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Is there anything apple tv can do that an HTPC can't? - Page 3

post #61 of 111
To me Apple TV is worth it just for Netflix - it's Netflix interface destroys anything else, wonder why everyone else's Netflix interface is such crap. You can search moves/TV shows even by cartoon character.biggrin.gif
In fact 99% of the time it is used for Netflix. The rest is occasional rental from iTunes store.

Also, with remote app you can use your iPad or iPhone as a keyboard remote - much easier to type show names when searching. Minor plus but comes in handy sometimes.
post #62 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by pitviper33 View Post

For video, I agree with you. It's basically pointless. But music is where it really shines. The key difference is that to listen to music (non-critical listening obviously), you don't have to sit still. I can set my receiver to output to speakers all over the house, and I can walk around cleaning the house, working on a car in the garage, or playing with the dog in the back yard. And at any point I can pull my phone out of my pocket and change the music to whatever I want. I can also change the volume. That's what AirPlay accomplishes. As long as I'm within range of one of my wireless access points, I have immediate control of the music right in my pocket.
Possibly that could all be done with a remote desktop app of some kind on my htpc. I'm not totally sure. But it certainly wouldn't be as straightforward to search for a different album on a phone screen.
AirPlay for WMC is very interesting. I didn't know that existed. I'll look into it.

Xbmc coming out can be accepted as an airplay target, funny you mentioned this actually.

I can stream music from my phone to xbmc. My only issue is my phone is not always up to date with music, so i got a neat little apple app, if anyones interested i will post a link. But basically I use foobar for upnp. The app access my flac library in foobar through upnp, then streams it on my phone as a wav file. After it was on my phone i clicked and selected xbmc to have it airplayed to their. Not really needed for me since xbmc can play my entire library anyway through any of my xbmc remote apps, but i do have a wireless airplay portable speaker i move around the house, this allows me to beam any music on my pc to my phone then airplays it to my portable speaker.

With foobar upnp i also get album art and, the phone functions just like a remote, while its also beaming or ariplaying my music to my xbmc machine or airplay speaker. I switch songs, select albums with full art with the phone as it plays on my wireless airplay speakers or xbmc.

I just chose apple over android just for airplay, microsoft and android need to address airplay the technology is incredible and will hurt them if they dont come up with an answer, I dont like apple or itunes but it made me stick with them.

I also dont think you really need airplay for what your doing though, are you playing the music on your phone? Or through apple tv? Because any htpc front end like xbmc has wireless remote apps in the app store that grant you control over your music library, any upnp device should be able to do that. Streaming music from your phone to a device is where airplay shines though.

Its somewhat of a novelty as well though, for instance I was to lazy to put a youtube video up on the xbmc htpc, so I just hit airplay and zapped it from my phone onto xbmc.
Edited by Murilo - 8/15/12 at 5:18am
post #63 of 111
I love my htpc and the only thing missing since I feel like xbmc is the best thing since sliced bread, is the apps/addons/ whatever you want to call it. A friend has a boxee which does it well. I feel xbmc would be miles more mainstream if they had a focused team developing usable apps like netflix, or anything else for it. Its all up to random users, and it really hurts xbmc imo because random users vanish, i have a ton of plugins i just cleaned out because none of them work. Regular uses often just decide they dont care, and the apps also break constantly and they dont have time or want to fix them.

The xbmc netflix interface i found awful, and the mce version wont work in canada.

Other then that I love it, it plays full blurays with menus using tmt as an external player, it displays a beautiful library or movies, music and tv shows.

Its the best front end storage unit i used, but as a media player it falls short in some basics, i dont know if it can be fixed.
Edited by Murilo - 8/15/12 at 5:44am
post #64 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murilo View Post

I also dont think you really need airplay for what your doing though, are you playing the music on your phone? Or through apple tv? Because any htpc front end like xbmc has wireless remote apps in the app store that grant you control over your music library, any upnp device should be able to do that. Streaming music from your phone to a device is where airplay shines though.
I'm not very clear on what you're asking here, so I'll just give more detail on what I'm actually doing. The music files are being read on my phone, so in that sense yes I'm playing music on my phone. But the phone's speaker is not active (as that would be hardly worth listening to), so in that sense no I'm not playing music on my phone. So the music that's originating from my phone is streamed to my AE (as I mentioned in an earlier post, I replaced my ATV with an AE.) The AE then runs that music through its DAC and outputs it to an integrated amplifier. The amp then either plays that music on its connected speakers or sends the line level signal to another amplifier in a different location with different speakers attached, or both. Make sense?

