The AppleTV thread

So, the Apple TV.

I like the connection options – will it play Xvid? DivX? WMA? Can I show my own non-iTunes bought shows on it?

It says on the page that “Apple TV puts your iTunes library — movies, TV shows, music, and podcasts — plus movie trailers from on your TV.”

If it’s their usual stuff it’s Quicktime. Hopefully it can be hacked to use MPlayer.

Ah, I thought this was more of a Tivo/DVR thing rather than a media server. Not interested.

Until it’s hacked, it’s completely worthless.

If it only does quicktime … not interested. In fact if that’s all they pony up, shame on Apple. It’s actually too late in the game to limit a streaming and downloaded media box to a single codec.

However, knowing Apple and their need to take any and all money from the iTunes download revenue, I expect this will be the case.

Yeah, it certainly sounds more like an iTunes media distribution server than anything else. No sale for me.

— Alan

Sling Box now has a Sling Catcher that looks on par with Apple’s product.

With XBMC as my standard this is a no sale.

I would certainly expect the appletv to play any files that quicktime plays, and quicktime plays mpeg4 (divx, xvid, etc) just fine. Of course it’ll require itunes to be running on your computer, which sucks compared to XBMC (which just mounts a SMB share), but the nice form factor and “just works” zero configuration should make up for that. If it only plays quicktime video, obviously it’s crap. But that would be unusually short sighted of apple.

I have XBMC already so no sale. If I didn’t, it would require serious thought.

I think I’m just going to wait until 360connect figures out how to do on-the-fly transcoding to WMV, and just use my XBox 360.

Yea, sling box, or perhaps this.

I really wanted the Apple TV but until it does Xvid and Divx, they can do without my money. All my media in my library is of the divx/xvid format, rendering the Apple TV useless to me. Shame though, I had intended on buying one up until today.

Get a used xbox for seventy bucks and softmod it. I [I]guarantee/I you will be happy.

*: Guarantee has no obligations, monetary or otherwise.

The problem is the XBox doesn’t do 720p, but this thing does.

Yea, XBMC all the way, and then with the money you save you could buy the MS Home Server, which the most gorgeous piece of hardware ever.

Or you just just build a crappy little XP/Linux box with a massive HDD inside. But it’ll never look as pretty.

I don’t think it’s horrible looking, but where were these Home Server guys when the the 360 was being designed.

A coworker of mine just ordered one.

Me, I think its kinda cool, but there are plenty of unanswered questions about file formats and stuff. For now, I think I’ll let him be the guinea pig, and find out just exactly what can be played on it.

Keep us up to date, please.

I use XBMC for the SD stuff and 360/MCE/HDTVPump for any high def content.

According to the Apple TV spec page:

Video formats supported: H.264 and protected H.264 (from iTunes Store): 640 by 480, 30 fps, LC version of Baseline Profile; 320 by 240, 30 fps, Baseline profile up to Level 1.3; 1280 by 720, 24 fps, Progressive Main Profile. MPEG-4: 640 by 480, 30 fps, Simple Profile

No support for 1080i or p? No support for anything but MPEG-4 simple or H .264? The really weird part is this:

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

So unless the spec sheet is leaving things out, it doesn’t work on 480i SDTVs. It also doesn’t support 1080 video content for now (though it does support 1080i capable tvs). Between those two issues it seems to leave it in a deadzone between the HDTV purists who want everything in 1080 and most of the rest of the world who are still using SDTVs. Who the fuck is this thing for?

Those specs are lame. With 40GB you can barely record any HD content at all (and I’m assuming it will at least act as a DVR). I just looked at the MS Home Server mentioned earlier at this thread, and the size will be either 500GB or 1TB!

Now that’s a reasonable size.

And will someone tell me what the point of wireless in the iTV is? Drive up the price? It’s not like the thing will be moving around all the time… plug it into an ethernet jack and get better network speeds, its pretty obvious.

Also, Apple, what’s up with ripping off the MCE UI? Payback for Aero?

The Apple TV is not meant to be a DVR and its focus is on streaming content from a PC, not storing content locally, so the drive size isn’t too much of an issue, as long as you buy into it for what it is, which I don’t, primarily because it only supports the very limited set of video formats that are sold on iTunes.

So the way I read it this is basically just a device for getting stuff you buy on iTunes onto your TV. Right? $300 for that?