If you’re considering purchasing a streaming device, you may be wondering whether to choose Apple TV vs Roku. Both devices have their benefits, so it’s important to decide which one is right for you. This article will compare the two devices and help you decide which one is best for your needs.
There isn’t much new in Roku’s 2020 update to its high-end Ultra, but this isn’t necessarily negative. Apple AirPlay 2 and Dolby Vision HDR HDR compatibility have been added to the remote finder tool and an improved user experience. The regular price of the Roku Ultra is $100. However, it often goes on sale for less. Our review of the Roku Ultra (2020) is here.
Apple TV 4K
As recently as 2021, a new version of Apple TV 4K was released. However, a new Siri Remote and a speedier CPU are excellent additions to what is otherwise the same box appearance and basic user experience. The TVOS software from Apple still works well and has many apps available, but it costs a hefty $180 just to get started.
Apple TV vs Roku: Which Is Right For You?
Models and cost
The winner was Roku.
As shown in the table above, even the most expensive versions of both kinds of streaming devices have a significant price difference. In terms of high-end streaming devices, the 32 GB Apple TV 4K costs $179, and the 62 GB Apple TV 4K costs $199, respectively.
Apple TV 4K’s most basic storage option would set you back $199, but the Roku Ultra costs only $99.99. There is a USB connector for local playback. However, Roku does not disclose how much storage the Ultra contains. The MicroSD slot included in previous versions of this gadget has been removed from the current Ultra model.
Apple TV devices lag behind Roku in terms of variety since the Apple TV HD is the only other type available. Compared to the Roku Ultra, this only has 32 GB of storage and costs $149. It also doesn’t allow 4K streaming, as implied by the name.
If you don’t want to go with the Roku Ultra, you have six different choices with Roku instead. Some of them are retailer-only models that can no longer be found on the official Roku website. Streaming HD content and using a simple control is included with the Roku Express, which costs $29.99.
The Roku Express+, which includes voice search and HD streaming, is available for $39.99. One of the cheapest 4K streaming devices, the Roku Premiere, is also available for the same price. With 4K and HDR (high dynamic range) streaming as an option, you may enjoy stunning visual quality.
Streaming Stick, which costs $49.99 and has HD streaming and voice search, is the next option. Due to its small size, this gadget is ideal for travel and can be easily carried about with ease. Though it was recently discontinued, several stores still carry this model.
The Roku Streaming Stick+ is also available for $49.99. Everything that the standard Streaming Stick has to offer, plus a few extras, is included in this model. Long-range wireless connectivity and 4K and HDR streaming capabilities provide the best possible viewing experience.
The Roku Ultra LT is a fantastic choice for individuals looking for the same capabilities as the Roku Ultra but at a cheaper cost. This option costs $79.99, which is less than Ultra’s pricing. However, it still provides 4K and HDR streaming and robust wifi. The main differences are that it lacks a USB connector for local playback and has a voice remote that isn’t quite as good.
Read more about the different Roku models and their features in our comprehensive evaluation of the various Roku devices. You’ll be able to see the key differences between the Roku models in terms of functionality and cost, which will help you decide which model is best for your streaming requirements.
Interface and personalization
The winner was Apple TV.
Both the Apple TV and the Roku stick out from the crowd because of their straightforward user interfaces. Both gadgets have a simple user interface that even newcomers can get a handle on. It’s easy to build a home screen that’s uniquely yours, too, thanks to the wide range of customization options.
Apple TV presents you with a grid-based interface that places a few standout applications at the front of the list. This row may be personalized with your preferred applications. Choosing an app from this list will display a preview of its content in the background, so you can see what it offers. You may also change the mood by selecting between a bright and dark theme.
Additional customization options include grouping applications into specific directories. When it comes to music applications, you may create a folder for them. If you watch many movies and TV series, you may establish a separate entertainment folder on your computer. If you have applications that your children often use, you may wish to establish a special folder for them.
