Apple TV vs Competitors

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DTalos
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Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by DTalos » Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:25 am

What are the main differences between an Apple TV for around $180 and an Amazon Firestick? I own the latter and am very satisfied with it. Does the content/programming vary significantly between Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Firestick to where a good number of consumers own all three?

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LilyFleur
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by LilyFleur » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:09 am

I bought a smart Roku TV (TCL, from Costco, on a special sale) about a year and a half ago. It came with Amazon prime already on the menu as well as Netflix and lots of other choices. You have the option of downloading additional apps as well, so we subscribed to Acorn TV and downloaded the app. I haven't missed apple TV at all (I especially haven't missed constantly losing that beautiful but slippery little remote).

So, I own none of the devices you mentioned. It is much more streamlined without having lots of things connected to my TV.

onourway
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by onourway » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:39 am

Content does not vary much at all between the devices. Primarily you are paying for the interface and the hardware. The AppleTV is great if you are already in the Apple ecosystem because it integrates so naturally there - so for example photos we take on our iPhones automatically show up on out ATV screensaver. The remote is built-in to the shortcuts of iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches, so any device in the house can easily control the TV. If a text field needs to be filled out you get a pop-up prompt on those devices to fill it in with a better keyboard and so on. The ATV supports AirPlay so any Apple device can send its content to it or you can use a set of HomePod speakers as the output for the TV.

We have a Roku elsewhere in the house and the interface is just a bit clunky in comparison.

sam1838
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by sam1838 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:45 am

The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K supports more HDR formats like HDR10+ and HLG, so when you watch on it you will possibly view a higher quality stream.

Given that you can watch Apple content on the Fire TV now, the Apple TV's main selling point seems to be that it has an Apple logo on it.

Dottie57
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:48 am

I have AppleTv and a Roku. Both are good. I dislike AppleTv app on Appletv device. It shows listing of content well but doesn’t tell you if you have to pay for it before selected. You can return to menu if you want.

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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by jaydub71 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:19 am

I've had them all at some point and time. I like the Roku because you can search for something (TV show, Movie) and it searches across all the apps (Netflix, Prime, etc.) rather than having to go app by app to find something.

TheOscarGuy
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by TheOscarGuy » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:06 am

DTalos wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:25 am
What are the main differences between an Apple TV for around $180 and an Amazon Firestick? I own the latter and am very satisfied with it. Does the content/programming vary significantly between Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Firestick to where a good number of consumers own all three?
amazon fire stick until recently did not have apple TV "app". Now it does, so all your purchases show up when you open the apple TV app. Apart from having to deal with the annoying apple TV remote, I don't see much difference between the fire stick and apple TV. Maybe video casting on apple TV from iPhone is easy? Its fairly similar otherwise.

Jags4186
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:12 am

DTalos wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:25 am
What are the main differences between an Apple TV for around $180 and an Amazon Firestick? I own the latter and am very satisfied with it. Does the content/programming vary significantly between Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Firestick to where a good number of consumers own all three?
If you are just looking to stream video, there is no advantage of the Apple TV. In fact it is very expensive compared to the competitors. If Apple Arcade games interest you, then I think that is a killer app for the Apple TV.

One thing to note, airplay does not work out of the box with Roku or Amazon Fire, but you can spend a few bucks on an app that enables it and still come out way ahead of the cost of Apple TV.

With regards to Roku vs Amazon Fire... You can frequently get a deal on the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K for $24.99. I prefer the Amazon interface to the Roku one, but they really are pretty interchangeable. I have purchased 2 Fire 4K sticks and prefer it to the Apple TV 4K I have (got for free back when Direct TV Now was giving them away when signing up for new service). The Apple TV remote with the touch sensitive bar stinks.

atomicrc11
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by atomicrc11 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:53 am

If you want the integration with Apple it is worth it if you buy the refurbished one. You get the same thing but for less.
https://www.apple.com/shop/refurbished/appletv

Also, with Apple you're paying for hardware from a company that isn't monetizing everything you do. Amazon and Google devices are dirt cheap so they can get into your home and monetize everything you do.

rich126
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by rich126 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:03 am

I'm a fan of a lot of Apple hardware, especially their computers, but I think I'm pretty objective and I don't see any real reason to waste money on Apple TV.

