Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

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Warsad
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Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by Warsad »

Which one do you all prefer Amazon Firestick vs. Roku? Why?
02nz
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by 02nz »

Most popular content can be accessed on either. Fire puts the Amazon content front and center. Roku is more agnostic, as you'd expect. I personally prefer Roku but if you're deep in the Amazon ecosystem, Fire may be preferable.
Last edited by 02nz on Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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lthenderson
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by lthenderson »

Since Amazon can be accessed via Roku, even has a button on the Roku remote, I'm not sure there would be any difference in content, only easy of using software.
Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer »

Roku.. its less tied to any one streaming platform.
drk
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by drk »

Either is fine, although I prefer the Fire stick now that I have a Roku TV. Interestingly, HBO Max came to Fire before Roku.
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Ice-9
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by Ice-9 »

Had Roku for nearly a decade until we got a Fire TV. As others said, you avoid the push to watch stuff on Amazon's platform with the Roku, but either gets it done for all the big apps. It's a wash.
rebellovw
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by rebellovw »

I have both - though the very first firestick that was sent out for free.

I have 2 versions of Roku - Roku is much better.

I pick up another - 24.00 version - so that I can get the Criterion channel in my other room. That is - if I don't find my old Roku.
wanderer
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by wanderer »

We have both as well as a Sony (Google-Android) "smart" TV. Seems like the Roku "ultra" device has fewer streaming pauses and drops as compared to Fire Stick and Android. But it might be "newer". However, I don't like the location of the volume controls on the side of the Roku remote.
runninginvestor
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by runninginvestor »

I don't know if Roku allows it, but I can access my Firestick (control it) by voice through our echo devices. Which is kind of handy.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by JoeRetire »

Warsad wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:25 pm Which one do you all prefer Amazon Firestick vs. Roku? Why?
I prefer an Amazon Firestick. Because I don't own a Roku.
I'm not sure there's a big difference and doubt you could go wrong with either one. At $50 each, if you don't like the one you bought, just buy the other.
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brad.clarkston
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by brad.clarkston »

We have both (roku since late 2008). Doesn't really matter which one if your talking about the newest gen streaming sticks both are equal.
But the Roku Ultra is a better peace of hardware vs the FireCube. The cube is now in college with the kid.
AussieDad
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by AussieDad »

I prefer the Firestick, but I'm pretty plugged into the amazon ecosystem. I can speak into the remote and bring up my security cameras on TV, turn lights on and off, etc. I can do some of that with an echo dot, but it's easier if I'm watching tv to do it with the remote. Also, I find the Roku remotes unreliable. I think they work over wifi. It seems they disconnect frequently so I have to re-pair them.
BabaWawa
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by BabaWawa »

For me, hands down Firestick is best. I really don't understand the comments about it pushing Amazon content out front. The apps I use it for (youtube tv, hbo max, prime, netflix) are all there up front for me to select as I wish. Works great.
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HomerJ
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by HomerJ »

We have both.

They are basically the same. I see zero difference.
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Drew31
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by Drew31 »

Prefer Roku. Tried a firestick...sound wouldn't sync up with lips. Returned it. Also prefer the Roku interface more but that's just personal preference.
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Brianmcg321
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by Brianmcg321 »

I have the Roku for a large flat screen that isnt a smart tv. It's bee great. I thought the TV was just going to be a big paper weight now since we got rid of cable.

I like it since our newer tv is a Roku tv and the systems are the same and we can share the accounts between TVs.
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arf1410
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by arf1410 »

runninginvestor wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:13 pm I don't know if Roku allows it, but I can access my Firestick (control it) by voice through our echo devices. Which is kind of handy.
We have Roku devices, and echo devices... but just dont see the advantage of voice control.... what does the echo do, that the voice button on the Roku remote doesn't do?
runninginvestor
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by runninginvestor »

arf1410 wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:06 pm
runninginvestor wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:13 pm I don't know if Roku allows it, but I can access my Firestick (control it) by voice through our echo devices. Which is kind of handy.
We have Roku devices, and echo devices... but just dont see the advantage of voice control.... what does the echo do, that the voice button on the Roku remote doesn't do?
I think the Roku voice control is the same functionality as the voice control button on the fire stick. The echo device voice control is nice when you are too lazy to find the remote, or (and ;) ) our case with a disabled family member in the household that can't easily use a handheld remote.
Flashes1
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by Flashes1 »

