HELP: ATV vs Roku vs Boxee?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by philip in al, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. philip in al macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2010
    Can someone please give me a little feedback? With all of the new "boxes", I'm a little confused.

    I want to be able to search for a tv show or movie, and then be able to choose (hopefully from multiple sites) to watch it.

    It must have Netflix.

    I would like to be able to watch network sitcoms, etc for free.

    Being able to record would be nice, but is not high on my priority list, neither is streaming from my Mac.

    I have no problem jailbreaking a new ATV, if that will achieve what I need.

    I left off the new Revue (Google) on purpose. A friend has (had) it and it was awful! Any thoughts please? I would like to go and buy something today.

  2. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2010
    Since you want to watch network sitcoms for free and being able to record is not high on your priority list, here's what I think you should do.

    Buy an antenna and you can get all the networks and you can watch all of your favorite sitcoms in HD for free. The antenna should be under $30. Then get an Apple TV for Netflix and all of your iTunes content. If you do happen to miss a show, you can either buy it from iTunes and stream to the device or rent directly from the Apple TV. Of course there is a lot more you can do with the Apple TV but that will take care of what you said you wanted nicely.

    I have this setup (except I also use a HD HomeRun and EyeTV to record the shows) and it has allowed me to cut cable/satellite completely.
  3. philip in al thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2010
    Sounds like a plan; however, I can not use an external antenna. My main objective:

    Let's say I missed "Weeds" (on showtime) last week. I want to be able to search for that episode and watch it. I "prefer" not to have to pay to watch it.

    Or, say I want to watch a movie that is not on iTunes or Netflix. It would be nice to be able to find it somewhere out there "in the sky".

    One last thing that I forgot; I would also like to be able to get the internet on my tv.
  4. cdavis11 macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2009
    I have both, side by side. Actually I have 2 sets - one Roku/aTV combo upstairs and one downstairs.

    I view them as complimentary devices.

    Like a lot of folks here, I have a considerable number of Itunes purchased TV shows and movies - the aTV is the only thing that gets those to my TV easily. Netflix is a nice bonus.

    The Roku is a good device for Netflix, some of the channels are interesting (I watch the Revision 3 stuff from time to time) and the promise of Hulu+ makes it a cable killer for me.

    If the aTV ever got Hulu+ it would be a simple 1 box setup, but in the meantime I don't mind having two small form factor boxes on the shelf above my widescreen TVs.
  5. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2010
    You don't have to use an external antenna. You can use a small antenna made for indoor use. Especially since the recent switch to digital in the U.S., it's much easier to use a directional indoor antenna to get all of the networks. I put mine in my attic but many people just place them by the TV.
  6. philip in al thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2010
    I should have added: Even if it means buying more equipment, it would be nice to able to stream content (no music) from the den to the bedroom. BTW, I use a Mac and not a pc (if it matters).

  7. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    LOL - let me guess, you've only been alive since the advent of cable.

    1) "in the sky" you will only get broadcast stations. You can go to here, enter your address, and see what stations broadcast in your are, the direction of signal, and the type of antenna to get.

    2) Showtime is a paid premium channel. Can only get over cable (cable or phone company) or via satellite dish with subscription. You can buy episodes via iTunes/AppleTV

    3) Internet needs a paid wire, or wifi tethering to a paid cell phone to work.
  8. optophobia macrumors 6502a


    Oct 26, 2007
    Hudson MA

    As someone above pointed out, Showtime is a paid channel not available OTA. If you "prefer" not to pay for it you would have to obtain it from an unlawful source, ie Rapidshare, bittorrents, or "borrow" a friends dvd etc.
  9. From A Buick 8 macrumors 68040

    From A Buick 8

    Sep 16, 2010
    Ky Close to CinCinnati
    If i understand what you are asking (reading between the lines) you would need a mac Mini or HTPC, you might be able to acheive this with a Boxee.

    Any of them will work.

    When you say "for free" do you mean on demand free, if that is the case then again you need a Mac Mini or HTPC and again maybe the Boxee.

    If you just want the OTA broadcast networks for free then yes an antenna is your answer. If you want cable networks then you will need to pay or wait for them to come out on DVD and get from netflix or illegally download them.

    Even the best estimate of what a JB ATV will get you would not acheive what i think you are asking.

    The best "one" box solutionfor you would be a Mac Mini or HTPC, downside is that you may (will) spend a lot of time tweaking it.
  10. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006
    I have a silly question:

    Why can't you use an external antenna?
  11. philip in al thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2010
    "in the sky" was def the wrong term to use. Not only do I remember cable tv's start, I was around for "am" only radio, the Franklin Ace and 8-track tapes... I'm old!

    I can't use an ext antenna (where I want to) because I'm in an apartment; surrounded by other apartments (surrounding mine).
  12. sblanford macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2008
    Scottsdale, AZ
    So you have no windows?
  13. windels macrumors regular


    Oct 12, 2008
    Or maybe he means his reception is blocked?
  14. philip in al thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2010
    I got tired of over thinking it so I just grabbed an ATV. Any suggested links on the steps to take to JB it, etc right out of the box? Also, do I need it hooked up to the tv and computer at the same time to JB it, etc?

  15. pasipple macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009

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