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AppleTV - Here's the Hype - Page 2

post #31 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveNYC View Post

Yeah, I'm going back and forth on this. I already pre-ordered one, but I'm not so sure now.

Don't get me wrong, this is not for people on AVSForum. People here are way ahead of this. But for the average person, a $99 device that allows them access to a content store with iTunes while it handles anything already in their iTunes library is a very big deal. People want simplicity. They don't want a HTPC. We do, but that's different.

The real issue is content and for the average person, there's very little quality, legitimate content that is easily available. NetFlix is about as close as it gets and that's not all that impressive from a selection standpoint. That's why Steve Jobs still calls it a hobby. This doesn't become a horse race until there are more horses in the race. Content providers are not going to allow Apple to own this like they own music, so I don't think you're going to see any impressive content deals until there are more players in the game. At a minimum Google and maybe Microsoft (are they doing anything in this arena right now?).

Anyway, all that said, even I am considering dumbing down my HTPC setup for the simplicity. I spend more time screwing around with optimizing things on my Acer Revo and wondering how to make it better than actually watching stuff at times.

I told u guys this dumb blond is not for pros but just common simple less demanding folks though.

More so would it downscale netflix 1080p to 720p? And keep 2 channels I wonder?
post #32 of 55
Does anyone have any thoughts about what advantages (if any) the new AppleTV will have over an older AppleTV?
post #33 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveNYC View Post

Yeah, I'm going back and forth on this. I already pre-ordered one, but I'm not so sure now.

Well, after thinking about it some more, I cancelled my order. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the number of compromises are just too extreme. Even for a $99 device. The format limitation is the most significant by far.
post #34 of 55
I have hundreds of GB of Apple Lossless music on my NAS that I would love to listen to in my theater room.

There are lots of solutions out there, ranging from low cost to very high cost. My main problem is my 2 channel system is very high resolution, so when I have tried low dollar/quality devices, I can hear very clearly the difference between a CD and the stream.

Enter Apple TV, for only $100 I get to use it as a streaming device from my computer running iTunes to my AV processor, controlled by my iPod Touch.

I don't expect the quality will be CD, but I think it will come closer than anything else, and is only a high quality DAC away from best it can be.

I don't think I'll use it at all for video - I like my BD so not too interested in 720p. Already don't watch Netflix streaming in my theater due to quality, but it's OK on my computer.

So I'll be working this into my system in a month or so and likely will be enjoying the back and forth when we actually get to audition the unit and see if we enjoy the output.

Until then, it's just a bunch of guesswork.
post #35 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by dodo/lurker View Post

I'm grown up enough to not waste MY money on 5 Xbox 360's. (Are we supposed to be impressed by this?) Talk about proving your "cult" theory.

do you run a whole house DVR setup? are you implying that those who use xbox 360's to interface with theirs aren't "grown up" yet?
post #36 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by stereomandan View Post

Personally, I think these will fly off the shelves.

One: It's Apple, and people tend to trust Apple as a solid manufacturer.
Two: It's only $99
Three: Connectivity, and the power/influence that Apple has to bring in more and more content
Four: Majority of America probably couldn't tell the difference in 720P and 1080P on their equipment, let alone DD 5.1 vs master audio.
Five: The majority of other, similar devices are from far less known manufacturers. Ask 10 Americans who Roku is, and I doubt you'll find very many that will have a clue.

Just my $0.02.

Dan

I tend to agree .. and those that are bitching about 720p and the audio, really, most folks don't have near the bandwidth to handle anything beyond this anyway .. I don't see a compelling reason why I should change from my PS3 at this point, however, I believe Apple will sell some of these ..
post #37 of 55
itunes 10 breaks apple tv gen 1- movie and music NO sync,stream only
post #38 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by BUZ81 View Post

From the website's tech specs.



I think my WD Live will still work better for streaming.

I got rid of my WD TV Live because I had nothing but trouble streaming. I could take an m4v file and put it into an mkv wrapper and they two would play completely different. The m4v would stutter, the mkv would be smooth. I could rename the m4v to mp4 and it would again play different. Then I ran into issues with mkv files simply locking up the player. Maybe I had a bad example but I spent more time trying different handbrake settings than actually watching content.

The AppleTV is perfect for exactly what Steve Jobs described. I'm considering this new Apple TV precisely because it fits perfectly with what I already have in place. The real deal for me to see is if it'll support handbrake files done in "high profile."
post #39 of 55
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post #40 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by stereomandan View Post

Personally, I think these will fly off the shelves.

