Apple TV or Apple TV 2

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by The.316, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. The.316 macrumors 65816

    The.316

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Location:
    25100 GR
    #1
    I just received an Apple TV 2 as a gift, and I dont know which one to go with. I am a Mac junkie, but when it comes to these video conversions, I am really novice. I do really know what to do at all. All I want to do is stream stuff wirelessly from my iMac to all my devices. I am currently just streaming music from my itunes to my Apple TV. I just downloaded iVi to try and convert all my MKVs, but am not really sure what to do next.

    Anyways...knowing how f'd up I am currently, which one should I go with?
     
  2. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Saratoga, CA
    #2
    I use them both...

    The ATV2 has better video capabilities (especially NetFlix streaming). I use HandBrake to create HD (720p) rips of my Blu-Ray discs to play on the ATV2. This wouldn't be possible on the original ATV.

    However, with it's internal storage and analog audio outputs, the original ATV makes a much better audio streamer. I can sync all my music to the ATV and use the analog outputs to feed my AV receiver's zone-2 speakers on my patio. Then I can use my iPhone to remotely control song selection and volume on the ATV. Brilliant!

    The ATV2 doesn't have analog outputs, so it won't work with most receivers Zone-2 amps. Because it lacks storage, it also requires you to have a computer turned on to stream music.
     
  3. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Location:
    NY USA
    #3
    If you use iTunes match you can stream from iCloud no computer needed. Also if you stick your music on a NAS drive you can play direct from xbmc or Firecores media player. Just some options that'll work with both versions. That said for the price and a jailbreak and an hdd attached to say USB of an aebs theATV2 is hard to beat.
     
  4. CocoaPuffs macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    #4
    ATV is also capable of acting as a USB host/master, which enables it to directly access external HD without another bridge.

    I am still debating how I should setup my library, but the original ATV setup has been working effectively for years, although the sluggishness and its inability to cool down without unplugging the system are annoying.
     
  5. The.316 thread starter macrumors 65816

    The.316

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Location:
    25100 GR
    #5
    I played around with the ATV 2, and its very similar to the ATV I currently have set up. To be honest, I dont use the ATV much, yet. I use it to play music in the living room from my iMac, and thats pretty much it. A lot of the movies I have are still in MKV format, so what I do is just add them to a thumb drive, and play it on my Samsung LED TV directly. I want to get everything wireless though.

    I started converting some movies mp4 via Handbrake, but Im not too sure about the subtitles. I know HB has a Apple TV setting, but I just want to make sure the quality is as good as it can get. I see other things like Air Video, and wonder if I just should use that, and have everything playing from one of my externals. Could I maybe add all the movies I have to an external drive, and connect it to my Time Capsule? Would I then be able to use something like Air Video to get the movies from the HD?
     
  6. The.316 thread starter macrumors 65816

    The.316

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
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    25100 GR
    #6
    Anyone have about an hour or so of free time for me? Maybe we can set up a chat via FB, Yahoo or MSN?

    This is my current set up:

    [​IMG]

    Currently, I have everything connected to the TC. I can wirelessly print from the MBP and the iMac. What I want to do is have everything completely wireless. I want to be able to connect one of the Apple TVs to either the TC or the iMac, and watch whatever movie or tv show I have available. I understand that if I use Handbrake, I can do that through iTunes, but Im not exactly sure which settings to use in order to get the best possible picture on my TV. I recently got iVi, so maybe that would be a better option for me. I also saw something called Air Video, which if I understand correctly, would allow me to wirelessly watch video with any format. But I would have to convert the videos regardless to watch them on my iphone or ipad, correct?

    This has been something I have been trying to figure out for the past few months, but I really didnt have the time to do it. Im hoping someone has some time to really help me get this done and over with. Thanks!
     
  7. rayward, Jan 16, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012

    rayward macrumors 68000

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    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #7
    I have only 1st gen ATVs. For me, I do not see a good enough reason to upgrade to 2nd gen units, because the 1st gen does all I need, plus the 2s have some things that are a problem for me.

    Contrary to comments above, the 1st gen plays HB 720p encodes of Blu Ray rips perfectly. True, the ATV2 can handle 30fps whereas the ATV1 maxes out at 25fps but, as Blu Ray movies are at 23.976fps, this is not an issue (TV shows often have a frame rate at just under 30fps, but HB can drop this to 24 so it doesn't faze my ATVs). The ATV2 can handle a higher bitrate too, but I have experienced problems on my ATVs on only 2 or 3 films (and can be fixed by backing off the RF factor when encoding).

