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Roku or Amazon Fire?
Old 05-27-2018, 11:13 PM   #1
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Roku or Amazon Fire?

We will soon be moving into our new house. We are going to cut the cord and go with either Directv Now or Hulu Live. Haven't decided on that yet, will trial both of them. Maybe Playstation Vue for that matter. I've narrowed devices down to Roku or Amazon Fire. Can't decide between them or whether to go with a mix. I expect to have 5 TVs - we will need 3 devices most likely. What we have - the first two need nothing:

Roku TV -- This is the exercise room TV and it is TCL Roku 4k TV. It has worked just fine and won't need anything.

Maybe a second Roku TV - We may put a TV in the living room. We don't currently have that TV yet. We are leaning to just getting another 4k TCL Roku TV (probably from Costco.

Samsung 4k Smart TV - Master bedroom

LG Smart TV - My Mom's room

Sony Smart TV (TV is 6 years old so not the most intuitive on the Smart TV aspect) - Den (could switch den and living room TVs actually)

Most used locations will be our bedroom and the den

Reasons to get Amazon Fire TV - Integration with Alexa commands. We have 4 Echo Shows and will get a few more Echo devices in the new house. So the Amazon Fire TV would work good. If we did that we would get the actual Fire TV for the 4k Smart TV in the master bedroom for sure.

Not sure if we should get Fire Sticks for the non-4k TVs. I've read that Fire Sticks can have buffering problems which I don't want. Might be better just to get the FIre TVs for all 3.

Big negative of Amazon Fire TV - no You tube. This is a big issue for me as I watch a lot of You Tube. OTOH, I usually do that in the exercise room and I will have a Roku TV there so that may not be a big issue.

Reasons to get Roku - I am used to the Roku interface and it would be nice to have everything the same.

The Roku Ultra allows you to use headphones with it so would want that for the master bedroom for sure (Fire TV and Stick will allow use of Bluetooth headphones).

For the other two rooms could probably use Roku sticks.

And, of course, would have You Tube. But I wouldn't have the integration with Alexa.

Also - particularly with DTVN some users have said the Roku devices work better than the Fire TVs even if you get the full Fire TV and not just the stick.

So from those with experience:

Roku or Fire TV?
Full device or stick?
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Old 05-28-2018, 05:05 AM   #2
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Full device... have used both and the full device is much faster.
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Old 05-28-2018, 07:46 AM   #3
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Agree with going with full device. Also, youíre right about the lack of a a YouTube app on Fire TV. But, Fire TV does have two browser apps (Silk and Firefox) that can run YouTube very easily. I recently cut the cord and went with all Fire devices. Iím pretty happy with them. But, if I were doing it over again, I think Iíd give strong consideration to Roku. Itís more of a neutral platform that would keep you out of the Amazon-Google type wars.
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Old 05-28-2018, 08:06 AM   #4
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Roku is content-neutral so I lean that way versus Amazon or Apple hardware.
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Old 05-28-2018, 08:09 AM   #5
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The Roku remote for our full device has large buttons for Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu.
The headphone port is very useful.
We use Amazon video on the Roku, and have no problems with that.
Once you get used to an experience, and there are few or no problems, probably best to stay with Roku.
OTH, I may try an Apple TV or Fire in the bedroom. We don't really need that, and prefer tablets, as they are much simpler to operate, IMO.
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Old 05-28-2018, 08:49 AM   #6
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We have 5 Samsung TVs with Roku 4K premiere plus devices connected to them at out main home. At our condo in Florida we picked up two TCL Roku 4K TVs at a fraction of the price of the Samsungs from the local Costco. The TCL TVs do a lot better job of integrating the tuner with streaming TV plus you have just one remote. If you already have Samsung Smart Hub on your TVs, you may not need a separate Roku devices. Many of the streaming services such as Sling, DirectTV now, Spectrum, and Pluto are hosted on Samsung's smart hub. They were not available before. I would check before buying additional Roku or Fire devices.
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Old 05-28-2018, 12:48 PM   #7
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You can get a Logitech Harmony Hub for $70 that will integrate Alexa and Roku (and TV's or more complex setups). We can say "Alexa, turn on Netflix" and Harmony will turn on our receiver, projector, set the inputs for Roku (the Ultra for 4k), and start Netflix on the Roku. You can control volume and pause, but not much more for now. And it's pretty much limited to one room, so we have one per TV, and on separate Amazon accounts since you can't select hubs by room using one Amazon account.
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Old 05-28-2018, 12:51 PM   #8
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I am unsure what you expect out of echo but this seems like a pretty handy "skill": https://alexa.amazon.com/spa/index.h...qid=1527531175


