Apple TV: Your Opinions So Far

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 29th, 2007, 17:41
Category: Opinion

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We asked for your opinions on the newly-released Apple TV yesterday and you guys had a lot to say, most of it pretty positive as well.
The biggest complaints reported were fan noise, heat from the Apple TV itself and a current lack of high resolution content from the iTunes Store.
Oh, and one of you lunatics managed to replace the original 40 gigabyte hard drive with a 160 gigabyte hard drive.
Not bad for the first week of a new Apple product being on the market
Click here for the full story…


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I had no problem setting up. Had to change out some of my video content that worked in Front Row, so it would play on the apple TV (using Visual Hub). The menus/features need a work. They work for now, but here is the wish list:
Photos:
Streaming and a better way to look at all the photos, like on the iPod.
Music:
No big problems here.
Videos:
Shuffling, I want to create my own TV station that plays my TV shows and music videos at random.
Better support for videos that work in iTunes and Front Row.
There should be a menu breakdown for TV shows by season.
Just some observations by an average nobody
Contributed by: toddreichert
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Set-up, synching, streaming – all went without a hitch. The interface is smooth and beautiful, and it does what it is supposed to do quite well.
My main goal was to be able to stream my large iTunes music library to my living room stereo system, and use the Apple TV / remote to find and play my music. To this end, there are some interface tweaks needed in v1.1 – please, Apple, please
1. A la Front Row, there should be a Shuffle Songs option at the top of every music submenu, not just the top-level and Playlists.
2. My four albums with the identical title “Greatest Hits” should be listed as four separate albums in the album view, not lumped together as one album.
3. Please respect my careful delineation of “Album Artist” (and, now, “Sort Artist”) when I browse via the Artist menu. As it is now, multiple artists on the same album are listed separately, even if I lumped them in iTunes as 1 album by using the Album Artist field.
4. Please respect my iTunes choice to show Compilations so all those one-off artists on my Compilation albums are not listed separately in the Artists menu.
Anyone out there with the same complaints or suggested fixes?
Last suggestion: Please make it possible for the user to choose the Synch order. As it is now, every time I add or change a synched music playlist, it wipes my entire iPhoto collection from Apple TV and then re-synchs it after synching the music.
Contributed by: TFLyness
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I’m a huge Apple fanatic. I ordered the Apple TV when I saw it at MacWorld 2007. I didn’t even have a widescreen TV at that point. I was impressed with what I saw and the potential for this device. I guess I was expecting more.
Since then I did buy a Samsung 56″ DLP, and in true HD the picture is terrific. When I received my Apple TV I was surprised it supported 1080. So I was expecting big things.
Setup was a breeze. It took 15 minutes to set up, connect wirelessly to my iMac and start synching. Integration with iTunes is great – just select what you want (individual movies, playlists, etc) and it automatically synchs. Navigation was also simple even with the small Apple Remote. Even when watching streamed content (trailers, video) the device worked great. I found the entire experience typical of what I would find with similar Apple products – simple but powerful, and very cool.
I knew iTunes was not delivering content at 1080 or even 720, but even at standard res or downloaded movies from iTunes I felt the resolution was awful. This has to be the first order of business to improve on this cool device. That leads to my second point – the HD is way too small to support HD video. Maybe that USB port will allow us to attach a large USB drive in the future. That would be great. BTW, the lack of a DVR doesn’t bother me – it’s a nice thing to have but not a “gotta have”.
Finally, the device is running VERY hot. I know that happens a lot with other Apple products as so much is built into a small space, but again maybe this is something that can be fixed with an update.
Overall I think it’s a great device with a lot of potential, but to really make a dent in the market, it needs better resolution and a larger drive.
Contributed by: Joseph blough
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I was able to test an Apple TV unit alongside the HD-DVD drive that plugs into the XBox 360′s USB port.
Up until now, I’ve been using a regular DVD player to play DVD movies on my 37″ LCD flat panel display (1920×1200). I wanted to see which of the two products would take my movie watching experience to the next level.
