Why Apple TV?

macandal

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 12, 2008
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0
So, I'm trying to understand Apple TV, but I can't figure out exactly what is so special about it. I don't mean to start a war here, I honestly want to know, but I don't see how this is different from Roku? Other than giving users access to the iTunes Store--makes sense, it's their (Apple's) product--it offers the same access to other systems (i.e., Netflix, Amazon) as any other bluray player does. Or am I wrong?

Thank you.
 

jdag

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2012
831
213
Every streaming player on the market has its main attractions...

In the case of AppleTV, the 2 biggest attractions have always been the iTunes integration and AirPlay. Those 2 attractions remain with the AppleTV 4, plus the addition of the App Store.

For Roku, the huge number of channels (i.e. - apps).

For Amazon FireTV and FireTV Stick, the integration with Amazon Prime.

For ChromeCast, the use of a smartphone as the controller (along with it being very inexpensive).

However, if your interest is Netflix, Hulu, and the other common apps, then in effect all streaming players are similar. Further, if you have a smart TV or bluray player and value only Netflix, Hulu, etc., then that might be all you need.
 
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chiwaw

macrumors member
Feb 2, 2011
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I was a Roku user since the dawn of the streamers, and I've never found the (older) Apple TV attractive enough to switch. I was even planning on getting the upcoming Roku 4.

Then last week I got the new Apple TV purely for app development needs, but I decided to play with it anyway because why not?

Turns out I returned my Roku in the closet and I'll be using that new Apple TV from now on.

1) I prefer the UI/navigation. It's completely subjective, everyone have their own preferences.

2) The App Store is a killer for me. I already own a ton of Apps so I can simply download the ones available in there. As it's just been released the quantity is pretty small, but it's only going to grow from there.

3) AirPlay, I can finally use that great feature!

4) Gaming. I do my serious gaming on my Steam machine. But often time I don't want to boot up the monster, as I just want some quick and lite gaming between two episodes of a TV show, and the Apple TV (paired with my MFi controller) is totally great for that. Especially being able to share the same save files through iCloud to alternate between Apple TV and iPhone/iPad on the go.

At the end of the day all streamers are somewhat equivalent and offers different things for everyone. There's no sense trying to find the "absolute" best one. Just look at the options (Fire TV seems great too) and go with whichever you like most :)
 
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Mac... nificent

macrumors 6502
Nov 20, 2012
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For me it's the great remote, the app store, Siri (although it looks like she's gained some weight) and Airplay.
 
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chiwaw

macrumors member
Feb 2, 2011
75
28
I don't get why anyone would want the roku now. Atv has some bugs and quirks but it is quite the streamer.
Well the Roku is cheaper and plenty enough for people who only ever want to stream online videos. There's definitely a market for that :)

But I'm expecting a LOT of people like me jumping ship from Roku to ATV4.
 
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flux73

macrumors 65816
May 29, 2009
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There's really only two reasons to get a Roku 4 over ATV 4. 1) You must have 4K, and 2) You must have Amazon Instant Video. And 2) doesn't fully apply because you can AirPlay it from an iPad or iPhone.
 
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Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
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San Jose, CA
I don't get why anyone would want the roku now.
Amazon Video and Vudu. I'd like to consolidate everything in one box (regardless who makes it), but currently neither device covers everything I want (since Roku doesn't cover iTunes content). If you take the Roku 3 or 2, it's also significantly less expensive than the ATV.
 
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chiwaw

macrumors member
Feb 2, 2011
75
28
There's really only two reasons to get a Roku 4 over ATV 4. 1) You must have 4K, and 2) You must have Amazon Prime Videos. And 2) doesn't fully apply because you can AirPlay Amazon videos from an iPad or iPhone.
You forgot 3) Cheaper (and if you don't need 4K, then the Roku 3 is WAY cheaper). For many people it might be important.

I don't mind not having Amazon Prime directly on my TV anymore, but it is a bit annoying. I know I can stream it from AirPlay, but it's not quite as good as solution as having Amazon Prime directly on the streamer.

That was not much of a problem for me personally, as Amazon Prime is the service I use the least. But for someone who uses Amazon Prime as their primary service, the Roku is a better option (actually the Fire TV is an even better option).

EDIT: Oh and as Rigby mentionned, the lack of VUDU is kind of very annoying. I have a lot of UV movies, and I can't directly access them anymore (other than with AirPlay).
 
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macandal

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 12, 2008
24
0
Thanks for all your responses.

I was under the impression that you could download an Amazon app to watch its content on Apple TV?
 
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T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,102
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Oregon
To be honest, I'm torn.

The new Apple TV has a slick new UI, the remote is nice and it has an App Store. I haven't used Siri yet.

My Nexus Player also has a nice UI and an App Store(admittedly, the remote sucks). The voice search actually works pretty well, but it only searches Google content. It also has access to Google music, which the Apple TV can't currently do.

I'd actually say I'm leaning slightly in favor of the Nexus, just for the music.
 
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Frankied22

macrumors 68000
Nov 24, 2010
1,728
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To be honest, I'm torn.

The new Apple TV has a slick new UI, the remote is nice and it has an App Store. I haven't used Siri yet.

