Apple's new HDTV products - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by telemike View Post

The 40GB HDD lets you pre-stream stuff to the box for viewing without having to stream it wirelessly in real time. I like that feature. I don't care about DVD playback from my PC as I have a dvd player connected to the tv. My PC is another part of the house so streaming video files from itunes works for me.

I looked at the D-LINK media streamer but it has no HDD to pre-stream files.

Just wondering, have you ever used a streaming device that doesn't cache to a hard drive? I have, and using either 100Mbs or 802.11g it takes less than 1 second to start the content and it never has to stop to buffer. Content used is 6-8Mbps MPEG-2.

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post #92 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ftaok View Post

I believe that the iPods with photo ability can sync to iPhoto (Mac) and with Picasa (Windows). So I'd bet that AppleTV can sync with Picasa for PC/Win users.

Yes, the iPhoto library is synced to my Video/Photo iPod.

But, I didn't know you could do that with Picasa on the Windows side.. Can anyone confirm this, or post a link to instructions? This would be helpful to some poor backwards Windows using family members of mine.
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post #93 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 12:12 PM
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The 40GB drive is for syncing content like an iPod. This is particularly useful if you have a less than stellar wireless connection (say b or g with interference).

Photo syncing behaves like iTunes on windows does today with iPods.

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post #94 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 12:17 PM
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On the 40GB HDD.. Check out the AppleTV www site, it talks about "Sync with iTunes", rather than "Stream from your PC". I bet it will sync the music/playlists, photo albums, and videos of your choice (much like you choose which content to sync with an iPod with less storage than your library). So, your desktop PC will not necessarily need to be on for your AppleTV to work.


This is one area that might improve on my Mac Mini HTPC. It can sometimes be difficult to display remotely shared content.. It works most of the time, but I've had more than my share of hiccups with this.
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post #95 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imlucid View Post

The 40GB drive is for syncing content like an iPod. This is particularly useful if you have a less than stellar wireless connection (say b or g with interference).

Photo syncing behaves like iTunes on windows does today with iPods.

That would make sense but the Apple TV only has N, no B or G.
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post #96 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 12:19 PM
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The hard drive is also good for people who don't want to have the streaming source up 24/7. Sync what you want to watch/listen to for a while, watch it from the HD while the "source" computer is asleep or powered down or elsewhere (e.g. notebook at work).
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post #97 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 12:20 PM
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Right, if you have your content on your laptop which you take to work, the Apple TV can still have its local synced copy on it. When you return home (perhaps you downloaded new shows at work on your fast connection), it syncs up with the Apple TV and voila, you can watch them on the TV.

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post #98 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almostinsane View Post

That would make sense but the Apple TV only has N, no B or G.

I don't think that's correct. From the Apple Store "what you need" page:

AirPort Extreme, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n wireless network (video streaming requires 802.11g/n)

Or of course wired Ethernet.

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post #99 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 12:21 PM
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Quote:


That would make sense but the Apple TV only has N, no B or G.

Incorrect. The Apple TV has b, g, and n.

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post #100 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almostinsane View Post

That would make sense but the Apple TV only has N, no B or G.

It's actually got b/g/n. Video "requires 802.11g/n".

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post #101 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 12:22 PM
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Doug and I are tripping over each other in our replies

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post #102 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 12:22 PM
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Oops, Kevin beat me to it on the Hard Drive + Synching response..

Kevin, can you confirm/deny some of the other issues brought up here? Such as lack of any MPEG2 support?

I've also seen rumors of the USB port supporting Hard Drive sharing, and the Wifi-N supporting access point functionality (like the Airport Express) when on a wired network. Can you tell us anything about that?


By the way -- Nice job on this. Obviously the AVSForum crowd will never be satisfied with many mass market products... but this is a great step forward for Mac HTPC options.
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post #103 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almostinsane View Post

That would make sense but the Apple TV only has N, no B or G.

N spec is backwards compatible with g and b.
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post #104 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 12:27 PM
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Quote:


Kevin, can you confirm/deny some of the other issues brought up here? Such as lack of any MPEG2 support?

The specs only say MPEG-4 and H.264...

Quote:


I've also seen rumors of the USB port supporting Hard Drive sharing, and the Wifi-N supporting access point functionality (like the Airport Express) when on a wired network. Can you tell us anything about that?