Roku Ultra is pretty sweet. Love the remote layout and the fact I can use the remote despite the Roku being 15 feet behind me.
Startled Cat
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by Startled Cat »

Drew31 wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 8:47 pm Prefer Roku. Tried a firestick...sound wouldn't sync up with lips. Returned it. Also prefer the Roku interface more but that's just personal preference.
This drives me crazy. I have to restart my Fire TV Stick every few days to get the audio back in sync. It's a nice little device, but I can't recommend it because of the audio sync problem.
JBTX
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by JBTX »

We've had Roku for years. Only recently also bought a firestick because they got hbo max before roku did. For now I've kind of stuck with the firestick because of headphones Bluetooth.

Roku: the apps menu is a little more basic and easy to use. The apps are always in the same order. You can move them around.

Firestick: the menu is a little jazzier looking but not quite as intuitive to use. I sometimes struggle to find the app that I want as it tends to reorder based upon most recent use. The layout kind of resembles amazon prime.

I use headphone almost all the time. I find the firestick easier because the Bluetooth connection is between the firestick and the headphones. With Roku, you download a roku app to your smartphone and the Bluetooth is between the Roku phone app and the headphones. I find the firestick connection to be more stable.

I've experienced the audio syncing issue (using headphones) on both firestick and roku. You have to go back and unpair Bluetooth and re-pair to fix it.

Functionally they are very similar.
Kagord
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by Kagord »

I give the edge to the FireStick to find the show easily with voice. My Roku doesn't have voice, but I guess that's available as well.

It's kind of weird when you get a new device now from Amazon (tablet, Fire stick...etc), it's already configured on your account and connects to your WiFi account you doing anything (maybe because I have an Alexa).
HoosierJim
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by HoosierJim »

I have a few requirements and both do the job.
  • SIMPLE remote
  • Use my phone as a remote
  • Bluetooth headphones (roku via phone)
  • Work with soundbar
  • Must be able to use only one remote for EVERYTHING
  • Must be able to run any service I want - HBOMax on ROKU was a problem till recently - had to settle for HBO for a while
xenorg
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by xenorg »

I have all the majors and find Roku a bit too simplified and dated experience but is a great starter device. Roku also turning into a CableCo like service with essentially carriage fees for other streaming services (took a while to get Peacock and HBO Max), same with Fire. Otherwise all are fine if you are into the respective ecosystem.

There are no poor choices of the 4 majors. But don't get the older Fire sticks as they have audio sync issues. The newer 4K sticks are good.
Last edited by xenorg on Fri Feb 19, 2021 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
johnny
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by johnny »

I agree they are very close. I purchased a Roku ultra on black Friday deal. It never quite worked correctly at 4k resolution. I wanted Dolby vision to work, but was constantly tinkering to keep DV turned on. So I returned it.

Purchased a 4k Fire TV at half the price. It's much more consistent with our set up. Fast. No problems with DV.
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Tubes
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by Tubes »

I'm a Roku guy. I had a Firestick years ago and it was slow to the point I couldn't use it. I understand that the latest generations have solved this so it isn't a concern.

Even though I like Roku, I'm warning people to think twice. Roku has been trying to flex their muscle and occasionally not supporting apps in order to get kick backs. The latest was that they didn't support HBO Max for all of last Fall. They played brinkmanship and finally came to terms right before Christmas. It took the threat of all those gifts not properly working for them to support HBO Max. I didn't like this and it is concerning for the future.

I've also tried the latest Google product, Chromecast w/Google TV. It was full of bugs. I don't recommend.

This is a long way to say if I had to buy a streaming device today, I'd go with the Firestick.
mike@jb
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by mike@jb »

I use Roku with a Visio less-than-smart TV with good result.
The remote seems to go through batteries pretty fast.
Of course that can’t be my fault :)
hnd
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by hnd »

we had both at the same time for a number of years. all of our tv's are either Roku tvs or have Roku's attached to them now. I found it much easier to use.
wolf359
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by wolf359 »

They're both functionally the same. Choose one based on price.

