Battle of the Streaming Titans: Android TV vs. Roku

The streaming world has evolved dramatically over the last decade. People are ditching their traditional cable subscriptions in favor of streaming devices. And while there are countless streaming options, two of the most popular are Android TV and Roku. The battle of the streaming titans, Android TV vs. Roku, has been raging for years, with each platform vying for the top spot in the market.

But which one comes out on top in 2023?

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the features, user interface, and overall performance of Android TV and Roku to determine which one reigns supreme. So grab your popcorn and get ready to find out who wins the ultimate showdown!

What is Android TV?

android tv

First, let’s talk about Android TV. Developed by Google, Android TV is a smart TV platform. It offers access to a range of features, streaming services, apps, and games. It allows users to customize their home screen with their favorite content. With support for 4K and HDR content, Android TV is popular for those seeking a versatile and feature-rich streaming experience.

What is Roku?

roku tv

On the other hand, Roku is a streaming platform. It’s available on a range of devices, including streaming sticks and set-top boxes. You can connect these devices to the TV and access various streaming services. Roku provides a simple and easy-to-use interface. It boasts a massive library of apps and channels, including popular services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. With similar feature-set like voice search and personalized recommendations, Roku has also become a household name in the streaming world.

Android TV vs. Roku: A Quick Head-On Comparison
DeviceAndroid TVRoku
AboutAndroid TV is a version of the Android OS  designed for use on Smart TVs and streaming devices. It allows access to a variety of streaming services, games, and other appsRoku is a streaming platform that allows access to a wide variety of streaming services, like Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video
Maximum Storage8GB4GB
Available Channels600+2,000+
Operating systemAndroid OSRoku OS
RemoteGoogle Assistant-enabled remoteRoku Voice Remote
Video Resolution4K UHD @ 60 fps4K UHD @ 60 fps
Video formatDolby Vision, HDR10/10+Dolby Vision, HDR10/10+, HLG
Google AssistantAvailable Available
Alexa compatibilityNoYes

 

Android TV VS Roku: Main Differences

android tv vs roku

While both platforms offer similar features, there are some major differences. Let’s take a deep dive! 

User Interface and Navigation

First and foremost, Roku has a more user-friendly interface. Its menus are easy to navigate and come with a range of apps accessible at a glance. Thanks to its traditional layout, you can easily jump into any content you want to watch.

In comparison, Android TV offers a clean and intuitive experience that closely resembles the user experience of Android devices. This includes the familiar Android home screen layout with large icons for easy access to apps and content. The Android interface is highly customized and offers a range of features like voice search and content recommendations. However, Android features a lot of adverts on its screen. This can make the interface look busy and smaller in comparison to Roku.

Content & Channel Support

When comparing the channels and content offerings of Android TV and Roku, there are a few key differences to consider. First and foremost, both platforms support all the popular streaming platforms, including Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Netflix, Disney+, Peacock TV, and Hulu. However, Android TV has an advantage in supporting every streaming app on the Google Play store, giving users a wider range of options.

On the other hand, Roku TV offers users access to its proprietary streaming platform, The Roku Channel. It has a library of free movies and TV shows you can stream without a subscription. Roku also outshines Android TV in terms of the number of channels offered, with around 2,000 channels, most of which are free. However, many of these channels are less popular, so purchasing Roku Ultra may be necessary for a better experience. This device offers 4K HDR streaming, private listening using a headphone jack, and functions for notifications if you lose track of your streaming devices.

While both platforms offer strong channel and content support, it’s worth noting that Roku has been prone to carriage disputes in recent years. This means some channels can become unavailable on the platform due to disputes between the TV content provider and Roku. As such, we recommend Android over Roku for streaming channels, as it’s less likely to experience these types of issues.

Voice Controls 

Voice Controls in TV

Voice control has become an essential feature for modern-day smart TVs, and Android TV and Roku offer some voice control support. However, the two platforms differ significantly in this aspect.

Android TV offers a more comprehensive and seamless voice control experience thanks to its integration with Google Assistant. Android TV supports all versions of Google Assistant and is also compatible with Alexa, though less excellent than with Google Assistant. Every Android TV device has a voice remote allowing users to talk to Google Assistant. This means you can control smart home devices, check the weather, and access upcoming calendar appointments, among other features. 

