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post #31 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 06:03 AM
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And here's a thread with three people reporting problems playing content from Netflix:
http://discussions.apple.com/thread....97992&tstart=0

I'm guessing that's a bug of some sort that will be quickly fixed, but I do also wonder if the aTV sells really well, could it wreak major havoc on Netflix's servers?

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I'd much rather watch a great movie in B&W at 240 lines of resolution than a lousy movie in 1080p with lossless audio.
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post #32 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 06:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srauly View Post

Even with 720p-only content, poor bodosom with his slow internet connection has to wait.

I have limited bandwidth and I find this to be a positive not negative. Why? Because I'm presuming I'll end up with the same quality image of someone with faster bandwidth. Instead of living with my bandwidth and throwing away most of the pixels. I used to have a VUDU dedicated box and it was hours before the HDX movies would be available but they looked nice.
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post #33 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

I have limited bandwidth and I find this to be a positive not negative. Why? Because I'm presuming I'll end up with the same quality image of someone with faster bandwidth. Instead of living with my bandwidth and throwing away most of the pixels. I used to have a VUDU dedicated box and it was hours before the HDX movies would be available but they looked nice.

I agree. I would rather wait longer and watch it in better quality, though being given the option of starting it sooner in lower quality would be a good option to provide for people who want that option. The difference between 720p and 1080p is going to be harder to discern for many/most people but, again, ideally they'd offer both options and let you decide how you wanted to deal with it (e.g., a longer wait to get it at full 1080p), which would be nice for those who want higher quality and have a display / seating distance that makes it worthwhile. Though I suspect that offering multiple resolutions and multiple options for how to deal with streaming them (and potentially three different price points) would be a no-go for Apple, since they like to keep the user experience simple.

As with you, what I'd prefer not to have is something which throttles down the quality without even giving me the option, just so it can start streaming "immediately". I believe that's how Netflix and Hulu work.

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post #34 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 06:34 AM
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The buffering of online content is somewhat expected, especially for those with slow connections, but...

What I don't get is the willingness of most of you to tolerate buffeting and delays when streaming local 720p content (1.5GB in size?) from your LAN. To me, that's simply unacceptable when there are several solutions available to stream MUCH larger files, at full 1080p, with almost no delay whatsoever (usually 10-20 seconds at most).

Why do you guys tolerate such mediocrity?

I just don't get it...
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post #35 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palehorse View Post

The buffering of online content is somewhat expected, especially for those with slow connections, but...

What I don't get is the willingness of most of you to tolerate buffeting and delays when streaming local 720p content (1.5GB in size?) from your LAN. To me, that's simply unacceptable when there are several solutions available to stream MUCH larger files, at full 1080p, with almost no delay whatsoever (usually 10-20 seconds at most).

Why do you guys tolerate such mediocrity?

I just don't get it...

You misread the discussion. There was no wait time when streaming his own content across his network. The "buffering" time he was referring to was how long it took for that show to be copied *in its entirety* into the aTV's on-board storage. He did not have to wait for that to complete in order to start watching the show. Presumably, at that point, he could then FF/Rewind more smoothly, whereas while it's streaming you will have more difficulty fast forwarding ahead of what has already been buffered. That's no different than any other streamer, except that if the aTV is indeed buffering the entire file eventually, that could actually allow the aTV to offer smoother FF/Rewind than other devices with less on-board buffer storage.

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post #36 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srauly View Post

The difference between 720p and 1080p is going to be harder to discern for many/most people but, again, ideally they'd offer both options and let you decide how you wanted to deal with it (e.g., a longer wait to get it at full 1080p), which would be nice for those who want higher quality and have a display / seating distance that makes it worthwhile. Though I suspect that offering multiple resolutions and multiple options for how to deal with streaming them (and potentially three different price points) would be a no-go for Apple, since they like to keep the user experience simple.

As with you, what I'd prefer not to have is something which throttles down the quality without even giving me the option, just so it can start streaming "immediately". I believe that's how Netflix and Hulu work.

