Sell me on Apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by kofman13, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. kofman13 macrumors regular

    May 6, 2009
    So I am already heavily invested and in love with the apple eco system. I have a MacBook, iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, AirPods.

    BUT I use a chrome cast with my 4K tv. It was only $35 and gets the job done. Although always loading things from my phone can be annoying plus connecting to it and loading the corresponding app on the chrome cast I.e. YouTube or HBO takes ages sometimes and is clunky.

    The tv itself only has Netflix YouTube and amazon prime built in apps and performance is even worse.

    What other benefits would I have from switching to apple tv? Does Apple TV have as many apps as chrome cast does? Do they load fast? Is there a list of compatible services that Apple TV provides? Chrome cast basically supports any app You can have on a phone. Wouldn’t want to lose apps by going to apple tv

    Also I just read I can connect my AirPods to Apple TV. That already gets me super hype. Is this true?

    How’s the performance on 5ghz dual band WiFi? Ethernet isn’t an option for me where my TV is
  2. dgraham78 macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2011
    iTunes tv and movies
    TV app which is awesome
    Seamless integration with other Apple products
    Apple Music
    iPhone iPad use as remotes
    Universal remotes work(not all)
    Not sure about WiFi mode I use Ethernet but I’m sure it’s better then roku
    Best screensavers
  3. Phil in ocala, Apr 14, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018

    Phil in ocala Suspended

    Phil in ocala

    Jul 14, 2016
    All I know is that I wasted money by buying Amazon Firestick (2) and now none of them work...chronic problems finding any of my two wifi networks...though I have a booster for wifi... Apple TV does not have this is farther from the modem yet connects right away...the firestick is about 20 feet closer and takes ten min to tell me it was unable to find the network.
  4. FocusFarmer macrumors newbie


    Apr 14, 2018
    Cactus Patch, AZ
    Pros - Same chip as an iPad Pro A10X, as mentioned best HDR library iTunes, free unit till end on month thru DirectTV Now by a $105 3 month subscription(thinking about getting a 3rd!), hooks up seamlessly to 5 gHZ but you need true high speed internet to get true constant HDR because of increased bandwidth usage during 4k streaming(Netflix recommends over 25mbps). I haven't had cable or OTA for 3 years so prolly why i luv the ATV4k so much. Pairs up to any bluetooth so yes AirPods. Plentiful apps but i can't speak to games as i'm not a gamer.
    Cons - no Atmos yet - come on Apple!
  5. TheSkywalker77 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 9, 2017
    If you're heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem an Apple TV is the best TV box you can get. As it links into iTunes and I'm pretty sure Apple music.
  6. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    Screen Mirroring is the answer.
    You can run anything from you iOS devices and recent Macs on your TV.
    There are plenty of Apple TV apps too.
    The TV app can easily show on which app to watch a TV series or movie like Hulu, Amazon, HBO, iTunes, etc.
    The Music and Photos are there too.
  7. Caromsoft macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2012
    I was doing streaming from my TiVo but it was having some minor issues. I purchased an ATV4K to test. I just purchased my 3rd ATV4K and the TiVo has been unplugged from my system. Look into the DirecTV Now deal, it is a great way to get one.
  8. HobeSoundDarryl, Apr 14, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    Buy one. Put it through it's paces for up to 13 days. Return it if it doesn't earn a "stay." It's great!

    Secondly, is this really an either-or proposition? Are you losing the Chromecast when you add an :apple:TV? If not, everything you like about Chromecast stays. You'll just have another device that brings whatever else you might like about it after you have it.

    A major difference is that the :apple:TV stands alone, meaning, it doesn't have to lean so heavily on your phone. In fact, it can do about everything it can do without a phone. Have anyone living with you? When you go out (and thus that phone goes out with you), can they get as much out of the Chromecast setup? Almost every benefit of :apple:TV doesn't depend on an iPhone at all.
  9. Sill macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2014
    I don't have iTunes, I don't have Apple Music. Yet I can find quite a few things to like about the AppleTV, especially the recent 4K model.

    1). Picture quality: on my bottom of the line LG HDR 60" panel, the picture is beyond anything I've ever seen. Much of the Netflix original library can take advantage of this, and its especially evident on the nighttime scenes. If you have a higher-end TV that can handle DolbyVision, it'll look even better. Prepare to be amazed.

