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 Message Boards » » Roku vs AppleTV vs Boxee vs Popcorn Hour etc. Page 1 2 [3] 4, Prev Next  
smoothcrim
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MOST people are using these for content services, not for playing back pirated media. People don't want to mess with media, varied procurement model, etc. Same reason on-demand makes money on your cable box.

11/11/2012 9:20:38 AM

Kris
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The best thing about the roku is HBO Go, assuming your provider allows it (TWC does).

11/11/2012 11:27:48 AM

qntmfred
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So here's a noob question. If I get a wdtv I know I can plug in a usb external hard drive and stream from it, but will I be able to access that drive as a share on my network so I can move files to it from all the other devices in my house? And can I still use it as a general purpose drive for backups and stuff, or will hdtv hijack the entire drive with its own format or OS or something. I'm guessing not, just looking for confirmation

[Edited on November 11, 2012 at 11:49 AM. Reason : . ]

11/11/2012 11:47:39 AM

El Nachó
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Yep. Any USB drives you attach to the WDTV just get shared across your windows network and can be used as any other windows share can be. I just attached a thumb drive to mine and mapped it as a drive on my Windows 7 box, deleted a file, copied a file to it and played the copied file on the WDTV. Worked just as expected.

11/11/2012 12:14:51 PM

qntmfred
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Great thanks

11/11/2012 12:19:51 PM

qntmfred
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i picked up a wdtv today and am horribly disappointed. the UI is ugly as hell and setup is scattered around a dozen different menus.

on the other hand, i installed Plex on the macbook i've been using as the brains of my tv and the UI looks pretty decent, is fast to navigate, and has lots of content plugins. the only thing it's missing is free last.fm/pandora but i think there's a way to get last.fm on it. reminds me a lot of boxee before they went hardware only.

11/11/2012 4:58:08 PM

El Nachó
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Quote :
"the UI is ugly as hell and setup is scattered around a dozen different menus."


Unfortunately this is fairly universal among all of the media streamers.

11/11/2012 6:25:29 PM

quagmire02
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will the WDTV recognize devices shared over a powered USB hub and if so, will all of the drives be accessible over the network?

11/12/2012 9:31:13 AM

dmspack
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I'm looking into this...from the sound of it, Roku would probably fit my needs best. Anybody hate Roku or would not recommend it?

7/20/2014 8:42:01 PM

OmarBadu
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i'm still using my popcorn hour a-110 that i've had since 2008 - the only thing that's changed is my NAS - it still runs everything i throw at it

7/20/2014 9:14:27 PM

smoothcrim
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amazon fire tv has the most horsepower of any unit out. quad core, 2gb ram, bluetooth, baller voice search etc

7/20/2014 10:34:22 PM

spöokyjon

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I'm much more interested in content and usability than horsepower.

7/20/2014 11:01:31 PM

smoothcrim
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its factory unlocked, run any android app you want on it

7/20/2014 11:54:11 PM

BobbyDigital
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^^^^

haha me too.

It's sad that so many years later, stream-top boxes haven't really advanced much.

7/21/2014 8:44:29 AM

Exiled
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Make sense, since an increasing amount of TVs have these services built right into them now.

7/21/2014 9:44:36 AM

Specter
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Quote :
"I'm looking into this...from the sound of it, Roku would probably fit my needs best. Anybody hate Roku or would not recommend it?"


I picked up a Roku3 refurbished from Newegg and would recommend it. It's great for Netflix playback and has a lot of apps. If you have a home media server, you can stream content through the Plex App (a one-time $5 cost).


Quote :
"Make sense, since an increasing amount of TVs have these services built right into them now."

I would personally go streaming device + "dumb" TV rather than the SmartTV route. The SmartTV cost premium is at least $100 in most cases and SmartTV apps are slow, clunky, have a poor UI, and don't have much expandability.


[Edited on July 21, 2014 at 11:20 AM. Reason : ]

7/21/2014 11:15:35 AM

dmspack
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If it wasn't for live sports, I'd cut cable completely. The area I just moved to has pretty shitty cable anyway. But I don't know if I can go without live sports on ESPN and those affiliates.

But I'm definitely leaning toward the Roku. Not a bad price at all and it's got a bunch of apps...almost all the reviews I've read have been really good.

[Edited on July 21, 2014 at 11:41 AM. Reason : d]

7/21/2014 11:41:36 AM

BobbyDigital
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Quote :
"I would personally go streaming device + "dumb" TV rather than the SmartTV route. The SmartTV cost premium is at least $100 in most cases and SmartTV apps are slow, clunky, have a poor UI, and don't have much expandability."


agreed, my primary TV should just be a display that's really good at being a display. I'm going to have a receiver, blu-ray player, and a media player in addition.

