Undecided on new AppleTV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by DJinTX, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. DJinTX macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010
    Please be aware that this thread is not about bashing Apple for removing features or delivering an inferior product, because there are enough negative threads like that already. I just wanted to express my uncertainty at this point.

    When the new AppleTV was unveiled I was pretty excited. And when I heard that it was likely to have apps and that AirPlay would allow streaming of HTML5 content on the web, I was definitely getting one. But now the excitement is fading and I am having some concerns.

    First and foremost, I am not sure what to think about the lack of internal storage. I realize Apple wants to go with a completely streaming product, but I'm not sure I like the idea of my MacBook being on all the time during streaming. Maybe eventually all of our iTunes libraries will be stored on Apple's servers at their big server farm in North Carolina, and we will just stream it all over the internet. If this is the case, then problem solved. But until that time, I have to have my laptop on all the time to stream my iTunes. I have never had an Apple TV before, so who knows, maybe the instances of me wanting to stream from my Mac will be very limited. Maybe my primary usage will be Netflix and TV show rentals, making this a moot point. But it is difficult to predict.

    In the last week we have heard about Warner Brothers and NBC saying 99 cents is too little for rentals, and are not coming on board. This makes me worry that maybe other networks/studios will do the same thing. If only a fraction of the shows that I would want to rent actually come to the iTunes store, then there is less value there. I really really hope that the majority of content providers get on board very soon.

    So for better or worse these are my concerns. Some of you may be thinking the same things. I hope it all turns out the way I want it to, but only tme will tell. I guess the good thing is if I buy an ATV for $99, and development for it goes nowhere, at least I haven't invested much money.
  2. blueprint1983 macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2007
    i'm just like you, so close to purchasing but not based on the info on the table.

    it's like i'm buying a product that I PLAN on getting big updates with.

    For me:

    -I don't have a desktop, so my MBP would have to be on, which is a bit off-putting (I use this computer alot as it is).

    -I don't want to convert movies (tutorials for computer programs) just so I can stream them, especially when it takes FOREVER to convert to ATV.

    -I don't have a Netflix account nor do I buy tv shows online since I have DISH network.

    -Alot of the TV shows that I do want aren't available on iTunes.

    As far as no-hardrive thing, to me, i just hope they don't make it a ploy to buy their Mobile Me service so I can stream through it.
  3. AZ63 macrumors 6502


    Aug 13, 2009
    So, I too was waiting for Steve to update the :apple:TV. It's cute and small and just 100 bucks, still I too wavier on its purchase. I was hoping to streamline the entertainment system set up. I didn't buy a Bluray player in hopes it would be included with the update. I won't go down that road but to say instead of streamlining my entertainment system I will be adding just one more thing to it. Personally, I would have gladly paid a PS3 price for an :apple:TV with the Bluray player integrated into it because of the UI Apple does so well. On the positive side, my iMac is on virtually 24/7 which means I can stream all those pictures and videos to the big screen for nana and papa to see rather than all going to the office as we do now. I own an iPad and so that streaming is also an added plus. When we have cellular choice with the iPhone, it will bring that amazing streaming ability as well. Then those stills and movies will stream to the big screen and no more huddling around a 3.5 inch screen.
    I don't stream movies from iTunes or Netflix.
    I have a Blockbuster account. But what I read today in USA Today on my iPad it makes me think that I will have no choice but to go with Netflix as Blockbuster appears to be experiencing rough times.
    The internal hard drive is not nearly as important to me as say being able to watch/view pictures off a USB Flash Drive or SD card. Similar products have that capability.
    In the end, the choice will be, do I settle for less than what I could get else where but with a great UI or suffer with a sub-par UI but get a streamlined system.
    I have a couple of months to ponder.
  4. Truffy macrumors 6502a


    May 9, 2005
    somewhere outside your window...
    Here in Switzerland (probably elsewhere outside USA) it's easy enough to predict: the iTunes store doesn't support TV/film rentals or downloads at all, so the whole broohaha over which networks will serve episodes and for how much is totally moot. Leaving the lack of internal storage that much more of a hole.
  5. blueprint1983 macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2007
    it's funny, the more research I do, the more I realize that Apple wants to compete more with Roku/Google TV boxes. It's just that those boxes do what Apple is going to do, better. I suppose Apple's selling point is iTunes but if they don't broaden their media formats for video or allow the box to stream without having a computer on, I don't know how it'll compete.

