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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > I don't get apple TV.....

I don't get apple TV.....
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Jan 10, 2007, 02:57 PM
 
I have airport express, I used iTunes, have 2 ipods, but I just dont' get apple TV.

I'm sure most of us take the CDs we already bought, imported them into iTunes to create a nice digital library of all our music. No more swapping disks out of a cd changer to listen to them. Even better you can load them onto the ipod and take all your music with you. That all makes sense.

Now bring in apple TV. It only has a 40gig drive, which seems pretty small considering the cheap price of hard drives these days. All my movies are on DVDs which I bought from the store for about the same price as apple sells them. Unlike buying music on CDs where I have to buy 10 or 12 songs to get maybe the three good ones that I can buy on iTunes, if I want to go buy the DVD Cars, I just get Cars not Cars and 10 other movies I may not like. So the motiviation to buy movies from apple seems to be less for me. Now if iTunes let me import all my DVDs and then access them on apple TV so that I don't have to constantly swap out movies in my changer so the kids can watch Toy Story 2 one day and Bugs Life the next, etc then that would be totally cool. But with only a 40 gig hard drive, even if iTunes let you do it, it wouldn't be long before you ran out of disk space. But apple doesn't allow you to import DVDs easily into iTunes(yet).

Now I could buy TV shows on iTunes store, but most shows like Lost can be watched for free on the networks websites.... I don't get it yet. Seems like it's a few features short of being useful for many of us except those who like to buy everything through the ITMS....
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 03:01 PM
 
And what if you dont have a widescreen tv?

If you spend a lot of time at a desk then you would watch the ocntent on your mac or pc before putting it on apple tv! and also they talk about streaming. Its not actually streaming as your playing it form your apple tv and not from the mac. If it were to stream it would delete data from drive once wachted which it dosnt!
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 03:58 PM
 
For importing DVDs, use Handbrake to rip/encode them to H.264; you should be able to get about three dozen movies on the ATV at reasonable bitrates.
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 04:14 PM
 
I do not believe that the AppleTV's drive is to be for permanent storage. Remember in the demo, he set iTunes to keep the 10 newest unwatched movies on ATV. From that, I assumed that the ATV's drive is more of a cache for content, rather than network storage.
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 05:05 PM
 
For 300 dollars I'll run a cable to my tv from my mac, thanks. I don't get it yet either. If it could access every .mov file on my computer as well as any iTunes stuff and stream it on demand to my TV, then I'd be all over it. But if I have to go to the trouble of syncing anything, it's not worth it.

The airport express got it right. This? I don't quite think so yet, but of course that's my opinion. If you're gonna put a HD in there, I want a DVR.

Edit: Why not just buy the $600 dollar Mac Mini and have an entire computer hooked up to your TV? I know lots of people do this already, so why spend 300 on a device that can hardly do anything that a whole computer could? Even front row and the remote are basically the same.
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 05:36 PM
 
im in the same boat as all of you.
totally agree with "slpdLoad"'s theory about the Mac Mini, they looke very similar too.
i mean its a $300 box, which does what a normal cable could easily do. Of course, cable isnt too fancy unless the computers are real close.... and many people are obsessed with this "wireless". So maybe $50 for a wireless thing for transmitting audio and video.
Adding to that, there is absolutely NO point of the whole appleTV thing, if you live in europe. only audio can be bought in europe. at which point you can get a wireless transmittor for even less. then the fact that it's bound to the iTMS is even more annoying. At the same time I ask myself why they call it iTunes if they offer just as many services based on video as audio (nb: equal amount of services refers to: "songs", "music videos", "movies", "tv shows" - obviously more songs are available).
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 05:42 PM
 
Yeah, a mac mini with a big hard drive and an iTunes program that lets you pull in DVDs would be a pretty good solution. I have heard of handbrake, but haven't used it yet. Once you create the movie with handbrake I assume iTunes lets you import it into the Movie category in your library? If not than you are probably SOL on using apple TV.
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 05:45 PM
 
Yeah you just drag and drop the file that you make in Handbrake and then it'll be in your iTunes. I like the idea of this. I am interested in getting it because I want to have my whole collection of DVDs available with the click of the remote. I don't want to have to get up and drag my Macbook over to the tv, and set it all up. (even though it's entirely lazy of me seeing as I live in a studio apartment.)
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 06:04 PM
 
