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MacRumors
Mar 21, 2007, 01:51 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Apple has opened (http://www.apple.com/appletv/) a section on their website dedicated to the new Apple TV and issued a press release (http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2007/03/21appletv.html) today.

http://images.macrumors.com/article/2007/03/21/appletvapple_300.png

The tech specs page (http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html) provide some additional details:

Video:
- H.264 and protected H.264 (from iTunes Store): Up to 5 Mbps. Maximum resolution: 1280 by 720 pixels at 24 fps, 960 by 540 pixels at 30 fps
- MPEG-4: Up to 3 Mbps. Maximum resolution: 720 by 432 pixels at 30 fps

Photos:
- JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, PNG

Apple also posted a Quicktime VR (http://www.apple.com/appletv/qtvr/) for those who can't wait for unboxing photos. Meanwhile, Mossberg's review (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/03/21/apple-tv-review-by-walt-mossberg/) claims that the Apple TV uses a "modified version of the Mac operating system", which was not previously known.



laidbackliam
Mar 21, 2007, 01:53 PM
its new info that its a modified mac osX? i thought that was known, or at least implied

arn
Mar 21, 2007, 01:59 PM
its new info that its a modified mac osX? i thought that was known, or at least implied

People might have assumed. no one ever said one way or the other.

arn

abadr
Mar 21, 2007, 01:59 PM
Shame there isn't a wider range of formats :(

Seemingly underpowered processor...

I'm still waiting for streaming on a PS3 :S

MakGeek
Mar 21, 2007, 02:02 PM
No cables included? Doesn't bode well for the old plug and play adage. If this is supposed to appeal to the masses they better at least include some cheap cables.

TheRobin
Mar 21, 2007, 02:02 PM
What I would like to see is the ability for the AppleTV to play the super cool iTunes Visualizer on my 42" plasma TV.

Zwhaler
Mar 21, 2007, 02:06 PM
I want to check one out at my local Apple store. I'll go tomorrow

alec
Mar 21, 2007, 02:06 PM
Looking good except the limitation of format files -- how long must I sit on my comp and convert DIVX's, etc. for this thing?

johnee
Mar 21, 2007, 02:08 PM
can i buy just the case? it looks cool, and I could put more useful guts in it :D

Padriac
Mar 21, 2007, 02:11 PM
Looking good except the limitation of format files -- how long must I sit on my comp and convert DIVX's, etc. for this thing?

Why bother with DivX anymore? Any reason besides pirating? This is a serious question, not a sarcastic one. I've struggled to find an evenly remotely legitmate source of DivX files.

Anyway, Apple is ignoring DivX as there is really no good reason to pay for the license other than to please .001% of their potential market.

abrooks
Mar 21, 2007, 02:13 PM
I want to check one out at my local Apple store. I'll go tomorrow

Are they even in stores yet?

oldwatery
Mar 21, 2007, 02:14 PM
No cables included? Doesn't bode well for the old plug and play adage. If this is supposed to appeal to the masses they better at least include some cheap cables.

What I would like to see is the ability for the AppleTV to play the super cool iTunes Visualizer on my 42" plasma TV.

Yes.....all the above and a bit more.
I am quite underwhelmed by this product.
I don't get the point of it :confused:
I can't play any of my dvd's or other content.
Only iTunes stuff and my photo album etc........

Or have I missed something?

wmealer
Mar 21, 2007, 02:14 PM
Wonder if this thing will talk DIRECTLY to my Airport-equipped iMac, or is a base station required?

steve_hill4
Mar 21, 2007, 02:16 PM
No cables included? Doesn't bode well for the old plug and play adage. If this is supposed to appeal to the masses they better at least include some cheap cables.

"It just works*"

* For :apple: tv to work, purchasing of separate HDMI or component and audio cables is required.

guzhogi
Mar 21, 2007, 02:16 PM
would be cool if this, the Mac Mini & Airport Extreme were all the same size, color & stackable!

heyisa
Mar 21, 2007, 02:21 PM
would be cool if this, the Mac Mini & Airport Extreme were...... All one unit!

rahrens
Mar 21, 2007, 02:22 PM
Yes.....all the above and a bit more.
I am quite underwhelmed by this product.
I don't get the point of it :confused:
I can't play any of my dvd's or other content.
Only iTunes stuff and my photo album etc........

Or have I missed something?

Yeah, you did. The AppleTV is able to use a stream from your DVD player on your Mac. As a matter of fact, you can stream from as many as six Macs ( the synced Mac + five others).

If you have other content imported into iTunes, even if it was ripped from dvds or downloaded, as long as it fits the formats specified, it'll play them.

So, other than no DVR (which it'll never be) what's the beef?

dongmin
Mar 21, 2007, 02:22 PM
I don't get the point of it :confused:

"If it's on iTunes, it's on your widescreen TV."

What is there not to get? It's simply a vehicle to deliver iTunes content from your computer to the living room. Apple doesn't pretend for this to replace your entertainment system.

bigandy
Mar 21, 2007, 02:22 PM
just have to wait until summer :rolleyes:

mdriftmeyer
Mar 21, 2007, 02:23 PM
Why bother with DivX anymore? Any reason besides pirating? This is a serious question, not a sarcastic one. I've struggled to find an evenly remotely legitmate source of DivX files.

Anyway, Apple is ignoring DivX as there is really no good reason to pay for the license other than to please .001% of their potential market.

Agreed. The original poster either doesn't know Apple would be tacking on a licensing fee for every unit or doesn't care and expects Apple to eat the feature cost.

djpl
Mar 21, 2007, 02:29 PM
Sorry, but this product doesn't appeal to me. Why would I want to download movies from iTunes for just a few bucks less than the DVD costs and not even get 1080i quality? I mean, I didn't spend a few grand on a 50-inch HD plasma to watch anything less than HD quality movies.

mizzoucat
Mar 21, 2007, 02:29 PM
I predict the Apple TV will be a flop. It doesn't do anything better than what's already out there. You'd be better off spending a little more and getting an Xbox 360 or even a mac mini.

Dagless
Mar 21, 2007, 02:30 PM
When I upgrade to a proper HDTV I'll get one of these. I'm halfway through ripping my entire DVD collection to a stonking array of hard drives and to be able to access that from my TV all the way downstairs - all the better. H.264 is the only codec I need on the thing. Though RAW support would have been nice...

Turkish
Mar 21, 2007, 02:30 PM
I want to check one out at my local Apple store. I'll go tomorrow

Most likely not.

Remember, most stores have to remove a full side section of Macs to make room for a Bravia TV and the Apple TV unit. Most local stores did not even have any today - or displays for the windows..

An employee told me they had not even had any formal training on the product yet, aside from basic "who will buy this" product info. They have the TV's and accessory cables, but nothing else yet.

F/reW/re
Mar 21, 2007, 02:32 PM
Why bother with DivX anymore? Any reason besides pirating? This is a serious question, not a sarcastic one. I've struggled to find an evenly remotely legitmate source of DivX files.

Anyway, Apple is ignoring DivX as there is really no good reason to pay for the license other than to please .001% of their potential market.
Because encoding Xvid or X.264 wont kill your cpu, like H.264 does. What happends in two years when theres a new much better codec, that Apple don't like to much. Do you have to buy something new?

Apple's market shouldn't be only people who want to buy iTS Movies. Anyone who wants to play their movies from their computer onto their FlatTV should be the market for something like TV. The H.264 percentage of downloaded movies cant be much more than 0,5%. It's all about Xvid! It's fast and there's almost as good as H.264.

I really don't think TV is going to be a «hit».

vkxonline
Mar 21, 2007, 02:33 PM
Outside of the press release all of this is pretty old. The Apple TV section on the site isn't "new." They just added "Now Shipping."

obesecat55
Mar 21, 2007, 02:34 PM
Whoa whoa... wait a second.

So the :apple:tv doesn't work in full 1080 HD? That's kinda weird. I would have thought that would be one of the main features.

Also, I think they should definately have included an HDMI cable. That is the most horrible and really stupid things, getting your awesome brand new shiny whatever, and not being able to use it because you don't have the right cables.

This thing is awesome, but I think I'll be waiting for the second generation.

Dagless
Mar 21, 2007, 02:34 PM
You'd be better off spending a little more and getting an Xbox 360 or even a mac mini.

Lets see... an Xbox. Can that run my iPhoto library or H.264 videos? (an actual question, I don't use the house 360 for anything other than games). That thing is large, loud, heavy and sucks up power. I wouldn't want that as an entertainment centre. The remote control is hideous.

Mac Mini - good point. But the cheapest is double the cost of an :apple: TV and the main input isn't a basic controller, it's a keyboard and mouse.
I imagine the boot up times are quicker and it's cheaper to run too. Mac Mini has component output?

abadr
Mar 21, 2007, 02:35 PM
Think a mac mini does indeed look like a better option - perhaps second hand, or with education discounts - at least then I can install other codecs...

I know that some people will be happy with the device just playing form itunes - but not me - we don't have itunes movie or TV content in the UK...

Padriac
Mar 21, 2007, 02:37 PM
I predict the Apple TV will be a flop. It doesn't do anything better than what's already out there. You'd be better off spending a little more and getting an Xbox 360 or even a mac mini.

It does do things better.

For one, it doesn't cost $600 (mini)

For two, it workds directly with iTunes and ITMS purchases (360 doesn't)

For three, it has HDMI (360 doesn't currently)

For four (and this is key), its much more simple than any competing product.

Rocketman
Mar 21, 2007, 02:43 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

The tech specs page (http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html) provide some additional details

Interestingly the Mossberg review included Mac G5, Mac-Intel, PC-XP and PC-Vista. The Apple TV tech specs page recommends Win-XP home/pro but NOT Vista :)

Rocketman

Clive At Five
Mar 21, 2007, 02:44 PM
People might have assumed. no one ever said one way or the other.

arn

Seems like it could be a very fine line though between OS X and non-OS X... It probably doesn't need much as long as it talks to iTunes and has a FrontRow-esque appearance - it doesn't really matter what it runs if it can do these things.

-Clive

Padriac
Mar 21, 2007, 02:46 PM
Because encoding Xvid or X.264 wont kill your cpu, like H.264 does. What happends in two years when theres a new much better codec, that Apple don't like to much. Do you have to buy something new?

Apple's market shouldn't be only people who want to buy iTS Movies. Anyone who wants to play their movies from their computer onto their FlatTV should be the market for something like TV. The H.264 percentage of downloaded movies cant be much more than 0,5%. It's all about Xvid! It's fast and there's almost as good as H.264.

I really don't think TV is going to be a ęhitĽ.

Apple wants to be doing the encoding for you. You can also do it yourself and yes it's a bit slower than DivX, but DivX is also slower than a bunch of even older codecs. Where does it end and why is DivX special? If you can show me a legitimate source of XviD/DivX content that approaches even 1% of the content available in h.264 I'll give you a cookie. DivX/XviD, for all intents and purposes, do not exist (to the mass consumer).

Apple chose h.264 because it is one of the new HD standards (used on Blu-ray as "AVC") and because they don't have to pay extra like they do for DivX.

XviD/DivX don't matter at all. Apple has little reason to support them.

Clive At Five
Mar 21, 2007, 02:46 PM
The real question is this:

How long until this thing is hacked and taught to run Linux, play games, and be a DVR via the USB port?

I give it 3 weeks. We will here about Hacking the :apple:TV on or before April 11th.

Any other takers?

-Clive

andiwm2003
Mar 21, 2007, 02:48 PM
i thought the 720p standard is 1366x720 pixel resolution. how does that work with 1280x720?:confused:

mdntcallr
Mar 21, 2007, 02:48 PM
with 720 by 432 pixels at 30 fps this is hardly HDTV.

Regular HDTV 720p is:
720p - 720 progressive. this technology comprises 720 vertical pixels and 1,280 horizontal pixels.

so, this device will be cute. nice. but hardly a HDTV quality box, so the HDMI is very misleading, it isnt true HDTV

bommai
Mar 21, 2007, 02:49 PM
Lets see... an Xbox. Can that run my iPhoto library or H.264 videos? (an actual question, I don't use the house 360 for anything other than games). That thing is large, loud, heavy and sucks up power. I wouldn't want that as an entertainment centre. The remote control is hideous.

Mac Mini - good point. But the cheapest is double the cost of an :apple: TV and the main input isn't a basic controller, it's a keyboard and mouse.
I imagine the boot up times are quicker and it's cheaper to run too. Mac Mini has component output?

If you already have a 360 (I don't), and a Mac, to to http://www.nullriver.com and download the Connect360. I was told this is a slick piece of software that allows you to bring your iTunes (non-DRM, AAC, Apple Lossless, etc) and iPhoto library to your TV using your XBox 360. It also allows you to stream WMV video (no transcoding support right now).

Danksi
Mar 21, 2007, 02:51 PM
Two things stopping us getting an Apple TV at this point:-

1) Need a new TV.
2) ~40Gb's is too small. If it were 60Gb+, the :apple:TV could be sync'd automatically when our media Server/Desktop was turned on, allowing the :apple:TV to be used independently later on, to listen to Music and/or view kids videos and maybe even family photo's. No need to have two machines running to do streaming.

Still thinking the iPod Video 80Gb is a viable alternative, with the added benefit of mobility for trips.

mr_austin
Mar 21, 2007, 02:51 PM
Sorry, but this product doesn't appeal to me. Why would I want to download movies from iTunes for just a few bucks less than the DVD costs and not even get 1080i quality? I mean, I didn't spend a few grand on a 50-inch HD plasma to watch anything less than HD quality movies.

How about everything else besides just movies? Do you really like pulling guests into your computer room or around the laptop to watch the stuff you create? How about video podcasts? Nothing on TV - how about ask a ninja, without getting up off the couch? Or if none of that appeals to you, what happens if you just got into Grey's Anatomy, burned through seasons one and two in 3 weeks, and can't wait for season 3 on dvd? Watching TV in the aeron chair doesn't pass the wife test...

(nitpicky point- DVD isn't 1080i either. And many things available on iTunes aren't in HDDVD or BluRay.)

If you don't like it, don't get it. But there is a place for it in the market. go back and read all the posts ripping the ipod when it first shipped...

kidhero
Mar 21, 2007, 02:52 PM
.

Aaargh!
Mar 21, 2007, 02:54 PM
"If it's on iTunes, it's on your widescreen TV."
No it's not.
Unfortunately it only supports HDMI and component. My nice widescreen 100Hz CRT doesn't have component inputs (most SDTV's don't, at least here in Europe). So basically you can only use this on a HDTV. I wonder why they didn't add S-Video output.

But an even bigger problem is that there is no content for it to play. It doesn't support DivX, therefore ignoring 99% of the content available. And the iTunes store doesn't sell any movies or series here in Europe. It doesn't do AC3 or DTS so there's no surround which makes it completely useless.

The thing I don't get is: why is normal SDTV not good enough for Apple but only supporting stereo sound is ok ? IMHO good sound quality is even more important for enjoying a movie than the picture quality. (try watching a horror movie and then mute the sound, it instantaneously stops being scary). What is the point in watching a movie in HD and then having stereo audio ? I'd rather trade in the HDTV image for the better audio.

mr_austin
Mar 21, 2007, 02:54 PM
from the summary:

Video:
- .264 and protected H.264 (from iTunes Store): Up to 5 Mbps. Maximum resolution: 1280 by 720 pixels at 24 fps, 960 by 540 pixels at 30 fps

so, in h264, it can do 720p/24. just not in mpeg4.

with 720 by 432 pixels at 30 fps this is hardly HDTV.

Regular HDTV 720p is:
720p - 720 progressive. this technology comprises 720 vertical pixels and 1,280 horizontal pixels.

so, this device will be cute. nice. but hardly a HDTV quality box, so the HDMI is very misleading, it isnt true HDTV

eme jota ce
Mar 21, 2007, 02:55 PM
Lets see... an Xbox. Can that run my iPhoto library or H.264 videos? (an actual question, I don't use the house 360 for anything other than games). That thing is large, loud, heavy and sucks up power. I wouldn't want that as an entertainment centre. The remote control is hideous.

Mac Mini - good point. But the cheapest is double the cost of an :apple: TV and the main input isn't a basic controller, it's a keyboard and mouse.
I imagine the boot up times are quicker and it's cheaper to run too. Mac Mini has component output?

I use a Mac Mini for movies, music, photos, etc. on my HDTV. Can run the DVI output to the HDMI input with a $6 cable. Also, the Mac Mini's remote brings up Front Row, which looks a lot the :apple" TV interface. The comparison to the "main input" is misplaced.

From my perspective, it's worth the extra money to use a Mac Mini with EyeTV to get the :apple: TV features (via iTunes music sharing, etc. from other computers on the network) plus a full computer, plus expandable HD, plus full Internet access (especialy YouTube within the media context), plus DVR funcitonality in HD via EyeTV, plus a built in DVD player/recorder, plus playing more video formats, plus, plus, plus.

