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Apple TV: worth it?

What do people here think of Apple TV? I'm considering getting one of the 4K ones once they're out, to replace a media PC that I'm not entirely happy with, and I've got an iPad and iPhone and am generally very happy with the quality and user-friendliness.

I'm mainly interested in the opinions of people who have an Apple TV box or who have some experience with them. Are you happy with them? If not, what are the problems you encountered?

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"Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods

Posts

  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Do you have a smart TV? If so, much of the usefulness is eliminated there.

    Do you buy a lot of stuff on iTunes? You'll likely get a lot of use out of it.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
    Elvenshae
  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    If you want 4K and HDR from Netflix and/or Amazon, a Roku Premiere+ does that for $90 less.

    If you buy movies/shows on iTunes or want to use AirPlay without buying a new receiver then an ATV makes sense.

    Shadowfire
  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    It seems that Roku isn't officially out in Switzerland and while you can import it you don't get the full range of functions. I've also got this weird issue where I'm pretty certain my TV's Netflix app doesn't play in 4K, even though it ought to, and the PS4 app does 4K but not HDR. It also seems like iTunes may be the best (fully legal) way for us to get pay-per-view films in the original. (It's actually not illegal to download free movie streams in Switzerland - go figure... - but that's not something I want to do on a regular basis, legal or not.)

    I do find the way Apple devices play with each other appealing. Appealing enough to warrant the price tag? I don't know, but that's one of the reasons why I'm looking for people's impressions of Apple TV.

    webp-net-resizeimage.jpg
    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    Oh, I wasn't aware of that. In general the people who have ATVs seem to like them.

    It's an Apple thing, so it will work pretty well, but you pay a premium for it.

    Also Netflix 4K streams will look pretty similar to a 1080p Blu-Ray if that's what you're used to. They just blow away the normal-quality Netflix streams by comparison.

  • wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    the remote on the ATV is hot garbage. Like, complete and utter trash.

    Past that, Apple's announcement that all existing HD purchases will be upgraded to 4k for free and 4k will be the same price as HD going forward is massive. It really can't be overstated how big of a deal that is for the industry. I'm more than happy to dump on apple a lot of the time, but credit where due that is a huge deal and others who sell 4k digitial titles need to follow suit.

    XBL: thewunderbar PSN: thewunderbar NNID: thewunderbar Steam: wunderbar87 Twitter: wunderbar
    Ziggymon
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    As I understand it, the two models of the Apple TV come in at $179.99 and $199.99 respectively (64 GB model, more expensive).

    For comparison, an Xbox One S does every thing the the Apple TV does excluding iTunes (and several things the it doesn't, not the least of which is play video games that aren't Minecraft), and costs $199.99. It also comes with a competent gamepad controller instead of a terrible remote. If you are not already in the iTunes ecosystem, I really don't think the Apple TV is a great motivator to jump in (in fact, the more I hear about it, the more it sounds like a worse motivator than all of Apple's other products). In fact, as Shadowfire pointed out, a Vizio M would have all of the Apple TV's functionality built into it (excluding iTunes and gaming)--and comes with a good remote by comparison.

    The Apple TV is smaller than an XB1S. It's not as small as a capable Smart TV, seeing how you still need said TV.

    If you're an iTunes customer who buys video (oddly, I only know iTunes customers who use it for audio--music, podcasts, sometimes books, etc.) that's a pretty good deal though. I kind of think Apple will drag their feet on that though, even more so than everyone else has already been, since they're so late to the party. Considering iTunes is still crap on Windows after all these years (at least compared to the alternatives), that would speak more to having an Apple device that can output 4K via HDMI, DisplayPort, etc. I don't think iPads do that yet, but I would imagine their laptops and desktops do.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    See, I wouldn't buy an xbox if your primary planned use of it is a streaming device. It feels like buying a hummer to drive 10 blocks a day to work. The interface isn't geared for the simplicity you get from an Apple TV or roku. It's a gaming device that also does streaming media.

