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roland.g
Mar 12, 2007, 03:10 PM
I have read a little on here recently that some people are upset about certain limitations and/or what they view as negatives to the :apple:tv and its specs.

1. Video - that it does only 720p/1080i and that it's video only supports 640x resolution. Should be assume then that any MPEG or H.264 file ripped from a DVD in Handbrake or something of the like needs to be at 640 and not 720x or 704x?

2. Audio - that it does not support 5.1 channel audio. That it will play Dolby Pro Logic II or IIx, but not Dobly Digital or Dolby DTS. I've looked around and couldn't find this info anywhere on Apple's site or at MacWorld or any of the other sites that have done any what we know/what we don't articles. I guess I found it hard to believe that neither the iTS movies or the :apple:tv would have 5.1 channel audio.

Anyone with any corroborating info or who can shed light on what is or isn't true, thanks. Obviously since units haven't shipped yet, no one has their hands on one yet to have all the info. Likewise Apple hasn't posted any specs or manuals yet in the support section of their site.



petvas
Mar 12, 2007, 03:27 PM
The Apple TV supports the following formats:

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

Apple TV has an optical output to connect it to an Audio system but still the mpeg 4 files do not support Dolby Digital or DTS...

Krevnik
Mar 12, 2007, 07:05 PM
1. Video - that it does only 720p/1080i and that it's video only supports 640x resolution. Should be assume then that any MPEG or H.264 file ripped from a DVD in Handbrake or something of the like needs to be at 640 and not 720x or 704x?

As said above, H.264 is supported up to 720p (at 24fps) or 540p (at 30fps). Both of these are larger than 640x*** that the iPod supports, so you /can/ use Mediafork in x264 (Main) mode to get full-resolution DVD rips.

slffl
Mar 13, 2007, 10:04 AM
Wow, so it does do 1080i? So basically can I stream 1080p content to the aTV and have it display on my 1080p LCD in full resolution?

Krevnik
Mar 13, 2007, 10:27 AM
Wow, so it does do 1080i? So basically can I stream 1080p content to the aTV and have it display on my 1080p LCD in full resolution?

It will display at 1080i, but it doesn't playback 1080p or 1080i content. See my previous post saying that 720p@24fps and 540p@30fps are the maximum resolutions that the Apple TV supports for actual movie files.

Adobe75
Mar 13, 2007, 10:57 AM
A couple neat features I would add to the :apple: TV are the ability to use it as an AirTunes device (like the AirPort Express) and tight integration with the EyeTV software so I can watch all my HDTV captures on my projector. There's no reason the :apple: TV hardware can't play back 720p or 1080i MPEG2 if it uses the graphics chip for decode. The problem is the high bit rates of HD - can't stream over 802.11g and the hard drive isn't big enough to store much of it. I'd have to plug into ethernet or use 11n. Don't think I'm gonna convert the whole season of 24 from 720p to crappy H.264. That would take forever even though its easy to do.

Krevnik
Mar 13, 2007, 11:06 AM
There's no reason the :apple: TV hardware can't play back 720p or 1080i MPEG2 if it uses the graphics chip for decode.

Yes there is, if it uses a graphics processor similar to the iPod's, then the processor might not have MPEG-2 support at all.


The problem is the high bit rates of HD - can't stream over 802.11g and the hard drive isn't big enough to store much of it. I'd have to plug into ethernet or use 11n. Don't think I'm gonna convert the whole season of 24 from 720p to crappy H.264. That would take forever even though its easy to do.

H.264 at 5-6Mbps looks pretty good at when encoding 720p. I have a few Blu-Ray rips at 4-5Mbps which aren't quite as good, but still tend to keep up with broadcast HD.

I think you are confusing a codec with resolution.

Diatribe
Mar 13, 2007, 11:09 AM
If it doesn't do 5.1 audio it's worth squat. I wouldn't pay more than $150 for a device like that.

MacBoobsPro
Mar 13, 2007, 11:14 AM
Thanks for that guys :rolleyes: Ive literally just ordered AppleTV and you have now confused the hell out of me. :D

I have ripped DVDs ranging from 720 wide to 640 wide in MPEG4 format. Will these work with AppleTV?

They work fine streaming from my G5 to my MB and viewed on my TV.

I dont fully understand all the bitrates etc so dont blow e out of the water with numbers :o I do know that all my MP4s range between 1000 and 2000kbps and stream ok using frontrow on MB.

slffl
Mar 13, 2007, 11:23 AM
It will display at 1080i, but it doesn't playback 1080p or 1080i content. See my previous post saying that 720p@24fps and 540p@30fps are the maximum resolutions that the Apple TV supports for actual movie files.

