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ottawaapplefan
Jul 25, 2009, 01:55 PM
Does anyone know if apple will keep in going with atv or drop it any time soon.



Gregintosh
Jul 25, 2009, 02:09 PM
From the looks of it I don't think its going away, though it doesn't look like Apple has much interest in it YET.

Perhaps within the foreseeable future (like up to a year from now) they will update it. I think it would be nice to make it faster so it handle better bitrates and resolutions as well as some internet features, and of course 1080p support would be great (at the time ATV was new 1080p wasn't as common as it is now, so an update there would help it keep up with the times).

I think at this point it would also be nice to add SATA support so we can get 500GB HDs in there without significant mods (perhaps sell a 500GB model off the shelf) and be able to upgrade in the future (no doubt larger 2.5's will be coming).

Perhaps if Apple starts adopting Bluray (I think I read somewhere on here that they added Bluray support in Final Cut Pro?), maybe we'll see an AppleTV with a Bluray slot loading drive built in.

My advice is if the device is intriguing to you know, buy it. Perhaps you can get a second hand one (like I did) and save a few bucks. And if they update it then you can ditch it and get the other one. At ~$150-$200 for a second hand one its not that big an investment especially if you can get even half of that back if you resell it should a new one come out.

designgeek
Jul 25, 2009, 02:20 PM
As they've said it's mostly a hobby device, I'd like to get one. I think they'll update it a little and if it catches on then it's here to stay. I certainly hope they don't drop it.

Gregintosh
Jul 25, 2009, 02:27 PM
I doubt it is gonna drop. I suspect that Apple TV is responsible for the lion's share of HD rentals on iTunes (if not total rentals), so the profitability for Apple extends far beyond any profits they may make on initial sales. I don't think they'd give that up without a very good reason.

Bjohnson33
Jul 27, 2009, 07:09 AM
I'm hoping they'll upgrade the Apple TV in September, along with the iPods. It seems like a product that's *almost* there... a few more improvements could make it truly awesome.

reebzor
Jul 27, 2009, 10:26 PM
Sorry for the hijack but I saw this thread and didn't feel the need to make a new one.

So do you guys think buying an appletv is worth it now?

I run boxee from my macbook to my tv and I love it, I would just prefer to have a dedicated device in which to run it. I love the appletv, the style, the function, the form factor... everything except I hear it has a tough time with HD content. If Apple updates it I will definitely buy a new one, I just don't know if it will be worth it to buy now or if I should just save and buy an older mini or something. If you were in the market for an Apple TV, would you buy now?

Tallest Skil
Jul 27, 2009, 10:28 PM
If you were in the market for an Apple TV, would you buy now?

I won't be buying until we get 1080p support.

GoCubsGo
Jul 27, 2009, 10:29 PM
I'll say it again, if there aren't any updates come September then I personally believe they should just ditch it like the HiFi.

zedsdead
Jul 28, 2009, 05:39 AM
I agree with the September timeframe. It makes the most sense, but who knows.

nutmac
Jul 28, 2009, 12:02 PM
If Apple TV is going away, I don't think we would've gotten 2.4 nor iPhone/iPod touch Remote app update. Considering how every single inexpensive media extenders on the market supports 1080p and additional codecs, I am hoping Apple TV will get both, although I strongly suspect codec support will be just as limited (please allow 3rd party codec install through app store!).

spice weasel
Jul 28, 2009, 12:57 PM
... Considering how every single inexpensive media extenders on the market supports 1080p and additional codecs, I am hoping Apple TV will get both, although I strongly suspect codec support will be just as limited (please allow 3rd party codec install through app store!).

I agree. The main difference between other media extenders and the ATV is that companies like Western Digital and Popcorn Hour aren't trying to sell you content as well. So long as Apple has the iTMS, I highly doubt it will open up the ATV to other codecs. The same can be said of the 1080p issue: the ATV won't go 1080p until Apple starts selling/renting 1080p content.

Because of its GUI, the ATV has the ability to be one helluva media extender. Unfortunately, it's currently being saddled by the iTMS, which in turn is dictating the hardware being used.

