Roku 4 vs. New Apple TV: where do the key differences lie?

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Tech giants Apple and Roku announced recently that the fourth generation versions of their streaming boxes. So, for those who are looking for a streamer, which one is better? Here’s a rundown of the specs of the Apple TV and Roku 4.

Size

In terms of size, the Roku 4 measures 6.5 x 6.5 x 0.8 inches. On the other hand, the Apple TV is 3.9 x 3.9 x 1.4 inches. If space is a concern, then the Apple TV is a better choice since the one manufactured by Roku is twice as big. Still, it is important to note that the Roku 4 is thinner. Choosing in terms of size really depends on the set up of the home entertainment system.

Resolution

Of course, one of the main concerns when choosing a streamer is the resolution. Viewers do not want to watch pixilated movies or television shows. In this area, the Roku 4 has the advantage provided that the right gear is supporting it. According to Cult of Mac, the Roku box can play 4K content at 3840 x 2160 resolution as long as the television it is connected to is an Ultra HD TV or 4K. Moreover, it will upgrade standard HD films or shows to 4k. Considering that the Apple TV’s max is 1080p, the Roku 4 is a better choice if the hardware is there.

Remote

As for the remote that comes with the streaming boxes, the Roku 4 controller is powered by two AA batteries. It also has an earphone jack, so an individual can watch something without waking or interrupting anyone. Losing the remote is not a problem with the Roku because a phone or tablet can be installed with their app, so it can be used to control the box.

On their website, Apple says that the Siri Remote is powered by a rechargeable battery that can go on for months on a single charge. Though both remotes support voice commands, the Apple TV controller comes with Siri. Specific requests can be made of the personal assistant such as turning captions on or off, rewinding shows, and looking for show suggestions based on genre.

Access to movies and TV shows

Access to content is perhaps the most important factor to consider when choosing a streamer. The Roku 4 has access to more than 2,500 channels and 300,000 movies and episodes of TV shows. Some channels and content may require payment, however. Meanwhile, Apple TV has the iTunes Movies and TV shows. So, accessing content is not that difficult. Entertainment apps such as HBO, Netflix, and Hulu are likewise supported.

Price

For a lot of people, price can make or break a purchase. Tagged at $129.99, the Roku 4 is now available for pre-order and shipping will start on October 21. On the other hand, the new Apple TV will have two versions. One is $149 for the 32GB version, and the other is $199 for the 64GB edition.