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View Full Version : Apple TV vs. WD TV HD Live Plus. Why did Apple destroy functionality?




WiiDSmoker
Sep 1, 2010, 01:46 PM
Apple TV
Price: $99
Resolution: 720P
Includes: Netflix, YouTube

Support Video Formats: M4V, MP4, MOV

Supported Audio Codecs: HE-AAC (V1), AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV; Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound pass-through

Built in Wi-Fi N


WD TV HD Live Plus
Price: $109
Resolution 1080P
Includes: Netflix, YouTube, Flickr, Pandora

Supported Video Formats: AVI (Xvid, AVC, MPEG1/2/4), MPG/MPEG, VOB, MKV (h.264, x.264, AVC, MPEG1/2/4, VC-1), TS/TP/M2T (MPEG1/2/4, AVC, VC-1), MP4/MOV (MPEG4, h.264), M2TS, WMV9

Supported Audio Codecs: MP3, WAV/PCM/LPCM, WMA, AAC, FLAC, MKA, AIF/AIFF, OGG, Dolby Digital, DTS

Wi-Fi only available through extra purchase.



So tell me again, how the Apple TV can compete with the WD TV HD Live Plus and other devices?

Why does Apple come out with a great design, superb UI, but ruin the functionality?



dmm219
Sep 1, 2010, 01:49 PM
Apple TV


Why does Apple come out with a great design, superb UI, but ruin the functionality?

It what happens when companies become overly reliant on "designers" and not enough on engineering. The Iphone 4 debacle is another example.

Its an insult to engineers everywhere when Jobs says he's an engineer. He's not. He has no training. He's a designer and nothing more. At Apple design always beats out engineering and functionality.

petvas
Sep 1, 2010, 01:49 PM
As a former owner of a WDTV I can tell you the following:

WDTV's interface isn't as sleek and cool as the Apple TV
Configuring network connectivity between the WDTV and other computers is highly problematic.
There is no nice cover art, renting of movies and TV shows
The remote control sucks big time


The only thing that keeps me from buying an Apple TV is the 720p maximum resolution. It is really a shame...

Gump
Sep 1, 2010, 01:52 PM
This is an excellent question. Notice the lack of any USB ports! No future upgrade can solve this important piece of functionality. AVCHD support? Zero.

I too am not sure what Apple is aiming to do, especially with a lack of iOS apps for the big screen. This is no way to compete with the Google TV and certainly is not a revolutionary product set to change the purpose of 'boxes' we have sitting around our TVs.

However, I still don't know why the WD TV HD does not support raw DV video -- especially considering half my library is in this format. My current solution is to use Boxee on my existing (hacked) Apple TV via USB.

bamf
Sep 1, 2010, 01:57 PM
This is an excellent question. Notice the lack of any USB ports! No future upgrade can solve this important piece of functionality. AVCHD support? Zero.

I too am not sure what Apple is aiming to do, especially with a lack of iOS apps for the big screen. This is no way to compete with the Google TV and certainly is not a revolutionary product set to change the purpose of 'boxes' we have sitting around our TVs.

However, I still don't know why the WD TV HD does not support raw DV video -- especially considering half my library is in this format. My current solution is to use Boxee on my existing (hacked) Apple TV via USB.

There is a USB port right under the HDMI port.

philipk
Sep 1, 2010, 01:59 PM
The only thing that keeps me from buying an Apple TV is the 720p maximum resolution. It is really a shame...

Do you have a state of the art monitor over 60"?

If not, you do not gain anything from 1080P.

I have a Sony 46" BRAVIAŽ Z Series LCD Flat Panel HDTV. There is no noticeable difference between good 720P signals and good 1080P signals such as DirecTV.

I do notice a difference with BluRay 1080P. However the difference is from two other factors - 24 frames per second and less compression.

To 99.9% of us, 1080P is just a marketing issue.

It does not give most of us a better picture.

hitekalex
Sep 1, 2010, 02:06 PM
So tell me again, how the Apple TV can compete with the WD TV HD Live Plus and other devices?

