Help trying to figure out ATV Basics

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by GRuizMD, May 6, 2009.

  1. GRuizMD macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2007
    Normal User here w Comcast Cable, a 5.1 onkyo receiver/DVD/ wall mounted speakers an iMac w a 1tb external HD for time machine and and 350gb external hard-drive, close to 100 of dvds (originals) and close to 35Gb of bought Video content (TVshows) from iTunes.... a Large 15Gb collection of Music and cose to 10K family Pictures and many videos edited with imovie.
    My computer is connected through a Wireless network with a PS3 attached to it for online gaming on COD4 only.

    How can I put this together? Will a ATV work here in this set up?

    Right now the only way I can see my iTunes shows in the large 50inch TV is by plugging an apple proprietary composite cable to an extra old 30Gb Video ipod...
    Been looking for info for the last 3 days and found scattered stuff with mostly advanced topics... Now Im researching into Something called Hulu and the possibility to connect it to my tv? but very basic info is really difficult to find...

    What is the Ideal setup with this components? Can an ATV fit in here?

    Dont need to put everything here... Please direct me with some links to start and I will take it from there

  2. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    The ATV will integrate perfectly into your system. You'll have access to your entire iTunes library and all of your photos. If you haven't done so already, you can use software such as HandBrake (free) to transcode your DVD collection to mp4, add your movies to iTunes, and then stream or sync them to your ATV.

    You can also do a very simple patchstick hack of your ATV using freely available software to install Boxee on the ATV. That will give you access to a host of internet streaming video and TV shows. Hulu is the biggest one, but, as you might have heard, there's been a bit of a cat-and-mouse game going on between Hulu and Boxee. Hulu's content providers have been pressuring the company to keep their streams off of Boxee. Boxee responds by workarounds, followed by more shenanigans from Hulu. But even without Hulu, Boxee is worth installing for a host of other reasons.

    If you don't mind having your iMac on and iTunes running most of the time, just get a 40 gig ATV. Streaming works so well that the 160 gig model really isn't worth it unless you want the extra space to )a have some headroom for renting movies from the iTMS, b) want to be able to take your ATV and a lot of content with you to a new location (say, while on vacation or something), or c) want to cut down a bit on how often you need to keep your iMac on and iTunes running. Use HDMI to connect the ATV to your display, and a Toslink cable for audio (unless you have HDMI on your receiver and want to use that as the switch). Get cables from monoprice, since they are a lot cheaper than the local brick-and-mortar shops. You'll love the ATV.

    EDIT: Here are the links to Boxee and to atvusb-creator.
  3. kd_rome macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2004
    Yes Apple TV will be a wireless link between your iTunes library (both audio and video) and your iPhoto library. You connect the ATV to the tv with a hdmi cable and use the digital out from the ATV to your receiver. You can decide to stream or sync your content.
    What you really need is to have a wireless N router, I use an airport extreme N.
    You can also watch youtube videos but as spice weasel said you are limited to that, you need to hack it in order to watch Boxee contents.

    Did you have any particular questions?
  4. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    No doubt the extra speed is nice, but I wouldn't say having an N network is necessary unless you plan to stream high-bitrate HD content. I have an old G Airport Base Station and never have any problems streaming my SD rips or the few HD TV shows I've purchased from the iTMS.
  5. GRuizMD thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2007


    Thanks for the prompt response... Now I have stuff to research....

    I will probably start buying a refurb 40gb ATV so I can put the content for my baby (Kids tv shows from iTunes) on it and make it easy for the nanny and us to pull them out any time when needed.

    I guess I can choose what to sync w the ATV so If my child's library grows larger I can swap old shows for new ones

    I will also go to Boxee and start learning about it... With YouTube the experience has been bitter-sweet. Video is often sluggish and Resolution is poor with the ugly square pixelation.... I dont expect this service to be much better though... So no reason to ditch the cable service for now....

    Handbrake... A chapter on its own...

    If I am able to Rip one of my DVDs (I dont know how it works with those protected DVDs that I have) and stream it to ATV from a dedicated HD connected to my iMac will I be able to get that 720p minimum quality that I get by just putting the physical disk in the ONKYO dvd?

    Thanks guys this is becoming more clear... Now to my Fried Wikipedia.. .Have a lot to read and try...
  6. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    You will be able to choose what content you want to sync and what content you want to stream, and you can always change it up on an on-going basis as your library grows or changes.

    The video quality from the internet streaming shows on Boxee vary, and depend somewhat on how big your TV is, but they are universally better than YouTube. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by how good it is - not HD by any means, but definitely watchable.

    If you rip your own DVDs the best you can get is upscaled 480p resolution - the native resolution of the format itself. When you put a DVD into your Onkyo, you are just getting upscaled 480p as well. Using the Apple TV or Universal Preset in HandBrake will generally give you quality that is the same as the source DVD.
  7. GRuizMD thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2007

    So if I rip any of my DVDs and put it on an ATV the result will be upscaled 480p or just plain 480p with no upscaling....

    What I meant to ask is: does ATV do Upscaling of 480p video?
  8. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    It will be upscaled.

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