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MacRumors
Jan 14, 2007, 10:32 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

AppleInsider claims to have nailed down the specs (http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=2395) of the recently-announced Apple TV (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2007/01/20070109124129.shtml). Along with previously known specifications, the Apple TV is said to include the following hardware assortment:

- 1 GHz Pentium M, 2 MB L2 Cache
- 350 Mhz Front Side Bus
- nVidia G72M with 64MB DDR2 VRAM (GeForce Go 7400)
- 256 MB DDR2 400 Mhz RAM

Also mentioned is that the unit does in fact contain a cooling fan.



iSee
Jan 14, 2007, 10:34 PM
It's a Mini Mac Mini.
Hmmm..... There's got to be somethingnI do with that...

obeygiant
Jan 14, 2007, 10:34 PM
For this thing to work you have to have 802.11n right?

uNext
Jan 14, 2007, 10:35 PM
say what?

I know we can hack this and install mac os x on it or windows for a full blown media horse. PLay any type of video holy **** i might just buy it


The possibilities are endless-those specs actually make the apple tv a little more attractive

capone2
Jan 14, 2007, 10:35 PM
that makes me not want it. too bad

Doctor Q
Jan 14, 2007, 10:40 PM
For reference: Apple's tech spec page (http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html)Intel processor
40GB hard drive
HDMI (video and audio)
Component video
Optical audio
Analog RCA stereo audio
10/100BASE-T Ethernet
USB 2.0 (for service and diagnostics)
802.11n wireless networking
Built-in IR receiver (works with included Apple Remote)

quagmire
Jan 14, 2007, 10:42 PM
that makes me not want it. too bad

Eh. Core Solo would of been preferable, but at least the Pentium M is better then the any of the Netburst architecture.

Chaszmyr
Jan 14, 2007, 10:44 PM
say what?

I know we can hack this and install mac os x on it or windows for a full blown media horse. PLay any type of video holy **** i might just buy it


The possibilities are endless-those specs actually make the apple tv a little more attractive

They really don't. If you hack it to run OSX or Windows, it then won't run the Apple TV software. Why not just buy a media center PC from Dell that would have vastly better specs? The lack of 802.11n streaming? Don't count on being able to do that if you just install Windows, but I guess you could wirelessly transfer it to the hard drive. Is that really worth a crippled machine? Or the price? You can buy an older PC for the price of the Apple TV.

Silentwave
Jan 14, 2007, 10:44 PM
that makes me not want it. too bad

Why?

The Core Solo/Core Duo chips used in the first gen of intel macs are all based on the Pentium M architecture, and the Core Microarchitecture in C2D and Woodcrest is for all intents and purposes the direct male-line descendant of that.

It's probably the Pentium M ultra-low-voltage Dothan 723, or something like that. It'd be interesting to see if it's socketed or soldered. Probably soldered, but if it were socketed....

I'd also look see if RAM could be jacked up

longofest
Jan 14, 2007, 10:45 PM
For this thing to work you have to have 802.11n right?

No. any of the 802.11 b/g/n protocols, or it also has wired 10/100 networking as well. But you need g or greater for video streaming.

iSee
Jan 14, 2007, 10:46 PM
It's got to be running OS X already... maybe stripped down, but still OS X.

Lord Blackadder
Jan 14, 2007, 10:46 PM
Due to the relatively low price, it might be attractive as a base for modifications and hacks. Time will tell...

nagromme
Jan 14, 2007, 10:50 PM
It seems to have the lowest-cost chips that do the job. Makes sense to me.

Don't count on being able to hack it do do much more... but then again, they have iPods dual-booting Linux these days!

darwen
Jan 14, 2007, 10:51 PM
Does anyone know if this implies Mac OS X can be installed?

Zatko
Jan 14, 2007, 10:51 PM
I love most Apple products. I am also the target market for this device. I will most definately not purchase it... it's a complete dud from what I can see. Hopefully they go back to the drawing board and give me a reason to replace my Tivo or prevent me from getting a Slingbox.

Performa
Jan 14, 2007, 10:59 PM
Eh. Core Solo would of been preferable, but at least the Pentium M is better then the any of the Netburst architecture.


Core Solo "would of" been preferable? I think you meant "would have" or "would've".

http://wvde.state.wv.us/tt/2002/grammartips/grammartip0039.html

sorry.....couldn't help myself.

59031
Jan 14, 2007, 11:02 PM
Pentium? PENTIUM? Are you F'n kidding me? Yuck.

evilgEEk
Jan 14, 2007, 11:03 PM
Hopefully they go back to the drawing board and give me a reason to replace my Tivo or prevent me from getting a Slingbox.

It's not meant to replace your TiVo. From what I see it's just another piece of hardware to work seamlessly with your iTunes library.

If it had DVR capabilities, great, but why would Apple include DVR software when most the TV shows that would be recorded are on the iTunes Store.

Apple's approaching this the say way they approached the iPod. They're just trying to pitch the iTunes Store, not necessarily the hardware that runs the media.

I think these specs are just fine for what the Apple tv will do for me. :)

laidbackliam
Jan 14, 2007, 11:04 PM
Pentium? PENTIUM? Are you F'n kidding me? Yuck.

dude, its not like you're going to use final cut or logic on it.

i use a 350 mhz sawtooth to do a similair thing.

59031
Jan 14, 2007, 11:07 PM
dude, its not like you're going to use final cut or logic on it.

i use a 350 mhz sawtooth to do a similair thing.

The Pentium architecture has always stank. I would have hoped that Apple would never have used it. Imagine if they had put Pentium 4's in the MacPro's.

Scarlet Fever
Jan 14, 2007, 11:11 PM
I love most Apple products. I am also the target market for this device. I will most definately not purchase it... it's a complete dud from what I can see. Hopefully they go back to the drawing board and give me a reason to replace my Tivo or prevent me from getting a Slingbox.

I'm not just refering to you here, but would you have bought it before you knew the specs? :rolleyes:

p0intblank
Jan 14, 2007, 11:13 PM
Imagine if they had put Pentium 4's in the MacPro's.

But they don't and they never will... the AppleTV's specs are obviously good enough for what it was built for, so why are there people complaining? It's a media center box, not a computer meant for everyday use.

ChrisA
Jan 14, 2007, 11:14 PM
For this thing to work you have to have 802.11n right?

No. It will work with "g" or a wired connection

I actually expect almost 1/2 the unts will use the wired connection. People who get their Internet connection over the cable TV would have a router near the TV set. Would need only a two foot cat-5 cable

The device can work by either playing from the internal disk or streaming over the network. To play from the HD a slow network would be OK.

StealthRider
Jan 14, 2007, 11:15 PM
You guys are all missing the real question.

Why does this $299, thin, internally cramped machine have a better GPU than both the MacBook and the Mac mini?

Westside guy
Jan 14, 2007, 11:16 PM
If it had DVR capabilities, great, but why would Apple include DVR software when most the TV shows that would be recorded are on the iTunes Store.

Well, probably because most people (read: me) aren't willing to give up the ability to channel surf just for the "privilege" of using the iTunes store. If I'm going to buy an Apple TV, it really does have to replace my Tivo. I'm not going to purchase a show to check it out; I'd only purchase a show I already know I want to watch.

Now if ITMS comes through with a subscription model for their TV shows, then I might consider it. But I suspect most people watch TV differently than they listen to music, given that TV viewing habits have been ingrained for decades (while portable music was never truly mainstream until the iPod came along).

59031
Jan 14, 2007, 11:18 PM
But they don't and they never will... the AppleTV's specs are obviously good enough for what it was built for, so why are there people complaining? It's a media center box, not a computer meant for everyday use.

Well, I agree with the poster who said that a Core Solo would have been preferable. I'm not interested until they put something better in there, regardless.

StealthRider
Jan 14, 2007, 11:20 PM
Well when it's the size of a Mac Pro, with dual Xeons, shall we chalk you up for one?

Seasought
Jan 14, 2007, 11:22 PM
I wish I understood any appeal to this at all. To me, it seems like a complete waste of money. I guess not being a huge TV enthusiast is partly to blame here.

Is this in direct competition to Tivo? I know very little about Tivo mind you.

ChrisA
Jan 14, 2007, 11:23 PM
Does anyone know if this implies Mac OS X can be installed?

It runs Mac OS X. A stripped down version

Will_reed
Jan 14, 2007, 11:29 PM
I have my doubts about the 1ghz pentium m spec this isn't enough for 720p playback even with the graphics card.

Spanky Deluxe
Jan 14, 2007, 11:34 PM
Ok, some people here are being seriously narrow minded. It doesn't matter what processor is in the thing at all as long as it does the job. A slow G4 can run Frontrow with ease which is basically what this machine is for. There won't be extra software, games, hell there won't even be a "About This Mac" option.
For the idiots going on about it being a Pentium and how that's aweful, learn your facts. The Pentium M is what the Core Duo and the Core 2 Duo chips are based on. The Pentium M is the *reason* that Intel completely dropped the P4 architecture. It was meant as a side project and turned into the leading processor technology. A Core Solo is basically a Pentium M + Cache + SSE3. A Core Duo is basically a Pentium M + Cache + SSE3 + an extra core. Its a 1Ghz chip because its an ultra low power chip, this is how they can fit it into this form factor.
The specifications of the device are irrelevent as far as the end user goes, its designed to run what is basically Front Row with video up to 720p. A 1Ghz Pentium-M chip with a dedicated graphics chip can do this at ultra low power requirements and ultra low heat generation. How did you think they were going to fit something like this in half the size of a mac mini with the PSU inside?? What were you expecting, Core 2 Quads? 2 Gigs of RAM and a GeForce 8800?? Get real.

The *big* news here is the dedicated graphics. I think this points at a big likelihood of GeForce Go 7400s in the next model Mac Minis, MacBooks and base model iMacs. I'm guessing the chip was chosen due to its hardware video decoding acceleration for the AppleTV but Apple have a tendency to use common hardware across the board when possible. They're expecting to ship a bucket load of Apple TVs and putting the same chip in AppleTVs, Mac Minis and MacBooks will guarantee them the lowest cost per chip possible.

MrCrowbar
Jan 14, 2007, 11:35 PM
Why does this $299, thin, internally cramped machine have a better GPU than both the MacBook and the Mac mini?

I suppose you need a real GPU to handle the nice interface without hickups. The GMA950 thing in My Macbook is horrible if you're going for 3D stuff or anything that needs quick buffering. Id does handle World of Warcraft very well tho (just played around with the 10 day trial when they enabled multi-threaded OpenGL).

Front Row is a real pain on the Macbook. Why is it so terribly slow? It takes about 2 minutes to get to my movies folder from the main menu. What the hell? There's not even anything in it. I used to like the movie trailers, but it's such a horrible journey to actually to the point where you actually play the trailer you fought to access for a minutes? It just hangs there for a minute or two, then performs all the commands the angry users did on the remote while waiting at once. I re-installed OSX multiple times by the way (I mess a lot with the system as a developer and it's good to have a fresh install for testing). Didn't help.

I sure hope the Apple-TV works better. It's still gonna suck for a lot of people because Quicktime just doesn't play anything besides movie trailers from the Apple homepage or ITMS downloads. Doesn't even play my DVDs ripped with handbrake in h2.64 MOV format. :mad:

The only really good thing about quicktime is, it can handle H2.64 movies better than VLC-Player. When there are fast cuts (thus high data rates, lots of keyframes), VLC loses frames, whereas QT plays it very smoothly.

uNext
Jan 14, 2007, 11:36 PM
Thnking about it.

Is this processor able to handle 720p video?

My god first the iPhone is crapped out now apple tv is starting to not sound appealing after all.

I hear the sounds of past mistakes on apple part. I think we might have the first 2 flops of apples next 30 years. Unfrtunetly, but hey their the ones who decided to cripple their products their worst then microsoft sometimes.

I think i will pass. It appears no high def streams anytime soon, specially with this 1ghz pentium processor sounds so ancient .My god when was the last time we heard of 1ghz?

OdduWon
Jan 14, 2007, 11:37 PM
the Mac Mini page is due for a refresh soon.;)

Maybe they will create the "Mac Mini Module" M^3 :p
if they update the mini to work as a component in the 3M system (Mac Media Module) then it will be the brains in the apple tv/airport media hub. They could stack on top of one-another or "Dock" some how. the Mini could be the next iPod you know ;)

Ha! now all we need is a "graphics blade" and we will have a semi mobile pc gaming media center :p
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r75/odduwon/minis.jpg

StealthRider
Jan 14, 2007, 11:38 PM
A 1GHz Pentium M is plenty fast for 720p...and for all you know there are dedicated chips for HD playback as well. Stop crying.

Spanky Deluxe
Jan 14, 2007, 11:41 PM
A 1GHz Pentium M is plenty fast for 720p...and for all you know there are dedicated chips for HD playback as well. Stop crying.

Haha! I think you summed up my post in one line! Some people here really are narrow minded!! I love it.

StealthRider
Jan 14, 2007, 11:44 PM
Haha! I think you summed up my post in one line! Some people here really are narrow minded!! I love it.

Well, you know how the cycle goes:
Apple releases, people whine and cry, Apple updates, it's not good enough (more whining and crying), people finally stop whining long enough to buy the product, love it, and shut up. Repeat at the next expo.

ambience
Jan 14, 2007, 11:49 PM
I find the interesting thing with these specs is the fact its superior to the hardware of something like a nintendo wii. If Apple released a software SDK for this thing then its value may really show. Can somebody say Game Console? ;)

2ms
Jan 14, 2007, 11:56 PM
People, the Pentium M was a whole new architecture completely separate from any Pentiums that came before it. It was drastic improvement in design. The Core processors are its immediate descendents. It's actually a terrific processor. For low voltage in particular.

sAy2k
Jan 15, 2007, 12:06 AM
So, can the digital audio signal be transmitted over the airport? How does one ensure that I'd be able to take a dvd, put it on mac in a format itunes can read and still enjoy full 5.1 surround or THX or those fancy audio options I have when I plop in a DVD?

LaDirection
Jan 15, 2007, 12:22 AM
The Pentium architecture has always stank. I would have hoped that Apple would never have used it. Imagine if they had put Pentium 4's in the MacPro's.

Even worst, imagine if they were still using PowerPC's...

samh004
Jan 15, 2007, 12:30 AM
What I wonder is if the contents of the HDD can be copied over to a bigger HDD and then replace the smaller one in the machine itself. If the machine allows that then it'd certainly be something I'd do (if there was a good walkthrough online).

On the processor note, these are still just rumors right, no one has actually checked yet anyway so you can't be sure. However I am sure it's plenty fast enough for what it needs to do, I wouldn't be worried.

Do you think though that the machine will let you store and play non-protected movies in your iTunes library. Not being able to download iTunes movies and TV shows in Australia right now isn't a huge issue, but if I can't play these things that I download elsewhere, and Apple can't provide me a way to get my hands on them any other way, I wouldn't be keen to get the product.

samh004
Jan 15, 2007, 12:34 AM
So, can the digital audio signal be transmitted over the airport? How does one ensure that I'd be able to take a dvd, put it on mac in a format itunes can read and still enjoy full 5.1 surround or THX or those fancy audio options I have when I plop in a DVD?

