New Apple TV sports custom, single-core A5 processor

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Comments

  • hmmhmm Posts: 3,368member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post


    Whats with the trolls and spam on this site lately?



    "Probably discarded A5's with a core disabled"



    Yea...right.



    Where do these people come from.



    That's a common practice. You're ignorant of it, so you call them trolls? It helps considerably with manufacturing costs by lowering your potential waste.
  • einsteinbqateinsteinbqat Posts: 169member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    Jobs signed off on Take 2. There is no way it's worse than that.





    True, but you can't say that the big coloured buttons looks good.

  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 40,530member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by einsteinbqat View Post


    True, but you can't say that the big colored buttons looks good.



    I think even what I came up with looks better than the new software, and that's saying something since everything I do seems to be complete trash.
  • slurpyslurpy Posts: 4,560member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by einsteinbqat View Post


    True, but you can't say that the big coloured buttons looks good.





    That looks fine, and is by far the best ATV interface yet. What's so bad about it? It's just like an iOS homescreen but with rectangular icons, which look much better on a 16x9 display. It's also an obvious prelude to an appstore to be added.
  • charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,081member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by einsteinbqat View Post


    BTW, I update my Apple TV software, and the new Apple TV interface is an ABOMINATION! Steve Jobs would never have OK'ed this.



    You don't know hat. This could be the interface Steve said he cracked
  • scott rscott r Posts: 31member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    No, they'll play in 720p unless Apple has explicitly blocked it from playing iTunes-purchased 1080 content at all. The Apple TV will downconvert them on the fly.



    I'm pretty sure this is not correct. The new ATV can play 1080p because it has a faster CPU/GPU (and possibly more RAM). If you upgrade your iTunes app and look at the available movies, it looks like you have a *choice* of downloading HD movies as 720p or 1080p, so it looks like Apple is maintaining two different copies of HD movies (really, three versions, including SD). I suspect that if you *buy* an HD movie from iTunes, you'll be able to download the 720p version from a device that is only capable of 720p or the 1080p version from a device (like this newest ATV) that can do 1080p. If you buy the SD version (at a cheaper price), you'll be limited to re-downloading that version.



    Update: I just noticed that the iTunes store tells you the filesizes in advance of buying a movie. The movie Hugo is listed as being 4.84GB in 1080p, 3.99GB in 720p, and 1.74GB in SD. I've been pretty impressed with the PQ of Apple's 720p "HD" movies, but based on this info, it tells me that Apple is over-compressing their 1080p transfers. A 1080p movie has 2.25x the pixels of a 720p movie, but based on the filesizes, Apple's 1080p version of a movie has only a slightly larger filesize than the 720p version.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Scott R View Post


    I'm pretty sure this is not correct. The new ATV can play 1080p because it has a faster CPU/GPU (and possibly more RAM). If you upgrade your iTunes app and look at the available movies, it looks like you have a *choice* of downloading HD movies as 720p or 1080p, so it looks like Apple is maintaining two different copies of HD movies (really, three versions, including SD). I suspect that if you *buy* an HD movie from iTunes, you'll be able to download the 720p version from a device that is only capable of 720p or the 1080p version from a device (like this newest ATV) that can do 1080p. If you buy the SD version (at a cheaper price), you'll be limited to re-downloading that version.



    The new Apple TV is faster but I am not sure the "technical" limits of ANY previous Apple TV are challanged with this new 1080p as the bit rate is comparable with their 720p offerings. Maybe I'm completely off base but I thought the "work" was a measure of the amount of data per frame not specifically the resolution.



    I don't know about switching between 720p and 1080p on the Apple TV but in iTunes 10.6 it's a breeze. It's a simple drop down in Preferences but you can switch it on the fly right from a link in the iTS that will bring up that Prefernces window.
  • spleckspleck Posts: 5member
    I was disappointed that the specs only say its capable of High Profile 4.0. With a bitrate of 25000 kbps, that means no Bluray streaming at 40 Mbps. The iPhone 4S and iPad 3 are both capable of High Profile 4.1 which puts them well above the Bluray bitrate.



