Apple TV vs. Roku – Quality vs. Quantity

If you have decided to drop the cable and use the Internet for your television viewing, you might probably be considering some of the top television streaming devices.

If you are wondering which streaming media box to buy between Apple TV and Roku, here’s a quick comparison of the features. Apple TV and Roku both can be bought for around the same price of $99. Apple TV comes with a single core processor of 2 GHz, whereas Roku TV comes with a dual core processor of 900 MHz. Both the devices have the same memory of 512 MB. In case of Apple TV, it is only for caching, whereas Roku comes with an external MicroSD card. The remote for the Apple TV is naturally the Apple Remote devices, whereas in case of Roku, the application remote can be an iOS device or an Android device. Apple TV offers more than 30 channels, whereas Roku TV offers great content of more than 1200 channels. Games can be accessed from AirPlay in Apple TV, whereas Roku TV offers 77 games.

More Channels – Roku

When comparing the speed of the two television streamers. The Apple TV seems to be lagging behind the commands, whereas Roku TV is zippier. However, Apple TV has only 30 channels or so, whereas Roku has a great deal of channels. If channel versatility is your major priority, Roku is the way to go. However, though Roku TV might be better in quantity, this does not necessarily relate to the quality of the channels. Though Roku has more than 1000 channels, you may find only thirty or fewer you want to keep in your viewing list. Roku is not also supportive of any one service, so it remains channel neutral, which cannot be said for Apple TV.


The aluminum remote of Apple TV is minimalistic and has the best features. It is very slender and has all the functionalities for navigation. The Menu is self explanatory and easy to use. Roku’s remote is a little chunkier and also more confusing. For instance, there is an asterisk button; a back arrow and a backward circle arrow and so on, which is quite confusing. However, it does come with some additional features, however, such as the headphone jack, for wireless audio. It can also be tilted sideways, similar to a Wii remote.

Apple TV – AirPlay

One of the greatest advantages Apple TV enjoys over Roku TV is AirPlay. This is a feature in Apple TV that allows the user to stream from any iOS device or from a new Mac computer to the Apple television. However, Roku has also recently updated its applications for the iOS and Android devices and they are able to mimic AirPlay with Play on Roku feature. With this feature on Roku TV, users can stream videos and photos or music from the portable device to the Roku 3 device. However, device mirroring is not enabled, so the entire screen of the tablet or the smartphone cannot be shown on television.

Video Quality

One aspect of the Apple TV that is far better than Roku TV is the quality of the videos. Apple TV streams movies and television shows consistently and they look much better in quality when compared to Roku TV. For example, iTunes movies are crisper when compared to Amazon Instant Videos being streamed on Roku TV. The same is the case for HBO Go and Netflix, which are available for both the platforms. The quality is certainly better on Apple TV and it always triumphs in its video quality.


Both the platforms are available for the same price. However, if you are a user who is locked in the Apple ecosystem, you can pick the Apple TV. On the other hand, Roku offers greater channel variety and a more useful remote, making it a more compelling option.

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