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Scarpad
Jan 10, 2007, 07:06 AM
I just got a Promtional Email from Apple on the Apple TV and it says explicitly "transfer" from your Itunes Library. It says nothing about Stream. This Device seems to transfer the content to the HD of the ATV first and then plays it from there, it says it can do this (transfer) from up to five computers. It says nothing about streaming.

I have a G4 Mini connected to my Sammy LCD, it displays natively thru VGA at 1360x768, the images it provides from my xvids and Divx files look quite nice, I have the option of playing with QT or using VLC which actually provides a nicer image. I can play all my Itunes Lossless music and use coverflow to flip thru the disks. I can view all my pictures, I can Browse using Firefox. I can do quite alot.

I like the Idea of ATV, but they don't offer enough for me to switch, now if I owned only a PC or something like a Powermac or Imac it might make sense to buy this Itunes Extender, I think it's these people and Ipod Users that they are targeting.



MacVault
Jan 10, 2007, 07:06 AM
By the way, I don't know why but the name "Apple TV" just seems so '80s to me. Now to my questions: Where's the Google & YouTube integration, and if Apple TV does High Def does that mean iTunes is selling High Def content now?

Evangelion
Jan 10, 2007, 07:11 AM
Your correct, but i'll think i'll stick with my Kiss DP-600
Might not have a fancy interface, but at least i don't need ITunes.

Would have been nice of them to allow you to specify a folder for audio/images/movies, instead of having to have it all in ITunes.

What's the harm in having them in iTunes? What would you gain from having to manually point to a folder containing media, instead of simply having it talk with iTunes? Instead of working on filesystem-level, iTunes abstacts that away.

Evangelion
Jan 10, 2007, 07:13 AM
I just got a Promtional Email from Apple on the Apple TV and it says explicitly "transfer" from your Itunes Library. It says nothing about Stream. This Device seems to transfer the content to the HD of the ATV first and then plays it from there, it says it can do this (transfer) from up to five computers. It says nothing about streaming.a PC or something like a Powermac or Imac it might make sense to buy this Itunes Extender, I think it's these people and Ipod Users that they are targeting.

Go read the specs.

"Apple TV streams as well as it syncs, so you can pair up to five additional computers and let friends and family stream their iTunes libraries to your TV. Apple TV stores up to 50 hours of video, ready to watch when you are. And if iTunes is still syncing what you want to see — or if you don’t want to sync at all — you can watch a stream from your computer right away."

Link (http://www.apple.com/appletv/sync.html)

ftaok
Jan 10, 2007, 07:16 AM
I just got a Promtional Email from Apple on the Apple TV and it says explicitly "transfer" from your Itunes Library. It says nothing about Stream. This Device seems to transfer the content to the HD of the ATV first and then plays it from there, it says it can do this (transfer) from up to five computers. It says nothing about streaming.


The specs actually says that you can sync the AppleTV to one computer's iTunes Library and stream content from up to 5 computers.

Steve demo'd the streaming at the Keynote when Schiller brought his Macbook onstage and entered his PIN. They then watched a clip from 30 Rock via streaming.

Motley
Jan 10, 2007, 07:20 AM
Well, there are few problems with Mac Mini:

- Keyboard and mouse

Good point, but I wonder if it's possible to just use frontrow?

- no HDMI

10ft of dvi-hdmi cable is less than $20 at monoprice.


- More expensive

More capable. Throw down some $ for an eyetv and you have a dvr that integrates with frontrow.


- External power-brick

True.

Still the question of how easy it is to hook up to a standard def tv (if thats what you want). Looks like apple sells a dvi - s-video adapter for 10 bucks.

ftaok
Jan 10, 2007, 07:22 AM
Again: you can play back all content that iTunes can play back. And that content does not have to be downloaded from iTMS. You could rip your DVD's to your computer, import them to iTunes and watch them with AppleTV.

You're right, Steve stated that you could use AppleTV to watch stuff you purchase through iTunes Store AND stuff that you already have. The problem is the formats that iTunes supports. For example, it seems like iTunes doesn't support HD broadcasts that are recorded with EyeTV at the native level (meaning 1080i/720p MPEG-2 streams).

It is what it is. It's a nifty device to use for viewing media that you have on your computer(s). However, it seems to have limitations that may prevent me from buying one.

I really was hoping that it would interface with a computer similar to the way Front Row works. For instance, I can stick a WMV file into my Movies folder and it shows up in Front Row. With aTV, I'd have to convert it first to h264 or MPEG4, import it into iTunes, then watch. A few extra steps that takes time and potentially cuts into the quality.

ft

andiwm2003
Jan 10, 2007, 07:46 AM
Good point, but I wonder if it's possible to just use frontrow?



10ft of dvi-hdmi cable is less than $20 at monoprice.




More capable. Throw down some $ for an eyetv and you have a dvr that integrates with frontrow.




True.

Still the question of how easy it is to hook up to a standard def tv (if thats what you want). Looks like apple sells a dvi - s-video adapter for 10 bucks.


i liked the ATV when i saw it. but then i also realized that it doesn't record. so i would need an eye tv anyway. since the eye tv doesn't stream i need a mini to be placed next to my TV anyway. so why would i need the a ATV when i have already a eye tv and a mini sitting next to my TV?:confused:

and the mini with a bluetooth mouse/keyboard would allow me to browse the internet.

so in my case it seems to be better to shell out $700 for a mini than $300 for a ATV.

mrthieme
Jan 10, 2007, 07:50 AM
This is a good start in the living room market, although a little behind the times when compared to the full blown htpc's already available. I'm sure it will perform it's stated mission very well and will be a joy to use for those who buy it acknowledging it's shortcomings.

The problem for me is I want an Apple hub in my front room, not an Apple peripheral. If the majority of my entertainment came to me online, through itunes, my needs would be served. Sadly, cable tv (or satellite) is still the dominant method of delivery in most homes. Not to mention the ability to throw in a plastic disc at any time. When a friend brings a new dvd over, I can't really say "I need an hour to rip this, convert it, and import it into itunes". I know we all have other boxes already that do all these things, but I think an Apple experience from top to bottom would really put these other devices to shame.

This could be done with additional boxes, shaped like the atv, or with a whole new larger chassis. The new iphone lends itself perfectly to a cutting edge remote control. We could browse our music collection and control playback without turning on the tv.

As usual, I finished watching the keynote excited about the new products, and a little disappointed, but more than anything filled with the same level of anticipation for new gear I had when I started watching. They have a way of keeping us perpetually on the edge of our seats, credit cards in hand.

ftaok
Jan 10, 2007, 08:00 AM
i liked the ATV when i saw it. but then i also realized that it doesn't record. so i would need an eye tv anyway. since the eye tv doesn't stream i need a mini to be placed next to my TV anyway. so why would i need the a ATV when i have already a eye tv and a mini sitting next to my TV?:confused:

and the mini with a bluetooth mouse/keyboard would allow me to browse the internet.

so in my case it seems to be better to shell out $700 for a mini than $300 for a ATV.

My thoughts exactly. And with Miglia's new TVmini HD+ just announced, I think I may be adding a few components to my TV come March.

I'm specifically waiting for the C2Duo Mac minis, then I'll bite.

Incidentally, the issue with the keyboard/mouse is potentially a problem. In my proposed set-up, I'll be sitting 8 feet away from my 46" TV. Surfing and light Mac work (i.e. Quicken, iPhoto touch-ups, iMovie work, etc) on a couch isn't the best work environment for the Apple BT Keyboard and mouse. I mentioned it in another thread, but what Apple (or someone else) needs to make is a BT keyboard/trackpad combo. Basically, take a Macbook keyboard and trackpad and put it in a nice enclosure. Add BT guts and presto.

Or, make a mouse/pointing device like the Wii remote that will move the cursor as you move the remote. Add a few buttons with a mapping program, plus a virtual keyboard that can be used to type in URLs and emails. I'd still need a keyboard for more intensive activities, but using just the remote for couch surfing would be great for my needs.

ft

spydr
Jan 10, 2007, 08:18 AM
Bunch of wimps here— if you want a mini+elgato combination, go get it. It is still available for ~$750; then get your external hard drives and peripherals and power bricks and scatter around your TV and entangle your room. Then brag that you got it all.

Whereas I and few others here will choose to get aTV for $299 and connects with my component input only samsung HDTV I have without needing stupid converters. It is dedicated, instant on, smalller, sleeker, outputs 720p (which is all my TV could handle anyway), has digital audio to my 7.1 hometheater system, and serves as a gateway to ALL my music and movies - all with minimal clutter to the existing set up in the living room.

I do realize that this means all the past movies I ripped as .avi won't play- but I bet before the unit gets to your doorstep a fix is found. Afterall avi files (even wmv, if you got flip4mac) are quicktime playable and therefore should be playable. The question is how to make itunes accommodate these files. But I do think this a worthy product for the intended tast at the right price range. Some of you might join, I believe, quite soon after the unpacking pictures are posted and workarounds are discovered to play wmv and avi files!

Motley
Jan 10, 2007, 08:31 AM
My thoughts exactly. And with Miglia's new TVmini HD+ just announced, I think I may be adding a few components to my TV come March.


Going off topic:
I did a quick search and didn't find anything, what does the TVmini HD+ have over the previous version?

ftaok
Jan 10, 2007, 08:50 AM
Bunch of wimps here— if you want a mini+elgato combination, go get it. It is still available for ~$750; then get your external hard drives and peripherals and power bricks and scatter around your TV and entangle your room. Then brag that you got it all.

Whereas I and few others here will choose to get aTV for $299 and connects with my component input only samsung HDTV I have without needing stupid converters. It is dedicated, instant on, smalller, sleeker, outputs 720p (which is all my TV could handle anyway), has digital audio to my 7.1 hometheater system, and serves as a gateway to ALL my music and movies - all with minimal clutter to the existing set up in the living room.

I do realize that this means all the past movies I ripped as .avi won't play- but I bet before the unit gets to your doorstep a fix is found. Afterall avi files (even wmv, if you got flip4mac) are quicktime playable and therefore should be playable. The question is how to make itunes accommodate these files. But I do think this a worthy product for the intended tast at the right price range. Some of you might join, I believe, quite soon after the unpacking pictures are posted and workarounds are discovered to play wmv and avi files!
WOW! harsh words.

Anyways, there's definately a market for the AppleTV, no doubt. It's just that it's not for me and some others. Aside from price, the one big thing that AppleTV has is the InstantOn feature that consumer electronics all have. Well, at least that's the assumption.


Going off topic:
I did a quick search and didn't find anything, what does the TVmini HD+ have over the previous version?The TVmini HD+ has NTSC/ATSC/QAM whereas the original had ATSC/QAM. For me, this would be fantastic to record all of the HD shows that I watch via QAM and the SD shows via NTSC.

ft

Motley
Jan 10, 2007, 08:59 AM
WOW! harsh words.

The TVmini HD+ has NTSC/ATSC/QAM whereas the original had ATSC/QAM. For me, this would be fantastic to record all of the HD shows that I watch via QAM and the SD shows via NTSC.

ft

Oh that sounds exactly like what I've been looking for.

spydr
Jan 10, 2007, 09:48 AM
WOW! harsh words.
ft

I am sorry - but I couldn't escape the feeling of unfairly high amounts of negativism towards aTV— just because it is not the device they are dreaming of. One can always get more for more money - the need is to get less (or just enough) for less money.

milo
Jan 10, 2007, 10:08 AM
If you can't tell the difference between 1280x720 and 1920x1080, get your eyes checked.

If you don't know the difference between *p* and *i* you need to learn about HDTV.

DirecTV HR10-250 (http://www.shopping.com/xPC-Hughes-Hughes-3-Room-System-1-HR10-250-200-Hour-STD-35-Hour-HDTV-DIRECTV-High-Definition-DVR-w-TiVo-) Tivo does all the above, with a stock 250 GB drive. I bought mine for $200 with a 1-year contract with DirecTV. I don't think DirecTV sells this model anymore, but their HR20 is similar and goes for $299.

And a years worth of contract is going to cost way more than $99. A quick price search showed the HR10-250 for $599 without a contract. The HR20 looks like it's about $299 (and looks like it has horrible reviews). And it seems to require a DirectTV subsciption ($44.95 per month). With the subscription it's way more expensive than the appletv.

Yes, although you can add it after the fact.

MS sells an 802.11g USB adapter for $99. Nothing would stop them from supporting n, if you can't already do it with a generic USB nic.

Yes, with the 802.11g adapter.

The 360 unfortunately doesn't support digital video out via HDMI or DVI (yet). It does however support HD via VGA or component.

So for the 360 you're looking at $299 plus $99 for wireless network plus the cost of a hard drive. Not exactly as cheap as an appletv, is it? And without HDMI support, it doesn't have all the features either.

But my main point is, why can't Apple combine the best of what their aTV is, with the functions of a good DVR? Even if it cost $US800, it'd be a killer piece of hardware.

I don't think the question is "can". If apple did, is there a market for such a box? Especially if it would probably cost $800? How many $800 dvr's are selling these days?

fastdrive
Jan 10, 2007, 10:18 AM
Why don't the ATV or 360 natively support divx? Is it because divx is considered mostly as a pirates format?

milo
Jan 10, 2007, 10:28 AM
For a person who only needs to stream from one computer and listen to their music and watch video on their TV, what benefits does the Apple TV offer over a MacMini?

It's half the price. Do you really expect the cheaper box to do more?

Would have been nice of them to allow you to specify a folder for audio/images/movies, instead of having to have it all in ITunes.

But you can specify which folder iTunes uses, so you can basically do that. I'm not sure what your objection is.

This is a good start in the living room market, although a little behind the times when compared to the full blown htpc's already available.

It's also cheaper and way smaller than those htpc's. How well are those htpc's selling anyway? Do consumers really want "full blown" in their living room?

Why don't the ATV or 360 natively support divx? Is it because divx is considered mostly as a pirates format?

Probably because they're using a codec chip to decode video instead of needing an expensive CPU to do it. It's the same thing as the iPod, custom chips are way cheaper, especially if you don't worry about supporting every format under the sun.

saurus
Jan 10, 2007, 10:30 AM
I am sorry - but I couldn't escape the feeling of unfairly high amounts of negativism towards aTV— just because it is not the device they are dreaming of. One can always get more for more money - the need is to get less (or just enough) for less money.

I am an Apple fan, but I have to agree with this poster. Apple has missed this one. For $299, they should have included at least the following abilities:

1) Ability to play surround sound. If you look at the Tech Specs, it cannot do any surround sound. Why even have optical port?

2) Ability to play VIDEO_TS. Converting DVDs to H.264 (and losing surround sound info) is not really feasible for most people since it takes a while to convert.

