Roku vs. Amazon Fire TV Review – Which Streaming Device Is Better?
In this post regarding Roku vs. Amazon Fire TV Review we discuss review and comparison of Roku VS. Amazon Fire Tv. Roku and the Amazon Fire TV Stick, also known as Firestick, are two of the best streaming devices on the market today, especially for people who want to cut the cord. No matter if you’re a Netflix addict or a fan of anime, there are a lot of streaming services and content for both. Still, there are some differences between Roku and Firestick when it comes to how easy they are to use and what features they have.
What Are Streaming Devices?
A streaming device enables a program to gather data and present it to the user in the form of a continuous stream of converted audio or video. This can be accomplished, for example, by connecting your TV to the Internet so that you can view a movie, listen to top 40 tunes, or listen to a top-rated podcast on your device. Streaming technology is offered in a variety of formats.
They might be embedded inside a smart TV or game device, comparable to modern Xbox and PlayStation models. You can also utilize a different streaming device, such as an Amazon Firestick or a Roku stick, to watch video. Simply putting a streaming device into an HDMI port on your television allows you to watch movies, TV shows, news, live events, games, and more.
Why Use a Streaming Device?
You can watch movies, news, TV series, podcasts, and music without having to download them to your hard drive if you use a streaming service. This frees up a significant amount of cabinet space in your cabinets.
Real-time access is another benefit. You may be able to watch or listen to media right now rather than waiting for the file to fully download, depending on your internet speed. On your streaming device, you can also save a choice of apps. Take your entertainment system with you everywhere you go so you don’t miss an episode of your favourite TV show when you’re out of town and stuck in your hotel room.
Looking for a low-cost and simple way to view Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube, Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, HBO, and other streaming video services on your TV? Roku and Amazon Fire TV are two fantastic possibilities. The most popular streaming device has long been Roku, but Amazon’s Fire TV system has recently gained traction. Amazon’s Fire TV system has recently gained traction. ” data-s-object-id=”article-body; annotation”>Amazon’s Fire TV system has recently gained traction.
We’ve spent a lot of time at CNET trying gadgets from different platforms, and they’re all great. The majority of the Roku and Fire TV devices we tested scored an 8.0 (excellent) or higher grade.
So how one can you select? To begin, understand they’ve extra similarities than variations.
- Both are super-affordable, beginning at $30 for Roku and $40 for Fire TV.
- Both have entry to roughly umpteen zillion TV apps, together with the entire main ones. Most apps look and behave principally the identical on each.
- The newest fashions of Roku and Fire TV are just about equally fast, responsive, and dependable as long as you’ve got a .
- Both (apart from the most cost-effective Rokus) provide remotes with TV volume and power buttons to control TVs, so you possibly can ditch the remote that got here together with your TV.
- Both have a number of fashions, beginning with fundamental streamers as much as variations with voice, gadget control, and headphone jacks built into the distance.
(Image Source: Roku)
A Roku might be a better alternative if keeping track of things is vital to you. This is because, like your smartphone, Roku allows you to arrange all of your apps on the home screen. If you use Netflix more than any other app, for example, you might want to put it in the first row so you don’t waste time hunting for it.
In addition to the apps, the Roku home page displays all the tabs on the left side of the screen. You can either browse the Featured Free category for completely free movies and TV series or use the Search option to look for specific movies and TV shows. If you can’t recall the title, you can also search for a film based on the actor or director.
Roku has emerged as a strong competitor to Amazon and Google in recent years. The Roku Streaming Stick+ was the first 4K streaming stick available in the UK and supports 4K and HDR10. It is much smaller than the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, making it easier to fit into your TV’s HDMI port.
One key distinction between Roku and Amazon is that Roku does not produce its own television programming. Instead, Roku has launched a free, ad-supported TV streaming channel in the UK and the US. With a Roku device, users can access over 10,000 movies and TV shows of varying quality. Roku does not heavily promote specific content since it doesn’t have its own programming to push. As a result, the content browsing experience on Roku is significantly cleaner and more organized compared to Amazon. Navigating through different streaming apps and menus is also straightforward and fast.
