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Why One Streaming Device May Not Be Enough

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Todd Erwin, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    We may not know the codec (I assume it's PCM like on Roku) but it is a 2-channel stream.
     
  2. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Maybe not, but a power cord is under $8 on Amazon, so it just may make sense to take the better streamer with me instead of messing with any idiosyncrasies that may be involved with the Apple TV app running on Roku.
     
  3. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    The PS4 allegedly does 5.1 for Hulu and my wife has a PS4. Time for me to learn how to turn that thing on.
     
  4. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    As does the PS3. It boggles the mind.
     
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  5. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    And now many Blu-ray player manufacturers are actually removing streaming services from their devices.

    Sony removed Vewd (formerly Opera TV) earlier this year, and will be removing Hulu next month from their smart Blu-ray players.
     
  6. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Another great reason to buy a streaming box and not depend on what’s built into your disc player.
     
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  7. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    Or smart TV.
     
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  8. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I've never understood why anyone would want a "smart" TV or streaming services included in media players as they frequently don't get updated or updated properly. Stand alone streaming devices are relatively inexpensive and *do* get updated. My wife wants a "smart" TV and I'm having trouble convincing her that's *not* what she wants or needs and that a "dumb" TV with a Roku or other streaming device is the better, less expensive, choice. I purchased one TV for her but she refused to allow me to install it (OK... fine... I kept it for myself as it's larger and better than what I currently have).
     
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  9. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    It is almost impossible to purchase a TV these days that isn't "smart" unless it is a fairly small size TV (32" and under). Both of my 4K TVs are smart, but I do not use any of the smart features on them and use a Roku, Apple Tv, or Fire stick instead.
     
  10. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I think most people aren't particularly interested in the nitty gritty of how things work. They know that they want to hook their TV up to their cable box and possibly a disc player. They know that they use Netflix, Prime, Hulu, etc., and just want to be able to use those apps. I don't think most people consider the actual quality of those apps or how differences in software and hardware can affect picture quality.

    I'd consider people posting at HTF to be more advanced that the average viewer, and even here, there are a number of people who post that streaming looks or sounds terrible to them compared to whatever they used to watch previously, but that they're comparing the experience of watching a movie on a $500 beautifully engineered Oppo disc player to a $10 streaming stick or built-in disc player app that hasn't been updated for years. I think the tide is turning there - some of our members are getting really good boxes like the AppleTV 4K and noticing that streaming can be outstanding. Even I'm blown away at just how much better the AppleTV 4K is over the previous AppleTV that I had, even playing just regular HD content.

    Nowadays you can't really get a great TV that doesn't have something built in. I think the trick isn't so much avoiding a "smart TV" since all TVs basically are "smart TVs" now. I think the trick is simply not to be limited by what's on the set, and to go ahead and use that premium AppleTV 4K box (or something similar) and just pretend those apps aren't on the TV at all. Our living room TV is a TCL model that has a built-in Roku interface. But after some testing revealed that the AppleTV produced better results for identical content, we stopped using the built in Roku entirely. It doesn't bother me that it's there and it certainly doesn't hurt to have it as a backup, but it's not the first thing we reach for.
     
  11. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I do the same thing. My main home theater actually has 5 different devices that can stream -- Apple TV 4K, Roku Ultra 4K, Vizio 4K display, Panasonic UHD player, and Sony UHD player. I ignore the streaming function on 3 of the 5 devices and use just the Apple TV and Roku devices (mostly the Apple).

    Same with our master bedroom setup. We have a Roku Premiere 4K, Samsung 4K display and Sony BD player that can all stream. We just use the Roku, though, for that function.
     
  12. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I generally agree... they're out there but it really takes some searching and research to find them. There's a "dumb" 65" (I think that's the size - may be a bit larger) set hanging on my office wall with an Apple TV and AirTame connected for device mirroring.

    I've seen a few that require you to connect them to wifi before you can even use them and it doesn't matter that you may not plan to use any of the "smart" features (we purchased a few of those for classrooms, discovered this, removed the wifi card which then rendered the TV inoperable, put the card back, and immediately returned them in favor of one that didn't require a network connection to work). Many of them have horrible wifi radios built-in and can be quite "talky" on your network with some trying to act like a router and handing out IP addresses via a built-in DHCP server that can't be disabled - the bad part is they don't do routing and that's solely for screen mirroring. You'd think if they're on your network they don't need that junk built-in. Some won't allow their wifi to be turned off/disabled. Others won't allow voice commands to be disabled (and that's a major privacy/security risk/issue). I've found a few that don't come with a dedicated remote and expect you to use a "smart phone" as the remote.

