transform your old, dumb TV into something recognizable in the 21st century. That would be a Roku device — either the Roku 3 or the Roku 4 — just plug either into the HDMI port of your old TV, switch your TV’s input to HDMI, and you’ll get instant access to tons of different smart functions — watching all of your favorite TV shows and movies are right at your fingertips.
|Roku||Roku 3 Streaming Media Player||Check Price on Amazon|
|Roku||Roku 4 | HD and 4K UHD Streaming Media Player||Check Price on Amazon|
But, what do you pick up — the Roku 3 or the Roku 4? Which is the better investment? If you follow along below, we’ll take you through all of the major differences, pros, and cons of the two devices, and help you make a valuable purchase. Let’s dive right in, shall we? Here we go!
The Roku 3 is going to be your cheapest option. This originally launched in 2015, and is still an excellent way to transform that old dumb TV into a Smart TV. Hook this up by way of HDMI, and you’ll get instant access to all sorts of apps and channel apps. Not only that, but you’ll have direct access to a massive TV and movie library to rent.
Roku 3 actually has over 2,000 different channels that you can download. It’s a mixture of free options, subscription based options, and paid for options. If you want, you can even play games on the Roku 3! Not full blown games you’d find on the Xbox One or PlayStation 4, but games nonetheless.
Now, the Roku 3 actually only supports 1080p playback, which is a good thing! This means that most TVs are going to be able to support the resolution that the Roku 3 can output, as 1080p has been around essentially forever at this point.
The Roku 3 comes with its own wireless remote, which means you’ll be able to easily access apps and content, all from the comfort of your couch. You won’t have to get up and fiddle with that old DVD or Blu-Ray player ever again.
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And then you have the Roku 4. The Roku 4 is the most modern version of the Roku set. Packed inside is substantially better hardware, and that’s because of the major difference between the Roku 3 and Roku 4 — the Roku 4 actually supports 4K playback. That means it needs the hardware to support that, and so it actually comes with a pretty speedy processor and integrated GPU setup.
Content is pretty much the same inside the Roku 4, though you do get upgraded software that provides you access to an additional 500+ channels, making for around 2,500+ channels total.
In addition to supporting 4K Ultra HD playback, the Roku 4 also supports up-scaling for 720p and 1080p TVs. That means, even if your TV doesn’t support 4K technology, the Roku will have no problem auto optimizing the resolution your Roku 4 outputs to the highest resolution that matches your TV.
In addition to that, the Roku 4 comes with an enhanced remote that allows you to search through the Roku’s massive library with your voice.
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As you can see, there’s some serious quality differences between the Roku 3 and the Roku 4 — the latter not only offers you much better video quality, but some more convenient search functionality as well. There’s a much larger library of channels, too. Those aren’t the only differences between the Roku 3 and the Roku 4 though — another big difference is price disparity.
Since you have all of that extra technology packed into the Roku 4, that’s going to come at a cost, though not nearly as much as a new TV replacement would set you back. A Roku 4 will cost $100, which is pretty reasonable for what’s offered — however, you have to decide whether that’s worth it for some extra channels and 4K technology, as the Roku 3 sits at around $40 – $50, a little more than half the cost of a Roku 4.
So are you picking yourself up a Roku 3 or 4? Let us know what your choice is in the comments section below — we’d love to hear from you!