Are you thinking of cutting the cord and you’re torn between Netflix and Roku? The truth is it’s a difficult choice to make.
On one hand, Netflix is a streaming giant that has earned itself a good reputation among the streaming services over the years.
On the other hand, Roku is a streaming platform with ever-increasing popularity. Several things make a great streaming service.
What works for you may not necessarily be the best for the other. That’s why we will take the time to compare Roku and Netflix to help you arrive at the best decision.
Roku vs. Netflix Product Overview
As the numbers of streaming services increase and multiply, the Roku platform becomes even more valuable. Unlike Netflix, Roku is a streaming platform that aggregates content from multiple services and puts it all in one place.
It basically simplifies life for the consumers and offers them convenience by allowing access to various streaming services from one single location. There is both free and premium content on Roku.
Some of the premium content comes from streaming services such as Hulu, HBO Max, and even Netflix. You can decide to take advantage of the many streaming apps on Roku and be on your way to a world of endless entertainment.
The biggest selling point for Roku is the price. Once you’ve bought the Roku streaming device, all you need to do is plug it into your TV, connect to the internet and go.
With that, you’ll have access to over 4,000 free and paid TV channels. You can easily stream free TV without the need for a monthly subscription.
This is where Roku gets an edge over Netflix. Netflix requires a monthly subscription for all its plans. Furthermore, Roku has expanded and now features its very own Roku TV where you can watch all kinds of content at an affordable cost.
Since Netflix pioneered the streaming industry, it has never looked back and now it’s an industry giant. Netflix is one of the best streaming services and boasts of having the most subscribers.
There is a reason many people go for this streaming service. It has a vast catalog packed with endless content from different genres.
It also has the best original programming. Netflix offers excellent features on its interface, provides plenty of 4k content, and allows offline downloads on mobile platforms.
However, the streaming giant still faces stiff competition from other high-profile services emerging in the market with cheaper prices.
Pricing and plans
Netflix has three pricing plans namely basic, standard, and premium. The good thing about this streaming service is the fact that all plans allow you to watch on any device and access an unlimited collection of movies and TV shows.
If you don’t want to keep the service, there is a chance to cancel at any time of your choice. There is also a one-month free trial for those who may want to sample the service.
In terms of pricing, Netflix has consistently raised the prices for its plans over time. The basic plan is the cheapest option and it costs $8.99 per month.
With this subscription, you’ll have unlimited access to the entire content library of Netflix but you’re only allowed to stream in SD quality.
You can download titles to only a single device and watch the content you choose on one screen at a time. The standard plan was previously $13 per month but it’s now priced at $14 per month.
It includes HD streaming, supports up to two simultaneous streams, and allows downloads on two devices at a time.
The premium plan would be the most feasible option for large families looking to share an account. Previously $16 per month, the plan now costs $18 per month and it unlocks 4K streaming, a maximum of four simultaneous streams, and lets you download titles on up to four devices at the same time.
We like that Netflix offers all of its content without ads. Ad-free content means you can enjoy your favorite shows and movies on Netflix without any interruptions and annoyances.
Though, it’s unfortunate that Netflix makes its subscribers pay extra to access features such as 4K streaming. There are plenty of streaming services that offer such features at a lower cost.
Roku is a whole different ball game. You’re only required to pay for the streaming device. The free content on the Roku streaming platform will remain free without the need for a subscription.
But since it’s an integrated platform, it houses a huge number of popular streaming services like Amazon Prime, Hulu, Apple TV plus, Disney plus, and even Netflix.
In that case, you can add some of your subscription services like Netflix or Hulu and continue to enjoy the premium content.
This streaming device leader has about seven streamers in its lineup. Each of the Roku streaming devices offers a couple of features that people are looking for.
The company’s oldest model is the Roku Express and it’s still the best you will get. While it may not have some notable features like 4K streaming, it manages to maintain a spot as a favorite Roku device.
There are many more Roku streaming devices and each has a different price tag. That being said, it may still be the better option in regards to price when compared to Netflix.
You only need to purchase the particular device that suits your needs and stream thousands of free content without paying for a subscription.
Here is a list of the Roku media streamers;
|Model||Price||Product type||Streaming quality||Retailers|
|Express plus||$40||Mini box||HD||Walmart only|
|Premiere||$40||Mini box||4K HDR||All|
|Streaming stick plus||$50||Stick||4K HDR||All|
|Streaming stick plus Headphone Edition||$60||Stick||4K HDR||Best Buy only|
|Ultra-Lite||$80||Bigger box||4K HDR||Walmart only|
|Ultra||$100||Bigger box||4K HDR, Dolby Vision||All|
You can also opt to purchase the Roku TV instead of the player. The prices for these tend to vary with the manufacturer.
