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Roku vs. Fire Stick for the Elderly: Which Is the Better Choice?

Roku vs. Fire Stick for the Elderly: Which Is the Better Choice?

Key Points

  • Roku has a better interface than Amazon Fire TV Stick, with a personalized list of apps and larger app icons that are helpful for elderly people with sight issues.
  • Both Roku and Fire Stick have voice command features, but those may be difficult for elderly people with speech impairments to use.
  • Roku has more channels available, while Fire Stick has a more user-friendly interface and fewer channels.
  • Roku offers ethernet connectivity, which may be beneficial for elderly users with slower internet connections.
  • Both Roku and Fire Stick are reasonably priced, but Fire Stick is the cheaper option.

Are you are thinking about upgrading your elderly family member’s entertainment system? Maybe it’s time for a change, or you want to give them a broader range of television to watch. Well, investing in a streaming device is an excellent way to do just that. From extensive research, you have determined that Roku and Fire Stick are the most budget-friendly market leaders available. But which one is the best for an elderly person to use regularly?

In this article, we go through the advantages and disadvantages of Roku and Fire Stick.

Roku vs. Fire Stick for the Elderly: Side-by-Side Comparison

To see the benefits of each streaming device, they are presented side-by-side to give a quick comparison. This will allow you to make the best-informed decision for your loved one before purchasing.

AspectRokuFire Stick
PriceStarting price of $30Starting price of $24.99
Basic ModelRoku ExpressFire Stick Lite
Number of Free Channels350+Up to 190
Voice CommandVoice command is available on Roku Streaming Stick 4K and Roku StreambarYes, it is available in all models
Compatible ApplicationsYouTube, Rumble, Videos for TikTok, Netflix, ABC News, Disney+Starz, Peleton, Netflix, Disney+, YouTube, Amazon Prime
Affordable Streaming Device
Roku Express (New, 2022) HD Streaming Device
$24.00
  • Roku Simple Remote included, no TV controls
  • 1080p resolution
  • Stream over 300 live TV channels plus Roku Originals
  • No adapters needed
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/21/2024 09:14 pm GMT

Roku vs. Fire Stick for the Elderly: What’s the Difference?

Roku and Fire Stick (from Amazon) are successful companies that make streaming devices. These devices plug into your TV and offer a wide range of television programs, movies, and other content on demand.

Both companies have satisfied and loyal customers throughout America logging into their services daily. But how do these companies measure up against one another? And which one would be more comfortable for an older or elderly person to use? Let’s dive in and find out!

Interface

One of the most important features of a streaming device is its interface. It displays all the necessary apps and avenues you can utilize when accessing the device. If an interface is overly complicated, users will not be able to receive the full benefits of the service and may change to a different company. Roku has a better interface than Amazon Fire TV Stick, as its home screen consists of a personalized list of apps you can curate. There is also a menu on the right side of the screen that houses the channel categories available to you. In addition, each app icon on Roku is larger when displayed on the screen than Fire Stick. This could be very helpful to elderly people with sight issues. 

Prime TV is notorious for having an overly complicated and hard-to-use interface, and Fire TV is no different. Its overall layout is slightly cluttered, and most text may be too small for elderly people to read clearly. It has some notable features, including intuitive TV programs or movie recommendations. These remove the need to search for a new program, a feature many older people could appreciate. 

Overall, Roku’s interface is more accessible to the older generation. Still, as long as the person in question can open applications or use websites, there should be no reason they couldn’t learn how to use either of these systems.

Senior people watching television in the living room
Both Roku and Fire TV Stick can provide an enjoyable TV experience, regardless of the watcher’s age.

Voice Command

When it comes to exciting features, both Roku and Fire Stick have implemented the use of voice commands into their systems. Voice commands may be a feature that a person with trouble navigating technology could utilize quite efficiently. It allows users to open apps, search for content, and play videos. 

Note that voice command programs may have trouble understanding an elderly person if they have something that impairs their speech. These problems could make it difficult for voice command programs to pick up what the person is saying to them.

Remote

While Roku and Fire TV Stick may have the same features, such as voice command, they differ in other areas, like remote design. Each company has taken a different approach to designing their remotes.