I currently have an Amazon Firestick which worked great while traveling (plug it in to any HDMI connector of a TV, log in through the hotel portal and you can stream). I also got a Roku.

The Roku for now seems the most "independent". One reason I got it was because Amazon didn't carry an app or channel for a service I wanted to use (Vudu), that wasn't a problem with Roku. I'd imagine that could be a problem with a number of various hardware providers if they are also providing their own streaming service. They obviously want to prioritize their own service over others.

When I've looked at Apple TV movies, shows on my iPad they all seemed to cost much more than on Netflix or Amazon (my main two streaming services).

And right now there aren't enough quality Apple only shows that would cause most people to want to get an Apple TV device.

wolf359
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by wolf359 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:38 am

DTalos wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:25 am
What are the main differences between an Apple TV for around $180 and an Amazon Firestick? I own the latter and am very satisfied with it. Does the content/programming vary significantly between Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Firestick to where a good number of consumers own all three?
If you're satisfied with what you own, then stop. You don't need to buy additional gadgets to cover what you already have. You're looking into the neighbor's yard and noticing that his grass is greener. And that thinking may lead you into a hedonistic treadmill of spending to capture what he has.

There are lots of differences between interface, content, cost, and support between various tv streaming devices. A lot of it has to do with the design and support philosophies behind the devices. Ignore all that. It really comes down to two things:

1) Does your device have the content that you want?
2) Does your device support your television size and resolution?

If yes to both questions, then stop looking for this reason. A device you already own is cheaper than a new device you have to pay for. If you upgrade your television, and you want your device to support the new features of that tv, then you might consider upgrading. (For example, if you buy a new 4K HDR tv, and your device doesn't support that, then you might want to get a device that does. BUT... make sure that your programming supports it as well. Netflix has 4K HDR content, but it requires a higher subscription package. Amazon Prime and the new Disney Plus service supports 4K HDR for some shows at the base price. You also may not care about this. Don't pay extra for something that is irrelevant to you.)

New streamers will be released with cool new features. (Examples: Voice activation. The ability to control your home security system or video doorbell from your television.) Ignore them until your old device is no longer functioning. By then, you'll know from reviews from the first adopters which of those sexy features are actually practical and which aren't. For example, do you actually use the voice search much on your fire stick?)

Every device will eventually become obsolete and unsupported. Seek to replace them only when that happens. (Netflix has announced that they no longer support certain old models of Roku and Smart Televisions, and other older streaming devices.) But you don't need to address that issue until that happens.

ERISA Stone
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by ERISA Stone » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:46 am

If you are part of the Apple ecosystem, the AppleTV makes the most sense to me. I can watch any movie that I've purchased on iTunes, and I can listen to all of my music through AppleTV. Maybe you can do this using other media systems, but it was incredibly easy to set up on AppleTV.

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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by emoore » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:24 am

I've owed 4 apple tvs so far as well as amazon fire stick, fire tv, google chromecast and a roku stick. Even though it's much more expensive I will only use the apple tvs. They are far more reliable in streaming content as well as just working. My 2nd generation apple tv which is probably 8 years old is more reliable than any of the amazon or google devices.

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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by stoptothink » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:44 am

emoore wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:24 am
I've owed 4 apple tvs so far as well as amazon fire stick, fire tv, google chromecast and a roku stick. Even though it's much more expensive I will only use the apple tvs. They are far more reliable in streaming content as well as just working. My 2nd generation apple tv which is probably 8 years old is more reliable than any of the amazon or google devices.
In 6yrs using Roku devices (first a plug in, now a TCL Roku TV) I can't recall every having an issue streaming unless my internet went down. What kind of "reliability" issues would one even have with these devices?

