PDA

View Full Version : Tell me about tv


pscates2.0
2011-02-20, 21:28
As you can see in my sig, I've pretty much bailed on TV/cable at this point. Tired of bitching about the idiocy clogging the airwaves and decided to put my mouth where my money was (or vice versa). These days, it's all podcasts, YouTube, Vimeo, iTunes rentals to my iMac and the like (plus, I'm reading and hand-drawing again for the first time in ages, so it's all been a great change for me). And I love movies, of course, so that would be the biggest thing I'd use it for. But I'm not really interested in the "disc home delivery" stuff, so I'd be more inclined to the do the online/streaming Netflix thing (and what's the story with that?)

Would an tv be a useful, fun product for me? I was thinking about getting Netflix but I'd like to do the online/streaming thing. I know that would factor in here, right?

Is it easy to set up and manage? I read the PDF manual to tv at Apple's support section...seems pretty straightforward from what I can tell.

My current TV doesn't support thing (it's an older CRT without HDMI or all that stuff, but that'll be addressed soon). I like the idea of having something bigger to watch stuff on (the iMac isn't always convenient), plus I know the tv ties in with my iPhone and I can stream stuff (photos, video, etc.) from it to the TV, etc.

I don't have to have cable, do I? That's the whole point...yanking out this cable service and just having something that helps get stuff from the Internet to a larger screen, which is all I'm currently doing anymore.

I do have a really nice, fast Internet connection (fiber optic, etc.) and my (small) place is blanketed with Wifi via a current-generation AirPort Express "n". The TV sits about 7-8 feet from my desk (where the AirPort Express is plugged in), so it's all the same room, near each other. I get full bar Wifi reception on my iPhone every room in my place, plus the front porch and basement, so I don't think that's any issue.

Just tell me about tv in "real life usage" terms...what it's best for, how you use it, etc.

I'm looking at the new, black $99 one, of course.

Anything I should know (good or bad)?

torifile
2011-02-20, 22:14
Check the refurb store. ;) Yesterday they had them for $85 shipped.

I'm not sure but I think you'll need HDMI to use it, though.

kieran
2011-02-20, 22:23
I'm targeting this year to get myself an AppleTV (plus finally upgrade my iPhone), so I'll be watching this thread.

As for the Netflix thing, I'm pretty sure it's just like the streaming works on the game consoles. I use Netflix on my PS3 and it's great. They're adding more and more to their library every day, so there's pretty much always something to watch on there. The streaming only plan is $8 a month, which isn't bad at all.

I've been in my new house since November and have yet to get cable installed. I've been making do with OTA TV and tethering my iPhone to my MBA. I'll most likely have to get cable though in the spring, as I need to be able to watch my Phillies. It's been godo to just have a few channels to watch when I do want to watch TV. I was overwhelmed at my parents' house this week when I went to watch TV there.

Robo
2011-02-20, 22:24
You don't have to have cable.

The Apple TV is less flexible than most all of it's competition. It's iTunes, Youtube, Netflix, and that's pretty much it. No Hulu. No Pandora. No MLB.tv, &c.

Roku's players are less expensive and give you far more options for content. But if all you want is iTunes and Netflix, the Apple TV is...hmm...well, it's a little smaller, I suppose. And the remote is metal! That's got to count for something, right? :/

Apple's still not taking the living room seriously, in other words. The Apple TV won't be much more than a hobby until they add apps. Of course, they're rumored to be doing just that. (With their new subscription policies, Apple TV apps could be a huge cash cow for them.)

That said, if you want the simplest possible solution and/or just want Apple everything, the Apple TV isn't a bad product. It's good at what it does. It just doesn't do very much.

Whichever device you choose, you're going to love Netflix. :)

torifile
2011-02-20, 22:58
I think you're underestimating the Airplay thing, Robo. I've been pining for an AppleTV for a while just because I would really like to be able to easily walk in from listening to music in my car to switching the output to my stereo when I got home. That alone makes me want to get one over a Roku or something similar.

I think that if you care about audio (music as well as podcasts and audio books), you've got to go with an AppleTV. I know that sounds weird considering it's a "TV" device but video is gotten in 10's of different and better ways than iTunes. For audio, though, iTunes* is second-to-none.

