One device to rule them all

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Michael CM1, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Yes, a little nerdy in the title. Bear with me.

    Like many of you, I've got a serious disconnect between all of my media. I've got a 32" HDTV with Dish Network and a BD player. Then 10 feet away, I have a MacBook Pro with all the iTunes fun we have, including a bunch of my DVDs converted to mp4 files so I can watch them with iTunes or sync with my iPhone. I'm also a Netflix subscriber, which splits down the middle with these two setups.

    As you may know, Samsung (and LG) offers a Blu-ray Disc player that also has built-in Netflix streaming. Best Buy offers a model that throws in Pandora radio. Since I have a non-2.0 BD player, I'm considering one of these in the future. But I also like the Apple TV in theory because I'd love to easily get my digital stuff to my TV.

    Well, maybe I have a solution. These Blu-ray player manufacturers need to get with Apple and bring the Apple TV software into a BD player as an add-on just like the Netflix software. Take the Samsung BDP-1600, add a 32GB flash drive, put the ATV software on there and you've got one bitchin' unit. The crummy ATV remote control problem is instantly solved with MANY more buttons to use.

    I'm hopeful that Apple might think about taking this route, but not overly hopeful. My dad has an ATV, and it's kinda good to have, but I don't think I'd want to plop down $220 for it when it can't even accomplish everything that iTunes does. I'm still miffed that it won't list playlist items in any discernible order, and the software loves to tell me that a video isn't playable about 15 seconds after I just played the darn thing.
  2. azdunerat macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2009
    It sounds like a lot of work to do what the Mac Mini will do with ease. The only exception is the Blue ray compatibility.
  3. dmm219 macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2008
    Apple licensing their software to work on other machines? I agree, its a great idea...I'd personally love it. But this is Apple we are talking about. There is no way conceivable that Apple would ever do this...
  4. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    Well that little detail is what is currently driving me crazy.

    I want blu-ray capability. I'm tired of SD DVD quality. I watch 1080i from my HD Tivo and it's amazing compared with DVD.

    Apple is really pissing me off, and I'm about 30 days from chucking my apple tv and going back to physical disk playback again.
  5. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    well, i don't know if it's apple's fault. not yours either. maybe just the quick pace of technology?

    that said, i'm with you in the sense that i simply bought a BR player. I'll use the atv to rent the odd movie where I don't want 1080P quality; for the music and for the amazing slideshow. I just love that feature alone. It's like turning your TV into one massive digital picture frame.

    I'll rip my kids' movies (mostly cartoons) for the atv, but for me, I'll rent BR for now (no buying...just dumb expensive right now) and watch my SD movies. I have the panasonic BD60 and while it wasn't cheap, I personally think it does a fantastic job of upconverting regular movies. I watched Transformers the other day and it looked amazing.

    I think it will be some time before they are able to replicate the video AND audio of 1080p through dloads. If anyone is going to do it, it will be Apple, but I'm addicted to the BR quality. I've watched Spiderman 3, spiderwick chronicles and quantum of solace on BR over the last week and was left mesmerized by the colour and sharpness. awesome.

    too bad I have to work now b/c i suddenly have a BR urge :)

    btw, to the OP, i LOL'd at the title. well done!
  6. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    I agree. I broke down a few days ago and bought a PS3, mostly for the Blu-Ray. I was blown away by how good the video and audio are. I'm a little torn about the whole thing, though, since I really don't want to start amassing another collection of physical media, especially as the trend seems to be going towards digital downloads. For now I am just going to rent from Netflix and buy the occasional movie that I really want to have.

    As for the price, yeah BR discs cost more than standard DVDs, but in many cases not that much more. Amazon is selling Iron Man for $15, for example. I bought Quantum of Solace for $23. It would have cost me $20 to buy it from Apple, for lower quality.
  7. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2007
    das Fort
    It's a decent idea, but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you. Apple simply doesn't license their software to outside hardware makers...for anything really.

    You can program your Dish Network's VCR button to control the ATV, including play, pause, stop, scan fwd/back, etc.
  8. dmm219 macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2008
    one of these days, when I have a lot of money, and can start working on a home theatre...i'll buy a large 1080p tv and I'll be able to have more time evaluating BR and 1080p.

    Cuz I gotta tell you...on my 37", BR doesn't look one lick better than an HD download from apple.

    I also have to say, I've seen many BR and 1080p products on ps3. I still don't think it is all the much better than a good 720p reproduction. It certainly doensn't "blow me away" in any case...

    ...hence for me, ATV HD is more than enough for the foreseeable future. I'll only bother with 1080p and BR if it becomes standard and the price is reasonable. Plus, I continue to hate physical media.
  9. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    The differences only become apparent around 45" screens at typical viewing distances. My Blu-rays get ripped and stored on a 1.5 TB hard drive with my Mac Mini/Onkyo/Sanyo projector/10 ft screen, and also transcoded with Handbrake to 720p/24fps for the Apple TV. The only real problem is that most Blu-rays are in DTS and thus cannot be easily transcoded with AC3 that the ATV uses for digital 5.1. Thus, we're stuck with Dolby Pro Logic II 5-channel (which isn't too bad, either) for those.
  10. mastershakess macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2008
    Bel Air, MD
    Exactly what I do, rent BR discs from Netflix. I can get 3 discs at a time every 3-4 days for $20 a month or I could buy one for $20-35, I think not!

    I use my PS3 to play BR, converted DVD files and other files I acquire. Works great for me. I installed a 320gb HDD in my PS3 :)
  11. Michael CM1 thread starter macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    That's a lot of what I do. I don't have a PS3, but the standalone player isn't that bad. The video quality is amazing even on a 720p TV, and the audio is pretty good even with my old Dolby Digital/DTS system.

    I wouldn't fear investing in more physical media. The trend with video really isn't headed toward downloads. The download trend is increasing, but Blu-ray is being adopted faster than DVD was. As time goes on, prices will drop and people can replace busted DVD players with BD players. As one poster mentioned, Amazon has BD sales ALL THE TIME. I most recently bought The 40-year-old Virgin for $15 and Van Wilder for $12. Tropic Thunder cost me $19. Season 6 of Smallville was $35. People who pay $30 for any BD are as crazy as those who pay $20 for a DVD. All you gotta do is wait and shop around! The players are as cheap as $200, and the Samsung I mentioned is $280.

    Netflix is also a huge advantage. I'm dropping to the 2-disc plan, which is about $17/month. I'll put tons of stuff in my queue and probably get about 10-15 movies per month. If I like something enough to watch it over and over again, I'll put it in my Amazon Wish List and wait for it to drop (and search elsewhere). If I want to rip something I already own on BD, I get the DVD version from Netflix (or get a movie with the digital copy).

    As far as the Apple integration, I'm definitely not holding my breath. I think it's quite the awesome idea. I don't want the Roku Netflix streaming player because I don't want to spend $100 on just a box for streaming.

    Thanks for the tip about the Dish Network remote. I need to research how to do that. The Apple remote is a POS for doing more than an iPod classic needs.

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