AppleTV

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Apr 12, 2001
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I finally broke down and got AppleTV last week, it works pretty nicely and I'm happy with the product. However, I was reading today that Apple is going to announce an update to the AppleTV hardware on Wednesday and I am really considering bringing the one that I bought last week and then purchase the new one when it comes out.
 
But first, I want to see if the hassle will be worth it. Does anyone here know what the hardware upgrades are going to be? I've searched all over the web and couldn't find anything aside from a Kinnect-like ability to control the menu. Anyone hear any other rumors?
 

mauidano

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teddykgb

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Things are remarkably quiet on this front.  The "real" Apple TV, as in possibly a TV set, has been rumored for a while, but people like MG Siegler are starting to make noise that the upcoming announcement may be the major announcement.  There's some speculation on the internet today that the 64bit iOS move may have been as much to accomodate larger memory for a TV set/gaming device in the short term, which is at least interesting speculation.
 
I think, without a doubt, you should return the AppleTV.  It seems like something is imminent and on the odd chance it is big it would probably suck to watch it happen.  If they do something minor, they'll release a new Apple TV with updated internals at the same price, so you can buy that one and future proof a bit for the same money or buy the older one likely slightly cheaper.  I doubt you NEED an Apple TV in the interim, so I'd do it if you can.
 
Of course, you'll likely get tons of opinions on the AppleTV's merits versus its competitors, but I'm just answering in light of the current versus potential future Apple TV.  Chances are still pretty good that this is just a minor update, but there's a lot of secrecy on this stuff right now, it's possible Apple actually has something up its sleeve.
 
I'd reiterate that I tend to think that MG Siegler is pretty plugged in and he tweeted on the 11th that new hardware is coming.  I'd defer to him and trust him on this one, but he did say next month.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Teddy, the good news is that I have 30-days to return it because you're right, if something big is coming down the pike with new hardware, I'm really going to be pissed.
 
When you say "updated internals", what do you mean by that?
 

dirtynine

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The good thing about Apple TVs is that they are useful even if/when you get a newer model.  They can play video and act as AirPlay receivers all around the house.  I have a first-gen in the bedroom (it's ancient by this point, but plays audio and video perfectly well) and the newer "hockey puck" model in the living room.  They're "only" $99 - not saying that's nothing, but the utility vs. price is very fair.  I'd just hold on to it and, one of the following will happen:
 
- Software upgrade for everybody. You are all set. 
- Hardware spec bump (still at the $99 price point) only.  Yes, you might be out of luck here if it's after 30 days, but a) I don't think you'd ever notice the difference in hardware, and b) I strongly doubt this will happen. 
- Hardware spec bump (at the $99 price point) and software upgrade for everybody.  You get the software upgrade and, again, you're probably not going to notice the hardware spec bump. 
- Big-time hardware upgrade - as in, new device category at a new price point.  Depending on how cool it is, I'd probably think about keeping the Apple TV anyway and getting the new thing. 
 
Even if you keep it past 30 days, there's always Ebay or Craigslist.  Honestly, I can't see many scenarios where it's worth returning it.    
 

gibdied

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I have a first gen. model that I got for free. So I opened it up, pulled the wifi card, replaced it with a video decoder card, then used the excellent Crystalbuntu to get Ubuntu on it and running XBMC. It makes for a pretty nice networked (wired, obviously) media player. It handles 1080p flawlessly, bitstreams DTS-MA/TrueHD to the receiver, has nice music library functionality, auto-adds album artwork, etc. Plus there's a shitload of add-ons for more functionality, though I've never actually explored them in the two years I've had this running.
 

NortheasternPJ

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In recently developing news, Amazon's iPhone and iPad apps now support AirPlay so you can stream Amazon Instant to AppleTV now. I'd imagine an Amazon Instant app is on the way if this follow the path that HBO GO did.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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NortheasternPJ said:
In recently developing news, Amazon's iPhone and iPad apps now support AirPlay so you can stream Amazon Instant to AppleTV now. I'd imagine an Amazon Instant app is on the way if this follow the path that HBO GO did.
 
I saw that news was announced yesterday and jumped the same conclusion that you did.
 

dirtynine

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Are you screen-sharing your MacBook's desktop, or just trying to airplay the video itself?  If the former, the free VLC player should work (just share your screen and make the video full-screen).
More info
 
Also, I think you could use Handbrake to rip the DVD, and then airplay the video file (instead of the spinning disc).  
 

mr_smith02

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So, I downloaded VLC and when I followed the steps the DVD from Netflix would not play.
 
Is anyone out there on SoSH actually able to play a DVD on their MacBook Pro and then show on their TV via AirPlay with the Apple TV?
 

SumnerH

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mr_smith02 said:
So, I downloaded VLC and when I followed the steps the DVD from Netflix would not play.
 
Is anyone out there on SoSH actually able to play a DVD on their MacBook Pro and then show on their TV via AirPlay with the Apple TV?
Shot in the dark that's probably wrong: A DVD drive in a computer has to be activated (set to your region) once before it can play encrypted DVDs (most commercial DVDs are encrypted). Usually Windows does this by default, but on Linux it's occasionally a manual step (most often if the first disc you play is an unusual multi-region one). Maybe OSX needs this, at least in some circumstances?

