Cons of AppleTV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Doju, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. Doju macrumors 68000

    Jun 16, 2008
    What are the cons versus another type of set up like the Apple TV? Would you recommend it?

    I assume I can stream torrented/ripped movies in my iTunes Movie Library to the television also, right? Like, they don't have to be iTunes-purchased?

    Any additional information would be terrific!
  2. Mr Kram macrumors 68020

    Mr Kram

    Oct 1, 2008
    what are you compairing it to? the apple tv will only stream from your itunes library (.m4v) unless you hack it.
  3. wwooden macrumors 68000


    Jul 26, 2004
    Burlington, VT
    As long as the files are in a format iTunes/AppleTV can handle, then it will stream to the unit. They don't need to be purchased from the iTunes store.
  4. dmm219 macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2008
    one of Apple's failings with the ATV is its inability to explain to the masses what the product actually is.

    I had a real hard time understanding just what the product was, and what it could do before I bought one. That being said, I love mine. And I think its a great product, but it has not be advertised or explained by apple very well at all.

    The ATV can do 2 basic functions, it can stream media from another source, or it can play media that has been transfered and is stored on the ATV's Hard drive. Also important, it can do both of these, at the same time.

    Streaming: The ATV can stream media from up to 5 different Itunes accounts on different computers. However, the FORMAT of these files has to be one that ATV understands. Basically, MP4 or MKV. It will not play anything else unless hacked. I will also stream some stuff directly off of the podcasts, and youtube. It will not stream content purchased or rented on itunes from the internet. All content purchased or rented from itunes must be downloaded first.

    Syncing: The ATV will Sync to one and ONLY one itunes account. Just like an ipod, you can choose to the content to synch or do it automatically. syched content is all wirelessly sent to the HD on the ATV, and played back on the ATV from the ATV's hard drive. The biggest con with sycning is that the HDs in the ATV's are pretty small (40G or 160G). Most people have libraries too big to be contained on a single ATV, which means you still have to stream some content or do a lot of data management from itunes.

    You can Sync and stream from the same itunes account, and it works really well. The ATV UI doesnt distinguish between the two. All content, whether streamed from another source, or on the ATV HD shows up on the ATV. In my case, i keep only media i have purchased on my ATV HD (mostly as an extra back up for that media). Streaming works really well, but has the con of needing computer running with itunes open all the time, to always have access to your media.

    You can hack your ATV VERY easily with boxee ad xbmc...which opens up the capabilities of the ATV a lot more. Not sure if you want to mess with hacking or not though...
  5. Koola macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2008
    AppleTV was a nice idea, but it didn't work for me long term. Easier would be a PS3 or the Western Digital TV where you plug in a USB Flash Disk or HDD and can play full HD movies without messing around/hacking.
  6. TuckBodi macrumors 6502

    Jan 10, 2007
    I have both an :apple:TV and a WDTV and I can tell you they're like night and day. The only thing WDTV has going for it is its Sigma chip can play hi-def 1080p rips and the thing plays on both widescreen and 4:3 TV's. Beyond that it has quite a bit of lacking features and/or bugs. It really feels like a beta to me.

    - navigating my music (large library) takes 30 sec on average to jump around (say from artist to album and drilling in)
    - scrolling caches 3 rows then you sit for 20 sec until you can scroll again
    - cover art is limited to only the metadata so you don't see artwork on albums (i.e. can't see external JPEG files for cover art)
    - navigating into an artist and album to the songs, there's no listing of who or what you're looking at other than the song names (say you walk away and come back a few hours later and you don't remember who you were looking at)
    - cannot play .mv4 videos so your :apple:TV collection is unusable unless you rename them as .mp4 and then your :apple:TV can't play them
    - can't play the Hanbraked AC3 + AAC movies correctly as it ignores the AC3 file
    - no video genre navigation
    - no network access so to add/change stuff you have to unhook and move it to another machine
    - and when you rehook the drive back up it takes about 10 min before it recognizes it
    - I don't use subtitles but it can't use external subtitle files from what I hear

    The :apple:TV isn't perfect but it by itself is much better than this thing (even though it can't play on old TV's and can't play those pirated 1080p MKV files). Throw XBMC on it and you've almost have a new toy.

    All the above comments are all from only one day of using the WDTV. Can't imagine what I'll find when I really dig into it!
  7. drichards macrumors 6502a


    Nov 30, 2008
    Con: Apple TV can't play (FoF) Rock Band in 2-player.
  8. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    Afaik the atv cannot play an mkv unless its hacked.
  9. brobins macrumors member

    Nov 27, 2008
    The Apple TV is great, works well! Only things I think are holding it back are :-

    • Lack of 1080p playback :( This would really be the icing on the cake for me!
    • Support for MKV files,
    • DTS Passthrough!! Currently it only supports Dolby Digital Passthrough, which is great but would love to see DTS Passthrough support also!
    • The one last thing is the small Harddrive and inability to use the USB to connect a large external harddrive for increased storage.

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