Smart TV or Apple TV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by rappar, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. rappar macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2010
    I need to buy a new TV in the near future. I think I would like a Smart TV but that limits the units I would purchase. Would I be better to consider Apple TV as part of the package and therefore have access to more choice in the TV I purchase?
  2. herdnerfer macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2011
    Saint louis, MO
    Apple TV for the win

    There is no standard in Smart TVs right now, so you are at the whim of what the manufacturer wants to provide you, odds are the apps it comes with are the only ones you will get, and they will never be updated.

    At least with an Apple TV you can count on apple to support your device and provide updates and new content.

    Especailly, if you already have an iphone or ipad, Apple TV definitely seems like an obvious choice in this matter...
  3. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2011
    NY USA
    I use both; but essentially I use my Apple TV more than the Smart TV features for my iTunes stuff, music, Netflix and Hulu. I use my Smart TV mainly for Plex and Plex channels since it is built in.
  4. negativzero macrumors 6502a

    Jul 19, 2011
    Smart TVs aren't that much more expensive than regular TVs now and they come with the whole package, Netflix, Hulu, DLNA. And they're good for those purposes.

    I also got a Apple TV and its great if I want to do AirPlay mirroring. I stream live Premier League over my Mac onto the Apple TV and its great in HD :)
  5. blanka, Feb 27, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013

    blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Both suck as their software sucks.
    • Limited options
    • Closed nature
    • Short support time (usually 2-4 year, even Apple has a bad track record for iOS devices)
    • Not extendable/tweakable

    A basic Windows box or MacMini, even 4 year old ones, blow Apple TV's and Smart TV's out of the water when it comes to possibilities and long term functionality. It may not look as nice and integrated, but I don't mind as the thing I watch usually runs 1-2 hours.

    A TV has to do very little: play 24p/25p/48p/50i/p/60i/p over ONE input flawless judder free and with 1:1 pixel mapping and good color space support. Add a nice static contrast of 1:3000 or better, nice viewing angles, no backlight bleeding or uneven illumination, a nice wide gamut with decent sRGB limiting and we are done. Brightness to ambient light adaption might me another favourable feature, but that's it. And an awesome low standby wattage.

    And it should not upmix, autocontrast, sharpen and color correct anything into 600Hz oversaturated halo-lined garbage. Just show the input, nothing more. It does not even need a remote! Ok, this is actually a monitor, but that is fine, a TV should be a monitor in 2013 IPTV land.

    Problem is: try to check ANY tv on the above specs, or ask for these in the shop and they will give you the stupid face.
  6. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I have a Mac Mini (quad 2.0) that has XBMC and Plex on it and it does a nice job of playback.

    I also have a Panasonic Viera VT50 Plasma TV that does a VERY GOOD job with Netflix and is superior to the playback on my TiVo 3. However, my Blu Ray player (Oppo Bdp 103) does the best job with Netflix just by a hair over the smart Plasma TV.

    Candidly, I would never get an ATV other than for music or low res movie/vid purposes. It simply is inferior in results and there are various articles that show that other players do a better job.

    The Mac Mini with XBMC or Plex is a great way to go as you can store your movies on a network (as well as your music library) and XBMC or Plex can get fast access to them and excellent playback. If I had to choose an Apple device for multi-media, it would be the Mac Mini hands down.

    I'll continue to use my TV or Blu Ray player for Netflix, let the TiVo record TV shows and use my Mac Mini and Blu Ray player for music from my NAS.

    The point being everyone has far more options rather than limited options when they start building a media "system."
  7. Mr-Kerrse macrumors 6502

    Apr 1, 2011
    United Kingdom
    I have both & as for TV's not being updated thats nonsense my LG gets fairly regular updates.

    I have Plex on my LG tv but i actually still prefer to use my jailbroken ATV2's with ATV Flash unless i want to use Iplayer etc if the ATV gets apps it will be even better.
  8. wknapp0924 macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2012
    Honolulu, HI
    I have both. I use the Smart TV for Plex and VUDU and my apple tv2 for xbmc purposes for the really hard to find shows and movies.

    VUDU 1080 HDX is so much better quality than watching the movie on my ATV2 and Plex works perfectly streaming my large rips from my external HD and never skips like XBMC. I would say having both is the perfect setup. Samsung Smart TV also has two usb ports to plug in thumb drives that plays every format of movie.
  9. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I have a Smart TV (it's really just a Samsung branding name). I thought it would be neat. It was really about $200 more for less than what Apple TV provides. It also means running sound out of your TV to an audio input on an A/V receiver for many people.

    Save your money and get a cheaper TV since none of them look like the software was designed by anyone smarter than a chimp. Most of the stuff is available through BD players and boxes like Apple TV, plus as simple as the ATV interface seems, it's way ahead of anything I have seen built in to a TV.
  10. tekno macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2011
    Really? Like all the support they've provided for iWeb? And all the updates they've provided for iWork?

    By their own admission, Apple TV is a hobby for Apple. If they suddenly ceased production of it tomorrow I wouldn't be at all surprised.
  11. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    None is perfect, but I find myself using the smart features of my LG TV much more than my ATv, due to all the restrictions ATv has, and the PITA iTunes is.

