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To buy or not to buy

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by crusher372, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. macrumors member

    #1
    With all the talk of a new :apple: tv coming soon I am torn. I was just looking to buy my first 160gb unit and now I am not sure I should. Does anyone think a new product launch would in anyway include a software update for existing units or am I a fool to considering buying now?
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    #2
    Keep any eye out for a used one. I picked up a 40g one a while back for about $80. I love it! I mainly use it to stream media from my iMac, I don't transfer/store movies or songs on the AppleTV
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    aarond12

    #3
    If the rumors are correct, the new product launch will likely be using the Apple A4 CPU. The current :apple:TV uses an Intel x86 laptop-style processor. Since they are not compatible, I think the old :apple:TV will be left behind.

    That being said, if you can stand being on the "trailing edge of technology", you can get an :apple:TV used for quite cheap, as Sportster said. Realize that the current :apple:TV has a spinning hard drive which will not last forever. Even getting a new hard drive and reloading it is a chore. I will bet the next :apple:TV will have flash memory as storage (if it truly needs it*), as the iPad and iPhone do.

    * When I had my :apple:TV, I only streamed things to it, not loading files onto the box itself. I use my PS3 for streaming now.

    -Aaron-
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    #4
    I'd also recommend used at this point. I got mine 18 months ago so I won't feel bad if they update in September but I don't think I'd buy new until I see what happens in September.
     
  5. macrumors 68020

    #5
    No one knows what is in the pipeline as usual for apple. Rumors have always been abundant. But the most prevalent one right now suggests there may be no way to put your own content on it. Basically locked to iTunes purchases. Dunno if this is true but if it is. I am out. On the other hand current revs will become even more abundant and cheap. Only time will tell. Trying to read apple's tea leaves is a fools game ... and probably more so when it comes to the AppleTV. If you like it in its current form factor and can find a price you like .. then buy it. If not wait. Its pretty simple.
     
  6. macrumors demi-god

    CWallace

    #6
    If Apple updates, the most logical time is at the September event, so I am waiting until then.

    If they do upgrade, depending on what that upgrade entails, it will be the new :apple:tv or the new Mac Mini for me.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    #7
    Ditto on the new ATV or Mini. I've had an ATV since right after they were introduced, and it has gotten a lot of great use over the years. (I actually use it more for streaming home movies, photo's and music than anything).

    I'm waiting to see if a new unit comes in at a reasonable price. If not, the new Mini is looking VERY tempting! Also, with all the latest news from Hulu, Netflix, and Apple regarding renting everything from movies to TV shows etc., I'm seriously considering my decision on what to get next, as I think I'm finally at the point where I'm ready to give up cable and the thought of satellite, and simply watch for free over the web, or pay for only the things I do watch, which is very minimal anyway.

    Either way, looking forward to something different this fall!
     
  8. macrumors member

    #8
    I just got a refurb 160GB ATV on Tuesday for $150. Was going to wait but I figured what the heck. I have about 130 movies and a handful of tv shows on an external HDD I can now stream to ATV so it's basically a very efficient DVD player for me. Plus I can rent/buy more, plus my music on the TV to the bose system, plus podcasts, plus radio, plus youtube, plus display our pictures. All controlled by an iPod Touch which is really pretty slick. Just going to skip the whole Blu-Ray phenomenon. The blueray video looks pretty amazing but the difference to me isn't worth it. No more discs for this guy.

    If a new ATV comes out and the OS can't be updated on my existing one, I still feel like I'm getting plenty for my money. After a year or so once the kinks are worked out, maybe I'll buy the new one and put the one I have in the office hooked up to the extra TV.
     
  9. macrumors member

    #9
    Really thinking I might go ahead and buy. The thought of having a few movies stashed on the unit for vacations sounds nice too. Hope they find someway to update the older units via software but if not it will serve a streaming purpose for a long time.
     
  10. macrumors 68020

    #10
    Whether or not the "new" (if there is really a new appletv in the pipeline) AppleTV comes to fruition, It would surprise me if the current model loses its existing functionality with iTunes, etc. Seems to me its at least a zero-sum-game. Having said that the "new" IOS working on the current AppleTV via a software update does seem a bit of a stretch on first look.
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Crunch

    #11
    I'm also interested in getting an :apple: TV. Will I be able to play movies that I buy through iTunes only, or is it possible to transfer movies to the hard drive in the Apple TV and then watch it? If so, does it support all common video formats or will it be a proprietary stuff only? Alternatively, would I be able to stream from my IBM ThinkPad T60p and Windows 7 and/or my newly purchased iMac and how does all of that work, if applicable?

    Thanks very much! :)
     
  12. macrumors regular

    eleven59

    #12
    that is the question..while all the rumors out there now (cloud, tv rentals etc), seem to suggest no hd or limited one, that doesnt mean specifically that it wont play your own content.... it could just mean that its strictly a streaming machine now... we'll just have to wait to see what they do with their "hobby"
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    Crunch

    #13
    No more HDD in the next Apple TV? Well, I've been enjoying the benefits of SSD's for almost two years and besides RAM, it is the upgrade to get for your main drive that has your OS, apps, and anything you load frequently. Maybe that's because it is also a form of memory. :D

    However, isn't a more spacious drive more appropriate for :apple:TV? The current AppleTV only has a 160GB drive, but that was considered a fairly spacious drive when it came out 2 1/2 years ago (early '08), if I'm not mistaken.