Roku provides access to popular streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV, Google Play, HBO, Hulu, Showtime, YouTube TV, Sling TV, Fubo, and NBC. Additionally, Now TV (UK), Vudu (US), and Google Play are available on Roku but not on Amazon Fire TV devices.
Apart from voice controls, the free Roku mobile app serves as a remote control and allows you to control and stream videos from your smartphone or tablet. It offers convenient features like the ability to listen to audio through headphones, ensuring other family members are not disturbed.
Unlike the Fire TV, the Roku Streaming Stick+ does not come with an HDMI extension cord in the box. Roku’s website offers one for free, but it may not be the best option. However, the Stick+ is more convenient than the Fire TV as it is powered by your TV’s USB port.
While Roku has a solid foundation and offers a range of additional features, Amazon Fire TV surpasses Roku in terms of voice commands, Prime Video content, and overall performance.
Amazon Fire TV additionally affords handy residence display screen navigation, however differently. Instead of permitting you to rearrange your apps, The Fire Stick exhibits you an inventory of your frequent and up to date apps. You may also maintain down the mouse button to enter an inventory of grasp apps.
Below your favorite apps, Fire Stick exhibits your suggestions based mostly in your beforehand seen motion pictures and TV exhibits. It additionally exhibits you new movies from Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, or no matter channels you’re subscribed to. So, if you wish to keep up to date on new movies or uncover motion pictures from any style, the Fire Stick could be a greater choice for you.
Best Remote Control: Amazon Fire Stick
Both Roku and Fire TV embrace distant controls to your TV, so that you don’t should switch between the TV distant and the streaming gadget distant.
The microphone button on the Roku remote gives you the ability to search for movies and play them by speaking the names of the titles into the microphone. In addition, Roku has shortcut buttons for popular channels like as Netflix and Disney Channels. These shortcut buttons will actually come in handy, but unfortunately, they cannot be reprogrammed to switch between different stations. Therefore, if you don’t use the channels on your Roku remote, these buttons may be even less useful to you than they already are.
The remote for the Fire Stick lacks the shortcut buttons found on the Roku remote, but it does include a mute button. Additionally, the Fire Stick remote has the capability to control any soundbar, unlike the Roku remote, which can only control HDMI-compatible soundbars.
The Amazon Fire Stick remote is known for its sleek design and may feel more comfortable in your hand. On the other hand, the Roku remote is bulkier and features larger, more traditional buttons that can be challenging to press due to their size. Moreover, the Fire Stick remote seems to have a wider range of connectivity, allowing you to be further away from the device and not necessarily pointing the remote directly at the screen. This provides greater flexibility in terms of viewing distance.
Best Voice Control: Amazon Fire Stick
It is going to be such a hassle to reach for the remote control, especially if you are already comfortable on the couch or on your bed. The good news is that each Roku and Fire TV Stick will enable you to manage your television by giving voice commands. However, which streaming media player is better for you—a Roku or an Amazon Fire Stick—depends entirely on the voice assistant that is already installed in your home.
Roku works with each Google and Alexa, however, Google doesn’t work with the Amazon Fire Stick. So, when you have Google Home sensible residence speakers, Roku is the higher choice for you.
However, you need to say “Roku” every time you ask Google to launch apps or play motion pictures on a Roku gadget. For instance, you may say, “Google, open Hulu on Roku,” or “Google, pause Roku.”
If you don’t have Google or Alexa, you may nonetheless launch apps and seek for content material utilizing the microphone button in your Roku distant or through the use of the Roku cell app. You can discover completely different genres, actors, or play TV exhibits on a selected channel. Just say, “Play Happy Feet on The Roku Channel,” and Roku will play the film for you.
The Fire Stick is an excellent streaming device if you already own an Amazon Alexa smart home speaker. Connect Alexa to your Fire TV Stick and you’ll be able to watch whatever you want without ever reaching for the remote.
