Android TV and Roku have been popular operating systems for most modern smart TVs. They have come a long way with updates and have been many users’ choice. Here we present a detailed comparison between Android Tv vs Roku on the basis of how well their user interfaces are, the Bluetooth support they provide, and many more aspects. So, if you’re thinking of buying either, you are well informed first.
What is Roku TV?
Roku is a media device production company that Anthony Woods created in 2002. Roku means “six” in Japanese and the founder kept this name because it was his sixth start-up. Roku released its first device back in 2008 and since then it has kept introducing new devices. The company has produced a family of devices – smart Boxes, smart soundbars, etc. It has a public beta program for its Roku operating system which is a big benefit for the company. All Roku devices operate on the Roku operating system.
Roku has a simple straightforward design and does not bother with dynamics and gaming sections. Roku lets you watch a variety of content from different streaming apps and also from its own Roku TV which provides over 2000 different small channels. It has grown into huge popularity and holds one-third of the streaming media devices market. Their set-top boxes are of low cost and mainly smart TVs that are a budget-friendly choice for the Roku platform.
What is Android TV?
Android TV is Google’s own programmed operating system for smart TVs. Google launched this operating system for TV manufacturers to use in their systems. If your TV is not a smart Tv, you can buy the Android TV box to support it. Android TV supports all of the streaming apps and also has the original Play Store pre-installed so that you can download extra apps in your system. There are thousands of apps on the Play store which are easily installable on your TV. Now, because Google has made this operating system it has therefore included its search and voice assistant features. Everything is accessible with it and we will tell you all about this later.
The Android TV also supports gaming and high-resolution content so If you want to watch content that is Dolby Atmos or DTS supported you can definitely use Android TV for that purpose. Google does not have a large beta program for its operating system which is why you cannot receive updates very frequently. The Android TV has a very intuitive and dynamic user interface which makes a choice for many power users.
Android TV vs Roku
In this article we will be discussing the user interface, all the streaming apps supported, Bluetooth connectivity, and more aspects of both operating systems broadly. In the end, you will be able to select a platform that suits your needs and then make a decision on buying for next smart box or smart TV.
Both operating systems are very different in offering you control over their whole interface. The user interface on the Roku TV is very static it does not change very often and of course; you cannot change it on your own. Compared to Roku, Android TV has a very dynamic user interface, using AI your favorites and suitable contents are changed frequently, and also you can customize many parts of the user interface to suit your needs.
Roku TV has some tabs that are not changeable and are usually as:
- Featured Free: These are contents that are freely accessible on Roku. These are featured and so give you a variety of good content to consume. You will not be disappointed by these.
- My Feed: Here you will find content that you like or are interested in watching. It tells about the Movie or TV show, where it is available and on how much cost, and when it is on sale. Now, here is a problem with Roku they don’t show all of the streaming apps that have the movie. You might want to watch a movie it is available on Netflix and because you have a subscription to Netflix you can watch it for no extra charge but Roku will show you other apps that you have to buy a subscription. This might be a bug and therefore might get resolved in updates.
- Movie/TV Store: Here you will quickly find movies and TV shows to buy or rent from different apps.
- Search: This is a universal search engine and so you can search content across all the different apps on Roku.
- Streaming Channels: This is a vast library of paid apps as well as free apps for you to download.
- Settings: Here are the different settings of the Roku operating system. You can change between themes, change accessibility options, etc. If you have bought a Roku TV then you can also change the HDMI input but if you have a Roku smart box you cannot do that.
Android TV has a very intuitive and more modern user interface than Roku TV. You will have a better visual experience and smoothness on the Android TV. It is a pleasing interface and we loved Android TV more than Roku.
In terms of showing ads, both operating systems show advertisements, you might get more advertisements on Android TV but that will not decrease its usefulness and smoothness.
