Roku vs AppleTV vs ?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Temis the Vorta, Jun 24, 2012.

?

best internet TV box

  1. Roku

    44.4%
  2. AppleTV

    33.3%
  3. other (please specify)

    22.2%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Location:
    Tatoinne
    Cord-cutters, what do you use in lieu of cable TV? Pro's/con's/advice/dire warnings?

    Comcast has finally pissed me off with their price increases enough to overcome my inertia and dump them at long last. Considering I don't watch sports, reality TV, or much TV news, it seems like I could get practically everything I want from Netflix via either Roku or AppleTV without having to pay a subscription for anything but Netflix and an internet connection.

    The floor is now open for anecdotes and opinions.
     
  2. Tom Hendricks

    Tom Hendricks Strong like Elsa Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    I have both the brand new 1080p and the older 720p AppleTVs. My best friend has the Roku, both are fantastic and can't go wrong with either of them. If you are already in an Apple envirment, I can control both Apple TVs from my iPhone with the Remote App and that comes in real handy, not sure if there is one for the Roku. You can also AirPlay from the iPad.
     
  3. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    I have the AppleTV (1080p) and I use it all the time - movies, TV, MLB.TV, you name it.
     
  4. Amaris

    Amaris Hopeful Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Location:
    My Heart
    I have a Roku box, and I pay $14 a month for Netflix and Hulu, and I also get Epix, Crackle (movie and TV channels), Pandora Music, Amazon movies, a couple of other free movie and TV show channels, and access to hundreds of other such channels (everything from news, special interest, music, movies, and more. Some cost a couple of bucks a month, but most are free). Roku boxes start at $49, can be connected wired and wireless networks, and can display movies in HD (if said movie comes in HD). I love my Roku box.
     
  5. Sparky

    Sparky Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2001
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta. Canuckistan
    I have a jail broken 720p 2nd gen Apple TV. I love it. I have XBMC (with a ton of plugins) installed on it. With XBMC it can play any video file from my media server. The XBMC app can handle everything i have thrown at it. I won't touch the current 3rd gen 1080p Apple TV until it is jail broken with XBMC support. The non-jail broken Apple TV is by itself stuck firmly in Apple's "walled garden" ecosystem. It can only play files that are in the proper format (files from the iTunes store, or files converted to m4v.) I think it can play some .mov files as well, but not all of them. If you have an iPod touch, iPhone or iPad you can get an app called Air Video. It lets you stream any video from your computer to your iDevice via a server app on your computer. You can then use the AirPlay feature to send it to your Apple TV. It's a bit of a kludgy workaround however. Your computer does all the transcoding, sends it over the wireless network to the iDevice, then the device sends it back over the network to the Apple TV. It loses some video quality because of the transcoding, and it converts everything to stereo sound. Any file that had 5.1 surround sound is now downgraded in the audio department. It does work fairly seamlessly though, provided you have a computer capable of transcoding the video files.


    Now, to your criteria. If Netflix is all you want, there are literally dozens of options. I have Netflix on my PS3, Xbox, Wii, Apple TV, and my standalone blu-ray player. Hell, I'm sure TV's now come with Netflix built in as an app. If you have other apple devices then the Apple TV is a no-brainer. iTunes match and iCloud are more than enough to warrant the purchase. Unfortunately I don't know anything about the Roku box. I hope others here can shed more light on whatnot can do.
     
  6. Amaris

    Amaris Hopeful Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Location:
    My Heart
    Well, the video is several years old, but I made a demo of using my Roku box. It's a lot faster now, with many more options, but this should give a general idea of what you can do with it:

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTKAIdiJEx8[/yt]
     
  7. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Location:
    Tatoinne
    Thanks for the replies everyone, and thanks for the demo, J. Allen - it's a lot better than the video Roku has on their website. They should just prowl YouTube for the best customer demos and use those on their website instead.

    I might opt for Roku simply because it has Pandora but not iTunes (and AppleTV is the reverse?) I have a lot of "well trained" Pandora channels now, on various esoteric musical themes.

    Except for Netflix (or a paid Pandora subscription), are all of the Roku channels ad supported? Are there ads anywhere?