One: It's Apple, and people tend to trust Apple as a solid manufacturer.
Two: It's only $99
Three: Connectivity, and the power/influence that Apple has to bring in more and more content
Four: Majority of America probably couldn't tell the difference in 720P and 1080P on their equipment, let alone DD 5.1 vs master audio.
Five: The majority of other, similar devices are from far less known manufacturers. Ask 10 Americans who Roku is, and I doubt you'll find very many that will have a clue.

Just my $0.02.

Dan

I'll add my .02 to yours and others here, I'm sure were over $1.

really, "we are the geeks" who know the specs and the diff, but you nailed it 97% of America can't or don't care 720p / 1080p, etc.

Simply (IMO), people just watch and listen and are really "happy" with their HD experience as is....the bar is so high the incremental gains aren't really noticeable to majority of people...the upgrade roadmap is finally over and we can all live with our equipment/specs as is, expecting now falling prices as time goes on...

When you really try and engaged "normal joe" in technical discussions and get blank stares....then you realize what matters and what does not.

btw, I have a AppleTV (160HD) and for my usage it works fine in upstairs HDTV, I'm sorta bummed Apple won't do firmware/software upgrade to make my device have capabilities of the newer model and still keep the HD abilities....subject for other threads I'm sure...
post #41 of 55
Restored ATV to factory,and then updated it,then pair it back to my imac and now movies and music have re appeared in itunes and am able to Sync to ATV .
post #42 of 55
So see a lot of negative comments about this announcement. I was considering this until I read this.

I am not to adept at settting up networks etc. - but do have a fairly decent A/V setup (96" screen, Sony SXRD 1080p projector, B&W 802 x 7, Mark Levinson amps and Mark Levinson 2 channel preamp, and a Lexicon 12C Surround Processor and Blu ray etc.). I tried an xbox solution and for some reason the xbox never could find/synch up with my PC in another room - though netflix connectivity etc work. All my music is slowly getting transferred to Apple Lossless format in iTunes.

I was thinking of using the Apple TV device for a) streaming music to my surround processor using the optical out using my iPad as the controller b) netflix etc. Dissuaded as did not realize 720p.

What other solutions exist that are
- not a HTPC - too difficult to set up / maintain
- can stream music from itunes
- controlled by an iPad
- can also stream Netflix and other stuff in 1080p

Was also considering Sonos for music only but this option seemed so much cheaper. Ideas ?

Tarun
post #43 of 55
720P, what is this 2001? Lol. That res sucks. Cheap, but I'd rather stick with my HTPC.
post #44 of 55
Its a streamer; apples gambling on online rentals, they arent 1080p anyway and neither is netflix.
post #45 of 55
It strikes me that this essentially has the guts of an iPad. I kinda like it except for the way they have a rental only business model. People with young kids are not going to like having to pay $3-5 a pop every time their kid wants to watch their favorite movie again. NetFlix takes care of that somewhat, but the best solution would be one where you can buy content and watch it as often as you wish.

This limitations on this box (720p, fairly week audio support, and unknown file support) indicates to me that this isn't aimed at Home Theater use, but for people who have second TVs, perhaps in a kid's room, or in a college dorm room.

I wonder if it would ever be possible to run Boxee on it?
post #46 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by oreoleo View Post

720P, what is this 2001? Lol. That res sucks. Cheap, but I'd rather stick with my HTPC.

I really don't see 720p as much of an issue. The only true 1080p source is blu-ray. TV shows, netflix, content you rent from the iTunes store and what not are all 720p and anything that claims to be 1080p is so compressed it might as well be unconverted 720p.

The lack of 1080p is a complete non-argument.
post #47 of 55
mym6,
Here's the thing with 720p. People used to be happy with 720p projectors and TVs 5 or 6 years ago - before Blu-Ray. Once people saw how good Blu-Ray and HDDVD video looks, they spent a *lot* of money updating to 1080p devices for their home theater. Blu-Rays and even high bit-rate 1080i content looks so much better than most anything you can stream over the internet that these people just bristle at the very idea of 720p.

A large percent of the people who might want a device like this would want to use it to stream video from their home networks. These people have terabytes of high quality video on their servers. They are not going to want to have to transcode their 1080i and 1080p video to 720p.

Obviously, the new AppleTV is not aimed at home theater types. Apples "rent only" business model does not seem to be aimed at people who wish to watch the same video several times. So you have to wonder who exactly is going to buy a new ATV? People who subscribe to NetFlix might be canidates, but they probably already have something that gets NetFlix.
post #48 of 55
Trust me, those that are the target market really don't give a whit about the debate between 720 & 1080 ..
post #49 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyrax View Post

mym6,
A large percent of the people who might want a device like this would want to use it to stream video from their home networks. These people have terabytes of high quality video on their servers. They are not going to want to have to transcode their 1080i and 1080p video to 720p.

