Apple TV useless

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by qnssekr, Mar 15, 2013.

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  1. macrumors member

    Oct 20, 2011
    Hi, I am more of a lurker here but I just feel a need to vent about apple tv. I love apple products but i have to say this is the biggest disappointment.
    I just bought apple tv 3 and I feel like it's pretty useless. I can view more content hooking up my macbook pro to my tv than whats inside this box. Mirroring is a great feature but to spend $100 just to mirror is kind of ridiculous.
    I also feel like the remote is poorly designed. Why didn't apple incorporate the ipod click wheel on the remote for easier navigation and sturdiness? The plastic navigation wheel and buttons on the remote feels like it will break clicking it so much.
    apple tv is 7 years old and this is all apple has to offer?
  2. macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    Well, the point is you don't have to connect your Macbook Pro and have cables strewn across your room. You can stream anything in your iTunes library without tying up your MBP (they will stream in the background - you navigate through the Apple TV interface).

    If you have streaming services that aren't supported by the Apple TV, it's not something that was hidden by Apple before you bought it. For instance, Amazon. In that case, you just play it on the MBP and mirror (or direct connect…). It sounds like you didn't do enough research on what the device can and cannot do.

    Most of the time, I've been using Netflix. I would say YouTube is next, as it's easier to share with others in the room. Although, a lot of times I'm perusing videos on the iPad and I'll just set it to output the video to the Apple TV using Airplay.

    The remote is more substantial than the small plastic one they used to sell. I don't use it, for the gen 3 anyway. I just have it setup on a Harmony Remote. Since I still have a gen 1 (it has built-in storage, in case you are wondering why I have both), I paired the Harmony to the gen 3, and the new Apple remote is paired with the gen 1, which I don't use as often. (The nice thing about the gen 1, which has a 250 GB drive in it, is I have a lot of movies and my entire iTunes music library stored locally on it so I don't have to rely on the MBP being awake.)

    Another option for the remote: if you have an iPhone or iPad, use the Apple Remote app. You can directly navigate libraries and also use it to control the Apple TV's interface.
  3. macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Jeez didnt we just have have a thread almost exactly like this just a couple days ago. If you can't see the value in it then don't buy it. In my house we have 4 different media streamers and the Appletv has supplanted all of them with the exception if live tv for which we use others. We airplay, AirPlay mirror, Hulu, Netflix and stream content from my Mac Pro running iTunes. We use the remote App which is awesome because we can hide the Appletv behind the tv. Anyway. If it isn't useful to you, so be it but for many of us it is indispensable. The only thing it lacks is a few streaming services such as amazon instant/prime (but most of amazon prime content is available on Netflix anyway).
  4. macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    correct a 99$ device does not do as much as a 1K+ laptop, as for the remote again its to keep it a $99 device my harmony remote was twice the cost of the ATV
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

    Sep 2, 2008
    Metro Kansas City
    You mean this one?

    Waaah, waaah, waaah. Why do people always whine AFTER they buy something? Don't they research things first?

    The ATV has to be one of the best things I added to my media setup in a long time - AND for a good price!
  6. macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Yep that's the one. Why don't people research things first? Frankly I have no idea. I hardly buy anything without researching it! Heck last night I spent about an hour researching pillows for my toddler! It was a $32 purchase at amazon and I spent an hour researching (although in my defense I spend a lot more time buying the right items for my child than I do for myself). I rarely buy anything without researching especially items that will cost me more than $20.

    You need to get the right tool for your life style.

    It always amazes me when people come on these forums and complains that X doesn't do Y or A doesn't do B. You know what? Every review site usually tells you that X doesn't do Y and A didn't do B, but you chose not to even spend 5 minutes figuring out what would work for you and then come here complaining. Guess what? My Ford Escape can't carry 8 adults and my Expedition doesn't get 25MPG. 5 minutes on a review site would tell you that! Good Grief. Sometimes I wonder if people just come to these forums to complain and pretend to own said device.
  7. macrumors 65816


    Oct 31, 2010
    same here, i take a long time deciding if I want to buy something. First i read reviews. watch a few unboxings and youtube reviews, then i go back and read more... then i decide I dont want it ... then I see that it would be really cheap and out goes the CC... lol

    that's what happened when i got the apple tv. staples had it @ $99, but with coupons and those GCs from plastic jungle, etc dropped the price to $73 incl. CA tax. Bought some other rebate items at a $16 profit and voila an Apple TV for only ~$45.

    I have to admit, I wasn't sure about this one. I did have a cheap netgear streamer that i barely used (partly because it was slow and annoying and the netflix app was particularly slow and well.. annoying.).. but I've been using the ATV more and more. Glad I went for it.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2012
    Great White North
    maybe people that live alone don't see as much use, but in my house the video library is on my computer, and id be a pain if i needed to do some work or something and someone else was watching something with my computer plugged into the TV, ATV solves all this by streaming.

    for me airplay is HUGE with all the sports apps i get on my ipad and stream to the ATV with ease
  9. macrumors 65816

    Aug 2, 2008

    Yeah it is ridiculous that the Apple TV is only $100 when the Airplay festure alone is worth more.
  10. macrumors 6502

    Sep 28, 2012
    Had my atv for two weeks now and love it. Hint download plex. I'm happy with my atv. That said I also have a roku 3 on the way so I can have the best of both worlds. Atv in the living room roku in the bedroom perfect harmony. Plus it's nothing to unplug and move around .
  11. macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2009
    Sorry, but it seems like you have no one to blame for all this other than yourself. All these things you're complaining about? They're well-documented on Apple's own description of what the aTV is capable of. These aren't hidden issues.