Netflix appears to throttle their bandwidth to your connection speed (for the most part). However Hulu Plus (when I used it on a Samsung BD-C6900) allowed you to pick from several bandwidth speeds1.0Mbps, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.5, etc. The options varied based on the content but you could select from several options with all content. If what you selected buffered a couple of times it offered you the option of changing your selection.
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post #37 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srauly View Post

Just to clarify, you say that it takes about a minute to buffer a 48 min 720p file ... Did you have to wait at all to start playing it?

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Originally Posted by bodosom View Post

... You can start watching immediately, which is no surprise since the ATV-1g can do the same ...

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Originally Posted by palehorse View Post

What I don't get is the willingness of most of you to tolerate buffeting and delays when streaming local 720p content (1.5GB in size?) from your LAN. ...
Why do you guys tolerate such mediocrity?

I just don't get it...

Eh?

In any case this is an owners' thread. The expectation is that you own an ATV (of any flavor) or are considering getting one. This is not a place denigrate (implicitly or explicitly) people's choices. If you bring the attitude you've demonstrated on the other ATV threads here I won't hesitate to report you to the moderators.
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post #38 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 09:22 AM
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Question for those with apple tv already.

I'm thinking of using an apple tv as a way to stream audio primarily from my PC and iphone/pad to two pairs of outdoor speakers on a deck. I understand the new apple tv has an optical out port. Based on what I've read so far, seems like I can hook up the apple TV to an existing TV in my kitchen, with the optical out to an amplifier that powers a couple of sets of outdoor speakers. Then I can use the apple tv to access playlists I set up in itunes, streaming radio through itunes, and eventually anything off ipad/phone using ipad/phone to control it. Plus the added benefits of the apple tv on the tv. Am i missing anything?

I assume the TV would only have to be on to see what I'm doing on the apple tv but can be turned off after that, or even tuned to a cable channel from another input. Is that right?
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post #39 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgrokkos View Post

Question for those with apple tv already.

I'm thinking of using an apple tv as a way to stream audio primarily from my PC and iphone/pad to two pairs of outdoor speakers on a deck. I understand the new apple tv has an optical out port. Based on what I've read so far, seems like I can hook up the apple TV to an existing TV in my kitchen, with the optical out to an amplifier that powers a couple of sets of outdoor speakers. Then I can use the apple tv to access playlists I set up in itunes, streaming radio through itunes, and eventually anything off ipad/phone using ipad/phone to control it. Plus the added benefits of the apple tv on the tv. Am i missing anything?

I assume the TV would only have to be on to see what I'm doing on the apple tv but can be turned off after that, or even tuned to a cable channel from another input. Is that right?

Does your receiver support digital sources for zone 2?
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post #40 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by srauly View Post

Regarding your gripe about Home Sharing...just to clarify, that's something you would only need to set up once, right? So while entering a password might be a pain initially, I'm assuming you don't need to ever to do that again (for whichever source computer you're looking to connect to), right?

Right.

Quote:


Also, I wonder if you can get the iOS Remote app synced up to your aTV before attempting to connect to your Home Sharing computers.

As I noted the first thing you have to do to use the Remote app is enable Home Sharing in the app itself and then enter the HS credentials in the ATV. I expect Apple will address this fairly quickly.

Quote:


Could you tell me what options (if any) there are for displaying your own movies' coverart / titles?

As far as I can tell the direct to ATV interface is still weak. Talking to an iTunes library is much like using iTunes but you're still flying a bit blind when you're talking to an ATV. I also expect this to get better. On the 2g the interface is almost exactly the same as the 1g V3 code but all cover art/poster frame displays are pushed to the top and use a cover flow model.
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post #41 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pgrokkos View Post

I assume the TV would only have to be on to see what I'm doing on the apple tv but can be turned off after that, or even tuned to a cable channel from another input. Is that right?

I believe there's a set of things that are easy to do using the Remote app and a set of things that still need a display. Putting things in playlists helps. Having a server running iTunes lets you completely solve the problem and eliminates the need for an attached TV if you're just doing audio.

I do find that the interconnections between iTunes libraries (e.g. we have three) can be a bit confusing if they're all running.
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post #42 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgrokkos View Post

Question for those with apple tv already.

