AVS Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Thinking of switching from a Mac Mini to ATV to simplify my setup and rent directly from onscreen interface. I currently have about 50 movies ripped to MP4 format on a NAS. Any issues accessing this from ATV? I can set up another Mac as an iTunes server, but does it stream through this Mac once playing or does it stream directly from the NAS?


Any other potential issues I am not thinking of?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,840 Posts
you have to maintain the 'serving' iTunes even though the stream may in fact be direct from the NAS once committed. I've verified this already - Otherwise everything works just fine; I do this now using a Time Capsule as a 'NAS-like' storage for movies ; The serving iTunes points to these files. I can do this from a MacPro or a MacAir - each of which reference the 'NAS' files. You can set the iTunes Preferences for the source location on the NAS or you can Share the library and let ATV pick it up that way; Either way works great... Just count on having the serving iTunes active....


ken
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
955 Posts
You don't need itunes active all the time. I have a 160gb and a 40gb. With 50 movies ripped in mp4 format we are talking about 2-3gb each movie max right? That would be about 150gb. Just get the 160gb (refurbised isn't a bad deal at apple.com), and put all your movies on it from itunes.. then you don't need a computer running all the time. ATV is awesome! There is so much content its ridicorous.. all in very nice menu! Your movies, your tv shows, music, music videos, podcasts, you can download podcasts directly from the atv, music, music videos, rent movies (some in HD too.. look awesome!), buy movies, youtube!, the possibilities are endless! All, again, with the best interface that nothing else can beat.


Mo
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
955 Posts
Oh.. and if you don't like it return it.. thats what I do with 50% of my electronics. Can't just sell me something without a test drive... So you may want to get it from best buy and try it out and see then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Picked up the 160 GB ATV and love it. Was able to use my NAS as video source, with reference to movies in iTunes on my iMac and copy all files over to ATV.


Only minor issue I am having is that with my setup I have optical audio going to my receiver and video to Sony XBR over HDMI. ATV sends audio signal to both HDMI and optical so I need to turn off speakers on TV when using receiver for audio. XBR does not allow audio settings by input so I cannot just turn off the speakers on the XBR on the ATV input.


Other than that I love the ATV, much easier to deal with than the Mac Mini for everyone in my family.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,555 Posts
I've been playing with the ATV also this past weekend. About a week ago I started ripping my DVDs to m4v files with HandBrake, and have converted about 25 so far. I picked up a cheap 750gb USB hard drive on sale, and the 40gb ATV. Cheap combo. ATV attached to the TV no problem, everything looks fabulous. USB hard drive is attached to an iMac in the same room, and rips from HandBrake get tossed on their and loaded into iTunes on that iMac. Apple TV sees the entire list no problem, and the ripped movies look pretty indistinguishable from DVDs (although no special features, which is only a loss in some rare cases). Watched my first ATV rental this weekend as well, and was stunned at how great the quality was... definitely DVD quality, no problem! (I rented the SD version to save a buck since this ATV is only connected to an EDTV.) Once I pick up a new 1080p screen in the living room, I know I'll want more, but that should be an easy fix when the time comes, and the ATV should have a new version with 1080p eventually, so no problem there either.


So far I'm very happy with it all!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,840 Posts
Kalani- Even now the ATV will upscale to your 1080p; and The HD rentals look superb; Equal to broadcast HD IMO...

only slightly bested by a full blown BD implementation.

ken
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,555 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenliles /forum/post/14339281


Kalani- Even now the ATV will upscale to your 1080p; and The HD rentals look superb; Equal to broadcast HD IMO...

only slightly bested by a full blown BD implementation.

ken

Really? I had initially heard (I thought) that they only do 720p. Was that just the first gen products, or was I completely off base?


Good to hear regardless, although I'm limping along with 480p (in the bedroom where this is, at least) for now regardless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #11

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalani /forum/post/14340272


Really? I had initially heard (I thought) that they only do 720p. Was that just the first gen products, or was I completely off base?


