AppleTv: Worth It?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Gentile, May 26, 2007.

  1. Gentile macrumors regular


    Apr 29, 2007
    I recently saw that the AppleTv is offered for $249 refurbished and am tempted to get it at some point.

    I have a Samsung HDTV 1080i with 16:9 resolution and a dvi connection. I will be streaming from a 20" iMac using the Airport Extreme N basestation. I think I will be primarily watching DVD's ripped with handbrake.

    To those of you who have this, is this worth buying?

    What is your daily experience with it?

    Do you find that this has revolutionized video watching like the ipod has done with music?

    I saw the demo at the local Apple Store and the movie playing looked awful - very grainy, but the menus were impressive. What will a ripped DVD look like on my display?

    Thanks for any responses.
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man


    Great so far. Still waiting for 5.1 surround and HD video, though.

    Too early to tell. I think it's off to a good start and there's room for improvement without hardware additions.

    Handbrake will give you DVD-quality video (2500 bit rate H.264) and Dolby Pro Logic II (5-channel surround). The price will be file size - about 2 gigs per 2 hours at these settings.
  3. luckystephens macrumors member


    May 26, 2007
    I was skeptical until I bit the bullet and ordered one. I wrestled with the Mac Mini vs. Apple TV debate. Now I'm contemplating dropping DirecTV, after the Soprano's finale on June 10th. I wish iTunes offered HBO programming, but other than that, I'm very satisfied. I find we listen to music just as often as we watch TV Shows now. As soon as Steve decides to make movie rentals available, I'll be dropping Netflix too.
  4. andygiff macrumors newbie


    Mar 27, 2007
    Listening to more music...

    The shear ease of use and a large chunk of my music being available at the push of a button means our house has never had so much music playing in a long time. I've rediscovered a lot of old tunes and my wife and kids love it! It's not exactly hard working loading a CD but this really is effortless. We don't even have download TV or Movie content in the UK yet so it can only get better...
  5. neven macrumors 6502a

    Oct 10, 2006
    Portland, OR
    In short, yes.

    I watch about an hour of it every night. I subscribe to about 20 video podcasts and I buy two weekly TV shows on a regular basis. I also have about ripped 30 movies ready for it. I take a lot of family pictures and watching those on my big TV is definitely something else. It's very convenient to be able to just flip through all this from the sofa and have content magically beamed over when there's new episodes. Streaming also works beautifully on my wireless-g network.

    Not yet. I actually bought a TV just for it though, because I hate optical media and I'm expecting downloadable content to become bigger and bigger in the future.

    I've seen AppleTV run on a few TV sets so far, and I'm amazed to find that it looked the worst by far on the Bravias at the Apple store. I'm told that they upscale video oddly. The picture looks DVD-like on my Westinghouse TV, especially with the latest episodes of TV shows. It's not HD yet, but it's perfectly watchable.

    There are some HD podcasts out there that will make your AppleTV really shine. Check the "AppleTV Showcase" section under Podcasts in the iTunes store. I expect more and more of these to be added. (my favorites are MacBreak Weekly, The Merlin Show, Stump The Chef).
  6. virus1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 24, 2004
    i might cry. i am considering buying an apple tv as well, and i already have a 42" bravia
  7. ClassicBean macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2004
    Just got it as a gift a few days ago. I'm in Canada so there are no movie or TV show downloads available from the iTunes store here. Ergo, I probably wouldn't have gone out and bought this on my own.

    Nevertheless, I'm ecstatic to have it. This thing has changed my living room completely. I work from home so it's nice to be able to sit downstairs with the laptop and play music through the stereo. That said, I could have just hooked up my Airport Express to the stereo and streamed music.

    But the Apple TV is 10 times cooler. The HD video podcasts look amazing on Apple TV. And movie trailers are fantastic as well. Once movies and TV shows hit here, it will be even more incredible.

    In a nutshell, the thing really is just an iPod for your TV.

    The fact that they have committed to updating the software with new features will make this thing even more amazing.
  8. Gentile thread starter macrumors regular


    Apr 29, 2007
    Thanks for the replies. This seems like a good product that can get hd content to my HDTV monitor in the family room. My thinking is to record HD on the Elgato EyeTv and then stream it to my HDTV monitor.
  9. imlucid macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2007
    You won't be able to stream raw HD from EyeTV recordings to the Apple TV as the Apple TV doesn't support MPEG2.

    What I do is record HD with my EyeTV and have all the shows automatically export to Apple TV which will add them to iTunes.

    The downside is that the quality of the shows will be reduced (though they still look quite good) and it can take quite a while to export. This isn't so much an issue for me personally since 90% of my TV shows are from iTS and I'm not too worried about when something gets recorded, just when it shows up on one of my Apple TVs.
  10. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    Yes, I have one, and its perfect for my set up. Streams all my stuff great, and I'm on wireless G network!

    And its work so nicely with my Mac and iTunes set up. I use iTunes for alot, and its really nice to not have to worry about making sure it works with Mac OS X/iTunes/ DRM(atleast the DRM I have)
  11. i.Feature macrumors 6502


    Apr 11, 2005
    Montreal, Canada
    As i mentioned in a previous post. Without a doubt the best "toy" i've bought since my first ipod. It gets daily use. I've loaded all kinds of movies and tv into itunes. I even watch podcasts now which previously i did not.

    So yes its worth it to me!
  12. combatcolin macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2004
    Northants, UK
    Cough cough 1st gen kit.


    Think i'll wait for the 2nd gen, interested - but cautious.
  13. Yvan256 macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2004
    I'm in Canada, so I'm using the :apple:TV mostly for my ripped DVDs, but still.

