So, who else has given up?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by MattG, Jan 29, 2019.

  1. MattG macrumors 68040

    MattG

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    #1
    (I'm hoping this thread can stimulate some actual conversation, not just people telling me "why are you b****ing, this is an Apple forum, go use whatever you want")

    I've been an Apple user overall since around 2000 (and will continue to be), and I've been an Apple TV devotee since the first generation came out over a decade ago. With the exception of the 4K, I've upgraded to every new version of the Apple TV that Apple has put out over the years.

    I had three Apple TV Gen4s in my house up until recently. The other night, while wrestling with the idiotically-designed ATV remote and dealing with this issue I constantly have where I'll be watching a show and I have to hit the menu button literally 20 times to get it to stop/go back to the menu, I decided maybe it was worth seeing what else is out there.

    After reading numerous reviews, I placed an order and.....the Fire Stick 4K is SO MUCH BETTER. The remote is better (equal form AND function). The interface is better. It's fast, it's responsive. The voice control works well. My TVs don't turn on at random during the day like they did when they had Apple TV plugged into them. I haven't had them long enough to tell but, I suspect my streaming apps on the Fire Stick won't lose their logon information at random like they did on Apple TV, and I know (obviously) that I can look forward to not constantly being prompted for my iTunes password at random anymore even though my password hasn't changed. The only thing I'm missing is AirPlay/iTunes Store integration, and based on what came out of CES this year, AirPlay will be coming soon to a Samsung TV near me anyway.

    (AND I'm just going to leave this here: while I realize buying anything Apple means you're going to have to pay the "Apple Tax," and so I probably shouldn't bring this into the equation...but, I bought three Fire Stick 4Ks for less than the cost of one Apple TV.)

    So, with all that being said, what the hell is the allure of Apple TV anymore? I feel like I've been patient, waiting a long time for a truly significant improvement, and it feels like after 12 years it's still being treated as just a "hobby" to Apple.
     
  2. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    Denmark
    #2
    Well personally my ATV4 has been rock solid, I like the remote, and streaming from my Plex server is working amazingly (With Infuse, that is). Couldn't be happier, and I still consider it the best tech buy I've done in several years.
     
  3. BlandUsername macrumors regular

    BlandUsername

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    In yer server room, fixing the tubes
    #3
    Despise the Appletv remote, Use the phone app for it at all times. Now even that has issues if I don't look to see which appletv it connected to first. Constantly turning on the wrong apple TV and all the components. Would be nice if the app forced you to choose which TV it connected to. I have one I have to power cycle constantly, other than that the biggest pain is the price. I refuse to get the 4K so far even with 2 brand new 4k tv's on hand. I would consider migrating to a new platform if it wasnt for the so, so deep itunes library tied to the environment. Mac mini's work better, but cant justify that price on every tv, just my desk.
     
  4. imaccooper macrumors 6502

    imaccooper

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #4
    I have had several streaming players and at least one of the apple tv, roku, and fire tv devices. Currently in the bedroom I have an old Roku 3 which is starting to show its age, so I've been thinking about moving my apple tv 4 in there for some stability as I have in my head that I like it. But every time I think about it, I start to realize that I really don't like it as much as the Roku especially when it comes to using the remote in bed.

    If you remove price from the equation (because it is twice the price as the others), I think the apple tv is a nice device and it makes a ton of sense for people with iTunes libraries or people who want to airplay their devices to the tv a lot, but neither of things apply to me so its two main features are not really beneficial to me personally. Unless something changes, I think the apple tv 4 will probably be my last apple tv and I will stick with the Roku or Fire TV for the foreseeable future.
     
  5. MattG thread starter macrumors 68040

    MattG

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    Asheville, NC
    #5
    For sure, and this is a big part of the reason I stuck around for so long. I do have a number of TV seasons, movies, and of course music purchased through iTunes, as well as an extensive iTunes library on my MacBook. But, my Yamaha receiver has AirPlay, I have one 2018 Samsung TV that should get the software update that includes AirPlay, and I'm planning on upgrading my oldest set later this year. It's definitely not as convenient as being able to just pull up the content directly through the TV interface but, at this point it's just not enough of a reason for me to stick with ATV.
     
