Apple TV owners' thread. - Page 6 - AVS Forum
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post #151 of 3111 Old 10-07-2010, 05:38 AM
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Since the Apple TV has 8GB storage that buffers into a cache, I don't think the whole "double streaming" thing is going to be an issue but we will see. Plus if the content is stored on the iOS device and Airplayed to your Apple TV, it should be no different than streaming directly from your computer.
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post #152 of 3111 Old 10-07-2010, 07:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srauly View Post

Two wireless legs sounds like it could be asking for trouble.

This is why you want a wired backbone with all your non-portable devices wired. I'm much happier since I switched from wireless to wired. Using multiple access points helped but having your iTunes server and ATV on wired network is the way to go.

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Originally Posted by debpub View Post

Since the Apple TV has 8GB storage that buffers into a cache, I don't think the whole "double streaming" thing is going to be an issue but we will see. Plus if the content is stored on the iOS device and Airplayed to your Apple TV, it should be no different than streaming directly from your computer.

I predict network issues will 100% related to your topology. The buffer could smooth it out and if there are a lot of problems Apple could certainly change their algorithm but for now it behaves as though local bandwidth is consistent.
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post #153 of 3111 Old 10-07-2010, 09:32 AM
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Yeah, my plan is to try and use a wired connection as much as possible. That pretty much covers my bedroom and movie room. But my living room and my daughter's bedroom will be a much bigger pain to run wired to, so I'm going to see how well 802.11n 5GHz works for those two rooms. I bought an AirPort Extreme recently, and I'm fairly optimistic.

For anyone looking to jump on board with the new Apple TV, I'm seeing more online retailers popping up as having them in stock. Amazon itself still doesn't have them (so, no free shipping), but they're listing J&R and onSale as having them in stock.

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post #154 of 3111 Old 10-07-2010, 11:44 AM
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i now have an apple tv (g1) in my family room and a g2 in my bedroom. My g1 has ATV flash on it which makes it a pretty good box. I'm disappointed with the g2. It really doesn't do much. But for $99 what can you expect.

If apple does make the g2 icon driven and allows apps, it could be pretty good. But until then - i will just use it to stream music to my bedroom. I have netflix on my bluray player.

The Remote app on my iphone (latest version) doesn't work with either of the apple tvs any more.

Personally i think apple should have had icons, apps and 2 to 4 hdmi inputs (to attach a cable or satellite box and a dvd or bluray player, etc) to make the apple tv a dashboard for everything - then plug the 1 hdmi out to your receiver or tv and there you go.
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post #155 of 3111 Old 10-07-2010, 12:12 PM
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Huh? The new Remote app works awesome with the Apple TV.
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post #156 of 3111 Old 10-07-2010, 12:18 PM
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Agree- set it up last night in about 20 secs with my ipad and it was quite the revelation.. Dunno if I'll ever be picking up the supplied remote again
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post #157 of 3111 Old 10-07-2010, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ikeb View Post

The Remote app on my iphone (latest version) doesn't work with either of the apple tvs any more.

Make sure you have iTunes 10.0.1, and Home Sharing is enabled on ALL devices (ATV, iPhone, iTunes computer).
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post #158 of 3111 Old 10-07-2010, 01:06 PM
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I'm most interested in AirPlay. I'm not surprised that most people think it will work by transferring twice over Wifi--once from the internet to the phone and once from the phone to the Apple TV. But I'm not convinced its actually going to work that way.

The more obvious way for it to work it seems to me is for the phone to simply hand off the video playback to the Apple TV. Which would mean that there would be no double transfers over Wifi.

However, this has implications for what CAN work with AirPlay. It basically means that the Apple TV will be responsible for decoding the incoming video and handling any associated DRM, not your phone. Which means since the Apple TV doesn't have apps yet, the video has to be in one of the supported formats (h.264 or mp4) and if there's any DRM it has to be FairPlay.

Okay, so IF this is true it means that YouTube will work. And stuff you buy from iTunes. But it probably means that say the Sling Player app won't work since I suspect that Sling doesn't use those codecs. Okay, no great loss.

