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Gregintosh
Jul 20, 2009, 01:53 AM
Hey guys,

I am the proud new owner of an AppleTV! Got a 40GB unit from Craigslist for $200 even with AppleCare (good until March 2011!).

<<< EDIT: Just figured out how to sync iPhoto! Nevermind! I had iTunes synching off originally, didn't realize it was necessary to have iPhoto synching on too, thought you can do one or the other if you so choose, but I guess you can't have one without the other. >>>

While I have your attention, has anyone also had any luck importing DivX into AppleTV? I found a program called VideoDrive (free trial, costs $20 I think) that can convert files, but that is going to be a time consuming process. It can also do some "wrapper" stuff to fool iTunes and AppleTV into thinking that DivX files are actually iTunes files, BUT that will still require some sort of hacks to actually PLAY on the AppleTV given that the codecs aren't installed there.

Any idea of how to do this and experiences with the actual results?

I am especially interested in HD DivX files because I would like to be able to play HD rips on this thing!



fauzigarib
Jul 20, 2009, 02:04 AM
Hey there,

Congrats on your new purchase. I currently have 2 AppleTV's, and they have let all the dvd players in my house collect dust for the past many years. Make no mistake, this is the future of entertainment, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!! :)

However, the AppleTV does have its own issues; not being able to play anything but .mp4 files being one of them. But more on that later...

I'm not at my ATV right now, so this is from memory... but when you select your appleTV from the devices list in iTunes, in the ATV page, select "Manual Sync". I would then go to all the different pages (Movies, TV Shows, Music, etc) and deselect the sync check box for all of them except photos. Then sync the ATV. This should dump ALL your photographs onto the ATV. You should then be able to browse them from the ATV.

Regarding the conversion process of video, yes it takes a while for the conversion to mp4. Depending on processor speed etc, it could take up to an hour or more for a normal 1.5 hr movie on the highest bitrates.

I have a mac, so I use a download manager (Speed Download by Yazsoft) to download from various sites, and then VisualHub to convert to mp4's. I don't know the pc equivalent, but I'm sure they're a dime a dozen.

Good luck and enjoy the ATV.

Fauzi

Gregintosh
Jul 20, 2009, 02:09 AM
Hey thanks for the warm welcome into the AppleTV community and the advice!

Have you attempted to hack any of your AppleTVs to play DivX without conversion? I saw a few sites on this, don't know how old some of them were though so I don't know if the methods they posted still work.

I guess I will have to do what you're doing for now though I would much prefer to skip the few hour wait for conversion.

BTW, the movies you are converting using Visual Hub, are they in HD resolutions? If so, does it keep the digital sound? And is the picture quality really HD?

(Obviously I am not expecting blu-ray like picture from downloads, but is it at least passable as HD -- cause to be honest a proper rental from iTunes in HD didn't look like good HD to me at all, in fact I thought the movie trailers from Apple played on the Apple TV looked better).

fauzigarib
Jul 20, 2009, 02:25 AM
Gregintosh,

Have you attempted to hack any of your AppleTVs to play DivX without conversion? I saw a few sites on this, don't know how old some of them were though so I don't know if the methods they posted still work.

Yes, I did... I had the ATV version of Boxee installed for quite a while on one of my ATV's... Loved it. From what I recall, it played avi, divx, etc. The problem with that was that each time there was an update for the ATV from Apple, boxee would get wiped. Eventually I tired of reinstalling it, and left it off.

I guess I will have to do what you're doing for now though I would much prefer to skip the few hour wait for conversion.


I'm doing now what I suspect most people do. My desktop (which doubles as my media server) is continuously downloading and converting. So yeah, it takes a while, but once you're in "assembly line" mode, you don't notice the wait, as you are continuously getting something newly converted, ready for viewing.

BTW, the movies you are converting using Visual Hub, are they in HD resolutions? If so, does it keep the digital sound? And is the picture quality really HD?

Hmmm... I'm not the most technical of people in this regard, but lemme put it this way. I recently rented the HD version of The Dark Knight from the iTunes store, and downloaded an SD version (subsequently converted using VH) off the net to compare. Comparisons were done on my HT which is running a Lexicon processor / amp combo, and a 102" widescreen screen.

The sound was the same on both. In a word, EXCELLENT. Yes, the digital stream is maintained in the conversion (again, the technicalities behind this are discussed in detail on the web, but in short, my understanding is that the digital audio stream is converted into AAC, which the ATV can play, and VH can convert into), and as long as you have a processor capable of converting this stream, you should be just fine.

The video: if the iTunes version was a 10, then the downloaded / converted version was no less than an 8.5. Again, I have all the bells and whistles selected on VH, and select the "Go crazy" in the quality section.

Suffice it to say that your investment in the ATV is certainly a wise one.

Enjoy,

Fauzi