I think part of it is shortsightedness on Apple's part. But a lot of it probably has to do with Apple's business arrangements with content providers. Steve Jobs has done a very good job of simultaneously pushing content providers into digital distribution under terms that Apple dictates (ok, too strong of a word), while also soothing their fears that the whole venture will backfire and that soon the Internet will be full of digital content that people have ripped off. Opening up the ATV to other codecs - in addition to giving people more freedom to stray from the iTMS - also sends the message that Apple understands that people want to put their torrented avi's and mkv's on their media extender. It's all very true, of course, and would undoubtedly help sell more ATVs. Unfortunately for consumers, it's not really what media execs want to hear.

Bjohnson33
Jul 28, 2009, 04:04 PM
I wouldn't be surprised of the Mac Mini and AppleTV get merged into a single product. A lot of people tend to be using the Mac Mini as a HTPC because of it's substantial power compared to the ATV. The ATV also has a lot of restrictions compared to the Mac Mini.

jontucker
Jul 28, 2009, 04:18 PM
I'll say it again, if there aren't any updates come September then I personally believe they should just ditch it like the HiFi.

I assume you're basing that on personal experience?

GreatDrok
Jul 28, 2009, 05:18 PM
I agree. The main difference between other media extenders and the ATV is that companies like Western Digital and Popcorn Hour aren't trying to sell you content as well. So long as Apple has the iTMS, I highly doubt it will open up the ATV to other codecs. The same can be said of the 1080p issue: the ATV won't go 1080p until Apple starts selling/renting 1080p content.


I've got to wonder about 1080p content from iTunes since the studios would much rather sell people a Blu-ray. I've been very happy with the picture quality of the rentals from iTunes even though they are 720p rather than 1080p. I do have Blu-ray and HD DVD and they are definitely a little clearer but not so much that I complain at 720p which is way better than 480p.

I have a decently fast network connection (6Mbps) and HD content still takes a few mins to buffer and that is encoded at 5Mbps. 1080p is going to need to be more like 8-10Mbps so I would be faced with downloading more than half the movie before I could start watching it.

The benefit to me of the ATV is more about having stuff I watch available without having to dig through a pile of DVDs and also the loading times are much better. I mostly use it to watch my own stuff but like to rent now and then. I've only bought a few TV episodes and one movie which was hard to find on DVD. Mostly to own movies I'll buy the DVD if it is very cheap, or the BD. But for renting and on-demand watching of my own collection the ATV is really nice. Apple is absolutely right to keep it simple and not fart about adding things like BD drives.

dynaflash
Jul 28, 2009, 10:26 PM
I agree. The main difference between other media extenders and the ATV is that companies like Western Digital and Popcorn Hour aren't trying to sell you content as well. So long as Apple has the iTMS, I highly doubt it will open up the ATV to other codecs. The same can be said of the 1080p issue: the ATV won't go 1080p until Apple starts selling/renting 1080p content.

Because of its GUI, the ATV has the ability to be one helluva media extender. Unfortunately, it's currently being saddled by the iTMS, which in turn is dictating the hardware being used.

I think part of it is shortsightedness on Apple's part. But a lot of it probably has to do with Apple's business arrangements with content providers. Steve Jobs has done a very good job of simultaneously pushing content providers into digital distribution under terms that Apple dictates (ok, too strong of a word), while also soothing their fears that the whole venture will backfire and that soon the Internet will be full of digital content that people have ripped off. Opening up the ATV to other codecs - in addition to giving people more freedom to stray from the iTMS - also sends the message that Apple understands that people want to put their torrented avi's and mkv's on their media extender. It's all very true, of course, and would undoubtedly help sell more ATVs. Unfortunately for consumers, it's not really what media execs want to hear.
Imo, well said. Why on earth would apple have any impetus to open up the AppleTV to codecs which the ITMS does not distribute ? Just so that you're torrented files can play on it ? What possible motivation would they have for that ? Targeting the geek, bittorrent crowd is a nonstarter imo to gain any appreciable market share in the general sense. As well, avi is really a joke when it comes to modern containers, divx a bit less of a joke in terms of codecs, Matroska is a very nice open source container granted, but I can not believe there is any real motivation to support matroska when all of their content is delivered in mp4. I mean really, it's not like you can't transcode your other formats to by atv compliant if that's you're bag. Before ATV Take 2 I could see the lack of ac3 passthru as a real drawback, but now that apple largely spearheaded the introduction of ac3 pass thru in an mp4, personally I cannot see too many drawbacks to mp4 vs. .mkv even besides vobsub support. Just my .02