  6. imaccooper macrumors 6502

    imaccooper

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    North Carolina
    #6
    Yeah several years ago I got an apple tv 3 and the biggest reason was because I wanted to use airplay. Then I slowly started to realize the only thing I ever used airplay for was the then unavailable amazon prime app. After a year or so, I got the Roku 3 and really liked the simplicity of it.

    I got the apple tv 4 when directv now was giving them away a year or so ago and again thought I would love it, but I just don't. It works fine and I don't have plans to replace it until it stops working well, but I don't really love it like I love using a mac or an iPad or an iPhone. For me, it is no better than a $40 fire tv stick or a $60 Roku box.

    If I did more airplay or had an iTunes library then I would be paying the premium just like I do for the iPhone and be ok with it, but its just not worth it to me.
     
  7. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

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    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #7
    I use a Harmony for all of my media boxes (ATV 4k, Pivos Aios, Patriot PBO, and Mi Box 3). The ATV is not perfect but it's a lot closer to perfect for me.
     
  8. spacemnspiff macrumors 6502a

    spacemnspiff

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
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    MD
    #8
    I too absolutely love my two ATV4s. They have been solid for past 3 years. I have cut the cord for what seems like 5 years now, Roku3 and Chromecast were replaced by ATV4s. Roku3 still works and is used for kids TV.

    Best part of the ATV experience for me is the remote, fast forwarding/rewinding is so intuitive to me, my favorite is the skipping 10 sec ahead/behind or hold longer for fast scroll. None of the other remotes (Roku) that I have tried provide that level control and also make it that easy.

    In my experience the user input error rate is high for remote primarily because of user error, learning curve of a new interface. My mother refuses to touch that thing when she is visiting. My kids on the other hand, love the ease of use of the touch-pad.
     
  9. imaccooper macrumors 6502

    imaccooper

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    North Carolina
    #9
    I will agree with that, it normally is user error if I or anyone hits something wrong. But I tend to have less user errors with the Roku remote :).

    However it is impossible to argue that if I wanted a trackpad then I would want one from apple, even the little one of the apple tv remote is super responsive and works exactly like it is supposed to. I would just rather have buttons for what I do.
     
  10. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    #10
    Interesting thread but oh my, Amazon is not the way to go. That company exists to sell and nothing else. If you look at their service of buying a HD film, you can download it a MAXIMUM of twice. What?
    I've used all of the film buying services/platforms - iTunes, Google, Amazon, YouTube, Reelhouse and nothing in my experience matches that of the iTunes service in terms of picture & sound quality, reliability, reliability of streaming from Apple's servers, security, price, content.

    One seriously should ask why a product is cheap. If it's cheap, what components are used? What is the longevity, what is security like? Will it end in a landfill in one years time. Are the factories using cancer causing chemicals to manufacture it? Are the workers exposed to cancer causing chemicals on a daily basis? Is it slave labour? How can it be sold so cheaply? All of these questions should be asked but sadly, very few humans seem to care. It's incredible how humans of today what everything for nothing. Many businesses are the same - they demand everything from employees and yet pay a tiny salary. It's a horrible human trait that is destroying this beautiful world.

    I was never a fan of the ATV 3 remote, so I used the app on my iPhone and loved it - again, the ATV 4K remote app on the iPhone X is amazing.

    I feel that Apple have really done their R&D on Apple TV and IMO, there is nothing out there to match it in terms of built quality, choice of components, design, security of tvOS and performance.

    It's easy to get used to the App Ecosystem and sometimes take it for granted which results in straying to other brands BUT from experience with friends, it's amazing how quickly they come running back to Apple. I've seen it so often where friends have crossed to Android & Samdung stuff only to hate the experience, are miserable with it and very quickly they run back!

    Maybe if you tried the Apple TV 4k you'd love it. It really is an incredible piece of design. It's the only product connected to our OLED. Other than iTunes not having Dolby True HD audio, it's flawless in every other way.
     
  11. JeffPerrin macrumors 6502

    JeffPerrin

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2014
    #11
    As confounding as the remote is ergonomically, this certainly does not sound like normal ATV behavior. Try rebooting the ATV and also charging the remote. The remote can act a little wonky when it's battery is low.

    Also note that button behavior is sometimes app-specific. (i.e. it may be the app's fault, so test on different apps before deciding if the remote is faulty)

    Just some thoughts...
     
