Apple TV, 40 or 160?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by DELTAsnake, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. DELTAsnake macrumors 6502

    DELTAsnake

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    Australia
    #1
    I'm thinking of getting an Apple TV. I'm wondering if in my case is there is any need to spend the extra and get a 160gb :apple:TV.

    I intend to put Boxee on the :apple:TV. I don't plan to keep my media on the :apple:TV. Currently my media lives on my iMac (iTunes) and ReadyNAS (everything else) and is streamed to my MacBook Pro, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, this works fine so I plan to keep doing the same with a :apple:TV.

    So are there any advantages to going 160gb if I'm only going to be streaming or should I just get a 40gb?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. mgridgaway macrumors 6502

    mgridgaway

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    #2
    If you plan on keeping everything on another computer/NAS, there is absolutely no reason to get the larger hard drive.
     
  3. sammy2066 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 3, 2007
    #3
    With the rumored announcement of new iPods with cameras, and the new "Cocktail" initiative at Apple, I would expect them to update the Apple TV with better specs and features.

    Its not been updated in a while. It might offer a tighter integration between iPods, Macs, iPhones and other devices.

    Just my $0.02

    No bashing.

    So, wait.
     
  4. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #4
    i agree with the above post, and i think you should opt for the 40GB especially if you arent going to store things onto it! its a no-brainer for me.,
     
  5. DELTAsnake thread starter macrumors 6502

    DELTAsnake

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    #5
    OK, I was thinking of going with the 40gb, thanks for confirming that for me.

    And I won't be getting it for about a month so I was thinking of waiting till after the new iPod's are announced just incase the :apple:TV gets updated. But I personally doubt the hardware will be upgraded since it's more of an appliance than a computer.
     
  6. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #6
    good point, an upgrade in hard drive size may be possible - but its easy enough to do yourself anyway and much much cheaper.

    i wonder when they will update it to 1080p playback/support. probably not for a while im guessing, 720p is quite clear provided the correct settings are used.

    goodluck with it all
     
  7. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

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    #7
    I would imagine if it supported 1080p and removed bitrate limitations (which are there no doubt because the current hardware is too slow to process full HD), it would be perfect, at least for playing 1080p rips you'd download.

    Of course the best solution would be if they actually made 1080p movies and shows available from iTunes so it can rival blu-ray quality, but of course then we're talking much larger file sizes.

    I don't think this can be done in a software update (hardware too slow), so definitely a new generation of Apple TVs. Just a matter of time. I don't know if I would expect it in a month or two, but of course if you aren't in a hurry it doesn't hurt to wait.
     
  8. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #8
    you should do your research, the current max playback capabilities of the :Apple:TV totals 25mbps with 1920x1080 resolution, this is more then enough to play back a very decent bluray converted movie (a direct rip maybe not, as they are 40mbps).

    i expect Apples download-able movies to be around the 10mbps-15mbps, so theoretically it is possible.. whether the software is capable of doing it is another question :p
     
  9. sammy2066 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 3, 2007
    #9
    The current Apple TV uses a custom Intel chip and a GeForce 7200Go (or something similar) for graphics. These a very old, better chips with faster performance and lower thermal envelopes are out now.

    I would wait.
     
  10. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

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    #10
    Well I've been reading the posts around here, and granted I'm a newb in AppleTV stuff having just got one recently, but I was under the impression that ATV only supported an average bitrate of 5-6 mbps or so and only did 720p.

    My AppleTV through HDMI has an option (which I am using) for 1080p output. So theoretically can I download a 1080p rip at a high 15-20mbps bitrate and play it on my AppleTV? If that is the case then the current AppleTV would indeed be the perfect device as is.

    I have the aTV Flash mod on my AppleTV so I think I can play some extra codecs beyond the default.
     
  11. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #11
    forgive me, i should have been more precise. the current MAXIMUM output/processing is what i quoted, meaning that is the max output of the hardware, not the software - apple limits it currently to the readings that you gave (max of about 5-6mbps constant, bursts of 11-12mbps are possible).

    apple limits everything to 720p (but as you say it can work on 1080p tvs, its just 'scaled-up'), but the expandability is there if they choose to update it..
     
  12. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

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    #12
    Just because it is capable of outputting in 1080p though does not mean it could actually play a 1080p movie if it had one on it (with sufficient speed/framerate to make a good viewing experience).

    1080p movies choke up my brother's Pentium D Dual Core desktop PC, so I don't think a 1 GHZ Celeron single core mobile chip with 256MB of RAM could play it in any way that would make for a pleasurable viewing experience.

    I think a hardware upgrade to speed and memory is definitely needed to play 1080p encoded movies, not just a software update.

