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Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV Cube? (1 Viewer)

Marc_Sulinski

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I am looking to get a streaming device that supports HBO Max (at a minimum) with Dolby Atmos. My Samsung tv has HBO Max, but I cannot get an Atmos signal out to my receiver.

It looks like the Apple TV box or Amazon Cube are the best options, but I don’t have experience with either and am looking for some opinions about which way to go.

For reference, I have a Samsung Q90T, Panasonic 820 player, and pioneer elite 503 something receiver (can pass 4K and Dolby vision, can process Atmos).
 

Josh Steinberg

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I think - and many here share this opinion - that the AppleTV 4K box offers the best technical quality and ease of use compared to everything else on the market. It supports all the major services too in addition to rentals and purchases directly from iTunes.

The AppleTV 4K comes in two sizes: 32gb and 64gb. If you’re not planning on using it as a gaming device, go with the cheaper 32gb version - you’ll only need the larger one if you’re storing games on it.
 

Dave Scarpa

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I have 1 for my 4K living room set, but I just got a LG cx77 but I hate to buy a new 4 k Atv when it’s in need of a refresh . How does the HBO Max app perform on the Xbox series x which I have.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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IF you can wait some, I'd suggest waiting for the rumored upcoming new version of the AppleTV 4K STB instead since it's pretty expensive. The current version is quite old now.

IIRC, was originally rumored to come out 2nd half this year...

_Man_
 

Ronald Epstein

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Yeah, Man gives good advice.

There is a new Apple 4k TV coming. It was supposed to be out almost a year ago.

Though the current one is old, it's not archaic. It will work fine. However, if you are not in a rush you will spend the same amount of money for a modern release (whenever that happens).

There is a big mysterious hardware announcement from Apple on the 8th. Not sure if it will be an Apple TV but I will wait till that date at least to decide.
 

Matt Hough

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I'll add my voice to the multitude: the Apple TV 4K is the superior choice. If I didn't need my FireStick 4K to access my Amazon Fire DVR, I'd never use the Amazon unit.
 

JohnRice

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You wanted/needed it now, so it's fine getting one now, rather than waiting (who knows how long) for a new model. The fact is, the ATV 4K today, supposedly being "outdated", still functions better than any previous ATV ever did on the day it was released. It is in no way "in need" of an update, especially if you won't be gaming. I've had every generation of ATV, and the 4K, to this day, is the rock star of the line. Will a new one be faster? Of course. Will it make a difference for anyone who is only using it for streaming? I seriously doubt it.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Yeah, I have zero hesitation recommending the current ATV box to anyone who needs one now. I just helped my mom and stepdad get set up with one last month.

In general I’m not a big fan of advice to hold off on a potential home theater component for an unspecified time for the sake of a future upgrade with unspecified improvements. I remember in 2014 when I was putting my setup together I got a lot of that type of advice but I didn’t find it practical. (At that time I heard a lot of “don’t buy an HD projector in 2014 - wait until 2016 for a UHD projector” but what was I gonna do? Wait two years to start? I got my projector in 2014. That means I wasn’t ready to buy again in 2016 when UHD came out, but so what? I’m so very happy with what I do have and my quality of life was more improved by getting what was affordable/available when I did rather than waiting indefinitely for something different.)

At a certain point, you just have to accept that whatever you buy will stop being the latest and greatest thing soon after and that incremental improvements and price drops are always happening. Your time has value too. Being comfortable, being entertained, enjoying your hobby now has value. In almost every single case, I say don’t worry if something better is going to come along (it always will), worry instead about getting yourself set up now, and once you do that, stop looking at prices and new devices for a few years and just enjoy what’s in front of you.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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To each their own... but comparing a 2-year wait to likely at most a few months is rather silly. And Ron's also talking about waiting just a few days for some rumored announcement, not some indefinite time frame. That certainly shouldn't be too long a wait at this point w/ no special sale going on and nothing yet on HBO Max that uses Atmos, which was the OP's main desire.

