Just purchased ATV2 U.K. - first thoughts

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Lankyman, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. Lankyman macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Location:
    U.K.
    #1
    After mulling over this particular purchase for some time I have finally taken the plunge and bought myself an ATV2. I had considered making a couple of "tweaks" to the firmware :rolleyes: However, after downloading the software update to 4.4 I am wondering (and this is just the UK market) whether it really is worth the hassle any more? With Airplay mirroring of products like BBC iPlayer using ATV2 onto a large panel TV and the ability to buy films and TV shows through iTunes instead of renting through ATV2 there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of reasons for doing so any more or am I missing something?
     
  2. Melchizedek macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    #2
    I have also recently purchased an ATV2 in the UK and am happy with it so far, although it's taking a long time to work through adding all my DVDs to iTunes to take advantage of it.

    How have you found using iPlayer over airplay? I found it to be a bit laggy (although only tried it briefly) with the ATV connected wirelessly. I do think having iPlayer on the ATV2 itself would just make things a lot more convenient.
     
  3. Lankyman thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Location:
    U.K.
    #3
    I have only tried is so far with my daughters iPad as I don't have one presently (that's another story). BBC iPlayer worked OK for me and I use my ATV2 wirelessly as well, that was one of my reasons for buying it i.e. wireless media streamer. It is a pity you can't access other video files outside of iTunes without having to resort to JB. However, as said in my intro, I'm not convinced there is such a strong case for JB since 4.4 update. I agree though that Apple have missed a trick not being able to include the BBC iPlayer on the unit itself.
     
  4. tiptopp macrumors regular

    tiptopp

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Location:
    Norwich, UK
    #4
    You don't have to JB to play videos. Use something like AirVideo, which needs a server on your PC/Mac which you tell where your video files are located (can be root if you store them all over). The iPad/iPhone app then allows you to see them, and play them, either on the screen of your iDevice or with Airplay to your aTV. And it converts un-Apple friendly formats on the fly. We've watched numerous films and TV series' via AirVideo, and haven't had any speed or lag issues whatsoever.

    Tiptopp
     
  5. atrevers macrumors regular

    atrevers

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    I use a combination of the Boxee iPad app and the Boxee Media Manager on my Mac Mini, pointing this at my Movies folder on the Mac. It will then stream to the iPad, transcoding on the fly, which will in turn stream via AirPlay to the TV. I then use Get iPlayer Automator. I had jailbroken my ATV initially and installed XBMC, but found this is a much better way of doing things, as it means I can run official software updates immediately, without losing functionality.

    Links:

    http://www.boxee.tv/ipad
    http://tom-tech.com/iplayer_automator/iPlayer_Automator/Get_iPlayer_Automator.html
     
  6. Soilage macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    #6
    I really think it all boils down to where your content is stored and from where you want to view it.

    I have all my media stored on a NAS and can be accessed by whatever device I want.
    I did try the "normal" route and first reencode and then add to iTunes, but reencoding is not fun (!) and iTunes hasn't got a very good library mode for TV Shows.

    I jailbroke, installed XBMC and have never looked back. Everyone in my home knows how to start XBMC and pick something they like to see - and not care about if my Mac is turned on or off, if iTunes is started or not or if some extra streaming device isn't physically present. :)

    I can only recommend it - but then again, I don't care about ATV updates.
     
  7. Lankyman thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Location:
    U.K.
    #7
    Oooooooooh! cool, will give that one a try - there's always a way I suppose. :D

    ----------

    Likewise - will also have a look at this one too - cheers. :D

    ----------

    From what I have been reading JB isn't currently working very well if you have updated to 4.4 and needs tethering, not easy without Laptop close by. I'm sure they will sort in next few days mind.
     
  8. Evgenyy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #8
    You can also use Plex Media Server and Plex client on iPad/iPhone to Airplay to ATV. Or even install Plex client on ATV itself.

    Also, with a bit of effort, you can get Netflix and US iTunes movies rental on ATV. Then it becomes a completely different kind of beast for us in the UK ;)
     
  9. Lankyman thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Location:
    U.K.
    #9
    Thanks for the heads up on that. Don't know if you have read in the last few days that Netflix is officially going to launch in the UK and Ireland very shortly. However, much depends on if they can survive as a company as their share price is in free fall at present following a disastrous rebranding in the U.S. They have managed to lose 800,000 subscribers in a very short space of time.
     
  10. Evgenyy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    #10
    I've read that but their launch here will likely be the same as Canada (i.e. very little content compared to the US). I know their stock is tanking but I don't think they will go anywhere since there are no real alternatives for $7.99/month and lots of people will still use them.

