Initial experience and a few things I found

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by pedz, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. pedz macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2007
    People on this forum and other sites have done a great job of uncovering most of what you can do with the new ATV. Thought I would share my initial experience and a couple of things I found:

    • If you double click the menu button it goes straight into the screen saving (and as others said they are beautiful). When one video ends it switches to another.
    • If you double click the tv button it brings up the app switcher, and you can swipe up to close apps. I didn't realize this would be there.
    • If you tap the siri button (don't hold it) and wait a few seconds it shows you examples of what you can do. It is a pretty good list of options.
    • As others have mentioned, holding the menu button takes you to the home screen, just like pressing the home button.
    • I didn't notice this at first (and it would have helped), in the on screen keyboard there is a 'recent' option for email addresses.
    • I kind of like the keyboard, though I do wish they put of separate row of capital letters. With the new touch pad, having the letters on one row lets you zip back and forth pretty fast (though not as fast as a real keyboard).
    • Remote is great as everyone is saying, takes very little time to adjust and you can zip around really well, though I expect to get more accurate over time. Siri so far is very accurate in transcribing what we say.
    • Siri search is awesome, my family have been playing around with it and it has been surprisingly accurate. You definitely run into its limitations, but assuming Apple continue expanding it, Siri is going to be great.
    • The weather and sport scores are excellent, much more useful than expected. Because the results come up so fast it is, for the first time, more convenient than taking out my phone or even looking on my apple watch.
    • For weather you can ask for the forecast or the hourly forecast and get the appropriate results, there is a decent amount of info available.
    • Home sharing is much faster (not surprising). Can zip through the list of movies on my computer without any lag. And the quick fast forward and rewind, as well as siri navigation within a video, all work with home sharing videos. Only thing is the thumbnails above the timeline don't keep up when scrubbing.
    • Interface for home sharing hasn't changed, tv shows and everything else is organized the same as before.
    • Apple Music app is nice, no siri as everyone else noted (except next point). The 'My Music' section is pretty basic though, the layout is very similar to the home sharing layout.
    • Others have mentioned, in both music and home sharing, siri will search whatever is on screen. So if you ask to play a movie title, and it is currently displayed on the screen from your computer then it will play it. The moment it is scrolled off it won't work. Same goes for music. I can see the challenging in supporting so many variation, assume Apple will figure it out and that will be great.
    • Photos app has potential, but as others have noted I only see shared albums. I believe I read somewhere that they are working on expanding it. When playing a video though it starts up instantly and looks great. And the scrubbing and siri navigation work too.
    • For volume control, I have two tv's where I just use the tv speakers, and the siri remote automatically controlled their volume with no setup, using IR. I have one tv with a receiver and it doesn't work for that, I haven't had a chance to program it yet.
    • I do have one Panasonic tv that supports HDMI-CEC, when I put the apple tv to sleep it actually shuts off the tv (great!) But when I try to wake it up the tv does not turn on. Not sure if anyone has had success with that and has any suggestions? I make post a separate thread on that one.
    • One thing I think apple really missed though is the lack of a centralized queue of movies/shows. When I do a siri search I should be able to save things to a queue or list that is independent of an individual app. So in the future I can check what platform things are on (it may change over time), if there are new episodes of shows available across channels… Otherwise you turn it on and have from app to app to check your saved lists, which siri doesn’t help with. This is key for eventual cord cutting.
    • And if you add something to your wishlist from a siri search it just adds it to your itunes wish list. So when you look at it in that wishlist it no longer shows you other platforms it is available on.
    • Overall it is great, not a ton of great apps, but for us it is about navigating meeting and watching it, and for that the speed, ability to easily move around within a video, and siri universal search make it a clear winner. Apps like Storehouse (never used it before now) show some great potential on the app side of things.

