Amazon Fire TV vs. Apple TV

Chip Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Smart Home Entertainment Leave a Comment

What should you buy, the Amazon Fire TV vs Apple TV? What one is right for you? Read on to learn more.

Apple TV vs. Amazon Fire TV

How are they similar?

Both the Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV are simple, set-top boxes that connect to you TV. They are roughly the same size and both offer video from different internet sites. They are both very easy to use. They both connect to your HDTV via HDMI.

In many ways, asking what is better is like asking, “What is the best flavor of ice cream?”

How are the Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV different?

Here’s how Amazon shows the difference:

Amazon Fire TV Roku 3 Apple TV Google Chromecast
Voice search Yes
HDMI Video Out Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dolby Digital Yes
Processor Quad-Core Dual-Core Single-Core Single-Core
Memory 2 GB 512 MB 512 MG 512 MG
Netflix Yes Yes Yes Yes
Amazon Instant Yes Yes No No
Hulu Plus Yes Yes Yes Yes
iTunes No No Yes No
HBO GO No Yes Yes Yes
Showtime Anytime Yes Yes No No
Pandora Yes Yes No Yes
# Of Games 100+ 10+ None None

As you can see, the Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast and Roku 3 are all very, very similar. As I mentioned before, I think that it all comes down to preference. Up until Aereo was stopped in Denver, I was very seriously considering a Roku 3, as it was the only real device that supported Aereo. I would never recommend the Google Chromecast simply because you have to stream your video from another device (like your cell phone or tablet). This renders that device useless.

Amazon also makes a big deal out of voice search:


While I think that the voice search is cool, I don’t see it as necessary.

The great thing about the Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku TV are they all have up-dateable software. This means that even if a feature doesn’t exist now, it very well could in the future. Here’s who I would recommend for each device:

Apple TV
Who is it for: Those that are already in the Apple ecosystem. If you already have an iPad, iPhone, MacBook, etc, they get the Apple TV.

Who shouldn’t get it: Those that like to hack and customize their setup.

Amazon Fire TV
Who is it for: Those that are already in the Amazon ecosystem. If you have Amazon Prime this is a great purchase.

Who shouldn’t get it: Those that want a really polished experience with no bugs.

Roku 3
Who is it for: Those that want to customize and hack their TV experience. Roku is very flexible and offer many different customization.

Who shouldn’t get it: Those that also want a really polished experience and are already apart of the Amazon or Apple Ecosystem.

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Whatcha think? Have a question or comment?