    Start with a good Smart TV - I'd recommend LG, since it plays any format in a USB/external hard drive, and its Plex player works flawlessly.... and if you need anything else, get the aTV - but its limitations on video playing are disappointing, specially if you don't like to manage/play your library via iTunes.
  12. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Oh come on. I get where you're coming from, but you can't possibly compare iWeb and iWork to something in the same category as the Next Big Thing Apple is rumored to be developing. I never found iWeb useful, and iWork is basically a $60 office package. Meanwhile, Apple really wants you to use its media on your TV and is negotiating to bring HBO Go to the device.

    I would foresee Apple killing the desktop computer before it did away with a $99 box that gets iTunes content on your TV.
  13. tekno macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2011
    Again, I'm just pointing out that Apple themselves always refer to ATV as a hobby.

    It wouldn't surprise me that, should they ever release an actual Apple TV set, they'll first cease production and all support for the ATV therefore forcing people to buy the Apple TV set. Or, like iWeb and iWork, they'll just cease selling the ATV and offer no alternative due to 'lack of sales' or 'a change in product line-up'.

    The OP's question also depends on where he lives. In the UK at least, the Apple TV has relatively few features, whereas my Panasonic smart TV is much more useful: It can play all sorts of file formats from SD card, USB stick, external HDD, from my network, it has BBC iPlayer, 4OD, movies on demand and even records TV shows.

    A lot more than an Apple TV can do (unless a lot has changed since I put mine away in the attic).
  14. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    All TVs are "smart" when you attach the right box to them, Personally id rather have a DUMB screen and attached an easily up-gradable box to it than have a TV i have to replace every other year to keep its features set "up to date" when i could just replace a box as i need too.
  15. maxosx macrumors 68020

    Dec 13, 2012
    Southern California
    Samsung smart TV's are here now & highly useful.
  16. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    So, no Apple TV then.... I wouldn't even call the ATv a smart box.

    There are better smart boxes out there.
  17. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    aTV box is a handy way of getting my iTunes library to my TV, other than that my "smart" box is my PS3 with PlayTv attachemnt, My PS3 does netflix/lovefilm,iPlayer 4oD, three player steaming, plays DvDs and blurays, and thanks to Play TV and a 1TB drive its also a DVR....oh and it plays game once in a blue moon too.
  18. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Whenever I am asked, here's my opinion: Go with an AppleTV/Roku/etc... You never know when/if your tv will even get updates to the "apps" built in. What happens if HULU and/or Netflix go belly up or change their content delivery method. Will your vendor supply an update or are you left with something that doesn't work? Now you have a $1000+ television with crippled functions. However, say Apple / Roku /etc. stop supporting a device. No big deal. You ditch your $100 box and get a different one.

    Just my opinion. I have a smart TV only because it had the features I wanted for the price I was willing to pay and I just ignore the Smart TV features and use it as a "dumb" screen. If I could have gotten the same TV for $100 or more less without the smart tv features, I wouldn't have hesitated.
  19. wlossw macrumors 65816


    May 9, 2012
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    I have a "smart" tv... and an AppleTV... I don't even know what apps are on my smart tv...
  20. kds1 Suspended


    Feb 17, 2013
    New York, New York
    I have a smart TV with many of the same apps that the :apple:TV has: Netflix, Hulu, WSJ and the sports channels. I don't use it. Why? Because the user interface is HORRIBLE. Plus, if my TV is connected to the internet, it will actually serve up ads to you when you change the volume, underneath the volume slider on the screen! I'd prefer to use the AppleTV instead (no ads, good user interface).

    I suggest using the AppleTV.
  21. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    I have 5 HDTVs in the house of varying ages and makes. But no matter which set any family member chooses, they get a consistent interface and services thanks to the Apple TV at each one.
  22. Muscle Master macrumors 6502a

    Muscle Master

    Oct 15, 2010
  23. Hail Caesar macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2013
    Apple TV works for me, I get my Netflix and Hulu Plus. Nothing beats iTunes with all the content I have in there. I do hope they add Amazon Instant though.
  24. 0dev macrumors 68040


    Dec 22, 2009
    I dislike the idea of smart TVs simply because you expect to keep a TV for much longer than you'd keep a gadget for streaming media and offering apps and support for your smart TV software will likely be dropped way before you'd ideally like to upgrade your TV.

    What I did was buy a "dumb" TV and hook up a Raspberry Pi. You can install XMBC on it (OpenELEC) and use it just like an Apple TV but with far fewer restrictions. Or if you like the Apple ecosystem you can just hook up an Apple TV.

    That way in a few years when whatever box you're using is obsolete you can upgrade it without spending hundreds of dollars on a brand new TV.
  25. BeeJee macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2011
    Long Island/North Jersey
    Yeah I got an insane deal on a Sony LED Google TV and it really is ****in stupid. I haven't used any of the features in at least a year. Dumb tv with appleTV is what I'd do every time. Definitely not worth the extra money.

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