Atv vs. Roku

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Nychot, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. Nychot macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 15, 2011
    #1
    I have a recent roku and it gets tons of channels, and works perfectly on my wireless home network. Since i have an ipad2 and will get a 3 i like the idea of streaming wirelesly my ipad stuff to my hdtv. I did buy an hdmi adaptor for my ipad but its a pain to have a 12 foot cable on the floor etc. what surprises me is the big deal thats made out of the jailbroken atvs. I've looked at everything thats available with the jailbreak and most if not all of it is already on the stock roku. So why atv over roku? Still, i'll get one, hopefully an atv3 if that comes soon, just for the ipad streaming.
     
  2. maturola macrumors 68040

    maturola

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    Oct 29, 2007
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    Atlanta, GA
    #2
    I got both, the only reason I have the Roku is because it support 1080p. But I like the ATV better and that's why i have it on my other 2 smaller tvs. The interface is better, works perfectly with my iPad and iPhones. I don't think there is a huge + from one over the other, it all comes down to what devices you use and your personal preference.

    I use Plex, and the interface just feels better on the ATV.
     
  3. cdavis11 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 31, 2009
    #3
    I have both as well, 2 sets of both in fact. One set each on my family room and basement TVs.

    The Rokus are primarily backup for the aTV for Netflix and MLB.tv streaming baseball.

    I prefer the Apple TV interface, and it's what I use 95% of the time now. I use it stock, and feed it with Netflix, MLB.tv and EyeTV recording network shows off clear QAM (thus avoiding Hulu).

    I'm considering taking the older Roku HD-XR out of my living room setup completely.
     
  4. xlii macrumors 68000

    xlii

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    #4
    Roku has amazon instant video on it. A big plus for me since I'm a Amazon Prime member and get the service for 'free'.
     
  5. d21mike macrumors 68040

    d21mike

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    Torrance, CA
    #5
    I have both. The major difference is that you can only get iTunes DRM Content on the Apple TV. If that is not part of the consideration then I think the Roku is a better solution based on available content.
     
  6. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    Location:
    Cork, Ireland.
    #6
    For me, it's the iPad Remote app and Airplay. As I posted on another thread here, my ATV has been very unreliable, so I'd consider switching. But I'd rather not do without those two features.
     
  7. Sedulous macrumors 68000

    Sedulous

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    Dec 10, 2002
    #7
    ATV2 can unofficially play 1080. As long as the bitrate is not too high. In fact, the ATV2 has played videos that Roku could only turn into a slideshow. The other thing I don't like about Roku is that the media interface is terrible and will not play anything with chapters/srt subs. Likewise, Roku can't read alternative audio tracks. Overall, I don't want to say Roku makes a bad product. It has its strengths too (as others have noted). As fas as I am concerned, the biggest advantage of Roku is the functional USB port.
     
  8. Nychot thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Same here.


     
  9. Ccrew macrumors 68020

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    #9
    Because I can stream my 1000+ movies on my NAS from a jailbroken ATV while my Roku sits there like it hasn't a clue?
     
  10. Sedulous macrumors 68000

    Sedulous

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    #10
    I have found Roku to be unreliable. It almost randomly refuses to play viable .mp4 video files that play on ATV, iPad, and elsewhere.
     
  11. Alrescha macrumors 68020

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    Jan 1, 2008
    #11
    Why do people say things like this?

    There are dozens (hundreds?) of channels in the form of video podcasts, including popular feeds like Revision 3 and MacBreak/iPad/you-name-it Weekly.

    The Apple TV will also play non-DRM mp4 and m4v video that you place into iTunes (home movies, rips of your DVDs, etc.).

    A.
     
  12. Sedulous macrumors 68000

    Sedulous

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    Dec 10, 2002
    #12
    I think that post was intending to say that if you are stuck with iTunes DRM, then the ATV will be able to play those media files while Roku would not.
     
  13. CocoaPuffs macrumors 68010

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    Aug 23, 2008
    #13
    Btw, jailbroken ATV2 with XBMC has a plug-in for that, too.
     
  14. dnelms macrumors regular

    dnelms

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    #14
    I can stream movies the same manner by using Plex on the Roku. I have both the Roku (actually 3) and the ATV2;use them equally. But the Roku does have more (except interface) out of the box for users not wanting to mess with jail breaking.
     
  15. zachlegomaniac macrumors 6502a

    zachlegomaniac

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    Sep 20, 2008
    #15
    I have one of each as well. Wish you could combine the two. I also love the atv2 interface. I do have Hulu on mine via XMBC, but the jailbreak did seem to make the atv a little less reliable. If they put Hulu on the regular interface I'd be as happy as a clam I'd have two atvs.
     
