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View Full Version : Should I buy an Apple TV?




SeanEE89
Jul 26, 2009, 11:25 AM
I have a MacBook, and I am looking into getting either an Apple TV or Mac Mini to play movies off of my television. Do I have to save what content I watch on the Apple TV or could I stream it from my MacBook? Also is there any true benefit to get an Apple TV over a Mac Mini aside from it being cheaper?



waloshin
Jul 26, 2009, 11:33 AM
Get an xbox 360.

TwinCities Dan
Jul 26, 2009, 11:36 AM
Yes, you can stream to it (but your computer must be running). The :apple:TV is very cool but many are thinking/hoping there may be an update in September, if you can wait. ;)

SeanEE89
Jul 26, 2009, 11:40 AM
Get an xbox 360.

I already have a 360. It won't sync with my iTunes though. 360's only sync with Windows Media Player unless you get that one program I dont remember the name of it and even then Idk how well it'd work.

GoCubsGo
Jul 26, 2009, 11:44 AM
Get an xbox 360.

^ Why don't you give some insight into your reasoning behind this giving both the pros and cons of having an XBOX, which you basically have to hack, over an ATV or Mini? :rolleyes:

SeanEE89, as a former owner of the ATV and now an owner of the Mini being used just as you want to use yours I can say that my reasoning behind selling the ATV and getting the mini was the mini does everything the ATV does and so much more. I don't need to worry about an update breaking something with my hacked ATV. I just find that the possibilities are nearly endless with the Mini over the ATV. Sure, you spend more but you also get an entire computer.

steviem
Jul 26, 2009, 11:47 AM
I'm thinking about an AppleTV because I want to be able to buy TV shows and movies through iTunes and play them on the TV, which I can't do with my xbox 360.

NRose8989
Jul 26, 2009, 11:52 AM
The Mini hands down will give you better performance and functionality as a media server but it does comes at a price. The possibilities as a media server are endless. You can attach a eyeTV and record over the air HD local channels, then put Hulu Desktop to watch hulu.com (and it works with the apple remote). you pretty much could cancel your cable bill.

I myself have a Apple TV and the most you can do is run Boxee, but very slowly. at times I consider selling it but I really can't let go of it because I watch a lot of HD video podcasts and it's so convenient to stream them instead waiting for iTunes to download new episodes.

If you want to spend the extra money the Mini would be by far the best way to go but the Apple is still pretty handy if you dont want to spend $700. (or $500 for a refurb)

BORIStheBLADE
Jul 26, 2009, 12:32 PM
I have a MacBook, and I am looking into getting either an Apple TV or Mac Mini to play movies off of my television. Do I have to save what content I watch on the Apple TV or could I stream it from my MacBook? Also is there any true benefit to get an Apple TV over a Mac Mini aside from it being cheaper?


If your planning on using the Atv for exactly what its designed for and not stray too far then I would say yes.

If down the road you want to spend the time converting movies you own to Atv playable format, yes.

SeanEE89
Jul 26, 2009, 09:17 PM
If your planning on using the Atv for exactly what its designed for and not stray too far then I would say yes.

If down the road you want to spend the time converting movies you own to Atv playable format, yes.

I have a good amount of .MKV and some other format I can't remember at the moment and I have not found a decent converter for them that will convert it to a media format that iTunes will recognize. =\ any suggestions or ideas?

I also heard about plex and it is part of the reason I'm thinking Mac mini, but I can't get the applications that allow Hulu or anything to work on it so I don't know if I really want it for a Mac Mini.

BORIStheBLADE
Jul 26, 2009, 09:26 PM
I have a good amount of .MKV and some other format I can't remember at the moment and I have not found a decent converter for them that will convert it to a media format that iTunes will recognize. =\ any suggestions or ideas?

I also heard about plex and it is part of the reason I'm thinking Mac mini, but I can't get the applications that allow Hulu or anything to work on it so I don't know if I really want it for a Mac Mini.

I was under the impression plex uses Hulu?

SeanEE89
Jul 26, 2009, 10:22 PM
I was under the impression plex uses Hulu?

Oh it does. I just have been unable to get app that you have to install for it to work.

Also any ideas for a good converter that'll let me convert MKV into something that'll play on iTunes or anything?

jakerules133
Jul 26, 2009, 11:50 PM
Oh it does. I just have been unable to get app that you have to install for it to work.

Also any ideas for a good converter that'll let me convert MKV into something that'll play on iTunes or anything?


handbrake, it's the best converter, ever.

eVolcre
Jul 27, 2009, 02:24 AM
handbrake, it's the best converter, ever.

