or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Video Components › Home Theater Computers › HTPC - Mac Chat › Apple's new HDTV products
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple's new HDTV products - Page 3

post #61 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by bommai View Post

You are mistaken. A Mac Mini can do everything the Apple TV can do and more. Mac Mini has DVI and optical audio output. This basically removes the need for a HDMI connector also. So, for non-DRM'd content, I would use mac Mini. The disadvantage of the Mini is that you might need to plug in your keyboard/mouse once in a while for maintenance while the Apple TV is designed to not do that.

Actually you can you can do most maintenance via VNC from another computer (that's what I do as I am usually running my Mini headless). No keyboard or mouse required.
post #62 of 122
The Apple TV has a great niche to fit in, that is different from a Mini.

The Apple TV doesn't have a brick power supply, just like most CE devices.
It does support MPEG2, but only 640x480 30fps, hopefully more, but that is what is listed on the apple site.
100Mbps is fast enough especially considering the speed of the internal HDD which i am sure is only 5400, tops. Gig is really only used for large file transfers and even then consumer hardware can't take that much of an advantage of it.

The mini does have more functionality, but really doesn't live up to the "It just works" apple slogan. Harder to configure (component, resolutions), harder to setup (need keyboard and mouse) no Coverflow in Frontrow and other cool Apple TV features (may come in an Frontrow update), no sync built into iTunes (ATV shows up into itunes as a device like an ipod).

Is your Mac pro off at night? no problem all your shows and music are synced to your ATV. 40GB sucks pretty bad especially considering they make iPods with twice that much that don't support HD. Hopefully it uses a standard laptop drive and not the 1.8 from an iPod.

The biggest questions to me are, "DD5.1 support via toslink?", 720p iTunes content and 3rd party plug in support.

The one saving grace about CODEC support is the existence of programs like transcode360 which allow you to transcode any content to the Xbox360 real time since the 360 only support WM9. It would surprise me if software like this doesn't come out for the ATV.

Check out my entire HD perspective.
http://www.engadgethd.com/2007/01/09...d-perspective/
post #63 of 122
Exactly. The people on this forum are hardly the target audience for the Apple TV. I'm not planning to trade in my Mini, and I'm still at the low end of what people here want!
post #64 of 122
mpeg 2 is NOT supported.

- Video formats supported: H.264 and protected H.264 (from iTunes Store): 640 by 480, 30 fps, LC version of Baseline Profile; 320 by 240, 30 fps, Baseline profile up to Level 1.3; 1280 by 720, 24 fps, Progressive Main Profile. MPEG-4: 640 by 480, 30 fps, Simple Profile

And 1080i isn't supported by component either. (But I do love engadget! Keep up the outstanding work)
post #65 of 122
Good catch,
Interesting that they would bother mentioning MPEG4 when it is so close to H.264. Funny how we someones read what we want to read.

Thanks for the correction.
post #66 of 122
What do you mean 1080i is not supported by component? The specs page lists 1080i as a supported resolution. Is that only via HDMI? If so, where did you see that? I may have to cancel my order.
post #67 of 122
Also, the new airport extream will have access to usb hard drive connected to it , hence using that hard drive as a server should the 40 gig drive in the Apple tv be insufficiant. Also this will free up all the drives in your other macs. and the usb port on the extream will now accept a usb hub so if you want multiple printers or drives it will be posibe unlike before. Imagine copying al your dvds to a drive then putting a Apple tv at every tv in your home. nice if it works!
post #68 of 122
It supports 1080i out, but only 720p content.
It will scale the 720p to your 1080i tv.
post #69 of 122
Any word on AC3 passthrough through toslink?
post #70 of 122
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by swSteve View Post

Ever heard of iMovie?

It edits MPEG-2 video from HDV Camcorders.

Looks like you can't play those files on this device.

ST

Yikes. There's always some "gotcha" with this stuff and that is a good one I had forgotten about. Fortunately, we don't have an HDV Camcorder either, though like many others, we'd like to have one. I've also been watching for one that does MPEG-4.
post #71 of 122
Yeah - it looks like Apple has some awkward choices:

1. Pretend the problem doesn't exist.
(after all, iMovie mostly edits DV. No wait... APPLETV doesn't do DV either right? Not good)

2. Add an "Export to APPLETV" button in iMovie.
This more or less exists, but not as a simple button.

Downside is the considerable processing time crunching DV or HD into H.264, although
many user movies are short.

It may also create large disk files if you try to use it to evaluate raw footage.

3. Add H264 editing to iMovieHD
This would let people use some new H264 camcorders

My understanding is that iMovieHD will edit H264 only after a slow conversion
into its internal format. (This may not be a problem if the import process becomes fast.)

Another problem is that even if you start with H264 at 1080 you'll still need to downconvert to
720 which will take time.


It looks like it's better matched to iTunes than iMovie.

Who knows? Perhaps we can look forward to something similar that's more
suited to iMovieHD and FCPro.