What about Hulu Plus? When you watch stuff in Hulu it doesn't look like the standard videos player what with the enforced commercial breaks, the marks on the timeline showing you where they are, etc. Could be Apple's player underneath the GUI but I suspect if its going to support AirPlay they'll have to add it themselves. And they might not or we might have to wait a while for an update. And of course while we assume the video is in h.264 we don't really know about the DRM situation.

Similar story with the ABC application.

I presume the PlayOn application WILL work. Probably not even any DRM would be my guess.

How about HTML 5 video from CBS.com? Probably going to work just fine I assume. Again though, no idea about what DRM they might use and whether that would get in the way.

No Silverlight or Flash of course. But if the SkyFire browser gets approved (a month and counting since they submitted it) it'll convert those to h.264 and it should in fact work.

Anybody know more about any of this or just want to speculate? Obviously we'll know some of this in November when iOS 4.2 comes out, or when the first hands on review of a later beta shows up (maybe).
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post #159 of 3111 Old 10-07-2010, 01:07 PM
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got it to finally work - had to open a tcp port and a udp on my wireless firewall
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post #160 of 3111 Old 10-07-2010, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ikeb View Post

i now have an apple tv (g1) in my family room and a g2 in my bedroom. My g1 has ATV flash on it which makes it a pretty good box. I'm disappointed with the g2. It really doesn't do much. But for $99 what can you expect.

If apple does make the g2 icon driven and allows apps, it could be pretty good. But until then - i will just use it to stream music to my bedroom. I have netflix on my bluray player.

The Remote app on my iphone (latest version) doesn't work with either of the apple tvs any more.

Personally i think apple should have had icons, apps and 2 to 4 hdmi inputs (to attach a cable or satellite box and a dvd or bluray player, etc) to make the apple tv a dashboard for everything - then plug the 1 hdmi out to your receiver or tv and there you go.

I hope Apple doesn't evolve the ATV into a conduit for PVR's, Blu-Ray, etc ... It seems to me that is more in the spirit of Google TV. I always thought of digital media as an alternative to physical media and not as an instrument to help sales of disks.

All ATV Flash does is allow you to bypass the mp4, mov and h.264 requirements. It also installs nitoTV and a few other free things. Very similar to the standard free patchstick. You to install XBMC. That does make the ATV 1G into an interesting player, although fairly expensive. The ATV 2G is a very different device. It seems to me that it is more of an accessary to an iDevice and iTunes. It is integrated into that environment, and of course it plays things that that 1G can't, at least without the Crystal HD card.

I really like the Apple TV 1G, but I was never truly excited about it. The new one with it's integration into the iDevice world makes it really exciting.

You can take 3 days and turn anything for the ATV 1G into h.264. I did it using ElGato's H.264 HD using the iPad setting. It was more of a test to see quality, sync issues and what have you. I haven't noticed any issues and I really don't think I will miss the 320gig drive in the ATV 1G.

I think you might begin to like the 2G over time. It has capabilities that aren't obvious. Also, you've also spent a fair amount of time with the 1G and it's difficult to just leave it. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, can be done to make the 1G play nicely with the rest of the gang. As it is, it's (with ATV Flash) a pretty neat standard media player that doesn't like mkv's...

Philip
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post #161 of 3111 Old 10-07-2010, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gconnery View Post

However, this has implications for what CAN work with AirPlay. It basically means that the Apple TV will be responsible for decoding the incoming video and handling any associated DRM, not your phone. Which means since the Apple TV doesn't have apps yet, the video has to be in one of the supported formats (h.264 or mp4) and if there's any DRM it has to be FairPlay.


You're forgetting that the Apple TV device is an iOS device.
Same processor and abilities/restrictions as the other iOS devices. If the video plays on your iPhone or iPad, then it will play on your Apple TV so I don't see how video formats or DRM would come into play. If it was in an unsupported format like Flash or something then it would never have played on the iPhone in the first place so no loss there.

The only problems that could exist would be with the relatively few apps where the developers came up with their own video players to play video on the devices. One example is Hulu like you mentioned but I can't really think of very many more. Apple has already stated that those few developers will have the ability to update their apps to allow Airplay to.
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post #162 of 3111 Old 10-07-2010, 04:44 PM
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But those apps aren't running on the Apple TV today. So if those apps on the iPhone are handling the DRM today before passing the video along to apple's player to display, and the Apple TV had to decode them directly, it wouldn't work.