For my personal setup, I no longer need Airplay or equivalent in the same location as my HTPC. When I'm on the move listening to music, that room isn't usually where I want it. If I'm in that room and listening to music, I might as well just play it through WMC and leave my phone in my pocket.

As for how all this pertains to the original question, I think it's been thoroughly answered. My earlier assertion that a HTPC can't do airplay has been successfully refuted. It sounds as if there are several options for this. If you already have a HTPC, you have no reason for an ATV in the same location. (I'm not pointing this out to say that the discussion should be ended. Just summarizing and noticing that the original question seems to be answered.)
post #65 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by pitviper33 View Post

My earlier assertion that a HTPC can't do airplay has been successfully refuted

No it hasn't.

There is currently no HTPC plugin, software, hack that can successfully do any sort of airplay mirroring

Airplay music, yes completely refuted

ATV and HTPC, I also think the discussion should be ended. I don't think you need both

Airplay mirroring is one of those things you have to live without. There are some things an HTPC doesn't do
post #66 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by pitviper33 View Post

I'm not very clear on what you're asking here, so I'll just give more detail on what I'm actually doing. The music files are being read on my phone, so in that sense yes I'm playing music on my phone. But the phone's speaker is not active (as that would be hardly worth listening to), so in that sense no I'm not playing music on my phone. So the music that's originating from my phone is streamed to my AE (as I mentioned in an earlier post, I replaced my ATV with an AE.) The AE then runs that music through its DAC and outputs it to an integrated amplifier. The amp then either plays that music on its connected speakers or sends the line level signal to another amplifier in a different location with different speakers attached, or both. Make sense?
For my personal setup, I no longer need Airplay or equivalent in the same location as my HTPC. When I'm on the move listening to music, that room isn't usually where I want it. If I'm in that room and listening to music, I might as well just play it through WMC and leave my phone in my pocket.
As for how all this pertains to the original question, I think it's been thoroughly answered. My earlier assertion that a HTPC can't do airplay has been successfully refuted. It sounds as if there are several options for this. If you already have a HTPC, you have no reason for an ATV in the same location. (I'm not pointing this out to say that the discussion should be ended. Just summarizing and noticing that the original question seems to be answered.)

I was just thinking about this before I logged on, yes currently what your doing can only be done using airplay (from phone to device), but as mentioned xbmc is currently working in the latest builds as a airplay target.
post #67 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

No it hasn't.
There is currently no HTPC plugin, software, hack that can successfully do any sort of airplay mirroring
Airplay music, yes completely refuted
ATV and HTPC, I also think the discussion should be ended. I don't think you need both
Airplay mirroring is one of those things you have to live without. There are some things an HTPC doesn't do



Speaking of mirroring though, I often wondered what use it has, it looked interesting but I never really came up with any idea how it would be useful. I can currently airplay videos from my phone to my xbmc or whatever but it doesnt display on the phone or ipad while doing it. I guess it would be ever so slightly nicer to have it stay on the phone as well, but you can still control it from the phone the video is just not their...but thats also why im airplaying it, because i dont want it displayed on my phone. Im probably not thinking outside of the box however.

On xbmc they were discussing ios6 will have airplay built in, I am guessing mirroring might be supported, then perhaps if you do an ios6 build with xbmc you could do mirroring?

Either way apple has a great technology, i see today microsoft just unvieled smart glass, i think its imperative they try to catch up or offer an alternative to this.
post #68 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

Isn't that another one of those things you can't do on an Apple?

Don't make me laugh. OS X has supported Flash forever and Adobe has always had it suck. It is not on the iOS devices and now it's not available on ANY new mobile device because Adobe realized Apple was right that it sucked and abandoned it. More grasping at straws please biggrin.gif
post #69 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

There is currently no HTPC plugin, software, hack that can successfully do any sort of airplay mirroring
AirPlay Receiver
AirPlay Transmitter

I use both of these frequently on Windows and OS X. Works perfectly for mirroring.
Reflection on Windows does not yet support video streaming though. (mirroring works, but streaming H.264 videos directly does not yet)
Quote:
Originally Posted by xcrunner529 View Post

Don't make me laugh. OS X has supported Flash forever and Adobe has always had it suck.
Actually, until fairly recently, Apple did not expose any APIs to enable hardware accelerated video decoding, which is why Flash has always performed so terribly on OS X.
post #70 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

AirPlay Receiver
AirPlay Transmitter
I use both of these frequently on Windows and OS X. Works perfectly for mirroring.
Reflection on Windows does not yet support video streaming though. (mirroring works, but streaming H.264 videos directly does not yet)
Actually, until fairly recently, Apple did not expose any APIs to enable hardware accelerated video decoding, which is why Flash has always performed so terribly on OS X.