*) for the purpose of this discussion, we'll leave iTunes' media management qualities out of it. I'm talking solely about the content and the ease of getting it in there. Plus, with an iDevice, the AppleTV is just a really nice set of speakers for your media.

Robo
2011-02-20, 23:34
That's true. AirPlay could be a major factor for some.

I don't know. I want to like the Apple TV. It's certainly cute. I like the remote. But I just have a hard time recommending it in it's current, limited state. Pscates asked if the Apple TV would be a "useful, fun product." Fun? Certainly. But useful? Weeelll...

I just can't help but feel that Roku has beaten Apple at their own game, or rather, the new Apple TV is losing at Roku's game. The Roku HD is just as easy to set up and use, compatible with many more services, and half the price. And it works with TVs that don't have HDMI.

Just this last week they announced that the Criterion Collection would be offered on Hulu Plus, exclusively. That's a bunch of great films that aren't going to be on Netflix. And Amazon is rumored to be announcing a cheaper challenger to Netflix, possibly built into their Amazon Prime membership. That wouldn't be on Apple TV. Vimeo isn't on Apple TV.

Like you said, it probably comes down to iTunes. If Paul is an iTunes-or-nothing kind of person, the Apple TV might make sense for him. I'm just not sure it makes sense to be an iTunes-or-nothing kind of person any more, especially with regards to video. I couldn't fathom getting a cable substitute that didn't support Hulu, for example. And Amazon Video is cheaper than iTunes, a lot of the time. But maybe Paul is cool with paying more for rentals so he could watch them on his iPhone, I don't know.

torifile
2011-02-21, 00:10
Yeah, I wouldn't exclusively rely on the AppleTV, either.

I *had* been singing the praises of WMC in Windows 7 for a while. Until recently when things just started getting screwy. Random recording and signal errors that are alleviated by restarting the computer or just changing the channel sometimes. Weird netflix login errors that go away when using the browser. Just odd stuff. Thing is, I've done absolutely nothing to my HTPC that could have caused these problems. The computer is used for nothing but media. It doesn't even go online except very occasionally and always to trusted sites. IOW, Windows just atrophies on its own.

So, yeah, an AppleTV on its own might not be all that and if you're looking for a cable replacement rather than an iTunes speaker system, maybe a Roku is a better bet. But Airplaying video games on your t.v. is so cool. ;)

Gargoyle
2011-02-21, 08:22
I love mine!

I'ts not the most heavily used item, but I do from time to time stream my music to it, and I have a few films on my iTunes. When I move into my new place, the plan is to tuck my old PM away and have it as some kind of rip/encode device and get all my DVD's ripped to stream.

Also, Apple have probably had about £50 more out of me in the last 6 months in movie rentals. it's just so easy to be lazy and put on a film! :D

Oh and if you a feeling like a bit of a tinker, it can do this (http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Install_XBMC_on_ATV2)

turtle
2011-02-21, 11:28
I too love my AppleTV and don't have cable either.

Other than AirPlay I'd also like to point out the awesome integration of the Remote app for the iPhone and the AppleTV and iTunes. Well worth it for the money IMHO.

On that note, I think it's awesome you quit paying for media that's worthless and over priced. :)

Mac+
2011-02-22, 07:10
My wife bought Apple TV last year as a birthday gift for me. We've never had cable (so there was no financial savings angle to consider) and we've been trying to move away from renting DVDs at the local store because of the inconvenience factor and potential late fees. I also outlined a plan to rip our DVDs and have them available to browse and watch and this was appealing. (Note: the ripping is long and tedious and I'm still not finished.)

Our main use is to rent a movie on the weekend. I occasionally surf YouTube on it and once or twice we've checked out our friends' MobileMe photos and listened to online radio. We find ourselves mainly using the iPhone remote. The silver button remote is good too, but bear in mind it requires line of sight connection the Apple TV itself.

I guess we're happy with casting our lot with Apple - we weren't looking for a lot of bells and whistles; just a simple UI and integration with our existing computers. AU$129 wasn't a major financial commitment for us either. Although... we did end up finally buying a flat screen TV to connect it to but this was an expense we knew was coming one day anyway.