Roku and Android Both provide every kind of major streaming application on their platform. You can access apps pretty easily and then in a specific you will have the app’s own user interface which is the same as in every smart TV. However, Roku does not allow you to download other apps as it does not has an app store and you cannot download an APK file on Roku. With Android, you can easily download different apps and games from the Play Store which has a huge collection. You can also transfer files from your smartphone or Laptop to your Android TV which broadens your freedom to download different apps.
Android TV also now has the Apple TV app pre-installed which means you can watch Apple TV+ content on it. Roku has a library of over 2000 small channels which are free to watch, and you will not find any of these on Android TV. Also, be aware that Roku has gone into carriage disputes with streaming companies in the past and HBO Max is not anymore in Roku and Peacock TV came into Roku lately. Android TV has not gone into any such carriage disputes.
Android TV supports nearly all kinds of Bluetooth devices. You can pair your soundbar or home theater and other Bluetooth devices easily with your TV. But Roku TV does not support all kinds of Bluetooth devices, they have Bluetooth support only for – Roku Streambar, Roku Smart Soundbar, Roku Ultra model 4800, and Roku TV (which comes with Roku wireless speaker). So, in terms of connectivity Android is certainly going to be the favorite choice.
There is a solution for Roku users though, Roku has a mobile app through which you can connect to any Bluetooth device, such as a speaker, and then enable Mobile Private Listening from the Roku app. You can then play audio from the Roku app as well.
Both the TVs have their own voice-controlling feature but you will certainly love Google Assistant most. Now, Google Assistant as well as Amazon Alexa is available on both Roku and Android TV. But on Roku, you will not get all the features of Google Assistant.
Roku does not support a full-fledged version of Google Assistant. Because Android TV is made by Google you get the humongous Google Assistant with full control of it. You can easily check calendar events, weather, time, call someone, etc. with your voice. If you have other IoT devices in your home you can control everything from the Android TV. You can order the Google Assistant to turn on the lights and start preparing coffee all from the ease of your couch.
In terms of gaming, Android TV is the most probable choice for gamers. You can also buy an Nvidia Shield TV that will enhance your gaming experiences to further notches. You also have the Google Stadia app pre-installed on the Android TV. Now, Google Stadia is a subscription-based online gaming platform that lets you play your favorite titles without any hardware constraints. It just demands a good internet connection and your favorite game will run as smoothly as on the best PCs in the world. This can also help you shift your gaming from PC to the TV completely because if you connect a mouse and keyword, you got a complete PC with the best screen.
Roku on the other hand does not support advanced games. You can play simple games such as solitaire and minesweeper. Actually, Roku is not built for gaming, it is just for watching content on television.
Updates on Roku are more often because Roku has a public beta program and receives many public thoughts about their system, this also helps them detect bugs more quickly. Android TV does not have a beta program as large as Roku but certainly gives you timely updates if a bug is reported. Roku is therefore better in terms of updates on its platform.
Android Tv vs Roku- The Verdict
It is your own decision to choose between the two platforms. If you want a budget-friendly smart TV you’re gonna like Roku and all the features it comes with. But if budget is not the issue for you, Android TV does have more exciting features. Remember as the price of a smart TV increases it is mostly going to implement Android TV, not Roku.
If you are buying a smart box though you can choose between the two platforms.
If you want simplicity, you want to play no games and you want to enjoy the free channels, Roku is the better choice.
If you are concerned about gaming, you want to access Google Assistant from your TV, you want a dynamic and customizable user interface, and also the Play store to download games and apps, Android TV is the best.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Android TV worth buying?
If you have recently bought a TV with a good display and you don’t want to buy a new TV for enjoying the Android TV experience you can certainly buy an Android TV smart box, it is worth buying and you will get back every penny if you use the Android TV as a power user.
Is Android TV better than smart TV?
Smart TVs are the operating system running behind the TV that makes it smart like a smartphone. Before android, television manufacturers used their own operating system to power their smart TVs but with Android, you get full accessibility to things like your smartphone, you can game, access Google Assistant, download apps from the play store, and do a lot of things.
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