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2397 is related but not on the nose.

Can you play an ordinary dvd?
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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I know this is a bit off- topic, but if you go to the MLB app, you can watch all of the post season highlights. Just go to the Six homepage and check around.

I've seen the Game Six ones five or six times this winter.

This highlight thing is awesome, it's kind of like your own personalized SportsCenter. AND you can see the highlights from the Sox perspective or their opponents POV for added fun.
 

epraz

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dirtynine's got it.  Handbrake the movie, import into your itunes library, stream.
 

mr_smith02

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epraz said:
dirtynine's got it.  Handbrake the movie, import into your itunes library, stream.
I was able to get the DVD to my desktop.  How do I import it to iTunes and do I need to do that?
 
Thanks for the help!
 

SumnerH

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mr_smith02 said:
I was able to get the DVD to my desktop.  How do I import it to iTunes and do I need to do that?
 
Thanks for the help!
See the previous post. Handbrake. It's free and awesome. That'll convert it to an mp4 or avi which you then import same way you would an mp3 or whatever.
 

B H Kim

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If you want to watch DVDs on your TV, why not just buy a cheap DVD player?  You can get one for about $30 and it seems a lot simpler than going the Handbrake/iTunes/AirPlay route.
 

SumnerH

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B H Kim said:
If you want to watch DVDs on your TV, why not just buy a cheap DVD player?  You can get one for about $30 and it seems a lot simpler than going the Handbrake/iTunes/AirPlay route.
 
A lot of the same reasons that you don't just buy a discman to listen to your CDs.
 
a) It's much more convenient to have all your movies listed in one place that you can flip through on screen and watch from anywhere--if you're in the bedroom you're not running down to the living room or basement to get a DVD and vice-versa, and you never can't find the right dvd or locate the case only to find that the disc isn't in it.
b) Having them stored digitally makes it much easier to snag a bunch to bring with you on a trip (e.g. to watch on the plane or whatever).
c) Getting them all ripped lets you ditch the physical media so you don't have a wall of DVDs taking up space.
d) Once they're ripped, it's easy to safely back them up so you don't have to worry about losing them in a fire/getting scratched/loaning them to a friend who never returns them/etc.
e) You don't need a DVD player for each TV, which is one more thing taking up space and another set of wires running behind the TV (a bigger deal in the bedroom than the family room, but nice everywhere).
 

B H Kim

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SumnerH said:
 
A lot of the same reasons that you don't just buy a discman to listen to your CDs.
 
a) It's much more convenient to have all your movies listed in one place that you can flip through on screen and watch from anywhere--if you're in the bedroom you're not running down to the living room or basement to get a DVD and vice-versa, and you never can't find the right dvd or locate the case only to find that the disc isn't in it.
b) Having them stored digitally makes it much easier to snag a bunch to bring with you on a trip (e.g. to watch on the plane or whatever).
c) Getting them all ripped lets you ditch the physical media so you don't have a wall of DVDs taking up space.
d) Once they're ripped, it's easy to safely back them up so you don't have to worry about losing them in a fire/getting scratched/loaning them to a friend who never returns them/etc.
e) You don't need a DVD player for each TV, which is one more thing taking up space and another set of wires running behind the TV (a bigger deal in the bedroom than the family room, but nice everywhere).
 
I agree with most of that (I've ripped many DVDs via Handbrake), but mr_smith was just looking for a way to play them on his TV.  If you're not worried about or interested in digitizing your movies and just want to play the physical DVD, I think it's just a lot easier to pop the DVD into a DVD player.
 

mr_smith02

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B H Kim said:
 
I agree with most of that (I've ripped many DVDs via Handbrake), but mr_smith was just looking for a way to play them on his TV.  If you're not worried about or interested in digitizing your movies and just want to play the physical DVD, I think it's just a lot easier to pop the DVD into a DVD player.
After spending the $100 for Apple TV and another $20 for an HDMI splitter, I am happy Handbrake will allow me to use the AirPlay without having to purchase anything else.  Again, thanks to all for the helpful tips.
 

Batman Likes The Sox

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mr_smith02 said:
Ok, Handbrake worked.  How do I save it to iTunes?  I can see the Handbrake encoded version on my MacBook desktop.
 
If it's a m4v file or whatever, just drag the file into iTunes.  It will probably end up in the "Home Videos" section of the Movies area.  You can adjust what section it's in by using File -> Get Info and looking at the Options tab.  
 
You could even add cover artwork on the Artwork tab if you felt like it.
 
It's a bit time consuming but simple.  Nice if you want to be able to stream to Apple TV or put them on an iPad or something.
 

The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

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Any idea if video streaming performance (consistency of signal/smoothness/lack of buffering lag in particular) on a jailbroken ATV2 with XBMC will be the same as a newer Android box running XBMC? I know ATV2 maxes out at 720p, but on something like 1channel or sportsdevil it probably doesn't matter.