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Apple TV as a replacement for cable TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by bomadian, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. macrumors member

    I'm thinking of getting an Apple TV and canceling Comcastic, using Bit Torrent to download TV shows and play them on Apple TV. I've noticed that most stuff is in AVI format and converting these files to MP4 in Quicktime Pro takes an eternity and actually increases file sizes! Is there any efficient way of watching this content on Apple TV beacuse right now, after you consider the time it takes to download a show and then have to spend ages converting, i'll end up weeks behind the actual TV schedule. Thanks.
  2. macrumors 6502a

    You can just patch your ATV to enable support for additional file types.
    It is easy and works fine.

    PM me for more info
  3. macrumors 6502a


    After a cease and desist letter I received from my ISP I'm always a bit leery of BitTorrent.
  4. macrumors 68040



    I use my video iPod connected to a G4 tower and my TV as a cable replacement. Not quite as elegant as AppleTV, but works about the same. I love it.
  5. macrumors 65816

    I canceled my DirecTV service back in January. Now I (legally) watch all my favorite shows for free online. I supplement that with many video podcasts on my Apple TV.
  6. macrumors regular


    If you happen to find those same shows you watched on cable on the ATV it will still be cheaper.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    that is exactly what I do...save tons of cash...I have total control of what I want to watch...buy off itunes for my favorites show, there are multi passes for many of them...video podcast is GOLD, I still can't believe it's free!!! get most of my news through that...then there's the internet to watch tons of shows again for free...lately I've been watching some A-team shows...I will NEVER go back to cable...it takes like one or 2 days to get use to not having cable then you are set:D
  8. macrumors regular

    I use Miro which allows you to have a list of shows and will download them when available from RSS feeds. I then transfer them in the .avi format to the aTV. It works great and Sapphire even organizes and applies information to "most" of them for you. FTP to the aTV is actually very fast, on my network ~5-10 minutes per show if I had to guess.

    I don't keep TV shows to watch again and again like I do movies so I don't care about making a library of them.

    Actually considering selling my HD Tivo with lifetime because with the RSS feeds I don't even have to fast forward through the commercials because they've been removed by someone else.
  9. macrumors 65816


    I would love to do this, and to be honest... if I lived by myself I would be doing it. However, at this point, it all comes down to content. Apple is MAJORLY lacking content at this point. NBC isn't on there, Food Network stuff is minimal, DIY, HGTV, Bravo, History, etc. All are stations my wife watches for the most part, but Apple doesn't offer any/most of the shows on these stations.

    If Apple got these, and content other people want, the choice would be simple. Why spend $70/mo on mostly sh*t that nobody watches, when you can spend half that on content you can keep forever, watch whenever, watch wherever, and ALL WITHOUT COMMERCIALS! Nice.

    Content, Apple. It's all about the content. Make it happen.
  10. macrumors 65816


    On a side note, for those of you who HAVE made the switch, how the hell do you figure out what shows you WANT to watch? :) IF there are no commercials, how do you decide? Hahaha. :rolleyes:
  11. macrumors 6502a


    simple...you check out the channel's website, to see what new shows they have...that's how you get to see most of the shows too...say for instance NBC offers free full episodes of the Office, so does CBS of its staple shows, ect...this set up isn't perfect, for example my fiance loves Tori and Dean, I've searched everywhere but I can't find that show on the internet, so we have to wait till it comes out on DVD, for some that's not a big issue (like me), but for others that need instant gratification it might be a problem...again this setup does take a little getting use to, but it absolutely works

    *oh on a side note...I have my imac hooked up to my flat screen, so when I watch shows on the internet, I'm watching them on my tv, not computer...I love my set up
  12. macrumors 65816


    Yes, but how do you know that you LIKE the Office? If you only used the AppleTV you'd have never seen a commercial for it. How do you hear about them for the first time, and then choose to watch it.

    Most of the shows I watch now, I watch because I saw a commercial for it while I was watching another show. Know what I mean?

    I realize there are many solutions to my question. I'm just making a point.

    The AppleTV, by design, keeps you disconnected from advertisements. I wouldn't change it for anything, but I can totally see the benefit of commercials too. They keep you up-to-date with what is being offered, what is for sale, etc.

