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View Full Version : Heads Up UK folks, refurb Apple TV 2 in stock.




smiddlehurst
Feb 9, 2011, 03:24 PM
Thought it worth mentioning that the Apple Store has refurb :apple:TV 2's in for 85 a pop. Frankly for that money it'd be worth buying just as an AirPlay / Music Streaming device (and, in my case, a geek toy to hack about with when I'm bored :D).

http://store.apple.com/uk/product/FC572B/A?mco=MjEwNjA2OTQ



heliocentric
Feb 9, 2011, 04:04 PM
probably the one i took back because it wont output at 50hz :( haha

PilotWoo
Feb 9, 2011, 05:21 PM
Come tomorrow mine will be on there too, for exactly the same reason.

heliocentric
Feb 10, 2011, 03:50 AM
yes, it pretty much useless in the Uk (unless all you do is rent from itunes)

OllyW
Feb 10, 2011, 04:05 AM
I'm sticking with my hacked Apple TV 1 for now. The new one currently doesn't do enough to warrant upgrading.

If Netflix decides to come to the UK or Apple add LOVEFiLM then I might change my mind.

so-marc-said
Feb 10, 2011, 04:59 AM
Why is it pretty much useless in the UK?

I have one, and think it's brilliant.

Sure it's a bit of a pain converting everything to get it into iTunes but I think it's worth it. Everything works together and airplay is brilliant.

If it gets the app store it would be even better, if you were able to get things like iPlayer, 4OD & last.fm

I don't think it deserves all the negativity!

OllyW
Feb 10, 2011, 05:27 AM
I don't think it deserves all the negativity!

I think it's probably because two of the big new features that were announced for the Apple TV 2 are only available in the US (and Netflix in Canada).

Also, pricing it a lot higher in the UK (even allowing for exchange rates and taxes) when you are not getting all it's features doesn't help it's case.

heliocentric
Feb 10, 2011, 06:30 AM
Why is it pretty much useless in the UK?

I have one, and think it's brilliant.

Sure it's a bit of a pain converting everything to get it into iTunes but I think it's worth it. Everything works together and airplay is brilliant.

If it gets the app store it would be even better, if you were able to get things like iPlayer, 4OD & last.fm

I don't think it deserves all the negativity!

i wasnt talking about converting things into itunes...im fine with that.

its useless because it wont play back your pal content at the right hz! it only outputs at 60hz which is the ntsc not the standard 50hz pal output.

so that is why its useless in the uk!

im sure its great in America though :D

As soon as they solve that problem i will buy one again

OllyW
Feb 10, 2011, 06:43 AM
its useless because it wont play back your pal content at the right hz! it only outputs at 60hz which is the ntsc not the standard 50hz pal output.

so that is why its useless in the uk!

im sure its great in America though :D

Wow, I hadn't heard about that! :eek:

That's quite a faux pas from Apple. It works fine on the old Apple TV.

heliocentric
Feb 10, 2011, 08:50 AM
Wow, I hadn't heard about that! :eek:

That's quite a faux pas from Apple. It works fine on the old Apple TV.

yeah the old apple tv outputs at 720p 50hz, theirs an option for it display settings...unlike the new one :(

cb31
Feb 10, 2011, 09:32 AM
Wow, I hadn't heard about that! :eek:

That's quite a faux pas from Apple. It works fine on the old Apple TV.What effect does this have in practice? Most tv's will display 60hz without a problem so I'm guessing you have some native 50hz content that plays a bit too fast?

I'm a bit worried as I just ordered one this morning.

heliocentric
Feb 10, 2011, 09:35 AM
What effect does this have in practice? Most tv's will display 60hz without a problem so I'm guessing you have some native 50hz content that plays a bit too fast?

I'm a bit worried as I just ordered one this morning.

it makes the 50hz / 25fps content 'judder'

OllyW
Feb 10, 2011, 09:35 AM
What effect does this have in practice? Most tv's will display 60hz without a problem so I'm guessing you have some native 50hz content that plays a bit too fast?

I'm a bit worried as I just ordered one this morning.

You might run into problems if you want to watch home videos and Eye TV recordings.

cb31
Feb 10, 2011, 09:51 AM
You might run into problems if you want to watch home videos and Eye TV recordings.oh that's not good, does anyone know if it is a hardware limitation or can it be fixed with an os update?

tallyho
Feb 10, 2011, 10:44 AM
If it gets the app store it would be even better, if you were able to get things like iPlayer, 4OD & last.fm

I don't think it deserves all the negativity!
I have XBMC on mine, and have iPlayer, iTV player and YouTube (a version which can play the 4oD content).

Also re. the 60Hz limitation: something weird has happened. When I first got my ATV1 a couple of years ago, and played back some Handbrake encodes (of PAL DVDs, obviously) it was stuttering appallingly. I went to settings and sure enough it was set to 60Hz, so I switched it to 50Hz and it fixed it.

Now with my ATV2, there's no such menu choice BUT I have not seen the stuttering with my content (which is from PAL DVDs). This is with two different Sony Bravia TVs (not particularly good ones at all). Either my brain has gone mushy and I can't see the problem anymore, or somehow the TV seems to be coping. It's probably the former, but regardless, the fixed 60Hz output has turned out not to be a deal-breaker for me (and I was posting all over the place, sounding off about it, when the ATV2 was released, and long before I got my own).

So, it maybe worth a try. And seriously, get XBMC on it (you'll need to get a recent build, which was linked to from somewhere on here, for iPlayer etc).

