A simple ATV question

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by dmm219, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. dmm219 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    #1
    We all know the limitations of the ATV. And we all know a BIG one that everyone continues to harp about is that fact the ATV won't play most media types.

    My question, is WHY? Why would Apple, not include the ability to play other formats? It can't be a hard thing to do. It can't be the studios, as a ton of other players all deal with the same studios and DO allow other formats.

    The argument that it would cut into Itunes sales seems spurious at best to me. If that's their reason, than they are not living in the real world.

    Apple does some incredibly stupid things from time to time...and this just seems like one of them to me...
     
  2. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    #2
    The reason is because the ATV is not primarily designed to playback your own encoded DVDs, despite the fact that this is probably its number one use by consumers. Apple wants you to purchase or rent content from them, which all comes in standard mpeg4 part 10 (h.264).

    And there is a reason why Apple chose this format: it's by far the best encoding algorithm currently in circulation. It's open standard, produces great results, and is scalable from everything from streaming Internet video all the way up to Blu-ray.

    What most people want is for the ATV to play DivX/Xvid (a crappy algorithm that came out of the Windows world) videos or mkv's out of the box so that they don't have to do anything special in order to get that latest blockbuster movie or tv show they got off the torrents to play. If you really want this, just hack the ATV. It's easy to do.

    EDIT: I forgot to add that Apple uses its own DRM, which it designed for use with AAC and h.264 files.
     
  3. Undecided macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #3
    Well, but the OP has a point: how is any of that any different from, say, an iPod? An iPod will play all your own MP3s, even though they expect (hope) you'll buy AACs from iTunes. How is the ATV any different from an iPod?

    By the way, hacking it is no guarantee. It's ability to playback 720p is limited by hardware, to less than 30fps. So, if you have a 720p/30 MKV, even after hacking, it won't be able to play it. You're still left converting it.
     
  4. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    #4
    iPods support mp3 and AAC, which is analogous to the ATV supporting regular mp4 and h.264.

    As for the ATV's framerate and bitrate limitations, this is simply the result of the hardware Apple uses. You can't expect older hardware to play the most processor intensive files. I'm not saying that an update from Apple wouldn't be nice, mind you.
     
  5. bucksaddle macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    I'd like to know what other formats the studios are supplying legal digital copies in and on what players are you referring to that can play these formats?
    I'm not including digital copies found on rare to find DVD's / Blu-Rays's here (because that idea is taking off a storm)
    You could mention the PS3 store / Netflix / Amazon streaming, but aren't they limited to their own device without hacking?

    Perhaps the "Real World" question you are really asking is: "Why won't Apple allow me to play all the torrent files i downloaded last night in MKV"
     
  6. mastershakess macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    Bel Air, MD
    #6
    Apple has said time and time again that the ATV was a "project" to mess around and experiment with. They probably just wanted you to play files from iTunes when they released it and guess what, it hasn't changed since they released it in March 2007. They don't care about the ATV :(
     
  7. mastershakess macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Location:
    Bel Air, MD
    #7
    Netflix is officially available through xbox 360, tivo and their own device. Netflix is unofficially available through much much more including PS3.
     
  8. bucksaddle macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Apart from the ability to rent or buy Movies (couldn't be done on the Apple TV in March 2007), and is still the exclusive Apple device to be able to rent HD Movies from the iTunes store
     

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