I wonder if, on inserting a DVD into your mac, it can be streamed to the device for playback on your TV and sound system. That'd take a lot of bandwidth but would be a really cool feature.

stcanard
Jan 15, 2007, 01:13 AM
The Pentium architecture has always stank. I would have hoped that Apple would never have used it. Imagine if they had put Pentium 4's in the MacPro's.

From this statement you would appear to know something about microprocessor architecture so, of course, you realize that the Pentium M is a pentium in name only, right?

thejadedmonkey
Jan 15, 2007, 01:25 AM
Pentium? PENTIUM? Are you F'n kidding me? Yuck.

From what I remember about the Intel architectures, the Pentium M chip they use is the same architecture as the CD that ships in the Mac Mini right now.

twoodcc
Jan 15, 2007, 01:30 AM
that makes me not want it. too bad

yeah, not impressed with pentium-m

Erasmus
Jan 15, 2007, 01:30 AM
ARGH!!!

I see Pentium!

The dreaded name of crappy computers!

Please Apple, make this not so. Put in a low power core architecture chip.

The day that Apple uses Pentium chips is a dark one.

I don't care how well it does the job, it's the priciple of the matter. Even a Pentium M is a dark remnant of a philosophy and needs to die. The poor AppleTV! It must be in constant pain.

Voidness
Jan 15, 2007, 01:34 AM
People, the Pentium M was a whole new architecture completely separate from any Pentiums that came before it. It was drastic improvement in design. The Core processors are its immediate descendents. It's actually a terrific processor. For low voltage in particular.
Actually, Pentium M is a Pentium. It's based on the Pentium III, which itself is based on the Pentium Pro. Pentium 4 had nothing to do with "Pentium" :p

The Core Architecture, as mentioned previously, is based on the Pentium M.

Regardless, even if AppleTV had a G3, and it worked as Apple liked, it shouldn't matter to anyone. (well, except for hackers maybe)

iW00t
Jan 15, 2007, 01:37 AM
Please Apple, make this not so. Put in a low power core architecture chip.


Why?

The TV is not a battery powered device anyway. Besides your Core is closer to the Pentium M than you'd want to believe...

stcanard
Jan 15, 2007, 01:38 AM
Please Apple, make this not so. Put in a low power core architecture chip.

Please, please, PLEASE read the comments. This has been answered, many times already. Your wish was granted.

Oh, how I wish Intel had retroactively named this chip the "Core Beta" so this grousing could have been avoided.

iW00t
Jan 15, 2007, 01:38 AM
Thnking about it.

Is this processor able to handle 720p video?

My god first the iPhone is crapped out now apple tv is starting to not sound appealing after all.

I hear the sounds of past mistakes on apple part. I think we might have the first 2 flops of apples next 30 years. Unfrtunetly, but hey their the ones who decided to cripple their products their worst then microsoft sometimes.

I think i will pass. It appears no high def streams anytime soon, specially with this 1ghz pentium processor sounds so ancient .My god when was the last time we heard of 1ghz?

It also has a Geforce Go 7400.

stcanard
Jan 15, 2007, 01:41 AM
Thnking about it.

Is this processor able to handle 720p video?

No Apple lied about the 720p, it turns out it is only putting put 320x240 and they've got their fingers crossed that nobody notices.

Will_reed
Jan 15, 2007, 01:45 AM
I think we're forgeting one key thing here people.
This isn't like an official press release from apple it's apple insider for crying out loud not only that it's "According to those familiar with the component makeup of Apple TV"

I think people are getting a bit to excited about this

Evangelion
Jan 15, 2007, 01:57 AM
that makes me not want it. too bad

Why? AppleTV doesn't do anything CPU-intensive to begin with, so it doesn't need a fast processor. The only thing the processor and the GPU does is to display the GUI and play back files that are in the HD. Do you want it to have faster processor "just because"? I heard that the iPhone only has some crappy Arm-processor instead of quad-core Xeon. That makes me not want it. Too bad.

Evangelion
Jan 15, 2007, 01:57 AM
It's a Mini Mac Mini.
Hmmm..... There's got to be somethingnI do with that...

Those specs are nowhere near Mac Mini. Nor do they have to be.

Evangelion
Jan 15, 2007, 01:58 AM
Pentium? PENTIUM? Are you F'n kidding me? Yuck.

Pentium M has very little to do with Pentium 4. Pentium M is closely related to the Core-series of CPU's.

The Pentium architecture has always stank. I would have hoped that Apple would never have used it. Imagine if they had put Pentium 4's in the MacPro's.

Seriously, you are just demonstrating the fact that you know nothing about the subject-matter. Pentium M and Pentium 4 are two totally separate and different CPU's.

iW00t
Jan 15, 2007, 01:58 AM
It is actually quite a beefy little computer for what it needs to do.

Xeem
Jan 15, 2007, 02:02 AM
You guys are all missing the real question.

Why does this $299, thin, internally cramped machine have a better GPU than both the MacBook and the Mac mini?

That is a very good question. I understand the need to keep a gap between the Mini and the more expensive Macs, but I think that the Macbook should at least have a BTO option for a real video card.

I'm actually impressed by the specs on the TV. You could run OS X on there without a problem; it has enough power, and the single USB port could be used for inputs. I'd definitely be on board a $300 Mac!

Evangelion
Jan 15, 2007, 02:43 AM
The more I think about the AppleTV, the more I feel torn about it.

First of all: I like the product. I really do. I like the design and simplicity of it. I want to like it. But... Why oh why they didn't include DVD-player in there? I have a digital receiver/DVR. And I have a DVD-player and a stack of DVD's. And I have no videos from iTunes (since no videos are available in Finland, but I digress). So what should I do?

- I can't get rid of the DVR, since I need it to watch TV (broadcasts are digital, my TV is analog)

- I can't get rid of the DVD, since I have quite a bit of DVD-movies. Yes, I do occasionally watch the extras and I need subtitles.

If AppleTV had included a DVD-player, I could have replaced my DVD-player with AppleTV. But as things are right now, I can't replace anything with the AppleTV.

Jobs said that "AppleTV is the DVD-player of the 21st century". Well, no, it's not. The video-content that AppleTV plays back is not as good as DVD-content (no extras etc.), and the playback-capabilities are limited. And AppleTV does not play back DVD's. But even still, I want to like AppleTV. But as things are right now, AppleTV would be yet another components in my stack of components. I want to make things SIMPLER. Adding yet another piece of equipment does not make things simpler, on the contrary. I currently have a remote for TV, DVR and DVD-player. If AppleTV had a DVD-player, I could have just TV, DVR and AppleTV-remote (with Apple Remote being really simple). As things are right now, I would have remotes for TV, DVR, DVD and AppleTV.

Since Front Row supports DVD-playback, why doesn't AppleTV support is as well? You know it makes sense. Make no mistake: If AppleTV had included a DVD-player, I would have been first in line to buy one.

emotion
Jan 15, 2007, 02:45 AM
Actually, Pentium M is a Pentium. It's based on the Pentium III, which itself is based on the Pentium Pro. Pentium 4 had nothing to do with "Pentium" :p

The Core Architecture, as mentioned previously, is based on the Pentium M.



Finally a post with some sense.

And for all you babies crying about it being a "pentium". Honestly, does it matter as long as it's fit for the task?

The discrete graphics for the price (if true) is very interesting, I'm not sure I believe these specs though.

Carniphage
Jan 15, 2007, 03:03 AM
Finally a post with some sense.

And for all you babies crying about it being a "pentium". Honestly, does it matter as long as it's fit for the task?

The discrete graphics for the price (if true) is very interesting, I'm not sure I believe these specs though.

GAMES!!!
With this specification, Apple have rolled out a stealth games console that is about 2-3x faster than a Playstation 2. With this processor and GPU it is a distant cousin of the first Xbox.

C.

elreudo
Jan 15, 2007, 03:42 AM
The more I think about the AppleTV, the more I feel torn about it.

First of all: I like the product. I really do. I like the design and simplicity of it. I want to like it. But... Why oh why they didn't include DVD-player in there? I have a digital receiver/DVR. And I have a DVD-player and a stack of DVD's. And I have no videos from iTunes (since no videos are available in Finland, but I digress). So what should I do?

- I can't get rid of the DVR, since I need it to watch TV (broadcasts are digital, my TV is analog)

- I can't get rid of the DVD, since I have quite a bit of DVD-movies. Yes, I do occasionally watch the extras and I need subtitles.

If AppleTV had included a DVD-player, I could have replaced my DVD-player with AppleTV. But as things are right now, I can't replace anything with the AppleTV.

Jobs said that "AppleTV is the DVD-player of the 21st century". Well, no, it's not. The video-content that AppleTV plays back is not as good as DVD-content (no extras etc.), and the playback-capabilities are limited. And AppleTV does not play back DVD's. But even still, I want to like AppleTV. But as things are right now, AppleTV would be yet another components in my stack of components. I want to make things SIMPLER. Adding yet another piece of equipment does not make things simpler, on the contrary. I currently have a remote for TV, DVR and DVD-player. If AppleTV had a DVD-player, I could have just TV, DVR and AppleTV-remote (with Apple Remote being really simple). As things are right now, I would have remotes for TV, DVR, DVD and AppleTV.

Since Front Row supports DVD-playback, why doesn't AppleTV support is as well? You know it makes sense. Make no mistake: If AppleTV had included a DVD-player, I would have been first in line to buy one.


I agree with a lot of what you say and am in a similar position. Why wasn't a DVD palyer included? Probably because they are waiting for an affordable BlueRay drive! why no DVR? Probably because they want to sell TV and Movies via iTunes.

One question I have is that it can apparently output at 720P but what content will they sell at 720P or does it magically upscale current iTunes content to 720P - that would be nice!

Also what happens if it is connected to a 1080P screen? I've been waiting to by my flat screen until these have become available. Why buy a 720P screen when HD-DVD/Blueray all output 1080P?

retroneo
Jan 15, 2007, 03:47 AM
The *big* news here is the dedicated graphics. I think this points at a big likelihood of GeForce Go 7400s in the next model Mac Minis, MacBooks and base model iMacs.

I believe the reverse, the a successor to AppleTV will have GMA X4000 graphics, along with the Mac mini, MacBook and base model iMacs.

C00rDiNaT0r
Jan 15, 2007, 04:16 AM
From Apple's QT HD gallery page (http://www.apple.com/quicktime/guide/hd/recommendations.html):
To play high definition video, a large amount of data must be processed by your computer. A powerful system will deliver the best playback experience.

...

For 1920x1080 (1080p) video at 24 frames per second:

QuickTime 7 for Mac OS X:
Dual 2.0 GHz PowerMac G5 or faster Macintosh computer; 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo or faster
At least 512MB of RAM
128MB or greater video card

Since tv doesn't need to run other programs like a desktop does, does that mean if it has 128MB VRAM and 512MB RAM, it will be more than capable of displaying 1080p contents?

etjazz
Jan 15, 2007, 04:29 AM
The Pentium architecture has always stank. I would have hoped that Apple would never have used it. Imagine if they had put Pentium 4's in the MacPro's.

you're pretty dumb .... the core duo is essentially two pentium M cpu cores. the m series was based on pentium 3(witch additional cache) and it is a great architecture(compared to p4).

To sum up, the cpu in the aTV is a low voltage core solo running on 1 ghz.

edit: whoha, apparently a lot of mac users are very ignorant/unknowledgeable in regards to technology

mashinhead
Jan 15, 2007, 04:45 AM
two questions, does this thing act as a WAP as well meaning I can move my airport express to another rooom in the house and hook this up to a stereo for music and expand the house network,

and two, how well does it stream will there be a lag between the audio and video?

em500
Jan 15, 2007, 04:51 AM
Actually, Pentium M is a Pentium. It's based on the Pentium III, which itself is based on the Pentium Pro. Pentium 4 had nothing to do with "Pentium" :p

The Core Architecture, as mentioned previously, is based on the Pentium M.

They're also direct descendants of the Pentium II from those infamous snail ads :p .

needthephone
Jan 15, 2007, 04:55 AM
I really don't care what's inside it, just what it does.

I am looking for some way of storing the hundreads of CD's worth of music I have in a convenient form I can access via my TV and not be restricted to continually changing CD's - ie an ipod which plays through my pretty decent hifi.
I have a 2 G shuffle and love it but don't see a need for a bigger ipod.

From what I read this thing allows me to select my music on my TV in the same way as you select music on an ipod. That's all I want, I'll use my hard disk recorder for the TV stuff but its a secondary priority.

Is there any cheaper way of doing this???

Its had some great reviews and I am strongly considering getting it.
eg the Times love it and also rave about the iphone
http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,20409-2543874.html

I have always had a quizzical eye to this whole cult of apple thing but after seeing the iphone launch I am totally won over.

aswitcher
Jan 15, 2007, 04:56 AM
Airport Express 6.5" square
Mac Mini 6.5" square
AppleTV 7.7" square

This says to me Apple is willing to shift things when they need.

7.7 - 1.2 inches more.

If they built a Mac Mini at that size would that be enough room to give it a 3.5" HDD for real HDD space (250GB+), and N wifi, C2D, and a real graphics card?

I would much prefer that over the AppleTV.

Stridder44
Jan 15, 2007, 05:16 AM
The specs don't bother me, it's the lack of features that bugs me. It could at least have a @#^! DVD player in there. Or a TV tuner. Who the @#* wants to pay $299 when a $25 cable could do the same thing?? I mean seriously what's the point of HDMI when the content is SD quality at best??

Will_reed
Jan 15, 2007, 05:52 AM
The specs don't bother me, it's the lack of features that bugs me. It could at least have a @#^! DVD player in there. Or a TV tuner. Who the @#* wants to pay $299 when a $25 cable could do the same thing?? I mean seriously what's the point of HDMI when the content is SD quality at best??

It's a convenience thing especially if you've got like a mac pro you don't want to lug that thing into the lounge every time you want to watch your TV shows on the TV. Or even an imac,
Also If you like to download HD trailers off apple.com it could be in handy.

Mostly it just benifits people who use the music store however I guess you could Rip your DVD collection onto a mac somewhere and never have to take the disks out of their cases ever again.

50548
Jan 15, 2007, 06:05 AM
It's a convenience thing especially if you've got like a mac pro you don't want to lug that thing into the lounge every time you want to watch your TV shows on the TV. Or even an imac,
Also If you like to download HD trailers off apple.com it could be in handy.

Mostly it just benifits people who use the music store however I guess you could Rip your DVD collection onto a mac somewhere and never have to take the disks out of their cases ever again.

That's the MAIN reason I would buy an iTV for, but I am not yet sure about it...putting aside legal hurdles (for some countries) for a moment, are legally-ripped DVDs accepted into the iTunes library? Is that possible at all?

I kindly hope for an answer, as this would, in itself, justify a purchase...I have no use for iTMS shows or movies (being in CH), but I hate having to swap disks or keep a physical pile of discs to watch DVDs downstairs on my LCD TV...

Can anyone clarify this issue for me? Is iTV (and iTunes) able to recognize VIDEO.TS or legally-ripped DVD images? Thanks a lot!

clifflui
Jan 15, 2007, 06:06 AM
I think we should all cry since the iPod does not have a Core-Duo chip built in. We should also cry because the iPod does not have a CD-reader and (as yet) no Bluetooth.

