Roku overtakes Apple TV as most-used streaming media device

By on August 15, 2013, 1:00 PM
apple, roku, apple tv, set top box, chromecast, streaming media, streaming media player

The Roku box is now the most popular video media device in the US according to a recent study from research firm Park Associates. Their survey found that 37 percent of households that use a streaming media player primarily use a Roku compared to just 24 percent that rely on an Apple TV for their streaming needs. All others – including the Boxee and smart TVs – combined to bring up the rear.

Deciding between the two streaming boxes can be tough as each have their own pros and cons. For example, the latest Roku device features a wider selection of streaming apps and even includes a special remote control with a headphone jack. This allows the user to listen to their show without disturbing others in the room – a feature that could go a long way in a shared bedroom or a dorm room.

What the Roku doesn’t have, however, is a feature that allows users to wirelessly beam streaming content from a smartphone, tablet or PC. It’s a key selling point for Apple TV and more recently, Google’s new $35 Chromecast dongle. The latter device plugs directly into your television’s HDMI port and allows you to stream from Google Play, Netflix and YouTube from an Android or iOS device as well as your PC.

Roku seems to be well aware of their shortcomings as a recent update enabled users to push videos and photos from a phone’s camera roll to their television. This of course isn’t nearly as fruitful as being able to stream television shows and movies but it’s a start.




User Comments: 20

Got something to say? Post a comment
RenGood08 RenGood08 said:

Roku is pretty good. Need to get one myself, as well as a wireless Router so I can have the Roku. But its really worth it if you get the newer versions of it.

1 person liked this | Panda218 Panda218 said:

I bought my girlfriend a roku HD when her DVD player broke. At first I wished I would have gotten the one with USB support, but after setting up plex media streaming on her PC she's never been happier.

Anyone using a roku should give plex a shot if you like to watch locally downloaded videos from network storage.

RenGood08 RenGood08 said:

Hmmm. Will certainly consider that!

mctommy said:

I've been a fan of WD Media Player from the start. I have 1 x gen2 and 2 x gen3 in my house all connected via hardwire - gen 3 have wireless but the house is already wired with cat5 so why not just use it.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

I use 12x Network Media Players from SONY HD SMP-N100 and HD N-200 3D here in with every HDTV here both are up to 1080p, wired Ethernet 100mbps and 802.11n @ 300mbps.

All the bedrooms have them. Some have both N100 and N200 because the N-200 plays all types of videos including MKV where the N100 doesn't. What makes this Network Media Player stand out the best is the fact is can read Windows 7 and Windows 8 Shares Folders also works with ZXYEL NSA325 NAS/Media Server.

SONY has the FMP-X1 4K Ultra HD Network Media Player has 1.OGBps port, 2 HDMI ports, USB 2.0/3.0, Internal HDD 2TB. Would I buy one , maybe if the price drops lower. It's $699 ouch!

Logic Overflow said:

I bought my girlfriend a roku HD when her DVD player broke. At first I wished I would have gotten the one with USB support, but after setting up plex media streaming on her PC she's never been happier.

Anyone using a roku should give plex a shot if you like to watch locally downloaded videos from network storage.

Is Plex really easy to setup? I got rid of my HDTV about a year ago since I have everything on my computer and wasn't able to find a reliable stream to my tv via network setup. How's the speed over WiFi?

J_Gert J_Gert said:

I have a Roku 2 HD and its beast! I have everything streaming I need! Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, CNN, FOX... and they have a crazy amount more. I can angry birds too... anyways, it's an awesome product

J_Gert J_Gert said:

I have a Roku 2 HD and its beast! I have everything streaming I need! Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, CNN, FOX... and they have a crazy amount more. I can angry birds too... anyways, it's an awesome product

Grammar is horrible from the beginning. My bad

Guest said:

Roku and other streaming devices are useless for two reasons:

1) They don't support support closed captions.

2) Two words: data caps

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

And here I am being all lazy, having just a flat HDMI cable run underneath the carpet from my computer to my entertainment center 30 feet away...

drjekel_mrhyde drjekel_mrhyde said:

Roku and other streaming devices are useless for two reasons:

1) They don't support support closed captions.

