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Topic # 195119 6-Apr-2016 20:03
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Hey team,

 

I'm fairly new to the world of online streaming, after cutting the cord from Sky and am looking into a streaming box set up for the lounge.

 

Currently mainly streaming Netflix (NZ +US) and Hulu via UnoTelly - currently this is just via laptop + HDMI to TV.

 

Wondering what your experiences/recommendations are re:Roku vs Amazon Fire TV (I don't have any Apple products currently so seems like Apple TV might be a bit redundant feature wise) - both around ease of use/set up and features.

 

In the same vein - is an Amazon subscription a pre-req for Fire Tv? Not sure what content I'm missing by not having one currently.

 

Also open to any other suggestions.

 

Sorry if there's a comparison thread already, couldn't find it!

 

Cheers, 

 

Sadler


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  Reply # 1527295 6-Apr-2016 20:17
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You can use the FireTV without subscription there is a few disappointing things however.  The FireTV doesn't support NZ as region which means the whole voice thing is a bit useless and the time is off as you cant set to NZST however that doesn't matter as much as I first thought it might.  Netflix works fine and you can manually set DNS. When I was using a smart DNS service to use the FireTV I couldnt play games or anything with the fire TV i now route through a private service and found I can now buy games etc.. (netflix always worked either way) so your mileage will very depending on the smart DNS provider your using.

 

Roku is good but you cant change the DNS more of a closed system, cant side load games or anything syou what it comes with is what you get advantage of this unit is the controllers have a 3.5mm headset connection if you want to listen by earplugs to avoid partner disturbance FireTV you have to buy the latest model controller to do this the remote cant.  Roku is quite a polished device.

 

Previously I discounted android TV boxes but if you have full root of one of them the advantage here would be ability to setup DNS as you want on the device without needing a good router to intercept DNS requests to google etc.  So maybe consider one of those but get a good brand one not something random.

 

I settled on the FireTV quite like it and do play the odd game on it, I rate it above the Roku since you can sideload apps put the Google Play store on it if you really want (I havent) and use Kodi.


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  Reply # 1527298 6-Apr-2016 20:30
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We have a Roku 3 and it works great for us, never had any issues. We mostly watch Netflix, Plex and YouTube but there are other paid channels like Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Go etc. There are hundreds of other channels too, 95% of them crap, but a few gems like History Channel, Crackle, Revision TV, and PBS to name a few.

You can set your device region to either US or UK with a US/UK address.

The remote has a headphone jack which is really handy for late night viewing.  Unfortunately my daughter chucked the remote in the bath and it doesn't work anymore so I downloaded a 'Romoku' from the app store for my phone, works great.

I'd definitely get another one, and I think the 4 is out now.




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  Reply # 1527300 6-Apr-2016 20:33
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I have a Roku 4 and love it because it's not tied into any particular ecosystem e.g. iTunes, Google Play, Amazon etc.  Being able to listen using headphones via the remote is very cool and you don't need to have a clear path from remote to the Roku as it uses WiFi instead of Infra-red.

I am not a Netflix user but subscribe to CuriosityStream and there is a Roku app for that.  I use Get iPlayer via UnoTelly to download BBC programmes into Plex media server, and Roku has an app for that.  I also use the YouTube app and that's it for now.

The Roku impresses me with its ability to stream 1080p video over WiFi with no pauses or buffering.  Playback is silky smooth and the ability to skip 10 secs forward or backward as well as conventional FFWD and REW controls is very handy.  I also like the way the Roku can start up my Panasonic Plasma TV and be shut down again from the TV remote when I'm finished for the evening.  It saves needing to start up and shut down both devices as I have to do with the Sat Receiver.  Actually, I hardly use that box any more except to make recordings, which are then copied into Plex media server.  The Roku serves all of our TV viewing needs except for live TV, which we very seldom watch these days.






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  Reply # 1527301 6-Apr-2016 20:33
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Roku is good but you cant change the DNS more of a closed system


I'm using Roku for US content with UnblockUs. Do you mean on the actual device rather than the router?


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  Reply # 1527313 6-Apr-2016 20:58
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Im using a us roku for uk content. Apart from missing vudu I find it dorks better fit me as the uk channels don't require the cable subscription a lot of the us networks do. Plus plex, Netflix (set to us region)

One annoyance with the roku us you can't side load channels, or easily switch regions. Contemplating another (or an atv4). But pretty happy with it. Pity, as they're not sold here, you'll never get any local content (lightbox etc)




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Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, NextPVR,OpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller
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  Reply # 1527363 6-Apr-2016 23:08
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sadler:

Hey team,


I'm fairly new to the world of online streaming, after cutting the cord from Sky and am looking into a streaming box set up for the lounge.


Currently mainly streaming Netflix (NZ +US) and Hulu via UnoTelly - currently this is just via laptop + HDMI to TV.


Wondering what your experiences/recommendations are re:Roku vs Amazon Fire TV (I don't have any Apple products currently so seems like Apple TV might be a bit redundant feature wise) - both around ease of use/set up and features.


In the same vein - is an Amazon subscription a pre-req for Fire Tv? Not sure what content I'm missing by not having one currently.


Also open to any other suggestions.


Sorry if there's a comparison thread already, couldn't find it!


Cheers, 


Sadler



Provided you have a decent router, i.e. with dns redirection, you could use a Chromecast to watch US and NZ Netflix and Hulu.

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  Reply # 1527364 6-Apr-2016 23:31
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I have the Roku 3 and personally the operating system it runs and all the software (written in BrightScript) are pretty dated.

 

The three apps I mostly used on it are Netflix, Emby and Youtube.

 

 

The remote is pretty good. Build quality is great, no complains there. There's a headphone jack on it so you're able to watch your TV using your headphones without having to plug them in your TV. Sometimes we did experience times where the Roku would not respond at all and we'd have to restart it.

