Is there a directory of all "Everything Apple" forums?

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Lester56

New Member
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Jul 19, 2007
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#1
I am interested in diving into the AppleTV bandwagon, altho I have many questions on functionality and intercompatbility.

Is there a everythingAppletv.com forum?
 

DRabbit

New Member
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Jul 2, 2007
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#2
Hi Lester,

I've noticed you around these forums lately and you're obviously a guy who likes a good Apple product :)

We are definitely in the category of Mac-Fans in my house and as much as we wanted to try the Apple TV we've held off. Primary reason is because of the lack of HD content available through iTunes at this point. Both our televisions are HD and though the content from Apple looks good, it's a step backwards from the HD experience.

If you're not at the point where you're enjoying a lot of HD television, go to an Apple store and play with the Apple TV... it's the best thing you can do to get a real feel for how it works and how the content looks. The interface, like most things Apple, is slick, and if you're likely to buy a lot of content you'll enjoy it. Just be sure it's up to your standards for how the stuff actually looks.

Me? Right now I'm considering buying the TiVo HD because the prices have finally gotten reasonable.
 

Lester56

New Member
Bronze
Jul 19, 2007
140
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0
#3
Thanks Drabbit.

My goal is to rid myself of a extremely expensive DSL/Sat TV/home phone combo package which has crept up in price to $132/month, an incredible sum. I have a HDTV with 16x9 format and a TiVO like device recording content from Sat. I have witnessed the AppleTV quality and although not impressed with it displayed over TV, over Mac its not so bad.

My biggest issue is my 6yo girl loves cartoons. Because her mom doesn't have cable, my 6yo enjoys time in her own room watching her own TV and choosing her own content.

$132/month = $1584/yr. I'm willing to make an investment of a 160Gb AppleTV, one new iMac, and a MiniMac. If I knew for sure I could use the AppleTV as a staging/storage point and could easily transfer content from the AppleTV box to the MiniMac or iMac. I have a 13" Mac Laptop purchased this spring. Also can you connect an external HD to the AppleTV? Basically I want to know how iTunes functions within a home with an AppleTV and other Macs.

With this accomplished I could get rid of my Sat TV, lower my home phone package, and possibly shelve my DSL for cheaper/faster/better.

I spent many decades on the bleeding edge of PCs after using Macs way way back in the 80's. Now that I'm in my mid-40's I don't have time to monkey around with the Wintel mindset. Apple stuff works and there is plenty of product to decide which fits into my lifestyle and which does not.
 

Lester56

New Member
Bronze
Jul 19, 2007
140
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0
#4
Oh and...

One more snippit of fact:

I have a serious DVD purchase problem. Like women with bags and shoes, I own over $5k in DVDs.

I know. I know.
 

DRabbit

New Member
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Jul 2, 2007
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#5
Well, I hear ya. Believe me, I despise my cable company for the same reasons... the prices have gotten out of hand.

If you're going to be displaying your stuff on the computer, you don't need an AppleTV for that... You can share you iTunes library among your home computers now. We do this in my house, as my husband and I share a library, but my daughter has her own... but we can still enjoy listening to each other's music, video and TV selections. I can sit in my bedroom on my MacBook and watch an episode of Jericho which is stored in my main library across the house on the G5.

As for connecting to TV, you CAN already do that with an iPod and I believe on any Mac as long as you have the right cable. I've only done it with the iPod so I'm not sure on the specifics.

What the AppleTV does is stream FROM your music library, store on a computer somewhere in your house, to the television it connects to. It can store some of you programs on the box itself, and it offers you the ability to schedule transferring them as well -- so you can say "store the latest three episodes of program X".

The biggest thing though is that you have to buy the content from iTunes, or get 3rd party software to rip your DVDs into iTunes. AppleTV all works off the iTunes libraries in the house, stored on computers. It isn't a DVR.

We had considered getting rid of all our movie channels and just using the AppleTV as a sort of "on demand" service... but like I said, the HD content just isn't there yet. I can watch Jericho recorded on my TiVo-like DVR in HD and watch it in full widescreen high res HD... if I bought it from iTunes, as an example, it would not be in HD.

And I hear you on DVDs... We have over 800 in our library, and I even have it catalogued on one of my laptops.... LOL... I think we need a 12-step group ;)
 

Lester56

New Member
Bronze
Jul 19, 2007
140
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0
#6
We are waaayyyy off topic here. But, thats good!

DRabbit,

What is driving my thoughts on the AppleTV with an external HardDrive is storage. I don't wish to bog down my laptop, or iMac, MiniMac, whatever with Gigs of video. And I don't wish to buy a Mac Server to store video.

I know iTunes allows sharing and I'm grateful for it, and I don't mind using iTunes and DVDs for content because:
  • I know the number of channels and shows on iTunes will grow.
  • Every Mac plays DVDs.
  • There are allot of childrens programs on iTunes.
One other item I should have noted is that I live in one city Mon-Fri and live in my home only Fri night - Sun night. So, I am grateful for my DVR device. So, understand the chance of me watching a TV program 'live' is extremely remote, same for my 6yo. 100% of the content we watch are reruns or recorded.