FWIW, our Roku Ultra is voice controlled from the Roku remote.
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Old 05-28-2018, 03:28 PM   #9
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Thanks. That is all amazing. RonBoyd that Alexa skill looks very good.
Animorph - I might get that for the bedroom TV. Freedom56 - I think you have to have Samsungs that are 2017 or newer for that work. Ours is 2015 unfortunately. The TCL Roku I got for the exercise room was very inexpensive (from Costco) and we have found that it works great.

txtig - Thank you. That is very helpful to know. It would definitely work. It is sort of like on the Echo Show there is actually a workaround where you can get YouTube although it is a bit convoluted.

And, yes, I think I will do the full device.
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Old 05-28-2018, 08:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
...Big negative of Amazon Fire TV - no You tube. This is a big issue for me as I watch a lot of You Tube. OTOH, I usually do that in the exercise room and I will have a Roku TV there so that may not be a big issue...
I watch YouTube for a couple hours every day on Fire TV using the Amazon Silk browser. The user experience is exactly the same as the prior YouTube app, maybe better.

If there's a negative for Fire TV it's the not-so-subtle promotion of Prime video content. It can get annoying, but I guess that's the price you pay for ultra-tight integration between the device and content.

In my experience, Fire TV is less about apps and channels, and more about seamless integration of device and content, regardless of source. And it's not just Prime content. Netflix, Hulu, and Playstation Vue live and on-demand content is voice-searchable from the remote or any Alexa device. We often search for something and start watching without ever knowing what the source is.

Definitely full device, not sticks. Sticks=slow. And plug the device into the router with cat 5 cable. I've done both wireless and hardwired. Hardwired is always quicker and more reliable in my experience.
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Old 05-28-2018, 10:39 PM   #11
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I watch YouTube for a couple hours every day on Fire TV using the Amazon Silk browser. The user experience is exactly the same as the prior YouTube app, maybe better.

If there's a negative for Fire TV it's the not-so-subtle promotion of Prime video content. It can get annoying, but I guess that's the price you pay for ultra-tight integration between the device and content.

In my experience, Fire TV is less about apps and channels, and more about seamless integration of device and content, regardless of source. And it's not just Prime content. Netflix, Hulu, and Playstation Vue live and on-demand content is voice-searchable from the remote or any Alexa device. We often search for something and start watching without ever knowing what the source is.

Definitely full device, not sticks. Sticks=slow. And plug the device into the router with cat 5 cable. I've done both wireless and hardwired. Hardwired is always quicker and more reliable in my experience.
Thanks. THat is all very useful. Every time I think I have picked one then I get interested in the other. I was sorta kinda leaning to the Roku since I will have 2 Roku TVs.

On the other hand, I currently only 4 Echo Shows and will probably get some more Echo devices. So, there's that. I think the Roku ultra has a headphone jack on the remote which is useful. But the Roku Fire will use Bluetooth headphones which is better.

I can't plug them into the router though as the router will be nowhere close to any of the TVs....
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Old 05-29-2018, 05:12 PM   #12
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I have a Roku, chromecast, and an Apple TV on the way and a Roku Tv.

Just about every streaming service is on Roku, however, Roku gets it's home location from your ISP's location. In my case, it was 250 miles from my home and no local channels were available. After a reboot, the ip was closer, and the local's appeared. Not sure how long this will work. I have heard Firestick works, but then there are post that it doesn't.

I currently prefer Youtube TV, but have Directv Now for three months. (cheap Apple TV) As Roku works well with this. Also I tried Hulu TV, Sling, and PS Vue with the Roku. All worked well.

The Roku box works off an IR remote. I have two cheap aftermarket remotes I use to control my Roku, Sound System, and TV. This does not work with the FireStick as it is a WIFI connection.
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Old 05-29-2018, 05:42 PM   #13
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There is a serious problem with all these Smart TVs. Since my ER, I am no longer technologically advanced and just not Smart enough to work Smart TVs. And I dumped my cellphone since I seldom talk on the telephone.