Easily. If you have a large iTunes library on your Mac like many of us do.. Apple TV is the device that gives you perfect integration. WDTV doesn't even play M4V files.. and it doesn't properly read M4V metadata.. it doesn't support AC3 5.1 in MP4/M4V containers. I have 500+ movies on my iTunes server - I am not about to re-do them in MKV or some other format WDTV understands.

So for people like me - new Apple TV is the perfect media device.. and I love the new form factor. NetFlix integration is just a cherry on top.

bamf
Sep 1, 2010, 02:11 PM
Easily. If you have a large iTunes library on your Mac like many of us do.. Apple TV is the device that gives you perfect integration. WDTV doesn't even play M4V files.. and it doesn't properly read M4V metadata.. it doesn't support AC3 5.1 in MP4/M4V containers. I have 500+ movies on my iTunes server - I am not about to re-do them in MKV or some other format WDTV understands.

So for people like me - new Apple TV is the perfect media device.. and I love the new form factor. NetFlix integration is just a cherry on top.

Amen to that.

Gump
Sep 1, 2010, 02:32 PM
There is a USB port right under the HDMI port.

Wow, I really must have missed that one during the demonstration.

Still, this device offers nothing that the current Apple TV already offers, except better hardware price and iTunes Store rental prices.

No support for external media - especially AVCHD - was shown.

hitekalex
Sep 1, 2010, 02:51 PM
Still, this device offers nothing that the current Apple TV already offers

It offers Netflix streaming. It offers 30fps framerate. Current Apple TV supports neither.

So your statement is incorrect.

Gump
Sep 1, 2010, 03:02 PM
It offers Netflix streaming. It offers 30fps framerate. Current Apple TV supports neither.

So your statement is incorrect.

Hack the current Apple TV and you've got both - plus all the Boxee and XBMC content as well, which is more than the new Apple TV offers.

In fact, I've been able to force the hardware to provide a constant framerate higher than 30fps in 720p with unofficial software. At least the current Apple TV can decode H.264 in 1080p using the hardware on board - this new Apple TV is limited to 720p.

If this new Apple TV is successful it will primarily be for one reason: the price.

jason2811
Sep 1, 2010, 03:05 PM
Roku HD v. Apple TV?

Looking for:
Netflix integration (80% of my viewing comes from here- I don't have cable)
digital rental ability of new releases (I NEVER buy movies or DVDs)
ability to watch Hulu, Megavideo, TV shows from ABC.com, NBC.com, etc.
(not a necessary but would be nice)

Which should I get? Apple TV or Roku HD or something else?

hitekalex
Sep 1, 2010, 03:08 PM
Hack the current Apple TV and you've got both

No you don't. No one has been able to get Netflix streaming properly working, even on hacked ATV. The hardware is just not capable.

Boxee/XBMC are junk and != Netflix. Proper Netflix support is a huge feature of the new ATV, and is the reason why my old ATV's are going on eBay and being replaced with new ones.

exchguy
Sep 1, 2010, 03:25 PM
Apple TV relies on a Mac/PC being turned on with iTunes being accessible, does it not?

WDTV Live can also do everything from a NAS w/o a PC being turned on. My NAS is on all of the time as my central media server, the computer is not.

Plus, WDTV Live is multi room. Component and HDMI outputs are active at the same time so you can run one device on two rooms using both outputs. Apple TV only limited to one HDMI port. If you have an HDMI matrix switcher then you could make it multi room..

I do agree the WDTV Live interface leaves a lot to be desired and the remote is bad, but that has been worked around by integrating with Logitech Harmony. Apple certainly has a nicer interface, but for me the ATV is a no sale because of no Pandora and lack of NAS support. Plenty of other devices, like the new version of the WDTV can do Netflix so apple is just jumping into the crowd with the other devices that already offer this.

The ATV seems to be primarily designed to be a conduit for Apple to sell you more content via ITunes rather than more tuned to playing the content you already own and want to take advantage of variety of formats. If audio is of interest, there are several other options that have more content providers (like Pandora, Live365, Hulu, etc) than AppleTV. But, I think apple is going for the mainstream here and not exactly for the hardcore.

Gump
Sep 1, 2010, 03:28 PM
Boxee/XBMC are junk and != Netflix.