    By the way, looks like www.vdio.com will be launching soon in the UK and might be a mix of Netflix and Hulu. Fingers crossed we might get something decent finally. I am not a fan of separate players as a catch-up service. 4OD, iTV, BBC - give me one integrated truly on demand service with films and tv shows and I will happily pay for it.
     
  11. bp1000 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    #11
    I'm thinking of getting one of these in the uk too.

    I would be grateful for some advice on the following

    - does bbc iplayer work full screen without bars?

    - does itv player, 4od and demand 5 also work over AirPlay, full screen?

    - I ripped some DVDs and synced them to the iPad in iTunes, will it AirPlay these too?

    Thanks
     
  12. Lankyman thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Location:
    U.K.
    #12
    Using iPad BBC iPlayer app the picture has bars but funnily enough if you use the iPlayer direct from BBC Homepage with mirroring then it's full screen. 4OD full screen and so is Sky Go. If you install Air Video server on your Mac then get the same app on iPad you can use your Mac as a server and watch your other videos outside of iTunes either on your iPad or on ATV2. Air Video will convert formats such as Flash Player content etc. on the fly. The PQ it produces is very good indeed. This is a very good find and was recommended to me by another poster on here, no need to JB etc.
     
  13. bp1000 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    #13
    Thank you!

    So it isn't possible to play they videos stored in the videos app on your iPad over AirPlay then? You have you using your mac as a streaming device.
     
  14. peterjcat macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    #14
    Anything in the Videos app on the iPad should AirPlay to the ATV2 as well.
     
  15. tarasis, Nov 1, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011

    tarasis macrumors 6502a

    tarasis

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Location:
    Here, there and everywhere
    #15
    I got one on the weekend for use here in Germany, so far I am kind of mixed. Device came with 4.3 and updated to 4.4.2 without issue.

    In principle the device (admittedly I refer to it as the hockey puck) is slick though in practice it is sluggish to navigate the menus and I find I switch more to using Screens to pick music that way (ESP as I am playing music I haven't listened to in a while). I'm shocked that it's not possible to switch CC on the fly going out of the movie to get to the Settings menu is a pain. Nor have I seen evidence of Subtitles, I have them on in settings but I've seen no way to turn them on/off on a video. The most annoying thing so far is that sometimes it simply fails to respond, be it asking to play a video or music it will simply spin it's activity indicator for ages doing nothing. The iTunes library it's connected to was active and the network wasn't congested so there was no sensible reason for it. ESP as it was easier to switch to iTunes and start it from there instead.

    I'm still debating if I keep it, or wait to see what they might bring to the ATV3

    Pros:

    Slick
    Tiny
    AirPlay
    Does 720p which my TV does
    Gets the MacMini, Drobo, UPS and Printer out of the living room (which greatly pleases the missus)

    Cons:

    Only Digital out, means I need either a new amp or external DAC for music while Telly is off. Otherwise I need to leave our plasma TV on all the time to play music through it.
    Sluggish to navigate (either the physical remote or via iPad / iPhone Remote app)
    Closed Captions & it seems subtitles can't be turned on / off on the fly while watching a video.
    Lack of track info (last played, play count) so need to remote into Mini to see when I last played an album.
    (Not AppleTV but some implementations of AirPlay stop when app closed/backgrounded - looking at BBC iPlayer - which renders iPad useless while watching)
    Sometimes doesn't respond when asking it to play something, it sits on the spinny icon for a while doing nothing.

    [EDIT]

    Video played via AirPlay are cropped a little, seen this on both Youtube app and StreamToMe. TV's res is 1360x768, and AppleTV is set to auto. So for instance in this video http://youtu.be/VIUnvSguF0Q?t=1m32s the controls that appear on the map (LT and RT) have lots of space to the left and right of the controls and more underneath as well. But on the TV, the controls are snug on the left and right edges of the screen.

    Indeed I get the same result when using the native YT app on the ATV :/ Even after forcing ATV output from auto to 720p 60Hz. I wish I could unsee this.

    [EDIT 2]
    Aha Setting the AppleTV output to 1024x768 (60Hz) interestingly makes things output correctly. I've compared the same video playing via Mac and AppleTV (swapping between the two HDMI outputs), paused at the same points and specific things are in the exact same place, and the same width.

    [EDIT 3]

    Okay. For video to play correctly I need to set the AppleTV output to 1024x768 but that messes up AirPlay mirroring. In that mode the mirroring only takes up a portion of the screen on the left and the bottom of the iPad screen (landscape or portrait) is cut off. Starting RealRacing 2 in this mode also doesn't work properly, specifically it won't go fullscreen.

    To get mirroring to work properly I need to swap back to 720p, which is less than ideal.

    Oh Fergal Sharkey.
     

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