Shall I upgrade from ATV 1 to ATV 3?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by stepandy, May 7, 2012.

  1. stepandy macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi there,
    As title states, I am thinking to upgrade from ATV1 to either ATV3 or something different.

    I have ATV 1 with 160 GB drive. It is hooked to 50 inch HD plasma.

    My issue is syncing and conversion of non iTunes formats.

    ATV 3 will resolve sync issue, but it is still iTunes dependent.

    I have been pondering, shall I jailbreak ATV 1 and learn how to use ATV in different environment?

    Or shall I upgrade to ATV 3 and at least I will have to deal only with 1 problem instead of 2.

    Any advice?
  2. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    I really like my Apple TV 2 and 3, but I've never owned the original model.

    If you don't need the local storage and don't mind the iTunes reliance, they're great little boxes.

    Alternatively, it might be kind of fun to jailbreak the one you have. What have ya got to lose? If anything you could always restore it to the original settings.
  3. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    look into Plex, it's a media manager and player, that will also convert files on the fly to a compatible format if the device you're using doesn't support the existing file type. So a full blu-ray rip on the drive, if you watch it back on a mac, you'll get the full thing, on you iphone, it will re-encode down to 720, and let you stream it over your network. or if you're away from home, it will drop it down even further, it all depends on your internet connection, but for me it's a least watchable.

    there is a client for a jailbroken aTV, but that means you need a 2, and it needs to have not been upgraded for the past few months, as currently plex isn't compatable with 5.0 (the software for aTV that came out when the ipad updated a few months ago)
    if you have a dolby digital 5.1 sound system, it will even convert DTS 5.1 on the fly

    with the version for iOS in the app store you can airplay to the aTV from your iphone|pod|pad. (but no 5.1 sound only stereo) no jailbreak required, you just need a handheld iOS device.

    there is an official plex client for the Roku devices if you're not heavily invested in media from the iTunes store (due to DRM, you can only play most of it on an apple device), this might be the way to go, they aslo have netflix, plus they add Hulu, amazon, and several other channels not available on the aTV.
    they're pretty much the same size and price as the aTV, you'll loose airplay, and as i said media purchased from iTunes.

    also to use plex on these devices, if your media isn't in a compatible format, your server will have to transcode them as you watch, meaning you'll need a decent machine to handle that.
    and speaking of servers, you'll need a computer running, Plex runs on windows, mac and linux.
  4. -lefty macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2012
    You can use XBMC as well if you are jailbroken, it’s like Plex but it’s really a matter of personnel choice. The real benefit of the ATV1 is the fact that it has a hard drive. This means that you can store your content on the ATV its self, and don’t have to stream it. With jailbroken ATV’s you don’t have to have your computer on to play the content you can with the ATV1 store it on the hard drive or you can store it on as NAS and point XBMC to it. The ATV1 is also useful as you don’t have to stream the content so if your internet connection isn’t great then it won’t struggle to play as its all locally based.

    However if your thinking of playing Blu-ray rips you may have to invest in a Broadcom Card to achieve 1080P playback.
  5. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    If you jailbreak the ATV1, you will get a kind of media server. You can store the videos on its hard drive, you don't need iTunes to play them, you don't need to convert the films and if you install the Crystal HD graphics card you can watch 1080p videos, and you can change the internal hard drive for one with a much larger capacity. Plus, you can add additional storage via the USB port of the ATV1.
  6. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    Air Video (2.99 in the App Store) will transcode on your Mac or PC and stream to an iPhone/iPad/iPad Touch, which in turn will stream it to an ATV.

    The disadvantage is you need an additional piece of equipment, the advantage is no jailbreaking is needed.

    There are other apps that will do this as well.
  7. rayward macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX
    I just added an ATV3 and am now going to replace all my old 1s with 3s.

    The 1080p picture on the 3 (personal encodes with Handbrake) is big step up from 720p on the 1. It also runs a lot cooler, which is a huge plus for a unit hidden away in a cupboard.

    I am suffering the same HomeSharing dropout issue as has been highlighted elsewhere in here, but I'm hoping that Apple gets their promised fix done quickly. I was streaming to my 1s anyway, as my library far exceeds the size of the 1's HDD, so a functioning HomeSharing system is going to be no different.

    Unfortunately, you can't mix 1s and 3s on the same iTunes library, without compromising on resolution. If iTunes is set to send 1080p content if available, the 1s flake out. The only option is to send 720p content, which wastes the 3's higher resolution - you can't mix and match. Another poster pointed out that the 1s are going for $80-$100 on ebay, so I'm going to sell them all and replace them with 3s.
  8. chiefpavvy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2008
    Definitely. ATV3 is light years ahead of ATV1. And I've owned them all.

    The only thing I miss from ATV1 is local storage. Otherwise, ATV3 is better in every possible way. And it runs so cool that being enclosed isn't going to kill it. ATV1, I could fry a damn egg on that thing!

    I really do wish Apple would open up the USB port for an external storage but I guess with a modern fast network it isn't as big of deal as it used to be; And one can't argue with $99.
  9. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    It's very cheap and easy to give the ATV1 1080p output.

    A jailbroken ATV1 doesn't need home sharing, as it has both internal and the possibility of external storage.

    The HDD is replaceable, and additional storage can be added.
  10. stepandy thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thanks for the suggestions and advice.

    Is Chrystal hd card an expensive update?
    What is the best way to jailbreak ATV1?

  11. lentini macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2010
    I got mine off eBay a few weeks back for $40 shipped to the UK from the US. That plus a dedicated Crystalbuntu XBMC install to the internal hard drive makes it one of the best media players out there IMHO.
  12. -lefty macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2012
    You can use various methods to jailbreak an ATV1 you can pay for software called FireCore . Or you can make a patchstick by going to the link and plugging the patch stick into your apple tv and rebooting it. Then it’s basically done, I have a video which shows you what to do, and other information but it’s at home so I will update this post later with relevant information. However it’s your decision on which method you choose, with the patch stick method I think Boxee and XMBC come preinstalled with it.

    With the Crystal HD it replaces the internal WiFi slot, so you lose the WiFi option, however as the poster above me said the cards can be brought quite cheaply.

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