3) Still need a DVD player on the component rack. Why not have a slot loading DVD player in it so I can get rid of the DVD player and replace it with this box.

4) Need to play other video formats such as DiVX, MPEG2. Need to be able to play upto 1080p. All those people that went and bought 1080P TVs are going to disappointed.

5) I am not too disappointed about the HD size since I can still use my computer as the main storage area and use the 40GB as just temporary cache. This HD basically allows us to watch 720p movies using just 802.11g by syncing first instead of streaming.

I'm also tired of people who immediate rant off without really paying attention to any of the facts too. It's annoying how everyone rips on this aTV box. No product was meant for everyone - it's a minimalists dream box. Most people don't have nor want their PC/Mac anywhere near the living room! Most people don't want to leave their computers turned on 24/7 either!

Lets break down some of the myths that seem to have flooded this thread - from the list above.

1) I have no doubt the aTV CAN do surround information. The Airport Express has done it for years. If you have surround sound files in iTunes, it plays them just fine. iTunes sends digital information AS IS. The aTV will just PASS this information THROUGH to your receiver/amp as it should, it processed NOTHING!

2) Many of us have been using Handbrake for many months, transferring our DVD's to H264. The option is yours.

3) If you don't want to take the trouble to rip your DVD's, and you're too cheap to buy the content on iTunes, then yes you'll still need your DVD player!

Personally, since I own a Sony Bravia TV with 1080P capability, and I also own a OPPO 981HD upconverting DVD player that uses a Faroudja processor, and I own hundreds of DVD's - I don't intend on replacing my DVD player anytime soon. The fact that this machine can output a progressive signal is all I care about, and I'm happy I can slowly transfer my DVD's to my HDD - yes I would have appreciated a 1080p signal, but if the input information is 99% DVD quality or below in resolution, then it really is a moot point!

4) The ability to play formats unlisted is currently unknown, but since the firmware is upgradeable (remember the 'useless' USB connector), I don't see any reason why this couldn't be 'fixed' for all of you that don't use Apples standard formats. If you're so dead set on using DIVX et al. go and buy Buffalo's latest player. But since most DIVX content people insist on playing is of lousy quality anyway, I don't see the benefit. If you're ripping it yourself, then you've only yourself to blame.

5) If you pay attention to some of the screen shots released of iTunes 7.1 you'll see that the aTV is much more akin to a screen less iPod, and not a minimalistic Mac mini. It's syncing/streaming in real time because you never disconnect it. So the difference between one and the other should be irrelevant.

The new Airport base station has the functionality to be a NAS drive (minus the drive). This looks to fit all the pieces of the puzzle in my book.

Remember, it's not a computer, its a player. Unlike all other PC/Mac based solutions, this one won't need updates monthly (or virus patches for Windows Media players). It's not aimed at single person homes who're tech heads, its aimed at family's and the generation that doesn't want to deal with tinkering with crap - it's plug and go.

The one and only downer that I saw was that the Ethernet is maxed out at 100BaseT. And yes my house is fully wired for gigabit with the hope that this would be gigabit capable, and because wireless basically sucks at video (which is exactly the reason this machine has a HDD!).

iDave
Jan 10, 2007, 10:41 AM
Good post, saurus.

ftaok
Jan 10, 2007, 10:52 AM
I'm also tired of people who immediate rant off without really paying attention to any of the facts too. It's annoying how everyone rips on this aTV box. No product was meant for everyone - it's a minimalists dream box. Most people don't have nor want their PC/Mac anywhere near the living room! Most people don't want to leave their computers turned on 24/7 either!
snip....
All very true. I don't think that most people are ripping on the aTV, it's just that it doesn't fullfill some people's need.

For me in particular, I want to use a Mac to record HDTV. The product that I'll be buying uses EyeTV software. Right now, it looks like the aTV won't be able to sync (or stream) the content recorded with EyeTV without having to re-encode the MPEG-2 1080i/720p files to h264 or MPEG4 and inputting into iTunes.

Apple must have their reasons, but to me, the most disappointing thing about the aTV is that it's tied to iTunes. I would have preferred it to attach to folders in the same way that Front Row does.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned, but the answer is probably no, is whether the aTV will accept 3rd party plug-ins. It would be nice to be able to tie in EyeTV to aTV. Wouldn't really matter unless aTV was updated to play MPEG2 streams.

All in all, to me, the aTV is between good and great (with insane as the top rating) device. For $300, you get HDTV compatibility, 40GB HD, 802.11n, optical audio, and insane design. If I had (2) TVs, maybe the main one gets the mini and the 100" Home Theater gets the aTV.

ft

EDIT - I do have time before I buy my Mac mini, so maybe I'll wait to see the aTV in the wild to see what other people can do with hacks and work-arounds.

spydr
Jan 10, 2007, 11:06 AM
My order ships Feb28 and arrives March6th.

Anyone getting sooner?

janstett
Jan 10, 2007, 11:07 AM
I thought the standard specification for NTSC was 24fps, and PAL is 30 (or vice versa). Could be wrong though...

Nope...

Film (movies) are 24 fps.

NTSC is 60 fields (interlaced scan lines, 2 fields = 1 frame) at roughly 720x480.

PAL is 50 fields (interlaced scan lines) at slightly higer resolution.

I believe these values were chosen to coincide with the power frequencies in the US/Europe.

That leads to an interesting discussion about transferring movies for display on TV. In NTSC they do a 3:2 pulldown (1st half frame 1 - 2nd half frame 1 - 1st half frame 1 again, 1st half frame 2, 2nd half frame 2) to get to 60 fields, the drawback being slight judder as half the frames are on screen slightly longer than the other half. In Pal, they just speed up 24 fps to 25 fps which makes 50 fields, the drawback is that the movie is played back too fast -- leading to a higher audio pitch and shorter runtimes.

Thankfully I believe Europe is adopting ATSC for HD so hopefully at least that difference will be buried.

janstett
Jan 10, 2007, 12:08 PM
For a person who only needs to stream from one computer and listen to their music and watch video on their TV, what benefits does the Apple TV offer over a MacMini?

Aside from HD, I didn't see anything in the menu system that you can't do with Front Row via a Mac Mini.

A Mac Mini is at least a fully fledged second computer with a bigger hard drive and a DVD player! I was hoping that the Apple TV would at least have a DVD player as I've resisted getting one because I watch all my DVDs on my MacBook Pro anyway.

It's a dilemma. Average people don't want a computer on their TV. The "Media Adapter" market exists to free up this kind of content to your television set.

Embedded devices will ALWAYS do less than a computer can do. I've worked on these kinds of devices and in the end I use an old laptop running Media Center. Why? My Media Adapter would play AVIs in HD, but wouldn't pass DD, and then wouldn't work with some newer AVIs. The things we download are always evolving into new formats, new containers, new versions of both. A computer can adapt, an embedded device can't.

I tried again with an XBox 360 in Media Center Extender mode, and the drawback there is it will only play WMVs. Arrrgh! Back to the Media Center PC.

I'm a geek. I have way too many computers in my house. The average person isn't going to have a computer on every TV set. They have iTunes music, they have digital pictures, there has to be a way to get these into the living room. That's what they're trying to address.

I ordered an Apple TV for my lab at work, but won't be buying one for home, at least for now.

outlyer
Jan 10, 2007, 12:14 PM
Honestly, as interested as I am in this, if Apple opts not to support XVID/DIVX, it'll be a huge mistake. Not supporting these popular formats would be akin to shipping an iPod without MP3 support.

Even now, MP3 is regarded as a "pirate" format, yet Apple was well aware that acceptance of the player by consumers required MP3 support. Similarly, consumers - even non-technical ones - are likely to have at least some media in this format and are going to be hard-pressed to understand why the files won't play.

Not allowing local storage is another decision that I don't quite understand. If you're like some people, your primary computers are all notebooks, and requiring people to choose between an always-on PC or a tiny 40GB hard drive is not ideal.

Last, a home theatre is not the same as a portable; you're using - at best - a pair of $100 headphones with your iPod, so AAC is viable, but home theatres cost at least $1000 if not more, and so lossless audio needs to be a viable option. With 40GB, that's unfeasible.

If the Mini shipped with a nicer FrontRow interface, it'd be much more viable for most people.

janstett
Jan 10, 2007, 12:21 PM
If you don't know the difference between *p* and *i* you need to learn about HDTV.

I know full well. I hope you know the displays themselves are not interlaced the physical display itself is still progressive. That's why they bother with all the Faroujda type deinterlacing hardware. 1080i is interlaced only in the signal to fit in the bandwith allocated by the ATSC standard. The display deinterlaces it. Do you really think anybody sells an actual interlaced display in 2007?

And FWIW I can easily tell the difference between 1080i/p and 720.

So for the 360 you're looking at $299 plus $99 for wireless network plus the cost of a hard drive. Not exactly as cheap as an appletv, is it? And without HDMI support, it doesn't have all the features either.

I wasn't extolling the virtues of the XBox 360 -- just answering questions.

But while we're on the subject:
- For anything other than audio, don't bother with wireless. Go wired. Wives use microwaves even with 802.11n.
- The lack of HDMI support is disappointing. But 1920x1080 VGA (progressive, by the way) is good enough for me until they support HDMI.
- The 360 does a lot of other things for that extra $100 over the Apple TV. UPnP (Windows Media Connect), HD movie downloads today, HD-DVD playback available with a $199 add-on (don't you wish there was a $200 HD or BluRay add on for AppleTV?), and something else, what was it... Oh yeah, it plays some pretty good games.

milo
Jan 10, 2007, 12:22 PM
Where is the average "non-technical" user going to be getting divx content?

Heck, where is *your* divx content from?

iDave
Jan 10, 2007, 12:28 PM
:) I was thinking the same thing. Heck, I don't even know what divx is and I've been a computer (Mac) user for 18 years.

milo
Jan 10, 2007, 12:33 PM
For anything other than audio, don't bother with wireless. Go wired. Wives use microwaves even with 802.11n.

Wired is a deal breaker. Computer is in the basement, TV is upstairs, so wireless is the only option acceptable to me. And the microwave won't bother me (not that we ever use it while watching TV), since the hard drive will buffer the video instead of true streaming.


- The 360 does a lot of other things for that extra $100 over the Apple TV. UPnP (Windows Media Connect), HD movie downloads today, HD-DVD playback available with a $199 add-on (don't you wish there was a $200 HD or BluRay add on for AppleTV?), and something else, what was it... Oh yeah, it plays some pretty good games.

You mean that extra $100 plus the cost of a hard drive. And no, I'm not interested in those extra things. And no, I don't wish there was a HD disc add-on for either format, I don't want to go near either of those for a long time (if ever).

janstett
Jan 10, 2007, 12:40 PM
The 360 "premium" version comes with a 20 gb hard drive and wireless controllers for $399, so there is no extra cost for a HD.

smadd
Jan 10, 2007, 12:41 PM
I really have apreciated the feedback folks gave me on my perceptions of the aTV at this point. I read up on it some more, and I think that it will be a neat gadget to have IF (and a big "if") the streaming is stable and efficient. I imagine that if you're hard-wired in your living room, you can take advantage of the NIC built in (although I too wonder why they didn't go to gigabit on it) which would speed things up a bit if your computer is also hard-wired to your network. But, how fast will draft n wireless video content streaming be? Will delivery be fast enough to ensure smoothness & high quality or will you have to store it on the aTV 40GB drive to really get the best performance? I trust that just like everything else Mac, there are really great people (and sometimes brave) who will figure out some work-arounds to give the aTV any additional juice it needs (bigger hard drive, software work-arounds, etc.).

Again, thanks so much for the feedback. I am new to MacRumors postings, I didn't know people got so defensive and pissed at others' perspectives. You must chill.

AliensAreFuzzy
Jan 10, 2007, 12:53 PM
If this can play my h.264 encodings from Handbrake like iTunes can, I'm going to get one, but if it only supports what the iPod supports, no thank you.

spydr
Jan 10, 2007, 01:06 PM
If this can play my h.264 encodings from Handbrake like iTunes can, I'm going to get one, but if it only supports what the iPod supports, no thank you.

Of course, this will playback Handbrake's h264 files encoded from DVD in full quality. DVD's maximum resolution is 480p. This unit will do 720p.

milo
Jan 10, 2007, 01:10 PM
The 360 "premium" version comes with a 20 gb hard drive and wireless controllers for $399, so there is no extra cost for a HD.

I was responding to comments that the 360 was the same price as the appletv. With a hard drive it's $100 more, and with that plus wifi it's $200 more.

milo
Jan 10, 2007, 01:14 PM
But, how fast will draft n wireless video content streaming be? Will delivery be fast enough to ensure smoothness & high quality or will you have to store it on the aTV 40GB drive to really get the best performance?

It's not an either-or situation. If the network can't quite keep up, you can have it sync the movie but start watching the movie while it's still syncing.

And one thing I haven't seen people mention is that since it syncs via iTunes, it can use smart playlists. Meaning that it can sync automatically based on recent downloads, last watched times, playcounts, ratings, or any combination of those and the other criteria you choose to set up.

mdntcallr
Jan 10, 2007, 01:17 PM
they list the USB 2.0 port as for service and diagnostics.

I sure hope we are going to be able to attach an external hard drive to expand data space on there.

passedpast
Jan 10, 2007, 01:33 PM
I spent an hour reading the posts here and decided to cancel my atv order. I naively hoped that it would stream a dvd being played from my mac's drive. I also hoped it would be a wireless router and it could replace my airport express. I've used up all my HDTV's HDMI and RBG ports and I was hoping the atv would allow me to unplug my upscale dvd player and use that HDMI for the atv. Oh well. Since I have an open DVI input, I guess I could wait for a 2CD Mini or even get a new Vista machine???
Very informative posts here, thanks.

spydr
Jan 10, 2007, 01:41 PM
I was responding to comments that the 360 was the same price as the appletv. With a hard drive it's $100 more, and with that plus wifi it's $200 more.

why is even 360 compared here? well if you have windows machines to act as server, yes maybe, but if you are sharing content from macs, is 360 relevant at all?

bommai
Jan 10, 2007, 01:59 PM
i liked the ATV when i saw it. but then i also realized that it doesn't record. so i would need an eye tv anyway. since the eye tv doesn't stream i need a mini to be placed next to my TV anyway. so why would i need the a ATV when i have already a eye tv and a mini sitting next to my TV?:confused:

and the mini with a bluetooth mouse/keyboard would allow me to browse the internet.

so in my case it seems to be better to shell out $700 for a mini than $300 for a ATV.