BORIStheBLADE
Jul 29, 2009, 07:39 AM
Imo, well said. Why on earth would apple have any impetus to open up the AppleTV to codecs which the ITMS does not distribute ? Just so that you're torrented files can play on it ? What possible motivation would they have for that ? Targeting the geek, bittorrent crowd is a nonstarter imo to gain any appreciable market share in the general sense. As well, avi is really a joke when it comes to modern containers, divx a bit less of a joke in terms of codecs, Matroska is a very nice open source container granted, but I can not believe there is any real motivation to support matroska when all of their content is delivered in mp4. I mean really, it's not like you can't transcode your other formats to by atv compliant if that's you're bag. Before ATV Take 2 I could see the lack of ac3 passthru as a real drawback, but now that apple largely spearheaded the introduction of ac3 pass thru in an mp4, personally I cannot see too many drawbacks to mp4 vs. .mkv even besides vobsub support. Just my .02

People don't want to spend countless hours converting their files.
I don't think other codecs = torrented files. A dvd can be put into a .MKV container in under 30 min.

People also have video cameras and might want to view those files on a Atv too. What if a mp4 isn't a good file for them?

IMO locking yourself to a few codecs isn't good because people will go somewhere else to get what they want.

dynaflash
Jul 29, 2009, 09:32 AM
People don't want to spend countless hours converting their files.
I don't think other codecs = torrented files. A dvd can be put into a .MKV container in under 30 min.


How, would converting to .mkv be any faster than converting to .mp4 ?

IMO locking yourself to a few codecs isn't good because people will go somewhere else to get what they want.
Possibly, though it has not seemed to hurt the iPods too much. I remember when the first iPod with video came out and everyone said it would not take off because it wouldn't play their .avi's, etc. and only played *very* specific .mp4 video with a specific atom to allow it to be transferred from iTunes. Only time will tell I guess.

nutmac
Jul 29, 2009, 05:25 PM
... as Apple has the iTMS, I highly doubt it will open up the ATV to other codecs. The same can be said of the 1080p issue: the ATV won't go 1080p until Apple starts selling/renting 1080p content.
Merely refreshing Apple TV's aging components (e.g., processor and GPU) to modern and similarly-priced equivalents should bring in 1080p support. When Apple TV came out, there weren't any 720p contents either (aside from trailers). While not in super high number, there are 1080p contents that can be fed to 1080p-capable Apple TV immediately, including home movies, YouTube, and movie trailers.

Imo, well said. Why on earth would apple have any impetus to open up the AppleTV to codecs which the ITMS does not distribute ? Just so that you're torrented files can play on it ? What possible motivation would they have for that ? Targeting the geek, bittorrent crowd is a nonstarter imo to gain any appreciable market share in the general sense.

While torrent is one of the major sources of AVI (XViD/DiVX) contents, it isn't the only one. Many foreign language contents are distributed in this and other codecs, as well as Flash video (I realize FLV is based on H.263 and H.264, but there isn't non-hacked way of playing it on Apple TV).

nutmac
Jul 29, 2009, 05:26 PM
... as Apple has the iTMS, I highly doubt it will open up the ATV to other codecs. The same can be said of the 1080p issue: the ATV won't go 1080p until Apple starts selling/renting 1080p content.
Merely refreshing Apple TV's aging components (e.g., processor and GPU) to modern and similarly-priced equivalents should bring in 1080p support. When Apple TV came out, iTMS didn't have any 720p contents either (aside from trailers). While not in super high number, there are 1080p contents that can be fed to 1080p-capable Apple TV immediately, including home movies, YouTube, and movie trailers.

