Apple TV- Is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by macall75, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. macall75 macrumors member

    Dec 18, 2006
    Iam not that familiar with this product, I was thinking of getting one for christmas, and I need to know if its worth the bucks! What is apple tv all about, can I only use itunes to rent/download movies, are can I rip my dvd collection bluray movies onto it, the only thing putting me off it so far is being tied to itunes.
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Not right now, it isn't.

    Wait for MacWorld. They won't let it go by the wayside.

    Of course, they haven't done anything to the Mini in 483 days.

    I just noticed that the Apple TV isn't in the Buyer's Guide. Why? Because they've NEVER updated it? Doesn't seem like a good enough reason to keep it out.
  3. spectre51 macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2008
    To each his own. I love my AppleTV. Yes you can rip your movies (Blu-Ray and HD-DVD) to your computer and stream them to the apple TV. I do this so my dvd's don't get all scratched up. Its nice to have everything on demand. Also watch my fav podcasts on the big screen.

    Plus if you get a boxee invite you can install boxee on it and get all the great hulu content.
  4. tom1971 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2007
    I love my aTV - the best feature is movie rentals - no more running to the video store....
    You can untie the aTV from iTunes by hacking your ATV which is pretty straightforward.
  5. wowurrcool macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2008
    I've loved my AppleTV for the 10 months I've had it.

    Syncing and Streaming music and videos while connected to surround sound is SO much better than using an iPod connected to the system.

    Great for parties, hangouts, and just straight chilllllinnnn
  6. natebookpro macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2008
    Love mine. I use it to stream movies off my media server and to rent something if im too lazy to go to a redbox. For $200 refurb its definitely worth it.
  7. paduck macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2007
    It's even better when you pay $60 on eBay...
  8. mac tom uk m macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2008
    Not a must have

    Not a must have but looks kinda cool. I'm waiten for the update, they will probably release a new one soon.:apple:
  9. gcmexico macrumors 6502a


    Dec 22, 2007
    New York City
    absolutely love my ATV...for the same reasons above
  10. descartes macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2006
    I love it for freeing the thousands of pics stored on my imac. There must be cheaper solutions but I have yet to find one as easy to go from computer to tv three floors away.
  11. BoulderBum macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2008
    Although you CAN rip your movies, it's more of a pain in the a** than people let on.

    Consider yourself tied to the iTunes store (and YouTube and Flickr and Video Podcasts) unless you want to have a full time job ripping your existing movies.

    That said, was it REALLY so bad being tied largely to the iTunes music store with an iPod? I know .mp3's were easier to rip, but if you're like most people who get their music legally, you're probably buying it from iTunes anyway.

    With Apple TV you get convenient on-demand movie rentals, downloadable movies and TV shows, great free on-demand videos from YouTube and Video Podcasts, and slideshows from Flickr and the like.

    You can stream your music wirelessly to your kitchen from your Apple TV using an Airport Express and control it with your iPhone or iPod Touch's "Remote" app, you get the best interface I've seen for browsing videos, etc., etc.

    Oh, one other thing to be aware of is that there's usually a 30 day or so wait before you can rent new movies, and there's oddball restrictions on them (they expire in 30 days or 24 hours after you start watching them) and it sucks, but it's tolerable.
  12. spectre51 macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2008
    If you consider putting a DVD in the drive, opening handbrake, selecting the DVD, clicking on the apple tv preset and hitting go a pain in the a**. Give it a couple hours then import into iTunes. That's it. Even adding meta tags is simple with metax. It's really not a hard process. Time consuming maybe but not a pain in the a**.
  13. Duffinator macrumors 6502


    Sep 3, 2007
    130 miles NE of Cupertino
    There are cheaper solutions but none that work as well as the ATV or are as simple to use. I use mine mainly for streaming audio and photos and think it's well worth the price. If you are going to stream audio and video just buy a 40 gb model, no need to pay more for the larger HD.
  14. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    I think it is worth it. I have hundreds of TV shows and movies ready to play instantly. The problem is deciding what to watch, sometimes I find myself flicking through my movies etc for around 5 minutes deciding what to watch.

    The only issues I have with it are its tiny hard drive. I don't like having to fire up my Mac to watch stuff on my TV. If it had a 1TB drive or the ability to attach an external via the USB port then the ATV would go from being a good product to a great product.