They've had it since Leopard, I believe and IT STILL crashes Chrome and Safari (which has it integrated and which in theory should be the best!) somewhat regularly and certainly lets me know it's there with all my fans spinning at any random banner ad playing.
post #71 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by xcrunner529 View Post

They've had it since Leopard, I believe and IT STILL crashes Chrome and Safari (which has it integrated and which in theory should be the best!) somewhat regularly and certainly lets me know it's there with all my fans spinning at any random banner ad playing.
It was introduced with 10.6.3, so Leopard did not support it at all, and it only works with specific GPUs. (support was then added to Flash a couple of months later)

Flash ads are not videos that can utilize this feature. And I don’t believe AppleTVs can run Flash at all?
post #72 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

It was introduced with 10.6.3, so Leopard did not support it at all, and it only works with specific GPUs. (support was then added to Flash a couple of months later)
Flash ads are not videos that can utilize this feature. And I don’t believe AppleTVs can run Flash at all?

Youtube is and also makes my fans go nuts. Hulu as well. My point is Flash today isn't necessary and it seemed like there was general agreement until it somehow became a political issue when one company told it how it is (hey! just like real politics!)
post #73 of 111
Airplay from the Mac requires a pretty up-to-date Mac, so check the Apple site for the system requirements.
post #74 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by xcrunner529 View Post

Youtube is and also makes my fans go nuts. Hulu as well. My point is Flash today isn't necessary and it seemed like there was general agreement until it somehow became a political issue when one company told it how it is (hey! just like real politics!)
If that’s happening, your Mac is too old to support hardware accelerated video decoding.

Safari with the ClickToPlugin extension should help though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhobart View Post

Airplay from the Mac requires a pretty up-to-date Mac, so check the Apple site for the system requirements.
AirParrot and Reflection have Mac versions as well, though they use CPU encoding/decoding rather than leveraging Intel’s QuickSync technology, which is why they work on anything that can run Snow Leopard or above—I’ve been using them on a CoreDuo MacBook (the original) this last week while waiting on replacement HTPC parts.
post #75 of 111
No it's not. The NVIDIA is capable of that.
post #76 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by xcrunner529 View Post

Don't make me laugh. OS X has supported Flash forever and Adobe has always had it suck. It is not on the iOS devices and now it's not available on ANY new mobile device because Adobe realized Apple was right that it sucked and abandoned it. More grasping at straws please biggrin.gif
Well since this thread is about the Apple TV I guess Flash is something you can't do on it. Go ahead and drink the Kool-Aid if you wish but unless you 'Jail Break' the Apple TV and use its components to run a decent program or two it is very limited in what it can do.
post #77 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by xcrunner529 View Post

No it's not. The NVIDIA is capable of that.
It may support DirectX Video Acceleration (DXVA) in Windows, but that does not mean it is supported by the Video Decode Acceleration framework in OS X.

If your fans are spinning up with YouTube, it sounds like your Mac is too old to be supported and is using CPU decoding. Easiest way to test this is to see if your CPU usage spikes when playing video.
post #78 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by dannieboiz View Post

My Mac friends are trying to sell me into getting an Apple TV 2 and jailbreak it for my bedroom vs using my laptop.
On my HTPC I'm using it purely to watch Youtube video and other video hosting sites as well as the streamed media from my main HTPC in the living room.
What I hear about jailbroken ATV2 that really got me thinking is the capability of watching cable contents (can someone confirm this?)
I have XMBC on the laptop in the BR but only use it as a front end to watch the media on my LAN. Everything else I just go to the browser and watch it from there.
I'm cable bill with HBO and Showtime is getting expensive, if I can watch HBO/Showtime and other premium stations via the ATV2 then I think it's a winner.

I'm not going to address the rest of the thread because it's too much of a "mine is better" argument. Since the Olympics over, no need to answer.

Back to the OP, despite the ATV being only about a $100, the question is what are you really trying to achieve if you did do this? Is it possible to get HBO or Showtime, maybe. You have to look into HBO Go and whatever the equivalent to Showtime. But you still need to have a cable/satellite subscription to access.