The Apple TV is too close in price to a Mini and too far in capabilities.

dirtymatt
Mar 21, 2007, 02:58 PM
with 720 by 432 pixels at 30 fps this is hardly HDTV.

Regular HDTV 720p is:
720p - 720 progressive. this technology comprises 720 vertical pixels and 1,280 horizontal pixels.

so, this device will be cute. nice. but hardly a HDTV quality box, so the HDMI is very misleading, it isnt true HDTV

Well, the Apple TV supports 1280x720 at 24fps, so...

dirtymatt
Mar 21, 2007, 03:00 PM
i thought the 720p standard is 1366x720 pixel resolution. how does that work with 1280x720?:confused:

You thought wrong. 720p is 1280x720@60fps. The Apple TV is 1280x720@24fps, but most content is filmed at 24fps (this includes TV, most shows are shot on film and then converted to 59.94fps interlaced later).

curmi
Mar 21, 2007, 03:02 PM
Because encoding Xvid or X.264 wont kill your cpu, like H.264 does. What happends in two years when theres a new much better codec, that Apple don't like to much. Do you have to buy something new?

Apple's market shouldn't be only people who want to buy iTS Movies. Anyone who wants to play their movies from their computer onto their FlatTV should be the market for something like ?TV. The H.264 percentage of downloaded movies cant be much more than 0,5%. It's all about Xvid! It's fast and there's almost as good as H.264.

I really don't think ?TV is going to be a «hit».

I'm with you on this. Further, the Apple TV should have been able to look in your remote Movies folder, not assume everything is stored in iTunes. Like FrontRow does on your local machine.

Xvid/DivX is important - at least outside of the US where people have been using it for years - and not just for pirating. When the iPod came out, it supported what people had used for years (mp3) - it would have died if all it said was "Supports AAC only".

Jimmdean
Mar 21, 2007, 03:03 PM
I use a Mac Mini for movies, music, photos, etc. on my HDTV. Can run the DVI output to the HDMI input with a $6 cable. Also, the Mac Mini's remote brings up Front Row, which looks a lot the :apple" TV interface. The comparison to the "main input" is misplaced.

From my perspective, it's worth the extra money to use a Mac Mini with EyeTV to get the :apple: TV features (via iTunes music sharing, etc. from other computers on the network) plus a full computer, plus expandable HD, plus full Internet access (especialy YouTube within the media context), plus DVR funcitonality in HD via EyeTV, plus a built in DVD player/recorder, plus playing more video formats, plus, plus, plus.

The Apple TV is too close in price to a Mini and too far in capabilities.


The mini is usable this way if you have DVI/HDMI. It is considerably more difficult to get it looking right on a hdtv that only has component input (or the VGA/RGB), not worth the trouble if you ask me - Apple knew this when they put component out on the iTV... They were careful not to screw all the hdtv early-adopters...

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 03:03 PM
I addressed a few of my concerns with the Apple TV on previous threads, so here are some of them again:

1) Streaming DVDís from a Mac/PC to an HDTV. What about just putting a commercial DVD in your Mac, playing it wirelessly through DVD player software or new software included with TV onto your HDTV? That would be much simpler than ripping them to your HD (ripping an entire movie collection with 4-8 gig's per movie would be an extensive amount of data and time in ripping, especially as I have 1,000+ DVDís). An entire movie collection would be a lot of physical HD space and what if your HDDís fail, losing your entire DVD collection? Will you have backup HDDís and/or your DVD collection stored away? If so, is that not antithetical to the point of Apple TVís simplicity? Why would I want to rip hundred's if not thousands of DVD's onto a hard drive, then spend more time compressing them so they fit and quite possibly losing quality in compression?

It would essentially replace the need for a DVD player next to your HDTV, as a Mac/PC would become a wireless Media PC (as opposed to the wired Media Center's that some people custom build from Windows XP and/or Vista). Utilizing the new Airport N Base Station could wirelessly stream DVD's as they play in your Mac system. Some individuals have made valid points that Mac/PC internal optical drives arenít on par with the quality of top set DVD units, however that could easily change (Sony has an internal Blu-ray drive already on the market for only $699, hundreds less than top set Blu-ray units and just as good).

2) DVR capability. Some individuals on Macrumors criticized my issue with a lack of DVR functionality by stating that Cable Television DVR units are down in popularity. Mediamark Research (MRI) finds that 11.2 percent of U.S. adult households have DVRs, up from 8.6 in the fall of 2005 and 3 percent in 2004. DVRs households record an average 11.3 shows per week, up 23 percent from last year. The number of shows actually recorded on DVRs is low relative to the volume of TV consumed. The report estimates 4 percent of all TV viewing in the U.S. is recorded or consumed through on-demand channels.

DVR owners tend to have higher levels of education and household incomes. College educated adults comprise 36.8 percent of DVR owners, compared to 25.2 percent of the U.S. adult population. Seventeen percent of DVR homes have an average household income exceeding $150,000, compared to 8 percent of the general adult population. Nearly 16 percent of DVR households own homes worth over $500,000, compared to 9 percent of the general population.

The DVR market is still considerably a HUGE market Apple, Inc. is essentially ignoring through TV. If the Apple TV had DVR functionality it would essentially replace a digital cable box if the HDTV had a cable card slot.

3) Wireless Mac/PC desktop. Most new HDTVís have DVI PC inputs for computer monitor usage. By supplying a DVI output for wireless remote desktop usage, the Apple TV could transform living rooms into fully enabled Mac/PC entertainment/computer systems with wireless Bluetooth HIDís. It would not be difficult to add that function to the product.

I view the TV as a bridge into wireless entertainment media, not just streaming purchased iTunes content. TV can play movies, music and pictures, so why not go the extra mile and include DVR functionality and allowing DVD streaming, making the the ONLY thing a home entertainment center would need aside from an HDTV and AVR? While the iPod took years to obtain cult status and popularity, the iPod entered a market that was new and undeveloped (digital music content). Many individuals scoffed at the idea of throwing away their CD's for MP3's, and it took a few years for just such to occur. However, comparing CD's to DVD's and DVR equipment is essentially comparing apple's (no pun intended) to oranges, for reasons I will not go into now (such as heavier copy right protection and laws associated with DVD's and the psychology of the average consumer switching from DVD content to even more heavily regulated iTunes video content - is it possible to burn iTunes movies to DVD's?)...

The Mac/PC could become the entertainment hub of the home, eliminating DVD players, CD Players and VCRís (almost non-existent in most homes unless recording from CDís and/or VHS to digital media) and Cable Boxes with the only need of an HDTV and a good AVR surround sound system. Eliminating a top set DVD unit from your home entertainment system and utilizing the DVD player on a Mac or PC would make perfect sense, especially as internal Blu-ray DVD drives are currently available on the market for much less than stand alone top sets. Why not have the home Mac/PC become the "virtual" DVD player without having to rip every DVD in your library? Who cares if you have to go to your Mac/PC to insert a DVD to watch a movie? Are people THAT lazy???

Pioneer has a Blu-ray unit on the market for roughly $1500 that also incorporates wireless streaming and connectivity to Mac/PC systems JUST as the TV does. Pioneer's Blu-ray Disc Player connects easily into your existing home network, allowing you to serve up movies, music and photos from your PC to your flat panelóat your TV's highest possible resolution.

It seems to me that the TV is simply a device to promote more spending in iTunes, instead of allowing use of existing entertainment media such as home DVD libraries. TV is a great idea for a possible future in wireless PC home entertainment systems. However, the limitations on usable media (meaning restricted use of only iTunes purchased media) is a major concern. This is perhaps the iPod for home entertainment with clauses attached. For $299, I would rather see less restrictions, improved movie quality availability in the iTunes store, DVR functionality and wireless Mac/PC desktop functionality.
__________________

50548
Mar 21, 2007, 03:05 PM
Shame there isn't a wider range of formats :(

Seemingly underpowered processor...

I'm still waiting for streaming on a PS3 :S

I have a question:

REALISTICALLY speaking...is there any difference between the above mentioned resolutions for h264 and MPEG and the widescreen images we see everyday on TV (non-HD content in 95% of the world)?

If anyone can answer me that I would really appreciate...

mk2000
Mar 21, 2007, 03:05 PM
Shame there isn't a wider range of formats :(

Seemingly underpowered processor...

I'm still waiting for streaming on a PS3 :S

You can get close to that.
Turn on Personal Web Sharing on your Mac and dump your MP4 files into your Sites folder (you might want to create a new folder inside Sites). You can then use your PS3's web browser to surf to your mac and it will prompt you to download the files into your PS3. Pretty easy.

I love some of the features of the Apple TV, but it can't beat being able to play 1080p video at over 40Mbits per second rates on the PS3.

Actually, I typically take the 1080p trailers from Apple and export them out to MP4 using Quicktime Pro and having the options set to Pass Through (so no loss of quality, just a container change). They play beautifully.:)

mk2000

skinEman23
Mar 21, 2007, 03:06 PM
I think a lot of people are missing the point here. People on this forum keep repeating that they would like more codec support, upgradeable and customizable codec libraries, games, DVR functionality, etc. There are units that do all these things, and they are called Windows Media Centers, and they cost at least two to three times more. And for those who say that you would be better off spending a little more money and buying x or y, I agree. People could also spend a little more and buy a Lexus rather than a Toyota, but that's not for everyone. I'm not saying that :apple: TV is going to be huge, but I do think it's on the right track, with its only major competitor being the big, more complex, more expensive XBOX360. I see the draw though... if you pay $60 a month for cable and watch 30 shows, you could just get them off iTunes for the same amount and keep them. Maybe people won't need DVR anymore.

cbud
Mar 21, 2007, 03:07 PM
I addressed a few of my concerns with the Apple TV on previous threads, so here are some of them again:

__________________

Jee, thanks alot...

NightStorm
Mar 21, 2007, 03:10 PM
Why would you want to stream a DVD from your Mac to an AppleTV? Why not just put it in your already existing DVD player and play it right there? Am I missing something? I dont know why this continues to come up... :confused:

jakaj
Mar 21, 2007, 03:10 PM
But.... if it supports MPEG-4, doens't that mean that it _DOES_ support DivX/Xvid/other MPEG-4 ASP formats?

Stella
Mar 21, 2007, 03:13 PM
Then don't buy it. Steve Jobs isn't forcing a gun to your head. Nice sense of self-entitlement you've got there. :rolleyes:


He is entitled to his express his opinions on these forums, positive or negative without being flamed for doing so. Additionally he backed up his reason for not liking the AppleTV so it was constructive.

Evangelion
Mar 21, 2007, 03:14 PM
Yeah, you did. The AppleTV is able to use a stream from your DVD player on your Mac. As a matter of fact, you can stream from as many as six Macs ( the synced Mac + five others).

first of all, it's not certain that can you stream dvd's. second, the idea of streaming dvds is just pain dumb. instead of having dvd-player right next to the tv, i would have to walk over to my computer, log in, plop in the dvd, walk back to the living-room and start streaming?

mrgreen4242
Mar 21, 2007, 03:18 PM
Why would you want to stream a DVD from your Mac to an AppleTV? Why not just put it in your already existing DVD player and play it right there? Am I missing something? I dont know why this continues to come up... :confused:

I know, it doesn't make any sense at all... it's pretty much the same one or two people who keep talking about it... :rolleyes:

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 03:20 PM
Jee, thanks alot...

you're welcome.

petvas
Mar 21, 2007, 03:21 PM
I don't understand most of you people. Can't you just read the specs page on http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html ???

Instead of posting questions about the formats supported you could just take the time and read the apple web site! Why do most people want to complain all the time???

Video formats supported
H.264 and protected H.264 (from iTunes Store): Up to 5 Mbps, Progressive Main Profile (CAVLC) with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps (maximum resolution: 1280 by 720 pixels at 24 fps, 960 by 540 pixels at 30 fps)
iTunes Store purchased video: 320 by 240 pixels or 640 by 480 pixels
MPEG-4: Up to 3 Mbps, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps (maximum resolution: 720 by 432 pixels at 30 fps)


And for those of you that ask what changed on the specs page since last time, the answer is very simple: Before we didn't have any infos about Bitrates supported and the 960x540 Resolution!

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 03:21 PM
I know, it doesn't make any sense at all... it's pretty much the same one or two people who keep talking about it... :rolleyes:

Makes perfect sense as it would REPLACE existing equipment in your home system. As a designer and architect, people are all about simplicity. Why add MORE things to your entertainment system when you can ELIMINATE them. Makes perfect sense :rolleyes:

williedigital
Mar 21, 2007, 03:23 PM
it's not what this thing does support, but what it doesn't. there is like a total or 400 movies available on itunes. none of them have subtitles. if apple never going to sell a foreign film?? if so, why not implement the subtitle support now. for example, it can't play movies from nero recode (which is a popular program) that have subtitles. Itunes NEVER had limitations so large.

Everyone is harping on how xvid dvix isn't legit/legal, but neither is the vast majority of music sitting on people's ipods. Do the math on average hd usage, itunes sales, and average cd's owned and the numbers do not add up. It's not a moral argument, but a practical one that this needs xvid/divx support for it to be useful as a movie player at least. Of the people I know, when you want to play a digital movie file, they say "play an .avi" because they've seen that. They have never even seen a .mp4 file. That mess is as obscure as .mkv to them.

kidhero
Mar 21, 2007, 03:25 PM
.

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 03:25 PM
first of all, it's not certain that can you stream dvd's. second, the idea of streaming dvds is just pain dumb. instead of having dvd-player right next to the tv, i would have to walk over to my computer, log in, plop in the dvd, walk back to the living-room and start streaming?

Why is it "just plain dumb"? First off, if you're that lazy that walking to your Mac is more difficult than your DVD player, you got some issues princess. Second, why add MORE things to your home entertainment system??? One of Apple's main points is SIMPLICITY. Optical DVD units (and especially with the advent of internal Blu-ray drives) are just as good as any top box. Even Jobs himself praised the HD of Mac systems (I have watched many movies online at 1080P with my ACD, so why not do the same with the :apple: TV?).

SeaFox
Mar 21, 2007, 03:25 PM
The tech specs page (http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html) provide some additional details:

Photos:
- JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, PNG


Hmmm, it runs a modified version of OSX yet it can't open PICT files? Interesting that Apple has forsaken their own image format.

No cables included? Doesn't bode well for the old plug and play adage. If this is supposed to appeal to the masses they better at least include some cheap cables.
It's just like the ink jet printer makers. Remember when you used to get a 6' serial cable with your printer?

Why bother with DivX anymore? Any reason besides pirating? This is a serious question, not a sarcastic one. I've struggled to find an evenly remotely legitmate source of DivX files.

Anyway, Apple is ignoring DivX as there is really no good reason to pay for the license other than to please .001% of their potential market.
Maybe they have already ripped their own DVD collection to DivX. DivX is quite popular in the Windows and Linux world. There is a whole other realm outside Apple's mpeg parts... :rolleyes:

Because encoding Xvid or X.264 wont kill your cpu, like H.264 does. What happends in two years when theres a new much better codec, that Apple don't like to much. Do you have to buy something new?

Apple could release a SDK for the version of OSX on the :apple:TV and let third parties release their own plugin to support the codecs. That way, we wont have to buy something new, if the hardware supports the processing requirements, we can just add the codec and move on, sorta like a home built HTPC...

It's all about Xvid! It's fast and there's almost as good as H.264.

As someone who is working with encoding in Xvid and H.264 right now, I have to say I disagree with you on that.

Jimmdean
Mar 21, 2007, 03:25 PM
I have a question:

REALISTICALLY speaking...is there any difference between the above mentioned resolutions for h264 and MPEG and the widescreen images we see everyday on TV (non-HD content in 95% of the world)?

If anyone can answer me that I would really appreciate...


The Apple TV is designed to be at least DVD quality. It remains to be seen how typical iTunes content will look, but the stuff you can make yourself could/would be that good with Handbrake or such. Basically, it's a lot better than analog cable (or even the digital channels), which is what you're describing.

Stella
Mar 21, 2007, 03:26 PM
Makes perfect sense as it would REPLACE existing equipment in your home system. As a designer and architect, people are all about simplicity. Why add MORE things to your entertainment system when you can ELIMINATE them. Makes perfect sense :rolleyes:

The problem with the aTV is two fold -
1. only iTunes content ( unless, point 2 ) - which is minimal for the world
2. you can have to encode your existing content into compatible format, which can be time consuming.


point 1 - will get better overtime, but its going to be slow.

I'm going to watch a DVD on my existing CD - with 5.1 surround sound. Why would I want to cripple the experience?

dextertangocci
Mar 21, 2007, 03:29 PM
Wow, this is all highly confusing. Remember the days when we went just bought or rented a video or dvd:)

I'm getting an :apple: tv anyway, bought a Sony Bravia 46" today just for it:D

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 03:29 PM
He is entitled to his express his opinions on these forums, positive or negative without being flamed for doing so. Additionally he backed up his reason for not liking the AppleTV so it was constructive.

