Pre-purchase enquiries

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by AppleMan940, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. AppleMan940 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    #1
    Hi,

    I've been considering making the purchase of an Apple TV for quite a while (since January) but have been reluctant because I am sure that a Take 3 is just a minute or two round the corner. I have a couple of questions you guys could answer.

    1. I understand that the Apple TV is jailbreakable where you can create patchsticks etc. Does all this require *nix and OS X or can I use a Windows box to do this?
    2. Does Patchstick open my ATV for SSH automatically?
    3. What do you guys think about the 40gb vs 160gb. I know I need the 160GB but i'd rather buy an external HDD if possible (don't want to open and void warranty) and I can get 500gb for about £60 externally.
    4. If you use a USB drive how is data stored? Is it just split across the two drives as a single Filesystem or what? So if I removed the USB hdd would it believe it was corrupted? Or is /USR stored in say hdd1 and /lib on hdd2
    5. I understand that FW releases break patchsticks but can you re-patchstick 2.3.1? I'm wondering this cause an ATV bought now will probably come with it.
    6. Boxee, XBMC they all play other formats but they are media streamers. I can do that on my X360 with something like Tversity and re-encode the media on the fly. Is there any way I can trick it iTunes into syncing my DIVX Avis and MKVS without conversion?
    7. Can I get OSX on the 1.0GHZ processor?
    8. Is this going to be difficult for me as I'm used to Windows - I can vm Linux or Mac OS if I have to but i'd rather not. I'm experienced with ADDS, DHCP, DNS, IIS and My/Ms Sql so I'm not incompetent.
    9. Do I wait for it or buy it now. I don't like how Steve refers to it as a "hobby project" but I wouldn't mind native 1080p, the rumoured "motion sensing remote" and bigger storage natively. Please shed some light.

    Forgot to mention: Our server where everyone stores files on - it is filling up. Can I use it as a one-way storage system. E.g. can I "manually manage music and videos" because I'd like to say use a TB on it but not waste space on the server. Maybe by keeping the reference to the film/video in iTunes but deleting the file..

    If you guys could answer these questions it would be great.
     
  2. vw412fan macrumors newbie

    vw412fan

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #2
    I'll do my best to help but I'm half-n00b with my Apple tv hacking, but I really like it so far.

    1. You should be able to hack / install patchstick using Windows with these instructions:
    http://www.appletvhacks.net/2008/03/04/creating-patchstick-for-apple-tv-take-2-under-windows/
    or these:
    http://iclarified.com/entry/index.php?enid=3102

    2. I'm pretty sure this opens up ssh, as I could ssh into my Apple tv after I freshly installed Patchstick over my 2.3.1 upgrade.

    3. I went with the 40gb mainly because I plan to stream from my Mac and/or a shared network drive. I'm too dumb to figure out how to store files locally on the atv anyway, so the 40gb is all I need (so far).

    4. I for the life of me can't get USB storage working. Read the above n00b comment.

    5. Patchstick works on 2.3.1

    6. I use Boxee to stream (for some reason it takes me 5 minutes to queue up a file, not sure what's up with that). I haven't had success tricking iTunes into moving .avi's over. I haven't tried .mkv other than with Boxee, and the atv choked on it anyway (was a 1080p Matrovska or something). Most of what I use is ~720p or iTunes content. Anyone else tried moving other file types to atv?

    7. Supposedly you can install OS X on the atv. I haven't tried.

    8. ?

    9. If you can find one cheap enough on eBay, maybe get one now and flip it if they come out with Take 3. I'm on the fence myself, since a newer version would most likely be faster, but Take 2 is working fine for me, the half-n00b. My 40gb atv was $175 on eBay a couple of months ago.

    Sorry for length, hope it helps.
     
  3. AppleMan940 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    #3
    Thanks for your help, it's a start for me getting ideas. I'm sure to put video on your ATV you just press Sync in iTunes...

    Your probably right about the second hand stuff. I can flip it if it's outdated, so you're upgrade from 2.30 to 2.31 makes you repatch it every time... Woah.

    I think it's evident that a Take 3 wouldn't support this kind of hardware (1 ghz processor), so i'll hang on the fence and wait for some other answers.

    Thanks so far!
     
  4. vw412fan macrumors newbie

    vw412fan

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #4
    Glad to help. My main reason for getting atv was for a clean HDMI connection to the tv. I was using a Mac mini and got tired of messing about with settings. atv just works, but unfortunately is starting to show its age a bit. It's great if you stick with iTunes content though, and Boxee works pretty well also.
     
