When a product is being compared to another Apple product, we clearly assume it to be the flagship product. So today, we are doing exactly that in this comparison of Apple TV vs Roku. Here, we are taking the top end of the market with Apple, and it’s Apple TV and Roku.
Which of these two streaming devices, however, is superior? Although the Apple TV 4K is more expensive. Does it provide a better overall experience than the Roku ultra? To find out, we pitted the two streaming gadgets against each other. In this article, we will discuss in detail all the features of both the products and give you the verdict on which one will be the best for you. We will distribute all the logical aspects of both into different sectors and compare them.
Comparing Apple TV vs Roku
The following section will give you in-depth details about comparing Apple TV vs Roku.
Video Streaming Quality Apple TV vs Roku
This is supposed to be the first and foremost thing to be compared between two streaming products.
The video quality is perhaps more significant than the design of the streaming gadgets. When it comes to digital video, the question is whether the devices meet HDR standards. Because both feature a 4K resolution and framerates of up to 60 frames per second, this is the case.
The Apple TV 4K and the Roku Ultra are about par in terms of streaming quality. Both devices support 4K and HDR streaming, so if you have a compatible display, you can enjoy stunning picture quality. They also feature Dolby Vision, which provides even more vibrant colors to enhance your watching experience.
Ports and Connectivity: Apple TV vs Roku
Both devices have robust wireless to support this high-quality streaming, with dual-band connectivity on both devices. Both have Ethernet connectors, allowing you to stream over a wired connection and enjoy uninterrupted playback. When it comes to audio, the streamers are almost comparable, with DTS Digital Surround and Dolby Atmos support.
An HDMI cable links Apple TV to a television. An optical audio output port and an ethernet port for direct connection to a router are among the other ports. Apple TV communicates with devices using Wi-Fi (with dual-band Wireless-N support) and Bluetooth.
Roku connects to a television via HDMI and has the same WI-FI capabilities as the Apple TV, but it also contains a USB slot and a Micro SD slot for viewing movies and images stored on a USB memory stick or a digital camera’s Micro SD card. Roku lacks both Bluetooth and optical audio output.
Features of Apple TV vs Roku
The following are the features of these streaming devices: Apple TV vs Roku.
Apple TV+, Apple Fitness, iCloud Photos, Apple Music, and Apple Arcade are just a few of the services available through Apple One, the company’s monthly membership service. And, you guessed it, you can use them all on your Apple TV. To play Apple Arcade games, stream your favorite songs from Apple Music, or use your TV as a gym teacher with Apple Fitness, connect a PS5 or Xbox controller to your Apple TV. If you don’t have an Apple One subscription, just subscribe to it, and the Apple TV allows you seamless access to all of Apple’s services.
The fact that an Apple TV may also serve as a HomeKit router is one of the lesser-known benefits of owning one. That means you’ll be able to access and operate your HomeKit-enabled lock, thermostat, or camera even if you’re not at home. Even if you only have a few HomeKit devices currently, an Apple TV makes sense as the next step toward a fully connected and accessible smart home.
The Roku Ultra, unlike the Apple TV 4K, is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s AirPlay 2/HomeKit smart home platforms. That means you’re covered no matter which smart home ecosystem you’re currently invested in. You can use Alexa to switch the Ultra on or off, as well as tell her what you want to watch. The same can be true for Google Assistant, and with AirPlay 2 and HomeKit integration, Siri can manage your TV.
Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Showtime, and Hulu are among the services offered on both sets. However, Roku continues to outperform Apple’s box when it comes to off-the-beaten-path entertainment. It has hundreds of channels and apps that Apple TV doesn’t have. Roku, on the other hand, lacks Apple iTunes content as well as Apple Arcade and Apple Fitness. The Apple TV app and Apple TV+ are also supported by both boxes. The Roku Ultra supports Apple’s AirPlay 2, which means you can stream video from your phone or tablet to your TV.
Roku hasn’t done anything to improve on an already excellent product. Rubberized buttons for navigation, video playback, and easy management of Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, and Sling are included, as are volume and TV power controls. The Apple TV remote is far ahead of the two, featuring a touch-and-movement-based interface, but that isn’t its main advantage. Like on your iPad or iPhone, you also have Apple’s Siri voice assistant.
