Apple TV is a flop and should killed off.

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by sanford, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. sanford macrumors 65816

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    #1
    Really. This is all I hear these days. Because Apple hasn't done anything with it. What exactly needs to be done with the Apple TV. It handles everything all my medias including streaming movies from the sorry WiFi signal strength from all the upstairs -- without a hitch at a quality perceptively rivaling upscaled DVD. And I connected with component/optical, not even HDMI as my HDMI port on that TV is already taken up.

    They could add iTunes Store purchases, as much a revenue-generator for Apple as user featured or extra storage or shared network store at user's option from USB port on back. What else does it need?

    You want media streaming over Internet from Apple TV? Apple did that with iTunes a long time ago, any iTunes library, anywhere. Until some goon hacked it into a music piracy front-end. Apple would have to add security to it. Sony manages this with PS3 to PSP streaming over Internet, but a household at most owns one PS3 and maybe two PSPs, so nobody complains about authorized device limits.

    My Apple TV just sits there and plays music and movies through my good A/V system and an HDTV. Which is why I bought it. I can't imagine what more people expect. We got YouTube, for all that's worth. What else do people want?
     
  2. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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    #2
    Movie rentals are coming and a new television season is about to begin.
     
  3. hersheytx macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Make everything HD and I will be very happy. I got it mainly to stream music. But I find myself using my XBOX360 more for watching video. THe quality HD is just to much to pass up.
    SUre hope they catch up to Microsoft
     
  4. sanford thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Yeah, me too. As soon as they can get the Apple TV to double as a space-heater and then break at least every six months, they'll be right at the cutting edge standard set by Microsoft.

    X360's downloadable content is *heavily* compressed, video and audio. Try this: play something you've downloaded from XBL in HD format. Now, if you have happen to have a VGA or HDMI X360 connection -- component won't work -- play a DVD on the X360. It will upscale the DVD. Not so well as the $50 upscaling DVD players out there now, but still. The upscaled DVD will look as good and possibly even better than the downloadabe HD video from XBL. Also the upscaled DVD does not expire, and does not require you finish watching it within 24 hours. If that's "catching up" I'll stay back here in the Stone Age.

    By the way, I have *real* HD. It's called Blu-ray (HD DVD counts as real HD, too, although the X360's HD DVD peripheral and 360-side decoding make for like the worst HD DVD on the market).

    Many X360 games = great video games
    XBL = good matchmaking service filled with disproportionate number of unpleasant or downright awful human beings
    X360 video = lowest possible quality tack-on feature
    X360 hardware = garbage hardware design that may well not scale, cheap manufacture, poor service, excessively proprietary peripherals

    With the quality of many of the games for the X360, I do actually hope Microsoft "catches up", to anyone. But I'm not going to wait under water. When yours finally breaks, don't bother buying a new one as you will just be throwing good money after bad. Wait until they have fixed their design flaws -- if they can even find them and manage to fix them.
     
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #5
    The day they move to HD is the day I'll buy an Apple TV.
     
  6. sanford thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Nobody's getting it, here. The kind of compression you need for downloadable or streaming HD content over the Internet at current bandwidth availability, all you're getting is greater resolution. The same as you can get from MPEG2 DVD upscaled by a DVD player.

    Both our HDTVs have onboard video processors that upscale. They don't upscale as well, or in quite the same way, as a PS3 or a good upscaling DVD player, but they do some video processing tricks and *iPod bit-rate and resolution* encodes play on the Apple TV or stream via it to these HDTVs looking right about as good as downloadable HD content. For what you expect of HD, you want a high bit-rate VC-1 -- Microsoft did do a great job with that codec -- or H.264 encode with uncompressed PCM audio, BD only, or high bit-rate audio compression, available on HD DVD and BD. The 15, 25 or more GB, depending on content, required for this, it's too costly in bandwidth allocation for the vendors and takes too damn long to download. To download 22GB from the good but still necessarily capped bandwidth of the iTunes Store, or any other video content provider, I can take the train to Best Buy and buy it on BD, and get home and watch half of it before the download is finished -- at least. Also WiFi, even provisional 802.11n, is not really optimal for streaming disc-style high bit-rate HD content. Gigabit ether is fine, but the general public would these days rather have lower video quality than all the wires.
     
  7. Cooknn macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

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    #7
    last time I checked my internet comes over the same coax cable as my hi-def tv. Too bad you probably won't see any deals between Apple and Comcast In this millennium...
     
