Apple TV vs. WD TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by malch, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. malch macrumors 6502

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    Jan 20, 2008
    #1
    Hi there,
    I'm not really familiar with either of these units, but I'm wondering if the fact that the WD TV plays stuff in 1080p gives it an advantage over the Apple TV. Or does the Apple TV have other advantages? I'm a long-time Apple user, so I don't, in fact, like the fact that the WD TV requires the use of USB drives (for storage); I have a few firewire drives lying around which I'd rather use.
    Any advice?
    malch
     
  2. hitekalex macrumors 68000

    hitekalex

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    Chicago, USA
    #2
    There's been a number of other threads about WDTV. In a nutshell, WDTV makes an OK low-cost stand-alone streamer.. but if you want integration into Apple/iTunes ecosystem (incl. iPhone/iTouch control) - aTV is a far superior solution.
     
  3. danny_w macrumors 601

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    Austin, TX
    #3
    They each have their good points and their bad points. WDTV allows connection to external USB drives, so you don't have to rely on streaming, and also supports many more formats than :apple:TV (such as ISO) and supports any tv with either 4:3 or widescreen aspect ratio (but unfortunately has on HDMI and composite outputs). As hitekalex said, the :apple:TV integrates nicely with iTunes and has a much nicer interface, but supports only very limited formats, does not support 4:3 tv's, and requires streaming for large libraries b/c of limited hard drive space. I am still looking for something that combines the strengths of both (but I do have the original :apple:TV hacked for 4:3 format).
     
  4. malch thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 20, 2008
    #4
    thanks for both of your replies.
    I can't help but think that Apple will have to update its Apple-TV to true HD soon.
    In the meantime, I'll try to get a better sense of how I'd put either of these things to work for me. All I know now is that I'm sick of renting movies from the local movie-rental place. Horrible selection, and expensive.
    By the way, here's a doc that's worth renting at any cost: Man on Wire.
    It's brilliant.
    Cheers,
    malch
     
  5. rickeym macrumors member

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    Nov 4, 2005
    #5
    Here's hoping for an Apple-TV update in January. Maybe with an hdmi connection built in.:rolleyes:
     
  6. hitekalex macrumors 68000

    hitekalex

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    #6
    What's your definition of "true" HD? ATV displays 720p beautifully, which is as HD as it gets for most of us..

    Ever heard of Netflix?
     
  7. hitekalex macrumors 68000

    hitekalex

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    #7
    Your kidding right? Apple TV does come with HDMI, no need to wait until January
     
  8. Kusanagi6913 macrumors newbie

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    Jun 10, 2008
    #8
    TY Hitekalex--I was so about to say the same thing. It comes with it..and the picture is damn good now with the right TV and if the movie was encoded well to begin with. It's not Blu-ray but damn if it looks worse than standard cable and standard HD cable at that.
     
  9. fatcat23 macrumors member

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    Apr 28, 2008
    #9
    if you download tv or movies from places where you don't pay for them. ;)
    Then the WD TV is a much better choice. It plays 1080p mkv's and all avi's..AC3, dts (??) - not sure, check the 1st post.

    Apple tv is a networked player (with a built in hd) while the wd tv only reads from usb hard drives hooked up to it.

    I would rather choose the WD TV, it plays what the apple tv does and is cheaper, about half the price. It plays h264 and avchd, so blu-ray compatiable. After converting ofcourse, theres no internal drive.
     
  10. bsmith1 macrumors newbie

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    Jan 5, 2008
    #10
    Would this work to get network connection?

    If you connected the WD TV via usb to a network capable external hard drive like the My Book World edition...and them connected the My book World to your network via ethernet...would you then be able to load stuff to the My book from your computer and then play it from the WD TV?

    If so, there would be no need to disconnect, connect to add content.

    Thanks.
     
  11. fatcat23 macrumors member

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    Apr 28, 2008
    #11
    That seems like it should work, I doubt anybody has tried that before tho.

    The WD TV would be less confused if you added new files on the network connected hard drive while its off. It won't try and index then. Also the hard drive wont care if you have the WDTV connected but not on, since no power/data is being supplied to it. I'm sure of that one.

    Best bet would be to buy it from somewhere where you can easily return it like bestbuy, if this function is the deciding factor for you.

    Good Luck!
     
