Amazon Fire TV vs Roku 3

Amazon Fire TV vs the Roku Box

Amazon Fire TV is an awesome new way to connect your HDTV to a world of online entertainment. My brother in law had talked me into buying a Roku 3, but after reading the specs on the Amazon Fire TV, I am getting one of these instead!  Why?  Let me tell you all about it…

amazon fire tv vs roku 3 questions

What is the Amazon Fire TV and the Roku Box?

If you’re like I used to be, you aren’t even sure what a Roku box is!  These devices are your best alternative to paying for cable TV each month.  In one small box, you are able to connect to apps.  Just like you can have the Netflix or Hulu Plus app on your smart phone or tablet, you can connect to them through this little box, like the Amazon Fire TV or a Roku box.  Instead of paying a for cable or satellite TV every month (which can cost anywhere from $35 – $100+), you can make a one time purchase of $99, and then you only pay a monthly fee for apps you want to connect to (and some are FREE!).  Right now you can get Netflix Streaming for $7.99 per month (sign up for a free one month trial), and Hulu Plus for $7.99 per month (you can sign up for a free trial for a week).  If you just had those two apps (which would give you access to a TON of movies and TV shows), it would cost you $15.98 per month).


Amazon Fire TV vs Roku 3

So now you get what these little boxes do and how they can save you money… now to decide which is better!  They both cost $99.  Let’s take a look and see what you get for those 99 bones…

amazon fire tv vs roku 3 comparison chart

Just by looking at that chart I can see I’ll get more bang for my buck with the Amazon Fire TV.  Faster processor, hundreds of games (games?  yes, I said games… you could probably satisfy your elementary school aged child’s desire for gaming with this device), and the # one kicker for me is the ability to filter content through the Kindle FreeTime app.  See why I love the Kindle FreeTime app so much in this post.  You might also like to see why Heather, a Roku lover, is so excited about Amazon Fire TV!

Do I Even Really Want an Amazon Fire TV Box?

Here are a few reasons to consider when deciding whether or not to get an Amazon Fire TV…

  • Save Money – If you are paying monthly for cable or satellite TV and you don’t watch every single channel, you are wasting your money!   In the first year alone, if you factored in the cost of the box, the cost of Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime (for which you would also get free 2 day shipping on thousands of products Amazon offers), the cost would average out to $32.48 per month.  You’ll still have access to many of the TV shows and movies you’re watching on cable TV.
  • No contracts – no two year contracts like you are required to sign when you get satellite or cable.  Enough said!
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee – try it out for 30 days totally risk free!  See how it compares to cable.  Can you get all the programs you watch already?  Then switch!  Not fulfilling yoru entertainment needs?  Return it and cancel the Netflix, HuluPlus, and Amazon Prime subscriptions and you’re only out a little money.
  • Parental Controls – I don’t know about you, but there are things on TV that I don’t want to watch, let alone let my children watch.  I love the ability to filter what they are able to see via the Kindle FreeTime profiles (you can create up to 4).
  • Games – access to hundreds of games (apps) for the kids.  Amazon features a free paid app every day, so you can always snag a deal through that too!  I don’t like to clog up my smart phone with kids games, so this is a great alternative and saves my phone on memory/speed!

Voice search on Amazon Fire Tv Amazon Free Time Access Apps on the TV
Those are just a few reasons I find Amazon Fire TV attractive.  And it’s not even considering all the fancy pants specs like voice activated search or the quad core processor!

Amazon Fire TV -$99.99

Ships Free with or with out Prime!
(Although we love Amazon Prime)

Amazon Fire TV

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  • k

    don’t you need a cable subscription to access WatchESPN?

    • Cathy

      You are right, you do. When I wrote this post, I was thinking the WatchESPN app was the same app my husband and son were using to watch all the March Maddness games, turns out I was wrong! 🙂 Thank you for pointing that out, I’ve updated the post.

  • Tina B

    Any idea if these act like DVRs, or is there a way to record things? How does it access Netflix and Hulu? Can it access my internet system wirelessly, like my laptop, and just plug into the side of my TV, or however it attaches to my TV?

    • Cathy

      No, they are not like a DVR. Everything is on-demand only. It accesses Netflix and Hulu through the app. You’d need to connect it to your wireless network.

  • Jill

    We had a Roku for 2 yrs and I hated it everyday. We now we have had our fire Tv for 3 days and I am in love with it. Yes you need internet. No it’s not a dvr, it’s streaming tv. No cable. It is wireless and you have apps for Netflix and hulu. Yes it’s awesome.

  • Amber G.

    Does it only work for one TV? We have satellite in the bedroom and living room. Would we need more than one box?

  • Pam

    We have been thinking of getting the Amazon Fire TV and cancelling cable but we have a Mifi card for our wifi and Internet so all of our data usage is done on our cell phones or by using the Mifi card. I’m wondering if the streaming will eat up our data or if it just uses a minimal amount while streaming? We do not have unlimited data.

  • Nicole

    How can you get the amazon free time on the amazon fire tv? We just signed up to got the fire tv and now I want to get free time on it. Is that possible and can you put free time on an original kindle fire?

  • Sarah Griffin

    Thanks for all the wonderful info in this article! I would love to switch from DirecTV to Amazon Fire TV but my husband is concerned that he won’t be able to watch hockey (Blues fans all the way!). Do you know if there is an app available for hockey fans? I’d love to get rid of my $98 satellite bill, but don’t want to make any decisions until I know if my hubby will be happy with it too.
    Thanks for any info you can share!

    • Heather

      Sara, I can completely relate! For us it’s football and basketball. I haven’t found a good app to replace satellite or cable for sports but believe me I am looking! For my family, we have been able to drop from 3 rooms and special cable packages to 1 room and the basic package. I will let you know if a good app to watch sports. 🙂

  • Lori

    My family is thinking about getting fire tv but we are concerned about the national news networks such as Fox News and NBC. Are these channels available with fire tv or do we need to keep are directv service?

    • Heather

      Yes, there are channels for the news stations! I have personally found that the only thing you can’t really replace yet is live sports.


    Hi, Is there any way to use a Roku on a TV without a HDMI?

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