    It changed my viewing habits so much that last night I've packed my DVD player and VHS recorder, I haven't used either one since I got my :apple:TV. If I do rent a DVD I'll play it on my Xbox360 (please no comments, I'm only using it for Final Fantasy XI). :D
  14. mutejute macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2007
    can you play videos directly from the internet without turning on the pc/mac? like for example youtube or podcast?
  15. daveporter macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2006
    Green Cove Springs, FL
    We have two Apple TVs. One in the living room and one in our bedroom.

    We think they are great and would not like to be without them now. We have about 200 movies, 150 tv shows and hundreds of music tracks that we can now have access to on our HD TV sets. Wonderful!

    We have just about stoped watching our Satellite TV system and are thinking of just turning it off.

  16. neven macrumors 6502a

    Oct 10, 2006
    Portland, OR
    There is a hack that adds YouTube browsing; it's messy, like all the other AppleTV hacks.

    Podcasts are pretty much by definition downloaded before they are played. If you subscribe to podcasts in iTunes, they'll show up on AppleTV and play. That's probably the #1 thing I'm using my AppleTV for.
  17. Gentile thread starter macrumors regular


    Apr 29, 2007
    How bad is the quality? Does it look better or the same as a dvd?

    What features are you looking for in particular? Can any of those be included with a firmware/software update?
  18. combatcolin macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2004
    Northants, UK
    Bigger Hard drive

    Recording of tv programmes

    Apple offering HD rental films - this would be very good.

    Plus the normal "fun" of 1st gen kit. ;)

    Price drop would be nice too.
  19. Gentile thread starter macrumors regular


    Apr 29, 2007
    According to an interview of Steve Jobs by The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg the AppleTV may have some upgrades coming

    "'The other thing you can do is buy TV shows.” Jobs pulls up a clip from “The Office.” He says sending stuff from your computer to the Apple TV isn’t the main deal here. “Wouldn’t it be great if you could see YouTube on your TV?” Apple will be offering a free software upgrade come June that will allow Apple TV users to view YouTube videos on their televisions."
  20. JellyFish macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2007
    So you can rip movies off DVDs and play them on Apple TV? That's not bad at all but 160GB of storage isn't much. I have about 200 DVDs so they'd never fit on just that. But I would love to rip some and then get rid of the DVDs as I'm sick of them taking up space in my house.
  21. macmex macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2007
    On Bravia XBR2

    I recently purchased an :apple: TV and I have a Bravia. I don't know if that has anything to do with it but the picture wasn't that good. When I downloaded a movie as opposed to watching one that I made it was a little better but wasn't up to par. It isn't the hardware though but the content I am sure. I really wish they had HD content in itunes. All the rest is there, nice interface and right hardware, well could be a little bigger hard drive. Returning for now...
  22. APPLENEWBIE macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2006
    The high desert, USA
    I got an apple TV a few days ago. So far, I love it.

    I thought I would be mostly interested in the movie/video side of things, and I have made several movies/DVDs that really look good. I am not planning to use it to play all the movies. A lot of movies I don't want to keep/store. Mostly, I am concentrating on storing on the mac some "classics" like Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Oh Brother Where art Thou, the Abyss, Nemo, Narnia, monsters inc, Guess who's coming to dinner, true grit, the harry potter movies, etc. I probably won't ever have more than 20 or 30 stored movies.

    The device makes all the music locked up in the mac fully accessable. it streams music, movies and podcasts seamlessly. It streams so well that I don't plan on keeping much content at all on the apple TV. It surprises me how much I am enjoying having all the music on my mac so available. I believe that I will use it to access music probably more than video, although it does both type of media well.

    The device is very easy to set up. Took me about two minutes using a non-apple DSL router. The most complicated part was dialing in the WEP code. It found and allowed easy access to the other computers on my network.

    The screen saver, showing iphoto images while playing music is spellbinding. You can designate which iphoto albums you want it to play, so changing it periodically keeps it interesting.

    So, my vote is definitely "WORTH IT."
  23. Gentile thread starter macrumors regular


    Apr 29, 2007
    Along the same lines, I was thinking of storing video that I would watch over and over, like some of my favorite tv series.

    I want to get one after I get the next upgraded imac. Then all my media will be stored on the imac and streamed to the AppleTv using the Airport Extreme basestation.
  24. Maui macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2007
    We have a 2 year old son and this is exactly what we use it for. (No, he doesn't watch too much TV.) He wants to see the same show over and over and over and the ATV is much easier than swapping DVDs.

    The iTunes movie & tv show offerings are limited and need to grow for this thing to really make sense. But if you are realistic about what the ATV is -- a hard drive for your TV with some nascent Internet offerings -- and what it is not -- a Tivo replacement -- it is great, and the ease of use means almost no "tech calls" from the family room.
  25. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    How about the same question slightly rephrased: is the :apple: TV worth it for someone who doesn't have a desktop Mac already? I'd want to use the :apple: TV to watch ripped DVDs and video podcasts, as well as for music and photos. My media collection wouldn't fit on the internal HDD of the :apple: TV, though, so I'd need to stream. However, I wouldn't want to keep all the ripped content on my MBP hard drive or move my iTunes library to an external drive (if I do that, I don't have my library when I'm away from home - I know I could have 2 libraries, but frankly that's too much fuss).

    So, am I not better off buying a Mac Mini which I could also use as a PVR and a hardware DVD player for stuff I haven't ripped yet, not to mention having access to all the other codecs etc. without hacks? To be honest, at the moment I'm hard pressed to see why anyone would buy an :apple: TV over a mini, you can do so much more stuff with the mini....

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