Apple TV vs. Smart TV

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  • Apple TV vs. Smart TV
  • Can you not just plug the laptop into the TV?

    Premier Icon jamesgarbett
    Subscriber

    Yes but would prefer to be wireless

    wobbliscott
    Member

    I personally don’t like the smart functionality of smart TV’s. I’d much prefer to buy a TV that is just a screen that acts like a monitor with nothing on it, not even speakers let alone ‘smart’ functionality. It always becomes compromised and you end up wasting money on duplication – paying more for a tv with functionality you don’t need and have other devices in the home that do a much better job of it e.g. Apple TV’s and computers, sound bars and home cinema systems.

    I find the Apple TV so convenient and so much quicker than my Smart TV and the picture quality is better too for some reason. The Smart TV apps don’t seem to be the same as the laptop/iPad apps, have reduced functionality, clunky to use with the TV remote. I can be up and running in seconds with my iPad/Apple TV combo.

    Apple TV’s are cheap though so better to have one than not.

    Milkie
    Member

    I don’t think the ATV will be any better than your SmartTV.

    The latest version of YouTube (updated last week) has broken background playing of videos over Airplay and will stop playing if your iPhone/iPad goes into sleep (1-2 minutes of not touching the screen).

    Hopefully they will fix it, but you never know.

    But they are still really handy for showing people videos or photos on your phone on a big screen. It’s just annoying watching a video and having to unlock the phone every 1-2 minutes.

    Premier Icon Alphabet
    Subscriber

    I have a Chromecast which I use to watch iPlayer, YouTube and Netflix on the telly. I can cast to it from either my laptop or iPhone (I guess other phones would work too). I can also cast Chrome Internet browser to the telly if I want to. I live in a rural area and have 1.3M broadband and never have any issues using Chrome but I do have issues using the FreeSat box to watch iPlayer or YouTube.

    Not sure what Apple TV does extra but I’m guessing it’s more than £30?

    peterfile
    Member

    Raspberry Pi running Raspmc.

    £25 and an hour of your time to set up.

    The potential of that wee device for media use is incredible.

    Not the best option if you just want a plug n play/ fit and forget device though.

    batfink
    Member

    I’ve got both.

    I manage all of my media in iTunes, which is convenient as it plays nicely with the iPhone/iPads…. so the apple TV was an obvious choice. It’s only £100 or something, so it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get on with it.

    However the lack of BBC iPlayer, 4OD etc on the apple TV is a bit of a pain – so I use the (Samsung) smart tv apps for those. Hopefully Apple will open up the platform for 3rd party apps sometime soon.

    It’s also a bit inconvenient that you need to have iTunes running on your computer to access the content on the apple TV, and that content HAS to be in iTunes.

    I’m playing around with Plex, which will run on my network drive and turn it into a little media server. The key thing is that you can also get a plex app for smart TVs. One fewer remote would be good.

    Anyway….

    I would say: smart TV for iPlayer/4OD (and redbull tv), Apple TV if you also want to view stuff saved on you computer too.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    I am very much of the view that you keep the smart technology out of the TV as its not worth paying the extra for a smart tv which is more limited than the external boxes and will be outdated in a few years and cannot be upgraded.

    I have 2 Apple TVs and think they are great. They are likely to be upgraded by Apple soon and will likely have some smart new features (like an explicit app store)

    I use my ATV for streaming content either direct from web (like midweek mini movies) via the Vimeo or YouTube apps, Red Bull TV for MTB DH etc or for playing movies held on my iPhone/iPad or Mac in iTunes. I used to get frustrated with download speeds so I prefer to rent a movie on say iTunes which downloads the file and then I can stream it knowing it won’t cutout. I don’t use NetFlix but kids like it. If you have a Mac/Phone/iPad the screen mirroring is useful you can even play games full screen on the TV. I have some speakers connected to my TV so stream music to the ATV as I don’t have a seperate sterio. I also use the iCloud link on the ATV to look at photos, auto uploaded from phone.

