Review: Apple's second-generation Apple TV (2010)

245

Comments

  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CIM View Post


    How can anyone complain about 1080p support when your expensive cable isn?t even 1080p?



    The only cable I?ve heard that streams 1080p is actually a lower total bitrate than Apple?s 720p. But, hey, 1080p is more marketable so who cares if it?s actually a better picture quality.
  • naboozlenaboozle Posts: 213member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CIM View Post


    How can anyone complain about 1080p support when your expensive cable isn?t even 1080p?



    When is great, good enough? I'm old enough to remember Black and White TV and all of 3 channels... with "snow". So I can't relate to people whose eyes are "offended" by anything less than 1080p.



    Bottom line, such movies are not practical for most people to download, so supporting that resolution isn't particularly necessary at this point.
  • cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacHay View Post


    Personally, I am not sure how apps might work on ATV. OK Weather, and other non interactive apps maybe, but for gaming I think Airplay will be the key.



    On device (iPhone/iPod) apps already offer amazing games and have the gyro, multi-linking and user interface etc already built in. So using Airplay to get on the big screen, without cables etc is perhaps the key to this.



    Music and video already streams on 4.2, so why not a games?



    Enjoying my new ATV and like the improved speed and response. It actually makes sense now to use the Remote.app as well. My old ATV is now consigned to a cupboard as a JukeBox that can be be accessed all over the house.



    Apps = Channels



    NFL App = Live NFL games

    Fox App = All Fox programming available, including stuff that may or not be available on Hulu/Netflix



    And on and on.



    Apps would allow sports leagues and networks to stream their content online at a price they dictate. Basically your internet connection would also serve as your gateway to all your TV watching needs, no more need for cable. Watch what you want, when you want to, not when it's airing on any particular channel. No more missing the first 5 minutes of a show, it starts when you say so and you have the ability to play, pause, fast forward, rewind and rewatch without a DVR.



    Now, simply enabling apps won't create that reality, you need the networks to buy in and right now they haven't, but the upside to having apps is quite obvious. As far as gaming goes, simply add a bluetooth controller and you have legitimate gaming capabilities, or use an iPhone as you suggest.



    AirPlay will likely be a great service, and a pseudo replacement for apps on Apple TV, but it won't be as good as native apps on Apple TV (you are transmitting video from a battery operated device). That said, it may be the thing that brings networks to Apple TV. Hulu plus is on the iPhone and iPad but the networks were obviously reluctant to put it on Apple TV (believe me, it would be there if Apple could have convinced them) and a lot of networks have their own iOS app as well. If you can simply stream the video from those apps to the Apple TV, the argument becomes "why not just put the app on Apple TV"? Then BAM! Apple opens and App Store with major network support. Or something like that.
  • dunksdunks Posts: 1,163member
    No thanks Steve. I prefer TV without constantly being reminded of my oppression.
  • spliff monkeyspliff monkey Posts: 707member
    This is the best post on this topic ATM. It's exactly what thought when they announced iOS. This will take the heat off of Apple setting prices and content providers can basically charge whatever they want. Including free streaming with iAds if they want or premium services commercial free. iOS also gives the new ATV the ability for casual gaming as well.



    I think once the dev kit is out (and I have the feeling it's already in the hands of a select group) this is going to blow google TV out of the water. HULU+ wasn't really compelling enough to keep around <Delete> and I agree streaming from your ipad/ ipod really isn't compelling for everyday use either as anything other than a sharing feature (which i think that's what it's geared towards anyway making movies, Music and TV "shareable" without DVD's and cables). :-/





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post


    Apps = Channels



    NFL App = Live NFL games

    Fox App = All Fox programming available, including stuff that may or not be available on Hulu/Netflix



    And on and on.



    Apps would allow sports leagues and networks to stream their content online at a price they dictate. Basically your internet connection would also serve as your gateway to all your TV watching needs, no more need for cable. Watch what you want, when you want to, not when it's airing on any particular channel. No more missing the first 5 minutes of a show, it starts when you say so and you have the ability to play, pause, fast forward, rewind and rewatch without a DVR.



