Least expensive streaming option?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by tbradnc, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. tbradnc macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2013
    I'm going to call DirectTV and cancel our service this week. I've managed to replace our TV program with the usual suspects (netflix/hulu/etc/.

    The problem is I've done all of my experimentation using my MBA and I don't really want the family to need my personal computer to watch television.

    What is the least expensive, most reliable device to manage streaming content to our TV?

    Current setup is MBA and ATV so I'm guessing either an iPad or a low end Macbook of some kind - maybe not the latest?

    I do have an iPhone 4s in a drawer - should I consider that?

  2. jdag macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2012
    Can you be more explicit about where you'd be streaming from? You mention Netflix and Hulu, and with those services you don't need anything beyond the AppleTV and its remote. So you many not need a thing.
  3. tbradnc thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2013
    Sorry - we'll be streaming from various sources. I'm sure we'll get an HBO streaming subscription when Game of Thrones comes back on. :)

    But to be more direct - I stream quite a bit from here: http://wwitv.com/

    I guess my question could be, "What is the least expensive but adequate hardware solution streaming option for any non-ATV content to an ATV?"
  4. jdag macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2012
    I would try your old iPhone 4 1st...should work, and will cost $0 to try. You can start the video on the iPhone and use AirPlay to "fling" it over to the AppleTV.
  5. tbradnc thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2013
    Yes! Since I posted I tried that and it works very well (so far).
  6. ozaz macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2011
    I'd be surprised if you could cut the cord with just an iOS device and Apple TV. Don't a lot of streaming services block Airplay?

    It may be different in the US, but in the UK several of the broadcasters block Airplay from their app to Apple TV. Something about Airplay potentially being an issue from a content redistribution perspective.
  7. tbradnc thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2013
    Following back up, the 4s is not a reliable streaming device. :( It'll work, then the ATV will drop the stream, pause, play for a few seconds, lose the stream, pause.. etc.

    My MBA, sitting right next to the 4s will stream 100% error free for hours.

    Both devices are within 10' of an ATC with a 100/100 wifi connection.
  8. Southern Dad macrumors 68000

    Southern Dad

    May 23, 2010
    Shady Dale, Georgia
    Something is wrong with your device. I stream reliably from my iPhone all the time and have since the 4s. If you can stream from the MacBook Air reliably, I'd say the issue is with the iPhone 4s. Maybe something is knocking it offline.
  9. waw74 macrumors 68040

    May 27, 2008
  10. tbradnc thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2013
  11. imaccooper macrumors 6502


    May 29, 2014
    North Carolina
    If you are looking for something to share between the family then an iPad makes the most sense. I stream from air 1 all of the time and it works great. I suspect you could go for a version or two before that as well if you are looking to save a little money but you don't want to get something too old.
  12. bandrews macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2008
    There aren't many now are there that block Airplay? Even 4OD supports it now.
  13. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    Airplay from the iPhone should be reliable, especially as a lot of streaming actually hands off to the ATV directly so the iPhone only remains involved for control signals.

    If you find that you or your family doesn't like having to deal with Airplay, I would suggest trying a Roku. The interface isn't quite as slick, but it is a lot more flexible with its content, and the remote is big enough to not be getting lost every 5 minutes. ;) We have several ATV's but my wife prefers the Roku by far.
  14. tbradnc thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2013
    Well, the deal is that I can get Netflix and Hulu to stream from my iPhones and iPad perfectly but "XFinity to Go" - Comcast's streaming app will stream for 2 seconds, buffer for 10 seconds, stream for 2 seconds, buffer for 10 seconds... it's unwatchable.

    For some reason only my MBA (mid-2013) will stream "XFinity to Go" reliably - it is unwatchable when streamed from my iPhones/iPad.

    I am sitting just a few feet from an ATC connected to a 100/100 connection.
  15. ozaz macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2011
    Regarding UK-based stuff,

    BBC iPlayer, 4oD, and BT Sport support Airplay.

    ITV Player, Demand 5, and Sky Go block it.
    Now TV also blocks it, but there's a Now TV app on the Apple TV so that's ok.

    I'm not sure about BT TV and Virgin TV Anywhere.
  16. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    My family would be annoyed beyond belief if I tried the path you're headed down.

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15 March 8, 2015