ATV2 UK user...is it worth the price?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by craigy235, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. craigy235 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    #1
    Just purchased the new Apple Tv and been playing with it for a few days. Loving the airplay from my macbook but can't get over a few things, namely:

    1. Price of movie rentals
    2. No Tv show rentals
    3. No support from external media streaming sites.eg BBC iPlayer/Lovefilm

    Short of being another rant from a UK Apple user about how we always get the short straw hopefully these will be addressed in the future! Any other UK users out there feeling hard done by?
     
  2. MyAppleWorld macrumors 6502

    MyAppleWorld

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #2
    Hi

    I got the Apple TV as a christmas present and I live in the UK.

    So far, I am surprised as to how much I've used it - a lot more than I thought I would. I played with the idea of purchasing one for a few months but would rather somebody bought it me as a gift...I got lucky lol.

    I does seem very bizzare that you cannot rent TV Shows directly off of it - yet you can purchase them on your PC via iTunes and then play them on the ATV.
    The funny thing is, downloading via iTunes on your PC or iPhone is actually a better method than directly on the ATV. When you directly rent on the ATV you are actually quite clueless as to how much it's downloaded etc and whether or not its going to finish successfully - Doing this via iTunes on the other hand is much better because you can an ETA and progress bar - plus the ability to pause and resume downloads - something the ATV lacks. Also, iTunes gives you the ability to transfer rentals to ipod/iphone/ATV whereas direct ATV rentals are stuck on ATV.

    I was surprised to find that I could stream my iphone spotify app to the ATV and also control volume etc - this is A brilliant setup for house party's etc - something I have used a lot over xmas.

    Youtube - I have watched more youtube videos on ATV since xmas day than in the last few years on my laptop!! This is by far one of the killer features, esspecially seeing as it plays 720p videos unlike most other TV's etc which have youtube access who are stuck at 360/480p.

    I have found a couple of bugs with it though - at night I switch off all powersockets behind the television and this includes my wireless router. When I switched everything back on at the same time, the apple TV is not happy. It refuses to play youtube videos etc even though the internet is fully up and running. I have to power cycle the ATV in order for it to work - it would appear that ATV is happier when the internet connection is working before it first boots.

    Another issue I have is that if its been sleeping for a long time - when I wake it up it has a stupid message that just says "waiting for network time". all i have to do is press menu and it disappears - no idea why this is happening and seems pointless.

    All in all, I would definately recommend this in the UK - All you are really missing is netflix and tv shows - given the fact you can get round the tv shows by using itunes then there is NO issue here - in fact ive decided its better that way. as for netflix well you're not going to get that on any other device either so can't really moan - ATV has loads of movies anyway.

    I think that once apple open airplay up so that any internet video on a laptop can be streamed to ATV then quite frankly you won;t need another device for watching internet content on the big screen - its only a matter of time.
     
  3. craigy235 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    #3
    I understand what you're saying and agree with nearly all of it. I know that obviously Netflix is not gonna be coming here but Lovefilm is available on the PS3 to stream movies along with iPlayer, ITV player and 4OD. It just feels as though Apple released the ATV in the UK as an after thought without caring that several of the major features its being sold on are absent. I understand that in time it'll probably (fingers crossed) catch up.

    The things you are highlighting as being attractive to you have been and continue to be done by many systems or more simply through the use of a cable. At the end of the day it will get use in my house but to me seems to be more style over substance. I can't think of anything it does at the minute that can't be don through simpler means.
     
  4. chriscl macrumors 6502

    chriscl

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    #4
    I would be surprised if they added LoveFilm, as that would cut into iTunes rentals.

    I have an ATV 2 myself, and I've really enjoyed it; the YouTube functionality is quite good, and I stream loads of stuff from iTunes on my Mac.

    I'm sure Apple will add more stuff in the future; the more of them they sell, the more there will be the demand to add new items.
     
  5. craigy235 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    #5
    Netflix is working very well on Apple TV in the US, I can't see why Lovefilm can't do the same in the UK.

    Still avoiding the crux of the matter, what does Apple TV do better than anything already on the market?
     
  6. Muttley1900 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2010
    #6
    Mmm, good question and to be honest I don't know, because I don't know all of the other options.