Precisely. I am in the same boat. I already have a eyeTV hybrid hooked up to my PowerMac G4 (upgrade with a USB2.0 PCI card). It functions well except I can only watch TV on the monitor. I also have a JVC HDTV 61" with HDMI. I already connected my PowerMac G4 to it using a DVI to HDMI cable and it looks wonderful. But leaving that setup like that is not ideal since the PowerMac is huge. So, I am going to take the PowerMac to my office room and buy a Mac Mini. Connect the Mac Mini to the TV using DVI to HDMI cable and setup VNC so I can connect into Mac Mini using my PowerMac. I can perform maintenance on it using that. I may not even need a keyboard/mouse hooked up permanently to the Mac Mini. I can hook up the eyeTV Hybrid to the Mac Mini and possibly an external firewire HD and I am set with a HD-DVR that also plays DVDs and photos/music. I can use my Harmony Remote with the Mac Mini instead of the Apple remote and have even more functionality. So, for me Apple TV has no use!

I am just waiting for Apple to upgrade the Mini before I buy it. I hope that it comes soon.

milo
Jan 10, 2007, 02:18 PM
why is even 360 compared here? well if you have windows machines to act as server, yes maybe, but if you are sharing content from macs, is 360 relevant at all?

I guess some people think it's a comparable unit. The appletv is cross platform, so it does compete with the 360 for PC users.

Diatribe
Jan 10, 2007, 02:30 PM
The average person isn't going to have a computer on every TV set. They have iTunes music, they have digital pictures, there has to be a way to get these into the living room. That's what they're trying to address.



Exactly. I for one don't want to have to buy a Mac mini for every room I want to listen to music in. The ?tv comes in real handy there. Set up one master server and then only ?tvs.

The big benefit here is that if you have a lot of media on your server ALL ?tvs can stream that. If you had a Mac mini you'd need an external HD for each one. This would cost quite a lot.

Motley
Jan 10, 2007, 02:48 PM
The big benefit here is that if you have a lot of media on your server ALL ?tvs can stream that. If you had a Mac mini you'd need an external HD for each one. This would cost quite a lot.

I wondered about using the new Airport that can have a hard drive hooked to it as a network drive to store and pull content from.

I've read of people with a physical network storing their dvd collections on one server and then using dvd assist and an alias folder that points to the network drive from a mini to access and play the ripped dvds through frontrow.

So for your example above all the minis would not need external drives. You'd still need a mini for each tv though.

outlyer
Jan 10, 2007, 02:49 PM
Where is the average "non-technical" user going to be getting divx content?

Heck, where is *your* divx content from?

People are acquiring content from a lot of places, not the least of which is divx.com which publishes indie movies and other videos. Of course, there are a vast number of people who use Bittorrent and the like.

More importantly, DIVX and XVID are popular formats; major companies like Sony and Panasonic ship cheap DVD players which can play the format. Their endorsement of the format should suggest a demand.

Here are some hardware players:
http://www.divx.com/products/hw/browse.php?c=1

digital cameras:
http://www.divx.com/products/hw/browse.php?c=9

miscellaneous systems:
http://www.divx.com/products/hw/browse.php?c=16

I think MP4/h.264 is definitely the future, particularly for streaming and downloadable video, but we're not there yet, and locking out the most popular formats isn't really ideal to bring this product beyond the Apple loyal.

The last company that tried to force format conversion onto consumers was Sony with their ATRAC players and the result was pretty disastrous for them.

ftaok
Jan 10, 2007, 03:03 PM
Exactly. I for one don't want to have to buy a Mac mini for every room I want to listen to music in. The ?tv comes in real handy there. Set up one master server and then only ?tvs.

The big benefit here is that if you have a lot of media on your server ALL ?tvs can stream that. If you had a Mac mini you'd need an external HD for each one. This would cost quite a lot.

There's no reason that you can't have a mixture of both. A Mac mini HTPC that's set-up to record HD shows. This would be on the TV that gets the most action.

Then for the basement HT set-up, an Apple TV would work nicely by syncing to the Mac mini upstairs.

ft

EDIT - oh yeah, if you just want music, then an Airport Express would work in those rooms, provide you had speakers.

Scarpad
Jan 10, 2007, 03:10 PM
Does anyone know if Apple Charges you upfront when you preorder, if so I have to shift some funds around...


Thanks

brbubba
Jan 10, 2007, 03:10 PM
I spent an hour reading the posts here and decided to cancel my atv order. I naively hoped that it would stream a dvd being played from my mac's drive. I also hoped it would be a wireless router and it could replace my airport express. I've used up all my HDTV's HDMI and RBG ports and I was hoping the atv would allow me to unplug my upscale dvd player and use that HDMI for the atv. Oh well. Since I have an open DVI input, I guess I could wait for a 2CD Mini or even get a new Vista machine???
Very informative posts here, thanks.

Use Handbrake to encode all your DVDs to h.264 and you will never have to pick up another DVD again. Although depending on the size of your collection, that could be very space prohibitive as each encode at 1500kbps takes anywhere from 800MB to 1.4GB for me.

ftaok
Jan 10, 2007, 03:19 PM
Use Handbrake to encode all your DVDs to h.264 and you will never have to pick up another DVD again. Although depending on the size of your collection, that could be very space prohibitive as each encode at 1500kbps takes anywhere from 800MB to 1.4GB for me.

Using Handbrake is great for lots of things, however, there are a lot of things you give up in doing so.

1. Special features - not everyone's cup of tea, but I do sometimes watch the deleted scenes and other featurettes.

2. Subtitles - many times, we turn on the subtitles because other people are noisy or there's construction going on or the kid is asleep. Also, losing subtitles for foreign films is not acceptable.

3. Chapters - Handbrake does not have chapter marking as a feature and it's unlikely to ever happen since the main developer got a real job ;)

4. Time - ripping a DVD to a VIDEO_TS folder takes 30 minutes or so. Ripping to a MPEG-4 or h264 file takes much much longer.

5. Quality - no matter how you slice it, a VIDEO_TS folder will play in higher quality than a Handbrake MPEG4/h264 file. Most DVDs are anamorphic nowadays and Handbrake/Quicktime doesn't handle anamorphic, so many widescreen movies get chopped down to 720x360 with Handbrake.

6. Rippability - with the development rate of Handbrake slowing down drastically, many of the newer DVDs (Sony and Disney) won't rip with Handbrake. Mac the Ripper even has problems with these newer titles. And it's only going to get worse, so fewer and fewer titles will be rippable, or you may have to rip with MTR first which adds more time.

I love Handbrake, but it could still use much work. I guess not enough people donated to the project.

ft

illegalprelude
Jan 10, 2007, 03:24 PM
Using Handbrake is great for lots of things, however, there are a lot of things you give up in doing so.

1. Special features - not everyone's cup of tea, but I do sometimes watch the deleted scenes and other featurettes.

2. Subtitles - many times, we turn on the subtitles because other people are noisy or there's construction going on or the kid is asleep. Also, losing subtitles for foreign films is not acceptable.

3. Chapters - Handbrake does not have chapter marking as a feature and it's unlikely to ever happen since the main developer got a real job ;)

4. Time - ripping a DVD to a VIDEO_TS folder takes 30 minutes or so. Ripping to a MPEG-4 or h264 file takes much much longer.

5. Quality - no matter how you slice it, a VIDEO_TS folder will play in higher quality than a Handbrake MPEG4/h264 file. Most DVDs are anamorphic nowadays and Handbrake/Quicktime doesn't handle anamorphic, so many widescreen movies get chopped down to 720x360 with Handbrake.

6. Rippability - with the development rate of Handbrake slowing down drastically, many of the newer DVDs (Sony and Disney) won't rip with Handbrake. Mac the Ripper even has problems with these newer titles. And it's only going to get worse, so fewer and fewer titles will be rippable, or you may have to rip with MTR first which adds more time.

I love Handbrake, but it could still use much work. I guess not enough people donated to the project.

ft


really? I did not know about any problems with Handbrake and new titles but I dont rip too much and most I buy now are Blu-ray so Handbrake cant rip them anyways

Scarpad
Jan 10, 2007, 03:31 PM
Using Handbrake is great for lots of things, however, there are a lot of things you give up in doing so.

1. Special features - not everyone's cup of tea, but I do sometimes watch the deleted scenes and other featurettes.

2. Subtitles - many times, we turn on the subtitles because other people are noisy or there's construction going on or the kid is asleep. Also, losing subtitles for foreign films is not acceptable.

3. Chapters - Handbrake does not have chapter marking as a feature and it's unlikely to ever happen since the main developer got a real job ;)

4. Time - ripping a DVD to a VIDEO_TS folder takes 30 minutes or so. Ripping to a MPEG-4 or h264 file takes much much longer.

5. Quality - no matter how you slice it, a VIDEO_TS folder will play in higher quality than a Handbrake MPEG4/h264 file. Most DVDs are anamorphic nowadays and Handbrake/Quicktime doesn't handle anamorphic, so many widescreen movies get chopped down to 720x360 with Handbrake.

6. Rippability - with the development rate of Handbrake slowing down drastically, many of the newer DVDs (Sony and Disney) won't rip with Handbrake. Mac the Ripper even has problems with these newer titles. And it's only going to get worse, so fewer and fewer titles will be rippable, or you may have to rip with MTR first which adds more time.

I love Handbrake, but it could still use much work. I guess not enough people donated to the project.

ft

My understanding is visualhub is the best option for H264 for the Mac right now

jhande
Jan 10, 2007, 04:06 PM
FWIW I was initially disappointed about the @tv. I also wanted a dvr in the mix. And access to TV/Movies in iTunes (c'mon Apple, let the rest of the world in).

Then I got to think about it: What do I actually do today?

I have an external harddrive with all my media (excluding music, which is on my laptop). My 'current' media is on my MB.

When I'm at home, and we want to watch a movie from the MB, I hook up cables and insert the power supply.

It works really well, apart from one tiny snag: I can't work on the laptop at the same time.

The @tv solves this problem with one stroke. The MB can stream, while I happily work on other things (in case I don't want to watch the movie).

Against my initial thoughts I'm actually beginning to like this :)

-::ubermann::-
Jan 10, 2007, 04:30 PM
The human ability to perceive the differences in frame rates are minimal. Super high fame rates/refresh rates in games and video cards are just to fool consumers into buying new gear. They blew past the threshhold years ago. I used to have a friend that spent a fortune on Audio gear that equalized sound well above and below human hearing. If you can't hear it or see it than you were fooled into spendin g money. Granted, NTSC and PAL are pitiful signals. The quality of DVD's and Digital Cable have more than made up for that limitation, though.
I do see huge difference playing quake at 24 fps to 60 fps, you should try

robertnq
Jan 10, 2007, 05:11 PM
Dude I think I'm the only one that thought about putting a DVD drive on the damn thing...i dont need the box, but if it had a DVD player in it...I would buy it...:confused:

Diatribe
Jan 10, 2007, 05:38 PM
I wondered about using the new Airport that can have a hard drive hooked to it as a network drive to store and pull content from.

I've read of people with a physical network storing their dvd collections on one server and then using dvd assist and an alias folder that points to the network drive from a mini to access and play the ripped dvds through frontrow.

So for your example above all the minis would not need external drives. You'd still need a mini for each tv though.

Yeah, that would work too I guess. The thing is I wouldn't want to buy a $599 Mac mini for each room just to not have to use DVDs. Since HD discs won't be rippable for some time and I want to watch HD content it is not that big of a deal still having an extra DVD player. Especially since Apple doesn't let you make there computers region code free.

And if you don't care that much about quality or space, you can always rip your DVDs with Handbrake and put them into iTunes.

I am beginning to think it is an awesome way to access your podcasts, music, and bought TV shows.

Sooner or later Apple WILL start offering HD res movies, either through iTMS or their physical stores to sync with your iPod or sth.
By then I'll stop buying movies on discs and then will get rid of my DVD player.

The main reason is to have easy access to your iTunes media, which I think is great.

balamw
Jan 10, 2007, 05:42 PM
I am beginning to think it is an awesome way to access your podcasts, music, and bought TV shows.
There's a mention of friends and family being able to push content onto your aTV, which sounds really neat. Sort of one-on-one podcasting/photocasting/....
Apple TV streams as well as it syncs, so you can pair up to five additional computers and let friends and family stream their iTunes libraries to your TV.
B

Diatribe
Jan 10, 2007, 05:47 PM
There's no reason that you can't have a mixture of both. A Mac mini HTPC that's set-up to record HD shows. This would be on the TV that gets the most action.

Then for the basement HT set-up, an Apple TV would work nicely by syncing to the Mac mini upstairs.

ft

EDIT - oh yeah, if you just want music, then an Airport Express would work in those rooms, provide you had speakers.

The only problem with Airport Express is that it is push streaming not pull streaming. You cannot actually select your media from that room but only from the streaming device, which kind of defeats the purpose.

For $199 people would be all over it and not complaining as much I think. The price is justified from a technical pov from a usability pov it isn't yet as it still doesn't make that much sense to buy your movies in the iTMS looking at the quality or how some series aren't widescreen etc.

But if the quality and selection changes and/or Apple brings out a movie rental system where the media gets invalidated after some days and people actually get most of their content from the iTMS this thing will make a whole lot of sense.

Apple could even get movie studios make iTunes able to rip the movie to iTunes and only iTunes for streaming. There are a lot of possibilties for Apple that will open up over time.

In two or three years we will be all over this thing (not that I am not thinking about getting one now :rolleyes: )

Diatribe
Jan 10, 2007, 05:51 PM
There's a mention of friends and family being able to push content onto your aTV, which sounds really neat. Sort of one-on-one podcasting/photocasting/....

B

Yeah, it is nice that people can bring their notebooks with them and stream their content to your box, not that bringing a DVD isn't easier :rolleyes:
but yes you'll have the entire family's collection at your disposal without having to look/ask for the physical media.

spydr
Jan 10, 2007, 05:56 PM
Does anyone know if Apple Charges you upfront when you preorder, if so I have to shift some funds around...
Thanks
Apple typically does not charge your credit card till the product is poised to ship very soon. In this case of aTV, it probably won't charge your card till the last week of Feb. (would be my guess)

milo
Jan 10, 2007, 06:05 PM
Yeah, it is nice that people can bring their notebooks with them and stream their content to your box, not that bringing a DVD isn't easier :rolleyes:
but yes you'll have the entire family's collection at your disposal without having to look/ask for the physical media.

A DVD is easier than a laptop. But a laptop is easier than a stack of a hundred dvd's (plus thousands of songs, plus thousands of photos).

I wonder if Apple will enable streaming to the appletv from the iPhone?

mark88
Jan 10, 2007, 06:09 PM
Where is the average "non-technical" user going to be getting divx content?

Heck, where is *your* divx content from?

A lot of adult sites offer content in DivX, Xvid format. Even non techies watch porn.

