Casting, TV Dongles, and Set Top Boxes

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by AustinIllini, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #1
    Let's have a catchall about all Set Top boxes and casting tools. Check in and provide your feedback.

    2G Apple TV
    Chromecast
    (XBox One)

    I had ordered the latest Apple TV but quickly realized Chromecast does everything I need with my device as well as my wife's iPhone, so I moved to that.
     
  2. tbayrgs, Nov 20, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015

    tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #2
    Apple TV (gen 3)
    Amazon Fire TV stick
    Chromecast (1st and 2nd gen)

    We have multiples of each scattered throughout the house. The Apple TVs get the most use (most streaming apps like Hulu, Netflix, HBO and Showtime, movie rentals, viewing our personal movie library, and lots of AirPlay), followed by the Fire TV sticks (Sling TV, some TwiT video, occasional Amazon Prime streaming). The Chromecasts almost never get used at home, however they're great for when we travel to my in-laws.

    I did purchase the latest Apple TV but returned it after less than a day of use as it really afforded very little at this point over the last gen model and even was missing some comparative functionality (Remote app not compatible and no podcast app for instance).
     
  3. gotluck, Nov 20, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015

    gotluck macrumors 603

    gotluck

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Location:
    East Central Florida
    #3
    Raspberry pi 2 kodi and plex media server box

    Fire tv sticks

    Chromecasts gen 1

    Going to buy 3rd Gen apple tv on bf

    Ps4 that I never use for media but is actually pretty capable

    Use each device for different things, my wife on iPhone prefers chromecast which I always found interesting. Once I get the Apple tv I can see myself hardly using the chromcast anymore.

    Raspberry pi 2 is probably my favorite because of its flexibility (not just for media consumption but it is the only one that can be plex media server too) but it is short on legal content sources. Fire tv stick can do some android specific things that chromecast and the pi can't. If I was still using android on a primary device I would prefer the chromecast but since I'm back on iPhone I can't wait for airplay because that will cover everything the stick and the pi can't.
     
  4. AustinIllini thread starter macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #4
    The Chromecast is just so easy to use, I'm not surprised, really. No junky interface. Just your phone.
     
  5. ozaz, Nov 21, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015

    ozaz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    I currently have a Chromecast and the previous gen Apple TV. However pretty much all of my streaming needs are met by the apps built into my Samsung TV. The Samsung smart TV platform (as well as Roku) serves UK audiences very well (unlike Apple TV and Chromecast, neither of which have all the major UK TV catchup services).

    I only really have the Chromecast & Apple TV for Google casting and AirPlaying photos from our phones and tablets to the TV. The exception is a single app of interest which is not on the Samsung TV but is on Apple TV, Chromecast and Roku (Sky's Now TV app).

    I actually prefer Roku to both the Chromecast and Apple TV, but since apps of interest to me are already covered by Samsung TV & Apple TV, I've got rid of my Roku.

    I'm interested in the new Apple TV with its open app store, but I'm waiting for a critical mass of UK-relevant apps to be released before purchasing.
     
  6. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Central California
    #6
    amazon fire TV with Kodiak installed
    Chrome cast 2nd Gen
    chrome cast 1st Gen
    amazon fire TV stick with Kodi installed
    Roku 2, 3 and 4
    Apple TV 3rd Gen

    Out of all of these the Amazon Fire TV with Chromecast 2nd Gen as a backup are all that is needed. Every single possible movie and TV channel is covered, especially with Kodi. That includes all UK channels and programs that I have missed since moving back to the US.
     
  7. gotluck macrumors 603

    gotluck

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Location:
    East Central Florida
    #7
    No nbc sports live extra on fire tv or chromecast :(
     
  8. Lloydbm41 macrumors 68040

    Lloydbm41

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Central California
    #8
    If it can be played on your phone, it can be mirrored to the Chromecast. unless you are using an iphone?
     
  9. mi7chy, Nov 29, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2015

    mi7chy macrumors 68040

    mi7chy

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    #9
    Some media content have audio encoding that isn't supported on Chromecast like AC3 so video plays without audio. What I discovered recently is BubbleUPnP app can do on the fly AC3 transcoding so you get audio along with video and it amazingly works from a phone even an older one since transcoding is usually reserved for PC. Also, there's a hidden feature in the Chromecast extension for Chrome to mirror the whole Windows desktop instead of just a Chrome tab so good for things like presentations. To access it click on the extension then the little down arrow to select desktop mirroring. One of the best sub $35 investments ever. It just needs a micro SD card slot and ability to run Android apps to make it a fully contained media server.
     
  10. AustinIllini thread starter macrumors demi-god

    AustinIllini

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #10
    Wow. Okay, that's crazy. I don't need a TV with applications and all that garbage, so $35 is brilliant.
     
  11. Toltepeceno Suspended

    Toltepeceno

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    SMT, Edo MX, MX
    #11
    I'm with you. We have an atv2 and the kids have a wii, that they have pretty much grown out of, but I am getting a chromecast a little later on. The only thing I use the atv2 for is streaming from the mac so my next will be a chromecast. Does everything I need and more portable.