    2). Apple TV 4K supports Dolby Digital 5.1, and I'm pretty sure it does DD+, which is 7.1 sound.

    3). Yes, AirPods work with the AppleTV. Very well. The sound is at least as good as the best TV speakers, but not quite as good as a 3.0 system.

    4) WiFi performance on my Airport Extreme (final generation) has been perfect. We only have slowdowns or drops that are app/service provider related. We've never used ethernet, ever.

    5). Infuse. If you have a substantial movie library at home, either on your computer or on a NAS, download and install Infuse. Its an outstanding media manager. The basic version is free and full of features, the pro unlocks better audio performance and a few other things. I doubt I could properly express how much I like this app. It blows away unnecessarily complicated stuff like Plex, and also doesn't expose your system to anyone else's eyes like Plex.

    6). Software updates have been fairly regular and transparent to operations. In fact, the only way you'd know there's been an update is a tiny dot next to some of the icons.

    7). DirecTV Now is offering a free Apple TV 4K when you sign up for a new account and prepay three months in advance. That is a phenomenal deal. Even if you never turn DTV on and use it.

    I hope this helps.
  10. aphexacid, Apr 14, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018

    aphexacid macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2007
    I just got an Apple TV 4K last week. I must say I’m a little underwhelmed. It’s plenty fast, has great WiFi ( I get 100 mbps with my ac3100 being in the basement), lots of apps.
    But then again so does everything else.
    I have so many streaming devices, I don’t know what to do with them.

    Roku Ultra 4660: excellent device. Excellent WiFi, all the apps, except iTunes. And the clincher is that it has a USB port so you can watch your movies and shows you’ve ripped yourself completely legally of course.

    Nvidia Shield: also has excellent WiFi, also all the apps and then some. Except of course iTunes. This is a very deluxe box. If you like gaming, this is very serious about it. It will play any file and format from usb you can throw at it.

    The amazon firetv the new little dongle thing is good, it was buggy when it first came out, but it’s good now. Excellent WiFi, all the apps, but vudu and iTunes. Vudu coming soon. No usb.

    So the pattern here is that nothing but the Apple TV has iTunes. So if you’ve bought a lot of movies on iTunes, you definitely need the atv4k.

    Otherwise look elsewhere.

    Btw, the Apple TV Siri remote is horrible to use. Good battery life though.
  11. steve23094 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013
    I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned 4K films on iTunes are a lot cheaper than on other services.
  12. dgraham78 macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2011
    Streaming boxes aren’t Pokémon you don’t have to collect them all or do ya? :p nice collection :)
  13. Sill macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2014
    How is it horrible to use? I'll admit its completely horrible as a self-defense weapon, can opener, or VCR, but as a remote it provides good service. It controls the volume on my increasingly irrelevant Sonos system, it navigates apps wonderfully, and yes the battery life is excellent. Its also nice that the battery can be charged using the same Lightning connector Apple uses for everything else on the planet. The only con is the FF/RW on video takes some practice to master. I don't have that kind of time so I just prefer to curse at it. Any wonkishness other than that is the province of app developers who don't understand human interface. And there are a few. I have yet to see any cable cutting app that has a perfect interface yet. From Hulu to DTVNow to Vue they all are lacking.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 15, 2018 ---
    One thing I forgot to mention : privacy.

    I don't know how important that word or the concept behind it is to you, but its very important to me. One reason Google wanted to release that Chromecast and the related app is to make themselves the gatekeeper to the data related to your watching habits, just like they're the gatekeeper to so much else in people's lives. Apple collects nothing but billing data on your habits, and as the gatekeeper, they restrict the service providers' access to anything you do. Netflix, for example, has not one shred of your data other than what they use to bill you. They don't know anything about what you watch.

    I didn't hear that from anyone in Apple, btw. That tidbit came directly from someone inside Netflix.
  14. Starfia, Apr 15, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018

    Starfia macrumors 6502a


    Apr 11, 2011
    kofman13 – I think it would do essentially all of what you'd hope for. (I'm talking about the 4th generation AppleTV or newer here.)

    The main interface is tvOS, which is conceptually similar to iOS – using it involves arranging and opening apps from its App Store. Most of the main content services build and maintain a native AppleTV app. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO, PBS, and others – and direct streaming of any iTunes purchases if you have those.

    I wouldn't say they load in a blink, but they do load over a reasonable and typical several-second period. And a number of them (Netflix is the notable holdout) support the built-in TV app which aggregates all available shows and lets you jump right to them.