Amazon's best price is on Prime Day, followed by Black Friday. While they will put both devices on sale, their own device gets discounted much more heavily.
rapido
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by rapido »

I've had both, but prefer Firestick. I believe Firestick has a bigger user base, so newer apps will probably be available sooner on Firestick. There is a larger audience for developers. As many posters said, the both will have the "big apps."
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gogleheads.orb
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by gogleheads.orb »

Peacock is not on the Firestick because of a fight between Amazon and NBC. We use the Chromecast to get peacock and the firestick for everything else.
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Tubes
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by Tubes »

gogleheads.orb wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:10 am Peacock is not on the Firestick because of a fight between Amazon and NBC. We use the Chromecast to get peacock and the firestick for everything else.
Well hell, there goes my vote for Firestick. I just railed against Roku for their fight with AT&T HBO Max. I forgot Amazon does this too. As a matter of fact, they went to war with AT&T HBO Max too, it just didn't last as long.

So, back to my vote for Roku. :)

This fighting that puts us consumers in the middle is getting really old.
Jrlivin2
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by Jrlivin2 »

Full disclosure - I am not familiar with the alternatives to Roku and have never looked at the Firestick. Having said that, we “cut the cord” when the first Roku was released ten or twelve years ago and have never looked back. It does everything we need and I just haven’t felt the need to look for anything else. Your post got me thinking about the original reason we cancelled traditional cable TV service. Switching to Roku from cable TV saved us about $100 a month ten plus years ago. I figure we’ve saved over $10,000 by using Roku instead of our local cable TV provider. Regardless of what you choose I would make the switch.
rich126
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by rich126 »

I have both and they are similar. They are cheap enough (usually during the holidays you can get even the 4K versions for around $25-30) that I have multiple ones of both.

And content will continue to be an issue. Roku wants money from the providers, Amazon has their own content. I know it annoys me that I cannot delete certain Amazon "apps" such as Photo, Music, etc. even though I have no interest in them. I can move them down the list but can't remove them.

All of the hardware providers (Firestick, Roku, etc.) as well as content providers are often trying things that will annoy the user. Stuff like auto playing content, throwing in previews of other shows before you play a movie, etc. They are all trying to increase revenues.

And even with the HBOMax issue, you would have thought it would have come to a supposedly neutral Roku prior to Amazon but it didn't.
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by jpelder »

In regular use, they're essentially the same. I have a Firestick, but I've used my in-laws' Roku, and found them equally intuitive and simple to use.

One special case in which Firestick is better is that it is actually an Android device with an Amazon shell on top of the basic OS. This means that with a little finagling, you can "side-load" any Android app, even ones that aren't available on the Amazon App Store. This was my workaround to still be able to watch HBO last year when they were having the disagreement with Amazon and Roku. This does require a little technical know-how, as sideloaded apps don't go through the safety screening of those in the App Store (so only download from trusted sources), nor do they automatically update when new versions are released (so stay on top of security patches). Roku runs a proprietary OS, so this workaround isn't possible on their devices.
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Ramjet
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by Ramjet »

02nz wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:28 pm Most popular content can be accessed on either. Fire puts the Amazon content front and center. Roku is more agnostic, as you'd expect. I personally prefer Roku but if you're deep in the Amazon ecosystem, Fire may be preferable.
I agree with this
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JupiterJones
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by JupiterJones »

For general use there's probably not much difference, but there may be a specific application that makes the decision for you.

For example, while the Great Courses Plus app is available for Firestick in the app store, the regular (non-subscription) Great Courses app is, strangely, not. But apparently you can get it with a Roku. Go figure.

Heck, I still use my old Google Chromecast sometimes. I find it to be the easiest way to screencast off my iPad.
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justglassin
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by justglassin »

I'm in the market for a cheap TV. The Rokus are definitely appealing; I have AppleTV on one of my TVs with all of the apps also in the TV itself. But I'm looking for something cheap (under 400 bucks) for my basement/mancave. Anyone have recommendations on Vizio vs TCL vs LG, etc Roku models?
TimDex
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by TimDex »

I had the firestick for several years before just buying a roku equipped tv. Much prefer the latter. Less in your face ads, plus it operates better. Less streaming pauses, by far, and picks up in programs where I left off. No problems accessing prime video through roku.
Last edited by TimDex on Fri Feb 12, 2021 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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crake
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by crake »

I'll toss out a recommendation for an unmentioned device. I recently purchased a Google Chromecast with TV and it has been great. The remote is extremely versatile and has become the only one I need out. It controls the chromecast obviously, but also has an IR emitter which can control the TV power and my soundbar volume.