I'm not really up on XBMC, but if you like something small to have in the bedroom to stream your media to, I would suggest with the Roku with Plex Media Server. I personally use it, and it works well. It even has a YouTube channel.

As for the subject, is there something ATV can do that the HTPC can't, no. As stated earlier, there are some things it can do better, such as Netflix.

Based on the little information you gave, other than the convenience of not having to set the laptop in the bedroom every time you want to watch a movie or something through XBMC, I'm not seeing anything it's going to let you that you aren't already. When I went HTPC, I already had a Roku. The HTPC gave me the ability to watch more sports, get around blackouts, and cut my cable bill. I say, save your money.
post #79 of 111
Am I the only one who uses his Apple TV (using Air Play) for:

- Presentations (I create interactive layouts using Adobe's DPS setup and use an iPad to give the presentation.)

- Karaoke (Yes. Proudly. 10.8 supports mirroring of the whole OS through Air Play and using an Apple TV lets me access my tower from my theater room to get to my 10,000+ CD-G files through K Jams.)

- Send youtube clips I watch on my iPad to any TV in the house with an Apple TV on it. It's quite fun. ^_^ I've found a few creative ways to exploit this for parties.

- Play games using the iPad or iPod as the controller on my TV using the ATV. (Not often, but it's fun.)

I buy discs and rip to 1080p. (Cheaper than buying from Apple most of the time) If it's a real event movie, I'll spin the disc (The Avengers will be like that) but most of the time streaming to the ATV is good for me. And I can re-rip in the future if I need to...
post #80 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

Well since this thread is about the Apple TV I guess Flash is something you can't do on it. Go ahead and drink the Kool-Aid if you wish but unless you 'Jail Break' the Apple TV and use its components to run a decent program or two it is very limited in what it can do.

It has nothing to do with drinking the kool-aid. It has to do with Flash being brought up when it has little usefulness these days or on the iOS devices. I am not arguing against the fact that the AppleTV IS limited.
post #81 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

It may support DirectX Video Acceleration (DXVA) in Windows, but that does not mean it is supported by the Video Decode Acceleration framework in OS X.
If your fans are spinning up with YouTube, it sounds like your Mac is too old to be supported and is using CPU decoding. Easiest way to test this is to see if your CPU usage spikes when playing video.

I'm aware of what you're saying. This is mine. Therefore, it does ON MAC.
Quote:
The new video acceleration API is only available in Mac OS X 10.6.3 or later and is limited to GPUs models such as NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, GeForce 320M or GeForce GT 330M. For more details you can look at Apple’s technote. Here is a list of the Mac models currently supported:
post #82 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by chirpie View Post

Am I the only one who uses his Apple TV (using Air Play) for:
- Presentations (I create interactive layouts using Adobe's DPS setup and use an iPad to give the presentation.)
- Karaoke (Yes. Proudly. 10.8 supports mirroring of the whole OS through Air Play and using an Apple TV lets me access my tower from my theater room to get to my 10,000+ CD-G files through K Jams.)
- Send youtube clips I watch on my iPad to any TV in the house with an Apple TV on it. It's quite fun. ^_^ I've found a few creative ways to exploit this for parties.
- Play games using the iPad or iPod as the controller on my TV using the ATV. (Not often, but it's fun.)
screenshot2012-08-21ay1lp9.png screenshot2012-08-21anmxgs.png
Quote:
Originally Posted by xcrunner529 View Post

I'm aware of what you're saying. This is mine. Therefore, it does ON MAC.
It should not be ramping up the fans if it’s using the VDA framework. Check your CPU usage/config. Either something must be wrong, or the 9400 is so old that even that is causing it to heat up. (which will not be specific to Flash) There should be almost no CPU overhead when the VDA framework is in use.
post #83 of 111
Personally, I think that connecting a mac mini to a television is much more powerful than using an Apple TV. I've used both and felt that an Apple TV is so much more restrictive; with a mac mini you could connect it to your home's wireless internet and browse the internet/content with a wireless keyboard/mouse very naturally. You can go to youtube, websites (like the official Olympics website for example), play music from spotify, etc. To me the mac mini is a much more capable machine once connected to your television than an Apple TV is. If you're in the market for an Apple TV I'd definitely consider the mac mini route before making your final decision.

