Roku set-top streaming boxes have gained a lot of attention recently with the release of the Roku 3, but the company also has several other cheaper models available for purchase. And while the Roku 3 is far and above the other options in terms of performance and features, the Roku XD and the Roku LT are still very capable devices, particularly for people that are turned off by the higher price tag of the Roku 3, or who simply want a way to watch Netflix in a guest bedroom or basement.
So if you are deciding between the LT and the XD, read the comparison below to determine which is the best choice for you.
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|Access to all Roku channels|
|Access to one-stop search|
|Will play 720p video|
|Instant replay option on remote|
|Will play 1080p video|
|Remote with headphone jack|
|Motion control for games|
|Wired ethernet port|
|iOS and Android app compatibility|
|Composite video option|
One important option that these two models share is that they include the option for composite video output. So, whether you want to connect your Roku to a newer TV with an HDMI cable, or you want to connect it to an older TV with the red, white and yellow plugs, both the XD and the LT can accommodate either option.
As is indicated by the chart above, the Roku XD has a couple of features that the Roku LT does not, so read on below for a little explanation of what those features are.
Some Roku XD Advantages
The first thing you will notice about these two devices is the color difference. Some people like the bright purple color of the Roku LT, but others are worried about how it will clash in a neutral-colored room. Because of the more palette-friendly black color of the XD, its’ appearance can certainly be considered an advantage in its’ favor. The Roku XD also has an “instant replay” button on the remote control that lets you jump back a few seconds in your video, which the Roku LT does not have.
Additionally, the Roku XD is able to play 1080p content. While 720p content is still technically high-definition and will look great on your big-screen HDTV, many purchasers prefer the 1080p option on the XD, particularly if they are streaming their own HD content from a media server channel like Plex.
Some Roku LT Advantages
From a purely technical standpoint, the Roku LT doesn’t have any advantages over the XD. Both perform similarly, but the XD is able to outperform the LT in video resolution.
However, the LT is noticeably cheaper than the XD, and this is the reason why it is so popular. Most people that are purchasing Roku devices want an effective, simple way to watch Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime or content from hundreds of other Roku channels on their TV, and the LT is the cheapest and simplest way to accomplish this. If you are adding the Roku to your home entertainment setup, or if you just want to add it as a secondary option in a bedroom, exercise room or garage, then the lower price of the LT will probably outweigh the higher resolution of the XD.
This decision will factor largely on how important 1080p content is to you, and whether that upgrade is worth the price increase from the cheaper Roku LT to the more expensive XD. Most of the popular video streaming services typically deliver content at 720p resolution, which is still high-definition, and the majority of people cannot tell the difference between 720p and 1080p. If you are someone that is just happy with HD content and doesn’t require the increased 1080p resolution, then there is little to gain in going from the LT to the XD.
As mentioned previously, the Roku LT is purple. If you are concerned about how that will contrast with the room in which the Roku is being installed, then the solid black color of the Roku XD, coupled with the ability to output higher resolution, would make that the best choice for you. But, for the majority of Roku shoppers, the Roku LT is the more reasonable and cost effective choice.
One final thing to consider before purchasing either of these devices is that you will still need to purchase an HDMI cable to connect them to your HDTV, as neither device includes one. Luckily HDMI cable can be purchased for a low price from Amazon.
We have also written some other Roku comparison articles that you can check out below.
Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.
After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.
His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.