    I feel like relying on the box, which relies on my macbook which relies my internet connection is making this a decision hard for me to justify.
  6. RandomNinjaAtk macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2008
    It may seem their going to do it better, and very well they may be initially. But no one can predict the future the apple tv. Clearly apple has plans for it or they wouldn't have made a new one. I don't see them ever not having a device for one because even if it doesn't sell in masses, all those tv shows/movies they sell with drm still need an easy way on the big screen. I think the changes to A4 running an IOS variation (too many leaks/information and it just make sense to deny it running IOS) prove apple is going to be pushing the platform further. Even Steve Jobs has hinted at a possible App Store on it. Right now with the change to the new hardware, their just merely staging themselves in position to attack and Air Video is genius! I can't wait to get my 2 pre-ordered apple tv's from amazon! I'll have to figure out what to do with the old one now though. So in the end it may very well be better then roku/google box's. Although these boxes exist to tell you the truth they don't interest me at all. The only box that's truly interesting to me is the Boxee Box and even then still things about it that I find won't work for me, so apple tv seems to be the best for my solution!
  7. iHeartapple2 macrumors 6502


    Jun 29, 2010
    I currently have a Roku box and I will keep it for right now as I don't see anything Apple TV can do that Roku can't. I mainly only use my Roku box for Netflix and YouTube anyway. I do think that Apple TV is definitely not just a hobby for them anymore and with the recent agreement with Rovi I think there are bigger things coming.
  8. blueprint1983 macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2007
    There will be a boxee box app according to Boxee's website

  9. blueprint1983 macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2007
    One question: what can ATV do when it's not connected to a computer? It should still be able to connect to the internet and stay logged into iTunes - just not be able to access downloaded material so netflix, itunes store should be accessible without a connected computer, right?
  10. RandomNinjaAtk macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2008
    Yes, you should still be able to stream from mobileme/netflix/flickr/internet radio and other functions that are via the internet, including renting movies and tv shows. As long as you have your itunes account setup with it.
  11. ovrlrd macrumors 65816


    Aug 29, 2009
    I have a 1st gen Apple TV and I am replacing it with the new one for several reasons.

    1. I hate having to "sync" to the Apple TV and manage what is on the device. It takes way too long and seems to start doing it at odd times, and I can never choose which of my computers will be the one that gets synced. So I just choose to not sync any of them and just do streaming only.
    2. While it is nice to have the internal storage for downloading directly off the iTunes store on the Apple TV, I never end up doing this because the interface is not very good for browsing the iTunes store. So the internal storage gets completely wasted.
    3. To compensate for no syncing, all my Macs are set to "Wake for network access" in energy saver prefs, which allows my AirPort Extreme Base Station to automatically wake up any Mac from sleep mode when the Apple TV wants to use it. This means I never have to worry about manually waking up a computer when I want to access it's media. This solves the whole "I hate having my computer on 24/7 to use Apple TV" complaint.
    4. I never actually purchase anything off iTunes (outside the App Store and iBookstore) and only like to rent content. I don't like the fact that iTunes music is not lossless, so I never buy any of it. All of the movies and TV shows have DRM, so I feel like it is a waste to keep them around when I can't play them back on anything but Apple players. So I rent everything that way I don't feel guilty about buying some DRM-filled file that I will end up deleting anyway. Love the focus on renting that Apple is doing now!
    5. AirPlay. There is not much I have to say here, but considering I own an iPhone and an iPad, and everyone I know who comes over has an iPhone, it is just an absolutely killer feature and pretty much stomps all over any of the other features for me.

    I realize that not everyone has the same needs as me, but maybe the new Apple TV is just not made for everyone anyway? It is still a "hobby" for Apple and they feel like having no internal storage is the right direction, and I have to agree with them (as long as there is enough hidden storage for future expansion).

    Not everyone is going to have an AirPort Extreme Base Station (or Timecapsule or whatever) plus a supported Mac that does "Wake on network access" but it does seem like Apple is kind of pointing at that as the solution for the "I hate having to turn my computer on to access shares on my Apple TV" complaints.

    Not everyone likes renting stuff, and some people love to buy stuff right on their Apple TV. I personally never liked buying things on the Apple TV. If I can't rent it or stream it for free I don't want to deal with it.

    Also, no internal storage means no more hard drive noise, no more heat, and the whole package is much smaller. Could they have added some solid state memory like the iPhone or iPad has (which means no heat or noise)? Well, of course they could have done that, but clearly that is not the direction they want to take it right now. Perhaps sometime in the future if there is still a demand for "syncing" (ugh, I have a headache just thinking about the memories of doing it with my 1st gen) then maybe they will start selling Apple TVs with a storage option. I doubt it though, seems they are preparing for the cloud stuff.
  12. mike457 macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2010

    I've gone back and forth about the new ATV. I ordered one the first day, then cancelled it, and now I've reordered it. The syncing issue has never bothered me. I have an iMac in my guest room, but I don't like running it all the time, especially when I have guests. Having most of the music and some of the videos that I play regularly right on the ATV works well for me. I even got my hands dirty and expanded the storage to 320GB. Even the best wireless network has occasional drop-outs, and I hate that in the middle of my music; the current model avoids that. I don't rent TV shows, and I live in Canada, so the selection is not great. Netflix has only just opened in Canada, and their selection is not great; besides, I already have a device that plays Netflix.