Now for secondary TVs (guest room, etc.), the apps are ok, but to Specter's point, they tend to be difficult if not impossible to update-- and mostly due to the manufacturer wanting to create an artificial reason to buy a new TV vs any technical limitation.

The ideal media player appliance should have

- ability to stream from all of the mainstream providers (netflix, youtube, hulu, amazon, etc.)
- ability to add other services/apps
- ability to play consumer owned content, such as from a NAS or USB attached HDD
- an intuitive, visually appealing UI (like XBMC or Plex)
- periodic firmware updates

Right now the only way to accomplish that is to build a media-center PC. For us geeks and tinkerers, it's not a big deal, but there's really no good reason there isn't an appliance that runs a couple hundred bucks which can do this.

A jailbroken ATV2 was about as close as we got, but it's main limitation was 720p.

7/21/2014 12:09:43 PM

Jeepin4x4
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Quote :
"SmartTV apps are slow, clunky, have a poor UI, and don't have much expandability."



agreed. while I like having Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant at the click of a button on my TV, the interface and speed of the apps are horrendous. not to mention any sort of firmware updating stops as soon as the next year's model is released.

7/21/2014 1:09:06 PM

colangus
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Speak of the devil, I was looking at this yesterday.

Here's a pretty good video comparing Amazon Fire TV vs the Roku 3

http://www.cnet.com/videos/amazon-fire-tv-vs-roku-3/

TLDR; the Roku 3 won.

On a side note, I'd like to test out the Roku 3's remote w/ the headphone input. I watch TV late while the wife's upstairs trying to sleep.

7/21/2014 2:02:08 PM

Igor
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Quote :
"A jailbroken ATV2 was about as close as we got, but it's main limitation was 720p."


I went from ATV3 to a jailbroken ATV2 and my eyes honestly cannot tell the difference between 1080p and 720p when sitting on a couch watching streaming HD content on a 46" screen. Maybe if you are running a 1080p projector or something like that, but at that point you better be playing actual BluRays and not getting some heavily compressed footage shot with a camcorder in a Russian movie theater.

7/22/2014 6:45:07 AM

jbrick83
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Quote :
"If it wasn't for live sports, I'd cut cable completely. The area I just moved to has pretty shitty cable anyway. But I don't know if I can go without live sports on ESPN and those affiliates. "


Get a HD antenna for the local channels and borrow a family member's/close friend's satellite/cable login.

We scrapped Directv two years ago and go with a combination of AppleTV, Netflix, Hulu, and my sister-in-law's TWC login to access HBOGo and WatchESPN apps on the Appletv. We let them use our Netflix so we don't feel too bad about the trade.

Hopefully we can hold on to this deal for a few years until the industry start to change. But its worked out pretty well so far.

7/22/2014 9:07:22 AM

dmspack
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^Yep thats what I'm likely gonna do.

7/22/2014 9:40:47 AM

BobbyDigital
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^^^

I don't disagree for the most part. the bigger problem was that much of my content was 1080p, and the ATV2 didn't have the horsepower to decode it smoothly

7/22/2014 2:30:47 PM

UJustWait84
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Just bought a Roku 3 and figured out how to bypass the blackouts for MLB TV. Any advice on what to do come NFL season? Fuck cable.

7/24/2014 7:34:06 PM

duro982
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For nfl season I use a vpn to pay for NFL Gameday since they won't let you subscribe if you're in the U.S. -- I'm happy to pay for it if they would let me. Instead, I have use a fucking vpn to trick them into letting me pay for it.

Then I either use the website with a computer hooked to the TV or I use the NFL Game Day channel on Plex (on the roku). That channel is unofficial, so there's no guarantee it will work all season. The website will though.

It's worked great. I'd watch games on the tv, computer, and ipad all at the same time with no problems (all HD). They have all of the games and redzone. Archived games. I think the day after a game, they'll have the condensed games (all the time between plays, time outs, etc. cut out).

Oddly, they don't seem to give a shit that my address and credit card info. is U.S. based as long as I'm connecting from Canada (or wherever I choose) when I sign up.

That said, if they were to say "hey, you're not supposed to have this, you're account is being deactivated", I wouldn't expect to get money back. So it's a bit of a gamble, but it worked great for me last season and I had it through the playoffs. I'll be doing it again this season.

[Edited on July 25, 2014 at 1:24 AM. Reason : .]

