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First love - first disappointment

 
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shorafix
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 1:10 pm    Post subject: First love - first disappointment Reply with quote

We have just installed our Apple TV shipping this morning. It was a piece of cake. Apple TV looks wonderful in our home entertainment setup and it does it's job - as some kind of iPod upgrade.

I don't complain about the setup in connection with our 50" plasma - it simply hooks up with no problems in contrast to the MacMini which in no way matched the 720p of our display. And of course it is much easier to handle for the rest of the family.

However, I was hoping that it would play those wonderful H.264 HD Videos edited with FCP and transcoded on our PowerMac in order to being played back on iTunes.

Conclusion: Apple TV does not play back clips that can't be displayed by iTunes. However, Video clips played back by iTunes (such as our own homebrewed H.264 video) may be played back by Apple TV - or NOT.

Crying or Very sad
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garty
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 1:35 pm    Post subject: Re: First love - first disappointment Reply with quote

shorafix wrote:


Conclusion: Apple TV does not play back clips that can't be displayed by iTunes. However, Video clips played back by iTunes (such as our own homebrewed H.264 video) may be played back by Apple TV - or NOT.

Crying or Very sad


I think thats to be expected as iTunes uses quicktime and that can be extended with plugins. The rule I saw was if it will play on your iPod it will play on the aTV.
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shorafix
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:34 am    Post subject: This was unexpected Reply with quote

garty wrote:
I think thats to be expected as iTunes uses quicktime and that can be extended with plugins. The rule I saw was if it will play on your iPod it will play on the aTV.


I have transferred the clip from HD-MPEG2 to H.264 on FinalCut Pro on my G5. The reason I transferred it into H.264 was, that the MPEG2 codec is not installed on each Mac while H.264 comes together with the latest quicktime version. The referring HD-clip plays back well from iTunes even on a "native" MacMini with no other additional codecs or software installed. Question
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smiesguy
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apple TV does handle this format, if you use Quicktime Pro and the new Export to Apple Tv function.
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Yvan256
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had no problems whatsoever with all my DVD rips so far (done in H.264/AAC, with handbrake).
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Pleiades
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's probably like the 5G iPod - you have to be very precise with your video settings. Use a set of settings that are outside of those maximums, and your video may not play.

Apple says it should be "H.264 and protected H.264 (from iTunes Store): Up to 5 Mbps, Progressive Main Profile (CAVLC) with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps (maximum resolution: 1280 by 720 pixels at 24 fps, 960 by 540 pixels at 30 fps)" or "MPEG-4: Up to 3 Mbps, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps (maximum resolution: 720 by 432 pixels at 30 fps)"
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shorafix
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ClunkClunk wrote:
.....Apple says it should be "H.264 and protected H.264 (from iTunes Store): Up to 5 Mbps, Progressive Main Profile (CAVLC) with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps (maximum resolution: 1280 by 720 pixels at 24 fps, 960 by 540 pixels at 30 fps)" or "MPEG-4: Up to 3 Mbps, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps (maximum resolution: 720 by 432 pixels at 30 fps)"


That's it: the respcetice H.264 clip was > 10 Mbs Exclamation

I just wonder why Apple needs to protect the playback of clips greater than 5 Mbs. Even a MacMini with Intel Onboard video can play it back. I wonder if the somewhat outdated Intel chip build in the first generation Apple TV causes this limitation. Sad
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g5g5
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Loves:
1. Graphical interface is really beautiful.
2. It doesn't make any noise while running.
3. I like the streaming movie and music previews.
4. The meta data for files is excellent.
5. It's super easy to set up.
6. The video quality through HDMI pretty good.
7. iTunes integration and syncing work perfectly.

Disappointments:
1. This thing runs crazy hot.
2. No USB expansion.
3. You can't stream pictures from iPhoto.
4. Songs stop playing when you leave the Music category
5. You can't adjust volume with the remote.
6. It slows down the launching of iTunes some.
7. The power cable could be a little longer.
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garty
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got mine set up yesterday. I like it. A lot. In fact I may get another and stop using my mini as a dvd player - it's that good.

I watched an iTunes downloaded episode of 24 last night, video quality is no worse than my SD directv picture so I'm ok with that. Very easy to set up it was too. I'm using it wireless on my 'g' network so it's a bit slow syncing.

I agree with g5g5's Loves though my plasma is too old to have hdmi so I am using the component video switched through my receiver. The GUI is beautiful, I hope this makes it in to the next version of FrontRow. The progress bar glows!. I also like that it updates the play count in iTunes and I love the syncing of selected unwatched tv shows too, I'll watch to see what happens when the next episode of 24 is available seeing as BSG has reached it's season ending, see how quickly the episode is synced to the apple tv. I don;t have a problem with the disk size and see no reason to have more space as it is really just temporary storage, all my media is stored on a RAID5 NAS in the basement.

On the disappointment side - none really! It does what it says it does and does it very well, it does get warm and I'm not bothered about the lack of volume adjustment as my receiver controls the volume, if they ever update the s/w to control the volume they must do what Sonos did and allow an option for fixed level output also.

I discovered a great way to get the WAF approval, I synced all the photos I have of the two of us and set that up as the screen saver and made sure the screen saver was on when she got home from work. She loved it! Accepted it straight away! Very Happy

If Apple start offering movie rental downloads in dvd or better quality resolution and full surround sound then I'd seriously consider saying goodbye to Netflix after all those years with them, sorry guys!

I'll give it 8/10 as there is always room for improvement!
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g5g5
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2007 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

garty wrote:
If Apple start offering movie rental downloads in dvd or better quality resolution and full surround sound then I'd seriously consider saying goodbye to Netflix after all those years with them, sorry guys!


Or how about a monthly subscription plan for X amount of dollars that allows you to watch a certain amount of movies or TV shows. One thing is becoming clear to me now. This Apple TV is truly a Trojan horse. I have never been this tempted to buy videos from the iTMS before. They could have probably lowered the price on the Apple TV and made up the difference with the increased iTMS sales.

I also agree with your 8/10 rating. I think there is room for improvement. It's definitely not perfect yet. That being said, most of these things can probably be fixed through firmware updates. The hardware looks to up to the task for the most part.
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shorafix
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

smiesguy wrote:
Apple TV does handle this format, if you use Quicktime Pro and the new Export to Apple Tv function.


I have converted the original HD-MEPG2 clip this way. Now it does play back from AppleTV. However, even my children noticed right away, that it was not the same quality on our 50" Plasma as there where used to. When played back at 10Mbs from the MacMini the HD picuture looks almost 3D with great colors and contrast while the AppleTV clip looks flaw and somewhat blurred on a big screen.
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RickB
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got mine on Friday. Very Happy

Likes:
GUI and Screensavers (Pure Apple)
The video and audio quality is better than I expected
The quality of the enclosure is on par with the Mac mini

Dislikes:
Hot hot hot! (This kind of worries me about the long-term durability)
No USB (Service only my ass)
No streaming photos. (I don't know what Apple was thinking on this one)
You can't buy stuff straight from the iTMS
40GB hard drive is too small (Hell I have a 60GB iPod)
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