    The AppleTV does a bunch of other cool things, if you care:

    • Receives streamed content or screen mirroring from iOS devices or Macs
    • Allows iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch navigation using the Remote app
    • Access and syncing for audio and video podcasts
    • Access to iCloud Photo Streams, including shared ones
    • Acts as an always-connected home hub for HomeKit devices
    • Yes, streams to AirPods (and Bluetooth devices, HomePod, etc.)
    • Offers lots of other native apps, including games
    • Has a really nice auto-updating aerial screen saver ^ _ ^
  15. Sill macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2014
    Good one. Its fast too. My 6S puts a mirror on any of my Apple TVs - aTV 3,4,4k - instantly.

    While the aTV 3 used pics, the aTV 4 and 4k use hires video. The 4K screen saver can make full use of an HDR display and the results are stunning. My only regret is that I can't select among the videos. Lately they've been very focused on metro areas. I spend far too much time in cities and would prefer more nature. Seeing Dubai at dusk is nice, but I'd really like to get back to the Hawaii shots.
  16. ajohansson macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2011
    I have been running apple tvs for a long time. This ATV4 I just got sent me over the edge and forced me to PLEX. Could not be happier with PLEX. No limit to continuous viewing. Plex available on multiple platforms. You can search with it. Good by apple tvs. I really wish you could make itunes and apple tvs work like Plex. When you do I will be back.

    Look into plex, super easy I just downloaded and it and made my library point to my itunes library. Im basically running them parallel. Love it! I can even play my whole library anywhere I want!
  17. Sill macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2014
    After the bad experience(s) I had with Plex, never again.
  18. eltoslightfoot macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2011
    This is completely what I did. Replaced my AppleTV with two Rokus and Plex. The best decision I ever made. Of course, I never really bought movies off of iTunes, instead ripping mine from blurays and dvds. It has worked flawlessly. iTunes home sharing constantly required restarts of everything involved. Since Plex also has apps for iOS and desktops, I now have the media center I always wanted. I don't think I will ever be back and will instead use Plex.
  19. Sill macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2014
    I had issues with using Homesharing to play movies from iTunes on my Apple TV. When I found out about Infuse, I switched to that, after having a frustrating time with Plex. Infuse does everything I want, without the security leak that is Plex. No "Plex Account" necessary, either. Load the app, point it at the media folder, done.
  20. ajohansson macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2011
    do tell what is the issue with Plex? Whats the security issues?

    The nice thing about plex pointing to my itunes is that I still upload movies to itunes. If apple ever figures out homesharing like plex does I can easily go back.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 15, 2018 ---
    can you remotely view content on say your ipad or iphone with infuse like plex does? I will have to check it out.
  21. Sill, Apr 15, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018

    Sill macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2014
    My experience with Plex happened back in 2015. I started out with Plex as many people did at the time, hoping for something besides Airplay to get a movie from my computer to my Apple TV. A very simple request, but tvOS wasn't too mature at the time. Frequently I'd have a movie start and it would freeze up or the Apple TV would just return to the main menu. I was trying to avoid using Homesharing for certain reasons, but I finally gave up and turned it on. Because of that experience, I started looking for a basic client/server setup to do the job.

    Several people here recommended solutions, ranging from AirParrot (I think) to Plex. I looked at the Plex site and decided to give it a whirl.

    Trying to set up the Plex Media Server (PMS... heh) was plagued from the beginning. When I installed the PMS and pointed it to my movie directory, it also tried to get me to set up TV shows, picture files, and just about every other type of media I could think of. I didn't have any TV episodes, so I deselected that option. I have a lot of music, but I didn't need to stream that to a TV (that makes zero sense to me), so I deselected that. I have thousands of pictures, but I don't "share" them. A significant portion of them were from work I did on various TV productions or other major public events, and if they get out I could have major issues. So I deselected that option.

    When the PMS install finished churning, the interface turned out to be horrible. I forget what the actual issues were - and I don't feel like browsing back through my posts here - but if memory serves me right it went to a very odd line after line repetition of the word "movie" followed by some other words. No beautiful interface full of screen art. Just text.

    I found that Plex recommends using their home theatre app, even if that means running it on the same machine that serves the PMS. So I installed that. And there I found that Plex had taken it upon themselves to search out all the media on my machine and serve it up to the HT app, even the significant number of files I had that I was bound not to release "into the wild".

