There is no denying the ongoing television revolution. The future of cable has finally come to a close end and the era of streaming comes to a whole new light with YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Watch ESPN, Vimeo, Hulu, Vudu, and more gaining more popular footing than ever.
Along with this digital TV phenomenon comes the number of devices aiming to deliver the best entertainment opportunities to households. Among the rest, two brands stand out—Roku vs. Apple TV.
So, what ecosystem is right for you and your abode? Let’s find out.
When thinking of content, there should be no Roku vs. Apple TV to contend with as both streaming video devices offer various channels that you can enjoy round the clock on either 4K or ultra HDTV. From Netflix to Hulu, HBO Go, Amazon Instant, and so much, you can directly stream or download favorite movies, shows, games and so on into your device or via an app. Roku however, has more channels to offer due to continuous addition of new channels to its fold. Apple TV, on the other hand, largely depends on gadget-dependent iTunes.
When it comes to user interface, the Roku vs. Apple TV competition couldn’t come any closer. Apple TV’s main menu mimics that of an iPad or iPhone. The bump is that whenever Apple has added a new channel, it’s stuck on those never-moving static app icons which can be an eyesore during launching. Roku, on the other hand, has more of a television feel to it where navigation comes naturally in a fluid left-to-right ensemble. You can also control the apps to appear on the screen. Its search feature is also fantastic as it allows searching right at the home screen without even launching a single app.
Both still requires an Internet connection of at least a steady speed of 15mbps for them to work. Both can also be connected via Ethernet or via Wi-Fi. With the Apple TV, you have the option to set it up manually or with an iOS device via a Bluetooth. So, it’s quite handy when you’re using an iPhone or an iPad. It is however, horrendous when done manually. So, if you’re a non-lover of Apple thingamajigs, this one is bound to be a pain. Roku, on the other hand, still make use of the usual pad and on-screen keyboard net set-up. It also allows you to connect via Roku Link for you to log-in to your Roku account allowing you, henceforth, to log into Hulu, Netflix and other services via laptop or computer which will then be synced to your TV.
When thinking of search tool on the Roku vs. Apple TV debate, both new generation systems have voice search capabilities making searching easier. Roku make use of the conventional remote speaker to find out about a movie, a television segment, game and so on. Apple TV, on the other hand, has a handy ally in Siri remote control. This help maintains the usual menu-and-play/pause buttons as well as an easy-return home button allowing you to return to the main menu bearing the main screen, the volume controls, and touchpad—all in a single push.
Before the Siri remote control came into being, the Roku remote seems to have it all. Roku RCs are not only easy and functional, it also features a headphone jack which allows private viewing possible. Simply plug the headphones and the TV bends to your hearing alone. Apple TV’s Siri remote, however, can also be utilized as a motion-sensitive horizontal game controller for apps and games. According to the Apple TV website, there are other accessories which you may add to your package. There are universal remotes made compatible with the Apple TV and a MFi (made for iPhone) game controllers as well as Bluetooth keyboards and headphones for better control. iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch can also be used as an auxiliary controller.
Hands down, Roku is a more budget-friendly choice than Apple TV. Aside from being Android-friendly and virtually accessible on various platforms, it doesn’t rely on iTunes (an added expense) for downloads and more.
AirPlay is one distinctive feature that puts Apple TV ahead of Roku. Think about the number of video and music apps which work perfectly fine on your iPhone and iPad—and have it beamed to your television via AirPlay. By mirroring, AirPlay allows better sharing of content thus, making it great for presentations.
In a nutshell, the debate surrounding Roku vs. Apple TV clearly lies on your own distinctive preference. Whether you are born to be an iOS-dependent tech-savvy entertainment couch potato or one that defies the odds with Android and other systems not related to Apple, one thing remains the same —pick what ecosystem works for you. When short on cash and want agnostic viewing, go for Roku. If you want to splurge and have a mecca of iOS gadgets, go for Apple TV. All in all, both are great options and will definitely deliver the entertainment value you so long to have.