Some people can't express their own opinions without attempting to degrade others. Mostly due to a lack of respect and/or self respect and anything pretinent to add to the discussion. Maturity (along with respect) is a rapidly diminishing trait in the general (online) public. Sad really. :(

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 03:30 PM
The problem with the aTV is two fold -
1. only iTunes content ( unless, point 2 ) - which is minimal for the world
2. you can have to encode your existing content into compatible format, which can be time consuming.


point 1 - will get better overtime, but its going to be slow.

I'm going to watch a DVD on my existing CD - with 5.1 surround sound. Why would I want to cripple the experience?

EXACTLY. However, I guess my point is too "stupid" for others to grasp :rolleyes: lol

johnee
Mar 21, 2007, 03:30 PM
Makes perfect sense as it would REPLACE existing equipment in your home system. As a designer and architect, people are all about simplicity. Why add MORE things to your entertainment system when you can ELIMINATE them. Makes perfect sense :rolleyes:

I totally agree. This device is simply a presence in the market of releasing video on your computer to your tv. I honestly could care less about HD tv, so I can't say this product is good or bad.

So... me, as an outsider's (or an ignoramus's if you prefer) point of view, this is something that I see as a way to enjoy the movies I buy on itunes on a huge tv. It's basically adding infrastructure for the iTunes movie store.

Other than technology nuts, most people (including me) are ignorant about HD specs and when they see this device, they are really hearing apple say, "let us take care of those details, you just watch your movie".

Stella
Mar 21, 2007, 03:31 PM
Some people can't express their own opinions without attempting to degrade others. Mostly due to a lack of respect and/or self respect and anything pretinent to add to the discussion. Maturity (along with respect) is a rapidly diminishing trait in the general (online) public. Sad really. :(

Was he degrading others? I'll go back and check but I'm pretty sure he wasn't.


EDIT:
Nope, he wasn't degrading others. His opinions were pointed at himself, rather than speaking for "everyone".

OP -
"Sorry, but this product doesn't appeal to me. Why would I want to download movies from iTunes for just a few bucks less than the DVD costs and not even get 1080i quality? I mean, I didn't spend a few grand on a 50-inch HD plasma to watch anything less than HD quality movies."

swingerofbirch
Mar 21, 2007, 03:32 PM
I always knew this product was for widescreen TVs, but it seems that they just now added that qualifier to their slogan, "If it's on iTunes, it's on your widescreen TV." Maybe they were in trouble for being misleading?

Is there a technical reason this is required? They still sell TV shows in the 4:3 ratio (ie Weeds).

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 03:33 PM
Was he degrading others? I'll go back and check but I'm pretty sure he wasn't.

Sarcasm. The tone in which he addressed the user. Pretty aparent if you ask me.

Vyshemirsky
Mar 21, 2007, 03:34 PM
Speaking about Mac mini as an alternative. I found that it supports 1920x1080, but what is the maximal supported frame rate for 1280x720 and 1920x1080? Anyone of the practival users?

Honestly, considering a home media centre, I would rather spend some more money and buy a proper thing, which can play DVD, play video in any encoding, have a larger disk capacity, and (adding a tuner and a programme called MediaCentral) show live TV and be a PVR.

This is really useless to buy an :apple:TV in the UK, as the only video content we have on iTS is music videos and video podcasts.

kidhero
Mar 21, 2007, 03:35 PM
.

kidhero
Mar 21, 2007, 03:36 PM
.

Stella
Mar 21, 2007, 03:37 PM
Sarcasm. The tone in which he addressed the user. Pretty aparent if you ask me.


Really?

Once again , the OP:
"Sorry, but this product doesn't appeal to me. Why would I want to download movies from iTunes for just a few bucks less than the DVD costs and not even get 1080i quality? I mean, I didn't spend a few grand on a 50-inch HD plasma to watch anything less than HD quality movies."

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 03:38 PM
I totally agree. This device is simply a presence in the market of releasing video on your computer to your tv. I honestly could care less about HD tv, so I can't say this product is good or bad.

So... me, as an outsider's (or an ignoramus's if you prefer) point of view, this is something that I see as a way to enjoy the movies I buy on itunes on a huge tv. It's basically adding infrastructure for the iTunes movie store.

Other than technology nuts, most people (including me) are ignorant about HD specs and when they see this device, they are really hearing apple say, "let us take care of those details, you just watch your movie".

Sorry, but I [personally] do not view the point in spending $299 to add another piece equipment ontop of my AVR, DVD/CD Player, Cable Box and surge box just so I can buy movies online through iTunes. Now, as an Apple fan I have nothing negative to say about such a great company that develops quality, progressive technology. However, this :apple:TV just seems a way for Apple, Inc. to increase spending in iTunes through the inherit :apple:TV restrictions. That's like saying "Yes, I want to spend $299 on a piece of equipment that only plays things I need to buy from that company. Sign me up!" :rolleyes:

iVoid
Mar 21, 2007, 03:40 PM
I always knew this product was for widescreen TVs, but it seems that they just now added that qualifier to their slogan, "If it's on iTunes, it's on your widescreen TV." Maybe they were in trouble for being misleading?

Is there a technical reason this is required? They still sell TV shows in the 4:3 ratio (ie Weeds).

Mostly because it doesn't have composite or s-video out that most 4:3 sets would have.

You probably can hook this up to a 4:3 TV via component/hdmi, but the TV would have to be able to handle a 720P signal.


As for extending the codecs, since this probably uses quicktime on the :apple:TV end, Apple really should allow codecs to be added just like you can with Quicktime on a mac and windows.

As for DVD playing support... you can always rip DVDs to H.286 format, but it would really be a good idea to allow users to stream dvds to the :apple: TV. One less box at the TV and makes use of a already existing DVD drive in the PC/Mac.

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 03:40 PM
Really?

Once again , the OP:
"Sorry, but this product doesn't appeal to me. Why would I want to download movies from iTunes for just a few bucks less than the DVD costs and not even get 1080i quality? I mean, I didn't spend a few grand on a 50-inch HD plasma to watch anything less than HD quality movies."

You're referencing the wrong statement:

KIDHERO: "Then don't buy it. Steve Jobs isn't forcing a gun to your head. Nice sense of self-entitlement you've got there. "

That is what we were referring to.

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 03:41 PM
Do you have a Firefox plugin to detect it?

you're just proving our point :rolleyes:

Padriac
Mar 21, 2007, 03:41 PM
Just curious:

How many of those complaining are not located in America?

This product is not really ready for non-American markets. The content isn't there. Would you guys rather Apple not sell the Apple TV to you at all until the content is in place, or would you prefer to at least have the option for music/home-brewed content? If the latter, I don't see the point in constantly pointing out that the product is not so useful if you don't live in America. We get it.

Just look at America and assume that whatever is in place there is what Apple hopes to eventually have going in your country.

balamw
Mar 21, 2007, 03:42 PM
Are they even in stores yet?

According to the e-mail I just got from Apple, they'll be in Apple stores "this weekend".

Hopefully mine's still on target for Friday delivery.

B

Stella
Mar 21, 2007, 03:43 PM
You're referencing the wrong statement:

KIDHERO: "Then don't buy it. Steve Jobs isn't forcing a gun to your head. Nice sense of self-entitlement you've got there. "

That is what we were referring to.

Oh, sorry, Yes, I agree with you!

( The OP I quoted was the thread that led to the quote above ).

macinfojunkie
Mar 21, 2007, 03:43 PM
There seems to have been a lot of comment on the video resolution and bit-rate that Apple TV supports. But I've not seen much in this thread yet about the supported max. bit-rate. I'm surprised it is limited to 160kbs. Annoying for those of us who have a ready made collection of H.264 movies with 192 AAC. From the specs page:

H.264 and protected H.264 (from iTunes Store): Up to 5 Mbps, Progressive Main Profile (CAVLC) with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps (maximum resolution: 1280 by 720 pixels at 24 fps, 960 by 540 pixels at 30 fps).

The previous specs up on Apple's web-site did not as far as I recall mention anything about the bit-rate limit on audio for movies, only the overall supported bit-rate per second. If this is true that ATV is limited in this way then it is very disappointing. I don;t understand why the audio side would be restricted in this way.

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 03:44 PM
Oh, sorry, Yes, I agree with you!

( The OP I quoted was the thread that led to the quote above ).

No prob :)

petvas
Mar 21, 2007, 03:46 PM
There seems to have been a lot of comment on the video resolution and bit-rate that Apple TV supports. But I've not seen much in this thread yet about the supported max. bit-rate. I'm surprised it is limited to 160kbs. Annoying for those of us who have a ready made collection of H.264 movies with 192 AAC. From the specs page:

H.264 and protected H.264 (from iTunes Store): Up to 5 Mbps, Progressive Main Profile (CAVLC) with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps (maximum resolution: 1280 by 720 pixels at 24 fps, 960 by 540 pixels at 30 fps).

The previous specs up on Apple's web-site did not as far as I recall mention anything about the bit-rate limit on audio for movies, only the overall supported bit-rate per second. If this is true that ATV is limited in this way then it is very disappointing. I don;t understand why the audio side would be restricted in this way.

I remember the exact same thing. I thought the maximum audio bit rate was 320kbps but now it seems to be 160kbps. I don't think anybody would actually hear the difference, but still it is certainly disappointing

peestandingup
Mar 21, 2007, 03:46 PM
To the people complaining:

I really dont get some of you guys. You're most likely the same people who complain that the iPod doesnt have this or that feature. Just give it up.

Apple aims to appeal to the mass consumer with products like this. They're not gonna go & gum it up with every feature under the sun & just confuse the end user.

Most people just need a simple way to display their iTunes content from their computers to their TV & this is it.

twoodcc
Mar 21, 2007, 03:47 PM
cool stuff. looking forward to messing around with one in an Apple store :)

cbud
Mar 21, 2007, 03:47 PM
Those new specs suggest no support for CABAC or B-Frames in H.264 encodes.

So not only is the thing limited to the codecs H.264 and MPEG4 it is limited to a subset of those codecs. What crap! Thanks Apple! I feel like buying a PS3 instead.

wmealer
Mar 21, 2007, 03:49 PM
I think the folks who are wishing this product had DVR functionality are missing the point. The AppleTV will never be a DVD player, Divx player, or DVR. Apple has created a new, easy, cheap(?) way for their own iTunes content to be delivered to your TV. Period. It is a vehicle to make video content on the iTunes store more attractive to consumers. It is the iPod of movies and TV.

Apple would not develop, manufacture, and market a $300 product, only to have its customers use that product to view content purchased from anyone other than Apple themselves. Apple is banking on the notion that AppleTV = more iTunes Store sales. Pure and simple. For Apple to add to the long line of products with a TV tuner/DVR for your current cable/sat subscription, or the many fine set-top DVD players out there, would be quite uninspiring. Give Apple some credit for NOT doing that.

Instead, they are asking us to re-think the way we consume our programming. And while I don't think we're even close to the death of cable/satellite TV subscriptions, Apple is bringing the idea of on-demand, a la carte programming one step closer to the mainstream. Instead of looking at all the things this product can't and won't do, I'd recommend looking at what it can do, because it's obvious Apple thinks this is what the future holds.

50548
Mar 21, 2007, 03:50 PM
I predict the Apple TV will be a flop. It doesn't do anything better than what's already out there. You'd be better off spending a little more and getting an Xbox 360 or even a mac mini.

Your prediction has been registered with us; we kindly ask you to return in 6 months to check whether some crow is required. Thank you. :rolleyes:

gabefung
Mar 21, 2007, 03:51 PM
*deleted*

CoreWeb
Mar 21, 2007, 03:51 PM
Those new specs suggest no support for CABAC or B-Frames in H.264 encodes.

So not only is the thing limited to the codecs H.264 and MPEG4 it is limited to a subset of those codecs. What crap! Thanks Apple! I feel like buying a PS3 instead.

This is because the AppleTV is supposed to be an iPod for your TV. For awhile, I had my iPod connected to my TV, but it was difficult to use as I had to go up to the TV and iPod to navigate any time I wanted to change the video. Thankfully, the remote does allow fast-forward...

And really, if Apple allows 720p downloads, and from all major studios, then the AppleTV WILL be a hit. HD content, available for less than Bluray or HD-DVD... Apple could take out both "new" formats before they can make a foothold. This is the most likely avenue for Apple to pursue.

Though, they may add VIDEO_TS playback and allow iTunes to copy that to the computer, thereby allowing anyone to move all their DVDs to their computer, much like they did with the iPod - that would also ensure the AppleTV's success.

oxygen8
Mar 21, 2007, 03:51 PM
i jut get the feeling that this is an intermediate/ transitioary product. this is a motavator to get movies and television providers on the itunes store.

the next couple of versions of this product will be alot better. i think Apple is just keeping it simple untill the dust settles and they have a better idea of the lay of the media land.

Padriac
Mar 21, 2007, 03:52 PM
Here is a really simple Apple TV checklist.

If any of the following is true...

1) You don't live in America and you would not pay $300 to get access to your digital music collection through your home theater set-up

2) You are one of the .01% of the population that has tons of illegal DivX/XviD content that you are not willing to re-encode

3) You already have a computer hooked up to your TV and you don't feel like you'd rather have a more simple solution

...then you do not want to an AppleTV. You don't need to look at specs, you don't need to debate: this product is not intended for you at all.

Assuming you live in America, it seems like 95% of the population would at least potentially buy this product. Seems like a potential success to me.

Diatribe
Mar 21, 2007, 03:52 PM
No multi-channel audio = no success.

thevil
Mar 21, 2007, 03:52 PM
Mossberg's review claims that the Apple TV uses a "modified version of the Mac operating system", which was not previously known.

So I'll be able to play any movie that works in iTunes by just dropping the appropriate codecs into /Library/QuickTime and perhaps make a few ref-movies, then? Great! :o:)

CoreWeb
Mar 21, 2007, 03:53 PM
No multi-channel audio = no success.

AAC-LC supports multi channel audio - up to 48 channels, technically.

Peace
Mar 21, 2007, 03:53 PM
Has anyone considered the possibility that Apple is upgrading codecs for Leopard ? ;)

Just sayin'

50548
Mar 21, 2007, 03:55 PM
The Apple TV is designed to be at least DVD quality. It remains to be seen how typical iTunes content will look, but the stuff you can make yourself could/would be that good with Handbrake or such. Basically, it's a lot better than analog cable (or even the digital channels), which is what you're describing.

Thanks a lot...so I will be buying an AppleTV soon...its simplicity is just awesome...and it's gonna be the key to its success...

Besides, I really wonder now how useful it is to rip DVDs and stream them from the Mac, when you have the DVD player in front of you...:rolleyes:

WilliamLondon
Mar 21, 2007, 03:55 PM
Why would you want to stream a DVD from your Mac to an AppleTV? Why not just put it in your already existing DVD player and play it right there? Am I missing something? I dont know why this continues to come up... :confused:

This is a revolution in media consumption happening now. The issue of whether it will stream a DVD or not will be moot very soon, as the end of the DVD (hard little disc) is nearing, just as the floppy is dead. I'm a huge supporter of this device but don't see the importance of streaming a DVD - why do that? My computer is upstairs - the more logical thing would be to rip the DVD to your computer and stream it from the hard drive, and since it'd be on your hard drive it'd be always available for viewing forever after, like a great big DVD juke box.

Peel
Mar 21, 2007, 03:56 PM
The specs now say that the :apple:TV supports high-definition widescreen TVs capable of 1080i 60/50Hz... Previously I thought they only mentioned 720p. This is important for me as my Pana plasma accepts 1080i input but not 720p.

Any idea how this would look with the input being 1080i even though the max supported H.264 resolution is 1280x720? Any forseen problems as it would be showing a progressive format as interlaced?

cverrone
Mar 21, 2007, 03:57 PM
Currently waiting for my Apple TV to arrive (hopefully tomorrow) but was hoping I could get some knowledgable help here.

In the past week I have bought a Samsung 42 inch Plasma (comes with 2 HDMI Jacks) --- and I want to hook up my Apple TV (HDMI), Comcast Digital Cable Box (HDMI), and Phillips Home Thearte system (HDMI) ---

http://reviews.cnet.com/Philips_HTS6...6.html?tag=sub

So I have three devices with HDMI capability but only 2 HDMI ports on my Samsung HD TV. To complicate things, I want the audio from the actual TV, and Apple TV to come out of the Phillips system all the time, NOT the standard Samsung TV speakers.

What is the best way to accomplish this?

Thanks guys

50548
Mar 21, 2007, 03:57 PM
Really?

Once again , the OP:
"Sorry, but this product doesn't appeal to me. Why would I want to download movies from iTunes for just a few bucks less than the DVD costs and not even get 1080i quality? I mean, I didn't spend a few grand on a 50-inch HD plasma to watch anything less than HD quality movies."

Are you guys continue the pissing contest, or can we get back on topic here? Thanks a lot.

sterno74
Mar 21, 2007, 03:57 PM
For me, I've been waiting for a decent solution to this problem for a while. I picked up a Pinnacle media center thingy that presumably would have solved my problem but it was terribly flaky. It stuttered a lot and would just fail all together for no apparent reason. I've taken to ripping a number of my DVD's and archiving them in the hopes that some day I'll be able to just pull up movies on my TV and not have to go digging for a disc.