  12. MattG thread starter macrumors 68040

    MattG

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    May 27, 2003
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    Asheville, NC
    #12
    Sorry but, I don't buy that. I'm an IT Professional of 16 years...no stranger to gadgets of every type, have either owned it or tried it all over the years, including too many TV-connected devices to mention (streaming devices or otherwise), all of which included remotes. I've had the Apple TVs with this style remote since 2015, and up until recently I used them every day. By this point, I've "learned" the remote. The error rate is because the remote is just poorly designed. It's basically a throwback to Apple and their one-button mice. "Let's make sure it looks slick, and functionality goes on the back-burner."

    When you're fumbling around when the lights are dim, or if it falls between your sheets or whatever, there's barely any discernible difference between up, down, top, bottom on the remote when you go to pick it up, and when try to discern it, you end up pushing buttons by accident. I can't tell you how many times I've left this remote sitting by my side on the couch or the bed, then it slips down somewhere (which it does constantly, since it's made of all that slippery glass) and I don't see it and I end up accidentally hitting buttons because I barely grazed it with my side. Or, I pick the thing up thinking it's oriented one way and it's not, and I accidentally change something. I'm definitely not saying this isn't possible with other remotes, but due to the Apple TV remote's design, the effect is greatly amplified. It's a remote control...you shouldn't have to handle it with kid gloves all the time due to its over-sensitivity to everything.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 29, 2019 ---
    Believe me, I've tried it all. Rebooting, factory resets, charging up the battery. Maybe the behavior is due to Hulu or Netflix or whatever (I can't remember offhand which app) but, it's been happening so long that at this point, I can't believe the app vendor wouldn't have fixed it.
     
  13. hinesmj macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2015
    Location:
    New York
    #13
    For me, it's the ease of use and integration with apple services. We have iPhones and iPads in the house. Both my kids, who are younger, can easily navigate to what they want to watch. My wife, who is far from tech savvy, can easily use it. We like it. To each their own.
     
  14. spacemnspiff macrumors 6502a

    spacemnspiff

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Location:
    MD
    #14
    I think we are talking about the same thing, learning or adapting to a new interface can be challenging. I was open to it and it has worked well for me.

    I think we have to agree to disagree.

    If you find the remote slick, then there are solutions for that. I have a remote cover that I use so that the kids don't damage the remote if dropped. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0183EYEII/

    The top bottom problem does exist but it is second nature to me to use the button protrusions to reorient the remote. This just like any other adaptation to environment. I reorient the phone when using in the dark, my thumb goes looking for the home button or the camera protrusion.
     
  15. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    #15
    Apple still treats the ATV as a hobby, and while the ATV4K was a huge improvement, tvOS is still suffering from the problems caused my Apple design of the ATV4 and the original tvOS. For Devos, any momentum caused by the hype of the ATV4 in 2015 died at it's launched when it was nerfed by Apple.

    Apple hardly advertises for it. When was the last time you seen an ATV4K advertisement? Compare that to the last hundred times you seen an iPhone, AW, or iPad advertisement.

    Look at the MR tvOS update articles on here, almost all of them state that there is no clear difference in the updates, and may just focus on "under the hood" issues. Which doesn't fix the bugs of course....

    I just think that Apple doesn't care about the Apple TV 4K.

    These ATV bugs are pretty annoying. I bought my ATV4 at launch, and tvOS was a buggy mess at launch.

    So much, that my wife asked me to put the ATV3 back on the main TV, which I did for a year. She hated the Netflix UI and the bugs on the ATV4 just made the experience much worse, so we went back to the ATV3.

    It has gotten much better, but there still are annoying bugs.

    I have personally noticed a huge difference with the ATV4k versus the ATV4.

    I have been saying this forever, I think Apple launched the ATV4 with an under-powered chip for what it does.

    If you ever decide to try the ATV again, get the 4K version.

    This still happens on the ATV4k, I suspect it is a tvOS issue. Very annoying, especially when I get a call from my baby boomer parents saying none of their movies work.


    I have purchased a few other streamer boxes, and the ATV with all its flaws is still the best imo. But, maybe not the best for value.

    I personally hate the remote app more than the Siri Remote.

    Imo, the worst part of the Siri Remote is the lack of physical buttons, especially a D-pad. The Remote app doubles-down on this and has no physical buttons.