Ah, I thought you said 540p at 60fps so for some reason I was thinking 1080i. Well this makes it a little less useful. IMO 1080 is the only way to go for HD sources if you have a choice.

The Airtunes feature is a plus.

I really just like the frontend. If the aTV frontend was also the FrontRow frontend, then I would definitely get a MacMini.

Adobe75
Mar 13, 2007, 11:27 AM
Yes there is, if it uses a graphics processor similar to the iPod's, then the processor might not have MPEG-2 support at all.


I'm pretty sure the GeForce Go 7400 can support MPEG-2 decodes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_TV
This box is more of a computer than an iPod.

VespR
Mar 14, 2007, 05:47 AM
Thanks for that guys :rolleyes: Ive literally just ordered AppleTV and you have now confused the hell out of me. :D

I have ripped DVDs ranging from 720 wide to 640 wide in MPEG4 format. Will these work with AppleTV?

They work fine streaming from my G5 to my MB and viewed on my TV.

I dont fully understand all the bitrates etc so dont blow e out of the water with numbers :o I do know that all my MP4s range between 1000 and 2000kbps and stream ok using frontrow on MB.


See this just confuses me. Why are you ripping your DVD into a smaller resolution just so you can stream it from your Mac. Surely it's better to just play it in a DVD player connected to your TV?!

MacBoobsPro
Mar 14, 2007, 06:00 AM
See this just confuses me. Why are you ripping your DVD into a smaller resolution just so you can stream it from your Mac. Surely it's better to just play it in a DVD player connected to your TV?!

Because Im moving house and will be using AppleTV as the main focal point for multimedia stuff. The rips are technically 'lower res' but the difference is unnoticeable once on the TV screen. Im actually surprised and pleased at how good they look. :)

Dont Hurt Me
Mar 14, 2007, 06:24 AM
Doesnt a TV device need the ability to hook up to TV? Without a cable connection its almost crazy. Like selling a car without the steering wheel.

MacBoobsPro
Mar 14, 2007, 06:26 AM
Doesnt a TV device need the ability to hook up to TV? Without a cable connection its almost crazy. Like selling a car without the steering wheel.

My sarcasm radar is not working properly today. What are you getting at?

roland.g
Mar 14, 2007, 08:29 AM
I really just like the frontend. If the aTV frontend was also the FrontRow frontend, then I would definitely get a MacMini.

the :apple:tv interface may be what the new Front Row 2.0 looks like in Leopard, remember Front Row is getting an upgrade too.



On another note, so what I'm getting is I can do 720 or 704 full res but in h.264, not MPEG-4 and while we get Dolby Pro Logic Surround which will utilize my 5 speakers and sub, it just isn't 5.1 Dolby.

As far as the 1080i content or 1080p, that doesn't concern me as of yet. The Mac, iMovie, FCE, can all do HD and I have nothing in HD yet. I have a 3 yr old Samsung 42" DLP that does 720p 1080i, so it sounds like I'm set.

The only remaining question when we see the :apple:tv is if I can access my movies folder with all my Genres of Movies broken out, or if I have to load them into iTunes to access them (from a streaming not a syncing aspect).

I think it's fine to scroll down your list of movies if you have 10 or so, but if you have 100 you want them broken down by Genre. And as other people have mentioned, when you do this through Front Row on a Mac, you get the name to the right with the opening title/studio to the left. As you sit on that selection the movie previews the beginning for you or where you left off last. In the :apple:tv interface, you get poster work and movie data like an iTunes song or album.

Guess we won't really know till they show up.

Krevnik
Mar 14, 2007, 10:35 AM
I'm pretty sure the GeForce Go 7400 can support MPEG-2 decodes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_TV
This box is more of a computer than an iPod.

Problem with your source: Apple TV technical specifications (some of these are rumoured and not confirmed):

Sorry, but I don't buy evidence that comes with a 'very likely inaccurate' tag already built in. ;)

The pricing on the specifications doesn't make a whole heap of sense, as it puts production costs too close to a likely wholesale price (assuming wholesale is 250$ for argument's sake).

Peace
Mar 14, 2007, 10:55 AM
One can encode H.264 video with 5.1 Dolby Digital.This is the format for Dish Network's HD TV .Which is far superior to Comcast's HD which uses mpeg-2.

