Some Apple TV Questions....

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by suburbiton, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. suburbiton macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    #1
    I've tried to research it on Apple's website but there's some things that I don't get.

    1. I have HandBraked DVDs stored in my iTunes library - will they play on my TV via ATV?

    2. Can I use the RCA outputs to go into my hifi and have airtunes without the need for an AirPort Express? (I use an APE at the moment and LOVE airtunes)

    3. What is the USB port for? Can I plug in an external drive and expand the capacity? And if so can it do things like back-up my computer a la Time Capsule?

    4. Do I still need an AirPort or does the ATV act as an internet wifi server, too?

    5. In the UK is it really worth it? Are the movie rentals up-to-date and worth renting (I've always found renting by iTunes is fairly pointless)?

    6. Should I buy now? It's not in MR's Buyer's Guide!!

    Thanks all.
     
  2. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #2
    1. Yes.
    2. Don't know.
    3. No.
    4. Don't know.
    5. Live in the US, but I don't do movie rentals anyway.
    6. That is up to you. No one knows when an update will come out.

    I am pretty sure someone else will chime in with some more answers for you. Don't know to much about the wireless stuff. All of my items in the house our hard wired. Sorry I couldn't help you out there.
     
  3. suburbiton thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 9, 2009
    #3
    Any help really appreciated! Even if you can only answer one or two questions...

    Thanks
     
  4. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    #4
    1. Yes, maybe. If you encoded your movies within the parameters required by the ATV, you should be fine. Look at the tech specs sheet on the ATV webpage for more info.

    2. Yes.

    3. "Diagnostics," or to use a patchstick to hack your ATV.

    4. The ATV does not act as a wifi router. You will need a separate router.

    5. Can't speak to its worth in the UK, as I live in the States.

    6. There's always the possibility that Apple will release an update to any of their hardware eleven days after you bought the old version. That said, the only upgrade to the ATV has been the release of Take 2, which was a software update available to everyone for free. There has been no hardware upgrade since it was first released. Like you, we are all trying to figure out if that means that a) a new release is imminent, b) there will be no new ATV for a while, or c) Apple no longer cares about the ATV and will just let it die (although this doesn't seam likely given that they are still providing software updates, which, as far as I can tell, are aimed solely at breaking Boxee).

    Hope this helps you make up your mind. For what it's worth, I love mine and use it all the time.
     
  5. alexbates macrumors 65816

    alexbates

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    Nov 24, 2008
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    #5
    You will still need an Airport. The Apple TV only can retrieve data from WiFi. It does not act as an airport itself.
     
  6. belvdr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #6
    1. Not by default. You can after you patchstick it.
    2. That or the optical out. However, ATV does not work like AirTunes.
    3. According to Apple, it's for diagnostics. If you patchstick your ATV, you can use external USB storage.
    4. ATV is not an access point. You need an alternate AP.
    5. No clue. I'm in the US.
    6. Another no clue. I bought mine used for cheap.
     
  7. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #7
    Why would you need to use patchstick? I have all my movies in iTunes and they play fine on my ATV? No patch needed or hack needed.
     
  8. belvdr macrumors 603

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    Aug 15, 2005
    #8
    Well, if they are converted to a format ATV knows, then you don't have an issue. If you are talking DVD .VOB files, then you have an issue.
     
  9. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #9
    Does handbrake rip to .vob? Asking, don't know. I have only used it to rip to .m4v.
     
  10. iOrlando macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    #10
    1) Yes
    2) Yes
    3) Yes
    4) Yes
    5) Yes
    6) Yes
    7) Maybe
     
  11. sandman42 macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #11
    1. It depends on the format, resolution, framerate and bitrate they're in. See the :apple:TV specs page for the list of supported video formats.

    2. Yes. In fact, you can use the :apple:TV and APE at the same time, in two different places, and the music plays in unison (can also play on your computer's speakers at the same time). Not only that, but you can control the music from either your computer or the :apple:TV.

    3. It's not for anything unless you hack your :apple:TV. Apple says it's for 'diagnostics'. You can hook up an external drive if you hack.

    4. The :apple:TV cannot serve as an Access Point. You don't necessarily need an Airport to use it, but you do need some way to get the data from your computer (which hosts the iTunes library) to the :apple:TV. This can either be a wireless router, a wired connection, or the :apple:TV could connect wirelessly directly to your computer.

    5. Sorry, I'm in the US. I would definitely recommend it here. The device is meant to be analogous to the iPod, and is so in many ways, including that in actual practice it's way more satisfying than it would seem to be from reading about it on paper.

    6. Unknown. It has never had a hardware refresh (except when they offered the larger HD option), but unless Apple intends to add some significantly different functionality it may not need one for a while.
     
  12. belvdr macrumors 603

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    Aug 15, 2005
    #12
    Never used Handbrake. I use DVDShrink on my PC to just decrypt the VOB files.
     
  13. belvdr macrumors 603

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    Aug 15, 2005
    #13
    Keep in mind if you patch the ATV, you can play many other formats as well.
     
  14. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #14
    Gotcha..... Sounds good.
     
  15. sandman42 macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

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    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #15
    Can you explain what you meant by this? There must be some confusion here. The :apple:TV can totally be an AirTunes destination. I use it all the time. See the attached pic of my speakers selection menu from iTunes.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. belvdr macrumors 603

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    #16
    My bad.... I stand corrected. For some reason, I didn't think that was possible.
     
  17. sandman42 macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

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    Oct 23, 2003
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    Seattle
    #17
    True. Forgot to mention that. Thanks.
     
  18. Billy Boo Bob macrumors 6502

    Billy Boo Bob

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    Dark Side Of The Moon
    #18
    Yeah. I use my ATV as an AirTunes target all the time. And, although I don't have any other AirTunes target devices, I think they now have it set up to where you can run ATV's audio out to other AirTunes target devices.

    Now, if they'd only make iPhone/Touch an AirTunes target, too. That would be cool.
     
  19. Billy Boo Bob macrumors 6502

    Billy Boo Bob

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    #19
    That's right. Out of the box, the ATV will play pretty much anything that iTunes will play. It's just that prior to purchasing an ATV, many people have already ripped their DVDs down into some other format that is not native to iTunes (just relying on VLC, or Quicktime with plugs like DivX or Perian until then).
     
  20. suburbiton thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    #20
    Wow - excellent replies - thanks!

    Another thing: all the movies and TV shows I currently have on my MBP - if I want to use ATV to watch them on TV will I need to copy them to the ATV HDD or will ot stream from my MBP?

    In other words, my iTunes library is currently 80GB, so does that mean I need to buy the 160GB ATV?
     
  21. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Saratoga, CA
    #21
    No need to buy the 160 GB version. Streaming works great. You just need to be willing to leave your MBP on while you are watching the movies on TV. Of course, you can also move the videos to an external hard drive connected to your Mac.

    The only contents which must be on the Apple TV's hard drive are any photos you want to view through Apple TV.
     

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