  8. sanford thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #8
    Yeah, see that would do it, some sort of dedicated pipe. Granted HD cable, on-demand or live, is 720p/1080i max and somewhat compressed, it's still not stomped down like, for example, Microsoft's downloadable HD content; frankly even satellite service's HD-content is way over-compressed and often artifact-laden: like actual black has ceased to exist; it's just a patchy gray. A lot of people don't see this because they've downloaded HD movie trailers, via XBL or QT or what have you, played them on an HDTV and they're like, Wow, stunning, why don't they roll out HD downloadable content *this minute*. What they don't understand is, at least in the case of Microsoft's XBL *they are fooling people*; they don't compress a two-minute trailer for something they're trying to rent you for limited, expiring use at US$8 nearly as much as they compress the whole 117-minute film.
     
  9. gormond macrumors regular

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    Sep 19, 2007
    #9
    Problem I have with apple tv is:

    1) Limited codec support
    2) No DVD drive
    3) No digital TV tuner

    None of these problems exist with the macmini so imo it makes a far better Apple TV than the Apple TV does!
     
  10. sanford thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Oh, hey, Jessica, you know the Apple TV will drive HD displays, no problem, right? The interface runs all the way up to 1080p, I think, although I run mine at 720p because anything over 32" in TVs is overkill for our urban-style townhouse. There's just no HD codec support because there's no HD content available yet. So it will do HD, but even if they release HD content, even if they sell older films for maybe $15 in HD, you're still better off grabbing your favorite movies for $5 out of the chain-store bargain bins and playing them on an upscaling DVD player -- because that HD downloadable content will be so stomped down it won't compare.
     
  11. sanford thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #11
    That's not a realistic comparison. It's twice the price for the base model. Some of those codecs you're talking about must be installed so they aren't included. There is no digital TV tuner in the Mac Mini. Where did you get that idea? Oh, you *bought* one. It's not included with it as you imply.

    So the big winning point for the stock, zero-management Mac Mini in your list is the DVD drive. But Apple TV is meant to manage non-physical media; assumption being you have an SD or HD player of choice to handle that.

    Slapping your argument around as I have, I still admit that with Front Row and the willingness to learn some configuration, buy some peripherals and extra cables, the Mac Mini does make a very good undedicated media server.
     
  12. Yvan256 macrumors 601

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    #12
    Give us 4:3 support already

    Yes I know, it was in the specs that it required a widescreen TV.

    However the iPods and iPhone do support 4:3 and 16:9 output for TVs, and the :apple:TV even supports 480i for crying out loud.

    A simple software update would give me the correct aspect ratio for my old 36" CRT (which I'm not about to replace given that I'd need to buy a 42" LCD to keep the same screen size in 4:3).

    And no, my TV doesn't have a "cinema/widescreen/letterbox" mode even though it's a "Cinema HD-TV Ready" Toshiba (supports 480p and 1080i).

    Since I'm in Canada it doesn't really matter (no iTunes Store TV Shows/Movies), so I'm compressing my DVDs with the wrong aspect ratio in the first place. When the :apple:TV plays them in anamorphic, it ends up being the correct ratio. And I do save on file size even though I lose some vertical resolution... :rolleyes:
     
  13. sanford thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #13
    People have this working, I think. No software or hardware hacks, either. Just some settings. I think you have to have component inputs, though for sure.

    "which I'm not about to replace given that I'd need to buy a 42" LCD to keep the same screen size in 4:3"

    We went from a 37" Sony Trinitron to a 32" HDTV. The 32" image looks huge in comparison to the 37". It's so much better. I think depends on your viewing distance. Anyway, we love it: both our HDTVs are 32", just that right size for movies but doesn't overpower the rooms. With some research and online or sale shopping you can get a *really good* 32" 720p/1080i -- you don't need more than 720p for 32" -- HDTV for absolutely no more than US$600.

     
  14. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

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    #14
    i completely agree with number 1. if you can play it on your mac, you should be able to play it on the apple TV.

    but number 2 i think the point is to NOT have a dvd drive. physical media is for the past. just like iPod revolutionized music to the point that the 3rd largest reseller of music (apple) sells only digital media. i think that is the intent of the apple TV, unfortuantly i do not think it has been implemented well and it has not caught on well. hopefully with some software upgrades and a better system to rent or buy movies on the apple TV, it will become more popular.

    as for #3 thats like wanting an FM tuner on your iPod. completely pointless. you want to listen to live radio, then listen to the radio, you want to watch live tv, then watch tv. you want to listen to your music collection then listen to an ipod. the iPod isnt a radio replacement, its a music storage device, and the apple tv isnt an actual TV, its a video/movie storage device.


    but what can be derived from points 2 and 3, as flaws of the apple tv, is content distribution. on person wants to watch movies, one person wants to watch tv shows. but what is the best way to get that media?? the iPod was a new way to get music to the listeners, better than FM radio and better than CDs. appleTV needs to have something better than a TV tunner (like download and watch tv shows when you want, not on a tv schedule) and something better than a DVD player, like a way to download a buy movies or a way to download and rent movies. i would be curious to see what people do more, buy movies or rent movies, not sure if i have seen statistics either way.
     
