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Apple TV compared to Roku


soundmarsh
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Hey Guys, I am considering buying an apple tv or a roku. Can anyone speak in to which one is more stable for playback from an emby server. 

 

Background: 

 

I do not have any allegiance to apple. 

 

I have a windows 10 server 

 

I also have ipads, mac books, etc. but I have 0 media on itunes but a little music. 

 

 

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I have not used Apple TV but I own a Roku 3 & 4 and I have set up a Roku 3 at my mother-in-law's and a Roku Stick at my parent's house. All devices are great at their integration with either the Emby app or the (highly suggested and preferred) Emby Blue Neon Night app by Speechless. He has done wonders with his fork of the Emby app and is constantly improving it. If you don't like the default colors you can change the theme. Either on my local network, or at the parents' houses, playback is smooth.

 

Do a web search for articles comparing all the streaming devices, that may help you decide which brand to choose. I like Roku for Emby, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, PBS, ESPN and many more.

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Koleckai Silvestri

Looking into an Apple TV myself. More for the Homekit integration than Emby but would use Emby on it. I would suspect that playback on the two is comparable. The Roku supports more formats so you can direct play more items. Apple is pretty much locked into the MP4 container. You wouldn't need content in iTunes to access your Emby server. If you use multiple services through a Cable provider, Apple just introduced a new TV App that will allow single sign on to all of the different apps. Have it on my iPhone but haven't played with it much yet.

 

The Roku as a whole has a pretty outdated interface. They provided a simple interface to get content on the device easier. It has the most channels of any of the streamers out there at the moment. Recently, they started allowing developers to create their own screen templates. I understand the developers are updating the Emby client for Roku to take advantage of this. Hopefully, it will be available soon. Some of the newer Roku devices also support 4K video which the Apple TV doesn't at this time.

 

One small detail that may be relevant is that there is no Amazon Prime App for the Apple TV. If that is important to you, then you're better off with the Roku.

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The Apple TV is a fine player but if you aren't bought into the Apple ecosystem then I would lean towards the Roku as it will give you more options.

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I've had both the roku and currently the Apple TV. The roku was good. All the channels were nice, the private listening on the remote was lovely, but the WAF factor isn't close in my world, if that is an issue. Short answer is user interface is far better on the Apple TV than the roku and not just for emby, but for all apps. While I preferred the remote on the roku, almost everyone else prefers the remote on the Apple TV.

 

However direct playing on the Apple TV, as mentioned, is limited to MP4 and certain audip tracks. As typical in Apple fashion, they make a lot of media choices for you. Simply put, Apple TV if you want pretty/simplicity, roku if you want functionality.

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I tend to prefer the ATV4 as well - though the Roku has the ability to channel switch over HTTP which makes remote controlling far easier.

 

However direct playing on the Apple TV, as mentioned, is limited to MP4 and certain audip tracks. As typical in Apple fashion, they make a lot of media choices for you.

 

True - but the Emby server does a great job of detecting and remuxing content to reduce transcoding.  For example I have almost all my content in the MKV wrapper but the video is all h.264 which Apple plays natively.  So for 99% of my content Emby is only transcoding the audio track which is very light.  Typically a few minutes into any given movie the transcode is complete.

Edited by mellomade
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Apple TV has a far better UI. It's light years ahead in the experience you get both in and out of apps compared to the Roku and not just Emby. The Roku can get frustrating on a day to day basis.

 

With Amazon missing on Apple TV though, if you use that in addition to Emby it will sort of lead you to the Roku.

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