Boxee is junk? Let's compare:

Boxee - great UI with support for the following:

Netflix, raw DV files, AVI, MPG/MPEG, WMV, ASF, FLV, MKV, MOV, MP4, M4A, AAC, NUT, Ogg, OGM, RealMedia RAM/RM/RV/RA/RMVB, 3GP, VIVO, PVA, NUV, NSV, NSA, FLI, FLC, DVR-MS, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 (SP and ASP), MPEG-4 AVC (H.264), Huffyuv, Indeo, MJPEG, RealVideo, QuickTime, Sorenson, WMV, and Cinepak.

vs.

Apple - great UI with support for the following:

Netflix, iTunes Store purchases, and H.264 MP4 files (some).

If Boxee is "junk" the Apple TV must be garbage.
In fact, you've now convinced me to wait for the Boxee Box.

I love my Apple TV but come on, this upgrade offers nothing revolutionary.

hitekalex
Sep 1, 2010, 03:33 PM
Boxee is junk? Let's compare:

Boxee - great UI with support for the following:

OK I don't care about that alphabet soup of video formats - all my content is in H.264/AAC, which ATV handles perfectly. Last time I tried Boxee on my original Apple TV - it was horrible quality.. laggy UI.. I uninstalled it after a week and never went back. Maybe things have improved, I don't know.

I love my Apple TV but come on, this upgrade offers nothing revolutionary.

Maybe not for you.. But I was just responding to your earlier comment that new ATV offers nothing over old one.. which is factually incorrect. ;)

hitekalex
Sep 1, 2010, 03:45 PM
The ATV seems to be primarily designed to be a conduit for Apple to sell you more content via ITunes rather than more tuned to playing the content you already own

ATV works perfectly fine with the content you already own. And if you manage all your content in iTunes - it offers vastly superior experience to WDTV or any other generic media streamers out there.

I have had my ATV's for years, and I am yet to spend a penny on any of the iTunes Store content :D

exchguy
Sep 1, 2010, 04:03 PM
ATV works perfectly fine with the content you already own. And if you manage all your content in iTunes - it offers vastly superior experience to WDTV or any other generic media streamers out there.

I have had my ATV's for years, and I am yet to spend a penny on any of the iTunes Store content :D

UI experience maybe, but can't get around the fact that ATV still requires a MAC or PC to be powered on behind it, no?

Many people including myself are storing all media on NAS. Much more reliable than a single MAC/PC because of RAID1 in case primary HD in the MAC/PC dies.

But, Apple was not trying to compete with the likes of WDTV, Roku, Popcorn hour streamers that do a lot more things. It was going for what it felt it could do best for the price point and focus toward form/design. That is typical Apple.

hitekalex
Sep 1, 2010, 04:30 PM
UI experience maybe, but can't get around the fact that ATV still requires a MAC or PC to be powered on behind it, no?

Yes.. or you can now also stream media from iPad/iPod/iPhone to ATV. I have multiple ATV's throughout my house, and having the central media server works the best. This way all my ATV's get access the same content, and I don't need to worry about "syncing".

Many people including myself are storing all media on NAS. Much more reliable than a single MAC/PC because of RAID1 in case primary HD in the MAC/PC dies.

I have NAS array attached to my Mini. It's no less reliable than a stand-alone NAS - if my main Mac drive dies, I don't lose any of the NAS array content.

Gump
Sep 1, 2010, 05:09 PM
Maybe not for you.. But I was just responding to your earlier comment that new ATV offers nothing over old one.. which is factually incorrect. ;)


While I forgot to add the word "significant" after "nothing" I'm pretty sure I got my point across. :D

rediffusion
Sep 13, 2010, 11:26 AM
I am torn between the new ATV and WD TV HD Live Plus. I am a Mac user and predominantly want to watch my archived videos which are predominantly .avi files.

If I go for the ATV option I am going to have to convert everything to Apples video formats which is a pain. What is the best program to use for this? II have VisualHub but is there something better? I've found that this program sometimes has visual/audio sync problems.

Alternatively I can go for the WD TV HD Live Plus option but I'm not too keen on the interface. Does this model work well with Macs? I also understand that it doesn't have a built in wi-fi capability, so I would need to buy a wireless adapter, right?