    As an aside if you do get an ATV I would consider connecting it via an Ethernet cable and PowerLine adapter to your router. It depends on how good your in house Wifi signal is, if the router is in same room as tv then that’s fine.

    You might want to consider a Chromecast (£30) or Raspberry pi but if you don;t mind the spend and/or have other Apple kit the ATV is good value at the relatively high price of £100

    bamboo
    Member

    If you go for Apple TV, do a google for an official Apple refurb one. Ours was about £70, so a worthwhile saving and it has been perfect.

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    Likewise both, but actually use a Roku (£10 ish for the Sky branded ones)& Plex more than anything. even better now they have catch up plugins for all main channels.

    Apple TV if you have content in iTunes on your computer, or want to AirPlay – else there are cheaper options

    EDIT: My ATV was £70 brand new off Amazon, dunno if they’ve gone up recently or something?

    bikebouy
    Member

    I too have Apple TV which I use in rural Harrogateshire 😆

    wobbliscott
    Member

    Batfink, the lack of apps on-board the Apple TV is got around easily if you have an iPad – just use the app on the iPad and Airplay to the Apple TV. That’s how I tend to use it anyway – far more conveneinet to control off the iPad rather than the Apple TV remote (I know there is a remote app, but if you’re streaming iPlayer or somehting from the iPad you can just control it direct).

    It begs the question that if all those apps are availalbe for iPad then why not on Apple TV?!

    breatheeasy
    Member

    Apple are flogging Apple TVs on their website for £79 including a £25 iTunes voucher which seems a decent deal.

    Also possibly implies a newer version is coming out soon maybe? Shame they can’t be plugged directly into a standard stereo amp for music as it’s only HDMI output by the looks of it.

    Premier Icon GHill
    Subscriber

    It begs the question that if all those apps are availalbe for iPad then why not on Apple TV?!

    I think you answered that yourself:

    far more conveneinet to control off the iPad rather than the Apple TV remote

    Selling you two devices is better than selling one 😀

    Premier Icon jamesgarbett
    Subscriber

    We live in a rural area with low broadband speed. We may get Infinity at some point in the future but it could take years. We have a Smart TV but streaming iPlayer, Youtube etc. is pretty poor using the built in apps player.

    Using a laptop the streaming experience is much better. So I’m thinking I could use an Apple TV to mirror to the TV instead? In theory the broadband speed should still limit the performance but my experience with the laptop suggests otherwise.

    Any thoughts?

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    Apple are flogging Apple TVs on their website for £79 including a £25 iTunes voucher which seems a decent deal.

    Also possibly implies a newer version is coming out soon maybe? Shame they can’t be plugged directly into a standard stereo amp for music as it’s only HDMI output by the looks of it.
    Yes new unit heavily rumoured although Apple is also trying to increase sales with the price drop. There is an optical audio out

    scottyjohn
    Member

    Have had my Apple TV a few years now and the fact that Iplayer etc werent on there p’d me off. So I only really use mine for Netflix, but I find myself using my Ipad for that more often than not anyway.
    Since Sky added all the catch up services onto their box, I dont go anywhere else for media. I had a friend who didnt have Sky, and he bought a NowTV box as I think you can get the catch up channels through that even when the subscription card runs out. Its crazy cheap too. I dont stream anything to the TV from a NAS or such, so my ATV is almost redundant

    Wozza
    Member

    Through a series of dull events, I have the following;

    Western Digital TV Live
    Now TV
    Sony/Google TV
    Sony Smart BluRay
    Apple TV

    I’d only buy the Apple TV again.