It appears that my best bet would be to sit back and see what happens as time goes on. That would be the most interesting thing to do :p My guess is that when we're all downloading 'DVDs' from the internet, a DVD player might seem like ol' Vinyl.

Rychiar
Jan 15, 2007, 07:00 AM
if a system of those specs can do HD video than why the hell did my iMac G5 choke on HD like crazy:mad:

goosnarrggh
Jan 15, 2007, 07:27 AM
if a system of those specs can do HD video than why the hell did my iMac G5 choke on HD like crazy:mad:

Which revision of the iMac G5 were you using? Which GPU was installed?
IIRC, there were versions with:
- late 2004: NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200, 64 MB DDR, 8x AGP
- early 2005: unknown
- late 2005: ATI X600 Pro or ATI X600 XT, 128 MB DDR, PCIe

GregA
Jan 15, 2007, 07:36 AM
Why does this $299, thin, internally cramped machine have a better GPU than both the MacBook and the Mac mini?Because the GPU is all that matters. Decoding the video fast & well is all that matters. And not just video - we already know Apple was trying to get Quartz2DExtreme to work directly on the graphics card so the CPU didn't have to worry about the OSX interface. I'd guess all of Frontrow uses the graphics card's features.

Just to be different :) I'm actually a little disappointed that they put such a powerful CPU in the AppleTV. We don't need the power of a Pentium M - just a great graphics card that can stream from iTunes.

(okay.... so the graphics card... I'd better ask... is it good?)

Airport Express 6.5" square
Mac Mini 6.5" square
AppleTV 7.7" square <snip>

If they built a Mac Mini at that size would that be enough room to give it a 3.5" HDD for real HDD space (250GB+), and N wifi, C2D, and a real graphics card?Add HDMI, component video outputs etc :)

I wondered the same thing - will the next MacMini be slightly wider to match the new AppleTV? (If the new Airport Extreme had been 7.7" square I would have considered it almost definite).

I would much prefer that over the AppleTV.I want EyeTV, FrontRow, & Component output. Too much to ask?

Hey can someone tell me - I want to play iMovies I'm making to an AppleTV. Does Frontrow pickup movies from iTunes movies, or the Mac's Movie folder? (regardless - the DV bandwidth will be about 32Mbps which is rather unlikely unless the new iMovie does some neat compression tricks).

NintendoFan
Jan 15, 2007, 07:48 AM
That's the MAIN reason I would buy an iTV for, but I am not yet sure about it...putting aside legal hurdles (for some countries) for a moment, are legally-ripped DVDs accepted into the iTunes library? Is that possible at all?

I kindly hope for an answer, as this would, in itself, justify a purchase...I have no use for iTMS shows or movies (being in CH), but I hate having to swap disks or keep a physical pile of discs to watch DVDs downstairs on my LCD TV...

Can anyone clarify this issue for me? Is iTV (and iTunes) able to recognize VIDEO.TS or legally-ripped DVD images? Thanks a lot!

No, you'll need to encode them into something iTunes understand, mp4, mov, etc.

If they built a Mac Mini at that size would that be enough room to give it a 3.5" HDD for real HDD space (250GB+), and N wifi, C2D, and a real graphics card?

I assumed the issue with a 3.5" hard drive wasn't width, rather the height.

if a system of those specs can do HD video than why the hell did my iMac G5 choke on HD like crazy

Because this product was built to play it. You do realize it's a stand alone product and not a so called "computer"?

Xyl
Jan 15, 2007, 08:40 AM
I heard that the iPhone only has some crappy Arm-processor instead of quad-core Xeon. That makes me not want it. Too bad.

WTF?!?! And I thought it had TWO quad-core Xeons.

I think all those complaining about the Pentium M processor must have absolutely no common sense at all. Obviously, the processor is good enough for what it's being used for. Would Apple sell a product that when used, will lag for 2 minutes every 20 seconds? I don't think so, and this is common sense. All those complaining thus need to start getting some common sense (if that's even possible :rolleyes: ).

chabig
Jan 15, 2007, 08:53 AM
two questions, does this thing act as a WAP as well...
The Apple guy told me "no" at MacWorld.

sartinsauce
Jan 15, 2007, 09:23 AM
You know, I'm not a one of the people who complains about weak specs when Apple releases a new product. As such, this will be a first for me...

I'm very disappointed with the AppleTV. I was really looking forward to it, so maybe that's part of the problem. I'm hoping that this first generation of AppleTVs is a success, so that Apple releases a second or third generation of the device.

I appreciate that I may not be Apple's target demographic for this device, and I know that they don't design products just for me. These are two insights that are completely foreign concepts to a lot of people here at MR.

That being said, there are only two features I want that this doesn't have:

1) I'd like it to be an 802.11n/g/b WAP.
2) I'd like higher resolution content at the iTS.

You see, I was hoping this this would be designed for SD, and I could use it to enjoy content for the next year or so until I upgrade my home system to HD.

After G
Jan 15, 2007, 09:28 AM
The more I think about the AppleTV, the more I feel torn about it.

First of all: I like the product. I really do. I like the design and simplicity of it. I want to like it. But... Why oh why they didn't include DVD-player in there? I have a digital receiver/DVR. And I have a DVD-player and a stack of DVD's. And I have no videos from iTunes (since no videos are available in Finland, but I digress). So what should I do?

- I can't get rid of the DVR, since I need it to watch TV (broadcasts are digital, my TV is analog)

- I can't get rid of the DVD, since I have quite a bit of DVD-movies. Yes, I do occasionally watch the extras and I need subtitles.

If AppleTV had included a DVD-player, I could have replaced my DVD-player with AppleTV. But as things are right now, I can't replace anything with the AppleTV.

Jobs said that "AppleTV is the DVD-player of the 21st century". Well, no, it's not. The video-content that AppleTV plays back is not as good as DVD-content (no extras etc.), and the playback-capabilities are limited. And AppleTV does not play back DVD's. But even still, I want to like AppleTV. But as things are right now, AppleTV would be yet another components in my stack of components. I want to make things SIMPLER. Adding yet another piece of equipment does not make things simpler, on the contrary. I currently have a remote for TV, DVR and DVD-player. If AppleTV had a DVD-player, I could have just TV, DVR and AppleTV-remote (with Apple Remote being really simple). As things are right now, I would have remotes for TV, DVR, DVD and AppleTV.

Since Front Row supports DVD-playback, why doesn't AppleTV support is as well? You know it makes sense. Make no mistake: If AppleTV had included a DVD-player, I would have been first in line to buy one.Would you really have bought a $300 DVD player? My Philips DVD player already does MP4 and music and cost less than $100, but with a not-so-good interface. There were people on this board complaining about the DVD software on OS X ... Apple'd probably use that as the base DVD playback software for the AppleTV too. If the target market is what I am thinking, they probably already have DVD players as well. Better than anything Apple can cram into the AppleTV form factor.

Really, the idea is to give you a reason to pay for content instead of spending the few minutes it takes to rip your DVDs into an AppleTV format and copy them to iTunes, or the time it takes to move your TV shows from the DVR to AppleTV (if you can). It gets time-prohibitive when you have a nice stack of 4-500 DVDs and GBs worth of shows on DVR to AppleTV them all. You can rip extras, but it's even more of a time drain. You might as well not buy an AppleTV as it sounds like your needs are filled with your setup already.

If the AppleTV is not for you, it's not for you. Wait for the next one while people who like the feature-set buy now and get enjoyment out of it. I am not getting one because I don't have component-out or HDMI on my 15 year old TV and can't fork over the money for a new one. However, I have the choice to buy the $20 DVI-Video output cable and replicate the AppleTV functionality with my Intel mini, and you probably have a computer you can dedicate to the task as well. Heck, I could have some sort of video-out and an EyeTV and just use my mini as the all-in-one magical device for digital cable, iTunes, photos, and DVD playback for US$100-150 here. You probably have a similar option that you haven't looked at.

Clive At Five
Jan 15, 2007, 09:31 AM
Seriously, WHY is there a Hard Drive in this thing? It makes NO SENSE! If it can stream at 300Mb/s, that should be plenty quick for any 802.11n-equipped computer. So assuming that one's AppleTV gets its media from a "host computer" (which is in turn connected to the iTS), everything on the AppleTV would be a duplicate of content on the host computer -- a device which could just as well be streaming the data. Apple could have cut the price by almost $50 by not including the 40GB HD. Very unwise, if you ask me.

Alternatively, they could've added another HD plus a slightly beefier processor and made the device, in effect, a 80GB, dual-turner DVR/media streamer (granted it would probably be a little thicker). Since DVRs are all the rage these days, Apple could see the DVR features available today and raise media streaming... all for a very low price of $400, flat.

Perhaps this will be a future version of the device, and Apple might just be testing the waters, but if the device fails, primarily because it doesn't include DVR capabilities, the AppleTV will not have a second chance. Apple needs to get the product right the first time, not the second time. Same goes for all their computers/devices, practically... 2nd gen is always better. I know I'll receive some flak for saying this, but that's why I'm waiting for the 2nd gen iPhone... that and I don't have money for it now ;). A big wedding is coming up! :D

-Clive

NintendoFan
Jan 15, 2007, 09:42 AM
Seriously, WHY is there a Hard Drive in this thing? It makes NO SENSE! If it can stream at 300Mb/s, that should be plenty quick for any 802.11n-equipped computer. So assuming that one's AppleTV gets its media from a "host computer" (which is in turn connected to the iTS), everything on the AppleTV would be a duplicate of content on the host computer -- a device which could just as well be streaming the data. Apple could have cut the price by almost $50 by not including the 40GB HD. Very unwise, if you ask me.

So your computer doesn't have to be "on" to watch content.

fraggle
Jan 15, 2007, 09:50 AM
I wonder if, on inserting a DVD into your mac, it can be streamed to the device for playback on your TV and sound system. That'd take a lot of bandwidth but would be a really cool feature.

A DVD (video) has a max. bandwidth of 10Mbit/s so streaming even with 10g would be ok, 10n should not have any problems with it!

fraggle
Jan 15, 2007, 09:52 AM
Seriously, WHY is there a Hard Drive in this thing? It makes NO SENSE! [...] Apple could have cut the price by almost $50 by not including the 40GB HD. Very unwise, if you ask me.

Well, the box has to get its OS from somewhere! And if you need an HD anyway the price difference between a 40GB and a smaller one will probably be only cents for Apple. And local caching of data also makes sense IMHO.

ClimbingTheLog
Jan 15, 2007, 10:08 AM
They're also direct descendants of the Pentium II from those infamous snail ads :p .

And we're direct descendants of chimpanzee-like apes, but we build skyscrapers and moon bases. Did you have a point?

Food for thought: the core-* line of CPU's are direct descendants of the Pentium-M.

It's a really nice chip, and the guys at Intel Israel did a bang-up job with it. Fortunately the Marketing department didn't know what they were doing.

I'm amazed at the pricing of this system. A network appliance with a Pentium-M CPU is closer to $700-$1000. I can't wait to hack on an AppleTV to re-use it for other tasks.

ncbill
Jan 15, 2007, 10:08 AM
Wonder if you can substitute say a 160GB drive for the 40GB.

Or if it will stream from your iTunes library on an external hard drive attached to the new Airport Express (even if the computer is off)

I would be another of those people who want to see some DVR solution before I would buy this.

That may be as simple as some third party coming out with a tuner and DVR software that can record directly in iTunes format (I don't want to have to manually re-encode recorded shows)

Until then, I'll stick with my paid for Replay (250GB upgrade, commercial skip) and the new dual-tuner Tivo Series 2 I'm testing ($30 for the box, $15/month)

Clive At Five
Jan 15, 2007, 10:19 AM
Well, the box has to get its OS from somewhere! And if you need an HD anyway the price difference between a 40GB and a smaller one will probably be only cents for Apple. And local caching of data also makes sense IMHO.

The iPhone's OS is less than 500MB. Drop in two 512MB flash chips and you have one for dedicated OS and one for buffering/cache... all for $15. Done.

-Clive

Silentwave
Jan 15, 2007, 10:24 AM
Rant below. Apologies in advance.

Time to clear it up: NetBurst vs. P6
The Pentium architecture has always stank. I would have hoped that Apple would never have used it. Imagine if they had put Pentium 4's in the MacPro's.

ARGH!!!
I see Pentium!
The dreaded name of crappy computers!
Please Apple, make this not so. Put in a low power core architecture chip.
The day that Apple uses Pentium chips is a dark one.
I don't care how well it does the job, it's the priciple of the matter. Even a Pentium M is a dark remnant of a philosophy and needs to die. The poor AppleTV! It must be in constant pain.

You're both wrong.

The Pentium M is a remnant of the BRIGHT spot, Erasmus.

One Day, Intel decided clock speed would be nice to kick up a few billion notches. The result was NetBurst, the horribly inefficient microarchitecture used in the Pentium 4 and Pentium D. Oops. Bad idea. THAT architecture is what you guys are thinking of.

But it was power hungry, hot, and inefficient per clock - not what laptops needed. So they went back to the previous generation, back to the P6 ARCHITECTURE.

This development cycle saw some improvements over the old P6 implementation, creating the Pentium M Architecture. This architecture was far less power hungry, far more efficient per clock, and threw off only a small amount of heat, so performance was overall great.

Intel decided that this was the way to go all across the line.
The first fruits of this change of heart you might know. One was called Sossaman, a low power server chip. It was based on the other one, a chip called Yonah, better known as Intel Core.

Core Solo Yonah chips were, as mentioned before, little more than Pentium Ms with SSE3 and a faster FSB for the full-power versions. Core Duos, on the other hand, had two of them on the same die, with no increase in power consumption over the previous generation of Pentium M.

The Intel Core Microarchitecture used ONLY in the Core 2 and Xeon Woodcrest/Clovertown line is the DIRECT SUCCESSOR of the Pentium M version of P6! .

Incidentally, Intel has not yet released the low power versions of the Core Microarchitecture mobile chip, Merom. So they couldn't do what you ask Erasmus.

Sorry for the rant. I needed to get it out of my system.

bommai
Jan 15, 2007, 11:22 AM
Because the GPU is all that matters. Decoding the video fast & well is all that matters. And not just video - we already know Apple was trying to get Quartz2DExtreme to work directly on the graphics card so the CPU didn't have to worry about the OSX interface. I'd guess all of Frontrow uses the graphics card's features.

Just to be different :) I'm actually a little disappointed that they put such a powerful CPU in the AppleTV. We don't need the power of a Pentium M - just a great graphics card that can stream from iTunes.

(okay.... so the graphics card... I'd better ask... is it good?)

Add HDMI, component video outputs etc :)

I wondered the same thing - will the next MacMini be slightly wider to match the new AppleTV? (If the new Airport Extreme had been 7.7" square I would have considered it almost definite).

I want EyeTV, FrontRow, & Component output. Too much to ask?

Hey can someone tell me - I want to play iMovies I'm making to an AppleTV. Does Frontrow pickup movies from iTunes movies, or the Mac's Movie folder? (regardless - the DV bandwidth will be about 32Mbps which is rather unlikely unless the new iMovie does some neat compression tricks).

