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In-depth review: Apple's third generation 1080p Apple TV and Software Update 5 - Page 2

post #41 of 55
The problem with the Apple TV is that it's audio codec support for 5.1 audio is really bad. I bought the AppleTV last week, and was really disappointed to learn this. It does not support DTS. And Dolby is a hit or miss for home streaming. I couldn't stream any video file with 5.1 Dolby audio from my home computer. Spent hours playing around with 'Subler', but couldn't get the AppleTV to output surround sound. It always comes out as stereo.

There are tons of threads on Apple support forums on this. Some said it will only output it using the optical cable, and not HDMI. Tried that too. No luck. Played around with setting on the Apple TV, but still no luck. Some say, even though it doesn't decode the stream, it should be able to send it to the Receiver untouched. But that just doesn't happen for me.

Finally, I gave up. Really disappointed by this. Read the numerous forums on this topic. Apple needs to open up compatibility a bit more.
post #42 of 55
First-time ATV owner now that it supports 1080p. Two questions:

NHL game highlight video doesn't play back smoothly like when watching games on cable/satellite (not yet a subscriber of NHL package). Is this how games look on GameCenter Live? A different feel than watching normal TV? Kind of jerky and stutter-y AFTER buffering is done while playing? (movie trailers, etc look fine so don't think it's a bandwidth issue)

Apparently my iMac (i7 from July 2010) won't be compatible with Mac mirroring: what component is it missing?
post #43 of 55
Just had to correct some nonsense in this review -

"Blu-ray disc offers so much storage that many discs use the much less efficient MPEG2 codec employed by DVD, because there's plenty of disc storage space to waste."

In the very early days of BD many discs did indeed use MPEG2, but those days are long, long gone. Every disc has used either H.264 or VC1 for years now.

"Using a Samsung 3D HDTV set to apply 3D processing to basic iTunes content worked very well, particularly with animated content. The 3D processing in modern HDTVs is often at least as good as the phony 3D that is typically applied to many new movies in post production. "

Again, nonsense. If you really think the realtime 3D post processing gimmick in some TVs is anything like a professional 3D conversion done at a cost of hundreds of thousands is the same, you are simply deluded.

Okay, rant over. At least I agree with you on the lacks of apps. You need only look at the Roku to see what the ATV could be if Apple opened it up. By bizarrely cherry picking US sports providers for third party content (something of zero interest to the other 99% of the world's population) the ATV just feels incredibly limited and oddly focussed. Apple need to open the gates, let the apps come.
post #44 of 55
Loving my AppleTV. Like they say, you always remember your first time... Especially if it is in 1080p.

That said there's a reason why it's just a "hobby".
post #45 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpkinwhite View Post

The problem with the Apple TV is that it's audio codec support for 5.1 audio is really bad. I bought the AppleTV last week, and was really disappointed to learn this. It does not support DTS. And Dolby is a hit or miss for home streaming. I couldn't stream any video file with 5.1 Dolby audio from my home computer. Spent hours playing around with 'Subler', but couldn't get the AppleTV to output surround sound. It always comes out as stereo.

There are tons of threads on Apple support forums on this. Some said it will only output it using the optical cable, and not HDMI. Tried that too. No luck. Played around with setting on the Apple TV, but still no luck. Some say, even though it doesn't decode the stream, it should be able to send it to the Receiver untouched. But that just doesn't happen for me.

Finally, I gave up. Really disappointed by this. Read the numerous forums on this topic. Apple needs to open up compatibility a bit more.

That's extremely dissapointing. No DTS? I'll stick with my ATV2 and get a new Blu-ray player instead for $40 more which now have Netflix Hulu and Amazon and more more streaming feastures in addition to DTS.
I don't get why ATV needs to be so walled in. It's not like a virus is going to infect it by streaming from reputable providers of content.
post #46 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpkinwhite View Post

The problem with the Apple TV is that it's audio codec support for 5.1 audio is really bad. I bought the AppleTV last week, and was really disappointed to learn this. It does not support DTS. And Dolby is a hit or miss for home streaming. I couldn't stream any video file with 5.1 Dolby audio from my home computer. Spent hours playing around with 'Subler', but couldn't get the AppleTV to output surround sound. It always comes out as stereo.

There are tons of threads on Apple support forums on this. Some said it will only output it using the optical cable, and not HDMI. Tried that too. No luck. Played around with setting on the Apple TV, but still no luck. Some say, even though it doesn't decode the stream, it should be able to send it to the Receiver untouched. But that just doesn't happen for me.

Finally, I gave up. Really disappointed by this. Read the numerous forums on this topic. Apple needs to open up compatibility a bit more.

