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Roku vs. Apple TV - Which one is for you?

Updated on October 15, 2014
Roku
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Today, many cable customers are “cutting the cord” with their cable providers and are moving toward watching TV programs and movies via the internet. While there are many ways to stream content, two of the most popular options are the Roku and Apple TV set-top boxes. Both the Roku and Apple TV will allow you to stream TV shows and movies using Hulu, Netflix, and Youtube just to name a few to your television, but each one has their own advantages. Here are the advantages of both the Roku and Apple TV so you can decide which is best for you.

Highlights of Apple TV

One of the main benefits of Apple TV is its integration into the Apple product ecosystem. That means you can watch TV show and movies you’ve purchased through Apple’s iTunes on your television. You can also stream your music that you’ve purchased through iTunes to your TV.

The Apple TV also comes with a feature called Airplay. Airplay allows you to steam from your iPhone or iPad to your television. It’s a great way to share photos from your device or to play music that’s stored on your device. And with peer-to-peer Airplay, can can allow your friends to broadcast to your television from their iPhone or iPad without giving them your network credentials.

Highlights of Roku

While both Apple TV and Roku have channels to stream popular services such as Nexflix, YouTube, Hulu and Pandora, only Roku offers the ability to stream the popular Amazon Instant service. Roku also has more “channels” than the Apple TV. While many of the channels would be considered by some as “filler” content, Roku’s nearly 800 channels offer a wide-array of content.

On the technical side, the Roku has the fastest processor of the two. Many users also consider the Roku remote better than the Apple TV remote. One nice feature of the Roku remote is the headphone jack. You can plug in ear buds (which come with the Roku 3) in to the remote to allow you to watch TV without disturbing others.

So Which is the Best Choice?

Deciding which device is best for you depends on you and your needs. If you have a lot of content purchased through iTune and want to be able to access that content via your steaming device, then the Apple TV is the right choice for you. However, if you use Amazon Instant then you’ll probably want to consider the Roku. With both devices priced about the same at just under $100, choosing the right device for you will be less about content and more about the features.


Roku vs. Apple TV

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