AppleTV for young child?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by miTunes75, Jun 9, 2007.

  1. miTunes75 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Has anyone purchased an :apple: TV for their young child's bedroom? I know every household is different, but our kids share a room and they go to sleep watching dvds. Plus, they also watch one during the day. I have purchased Nemo 3 times now b/c they always end up breaking their copy. I don't copy the dvds, b/c i can't seem to find any mac software that will make a decent copy without making the screen copy as it pans from one side to another. But, I thought, when I get an appletv for the livingroom, i'll just get one for the kids, too.

    Does anyone else do this?
     
  2. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

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    #2
    no... but can you adopt me :p :D
    I think its a really good idea. A little pricey but i guess you won't have to buy dvd's over again
     
  3. psycoswimmer macrumors 65816

    psycoswimmer

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    #3
    I don't have kids. We don't even own an :apple:TV.

    But if you have the money and it's not an issue, this does seem like a nice idea for the room. Just make sure its not in a place where it could be damaged or destroyed by kids.
     
  4. TimJim macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    yeah i think you should, that would be a good idea.
     
  5. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

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    #5
    Use a program like Handbrake to back your DVDs up. As long as you have a copy of the disk, it's legal.
     
  6. miTunes75 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6

    I have tried that in the past, then I just get the issues that I posted at the beginning :confused:
     
  7. maokh macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I think its a great idea.

    Kids are extremely abusive on DVDs and VHS tapes. I am in the process of converting a bunch of kid DVDs with handbrake and dropping them into iTunes. My 3 year old navigates the AppleTV like a pro. I just make them about 700 megs each. Kids dont care about quality.

    I just have one Apple TV right now connected to our main TV, but i am thinking about picking up a cheap wide 22" LCD and another Apple TV for this very purpose.
     
  8. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #8
    Not in the US.


    I think it's a good idea.
     
  9. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

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    #9
    I could not understand your problem about panning, could you elaborate. I've used Handbrake a few times and it works fine for me.
     
  10. speakerwizard macrumors 68000

    speakerwizard

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    #10
    or the uk lol
     
  11. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #11
    Since when?
     
  12. AdeFowler macrumors 68020

    AdeFowler

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    #12
    Try:

    http://www.mactheripper.org/

    It creates an exact copy of your DVD onto your hard drive, which you can then burn to DVD as and when you need it.
     
  13. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

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    #13
    the new version makes it dead easy to rip for :apple:TV. If you haven't tried it recently, i recommend it.
     
  14. MagicUK macrumors regular

    MagicUK

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    #14
    Hey thanks for starting this thread, I don't have any kids myself but I have a Nephew and another neice/nephew on the way. One of the cool things about visiting Uncle Mark is [Apparently] the DVD collection.

    Now I have looked at the :apple: TV offering and thus far have not been able to justify it, but this maybe all I need.

    Just one question. I use Handbrake to Rip my DVD's and then stuff them in my iTunes Library on my MBP. Now from what I understand :apple: TV allow you to sync one machine, so this will sync the DVD's I have ripped on my MBP to the :apple: TV box. Now if I delete them from the MBP (Disk space) can I make sure they stay on the :apple: TV box ?

    In essence I want the :apple: TV box to be the master for movies.
     
  15. miTunes75 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    when the camera moves with the people walking, etc - the movement is kinda chopped.
     
  16. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

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    #16
    I've been using the old version, but I've never noticed such problems. What is the bitrate you are using? Somewhere around 1500 and 2500 kbps works fine for me. In any case, if you need a new copy of Nemo, buying from iTunes is probably the easiest if you are getting an :apple:TV
     
  17. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #17
    Well if you can't get your DVDs to copy using handbrake, then you won't be watching DVDs on your :apple: TV


    Also how old are the kids? Will they be able to use the :apple:TV alone? If they break the DVDs, do you think they will break the :apple:TV
     
  18. sanford macrumors 65816

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    #18
    I finally had to buy an electric, full-powered DVD cleaner/buffer because my son did the same thing with his DVDs until maybe 2 or 3 months ago -- he just turned 3. He also watches a lot of movies.

    The problem is you'll need a widescreen EDTV or HDTV in your kids room to go with the Apple TV. Technically, all you need is a standard-def TV with component inputs, but those cost more than regular SD TVs, and Apple specifies EDTV or HDTV, widescreen, so anything else is sort of a hack and can't be guaranteed to continue to work if Apple updates the software on the Apple TV. You can achieve the same sort of DVD-protecting results -- without being able to play iTunes Store purchased movies, TV shows or music, but still -- by buying the DVD, ripping it with Handbrake (free) to an Apple TV (good) quality setting .mp4 file -- you'd have to do this anyway for the Apple TV, and of course you can store it in your iTunes, or archive it to a back-up hard drive or data DVD for use on your own Apple TV when you want it -- and then use a utility like Burn (free) to burn it to a blank DVD-R -- which are about $20 for a spindle-pack of 50 these days. Then put the original DVDs safely away on a high shelf. That's a much cheaper solution than installing an Apple TV and perhaps a new, expensive TV in your kids room.

