How do we keep this site running? This post may contain affiliate links — the cost is the same to you, but we get a referral fee. Compensation does not affect rankings. Thanks!
Two streaming media players face off head to head in this comparison of Apple TV vs Roku. Apple is known for its top quality devices, and if you’re a loyal Mac user, you may love their TV. However, Roku is the dominant player in this category with multiple devices/models to choose from at lower prices. Which digital media player will come out on top? We compare the two side by side including price, features and apps available so you can pick the one that’s the best fit for you.
SPOILER ALERT: Roku is almost half the price of AppleTV, and it offers almost twice the channels!
We’ve compared apps, price, remotes, connectivity options, dashboards and more to decide on a winner in our Apple TV vs Roku article. Below is an overview of which product won which category. Be sure to read our explanations for why we chose our winner. According to ComScore, 49% of media streaming devices are Roku while only 12% are Apple TV. Why is there such a large difference? Read below to find out their differences.
|Best for Apps|
|Best Connectivity Options|
|Best Dashboard Usability|
Find out what you can stream from your device in this table.
|NBA Game Time|
|NHL Game Center|
As you can see, Roku offers many more viewing options, which is why we have chosen Roku as the winner in this category.
Below you can compare the different prices of each device available from both companies.
|Fourth Generation 32GB - $149||Roku Express - $24.99|
|Fourth Generation 64GB - $199||Roku Express+ - $28.79|
|Roku Streaming Stick -|
|Roku Premier - $59.99|
|Roku Premier+ - Check on Amazon|
|Roku Ultra -|
You’ll notice Roku has seven options while Apple TV has two, both more than $100. Roku is the winner here because there are various options with lower price points than Apple TV.
Both Apple TV and Roku have remotes that let you turn your device on and off as well as change apps. The Fourth Generation Apple TV has a charging connector, so there are no batteries needed. This may be a pro or con to some of you depending on how good you are about charging your devices. Another thing AppleTV features that Roku doesn’t have is Siri. Although Roku does have Voice Search on its remotes.
Apple TV and Roku can be controlled from your phone too. All you have to do is download the app, and away you go. (This is great for those times when you can’t find the remote — or are too lazy to get up off the couch to get it! We’ve all been there!) However, Roku does have Remote Finder to help you find your lost remote.
If you are looking to stream content from your internet device to your media streaming player, Apple TV is the one to go with, that is, if you’re a Mac user. You cannot use this feature if you have a PC or some other smartphone/tablet besides the iPhone/iPad. Roku doesn’t have this capability, so Apple TV wins by default here. However, Apple TV does excel at this. You can stream content from your iPhone, iPad or Mac to your TV if it’s connected to an Apple TV.
Winner: Apple TV
Both Apple TV and Roku have elegant designs. Like most Apple products there is a bit of a learning curve to it before you get the hang of it. Roku, on the other hand, is pretty user-friendly and self-explanatory. After a couple ofweeks of using both, you’ll be a pro. But we feel like Roku’s dashboard is more simple to use than Apple TV’s, which is why Roku is our winner for this category.
Apple TV Vs Roku: Other Comparisons
|4K Video Option|
|Screen Mirroring||Apple devices only||Android and Windows devices only|
|Headphone Jack for Private Listening|
(Premier+ and Ultra)
|Gaming Controller Available|
(Controller option and Siri remote acts as controller)
Apple TV and Roku Competitors
Want to know how Apple TV and Roku stack up against other competitors? Check out our streaming media player comparison. Included in it are pros, cons, pricing, apps available and other key features. We also include a large table to help you compare all the streaming media devices quickly and easily.
Overall we choose Roku as the winner for this comparison. Not only is Roku less expensive but it also offers more options for viewing. However, if you are an Apple fan, you may like that Apple TV connects to all of your Apple devices seamlessly and there won’t be much of a learning curve since you’re used to the operating system.
Are you thinking of getting a Roku but aren’t sure which one to choose? This video from CNET explains the key differences for each Roku.
Which streaming media device do you prefer?