Looking for a cheap, easy way to get streaming video from Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, YouTube, Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, HBO and everything else on to your TV? You have two excellent choices: Roku and Amazon Fire TV. Roku has long been the most popular name in streaming devices, but recently Amazon's Fire TV system has been gaining ground. We've spent countess hours testing devices from both platforms and in general both work great. Most of the Roku and Fire TV devices we've reviewed have received an 8.0 (excellent) rating or higher.
So how to you choose? To start, realize they have more similarities than differences.
- Both are super-affordable, starting at $30 for Roku and $40 for Fire TV.
- Both have access to approximately umpteen zillion TV apps, including all of the major ones. Most apps look and behave basically the same on both.
- The latest models of Roku and Fire TV are pretty much equally quick, responsive and reliable as long as you have a solid internet connection.
- Both (except for the cheapest Rokus) offer remotes with TV volume and power buttons to control most TVs, so you can ditch the remote that came with your TV.
- Both have multiple models, starting with basic streamers up to 4K-compatible versions with voice, device control and headphone jacks built into the remote.