Apple TV doesn't have composite cables? Guess I'm stuck with a Roku

We were all set to get a Roku through the SO’s credit card bonus points, but it’s been out of stock for months.

So, for Christmas, I’ve been wondering - Roku or Apple TV?

It doesn’t appear that the Apple TV will work with a non-HD tv. I looked at the back of it and couldn’t find composite/coax ports. While always desirous of new technology, I wholeheartedly dislike HDTV. It’s great for sports and the very occasional bluray movie, but 90% of my TV watching is regular programming, which I don’t enjoy in HD. I don’t need to see Don Draper’s pores or Charlie on It’s Always Sunny hit the rats with his bat in HD.

So, I guess I’m stuck with the Roku then? How on earth could Apple manufacture a device only with HDMI?

Perhaps I’m in the minority here, getting a new computer every 3 years but happily living with an older TV.

Simple. Apple doesn’t make what customers want. Apple makes what Jobs wants, then he convinces customers they want it too.

Converters that will solve your problem exist, but they aren’t cheap.


Apple’s not the only one that requires HDMI. GoogleTV and Boxee require it too. It looks like Roku is the only one that doesn’t. It’s not so much the video, it’s the user interface, which is designed for high definition screens.

Please pardon the hijack, but which of these devices has the best options, broadest programming choices? Do they all do the same thing? If so, what makes one a better choice over the others?

You could also buy a receiver (assuming you don’t have one), which will convert HDMI to composite. And then you’re on the path to home theater ownership. :slight_smile:

Onomatopoeia, the advantage of AppleTV over the Roku is that you can rent movies and TV shows (since I don’t have cable anymore, I would rent TV shows). Both devices stream netflix, but only AppleTV can rent things.

Silophant, I think the millions of iphone users and the millions of ipad users - if you count an ipad as a computer, Apple’s the #1 in the US in sales of computers - would disagree with you.

I guess what it boils down to is that I don’t fit in with my demographic/stereotype: recent college grad, shops at Whole Foods, wears Jcrew, buys Apple products and has an HDTV.

This is not accurate.

Roku also hooks up to Amazon video on demand, so you can rent/buy through it as well - I have mine connected to both Netflix and Amazon, and have both purchased and rented via the Roku.

Most Roku boxes offer both standard TV-out and HDMI, so they’re future-proof as well. Your next TV will almost certainly be some kind of HD (from a manufacturing perspective, that’s what is being made now) and you’ll be able to connect to it via HDMI when you get it.

As I recall, Amazon VOD does not offer “season passes” of shows, however, making the cost per episode lower. I was basing it on that, and the fact that Amazon’s VOD service is really just “meh”, whereas Netflix Instant and Itunes downloadable stuff is quite excellent.

It doesn’t take much effort to see that this is also wrong. What episode are you seeing that’s less expensive via iTunes v. Amazon? And why would you say that Netflix is a big plus when it’s offered on Roku as well?

This is profoundly bizarre. The programs that are streamed over Netflix and iTunes tend not to be 1080P video and Apple TV maxes out at 720P and the majority of content will come in at 480P. Hulu, Roku and Boxee all adjust the output based on your internet connection and it will likely not reach full HD any time soon, and in almost all cases you can opt for whatever resolution you want the streaming content to be in. You can purchase SD content on most all of these services.

Just because something is plugged in via HDMI doesn’t mean the content is HD, most definitely isn’t. Standard DVD players all have HDMI outputs, do you think they magically turn DVDs into 1080P?

Your bias against HD is bizarre, if you dislike seeing the content in such detail sit further away from your TV, that’s the way it’s intended to be watched. I don’t spend all day staring at pores on my 1080i set when I watch TV, so if you’re zoomed in so close that this is a real issue perhaps the problem isn’t with HD.

Long story short, buy whatever unit you like best. Whichever has the features, looks and price that suit you most. If you’re bound and determined to watch SD content, go into the options and tell the box to default to SD (aka 480P) in the settings and/or reduce the quality on the website delivering the content to 480P. Hulu, Youtube and all other sites allow you to select 480P to speed up downloading and spare some bandwidth, use it. iTunes and Zune and Amazon HDMI is just a connector, nothing more, it’ll play what you feed it.

Secondarily, you should probably start getting over this bias since SD video is going the way of Betamax, 8 track tapes and dinosaurs.

Itunes season passes are cheaper than buying the episodes individually. I was referring to last season of Mad Men.

I was comparing Amazon VOD with the quality of Itunes and the quality of Netflix - the two major players in paid online video. Amazon VOD is - obviously IMO - buggier and less efficient and thus less enjoyable than either of the other two.

:confused: What dude? It’s not a bias, it’s just wasted money. I don’t particularly care for HD programming (other than the aforementioned sports and blu-ray). If I were awash in money this wouldn’t be an issue, but if I had $400 laying around I’d sooner spend it on looooots of other things first.

The last season of Mad Men is currently cheaper on Amazon VOD than on iTunes.

Urgh, I was referring to buying them in advance before the season, not now. Mad Men past seasons was on Amazon for something like $10 - DVD OR Blu-ray. Comparing new episodes to old episodes is like apples and oranges.

DVD? Bluray? I’m talking about VOD. It may have been that a season pass before the show started was cheaper on iTunes. But it’s cheaper on VOD than on iTunes right now, and that’s all we have to work with at the moment.

Again, old episodes are always significantly cheaper than new ones. Apples and oranges. I was merely pointing out with the full season discs (blu ray and DVD) that Mad Men was just $10, no doubt much cheaper than EITHER the Itunes season pass OR the Amazon VOD of all the episodes.

I’m not arguing they’re not.

Nope. The cheapest that Mad Men S4 has been on bluray from Amazon (not a third party or used), is $34.99, the current price - which is more expensive than either via iTunes or VOD.

The $10 was a Black Friday special. I didn’t see it myself, but several people on social networking sites posted or tweeted it.
This is really going nowhere, though.