Apple TV vs Roku: On a Budget or Want the Best?

When buying streaming devices, the most important considerations it the cost and its features. You need a brand that will match your lifestyle without breaking the bank to afford it. Apple and Roku devices are among the best brands on the market that have classy technology and not too pricey. If you are looking for luxury and don’t mind the price, Apple TV is the way to go. If, on the other hand, you need an affordable streaming device that will not overstretch your budget, go for the Roku devices. 

Here is a more detailed overview of Apple TV and Roku devices to help you in making an informed choice.

Roku Streaming Devices

Roku streaming devices are easy to use and have a wide range of channels to choose from. There are seven Roku devices and choosing the best will be difficult especially, if you are buying for the first time. The devices also have almost identical names which will make it harder for you to decide the best. Here is a detailed description of the available Roku devices to help you buy the one that will meet your needs.

Roku Express

Cost: $30

Roku Express streaming device is easy to set up and has a smooth on-screen experience. Whether you are a new or a seasoned streaming device user, you’ll find this device easy to use. With it, you’ll be able to watch amazing movies or programs on Netflix, NOW TV, BBC iPlayer or Amazon Video, among others. 

Despite its low price compared to other streaming devices, you’ll get a high-speed HDMI Cable and will have access to hundreds of unpaid channels. This means you’ll not need to spend additional fees to access your favorite channel. 

Roku Express has a simplified remote that has shortcut buttons that will allow you to easily access some of the famous streaming channels. Using your headphones, you’ll be able to listen privately or connect with 3 of your friends using your mobile devices. To make it even better, you’ll be able to view your photos and videos or even play your favorite music on your TV screen!

Roku Premiere

Cost: $40

If you want to have an amazing 4K HDR experience at an affordable price, Roku premiere is your best bet. The device has a remote system, provides more apps, improved search, and better customization. The unit is small in size and this means you can use it if your space is limited but this does not limit its functionality. 

Roku Premiere’s remote is more advanced compared to that of Roku Express as it has directional buttons, playback controls, and shortcut buttons to access Netflix, Hulu, DirectTV, and Sling, among others. If you don’t mind a streaming device that does not have audio support or voice control, this is a good device for you.

Roku Premiere Plus

Cost: $50

The Roku Premiere Plus is a 4K streaming device that is very easy to set up and operate. With this device, you’ll be able to access popular channels such as Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll, Pandora, Spotify, and Amazon, among others. You can also buy or rent individual movies via Vudu or Fandango.

When looking for a streaming device that allows you to play your own videos by use of MicroSD card, this is the best option. When using Roku Premiere Plus, you’ll use the remote to regulate the power or volume of your TV. This means you’ll no longer need to have 2 controllers at any time.

Roku Premiere Plus remote operates over WiFi and this means you don’t have to locate the device’s sensor to operate it.

Roku Streaming Stick Plus

Cost: $60

This is the most preferred Roku streaming device as you will be able to use it with either HD or 4K HDR TVs.  The device has a voice search option, power control, and also dual-band WiFi that enables it to work with 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks. If you live in places where there are multiple WiFi networks that can easily get in the way of your signal, this is the best streaming device for you.

Roku Ultra

Cost: $100

Roku Ultra is slightly bigger compared to other Roku devices and has the strongest processor. This streaming device also has a USB storage which gives it the ability to play videos from external hard drives. In addition to having a dual-band WiFi and voice search ability, the device also has an Ethernet port that allows a more stable connection. Roku Ultra devices also have headphone jacks that give you the ability to stream privately, MicroSDF support, USB slot, remote finder, and gaming buttons. If you are streaming your favorite show at night, you’ll find the night listening more useful as it silences explosive sounds.

As you can see, Roku has a wide range of streaming devices and your choice will depend on your personal preference and your budget. Whether you want the most complex or the simplest streaming device, Roku has it all!

Apple TV

Unlike Roku that provides a wide range of choices, Apple TV only has 2 models which makes it quite simple to decide the best for you. All you need to know when making your purchase is whether you need 4K experience or not. With your Apple TV, you’ll have the freedom to watch TV however you want to and the channels you are interested in. whether you want to buy a movie or rent one, you have thousands of options to choose from.

Apple TV devices have a remote that allows you to take charge of your TV’s volume and make use of a voice search. Whether you want to watch Amazon Prime, Hulu, DirectTV Now or HBO Now, among others, all you need is to make a choice. With a straightforward design, Apple TV is not only simple but the most obvious choice. The only downside when buying an Apple TV is the cost which is higher compared to Roku.

Here is a more detailed description of Apple TV devices:

Apple TV

Cost: $149

Apple TV is a great streaming device that has video output of 108op, 8o2.11ac WiFi, and 4.0 Bluetooth output. The device also has 32GB storage where you can save your favorite games or your library. It also has a Siri voice control that you can use to navigate your content by simply pressing the mic button on the remote and request the movie or the app you want to see. If you are not sure about what you want to watch, you’ll use the same feature to ask for recommendations. You’ll be able to see popular programs from your installed apps and then you can make an informed choice. 

Another great feature of Apple TV is the gaming system. There is a wide range of game titles to choose from and all you need to play them is a Bluetooth connection controller to your device. 

Apple TV 4K

Cost: $180 for storage of 32GB or $200 for 64GB storage.

This is the best streaming device for you if you don’t mind paying a higher price. Its operating system is easy to use due to its updated touch remote and the ability to support 4K video. The shape is the same as that of the standard Apple TV though it is relatively smaller and compact.

When using the remote, you won’t have to use the directional pad as there is a touch option on the upper side. You may find it harder to use it but once you get used to it, you’ll love the experience. To use your Apple streaming device, you need to open an Apple account. Once you do this, you’ll plug your device on the power outlet and into the HDMI input. With these simple steps, your Apple TV 4K will be ready to use.

Are there Similarities Between Roku and Apple TV?

Ease of setting up: both Roku and Apple TV devices are easy to set up and use which is the reason why they are the leading brands on the market.

Accessible channels: Both Roku and Apple TV will give you the ability to stream popular channels such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now or movie streaming option. You’ll also be able to access some of your favorite games such as Game of Thrones.

Remote control: Roku and Apple TV have remote control and you’ll also be able to use your mobile device to operate it. However, the Apple TV remote is more advanced as it has a touch option.

Differences Between Roku and Apple TV

Casting ability: though both Roku and Apple TV support casting, Roku only has the ability to cast movies, music or photos that are in your phone. For Apple TV, you’ll be able to cast content from your MacBook or an iOS device to your Apple TV.

Cost: the amount you’ll spend when buying a Roku Streaming device is lower compared to the high cost of buying an Apple TV streaming device. If you are looking for a budget-friendly device, Roku is the way to go.

Final Verdict

Both Roku and Apple TV are great streaming devices and whatever your choice, you’ll have a great time streaming content at the comfort of your home. The choice you make will depend on your budget and your personal preference. On a head-to-head comparison, however, Roku devices take the win especially when you consider the wide range of choices and their affordability.