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View Full Version : Explain AppleTV to me...




godslabrat
Nov 7, 2007, 06:52 PM
Hi all.

I'll give you some background... my main desktop PC is a Mac Mini. It is currently connected to my HDTV, which means I can use it as my main HTPC, even though I seldom need to. I do have an iPod and use iTunes for almost all my media stuff. I've got an extensive collection of DVDs and CDs. Very little of my collection is purchased music.

I look at the AppleTV, and it does look like a neat little gadget... but I can't really get a bead on how useful it is. Either I'm missing something big, or I'm just not the target audience for this device. Maybe you folks can tell me which it is.

I really don't need such a device in the main theater room, since like I said, that's where my Mini is hooked up, and the Mini can do everything the AppleTV could. I've given some thought to putting an AppleTV in the bedroom, so I could stream some programming in from the living room. I just can't see this as being worthwhile, though, because if I wanted to watch a DVD, I could just keep a $50 DVD player in the bedroom. If I wanted to listen to music, I could burn a crapload of mp3s onto a disc. If I wanted to watch my Tivo, I could drop the show onto a DVD-R. I really do think (for my personal purposes) it's a lot easier to burn stuff to a disc and take it a few rooms down the hall than it would be to rip everything to a hard drive. My equipment does it all automatically for me, so it's no extra effort on my part. And $299.99 buys a lot of blank CDs and DVDs.

I mean, the streaming video option seems nice, but for someone like me, it just seems to make sense to use the DVD I already have. I don't really get the urge to watch YouTube in bed, so that's out. I guess the only reason I'm really looking at AppleTV is that I generally really like Apple products, so I'm trying to keep an open mind.

So please, what neat features do you use your AppleTVs for? Is there something cool I'm missing? Or, like I said, am I just not the right type of customer for this product? (that's okay!)



ejbenjamin
Nov 7, 2007, 07:21 PM
It sounds like you're mostly covered with your current setup. The only reason you might want one would be if you buy a lot of television or movie content from the iTunes Store that you want to watch in bed.

If your TiVo already has you covered, then your money is probably better spent elsewhere.

P.S. This is coming from a very happy AppleTV owner, who uses it for sending television shows from the computer in the office over to the TV in the living room. But I know it's not for everyone.

peeaanuut
Nov 7, 2007, 11:44 PM
here is my situation and why I got one.

I have my main computer, which is a mini. I download alot of shows and some movies, but mainly I listen to alot of music. I had been burning discs with mp3s but really after storing them on my external drive I didnt want to have to burn more discs (they do add up in cost after a while). Plus I was watching the shows on my computer screen, but my fiance wanted to see them as well. Not easy to do with my current computer set up. I thought about putting a mini in their, but than I would need, at least at some point a keyboard a mouse and that is just more stuff to put out there, even if it was wireless. And really I had no interest in computing on the screen, only watching media. So the aTV fit perfectly into that scenario.

Also as it turns out, my mother in law who lives with me liked using it for a weekend and she wanted one. She is not computer savy at all and if I put a mini with her tv and something happened she would freak out. I set hers to stream and now she can watch all the shows that I download or even movies. She has a 46" hi-def lcd but really cannot tell the difference between low def and hi-def so quality does not even become an issue for her. The plan here is to get a 2nd mini that can be hooked up to another TV I have in the bedroom and use that for media of course and a 2nd iTunes library that would have more of the shows my wife and mother and law like so it does not muddle up my library.


So it definatly has its virtues. No it is not a DVR and really I have never found a need for one. if I miss a show than I download it. If I miss the game, I can read about it in the paper or watch sportscenter. it is not the end all to be all media center (but it could be with a few small tweaks from Apple) but it does what it does very well and quite elegantly.

archi penko
Nov 8, 2007, 02:53 AM
thanx... u guys also explained it to me really well. esp the watch movies in bed thing.

@peeaanuut... gettin cozy with the mother-in-law... noice!

peeaanuut
Nov 8, 2007, 09:50 AM
scoring points with the MiL is always a bonus. Im a little bummed she had to move in with us, but I can deal with it. She gets the back of the house and we get the front.

jeremy.king
Nov 8, 2007, 11:04 AM
I guess if you are buying music/movies "the old-fashioned way" - as in on disc - then it probably doesn't make much sense at this point. However if you source of media is the interweb (Amazon or iTunes, that is), it makes perfect sense.

