What would they update?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Kinetic, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. Kinetic macrumors member

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    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    NC
    #1
    Ok folks, I need some advice. I want to get an ATv but having problems justifying because of some limitations it has. The main problem for me I think is that it doesn't have 5.1 audio right now. Now there are rumors that there may be an update soon (and another post suggested Apple's going to announce something the last week in Oct) so does anyone think that ATv will get an update and if so, what could it possibly be? Other posts hinted that there may be the iTunes movie rental coming so I was thinking the ATv may also get an update, but anyone think it'll have 5.1?

    My other option is to go with something like a TvIX box but I would like to stick with Apple if possible. I keep struggling to make a decision between the two as both have their pros and cons.

    PS...I know I could hack it to do the stuff all the stuff I want but after reading all the forums on it, I think it's a little over my head. Plus, I'm scared Apple will come out with an update that will brick it like they did with the iPhone. I figure if they do go to iTunes rentals, they'll probably crack down on the hacking to fight folks stealing the movies.
     
  2. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    #2
    Software update - integrated itunes store like the iphone/ipod touch, maybe some alterations to the way the os works.
     
  3. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #3
    As I understand it, the existing :apple:TV has the hardware already on board for 5.1 audio. From all that I've read, it is a software issue only, probably related to the licensing requirements from Dolby Labs. An upgrade might incorporate Dolby into QuickTime, though I would bet that it is much more likely that that would be a "plug in" option, able to be purchased by those interested.

    There are plenty of possibilities for upgrades to :apple:TV. I'm hoping a short-term upgrade will include:
    -5.1 audio plugin or otherwise
    -HD content (movies & tv shows) both for purchase and rental via iTunes
    -USB storage and/or network storage solution so that all the content you want to play on :apple:TV can be stored separately from the computer.
    -More robust options in iTunes for storing and tagging movies. "Storing" wishes include simple concepts like folders (for example, 6 Star Wars films could go into a Star Wars folder), and "tagging" would bring features in programs like MetaX right into iTunes.

    On a lessor note, I'd love a new settings feature that would allow the user to fine-tune items like gamma, etc. As is, my :apple:TV + HDTV tends to show stuff a bit too dark for my taste. It would be nice to be able to correct this with some classic video setting options.

    There are many other :apple:TV wishes, but these are both my personal wishes as well as some that seem within reach of a "big", near-term software upgrade. I doubt anyone at Apple that pays attention to customer feedback would have never seen these 3-4. And none of these get into legal issues (like the oft-requested DVD ripping feature, etc.), or hardware shortcomings (like wanting 1080p films, which will require a version 2 :apple:TV).
     
  4. c.greene914 macrumors regular

    c.greene914

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    Jun 3, 2007
    #4

    From what I've read, the problem is that the MPEG-4 container does not support 5.1 audio. It is my understanding this is the only thing standing in the way of :apple:TV supporting 5.1

    Perhaps you're comment about a necessary software update is also valid, I just haven't heard that before.
     
  5. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #5
    http://macosrumors.com/ reports that a new :apple:tv update might be coming with larger HDDs, a DVD player, and HD content could be coming to iTunes.
     
  6. Kinetic thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 29, 2007
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    NC
    #6
    Hmmm...I'm liking the possibilities. (I just hope they do update it.) I'm thinking if the put enough into the update, it might tip me over to AppleTv over competitors. Now the hard part is just waiting.
     
  7. Kinetic thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 29, 2007
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    NC
    #7
    Thanks for the response. From what I've just read, I think you're right about the 5.1 being just a software update. Now, if that would only happen!!

    PS...I hadn't even thought about some of the other wish list items you mentioned but now that I do, I want them too.
     
  8. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #8
    Relative to MP4 (H.264) not being compatible with Dolby Digital, I've read that MP4 has no problem at all with multichannel sound. It stores it as AAC discrete, which is a feature available in the latest edition of Handbrake. However, receivers in home theaters aren't designed for decoding AAC audio (yet), so they "want" a Dolby or DTS optical audio feed.

    Now, here's the tricky part that I can't personally confirm: from what I've read, the hardware in the current :apple:TV has the capability to dynamically convert AAC to Dolby Digital on the fly IF the software is there to drive that conversion.

    That's what drives my belief that an update or plugin for Quicktime could get us Dolby Digital 5.1 out of the current :apple:TV platform.

    All that said, I'm not an authority on this subject. Some of what I've read could be speculation, which could make up to all of the above untrue. Does anyone know for sure that the hardware is capable of converting AAC audio in an MP4 container to Dolby Digital or DTS that today's receivers could process? That would confirm that it's just a software issue, which would extend hope that an update could bring at least the audio out of an :apple:TV up to circa (approx) 1999+ home theater standards.
     
  9. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #9
    If you care so much about the difference between Dolby Pro and Dolby Digital, it might be better to just watch your movies on a DVD player. It is quite a hassle to convert DVDs into mpeg4 files, store them, sync them, worry about the quality and copy protection schemes etc. A movie takes a good two hours to watch most of the time, is it really worth the trouble.

    Downloadable movies and TV shows don't have Dolby Digital, so it does not matter.
     
  10. Lancelot9201 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #10
    Besides Audio Some Functions Still Don't Work - Like Shuffle.

    My big disappointment, besides the audio issue, is that you can't shuffle music videos, tv shows or movies.. I just hate that I can't open up the music video section, select shuffle & walk away. It's really stupid that I have to come back & select another video, movie or tv show.. I'll never understand why the shuffle option is there but it only works properly with Music:mad:..
     
  11. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #11
    I have a feeling the AppleTV will slowly fall off of Apple's website just like the iPod High-Fi.
     
  12. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Newton, MA
    #12
    Let me share the only way to evaluate whether you should buy any object:

    If it doesn't do what you want it to do, and you can't buy a third-party solution to make it do what you want it to do, DON'T BUY IT!

    You can count on Apple to do one thing:
    Generate revenue.

    -- Mikie
     
  13. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

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    Aug 17, 2007
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    Seattle, WA
    #13
    Aye. And if the Mac Mini truly is leaving the fold, then the :apple:tv might just follow...
     
  14. Kinetic thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 29, 2007
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    NC
    #14
    I think I'm going to still wait around till the end of October and see if they hopefully merge the AppleTv and Mini into something really awesome. If not, I'll take Mikie's advice and not buy it.
     
  15. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

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    Dec 2, 2006
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    the OC
    #15
    not to burst your bubble or anything, but i don't think macosrumors has been right about any rumor. ever.
     
  16. rulerofthemoon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    #16
    24 months

    Recall that Apple is recognizing revenue from the Apple TV and the iPhone over 24 months rather than immediately. They're doing this because they plan to spend money on updates that they want to offset with revenues for geeky accounting reasons. They documented this on the investor calls and in their SEC filings. It seems logical that they'll do the same for the iPod Touch.

    This means that the hardware has many more capabilities than are currently active. Dolby Digital, wifi store, HDTV (720p) could all be coming. :)
     
  17. kagharaht macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 7, 2007
    #17
    I'm holding out for MacWorld in Jan. I sure hope they update it then.
     
  18. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    Dec 31, 2004
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    "No escape from Reality..."
    #18
    Yep, at the Apple store I frequent, they have only 1 of each on display off to a hidden corner...
     

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