In fact, I'd say most of the porn movies offered to members by adult sites can't be played via AppleTV.

stonemonkey
Jan 10, 2007, 06:11 PM
It's a neat idea, but to be honest if it can't use the hard drive to record from TV and can't play my current DVD collection, I'm not going to buy it. It doesn't replace the devices I have in my lounge room, it just adds to it, and as I don't download movies from Apple or anywhere else, I don't see the point.

My 2 cents.

mark88
Jan 10, 2007, 06:14 PM
4) The ability to play formats unlisted is currently unknown, but since the firmware is upgradeable (remember the 'useless' USB connector), I don't see any reason why this couldn't be 'fixed' for all of you that don't use Apples standard formats. If you're so dead set on using DIVX et al. go and buy Buffalo's latest player. But since most DIVX content people insist on playing is of lousy quality anyway, I don't see the benefit. If you're ripping it yourself, then you've only yourself to blame.

There's an interview on ARS technica where an Apple Reps it CANNOT play DivX, it can only play what iTunes and the iPod can play.

Just one of the reason why I think Apple TV is a flawed product.

mark88
Jan 10, 2007, 06:18 PM
I don't get where Apple TV and Front Row fit together. It's like Apple failed to get into the living room with the mini and now they're trying to do it with Apple TV by making something similar and simpler but with half the features.

I love Apple, but it drives me insane when they release products with obvious flaws. The new airport has no Gig-E despite every new mac having it. And Apple TV assumes everyone buys content from iTunes and has no other formats of video on their Macs. Totally obvious flaws, I really don't get it.

iDave
Jan 10, 2007, 06:18 PM
It's a neat idea, but to be honest if it can't use the hard drive to record from TV and can't play my current DVD collection, I'm not going to buy it. It doesn't replace the devices I have in my lounge room, it just adds to it, and as I don't download movies from Apple or anywhere else, I don't see the point.
You're right, the aTV is probably not for you. It's for those people who do buy TV shows and movies from iTunes and or those who want to view their photo slide shows on their big TV and or play their music on their home theater sound system. Apple has designed it as a device for a pretty specific purpose. It's not for everyone.

balamw
Jan 10, 2007, 06:20 PM
Yeah, it is nice that people can bring their notebooks with them and stream their content to your box, not that bringing a DVD isn't easier :rolleyes:
but yes you'll have the entire family's collection at your disposal without having to look/ask for the physical media.

I don't think that's the point, but I guess we'll see. The pairing bit and extension to friends and family makes it sound like this might not be limited to your subnet.

B

milo
Jan 10, 2007, 06:23 PM
There's an interview on ARS technica where an Apple Reps it CANNOT play DivX, it can only play what iTunes and the iPod can play.

So is there a box similar to the appletv that plays tons of codecs? Doing a quick google search, looks like xbox only does windows media (although it looks like kludges may enable other formats).

0010101
Jan 10, 2007, 06:32 PM
My dad bought a digital camera 10 years ago that had composite out, so you could show everybody in the room the pictures the camera had on the card.

It was kind of neat the first Christmas gathering for everyone to sit around and look at the pictures he took.. but that was the first and last year we did that.

Who is really interested enough in seeing their pics on their TV to pay $299 for it?

If I want to watch a movie, i'll get it from Netflix or Blockbuster online.. or drive to my local McDonalds 'redbox' and get one for a dollar a night.

Or if I really want the movie, i'll go to WalMart and buy the DVD for anywhere from $4.50 to $19.99, and grab a box of microwave popcorn and some drinks while i'm there.. maybe even a frozen pizza.

I probably wouldn't want to download some monster file for $12.99 that takes hours to download.

At least if I have the hardcopy of the DVD and I decide it sucks, i've got something to sell on eBay, or trade in at the local pawn shop for credit twards another movie.

If the Apple TV had some super duper DVD player, or Blue Ray drive in it, i'd actually consider buying one.. for gods sake, why not at least add video recording capability to it?

cb31
Jan 10, 2007, 06:35 PM
So is there a box similar to the appletv that plays tons of codecs? Doing a quick google search, looks like xbox only does windows media (although it looks like kludges may enable other formats).Xbox 1 runnng XBMC, stunningly good. Very cheap, full of features and very polished.

killmoms
Jan 10, 2007, 06:36 PM
I do see huge difference playing quake at 24 fps to 60 fps, you should try

This is a flawed comparison, explaining why in this thread would take too long and be quite off-topic, but PM me and I'll be happy to explain.

JT London
Jan 10, 2007, 06:52 PM
no shows/movies available on iTunes in the UK so what's the excitement??

Why should I convert my already-ripped DVDs into another format in order to import into iTunes? (and yes, they are copies of my own DVDs)

Until Apple TV can access movies on my hard drive outside of iTunes then this will be a pointless purchase for anyone in the UK

...unless of course I've missed something obvious????? :confused:

nsjoker
Jan 10, 2007, 07:44 PM
Why would anybody buy this? Granted, we all said the same thing in 2001 about the iPod but this seems rather outlandish.

So for $299.. I can buy an AppleTV or an Xbox 360 that pretty much does the same thing albeit in a clunkier box. Beats me why anyone would buy it, but I guess Apple is banking on their pretty white square to win over the hearts of the less technically inclined -_-

I'll wait several more months for the X360 v2 I think :cool:

illegalprelude
Jan 10, 2007, 07:52 PM
Why would anybody buy this? Granted, we all said the same thing in 2001 about the iPod but this seems rather outlandish.

So for $299.. I can buy an AppleTV or an Xbox 360 that pretty much does the same thing albeit in a clunkier box. Beats me why anyone would buy it, but I guess Apple is banking on their pretty white square to win over the hearts of the less technically inclined -_-

I'll wait several more months for the X360 v2 I think :cool:

is this a serious post cause it might be missing ":rolleyes:" << that.

Anyways, As long as I can find a way of putting other content in terms of video, other then the iTunes downloaded stuff, it will be perfect cause then I can stop using my laptop thats conected to my TV or the PS3 to stream or display photo's and or music. but 1080p trailers will still stay on the PS3 :cool:

Mike Teezie
Jan 10, 2007, 07:59 PM
I'm getting one for sure.

For me and my business, being able to stream iPhoto slideshows to my 46" LCD for clients is worth the price alone.

Not to mention, I do buy stuff from the iTunes store, and this sure beats the current method of seeing the content on my TV - download at computer, put on iPod, plug iPod into AV cables to the TV.

Now, hopefully, iTunes content will go 720p.

Motley
Jan 10, 2007, 08:38 PM
Now, hopefully, iTunes content will go 720p.

I can't help but wonder if the purpose of that enigmatic "intel processor" that's inside is used for running some complex upconversion routine on content so apple doesn't have to go 720p.

Either that or a testing the waters, future-proof feature thats there in case one day apple wants to release 720 content.

beaster
Jan 10, 2007, 08:46 PM
And a years worth of contract is going to cost way more than $99. A quick price search showed the HR10-250 for $599 without a contract. The HR20 looks like it's about $299 (and looks like it has horrible reviews). And it seems to require a DirectTV subsciption ($44.95 per month). With the subscription it's way more expensive than the appletv.


That's not apples to apples - if you're going to lump in the cost of the content (serivce contract), then you have to do so with the aTV too. How much will movies from iTunes cost over the course of a year? My point is - most of us already pay a content provider - cable company, satellite company, Netflix - a monthly fee. If you just bought an aTV, you'd still have to pay for content (assuming you wanted to do it legally) at the iTMS to get something approaching the equivalent of a cable or satellite TV subscription.

-Sean

beaster
Jan 10, 2007, 09:10 PM
I know full well. I hope you know the displays themselves are not interlaced the physical display itself is still progressive. That's why they bother with all the Faroujda type deinterlacing hardware. 1080i is interlaced only in the signal to fit in the bandwith allocated by the ATSC standard. The display deinterlaces it. Do you really think anybody sells an actual interlaced display in 2007?

And FWIW I can easily tell the difference between 1080i/p and 720.


A progressive display deintelaces the interlaced signal, correct. But deinterlacing is still essentially creating something out of nothing - there's no extra information in an interlaced signal that the deinterlacing process magically decodes or unlocks. It's just the processors best guess at what would look good to the human eye. Some do a better job than others (Faroujda is ok, but it's getting dated), and when it's done well it can look good.

If you're comparing a native 1080i source signal on a 1080p display (say, a new LCD) vs. on a 1080i display (older CRT-based HDTV), the image on the 1080p display may well look better if the deinterlacing is done well, and you might well see the difference. But comparing a native 1080i signal on a native 1080i display against a native 720p signal on a 720p display - 99% of the public would be very hard pressed to see a difference unless the material itself was biased towards one format or the other (e.g. sports vs. talking heads).

-Sean

Diatribe
Jan 10, 2007, 09:52 PM
A DVD is easier than a laptop. But a laptop is easier than a stack of a hundred dvd's (plus thousands of songs, plus thousands of photos).

I wonder if Apple will enable streaming to the appletv from the iPhone?

Considering that it only has g as the fastest wireless, probably not. But once that goes in there I don't see why not. Although battery life would probably suck. But I guess bringing the charger wouldn't be that much of a hassle.

But what I am really curious about is the next iPod. With wireless and those HD capacities this would actually make a lot of sense to stream to an ?tv. That would be quite awesome.

Diatribe
Jan 10, 2007, 09:54 PM
I don't think that's the point, but I guess we'll see. The pairing bit and extension to friends and family makes it sound like this might not be limited to your subnet.

B

As I just wrote in my previous post, the iPod would make for one hell of a streaming device for this. Put in wireless and at those HD capacities this would be pretty awesome. That would beat lugging around DVDs by a long shot.

moseral
Jan 10, 2007, 09:59 PM
Since I still have a normal TV and don;t want to switch to high-definition for awhile, am I out of luck in using AppleTV, or is there a converter from component video to normal video? Am I the last one to still have a normal TV?

PaisanoMan
Jan 11, 2007, 02:04 AM
Hmm, I'm not sure why people keep bringing up 802.11g -- when I look at the tech specs page, it clearly says it uses the (draft) 802.11n standard.

Either way, I don't think it's meaningful to compare this to a mac mini, when it's half the cost. This may not seem like a compelling product *today*, but I think this is essentially their beachhead into the living room, where they'll continue to put product R&D (and marketing!) money in the future.

On top of that, I would imagine that 720p content on the iTunes store is coming -- and if this includes movies, it could be a very compelling alternative to HD-DVD or BluRay for a lot of people. The cost of these players alone is enough to make me wait it out for another year or two.

You have to consider that HD isn't even remotely ubiquitous yet. If Apple can grow the movie store to deliver HD content, I think it could be a formidable competitor to today's struggling HD formats as more and more people buy HDTVs without satisfactory ways to get HD content.

brbubba
Jan 11, 2007, 07:55 AM
Hmm, I'm not sure why people keep bringing up 802.11g -- when I look at the tech specs page, it clearly says it uses the (draft) 802.11n standard.

802.11g because that is what most people will be using. Since the n standard isn't finalized it most likely won't inter operate with non-apple products. In addition I would never pay $179 for the new airport extreme, the POS doesn't even have gigabit ethernet!

milo
Jan 11, 2007, 08:21 AM
Xbox 1 runnng XBMC, stunningly good. Very cheap, full of features and very polished.

Maybe so. But that's an option for those who are pretty technically savvy, not the mainstream. And does it do HDTV? What is the max output resolution?

That's not apples to apples - if you're going to lump in the cost of the content (serivce contract), then you have to do so with the aTV too. How much will movies from iTunes cost over the course of a year? My point is - most of us already pay a content provider - cable company, satellite company, Netflix - a monthly fee. If you just bought an aTV, you'd still have to pay for content (assuming you wanted to do it legally) at the iTMS to get something approaching the equivalent of a cable or satellite TV subscription.

That's not the case. It's not lumping in the cost of the content, it's that without a service contract, you can't use the TIVO *at all*. There's no way to just buy it and provide your own content (such as just recording off the airwaves), right? You can use an appletv without buying a single thing from itms, I'm watching a ton of video via iPod right now (ripped dvd's) and have never bought a single video from iTunes. And I don't have cable and don't want it (or the equivalent of it). Another option is something like the elgato stuff to record TV, which still is cheaper than a subscription. Even if I bought content from iTunes, I could get a LOT of material for the $45 per month a tivo contract would cost.

And don't forget, many people interested in this stuff probably aren't doing it legally, they're going to be way more interested in a box they can just buy instead of paying monthly fees.

janstett
Jan 11, 2007, 10:09 AM
Sure, 1080p may be the distant future. In the meantime, people are just getting into HDTV and the vast majority of HDTVs sold are 720p. I think we're getting ahead of ourselves here. Sounds like the AppleTV isn't for you, but it'll be more than adequate and useful for others.

1080p is happening now -- PS3 has 1080p support and new TVs with 1080p support are on the market.

The future of HDTV is 2160p
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/09/ces2007_westinghouse_quad_hdtv_com/

and then the "distant" future 4k x 4k, like the red lense cameras being adopted in filmmaking.

beaster
Jan 11, 2007, 10:17 AM
That's not the case. It's not lumping in the cost of the content, it's that without a service contract, you can't use the TIVO *at all*. There's no way to just buy it and provide your own content (such as just recording off the airwaves), right?


No, you can watch OTA on it without a sub.


You can use an appletv without buying a single thing from itms, I'm watching a ton of video via iPod right now (ripped dvd's) and have never bought a single video from iTunes.


I said LEGALLY, which excludes ripped DVD's. How much other legal movie content is out there that you can get on your Mac and pump to an aTV without buying it from iTMS? So far looks like the answer is a big fat zero, especially if you're talking HD content, which is what this whole sub-thread was predicated on.


And I don't have cable and don't want it (or the equivalent of it). Another option is something like the elgato stuff to record TV, which still is cheaper than a subscription. Even if I bought content from iTunes, I could get a LOT of material for the $45 per month a tivo contract would cost.


Fine, but that's my point. At least factor in the content costs if you're going to make an apples to apples comparison. It may still come out in favor of the aTV, but you at least need to do it to be fair. How much does an iTMS HD movie cost? $10, $15? Your $45 doesn't go that far. I'm playing devil's advocate here - I'm not anti-aTV, I just think the comparisons in this thread have been a bit skewed.



And don't forget, many people interested in this stuff probably aren't doing it legally, they're going to be way more interested in a box they can just buy instead of paying monthly fees.


Well, if you want to play the "what can I do illegally" game, then you'll lose big time. You don't think you can steal DirecTV or cable service?

-Sean

iDave
Jan 11, 2007, 10:34 AM
1080p is happening now -- PS3 has 1080p support and new TVs with 1080p support are on the market.

