Apple TV Take 2: an in-depth review (part 1): what's new

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Comments

  • areseearesee Posts: 776member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    But isn't that via AirTunes, and ot directly accessed from the AppleTV interface?



    Yes, the AppleTV can stream internet radio. This includes any station that iTunes can play. Not just those stations listed in the Radio Library.



    The trick is to import your radio station into iTunes as a music track. Then to make a playlist consisting of that track. At the AppleTV select and play your new playlist. The ApplTV is now playing your internet radio station.
  • alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    sorry, Dan/Prince. overall much excellent info in your report. BUT ...



    Charles Starrett over at iLounge did a much better job of comparing picture quality among HD alternatives:



    http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/art...he-comparison/



    he was using a relatively small 40" set and clearly documented the visible differences in fact. of course, viewing distance always matters as you noted for perception.



    in any discussion, you have to note the setup you're using since there are so many possible variations - the equipment, the connections, and the viewing distance (and the TV's video settings matter too). so for example at a six foot viewing distance from my 46" XBR, i can certainly see the difference between bluray 1080p and everything else. but i can't tell you about ten feet, because my room is too small!
  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aresee View Post


    Yes, the AppleTV can stream internet radio. This includes any station that iTunes can play. Not just those stations listed in the Radio Library.



    The trick is to import your radio station into iTunes as a music track. Then to make a playlist consisting of that track. At the AppleTV select and play your new playlist. The ApplTV is now playing your internet radio station.



    That seems more like a simple hack/work-around than a designed feature. I would have made a Radio station section appear when any iTunes radio stations were present in the synced or streamed iTunes account(s).
  • teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    That seems more like a simple hack/work-around than a designed feature. I would have made a Radio station section appear when any iTunes radio stations were present in the synced or streamed iTunes account(s).



    I agree. I would like to see a radio station listing and make or change my selection directly from ATV not my computer. Have a section for them like the way podcasts are listed.

    But if I can do it this way - great! I will check it out tonight.
  • davegod75davegod75 Posts: 1member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aresee View Post


    Yes, the AppleTV can stream internet radio. This includes any station that iTunes can play. Not just those stations listed in the Radio Library.



    The trick is to import your radio station into iTunes as a music track. Then to make a playlist consisting of that track. At the AppleTV select and play your new playlist. The ApplTV is now playing your internet radio station.



    I just tried this? How does it work? Any guides?
  • shavenyakshavenyak Posts: 16member
    If you purchase a song from the iTunes Store on an AppleTV, can you get it back to the library on your Mac? I would assume so, but you never know with Apple and the studios lately.



    I'll probably still hold out until they deliver one that can play VIDEO_TS folders - of course, by the time the AppleTV can do that, I'll probably be demanding BluRay playback too. Perhaps I should just buy a Mini and use FrontRow instead. No HD movie rentals then, but frankly I think standard DVDs upconverted look better than heavily compressed H.264 at 720p most of the time. I'll take lower resolution over visible artifacting any day.
  • areseearesee Posts: 776member
    I am repeating this from a posting I made on another site.



    I have a problem with 'My Movies', 'My TV Shows' and 'My Podcasts' showing both what has been synced to the Apple TV and what is stored on the computer in the same list. You can not tell what you have finished viewing from what you have started but not yet completed.



    Apple has provided a blue button to show what you have not started viewing or listening to a media file. But that button goes once you start playing the file. If you are interrupted and stop the playback that blue button is no longer there when you come back. Nor is there any other indication that you are not done viewing that file. You can not tell a partially viewed file from a fully viewed file.



    With Take 1 I got around this by using the "Syncing all unplayed episodes of selected movies/tv shows/podcasts" setting. This would copy only those files that had a play count of 0. (iTunes increments the play count when the file completes. Thus a partially view file will have a play count of 0 and no blue button.) Only the files that I have not yet finished would be in the AppleTV source listing and I could tell the ones that I had yet started by the presence of their button. If I wanted to view a file that I had already completed I could change the AppleTV source to the computer, find the file and replay the file via streaming.



    The "Syncing all unplayed episodes of selected movies/tv shows/podcasts" setting is still available in Take 2. But its result goes into the same list showing all the media on that computer. Including all those files that I have finished. Again making no distinction between fully played and partially played media files. Making a mockery of the "Syncing all unplayed episodes of selected movies/tv shows/podcasts" setting.
  • *maladjusted**maladjusted* Posts: 1member
    "and the direct 1280x800 option for using the unit with a DVI monitor. "



    does this mean one could connect a Apple 30-inch Cinema Display through a HDMI to DVI converter and connect sound through other ports and not need a TV ?