ST
post #72 of 122
As someone earlier in the thread mentioned, this is basically an iPod for your TV. I think the possibility of 720p movie rentals alone makes this product intriguing, along with the music streaming functionality, but am unsure if the value is there for the $300 price tag.
post #73 of 122
Just a quick question I see a lot of mentions of 'renting' 720p content (as oposed to buying) - can I ask what that's based on? I haven't been able to stream the whole keynote properly - did Steve talk about renting 720p from iTMS? As a HD-DVD supporter, I'd be quite interested in buying disney/pixar 720p flicks if they were reasonable, but I'm worried as SD is already $15 for say Pirates 2....
post #74 of 122
Doesn't iMovieHD already support export to H.264? That's the HD part. They added their own HD DVD format, which uses H.264 video. I've never used this, but I think that's what they have.

The lack of MPEG2 support is a show stopper for me. This means there is no reasonable way to view HDTV captures from El Gato devices or MythTV (reasonable meaning without a several hour conversion process). I was hoping I could get one of these and free up my Core Duo Mac Mini from its HTPC duties.

Oh well, I guess this is for someone with less exotic usage requirements than us at AVSForum.. It wil make a great device for allowing my Mom to show iPhoto slideshows on her HDTV, or even download movies if they are priced competitively. Althought I doubt this will be the case.. Downloading songs is fine, I prefer to not have the physical discs taking up space. I can easily archive/backup the songs. But, for movies, archiving quickly becomes space prohibitive, making the physical disc a good backup solution (also allowing for lending/sharing with friends and family). Paying $10+ for a movie download probably won't be a big seller for me. But, paying $3 for a restricted rental might work.
post #75 of 122
swSteve--excellent post.

Quote:


I see a lot of mentions of 'renting' 720p content (as opposed to buying) - can I ask what that's based on?

it's just one of the curious (change a few letters and you get spurious) possibilities being raised based on the announced specs, limited codec and resolution support of the device, add that up, combine it with how obviously this device is tied to iTunes and downloaded iTS content, and that's what shakes out.

There's a certain logic to it, though: AppleTV supports 720p at 24fps, it's been touted to play back any file supported by iTunes, hence the expectation that a future version of iTunes will support and a future iteration of the iTS will offer that 720p content. (Of course, there's zero guarantee recorded 720p broadcast content will be supported.)

Quote:


this is basically an iPod for your TV

which, like tji just said, means it'll be DOA for most of us, who have much better things to do than transcode, let alone deal with that vague USB port, apparent lack of AC-3, video_ts or MPEG-2 support, lack of gigabit, etc.

Let the consumers buy in initially. Baby steps. And we can set anyone else smart enough to drop in here straight.
post #76 of 122
The USB port on the back isn't for adding more storage, it's for servicing the box.

This is a thin client for iTunes, nothing more.
post #77 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by almostinsane View Post

This is a thin client for iTunes, nothing more.

That's a very negative way of looking at.

1. For the many people who have some sort of TV set that the Mac (computer) can't seem to match resolution, this is a quick, convenient and easy solution.

2. For people who can't (or won't) run a cable from their computer to their TV, this is also a solution.

3. Considering it has local storage, a form of Front Row built in and includes a remote control, people who lack one of the new computers with Front Row and a remote control can use an older machine (such as my PPC G5) to gain both Front Row and a remote control.

It may not do much for you, but that doesn't many there aren't lots of other people who might find it quite attractive.
post #78 of 122
Quote:


The USB port on the back isn't for adding more storage, it's for servicing the box

Yeah, guess that's where the "vague" implementation part comes into play. Thin clients aren't as flexible, but this will have storage, and people have all these USB devices lying around, it's a natural assumption that they can plug them into USB ports. Just not this one, the only one on any Apple product that isn't obvious to the end user. How value-added might it have been if instead of "service and diagnostics" one could plug in an external hard drive, a friend's iPod, a USB tuner stick, a printer, whatever, and have any of these things recognized by the device or seen on the network?

I know, would have confused the message. Just makes you think what might have been...
post #79 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Further View Post

That's a very negative way of looking at.

That's exactly what the box is. It plays ONLY what is in your iTunes library. Doesn't play from a share, xvid/divx content, EyeTV recorded files, DVD's/HD-DVD's, or SVCD's.

Don't try to make this out to be some break through product for the living room. There are plenty of products out in the market that do more for the same price or less.

I love Apple as much as the next person but not every product is a homerun. I am glad they upgraded the Airport. I can finally replace my extreme with one that does A and N.
post #80 of 122
Which products do more for less?
post #81 of 122
Show me another product less than $300 with a 40GB HDD and the ability to stream and store video from my Windows PC. Please, show me as this looks to be the best option for me to media serve a dvd collection converted to MPEG-4. If there is another one like the Apple that does DIVX I'll convert my dvd's to divx. I found some options that are more expensive but not $299 or less......
post #82 of 122
Yeah I had a friend who spent 2h reading up on AppleTV very interested finally I talked him out of his enthusiam - it doesn't play divx (and we have thousands of divx files) because that's direct competition to the iTMS, thus, the box is crippled. Doesn't even play DVDs, let alone any next gen format. He had a mini in his shopping cart last I checked
post #83 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by telemike View Post

Show me another product less than $300 with a 40GB HDD and the ability to stream and store video from my Windows PC. Please, show me as this looks to be the best option for me to media serve a dvd collection converted to MPEG-4. If there is another one like the Apple that does DIVX I'll convert my dvd's to divx. I found some options that are more expensive but not $299 or less......