The future of HDTV is 2160p
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/09/ces2007_westinghouse_quad_hdtv_com/

and then the "distant" future 4k x 4k, like the red lense cameras being adopted in filmmaking.
Like I said, we're getting ahead of ourselves here. It has taken 20 years or more for 720p HDTV to finally take hold. Anything better is in the future. (While there are a few 1080p TVs on the market, the percentage is small.) You're right that the AppleTV is not cutting edge but it doesn't matter to most people. Lots of people are actually complaining that it won't work with their NTSC sets. :eek:

janstett
Jan 11, 2007, 10:42 AM
why is even 360 compared here? well if you have windows machines to act as server, yes maybe, but if you are sharing content from macs, is 360 relevant at all?

Connect360

http://www.nullriver.com/index/products/connect360

Even without that, it's a product that is largely competitive with the aTV.

war
Jan 11, 2007, 10:44 AM
Is there going to be an upgrade airport card for the imac core duo so it has 802.11n?

milo
Jan 11, 2007, 11:04 AM
No, you can watch OTA on it without a sub.

I didn't know that, can you point me to a source clearing that up?

I said LEGALLY, which excludes ripped DVD's.

While it may technically be illegal, I don't know anyone who takes that joke of a law seriously. Has anyone ever been busted for ripping a DVD that they own?

So far looks like the answer is a big fat zero, especially if you're talking HD content, which is what this whole sub-thread was predicated on.

So is there a competing system that sells downloadable HD movies? Is there another system similar to this that has a way of legally playing movies without having to buy them from an online download store? You're complaining about appletv, but it seems like the competing boxes fall under the same complants.

Well, if you want to play the "what can I do illegally" game, then you'll lose big time. You don't think you can steal DirecTV or cable service?

Hey, I'm not condoning it, just saying it happens (particularly ripping from DVD, which most people probably don't even consider illegal). And that appletv is probably a more appealing solution to people who get content from bittorrent or whatever.

ftaok
Jan 11, 2007, 11:13 AM
While it may technically be illegal, I don't know anyone who takes that joke of a law seriously. Has anyone ever been busted for ripping a DVD that they own?I'm certainly no lawyer, but the way these types of laws work is that they aren't really enforceable. I seem to remember a similar thing back when the VCR was first coming out. Eventually, if people violate the DMCA (DCMA???) the copywright owners will start suing people. It only takes one person to stand up and keep appealing all the way to the Supreme Court. At that point, the SC will decide whether the DMCA is constitutional or not.

However, the copywright owners are not that dumb. They won't sue people outright. They'll threaten and threaten with their legions of lawyers and get people to settle out of court. That way, the DMCA can't be challenged.

Or maybe not, since I'm no lawyer.



So is there a competing system that sells downloadable HD movies? Is there another system similar to this that has a way of legally playing movies without having to buy them from an online download store? You're complaining about appletv, but it seems like the competing boxes fall under the same complants.Not to bring the XBox back into this discussion, but the XBox does have a downloadable HD movies and TV shows available for "money". Not sure if it's for purchase, rental, or both. Plus, with the HD-DVD add-on, you can buy/rent HD-DVDs to watch.

Wender
Jan 11, 2007, 05:50 PM
I really was hoping that it would interface with a computer similar to the way Front Row works. For instance, I can stick a WMV file into my Movies folder and it shows up in Front Row. With aTV, I'd have to convert it first to h264 or MPEG4, import it into iTunes, then watch. A few extra steps that takes time and potentially cuts into the quality.

ft

I guess we'll have to wait and see, maybe it will do just that. I think it will eventually, although the video specs listed are very strict. It does run an Intel processor, I bet it uses QuickTime for playback, and there must be a way to add codecs just like we do to get Front Row to play everything.

Quote from arstechnica: "Whether or not [Apple TV] becomes as ubiquitous as the iPod is another matter, and that may come down to just what AppleTV supports. While many users will be enthralled to use AppleTV to stream iTunes Store purchases, many of us are looking for that killer device that can also handle Xvid and DivX, which Apple TV cannot do straight out of the box and may not be able to do with hacks, either. Time will tell."

A lot of negativity in this thread. I'm surprised. Take a look at the original 1st iPod thread. Makes you think - what were we THINKING?

:-)

beaster
Jan 12, 2007, 12:35 AM
I didn't know that, can you point me to a source clearing that up?

Plenty of references on Tivocommunity.com. Or you can trust me that my Tivo still works OTA when I unplug it from the dish, and I haven't had it plugged into a phone jack in about 6 months.


While it may technically be illegal, I don't know anyone who takes that joke of a law seriously. Has anyone ever been busted for ripping a DVD that they own?

I'm just trying to keep the comparisons fair.


So is there a competing system that sells downloadable HD movies? Is there another system similar to this that has a way of legally playing movies without having to buy them from an online download store? You're complaining about appletv, but it seems like the competing boxes fall under the same complants.

I can order PPV HD movies and record them on my HDTivo. Most HD cable DVRs allow the same. And correction: I'm not complaining about aTV at all, I think I made that clear.


Hey, I'm not condoning it, just saying it happens (particularly ripping from DVD, which most people probably don't even consider illegal). And that appletv is probably a more appealing solution to people who get content from bittorrent or whatever.

Agreed. I'd buy an aTV if 1) it did at least 720p/60, 2) I could actually buy real 720p/60 content from iTMS, 3) it output Dolby Digital and DTS, 4) it would play DVD's I rip to my hard drive and 5) could pass Blu-ray content, assuming I had a Blu-ray drive in the sweet new Mac I also don't own yet.

-Sean

Macadacious
Jan 12, 2007, 12:51 AM
Here's how I envision this shaking out, with some minor tweaking along the way. Just like Jobs said for the Apple iPhone ("Making phone calls is the killer app"), but in this case - TV is the killer app for the Apple TV. Music and Photos are simply elegantly designed extras that add to the digital lifestyle and personalize the experience.

The simple part for now...Apple wants you to buy a new Mac with 802.11N built in and with lots of storage (and/or you can add your own external storage for even more capacity). This computer may reside somewhere in your house other than your living room/family room/bedroom, etc. where your TV(s) are currently located. You then buy an Apple TV (also with 802.11N built in) to stream the movies and TV shows that you purchase from iTunes.

The cool part later...is going to be when the video (movies and TV) that's streamed to the Apple TV is true VoD AND live TV coming straight from the ITMS using WiMAX! How's 200+ plus channels of entertainment sound for your viewing pleasure? Oh, but you want TiVo like functionality, no problem, don't forget that OSX Leopard already has PVR/DVR functionality buried deep into its code base (I've seen the screen shots for it before on this forum). Something I'm sure that Apple could incorporate with Front Row via the Apple TV. Under this model, Apple will compete with Telco IPTV, Cable, and Satellite, which is one reason I think they chose Apple TV as the name for this product. Apple will either find a way to use their Apple Stores as WiMAX distribution hubs (already strategically located within wealthy demographic regions across the US to access a portion of their target markets) to circumvent the phone companies IPTV DSL based offerings and cable companies to deliver TV and VoIP over the last mile (or over the last 6 miles or so to be exact according to the standard for fixed WiMAX) OR partner with the phone companies to leverage their existing/developing WiMAX footprints across the US to reach broader markets.

The Cingular/AT&T agreement could be stretched to include the WiMAX offering in the future or they may just use a wireless provider's network (AT&T, Sprint, Clearwire, etc.) to become their own MVNO (Mobile Network Virtual Operator) to provide a seamless experience to the customer. This may also be the reason Apple went with Intel. Intel plans on building WiFi and WiMAX into their portable chipsets, so theoretically, Apple could utilize these chipsets in their Apple TVs or ask for this technology to be embedded into their desktop chips as well.

SO...you end up with a complete Apple solution for your all your home or mobile entertainment/communication needs. Apple computers located somewhere in your home for storage and/or a stackable storage solution that sits on top of the Apple TV (using the USB connector already on the box), an Apple TV connected to all the TVs in your home (possibly leased or rented by Apple as part of a service agreement to lower the cost of acquisition to the end user - just like your cable, satellite and IPTV set top box is provided today), an Internet connection provided via Apple using WiMAX for the last mile or Mobile WiMAX for access while on the road (connected to your laptop or iPhone), possibly a large screen Apple 40+ inch HD LCD down the road (we've all heard these rumors for some time now), and the next rendition of the iPod HiFi connected to your Apple TV for your virtual surround sound/home theater audio experience so you can enjoy the show or listen to your music in high fidelity. Oh, and don't forget the regular iPod as well. I have to admit. This would be a pretty slick implementation if they can pull it all together.

How exciting indeed! Apple TV? Sign me up. I'll take 3! One for each HDTV in my home. Potentially another example of Apple making something that we didn't know we wanted or needed until they made it for us. Man...I'd love to be a part of this!

Evangelion
Jan 12, 2007, 03:07 AM
If this can play my h.264 encodings from Handbrake like iTunes can, I'm going to get one, but if it only supports what the iPod supports, no thank you.

Repeat after me: If it plays back in iTunes, it plays back in AppleTV.

SeaFox
Jan 12, 2007, 03:43 AM
Repeat after me: If it plays back in iTunes, it plays back in AppleTV.
Well, it's possible to expand the abilities of Quicktime and iTunes with plugins. I can play ogg vorbis files on my iTunes because I've added Quicktime components. The iTV will not give the user the ability to access the operating system files like a Mac. Heck, does the iTV even run the full blown Mac OSX?

So in my case, I can play files in iTunes that cannot be played on an iTV - kinda blowing your blanket statement.

blurtigo
Jan 12, 2007, 04:36 AM
AppleTV seems like a halfway step to me, it should be more of a stand-alone device.

If it had direct access to the iTunes Store, integrated YouTube/GoogleVideo, or even just Safari built-in, it would have served more of a point.

As it stands it just doesn't seem that elegant a solution.

Evangelion
Jan 12, 2007, 04:54 AM
Well, it's possible to expand the abilities of Quicktime and iTunes with plugins. I can play ogg vorbis files on my iTunes because I've added Quicktime components. The iTV will not give the user the ability to access the operating system files like a Mac. Heck, does the iTV even run the full blown Mac OSX?

So in my case, I can play files in iTunes that cannot be played on an iTV - kinda blowing your blanket statement.

If those files are visible in iTunes and you can play them back in iTunes, then you can play them back in AppleTV. It really is that simple as that.

So you have bunch of .ogg-files in iTunes, and you play them back in iTunes? Then they will play back in AppleTV. What makes you think that you couldn't play them back in AppleTV? You just said that "I have files that will play back in iTunes but not in AppleTV", without actually telling why that is the case.

blurtigo
Jan 12, 2007, 05:02 AM
If those files are visible in iTunes and you can play them back in iTunes, then you can play them back in AppleTV. It really is that simple as that.

So you have bunch of .ogg-files in iTunes, and you play them back in iTunes? Then they will play back in AppleTV. What makes you think that you couldn't play them back in AppleTV? You just said that "I have files that will play back in iTunes but not in AppleTV", without actually telling why that is the case.

If you streamed them probably yes, but if you are using the sync-approach and copying your media to the AppleTV I doubt very much they'd play. Anything requiring plug-ins will probably be a no-go.

Evangelion
Jan 12, 2007, 05:24 AM
If you streamed them probably yes, but if you are using the sync-approach and copying your media to the AppleTV I doubt very much they'd play. Anything requiring plug-ins will probably be a no-go.

But since streaming would work, I fail to see the problem here.

blurtigo
Jan 12, 2007, 05:42 AM
But since streaming would work, I fail to see the problem here.

Just depends how you intend to use it.

I don't keep my Mac on permanently as a media-server, so I'd prefer to copy them to the AppleTV for convenience. Obviously if I had a lot of files that required plug-ins like the other poster, I'd be stuffed though.

It's just a bit of a messy solution for an Apple product, it's something that doesn't seem to know really what it wants to be.

mrthieme
Jan 12, 2007, 05:45 AM
[QUOTE=blurtigo;3242778]AppleTV seems like a halfway step to me, it should be more of a stand-alone device.

I agree, reading this thread it seems alot of people are getting angry when anyone points out the areas where atv falls short. It has a very specific purpose, and it most likely will fulfill that purpose very well, but I feel it's the answer to the wrong problem. Hopefully this is phase one of a larger plan for media consumption. Most of us who want access to our itunes content in other areas of our home have already got it there. What we lack, or at least myself, is the centralized interface that Apple could so easily provide. If Front Row had a fifth menu, cable or satellite tv, and the Mini had cable card support with better connection options, we would be much closer. It seems that atv is simply turning a tv into a large ipod. I am someone who has had multi component audio and home theater rigs, and I have also tried to explain how to navigate them to friends and family, with a wide range of results. The last thing most of us need is another box, with more cables, another remote, and yet another interface to learn and remember. To me, Apple's greatest strength is the ability to take good hardware and make it better using sensible gui's and common sense. Also condensing multiple boxes into one (think imac or iphone) is something they do better than anyone else I know of. In short, I'm not saying the atv is a bad product, I simply feel a more full featured box would solve the bigger problem that exists in the living room, and I think it would sell. Sorry for the long post.
PS if one want's to do this Microsoft style you already can http://enviveit.com/t-products.aspx
Think how this would be Apple style!

iflipper
Jan 12, 2007, 06:11 AM
Seconded, for me it was a sad day, the end of Apple Computer and nothing concerning the Mac at all.

In a couple of years time OS X will be open on all Windows boxes and I expect to be running Linux. What a shame.

I was expecting to hear something about upgrades to MacBooks/MacBook Pros. I've been holding off upgrading my ibook until I heard something :(

the apple TV seems to have little advantage over my mac mini other than the HDMI output.

iDave
Jan 12, 2007, 08:06 AM
the apple TV seems to have little advantage over my mac mini other than the HDMI output.
Half the price. Gets your iTunes/iPhoto material onto your TV screen.

mrthieme
Jan 12, 2007, 09:12 AM
Half the price. Gets your iTunes/iPhoto material onto your TV screen.

The point is, I think, that it is also half as capable. Obviously what is going on here is that many of us (myself included) have been trying to implement the mini as a home entertainment device, with less than great results, so we immediately compare the two when comparison is not really fair. Frustration about our lack of good options, compared to what is available on the Windows platform, is making people hold this device up to a standard higher than it was intended to meet.

iflipper
Jan 12, 2007, 09:47 AM
Half the price. Gets your iTunes/iPhoto material onto your TV screen.

But I have a mac mini already that I can do that with, only via a DVI to HDMI link which isn't widescreen. My mini also acts as a DVR via eyetv.

iflipper
Jan 12, 2007, 09:49 AM
The point is, I think, that it is also half as capable. Obviously what is going on here is that many of us (myself included) have been trying to implement the mini as a home entertainment device, with less than great results, so we immediately compare the two when comparison is not really fair. Frustration about our lack of good options, compared to what is available on the Windows platform, is making people hold this device up to a standard higher than it was intended to meet.

