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Tenolian Bell

Apple TV

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appleitvi.jpg

 

appletv_470.jpg

 

Could be useful for presenting rough cuts on a monitor. Wirelessly send video to the Apple TV for presentation on a monitor in another room from a Mac or PC. Apple TV can stream video for immediate viewing or sync video from iTunes to save on hard drive built into the unit. Apple TV can connect using HDMI, component video, optical audio, and RCA analog audio.

 

The limitation of AppleTV: its maximum resolution is 720P 24fps, it can only play MPEG-4 or H.264 video. Which requires a fairly powerful computer and some time to encode. ATV can only receives video from iTunes.

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The limitation of AppleTV: its maximum resolution is 720P 24fps

 

And it only works with monitors/TV sets that can scan progressively. You can't plug it into just any existing interlaced TV. :(

 

For portability I use my ipod, which can actually support video larger than the 320x240 with the newer software. I carry the $30 cable in my bag and can plug it into pretty much any TV, anywhere.

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I guess this is another case of Apple "neglecting" to include something in its marketing material. I had to hunt around to find anecdotal evidence that it supports 480i, because Apple clearly states 480P.

 

I have component inputs on my 32" JVC, but the set definitely does not support a progressive signal.

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For that amount of money +200USD , get a MediaPC and play anything you like, in any format.

 

Apple TV is a toy for iTunes junkies. It's not really a well-though-out product, and it's intent is to boost TV episode and Movie sales from the iTunes store, more than anything else. Or even get a MacMini, instead and then use it as an additional encoder for FCP.

Edited by Dennis Kisilyov

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My Xbox 360 can do the same thing as well. This product seems very un-apple like to me in that it is not filling a void. It is like they are a little late to the media center party. I was surprised by the announcement of AppleTV since so many other things already do basically the same function.

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Get a Laptop and do the same thing. Or just bring a DVD.

 

I've seen post houses that set up comfortable rooms to preview rough cuts instead of the client sitting in the editing bay. They have a wired connection from the editing bay into the preview room. The whole point is to send the signal without physical media. This seems like an inexpensive way to do much the same thing wirelessly.

 

Or even get a MacMini, instead and then use it as an additional encoder for FCP.

 

There is no way (that I know of) to wirelessly stream and instantly play media from Mac to Mac. The mini is more expensive and Apple TV has a better graphics card for decoding MPEG-4 files.

 

It's not really a well-though-out product, and it's intent is to boost TV episode and Movie sales from the iTunes store, more than anything else.

 

It can pretty much play any standard def MPEG4 file. There are several software encoders that can convert any codec into MPEG4. So you can pretty much play anything. The iTunes Store makes money for the content creators its pretty much break even for Apple. Apple makes it money from hardware, the software helps sell the hardware.

 

My Xbox 360 can do the same thing as well. I was surprised by the announcement of AppleTV since so many other things already do basically the same function.

 

The Xbox is more expensive, sounds like a wind tunnel, and doesn't necessarily come ready to perform this function. Starting with the core Xbox system ($300) you need to add a hard drive ( additional $100) and wireless networking (additional $100). Xbox wireless connection is the older 802.11g standard. Apple TV uses the newer and faster 802.11n standard. The Xbox does not currently offer the superior HDMI connection.

 

There already were plenty of mp3 players on the market when Apple launched the iPod. That does not necessarily mean Apple TV will have the success of the iPod but currently no leads in the media PC market. Right now its up for grabs by anyone.

 

I too think Apple TV offers too little, too late. Apple Tv is nothing special and will not be a great success.

 

I think the most difficult part of this is the fact that most people haven't thought of streaming media from their computer to their television as a problem that needed to be solved. I agree that none of these devices will be big sellers until most people are convinced of the value and convenience of streaming over physical media.

 

I don't see how the Apple TV is too late currently no one dominates this market.

 

David Pogue from the NY Times did a test between Apple TV, Xbox 360, and a Netgear media player: Apple TV Has Landed

 

He states of the three Apple TV has the least amount of functionality, but because of the limitation it actually is the easiest and most logical to use, and the most consistently works with few problems.

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turbo264_hardware.jpg

 

This is the Elgato Turbo.264.

