Customer Review

4,788 of 5,070 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comparing AppleTV to Roku2 XS, March 18, 2012
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This review is from: Apple TV MD199LL/A (Current Version) (Electronics)
I own both the new Apple TV (1080P/2012) model and the Roku2 XS. I found myself doing a side by side comparison of the two products and here are my findings.

AppleTV
Pros: Works out of the box, minimum effort to setup, really easy to use interface + wifi. Can Restream old purchased episodes. Netflix App much cleaner and more superb. Streaming and buffering causes no delays or degradation of picture. AirPlay makes up for a lot of the limited channels (with Mountain Lion the functionality goes up even more). iPad Remote easy to use
Cons: Limited Channels...needs an open API like Roku to build more channels

Roku2 XS
Pros: Many Channels available, Cheaper ($10), Free Movie Channels like Crackle, AmazonPrime availability, Vendor neutral. iPad Remote easy to use
Cons: Missing iTunes integration, Poor quality and buffering (constant downgrading the image quality on NBA League Pass and Netflix). User UI is just bland and could be cleaner. Bugs and issues. Most channels you have to pay extra for. Roku disconnects from my wifi network randomly whereas the AppleTV never does during side by side streaming. Setup takes longer and more tweaking needed by the user.

Summary:
While the Roku offers you many more channels the end user experience on the AppleTV makes it much more simple to utilize. If you have some form of Apple Eco System then the AppleTV is for you. If you hate Apple then the Roku is for you. Each product has their own advantages and disadvantages. For me in the end it was about the user experience and ease of using the player and the AppleTV edged out. It's not to say I won't be using my Roku but until there are some updates to fix some of the buffers and issues the AppleTV is by far the better product.

UPDATE: Completely Dropped my Roku in favor of Apple TV now. For some of the comments below I have a 30 Mbps down, 10 Mbps Up and being a network engineer and having quite an impressive armada of enterprise switches in the house I know it's not the network but the Roku. It's either the memory or the application code that keeps causing issues itself. Also for those that claim they cannot view movies due to apple protections...download airparrot and VLC. It works perfectly.
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Comments

Tracked by 23 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 129 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 19, 2012 11:48:14 AM PDT
JSportsCar says:
Nice review ! A question. I also began to watch NBA league pass broadband this season. I bought ATV 2 a few month ago, but to my disappointment ATV2 had heavy artifact while watching NBA (live or replay). Later I could not stand it and picked up a Roku 2 XS. Roku does not have the artifact issue, although it occasionally had buffering issue (as you mentioned). I ended up returning ATV 2 and kept Roku.

My connection is DSL wired, and constantly maintained an average download speed above 4.2 Mbps.

Does ATV 3 have the artifcat issue when you watched NBA ?

Appreciate if you can reply my question !

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2012 4:24:38 PM PDT
Ghazi says:
I have not experienced any artifact issues on my apple tv as of yet. The picture to me and my family looks cleaner on the current apple tv. I have had pixlated images on my roku2 xs twice on my nba app. The new apple tv is also 1gb of ram vs the 512 before hand so it will handle lossy data better.

However, i would assume that if bottlenecks in the network would occur i would most likely have it occur on both the roku and appletv.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2012 10:24:28 PM PDT
JSportsCar says:
Thanks Ghazi ! I'll give it a try since I need a second Roku or ATV for my bedroom. By the way, for the Roku buffering (for NBA) issue, I used a D-Link DI-120 between the DSL modem and my wireless router, and it seems it solved the problem. Like tonight when I watched the NY vs Tronoto game, it was only buffering once in the second half ( I did not have time to watch the first half). di-102 is an Voip Internet Accelerator.

Posted on Mar 22, 2012 11:16:53 AM PDT
N. Oldani says:
We love our Apple TVs. Yes, TVs. We have 3 and are thinking of adding this one too. As Amazon Prime members for the last two years we decided it was high time to give the Roku a try. OMG, that thing couldn't go back into its shipping box fast enough. After living in a glorious world of the ATV, the Roku was like stepping back in time. The interface was clunky, the movie selection was ridiculous, and what is the stupid tag hanging off the remote? Fail. We've not had a single issue with any of our ATVs. We have been cable/satellite free for two years now and loving it. Between our Tivo, AppleTV, and Netflix... we want for nothing more.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 12:28:20 PM PDT
out of curiosity, what part of the roku movie selection is ridiculous? Are you referring to Amazon VOD vs. I-tunes?

I have both a roku XDS and Apple TV (previous version) and find that there are benefits to each of them but I'm only slightly tied into the I-tunes system.
I will certainly agree that Apple interface is prettier, but find roku channel options better. Both do the job of streaming video just fine.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 1:19:13 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 29, 2012 1:20:17 PM PDT
N. Oldani says:
Sorry, I should have clarified... The Prime membership selection was not enough to keep the Roku in our lives. Amazing that we have been paying for the service and are not able to utilize it with beauty and ease The interface was reminiscent of a box we built 10 years ago using an AllInWonder card. The Roku just isn't quit there yet... At least in this house.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 2:26:50 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 29, 2012 2:46:25 PM PDT
JSportsCar says:
I've received the new Apple TV 3. Sadly, Apple did not fix the NBA League Broadband artifacts issue. The picture quality is similar to the Apple TV 2. I have compared it with Roku 2 XS. Roku is crystal clear. Artifact is almost non-existed. The ridiculous thing is Apple does not have the artifact issue when watching movie (like Netflix), but only in NBA League Broadband. I'm going to return Apple TV 3, and go get a second Roku for my Master bedroom.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 2:37:27 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 29, 2012 2:39:46 PM PDT
N. Oldani says:
How are using your prime membership through ATV? To my knowledge this is still not an option for the Apple TV.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 2:47:03 PM PDT
JSportsCar says:
Sorry typo, I fixed it.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2012 6:34:30 AM PDT
N. Oldani,
Not sure if your question about amazon prime was directed to me. But if it was...you are correct, I am not able to get amazon videos on my Apple TV. That's actually why I have a roku and an apple tv. I use the roku mainly for the amazon content. Though I will also admit that I don't love the content on the free amazon prime stuff. I tend to usually get the paid amazon video on demand.
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