Apple TV as a gift vs. cable question. HELP!

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Jea1143, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. Jea1143 macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2010
    My boyfriend recently got a 42 inch plasma. I want to get him Apple TV for his birthday this month but here is my question - if he already has that type of cable (I'm not sure exactly which) where he can DVR, record shows, rewind/fastforward etc, and also order movies... would Apple TV be basically the same thing as his cable and therefore useless? Or would it be better or compliment it? Any input especially from guys would be appreciated! Thanks so much!

  2. bobdard macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2008
    It will compliment it in some ways, be better in some, and just compete with it in other areas. The cable box that he has gives him content, lets him record it, view it, store it, etc. The Apple TV doesn't give you any content, per say. It gives you ACCESS to iTunes content (any file in your computer's iTunes can be synced to it, like it can be synced to an iPod or iPhone. Additionally, if he uses the iTunes store to purchase music, tv shows, movies, etc, he can do it right from the Apple TV, and it will obviously play right there on the tv and also sync back to his computer).

    Simply put, Apple TV = iPod connected to your tv + access to iTunes store.

    So the only thing his cable box does that Apple TV doesn't is giving him cable and letting him record it.
  3. Jea1143 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2010
    Thank you for your help :) To me, the fact that they do basically the exact same thing and cable actually does more as far as giving him content and letting him record it would make Apple TV kind of a lame gift lol. So thanks for explaining it to me!
  4. bobdard macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2008
    sure no problem. But do take into consideration that most people with an apple tv also have cable. It will give him access to all his music and photos, as well as internet radio and YouTube..those are things his regular cable box won't do.
  5. ukwildcat macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2009
    I have a Cable DVR and an Apple TV. Love the combo.
  6. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2007
    Saratoga, CA
    Me too.

    Surprisingly, my most frequent use for my Apple TV is listening to my music library. The Apple TV plugs right into my Audio/Video system and the wireless control via the Remote app on the iPhone/iTouch is awesome.

    The Apple TV also gets lots of use playing the rips of my DVDs. If the OP's boyfriend is just a little bit of a geek he will probably get into the fun of ripping his DVDs with HandBrake, then having them available to play instantly with the Apple TV.

    The iTunes movie store is certainly cool also when you want to instantly rent a particular movie or TV show without waiting for it on cable or running out to blockbuster.
  7. Jea1143 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2010
  8. pjarvi macrumors 65816


    Jan 11, 2006
    Round Lake, IL
    The AppleTV synchronizes with a computer, not with an iPod. You must have a computer with iTunes installed to properly use an AppleTV. If streaming the content this also means keeping the computer on with iTunes open when using the AppleTV.

    It is possible to have content synced to the AppleTV and stored there. If his iTunes library is small enough to fit on the AppleTV this would allow him to access that content from the AppleTV without needing to keep his computer on, but you would never want to use the AppleTV as a stand alone device to purchase and store content on by itself. It has no backup capability other than to sync with a computer.

    It is still a great device though, and aside from iTunes content it also provides access to YouTube videos, internet radio, and Flickr. I use mine every single day for listening to Podcasts, watching TV shows, and renting movies. Personally, I got rid of my cable service and just use the AppleTV. It has far more content available than something like Comcast's On Demand service.

    As for an iPod Touch, it has 3 things the AppleTV does not have: Safari (internet), Apps, and portability. You can also get a dock to connect the iPod Touch to the TV and watch TV/Movies on the TV played from the Touch, but the docks are a little expensive $100-$200.

    Does he have something to play Blu-ray movies, such as a PS3 or stand-alone Blu-ray player? If not, a slim PS3 is only $299, and stand-alone players are available for less than that. The PS3 also has access to an online store for movies and tv shows, not to mention a web browser for surfing the internet. Oh, and it can play games too.

    Between the iPod touch and the AppleTV though, I would go with the Touch. That way if he's watching something on the TV and ignoring you, you can use his Touch to surf the Internet and play games, or vice-versa if you're watching some horrible drama on his TV he can use it to surf and play games. ;)
  9. WilliamLondon macrumors 68000


    Dec 8, 2006
    I don't. I gave up my cable when I hacked the ATV (not before) - haven't missed it one moment. I still have Freeview as backup television, but I almost never turn it on.

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