Roku TV vs Google TV: Which One Should You Choose?

Are you in the market for a new TV? With so many options available, it can be challenging to choose. Two popular choices are Roku TV and Google TV.

Both offer streaming capabilities, but which one is right for you?

We’ll compare the specs, price, streaming quality, performance, apps, live TV options, design features, and more of Roku TV vs Google TV.

Roku TV vs Google TV specs

Roku TV and Google TV may have similarities, but their specifications differ. Compared to Google TV, Roku TV has a simpler design with fewer bells and whistles.

However, this can be seen as an advantage for those who value simplicity over added features.

One distinction between the two is in processing power. Google TV typically has faster processors than Roku TVs, which means smoother streaming and quicker load times. This is particularly noticeable when opening apps or navigating menus.

Another significant difference between the two is in their voice control capabilities. While both offer voice-enabled remotes that allow you to search for content using your voice, Google TV takes things a step further by allowing users to use natural language commands like “show me action movies.”

Regarding hardware options, Roku offers a broader range of televisions at various price points, while Google focuses mainly on high-end models with advanced features such as OLED panels.

The choice between Roku TV vs Google TV specs will depend on your priorities: if you prioritize speed and performance, go for GoogleTV; if you prefer a more straightforward design, go for RokuTV.

Price and value

Starting with Roku TV, the brand has a reputation for offering affordable options without compromising quality.

They offer smart TVs at various price points that cater to different budgets. Their entry-level models cost $150, while their high-end models cost $1,000 or more.

On the other hand, Google TV offers some premium features that come at a higher price point than most of Roku’s offerings.

However, Google TV also offers affordable streaming devices like Chromecast, which lets you convert any older television into a smart one for under $50.

In terms of overall value, both brands offer great bang for your buck, depending on what you’re looking for in a smart TV or streaming device.

When comparing prices between the two brands, it depends on what you want from your viewing experience and how much you’re willing to spend.

Streaming quality

Roku TV and Google TV support high-definition (4K) video streaming for a smooth viewing experience. However, there are some distinctions in the data processing methods they employ.

Roku TV uses a proprietary compression algorithm called Roku’s Intelligent Encoding to minimize buffering and provide smooth playback even with slower internet speeds. This means that even if your internet connection is not fast enough, you can still enjoy uninterrupted viewing.

On the other hand, Google TV uses the VP9 codec for video compression, which requires higher bandwidth than the H.264 or H.265 codecs used by most streaming services. This may result in buffering issues if your internet speed is not up to par.

Roku has also teamed up with streaming service providers like Netflix and Hulu to improve the quality of their content delivery. In comparison, Google relies on its algorithms to deliver high-quality content.

Both platforms deliver excellent picture quality, but Roku has the edge over Google when optimizing the stream for slower connections while maintaining a high quality of service.


Roku TVs generally come with a quad-core processor that can easily handle most streaming tasks. On the other hand, Google TV devices like Chromecast come with a more powerful processor that allows for smooth multitasking.

Another factor is the RAM capacity – while most Roku TVs come with 1-2 GB of RAM, some Google TV devices can go up to 4GB.

If you plan on running multiple apps at once or playing games on your TV, a Google device may be better suited for your needs.

However, when it comes to boot-up time and app loading speed, Roku wins hands down. Thanks to its lightweight operating system and optimized software stack, navigating through menus and launching apps feels snappy and responsive.

Whether you prioritize processing speed, multitasking abilities, or smooth transitions between apps, both platforms deliver excellent performance. 


Roku has been in the game longer than Google, so they have had more time to build relationships with content providers. This means that Roku generally has more apps available than Google TV. However, popular apps like YouTube and Netflix can be found on both platforms.

One thing that sets Google TV apart from Roku is its integration with other Google services. For example, if you use Gmail or Docs frequently, you’ll appreciate access to those services from your streaming device.

The ability to use voice search to locate and launch apps is shared between the two systems. However, in terms of voice recognition accuracy, Google tends to fare better in user reviews.

Whether you choose Roku or Google will depend largely on which specific apps you want access to and how vital integration with other services is for you.

Live TV

Roku TV and Google TV offer many live TV options. ABC News Live, Cheddar, and Reuters are among Roku’s 100 free live channels. Sling TV and Hulu Live are premium sports and entertainment subscriptions.

Through its app store, Google TV offers many similar options. Users can get apps for popular cable alternatives such as YouTube TV and FuboTV. Furthermore, Google’s Chromecast with Google TV device integrates directly with the streaming services of certain cable providers.

Both platforms allow users to search for specific shows or movies across multiple sources simultaneously using voice commands through their remote controls.

However, some users may prefer the more streamlined interface of one platform to the other when accessing their preferred live content.

Deciding between Roku TV and Google TV will come down to personal preference in terms of user interface design and the overall feature set offered by each platform.