    They all have their pro’s and cons but the best by miles is the Apple TV. This is ONLY if you have a Mac or a iPad/iPhone.
    The missing iPlayer and 4OD apps are a problem that we solve by sending it over airplay from my phone, it works very well, so well it’s like a touch screen remote, but a dedicated channel would be great. Renting things from iTunes looks expensive but it’s half the price to the cinema so I guess it’s fair if you think of it that way. Mind you if a film is over 6 months old it’s probably cheaper to buy it from Amazon on BluRay.
    Plus points are Airplay (it’s brilliant), RedBull TV channel and it’s speed, it’s incredibly quick compared to all the others. Where it really shines is Netflix. I have not seen anything thats as nice to watch Netflix on as the Apple TV.

    Like all Apple devices, if you’re already in with Apple it’ll work well for you, if you’re not, it’s expensive and next to useless. I’m hoping version 4 allows third party apps but i’m not holding my breath.

    Premier Icon kiwijohn
    Subscriber

    Samsung really don’t want to play nice with Apple unfortunately, they’ve even stuffed the once decent iPhone smart tv app.
    So I’ve been trying plex & tvmobili on the smart tv as i don’t have a spare hdmi port for an apple tv. I can access my content with plex, but not the wife’s user account.
    Started saving for a new tv & apple tv.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    Like all Apple devices, if you’re already in with Apple it’ll work well for you, if you’re not, it’s expensive and next to useless

    I think an ATV is a great addition to an iPhone or iPad and I imagine a lot people who buy one have one of those two things.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    Amazingly, we seem to have acquired:

    Smart TV (Samsung)
    Sky HD
    YouView set top box (from ISP)
    Apple TV

    Frequency their streaming functionality is used:

    YouView
    Sky
    TV
    Apple TV

    I got the Apple TV cheap, but it’s never flicked my switch enough. It tends to be used for Airplaying photos to the TV from iphone (can’t get iphone videos to Airplay) and, er, that’s about it.

    TBH, our film watching tends to be via broadcast Sky or DVD/BluRay, and the occasions we do stream the local broadband causes everything to buffer too much (rural area, Openreach being their usual tardy selves fibre enabling the exchange).

    WackoAK
    Member

    You could get a second hand PS3?

    It’s very good as a media centre and then there is GTA… 😉

    Premier Icon jamesgarbett
    Subscriber

    Thanks all

    So presumably I can’t fire up iPlayer on my Macbook and mirror that to the TV via Apple TV?

    Don’t get a smart TV, they are “mostly” over priced and rubbish…

    Get a great TV, with no smart functionality….

    Then your options are, in order of preference/functionality IMO

    1) Get a media center computer, wireless keyboard and track pad to plug into the TV, doesnt have to be “very” expensive or noisy, cheap media PCs are available, or the Mac mini is perfect at about £500

    2) get whatever “box” works best for you, and your current or future planed devices.
    If you have apple stuff, computers, iPad, iPhone and use iTunes then the ATV is probably easiest/best
    If you don’t then you can get the same functionality from other options, that would probably suit better, but require more input to get to work how you want. (in my experience)

    Wozza
    Member

    jamesgarbett – Member
    Thanks all

    So presumably I can’t fire up iPlayer on my Macbook and mirror that to the TV via Apple TV?

    I’ve never tried that tbh, it’s just a lot easier with my phone so I never bothered. I don’t see why not.

    apj
    Member

    NowTV box is £12 including a £10 Sky Sports daypass: it runs iPlayer and other On-Demand “Apps” which work even when you don’t have a daypass running. However, it won’t run NetFlix as that would conflict with the Sky Movies offering.

    Still, it’s very dinky and works well, so could be worth trying for £12, and offers a standalone solution rather than mirroring from another device.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Got the last of the big samsung TV’s that was not smart and compliment it with a small silent PC media box which is overkill but before all the apps came out for the various “In One” devices it did it all incredibly well. Still runs all my media through XBMC for viewing. We don’t have a DL catch up service over here in Oz so other DL catch up services feed into the XBMC.