    The biggest issue is many of the companies integrating this junk don't have good privacy policies in place. I don't trust any of them. That includes Apple and Amazon. There are some interesting technologies out there but few are thinking about privacy and/or security with the majority designed with user tracking in mind.
     
  13. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    As an update to my article, apparently Hulu has activated 4K streaming (again) on Apple TV 4K for their original programming, but still hasn't enabled 5.1 audio. :huh:
     
  14. Kyrsten Brad

    Kyrsten Brad Cinematographer

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    My first streaming device was a Sony BP-590 Blu-ray player purchased in late 2012 which introduced me to the world of online streaming.
    Mostly though for YouTube based Star Trek Fan Production videos.

    Still have it attached to the Home Theater system but never use it anymore for streaming.

    It does get use for my Pink Panther cartoon pre-shows before a movie screening but that’s about it. Got three other players and two new streaming devices attached thru the AVR as well.
     
  15. David Deeb

    David Deeb Screenwriter

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    Now that Apple TV has come to Roku, do some of you still think it's good to have 2 devices?

    I was thinking of adding a 2nd 4K streamer. Either a 2nd Roku Ultra 4k or a 1st Apple TV 4k.

    Now that Apple TV is on Roku, what are the missing features?

    I guess Photos is one. But the big one I might like is Airplay 2 which is pretty sweet. Some people have recommended apps which can mirror Apple devices to Roku (but I'm not sure I trust these apps). Any other features not on Apple TV on Roku or any other reasons? The Roku is a heck of a lot cheaper.
     
  16. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    The answer remains that if you must only have a single device it should be an AppleTV. No device offers anything that the ATV lacks and the integration with Apples services and devices is unparalleled.

    to answer your question Arcade for one is missing on other devices. Airplay is another. Photos. Siri. The list goes on.
     
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  17. Albert71292

    Albert71292 Stunt Coordinator

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    Roku is all I need. Not EVERYONE is in the "Apple camp".
     
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  18. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I brought just a Roku Express with us down to South Carolina and have been using it for the past week. If someone just needs a streaming device, it seems to be working fine with Apple content via the new Apple TV app.. My only complaint is it is still not showing me all the purchased content for TV shows under "library". The content does show up under "Watch Next", though.

    At $30 for the Express and $40 for the 4K Premiere, they are pretty good devices for the budget conscious. I certainly am not missing my Apple TV 4K back in Michigan - - but I do miss the rest of my home theater. We just have a 49 inch Samsung 1080p display at our South Carolina condo.

    I had thought about buying a 2nd Apple TV 4K for our master bedroom so we could watch content purchased through Apple in that room. With the new Roku app, though, I will be perfectly satisfied with the Roku Premiere 4K we have in there now.
     
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  19. David Deeb

    David Deeb Screenwriter

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    Interesting comments. I'm really tempted to get an Apple 4k but it's just so much higher. Question for you: now that Apple TV is on Roku, would you be just as happy with a Roku Ultra for your home theater as you are with the Apple TV? If you had to get rid of it for some reason?

    I like Sam's comment above too, in that I'm sure it integrates best with all our other Apple products.

    I'm wondering if more and more features like Airplay will eventually creep over to the Apple TV apps on Roku and Firestick. If Apple really wants to make a go of Apple TV +, it seems they will have to embrace letting more things go. What's more valuable to them? Selling more Apple TV streaming devices or getting more Apple TV + subscribers?
     
  20. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I have both a Roku and and AppleTV.

    Putting aside what subscriptions are available where and all that stuff, I find that the Apple box is just the more elegant interface. Smoother operation, slightly better video playback noticed on larger displays, less buffering, etc. I had the AppleTV first and then I thought I’d save $100 getting the Roku Ultra for the bedroom TV and I regret the choice. If you have no basis for comparison they’re both fine boxes that do the job well enough, but once you have the AppleTV you might get a little spoiled by how good it is.
     

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