AppleTV guide

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Dingo Dave 69, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. Dingo Dave 69 macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2007
    A few months ago I bought an AppleTV. I had a lot of questions about it at first and did a lot of researching over exactly what it could do and how I would set it up to do everything I wanted. I found it time consuming to do all of this research and have since found in this forum a lot of people asking the same sort of questions. For this reason I have created this thread to explain what it can be used for and how to get it all working.

    You can use AppleTV with either a Mac or a PC. All of the steps I will outline can be used on both, barr the exception of one program which is only available on the mac.

    To begin, the best way to think of AppleTV is an ipod for your television. Anything you have in itunes can be shown on your AppleTV. You can also link photos to it similar to how you would put photo’s onto your ipod. The AppleTV lets you browse the itunes store and buy or download music, tv programs, films, and podcasts. This is all very easy to do and is just a case of following the onscreen menus.

    The main part that people question is how to get their own content onto AppleTV such as films and TV programs. I hope this guide will help explain this process.

    Step 1: You will need to rip the DVD onto your PC or Mac. To do this on a PC I would recommend using DVDShrink and for a Mac I would recommend using MactheRipper. Both programs are free to download and will do the job perfectly. On average you are looking at a DVD taking around 10 mins to rip to your computer with either of these programs.

    Step 2: Once you have ripped the DVD to your computer, you will have a VIDEO TS folder and an AUDIO TS Folder. In order to get these files into a format compatible with appleTV you will need to convert them. To do this download and use a program called Handbrake. Handbrake is free to download and is available on both PC’s and Macs. This program has a default AppleTV setting, you simply select the VIDEO TS Files you wish to convert and let Handbrake do its stuff. This can take a while depending on your spec of PC / Mac. If you are doing a lot of files it is worth noting that you can create a queue of files for the program to convert and leave it running.

    Step 3: You will now have a much smaller file of the film. If you have a Mac I would recommend downloading MetaX and dragging the file into this Application. MetaX will look up the artwork and film details and add to the file. MetaX is a free program and is really good. If you have a PC I am not aware of any other programs that will do this for you, but it can be done manually in itunes by right-clicking a file and selecting “Get info”. It is worth remembering that if the file you are adding is your own video you can add your own description and cover art to it just in the same way.

    Step 4: Now you have the completed file, just double-click it and it will automatically open and be added to itunes. You can now turn on your AppleTV and watch the film.

    Note: If you are saving the file to an external drive you will need to turn off itunes default selection of copying the file into the itunes library. To do this go into preferences, click the Advanced tab, and uncheck the option “Copy files to itunes music folder when adding to Library” This will ensure a duplicate copy of the movie file will not be created on your Computers main Hard drive.

    It is also worth noting that if you have a TV series on DVD you can import them into itunes and catergorise them by Seasons which looks very nice and keeps everything very neat and in the right place. Regarding people wondering what to do with videos they already have that are not cpmpatible with AppleTV, I would recommend isquint or VisualHub for the Mac which can convert most files into AppleTV friendly ones. I am unsure what PC programs can do this. Also if you want to watch a film from your AppleTV harddrive and have your PC turned off you must sync it through itunes first, otherwise you can watch it by streaming but you must have your computer on and itunes open.

    AppleTV is a great product and can save swapping DVD’s over and is a nice place to access all your video files on your television. If you stop watching a file it will know where to go back to when you resume too. I have found mine very useful and hope this is of some help to people. If anyone has any questions please feel free to post and I will do my best to help.
  2. jim.arrows macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2006
    Thanks for taking the time to write this up; I personally already knew the info, but it should prove helpful to the newbies. Kudos!
  3. TheQuestion macrumors regular

    Aug 3, 2007
    Location is relative, no?
    A very good piece. I don't have the time to sit down and type one out. I'm trying to convince my brother's family to get one. Mind if I "borrow" this?
  4. Dingo Dave 69 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 23, 2007
    Thanks for the comments guys. I just knew how long it took me to research and was hoping it would of use to some people new to AppleTV. I have got enough help over the years on forums so thought I would do my best to give some help back :D

    "TheQuestion" - no problems feel free to borrow. I posted it to help people and the more it helps the better,

    Cheers guys :)

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