Any advice would be gratefully received. ;)

Shoesy
Sep 13, 2010, 12:06 PM
If you're dealing with mostly AVI files you would want either an old hacked appletv or a WD plugged in. If you want to rent and stream from itunes you'd want a new appletv. If you want a girly fight about which is best you'd want MacRumors ;)

mkaake
Sep 13, 2010, 12:11 PM
The reason I'm interested in one (and the reason I think this one will do better with the non-techie market) is that I know if I hook up an aTv in my living room, my wife and kids will be able to use it without any problems - doesn't matter if they're watching TV, streaming netflix, or want to watch a slideshow of pictures we have on the computer - it will be simple for them to ues and figure out. A comparable streamer, which may handle more exotic formats (none of which I have on my computer), that may have better technical specifications, means nothing if the UI doesn't work well. Apple is trying what they did with computers and phones - on a technical level, it may seem less capable than other options on the market, but it's focused on what it does do, and doing it well - techies have a tendancy to ignore or brush aside issues of the actual user interface, but it's *huge* for everyone else.

Just my opinion, honestly.

Good timing too - I wanted a better netflix streaming option than I'm currently using, and was considering 79 bucks or so for a roku... now I can spend 20 more, stream titles from my main machine (which is always turned on anyway), rent movies, and watch slideshows - all with an interface I know other people in the house can enjoy. To me, that's worth the extra 20 bucks, and worth not having some whiz-bang features (or codec support) of other players.

StrykerGT
Sep 13, 2010, 02:14 PM
I wanted a better netflix streaming option than I'm currently using, and was considering 79 bucks or so for a roku... now I can spend 20 more, stream titles from my main machine (which is always turned on anyway), rent movies, and watch slideshows - all with an interface I know other people in the house can enjoy. To me, that's worth the extra 20 bucks, and worth not having some whiz-bang features (or codec support) of other players.

Not only that but the Front End is very important for me. I have a lot of Movies and TV Shows tagged in MetaX and the only system that supports it is the :apple:TV. I can't believe that nobody else support reading metadata directly from the files.

entatlrg
Sep 13, 2010, 02:29 PM
The ATV seems to be primarily designed to be a conduit for Apple to sell you more content via ITunes rather than more tuned to playing the content you already own and want to take advantage of variety of formats. If audio is of interest, there are several other options that have more content providers (like Pandora, Live365, Hulu, etc) than AppleTV. But, I think apple is going for the mainstream here and not exactly for the hardcore.

That sums it up perfectly.

Duncan-UK
Sep 13, 2010, 02:30 PM
The elephant in the room is surely illegal HD downloads - most of which are in mkv format. Apple (like Sony) cant "bless" this format - especially Apple as their business plan is to lock you into itunes based content.

I've got an old Apple TV which i only use in my spare room to access iTunes. But I have two WD HD Live boxes.

I have no problems accessing content from either a local USB drive or my Macs via the WDHD - it found the network connection straight out of the box with no adjustment needed.

Remote control is a bit small but does the job pretty well. Also have no issues with m4v files.

I use it to supplement my PS3s when streaming video - the Apple TV I'm afraid wouldnt get a look in

StrykerGT
Sep 13, 2010, 03:46 PM
The elephant in the room is surely illegal HD downloads - most of which are in mkv format. Apple (like Sony) cant "bless" this format - especially Apple as their business plan is to lock you into itunes based content.

I've got an old Apple TV which i only use in my spare room to access iTunes. But I have two WD HD Live boxes.

I have no problems accessing content from either a local USB drive or my Macs via the WDHD - it found the network connection straight out of the box with no adjustment needed.

Remote control is a bit small but does the job pretty well. Also have no issues with m4v files.