  5. AppleMan940 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    #5
    Can you go into more detail? Do you mean the 40gb is a little too small for you.
     
  6. vw412fan macrumors newbie

    vw412fan

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #6
    The 40gb is enough space for me, I was thinking more along the lines of playing 1080p content, which if I understand correctly, the 1GHz machine can't handle it. That was it really.
     
  7. AppleMan940 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
  8. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    #8
    Keep in mind that Take 2 was a software release, available to all ATV owners. The only thing that changed was a price drop. Now, I'm not saying that the ATV couldn't use a good sprucing up, but if Apple does what it did in the past, we're talking a software update, not a hardware one.

    My sense is that until Apple starts to offer higher quality HD content, it probably sees no sense in beefing up the ATV's specs. The ability for users to play their torrented high-bitrate HD files just isn't on Apple's list of concerns.

    As for it getting hot, it does run warm. But mine doesn't throw off any more heat than my DVR.
     
  9. vw412fan macrumors newbie

    vw412fan

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #9
    It doesn't get hot enough to fry my cat, unfortunately. Just warm enough to where it is comfortable. :D
     
  10. vw412fan macrumors newbie

    vw412fan

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #10
    I agree. One has to be choosy if they are planning on using the device for this purpose.

    I think the Apple HD stuff looks fine to my eyes, on a 720p plasma, 50 inch. Perhaps they are going to stick with their current file format for a while.

    Now if I could get Doctor Who & Top Gear in "HD" from iTunes, I'd be a happier camper.
     
  11. tom1971 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #11
    You can use this under Windows

    The tool mentioned above will do it for you.

    The external drive is used either to hold your non-iTunes files (avi, mpeg etc.) and you can simply disconnect it. Alternatively, you can use it as the main drive to sync with iTunes.

    Yes, no problem.
     
  12. AppleMan940 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    #12
    Ok that sounds great but a couple of questions:

    1. How to get an external USB disk working on Windows for ATV?
    2. Do I add my files to the external disk and even internal disk by using SSH?
    3. Does Boxee or XBMC let me play the files off the disk or do they just work off the standard menus?
    4. How can I get iTunes to treat it as a "standard drive" and sync general content to it. That would be the plan - what I would want is my iTunes syncable content spanned on the disks as standard and Boxee to play my awesome but xVid Beavis and Butthead collection :). I think I like storing rather than syncing because I don't have to keep a copy...

    Thanks for your help so far..
     
  13. tom1971 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #13
    1. How to get an external USB disk working on Windows for ATV?
    You activate the usb port and plug it into the aTV

    2. Do I add my files to the external disk and even internal disk by using SSH?

    Yes
    3. Does Boxee or XBMC let me play the files off the disk or do they just work off the standard menus?
    I would assume. I don't use them because they are too clunky..

    4. How can I get iTunes to treat it as a "standard drive" and sync general content to it. That would be the plan - what I would want is my iTunes syncable content spanned on the disks as standard and Boxee to play my awesome but xVid Beavis and Butthead collection . I think I like storing rather than syncing because I don't have to keep a copy...

    You can trick itunes to think that the external HD is the internal hd - it will then sync your files to the external hd.
     
  14. AppleMan940 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    #14
    "You should be able to hack / install patchstick using Windows with these instructions:
    http://www.appletvhacks.net/2008/03/...under-windows/
    or these:
    http://iclarified.com/entry/index.php?enid=3102"

    "You can use this under Windows" -

    What is the difference between all these patchsticks? Surely there is one method of opening the system up to SSH and installing Boxee launcher. I like Patchstick 3.0 because it already suppports 2.3.1 but does it have the Boxee launcher? I don't get why there's so many different ones...

    How do I enable USB hdd? Baring in mind i'm using a Windows box and all i've seen is reports for 1.x.
     
  15. vw412fan macrumors newbie

    vw412fan

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #15
    This is where I am stuck, and mainly why I use Boxee (to play networked files).

    Should I be trying to view & play my network shares with NitoTV? I ran smart installer, I have Perian (supposedly). I can attempt to log in to my shared machine but for some reason I get dumped back to the launcher menu. *stumped*

    FWIW, I do like Boxee for Last.fm and Pandora. Hulu is OK but choppy for me for some reason.
     

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