I'm Still on the Fence About Apple Tv...

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by provosaint, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. provosaint macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2008
    i found this posting/review online... seems honest, but looking for others...

    Here’s a great review of the AppleTV that covers the new Internet TV device from the user experience perspective. Yeah, we all know you can watch your favorite shows and movies on it. But is it easy to use? How about getting YouTube videos? How is the search function? And most of all, what is the quality like? I found this report from Daisy Whitney at TVWeek. She answers all those questions in this two-minute take.


  2. Jeff Hall macrumors regular

    Jeff Hall

    Apr 10, 2006
    You didn't clarify what your needs/desires were, but for me AppleTV meets all my needs:

    • Stream my iTunes Music to my Home Theater
    • Stream my ripped DVDs with 5.1 Dolby to my Home Theater
    • Stream all kinds of videos I've gotten off BitTorrent
    • Streams all my Podcasts (including HD video podcasts)
    • Streams internet Radio stations to my Home Theater
    • HD Rentals are better video/sound quality than DirecTV offers


    1. I have to manually convert some video formats to MP4 for files I get off the net (MKV, etc)
    2. Apple is being held up by the Movie houses and thus the rental movie selection is lagging far behind Netflix
    3. Apple is not (yet) offering a monthly subscription to movies (e.g., watch all you want for $14.99/mo)

    So for now, if I don't have time to re-encode an .AVI file I fire up the Xbox360 and watch the video via Connect360 running on my Macbook Pro. And I'm not canceling my Netflix subscription anytime soon; it's more cost effective than paying $3.99 for individual movies.
  3. Sol macrumors 68000


    Jan 14, 2003
    Yes, it is very easy to use thanks to the simple interface and simple remote. Movies take a bit of effort to rip, convert and tag properly but once that is all done it beats using a DVD player; all your movies are available instantly and you don't even have to get off the couch to change them. The iTunes Store is well integrated in the Apple TV, making it a breeze to browse and make purchases. YouTube is just as much a diversion on Apple TV as it is on the computer. Searching is slower than using a keyboard but you can get used to that. As for quality, it can be as good as you want. On a 480p screen my 700MB DVD rips look close to the originals; higher bit-rates give better results. YouTube videos are a little better than what you get on the computer and photos look great. For some reason photos need to be synced to the Apple TV but everything else can be streamed. Of course an unreliable wireless network can spoil the Apple TV experience a bit so make sure that is running smoothly.
  4. MagnusVonMagnum macrumors 601


    Jun 18, 2007
    You couldn't pay me to rip my DVD collection. With a 1.8GHz 7448 PowerPC, Handbrake tells me it'll take around 8-12 hours per DVD to rip in high quality mode. I've got over 300 DVDs. No thanks. It's more work to rip them than it is to get up off my butt once every 2 hours to change the DVD (which I keep loosely organized by genre in stands in the back of the room so it's easy to find whatever).

    Unlike CDs, you typically sit and watch a film all the way through. I did rip my entire CD collection (~380 CDs) and that is nice to have available since you can pick whatever songs from whatever albums in your collection and switch at any time to another one. I use an iPod Touch to control two different AppleTV units in the house like a WiFi remote (Airtunes). It's also cool to use the photo feature of the AppleTV to look at photos while listening to music. In fact, high resolution photos are just amazing looking on a 93" front projector system. No 4x6 print can compare to that (like having slides without having to load the trays).

    Once setup, renting a movie is just a matter of sifting through lists of movies (any number of ways to search by category or a search box) and then clicking on the rent button and away you go. The HD quality looks better than HD movies on my cable subscription.
  5. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    I have had my 160GB Apple TV for about 6 weeks and I love it. I have rented and watched several HD movies from the Apple site and they looked and sounded great. I give this capability only about a C+, though, as new HD releases are pretty expensive, $4.99 each, and it’s impossible to search for HD movies only, which is pretty primitive.

    I find that I am getting more utility from converting my DVD collection than I was from renting HD movies. Using Handbrake, I can rip a movie from a DVD and convert it to MP4 format in less than two hours. The beauty of this is that once Handbrake has started the ripping and conversion process, the rest is automatic. Better yet, the MP4 file looks and sounds EXACTLY like the DVD itself when displayed on my Apple TV, which is to say, it looks and sounds very good indeed. I use my MacBook Pro 2.4 GHz to do this.
  6. iRabbit macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2007
    We got our first AppleTV (for the bedroom) a couple of weeks ago. Loved it so much, we bought a second one for our playroom.