As a side note, in Australia, we don't receive the NetFlix service as part of Apple TV, so I can't comment on the usefulness/value/ux of this. I guess AirPlay would be cool too, but no dice on the 3G model so, again, can't comment on this. :\

Maciej
2011-02-22, 12:07
The new AppleTV doesn't store movies on board anymore, right? You'd have to stream them from your pc?

torifile
2011-02-22, 13:05
The new AppleTV doesn't store movies on board anymore, right? You'd have to stream them from your pc?
Or your iDevice (iPhone/iPod touch/iPad).

Gargoyle
2011-02-22, 18:14
Kind of related to this thread... I Just noticed that you can now rent the HD version of movies from iTunes (not just via AppleTV).

About time too!

torifile
2011-02-27, 15:20
So, I went out and bought one with my birthday money. It's tiny!

After having to reboot my iPhone to see the device, I was able to play music wirelessly. But the connection will randomly drop out and come back. Signal strength is not a problem. There are times the Airplay icon won't even show. :grumble:

But the real pisser is that it won't work with my iTunes. I'm running iTunes 10.1.2, the latest AppleTV firmware, etc. Homesharing is turned on. Blah blah. I'm really annoyed. double :grumble: It's supposed to be simple and easy. I'm grumpy.

Gargoyle
2011-02-27, 16:55
Eh? It worked fine for me. Did you enter the home sharing username in the AppleTV?

torifile
2011-02-27, 17:50
Eh? It worked fine for me. Did you enter the home sharing username in the AppleTV?
Yup. I can't figure it out. The only thing I can think is that it's because I'm running a hackintosh. I'll try it through windows later and see. That should work regardless of the fact that it was self built.

pscates2.0
2011-02-27, 19:00
I'm betting that factors in somehow. Some missing little piece, somewhere, is causing your problems. I'm not smart/savvy enough to chase those kinds of deep-level gremlins, so it's official Apple-branded Macs for me. If something doesn't work just right, I can always pick up the phone and whine/scream at someone in Cupertino. :)

torifile
2011-02-28, 00:00
I'm betting that factors in somehow. Some missing little piece, somewhere, is causing your problems. I'm not smart/savvy enough to chase those kinds of deep-level gremlins, so it's official Apple-branded Macs for me. If something doesn't work just right, I can always pick up the phone and whine/scream at someone in Cupertino. :)
I'd be inclined to agree with you except that I know that I've had homesharing working with this computer before - to my laptop - and I've read lots of reports of people having difficulty getting it working. Unfortunately I've not been able to find any actual solutions but I'll keep looking. It's not a huge deal since our iDevices have all our media and we can use those but I was hoping for the photos to stream, etc. And I hate when things don't quite work right. :grumble:

torifile
2011-02-28, 23:08
Just an update: homesharing through Windows to the AppleTV works fine. It must be something about the hackintosh thing that isn't working. Bummer. (But not unexpected, I guess.)

kscherer
2011-03-01, 11:20
I chatted a bit with Scates on this topic, and will chime in here for the record.

For us, AppleTV is one of the most important pieces of our entertainment system. Not the only piece, mind you, but a very important one. I will point out right now that we have the older version, but only because that was what was around. The only reason to get the latest version is for the Netflix side of things, but our Wii handles that, so who cares. Also for the record, we don't store jack on the thing, even though it has a hard drive.

Over the past four years, I have ripped all 500 of our DVDs to my Mac Pro, and that is 90% of the AppleTV's job. 9% goes to music, and the other 1% goes to Youtube. We listen to a lot more music than we used to due to the fact that our entire CD collection is ripped and I don't have to fumble through a drawer/rack of stuff just to listen to Johnny Cash.

We cut out cable a year and a half ago, and I have no intention of going back. Take into context my love for the Steelers and BSU, and you can see just how much the tradeoff is worth it. For those who don't get cable/satellite, you won't care. And for those who absolutely cannot shut off live-anything, you won't be able to distance yourself from the TV grid.

Over the past year and a half, we have rediscovered a lot of old movies and television shows through Netflix, and have really enjoyed our own movie collection, although that can get a bit stale.

As for the AppleTV's usefulness, well, that is going to vary a lot depending on who you ask. I could care less about Hulu, and when my wife thinks she needs it, there is always the iMac. I also don't care about all of those other things that Robo/Torifile are debating, which is why it depends on who you ask. We use the thing just for those three things I mentioned, and it serves its purpose very well. I recommend them highly to anyone who has just those needs. For much else, you will either need a second device, or a more flexible one.