 

It is the beginning of peripheral devices that will spawn from the influence of Apple TV. It is a dedicated video encoding accelerator. It plugs into the Mac through USB. Its specialty is encoding movies into H.264 faster than the CPU alone. It accelerates encoding 2 to 4 times faster. I'm sure the perceived speed depends on how quickly your computer can already encode. The Turbo.264 can work with any software that uses Quicktime to encode and output H.264.

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I thought AppleTV copies the content to a hard-drive that's inside it, over 802.11 wireless or wired networks. I don't think it "streams" anything aside from Net Radio.

 

I could be wrong.

 

Your best bet is to set up a fileserver, onto which you would dump your finished work (not more than 30Mb per second encoded video). Then use a cheap-o computer with a network connection to play the files on a plasma TV. Whether you go PC or Mac is up-to-you. Quicktime works well on both.

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From the Apple TV website:

 

If you want to watch video from another computer, you can stream it live to your TV via Apple TV. Streamed media travels over your network to your TV ? without taking up space on Apple TV?s hard drive.

 

It does both live streaming and storage on its HDD.

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I think the most difficult part of this is the fact that most people haven't thought of streaming media from their computer to their television as a problem that needed to be solved. I agree that none of these devices will be big sellers until most people are convinced of the value and convenience of streaming over physical media.

 

That's ALL I want! :D

 

I'm already using my iMac as an audio server, hardwired into my sound system. Even with a flimsy 1/8" connection, with proper EQ'ing my itunes library and streaming radio sound amazing. I just want to send the picture to my TV the same way. Nobody has come up with an elegant or affordable solution to that yet.

 

As a workaround, I copy stuff into a playlist on my ipod (so it plays without using the remote) and use a dock with S-video connection (a little better than the composite cable). Not quite the full functionality of Front Row, but at least I can watch my missed episodes of Heroes from my couch (after I adjust the picture quality for the ipod's wimpy output) <_< .

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Apple fanboy alert!

 

Uh oh we gotta' watch out for that. LOL.

 

 

I just want to send the picture to my TV the same way. Nobody has come up with an elegant or affordable solution to that yet.

 

The fact that good quality video files are so much larger than good quality audio. To send video around wirelessly and have it work consistently problem free, and available for people to use easily, I'm sure isn't easy. I've seen it speculated that being the reason why Apple has placed such restrictions on which files Apple TV will play.

 

I'm sure as the competition in this market heats up everyone will figure out ways to make it easier and work better.

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I just like stuff that works. Kinda like my car that starts up and gets me where I need to go with only simple routine maintenance. I'm just weird that way... <_<

 

I guess since the ipod outputs to TV so easily (and with decent quality given properly scaled and compressed files), it didn't seem like such a stretch that there out to be some kind of USB-out for itunes, at least. A $300 harddrive that doesn't play either 4:3 SD or 16:9 HD properly seems like a big disappointment.

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Oh if you are really interested in plugging your computer into your television, that's simple to do. Depending on what connections your television has.

 

For optimum quality you can use a DVI to HDMI connection:

 

3578.jpg

 

and a Toslink optical audio connection

 

300px-TOSLINK.jpg

 

You'd be sending a pure digital signal to your television and able to access your media through Front Row, which will play any codec Quicktime will play.

 

frontrow.png

 

If your television only has analog connections you would need a DVI to component or S-Video adaptor. You can use the analog audio port.

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Even though Apple does not list in its materials Apple TV does work fine on standard def 4X3 televisions. Here is an article about it. Rogue Amoeba

 

As far as HD. I imagine that is a limitation of current software and bandwidth. The Xbox can stream 1080i from the Xbox Live Market but I've read it does not consistently work well.

 

From David Pogue:

It?s very cool that some of the Xbox store?s TV shows and movies are available in high definition (for 50 percent more)?in fact, Microsoft says that its store is the ONLY online legal source of high-def movies.

But they were balky in my tests. When I tried to rewind or fast forward, the movie bombed out and produced this message: ?Can?t play this content because it may not be supported. Status code: 69-00-80004005.?

