Opinion from Apple TV owners

pacificdragon

Active Member
I'm in the market to buy the Apple TV and I'm sitting on the fence / holding to see if apple will bring out a newer version of the Apple TV as it has not been updated for some time.

I know they recently discontinued the smaller hard drive Apple TV and I would assume they must be bringing out either a larger hard drive Apple TV or maybe add something to the TV.

From the current Apple TV owners other than firmware updates is there likely to be any significant changes that can / could be made other than hard drive size or should I just go ahead and buy now ?

Also can you plug in an external hard drive to the Apple TV to increase the size?

Thanks.
 

gary99129

Novice Member
You can't plug an external drive into an Apple TV or at least the software doesn't support it.

What you can do is stream from your PC to your Apple TV. My Apple TV contains only music and photographs. I have iTunes open permanently on the PC my Apple TV syncs to and that contains all the TV shows I have (around 750GB worth) and they appear as part of the regular Apple TV library and you wouldn't know they were stored on an external PC.

You can also connect to other copies of iTunes, so if I have something on my laptop I want to stream to my TV, I can put it in iTunes on the laptop and use Apple TV to watch it.

I've got the 160GB Apple TV which I've had for over 2 years. The other main drawback is the codec support it has which is limited to say the least.
 

Spoonhead

Well-known Member
When I first got my ATV, I was really impressed. It is very good at itunes store content and music. However, as you start to add to it via your own content, then the process of getting movies etc. to right spec that the ATV can play it, has caused me a few problems.

However, after adding XBMC/Boxee support via a ATV patchstick, its resulted in a completely new lease of life, as the codec support has dramitaclly increased and it can now stream from my NAS.

So for instance, previously if you wanted to rip a DVD, you had to use Mac the Ripper, followed by Handbrake, making sure you got the settings right, then metaX to add the tags so you could then add into itunes and sync.

Now I just have to rip the DVD with Mac the Ripper and place the VOB files into a folder of the film's name on the NAS, let XBMC scrape the film details from imdb and away you go. The only limiting factor appears to be playback by the ATV of HD content via this method as the processor struggles.

Gazza
 

pacificdragon

Active Member
I knew the APT would be a little restrictive as Apple obviously want you renting and buying from iTunes but it seems very restrictive and complex to do something outside of downloading from iTunes ??

I have my MBP hooked up to a 1TB timecapsule just for backing up & not really for anything else, is there someway for me to use the Time Capsule with ATV for storage space ?

My iTunes library without vids is just over 30gb so doesn't leave a massive amount for a tv series and a few HD movies purely using the ATV storage which is the only thing that is making me pause for an update or a workaround that is reasonably simplistic, I don't know to much about serves NAS etc although Google and Youtube do have their respective uses :devil:
 

col_edinburgh

Active Member
if you want a video media player i would look elsewhere. out of the box the restrictions are annoying: must be mp4 video, a usb port that does nothing, you can only stream through itunes - so even if you have a nas, you need to have a computer running.

you can hack the apple tv and add xbmx/boxee/nito tv/sapphire ... but i have has a lot of hangs using this.

you can also hack to add a external hard drive or stream directly from nas.

if you want a mac media player get a mac mini. if your not bothered about os then look at the media streaming threads in this forum
 

pacificdragon

Active Member
Mac mini would be ideal media centre but the cost is a bit on the expensive side for what I want it to do i.e. watch video's play my songs etc, although I have no argument about the cost of the mac mini as a desktop machine.

I have found a few of the websites that talk about how to install 3rd party applications onto the ATV which is the only thing that has kept me interested in the ATV, and the fact I have £75 voucher to spend at Apple as there was a delay in them delivering my MPB.

I'm just hoping that with the ATV being so restrictive they might bring out something that makes it compete with other products on the market.
 

Spoonhead

Well-known Member
Hiya gazzared_typer, quite an impressive movie collection you got there :thumbsup: Did you rip them all onto your hard disk for your use as a NAS ?
In an ideal world I would love them all ripped, but in practice it's very few. I'll be doing it 24/7 for next 20 years :eek: :D

I've actually limited it to just the TV series we have as that works quite well for picking out some of the episodes we like.

But I do like the interface for XBMC which makes navigation very easy on the ATV. It's just a shame the ATV is not powerful enough for 1080p movies.

Maybe we might see it upgraded to cope, and perhaps allow us to use the USB port to add an external hard drive. Are you listening Apple (doubt it). :mad:

Gazza
 

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