My Nexus Player also has a nice UI and an App Store(admittedly, the remote sucks). The voice search actually works pretty well, but it only searches Google content. It also has access to Google music, which the Apple TV can't currently do.

I'd actually say I'm leaning slightly in favor of the Nexus, just for the music.
Groupon is selling the Nexus Player for $38 right now so I grabbed one to impart with the new Apple TV. Do you know if there are any unofficial Twitch apps for the nexus player?
 
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Cbdboz

macrumors regular
Oct 31, 2013
159
2
I don't get why anyone would want the roku now. Atv has some bugs and quirks but it is quite the streamer.
Substantially cheaper, and has Amazon prime

..., The Roku that is...
 
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TrueBlou

macrumors 68040
Sep 16, 2014
3,900
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Scotland
Why not? ;)

As with all things Apple, I find its as much about the experience, for want of a better word. There's something Apple always seems to do well and it's interfaces. They are simple, elegant, easy to use, lightweight (therefore placing less strain on the hardware and freeing it up to do better things)

They spend a lot of time and effort creating things like the Siri remote (which I love) and making it work in a fluid and seamless manner with the interface.

The hardware is powerful, don't take the fact that Apple isn't bothered about 4K video yet to mean anything. (Although incidentally, I've done my own testing and the hardware is more than capable of playing 4K video, it just won't output at 4K)

And it's Apple, they have a knack of attracting a lot of developer support so the AppStore should play home to some good things in time.
 
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DNichter

macrumors G3
Apr 27, 2015
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Superior UI, App store, Siri Remote / Siri, Airplay, iCloud, Apple Music, Ecosystem, Etc. The roku will continue to be what it always has been. A boring box with a list of channels (most of which are crap) and a terrible UI. The experience with the ATV4 is far superior is just about every way.
 
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T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,102
2,094
Oregon
Groupon is selling the Nexus Player for $38 right now so I grabbed one to impart with the new Apple TV. Do you know if there are any unofficial Twitch apps for the nexus player?
It doesn't look like there is a twitch app, but I didn't do a lot of digging. The official iPhone app will let you "Cast" to your Chromecast or Nexus Player, so you at least have that option.
 
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Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
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San Jose, CA
Superior UI, App store, Siri Remote / Siri, Airplay, iCloud, Apple Music, Ecosystem, Etc. The roku will continue to be what it always has been. A boring box with a list of channels (most of which are crap) and a terrible UI.
Well, it's all a matter of taste, but I'd like to point out that the Roku has everything you mention, including voice search (and it works across many more services than Apple's), apps, as well as equivalents to Airplay (screen mirroring) and Apple Music (Spotify and others), plus some really nice features that Apple is lacking, such as My Feed and a remote app (which, BTW, enables voice search via the phone even with the cheap Roku 2; why can't Apple do the same with the ATV3 given that they like to point out the tight integration of their ecosystem?). It also had "instant replay" long before Apple's "what did they say" existed. I also like Roku's UI, expecially their support for themes. I'd really like to be able to change the new Apple TV's white theme to something less bright.

The only thing missing is access to Apple's services. So Apple's evil plan to lock me into buying their hardware is working. :p
 
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DNichter

macrumors G3
Apr 27, 2015
8,952
10,055
Philadelphia, PA
Well, it's all a matter of taste, but I'd like to point out that the Roku has everything you mention, including voice search (and it works across many more services than Apple's), apps, as well as equivalents to Airplay (screen mirroring) and Apple Music (Spotify and others), plus some really nice features that Apple is lacking, such as My Feed and a remote app (which, BTW, enables voice search via the phone even with the cheap Roku 2; why can't Apple do the same with the ATV3 given that they like to point out the tight integration of their ecosystem?). It also had "instant replay" long before Apple's "what did they say" existed. I also like Roku's UI, expecially their support for themes. I'd really like to be able to change the new Apple TV's white theme to something less bright.

The only thing missing is access to Apple's services. So Apple's evil plan to lock me into buying their hardware is working. :p
Haha, well they wouldn't be in business if locking you in wasn't the ultimate goal. Correct, it is all a matter of taste. If what the Roku offers hits on everything that you need, then no, there is no reason for you at all to consider an ATV4.
 
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audiofx

macrumors regular
Feb 26, 2009
109
16
NYC
I've tried fire TV, fire stick, chromecast, roku. I now have the new apple tv. Already I like the plex app much better than the FireTV android version. I like the touch remote and the whole interface. I keep my chromecast around as well for use with android devices. I am a multi OS user both mobile and desktop. My main use for a TV device is Plex, Netflix, Hulu. The apple TV and the remote so far do it better. Its apple polish so to speak. I have the new appleTV in my bedroom (my primary place where i watch anything) Its very nice the remote works with my TV out of the box and now with exception of when i need to chromecast, I don't have to use anything but the apple TV remote. Once agian as mentioned initially, the 3 apps i use work nicely with the tvOS and remote.

All depends on your needs. I have not jumped on the 4k band wagon yet (came close but didnt). I don't require KODI, side loading apps, etc. So i'll pay a little premium and enjoy my remote and interface. I do wish chromecasting worked for appletv :p there is allcast (for android) but its not the same as its only certain things.

I do hope a google music app arrives as thats my music subscription of choice however i can't say i listen to music through my tv much if at all. I can use my chromecast if that need arrives.
 
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