Roku vs. Apple TV: Does 4K ALWAYS Trump 1080p?

Recently Roku dropped a whole new series of digital media players in hopes of making one that fits everyone’s needs. Their lineup now includes the Roku Express, Roku Express+, Roku Premiere, Roku Premiere+ and Roku Ultra. Basically, as you move up the line, the digital media player gains more features. Roku has long been the market leader in digital media players, but of course it’s seen a lot of competition from Apple in the last year with its new 4th generation Apple TV. That Apple TV hasn’t received any hardware upgrades since it was unveiled in autumn 2015, but it did receive a software update this autumn.

It would be unfair to compare the lower-end Roku units with the Apple TV–a premium device, so what we want to know is how does Roku’s premium digital media player–the Roku Ultra–stack up to the Apple TV. And which is the right one for you? We took a look to find out.

The New Apple TV Vs Roku Ultra: Specs and Design

Here’s the specs for the new Apple TV:

  • Output: HDMI
  • Processor: Dual-core A8 chip
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Storage: 32 GB or 64 GB
  • Output Video Resolution: 1080p
  • Dimensions: 98(L) x 98(W) x 33(H) mm
  • Weight: 425 g
  • Connectivity: 10/100BASE‑T Ethernet, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi‑Fi, Bluetooth 4.0

And here’s the specs for the Roku Ultra:

  • Output: HDMI, optical audio
  • Processor: Quad-Core processor (type unknown)
  • RAM: Unknown
  • Storage: 256 MB built-in (unconfirmed), microSD card port for additional game and channel storage, USB port for personal media expansion
  • Output Video Resolution: 4K UHD with HDR support
  • Dimensions: 125(L) x 125(W) x 22(H) mm
  • Weight: 227 g
  • Connectivity: 10/100BASE‑T Ethernet, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi‑Fi

 

Apple TV Vs Roku: Best Apps Available

Apple TV Vs Roku

Apple TV Vs Roku: Supported Format

List of Apple TV Best Video Formats:

 

Apple TV Friendly Video Formats

File Extension

Resolution

Video Frame Rate

Audio Bit Rate

H.264

.mp4; .mov; .m4v

1280 by 720 pixels

30

160kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio

MPEG-4

.mp4; .mov; .m4v

640 by 480 pixels

30

160kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio

Motion JPEG

.avi

1280 by 720 pixels

30

Audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio

Apple TV Supported Audio File Formats:

– HE-AAC (V1)
– AAC (16 to 320 Kbps)
– Protected AAC (from iTunes Store)
– MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps)
– MP3 VBR
– Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4)
– Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
– Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound pass-through

Roku Supported File Formats:

The following file formats are supported:

  • Video — H.264/AVC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV)
  • Audio — AAC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV); MP3(.MP3, .MKV); WMA (.ASF, .WMA, .MKV), FLAC (.FLAC, .MKV), PCM (.WAV, .MKV, .MP4, .MOV), AC3/EAC3 (.MKV,.MP4. .MOV, .AC3), DTS (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV), ALAC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV, .M4A)
  • Playlists — .M3U, .M3U8
  • Image — JPG, PNG, GIF (non-animated)

The following media formats are supported on Roku devices that support 4K

  • 4K Video — H.265/HEVC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV); VP9 (.MKV)

The following media formats are supported on Roku TVs

  • Video — H.262 (.MKV)

Notes:

  • The Roku Media Player channel will not display unsupported file types or files it has determined cannot be played by your Roku device.
  • DRM-protected content is not supported.

 

Apple TV Vs Roku: Price

Apple TV Vs Roku Price

Verdict

The new Apple TV doesn’t offer 4K video streaming of HDR support, but the Roku Ultra does. Increasingly major video streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video are offering more 4K content–and HDR support is sure to grow. If you get the new Apple TV you’ll be stuck watching 1080p.

The bottom line is it’s a tough call as to what you should choose. I’d say if you care about the most content at the highest quality go for the Roku Ultra. But if you care about the most features (apps and games) go for the Apple TV.
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Source: Know Your Mobile

Roger W.

I'm a music lover and my friends know that. I'm not a great musician or a singer but I look for all ways to enjoy music. Apple Music and Spotify are my favorite.