    The iPad 2 was only rated Main Profile 3.1, but I think that has more to do with only supporting 720p.
  • scott rscott r Posts: 31member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by spleck View Post


    I was disappointed that the specs only say its capable of High Profile 4.0. With a bitrate of 25000 kbps, that means no Bluray streaming at 40 Mbps. The iPhone 4S and iPad 3 are both capable of High Profile 4.1 which puts them well above the Bluray bitrate.



    The iPad 2 was only rated Main Profile 3.1, but I think that has more to do with only supporting 720p.



    Hmm...I hadn't noticed that the iPhone 4s could do 4.1 and this new ATV only 4.0. That does sound concerning. FWIW, I've been able to play full-bitrate Blu-ray rips on my ATV2 under XBMC (downscaled to 720p, and the source must be in MP4 format - some Blu-rays are encoded as VC1 which the ATV2's GPU can't natively decode), so I would think that this new ATV might be able to pull that off at 1080p, but I guess we'll see.
  • spleckspleck Posts: 5member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Scott R View Post


    Hmm...I hadn't noticed that the iPhone 4s could do 4.1 and this new ATV only 4.0. That does sound concerning. FWIW, I've been able to play full-bitrate Blu-ray rips on my ATV2 under XBMC (downscaled to 720p, and the source must be in MP4 format - some Blu-rays are encoded as VC1 which the ATV2's GPU can't natively decode), so I would think that this new ATV might be able to pull that off at 1080p, but I guess we'll see.



    I have not had the same experience. My ATV2 stutters and chokes on any full Blu-ray rip using XBMC. What kind of network share are you using? I'm using an SMB share, but now that I think of it, I've been trying to stream MKVs rather than MP4.
  • philipmphilipm Posts: 239member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmm View Post


    That's a common practice. You're ignorant of it, so you call them trolls? It helps considerably with manufacturing costs by lowering your potential waste.



    Designing a device with fewer cores is not that hard. It's possible they are using dual cores and disabling one but with the volumes they need, not too likely. A flaw in a die with so few cores need not necessarily disable just the one core. If you have a high number of cores, you are more likely to run into a scenario where a flaw disables one core and not other critical components like a bus or shared cache, e.g., the Sony PS3 shipped with only 7 of its 8 vector units working (6 of those available to programmers).



    If Apple TV gets to high volumes, a smaller chip is also a consideration in manufacturing costs, and cost is a critical factor in this case.
  • hattighattig Posts: 788member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    I bet the real story is that they have enough bAd a5's beIng made that they can disable a core and still sell them



    ++



    Also as it's not in a mobile device with battery issues, they can get the same effect as the A5X's 1080p encode/decode (Imagination Tech VXE?) capability (and SGX543MP4 graphics) by clocking the original A5's video core (VXE, SGX543MP2) at a faster speed than in the iPad/iPhone.
  • tipootipoo Posts: 577member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post


    Whats with the trolls and spam on this site lately?



    "Probably discarded A5's with a core disabled"



    Yea...right.



    Where do these people come from.





    A rudimentary knowledge of the semiconductor industry is all it would take for you to know its plausible. Chip harvesting happens all the time. Intel does it, AMD does it, IBM does it, why would Apple be unique in throwing away capable chips? If it only takes one core to run 1080p, why not use the harvested chips? Infact most chips ARE harvested, a 3GHz chip from the same family as a 3.4GHz chip probably didn't pass the tests at the higher speed so was lowered and sold as a different part, even if its almost the same. If you're going to call people out, at least know what you're talking about.
  • morkymorky Posts: 165member
    If Apple were to put the 5X in this and develop a controller, they could be a dominant player in the game console market within a year. The games are already written for iOS, for God's sake! It's a mystery to me why they haven't done this.
  • dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Morky View Post


    If Apple were to put the 5X in this and develop a controller, they could be a dominant player in the game console market within a year. The games are already written for iOS, for God's sake! It's a mystery to me why they haven't done this.



