about to get an APPLE TV

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by davidcalvet, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. davidcalvet macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2008
    I have some basic questions that I do not know the answers, if somebody can help me it will be very helpful.

    As far as I understand, ATV will not play .avi files, but the movies my camera takes are all .avi.
    Is it the same format as the .avi I will get ripping a movie with handbrake ?
    Will ATV be able to play them (the ones in the camera)?

    If I have an .mkv file it wont play it neither, but in the case I could (with atvflash) does that kind of file have 5.1 surround sound ?

    If instead of a atv I buy a mac-mini, will the cable that will take the signal to my hd tv also take the sound in 5.1 ?
    will I be able to hear it from my home theater ?

    thank you very much for your time,
  2. captmatt macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2008
    I had an ATV and went to Mac Mini

    I had (still have but don't use) an ATV. I finally hooked the kids' mini up to the HDTV and have been extremely happy with it. I use an HDMI converter cable to get the signal to the TV and the picture is great. I use a 1/8 to rca converter for the audio and hook that up to the stereo. It isn't as good as optical or HDMI but it isn't to shabby either--surround sounds great on DVDs and Hulu.

    I wish I had never wasted money on the ATV. The mini does absolutely everything I wished the ATV could do but doesn't. Plus the Mini does a lot more.

    Hulu also now has an app for OSX that presents a great interface that actually works with the Apple remote. That has been the icing on the cake.

    ATV in my experience did not play Hulu videos without some measure of stuttering. It has gotten a lot better but it is still there. The mini plays them perfectly.

    I highly recommend the mini--it's just a bit more, you only need the base configuration--but much more capable.
  3. mrwr macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2009
    If you have the money to do it running a mac mini and something like PLEX will give you better results than an apple tv.
    You'll be able to play your videos from your camera without having to go through the pain of encoding them and you'll be able to play 1080p content which the apple tv isn't capable of.
    As far as hooking up the audio you'll want to use an optical cable if your surround receiver is dolby digital/dts capable otherwise you will only get dolby pro logic at best.
    You'll also have all the other things a computer can do hooked up to what is presumably going to be the biggest screen in your house!
  4. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    Is it me, or does it make sense Apple overhauls the ATV in a big way? CES seemed big on 3D HDTV (which won't be huge this year, but it's being pushed), and also set top boxes (boxee etc) which seemingly might be a big thing for more users.
    That and a Tablet invites the posisbility of a similar/modded Tablet OS to update ATV...
  5. scienide09 macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
    I agree with the recommendation of a Mini over the ATV. I've done some comparison, and in my opinion the extra cost for the Mini is well worth it. Throw in a wireless keyboard and mouse for an extra $50 and you've got a fully functional computer and media centre.
  6. mdgolom macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2006

    If the ATV can't play AVI files, there are free utilities out there (Quicktime?) that will convert to MP4 for you.

    As for the Mini, it will work, but the audio will be a problem. The mini has a Mini-Display port and you can get a cable to convert from Mini-Display to HDMI, but Apple doesn't pass the sound to via the display port. If the TV has an optical in, you can get a TOSLink cable from the mini to the TV or receiver and you should be able to get 5.1. Otherwise Monoprice sells a Mini-Display/USB adapter that delivers the audio and video to the HDMI, but I'm not sure it supports 5.1.

    Depending on your requirements, it's a big jump from a ATV ($229.00) to a base mini ($599.00) plus keyboard, mouse and cables.
  7. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Can your TV even do 5.1? Most are stereo only.
  8. davidcalvet thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2008
    thank you for your repply sir

    and thanks everyone for their interest in that matter.

    no my tv does not have 5,1, but I have it conected to a home theater with digital cable
  9. davidcalvet thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2008
    will this be enough ?

    will this configuration be enough for what I need ?
    it's 512memori (can be up to 1gb)
    the rest you will understand I guess

    Attached Files:

  10. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    An Apple TV will smoke any G4 Mac. Don't waste your money on it.

    If you do not plan to use 1080p content, then the Apple TV is the better choice over a Mini for your system. Since you have a receiver as well as a TV, you will benefit from the ATV's multi-audio outputs. The Mini can only deliver to your TV or to your receiver, which means you'll have to connect the Mini to the receiver and passthrough to your TV.

    In addition, the ATV's Front Row is far superior to OS X's Front Row.
  11. davidcalvet thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2008
    and this one ?

    Sorry to disturb you again.
    What about this configuration.
    Now is with intel 2gz and osX10.5
    Sorry and thanks again.
  12. davidcalvet thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2008
    specs of mac-mini

    forgot to post specs earlier.

    Attached Files:

  13. ntrigue macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    The biggest problem is drive space. The ATV will sync/stream unlimited media from the computer in your office. A Mac Mini will require an upgrade or an external.
  14. brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    a mac mini will stream all the content from your other computers as well...

    An intel mac mini 2.0ghz+ with the nvidia 9400 graphics is a much better buy than an :apple:TV
  15. brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    you could have the mac mini audio pass into the tv, then the tv audio out to the reciever and have the audio through both...
  16. guyofgoscote macrumors newbie


    Jan 14, 2010
    Apple TV

    I bought an ATV very early. I am disappointed with the rigidity of Apple in adopting streaming. I recently bought a WIFI blueray which streams Netflix. Very good, and instant.
    Mac Mini is a good alternate, or even consider an Acer laptop. Half the price and all the connections you need. You can play your Itunes library through WiFi sharing.
  17. Soccer119119 macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2008
    I also bought an ATV very early. I had nothing but problems with it the entire time. Besides having to covert videos to play on the ATV I hated the fact that I needed to have my laptop open and connected to the ATV to play videos. If you are interested in the quality of the video, audio and ability to play multiple types of formats then I would look into getting a popcornhour. I have one and I love it!! It can play every format imaginable. I have to admit the user interface is not a pretty or as user friendly as the ATV but if your looking for functionality over looks then look into getting a popcornhour or popbox (starts shipping in March).
  18. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    The specification is that TVs can only passthrough digital broadcast audio (e.g., TV's receiver); they're not supposed to be able to relay a digital audio signal. Passthrough of Dolby Digital is limited to one device (which is why there are so many receivers now that have multiple digital audio inputs).
  19. Habitus macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2009
    Where ever my life takes me...

    Take the Mini. The Mini has far more potential than the Apple TV. Also, you will need to run your sound through the optical out port. 5.1 shouldn't be a problem. The Mini, with the assistance of a 3rd party media player, can support just about any video file.

    Good luck,

    Habitus :apple:
  20. InfoSecmgr Guest


    Dec 31, 2009
    Ypsilanti, Michigan

    We are talking about $199 (or $150 refurb) versus $599. Big difference. Just convert your files over to .mv4 using handbrake so that cuts .avi right out of the picture
  21. InfoSecmgr Guest


    Dec 31, 2009
    Ypsilanti, Michigan
    Thats why it has a built in hard drive....also, a lot of people have a dedicated NAS or the like housing their video collection. Not much of a video collection if you are housing them on your laptop. My 1TB drive is at least 3/4 full right now for videos.
  22. Soccer119119 macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2008
    Oh I have a dedicated NAS. The my ATV only had a 60gb internal drive. So for the rest of the movie collection needed to be stored on the NAS. Thus, if you wanted to watch a movie from the NAS then you needed to have itunes on your laptop running. Am I wrong about that? Last time I checked the appletv did not read directly from a NAS it required you the sync the video library with an Itunes library. That is why I got a popcornhour. I can pull content directly from the NAS without the need for a computer to be on. And as a bonus it was cheaper than appletv and can play any format including bluray.

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