onourway
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by onourway » Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:26 pm

jaydub71 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:19 am
I've had them all at some point and time. I like the Roku because you can search for something (TV show, Movie) and it searches across all the apps (Netflix, Prime, etc.) rather than having to go app by app to find something.
This has been possible from AppleTV, directly from the Siri button on the remote, for at least a couple of years.
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:44 am
In 6yrs using Roku devices (first a plug in, now a TCL Roku TV) I can't recall every having an issue streaming unless my internet went down. What kind of "reliability" issues would one even have with these devices?
We have owned a number of Roku devices over the years. None have been terribly reliable. Often have to restart the device because of a bug in the interface. The remotes tend to fail after a few years. Serious bugs have been known to stick around for years. (There was a copy paste bug in the iOS remote interface that lasted for many, many years, and made it impossible to paste complex passwords).

WhiteMaxima
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by WhiteMaxima » Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:35 pm

Apple Eco system, easy and intuitive hardware. ATV2 has optical audio out but only 2K video, ATV3 has 4K video and HDMI for audio out. 99.9% of of the features are the same as competitors. Price a little higher. Video quality a little better in my perspective. You can get ATV3 on sale for around $120.

ERISA Stone
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by ERISA Stone » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:04 pm

onourway wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:26 pm
jaydub71 wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:19 am
I've had them all at some point and time. I like the Roku because you can search for something (TV show, Movie) and it searches across all the apps (Netflix, Prime, etc.) rather than having to go app by app to find something.
This has been possible from AppleTV, directly from the Siri button on the remote, for at least a couple of years.
stoptothink wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:44 am
In 6yrs using Roku devices (first a plug in, now a TCL Roku TV) I can't recall every having an issue streaming unless my internet went down. What kind of "reliability" issues would one even have with these devices?
We have owned a number of Roku devices over the years. None have been terribly reliable. Often have to restart the device because of a bug in the interface. The remotes tend to fail after a few years. Serious bugs have been known to stick around for years. (There was a copy paste bug in the iOS remote interface that lasted for many, many years, and made it impossible to paste complex passwords).
I had a couple of Roku TVs probably 10 years ago and they weren't reliable for me. It's probably not a good comparison for the current product but that's my experience.

blueman457
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by blueman457 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:40 pm

I have an older Apple TV had a Roku. Both worked fine, then I came across a series of articles about that Roku wasn't a set-box company both rather an ad company. Roku tracks what you watch and sells ads to marketers. This made me stop using my Roku.

https://gizmodo.com/your-roku-is-an-ad- ... 1838843249

https://digiday.com/media/video-briefin ... -emerging/

Blue Man

emoore
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by emoore » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:05 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:44 am
emoore wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:24 am
I've owed 4 apple tvs so far as well as amazon fire stick, fire tv, google chromecast and a roku stick. Even though it's much more expensive I will only use the apple tvs. They are far more reliable in streaming content as well as just working. My 2nd generation apple tv which is probably 8 years old is more reliable than any of the amazon or google devices.
In 6yrs using Roku devices (first a plug in, now a TCL Roku TV) I can't recall every having an issue streaming unless my internet went down. What kind of "reliability" issues would one even have with these devices?
The Roku has only frozen or become unresponsive once or twice. The worst has been the amazon products. Fire stick is nearly unusable with just a few apps installed and the fire tv is better but still is slow and unresponsive too many time. Never had that happen on the Apple TV. I assume it's due to the processing power and the software integration with hardware.

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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by texasdiver » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:58 pm

If you WANT the Apple TV+ content like the new TV shows that are only streamed by Apple then the cost of a new Apple TV is somewhat reduced because you get a free 1-year membership of the Apple TV+ streaming service with the purchase of a new apple device. I think the cost of the service is otherwise about $5 per month so that saves you $60 over buying a Roku or Fire Stick and subscribing to Apple's new streaming service.

If you don't care about Apple content then honestly there isn't really much reason to buy an Apple TV. It is somewhat easier and more seamless to view photos and slideshows and stuff from your apple phones and iPads on the Apple TV. You can still do it on other devices, it is just clunkier.