I use it to supplement my PS3s when streaming video - the Apple TV I'm afraid wouldnt get a look in

Sadly neither the WD or the PS3 have a decent Front End :( that's the plus of the Apple TV.

gugy
Sep 13, 2010, 07:51 PM
The reason I'm interested in one (and the reason I think this one will do better with the non-techie market) is that I know if I hook up an aTv in my living room, my wife and kids will be able to use it without any problems - doesn't matter if they're watching TV, streaming netflix, or want to watch a slideshow of pictures we have on the computer - it will be simple for them to ues and figure out. A comparable streamer, which may handle more exotic formats (none of which I have on my computer), that may have better technical specifications, means nothing if the UI doesn't work well. Apple is trying what they did with computers and phones - on a technical level, it may seem less capable than other options on the market, but it's focused on what it does do, and doing it well - techies have a tendancy to ignore or brush aside issues of the actual user interface, but it's *huge* for everyone else.

Just my opinion, honestly.

Good timing too - I wanted a better netflix streaming option than I'm currently using, and was considering 79 bucks or so for a roku... now I can spend 20 more, stream titles from my main machine (which is always turned on anyway), rent movies, and watch slideshows - all with an interface I know other people in the house can enjoy. To me, that's worth the extra 20 bucks, and worth not having some whiz-bang features (or codec support) of other players.

I am in the same conundrum.
I am also looking at the new Boxee Box to see if they might end up being a good alternative.
Two issues I have with ATV are:
lack of 1080p so I can't rip my blu-ray discs in full res.
Lack of external drive support, so I don't need to have my Mac on at all times to watch something.

Finally like you, the family friendly UI is huge for me. I need them to have no issues using it. If they think the UI is clunky or difficult to use, they will not use at all. This is the ONLY thing that might make me buy the ATV and go through the hassle of the missing features I want.

nobunaga209
Sep 13, 2010, 09:32 PM
As a former owner of a WDTV I can tell you the following:

WDTV's interface isn't as sleek and cool as the Apple TV
Configuring network connectivity between the WDTV and other computers is highly problematic.
There is no nice cover art, renting of movies and TV shows
The remote control sucks big time


The only thing that keeps me from buying an Apple TV is the 720p maximum resolution. It is really a shame...

+1 from this soon to be former WD TV Live owner; I am bypassing the Apple TV and going with a Mac Mini with Plex.

gugy
Sep 13, 2010, 09:42 PM
+1 from this soon to be former WD TV Live owner; I am bypassing the Apple TV and going with a Mac Mini with Plex.

That's a good option, unfortunately $700 for a media players seems a lot. Hopefully you will have other uses for the MacMini.

Markusp
Sep 13, 2010, 09:48 PM
I have the original WDTV, the WDTV Live, an Appletv and a HTPC running XBMC.

The WDTVs never get any use. I simply got tired of manually adding thumbnails to my films so that my kids could choose the movies they wanted to watch, ejecting drives to copy over films since the WDTV lacked a network interface and my WDTV Live frequently drops connection, prompting frantic phone calls from my family to trouble shoot how to reconnect etc. The GUI on the WDTVs is a joke and completely unintuitive, especially if you are accessing files from more than one source. In short, from a general user standpoint, the WDTV is a complete failure and can't touch the user friendliness of both the Appletv and XBMC.

The Appletv is not for everyone, but IF you have your media stored and organized in iTunes, it is a fantastic little device. I use my existing Appletv for all my music files but I am slowly adding my film collection to iTunes in anticipation of the new Appletv.

hitekalex
Sep 13, 2010, 11:59 PM
The WDTVs never get any use. I simply got tired of manually adding thumbnails to my films so that my kids could choose the movies they wanted to watch, ejecting drives to copy over films since the WDTV lacked a network interface and my WDTV Live frequently drops connection, prompting frantic phone calls from my family to trouble shoot how to reconnect etc. The GUI on the WDTVs is a joke and completely unintuitive, especially if you are accessing files from more than one source. In short, from a general user standpoint, the WDTV is a complete failure and can't touch the user friendliness of both the Appletv and XBMC.

The Appletv is not for everyone, but IF you have your media stored and organized in iTunes, it is a fantastic little device. I use my existing Appletv for all my music files but I am slowly adding my film collection to iTunes in anticipation of the new Appletv.

Agreed.. my 4 year old can easily navigate and select movies or shows on our Apple TV's. WDTV is an entirely different story.. WDTV UI is written by a company that makes hard drives, and it's very apparent.