You have to first export your iMovie as H.264 or MPEG4. Apple TV will only play MPEG4 or H.264 files. I would assume that in the next update to Quicktime and/or iLife they will have specific export options that allows for one-click export to Apple TV. They might have options like Export to
Apple TV only (720p 24fps)
Apple TV and iPod Video (640x480)
etc.

Peace
Jan 15, 2007, 11:29 AM
Man some of you are acting like the Apple TV is a computer.It's NOT.
All it does and all it needs to do is transfer data from one point to another,stream media and utilize a "Front Row" type GUI.Nothing else.

It doesn't need a C2D or Quad core..That's overkill..

Maxwell Smart
Jan 15, 2007, 11:35 AM
I love all these people who are talking about how Pentium means this thing will suck. Pentium M is just the predecessor of Core Duo / Core Solo people! Jeez. These specs are in line with what I was expecting, and I'll definitely be picking one of these up.

SiliconAddict
Jan 15, 2007, 12:00 PM
How are they doing high def with 64MB of VRAM? Wait? were only going to 720P right? Never mind....I was thinking 1080i support.

avkills
Jan 15, 2007, 12:03 PM
You guys are all missing the real question.

Why does this $299, thin, internally cramped machine have a better GPU than both the MacBook and the Mac mini?

Hah hah... Good point. Probably because Apple wants to expand its capability later down the road. 1080p?

-mark

Peace
Jan 15, 2007, 12:10 PM
How are they doing high def with 64MB of VRAM? Wait? were only going to 720P right? Never mind....I was thinking 1080i support.

720P is better than 1080i anyway.

jcricket
Jan 15, 2007, 12:11 PM
I agree with the people that say it should have included a DVD player.

I've already got a DVD player, I've got a Tivo, I don't need a third device, for both space + complexity reasons. I also don't want to have my computer on all the time or even to go upstairs just to watch a DVD. I like the ability to get my music and photos, but I'm not really going to buy TV shows or movies via the iTunes store right now.

And since Apple isn't showing any signs of offering a subscription model for TV shows on iTunes and adding DVR features would be pretty complex, the Tivo's gonna stay in my living room for the time being.

OTOH, DVD players are like $30 in the store. Upconverting DVD players are under $100. Throwing a DVD player in the in the appleTV would be a cheap way to get lots of people to more easily consider replacing one piece of equipment in their rack for another one with far more capabilities.

The appleTV would still be for recorded content (DVD, stuff stored on your Mac/PC, iTunes purchases), and your DVR is for channel surfing and recording broadcast material. I'd buy that appleTV in a second.

To me, though, I really hope Apple gets into the movie subscription download service (think netflix via the internet). I'm much more likely to pay apple $15/month for 3 DVD rentals (or whatever) than I am to pay $10/movie.

SiliconAddict
Jan 15, 2007, 12:16 PM
720P is better than 1080i anyway.

Meh.. I've never had any problems on my HDTV. That being said I have 3:2 pulldown support in my TV...*shrugs*

gkarris
Jan 15, 2007, 12:30 PM
Why are people complaining about the specs of Apple's Media Player? It's not meant to be a computer!

It's for people like me. I have an el-cheapo Compaq with Windows filesharing I use as a home server. I have iTunes on that and the purchases I make with my iBook G4 I transfer to the server. I sync my 5th Gen iPod with the server. Now, instead of using S-Video to watch the shows via iPod, I can get an AppleTV and hook into my home theater (and I only have component, not HDMI).

I did try to share my server's unprotected content with my XBox 360 - but that, of course, didn't work (MS website said I have to do some weird configs with my ethernet hub, forget it...).

Awesome, nice job Apple. I have my order in for one...

We need to compare AppleTV to other Media Players such as this:

http://www.dlink.com/products/?sec=0&pid=318

Evangelion
Jan 15, 2007, 12:31 PM
Would you really have bought a $300 DVD player?

no. but i would have bought an elegant device that plays back content from my computer (photos, videos, music...), plays back content from the net, has a great gui... and it would also play back my dvd's. it wouldn't be a "$300 dvd-player", it would be a device that does a lot more than dvd-player does, while being able to also act as a dvd-player.

My Philips DVD player already does MP4 and music and cost less than $100, but with a not-so-good interface

so there you have it. also, it doesnt stream content, nor does it have a hard-disk.

Really, the idea is to give you a reason to pay for content instead of spending the few minutes it takes to rip your DVDs into an AppleTV format and copy them to iTunes, or the time it takes to move your TV shows from the DVR to AppleTV (if you can)

well, i could "pay for content". but i can;t, since movies and tv-shows are not available here. also, i already have a sizable dvd-collection. what should i do with it? also, to me the video-content on the itunes is not that appealing. slightly cheaper than dvd, only plays back on certain devices, no extras, limited selection etc. etc.

my point is that i could have used appletv to replace my existing devices, thus making my life simper. but as things are right now, appletv would make things more confusing and complex. i dont want a stack of devices, i want as few as possible. appletv could have helped me achieve that. but no. for some reason apple assumed that people have no dvd's, just itunes-content. if they could have made appletv in to dvd-replacement as well, itunes-content woul be a lot more appealng. but since it does not play back dvd's, the device is that much less appealing, and therefore i have one reason less to buy content frm itunes (if i could, that is)

it sounds like your needs are filled with your setup already

yes, my needs are met. but it's awkward and un-elegant. i would love to be able to reduce the amount of equipment. appletv does not let me do that, it would just make everything more compilcated.

carlgo
Jan 15, 2007, 01:01 PM
The combination of a flat screen 16:9 tv and an iTv makes a stylish and compelling advertising photo. Love the minimalist look.

Nobody hates cable clutter, racks of components, multiple remotes and terrible interfaces more than me.

But, do I want to connect to the world solely through iTunes downloads?

Am I to forego surround sound, 1080i/p resolution, HD media sources and the ability to tune into the broadcast world instantly?

I don't think that is realistic, so if I am to enjoy the benefits of iTv I have to add it to what I already have (or might have). This means more, not less clutter, another remote and so on.

I don't care if iTv runs on worms or atomic chips, but hopefully Apple Inc comes out with a version that combines the features of several existing components.

Lurk on some groups that share (!) their experiences with the horrid interfaces of cable and satellite boxes. There is a huge and useful market there.

carlgo
Jan 15, 2007, 01:07 PM
Damn, in the time it took me to formulate my post, Evangellon said it all. I think there are many of us that think this way.

jcricket
Jan 15, 2007, 01:09 PM
my point is that i could have used appletv to replace my existing devices, thus making my life simper.
This is it exactly. The inclusion of a DVD player (esp. an upconverting one) would have been a low-cost way to add quite a bit of functionality to the appleTV, and allow a lot of people to replace an existing device while gaining all the other neat features. In other words, it would put people who are just "considering" the appleTV firmly into the "get me one of those now" camp.

Other features (subscription service for movies) would really send me over the edge.

I don't need it to replace my DVR, though. That's a whole different set of features. Maybe down the road (as I mentioned) they could at least add streaming from your Tivo.

50548
Jan 15, 2007, 01:18 PM
Why are people complaining about the specs of Apple's Media Player? It's not meant to be a computer!

It's for people like me. I have an el-cheapo Compaq with Windows filesharing I use as a home server. I have iTunes on that and the purchases I make with my iBook G4 I transfer to the server. I sync my 5th Gen iPod with the server. Now, instead of using S-Video to watch the shows via iPod, I can get an AppleTV and hook into my home theater (and I only have component, not HDMI).

I did try to share my server's unprotected content with my XBox 360 - but that, of course, didn't work (MS website said I have to do some weird configs with my ethernet hub, forget it...).

Awesome, nice job Apple. I have my order in for one...

We need to compare AppleTV to other Media Players such as this:

http://www.dlink.com/products/?sec=0&pid=318

For me, the only thing holding off an iTV purchase is the question of how to watch legally-ripped DVDs from iTunes...someone above told me I would have to recode it to m4a or mov, something like that...

Question: how/where do I do that? Is there a quality loss from the DVD to the recoded file?

Last remark: people here are complaining about lack of 1080 support...how many people in the world REALLY need that in a 5-year timeframe? Less than 0.5% of the globe, trust me...HD TV is ways off in most of the world, including the developed countries...

bommai
Jan 15, 2007, 01:38 PM
Man some of you are acting like the Apple TV is a computer.It's NOT.
All it does and all it needs to do is transfer data from one point to another,stream media and utilize a "Front Row" type GUI.Nothing else.

It doesn't need a C2D or Quad core..That's overkill..

Apple TV is nothing but a "DVD player" type device with streaming, and downloading support built-in. Is anyone complaining that a DVD player does not have a Core 2 Duo in it. That is absurd.

Here are the tasks for the Apple TV.

A 1 GHz Pentium M is plenty fast for the following tasks:

1) Handle an incoming stream from a computer or internet through ethernet or wireless.
2) Write to hard drive as fast as you can.
3) Generate Front Row interface
4) Hand over large chunks of data to the graphics processor as fast as you can.
5) Perform any audio decoding necessary and any picture decoding such as PNG, JPEG, GIF, etc.
6) Handle other OS features of Mac OS X Lite.

The NVdia graphics card is plenty fast for the following tasks:

1) Decode H.264 data (including 1280x720p) sent by the CPU
2) Decode MPEG4 data sent by the CPU
3) Render Front Row interface
4) Decode audio data (not sure if this is done by the CPU, other audio chip or by the graphics card) and send through HDMI as bitstream or send through optical audio output as bitstream or raw analog through stereo audio outputs
5) Decode JPEG and other picture formats sent by the CPU.

Remember these activities can be fine tuned and optimized since it is a pretty closed system. You will be amazed how much processing power is actually wasted on a desktop computer because of unoptimized code from various third party programs and compatibility.

whatever
Jan 15, 2007, 01:55 PM
I agree with a lot of what you say and am in a similar position. Why wasn't a DVD palyer included? Probably because they are waiting for an affordable BlueRay drive! why no DVR? Probably because they want to sell TV and Movies via iTunes.

One question I have is that it can apparently output at 720P but what content will they sell at 720P or does it magically upscale current iTunes content to 720P - that would be nice!

Also what happens if it is connected to a 1080P screen? I've been waiting to by my flat screen until these have become available. Why buy a 720P screen when HD-DVD/Blueray all output 1080P?
DVD players are a dying breed and hopefully both BlueRay and HD-DVD will never mature. Would you rather upgrade a piece of equipment everytime the movie studios wish to make some more money from you. How many times can you rebuy the same movies?
Devices like Apple TV are actually media independent (like an iPod or a computer). There is no technical reason why the Apple TV will not support 1080P today.
What Apple needs is support from movie studios (who are now torn between BlueRay and HD-DVD). If Apple was able to outsell both of these formats (maybe Disney or Paramount will provide HD content to Apple) then ....
However there is another hurdle. Retail stores. Stores such as Best Buy and Walmart need hard media to fill their shelfs. If Apple manages to erode DVD sales (like they did with CD) and both BlueRay and DVD-HD die in child birth, then these stores will not have any product to sell.
I've been saying this for years, the day of hard media (45s, LPs, 8-Track, Cassettes, CD, LaserDisc, Beta, VHS, DVD, BlueRay, HD-DVD) are numbered!

skiteacher
Jan 15, 2007, 02:22 PM
the Mac Mini page is due for a refresh soon.;)

Maybe they will create the "Mac Mini Module" M^3 :p
if they update the mini to work as a component in the 3M system (Mac Media Module) then it will be the brains in the apple tv/airport media hub. They could stack on top of one-another or "Dock" some how. the Mini could be the next iPod you know ;)

Ha! now all we need is a "graphics blade" and we will have a semi mobile pc gaming media center :p
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r75/odduwon/minis.jpg

I think you may have something here..... I think we'll see.

Mac Mini... DVD player/recorder, DVR recorder, email and internet on a plasma TV, (wireless keyboard, and eyetv, ofcourse)

Airport extream.... able to send content and broadband to any 'puter in the house and the ability to be a media server if you a connected large external drive.

iTV... The box that pulls it all together and packages it with itunes for broadband movie purchase and rental. Possibly even going as far as getting into 'broadband/cable'... not the hardware, but greatly expanding the TV shows available now, so that some people will not even need cable as such, especially as more and more news and weather is podcasted.

All in one tidy cube shaped rack??? maybe even a clear, lucite cube???? Nahhhh couldn't be.... could it?

tbazani
Jan 15, 2007, 02:24 PM
what if i rip a DVD? Apple TV will play it on the screen?
my dad uses to download some very rare videos from P2P community. will Apple TV be able to play these downloaded videos on my TV ?

or... if it´s on iTunes, Apple TV will play smoothly?

ClimbingTheLog
Jan 15, 2007, 02:45 PM
Man some of you are acting like the Apple TV is a computer

Of course it is. It's not a Mac, that's true.

whatever
Jan 15, 2007, 02:52 PM
I think you may have something here..... I think we'll see.

Mac Mini... DVD player/recorder, DVR recorder, email and internet on a plasma TV, (wireless keyboard, and eyetv, ofcourse)

Airport extream.... able to send content and broadband to any 'puter in the house and the ability to be a media server if you a connected large external drive.

iTV... The box that pulls it all together and packages it with itunes for broadband movie purchase and rental. Possibly even going as far as getting into 'broadband/cable'... not the hardware, but greatly expanding the TV shows available now, so that some people will not even need cable as such, especially as more and more news and weather is podcasted.

All in one tidy cube shaped rack??? maybe even a clear, lucite cube???? Nahhhh couldn't be.... could it?
I think you're missing the point here. Apple is trying to create a simple consumer product. Not one that resembles a computer. If that was their goal then they would just used the Mac Mini. They want a product that looks like it belongs.
Let's face the facts, a computer in the living room is just plain ugly.

My own personal plan is to move all of my a/v equipment out of my living room and into a media closet (which is actually in a bathroom) and have all of my speakers put into walls and and ceilings. And the only component which will be visible will be the Elite Plasma over my fireplace (even that I'm planning on covering up with a cool mirror, which looks like a mirror when the TV is off and when the TV is on the picture shines through).

jellomizer
Jan 15, 2007, 03:11 PM
that makes me not want it. too bad

Well my TiVo uses something like 60mhz processor and it still works. It is amazing how much you can do on small amounts of horsepower when it is specialized for a task. Apple TV Specs are probably more then enough to do what it was designed to do with a few software upgrades along the way.

aafuss1
Jan 15, 2007, 03:16 PM
I think AI must have got the specs from Apple Service Source.

RichP
Jan 15, 2007, 03:40 PM
Is there anything on this website that people DONT complain about?

Doctor Q
Jan 15, 2007, 04:58 PM
Is there anything on this website that people DONT complain about?Nobody complains that there aren't enough complaints.

Oh wait, I guess that's not true. When people accuse others of automatically defending Apple and its products, that's complaining that they don't complain enough.

TSEliotLives
Jan 15, 2007, 05:33 PM
720P is better than 1080i anyway.

I wish I knew where this rumor started. How can 720 lines of resolution be better than 1080? I mean, 1080 is a higher number than 720, right? Just because 1080i is interlaced doesn't mean it's the resolution equivalent of 540p. 1080i is the same resolution as 1080p, it's just the way the lines are scanned that's different.

