ATV 2 vs Roku 2 vs Boxee vs Revue

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by bookwormsy, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    #1
    Hi, I've been looking for a few weeks and everything I've seen is a bit outdated. So I have a 5.1 home theater at home, with a Denon AV receiver, and I need something to replace my old modded Xbox running XBMC. It can't handle HD so I need to replace it.

    Theres a new Roku box out now, and the Revue has been dropped in price to 100 bucks.

    My needs:

    Access folder on my network containing video files. AVIs/mp4s/mkvs. My parents download Korean dramas and we have ripped DVDs so this is the number one thing.

    Netflix: We don't have it yet, but we probably will in the near future. HD (1080p if possible, if not, not a dealbreaker) and supporting 5.1 surround sound.

    Everything else is a bonus. The Denon supports audio Airplay, and I don't want to make/buy a HTPC.

    Now, I'm leaning towards the Revue because I'm pretty sure it has good networking capabilities for my videos. Also, I hear Netflix is good and it has the Chrome browser and includes a keyboard that is Harmony. Only thing is, it has mediocre reviews. Whether thats due to the formerly high price or not, I don't know.

    I'm open to suggestions. Tell me what you have and like/dislike about it, or what you would recommend.
     
  2. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
  3. macrumors 6502a

    maximus96

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    #3
    I'm in the same situation and would like to know as well. If I go out and buy the atv tomorrow, can it still be jailbroken? I thought there was a new firmware that just came out.
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #4
    I own an Apple TV (1 & 2), a Boxee Box, the Revue, and a Roku XD|S and IMO the Apple TV is the best product within that group (and it really isn't close, when linked to a good iTunes library the Apple TV is best by a long shot).

    However, for your stated purpose I wouldn't pick the Apple TV ("...AVIs/mp4s/mkvs...ripped DVDs"). For that the Boxee Box may be the best choice (but IMO the Boxee Box is still kind of a hack and not really ready for "prime time"). The Revue is interesting mainly because it will eventually be upgraded to Honeycomb which COULD make a big difference. I don't have the newest Roku, but if it is anything like my XD|S I'd have to call it competent but uninspiring.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    #5
    Thanks! How would the Revue be if I got it right now? As it is now, no Honeycomb? The file interface is the #! thing. Do you have a pro/cons thing for each?
     
  6. fpnc, Aug 12, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011

    macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #6
    Honeycomb hasn't been officially released for the Revue, so I can't comment on how "good" that combination will be. However, without Honeycomb (or without the promise of Honeycomb) I would skip the Revue and just "tough it out" with the Boxee Box.

    Right now, there is no clear winner unless you are okay with using iTunes as your content library with the Apple TV 2 (and there is nothing really wrong with doing that). I've converted a good number of videos to work with the Apple TV and iTunes (i.e. rip the DVD, compress to H.264, serve to the Apple TV) and if you're up to doing that work then the Apple TV can be a wonderful device. The Apple TV also has AirPlay which is a great feature in itself and something that is only likely to get better with time (as far as I know, AirPlay-like capabilities can only be matched by running Android on the Revue).

    However, if you tend to be a bit of a geek or like to collect "free" video from wherever you may find it on the internet then the Apple TV may not be a good choice for you.

    Although I'm an engineer and a major geek myself, I'm not into hacking my home media players so I can't comment on running unreleased software or performing "hacks" on any of the products you've brought into question.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    maximus96

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    #7
    but with xbmc on the appletv you are no longer dependent on itunes right?
     
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    #8
    Correct.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    #9
    Between the Revue and one of the Rokus, which would be better? 200 for the Boxee is a bit too steep.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    #10
    I don't know if a jailbroken atv can get navi-films but if it can't, I highly suggest you to get the boxee. Even though it's more expensive, it will pay for itself much more quickly than the other boxes if you know what I mean :)
     
  11. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #11
    You don't have to jailbreak or convert your avis, mkv, or 1080p to play on the Apple TV. Just use the Air Video app and Airplay it to the Apple TV. It works awesome. There are several others that do it too including the Plex iOS app but Air Video is top notch.
     
  12. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #12
    you mean navi-x ?

    yes i have that on my apple tv

    ----------

    the quality of the picture wont be as good

    better to jailobreak & use xbmc to play 1080p mkv
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    #13
    Is there a jailbreak for the latest firmware? And isn't XBMC buggy on ATV?
     