    I almost went the two Apple TV route and put one in our sons' room along with a buying a small, cheap as possible widescreen HDTV for it. Until it dawned on me that when they knock the Apple TV off the dresser, or whale on it with some heavy toy, I'm out $299. When they scratch up the copied DVD, I'm out less than $.50 and a little unattended computer time to make another copy.

    Good news is that they outgrow battering the heck out of the DVDs. Well, our toddler son did. Our 12-year-old daughter *still* can't be trusted with DVDs without supervision. So it depends on the kid.
     
  19. maokh macrumors 6502

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    #19
    The solution is pretty cheap.

    There has been a massive price drop on 22" widescreen LCDs that are a few pixels shy of 1920x1080 with DVI inputs. The AppleTV is a dirt cheap media server. Sounds like a no brainer to me for someone who isnt pinching pennies and does not like spending their weekends trying to burn a bunch of DVDR's.

    Not only that, but there are a lot of educational podcasts available (including some very impressive HD shows, like DiveHD) that my daughter just loves.

    The AppleTV remote (which i have a pile of now, as they come with each of these macbooks) is pretty much kid proof. I have a 3 1/2 year old who cant really read that does just fine in the menu. Its all image based anyway.

    Forget the 160GB model...just stream everything. The thing with the AppleTV is once you delete those movies off your local hard drive, they go away on the AppleTV. Might as well just mount a big file server and call it good.
     
  20. sanford macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Pairing it with an LCD computer monitor instead of an HDTV at about $300 with the Apple TV at $300, I would call a cheap a solution for an adult's, say, den or home office. $600 for a TV/DVD in a child's room is not what I'd characterize as cheap, pinching pennies or not. There's also no DVI output on the Apple TV -- component and HDMI only, plus RCA composite and optical audio -- so you'd require some sort of HDMI-to-DVI adapter. And you'd need at the least powered speakers or some sort of stereo system for the audio. You're pushing $800 at least. (And that system won't be able to play TV at all if you do now, or wish at a future date for the kids to have broadcast or cable/satellite TV in their room. For that price, you may as well get your kids a full blown 17" iMac, which can play all media, DVDs, etc., and be their computer when they're older.) A standard-def TV with built-in DVD player for a child's room is about $150. In your case, it's nothing, as it already sounds like you have the necessities to play DVDs in your kids' room.

    It's only a time savings if you're going to buy all your media from the iTunes Store. There's a lot of Disney/Pixar and a fair amount of Disney stuff on there, but you'll be locked to an Apple TV -- no taking it with you to friends or relatives houses -- and there are other kids' movies from studios other than Disney. If you buy physical DVDs, you're still going to have to rip them to get them onto the Apple TV as the ATV won't play DVDs. So the time investment is still there, which is mostly unattended. Burning the duplicate DVDs from blanks, the ones that won't cost you $10-20 to replace if they get scratched beyond repair, will only take, with something like Burn, about another half hour or hour -- there's encode to MPEG2, the DVD encoding format involved -- but that's all unattended.

    He is however right about skipping the 160GB Apple TV model. If you're not keeping the movies in your iTunes library, they don't stay on the Apple TV, so it's not like that extra space on the ATV frees up space on your Mac. I just archive things I'm not watching on my Apple TV to a external hard drive that I also use for back-up, and then copy them back to my iTunes library when I want them on my iPod or Apple TV. That takes a few minutes. It's the sync'ing them to the Apple TV over Airport that takes forever. As for the video podcasts, if you find any of them of value, these aren't copy-protected media and you can burn them to writable or re-writable DVDS with burn, too. They won't be in high definition, but high-definition barely matters on a 17" or 19" TV set. I would bet high definition barely matters to a young child, period.

    He's also right about the remotes. They're so simple, they'd require a focused effort to break. Also, he's more or less right about the interface. Picking music would be difficult for a child who can't read, but learning the steps to play a video by watching you do it -- depending on the child and how he learns processes -- they'd probably pick up in a few days.