The problem I personally have with AppleTV as it now stands is that it doesn't support old school analog televisions. I haven't hopped on the HDTV wagon, though I'm likely to in the next year or so. So once I do that, I might consider it. Fortunately I ripped all my movies for viewing on my ipod, so the format will work, and I believe I did it at a high enough quality level that even on an HD screen it should look decent.

It seems like a good first step, but the killer app for this would be the ability to download new shows, movies, etc, in near real time from your couch. If they can turn the ITunes store into a replacement for my cable's on demand service, I'd be thrilled.

dejo
Mar 21, 2007, 03:58 PM
Assuming you live in America, it seems like 95% of the population would at least potentially buy this product. Seems like a potential success to me.
To be honest, a large percentage of that population would also need to buy a new TV. And probably a Mac as well. I'm just saying. :)

Edit: I take that last claim back. I forgot AppleTV works with Windows PCs also.

fogelbaby
Mar 21, 2007, 03:58 PM
I like the interface, but the lack of DIVX support is a deal breaker for me. I use an elGato Eyehome with my mac to stream Divx to my 50" plasma and it works great. The aTV is a nicer interface and probably eliminates the occasional networking hiccoughs that the EyeHome has, but come on. Lots of people download Divx TV through Bittorrent. If they added this support, they would sell one to every mac using college student, which is a lot of kids.

nutmac
Mar 21, 2007, 03:58 PM
No surround sound: This is 2007. Apple TV should not be limited to stereo sound. Your home theater may be stereo today but you may be upgrading it to full blown surround sound.

DiVX/XViD: DiVX and XViD are commonly used for illegal video sharing. But then again, MP3 was commonly used for illegal audio sharing. You can rip your own DVDs to H.264 or MPEG-4, much like you ripped CD to MP3 or AAC. But ripping DVD to DiVX or XViD will let you include Dolby Digital (AC-3) track for true discrete surround sound experience.

Videos from iTunes Store: Stereo sound, below DVD video quality, no subtitles, no rental pricing.

petvas
Mar 21, 2007, 03:58 PM
Here is a really simple Apple TV checklist.

If any of the following is true...

1) You don't live in America and you would not pay $300 to get access to your digital music collection through your home theater set-up

2) You are one of the .01% of the population that has tons of illegal DivX/XviD content that you are not willing to re-encode

3) You already have a computer hooked up to your TV and you don't feel like you'd rather have a more simple solution

...then you do not want to an AppleTV. You don't need to look at specs, you don't need to debate: this product is not intended for you at all.

Assuming you live in America, it seems like 95% of the population would at least potentially buy this product. Seems like a potential success to me.

I live in Germany, I ordered the Apple TV for the following reasons:


Ability to watch my EyeTV recordings
Show my pictures
play Music
convert DVDs that don't "need" Dolby Digital or DTS to be good. That includes mainly older movies
The iTunes Store in Germany will eventually offer movies
I want to buy a Canon HD Camera this year, so I will be able to watch my own films on my Widescreen Philips TV HD Ready (720p and 1080i)

Diatribe
Mar 21, 2007, 03:59 PM
AAC-LC supports multi channel audio - up to 48 channels, technically.

At 160kbps? Seems unlikely but then again I am no technician.

bbrosemer
Mar 21, 2007, 04:00 PM
Apple has sent out emails saying that the :apple: TV will be available in stores this weekend... Just got this in my inbox...

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/176/429652824_c90680bc06_o.png

WilliamLondon
Mar 21, 2007, 04:03 PM
Sorry, but I [personally] do not view the point in spending $299 to add another piece equipment ontop of my AVR, DVD/CD Player, Cable Box and surge box just so I can buy movies online through iTunes.

Save that post, and in the future when that little $299 box has replaced your AVR, DVD/CD, Cable box and surge box you'll laugh and think how myopic we all were and how visionary Apple was.

Jimmdean
Mar 21, 2007, 04:03 PM
Thanks a lot...so I will be buying an AppleTV soon...its simplicity is just awesome...and it's gonna be the key to its success...

Besides, I really wonder now how useful it is to rip DVDs and stream them from the Mac, when you have the DVD player in front of you...:rolleyes:

Well, my 2-year old has a lot of Baby-Einstein/Dora/Diego/Spongebob DVDs. Honestly, I'm getting tired of changing them, not to mention having to re-burn them everytime he decides to scratch them all up.

Apple TV should alleviate that issue for me...

Diatribe
Mar 21, 2007, 04:06 PM
Well, my 2-year old has a lot of Baby-Einstein/Dora/Diego/Spongebob DVDs. Honestly, I'm getting tired of changing them, not to mention having to re-burn them everytime he decides to scratch them all up.

Apple TV should alleviate that issue for me...

Well, at least kids don't care about multi-channel audio :rolleyes:

NightStorm
Mar 21, 2007, 04:06 PM
I don't understand most of you people. Can't you just read the specs page on http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html ???

Instead of posting questions about the formats supported you could just take the time and read the apple web site! Why do most people want to complain all the time???

Video formats supported
H.264 and protected H.264 (from iTunes Store): Up to 5 Mbps, Progressive Main Profile (CAVLC) with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps (maximum resolution: 1280 by 720 pixels at 24 fps, 960 by 540 pixels at 30 fps)
iTunes Store purchased video: 320 by 240 pixels or 640 by 480 pixels
MPEG-4: Up to 3 Mbps, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps (maximum resolution: 720 by 432 pixels at 30 fps)


And for those of you that ask what changed on the specs page since last time, the answer is very simple: Before we didn't have any infos about Bitrates supported and the 960x540 Resolution!
These specs confuse me though, as I've used Quicktime Pros 'Export to AppleTV' feature and ended up with HD files that have a larger bitrate than the maximum shown (~5500 if I remember correctly).

digitalbiker
Mar 21, 2007, 04:07 PM
I'm a bit confused by the frame rates quoted. 24fps is usually the frame rate for film and video.

I thought the minimum HD spec was 720p which is 720 lines per frame at 60 fps. 1080i is 540 interlaced lines per frame at 60fps and generates 1080 line complete frames at 30fps. Full 1080p is 1080 lines per frame at 60 fps.

The 720 lines at 24fps is not even at the minimum HD spec. Does anyone know the details on how the 24 fps is converted to 30 or 60 for output to the TV monitor or is most of this handled under the HDMI spec internally in the TV.

petvas
Mar 21, 2007, 04:09 PM
I am just trying the export option, so I will know in a couple of hours!
If thats the case, then you are right!

Does the export option creates a 720p file? My source was an MPEG2 EyeTV recording...

Jimmdean
Mar 21, 2007, 04:10 PM
These specs confuse me though, as I've used Quicktime Pros 'Export to AppleTV' feature and ended up with HD files that have a larger bitrate than the maximum shown (~5500 if I remember correctly).

I believe they deal in averages, but the rate read afterwards is not always correct (after all, how can it tell you the average bitrate after-the-fact). I wouldn't trust the number it gives back to you - I'm sure it will play fine...

CoreWeb
Mar 21, 2007, 04:10 PM
No surround sound: This is 2007. Apple TV should not be limited to stereo sound. Your home theater may be stereo today but you may be upgrading it to full blown surround sound.

DiVX/XViD: DiVX and XViD are commonly used for illegal video sharing. But then again, MP3 was commonly used for illegal audio sharing. You can rip your own DVDs to H.264 or MPEG-4, much like you ripped CD to MP3 or AAC. But ripping DVD to DiVX or XViD will let you include Dolby Digital (AC-3) track for true discrete surround sound experience.

Videos from iTunes Store: Stereo sound, below DVD video quality, no subtitles, no rental pricing.

AGAIN! I'm pretty sure there is surround sound capability. If I am wrong, please correct me. AAC-LC supports up to 48 channels, I believe. Apple is also likely to start offering 720p downloads. They will probably also allow surround sound.

The hardware itself does not appear to be limited to stereo. It does, after all, have an optical out, and support AAC-LC.

NightStorm
Mar 21, 2007, 04:12 PM
I am just trying the export option, so I will know in a couple of hours!
If thats the case, then you are right!

Does the export option creates a 720p file? My source was an MPEG2 EyeTV recording...
If the source file is 1080i, or 720p with a framerate higher than 24, you'll likely end up with a 960x540p file.

CoreWeb
Mar 21, 2007, 04:13 PM
At 160kbps? Seems unlikely but then again I am no technician.

Try the trailer for Eragon: H.264 Decoder, 1280 x 544, Millions
AAC, 5.1 (C L R Ls Rs LFE), 48.000 kHz

That's surround, 720p.

Diatribe
Mar 21, 2007, 04:13 PM
AGAIN! I'm pretty sure there is surround sound capability. If I am wrong, please correct me. AAC-LC supports up to 48 channels, I believe. Apple is also likely to start offering 720p downloads. They will probably also allow surround sound.

The hardware itself does not appear to be limited to stereo. It does, after all, have an optical out, and support AAC-LC.

Yeah but it has a 160kbps limitation for the audio. Unless this is for each channel this will hardly suffice.

And the 24fps limitation doesn't make HD content very likely either.

Without multi-channel audio AND without HD content this looks worse than I thought. :(

petvas
Mar 21, 2007, 04:13 PM
If the source file is 1080i, or 720p with a framerate higher than 24, you'll likely end up with a 960x540p file.

The source is 720x576 recorded from a Satellite Channel. The DVB-S Standard uses MPEG2 and most channels use the DVD resolution

The General
Mar 21, 2007, 04:15 PM
I've started transcoding all my pirated videos. I only have all the episodes of Dead Like Me, Star Trek TNG, Star Trek Voyager, Futurama, Family Guy, Battlestar Galactica, CSI: Miami, The Simpsons, Stargate SG1, Stargate Atlantis, Star Trek TOS, Star Trek DS9, Star Trek Enterprise, .... and a few more.

This will only take me about 4 months. It's almost 730gb total.

They are all Xvid and Divx, with a few weird mkv files or something, I think it's just another MPEG-4 container.

I wish this thing could play these files straight up. :mad:

Diatribe
Mar 21, 2007, 04:17 PM
Try the trailer for Eragon: H.264 Decoder, 1280 x 544, Millions
AAC, 5.1 (C L R Ls Rs LFE), 48.000 kHz

That's surround, 720p.

Where is that 720p it is only 1280x544 and has 24fps? And is that trailer from the Apple site?
If it is from Apple and is has true surround I'll take back the multi-channel audio comment but it still won't do minimum spec HD.

MakGeek
Mar 21, 2007, 04:18 PM
Currently waiting for my Apple TV to arrive (hopefully tomorrow) but was hoping I could get some knowledgable help here.

In the past week I have bought a Samsung 42 inch Plasma (comes with 2 HDMI Jacks) --- and I want to hook up my Apple TV (HDMI), Comcast Digital Cable Box (HDMI), and Phillips Home Thearte system (HDMI) ---

http://reviews.cnet.com/Philips_HTS6...6.html?tag=sub

So I have three devices with HDMI capability but only 2 HDMI ports on my Samsung HD TV. To complicate things, I want the audio from the actual TV, and Apple TV to come out of the Phillips system all the time, NOT the standard Samsung TV speakers.

What is the best way to accomplish this?

Thanks guys

wrong forum, check out avsforums.com or some similiar AV site

cbud
Mar 21, 2007, 04:18 PM
Yeah but it has a 160kbps limitation for the audio. Unless this is for each channel this will hardly suffice.

And the 24fps limitation doesn't make HD content very likely either.

Without multi-channel audio AND without HD content this looks worse than I thought. :(

I am with you Diatribe, it is not looking good for 5.1 AAC.

Padriac
Mar 21, 2007, 04:19 PM
I live in Germany, I ordered the Apple TV for the following reasons:


Ability to watch my EyeTV recordings
Show my pictures
play Music
convert DVDs that don't "need" Dolby Digital or DTS to be good. That includes mainly older movies
The iTunes Store in Germany will eventually offer movies
I want to buy a Canon HD Camera this year, so I will be able to watch my own films on my Widescreen Philips TV HD Ready (720p and 1080i)


Ha! You seem to be the minority then. Actually, I think the Apple TV is fairly useful even with NO ITMS content so I'm glad non-Americans at least get the option. I'm purchasing the Apple TV for almost exactly the same reasons as you, so trust me: I get it. Enjoy it!

CoreWeb
Mar 21, 2007, 04:20 PM
Where is that 720p it is only 1280x544? And is that trailer from the Apple site?
If it is from Apple and is has true surround I'll take back the multi-channel audio comment but it still won't do minimum spec HD.

That's due to the proportions of the trailer. 720p is 1280x720, progressive. The trailer, downloadable from Apple's website (go to iTunes, movies, and then theatrical trailers, and look for Eragon somewhere on the front page), is 720p. It just doesn't use up all 720 of the pixels vertically because proportionally the trailer creators didn't want to use the HD proportions. Many theatrical movies do NOT use HD proportions, and pretty much no matter what HD format you use, will not take up all the vertical pixels.

cbud
Mar 21, 2007, 04:21 PM
Where is that 720p it is only 1280x544? And is that trailer from the Apple site?
If it is from Apple and is has true surround I'll take back the multi-channel audio comment but it still won't do minimum spec HD.

The trailers have had 5.1 AAC for a long time. But based on the 160 kbs limit, I don't see the @TV supporting it. Maybe it is limited to 160 kbs per channel, but I doubt that, 160 kbs is the same limit for the iPod.

Jimmdean
Mar 21, 2007, 04:24 PM
Yeah but it has a 160kbps limitation for the audio. Unless this is for each channel this will hardly suffice.

And the 24fps limitation doesn't make HD content very likely either.

Without multi-channel audio AND without HD content this looks worse than I thought. :(

Don't confuse source with output. Proper source for 720p in most case would be 24fps - it only gets converted in order to display on a tv properly. Either the Apple TV will do it or the Television will...

As for the audio, none of that really matters if the Apple TV is able to convert the stream to the proper format for a typical 5.1 stereo system. I don't think we know that yet... What we do know is the optical output is there - and it must be there for a reason...

Jimmdean
Mar 21, 2007, 04:26 PM
Where is that 720p it is only 1280x544 and has 24fps? And is that trailer from the Apple site?
If it is from Apple and is has true surround I'll take back the multi-channel audio comment but it still won't do minimum spec HD.

Someone will have to do the math, but I believe 1280x544 would equate to a 720P movie in a 2.35:1 format (remember the black bars?).

Diatribe
Mar 21, 2007, 04:27 PM
The trailers have had 5.1 AAC for a long time. But based on the 160 kbs limit, I don't see the @TV supporting it. Maybe it is limited to 160 kbs per channel, but I doubt that, 160 kbs is the same limit for the iPod.

Yeah, this is my worry. If it is per channel I guess it would work, who knows.

Anyway, does anyone know why it is only at 24fps and not at 60fps?

Aaargh!
Mar 21, 2007, 04:28 PM
AGAIN! I'm pretty sure there is surround sound capability. If I am wrong, please correct me. AAC-LC supports up to 48 channels, I believe.
That's completely irrelevant, because there isn't a surround receiver/amp on the market that can decode AAC-LC. You need AC-3 or DTS. Encoding audio in AAC-LC and then having the :apple:TV transcode to AC-3 or DTS on the fly is not only a waste of CPU cycles if also f**ks up the sound quality. The only alternative is having the :apple:TV do the decoding, but there's only a 2 channel analog output and even if it did have 6 channel output, the DAC's in my receiver are probably a lot better than the ones in the :apple:TV so that would still be suboptimal.

virduk
Mar 21, 2007, 04:29 PM
Looking good except the limitation of format files -- how long must I sit on my comp and convert DIVX's, etc. for this thing?

Well that and only handling stereo sound. No DD/DTS support makes it quite a bit less interesting for film (and increasingly TV).

Padriac
Mar 21, 2007, 04:29 PM
Currently waiting for my Apple TV to arrive (hopefully tomorrow) but was hoping I could get some knowledgable help here.

In the past week I have bought a Samsung 42 inch Plasma (comes with 2 HDMI Jacks) --- and I want to hook up my Apple TV (HDMI), Comcast Digital Cable Box (HDMI), and Phillips Home Thearte system (HDMI) ---

http://reviews.cnet.com/Philips_HTS6...6.html?tag=sub

So I have three devices with HDMI capability but only 2 HDMI ports on my Samsung HD TV. To complicate things, I want the audio from the actual TV, and Apple TV to come out of the Phillips system all the time, NOT the standard Samsung TV speakers.

What is the best way to accomplish this?

Thanks guys

Does the Phillips have HDMI INPUTS? If so, just hook as much as you can to your Phillips and the rest directly to the TV.