    If you're heavily invested in the apple media ecosystem and want a streaming device, get an apple TV.

    If you're not heavily invested in the apple media ecosystem, buy the 4k Roku box or the Chromecast ultra.

    I own an xbox, and buying one to use just as a streaming box is not something anyone should ever do.

    XBL: thewunderbar PSN: thewunderbar NNID: thewunderbar Steam: wunderbar87 Twitter: wunderbar
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    I should warn the non-gamers I know who bought Xbox One S exclusively for that reason (and because they could get them cheap) they've made a horrible mistake. :)

    I don't think the Xbox One S is a Hummer--unless Hummers were normally priced (or cheap) among other cars. It's more like buying a laptop to check email where a economic Android phone would do the same. The laptop also does a number of things the Android phone won't, if you need it to. To each their own, of course, but that's just how I'm seeing it--Apple did position the Apple TV as a sort set top device that plays games, in an oddly Android-esque manner, and even got other companies to make controllers for it. The fact that it is the price of the higher-end Apple TV coming out (and can be found for the price of the $179.99 model) makes it a valid option. The comparison, after all, is with the Apple TV first and foremost, and then Roku/Fire stick/Chromecast too. I think that makes it a valid option, though hardly the only one.

    (Of course, the funny thing is I haven't bought one...because my Vizio does most of what a Roku or Chromecast would do. If you're not invested in iTunes, but need to buy a 4K television anyway, just get one that has it built in.)

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    Again, I just don't see the point of an Xbox as a streaming device when significantly more efficient methods exist. Apple markets the Apple TV as a media device that also happens to play a few games if you want, and Microsoft markets the xbox as a gaming console that also can play media. That's a subtle but very important different.

    And honestly, I think either is complete overkill for a streaming device. The *only* reason at all to get an Apple TV is if you're heavily invested in the apple ecosystem. If you're not it makes zero sense to spend that much money on it. And this is also where the apple tax strikes a bit. If Apple made a $100 box that did 4k streaming and didn't play games at all, it'd outsell the existing devices by a wide margin. The only reason the apple TV is at all popular is because it is literally the only way to get iTunes content streaming to a TV, and is the only video box that supports apple's proprietary air play technology.

    So yes, I don't think the Xbox One makes much sense as a media streamer as a $200, I also don't think the Apple TV makes sense either, unless you absolutely need the iTunes content. Then you have no other option.

    XBL: thewunderbar PSN: thewunderbar NNID: thewunderbar Steam: wunderbar87 Twitter: wunderbar
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    I can see where you're coming from, though I don't agree personally--especially since, like a lot of people, my first true media set top device was an Xbox 360 (in the earlier days of Netflix streaming). Some people prefer a multifunction device, and don't need it to be small because not a Fire stick or something similar, and don't expect it to be highly portable. Some people do. I don't think one group or the other can necessarily be discounted.

    The fact that there are vastly better app alternatives on UWP (and by extension, Xbox One) like MyTube versus the YouTube app--and that UHD BR sales are better than BR sales were in the same time period in that format's lifespan--are potential bonuses multifunction devices. Apple TV 4K so far lacks some of that multifunction capability, though not all of it. Of course, if you only want one thing, than none of that matters anyway. This isn't "wrong" or "right", but simply different devices (both of which there is clearly demand for).

    I guess I just see the point because I would otherwise need to buy multiple things, and have the alternative of buying one. Hardly a mindset totally foreign to Apple's customer base either, and relevant to the Apple TV.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited September 2017
    Synthesis wrote: »
    As I understand it, the two models of the Apple TV come in at $179.99 and $199.99 respectively (64 GB model, more expensive).