  15. Yvan256 macrumors 601

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    #15
    I've read about that, but I can't seem to find any special setting to enable a letterboxed mode. And I'm connected via component, of course.

    If you know how, or where to find this information, please tell me.


    The thing is, I could get a 42", 720p LCD at Costco for around 800-900$ CAD. A good brand with a Sharp LCD panel inside. The problem is that I paid nearly 2000$ CAD for my 36" CRT less than 10 years ago and aside from the lack of a letterboxing mode, it's working just fine. I'm against replacing old equipment unless it becomes useless or broken.
     
  16. sanford thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #16
    With you there. We waited until both our main SDTVs were about 10 and 17 years old, and the tubes were starting to go with gun focus problems around the edges, therefore color distortion, before buying the HDTVs, one last Christmastime and one a couple months ago.

    Anyway, I did some reading and find nothing about needing a "letterbox" mode on the TV or the Apple TV. You must have component inputs, which you have, and you must set the Apple TV to 480i output. That's it. It's possible that some SD TVs with component inputs for some reason just won't work, but I'm not sure why that would. 480i is 480i is 480i. If you know someone with an Apple TV you could test it. Or just buy one and try it, but you'd probably have to eat the $30 restocking fee if it didn't work. Or buy and Apple TV at a place that doesn't have a restocking fee on them. Sam's Club sells them here with no restocking fee, I think. But Sam's will take anything back for full refund for 6 months with receipt, and all the way to 12 months with receipt for store credit. Costco sells them, too, I think but I don't know about a restocking fee.
     
  17. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #17
    I would like to use it in my bedroom so it needs to be turned "off" - nothing that a software update can fix...
     
  18. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

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    #18
    When every customer receives the same stream, it is a lot easier to send HD content. It is a whole different ball game when customers might want to download one of a thousands of different shows. Besides, quite often Comcast HD drops audio and parts of the image gets pixelated for a few frames. If Apple allows a similar quality, people around here would ask for its head on a stick.
     
  19. sanford thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Off? What do you mean by off? No lights or noise or anything in sleep mode. You know sleep mode, right? Point remote at Apple TV and hold "play" button for 10 seconds.
     
  20. sanford thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #20

    That's very true. Now on-demand is not the same stream, but it's still a much smaller set of possible streams than a whole online video shop. We were on Comcast and got slammed to TWC in their business deal, which made me nervous, but I'm much happier with TWC both for the channels-in-package at our monthly rate and service. HD channels never drop audio and the only HD image artifacts I've ever seen are for about two seconds, only if you change channels.
     
  21. bainesajay macrumors member

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    #21
    Apple TV

    The apple TV has a potential to be a great product. But I do not think it will be. Typical Apple suffers from lack of follow thru and kills products that have great potential quickly. Need to take a page from Microsoft.

    Here are some ideas from the top of my head that I think would make the apple TV great:

    1. Like someone said before, adding codecs would be great, this is a must for a video/home storage device, video is not like music in which the population somehow all agreed to use MP3 (and now AAC b/c apple). We got different formats left and right. Different codecs is a must

    2. Video games would be cool, not sure how well this will take off, maybe parternship with a company that makes non 3d intensive games.

    3. Apple is good at working miracles with giant corporations (eg unlimted data on iphone, DRM free music with some labels) If apple could get the cable compaines to open up the framework for digital TV menus, we could have apple like guide for watching TV. (much better than whats in your typical motorola box)

    4. The apple TV shoudl work with KeyNote and PowerPoint, making it a must for business and corporations, eg companies always have trouble when people connect laptops to the projector, imagine if all you needed was an apple TV and then you would never need to move files from the company network when doing a photo or power point presentation.

    Ajay
     
  22. whistler72 macrumors member

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    #22
    I love my AppleTV.. I hope that they continue it for time to come.
     
  23. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

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    #23
    People say there is not much that can be improved with the AppleTV. This simply isn't true. One HUGE thing that it is missing is the ability to play true 5.1 surround sound. It has a freaking optical audio port - why can't it do this?

    For the record, I own an AppleTV and love it. I just hope they would release an update so I can get the same audio experience from the box that I can get from my 5 year old DVD player.

    P-Worm
     
  24. Much Ado macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

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    #24
    x2
     
  25. peeaanuut macrumors 65816

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    #25
    I have a small theory. Apple seems to almost always have a hobby project. Something that they dont really push but is kind of cool and a step in the right direction. I think the Apple TV is worth the money and fits the needs of a lot of people. Just because it doesnt sell like an iPod doesnt mean its a failure. They have sold alot of units and with a small amount of tweaking they will sell a whole bunch more.
     

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