PilotWoo
Feb 11, 2011, 06:37 AM
The technical specifications on Apples website state it outputs 50/60Hz. Indeed the first Applecare chap I spoke to said that UK ones would default to 50Hz. When I explained I bought it from Apple retail he seemed to change his mind.

http://www.apple.com/uk/appletv/specs.html

I should imagine it will be fixed in a future update, but as of now 25fps PAL content (DVD Rips, Camcorder output etc) doesn't play without stutter, which is why mine went back - it spends most of its time playing my video library.

It is a great step up though, its much faster with menu transitions and loading the metadata of a large library. I will be buying again as soon as they fix it.

tallyho
Feb 11, 2011, 08:46 AM
I should imagine it will be fixed in a future update, but as of now 25fps PAL content (DVD Rips, Camcorder output etc) doesn't play without stutter

That's what I had feared before buying an ATV2 but I bought one 2 weeks ago and I'm not seeing the stutter!
(As mentioned above, I definitely could produce it by setting my old ATV1 to 60Hz).

No stutter on my PAL DVD encodes, and no stutter from e.g. iPlayer streaming via the XBMC plugin. Presumably the iPlayer content is 25fps?

PilotWoo
Feb 11, 2011, 09:20 AM
That's what I had feared before buying an ATV2 but I bought one 2 weeks ago and I'm not seeing the stutter!
(As mentioned above, I definitely could produce it by setting my old ATV1 to 60Hz).

No stutter on my PAL DVD encodes, and no stutter from e.g. iPlayer streaming via the XBMC plugin. Presumably the iPlayer content is 25fps?

Can you check to see if your ATV is outputting a 50Hz signal? On my Samsung TV there is an "Info" button on the remote that when pressed, shows details of the incoming signal. I'm intrigued by Applecare telling me the UK ones should be 50Hz.

I tried the new AppleTV2 preset on Handbrake which uses variable frame rate (?) from a DVD source but it still stutters.

tallyho
Feb 11, 2011, 11:46 AM
Can you check to see if your ATV is outputting a 50Hz signal?

I'm away for the weekend but will investigate next week. All I know is that I was aware of potential 60Hz issues ahead of buying my ATV2 but have not found any (...yet?)

I've just thought of a possibility for people to try before they buy though - now that we have airplay, could you put a Handbrake encode of a PAL source onto an iPhone and then visit an Apple Store and see if they will demonstrate airplay using your video?

gazpilot
Feb 11, 2011, 12:21 PM
i wasnt talking about converting things into itunes...im fine with that.

its useless because it wont play back your pal content at the right hz! it only outputs at 60hz which is the ntsc not the standard 50hz pal output.

so that is why its useless in the uk!

im sure its great in America though :D

As soon as they solve that problem i will buy one again

Think you may be wrong there, here's mine running at 720p 50hz

http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k297/gazpilot/6afc4d4a.jpg

PilotWoo
Feb 12, 2011, 02:09 AM
Thanks. That confirms that the box can do 50Hz then, and also explains why only some uk customers are seeing the issue.

I'll be going to the Apple store today to get them to find me a 50Hz one :)

PilotWoo
Feb 12, 2011, 09:02 AM
Apple Store didn't have a TV so couldn't test any of their stock. Therefore I came away empty handed and will buy when they release a software fix.

peterjcat
Feb 12, 2011, 09:13 AM
I wonder how the ATV2 works out whether to output 50Hz or 60Hz? There should be no hardware or firmware difference between ATV2s from different regions. Does it just query the TV for its preferred settings? That would lead to problems playing 24/60Hz material in 50Hz regions. Maybe it goes off what iTunes Store you use? It doesn't seem to switch based on the file you're playing because there's no HDMI reset.

Gazpilot, are you able to persuade the ATV2 to output at 60Hz instead by changing any settings? My TV won't tell me whether it's at 50 or 60Hz so I can't test.

PilotWoo
Feb 12, 2011, 10:28 AM
I don't think it uses the Apple Store account as I used my UK one.

I tried a factory reset and connecting to other TV's (LG as well as my Samsung).

gazpilot
Feb 12, 2011, 10:51 AM
I think they must auto sense the TV input, just tried the same Atv on a TV upstairs and the output was 60hz but still the same excellent quality.

peterjcat
Feb 12, 2011, 10:54 AM
Yeah I found another TV that (1) does 50Hz and 60Hz and (2) displays what it's doing, and I can't for the life of me get it to do 50Hz. Tried factory resets, various firmwares, different iTunes accounts etc.

gazpilot
Feb 12, 2011, 11:00 AM
Just tried playing the descent 2 on both tv's. Downstairs 720p 50hz, upstairs 720p 60 hz. No discernible difference in PQ. FYi downstairs a sony upstairs a samsung.

peterjcat
Feb 12, 2011, 01:30 PM
Yeah the problem can be pretty subtle... it's a bit annoying that this is out of our control, though. I thought the other day that my Panasonic might be doing 50Hz as I was getting stutter with 24fps stuff -- my Samsung is definitely doing 60Hz and can't be budged.

I think the ability to choose 50/60Hz only came to the ATV1 in a later firmware so hopefully it'll be added to the ATV2 too (ideally, along with the ability to choose 1080p/24 output if the chip is capable of it).

PilotWoo
Feb 12, 2011, 01:55 PM
I've been doing a lot of reading around this issue, in particular similar issues with other devices.

The conclusion I have come too is that my Samsung LE40R87BD is capable of displaying PAL60. So it looks like the AppleTV is sensing the maximum refresh rate possible by my TV and defaulting to that. Until Apple make the mode selectable like the old AppleTV, then the only option seems to be switching off PAL60 in the TV settings. The only problem with this is you can't! However I have found the hidden service menu which has lots of additional options, and I am going to wade through to see if I can find anything relevant. I will post anything I find.

Thanks everyone for posting their experiences.