In the spirit of helping, not trying to be argumentitive, I've got a MG-35 (check newegg) with a 400gb hard drive in it. Under $250 shipped for the pair, and it plays divx and streams from windows PCs. The problem is I'm a Mac user and hate having to boot over to Windows to update the thing (because of fat32/ntsf limitations). TVisto might be better, not sure. Big problem with both of these for me is that I can't update from network (must attach via usb) but it can stream from 'windows shares' for what that's worth (not much to me).

On another note, back to AppleTV, if the thing's a streamer, then what's with the 40gb hard drive? I was theorizing that maybe it's just for (forthcoming) HD titles that don't stream properly. SD/Audio can stream with ease, even without fancy N wireless.

And why the $%&^ isn't the new $180 Airport equipped with Gigabit? $500 minis have Gigibit ethernet, insane.
post #84 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by telemike View Post

Show me another product less than $300 with a 40GB HDD and the ability to stream and store video from my Windows PC. Please, show me as this looks to be the best option for me to media serve a dvd collection converted to MPEG-4. If there is another one like the Apple that does DIVX I'll convert my dvd's to divx. I found some options that are more expensive but not $299 or less......

Xbox 360? Netgear EVA700?
post #85 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by almostinsane View Post

That's exactly what the box is. It plays ONLY what is in your iTunes library. Doesn't play from a share, xvid/divx content, EyeTV recorded files, DVD's/HD-DVD's, or SVCD's.

The notable exception to this is the iPhoto integration. I wonder if there will be a Windows app to allow photo display, or if this will be Mac only.

Quote:


Don't try to make this out to be some break through product for the living room. There are plenty of products out in the market that do more for the same price or less.

The iTunes DRM support makes this a game changer for many people. This will be a good product for those that stay nicely within the boundaries of what Apple provides. This is not the case for most of us here.

The closest to an ideal media player I have seen is the Roku HD1000, Linux based and allowing anyone to develop software to extend it. But, it did poorly in the market, and was discontinued a couple years ago.

For those of us here with exotic needs, the solution has been available for a long time.. the Mac Mini can do everything the AppleTV can, plus plenty more. So, I'll be sticking with the Mini for my needs, and buying an AppleTV for my parents and their simpler needs.
post #86 of 122
[quote=nightfly13]In the spirit of helping, not trying to be argumentitive, I've got a MG-35 (check newegg) with a 400gb hard drive in it. Under $250 shipped for the pair, and it plays divx and streams from windows PCs. The problem is I'm a Mac user and hate having to boot over to Windows to update the thing (because of fat32/ntsf limitations). TVisto might be better, not sure.

On another note, back to AppleTV, if the thing's a streamer, then what's with the 40gb hard drive? I was theorizing that maybe it's just for (forthcoming) HD titles that don't stream properly. SD/Audio can stream with ease, even without fancy N wireless.
QUOTE]

MG-35 out of stock at newegg.

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

I looked at the D-LINK media streamer but it has no HDD to pre-stream files.
post #87 of 122
What is this, dumb down the forum day?

The question isn't:

Quote:


Which products do more for less?

far more interesting to discuss:

1) Should we have expected more from this device, and of Apple?

2) Is this device at $299 a better value--in the near and long terms--than other options, especially the core duo mini at $599?

Quote:


this looks to be the best option for me to media serve a dvd collection converted to MPEG-4

You might be right if you have a limited budget at the moment, don't already have a big HDTV, don't record high def or don't plan to anytime soon, don't mind wasting time decreasing the quality of your dvd collection, don't care about AC-3 or DTS because you don't have a real stereo and don't have the ability to run Cat5e up to your display. If that applies, as they say, be happy with your new purchase. But if one is reasonably computer savvy, why overlook an older mini, which now can be had fairly cheaply, often for less than $299?

And if very few of those conditions apply, then that $300 should go toward a core duo mini.
post #88 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by tji View Post

The notable exception to this is the iPhoto integration. I wonder if there will be a Windows app to allow photo display, or if this will be Mac only.

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

ft
post #89 of 122
Re "dumb down day": The post immediately previous to my question that bothers you claimed that "plenty of products" do more for less or same price... I just asked for details.

If Newegg is right, the MG-35 doesn't do H.264, which will matter to some and not others.
post #90 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightfly13 View Post

it plays divx and streams from windows PCs

But will it stream Fairplay? There's always a gotcha.

Quote:


On another note, back to AppleTV, if the thing's a streamer, then what's with the 40gb hard drive?

Big buffer. Maybe for future unknown reasons (RSS auto-feeds???) And for anything more, I'm sure when the putty knives come out, if it's a 3 1/2" drive, it'll get swapped out real fast. If it's 2 1/2", the eSATA mods will be hacked in.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: HTPC - Mac Chat
AVS › AVS Forum › Video Components › Home Theater Computers › HTPC - Mac Chat › Apple's new HDTV products