    The appleTV is rather well positioned given the rest of the iOS ecosystem.



    My guess is that apple is actively choosing to limit their platform in order to keep it monolithic and consistent. That consistency is one of the less recognized advantages of iOS. Apps work great on every device because of consistent screen sizes, hardware capabilities etc. The platform has remained remarkably consistent despite significant hardware upgrades.



    If apple were to offer dedicated gaming console functionality or even an app store for the ATV, it would mean apps running on a platform with inherently different screen and interaction characteristics. Apps would need to be tailored specifically to run on the ATV in order for the experience to be as refined as we are used to on handheld touch screen devices. It is unlikely that all developers would invest the development time to make native ATV apps. So either apple would have to allow non-native apps on the ATV, or limit its store to native ATV apps. Either way, to do it right means going all in. To enter the market casually could really hurt the entire iOS ecosystem.
  • tjwaltjwal Posts: 404member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post


    Whats with the trolls and spam on this site lately?



    "Probably discarded A5's with a core disabled"



    Yea...right.



    Where do these people come from.



    I was recently in the market for a quad core intel chip. It seems the chips actually have 8 cores and the bad cores are locked out. One of the ways is to burn a fuse that disables that portion of the chip. I don't think that is what intel uses though because for a bit extra I could buy an unlocked version that allowed additional cores to be used. There were no garantees that those cores would work though.



    I'm not convinced that the A5 single core is built this way though.
  • scott rscott r Posts: 31member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by spleck View Post


    I have not had the same experience. My ATV2 stutters and chokes on any full Blu-ray rip using XBMC. What kind of network share are you using? I'm using an SMB share, but now that I think of it, I've been trying to stream MKVs rather than MP4.



    I have a gigabit network (the ATV2, of course is only 100mbps) and am using SMB. My full-bitrate Blu-ray rips are in MKV format. I do rip only the main movie and non-lossless 5.1 soundtrack (and forced subs). The movies must be encoded in MP4 format. Some Blu-rays are encoded with VC1 and those will not play. The ATV2's GPU can decode MP4 natively, so the VC1 encoded movies require the CPU to process that and the ATV2's CPU is not up to that task. I've also encountered some issues when subtitles come on-screen.
  • al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sevenfeet View Post


    Maybe. I'm sure we'll see soon enough when iFixit puts it under a scanning electron microscope. I would doubt that the defect rate of this chip is high enough that they are just using ones with defects for this product (there are 4+ million Rev 2 Apple TVs in the field). Most likely apple sells enough of these things now to justify doing a special run just for this product. The A4/A5 already had all the features the Apple TV needed. This A5 just needs to turn a few things off it didn't need.



    intel does the same thing



    i3's and i5's are just bad i7's
  • al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post


    Whats with the trolls and spam on this site lately?



    "Probably discarded A5's with a core disabled"



    Yea...right.



    Where do these people come from.



    everyone does it



    you really think all those different graphics card chips are separate production runs? nope. the high end $500 model are the perfect chips and everything else are the rejects. use lasers to disable some circuitry and you can sell a rejected CPU. Intel does the same thing. i7's are perfect and i3's and i5's are the rejects.



    in fact intel has been doing this for decades. that's why in the 1990's you could buy a slower P2 and overclock it to the top speed. sometimes your CPU was in fact the highest rated one but intel needed some cheaper SKU's
  • lemon bon bon.lemon bon bon. Posts: 2,102member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post


    That looks fine, and is by far the best ATV interface yet. What's so bad about it? It's just like an iOS homescreen but with rectangular icons, which look much better on a 16x9 display. It's also an obvious prelude to an appstore to be added.



    I like the new Apple TV interface. It's a nod to iOS. I was disappointed with no apps. But isn't that what the iPad is for?



    I get the feeling that this is a temporary interface until the unleash the 'real' ATV? Who knows.



    What I do know is that I'm going to get one because it supports 1080p. Airplay etc to beam stuff from the iPad to the TV.



    I like it.



    Lemon Bon Bon.
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