This is unfortunately true.

gregorsamsa
Jan 12, 2007, 10:14 AM
SO...you end up with a complete Apple solution for your all your home or mobile entertainment/communication needs. Apple computers located somewhere in your home for storage and/or a stackable storage solution that sits on top of the Apple TV (using the USB connector already on the box), an Apple TV connected to all the TVs in your home (possibly leased or rented by Apple as part of a service agreement to lower the cost of acquisition to the end user - just like your cable, satellite and IPTV set top box is provided today), an Internet connection provided via Apple using WiMAX for the last mile or Mobile WiMAX for access while on the road (connected to your laptop or iPhone), possibly a large screen Apple 40+ inch HD LCD down the road (we've all heard these rumors for some time now), and the next rendition of the iPod HiFi connected to your Apple TV for your virtual surround sound/home theater audio experience so you can enjoy the show or listen to your music in high fidelity. Oh, and don't forget the regular iPod as well. I have to admit. This would be a pretty slick implementation if they can pull it all together.

How exciting indeed! Apple TV? Sign me up. I'll take 3! One for each HDTV in my home. Potentially another example of Apple making something that we didn't know we wanted or needed until they made it for us. Man...I'd love to be a part of this!

That's all very well, but what about the role gaming plays as a part of most peoples home entertainment? I think that Apple TV, in its current state, won't get anywhere near to matching either the PS3 or Xbox 360 for all round home entertainment.

IMO, this is disappointing from Apple. It seems they've learned nothing from the relatively good things that competitors like MS excel in...but only because the market for gaming is massive.

Wender
Jan 12, 2007, 10:25 AM
I really wonder how it will handle my home-made iMovie projects. Front Row plays them from my "movies" folder. It would be really strange if Apple sold a device that didn't play them on the TV. And I would hate having to convert them to a specific format solely for ATV.

That being said, Front Row plays anything in my "Movies" folder because I have added codecs for anything to QuickTime. Let's hope this is doable on the ATV one way or the other!

Roger Simmons
Jan 12, 2007, 11:14 AM
First off, apple TV looks awesome. I have two minis (G4 and Intel) and I'm looking for an iTunes video box for the living room and to build a dedicated server. The low price option (and best) is to buy the apple TV and make the G4 the server. All of the other options require more configuration or more money.

I didn't see it mentioned before, but does anyone think that Apple will sell an external DVD (or HD-DVD or Blue-Ray) option for apple TV using the USB port in the back? I would buy the DVD option in a heartbeat!

milo
Jan 12, 2007, 11:50 AM
If those files are visible in iTunes and you can play them back in iTunes, then you can play them back in AppleTV. It really is that simple as that.

So you have bunch of .ogg-files in iTunes, and you play them back in iTunes? Then they will play back in AppleTV. What makes you think that you couldn't play them back in AppleTV? You just said that "I have files that will play back in iTunes but not in AppleTV", without actually telling why that is the case.

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

Video
Video formats supported: H.264 and protected H.264 (from iTunes Store): 640 by 480, 30 fps, LC version of Baseline Profile; 320 by 240, 30 fps, Baseline profile up to Level 1.3; 1280 by 720, 24 fps, Progressive Main Profile. MPEG-4: 640 by 480, 30 fps, Simple Profile
Audio
Audio formats supported: AAC (16 to 320 Kbps); protected AAC (from iTunes Store); MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps); MP3 VBR; Apple Lossless; AIFF; WAV

That would seem to clear it up, eh? No ogg, no other formats enabled in iTunes by plugins. The list of formats is determined by appletv, not iTunes. What would make you think it plays any iTunes format?

The point is, I think, that it is also half as capable.

Isn't that to be expected, more or less, at half the price? If you want the features of a mini, and are willing to pay the cost of a mini, then get a mini. There are many of us for whom a mini is overkill and would rather get a smaller cheaper unit that leaves out things we don't need.

I really wonder how it will handle my home-made iMovie projects. Front Row plays them from my "movies" folder. It would be really strange if Apple sold a device that didn't play them on the TV. And I would hate having to convert them to a specific format solely for ATV.

What movie format does iMovie save final projects to?

Triplenickle
Jan 12, 2007, 11:56 AM
Why would I want/need an Apple TV when I already have a 80GB mac mini with front row hooked up to my HT now?

What feature(s) am I missing if any? I dont see anything obvious.

Diatribe
Jan 12, 2007, 12:06 PM
Why would I want/need an Apple TV when I already have a 80GB mac mini with front row hooked up to my HT now?

What feature(s) am I missing if any? I dont see anything obvious.


If you want a DVR get an EyeTV, hook it up to your media server, create an automatic export script/automator action to iTunes and watch it on your Apple tv.

If you want a DVD player, rip the disc with Handbrake to your media center, import to iTunes and watch it on your Apple tv.

So you can do almost all the things you can currently do on your Mac mini.

But the benefit is that you only need one media server (DVR, DVD, music, photos, etc.) for all your TVs.

So the little bit more work you spend on getting your content into iTunes is offset by the time you save for not having to synchronize 2-3 Mac minis in every room you have a TV.

Triplenickle
Jan 12, 2007, 12:11 PM
If you want a DVR get an EyeTV, hook it up to your media server, create an automatic export script/automator action to iTunes and watch it on your Apple tv.

If you want a DVD player, rip the disc with Handbrake to your media center, import to iTunes and watch it on your Apple tv.

So you can do almost all the things you can currently do on your Mac mini.

But the benefit is that you only need one media server (DVR, DVD, music, photos, etc.) for all your TVs.

So the little bit more work you spend on getting your content into iTunes is offset by the time you save for not having to synchronize 2-3 Mac minis in every room you have a TV.

Thanks but only need one mac mini with my basement HT, thus no plans to have apple TVs or mac mini for every TV in my house.

balamw
Jan 12, 2007, 12:12 PM
So the little bit more work you spend on getting your content into iTunes is offset by the time you save for not having to synchronize 2-3 Mac minis in every room you have a TV.
:confused: Why sync? I stream iTunes content from my Dell to my iMac all the time. Including video.

B

bankshot
Jan 12, 2007, 01:38 PM
The point is, I think, that it is also half as capable.
Isn't that to be expected, more or less, at half the price? If you want the features of a mini, and are willing to pay the cost of a mini, then get a mini. There are many of us for whom a mini is overkill and would rather get a smaller cheaper unit that leaves out things we don't need.

Well, I'd argue that it's much less than half as capable. The mini is a full-blown computer and can do anything a computer can, TV-related or not. At half the price, I would almost expect the Apple TV to at least do everything the mini can do with respect to TV. That's still a tiny, tiny fraction of what the mini can do, and the Apple TV doesn't even do that.

Mind you, I'm not really complaining. I didn't really expect much from a first release. But it is frustrating to me that while the mini is definitely overkill, the next step down is "underkill" - not capable enough.

But actually, I find that to be the case in the home theater market for many products I'm interested in. (warning, long rant coming up... :D) All I want to do is connect 5 or 6 devices to my home theater, with a media server and my cable DVR as the centerpieces. I don't want ridiculous audiophile quality for 5+ figures $$$$$, and I don't even want HDTV yet, as the prices are still too high for my frugal wallet. I just want good sounding surround with picture as good as my decent standard def TV will display. And I want it all easily controlled by one remote from any room in the house.

I'm 90% of the way there, but the remaining 10% could easily multiply the price by 4-5 times. Very frustrating. For example, I absolutely love my universal remote (http://www.amazon.com/One-All-Learning-Upgradeable-Universal/dp/B000069K8O). It controls all of my devices, it can be updated with new device codes over the phone by calling the company (you hold the remote up to the phone will they play a modem-like signal for it -- how cool is that?), it learns new remotes that aren't in its database by pointing the other remote at it, it has an RF extender so it can be used from any room in the house, it has macros to carry out multiple functions at once, buttons can be reassigned, and it's PC programmable. I got it for a great price, too. The only problem? I've run out of learning/button/macro memory and I want to add a couple of commands. The next remote up with more memory and all the above features costs over 5 times as much. :eek: Total overkill. It probably would have cost the manufacturer another dollar or two to double the memory (we're talking low kilobytes here).

Same with home theater receivers. I've been looking for a way to hook up my Airport Express digitally, but also have an analog out to go to other rooms with analog equipment. My receiver only passes digital in to digital out, and analog in to analog out. It does no internal conversion from digital to analog. I looked at receivers up to 5 times the price and all of them are the same. Since it HAS to convert to analog in order to output to speakers, surely adding another conversion to analog line-out can't be that hard? :confused:

Back to Apple/Mac, since prostuff1 pointed me to DVDAssist (http://macupdate.com/info.php/id/22782) earlier in this thread (thanks again!) I've been seriously looking at doing a home theater server with all of my DVDs ripped to hard disk and accessible in Front Row via DVDAssist. I can't help but feel that a Mac mini is still overkill for this since it would be essentially sitting idle and unused when not watching. Apple TV is much closer to the price I'd like to spend, but it's simply not capable enough yet. Frustrating, but I guess you can't have everything you want in life. :rolleyes:

Diatribe
Jan 12, 2007, 01:58 PM
Thanks but only need one mac mini with my basement HT, thus no plans to have apple TVs or mac mini for every TV in my house.

In that case one of the major advantages doesn't apply to you and it is probably not for you.

Diatribe
Jan 12, 2007, 02:00 PM
:confused: Why sync? I stream iTunes content from my Dell to my iMac all the time. Including video.

B

Well, if you stream from iTunes you're using your mac for the same thing as the Apple tv is for which is a lot cheaper than any mac.

I was talking about media that you actually would have on every Mac. For streaming iTunes Apple tv is great.

mrthieme
Jan 12, 2007, 02:05 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrthieme
The point is, I think, that it is also half as capable.


Isn't that to be expected, more or less, at half the price? If you want the features of a mini, and are willing to pay the cost of a mini, then get a mini. There are many of us for whom a mini is overkill and would rather get a smaller cheaper unit that leaves out things we don't need.


You are absolutely right, this box is a great solution for one problem, and at this price it may do well. There are other larger problems that plague the living room, and people who are not looking for the cheapest solutions but rather the best.

210
Jan 12, 2007, 03:23 PM
Just a few questions I hope someone can answer (sorry if this has been answered before):

Regarding the surround sound, how do people play surround sound on, say, an iMac? I would like to but I have no idea what program/cables/surround sound system to use to do this. How do you play DTS soundtracks?

With Apple TV, what is the use of the optical output for the sound? I thought this would be used for the surround sound system? Is there a way to rip a DVD with it's surround sound onto iTunes so the Apple TV can play it with the surround sound?

Also, to get 720p, does the Apple TV "upscale" a DVD you have ripped into iTunes to get the better picture? What would be the specifics on Handbrake or another program to get the best picture quality from a DVD?

Also, if you have bought a movie from iTunes, does it have surround sound? I'm rather confused about this optical output.

Thanks

Peace
Jan 12, 2007, 03:26 PM
Just a few questions I hope someone can answer (sorry if this has been answered before):

Regarding the surround sound, how do people play surround sound on, say, an iMac? I would like to but I have no idea what program/cables/surround sound system to use to do this. How do you play DTS soundtracks?

With Apple TV, what is the use of the optical output for the sound? I thought this would be used for the surround sound system? Is there a way to rip a DVD with it's surround sound onto iTunes so the Apple TV can play it with the surround sound?

Also, to get 720p, does the Apple TV "upscale" a DVD you have ripped into iTunes to get the better picture? What would be the specifics on Handbrake or another program to get the best picture quality from a DVD?

Also, if you have bought a movie from iTunes, does it have surround sound? I'm rather confused about this optical output.

Thanks

The optical digital out is for stereo equipment that have optical digital inputs.That's how you hear the 5.1 surround sound.

210
Jan 12, 2007, 03:47 PM
The optical digital out is for stereo equipment that have optical digital inputs.That's how you hear the 5.1 surround sound.


Do you mean to plug the Apple TV into an amplifier which would then produce the surround sound? Sorry, I'm a bit slow.

Also, are iTunes movies in surround sound? Any way of ripping DVD with their surround sound? I'm a little confused why this optical output is there if we can't use it.

needthephone
Jan 12, 2007, 04:25 PM
I was confused about the apple TV but I watched the keynote and it seems a great machine for me. I'm thinking of getting one as I want to be able to play all my music on my decent hifi and be able to navigate it on my TV-perfect. Its like a ipod for the living room as I see it.

Just a few questions if anyone knows:

What channel would you tune it into to- would it conflict with existing DVD players tuning??

I don't have a wfi computer, just a wireless router, but can I load songs directly onto it from my computer and then take it to my TV

Is there any way to load it apart from the streaming?

On the face of it seems just what I am looking for, personally I am not interested in video or films but the photo storage and slide shows look good and also what we are looking for.

WilliamLondon
Jan 12, 2007, 04:33 PM
Video
Video formats supported: H.264 and protected H.264 (from iTunes Store): 640 by 480, 30 fps, LC version of Baseline Profile; 320 by 240, 30 fps, Baseline profile up to Level 1.3; 1280 by 720, 24 fps, Progressive Main Profile. MPEG-4: 640 by 480, 30 fps, Simple Profile

That would seem to clear it up, eh? No ogg, no other formats enabled in iTunes by plugins. The list of formats is determined by appletv, not iTunes.

Has anyone tried and proved this with the actual device? I've read several other forums and there is huge disagreement regarding this issue. It'd be a huge shame in my opinion if it didn't support any formats but those listed on the box.

If that actually is the case (this limited support), think it might be a simple firmware upgrade to add new codecs??

sjk
Jan 12, 2007, 05:28 PM
Repeat after me: If it plays back in iTunes, it plays back in AppleTV.

If those files are visible in iTunes and you can play them back in iTunes, then you can play them back in AppleTV. It really is that simple as that.

So you have bunch of .ogg-files in iTunes, and you play them back in iTunes? Then they will play back in AppleTV. What makes you think that you couldn't play them back in AppleTV? You just said that "I have files that will play back in iTunes but not in AppleTV", without actually telling why that is the case.
You keep saying that, but where's the evidence? It contradicts this (if true):

(via Ars at Macworld: Questions about the AppleTV (http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2007/1/9/6543))Jacqui: What about DivX support?
Apple Employee: The AppleTV will play anything that the iPod plays. The iPod doesn't support DivX, so neither does the AppleTV.

Jacqui: Can it open VIDEO_TS files? Like from ripped DVDs?
Apple Employee: The AppleTV will play anything that the iPod plays.