These are not listed as features.

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post #105 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 12:29 PM
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The reference to a USB disk might be to the new -n AirPort Extreme, which provides a disk sharing feature, supports multiple printers, etc.
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post #106 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tji View Post

Oops, Kevin beat me to it on the Hard Drive + Synching response..

Kevin, can you confirm/deny some of the other issues brought up here? Such as lack of any MPEG2 support?

I've also seen rumors of the USB port supporting Hard Drive sharing, and the Wifi-N supporting access point functionality (like the Airport Express) when on a wired network. Can you tell us anything about that?


By the way -- Nice job on this. Obviously the AVSForum crowd will never be satisfied with many mass market products... but this is a great step forward for Mac HTPC options.

Not sure if it has been posted in this thread, Ars Technica has a good rundown of MPEG-2, USB, etc.

Chris
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post #107 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 12:31 PM
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We need to remember that the base Mac, in the appleTV scenario, being hooked up to say an N wireless, can be configured to stream to several different displays/appleTVs. So you need to avoid congestion, which will rapidly happen if several people try to watch different HD programs simultaneously (or run P2P on a laptop, or download a video over wireless). So the WiFi link's bandwidth becomes the weak point in a multiple client topography. One way to combat that is to provide adequate buffering, and syncing. The 40GB HD is a very cheap buffer at this point. Where's WiMax when you need it?
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post #108 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisL01 View Post

Not sure if it has been posted in this thread, Ars Technica has a good rundown of MPEG-2, USB, etc.

Chris

Well, what that article illustrates is that it is much easier for Apple to tell its employees to relate the appleTV features, in an unreleased state, to the iPod. This reduces confusion on all parts, as the iPod is understood, and it makes communications about a product that isn't in hand much easier. While it may turn out to be that this is the case, it doesn't necessarily have to be. It doesn't make sense for the appleTV's feature set to be limited to the iPod, a device that bears little resemblance to the appleTV. The only similarity would be using iTunes to sync it. But the kind, and how you deal with the content for the appleTV is distinctly different--going to a HD display, with completely different needs.

I'd look to a product launch around the first of February to roll out the appleTV that will flesh out all of the details. And if the features are on par with the iPod, then you will hear a lot of groans and people will walk away. But for many, it won't matter, and that's who Apple is selling the first incarnation of this box to (did I say first--maybe we should drive the feature set of the 2G appleTV).
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post #109 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tji View Post

Yes, the iPhoto library is synced to my Video/Photo iPod.

But, I didn't know you could do that with Picasa on the Windows side.. Can anyone confirm this, or post a link to instructions? This would be helpful to some poor backwards Windows using family members of mine.

Oops, my mistake. It doesn't sync via Picasa. It's Photoshop Album or Photoshop Elements.

However, Apple's latest tech specs make it seem like it uses iTunes to sync photos.

Link

ft
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post #110 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 01:06 PM
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If Picasa keeps its photos in a pictures-only folder (hierarchy?), or can easily export to a folder (hierarchy?), you can sync a folder (hierarchy?) or My Pictures or the Adobe apps mentioned to an iPod on Windows.
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post #111 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug_Eldred View Post

If Newegg is right, the MG-35 doesn't do H.264, which will matter to some and not others.

Not only that, but according to Newegg, it doesn't include a hard disk either (you have to add it yourself). And according to the user reviews at Newegg, it's no fun to set up and several people complained about the UI. But, aside from that, it may do more than Apple TV, but it certainly isn't cheaper when you factor in the hard drive.
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post #112 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tji View Post

On the 40GB HDD.. Check out the AppleTV www site, it talks about "Sync with iTunes", rather than "Stream from your PC". I bet it will sync the music/playlists, photo albums, and videos of your choice (much like you choose which content to sync with an iPod with less storage than your library). So, your desktop PC will not necessarily need to be on for your AppleTV to work.


This is one area that might improve on my Mac Mini HTPC. It can sometimes be difficult to display remotely shared content.. It works most of the time, but I've had more than my share of hiccups with this.

To be clear, at least from the keynote it does both. You can choose to sync to the HD, or you can choose to stream "live". Which is better for a given person/setup/household will depend on lots of things - how many PCs/Macs, always-on "media server" or not, Wi-Fi or other network bandwidth, total size of media, etc.

