I'm getting a Roku

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by rneglia, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. rneglia macrumors 6502


    Apr 18, 2006
    After owning two Apple TVs (2nd and 3rd gen), I'm ready to try something new. People are saying the Roku 3 is fast!!

    My AppleTV is slow, crashes a lot, doesn't do mirroring well anymore and has to be restarted all the dang time.

    I'm going to keep both around and see which does better. (I know I'll need the ATV for AirPlay, iTunes, etc.)

    I love the idea of a non-infrared remote!

    C'mon Apple! Make a better Apple TV!
  2. Frankied22 macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2010
    I have used all the current set top boxes/streaming sticks. The Roku 3 is a great little streaming box, but I will say the UI is a bit lackluster in some apps. (Plex, Amazon Instant Video, and basically anything other than Netflix and Hulu) It offers a ton of content options though, and having a headphone jack on the remote is nice. I agree with you on the Apple TV too. Mine is constantly dropping while air playing and crashing all the time; and no, it's not my network or router. I use the newest model AirPort Extreme and my internet is 60 mbps down. Apple just needs to seriously give some attention to the apple tv.
  3. Uofmtiger macrumors 68020


    Dec 11, 2010
    I like Roku, but I prefer the Appletv. AirPlay works perfectly in my setup, so you may want to try restoring you Appletv or other troubleshooting measures.

    My dad has the Roku 3 and he said that when you use it for headphones it eats though batteries at a blazing pace. The Appletv will send out an AirPlay audio signal, so I find it more flexible in my setups.

    That being said, the Roku is nice to have around for Plex ( which I believe can be installed on the Appletv, but I have never tried it).
  4. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    the 60 down has nothing to do with airplay or your LAN speeds. That's the speed that data comes into your house from the internet, airplay data should never touch anything outside your house.

    you could turn your modem off, leaving you with 0 mbps down, and still have great (or bad) airplay.

    having X or Y brand router, also means nothing, true some are better than others, but a bad environment* will kill any router's performance no matter who makes it.

    *wireless interference (from other things that transmit, like cordless phones or other wi-fi networks)
    physical interference (walls and their different building materials, cabinets devices are placed in, metal objects ) (2.4GHz handles this better than 5GHz)
    available bandwidth - what else is flying around your network?
    signal strength - if both devices are at the far ends of the network, it will affect perfomance.

    I airplay to mine all the time, and never have dropouts, but they're wired.

    it can be installed on jail broken ATV2, or better yet is to use plex connect, it's pretty easy to setup, you run a small program on your server (or another computer on the network) and it replaces the trailers app on your aTV with plex
  5. rigormortis, Dec 18, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014

    rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    we are real big roku fans here. i never owned an apple tv.

    i have a hd home run prime and a plus and use plex and a beta plugin hdhr viewer to watch live tv on roku, as well as vlc , windows media center, iPhone and iPad , even remotely. ( using plex app)

    hd tv really chokes the roku 3. in order to watch real live tv on a roku 3, i have to encode it down to like 7000 kbps or less. maybe this will get better as hdhr viewer as time marches on

    the roku 3 is more of a web browser then an app platform, so it will never have a native app that plays live tv coming from a hd home run. when i bought the hd home run plus, i figure because it uses DLNA, it would play automatically on a ROKU, but then i found out that the roku 3 would require the video to be transcoded like everything else

    even though the roku is a wifi device, it seems to work better and faster when connected to regular ethernet

    i have two network names for 2.4 and 5 ghz and i think I've seen the roku wanting to stay on 2.4 as much as possible. i used the WPA TOOL from Wireshark to give the Roku the WPA-PSK to make sure it can only connect to 5ghz.

