Oct 6, 2010, 12:58 PM
Oct 6, 2010, 03:27 PM
Not bad. Personally, I still give the edge to the AppleTV. ATV2's interface is light years beyond what's on Roku and the seamless integration between ATV2 and iTunes media over LAN is a major benefit to those of us who use iTunes for most things. Roku does have the edge on the content front, but it's not nearly as big an edge as some claim. Yes, Roku has Amazon, MLB and Pandora among others and Hulu on the way, but at the moment the only really meaningful content on Roku is Netflix. The bulk of the rest of it is public domain stuff, low quality Internet video and pay per view that only barely beats Apple's iTunes Store. In fact, the iTunes store has (IMO) a better selection than Amazon. Currently the trump card is Hulu, but the painful fact is that Hulu kinda sucks. You pay $10 per month and still have to watch commercials, which you can't skip. The Hulu interface gives you very little information about the shows and it's pretty but difficult to navigate.
Ultimately these boxes will be made or broken by content partners. Jobs is right when he says that consumers want quality content. Before they can break away from cable they'll need all the content from the major cable outlets including the movie channels and specialty channels like A&E that produce great shows. Not to mention local news and live sports.
All of those things will come to the streaming platform sooner or later and whichever box can secure the best lineup will win the battle. I doubt this will be settled for at least another two years, and if Comcast has anything to do with it, it'll NEVER be settled.
At the moment the primary decision is between seamless Apple eco system integration or slightly better content. If you're using iTunes for your music and video libraries, own an iPhone and or an iPad, the AppleTV is a no brainer. If you use other media management software and don't mind tinkering with private channels to tweak the box to do what you want, Roku is the way to go. But all of this will change in the months and years to come. This is an emerging market, not a mature one.
Oct 6, 2010, 04:02 PM
I've owned the aTV and Roku HD XR for a few months now (aTV for a couple of years, now replaced with aTV 2G) and I see them as complimentary products.
I'm in the same boat as a previous poster - I run all of our content through iTunes, and have made several iTunes movie purchases now. I need that integration.
I have used my Roku for a few months, and while it's a decent device I find it lacking in a couple of ares. The interface, as said earlier, is bad - it's clunky, multiple clicks and scrolls to get anything.
The other big problem I had with Roku - I purchased it primarily because of it's MLBtv integration. This season, that was a nightmare of reloading and sometimes outright lockups on the device.
For basic Netflix and a few channels it's not bad, but anything more taxing is really stretching the Roku.