I'm thinking of using an apple tv as a way to stream audio primarily from my PC and iphone/pad to two pairs of outdoor speakers on a deck. I understand the new apple tv has an optical out port. Based on what I've read so far, seems like I can hook up the apple TV to an existing TV in my kitchen, with the optical out to an amplifier that powers a couple of sets of outdoor speakers. Then I can use the apple tv to access playlists I set up in itunes, streaming radio through itunes, and eventually anything off ipad/phone using ipad/phone to control it. Plus the added benefits of the apple tv on the tv. Am i missing anything?

I assume the TV would only have to be on to see what I'm doing on the apple tv but can be turned off after that, or even tuned to a cable channel from another input. Is that right?

With the legacy atv you can use it via the remote app, or as a set of speakers from itunes on your pc without ever turning on the display connected to the atv. I use the optical out to my HT receiver to play my own music or internet radio stations, which I control from any one of the iOS devices in the house.

On the legacy device (if memory serves) you can't have audio going to the optical and the HDMI at the same time, you have to pick one or the other. Someone else can probably verify that.
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post #43 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 12:05 PM
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If anyone wants to get one of these, the Apple stores are getting them in. Someone posted in the Apple support forums yesterday that a store near Boston got them, and the store in Farmington, CT got them in today (which is where I just picked one up).

The packaging is super-small. I wouldn't be surprised if a big reason why they didn't bundle an HDMI cable is just so they could put it in as small a box as possible just so they could impress people who will spot it on the store shelves by how tiny it is.

I won't have time to hook it up and play with it until later.

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post #44 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palehorse View Post

Does your receiver support digital sources for zone 2?

Palehorse - I'm planning on using only an amp, not a receiver which I think I can do. And the amp would support a digital source. No need for a receiver anymore is there?
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post #45 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by srauly View Post

And now hopefully people realize why Apple didn't add 1080p support yet. They're more concerned that someone can start a movie as quick as possible, then pushing for additional pixels and having someone wait an hour before they can start watching a movie. Even with 720p-only content, poor bodosom with his slow internet connection has to wait.

That said, in an ideal world they might give you the option of 720p or 1080p (with a longer wait).

I guess I'm spoiled/lucky. The last time I ran a test, I think I was getting about 15Mbps down, so I shouldn't have a problem.

I disagree- they can still allow people to simply *output* 1080p, and limit the content to 720 if they're worried about buffering etc.. Allowing to at least output to 1080p would give me some hope that I could potentially play a h264 encoded 1080p rip with the aTV doing the hw 264 decoding..
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post #46 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 02:44 PM
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Mods: Sorry for the cross-posting. I meant to post this in this thread (the owners thread) originally...

******

OK, so it took my only about 5 minutes to get my aTV out of the box and completely set up, including setting up my Home Sharing and signing into my Netflix account. Using the on-screen keyboard is a PITA, but you only really have to use it to set up the WiFi password (if applicable), and Home Sharing login/password, and after that you can use the iOS Remote app for any keyboard duties.

The big question on everyone's mind is 1080p content, so let me address that straight away. Yes, you can play a 1080p m4v file (my test file was converted in Handbrake as High Profile, RF21), but it will drop frames. In the case of my test file I guess I could say it dropped few enough so as to impress me, but it would still be unwatchable for me. Most importantly, though, the aTV is definitely downscaling it to 720p (my TV reports a 720p signal), so what's the point?

I will add that I'm testing this over 802.11n (5GHz connecting to the latest revision AirPort Extreme), so dropped frames *could* be due to that. I also tested out a 720p m4v file of the same movie (RF16, no filters), and it also appeared to have a glitch here or there which concerns me much more. I'm going to test out my RF19 720p file, as well as test out all three over wired ethernet.

FWIW, I'd say that Netflix played back with equal PQ as it does on my TiVo HD (which is better PQ than I was able to get on the WDTV Live and via Silverlight on my Acer Revo Atom/NVIDIA ION nettop. FWIW, I found that the Seagate Theater+ offers good Netflix PQ as well). Now, even at its best, I find much of the Netflix content's PQ to be pretty bad. The movie "Who's Harry Crumb" is listed as HD on Netflix's site (Note: the Netflix UI within the aTV does not appear to indicate whether a movie is HD or not) but has horrible macroblocking in the black background during the intro. The movie CGI animaged movie "Area 51" looks much better, though Netflix doesn't indicate if this is HD.

