Apple TV vs Roku Streaming Devices – Which One Is A Better Streaming Device?

The Apple TV and Roku are two big streaming giants which are designed for streaming photos, videos and audio from the Internet. They are both known to stream and support in 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos Audio but vary in structure and pricing a big deal. We have made a comparison in this post to guide you through so that you can differentiate between the two and choose the one that suits you. We are often asked Which is better Apple TV or Roku? We have done research and critically evaluated the ‘Apple TV vs Roku Streaming Devices.’ 

“Popular Apple Media Streaming Devices “

Apple TV – The first finest media streaming player 

Apple TV, as you can understand from the name, is offered by Apple Inc. as a media player to play audio, video and games. The device has only three buttons and uses WiFi to play the Internet media on your TV. It works on MacOs and PCs similarly. You can also play your own iTunes library on it. This device will give you the best watching experience.

APPLE TV 4K

This device Apple TV plays media in perfect 4K with incredible color balance that soothes our eyes. If you are Apple whiz, this one’s for you. The processor and enhanced RAM make it even better than the last Apple TV model. You can set it up easily. Its Dolby Vision even makes it a perfect choice for home theaters.

Its design is very thick and looks amazingly beautiful for its glossy plastic gadgetry in pitch black. You can use an HDMI and Ethernet for media. While its remote control is also beautifully designed that lets you leaf through menus smoothly. The 64-bit A10X Fusion chipset makes the interface look appealing and attractive.

There are several great features Apple TV 4K has that live up to your expectation and what Apple Inc. is popular for. It connects you to the world of Apple entertainment including iTunes, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, the latest Apple TV+ with Siri voice control system. Small tweaks include pop-up keyboard and AirPlay lets you share the photo effects.

It can also work as the Smart Home HomeKit to control the thermostat, locks and lights of your house. You can control media by using HomePod. You can also use Bluetooth to listen to music in your headphones without disturbing others.

All these features make Apple TV 4K a hot favorite among other streaming devices. With a very responsive remote control, great interface, voice system and HDR format; you can recommend this device to anyone.

                                    “Popular Roku Streaming Devices”

Roku is a very popular digital media box with which you can stream media. There are tons of apps that you can play on this device, a fine-tuned interface and great search system. Roku collaborated with Netflix for the very first device. There are several features that make this device very ideal.

ROKU ULTRA

Roku Ultra is one of the highly remarkable streaming media players that comes with 4K HDR features and can launch channels faster than its previous models. It comes with ease to operate remote control. That’s also a fact that it does not support Dolby Vision and has buffering issues. Still, Roku is considered the best streaming device which can give you access to tons of channels and their best contents.

Your other AV tools will sync well with the design of Roku Ultra. It has a very flat structure and is quite smaller than its previous Roku 4 and Premier+ models. It has the latest remote control with 2 distinct programmable buttons, an Ethernet port and a remote finder button. For more apps to download there is a USB player.

Roku has a powerful quad-core processor which makes it one of its kinds among competitors. It can stream in 4K HDR for any streaming services including Netflix, Vudu and Amazon Prime. Its voice control may lack the performance and capabilities as Siri does. But still, it has a Guest Mode which lets you listen to music in your headphones without annoying others.

Since Roku Ultra is absolutely a premium gadget which is really an appreciable product among all Roku products. Its 3.5mm headphone jack, volume control, quick navigation to desired media streamers and two of its prime customizable buttons makes it a fine package. While looking closely at its remote you’ll realize how delicately it is designed. If you lose the Remote (that often happens) the finder button will send the signal to it and you can easily locate it.

Apart from its drawback of lacking Dolby Vision, it’s the best 4K HDR player one may have.

ROKU STREAMING STICK+

For the ease of portability and several other reasons, including distinct features—Roku Streaming Stick+ is a nicely crafted supreme streaming media player with HQ picture quality that can play any media in 4K quality if the free TV or channels offer them. It also has TV control which performs on voice.

One of the significant features is Roku Streaming Stick+’s design which is next level when the remote gets a command to process a white LED flicker happens which does not harm your vision. While there is a power cord that remains hidden to the back of the TV. The setup is as simple as connecting a router for the internet.

Roku Streaming Stick+ has extraordinary range which provides the user ease to place the device wherever they want and operate it. The range does not hamper the picture quality at all. While its remote has good features including turning on TV, volume control, voice search and caption controls. Its portability gives you freedom as you can keep it being on the go or even your friends’ home. The vivid 4K HDR and HDQ picture control are some of the impressively done features. All these features may be found on other devices as well but done in style and great execution is something that requires a great technological advancement. So technically, more apps in 4K and all such features make it very desirable.  

However, Roku Streaming Stick+ has limited 4K HDR media and lacks Dolby Vision support.

Roku Express HD

Roku Express HD is the best device with simple tweaks. It is often called heaven for the first time streamers or for gifting someone. It provides smooth HD streaming of Netflix, Amazon Prime or even the secondary TVs. It’s working is very simple. You have to plug it in and it keeps running.

Roku Express HD has a very simple design which makes it special in its features. It comes with USB and HDMI ports and is as small as 1.5 inches that you can easily affix on your smart TV. The latest version is an energy saver which can even run through a USB port.

It provides you all the functions that other popular streaming services do but it is a little bit slower as it does not have an Ethernet port. There are 4000 apps and the cross channel search helps users to find the desired channel easily. The remote control has different buttons for Netflix, Hulu and Sling etc.

Roku Express HD is part of the awesome Roku environment. However, being HD it streams in 1080 but cannot work as 4K HDR. It loads very quickly and the app works fine and also gives you a glimpse of the top free shows running.

