firestick-vs-roku

The most popular options for Movies, TV Shows, and music streaming devices in the market today are the Amazon Firestick 4K and Roku. This article compares their features to decide which home entertainment streaming technology suits all of your streaming needs, and is well worth your budget.

This article is organized into the following sections:

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  • What are streaming devices?
  • Why use a streaming device?
  • Comparing Amazon Firestick vs. Roku
  • Frequently Asked Questions about Amazon Firestick vs. Roku
  • Why use a VPN with your streaming device
TROYPOINT Tip:  You should always use a VPN to protect your identity and security when streaming free movies and TV shows with apps such as this.
Legal Copyright Disclaimer: This technology shall only be used to stream movies or TV shows that fall under the public domain.  TROYPOINT does not endorse or promote illegal activity tied to streaming or downloading copyrighted works. The end-user shall be solely responsible for media accessed through any service or app referenced on this Website.  Referenced applications/addons are not hosted by TROYPOINT and this guide is for educational purposes only.  

What Are Streaming Devices?

A streaming device allows an application to receive data and deliver it to the user as a steady stream of converted audio or movie. This is done, for example, by connecting your TV to the Internet so you can watch a movie, play top 40 hits, or listen to a top-rated podcast on your device.

Streaming technology comes in different forms. They can be built in the smart TV or gaming device such as new versions of Xbox and PlayStation. If you don’t have a smart TV, however, you can use a separate streaming device such as the Amazon Firestick or Roku stick. Just plug in the streaming device to your TV and start watching your favorite films, TV shows, news, play games, or listen to music and podcasts.

Why Use a Streaming Device?

Using a streaming device lets you access movies, news, TV shows, podcasts and music without having to download them to your hard drive. This saves you a lot of storage space in your devices.

Real time access is another advantage. Depending on your internet speed, you can watch or listen to any media right away instead of waiting for the file to be downloaded completely.

You can also save different apps on your streaming device. Take your mobile entertainment system wherever you go, so if you’re out of town and stuck in your hotel room, you’ll never have to miss the next episode of your favorite TV show again. Check out the links below for the best apps and APKs that you can download.

Best Firestick Apps – Movies, TV Shows, Games & More

TROYPOINT’s Best APKs in 2019

Finally, there are thousands of content you can choose from to suit your video and audio streaming preferences. There’s an app for movies and TV shows, live TV, 24/7 sports, music, etc. to turn your streaming device into your personal mobile media hub.

Comparing Roku vs. Amazon Firestick 

Roku vs. the Amazon Firestick, how do they compare? If you’re shopping for a streaming device, you’d have most stores recommend these two brands right away because of their popularity and functionality.

The Fire TV Stick 4K was released by Amazon in 2018, which is an upgraded version of the previous model. Aside from the 4K streaming feature, the device now comes with an Alexa Voice remote control.

To learn more about the Firestick, click the link below:

Amazon Firestick Guide

Roku, on the other hand, released the fourth generation of its players in 2015 to match the market’s demand for inexpensive streaming devices. It has several versions of streaming sticks of which the model 3500 and model 3600 can match the Firestick’s capabilities.

Technical Aspects

Below is a table that compares other technical aspects of Roku Streaming Stick vs. the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

amazon firestick vs roku Roku vs amazon firestick
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Roku Streaming Stick
Processor Quad-core 1.7 GHz Quad-core
GPU IMG GE8300 ARM Cortex A53
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0 + LE no information available
Ports HDMI output, micro USB for power & OTG connection Power, HDMI 2.0a, mini USB for advanced wireless receiver
System Requirements High-definition television with available high-speed HDMI input, high-speed internet connection via Wi-Fi High-definition television with available high-speed HDMI input, high-speed internet connection via Wi-Fi
Content Format Video: Dolby Vision, HDR 10, HDR10+, HLG, H.265, H.264, VP9
Audio: AAC-LC, AC3, eAC3 (Dolby Digital Plus), FLAC, MP3, PCM/Wave, Vorbis, Dolby Atmos (EC3_JOC)
Photo: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP
Video: MP4, MOV, M4V, MKV, WebM
Video Codecs: H.264/AVC, HEVC/H.265, VP9
Audio: AAC, MP3, WMA, WAV (PCM), AIFF, FLAC, ALAC, AC3, E-AC3
Photo: HLS/CMAF, Smooth, DASH
TV Compatibility TVs that stream in HD, Ultra HD and 4K, or any TV with a HDMI port HD TVs, 4K UHD TVs and 4K UHD HDR TVs
Networking 802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless receiver 802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless receiver
Power Consumption about 4W Less than 3W
Power Input 5V – 1A 5V – 1A

Other Important Features

The following features will help you decide between Roku vs. the Amazon Firestick.

Size and Weight

The Firestick’s housing fits in the palm of your hand and weighs only 53.6 grams. The remote control, on the other hand, weighs 43.4 grams and can fit in any pocket.

The Roku stick is almost the same size as the Firestick but it’s a bit slimmer. It only weighs about 26 grams.

Remote Control

The Firestick’s remote control is designed with control buttons for convenient press and play. Set the device to mute or adjust the volume, return to the previous page, move forward to the next track or activate voice command using your remote control.

The Roku stick’s remote control also features the same buttons but also comes with shortcut buttons where selected channels are assigned on each. This is convenient for users who want to switch from one favorite channel to another.

TV Compatibility

Firestick is compatible with any high-definition television with available high-speed HDMI input, high-speed internet connection via Wi-Fi. Roku is compatible with HD TVs of up to 1080p, 4K UHD TVs of up to 2160p, 4K UHD HDR TVs that support HRD10.

Wi-Fi Connectivity

Firestick has a dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi for more stability in streaming and reduced buffering and supports Wi-Fi networks, which include 802.11a/b/g/n/ac.