I was disappointed when I attempted to stream the Avatar movie trailer. It took about 25 secs to start playing (it's a 3 min 29 sec trailer). Once it started it looked great (720p I imagine) but it reached the end of the buffer halfway through and needed to rebuffer for a short while again. My downstream internet should be about 15Mbps, so this surprised me. I just tried another trailer (The Green Hornet) and it took about the 25-30 secs to buffer before it would start, but it never paused (in order to catch up on the buffer) after that. That's a 2 min 28 sec trailer, to give you an idea. I'm guessing the Avatar trailer is a higher bitrate. I'll also try streaming these trailers later over wired ethernet to see if that makes a difference.

The UI is overall a joy to use, but I'm not a fan of the tiled movie UI. Thank goodness it only uses this view for the movies and shows they're trying to sell you, and your own library of movies displays in a title list format (which you can filter by genre).

********

Edit: I've since tried connected via ethernet, and I'm still seeing some glitches in playback of my 720p m4v test file. They're not frequent, and my wife would probably never notice them, but I do, and they're really annoying. I can live with 720p, but not-perfectly-smooth playback? That may be asking too much. Rewinding and playing the same scene will not display the glitches in exactly the same place, so I don't believe it's with my encoding (plus I played these files on my Acer Revo and don't believe I had any glitches there). I'll be interested in hearing reports from others.

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post #47 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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... they can still allow people to simply *output* 1080p, and limit the content to 720 ..

That's what the 1g does although as noted various folks have sent 1080p to the box and gotten 720p out but with some defects. I think Apple decided the resolution and color space options were confusing and/or resulted in a disproportionate number of support calls for the people that didn't need the feature and people that did need that feature used an AVR or their display to scale, so they simplified the menu. I was suprised by this choice but it seems inconceivable that the media interface doesn't support up-scaling as well as down-scaling.
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post #48 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srauly View Post

The big question on everyone's mind is 1080p content, so let me address that straight away. Yes, you can play a 1080p m4v file (my test file was converted in Handbrake as High Profile, RF21), but it will drop frames. In the case of my test file I guess I could say it dropped few enough so as to impress me, but it would still be unwatchable for me. Most importantly, though, the aTV is definitely downscaling it to 720p (my TV reports a 720p signal), so what's the point?

The point for me is if it plays smoothly that would be huge as I won't have to encode videos twice!! I'd much rather have the aTV scale down to 720 than reencode a s-load of vids again..
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post #49 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 03:04 PM
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The point for me is if it plays smoothly that would be huge as I won't have to encode videos twice!! I'd much rather have the aTV scale down to 720 than reencode a s-load of vids again..

But are your 1080p videos already in an m4v format? If they're mkv's, the aTV won't play that container at all.

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post #50 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Me too!

I converted a couple of bits of 1080p24 material with Handbrake and, unlike the 1g, which won't even load them, they will play on the 2g scaled to 720. Fast-forwarding throws an error after a certain amount of time. Since I just have some test patterns there's no motion so I don't know if there are motion artifacts or frame drops. As a side-effect I noticed that like the 1g (in auto mode) the 2g clips to video range. Unlike the 1g you can't change the color-space (at least I haven't managed to yet) to one that doesn't clip.

However, even if Apple officially supports 1080p and enables unscaled 1080p output I don't think I really care.

By the way, I reran the buffering timing. It took ~150s to buffer 1.5GB according to the progress thermometer.
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post #51 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Erica continues to fiddle with her 2g. She noticed that Ecamm's PhoneView parses the filesystem in the 2g just like any other iOS device. However I don't see anything on the "disc" other than iTunes keys.

I'll try to resist the urge to drop content in there.
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post #52 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by srauly View Post

But are your 1080p videos already in an m4v format? If they're mkv's, the aTV won't play that container at all.

