UK Apple TV - potential buyer advice

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by david.dakota, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. david.dakota macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2008
    I've been thinking of buying an apple TV. We live in a broadband enabled area, but only to about 1Mb and certainly not in Virgin Media area.
    Now, forgive me if these questions are silly, but i've not really been able to find the answers online...

    -The main reason for thinking of apple TV is for VOD catch up services, although movie rentals is a definate second reason. I can't see any reference to things like iPlayer and ITV catch up- are these available?

    -What content agreements are in place for the UK. The apple Wiki site FAQ advises that only the US has movie and tv content agreements.

    -once 've selected a title to download, how quickly can i start to view via AppleTV? Do i need to wait for the full file to hit the PC and then sync?

    -I may be misreading things, but it seems people can view US content in the UK, how does this work- and how would this affect any UK content

    Is there anything else i should know about in advance?

    Many thanks.
  2. peskaa macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2008
    London, UK
    Services like iPlayer, 4OD and so on are not currently available. However, I have heard rumblings from within the BBC that they're interested in it - but whether that'll ever happen, who knows?

    The UK does have film and TV available on iTunes. Rental/purchasing is for films, and TV shows have to be purchased. The selection is different to the US store, and is linked into what is being shown (ie: Merlin on the BBC was on iTunes shortly afterwards, episode by episode). The range isn't as good as the US though by far

    I'm on a 22.8Mbit connection (actual speed), so I usually get to watch within 15 seconds of hitting download. Your 1Mbit connection may take a while longer. Downloads are done through the ATV, so need to have the computer on at all.

    As for having a US account in the UK, yes, it's possible. You'll have to have a US address and credit card though, or use iTunes vouchers from the US.
  3. david.dakota thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2008
    so, to clarify, i'd have a UK account, and a seperate US account but the AppleTV would just play whatever i asked?

    I'm also reading that there is no 5.1 on ATV (although thats from an old review). Is this still the case? Why?
  4. cdownton macrumors member

    Jan 18, 2008
    I have an appletv in the UK. I bought it from the US. Buying one at UK prices I wouldn't recommend - it's way too expensive for that. There are websites which will sell you US iTunes vouchers - that's the way to go.
    As the other poster said, you can't get catchup services, only watch what's available on iTunes (i.e. what you've put on there from wherever or what Apple will sell/rent you).
    With a 1mb service you're gonna have you plan in advance! Especially with the hd films.
    And I think it is 5.1 but only with the hd rentals/purchases.
    Hope that's helpful.
  5. dmchapman macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2008
    I've a 160GB AppleTV here in the UK - and I picked it up from the Apple refurb store for a very good price. Can't remember how much it was now but it was a fair bit cheaper than the US price. Be worth a look...

    Never bought anything from itunes for it though - mine is used partly to play music and mainly for watching stuff recorded using eyeTV on my mac. It's full of top gear and kids shows mainly :)

  6. peskaa macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2008
    London, UK
    I've not tried the two accounts thing, but a colleague at work has said that on his normal iTunes he runs a UK and a US account (with the US funded via vouchers). Seeing as ATV is heavily iTunes linked, I don't see why this won't work on the ATV.

    As for 5.1, er, I'll have to get back to you on that one. I've just updated my AV receiver to support DTS-HD & HD-MA and swapped the ATV over to a HDMI only connection rather than HDMI + Optical. I have a few downloaded films, so I'll check it out.
  7. david.dakota thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2008
    one thing i've not actually thought about with the abysmal rural connection we have, what size files should i expect. Say for 45 mins of Lost or a 2 hour film?
  8. peskaa macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2008
    London, UK
    1.4GB = 2 hours from iTunes, roughly, for SD.

    Just off to try the 5.1 for you!
  9. david.dakota thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2008
    Now, please forgive the 'one bottle wine mathematics', but at 1mps, thats about 25 mins for a full download (although, realistically, we get anywhere between 1.1mps and 1.8mps), right?

    Now, what about HD content...?

    Can i set an Apple TV to download at night, or perhaps remotely download things?

    And US content- to clarify- i need a US address and a US credit card or a US address and US iTunes case?
  10. peskaa macrumors 68020


    Mar 13, 2008
    London, UK
    A 1mbit connection would give you roughly 150k/s peak download speeds (from my experience anyway). So yes, by my late-night maths, about 25-30 minutes. Obviously, dependent upon your true speed.

    HD? Multiply by at least three, so look at an hour and a half to two hours I reckon. HD is unfortunately, a space hog :(

    The best I've done in regards to "download at night" is to set it downloading just before I go to bed, turn the TV etc off and let it do its thing. Come the morning, files are waiting to be watched. Remote download = not really. However, ATV is linked to a computer, so you *could* use any number of remote access applications to set iTunes on the computer downloading and it should sync with the ATV automatically.

    US content - you need a US address and card, or a US address and US iTunes vouchers.

    5.1 is still a dunno. I don't have any HD content sitting on my box at the moment, and all my other content is SD/stereo. Bummer.
  11. david.dakota thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2008
    One other thing. When you select something to download, does Apple TV want you to watch it immediately, or just give you the option to do so? Can you set multiple downloads too?
  12. tom1971 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2007
    No, you don't have to watch immediately.
    You can also buy / rent several movies at the same time and watch them later
  13. jclaydon macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2008
    5.1 audio does exist on the Apple TV, but is usually only available on the HD film rentals.

    I manage to run a US and UK account, basically you just need to get hold of some US gift vouchers then it's pretty easy to set up a US account. There is a lot more content on the US site, especially HD.

    You can get BBC iplayer on the Apple TV by installing Boxee (very easy to do).
  14. freelander macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2008
    I run a US account from the UK, you can get the vouchers off eBay. I have heard that Apple are going to put a stop to this, but no sign of that yet.
  15. demdem macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2008
    ATV and iPlayer

    You get full iPlayer on ATV if you install boxee on it. Really easy to do if you have a USB flash drive: copy some files onto the flash drive, plug it into the back of your atv and turn it on- bingo! You have full iPlayer as well as a number of other video feeds from the USA.

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