What do you love about your Apple TV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by VideoBeagle, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. VideoBeagle macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2010
    App Q&A testing by request.
    I just got a refurb Apple TV to use with my 2012 iMac.

    So far, it's ok, but I'm not loving it. (Note: very little of my media is iTunes bought/set up for iTunes use).

    While I'm deciding if I'm going to hold on to it, I'd like to know, what do you love about your Apple TV? What makes it great to have?
  2. sonicrobby macrumors 68020


    Apr 24, 2013
    New Orleans
    Streaming from iTunes. I converted all my videos to .mp4 and imported them into my itunes library, now I can stream any content from my itunes to the main tv, its pretty convenient.
  3. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2010
    I specifically rip and encode my movies to iTunes friendly formats for streaming. I've been doing this since before the Apple TV was released, but was forced to a Mac Mini as the main device to play them on the TV. Now that these devices exist and handle 1080p, I have them hooked up to every TV in my house and stream my 1200 movies and TV shows easily.

    Outside of that, Airplay in general is pretty awesome for simple music streaming or even showing pics and videos I've taken on my iPhone. Add to that the newer channels that have been added like HBOGo, and I can now play premium content anywhere in my house (or outside my house) without paying for a cable box. That's like $10/mo in rental fees right there.

    Overall, the device works great for how I use it. But, if you don't want to do any of this, the device may have little use for you. (I'm pretty excited for Mavericks to drop and be able to use the Apple TV as a second monitor from my computers, not just mirrored).
  4. ngenerator macrumors 68000


    May 12, 2009
    USG Ishimura
    Price price price price & netflix

    ^And this x1000
  5. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    At least 90% of my TV viewing is now Netflix or Hulu+ since I ditched cable about 2 years ago. I am really happy with the UI that the ATV provides for both of these as it is simple and consistent. I had tried a Roku for a while, since it has more 'channels' available, but I prefer the ATV's navigation.

    I had committed to iTunes for music and video before ATV was available so I have all of my old CDs and DVDs ripped to iTunes friendly formats, but I rarely use any of that. On occasion, I'll buy the $5 movie of the week from iTunes, but generally if I want to see something that's not available on Netflix I'll just rent through iTunes Store.
  6. mslide macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2007
    I won't mention netflix and hulu plus since so many devices are capable of doing that equally as well as an Apple TV. Aside from those, what I really like about us having Apple TVs are the abilities to stream content from our iTunes library and AirPlay. Those 2 things are the reasons we have Apple TVs and not some other streaming box like a Roku.

    Being able to control them with an iPhone/iPad is also very nice.
  7. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    I agree with a lot of what has already been said. However I will mention the size. It is tiny. You hardly notice it's there compared to my xbox, DVD & Set top box.
  8. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Power Consumption: Less than 2w per hr during use (see anandtech)


    Airplay mirroring from any iOS device (A5 or better) and our Macbooks (any Mac 2011 or newer sans Mac Pro).

    Just yesterday my wife wanted to show some pictures she had imported into iPhoto from her Macbook Pro. She just airplay mirrored right from her Macbook and was able to show our friends. Simple.
  9. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006
    Airplay streaming, and the best Netflix/Hulu/MLB.TV client apps on any platform.
  10. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    Disclaimer. Not a huge TV watcher, no cable service which I think makes me a 'cord cutter'. 3-4 episodes per week. Sometimes not at all.

    1. Ease of use. The Samsung and the like smart tv's are a pita to use. Dad's is a nightmare.
    2. Netflix (for Star Trek, old Top Gear seasons, and random other content when bored)
    3. Hulu Plus (for keeping up with Colbert and Stewart)
    4. AirPlay music to my den receiver.
    5. Even when you get things from the underground, I just get the h.264/mp4 version and it drops right into iTunes. Or run it through a Handbrake transcode.

    And there's a ton of minor features. Photo viewing on big screen, random youtube browsing killing time just airplay it up, renting movies $$$ but convenient sometimes, some games use it but I find the controls laggy.

    If you have cable and watch lots of already on the air content a week and have a TiVo type systme like my parents. I can see why AppleTV might offer very little.
  11. NMF macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2011
    iTunes streaming. I tested just about every solution out there, and nothing even comes close to being as consistently reliable as iTunes home sharing. It's a little more work up front to encode all of your media in M4V, but it pays off in spades every time I go to stream a 20GB+ Blu-ray rip and it "just works" without a hitch. No buffering, no lost connection, no navigating folder hierarchies, no router ports to forward, no whacky DLNA DRM issues, no nonsense. Perfection.