Interlaced scan systems have been around since the dawn of TV, this is nothing new. In fact, most HD content (outside of Fox HD) is captured as interlaced video.

The only practical benefit progressive scan video offers is smoother, more fluid motion from film-based sources. That's it. No extra colors, or magical pixel pixies. Unicorns don't fly out of 1080p XBR TV's, nor is there much of anything out there in 1080p in the first place (nor will there be in the near future, save BluRay or HD-DVD).

And as for the topic at hand... as so many others have said, I don't care about the Apple TV specs, the GPU doesn't bother me, nor does the amount of HD space. What really gets my goat is how limited the list of files supported seems to be.

I really, really want to love this thing. I want to want one -- I'm trying to find reasons to talk myself into buying one. The problem is, everything I want to watch is Divx or Xvid or something like that. Now, I don't want to get into the moral/legal/ethical ramifications of this, but I just imagine that most folks that want to watch digital video content on their HD tv's want to watch their non-iTunes content.

I don't want a replacement for my DVD player -- my Pioneer Elite does a better job than any Apple-branded upconvert could ever do. I don't want a DVR replacement -- it might be expensive, but my Time-Warner issued HD DVR integrates very tightly with their programming schedule, and if the thing every flips its wig, it'll do it on Time Warner's dime. All I want is a simple path from my computer to my TV so I can watch my downloaded HD episodes of Dexter, or listen to my DRM'd music without having to navigate my receiver's clunky iPod interface. I thought the Apple TV would have been a great solution, but it just seems like it's going to be a slightly less-clunky, low-res, limited file format iPod.

I'd hold out hope that Apple will support other video codecs, but I get the sneaking feeling this is going to remain a very closed loop. Not that I'm necessarily complaining, mind you, but I'm still a little bit disappointed that it's not exactly what I imagined it to be.

robbyx
Jan 16, 2007, 12:55 AM
I ordered my Apple TV as soon as it became available. I then cancelled my order two days later. Why? Because MP4 support is not enough. I could care less what's inside the box. I only care about what the box can do. I'd put money on the movie studios having forced Apple to support only MP4 video in exchange for content. While that may look good on paper to the studios, it's an utterly boneheaded move.

Apple TV looks great. It's sleek. The interface is top-notch. But where is support for MPEG-2 video? For VOB files? For Transport Streams? For DivX and Xvid? For AVI? Heck, for WMV? If this box is designed for people who buy TV shows on the iTMS, that's not a very big market. Unlike Apple's music market, which continues to grow very quickly, Apple's video market, while strong, isn't enough to make Apple TV a success. I want to rip my DVDs and not have to hunt through a stack of cases to find a movie. I want to play back all the stupid little video clips people send me via email. I want to browse YouTube and Google Video.

Apple TV makes me want to buy an Xbox 360 and Media Center PC to replace my home server (a PowerMac G4). Apple could have hit this one out of the park. Instead, they've delivered a crippled box that doesn't really appeal to many people. And with UPnP offerings from Netgear, Dlink, and others getting better (yeah, I know, they still suck pretty hard...but give it time), Apple is missing a huge window of opportunity. If they supported more formats, this thing could be the next iPod. By limiting themselves to MP4, they've all but guaranteed that Apple TV will be a bit player. I'm a diehard Apple guy. I've been a loyal customer for 24 years now. But I'm not drinking the kool-aid. Apple TV is a stinker.

And before someone pipes up with something to the effect of "well, you can convert your stuff to MP4", who the heck wants to do that? It takes several hours to convert a ripped DVD to MP4. And I certainly don't want to deal with converting the endless little video clips I stumble across on a regular basis. Conversion is too time-consuming and tedious.

fraggle
Jan 16, 2007, 01:19 AM
How are they doing high def with 64MB of VRAM? Wait? were only going to 720P right? Never mind....I was thinking 1080i support.

What does the size of the VRAM have to do with the supported resolution??

fraggle
Jan 16, 2007, 01:24 AM
The iPhone's OS is less than 500MB. Drop in two 512MB flash chips and you have one for dedicated OS and one for buffering/cache... all for $15. Done.

First of all I do not think the comparison to size of the iPhone's OS is valid here, these are two completely different machines. Both from a hardware point of view and from the intended uses.

The price difference to a real hard drive is not so big given your numbers but gives you much more capacity. Plus the fact that for caching a flash chip is the worst possible choice as it wears down when written to frequently.

GregA
Jan 16, 2007, 01:50 AM
Somebody correct me if my understanding is faulty!How can 720 lines of resolution be better than 1080? I mean, 1080 is a higher number than 720, right? Just because 1080i is interlaced doesn't mean it's the resolution equivalent of 540p. 1080i is the same resolution as 1080p, it's just the way the lines are scanned that's different. Yeah... but 720p60 means there are 720 lines, and all 720 are refreshed every 1/60th of a second (ie 60 refreshes per second). 1080i60 means that there are 1080 lines, and half of them are refreshed every 1/60th of a second - then the other half are refreshed.

If the picture is barely moving, then you get 1080 crystal clear lines. If the picture is moving fast, then each line is slightly out of sync with the line above/below it (the faster the picture is moving, the more out of sync). If you're wanting a really clear picture and it's fast moving action, interlace is not good.

So there are systems to de-interlace the content, so the blur is removed. They do a reasonable job! The best ones work out what formula was used to interlace the picture in the first place. Film has 24 frames in a second which are then spread out over 60 pictures and then interlaced together, and it uses a preset standard so it's pretty easy to de-interlace it. Video is harder - scenes with little motion don't need much work, but fast scenes from interlaced video sometimes just drop half the lines to make it work.

Interlaced scan systems have been around since the dawn of TV, this is nothing new. In fact, most HD content (outside of Fox HD) is captured as interlaced video.Interlaced systems were chosen because they had no choice. Electricity was at 60Hz so the TV flickered at that rate. The rays in the tube couldn't move fast enough to do 60 cycles a second of the whole screen, so it was made to do half the lines, then the other half. Again - they had no choice.

Film is captured as 24p. I'm really not sure what standards are most common for capturing HD content. Do they capture at 1080p and then interlace it? Or capture interlaced? I'd guess they'll move to 1080p as soon as the cameras can handle it (even if they're forced to transmit at 1080i for all the HD receivers that are designed for it!)

ps. This-week-in-media mentioned this week that there was a test a few years back of 1080p24 against 1080p60. People preferred 1080p24, they theorise it's because it's what we've come to expect as a "movie experience".

pps. When people talk about bandwidth required to transmit a 1080p movie, I believe the frame rate is an important factor. 1080p24 would make the file smaller than 1080p60, and match precisely the frame rate of most current movies. 1080p30 also refreshes the whole picture every 1/30th/second, instead of half the picture every 1/60th/second - and progressive compresses better than interlaced!

ppps. Australia and Europe have 240v power, and 50Hz. So our TVs are 50Hz (or 100Hz), and our frame rate is 25 instead of 24. Unfortunately, our HD transmissions still follows these old rates!! At least modern TVs handle pretty well whatever is thrown at them.

MagicWok
Jan 16, 2007, 01:57 AM
After having read these posts, I am still left unsure about this Apple release (and I'm not talking about the idiots complaining about the hardware - get over yourselves)...

- I do not understand of promoting the iTunes compatability with this thing, until the store starts to sell 720P HD content. I will not watch anything from the iTunes store at present as the quality is abismal. I know you can listen to music and view pictures, but come on, this is labeled as apple TV and therefore needs the media for support. As such, I can only presume Apple are working on bringing in 720p content as we speak. Given that Apple has said that the product is a little way off from shipping, gives it time to prep the ITMS for some decent 720p content to be purchased. Otherwise, the Apple TV is not as user friendly as it seems, and I will be most dissapointed, and will not purchase this one product by Apple. See, a lot of people are tech-savvy to a point. I'm sure that although lots of us know to d/l Handbrake to rip our DVD's, a lot more people will not know this, or how, or have issues with it working. iTunes needs revamping as much as physical products do right now, it has been long in the tooth with 640x480 media and I hope that when the AppleTV is finally shipped, that Apple also updates iTunes to get the most out of this product. Otherwise it is a waste. Being an iTunes player is its real purpose and potential.

- I think the reason there is a lot of anti-bias towards this product, is because people were/are uncertain as to what this product can really do. It's potential is massive, although it has been restrained. And this is due to the fact that if Apple add too many more features, they will start stepping on the toes of their other products, ie. Mac Mini, and that will hurt their sales strategy and line up. This is unfortunate as it is the versitality of Apple's products that have undone what would have been quite a nice concept. As such, it is kind of stuck between two points of interest and landed in a distinctly grey area. In fact, the only plus it has over the Mac Mini, is the connectivity options - if Apple were to put a direct HDMI connection into the Mini, not a lot of people would buy the Apple TV - I for sure would not. If they did add a DVD player, the market share of people who go for a Mac Mini, would buy this product instead, and that would hurt sales for Apple. As a result, I still see it as a bit of a strange standpoint by Apple to include a HDD, as this almost begs for a DVD drive! I'm sure Apple wanted to put a DVD drive in, as this would have increased it's appeal 10 fold, but as for the reasons pointed out before, they couldn't.

To sum up :p I like the potential of this product, combined with the new AiportExpress 'disk' feature, there is a lot of hidden untapped potential to this thing. But as I see it, most suprisingly it is crippled by something Apple is great at: iTunes. It does not have have any HD content, and I'm not shelving out £200 to simply play HD trailers on my TV. And as it doesn't have a DVD player built in for various reasons outlined, I'm not buying another peice of clutter for my house unless it serves a real purpose. And as the confusion on this thread outlines, it doesn't. Yet.

I'd like to close with a quote from the product page that kind of sums up the problems we have here with the product:

"If it's on iTunes, it's on TV ... Instead of huddling around your computer to watch what’s on iTunes, connect Apple TV to your widescreen television and wirelessly sync your iTunes library."

Now since when have any group of people, us, ever huddled around our computer screen to watch content on iTunes?

stcanard
Jan 16, 2007, 02:01 AM
I'm really unsure about ?TV, and by that I mean ... unsure. Not that I don't like it, but I'm really not sure what I think. To explain why, I need to tell a story...

When I bought my first powerbook, it was really before the iPod revolution in Canada, nobody had one yet, the AL PB had just been announced, and the 3G was brand new. As part of the bundle deal with the powerbook, I was offered a free printer -- Canon i450, which I though cool, I already have a colour HP that will do 11" wide prints, but I can't turn down a free printer, and was offered a $300 rebate on the iPod. I had no MP3's, had no intention of an MP3 collection, but couldn't turn down the offer, so I got the cheapest iPod I could get (the 10GB 3G) and paid $80 for it. A decision I now regret.

The powerbook was everything I could have hoped for, no disappointment.

The i450 was fascinating ... I just wrote an essay then deleted it, since its beside the point. Basically it was so much better than my previous printer that it has released the inner artist in me, and I have my own framed prints through my house, something I have never done before, and never even considered doing.

Then came the iPod -- when I bought it, I had no idea what I would do with it, and no songs to play on it. But, I thought it was neat (my friends thought it was a waste), and I ripped my CD's into iTunes. The DBA in me organized them meticulously and built a rich set of Smart Playlists.

Now I do regret the purchase -- I should have got the largest available (30GB) because I long ago ended up with more digital songs than space[1] . My CD's are boxed and stored in the attic somewhere, what a waste of space they were before! With the organization, smart playlists have completely changed the way I listen to music, no exaggeration.

When I bought my smart phone, I became addicted to eBooks -- a thing I had sworn I could never do, because I liked the feel of the pages in my hands. But backlighting is so nice on the bus in the morning, having 5 books in your pocket is so handy when you're in the queue at the store[2]...

So back to ?TV. My first thought is why would I possibly spend that kind of money on a device to stream video when I don't have any video to stream? But I said the same thing about my iPod ... and now I have more music than I have iPod. I said the same thing about eBooks, now I have to manage them because I can fill the entire memory of my Palm with the books I am currently working on. I didn't want a digital camera, since I didn't want to have to sit at my computer to look at photos, now they're framed around the house and the film photo albums are beside the CDs in the attic.

Will ?TV do the same thing? I'm really not sure, but history seems to be on its side. Its something I need to think about -- my family spends a lot of time crowded around my MacBook staring at YouTube videos (before someone points out I can't watch YouTube on the ?TV, that's beside the point since its an example of streamed video) [3], home videos, and Video Podcasts.

Of course the alternative I am seriously considering is a full MythTV system with a Mac Mini front-end, which will do all and more, but for more cost (basically the Mac Mini cost, the Ubuntu backend is already 75% built for other reasons), so it really comes down to cost/benfit.

I'm really unsure, I need more time to think, weigh, and look at what people do with it. I was disappointed when it was announced, but on reflection the iPod of the TV is not a bad idea[4].

Is ?[5]TV worth it? I guess time will tell.

[1] of course the brilliance of the iPod is that it can deal with it; my iPod is all 4 and 5 star songs, plus 3 star to fill the rest, sorted by least recently listened to.

[2] Also much better at the coffee shop, where you can have the eBook in one hand, and the coffee in the other. No losing pages when you have to try to take a sip -- this is a potential issue with the iPhone where i may have to put my coffee down to scroll the page, instead of the thumb button I am used to.

[3] But given how cozy Apple and Google currently are, you never know what the future may bring

[4] Is it hackable to a Myth front-end + FrontRow? wouldn't that be the ultimate....

[5] ????? I just ???*figured ? out ? how to type an ? and its so much fun ?

TSEliotLives
Jan 16, 2007, 03:24 AM
Okay, I know this is off-topic, please don't flame me for this, but I just can't resist a friendly debate, even if I'm the only one debating:

720p60 means there are 720 lines, and all 720 are refreshed every 1/60th of a second (ie 60 refreshes per second). 1080i60 means that there are 1080 lines, and half of them are refreshed every 1/60th of a second - then the other half are refreshed.

If the picture is barely moving, then you get 1080 crystal clear lines. If the picture is moving fast, then each line is slightly out of sync with the line above/below it (the faster the picture is moving, the more out of sync). If you're wanting a really clear picture and it's fast moving action, interlace is not good.

As for the 720p60 thing, this is a partial truth. However, while "progressive scan" can mean a variety of framerates, if we're talking about most instances of progressive scan, it's going to be 24 fps. Only video content appears as 60 fps.

Any sort of degradation caused by interlaced video is massively overshadowed by the HUGE damage done to images by HDTV compression. If you think interlacing is bad, you should watch some network TV sometime on a TV with a poor motion artifact filter.

It is true, interlacing was the only option that was really available in the infancy of television. That doesn't mean that it's an entirely bad system, though. The way I see it, the only reason to even think about a dual system is to better accomodate watching films on a television.

True, film is 24 fps. True, television is 60 half-fields per second. But how do you divide 24 into 60? You don't. Hence, jerky motion, hence, artifacting, hence, brief details in the film showing up for only a single interlaced field. Yawn. I'd be more concerned about the fact that your contrast control is set too high and you just paid $249 for a Monster Cable that made the store you bought it from about $248 in margin. Or the fact that that $4000 LCD of yours can't produce a true black. The list goes on and on.

