Technological advancements over the years did evolve our way of living and perception of the World. Streaming sticks are one cool evolution that happened lately. Streaming sticks are another form of Digital Media Players which can be interfaced with the home network for enhanced viewing experience on Television. These Thumb sized cutting edge device comes with a HDMI pin suitable for the televisions which carries a similar port. It connects to the Home wireless network connection and stream high quality content on to the TV. That means, it essentially is the modern day VCR or DVD player wherein the content is instantly streamed from the countless number of free as well as paid channels brought to the screen via this tiny stick.
The Roku box as well as Amazon’s Fire TV were compact and affordable Set top boxes bringing Channel wise contents on to the TV screen. But both these companies took a step further with their streaming sticks which looks like an oversized Flash drive making it much cheaper, portable and convenient to use. Both the Fire TV Stick and the Roku Streaming Stick have striking similarities in their design as well as features. The Roku stick comes in its iconic purple hue while Firestick is less attractive in black and an Amazon logo on it. It doesn’t really matter as these sticks finally just sticks onto the back of the TV. Amazon’s Firestick however brings an extension cable in case the TV is wall mounted and there is no room for the stick. This unique feature lacks in Roku stick and Amazon officials are making the device better with the customers in their mind. But, the Roku stick does give priority for performance by providing air vents on the stick for better heat dissipation which considerably improves the performance while the Firestick lags behind in this feature. Roku stick also provide single push Reset button on the stick. After all the interfacing, these devices needs to be powered through a micro USB which sits at the back end of Roku stick while it is found on the side of Firestick which might come in the way if your TV’s ports are congested in that area. These has to be powered using either an AC-USB pin adapter or directly plugging in to the USB port of the TV which is convenient.
Looking at the Specifications, the Firestick does appear a lot more powerful than the Roku stick. The Roku stick has a legitimate Single core processor while the Firestick sports a Dual core processor. The Roku stick packs half a GB of RAM, that is 512 MB while the Firestick comprises of a full 1GB. The Firestick stands untouchable with it 8 GBs of internal storage compared to a mere 256 MB on the Roku. Both these devices comes with a Dual band Wifi antenna and 1080p Video streaming capability, while the recent update Roku 4 stick also feature 4K video streaming. The Firestick meanwhile gains the upper hand by adding Dolby surround sound option.
In terms of content, you’ll find almost everything on the Firestick. Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, Showtime Anytime and more have already joined the party. Roku, however stands tall with its even amazing wide range of apps including HBO Go which was missing on the Firestick. However Amazon had promised to include HBO Go to the Fire TV by the end of 2014 and it is being added by mid December 2014.
Comparing the speeds of the two devices, the Firestick boots up much faster than the Roku stick while it takes more time for Firestick to load apps than Roku stick does. Contrastingly again, Firestick is a lot faster to start streaming the videos against its Roku counterpart. So overall, it’s a tie on the grounds of speed, although Firestick sits a smidge higher owing to its advanced specs over Roku stick.
Both these amazing gadgets comes paired with excellent remote control systems making for comfy streaming on the couch. Both these remotes are cutting edge with the most updated skills, Firestick even providing voice search on their remote. Roku stick also sports a ‘point anywhere’ ergonomically designed remote which even features four instant in built keys for some of the best Channels available on Roku TV. The two Streaming Marvels are priced at $ 10 apart, Roku stick on top with $ 49 and a conveniently low $ 39 on the Amazon Fire TV stick, the selection is yours.