I love the Apple TV but why not just get a DVD player with USB input?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Pikemann Urge, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. Pikemann Urge macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2007
    Let's face it, you can get a decent DVD player with USB input for less than an Apple TV. Put your video files on a USB flash drive (e.g. a 1stG Shuffle!), insert it into the DVD player and boom, there you go, an easy way to watch your video files without having to create physical DVD videos.

    The Apple TV is definitely a more elegant solution but it won't play DVD images (but of course the Mac will, easily), not to mention XviD and files using older QuickTime codecs.

    So am I missing something? Forget for the moment the fact that I want to record video as well (I can do that on my DVD recorder, take the disc to my computer, trim it and re-encode it). What would make an Apple TV a compelling purchase (apart from being really cool to own)?
  2. dmm219 macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2008
    I would have never bought an Apple TV to watch only ripped movies and tvshows that I have already owned. As you have pointed out, if thats all you want, there are FAR cheaper ways of doing that.

    The reason I got mine (and the reason more and more people are buying one)...is as a means to give the cable companies the boot. We just suffered a rather large blow however with the whole Boxee/Hulu fiasco. Even so, I rarely used boxee.

    The apple tv's ability to work brilliantly with the itunes store is what makes it different. Now, before you think "there is no way i'd spend good money on tv from itunes", consider a couple of things:

    1. 1 year of typical cable costs your around $1000. You buy 28-30 SEASONS of tv shows for that amount of money. Do you religously watch 28-30 entire seasons of shows each year? Most people don't, and therefore, would save money via the itunes ala carte method. If you DO watch that many (or even more), then cable is, and will probably always be, your only option.

    2. Don't forget the itunes store provides a ton of great FREE content. In fact, I watch for more free content than paid through itunes. Mostly through podcasts. There are a ton of great news programs all deliverered free as podcasts these days. You'd be surprised at the amount of quality stuff you can get for free via video podcasts. Try watching the Earth-Touch HD nature podcasts sometime, and you will be amazed.

    3. I find with a mixture of Boxee, ATV and Free Clear QAM, I get everything I'd like for far less than I could through cable. Boxee, ofcourse, has become far less usefull with the loss of Hulu. Basically, the only thing I use Boxee for now is Comedy Central shows.

    Ofcourse, you also get the benefit of having all your own media, available at the touch of a buttom, which is great, but again, not worth the $$ for an Apple TV.

    If you love cable and don't mind paying exhorbitant cable bills, I see no reason to pick up an Apple TV.
  3. PupnTaco macrumors regular


    May 29, 2007
    I'm using the Apple TV to phase out my standard-def DVDs, replaced with HD 720p movies streaming from iTunes. Convenience is greater, quality is better than DVD.
  4. slu macrumors 68000


    Sep 15, 2004
    You might as well say why not get an Universal iPod dock and hook it up to your TV? That is what I did, but not because I don't think the Apple TV is good, but because I am a bit cheap and since I already pay for cable and blockbuster online I am not looking for more ways to pay for content.

    The point made about a la carte seasons and the cost of cable is a great one and one I never really thought of. I would do that in a second if I wasn't so hopelessly addicted to live sports. Although I could always go to the bar, but that would probably cost me more than cable in the long run.
  5. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

    Jul 8, 2008
    my house
    My solution to sports is to try over the air and then the backup is to subscribe to cable only for football season and switch whose name it's under each year between me and the lady
  6. Pikemann Urge thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2007
    First up: I don't like cable/pay TV so none of that for me. I guess I might buy the odd show from iTunes but I am not a fan of non-physical media overall.

    But I did realize something that the iPod and DVD+USB idea doesn't have: hi-def. I have an HD video camera, too. So in that context, Apple TV actually does make sense!

    Only problem is to figure a way to record HD TV shows. Maybe I'll have to go the USB tuner route, but I already have an HD tuner box... Well that's another issue. And I'm happy enough with SD widescreen quality, though I'd not be exploiting the Apple TV fully.
  7. danny_w macrumors 601

    Mar 8, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Do you know of any DVD+USB solutions that will read a ripped video_ts folder? Most that I have seen only support DivX or some other variant. I might be interested in a dVD player with video_ts functionality.

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