    I picked up a Chromecast dongle to see what it was about (cheap enough) and for you tube and redbull tv it’s great, pandora built it, the rest will depend on local services I think. Great bit of kit for the price.

    batfink
    Member

    We don’t have a DL catch up service over here in Oz

    you need unotelly (Linky)…. it’s totes amaze.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    So presumably I can’t fire up iPlayer on my Macbook and mirror that to the TV via Apple TV?

    @james there are two ways of sending content to the ATV

    Mirroring – complete screen copy. With Mavericks the TV (and ATV) act as another screen so you can have any programme you want on the tv

    AirPlay – sends specific windows/content to the TV

    How old is your MacBook and is it running Mavericks? My Mac Mini is 2009 and too old to support the mirroring feature but it works with Airplay.

    As far as I know the BBC iPlayer Mac app doesn’t have AirPlay, the iPhone one does though.

    To set up mirroring from the MacBook ensure the ATV is on the network and then you should see an incom on the top bar of the Mac (Square with triangle like the airplay one confusingly). If you clock that you should get a fresh desktop screen on the tv. I can’t remember of there is another Preferences setting you have to switch on

    Premier Icon GavinB
    Subscriber

    When you switch from iPad or laptop to TV, is there not an increase in the bandwidth required to support the stream, and therefore the quality?

    I’m curious, as we can stream iPlayer no worries on the iPad, but as soon as we try on the TV is constantly buffers. Netflix is fine (but pretty poor quality picture). I’m assuming this is something to do with the ISP tethering the amount of traffic that can be allocated to certain sites?

    Premier Icon jamesgarbett
    Subscriber

    Hi – yes my Macbook is running Mavericks

    I too am interested to see if this helps with our low bandwidth problem or indeed if it might make it worse

    The Samsung Smart TV interface just seems really slow and clunky and we got loads of buffering with it which we don’t get when accessing the same content via the Macbook

    Premier Icon jamesgarbett
    Subscriber

    Ah turns out my Macbook is too old to support Airplay

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    you need unotelly (Linky)…. it’s totes amaze.

    A service where you pay to do something your not meant to do?

    skids
    Member

    Get yourself a Ps3 maybe, it has the most apps. Apple TV is useless without an iPad and even then you can’t get 4OD or demand5

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    @james I think it’s mirroring you cannot do, Airplay from say iTunes will be fine.

    As far as bandwidth is concerned sending stuff to the ATV is just using the house wifi which should have plenty of capacity. You are only using ISP bandwidth to stream the content from the web. So for example if you have already downloaded a movie into iTunes (rental or bought) and then you send it to the tv you are not using any Internet / ISP bandwidth. If you stream from Netflix then you are using ISP bandwidth.

    batfink
    Member

    you need unotelly (Linky)…. it’s totes amaze.

    A service where you pay to do something your not meant to do?

    fair enough…. move on, nothing to see here.

    camerauk
    Member

    Ah turns out my Macbook is too old to support Airplay

    What you need is a program called AirParrot it works a treat

    TiRed
    Member

    We have ATV and use it for film streaming. No BBC iPlayer, or Eurosport player. So those get streamed from iPad or iPod. All works fine, but I can’t help but think that ATV is cripled without iPlayer and other associated channels.

    An option to switch from film rental to purchase would also be top of my list in iTunes.

    scuttler
    Member

    Smart TV’s are crap as the vendors are too interested in shiny new models to fix buggy apps on the older ones. We use iPlayer lots on our Samsung which works brilliantly but there’s no Netflix and Blinkbox is buggy as hell. ISTR the 4OD app is OK but I’m allergic to adverts. The rest of it is crap and anyone who can manage to type via a TV remote (think youtube etc) is far more patient than me.

    I might give Apple (we have ipads/iphones here) or one of the other dedicated boxes a go.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    My FiL just got a chromecast. Superb bit of kit.

    Re broadband speed, we only get 3mpbs but Netflix via PS3 is in HD and far better quality than broadcast telly.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 46 total)

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