Will Apple TV HD Upgrade Improve Playback?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by glennsan, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. glennsan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    San Diego
    #1
    I have the 160 GB Apple TV which we are really enjoying for not only HD movies but the podcasts and viewing the seasons of my favorite tv shows. I have noticed that when I playback either movies or tv shows that I have used Handbrake to rip from DVD that usually sometime in the middle it has a freeze for a second and then starts playing again. While it is not all that distracting I am always waiting for it to happen when I watch. I do not have any idea why this is happening and have not heard it from anyone else. If I was to upgrade to a 5400 RPM drive do you think that would go away?

    Also, if I did upgrade it I would probably purchase a 320 GB from Ebay and hopefully install it myself as I have seen the video and think I could do it. Any advice on that account?

    Thank you.
     
  2. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #2
    I personally would fault the Apple TV’s processor for playback and UI hiccups.

    However, you may see a benefit if your current hard drive is severely fragmented (you can fix this problem by simply performing a factory restore), has a ton of bad sectors or is simply failing.

    You may also see a slight improvement if the new drive spins faster (are you sure the Apple TV has a 4200 RPM drive? because 5400 RPM is as fast as you’re going to get with IDE), has improved seek times, larger buffer size, improved transfer rates, etc.

    Which drive are you going for? This one?

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Western Digital/WD3200BEVE/

    Unfortunately, IDE is practically dead and there’s not a lot of improvements happening to IDE notebook drives.

    Apple needs to move to SATA on the Apple TV.
     
  3. glennsan thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    San Diego
    #3
    Will Apple TV HD Upgrade Improve Playback?

    Yes, that was the one I was thinking of getting. I understand about the limitations of the hardware itself but am wanting to do what I can to help with the annoying hitch that I am seeing and an increase in the size would be nice as well. It does not happen with the HD movies that I have downloaded from iTunes so I suspect it could have something to do with Handbrake settings but I use the standard ATV profile. Go figure.

    Glenn
     
  4. roidy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #4
    If purchased content especially HD works ok but your own encodes don't then clearly it's not a problem with either the AppleTV or it's hard drive. It's a problem with the way your encoding them, what version of Handbrake are you using, try updating the Handbrake presets and re-encode something. Also from the Advanced tab of the AppleTV preset try turning off Weighted B-Frames and 8x8 DCT, as both can cause issues with the AppleTV.
     
  5. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #5
    The outdated, over three year old hardware is the reason for most of the Apple TV issues. It cannot handle what Apple is throwing at it. The hardware was mediocre at best when it was released, which was pathetic then and it's ridiculous now.
     
  6. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #6
    This probably really has no bearing on a 'ripped' item, but on dual-layer DVDs there is always a slight pause (half sec?) as the laser tracks to the new layer...usually about an hour or so into the movie.

    Could Handbrake be ripping in real time and include this usual occurance in DVD playback?
     
  7. roidy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #7
    Yes the hardware is old, but to say it cannot handle "what Apple is throwing at it" is obserd. The ATV plays it's own purchased content perfectly, even the OP says it's only his self-encoded media thats giving him problems.
     
  8. roidy macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 30, 2008
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #8
    DVD layer changes should have no effect on the resulting encoded file. I would think Handbrake reads the data from the dvd as fast as it can and stores it in a buffer before encoding, therefore Handbrake shouldn't even see the layer change. But to be sure the OP should rip the dvd to his hard drive before encoding and see if that works.
     
  9. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #9
    This isn't true. The performance of the menu system is slow at best. Try frontrow on any mac and tell me it's not the hardware.
     
  10. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #10
    I would think that is the case, but I was offering that as an option.

    OP: does this glitch occur about an hour in?
     
  11. roidy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #11
    The performance of the menus is not slow, my ATV performs great. Of course the performance on a mac is gonna be better. Lets see AppleTV $229, Mac Mini $600 or iMac $1200 thats a x2 or a x5 price increase respectively so I would hope they do perform better. That's not to say the AppleTV can't perform the task it was designed to. I can honestly say I've never had any performance issues with my ATV. I've got Blu-Ray rips on my ATV with bitrates well over what the Apple specs say and they play great.
     
  12. glennsan thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    San Diego
    #12
    The glitch I have noticed is in tv shows that are about 22 minutes in length. I did watch another one last night and it did not have the glitch. I will watch one of them that had one previously and see if it is still there.

    I did download the most current Handbrake and am now using it for more ripping. I will watch them hopefully this weekend.

    Glenn
     

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