And iTunes, QuickTime, and other QT-compatible apps are capable of playing mux'd exported MPEG-2 program streams from EyeTV, but Elgato Systems claims Apple TV won't:

(via Can EyeTV work with the new Apple TV device? (http://faq.elgato.com/index.php/faq/more/489/))At this time, EyeTV’s MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 recordings don’t meet the specifications for Apple TV’s video formats. So, there will always be an export involved, which will take some time - the faster your Mac, the faster the export.
I'd be glad to be proven wrong, but so far it's looking like Apple TV is more compatible with formats that iPod supports rather than what iTunes and QuickTime are capable of playing.

Its like a ipod for the living room as I see it.
Yep, that's more how I'm seeing it, too.

WilliamLondon
Jan 12, 2007, 05:43 PM
I'd be glad to be proven wrong, but so far it's looking like Apple TV is more compatible with formats that iPod supports rather than what iTunes and QuickTime are capable of playing.

Question - could it be an issue of streaming vs. stored content on the atv?? Could it support everything you can play in iTunes in streaming mode, but if you sync to the device on its hard drive, it'll only support those couple of formats?? Or is that too simple of thinking?

balamw
Jan 12, 2007, 05:54 PM
Question - could it be an issue of streaming vs. stored content on the atv?? Could it support everything you can play in iTunes in streaming mode, but if you sync to the device on its hard drive, it'll only support those couple of formats?? Or is that too simple of thinking?

Probably so, too simple. Sending uncompressed video (which you'd have to do to make the device fully codec agnostic) over to the aTV would take up far too much bandwidth.

Then again, the SlingCatcher claims to do something like this...

B

madmaxmedia
Jan 12, 2007, 06:07 PM
Maybe so. But that's an option for those who are pretty technically savvy, not the mainstream. And does it do HDTV? What is the max output resolution?

A modded XBox can output 1080i (there's a hardware scaler in the XBox), but there's of course a limit to the resolution of the source videos with that older CPU. But coverted DVD's and that sort of thing are absolutely fine.

Pretty impressive for a cheap box and a little spare time to set up. It can do just about everything an AppleTV can, and can play DVD's and supports more video formats.

I understand of course that AppleTV is for a different market, no hacks needed, etc. If anything, it's a compliment to the developers of the XBox Media Center (the main media player app).

madmaxmedia
Jan 12, 2007, 06:10 PM
Also, to get 720p, does the Apple TV "upscale" a DVD you have ripped into iTunes to get the better picture? What would be the specifics on Handbrake or another program to get the best picture quality from a DVD?

Don't know about your other questions, but the best bet is to rip in HandBrake at the native resolution of the DVD.

Upconverting to create a higher resolution video file is only gonna waste space (or ironically make your video look worse for any given file size), since you can't create detail that isn't there. AppleTV will then upscale if necessary to output a 720p signal.

WilliamLondon
Jan 12, 2007, 06:39 PM
Probably so, too simple. Sending uncompressed video (which you'd have to do to make the device fully codec agnostic) over to the aTV would take up far too much bandwidth.
B

Fair enough, too simple. Next question: is it possible that the stream is converted to one of the supported formats on atv, and that's why the atv only supports those formats when sync'd?? Sounds silly, but how could Apple decide to support the itms, but not itunes? (not that I expect you particularly to answer<grin>) I'm just curious to know why Apple wouldn't support your entire iTunes library - that seems illogical to me. If it's just a day one issue because of the movie studios and signing them up to sell their movies over itms, that's fine, as long as full support comes day 2. I've got a boat load of videos and movies and clips in iTunes and more being created and downloaded every day, most of which are divx - if I can't play them, I don't want the device (which I'm still naively optimistic about).

sjk
Jan 12, 2007, 06:58 PM
Could it support everything you can play in iTunes in streaming mode, but if you sync to the device on its hard drive, it'll only support those couple of formats??
Or maybe it's the inverse? I vaguely remember something somewhere amongst all the iFarting about Apple TV that it might transcode content it syncs from iTunes into a compatible playback format. I'm mostly waiting for this week's post-keynote stench to settle in favor of a getting some cleaner air of truth. I've long lost patience for the whining about lack of a PVR or a bigger hard drive or waa-waa-whatever… like there's really a reason to belabor those points any longer.

Anyway, some new posts have arrived before I had time to finish mine so I've gotta play catch-up again to see if there's anything worthwhile to contribute to this wave of discussion before something might turn it ugly again.

madmaxmedia
Jan 12, 2007, 07:16 PM
It can't be transcoding on-the-fly, it would take far too long. (you can stream video as well as sync, so that would need to be in real-time to boot.)

The most likely reason is that the Apple TV has some sort of custom processor that only decodes certain formats. It's not a full Mac with general purpose CPU, etc.

TorbX
Jan 13, 2007, 04:29 AM
Arh... why the H*** would Apple release such a limited piece of equipment. (Don't answer, it's a pretty retoric question.)

I accept the selling of iTMS. They want people buying and viewing legal payed-for material. But here in Norway, this thing is not useful at all! We dont have any movies or sitcoms in iTMS -- only the music.

And I rant about it, becuase Apple is talking about all the cool movie-features in norwegian on their website. But I cant watch any movies, can I? Why...?... Because there aren't any to buy!

sjk
Jan 13, 2007, 04:35 AM
It can't be transcoding on-the-fly, it would take far too long. (you can stream video as well as sync, so that would need to be in real-time to boot.)
I was only wondering about the possibility of any transcoding occurring during synching, not streaming.

The most likely reason is that the Apple TV has some sort of custom processor that only decodes certain formats. It's not a full Mac with general purpose CPU, etc.
Right. It seems likely that any relatively new systems (at least) running iTunes "servers" for Apple TV would be faster doing any necessary pre-streaming/synching transcoding than Apple TV might do itself (if it were even possible). And that won't happen in real time, regardless of synching/streaming.

One reason why Apple TV may be so codec-crippled in comparison to similar products (including Elgato's discontinued EyeHome) is to better/further promote H.264 as "the" standard in this context, be it from iTS sales or other sources. Whether or not there's any truth to that a strong objection I have with Apple TV is it not providing enough of a gateway for potential customers' existing content (even legally obtained/owned, like EyeTV MPEG-2 recordings), analogous to how the iPod initially supported the more pervasive MP3 format rather than being locked into AAC.

An implied assumption is that customers may need to recreate pre-existing video libraries for Apple TV compatibility. Or, on the hardware side, upgrade from SDTV to EDTV/HDTV. Admittedly easier, at least the iPod was (and still is) backward compatible with enough content (MP3) to make it a "safer" and more inviting product for people to buy.

For now my hunch is content compatibility could generally be the most important thing Apple TV is lacking, based on what its current specs appear to be. No DVR, 1080p, etc. are secondary concerns. I wonder how well Apple's prepared for responding to the inevitable "will it play (and play with) what I've already got?" questions from interested potential customers, most who are*probably less technically inclined than most of us here.

WilliamLondon
Jan 13, 2007, 04:37 AM
Arh... why the H*** would Apple release such a limited piece of equipment. (Don't answer, it's a pretty retoric question.)

I accept the selling of iTMS. They want people buying and viewing legal payed-for material. But here in Norway, this thing is not useful at all! We dont have any movies or sitcoms in iTMS -- only the music.

And I rant about it, becuase Apple is talking about all the cool movie-features in norwegian on their website. But I cant watch any movies, can I? Why...?... Because there aren't any to buy!

I agree completely. But this is exactly why I think something's not quite right. By that I mean, either the device must support other formats, or movies and television shows are coming soon to those of us living outside the US. Otherwise, as you say, the device is useless. There'd be no sense in going to the expense of releasing a product that is virtually useless in a certain geography, not to mention the damage to the brand.

zap2
Jan 13, 2007, 11:57 AM
So a TV with Component Ports and 16:9 won't work?



I'm not sure if my TV has 480p(someone through out the papers!) so I might need to buy a new TV :(

sjk
Jan 13, 2007, 01:00 PM
So a TV with Component Ports and 16:9 won't work?

I'm not sure if my TV has 480p(someone through out the papers!) so I might need to buy a new TV :(Or not buy Apple TV, which seems to be the direction I'm headed after originally hoping it could be a viable EyeHome replacement component in my slow migration from SDTV.

If your TV can support a progressive scan DVD player using non-interlaced output then likely it'll support Apple TV.

The "papers" for my not that old JVC AV-27F704 say:

• Progressive DVD player (players with an output scan of 31.5 KHz) will not work properly with this television. Set your DVD player's output to "interlaced" or non-progressive mode.

That hasn't been an issue before now since my much older Pioneer DV-C503 DVD changer doesn't have progress output.

sjk
Jan 13, 2007, 01:10 PM
… either the device must support other formats, or movies and television shows are coming soon to those of us living outside the US.
Incompatible and unavailable content is a key limitation of Apple TV no matter where you are. As usual, Apple has their questionable reasons for releasing products with small market niches.

cicottrell
Jan 13, 2007, 02:30 PM
I think people are forgetting how limited the iPod was (version 1) and how good it is now. There are several versions of it. Some people need the full 80GB iPod and are willing to pay for it, others are happy with a 2GB Nano. I think we might see several AppleTV's soon as well.

Some issues will be resolved in the passage of time. 1080p HD, 7.1 surround sound, 200GB Hard disk, DIVX support, International Movie Store, WiFI Max etc. If Apple included all these features now, it would cost loads more. They will come.

What I'm not so sure about is:

Optical Drive. I want AppleTV to play my DVD's, using a FrontRow style interface. Maybe Apple are waiting for BluRay?

TV. Telly is the killer App here and Apple are missing out. I currently use a Mac Mini connected to a CRT TV and use EyeTV to make it a PVR system, which is awesome. Any shows i record that I like, are edited down (ads cut out) and either burned to DVD for storage, saved as a H.264 file or moved to my iPod. Its an awesome setup, but is very keyboard/mouse based (not easy on a telly) and quiet an expensive waste of a lot of my Mac Mini's features. Frontrow is great, but then i have to go back to the desktop to launch EyeTV.

The AppleTV will never directly support Telly because around the world there are so many types. Free to air analogue, free to air digital (Freeview here in the UK), Cable, Satellite, and loads more I'm sure. It would be far too expensive for Apple to support all these, and if a telly stream required converting (from analogue to digital, or SD to HD), would use a lot of processing power. The answer is the USB port. Elgato (www.elgato.com) makers of EyeTV make a couple of USB 'sticks' to get a telly stream into your Mac, then its excellent software does its bit as a PVR. It doesn't matter what your Telly source is (DTT, cable, Sky etc, High def or not), cause you just buy the appropriate USB stick.
IF this stick could be plugged into the back of the AppleTV, and EyeTV software was built into the menu system, the AppleTV is instantly a PVR. It won't matter if you pay £50 a month for Sky (or what ever the equivalent is in your country) or still use old fashioned Free to Air Telly, the signal will stream into the AppleTV. You can then record it, pause it, rewind it etc, just like you do with EyeTV at the moment. The best bit would be that if you want to keep it (or burn it to DVD or put it on your iPod), the Apple TV will stream it back to your Mac.

The beauty of this system is Apple could sell an AppleTV to people or don't even own a computer. Granted, it wouldn't have your music or photos, but add in a Wifi web connection, and you could rent movies from the iTMS (£2.50 a go) and it would stream to AppleTV direct from the store, using the hard disk as a buffer. A link to Google Maps and YouTube could also be included.

If you have a computer with iTunes and iPhoto (or Adobe Album on the PC), you will have EVERYTHING you need controllable by a single remote in your living room. The Apple TV will either sync or stream photos, tunes, movies, podcasts from the mac, and will play TV and DVD's directly. Remember most HD telly only have 1 HDMI port, so that solves one issue, and it also means you don't have loads of remotes littered about your living room. This is the ultimate Killer app.

I would like the Hard Disk to be bigger enough to store ALL my music, photos and whatever movies I have on my mac in itunes, for two reasons.
1) it acts as the perfect backup for my mac. If I lost everything in my iTunes library or iPhoto library, i would cry for weeks.
2) if I get in from work/the pub/wherever, and want to watch some of my photos or listen to some music, I don't want to go upstairs, boot up my mac, launch iTunes and iPhoto then go back downstairs, leaving the Mac on, wasting electricity. Streaming great if my mate comes round with his MacBook, but for my own content, I don't want to have 2 machines turned on at the same time, yet only sit in front of one.

To sum up, it needs

1) Massive Hard Disk
2) EyeTV 2 style PVR software, built in to the main menu
3) Third Party USB TV sticks compatible
4) Optical Drive (DVD or Blu-Ray)
5) Ability to buy and RENT from the iTunes Store.

Chris

ftaok
Jan 13, 2007, 02:36 PM
To sum up, it needs

1) Massive Hard Disk
2) EyeTV 2 style PVR software, built in to the main menu
3) Third Party USB TV sticks compatible
4) Optical Drive (DVD or Blu-Ray)
5) Ability to buy and RENT from the iTunes Store.

Chris

Seriously, Your aTV-2 sounds exactly like a Mac mini.

aafuss1
Jan 13, 2007, 03:13 PM
The processor appears to be a 1.0 GHz Dothan with 2 MB L2 cache
Main Memory 256 MB 400 MHz DDR2
Fixed to the logic board
Graphics nVidia G72M, 64 MB DDR2
Bus speed 350 MHz
Hard Drive 40 GB, PATA, 2.5-inch
Ethernet 10/100
Wireless M35B mini PCIe 802.11n (no Bluetooth)
Antennas 2 x 3 (2 Transmit/3 Receive)
USB One USB 2.0 host port (for use when servicing unit)
Firewire
None
Video Out HDMI, Component RCA
Audio I/O HDMI, digital optical, Analog R/L RCA, no microphone, no speaker, Dolby Digital ready (5.1) with HDMI or digital optical

Peripherals Apple Remote (IR)

Dimension 7.7 x 7.7 x 1.1 inches
(197 x 197 x 28 mm)
Weight 2.4 pounds (1.09 kg)
Thermals Active cooling
Power Integrated power supply
45 watt, 36 watt continuous
Video formats supported H.264 and protected H.264: 640 by 480, 30 fps; 320 by 240, 30 fps; 1280 by 740, 24 fps:
MPEG-4: 640 by 480, 30 fps
Audio formats supported
AAC (16 to 320 Kbps); protected AAC (from iTunes Store); MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps); MP3 VBR; Apple Lossless; AIFF; WAV
Photo formats supported
JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, PNG
TV compatibility
Enhanced- or high-definition widescreen capable of 1080i, 720p, 576p (PAL), or 480p

sparksinspace
Jan 13, 2007, 06:07 PM
Seriously, Your aTV-2 sounds exactly like a Mac mini.
which is exactly what I just did with my Mac Mini.. moved it from the office to the living room where it now drives a shiny new 42" 1080i LCD tele.. fantastic, even got the wireless keyboard/mouse combo to be able to run it from the sofa (though the remote is great...)
the optical out goes into a pioneer 7.1 amp.. while the DVI goes via DVI->HDMI into the tele. however, does anybody here know where I can get a cable that picks up the optical out AND the analog out so that I can feed the analog out into the tele as well? its just so that the wife doesnt have to power up the amp just to watch a chick flick...

iDave
Jan 13, 2007, 06:13 PM
however, does anybody here know where I can get a cable that picks up the optical out AND the analog out so that I can feed the analog out into the tele as well? its just so that the wife doesnt have to power up the amp just to watch a chick flick...
Can't you go from the headphone port on the Mac to analog in on the TV?

cicottrell
Jan 13, 2007, 06:22 PM
Seriously, Your aTV-2 sounds exactly like a Mac mini.
Aye, if Front Row had five menu choices (ie including EyeTV) in addition to Movies, Tunes, Photos and DVD, I'd be perfectly happy. But it doesn't, and I'm stuck trying to use a Keyboard and mouse on my sofa. It also means I have to edit my photos, import/buy my music and make my movies in my living room, and my CRT TV is crap for use as a display for anything other than Frontrow. Maybe if I could afford a 30 inch cinema display, or a HDMI based HD telly, things could be different.