    One thing that bothers me, and has always bothered me, is if there is no internet it takes forever to connect to itunes and start a movie. Not sure why, but it does and here in the 3rd world that is a pita.
     
  12. gotluck macrumors 603

    gotluck

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Location:
    East Central Florida
    #12
    just received my refurb atv 3 from best buy.com for $40. Very impressed with airplay from my ios devices. It can airplay 'non screen mirror mode' more media and apps than I was able to from my android device & chromecast (i prefer to avoid mirroring mode and leaving my devices screen on if possible). also enjoy that it has an ethernet jack!

    kicked the chromecast to the other room, to the chagrin of my wife, because we are out of hdmi ports.. we'll see how she likes it (she is on iOS anyway and shouldnt have issues with airplay since you can basically use ATV like a chromecast)

    now the main tv has uverse box, raspberry pi 2 w/ kodi, fire tv stick, apple tv, & PS4. shame you need that many devices to do everything! If we were primarily using android devices the ATV would get swapped back to chromcast
     
  13. ryankul macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Location:
    Michigan
    #13
    Am I the only one that also has 2 bluray players with internet connectivity? Plays blurays great, but also has Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube etc..
     
  14. mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Location:
    europe
    #14
    Minix neo x8h...
    ... does all i want (kodi, airplay/mirror from ios/osx/win/android, run android apps/games...) and NAS.

    Unfortunately netflix doesnt support it fully so it cant play hd stream from netflix - anyway, netflix sucks here badly so i have cancelled it...

    I dont use my bluray player for internet (neither xbox/tv to connect internet).. I already have one device that doest it all, so i prefer to use only it.
     
  15. aneftp macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #15
    Surprise no one uses Microsoft wireless display adapter

    https://www.microsoft.com/accessori.../microsoft-wireless-display-adapter/cg4-00001

    I picked two up 2 weeks ago. $29.99. Usually $59.99

    It supports open standard miracast so android and Windows pc (newer ones) support it. The wireless display adapter is superior to the chromecast (in my opinion). It works perfectly on my lg G3 and also Microsoft surface pro 4 I can mirror laptop wirelessly easily.

    I also own Apple TV 4 64gb, Amazon Fire tv 2015 version, Amazon Fire stick, Xbox one as well. And finally my preferred android box. The minix neo x8-h plus http://www.amazon.com/Neo-X8H-Plus-Android-Mini-PC/dp/B00Q4NEUS0
     
  16. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #16
    I have a blu-ray player, but use a roku 4 for apps/streaming. I really would like the next gen roku to have a 4K blu-ray on it, but that is pretty unlikely.
     
  17. ozaz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    I've heard from others that the Microsoft adapter is the most reliable if you want to use Miracast.

    But my issue with Miracast is it's just doing simple mirroring of what's currently on your device. What I like about Chromecast is you're handing off the streaming to the dongle allowing you to do other things on your phone/tablet without affecting what's on your TV.
     
  18. gotluck macrumors 603

    gotluck

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Location:
    East Central Florida
    #18
    what app are you using to mirror and/or airplay video to the box?

    Kodi will work for airplaying audio great. I've only read spotty reports for airplay video and/or mirroring functionality from various other apps. most of them are paid and i havent bothered trying them because of the poor reviews
     
  19. mi7chy, Dec 7, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2015

    mi7chy macrumors 68040

    mi7chy

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    #19
    Anyone have both Chromecast original and Chromecast 2015 and can compare the screen mirroring latency between the two? With 802.11ac and 5Hz is the latency noticeably less for things like 1080p desktop mirroring? Tempted by the two for $55 deal going on right now only if it's a noticeable improvement otherwise the original does everything I need.
     
  20. SurferMan macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 14, 2010
    Location:
    South FL
    #20
    Chromecasts only, really just for streaming movies/media to TV and outside with Plex and works perfect. Thinking about grabbing a new Firestick when it comes out to root and have Kodi etc
     
  21. mrex, Dec 9, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2015

    mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Location:
    europe
    #21
    Airpin(pro), it works good.


    (It comes with the box. Is it the same as Airplay pro in Google Play? Not sure if thry have changed the name.)
     
  22. Phil in ocala macrumors 6502

    Phil in ocala

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2016
    #22
    _____________________________
    They promote "new products" as if there is some real improvement over the old ones...many people fall for it.
     
  23. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    #23
    All my stuff I can stream from and/or cast to....

    2 Chromecast. One original and one new version. Mostly used when I travel.
    Chromecast Audio. Connected to an old powerful JVC receiver.
    2 Amazon Fire TV stick. One is heavily software modified.
    Xbox 360(collecting dust) and Xbox ONE.
    2 Samsung Smart TVs
    Hisense Roku TV

    Never had an Apple TV, but I'm very familiar with it since some of my family uses it.
     
  24. Sensamic macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    #24
    I watch everything using Plex server on my NAS and Plex Home Theater on a Mac Mini connected to my TV, but I'm thinking of buying either a new Chromecast or Apple TV, mainly for YouTube, but the Apple TV also has apps and games, which might be cool.
     
  25. mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Location:
    europe
    #25
    For apps and games? Just remember there are only few...
     

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