    For comparison, an Xbox One S does every thing the the Apple TV does excluding iTunes (and several things the it doesn't, not the least of which is play video games that aren't Minecraft), and costs $199.99. It also comes with a competent gamepad controller instead of a terrible remote. If you are not already in the iTunes ecosystem, I really don't think the Apple TV is a great motivator to jump in (in fact, the more I hear about it, the more it sounds like a worse motivator than all of Apple's other products). In fact, as Shadowfire pointed out, a Vizio M would have all of the Apple TV's functionality built into it (excluding iTunes and gaming)--and comes with a good remote by comparison.

    Fuck Vizio. With a cactus.

    Edit: I should clarify. If you want a cheap TV with a good screen, Vizio are fine. If you want to stream on it, you have two options:
    1 - lose the price advantage and go for the expensive model that comes with a smallish tablet for a remote
    2 - Use your phone to cast, which will eat up your phone's battery.

    Neither of these options are OK. There's a reason Vizio TVs are cheaper, and that's the biggest one. Stick with Samsung, LG, and Sony.

    Shadowfire on
    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote: »
    As I understand it, the two models of the Apple TV come in at $179.99 and $199.99 respectively (64 GB model, more expensive).

    For comparison, an Xbox One S does every thing the the Apple TV does excluding iTunes (and several things the it doesn't, not the least of which is play video games that aren't Minecraft), and costs $199.99. It also comes with a competent gamepad controller instead of a terrible remote. If you are not already in the iTunes ecosystem, I really don't think the Apple TV is a great motivator to jump in (in fact, the more I hear about it, the more it sounds like a worse motivator than all of Apple's other products). In fact, as Shadowfire pointed out, a Vizio M would have all of the Apple TV's functionality built into it (excluding iTunes and gaming)--and comes with a good remote by comparison.

    Fuck Vizio. With a cactus.

    Edit: I should clarify. If you want a cheap TV with a good screen, Vizio are fine. If you want to stream on it, you have two options:
    1 - lose the price advantage and go for the expensive model that comes with a smallish tablet for a remote
    2 - Use your phone to cast, which will eat up your phone's battery.

    Neither of these options are OK. There's a reason Vizio TVs are cheaper, and that's the biggest one. Stick with Samsung, LG, and Sony.

    Um.... casting does not use phone battery. You're not actually sending the content from your phone to the TV. If you cast, say, netflix, how that works is that you tell the cast device what you want to play, and it connects directly to the source to play it.

    XBL: thewunderbar PSN: thewunderbar NNID: thewunderbar Steam: wunderbar87 Twitter: wunderbar
    a5ehren
  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    Hmm... My first reaction to the Xbox One S thing was negative rather than anything else; we've already got three consoles ganging up on our TV, I don't really want a fourth one.

    However, I'd completely forgotten about the Xbox's built-in UHD Blu-ray drive - and, more importantly, about UHD BR being region-free. I have tons of R1 Blu-rays, for which I imported a region-free player; I thought that if I wanted to go UHD BR, I'd either have to get an additional player or again get a more expensive region-free player. However, the price tag for an Xbox One S plus media remote is considerably lower than that of Apple TV + UHD BR player.

    What I'd lose is Apple-specific things such as iTunes and AirPlay. The latter isn't all that much of an issue, but if I'm not mistaken iTunes is likely to be the best option for 4K VoD in Switzerland. (A lot of services aren't supported in Switzerland, or at least not fully, and you also get services that only have films and TV shows in German, French and Italian.) Then again, we'd probably watch something on VoD 3-4 times a year.

    I still don't like the idea of a fourth console sitting there. But I don't think I'd really want to pay a few hundred dollars more just to avoid that.

    webp-net-resizeimage.jpg
    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
  • a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    Depends on what the 3 consoles that are already there are. 360 back-compat is pretty good on the XBO at this point, at least for anything you'd actually want to play.

    syndalis
  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    a5ehren wrote: »
    Depends on what the 3 consoles that are already there are. 360 back-compat is pretty good on the XBO at this point, at least for anything you'd actually want to play.

    yeah, totally worth looking at the list; Microsoft has done an absolutely remarkable job and the library of BC games is nearing 100% of the stuff people actually want to go back to, and all your old physical copies (and purchased digital copies) just work.