If the Phillips just has HDMI output, then you can hook up your Apple TV to the either the Phillips or TV via component cable for video and use a separate optical cable going directly to the Phillips for the audio. Hope that makes sense. There are probably more useful forums for this stuff than this one: like the already mentioned AVS forums (they can be prickly... watch out).

Diatribe
Mar 21, 2007, 04:29 PM
Someone will have to do the math, but I believe 1280x544 would equate to a 720P movie in a 2.35:1 format (remember the black bars?).

Yeah, you're right. From the res it is HD, now if the :apple:tv converts the 24fps to 60fps this might really work.

Then there's only the kbps limitation for the audio. The eragon trailer for example doesn't show the kbps for the 5.1 AAC and besides how is the receiver gonna decode AAC-LC?

orl2222
Mar 21, 2007, 04:30 PM
I'm using a mac mini, ripping my DVD's to a external hardrive, and using a lil program called DVD Assist that allows you to see your ts video folders thru front row,with 5.1 surround. I'd advise anybody interested in a mac HT setup to look there.

williedigital
Mar 21, 2007, 04:30 PM
2) You are one of the .01% of the population that has tons of illegal DivX/XviD content that you are not willing to re-encode.

What percentage of people have purchased itunes movies? I guarantee you it is WAY less that any percentage of people that have divx/xvid. If 1 million or so movies have been sold, how many people have enough downloaded that they would require a "jukebox" for them? Assuming even 5 movies each, that's 200,000 potential buyers...

vkxonline
Mar 21, 2007, 04:31 PM
The AppleTV is a joke. It's clearly missing the most important features. I've outlined seven below.

1) GPS. This is an INDUSTRY STANDARD on media centers. What if you want to watch a movie, but you don't know WHERE you are? You have to go all the way into another room to get your GPS device? What a hassel. This is a deal breaker right here. You could get halfway through a movie, and then notice you've gotten lost in your living room. How will you find your way to your computer to buy new iTunes content? I don't know about this one though, you might be able to plug a GPS unit in the USB port. We'll have to wait and see.

2) Bluetooth. What if I have a movie or podcast on my RAZR and I want to synch it to AppleTV? Again, I have to find a computer, synch it to that first, and THEN find it on AppleTV? I can find a device that plays iTunes files on my TV and has bluetooth for HALF the $299 price.

3) .art support. Over 98% of the images on my hard drive are saved using the AOL .art format. That's how they came when I downloaded them, and that's the only format I believe in. What am I supposed to do, RECONVERT all these pictures just to play on AppleTV? Yeah right Apple, better luck next time.

4) No Power Brick. How does this make any sense? For $299 I should atleast get a powerbrick to go with my AppleTV. I have all this space behind my TV for such an item, and now I don't even get one. What am I supposed to put there? Another AppleTV? Now I have to buy TWO? This is unreasonable.

5) 3840x2160 resolution. This is really a no brainer. This is a NEXT GEN device, isn't it? Why won't it support resolutions that aren't popular yet? What if I want to watch a movie in 2160p? This is another example where I could just hook up my iPod to my TV instead of paying $299 for a fancy interface.

6) Halo 3. None of the specs on the site list "Halo 3" as a supported game. My Xbox360 will be able to play Halo 3, but my AppleTV won't. Clearly my Xbox360 is still a better iTunes extender because of this. I don't know if AppleTV will support Gears of War either. Maybe it's a hidden feature.

7) Widgets. For $299 I should be able to get widgets on my TV. Apple REALLY dropped the ball here. I can't imagine why anyone would buy an AppleTV when they could pay several hundred more for a Mac Mini and get pixelated HTML documents and widgets on their TV. Let's just hope it gets hacked so that I can put widgets on it. Otherwise, this device is garbage.

If Apple doesn't fix these seven issues by the time the already shipped items arrive in our homes, I'm going to definitely declare this device a complete flop.

Jimmdean
Mar 21, 2007, 04:32 PM
That's completely irrelevant, because there isn't a surround receiver/amp on the market that can decode AAC-LC. You need AC-3 or DTS. Encoding audio in AAC-LC and then having the :apple:TV transcode to AC-3 or DTS on the fly is not only a waste of CPU cycles if also f**ks up the sound quality. The only alternative is having the :apple:TV do the decoding, but there's only a 2 channel analog output and even if it did have 6 channel output, the DAC's in my receiver are probably a lot better than the ones in the :apple:TV so that would still be suboptimal.

Well, DAC is not it. I'm not counting out transcoding - there may be hardware on the board for that purpose....

localoid
Mar 21, 2007, 04:33 PM
its new info that its a modified mac osX? i thought that was known, or at least implied

I guess some people thought it worked by magic spells rather than via an OS in firmware.

Jimmdean
Mar 21, 2007, 04:33 PM
Yeah, you're right. From the res it is HD, now if the :apple:tv converts the 24fps to 60fps this might really work.

Then there's only the kbps limitation for the audio. The eragon trailer for example doesn't show the kbps for the 5.1 AAC and besides how is the receiver gonna decode AAC-LC?

It can't - that's the problem. But the Apple TV may convert it on the fly...

Diatribe
Mar 21, 2007, 04:35 PM
It can't - that's the problem. But the Apple TV may convert it on the fly...

You mean together with the conversion of the 24fps? What kind of processor would you need to accomplish all that without degrading audio or video quality?
I'll believe it when I see it.

Peace
Mar 21, 2007, 04:38 PM
Personally , I'm just gonna hook it up when I get it and enjoy it.I have no desire to tear it apart and do diagnostic routines.

williedigital
Mar 21, 2007, 04:38 PM
You mean together with the conversion of the 24fps? What kind of processor would you need to accomplish all that without degrading audio or video quality?
I'll believe it when I see it.

I believe it's an underclocked pentium m. ha. I'm sure the gpu is doing a lot of the decoding, etc.

Jimmdean
Mar 21, 2007, 04:38 PM
You mean together with the conversion of the 24fps? What kind of processor would you need to accomplish all that without degrading audio or video quality?
I'll believe it when I see it.

Well, the GPU would handle the video and the audio would be handled by another chip, not necessarily the main CPU (which I believe actually does very little in the Apple TV)... Just my prediction though...

CoreWeb
Mar 21, 2007, 04:42 PM
You mean together with the conversion of the 24fps? What kind of processor would you need to accomplish all that without degrading audio or video quality?
I'll believe it when I see it.

Well, if it has two dedicated chips, one for video, one for audio, it would very likely be able to handle it. However, the Eragon trailer might not be a good example of 720p video for the AppleTV, as its bit rate is actually ~6333 Kbps, which is significantly over 5Mbps.

Edit: Jimmdean - you beat me to it!

Diatribe
Mar 21, 2007, 04:45 PM
Well, if it has two dedicated chips, one for video, one for audio, it would very likely be able to handle it. However, the Eragon trailer might not be a good example of 720p video for the AppleTV, as its bit rate is actually ~6333 Kbps, which is significantly over 5Mbps.

Edit: Jimmdean - you beat me to it!

Well, the GPU would handle the video and the audio would be handled by another chip, not necessarily the main CPU (which I believe actually does very little in the Apple TV)... Just my prediction though...

Well, I guess all we can do is wait and see.

It's just the lack of information regarding this makes me suspicious. If they can pull off 720p with 5.1 audio on the iTMS, they will have a winner.

cbud
Mar 21, 2007, 04:45 PM
Well, the GPU would handle the video and the audio would be handled by another chip, not necessarily the main CPU (which I believe actually does very little in the Apple TV)... Just my prediction though...

The Apple TV and the Airport express both turn AAC into another format before it goes over the TOSLINK cable. What format is this? PCM? Maybe the Apple TV will just take 5.1 AAC and make it 5.1 PCM and the reciever will pick that up. Does it have to be encoded to AC3?

Padriac
Mar 21, 2007, 04:45 PM
What percentage of people have purchased itunes movies? I guarantee you it is WAY less that any percentage of people that have divx/xvid. If 1 million or so movies have been sold, how many people have enough downloaded that they would require a "jukebox" for them? Assuming even 5 movies each, that's 200,000 potential buyers...

The point is that the Apple TV *encourages* people to download ITMS TV shows and movies. Why would they do so before... to watch them in their office? Only the people who like watching them on the go with an iPod would have bothered in the first place (*yes, and the few of you that DO use your computer as your primary media viewer).

Apple isn't going after any existing maket with this product: they're creating a market. Hence, DivX irrelevance.

jaw04005
Mar 21, 2007, 04:46 PM
I wonder how the unit will allow for firmware updates? Am I going to have to disconnect it and bring it in to my office to do them via USB? I hope not.

cbud
Mar 21, 2007, 04:47 PM
Well, if it has two dedicated chips, one for video, one for audio, it would very likely be able to handle it. However, the Eragon trailer might not be a good example of 720p video for the AppleTV, as its bit rate is actually ~6333 Kbps, which is significantly over 5Mbps.

Edit: Jimmdean - you beat me to it!

Something is not right, either those specs are wrong or none of the 720p trailers I have downloaded, that play fine in iTunes, will play on the Apple TV. There are many that are over 5 Mbps.

bommai
Mar 21, 2007, 04:48 PM
You mean together with the conversion of the 24fps? What kind of processor would you need to accomplish all that without degrading audio or video quality?
I'll believe it when I see it.

While I don't think AppleTV in its current form can accomplish this, but HDMI 1.1 spec allows for upto 8 channels of uncompressed lossless audio in the form of PCM (pulse code modulation). This can actually support 24-bit 192kHz sampling rate. In fact, the PS3 has HDMI and it supports PCM output. So, instead of worrying about good quality DACs in the AppleTV, in a future iteration, Apple could go with multi channel PCM output through HDMI. This is the only way to achieve lossless surround sound through PS3. Optical only provides lossy DD or DTS.

Most mid range receivers today and even lower end receivers of tomorrow will offer HDMI sound processing (including PCM support). In fact, Sony has just released lower end receivers (<$400) that does PCM over HDMI.

So, Apple could use AAC 5.1 encoding in the file and then decode them to PCM and send them out through HDMI. This way, you can avoid DACs and all the analog baggage that comes with it.

The reason the frame rate for the movies is 24fps is because that is the frame rate for movies. It will be converted to 60Hz for 720p and 60 fields for 1080i by AppleTV. The method they use for this could be the 3:2 telecine. In fact, premium TVs and projectors support 24Hz but most consumer TVs don't. Some of the expensive Bluray players support 24Hz. This avoids the entire 3:2 pulldown issue.

I believe Apple might have restricted it to 720p and not 1080p because of cost/processing issues. Remember the PS3 is taking a loss of each device, while AppleTV is not. I have a PS3 and love it, BTW.

Many video cards with fancy features are more than $299. The video card in the AppleTV is a pretty low end one. I am sure they are still optimizing. The next gen should have better capabilities.

pdpfilms
Mar 21, 2007, 04:49 PM
I wonder how the unit will allow for firmware updates? Am I going to have to disconnect it and bring it in to my office to do them via USB? I hope not.

Seeing as it's got 802.11 and a hard drive, I think it would be safe to assume that they'd be downloadabe. Most likely in a way much like updating an iPod over firewire from within iTunes.

Rocketman
Mar 21, 2007, 04:50 PM
I wonder how the unit will allow for firmware updates? Am I going to have to disconnect it and bring it in to my office to do them via USB? I hope not.

Probably in iTunes from the "primary" computer.

Rocketman

Who's going to be the first to hook the Apple TV HD to a Mac and determine the OS type and build? :)

CoreWeb
Mar 21, 2007, 04:54 PM
Something is not right, either those specs are wrong or none of the 720p trailers I have downloaded, that play fine in iTunes, will play on the Apple TV. There are many that are over 5 Mbps.

The specs could be somewhat conservative. Maybe anything compressed at those settings is guaranteed to work. Any higher may or may not, depending on setup. Perhaps Apple's own encoding software is intelligent enough to make it work at a bit higher of bit rates.

C00rDiNaT0r
Mar 21, 2007, 04:57 PM
I think one of the reasons why :apple:TV has no surround sound, RGB, VGA, and S-Video output is because there's not enough space in the back.

Instead of bitching about the specs of :apple:TV, you can look at it as a non-portable, screen-less, $299 40GB ipod that has much better video output options (component and HDMI, instead of just RGB out) than the 30GB and 80GB video ipods. Also, please correct me if I'm wrong, the video ipods only support stereo sound output, right?

So basically, putting aside the portability issue, the :apple:TV does everything the video ipods can do on a TV, but only better picture quality, and a better user interface. You're paying $50 more than a 30GB video ipod and you get an extra 10GB of storage space, or $50 less than an 80GB ipod if you don't need all that space.

Then, if you really need all those freedom with watching dvds, supporting other video formats, etc. Your next best cheapest option from Apple would be a Mac Mini, which is double the price of the :apple:TV ($599).

localoid
Mar 21, 2007, 04:59 PM
The real question is this:

How long until this thing is hacked and taught to run Linux, play games, and be a DVR via the USB port?

I give it 3 weeks. We will here about Hacking the :apple:TV on or before April 11th.

Any other takers?

-Clive

The most interesting thing about :apple: TV may well be what can be done with it, rather than what it's intended to do. Surely someone will be popping one open and showing photos of its insides soon, and revealing details such as whether or not its cpu is soldered or socketed, etc. But I find it amazing no one has done much looking at the insides of Apple's other new "interesting device", the AirPort Extreme Base Station.

artmonster
Mar 21, 2007, 05:00 PM
Gizmondo has posted their ritual unboxing btw.

Diatribe
Mar 21, 2007, 05:01 PM
I wonder how the unit will allow for firmware updates? Am I going to have to disconnect it and bring it in to my office to do them via USB? I hope not.

I would guess it does it just like the airport via the wifi network.

Diatribe
Mar 21, 2007, 05:02 PM
While I don't think AppleTV in its current form can accomplish this, but HDMI 1.1 spec allows for upto 8 channels of uncompressed lossless audio in the form of PCM (pulse code modulation). This can actually support 24-bit 192kHz sampling rate. In fact, the PS3 has HDMI and it supports PCM output. So, instead of worrying about good quality DACs in the AppleTV, in a future iteration, Apple could go with multi channel PCM output through HDMI. This is the only way to achieve lossless surround sound through PS3. Optical only provides lossy DD or DTS.

Most mid range receivers today and even lower end receivers of tomorrow will offer HDMI sound processing (including PCM support). In fact, Sony has just released lower end receivers (<$400) that does PCM over HDMI.

So, Apple could use AAC 5.1 encoding in the file and then decode them to PCM and send them out through HDMI. This way, you can avoid DACs and all the analog baggage that comes with it.

The reason the frame rate for the movies is 24fps is because that is the frame rate for movies. It will be converted to 60Hz for 720p and 60 fields for 1080i by AppleTV. The method they use for this could be the 3:2 telecine. In fact, premium TVs and projectors support 24Hz but most consumer TVs don't. Some of the expensive Bluray players support 24Hz. This avoids the entire 3:2 pulldown issue.

I believe Apple might have restricted it to 720p and not 1080p because of cost/processing issues. Remember the PS3 is taking a loss of each device, while AppleTV is not. I have a PS3 and love it, BTW.

Many video cards with fancy features are more than $299. The video card in the AppleTV is a pretty low end one. I am sure they are still optimizing. The next gen should have better capabilities.

Thanks a lot for the info. :) So just so I understand this correctly, this would be a hardware change (the HDMI 1.1) or can this be done via a firmware upgrade?

DaveTheGrey
Mar 21, 2007, 05:02 PM
I think the Apple TV was made for the casual iTunes Store customer, for just playing his/her iTunes content on his/her TV, easily and the Apple way. He/She doesn't even know what DivX and all the other stuff is, in contrast to the average MR member.

When the Minis got their update, the "pro" users (like me :D ) better get one of this babys and do everything they want to, with a full OS, a big HD, a DVD-ROM, N-Standard, VLC-Player, DivX and so on...

Dave

Padriac
Mar 21, 2007, 05:04 PM
And P.S., you can't think that by buying an Apple TV, you will start buying iTunes Store content. It doesn't work that way. The only people who will buy an Apple TV are the few, the minority, that already buy from iTunes. Suckers will stay suckers.

People with DVD and BluRay collections, and DiVX videos are likely not to change their habits.

I have 2 thumbs, and they're both pointing down.

People with Blu-ray and/or DIVX videos = nobody. This is aimed squarely at the DVD market with an eye towards replacing Blu-ray in the future. Would you buy DVDs if they *only* played on a computer? No. Same with Apple TV.

Daveway
Mar 21, 2007, 05:07 PM
The first unboxing:
http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/home-entertainment/appletv-first-unboxing-246057.php

gugy
Mar 21, 2007, 05:14 PM
sorry AppleTV, I'll wait for rev.2.0.

I want 1080p support
and
5.1 audio.

till then, forget it.

MagicWok
Mar 21, 2007, 05:14 PM
People with Blu-ray and/or DIVX videos = nobody. This is aimed squarely at the DVD market with an eye towards replacing Blu-ray in the future. Would you buy DVDs if they *only* played on a computer? No. Same with Apple TV.