2) Two words: data caps

I'm not deaf or have to worry about caps just yet

AlanCasseb said:

I bought my girlfriend a roku HD when her DVD player broke. At first I wished I would have gotten the one with USB support, but after setting up plex media streaming on her PC she's never been happier.

Anyone using a roku should give plex a shot if you like to watch locally downloaded videos from network storage.

Is Plex really easy to setup? I got rid of my HDTV about a year ago since I have everything on my computer and wasn't able to find a reliable stream to my tv via network setup. How's the speed over WiFi?

Plex is easy:

1 Install server in your computer/NAS and share your media folders over a nice web interface;

2 Install client (Samsung and LG smart tvs, windows, mac, linux, Roku, etc.);

3 Create and log in both of them with your user account.

And you're done

I use Plex to stream from my home server from an internet connection over Wi-Fi so I don't see why speed would be a problem over Wi-Fi in a local network.

Geforcepat Geforcepat said:

Never even heard of these ruku people

jobeard jobeard, TS Ambassador, said:

Roku and other streaming devices are useless for two reasons:

1) They don't support support closed captions.

2) Two words: data caps

Clearly you are not a user thereof.

My WD TV Live accessing Netflix is fully functional and has many other services as well. We chose WDTV because of the extra services as well as the ability to access Mac, Linux and PC shared media.

Panda218 Panda218 said:

I bought my girlfriend a roku HD when her DVD player broke. At first I wished I would have gotten the one with USB support, but after setting up plex media streaming on her PC she's never been happier.

Anyone using a roku should give plex a shot if you like to watch locally downloaded videos from network storage.

Is Plex really easy to setup? I got rid of my HDTV about a year ago since I have everything on my computer and wasn't able to find a reliable stream to my tv via network setup. How's the speed over WiFi?

Yup it's extremely easy to configure see the response below

I bought my girlfriend a roku HD when her DVD player broke. At first I wished I would have gotten the one with USB support, but after setting up plex media streaming on her PC she's never been happier.

Anyone using a roku should give plex a shot if you like to watch locally downloaded videos from network storage.

Is Plex really easy to setup? I got rid of my HDTV about a year ago since I have everything on my computer and wasn't able to find a reliable stream to my tv via network setup. How's the speed over WiFi?

Plex is easy:

1 Install server in your computer/NAS and share your media folders over a nice web interface;

2 Install client (Samsung and LG smart tvs, windows, mac, linux, Roku, etc.);

3 Create and log in both of them with your user account.

And you're done

I use Plex to stream from my home server from an internet connection over Wi-Fi so I don't see why speed would be a problem over Wi-Fi in a local network.

*thumbs up*

Guest said:

Roku and other streaming devices are useless for two reasons:

1) They don't support support closed captions.

2) Two words: data caps

I'm not deaf or have to worry about caps just yet

I'm not deaf either, but I do want to see closed captions support in Netflix since a lot of foreign films I watch do not provide English captions.

Guest said:

Roku and other streaming devices are useless for two reasons:

1) They don't support support closed captions.

2) Two words: data caps

Clearly you are not a user thereof.

Clearly you don't know anything about me. For your info, I was a Roku user until I received a notice from my ISP that I went over the limit. Since there is no competing ISPs that offer no data caps in my area, I went back to cable and to be honest, I don't regret my decision. I get all the channels I want in the cable package plus closed captioning support which is way better than any streaming services with mediocre captioning support.

penn919 said:

These Roku things would be perfect if you could install XBMC on them...

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

I had the their XD version sent it right back to where it came from. I don't like to give out CC info just to use the device and Roku requires it. With SONY Network Media Player, SONY never ask you for CC info. It's more base on like sign-up with Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus via those sites. That's better than being forced to use a streaming device with CC upfront.

Right now the choices are ChromeCast, Laptop/Tablet Running Windows Media Center, Wii/or other game Console, Android/Apple devices can stream media to the HDTV. The choices are more vast now than they were 3 to 4 years ago.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Roku and other streaming devices are useless for two reasons:

1) They don't support support closed captions.

2) Two words: data caps

False and False.

1. I just got an AppleTV for my birthday, I have subs on Netflix and I'm running Plex Media Server on my PC and subs work with that too.

2. Not every ISP has data caps. Mine does not.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.