WHat's a good setting for .mkv to .m4v with the best quality? For reference, I convert my SD DVDs using the AppleTv preset, CQ bumped up to 63% with this custom string

ref=3:mixed-refs=1:bframes=3:me=hex:subq=7:b-adapt=2:8x8dct=1


File sizes are slightly larger but with storage being so cheap, it really isn't that much of a concern to me

pmcb
Jul 27, 2009, 02:39 AM
http://www.nullriver.com/products/connect360

if you already have an xbox360 dl the demo and give connect360 a shot,

you can choose a folder (i use Movies) and it streams all the content in that folder to your xbox, it also automatically shares your itunes movies. you can even share off an external hd plugged into your mac if you choose.

most types of movies can be played instead of just the ones playable in itunes.

ive used it for awhile and have never had any problems streaming music movies or pictures.

SeanEE89
Jul 27, 2009, 07:30 AM
http://www.nullriver.com/products/connect360

if you already have an xbox360 dl the demo and give connect360 a shot,

you can choose a folder (i use Movies) and it streams all the content in that folder to your xbox, it also automatically shares your itunes movies. you can even share off an external hd plugged into your mac if you choose.

most types of movies can be played instead of just the ones playable in itunes.

ive used it for awhile and have never had any problems streaming music movies or pictures.

I'll check that program out then. I have a PS3 also and I see they have a program for the PS3 so I'll have to check both out. =] see if I can get that up and running on my network.

jajohns8
Jul 27, 2009, 11:39 AM
I love my Atv.

I really enjoy being able to stream my Itunes content to my HD Television downstairs.

I think the interface is well thought out and easy to use. Setup was easy.

I might go the Mac mini route in the future, but for now the ATv is great.

northy124
Jul 27, 2009, 11:55 AM
OP I say get a Mac Mini and install Plex for play back of 1080p MKV's (if you have any).

Basically I'm in the get a Mac Mini camp ;)

brn2ski00
Jul 27, 2009, 11:56 AM
I am thinking the same thing and leaning towards the 40GB as I will stream most from an external HDD iTunes volume (in the future).

However, does anyone have any inclination as to whether this product will be updated/new versioned soon?

TwinCities Dan
Jul 27, 2009, 07:36 PM
However, does anyone have any inclination as to whether this product will be updated/new versioned soon?

Many are thinking/hoping there may be an update with the September iPod refresh. ;) :)

GoCubsGo
Jul 27, 2009, 07:37 PM
If it doesn't happen in September then I say it's time for Apple to jump ship. Really.

brn2ski00
Jul 28, 2009, 08:06 AM
Many are thinking/hoping there may be an update with the September iPod refresh. ;) :)

If it doesn't happen in September then I say it's time for Apple to jump ship. Really.

So its probably not a bad idea to just wait another month or so... I typically don't "wait" for Apple products, when I want it, I want it now. But since I am not too keen and officially decided on the ATv, maybe I can wait :confused:

zedsdead
Jul 28, 2009, 09:45 AM
So its probably not a bad idea to just wait another month or so... I typically don't "wait" for Apple products, when I want it, I want it now. But since I am not too keen and officially decided on the ATv, maybe I can wait :confused:

This isn't a typical Apple product with a yearly cycle. It hasn't been updated in since it's inception three years ago at WWDC.

northy124
Jul 28, 2009, 11:43 AM
So its probably not a bad idea to just wait another month or so... I typically don't "wait" for Apple products, when I want it, I want it now. But since I am not too keen and officially decided on the ATv, maybe I can wait :confused:
If your not set on buying it, I'd suggest you wait :) if it isn't up dated get the Mini as it has better playback options.

Like I said before Mini + Plex = Amazing :D

brn2ski00
Jul 28, 2009, 12:49 PM
If your not set on buying it, I'd suggest you wait :) if it isn't up dated get the Mini as it has better playback options.

Like I said before Mini + Plex = Amazing :D

The mini is 1. too expensive and 2. too many cables - rather just have an HDMI cable and power supply. Boom, done.

This isn't a typical Apple product with a yearly cycle. It hasn't been updated in since it's inception three years ago at WWDC.

Makes sense.

northy124
Jul 28, 2009, 12:55 PM
The mini is 1. too expensive and 2. too many cables - rather just have an HDMI cable and power supply. Boom, done.
Pfft, the cable excuse just cracks me up :p but I see your point on the cost side of things.

brn2ski00
Jul 28, 2009, 12:57 PM
Pfft, the cable excuse just cracks me up :p but I see your point on the cost side of things.

well, if I can get A/V in one cable with HD quality then why not, right?

yeah, I could get a 40GB refurbed ATv right now for $199 - not bad at all.