The way i see it, the only reason to get this product is, if all your movie content is bought from the iTunes Store. Ripping or reencoding is not really an option, if you have a large DVD collection.
This is really a low end product, considering HD-DVD and Blu-ray discs are out, if you really want to make good use of your HD displays.
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 06:09 PM
 
as has been said , i don't really see the point of it

no wonder steve more or less glossed over it and concentrated on the real deal , the amazing iphone
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 11:25 PM
 
For AppleTV to make sense to me it would have to either have the current features but at $100 or to be a DVR with Apple usability with easy recording, and archiving of TV - basically a Apple Tivo.

What's interesting is that Mr. anti-corporate Steve Jobs probably caved into the Studios and sacrificed DVR capabilities to make-nice and get more Studios and Networks to license more content for iTunes.

I'm not sold on the video through iTunes concept and think Apple would have more success with a DVR AppleTV.
     
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Jan 11, 2007, 11:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by GORDYmac View Post
I do not believe that the AppleTV's drive is to be for permanent storage. Remember in the demo, he set iTunes to keep the 10 newest unwatched movies on ATV. From that, I assumed that the ATV's drive is more of a cache for content, rather than network storage.
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Jan 12, 2007, 05:13 AM
 
May be this thing is more for

- showing the home movies you made on iMovie and iPhoto slideshows to your visiting friends and family
- watching movie trailers
- storing and watching (unwatched) movies and TV episodes bought from iTunes store
- "streaming" (not really) the songs in your iTunes library to your living room

than a HD storage library for the DVDs you bought.

To me the first point above is the most attractive one as we're expecting our first child in about a couple of months. It would be much better to sit on the sofa in the living room than having to bring the friends and family to the study to check out the movies and the photos.
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Jan 12, 2007, 06:52 AM
 
Add a tuner and the ability to record normal tv-shows on the hardisk and I'd buy it instead of a vcr... But like this I have no idea what I'd do with it.
     
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Jan 12, 2007, 08:00 AM
 
I agree kamina. As it is, with the few features it provides, Apple TV isn't the greatest product. When the Internet and stored digital media takes over the world completely, then Apple TV will make sense in its current form. But as it is, most people get their TV content from cable TV. If it could serve as a DVR that could back up stored programs to your computer, it would make a lot more sense.

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Jan 12, 2007, 09:40 PM
 
I have a TV show in avi format which it would be great to watch on TV using Apple TV. However, iTunes is not allowing me to drop it into either the TV Shows or Movies folder. Any suggestions on the software I would use to convert to the relevant format?

Cheers.
AA
     
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Jan 12, 2007, 10:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by AlanApple View Post
I have a TV show in avi format which it would be great to watch on TV using Apple TV. However, iTunes is not allowing me to drop it into either the TV Shows or Movies folder. Any suggestions on the software I would use to convert to the relevant format?
ffmpegx
     
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Jan 13, 2007, 01:37 AM
 
Agreed. Whan apple tv have some form of DVR then it may be interesting, until then its a non event in my eyes. I dont want to be locked into Apples closed format.

Apple is being very 'Microsoft like' in its forcing of its own format on us.
     
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Jan 13, 2007, 05:38 AM
 
Unless your Mac is right next to your TV, a cable that can carry HDTV signals over "across the house" distances would cost you a pretty penny all by itself. Easily over $100 and probably could cost close to $300.
     
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Jan 13, 2007, 06:21 AM
 
I think it's quite a cool device. Cached music and videos, so that you can watch with the Mac switched off, and certainly not nearby. I dont wan't the Mac anywhere near my tv, and I cannot stand cables. It's small and inoffensive too. Looks like it runs a stripped OS, so in the future will be able to accept new functionality over the USB service port.

Codec support could do with some work, and no convenient way for me to use it on my old-school glass widescreen. :-(
     
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Jan 13, 2007, 01:33 PM
 
I think this device is worthless. I have a macmini connected to my lcd tv i already have the apple remote where is the diffrence?

300 bucks?

