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Apple TV vs. PopcornHour NMT A-100 / Istar

 
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stomms
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 7:41 am    Post subject: Apple TV vs. PopcornHour NMT A-100 / Istar Reply with quote

Which one would you prefer? I have one Popcorn Hour NMT A-100 at home, very nice device. Planning to buy another mediaplayer and thinking about Apple TV or Istar (which is similar to Popcorn, www.istarhd.com). Any thoughts? Does anyone use both of them?
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squitter
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bit of an old topic but nobody replied. Anyway, I'm looking to replace my Apple TV with a Popcorn Hour which is on order. The reason is the Popcorn Hour just simply plays everything. I recently got a AVCHD HD Camcorder and it's a pain having to convert all videos for the Apple TV, and they never look as good, plus it doesn't play DVD files of any kind and they need converting.

Apple TV's interface is really slick and the Podcast integration is nice but Apple simply don't want to support anything that isn't their format. The performance of the AppleTV limits its High Def capability severely. I mainly use it for video and photos. Photos are excellent on the Apple and I know the Popcorn isn't quite as good at those.

Also the iPod Touch Remote app integration with the Apple TV for music is simply superb.

The Popcorn does it's video playing in hardware using that amazing Sigma chip so High def video is simply not a problem, even Blu-ray files work. AVCHD camcorder videos are supported too, which even many PCs can't play properly without conversion.

Another issue I have with the Apple TV is that it doesn't have a true Standby, all that does is simply switche off the video output. It's power usage stays the same as when it is 'on' i.e. 17watts which I find unacceptable in this day and age. The Popcorn uses 5 watts in standby.

Well I haven't got the Popcorn yet so I'll let you know how it actually performs in comparison to the Apple TV.
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dannyv45
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen some very good deals on the apple tv but am also hesitent to buy one. I use my mac mini as an htpc and love the way it works. Its the center of my home theater. But I want somthing for the bedroom and because of the apple tv's size its a perfect fit. But I have so much media content in DIVX and DVD saved to my network storage it would be to time consuming to convert it all to h.264 just so the apple tv can play it. Ive read that there are hacks out there which will allow the ATV to play other formats but as of yet I have not found a good source of how-to information on how to do this. If anyone has some good resources on how to do this please let me know and I may give it a go.
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estuardo
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dannyv45 wrote:
I've seen some very good deals on the apple tv but am also hesitent to buy one. I use my mac mini as an htpc and love the way it works. Its the center of my home theater. But I want somthing for the bedroom and because of the apple tv's size its a perfect fit. But I have so much media content in DIVX and DVD saved to my network storage it would be to time consuming to convert it all to h.264 just so the apple tv can play it. Ive read that there are hacks out there which will allow the ATV to play other formats but as of yet I have not found a good source of how-to information on how to do this. If anyone has some good resources on how to do this please let me know and I may give it a go.


Just search the Internet. Two sites I visit daily and have tons of information:

http://forum.awkwardtv.org/
http://forum.atvflash.com/

The first is the place to learn all about hacks on the AppleTV. The second is the forum of a commercial solution to hack an AppleTV for newbies like me.

I'm watching DIVX movies stored on my NAS system streamed to my AppleTV. And some other file formats.

GB
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squitter
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2008 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the Apple TV with aTV Flash is great with Standard Definition, but if you're into High Def then forget about the Apple TV.
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dannyv45
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

squitter wrote:
Yes, the Apple TV with aTV Flash is great with Standard Definition, but if you're into High Def then forget about the Apple TV.


I have a lot of High Definition encoded in Divx HD 1280x720 and a few in h.264 1280x720. I dought I will be playing anything in a .ts or m2t 1920x1280 format.

Why do you say forget about the apple TV. Is it a streaming problem? These are the kind of things I need to know to help me deside if the apple TV is right for me.
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squitter
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Apple TV processor simply isn't powerful enough for most proper high def material and it doesn't support CABAC so those 720p X264 mkvs won't work.
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