I rarely have my upstairs Power Mac up when I'm not actually using it, and I don't plan to do so, so for me a Mini was the right solution. With "only" 40 GB I could store my stuff on the Apple TV disk, but it would be tight. So, the Apple TV is probably a great solution for its intended consumer target audience, but not for everyone, nor does it try to be.
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post #113 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 03:16 PM
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Doug-
Another way to go is to use the new APE witha USB drive shared to the ATV device... That would avoid your PowerMac and solve the disk space issue, as well as avoid the need for the Mini...

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post #114 of 122 Old 01-11-2007, 07:13 PM
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As a Mac User I'm by no means in love with my MG-35, and you're right it doesn't do H.264 or FairPlay, but it is a helluva lot cheaper. Like I said earlier I have one with a 400gb HDD inside (10x AppleTV) and it was $250 total - drive plus enclosure. To me we have two different products with two audiences - those who pay iTMS for all their content (and need H.264 playback, fairplay and don't need divx support) and a divx player/streamer for the Bitttorrent crowd (typo intented - I think AVS may have a filter). I don't buy from the iTMS, but if they sold 720p flicks for reasonable prices then I'd be pretty interested - guess I'd have to watch it over DVI-HDMI from one of my two Mac Intel portables, worth while to me.

For my friend who got all excited about AppleTV until I talked him out of it, once he remembered that the Mini has an optical drive that tipped the balance. He was saying he'd be willing to transcode his 1-2,000 divx files into mp4, I told him he's nuts. I don't know maybe a dedicated thread, I don't know if I'm getting off topic here or what.... pretty broad topic
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post #115 of 122 Old 01-14-2007, 07:32 AM
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Any indication that AppleTV will be able to send content from my HD Tivo to my Mac?
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post #116 of 122 Old 01-14-2007, 08:10 AM
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The AppleTV is designed more to receive stuff from your Mac but I don't think it will be able send anything to your Tivo. For that you are gonna need Tivo to go, I think they just announced that the new Toast has this functionality, or some of the other tools that can be found out there.

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post #117 of 122 Old 01-14-2007, 10:56 AM
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Apple TV is not any kind of server device. Its function is to get video/audio/photo content from your Mac/PC running iTunes onto your TV.

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post #118 of 122 Old 01-14-2007, 12:26 PM
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Getting content on your Apple TV is just like getting it on your iPod with the added ability to stream content.

EyeTV as well as the new TiVoToGo app by roxio supports automatic conversion of content for your ipod. Using iTunes as a conduit there is no reason why you couldn't configure it to automatically sync your TiVoToGo and EyeTV programs with your Apple TV, the EXACT same way you can sync them with your iPod today.

It also wouldn't be very hard to create a inbox directory for your Apple TV where anything you drop into the directory would be grabbed by a script and converted with ffmpeg to a Apple TV supported codec and added to your iTunes Videos and thus synced to your Apple TV.

The last piece would be software like Transcode360 that would allow you to transcode any video on your mac to H.264 in real time to stream to your Apple TV. Not sure how difficult this would be assuming it is even possible.

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post #119 of 122 Old 01-16-2007, 05:51 AM
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I've already tried to output AppleTV complient 720p H.264 with not so hot results. It seemed to me the rate conversion to 24fps was the problem.

From my reading of AppleTV, the 720p requires 24fps so this is probably "native" for iTunes delivered films, it may present a problem for exported EyeTV material.

Has anyone else tried a HD 29.97fps or 60fps output to 24fps with success?

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post #120 of 122 Old 01-16-2007, 07:56 AM
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It's a fool's errand:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=787301

Jerry saved us a lot of time:

"I have a 3.0 GHz Mac Pro and my brother needed some episodes of Lost. I decided to save some space and take the original TS's which are 720p and convert into 720p H.264. The Mac Pro was using near 400% of available CPU the whole time, that means all four cores maxed out, and it took 3.5 hours an episode. I tried an episode on my 1.66 core duo mini and it took about 13 hours to do an episode. Transcoding may be an option but it won't be too pretty an option if you have lots of files to convert, and these examples are not even 1080i conversions which probably would be worse"
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