It also has the same chromecast functionality as the older google devices. This allows you to "cast" things from a phone or PC to your TV. This functionality makes it incredibly versatile. I can easily view pictures or videos from my phone on my TV. You can also "cast" your computer screen or phone screen to the TV which means anything your computer can display your TV can.
N.Y.Cab
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by N.Y.Cab »

If I have to choose one it would be the Firestick because everything I need is available and working as expected. I like Roku for the nice user interface and vast number of channels. However, it doesn’t seem to have an Internet browser and apps like Hoopla is a dumb down version that does not support music and book media.
illumination
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by illumination »

Having owned both, I greatly preferred the Roku. Just find the user interface much more intuitive.

I also don't care for how the Firestick puts Amazon's streaming service front and center especially since it's probably the worst streaming service and I almost never use it.

I also had an Apple TV, and while I generally like Apple products, they just screwed it up in my opinion.

My advice is get the Ultra version of the Roku, the better speed is nice when you are going through a lot of options and I also like that I can put a thumb drive or memory car in the unit and play video files or pictures. The entry level ones can't do that, and the upgrade is about what a week of cable tv costs these days.
phinanciallyfit
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by phinanciallyfit »

I only have a Roku, but I've had it for 7 years now and I can't say enough about it. I've never had a problem with it, it is easy to use, and has no cost to it once purchased. We watch very little tv these days and do not subscribe to any video service (not even Amazon prime), but we can watch pbs news, the kids can watch pbs kids, and we can access whatever we want when we want it (you tube, video rentals,etc.).
aristotelian
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by aristotelian »

justglassin wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:44 am I'm in the market for a cheap TV. The Rokus are definitely appealing; I have AppleTV on one of my TVs with all of the apps also in the TV itself. But I'm looking for something cheap (under 400 bucks) for my basement/mancave. Anyone have recommendations on Vizio vs TCL vs LG, etc Roku models?
Very happy with our 40" TCL (Roku). 4k, good enough built in sound, plenty of screen for us and got it under $200.

We got a 40" Onn (Roku) for our kids gaming setup. Picture is great but the sound is pretty terrible.
ensign
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by ensign »

I have both and prefer the Roku. The Firestick is too Prime-focused, and I detest the way Amazon pushes rentals and purchases amongst the “free” Prime stuff, making it more work to just watch something. Apple TV does the same thing — always pushing one to spend even more money.
softmax
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by softmax »

If you are an Apple user then definitely Roku.
Because Roku now has Airplay through software updates! It’s basically a budget AppleTV now.
I find it extremely handy to project my MacBook or iPhone screen wirelessly.
johnny
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by johnny »

Purchased a Roku Ultra on Black Friday sale, but eventually returned it due to HDCP flakiness. Realized that I really wanted Dolby Vision, so I went in on a FireTV 4k. It works more reliably than the Roku at 4k rez on my TV, but does have the aforementioned bias toward Prime. I go straight to Netflix and don't worry about that.

I also have struggled a bit with getting a single remote control working. Since FireTV used RF remote instead of infrared, it limits your options for universal remote. Many people who have a simple TV + soundbar setup may not have any issue however.
bookworm
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by bookworm »

I upgraded both of my TVs this year (previous ones were >10 years old, I am a boglehead) and am currently streaming through the televisions. Prior I had one fire and one Roku. Honestly both worked - I had slightly different choices of apps and content. The Roku was older so different generations, so hard to compare. My living room smart TV carried HBO max before either of the streaming sticks. I would google a couple of reviews to compare features and would probably also compare Chrome cast and Apple TV and see which best matches your wants.
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rascott
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by rascott »

Roku!


Only wish I'd bought the dang stock along with the stick!
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bertilak
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Re: Amazon Firestick vs. Roku

Post by bertilak »

ensign wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:33 pm I have both and prefer the Roku. The Firestick is too Prime-focused, and I detest the way Amazon pushes rentals and purchases amongst the “free” Prime stuff, making it more work to just watch something. Apple TV does the same thing — always pushing one to spend even more money.
That bugs me with Amazon Prime (which I access via Roku). I hate it when I go to watch something and it turns out I need to pay a few bucks! I'm not cheap but I hate he bait-and-switch vibe and a buck or two here and there ads up. I already pay for Prime! don't make it a portal to paying more! The worst is when the first season or 2 is free but when yo get to the Nth season they want money!

One thing I like a LOT with Prime is one can bring up a list of the on-screen cast with pictures and a little about where you may have seen them before.
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