Help me convince my wife to get Apple TV...

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by freeny, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. freeny macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2005
    Location: Location:
    We just lost our local Blockbuster video store and now have no outlet to rent or buy movies.

    We signed up for Netflix but I canceled after a week because I go many months without renting anything and didnt want to make payments for nothing...

    So now Im contemplating the Apple TV. It sounds great but you need to buy a $220 box just to get started.

    Could those who have an Apple TV share their experience in weather it is worth the "buy in" cost?

    What can it do?
    Can I watch HULU through it?
    surf the web?
    are plug ins available?

    I know the basics, it streams video from my Mac to my TV as well as storing movies on its hard drive so you can leave that out ;)

    All help is welcome...
  2. steviec macrumors member

    Apr 25, 2009
    The Apple TV is a nice device in itself with no add-ins, check out the spec on Apple's home page for what it can do. A lot of people, including myself have added the ATV Flash product, which upgrades your Apple TV to support web browsing, Boxee, Hulu and tons of other items.

    I personally removed mine as it made the Apple TV sluggish, but YMMV.

    Search the web and you will find a lot of free and paid ways to get the functionality you want.

    Have fun.
  3. cdavis11 macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2009
    Do you have kids?

    My wife has responded to "instant on kids movies". Having all of the Pixar stuff on tap and ready to go at any time is very nice, and you get used to it fast.

    I removed my DVD player from the a/v rack yesterday because we're so happy with the aTV.

    As for the plug ins and such - yeah, they're available...but most are not what you would expect. Hulu is sluggish at best, and the rest just add complexity and a high nerd factor that your wife will not like if she's anything like mine.

    I got a 40GB off ebay for about $170. They're available as refurbs from apple now for about $150. Very worthwhile *if* you're fine with handbrake ripping of your existing DVDs, buying/renting from the apple store and (in my opinion this is very important) you're on an N-only wireless network.
  4. mhdena macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2009
    If $9 a month on the lowest plan was to much for you, no an ATV is NOT for you.:confused:

    Just do pay per view when you do want to watch something. :eek:

    I look at my atvs as ipods for my home stereo and bedroom system playing my music, it now has internet radio and other stuff which is a bonus to me.
  5. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Monterey CA
    I suggest not dealing with anything remotely connected to hacking, ripping and all that. Woman hate that stuff. Another poster also noted that.

    Women only like stuff that works!

    You can rent the movies as Apple intended, with little hassle and drama and relax and enjoy them. Podcasts may appeal to her, especially if she in interested in particular subjects. Same with utube. Fun and easy to watch that.

    Of course, iTunes are great through the home speakers.

    The big draw, though, is the photo feature. Get both your family albums and old slides scanned. Add your own married-life and kids photos. They are fabulous on a flatscreen, iTunes playing in the backround. People love to watch that. Also, you can easily save these priceless photos on another drive to preserve them. You should do that for sure.

    My wife has zero, that is 0, interest in computerish stuff, but she loves ATV and thinks it is by far the best "toy" I have bought.
  6. freeny thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2005
    Location: Location:
    Cost is not the issue. I just dont want to pay for months i dont use the service.
  7. skye12 macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
    Apple tv is an awful expensive way to approach what I think you want.
    $10 a month bothers you when you don't use it, but you'll pay for every tv/movie over ATV? Very expensive. And Apple is likely to update it soon.

    I'd go with a Mini myself. Full computer and it works terrific with Hulu.
  8. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    My wife is not tech savvy and likes to watch movies but either renting or getting out a DVD is too much of an effort (usually likes to watch in bedroom before bed) so the :apple:TV was a perfect solution for us. I've ripped our entire media library so she has everything she needs at her fingertips.

    As another poster mentioned, it's also great if you have kids--I have another :apple:TV set up in the kids play room with all of their movies. They're only 4 and 6 yrs old and they can play movies on their own--that easy to use.

