Apple TV

Discussion of general issues, not related to a specific Mac or iDevice operating system.
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Stephen Hart
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Apple TV

Post by Stephen Hart » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:23 pm

For those of you who may have Apple TV:

What are the advantages and disadvantages? Anything that surprised you?
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Richard Serkes
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Re: Apple TV

Post by Richard Serkes » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:51 pm

I wanted to stream Netflix programming. My HDTV is four years old and doesn't have the Netflix chips built in so I needed something to capture the stream and send it to the HDTV. AppleTV does a wonderful job of that.
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Re: Apple TV

Post by Stephen Hart » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:58 am

So this is getting me thinking about other options.

Is there anything an Apple TV would do that a MacBook Air 11" would not?

The reason I ask is that we have a PowerBook used to stream radio with a wireless connection to our DSL modem and send it to our stereo. That requires an interface. So a MacBook Air would do that task (where the Apple TV couldn't), plus it could stream Netflix to an HDTV. Am I missing something here? (Of course the MacBook Air is ten times the cost of an Apple TV.)
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Richard Serkes
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Re: Apple TV

Post by Richard Serkes » Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:18 am

There is more and more programming available on the AppleTV unit. You can subscribe to various sports networks and select PPV movies from Apple.

I like the AppleTV user interface that is on the HDTV that lets me browse and select programming. I suppose you could do this with a Macbook Air and mirroring but you'd have to jump from website to website and that means getting up and going to the Air's keyboard. I just think the AppleTV would be more convenient.

Why not try it for a week or so. If you're not satisfied you can return it.
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bluesky
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Re: Apple TV

Post by bluesky » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:08 pm

I am putting a new Mac Mini in my entertainment system. It has HDMi out with 1080i resolution and audio, so I'll get full HD. With that plugged into one of the HDMI inputs of my AV Receiver, I'll be able to stream Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, surf the web anywhere in HD and go to any of the national broadcast web sites and view past episodes of programs on my HD TV. I will use a Apple wireless keyboard and Magic TrackPad for control from my easy chair.

And with the the app called Plex installed, it also becomes a DLNA streaming device so I can get the videos streamed to my HD TV from the iMac and hard drives in the other room.

I have pondered the Apple TV vs the Mac Mini, and I think a Mini is now the way to go since it now has true HDMI w/audio out... IMHO. :-)
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Apple TV

Post by Stephen Hart » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:49 pm

But at 7 times the price, isn't the mini in a whole 'nother category?

BTW, how much can an iPhone interact with an ATV? I know the Remote app controls ATV, but can that work if the ATV is headless?
[Later addition: According to one poster on Macintouch, yes, the Remote app works fine with the ATV not connected to a TV, for streaming music to a stereo system, for example.]

Isn't one of the whole points of computerizing a home-entertainment system to reduce the clutter of remotes?

The more I think about this, the more confused I get.

At least I'm making mental progress on the cart. It'll look something like the cart in the image, but I'll make it myself, saving a few hundred dollars. [Later addition: The cart I made is much simpler and less imposing.]
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Apple TV

Post by Stephen Hart » Thu May 05, 2011 7:56 pm

We just watched our first Netflix content on Apple TV on a new 32" flat-screen TV.
My impression is that the look and sound are better than on a MacBook Pro or a 27" iMac.

First of all, there was no rebufffering. We just started watching and it just kept going. With the MacBook Pro, which is what I usually use with Netflix streaming, I always have to wait through one full rebuffering.

The video looked really good. On the MacBook Pro, I can usually see a lot of video artifacts especially in plain backgrounds.

Finally, the sound was great, played through some moderately good computer speakers on the TV stand about 8 feet from where we sat.

Also, the Apple TV is magically small.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Apple TV

Post by Stephen Hart » Sat May 07, 2011 9:01 am

I believe I read that Apple TV is supposed to wake a sleeping Mac to get shared iTunes content. That doesn't seem to happen for us. Any SMUG clues?

Second question: How do you scroll back using Apple TV?

We also watched some iTunes U content, and that was good. Watching an academic to a presentation is an excellent exercise in what not to do, for example, don't leave a slide on too long, etc. (This makes me wonder if a SMUG presentation on how to make a good presentation would be useful to members. Do enough members do presentations?)
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Re: Apple TV

Post by rickj » Sat May 07, 2011 11:48 am

Stephen Hart wrote:Second question: How do you scroll back using Apple TV?
Do you mean how do you get back to a previous screen? Press the menu button. Each time you press it, it takes you up one level.
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Richard Serkes
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Re: Apple TV

Post by Richard Serkes » Sat May 07, 2011 11:56 am

By "scroll back" do you mean go backwards to the previous screens? If so, you push the MENU button. If you want to see something that appeared earlier in the video you're watching depress the left side of the circle. Think of the iPad Classic.

"Do enough members do presentations?" Just what planet are you living on? It's always been a problem getting people to volunteer to do demos.
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