Roku 3 vs Apple TV – A Comparison of Two Popular Streaming TV Devices

In the battle for the streaming media market, Roku 3 and Apple are some of the biggest names. Understandably, the average shopper might not be able to tell which of these popular media streamer is better than the other, and, under which circumstances. Below is a simple rundown that clarifies which is the better choice, Roku 3 or Apple TV.

Differences between Roku 3 Vs Apple TV:

Some of the differences between Roku 3 and Apple TV are quite subtle. For instance, there is a ten-dollar price difference between the two. Roku 3 is cheaper at $90 while Apple TV goes for $100.

While Roku 3 has over 80 games, Apple TV does not come with any games. This makes Roku an obvious choice for gamers. There are rumors, however, that the fourth generation of Apple might feature some games.

Roku has over 2000 channels, while Apple TV has just over 40 channels. Although most of the channels available through Roku TV may not be of great quality, the sheer quantity of these channels is mind blowing.

Apple TV, however, has iTunes Movies and TV Shows and WATCH ABC, which Roku 3 does not. Similarly, Roku 3 has Amazon Instant Video, Time Warner Cable, Dishworld, and Vudu, which Apple TV does not have.

Music lovers will also feel better with Roku 3, since it has over 100 music channels as opposed to Apple TV’s 4 music channels.

Roku 3 has an intuitive cross-platform search feature that helps users find their way through the vast amounts of information it offers access to. The Roku 3 search results also highlight the best prices for movies and TV shows across various channels. Apple TV does not offer any of these options.

Roku 3 has a USB port, microSD card slot, a remote with headphone jack, as well as the ability to use the remote without the need for a line of sight. Apple TV offers no such options, although it has Bluetooth support while Roku 3 does not. Roku 3 is also pretty fast when compared to Apple TV, which also offers decent speeds.

The Similarities:

Both streaming devices allow users to play content stored in their mobile devices, although with Apple TV, this is limited to certain Apple devices only. Apple TV is also only compatible with iOS, while Roku 3 is compatible with both iOS and Android.

With both streamers, users can cast multimedia from their mobile devices including TV from Netflix and YouTube apps.

Both streamers have entertainment industry staples such as Netflix, HBO Go, YouTube, PBS, Crackle, and Hulu Plus.

Both media streamers have the options for remote and app control. Additionally, they both have memories of 512MB and offer dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity. The two streamers can also play 1080p videos.


On many accounts, Roku 3 is better than Apple TV. However, since Apple TV has been specially developed to work within the Apple ecosystem, users of iPhones, iPads, and other Apple gadgets might fare better with Apple TV. That said, Roku 3 still offers a decent use experience even within the Apple ecosystem, although it is hands down the best option if you don’t plan to use your streamer with Apple devices.

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