Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV

Well known global TVs

Today, there’re lots of smart TVs available in the market that come equipped with streaming services as part of their operational platforms, but there’s also a significant number of people still viewing TVs that don’t have the feature. If you belong to the latter league but are still interested in accessing streaming services, you’ll need a device that can facilitate the streaming service. The problem is that there’re some big names like Apple and Amazon that are trying hard for dominance in your living room. From a broader point of view, both Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV cater to the same purpose of offering the streaming technology, but they’re quite different in some key aspects. In this post, we’ve outlined the key differences between them to help you make an informed decision.

A note of security

Before we delve into the comparison, here’re a few lines of caution for those who’re actually concerned about their online security and privacy. Both of these services come with vulnerabilities that can be exploited by nefarious people, especially when you integrate video streaming apps. So, it’s strongly advisable to deploy robust security measures before you use any of them. For example, to take your online security to the next level, you can buy VPN for Mac or for Android.

Apple TV vs Amazon Fire TV

Let’s start the comparison and see what they’ve got.

Key applications

  • Apple TV: If you’re an avid fan of iTunes shows and movies and want them up on your big screen through a set-top box, Apple TV is perhaps the best device through which you can do it. It seamlessly works with other Apple services like Apple music and Apple products, unlike other streaming devices. It offers a smoother, faster operation for apps, menus, and 4K playback. The TV app attempts to unify your searching and watching to some extent across multiple devices and multiple services. With it, you can enjoy the likes of Amazon Prime Video, HBO Now, and Hulu, except YouTube and Netflix (you’d need those apps separately).
  • Amazon Fire TV: Amazon’s digital assistant – Alexa is certainly the gamechanger in the smart box landscape. In addition, the Fire TV Cube lets you use voice commands to modify inputs on the TV, adjust volume, and turn the TV on and off. And behind Alexa, you get the standard Amazon Fire TV interface. With it, you can enjoy all the big names except video from Google (Google Play TV & Movies or YouTube) or iTunes video. You’ve to install a browser to be able to watch YouTube.

The fundamentals

  • Apple TV: Coming to the form factor, you’d need to find some room for Apple TV as it’s a set-top box. It comes with 32 GB storage which can be extended up to 64 GB (you’d need to pay extra for that). The Dolby Vision feature in Apple TV is what actually makes colors look more vivid.
  • Amazon Fire TV: It comes in the form of a HDMI dongle. So, you just need to dangle it off the back of the TV. It offers 8 GB storage that cannot be extended, which can seem to be a problem if you download lots of movies or stream music or videos to a great extent. It supports Dolby Atmos surround sound that completes your TV audio experience.

The libraries

  • Apple TV: iTunes is the pioneer and is actually huge. One of the key advantages is that Apple TV lets you get Amazon content, apart from offering all the major streaming services.
  • Amazon Fire TV: Unlike the Apple TV, Fire TV doesn’t let you get iTunes content. Amazon Prime video app is built into Fire TV. All you need to do is register your device with Prime credentials.

Setup process

  • Apple TV: Apple TV isn’t actually small enough that you can directly plug into the TV. You’d need to make some room in the AV rack instead. However, once you’ve connected the device to a HDMI port, rest of the setup process is quite simple like connecting to a home Wi-Fi network, selecting your language etc. And if you already own an iPhone or iPad, transfer of the Wi-Fi settings will become even easier.
  • Amazon Fire TV: You just plug it into an HDMI port of your TV, provide the power source, and you’re done. Once connected, you’ll find that your Fire TV remotely pairs with your streaming dongle automatically. You can also turn your Android, Amazon or iOS phone into a remote for the streamer by downloading the Amazon Fire TV Remote app.

Final thoughts

As far as the price part is concerned, you’ll get Amazon Fire TV at a much lower price than Apple TV. But again, Amazon Fire TV may fall short when it comes to flexibility, speed etc. Your final decision should be based on the above comparison and your personal preferences.