If you’re looking to outfit your TV with a streaming player to expand your library of media content, you know that there are just so many choices on the market today. That can make the decision a tough one, but luckily, there are at least two streaming platforms that are really worth looking at.
Those two are the Apple TV and the Roku 4. Both are premium streaming platforms, but they each have their own unique features — if you follow along with us below, we’ll pit them against each other, and show you which one comes out on top.
The Apple TV has a lot going for it. Where the device really stands out is in the design. Traditionally, streaming set-top boxes and players like this look ugly, and generally don’t blend into a home theater setup very well.
That said, Apple has nailed the design of the Apple TV, creating a modern set-top box that easily blends in with any home theater setup that you have, whether you’re rocking something more on the minimalist side, or a setup that’s a little more crowded.
One of the cool things about the Apple TV is just how much content it has. There are an endless amount of Apple TV apps that you can download to watch your favorite shows — Netflix, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, and so much more.
On top of that, you have Apple’s own streaming store that you have access to. There’s plenty of content that you can watch on there for free, or that you can digitally buy outright. On top of that, the Apple TV will allow you to rent content to stream on the cheap — usually around $1.99 for a movie rental that you can stream.
Apple TV also opens up all sorts of TV show seasons that you can watch as well. You can easily purchase seasons of Game of Thrones, Better Call Saul, and plenty of other content for streaming over your Apple TV.
The Apple TV obviously has a ton of excellent functions to go with it as well. For example, it comes with an Apple TV remote, but you can just as easily setup the Apple TV with your iPhone and use your iPhone as a remote or channel guide.
Apple TV also has support for Siri, which allows you to easily navigate through the wide variety of content that the media platform supports. You can quickly open up different apps with Siri, and even play content.
The Roku 4 is the latest and greatest in what Roku has to offer. Roku has actually outfitted the Roku 4 with some excellent, high-performance hardware, which opens up resolutions like 4K playback for you.
As far as content goes, the Roku 4 platform opens up access to an additional 500+ channels that you won’t see on other Roku devices with the lower software version. That said, with the Roku 4, you get around 2,500 channels total.
Roku does pack a pretty unique technology in the Roku 4, and that would be 720p and 1080p TV upscaling. So, if your TV doesn’t support 4K Ultra HD by default, the Roku 4 is able to auto-optimize the resolution your Roku 4 outputs to the highest resolution that matches your TV.
Roku 4 is similar to the Apple TV in that it has a ton of voice control features. You can use the Roku 4’s voice-activated functions to easily navigate through the massive library of channels that it has.
The “con” to the Roku 4 is that it doesn’t have a great design to it, which means that it can kind of stick out like a sore thumb in your home theater setup.
It’s no secret that the Apple TV and the Roku 4 are both great platforms for streaming your favorite content; however, we think that the Apple TV truly comes out on top. Not only does it have some excellent connectivity with other Apple products, but we think it has a much wider array of content available.
Not only that, but Apple is always improving the system, getting more content on there, offering more features, and so on. That said, if you already own an Apple device or two, the Apple TV might be your best way to go, whereas you could go one way or the other without missing out on too much if you don’t.
We still lean towards the Apple TV though, largely because you still get a much more modern design that really stands out.