Roku Beats Apple TV? Yes, But No
Roku is the best selling set top box, but that title is tagged with a couple asterisks. Moreover, while the world has mostly given up on the idea of a full-blown branded television, it’s pretty much agreed that an updated Apple TV is coming later this year.
Also, Apple keeps upping the Apple TV content ante, most recently by making iTunes Extras for HD Movies accessible online (ie no need to download). The mothership has added a dozen or more channels to the Apple TV over the last year, as well.
Perhaps the biggest caveat to the Roku’s growing success is the fact that it’s only number one in the US. That said Roku has sold 8 million units total and the Apple TV 20 million, and Apple’s player iTunes ecosystems are available in dozens of countries.
— Roku accounted for 46% of set top box purchases
— Apple TV accounted for 26%
— Refurbished Apple TV for $85 w/ FREE SHIPPING
Roku IS number one, but there are plenty of buts.
Roku Rocks* in 2013
Nevertheless, there are solid reasons the Roku is number one in the US and perhaps elsewhere soon. First of all, the Roku plays non-DRM content from pretty much everywhere (table above).
Moreover, while the Apple TV offers dozens (of mostly cable tethered) channels, the Roku offers well over a thousand and hundreds more if you’re willing to tinker.
What of Google’s Chromecast? The above table really says it — there are still too many boxes marked “no” and it’s difficult to use. At $35 a pop, Chromecast is something of an impulse buy and sales are good, but people simply aren’t using them.
Which streamer are you using? Are you planning to switch? Waiting for Apple’s next big living room play?
Sound off in the comments below…