I'm not the chair of A Fair Wisconsin Votes Interlaced or anything, but it's just one of my huge pet peeves when people get all hung up on interlaced versus progressive. Any benefit you get from progressive video is more often than not nullified by another weak link in the system, so don't sweat it. Set down the remote and go get some sun on your face.

Evangelion
Jan 16, 2007, 03:40 AM
To continue my comment regarding AppleTV and DVD-playback:

So, fact remains that AppleTV practically only plays back content from iTunes Store. Yes, you could rip your own content to iTunes, but that's marginal at best, and you lose such things as subtitles. So practically, AppleTV only plays back Apple-blessed content, while your existing content (that stack of DVD's you have) will not play back. Compare this to the iPod. When iPod was released, it played back all mp3's you had. What would have happened to the iPod if Apple had said "Your existing music will not play back on this device, you need to get your content from us in order to use this device". iPod would have been a flop. But as things turned out, you could use the iPod to replace your old mp3-player or your cd-player. Or you could use it to take those mp3's on your computer with you, regardlesss of their source. AppleTV does not do any of that.

So now we have a new device from Apple. Stylish and easy to use. But your existing content is useless with it. You need to get your content from iTunes in order to really use the device. Do I have to re-purchase my movies from iTMS, just so I could watch them on AppleTV?

Add to that the fact that it's quite easy to buy something to replace something that you already have. But to buy something that serves similar purpose to an existsing device, yet does not replace it, is a very difficult thing to sell. The sales-pitch of AppleTV is basically "It does more or less the same thing as your DVD-player does, but it does not replace your DVD-player.". So why should I buy it? If I could replace my DVD-player with AppleTV, I would buy one, and I wouldn't even have to think twice. Right now, it would just be another media-playback device in addition to my DVD-player and DVR, while not really replacing any of those devices.

I think that Apple miscalculated badly here. And the most puzzling thing is that, they ALMOST got it right. They kept on talking how AppleTV has Front Row-like interface. But Front Row plays back DVD's, AppleTV does not. They said how this is the "new DVD-player". But it's not "the new DVD-player", since... well, it's not.

Instead of requiring the user to re-purchase their content or live with even more complex stack of components, how about working with the user's old content and actually simplifying things? Yes, the AppleTV-DVD might not be as good as "real" DVD-player, but for 95% of people it would be "good enough".

How could they get it so wrong? They snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. They were so close of releasing a truly killer-product, and they opted to release a product that is not. Had they included DVD-playback in there, they could have "smuggled" tons of those devices to homes, devices that could play back iTunes-content out-of-the-box. The market for iTunes would have gotten pretty darn big. But as things are right now, people are going to look at AppleTV and ask themselves "I have a handful of movies/tv-shows from itunes (or none at all), but I also have tons of DVD's. Why should I buy this piece of equipment just so I could watch the few movies I got from iTunes?". Apple basically ignored the existing install-base of DVD, and that install-base is HUGE.

Evangelion
Jan 16, 2007, 03:59 AM
If they did add a DVD player, the market share of people who go for a Mac Mini, would buy this product instead, and that would hurt sales for Apple.

I disagree. For starters, how many people buy Mac Mini as a DVD-player? Not many. But on the other hand, if they did include DVD-player in the AppleTV, they could sell one to anyone thinking about getting a DVD-player. And they could sell it as a replacement for DVD-player. But as things are right now, they can't do either of those. AppleTV would be a new piece of equipment, replicating functionality of an existing device to some degree, yet not replacing that device. There would be overlap between the devices, yet neither could replace the other. If AppleTV included a DVD-player, it could replace standalone DVD-player 100%, whereas no standalone DVD-player could replace AppleTV.

Market for DVD-player is big. Market for DVD-replacements is big. Market for devices that stream content from itunes is considerably smaller. And before anyone says "But Apple is not interested in playing back DVD's, they want you to buy content from itunes instead". Yes, you are right. But if they did include DVD-player in AppleTV, they would be smuggling that iTunes-integration in to lots of homes around the world. So those people who bought AppleTV as a DVD-player, whereas itunes-integration was a secondary feature, would start thinking "why not just buy content from iTunes, instead of driving over to WalMart to get my DVD?". In addition, they could have made it so that you could buy content throuhg AppleTV. Instead of having to go over to your computer to buy stuff, you could just sit on your couch, and buy stuff on a whim. Or choose the "movie of the evening" with your better half. Doing that on a computer would be a lot less appealing.

Hell, maybe I should apply for a position in Apple's AppleTV-team ;)?

needthephone
Jan 16, 2007, 04:22 AM
I agree adding a DVD player would have made this a killer product-Maybe they were worried about being sued by the film studios and TV companies if people figured out how to copy DVD's directly, or if it was designed to copy DVD content to disk?? From what I have read Apple (I suppose quite rightly) is always concious of damaging litigation.

I notice my Hard drive recorder can play DVD's but can't copy them to the hard disk-is this for the same copyright reasons?

I did want one but now I'm in two minds-it might end up being a bit of a dead end purchase and another box to go with my amp, tuner, HD recorder and Foxtel box. An expensve way just to organise my music to play on my hifi.

GregA
Jan 16, 2007, 04:45 AM
I just can't resist a friendly debate, even if I'm the only one debating: :-)
Any sort of degradation caused by interlaced video is massively overshadowed by the HUGE damage done to images by HDTV compression. If you think interlacing is bad, you should watch some network TV sometime on a TV with a poor motion artifact filter.Absolutely! The over compression on FTA TV is bad, the macro-blocks etc reduce the quality significantly!.

But Bluray or HD-DVD don't have the issue - they have huge bandwidths to play with, plus MPEG4-10/h264 instead of MPEG2!
It is true, interlacing was the only option that was really available in the infancy of television. That doesn't mean that it's an entirely bad system, though. The way I see it, the only reason to even think about a dual system is to better accomodate watching films on a television.

Interlacing is easier than progressive. It's cheaper. It DOES degrade the quality but it's barely noticeable. Resolution is barely noticeable too. People pay them both too much attention because they're easier to understand and quantify... they can ask "what's the resolution", or "is it progressive", but asking "what's the colour saturation" is harder.

True, film is 24 fps. True, television is 60 half-fields per second. But how do you divide 24 into 60? You don't. Hence, jerky motion, hence, artifacting, hence, brief details in the film showing up for only a single interlaced field.
Film and video have to be considered quite separately with interlacing. Yeah 24 doesn't go into 60 evenly. Every 2 frames of film have to become 5 frames of TV so they put one film frame on for 2 frames, then the next film frame for 3, etc etc. And then they interlace the frames because it's easier for a TV to refresh half the screen at a time, twice as often.

All up, most people don't notice regular DVDs as having jerky motion.

I'm not the chair of A Fair Wisconsin Votes Interlaced or anything, but it's just one of my huge pet peeves when people get all hung up on interlaced versus progressive. Any benefit you get from progressive video is more often than not nullified by another weak link in the system, so don't sweat it. Set down the remote and go get some sun on your face.Sure. Hell, even resolution is only considered the 4th most important thing in TV quality. Contrast and colour have a far more noticeable effect.

In summary, yeah, I agree that interlaced isn't the most important difference. I'll go a step further - resolution itself isn't considered as important as other factors. So get your colour/contrast quality happening first. All other factors being equal interlacing does lower the quality of your average show (ie average amount of motion causing blur) just enough that 720p can be qualitatively better. Depends on what you're watching. But there are many opinions on both sides of that fence :)

mrthieme
Jan 16, 2007, 05:10 AM
[QUOTE=MagicWok;3256262 if Apple were to put a direct HDMI connection into the Mini, not a lot of people would buy the Apple TV - I for sure would not. If they did add a DVD player, the market share of people who go for a Mac Mini, would buy this product instead, and that would hurt sales for Apple.

I don't know if that's exactly true, a beefed up apple tv ( with tv tuner and dvd player) would not be a full fledged computer like the mini. The only feature they would really share, just like now, would be front row, and the main interaction with the atv would be via remote.

I've been reading all the appletv threads I can find, I'm very interested in the product, not so much for what it is, but for what it might mean. Certainly this is not the best media room solution they can offer, they are after all (self proclaimed) better at the "fun stuff". This was a pretty flaccid attempt at getting into our front rooms.

SPUY767
Jan 16, 2007, 06:14 AM
Core Solo "would of" been preferable? I think you meant "would have" or "would've".

http://wvde.state.wv.us/tt/2002/grammartips/grammartip0039.html

sorry.....couldn't help myself.

Wow, I don't even think that I'm that much of a dick.

agentdavo
Jan 16, 2007, 07:15 AM
The choice of graphics card is most interesting. Why not a GMA? Here are my thoughts.

I can smoothly decode BBC-HD with an Athlon 64 3000+ and Geforce 6600 with Power DVD Ultra 7.2 at 60% CPU. That is with nvidias superb hardware acceleration (purevideo) support enabled. Without we're looking at 15-20fps max at 100% cpu.

BBC-HD broadcast high profile 1080i H264 with MBAFF interlacing and 422 colorspace. It's pretty much the most difficult and processor intensive stream to decode/deinterlace you will find. Far more complex than the baseline profile Apple use for HD trailers.

I wonder if Apple are working hard with nvidia to bring purevideo support to the ATV/Mac. The movie trailers apple have are 1080p h264 baseline. With the 7400 GO and some driver/decoder optimisation the iTV would have no problem at all in decoding 1080p trailers.

I'm going to try underclocking my PC later to 1Ghz and try playing a 1080p trailer and watch the cpu usage. It would also be interesting to follow up on Accellent and see what framework is now available to 10.4.8 for decoding HD-DVD codecs.

http://www.defyne.org/dvb/accellent.html

Also of note is that nigel on the mythtv dev team has been working for the last year to add mpeg2 accellent to MythTV. Compile with --enable-mac-accel. :-)
http://cvs.mythtv.org/trac/ticket/1279

carlgo
Jan 16, 2007, 10:08 AM
DVD players are a dying breed and hopefully both BlueRay and HD-DVD will never mature. Would you rather upgrade a piece of equipment everytime the movie studios wish to make some more money from you.
I've been saying this for years, the day of hard media (45s, LPs, 8-Track, Cassettes, CD, LaserDisc, Beta, VHS, DVD, BlueRay, HD-DVD) are numbered!

You have convinced me that my post was somewhat short-sighted when it comes to movies in particular.

I still wonder about all the existing dvds that people have and therefore the continuing need for dvd players.

There is also the subject of iTv's resolution, 720p or not. This subject can extend into the unseeable, but still the 1080p standard is a real one and should be addressed.

As huge screens get cheaper, and this is an obvious trend, and there is more 1080p content via game consols, hd/blueray disks, etc., the iTv will be viewed as behind the times, spec-wise.

And there is still the clutter issue. One poster intends to hide all his stuff and that is fine except it is still there, hidden under the rug, so to say.

I hope that the down-load model works and that Apple Inc can address the continuing problem of clutter and bad interfaces with satellite and cable.

I am really, really mad that the iPhone is not a universal remote:D

sfwalter
Jan 16, 2007, 10:24 AM
My question is does iTunes have to be running on the Mac that you're streaming from?

robbyx
Jan 16, 2007, 10:52 AM
My question is does iTunes have to be running on the Mac that you're streaming from?

Absolutely. That's one of the reasons I switched from iTunes to the SlimServer for my home media server. My media server is a headless G4 in a closet. I don't want to have to leave it logged in to an actual user account. I suppose that isn't the WORST thing, but it's sloppy.

Apple should make iTunes sharing a Sharing service in System Preferences. That way it starts up when the computer boots and the user doesn't have to leave iTunes running.

Of course, the Apple TV does include a hard drive, allowing you to store content locally. In that case, iTunes doesn't need to be running. That's different from streaming, though.

robbyx
Jan 16, 2007, 11:28 AM
I think the reason there is a lot of anti-bias towards this product, is because people were/are uncertain as to what this product can really do.

I think the specs are pretty clear. Apple TV connects to iTunes and plays all of your MP4 video. Max resolution is 720p. I think people are upset because that is ALL it does. I certainly expected a more full-featured solution along the lines of the various UPnP network media players out there - but done right. I expected more formats to be supported. The user experience looks great, but the lack of support for anything other than MP4 is a deal-breaker. I don't think people are "uncertain" about what Apple TV does. I think they're just disappointed that it doesn't do enough.

In fact, the only plus it has over the Mac Mini, is the connectivity options - if Apple were to put a direct HDMI connection into the Mini, not a lot of people would buy the Apple TV - I for sure would not.

I disagree. Apple TV is not a computer. It's a consumer electronics device. It is optimized for video playback. While I haven't disected a Mini and Apple TV side-by-side, I would bet that the Apple TV does a much better job of handling video playback than the Mini. The Mini has all kinds of other background applications running. By allowing the user to install software (on the Mini), the system becomes less stables, more prone to a potential crash, etc. Apple TV, being a closed architecture, can do one thing and do it very well. I'm not suggesting that one shouldn't connect a Mini to one's TV. However, I think by dragging the Mini into this debate, we're comparing apples to oranges. They're two different things.

If they did add a DVD player, the market share of people who go for a Mac Mini, would buy this product instead, and that would hurt sales for Apple. As a result, I still see it as a bit of a strange standpoint by Apple to include a HDD, as this almost begs for a DVD drive! I'm sure Apple wanted to put a DVD drive in, as this would have increased it's appeal 10 fold, but as for the reasons pointed out before, they couldn't.

I don't think Apple wanted to put a DVD drive in it. Just like they didn't want to put a CD player in the iPod. Apple recognizes that the future of content delivery is electronic. No hard media. That's the model that works for the iPod and they're hoping to replicate that with Apple TV.

As for the Mini market, there may be some people out there who are buying a Mini for their home entertainment system, but those people are a small percentage of the market. Seriously, you say that by adding HDMI to the Mini, no one would buy the Apple TV. I think you're completely wrong here. Many people would/will still buy Apple TV because it's not a computer. It requires minimal effort to set up and isn't as intimidating to the average consumer as a computer. It's a device - and therefore not as complicated. The same goes for Apple including a DVD drive in the Apple TV. The majority of people buying Minis aren't buying them for their entertainment centers. They're buying them because they're a full-fledged computer, a replacement for their old Mac or PC, etc.

By limiting themselves to MP4 on the Apple TV, Apple has alienated a lot of potential customers. They should not ignore the wealth of content out there in other formats. This isn't going to change for a very long time. Why not broaden the appeal of the box by supporting more formats? Apple wants to grow their iTMS revenue. Video will be more lucrative than $0.99/song. Apple doesn't want Apple TV customers getting video anywhere else, be it on DVD or ripped from a DVD. I understand their strategy. However, I think it's flawed. If Apple TV included a DVD player, customers would still buy DVDs. Apple is trying to change the way people obtain content, so providing old-school hard media support would undermine those efforts.

Finally, regarding the hard drive, they included one as a cache. The user can transfer conent to the Apple TV and not leave his or her Mac running. Simple.

Damek
Jan 16, 2007, 11:51 AM
Even a Pentium M is a dark remnant of a philosophy...

What does that even mean? What is this, Lord of the Rings?

Yvan256
Jan 16, 2007, 03:33 PM
Apple doesn't want Apple TV customers getting video anywhere else, be it on DVD or ripped from a DVD.