Nobody here's suggesting to wait indefinitely regardless of circumstance. It's all qualified and intended to be realistic and practical. How much sense it makes (and how long to wait) will vary from individual to individual.

And it's not only about processing speed, but likely other things that may be upgraded, eg. storage size. And Apple isn't exactly above obsoleting old iOS devices w/ future OS updates afterall while these particular devices and/or their OSes definitely haven't seem as reliable as iPhones and iPads, so who knows how long the current version will really continue to perform solidly -- of course, I'm not suggesting it'll stop working in the next couple years or so. There's also some good likelihood the current version will see a price drop when the new one comes out.

Anyhoo...

_Man_
 

ManW_TheUncool

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One thing. @Marc_Sulinski, have you tried setting up your TV and AVR to use ARC to do Atmos? Wasn't too clear if you actually tried that, but if you haven't doublechecked nor tried using ARC, certainly should at least give that a try me thinks...



Note though that HBO Max doesn't support Atmos in general yet, so don't expect it on any platform/device yet. AFAIK, Warner hasn't clarified (yet) when exactly to expect Atmos (and 4K/HDR) support beyond the newly announced Wonder Woman 1984 release date...

_Man_
 
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Marc_Sulinski

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One thing. @Marc_Sulinski, have you tried setting up your TV and AVR to use ARC to do Atmos? Wasn't too clear if you actually tried that, but if you haven't doublechecked nor tried using ARC, certainly should at least give that a try me thinks...



Note though that HBO Max doesn't support Atmos in general yet, so don't expect it on any platform/device yet. AFAIK, Warner hasn't clarified (yet) when exactly to expect Atmos (and 4K/HDR) support beyond the newly announced Wonder Woman 1984 release date...

_Man_

Never tried it, but I was curious if ARC worked for this even though I wasn't technically "returning" the audio but using it as straight audio out on the TV. But I do remember reading in multiple places that ARC doesn't support Atmos. My TV has eARC, but I believe my receiver (a 2018 model) only has ARC.
 

Dave Scarpa

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Yeah hopefully the 8th we’ll get something I have an extra Apple TV unfortunately not the 4K version. And it seems the HBO Max app for the Xbox is limited to 1080p
 

Rodney

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I have an ATV 4K and other than the remote, I like it a lot. But if the OP is not interested in Apple TV+ and is just looking for a streaming device to watch HBOMax and has Dolby Atmos, there are a lot cheaper alternatives out there. I also have the Tivo Stream 4K and I think it would fit the bill just fine at 1/3 or even a quarter the cost.
 
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JohnRice

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To each their own... but comparing a 2-year wait to likely at most a few months is rather silly.
BTW Man, my response was prompted by the fact the OP already bought a ATV 4K. I was just emphasizing that it's not really a big deal, having already bought it, with a new one somewhere on the horizon. I figure, he got it, so enjoy it.
 

Valheru

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Greetings my friend, I would highly suggest the Nvidia shield pro. It’s in a whole other class compared to the 2 fire sticks I have. It easily handles h.265 4k hdr files (fire stick can’t) and the VLC app is amazing. You can also plug an external drive into it - huge plus. The mandalorian looks stunning in 4k HDR playing on my Optoma P1 and I use a long usb cable to my DAP and my Audeze LCD-2’s for night watching in Dolby Atmos
 

steveT77

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I'm in a similar boat, wanting to replace my Roku with an ATV to get HBO Max. Here's a dumb question: I still haven't replaced my Pioneer Kuro plasma with a 4K TV, but want to be ready for 4K when it's finally time to replace the Kuro. Does the ATV 4K also output regular 1080p?
 

Josh Steinberg

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I'm in a similar boat, wanting to replace my Roku with an ATV to get HBO Max. Here's a dumb question: I still haven't replaced my Pioneer Kuro plasma with a 4K TV, but want to be ready for 4K when it's finally time to replace the Kuro. Does the ATV 4K also output regular 1080p?

Absolutely!
 

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