I for one invested for a few reasons.

1. I am lazy, would rather use a remote to access my movies rather than dig through my cabinet, find disc, load player, etc...

2. I have a 7 month old, who will soon be walking around and wanting to watch Elmo, Baby Einstein, and Disney movies. I'd rather use the AppleTV than risk losing a disc to toddler damage.

3. I am intrigued by the hackability, but time doesn't allow me to explore this yet...

archi penko
Nov 9, 2007, 12:52 AM
scoring points with the MiL is always a bonus. Im a little bummed she had to move in with us, but I can deal with it. She gets the back of the house and we get the front.

shared kitchen? living room? daaaaammmmmn

peeaanuut
Nov 9, 2007, 09:59 AM
shared kitchen? living room? daaaaammmmmn

Not even sharing the living room. Her damn dog messes everything up so she has to be kept in the family room in the back. I have the living room (which is larger and more acoustically sound) while she has the family room in the back. But we share the kitchen which is nice because she does cook for us.

kkat69
Nov 9, 2007, 12:25 PM
To the OP this is why I really want one.

I have a big screen tv in my living room downstairs (non DLP rear projection, it's not ancient, but at the time DLP seemed to much money to spend and the picture still looked good to me) it's an HDTV so the quality is good. I have a flat screen in our bedroom upstairs.

Currently our pc's/macs are 1 downstairs, 1 upstairs in my kids room, 1 basement in office and not a single one connected to a tv. I really don't feel like lugging anything from room to room, fooling with the cables just to show home movies off iMovie or iPhoto.

SOOOOO I can get AppleTV and just move a tiny box (which would primarily stay connected to the downstairs tv. I have a ton of home movies and photos loaded on my iMac. I can stream those movies and photos to my big TV without anyone crowding my office or fooling with iDvd to make a quick (and it's not that quick) dvd. PLUS, I recently ripped Pirates 2 as a test to see the quality and size and the size/quality was amazing, load it into iTunes and viewed it upstairs on our good flat TV and it was just like the DVD (I DO OWN the movie so I wasn't doing anything illegal LOL).

So for my setup it really brings the computer held content to the big tv easily. Plus using the iTunes to buy past tv shows was nice and if I really had nothing else better to do, I can rip a bunch of cartoons, store them on a HD and stream them to the TV for the kids.

My situation probably really emphasises the versatility of AppleTV and is why I'm really looking at getting one this holiday season (or wait if a rumored upgrade is in the work).

peeaanuut
Nov 9, 2007, 12:42 PM
that is a very good explanation of what the AppleTV's target audience is. Place shifting content stored on your computer. Without having to hook up an entire computer. Plus its easy to use so just about anyone in the house could use it.

kkat69
Nov 9, 2007, 12:56 PM
Plus its easy to use so just about anyone in the house could use it.

Yep, the remote (very feature lacking but I think that it's just perfect) is easy even for my daughter to use. The navigation, easy to tell what are movies, pictures, etc.

Dang, now I really want one now and not want to wait. UGGG I just bought a MB and wife would really kill me if I bought an ATV. She already hates me for putting the Apple sticker on the back of my Expedition.

peeaanuut
Nov 9, 2007, 01:05 PM
I just got mine the other day and 2 days later I bought a 2nd one for my MiL. If they do announce a new one with more features, I will surely buy that one and probably pass the older one on to my parents.

MikieMikie
Nov 9, 2007, 01:53 PM
I just got mine the other day and 2 days later I bought a 2nd one for my MiL. If they do announce a new one with more features, I will surely buy that one and probably pass the older one on to my parents.

And now we know what relatives are really good for. After all, when the new iPhone comes out, my wife gets mine. :D

-- Mikie

kkat69
Nov 9, 2007, 02:29 PM
And now we know what relatives are really good for. After all, when the new iPhone comes out, my wife gets mine. :D

-- Mikie

Hand-me-downs FTW!!!