Indie filmmaker uses Apple TV to screen film | iLounge News


Indie filmmaker uses Apple TV to screen film


Independent filmmaker Scott Dacko recently used an Apple TV to power the New York premiere of his film The Insurgents. “As far as I know, we’re the first people to have ever done this,” Dacko said. “And it looked great.” The theater hosting the premiere, Cobble Hill Cinemas in Brooklyn, didn’t have a tape deck to play his film from — instead, The Register explains, it traditionally screens movies from film. Faced with the possibility of paying up to $1000 for a week’s rental of a tape-based setup, Dacko instead used Apple’s Final Cut Pro to output his film in the iTunes-friendly H.264 video format, and purchased an Apple TV for $299 to power a projector the theater had on hand. “That’s less than half what I’d pay someone just to put my movie on an HDCam tape,” he said. Dacko plans to continue using the device to screen his films, simply toting it from venue to venue. “I wish I had thought of this before,” Dacko said. “I could just create multiple versions of my movie on Apple TV - in every possible aspect ratio and format. All the theater would have to do is plug it in.”

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Wouldn’t a Mac Mini produce better results?

Posted by ahMEmon on November 15, 2007 at 4:52 PM (CST)


@ahMEmon: You haven’t considered the cost. I bought Apple TV because it cost half as much as a Mini and I couldn’t justify spending that much on a machine just for media serving (I know it can do more, but I’ve already got a desktop and a laptop).

As a massive Apple TV fan (I bought both models), I think this is seriously cool.

Posted by Japester on November 15, 2007 at 5:27 PM (CST)


Good devices that perform….“they just work”....Long live Apple…nuf’ said…

Posted by Hatman on November 15, 2007 at 5:43 PM (CST)


Smart move!

Posted by Galley on November 15, 2007 at 6:04 PM (CST)


Maybe I am missing something, but why not just burn the movie to a DVD and then buy a $30 dvd player to hook up to the projector?  That would be a lot cheaper.

Posted by Carbonfly on November 15, 2007 at 6:36 PM (CST)


Because you can play back in 720p HD. DVD is SD.

I use my Apple TV to present music videos all the time to clients. It’s great!

I wish Apple would make output to 1080p HD.

I also wish I could download movies from iTunes in HD!

Posted by hakai on November 15, 2007 at 7:41 PM (CST)


I’m convinced that the Apple TV would be a smash hit if it had a different name.  The whole TV thing makes people associate it with traditional TV applications—cable, recording, etc.—when its strengths are streaming, syncing, and high-quality output.  I use mine almost exclusively as a lossless music source for a very high-end audio system.  It sounds amazing through the digital output, and its storage capacity and interface puts all my music at my fingertips.  Best money I ever spent.

Posted by bluespark on November 15, 2007 at 9:32 PM (CST)


Yea, they should have called it the Apple Awesome!  I would have bought one right away.

Personally I really would get one if they had a 500gb or 1tb HDD inside.

Posted by Carbonfly on November 15, 2007 at 10:00 PM (CST)


i have to agree with ahMEmon.  just drop some cash on a refurbished mac mini.  it wouldn’t be that much more for one.  plus you’d have a media device capable of much more than what the Apple TV can do.  i rejected the idea of getting an Apple TV, and retired my MM Core Duo to the living room as a media center after buying a new MM Core 2 Duo. 

in any case, if the guy “used Appleā€™s Final Cut Pro to output his film in the iTunes-friendly H.264 video format” (quote from article), why couldn’t he have played the video on the very same Mac used to produce the film?  he wouldn’t have had to spend any money.

Posted by ac.lion on November 16, 2007 at 11:43 AM (CST)


While it’s obviously possible to do these things with a Mac Mini (refurbished or not), or on the original Mac (laptop or desktop), I think the big point of the Apple TV is that it’s so damned small and simple.

The projectionist doesn’t really need any prior knowledge to make it work. It doesn’t matter if he’s a Mac guy or a PC guy, or whether he’s even computer literate at all. The Apple TV is pretty self-evident if it’s just loaded up with the single movie to be screened.

Obviously there are many other ways to do the same thing, as there usually is in life. But this guy found something quick, cheap, and elegant—sounds like a winner to me.

I think this is an ingenious idea.

Posted by BJ Nemeth on November 16, 2007 at 12:36 PM (CST)

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