    I agree with this.
    Imo, the Apple TV 4k is still the best out there, but for the current price, it just isn't worth it when a FireStick can do most of what most people need to do, but it is a fraction of the price.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 29, 2019 ---
    Where do you place your ATV?

    I noticed when I went from a homemade mount on top of the TV, to putting the ATV behind the TV, a lot of remote and Siri issues happened.

    I know a lot of people do this, but maybe it depends on the type of TV and wall mount is being used, some might be interfering with the Remote.

    Also, re-pairing the remote helped with remote issues I had before.
     
  16. imaccooper macrumors 6502

    imaccooper

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #16
    Yes I believe we are. Strangely, I'm usually on the other side of this conversation with people. I'm almost always the one who wants to try to new product, service, etc.

    Everyone likes things a little different and the great part is, the apple tv can be the best device for you and several others here and a roku can be great for me and the fire tv can be perfect for the OP.

    There are strengths to each device IMO so for anyone who is thinking of buying one, there is no reason to settle until you have found the best device for your desires.
     
  17. spacemnspiff, Jan 29, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019

    spacemnspiff macrumors 6502a

    spacemnspiff

    Joined:
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    MD
    #17
    Completely agree, everyone has to find the device they can live with, but isn't perfect.

    I disagree with comments that say that ATV is a half baked idea, of course it could do more and same could be said about any other streamer, but for me it's the best streamer that also plays well with other Apple devices.

    I consider Chromecast, FireTV and maybe even Roku to be part of advertising industry surveillance machinery. No wonder they can sell them at low prices, they recover the hardware cost by monitoring or selling viewing data for their greater purpose. I somewhat blindly trust Apple on this because I don't see the obvious need for Apple to share private user data, and so, am happy to pay higher upfront cost of Apple H/W.
     
  18. jole26 macrumors newbie

    jole26

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2018
    #18
    I agree the ATV remote is horrible to use. Fortunately the ATV allows 3rd party remotes to be used. I use my LG TV remote to control the ATV. A vast improvement.
     
  19. JBaby macrumors regular

    JBaby

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2015
    #19
    I hated the tv 3 remote. I never used it. When I got the tv 4 I was sure I’d hate the remote and I’d use the app like I did with the 3. I was wrong. I was so very wrong. I love the Siri remote!!! Mind you I am using it with a Griffin Survivor case. I would hate it without that case. It’s too thin on its own. I have no problem telling up from down. That’s what the concave Siri button is for. I do not like the look of the new Siri remote. That white ring is terrible. I’ve had my tv since it debuted. I still love it as much today as I did three years ago. It’s the only thing I use for watching tv while home. Every once in a while I’ll watch something on my iMac if I’m working in my office. I love my tv even more now that I have a HomePod. Many of the commands that can be used with the remote an be used with “Hey Siri.” I wish the “What did s/he say?” command worked. That would be awesome!

    My mom is 65 and and she can use her tv 4 just fine. She still can’t use her iPhone effectively and she’s had one since the iPhone 3G. But she loves her tv. It’s easier for her to use than the Hopper we had from Dish. When  debuts a new tv I’ll buy it. I didn’t buy the 4K because I don’t have a 4K tv and it just didn’t seem like a big enough change to warrant the upgrade.
     
  20. JeffPerrin macrumors 6502

    JeffPerrin

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    Jul 21, 2014
    #20
    I know web apps like YouTube and Prime are the worst offenders as they do not follow Apple tvOS UI guidelines. But if this is happening for all apps (iTunes especially), than you probably have a bum remote.

    BTW, did you know you can use an old Apple TV 2 or 3 remote as a replacement?
     
  21. CEmajr macrumors 601

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    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #21
    I have one of those TVs with Roku built in as my living room TV. I also have a Fire Stick and Apple TV 4K connected. Honestly the biggest draw of the Apple TV is AirPlay and iTunes. The iTunes is a big deal because it has the music library that I’ve been working with and refining for like 15 years now. A while back I also uploaded movies and tv shows into my iTunes library but yeah it’s mainly about the music and airplay.
     
  22. Michelasso macrumors 6502

    Michelasso

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    Feb 20, 2012
    Location:
    Treviso, Italy
    #22
    I know I am late on the discussion but the issues you have with your ATV describe exactly my experience with the awful implementation of Android TV on my Sony Bravia. Never had those problems with my ATV 4K. I also have a Fire TV Stick (2nd generation), still being that system quite underpowered it wouldn't be fair to compare.