This crippled and the iPhone with so much negative information being leaked-its safe to say both products are duds. A cell phone without removable battery? lol no 3rd party support? even my slvr have 3rd party support.
a device that can only stream drm itunes files? (hey buy this device only 299.99 but wait you have to spend money on low quaility products from out store in order to enjoy it) how lame is this.

Not even microsoft do this and alot of people consider them the enemy? whos really in our side?
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Jan 13, 2007, 02:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Javizun View Post
I think this device is worthless. I have a macmini connected to my lcd tv i already have the apple remote where is the diffrence?
I suppose the idea is to avoid buying a Mac mini for your living room if you already have a Mac in your den or whatever.

If you want a full PVR, buy a Mac mini for your living room for $600. If just want to extend your Mac in the den to your living room, buy an TV for $300.
     
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Jan 13, 2007, 02:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by AlanApple View Post
I have a TV show in avi format which it would be great to watch on TV using Apple TV. However, iTunes is not allowing me to drop it into either the TV Shows or Movies folder. Any suggestions on the software I would use to convert to the relevant format?

Cheers.
AA
This is exactly the reason I cancelled my order. I'll be getting a Mac Mini instead.
     
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Jan 13, 2007, 03:45 PM
 
to the guy saying, you can only sync, you are wrong, i read you can stream too.
     
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Jan 13, 2007, 05:32 PM
 
If you can stream yes please! If you have to sync i think i will pass. It would also be good if you could browse your itunes collection over wireless and play straight from comp?
     
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Jan 13, 2007, 05:56 PM
 
yeah i saw in the Keynote, that Apple TV connected to Phil's laptop, it was for streaming content i believe. u can only stream from 5 computers at a time i think.. im really confused, but i read somehwere that u could indeed stream, i forget where though.
     
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Jan 13, 2007, 06:07 PM
 
it will be easier to evaluate when its released and people have it to try out different theories!
     
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Jan 13, 2007, 06:37 PM
 
Do your handbrake encodings have to be on h.264 or can it be the mpeg 4 setting?
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Jan 13, 2007, 11:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by MikeD View Post
Do your handbrake encodings have to be on h.264 or can it be the mpeg 4 setting?
mpeg4 will work too
     
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Jan 14, 2007, 03:07 AM
 
Great about handbrakes mpeg4. Now, encodings usually are in the 720 by 304 or whatever format.. Does this mean that the apple tv can't show this?? I saw on the specs page something about 640 x 480... but then it showed a ton of other resolutions as well so I was simply confused....
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Jan 14, 2007, 08:44 AM
 
I currently have a KiSS networked DVD player that streams movies from a folder on my Mac (without them having to be imported into iTunes first) wirelessly to my TV. It plays MPEG4, DivX, Xvid, the usual suspects and has a 40GB hard disk. It also does photos and music (MP3 only). The interface is shît, but it only cost me €150 18 months ago.

However KiSS were bought by our friends at Cisco a while back and my player hasn't seen a firmware update for a long time. This means I am starting to run into problems with codec support. I was waiting for the announcement of the iTV as a possible replacement for my KiSS box.

Sadly iTV, while having an undeniably prettier interface, offers less functionality than what I already have (for my needs at least). While I would gain AAC support it would be at the cost of DivX and Xvid, not to mention that it costs twice what I paid for my existing hardware. I also do not relish having to import movies into iTunes first before being able to access them. I have an external hard drive that I keep movies on, but my music is on my internal hard drive, organised by iTunes. I am sure that it is possible to hack this scenario using Quicktime reference movies but it seems like a lot of work. Currently I just set my 'Movies' folder to be shared and that's all.

And whatever happened to one app per need? I find this progression to 'Mac OSX iTunes' operating system unsettling. iTunes now organises music, podcasts, radio, movies, TV shows and, when combined with the iPod, takes care of photo, calendar and contact syncing too. What used to be the domains of several apps has been assimilated into one giant, bloated omni-app. How long before the unstoppable iTunes takes the place of the Finder, Mail and Safari too?

