Apple TV as Gift - Easy to Use?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mattspeed3, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. mattspeed3 macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2009
    Most simple question you'll ever read on this forum...

    My folks have just asked me to buy them an Apple TV for Xmas. They want it to play their video library, which is mostly in .avi form.

    I know nothing about Apple TV and they know nothing about anything related to computers/electronics. If I buy and set this up for them, are they going to be able to run it with very little ease?

    For example, can Apple TV automatically play .avi files, or does that need to be converted to run through iTunes?
  2. KeithJenner macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2010
    The files would need to be converted. If the users media is not in iTunes and a format the Apple TV plays then I would be very reluctant about buying one.
  3. mattspeed3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 27, 2009
    Thanks for the reply - and that's the case for both versions of the apple tv? Neither can play .avi without conversion?
  4. liamwillib macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2009
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-gb) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    The apple tv is THE most simple way to play audio/video on the tv, bar none. But for your situation, with a massive IF. Only IF it's converted to mp4, ie. be in iTunes. If they have a grasp of computer basics or you have the time to help then out it's incredibly easy to convert using free programs such as handbreak which has a preset for appletv. It was on the old, and believe it may now be possible on the new model, to hack/jailbreak to play avi natively, but that adds a lot of complexity to technophobes, although not difficult for the technically savvy.
  5. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

    Feb 28, 2008
    You're probably better off buying a Windows HTPC and having them use Windows Media Center. It seems to be pretty intuitive these days.
  6. dongmin macrumors 68000


    Jan 3, 2002
    If playing avi. files is their #1 concern, you better look elsewhere, like the WD TV Live or Boxee Box.

    And I'm not too sure Windows HTPC falls under the "easy-to-use" department.

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