Simply say, “Alexa, watch Friends,” and the Fire Stick will automatically begin playing the game. The Fire Stick even has a fascinating feature that lets you rewind a video by simply saying “Rewind 20 seconds.”
You may also ask Alexa to perform various things with your Fire Stick. You may also control additional smart home gadgets with your remote, such as smart light bulbs. You may also ask Alexa weather-related queries, and the answers will be presented on your TV. Alexa may be able to respond to you through your television speakers. So, when it comes to Roku vs Fire Stick, it all comes down to the type of speaker you have. On the other side, the Fire Stick features better voice controls.
Best Apps: Roku
Aside from streaming motion pictures and TV exhibits, Roku and Fire Stick allow you to play video games as well. Roku permits you to play along with your video games along with your family and friends or by your self. You can try the Games web page on their web site and discover a whole lot of video games obtainable.
Likewise, you may switch to the Apps tab on the identical web site and flick through hundreds of various apps. There you will discover film guides, film and TV present channels, and even digital sceneries to play on your TV.
While Roku doesn’t help as many video games and apps because the Fire Stick does, you do get entry to The Roku Channel. This free app has a wide array of ad-supported motion pictures and collections. You may also discover lots of movies for kids and different free reside channels, similar to ABC News, WealthNation, and extra. So, in the event you’re into motion pictures and exhibits greater than video games, you would possibly need to go along with Roku.
You may view cable channels on a Fire Stick, such as Cinemax and HBO, and you also have access to films that Amazon Originals has produced in their own right. However, in order to take advantage of these benefits, you will need to sign up for Amazon Prime.
Additionally, Fire Stick comes with its own website where you can download apps and games to use on your television. In addition, in contrast to Roku, Fire Stick allows you to play a greater variety of games, some of which are significantly more well-liked than the games that can be found on Roku. Consequently, if one of the primary reasons you want a streaming device is to play video games, you should probably go with a Fire Stick rather than another option.
The flip side is that Amazon’s Fire TV interface is better at suggesting what to watch without making you jump in and out of different apps. Keep scrolling past the app list, and you’ll find row upon row of suggested movies and shows to watch. Most come from Amazon’s own Prime Video service, but you might also get recommendations from other apps, such as Netflix or HBO Now. While this approach can feel inscrutable—mostly because Amazon doesn’t let you customize the recommendations that appear—it is helpful for those times when you’re feeling indecisive.
Roku’s content finding efforts are far more conservative. On the home screen, there’s a “Featured Free” section that highlights free movies and TV episodes to watch, but that doesn’t help you find out what’s new on Netflix or Hulu. While Roku offers editorially chosen “zones” for various genres, getting to them requires searching and drilling through numerous menu layers. As a result, you’ll likely spend more time in your favourite apps rather than exploring what else is available.
There is no disagreement on this point. Both systems offer voice search capabilities, but Fire TV’s voice remote allows for instant playback of movies and music on more services compared to Roku, including Netflix and Amazon Prime. It also enables tuning in to live channels on select streaming services, and if you have an Echo speaker, you can start watching content without needing to touch the remote. (Roku allows you to control Echo and Google Home speakers hands-free, but the syntax can be clunky and the controls are limited.)
The Alexa assistant on Amazon’s Fire TV remote also provides control over smart home devices, answers common questions, and allows checking security camera feeds, features that Roku players do not have.
While the physical design of streaming devices may not be of utmost importance, the Roku Premiere’s design is not only unattractive but also inconvenient to use. It is a small, lightweight cylinder that doesn’t directly plug into an HDMI port like a dongle. As a result, it tends to hang and dangle due to the power of a regular HDMI cable. It can be secured with the included adhesive strip, but moving it thereafter becomes difficult. On the other hand, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is a streaming stick that directly connects to an HDMI port.
However, the Fire TV Stick 4K is slightly larger than most streaming sticks (approximately three inches long) and requires an additional power supply to function properly. Neither design choice is perfect, but it is still a better option than trying to fit the Roku Premiere into a cramped space.
Roku’s menus are simple, clear, and easy to navigate, allowing users to customize their home screen with favorite apps and various appealing themes. The system is both engaging and user-friendly.