Anyway, I believe I have found the solution to my media hub dilemma and it comes from a fusion af two polar opposites: Microsoft and the open source community. First step, swallow my pride and for the first time ever, purchase a Microsoft product (shudder) - an XBox. These cost as little as €79 these days. Next step, by various quasi-legal methods install the rather excellent XBox Media Center on it. Last step, enjoy all my movies in pretty much any format, all my music (except iTMS puchases), and all my photos on my TV, streamed from my Mac via my wireless router, without having to import everything into my music application first. Yay! Oh, and it also plays games, apparently. Neat.

End rant.
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Jan 14, 2007, 05:44 PM
 
There is no way I will be re-encoding 1TB of avi and mpeg2 video to pander to AppleTV's shortcomings.

I took a rather more expensive route and replaced my G5 with a Mac Pro and a DVI to HDMI lead that runs to my TV. I love eyeTV and as it rarely requires more than 30% of one CPU core, I figure I'm getting a performance increase in general useage, despite running eyeTV 24/7.

I would still be happy to pay Apple money for a dedicated media Mac - a regular DVD-player sized box housing an expanded mini - expanded via a PCIe slot, and room for at least 2x 3.5" drives. (This box would cost Apple less to build than a mini, as it would use standard drives, magnetic and optical.)

I refuse to buy a mini, which immediately necessitates inconvenient and extra-fanned seperate storage, especially as the mini's limited graphics precliude it from use as a gaming platform.

Come on Apple, Europe is a big market and if you don't pull your finger out soon soon, Microsoft will have practically won the Media Centre market without even trying, despite the existence of better software - eyeTV partnered with Front Row - on the Mac side.
     
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Jan 14, 2007, 06:39 PM
 
I'll tell ya what I want...

Give the next iPod WiFi capability. Make a new dock for it that includes software/hardware that:
1. Gives access to music/pics/video on ipod AND local computers.
2. Gives iTunes Store access
3. Extends the WiFi capability (e.g., has an external antenna to increase range, increases the send/receive wattage from what the iPod could do with battery power alone,
4. Allows you to synch the iPod with your computer(s).

Call it iPod + Dock = AppleTV

And hey, while we're dreaming, give the frigging thing a DVR...

Yeah... I agree - this apple TV thing is not a full meal deal yet. You know, at least put an iPod dock on the thing so you can synch your iPod from you entertainment center area.
     
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Jan 14, 2007, 07:00 PM
 
I'll wait for revision 2, if it ever makes it that far. 40GB storage and $300? I'll just get a Mac Mini like others.
     
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Jan 14, 2007, 07:23 PM
 
What use is the HD capability when iTunes movies aren't HD, you can't DVR from HD TV and you can't import DVDs in HD (or at all really)?
     
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Jan 14, 2007, 07:33 PM
 
Yeah, I am sure Apple is really upset at all the people who decide to buy the more expensive mini or even the Mac Pro over an Apple TV. When a $300 product spurs you to buy a $600 product from the same vendor, that's called a success. This device is a media extender, and that's it. Just because you want a DVR from Apple, doesn't negate the value of this device. This is the iPod of media extenders. Just like the iPod there are others that are cheaper or that have more exotic functionality, but this device is meant to look good, work good, and provice a pleasing experience straight out of the box. Just like the guy who finds Windows good enough and runs it on his $300 computer isn't Apple's market, so to is the guy who bought the networked DVD player with "The interface is shît, but it only cost me €150 18 months ago".

I'm not going to say the Apple TV is the media be-all end-all, I'm not planning on getting one myself, but some of the complaints here are ridiculous.
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Jan 14, 2007, 07:38 PM
 
I too was disappointed when Jobs unvieled ATV at MacWorld. Without DVR capabilities it's just one more box taking up valuable space and connections on my TV shelf. My Tivo can already play my Itunes and iPhoto library's and its DVR interface is second to none. I was truly hoping for a product from Apple that would include this and give me the ability to buy a DVD or a TV show from ITMS and stream it to my TV, and a must have feature is that I want to watch other types of movies that are on my computer. I don't own any DVD's and have no plan on buying any. Why should I when I can watch them from OnDemand or get them from Netflix?

