Apple Inc. Apple TV (40GB/160GB) | iLounge

Reviews

1

so ... in what way is iTV helpful if you already have a MacMini??

Posted by paulsaints on September 12, 2006 at 4:49 PM (PDT)

2

it's not. but the iTV is helpful if you don't have one, and see no reason to add yet another machine to your network.

I won't be getting one, since the best TV in my house is already my 20" iMac. But my friends with digital TVs (once they're done griping about the lack of 1080i content from the iTMS -- because apparently we all need to jump right into the movie download pool with our best clothes on, 15 gig downloads with DTS audio) think this is a really cool idea. A set top box that Just Works would be the killer app for digital video -- and that's why Jobs committed the carnal sin of showing a device before it was ready (or even named).

Posted by dasmegabyte on September 12, 2006 at 9:41 PM (PDT)

3

Am I the only one wondering if this device overcomes the Airport Express limitation of not being able to share you wireless network. In other words, will it act as an WAP or Wireless Bridge (whichever I am thinking of)?

While my Airport Express is great for AirTunes...not being able to hook up my ReplayTV stinks.

Posted by kemcfeely on September 13, 2006 at 7:41 AM (PDT)

4

Will it be able to record tv shows to my Mac/PC and import them into iTunes? in my opinion that would really be the killer app for this device. If not, I'm not really sure it is that useful. Cool, yes, but something you can easily do without.

Posted by beto75 on September 13, 2006 at 1:13 PM (PDT)

5

Why not spend a little more money and get a mac mini?? Thats what I am going to do.

Posted by mstngo in New Jersey on September 14, 2006 at 2:49 PM (PDT)

6

Named something else when it comes to the UK as ITV is already trademarked :p

Posted by MadBob on September 15, 2006 at 12:23 PM (PDT)

7

There are already dozens of Networked Media Players on the market, but none of them cut the mustard. Most play DivX, but have flakey support for XviD, none support WPA, only WEP, and they all have cluttered, non-responsive UI's; more obsessed with Manufacturers Logos than a Good User Experience. It's a but like the MP3 Player market from 6 years ago…
Hopefully the iTV will show them how it's done.

Posted by Salvo.Dan on September 16, 2006 at 9:18 PM (PDT)

8

beto75;
You may be interested in some of ElGato's products.
I have the EyeTV DTT stick and it is really good. If you hook it up to a Mac Mini, you have a Customisable Networkable HDTV PVR, for only slightly more than a Standalone HDTV PVR. You can also add External Harddrives to a Mini; something than only the very top-end PVR's support.
Finally, you can use EyeTV to export your Video Files to an iTunes compatible format and view them on your iTV.

Posted by Salvo.Dan on September 16, 2006 at 9:26 PM (PDT)

9

The fact that it has Draft-N and an HDMI port is evidence that HD content/Multichannel Audio is coming to iTunes (Possibly With iTunes 7.1) I think that you will be able to download one Low-Res copy for your iPod and a Higher-res one will be stored on the AppleTV a la Sprint's one for your phone, one for your computer service.

Posted by anti-luddite on January 11, 2007 at 7:48 PM (PDT)

10

You talk about HD formats, but that's not all it does:

Enhanced-definition or high-definition widescreen TVs capable of 1080i 60/50Hz, 720p 60/50Hz, 576p 50Hz (PAL format), or 480p 60Hz.

So you don't need an HD TV to use it. You probably only saw the HD options because it was connected via the HDMI connector. I assume the other options are available when the HDMI connector isn't in use.

Kirk

Posted by Kirk McElhearn on January 12, 2007 at 1:28 AM (PDT)

11

According to Apple, the situation is a little more complex, and it's actually taken us a couple of days worth of discussions with company reps to sort all of it out. I had hoped to provide a link to a page we were told would be available on Apple.com - a list of known compatible TVs - but couldn't find it.

All of the Apple TV models on the show floor have a resolution screen (shown above) with one output option: 720p. And we initially heard from an Apple show floor rep - mirroring something said in the keynote - that Apple TV was a 720p device - which the rep suggested might spell problems for TVs without support for other display resolutions. As owners of displays of varying ages and HD format support, this concerned us enough that we followed up again, and heard more detailed answers.

While Apple TV may work on _certain_ non-HD TVs, the strong marketing and technology emphasis here is on its HDTV compatibility - because of issues users may experience with TVs that aren't both widescreen and HD. Not all widescreen sets support 480p. Not all HD sets are widescreen. Apple representatives on the show floor went to pains to explain to us that users of non-widescreen televisions in particular should exercise caution before expecting Apple TV to work with their displays. They also said that some TV models from some companies could have unexpected issues as well, because some TV makers haven't necessarily been fully compliant with applicable standards, hence the aforementioned need for a compatibility list.

Right now, the web site's explanation of this is subtly nuanced: "Apple TV works with widescreen, enhanced-definition or high-definition TVs capable of 1080i, 720p, 576p, or 480p resolutions, including popular models from these manufacturers." (emphasis mine) So yes, it does support these resolutions, and in theory, if you have a widescreen non-HD TV, it _might_ work with Apple TV. But there aren't any guarantees, and users of non-HD and/or non-widescreen displays are more likely to be disappointed than others. I've made small updates to the piece on both points.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on January 12, 2007 at 8:41 AM (PDT)

12

I'm wondering how the Apple TV will present photos. Must the photo library be synced, that is, copied to the AppleTV hard drive, or can photos be streamed? I presume photos are synced or streamed with iPhoto on the Mac, but how will this be done from PCs?

Posted by TFLyness on January 12, 2007 at 11:42 AM (PDT)

13

If Apple offered TV shows in 720P I'd dump DirecTV in a heartbeat.

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on January 18, 2007 at 1:58 PM (PDT)

14

Does Apple TV only allow you to browse photos in your iPhoto or Aperture directories, or can you browse photos stored anywhere on your Mac? I use Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Bridge for all my photos, for example, not iPhoto.

In everything I've seen here and elsewhere about Apple TV, no one has touched on this.

Posted by johnswen on January 18, 2007 at 3:39 PM (PDT)

15

TFLyness,

Most likely the HDD acts as a buffer for the pictures..

Posted by Lordsbassman in Corn Fields of Illinois on January 20, 2007 at 5:47 PM (PDT)

16

This looks incredible. Do episodes/songs/etc need to be downloaded from the iTunes store? Or can anything in my iTunes Library be functional with my TV?

Posted by chocolateglaze on March 20, 2007 at 5:52 PM (PDT)

17

chocolateglaze: There are specific specs, but if your content conforms to these, they should work. I've ripped about 250Gb of iPod-compatible MPEG4 video from my DVDs. If it plays on my iPod, it should play on Apple TV. I anxiously await the opportunity to test it.

Posted by Japester on March 20, 2007 at 8:04 PM (PDT)

18

One of the major frustrations with me using Front Row is it's inability to run Compilations, listing (in the old iTunes way) all the artists individually rather than grouping them. Can anyone confirm that Apple TV doesn't do this ?

Posted by Chopdog on March 21, 2007 at 7:57 AM (PDT)

19

If two or three remote macs are online as well as having local music in the system, does the music list include a MERGE of the multiple libraries ? or do you have to go into each one individually ?

Posted by Chopdog on March 21, 2007 at 7:59 AM (PDT)

20

The lack of decent movie formats will kill this, no Xvid, divx avi etc... I will keep my mac mini hooked up to my TV. Atleast with it I can enjoy 1080p content.

Posted by mstngo in New Jersey on March 21, 2007 at 12:15 PM (PDT)

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