The Roku stick, on the other hand, supports 802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless network.

Storage

Firestick allows you to store data with its 8 GB capacity. Cloud storage also comes free for all content purchased from Amazon. The Roku stick, however, has limited storage at only 256 MB and only 512 MB memory although this can be increased with a micro SD card.

You may connect external devices to the Fire TV Stick such as additional storage via an OTG Cable.

Setup

Firestick and Roku both have a simple setup process. Just plug it into the HDTV and start connecting to the network to start streaming. Take note that if you’re a new user, you need to first create an account to get started.

Parental Controls Feature

Firestick allows parental controls to be activated to prevent unwanted content or those that are inappropriate for children to be accessed. A 5-digit PIN is needed to safeguard access to the device as well.

The Roku stick doesn’t have parental controls but users can create a 4-digit PIN before they can add new channels to the player. Remember, however, that the PIN cannot be used to prohibit which content can be played on the Roku stick by children.

Voice Command Feature

Amazon has packed the Firestick with Alexa Voice Remote feature. This lets you launch apps and search movies, music and shows and adjust the soundbar through voice command recognition using Amazon’s advanced AI technology. For example, if you want to have a classic comedy night with your friends, simply say, “Alexa, find movies by Charlie Chaplin.”

Roku meanwhile supports voice search via the free Roku mobile app and is also available for the Roku stick models but not for the Express and Premier series.

Streaming and Picture Quality

The Firestick’s 4K Ultra HD streaming quality that can accommodate 720p, 1080p, 2160p and reach up to 60 frames per second (fps), provides outstanding picture clarity, splendid and vibrant colors, and excellent HDR10, HDR10+  and HLG quality for richer pixels. This feature will work with a compatible Ultra HD television only.

The Roku stick’s 4K Ultra HD quality streaming claims to produce brilliant and crisp details and smooth videos. To achieve such high quality viewing, you need a 4K Ultra HD TV, stable and high-speed internet connection, and the correct HDMI port on the TV.

Audio Quality

The Firestick and Firestick 4K support Dolby Audio for crystal clear sound. The Roku stick also has superb audio features, which support digital stereo over HDMI, DTS Digital Surround and Dolby Audio.

Mobile App

Amazon provides an accompanying mobile app that features voice search (limited to select countries only), playback controls, easy keyboard entry, and quick access to apps and games.

On the other hand, you may download the free Roku mobile app so you can use your phone to control your Roku stick, listen with your friends through the private listening feature and also cast your phone’s photos, recorded videos and stored music on your phone to your TV.

Content Programming

Amazon Prime members can enjoy exclusive access to movies and shows from Amazon Originals using their Firestick not to mention premium cable channels such as Cinemax, HBO, STARZ and SHOWTIME. Music streaming is also made easier with Prime Music. For paid channels, Firestick users can choose to start with a free trial first before paying monthly or annual subscription fees.

Roku, on the other hand, claims to provide access to more than 450,000 movies and TV programs from thousands of on-demand streaming services.

Additional Accessibility Features

Firestick users with visual impairment can access the device’s features using the VoiceView screen reader. Roku also has the same support using the device’s Audio Guide feature.

Warranty

Firestick comes with a limited 1-year warranty and service and an optional 2- and 3-year extended warranty for buyers in the United States. On the other hand, the Roku stick hardware comes with a 2-year warranty.

Frequently Asked Questions about Roku vs. Amazon Firestick

Which is easier to set up – Firestick or Roku?

Both streaming devices are very easy to set up. Plug the device to your TV, connect it to a wall outlet, power on your devices, and then navigate using the remote control.

What type of TV should I have to be compatible with Firestick or Roku?

Any TV will work with these devices as long as it has an HDMI port.

Can I use the Firestick or Roku in other TVs when I travel?

Yes. These streaming players were designed to be handy so you entertainment hub is completely mobile. Just don’t forget to bring your power adapter with you and you can access a stable and strong Internet connection.

Which streaming device allows side loading – Firestick and Roku?

One downside that Roku users complain about is that it is a closed device unlike the Firestick where you can install apps such as Kodi. The limited number of apps that Roku can accommodate makes the Firestick a better option in this case although there are some hacks that you can find online to work on Roku’s limitations.

What are the similarities between Firestick and Roku?

Both devices are easy to set up, support major streaming services, feature high quality picture and audio, have smartphone apps to complement the device, and have voice search capabilities in their remote controls.

Firestick vs. Roku – which is a better streaming device?

The criteria discussed above can help you decide which of the two streaming devices is best for you. Some users prefer one over the other because of storage space considerations, compatibility with their TV, or warranty.

However, TROYPOINT recommends using a Firestick over the Roku mainly due to the side loading capabilities of a Firestick. You simply have more freedom and capabilities with the Firestick by being able to access 3rd party apps with ease.

How to Jailbreak an Amazon Firestick

How come I can’t install apps on my Firestick?

This is probably due to any of the following reasons:

  • System issues with the app
  • Connectivity issues
  • Restrictions set by your internet service provider (ISP). To fix this, you need to hide your IP address by using a virtual private network (VPN).

What is a VPN?

Why use a VPN with your streaming device

Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to run a VPN on a Roku but it is possible on the Amazon Fire TV Stick.

WIPVanish Logo VPNhenever installing third party applications to any device, TROYPOINT recommends a VPN to secure your identity. If you would like to learn How To Install a VPN on your Firestick, Fire TV, or Android TV Box, use the link below:

How to Install VPN on Firestick, Fire TV, and Android TV Boxes

TROYPOINT recommends using IPVanish VPN due to its blazing fast download speeds and user-friendly interface.  IPVanish does not retain any logs, which means they will never store any information about your VPN session or information on how you use their service.

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