  14. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    IA, TX ... I never know
    #14
    There isn't a jailbreak yet, but they are close. See this thread (post #14) about the jailbreak using Seas0npass -- should be out this week: http://forum.firecore.com/topic/5119?page=1

    As for XBMC, it's pretty stable if you use the stable release. I get a crash every now and then, but it's very usable. Navi-X and IceFilms work well. Hulu+ works well, too. For a nice, easy install of everything, I recommend the ATV Flash (black) bundle -- it's worth the $20 for the convenience of installing a bunch of stuff.
     
  15. macrumors 68020

    danpass

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #15
    I have the ATV2 and am very happy with it.

    Anything I rip that I want to stream is first run thru Handbrake.

    Its an extra step over jailbreaking the device but I never have to wonder about a new update.
     
  16. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #16
    Exactly. This is the hands down best experience you will get currently. This is exactly what I do for the few videos that are not on the h.264 bandwagon yet. And if I'm in a pinch and have a video that isn't in h.264 format yet, I just use Air Video to play it on the Apple TV.

    And now with the Apple TV using iCloud, I will be transitioning my purchases to iTunes now and saving all the costs and headaches of storing and backing up content. It's just for TV shows now but it is almost a foregone conclusion they will be using iCloud for movies too.
     
  17. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    #17
    You cannot run a .avi file through handbrake. It would also be impractical for most people. I have 90 percent of my media collection as .avi files. I would have been happy to purchase apple TV and save the money I spent on my MAC Mini if it did what I needed. I run a Macmini with Plex which can play any format and has a great UI. Its not the cheapest option but it works.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    #18
    Its much too inconvenient, unless theres a way to automate it.


    About how long is it between ATV firmware release and jailbreak, on average? and what exactly is ATV Flash? Is it a jailbreak, or plugin, or what? And if I jailbreak an ATV, what are the benefits? What are some useful plugins or addons etc?
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    #19
    Yes, you can. I ran a bunch of my old .avi's thru HB and they actually seemed to re-encode faster than .vob files.
    That's essentially what the cue does in HB. Take a few minutes to cue up a list of a dozen things to run through HB, into the Automatically Add to iTunes folder, and they'll be done and loaded in iTunes when you get home from work or by the time you wake up in the morning.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    #20
    Is there a thing to monitor folders and automatically transcode the avi when it appears?
     
  21. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    IA, TX ... I never know
    #21
    1. I don't know how long it usually is. I'm new enough to the ATV that this is the first time I've had to wait. No bother to me, though -- I'm sticking with the "old" firmware (which works fine) until the new jailbreak comes out.

    2. ATV Flash (black) is a package of plugins that automates/simplifies the installation process. It's a convenience thing. For example, rather than install XBMC via the command line after SSHing in to the ATV, ATV Flash (black) installs a package that allows me to easily install XBMC and other things within the ATV interface. It doesn't offer *much* more than other, freely available scripts (with the exception of their Media Player, which is nice), but it's convenient.

    3. Why jailbreak? Well ... there are plenty of threads around here about that. For me, I jailbreaked to (a) be able to play a wider range of content on the ATV (e.g., XVID files stored on a NAS drive), (b) to get access to all the free TV offerings through XBMC, and (c) to get access to Hulu+. Why not just build an HTPC? The ATV is cheaper, prettier, and has a great interface. I have a Roku on my bedroom TV (too old for an ATV) and prefer the ATV a LOT more than the Roku. The ATV is a better user experience, which is important to me and to my wife.

    Hope that helps.

    ----------

    You could probably do something like that with Automator; but I'm not aware of a ready-made script. It wouldn't surprise me if one was out there, though. Try this:

    http://tinyurl.com/3z3mh6o

    ;)
     
  22. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    #22
    Haha if i have XBMC on ATV do I need to use Handbrake or does it support avi playback
     
  23. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    IA, TX ... I never know
    #23
    It supports AVI playback.
     
  24. mds
    macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2006
    #24
    I received an ATV2 as a gift and set it up yesterday. Within an hour I had JB'd it with Seas0npass, installed XMBC, and was able to watch AVIs streaming off my MBA (via SMB). It is a killer little set up.
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    Mhaddy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #25
    I have an ATV1 with Boxee connected to my NAS where all of my media is stored. It works great, but it's a little slow navigating the menus and playing any type of online content.

    I'd like to get the ATV2 + jb + boxee to achieve the same thing, just with more power under the hood, which should solve my problems. At $100 (or cheaper if found used on the Marketplace), it's a very attractive option. What I'd like to know is, am I gaining anything by spending an extra ~$100 to get the Boxee box, with the exception of that killer remote and a slightly enhanced UI?
     

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