Roku's Netflix Player vs. Apple TV: unboxing and first impressions

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  • Reply 41 of 135
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solsun View Post


    The main problem with the mini is even if you rent directly from iTunes, you can not download HD content without an Apple TV. Direct iTunes rentals are only in SD.



    You still can't buy HD from iTunes so -as if?
  • Reply 42 of 135
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    Never going to survive without a hard drive to cache the content. When the connection craps out and you have to start the movie over again there will be some pissed off people.



    Like the AppleTv hasn't pissed off anybody with it's VHS "near DVD" quality?
  • Reply 43 of 135
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DistortedLoop View Post


    It may not be a beauty contest, but c'mon, if it's sitting out in your living room in plain view, some consideration for aesthetics should be given the design. aTV wins hands down there.



    The AppleTV is a white-frickin-box. Lately, Apple design has been a lot more dependent on the nice on-screen graphics than edgy enclosures. The iMac and Mac Pro look great, but nothing else is really that impressive. The Roku unit looks fine, and it's certainly no worse looking than any of the other gear connected to my TV, including the TV itself.
  • Reply 44 of 135
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post


    The AppleTV is a white-frickin-box. Lately, Apple design has been a lot more dependent on the nice on-screen graphics than edgy enclosures. The iMac and Mac Pro look great, but nothing else is really that impressive. The Roku unit looks fine, and it's certainly no worse looking than any of the other gear connected to my TV, including the TV itself.



    Thank you- nothing has quite the wow factor as the products from 1999-2005. Even the current iMac has a Dell look.
  • Reply 45 of 135
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post


    The AppleTV is a white-frickin-box. Lately, Apple design has been a lot more dependent on the nice on-screen graphics than edgy enclosures. The iMac and Mac Pro look great, but nothing else is really that impressive. The Roku unit looks fine, and it's certainly no worse looking than any of the other gear connected to my TV, including the TV itself.



    It's not a "white-frickin-box". It's actually a very good minimalist design. Give me Apple minimalism over alienware geekism any day of the week. "Edginess" is the scourge of design, and Apple is the only company that has the good taste to eschew all that tasteless crap.



    Look at electronics, particularly car decks. They all look like flashing lights "pimp" machines with absolutely no taste whatsoever. Is that what you want?



    It's an elegant "white-and-silver-frickin-box", sir.
  • Reply 46 of 135
    tontontonton Posts: 14,067
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    Thank you- nothing has quite the wow factor as the products from 1999-2005. Even the current iMac has a Dell look.



    You don't understand design. If anything Dell is heading toward a cleaner look, which Apple has always had.



    Plastic curves != good design.



    I thought the bondi blue G3 was the ugliest design I had ever seen. Such a waste of space with all that plastic. Then Apple stuck with that crap design for like four years or so, until they finally went with the elegant, simple aluminum design. "Wow" factor? How about "Ugh!" factor? The original curvy G3 was just ugly. And what about the "My Little Pony" iBook?
  • Reply 47 of 135
    winterspanwinterspan Posts: 605member
    Ignoring the fact that the AppleTV can be hacked into a fully functioning Apple computer, and just comparing the devices for their standard from-the-factory features:



    1) All the movies available on the Roku are old catalog titles. There are HARDLY ANY RECENT RELEASES and NO brand new releases.

    2) The SD quality is noticeably worse than the iTunes store rental videos

    3) There are No High-Definition titles available

    4) There is no 5.1 surround sound

    5) You can't even watch trailers or make a selection on the device itself. You still have to do everything from a computer on netflix.com

    6) No music, photos, or video syncing



    And people are trying to compare this to the AppleTV ? I don't own either, and I try to be objective with Apple, but this thing is a joke.
  • Reply 48 of 135
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,870member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Galley View Post


    How is this thing supposed to support HD streaming in the future, if it only has 64MB of RAM (supposedly)?



    Why do you think it would need more RAM to play HD content?
  • Reply 49 of 135
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,870member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by winterspan View Post


    Ignoring the fact that the AppleTV can be hacked into a fully functioning Apple computer, and just comparing the devices for their standard from-the-factory features:



    1) All the movies available on the Roku are old catalog titles. There are HARDLY ANY RECENT RELEASES and NO brand new releases.

    2) The SD quality is noticeably worse than the iTunes store rental videos

    3) There are No High-Definition titles available

    4) There is no 5.1 surround sound

    5) You can't even watch trailers or make a selection on the device itself. You still have to do everything from a computer on netflix.com

    6) No music, photos, or video syncing



    And people are trying to compare this to the AppleTV ? I don't own either, and I try to be objective with Apple, but this thing is a joke.



    You've summed it up well. I own a Roku SoundBridge and visit their forum regularly; it seems that at the moment, demand is outstripping supply for this box. Given the lack of functionality and the poor content availability, I find this difficult to understand. Perhaps it's not demand that's high, but supply that's just very low?



    Anyway, they seem very confident that they are going to be delivering HD content (720p) with 5.1 sound later this year.
  • Reply 50 of 135
    mbene12mbene12 Posts: 42member
    Quote:

    Why do you think it would need more RAM to play HD content?



    HD content is obviously more data. More RAM = larger buffer. 64mb seems insanely tiny to me already considering the state of most broadband. I have a 15mbps connection in theory. It works that way in the morning, but at night when everyone in the complex is on it, it can get pretty flaky. A larger buffer would smooth out some of the speed hiccups. Even if all 64 is available for buffer that cant be more than a few minutes of HD content at best. Nothing is more annoying than waiting for a movie to catch up say in the middle of a car chase etc.
  • Reply 51 of 135
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,870member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mbene12 View Post


    HD content is obviously more data. More RAM = larger buffer.



    Ah, you are talking about the buffer.