You may not be able to do it with your Mac but that doesn't mean it isn't done.

roland.g
Mar 14, 2007, 11:03 AM
One can encode H.264 video with 5.1 Dolby Digital.This is the format for Dish Network's HD TV .Which is far superior to Comcast's HD which uses mpeg-2.

You may not be able to do it with your Mac but that doesn't mean it isn't done.

Yes I know you can do that. The thing to see since the :apple:tv doesn't support it is if no audio will play or if it will simply downmix it to Dolby Surround.

Peace
Mar 14, 2007, 11:50 AM
Yes I know you can do that. The thing to see since the :apple:tv doesn't support it is if no audio will play or if it will simply downmix it to Dolby Surround.

That I believe, was one of the reasons for the delay.

Just my opinion.

roland.g
Mar 14, 2007, 12:03 PM
That I believe, was one of the reasons for the delay.

Just my opinion.

And yet you have a history of leading us to believe that you know more than you are allowed to tell, want to tell us you know it, but can't tell us, or at least want us to think that, yada yada yada as the excerpts from the

Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), iLife '07, and iWork '07 in March?

and Apple TV In-Store Displays on March 5th threads

would indicate as just one recent example.

March 5th is going to be a very,very busy day.

k, you didn't give us much else. why did you say that. considering it's a mundayne.

But it's not mundane..You will see.Trust me.Would I lie to you ? :p

So what you're telling us is that you know something, but can't tell us what, other than the date and that you know. Or at least you want us to think you do.

Correct..hehe

Peace
Mar 14, 2007, 12:16 PM
And yet you have a history of leading us to believe that you know more than you are allowed to tell, want to tell us you know it, but can't tell us, or at least want us to think that, yada yada yada as the excerpts from the

Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), iLife '07, and iWork '07 in March?

and Apple TV In-Store Displays on March 5th threads

would indicate as just one recent example.

Well I guess Roland all you need to do is disregard everything I say eh? :)

Won't offend me in any way.

I don't run Apple.Nor am I privy to product delays.I've always said my opinions were educated guesses.

March 5th was kinda busy though wasn't it? Given the fact that the TV was delayed and iTunes and Quicktime were released that day.


As an addendum I've always said I believed we would see Leopard in April.And I continue to believe that.

Krevnik
Mar 14, 2007, 02:49 PM
I don't run Apple.Nor am I privy to product delays.I've always said my opinions were educated guesses.

March 5th was kinda busy though wasn't it? Given the fact that the TV was delayed and iTunes and Quicktime were released that day.


As an addendum I've always said I believed we would see Leopard in April.And I continue to believe that.


The Apple TV was delayed about a week before Mar 5th... iTunes and QT 7.1.5 were released though.

I still don't buy Leopard in April, maybe unveiling the launch date in April (along with showing the full feature set, if there is one beyond what we have already seen)

superleccy
Apr 4, 2007, 04:11 AM
A couple neat features I would add to the :apple: TV are the ability to use it as an AirTunes device (like the AirPort Express) and tight integration with the EyeTV software so I can watch all my HDTV captures on my projector.

Agree 100%.

SL

liketom
Apr 4, 2007, 04:24 AM
Apple TV needs:

Bigger HDD (160+)
Surround Sound support
DivX/Xvid Support
ON/OFF Button ;)
Sync From iPod support
NAS Support for Media

all apart from HDD/ON/OFF is hardware update the rest can be added via a system update from Apple.

ftaok
Apr 4, 2007, 11:53 AM
One can encode H.264 video with 5.1 Dolby Digital.This is the format for Dish Network's HD TV .Which is far superior to Comcast's HD which uses mpeg-2.
While I don't dispute the superiority of h264 vs. MPEG-2, the example of Dish's HD compression vs. Comcast's HD compression is off base.

The originating source material is broadcasted using MPEG-2. For the Dish system to offer HD channels in h264, they have to decode the MPEG-2 and then re-encode to h264. On the other hand, Comcast merely passes the MPEG-2 right through without. I would think that this only applies to OTA HD channels. As for "cable HD" channels (i.e. TNT-HD, HBO-HD, etc) I guess it would depend on how they receive the originating signal.

Also, DirecTV (and maybe Dish) has been known to transmit what is lovingly known as HD-Lite. What they do is take the original signal and down-res it to 1440x1080i (or worse), before encoding it to MPEG-2 (eventually MPEG-4). The results are that the HD channels tend to look very bad. When they go fully to MPEG-4, they may go back up to the proper resolution, or they may continue to down-res to cram in more channels.

Anyways, I think I drifted off-topic.

ft