Imo, well said. Why on earth would apple have any impetus to open up the AppleTV to codecs which the ITMS does not distribute ? Just so that you're torrented files can play on it ? What possible motivation would they have for that ? Targeting the geek, bittorrent crowd is a nonstarter imo to gain any appreciable market share in the general sense.

While torrent is one of the major sources of AVI (XViD/DiVX) contents, it isn't the only one. Many foreign language contents are distributed in this and other codec, as well as Flash video (I realize FLV is based on H.263 and H.264, but there isn't non-hacked way of playing it on Apple TV).

nutmac
Jul 29, 2009, 05:26 PM
... as Apple has the iTMS, I highly doubt it will open up the ATV to other codecs. The same can be said of the 1080p issue: the ATV won't go 1080p until Apple starts selling/renting 1080p content.
Merely refreshing Apple TV's aging components (e.g., processor and GPU) to modern and similarly-priced equivalents should bring in 1080p support. When Apple TV came out, iTMS didn't have 720p contents either (aside from trailers). While not in super high number, there are 1080p contents that can be fed to 1080p-capable Apple TV immediately, including home movies, YouTube, and movie trailers.

Imo, well said. Why on earth would apple have any impetus to open up the AppleTV to codecs which the ITMS does not distribute ? Just so that you're torrented files can play on it ? What possible motivation would they have for that ? Targeting the geek, bittorrent crowd is a nonstarter imo to gain any appreciable market share in the general sense.

While torrent is one of the major sources of AVI (XViD/DiVX) contents, it isn't the only one. Many foreign language contents are distributed in this and other codec, as well as Flash video (I realize FLV is based on H.263 and H.264, but there isn't non-hacked way of playing it on Apple TV).

BORIStheBLADE
Jul 29, 2009, 06:23 PM
How, would converting to .mkv be any faster than converting to .mp4 ?



How long does it take to convert a dvd to a .mp4?? At least 2 hours. Am I wrong?

butchseaman
Jul 29, 2009, 07:27 PM
i am not sure which way to go... ?

mac mini with plex or appletv

TRAG
Jul 30, 2009, 03:41 AM
i am not sure which way to go... ?

mac mini with plex or appletv

I ask the same question because I have a MacBook Pro and really do not need another computer.

The Apple TV can become better. Only time will tell. Apple TV's UI is really easy and look nice; however, if you want to play anything from an external HD or use other codecs and such, the only way to go is a hack. aTV Flash (http://www.atvflash.com/?gclid=CIX-45j6_JsCFQKHxwodlnXjTw) ($50), Boxee, and PatchStick (http://patchstick.ca/) are viable alternatives. As it stands, if I were to get an Apple TV today, I would hack with aTV Flash, get metadata and make all of my content look like it came from Apple or IMDB. I personally like to rip my DVDs with mactheripper. Then I'd convert it to the Apple TV preset using HandBrake. Or I could just save the time and use VIDEO_TS files.

Plex is really nice. Does everything Apple TV does except rent. But why do that when you're running on a Mac already? I just don't like how all of the content you get from its apps are in such poor quality. Can anyone explain this? :confused:

But I think a Mac mini is a better choice simply for the fact that you can do whatever the Apple TV can do plus more. It could rent from iTMS, run Plex, play DVDs, rip them, run 1080p, use external HDs… It's a desktop. I don't want the strain on my MacBook Pro. The mini could then in turn be an Apple TV. And if you get one in the future, the mini could be the server. Mini is the clear winner if you do not already have an extra computer or server.

Of course cost plays a role in this. Getting a 40GB Apple TV and stream is the best bet (if you want a computer on the whole time). Eventually, a 160GB would fill. 160GB ATV w/ aTV = $379 / 120GB base mini = $599 (not including kvm)

paduck
Jul 30, 2009, 04:26 PM
How long does it take to convert a dvd to a .mp4?? At least 2 hours. Am I wrong?

