Both Roku and Amazon Fire TV are television-streaming devices that are very popular and are continually evolving, adding new features and functionality.
Roku – A Great Choice
Roku is available for around $49 to $99 and offers several options in pricing and in hardware. It offers four devices with the flagship model being sold for $99. There are other cheaper options, such as the Roku 2 available at around $69; Roku 1 at $49; Streaming Stick at $49. All the devices come with their own pros and cons, so users can buy the one that is most suitable for their needs.
Roku – Great Content
When it comes to content, Roku is considered the king among streaming television devices. It offers a huge library of channels that include all the major names, such as HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Netflix, Pandora as well as Spotify, NFL, Amazon Instant, YouTube and several others. Roku is also usually the first to receive new channels and the company is well known for bringing in updates to the applications and the boxes.
Roku – Speed and other Benefits
Roku comes with additional benefits, such as headphones that can be plugged into the remote on Roku 3 and on Roku 2, so that you can privately listen to anything that is being streamed. The device automatically mutes the television, making it an ideal feature for viewing without disturbing others. The chip used is very fast and this makes it very responsive among streaming boxes, especially Roku 3, though the others are a little less responsive.
In addition, it offers multi search features, as users can search for titles using keywords on various services, such as Hulu, Netflix, HBO Go and others. Users can easily access free shows or movies that form part of their subscriptions and avoid paying for it unnecessarily. The interface is not biased and does not push users towards a particular service. It offers a friendly vibe. All the app tiles are of the same size and can be easily moved on the main interface and kept in any position.
Amazon Fire TV – Fast Loading of Content
The Amazon Fire TV is available for around $99 and the streaming device is well known for its fast loading content. It is very speedy, but the ASAP feature is truly amazing when used for Amazon Instant and in the case of Prime videos. Movies and television shows start as soon as you select them and it is much faster than Roku. Other actions, such as fast forwarding or rewinding are also very fast.
The Amazon Fire TV offers a voice search feature that is very effective. Users can search content using their voice and by using the remote for speaking. It works very effectively and many users actually make use of it. However, the feature is not available across platforms and is only applicable for Vevo and for Amazon Instant. It will probably be upgraded to enable the feature to be used for other apps as well, such as Hulu Plus and for Netflix and some others.
Support for Gaming
The Amazon Fire TV has a store that is well loaded with many games, which are created for mobile phones for tablets. Users can play these games on their television screen. Users interested in games can also invest an additional $40 to buy the controller, which is optional.
Amazon Fire TV – The Downside
However, the service seems to push Amazon down the user’s throat. Amazon Instant is pushed right in the front and the menu options mainly show Amazon content, in terms of movies, music and video library and so on. There is also a huge section that promotes all the latest shows on Amazon Instant. Users cannot pin their favorite applications, such as Netflix, though they can make use of the Recent Menu to do this.