Roku vs Apple TV vs something else

I’m looking to get one of those streaming TV boxes, but I don’t know which one.

Price-wise they all seem to be in the same ballpark. Price isn’t really an issue here. My current computer set-up is all Apple, and I also have an iPhone. But I try not to reflexively buy Apple products without comparing with the competition (for example, my 27" and 24" monitors are Dells). My brother, who has a Windows desktop and laptop (but also an iPhone and iPad) has Apple TV and loves it, says he’s never had any issues with it.

Those of you familiar with both products (and I understand there are a number of different Roku products) can you run-down the reasons I might want a Roku instead of Apple TV? Or with my set-up, is Apple TV the clear choice? Or is there another product I should consider?

It basically boils down to this:

Do you have a lot of video content on your Apple computer, e.g. movies and TV shows bought from iTunes or content ripped from disks into iTunes? If so, you’ll want to go with Apple TV.

OTOH, if the above is not the case, and you don’t think it ever will be, go with Roku. Also you’ll want Roku if you have Amazon Prime, which is not supported on Apple TV. Both devices do Netflix.

No Amazon Prime here, but we do have Netflix.

Unsurprisingly, the Apple TV behaves very nicely with a Mac running iTunes, and if you have an iPad, there’s another dimension of control and streaming that you won’t be able to do with a Roku.

Not being able to stream from Amazon is a small quibble for me as my Bluray player works with Amazon.

Roku all the way.

Well, I did end up ordering the Apple TV. Based on what I’ve read here and the various online sources I found, as well as my brother’s experience with the device, it seems it’s the right match for what I want. I was just wondering if there’s anything obvious I may be missing when comparing the two, but other than having Amazon Prime, there doesn’t seem to be any reason for me to prefer the Roku.

I would like to know about the “other” options, as well. I want to stream a few Hungarian news sites for my grandparents. They crouch around the teeny tiny desktop when there’s a huge TV behind them. Problem is they’re all real player or windows media or some other proprietary shells that Apple TV no likey.

I thought those mini android PCs might be an option, but I don’t think that would work either, somehow…

Hey, where do you stream Hungarian TV? I know there’s a few options out there, but which works best for you?

Duna TV, the few MTV channels (Magyar TV, that is), I forget off the top of my head what the other one is. They mostly watch the evening news, but they have on demand clips of a few movies and TV shows there, too.

Oh, so it’s the actual website of the channels themselves? Thought maybe there’s some place you use that aggregates all these links together.

If you enable Airplay Mirroring under Displays, you can watch what is on your computer screen on the Apple TV. This is useful for Hulu.

No; I taught grandpa how to use the computer (no small feat, haha), and he’s got saved links to all the different source sites. I leave all the digging to him. If you have an aggregate site, though, I’d be greatly appreciative!

…provided you are running Mountain Lion on a computer from mid-2011 or newer.

Otherwise, you’ll need a program called AirParrot, but depending on your computer’s specs, your results may vary.

Works like crap on both my PCs. Bought it for my laptop. Overheats like craaaazy, and the sound is touch and go…

Recent thread on this.

Apple TV vs Roku vs ?

I bought an Internet-ready TV. I’ll sign up for Netflix after the holidays.

Yeah it doesn’t work particularly good for me either. Really choppy video and the audio is at least a half second behind.

I suppose there’s a reason they only support Airplay Mirroring for newer (faster) computers.

I picked up a basic Roku after reading that thread and love it so far. I haven’t come across any Hungarian channels, but there is a Romanian one and a couple “Euro” ones.

One option that USED to work (I can’t get it working now, since I forgot how) was to download safari for Windows, get the “click2plugin” extension, and have it push your streaming video to airplay. Curious if there’s a better/fuller extension for chrome or Firefox!

Thanks for the advice. The Apple TV works great, integrates well with my existing computers and mobile devices, and that AirParrot app works flawlessly (so far as I can tell) on my 2008 MacBook Pro.