    I found it easy to setup and it's easy to use. I love having access to my iTunes library for music, movies, tv shows I've bought. The photo thing is a bonus, but it's a fun one. It's a really nice way to enjoy those recent family vacation shots.

    We rented our first HD movie over the weekend and it worked flawlessly.

    My little gripes...

    I'd like to be able to view photos WITHOUT having to view a slideshow... just let me go in and see a bunch of thumbnails and pick one photo to view :)

    I don't like the text-input. It reminds me of TiVo which is okay, but the way the box around the highlighted letter slides into place, instead of just sticking into place, is annoying and a little slow. I'd love to see a keyboard made for it, or, something like the xBox hand-held keyboards. At the very least, Apple should do away with the cursor sliding into place.
  7. ceehjayem macrumors regular

    Aug 12, 2006
    I purchased an Apple TV about a little less than two months ago and absolutely love it. I use it every night when there's nothing else on TV to watch.
  8. Robbadore64 macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida

    How? I'd love to do that?

    I've had my :apple:TV for about 2 weeks and really enjoy it. Never rented anything yet, but have definitely had fun going through YouTube on it to kill time. It's real nice having my 50 gig audio library on there as well as my photos. But I can honestly say I've wasted too much time already moving my iTunes library to and external drive so I can have more room to store ripped DVDs, and then sync to the 160 :apple:TV (ok, thats not really a complaint). But I'd say it's most convenient having a bunch of Disney movies and episodes of The Backyardigans available sitting there waiting when I want to put a video on for my 4-yr old. He can click through the menu as opposed to going through a bunch of DVDs.
  9. MagnusVonMagnum macrumors 601


    Jun 18, 2007
    There are two programs out there you can buy. One is called SIGNAL and the other is called REMOTE BUDDY. Both run a littler server on your Mac (Signal is also available for the PC) that basically interfaces with iTunes and controls it and then sends out a web page to your iPhone or iPod Touch that lets you control your iTunes setup from the iPhone or iPod Touch across your wireless network. The net effect is that the iPhone or iPod Touch works like a WiFi remote for Itunes.

    Signal and Remote Buddy both have their own advantages and disadvantages (I bought both so I can use whatever one works better for a given task).

    Basically, Signal is much faster responding than Remote Buddy, it's also available for a PC (so I can use my PC as a backup option with AirTunes or if I'm busy using the Mac for something else). It can also select multiple speakers at the same time (Remote Buddy can only select single speakers currently). It's also able to download the images for songs played over iTunes radio stations (it will change as the song changes too, which is pretty cool; you just make up a playlist of radio stations and it can select them from remote also). Its really good at building quick playlists. Remote Buddy is much slower and a pain for that sort of thing.

    Remote Buddy, OTOH, has better access to your music in the sense it separates artists lists into alphabetical categories so even though it responds slower, it's often easier to find something faster. Its current playlist looks much more like the real iPod Touch music interface and unlike Signal, it offers the ability to move to any point in the song on a sliding index just like the real iPod Touch interface. It does not show artwork for radio stations, though and it cannot change over to multiple speakers at the same time and as I already mentioned, it feels much slower to respond. It also only works with MacOSX. It does have the capability to do other things than just control iTunes, though. It can also control your Mac in other areas (e.g. show a picture of your desktop on the iPhone or iPod Touch or control the mouse or front row or whatever from remote).
  10. EarthDawn macrumors 6502a


    Feb 18, 2008
    Long-eye Land, NY
    Not to hijack the thread BUT .... can you use your iPhone for this as well if you wanted ???
  11. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Newton, MA

  12. EarthDawn macrumors 6502a


    Feb 18, 2008
    Long-eye Land, NY
  13. Daisy Whitney macrumors newbie

    Apr 16, 2008
    Hi everyone:

    Just wanted to say thanks for watching my AppleTV review. You guys are way more knowledgeable than me about the tech aspects of the AppleTV, but if anyone wants to chit chat about the content or user experience, feel free to email me at daisywhitney@comcast.net


    Daisy Whitney

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