Siri can hunt up something to watch or listen to on the Apple TV, but it’s capable of much more. It enables the Apple TV to act as a smart home hub for Apple HomeKit-compatible devices, allowing you to talk into the remote to manage your smart lights, locks, thermostats, and more. Siri can also provide you with news, sports scores, weather forecasts, and other relevant information.
One feature of the Roku Ultra remote that the Apple TV remote lacks are a headphone jack. If you put in your preferred headphones to the remote, all sound will be routed through your headphones rather than the TV. If you want to watch TV without disturbing anyone close, this is an excellent option. Other Roku devices lack a headphone jack, but they still support the Roku app’s private listening feature, which allows you to receive audio from your phone’s device. The Roku Ultra also has a remote finder button that helps you find your lost Roku remote.
The Roku Ultra has an excellent built-in remote finder. When your remote goes missing, press the button on the side of the Ultra to hear a sound that will help you find it. A function like this is missing from the Siri Remote for Apple TV.
Ecosystem and Interface: Apple TV vs Roku
Firstly we will talk about the ecosystem as this might differ largely in both the products. Apple TV works in tandem with all of your other Apple devices. You may AirPlay the screen of your Mac or a video from your iPhone to your TV. Alternatively, you can plug in your AirPods and watch a new movie without disturbing anybody else at home. If you have an Apple Watch and wish to undertake an Apple Fitness+ workout, your watch will connect to the Apple TV and display your workout metrics on the screen with minimal effort on your side.
Roku devices aspire to be content-agnostic, with the exception of iTunes content support. They work with a variety of third-party apps and devices, with varying degrees of integration. A device or storage disc can be used to view photo and video collections, and content from a phone or tablet can be streamed using a third-party program. Roku requires more research and setup than Apple TV for integrating devices and viewing local content. Though it lacks the Apple TV’s level of integration and accessibility, the Roku does not limit users to iOS devices.
Both Apple TV and Roku devices have a simple interface and user experience that sets them apart from the competition. Both devices have a simple UI that is simple to navigate and understand. Even for inexperienced users, personalization is also a breeze. With each option allowing you to customize your home screen to your liking, the Apple TV interface is simple and grid-based, with a few apps highlighted in the top row. You may personalize this row by adding your favorite apps. If you choose an app from this list, the backdrop will display a preview of its content so you can see what it has to offer.
To create a different atmosphere, you can even switch between light and dark themes. You may even further customize your experience by organizing programs into separate folders. Also, you can make a folder for music apps. For example, you can also establish an entertainment folder if you routinely stream movies and TV shows. If your kids use apps frequently, you might wish to create a kids folder, or you can just set up parental controls on Roku.
Roku’s user interface is as simple as it gets. A colorful grid of app tiles that you can arrange to your liking is displayed. The Ultra responds extremely quickly — within seconds. I was using Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, or Sling TV, but the Express 4K Plus appeared to be equally as quick. Although there are some adverts on the right side of the grid when scrolling across it, there are no large suggestion tabs or posters of episodes or movies cluttering the tiles. The app store, which is located in the left-hand corner labeled Streaming Channels, is just as simple to use as the main interface.
Price comparison Apple TV vs Roku
The Apple TV 4K costs $179 for the 32GB version and $199 for the 64GB version. The Apple TV HD, which only supports 1080p, costs $149 for a single 32GB unit. At $99.99, the Roku Ultra is the company’s most expensive streamer.
Apple TV devices lag behind Roku in terms of selection, as there is just one other model – the Apple TV HD. Apple TV HD is only available in 32 GB and costs $149, which is still more than the Roku Ultra. And, as the name implies, it does not support 4K streaming.
In the final verdict, after all the comparisons, we think it is quite out there that both are similar. In any aspect, both give similar kind of performance aspect. So we have thought for those of you who are into the apple system and just want a hassle-free streaming device, Apple TV is the best for you. But those of you who want a budget-friendly but almost equivalent product, we highly recommend Roku as it checks out all the bells and whistles of a flagship product at half the price.
What’s in the box
As a bonus, we also added a section for all the Brad Pitt fans and people asking what’s in the box (Pun intended), and we have shown it below:
Apple TV 4K
Apple TV is a bit costlier than Roku. So, if you want a cheap streaming device go for Roku. But, cost-wise both streaming devices are the same.
Yes, you can stream 4K videos with Apple TV 4K streaming device.