AppleTV vs Roku - really wondering which way to go

Wolfpup

macrumors 68030
Sep 7, 2006
2,732
66
I’m being torn between AppleTV, Roku Ultra, a FireTV Cube 2, and an Xbox One S. I can talk myself in and out of any of them, and it’s driving me nuts.

The only thing I know of that a Roku can do that Apple TV can't is watch Bandersnatch on Netflix.
Is that one of the interactive shows? Why the heck can’t Netflix’s tvOS app support that? I mean an Apple TV is BETTER suited to that than any Roku hardware is 🤦🏻‍♀️
 

Easttime

macrumors 6502a
Jun 17, 2015
588
403
Integration between Airpods Pro and Apple TV is amazing. Easy to pair them with Bluetooth. Pop them in and TV starts sending audio to the APP not through the external speaker system. Take them out and the sound resumes through the external speakers. It just worked When I tried it yesterday.
 

HDFan

macrumors 68000
Jun 30, 2007
1,875
447
As for the Super Bowl:


"The tech manager for TNF is a friend. His summary of what is available currently:

TNF originates in the truck as 1080p59.94 HDR (HLG with BT 2100 color space).

Then they make a 1080p SDR feed, a 720p SDR feed, and an uprezzed UHD HDR version for DirecTV and Verizon and some others.

They are currently testing originating UHD HDR in house, and expect to have it fully up and running by Super Bowl.

So if you're watching in UHD, it's an uprezzed 1080p59.94 source."
 
Last edited:

Wolfpup

macrumors 68030
Sep 7, 2006
2,732
66
As for the Super Bowl:


The tech manager for TNF is a friend. His summary of what is available currently:

TNF originates in the truck as 1080p59.94 HDR (HLG with BT 2100 color space).

Then they make a 1080p SDR feed, a 720p SDR feed, and an uprezzed UHD HDR version for DirecTV and Verizon and some others.

They are currently testing originating UHD HDR in house, and expect to have it fully up and running by Super Bowl.

So if you're watching in UHD, it's an uprezzed 1080p59.94 source.
I think FireTV, the cube 2 and current 4K stick, is the only platform that supports HLG and HDR10+. AppleTV only supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision, Roku only HDR10...although maybe Xbox One supports HLG and HDR10+ also, I’m not sure.
 

jmomls

macrumors newbie
Jan 12, 2017
12
8
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?
I've had a series of ATVs and have 2 new TCLs running Roku. Couple observations:

I used to stream local content from a NAS box via iTunes. Performance got less and less stable--dropped connections to homesharing, random crashes/reboots, e.g. Upgraded to an ATV4k, didn't fix problem. What did fix it? Paying apple another 15$ a month to use Apple Music's matching library feature. Oddly enough, it can stream from the cloud no problem, but it can't reliably stream locally. Strike 1.

Then the HDHomeRun app on ATV wouldn't stream certain channels without dropping out constantly and it had nothing to do with weather affecting the signal. On a whim, decided to try the HDHR app on Roku--WORKS LIKE A CHARM. That might be a fault of HDHRs programmers, but still: Strike 2.

I rarely buy or rent content from iTunes, don't stream photos, etc. etc. I use the ATV as a homekit hub, so I guess there's that, but I'm really starting to question the utility or value of a $149 "hub", especially since HomeKit has gone over like a lead balloon and Apple has completely crapped the bed insofar as Smart Homes go as Alexa/Google eat their lunch.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tzuten

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,345
2,296
Here's the wiki that compares Apple TV to Apple TV app.
- - Post merged: - -

Seems like Apple refuses to support anything but their standard, thus why I have a Roku.
For what it's worth, Apple maybe adding support for AV1 soon, which should take care of long standing 4K incompatibility with YouTube.

As for HLG, tvOS apps are fully capable of dynamically converting it to HDR10 (as YouTube app has been doing, albeit at 1080p).
 
Last edited:

jmomls

macrumors newbie
Jan 12, 2017
12
8
Here's the wiki that compares Apple TV to Apple TV app.
- - Post merged: - -


For what it's worth, Apple maybe adding support for AV1 soon, which should take care of long standing 4K incompatibility with YouTube.