    \
  • alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    follow up to earlier comment, here is the best analysis i ever found of perceived HD image quality and screen size/view distance parameters by Carlton Bale:



    http://www.carltonbale.com/2006/11/1080p-does-matter/
  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ShavenYak View Post


    If you purchase a song from the iTunes Store on an AppleTV, can you get it back to the library on your Mac? I would assume so, but you never know with Apple and the studios lately.



    I'll probably still hold out until they deliver one that can play VIDEO_TS folders - of course, by the time the AppleTV can do that, I'll probably be demanding BluRay playback too. Perhaps I should just buy a Mini and use FrontRow instead. No HD movie rentals then, but frankly I think standard DVDs upconverted look better than heavily compressed H.264 at 720p most of the time. I'll take lower resolution over visible artifacting any day.



    During the keynote Jobs mentioned that purchased audioand video would auto sync back to the iTunes account the at AppleTV is synced with.



    As for VIDEO_TS, I can't imagine every happening with the DVD Consortium's blessing. According to iLounge's superficial results unconverted DVDs don't look better than TV HD rentals.
  • areseearesee Posts: 776member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by davegod75 View Post


    I just tried this? How does it work? Any guides?



    Ok, here is a procedure for playing Internet Radio from the AppleTV. I will be using one of the feeds from the iTunes Radio Library but it can be done with any station that plays through iTunes. All you need is a track in iTunes that you can move into a playlist. The only problem I have found so far with this method is QuickTime streams that I get via podcasts. The AppleTV does not display podcasts in its music section and will not play QuickTime streams in its podcast section.



    1. In iTunes create a Playlist. Lets call it Internet Radio.



    2. In the iTunes Radio Library locate a radio station you want to listen to. I am using Public > KCRW Music.



    3. Drag, or otherwise add, the KCRW Music track into your new Internet Radio playlist.



    4. From iTunes select and sync your AppleTV.



    5. When the sync is complete go to your AppleTV and open the Internet Radio playlist. Music > My Music > Playlists > Internet Radio



    6. From the AppleTV Internet Radio playlist select and play KCRW Music. For me the music starts after a short pause.





    Have more than one internet radio station? In step 3 add the tract for each radio station you want to listen to.
  • mchumanmchuman Posts: 154member
    It used to be that if I made a playlist that included radio stations, they would not show up in aTV.



    Second problem I'm having is some thumbnails for my flickr sets are from other people's photos, not my own.



    Last question - when you play trailers of HD movie offerings, are those trailers in HD? Because they don't look like it. I have not rented an HD movie yet to find out what those look like.
  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aresee View Post


    Ok, here is a procedure for playing Internet Radio from the AppleTV. I will be using one of the feeds from the iTunes Radio Library but it can be done with any station that plays through iTunes. All you need is a track in iTunes that you can move into a playlist. The only problem I have found so far with this method is QuickTime streams that I get via podcasts. The AppleTV does not display podcasts in its music section and will not play QuickTime streams in its podcast section.



    1. In iTunes create a Playlist. Lets call it Internet Radio.



    2. In the iTunes Radio Library locate a radio station you want to listen to. I am using Public > KCRW Music.



    3. Drag, or otherwise add, the KCRW Music track into your new Internet Radio playlist.



    4. From iTunes select and sync your AppleTV.



    5. When the sync is complete go to your AppleTV and open the Internet Radio playlist. Music > My Music > Playlists > Internet Radio



    6. From the AppleTV Internet Radio playlist select and play KCRW Music. For me the music starts after a short pause.





    Have more than one internet radio station? In step 3 add the tract for each radio station you want to listen to.



    Does it still work if the associated iTunes account is closed. Id est, is it streaming directly from the internet source to the AppleTV or is it going through iTunes?





    PS: The replacement AppleTV I ordered yesterday evening around 2pm (PST) just arrived. That is pretty damn fast!
  • teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by McHuman View Post


    Last question - when you play trailers of HD movie offerings, are those trailers in HD? Because they don't look like it. I have not rented an HD movie yet to find out what those look like.



