Questions before I buy...

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by IgnatiusTheKing, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
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    das Fort
    #1
    I'm thinking of picking up an :apple:TV but I wanted to know:

    1. I'm leaning toward just getting the 40GB model because I don't think I would use it for much other than renting. So how much space does a movie take up (both HD and standard)? Is there a standard "1 min. of HD video = 1MB" or whatever that I can keep in mind?
    2. My TV (Panasonic 50" plasma) has two HDMI inputs, each of which are currently being used (one by the Dish, one by the PS3). Can I get a splitter or something or I should just use component cables?

    Any answers/advice is appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. jeff16years macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #2
    not sure about your first question but take a look at this thread where they talk about streaming check out page 3:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=433635


    and here is a switcher:



    http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wa/RSLID?mco=2134E1A0&nplm=TM083LL/A
     
  3. IgnatiusTheKing thread starter macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

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    #3
  4. BwanaZulia macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2002
    #4
    I originally bought the 40GB when it came out, but am sending it off to Weaknees tomorrow to get upgrade to 250GB.

    I don't want to worry about space for music, videos or photos. I just want it all over there.

    Nice backup too.

    BZ
     
  5. mdntcallr macrumors 65816

    mdntcallr

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2000
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #5
    To answer your questions:
    1- you may want to buy an HDMI splitter. its easier and cables are cheaper. buy on amazon or ebay, its easy. apple also sells excellent cheap cables for $20 each. but at amazon you can buy for alot less. dont buy the expensive ones, if they do hdmi 1.3, they are all the same. HDMI cables are easy to use and excellent quality. they have wireless splitters or ones you have to punch a button on. your choice. i found a great one on ebay recently on the cheap. works great.

    2- you may want to consider the apple tv 160gb, the extra room is excellent for your music collection and more. but if you really are just going to rent. ok get the smaller one. but know you can run risk later on.

    the nice thing is if you have a fast internet connection, ie cable modem at faster speed, and you have your apple tv connected via ethernet. which i do heavily recomment, you will be able to watch even HD movies almost on demand. yes on demand. unlike other services, apple does seem to have great bandwidth and the device is programmed to play when you get enough of the movie downloaded. which is usually within a couple minutes. NEAT!
     
  6. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

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    Location:
    Newton, MA
    #6
    Movies are (SD) around 1.5 - 2.5 GB each. With Dolby Digital 5.1, that number will go up considerably. My movies (SD) with DD 5.1 are up to 4 GB, depending on their length.

    A 40 GB Apple TV is plenty if you are certain all you will use it for is rentals. As a matter of fact, it's probably overkill.

    As far as the connectors are concerned, use the component out. It's more than adequate, especially since you're not using for BluRay. :) The apple TV HD movies are 720p24fps, so it won't matter in the least.
     
  7. jbellanca macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    #7
    You could get a switcher box, but if you have the component input free, just use that. It's only 720p, so there's no loss of resolution or anything like that. There's only two reasons really to use HDMI on the :apple:TV: (1) to get the 1080p upscaled output, but if you have a good TV, then it probably will upscale better anyway; or, (2) to get video+audio on one cable to the TV.

    If you go with an HDMI switch, check out:
    http://monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10110
     
  8. IgnatiusTheKing thread starter macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

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    #8
    So...I still haven't made the plunge but I doubt I will last much longer, either. I do have a question or two more, though.

    Does the :apple:TV sync to my computer like my iPod does? Meaning--if I get the smaller one and space starts to get tight, can I just sync certain movies and TV shows? Can I stream movies directly from my computer or do they have to be synched over? Also, if I buy a movie through the :apple:TV, does it copy it back to my computer?
     
  9. rscott505 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #9
    Yes, it syncs like the ipod so you can control the content that you sync.

    As for your second question, as of this time, you cannot buy movies on Apple TV. So that is not an issue. I would love this feature. However, you can buy tv shows, music videos and music. And they all sync back to your computer.

    I know that others have chimed in on the 40 v 160 debate, but I'll add my two cents: I would go with the 160. I like having the extra space. Also, some have had problems with streaming content. As for my experience, I would say that streaming works 95% of the time. Of course, the times it failed were times I was trying to show off the feature to windows users.

    Maybe just my bad luck.

    Good luck, and let us know what you decide and your experience.
     
  10. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

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    Newton, MA
    #10
    Yes. What you sync is under your control.

    You can stream all content from itunes, including movies, tv shows and videos. Only photos need to be synced. Nonetheless, I purchased the 160 so I could sync all of my music, and I am glad I did.

    If you purchase music on your :apple:TV, which I have done, it does get synced back to your computer.
     
  11. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    Location:
    Tulsa
    #11
    I got the 160 gig model, too, and ended up being glad I did. Recently, I started ripping my DVDs with Handbrake and converting them to MP4 files so that I could sync them to my Apple TV. This means that I need the 160 gig drive. Still, if renting videos is all you think you will use it for, 40 gig should be more than enough.

    I would not buy an HDMI splitter because the quality of the picture and sound will be just as good with a component video and optical audio connection as it would be with HDMI. That’s an issue that has been beat to death over at AVS Forum and the consensus there is that you don’t lose anything by going with component video and optical audio. The only down side is that you have to have two connections, one for video and one for audio, when one HDMI connection will take care of both.
     
  12. IgnatiusTheKing thread starter macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

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    #12
    Do you take the :apple:TV with you different places or do you just like to not have to worry about micromanaging your movie library?
     
  13. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

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    Jan 26, 2008
    #13
    I do mostly renting. I also have a few movies ripped and about 2200 pictures.

