Back in 2016, I purchased a shiny new LG TV recommended by one of my friends. Compared to other TVs available in the market at that time, the TV was super-premium, and the picture quality was impressive.
However, like many modern TVs of its time, its network capabilities left a lot to be desired.
At the beginning of 2019, I wired up my entire house with a high-speed 500Mbps Ethernet network, but my TV was still stuck in the past.
Like all modern TVs (I’ve checked), its network speed is limited to 100Mbps (wired) or less over WiFi, even though WiFi 5 is available from the router.
Maybe the Smart TV isn’t smart enough (haha, LoL).
However, For Everyday Use, It wasn’t a Problem
Streaming services with their heavy compression were chugging along just fine.
But then there was my Plex server, connected to the rest of the network via a speedy 2.5Gbps Ethernet connection. When I looked at those bitrates, often hitting 50-90Mbps, I couldn’t help but cringe.
It was like trying to fit a firehose into a garden hose – there simply wasn’t enough bandwidth to handle the data flow. I experienced those annoying buffer pauses when watching content from my Plex server, and it was a real buzzkill during movie nights.
I tried Roku for a few months, but no matter how many features it provided, I hated the giant ads that it displayed on the home screen, shrinking all the app icons.
Then I switched to Apple. Though some suggested Roku again, I purchased a 4K Apple TV from Amazon.
Over Time, It Became My New Go-to
I don’t know what you think, but I fell in love with the sleek interface, the lightning-fast chip, and the numerous ways it integrated seamlessly into the Apple ecosystem, including Alexa and my iPhone.
What really won me over, though, was the incredible support from Apple.
My first Apple TV, which is now 4 years old, still receives all the latest software updates and features.
It might be a bit slower compared to my newer 4K Apple TV units, but it’s still going strong and offers a smoother experience than any Smart TV interface.
The true magic of Apple TV, in my opinion, lies in the details of its integration with other Apple products. When you have more Apple devices, that’s where the real magic happens. Everything just works together seamlessly, making it not just a great standalone device but part of a greater ecosystem.
In my view, this is the primary differentiator that Apple has, which its competitors simply cannot match.
I’ve now owned Rokus, LG webOS smart TVs, and Apple TV, and I must say the UI on the Apple TV stands out for me. I haven’t tried an Nvidia Shield Pro, but with the fantastic experience I’ve had with Apple TV, it’s hard for me to look back.
Of course, it has also some drawbacks like others, but it’s okay for me. And yes, everybody has their own personal preferences.
So what do you think? Which is your favorite streaming player?