Which is more stable for streaming - Roku or Amazon Fire Stick? - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 44 Old 04-26-2020, 05:27 PM
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We have 2 Roku Premiere+ units. Never a problem. Ever new streaming service that comes along makes sure they are on Roku. Our main streaming service is YTTV (Youtube live). We get all networks and local PBS w. them.
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post #32 of 44 Old 04-29-2020, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I have to think something's going on with your network, streams on any device these days shouldn't freeze, etc., seems like there is something strange going on besides the streaming hardware used/using. I guess one thing, make sure you have updated firmware on all devices you are using.

It turns out that I may not need to buy a new streaming device after all. It seems like the issue is correcting itself, either with an automatic firmware update or app specific updates. I had this choppy video problem with Netflix, Vudu and Movies Anywhere. Netflix has suddenly fixed itself last weekend. The app is suddenly running smoother than ever before and I don't experience anymore choppiness in the video. I've been watching Netflix a lot and it hasn't happened in the last five days; it used to happen once a day. Vudu seems to still have the issue, but Netflix is my main app for streaming, so as long as that's working well, then I'm happy for the most part. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before updates fix the other apps as well. So, I'll wait a little bit and see how things go with my Smart TV.
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post #33 of 44 Old 04-30-2020, 05:23 AM
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At one point, few years back bought a TV w. "smart" features. It never was upgraded often. Then not at all. Lesson learned. Let the TV sscreen do its thing- let Roku (or fire stick) do its specialty. Only costs a few $ to buy and plug in.
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post #34 of 44 Old 04-30-2020, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by rmalbers View Post
I have to think something's going on with your network, streams on any device these days shouldn't freeze, etc., seems like there is something strange going on besides the streaming hardware used/using. I guess one thing, make sure you have updated firmware on all devices you are using.
BINGO! I can't believe no one has said anything before this! Your tv is HARDWIRED to your router and you are experiencing issues? with a 100MB connection? c'mon....there is something going on in the network or your tv is super old..
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post #35 of 44 Old 04-30-2020, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by snidely View Post
At one point, few years back bought a TV w. "smart" features. It never was upgraded often. Then not at all. Lesson learned. Let the TV sscreen do its thing- let Roku (or fire stick) do its specialty. Only costs a few $ to buy and plug in.

Well, since the TV came with streaming capabilities built in, it's nice to use the feature and leave more HDMI ports available for future use. Also, since the Android platform was probably built into the price of the TV, I don't want to waste the feature and the additional price I paid for the smart feature. Believe it or not, TV manufacturers have to pay licensing for the Smart function (especially if it's a Roku, Android or Fire TV). So you are paying for it and it's a shame to pay for it and not use it.

And like I said, a streaming stick will be the one that "costs a few $ to buy and plug." I'm very leery about using wi-fi to stream since it downgrades the speed and there could be possible interference that could drop the connection while watching. And since my router is close to my TV, it's best to keep it wired. And if I want to stay wired, I would have to buy the Roku Ultra, which is $100.


I'm sure at some point, I may have to upgrade. But so far, Sony has been pretty good with continuously updating my TV. But once they stop, then I can look into upgrading to a standalone streaming device.

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post #36 of 44 Old 04-30-2020, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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BINGO! I can't believe no one has said anything before this! Your tv is HARDWIRED to your router and you are experiencing issues? with a 100MB connection? c'mon....there is something going on in the network or your tv is super old..

It was not a connection issue. Seems like a RAM issue with the TV. The video still plays fine, just gets choppy occasionally when the TV is doing something in the background.

As I mentioned, it seems like the issue was fixed on the Netflix app, so it seems to be a case with memory management on the TV and that probably was improved on the Netflix app via some sort of update.

I remember on my iPhone, Apply really screwed up an update a couple of years back and my music was skipping occasionally. When the next update was available, the skipping completely went away. This is another example of where the phone was tripping up when RAM memory couldn't keep up with the tasks on the device. So the new firmware update fixed that by improving the memory management.
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post #37 of 44 Old 04-30-2020, 06:22 PM
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Well, since the TV came with streaming capabilities built in, it's nice to use the feature and leave more HDMI ports available for future use. Also, since the Android platform was probably built into the price of the TV, I don't want to waste the feature and the additional price I paid for the smart feature. Believe it or not, TV manufacturers have to pay licensing for the Smart function (especially if it's a Roku, Android or Fire TV). So you are paying for it and it's a shame to pay for it and not use it.

And like I said, a streaming stick will be the one that "costs a few $ to buy and plug." I'm very leery about using wi-fi to stream since it downgrades the speed and there could be possible interference that could drop the connection while watching. And since my router is close to my TV, it's best to keep it wired. And if I want to stay wired, I would have to buy the Roku Ultra, which is $100.


I'm sure at some point, I may have to upgrade. But so far, Sony has been pretty good with continuously updating my TV. But once they stop, then I can look into upgrading to a standalone streaming device.

Apple TV, NVIDA Shield, Roku Ultra, and Roku Ultra LT all have built in ethernet ports if that helps. Our Smart TV in the living room hasn't gotten updates in years. It's still a good TV so there isn't any reason to replace it, so we just added a Roku.

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post #38 of 44 Old 04-30-2020, 07:37 PM
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It was not a connection issue. Seems like a RAM issue with the TV. The video still plays fine, just gets choppy occasionally when the TV is doing something in the background.

As I mentioned, it seems like the issue was fixed on the Netflix app, so it seems to be a case with memory management on the TV and that probably was improved on the Netflix app via some sort of update.