    i would give it the 5 ghz name, and then go to airport utility and see it wasn't on 5ghz,

    most of the stuff i do on roku 3 is plex playing content i have on my plex server, so the ethernet really helps. especially when transcoding blu ray content

    the one thing that bugs me about the roku 3, is they switched from bluetooth to wifi direct, and because the roku 3 only has one wifi radio. the remote control / wireless headphone jack, operates on the same channel as your wifi network. and this could cause your wifi to slow down having another access point on the same wifi channel as your network so close by

    if you aren't cool with your roku 3 on the same wifi channel as your router, the alternative is to use wired ethernet or downgrade to the roku 2 XS, the older model used a bluetooth remote that is also capable of wireless headphone, the roku 2 XS has a slower cpu, though

    another thing that is weird is the roku and apple tv boxes aren't even wifi certified. go figure
  6. rneglia thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 18, 2006
    Thanks, since you're offering, tell me what you think about this: I like to mirror my 2013 MacBook Air up to the Apple TV, then I use the Spotify desktop app to do karaoke. It works great for about a song and a half and then it kicks me off and I have to restart everything.

    It's hard to troubleshoot because it does work for a bit but then quits. For the record, I have the newest Airport Extreme and the AppleTV is connected via ethernet.

  7. Mr. McMac Suspended

    Mr. McMac

    Dec 21, 2009
    Far away from liberals
    I sold my 2 second gen ATV's for a major profit and bought 2 Roku 3's over a year ago. I couldn't be happier.
  8. Uofmtiger macrumors 68020


    Dec 11, 2010
    Do you have something else I can test that doesn't require Spotify? It is not relevant to this thread because Roku's Spotify app is complete junk compared to running it on a desktop or iOS with Airplay. You can't even use it without a premium account and I am pretty sure there is no Roku option for karaoke unless I missed something when I was subscribed to Spotify over the summer.

    I currently have a free Spotify account, but I have never used karaoke.
  9. rneglia thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 18, 2006
    Thanks! The Spotify/karaoke glitch is probably my biggest AirPlay complaint, and I guess it is a pretty complex task to expect perfect operation. The router and the aTV have to handle audio and video coming from both a computer and the web.

    I just think the AppleTV needs a better processor than what it has now (which I think is the A5 chip?) which was in the iPhone 4 or 4S?
  10. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    Congrats on the decision to buy the Roku device. I've enjoyed my Roku 3 but there is a little bug where the video feed shows a purple screen with a message to the effect of "unauthorized content". Online forums seem to think that this message is the result of a glitch in the firmware but for now, a reboot temporarily circumvents the problem.
  11. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    It sounds like your AppleTV is simply broken, or as mentioned above you have something causing wireless interference. I now own 4 of them, with a first generation still in use, as well as a second and 2 thirds. None of them struggle to mirror or crash. I've never had to restart anything to get it working. I have a Roku (MHL Stream Stick) as well, and I like it. I just think you have something else going on.
  12. JoeShades macrumors 6502a

    Sep 1, 2010
    Williamstown, NJ
    How do you listen to podcasts on ROku. What about photo slideshows ? Plex from what I understand is not good at that. Plex has been around for awhile yet still unless it had changed gives no option to shuffle music , videos or photos
  13. infantrytrophy macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2013
    Different devices (Apple TV vs Roku) have different strengths and weaknesses. My 2nd generation Apple TV works great for Airplay streaming and for viewing Apple TV's content "channels", particularly Netflix. The O.P. might have issues with his WiFi network or with his specific device.

    These devices work best when connected by Ethernet to your router. That takes WiFi interference issues out of the picture.

    It was pointed out to me that the Apple TV is particularly good for viewing Netflix content (and probably other content as well), better than the Netflix interface in TV sets, DVD players, etc. This is because the content is cached in Apple's servers (not streamed directly from Netflix) and is not affected by spats between ISPs and Netflix. Apple does what it takes to ensure a good experience for viewers. Source for this information is Leo Laporte ("The Tech Guy" podcast - techguylabs.com).

    One example of content missing from Apple TV is Amazon Prime Instant Video. You can view that by streaming via AirPlay from an iPhone, iPad or Mac, or by buying a Roku device. These devices are so inexpensive that it is not unreasonable to have both (Roku and Apple TV). I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Roku, but would never get rid of the Apple TV.
  14. Uofmtiger macrumors 68020


    Dec 11, 2010
    Roku, from my experience, doesn't have the same flexibility with podcasts. You have to install individual apps line Revision3 and Twit. I have found no way to continue playing from the Podcast to an iPhone ( or vice versa) like you can do with the iOS podcast app. Also, I have favorites saved on the Appletv and I am not sure how you can do this with the Roku.

