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Prizefight: Apple TV vs. Roku LT

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Prizefight: Apple TV vs. Roku LT

4:59 /

We have a battle for streaming-media-box supremacy. It's a Prizefight punch-out between the Apple TV and the Roku LT.

What's up PriceFight fans? I'm Brian Tong and we have a battle for streaming media box supremacy. There's a PriceFight punch out between the Apple TV and the RokuLT. Now we'll take each round score and average them out to the nearest 10th of a point. The final PriceFight score will be an average of all rounds using the same decimal system. Let's get this party started. Round 1 is design. The RokuLT and its new design takes queues from the Apple TV. It's smaller in size and adds personality with purple but it's fabric tag still belongs on jeans more than it does on a set top box. Apple stays true to tradition and can even make a streaming box look good with its sexy minimalism. It's about 25% larger than the Roku but you won't really notice either of these next your TV. We're calling this round an even tie at 4 points a piece. Next round is interface and navigation. The RokuLT has a simple interface that's very utilitarian with its single row navigation. It won't wow you visually but it gets the job done and it's easy to customize by adding channels for your favorite content with a straight forward remote. Now the Apple TV interface is a clean and elegant experience that you expect. Animations are smooth and its interface really feels polished. There's no real customization here but its remote is easy to use as well. The Apple TV gets a perfect 5 and the RokuLT gets a 4. So after averaging 2 round, the biggie leads by half a point. Round 3's features. With a media box you want options and the RokuLT strips down to the bare and I mean bare essentials. It connects to any TV with HDMI for up to 720p output or there's a custom AV port for composite video. There's 802.11 and Wi-Fi and... a power cable. Now if you're looking for more, you'll find it in its bigger brother, the Roku 2, but not here. The Apple TV also brings HDMI with 720p support and 802.11 and Wi-Fi but you also have options for optimal audio out and an Ethernet port but then you jump into the software where being part of the Apple ecosystem has its advantages. AirPlay support allows you to play and display content directly from your iOS devices and even mirror your iPad 2 screen to the Apple TV. If you pay $24.99 a year for the iTunes Match service, you'll be able to access your entire music collection through Apple TV and if you use the iCloud, you'll also be able to view your photo stream plus Windows machines and Macs can show their music collection through home sharing in iTunes. The Apple TV is feature packed if you live completely in the Apple ecosystem but it still brings a punch. Apple takes this round with a perfect 5 and the RokuLT gets slugged with a 3. Next round is content. With media streaming boxes, content is king. Now you have Netflix with both boxes but that's not enough to satisfy our hunger. The Roku shines with over 100 channels of content like Amazon video on demand, Hulu Plus and HBO Go which cover your movies and TV shoes. Then there's Pandora for music discovery and social services like Facebook and Flickr have apps. There's on demand sports for the NHL and NBA and specific content like our own CNET channel or stuff for the kiddies with the Disney Channel. The Roku's media options are endless and customizable. Now beyond Netflix, Apple's box has accessed the content from the iTunes store to purchase TV shows and movies but that's about it. They've added support for on demand sports including major league baseball but when you're talking to Apple TV's additional online services like Youtube and Vimeo, I can count them on my 2 feet. The Roku punches back with a perfect 5 and the Apple TV gets a 3 but after averaging 4 rounds, Apple still holds its lead by 3 tenths of a point, the final round the decides it all is value. The RokuLT makes a statement with the lowest price streaming box on the market that's all about value at $49.99. Now that's a price that makes you go wow. Now the Apple TV has remained on its $99 prince point but are you really getting 50 bucks more worth of value? If you're a fruit lover, it might make sense but it's pretty limited if you're not in the Apple ecosystem. In the final round Roku throws another bow with a perfect 5 and Apple gets a 3. So let's average out all 5 rounds and in a battle where Apple is rolling, the RokuLT surge back in the end taking this face off 4.2 to 4 and is your PriceFight winner. If you want a streaming box with the most content at the best price then the RokuLT is really the one for you. I'm Brian Tong. Thanks for watching and we'll catch you guys next time for another PriceFight.

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