Google TV vs Roku OS | Which system is best for streaming?

Google TV was the search giant’s bet on 91 as OS in Chromecast 4, focusing on better integrating Android into the streaming device. However, the presence of Roku OS in Roku Express and in some models of televisions from Philco and AOC demonstrated the versatility that the software can deliver.

  • Review Roku Express | Good, but needs improvement
  • Review Google Chromecast 4 | Is it worth it with control?
  • Despite belonging to different companies, the systems show similarities that leave users confused about what the best alternative for your type of use.

    On the other hand, some differences allow one platform to stand out from the other when thinking about a usage experience that goes beyond TV.

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    So, to find out which is the best option in the clash between Google TV and Roku OS, check out our comparison.

    Roku OS: popular with good value for money

    Despite the The popularity of Roku OS in Brazil is still not the greatest, when compared to other operating systems present here, the utility is already one of the most used in the United States, either as a standalone platform in dongles such as Roku Express or as an interface for smartTVs.

    It is already considered the 4th largest operating system on the market worldwide, behind Tizen, WebOS and Android TV. This is due to the fact that it is a great option for cost-effective televisions, as is the case with models like the Philco PTV54RCG78BL that we analyzed on YouTube.

    The interface stands out for having a intuitive navigation, eliminating any “learning curve”, preventing the user from losing a few days to adapt. All descriptions of the menus and applications are simple and this makes it easy to understand for those who are not yet familiar with the Roku OS.

    Because it doesn’t have several built-in menus to group applications by category, it it is considered the simplest system in circulation today. Your home screen already displays everything that can be accessed in Roku OS in a grid that helps you organize your apps.

    Its big plus is its advanced search field, capable of finding movies and series available on several streaming services simultaneously. In addition, it allows the organization of apps to make the user experience adapted to each person.

    It is important to note that there are hundreds of applications compatible with Roku OS, but some focused on streaming series and songs have greater relevance to the Brazilian audience and can be accessed both in the version of the system for smartTVs and in the device manufactured by the brand itself. They are:

    • Netflix;
    • Spotify;
    • Telecine;
    • YouTube;
    • HBO Max;
    • Apple TV+;
    • Amazon Prime Video;
    • Disney+.

    Roku OS system on Roku Express device (Playback/YouTube Canaltech)

    The fact that the interface has this look more focused on streaming does not mean that TVs with Roku will be limited in content, since that there is the possibility of accessing TV channels through a specific app. Another option present in the utility is access to the Roku store in order to download new apps in a practical way and without leaving the couch.

    For those who have the Roku Express device, the features are larger because you can add new apps to your TV using your mobile phone. You order the installation from your smartphone, and the app appears on television in a moment. Another feature of this integration with the official mobile app is the opportunity to control the television via the smartphone — via virtual control — and access various resources.

    A highlight of Roku OS is the ability to listen the audio of what is being broadcast on television directly on the smartphone. So you can connect a headset to your mobile device and enjoy your TV without disturbing anyone in the house.

    Google TV: constant updates make all the difference

    Present in Chromecast 4, Google TV is a welcome and needed redesign of Android TV. The first generation of the “new system” on the search giant’s dongle was the big difference that the device needed to stand out in the streaming device market, which is increasingly competitive.

    Since it was made available in Chromecast 4, several updates have been released to allow new apps to be added to the platform and deliver more options to users.

    This agility of Google is reflected in benefit for those who are already used to the format of use of Android TV. This is because the experience is close, but with great positive points in the organization of the interface and in navigability.

    A practical example of this is the fact that Chromecast 4 was one of the first devices available in Brazil to receive the HBO Max application, which was one of the most anticipated streaming services in the first half of 5195. DirectTV Go is another platform that receives improvements before on Google TV and, consequently, works better here.

    The practicality of the operating system is also reflected in its synchronization with the Google account. Upon login, access to resources that were already present in the user’s database is instantaneous.

    This way, it is possible to access contents that were purchased on Google Play Movies or YouTube through the device system, making it possible to review movies that have already been part of the personal library for some time.

    Regarding the software, Google TV is a revamped version of Android TV, and this change came with the purpose of making the device independent of the smartphone.

    A differentiating point of this novelty is the use of several particularities arising from the mobile version of the operating system, such as the Google Assistant. The feature is activated through the remote control — which has a dedicated button for this — and makes the user have access to several important communication tools on a daily basis.

    Google TV interface on Chromecast 4 device (Playback/YouTube Canaltech)

    However, the options are somewhat limited in Chromecast 4. That’s it. because you can only activate basic commands, such as setting the smartphone alarm, entering events in Google Calendar, checking what’s pending in tasks and other options related to Google apps.

    Beyond Furthermore, there is the option to enter specific applications by voice command and this helps to find some titles on specific platforms and even to do a more generic search.

    When there are other compatible equipment with Google Assistant, it is possible to add Google TV to the ecosystem and take advantage of the resources with broader and more personalized options according to the routines registered in the Google Home app.

    For those who have the Nest Mini and smart lamps, you can use the personal assistant directly from the Chromecast 4 interface to control these devices, among others compatible with the system.

    In addition to the communication options between devices compatible with Google Assistant, Google TV also gives access to several games from the Play Store. Many are optimized to fit the larger format of the television without losing the graphic quality, as is the case with Asphalt 9 and other titles available in landscape format (lying).

    Obviously there are other games compatible, but you need to pay attention to the gameplay format. Some are in portrait (upright) mode, and the excess edges of the TV can make the experience more uncomfortable.

    Game running on Google TV (Playback/YouTube Canaltech)

    Google TV vs Roku OS: Which is better?

    Google TV is currently the best option. It offers a more complete user experience and, even if this is reflected in the price of Chromecast 4, the adjustments implemented by the manufacturer allow a wider range of features than the Roku OS system.

    Roku OS, in turn, offers a flexibility of use that makes sense for the public that is looking for a simpler and more intuitive experience.

    By having a synchronization between the application to phone and the operating system in Roku Express, it is much easier to control the services that will be installed and the order of importance that each one has.

    When it comes to Roku OS on television, the options in sync with the cell phone are more focused on the use of the smartphone as a remote control or audio center, for those who prefer to use headphones when watching a series or movie.

    Google TV is the best system option (Playback/YouTube Canaltech)

    Go to Google TV has optimized software, receives updates frequently to deliver an improved experience, allows access to Google Assistant, streaming services and games.

    This complementary entertainment option focused on gamer audiences allows the user has access to a system that goes beyond the platform to watch movies and series or call the personal assistant.

    Thus, whoever opts for Chromecast 4 or any device that has Google TV in the future, you will have a more complete operating system available.

    Want to buy a device with Google TV or Roku OS? Check out some options:

  • Roku Express

  • Chromecast 4

  • Philco PTV54RCG54BL
  • AOC 43S443962/78G

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