Apple TV

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by caughtintheweb, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. caughtintheweb macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    #1
    Should I buy an apple tv or should I wait for next release. I presume that its been some time since the last upgrade.
     
  2. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #2
    We aren't talking about a huge investment here. If you want the features now, then get it now. In my case, I'm holding off on Apple TV because I don't want to have to leave iTunes running to "serve" my content, especially movies and I don't want to bother with the extra step of "importing" movies I've already ripped into iTunes.

    I have a couple of network hard drives, one from LaCie and one from Synology. They support, to varying degrees "DLNA" which allows streaming of movies, music and photos to any "internet ready" TV or bluray player. I can rip my own DVDs and home movies and simply put them on the network drive and watch them without commercials and without internet related connection problems whenever I like. A few months ago, I picked up a Roku box when our cable was acting up. I was disappointed with the selection and I took it back to the store. I don't use Netflix these days. I use Amazon (for now).

    Apple TV supports Netflix, but not Hulu or Amazon (the last time I checked). I'd rather not have to jailbreak the thing to watch what I want to watch from whoever is the low cost provider this month.

    The biggest part of the decision is whose content do you want? If you don't mind being tied to iTunes, then perhaps Apple TV is right for you. If you want more flexibility and don't mind waiting, wait and see what will show up at CES this coming year. When it comes to music, Apple is the content provider of choice, but movies and TV not so much.
     
  3. caughtintheweb thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    #3
    Considering that I have an imac i dont mind being tied to itunes. Though I am having a tough time converting everything i have to mp4. Only thing I did not want is to buy apple tv and a month later they come up with upgrades to support all types of files and i look like an idiot. hehe

    I dont netflix or amazon and will not be subscribing to them. My main purpose is not to wire my macbook to the tv so that i can continue working on my macbook. My tv is a bit old so its not internet ready nor can it accept usb drive or hdd.

    Also $99 for a student is not a small investment :). :D
     
  4. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #4
    Apple TV might be right for you, assuming you have wifi or wired ethernet so the Apple TV has access to content you have on your imac.

    I tried running "Plex" media server on my Macbook and it kept the fans running all the time. The fans run, though not quite as much if I leave iTunes running, hence my desire to serve my media from an NAS instead of using iTunes. But that's just my personal preference. I might wind up with Apple TV myself depending on whether I keep either Amazon or Netflix around past my 30 day trials. For me the problem with Apple TV is video content is PAYG while with both Amazon and Netflix, I get hundreds of hours of content for "free" with a subscription ($8 a month for Netflix and $7 a month for amazon) either of which would be cheaper than what I'm paying Comcast right now.

    I have been using handbrake to convert my dvd's, both purchased and home videos, to m4v format so I can view them on my DLNA aware TVs or on my iPhone or iPad. There is a Mac mini in the family room, near the internet aware TV. I've been resisting running a VGA cable to it but I might break down and do it sooner or later. You can use your computer on one screen while showing video on the other screen with no problem. A computer connected to a TV offers much better capabilities than a Cable set top box, Tivo, Roku, and Apple TV combined.
     
  5. Ayemerica macrumors demi-god

    Ayemerica

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Location:
    Atlantis but in space
    #5
    I would just pull the trigger on it. At 100 dollars it is not the biggest risk in the world.
     
  6. caughtintheweb thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    #6
    Pulled the trigger. :D

    Now I need to figure out a quick way to convert some of my mkv to mp4 files. Some of them are taking 2 hours even on my powerful imac using handbrake !

    Any ideas ?
     
  7. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #7
    Of course you could pick up a 16 core Mac Pro to shorten the conversion from hours to minutes but I seem to recall you said spending more money was not the most desirable option right now. :D

    And here I thought the reason Handbrake was taking so long was because my Macbook is 4 years old! Perhaps you can do "batch" conversion overnight?
     
  8. Ayemerica macrumors demi-god

    Ayemerica

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Location:
    Atlantis but in space
    #8
    I always do MKV to MP4 conversions when i know i am not going to be home, so when i come home my movies are all ready. I use my 2009 and 2010 iMac for converting so i have two machines going at once, anything short of that expect it to take awhile for a libary of films lol
     
  9. ckpthunder macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    #9
    If you have a Mac, get 'iFlicks' which allows you to remux movies (mkv or avi's) without fully converting them. Takes less than 2 minutes per movie to be able to add them to iTunes. These movies are playable on any A4 device or higher including the Apple TV 2. I've tried this a few times now with our iPad and everything looks fine so far. Great time saver.

    Special thanks to silentsim for sharing this tip with me.
     
  10. caughtintheweb thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    #10
    Thanks for the reply.

    Did you say 2 mins or was it a typo ? Whats the catch with this conversion ? Does it reduce the quality significantly ?
     
  11. ckpthunder macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    #11
    2 minutes was the longest it has taken me so far. I've only tried this on mkv files but I hear it can be done on avi's as well.

    I haven't noticed a great difference in quality but it's hard to decipher quality differences on an iPad.

    I did notice a thread about this on Macrumors as well. You can read about it here. http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1123314
     
  12. caughtintheweb thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    #12
    Oh okie. Thats a nice post. Thanks for your help.

    whats remuxing btw ? :D
     
  13. caughtintheweb thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    #13
    iFlicks is working great. But its taking a lot of time in encoding the audio. Rest of it takes about 2-3 mins for 8 gb file.
     
  14. robjohn3333 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    #14
    re: converting files for use with Apple TV - I don't know if anyone has touched upon this, but if you have an iPad or iPhone of relative vintage, there's no need to convert files. Just install the free Air Video Server on your Mac, and Air Video on your iOS device. Then access your Mac-based files from the iOS device using Air Video - choose "Convert Files and Play" (?0 (don't have the program in front of me right now :)), and then on your iOs device specify your Apple TV as the playback device (using Airplay). After a short pause for buffering, the file will be converted, streamed from your computer, and then played on the Apple TV at whatever the resolution of the source was (possibly up to 720p?)...
    Best!
    Robjohn
     

Share This Page