    Oh, and the Netflix interface is also much better than the crap they have on the game consoles.
  12. adam044 macrumors 65816


    Jan 24, 2012
    Not to get off topic but what do you use to rip and convert the movies in 1080p quality with surround sound?
  13. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    Sorry to hijack the conversation, but there's nothing that comes close to MakeMKV + HandBrake combo.
    The former knows how to rip all BD protection schemes and is constantly updated.
    The latter is best in picture quality vs bitrate department plus produces a consistently AirPlayable file, in my experience. That includes conversion of surround sound to DD5.1 playable on aTV.
  14. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2010
    I second the comment above regarding MakeMKV and Handbrake. I use MakeMKV to rip the entire disc to my hard drive, then convert using Handbrake (I start with the High Profile preset and and I add in 2ch audio, 5.1 AAC, and DTS pass thru, in that order). I then import into iTunes and tag it with iFlicks for metadata. Works great and quality is much better than iTunes store bought items (not that their quality is bad, but this is better).
  15. palmharbor macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2007
    Apple tv "all that bother

    THAT A lot to do to watch TV...handbrake etc.
    There are not enough good movies out there to be confined to Netflix
    and Hulu +. You miss good cable shows such as History Channel,
    Military History Channel, Showtime (I get free with Verizon) MSNBC,
    and over 100 others.
  16. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    For me, the best feature is Airplay, but I also like iTunes integration and iTunes Match integration (my music collection is still available when my iTunes computer is off).

    I mainly use it for Airplay (especially Linda.com video), but the video podcasts are useful with the ability to save favorites. I have a jailbroken Apppletv2, but I rarely use it for my own movies, even though ATV Flash makes them easy to access from a NAS and will accept many formats. With Netflix, I usually choose something I haven't watched yet rather than watching the same movie for the fifth time.

    Also have a Roku, but I use the Appletv more often.
  17. VideoBeagle thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 17, 2010
    App Q&A testing by request.
    Thanks for all the comments!

    Right now, I have a lot of stuff ripped (handbrake) into mkv, which i found my LG tv's DNLA player handled better than MP4's. So I'm daunted by re-converting so much (though really, set up some queues before bedtime, and let it go).

    And using the Apple TV doesn't mean I can't use the DLNA for simple stuff I don't want bother with a big deal with. (Like a quick show down load).

    I do like the "click a button in iTunes and thing shows up on TV" ability.

    I'm looking at AirParrot and this Plex hack thing as possible additional solutions.

    I like the Netflix app, but the lack of "Play next episode" is really annoying to me.

    I just finished several big time sinks that I've had to do since/while picking up thhe ATV on sat, so i'm hoping to explore a bit more.
  18. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    You don't need to re-convert, you just need to change containers with a remuxing program like Subler, or MP4Tools. Takes five minutes.

  19. JGRE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2011
    Dutch Mountains
    Try the trial version of Beamer App and you can play any MKV (beneath 6GB) directly to your ATV without remuxing: that's whats make the ATV great.


    Use Beamer App and you do not need to do anything but drag and drop the file.
  20. bobr1952 macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    I think for many, the difference between loving and just liking their ATV depends on how much you rely on iTunes. I use iTunes for a lot--so for me there is a lot to love with the ATV--I stream movies from the Apple servers--or from my library. I stream music from iTunes and iTunes Radio, as well as using Airplay to port music to my home theater. I also use my ATV for Netflix--but of course there are many devices that can stream Netflix so that shouldn't be your sole reason to use ATV--the more your movies, TV shows and music are integrated with iTunes, the more benefit you will get from an ATV.
  21. adam044 macrumors 65816


    Jan 24, 2012
    About how big do these files come out to be?
  22. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2010
    On average, I'd say around 6GB. Depends on the film. Some movies like the extended LOTR are around 20GBs each, but those are 4.5 hour movies. Though, other movies with a lot of grain in the video takes up more space. The Princess Bride came out at 15GBs for me, which is a bit much. But, I have lots of storage and file size really doesn't bother me at all - I'd rather have the quality.
  23. CrickettGrrrl macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2012
    B'more or Less
    I like it because it's a poke in Big Cable's snoot, granted, with a puny baby fist. But still.
  24. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    I'm sure Beamer is a fine app, and will work well for some people, but for me what makes the Apple TV great is that I can sit in my living room and see and select from all of my content with the remote control. Dragging and dropping to play a movie is a non-starter.

  25. appleii.c macrumors 6502


    Mar 18, 2013
    Geez, i hate to also hijack this thread but I need to ask, but I'll first answer the original post...

    I also stream from iTunes to the main TV. Videos are great quality (using MakeMKV/HB) and the streaming is very fluid. zero lag. I've also started looking into the newest channels and they are pretty cool. The iTunes Festival was actually quite impressive, the quality and sound. And they also have the Smithsonian channel which could fill your History Channel fix a bit. And the best part is viewing the vacation photos on the big screen when we get back from any trip.

    Now the hijacking (my apologies)... You say with Subler you can convert the MKV over to m4v in a matter of minutes? This would eliminate my Handbrake step which for a BD takes about 2 hours. And would the Subtitles come in that way?

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