In a wide-ranging interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Roku CEO Anthony Wood claimed that Roku OS works better on TVs compared to Google’s Android and Apple’s tvOS.
One of the keys to Roku’s success, Wood said, was its TV-centric engineering:
“Our competitors all use phone-operating systems. One of the consequences is high hardware cost.”
Mobile and TV Aren’t the Same
Wood’s claim isn’t just spin for the media. Google’s Android TV system needs relatively hefty hardware to run properly. For example, The Xiaomi Mi Box is already incompatible with the YouTube TV app for Android TV. It just launched in 2016.
Likewise, the 4K version of Apple TV relies on Apple’s A10X Fusion chip and 4GB of memory. The A10X is a 6-core processor designed to run high-performance apps on the iPad Pro.
Compare the abovementioned specs to Roku Ultra – Roku’s most powerful device. It only needs a 4-core processor and just 1GB of memory.
Roku’s focus on engineering for the TV is a key reason Roku OS can do more with less hardware power.
Roku works closely with TV and consumer electronics manufacturers to ensure that their devices are as efficient as possible. This strategy prevents them from having to invest in expensive hardware products.