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luffx
Jan 23, 2008, 10:18 AM
Hey all,

I read about the Apple TV and for the most part I understand it, but I want to hear good overview from somebody who has one....

I would like to know how you go about watching movies, if you can upload your existing DVDs, etc.


thanks,
~Luf.



spice weasel
Jan 23, 2008, 10:31 AM
I just got mine the day the Take 2 was announced. I love it! You can watch all of your current DVDs on it, but of course you'll have to encode them as mp4 first and then put them in your iTunes library. The process is a bit labor intensive, but the results are great. And if you are like me (and probably most Apple TV fans), you'll want to tag your mp4 files with nice cover art, synopses, etc.

The other night I had a few friends over to watch a movie. While we all sat around and ate dinner first, we watched funny youtube videos. That alone made the Apple TV worth it for me.

Edit: I re-read your post and I'm not sure I provided you with a clear answer. To watch movies you can either buy/rent from iTMS or you can rip/encode your own DVDs. There are several ways to do this, but the vast majority of users rely on Handbrake (just use the Apple TV preset), a freely available mp4 encoder. Some also use Mac the Ripper to rip the DVD to the hard drive first. Once the file is encoded, I use MetaX to handle the metadata tagging. Then I send the file to iTunes and sync it with my Apple TV. You can also stream your movies from your computer or an attached drive to the Apple TV. I sync some of my movies and stream the rest. I have not experienced any hiccups either way over my g network.

The Apple TV is a fantastic device, and I really hope that the Take 2 software and the new rental scheme makes it more popular than it has been.

luffx
Jan 23, 2008, 10:40 AM
awesome, my main concern was not being able to play existing movies (I still think it should have a slot-load dvd player on the front).

Any idea how MP4 works with 5.1 surround sound?

How about HD movies?

If I were to purchase one, I'd hope for the exact same quality as if I was using a DVD player.

thanks for your quick response. =)

MacBoobsPro
Jan 23, 2008, 10:40 AM
One click and I have access to 100 or so episodes of Friends, the entire Band of Brothers series, Dog the Bounty Hunter, Top Gear etc not to mention my 115 movies and all my music and photos.

Personally I think the ATV is under appreciated and until you actually buy one and fill it (and iTunes) with as much stuff as you can you won't see how great it actually is.

So far I have around 400GB of movies and TV shows and I am loving it. To be able to pick one film from 100s and play it within seconds is great. The more stuff you have on it the better it is in my opinion.

spice weasel
Jan 23, 2008, 10:54 AM
awesome, my main concern was not being able to play existing movies (I still think it should have a slot-load dvd player on the front).

Any idea how MP4 works with 5.1 surround sound?

How about HD movies?

If I were to purchase one, I'd hope for the exact same quality as if I was using a DVD player.

thanks for your quick response. =)

AFAIK, mp4 doesn't work well with AC-3 audio, so I'm not sure how apple is going to implement 5.1 passthrough with the new software. Over on the Handbrake forums there is speculation that it will be via a .mov container.

HD movies will be for rental only at this time. I hope that apple and the studios get together to offer HD purchases.

I've never purchased a movie through iTunes, but from what I've heard the quality is a bit lacking from what you'd get from ripping and encoding your own DVD.