Apple TV (3rd Gen) vs Roku 3 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 53 (permalink) Old 2014-04-21, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Cambridge
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Apple TV (3rd Gen) vs Roku 3

With my Rogers TV/Internet contract coming due in July, I'm ready to try cutting the cord…

I can't decide if I should go Apple TV or Roku 3

Info
  • Older Samsung HDTV
  • LG Bluray/HTiB,
  • mid 2009 MacBook Pro
  • Iphone 4S
  • Itunes music library, but no purchased tv or movies.
  • Bunch of DVD tv series, but I'm fine watching those via DVD.
  • Finally, I watch A LOT of TV - network TV, showcase, space, HGTV, TMN, HBO, SuperChannel

What I want to do:
  • watch netflix (and sign up for unblockus or the like to watch US netflix)
  • perhaps be able to do a HuluPlus HBO go account
  • watch tv shows from either the US or CDN websites
  • watch other shows from say, something like Couchtuner
  • buy season pass for some shows on iTunes or the like

On the surface it seems I should go Apple, given the laptop & phone. But my laptop is older, doesn't support Airplay - I can mirror it via a minidisplay port to HDMI cord, but this doesn't support audio, for this I can only use the headphone jack. Though I do have the phone, so I can do airplay from that I believe.

My other concern is whether buying an Apple TV in the next month or two makes sense *if* a new version is coming late this year.

The Roku seems like a better bet, but I'm not sure whether all the channels or apps it provides will be much use to me, seems like I'll need to get Plex working to take advantage.

I'm appreciate your opinions on these two devices!

ATV3 / Unblock-US / Netflix / HuluPlus / Samsung LNT3242H
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post #2 of 53 (permalink) Old 2014-04-21, 12:26 PM
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Both products are great. I don't have a Roku 3 (I haven't even used one), but many people have given them rave reviews. I've recommended (and setup) Apple TV devices for other people, and as far as I can tell, they're all very happy with the device.

I don't think you can go wrong, really. Especially at those price points.
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post #3 of 53 (permalink) Old 2014-04-21, 01:18 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2013
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Well as far as new boxes go - they’ll both be upgrading theirs in the future…

If you sign up with unblockus the AppleTV will give you a lot more from the US iTunes (including PBS and they just added History A&E and one other) as well as all the stuff already there.

We’ve several season passes for all our favourite shows and it’s still much cheaper than the cable that we cut! It’s our main media center now and I highly recommend it!

Good luck!
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post #4 of 53 (permalink) Old 2014-04-21, 04:09 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Kingston, ON - Bell ES 9241, Onkyo TX808, Oppo93, AppleTV3, Vizio 55", PSB & Yamaha speakers for 7:1
Posts: 204
I have an ATV3 and i love it! I don't do 'mirroring' on my older iMac but if I wanted to, I could, using AirParrot. Free software, but I haven't used it. [avail. On MacUpdate or Versiontracker]
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post #5 of 53 (permalink) Old 2014-04-21, 05:29 PM
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I have both. Roku 3 has everything ATV 3 has (except ability to stream shows purchased on iTunes) and more. I also much prefer the Roku 3 remote and the ability to use Plex with Roku.



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post #6 of 53 (permalink) Old 2014-04-22, 12:30 AM
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I looked at cutting the cord and going to apple tv as well, seemed to be as pricy as cable or satellite. I took 15 of the series shows I would watch through out the year and it will amount to 700.00 per year. average 45.00 per series. Then what else do you watch, so add another 400.00 or so for whatever throughout the season. 1100.00 for the year, don't know, I am still looking.
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post #7 of 53 (permalink) Old 2014-04-22, 08:19 AM
 
Join Date: May 2013
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With the Roku 3 and Unblock-us ($5), Netflix ($8), Hulu Plus ($9) and Plex (channels) I can watch just about every series I want except for sports. Not bad for $22/month which includes viewing on TV's as well as mobile devices. Movies are better than basic cable channels. I also like Roku for viewing my home media library (music/photo/video) and integration into things like Facebook (which I use as a screen saver for friend's postings). Overall nice media integration well beyond what cable offers. Off cable for over a year now.
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post #8 of 53 (permalink) Old 2014-04-22, 09:44 AM
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It is easy to do it if you are mostly into watching movies and shows , but for people like me who like to watch news , sports and specialty channels it is a lot harder to do it, at least for now.

Going back to topic I think that Roku 3 is more flexible and has way more apps than Apple tv

On the other hand Apple TV 3 in combination with iPad or iPhone also gives more flexibility and choice with air play but there is another cost of buying IPad or iPhone if someone does not have one.
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post #9 of 53 (permalink) Old 2014-04-22, 01:09 PM
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Yes I am in the same situation, I watch sports and news as well. Any way to get that on Roku box
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post #10 of 53 (permalink) Old 2014-04-22, 01:43 PM
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There is plenty of news and sports online, some legal, some in a grey area and some illegal. CBC, CTV, CNN, BBC, etc all have online news that you can view as and when you want to rather than at the scheduled time. WHen there are major news items they all have live online streaming.

MLS, MLB, NHL all have online streaming services that you can pay for, plus there are many other ways to watch online sports. There are plenty of speciality channels/shows available on YouTube with professionally created content. I'm a big fan of cooking shows and thought I would miss the Food Network but I don't, most of their shows are reality BS shows rather than actual cooking. Instead I now watch Food Tube, Chiappa Sisters and some other professional You Tube food based channels.

However live sports (English Premier League & F1) really is the only reason I haven't cut the cord yet.
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post #11 of 53 (permalink) Old 2014-04-22, 01:44 PM
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News I get OTA... sports you can get through ATV using the league specific apps... only works for non-NFL though. NFL I get whatever is available via OTA with HORRIBLE simsubs.

Cutting the cord isn't totally pain free but the savings in the wallet make up for the pain IMO.
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post #12 of 53 (permalink) Old 2014-04-22, 02:20 PM
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The only real pain is changing your habits, which is the hardest part of any addiction.
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post #13 of 53 (permalink) Old 2014-04-22, 02:35 PM
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There is good app for iPad which has a bit of everything , sports , lots of music , news and more ,it is called Pluto.tv , I use IPad and air play to watch it on my tv.
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post #14 of 53 (permalink) Old 2014-04-22, 02:45 PM
 
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I get CBC (through a PLEX channel) on the Roku with the added benefit of no commercials for any TV shows, so it saves me 8 minutes every 30!

For news, shows are published 5 minutes after the show is over but you can watch any city in Canada. Sports is a big challenge without cable or OTA, and likely will be cables advantage for a while. You can purchase NHL over internet for about $150/year. Lots of games available.

USTVNOW is also a channel available on the Roku. You can test it for free. It is real-time streaming of TV channels from the US. It even comes with a TV Guide.
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post #15 of 53 (permalink) Old 2014-04-22, 03:14 PM
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Pluto TV is basically You Tube with a TV guide, its pretty good though.
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