Amazon’s Device Comparison Chart Skewed To Make Them Look Better

With the launch of Amazon’s $99 streaming box, the company has added a chart on their website that compares their box against the Roku 3, Apple TV and Chromecast devices. By the looks of the chart, it seems as if Amazon’s box comes out on top with more features, but that’s not accurate. Amazon has skewed the chart to only highlight what they want and has left out things their box does not support. If they are going to make a chart that compares boxes, then they should make it real and give consumers all the info, not just selected info.

Amazon says their box allows you to “access all the entertainment you love” and “comes with instant access to all of the most popular subscription video services”, but apparently they don’t think anyone loves sports. Amazon’s box does not support live streaming services from MLB, NHL, NBA or MLS, but of course they don’t list those content services on their comparison chart under “popular services”. Because if they did, Roku would have a check box on all of them and Amazon’s box wouldn’t. [Updated 8:06pm ET: Amazon’s press release says that MLB.TV and WWE Network are “coming soon”. ] They also don’t call out the fact that their box has no current support to play back content from a USB source, something Roku can already do. The Roku’s remote also includes a headphone jack so you can listen to the audio in private, at any volume you want, but Amazon’s box does not have that functionality. Roku also has a version of the box that works on older TVs, with Amazon’s box only working on TVs with HDMI.

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Amazon’s box has some nice features, but Amazon owes it to consumers to fairly compare the boxes and not simply limit the info they present in the chart to selected details.

  • Luis

    Dan, since you focus just on Roku’s features, could we assume that the comparison with Apple TV and Chromecast is objective?. Txs

    • danrayburn

      Personally, I don’t think Chromecast should be compared to any of these devices. Chromecast is not a stand alone streaming box. You have to use a computer/tablet/phone in order to make it work. So while many do compare Chromecast to dedicated streaming boxes, I don’t think that is a fair apples-to-apples comparison.

      For Apple TV, that gets iTunes which I don’t expect Amazon to list, but it also gets some of the live streaming of sports, just like the Roku does.

  • anthonymendez

    I installed NBA League Pass on it today. So, check that one off. But without HBO Go nor Vudu, It’s not going to replace my Roku 3 – at least in the living room. Chromecast will also stay put, because we use that specifically to cast stuff from our browser and phones. Three’s a crowd I guess.

  • anthonymendez

    One more thing: What is up with the misleading surround sound check missing from the others? All the other streamers do 5.1/7.1.