    Switching gears for a moment, I have Perian v1.2.1 installed, which is supposed to give Quicktime X support to play .mkv container files (AVCHD and 6ch. audio, is it?). QT X did do so just fine for a while, but now, all of a sudden, I get a message that MKV is "not a format that QT X can display". :(

    I'm still new to Mac OS X and the whole Mac experience (I'm LOVING it, by the way! :D) but MKV was never a problem that any of my media players on Windows 7, e.g. Windows Media Player (w/ standard K-Lite codec pack), Media Player Classic, and, of course, VLC.

    Speaking of which, VLC works great on the Mac as well, and I was stoked when I found out that there was VLC for the Mac as well. However, I would like to have at least one other player that will play most formats. I'm going to try MPlayer that someone recommended. Ideally, I'd like to use Quicktime X. Isn't there an advantage to QT X in terms of higher quality playback, or is that just a smoke screen?

    Finally, how do I go about playing MKV files on, or through(?), Apple TV? I read yet somewhere else that I would have to stream it or convert the files. Isn't there a loss in quality when converting from one format to another? And how would I go about streaming to Apple TV from my iMac?

    Sorry for the 20 questions. Inquiring minds want to know. :)

    Thank you again!
     
  14. macrumors 604

    gkarris

    #14
    I got mine a few months after they were introduced.

    It burned out a few months ago (the main board went bad - since it runs so hot).

    Waiting for the new A4 based one in the Fall... ;)
     
  15. macrumors regular

    #15
    The real question is whether or not you're willing to wait until September. While as with anything Apple-related we don't know for sure it seems a fair bet they'll integrate the Apple TV into the iOS line and that will happen at the annual iPod event. That means an A4 chip, which means x86 compatibility is out - a previous generation Apple TV wouldn't be able to be updated unless Apple are willing to release an x86 version of iOS.

    I'd say they have iOS running on Intel devices internal to Apple (since it is a derivative of OS X after all), but it seems unlikely they'd release it in a product for public consumption.

    As for the new one a lot of people seem to think it will be iTunes Store content only, but I somehow doubt that. I'll bet you can still stream all the content on your home network from a Mac, but you will also be able to stream TV shows and movies from the iTunes Store similar to Netflix on a 360/PS3/etc as opposed to downloading it to the local storage on the device as you would now.

    Does the current offering fill your requirements? If so, grab a cheap refurb and you're set. If it doesn't or you're content to wait, see what comes up in September and make a decision from there.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    Crunch

    #16
    What's the best way to stream content?
     
  17. macrumors regular

    #17
    You could import all your movies, TV shows and what have you into iTunes using iFlicks on a Mac, then simply have the Apple TV play it over your network without loading any content onto the device itself. That's more or less how it was designed to run, and iFlicks gives the extra benefit of allowing you to import and play stuff that you didn't buy through the iTunes Store. It'll also transcode or re-containerise things that wouldn't normally play natively on the Apple TV.

    If you don't want to use iTunes, you could flash the Apple TV using a patchstick and point it to a network share natively or use an XMBC/Plex/Boxee front end for extra graphical goodness.

    The iFlicks method has the advantage of letting you have all your media in the one spot and easily shared with anything that can use an iTunes library (Home Sharing to other Macs, etc) and it has particularly awesome metadata lookup. Using a different front end (like Plex) means relying on it to use scrapers to pull the right metadata, which may or may not work depending on how your media is named wherever you've got it stored.

    Both have advantages although the lack of decent 1080p playback on the Apple TV will be a no sale for anyone invested in .mkv Blu Ray rips. If you're doing SD or DVD quality stuff, you should have no problem.
     
  18. Guest

    #18
    I'm also waiting for the next appletv. The changes are too big to pull the trigger now.
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    #19
    Depends on use frequency. I seldom use mine since buying movies via the internet is old hat for this house now.

    Just got the new mini and yes it costs much more, but for us it can do everything including being a main computer.
     
  20. macrumors 6502

    Crunch

    #20
    @retiuclate and anyone else who can help: Thanks for your responses! Unfortunately, those pesky .mkv container files is what I have quite a few of, so there must be another way...? Both VLC and Quicktime X (QT 7 Pro works for Snow Leopard as well) have streaming options and Perian makes Quicktime X compatible with .mkv's. I have actually never streamed anything out of my computer, but I'd love to learn right now.

    Please help! :eek:

    Thank you!
     
  21. macrumors demi-god

    CWallace

    #21
    It's possible Apple might just End of Life the current :apple:tv like they did with the PowerPC Macs. They might release an updated Front Row, but if Apple does transition the :apple:tv to iOS and makes it a "streaming" device with 1080p output, there is no real way to do that with the older model. At best, we might see something like iOS 4 for the iPhone, where the older :apple:tv lacks some features and functionality due to hardware limitations like the iPhone 2/3 vs. the 3GS/4.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    #22
    I am also considering whether to buy now or not...

    The thing is, it sounds like the new one may not have any onboard storage (or perhaps a relatively small amount of flash storage)

    One of the main things I want to use the ATV for is as a music centre - I would use my MBP with iTunes to sync it but the ATV would be always on and I want to be able to play my music when my MBP/iTunes is not running. I would be using Remote on an iPhone to control it.

    I know no-one knows for sure, but do you think the new one will be able to play music without a computer/iTunes being on (as the current one can) - perhaps from a drive hooked up to an AEBS? or will it require iTunes to be running?

    On another note, can anyone confirm if it is possible to stream straight from an iPhone 4 to an Airport Express? (without a computer/iTunes running) A graphic on the AE Apple Store page seems to suggest this is possible and it says it works with iPhone but when I google it the answer seems to be that it can't be done...perhaps it's a new feature or perhaps the store page is just a little misleading...

    thanks
     

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