The design of a streaming device might not be the most crucial aspect, but it does add to the overall user experience. When comparing Roku TV vs Google TV, both options have unique designs that cater to different preferences.

Roku TVs are known for their straightforward design. The home screen is simple and displays all apps in one location. You can change the theme of your home screen and rearrange the app icons to your liking. However, some critics argue that the UI is outdated compared to competitors such as Google TV.

Google TV, however, has a sleek, modern interface. It differs from Roku’s default home screen by offering recommendations based on your Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and other viewing history.

Both devices have HDMI and USB ports. Some prefer Google’s voice-activated remote, while others prefer Roku’s physical remote.

Choosing between Roku TV vs Google TV will depend on personal preferences regarding design aesthetics, and usability features each device offers.

Features comparison

FeatureRoku TVGoogle TV
User InterfaceSimple and easy to navigateModern and intuitive
App SelectionExtensive library of appsWide range of apps available
Voice ControlVoice search with Roku Voice RemoteGoogle Assistant integration
ContentWide variety of streaming channels and appsExtensive selection of streaming services
Live TV IntegrationSupports antenna and cable TVLimited support for live TV
Smart HomeLimited smart home integrationExtensive smart home integration
SearchUniversal search across multiple platformsUnified search across apps and platforms
RecommendationsPersonalized recommendationsAI-powered content recommendations
Device CompatibilityWorks with various TV brandsWorks with Android TV devices
PriceAffordable options availableVaries depending on the device
GamingOffers casual gaming with Roku Channel GamesSupports Google Stadia for cloud gaming
Interface CustomizationLimited customization optionsAllows for more personalized interface
Multi-User SupportSupports multiple user profilesSupports multiple user profiles
Cross-Platform CastingSupports Roku Casting featureSupports Chromecast for casting
Remote ControlBasic remote with dedicated channel buttonsVoice remote with Google Assistant button
AdvertisementsIncludes ads in the interfaceLimited or no ads in the interface
PrivacyProvides basic privacy controlsOffers advanced privacy settings
Comparison table between Roku TV and Google TV

Roku TV and Google TV are equally well-equipped in terms of functionality. 

Roku TV has a more user-friendly interface with its simple home screen layout and easy-to-use remote. It also offers a great selection of free channels, including popular ones such as Pluto TV, Tubi, and The Roku Channel.

On the other hand, Google TV focuses on personalization by offering recommendations based on your viewing history through its “For You” section. It also integrates with Google Assistant, allowing for voice commands and control over smart home devices.

Both platforms offer 4K streaming capabilities, but Roku TVs are more affordable than Google TVs. Additionally, while both platforms have many available apps for download, Roku’s app store is larger than Google’s.

Features determine what you want. Roku has more free content and a simpler interface. Google TV is better for personalization and device integration.

Home screen

When it comes to the home screen, Roku TV and Google TV have completely different approaches.

Roku TV’s home screen is designed with simplicity in mind, featuring a grid of app icons that can easily be rearranged or customized based on your preferences. The interface is intuitive and straightforward, making it easy for users to navigate through their favorite apps quickly.

Google TV recommends content based on your viewing history and interests on its home screen. You will see curated movies and TV shows from Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, and others.

Another critical difference between the two platforms’ home screens is that Google TV allows users to search across multiple streaming services simultaneously. It also enables them to add preferred channels as favorites, which makes accessing content even quicker.

Roku TV and Google TV have unique home screens. Whether one prefers simplicity or personalization depends on their viewing experience.

Remotes comparison

Roku TV and Google TV remote controls are crucial to your streaming experience. Roku TV and Google TV remotes have different features.

The Roku TV remote is simple yet efficient. It has all the necessary buttons for basic navigation and playback controls, such as play/pause, rewind, fast forward, volume up/down, power on/off and a mute button. The remote also features dedicated buttons for popular streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.

On the other hand, Google TV’s new voice-enabled remote offers more advanced functionality. With built-in Google Assistant support, you can ask questions about movies or shows playing on the screen without interrupting what you’re watching.

Additionally, it includes a microphone so that users can use voice commands to search for content across multiple apps.

Moreover, the Google TV Remote also includes a backlit keyboard, making searching much more comfortable in low-light conditions while allowing easy access to app shortcuts at just one click away from keys.

Both remotes have their strengths with different approaches towards user preference, providing ease of accessibility according to individual needs, making them stand out amongst others in market availability today!

Which is right for you?

After analyzing the specifications, features, and performance of both Roku TV and Google TV, it’s evident that both streaming devices have unique strengths.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option with an easy-to-use interface, then Roku TV would be an excellent choice. On the other hand, if you want to integrate your smart home devices and take advantage of Google Assistant’s voice control capabilities, then Google TV is worth considering.

The decision between these two streaming devices depends on your preferences and requirements. So, before you make a choice, consider what is most important to you in terms of price range, user interface design, or remote control preference.


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