As a side note, the AppleTV will connect to any standard infrared remote. Our AppleTV remote sits in a drawer and never gets used. While simple, it just adds to the pile-o-remote and drives me bats!

I give the AppleTV 5 ***** out of five, based on what I use it for.

Another side note: If you can hardwire the little sucker, do so. Wireless is a funny animal. :\

Luca
2011-03-01, 11:59
Another side note: If you can hardwire the little sucker, do so. Wireless is a funny animal. :\

Amen to that. The only things I use with wifi are my phone and my wife's laptop. Everything else gets an ethernet cable. We have a network of them running under the floor of my house.

kscherer
2011-03-01, 12:55
Yeah, our old house was fully networked and the AppleTV never had any trouble. As it stands, with wireless we never have problems streaming, but it does seem to struggle moving from one screen to another as we navigate through the menus (one could blame that on the OS/hardware, but the problem does not exist on an ethernet network, so I have to assume it is having difficulty cueing up data from the Mac Pro over wireless). And it takes longer to buffer. Considering we never had the trouble when it was wired in, I have to lay the blame on wireless.

So be prepared. Yes, they have wi-fi, but I don't like it. :err: Again, the wireless only seems to affect menu navigation and buffering. It does not seem to affect movie playback. The only time we have ever lost that connection is when the Mac Pro was rebooting, or iTunes farted, or something.

torifile
2011-03-01, 19:42
So my Hackintosh wasn't having enough sex (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Promiscuous_mode) to work with Bonjour. It figures - those french get around! it's fixed now. I'm a happy camper again. :)

Robo
2011-03-01, 20:29
So my Hackintosh wasn't having enough sex (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Promiscuous_mode) to work with Bonjour. It figures - those french get around!

:lol: :lol: :lol:

To be honest, I think pscates should just get the Apple TV. It's Apple, and he likes Apple. I doubt he will be disappointed or anything. And if he got the Roku or whatever, the exact second he had a problem, he would be all "Why did I listen to that Robo nerd? I should have gotten the Apple TV." And I don't want to be blamed. So.

(I would note, however, that from a critical standpoint, statements like "The Apple TV helped me rediscover my movies!" are essentially meaningless if the Apple TV is the first like device you've ever owned. Any of the "PC media extenders" can help you rediscover your movies; that's why one buys such a device, after all.)

pscates2.0
2011-03-01, 20:33
Uh-oh.

Robo
2011-03-01, 20:34
???

Did you buy a Roku or something? :lol: Because I still think the Roku is the better device, mind.

It's just slightly less, you know, Apple.

(Now I'm all scared, and doing pscates ninja edits.)

pscates2.0
2011-03-01, 20:43
No. The subtle little digs and "he'll only buy/get/use..." tone isn't lost on me. Isn't necessary. My bicycle isn't made by Apple, so bug off. :p

Robo
2011-03-01, 20:51
No subtle digs were intended. I actually tried really hard to get the tone right...I originally wrote "It's Apple, and he likes Apple, and there's nothing wrong with that," but I cut the last bit because I didn't think it needed to be said, on an Apple forum, and also because a lot of times people say "...and there's nothing wrong with that!" and really mean something else.

If I offended you anyway, I apologize.

pscates2.0
2011-03-01, 21:04
I don't get offended. :)

I just keep score (and notes). :p

Partial
2011-03-01, 21:10
Just an update: homesharing through Windows to the AppleTV works fine. It must be something about the hackintosh thing that isn't working. Bummer. (But not unexpected, I guess.)

I do it through my hackintosh as an FYI.

torifile
2011-03-01, 21:42
I do it through my hackintosh as an FYI.
THere was something about my NIC that wasn't quite working right. I think this will fix the last of the odd compatiblity problems I've been having.

Luca
2011-03-01, 22:28
No. The subtle little digs and "he'll only buy/get/use..." tone isn't lost on me. Isn't necessary. My bicycle isn't made by Apple, so bug off. :p

Last I checked, Apple didn't make a bicycle. ;)

kscherer
2011-03-02, 00:03
Last I checked, Apple didn't make a bicycle. ;)

Not yet, but I'm sure if they do, they'll just call it an iCycle! :p

<ducks>

Yontsey
2011-03-03, 23:58
This thread has been bad news. Now I'm tempted to get one. Don't need the Netflix but I'm sure the interface is better then on my Sony bluray player. It'd be nice to get an external hdd and ripping all my DVDs. My own personal Netflix so to speak.