    If you want something more robust and cost isn't an issue, go with a Mac Mini. I have one set up in the family room as a HTPC and computer for the kids and it's great, especially with PLEX as a media interface. There are tons of plug-ins (HULU, Netflix, Apple HD Trailers are 3 I use often) and it's very user friendly for the family, once you get it configured they way you like.
  9. designgeek macrumors 65816


    Jan 30, 2009
    Netflix: $15 a month two at a time unlimited = $180
    Apple TV: $229 + $3.99 per movie @ 12 movies a year = $276.88 sans tax

    To me that's an awfully high price of admission. Unless you want to hack it and play around with it then by all means. Although you do get more features with an Apple TV, I don't think they're really worth $100.
  10. FamiliaPhoto macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    What the ATV has done for my family is allow us to watch our DVD collection again. Having it available on demand with no hassle has been a god send which makes me gain value from my existing investment. I don't find the value in renting media as we don't do that very often at all. But having our 200 plus DVDs there ready for viewing, a real value to our family...especially all of the kid shows and movies.
  11. annieb443 macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2009
    I agree with most of the opinions expressed above. I love my appletv, but it is expensive. It's unclear whether you have cable or not. We do not have cable, and we spend quite a bit more on programing though apple and itunes than we would through cable... (even with Boxee installed and the ability to play hulu content). That said, the extra expense has been worth it for us because it prevents a television zombie mindset where you find yourself watching ridiculous content simply because it is on cable.

    Selling points for your wife:
    1. wide selection of quality programing for a fee or for free through podcasts
    2. great photo integration/ display
    3. internet radio is fun to leave on as background for morning talkshows and holiday music
  12. slyreptile macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2009
    Another option instead of the AppleTV is buying a Blu-Ray player with Amazon Video On Demand built-in. Such an example would be the excellent Panasonic DMP-BD60. You can get this from Amazon for about $130. Allows you to rent videos from Amazon instead of through iTunes as well as gives you a Blu-Ray player.

    I own an AppleTV and love it for the music/video streaming from my Mac and the trailers, but for movie rentals, I usually look elsewhere.
  13. C. Alan macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2009
    an early adopter

    I bought my Apple TV about a month after it came out in 2007. I originaly bought it to rent movies from Itunes on, and for keeping my Kids movies on. Now, over 2 years later, it sits above the TV in my kids play rooms, and is pretty much limited to keeping their TV shows and movies on. I ended up using it less than I expected. I found that the combination of my Xbox 360 and Netflix instant movies more than fills my need for movie rentals.

    I imagine I could get more out of it if I went ahead and hacked it, but to me it is not worth the trouble. It fill the need in the kids play room quite well (and we haven't ruined a DVD in years now).
  14. freeny thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2005
    Location: Location:
  15. slyreptile macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2009
    Yes, you can. But to do so, you will have to purchase a mini dvi (or mini displayport) to dvi adapter and then a dvi to hdmi cable.
  16. ScootPatoot macrumors regular

    May 16, 2008
    And if I understand completely, it will not carry the audio feed. So you'll also need to hook up a Toslink cable for sound.

    Correct me if I'm wrong.
  17. Shuttleworth macrumors regular

    Dec 23, 2008
    The screensaver and the access to your photo's which look fantastic on big screen TV's is practically worth it alone.

    You never need to buy a dvd cabinet when getting new living room furniture.

    You control the content, kids shows bought or ripped won't have any adverts, and they can't watch anything you don't want them to by accident.

    You can get something like the Elgato EyeTV that records regular tv shows through the aerial, you can export these straight to the Apple TV, or remove the adverts and then send them, it's very easy to use, and gives you more free content.

    The remote control is very easy to understand and works well with the interface.
  18. Tilpots macrumors 601


    Apr 19, 2006
    Carolina Beach, NC

    If you already have cable, you should have an On Demand type option. That would easily be your best bet.
  19. fauzigarib macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2009
    Get it!!!

    Hey there,

    The Apple TV, home entertainment wise, is the greatest option, provided:

    - You have a little bit of tech savvy to be able to download movies and convert them into mp4 or m4v formats.
    - You can devote a little bit of time to convert your existing dvd collection into the mp4 format.
    - You have an HDTV.
    - You have an iTunes account. (this is, IMHO the least important criteria).