TribesMan
Jan 14, 2007, 04:02 AM
The processor appears to be a 1.0 GHz Dothan with 2 MB L2 cache
Main Memory 256 MB 400 MHz DDR2
Fixed to the logic board
Graphics nVidia G72M, 64 MB DDR2
Bus speed 350 MHz
Hard Drive 40 GB, PATA, 2.5-inch
Ethernet 10/100
Wireless M35B mini PCIe 802.11n (no Bluetooth)
Antennas 2 x 3 (2 Transmit/3 Receive)
USB One USB 2.0 host port (for use when servicing unit)
Firewire
None
Video Out HDMI, Component RCA
Audio I/O HDMI, digital optical, Analog R/L RCA, no microphone, no speaker, Dolby Digital ready (5.1) with HDMI or digital optical


Are those accurate? Where did you get these specs from?

From the moment when Steve said it has an Intel CPU and HDD, I was thinking cheap, noiseless office OS X box :>

But with only 256MB RAM... not exactly what I had hoped for :)

210
Jan 14, 2007, 04:03 AM
I know people are quite disappointed with the Apple TV, so am I. However, there isn't that much more I would like from the Apple TV.

A DVD/HD DVD/Blu-Ray player in the machine (I can then get rid of my DVD player) or

The ability to rip DVDs onto iTunes with the surround sound soundtrack and the Apple TV has the ability to play it (something like Handbrake to handle the soundtrack when ripping and Apple TV using it) or

renting movies from iTunes Store.

That's pretty much it. I think it's a great machine, but if only it could have one of the above, I'd buy it straight away.

WilliamLondon
Jan 14, 2007, 04:22 AM
Incompatible and unavailable content is a key limitation of Apple TV no matter where you are. As usual, Apple has their questionable reasons for releasing products with small market niches.

And with misleading advertising if the formats are indeed limited. The current ad reads, "If it's on iTunes, it's on TV."

dlastmango
Jan 14, 2007, 05:35 AM
Glad the Apple tv wasnt available right out of the gate. dont think i want it anymore

WilliamLondon
Jan 14, 2007, 06:23 AM
I read this in Macworld:

"Under Apple TV's Extras menu is a prominent Update Software command--suggesting quite clearly that AppleTV is a young dog that ca be taught numerous new tricks."

Would that include adding new codecs to support other file formats?? Or would new hardware be needed for that? If that feature is for adding new codecs, I wonder if that would allow 3rd party codecs??

I also noticed on Elgato's site they haven't had a chance to play with it, but are expecting users to have to do an export to the formats specified on the box. However they preface it with, "At this time...," implying someone will change, either their format to MPEG4 or H.264, or Apple supporting MPEG1/2.

I want someone to get theirs hands on the box and tell us more. I'm still hugely intrigued with it - it's still winning out over putting a Mac Mini in my living room.

bgarlock
Jan 14, 2007, 10:08 AM
Please pardon me if this has already been mentioned, but wouldn't a nice feature be if you could hook up an EyeTV to the Apple-TV, and get Tivo like functionality?

WilliamLondon
Jan 14, 2007, 12:12 PM
Please pardon me if this has already been mentioned, but wouldn't a nice feature be if you could hook up an EyeTV to the Apple-TV, and get Tivo like functionality?

I read somewhere earlier that it's for servicing the device.

bgarlock
Jan 14, 2007, 03:07 PM
I read somewhere earlier that it's for servicing the device.

Yes, I read that too, but why not put a port inside the device if it needs "service"? Apple has a way of making service on their products by a little tough, and I just have a hard time swallowing this information. I think it is for some kind of add-on.

iDave
Jan 14, 2007, 04:32 PM
One would think, if the USB port is for service purposes, it would be a USB B port. But it's an A port, just like on the back of every computer, to add peripherals.

APPLENEWBIE
Jan 14, 2007, 04:42 PM
There is a lot of negativity about formats that Atv won't play. And those comments are reflective of what folks on this forum would like to see in a product from apple. However, the Atv will be of interest to those of us who think that the apple store for movies and TV shows is really not a bad deal. For instance, I can by a season of popular shows like NCIS for around $30. Yesterday at Barnes and noble, a season costs about $59. Likewise, for most people a $10 downloaded movie at itunes resolution is plenty. Many people will just rent anyway from the local store. There are some movies that I will buy from iTunes, so I can see them when I want. And I would rather pay $10 to $15 for the download than $20 to $29 for some recent releases.

What I am saying is just this, Atv will have utility for some of us. Granted more features is better than fewer features, but lets give apple a little time to develop this gizmo.

macphin
Jan 14, 2007, 05:36 PM
But can I connect a mac to AppleTV directly, without Airport Extreme, or any other router? Because in system requirements written that "Wired or wireless network" is required.

iDave
Jan 14, 2007, 05:45 PM
But can I connect a mac to AppleTV directly, without Airport Extreme, or any other router? Because in system requirements written that "Wired or wireless network" is required.
Yes, directly from Mac to aTV, either wirelessly or via ethernet.

macphin
Jan 14, 2007, 06:27 PM
Yes, directly from Mac to aTV, either wirelessly or via ethernet.

Oh, OK, thanks. I thought that it will neccessary to buy n-based router to get all advantages.

sjk
Jan 14, 2007, 11:57 PM
And with misleading advertising if the formats are indeed limited. The current ad reads, "If it's on iTunes, it's on TV."
Yeah, I noticed that after posting. I'm still not sure if it means the store, the program/library, or both. It's a good example of the ambiguity that can occur by referring to any or all of them as simply "iTunes", making Apple just as guilty as anyone else who does it.

"Under Apple TV's Extras menu is a prominent Update Software command--suggesting quite clearly that AppleTV is a young dog that ca be taught numerous new tricks."

Would that include adding new codecs to support other file formats?? Or would new hardware be needed for that? If that feature is for adding new codecs, I wonder if that would allow 3rd party codecs??
I'd have to double-check, but am pretty sure there was an EyeHome firmware update that "enabled" whatever DivX (or was it MPEG-4?) playback was supported by the codec in its Sigma decoder chip. Similar Apple TV "software" updates could have limitations imposed by hardware components.

I also noticed on Elgato's site they haven't had a chance to play with it, but are expecting users to have to do an export to the formats specified on the box. However they preface it with, "At this time...," implying someone will change, either their format to MPEG4 or H.264, or Apple supporting MPEG1/2.
That possible implication recently crossed my mind, too.

EyeTV 200 supports recording with MPEG-4, but the quality was noticeably worse than MPEG-2 (which ain't so great or consistent with analog cable here) when I did some comparison tests awhile ago. That, and less convenient DVD-Video burning, gave MPEG-4 no advantage (even with smaller file sizes) over MPEG-2 for me.

Are there any H.264-capable PVRs on the market?

I'm still hugely intrigued with it - it's still winning out over putting a Mac Mini in my living room.
Same for me. I basically want a decent wireless media streaming solution without unnecessary hardware in the living room. If I want to keep using my 480i TV it's looking more like EyeHome may still be a better short-term and cost-effective solution than Apple TV (which I'd hoped would have more of a superset of EyeHome capabilities/compatibility).

Seems we're kind of on or near the same wavelength. :)

sjk
Jan 15, 2007, 04:16 AM
Are those accurate? Where did you get these specs from?
Probably Pentium M-based Intel chip at heart of Apple TV (http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=2395) (@appleinsider.com)

janstett
Jan 15, 2007, 06:17 AM
I accept the selling of iTMS. They want people buying and viewing legal payed-for material. But here in Norway, this thing is not useful at all! We dont have any movies or sitcoms in iTMS -- only the music.

Even if you use it only for your music, photos, and video content you get in there yourself, you still don't think it's useful? Have you never wanted to listen to music that's stored on your Mac somewhere else, like your bedroom or home theater?

cicottrell
Jan 15, 2007, 09:56 AM
One would think, if the USB port is for service purposes, it would be a USB B port. But it's an A port, just like on the back of every computer, to add peripherals.

Agreed, however, surely all servicing and upgrading can be done wirelessly, a la Software Update? Just download software/firmware updates from the net, like we do on our Macs... Why the USB port at all? It must be there for a reason.

WilliamLondon
Jan 15, 2007, 04:46 PM
There is a lot of negativity about formats that Atv won't play. And those comments are reflective of what folks on this forum would like to see in a product from apple. However, the Atv will be of interest to those of us who think that the apple store for movies and TV shows is really not a bad deal. For instance, I can by a season of popular shows like NCIS for around $30. Yesterday at Barnes and noble, a season costs about $59. Likewise, for most people a $10 downloaded movie at itunes resolution is plenty. Many people will just rent anyway from the local store. There are some movies that I will buy from iTunes, so I can see them when I want. And I would rather pay $10 to $15 for the download than $20 to $29 for some recent releases.

What I am saying is just this, Atv will have utility for some of us. Granted more features is better than fewer features, but lets give apple a little time to develop this gizmo.

That's fine, mate. But what of those of us that have the ITMS with only music?? We (those of us outside the US) have no access to television shows or movies in the ITMS, yet Steve's announcement is still supposed to have the same impact?? Just curious - if you had no access to the ITMS, would it still have utility?

APPLENEWBIE
Jan 15, 2007, 11:48 PM
"That's fine, mate. But what of those of us that have the ITMS with only music?? We (those of us outside the US) have no access to television shows or movies in the ITMS, yet Steve's announcement is still supposed to have the same impact?? Just curious - if you had no access to the ITMS, would it still have utility?"


NOPE. Hopefully it won't be too long before it goes extra-USA... and hopefully it will be worth getting.

gwangung
Jan 16, 2007, 12:06 AM
"That's fine, mate. But what of those of us that have the ITMS with only music?? We (those of us outside the US) have no access to television shows or movies in the ITMS, yet Steve's announcement is still supposed to have the same impact?? Just curious - if you had no access to the ITMS, would it still have utility?"


NOPE. Hopefully it won't be too long before it goes extra-USA... and hopefully it will be worth getting.

That is, after all, a legal matter and not connected at all to hardware or software. And could change at any time.

Not sure it makes sense to hold up releasing it when there are large markets that CAN use it to its full extent...

WilliamLondon
Jan 16, 2007, 02:44 AM
That is, after all, a legal matter and not connected at all to hardware or software. And could change at any time.

Not sure it makes sense to hold up releasing it when there are large markets that CAN use it to its full extent...

I agree, but question why they'd release it outside the US when there's nothing to buy on the ITMS.

For me I still like the idea of this device, and I'm investigating converting my GBs of videos to H.264. But I'm not a typical buyer of this I would imagine - most people wouldn't have a clue what H.264 is (not that I'm any great guru on the subject!<grin>). What's going to be the source of stuff they watch on this device?

I of course want this device to succeed for Apple - I'm of a mind that there is a media revolution going on and this device is bringing that revolution fully to the masses.

sjk
Jan 17, 2007, 03:09 PM
I agree, but question why they'd release it outside the US when there's nothing to buy on the ITMS.
Yep, that's puzzling.

What's going to be the source of stuff they watch on this device?
Right. Like I've said before, at least iPod owners have and can "easily" get content for it without relying on the iTunes Store and the same's definitely not true with ATV.

I'm of a mind that there is a media revolution going on and this device is bringing that revolution fully to the masses.
It's currently too content-crippled, IMO.

iDave
Jan 17, 2007, 03:43 PM
It's currently too content-crippled, IMO.
Well if all you want to do is play your music from iTunes on your home theater, or show photos, there's still a use for it. And it has a remote, something that Airport Express (which would serve up the music) doesn't have.

sjk
Jan 17, 2007, 04:49 PM
Well if all you want to do is play your music from iTunes on your home theater, or show photos, there's still a use for it.
And you know some people will waste^H^H^H^H^Hpay $300 just to do that. :rolleyes:

And it has a remote, something that Airport Express (which would serve up the music) doesn't have.
Right.

Before its display died I was using my old iBook G3 as the remote in the living room connected to iTunes libraries on systems downstairs and streaming with AirTunes. That worked flawlessly for audio even with the redundant WLAN traffic. And video streaming with EyeHome worked flawlessly before it died a few months ago; 2006 was unkind to some of my hardware. I'd be seriously considering ATV as the EyeHome replacement if the specs/compatibility would work for me, but they don't so I'm not.

bommai
Jan 17, 2007, 04:54 PM
And you know some people will waste^H^H^H^H^Hpay $300 just to do that. :rolleyes:



$300 is how much a squeezebox costs for just music. I don't accept Airport Express as a viable solution for streaming music since you cannot control it from the stereo system.

iDave
Jan 17, 2007, 04:55 PM
If AppleTV was not made available outside the US, you know there would be people bitching about that, even though there seems to be little (legal) use for it there. :)

bommai
Jan 17, 2007, 05:04 PM
But can I connect a mac to AppleTV directly, without Airport Extreme, or any other router? Because in system requirements written that "Wired or wireless network" is required.

To do this, you need your Mac to be connected to the internet through ethernet (not wireless). Then you go to network preferences and then go to sharing. You share your network connection through airport. Then you have to create a local network using airport on your mac. Then configure Apple TV to connect to that network. Now, Apple TV can contact your computer as well as the internet. Your computer is acting as a bridge. It will transfer all internet packets from the wireless to wired and vice versa for those external addresses.

sjk
Jan 17, 2007, 06:41 PM
$300 is how much a squeezebox costs for just music.
True. No bargain there.

I don't accept Airport Express as a viable solution for streaming music since you cannot control it from the stereo system.
Maybe not a solution for you but surely for those whose usage isn't hindered by that limitation.