Fire tv streaming integration vs Roku

Discussion in 'IPTV Hardware' started by 1948GG, Jul 11, 2020.

  1. 1948GG

    1948GG Icon

    Aug 4, 2007
    Around two or years ago, Roku announced that they were working on integrating streaming apps into their user interface, in a way that would no longer require exiting and starting separate apps to jump between content; for instance, if one was 'attached' to netflix, one could scan the content of, say, Prime Video, select content there, and jump straight from the netflix item you were on directly to the Prime content. There were small changes to the roku OS that would start to make it work, then development seemed to cease.

    Jump forward to now. 2020. Amazon Fire TV has rolled out a new OS that does precisely what I just described. One wonders if roku will restart their project from two years ago and catch back up, as this appears to, for the first time, to leave them significantly behind in streaming usability.
  2. grover517

    grover517 AllStar

    Sep 29, 2007
    This FireTV integration feature has actually been around for over a year now and is what made FireTV our choice over others out there. From the unified channel guide to surf from (the wife demanded it) to the Recast OTA DVR integration to PS Vue and Philo both supporting it and giving us all the programming we wanted, along with Alexa search integration, it was just a great fit for us.

    When PS Vue folded, we switched to YTTV and realized just how much we missed having that feature. With YTTV's rollout now, we once again have our linear content all in one unified guide. One omission on this rollout is that Alexa voice search capabilities didn't quite make it in this YTTV rollout. You can use Alexa to open, tune to a channel in the YTTV app and control playback but haven't seen any YTTV content results pop up like I do from Philo in any of my test searches nor can I use Alexa to search within the YTTV app itself. Hopefully, that will roll out at some point in the future but overall, we enjoy what we now have for it's ease of use with so much content available.

    With that said, as nice as this "Live" integration is, the game changer for me would be to have the capability of not only setting up recordings in an app's DVR but seeing what content you have recorded in your app's DVR's and be able to search and play it back from the FireTV UI as well. You can do all that with OTA content on a Recast but no where else. I suspect that for a number of reasons, that is something that isn't going to happen anytime soon, if ever, so not holding my breath but it would complete the goal of having a unified UI for all one's services and content, no matter it's source.
  3. techguy88

    techguy88 Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2015
    The integration Amazon is doing sounds a lot like what TiVo is doing for the TiVo Stream 4K that integrates Sling TV & TiVo+ along with VOD apps like HBO Max, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, Prime Video (with separate icons denoting what is rentals/purchases and then for content included with Prime membership) and Google Play TV & Movies. If you have an Air2 that uses Sling TV to interface (doesn't require a paid Sling TV subscription) then you can see your live OTA channels, free & paid Sling TV channels within the TiVo Stream app while managing both the Cloud DVR for Sling channels and the external HDD for OTA channels.

    I'll have to dig out my Fire TV Stick (2nd Generation) from my tech junk drawer at some point and play around with this.

    I still have D* for linear so most of my streaming is done through VOD apps. Apple TV app on Apple TV hardware (and iPhones & iPads) is hands down the best when it comes to integration for VOD as they support most major apps (except Netflix due to Netflix opting out) and they support most the TV Everywhere apps. (The list omits TVE apps like Nickelodeon & Nick Jr but it supports them as well.) It is super easy to find something to watch through the Apple TV app. It also supports fuboTV, AT&T TV (TV Now) and Spectrum TV as well.
  4. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    They are all doing what Apple did ages ago. Ask Siri for a program, bam she opens it and starts it on whatever app you have installed and subscribed to.

    Then Apple came out with the Apple app and Roku and amazon have done the same thing. Similar to how Tivo did it ages ago.

    But then HBO Max says they don’t like that, they only want the Way Siri does it and do not want their apps fully intergraded into everyone’s devices. We’ll see if that starts a new trend...
  5. techguy88

    techguy88 Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2015
    Just like in the smartphone market Apple taketh away the headphone jack with the iPhone 7 *three years later...* Samsung taketh away the headphone jack on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.

    Using voice commands via Siri is not exclusive. HBO Max also supports Google Assistant on Android TV. Disney+ supports Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa and Roku Voice Search. HBO Max and Peacock have no issues with an integrated voice search.

    Now in regards to Channels integration vs App integration that is two different things.
    • Integration with the Apple TV app allows the user to have a one stop shop to search and find content to watch via their various services including Apple TV Channels. If you search for The Mandalorian and click "Watch" you are kicked over to the Disney+ app to watch the show. <--- Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max and Peacock have no issues with this type of integration and all subscribers can take advantage of it on the platform. Even Amazon supports this with Prime Video app.
    • Integration with a Channels service means the user doesn't have to use any other app to watch the content. However only those who subscribe via Channels can watch that content within the respective app (Apple TV on Apple hardware, Prime Video on Fire TV, The Roku Channel on Roku). <--- Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max & Peacock all object to this model as they want subscribers to watch their content within their respective apps.
    The issue with Amazon is that HBO Max and Peacock do not want integration with Prime Video Channels and Amazon is trying to force it on them. HBO Max and Peacock want to be treated the same way as Amazon treats Disney+ (no Prime Video Channels integration.)

    WarnerMedia even tried to compromise and offered Amazon & Roku the same deal and setup Hulu accepted. Hulu has all the HBO content and linear channels integrated within the Hulu app but kicks the user over to HBO Max to watch the extra "Max content" and Hulu continues to sell HBO Max as an add-on to its customers.

    Roku declined this deal because it would reduce their commissions from 30% to 15%. Amazon declined this deal because they want the extra "Max content" fully integrated within the HBO channel on Prime Video Channels.

    Peacock's issue with Roku is that Roku wants 30% of Peacock's ad inventory so Roku can inject its own ads into the Peacock app. After initially rejecting Comcast tried to compromise and offered 15% of the available ad inventory and Roku declined. To end the stand-off Comcast is reportedly looking into giving Roku a bigger % of the ad inventory of its TV Everywhere apps while keeping Roku's ad inventory on Peacock low.

    If Amazon & Roku want to come up with solutions similar to how the Apple TV app works then that most likely wouldn't be an issue. The issue is Amazon forcing Channels integration on HBO Max and Peacock but didn't require Disney+ to fully integrate with Prime Video Channels.
  6. 1948GG

    1948GG Icon

    Aug 4, 2007
    (Expletive deleated) x1000. All these folks chasing the pennies from the billionaires makes me sick. If they would simply set their sight on making their box the best and easiest to navigate, they would win the race; all these units are so cheap (except for appletv which has the usual 'apple tax' applied so their box is double or more their competition) that even folks like myself who own multiple units could see replacing out and moving to another if the usability was so advanced (and the apps were the same; the ongoing stupidity with hbomax once again shows money grubbing at its worse).

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