    Also, for me, the ATV1 has the advantage of an analog 2nd audio out connection, as opposed to the 2's digital out. It saves having to buy an adapter to have a separate connection to Zone 2 on my receiver. Obviously, if you don't have a receiver (or one without a 2nd zone) this is moot.

    Of what I know of the ATV2, I would say:

    Pros: Better CPU; built-in Netflix; possibility of an App Store down the road; smaller and cooler (as in you can't fry eggs on it like the 1st gen).
    Cons: No analog audio out and it requires active internet connection to watch even locally stored content (see thread in here about home sharing issues).
     
  8. rayward macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #8
    Use the ATV2 preset in HB, and you won't be far wrong. The only things I do to mess with the preset is to:

    (1) Change the frame rate to be "Same as Source", because HB's preset is for 29.xxx fps and I don't see the need to change the frame rate when movies are usually at 23.976fps; and

    (2) Change the anamorphic setting (under the Picture settings) to be "Custom" and adjust the height to be 720, leaving the width to be 1280. This gives you the max vertical resolution, but a greater horizontal resolution that will play perfectly well on an ATV - even my 1st gens.

    As for subtitles, that's a little more complicated, but not horrendous. Here's my workflow (all apps being a free download):

    (1) Rip the Blu Ray with MakeMKV, including all the English subtitle tracks.
    (2) Extract the subtitle track(s) from the ripped file using MKVTools.
    (3) Open the subtitle track in BDSup2Sub, and confirm that it's the "forced only" track (you can see the subs and the timing, and this should make it obvious if it's the forced only or the full subs). Just run through each track until you find the correct one. Once you have identified the correct track, export it (it saves into the same folder as your rip file).
    (4) Open the rip file in MKVMerge, uncheck all of its subtitle tracks, add your exported sub track and mux the file.
    (5) Open the muxed file in HB and set up your settings as normal. Then, on the subtitle window, select your subtitle track and make sure that "Burned In" is checked (it should check this for you). Encode away.

    You wrote that you have most of your media in .mkv format already. If these include the subtitle tracks, you can skip (1) of course. If not, you're going to have to re-rip your movies including the subs (MakeMKV won't extract the subtitles without ripping the whole movie too).

    As for being totally wireless, I have two of my ATVs wired and two wireless. I have good reception at both the wireless locations, and streaming works very well. I don't notice a difference between the wired and wireless units.
     
  9. The.316 thread starter macrumors 65816

    The.316

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Location:
    25100 GR
    #9
    I live in Greece, so stuff like Netflix is pointless to me. I like my ATV 1, but what I really like about the ATV 2 is that I can log into my NBA and NHL league passes, and watch it from there, rather than my iMac. I can watch the NHL via my PS3, but not the NBA. But, when I jailbroke my ATV 2, the NHL was gone. I upgraded the software to 4.4.4, but when I JB it, it removed the NHL.

    I dont really need any audio out connections since I dont have a home theater/receiver, so that doesnt really effect me. Im just looking for the easiest way to get everything to talk to one another. I noticed XMBC on the ATV 2, so I was wondering if that was an option? I wouldnt have to use HB for anything, and I can have everything stored on one of my externals. If anyone knows though, can I connect one of my externals to my time capsule, and access that from all my devices?
     
  10. rayward macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #10

    I've never jailbroken anything, so you'll need others in here to comment on that. I had music and photos only stored on my Mac before I got an ATV, so all my movie rips have been coded with ATVs in mind - hence, no need to jailbreak.
     
  11. CocoaPuffs macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    #11
    XMBC is gold on ATV2, whereas it was running really sluggish on ATV1.

    The Hulu, regular not Hulu Plus, plugin alone may be rewarding enough for a lot of people to switch to ATV2.
     
  12. The Mad Hatter macrumors 6502a

    The Mad Hatter

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    Oct 12, 2004
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    SoCal
    #12
    The Hulu plugin is nice, but the IceFilms plugin rules them all. ;-)
     
  13. CocoaPuffs macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    #13
    Icefilms would be nicer if ATV2 can actually handle divx encoding.
     

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