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roland.g
Sep 29, 2010, 07:30 PM
For those who have received their new Apple TVs, I wanted to find out if Apple is still incorporating a Floating Screensaver function. In the old Apple TV, you could sync photos to your unit and use all photos or specific albums to float in a screensaver when the unit was idle or whenever you had music playing.

We use this function so much. Whenever we have music playing, we have photos scrolling. Likewise if we pause a streamed movie, the photos come up when it is paused for more than 2 minutes. Even though this version is streaming only, i didn't know if Apple eliminated this feature or if it would simply stream the photos as well, or maybe use some of the onboard 8GB storage to keep selected photos.

Thanks for any feedback.



Arran
Sep 29, 2010, 07:39 PM
Yep, it's still there. And there's a few other animations as well - although I quite like the original floating one.

roland.g
Sep 29, 2010, 07:42 PM
Yep, it's still there. And there's a few other animations as well - although I quite like the original floating one.

Hey thanks.

How do you think it's implemented. Does the Apple TV store the pictures locally or stream them as well as the music? It's not just with stock photos or album art, you can use your own photos? What sort of other animations are now options?

Arran
Sep 29, 2010, 08:32 PM
Hey thanks.

How do you think it's implemented. Does the Apple TV store the pictures locally or stream them as well as the music? It's not just with stock photos or album art, you can use your own photos? What sort of other animations are now options?

Really not sure about the stream vs local store thing. I'm guessing it's streaming them from my mac, but maybe cacheing them on the atv?

Other animations are:

Random
Floating
Reflections (it has a white background I think is a bit jarring, since it washes out the colour on the photos)
Origami (like the iPad screensaver - really neat! I like.)
Snapshots (each photo has white borders - like a print - and every few seconds a new "snap" is tossed on top of the stack. Personally, I think it looks messy)
Ken Burns
Classic


Also of note, you can also stream photos from MobileMe or Flickr and there are two sets of built-in photos: Animals and Flowers.

Bcos17
Sep 29, 2010, 08:43 PM
One thing that seems to be gone is the album art feature. You have two stock choices: animal photos and photos of flowers. Beyond that you can use photos from flicker or mobile me.

steve-p
Sep 30, 2010, 02:36 AM
We use this function so much. Whenever we have music playing, we have photos scrolling. Likewise if we pause a streamed movie, the photos come up when it is paused for more than 2 minutes.
We do the same. What concerns me about the new one is the loss of pixels, definition and sharpness that 720p would bring for pictures on a big screen.

Has anyone dug in the settings yet to see if there is an option for setting the HDMI output to 1080p like the first generation one? Or is it just fixed at 720p? I've looked at the setup guide on the support site, but it doesn't elaborate on the settings menu much.

newagemac
Sep 30, 2010, 02:55 AM
That doesn't really matter much. If your tv is 1080p capable it will do the upconversion itself. Whether the Apple TV does the upconversion or the TV itself does the upconversion, you still have 720p content being upconverted to 1080p and it should look as sharp as the old Apple TV. There is no loss of pixels between the two versions.

steve-p
Sep 30, 2010, 03:08 AM
That doesn't really matter much. If your tv is 1080p capable it will do the upconversion itself. Whether the Apple TV does the upconversion or the TV itself does the upconversion, you still have 720p content being upconverted to 1080p and it should look as sharp as the old Apple TV. There is no loss of pixels between the two versions.

It matters a lot. The pictures are 1920x1080 Aperture previews, and 720p output would mean that Apple TV would have to downscale them and throw away half the pixels, then the TV would upscale them again and the result would be nowhere near as good. I know this to be the case because I ran my first Apple TV at 720p initially before switching it to 1080p, and it was pretty poor for pictures on my 1080p plasma. At 1080p, it's a different story.