If you’re not really sure that’s the difference between Android TV and Roku TV, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll take a look at both platforms to identify the main differences.
Android TV vs Roku TV: Quick Comparison
Roku TV has a simpler user interface that makes it more appealing to the average user. The UI has a minimalist design that’s perfect for people who are not that tech-savvy. This makes Roku easy-to-use even for first-time users. The channels you installed are listed on the home screen for easy access.
The menu is located on the left. You can use it to access the Search feature, go to Settings, or check your feed.
Android TV’s UI and the home screen are dynamic. The UI is highly customizable. And this is something that power-users will love.
For example, you can use the Add button to add new channels to the list of your favorite channels. This list is visible on the top row of the home screen. You can also change the order of your favorite apps.
As far as the number of channels is concerned, both Roku and Android TV support major streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, HBO, etc.
But Roku does feature additional smaller channels that you won’t find on Android TV. As a matter of fact, Roku supports nearly 2,000 free and paid channels.
Roku seems to be more prone to carriage disputes than Android TV. Roku and content providers entered some nasty carriage disputes in recent years. The result was that important content providers pulled their apps. As a quick reminder, HBO Max is still not available, and Peacock TV landed a bit late.
From this point of view, Android TV seems to be a much better choice.
Voice controls and search
Roku TV is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant thanks to the newest remote models. But not all the features are supported. For example, if you use Google Assistant, you won’t be able to check the weather or access your calendar events. Full voice-control is not available.
On the other hand, Android TV supports the full-fledged version of Google Assistant. But that doesn’t come as a surprise, does it?
Android TV supports Bluetooth connections. In other words, you can pair your Bluetooth devices to your Android TV without any problem.
On the other hand, not all Roku TV devices support Bluetooth. This means you won’t be able to connect Bluetooth devices or stream audio via Bluetooth on all Roku TV models.
The following Roku devices support Bluetooth:
- Roku Streambar.
- Roku Smart Soundbar.
- Roku Ultra model 4800.
- Roku TV (the edition with Roku wireless speakers).
You can pair Bluetooth devices to your Roku TV provided that you use the Roku TV Wireless Speakers or the Roku Smart Soundbar with your TV.
Mobile Private Listening
It is worth mentioning that the Roku mobile app does support a feature called Mobile Private Listening. You can connect your Bluetooth speakers to your phone, and enable Mobile Private Listening. You can then use your Bluetooth speakers to play audio from the Roku app.
Android TV offers built-in support for Chromecast. But Roku does not support Chromecast.
As a workaround, if you want to get the best of both worlds, you can purchase a Roku dongle, as well as a Chromecast dongle. When you want to cast, simply enable the TV HDMI input to the Chromecast. When you’re not casting, switch to the Roku HDMI input.
Roku TV gets updated more frequently than Android TV. This is partly due to Roku’s large public beta program. This allows Roku to test future software features and channels on a large batch of users.
As far as gaming is concerned, your options on Roku are a bit limited. While you can play games on Roku, the platform was not developed with gaming in mind. That’s why you should think twice before trying to run complex games on your device. Of course, playing Solitaire, Minesweeper, Snake and other similar games won’t be a problem.
On the other hand, Android TV is more versatile in that area. But it’s always best to simply purchase an Nvidia Shield TV for playing games on your TV.
When choosing between one platform over the other, your personal preferences will play an important role. If you want a simpler platform, go to Roku. If you prefer to customize your settings and UI to the latest detail, then Android TV is the best choice for you.
Do you often stream YouTube or music (Spotify, SoundCloud, etc.) to your TV? If you also like to see your Android screen on TV when you’re playing Android games on TV, go for Android TV.
What’s your take on this? Share your thoughts in the comments below, especially if you’ve used both Roku TV and Android TV.
Six of these for tit! And six of those for tat! Competition is robust! Aye?
Gloria Gilless says
You have the most common-sense wording I have ever seen. I just got your roku stick and it works great.
My LG television, is a smart tv and a have roku on it, but to get youtube tv downloaded from LG app store, it put an HHI something, not sure what that stands for, when I turn on the television it defaults to the HHI, live and my television goes to a whiteout picture and a horrible sound, cucucucucucucuc, I have to reduce the sound quickly or lose my mind. What it is doing, i figured out, is changing my imput to hhi live and and I have to put it back on hdmi. LG customer service acted like they did not understand why I was getting this. I suppose i could go get your roku stick, but I am afraid it won’t work the same because we are also using the lg remote.
I am going to have to buy a new tv because my husband can’t operate this way. In our bedroom, I have it fixed because i put your roku stick, with voice and it works. Can’t stay in bed all day, ha.
I am 71 and he is 80 years old, so we are not tech savvy so that does not help any
HBO Max is available on Roku so not sure why this article says otherwise.
Don’t forget about the Amazon Fire TVs. I have a Fire stick imagine the functionality is the same or better with a Fire TV.
The first 2 comments bringing up cable boxes and video game consoles seem to miss the point of this article. I’ve used Roku for years and it’s very limited customizability is what makes it “easy” to use for people who are not very tech savvy, it’s simple and straight to the point. Whereas an Android based device is very customizable and not as limited, but there are many Android based devices, such as the Nvidia Shield TV Pro, which has it’s own ram, can use Steam Link, and be used as a PLEX Server. It also uses Dolby Atmos and HDR10. I’m honestly curious what a cable box has to do with any of this. If you want to only watch Netflix, Hulu, or whatever basic streaming service, just use a Roku or the built in Apps on your smart TV, if you want to completely expand your tech horizons and ability, go with an Android based system. Also, many people use something like the Nvidia Shield so they can play their PC games in their living room, not every game is console based.
No real help. If you use an xbox or play station or something like does it matter about gaming.
How hard is Android to use that Roku is so much easier. What is a Nvidia Shield? why would you need that?
If you have cable do you still need this?
Keven K. says
If I am going to use a cable box does it matter which platform I choose?