Also it seems to me that MOST of the video content I'd be interested in is the stuff that comes from apps where I don't know if AirPlay will work. Hulu Plus sure. ABC app ditto. Sling Player. SkyFire browser (for Flash). Netflix (just for the convenience). Vevo. ZumoCast. OPlayer. Even the Youtube app if you're watching something that uses DRM (I tend to use the web-app instead whenever possible these days).
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post #163 of 3111 Old 10-07-2010, 07:01 PM
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I came across this article where Steve Jobs and Google TV get mentioned, but it's not recent, it's from 6/1. In it, Jobs perhaps gives his official reason for calling the Apple TV a "hobby". There's not a ton to glean from this article, but it does give some added insight to his strategy.
http://newteevee.com/2010/06/01/stev...tivo-and-roku/

Quote from Jobs:
Quote:


“The television industry fundamentally has a subsidized business model that gives everyone a set-top box, and that pretty much undermines innovation in the sector. Ask TiVo, ask Roku, ask Google in a few months. The only way this is going to change is if you start from scratch, tear up the box, redesign and get it to the consumer in a way that they want to buy it. But right now, there’s no way to do that….The TV is going to lose until there’s a viable go-to-market strategy. That’s the fundamental problem with the industry. It’s not a problem with the technology, it’s a problem with the go-to-market strategy….I’m sure smarter people than us will figure this out, but that’s why we say Apple TV is a hobby.”


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post #164 of 3111 Old 10-07-2010, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gconnery View Post

I'm most interested in AirPlay. I'm not surprised that most people think it will work by transferring twice over Wifi--once from the internet to the phone and once from the phone to the Apple TV. But I'm not convinced its actually going to work that way.

Since I find it unwise to rent using the ATV-2g I'm quite sure it's going to work that way. Perhaps you mean that -- under some circumstances -- it won't work that way.

Quote:


The more obvious way for it to work it seems to me is for the phone to simply hand off the video playback to the Apple TV. Which would mean that there would be no double transfers over Wifi.

I imagine that it could work that way but a notable advantage of AirPlay is streaming already purchased content from an iOS/iTunes device to your ATV-2g so under that circumstance it will download somewhere and then play on your ATV-2g.
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post #165 of 3111 Old 10-08-2010, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by bodosom View Post

I imagine that it could work that way but a notable advantage of AirPlay is streaming already purchased content from an iOS/iTunes device to your ATV-2g so under that circumstance it will download somewhere and then play on your ATV-2g.

But who or what is doing the actual playing? Is it the iPad or the ATV? I assumed it was the iPad and if you turned that off the video would stop. In that sense the ATV is acting like an HDMI cable to the iPad ( or whatever iDevice).

philip
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post #166 of 3111 Old 10-08-2010, 07:04 AM - Thread Starter
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But who or what is doing the actual playing? Is it the iPad or the ATV? I assumed it was the iPad

I assume it's always the target device and that AirPlay just turns an iOS device into an iTunes server. There's no win to uncompressing the data stream (that's what playing is) prior to sending it via a low bandwidth channel like WiFi. The ATV is also where the watts are -- even though power consumption is greatly reduced in the ATV-2g.
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post #167 of 3111 Old 10-08-2010, 08:06 AM
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FYI, I was going to report that Amazon got them in stock, but they're now already out again. They're showing that they expect a shipment in on 10/10, though, so that's not so bad. But it seems like these things are definitely selling (out) well. I'm kicking myself a bit, because I was going to pay the extra $3.99 for delivery on Saturday, but I missed out. I missed out because I wanted to first hook up my one Apple TV to every room in the house to look for any particular issues. That test was a success (more on that in a bit), but by the time I pulled up Amazon's site, they were no longer available for Saturday delivery. This 2nd unit will be for my daughter's room. She's been tying up our room lately making use of Netflix. No big deal, though...she'll just have to wait a few more days.