As for HLG, tvOS apps are fully capable of dynamically converting it to HDR10 (as YouTube app has been doing, albeit at 1080p).
Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. You can't watch 4k video on the world's number one video delivery platform via ATV.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tzuten

Beelzbub

macrumors 6502
Feb 6, 2012
336
91
Coming into this thread late, but I have Apple TV's and Roku's and both work the same for our streaming needs. Our streaming apps at home consist of renting movies on iTunes occasionally (Apple TV), YouTube TV, Amazon Prime, Netflix, CuriosityStream, and NFL Sunday Ticket. Our main streaming device is an Apple TV 4K in the family room (got that for free during a DirecTVNOW promotion a year or so ago), and an Apple TV 4 in our bedroom, a Roku in our guest bedroom and another Roku in the office. The Roku's do not get used much, but they do work and work well, and I am talking about the cheap $29 ones. The UI is fast and easy to navigate, we have had had zero lag or problems with them. And now with the Apple TV app on the Roku's we can access our movie library from movies we have purchased over the years. The benefit of the Apple TV is AirPlay. We do not use it that much, but a quick video from a basketball game or recital using AirPlay makes it easier for everyone to see.

I also think your home network has a lot to do with things, and by that I mean a good wireless router or access points (kudos to those who can hard wire everything but you still need a good router to keep up with the demand in my opinion). In my home, we are 100% wireless. I have a good wireless router that has yet to let me down, zero hang ups or drops in performance. I have had every TV in the house streaming at once and a PS4 going with hours on end during the Holidays when our house was packed with people staying with us, and never had any issues. However I do believe if I had a cheaper router, there would have been problems. The only hardwired device in my home is my Philips Hue Bridge (I do not use any of the Apple Home Kit stuff).

I don't think you can go wrong with either device. You can (and I have done this) rent a movie in iTunes on your iPhone and then go into the Apple TV app on your Roku and watch the movie. Both devices in my opinion provide excellent picture and quality. I am not expert about calibration and different picture formats and what not, but our picture quality on the Roku's are just as good as the picture quality on the Apple TV's. When we cut the cord, we went with Apple TV because of the free one, and coming from the Apple TV 3 at the time, and also an Apple TV 2, it seemed like a natural fit. But when it came time to add devices for other rooms in the house, I didn't feel like dropping a lot of money for TV's that will not get watched as much as the main TV and our bedroom TV. So we went with Roku's. And they work great.

Sorry for this long post, almost done. We also have a Roku TV, a Sharp model, very nice TV, picture quality is good. However the built in Roku software is slow and sluggish compared to the standard Roku's. So we don't use the built in Roku anymore. All it has is a PS4 hooked up to it, which can now stream YouTube TV, and the older Apple TV 3 which can still stream iTunes and Netflix just fine, as well as Amazon Prime.
 

OFLawyer

macrumors newbie
Jun 23, 2015
7
2
I am an Apple devotee and have an ATV 4th generation. I bought a Roku Ultra simply to see how it compares to the ATV. My use case is that I have a huge library of TV shows and movies on a hard disk attached to a Mac Mini to stream to ATV. I also regularly use Netflix and Amazon Prime for streaming content.

I have consistently found that ATV from generations 1-4 are a bit flaky, requiring regular reboots. Not terrible but a pain nevertheless. The ATV using iTunes to manage the library is cumbersome on the ATV side and makes scrolling through several thousand videos virtually impossible. I also find that the ATV tends to be a bit laggy.

The strength of the Roku for me is that I can attach a hard disk to it directly through USB and it organizes all the media into folders which are easily accessible. That feature for me alone makes the Roku preferable to the ATV. Also, I find that the apps seem to be snappier and without giving it much thought I have been using the Roku for streaming services like Netflix. One feature that is definately missing is the ability to stream content from a Mac to the Roku which impacts seamless use of pictures which are updated automatically to other Apple devices

I will probably be buying a new ATV when it comes out because of the integration with the Apple ecosystem, but if I had to buy only one device it would be the Roku. I find nothing special about the ATV interface and in my view it is substandard compared to other Apple products.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Beelzbub