One of our more popular YouTube videos is one prompted by my oldest friend. It shows how to install a Fire TV Stick on a Roku-powered TV. A lot of people feel that once you have a TV with an operating system like Roku, Fire TV OS, or Android TV built-in, then you have no need for anything else. And in a perfect world that would be true. But this is not a perfect world.
Distribution platforms and channel/content platforms do not always see eye to eye and the loser in most of these fights is always the consumer. Because if Roku and HBO do not get along both companies will survive a drawn-out fight, but the customers end up not being able to watch the content they are paying for. That’s why we have always advocated that users have at least two different platforms at their disposal. Most TVs have Roku, Android TV or Fire TV built into their system. Apple TV is still only available via Apple’s hardware. LG and Samsung offer multiple apps within their app ecosystem as well. So the temptation to just get one and go with it is logical. But once there is a fight between two corporate entities you can find yourself without your favorite app.
What we recommend users to do is whatever app system you have on your TV, you should also have something else plugged in. If you have a Roku TV grab a Chromecast or Fire TV Stick. If you have an LG TV, there is no reason not to have a Roku or Apple TV. It makes users immune to the disease of more that plagues companies from time to time. The thing about these kinds of devices is that most are really inexpensive. Fire TV’s cost 30-45 bucks, Roku’s can be had for as low as $30. Only Apple TV comes off as a major investment at $179.00-$200.00. Combining things adds a lot of choice and capability. If you have a Roku TV for instance you can use Apple’s AirPlay2 in order to share a Mac or Ios device screen on the TV, throw on a Chromecast and you can mirror Windows, and Android devices as well or launch any Chromecast enabled app. Sometimes a new app launches without support for all platforms. Peacock still doesn’t have an official app for Fire TV. But it was on Apple TV and Android TV from the start.
You may have a favorite but what it comes down to for me is can I watch the game on it. The game is a stand-in for what I want most. For some it may be keeping up with the Kardashians, for others, it might be the NBA finals. But no matter what the game is, if the answer is no, there will be some unhappy nights at home. Trust me. You will be glad you have at least one HDMI port occupied as soon as you see the next big app negotiation break down.