Steve said during the keynote that Apple TV will play anything that iTunes can play (3rd-party CODECs aside). My HandBrake-ripped DVDs (H.264/AAC, .mp4 files) play just fine in iTunes.

Besides, if Apple TV was really limited to iTunes Store purchases, they could only sell the Apple TV in the USA as it's the only country with TV shows and movies in its iTunes Store.

jkdsteve
Jan 16, 2007, 04:55 PM
Awesome, nice job Apple. I have my order in for one...

We need to compare AppleTV to other Media Players such as this:

http://www.dlink.com/products/?sec=0&pid=318

I have one on order too but...... did you see how superior the dLink product is in teh # of formats it supports? This is what the AppleTV needs to do and I'm still contemplating cancelling my order as all reports today indicate it won't be that product at all :confused:

jkdsteve
Jan 16, 2007, 05:04 PM
I ordered my Apple TV as soon as it became available. I then cancelled my order two days later. Why? Because MP4 support is not enough. I could care less what's inside the box. I only care about what the box can do. I'd put money on the movie studios having forced Apple to support only MP4 video in exchange for content. While that may look good on paper to the studios, it's an utterly boneheaded move.

Apple TV looks great. It's sleek. The interface is top-notch. But where is support for MPEG-2 video? For VOB files? For Transport Streams? For DivX and Xvid? For AVI? Heck, for WMV? If this box is designed for people who buy TV shows on the iTMS, that's not a very big market. Unlike Apple's music market, which continues to grow very quickly, Apple's video market, while strong, isn't enough to make Apple TV a success. I want to rip my DVDs and not have to hunt through a stack of cases to find a movie. I want to play back all the stupid little video clips people send me via email. I want to browse YouTube and Google Video.

Apple TV makes me want to buy an Xbox 360 and Media Center PC to replace my home server (a PowerMac G4). Apple could have hit this one out of the park. Instead, they've delivered a crippled box that doesn't really appeal to many people. And with UPnP offerings from Netgear, Dlink, and others getting better (yeah, I know, they still suck pretty hard...but give it time), Apple is missing a huge window of opportunity. If they supported more formats, this thing could be the next iPod. By limiting themselves to MP4, they've all but guaranteed that Apple TV will be a bit player. I'm a diehard Apple guy. I've been a loyal customer for 24 years now. But I'm not drinking the kool-aid. Apple TV is a stinker.

And before someone pipes up with something to the effect of "well, you can convert your stuff to MP4", who the heck wants to do that? It takes several hours to convert a ripped DVD to MP4. And I certainly don't want to deal with converting the endless little video clips I stumble across on a regular basis. Conversion is too time-consuming and tedious.

Wow...you said everything I wanted to say, except I haven't cancelled by order yet...still holding out hope that Apple realize iTunesTV is simply not enough.

Evangelion
Jan 17, 2007, 01:22 AM
I don't think Apple wanted to put a DVD drive in it. Just like they didn't want to put a CD player in the iPod.

The difference is that users could take the content from the CD and put in on the iPod. But users CAN'T take content from a DVD and put in on the AppleTV. For starters, it's illegal. And secondly, that solution is too awkward, you lose all the extras DVD offers, and you lose subtitles. CD ==> mp3 does not come with such degradation. Yes, sound-quality is a bit worse, but most people don't notice it anyway.

Apple recognizes that the future of content delivery is electronic.

But it will be dominated by DVD's for years to come. And AppleTV does not work with DVD's. And Apple could have had the best of both worlds: A device that plays back DVD's, while also letting the user watch downloaded content.

That's the model that works for the iPod and they're hoping to replicate that with Apple TV.

But it's nowhere nearly the same with AppleTV as it was with iPod. iPod worked with your existing content. If you had a CD-collection, moving that collection to the iPod was not a big deal. If you had existing mp3's (from various sources) those would play back on the iPod just fine. There were billions of mp3's in the world when iPod was released, and all of them would play back on the iPod. There were billions of music-CD's in the world, and those could be moved to the iPod with very little fuzz. And there are billions of DVD's in the world as we speak, and NONE of them work with the AppleTV.

Would iPod been such a success as it is if Apple had told people that "only contect downloaded from iTunes work with the iPod"? No, it would have been a dismal failure. But that is what they are saying when it comes to the AppleTV. Add to that the fact that only USA has video-content available in iTunes, then this begs the question: What am I, a person living in Finland, just supposed to do with this device?

Now, this situation might be rectified if Apple came up with a tool that lets the user convert his DVD's (with ALL the features!) to iTunes-compatible format. But MPAA will never allow that. Hell will freeze before that happens.

By limiting themselves to MP4 on the Apple TV, Apple has alienated a lot of potential customers. They should not ignore the wealth of content out there in other formats. This isn't going to change for a very long time. Why not broaden the appeal of the box by supporting more formats? Apple wants to grow their iTMS revenue. Video will be more lucrative than $0.99/song. Apple doesn't want Apple TV customers getting video anywhere else, be it on DVD or ripped from a DVD. I understand their strategy. However, I think it's flawed. If Apple TV included a DVD player, customers would still buy DVDs. Apple is trying to change the way people obtain content, so providing old-school hard media support would undermine those efforts.

I'm not actually sure that do you agree or disagree with me here....

macintel4me
Jan 17, 2007, 06:05 AM
If I have a network drive with all my iTunes content (i.e. NAS) connected to an AirPort Extreme basestation, can Apple TV do the the syncing without my Mac Pro being turned on??

GregA
Jan 17, 2007, 06:20 AM
If I have a network drive with all my iTunes content (i.e. NAS) connected to an AirPort Extreme basestation, can Apple TV do the the syncing without my Mac Pro being turned on??
No. Syncing or streaming is done to iTunes. Where it is stored is irrelevant.

elreudo
Jan 17, 2007, 09:01 AM
wouldn't it be cool if we were all missing the point! What if there is a major upgrade to iTunes where we can rip DVD's to the moveis section of the iTunes library. We know the tools are already there to do so, what with Handbrake, MTR, not to mention TV with EyeTV 2.0, so there is nothing to stop us doing it ourselves (aside the slightly rediculous fact that we're not allowed to backup our own media that we've paid for!). What if iTunes could rip the DVD and in the process protect the file so as it was only viewable on iPod, Apple TV, iTunes etc (much like TV shows bought from the iTMS).

On another note I wouldn't be suprised if the iTMS content was updaded to include some 720P movies/tv when the device is actually released (surely Disney/Pixar films if nothing else). I also think that some other country stores will get a library of TV and Movies to coincide with the actualy release.

I for one got the feeling that Mr Jobs had such a focus on the iPhone he didn't want to go into the other stuff too much!

Pint glass half-full????

Evangelion
Jan 17, 2007, 09:19 AM
wouldn't it be cool if we were all missing the point! What if there is a major upgrade to iTunes where we can rip DVD's to the moveis section of the iTunes library. We know the tools are already there to do so, what with Handbrake, MTR, not to mention TV with EyeTV 2.0, so there is nothing to stop us doing it ourselves (aside the slightly rediculous fact that we're not allowed to backup our own media that we've paid for!).

Well, for starters: It's illegal. Secondly, HAndBrake and other still don't encode the special features or subtitles. And subtitles are very, very important.

Porco
Jan 17, 2007, 09:53 AM
Well, for starters: It's illegal. Secondly, HAndBrake and other still don't encode the special features or subtitles. And subtitles are very, very important.

You can encode subtitles in Handbrake, but they are encoded in the video (i.e. you can't turn them off). I know this because I've done it.

And as long as the the special features are just video titles so I'm not sure what you mean about that either.

As for the legality issue, I think it's one that needs addressing. I believe that here in the UK it will soon be completely legal to rip your own CDs and I am hoping they extend that to DVDs along the same principles of 'fair use' and 'media-shifting'. You're right of course that as things stand it's technically illegal, and DVDs have the added legal complication of encryption, but as the post above said, 'wouldn't it be cool if...' !

plinden
Jan 17, 2007, 10:01 AM
No. It will work with "g" or a wired connection

I spoke to one of the demoers at MacWorld on Friday, who confirmed this with one of their Apple TV engineers. Although G will work, you'll notice dropped frames. And I've been away from MacRumors for a week, so don't know if this has been mentioned already, but standard definition TVs definitely will not work. It must be an ED or HD TV.

rtdunham
Jan 17, 2007, 10:51 AM
So, fact remains that AppleTV practically only plays back content from iTunes Store.

Evangelion, can't i view my iMovie content using the appleTV? Lots of us have used iMovie to product lots of content that would be nice to view so easily. Doesn't appleTV permit that?

terry

balamw
Jan 17, 2007, 11:06 AM
No. Syncing or streaming is done to iTunes. Where it is stored is irrelevant.

It really wouldn't be hard for the Airport to provide its own daapd server. You can already run firefly server (http://fireflymediaserver.org/) on a Linysys NSLU2. I'm waiting to see what the reality is before considering the Airport Extreme even though it does sound like a better overall value than the NSLU2.

Evangelion, can't i view my iMovie content using the appleTV? Lots of us have used iMovie to product lots of content that would be nice to view so easily. Doesn't appleTV permit that?
You should be able to view any iMovie projects that are exported to MPEG-4 within the specs of the AppleTV.

B

Porco
Jan 17, 2007, 11:12 AM
Evangelion, can't i view my iMovie content using the appleTV? Lots of us have used iMovie to product lots of content that would be nice to view so easily. Doesn't appleTV permit that?

terry

According to Apple's specs, it seems to indicate you can play MPEG-4, H.264 and Protected H.264. If you could only play iTunes-purchased content, then why mention unprotected H.264? Movie Trailers? So how would it differentiate between Apple-hosted trailers and any old video file you like that's in the right format? And why mention MPEG-4?

It seems clear to me that AppleTV will be quite happy playing any video file you drop into your iTunes library the conforms to the specs Apple state on their web site. Which means lots of good things, such as converting files through say, iSquint, or indeed iTunes itself, that aren't AppleTV friendly to start with.

From: Apple.com/appletv/specs.html (my bold for emphasis)

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

If it's like the iPod in terms of video playback, then you'll find the resolutions are, roughly speaking, upper pixel limits, i.e. 640x480=307200 pixels, so something like 720x400 (288000 pixels) might well work too.

sjk
Jan 17, 2007, 02:49 PM
Apple should make iTunes sharing a Sharing service in System Preferences. That way it starts up when the computer boots and the user doesn't have to leave iTunes running.
Even a background service launched as a Login Item would be better than having to leave iTunes running in order for streaming to work. That would be similar to Elgato's now-discontinued EyeHome, which doesn't require EyeTV be running to access its recordings.

Of course, the Apple TV does include a hard drive, allowing you to store content locally. In that case, iTunes doesn't need to be running.
Apparently Apple TV requires an internet connection for both streaming and synching operation. Unless that's only for FairPlay content it means a LAN/WLAN has to be available when watching or listening to content that's already been synched with ATV. ATV's HD would be a better cache if at least any unprotected content stored on it could be viewed/heard while disconnected from a network.

I certainly agree with many points already made about ATV being crippled without support for more "legacy" content (by Apple's definition?). I've got a fair sized collection of EyeTV recordings still in their original MPEG-2 transport stream format. They can be exported relatively easily/quickly as MPEG-2 program streams that iTunes, QuickTime, and QT-compatible apps can handle. But ATV? Nope (AFAWK). Elgato has already acknowledged that limitation in a recent FAQ (http://faq.elgato.com/index.php/faq/more/489/), suggesting recordings be exported to an ATV-compatible format …

Yesterday I exported a ~10-minute recording as H.264 on my wife's 1.25GHz eMac (where the EyeTV 200 lives) which took nearly an hour(!) That's longer than it takes to burn several longer recordings to a DVD-Video DVD-RW and drop that into the living room player upstairs. Or even better, immediately stream them over 802.11g to EyeHome, as I'd been doing before it died a few months ago.

EyeHome's UI is lame and the older Sigma decoder doesn't handle HD or H.264 like ATV. But at least it's compatible with my SDTV and much more pre-existing content than ATV. And EyeHome recognizes ~/Movies, including aliases to "media archive" folders on other volumes, with no trouble streaming DVD MPEG-2 video with DTS audio. I really don't care about ATV lacking a DVD player but its limited codec support is unforgivable.

Isn't it ironically disappointing how ATV isn't "bad" enough for some of us (myself included) because of its lack of legacy compatibility, while not being "good" enough for other people with higher quality HD components and content? It's almost as if ATV was designed more for EDTV than HDTV owners, while completely excluding SDTV owners. And content-wise, it sure seems like a forced (yet limited) iTunes Store lock-in with ATV that's just optional with iPod.

I'd hoped Apple TV would be a superior EyeHome replacement but so far it isn't living up to that. Do any ATV hardware specs (some still unconfirmed) preclude additional codec support with future software/firmware updates? Either way, it looks like SDTV owners are SOL.

GregA
Jan 17, 2007, 03:15 PM
I certainly agree with many points already made about ATV being crippled without support for more "legacy" content (by Apple's definition?). <snip> Yesterday I exported a ~10-minute recording as H.264 on my wife's 1.25GHz eMac (where the EyeTV 200 lives) which took nearly an hour(!) I agree, I'd like to play more formats.

However, if you export to MPEG4 (instead of MPEG4-10/h264), it will export MUCH quicker (and current Macs are quicker, too).

EyeTV is an interesting case. Ideally, you would be able to play stuff from EyeTV, or even stream live TV directly from EyeTV through your Mac to the AppleTV. I wonder if iTunes (and EyeTV) could convert an MPEG2 on the fly and stream it to the AppleTV (... it'd slow down the Mac of course)

wouldn't it be cool if we were all missing the point! What if there is a major upgrade to iTunes where we can rip DVD's to the moveis section of the iTunes library.
I guess I've got a similar question for DVDs. Could Apple be planning on letting you put a DVD in your Mac and watch it via AppleTV? If they are, they'd need to transcode on the fly. Can the Apple Remote handle DVD menus?

Evangelion, can't i view my iMovie content using the appleTV? Lots of us have used iMovie to product lots of content that would be nice to view so easily. Doesn't appleTV permit that?
I need that feature, exporting to MPEG4 or h264 will work but takes time. But playing the raw DV directly isn't an option since 1hour of video is 14GB - about 32Mbps - which 802.11g won't handle.

I hope Apple does something to allow this. Perhaps iMovie will automatically make a h264 version? (or on the fly conversion?).

balamw
Jan 17, 2007, 03:34 PM
Can the Apple Remote handle DVD menus?
Front Row has a DVD player which works fine. What this means for the Apple TV is anyone's guess.

B

Peace
Jan 17, 2007, 03:40 PM
Front Row has a DVD player which works fine. What this means for the Apple TV is anyone's guess.

B


Looking over the previews of AppleTV I've noticed there is no icon for a DVD.
Could mean they've removed the DVD part from the new Front Row or there's a different version of Front Row for the AppleTV.

cbud
Jan 17, 2007, 03:42 PM
No. Syncing or streaming is done to iTunes. Where it is stored is irrelevant.

How do you know this? Where your media is stored is very relevant.