Maybe I'm completely out of the loop and behind the curve but I just don't believe for a second that it would be a large percentage. Face it, you and I are a minority and to be honest, I actually don't "get" building a huge server that runs 24x7 to host gargantuan copies of movies I have sitting around the house anyway.

If you look at the AppleTV in the context of what it was designed for, it makes complete sense that it is only 720p. The AppleTV is meant to fit within the iTunes paradigm. If you purchase files through iTunes 720p is all you're going to see. If you stream netflix the best you can get is 720p. Even if you record OTA TV shows you either get 1080i or 720p and 1080i really doesn't have any advantage over 720p. So in the end, that the AppleTV doesn't support 1080p is truly a moot point.
post #50 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by mym6 View Post


If you look at the AppleTV in the context of what it was designed for, it makes complete sense that it is only 720p. The AppleTV is meant to fit within the iTunes paradigm. If you purchase files through iTunes 720p is all you're going to see. If you stream netflix the best you can get is 720p. Even if you record OTA TV shows you either get 1080i or 720p and 1080i really doesn't have any advantage over 720p. So in the end, that the AppleTV doesn't support 1080p is truly a moot point.

Exactly .. and I'll add that I'll take a 720p stream any day .. and I am far from the "average user" ..
post #51 of 55
I think we're sort of saying the same things in different ways. I agree that the target audience will not care about it being 720p video or low quality audio (MP3 players more or less proved people don't care about audio that much). I'm wondering who they're targeting, and think the Home Theater crowd (people who have spent thousands of dollars on projectors, screens, AV receivers and speakers) may not be rushing to buy an ATV.

I guess it all depends on bit-rates and the screen you're watching it on. If the video at 720p looks nearly as good as a blu-ray, then nobody will care that it is 720p. If the bit-rates are a low, I think people with smaller TVs (50" or less) will care a lot less than people who have projectors and fairly large screens.

All that said, I think the real problem with the ATV is that you have to rent the movies and TV shows through iTunes instead of being able to buy them.
post #52 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by mym6 View Post

...
1) If you purchase files through iTunes 720p is all you're going to see.
...
2) If you stream netflix the best you can get is 720p.
...
3) Even if you record OTA TV shows you either get 1080i or 720p and 1080i really doesn't have any advantage over 720p. So in the end, that the AppleTV doesn't support 1080p is truly a moot point.

1. I was told that there would also be lots of lower resolution stuff.

2. Netflix HD looks worse than a DVD. It is hard to watch on a 100" screen. It looks OK on my old 50" TV.

3. You're correct if ATV looks as good as a broadcast 720p show. I hope it does.
post #53 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyrax View Post

1. I was told that there would also be lots of lower resolution stuff.

2. Netflix HD looks worse than a DVD. It is hard to watch on a 100" screen. It looks OK on my old 50" TV.

3. You're correct if ATV looks as good as a broadcast 720p show. I hope it does.

1. I should have said 720p is as good as it gets

I'm pretty happy with the quality of OTA HD that I record and encode to h.264.
post #54 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWC View Post

I have hundreds of GB of Apple Lossless music on my NAS that I would love to listen to in my theater room.

I'd be surprised if this device made you as happy as you could, then. For one, it uses exactly the same audio streaming protocol as the Airport Express has had for years now, as confirmed to me by a "genius bar" employee friend of mine. That protocol is pretty decent, honestly, but it's not really reference grade. It's jittery, for one, and even though it buffers and anticipates network inconsistencies, it can still drop out.

A better solution, if you're really concerned about quality, is to have a purpose-built music server outputting SPDIF via a USB/SPDIF converter, then out to your DAC. The M2Tech HiFace does this well, as does the Halide Bridge. Now of course, that setup is 5-6 times as expensive as the Apple TV, but it is VERY high quality.

If you're not concerned with that level of performance, you're probably still better off picking up an airport express off ebay and using airtunes -- same quality for half the price.
post #55 of 55
The main issue for me is the lack of storage. I don't want another device to have to be on to listen to music. The best bit about the old one was I could drag all my music on to it and then switch all my computers off. We even used the old one as cheap multi-room sources - multiple copies of an iTunes library which could be brought on or off as required. I don't fancy having to house and support a NAS in the rack just for this.
720p is ridiculous in this age - I'm surprised they didn't push for 1080p as surely everyone wants 1080p nowadays (regardless of whether their 32" Samsung TV at the other side of the lounge would benefit!)?
It'll be interesting to see one in the flesh but I suspect it wont cut the mustard for us.
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