Good to hear regardless, although I'm limping along with 480p (in the bedroom where this is, at least) for now regardless.

Upscaling and actual resolution are 2 different things. The Apple TV HD movies are 720p 24 fps, and the ATV upscales this to 1080p. Basically your TV only shows its native resolution so if you have a 1080p TV that is what you are always seeing, even if the signal is 480i (SDTV). Typically the TV does the upscaling to its native resolution, all that is happening in this case is that the ATV is scaling its own content to 1080p, rather than the TV doing the scaling. On my Sony XBR (1080p TV) there is no discernable difference between setting the ATV to 1080p and 720p with the exception of the menus, which I believe must actually be generating in 1080p on the ATV as opposed to 720p.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Just wanted to add one more thought to this discussion about picture quality in addition to the resolution, for digital formats the data rate also defines the quality. In many cases this affects the visual quality more than the resolution. That is why in some cases a 480p DVD looks better than HD from the cable company. As the cable company adds more stations to the digitial pipelein (and satellite for that matter) they are compressing the signals more and providing lower data rates giving a picture with less information, although high resolution.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,555 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimpware /forum/post/14341244


Upscaling and actual resolution are 2 different things. The Apple TV HD movies are 720p 24 fps, and the ATV upscales this to 1080p. Basically your TV only shows its native resolution so if you have a 1080p TV that is what you are always seeing, even if the signal is 480i (SDTV). Typically the TV does the upscaling to its native resolution, all that is happening in this case is that the ATV is scaling its own content to 1080p, rather than the TV doing the scaling. On my Sony XBR (1080p TV) there is no discernable difference between setting the ATV to 1080p and 720p with the exception of the menus, which I believe must actually be generating in 1080p on the ATV as opposed to 720p.

Right, I knew that, but was not aware the ATV was outputting 1080p nonetheless. I believe it was initially capped at 720p output, unless the TV was doing the scaling, which isn't the same thing.


If I feed the ATV 1080p files, it can play them back at true 1080p, that's the question. I'm guessing... yes?


My main LR set is 1080i (Mitsu 65" RPTV, a thing of beauty), so that's fine for now, but I know eventually I'll be looking at different technology to get 1080p, so that's still an important feature. Likewise, bedroom TV is a 42" EDTV plasma, so 480p is fine for now, and that's where my current ATV is. I was holding off buying one for the living room due to the 1080p/future-proofing issue, but it sounds like perhaps there's no point to holding off much more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalani /forum/post/14343499


If I feed the ATV 1080p files, it can play them back at true 1080p, that's the question. I'm guessing... yes?

No. You will need to re-encode to 720p 24 fps, which by the way unless the original source is 24 fps does not look good, a bit choppy. I have not tried 30 fps re-encoding yet for 1080i home movies I have to see if the higher frame rate works, but the spec is 720p 24 fps. I have only had the ATV a half week and have not completely tried all the HD options for encoding. Possibly someone with more experience than me can answer?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,555 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimpware /forum/post/14343866


No. You will need to re-encode to 720p 24 fps, which by the way unless the original source is 24 fps does not look good, a bit choppy. I have not tried 30 fps re-encoding yet for 1080i home movies I have to see if the higher frame rate works, but the spec is 720p 24 fps. I have only had the ATV a half week and have not completely tried all the HD options for encoding. Possibly someone with more experience than me can answer?

Ah, ok. I will hold off on a Living Room purchase for now, then. I'm perfectly happy with a lesser 720p solution for the bedroom (especially now where 480p EDTV is all that I have, but even later when I upgrade it will only be 42" max HDTV 1080p, so 720p content suffices for casual bedroom watching), but I'll want the best possible solution when I finally move up to a system like this for 65"+ living room, where I watch the more demanding movies (action/adventure stuff, etc. that benefits from the big screen and big speakers).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Just re-encoded a 1080i HD home movie at 720p 24 fps in VisualHub setting the bitrate to 5000 and it looked fine. Not great, but OK. Must have been something wrong with my earlier test footage that lead to stuttering.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top