This is aimed at those who use the iTunes store, those who are thinking of using the iTunes store in the future, and trying to tempt those who haven't tried it yet. It is all about pushing iTunes and online movies.

I don't think I'll ever buy an :apple:tv until the iTunes store has 1080p content and the :apple:tv supports it. It's great for those that are more than happy with 720p, but it just doesn't cut it for me - and I know I'm not the only one out there. I would never choose this over blu-rau or HDDVD due to the lack of the aforementioned 1080p mainly, but l also like the whole host of extras you get on the disc itself.

Still seems a half-hearted effort to me, which is a shame...

aftk2
Mar 21, 2007, 05:17 PM
And P.S., you can't think that by buying an Apple TV, you will start buying iTunes Store content. It doesn't work that way. The only people who will buy an Apple TV are the few, the minority, that already buy from iTunes. Suckers will stay suckers.


People who buy from the iTMS are "suckers?" Really? I thought it was just a convenient way to get video content I wanted to see. I don't subscribe to cable, and really don't give a damn about HD content.

(Of course, since I'm thinking of ditching my TV altogether for viewing multimedia content solely on the iMac, I doubt I'm a target purchaser of the apple TV. Still, though, your tone is a bit strident.)

johnee
Mar 21, 2007, 05:19 PM
.... However, this :apple:TV just seems a way for Apple, Inc. to increase spending in iTunes through the inherit :apple:TV restrictions. That's like saying "Yes, I want to spend $299 on a piece of equipment that only plays things I need to buy from that company. Sign me up!" :rolleyes:

That's was exactly my point! That's what apple wants, and even though this apple tv is limited, people will buy it and start getting movies via iTunes because apple is making it EASY for them to watch the movies on their "HD" tvs

Again, apple tv is nothing more than infrastructure to support iTunes movie sales.

Avatar74
Mar 21, 2007, 05:22 PM
The Apple TV and the Airport express both turn AAC into another format before it goes over the TOSLINK cable. What format is this? PCM? Maybe the Apple TV will just take 5.1 AAC and make it 5.1 PCM and the reciever will pick that up. Does it have to be encoded to AC3?

I'd like to address this since I have a trademark service agreement with Dolby Laboratories to use Dolby Digital logos/trademarks in conjunction with content I produce that meets their fidelity criteria...

Both AAC and AC-3 are perceptual coding schema. In fact, AAC is partially a descendant of AC-3, and was co-developed by Dolby Laboratories, Fraunhofer-IIS and a few other partners.

AAC supports multichannel audio, but it's not readable by an AC-3 decoder. In order for this to happen, the multichannel content must be transcoded.

There are hardware and software transcoders. One that strikes me as a distinct possibility for future AppleTV application is Dolby Digital Live. It was specifically designed to transcode multichannel output from, e.g., gaming platforms and other platforms that generate dynamically-changing multichannel audio (an operating system could be one example).

The advantage of this is that AppleTV as it is, is only a software upgrade away from incorporating such a transcoder.

The current bandwidth limitation of 160kbps for H.264-embedded AAC bitstreams are not really relevant to the question because that support too is essentially a software upgrade away. Less powerful processors have been used to decode DVD bitstreams in DVD players that range from 6 to 8 Mbps on a two-pass VBR encoded disc.

5.1-channel AC-3 is generally encoded into bitstreams ranging form 320 to 640kbps, with 448kbps being the fidelity standard for DVD and 320kbps being the standard bitstream encoded for theatrical application of Dolby Digital. Yes, you heard me correctly... Dolby Digital for DVD uses a higher bitrate than the theatrical variant.

It should be noted, however, that AAC's performance as a perceptual coding schema is superior to AC-3 at every bitrate. Put another way, an AAC bitstream would not need to be 448kbps to be perceptually transparent relative to AC-3.

At bitrates from 448kbps to 640kbps, AC-3 is perceptually transparent relative to an uncompressed multichannel stream. That is to say it's indiscernible from the uncompressed equivalent at those bitrates because of the way the encoding algorithm, low pass filtering, and other features reduce the bandwidth requirements for perceptible fidelity in the spectrum of human hearing.

A good reference measure is the performance of AC-3 stereo to AAC stereo. At 192kbps, 2.0-channel AC-3 is perceptually transparent. However, AES states that AAC is perceptually transparent at 128kbps.

The right transcoding algorithm combined with the right AAC parameters could, in principle, be capable of reconstructing a high-fidelity surround mix from 448kbps AAC or less. And this is not including any design improvements or new perceptual coding schema succesors to AAC.

In short, there's no fundamental hardware gap here... Just a software one.

Some will want to wait until that gap is bridged. Others, including myself, see this as an opportunity to support a very promising convergence of technologies that will drive the future of how we purchase, store, distribute, access, and experience home entertainment.

Any way you slice it, this technology is going to move forward and surpass the current fixed media schema. It was done with music recording (DAT is out, HDD is in), it's being done with digital cinematography (Thomson ViperStream, Panavision Genesis HD) and digital theatrical projection (Barco Cinema Projection HD, Texas Instruments DLP), and it continues with AppleTV and its inevitable emerging competitors.

The LAN is emerging as the backbone of home leisure/entertainment activity and all of Apple's efforts since 1997 have been sharply focused on broadening the original "hub" strategy from computer software/hardware integration with digital peripherals (iTunes, iMovie, iPhoto) to design and manufacture of digital peripherals (iPod) to datacenter distribution of content (iTunes Music Store) for digital peripherals to total household integration via the LAN and very soon WAN integration with digital peripherals (Mobile Mac).

C00rDiNaT0r
Mar 21, 2007, 05:23 PM
The most interesting thing about :apple: TV may well be what can be done with it, rather than what it's intended to do.

Apple is a hardware vendor - they can earn money from just selling the hardware. That said, Steve Jobs is probably going to be happier if you decide to buy more stuff from iTunes store after you buy the :apple:TV, but is still happy even if you just get the hardware.

So I'd be surprised if Apple actually puts effort into preventing people from modding their :apple:TV, or "unlock" any "hidden features".

mahashel
Mar 21, 2007, 05:25 PM
I'm intrigued by the lack of 5.1 audio. The unit already has an optical output. Are they really using an optical audio interface for simple stereo?? Seems very odd to me.
I'm hopeful that this may be remedied soon, since the existing optical interface is fine for surround. (no extra back-panel real estate needed)
Once they add surround, I'm buying one.

johnee
Mar 21, 2007, 05:25 PM
....(Of course, since I'm thinking of ditching my TV altogether for viewing multimedia content solely on the iMac, I doubt I'm a target purchaser of the apple TV. Still, though, your tone is a bit strident.)

I think I will ditch my tv as well. I figure most stuff on tv is crap, and the spending money on the content I DO want (which is very little) will be much cheaper that paying an outrageous cable bill every month.

Although I won't purchase downloadable media other than songs until I can make backup copies efficiently.

gwangung
Mar 21, 2007, 05:26 PM
That's was exactly my point! That's what apple wants, and even though this apple tv is limited, people will buy it and start getting movies via iTunes because apple is making it EASY for them to watch the movies on their "HD" tvs

Again, apple tv is nothing more than infrastructure to support iTunes movie sales.

It's extending (by a small bit) a piece of Apple territory where they have no rivals.

This is not a bad thing for Apple to do; once they have a beachead, it's easier to expand incrementally than to stake out entirely new territory.

Padriac
Mar 21, 2007, 05:28 PM
This is aimed at those who use the iTunes store, those who are thinking of using the iTunes store in the future, and trying to tempt those who haven't tried it yet. It is all about pushing iTunes and online movies.

Exactly. Hard to do that without a viable place to watch them. That's what this box is for.


I don't think I'll ever buy an :apple:tv until the iTunes store has 1080p content and the :apple:tv supports it. It's great for those that are more than happy with 720p, but it just doesn't cut it for me - and I know I'm not the only one out there. I would never choose this over blu-rau or HDDVD due to the lack of the aforementioned 1080p mainly, but l also like the whole host of extras you get on the disc itself.

Still seems a half-hearted effort to me, which is a shame...

If you have a 1080p TV, you are in the VAST MINORITY. Even the small fraction that DO have HDTV only have 720p/1080i capable sets. What Blu-ray player/ HD DVD player do you have. Early HD DVD didn't even do 1080p and many discs come with sparse to non-existant extras. Blu-ray and HD DVD are not a problem for Apple... yet.

Padriac
Mar 21, 2007, 05:32 PM
We need more content on the ITMS. But people need a way to watch the content on their TV before they will buy it. But they won't buy a box without access to a bunch of content. But there is no point to build a box without the content. But there is no point to add the content without a box. But there is not point to build a box without the content. But we need the content to justify the box. But we need a box to justify the content... and on and on for infinity.

The Apple TV solves this infinite loop. Now there is a box. Next step: content.

marktesssing
Mar 21, 2007, 05:32 PM
Why would you want to stream a DVD from your Mac to an AppleTV? Why not just put it in your already existing DVD player and play it right there? Am I missing something? I dont know why this continues to come up... :confused:

Maybe this will help:

zama36
Mar 21, 2007, 05:37 PM
I predict the Apple TV will be a flop. It doesn't do anything better than what's already out there. You'd be better off spending a little more and getting an Xbox 360 or even a mac mini.

Couple problems with the Xbox360:
1) Hard disk is only 20GB, unless you go and buy the rumored 100+GB HD upgrade when it comes out. Or the rumored Elite package with the 100+GB drive. With an :apple: tv you can store and actually backup your digital media that you can't with a 360.
2) DRM for movies. On a 360 you aren't buying a movie you're renting. Oh, and if something comes up and you can't finish the movie within 24 hours of starting to play it you're out of luck. You have to pay up again.
3) MS Points - Do you really realize how much things are on video marketplace? A rental of a 720P movie is 480 MS Points; that's $6 a pop. Three movies and you have a NetFlix membership or almost two movies that you own from iTunes.

I have a 360 and Connect360, but I'm actually thinking about starting to purchase movies from iTunes and getting an :apple: tv because it is a better solution with backup ability.

surferfromuk
Mar 21, 2007, 05:39 PM
Maybe this will help: (picture of LCD TV and tiny apple TV box

Yet again, I say to Apple - Stick that Apple TV box inside a 45" Apple Brand LCD TV and you've just won $3000 ( £1500) of my UK pounds right there - that easy! Plus that's serious 'gateway' tech that could get you another 100million Apple converts over the next few years...macs, iphones, ipods etc etc just come from that one glorious and graceful introduction to the beautiful world of Apple...plus integrate 'mac desktop streaming' and I can almost instantly guarantee 50 million mac mini sales!.

I love Apple but Apple TV is only 'nearly great' rather than 'insanely great'- sometimes Apple get it SO right - iMac, iPhone,iPod, and yet somewhere along the line they dropped the i and added an Apple symbol (which I can't even find on my keyboard so it's a google black hole if it becomes the defacto ident for it), and this product seems to lack the wow factor of all the other products.

Apple need to step up the game if they are going to compete on this playing field.

Yes it's great and it's simple but 5.1 DD is a silly oversight. What happened in the 'what should it do' meeting to get 'Dolby 5.1' thrown out of the launch spec ??

Still when all is said and done I'll probably buy one because it's simple, sweet and cool apple tech...so maybe it's not 'so far off target' after all!

milo
Mar 21, 2007, 05:50 PM
Why bother with DivX anymore? Any reason besides pirating? This is a serious question, not a sarcastic one. I've struggled to find an evenly remotely legitmate source of DivX files.

It's all about the piracy. So apple loses the customers who pirate their video but are too lazy to batch convert their video (so when is iSquint going to get updated for the new video format? and does visualhub support it yet?). Does anyone seriously think that's a significant chunk of potential customers.

Yeah, you did. The AppleTV is able to use a stream from your DVD player on your Mac.

I'm not sure what gave you that idea. Apple has never said it will do that. Unless you're talking about ripping your DVD's, then playing that.


And I think people are jumping to conclusions on the surround sound thing. Assuming it doesn't support surround now (which doesn't seem to be confirmed), I wouldn't count out the possibility that they could support it with a software/firmware update, especially since the hardware is already in place.

wmmk
Mar 21, 2007, 05:52 PM
Photos:
- JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, PNG

If it could display RAW, I would buy it, then go up and hug steve jobs.
I want to check one out at my local Apple store. I'll go tomorrow

I wonder what kind of TV's they're using. I'd love to see if they end up endorsing a certain brand...

lucas
Mar 21, 2007, 05:52 PM
Apple wants to be doing the encoding for you. You can also do it yourself and yes it's a bit slower than DivX, but DivX is also slower than a bunch of even older codecs. Where does it end and why is DivX special? If you can show me a legitimate source of XviD/DivX content that approaches even 1% of the content available in h.264 I'll give you a cookie. DivX/XviD, for all intents and purposes, do not exist (to the mass consumer).

Apple chose h.264 because it is one of the new HD standards (used on Blu-ray as "AVC") and because they don't have to pay extra like they do for DivX.

XviD/DivX don't matter at all. Apple has little reason to support them.

show me a legitimate source of h.264 in Australia... oh wait, there isnt one. apple killed a large portion of their possible market with this one. many people around the world download their tv in xvid/divx because there is no other choice. there's no legal way to purchase digital content in where they live and the programs they want to watch arent even on air there. apple tv has zero value outside the usa without support for more formats.

suneohair
Mar 21, 2007, 05:53 PM
Just to chime in on a few things.

The DVD over :apple:TV wouldn't work, simply because of copyright issues. It would be like me broadcasting music over the radio without paying licensing fees. Since that video is in the air it could be pirated.

I might be wrong, but that seems to be the most logical reason as to why it doesn't do this.

On the Divx and Xvid topic. Oh well. That is not what it is intended for. I am not trying to defend Apple as it would be nice of them to do it, but they are doing this to add to the iTunes model.

iTunes --> iPod
iTunes --> TV

Makes sense to me, regardless of whatever I would want. The Apple TV seems to be a great product, however it isn't for me since I don't buy iTunes content. Now, if music was offered in lossless format and video in 1080P, I would jump ship.

jmmo20
Mar 21, 2007, 05:53 PM
1. PICT is replaced by PDF on Mac OS X. I wouldn't expect Apple TV to open PDFs.

2. There's multiple configurations for Apple TV. Should Apple package together HDMI cables, component cables, analog audio cables, ethernet cables, and maybe even a DSL filter just for kicks?

3. DiVX sure is popular. Name me one commercial video service that sells you DivX files... Apple doesn't sell MP3s, it sells AAC and MP4. This device isn't meant to hoard or display your pirated/copied videos. It is for them to sell more iTunes content. You can either drink the koolaid and buy iTunes or use some other solution to deal with your problem of watching your DiVX files.

in response to number 3.
name me one commercial audio service that sells mainstream music as MP3's .... Apple does not sell MP3s, it sells AAC. iPods aren't meant to hoard or play your pirated/copied songs. It is for them to sell more iTunes content.

.. see my point? .. yet the iPods reproduce MP3.

localoid
Mar 21, 2007, 06:02 PM
Apple is a hardware vendor - they can earn money from just selling the hardware. That said, Steve Jobs is probably going to be happier if you decide to buy more stuff from iTunes store after you buy the :apple:TV, but is still happy even if you just get the hardware.

So I'd be surprised if Apple actually puts effort into preventing people from modding their :apple:TV, or "unlock" any "hidden features".

The many interesting things that can be done with a modified Linksys WRT54GL router is one example of what can happen when a manufacturer opens up some of their hardware/firmware secrets. In that case a ~$60 consumer router was able to begin to do things only "real" routers could do previously.

suneohair
Mar 21, 2007, 06:02 PM
in response to number 3.
name me one commercial audio service that sells mainstream music as MP3's .... Apple does not sell MP3s, it sells AAC. iPods aren't meant to hoard or play your pirated/copied songs. It is for them to sell more iTunes content.

.. see my point? .. yet the iPods reproduce MP3.

The iPod also existed before the iTunes store. Thus, before they were selling AACs. I don't think they would come out and say "Ok, no more MP3s because we are selling music now."

I am sure if they would have released a video iPod with Divx and Xvid support and later started selling content in a different format, they wouldn't drop the formats they previously supported. Of course this is a just a theory. But it is tougher to take away features or increase the price point on something that is existing. People already had vast MP3 libraries before the iPod, Apple couldnt just drop support. And while people may have vast Divx and Xvid libraries Apple has never supported those, thus they aren't obligated to include it in their video products.

I bet if MP3 dies (and it will eventually) and something come to replace it. Apple will not support it because they sell content.

In all reality, this doesn't effect people who do no buy iTunes content as that is what it was made for. Unless you are downloading content from the net, the codec support is moot.

Padriac
Mar 21, 2007, 06:04 PM
Now, if music was offered in lossless format and video in 1080P, I would jump ship.