And as far as MKV/DiVX playback goes - my "tweaked" v1 ATV is perfectly capable of playing this content over the network. I am hoping the same thing will be possible on new ATV down the road, but since MKV/DiVX represents less than 5% of my content I am not too concerned.

wjlafrance
Sep 14, 2010, 12:46 AM
I only have a 720p TV, so I don't care about 1080p.

Software updates can be delivered over Wifi. Do you really want to have to do software updates via tethering a set top box to your computer?

I agree that iOS apps should be added. I believe it runs iOS, but that's yet to be seen. I expect it to be jailbroken, rooted, h4x3d, whatever you want to call it.

Apple TV is a set top box, not a computer. It's for people who watch movies and TV shows, not h264, avi, and mkv.

It's replacing my PowerMac G4 that I use as a HTPC.

Duncan-UK
Sep 14, 2010, 04:49 AM
I have no problems personally with the front ends of either the PS3 or the WD box. After all its just looking at lists of folders. I can understand why thumbnails etc are attractive though, but for my uses they arent important.

I also record lots of BBC HD material off satellite, and this wont play back on the Apple TV unless its converted down to 720p via handbrake, so again another reason why the Apple TV is reduced to being a seldom used iTunes music streamer in my spare room.

I've no illusions about being an average user though, so I expect the Apple TV to do the job just nicely for those who want to rent things.

As for using plex or VLC - well I've always had lipsync problems with plex and the user interface is a bit of a dog. Plus the absence of a decent remote control is a real bind (thats the beauty of using the PS3).

I also seem to get a visible line through the bottom of the picture when watching on my Mac Pro with VLC - so again its not ideal.

StrykerGT
Sep 14, 2010, 12:32 PM
I have no problems personally with the front ends of either the PS3 or the WD box. After all its just looking at lists of folders. I can understand why thumbnails etc are attractive though, but for my uses they arent important.

It's not only the thumbnail is all the info presented in an organized way on the ATV instead of a mere list. I have a lot of TV Shows in my iTunes and organization is key to handle all of them.

Seydlitz
Sep 14, 2010, 02:37 PM
Boxee/XBMC are junk

A quite strong sentiment in which almost noone agrees, good job.

There isn't a better mediaplayer than XBMC and it's forks. 99.99% of the mac HTPC solution use XBMC or Plex. And for the ATV XBMC is a must have.

Oh and don't even try to be funny by going on about complexity^^. Navigating XBMC is something the aforementioned three year old can do (starting a movie can take as little as three pushes on the same remote button). As it actually accepts a lot more file formats than the other solutions it's pretty easy to make a case that it is indeed easier.

The funny part is that many of those who cheer about the ATV simplicity don't even know how good Plex/XBMC is and on the other hand come with geeky statements as "720P isn't discernible worse than 1080P".

It's generally a true statement, but the non-geeky consumer, exactly the target demographic actually thinks 1080P is better... as that's what the TV salesmen have been successfully pushing through their throats for years.

Not being 1080P will hurt Apple in the eye of the intended demographic... because they have no technical knoledge to see its a wash.

hitekalex
Sep 14, 2010, 10:23 PM
I can understand why thumbnails etc are attractive though, but for my uses they arent important.

It's not just about pretty thumbnails.. I have a library of 500+ movies and 200+ shows - all fully tagged (things like movie director / actors / description / movie art). Since WDTV doesn't understand video metadata - my library would have been a mess.. For example, I'd be unable to quickly look up movie description, if I forgot what the movie was about.. etc etc.

And yes, it's a much more pleasant and satisfying experience to navigate a nice looking and feature-rich UI, as opposed to browsing through file folders like it's 1995.

A quite strong sentiment in which almost noone agrees, good job.

There isn't a better mediaplayer than XBMC and it's forks. 99.99% of the mac HTPC solution use XBMC or Plex. And for the ATV XBMC is a must have.

OK didn't mean to slam XBMC specifically. My comment was directed to Boxee on ATV, which was a pretty bad experience early on. XBMC on ATV - I haven't specifically played with.. and frankly didn't see why I'd want to. ATV native interface is already very good, don't know what XBMC could possibly offer over and above the native interface.