Dangit I didn't even consider that.. I plan one on getting one of these things once they're more readily available but its reminders like that that really bum me out.. The mkv is just another container for the h264 that the device will accept- just freakin play it!!!
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post #53 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 09:32 PM
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I do find that the interconnections between iTunes libraries (e.g. we have three) can be a bit confusing if they're all running.

What happens if you have video in each of the 3 libraries? Do they all show up in FrontRow or whatever the name is now? That is, does the source matter be in NetFlix or a local iTunes library. I don't suppose a NAS library can act as an iTunes library for the ATV?

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post #54 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 09:35 PM
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Dangit I didn't even consider that.. I plan one on getting one of these things once they're more readily available but its reminders like that that really bum me out.. The mkv is just another container for the h264 that the device will accept- just freakin play it!!!

But mkv has a lot of options and the ATV has no way of knowing which have been used. Just turn the mkv container into an mp4 one ( no transcoding involved). There are tools to do that. I doubt the ATV2 will play high profile stuff though you never know.

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post #55 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 09:42 PM
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What supports 5.1 audio on the new atv?
I didn't rent any movies or tv shows yet, but I was messing with this for a few hours, and tried everything on the atv, and I can't find anything that supports 5.1 audio.
Is it only movies that you rent from atv that support 5.1?

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post #56 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
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But mkv has a lot of options and the ATV has no way of knowing which have been used. Just turn the mkv container into an mp4 one ( no transcoding involved). There are tools to do that. I doubt the ATV2 will play high profile stuff though you never know.

philip

Yea I figured I could swap it into a diff container as you suggest, it's just another step and/or user intervention.. My main reason for getting this thing is to finally have a wife-approved streamer, so I'll probably just end up keeping a separate library of "aTV approved videos" that the wife and kid would want to watch.. And fire up the normal htpc when it's time to play real rips w/ uncompressed vid and hd audio..

Ideally I'd be able to at least play the mkv's with core audio but I guess that's just to much to ask w/o changing the container.. Really sucks, and I'm partially an apple guy (macbook, iphone, ipad).. Love their products for the most part but the closed nature of their stuff really gets to me sometimes.. I would expect the juggernaut that they are to at least be able to play back the files that my cheapo little wdtv can..
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post #57 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GR1MM View Post

What supports 5.1 audio on the new atv?

Any compatible mp4 container with an AC3 soundtrack works. Handbrake can be used to create them.
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post #58 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by srauly View Post

Edit: I've since tried connected via ethernet, and I'm still seeing some glitches in playback of my 720p m4v test file. They're not frequent, and my wife would probably never notice them, but I do, and they're really annoying. I can live with 720p, but not-perfectly-smooth playback? That may be asking too much. Rewinding and playing the same scene will not display the glitches in exactly the same place, so I don't believe it's with my encoding (plus I played these files on my Acer Revo and don't believe I had any glitches there). I'll be interested in hearing reports from others.

Are you talking about a high profile 720p m4v file ( such as one sees floating around the net in mkv format)? I thought the ATV 2g only supported main profile ( similar to the 1 g except you also 30fps support with the 2g model).

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post #59 of 3109 Old 09-30-2010, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Hagfish View Post

Ideally I'd be able to at least play the mkv's with core audio but I guess that's just to much to ask w/o changing the container.. Really sucks, and I'm partially an apple guy (macbook, iphone, ipad).. Love their products for the most part but the closed nature of their stuff really gets to me sometimes.. I would expect the juggernaut that they are to at least be able to play back the files that my cheapo little wdtv can..

I'm pretty sure that is related to the power of the studios and not Apple. Perhaps if they continue to refuse to supply Apple with reasonably priced videos you'll see cracks in the wall and ssh will magically appear. It would be hilarious to still have frontrow/() as the user/passwd combo.

I don't know what kinds of files the ATV2 can play. Once you get it into the mp4 container ( which is really easy) then can it play the usual mkv files floating around the place ( at 720p) ?

Anyway, all of these restrictions are a bit annoying. The video world is a pretty closed shop.

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post #60 of 3109 Old 10-01-2010, 01:05 AM
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The Apple TV 2G now supports Netflix in Canada. Slowly but surely ...

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