7/25/2014 1:21:52 AM

Stein
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Allegedly you can just buy Sunday Ticket streaming now without having DirecTV, however I don't know if they'll still enforce blackout rules like they do currently.

7/25/2014 1:50:36 AM

Specter
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^ yeah, but the cheapest Sunday Ticket package is $199. With the NFL season being only like 5 months long, it's almost worth it just to go with cable for football season. That way you'd even get College games too.

7/25/2014 9:17:27 AM

smoothcrim
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last year amazon had madden 25 special edition for $99 that came with sunday ticket online. I used that as leverage with directv and got my tv bill down to 40 and then sold the game for $45. i havent seen a similar deal this year

7/25/2014 10:15:23 AM

Drovkin
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I've had it. I'm done with TWC. We had the TV/Phone/Internet bundle and the rate just about doubled after the promotion ended and they won't do anything in terms of pricing.

We watch very little TV, so I'd like to make the switch to a Roku. I'm pretty noobish when it comes to this stuff, and there seems to be a ton of separate options.

What types of setup are most of you using?

Right now I have two main TVs, and a third in our playroom that would mostly be used for movies from time to time. I've thought about getting the Roku on the main, and maybe two HD antennas for the other TVs. I was going to sign up for Netflix (yep, I'm the 1% of people that doesn't have it still) and Hulu, and also use streaming through Amazon.

I know there are a ton of apps and channels on the Roku, but what else is there? I've read things about sling, tablo, etc and it's a bit overwhelming.

5/24/2016 3:18:30 PM

ElGimpy
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By saying "we" does that mean you live with another adult human being that's capable of signing up for Time Warner on their own, thus getting the new customer discount?

Food for thought...

5/24/2016 3:27:11 PM

neodata686
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When I cancelled TWC and Comcast I quickly got transferred to a retention queue and they offered me some crazy deals to retain me. Didn't work.

5/24/2016 3:29:01 PM

El Nachó
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^^^Any reason why you're set on a Roku?

5/25/2016 7:17:26 AM

MONGO
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I have Roku 3 and have access to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Sling. I also have an HD antenna for local stations.

Sling is great when it works but the picture quality is somewhat unreliable. The Roku is wireless but I do not experience the same drop in quality with Sling as I do with Netflix/Prime. I think it is a exclusively a sling issue.

The HD antenna is great for me but I live in a major city. I get ~30 tv stations and use it for local sports, news, and major network tv shows. This http://www.amazon.com/Mohu-Paper-thin-Reversible-Performance-MH-110598/dp/B00HSMK580 is a great antenna and usually goes on sale for $20 or so.

Netflix/Prime both are great streaming services. I've heard good things from Hulu but I don't see any of their content as "must watch tv" and the inclusion of commercials in their shows turns me off.

Roku offers other "apps" that are put out by major tv stations. Fox/ABC/NBC offers free access for the last 4 episodes of each show. CBS requires payment or a cable login.

Chromecast is great but is powered through a smartphone/laptop and does not support Prime. It might be good alternatives to your other TV's. My gf's parents have apple tv and really enjoy it but all their computers/phones are apple products.

Overall, I am very satisfied with this setup. See article below for a breakdown of the latest streaming devices:
http://www.cnet.com/news/chromecast-vs-apple-tv-vs-roku-3-which-media-streamer-should-you-buy/

5/25/2016 9:28:13 AM

smoothcrim
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intel NUC + hd homerun + win 7/8/10 and windows media center on your main tv, with anything that runs kodi on the other tvs

5/25/2016 11:51:00 PM

Drovkin
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Thanks for the feedback. No not tied to Roku, just have a co-worker that has one and speaks highly of it.

I've thought about bouncing back and forth between my wife and me on signing up for new customer benefits, but we use so little of the services it seems like a waste to me.

I'll check out those links and see what sounds best.

5/26/2016 10:26:13 AM

RawWulf
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I have a Roku and a Fire TV, and I much prefer Fire TV.

The only drawback is Fire TV doesn't have Vudu, Flixster, Fandango Now or CinemaNow -- basically anything that can play back an Ultraviolet collection.

5/26/2016 10:49:39 AM

ElGimpy
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I've used Roku, Chromecast, and Apple TV a lot and prefer Roku far and away to the others. Chromecast is just kind of a pain and the remote for Apple TV is terrible.

How much can you get a high speed internet connection alone for? That's always been what prevents me from cord cutting. I can't get decent speed internet alone for less than $60 a month, add in the other services we're talking about and I end up paying almost as much as the TWC new customer offer (I'm in NYC though, so maybe internet is more expensive here)

5/26/2016 4:02:41 PM

El Nachó
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^Between those 3, the Roku probably is better. But I think the Fire TV is way better than all three.