    As mentioned above, it is cheap enough to have both (or more), though.
  15. Rainwave macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2014
    Apple TV = iTunes
    iTunes =better studio reach
    Better studio reach = better selection on newer movies to rent or buy.

  16. tonyr6 macrumors 65816


    Oct 13, 2011
    Brooklyn NY
    Roku not bad but it has more cons. 99% of the apps are butt ugly as sin except for Netflix, YouTube and Vudu. Netflix works great on the Roku though. The biggest issue is that horrible WiFi Direct it uses which parks itself on the same channel as your wireless network causing havoc.
    That is a bunch of bull. When I had issues with Netflix in the summer before TWC made a peering deal I had the same issues of dropouts to 720p and 480p on my Apple TV as did my other devices and checking with my router and all my other streaming devices the same exact IP address the server it was connecting my Apple TV as was my Roku 3 and PS3 at the time.
  17. mde8965 macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2013
    This has not been my experince with Roku at all. There is a podcast channel for which you can setup all of you favorites, either video or audio podcasts, and play them right from there. After I found that channel, I deleted the Twit channel and the "techpodcasts" channel....

    I am not where my Roku is right now to tell you the name of it though. If you want the name I can get back to you though...
  18. Uofmtiger macrumors 68020


    Dec 11, 2010
    Yes, please get it for me.

    Can you continue playing this app on an iOS device? I will often start listening to a podcast on my way home from work and switch to watching it on the AppleTV when I get home.

    Even if it doesn't have the flexibility above, I would still like the app. I can't stand the Twit/techpodcast/Revision3 stuff I have loaded on it now...when compared to the AppleTV podcast app. However, when I go out of town I take the AppleTV and the person that watches my house gets to watch the Roku.

    * One of the issues of having a box that has hundreds or thousands of choices and more than half of them are junk, is that the good stuff gets lost in the crowd. The Apple app store is the same way, but there are tons of Apple devoted sites that recommend the cream of the crop apps. Is there any Roku sites that discuss this type of thing? I open up the store (or whatever it is called) and ninety percent of the apps are junk (IMO) and I don't have time to look through them all.
  19. Beachguy macrumors 6502a


    Nov 23, 2011
    I have a Roku XD, and two ATV3s. I prefer the ATV to the Roku, but watch Youtube on the Roku now because as sucky as the app is, it is now better than the Apple one. I wish I could roll back to the previous version of Youtube on the ATV.
  20. charlien macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2006
    You can buy my roku. It just collects dust on a shelf since I got plex working on my ATV3
  21. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    my mom loves her apple tv but mine has been collecting dust lately. one thing that's annoying me is no ultraviolet support since a lot of the digital copies now only have UV. i watch my blu rays at home but if i have to pawn my kids off onto grandparents then they watch the digital copies on the roku or straight from a vudu app on their TV
  22. Dc2006ster macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2011
    Alberta, Canada
    I am not familiar with ATV3 but use Plex via a chromecast. Was it straightforward to get Plex working and can you then use the ATV3 to play non- tunes compatible videos e.g. mkv? The ATV3 Plex combo would be great for me if it will play mkvs etc..
  23. charlien macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2006
    If you have an apple computer plex connect is easy to setup with an application that does all the work for you. PC users have a little more work but it is pretty straight forward. Well work the effort. Plays most any type file and plenty of Plex channels work.
  24. a1b2c3 macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2014
    The Roku and Plex combination works quite well but I just can't get past the ugly UI. I have since retired my Roku back in the box and stored away within the first week of using it. Still prefer my Apple TV by far especially once your content is tagged correctly with info and cover art. Displays quite nicely on the AppleTV and performs great. For those that insist on using plex another good option is Plexconnect which also works quite well. 1000 Times better than the Roku plex combination. You get the full plex experience with Plexconnect, and it's not ugly.
  25. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    I found an app called USB Media Player. It not only does what the name implies but will also play movies, music and photos from my NAS. Podcasts, I've never tried.

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