Best use for Apple TV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by vintageapple, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. vintageapple macrumors member


    Aug 29, 2010
    Apple TV only lets you stream the content you can use in itunes right? So why buy an Apple TV instead of an adapter to plug into the TV and have access to everything?
  2. maturola macrumors 68040


    Oct 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    I am not sure what your question is...however AppleTV can do more than just stream what you got on itunes.

    You can read all you can do here:
  3. jas1973 macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2010
    go for it. have fun tying up what ever device your gonna plug into your tv. the appletv is 99.00. worth the price of not having to have any of my devices plugged into my tv. the apple tv is for watching and listening to content from your itunes library. apples movie and tv store, and other applications streamed from the web. the whole point of it is so you don't have to hook your device up to your tv. i dont wanna plug a lap top into my tv. i don't wanna plug my iphone into my tv and have a phone call interrupt what ever im playing every time i get a text or a phone call.
  4. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    well, the appleTV certainly can't display anything that a computer couldn't. It's much cheaper than a dedicated HTPC or mac Mini. It's much easier than plugging & unplugging a laptop. You don't have to worry about cable clutter in the tv viewing area (for that plugging/unplugging thing). The aTV interface is very nice and easy to use - although some prefer XMBC or Plex. You might have multiple TVs, and the Apple TV could act as an extension from one HTPC to all the other TVs.
  5. vintageapple thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 29, 2010
    thanks for the replies! I see you guys feel strongly about the appleTV. I was just wondering if I should buy it or not, because I thought it did not allow you to legally stream from websites like hulu.
  6. From A Buick 8 macrumors 68040

    From A Buick 8

    Sep 16, 2010
    Ky Close to CinCinnati
    What are you trying to accomplish, and what exactly do you mean by "legally stream" hulu.
  7. dXTC macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2006
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    If you're looking for a full-function Web client, then no, the :apple:tv is not for you. Right now, the :apple:tv streams NetFlix, YouTube, and NBA League video, Internet radio (the same stations as in iTunes), MobileMe photos and Flickr, in addition to your iTunes library and iTunes rentals. In order to do other things, you'll have to "jailbreak" the device.

    Right now, the only nifty thing I can think of that jailbreaking makes available is XBMC, which allows you to stream videos that aren't in iTunes format. There is no Hulu client that I know of, not yet anyway; I'm sure that some jailbreak dev is hard at work on it though.

    Setup is easy: one power cord, one HDMI cable. You can use your laptop or other iTunes source computer for something else while your iTunes is serving up video to the :apple:tv-- which you wouldn't be able to do if you had to attach the source computer directly to the TV.

    It's only $85 refurb. It's cheaper than a nano. Do it. Don't like it afterward? Ebay it.
  8. KeithJenner macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2010
    A few reasons:

    You (or someone else in your house) may want to use the computer for something else whilst media is being watched.

    You may not want your computer in the same room as your TV.

    You may want your media available on more than one TV.

    I'm still surprised by the number of people that don't seem to get what this product is for.
  9. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    I think the key here is that many people don't understand Media Players in general. They just think about how they can hook their computers to their tv's so why bother.

    Here's why it's annoying to hook a computer to a tv.:
    1. Cables. You have to plug it in to a power and to the tv every time you want to use it.
    2. Controlling it: Either you get a wireless keyboard and mouse or you get a remote control for it (all of which need to be plugged into some port unless you are using an apple remote with an apple computer).
    3. The interface: Computer interfaces aren't "10 foot" interfaces. Meaning they aren't designed to be used from your coach on your tv. They are meant to be used from about 2 feet away. This makes them difficult to use from the couch. Yes Apple has Front Row (for now, supposedly absent from Lion) and Windows has Media Center, but if you are using browser media these are out as well.
    4. Computer is tied up: It is what it says. You can't really use it for any thing else. Even if your computer is used for streaming itunes to your Apple TV, you can still use it as normal (hard drive operations such as saving, opening apps, etc. might be a bit slower).

    In the end, the Apple TV (and other media Streamers) remove all of the above issues. They are always plugged in to your tv. It never leaves it. They have remotes built in and the interface is designed to be used from your couch.

    1. Less content: Some of the browser based content does not want to be available via media streamers (i.e. Hulu)
    2. Less video formats supported: This is where the Apple TV really has a downside. I have many other media streamers and most of them support a vast number more of video formats. But then again, the upsides of itunes integration, AirPlay, Multi-Zonal audio is the reason why it is my preferred device.

    Anyhoo. Yes you can do it cheaper by buying cheap cables at monoprice (p.s. I love monoprice), but that doesn't mean you are doing it better!
  10. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
  11. HiFiGuy528 macrumors 68000

    Jul 24, 2008
    Want to play Video_TS files from external USB HD. Go with Flash ATV or Boxee XBMC?