    The 40GB model is more than enough.

    Don't spend the money on the 160GB model unless you feel you really need it.
     
  14. dbwie macrumors 6502

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    Albuquerque, NM, USA
    #14
    consider...

    1) How large is your music library? The nice thing about AppleTV is that it is a backup of your iTunes media. If your music library is or will be in the near future more than 40 GB, get the 160GB model. If your music library is small and you are only renting movies, get the 40GB. Remember also that video podcasts that you subscribe to via iTunes can take up space when synced to appleTV. You can adjust your podcast subscription settings (e.g. how many old episodes to keep, etc), to minimize the space this takes up if you sync them automatically with AppleTV.

    2) if you use component video cables, you will also need a Toslink digital audio cable to carry the audio. Does your TV have an input for this, or do you have a digital AV receiver with digital audio inputs? Otherwise, you would need to use the RCA stereo out on the AppleTV (yuck). HDMI can be used for both audio and video (I think), so go with the HDMI switcher if you don't have a digital AV receiver.

    My 2 cents :)
     
  15. IgnatiusTheKing thread starter macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

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    #15
    Great info, thanks! My music library is small (I mostly just listen to Sirius) and I will probably be mostly renting movies, especially since I have a PS3, so I can buy movies on BluRay if I want to own them.

    As for the HDMI thing, I'm not sure if I have a digital audio input, but my TV is an 8-month-old Panasonic 50" Plasma, so it probably does. I'll have to look at the back. I really need to update my tuner (it's OLD) to one with multiple HDMI inputs so I can run everything there.

    I think the 40GB model is the one for me.
     
  16. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    #16
    I leave my Apple TV connected to my HDTV and audio receiver all the time. It’s as much a permanent part of my HT setup as the HDTV is. If I want to watch movies on the road, I do it on my MacBook Pro with either iTunes or QuickTime. All of my MP4 movie files are stored on my FireWire drive so copying them to my laptop for a trip is quick and easy.
     
  17. dbwie macrumors 6502

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    Albuquerque, NM, USA
    #17
    then...

    If you get the 40GB, put the $100 you save towards a good 5.1 or 7.1 digital AV receiver and a surround sound speaker setup. What good is the great plasma picture if you don't have the awesome sound to match? LOL... Best Buy should totally hire me. (These comments are ironic coming from me. I have a great sound system, but only an old 480i Samsung CRT TV hooked up to it. I can use the AppleTV with it because it has component inputs.).
     
  18. IgnatiusTheKing thread starter macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

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    #18
    The reason I asked was because you said you were ripping movies so you had to have the 160GB Apple TV. What is the benefit of keeping all the movies on the Apple TV, instead of just streaming them or synching what you want to watch, when you want to watch it?
     
  19. fastgraham macrumors member

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    Mar 10, 2008
    #19
    apple tv connections

    Here is a tidbit that I found out the hard way.

    I hooked my apple tv via HDMI into my Sony receiver, then did HDMI to HDMI from the receiver into my LCD TV. Everything worked great until I turned off the tv.

    I had some Phish playing from my apple tv, and was able to see all the apple tv stuff on my tv screen, but when I turned off the tv, because all I wanted to do was listen to the music, it failed.

    When I called Sony, they said the reason is because HDMI has to make many many handshakes all the time in order to maintain the connection. If the TV is off it breaks the connection rendering video and audio useless.

    I think hooked up apple tv to my receiver through component and optical audio and it fixed everything while keeping the video just as good.

    It was a shame that I could not use the 1 cable HDMI thing, but the function is better with component.
     
  20. IgnatiusTheKing thread starter macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

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    #20
    Yeah that's what I was thinking. The sound out of my old tuner is good, but not up to current standards anymore. Worse, I can't control the volume on it from my Dish remote, so I have to have the tuner remote out all the time (the wife, predictably, hates that).
     
  21. IgnatiusTheKing thread starter macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

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    #21
    Interesting. I'll keep that in mind, though I don't know that I'd ever listen to music through mine. I really don't listen to tunes that much at home.
     
  22. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

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    #22
    That’s a good question. The reason I prefer to leave as many movies as possible on my Apple TV is to avoid being required to have my laptop open with iTunes running. That way, I can leave the computer closed and let my HT setup do all the heavy lifting whenever I want to watch a movie on Apple TV.
     
  23. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

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    Jan 26, 2008
    #23
    I never quite understood the logic of ripping everything to Apple TV. It's easier for me just to pluck the DVD of choice from my collection and throw it into a good DVD player.

    Sure, I do have a few ripped movies on the Apple TV but it's more of a temporary thing. Sometimes when I rent stuff from Netflix, other family members want to see the movie before I send it back. I rip them to Apple TV which allows me to mail it back but at the same time have it available to other family members. When finished, the movie is deleted.

    I thought about ripping my entire collection to Apple TV but it would take a lot of time and computer wear and tear. Just seems easier to watch the actual DVD.
     
  24. IgnatiusTheKing thread starter macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

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    #24
    Makes sense, thanks for the reply.
     
  25. marcusgee macrumors newbie

    marcusgee

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    Apr 18, 2008
    #25
    I agree it's a bit troublesome, but to me it's worth it. I started off ripping just the kids' movies because I got tired of juggling the same discs over and over--then when I realized what a convenience it was, I started eyeing the rest of my DVD collection and asking myself, "Why the heck do I even want to keep all this media around, anyway?" The discs just take up space and are a tempting target for little hands.

    So I've started ripping the rest of my DVDs, storing them on my Time Capsule and backing up the files on another external drive. It's sheer digital bliss.:D
     

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