To get everyone on the right track, this article is based around which form of computer-less boxes is the better choice. The end result for both boxes it the ability to watch a personal list of favorite movies, shows, and even games. Both boxes have a wireless function that connects with the homes wireless network and TV of choice. The goal for both boxes is to allow the users access to their favorite form of entertainment without the use of cable wires and cable companies.
Both products are small, black boxes; each with the respected logo on the top, built-in wireless, with Ethernet and USB ports. Both boxes also come with a sleek remote designed just for the box of choice.
The differences lay in the models; the Apple TV has one design, but with different versions. It has all the basic outlets: power, HDMI, optical audio, and an Ethernet port. The Apple model to date has only one color: black; but knowing Apple, it won’t be too long before they come out with a box of every color.
The Roku, however, has four different models: the ROKU LT, the ROKU 2 HD, the ROKU 2 XD, and finally, the ROKU 2 XS. To match the price, each ROKU model comes with different features. The cheapest has the bare basics (and is also purple, while the other three are just black), and as the price goes up, so do the special features. The ROKU 2 XS is the full model, which comes with a full edition of Angry Birds and a remote motion control for games. The Roku hardware has an even better function than the Apple TV, and that’s the ability to hook up older TVs that may not have a HDMI connection; a very special bonus in anyone’s book.
Software and Content
As no surprise, Apple TV has the cleanest, more polished navigation system compared to the Roku. The downfall, the Apple TV interface is harder to navigate with all the clicking to enter passwords and text. There is a lot of scrolling instead of the ability to skip around. All of the content that is downloaded from Apple needs to be watched within a 24 hour period.
The Roku, however, may not be as clean as the Apple TV, but Roku makes up for it in the content department. The Roku has different channels for Hulu, Pandora, UFC, and many more.
The Roku also has over 70 content channels, an open SDK, and the ability to run apps on their product. Apple TV falls short in this department, only offering channels for YouTube, Netflix, and 99¢ rentals that come from ABC, Fox, and Disney.
Both products are simple to set-up, so gifting one to Mom can be done without needing drawn out calls about needing set-up help. So that’s always a plus.
The Epic Conclusion
While the urge to want to trust Apple and add to the never ending supply of Apple devices, the better choice would be the Roku. It all boils down to the content and price; for right now, the Roku beats Apple in both departments. The ability to have the basics for under $50, is in reality a steal.
Apple TV is pretty much a name that’s being paid for, until Apple cracks down and improves on the product within the next couple of updates. The choice to pay for name brand or content is just an easier choice to make right now with the current economy: content wins full swing.
So all in all, while everyone knows and loves Apple, the better option right now is to just stick with the ROKU LT (not only is it purple it’s only $49). Don’t worry Apple lovers, Apple always finds a way to make the better product, so within time, Apple will probably be winning the hearts of others within no time. But for now, stick with the Roku, it’s a better product for a better price.