Roku Express and Express 4K have a simple remote; you must upgrade to the Roku Streaming Stick or above to add voice commands. Roku stuck with a more traditional feel to their remote. It is shorter in size than the Fire TV alternative. When using the buttons, the user will feel a more distinctive click sound.

Tactile Buttons
Roku Voice Remote Pro with TV controls
$29.99
  • Includes a USB rechargeable battery
  • Easily find your missing remote by simply calling out, "Hey Roku"
  • Features a 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Supports voice control
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/21/2024 09:24 pm GMT

The Fire TV remotes are lighter and thinner. For older people suffering from arthritis or other autoimmune disease, it could be lighter and more comfortable to hold. Also, it takes less pressure to use the buttons, another benefit for older people with weaker hands. Although there are many advantages, there is the addition of the D-Pad, which is designed as a sleek and minimalistic circle. While aesthetically, it may look good, it may not be user-friendly to people who are more familiar with a different style of remote design or have slight issues. 

Thin and Light
Amazon Alexa Voice Remote Pro for Fire TV
$34.99
  • Supports voice control with Alexa
  • Easily find your missing remote by calling, "Alexa, find my remote"
  • Features backlit buttons
  • Includes a dedicated button for easy headphone pairing
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/21/2024 09:29 pm GMT

Watchable Content

One of the main reasons that both Roku and Fire TV are so successful is that they provide their users with a wide variety of programs and movies to choose from. They have many apps, including local channels, streaming platforms, live TV channels, and news. Due to this selection, most viewers will be able to watch the same programs they did on traditional TV, plus have access to a wider variety of extra content. The only difference is they now have to open an app to access them. 

Roku has more channels for its users to avail of than Fire TV, with over 350 free channels. Fire TV has fewer applications available than Roku, but they have over 380 free and paid channels. 

If there is a program or channel that your elderly family member loves, you can ensure it is available on these devices by searching for it on both Fire TV and Roku’s website. Thus ensuring that they never miss an episode of something that brings happiness to their lives.

Connectivity

For connectivity, it is helpful to note that the Roku has an ethernet port, and the Fire Stick doesn’t. So Roku can be connected to the internet via a physical connection while Fire TV is connected wirelessly. Adding an ethernet cable may be better for elderly users with a slower internet connection.

Pricing

When it comes to the overall price of installing these systems into your home, there are several variables for you to consider. Roku offers several different models for you to choose from, so the total price will depend on your selection. Fire Stick also has several small devices with the addition of a Fire TV Cube. Both companies offer devices that have a starting price of $25 each. 

Roku Streaming DevicesFire Stick Streaming Devices
Roku ExpressFire Stick Lite
Roku Express 4KFire Stick with Alexa Voice Remote
Roku Streaming Stick 4KFire Stick 4K
Roku StreambarFire Stick 4K Max
Fire TV Cube

Also, once you have bought the device, there are no additional fees, and the remote is included in each system. You can also purchase the remote separately in the future if needed. 

Roku and Fire TV Stick offer many free apps. If you want to utilize applications such as Netflix or Disney+, you must pay a subscription fee. If you have previous subscriptions to these platforms, you need to log in to the app on the home screen of each device. For anyone older or elderly, logging in to all their accounts for them is recommended, as it makes learning how to use the device more straightforward. In addition, they may find it a challenge to see the keyboard letters on the screen.

Ultimately, both Roku and Fire TV are reasonably priced overall, but Fire TV is the cheaper option. This price point is convenient if your loved one does not like the system, as you will have invested little money. 

