The £100, 500Gb Iomega ScreenPlay makes the ATV an overpriced waste of money

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by barkmonster, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. barkmonster macrumors 68020


    Dec 3, 2001

    Supported Audio Formats: WAV, WMA, Ogg Vorbis, MP3, AC-3

    Video Playback Formats: MPEG-4, XviD, DivX 5.0, DivX 4.0, MPEG-2, MPEG-1, DivX 3.11, AVI, VOB

    It won't play .flv, h.263 and h.264

    It won't play HD content

    Who cares when it's got that much space?

    Apple TV 40GB: £195

    Apple TV 160GB: £263.00

    I know the argument against common sense.

    It's that Apple have convinced you to buy their proprietary, DRM based video content that only works on their hardware because of some perceived quality you'd still get by encoding a 2 pass Xvid or MP4 at the roughly the same rate.

    Just 1 40 minute episode of supernatural ended up nearly 500Mb when I encoded it at 1500Kbps H.264 and 160Kbps AAC. Add all 3 seasons and that 40Gb Apple TV would be next to full.

    I could encode it at 2000Kbps Xvid or MP4 and 320Kbps mp3, getting equal quality and without scaling it down to 640 x 352 before hand and still have about 11 x the storage of the 40Gb Apple TV left to use at about half the price. full 720 x 576 anamorphic is 2500Kbps with H.264 too.

    I've not tested any video on my friends' system that was encoded with handbrake but seeing as the 2 codecs are compatible, you should still be able to maintain chapter markers and use AAC audio if you used the MP4 video codec saved as an .mp4 file.

    A friend of mine has one hooked up to a 32" LCD and the video looks fantastic depending on the original video encoding.

    The only downside.

    It seems to be windows only but with an intel mac, it's certainly an option but you could always pay another £30 or so for the 750Gb ScreenPlay Pro and gain 1920 x 1080 video and it claims to be compatible with Mac OS 10.2 or above too but that seems unrealistic to me when the ScreenPlay HD isn't Mac compatible.
  2. Thomss macrumors member

    Oct 2, 2008
    For me the size of the internal drive is not an issue, I have the 160GB model and even then only use a small amount, mainly when I chuck some films on it to take to a mates house.
    Otherwise I stream from 4+4 TB of content from my PC.

    Maybe the more boxes like this than come up the better to force companies to up there game.

    I'm thinking of getting a mac mini if they release updated spec ones and runninf PLEX, or putting a little PC together and running Mediaportal.

  3. barkmonster thread starter macrumors 68020


    Dec 3, 2001
    I'm going the Mac Mini route myself at some stage.

    If I can get the cash (probably selling my Neo Geo AES), I can get one through a friend for very little because someone he works with has one he was going to buy himself.

    it would do as a tie over mac till I can afford a Mac Pro and seeing as HDs double in size every year, by the time it's re-purposed as a media centre, I'd probably get a 500Gb 2.5" drive for about £80 to put inside it.
  4. JonHimself macrumors 68000


    Nov 3, 2004
    Toronto, Ontario
    I wouldn't say that product makes the AppleTV look like a waste of money, far from it, but to each their own I suppose.

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