As for my testing, here are the rooms I tried it on, each with some unique "features" which I was concerned could pose problems for the Apple TV, along with my results. I'm posting this because of some rumors/concerns that are floating around the web with the Apple TV not working with a lot of older TVs, so as to allay some concerns:

1) First room was my daughter's room. This has a Vizio LCD TV (model VX37L). I believe this is the oldest 16:9 set in my house. It has a native resolution of 1366x768, which I worried could cause scaling problems, but I believe this is a common native resolution for "720p" TVs. As a somewhat older TV, I also wasn't sure what version the HDMI input was, and I've read some people claim that the Apple TV required an HDMI 1.3 (spoiler alert: this is definitely false). In this room, I honestly didn't inspect the PQ too closely, because I knew that my daughter wouldn't concern herself with such things, so I sat at a normal viewing distance and looked for any stutter/judder issues. Everything looked fine. The other concern with this room is that it's in the lowest level of our house, and so it *might* have had issues pulling in a strong 802.11n signal. We have an open floorplan post & beam house with a two-story living room and I recently purchased an Apple AirPort Extreme wireless router (802.11n with dual radios that can work independently), and it's located in the loft which overlooks the living room, and my daughter's room is directly below the living room. So it has a fairly clear shot (with just the living room floor in between), so I wasn't expecting any major issues. In fact, the Apple TV's general info screen reported full bars.

2) Next room was the living room. It has a Panasonic 50" 720p plasma (model TH-C50HD18). I believe this also has a native resolution of 1366x768 (I couldn't find it in the manual, but I've found some online sources that indicate as such and I seem to recall that it might have listed it on the box when I bought it). I believe that resolution is/was less common among plasmas (they used to have a native 1280x720, and perhaps some/most still do). Not sure of the version of HDMI on this one, either, but it's only about a 2.5 year old set. No major concerns about this room, other than the potential stutter/judder issue. From a normal seating distance, it looked fine. This is not a room where I choose to watch movies (when given a choice) but is a room where a good deal of TV is watched (by everyone but me). Again, no bothersome stutter/judder issues that I could detect, which is good since there did not appear to be any menu options for tweaking 3:2 pull-down logic.

3) The last room I tested was my home theater which has an older Panasonic 720p (native 1280x720) LCD projector. This room was my biggest concern because both the projector and A/V receiver (a JVC RX-D401 digital receiver) are fairly old, and I'm pretty sure that one or both of them have an early HDMI input (v1.1, I believe). Also, it's my understanding that this projector does something stupid and takes incoming 720p signals and adjusts the resolution so as to overscan the image, so even though you're feeding it a 1280x720 signal, and the projector has a native 1280x720 resolution, it ends up upscaling and then cropping it somewhat (if I fully understand the situation). I've read online that some people have had trouble getting 5.1 audio to work (in general), as well as more specifically that their problem may have had to do with the version of HDMI their receiver had. My one issue in testing this room is that it has horrible light control, so in testing it this morning, the screen was pretty washed out. In any case, everything appeared to work fine. I saw no stutter/judder issues, and the receiver immediately played my test video's 5.1 multichannel audio. It did not report it as Dolby Digital, but I think that's because I had manually set it to multichannel mode (or maybe automatic mode) to support lossless audio from my Blu-ray player or Acer Revo (where MPC-HC could decode Dolby TrueHD and pass it as lossless multichannel audio). In any case, switching through the receiver's Surround Sound settings and forcing it into Dolby Digital mode worked fine, with the receiver now reporting the incoming signal as such.

4) This last one is actually the first room I've been using over the last week to test things out. It's the master bedroom and has a Sharp Aquos 52" 1080p LCD. This room gave me trouble initially with the stutter/judder issues, which I believe I've solved by turning *OFF* all of the fancy-shmancy logic that the set has (on by default) for fine motion (whatever that means) and film mode (3:2 pull-down).

In all rooms I used the Apple TV wirelessly, though in reality my bedroom and the theater room will be hard-wired. The living room and my daughter's room will use wireless due to the difficulty of running ethernet to those two rooms. While having to convert 1080p Blu-ray rips with lossless audio to 720p .m4v files with AC3 (Dolby Digital) audio is a pain, and some PQ and AQ loss will result, one advantage is that I won't need to worry about streaming the resulting 4GB (or less) files wirelessly. With 802.11n and the Apple TV's 8GB buffer, the files should get loaded quickly with enough buffer so as to prevent skipping. And I'll be able to do that with multiple rooms simultaneously. Try that with a 20GB (or bigger) Blu-ray rip. Streaming just one of those wirelessly over 802.11n is likely asking for some trouble, but streaming multiple files simultaneously? Granted, I haven't actually tested this out, but in theory I shouldn't have a problem.