    The remote that Apple gives you is not the remote you need to use. If you have an iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, you can use the Remote app to control your aTV. You can also set up a universal remote for it. I've got a Harmony One remote that I use to control everything in my place, so the aTV remote is just superfluous anyway.

    Why would you spend $100 on something before doing the due diligence? It's not like you had no resources available to find out about this stuff. You said it yourself, you've been a lurker for years, so why didn't you take a hint from any of the numerous threads where people ask questions about the aTV and ask a few yourself?

    Really, what were you expecting the aTV to do that it doesn't offer?
  12. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2012
    Boston (aka Red Sox Nation)
    Return it.:eek:
  13. macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    I use my "useless" ATV every day for music, video, Netflix, movie rentals, YouTube, etc. I must be doing it wrong because I find it very useful, and it's not exactly a major financial investment at the price. Sure it could do more, and I'm sure it will sooner or later, but what it already does is well worth the cost to me. If it doesn't meet someone's needs already, then that's fine, move on and return it, or better still, don't buy it in the first place.
  14. macrumors 6502

    Apr 1, 2011
    United Kingdom
    I use both my "useless" ATV's everyday but then i got mine quite sometime ago & atv2's are just that little bit more useful :D
  15. macrumors regular

    Oct 10, 2012
    I don't have the time to use my 2 ATV 3s anymore than I do. Then again, I went from watching almost no TV as I haven't had cable since well before streaming even existed and only watched rented DVDs and the odd over the air sporting event.

    Now I sometimes feel guilty about how much I watch since I picked up the ATVs. For someone in my situation Netflix is a cornucopia and iTunes rentals simply save me a trip to the Video shop (not to mention the late fees, tho the desperate shop owners were beginning to forgive those more often than not).

    For example, currently watching season one of the West Wing, a show I never watched when it first aired. Only six or so seasons to go! I also hooked one ATV up to an audio system and regularly stream my music collection on my computer around the house.

    Yeah, I find the ATV 3 almost too useful.
  16. macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    What were you expecting the Apple TV to do?

    Personally, I absolutely love the remote. I don't think navigation is tricky at all (other than the initial entering of passwords and such), and I've never had the feeling that it would break.

    I love my ATV2 so much I got an ATV3 for my other TV for Christmas...

    Use this as a lesson, don't make uninformed purchases.
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 5, 2009
    The Apple TV is a great device, IMO.

    There are only two things I completely dislike:

    1. The Movies menu. It's completely useless if you have more than 50 movies. An endless list of movies going down. Besides, the artwork always takes ages to load. Don't they save it to the little memory the Apple TV has?

    2. Not being able to connect an external HD or at least stream from just an Airport Extreme. I have no desktops in my house, so having to open my laptop every night is kind of a PITA.
  18. macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2008
    the only thing i find lacking, is apps

    app wise i just want to use the apple tv as a way to get a slingbox feed around the house without using a secondary device and airplay.

    other than that i couldn't ask for much more out of a $100 box that requires no dicking around.

    give me a slingbox app that works half as well as the netflix app and i'll be on cloud 9.
  19. macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2010
    Mine was so useless I went and bought 2 more to go on the other TVs in the house so I wouldn't have to move it around. Equally useless is the ability to easily set parental controls so my kids can use the device without any oversight and I don't have to worry about them watching something in the library inappropriate. I've also shown off the ATV's capabilities to at least 4 other people, all of which found it so useless they all bought one within a week, and now use them regularly. So... I guess it's just a matter of preference and expectation. :rolleyes:

    I do agree that the artwork could load faster, and I do wish that there was a way to get to the local library a bit faster (Computers -> Library -> <library list> is a bit too many clicks, when it's my primary destination 95% of the time.) I'd like to see an option to place an icon to a library directly on the main screen. But, that's minor.

    To help with movie scrolling, I'm meticulous about placing movies in genres to categorize them. It's easier to scroll through 60 sci-fi movies or 80 action or 45 drama or 55 horror than it is to scroll the ENTIRE library. OTOH, hitting "down" and watching 400 movies fly by does impress visitors. :cool:

    Actually, that does make me think of one other change I'd like to see: when a movie has multiple genres separated by commas, those should be individual genres that show the same movie in each. That way if a movie is "Action, Adventure" it shows up in both the "Action" genre and the "Adventure" genre, instead of creating a genre called "Action, Adventure." The latter action causes inconsistent and confusing genre groups and requires that I micromanage the genre setting in subler.

    That's it, I'm taking them all back. Totally useless.
  20. macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL

    Hahaha, this just delivered today:

  21. DP812, Apr 14, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013

    macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2009
    These are two things I wish the aTV had. I keep hoping that a software update will come along to make Home Sharing more like the aTV menus for the iTunes Store and Hulu Plus.

    An external HD or streaming from Airport would also be at the top of my list for future devices. I would love it if I could watch movies without turning on my MBA and running iTunes. Hopefully Apple will wise up with the aTV 4.

    Yes, more apps are sorely necessary. The only reason I'm even interested in jailbreaking is because of all the channels Plex has on it.
  22. Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    What does Apple TV not do that you thought it did when you bought it?
  23. macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2012
    People buy Apple TV after seeing how easy it is to use. Then when they buy it I further blow their minds by taking it over with my phone. For 100 bucks it is simply easy.
  24. macrumors 65816

    Dec 7, 2010
    You bought something without really researching it, then go on the internet to whinge about it.


    *slow clap
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2012
    Great White North
    the phone remote is cool, i find it mostly useless though, if im watching something and need to pause, its not ideal to swipe to unlock, open app, wait for it to reconnect if it needs to, and then pause. i still think standard remotes are more functional. remote app is great if you're having a party and want to change around the music though!
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