once skeptical. now i want one! please advise.

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by yagran, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. yagran macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2007
    Brighton, East Sussex, UK
    hello. when this first got announced, well.. even upta when it first shipped i though that the apple tv was useless, i posted lots of comments saying it played no role and that it wudnt sell blah blah blah. however, after going to the apple store on 5th avenue and having a little play...I LOVE IT!(its sooo cool)

    im saving up now so that when i get home (to the uk) i can pop into london and buy one.

    however, im looking for some advice :D

    1. Should i buy now, with rumours saying new models and new software?
    2. Should i mod it to give it a bigger harddrive? (i have 60gb of music + around 50 dvd's and 60 tv shows)
    3. What is the best way to rip my dvd's on my mac so that i can play them on the apple tv (i got a 37" HDTV)
    3 (part 2). How long does it take roughly per movie on my 1.83ghz CD mac mini?
    4. My tv shows are all downloaded from torrents etc as im in uk so i cant get them of of itunes, i dont really want to do all the modding to get the divx and xvid codec on the appletv, so whats the best way to covert those shows into the correct format?

    program wise i have now dowloaded mediafork and have paid for quicktime pro

    sorry im asking for so much and i know that information is already out there, but i dont really understand it when they start talking about anamorphic video blah stereching pixels blah blah.

    please could some people be kind and jus help me in plain english.

    thankyou sooo much! :apple: :rolleyes:
  2. DVNIEL macrumors 6502a


    Oct 28, 2003
    1. Yes buy now, most likely the new software will be available to us via a software update. The only drawback would be that Apple will have updated the harddrives but most likely they'll only bump it to 80GB, if we're lucky 120
    2. If you're okay with voiding your warranty, then yes. I just upgraded mine to 160GB PATA and I love it. I don't know how I could have handled the 40GB because I surpassed it the first day, and I love having my AppleTV hold all my media without having to turn on my iMac. If Apple upgrades the HD's, then you'll have more storage without voiding warranty, thats the only drawback of waiting now
    3. The bestway is to use MactheRipper to extract the DVD onto your harddrive, and use Mediafork to convert it. I paid for VisualHub, but sometimes it would not rip the file correctly, such as the sound not being in sync, and it wouldn't rip the whole thing. With Mediafork, I am greatly satisified with my settings, I'll post them down below
    3. Depending on the program, Mediafork and Visualhub are processor hogs, but since you have a Core Duo, it should be tolerable. The best thing to do is let it do its thing over night, its nice to wake up to a brand new media file. With ripping the DVD to the hard drive, and converting, it takes about 3 hours. The reason you want to rip the whole DVD is because its easier for the converting program to read, and if you rip certain parts with MactheRipper, it might not give you the correct language.
    4. The only way I know of converting these videos files would be to use either Quicktime (but not so sure of the codecs), or for sure is Visualhub. With Visualhub, you can convert anything into anything literally.

    My MediaFork Settings:

    - File Format: MP4 File
    - Codec: AVC/h.264 video / AAC audio
    - Encorder: Main
    - (Video) Average bitrate: 1600
    - (Audio) Bitrate: 160 (this is the max Apple says it can handle)
    - Picture Settings: do not mess with anamorphic stuff unless you fully understand it and can fix it with quicktime. Just maintain the aspect ratio so the characters dont look taller or fatter. Your main concern is to maintain the 720 width, but the great thing about media fork is that it will automatically set it to the best measurements: most likely 720, 704, or 640, but you can adjust accordingly
    - I've had great luck with just 1-pass, 2-pass takes forever
    - Rip
  3. JonHimself macrumors 68000


    Nov 3, 2004
    Toronto, Ontario
    Also, iSquint is decent for converting DIVX, etc files to h.264 of MPEG. You can optimizie for your iPod or for your TV, select the quality (though it is vague) and set-up cue. As villanova329 said, with any conversions, best to leave them overnight.
  4. yagran thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2007
    Brighton, East Sussex, UK
  5. yagran thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2007
    Brighton, East Sussex, UK
    so i have about 50 DVD's..if i rip using mac the ripper while im at school (start the rip wen i get up.) then when i go to bed jus convert that rip to h264 format or summat. so itll be a 1 dvd per day conversion? thatll take me like 2 months :( oh well. i have 3 computers i could do 3 a day tht way :D :apple:
  6. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    If I rip a DVD using H.264 on my MacBook Pro with Handbrake, it takes about 3 hours to convert a DVD. If I use MP4, it takes about 35/40 minutes. All of this is at around 750 kbps.

    H.264 obviously gives much better picture, but I generally use MP4 as it isn't really noticeable on an iPod screen.
  7. yagran thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2007
    Brighton, East Sussex, UK
    im not ripping for ipod tho am i? i only have a shuffle. i need it to look good at 37" HDTV
  8. RustyM macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2004
    Another vote for Visualhub and handbrake. Visualhub is totally worth the $23.32 and much better and easier to use for appletv than the free version, isquint. Handbrake rocks for DVD -> Appletv.
  9. Cult Follower macrumors 6502a

    Cult Follower

    Feb 20, 2007
    North Dakota
    I would buy now, I love handbrake for riping videos, and don't hack a new HDD, because you will void the warranty and you don't need a bigger HDD it is meant to stream, the HDD is just a buffer.
  10. Dick Campbell macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2007
    So how do you transfer the OS to a 160 GB drive or any other drive for that matter?

    I can see that if the HDD fails and you send it in for repair, you will be told that you can buy a new ATV for less than to repair cost when you know full well that you can physically replace the drive for a third of that cost.

  11. imacdaddy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 2, 2006
    Yes agreed. I've been using iSquint before ATV and I realise the avi files I've converted before look just "ok" on the ATV. The program changes the video resolution, and bit rate I guess to fit on the iPod. I just paid for Visualhub and it works great! It looks like it retains the original video/audio attributes using "Go Nuts" to convert to MP4 using H.264.
  12. stealthman1 macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2006
    I don't know why you would wait for a bigger hard drive. Only photos need to sync. 32gb will hold about 80,000 photos optimized for 720pixel height. Everything else put on cheap storage and stream...it's flawless on mine so no need to store it locally.
  13. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

    Apr 2, 2006
    Agreed, the HD is just meant for photos and to act as a buffer when streaming video:)

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