A more realistic issue will be that during prime-time (with Comcast's cable modem line getting hit and the supposed 14GB download speed not delivering), combined with multiple rooms trying to stream Netflix simultaneously (or trying to download an iTunes movie or show), we could have long wait times (for iTunes) or decreased PQ from Netflix. I'll have to see how that goes. For me, though, my main concern with these boxes is the ability to stream my own content across the house well, and for my daughter (who won't care too much about decreased PQ) to watch kid's shows/movies from Netflix.

I expect we'll make use of Netflix for some casual movie/show watching in our bedroom (where the PQ will be annoying due to our fairly close viewing distance to a rather large TV) and the living room (where noticing PQ issues will be less of a concern). I'll try to avoid watching Netflix in the theater room, because of the PQ issues and (until they add it) lack of 5.1 audio.

I bought a TiVo HD from Blockbuster recently (only $100) to give to our daughter for her birthday, but hadn't set it up yet. I was still not feeling great about paying yet another $10-13/month for their service (we already have two in operation). Then the Apple TV hit and I figured that live TV combined with Netflix could meet her needs, and based on her testing of the Apple TV in our bedroom this past week, that seems to be a success. So now I'll be ebaying/craigslisting that unopened TiVo HD.

My next baby step may be to try to convince my wife to shut down the TiVo service on our living room box, but first I'll need to get her (and my father-in-law) to get used to using the Apple TV in that room. That will require training them on using the Netflix functionality, as well as me ripping/converting more TV shows.

Another thought I had was to try to use a computer to DVR shows (for no monthly fee) and convert those to .mp4/m4v files. A few issues with that are that I'll only be able to get the clear QAM channels (local networks), we'll lose the pause feature, and they'll have to wait to watch the shows. Another possibility will be to leave one TiVo in action (in our bedroom), so my wife can be happier, and pull some of those shows off nightly via computer to convert them to mp4/m4v files.

Scott R
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post #168 of 3111 Old 10-08-2010, 01:17 PM
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Oh my gosh, I just discovered one of the most awesome-est "hidden" (really, just unadvertised) features of the Apple TV. Apparently the old version supports this, too, so this may be old news to some of you. Anyways, one of my biggest gripes about the Apple TV was that the included remote, while beautiful, was lacking the most basic of TV-controlling functionality. There was no TV volume, mute, power, or input controls, making it necessary to juggle at least two remotes, or buy a universal remote. Since I wanted to have multiple units in my house, I wasn't looking forward to having to shell out a lot more money (nearly the cost of the Apple TV itself) for a Harmony remote for some/most/all of my rooms.

I'll also add that I'm a long-time TiVo owner and I love the TiVo remote. My wife, daughter, and even father-in-law are comfortable using it. While setting up XBMC on my Acer Revo I found a way to control XBMC with the TiVo remote, but it was a pain to track down the right approach, complicated to set up, and still somewhat buggy in the end. Plus, XBMC assumes that you've got access to a fairly complicated remote (or keyboard) by default, so some of the more obscure functionality requires pressing buttons which the TiVo remote doesn't really have an equivalent for, leaving me to assign the "Back" function to the TiVo remote's "Aspect" button, etc. That doesn't make for a very intuitive, wife-friendly remote.

So why am I blathering on about the TiVo remote here? Because someone in Apple's support forums made mention and linked to this Apple support doc:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3296

It describes how you can configure the Apple TV to learn the button presses of any remote control you already own. Let me repeat/clarify that: You are not configuring a remote control to learn how to operate the Apple TV, you are configuring the Apple TV to "learn" the button presses of your remote.

The TiVo remote is perfect for this purpose, because it has a hard switch on it (originally intended to allow you to control two different TiVo's in the same room) labeled 1/2. So, I set it to switch position 2, then follow the instructions in Apple's setup screens, and in a few minutes I'm controlling my Apple TV with my TiVo remote. Because of the Apple TV remote's minimalist design, the TiVo is fully covered in terms of having all the buttons you need. But it gets even better, because there are some "advanced functions" that you can also teach the Apple TV to perform, such as chapter skip (back and forward), skip ahead, and skip back (a la instant replay), giving you quicker access to those functions with an alternate remote than you could get with the stock Apple TV remote. I may have to mull over the ideal TiVo buttons to map all of these things to, but for now I've assigned chapter skip to the Channel up/down button, "Stop" to the "Slow" button (the TiVo lacks a dedicated "Stop" button), and "Menu" to the "TiVo" button.