The biggest complaint I've ever heard about the Fire TV is that it's tied too much into Amazon's store. Which it is, to a degree, but not in an obnoxious way. Yeah, it does showcase Amazon's content on the main screen, but there's a Netflix app and a hulu app and an HBO app, etc. The Netflix/Hulu experience on both devices is practically identical.

I've always tried to get these boxes to do more than they were originally designed to do. Hack them or tweak them or install modified firmware with extra features or whatever, and in that regard there's almost nothing you can do with the Roku that I'm aware of and tons of stuff you can do with the Fire TV. Official review sites will almost never mention stuff like that (probably for several good reasons) If you absolutely know you're never going to do anything other than watch Netflix and Hulu, then go with whatever you can find that's cheapest and call it a day. I just always felt like with a Roku, you're just getting the bare minimum Netflix box, albeit one that's presented in a slick little package that's so easy even grandma can figure it out. There's certainly nothing wrong with ease of use over customizability but it might be something worth considering if you're even moderately interested in potentially adding new features down the line.

5/26/2016 9:58:33 PM

KillaB
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I'm historically a Roku person, but I'd recommend looking into Fire TV as an option. That gives you the ability to sign up for Playstation's Vue service if you want. To me, it's the best deal in live streaming TV right now.

Roku's are great and support most of the popular streaming services around. If you choose that, you'll still have tons of options to obtain your content. I just think the Fire TV is a little bit ahead of the Roku right now and if I didn't already own 4 Roku 2/3s and 2 TCL Roku TVs, then I'd be getting a Fire TV.

5/27/2016 2:43:03 PM

ElGimpy
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What are some of the cooler custom things you can do with a Fire stick? I'm actually pretty invested in the Amazon platform b/w the Echo and all the music I purchase, so I would be interested in making that my next upgrade

6/1/2016 10:39:19 AM

El Nachó
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I mean, basically you can install Kodi.



You can root it, change the look of the UI etc. Block elements and whatnot. Sideload anything for Android including Google Play/apps plus other apps that aren't on the Amazon marketplace. I think there was talk of porting the Google TV OS to it after they figured out how to unlock the bootloader, but I don't think that ever got done that I heard of. There's all sorts of small tweaks you can do like change the remote to activate certain apps when you double tap the home button or whatever. Or make it to where it boots directly into Kodi instead of the stock OS. But really at the end of the day 90% of the stuff you can do is just sort of to say you did it.

But yeah, Kodi is the real draw for most people.

6/6/2016 10:55:49 PM

jbrick83
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What about the new Apple TV? They upgraded the remote (which was a common complaint) and the search feature looks great.

6/7/2016 12:46:22 PM

ElGimpy
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Regarding Kodi

I split Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu with other people. I borrow HBO and Showtime passwords. As per my above explanation cutting cable and going internet only doesn't really save me very much money. So all in all, I already have access to just about anything I want to watch.

Short of going internet only, cancelling netflix and hulu, and using Kodi to replace those, thus saving me a little bit of money...Is there any other major draw to Kodi?

6/7/2016 12:55:28 PM

El Nachó
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That's basically the general idea. I used it for years for LAN playback only before I even knew about internet streaming. It's pretty good at that too, but most people that use it these days only know about/care about streaming tv shows/movies/live sports, etc.

6/7/2016 11:14:41 PM

afripino
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Roku does playstation vue now (although the layout sucks dick) and you can add more content / stream from bittorrent via Plex

7/13/2016 11:18:59 AM

rjrumfel
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Having to go through and encode all my mkv's to mp4's because the Roku 3 I got is having trouble playing them.

7/13/2016 2:27:03 PM

neodata686
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I use Kodi purely for playing local content because it correctly plays 24p content on my tv very nicely. I use my Fire Stick for everything else (Prime, Netflix, etc) and just suffer with the stuttering/3:2 pull down.

7/13/2016 2:27:53 PM

Doss2k
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Quote :
"Having to go through and encode all my mkv's to mp4's because the Roku 3 I got is having trouble playing them."


Have you tried using plex? It has been able to play my mkvs fine.

7/13/2016 3:05:23 PM

neodata686
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Plex on the fire stick can't decode surround DD/DTS from an .mvk file last time I checked. Maybe it can on the Roku 3?

7/14/2016 12:24:35 PM

 Message Boards » Tech Talk » Roku vs AppleTV vs Boxee vs Popcorn Hour etc. Page 1 2 [3] 4, Prev Next  
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