If you ask me, the real question is "mac mini vs. htpc". wink.gif
post #84 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by kberta View Post

Personally, I think that connecting a mac mini to a television is much more powerful than using an Apple TV. I've used both and felt that an Apple TV is so much more restrictive; with a mac mini you could connect it to your home's wireless internet and browse the internet/content with a wireless keyboard/mouse very naturally. You can go to youtube, websites (like the official Olympics website for example), play music from spotify, etc. To me the mac mini is a much more capable machine once connected to your television than an Apple TV is. If you're in the market for an Apple TV I'd definitely consider the mac mini route before making your final decision.
If you ask me, the real question is "mac mini vs. htpc". wink.gif

Isn't that the same as saying htpc vs htpc at that point?

And that's like... five times the cost. Surely that counts for... I dunno, something?
post #85 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

screenshot2012-08-21ay1lp9.png screenshot2012-08-21anmxgs.png
It should not be ramping up the fans if it’s using the VDA framework. Check your CPU usage/config. Either something must be wrong, or the 9400 is so old that even that is causing it to heat up. (which will not be specific to Flash) There should be almost no CPU overhead when the VDA framework is in use.

Sorry, I meant that more as a strike against something like a Roku vs the assembling of an HTPC, although is my last feature of playing games on the ATV using an iPad possible with that solution?
post #86 of 111
All the fun about an HTPC is the hobby. The building it, the software universe ( XBMC, Media Browser, MYTHTV etc....) I can build home servers. I can change configs, I can break things, I can fix things, I can tweak, I can get frustrated with it, I can feel like I accomplished something....

The ATV unit is just a mediocre product for the masses. Turn it on. Done. Its great for someone like my aunt who just is interested in watching some SD Hulu, you tube, Netflix or whatever content. They can just about understand how to log in. Apple is a successful because most of the population that uses it have been confined to a society that they have faith in. Apple is a religion. You can't tell an Apple person that they are missing something else. They will not hear it. These people using ATV are not looking for Bit perfection.

Comparing apple TV to a HTPC is like comparing a Ferrari to a Honda Accord. The HTPC market is not as huge as apple but neither is Ferrari. Just about everyone has a Honda.
post #87 of 111
At the end of the day there is no one device that does it all. Have dabbled with Apple Tv, PS3, a mini running xbmc, WDTV, boxee box, Sony's google tv box, plex on a mac mini ... Sigh! They all have limitations

Apple Tv
Great for music, viewing photos, netflix and movie rentals. Good GUI and navigation is easy. Airplay is a plus. Probably the easiest GUI to use. Cons include judder for 24p content, lack of DTS and mkv support

PS3
Excellent picture quality. But limited to DLNA. No support for DTS (though some hacks exist to make this work). Music support is poor

WDTV
Beast when it comes to playing all movie formats. GUI is antiquated and slow

Boxee
Very comparable to WDTV except GUI looks a tad nicer. But again GUI is slow

HTPCs
Need babysitting and take time to setup. Very flexible. But not useful for folks who want to rent content.
Navigation can be painful. May need to jump between desktop apps since things may not be completely integrated in one place (say under xbmc). Yes I know there are ways to do this. But its not straight forward
post #88 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by chirpie View Post

Sorry, I meant that more as a strike against something like a Roku vs the assembling of an HTPC, although is my last feature of playing games on the ATV using an iPad possible with that solution?
Yes—the second screenshot is the game SpellTower. I’ve never found AirPlay to be useful for playing most games though, the latency is too high and the framerate is too inconsistent. Had equally poor results with a third-generation AppleTV as well (wired via gigabit into my WNDR3700 router) so I don’t believe it’s anything to do with Reflection.

I actually bought the AppleTV specifically for AirPlay mirroring before Reflection was available (or at least before I was aware of it) and was very disappointed with the image quality, latency, and lack of resolution. I bought it with my iPad 3 and was very disappointed to see that it did not stream 1080p from the device.

It works well with games like SpellTower though as it turns it into a social experience when other people can see the grid and join in.
post #89 of 111
Surprised no one has mentioned using Apple's own "Remote" app on the iPhone/iPad to control iTunes running on the HTPC. The Remote app is extremely clean, simple and solid. I just have windows launch iTunes at startup so it's always on and then hop into the app whenever I want to listen to music. I don't even have my music located on the HTPC; I just use iTunes match so I have that much more available disk space for recording shows, etc. Works great. Obviously this won't work for non-iPhone/iPad users.
post #90 of 111
Good point. The remote app is very useful if one does not want to turn on the tv (or even a server if u have iTunes match) to play music
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