The Roku devices also have a clutter-free user interface that is easy to explore and comprehend from the start. Your applications are prominently displayed in a grid-style arrangement on the home screen. On the left-hand side of the screen, you’ll see tabs for your feed, settings, search, and a search bar.
As far as customization goes, Roku allows you to reorder the applications on your home screen so that your most often used ones take precedence. The range of subjects is the most impressive aspect of the show. The Roku Channel Store offers a wide variety of aesthetic themes, typically including seasonal patterns.
Even while Roku doesn’t let you organize your applications into folders, it does provide a unique “My Feed” customization tool. This tool makes it simple to curate a feed of your favorite programs and characters from television. Updates on new episodes of your favorite series or new projects by your favorite actors and directors will be available through this app.
The winner was Roku.
Roku Ultra is just as good at streaming HD content as Apple TV 4K. You may enjoy stunning visual quality if you have a monitor that supports 4K and HDR streaming. They also have Dolby Vision compatibility, enhancing your viewing experience by providing even more vibrant colors.
Dual-band wireless connection is included in both devices to facilitate this high-quality streaming. With Ethernet connections, you’ll be able to enjoy continuous listening while streaming through a wired connection.
As with the other models, the streaming quality varies depending on the choice selected. However, Roku’s devices are more cost-effective since they support the same streaming quality as their more expensive counterparts.
The winner was Roku.
Roku Ultra and Apple TV 4K are compatible with a wide variety of televisions. The Apple TV 4K and the Roku Ultra are compatible with HD, 4K, and 4K HDR TVs, while the Apple TV 4K is also compatible with UHD (Ultra HD) TVs.
HDCP (high-bandwidth digital content protection) is required to stream protected material, so keep that in mind. This mostly pertains to internet streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, and others.
Runners-up: a tie
With the Siri remote, you can use voice commands to accomplish various activities or conduct a search on your Apple TV without any hassle. On the other hand, Apple TV HD is not compatible with Alexa or Google Assistant.
Both Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Google Assistant may be used with the remote for Roku Ultra. On the other hand, those who are die-hard Apple fans may be disappointed that it isn’t compatible with Siri. The majority of other Roku devices have the same issue.
Which One is for You?
Apple TV is the best streaming media player for individuals already deeply ingrained in the Apple ecosystem, such as those who have all of their photographs and movies in iCloud and a large library of music and video material acquired via iTunes.
While the Apple TV has a limited number of built-in channels and games to choose from, AirPlay support may help alleviate this problem. Apple TV is an excellent choice for folks who already possess Apple products and do not need a wide content selection.
Some relevant posts:
- How To Cancel Apple TV? Top Full Options 
- How To Connect Apple Pencil To iPad? Top Full Guide 
- How Does Apple TV Work? Top Full Options 
What is the benefit of Apple TV?
You can manage all of your HomeKit gadgets with Apple TV 4K. Everything you have to offer may be found here. Any content stored on your iPhone or iPad may be played back in high definition on an Apple TV 4K using AirPlay.
Do you need Apple TV with Roku?
Many Roku devices come pre-installed with the Apple TV app. A large range of materials is available via the app, including Apple TV+, an add-on subscription service (costs $5 per month).
Can you get local channels on Apple TV?
Free TV through the Airwaves
The good news is that you can view local channels on Apple TV with an antenna if you’re willing to go a bit inventive. You might link it to an OTA DVR as an alternative to using your TV’s antenna. You may record live TV from your OTA antenna using an OTA DVR.
Can you watch live TV on Apple TV?
It’s possible to watch live and on-demand TV shows on your Apple TV. You only need to follow a few simple steps if you buy an Apple TV straight from your service provider to access the content.
There are many benefits of using Apple TV instead of Roku. For one, Apple TV has a sleek and user-friendly interface. It also has access to many apps, including many streaming services. In addition, Apple TV can play 4K HDR content, while Roku only supports 1080p. Lastly, Apple TV comes with a Siri Remote, allowing users to easily search for content and control their TV with voice commands.