Apple TV vs Amazon Fire Stick

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by hoyajack, Jun 26, 2015.

  1. hoyajack macrumors newbie

    hoyajack

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    #1
    Have original Apple TV but it is tired. Can't decide to upgrade or switch to Amazon Fire TV Stick. Anyone have experience with both? Pros & Cons of both? Thanks!
     
  2. wickedpapercut macrumors member

    wickedpapercut

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    #2
    They're two similar, but different products. If you want to watch a lot of Amazon video, then the Fire Stick is probably your best choice. OTOH, if you want to watch stuff from iTunes, stream from your Mac, iPad, or iPhone, then you'll probably prefer ATV. The ATV also gives you a choice of hard-wired to your ethernet hub which might improve speeds over wireless (also available with ATV) while the Fire Stick only works over wireless.

    At their current prices, buying both won't set you back too much.
     
  3. rhp2424 macrumors regular

    rhp2424

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #3
    I have both in the same setup/room. I appreciate being able to easily browse the Amazon Prime videos directly with the Fire TV Stick. There are also other apps not available through the FTV that are good now and again. My only complaint is the inability, so far as I know anyway, to copy and paste text. This is most difficult when I have to enter passwords. Also, sometimes the remote isn't as responsive as I come to expect from technology. Truthfully though, it is never enough to keep me away, I just have to remember to be more patient. Not worth skipping the whole device. Not as bad as the Roku Gen 1 was from my experience.

    Anyway, I love being able to use the hardwired ATV for nearly everything else including my local video collection.

    I have to say I fully agree with this point. Especially now that the ATV has dropped in price.
     
  4. tonyr6 macrumors 6502a

    tonyr6

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    #4
    I have both but the Fire TV stick is not so great that I ended up going back to the Fire TV box. First with Netflix and even Amazon content it stutters way to much. It is annoying when you are watching something and it freezes then speeds up to catch up while the audio continues. Apple TV despite its old hardware does not freeze up at all with Netflix or any service.
     
  5. morningsong macrumors member

    morningsong

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    #5
    As someone who owns Apple TV, Amazon Fire stick and a Roku stick...I find the Roku the best.
     
  6. Hog Milanese macrumors regular

    Hog Milanese

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    #6
    I have a Fire TV Stick and on certain apps (MLB.TV), streaming is very poor quality and consistency. I'm wondering if an Apple TV would be better?
     
  7. laurim macrumors 68000

    laurim

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    #7
    I have both since I am a Prime member and got a Fire stick for $20 when they had that special deal. I have occasionally found movies at Amazon rentals that Netflix and iTunes don't have (the cannabis growing educational movies were pretty amusing and informative, lol). I use my TV 99% of the time but the Fire stick is pretty good for what it is with all the extra apps. The interface for Amazon rentals and Prime is pretty good. When the TV gets apps they will be pretty equal and if TV gets access to Amazon Prime, I won't need the Fire stick anymore.

    I think any trouble you've been having with the Fire Stick is more a function of not having good internet access and you either need a faster tier or an ethernet line instead of wifi. For the Fire Stick, you might need to extend your wifi network. I actually use an old Time Capsule to extend my wifi into the living room, although I bet my house is small enough that that really isn't necessary.
     
  8. Hog Milanese macrumors regular

    Hog Milanese

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    #8
    I doubt that. I have 105 Mbps and the connection is perfectly fine streaming from services on other devices. The Fire TV Stick constantly needs to be restarted and just has an overall feel of "cheap."
     
  9. ohio.emt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio
    #9
    I think the apps just need some more work on the stick. Amazon video seems to work pretty good, not had to many problems with Netflix. Hulu and YouTube though freeze all the time.
     
  10. laurim macrumors 68000

    laurim

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Minnesota USA
    #10
    I probably don't use it as much as you but I've never had to restart it while using Amazon rentals or on some of the other channels I've tried out. Any movie I've ever watched has been flawless.
     
  11. rusty2192 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #11
    We have both (plus a Chromecast and Roku LT on other tvs) and we use the Apple TV almost exclusively. I just switched over to the Fire TV Stick for the first time in months last night to watch the latest episode of Under the Dome, which is exclusively on Prime.

    I don't really care for the UI on the Fire TV Stick and it's slow. But it does have Amazon Prime content, which the Apple TV doesn't. The Apple TV is used mainly for Netflix, Hulu, and local streams of ripped DVDs through iTunes. I prefer the interfaces for netflix on the Apple TV over any other device I have tried.

    One last thing I would like to point out as I think it makes a big difference in our daily usage is control. The Apple TV uses IR while Tje Fire TV Stick uses Bluetooth. We use a Logitech Harmony universal remote so the Apple TV fits right in there where I have to dig out the little Fire remote anytime I wasn't to use it. I could use apps to control either, but I prefer a physical remote.

    Now, of course, these are all personal preferences, so some may find my positives as negatives and vice versa.
     