I remember on my iPhone, Apply really screwed up an update a couple of years back and my music was skipping occasionally. When the next update was available, the skipping completely went away. This is another example of where the phone was tripping up when RAM memory couldn't keep up with the tasks on the device. So the new firmware update fixed that by improving the memory management.

Unfortunately TV apps may not be updated as quickly as the popular streaming devices, so more chance that they'll occasionally lag behind streaming service system updates and have problems. The streaming hardware in those TVs is usually limited in capability and I've found the interfaces are a bit laggy and not user friendly. I've disconnected my Smart TVs from the network and moved to standalone devices.
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post #39 of 44 Old 05-10-2020, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately TV apps may not be updated as quickly as the popular streaming devices, so more chance that they'll occasionally lag behind streaming service system updates and have problems. The streaming hardware in those TVs is usually limited in capability and I've found the interfaces are a bit laggy and not user friendly. I've disconnected my Smart TVs from the network and moved to standalone devices.

Ok, I may have to move onto a standalone device and here's why. The Netflix app has been great so far, so no more problems there. No issue with the Hulu app either, but I stopped using Hulu as I got bored of the content there and I just think Netflix has more to offer. However, the Vudu app is just a headache and still has occasional choppy videos once every half hour or so. Since most of my Vudu purchases are Movies Anywhere eligible, I decided to watch some of those MA eligible movies on other apps and see how they perform. Well, GooglePlay seems to play HD videos well without any choppiness, but 4K videos seems to have frequent split second choppiness every minute, which is odd. Not to mention there seems to be an ever-so-slight audio delay, which may cause some some apparent audio sync issues at times. So, I tried Amazon Prime. Didn't do much extensive testing there, but the video (both HD and 4K) seems to play well with no choppiness. However, this one has sync issues too, but this time, the audio is ever-so-slightly ahead of the video. Then tried Movies Anywhere. I did encounter occasional choppiness in HD videos and A LOT of choppiness in 4K videos. So, now I've tried Fandango and found a winner. I've watched a few movies so far, both HD and 4K, and had no issues with anything and did not experience any choppiness nor any audio sync issues.


So, in conclusion, Netflix, Hulu and Fandango are the one apps that work 100% great on my Sony Android TV; the rest are such headaches, which is a shame as it limits my options on apps I can use reliably. I really would hate to move onto a dedicated streaming device because not only is it an added cost and uses up an HDMI port on my TV, but it looks absolutely ridiculous to have use a dedicated streaming device on a Smart TV. Every time I have guests over, I would have to explain to them why I'm am using a streaming device when I can be streaming directly on the TV. But then again, if I stream on the TV and watch movies with guests, I would have to explain why the video quality is choppy occasionally. So either way, I have some explaining to do to my guests. I'm literally slapping myself in the face for not doing better research when I bought this TV. I could've bought a TV with better streaming functionality, but I failed in that regard. Who knew Sony TVs would disappoint me like that?
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post #40 of 44 Old 05-10-2020, 02:47 PM
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but it looks absolutely ridiculous to have use a dedicated streaming device on a Smart TV

Nobody has to know.
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post #41 of 44 Old 05-13-2020, 12:39 PM
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Trying all the possible MA compatible apps was going to be my recommendation, so you've covered that and it sounds like found a workable solution. Also, checking your actual network speed at the TV (I use Analiti on AndroidTV) might be a good idea just for information, but it seems (as I thought reading the thread) that it's likely more of an issue with the underlying hardware capabilities of the TV and not a network issue.

I'm an AndroidTV fan in general, but it seems some of the older TVs with AndroidTV built in just don't have enough horsepower (CPU, RAM) to run it problem-free, where Roku runs just fine on similar and even less capable underlying hardware. I've long been an advocate of dumb TVs and separate streaming devices for just this reason, but it's nearly impossible to find a quality display without smart features these days, and extremely tempting to make use of the built-in smart functionality. I have two smart TVs (both with proprietary smart platforms) around the house but chose instead to use budget AndroidTV boxes (Mii Box S and eMatic Jetstream) on them instead because they're pretty much problem-free in terms of performance and I prefer the AndroidTV UI (and associated Google Home/Cast integration). If I wasn't fairly entrenched in the Google ecosystem, I'd probably would have gone the Roku TV route for those displays since it would cut down on complexity and mostly just works.

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post #42 of 44 Old 06-28-2020, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I FINALLY decided to bite the bullet and get a streaming stick. I went for the Fire TV stick. The reason why is because Amazon has a nice promotion right now where they have the streaming stick for only $20!!! That's a steal and worth giving a try, so I went for it.
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post #43 of 44 Old 06-28-2020, 04:45 PM
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The 1080p stick is $20 more often than not, and the 4K stick is $30 most of the time too. I'd take a Roku Express or Premiere over any Fire Stick any day of the week... much better UI layout and performance. I hate how in-your-face Amazon is with the sponsored recommendations, adds, and the general lag of the UI. They're fine for core AV performance on most apps, but the UI kills it for me.

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post #44 of 44 Old 06-28-2020, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
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The 1080p stick is $20 more often than not, and the 4K stick is $30 most of the time too. I'd take a Roku Express or Premiere over any Fire Stick any day of the week... much better UI layout and performance. I hate how in-your-face Amazon is with the sponsored recommendations, adds, and the general lag of the UI. They're fine for core AV performance on most apps, but the UI kills it for me.

Oh wow, that's good to know. I'll cancel my order and wait for a good deal on a Roku. I think I just acted hasty due to the sale. Vudu and GooglePlay are my most used apps, so without those on the FireTV, it could pose a problem!
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