AppleTV/HD question

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by JohnR, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. JohnR macrumors member

    JohnR

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Location:
    Louisville, Kentucky
    #1
    If/when Apple finally gets HD content on iTunes and (hopefully) eventually get 1080p (yeah, I know...bandwidth), will Apple be able to update the AppleTV to play 1080p content via software/firmware updates or will a new AppleTV box be required?

    BTW, what is the current output of AppleTV?
     
  2. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
  3. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #3
    I doubt that Apple would have an upgrade for older aTV's for 1080p content ... or 1080p output for that matter. I think these features will make their way onto aTV Rev2 or Rev3.

    Officially: 480p/720p/1080i.
    Unofficially: 480i/480p/720p/1080i
     
  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #4
    The current output of the ATV is 720, not 1080. It can probably downsize 1080 files and it can certainly drive a 1080 device, but the output of the device itself is limited to 720. There has been some discussion if an ATV updater (software/firmware) would allow the NVIDIA 7300 chip to do 1080 (since it's capable of that) but I don't think anyone outside of Cupertino knows the answer to this. The question seems to be about frame rate at 1080i with the hardware inside the ATV.
     
  5. JohnR thread starter macrumors member

    JohnR

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Location:
    Louisville, Kentucky
    #5
    Thanks for the replies.

    On a side note:
    Cave Man, I clicked your sig about the mac mini. I also note that you have an AppleTV.

    Why both? Perhaps I should just return the AppleTV and go the Mac Mini route? How does the mac mini work with a 1080p plasma?
     
  6. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #6
    My ATV is connected to a 480i 32" SDTV in the family room. It's really convenient for wife/kids. We cut the connection to DirecTV (saving $600/year). It's also connected to a Sony DPLII receiver and does 5-channel surround.

    The Mini is the center of my basement home theater. Importantly, it does 5.1 Dolby Digital or DTS by passthrough with the optical audio port (via Toslink cable). It's also connected to a Toshiba projector with a 10'-wide Draper screen and has an EyeTV Hybrid for digital (480, 720, 1080) over-the-air television stations from Denver. It is more cumbersome to use than the ATV, but man, there's nothing like MLB or NFL in high def!

    I don't know how the mini would work with 1080p plasma, but I suspect it would be just fine so long as you have a dual-core mini (i.e., one of the new ones). You also would need to connect it to your movie server hard drive directly, either through USB2, FireWire or gigabit ethernet port, because its 802.11g is inadequate for streaming high bit-rate and/or 1080 content wirelessly.

    The Mini is much more powerful and flexible than the ATV, but it is also more expensive. The Mini can also do 1080 content (when/if it becomes available), while the ATV is limited (at the moment) to 720.
     
  7. JohnR thread starter macrumors member

    JohnR

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Location:
    Louisville, Kentucky
    #7
    ah crap!

    Now I'll have to return the AppleTV to Best Buy.

    The mac mini connections: DVI output port with support for VGA, S-video, and composite video connections via adapter4
    Connects to external display with digital resolution (DVI) up to 1920 x 1200

    So would S-Video be the best way to connect?
     
  8. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #8
    I'd go DVI or VGA if possible. S-vid is better than composite, but I believe it's still an analog signal. Also, my home theater Mini is a 1.66 gHz core duo with 1 gig of RAM - less than the minimum Mini that's now sold, so there's no reason to go all-out on the mini if you don't need to. I should also point out that the Mini Stack can be a little noisy when its fan comes on. I've found my Seagate 500 gig that I got at Best Buy is much quieter.
     
  9. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #9
    One more thing about the EyeTV Hybrid - it also records shows and can automatically transcode to MPEG4 and send to iTunes, thus those shows can be viewed from my Apple TV.
     
  10. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #10
    I don't understand why you need to return the aTV ...

    As for the Mac mini, the best way to connect to an HDTV would be through DVI or HDMI. This is for video only, so to get audio through the TVs speakers, that input (either DVI or HDMI) would need to have auxillary audio inputs. Not all TVs have audio associated with the HDMI ports.

    Alternatively, you could run optical (or analog) audio from the mini to a receiver. You would play the audio on the speakers connected to the receiver.

    ft
     
  11. JohnR thread starter macrumors member

    JohnR

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Location:
    Louisville, Kentucky
    #11
    Why would I need an AppleTV if the mac mini fits the bill?

    I don't think the mac mini has hdmi. Here is the back of it:

    [​IMG]

    It does come with a DVI to VGA adapter.


    Cave Man:
    I wouldn't get anything added to the mac mini.
     
  12. JohnR thread starter macrumors member

    JohnR

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Location:
    Louisville, Kentucky
    #12
    I just want to be clear before I return the AppleTV.

    Here is what I want to do with the AppleTV:
    1) Rip all of my movies that I own on DVD and put them on an external HD so that I can access/watch them on my TV.

    2) Have iTunes play music & iPhoto show photos that I control through AppleTV.

    3) I get some tv shows through other means than iTMS. I would convert them for iTunes and watch them on the TV.


    Can I do all this with a mac mini? What is the disadvantage of having the mac mini vs the AppleTV?