But we do watch a lot of television.
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Old 05-29-2018, 07:00 PM   #14
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...I can't plug them into the router though as the router will be nowhere close to any of the TVs....
Run cat5 cable through the attic/basement and down/up the wall so you can hardwire your streaming boxes to the router. It's worth it! Wireless is for mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops. TVs don't move around. And they are VERY bandwidth-intensive.
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:21 PM   #15
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Run cat5 cable through the attic/basement and down/up the wall so you can hardwire your streaming boxes to the router. It's worth it! Wireless is for mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops. TVs don't move around. And they are VERY bandwidth-intensive.
Yeah, we don't have basements here. There are some areas we could run cable through but not every room (there is not attic over every room). Regardless, I agree about the hard-wiring. We did that at our last house.

I am confused about some things. For the Fire TV there is a separate device you can buy to add to the Fire TV so you can put an Ethernet cable in. But some people say not to do it as the cat5 cable is slower than the internet. I'm not sure if that is so or not.

Our internet is probably going to be 100/100 to start with. If that is inadequate we could move up to 150/150.

I don't want to hardwire to Fire TVs (or Rokus) if that will have a slower connection than WiFi. Does anyone know anything about this?
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:47 AM   #16
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I have Roku on the first floor, less than 10ft from wireless router in basement. The connection is 5GHz, and there are no problems. My LAN had Fast Ethernet.

An ethernet connection for most of us would be limited by the wiring/cable we use, and whether Roku or Router or Hub has Fast Ethernet (100Mbps) or Gigabit Ethernet (1000Mbps).

Also need to look out what other devices in the home may be streaming video, and contending for bandwidth.
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Old 05-30-2018, 05:17 AM   #17
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We went with the full device, Amazon Fire. I was also bummed (ok mad) about Amazon and Youtube. However, there is an easy work around. Load the Google Chrome app, open the app and search for Youtube. Next time you open Chrome, Youtube is pre-loaded in the saved search icons.
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Old 05-30-2018, 05:40 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Full device... have used both and the full device is much faster.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by USGrant1962 View Post
Roku is content-neutral so I lean that way versus Amazon or Apple hardware.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobra9777 View Post
If there's a negative for Fire TV it's the not-so-subtle promotion of Prime video content. It can get annoying, but I guess that's the price you pay for ultra-tight integration between the device and content.
+1

We have a Roku Ultra (fam room), a Roku Streaming Stick + (bedroom) and a Chromecast (basement exercise room). I wouldn’t get a cheap stick, but we can’t tell a performance difference between our Ultra and the SS+.

I can well understand why Amazon disciples would lean toward the Fire TV, we’re not even Prime members so we don’t want to be confronted with Amazon content at every turn.

I’ve shied away from Roku TV’s though. Because streaming devices get better all the time whereas TV’s should last years. I don’t mind spending $70-100 for a new Roku every year or so if they improve but I wouldn’t want to buy a new TV every few years. Are Roku TV’s upgradeable?
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:00 AM   #19
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I have a variety of streaming devices: older Fire TV stick, older Roku devices (both stick and standalone), older Apple TV; along with Dish (Sat). None of them came close to the quality of the signal provided by Dish.

A couple of months ago I decided I wanted to do a few months of a streaming service as I was starting to have issues with line of sight to one of the Dish satellites (some very tall trees keep getting taller). Anyway, I went with a three month Directv Now deal which included the new 4K Apple TV device. (three months of service plus the device for $105). Since the device alone sold for more than that, I went for it.

All I can say is that the device works great in terms of streaming quality! Noticeably better than any of my other streaming devices (on the same network). It has a A10X Fusion chip and 32GB of memory.

I have no idea of content (other than I use it for Directv Now, HBO, and Apple Music streaming), but given the deal and your consideration of Directv Now streaming, you might want to check it out.

Here's a Slickdeals thread discussing it: https://slickdeals.net/f/11252715-di...src=SiteSearch

Here's the directv now link: https://www.directvnow.com/appletv?s...J1&RD=37922269
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Old 05-31-2018, 03:40 PM   #20
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Cord Cutters confirmed that AT&T is extending the Apple TV deal until the end of June.
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