    Also, has anyone used either box for current events/international news, and do they do a reasonably good job of coverage?

    Are there any internet connection issues - cable vs wifi for instance?

    I'll also check out the TVs that already are Netflix enabled. That would be the simplest solution, but I do like the idea of getting Netflix and Pandora on the same device...
     
  8. Sheep

    Sheep Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2001
    Location:
    Chicago
    You probably know this, but stay far away from Google TV. I'm a gadget geek of the highest order and felt ripped off paying $75 for a refurb just to see what the fuss was all about. The UI is horrific compared to the Rokus, AppleTVs and even the Xboxes and PS3s of the world (and this is coming from someone who loves Android phones), and it's not very useful for cord cutters. I can only imagine how those poor suckers who paid full price for it felt.

    I have a last-gen Roku with cable internet and it works fine over wi-fi, including HD video much to my pleasant surprise. My place is relatively small and consists of one floor so I can't speak to the wi-fi signal having to go through a lot of walls or up a floor or two, though.
     
  9. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Location:
    Tatoinne
    No, didn't know that about GoogleTV. (Just that it doesn't seem to be discussed or owned by anyone I know - and there's usually a reason for that.) Good to know.
     
  10. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2000
    Location:
    QC, IL, USA
    I am on the verge of ditching cable as well. I literally haven't used my cable box since the Super Bowl, and before that, I think I used it during the previous Super Bowl. Everything I watch now is either on disc or on Netflix via my PS3.

    My roommate watches sports, but he would be willing to find alternate means of doing so if we got rid of cable.

    Is there no subscription fee for AppleTV? Or do you get to pick and choose what you subscribe to?
     
  11. Tom Hendricks

    Tom Hendricks Strong like Elsa Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY
    Yes, you can subscribe to Netflix or MLB or a couple of more. Then you just pay to download anything else or steam off of iTunes or via Air Play from iPad.

     
  12. Amaris

    Amaris Hopeful Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Location:
    My Heart
    I've never had any trouble with connection issues. The Roku box automatically adjusts itself to your connection speed on the fly. As for news and current events, there are a number of news channels available from the Roku channel store that are free, such as CNBC real time, Wall Street Journal Live, Democracy Now!, Congressional Video Stream, a bunch of more local news affiliates, and a lot more.
     
  13. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    Not for the device itself, no. If you just use it with content that you have stored on your computer, then there's no fees.

    Yep. There are many additional services you can get. Netflix, for example. Or, in my case, MLB.TV for obvious reasons. :D
     
  14. clint g

    clint g Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    Location:
    No where
    I've been thinking about getting rid of cable as well and switching to something like a roku. Only thing keeping me from doing so is MLB.tv not letting you watch local games
     
  15. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    Yeah, that does indeed suck. Ordinarily I would recommend listening to the radio feed (which is not blacked out) but in your case you would have to suffer through John Sterling. :barf:
     
  16. clint g

    clint g Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    Location:
    No where
    Lol yeah, either way it would suck since is never be able to watch a Yankee game. 90 percent of their games are cable only :rolleyes: also being an nyc residents means I can torture myself with john sterling for free whenever I want :lol:
     
  17. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Location:
    Tatoinne
    There is one drawback to going Netflix-only, namely that they never get shows very quickly and by the time they're available, all the weekly discussions around here are over. For instance, the first seasons of Grimm and Once Upon a Time aren't even available yet on Netflix.

    Sure, I could see them via the network streaming services (on Roku), but that would contradict the purity of the no-ad viewing experience. ;) Maybe I'll just start my own season-long threads for shows on an ad-hoc basis.
     
  18. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    The visitor's bullpen
    I get Law & Order: SVU through iTunes, and they have episodes the day after they air. Without ads. Admittedly, that's not free, but at least I get episodes in HD that I can keep.
     
  19. Amaris

    Amaris Hopeful Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Location:
    My Heart
    The Roku box is also compatible with Hulu Plus. Lots of current shows available, and it's $7.99 a month.
     
  20. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2000
    Location:
    QC, IL, USA
    I have basically given up talking about TV shows here anyway. Now I'm more of a "No, don't tell me what happens!" kind of guy.