    And it was fun watching my library grow month after month as titles like Symphony of the Night, Assassin's Creed 1-3, etc. etc. just kept popping in.

    SW-4158-3990-6116
    Let's play Mario Kart or something...
    Shadowfire
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited September 2017
    Thirith wrote: »
    Hmm... My first reaction to the Xbox One S thing was negative rather than anything else; we've already got three consoles ganging up on our TV, I don't really want a fourth one.

    However, I'd completely forgotten about the Xbox's built-in UHD Blu-ray drive - and, more importantly, about UHD BR being region-free. I have tons of R1 Blu-rays, for which I imported a region-free player; I thought that if I wanted to go UHD BR, I'd either have to get an additional player or again get a more expensive region-free player. However, the price tag for an Xbox One S plus media remote is considerably lower than that of Apple TV + UHD BR player.

    What I'd lose is Apple-specific things such as iTunes and AirPlay. The latter isn't all that much of an issue, but if I'm not mistaken iTunes is likely to be the best option for 4K VoD in Switzerland. (A lot of services aren't supported in Switzerland, or at least not fully, and you also get services that only have films and TV shows in German, French and Italian.) Then again, we'd probably watch something on VoD 3-4 times a year.

    I still don't like the idea of a fourth console sitting there. But I don't think I'd really want to pay a few hundred dollars more just to avoid that.

    If you want a UHD player, it's going to be...similar to the size of an Xbox One S, which is basically a thicker UHD player (with the same footprint). It will have the same number of cables (two) in that capacity...which is the same number an Apple TV would have I'm pretty sure.

    It's actually towards the high-end as far UHD players go--it's wifi capabilities are among the fastest (useful in streaming), it has a much larger array of media streaming apps, the actual UHD drive speed is...sort of in the middle? Slightly faster? I'm thinking that will change over time, if you remember how the PS3 ended up with a painfully slow BR player towards the end of its lifetime. But it doesn't have a remote (though fortunately, there are really good ones cheaper than Microsoft's own), though it would come with a gamepad obviously. The video navigation GUI is run of the mill, not PS2/PS3 terrible, but not great either. Beyond that into the very granular levels of playback quality, responsiveness, and audio translation, you'll have to check the Bluray community forums for the really nitty-gritty.

    I haven't tossed my Playstation 3, even if it has been reduced to the world's biggest, loudest, heaviest Playstation 2 console (that will overheat to the point it shuts off if I leave the glass door in front of it closed). So clearly I have no problems with a bunch of consoles underneath my 4K television. And I'm still bummed by specific absences in BC on XB1, so my Xbox 360 is still there.

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Also, no downloading of 4k content. Streaming only.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    Also, no downloading of 4k content. Streaming only.

    I actually thought that was by design given the options are 32 GB for $179 and 64 for $199. I'm kind of surprised it lets you download video at 1080p.

    Which sounds terrible, even though maybe that's normal pricing for set-top boxes.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • ColanutColanut Siedge WealdRegistered User regular
    edited February 2018
    We recently got an AppleTV. The week we've had it for has been pretty great.

    I am in the middle of redoing our entertainment system, as our current set up has been stable for 10+ years but it doesn't reflect our current usage patterns. Previously it revolved around the TiVo for OTA content with a side of disk based media. Over the years we adding streaming; Netflix, Amazon, etc. Our family's priorities are convenience and stability. The TiVo, while good at the time, has a very slow interface for streaming apps. I'm glad they added them, but they can't compare to the new dedicated boxes. We have a FireStick that has started crapping out and looks to be depreciated (as well as being WiFi only).

    So now I'm looking to retire TiVo and move to the AppleTV as our new center. I want as much of the interface to live in one place. Streaming is all covered and those DVD disk codes now work with MediaEverywhere (or what ever that new served that lets you buy in one store and have them available in all is called). That leaves broadcast TV. I bought a HD Homerun box to get the OTA and a NAS for DVR capabilities and possibly play ripped media storage (Plex or VLC- still researching). This puts the more two inputs inside a single remote/interface.