What about browsing and listening to your Lossless music purchased on CD via your home theater? Apple TV allows that (it's overkill for just that, but it does it damn well)

What kind of 1080p content are you watching now? What kind of TV? I'm genuinely curious (AV nut). People with 1080p TVs are so rare I really don't think Apple is in any real trouble by not supporting it right now (down the line... yes).

in response to number 3.
name me one commercial audio service that sells mainstream music as MP3's .... Apple does not sell MP3s, it sells AAC. iPods aren't meant to hoard or play your pirated/copied songs. It is for them to sell more iTunes content.

.. see my point? .. yet the iPods reproduce MP3.

If you are saying that DivX now is the video equivalent of MP3 back in 2001? This is definitely not the case. MP3 was itself responsible for the digital music revolution. The same cannot be said of DivX and digital video, especially today. Two different ballparks. People actually knew what an mp3 was back then... most people have no clue what the hell a "DivX" is. Apple has a lot more freedom with video whereas they were almost forced to support MP3 (and, as you note, they do not champion it, only support it).

CoreWeb
Mar 21, 2007, 06:10 PM
I think that in the end, the AppleTV is being sold not to geeks / AV-fans, but to average consumers, who really don't know what the heck 720p or 1080p or 1080i is, or only have some vague idea. These consumers really won't care about much except that the AppleTV allows them to watch content from iTunes on their TV.

So therefore, if there are enough movies on the average iTunes libraries, then the AppleTV will sell. Simple as that, probably.

rdrr
Mar 21, 2007, 06:13 PM
sorry AppleTV, I'll wait for rev.2.0.

I want 1080p support
and
5.1 audio.

till then, forget it.

It is usually best to wait for rev b, but don't get your hopes up about 1080p. There isn't much 1080p content out there, heck less than 40% of broadcast tv, isn't even in 1080i, or 720p.

suneohair
Mar 21, 2007, 06:14 PM
What about browsing and listening to your Lossless music purchased on CD via your home theater? Apple TV allows that (it's overkill for just that, but it does it damn well)

What kind of 1080p content are you watching now? What kind of TV? I'm genuinely curious (AV nut). People with 1080p TVs are so rare I really don't think Apple is in any real trouble by not supporting it right now (down the line... yes).


I don't currently have a 1080P set. I did though, a Westinghouse lvm-37w3. That is not my point though.

Yes I can listen to my CD that I bought, however I want to buy content. I don't want CDs. I buy them, rip them, and chuck them in the closet. They serve no purpose for me other than extracting the music. No tell me this, why would I pay the same amount for an inferior quality track on iTunes when I can buy a CD for the same price?

My answer? There is no reason, and thus I don't buy. I can hear the difference between a 128 AAC and a lossless file. And for me it is major, and these tracks are not CD quality IMO.

Same with videos. Why buy a low res movie when I can get it on DVD or Blu-ray/HD-DVD? Sure it may cost more, but heck the quality is worth it.

That is my point here. If they want me to buy content give me something worth buying. I am not a foolish consumer and I won't be tricked into buying content inferior to what is already there. I have a 3mbps connection. Give me the quality.

rdrr
Mar 21, 2007, 06:20 PM
Any guesses to the hard drive... SATA? And do you think that it can easily be replaced by a bigger drive? :confused:

CoreWeb
Mar 21, 2007, 06:20 PM
I don't currently have a 1080P set. I did though, a Westinghouse lvm-37w3. That is not my point though.

Yes I can listen to my CD that I bought, however I want to buy content. I don't want CDs. I buy them, rip them, and chuck them in the closet. They serve no purpose for me other than extracting the music. No tell me this, why would I pay the same amount for an inferior quality track on iTunes when I can buy a CD for the same price?

My answer? There is no reason, and thus I don't buy. I can hear the difference between a 128 AAC and a lossless file. And for me it is major, and these tracks are not CD quality IMO.

Same with videos. Why buy a low res movie when I can get it on DVD or Blu-ray/HD-DVD? Sure it may cost more, but heck the quality is worth it.

That is my point here. If they want me to buy content give me something worth buying. I am not a foolish consumer and I won't be tricked into buying content inferior to what is already there. I have a 3mbps connection. Give me the quality.

If Apple offers 720p+5.1 downloads then iTunes downloaded content will be better than regular DVDs, overall. And the difference between 1080 and 720 is relatively small.

And, I already have enough stuff on my iTunes library that I would like to appear on my TV - something AppleTV would be suited for. And note, even the songs I've ripped from CDs are not in lossless format as they take up too much space for my stingy storage standards. So, though you may not buy it, you don't have to. It is probably not meant for people like you anyway - you should (and I probably should, as I'm kinda geeky overall) hook up a Mac Mini to your TV.

WilliamLondon
Mar 21, 2007, 06:23 PM
sorry AppleTV, I'll wait for rev.2.0.

I want 1080p support
and
5.1 audio.

till then, forget it.

Then you and the other 2 people that have 1080p and think it's the bee's knees can forget about it together and bitch about how Apple missed the mark on this one. The rest of us will enjoy this lovely new device.

mjstew33
Mar 21, 2007, 06:24 PM
Any guesses to the hard drive... SATA? And do you think that it can easily be replaced by a bigger drive? :confused:

Easily replaced... eh, maybe, all depends. It's probably something like the mini, because it's form factor is so small.

It is *probably* SATA. but, don't quote me.

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 06:27 PM
Save that post, and in the future when that little $299 box has replaced your AVR, DVD/CD, Cable box and surge box you'll laugh and think how myopic we all were and how visionary Apple was.

Dude, you need to get over this "internet content rules" thinking. This "little box" as it stands today will NOT replace all those components ROFL. Seriously? No way, no how. Not until it has at LEAST 5.1 surround sound, 1080P and playback of non-Apple content. Sure, it's a cute little thing that may get "ooo's" and "owwww's" at your next little cocktail shin-dig, but for now it's a $299 paper weight. :rolleyes:

rdrr
Mar 21, 2007, 06:28 PM
Easily replaced... eh, maybe, all depends. It's probably something like the mini, because it's form factor is so small.

It is *probably* SATA. but, don't quote me.

Ya but, what about copying over the OSX lite, and getting it to recognize the new usable space...

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 06:29 PM
I've started transcoding all my pirated videos. I only have all the episodes of Dead Like Me, Star Trek TNG, Star Trek Voyager, Futurama, Family Guy, Battlestar Galactica, CSI: Miami, The Simpsons, Stargate SG1, Stargate Atlantis, Star Trek TOS, Star Trek DS9, Star Trek Enterprise, .... and a few more.

This will only take me about 4 months. It's almost 730gb total.

They are all Xvid and Divx, with a few weird mkv files or something, I think it's just another MPEG-4 container.

I wish this thing could play these files straight up. :mad:

Careful, I've made similar comments and was slammed by 75% of the Macrumors community. It's amazing to me, as a huge Apple fan/user, that a lot of others can't take criticism at an Apple product maturely and rationally. :confused:

suneohair
Mar 21, 2007, 06:31 PM
If Apple offers 720p+5.1 downloads then iTunes downloaded content will be better than regular DVDs, overall. And the difference between 1080 and 720 is relatively small.

And, I already have enough stuff on my iTunes library that I would like to appear on my TV - something AppleTV would be suited for. And note, even the songs I've ripped from CDs are not in lossless format as they take up too much space for my stingy storage standards. So, though you may not buy it, you don't have to. It is probably not meant for people like you anyway - you should (and I probably should, as I'm kinda geeky overall) hook up a Mac Mini to your TV.

I have no qualms with the device itself. Nor am I whining about, so please don't give me the "you don't have to buy it" speech. I know that and I can make my own decision. And I know I don't have to buy it, etc. Also don't tell what is and is not for me and what you think I should do. My post is in no way like the others here.

I think it is meant for someone like me. But, I will not buy iTunes content at this point because of the quality. If they offered high quality downloads on par with what I buy in the store I would get down with it. I am a major geek and I would buy it because it looks cool and i could stack it up. Although I won't but still.

Also, I don't have a TV right now. I don't need something that big as I have no interest in a home theatre right. I did have a mini hooked up to my 1080P that I had before, but still. I don't have enough video content to warrant such a thing.

FleurDuMal
Mar 21, 2007, 06:35 PM
Dude, you need to get over this "internet content rules" thinking. This "little box" as it stands today will NOT replace all those components ROFL. Seriously? No way, no how. Not until it has at LEAST 5.1 surround sound, 1080P and playback of non-Apple content. Sure, it's a cute little thing that may get "ooo's" and "owwww's" at your next little cocktail shin-dig, but for now it's a $299 paper weight. :rolleyes:

What if someone has all their DVDs and CDs ripped and put into iTunes, doesn't have a 5.1 sound set up, and has a 720P TV. Then it would replace all those devices.

CoreWeb
Mar 21, 2007, 06:38 PM
I have no qualms with the device itself. Nor am I whining about, so please don't give me the "you don't have to buy it" speech. I know that and I can make my own decision. And I know I don't have to buy it, etc. Also don't tell what is and is not for me and what you think I should do. My post is in no way like the others here.

I think it is meant for someone like me. But, I will not buy iTunes content at this point because of the quality. If they offered high quality downloads on par with what I buy in the store I would get down with it. I am a major geek and I would buy it because it looks cool and i could stack it up. Although I won't but still.

Also, I don't have a TV right now. I don't need something that big as I have no interest in a home theatre right. I did have a mini hooked up to my 1080P that I had before, but still. I don't have enough video content to warrant such a thing.

I wasn't giving you the "you don't have to buy it" speech. I was reflecting on how it actually was not for everyone and I probably should not buy it.

People on these forums seem to be awfully black-and-white. Sith-like, if you are into Star Wars. To them, the product is either the device that will save the world, or the worst device ever made. "Lame" "stupid", or "great," "perfect", "the people who don't buy are losers."

I think that it will be good for the average consumer, and some of the upper level consumers as well. But not necessarily for me. The only thing that makes it more practical than a Mac Mini for me is the price. (The Mac Mini is 2x as expensive, after all).

But, I don't have money for AppleTV either, as it is...

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 06:39 PM
What if someone has all their DVDs and CDs ripped and put into iTunes, doesn't have a 5.1 sound set up, and has a 720P TV. Then it would replace all those devices.

Then they're missing roughly 50% of the theare experience. Most AVR's has 5.1 and even 6.1 or 7.1 surround sound. :apple:TV still won't replace DVR units or DVD players, so it's just a nifty little gagdet to show off to all your friends.

localoid
Mar 21, 2007, 06:39 PM
...
The right transcoding algorithm combined with the right AAC parameters could, in principle, be capable of reconstructing a high-fidelity surround mix from 448kbps AAC or less. And this is not including any design improvements or new perceptual coding schema succesors to AAC.

In short, there's no fundamental hardware gap here... Just a software one.

...

Isn't one of the features of Intel's High Definition Audio chipset the ability to do real-time Dolby Digital Live encoding, *if* the manufacturers of the motherboard/devices takes the hardware/software steps needed to *implement* it?

surferfromuk
Mar 21, 2007, 06:40 PM
well it'll be interesting to see some youtube video clips of people playing tubesock'd youtube video's on their TV's via it...

It'll be a nice way of 'sharing' those clips, sat in the lounge on the sofa with family members instead of convincing them to 'come to the compputer and stand around the screen watching a 2" square pixellated window...


I'm guessing that's not going to need Dolby or HDTV!! :)

FleurDuMal
Mar 21, 2007, 06:41 PM
I have no qualms with the device itself. Nor am I whining about, so please don't give me the "you don't have to buy it" speech. I know that and I can make my own decision. And I know I don't have to buy it, etc. Also don't tell what is and is not for me and what you think I should do. My post is in no way like the others here.

I think it is meant for someone like me. But, I will not buy iTunes content at this point because of the quality. If they offered high quality downloads on par with what I buy in the store I would get down with it. I am a major geek and I would buy it because it looks cool and i could stack it up. Although I won't but still.

Also, I don't have a TV right now. I don't need something that big as I have no interest in a home theatre right. I did have a mini hooked up to my 1080P that I had before, but still. I don't have enough video content to warrant such a thing.

I'm with you there. If I actually had a living room and a TV to put in it, if Apple had at least DVD quality downloads with 5.1, I'd snap up an AppleTV (depending on the range of films and shows on offer, that is). That, however, is only a matter of time. It's obvious that Apple is moving in that direction. All we have to do is wait. I think all we're waiting for are hard drive prices to fall even further.

CoreWeb
Mar 21, 2007, 06:41 PM
What if someone has all their DVDs and CDs ripped and put into iTunes, doesn't have a 5.1 sound set up, and has a 720P TV. Then it would replace all those devices.

Come to think of it... has 5.1 even taken off that much? In home theaters, yes, of course, but in standard family/living rooms? What percentage of the consumers who own HDTVs actually own 5.1 surround systems? So, that group wouldn't care about that issue.

And as most HDTVs aren't 1080, that doesn't matter either.

Meaning that the AppleTV was probably designed properly even if it does lack 5.1 and 1080.

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 06:42 PM
That's was exactly my point! That's what apple wants, and even though this apple tv is limited, people will buy it and start getting movies via iTunes because apple is making it EASY for them to watch the movies on their "HD" tvs

Again, apple tv is nothing more than infrastructure to support iTunes movie sales.

BINGO, someone else finally gets the marketing ploy. Most people don't realize that they're spending $299 on a device to buy sub-DVD quality movie's. It's completely RIDICULOUS and yet everyone is eating it up rofl. :rolleyes:

Padriac
Mar 21, 2007, 06:44 PM
I don't currently have a 1080P set. I did though, a Westinghouse lvm-37w3. That is not my point though.

Yes I can listen to my CD that I bought, however I want to buy content. I don't want CDs. I buy them, rip them, and chuck them in the closet. They serve no purpose for me other than extracting the music. No tell me this, why would I pay the same amount for an inferior quality track on iTunes when I can buy a CD for the same price?

While this is really an issue with the iTunes Store and not the Apple TV, I'm with you there. While I get Apple only currently offereing barely/sub DVD quality video, I can't for the life of me understand why they are sticking with 128 AAC for music. I too refuse to buy from iTunes for this reason, although I would love to for the convenience. I do support emusic as their VBR mp3 files that average 256 are high quality enough for me (I personally think lossless is a bit overkill for most listening situations). Also, no DRM is a big plus.

Anyway, my point was why not use the Apple TV to access all your ripped CDs? (which is exactly what I plan on doing.). My entire music library on my home theater via an elegant interface... sounds good to me.


Same with videos. Why buy a low res movie when I can get it on DVD or Blu-ray/HD-DVD? Sure it may cost more, but heck the quality is worth it.

My assumption is that they needed a device that could play high-def video before they justify selling it. If they don't offer 720p downloads within a year, I will honestly be perplexed.

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 06:48 PM
Come to think of it... has 5.1 even taken off that much? In home theaters, yes, of course, but in standard family/living rooms? What percentage of the consumers who own HDTVs actually own 5.1 surround systems? So, that group wouldn't care about that issue.

And as most HDTVs aren't 1080, that doesn't matter either.

Meaning that the AppleTV was probably designed properly even if it does lack 5.1 and 1080.

Roughly 65% of North American theatre home owners use 5.1 surround sound, and growing. So yeah, there is a market. In my home, I just bought a Pioneer Elite Pro 50" 1080P Plasma for $10,000 and got a second Pioneer 50" 720P unit free, additions to my 42" Pioneer in my bedroom and 42" Panasonic in a guest room. I've been using 5.1 and 6.1 surround sound for years, make since the '90's, and just ebout everyone else I personally know utilizes 5.1 surrround sound. More importantly, why ignore a technology that is only growing and has plenty of market potential? Just making excuses for :apple:TV's limitations?

WilliamLondon
Mar 21, 2007, 06:51 PM
Dude, you need to get over this "internet content rules" thinking. This "little box" as it stands today will NOT replace all those components ROFL. Seriously? No way, no how. Not until it has at LEAST 5.1 surround sound, 1080P and playback of non-Apple content. Sure, it's a cute little thing that may get "ooo's" and "owwww's" at your next little cocktail shin-dig, but for now it's a $299 paper weight. :rolleyes:

Dude, how about a little vision here? You think it has to do everything day 1 - fine, wait until v2 or v3 - but mark my words, it will replace all those devices you list, and it's starting now.

Avatar74
Mar 21, 2007, 06:51 PM
Isn't one of the features of Intel's High Definition Audio chipset the ability to do real-time Dolby Digital Live encoding, *if* the manufacturers of the motherboard/devices takes the hardware/software steps needed to *implement* it?

Granted it might be even more efficient to do this in hardware and that may be in store for future iterations of AppleTV... but there's a question of what the cost impact would be versus a software transcoder.

I'm just stating that for now it is possible to facilitate it through a software update.

surferfromuk
Mar 21, 2007, 06:51 PM
I can't for the life of me understand why they are sticking with 128 AAC for music.

This definately needs to be a 'download' preference in iTunes. Those to 'whom it matters' will find it - everyone else won't care to change it or even look for it...

