Is Apple TV the (previously rumoured) video-Airport-Express?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Steven Jackson, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. macrumors 6502


    A couple of years ago I seem to remember MacRumors talking about a possible video Airport Express. It never appeared. Or has it?

    Is Apple TV the long awaited video Airport Express?

  2. macrumors 6502


    The obvious answer is yes.
  3. macrumors 6502

    If it is, these things must be in development for a heck of a long time. I wonder what marvels they're working on now. Actual time machines, probably...

  4. macrumors 68000


    It is? Lets see here is what the Airport Express does (taken from Apple's store):

    Play iTunes music over your wireless network to your home stereo or powered speakers

    Nope - only plays on the ATV device, not controlled through iTunes. Must be connected to a TV to navigate.

    Share both a broadband Internet connection for up to 10 users and a USB printer.

    Nope ATV wont do this.

    Extend the range of your wireless network

    Nope ATV wont do this

    No separate power supplies or cables required

    Nope got to buy cords for ATV
  5. macrumors 6502


    Still i'd say yes. The product was a rumor. It's likely someone saw the development of :apple:tv and it's streaming capabilities and assumed it was a similar product.
  6. macrumors 65816


    You're correct in that it's not controlled through iTunes and must be connected to a TV to navigate.

    However, you're incorrect about "only plays on the ATV device."

    Nothing plays ON the AppleTV device... It's just an ethernet bridge with hardware that runs a user interface. Unless you meant that you have to play music through to whatever TV your AppleTV is connected to... which is still incorrect.

    The way to do this properly if you have a stereo or surround receiver is to connect either the analog audio outputs or the optical digital audio output to your receiver, and then the component video or HDMI connector to your TV.

    Voila... Sound on your stereo/surround system, picture on your TV.

    Initially I was thinking it would be nice to control AppleTV from iTunes just like AirPort Express, as an option... but after using the onscreen interface I can't even remember why I thought accessing through iTunes would be useful. The onscreen UI is so much more organized, larger and better suited to this type of thing... and since the UI is run off the AppleTV's own internal processor and memory, it doesn't tax the resources of my laptop or desktop if I want to use them for other things simultaneously.
  7. macrumors 6502

    It isn't a router...
  8. macrumors demi-god


    One can fry eggs on it pretty good though!! :p

    I own one and love it!!
  9. macrumors 68000


    Wrong. If you have your songs synced to the ATV it plays without iTunes being open. So its playing off the ATV not being streamed as audio like on the AX.
  10. macrumors 6502

    lol. Does Leopard's Time Machine count?
  11. macrumors 68040


    Well, yes. But you can also play off any iTunes installation on your local network via streaming, so in that way it's similar.
  12. macrumors 68000


    You mean its streaming the file and not processing it on the ATV? Got any proof of that? I can't imagine that is the case - its much easier to off put all the processing to the ATV for all events.... I would assume the file is streamed to the ATV and then processed on it (I know the video's are by looking at my computers recourses while streaming to ATV)

    EDIT: as further proof the audio is decoded on the ATV when streamed the music is not played as it has too on the AX - it has to be playing in iTunes to stream on AX, but not with ATV.
  13. macrumors 65816


    Two things:

    1. As I said before... nothing plays ON the AppleTV. Yes, you can play content FROM the AppleTV to an external device like a TV or a stereo, but nothing plays "ON" it. Maybe I'm just being unnecessarily clever... but believe it or not there are some fencesitters who actually do not understand that the AppleTV is not, for example, a TV.

    2. I don't synch my music. I don't know about 802.11b but the AppleTV has no problem streaming music over 802.11g... even 24-bit Linear PCM.

    Additionally, unlike the playback mode when connected to Airport Express, iTunes on the streaming computer doesn't actively "play" the file in the foreground. iTunes only establishes the link with AppleTV to allow the file to be read and bitstreamed directly to AppleTV. There's a significant difference in terms of the resources being used on the streaming computer.

    I haven't actually metered the difference in terms of outbound network activity and/or drive activity but Airport Express's method of streaming is considerably more resource-hungry on the computer side because it's playing the file in real-time, then transcoding and transmitting it... some people reported, though I am not certain if this is fact, that it is transmitted as encrypted 320Kbps AAC and then transcoded to Linear PCM (assuming you use the optical output).

    The AppleTV has a more powerful internal processor for audio, and a separate one driving the UI, and I suspect that the raw data is bitstreamed directly from a streaming computer to AppleTV and then demuxed and transcoded directly to Linear PCM via the audio chipset on the AppleTV.

    To wit... On a G4/933MHz I'm streaming 24-bit Linear PCM to a wireless router over 100baseT ethernet, and from there over 802.11g to AppleTV while doing upsampling DVD rips in the background on the host machine.

    Try doing that on the same machine but playing audio over AirTunes to AirPort Express. Not the same deal.
  14. macrumors 68000


    Um yes you are being unnecessarily "clever". But it does play on the ATV - you can view it on the TV or a monitor but it is played weather you see it or not on the ATV - much like a CD player can be playing a CD even though you can not hear it.

    Thats what I said above.
  15. macrumors 65816


    <deleted post - duplicate>
  16. macrumors 6502

    The Apple TV is most definatly the rumoured "airport video express" but is much different than the airport express in that it's not an access point :p

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