Trying to decide whether to keep ATV...for my needs. Opinions?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by WannaApple?, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. WannaApple? macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2008
    I just bought an ATV but Im having some difficulty getting it set up for my needs and wondering if someone can give me anymore solutions before I return it.

    I did jailbreak it, installed Plex, NitoTV and XBMC.

    I watch more TV (mainly only 2-3 cable networks that I keep on) than I do movies and I'm trying to find a solution to get rid of cable TV. Being that I do watch TV more than movies, a lot of the cable shows I watch are not available on Netflix or iTunes but are available on the network website. I have realized that the ATV does not have a web browser.

    I have a Macbook, iPad, iPhone and ATV. I just dont want to have to hook up my MB to my TV when I want to watch a show.

    So, before I return this thing, are there any options for me? Thanks!
  2. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2010
    I highly recommend getting yourself an OTA antenna and EyeTV. You can get all the networks in full HD and record your shows with EyeTV which automatically exports to iTunes. Then of course, the Apple TV is able to grab those shows from iTunes for your HDTV. I do this and I absolutely love this setup. I get Modern Family, 30 Rock, NFL football, PBS shows for the kids, daytime shows for the wife, and all oury favorite primetime shows in HD all for free and since the Apple TV has 30 second skip, you can even skip all the commercials easily.

    Couldn't ask for a better setup.
  3. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2010
    And now that iOS 4.3 and iTunes 10.2 allow you to home share iTunes to your iOS device (including keeping track of playcounts and stuff), those videos in iTunes can now be accessed from your iPad and iPhone too. So if you're watching a show or movie on your Apple TV and you get tired and go to bed you can finish watching it on your iPad in the bed without having to sync.

    I used to do this with apps like Air Video or Plex but they didn't keep track of where I was in the show or update the playcounts and stuff. The iTunes integration is very nice and just keeps getting better and better.
  4. TheHoff macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2008
    Does Plex on the ATV have the Plex App Store? If you run the real version of Plex, it has plugins for all of the networks that have online feeds -- NBC, ABC, CBS, USA, etc.

    Even better than that, though, is Hulu Plus. You get the same shows as the network feeds BUT they are higher quality and you can often get more back episodes. The difference between watching The Daily Show on Hulu Plus in HD vs. watching it on the extremely low-quality Comedy Central feed is night and day.

    The free network online feeds are handy and all but they are usually very, very compressed.

    Personally I couldn't get the ATV2 to do what I want so I bought a Mini (good plan, Apple, good plan).
  5. WannaApple? thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2008
    I just went looking at the EyeTV and if its the video recorder box that I need? The one thats $199.95? If I'm going to spend that much, with the cost of the ATV combined, I can probably get a used Mac Mini, but I'm trying not to spend that much.

    Is this correct? Or any other cheaper options? Anyone have anymore info on ATV Flash and when it might be available? If that isnt too far out with the inclusion of couch surfer, hulu and netflix, I might be able to wait and keep the ATV.

    But then again, is all of this browsing between hulu, netflix, couch surfer, itunes, etc. every time I want to watch something worth the cost of saving $50 a month? Or am I making it out to be much more complicated than it really is?

    P.S. I guess I should add that the main cable networks I watch are Food Network, Travel and HGTV. I havent been able to find any add-ons for these networks if they exist? A couple of the shows are available on Netflix, but of course the network website has them all. :/
  6. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2010
    The EyeTV Hybrid is about $135 I believe and that's the one you you want. But you should probably get the HDHomeRun instead which is cheaper and can stream the shows over your network and works with the EyeTV software. You would then just purchase the EyeTV software by itself. Total cost should be close to the EyeTV Hybrid which already includes the software.
  7. TheHoff macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2008
    It was "nearly ready!" about 2 months ago when I got my ATV2. Still waiting, eh?

    If you're not happy with ATV2 out of the box, then you'll be dealing with open source apps that don't cost anything that try and integrate with paid & free services. That is great one respect but crappy in others. None of the software solutions, Plex or XBMC or Boxee, are mature products ready for mainstream. First, they're all based off the exact same code so there isn't that much difference but they all have their individual quirks.

    If you're looking for WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) you will certainly be better off with a Mini instead of jailbreaking an ATV2 and hoping those apps eventually become stable. Plex is pretty close to passing my wife's test but it still annoys her (and me at times, too). Plex has some cool add-ons like one that will search Hulu and Netflix for the shows you tell it to and it will dump the new episodes right in your Plex TV section -- so it ends up looking like a great TiVO list of all your recent shows.

    Yea for Plex, there are plugins for Food Network and HGTV. Not sure about travel. But be aware that just because a plugin exists doesn't mean that the show is online. Food Network, IMO, has a particularly crappy selection online. Maybe I'm just not used to the new reality-slanted stuff they do (I miss Molto Mario) but I can barely find anything I want to watch on their free live feed.

    You can't expect to boot up the Food Network or HGTV app and get a list of all of their best shows -- they purposefully limit what is online in the free feeds so subscribing to cable continues to make them money.

    Again though, you may be happier with Hulu Plus. It has AWESOME cooking shows -- Avec Eric, the full library of Bourdain, etc., and a big library of Home and Garden.

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