    Which makes me believe that with competitors like Vudu and others which actually do play 1080p movies with high bit rates just fine out there, Apple should update AppleTV in the coming months maybe year (we never know) with matching capabilities.

    Of course that will require more bandwidth and storage space in order to serve up 1080p content -- perhaps that new data center they are building on the east coast is going to at least be partially used for that purpose.
     
  13. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #13
    im sorry but did you read what i said before? there are a few key points wrong with your argument that you really must consider before trying to prove your point.

    1. do your research :)

    2. the CPU is not an indicator of the full power of the device

    3. i have done my research and found that the current :apple:TV is capable of playing back 1080p movies @ 25mbps. that is the hardware limitations of the deivce. the software on the other hand....thats another story.

    the CPU is no indicator of the playback capabilities of the whole device, the 7300 GPU inside of the :apple:TV is more then capable of decoding at a pretty high rate, sure - it wont be able to decode a rip (40mbps) BR movie, but it will surely play some down converted movies and they will look really good.

    im sorry if i seem rude/up-front, just trying to show you that you are pretty much wrong here in this case.. sorry
     
  14. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Oh really? Please tell me exactly how I could load a 1080p movie onto my AppleTV encoded with 25mbps and play it successfully. I am am dying to try that out but haven't been able to figure out a way to do this.

    I assume you have done this or have some knowledge of this being actually done because otherwise any "research" into this would be pure speculation.

    Second, yes CPU power is very indicative of what a machine is capable of. As I've said, my brother's computer that is a dual core Pentium (and has a dedicated 512MB ATI graphics card, I forget the exact model but it is a decent one) chokes up on 1080p video. Granted, it is running Windows Vista -- but then again it also has 8 times the RAM of AppleTV, a MUCH better graphics chip, and much more raw horsepower.

    I do not think that it is completely out of line to say, therefore, given the AppleTV's meager specs (and its inability to run even simple things like Boxee's Hulu smoothly), that it might not be able to handle full HD, 1080p video.

    I could be wrong, but the best way to prove that is to let me know how to load up a 1080p 25mbps movie onto my AppleTV and I could have a go at it and post the results.
     
  15. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #15
    i am assuming that you are not understanding what i am saying.. because you-do-not-understand!

    you cannot _currently_ load a 1080p encoded movie onto an :apple:TV, i am WELL aware of that fact. it only allows for 5-6mbps, as well all know!

    however, the fact of the matter is that the current hardware in the :apple:TV IS VERY capable of playing this 25mpbs 1080p rips. you do not know much about hardware nor have researched this topic well enough to know that.

    as nobody has 'hacked' an :apple:TV in THIS* manner, i have not experienced it myself.

    * this not necessarily meaning it hasnt been hacked before, which it has, the purpose for 'hacking' in the other circumstances have been for other capabilities such as USB support, installing OSX etcetc

    NO! CPU power IS NOT indicative of the machines capabilities. have you ever heard of CUDA, OpenCL, NVIDIA's PureVideo or even a GPGPU? these are technologies that utilise the GPU and allow it to playback, encode, decode HD video. if you researched PureVideo on Wiki, you would see that the 7300 GO supports PureVideo, and you would also find out that for a GPU to be PureVideo 'signed' it must be capable of decoding HD video 1080p at 40mbps - which is MUCH higher then the 25mbps that i have quoted. this means that the :Apple:TV CAN play HD 1080p video!!

    also, your brother is clearly not utilising the GPU (he would have to find software that is OpenCL capable, because CUDA is NVIDIA only) when he is trying to playback HD movies. also, RAM of the GPU doesnt really tell me the capabilities of it, a model number is needed.

    i think the :apple:TV is perfectly capable of playing HD 1080p content, as i have said both in my last two posts - the _current_ limitations are the software (maybe apple is holding us back (again))??

    there is no 'fix' to get 1080p content onto your :apple:TV at the moment, but it is more then possible.

    i hope you see the light :p
     
  16. AMessy macrumors member

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    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    Green Bay, WI
    #16
    If I was in your situation i'd do exactly what it sounds like you have decided on. Wait until after the iPod updates and then if there is no change get the 40 Gb :apple:tv.

    I've had the 160 Gb since the 2.0 software update and usually have less than 40 Gb stored on it at any time.
     
  17. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #17
    The Apple TV Take 2 software offloads video decompression to the 7300 gpu, which is capable of 1080p playback provided the file is encoded in a particular way (e.g., h.264, 24 fps, ~10-15 mbps) according to nVidia. Only Apple knows how to do this, otherwise you'd also see HD playback with XBMC on the ATV as well.
     
  18. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #18
    The 7300 supports purevideo, which makes it capable of supporting full hd @ 40mbps :)
     

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