    What I do know is:-

    1) it fits my needs (able to rent films, buy via itunes and play them, able to play my converted dvd library, play my music collection and do some "internet tv");

    2) Not a bad user interface (not the best, but that is another point*);

    3) for £100, I'm happy to "play" with this for a year and see what other have to offer later*

    4) I only have "freeview" TV, so I don't get these options (that others may with Sky, Virgin Media etc)

    * What I would really like is the new Virgin Media / Tivo box, but as I am not in a VM cabled area I have to just wait and see if a) they cable my area or b) offer The Tivo at some point to people who can only have their broadband service.

    J.
     
  7. afd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #7
    Consider getting an EyeTv for your MacBook. You can record Freeview telly, chop out any adverts then export to iTunes and play on your apple TV or iPod or iPhone.
     
  8. KeithJenner macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    #8
    Whether the Apple TV is worth it in the UK totally depends on what you want.

    If you want to rent films and TV shows then there may be better options.

    If you only have one TV that you want to watch it on, and your computer is near that TV then you may want to consider just plugging the computer into the TV instead.

    If you have a library in a variety of formats, and hate the idea of keeping a computer on all the time then there are almost certainly better options.

    However, if your library is in iTunes and you are looking for a way of streaming to one or more TV, and are happy to have a computer on then it is surely the best option.

    I have an iMac which holds my library and is always on. It also has an EyeTV card to record any TV which, as mentioned above, is easy to edit and add to my library.

    I have two Apple TV's and the benefits are huge. At £99 (or £101 now) it is one of the best bargains that I have ever purchased.

    However, I don't rent much (2 films in the 3 months I've owned it). As I said, it depends on your usage.

    One final point. Lots of people don't like the idea of converting video for the Apple TV. If your library is mainly downloaded then you don't get much benefit, but if you have your own DVD conversions then, depending when they were done, you may get other benefits.

    I first ripped my DVds as Avi's about 5 years ago. I decided to go for the Apple TV and re-rip. I've still not quite finished, but it's been well worth it. My old rips didn't have the surround track, and were terrible quality in comparison with my new ones. They are so much better to watch. Of course, if you only ripped a short while ago then there won't be much benefit, but I suspect a few people could do with updating their rips.
     
  9. onebitrocket macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    #9
    Definitely. Get it.

    I'm sure the UK one demand services will come... eventually

    ------

    My wife bought me a Apple TV 2 for my birthday, and it's SO good.

    I've hooked it up to my tv via hdmi which then sends the audio to my surround sound system.

    One of the best included features is being able to play music from any itunes library that is signed in to the same home sharing account as the apple tv is signed in to.

    The remote app for iphone also really enhances the user experience of the apple tv.

    Another nice feature is the iphoto streaming, check a menu item in itunes to allow iphoto sharing, and the apple tv will allow you to browse your photos or use them as a screen saver when listening to music through your tv.

    You should also look at starting to convert your dvd's into a digital format. Mine are stored on my imac. I use handbrake and have tweaked it's apple tv profile.
    I first tried lord of the rings - the fellowship of the ring; it spat out a 2gb (ish) m4v file with both a 5.1 and stereo track.

    You'll also need to download VLC to run handbrake.

    If you want to add all the correct meta tags such as the certificate rating and chapter titles etc and dvd cover artwork to your files, look for an app called metax (Be warned though, make sure you check the large file sizes in the preferences or it'll corrupt the file that handbrake spent a good hour converting).

    Youtube, flicker and the internet radio are also really great features. I can now get planet rock radio through my tv.

    GO, buy it now.
     
  10. Frosticus macrumors 6502a

    Frosticus

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #10
    Response from Lovefilm re Apple TV

    For those who, like me, are keen to see Lovefilm on Apple TV in the UK..

    I emailed Simon Calver (Lovefilm CEO) on the matter back in December. His eventual reply was vague, but nonetheless hopeful:

    "..We are of course looking at all options at the moment and all connected devices. Apple TV will be on the list and hopefully we will get to it sometime, as you can see from our PS3 lauch we are planning to be very aggressive in this area."

    So, not a no, at least. :)
     

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