    After thinking more about it all, I did the reorder because 1) I decided that the slight technical advantage of supporting 30fps in 720P was all right; 2) ATV apps (should they turn up) could be huge; 3) the old ATV will not get any improvements; 4) losing the noise and heat of a hard drive from my living room is a bonus.

    In the end, though, I don't find myself saying, "This is an awesome product that will change my life."
  13. blueprint1983 macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2007
    I literally have engulfed myself in everything it can and can't do and what it can possibly do; I have decided with the smaller pricetag that it's worth taking the leap of faith for this product. A little bit is trusting Apple and the rest is just knowing your entertainment viewing habits.

    so yeah, I placed my order a few minutes ago..:apple:

    ships on Oct. 15th for me, arriving on the 20th..
  14. iancheyne macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2010
    Colleyville, TX
    I like the sync'ing

    I actually like the fact that the aTV sync's, even though it takes time ... As I've noted before I have an ATV flash hack so all of my sync is to an external HD and I consider this a backup, plus it solves any network streaming issues. I will buy a new aTV for our guest room as there is enough movie, TV show material stored on my network that I will be able keep the grandparents happy without having to pay for another cable box.

    Privacy is a two way street :D
  15. DJinTX thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010
    I hate to rain on your parade but...

    While there may eventually be a Boxee app for the new ATV (which would be cool), there is nothing in the link you provided that indicates this. What they are referring to is running Boxee on the old ATV. Even if they do plan a Boxee app, Apple would never let them admit to it before Apple announces it. Especially not in a FAQ.
  16. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    To decide if ATV is for you, I think you need to focus first on what it can do and then decide if that's something you're interested in. I'm guessing the main features of potential interest to most people is:

    (1) Movie rentals from iTunes store to TV
    (2) TV show rentals from iTunes store to TV
    (3) Netflix streaming content to TV
    (4) View media from your own media server to TV

    Breaking it down a little:

    (2) The selection of shows for (2) is limited and may never get better (in fact the selection may shrink). So probably not a generally useful feature after all.

    (4) only makes sense if you have a media server. If you don't, you'd have to do something like press your MBP into service as a temporary media server, which, of course, isn't ideal.

    So (1) and (3) are really the biggies. Is it worth $99 to you to have a (presumably) easy-to-use TV interface for choosing and viewing this content?

    ATV can do some other things: choose and view content from youtube and (I think?) photos or something from your mobile me account. It's hard for me to believe there are any significant number of people that would consider these killer features. I guess there are youtube junkies out there.

    I'm guessing the real strength of ATV will be to support choosing and viewing content from any internet source via custom apps (available through an ATV app store. And then there will be the games. But that's based on speculation that Apple will open up the device for development and host an app store. Obviously if you want that kind of thing you can buy if/when it actually happens.

    For me, I'm waiting until the ATV app store opens.
  17. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    It all depends where you live. ;)

    (1) So far only available in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Australia & New Zealand.
    (2) So far only available in the US.
    (3) So far only available in the US & Canada (soon).
  18. OptyCT macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2008
    Guys, the deciding factor for me is that it's only $99. I thought of the things that I bought (or will be buying) for over $100 and it was a no-brainer. If, down the road, they introduce an AppStore for it, expanded network show rentals, 1080p streaming, etc, that's all gravy. I think the "bang for the buck" is already there at its low entry price point. However, if it was $299, that'd be a different debate.
  19. CrAkD macrumors 68040


    Feb 15, 2010
    Boston, MA
    Airplay and $99 make it worth it for me. Plus I feel apple has plenty up it's sleeve for this device. It's only $99 no real risk.
  20. dmm219 macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2008
    um folks, the reasonable thing to do is wait until its released and tested. See what it really can and can't do, and then make your decision.

    We do not yet know for sure that AirPlay will stream everything. We do not yet know exactly how much flash memory it will have. We do not yet know if the streaming performance will be significantly better than ATV1's rather poor performance...

    It makes absolutely no financial sense, whatsoever, to drop $100 on this thing at this point...wait a month...than make up your mind...

    Lack of patience is what makes everyone debt slaves in this country.
  21. WiiDSmoker macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2009
    Hermitage, TN
    If they decide to do 1080P, it'll require a new box. Just a FYI.
  22. KDR macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2007
    Bingo! People, it's only $99. If it succeeds, this is only the beginning and everything you want will come in time. If not, you only lost $99.
  23. blueprint1983 macrumors 6502

    Sep 4, 2007
    It's not that it's inexpensive enough to just throw around $, it's that the product has some clear cut selling points that justify the cost with plenty of room for upgrades. That's why the cost isn't $229 - Apple made it cheaper because they want us to buy it and then they'll reveal longer term plans in the near future.

    Now, when you all refer to "App stores" for ATV, I hope that also includes "Channel stores" too.
  24. iggypod macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2010
    My thoughts exactly. I'm anxious for Airplay capabilities which will make ATV another nice to have idevice accessory.
  25. tripjammer macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2010
    This is an awesome product and it is going to change my life!

    So I ordered one!

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