Which Player Is Better for Streaming Movies and TV – The Apple TV Vs the Roku LT

Is Apple or Roku the Better Choice for Streaming Movies

The two most recommended players for streaming movies right now are Apple TV and Roku boxes. So, the obvious question one might ask is; which one should I buy?

This question is a little difficult to answer because of recent additions to the Apple TV, namely the Hulu Plus application and Air Play Mirroring. Before the new Apple TV add-ons the Roku LT was the easy pick because it offered much more content for half the price.

Which player is better when it comes to streaming movies and online media content? Let’s examine the pros and cons of each one.

Streaming Movies and More with the Roku LT

The content sources of the Roku LT are really fantastic. Also, many of the features of this little box are just a bit better than their competitors. The Roku LT interface is extremely simple and very user-friendly with a channel layout that can be easily customized by the user and includes a simple uncluttered remote control. The Home Screen is quite easy to navigate and the Channel Store is loaded with choices. The fact that the Channel Store is separate from the Home Screen makes it easier to view all the available streaming movies and content without overcrowding the Home Screen.

Of all their models the Roku LT is without a doubt the best deal. If for some reason it is not available, take a look at the Roku HD. It is essentially the same, but costs $10.00 more.

What makes the Roku line-up of streaming players so impressive is what they do best, and that is to seamlessly stream quality content. Roku owners have no need to buy Bluetooth remotes, pay extra for USB ports or MicroSD card slots or 1080p. Although the Roku LT is limited to 720p, the Roku 2 XS model will stream 1080p video. The difference between 720p and 1080p is usually indistinguishable to most people.

Constant improvements and updates have taken the once simple Apple TV from being not much more than a glorified player for Netflix to being the best in the game for streaming movies and TV. The image above is an example of the larger cover art from the Apple TV. Movie ratings and recommendations from Rotten Tomatoes and Genius are nice features that go along nicely with the easy to use navigation. However it does cost twice as much as the Roku LT.

If you are a Mac user and a music lover, AirPlay allows you to stream music along with videos and photographs from any of your iPad, iPhone or iPod devices. Unlike the Roku LT, Apple TV doesn’t support Pandora, but you can easily access and stream it from any of the iOS devices.

Another plus is the AirPlay Mirroring which is built right into the Mountain Lion OS. This is a handy feature, only if you have a newer Mac that allows you to stream anything that appears on your computer screen, including flash and/or free Hulu video wirelessly directly to the TV.

Don’t forget iTunes. Along with streaming movies and TV, Apple TV also has the ability to stream videos and music from iTunes. You can also sign up for iTunes Match, which costs $25.00 a year, and stores all your music for you so there is no worrying about storage space for your music at all.

Roku users will also have the same option with the upcoming launch of the Amazon Cloud Player application.

Obviously if you are already a user of Apple products their player is going to a lot more appeal because you already speak the language and from that perspective it is a pretty easy choice.

Which Player is the Better Choice for Streaming Movies and TV?

Simply put: if you are already a fan of Apple the choice is easy, buy the Apple TV. If you are not already committed to Apple products, get the Roku LT.

The Roku LT is much less expensive and also has more available options as far as content is concerned. However the Apple TV is a little more user-friendly, and the newly added Hulu Plus is helping the Apple TV narrow the content gap.

Which One is the Better Choice for:

Current Apple Users: the Apple TV

Price: Roku LT

Better Content: Roku LT

Better Interface: the Apple TV

Non-HD TV: Roku LT

When all is said and done, the Roku LT has the advantage with those that are not Apple fans, because of its value. Although the Roku LT is not at all difficult to use, those with less technical expertise may want to opt for the easier to use Apple TV.