Firestick vs Roku® Streaming Stick®+

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by DouglasPHill, Jan 13, 2021 at 7:12 AM.

  1. DouglasPHill

    DouglasPHill Well-Known Member

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    Thinking about switching from Firestick to Roku products. Your thoughts on the two products? Thanks.
     
  2. trip1eX

    trip1eX imo, afaik, feels like to me, *exceptions, ~aprox

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    Same difference.
     
  3. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    The Channels DVR client app runs on Fire TV but not on Roku, so that made my decision for our current streaming platform. Apparently there are some problems with processing power in some Roku models, and the Channels developers' interest in general.

    I now have a Fire TV Stick 4K plugged into our big screen Sony, and two Insignia "Fire TV Edition" sets as well. I owned a Roku a few years ago but much has changed on all platforms and in the streaming world since then, so the comparison would not be very relevant.
     
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  4. wizwor

    wizwor Well-Known Member

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    Curious why you would change, but...
    1. Does the FTV Stick address your Roku's shortcoming?
    2. Are all the apps/services you [may want to] use available on the FTV Stick?
    3. Are additional features available on the FTV Stick that you would enjoy?

    I like the FTV Stick because it is less expensive and supports the Recast. I have 4K FTV Sticks on all of my televisions. I paid about $25 for these at various times. I recommend these over other models because they are much faster.
     
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  5. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

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    It does not have to be an either/or proposition. These media streaming devices are relatively cheap; as long as you have an available HDMI port, why not connect one of each? In fact, I would strongly urge you to do an in-home comparison test before deciding which best suits your personal needs.

    The bottom line is that each device has its strengths and weaknesses. Add to that the element of subjective preferences and there is no clear winner. I have a Roku Ultra (model 4660X), Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, and Chromecast with Google TV (the latter replaced an Nvidia Shield TV, which I sold) at my main zone and use each of them for different services. I would love to be able to consolidate for simplicity's sake, but that would entail sacrifices I am not prepared to make.

    HST, I think that a Roku Stick (or the built-in apps in a "smart" 4K TV) would suffice for the majority of TV viewers. It all comes down to what is important to you.
     
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  6. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    Both are fine. What do you want to do that the Firestick won't do? Is there something you don't like about the Firestick that you expect the Roku to address?

    My personal take is the Firestick is currently a better solution overall based on my experience for the following reasons:

    1. Better remote. Specifically, better at working with a variety of equipment. Lots to complaints about TV incompatibility issues with Roku remotes.
    2. Better private listening. Bluetooth works much better than the wi-fi based solution Roku uses.
    3. Ability to tune device and sideload apps. e.g. I extended sleep timeout and loaded HBOMax on my Firesticks before it was available.
    4. Ethernet capability

    My biggest complaint about the Firestick is the number of ads and laggy performance in some apps (Disney+).

    To be honest, I have demoted our Firesticks to backup devices after adding NVIDIA Shields to each TV. If money is no object, that is what I would recommend, but both the Firestick and Roku are great devices, despite my complaints about each.
     
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  7. Saturn_V

    Saturn_V Now with flavor!

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    FireTVs are still my primary- but the Shield usage is picking up. I used to use Shields solely for PLEX, but they're easier targets to Cast to than FireTV.

    I have a Roku streaming stick I bought four years ago. (pre-4K) It was nothing to write home about- and had similar performance to the Roku 3 it replaced.
     
  8. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Why not include the Chromecast with Google TV in the comparison, especially given the promo that greatly reduces the cost of the first 3 devices you nab -- presuming you're a Netflix subscriber. (Add'l promo-discounted devices can be had via friends & family who subscribe to Netflix, and are willing to exchange cash for the Netflix credits.)
     
  9. mrsean

    mrsean Active Member

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    I have both but I tend to use the Roku more because sometimes the Firestick becomes unstable and needs to rebooted whereas I've never had to do so with the Roku.
     
  10. Mover480

    Mover480 Member

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    If you have a Slingbox, the Firestick has the Slingplayer app, Roku does not.
     
  11. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    If you have a Slingbox, I assume you are aware it will only work until November 9, 2022.
     
  12. DouglasPHill

    DouglasPHill Well-Known Member

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    BTW, the firestick specs say 1.5GB ram and 8gb "internal memory". Does that mean it has 8gb of flash memory?
    The Roku specs only mention RAM, 2GB ram and 512MB "channel storage". Is internal memory the same as channel storage?
     
  13. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    I have an Ultra. It accepts a Micro-SD card up to 64GB.

    I like the Roku. I don't have a firestick.
     
  14. Saturn_V

    Saturn_V Now with flavor!

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    The actual usable memory is 5.5 GB. Memory is for app installation. You can't use the memory to store media files unless you jump a bunch of hoops.

    5.5 will be more than enough for most users and it does a decent job of managing space.

    But I've had a few "low memory warnings" because I have over six subscriptions. Just needed to manually flush the app cache. (I heard a restart does it too)
     
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  15. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    Yes a restart usually does it. My Fire TV stick is powered by a USB jack on the TV itself, so it goes on and off with each use of the TV. I've read posts saying some folks rig up automatic restart contraptions for devices that are powered separately. These streaming devices are really just tiny computers (Android-based, in the case of Fire TV), and like all computers they need to be restarted occasionally.

    I've also had to use a feature in Settings to do manual restarts of the smaller of our two Insignia TV sets with embedded Fire TV systems. It only goes into standby when turned "off" with the remote, and one of the apps was running out of temporary storage before it could self-manage that problem. (I think the problem went away after a subsequent app update.) The larger of those sets apparently has more internal storage and hasn't encountered the same issue.
     
  16. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    I've had a problem with FireTV uninstalling rarely used apps, even when it says it has over 1GB of storage available. We really don't have that much installed. If it saved the app data, including login cookies, I wouldn't mind that much, but it is annoying to have to login to these apps almost every time we go to use them. I have not had the same experience with Roku, ATV4K, or Shield.
     
  17. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    That's really odd @ncted. That's never happened here, but we only use a few of the most common apps plus Channels DVR. I just did a quick search and found people complaining that the ESPN app kept disappearing on them last year. Is that one of the apps that went missing from yours?
     
  18. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    The apps that have gone missing the most are CBS AA and Sundance Now, both of which we only watch when certain shows are new, but I had to reinstall Disney+ once as well. Here is a list of the apps we currently have installed:

    Netflix
    YouTube
    YouTube TV
    Hulu
    CBS AA
    Disney+
    Sundance Now
    HBOmax

    It seemed to correspond whenever Amazon would add some new app of their own that we could not uninstall, but I cannot be entirely sure about that.
     
  19. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    Huh. That does not seem like a lot of apps. We use two of the three you've lost without seeing that problem here, on a Fire TV Stick 4K (8 GB storage, 5 GB available for apps) and Insignia "Fire TV Edition" sets (though I wouldn't recommend the tiny 24" set for heavy app use). On which model(s) are you having the problem?
     
  20. ncted

    ncted A leaf on the wind

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    The Firestick 4k. We also have a 55" Insignia Fire TV Edition, which, despite reporting less storage, seems to have more available storage. We haven't see the issue on the Insignia though.
     

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