    Yes, the buffer is indeed 64 MB (this has been confirmed by Roku on their forums).



    That does seem rather small. People will need a high-bandwidth, high-quality internet connection or their HD watching experience will not be fun (either lots of drop-outs or the box reverts to a limited-bandwidth stream, obliterating its HD-ness)
  • Reply 52 of 135
    nceencee Posts: 857member
    Aw give me the daus of - PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION



    No technology, but still entertaining
  • Reply 53 of 135
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,693member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    It's a rival if the public think it's a rival. Since the AppleTV started offering movie rentals people were comparing it to Netflix.



    "Why would I pay $5 for an HD movie on the AppleTV when I can get it for free from Netflix with much higher quality, extras, etc.?"



    With Roku the comparison comes more into full swing as Netflix is now offering free video—and I believe considerably more titles, including TV Shows—to those with a Netflix account. On top of that, the device costs less and connects to more TVs. Of course, it doesn't have nearly the usefulness of the AppleTV but if you only want to watch movies and you already have a Netflix account then Roku is probably the only choice for you.



    We gladly pay $4.99 most Friday nights for an HD movie from ATV / iTunes. Never had a problem and the picture is stunning on a Sony 50" HD TV. The main reason I bought ATV was for HD content, slow coming I admit but here at last in growing numbers. I would have zero interest in anything that wasn't HD and I understand this Netflix box isn't? I fail to see the point these days of a standard TV output. The seamless integration to iLife has also been a surprising hit. Music from iTunes to main Hi Fi system is brilliant at all our parties which now end up with everyone watching themselves from pics taken during the night ("here can you put mine on too?" I get asked being passed small digital cameras)... ATV is a member of our family now
  • Reply 54 of 135
    kreshkresh Posts: 379member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monkeyastronaut View Post


    Prince McLean = Danielle Dilger?




    I don't think he's trying to hide behind the Prince McLean moniker. Daniel Eran Dilger posts links to his AppleInsider articles on his tech blog RoughlyDrafted Magazine. Probably the best tech blog on the net.
  • Reply 55 of 135
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    It's a rival if the public think it's a rival. Since the AppleTV started offering movie rentals people were comparing it to Netflix.



    "Why would I pay $5 for an HD movie on the AppleTV when I can get it for free from Netflix with much higher quality, extras, etc.?"



    With Roku the comparison comes more into full swing as Netflix is now offering free video?and I believe considerably more titles, including TV Shows?to those with a Netflix account. On top of that, the device costs less and connects to more TVs. Of course, it doesn't have nearly the usefulness of the AppleTV but if you only want to watch movies and you already have a Netflix account then Roku is probably the only choice for you.



    I have Netflix and I'm considering getting this. It's not that much money, it's small and I can watch more movies quicker with it. I think it's a good deal, and I know it's limitations. I still wouldn't get an AppleTV.
  • Reply 56 of 135
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post


    Netflix may have more titles available for the Roku, but not many of them are new releases or popular titles. Only a few of the top 100 movies on its own site are available for streaming with this box. Apple actually has them beat on the new release front.



    More titles is more important to me, and looking over my current list of movies I'm waiting for, I can see about 10% of the titles I want right now can be streamed and that will increase as they make more titles "Roku-able".



    Quote:

    There are also no HD titles available via this box, either. It's all standard def, and the quality decreases even further if your Internet connection can't keep up.



    Doesn't matter to me, as I don't have an HDTV.



    Quote:

    And since when is Netflix free? Pay that monthly fee for a year, and you've paid the difference for an Apple TV.



    Netflix is not free, but I'm already paying for it.



    Quote:

    Bottom line, this is an interesting device, but no competitor to Apple TV.



    Better think again.
  • Reply 57 of 135
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monkeyastronaut View Post


    Not everyone loves itunes, but i agree that no HD has the potential to be a headache.



    Keep in mind that a lot of us still don't have (and have no plans to buy) an HDTV.
  • Reply 58 of 135
    cory bauercory bauer Posts: 1,286member
    Waiting for the Blu-Ray version of a film to arrive in the mail would be far more gratifying to me than instantly being able to watch (and hear) a VHS-quality version of the same film.



    Until the movie selection isn't severely limited and constantly losing titles in favor of others, these rental boxes just aren't going to be a viable alternative. People can't come to rely on a box (and get in the habit of using) that has so few movie titles, and removes popular new-release titles just as quickly as they add unwanted catalogue titles. Right now, it's just a gimmick.
  • Reply 59 of 135
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    Are you for real? Apple has come up with some stunning designs but the the Apple TV is hardly one of them. A thing of beauty-NOT- and it is as hot as a warming plate even when off. It looks like a sushi plate. Why is that more attractive than an black box? I swear some of the posts here are simply preposterous to say the least!



    Yes, I'm serious, your accusations of absurdity aside. I didn't say that the AppleTV was a thing of beauty, I said compared to the Roku it wins aesthetics hands down. It is low, sleek and unobtrusive on my TV, it looks modern. The Roku looks like some cheap black box from the 80's. And the remote is even uglier.



    Your tastes may vary, but I won't call your posts preposterous just because all your taste is apparently in your mouth. ;-)
  • Reply 60 of 135
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kresh View Post


    I don't think he's trying to hide behind the Prince McLean moniker. Daniel Eran Dilger posts links to his AppleInsider articles on his tech blog



    Then why even use it? If you're going to try to sound professional, that kind of alias isn't the way to do it anyway.



    Quote:

    RoughlyDrafted Magazine. Probably the best tech blog on the net.



    Maybe it's insightful, but I think it's needlessly verbose when it's possible to communicate many of those the ideas better in a more concise way. Some of the formatting is pretty confusing too, so I just don't read it.
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