In the end of the day, most of us who have ATV just want to play content.. not mess around with home-grown add-ons. But for the record - I have patched all my ATVs, and I use ATVfiles with Perian to play XviD video over the network. The reason why I like ATVfiles is because it's simple, lightweight and functions within the native ATV UI.. not attempts to replace it. So I don't need XBMC.

heywoodja
Sep 14, 2010, 10:41 PM
There is a USB port right under the HDMI port.

Ports and interfaces
HDMI2
Optical audio
10/100BASE-T Ethernet
Built-in IR receiver

*******Micro-USB (for service and support)********

Meaning that you cannot plug in an external drive. This is used for Apple to diagnose and service the ATV. I am sure with time someone will figure out a work around though. And for all those people who don't like the new version....please don't buy one. It is that simple.

Seydlitz
Sep 15, 2010, 03:42 AM
. And for all those people who don't like the new version....please don't buy one. It is that simple.

No, no, no. It's not "that simple". People who are unhappy about Apple's choice have the right (maybe even the duty^^) to complain and question the decisions.

Mind you that they have an Apple product that has great options and that the successor is a completely different beast. In other words, there won't be a successor for their needs.

Apple can do whatever they want and people are free to like or to dislike. But airing disgruntlement about it isn't a bad thing. Maybe they listen and will cater to the needs of that group as well. Of course, this isn't an official Apple forum, but I assume you agree that there is room here for other than "Hosanna" stories.

Jethrotoe
Sep 18, 2010, 11:01 AM
The reason I'm interested in one (and the reason I think this one will do better with the non-techie market) is that I know if I hook up an aTv in my living room, my wife and kids will be able to use it without any problems - doesn't matter if they're watching TV, streaming netflix, or want to watch a slideshow of pictures we have on the computer - it will be simple for them to ues and figure out. A comparable streamer, which may handle more exotic formats (none of which I have on my computer), that may have better technical specifications, means nothing if the UI doesn't work well. Apple is trying what they did with computers and phones - on a technical level, it may seem less capable than other options on the market, but it's focused on what it does do, and doing it well - techies have a tendancy to ignore or brush aside issues of the actual user interface, but it's *huge* for everyone else.

Just my opinion, honestly.

Good timing too - I wanted a better netflix streaming option than I'm currently using, and was considering 79 bucks or so for a roku... now I can spend 20 more, stream titles from my main machine (which is always turned on anyway), rent movies, and watch slideshows - all with an interface I know other people in the house can enjoy. To me, that's worth the extra 20 bucks, and worth not having some whiz-bang features (or codec support) of other players.

This is a good point indeed. If it was just me I would have every box made with wiring that looks like a spaghetti dinner, or a complicated wireless system that no one else but me can operate. But that's not the case. I have family members that need to use it too. So the famous "Apple products are easy to use" goes a long way.

I have a professional music recording studio in a specially built room in the house. My wife could NEVER even play a cd that she wants to hear on a good system. She couldn't even turn all the equipment on. Does the family no good.

So the real battle in all these threads seems to be people arguing that either want simple that works for them or more complicated that does more. There is no right or wrong to this question. Besides, this crap changes by the month so this will never end. Get what does you for now and buy again next year. We are consumers aren't we?

lancia832
Sep 20, 2010, 04:19 AM
hello!

BlackMangoTree
Dec 27, 2010, 08:14 AM
The elephant in the room is surely illegal HD downloads - most of which are in mkv format. Apple (like Sony) cant "bless" this format - especially Apple as their business plan is to lock you into itunes based content.

Getting MKV files to play on your Apple Tv 2 is a 2 min job. 720p all of them play 1080p some do and some don't.

jcschlic
Dec 27, 2010, 08:40 AM
As a former owner of a WDTV I can tell you the following:

WDTV's interface isn't as sleek and cool as the Apple TV
Configuring network connectivity between the WDTV and other computers is highly problematic.
There is no nice cover art, renting of movies and TV shows
The remote control sucks big time




I second all that.

awr
Dec 27, 2010, 05:00 PM
As an owner of a WDTV and a WDTV Live . . . I can say that they are both nothing more than a headache (at least for me) I'm assuming the Live 'plus' is no different.

