Whatever your opinions are, there’s no denying that these two are the most popular streaming devices around. The great thing about them is that they allow you to directly stream HD content on your TV.
In the following Roku vs Firestick comparison guide, we’re going to compare the two based on price, capabilities, and features. We will also go through other factors to help you make an informed decision.
What is a Streaming Device?
Why You Should Use a Streaming Device?
A streaming device gives you access to the latest music, podcasts, TV shows, news, and movies. This is all without actually downloading and storing them onto your hard drive. It prevents your devices from getting overloaded with content.
You may also use your streaming device to save various apps. This way, you can stream content wherever you are. This feature can really come in handy when you’re traveling because you can use it to stream content from the airport, hotel room or even an Uber.
Lastly, you get to choose from an unlimited selection of content based on your preferences. Streaming apps put the latest music, sports live TV shows, and movies at your fingertips at all times.
Roku vs Firestick Comparison
Roku vs Firestick – which is the best option? If you’re looking for a streaming device then you’ll have obviously heard about these two options.
Amazon released the Fire TV Stick 4K back in 2018. It was an upgrade to their previous Firestick model. This new version offers Alexa Voice remote control among other features.
On the other hand, you have the Roku which is in its fourth iteration since the first version was released in 2015.
This inexpensive streaming device comes in a variety of power modes, sizes, and prices.
The most popular Roku on the market currently is the Roku Streaming Stick +. But there are more affordable options that offer a decent streaming experience.
Attention: Read before you continue
Governments and ISPs across the world monitor their users online activities. If found streaming or browsing content on your Fire TV Stick, mobile or PC, you could get into serious trouble. Currently, your IP is visible to everyone. We strongly recommend you to get a good VPN and hide your identity so that your online experience doesn’t take a bad turn.
We use IPVanish which is the fastest and most secure VPN in the industry. It is very easy to install on any device including Amazon Fire TV Stick. Also, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you don’t like their service, you can always ask for a refund. IPVanish also runs a limited time offer where you can save 57% on your VPN and they allow you to use one account on unlimited devices. This is a flash sale that can expire at any time.
Amazon Firestick is Better
Despite its affordable price, the Roku does come with a few caveats such as not giving you access to apps like Kodi, Cinema, and others.
This means you have to pay for content separately by subscribing to Hulu, Netflix, and other streaming services.
Roku works according to a closed-loop operating system. This means you’re not allowed to install any third-party apps.
Roku Private Channels are available as private channels that don’t work well when compared with the Firestick. For instance, if you’re looking for unrestricted media then you should opt for the Firestick.
As we continue the Roku vs Firestick debate, let’s take a look at the features that distinguish these two from one another.
Both the Roku and Firestick are pretty easy and simple to setup. All you have to do is plug either device on your HDTV port in order to automatically connect to the network and begin the streaming process.
For new users, account setup is required which is an equally easy process.
- TV Compatibility
The Firestick device is compatible with most HD TV models so long as they have a high-speed HDMI input, and you may also connect via Wi-Fi or a high-speed Internet connection.
Roku also offers compatibility with HDR10 compatible 4K UHD HDR TV sets, 4K UHD TVs with up to 2160p, and HD TVs with 1080p.
If you’re an Amazon Prime member then you’ll be able to access Amazon Originals shows exclusively from your Firestick device in addition to premium cable channels that include SHOWTIME, STARZ, HBO, and Cinemax to name but a few.
Prime Music also makes for effortless music streaming and you get access to free trials to paid channels before you commit.
On the other hand, Roku offers you access to a vast library of content including 450,000 TV programs and movies from countless on-demand streaming services.
• Video Quality
The Firestick offers 4K Ultra HD streaming quality which offers access to 720, 1080p, 2160p, vibrant and rich colors, 60 frames per second (fps), as well as richer pixels courtesy of HLG, HDR10+, and HDR10. However, this feature is only available for Ultra HD televisions.
The streaming quality offered by the Roku 4K Ultra HD translates to smooth videos, crisp detail, and brilliant picture quality. However, a 4K Ultra HD TV is needed to take advantage of this level of viewing. This is in addition to having the right HDMI TV port and a stable high-speed internet connection.
- Audio Quality
Both the Firestick 4K and the Fire TV offer Dolby Audio support so you can enjoy crystal clear sound quality.
The Roku stick also comes with excellent audio features including support for Dolby Audio, DTS Digital Surround, and HDMI.
- Remote Control
The Firestick features a unique remote control whose control buttons are designed for ease of use. Using voice command or the remote control, you can perform tasks such as moving to the next track, going back to the previous page or adjusting the volume.
The Firestick remote also comes with Alexa integration and you can pair it with other devices to enjoy a hands-free experience.
The Roku Firestick remote control also comes with a shortcut button that allows you to visit certain channels at the press of a single button. This is a great feature for when you want to switch channels.
The Firestick device has a storage capacity of up to 8GB with additional cloud storage being available from Amazon. On the other hand, the Roku stick has a 512 MB internal memory with a storage capacity of only 256 MB.
You can connect the Fire TV Stick to external storage devices such as the OTG Cable solution to add extra space.
- Voice Features
The Alexa Voice Remote feature comes integrated into the Amazon Firestick, allowing you to perform all manner of actions. This includes searching for shows, music, and movies as well as launching apps and adjusting the soundbar using only voice command recognition courtesy of the AI technology available from Amazon.
For instance, if you’re looking for a classic comedy to watch all you have to do is say, “Alexa, find Charlie Chaplin movies” and you’re good to go.
On the other hand, the Roku stick has a Roku mobile app that is available for free and supports voice search. However, this feature is not available for the Premier and Express Roku series.
- Parental Control
So, how does the Roku vs Firestick fare when it comes to kid safety? Well, the Firestick does allow you to activate parental control in order to protect your kids from even seeing inappropriate content.
These devices also come with a 5-digit PIN access protocol.
The Roku stick, on the other hand, doesn’t come with any parental control settings but you can create a unique 4-digit PIN for it so that new channels aren’t added without your knowledge or awareness.
Keep in mind that you can’t use the PIN to prevent certain kinds of content to be played by children so it’s not as effective as having access to parental control mechanisms.
- Mobile App
Amazon offers a complimentary mobile app so that users can enjoy voice search features, quick access to games and apps, as well as easy keyboard entry and playback controls.
The Roku mobile app is available for free download and can be used to control the device from your phone. This app may also come in handy if you want to cast photos from your phone, use the private listening features, and cast stored music and videos on your TV.
Visually impaired Firestick users have the option of using VoiceView screen reader to access the various features available. Roku offers a similar solution known as the Audio Guide feature.
There’s quite a huge difference when comparing Roku vs Firestick warranty offers.
The Firestick device is backed by a 1-year limited warranty and service plan. It comes with an optional 2 and 3-year extension on your warranty if you’re a US-based user.
The Roku stick, on the other hand, comes with a 2-year warranty to cover hardware components.
Using a VPN with Streaming Devices
The best part about IPVanish is that it guarantees your safety and privacy. This is because the app doesn’t retain history logs and they don’t store any of your online browsing history or service use in their servers. Everything is transparent, straightforward, and safe.
Which do you think is better in this Roku vs Firestick comparison? Share your views in the comments section below. We love hearing from you!