Fire TV 4K Stick or Roku 4K Stick?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by dmk1974, Oct 26, 2019.

Fire TV 4K Stick or Roku 4K Stick?

  1. Fire TV 4K Stick

    23 vote(s)
  2. Roku 4K Stick

    17 vote(s)
  1. dmk1974

    dmk1974 DA BEARS!!!

    Mar 7, 2002
    Cary, IL


    Since the TiVo doesn't seem to have many apps and aren't really adding, I'm looking at adding either a Fire TV 4K stick or a Roku 4K stick to one of my rooms that has a 4K TV. From what I have read, the Roku may be better since it can support Xfinity Stream and the upcoming Disney+. I think both will also be adding (or have added) Apple TV+ capability. I have Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO already which works on both of course.

    Anyway, between just these 2 devices, which one is better? Thanks!
  2. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2015
    Performance wise the Fire TV stick is probably better, but the UI is horrible IMO.

    The Roku has a much cleaner UI and performance is fine. Roku also has many more apps available.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
    Beryl and dmk1974 like this.
  3. dishrich

    dishrich Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Springfield, IL
    +1 on Roku's, has the widest variety of apps, including Xfinity stream as you pointed out. Easiest of the bunch to setup & use.
    Beryl and dmk1974 like this.
  4. osu1991

    osu1991 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2015
    I’m the opposite, I prefer the Fire Stick. Its OS is more cluttered than the Roku simple layout, but for our use I’ve found the 4K fire stick more reliable than the Roku.

    It does come down to what device has the apps you’re going to use the most.
    dmk1974 likes this.
  5. foghorn2

    foghorn2 Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2004
    Las Vegas


    Firestick, you can sideload andriod apps.
    mrsean, dmk1974 and fcfc2 like this.
  6. dmk1974

    dmk1974 DA BEARS!!!

    Mar 7, 2002
    Cary, IL
    Thanks for the comments so far. One other thing that I think I can do on a Fire Stick is to link to and play my Apple Music subscription through it. I don't think that can be done on a Roku as it only allows for songs ON my iPhone to mirror through.

    I do prefer the simpler Roku interface, but can live with and adapt to either. I know, I know, one answer is to get an Apple TV 4K, but those are $150 for the 32gb version even through the Apple Refurb site. Prefer to only pay $25-$50 for one of these other 4K sticks. And Apple TV doesn't support Xfinity Stream.

    I've heard about that side-loading on Fire TV sticks, but haven't done it.
    1.) Is it possible to side-load the Xfinity app onto a Fire stick?
    2.) Is it likely to be possible to side-load the Disney+ app onto a Fire stick?
    3.) When is Airplay actually going to happen on Roku and Fire TV?
  7. mattyro7878

    mattyro7878 Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2014
    Southern CT
    Apple tvplus just popped up on my Samsung TV. 2017 model
    dmk1974 likes this.
  8. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2005
    Sigh--you made me look, nothing on mine (same year Samsung). :(
  9. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2008
    Seems like you would want the Roku to get the Xfinity on demand content you are paying for.
    dmk1974 likes this.
  10. wizwor

    wizwor Guest

    Dec 17, 2013
    You are doing this backwards...
    1. Make a list of the apps you MUST HAVE
    2. Make a list of the apps you'd like to have
    3. Do some research to see how happy people are with the app on each platform (performance, updates, support)
    4. Buy the device that plays the apps you want well
    Piece of cake.

    BTW, the 4k ftv sticks are routinely $25 these days, so just get one and see what you think. You can send it back if you are not happy.
    Sparky1234 and dmk1974 like this.
  11. tomhorsley

    tomhorsley Well-Known Member

    Jul 22, 2010
    At which point you realize you need a firestick, a roku, and a chromecast :).
    mschnebly and dmk1974 like this.
  12. chiguy50

    chiguy50 U.S. Army (ret.)

    Nov 9, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    AND an nVidia Shield TV! But maybe that's just me since I like to have all of my bases covered. The Shield is my primary streaming device, but I have the others for limited purposes, such as the Xfinity Stream app.

    For the OP, I would suggest that you get both the Roku and the Firestick. Try them out and if you decide not to keep both, just return the one that you find less desirable for your use scenario.
    dmk1974 likes this.
  13. dmk1974

    dmk1974 DA BEARS!!!

    Mar 7, 2002
    Cary, IL
    Thanks again for more comments. I ordered a $25 Fire TV 4K stick from Amazon. Yesterday I grabbed from Best Buy the Roku 4K stick for $50. I'll compare and see.

    The apps that are MUST haves which I'm not worried about on each platform are:
    • Netflix
    • Amazon Prime Video
    • HBO Go
    • ESPN
    • Apple TV+
    • Plex
    • YouTube
    • Vudu
    Apps that are MUST haves that may not be on both are:
    • Disney+
    Apps and functions that are strong WANTS are:
    • Xfinity Stream
    • Apple Music
    • AirPlay (or other true mirroring from iPhone)
    There's lots of other channel apps that I can take or leave. Or seem like they are available on both platforms. But the ones listed above are probably the main ones we use and want to use. Thanks.
  14. fyodor

    fyodor Active Member

    Sep 19, 2006
    I'd say that Roku gives you a better experience for most content, but FireTV is more hackable and flexible.

    I don't think that the standard Xfinity app works on either. There was at one point a version of the mobile app that had been modified to work on the FireTV which could be sideloaded.
    dmk1974 likes this.
  15. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2015
    You need an Apple TV for your strong wants list. Sadly there isn't a single device that does it all.
    dmk1974 likes this.
  16. dmk1974

    dmk1974 DA BEARS!!!

    Mar 7, 2002
    Cary, IL
    I set up both last night to the same TV. Still tweaking a few things, but both seem pretty capable. Fire TV 4K stick is cheaper of course, which is probably it's main benefit, and seems snappy. I don't love the interface as much as Roku though. Once within a given app on each stick, they seem the same and the only difference I'm noticing is whichever remote I'm using.

    I think if no Disney+ deal is reached with Fire TV, I'll definitely go with the Roku. If they do make a deal, we'll see.
  17. tomhorsley

    tomhorsley Well-Known Member

    Jul 22, 2010
    I had a weird experience with my fire stick: I installed new firmware on my router, which would have dropped the internet connection for everything for a few minutes. Later when I went to stream a series I'd been watching on the fire stick, it had forgotten where I was. It started several episodes back from where I last left off. Does it like never phone home or something?
  18. dmk1974

    dmk1974 DA BEARS!!!

    Mar 7, 2002
    Cary, IL
    So far so good with the Apple TV+ app on both devices. Now I guess we'll see in 10 days if Fire TV gets Disney or not.
  19. dmk1974

    dmk1974 DA BEARS!!!

    Mar 7, 2002
    Cary, IL
    Well well....looks like Amazon and Disney finally reached a deal!

    Disney Plus and Amazon reach deal

    With many of the the published Black Friday deals, looks like the Roku 4K sticks will be down to $30 with the Fire TV 4K sticks pretty close at $25.
  20. dmk1974

    dmk1974 DA BEARS!!!

    Mar 7, 2002
    Cary, IL
    Disney+ seems to be working perfectly fine on both sticks.

    I definitely think a separate stick device for $25-$30 in addition to a TiVo box for recording cable shows is the way to go. TiVo box just doesn't do it all.

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