So this product simply makes no sense to me yet. Good try Apple, but this is going to be a dead product within 1 year
     
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Jan 14, 2007, 07:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
Yeah, I am sure Apple is really upset at all the people who decide to buy the more expensive mini or even the Mac Pro over an Apple TV. When a $300 product spurs you to buy a $600 product from the same vendor, that's called a success. This device is a media extender, and that's it. Just because you want a DVR from Apple, doesn't negate the value of this device. This is the iPod of media extenders. Just like the iPod there are others that are cheaper or that have more exotic functionality, but this device is meant to look good, work good, and provice a pleasing experience straight out of the box. Just like the guy who finds Windows good enough and runs it on his $300 computer isn't Apple's market, so to is the guy who bought the networked DVD player with "The interface is shît, but it only cost me €150 18 months ago".

I'm not going to say the Apple TV is the media be-all end-all, I'm not planning on getting one myself, but some of the complaints here are ridiculous.
Many of the complaints aren't ridicluous. This product simply left us with a profound sense of disapointment after waiting months to hear about the details. It's a $300 box that really does very little compared to what many of us were expecting and not only that, it's a box that takes up space and connections that are alreasy scarce. It simply isn't needed. Apple seems to have lost track of the market for this product. The people who want these types of features demand DVR capabilities.
     
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Jan 14, 2007, 07:50 PM
 
D-Link has media devices that accept streamed media in Xvid, Mpeg 1, 2 and 4, and WM9 formats. Not sure about Mac compatibility but when D-Link's boxes start at $189, apple looks a bit overpriced. Granted the Dlink ones don't have a harddrive in them, they can only stream. One of them has a DVD player in it also and a couple others are HD too.
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Jan 14, 2007, 08:28 PM
 
How many times do you watch the same movie? I watch it one time.

Do you make home videos? I don't.

Do you spend much time downloading video clips from youtube.com? I don't.

Do you need to display your iPhoto library on your TV? I have a 20 inch Apple Cinema display that does just fine so I'm not motivated to put my pics on the TV set.

Do you want to purchase TV programs and download them? The same TV programs that you can record on your DVR for free? I don't.

My main interest in video is movies that I can watch one time. Netflix seems a better deal at $10 per month to rent as many DVD's as I have time to watch. That includes HD DVD's.

Why would I want to download from iTunes and stream to an iTV when I can rent a DVD for a fraction of the price? I can also get quite a bit of content from my cable provider and I can record on my DVR.

High prices for content and Digital Rights Management (restrictions on DVD burning) make buying movies from iTunes unappealing.

Do I need the iTV? I don't think so. Can't imagine what I would do with it if I owned it.

Q. What could Apple do to tweak my interest?

A. Make it capable of handling highest quality 1080p HDTV High Definition content. Get the iTunes prices down into the NetFlix range. Get the Movie Studios to drop DRM restrictions. Put a Blu Ray DVD burner and player in it. Put a 300 to 500 gigabyte hard disk in it. Now it starts to look useful. I don't think Apple can get all that done just now so this product is not likely to tweak my interest.
     
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Jan 14, 2007, 08:47 PM
 
To be a killer product, Apple could also :

Make it possible to rent movies. Download a movie in HD, directly from Apple TV, allow me to keep it for up to three viewings or erase in thirty days, whichever comes first. Make each movie a few bucks. Killer.

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Jan 14, 2007, 08:52 PM
 
To answer the question of streaming: YES! It streams.

You can stream from up to 5 computers any content (video, music, photos, podcasts, etc).

You can link a single computer and use that as a sort of "master" (similar to how your iPod links to a single computer iTunes library), and have it sync various content to the Apple TV hard drive.

Lower the price by $50, add a few features to make up for the anemic offering (say 1080p, DVR functions, and the ability to browse and play YouTube videos), then Apple would have a nice product.

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Jan 15, 2007, 12:48 AM
 
Maybe that's where they're headed; Paramount just signed on so it's likely others may follow which would provide a ton of content that could be downloaded and cached/streamed to the Apple TV...

