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View Full Version : Does ATV make sense for me?




thecypher
Sep 23, 2010, 11:26 AM
I currently have a Windows VISTA based HTPC I built, hooked up to my 42" 1080p Plasma TV. I rip my Blu-Ray disks using DVDFab and just take the main movie only with the audio options I want and subtitles I want and convert it into ISO and store it on a network storage. Saves a bunch of space compared to ripping the complete original ISO. I use Media Center with MyMovies on the HTPC. PowerDVD plays the Blu-ray disks after the image is loaded by Virtual Clone Drive. With a Media Center remote it all works great. I have optical audio from the HTPC going into my HT receiver so I get surround sound. Occasionally I do get a freeze. Could be Windoze or PowerDVD problem who knows. Then I have to hardboot.

Being an Apple fan boy I ordered the new ATV. But I wonder now if it makes sense for me. Converting my 1080p disc images to 720p and losing surround audio (I might be wrong here but it appears that we can't include DTS-HD in m4v files??) doesn't makes sense. I converted a couple of discs using MakeMkv and Handbrake. Takes a lifetime to encode on my PowerMac G5 Dual Core 2.3Ghz. Literally 16 hours. A little faster on my MBP but still in the order of 8 hours or so I believe. My current setup takes 45 minutes or so using DVDFab to create a Blu-ray ISO with just the stuff I need and I am done.

The new Netflix interface sounds enticing. But my Samsung Home Theater receiver/Blu-ray player has Netflix built in. Work alright. Not a great interface like the new ATV but does the job.

So wondering if the new ATV makes sense for me. Airplay is probably the only feature I can think of that I don't currently have. But I can play all media (movies/music/video/photos) that are on the network drive via the Media Center interface.

Trying to justify the $100 I spent on the new ATV :D. I wish ATV would let me play Blu-ray ISO or at least mkv files without having to compress them and lose picture quality and HD audio :(



thetruth1985
Sep 23, 2010, 11:38 AM
Based on what you want to do, I would say the new atv is not for you. I used to have a setup similar to yours a year ago. I had my htpc hooked to my living room lcd and I was able to burn movies there. I also used the "mymovies" plugin in Windows media center too. It did it's job but like you mentioned, it did freeze sometimes. A lot of times when I wasn't home, my wife would call me because she couldn't get it to work or it kept freezing. I have since moved it upstairs and I am running a ps3 and a apple tv on my main tv.

If you are unwilling to sacrifice picture quality and audio quality, then I say you should just stick with what you have. I am married and we have company over from time to time. It sucks having to fiddle with settings or do updates when everyone wants to see a movie. For me, it makes sense for me to convert movies into itunes since I could play them on my wife's iphone, ipad, and stream them to the apple tv. Yes I am giving up quality but over the years, I do not drool over hd video/sound like I used to.

Oh and btw, I don't know the specs of your MBP but on mines, it takes dvdfab (through parallels) 20 minutes to burn a standard dvd and another hour in handbrake to convert it for the apple tv.

newagemac
Sep 23, 2010, 12:05 PM
Why convert them at all? Just rip them using MakeMKV and then play them on your new Apple TV using Airplay. You can already play MKVs on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad using Air Video or Plex without having to reencode or convert them. So in theory you should be able to use Airplay to send the video to the new Apple TV instead.

The way Air Video and Plex on the iOS devices work is they use your computer to transcode the file "on the fly" while it is playing. The iOS device doesn't have to do any more than it would playing a regular .m4v file. So there is a very good chance you should just be able to Airplay it the Apple TV like any other video file that plays on the iOS device.

Mr Kram
Sep 23, 2010, 12:09 PM
i don't know how airplay is, but the video using air video is not on par with the original. don't get me wrong, air video is an awesome app and i use it frequently, but if you're an audio/videophile, this method is not ideal.

PurdueGuy
Sep 23, 2010, 12:58 PM
i don't know how airplay is, but the video using air video is not on par with the original. don't get me wrong, air video is an awesome app and i use it frequently, but if you're an audio/videophile, this method is not ideal.

AirPlay isn't even out, Air Video is completely different. AirPlay will take the original video (meaning whatever is on your iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad), and simply stream it to the other device. Neither the iPhone nor AppleTV are capable of transcoding on the fly for HD content.

tbayrgs
Sep 23, 2010, 05:12 PM
Why convert them at all? Just rip them using MakeMKV and then play them on your new Apple TV using Airplay. You can already play MKVs on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad using Air Video or Plex without having to reencode or convert them. So in theory you should be able to use Airplay to send the video to the new Apple TV instead.

The way Air Video and Plex on the iOS devices work is they use your computer to transcode the file "on the fly" while it is playing. The iOS device doesn't have to do any more than it would playing a regular .m4v file. So there is a very good chance you should just be able to Airplay it the Apple TV like any other video file that plays on the iOS device.

I'd love to see where everyone is getting their info on AirPlay and its functionality because everything I've read implies you'll be able to stream any music/video/photos present on the device, basically through the iTunes environment. I haven't seen anything that says you'll be able to stream any content from third party apps.

newagemac
Sep 25, 2010, 09:34 PM
I'd love to see where everyone is getting their info on AirPlay and its functionality because everything I've read implies you'll be able to stream any music/video/photos present on the device, basically through the iTunes environment. I haven't seen anything that says you'll be able to stream any content from third party apps.

I'm getting my information from people who are running the iOS 4.2 beta right now. It has been positively confirmed that Airplay works with 3rd party apps. In fact, it really has nothing to do with the app itself, Airplay is just built into the standard iOS video player. You know the little Quicktime player that starts up every time you play a video no matter which app you are running? That's what Airplay is built into. It's just like the onscreen volume slider, the rewind button, or the thing you touch to fill the screen. It's just a standard built in functionality in no way related to the app itself.

So if you can start and play a video on your iOS device, you should be able to Airplay it to your new Apple TV. The developer of the app doesn't have to do anything to "enable" Airplay.

These facts have been reported by all the Apple news sites as well.