You have more streaming TV options than you could hope for, especially now that Amazon has entered the fray. And while Apple TV, Chromecast, and Fire TV all have their strengths, they also share the same crippling weakness: self-interest. That’s what makes Roku so important.
It’s more clear than ever that when you buy a streaming device from Apple, Google, or Amazon, what you’re really buying is the opportunity to buy more stuff from those companies. There are conveniences thrown in, like seamless mirroring and bonus cloud storage, but Apple TV, Chromecast, and Fire TV are at their hearts all just gateways. Or more accurately, they’re all drawbridges, each leading to different highly walled, fiercely defended castles. And once you’re in, you’re not allowed back out.