ESPN app is horrible but I'm posting to update my experience with 3 streamers on it. Hint: I'm giving advantage to Roku again; here's why. ESPN app experience could be better on all platforms and Fire TV and Roku voice assistants could use some improvement. And yet given Roku's basics, it excels for many reasons.
Apple TV 4K
Where voice enabled apps are concerned, this is my go-to device, especially tennis for 90 second changeovers, 10 second skip on the fly for between plays and scrubbing for jumping at longer intervals. Usually there's a player warm-up period that I get clues for based on tournament watching and can voice skip to the beginning of match play after toss. All this works well for Tennis TV and ESPN for tennis but ESPN broke the screensaver about a year ago and has yet to acknowledge it. Three emails yesterday and finally ESPN support agreed to forward my complaint to its app developers.
Only issue that ESPN does acknowledge for Apple TV is the play/pause won't toggle play. I can pause but not resume. Select or touch pad will resume, however. Minor issue but needs fixing along with screensaver.
Apple's auto sign in does not work well ESPN after updates. I've seen it work with ESPN after initial install on device that didn't have it and allowing TV provider share through settings but updates seem botched for auto sign in and Apple TV frequently loses sync with TV provider requiring the web interface to negotiate again.
Apple TV had a tendency to restart matches from beginning by default. Fire TV and Roku do not. Some apps on Roku may give option to restart or resume matches by default. I see this on Tennis TV app with Roku but not Apple TV. Does Apple APIs lack this resume feature?
Fire TV 4K Stick
New Alexa enabled app for ESPN is missing the voice skip features. Way to go ESPN, suggested I uninstall and reinstall the app. Labeled all my initial complaints as obvious hardware issues.
As for ads placed on homescreen and dedicated to Prime as well as framerate matching only working in Prime apps, I'm finding less reasons to use this device. Another common complaint with all things Alexa is her voice replies are obnoxiously-annoyingly loud with no volume limitations other than main volume. Why Amazon? Same applies Echo devices other than the Cube.
Playback seems jumpy for some reason. Ok, I see why, now; it's a player view that's zoomed and cameraman is doing too much panning correction, keeping player centered.
The fixed interval jump I see with Roku (below) is missing in Fire TV. These issues make Fire TV the least enjoyable interface for me on ESPN app.
Google voice assistant is very limited in Roku in all apps; dedicated mostly to content search. This app keeps a better TV provider sync but sometimes the content returns unauthorized for ESPN3, requiring sign out and signing back on web interface of another device.
No auto launch of live TV when opening app? Love this!! There's far too often loud obnoxious contested opinion going. No interest whatsoever in this banter. Framerate matching works although it seems most content is 60p anyway. Maybe ESPN has their own cameras all around the globe in coverage?
Skipping isn't by voice but at least the pause, then using right arrow clicks will result in fixed interval jumps. Don't have to pause to use this interval jump either. Just play or select after jump. I can deal without voice skip but honestly, voice skip is my desired feature.
But I can't deal without a screensaver in Apple TV so Roku it is for ESPN app. I'm going to copy this post and attach this to my support ticket to ESPN. Maybe they won't break anything that works well at the moment. No reason to change anything on the Roku ESPN app (except user navigation ease that all platforms need; too many clicks to content!) until the Google Assistant gains voice skipping feature (will it ever?). Personally, the app is so bad elsewhere, I only subscribe when a tennis slam has coverage. But I had cancelled after US Open and did without for Australian Open because of the Apple TV screensaver still broken. I'm surprised that's still broken.
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