On the other hand, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K heavily emphasizes Amazon Prime content. If you are an Amazon Prime member, the Fire TV Stick will start with a video highlighting the benefits of being a member. The home screen is primarily filled with endless Amazon suggestions after the first two rows of apps.
Nearly every page includes a large list of Amazon-curated TV shows and movies, and even the music and photo apps default to Amazon. While this can be useful, it can also feel overwhelming. If you encounter any difficulties, you can refer to our guide on how to use the Fire TV Stick.
Roku’s search feature is excellent, and it would be unrivaled if it weren’t for Apple’s impressive speech recognition. With Roku, you can search through numerous sources using text or voice input, and it will direct you to the best place to watch almost any content imaginable. It can even show you behind-the-scenes clips that you may not have known existed.
Amazon’s search, on the other hand, is more straightforward. While it can find dozens of apps, it requires them to be already installed. Therefore, its primary focus is not on finding content to watch, but rather on guiding you to the most cost-effective source to purchase it. Once again, Amazon’s emphasis on content limits the Fire TV Stick, as it involves additional steps to find non-Amazon sources.
When it involves the sheer variety of out there apps (not counting video games), the Roku units, with entry to thousands of apps (or channels, as Roku calls them), win by a landslide. You can even use the official Roku app to pick content material in your smartphone.
Chromecast apps (“Cast Enabled” apps) additionally quantity within the 1000’s now, however, assist for the casting platform between PC, Android, and iOS units vary, which will be irritating. The excellent news is that, not like Roku and Amazon Fire TV, any Android or iOS app will be Cast-enabled if the developer chooses, making for an ever-growing choice.
Speaking of creating that choice, Amazon and Google not too long ago ended their feud over video companies, and the most recent replace to the Amazon Prime Video app now supports Chromecast natively. Conversely and maybe extra importantly, now you can obtain the YouTube app on Amazon Fire TV. This announcement, however, Roku continues to be king of the app mountain.
Roku vs Fire Stick – Which is the Batter?
Both Amazon and Roku have received a significant number of five-star reviews for their streaming services, but deciding between the two can be a personal preference.
If you are a Prime Video member and enjoy using Alexa, the Amazon Fire TV might be the right choice for you. The user interface is primarily focused on Prime Video, but it is fast, user-friendly, and offers a wide range of streaming apps. The 1080p Fire TV Stick with Alexa is a more budget-friendly option, but for a slightly higher price, the Fire Stick 4K is a better value. It supports Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos sound, making it one of the top streamers available in the market.
On the other hand, if you are not particularly interested in Prime Video, Roku’s interface might be more appealing to you. It has a sleeker, more neutral design and offers a smoother user experience. While Roku’s voice commands are basic compared to the “good assistant” capabilities of Alexa, the Streaming Stick+ is still an advanced device that is easy to use and provides excellent value for money.
Ultimately, the choice between Amazon and Roku will depend on your specific preferences and priorities, such as your streaming service preferences, desire for advanced voice commands, and budget considerations.
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F.A.Q – Roku vs. Amazon Fire TV Review
What’s the Difference Between a Roku Streaming Stick and an Amazon Fire Stick?
Though there are some significant differences between the Firestick and Roku, they will only influence your decision based on personal preference. Amazon Prime customers, for example, may favour Firestick, whereas cord-cutters may prefer Roku because of the numerous free channels accessible.
Roku vs. Fire TV Stick: Which Is Better?
Overall, Roku is superior. There are many devices to pick from, more features, it is easier to use, and there is a lot of free material.
Which is better for a smart TV: Roku or Firestick?
There are a lot of TVs on the market that have Roku or Firestick built-in, but it’s difficult to compare them because there are so many different brands and types. TVs come in a variety of resolutions, from 720p to 4K UltraHD, and audio quality varies due to different built-in speakers.
Is there a Roku monthly fee?
Roku does not charge a monthly subscription. There is a one-time hardware fee, but after that, you may be able to use Roku for free.