Looking to buy, have some questions first

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by stangdude22, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    #1
    I really like the idea of AppleTV, even more so now that comcast is downright ridiculous with there pricing and only getting worse.

    I have a few questions before I buy...
    I have an external hard drive, I have several dozen mp4 movies on it. Will this work? And what, if anything, is involved in getting it to work?

    ...I could of swore I had another question, but im tired and cant think.

    More to come tomorrow... maybe

    Thanks!
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #2
    The :apple:TV will play your MP4 files if they meet the specs given under 'Video formats supported' here. If your files don't meet these specs you can either transcode them so that they do, or you can hack your :apple:TV.

    The :apple:TV is designed to only play video files that are part of your iTunes library -- not like FrontRow, for example, which will access any movies in your 'movies' folder. You can use the 'Add to library' function in iTunes to add your files to iTunes, which will copy the files into your library unless you either deselect the iTunes preference 'keep library organized' (under 'advanced') first, or you can add the files to your library by holding the option key and dragging the files into the iTunes window (which will add them without copying). Again, I think that hacking your :apple:TV is an option, but I don't have any experience with this.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    #3
    OK, that brings up some more questions. Do i plug the ext hd directly to :apple:tv, or make the movies part of my iTunes Library on my main pc. I cannot network my macbook to my pc because OSX doesnt like Vista Home...

    Sorry for all the questions, I will probably just drive down to the apple store later to play with it in person. that will answer alot of my questions.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #4
    If the format is supporrted by iTunes, you can link it directly to the machine hosting your iTunes library

    If not, you can hook it directly to your ATV.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    #5
    Sweet, yeah, I got my movie to work on Itunes. So that is really good to know. Look out, no more cable bill!!
     
  6. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    #6
    Be aware - you CAN NOT hook an external hard drive to the AppleTV without hacking it.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    #7
    Thanks for the heads up. That is good to know. how hard is it, and what is all involved in hacking?
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #8
    There are guides on how to do it, so it's not too hard if you follow step by step, also you don't have to open up the :apple:TV.

    I'd suggest not hacking though, just get your movies to play in iTunes via VisualHub or Handbrake and then sync/stream them to your :apple:TV.

    The quality of the HD rentals on the :apple:TV are superior to those available on Cable TV, especially during fast sequences.
    You can even obtain HD movies from the internet ;) , and convert those using VisualHub and enjoy them on your :apple:TV.

    It's a great purchase, especially if you have a bunch of mp4s or m4vs or movs on your computer already.

    I've hacked my :apple:TV but i wish I wouldn't have, after I watch the HD rentals that are stored on there right now I'm going to restore it to get rid of the hacks.

    Just picture all of your movies beautifully organized in iTunes, and you accessing all of them from your couch on the :apple:TV, all with complete metadata and cover art!

    I just got my :apple:TV, so far the only movie i have on it is a 720P version of Transformers that I obtained (less than legitimately) It plays beautifully and I'm gonna convert all of my DVDs using handbrake soon!
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #9
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #10
    Why do you want to get rid of it?
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #11
    I could never get ATVFiles to work properly, and appleTV has trouble with MKV anyway.
    there's no "Movies" folder in ATVFiles even though I set it up per the online instructions, and transferred movies to it! and installed perian.

    I've given up on not transcoding my movies, VH and HB give indistinguishable copies. So I have no use for the hacks anymore.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    gcmexico

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Location:
    New York City
    #12
    **
    I was going to post the samething...you can stream the content from the external drive through itunes to your ATV (that's how I do it)...love the ATV
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #13
    you need to creae that folder on your aTV trhough Terminal or Fugu.
    skype me and I help you to do it.
     
  14. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    #14
    ... or just lose the hacks and carry on trouble free ;)
     
  15. macrumors 68000

    wwooden

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Burlington, VT
    #15
    Exactly..I thought a lot about hacking my AppleTV. But it doesn't take much to convert a file to the proper format and then everything it organized nicely in iTunes and on the AppleTV.

    For the OP; I run my AppleTV on a wireless "G" network from my iMac G5 with an external USB drive and everything works great, very smooth. All my stuff is in SD, mostly ripped DVD's or tv shows and I love it. I actually rip all my TV shows at iPod High format so I can then watch them on my tv and my iPod. For the slight difference I see from the DVD to the iPod format, I don't mind because I like having the option to watch the tv episodes where ever I want.
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #16
    I'm not sure that any file that will play in iTunes is guaranteed to play on the :apple:TV. The :apple:TV is pretty picky -- the files have to meet the requirements on the spec page (posted above). I think that iTunes is capable of playing files that are higher resolution or higher bitrate than the :apple:TV will accept (without hacking). You can view your file in QT and select 'Show movie inspector' (in the 'Window' menu) or view the file in iTunes and 'Get info' (under 'File') to find out the details on your movie(s).
     
  17. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    #17
    Alright, I got it!! So far, it is working flawlesly. I am able to access all my files via iTunes. Very nice product.

    Im calling the cable company tomorrow to tell them to come pick up there ugly box!!
     

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