  12. Scarpad macrumors 68000

    Scarpad

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    Ma
    #12
    I have the fire tv, firestick will be similar, I'm not hugelt attracted to the layout, things will arrange themselves by how you use them, you cannot alter this structure much. The UI to me seems cluttered, thought I liked it at first, but the ATV and even the Roku I think has a better ui layout
     
  13. LOLobo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2014
    #13
    Second this. I have both (and a Chromecast).

    Firestick is pysically exactly where a an Apple TV was previously and experiencing lag, where the Apple TV did not. Revolved this by adding an access point.

    I'm not tied into either eco-system. Don't use iTunes for shows/movies/music and do not use Amazon for movies. (Use pretty much Netflix and Plex) Greatly prefer the Apple TV with one exeception, the sideloading of apps, like Kodi. As always, the UI is very polished in comparison. The UI for the FireStick is less than shiete.

    Though I bought two Sticks (when they were $19). I only bought them because Apple has been too slow with release an App Store for the Apple TVs.
     
  14. Hog Milanese macrumors regular

    Hog Milanese

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    #14
    I picked up an Apple TV last night to test my theory.

    Same app, same placement (relative to wireless router): Apple TV streamed flawlessly. Amazon Fire TV Stick had constant stuttering, rebuffering, and warnings about a slow internet connection.

    I'll stick with Apple's ecosystem, thanks.
     
  15. ZacNicholson macrumors 6502a

    ZacNicholson

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Location:
    Indiana
    #15
    I had an apple tv 2 and jailbroke it to install xbmc(now kodi) on it and it ran horrible. I got a fireTV and installed kodi on it and it runs smoothly. My mom uses the firestick and it works well too. she's able to watch all her tv shows, movies, live tv, and sports on there for free. Sometimes it stutters depending on the stream. Also you can side load an app that lets you use airplay on the firetv/stick. i would go to pick the stick over the Apple TV honestly.
     
  16. powaking macrumors 6502

    powaking

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    #16
    I picked up the fireTV Stick back when it was on sale for $19 to prime members. I occasionaly use it to watch Netflix/Amazon Prime videos but mostly I use it for Kodi to watch my local content off of a QNap NAS. It was more of a cheap way to test this setup and will most likely get a more robust device to handle the local streaming. I still have an Apple TV (3rd gen) which I haven't used in quite a while.
     
  17. hoyajack thread starter macrumors newbie

    hoyajack

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    #17
    Can I ask specifically why?
     
  18. Mike4AU macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    #18
    I have 3 ATV's, 2 of which are jailbroken. I also have 2 sideloaded Fire Sticks. With the exception of the optical port on the ATV's, the sideloaded Stick is a better device. The Stick is faster and and does not crash in Kodi like the ATV's do.

    I don't care for the appearance of the Stick homescreen, but I mainly use it as a platform for Kodi. I plan on getting a Fire TV Box in the near future.
     
  19. tonyr6 macrumors 6502a

    tonyr6

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    #19
    I sent back my Fire TV stick. The device is very powerful compared to the Apple TV it just the crappy Fire OS using a very old version of Android. It just freezes and lags way to much. Watching Netflix it will suddenly go into a slide show mode where it would freeze then unfreeze. This is after leaving it connected for more than 2 days. If I let it rest a few days the first day it runs great then it starts to freeze again. Even Amazon Instant content freezes up but not as much however on the Fire TV box it never use to freeze.

    I tried various USB cables and power adapters but nothing fixed this.
     
  20. gdb19 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2014
    #20
    Is there a way to stream over wifi from Apple devices to the fire TV stick or even run an AirPlay receiver app on the stick? Just asking as when I travel I like to have an option to view videos and on demand TV on a big TV but currently have to carry cables for MacBook, iPad etc.

    I'd read once about chrome cast allowing a direct connection without wifi, is that possible on the fire TV stick?
     
  21. Mackinjosh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    #21
    The Netflix app on Apple TV is the absolute worst. But if you have a lot of iTunes content, there's not much else you can do until Apple finally gets off their butts and releases the new hardware.
     
  22. morningsong macrumors member

    morningsong

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    #22
    Roku is the best of all worlds to me. Has all the streaming apps of Apple TV and more. PLEX and CBS app are the big bonuses for me. The CBS app is great if you're a Big Brother fan....streaming the feeds onto the big screen with zero hassle is amazing.
    I have always encoded everything for Apple TV, but since getting the Roku, I just tuck whatever file into my pre-set folders for PLEX and it's available after a quick update to my PLEX server libraries....MKv, avi, mp3, mp4...whatever.

    I do love the Apple ecosystem, but I'm getting old, and the simplicity of PLEX is nice.
     
  23. bubsdaddy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Woodlands, TX
    #23
    My experience exactly.
     
  24. tonyr6 macrumors 6502a

    tonyr6

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    #24
    I read that a new Fire TV stick will be coming out soon. It will be more powerful and I hope it does not have the lag issues the current stick has. I can also bet that even the new Fire TV stick will come out before the new phantom Apple TV.
     
  25. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #25
    105 Mbps? I hate you. :mad::p
     

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