    I'd also say the trailers are not in HD becasue they don't look it and they download very fast. They probably use the exact same trailer for both STandard and HD rentals. So we will have to rent a HD movie to see how it looks. The 24 hour window is just so weird to me- that it will just somehow disolve up in smoke like some Mission Impssible opening!
  • areseearesee Posts: 776member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Does it still work if the associated iTunes account is closed. Id est, is it streaming directly from the internet source to the AppleTV or is it going through iTunes?



    Good question. I keep iTunes running all the time and didn't check for this.



    I just shut down iTunes and my Internet Radio playlist disappeared from the AppleTV. This occurs even when I explicitly set the Internet Radio playlist to be synced with the AppleTV. So no this will not work if the host iTunes is not running. I wonder if it will work on shared iTunes?



    BTW, this provides a workaround to my earlier problem of distinguishing between finished and unfinished media files.
  • teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aresee View Post


    Good question. I keep iTunes running all the time and didn't check for this.



    I just shut down iTunes and my Internet Radio playlist disappeared from the AppleTV. This occurs even when I explicitly set the Internet Radio playlist to be synced with the AppleTV. So no this will not work if the host iTunes is not running. I wonder if it will work on shared iTunes?



    BTW, this provides a workaround to my earlier problem of distinguishing between finished and unfinished media files.



    Sounds like it's originating from a streamed computer source and that would make sense. However that's disappointing if it doesn't work unless a computer is turned on as well. It would be nice to turn on your entertainment center and listen to radio streams. Oh well.
  • blippioblippio Posts: 7member
    Quote:

    "and the direct 1280x800 option for using the unit with a DVI monitor. "



    does this mean one could connect a Apple 30-inch Cinema Display through a HDMI to DVI converter and connect sound through other ports and not need a TV ?



    I'd like to know this as well. I know for a fact that the newer Cinema Displays (silver bezel) DO NOT work with the old appleTV software...



    Do the newer Cinema Displays work with the appleTV via the new Take2 software? Any takers to give it a try?



    (btw, I'm tired of running into that very misleading article "Apple TV:Turn DVI into HDTV"... it just isn't true--at least with the old appleTV software: It works only on the older monitors and does so in 1280x800...)
  • boazhboazh Posts: 4member
    So I was so excited for this update and ended up with huge disappointment.

    There might be an issue with my update and I might need to repeat it although I don't know how to.... It appears that my ATV will freeze everyonce in awhile and the remote will not respond to any clicks, or will respond after 30 seconds. Also after pausing, it takes 10 secods sometimes for the media to start playing again. Anyone has the same issues?

    I restrated several times and also run the diagnostic which tells me my ATV is working correctly... Why oh why Apple did not give us an option to have Genres for our collection of movies and tv shows is beyond me, It just lead me to think that Apple is no longer the company that strived to satisfy its users but rather make sure we all have an easy wat to spend $$ on renting or buying movies.
  • nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    "Analog broadcast TV has long used a nearly square aspect ratio that is stretched out by non-square pixels that results in everyone on TV looking ten pounds heavier."



    That's not true. Analog TV doesn't even use pixels (just a continuous color "stream" on each line), and digital systems creating content for analog use square or NARROW (8:9) pixels, not wide. And regardless, the result is perfectly proportioned--broadcast TV has not "long used" a system that makes the image wider.



    If you see a wide image it's simply because you have a widescreen (16:9) TV, and analog TV uses a 4:3 standard shape. You should set your TV differently to show black bars on the sides (or else zoom in), and then you'll get the shape (which is not nearly square) of non-widescreen TVs.
  • teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    "Analog broadcast TV has long used a nearly square aspect ratio that is stretched out by non-square pixels that results in everyone on TV looking ten pounds heavier."



    That's not true. Analog TV doesn't even use pixels (just a continuous color "stream" on each line), and digital systems creating content for analog use square or NARROW (8:9) pixels, not wide. And regardless, the result is perfectly proportioned--broadcast TV has not "long used" a system that makes the image wider.



    If you see a wide image it's simply because you have a widescreen (16:9) TV, and analog TV uses a 4:3 standard shape. You should set your TV differently to show black bars on the sides (or else zoom in), and then you'll get the shape (which is not nearly square) of non-widescreen TVs.



    Speaking of which- wouldn't it be cool if we could set the image directly on the ATV- can we?

    You can on cable TV remotes and most DVD machines. I rather set this on the device than the TV for 4:3 programs.
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