How does Roku vs Apple TV stack up? in this small review, we answer that question for people who would like to stream.
It’s very easy to come across smart TVs these days. Almost every new buyer is going for Smart TVs mainly because they are affordable and offer the same functionality as other streaming boxes. But still, their interfaces are clunky and they fail to offer access to all the latest video streaming apps in their best qualities. This is definitely where plug-in streaming services come in handy. These devices will easily connect to the TV through the HDMI port and eventually open a new world of entertainment for you regardless of whether you love TV shows, movies, games and Music.
I understand that there are many plug-in streaming devices that you can come across. But the two biggest services are Roku and Apple TV. These are the two main considerations for cord-cutters. They allow easy streaming of high-quality videos. Roku on one side has taken up lots of upgrades with time. They have actually introduced the best devices to the market which includes Roku Streaming Stick+ (4K), the Roku Express (HD) and the Roku Premiere (4K).
However, Roku has over time received serious competition from Apple through their streaming service, Apple TV. This Tech Giant has introduced many streaming devices including Apple 4K TV and Apple TV. All these devices come with top-notch features but you might have to dig deeper in your pocket. So, what is the best gadget and service for you? What are the pros and cons of each of these services? Which of the two presents the best value for your money? Let’s find out in this article.
Roku vs. Apple TV: Overview
What is Roku?
Roku is simply a brand of software and hardware digital media players that are manufactured in the US by a company registered as Roku, Inc. The company currently offers access to media players from several online services including Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Video.
The company was brought to the market through a collaboration between Netflix and Roku in May 2008. Over time, the company has been developing state of the art streaming devices which have been very influential in the media player market. It’s the company that helped popularize the concept of low cost but effective media players.
What is Apple TV?
Apple TV, on the other hand, is a line of Media player software that was developed by Apple Inc. It has been very popular for the concept of viewing TV and films that are delivered through consumer electronics. Apple TV can stream movies, videos and other contents from iTunes Store and other media players such as Netflix and Hulu.
Unlike Roku that develops set Boxes, Apple TV is marketed as an App. It was released to the market in 2016 in December for iOS and Apple devices. Later, this service was brought to Mac and Apple TV. To help you understand the existing differences between Apple TV and Roku, I have compared the two in terms of prices and other categories.
The Price comparison
Are you on a budget and trying to determine the differences in prices between these two services? If yes, then the Roku streaming Stick+ costs $49.99. This is actually the best value for such a functional streaming stick. You can easily note that we prefer this device to the slightly cheaper 4K capable devices. If you want to go for the Apple TV 4K, then you’ll have to pay $179 for the 32GB model. You can pay slightly higher for the 64GB unit. This is a little pricier than the Roku devices. But still, the Apple Box offers more storage and relatively better picture-enhancing technology. It also has some of the most advanced and sophisticated features.
These two devices offer the best value for your money. But the Roku Streaming Stick+ is more affordable. It’s also a great choice for the people that want to save a lot of money and at the same time keep their families entertained and updated.
Roku and Apple TV are two technological giants and so you can expect that they both offer some of the best features for users regardless of their needs and preferences. But still, the Apple TV 4K is a sophisticated video streamer. It has already won the 2019 What Hi-Fi Award. Its biggest selling points is the impressive library of 4K HDR rental movies. Most of the content can be bought for the same price as the HD versions.
Apple’s user interface is polished and completely free of advertisements and other clutter. Inside the store, you will actually get all the major video streaming apps including Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, Apple TV and Netflix.
On the other hand, Roku Streaming Stick+ may not be able to compete with Apple’s devices especially when the HDR movie library is considered. Though, if you want to access more streaming apps, this Roku streaming Stick+ is the best option. Roku adds the best streaming apps that you can find in the market. Roku also has free and ad-supported streaming channel where you can get up to 10,000 movies and TV episodes.
In this regard, Roku takes home the medal for the best feature packed-device and platforms. It is by far compact and the most sophisticated box that you can add directly to your TV through the HDMI port. It is also USB-Powered, which means you don’t have to plug it to the power directly. This makes Roku arguably the best and the most convenient alternative to Apple TV.
Surprisingly, neither of these two devices have USB port for connecting an external hard drive. This is where Apple TV wins with the storage of 32/64 GB options. In case you have wanted a device that offers voice search, then the two of them still tie. However, Apple TV sets itself aside with the new Siri remote that is complete with a glass touch interface. This means that users can choose to change the remote via the lighting cable. The Roku remote is powered by AAA batteries. Users also have a chance to ask Siri any question.
