What do I need?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Blackhatch, May 28, 2011.

  1. Blackhatch macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2011
    I want to ditch Direct TV (POS) in lieu of something that I can get whatever TV episodes that I want from time to time.

    My home is wired for Cat 5 already and my wife and I don't watch much TV and don't really have a need for instant access (i.e. sporting events and etc).

    It is my understanding that you can get NFL games streamed through some of the new Hulu Prime, NFL.com, etc.

    We mostly use it to watch TV episodes from time to time but they are usually DVR'ed for convenience.

    I want similar functionality without paying Direct TV $80 per month for crap.

    We also have NetFlix and want to be able to burn the movie (preferably Blu-Ray) right down to the Apple TV or device.

    Does Apple TV do everything that I need and is there any point from me to do anything else?

    Is there an Apple TV 2 vs. the one that is there now?
  2. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    Have a look at the iTunes TV selection and see if it satisfies you.
    ATV will not be able to play what you've got recorded on your DVR, they'd need to be re-encoded.

    You can't just stream a bluray over the network to an ATV. You'd have to re-encode the movie for playback on ATV, depending on the CPU you'd use for the job it could take 6-24 hours. Same with DVD, though encoding takes a lot less time 20mins - 4hours. It's really not practical for that.
    You can stream NetFlix on ATV, apparently it can stream HD content but movies aren't tagged as such.
  3. Blackhatch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2011

    I think I am going to just pull the trigger on two of them and get rid of direct TV.

    Between Hulu and NetFlix, I should be covered.
  4. The Doop, May 29, 2011
    Last edited: May 29, 2011

    The Doop macrumors member

    Jun 27, 2007
    Hulu isn't available on Apple TV unless you jailbreak and jump through a few hoops. Netflix is available out of the box though.
  5. Blackhatch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2011
    How hard is it?

    Is this why someone was telling me to get a Mac Mini and go that route?

    Does NetFlix have TV episodes?

    How am I supposed to get TV episodes when everything is back in season?
  6. trip1ex macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
  7. Blackhatch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2011

    Do they cost money or is it based on membership like NetFlix/Hulu.

    Does iTunes have all the major networks?
  8. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    Go to iTunes on your computer and have a look...

    You pay per episode, or you can buy a season pass (pay for the entire season in advance) and have it automatically download episodes as they're released.
  9. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2007
    Saratoga, CA
    If you have a somewhat modern 4-core processor, Handbrake encodes don't take very long - even with BluRays. I recently built a PC expressly for this task. It uses a $100 4-core AMD 3 GHz CPU and the total parts cost was about $350 with a BluRay drive. Handbrake can re-code the BluRay to a 720P AppleTV2 format in about 90 minutes on this system. Handbrake's AppleTV2 preset also works great on the iPad (1 or 2) and iPhone 4.
  10. Alonzo84 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 18, 2009
    North Carolina
    Netflix does have TV episodes but the selection is scarce. The seasons are also limited to the previous year. You will not be able to watch the current season of any available show on Netflix.
  11. Blackhatch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2011
    I would act like I know what you just said but that would be a complete lie.

    If I have a spare PC or Mac Mini, should I just go that route?

    Also, it seems like the Roku box works with Hulu plus. Does anybody use that box and have any feedback on it? Do you know if it is 1080P?

    Am I wrong to suspect that iTunes does not appear to have the same amount of episodes that accessibility that Hulu Does?
  12. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    Netflix has a lot of TV episodes, but most are not available until they are released on DVD, so generally about one season behind. The notable exception is Starz original content (Spartacus for example), which is available within a day of it's first airing. Just sign-up for the free trial and log into their site. Anything that's available for Instant Play on your computer is also available on the ATV2.

    iTunes has many shows within a day of their initial air date. Some shows are rental only ($.99 per episode) and they only show up in on the ATV2 (sorry, can't remember any examples of this). Some shows are not available for Rent, so they don't show on the ATV2 menu, but you can Buy them ($1.99 - 2.99 per episode, usually discounted a bit for the season pass). If you buy shows, they get downloaded into your iTunes Library, and the ATV2 can stream them form there. There are some shows that don't come to iTunes (Big Bang Theory). HBO seems to run later than anyone else in getting their stuff to iTunes, like after the DVD release, and much of it is not available in HD. Browse around on iTunes and see what you can find. If you're willing to pay per episode, iTunes is pretty complete.

    I can't speak to Hulu. I lost interest when I realized they were going to charge me per month AND show me commercials. After the commercial free world of iTunes and Netflix, I'm spoiled; even fast forwarding on a DVR is no substitute.

    Depending on your location, Over the Air TV can supplement your online sources. I use Elgato EyeTv software to record over the air shows, edit out the ads and encode it for iTunes. I had to replace my 30 year old antenna this weekend, but other than that it's a good source of content for first run and syndicated shows.

    Only issue is that I'm burning up Terabytes of data with all those recordings! I definitely prefer streaming just to avoid the backup requirements that come with owning the media.
  13. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
    You seem like a guy who would return a $100 bill if found in the parking lot of a store

    I would suggest a roku player for you , the roku xds you can connect an external drive to it & has hulu all legit no need to fiddle with it

    With netflix & hulu you should be all set

    You can also add more private channels like pbs,cnn ,abc

    Dont waste your money buying shows from itunes at .99 cents a show

    Get hulu if you watch a lot of tv

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