You can stream Netflix on a wide variety of devices. One way to keep people subscribed to a service is to make it accessible on as many devices as possible.
This is Netflix’s approach and it has helped make this streaming service an industry giant. It’s compatible with almost all Smart TVs, smartphones, and tablets both Android and iOS, PCs, laptops, plug-and-play like Amazon Fire Stick, Roku, and Apple TV, and game consoles like PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. As such, Netflix is viewable on most of the devices out there.
Roku, on the other hand, is accessible from the Roku plug-and-play. We have already mentioned a couple of the Roku streamer models available in the market.
Any of the streamers can be used to access the content. There are also Roku TVs which are great for streaming the content on Roku.
Download the Roku app on your smartphone or tablet and use it as a companion to your Roku device.
Pros and Cons
- It’s easy to use across the different streaming devices
- Offers offline downloads
- Netflix has quite a strong recommendation engine
- Extensive library of content
- A huge selection of original films and programming
- Absolutely no commercials
- Various plans to suit the requirements of different people
- The content library varies according to the location which is disappointing to the subscribers
- Oftentimes content is removed from the catalog when the licensing deal expires
- The price of the premium plan is quite on the higher end
- It provides a wide variety of content and the most versatility. You have more than enough to choose from when it comes to content
- The Roku channel is absolutely free for all.
- There is no monthly subscription fee for the Roku devices. After the upfront payment for the device, you can decide not to add any subscriptions to your Roku account and enjoy lots of free content on the platform.
- Simple, user-friendly interface
- You have to pay for a monthly subscription to access some streaming services on the platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Netflix. This makes it a less ideal option because you’re still spending money.
- The available free content is really limited. You won’t get that much programming on the Roku channel.
- It’s good that there is free content but it’s largely outdated. There aren’t many of the latest titles on Roku as it is on Netflix.
What we like the most about Netflix is the fact that you get to watch the same films and TV shows regardless of your subscribed plan.
It offers convenience and value for your money since you choose the best plan according to the number of people who’ll be watching.
If it’s only two people in the house, that have different taste, the standard plan is the sensible pick. The premium plan is perfect for a family as you can split the cost and watch your favorite TV shows or movies concurrently on four devices.
On the other hand, Roku offers both a Roku device and a Netflix subscription. Once you’ve covered the upfront payment for the Roku device, you can add your existing subscriptions to the streaming platform.
When compared to Netflix, Roku offers the most value for your money. This is mainly because if you don’t want the subscription services, you will only make one payment for the Roku device and go on to enjoy the free content.
Each of the Roku devices has particular features that appeal to the users. There is a device for 4K streaming and another one that supports the Dolby Vision. If all you want is a simple and laidback device, the Roku Express will get the job done.
As such, it is safe to say Roku offers the most value for money than Netflix. You have the choice of paying for a subscription or simply enjoying the available free content.
Either way, you will still have access to some programming. More movies and shows will also come from the Roku channel that is free for all.
But the only way you will watch the content on Netflix is after paying for one of its subscription plans. Not to mention, the Netflix plans are on the higher end in comparison to its competitors.
Netflix might be a pioneer streaming service but it has always kept the momentum with its vast number of original shows and movies.
Keep in mind, many of these shows and movies are the top best in the industry and have already won major acclaims and awards.
It’s hard to beat Netflix’s slate of original series and shows. Compared to the various streaming platforms on the market, Netflix has the largest content catalog.
Netflix wears the content crown mainly because the company invests heavily in licensing deals. It owns a majority of the original streaming series.
As such, it has managed to keep the viewers on edge with the many new shows and movies added to the platform regularly.
Some of the top shows you’ll find on Netflix include Stranger Things, Black Mirror, The Haunting of Hill House, Orange is the New Black, The Crown, and so on.
Aside from the many popular TV shows, the original programming also includes a wide variety of comedies, documentary series, dramas, reality dating shows and so much more.
Netflix is an all-rounded streaming service and there is content for different groups of people and audiences. There is more than enough for you to explore without the need to even visit a movie theatre.
Furthermore, this streamer never runs out of new content for its viewers. There are always come new movies and series being added to their catalog almost every month.
