If you have a Roku set-top box, you can now stream videos from your iPhone to your TV. Roku released this latest feature today for iOS users. While the streaming feature isn't as good as what Apple offers through Air Play, it's a feature that Roku users will likely enjoy. The company updated its iOS app today, and the feature now works on the Roku 3, Roku 2, Roku HD, Roku LT, and the Roku Streaming Stick.
On Roku's official blog, the company has stated that the new video streaming update is coming to Android soon, but no specific date has been posted yet. So, what does the new video streaming feature actually do?
Why Stream Video?
Here's the best example of what the Roku iOS streaming video feature can do: you have lots of videos stored on your iPhone. Videos of your friends, family, and other events. If you want to play those videos on your TV through your Roku set-top box, that option is now available using the Roku iOS app. This means that family film day just got a lot better.
Roku's iOS app has been updated for iPhone (3gs and later); iPad, and iPod Touch (3rd generation or later). Roku is taking a direct stab at Chromecast with this latest updated, but it's also an update that Roku users have wanted to see for some time now. Even though Roku chose to update iOS first, the company is certainly working on an Android update, so don't fret.
Chromecast VS. Roku
Since the two companies are facing off anyway, here's a quick rundown of why you might prefer one over the other.
- Chromecast doesn't take up space
- Google Play content
- Any content that can play in the Chrome browser
- Limited content (no Hulu or HBO yet)
- You have to use a Google dongle to hook it up
- Slightly lagging behind Roku as far as features go
- A large amount of content
- A compact set-top box
- Streaming video feature for iOS devices
- You have to stream content through a USB or memory stick
- Web content can't be displayed
- No YouTube (you need Apple TV to get YouTube)
This is a limited list of advantages and disadvantages, but these are some major points to consider all the same. Roku's set-top box can be purchased for around $99 (Roku 3); Chromecast will cost you $35; and Apple TV is also around $99.
If you are going by price alone, Chromecast is the clear winner. But, just remember that Google's streaming service is new, and, therefore, it is lacking where content is concerned. If you don't mind waiting a bit, though, Google is sure to catch up.
The new Roku video streaming feature is available today. You do have to use the iOS Roku app to access the streaming feature, so make sure to download it. When Roku does announce the Android released date, I'll let you know - make sure to check back.