Maciej
2011-03-04, 00:00
That sounds somewhat cumbersome; External HDD -> Mac -> AppleTV. :\

Yontsey
2011-03-04, 00:03
How so? It'll on my desk somewhat hidden and not in the way.

Maciej
2011-03-04, 00:21
I guess if you use a desktop that's always on then you've got no problem. But hooking it up to a laptop whenever you wanna watch a movie in another room, and not being able to have your laptop while watching a movie is going to be a drag. To me that Mac in the middle is a simple pain in the ass - when there are other, arguably better, solutions available. Not to mention AppleTV's limited codecs... but I guess that won't be an issue since you'll only be ripping your own DVDs so you'll have control over the format they're in. Oh wait, you'll have to convert the ripped TS folders to a .m4v or .mp4 - or better yet, a .mov!

Still... it's small, and it has an HDMI cable yet, even capable of 720p!!!

torifile
2011-03-04, 08:45
The process would be easy enough to do, if a little time consuming. I've been a fan of Handbrake for a one stop shop for DVD conversion. It works for most DVDs. Then there's RipIt for those others. This would involve another step since you have to take the ripped video through Handbrake.

And then you need to get them into iTunes with the correct tags. On second thought, it's quite a pain to do all that if you have a DVD player and the physical DVDs.

Yontsey
2011-03-04, 17:29
True Tori but I like the idea of having my own personal Netflix type thing with all my DVDs. The only thing is, the last few years, I only buy blu-rays.

Robo
2011-03-04, 18:54
Of potential interest to pscates, Apple is now selling refurb black Apple TVs for $85. ;)

pscates2.0
2011-03-04, 19:34
Ooh, that's cool. Yeah, if I went with one, like everything else, I'd definitely go refurb. It's tough buying new from Apple when the other options are so inviting. My new AirPort Express "n" was a refurb...$69 vs. $99. The money I saved became a $25 iTunes card. Apple still got $99 from me, but I got two things instead of one. :)

torifile
2011-03-04, 20:04
Of potential interest to pscates, Apple is now selling refurb black Apple TVs for $85. ;)
That's old news. ;)
Check the refurb store. ;) Yesterday they had them for $85 shipped.

joveblue
2011-03-05, 00:34
D'oh! Just realised a feature I've been hanging out for—ABC iView*—is already possible with an iPad + AppleTV via AirPlay.

This increases my desire for an AppleTV substantially (from a very low starting point). Apple may have been onto something with AirPlay after all...



*Australian Broadcasting Commission's equivalent of BBC's iPlayer

kscherer
2011-03-05, 01:53
*Australian Broadcasting Commission's equivalent of BBC's iPlayer

Boom™ *


*Subscription required! (http://forums.applenova.com/showthread.php?t=35586)

Mac+
2011-03-05, 03:11
The process would be easy enough to do, if a little time consuming. I've been a fan of Handbrake for a one stop shop for DVD conversion. It works for most DVDs. Then there's RipIt for those others. This would involve another step since you have to take the ripped video through Handbrake.

And then you need to get them into iTunes with the correct tags. On second thought, it's quite a pain to do all that if you have a DVD player and the physical DVDs.I'm not an expert on this, but I think RipIt does both ripping and compression now, using HandBrake at the backend... but you don't have to have have HandBrake; it's included as part of RipIt, not as a separate app.

joveblue
2011-03-05, 05:40
Boom™ *


*Subscription required! (http://forums.applenova.com/showthread.php?t=35586)Huh? :confused:

Sorry I must be a bit slow today... :\

chucker
2011-03-05, 05:53
Huh? :confused:

Sorry I must be a bit slow today... :\

If it requires a subscription, it'll soon cost ABC 30%, which may kill it.

kscherer
2011-03-05, 15:57
Huh? :confused:

Sorry I must be a bit slow today... :\

If it requires a subscription, it'll soon cost ABC 30%, which may kill it.

That.

Hope I am right about all that subscription stuff. But, yes what Chucker said. :\

joveblue
2011-03-05, 18:37
Nope. Free :)

kscherer
2011-03-05, 19:48
Free is good. 30% of nothin' is nothin'! :)

joveblue
2011-03-06, 17:09
Another win for taxpayers.