    I am wondering if people without TV/Cable, and just AppleTV, feel a bit more disconnected from their peers/the world.
  13. macrumors 68000


    If it were possible to get TV shows via Apple TV that were in HD, I might drop Cox Cable and go for it. But for the moment at least, the only place I know to go to see TV shows in HD is through a cable company or satellite provider. I can’t imagine that’s going to last, though.
  14. macrumors 65816


    Agreed. This is also a stickler for me. I want to BUY HD content from Apple. I don't want to rent it. Buying SD content seems almost stupid to me right now. It's like buying someone's old Cassette collection when DVDs are coming out. "Not that there's anything wrong with that." I just wouldn't do it, personally.
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Actually you can get a lot of shows form the major networks for free through their websites in HD with short commercial breaks (for a short period anyway). If iTunes/ATV would allow you to (at a mimimum) tap into the ABC feed for the same amount of time it would be golden!

    Too bad you can't write apps for the ATV and accomplish this. :)
  16. macrumors 6502a


    I don't feel disconnected at all..you can read the newspaper for advertisement, and the Sunday editions always give you the best info on what's on sale for anything...if you check the websites of the channels, www.nbc.com they will tell you all about their new shows coming up in the fall...and give you sneak previews...so there you go, who needs commerciasl!!! :D
  17. macrumors 6502a


    great point!
  18. macrumors G3


    I download my TV Shows within 30 minutes, and then convert it within 30 minutes (or an hour and 30 if it's HD). That's under 2 hours. Not long at all.

    For converting, I'd definitely get VisualHub. Worth the money.
  19. macrumors 68020


    That's analogous to music. I don't listen to radio, I haven't listened to radio for .... oh, 8 years now. How do I know what music is good? That's the great part: you discover it on your own and through friends. You're not spoon fed and told what to like, what's the Top40.
    You'll be surprised what music is out there if you just look, if you frequent the websites related to your tastes. Listening to Last.fm also helps. I'm always discovering news stuff, a lot of it free.

    The best way however, is to go to music festivals. I recently discovered Tortured Soul at a free concert in Toronto. I bought their CD and I'm hooked.

    Now, the process for "TV" shows is a little different, but it involves doing the legwork yourself. Keep your eye on your favorite directors, writers and actors and you'll learn about their new productions. You'll also notice shows on iTunes, watch the trailer and buy it.
    You also get the media talking about award winning stuff, websites covering them and YouTube chatting about it.

    Further, good TV shows are rare these days anyway. It's all reality TV and all the news talks about is gossip. I couldn't stand it which is what prompted me to pull the plug on cable. HD Podcasts are where it's at now... find a production company you like (ON Networks and Revision3 are great) and then browse their shows. You'll soon find stuff you like.

    Breaking up with cable can take a little getting used to so if you take the plunge, keep your convictions and expect to experience withdrawal until you find podcast/iTunes content that fills the void.

    You know. I do. I live alone and having the TV always on felt like company. That is really the only thing I miss about cable. Other than that, I'm loving not paying for TV that I don't watch, watching only what I want, and when I want to watch it.

    I figure that eventually, I'll have a pretty extensive library of only my favorite shows. It'll be like watching re-runs which is what's on TV the majority of the time anyway. At least I'll be watching re-runs that I like.
  20. macrumors regular

    I purchased my apple TV about 5 months ago and I have to say its one of my most used things I've ever bought (I'm watching a concert dvd I have on it right now). Really I rarely watch cable tv anymore on my tv except some HD stations like discovery HD, ESPN and MHD. I think one thing I would have to compliment my apple tv however is to buy an antenna to receive local stations just for news and bigger sporting events. But really its so amazing just watching through a season of tv series with no commercials at all (i just finished catching up with the office seasons 1-4)
  21. macrumors member

    Thanks, what is the quality like of the conversions? Quicktime is good quality but a 45 minute episode of Six Feet Under was doubled in file size when I converted to the Apple TV format from AVI. Nuts! I was going to go down the Patchstick route so I can play avi files on ATV but I don't need all the other features if offers, so if visual hub is good I will do that.
  22. macrumors 6502a


    I just don't want to watch my shows on the computer. I want veg out on the couch and watch. Watching a show, even for free, on a website in a small box is of no interest to me.
  23. macrumors 65816


    Agreed. I want to watch them all over my big screen.
  24. macrumors G3


    Well, in VisualHub when I convert a file, I just set the end file size to be the same as the original (have to enter it manually in advanced) and it comes out the same quality (well I can't tell the difference anyway).
  25. macrumors 6502a


    absolutley...that's why you get AppleTV which is connected to your big screen tv, once you download the file, you convert them and stream them to your ATV..or you can connect your IMAC to your big screen tv, and use the big screen as a 2nd display monitor...anything you are watching on the net, just have it show on the big screen...and if you want to take up a notch...connect your MBA to your projector!! then watch anything you want on an 80x80 screen!

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