    Sorry for the long post,
  2. leesweet macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2009
    Northern Virginia, USA
    One thing I read, haven't verified: the play button will toggle upper/lower case in the keyboard during data entry.
  3. pedz thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2007
    Just tried it, consider it verified! Good catch, that is very helpful.
  4. leesweet macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2009
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Excellent, will use that when one of mine shows up in a few hours. :D
  5. matrix07 macrumors 601


    Jun 24, 2010
    Hmm.. Very positive post. Thank you for taking the time to give feed back to the community.
  6. lsutigerfan1976 macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Stop being so positive. On this forum we like our reviews as negative as they come! ;)
  7. swordfish5736 macrumors 68000


    Jun 29, 2007
    At least on my Panasonic TV this was turned off as well. Every manufacturer has there own name for there implementation of HDMI-CEC, Panasonic calls theres VIERA link(apparently also HDAVI Control or EZ-Sync). It has a page in the setup menu, go to Menu -> Setup -> then look for Viera Link. There should be a number of settings but to get the TV to turn ON with the TV look for 'Power on link' and turn that to 'Yes'.
  8. pedz thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2007
    That worked! Thank you very much. I assumed because it was able to turn the tv off that the CEC feature was on in general. Didn't consider that there might be two settings. Thanks again.
  9. loekf macrumors 6502a


    Mar 23, 2015
    Nijmegen, The Netherlands
    I'm positive, but I don't understand some choices:

    • Overscan. Are there guidelines for the visible area the TV shows ? Google for Android TV officially requires apps to keep an small area at the borders empty for overscan. Overscan is something of the past, but some TVs still do it and yes it's annoying but we've to deal with it. I noticed a calibration setting, but it just points to the TVs settings. Was it so hard to make a setting to zoom in/out to make all content fit ? Nvidia Shield ATV has it. PS4 has it. Some apps violate rules I think, e.g. Asphalt 8. Others as far as I can see follow guidelines (if they exist). Maybe developers can comment.
    • Entering AppleID + password. You copy the settings from an iPhone, incl. your account, but I still got prompts for my AppleID + password. Why it's so hard to do things the right way.
    • BT Keyboard support. Please add. Stupid move to take this out.
    • Buying apps. I dont want to enter my password using the remote each time, so I turned this off. Is it so hard to use TouchID on an iPhone or iPad on the same WIFI network ? Come on, you could have thought about this.
    • Folder apps ? Don't think they exist.
    • Audio out options are fuzzy. Dolby Surround = bitstreaming ? For Netflix that did the trick. My receiver sees DD+.
    • iCloud backups ? How do you handle restore ? I didn't find any reference to backups.
    • I think you could loaded Netflix, iMovie, Flickr by default.
    • Finally. Appstore is a joke. Only recommended apps.. no categories ? If apps are universal, couldn't you add some icon like tvOS, iOS ? Appearrently some apps I bought in the past worked also on tvOS. For example, Edge (game).
  10. Frankied22 macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2010
    My Apple TV will turn off my tv when I put it to sleep but when I wake it up it doesn't turn on the tv. Anyone else experiencing this? I have a LG plasma.
  11. pedz thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2007
    Some good points, I ran into some of these too and forgot to include. At the end of the day I figure it is a first generation, and Apples approach is usually to limit functionality and get it working well, and expand over time. I agree with this approach but that does leave some pretty obvious things missing as you noted above. Hopeful many of these will get addressed in the near term, but knowing Apple some will and some will linger.

    For the apple id an password, after setting up with my phone I was only asked to enter the password once when I purchased my first app. I haven't rented a movie yet or tried other features, but that was the only time I was asked and not expecting to be asked again.
    And iCould backup is key, if I have to restore this thing for any reason I do not want to re-enable all of the apps, it is painful.
  12. pedz thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2007
    That is the same problem I described above, except mine was on a Panasonic tv. Did you check the settings? On Panasonic TVs it turns out there is a separate setting for CEC to turn on and off the tv, and only off was on for me by default.
  13. swordfish5736 macrumors 68000


    Jun 29, 2007
    Look in the setup menu for something called simple link. You may have to enable the power on feature
  14. AstroDrew macrumors regular


    Sep 23, 2015
    Bay Area
    Thanks, it's a great short cut. However, I tried using it on search while playing music and it paused the music and I had to go back to Music app to play it again. But, it was as simple as double tapping home button to switch between app. I guess I'm getting he hang of it.
  15. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    Does the AppleTV come with "micro-scratches" or pressure point blemishes? I sure hope so, because without them there will be a lot of unhappy MacRumors members unable to come up with a suitable reason to return it a few hours after purchase.
  16. mic j macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    Got mine at BB. No need to find a flaw to return it.
  17. Laurence Eckert macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2014
    No Apple Music Siri support at launch was a reallllly big oversight...Siri on the Apple TV shouldn't be that much different from iOS, so why not have it at launch? Apple Music came out in June.

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