We have 2 apple TVs in the house as well as two Google Cromecast devices and various other smart devices like Blue Ray players and Samsung TVs that can also stream from all the major services. There honestly really isn't much difference from streaming Amazon Prime or Neflix from an Apple TV or Chromecast or Samsung Smart TV or Sony BluRay player at least in my experience.

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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by abuss368 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:33 pm

We have Apple TV’s and a Firestick. Outside of Photos and iTunes not sure of any other differences. Although it is nice to have all devices talk to each other.
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Bob Sacamano
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by Bob Sacamano » Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:12 pm

i just bought the most recent 65" TCL ROKU TV. it's flawless.

cody69
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by cody69 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:16 pm

I am cutting the cord and will use one of these devices to support streaming in our primary viewing area.
We are heavy into apple ecosystem, so likely to go with Apple TV, despite the additional cost.
We're heavy into apple ecosystem and I like being able to "screen share" iPad or iPhone to the large TV.

As others have mentioned, if not heavily invested into Apple's ecosystem, the other options would work fine and cost much less.

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DTalos
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by DTalos » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:13 pm

Thank you all for your informative comments. I will stay with the Firestick since it offers a better value.

investor997
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by investor997 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:39 pm

I have an AppleTV 4K connected to a new 65” Vizio. It’s occasionally buggy, especially on Amazon or Netflix content that’s available in 4K HDR.

IMHO the only reason to get one over a cheaper alternative is because it can be used as a home hub for Apple HomeKit. If you’re interested in HomeKit for home automation, there’s value in it.

BuddyJet
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by BuddyJet » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:05 pm

texasdiver wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:58 pm
If you WANT the Apple TV+ content like the new TV shows that are only streamed by Apple then the cost of a new Apple TV is somewhat reduced because you get a free 1-year membership of the Apple TV+ streaming service with the purchase of a new apple device. I think the cost of the service is otherwise about $5 per month so that saves you $60 over buying a Roku or Fire Stick and subscribing to Apple's new streaming service.
There is now an app for fire sticks that gives Apple TV + content.
People say nothing is impossible. I do nothing all day.

michaelingp
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by michaelingp » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:06 am

Again, to address the Apple ecosystem. The Apple TV can be a hub for Apple Homekit if you're into home automation, smart switches and the like.

hoops777
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by hoops777 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:40 pm

Can you stream the new Apple TV through Roku?
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

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mapleosb
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by mapleosb » Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:54 pm

Yes you can

hoops777
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by hoops777 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 7:00 pm

mapleosb wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:54 pm
Yes you can
Thanks
K.I.S.S........so easy to say so difficult to do.

123
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by 123 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 7:05 pm

We have Roku and like it. When I researched Apple and Amazon/Firestick products it seemed like they were more likely to exclude some services due to competitive reasons whereas Roku is more open. Roku wants to make money off everything.
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aqan
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by aqan » Sat Nov 16, 2019 7:32 pm

LilyFleur wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:09 am
I bought a smart Roku TV (TCL, from Costco, on a special sale) about a year and a half ago. It came with Amazon prime already on the menu as well as Netflix and lots of other choices. You have the option of downloading additional apps as well, so we subscribed to Acorn TV and downloaded the app. I haven't missed apple TV at all (I especially haven't missed constantly losing that beautiful but slippery little remote).

So, I own none of the devices you mentioned. It is much more streamlined without having lots of things connected to my TV.
Totally agree. Hate the apple remote. Tried the roku tv at an Air B&B and loved it.

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abuss368
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by abuss368 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:55 am

We received a message from Apple that since we had purchased a new iPhone they were offering a one year subscription to the new TV streaming service. We already plan to watch their new show "For All Mankind". What is the Soviet Union beat the U.S. in the race to the more and the Soviet flag was planted on the moon. Looked interesting.
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z0r
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by z0r » Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:58 am

if you're already considering a $180 device, the nvidia shield is the best streamer for power users. there is a new model out and I'm hoping to score an old one on sale next week

DaftInvestor
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Re: Apple TV vs Competitors

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:15 pm

Like most things Apple - only buy the apple product if you want to pay twice the price for the same function and performance (or the same price for half the performance).

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