    *** deleted ***
  12. Sparky9292 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2004
    5. Noise: Almost all computers have fan's... the AppleTV has no moving parts..

    6. Wife: My SO thinks computers look fugly around the media center. The AppleTV is cute and small.
  13. eTip macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2009
    For me it's all about the interface. That's what makes or breaks any media center solution, IMHO. There are any number of solutions to allow you to browse and play your media but so few of them get it right. Yes, AppleTV has it's limitations but that's where jailbreaking & XBMC come in.
  14. ryanide macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2002
    I love my ATV

    :apple:TV is cool because I can watch any content from my iTunes library just by picking up my universal remote and selecting my content. Also, If there is a video on my iPhone or iPad that I want to play on my TV I can stream it directly from the device to the :apple:TV without doing anything more than pressing one button on my device and the signal gets displayed on the TV.

    No more fumbling with connections and wires and adapters.. ugh! I tried to play my movies from my macbook pro using an HDMI adapter and it was a pain in the a$$. Always having to fumble with output settings, video resolutions... no thanks!

    I am going to put an :apple:TV on all my TVs in the house and get a Mac Mini Server (since I don't want to have my Mac Pro always running) to host my iTunes library. No need for DVDs anymore. (OK maybe a Blu-Ray for the Media Room)

    LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT... a steal at $99!
  15. dgalvan123 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2008
    Don't forget airplay! If you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, it is likely you will be able to airplay audio (and, depending on the app, video) from many of your iOS apps.

    Example: My wife and I listen to "This American Life", a show on NPR, and we have the app on our iphones which lets us find and stream any TAL episode since the show began. Now, ATV2 doesn't have this app itself, but I can easily start the stream on my iphone, hit airplay, and listen to the radio show (with pause, skip back, skip ahead capability) via my Apple TV while we do housework. Sure, I COULD just hook up my computer to the big speakers, browse to the TAL website or find the podcast on itunes, and hit play. But that would be clunkier, and I probably just wouldn't do it. And yes, if you're just insterested in audio from your iOS device, you could get an airport express, but that's the same price as the ATV2, so you might as well get the hockey puck.

    Even with youtube, I find it easier to search for a particular youtube clip on my iphone, and then airplay it to my ATV2, rather than use the ATV2's built-in YouTube app.

    Point is, if you have an iOS device, it multiplies the utility of the Apple TV via Airplay.
  16. jeremiah256 macrumors 65816


    Aug 2, 2008
    Southern California

  17. irishv macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2008
    Just want to add that jailbreaking also gives access to a Plex client. If you have a Plex server running on another machine, you can also stream some of the plugins (Hulu, Netflix, Comedy Central, etc). I don't have an ATV2 to test, but I believe many of them work.
  18. DrEnalg macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2011
    East Bay, CA
    Hmmm. I'm doing XBMC right now but I've found that Netflix and Hulu plugins don't seem to work - at least, not for the casual, non code-monkey types like myself.

    If Hulu and Netflix streaming can be made to work on Plex (and do all the other things Plex can do) then I may have to switch. Although I really do like the ATV interface, it's functionality is limited, and transcoding of video is a pain. XBMC and Plex really show what this nifty little box can do.
  19. ayasinsk macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2008
    If I get 2nd gen. apple tv will I be able to stream a DVD from my macbook pro to this apple tv?
  20. Joshwawilson macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2011
    I find :apple:Tv to be very useful for air playing music and suchitO hope it'll support AirPlay mirroring sometime soon:cool:
  21. Joshwawilson macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2011
    You should be able to if it's downloaded in iTunes. Idk about a DVD in your drive
  22. MACENZ, May 4, 2011
    Last edited: May 4, 2011

    MACENZ macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2008
    Close the thread already..I have a headache!

    I think the moral of the story is..Just Hack it using FireCore!! If you are downloading movies like me. SIMPLE..Just use Plex and away you go!! Link..

    The only thing that bugs me is it wont play avi or mp4 files well on a 42" HD Plasma (Trust me on this one).

    If you think about it, it will pay for itself once you have download hundreds of HD quality movies.

    P.S If anyone needs the dmg for FireCore..Shoot me a message.

  23. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
    It does play avi & mp4 if you jailbreak and install either plex or xbmc

    When you say hack it your talking about jailbreaking right

    What do you mean by those files not playing well
  24. eTip macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2009
    You don't know what you are talking about.
  25. the_fellowship macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2008
    London, UK
    I would say AirPlay is the best use of Apple TV 2, being able to stream photos/videos from my iPhone directly to my TV (without having to download to iTunes first) is cool :)

Share This Page