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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > What does Apple TV do that Chromecast (or Amazon Fire) Does Not?

What does Apple TV do that Chromecast (or Amazon Fire) Does Not?
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ghporter
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Mar 4, 2018, 02:59 PM
 
I'm in a situation where I want a streaming TV device, because my TV's maker (Samsung) doesn't have an app for the service I want to use. I do not have a 4K TV, so the ultra high definition feature of the latest Apple TV isn't a big deal.

Compared to either Chromecast and Fire TV, Apple TV is much more expensive. So what would I get from an Apple TV ($150) that I wouldn't get from Chromecast ($35) or Fire TV ($39)?

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Thorzdad
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Mar 4, 2018, 04:55 PM
 
A remote that is insanely easy to lose?
     
turtle777
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Mar 4, 2018, 04:57 PM
 
* TVOS apps
* access to iTunes store / media
* limited voice control (Siri)
* better user interface (subjective)
* Apple home hub functionality

-t
     
ghporter  (op)
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Mar 4, 2018, 09:07 PM
 
Thanks turtle. It sounds like there are some useful features, though most of these aren't particularly applicable to my situation.

Right now my wife and I are considering a number of options. A friend has the 4th Gen Apple TV, and he likes it a lot. I'm particularly impressed by the screen savers that appear to come with the device.

Our TV is a 2013 Samsung, which uses their older OS. Samsung says they have an app for this service for their newer TVs, and promises they're going to release a version for the older OS "later." So that's one avenue. We're also trying to compare and contrast things like using Amazon Prime Channels (which is a subscription service) along with a subscription to the streaming system we're interested.

OK, it's CBS All Access, and yes, it's because we want to see if we (as first run, Original Series Trekies) are impressed by Discovery. Reports from a friend who is exceptionally well versed in all things Trek (from the very beginning) are very promising. But we want to avoid spending a bunch of money to find out for ourselves - particularly since we are pretty new to the streaming television paradigm.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
andi*pandi
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Mar 5, 2018, 04:22 PM
 
Is that the only way to see it, get the CBS app? urg.
     
Thorzdad
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Mar 5, 2018, 06:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
Is that the only way to see it, get the CBS app? urg.
It’s on CBS’s pay streaming service, CBS All-Access, which is available through the CBS website and the CBS app as well as all the usual boxes (Apple TV, Roku, Fire, etc.) Outside the US (and, I think, Canada) it’s available on Netflix.
     
turtle777
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Mar 5, 2018, 09:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Right now my wife and I are considering a number of options. A friend has the 4th Gen Apple TV, and he likes it a lot. I'm particularly impressed by the screen savers that appear to come with the device..
The screensavers are awesome.
I watch those more than cable TV.

Especially after i cut the chord ;-)

-t
     
subego
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Mar 6, 2018, 03:39 PM
 
Talk them up! I need better screen savers.
     
Stogieman
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Mar 7, 2018, 08:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
* TVOS apps
* access to iTunes store / media
* limited voice control (Siri)
* better user interface (subjective)
* Apple home hub functionality

-t
Two more features you forgot to add:

* AirPlay. I mirror the screens of my iPhone and MacBook Pro to my 4K Samsung TV all the time.
* Built-in Bluetooth - You can easily sync wireless headphones to the AppleTV. There is a lot of traffic noise outside my bedroom. This allows me to crank up the volume without disturbing my neighbors.

FYI - DirectTV is running a promotion. Pre-pay for 3 months of DirectTV Now and get a free AppleTV 4K. (32GB) No contracts, you can cancel at anytime. The cheapest package is $35 per month.

$35 * 3 = $105. This will save you $75 on an AppleTV 4K device.

https://www.directvnow.com/appletv?r...SAAEgKlnvD_BwE

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turtle777
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Mar 7, 2018, 10:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Stogieman View Post
* AirPlay. I mirror the screens of my iPhone and MacBook Pro to my 4K Samsung TV all the time.
* Built-in Bluetooth - You can easily sync wireless headphones to the AppleTV. There is a lot of traffic noise outside my bedroom. This allows me to crank up the volume without disturbing my neighbors.
Yes, thanks.

I use AirPlay a lot. It's a great feature.

-t
     
subego
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May 10, 2018, 04:02 PM
 
I ended up grabbing an AppleTV.

Are the cool screensavers apps?
     
Chongo
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May 10, 2018, 04:27 PM
 
I have it set to use my iCloud photos.
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subego
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May 10, 2018, 05:42 PM
 
At this point, 90% of my “photos” are screen grabs from my phone and crappy memes.
     
subego
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May 10, 2018, 06:04 PM
 
     
subego
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May 11, 2018, 12:26 PM
 
I was kinda hoping for something like Flurry or Magnetosphere.
     
Chongo
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May 14, 2018, 06:40 PM
 
I bought an 64 GB Apple 4K in anticipation of upgrading to a 4K set. I noticed when watching movies showing they are 5.1, my receiver shows PCM, not Dolby Digital. Is it sending uncompressed PCM/DD Tru HD? I checked the Apple website and I did not see any there there other than DD 5.1 and 7.1. Under the audio menu it has “best audio” selected.
"The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church" Saint Tertullian, 197 AD
     
P
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May 15, 2018, 05:45 PM
 
Most likely it does, yes. Exactly what format it uses will be negotiated to some extent between the receiver and the AppleTV, but HDMI supports up to 8 channels of uncompressed audio, so it is certainly possible.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Chongo
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May 20, 2018, 06:31 PM
 
Next question. YCbCr or RGB high/low? Current settings are: 1080p SDR, HDMI output RGB high, Match content: range and frame rate.

TV is PN60F5300 Sammy plasma.
"The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church" Saint Tertullian, 197 AD
     
Chongo
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May 20, 2018, 06:47 PM
 
Does the unit auto select the best video settings?
If not, YCbCr or RGB/high low?
I have it set now as
1080p SDR
RGH high
Match content set to match dynamic range and frame rate.
TV is an PN60F5300 60” Sammy PDP
"The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church" Saint Tertullian, 197 AD
     
P
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May 23, 2018, 04:20 PM
 
It should select the best automatically, but if it doesn’t, RGB High is the highest quality if your TV supports it. If you use that now and the TV hasn’t exploded, you’re fine.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
   
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