I've read where you will be able to contact your home Mac environment remotely even through a firewall with the upcoming MacOS and Apple.com. With that I could remote into an iMac and begin downloads and have them moved over to the AppleTV on a schedule.
 

n_kat

New Member
Bronze
Jun 6, 2007
44
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0
Oregon Coast
#9
Hi Lester,

I have an AppleTV and love it. I'm not an expert in home audio (and the like), but I think my AppleTV is perfect, except for its capacity. I'm an early adopter, so my AppleTV hard drive is fairly small. I've been thinking about upgrading to the 160gb version. There only complaint I have is how the syncing handles TV shows, but if I had the larger capacity version, it might not matter. If you'd like to discuss further, send me a pm.

kat
 

Macster

New Member
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Feb 21, 2007
68
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0
Oregon
#11
It is a little late to chime in, but I just read your thread. I have an Apple TV due to be delivered today. This is what my wife and I used our refund credits for from our iPhones. I do not plan on purchasing a lot of movies and shows from iTunes. Like you and others, we have a ton of DVDs. I found a program called Handbrake, which was suggested on this forum for coverting your DVDs to iPhone compatable MP4 movies. It works for Apple TV also.

I decided to go with the Apple TV due to it's portability. We have an RV we travel in and ususually like to watch a movie or two on a long weekend. The small size of the Apple TV unit impressed me.
 
Nov 18, 2007
1
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#12
Thanks Drabbit.

My goal is to rid myself of a extremely expensive DSL/Sat TV/home phone combo package which has crept up in price to $132/month, an incredible sum. I have a HDTV with 16x9 format and a TiVO like device recording content from Sat. I have witnessed the AppleTV quality and although not impressed with it displayed over TV, over Mac its not so bad.

My biggest issue is my 6yo girl loves cartoons. Because her mom doesn't have cable, my 6yo enjoys time in her own room watching her own TV and choosing her own content.

Don't over complicate the configuration. I will present what I did to eliminate the Satellite system and to just receive over-the-air broadcasts, record them and present them via iTunes and an iPod to the TV.

I started out with the iPod system as the only mechanism to store iTunes videos and play them on the TV. This was easy. The iPod has a video out, but you have to swap the red and yellow for standard (sony) video cables. Or, you can get the Apple cables for less than $15 these days. With an iPod, I have my desktop mac as the repository of all the audio and video. For our 2yr old we bought spongebob and mickymouse club but that's it. I realized that he liked watching bob the builder, caillou, etc from the pbs stations that we were getting over the air. So, guess what, I ditched the satellite system and was only watching the 18 channels over the air. Fine, too because we really watch network tv for the most part. (btw, I really miss the espn stuff, but free tv is free tv).

As an upgrade, I bought the hdhomerun from elgato and it comes with a 2 user license for EyeTv. Now, EyeTv allows recording over-the-air (even from satellite and cable programming) and permits conversion to any format that quicktime can handle (that's iPod, AppleTV, etc). Additionally, you can edit out commercials trivially.

So for all the cartoons, provided by the kid's channel on pbs, I edit out the commercials, then conver them to the iPod format. For play back the picture quality is nearly perfect, as far as I can tell. Since, all the cartoons are in 4:3 layout, there is no need to use the Appletv conversion. The core compression is the same.

I have a mac mini attached to my hdtv via an hdmi cable, and the mini can play back the eyetv recordings from their raw mpeg2 TS state. This means I can watch the recording at full HD quality. But, what I realized is that the quality of the Appletv video is just as nice. For instance, I converted some of the eyetv hd recordings to Appletv, and while the quality lower, it is still very high quality. I didn't find it distracting at all. As I said earlier, for the 4:3 shows, you cannot see any quality degredation. BTW, the size of Appletv files is about 1/8 of the HD format (HD mpeg2 is 9G/hr); especially when you remove the commercials (20 minutes for an hour program).

Since, the Appletv video format is very good, I am thinking that the mini as a video play back device, attached to the tv, is just overkill. I would rather have that on a desktop as another fully functional computer. And, I am thinking that the Appletv will replace it as the playback device.

Because my video collection is quite large, I have a large 1T disk to store it on my desktop. For me, I only care that the Appletv streams the data over the wire for play back; that's what prompted me to visit this forum -- to find the answer to that.

On a side note, my HDTV is the Sony 34" crt, and as we know tubes are not being made any more. Pitty, because, they are unmatched for video play back. LCD's are great for text, but suck for video. I hooked up an old 19" crt to the mac mini and played back some video; wow, it really looked stunning and matched the 34" crt quality. On my lcd monitor, it looks ok but not stunning; even with a 2ms refresh rate the lcd's still suffer from shutter hold which visually blurs motion; similar to the blur caused by 24 fps in movies and most primetime sitcoms and dramas.


John