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Why One Streaming Device May Not Be Enough

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

  1. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I am not a major part of the Apple ecosystem, so the Roku Ultra I have in my home theater would be adequate for my needs. I bought the Apple TV 4K quite awhile ago for two main reasons: (1) my Ultra was extremely buggy at the time, as every new firmware release seemed to fix one issue and create two new ones (it's been stable for many months now, though), and (2) I wanted to be able to take advantage of buying films and TV series via Apple's store, as they have the best bargains out there, IMO. I used Amazon credits to buy the Apple device, so it didn't cost me anything out of pocket, either.

    The only other Apple product I currently own is an iPad, and I went with that instead of an Android tablet because (1) it was replacing an old iPad2 I had won through my employer (but it was getting sluggish and did not hold a charge very well anymore), and (2) I got it for $120 through a deal at Comcast. We have Windows PC's and Android smartphones.
     
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  2. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I have not played enough Apple content at home yet to make a valid comparison between the ATV4K and Ultra for video quality. I have experienced a little stuttering on their content once here at our condo, but that could be the Internet connection, which can bog down at times. I prefer Roku over Apple for NHL.com, though, as the audio gets out of sync with the app on Apple. Also, there has been some flakiness with playing 4K content with Amazon Prime with certain series on Apple, but it works fine on the Ultra.
     
  3. David Deeb

    David Deeb Screenwriter

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    I have heard that from others. Maybe one really does need 2 devices. Our Roku Ultra has served us well. And I do think it has infinitely more "channels" available than the Apple TV (however, it's only the main ones available on all systems that I'll probably ever use).

    I guess it's just the itch to integrate the full Apple TV features / ecosystem that is nagging at me to try it.
     
  4. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    You guys loving your Roku is fine. That’s not the premise of the OP. If you can only have one box and you want it to have the widest coverage the answer is an Apple TV.
     
  5. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Apple’s walled guarded is significantly less walled than it used to be but I think there are still some apps that they do not support, which Ruku does. I would imagine the gap is much, much smaller than it once was (a few short years ago, you could only view iTunes content on the box and could only use apps that they preselected) but not completely closed.

    Just recently I had a Kickstarter perk where the final reward was a secure streaming copy of the finished film, but the encrypted delivery system only worked on Rokus and web browsers, and not the AppleTV. Is that the kind of thing that will bother most users? No. But AppleTV tends not to allow apps until they’re near bulletproof while Roku will adopt smaller things more quickly.

    I’ve had consistent issues with Amazon Prime streaming on AppleTV, to the point where I cannot use that app with my receiver for surround sound - only through a direct connection to the TV with the built in speakers, otherwise there’s terrible sync drift. Only that app and nothing fixes it. Not everyone’s specific experience but I’m not the only one with Prime/Apple issues.

    I just don’t think we’re at a point where it can be said that the AppleTV is the best choice for every person, period. I wish we were.
     
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  6. Message #46 of 52 Oct 29, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
    Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    There is no Xfinity app for the Apple TV. I use that app on our Roku devices so I do not need to rent extra cable boxes from Comcast. At $10 per month rental for each box, the payback was only 3 months for each Roku Express. Even if there was an Xfinity app for Apple TV, at about $140 for a 1080p ATV, the payback would be considerably longer and the cash outlay would be much more substantial for those with several displays.

    Also, as I mentioned earlier, the Roku works better with Amazon Prime and NHL.tv. Since hockey season started, my Roku Ultra is getting a lot of use.

    So, based on the above, if I was forced to use just one brand of streamer, it would have to be Roku, not Apple - - especially now that the Apple app is available on Roku. Fortunately, being forced to pick just one brand is not something we have to worry about.
     
  7. David Deeb

    David Deeb Screenwriter

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    I do love Roku. It has many more channels available. And I do think there are some Apple TV box benefits (though less and less as things like the Apple TV of some sort rolling out to many Sony TVs today and Firesticks and Roku earlier).

    But I didn't read into the thread that having one box was the premise of the original OP anyway. What I gathered from his thoughts were that one box may not be enough: "Over the last year, I have discovered that if you want to be able to enjoy many of the most popular streaming services with the highest quality video and audio, the Roku will not cut it, and what you really need is both an AppleTV 4K and an Amazon Fire Stick 4K."
     
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  8. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Lead Actor
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    Currently only have an 4K Apple TV and may be adding a second 4K Apple TV next year after I add another Sony 4K TV for Christmas. I guess the Panasonic 4K blu-ray player would be my second streaming device once I get a ethernet switch for the a/v rack. If I add a second actual streaming box to my home theater it would most likely be ether a Ruku box or is there a better wired option as not into something using a usb port. My HT tv is a Sony OLED and the 4K Apple TV works out really nice so I honestly do not use any apps on the tv. It needs to go through my Marantz SR-8012 and not only be capable of 4K with HDR & Dolby Vision but must offer Dolby Atmos for content offering it. And no Alexa and no Google Assistant! Feel free to let me know if there is another wired device that is better than the wired Ruku.

    Amazon. Ruku a4K.
    Ruku 4K.
     
  9. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    Roku does not currently offer a device that supports Dolby Vision, and Netflix has yet to release an update to allow Dolby Atmos playback on Roku devices.
     
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  10. Lior Moravtchik

    Lior Moravtchik Auditioning

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    Hi Todd, great post.
    I'd love to see an updated comparison chart now.
    Disney + is in and gaining traction, Plex has plenty of 4K HDR content and the Nvidia Shield is supposed to give Apple TV 4k a fight but still somehow, you can't find a device with a full solution.

    AFAIK, Amazon Fire doesn't do Atmos on Netflix or Disney+, ATV4k doesn't do Atmos on Prime Video and Nvidia Shield 2019 doesn't do Atmos on Disney + and non of them support anything more than stereo on YouTube. It's a mess out there.

    There's also no official response from the providers themselves. All the forums are flooded with people trying to understand if they have a settings issue with their devices or simply a compatibility issue between their streaming device and their streaming service.

    I thought the providers would be happy and say: We're expecting to support Atmos on XXXX by XX/20. It'll make people more confident buying their specific streaming device, knowing they'll eventually have full support.
     
  11. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Auditioning

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    I agree completely. I have a Roku in the Downstairs Bar and Bedroom, Apple TV in living room and Shield in the Theater. The quality difference is frustrating to say the least. Each has different audio and video quality differences between the apps. Then there is deep search issues and voice command challenges using Google or Alexa . They the manufactures couldn't have made it more challenging.
    Let's start with simple voice commands. Using Google Home I have to use 3 different universal controllers. Caavo in Bedroom, Shield in theater and Harmony in living room . Ugh.
    Deep search.. they are all very close but the Apple TV are better graphically.
    Video and audio feeds technically shield and apple have more content at 4k Atmos.
    The more I see the faster processing and quality differences I no longer use the smart TV apps. They just don't cut it.
     
  12. Kyrsten Brad

    Kyrsten Brad Cinematographer

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    Brad here. Well this past Christmas season saw the addition of two more Roku devices to the household (already had a Roku Ultra and Apple TV 4K on the main system).
    The new MBR TV (55” Vizio M-Series Quantum 4K) got a new Roku Ultra (Black Friday sale at Walmart) and the den TV (50” Vizio M-Series 4K 2015 model) got a Roku Premiere 4K (sale priced at Target).

    The good thing about the Roku Premiere on the den TV is that I did not have to add another cable box.

    Works great so far.
     

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