To sum it up, its small size, smooth surfing and a better alternative to regular Cable, Roku Express HD is all fun and is very affordable.

Comparison between Apple TV and Roku

While reviewing Roku devices there are few competitive features which makes them unique. Roku offers more features and options to control streaming and all the models are portable. You can run any Roku model on any TV which is another great feature. So, Roku models have a following due to all these reasons.

On the other hand, Apple and Roku both have separate streaming gadgets that you can compare and read the specs available on their boxes.

Neck To Neck Streaming Comparison

We can take a closer look at both Apple TV 4K and the Roku Extra as both these streaming boxes can give us streaming in great quality. Read this guide thoroughly and you will come to know the difference and suitability easily.

Apple TV 4K vs Roku Ultra

The Apple TV 4K and Roku Ultra come with many similar features and the important one is that they both stream in 4K HDR and support Dolby Atmos audio systems which are primarily needed these days.

There are some differences such as pricing, format and design etc. There might be more but these are major ones. See below we have tried our best to give you a good analysis of the two.

Design

The Apple TV 4K and Roku Ultra both come in black boxes that perfectly fit on the slim TVs. While the Apple TV 4K has a stylish and thick plastic body. The Dolby Vision feature makes it for the users with Dolby Vision TV and Apple environs. On the other hand, Roku Ultra has unfailing versatility, a USB port for loading media and a MicroSD port for adding more storage.

Both have different remote controls. The Apple TV 4K’s remote is rather delicate like an iPhone with a sensitive touch and a button to activate Siri. The Roku Ultra’s remote is very much functional with more options and separate controls. 

Setup

Setting The Roku Ultra and Apple TV 4K is simple as they both require plugging in and stable internet connection. Both require to sign into respective services accounts for channels—especially Apple.

Special Features

On the other hand, the Roku Ultra does not have exceptional features on its own. You need an external device to use likes of Google Assistant or Alexa. The remote only comes with some voice control, such as searches, changing volumes, and other essential functions.

The Roku Ultra lacks special features and you will require external tools such as Google Assistant and Alexa for additional fun. Its remote has voice control for searches, volume and few more functions.

While the Apple TV 4K is a sole premium service to access the whole lot of Apple services. For accessing contents from iTunes, Apple Music and Apple Arcade there is a price to be paid. Siri propelled remote control system is a fine feature and also its pop up keyboard that helps type searches easily.

Performance

When it comes to their distinct performances – The Roku Ultra supports HDR10 format alone that provides brightness at a greater level such as 1000 with color depth of 10 bits and these both devices have 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos Audio streaming immersion. What makes Apple TV 4K different from the Roku Ultra is, the former gives better color contrast for streaming services likes of Netflix.

Gaming

The Roku Ultra provides a dullard ecosystem for gaming but has gaming-friendly-microphone and remote control to enjoy gaming. However, the Apple TV 4K gives smooth experience with all the necessary gaming features and controls. Its gaming service Apple Arcade gives access to hundreds of great games.

The Best Streaming Device ‘Apple TV 4K or Roku Ultra’

When we talk about today’s popular streaming boxes Apple and Roku stand unparalleled. Delivering streaming quality in 4K HDR and Dolby Atmos audio doubles the fun and several different features make them ideal for streaming. These major differences make them competitive and also axe other competitors. So which one of the two should be chosen as the finer streaming media player?

The Roku Ultra is powerful yet lacks speed, RAM and processor capacity that Apple has. But quite frankly Roku Ultra is slower than the Apple TV 4K, the interface lacks the class and delicacy that Apple TV 4K shows and few contents. Its automatic Account Link works with limited apps and more importantly it lacks services that the Apple TV 4K offers. But its Store Channel connects you to the streaming giants such as Netflix and several others.

Contrarily, the Apple TV 4K is speedy with a better RAM and processor. Uses 3-core Apple A10X Fusion processor with 3 GB RAM which is ideal for streaming smoothly. The Dolby audio system is ideal for home theaters and the apps marketplace give you access to popular streaming services including HBO and Disney+.

Roku Ultra or Apple TV 4K which device offers the best performance for your bucks

When you have to choose one of the two, the Roku Ultra is good being on a budget with a better remote controller. While Apple TV 4K– is classy, comes with an intuitive interface, fast and somewhat complete in every form. What makes the Apple TV 4K a better choice is its pile of amazing contents, Dolby Vision support and tons of other features but for a $100 less Roku Ultra offers most of the important features.

The perfect one for your needs

The Roku Ultra and the Apple TV 4K are two of the best streaming boxes. Each has competitive qualities of its own. If you find it hard to select the one, consider a couple of basic reasons—budget and purpose. So, have you already got one Apple gadget at home and how much you can spend?

The Apple TV 4K is a great all rounder with everything perfectly done and support for Dolby Vision and phenomenal picture quality. Its content libraries such as iTunes, Apple Music, Arcade and Apple TV+ make it worth each dollar.

The Roku Ultra, on the other hand, is budget-friendly and has capability to deliver tuned streaming as does Apple’s TV 4K and also fetches contents from streaming giants. Its remote is far better in functioning than Apple’s. As most of us find it annoying to spend time on guessing, Roku’s remote has separate buttons for each feature.

Conclusion

There are many things that you can consider before buying the Roku Ultra or the Apple TV 4K. These both are massively functional and deliver as they profess. You can consider a few basic things into account before opting one. First of all, which other devices you have. If you already have a couple of iOS and Mac devices then buying an Apple TV 4K is justified.

While, if you don’t have any other Apple devices and DO NOT want to shell extra bucks, in such a scenario Roku Ultra is the best choice. It will give you performance on the same level as does Apple TV 4K. 

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