 

Looking at the iPod as an example. There were mp3 players that could store pictures and show video before the iPod could. But the workflow of managing, storing, and importing the pictures and video were not well thought out. Apple seemed to wait until the technology of the entire workflow was mature enough to allow pictures and video to be used on the iPod in a easy and intuitive fashion. It was fully thought out from software as well as the hardware.

 

I imagine Apple TV will follow the same course. It uses OS X which is a clear indication its functionality will be expanded with additional software. Codecs and resolution can always be extended with software upgrades. Its likely for right now Apple just wants it to work perfectly as a computer media extender. In the future as technology improves its highly likely Apple TV will offer more features.

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Thanks for the info, I'll look into it.

 

I'm using a 20" Intel iMac with a mini DVI out. Standard def 4:3 TV with both component and S-video. No optical audio out from the computer, but I'm satisfied with the headphone out.

 

Will this connector work with my Intel iMac? Is there a component version, or would I have to use a DVI-miniDVI adapter?

 

Which begs the question; if $20+ worth of cables can put my computer on my entertainement system, why the #@*% should I pay $300 for a (dis)functional harddrive system? Just to go wireless? I know the connectivity to an HD TV would be different, but really...

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Component would be preferable to S-Video but its a little more convoluted to make it work. Here is what I've found.

 

mini-DVI to full DVI adaptor ($19)

 

425231.jpg

 

DVI-Component adaptor ($13.99) on Amazon.

 

B00068NSZA.01-A2JSBUBRVPP4SX._SS500_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

 

 

Xtreme is known to make really good cables and selling them a good price ($19)

 

You will also need to adjust the screen resolution for video output in system preferences. To make it easier you can use Display Config X .

DcxTabMoniBnc_en.gif

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why the #@*% should I pay $300 for a (dis)functional harddrive system?

 

Yeah I guess it really depends on what you want/need. The computer could be on a different level of you house from your television and make sending wires difficult or impossible. Apple TV can also wirelessly network with five computers.

 

There are two obvious signs Apple has more intentions for ATV.

 

ATV runs OS X. It doesn't have a desktop, dock, or finder, but its underpinnings are exactly the same with a Front Row media interface on top. OS X is over kill for what Apple TV currently does. To play media it really only needs simple software and interface like what the iPod has. OS X gives Apple TV the power and potential to use complex software in the future.

 

Apple TV uses a general purpose Intel CPU and Nvidia GPU. Which are also over kill for what Apple TV currently does. There are plenty of dedicated chips for playing media, even up to 1080 HD. But dedicated chips don't have the flexibility of a general CPU/GPU. Which gives Apple TV headroom for more functionality in the future.

 

But I agree I can wait a little longer to see what happens.

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Hope it's better than the iPhone. Just heard it only gives you 40 minutes of talk time. NOT a replaceable battery and those that have tested them say the interface screws up too.

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You referencing this story from John Dvorak? Where supposedly some secret insider told him the iPhone has a lot of problems. He's known for being very critical of Apple.

 

In 1984 when the Mac was the first computer to use a mouse he wrote that he saw no evidence that people would want to use a mouse. A few years ago he predicted that Apple would give up Mac OS and use Windows.

 

Because of his reputation for publishing stories of how Apple will fail, I wouldn't be surprised if he's telling the truth and someone did give him that information as a joke on him.

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I really like the not-so-subtle implication that Apple is "hip" and "with it" by putting the PC guy in a suit. I'm a hell of a lot more entertaining than most of my jeans-wearing iPod toting classmates, and today is one day out of maybe a dozen a year that I am *not* wearing a suit or dress clothes.

 

Come on, you can do better than that Apple! Oh wait, you have a product that is now virtually identical to PCs out there, even using Pentium Processors, it just costs more!

 

Remember when Mac was so much better when they had one operating system and PCs had to switch back and forth between Windows and MS-DOS?

 

Apple lost my respect FOREVER as a company when they came out with Mac OS X and inherited the same incompatibility, disk fragmentation, pain-in-the-ass bullshit of Windows/DOS, and when they just let Microsoft come in and buy up 51% of their stock. Someone ought be real clever and do a split screen commercial where the Mac and PC characters are played by the same actor, just wearing different hats ;-)

 

What copouts. Apple isn't fighting the monopoly anymore, it's PART OF IT. . . .

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