Originally Posted by krove View Post
To be a killer product, Apple could also :

Make it possible to rent movies. Download a movie in HD, directly from Apple TV, allow me to keep it for up to three viewings or erase in thirty days, whichever comes first. Make each movie a few bucks. Killer.
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Jan 15, 2007, 03:04 AM
 
Apple TV:

This is bringing your computer's interface to the center of your house. Use it at businesses to beam content to screens, sit around with people, use the remote to look a PPT (or whatever), check out entertainment. I can see how, if you incorporate the MAC OS X voice commands, you could be talking to your computer but commanding the house with a nice big flat panel as the portal.
     
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Jan 15, 2007, 04:06 AM
 
i watch some movies dozens of times , i'm sure loads of people do

goodfellas for example , a masterpiece by anyone's standards , demands/deserves multiple views

do you think i want to download and pay for it every time i want to watch it ?
     
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Jan 15, 2007, 04:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
Just like the guy who finds Windows good enough and runs it on his $300 computer isn't Apple's market, so to is the guy who bought the networked DVD player with "The interface is shît, but it only cost me €150 18 months ago".
Don't be a muppet. There was no Apple market to be in 18 months ago. When I bought that player KiSS owned the networked DivX player market. And it's a good product, unfortunately support died right around the time they got bought by Cisco.

I'm not saying the iTV isn't good, it would be brilliant for my Mum, but for me it doesn't offer the functionality that I want.

Oh, and I'll thank you not to compare me to a Windows user. How rude!
( Last edited by siMac; Jan 15, 2007 at 08:38 AM. )
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Jan 15, 2007, 05:51 AM
 
I was thinking about getting a Mac mini as a media PC in the living room, but it's $600 at least. My main purpose would be to show my home videos and photos to friends and relatives and to have access to my iTunes library. My Mac is on another floor, so running a cable to the TV wouldn't make much sense without a remote. AirPort Express is only good for music and it does lack a remote, too.

appletv is what I was waiting for and I'll definitely get one. I already have a PVR, so I don't need that function in appletv. I don't understand the laments about wasting space with another device, as the thing is so tiny.

It streams and syncs your media content, so you don't require your Mac to be always on. I thinks that's great. Only missing point is the availability of movies in Europe. If you're asking for 1080p, DVR, Blue-Ray and/or HD-DVD, terabyte disks, and movies for $1 a pop - all in an $299 device, you're in fantasyland, aren't you? You can easily do that, with a mini and some peripherals, but I guess, it is in the $2,000 range.
     
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Jan 15, 2007, 11:20 AM
 
I have a 40gb drive in one of my TiVo's- it's not enough.
So- what can the Apple TV do that TiVo can't- not much-
what can TiVo do that AppleTV can't- a lot.
Since most people still have cable or satellite- and get most of their content that way- why would the net be better? Picture quality- not yet. Price- hmmmmm.... with free programming- yes- the net is cheaper- but that's not what Apple is offering-
If I subscribed to 6 seasons of anything on the iTunes store (time for a new name)- I would be close to my cable bill.
This is Steve dumping the floppy drive all over- Apple TV is a product for an IPTV world- that isn't here yet.
David Esrati
The Next Wave
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Jan 15, 2007, 12:19 PM
 
Hm, I thought about the complaints here, and mostly it is about appletv lacking a Tivo-like function. But appletv is a streaming client to get your Mac-based media content (photos, movies, music) to your big-screen TV, not to get your satellite/cable-based content to your Mac. I think you're looking at the device from the wrong side. Again, if you want a PVR, buy a mini and EyeTV. Why should Apple put that in a box for you?
     
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Jan 15, 2007, 12:58 PM
 
I just cancelled my Apple TV order. I have a MacMini hooked up to my widescreen TV. It works great. Mostly I play music, which the Mini plays on the stereo hooked to the TV, and streams to the kitchen and other locations around the house, which displaying Front Row on the TV. We don't currently use it for movies.

I was excited by the Apple TV initially.

Disappointment #1, can't play ripped DVDs. Only movies contained within iTunes will work. Presumably a Handbrake update will allow for this limitation to be overcome.

Disappointment #2, it can't stream audio to Airport Express units. That was the dealbreaker for me. The Apple TV will do less than what my current setup does. I'll stick with my MacMini until an update comes along with 802.11n built in. Perhaps the next version of Front Row will look more like the Apple TV interface.

Cheers!
     
 
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