Easy
Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote
$39.99
  • Streaming in Full HD
  • Stream over a million TV shows and movies on Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, and more
  • Includes Alexa Voice Remote
  • Supports Dolby Atmos on some titles
  • Listen to music on Spotify, Amazon Music, and Pandora (may require subscription)
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/22/2024 04:53 am GMT

Roku vs. Fire Stick for the Elderly: 10 Must-Know Facts

  • Roku and Fire Stick have an easy-to-use interface and are compatible with 4K streaming. 
  • Users can personalize and rearrange Roku’s homepage so that elderly people can decide where everything is most convenient. 
  • Roku contains no advertisements while you use it. In contrast, there are many advertisements on Fire Stick.
  • Within the Roku experience, you will receive a remote, voice command, channel control, and private listening.
  • Roku will not integrate within a smart home system, but a Fire Stick can be used to control certain smart items in your home. 
  • Fire Stick is very convenient for people who already use Amazon as it has Alexa voice capability built into its remote.
  • Roku has a broader range of content than Fire Stick, but both companies support all major streaming applications.
  • Fire Stick is a cheaper option when compared to Roku, with plans starting at $30. 
  • Roku contains an ethernet port, which may be useful for people in poor internet coverage areas or for elderly people who have an older style of internet. 
  • Both companies offer standard and premium devices to suit everyone’s needs and budget. 

Roku vs. Fire Stick for the Elderly: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?

There is no right or wrong answer when determining whether the Roku or Fire Stick is better for elderly people. Both devices are excellent and provide a reliable yet efficient service. 

Roku is a great choice for someone who watches a large amount of television and would like a broad range of programs. With over 2,000 channels, there is a television program or movie for everyone. The disadvantage to using Roku’s service is that the software has a learning curve. This could be confusing to an older person who is not very technology-adapted. 

Alternatively, Fire Stick is a more user-friendly and easy device to utilize. Once you are signed into your Netflix or Amazon Prime account, you can stream your favorite content quickly and easily without setting up or acclimatizing. The drawback with utilizing this device is that fewer channels are available for users compared to Roku.

Overall, the best streaming device for elderly people when comparing Roku and Fire Stick will ultimately depend on their needs and wants. Some people are knowledgeable about technology and would rather have a wider range of channels; in this case, Roku is the perfect option. But if they have health issues or are new to technology, Fire Stick may be the easiest option to install and use. 

When making a final decision, it is crucial to assess the needs of your loved one and what device could suit them best.

  1. Roku Express (New, 2022) HD Streaming Device
    $24.00
    • Roku Simple Remote included, no TV controls
    • 1080p resolution
    • Stream over 300 live TV channels plus Roku Originals
    • No adapters needed
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/21/2024 09:14 pm GMT
  2. Roku Voice Remote Pro with TV controls
    $29.99
    • Includes a USB rechargeable battery
    • Easily find your missing remote by simply calling out, "Hey Roku"
    • Features a 3.5mm headphone jack
    • Supports voice control
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/21/2024 09:24 pm GMT
  3. Amazon Alexa Voice Remote Pro for Fire TV
    $34.99
    • Supports voice control with Alexa
    • Easily find your missing remote by calling, "Alexa, find my remote"
    • Features backlit buttons
    • Includes a dedicated button for easy headphone pairing
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/21/2024 09:29 pm GMT
  4. Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote
    $39.99
    • Streaming in Full HD
    • Stream over a million TV shows and movies on Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, and more
    • Includes Alexa Voice Remote
    • Supports Dolby Atmos on some titles
    • Listen to music on Spotify, Amazon Music, and Pandora (may require subscription)
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    02/22/2024 04:53 am GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most basic device for Roku and Fire Stick?

For Roku, it is the Roku Express device that has a starting price of $30, while Fire Stick’s basic model is the Fire TV Stick Lite at $29.99.

Is Roku and Fire Stick compatible with all streaming services?

Yes, all mainstream streaming applications like Netflix and YouTube can be used on both Roku and Fire Stick.

Do I need a streaming device if I have a Smart TV?

If your Smart TV has access to all your favorite streaming apps and shows, you do not need a Fire Stick. But adding a Fire Stick to your entertainment system has many benefits, including a wider range of streaming options and faster response time than an average Smart TV. If you are an Amazon user, it will integrate easily with your many Amazon-based products and subscriptions.

What Roku device do I need for an older TV?

All Roku devices are compatible with every TV as they come with an ethernet port that can be directly connected to every television, so there is no need to rely on just a wireless connection like other streaming devices.

Does Roku have a monthly subscription?

Roku does not have an official monthly subscription, but all programs and movies are not free, so you may need to pay to unlock some content.

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