New to ATV, is anything free to watch?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by RolledUp20s, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. RolledUp20s macrumors regular

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    #1
    Ive always 'um'n'ard' over the apple tv. Ive decided to take the plunge & preorder the box. Was wondering if anything is free to watch on it? Can you plug an external harddrive into it to watch movies?

    Or is it just a pay per view box only?

    I have an iphone 4s & ipad 2 so the air play is what i really wanted this for.

    Im having an apple shuffle about at the moment, selling my mac mini - which was used only as a media player really, not getting enough use out of it as id like. Its connected to the family tv so getting on it can be a pain.
    So i want a laptop again..(mac air this time) .sold my 2010 macbook pro - bought the mac mini & my ipad last year..i just get restless i guess :) time for a change again.

    Apple must love people like me :eek:
     
  2. chenks macrumors 6502a

    chenks

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    #2
    no you can't connect an external HDD to it.

    gives you access to rent or purchase content from the itunes store.
    can also play your own itunes content on your pc/mac.

    you can airplay videos and photos from iphone and ipad to the appletv.

    you'll still need a host if you want to play your own movies and tv shows, so a mac mini or macbook is required for local content playback.
     
  3. Mike Valmike macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Youtube is free. You'll find a surprising amount of stuff on it, including TV episodes, and it plays in HD if the source is HD. I've had fantastic results watching this.

    Netflix Instant is free as far as Apple is concerned -- you just have to have a Netflix account already. But unlike say the Xbox 360, there is no charge to use the ATV as your playback device for it.

    Any videos you want to have in your iTunes movie/tv library will play through for free, even if you added them from your own collection instead of buying them from the iTunes store. Using MakeMKV and Handbrake, I have ripped my blu-ray collection to mp4 format, put it in my iTunes library, and watch the movies on the ATV for free while the original blu-ray discs sit safely in the closet away from my children's curious hands.

    That's all I can think of for the moment
     
  4. bbapps macrumors regular

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  5. RolledUp20s thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5

    Ok, thanks for the replies.

    So...to playback your ripped blu-rays are you using airplay from your mac running itunes? Or can you actually copy the files onto the ATV?
    ...its just ill be without a computer now until apple release the new mac air...unless i just get the latest model...hmmm :rolleyes:
     
  6. pasipple macrumors 6502a

    pasipple

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    #6
    The ATV2 & ATV3 don't have any internal storage so you can't store files on an ATV. There is no need to...that's the point of the ATV. The ATV will play any of your iTunes media files (movies/music) stored on your mac/pc or external storage such as a NAS.

    The key is iTunes. Your media files must be added to iTunes...and iTunes must be running for the ATV to play them.
     
  7. ecschwarz macrumors 65816

    ecschwarz

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    #7
    Podcasts aren't just a couple of amateur radio hosts talking about things (which I participate in on a regular basis), but a number of broadcasters have taken things (mostly news programs) and distribute them as podcasts (NBC News/MSNBC/CNBC is a notable one). Additionally, if you have an iPhone 4S or iPad 2, you can mirror content on those devices (so, in theory, you can stream content from the broadcast network apps - I don't have an applicable iDevice, so someone will need to clarify this). Finally, Crackle is a free service by Sony Pictures Entertainment with a number of movies (some good, some truly terrible) that can be AirPlayed to the Apple TV - think low-budget Netflix...
     
  8. chenks macrumors 6502a

    chenks

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    #8
    not entirely true.
    the content needs to be in itunes, and it also must be in the correct spec for the appletv.

    i can easily add content to itunes that is outwith the playback spec of the appletv.
     
  9. hafr macrumors 68030

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    #9
    Could you give some examples of such content?
     
  10. chenks macrumors 6502a

    chenks

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    #10
    as i said, files that are in the correct codec format, but are outwith the spec that the device can play.
     
  11. hafr macrumors 68030

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    #12
    Wait, are you referring to the original ATV? In that case I understand. I thought you were talking about the ATV2.
     
  12. chenks macrumors 6502a

    chenks

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    #13
    i'm talking about any AppleTV.
    i could easily create an h264 m4v file that has a resolution way higher than 1080p and an insane bitrate that will happily add to an itunes library but won't play on an AppleTV.

    the rule is, "just because it is in itunes does not necessarily mean it will play on an appletv". this is why there is a "create appletv version" option in itunes.
     
  13. androiphone macrumors 65816

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    #14
    for what you seem to be wanting to use it for a WD TV live would probably be a much better solution, just plug in your hard drive full of videos and go, esp if all your videos are not in the apple TV format.
     
  14. SteveAbootman macrumors 6502a

    SteveAbootman

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    #15
    Without a computer, the ATV is quite limited to just being a rental hub for iTunes content with a small number of 3rd party streaming services.

    Not sure I understand this. I own both ATV2 and Xbox, and can watch Netflix on either device. There is not a separate charge if I want to watch on Xbox.
     
  15. hafr macrumors 68030

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    #16
    Are you just nitpicking, or does it happen to you a lot that you add movies to iTunes that your ATV2 doesn't play?
     
  16. chenks macrumors 6502a

    chenks

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    #17
    no i'm not nitpicking, you seem to be though.
    i simply said that the original statement (which said any content in itunes could be played) wasn't entirely true.

    it also won't play iTunes Extra or iTunes LP content, and that content is in iTunes.
     
  17. machpost macrumors 6502

    machpost

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    #18
    NHL game highlights are also free to watch. You need a paid account for game recaps on MLB.tv, though.
     
  18. hafr macrumors 68030

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    #19
    I simply asked for examples of content that wouldn't play, and you just repeated what you'd already said. In the next answer, you said you easily could create content that wouldn't play. So not once in three posts did it come across as if it would ever be an actual problem that not all content that can be added in iTunes can be played on the ATV:s - of course you came across as a nitpicker.

    You could've just said that iTunes Extras won't play on the ATV2 straight away, it would've been a perfectly good answer to my question.
     
  19. chenks macrumors 6502a

    chenks

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    #20
    it's all about you isn't it? this isn't even your thread yet you seem to want to turn it into yours.

    move along, and leave the name calling at the door next time.
     
  20. hafr macrumors 68030

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    #21
    Name calling? Must be a language barrier thing since it's not even my second language, didn't realize anyone would ever be offended by being told they come across as being a nitpicker. Either way, if you don't want others to comment on your posts, maybe you should start sending PM:s to people instead?
     
  21. jimmer-uk macrumors regular

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    #22
    Anything 30 fps or greater for a start.
     
  22. Nychot macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 15, 2011
    #23
    Do yourself a BIG favor and spend around thirty bucks more (or do it yourself) and do a jailbreak and get hundreds more viewing options including xxx above and beyond the stock atv. On ebay you can get a brand new atv already jail broken. I bought mine that way for $135. It will probably take a few weeks for the atv3 to be jb. It's pretty much the same as the atv2 except for 1080p but my atv2 on my 60 inch Sony at 720 is really sharp. But I may get the new one for another room. At 100 bucks it's a no brainer.
     
  23. hafr macrumors 68030

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    #24
    I'm watching TV rips at 60 fps on my ATV2 with no problems...
     
  24. Mike Valmike macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    On the Xbox 360, you can't use the Netflix app unless you are an Xbox Live Gold subscriber. Granted, you get access to all kinds of other stuff by going Gold, but if someone is asking about purely using it as a Netflix playback box, without knowing anything else, you have to attribute the $60/yr cost to that.
     

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