Giving up the beautiful Apple TV remote will be unfortunate, but the ability to now control TV volume and inputs, and toggle quickly back to controlling the TiVo, all with one remote *THAT I ALREADY OWN AND DON'T HAVE TO PAY EXTRA FOR* is wonderful.

Oh boy, I'm sounding like an official Apple fanboy now.

Scott R
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post #169 of 3111 Old 10-08-2010, 03:48 PM
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Finally, I set up my new ATV 2G. The bad news: I set it up in 3 minutes on a TV in our kitchen. Played stuff from everywhere and the used the iPad remote. What can I say? My family stole the ATV from me and won't let me move it to the main room. Tried to find another one in Toronto but they are sold out everywhere. In any case Netflix played great, high profile stuff that shouldn't play was great as was SD. This thing is fantastic. I have been streaming 720p stuff from all over the house and the net. When Airplay arrives this is going to be off the wall.

Philip

Edit: the only "negative" with the iPad remote is the lack of volume control. Hopefully that will be added. Of course the ATV ( even the 1G) can learn remotes so you can use any remote which can contra the volume, but it's not the same!
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post #170 of 3111 Old 10-08-2010, 03:57 PM
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I'll also add that I'm a long-time TiVo owner and I love the TiVo remote. My wife, daughter, and even father-in-law are comfortable using it. While setting up XBMC on my Acer Revo I found a way to control XBMC with the TiVo remote, but it was a pain to track down the right approach, complicated to set up, and still somewhat buggy in the end. Plus, XBMC assumes that you've got access to a fairly complicated remote (or keyboard) by default, so some of the more obscure functionality requires pressing buttons which the TiVo remote doesn't really have an equivalent for, leaving me to assign the "Back" function to the TiVo remote's "Aspect" button, etc. That doesn't make for a very intuitive, wife-friendly remote.

So why am I blathering on about the TiVo remote here? Because someone in Apple's support forums made mention and linked to this Apple support doc:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3296

It describes how you can configure the Apple TV to learn the button presses of any remote control you already own. Let me repeat/clarify that: You are not configuring a remote control to learn how to operate the Apple TV, you are configuring the Apple TV to "learn" the button presses of your remote.



Oh boy, I'm sounding like an official Apple fanboy now.

Yep, this is a really nice function of both the ATV's. The device learning the remote is a really nice feature as opposed to the remote learning the device. ElGato's EyeTV has a beta version with a similar idea now.

The way the ATV fits into an iTunes, Netflix, iDevice, wireless environment is outstanding. It is well worth having the 720p "limitation". I haven't noticed any lag when streaming from a WHS to Mac Mini to ATV over the 5GHz band.

I am really impressed with this unit.

Philip
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As for my testing, here are the rooms I tried it on, each with some unique "features" which I was concerned could pose problems for the Apple TV, along with my results. I'm posting this because of some rumors/concerns that are floating around the web with the Apple TV not working with a lot of older TVs, so as to allay some concerns:

Thank you very much for this information. I have only tested it on a fairly new Samsung and it produced excellent quality. Will try it on other systems when I manage to buy another one...

Philip
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Just got my atv (g2). Setup, as one would expect for a Apple branded product, was trivial. However, netflix is not working. Sometimes it says Netflix is not available from the main menu & other times it will let me get all the way to play, & then say the service is not available. This is wired G in my apartment. My other netflix devices (ps3, 360, sony blu-ray player) get on netflix just fine. I saw some mention up above of opening tcp & udp ports but I would not suspect that is a problem in a wired installation.

Anybody got any ideas/suggestions? TIA.

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I don't believe there is any such thing as "wired G". When people talking about networking and use the letter "G", they're referring to 802.11g, which is a wireless standard (the one that came just before 802.11n). 802.11g isn't usually considered to be fast enough for streaming video, but for the fairly low bitrate content that Netflix sends, I would think that 802.11g should be fine, assuming you're getting a fairly strong signal. You can go to the Apple TV Settings menu (forget exactly which one) and it will show you the signal strength.

