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View Full Version : Questions about the Apple TV before I purchase..




mabortdrummer
Jun 23, 2008, 05:56 PM
Is it really true that you can't buy HD movies off of your Apple TV, you can only rent them?

For some of you that own a Apple TV what are the benefits of having it?

Would some of you suggest getting the smaller drive or the bigger drive?
I would only be putting movies and some TV shows on my Apple TV.

Any thoughts or answers would help! Thanks!



Galley
Jun 23, 2008, 07:21 PM
1. True, but this may be a limitation imposed by the studios, not Apple.

2. Disc-free viewing of your DVDs, tons of free video podcasts, many in HD, access to your audio files and photos in your living room.

3. There's really no need to go for the 160 gigger if you have at least a 802.11g network. Audio is easy to stream, and even video should stream without incident at 2500Kbps.

consumedsoul
Jun 23, 2008, 07:25 PM
I have the 160gb for long trips w/ family/friends, etc. (can store the most amount of movies & tv, etc.)

1. True, but this may be a limitation imposed by the studios, not Apple.

2. Disc-free viewing of your DVDs, tons of free video podcasts, many in HD, access to your audio files and photos in your living room.

3. There's really no need to go for the 160 gigger if you have at least a 802.11g network. Audio is easy to stream, and even video should stream without incident at 2500Kbps.

tom1971
Jun 23, 2008, 08:09 PM
I have the 160gb for long trips w/ family/friends, etc. (can store the most amount of movies & tv, etc.)

I have the 160 GB as well. You can always add an external USB hdd after patching it.

MikieMikie
Jun 24, 2008, 07:14 AM
I have the 160 as well. I have synced my music and photos to it so my iMac doesn't have to stay on to act as the media server.

It's a real pleasure having all of my music instantly accessible.

DVDs are a bonus.

Avatar74
Jun 24, 2008, 10:58 AM
Is it really true that you can't buy HD movies off of your Apple TV, you can only rent them?

This is true. However, you can buy movies off AppleTV... the current problem is that a compromise is required in order to make the content compatible with the entire ecosystem... iTunes, iPod, iPhone, AppleTV. The chosen format and resolution of the movies available for purchase ensures that you can freely move and access content on all these devices. In the future, as mobile devices become more easily capable of viewing HD content and some sort of viable solution is provided to get around storage limitations (high bandwidth streaming, for example), I'm sure HD purchases will be available.

This also depends on agreement from the studios which may have agreed to the lower resolution format largely as a means of avoiding cannibalization of their DVD and BluRay sales.

For some of you that own a Apple TV what are the benefits of having it?

More than anything, it's really an elegant solution to harness the decentralized bandwidth, firepower and storage of your computers all under one interface from the comfort of your couch.

There's the obvious: Instant access to my library of movies, music, photos, etc. There's no unified agreement yet among audio/video device manufacturers to get TVs, DVD players, receivers, etc. to talk directly with computers via TCP/IP. There's also the problem of format changes. Format changes used to mean changing hardware. Now as new formats emerge, they mostly are just a software/firmware upgrade away.

What does that all mean for you as a consumer? It means you can experience content on your TV/stereo regardless of where it's downloaded and stored, and you can access and purchase content online without leaving your living room. You can also extend your content as far as your pocketbook will let you, adding the storage to your network rather than your living room to avoid clutter.

There are other solutions like XBOX Media Center, which are all fine in their own right... They serve somewhat different purposes from the AppleTV and I'm not here to criticize them. I'm just happy that many manufacturers are starting to wake up and move in this direction.

What I think AppleTV does differently, however, is the integration. The integration between AppleTV, iTunes, iTunes Store, etc. provides a pretty solid top-to-bottom ecosystem. Let's forget about content availability for a second, because that just takes time under any model... Netflix did not start with as many titles as it has today. But the IDEA was pretty great in principle. The pieces of the iTunes ecosystem all work really well as one.

The design also has an advantage over other systems... it's small, sleek, and silent. There is one fan, but it's never noticeable because the aluminum enclosure does most of the heat dissipation. If they had made this a more complicated swiss army knife type of device, it would compromise the form factor and make it clunky. Instead, you can keep the clunk hidden in your computer/server/bed room. This isn't critical for everyone, but not everyone wants their living room to look like hacker central.

Another advantage that is incorporated into the 2.0 release of AppleTV firmware is that you can control the system either on your HDTV or by way of a computer with iTunes. This is useful if you like using a keyboard to do fast searches, queue up media on the fly, etc.

Would some of you suggest getting the smaller drive or the bigger drive?

No real benefit to this, unless you have slower than an 802.11g wireless network. The local storage is necessary for rentals and purchases when initially stored on AppleTV, but it isn't necessary to store all your media there.

I have over 1.5 terabytes of combined storage over my network and I take full advantage of the drives I already acquired by setting AppleTV to stream content from my computers. You pay a premium for the larger internal drive that, if spent separately, would buy you a much bigger internal or external drive. You're paying $100 more to get 120GB more storage whereas you could buy a 500GB external drive for roughly the same. Plus, that's it... Once you buy the 160, though, you'd still have to expand it by purchasing an internal or external drive no matter how you do it (e.g. whether by mating the additional drive to a computer, or hacking the AppleTV to install it directly)... the added drive is still going to cost you the same either way. I'd spend that $100 on a 500 gig external.

The ONLY exception would be if you stored at any given time more than 40 gigabytes of rentals, as well as purchased content that you haven't synched back to your computer... or if you have slower than an 802.11g network and can't/don't want to use the ethernet port. The volume of rentals and purchases you're likely to do in a 24 hour period without synching purchases or deleting watched content is not likely to exceed the available capacity of the 40 gig model.

Hope this info helps... let me know if you have any other questions.

jb60606
Jun 24, 2008, 12:41 PM
Get the smaller drive, if you have a good wireless network. I have access to nearly a terabyte of movies and music on my 40GB ATV because of a good network.

ATV's primary benefit, for me at least, and aside from the obvious fact that it's a great way to consolidate you music/movie library; is the fortune it'll save me after I cancel my 'Premium' cable subscription (I'll still be keeping basic cable, as it's required by my building.)