    If I watch a movie/tv show through the mac mini, can I use Front Row for that or do I have to do it like now do on my computer: double click the icon and let VLC play it?
    (I have an older Powermac G5 right now, so no front row. That's why the question)

    I don't have a stereo yet. Can I run the sound through the TV from the mac mini?
     
  13. JohnR thread starter macrumors member

    JohnR

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Location:
    Louisville, Kentucky
    #13
    Would this cable work to connect the mac mini to the plasma?

    Belkin PureAV HDMI Interface-to-DVI Video Cable

    HDMI and DVI deliver the best possible digital, high-definition video for a superior viewing experience. And nothing helps maintain the quality of that experience like a Belkin PureAV video cable.

    HDMI is backward-compatible with DVI, allowing you to connect HDMI-capable components and displays to equipment with DVI connections. This HDMI-to-DVI video cable is ideal for connecting digital displays such as DTVs, plasma displays, LCD TVs and projectors to digital source devices, such as DVD players/recorders, digital set-top boxes and AV receivers.
     
  14. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #14
    I see. The "ah crap" kinda threw me off.

    That's right. The mini does not have HDMI. It does have DVI, which is basically HDMI without the audio.

    1. aTV does not work with ripped DVDs out of the box. I think there are hacks that can do it, though.

    2. aTV can do this.

    3. aTV can do this.

    Yes. The mini can do all of this. The disadvantage of a mini vs. aTV is the interface. Front Row is not quite as slick as aTV's interface. Also, because the mini is more functional, now you will need a keyboard/mouse for the living room. Although a Wii remote and Remote Buddy look pretty cool.

    For the most part, yes. The deal is whether you have the proper Quicktime codecs. The basic rule of thumb is if Quicktime Player can play the file, Front Row can.

    Depends on your TV. If you're using DVI, HDMI, or VGA, you'll need audio inputs on the TV for it. Like on my TV, I have 2 HDMI ports. One of them has L/R RCA audio inputs for it. The other doesn't.

    Probably, but I'm guessing that the Belkin cable is priced extremely high. Do yourself a favor and check out monoprice.com to compare prices. I bought a 10 foot HDMI/DVI cable for $18. (if the belkin is a better deal, then get that)
     
  15. Topper macrumors 65816

    Topper

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    #15
    These gosh-darn newbies, I can't stand it!

    If you decide to return the ATV, The Apple Store has a refurbished Mac Mini on sale for $429.
    Refurbished Mac mini, 1.66GHz Intel Core Duo
    512MB memory
    60GB hard drive
    Combo drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW)
    Intel GMA 950 graphics processor with 64MB of DDR2 memory.

    Don't know if it fits your bill though...one generation old.

    Looks like good advice from ftaok.
     
  16. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #16
    I'd double that, since the 950 takes 80 mb of RAM.
     
  17. JohnR thread starter macrumors member

    JohnR

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Location:
    Louisville, Kentucky
    #17
    I use Handbrake to rip the DVD's.

    I think I'll stick with the AppleTV for now since really I haven't given it a fair shake yet. My hdmi cables came in just now so I get to hook it up!
     
  18. JohnR thread starter macrumors member

    JohnR

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Location:
    Louisville, Kentucky
    #18
    Hey you. That's quite enough out of you! :D

    I didn't know you were here too. Just joined up the other day. And I think if I did go the Mac Mini route I would get the Core 2 Duo, not Core Duo.

    For $150, I could get the new one.
     
  19. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #19
    Yeah, that should work with the aTV. For whatever reason, I see ripped DVD and assume VIDEO_TS. I've stopped using Handbrake and rip all of my DVDs as V_TS.
     
  20. JohnR thread starter macrumors member

    JohnR

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Location:
    Louisville, Kentucky
    #20
    So then you convert them? With what?
     
  21. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #21
    If you install DVD Assist your VIDEO_TS folders show up under Movies in Front Row.
     
  22. JohnR thread starter macrumors member

    JohnR

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Location:
    Louisville, Kentucky
    #22
    Never heard of that.

    I'm still trying to figure out how to stream my movies to the AppleTV. They are in iTunes but not showing up on my AppleTV.
     
  23. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #23
    It's way cool - give it a try, it's free.

    Is your iTunes showing up on your ATV? If so, can you see other files, such as music, photos, etc.? If these are showing up, are you using Handbrake to transcode your DVDs to MPEG4 files? If so, then using the Apple TV preset in Handbrake will make them compatible with the Apple TV. Once the file is made, drop it onto the Movies section of your iTunes browser. Sometimes you need to reselect the source for newly-added files to show up. To do this, go to the ATV's Sources menu, choose "Apple TV", then go to Sources again and choose your iTunes library.
     
  24. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #24
    I thought we were talking about getting the aTV to work with VIDEO_TS folders.

    JohnR mentioned that he was keeping his aTV and that he rips his DVDs using Handbrake. That will definately work.

    Has someone gotten DVD Assist to work on the aTV?
     
  25. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #25
    I see that now. I thought he was talking about the mini. Now that I go back over the thread, I see John changed his mind again. DVD Assist only works on a Mac and with Front Row (and not an ATV with Back Row).
     

Share This Page