Apple TV vs. Roku 3 – Features Differ, Prices Don’t

Apple TV and Roku have been producing and offering streaming media players for a few years now.

With the demand for streaming media players increasing day by day, three versions of both the players are into the market. Although the basic feature of these devices is to stream audio, video and picture from several sources to HDTVs, various deep functions are offered in the leading media players.

If you are looking for a budget-friendly $99 streaming media player, the Apple TV and the Roku 3 are the most recommended option in the list. But which one of the two should you go after? Let’s find out!


The first-generation Apple TV was developed with the aim to play local content from iTunes. Therefore, it provides a hassle-free setup for iTunes and items purchased on an Apple device. However, the availability of online content is restricted to about 30 channels only. In contrast, the Roku 3 promises to offer more than 1700 online channels. Alternatively, it doesn’t always support local iTunes content.

Winner: Tie


The Apple TV as well as the Roku 3 come loaded with several connectivity options. To begin with the Apple TV, it can connect the device to your television through an HDMI cable. Apart from this, there are some ports, such as an audio output port and Ethernet port for connectivity to the router. Also, you can connect the Apple TV to other devices via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

On the other hand, the Roku 3 has similar connectivity offerings. It enables you to connect the device to a television using an HDMI code. The Wi-Fi functionalities are similar to its Apple counterpart. However, it doesn’t offer connectivity for optical audio output and Bluetooth. Instead, there is a USB and Micro SD slot as an input option; allowing you to view photos or videos stored on a digital camera’s card or a USB memory stick.

Winner: Tie


Apple devices, as usual, provide a supreme level of compatibility for its family members (other Apple devices). This means that the streaming media player interacts with the devices through iCloud, other than the ones discussed earlier. iCloud compatibility enables a user to connect with any Apple device and share its content conveniently. When a device is connected via iCloud, you can view its photos, audios and videos on your television, without involving the need for any other interaction with the device. Moreover, you can watch any movies or shows on any Apple device if you purchase it on your Apple TV.

No doubt Roku 3 cannot provide such supremacy in compatibility with the Apple devices. Although content support for iTunes is absent in Roku, it offers compatibility for a diverse range of third-party apps and integration for many devices. You can use a third party app for viewing media from different devices and storage cards. However, the versatility of Roku 3 increases the complexities of its interface and makes it a bit tricky to setup a device.

Winner: Apple TV

Though the prices of the two streaming media players are equal, the devices are poles apart in terms of their respective features.

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