    Fortunately, I airgapped the install to make sure nothing on the machine would get sent to the Plex cloud or anywhere else. I deleted the entire install, including all the hidden files I could find, based on a helpful article on the Plex site.

    Months later, a couple of people here convinced me to try Plex again. Maybe the install was corrupted, or perhaps I'd screwed up the setup? In any case, there was a new version out so why not give it a chance? I fell for it, unfortunately. Setup went much the same way it did the first time, except it only took a handful of seconds instead of the ten minutes that happened the first time. And once again, there were all my extremely sacred photos listed for anyone to see. I didn't tell Plex they were there- I deselected the option to include the photos. So why did it take mere seconds for the install to finish exactly as it was the first time? It even had the original "friendly" name I assigned to my computer. So there were evidently some very deeply hidden Plex files on that computer that I couldn't find.

    Delete that install too.

    Ultimately, I did find a big pile of hidden Plex files, which I excised. And then I bought a new Mac when I had the chance and hand moved my data over to avoid copying any part of the Plex disease I might have missed.

    They have quite a different approach to running what should have been a very simple system. PMS requires the use of a web page to administer it, instead of having a front end. This made no sense to me. I wasn't telnetting in from an outside location, nor was I trying to admin a router - I was sitting at the very machine that was running the server. They also tried to encourage people to sign up for a Plex account. They said it wasn't necessary, but that it would enable people to use their much-vaunted Remote features.

    Lately I hear that they are no longer "recommending" Plex customers get a Plex account, they are now requiring it. Three years ago it was promoted as the only way to unlock Remote features. I was using Plex to serve movies from one computer to one Apple TV on the same network. Why would I need an account on a remote server to do that?

    Quite simply, Plex wants access to everything you do. All of your media goes through their servers to get to where you are. I don't know what their end game is, but regardless of that I don't trust them.

    Infuse does exactly what I want. I can serve movies from my iMac to my Apple TV, in Dolby 5.1, 1080p. No outsiders involved.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 15, 2018 ---
    I have it installed on my bedside iPhone, which has been retired from cell service and simply works on WiFI.

    You're probably referring to viewing outside the home network, though. I have no idea if it does that. My job is so busy that I don't have any time for things like that, so if I'm not at home I'm not watching movies.
  22. ajohansson, Apr 15, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018

    ajohansson macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2011
    Damn... i guess i would hate plex too. Things have progressed. Was super simple. I had the choice for it to run wild and search for content or point to where i wanted to it to look for a particular library. I directed the “movie” library to my itunes movie folder. Flawless.

    I did not activate photos or music. I did make a home movies library and had it point to my home videos folder in itunes.

    What i like is i can rip a movie upload it to itunes and plex notices the change automatically adds it as content. I also like that the plex app is natively on the roku platform. It sits in a 129 dollar television and has more features for searching my itunes content than my atv3.

    I figure the remote access could be nice for traveling and watching a video. Not something i need to have at all. I will pretty much use my old ATV3s i guess for itunes purchasing if i want to buy or rent something or to airplay thats about it. I brought home a roku ultra tonight so i can hopefully get apple to refund my money on my pile a crap ATV4.
  23. steve23094 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013
    Sounds like it might be this.

    I installed a dedicated Plex server around the same time and only serve up movies. None of my photos are or were present.

    The learning curve isn’t great though, it could be simpler.
  24. ajohansson macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2011
    So i looked up infuse. Its from firecore...funny i used to jailbreak my atv2s back in the day with firecore.

    The infuse looks intriguing. What i like about roku and plex is i have sling, youtube tv, amazon prime, pbs yada yada and plex all in one platform. My ATVs has only my movies i have to get an ATV4 for that and well it sucks and so does the second one apple gave me to replace the first. But im intrigued to try out infuse for my atv3 just to gove it a go if plex went down.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 16, 2018 ---
    Looked more into infuse. First step is to turn on “file sharing” on my mac. Thats a bummer because “backblaze” wont backup and computers or drives that have filesharing turned on. Oh well so far im super happy with plex.
  25. Macalicious2011 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2011
    Hardwire instead of using WiFi. Doing so completely transformed my Chromecast. Casting became and changing video became instantiations, no connect issues or drops at all.

    Get a Powerline extender. A good one won't cost you much more than $100-120. It's the single best upgrade you can do internet connectivity and media consumption in your house.

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