People nowadays stream not only music, but also TV channels over the Internet. Streaming devices have become more powerful than ever before. Many models are now capable of streaming 4K content. Below, we will help you choose between Roku Ultra vs Apple TV 4K, which are two of the most popular TV streamers right now. Which one is better?
What we will discuss in this article include:
– The design and dimensions of each device
– The set-up process and remote control of each device
– Which device that is more intuitive and easier to use
– The available apps on Roku Ultra vs Apple TV 4K
– The performance comparison between these two models
– Whether Roku Ultra or Apple TV 4K is better for the money
Most streaming devices are simply black rectangles with company logos on them. Both Roku Ultra vsApple TV 4K haven’t done much to challenge this boring trend. Well, Roku Ultra is actually a bit better than Apple TV 4K in terms of design, but you may or may not care about the look of your streaming device. See also: Mi Box vs Fire Stick.
Roku Ultra has a rectangular shape with rounded edges. It has a small purple label on one side. Compared to Apple TV 4K, Roku Ultra is definitely slimmer. The slim profile, combined with the flat top surface, creates a modern look. It also has a light indicator on the front to tell you whether it is turned on or off.
Apple TV 4K is quite fatter. Just like Roku Ultra, Apple TV 4K comes with rounded edges. However, the thick, fat body makes it appear less attractive. This is probably not an issue if you can put the unit somewhere hidden from plain sight. It also has a light indicator on the front.
It is worth a note that Roku Ultra has a microSD slot and USB port, so you can put your own content into it. On the other hand, Apple TV 4K has neither of those. Both models don’t have any digital audio output, so you need to use the audio output on your television if you want to connect the system to external speakers.
Set-up and Remote Control
You only need to set up your streaming device once, hopefully, but this initial experience with the streaming device may affect your perception in the long run. An ideal set-up process should be easy and quick. An awful set-up process will probably make you wade through multiple menu screens repeatedly and eat up your precious hours.
With Roku Ultra, once you have connected all the cables to the right places and turned on the unit, you will be asked to login or create a Roku account. If you have owned another Roku device previously, you can transfer the settings directly from the old device to the new device. However, you still need to go through several sign-in pages, which is a little cumbersome.
The remote control of Roku Ultra shares some resemblances with the main unit. It is mainly colored in black with purple directional buttons. But the best things about the remote are the power and volume buttons, which sync directly with the TV. You can easily control your TV’s power and volume with this remote, so you won’t need to fumble with two separate remotes.
Apple TV 4K is arguably the simplest streaming device to set-up. You also need to log-in or create an account in order to use the service, but it can take the settings directly from an iPad or iPhone. Afterwards, it is ready to go. It can give you access to various content in no time.
The remote control of Apple TV 4K looks simple yet classy. It doesn’t have many buttons. This is because it has a touchpad in place of buttons. Using a touchpad on the remote is quite an ambitious move, but unfortunately the touchpad feels imprecise, so it is rather difficult to use.
Roku used to dominate the market with its impressive interface. Roku Ultra also comes with an excellent interface that looks neat and beautiful. It allows you to arrange your favorite channels into rows and columns. However, other competitors have tried to catch up.
Apple TV 4K has a great interface. It also allows you to arrange your favorite channels. However, it also allows you to create folders. So, you can organize the channels into a more coherent way. And it does not give you invasive ads from time to time.
Perhaps one of the most important things to consider when choosing between Roku Ultra vs Apple TV 4K is the number of available apps. Make sure that the streaming device of your choice can give you access to the apps that you need. Otherwise, the streaming device won’t be much of use.
Roku Ultra is unparalleled in this aspect. It comes with everything you need, except iTunes. There are various popular channels here, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Hulu, Spotify, Pandora, Vudua, SlingTV, DirecTV, and PlayStation Vue.
Apple TV 4K doesn’t have as many apps. However, it does give you access to iTunes, which can give you access to lots of stuff. If you have already invested quite a lot in the Apple ecosystem, it can be great. Besides, Apple TV 4K also connects to Siri, so you can perform various things, ranging from checking the weather forecast to controlling other smart home devices.
Finally, let’s compare the performance of these two models. Roku Ultra is pretty good. It is fitted with an ARM Coretex A53 processor and 1GB RAM. It is pretty fast, but definitely not the fastest. It is still a bit slow, especially when loading heavy content.
On the other hand, Apple TV 4K is armed with the Apple A10X Fusion processor and 3GB RAM. The difference in performance is very significant. Apple TV 4K is much faster. The loading times are low, and it can swap between screens quickly and smoothly without any lag.
Roku Ultra vs Apple TV 4K
Roku Ultra is definitely a very good device, but Apple TV 4K is still better in the end. This model has an easy, simple set-up process. It gives you access to iTunes and Siri. The performance is much faster, thanks to the more powerful processor.