I snatched up an Apple TV as soon as I had the chance and haven't hooked up either of the WD devices since.

-their software is buggy . . . . very buggy.

-playing different file types is a crap-shoot. neither of my devices have consistently played any one file type (mp4's especially have issues)

-rather than releasing new firmware, they just release new product (ie, WDTV, WDTV Gen2, WDTV Live, WDTV Live Plus, WDTV Mini, and then some new WD 'home theater' thing.)

Check out their support forums to get a good look at how unhappy many of their customers are - it's has gotten better in the past few months but is still pathetic.

Meanwhile, my new apple TV plays all of my mp4's flawlessly, has a MUCH better interface and remote, and basically 'just works'.

Apple RARELY releases buggy software. . . . with WD, you'd think they have a religious obligation to it.

HarryPot
Dec 27, 2010, 06:17 PM
I've used both systems, the WDTV and the Apple TV 1 and 2, and I must say that the Apple TV is amazingly superior to the WDTV. It's easy to use, has a nice looking interface and you can rent and buy movies easily.

Add to it the new features of being able to stream from the iPhone and iPad and you get a much better experience.


As for the WDTV, I know of 4 persons that own it. And all of them have it because it is the one single box that can play mkv and avi files. And you know why they want to play that files? Because they download movies from torrents.

I'm not saying that all the people who want to watch avi files have downloaded them from torrents, but I must say that the majority do use it for that purpose.

petvas
Dec 28, 2010, 12:45 AM
I've used both systems, the WDTV and the Apple TV 1 and 2, and I must say that the Apple TV is amazingly superior to the WDTV. It's easy to use, has a nice looking interface and you can rent and buy movies easily.

Add to it the new features of being able to stream from the iPhone and iPad and you get a much better experience.


As for the WDTV, I know of 4 persons that own it. And all of them have it because it is the one single box that can play mkv and avi files. And you know why they want to play that files? Because they download movies from torrents.

I'm not saying that all the people who want to watch avi files have downloaded them from torrents, but I must say that the majority do use it for that purpose.

Yes, you are most probably right, but the problem is that there is not a single legitimate offering that does the job good. iTunes Movies don't have the best quality, the video store of the Playstation Network also not. I don't know about Netflix as I don't live in the States, but I am sure it is nothing near to a Blu-Ray.
There are many people who love Blu-Ray quality but also want to have the benefits of an electronic video library. They do not want to have to manage all those Blu-Ray discs.
Another thing to consider are the various restrictions most movie studios impose. Here in Germany, most movies and TV series are in the German language. The original audio isn't always included. I hate that. I want to hear the original sounds and not a crappy audio translation. The iTunes store has only a small selection of movies in original audio. The Playstation Movie network also.
The only way for me to get the original sound in a movie is by buying the Blu-Ray or downloading an mkv file from the Internet!

What I need is a service that allows me to download all movies (legitimate), without any silly restrictions (copy protection for example), offering Blu-Ray quality in an mkv file and at a great price.
Prices at the moment are more than ridiculous. A movie should never cost more than 9.99$. A rented movie should cost max 1.99$ and all these in Blu-Ray quality. When the Movie Studios stop being greedy, I will also acknowledge that and start paying for my mkv files.

CWallace
Dec 28, 2010, 11:54 AM
As noted, the AppleTV has a more polished and "friendly" interface and is easier to set-up and configure than the WDTV. And Apple is all about "the user experience".

I imagine playing pirated content is not something Apple gives too much thought to. It's easy enough to convert MKVs and AVIs to M4Vs with applications like Handbrake, after all.

petvas
Dec 28, 2010, 12:27 PM
As noted, the AppleTV has a more polished and "friendly" interface and is easier to set-up and configure than the WDTV. And Apple is all about "the user experience".

I imagine playing pirated content is not something Apple gives too much thought to. It's easy enough to convert MKVs and AVIs to M4Vs with applications like Handbrake, after all.

Exactly. I own many Bluray films and I like the AppleTV interface and ease of use, so I converted them to mp4. Many times I don't really. Care about having the greatest quality, but like to browse through my movie collection in a nice way. The AppleTV offers that, so I have started using it.