    From my own personal experience, my wife and I have a nightly routine after we put the kids to bed, we crank up the ATV and watch tv shows or a recent movie that we've been hearing about. I have not used my dvd player since God knows when.

    However, to get started, it's kind of a hassle unless you are willing to pay a decent sum of money to rent / buy your media from the iTunes store. I now have a couple TB's of movies / tv shows that are continuously being added upon, either by downloading or converting existing collections... but make no mistake, it's kind of a time consuming process... especially the conversion.

    However, I now have my 2008 iMac doing nothing but downloading and converting, downloading and converting, and acts as my media server for my 3 Apple Tv's in my house. And once I got through the initial phase, it has been the greatest thing ever!

    The idea of a media player is the next great thing in entertainment, but there has yet to be a player released that doesn't require at least some level of tech savvy to run it.

  20. Scarpad macrumors 68000


    Jan 13, 2005
    I'm on G Only and stream even HD fine
  21. stringbeanie macrumors 6502


    Aug 25, 2008
    Southern California
    My Setup

    I have the apple tv and while it is very nice, it does get costly to rent movies. I end up using netflix way more. I only have 1 out at a time ($8.99) but the turn around is so incredibly fast that it doesn't matter. Also, if you have a PS3, they now have a disc that netflix will send for free that will enable you to watch streaming movies from their downloadable movie base (which is growing and includes almost every tv show ever made).

  22. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    ATV isn't worth it if you go months without watching a movie.

    If you have unlimited money though and buying tv shows and renting/buying movies off iTunes is no problem then the ATV works great!!!!! This is kind of the Apple way. Apple offers a great experience for those willing to pay top dollar for it.

    For many though there are some content gaps in it which means it would be tough for many to ditch cable/satellite and thus they wonder why they even need an ATV.

    If you find yourself or your family watching movies many times over then an ATV would be handy for streaming that content from your computer as long as you spend the time to convert it. This is very time consuming. I've converted alot of my content, but still haven't bought an ATV yet.

    INstead I bought a $10 Chinese knock-off AV iPOd cable. I load up a movie on the iPod in a few minutes from my computer and hook it to the TV. Not as nice and convenient. But it's $10. And I can easily move from TV to TV.

    If I had an ATV it would only work on the 1 TV and wouldn't be worth the hassle to move from TV to TV. We watch TV fairly equally divided between the br and lr.
  23. freeny thread starter macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2005
    Location: Location:
    Thanks all :)
    ATV purchased via Amex rewards so it cost me $0 :D

    I dont think some of you understood where I was coming from or my thought position and this was entirely my fault.

    The iTunes service cost was not the issue but the cost just to but the ATV box.

    I appreciate every ones input.
  24. tom1971 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2007
    Check this for a free patching solution.
  25. dernhelm macrumors 68000


    May 20, 2002
    middle earth
    You must be thinking _really_ long term then. At $10/month for netflix, it is nearly 20 months just to cover the cost of a $200 ATV unit. Then you have $2 rentals for most TV shows and $5 rentals for most movies. If you figure 1 rental of each per month, then you are only really saving $3/month with Apple TV (not $10) meaning you are at around 66 months before you save the $200. By then your ATV will need to be replaced anyway.

    And if you have a bunch of DVD's at home that you want to watch on Apple TV, you have to use Handbrake to rip them into your library (plan on 1-2 TB of disk space for media space). This is a pretty big hassle, but _really cool_ once you have it up and going (especially for movies the kids watch over and over). It's also very nice to be able to display your own home movies and photos on to the ATV.

    Bottom line, though, if you are strictly talking about TV and Movie content that you don't already own - it's pretty tough to beat the cost of a Netflix subscription and a $100 Roku player. With the Roku you can rent movies on-demand from Amazon, and stream a wide variety of stuff from Netflix. You just can't display content you already own.

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