On the other hand, the newer versions of Roku TV are compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa. Still, the device does not support all Google Assistant features like Android TV. The Roku native voice assistant can handle voice searches. Still, you won’t be able to access features like checking the weather or upcoming calendar appointments. You can purchase an enhanced voice remote for a better voice search experience.

Bluetooth Connectivity

Bluetooth is important for those who want to use their streaming device with multiple devices and gadgets, like wireless headphones or speakers. Both Android TV and Roku offer this feature, but there are some differences. 

Android TV offers Bluetooth connectivity across all devices, making it easy to pair any smart device with your Android TV using Bluetooth. This means you can avoid any Bluetooth connectivity problems with other devices.

On the other hand, not all Roku devices offer Bluetooth compatibility. If you plan on buying a Roku device, check if the device you’re interested in offers Bluetooth connectivity. Without Bluetooth, you won’t be able to pair other smart devices with your Roku TV. However, some older Roku TV sticks offer smartphone apps with indirect wireless connectivity.

Apps & Gaming

Apps and Gaming in TV

Roku TV offers a larger selection of apps, with around 2,000 available. However, some apps are not official and may not be well-maintained. In contrast, while Android TV has fewer apps, it has a better selection of popular and frequently-updated apps.

When it comes to gaming, Android TV is the clear winner. It offers a versatile gaming experience with a wide selection of games available. It is even compatible with Stadia, offering users 16GB of storage for gaming. Meanwhile, Roku TV has limited gaming options, with only a few basic games available, such as Minesweeper, solitaire, and Snakes.

Additional Features

Android TV and Roku offer several additional features that users may find useful. Android TV enables users to mirror their phone or tablet screens to their TV, which allows them to view photos, play games, and watch movies on a bigger screen. It also supports Google Home, letting users stream content from compatible devices like phones and tablets. On the other hand, Roku offers the ability to cast content from iOS devices, making it more versatile in terms of compatibility.

Regarding HDMI inputs, Android TV and Roku have this feature. This allows users to connect external devices like gaming consoles or Blu-ray players to their TVs. 

One aspect where Roku outperforms Android TV is the frequency of updates. Roku’s operating system continually evolves, resulting in frequent updates that bring new features and improvements. However, it is essential to consider carriage disputes between providers and devices, as these disputes can limit the content available to users on particular platforms or devices. Roku is more susceptible to these disputes than Android TV.

Android TV and Roku: Pros & Cons

Android TV:

Pros:

  • Modern, intuitive interface
  • Google Assistant integration
  • Strong gaming capabilities
  • Built-in Chromecast support
  • Supports Bluetooth connectivity
  • Offers more customization options

Cons:

  • Fewer channels compared to Roku
  • Can be more expensive than Roku

Roku:

Pros:

  • Traditional and familiar interface
  • Access to over 2000 channels, 500,000+ movies, and TV episodes
  • Usually more affordable than Android TV
  • Updates frequently with new features and improvements
  • Reliable and stable performance
  • Can be controlled via app or remote

Cons:

  • Limited gaming capabilities
  • No Google Assistant integration
  • Lacks Bluetooth connectivity on some devices
  • Screen mirroring only available for iOS devices
  • Interface can feel outdated for some users


Android TV VS Roku: Who Wins the Showdown?

The winner between Android TV and Roku ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences.

If you’re looking for a streaming device with a modern user interface, voice control, and gaming capabilities, Android TV might be a better option for your home theater. It also offers Chromecast support and Google Assistant integration, making it a more versatile device. However, it may be more expensive than Roku and less intuitive for those who prefer a simple interface.

On the other hand, if you’re mainly looking for a streaming device to watch your favorite TV shows and movies, Roku could be the right choice for you. It offers access to 2000+ channels and more than 500,000 movies and TV episodes. It also has a more user-friendly interface and is usually cheaper than Android TV. However, its gaming capabilities are limited and may lack some popular apps.

lithium

lithium

Skip to content