    Obviously, it's up to you, but I think spending near a $1,000, minimum, by the time it's all said and done, to prevent your kids scratching DVDs is too much when you can do it for about $20 with the equipment you already have. Also, for me, the ultimate goal is to teach my sons to treat the DVDs well, because this is going to apply to CDs, which of course you can duplicate, but also to console video games in the future -- and those are now $50 or $60, and you can't duplicate back-up copies of those. I think, too, slowly teaching them to treat valuable collections well, like DVDs, will apply to some degree to treating all of their and your things well in the future, when they have the physical coordination to handle things with care.

    Realize, I did strongly consider the Apple TV for my sons' room, too, along with buying a new HDTV to go along with it. But ultimately I decided it was a gadget-obsessed way to push in a thumb tack with a jackhammer.
     
  21. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #21
    Just FWIW, the iMac in my sig is the kids' computer and my youngest has been using Front Row to pick his movies and music since he was 2.5 years old. IMHO :apple: TV's interface is a wee bit more complicated than Front Row, which again would favor a Mac over :apple:TV for a kids' room. (Presuming $ is no object).

    B
     
  22. PhatBoyG macrumors regular

    PhatBoyG

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    #22
    A stack of blank DVD's, some reasonable software, and an Epson printer to print on the disc a picture of what's on it (for kids who can't read) and you're still out less than the cost of an Apple TV.

    Plus, they work in the car, play area portable DVD player, big TV w/DVD player, etc.

    Yes, the :apple:TV solution is slick, but it's expensive.
     
  23. sanford macrumors 65816

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    #24
    The movies I understand, since there's an image associated. For music, sometimes there is indeed an album cover associated, but as for picking a particular song from an album -- as opposed to a mixed-up playlist where the album art is more significant since it may be the only song off that album -- that's more of a problem. Unless the kid can read of course. If he can't read, and the album covers are all the same, then he's counting steps to get to the songs he wants, or using pattern recognition to recognize the title of the song he wants looks different in the Roman alphabet than all the other songs -- this kind of pattern recognition is of course just a step shy of reading, really.

    My elder son has selecting and putting in and starting DVDs since about the same age, but of course his manual dexterity -- specifically in the area of *not scratching up the DVDs* -- hasn't caught up with his process mimicry.

    As for money, that was my point, that if you're going to spend $800+ for an Apple TV that doesn't even incorporate a TV (an LCD computer display only), you may as well buy a 17" iMac -- to which you could later add a TV tuner for $100 - 200 if you so choose, something you can't do with the Apple TV.

    This is the whole route of thinking I went through: Apple TV, but an iMac would be better at about the same cost when you factor in replacing the perfectly serviceable, high quality but small SD CRT TV already there, then the decision he's too young for a computer. That is of course a personal decision and not an indictment of your household policy, because if you think you're child is old enough for a computer in your family lifestyle, then he is. Me, I died in 1952 -- as you can see by all the posts I've made to this particular thread -- and would rather forestall introducing him to a full-blown computer. Our 12-year-old daughter, it's with the multiple IM conversation and the forbidden but sneaked MySpace page with faked age, and all the short-attention span inducing non-stop information flow stuff -- and you can't so easily put the jinn back in the bottle, though I'm trying and have had some success with her. So with the boys I want to hold off a bit, especially as to the Web and Internet.

    It would make more sense if he could read already. This has been sort of frustrating for me because I was reading your Dr. Seuss variety fare at about 18 months. I apparently taught myself, although my parents did read to me a bit. (I assure all of you I've done nothing of stunning intellectual significance since then, so it must have been a quirk. But I still expected my kids would be early readers; and they're not: they're average-age readers. Anyway, I feel sort of like I let them down in some way, not working with them enough, but then again my parents didn't read to me an excessive amount and I was probably just a freak on that single point.)

    At the end of the DVD debacle, I'd just decided to repair the old DVDs, buy new DVDs and duplicate all of them for playable copies so he wouldn't destroy the originals. So the Apple TV went in the den/library downstairs with all the other media flotsam. But by the time I came to my solution, the elder boy had learned that selecting and starting the DVDs was fine, but that due to his toddler/pre-school physical coordination, he needs to let us take the movies in and out of the case and player. So the problem sort of solved itself. Well, at least, until the 15-month-old starts in, and who knows what he'll do.
     
  24. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    #25
    Er , have you thought about just not having a TV in your kids room full stop?

    There's plenty of evidence that having TVs in bedrooms disrupts sleep and homework and all sorts of other stuff. (and I suppose this applies too to DVDs on demand)

    As you say, all families are different. I have a 2 1/2 year old toddler daughter, who knows how to play DVDs but still scratches them.

    We got rid of our TV a few months ago, and instead our daughter only watches DVDs on our spare iBook, under supervision from one of us. Her behavior has improved, she talks more, she spends more time drawing now. (getting rid of the Tom and Jerry dvds helped too!)
     

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