Krevnik
Mar 21, 2007, 06:51 PM
Because encoding Xvid or X.264 wont kill your cpu, like H.264 does. What happends in two years when theres a new much better codec, that Apple don't like to much. Do you have to buy something new?

You put XviD, DivX or x264 into an MP4 container, and an iPod/iTunes combo will usually play it unless it uses some of the rather advanced features of the MPEG-4 spec that is part of 'Extended' or 'High' profile.

suneohair
Mar 21, 2007, 06:53 PM
Anyway, my point was why not use the Apple TV to access all your ripped CDs? (which is exactly what I plan on doing.). My entire music library on my home theater via an elegant interface... sounds good to me.



That is a waste of $300 (for me of course). Even if I had a TV and decent audio system. Plus I live in a little studio. But of course it is different for everybody. I personally don't need it, and while I like the idea there are things I would need before I bought one of these (assuming I did buy a TV and nice audio equipment).

For my apartment Front Row is fine, and I don't even use that.

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 06:54 PM
Maybe this will help:

Exactly. Imagine all those devices being replaced by ONE device. If Apple claims that the :apple:TV will revolutionize home entertainment, then why ADD more crap onto of already piles of devices? It seems most people don't swallow the argument that crappleTV could wirelessly stream DVD's playing in a Mac or PC, but why not at least have a Blu-ray or HD DVD player built into the unit then? It's cause APPLE WANTS YOU TO BUY MORE ITUNES SUB-DVD QUALITY MOVIES. It's money people, yours, and they want it rofl.

surferfromuk
Mar 21, 2007, 06:56 PM
I think maybe we need to think more in terms of 'family homes'...

and in that respect I actually think the 'many computers to one' streaming is a killer feature that has really been overlooked on this device...

How many homes have multiple devices now - all with seperate media...now all accessible as a common resource...this feature alone could really make it shine...
You know this

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 06:57 PM
Dude, how about a little vision here? You think it has to do everything day 1 - fine, wait until v2 or v3 - but mark my words, it will replace all those devices you list, and it's starting now.

Fine, v2 or v3, if they have enough capabilities to replace DVR's (assuming they're still growing in the future market as they presently are, who knows, maybe Apple will sell enough television shows online to replace DVR systems but those shows usually don't go on sale in iTunes until a few days after they air), top set quality DVD players and full surround sound capabilities, it's not worth it to the general home theatre connaissieur.

CoreWeb
Mar 21, 2007, 06:57 PM
Dude, how about a little vision here? You think it has to do everything day 1 - fine, wait until v2 or v3 - but mark my words, it will replace all those devices you list, and it's starting now.

I wouldn't be quite so bold in my assessment... I'd say that a device LIKE the AppleTV will eventually replace all the other devices. But not necessarily the AppleTV, being realistic.

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 06:59 PM
I actually think the many to one streaming is a killer feature that has really been overlooked on this device...

How many homes have multiple devices now - all with seperate media...now all accessible as a common resource...this feature alone could really make it shine...

Thank you, I mean really, thank you. I have been SLAMMED for saying the same thing by every one on here. It's nice that someone else has the same thoughts regarding the potential for a device such as the :apple:TV. It could potentially replace most home audio/video equipment, allowing movie and music playback in one device hooked up to an AVR and HDTV. :D

abrooks
Mar 21, 2007, 06:59 PM
Hook the Apple TV into the TV via component, no advantage or disadvantage of HDMI at the moment.

Now assuming the receiver of the theatre system can take an input either hook the Apple TV up to it via optical or analog RCA.

That should sort your problems.

Currently waiting for my Apple TV to arrive (hopefully tomorrow) but was hoping I could get some knowledgable help here.

In the past week I have bought a Samsung 42 inch Plasma (comes with 2 HDMI Jacks) --- and I want to hook up my Apple TV (HDMI), Comcast Digital Cable Box (HDMI), and Phillips Home Thearte system (HDMI) ---

http://reviews.cnet.com/Philips_HTS6...6.html?tag=sub

So I have three devices with HDMI capability but only 2 HDMI ports on my Samsung HD TV. To complicate things, I want the audio from the actual TV, and Apple TV to come out of the Phillips system all the time, NOT the standard Samsung TV speakers.

What is the best way to accomplish this?

Thanks guys

CoreWeb
Mar 21, 2007, 06:59 PM
Fine, v2 or v3, if they have enough capabilities to replace DVR's (assuming they're still growing in the future market as they presently are, who knows, maybe Apple will sell enough television shows online to replace DVR systems but those shows usually don't go on sale in iTunes until a few days after they air), top set quality DVD players and full surround sound capabilities, it's not worth it to the general home theatre connaissieur.

Aren't some TV shows now on iTunes BEFORE they air? Correct me if I'm wrong.

balamw
Mar 21, 2007, 07:01 PM
Aren't some TV shows now on iTunes BEFORE they air? Correct me if I'm wrong.

Definitely true for Andy Richter's new show which is available on iTunes and nbc.com before it airs on NBC.

B

suneohair
Mar 21, 2007, 07:03 PM
Hey is the Apple trailer site down for anyone else in Front Row?

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 07:04 PM
Aren't some TV shows now on iTunes BEFORE they air? Correct me if I'm wrong.

Yeah, the ones studio exec's know won't succeed. Any one remember "Aquaman" and "Conviction"? Those were free pilots, and they literally couldn't GIVE them away. Course the shows were so bad they were canelled or never even aired.

FleurDuMal
Mar 21, 2007, 07:04 PM
Come to think of it... has 5.1 even taken off that much? In home theaters, yes, of course, but in standard family/living rooms? What percentage of the consumers who own HDTVs actually own 5.1 surround systems? So, that group wouldn't care about that issue.

And as most HDTVs aren't 1080, that doesn't matter either.

Meaning that the AppleTV was probably designed properly even if it does lack 5.1 and 1080.

Come to think of it, I can think of very few families that have or had 5.1, and I don't have any friends with it now (but I'm a student, so that makes sense). The only people I can remember who have 5.1 were the type of blokes (they are always blokes) who get erections telling you how expensive their media set up was. And then they'd only go and watch some awful action move on it.

EricNau
Mar 21, 2007, 07:07 PM
I'm totally out of my field here, so I'll just ask...

Does the :apple:tv do any up-converting like many DVD players? Would it really make a difference? Could this possibly eliminate the need for HD movies on iTunes?

Peace
Mar 21, 2007, 07:07 PM
Come to think of it, I can think of very few families that have or had 5.1, and I don't have any friends with it now (but I'm a student, so that makes sense). The only people I can remember who have 5.1 were the type of blokes (they are always blokes) who get erections telling you how expensive their media set up was. And then they'd only go and watch some awful action move on it.

I am neither a bloke nor a person that gets sexually aroused by my stereo.And it has 5.1 speakers.

EricNau
Mar 21, 2007, 07:09 PM
Hey is the Apple trailer site down for anyone else in Front Row?
It's working fine for me.

balamw
Mar 21, 2007, 07:09 PM
Roughly 65% of North American theatre home owners use 5.1 surround sound, and growing.

Come to think of it, I can think of very few families that have or had 5.1, and I don't have any friends with it now (but I'm a student, so that makes sense).

Another example of how 78% of statistics are made up on the spot. I would venture to guess that far more than 35% of consumers with the appropriate HDTVs are NOT using 5.1.

For one I'm not, though I was in a previous house.

B

WilliamLondon
Mar 21, 2007, 07:10 PM
I wouldn't be quite so bold in my assessment... I'd say that a device LIKE the AppleTV will eventually replace all the other devices. But not necessarily the AppleTV, being realistic.

My point was the revolution has started and this marks it, just as some here have pointed out, the iPod marked the MP3 revolution. It will happen. Maybe Apple and the AppleTV will own it, maybe not, but it will happen.

CoreWeb
Mar 21, 2007, 07:11 PM
Come to think of it, I can think of very few families that have or had 5.1, and I don't have any friends with it now (but I'm a student, so that makes sense). The only people I can remember who have 5.1 were the type of blokes (they are always blokes) who get erections telling you how expensive their media set up was. And then they'd only go and watch some awful action move on it.

Exactly. And, thinking a bit more on it... though I have a 5.1 setup in one part of my house, I never use it. Even at movie theaters, I usually do NOT notice surround sound unless a sound SUDDENLY comes from behind, which it rarely does. So, as I am not obsessed with 5.1, I probably don't need it. The AppleTV would work well.

Now, if I were to get a home theater room (not likely, but plausible... maybe), then I would probably plug in a Mac Mini to that. So here is how I read it: for people who are not using lossless everything, high-def everything, etc., etc., the AppleTV is an product for showing media on the TV. For those that need the ultra-high quality, the Mac Mini is perfect.

macinfojunkie
Mar 21, 2007, 07:12 PM
Try the trailer for Eragon: H.264 Decoder, 1280 x 544, Millions
AAC, 5.1 (C L R Ls Rs LFE), 48.000 kHz

That's surround, 720p.

I checked out that trailer since I already had it downloaded. I'd not noticed that some of Apple's trailers had 5.1 AAC. As a test I exported the trailer using the ATV option in QT. Bad news is that I ended up a stereo mix, the 5.1 mix was not retained. I'm guessing this means 5.1 will not be supported for home-brew content, at least without a QT update and/or a ATV update.

WilliamLondon
Mar 21, 2007, 07:12 PM
general home theatre connaissieur.

General and connoisseur are contradictions - one is the target audience for this device, the other is not.

EricNau
Mar 21, 2007, 07:13 PM
Another example of how 78% of statistics are made up on the spot. I would venture to guess that far more than 35% of consumers with the appropriate HDTVs are NOT using 5.1.

For one I'm not, though I was in a previous house.

B
Notice how it's worded:
Roughly 65% of North American theatre home owners use 5.1 surround sound, and growing.


What exactly defines a "home theater"? Statistics are all about manipulation.

FleurDuMal
Mar 21, 2007, 07:17 PM
I am neither a bloke nor a person that gets sexually aroused by my stereo.And it has 5.1 speakers.

There's always the exception to prove the rule ;)

localoid
Mar 21, 2007, 07:17 PM
Granted it might be even more efficient to do this in hardware and that may be in store for future iterations of AppleTV... but there's a question of what the cost impact would be versus a software transcoder.

I'm just stating that for now it is possible to facilitate it through a software update.

Cost most? Do you mean a license cost, or hardware cost? The Intel HDA chipset is already in place on all of the Apple Intel systems. I assume it's on the Apple TV's motherboard as well... I also assume there are licensing issues/costs for hardware/motherboard manufacturers to implement it, but perhaps that's the whole reason for the "play it through the Apple TV" solution is being marketed, e.g., it's potentially a multi-channel solution requiring only one license, vs. than Apple licensing Dolby Live for every computer it sells. But maybe I'm missing the some aspect of this... ?

macinfojunkie
Mar 21, 2007, 07:18 PM
Originally Posted by vkxonline
The AppleTV is a joke. It's clearly missing the most important features. I've outlined seven below.

1) GPS.
2) Bluetooth.
3) .art support.
4) No Power Brick.
5) 3840x2160 resolution.
6) Halo 3.
7) Widgets.

If Apple doesn't fix these seven issues by the time the already shipped items arrive in our homes, I'm going to definitely declare this device a complete flop.

Great list! You forgot the most important missing feature though. Compatibility with the 1000s of virus and malware programs that can run on Windows Media Centre. Until those are supported I'm out!......

Just kidding, TNT have mine in the mail :D

WilliamLondon
Mar 21, 2007, 07:18 PM
Reeeeoooowwww. Meeeooooowww!!! hiss hiss

BTW, I didn't say how jealous I was of 1080p, but I try not to think about it and just enjoy my new 32" 1080i telly (which is 5" bigger than my last and I thought a HUGE increase). They just recently (Sony that is) released a 40" 1080p telly here in the UK, and with such limited content, why unless you've got 1) oodles of money and/or 2) oodles of space, would you buy one? If you have one I suppose it's a privileged position to be in, but a rare one nonetheless and it's a bit silly to require every device to support 1080p right now just because you might own a 1080p telly.

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 07:26 PM
General and connoisseur are contradictions - one is the target audience for this device, the other is not.

you're cracking me up. Used TOGETHER they are not as there are mainstream home theatre connoisseurs. There is no "target" audience for :apple:TV, I don't recall Steve Jobs stating it was only for people who watch video's in stereo sound at 720p. Now, stop detracting from the discussion by nitpicking my comments :rolleyes:, as entertaining as it is

bit silly to require every device to support 1080p right now just because you might own a 1080p telly.

Just as it was a bit silly for Apple to go after the limited MP3 market with the introduction to the iPod in 2000, right?

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 07:28 PM
Another example of how 78% of statistics are made up on the spot. I would venture to guess that far more than 35% of consumers with the appropriate HDTVs are NOT using 5.1.

For one I'm not, though I was in a previous house.

B

Show me the statistics were it states that most people with HDTV do NOT use 5.1 surround sound...

jsw
Mar 21, 2007, 07:31 PM
Just as it was a bit silly for Apple to go after the limited MP3 market with the introduction to the iPod in 2000, right?
Um, what?

A small percentage of sets support 1080p, few broadcasts are 1080p, and, more importantly, most people can't distinguish between 1080 and 720 at the distance they tend to view their TVs. You're seriously arguing that lack of 1080 support is going to reduce sales of this device, esp. after arguing that anyone serious about video would never buy it in the first place?

It's fine to argue it's not for you. But it's rediculous to argue it won't sell well and that there's no decent target audience.

FleurDuMal
Mar 21, 2007, 07:32 PM
Show me the statistics were it states that most people with HDTV do NOT use 5.1 surround sound...

Show us where it says that most do.

All stats are misleading. I imagine whoever conducts such a survey would have quite an incentive to make out that every loves 5.1.

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 07:32 PM
BTW, I didn't say how jealous I was of 1080p, but I try not to think about it and just enjoy my new 32" 1080i telly (which is 5" bigger than my last and I thought a HUGE increase). They just recently (Sony that is) released a 40" 1080p telly here in the UK, and with such limited content, why unless you've got 1) oodles of money and/or 2) oodles of space, would you buy one? If you have one I suppose it's a privileged position to be in, but a rare one nonetheless and it's a bit silly to require every device to support 1080p right now just because you might own a 1080p telly.

My point wasn't that you are "jealous", but how your comments are very passive-aggressive and borderline demeaning towards others. There is a strong sense of snobbery and entitlement to your tone, that's all.

gugy
Mar 21, 2007, 07:32 PM
Then you and the other 2 people that have 1080p and think it's the bee's knees can forget about it together and bitch about how Apple missed the mark on this one. The rest of us will enjoy this lovely new device.

two other people that have 1080p? you must be kidding!
Yes, still a niche, but pretty soon this will change.
Besides, I am enjoying 1080p now on my 30" Cinema display. So don't you worry.
I love AppleTV concept, but is not there yet for me. If you like it, buy it and stop being a jerk.

WilliamLondon
Mar 21, 2007, 07:34 PM
There is no "target" audience for :apple:TV, I don't recall Steve Jobs stating it was only for people who watch video's in stereo sound at 720p. Now, stop detracting from the discussion by nitpicking my comments :rolleyes:, as entertaining as it is


Yes, you're right, I'm sure they haven't done their market research and are flying blind.

Peace
Mar 21, 2007, 07:35 PM
Actually almost ALL HDTV's come with built-in 5.1 speakers.

gugy
Mar 21, 2007, 07:36 PM
My point wasn't that you are "jealous", but how your comments are very passive-aggressive and borderline demeaning towards others. There is a strong sense of snobbery and entitlement to your tone, that's all.


man you said it all!

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 07:37 PM
Show us where it says that most do.

All stats are misleading. I imagine whoever conducts such a survey would have quite an incentive to make out that every loves 5.1.

As someone who has been through a MA in social organizational psych, statistical analysis is a very tricky situation. Many researchers may go into a study with an unconscious desire to prove a point the researcher feels are more valid, hence the need for numerous studies and methods of analysis to determine validity. My point was, there is no way to determine how popular or unpopular 5.1 or greater surround sound usage is in home theatres. However, as most new AVR's have 5.1 or great surround sound capabilities and as most DVD's have 5.1 surround sound, why buy into a product that does not and generally links to purchased material that is sub-DVD quality?

WilliamLondon
Mar 21, 2007, 07:38 PM
As someone who has been through a MA in social organizational psych, statistical analysis is a very tricky situation.

And I was going to accuse you of being a 1st year psych student but thought that would be silly to point out...

My point wasn't that you are "jealous", but how your comments are very passive-aggressive and borderline demeaning towards others. There is a strong sense of snobbery and entitlement to your tone, that's all.

Trying to escalate the argument here? Or personalise it? Or both? You missed the point and I'm out.

CoreWeb
Mar 21, 2007, 07:39 PM
Actually almost ALL HDTV's come with built-in 5.1 speakers.

HDTVs only have two speakers though, so the most that they can do is SIMULATE 5.1.