As others have pointed out, even if I accept 720p video (and non-Dolby sound) as “good enough,” the biggest weakness I see for the Apple TV is the lack of selection of movies on the iTunes Store. Of my five favorite movies, none of them could be purchased on the iTunes Store. I know I could convert purchased DVDs to Apple TV movies using software, but…
…all five of my favorite movies could be rented as HD-DVD from NetFlix or purchased as HD-DVD from various sources.
When I played an HD-DVD on the XBox HD-DVD player at 1080i with Dolby sound, the experience was clearly superior to what the Apple TV offers.
I know that the Apple TV does more than movies, but for me, an HD-DVD (or Blu-ray) player is a better addition to my entertainment center.
One more thing. I’m returning the XBox HD-DVD player. The XBox system’s fans are so noisy, they intrude on the quiet scenes of the movie. I plan to exchange it for the quieter Toshiba HD-DVD player ($320 discounted).
Contributed by: Rob-ART
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Using instructions found online, I installed a Hitachi 160 GB, 5400 RPM HD (got it got it for $112.87) into my Apple TV today. I used CopyCatX to clone the original HD onto the new drive, and then I used iPartition to expand the Media partition. I now have in excess of 140 GB for use. The whole procedure took less than 2 hrs, with about 90 minutes of that time was consumed by the cloning process. Everything works perfectly. I’m a very happy camper!
Contributed by: rocketman80301
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I wish Apple TV could stream Keynote presentations directly from a laptop.
I hope someone finds a way to do this
Contributed by: D. Harris
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Excited after calling the Apple Store in my area every other day for Apple TV status I quickly ran out to get one. I really wanted two of them but cautiously procured one to try instead!
The set-up was easy, no problems. The synch was slow… Oh My! After starting to synch to my machine and seeing that it was going to be many, many hours and I would not be able to get everything I had in my iTunes anyway, I started over and synched with my wife’s MacBook, which had considerably less content.
The streaming from my machines seemed very good however it was a little slow over the G network. It worked so much better when I tried it on the N network. Less catching up to do.
The only bad news is #1: The heat! Ouch! And #2: I can’t play my content that is not playable in iTunes. QuickTime movies, Slingbox connections, TIVO, DVDs etc. I would have to rip the content down to iTunes to play it and if I did that, then I might as well just hook my MacBook Pro to the TV directly and save my time.
The bright side? You want yours over easy or sunny side up?
Contributed by: Jim Million
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Once again Apple proves that good design and function do not have to be difficult to implement. The Apple TV setup was seamless AND, I did not read the manual until it was all installed and I wanted to know how to go about streaming my husband’s iTunes content instead of synching.
It seems, also to be a natural for the next version of the software to all-direct downloading of content from iTunes. I just love the new addition to our Apple family. Maybe I need one for our other TV? Or, maybe it needs to be able to communicate to all the TVs in the house via Airport Express?
For version 1.0, I am very impressed. Very impressed, indeed.
Contributed by: BettR
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Extremely easy to setup. Got everything ready to go without spending much time with instructions. I used wired Ethernet instead of wireless, so my setup may be simplified.
I don’t know if it is the way I compress things in Handbrake, but my picture from the Apple TV is less sharp compared to my Philips DVD player. I use H264 with 1500 and 2500 bit rates and could not notice much difference.
I wish I had more high definition material to play with. All I can get are movie trailers. Photo slide shows look great.
For those that are thinking of using the Apple TV with a D/A converter like the Benchmark, forget it. This thing only output 5.1. A surround processor will lock onto the signal, but a stereo D/A converter will not. I have spoken with Apple and suggest to them to allow the unit to output a PCM signal it can be used with D/A converters. Maybe even enable the USB port for audio.
One thing I noticed is that if I were to stream movies I compressed, I do not have a problem, but if I stream an iTunes DRM movie, the picture stutters. Apple’s suggestion was to synch those files.
I have not done anything to my unit, but with 120GB to 160GB notebook drives a bit more than $110 or so, I am tempted.
Contributed by: Apple TV

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