    Now, simply enabling apps won't create that reality, you need the networks to buy in and right now they haven't, but the upside to having apps is quite obvious. As far as gaming goes, simply add a bluetooth controller and you have legitimate gaming capabilities, or use an iPhone as you suggest.



    AirPlay will likely be a great service, and a pseudo replacement for apps on Apple TV, but it won't be as good as native apps on Apple TV (you are transmitting video from a battery operated device). That said, it may be the thing that brings networks to Apple TV. Hulu plus is on the iPhone and iPad but the networks were obviously reluctant to put it on Apple TV (believe me, it would be there if Apple could have convinced them) and a lot of networks have their own iOS app as well. If you can simply stream the video from those apps to the Apple TV, the argument becomes "why not just put the app on Apple TV"? Then BAM! Apple opens and App Store with major network support. Or something like that.



  • doc69doc69 Posts: 8member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CIM View Post


    How can anyone complain about 1080p support when your expensive cable isn?t even 1080p?



    If I downloaded something from the web that happens to be in 1080p, or I want to play a clip from camcorder, 1080p support would be welcome.
  • doc69doc69 Posts: 8member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Naboozle View Post


    Well, it's not that hard. Add a list of files to a HandBrake queue and it does the rest.



    Perhaps so, but it's much easier with something like an WD TV that can decode a lot of different formats. As soon as something is done downloading on my Mac, it pops up in the WD TV menu and is ready to play on my TV over the network. Moving files or converting files to watch TV is something I will never do again. Sorry. And if all TV shows and programs were available for instant viewing for 99c, I wouldn't bother to download either. It's all about convenience.
  • applezillaapplezilla Posts: 941member
    I played with one in an Apple Store today. Tried a title from Apple's store and a title from Netflix. Nowhere near Blu-Ray quality in any way.



    At this point, yes a 2.5 is accurate. Once they add AirPlay and everything else we expect softwarewise (including Hulu), I would rate it a 3.5.



    But that's it, because it would have been So Easy to let you stream your own 1080p media. Roku did it. I would have given it a 4 in its current state and a 5 after updated software, but... no 1080p



    Still a hobby.



    That being said, I might get one as a 'connector.' Mostly for music. When AirPlay launches.
  • jeffreytgilbertjeffreytgilbert Posts: 323member
    Hey look, I just found something for less than 100 bucks that does everything the apple tv does and more.



    http://www.ecrater.com/p/8297256/mic...m-game-console



    and it wasn't a hard time to find it.
  • irelandireland Posts: 15,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Doc69 View Post


    The deal breaker for me is the lack for support of common video formats. How successful would the iPod have been if it didn't play mp3s? I really wanted an Apple TV but since my video library is not mostly h.264/mp4, I had to go with the WD TV Live instead. And it also plays 1080p.



    I'm totally convinced that the lack of support of common video formats is the main reason the Apple TV has not been a big success. Who wants to bother with having to re-encode all their video?



    Quit making sense, you.
  • irelandireland Posts: 15,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Naboozle View Post


    Well, it's not that hard. Add a list of files to a HandBrake queue and it does the rest.



    That requires effort. When using a TV you want to relax.



    Anyway, what's stopping the ATV from taking off is not an app store, but rather a content subscription deal. I'd happily give Apple that €24 a month rather than Fat Chops Rupert Murdock, but i can't. For the same money with Apple TV and all the content i could pick when to watch which shows, without ever even needing to record anything. And I'd get a great UI with all the extra features and maybe even apps down the road.



    Without a monthly option and contract this will always be a hobby, i.e. relative commercial failure for Apple.
  • brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    I'd say 2.5/5 is low.



    The problem is that, on balance, this Apple TV has less functionality than the previous one. For an almost 4-year-old product that has changed little in its life, that's a serious problem.



    The only additional functionality this one has that the previous one did not is Netflix, and that's only useful to the sub-category that are Netflix subscribers.



    On the other hand, a lot has been removed. YOu can't purchase TV shows, movies, or music with it. You can't download podcasts. The vast majority of TV on iTunes is for sale rather than rent, and the Apple TV only rents. You can't store your media on it, which is critical for people who don't keep their computer on and awake all the time for streaming - lots of people have laptops that they want to put to sleep, or even take with them to use while someone else wants to watch something.