  12. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

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    Feb 4, 2008
    #12
    Thank goodness someone got onto that. There is absolutely nothing at all "true" or "full" about HD. Apple even lists 480p movie trailers under "high definition." I wouldn't call 480p HD because standard DVDs aren't high definition. But 720p is, as are 1080i and 1080p.

    I'm pretty sure AppleTV is capable of 1080p because of its photo playback (1920x1080 pixels = "HD" photo) and because there's not a good reason for it not to be hardware-capable of doing that. There just isn't any 1080p content available anywhere that I know of except for Blu-ray Disc and some movies with Dish Network.

    The deal is if you want all the iTunes integration, you'll have to get an AppleTV. If you want all that extra selection, do like hitekalex said and get Netflix. I use it and get Blu-ray Discs all the time, rent a few DVDs, and can stream a lot of stuff as well. If you want selection, Netflix is the way to go.
     
  13. Capt Crunch macrumors 6502

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    Cleveland, OH
    #13
    HD really doesn't entirely refer to the resolution of the movie, it's more the bitrate. An "HD" movie from apple has a lower bitrate than a standard DVD. The difference between a 720p Apple movie and a native 720p movie is huge. The apple TV cannot play native 1080p let alone 720p because it's' processor just doesn't have the muscle. If you're talking about downloaded 1080p movies from unnamed sources, there is no way an Apple TV can play 1080p because a 1.83 Core 2 Duo can't do it.
     
  14. bsmith1 macrumors newbie

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    Jan 5, 2008
    #14
    OK, I m going to see if something better from Apple is released this week, hoping for the ATV and Mini to be combined...

    If not, I will try this arrangement to see if it works. Will let you know.



     
  15. dynaflash macrumors 68020

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    Mar 27, 2003
    #15
    Er, then what is the HD "standard" for bitrate ? How does a heavily compressed "HD" 720p movie via say comcast fall into your definitions ?
    Or say OTA HD vs. Blu-Ray HD ?
     
  16. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #16
    Yes please enlighten us about what true HD is? I am very interested to hear this.
     
  17. ChemiosMurphy macrumors 6502

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    Warminster, PA
    #17
    FullHD is 1080p. A lot of companies have used this term to differentiate between 720. BTW, the WD is a much better player in terms of bitrate and quality, if that matters to you. It handles 1080 and a ton of formats.
     
  18. dynaflash macrumors 68020

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    #18
    .... which stipulates 1080 horizontal lines of resolution .... and bitrate ?
     
  19. Capt Crunch macrumors 6502

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    #19
  20. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #20
    and 720P? Are you saying that is not true HD? What about 1080i?
     
  21. TheZA macrumors regular

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    Sep 14, 2007
    #21
    Please do keep us informed; I would like to know.
     
  22. dynaflash macrumors 68020

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    #22
  23. Capt Crunch macrumors 6502

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    #23
    That was my point. Are we in violent agreement? :)
     
  24. fatcat23 macrumors member

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    Apr 28, 2008
    #24
    When people(and companys) say FullHD the mean 1080P which is agreed upon above. Except for computers and gaming systems only BluRay players can output this resolution. For this topic just look at Bluray players and these two boxes(aTV and WD TV). I think some directv boxes can do 1080p, but lets just forget about that.

    What is the average bitrate of 720p Apple tv downloads? Blu-Ray at 1080p is usually 25Mbit/s. http://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=3338 Discussed below.

    Many BD rips released by "scene" groups are usually at about 11-14 Mbit/s for 1080p and 6-9 Mbit/s for 720p. I think that apple movies/rentals are at 5Mbit/s for 720p. I'm not sure of a max bitrate for 720p(with the apple tv) but i think its about 5Mbit/s.

    So with this info, comparing The WD TV and aTV both at 720p(and the same source(framerate and codec) , the higher bitrate(on the WD TV) will look better.

    Resolution and Bitrate have to be looked at together when comparing qualities (as well as framerate [24,30,60,etc] as a higher framerate will require a higher bitrate per second, also so does the codec [AVCHD, MPEG2/4, VC1]). You will notice the huge difference in some BD's bitrate in that link, but they look the same. It's all very confusing but there is no one solid stat when comparing movie qualitys. But usually (99.5% of the time) 1080p is better than 720p.

    The WD TV can playback 1080p "scene rips" at whatever bitrate (usually 11-14) which is why I think its better, plus there are ways of getting those movies without paying for them. ;)
     

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