Now, if you truly are connecting to the Apple TV via ethernet cable, you may want to confirm that you're connecting via a 100mbps connection, versus the older (very old) 10mbps standard. If you're wired, you might have a bad cable or maybe a really, really old router. If you can tell us the specific make/model of router and whatever lettering is indicated on your ethernet cable, that would help. Troubleshooting networking issues, especially when you're looking for long-distance support from us, can be extremely difficult, though.

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I don't believe there is any such thing as "wired G".

Now I read that as gigabit (1000BASE-T).
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"I believe this also has a native resolution of 1366x768 (I couldn't find it in the manual, but I've found some online sources that indicate as such and I seem to recall that it might have listed it on the box when I bought it). I believe that resolution is/was less common among plasmas (they used to have a native 1280x720, and perhaps some/most still do)."

Actually, that resolution was very common on plasmas and most did not have a native 720p resolution, although they did support it.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working.
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I assume it's always the target device and that AirPlay just turns an iOS device into an iTunes server. There's no win to uncompressing the data stream (that's what playing is) prior to sending it via a low bandwidth channel like WiFi.

Ah, now it makes sense. So you are basically streaming from the iDevice to the ATV and it then does its thing?

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Another thought I had was to try to use a computer to DVR shows (for no monthly fee) and convert those to .mp4/m4v files. A few issues with that are that I'll only be able to get the clear QAM channels (local networks), we'll lose the pause feature, and they'll have to wait to watch the shows. Another possibility will be to leave one TiVo in action (in our bedroom), so my wife can be happier, and pull some of those shows off nightly via computer to convert them to mp4/m4v files.

Have you seen the EyeTV HD? It's a neat little box (a bit bigger than the ATV) which plugs into the USB of your computer. You connect the component out of the receiver to the box and this allows for HD recording on a Mac ( there is a similar, but much larger box for Windows made by Hauppauge). It's all very easy to use. The only thing that would make it ideal would be a simple way to cut out commercials ( there is a way (comskip), but it doesn't like Snow Leopard- seems to be a beta that may fix that).

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Now I read that as gigabit (1000BASE-T).

Sorry that is what I meant. Wired GigabitEthernet.

The 8 port switch is by D-link. The Netgear router & the switch are both less than 6 months old (at least I bought them in the last 6 months). The cable is Cat-6.

I really just wanted to know if there was anything specifically to the second generation AppletV that I should look out for.

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lovswr, have you streamed any m4v movies on your network to your Apple TV?

You mentioned Netflix issues specifically, so just to rule out network speed issues, try running the speed test on Vudu's site (it runs for a pretty long while, so the numbers it gives should be pretty accurate, though different days and times of day may give different results):
http://speedtest.vudu.com/cdn1/

Based on your comments that Netflix works on your other devices, I suspect that's not the problem. Have you searched Apple's support forum here?
http://discussions.apple.com/categor...categoryID=274

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Have you seen the EyeTV HD? It's a neat little box (a bit bigger than the ATV) which plugs into the USB of your computer. You connect the component out of the receiver to the box and this allows for HD recording on a Mac ( there is a similar, but much larger box for Windows made by Hauppauge). It's all very easy to use. The only thing that would make it ideal would be a simple way to cut out commercials ( there is a way (comskip), but it doesn't like Snow Leopard- seems to be a beta that may fix that).

I've heard of the EyeTV, but I'm not fully in the Apple ecosystem. My desktop PC (and laptops) all run Windows.

I believe I also know which Hauppauge box you're referring to. I'm not sure if that will let you configure it to record to a 720p mp4/m4v file natively, or if you'd still need to convert it afterwards. If the former, I may definitely look into that further.

Otherwise, I believe that another option (for clear QAM) is the Windows gb-pvr software, as I believe you can configure that to record the shows in a variety of formats, and I suspect that 720p mp4 might be an option. I'll have to look into that further.

But if you want more than just your local channels, I think you're stuck having to use a TiVo HD, transferring the files off of the TiVo and onto your desktop (which will be slow because the files are big and the TiVo's ethernet port is slow), and then converting them. So you'll need probably need to count on a 24 hour delay to watch your shows, since you'd probably want to set all of that up to run automatically in the middle of the night.

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