Apple TV, will it just work?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Capt Crunch, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. Capt Crunch macrumors 6502

    Aug 26, 2001
    Cleveland, OH
    Since forever I have been looking for a reliable way to play my movies on my HDTV. First I got a mac mini and a time capsule. I stored all my movies on the time capsule and streamed them to the mac mini. Everything was peachy except the mac mini couldn't play 1080p. It didn't have gigabit ethernet, nor did it have the processing power.

    So I sold it for an hp with huge specs. It's so freakin' unreliable that it's infuriating. I have a million codecs, some files will play nice with some codecs, but not with others. I'm tempted to sell it and get an Apple TV.

    I realize that an Apple TV will not play 1080p. I will have to re-encode using Visual Hub to 720p @ 24 fps. I have many questions:

    1 - Are most downloaded HD videos 24 fps? The several that I have already are. Are there many higher fps videos out there? If so, what happens when you convert it to 24 fps?

    2 - I have a ton of videos that I don't want to have to convert to mp4. They are located in my movies folder on my iMac. Is there a way to play them through the Apple TV? How?

    3 - Will the lack of gagbit ethernet give me any problems? I DO NOT WANT STUTTERING. I have been dealing with it forever. I want to sit on my couch and have the damn stuff work.

    Please give it to me straight, I've gone through 2 setups and I don't want to be disappointed.

    Thanks everyone.
  2. crotalus99 macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2007
    1. I know nothing about fps and such. I basically use the standard conversion to mp4 and couldn't tell you what that is offhand. To me it looks a good as the standard DVD on the 50" LCD. I have not tried HD stuff yet.

    2. How are the videos stored on your iMac? I hacked 2 of my 3 aTVs and transfer some .avi file to it and then use Sapphire to tag and play them on the aTV. It works nicely, but not as clean and nice as using iTunes. IMO However, for something you may not want on permanently it works well. Some people like it a lot and you can use the USB port on the back of the aTV to hook up a secondary storage device store the movies and it frees up your iMac. Downside is that if you get a second aTV you can't stream.
    There is also a way to stream movies from a media center device, but haven't done this. I believe that .avi stream well from what I read, but not DVD files. Not positive on this though. Check out the aTV hack forums for more info on this. The hack is as simple as plugging in a USB stick and rebooting the aTV.

    3. I use wireless N and one aTV is gigbit ethernet and really notice no difference when the movies are playing. The gigbit is a bit quicker when viewing the menus for the art work to come up.

    ** My setup is a Mac Mini (G4) with a Drobo 3TB connected to it and then ethernet to a TM. 3 aTV work off it and I could not be happier with the setup. The whole setup sits on a shelf in my home office. It is just beautiful to have hundreds of movies at your fingertips from any tv in the house.

    Here is a pic.
  3. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    Totally depends on who encoded it and where the source came from ( bittorrent is basically a pig and a poke) European stuff is PAL and is typically 25 fps. US NTSC sources are either typically 23.976 fps (film) or if its an HD Capture like from an eyetv its gonna be 29.97 fps. Who knows what you'll get off of the internet.

    Hack, it. Google is your friend. Beware, that in light of your condition set forth below, it may not be as "plug and play" as you'd like.

    Shouldn't depending on what kind of bitrate you try to push through it and how much other traffic is on your network.

    Who doesn't just want the damn thing to work ? I don't think you have a corner on that market.
  4. brian doherty macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2007
    From looking around these forums I've noticed that people who already have a large video library of different codecs and file types, generally arn't as happy with the Apple TV because it doesn't play nicely with very many types.

    I however, didn't have much of a library at all, and starting it using handbrake and all mp4's has made my Apple TV work flawlessly.

    A note on the streaming HD, it depends on the bitrate and how good your network is. I watched the Blender short film Big Buck Bunny in 720p encoded with H.264 and it works, sometimes. It really depended on the network traffic with the wireless (g, n). If you can I'd suggest using Ethernet if you plan on using streaming alot of HD movies. Standard def works amazingly well.
  5. ipedro macrumors 68040


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    I love your setup :) I'm considering something similar but I'm curious why the Time Capsule? Doesn't the Drobo have redundant backup?

    I'm thinking of getting an old Mac Mini with an EyeTV to record my fav shows off OTA HD channels and forward it all to my :apple:TV. I'll store it all on a Drobo.
  6. crotalus99 macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2007
    I had the Time Capsule a couple of months before I started the aTV setup with the Drobo. Now I am using it for backup of the computers in the house instead of going through the mini to the Drobo. It probably doesn't matter, but I had it already so figured I would make use of it.

    I would love to know how you make out with the EyeTV. Right now I am using Miro to capture TV shows over bit torrent and then I transfer them to the aTVs in .avi format. It works great, but would like to get rid of the extra step of connecting to the aTV with FTP and transferring the files. I know getting spoiled!!

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