Android TV vs Roku

I have been considering getting a TV for my home office (against “the boss’s” objection). I was originally looking at a TCL Roku TV, but with the issues of HBO Max and Peacock not getting on Roku (not that I necessarily would be watching them), I’m wondering if getting a TV based on Android TV would be a better option.

I expect those issues will be ironed out but I would focus much more on getting the display that you want, regardless of the TV’s app platform; you can always change that with a streaming box for relatively little additional investment after the fact.


I would advise against getting a Roku in the TV or a Roku stick either. The built in ones are slow and frequently fall out of date. The stick based ones overheat and crash and are also slow. As @ChrisKez said you probably should just get the dumbest TV you can find, and buy a separate add-on box.

The cheapest option would be probably be a ChromeCast. There is supposedly something new in that pipeline, coming soon, which could be pretty cool. ( )

I would avoid the cheapest Android boxes, as they’re way out of date and totally unsupported.

The 2019 Nvidia Shield is really nice IMHO, but is impossible to find (covid?)

I have no experience with Roku add-on boxes, but when I went looking for one of those, I couldn’t find them in stock either.

AppleTV is an option too, if that is within your ecosystem… but they require an AppleID and tie into the rest of a system, and are not useful by themselves. (I bought one of the previous models for $99 (the ones before apps became possible) and have never used it because I don’t want to have an AppleID and you can’t even send local files to one without one.


I am a roku stick user. Have been using it for a while now. Never had an issue with overheating.
Overall I am quite happy with it.
Better than Amazon TV stick and no name android boxes or sticks.
Having said that I have not used a chromecast or nvidia TV shield so I cannot comment on them.

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Been using the same roku stick for over 4 years now never have had a issue

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Since the TV is for my home office, I want one with the “smarts” built in. If it were my main watching set, I wouldn’t care about the smarts because I would be buying separate boxes. I very explicitly didn’t want to do just a Chromecast.
Also, my concern really isn’t those two channels. Its the trend that I’m seeing with those channels that they can’t make arrangements with Roku to get on their platforms, where it seems it wasn’t a problem to get on Android TV. While I’m not looking for the best set in the world, I want the most flexibility for my buck.

Roku is extremely user friendly and highly recommended for media streaming. They do have a bigger reach then you might expect including localization and platform development. They also listen to feedback and are quick to add applications to their library. I would suspect either HBO or Peacock will be added shortly if there are no blockers.

I do however agree with Android as an approach because you can load on any APK that is out there and have it reasonably work among other things you’d normally do with Android such as web browsing or sharing files. Amazon’s version of Android devices are known to work better for this but there are a few others including TV boxes that use the base Android OS. I would still stick with the standard Android or tablet version for compatibility. Android TV is still not compatible with most apps or streaming services and it is a disappointment if you expect to use this many streaming options and pay more for the hardware.

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I just use my chromebook hooked to the TV. I am satisfied with that.

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I should point out, I have a Roku box already attached to my main TV, so am familiar with the platform. That’s why I was looking at a Roku TV (the TCLs are highly regarded). But with the “fight” for apps to get on the platform, I was wondering if I should be looking at a platform that is more open.

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I bought an Android TV 2 years ago. I’ll never buy a smart TV again, it just isn’t worth the hassle.

After 18 months, Sony stopped providing security updates, let alone version updates (it is stuck on Android 7). My daughter bought a Sony smart TV (not Android) and it had only 6 months of security updates, before it was abandoned!

To be honest, I’d get a good quality panel, with as little intelligence as possible and stick something like a FireTV in the back of it. The panel should last many years and you can replace the $30 - $40 part every few years, when it stops getting updates.


I used to use Roku and android TV devices. Never tried the Amazon fire sticks. But several years ago I purchased HP Elitedesk mini PC’s or USFF PC’s all 5th gen i7’s and hooked them up with Display port or HDMI to all of the TV’s that I own with vesa mounts on the back. Now I’m in control of what I can access including Plex or Netflix and so on. I’m in control of it being updated or not. So much better and more universal to me.

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Separate boxes connected to the TV is more work than I want to deal with for a display in my office. Just looking for a solution that will allow streaming. I was originally thinking a Roku TV so I wouldn’t be stuck with apps on a TV that stop working, figuring that the Roku OS would be updated longer. My concern is that it seems more companies are having issues getting on Roku, so I was wondering if it made more sense to look at Android TV for the most flexibility.

You definitely will get updates longer with Roku and I believe as others have said that they will always hash out any issues with other streaming companies getting their apps on the platform. I honestly would trust Roku more then I would Android TV but that’s just my opinion.


The Nvidia Shield I bought many years ago still gets updates. It’s the wonder of the AndroidTV world. Very powerful, nice remote. Only issue is that MANY providers don’t allow their apps on it - no HBO, Showtime, etc. The 4k AI upscaling is really good on the new Pro model.

I can’t really recommend it because of the limited app selection and the price, but it’s some pretty impressive gear. I’m sure Peacock and HBOMax will work it out with Roku in the next few months.


So I should stick with Roku then. As I said, I’m just worried about this trend of channels not being on devices. Peacock and HBO Max were just examples, and in all honesty not one’s I’m terribly worried about. Just that if I’m buying a device for streaming, I want the most flexibility that I can get. I’m not planning on plugging cable into this set. Its just something for some background noise in my home office. If this were the living room set, whole different story.

More work? It takes about 30 seconds to plug it in and you don’t need to replace an expensive TV every 18 months, because it has become a security risk that could compromise your whole network…

If all I want to put on the wall is a TV, then attaching a box is more work. I’m also not looking to buy an expensive TV. Again, this is a home office, not a home theater.

I’m not even planning a cable box for this. Just the set.

If it is “just a cheap TV”, then there is even more reason not to buy a “smart” version. The security updates are likely to be sproadic and only for a few months.

I personally would never hook up a “Smart tv” to the internet. You another device.

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The great thing about TVs, is that there are many out there that fit different use cases.
For example, my main set in the family room I could care less about the smarts. I’ll get what works as a decent display. The smarts will come from stuff plugged in to the AVR in the basement, that has 5.1 surround sound speakers hooked up. In this case, its just a display. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a dumb display anymore, so I’ll be stuck with one with smarts, but probably won’t hook it up except to do firmware updates.

But, that doesn’t work for all situations. I agree that the smarts in a TV are going to be limited, and eventually will stop working. But, if I get a set that has its smarts based on either Roku or Android OS, I should have a better chance of a longer life span. In the case of my home office, where I just want a set in the corner to do some streaming while I’m working, I don’t want to deal with extra boxes to hook up. You don’t need to convince me that separate boxes aren’t better, I know that. But in my specific use case, having it built in to the set is perfectly fine.