HD iMovies -- Do I need AppleTV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by CMD is me, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. CMD is me macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    I'm thinking about getting a HD camcorder. Currently I have a miniDV, edit in iMovie, burn to DVD and watch in SD on my HDTV. I have a MacBook Pro and 500gb FW800 drive. As I understand it, to watch an edited HD iMovies there is no HD DVD burner so the only good option Apple has left us with is AppleTV?

    Can someone explain how it works with what I'm trying to do? I assume I'd need 1 on each TV as well?

    Being able to view photos is also a very nice feature -- I just showed my parents our latest vacation all huddled around a 15 display and I have a 8' screen in the basement! I doubt I'd purchase TV show or movies -- good ol Blockbuster is just up the street and aren't as restrictive... but maybe.
  2. CMD is me thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
  3. pmarcovi macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2007
    I would not recommend Apple TV. It is a limited device with "crippled" software (unless you hack it). There are other very good media players and much cheaper using open standards. One of the best which plays almost every format including AVCHD, is Popcorn Hour. It has 1080p upscaling, HDMI output, etc.
  4. ChrisRC macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2005
    I'd say an Apple TV would suit your needs quite well. For watching the occasional HD family movie and showing photos, it's hard to beat the ATV's iPhoto/iTunes integration and slick menus. Popcorn Hour or similar media streaming devices would definitely be able to meet your needs and more, albeit without the overall ease-of-use of the ATV. For someone who isn't planning on building a large digital film library or determined to stream 1080p (since the ATV's limited to 720), the alternatives are probably overkill.
  5. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I must say I partially agree with you. While I think AppleTV is a neat device, it is severely crippled. Part of the problem is the remote. I think the iPod Shuffle has more controls than AppleTV does. I'm right now trying to figure out how to make one darn video file that will play on a Mac, iPhone, and ATV. I've got the first 2, but I can't figure out the audio on ATV. ARRGH.

    But I have used iMovie to create SD home movies, and it played them quite well. Can't vouch for HD.
  6. CMD is me thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    I'll check out Popcorn Hour. What advantage does it have over ATV?

    As I understand it, with ATV, I edit HD video in iMovie > save it (share, export, whatever) to a ATV file on my external drive > use ATV to watch movies/photo/stream music from my hard drive via airport.... right?
  7. godspeed macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2006
    visualhub + ATV = success

    I highly rate my ATV, visualhub converts any format quickly and the internal HD or live streaming makes watching video painless. No need to hack if you have a great converter..... True the remote is simple but it honestly does everything I need (except it's kinda fiddly at fast forwarding) and the GUI is classic apple.......
  8. pmarcovi macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2007
    The main advantage is 1080p. The other big plus is that it plays almost any format you can imagine: divx, mkv, DVD iso images, etc.

    The steps are the same: you create your movie, export it to a shared folder, access your shared folder from the media player (in our case Popcorn Hour) and play the movie.

    Now, the wireless networking is not enough most of the times for 1080p HD movies. That's why, Popcorn Hour, by default does not come with wireless. You will need wired access. There are options with a USB wlan stick, but again you will be limited to 720p. Even that is iffy depending on the "wireless noise" in your house. But this is independednt from the what media player you are using. If you want HD, you are better off with a wired connection.

    If wired connection is not possible, you can put a hard drive in your Popcorn Hour, and copy the files first over the wireless connection to the hard drive and then play them.

    Probably it is much easier to set up the ATV, but in my opinion is an inferior product.
  9. CMD is me thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    Is it better in both cases to have a wired hard drive vs wireless network for HD content? ...can you add an external drive to the ATV?
  10. pmarcovi macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2007
    I believe ATV has a hard drive in it already. I am not sure how big it is. It can be replaced but not easily.

    But again if you go with ATV you are limited to 720p, there is no problem with a good wi-fi access.
  11. rw3 macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2008
    DFW, TX
    The AppleTV hard drive replacement is easy.....
  12. Kurfer macrumors regular


    Mar 13, 2008
    My Apple TV supports 1080p, are you saying that 1080p movies wont play in full 1080p?

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