The only clever feature offered by Roku is the Private Listening Mode. This allows users to play sound through the smart app. It’s actually useful if you have a roommate that wants to keep the noise under control.
Roku also gives users more than 100 games to download. The games are relatively simple compared to the richer games offered by Apple devices. All that said, I know you are already wondering which of the two devices offers the best package of features.
Roku offers the best and the most sophisticated features. It is also backed up by the Voice search and the fact that it’s accommodative. If you want quality over quantity when it comes to features, I would advise you to go with Apple TV but only if you can afford it. It has more premium features including the siri voice search and higher gaming quality. It also features relatively better selection of affordable 4K HDR content. The winner will actually come down to your specific needs but I personally recommend Apple TV for premium features.
These two devices support the 4K HDR Video and Dolby Atmos surround sound. But this is not to mean that their performance is at par. The Apple TV 4K supports the Dolby vision Flavors of HDR and HDR10 while the Roku Streaming Stick+ only supports the latter. This shows that if you want to watch the compatible titles from Netflix and Apple TV +, then Apple TV 4K is the best one for you here.
The Roku Streaming Stick+ is praised for its crisp and detailed pictures. The picture quality clearly displays the difference between 4K HDR and HD SDR pictures. But still, the Apple TV 4k serves more beautiful pictures. It’s known for its natural, realistic and distinct pictures. . For people that have not experienced 4K HDR picture from Netflix just yet, then this one is the real treat.
You are going to pay more for the Apple TV 4K. Though, this one performs better and packs some of the best features that include the simultaneous dual-band Wi-Fi and A10X Chip. This means that it’s more powerful than the Roku Streaming Stick+. However, this is not to mean that Roku streaming stick is not a good match. The Roku Streaming Stick + has brilliant 4K pictures. It’s actually a great value for your money. Though, the pricier Apple TV 4K wins the battle of performance.
Roku updated their high-end Ultra in 2020 as a move to compete well with Apple TV and Amazon Streaming stick. This is not a bad thing since the company has chosen to update the excellent interface, find the feature and has also added support for AirPlay2 and Dolby Vision. All these features are available at a price lower than $100. It actually retails at $94 at Amazon and $100 at Best Buy and ebay.
Apple’s Box has new software and updates but it’s still a great streamer. However, the price is higher than most similar streamers. If you want to go with this product, you will actually have to pay $180 on Amazon, $179 on Adorama and Apple.
For the best value, Roku Ultra 2020 wins the battle. It’s affordable and still offers all the needed features.
The interfaces and features of these two streamers are close but the remotes are not the same. When it comes to remotes, Apple hardly beats Roku. The Roku remote can easily change volume and TV power and has rubberized buttons for navigation. Other capabilities include quick controls for Netflix and media playback. Though, we like that the apple Remove supports voice controls
Apple TV vs. Roku: The Winner
These two devices are likable video streamers. The Roku streaming stick+ is packed with actionable features and it’s also simple and easy to use. It also has a well-designed and a less sophisticated interface. Roku Streaming Stick also handles 4K content well especially when the price is considered. You will most probably get the best selection of streaming apps as opposed to what you get with Apple TV 4K. The best of all features is the price. It’s relatively affordable when compared H2H with Apple TV 4K.
If you are one of the users that are not dead set on the highest video and picture quality or the Dolby Vision support, then the affordable Roku is the best option. For those that want a cheaper alternative, then the Amazon Fire Stick 4K is a good option. It’s priced the same and surprisingly, it supports the Dolby Vision.
Are you are heavy streamer and don’t care about the price of your streamer? If yes, the award-winning Apple TV 4K will cost a little more but offer you the best features. It has the best choice of 4K HDR movies and Dolby Vision Support and most importantly on Board Storage. In conclusion, we give the Apple TV 4K a five star and crown the streamer as the best overall for streaming high-quality videos and music.
It doesn’t matter whether you are an android user or an Apple fan. Apple TV 4K is the best because it provides the best experience. But its biggest drawback is the pesky Siri remote. The remote is too small and very difficult to use. Luckily, users can download and use the Remote app on the phone. Its works the same and is comparatively easier to use. Moving on, Roku is a less expensive streamer when compared with Apple TV 4K. It’s a perfect match for bedroom use. It comes with 3.5mm headphone jack built into the remote control. The decision of what to buy between these two will come down to your preferences and budget. This information was to help you understand these two streamers and eventually inform your decision.