PDA

View Full Version : Apple TV or Roku or Vudu or...?




veryamusing
Nov 5, 2008, 08:55 AM
I'm not a big movie watcher by any stretch, but wonder what is the best (and least expensive) solution for on-demand content. A short while ago I was only considering the Apple TV, but it seems limited and costly, compared to alternatives like Roku and Vudu.

Thoughts? Thanks for your help! :)



ltsching
Nov 5, 2008, 09:39 AM
I have both Roku and :apple:TV. They serve different functions for me and I use both of them frequently. I stream Netflix content (instant watch) with the Roku. It was a no brainer since we are already Netflix members and the Roku costs only $99. The picture quality is okay, not quite DVD. It is convenient, easy and intuitive for what it does. They just announced that HD content streaming is coming soon so that will be another reason to get the Roku. I use :apple:TV mostly to watch video podcasts from the iTunes Store and to display photo slideshows. I also download free TV shows and watch them in HD. I do not buy any video contents from the iTunes Store. We still get DVDs from Netflix and use the Oppo upconversion player for our movie viewings. We'll probably move to Bluray once the standalone players go under $200. Hope this helps.

spice weasel
Nov 5, 2008, 09:51 AM
The Roku is $99, and requires a Netflix subscription with unlimited DVDs (that plan starts at $8.99 per month). The current Netflix streaming offerings are a bit weak for movies, but very good for TV shows. You'd still get DVDs by mail, which is nice.

The Vudu costs $299. I did a quick check and it seems that HD movie rentals are $3.99 and purchases are $19.99. The nice thing about the Vudu is that is handles 1080p.

What's great about the Apple TV is that it allows you to put your own content on it. If you have a large DVD collection already, there's no beating the Apple TV. In addition, with a simple software hack you can run Boxee, giving you access to all the Hulu, CBS, CNN, and Comedy Central content. While the picture quality isn't as good as with Netflix streaming, it is free (you just have to watch a few commercials, but far less than on broadcast television).

In terms of bang for the buck, the Apple TV is a far better deal I think. It certainly is more flexible.

zweigand
Dec 23, 2008, 02:57 PM
Roku is in the middle of rolling out a firmware update. Not only does it add HD support from Netflix ...they are about to bring extra content to the box in early 2009. (right now it's just got a placeholder telling people new stuff is coming) If they bring Hulu support (fingers crossed) you will have an extremely nice movie/TV streaming box, and for $100 it's looking like they may have a very bright future. :D

iOrlando
Dec 23, 2008, 11:36 PM
I have both Roku and :apple:TV. They serve different functions for me and I use both of them frequently. I stream Netflix content (instant watch) with the Roku. It was a no brainer since we are already Netflix members and the Roku costs only $99. The picture quality is okay, not quite DVD. It is convenient, easy and intuitive for what it does. They just announced that HD content streaming is coming soon so that will be another reason to get the Roku. I use :apple:TV mostly to watch video podcasts from the iTunes Store and to display photo slideshows. I also download free TV shows and watch them in HD. I do not buy any video contents from the iTunes Store. We still get DVDs from Netflix and use the Oppo upconversion player for our movie viewings. We'll probably move to Bluray once the standalone players go under $200. Hope this helps.


that kinda sounds sucky about Roku. The picture quality is not quite DVD?

Apple TV has tons of HD rental movies...yes they arnt instant..but you cant beat the quality and i dont pay $9 or $10 a month (at $5 a HD rental..i usually can watch 4-5 movies a month....so it wouldnt pay to waste money on a monthly plan). That is the sucky thing about netflix. people get it and think oh i will watch tons of movies...etc...but in reality you find yourself with no time and some months you dont even watch anything...yet you still pay the monthly fee...

zweigand
Dec 24, 2008, 10:12 AM
The picture quality is about the same as DVD on their SD titles if you have the best stream. They are also transitioning over to a more advanced codec so the picture is even better on the SD side. The HD stuff looks pretty impressive. It sure doesn't beat Blu-ray, but it's comparable to the HD you can get over the air or from a regular cable station.