Does iTunes have to be open on my computer for me to use my Apple TV? I honestly don't know, but I really doubt it. The Apple TV is not like the AirPort Express.

I think the Apple TV will search the network for up to 5 valid iTunes' libraries (library and XML files in a iTunes folder). I also think (hope) that we will be able to plug a USB hard drive that contains a valid iTunes library into the new Base Station and have the Apple TV pull media from that.

Edit: It would be silly to have to walk upstairs, open iTunes on my computer, go back downstairs, and play my TV show. I really hope iTunes does not have to be open. I pray it can wake a drive from sleep and access my library.

Doctor Q
Jan 17, 2007, 06:11 PM
From Apple's Financial Conference Call (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2007/01/20070117163713.shtml):Q: Do you see the Apple TV a niche platform or broad platform?

A: We see it as the DVD player of the 21st century. So clearly not a niche.

sjk
Jan 17, 2007, 06:55 PM
I really hope iTunes does not have to be open.
It'll be lame if iTunes has to be left running for Apple TV to work after synching iTunes content, but I think ATV may only require internet access (at least for protected media playback) at that point.

sjk
Jan 17, 2007, 07:39 PM
I agree, I'd like to play more formats.
I'd be satisfied if it supported what EyeHome does plus H.264.

However, if you export to MPEG4 (instead of MPEG4-10/h264), it will export MUCH quicker (and current Macs are quicker, too).
Yeah, MPEG-4 export seems a bit four times faster than H.264 on my 2GHz iMac G5 (which is where I did the other export test, not on the eMac as I originally said). But lack of quality is the price to pay… it sure makes the already borderline quality originals look better than they are.

EyeTV is an interesting case. Ideally, you would be able to play stuff from EyeTV, or even stream live TV directly from EyeTV through your Mac to the AppleTV. I wonder if iTunes (and EyeTV) could convert an MPEG2 on the fly and stream it to the AppleTV (... it'd slow down the Mac of course)
When I wondered if that sort "on-the-fly" conversion could possibly be done on Apple TV during synching someone said it would be impossibly slow.

With so few DVR products for OS X (Elgato and Miglia likely the most popular developers) it's a shame Apple seems to be going out of the way not to better support or integrate with them. Hopefully these issues shake out in more customers' best interests after Apple TV is shipping, if not sooner.

GregA
Jan 17, 2007, 09:34 PM
Yeah, MPEG-4 export seems a bit four times faster than H.264 on my 2GHz iMac G5 (which is where I did the other export test, not on the eMac as I originally said). But lack of quality is the price to pay… it sure makes the already borderline quality originals look better than they are.
So how long does it take to convert a .avi file to a .h264 movie on your higher end machine? Does it take <10 mins for a 10 minute AVI?
(I wonder if the AppleTV & iTunes could share the workload - sounds a bit complicated)

To transcode while syncing is an interesting idea - if it takes an hour to transcode an hour film, it'd extend your syncing time. But if you could transcode a file once and send the transcoded one to the AppleTV (keep the original ONLY on your iTunes) that'd be useful. When you "convert for iPod" in iTunes, now, does it store 2 copies in iTunes from then on?

GregA
Jan 17, 2007, 09:52 PM
How do you know this?
Steve said that it connected to iTunes on any computer. He didn't say connected to iTunes libraries.

Where your media is stored is very relevant.Not to iTunes. You tell it where the media is, it reads it.

Perhaps AppleTV will read an iTunes library. EyeHome does iirc. But Steve didn't say that.

sjk
Jan 18, 2007, 12:21 AM
So how long does it take to convert a .avi file to a .h264 movie on your higher end machine? Does it take <10 mins for a 10 minute AVI?
An 18 second, 720x480, ~2300Kbps, ~5MB AVI file exported from QuickTime with the default H.264 movie settings took over three minutes on my 2GHz iMac G5. No reason to waste time finding and exporting longer AVIs since it's already obvious the process is slower than molasses.

(I wonder if the AppleTV & iTunes could share the workload - sounds a bit complicated)
Seems unnecessarily complicated compared to simply uncrippling Apple TV to support the most obvious familiar/popular codecs, none which I'd expect to be technically limited by the device specs considering its H.264 capabilities.

To transcode while syncing is an interesting idea - if it takes an hour to transcode an hour film, it'd extend your syncing time. But if you could transcode a file once and send the transcoded one to the AppleTV (keep the original ONLY on your iTunes) that'd be useful.
Personally, the quality lost and time consumed with transcoding would quickly become unacceptable. I've been down that path enough to know it's one not to take whenever possible.

When you "convert for iPod" in iTunes, now, does it store 2 copies in iTunes from then on?
I'm not sure. My wife's got the only iPod (mini) and I haven't tinkered with it much.

. . .

Apple's If it plays on iTunes it's on TV (http://www.apple.com/appletv/) claim risks confusing some people into mistakenly interpreting plays on iTunes to always mean plays with iTunes on my computer rather than sometimes only it's on the iTunes Store. Heck, that page says Apple TV puts your iTunes library — movies, TV shows, music, and podcasts — plus movie trailers from Apple.com on your TV, but how accurate is that?

I'm betting a fair number of people will end up with content in their iTunes libraries that the Apple TV they've bought won't handle, added both before or after the purchase. In other words, it might not always be apparent that certain iTunes-compatible content won't fly with Apple TV. Oops!

Perhaps AppleTV will read an iTunes library. EyeHome does iirc. But Steve didn't say that.
EyeHome software on the Mac finds iTunes and iPhoto libraries without their respective apps running.

GregA
Jan 18, 2007, 06:24 AM
EyeHome software on the Mac finds iTunes and iPhoto libraries without their respective apps running.
Yes. Though the EyeHome hardware can't just find the iTunes libraries - EyeHome Software has to be running on the machine you're sharing from.

Completely off topic... but does Frontrow show movies from iTunes-Movies folder, or from the Home folder's Movies folder?

ftaok
Jan 18, 2007, 03:34 PM
Completely off topic... but does Frontrow show movies from iTunes-Movies folder, or from the Home folder's Movies folder?

The answer is both. Items in iTunes that are categorized as "Movies" will show up in Front Row under Movies. Items in your Home Directory's Movie Folder will show up in Front Row under Movies as well.

ft

danerh
Jan 18, 2007, 05:38 PM
Surely they could have included DVD capability as well to really make life easier. It would have removed another of the many remote controls people have, uncluttered TV cabinets, brought the device into a much broader demographic, which would have then lead more and more people to what the device is really meant for; to get us all into the itunes store... both for ours and Apple's interests. Sure its great and very easy to go and buy things from the itunes store... but if you could throw in a DVD or music cd as well...and as its connected to your home theatre system already...well it just makes sense. Great idea but its stunted. I hope they remedy this in the future...

madmaxmedia
Jan 18, 2007, 07:51 PM
My guess is that ATV will play most videos that can be played in iTunes, but not all.

iTunes can't play everything and won't accept stuff like WMV files, even though you can play WMV with Quicktime after installing Flip4Mac.

For people willing to take an extra step, there are plenty of great free programs to convert video so it's compatible with iTunes or the iPod. That's good enough for me.

For example, I know FrontRow has certain limitations. But I just enjoy using it, for say when I'm working at my desk (but not on my computer), and I want to play some stuff in the background. ATV will have an even better interface.

Evangelion
Jan 19, 2007, 08:01 AM
Steve said that it connected to iTunes on any computer. He didn't say connected to iTunes libraries.

At the keynote, during the demo SJ did say that "we are now browsing Phil's itunes-library" or something like that. That was when they demonstrated the streaming-feature.

You can encode subtitles in Handbrake, but they are encoded in the video (i.e. you can't turn them off). I know this because I've done it.

OK, I was mistaken. And I'm very happy that I was :)

And as long as the the special features are just video titles so I'm not sure what you mean about that either.

Can I encode the DVD in such a way, that when I play back the file, I get the DVD-menu from where I can play back the various contents?

Evangelion
Jan 19, 2007, 08:04 AM
Evangelion, can't i view my iMovie content using the appleTV? Lots of us have used iMovie to product lots of content that would be nice to view so easily. Doesn't appleTV permit that?

terry

If it plays back in itunes, then yes. But when I'm talking about "content" in this case, I'm referring to commercial content, not home-videos and such.

Evangelion
Jan 19, 2007, 08:07 AM
I guess I've got a similar question for DVDs. Could Apple be planning on letting you put a DVD in your Mac and watch it via AppleTV?

No idea, but that would be awkward and inconvenient. Very awkward and inconvenient. Instead of just plopping the disc in, you need to walk over to your Mac (propably in another room), log in, put the disc in, walk back to the living-room, select DVD from the AppleTV...

And how much bandwidth would DVD-video + audio require?

sjk
Jan 19, 2007, 10:00 AM
Can I encode the DVD in such a way, that when I play back the file, I get the DVD-menu from where I can play back the various contents?
Play back which file? Are you familiar with the DVD File/Folder Structure (http://www.videohelp.com/dvd#struct) for DVD-Video?

sjk
Jan 19, 2007, 10:07 AM
Evangelion, can't i view my iMovie content using the appleTV? Lots of us have used iMovie to product lots of content that would be nice to view so easily. Doesn't appleTV permit that?

If it plays back in itunes, then yes.
Where are you getting that information? Based on published specifications it would be more accurate to say something like "if it plays on an iPod then it's compatible with Apple TV".

sjk
Jan 19, 2007, 10:10 AM
And how much bandwidth would DVD-video + audio require?
See the DVD column under Video File Comparison (http://www.videohelp.com/dvd#comp) and do the math. :)

GregA
Jan 19, 2007, 02:27 PM
And how much bandwidth would DVD-video + audio require?Up to 10Mbps (averaging about 6Mbps).
Can I encode the DVD in such a way, that when I play back the file, I get the DVD-menu from where I can play back the various contents?I've never seen it done, myself.

I'm reasonably sure that going back 5years, an interactive Quicktime was being pushed. Through it, you could have a file with menus, and options you could click to go to different links or parts of the file. I expected that some people would use this instead of webpages, and some would use it to make Quicktime look like a DVD.

But since then little has happened. Apple doesn't use that... so maybe it doesn't do what I thought. It'd be great to have an option in iDVD to compress your DVD as a single Quicktime file, which you could share with friends OR post to the web. Or download a movie from Apple and when you open it have the real DVD menus, extras, etc.

As Apple doesn't do it, maybe Quicktime can't handle it. Or maybe they need to think differently :)

balamw
Jan 19, 2007, 03:38 PM
I've never seen it done, myself.


This is one of the goals of the Matroska (http://www.matroska.org/) project, an MKV container file can have the DVD, menu, extra features, etc...

There's other "single file" DVD image format. ISO.

B

sjk
Jan 19, 2007, 07:00 PM
This is one of the goals of the Matroska (http://www.matroska.org/) project, an MKV container file can have the DVD, menu, extra features, etc...
Similar to Interactive QuickTime (that GregA mentioned), Flash, etc. that can be encapsulated with a single file for playback/navigation?

There's other "single file" DVD image format. ISO.
Are there any useful methods for processing data in an ISO image file without "opening" it first and exposing the individual files it contains?

In a way you could look at those other container formats as specialized "filesystems".

Anyway, thanks for examples that make Evangelion's original question make more sense. :)

2ms
Jan 22, 2007, 01:38 AM
I'm not going to buy the iTV for the same reason I do not own any other entertainment devices -- it doesn't have a C2D in it. I do not own a stereo, I do not own a calculator, I do not even have a mobile phone -- none of these electronic devices have Intel C2D processors in them so they are all pieces of ****.

Evangelion
Jan 22, 2007, 07:39 AM
Play back which file? Are you familiar with the DVD File/Folder Structure (http://www.videohelp.com/dvd#struct) for DVD-Video?

Yes I am. But since AppleTV does not play back DVD's, I obviously need a singular file to play back. Sheesh. In short: there needs to be a tool that transforms that folder-structure in to a file that can be played back by AppleTV. And it would have to resemble the DVD, with all the features the DVD offers.

sjk
Jan 22, 2007, 08:17 AM
Yes I am. But since AppleTV does not play back DVD's, I obviously need a singular file to play back. Sheesh.
I asked because it wasn't originally clear to me what you meant by the way you'd worded it. Maybe you missed my final remark in #170 (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=3269351&postcount=170)? Sheesh.
In short: there needs to be a tool that transforms that folder-structure in to a file that can be played back by AppleTV. And it would have to resemble the DVD, with all the features the DVD offers.
I seriously doubt Apple TV would ever have support for something that "resembles a DVD" instead of just supporting DVD-Video format/media playback directly. Using earlier examples, even Apple's own Interactive QuickTime is relatively unknown/unused and Matroska certainly isn't mainstream.

OdduWon
Jan 25, 2007, 02:50 PM
The :apple: Tv is just a place holder till they put a screen on it as this new "ultra Portable" we have been hearing about. :p

GregA
Jan 25, 2007, 03:30 PM
I seriously doubt Apple TV would ever have support for something that "resembles a DVD" instead of just supporting DVD-Video format/media playback directly. Using earlier examples, even Apple's own Interactive QuickTime is relatively unknown/unused and Matroska certainly isn't mainstream.Why not?

Many people are saying they like the features available on DVD - it's still a selling point for DVDs. Why wouldn't Apple be looking at providing a downloadable film+extras?

sjk
Jan 25, 2007, 06:31 PM
Why wouldn't Apple be looking at providing a downloadable film+extras?
I didn't say they wouldn't, which you can verify by re-reading my post more carefully.

GregA
Jan 25, 2007, 11:39 PM
I didn't say they wouldn't, which you can verify by re-reading my post more carefully.
Okay - reread. I see you didn't.

You said that Apple shouldn't use Quicktime to support those features. Use what DVDs already have. ??

So I disagree - why not use the great compression technologies they already have in Quicktime. I don't want to download an 8GB MPEG2 based DVD, a 1-1.5GB MPEG4-10 Quicktime version is probably ample.

sjk
Jan 26, 2007, 12:44 AM
You said that Apple shouldn't use Quicktime to support those features.
I didn't say that either. :)

Use what DVDs already have. ??
For DVD-Video format playback via Apple TV, yes, from existing DVD media and TS_VIDEO folders. Basically, DVD Player streamed to and controlled by :apple:TV.

So I disagree - why not use the great compression technologies they already have in Quicktime. I don't want to download an 8GB MPEG2 based DVD, a 1-1.5GB MPEG4-10 Quicktime version is probably ample.
I'm not disagreeing about the possibility of DVD extras with iTunes Store purchases, just questioning how those extras might be distributed and doubting whether Interactive QuickTime or Matroska would be viable technologies for Apple to use. Certain "standalone" extras could be distributed separately but obviously that's wasteful for alternate audio tracks if you have to redundantly download and store entire video tracks with them.

Maybe that gives some context to what I actually said:

I seriously doubt Apple TV would ever have support for something that "resembles a DVD" instead of just supporting DVD-Video format/media playback directly.

That was mostly addressing "DVD media" compatibility, with an unintended implication to the "iTunes Store". Sorry for any confusion.

Restating Evangelion's original question a bit differently, how might DVD-like interactivity be achieved with :apple:TV-compatible content? I thought more specific speculation about that could be interesting, with the possibility of learning from that feedback.