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MortyUA

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 3, 2012
17
1
Dear all,

I'm a newbie in the Apple universe :apple:, and I'm mostly using Windows gear myself. But this isn't about me, I am trying to put together a good solution for my elderly parents, who are not too computer literate.

My parents need:
  • Netflix on the TV.
  • A way to show browser-based video streams onto the TV.
The browser-based streaming is from the local library, which runs a couple of local video streams.

I'm not sure how to best solve those two use cases for my parents. They're good at using their iPad Air 2, and it would be nice if the solution was "seamless" and managed from the iPad. I'm considering buying them an Apple TV 3 or 4.

How does this typically work in the Apple universe? I presume the common way to use Netflix is to run Netflix's native app on the Apple TV. What about browser-based streaming, is that done by using Safari on the iPad and Airplay casting to the Apple TV? Is that super easy to do? Would the Apple TV 4 be much better than the 3 when used solely for Netflix & Airplay?

Thanks! :)
 

Mac... nificent

macrumors 6502a
Nov 20, 2012
864
436
You can get a HDMI adapter for the iPad and use the netflix app straight from the iPad. It will run around 50.00.

http://www.apple.com/shop/product/MD826AM/A/lightning-digital-av-adapter

You will also need a HDMI cable which will run around 10 bucks. However for around the same price (69 dollars) you can do it wirelessly by buying the Apple TV3. It also comes with the netflix app. With the Apple TV3 they would also be able to wirelessly stream anything seen on their iPad to their TV.
 
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BradWould

macrumors 6502
Apr 11, 2015
272
252
Nova Scotia, Canada
The ATV4 would be overkill if all you need is Netflix and AirPlay. I would just get the ATV3. However I'm a practitioner of the "if there's a chance I'll want it in the future I get it now" philosophy. I hate buying a lower quality or lower functioning unit only to realize I need or want the other one 6 months later.
 
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MortyUA

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 3, 2012
17
1
With the Apple TV3 they would also be able to wirelessly stream anything seen on their iPad to their TV.

Thank you for your answer. :) Since I have never used this myself, I don't know how it works, and can't get my head around whether it is simple enough for my elderly parents. Best guess, is Airplay from iPad Air 2 to Apple TV 3 so easy to use that regular 70-year old people will get it to work after instruction? Hard to answer, I guess. :)
 
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matrix07

macrumors 603
Jun 24, 2010
6,431
3,033
How does this typically work in the Apple universe? I presume the common way to use Netflix is to run Netflix's native app on the Apple TV. What about browser-based streaming, is that done by using Safari on the iPad and Airplay casting to the Apple TV? Is that super easy to do? Would the Apple TV 4 be much better than the 3 when used solely for Netflix & Airplay?

Thanks! :)

Yup. If it's browser based then use AirPlay Mirroring. It's easy. Just swipe CC up and tap AirPlay, check Mirroring which will mirror the whole iPad screen onto TV, then play videos.

For Netflix and AirPlay I don't think there's much difference between the 3 and 4. The 4 will give you more options (apps) in the future but also more expensive.
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,414
15,542
Central U.S.
Sometimes AirPlay mirroring can be stuttery or take a long time to buffer, especially on the Apple TV 3 and even more so if they have one of those cheap routers that comes with their internet subscription. What kind of local library are you streaming from? I know a lot of people are happy with apps like Plex that handle streaming your local media with a nice UI, and apps like that are only available on the Apple TV 4 which has an App Store. The Apple TV 3 is more simplistic, but the Apple TV 4 is more future proof (four times the RAM, twice the CPU and GPU cores which are both several times faster, four times the base internal storage, App Store for future streaming platforms and a much better remote control which IMO is easier to navigate with, AC WiFi which is 3-4 times faster, voice control). The other nice thing is that the new Apple TV turns on my TV for me when I push the remote and it even controls my sound bar. I didn't even have to configure it! It just worked. If it were my parents or grandparents I'd get them the new one just because it's less fiddly to use than the old one. However I will say that when I did my initial setup, for some reason it wouldn't pair with the new BT remote and I had to borrow my uncle's old Apple TV 3 remote (I was setting it up while visiting back home) to complete setup to pair it. But when googling that issue it seemed like a rare glitch.
 
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MortyUA

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 3, 2012
17
1
Sometimes AirPlay mirroring can be stuttery or take a long time to buffer
[...]
What kind of local library are you streaming from?
Thanks! You raise some good points. Indeed, their current WiFi is only single-channel N at ~150 mbit maximum.

There is no local library. :) It's only streaming from Internet, either via Netflix or in-browser streaming.
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,414
15,542
Central U.S.
Thanks! You raise some good points. Indeed, their current WiFi is only single-channel N at ~150 mbit maximum.

There is no local library. :) It's only streaming from Internet, either via Netflix or in-browser streaming.
Oh I thought you were talking about some kind of media router that uses a browser to stream to iOS devices. Thought you could just cut out the middle man and stream directly to the TV. I had an Airport Extreme N before, which does 450Mbps, and it would sometimes struggle with 1080p—either buffering or lowering the quality. My house isn't that big, but they were at somewhat opposite corners. So distance to the router will play a role in their Airplay experience. The Apple TV 4 with AC wireless running on 1. An AC network and 2. The latest iOS devices with AC capability makes for an instantaneous streaming to my TV, provided the source material isn't 4K which in my experience can stutter. The old way wasn't bad, but not ideal and I worry about a 150Mbps network and any range issues. The newest tech uses beam-forming which focuses the signal. I can go all the way to the park across the street from my house (about 400-500ft) and still get decent WiFi. But if I go further and come back, it doesn't pick up the signal until I start crossing the street to my house because it has to "lock on" to it. This makes the speed degradation much less over distance inside my house. Shows start nearly instantly for me now on my 100Mbps connection where previously they had to buffer for 10-20 seconds, sometimes up to a couple minutes.
 
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Longkeg

macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2014
515
253
The Nation’s (US) Oldest City
AirPlay to the ATV3 was always an "adventure" while the ATV4 just works... all the time. Assuming the library streams work on the iPad (remember, no Flash on iOS) they should AirPlay just fine to the 4. Also to consider: there may soon be apps for the ATV4 capable of streaming from URLs. VLC may already do this. Can anyone confirm?
 
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Gueeds

macrumors regular
Jul 29, 2015
124
105
The ATV3 will do what you want, but the small increase in price for the ATV4 for a much more capable and faster device is probably worth the extra few dollars.

Everything will work on the 3, in my experience, all of these features are better on the 4. With the sole exception of a slightly better Netflix client on the 3.
 
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