    IMO, two things should happen - and I think will happen - for this device to be a real winner: 1) Apps, even just web apps, and 2) a "digital locker" iTunes where Apple stores what you buy, thereby obviating the need for local storage.
  • mfrydmfryd Posts: 101member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Naboozle View Post


    I don't understand why a purchase option was omitted.

    ...



    The purchase option was omitted because Apple wants to get into the streaming business.



    Apple is spending a lot of money on a new data center, and gosh darn it, they are going to make you use it.



    Many people would prefer local content if it was available.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CIM View Post


    How can anyone complain about 1080p support when your expensive cable isn?t even 1080p?



    I don't care about 1080p for video. I care about 1080p for displaying my photos. I have a 20 Megapixel DSLR. It would be nice to display them at the full 2MP offered by 1080p
  • emacs72emacs72 Posts: 356member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Connections on the Apple TV are HDMI for high-definition audio and video, as well as an optical audio out for those who have older receivers ...



    ...



    Supported audio formats include AAC, MP3, Apple Lossless, AIFF and WAV. It also allows for Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound pass-through to a compatible receiver.




    presumably a future iteration of the Apple TV will support HD audio (or least 7.1 linear PCM).
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,756member
    2.5/5 is a generous rating for this product. Lousy TV rental options, many purchase-only movies now not an option, photos stream at iTunes (and not iPhoto) quality, erratic Airplay/download speeds (despite a high-end Time Capsule), and less-than-functional iPhone and iPad compatibility (although that hopefully changes soon, but we'll see).



    Apple should not have released this half-baked product. And Apple could have easily made it backwards-compatible with the previous hardware (which, I loved).



    If not for the throw-away price and it's great looks, I'd have serious buyers' regret. Including those two attributes, I give it a 1.5/5.
  • boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 925member
    This is one of those tweener devices. For what apple was trying to accomplish it's a ten. But for various reason to various people it does fall short.



    For movie rentals - it's great. For streaming pics and music it's great.

    For viewing podcasts and basic you tube it's great.



    BUT.... It's seems like it could be much much more and better.



    Most have been discussed... Some thoughts-



    HDMI in- to switch between easily between cable and ATV

    Some kind of network storage access(why is apple against this?)

    Yes more codecs

    Yes some very basic apps, perhaps over lay on an incoming signal(weather, news or stock ticker)

    Better movie organization, add actor and director lists.

    Expand user comments on reviews



    IMO tv rental cost are way out of line even 5 year old shows at 99 cents. Rather pay double to purchase and have forever... But that is just me.



    For me, the remote app was very kludgy... Just did not work well.



    My main reason for buying was movie rentals, so thumbs up, but boy, the there is potential for so much more and it's not there...yet.
  • boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 925member
    I wonder if one were to buy macmini, open iTunes and just leave it running with computer share on that this is essentially the network server that a lot of us wish where included with newATV? Seems like it would work but sure is an expensive work around. Could iTunes computer share be faked on a network drive? Just don't get why apple does not do network share even if tied to an iTunes id. Maybe a future upgrade, one can hope.
  • wovelwovel Posts: 948member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jeffreytgilbert View Post


    Hey look, I just found something for less than 100 bucks that does everything the apple tv does and more.



    http://www.ecrater.com/p/8297256/mic...m-game-console



    and it wasn't a hard time to find it.



    Yep, all you lose is the 99 cent rentals and the ability to hear the programs you are trying to watch. (perhaps you don't actually own a 360 or you are being sarcastic).
  • rtm135rtm135 Posts: 310member
    Sorry Google and Apple TV, but you're NO Windows Media Center. Come back to me when you can replace my DVR.
  • antkm1antkm1 Posts: 1,441member
    Heck, I've been asking "what's next" since Gen1 of this device and now I'm still asking the same question. My guess is that Gen3 will be the big one, or an iOS update for ATV next year.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DJinTX View Post


    Agreed, I can't wait to see what's next. I was a little on the fence this weekend, but I found some ATVs in stock and grabbed one. I am very happy with it. I am just ready for the other networks to jump on board. After Fox and ABC make a big chunk of change, you know NBC and the rest will be jumping on board.



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