Apple TV vs. Roku vs. Chromecast vs. Amazon Fire TV – Battle of Streaming Devices
Watching videos has become more of a trend, than a passion these days.
Of course, needless to say, streamlined videos are a true visual treat. There are a lot of manufacturers in today’s market that offer many types of devices for streamlining your favorite videos. One key factor that could prove to be worth considering when buying a streamer is to determine is how many apps it supports on your smartphone. Presently, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, and Amazon TV find their place among the most popular streamers. Interestingly, all of them support numerous apps and are reasonably priced. This assures you of true value for your money. All of them allow you to enjoy your favorite on-demand content on your television in full HD format.
Number of Entertainment Channels
All four streamers support a number of entertainment channels of various categories such as news, children’s, sports and music. Roku tops the list with the ability to support about 2,000+ channels. On the other hand, Apple TV, Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV sustain a total of 42, 26, and 500 channels respectively. Additionally, Chromecast and Apple TV do not support games. While Amazon Fire TV features more than 300 games, Roku Streaming Stick and Roku 3 together incorporate nearly 150 games.
Verdict: If you would like to own a streamer that helps in streaming almost any channel, then we recommend that you opt for Roku with its capability to support a huge number of channels.
Voice Search Facility
Among the media-streaming boxes being compared here, only the Amazon Fire TV offers this type of search functionality. All you have to do is to take control of your remote and say the type of channel you would like to view into it. You can also make your choice of TV show or movie, as wells as shortlist based on your director or actor. And hey presto, the streamer displays a list based on the selected criterion. The only catch is that at present the facility is restricted to only Amazon apps.
Verdict: The voice search feature saves you the hassle of having to surf through each channel on your remote until you find your favorite program.
Playing Content Stored on a Computer
The Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV streamers cannot be used to play media content saved on your computer. Apple TV supports this facility to a certain extent by playing media saved on certain Apple devices. Roku Streaming Stick and Roku 3 can be used to play media located on any computer. Roku has also the unique ability of playing media saved on a local server.
Verdict: Once again, Roku wins the battle with its ability to play media on any device including a computer with ease.
Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast have limited memory of 512MB each. The Amazon Fire TV has a far more excellent memory of 2GB.
Verdict: With more memory, the Amazon Fire TV can be used to store more media than any of the other devices.
The Chromecast streamer can be used only through apps that support the device. All the other devices can be accessed using supporting apps or a remote control.
USB Port and Memory Card Slot
The Apple TV and the Chromecast streamers do not support USB ports and memory card slots. On the other hand, the Roku 3 houses both a memory card slot for enhancing existing memory and a USB port to connect it to an external device like a laptop or a smartphone. The Amazon Fire TV features only a USB port. However, the Apple TV has an optical connection for connecting an audio device like the Amazon Fire TV. This type of connection is not available in the Chromecast and Roku streamers.