AppleTV vs Roku - really wondering which way to go

nostresshere

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Dec 30, 2010
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I have to ATV - two versions before 4K.
Really not thrilled with remote, but can deal with it.

Have Roku in Bedroom and like it.

Looking to add/replace ATV on main TV and looking to go with ROKU Ultra/4K. Though price is small issue, I just seem to like the Roku interface and remote better.

Watch mostly Hulu (no ads), CBS, Prime and Netflix. Stream locally via Flex occasionally. Sonos soundbar with surrounds and sub.

Thoughts? What am I missing?
 

ipponrg

macrumors 68000
Oct 15, 2008
1,806
1,370
I have to ATV - two versions before 4K.
Really not thrilled with remote, but can deal with it.

Have Roku in Bedroom and like it.

Looking to add/replace ATV on main TV and looking to go with ROKU Ultra/4K. Though price is small issue, I just seem to like the Roku interface and remote better.

Watch mostly Hulu (no ads), CBS, Prime and Netflix. Stream locally via Flex occasionally. Sonos soundbar with surrounds and sub.

Thoughts? What am I missing?
Nothing really. I think AppleTV supports Dolby Vision whereas Roku Ultra supports HDR. If you don’t care about Dolby Vision, then Roku is fine.
 

SkiHound2

macrumors regular
Jul 15, 2018
170
112
We have Rokus and are happy with them. To me, the big advantage of the Apple TV is the integration into the Apple ecosystem. For folks using other Apple devices that could be a big plus. Some may have a preference for the interface of one or the other system. For your stated uses I don't think there's much of a difference.
 
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nostresshere

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Dec 30, 2010
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We are deep into Apple - Macbooks, Ipads, Watches. But, there really is not much real integration with the TV for us, other than airplay. And that is rather rare and would not be missed.

SIDE NOTE: Waited for years for Apple to jump into home automation and finally gave up on that. Too little, too late.
 

vertical smile

macrumors 601
Sep 23, 2014
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I have to ATV - two versions before 4K.
Do you mean the ATV3? You should really compare the Roku to an ATV with tvOS, such as ATV4 or ATV4K.

As for comparing the Roku to ATV4K, I have both.

IMO, the ATV4K is the best streaming box out there. There are so many apps, and it is very powerful for what most streaming boxes do.

But................................
Watch mostly Hulu (no ads), CBS, Prime and Netflix.
If this is what you are doing with your streaming box, maybe spending the extra amount for an ATV4K wouldn't be worth it.

The ATV4K and tvOS has the best and fastest UI, and a much better app store than Roku and the competition, but if you are only using a few apps, this may not matter as much.

Also, once in the common apps, there is little difference in experience between the ATV and the competition.


SIDE NOTE: Waited for years for Apple to jump into home automation and finally gave up on that. Too little, too late.
Homekit

You can use the ATV as the hub.
 

Panch0

macrumors 6502a
Feb 23, 2010
683
6
Virginia
Keep in mind that you get a year of Apple TV+ streaming Service when you buy a device. That may change the math on the price comparison. I personally prefer the Apple TV interface, but if you prefer ROKU that should probably be the biggest factor in your decision.
 

jzuena

macrumors 65816
Feb 21, 2007
1,023
52
AppleTV+ is a problem on our Roku 3 and Roku Express (which we got free from Sling, so it is probably the oldest version). Trying to start an episode of any Apple original series will result in "Video Unavailable. This video isn't available to watch. Wait a moment, then try again" messages about the first half dozen times when clicking on an episode. Eventually the episode will start, and about half the time the Roku reboots when I try to exit back to the home screen afterwards. Maybe the newer ones with more memory work better. I would hope that AppleTV itself doesn't have these kinds of errors.
 

staggerlee41

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2017
845
678
Pittsburgh, PA
I had an old version of Apple TV and just received a new one as a Christmas Gift. It's a very nice upgrade for me. I'll also enjoy the complimentary AppleTV+ for a year. Not a bad bonus.

Subsequently, I purchased a Roku Premier for my bedroom TV for the sole purpose of dumping a cable box and the monthly fees associated with that. Comcast already gets enough of my money. With Comcast, I can use the Xfinity Stream app on it and watch live TV through the Roku. Pretty cool.

Between the two, I much prefer the Apple TV interface and interaction with the remote. It's much cleaner and I find it easier to control/navigate. Obviously the integration with my other Apple products is nice as well.

Agreed, the interface is an important factor to consider.

Regarding Roku, price aside, and depending on what you want to do with the Roku, you might find a Premier suits you just fine. You could even add a Voice Remote and still spend less than the Ultra and get 4k. As far as I can see, the differences are an ethernet port and wireless connectivity being superior on the Ultra. You get 802.11ac dual-band MIMO on Ultra vs. 802.11 b/g/n single-band wireless on the Premier.
 

jpmack

macrumors member
Jun 23, 2003
74
11
California
I have ATV4Ks and 2 Roku Streaming Stick+ and a couple of Tvs with Roku built in. We are using the ATV less and less and Roku more for one particular reason. We stream OTA broadcasts via an AirTV box, and watch through Sling - the OTA channels are nicely integrated in the Sling app. However the AppleTV Sling app can't add the OTA channels - maybe that will change someday but folks have been requesting this for over a year. Moreover, you can't use the AirTV app on Apple TV if you have integrated AirTV into Sling - can't have it both ways. Sling is cheaper than the other cable-replacement streaming services (Hulu Live, YouTube TV, etc) because you're not paying for network broadcasts, and it has the best sports lineup IMO.

