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That being said, Apple TV’s Siri has Roku’s voice search beat — we tried searching What makes Roku so easy to recommend? Unlike most other devices out there, it isn’t part of an existing mobile ecosystem.
It might seem silly, but it comes in handy if you can’t sleep and really need to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation without disturbing anyone else.
It would make sense for the Chromecast to have this feature — your phone or tablet acts as the remote — but the audio automatically “casts” to your TV.
The Roku 3 searches across all your streaming apps to help you find if the program you want to watch is available for free anywhere.
The Roku 2 does this as well, but the 3 features voice search functionality: no more scrolling around an alphabet grid with only the remote’s directional pad.
We think the Roku 3 beats them all — it searches every streaming service with a cool carte blanche.
Granted, the Roku remote has four easy buttons that go to Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Rdio (now Pandora), and Hulu (although some remotes have a Sling button).
And as streaming apps gained momentum, those tablets and consoles begat devices specifically designed to stream.
And here we are: at the brink of the end of cable, staring into a future of streaming.
We kept our search simple, only comparing providers that had nationwide reach (or as close to it as possible).
Streaming and satellite have solved the problem of nationwide availability — the internet is basically everywhere — but cable companies and fiber optic networks still require a cable or a cord leading down your block and into your living room wall.
If status quo is okay with you, your least worst option is Direc TV.