Apple TV - debating, need some info

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Nurotek, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. Nurotek macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    #1
    So ive debated buying a apple tv box for sometime. now that my cable is requiring me to buy a cable box just to have basic cable (100+ dollars) ive considered it even more. What i need is information. I live in canada. What does it do / not do. if jailbroken can i stream tv or just internet. i dont have a huge HD tv or anything, i would have to actually put my tv away and use my computer monitor, which is the same viewing space as my tv but better quality. i run mac (10.8) on a 2012 MBP, iphone4s, wife has a ipad1 and my old MacBook. any help ?
     
  2. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    #3

    No jailbreak ATM. Also, it can't really replace a true, standard set-top box. (Depending on what they meant by that - I assume they meant for example a cable decoding block with an encryption card slot and the like.)
     
  3. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #4
    The above are good information. Your stated needs are too ambiguous to offer very specific information.

    Basically, if the cable experience of having ready access to lots of channels of programming is important to you- including live programming like news and sports- you need to pay up for that box and/or switch to someone with a similar offering (DirecTV or DISH or Canada equivalents?).

    If you live near a city, consider putting up an antenna for the major networks "over the air". If you live even closer, even old "rabbit ears" might be able to get you the majors for free. Dig them up and try them on the TV (need an HDTV tuner to see if it works or not).

    If your computer screen needs to become your TV screen, consider a USB TV tuner like those offered by Elgato. This can work with the antenna setup as well as cable if it is decrypted channels (which are usually the major networks and sometimes a small selection of others). You may find that canceling cable but leaving it hooked up will keep some core channels available- even more likely if you maintain a broadband internet relationship with the cable company.

    :apple:TV3 has no jailbreak. Going that way means paying for each episode of what you want via whatever you can get from iTunes... and/or subscribing for other content to stream from sources like Netflix (which you can probably get in Canada) and maybe Hulu Plus (do you get that in Canada?). Look over their offerings to see if that could be enough for you (again, local news, live programming and live sports are the big miss for many cable "cord cutters"). If you are a frequent channel surfer, :apple:TV3 offers you very little for just hunting around for something you want to watch for one flat fee per month.

    :apple:TV3 is not a cable box replacement (unless the above can satisfy you). If you are going to go for it with Netflix and/or Hulu, you don't need :apple:TV for those- just use the computer.

    The biggie is those live locals, live events, live sports. If any of that matters to you, you pretty much need to go with cable or satt unless you can get that from the majors via an "over the air" antenna plus an Elgato-like tuner hooked to your computer. If the hangup is paying for a cable box, the satt companies usually give away the equipment for new subscribers and their pricing can be as good- if not better than- local cable- especially during "initial promotional periods".
     
  4. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #5
    If Canada has digital TV like the U.S., then definitely go OTA (antenna), and THEN if you are bored with the free channels, consider an ATV box.
     
  5. Nurotek thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    #6
    more ?s

    The problem is, most cable companys in canada now have switched to 100% digital. so all the basic cable channels are all ****ed up now. we used to get 57 channels which was more then enough for me, and now we get mabe 15 or so plus a couple french, cantonese, and punjabi ones. I do use netflix, however the canadian version is crap, never used hululu or whatnot.
    Being that i have a iphone 4s and a 2012 MBP i can stream straight from those devices to the ATV correct?
    Having a seperate HD with movie content, i should be able to stream from that ( weather it be indirectly as in plugged in to the MBP or not) assuming the movie is a playable format ?
     
  6. bluewooster macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    #7
    I live in Canada and use an apple tv.

    I've converted all my DVDs and Blurays to mp4 using handbrake - tagged them and added subtitles (hours of work) and now stream to my atv. Plus, I use Netflix with a VPN service to get access to the US content. Between these two options, I've never felt the need to subscribe to cable. Even if I were to buy 1-2 seasons of a TV show per month, it is still cheaper than most cable packages! As Netflix has a great selection (with so-so quality), I really only buy the odd TV series (usually HBO or something where I want the best picture quality).

    However, I don't care about sports or news. If you need these, you are probably not going to be satisfied with just an apple tv.
     
  7. DP812 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    Japan
    #8
    If you use a VPN service, you can access Netflix and Hulu Plus' US content. I live in Japan and I use unblock-us.com -- it's not a full VPN, but if all you want is to use Netflix and Hulu, it's not a bad option and it's cheap. Of course, if you have a PS3 or Xbox 360, you can also put Netflix and Hulu on those.

    I use both Hulu Plus and Netflix because both have different strengths. In my opinion, Hulu Plus seems to have the edge in newer TV content, whereas Netflix is better for movies (and for shows that I will most-likely buy anyway after they're released on DVD, I just get a season pass through iTunes). For unblock-us, I pay a $49.99 annual subscription and Netflix and Hulu are $7.99 each, so basically I pay around $20 a month to have access to tons of content and I have control over what (and when) I want to watch than I would with cable (which is a joke if you're in Japan and want to access American content).

    The biggest problem with the ATV in comparison to something like Roku is the limited availability of content -- Roku just has far and away more channels. Unfortunately, there is no jailbreak for the ATV3 (I've been waiting patiently). I'm also not keen on the ATV's UI, I do not like the Front Row format at all, and I don't like how it's forced on Netflix and Hulu (I prefer the Netflix and Hulu UIs on the PS3), but that's a personal thing.

    But those things aside, it's been great for me. I've converted my entire DVD library to iTunes and streaming from iTunes to the ATV works pretty much flawlessly. Having all my movies available at the push of a button is incredibly convenient. Plus, AirPlay is great, especially if you're a Mountain Lion user and want to stream stuff that you can only get on websites (for example, some content on Hulu is web-only and can't be streamed to devices, but with AirPlay Mirroring, this isn't an issue, plus I can watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report on the day they're released through those websites without paying for the episode pass).
     

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