It’s true Netflix has a massive content library. The only complaint is that some of the content seems to come and go without any warning.
You might have been watching a particular series and all of a sudden you find it’s no longer on their catalog. This usually occurs when a licensing deal expires and it’s not renewed.
Also, much of the popular content is lost because many other competing streaming services are joining the market. Some of the brands collaborating with Netflix end up moving to the new streaming services and taking their content with them.
Moving on to Roku; this is a streaming platform with endless browsability. Here you’ll find all the content you can ever want.
Roku houses about 500 apps both free and paid. Without paying anything, you can easily stream thousands of free films from the platform.
The Roku channel for example gives you access to thousands of free TV shows, films, and sports. Pluto TV is another app on the platform that’s entirely free including all its genres such as Pluto TV movies, drama, sports, food, documentaries, and films.
If the free films and programming are not enough, you’ll find on the platform lots of subscription-based apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. Roku also updates its content regularly to ensure the viewers won’t be stuck for new content. It’s a great platform to catch most if not all of your favorite TV shows and films.
Netflix has pretty much the best content you’ll ever find. But Roku offers you the best of both worlds. You are allowed to access the free and premium content depending on your taste.
Even without a subscription to one of the streaming apps on Roku, there is still a chance for you to enjoy lots of free content from the many free apps on the platform.
Even when you’re a new user, the Netflix interface is simple and easy to use. On the homepage, you’ll come across various categories like Popular Picks for You, Trending Picks for You, Continue Watching, and others which are mainly based on the content you’ve been watching.
That said, the categories are so many and you might find yourself spending more time scrolling through the options rather than actually watching the shows.
The Netflix app is the same across the various devices regardless of whether you’re using an Apple TV or smartphone. The content and layout of the devices are really the same. However, things tend to be more condensed on smaller screens like on phones and tablets.
It’s impressive how Netflix focuses on its design and user experience. What people really want is an application that is easy to use and contains all the features required to make their lives smooth.
The Netflix app is updated regularly to get rid of bugs and improve usability. The recommended content list of created for the users to ensure people can find the binge-worthy shows fast enough. The app is intuitive and very organized. The only problem would be the huge catalog making it a bit difficult to find your desired content.
Just like Netflix, the Roku streaming platform is quite straightforward and easy to use. The users are allowed to sort their apps and give priority to the ones they use the most.
All of your favorite apps will be arranged on the homepage similarly to your mobile phone. There is also a useful panel on the side you use to navigate the many TV shows and films.
The search function comes in handy when looking for particular titles on the specific channels, finding rental options, and free content. With Roku, it’s super easy to find whatever you’re looking for without wasting a lot of time.
Roku vs Netflix Which is the better service?
Netflix is the leader in terms of original content. Nowadays, the market is packed with tons of streaming services but none of them comes close to Netflix and that’s indisputable.
The only service currently giving Netflix a run for its money is Disney Plus but they still have a long way to go. Their content library on Netflix covers just about anyone and their varying tastes.
If you are into documentaries, you will find lots of them in the catalog. The same goes for dramas, comedies, animations, reality shows, blockbusters, originals, and so on.
In addition, Netflix is more accessible and viewers can stream from almost any device. This is probably why it has the most subscribers among the many streaming services.
Roku might have entered the market much later but it has gained popularity within just a short time. Also, Roku has an edge over Netflix in terms of cost.
After purchasing the device, you have an opportunity to host all your subscription services in one place as well as access over ten thousand free films and shows on the various apps.
It’s also continually improving its offerings and in the future, there will be more and better features.
The comparison between Netflix and Roku doesn’t really have a winner. There isn’t one that is better than the other. It’s fair to say they are slightly different things.
Roku is a single integrated platform that hosts most of your subscription services and some free channels. It’s basically a streaming device. Netflix, on the other hand, offers its streaming services across multiple devices including Roku.
It is possible to buy both and benefit from their services. You should get a Netflix subscription and add it to your Roku device to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Which is better, Roku or Netflix?
In the case of Netflix and Roku, there isn’t one that is better than the other. If you already have Netflix, get a Roku device and stream the service on it.
Roku is a streaming device while Netflix is a streaming service and as such, they work together.
How much is Netflix a month on Roku?
The price of Netflix on Roku remains the same. The basic plan costs $8.99 monthly. The standard and premium plans cost $13.99 per month and $17.99 per month respectively.