Apple TV 4th Gen vs. Nexus Player Comparison

So I recently bought the Apple TV 4th gen and also have a Nexus Player. Both great devices, cost to performance ratio goes to the Nexus. But the Apple TV is very polished.

Background: I use all ecosystems, I have Nexus 9, a Roku which I need to sell, Android Phones, iPhones, you name it. Our house has a mix of iOS and Android users. Not trying to start a flame war, just wanted to compare the TV experience.

Nexus Player:

  1. Nexus player can be 3X-5X cheaper, $150 isn’t cheap Apple.
  2. Has Casting, which means I can cast from an iOS device or an Android device
  3. Runs Tablo beautifully along with most of my other TV apps.
  4. Has an Android Remote app (looking at you Apple, where the remote app?)
  5. Overall has great performance, has the Apps I need.
  6. The remote will wake the Nexus player and turn the TV on, but not OFF.
  7. Remote feels cheap, no way to control volume or turn the TV off.
  8. I think the interface of the Nexus needs to be cleaned up. I don’t need the Suggestion section, eats up a huge amount of space.
  9. Also, one line for all my apps make no sense. Just give me a simple grid. Let me move the apps around. I’m surprised how locked down this Nexus player is considering its a Nexus player. I can’t even install a new launcher

Apple TV:

  1. Cost is really high
  2. The remote is amazing, but fragile with the glass, I’m waiting for a case (A CASE FOR A REMOTE, crazy):
    a. Turns the TV on and off (MASSIVE for Significant Other)
    b. Controls the volume (MASSIVE for Significant Other)
    c. Feels premium compared to Nexus remote
  3. No Tablo App (yet), airplay didn’t work for me but that could be a PEBKAC
  4. The Keyboard/Remote App situation is horrible. Some app developers are getting around this by activating on your phone or laptop. Needs to be fixed ASAP
  5. Voice Search is about the same as the Nexus player, wish I could use voice search with Youtube etc.
  6. Overall buttery smooth for a new device.
  7. I won’t be able to “cast” to the Apple TV from an Android device. Wish this was different.

I think the Apple TV will turn into the main device, especially after the Tablo app is released. For now, sticking with my Nexus. I do like the idea of keeping the Nexus player though for casting (it was only $30) and as a back up.

Does anyone want a 2015 Roku 2? (Has the same processor as the Roku 3.)


So am I right that there is no Amazon Prime app for Nexus? If so, do people who use that app, cast it from an Android device?

Correct, no Amazon Prime App, should have added that. I don’t use Amazon’s video service, you can probably Cast or atleast Mirror your phone to the TV. Supposedly, Amazon video is coming to the Apple TV.

Awesome comparison, thanks for putting this together. I would be interested to hear your thoughts comparing a Shield to an Apple TV - many of your complaints would be resolved. I believe the Shield can turn devices off, volume can be controlled from the remote, and Apps are ordered by last used.

If I was more of a gamer, the Shield TV would be perfect. I just won’t use it to its full potential. In my case, I feel the nexus give you better bang for your buck. I actually bought the Nexus from a user here on the Tablo forums.

Interesting about the remote, turning the TV on/off and volume control. From what I read the app order should be by “last used” on the Nexus player but it doesn’t work for me. It was nice of Apple to give me the control to re-arrange apps. I moved all the “Apple Apps” to the bottom.

Yes, I think Google has some algorithm on the Nexus Player that supposedly ranks apps by what it thinks you will use, but I was never impressed by the order. Hopefully they let you reorder eventually, I think that was a massive oversight. If you download more apps, it will at least move to a 2 row app list, which makes it much easier.

I bought an Apple TV 4 and an Nvidia Shield TV at about the same time a week or so ago and used both for a few days before deciding which one to keep.

In the end, the Shield TV was better for my use as of today. I do think the new Apple TV, and specifically the potential of the app store, are huge selling points.

I’m happy to answer any questions anybody has about both by way of comparison/contrast to the best of my ability.

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Can you describe how to turn the tv on/off and controlling the volume with the remote? I don’t see how one controls those functions using the shield remote.

Make sure in your shield settings you turn on hmdi-cec one touch on. Also, make sure whatever your tv calls hdmi-cec is turned on (e.g. on my panny plasma, it’s called viera link). you can google hdmi-cec and your tv company/model.

For volume, I’m just using the variable control setting, and using the capacitive volume control on the shield remote.

Cool, I don’t own one, just curious how it worked on the shield. It would be cool if I could take the shield remote and use it on the nexus with all the tv controls