    All this new stuff is coming very close, in cost, to a TiVo upgrade I was eyeing. But reports are that the interface is still slow.

    I have not been so stoked about AV equipment since I was in college. I admit I do prefer Apple gear- in my situation it lasts far longer than other gear does. (My kids and I built a Windows PC game/school work computer that we are super stoked on too- it doubles as a sleepover entertainment center.)

    For me, stability is important. I have faith in the App store and the several apps we have to be supported for a long time. Channels will be our new OTA and DVR software and the company looks good- responsive and active support (plus they just released an Android TV app). We don't have a 4K TV. It has smart features, so does the Blu-Ray, but both are outdated compared to a iPhone 4. The remote takes some getting used to, but it is far superior to the sluggish TiVo remote. I wish I could run a Blu-Ray/DVD through it- we get disks from the library.

    TL;DR I'm very excited about the Apple TV for our media center. If it fits what you are hoping to do, I think it will fit really well. It is still new to me, so if people are interested I could follow up as I add more in.

    Colanut on
    wanderingcaligynefob
  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    We also went for an Apple TV in the end. Is it essential? No, but it does more things better that would otherwise require more device-hopping (the PS4 does one or two things really well, but for other things I have to switch to the TV apps, and for yet other things I have to use the BR player), and I find the way Apple devices play with each other pretty nifty and handy.

    They've also improved some of the things that used to be annoying, such as needing to change between output formats manually or having everything converted to the format you've preset at the loss of quality; these days, the Apple TV switches between formats automatically. My main annoyance at this point is that it doesn't do YouTube output at 4K/HDR; if I'm not mistaken, very few devices to that, and while I can use my TV to show 4K/HDR YouTube videos, the app itself is way buggier than the apps I've got on other devices.

    This is less of a criticism of the Apple TV than of format issues in general: I've yet to find a good explanation (from the perspective of the customer) why a relatively simple, widespread service can differ considerably from one device to another.

    webp-net-resizeimage.jpg
    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
    wandering
  • SoggybiscuitSoggybiscuit At the edge of spacetime lies a path with no end.Registered User regular
    Thirith wrote: »
    We also went for an Apple TV in the end. Is it essential? No, but it does more things better that would otherwise require more device-hopping (the PS4 does one or two things really well, but for other things I have to switch to the TV apps, and for yet other things I have to use the BR player), and I find the way Apple devices play with each other pretty nifty and handy.

    They've also improved some of the things that used to be annoying, such as needing to change between output formats manually or having everything converted to the format you've preset at the loss of quality; these days, the Apple TV switches between formats automatically. My main annoyance at this point is that it doesn't do YouTube output at 4K/HDR; if I'm not mistaken, very few devices to that, and while I can use my TV to show 4K/HDR YouTube videos, the app itself is way buggier than the apps I've got on other devices.

    This is less of a criticism of the Apple TV than of format issues in general: I've yet to find a good explanation (from the perspective of the customer) why a relatively simple, widespread service can differ considerably from one device to another.

    Did you get one of the new AppleTVs that does 4k? The YouTube app was updated recently. I don't have any idea if it supports 4k (I don't have a 4k AppleTV) but you might see if you have any updates available for it.

    Steam - Synthetic Violence | XBOX Live - Cannonfuse | PSN - CastleBravo | Twitch - SoggybiscuitPA
  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    I do have a 4K one. Will check it out - thanks!

    webp-net-resizeimage.jpg
    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
  • wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    I believe the youtube app now does support 4k, but not HDR. Youtube only encodes to one HDR format, and the AppleTV only supports one HDR format that is different than what Youtube is using. So far neither side is blinking.

    XBL: thewunderbar PSN: thewunderbar NNID: thewunderbar Steam: wunderbar87 Twitter: wunderbar
    wandering
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