    Said that I completely agree that the ATV is quite overpriced. Although I doubt the Fire TV 4K has about the same CPU power. The Nvdia shield does and it's indeed about the same price. So I am not exactly sure how with Android the FTV 4K experience can be fluid.

    Excluding games, more available on Android TV (and I suppose FireOS) I'd say that at least in my Country (Italy) all OSes lack interesting apps (I would love in me TV an IMDB app for example!). For my needs tvOS has instead an app with no equivalent in other boxes and I believe televisions: Infuse. Unless Plex on FTV 4K works fine with both 4K HDR and HiRes audio, not to mention subtitles. That I don't know (it's quite bad on my Bravia where too often it breaks playing 4K HEVC content and obviously going via HDMI ARC there can't be HiRes audio).

    With my devices Prime Video itself works great only on my ATV 4K. Not only it can do video scrubbing swiping the touchpad, in Android TV the streaming is awful. Both audio and video stutter just raising the volume. Also, in the Bravia, Chromecast and FTV Stick there must be a bug that once in a while skips the audio for a good second or even more. I get it in Netflix, Prime Video and other apps.

    Still I agree that, for a second UHD TV, I would consider to save (much) money and get a FTV 4K if they were available in Italy. But it would be a hard choice since Infuse is vital for me.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 29, 2019 ---
    Why would you say so about Prime Video?? The media player looks like any other tvOS media player to me. There isn't really much difference when playing a video with Netflix or Prime Video (I am not talking about the main interface). YouTube indeed is a completely different matter.
     
  23. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

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    Feb 9, 2009
    #23
    I don't understand why people think that £179 is expensive for the Apple TV 4K.
    The 10X chip is certainly not cheap, the lightning connector retails at £20, the beautifully made remote retails at £59. The top quality components - very very decent HD to 4K upscaler, power transformer etc etc etc etc.

    40 years ago a very very basic video recorder cost £500, that's £2404.70 today (with inflation at 13% in 1979).

    Considering the ATV can do everything and be the sole box to a TV, I think it's pretty incredible. If you had a cheaper ATV, the majority of guys would notice its short comings and would complain like crazy on this site!

    If you want cheap, plastic crap then go ahead a buy a Amazon or Google product but that's not Apple's stance. It's the same as moaning to Ferrari that their price are so expensive compared to that ugly, truly boring Ford Focus with a big spoiler on that you saw.

    Quality costs a little more money and Amazon TV really does not fit into the 'quality' market.
     
  24. MattG thread starter macrumors 68040

    MattG

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    May 27, 2003
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    #24
    Sorry but you are really grasping at straws here.

    1. $179 is expensive considering that for $40, I can a competitor's product that does 95% of the same things and in my opinion, does them better.

    2. This is a box that sits behind my TV, or in the case of the Fire Stick, it's a stick that plugs into the back my TV. I don't even see it most of the time. It's not a laptop, or a watch/phone that I'd particularly care about looking fashionable, or that even has to be super durable. The "go spend $40 if you want something akin to an ugly Ford Focus" analogy simply doesn't work here. Furthermore, perhaps you haven't looked lately but Amazon is no slouch in the design department. Their line of Echo and Fire devices are beautifully designed. Maybe they're not made out of titanium/glass or whatever, but they are very nice looking devices.

    3. FWIW, every Apple TV besides the Gen1 is plastic on the outside, so again, not sure how the "ugly plastic" argument applies.
     
  25. Press22 macrumors 6502

    Press22

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    #25
    I'm glad it works for you and I truly wish I had the same experience with trying Fire TV.

    My apple TV 4k has been ROCK Solid for a year now. I've only had to charge the remote once or twice (so little I can't actually remember) Also no need to search for or buy batteries. I guess the touch pad can be kind of a pain for some but it doesn't really bother me.
    Plex & Infuse work amazing.

    On the other hand of fire tv, several apps constantly break from bad updates, netflix service would go down a lot (for hours!) Slowness, Bad UI, Ads! I remember at first when you buy a firetv it works great but somehow it deteriorates and becomes slower or their shoddy software updates make it perform worse. Also the Plex app on firetv is god awful. The only thing I miss is being able to turn everything on by talking to my Alexa.

    I think the reason I like the Apple TV more makes sense, it uses a more powerful CPU.
     

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