 

 

Netflix works fine, although sometimes there was problems with getting stuck when loading video streams. You also can't change your DNS. This means that the only way you can connect to Netflix USA is to block Google's DNS on your router through static routing to a dead end. Even then, there may one day be an update to the Netflix app that will only accept you to connect through Google's DNS. This has happened to their Android and iOS apps if I'm correct.

 

 

The Youtube app quite often gets stuck loading on a black screen and sometimes on the Youtube logo. This has been going on for me for the past year. Removed it a few times and re-installed it.

 

 

Also sometimes removing apps don't seem to work either. The Roku doesn't seem to respond when trying to click the button to remove it.

 

 

Finally, when considering to buy a non-NZ product that requires a power supply, try find a correct power supply for it. I managed to get mine off eBay, but it doesn't seem like there is one anymore. I bought three of them, and do have one lying around if you'd like it.

 

output 12.0V == 1.0A

 

Plug type polarity symbol: [Center positive]

 

( -C•+ ) Center tip is [+] Barrel is [-]

 

3.5mm x 1.35mm tip connector

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  Reply # 1527396 7-Apr-2016 07:37
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have fire tvs and fire tvs sticks.  great little devices.  happily watching US netflix and hulu with them.  got kodi running on them aswell (i do prefer a raspberry pi for kodi however).




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  Reply # 1527414 7-Apr-2016 08:59
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Thanks for the replies guys! Didn't realize they were both so prevalent.

Should probably mentioned I just have the standard spark adsl2 modem at present, sits next to the TV though so would connect via ethernet. I assume that wouldn't cause any issues?

Interesting point about the power supply, knew I'd over looked something! ;)

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  Reply # 1527431 7-Apr-2016 09:27
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I just use a travel adaptor with my FireTV (the power brick it comes with is rated from 100-240V).

 

We were in temporary accommodation up until a week ago and it worked fine on WiFi there (for US Netflix and Plex). I have a Netgear D7000 Router and there was never any issues streaming from my (wired) PC to Plex on the FireTV in full HD.


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  Reply # 1527433 7-Apr-2016 09:28
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sadler: Thanks for the replies guys! Didn't realize they were both so prevalent.



Should probably mentioned I just have the standard spark adsl2 modem at present, sits next to the TV though so would connect via ethernet. I assume that wouldn't cause any issues?



Interesting point about the power supply, knew I'd over looked something! ;)


What model spark modem do you have?
Fire TV adapter accepts NZ voltage just just need a pin adapter.

When I replace my Fire TV (which I like a lot) I'll seriously consider an Apple TV as it supports local services, unlike the Fire TV and the Roku. Now with kodi on Apple TV, I feel it may be better suited to my NZ based wants than the products that aren't officially available nor supported in NZ.

I know you specifically listed Hulu and US/NZ Netflix and wanted to know the suitability of Roku and Fire TV for these services, but I think it's worth considering the Apple TV 4 too.

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  Reply # 1527715 7-Apr-2016 15:03
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grant_k:

 

I have a Roku 4 and love it because it's not tied into any particular ecosystem e.g. iTunes, Google Play, Amazon etc. 

 

But isn't the ecosystem a bit limited in what you can install?  At least when I borrowed a roku 3 I didn't find too many additional channels/apps to install.  Thats why I went for the Fire TV - I can use the default apps but install more be it from the play store, unofficial sources if I really feel like it or from Amazon itself.

 

 


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  Reply # 1527716 7-Apr-2016 15:06
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trig42:

 

I just use a travel adaptor with my FireTV (the power brick it comes with is rated from 100-240V).

 

 

Or you could just bend the pins important bit is it supports 240v if your not travelling outside of NZ.


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  Reply # 1527982 7-Apr-2016 20:55
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I would just go chromecast really theres not much i cant watch on it lots of UK and US shows as well as  some NZ content such as fan pass, neon and lightbox, you wont get that with Roku or fire tv.  The thing that  most puts me off fire tv is UK tv licensing, there are forums where it is suggested that UK channels apps will no longer be able to be accessed without a UK TV license, without accessing UK TV  really the only thing going for fire tv is amazon prime which really hasn't take off yet but might do well with top gear. I am waiting to see what pans out. Roku sounds like a good option but again not much on there that i cant watch with chromecast and plex


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  Reply # 1528000 7-Apr-2016 21:34
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rphenix:

 

grant_k:

 

I have a Roku 4 and love it because it's not tied into any particular ecosystem e.g. iTunes, Google Play, Amazon etc. 

 

But isn't the ecosystem a bit limited in what you can install?  At least when I borrowed a roku 3 I didn't find too many additional channels/apps to install.  Thats why I went for the Fire TV - I can use the default apps but install more be it from the play store, unofficial sources if I really feel like it or from Amazon itself.

 


There are other 'Channels' which you can install into the Roku.  Some of them don't work at all; others not very well with the exception of CNN and PBS.  So I very seldom bother with the channels and just use the apps for Plex, CuriosityStream and YouTube.

Other content from Freeview or BBC iPlayer is downloaded on my PC which is networked to my Satellite receiver and runs UnoTelly.  I've got it set so that downloaded programmes appear in a folder monitored by Plex, so within a few seconds of completion, the Plex app on Roku is able to play the file.

The Roku is a recent addition for me.  Prior to that, I had my PC hooked up via HDMI into the TV and watched streaming content through that.  However, the lack of a proper remote meant that it was a clumsy solution at best.  The Roku makes for a far better viewing experience, with nothing of any interest to me being omitted.  I am not in the least bit interested in Neon, Lightbox or TVNZ OnDemand.  The recording facilities on my satellite receiver are very capable so we very seldom miss recording anything that's of interest.






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