That said, I still like the AppleTV interface best, but how much time is spent in that vs. watching content?
 

staggerlee41

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2017
845
678
Pittsburgh, PA
Easy enough to fix. Works with Logitech Harmony remotes.
Speaking of which, I just bought a Harmony Hub. I'd been considering one and when I saw they were on sale I pulled the trigger. I wanted this for my bedroom TV where I dumped the cable box. I'm still not sure how I feel about using my phone as the remote in there but I'll adjust. It sure beats having to use 3 remotes and works great.

On another note, I find the remotes that now come with the 4k ATV are much easier to use with the voice commands than the previous aluminum without.
 

shakopeemn

macrumors newbie
Jul 29, 2014
23
14
Our ATV in main room is the ATV4 (not the 4k)
Given all of the Apple devices you own, along with a Roku or two - you sound like someone who can't make a decision.

Buy the ATV4k and stay the course. Given that ATV4 and ATV4k sync the apps between themselves and the easy Bluetooth headphone integration, I think it's a no brainer.

If price is really a concern - go the Roku route.
 
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BODYBUILDERPAUL

macrumors 68000
Feb 9, 2009
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Barcelona
My thoughts are, with the Roku you are missing the Apple experience. If you don't appreciate that, then you don't need the Apple TV. Usually, you'll instantly love the Apple experience if it's for you within the first second or so - the beautiful design of the product, the UI, the ease of use, the way that you sign in with your Apple ID and it plays well with your other Apple products. If that hasn't created a spark with you or at least a smile, then go for a Roku as both are truly at different ends of the spectrum. One is built to perfection with thought and the other is a mainstream basic brand aimed at a no frills experience. An Apple product is unique when you see what's out there and Apple TV is no different. But some don't get that. And that's OK.
 

seadragon

Contributor
Mar 10, 2009
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My main streaming device is the ATV 4K. My only beef is it doesn’t support YouTube in 4K. Therefore, I have more than one streaming device. I would get both if you can.
 

dallastigers

macrumors member
Jun 23, 2003
53
13
TX
Does anyone know why 4K HDR SuperBowl stream is only SDR on Apple TV 4K while Roku and Amazon FireTV will display it in HDR? Is it a limitation of Apple TV 4K compared to the supported Roku or FireTV devices, or are the FoxSports and FOX Now apps not supporting HDR on AppleTV 4K for some reason? HDR needed is HDR10 according to listed TV requirement.

"Q:What is required to stream the Super Bowl in 4K Ultra HD with HDR?
You will need a supported living room device:
  • Roku (including Roku Premiere, Roku Premiere+, Roku Streaming Stick+, Roku Ultra 4K/UHD TV models with Roku OS built-in)
  • Amazon FireTV 4K
Additionally, you will need a 4K TV with HDR10 support, a compatible HDMI cable, and a high-speed internet connection of at least 25 Mbps or higher."

"Q: Can I watch Super Bowl LIV on my AppleTV 4K?
Yes – Super Bowl LIV will be available on AppleTV 4K devices in 4K quality and Standard Dynamic Range (SDR). A 4K TV, compatible HDMI cable, and a high-speed internet connection of at least 25 Mbps or higher is also required."
https://www.foxsports.com/nfl/super-bowl-2020
 

vertical smile

macrumors 601
Sep 23, 2014
4,301
5,395
Does anyone know why 4K HDR SuperBowl stream is only SDR on Apple TV 4K while Roku and Amazon FireTV will display it in HDR? Is it a limitation of Apple TV 4K compared to the supported Roku or FireTV devices, or are the FoxSports and FOX Now apps not supporting HDR on AppleTV 4K for some reason? HDR needed is HDR10 according to listed TV requirement.


https://www.foxsports.com/nfl/super-bowl-2020
I don't know for sure, but this sounds like a SW limitation with the app, not a HW limitation with the ATV.
 

al_bundy

macrumors newbie
Oct 19, 2015
19
68
For me it's about reducing input lag and buggy behavior. The App Store is great at vetting apps before being published which obviously benefits quality control. Additionally, the ATV4K has a super fast chip inside. Basically I care about having a non-buggy, ultra fast interface. That's why I consistently choose Apple's offerings. Perhaps Roku nails this as well I have not used their devices in many years.
 

Strelok

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2017
1,347
1,543
United States
Does anyone know why 4K HDR SuperBowl stream is only SDR on Apple TV 4K while Roku and Amazon FireTV will display it in HDR? Is it a limitation of Apple TV 4K compared to the supported Roku or FireTV devices, or are the FoxSports and FOX Now apps not supporting HDR on AppleTV 4K for some reason? HDR needed is HDR10 according to listed TV requirement.


https://www.foxsports.com/nfl/super-bowl-2020
AppleTV does not support HLG IIRC, which is what Fox and most broadcasters use.
 
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