Renting a DVD or a Blu ray seems to be slowly moving out, as we have dedicated streaming devices for media, such as Roku 3 and Apple TV.
Both these devices have make available a wide range of television shows and movies near you at a very low monthly subscription fee. They are able to convert your regular television into a smart TV. The streaming devices available in the market range from prices of $35 to $100. They access different types of services and offer different features. You can opt for either Roku or Apple, depending on the content that you would like to watch and the features that you can use.
Roku 3 – For $100
Roku 3 is the top pick among television streaming devices. It is easy to use and has a neat interface that offers quick operation. The content is expansive, with Amazon Instant and Prime; Hulu Plus; HBO Go; Netflix; YouTube; and Vudu. The double band Wi-Fi offers a reliable connection. You can use the Roku app on your smartphone or your tab and cast the content from these channels to the television.
Roku also offers other models for less. They don’t offer the same speed and don’t come with remote. For instance, the Roku 2 is available for around $70 with almost everything present in Roku 3, but without a remote capable of motion sensing and with no casting abilities. Roku 1 is even cheaper at $40. Roku’s Streaming Stick is Roku’s answer to Chromecast. It is not very fast, but it can cast YouTube, Netflix and other secure media from your phone or tablet on to the television.
Apple TV for $100
This is a streaming stick that is a must have if you are in the Apple environment and have devices that are Apple centric. For instance, if you possess an iPhone, iPad or a Mac, you can access content from these devices as well as from the iCloud. The interface is very user friendly and it integrates in a seamless fashion with iTunes television shows; libraries, music as well as iCloud services. You can also make sure of AirPlay for streaming content from your iPad or iPhone on to your television. It also offers support for AirPlay mirroring, so you can see whatever is on your device screen on the television. However, there is not much of content in Apple TV, especially when compared to Roku TV, with Amazon, Vudu being major ones not present.
Roku 3 is a set top box and needs more space, coming with a length of 3.5 inches length and width and a height of 1 inch. Apple has a smaller height of .91 inches but it has a slightly bigger length and width of 3.9 x 3.9 inches. It is easy to fit both these devices in your cabinet or just stack them on the top of your cable box. Roku’s dongle is a little smaller, almost equal to a large USB drive and can be very conveniently plugged into the HDMI port on your television. Both the devices are also very simple and can be installed easily.
Roku 3 Blows Away Apple TV
Roku 3 offers search capabilities or entertainment on Netflix; Amazon; Hulu Plus and a lot of other channels. The search results also highlight lowest price for television shows and movies for all channels. You can also cast directly from YouTube apps or Netflix apps on to the television directly in case of both the devices. In addition, Roku TV also offers motion-controlled games. On the other hand, Apple TV offers screen mirroring through some Apple devices. Roku offers App compatibility with the iOS and Android devices, whereas Apple TV is only compatible with the iOS devices. Both the devices allow control through a Remote or through an app and have the same memory of 512 MB. One advantage that Roku, however, enjoys in its Remote is that there is no line of sight needed for it and the remote also comes with a headphone jack.
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