It depends on processor speed. I can do it in less than 90 minutes for a 2 hour movie. With time, as processor speeds increase, that number is going down. My G3 iMac took forever to rip an MP3 from a CD. Video was impossible. My G5 took 8 hours for a DVD. DVD ripping time will decline and become more attractive with time.

paduck
Jul 30, 2009, 04:31 PM
Does anyone know if apple will keep in going with atv or drop it any time soon.

I'm a big AppleTV fan and think it has an important role in the Apple lineup. However, Apple's lack of exhibitor status at the upcoming CES should be a concern as that is a natural venue to launch an updated AppleTV. Of course, they aren't showing off iPods there either, but still

dynaflash
Jul 30, 2009, 05:20 PM
How long does it take to convert a dvd to a .mp4?? At least 2 hours. Am I wrong?

.... and to convert it to an .mkv with same settings ??? I assume you are not suggesting just remuxing to mkv ... which you could also do to an .mp4 as well.

Shuttleworth
Jul 30, 2009, 05:31 PM
The same can be said of the 1080p issue: the ATV won't go 1080p until Apple starts selling/renting 1080p content.


And at the moment stores are full of cheap DVD movies and peoples houses are full of 32-42" LCD's, and no-one's complaining about quality. To Joe Public, the 720 capability of the appleTV on their 42" screen would be impressive enough not to want to pay through the nose for 1080 hardware or content. Anyone that wants that seems to buy a BluRay anyway.

BORIStheBLADE
Jul 30, 2009, 06:42 PM
.... and to convert it to an .mkv with same settings ??? I assume you are not suggesting just remuxing to mkv ... which you could also do to an .mp4 as well.

Do you know of a program that will remux a ripped DVD to a .mp4?

dynaflash
Jul 30, 2009, 07:18 PM
lol. Subler. I figured since you were arguing the merits of .mkv over .mp4 in terms "conversion" speed for .mkv being under 1/2 hour you were talking about simply remuxing ;)

In which case remuxing blu ray to either .mkv or .mp4 is ridiculous since currently the atv cannot play either at blu ray rez or bitrate very well. Just my .02

TuckBodi
Jul 30, 2009, 08:31 PM
since currently the atv cannot play either at blu ray rez or bitrate very well

Haha, hopefully not too far away, eh? ;)

aprofetto
Jul 30, 2009, 09:02 PM
My prediction:

AppleTV gains some type of app store. Simple games, much like in the current app store.

iPhones/iPods can work as controllers.

Ah, but who really knows.

BORIStheBLADE
Jul 31, 2009, 07:22 AM
lol. Subler. I figured since you were arguing the merits of .mkv over .mp4 in terms "conversion" speed for .mkv being under 1/2 hour you were talking about simply remuxing ;)

In which case remuxing blu ray to either .mkv or .mp4 is ridiculous since currently the atv cannot play either at blu ray rez or bitrate very well. Just my .02


I was implying that conversions take forever in general. I used remuxing .mkv's because Thats the only one I knew of that you could do that with.

spice weasel
Jul 31, 2009, 08:46 AM
I'm a big AppleTV fan and think it has an important role in the Apple lineup. However, Apple's lack of exhibitor status at the upcoming CES should be a concern as that is a natural venue to launch an updated AppleTV. Of course, they aren't showing off iPods there either, but still

Why would CES matter? Apple has never announced new products at CES. Increasingly, Apple has moved to its own media events for launches.

The Apple TV may or may not have a future, but I don't think we can put too much stock in whether or not Apple has a big presence at the 2010 CES as an indicator.

BORIStheBLADE
Jul 31, 2009, 08:20 PM
lol. Subler. I figured since you were arguing the merits of .mkv over .mp4 in terms "conversion" speed for .mkv being under 1/2 hour you were talking about simply remuxing ;)

In which case remuxing blu ray to either .mkv or .mp4 is ridiculous since currently the atv cannot play either at blu ray rez or bitrate very well. Just my .02

OK, I looked at Subler and its input files are AAC, AC3, H.264, MOV, MP4.
Not all that practical when Atv plays only files in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats