About to go to ATV...any opinions

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by pb1300, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. pb1300 macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 29, 2008
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    Aigio, Greece
    #1
    I have a Western Digital TV setup at the moment, which is a media center that connects to an external HD for those who dont know what it is. I like it, but its not as customizable as I would like, and I have always been interested in the ATV. I was going to order it through my company, and switch out the HD later on. Should I go ahead and order it, or is there any chance that they might update it at the end of the month?

    I was also thinking of doing something with my 250gb PS3, but since I also have a UMB, and a 27" iMac on its way, I thought going apple for a media center would be the best route. If anyone has any other ideas too, I am open to hear them. If its something different, hardware wise, let me know. I have a 1080p 42" LCD, so I would like to take advantage of the full HD. The WD TV plays at 1080p, but its bland to me. I live in Greece BTW, so certain internet sites are blocked due to me living in Europe. Any opinions or ideas is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. scott911 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    #2
    maybe...

    I certainly think there's a chance... but I've been waiting for new hardware (apple TV) for about a year and a half now, thinking the next version is always right around the corner. :mad:

    With the next big event just a week and a half away, I'm still waiting.

    If it doesn't happen though, I think I'll just buy a long 40 foot audio cable to get itunes audio from computer to home theater - controlled via i-phone remotes.
     
  3. skye12 macrumors 65816

    skye12

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    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    #3
    I agree they are about to update it. At this point I'd just go with a Mini instead.
     
  4. sapporobaby macrumors 68000

    sapporobaby

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    #4
    I had an ATV and was very happy with it but the HD limitations caused me to sell it and go with the Mac Mini which is much more robust and has higher resolution.
     
  5. rayward macrumors 68000

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    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #5
    Apple don't have a media server in their line up currently (grrrrr), and an Apple TV isn't a substitute for that. The ATV is merely a projection of iTunes onto your TV / Home Theatre, so you have to use your PC as the media hub (something that your new 27-incher will be able to handle in its sleep - literally). If you're used to having your media on a separate server, you may want to wait at least until there's an official yay or nay on an update to ATV, and it may not be your best bet in any case.

    FWIW, I have 4 ATVs, all linked to my iMac, but I have my media stored on a NAS. It's not the most elegant solution*, especially as, on occasion, iTunes will "forget" where my media is stored, but it works for me now (I have about 200 gigs of media, and growing exponentially now that I'm ripping BDs). I'd much prefer to have a "proper" media server than could feed my ATVs without involving my iMac, but I'm not holding my breath.

    * I have a partially wired, partially wireless network. When the ATVs are syncing, the iMac is drawing media down through the network and then sending that same data to the ATVs. It's a doubling up of network traffic that is somewhat unnecessary. Plus, if Time Machine decides to do a back-up at the same time...yikes.
     
  6. pb1300 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 29, 2008
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    Aigio, Greece
    #6
    So I should pretty much just go with a Mac Mini then? If I understand correctly, I can pretty much use the mac mini as the media player, and just go through my itunes library on my iMac wirelessly, correct? The question is, do I need to spend that much money on a mini that I will basiscally use as a media center? Would there be anything else out there that would serve as a media center wirelessly? Would my best bet be to just use my PS3 as the media center?
     
  7. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #7
    If you want to do the things that Apple says the ATV will do, then there is no better, easier or cheaper solution. And it all updates automatically. I absolutely love mine.

    If you want something with other capabilities and are willing to deal with more complexity, perhaps so that only you can use it, then there are computers, game consoles and all sorts of other devices and hacks that many people enjoy.
     
  8. sapporobaby macrumors 68000

    sapporobaby

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    #8
    Not familiar with using the PS3 as a media center, but the Mini is a complete upgradable (has limitations) computer that doubles as a media player. I am happy that I have hooked it up to my Sony and sometimes sit and browse the web from my sofa. I am happy with the Mini but it might not be for everyone who desire more. What more, I am not sure but it fills all of my needs. I have 1 1TB WD drive attached, and will eventually swap out the internal drive with another 1TB drive.

    For my connections, I have the Mini sitting next to my Time Capsule and connected via CAT6 cable for full 1Gig connectivity. No streaming issues at all from the Time Capsule, and I am using a Logitech Harmony 1 to control all devices.
     
  9. Scarpad macrumors 68000

    Scarpad

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    Jan 13, 2005
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    Ma
    #9
    I love my Apple TV, as long As I can get the content into Itunes Properly tagged I know it'll be easily findable on the ATV, I have a 46" Bravia and I'm perectly fine with 720p resolution, the encodes I do from Blu ray into the ATV format look fantastic and take up far less room on my drives than a 1080p encode would. Plus it's great having DVD content at full resolution available.
     
  10. super_kev macrumors 6502

    super_kev

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    Jan 12, 2005
    Location:
    USofA
    #10
    You should look at Plex and run if off a new Mini or your new iMac. I just started dabbling with Plex a few months ago, and it is one of the most powerful, feature-packed HT setups I have ever seen. The ATV doesn't even come close to a Mac running Plex. All you'd need is a wireless keyboard (no need for a mouse), HDMI cable, DVI to HDMI adapter, and Toslink to Mini M/M (I think Monoprice may ship internationally) and you're set. Do yourself a favor and check it out.
     
  11. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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    Feb 6, 2006
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    London
    #11
    Love my AppleTV. It does what it's meant to do very very well.
     
  12. chas0001 macrumors 6502a

    chas0001

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    Sep 18, 2006
    Location:
    Alicante, SPAIN
    #12
    I feel the same, especially now I have the new Boxee Beta running on it. The only thing I really miss is a power switch. I have no need to leave it on all the time and having to unplug it & plug it in again is a pain.
     
  13. star-fish macrumors regular

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    Aug 24, 2009
    #13
    I have heard from a very reliable source that Apple is keen to push the Apple TV. Which in my mind screams update.
     
  14. sapporobaby macrumors 68000

    sapporobaby

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    #14
    Plex is great if you want to play non-DRM'd videos, however, it will not play video content purchased from the iTunes store. If ripping your own stuff and playing it back via the Mini or even the ATV is for you then there are alternatives. However, if your content has protection you are stuck with Apple.
     
  15. Richard Marklew macrumors newbie

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    Mar 4, 2008
    Location:
    Wigan, UK
    #15
    In the 'Use your Applications' section of Plex you can select Front Row. Play your iTunes DRM movies from there. When you exit out of Front Row it automatically moves you back into Plex.

    Richard
     
  16. pb1300 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 29, 2008
    Location:
    Aigio, Greece
    #16
    So I got my 160gb ATV today. Now, what do I do next? I will possibly upgrade the HD in it, but I have an external 500gb drive, so I am wondering if I can piggyback that to the ATV. If so, what do I do afterwards? What are the programs that I can install on to my ATV (Boxee?)? Know this, I live in Greece, so some sites/programs might be limited to just the States.

    I just downloaded Boxee, and will get to installing it later, so I would like some opinions on it. And what is this ATV Flash that I see at the bottom of the forum? Thanks for the help everyone!
     
  17. tom1971 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #17
    You can use this free tool to create a patchstick and hack your AppleTV.
    With the openvpn integration, you can also watch US content. Check this for more details.
    the patchstick.ca solution is much more flexible than atvflash and offers more functions for a lower price.
     
  18. pb1300 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 29, 2008
    Location:
    Aigio, Greece
    #18
    I ended up getting everything done. I have Boxee and XBMC, plus Nito, and other stuff on my :apple:TV, ready to go. I have them both synced to my MB and iMac. The question I have is this...why is everything available from my MB, but I cant access my iTunes on my iMac?
     
  19. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #19
    Go to iTunes > Preferences > Sharing > Share my library on my network. For security reasons, add a password. Turn on Home Sharing and your good to go. Now, any computer with iTunes can access your MB's iTunes library.
     
  20. pb1300 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Location:
    Aigio, Greece
    #20
    Thanks for the help everyone. Quick ?...when I hook up a usb stick to the :apple: TV, where do I go to find it? I looked in Media, but nothing was there, then I received an error message saying I needed to restart the device. Anyone?
     
  21. mattwolfmatt macrumors 65816

    mattwolfmatt

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #21
    The USB Port in ATV is useless. Technically, as I recall, it is used for "diagnostics". You can't plug in a USB drive into it and have it be recognized. This is a major problem in my estimation.

    FWIW (I've said it many times in this forum) I've switched from ATV to mac mini. Best move I've made. I love it and will never go back.
     
  22. tom1971 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #22
    You can activate the USB port and use it with 3rd party pugins.
     

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