    The second issue is it makes buying stuff so easy it becomes addictive. I have spent too much on movies this week alone. Damn you Apple! :D

    Ooohh... Karate Kid £3.99!!!
  15. vadim.iablokov macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2007
    Wd Tv

    Forget the Apple TV. Although it has the style and ease of use I think it lacks flexibility to play different file formats and being tied into iTunes, not to mention the high, Apple approved, price point for the machine. Although most of this can be circumvented through installing boxee on the player, there are better options.

    Enter Western Digital TV -

    It hooks up to an HDTV and any external media storage device (including thumb drives) through one of its two usb ports. It plays a rediculous amount of formats:

    For video, it supports MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, WMV9, AVI (MPEG-4, Xvid, and AVC), H.264, Matroska (MKV), and MOV (MPEG-4 and H.264). For audio, it supports MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV, PCM, LPCM, AAC, FLAC, Dolby Digital, AIFF, and MKA files—plus PLS, M3U, and WPL playlists. For photos, it supports JPEG, GIF, TIFF, BMG, and PNG. It also works with SRT subtitles.

    Even Video_ts folders and .iso!

    It has a few drawbacks like no internal storage, no networking capabilities, no firewire (but usb should be fast enough to stream all your HD media @ 480mbit/s) and no option to buy movies online.

    But f%$k that, it's $130 and is the perfect thing if you already store your media on an external drive.
  16. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    It's really a different product serving a different market. For me, it would be annoying that it's got no networking capabilities, and the multiple formats are irrelevant as all my media is in mp4 format (either ripped from my DVDs or bought from the iTunes store)
    If you use iTunes and the iTunes store extensively (or exclusively), then the Apple TV is the perfect solution. If you have media in loads of different formats then it may not be.
  17. Mr Kram macrumors 68020

    Mr Kram

    Oct 1, 2008
    worth it is a relative term. i (and my family of 4) enjoy the atv and get much use out of it. i also happen to think that the price in and of itself is reasonable. with the boxee hack, for me it's a no brainer unless you're thinking of a mini.

    as for wdtv, as other have said, no internal storage and no networking is a deal killer. if you don't care about that nor its less than appealing asthetics (with external hard drive), then maybe it's a slightly better (cheaper) alternative.
  18. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    I love my apple tv. Love it. I have had it for about 4 months now. Got a refurbed 40 gig. Didn't need the hard drive space since I was only going to stream music.

    Well since I stared to rip my movies, I love it for movies now also. I don't rent so I can't say if that is good or bad. But for having all of my mp3's and some iTunes music. This is pretty darn easy to setup and use.

    I don't think it is a pain in the ass to rip movies or music at all. Limited file support, sure, but doesn't bother me, I just rip in the format that the Apple TV will see. Plain and simple.

    Time consuming sure, but what isn't. If you downloading your movies from bit torrent sites for the majority that is time consuming also. On my system it takes me between 10-15 minutes to rip a file and tag it.

    It is easy to use, the wife likes it, super clean interface. I have yet to have any dropped files whether music or movie. Keep in mind all my stuff is hard wired not wifi.

    No complaints.

    This is coming from someone who has used the Escient Fireball and also the long ago product called the Audiotron from Turtle Beach. The Apple TV is by far a lot easier to setup and is a heck of a lot more reliable.

    No complaints so far from me.
  19. BoulderBum macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2008
    For most people, they have to spend awhile learning what products work well, then you have to be careful about settings that can ruin a rip if wrong (I've had some rips come out choppy). You have to worry about the format of the rip and if it's supported by iPods and Apple TV, then you have to hope nothing goes wrong (there are some movies of mine that just won't rip).

    You then have to apply meta tags, tool or not, then import it, etc. etc.

    Even if you think all of that is worth the effort to save $10-$15 (I personally don't), then you have to be ready for maybe two hours per rip. If you have 100 DVD's like I do, that's 200 hours you'd spend ripping your entire library, which equates to five continuous 40-hour workweeks (where you'd esentially be working for $5-$7.50 an hour to avoid buying the movie on iTunes for $10-$15). Ouch!

    If you have a DVD with TV episodes on it, fuggedaboutit! It gets even more painful.

    I prefer to leave the content that's on my DVD's on my DVD's and if I really want a particular movie or TV show, I navigate to it in Apple TV, press a button and sit back on my couch. No worrying about compatibility, no having to wait before you watch it, no having to worry about settings and meta tags, etc. Easy peasy, Apple TVsy.

    To each his own, but I got the Apple TV so I could be lazy, not have to work hard to watch my movies! :)

    Truth be told, I've even re-purchased a few movies I already had on DVD! :p

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