  16. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
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    #16
    That's interesting. Do you mean sometimes a certain file will play, and at other times it won't? Or, certain (random) .mp4 files will never play?

    That's something I've wondered about: while it's great being able to play more video formats and different resolutions (up to 1080p), I wonder if that means you're more likely to have random problems like this? Problems which could be caused by varying bit-rates, codecs etc.
     
  17. urkel macrumors 68030

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    Nov 3, 2008
    #17
    At one point I had 3 AppleTV2's and 1 Roku. The only reason I use the Roku is for Hulu+ and since I'm pretty entrenched in the Apple ecosystem I feel the AppleTV is the better product FOR ME.

    I have since sold 2 ATV's and also my Roku because Im gambling that the next version will have a limited App catalog of channels and streaming (ABC. HBO. TNT. Hulu+. Pretty much the stuff available on iPad). But even if the aTV 3 doesn't do apps then AirPlay over Mountain Lion will be far more useful than the roku.
     
  18. Ccrew macrumors 68020

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    Feb 28, 2011
    #18
    I have both also, but I find the user interface on the Roku not intuitive, and also very slow to navigate. Short of a second place for my wife to find her episodes of the Biggest Loser and How I Met Your Mother it sits virtually unused

    ATV2 and Soulmote on a iPad are a pretty good combination IMHO. We all have our likes and dislikes, but a lot of users do have both. It's all about choices anyway.
     
  19. Sedulous macrumors 68000

    Sedulous

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    Dec 10, 2002
    #19
    I'm not really sure why some .mp4 files are refused by Roku. It can't be codec because it is all standard H.264/aac audio. I wouldn't have thought bitrate was the problem because the ATV2 can play them without problem. Usually what happens is the Roku gets stuck once that little "loading" bar starts to grow. Sometimes it just crashes after that... with another video it rebooted itself and promptly lost audio output (until I power cycled the Roku). It is probably just a glitchy USB media app.
     
  20. spacemanps macrumors regular

    spacemanps

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    Oct 14, 2008
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    New Jersey
    #20
    Arent they coming out with a new apple tv soon? I was debating buying one but after hearing that i may wait a little bit..
     
  21. Sedulous macrumors 68000

    Sedulous

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    Dec 10, 2002
    #21
    The ATV2 is good but definitely needs a hardware update.
     
  22. BigDukeSix macrumors 6502a

    BigDukeSix

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    #22
    Please explain in detail how you use your EyeTV recording off of clear QAM. I own a Roku, want to get rid of cable, but want the DVR capabilities that my current cable box offers me so I can watch recorded network shows.
    Thx!
     
  23. d21mike macrumors 68040

    d21mike

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    Jul 11, 2007
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    Torrance, CA
    #23
    Well, I am familiar with Apple TV (I have 3) and I have 185 movies that are non-DRM that I created. However, with the Roku (I have 1) I have Hulu+ (most important difference), Amazon Prime (I just happen to have it because I do a lot of shipping). However, I much prefer the Apple TV. If they created an App Store where these other applications could be be added I think the other boxes could not compete. Also, not interested in Jail breaking to get the other features.
     
  24. HobeSoundDarryl, Feb 22, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #24
    Clear QAM is basically free digital video via cable. You might think about it like how analog cable used to be (no cable box required). It is a digital signal that is not locked out requiring a cable box. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QAM_(television) and maybe http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2012/02/clearqam-what-it-is-and-why-it-matters.html

    Digital tuners in HDTVs (and that EyeTV) scan for unlocked digital channels, and can often index them for a variation (sometimes a pretty good variation) of an on-screen programming guide. Often the local networks are available via clear QAM in HD (sometimes a few other channels too).

    Linked to devices like those from Elgato and you get an fairly easy ability to record high quality video, have the Elgato software save it in an iTunes/:apple:TV file type and even drop it into iTunes for you. See: http://www.elgato.com/elgato/int/mainmenu/products/software/EyeTV-3/product1.en.html It can be a DVR like experience.

    ClearQAM still requires a cable connection and often at least some subscription to cable. Some have found that ClearQAM is available even with no subscription to local cable. And some have found that ClearQAM is available with a broadband-only subscription to cable. You'll have to do a little checking in your local market to see if you can fully jettison cable and still get ClearQAM. If not, you might also look into an OTA antenna if you are mostly interested in free local (network) channel HD.
     
  25. Ccrew macrumors 68020

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    Feb 28, 2011
    #25
    And both Hulu + and Amazon Prime are available as XBMC addons for the ATV2.

    Just sayin :)
     

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