As streaming for TV shows and movies becomes more popular, so do the various devices that allow us to bring them into our home television screens. Both Apple TV and Roku have positioned themselves as the leading two providers for home entertainment streaming. The popularity for streaming revolves around two points: no commercials and access to entire seasons of your favorite shows. But which device is best for your money?
Both devices are reasonably easy to set up, taking no more than 10 minutes with access to a Wi-Fi connection. One complaint against Roku is that credit card information is required for setup. While that information is only stored in case purchases are made through the Roku Channel Store, it sets it apart from Apple in that Apple TV requires no initial credit information.
In terms of technological differences, Apple TV can only connect to televisions with HDMI. Therefore if you are working with an older television set, the only option in this instance is Roku. Additionally, although both devices have a micro USB port, only the Roku allows its users access to it. For the Apple TV, the micro USB port is for servicing by Apple alone. Whereas for the Roku, it can be a way for users to play back their own content.
In terms of content, Roku offers more. The major differences are that Apple TV has YouTube while Roku has Amazon Instant Video and HBO GO. Both provide Netflix, Hulu Plus, MLB.TV, and the NBA. However, Roku also adds 250 public content channels, some free and some by subscription.
Apple surpasses Roku when it comes to user interface. Apple has always been known for its simple and easy-to-use design, the Apple TV being no exception.
Also for individuals with an abundance of Apple technology such as laptops and phones, the Apple TV interfaces easily will all devices.
In conclusion, the Apple TV makes a sensible choice for someone already in bed with Apple technology. However, for an individual seeking an abundance of content, Roku may stand as the better option.