Really? There must be another reason for your audio troubles. I have had all 3 apple tvs and have been able to output dolby5.1 through hdmi or optical on all of them. I used to use the optical cable for sound but now only use HDMI because of the distances (>35ft. cable length)between my tv screen and my "in wall" sound reinforcement/appletv/bluray/8TB storage/wii cabinet. I have used the optical before at my old house and they push pcm and dolby 5.1 just fine. Apple tv will send the sound "untouched "through the optical cable". I have used it either way and the only trouble ever was that my old yamaha receiver was set to use pcm and not dolby, I had to change that setting, and to complicate the process the setting was "buried" in the receivers set-up menus. thankfully my newer yamaha receiver has never needed to be told what to do.
FWIW I have all my devices plugged into a yamaha amp by HDMI (or composite for wii) and then I have one LONG hdmi cable to my 52" LG television. There are 5 speakerkraft speakers flush(but they are positionable) in ceiling and a speakerkraft sub in the corner. There are no wires showing anywhere, and 1 remote runs them all.

If you haven't already, In "Apple tv settings" try turning on the dolby pass through, and use the optical cable, your receiver may or may not show what type of audio its processing but if it does it should show "dolby 5.1" if the file does in fact have 5.1 sound.
The HDMI cable will send the sound to what ever device its plugged into, and you may want to unplug the optical while trying that. Maybe even a restart of all devices between set-ups.
Also, make sure there isn't a setting/preference on your receiver for how it processes audio files.
good luck, Randy
post #47 of 55
My biggest issue with the Apple TV is why do I have to go to computers to view all movies in my iTunes Library. It would be so much nicer if all movies and tv shows appeared where you expect them. Just set your library once in settings and be done with it.
post #48 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenlivingexpert View Post

My biggest issue with the Apple TV is why do I have to go to computers to view all movies in my iTunes Library. It would be so much nicer if all movies and tv shows appeared where you expect them. Just set your library once in settings and be done with it.

How wonderful; I'm not alone!

Ask this of Apple as an enhancement request here. Perhaps if enough of us do this, they'll retool to make it make sense again.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply
post #49 of 55

I own both an ATV2 and and ATV3. From my usage, it seems that the ATV2 already played 1080p video fine. While the ATV2 won't output 1080p over HDMI, it has no trouble playing 1080p video. I play primarily 1080p MKVs with xbmc on the ATV2. In other words, whenever I'm using the ATV2, it is most likely for playing 1080p video. Yes, it plays flawlessly. FF and rew? Not so much.

 

Thus, the reason for the memory and processing upgrades was likely motivated by more than just the ability to play 1080p. The articles suggests a few times that this was done just for playback. My assumption is that the upgrades were more motivated by general processing like when browsing menu interfaces and displaying application data such as in the MLB app. Playback is highly optimized already.

 

Unfortunately the ATV3 has not been jailbroken and thus can't run xbmc. This is a huge disappointment because it might have finally been the holy grail of video streaming boxes. With xbmc it would have a beautiful menu system and the ability to play any video file off the home LAN. It also could have been extended to do just about anything. Alas, the world continues to wait for a video streaming box that doesn't suck. All of the currently available options are severely limited in one way or another.

 

What makes this even worse is that because all other iOS devices have been JB'd, it is unlikely that much effort will be put into cracking the ATV3. It might never be jailbroken before an ATV4 is released. I'll keep my fingers crossed but don't have much hope. In the meantime, note that used ATV2s sell for more on ebay than new ATV3s do in an Apple store. That tells you something...

post #50 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

I own both an ATV2 and and ATV3. From my usage, it seems that the ATV2 already played 1080p video fine. While the ATV2 won't output 1080p over HDMI, it has no trouble playing 1080p video.

Yes, it downconverts video above 720p on the fly. It will play from 1080p files, but output in 720p.

We had an interesting situation for a time where 1080p files were being sent to our 2nd gen Apple TV, converted to 720p, and then output (and blown up) on a 1080p screen.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply
post #51 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by egold44 View Post

First-time ATV owner now that it supports 1080p. Two questions:

NHL game highlight video doesn't play back smoothly like when watching games on cable/satellite (not yet a subscriber of NHL package). Is this how games look on GameCenter Live? A different feel than watching normal TV? Kind of jerky and stutter-y AFTER buffering is done while playing? (movie trailers, etc look fine so don't think it's a bandwidth issue)

Apparently my iMac (i7 from July 2010) won't be compatible with Mac mirroring: what component is it missing?

YES.

Lack of support for marginally older Macs.

 

Been a staunch Apple-er for oh, gosh, 30 years. Started with a 2-e and a Macintosh.

One of the things I always used to be able to argue, in favour of Apple, was better backwards compatibility, the way Apple never quickly obsoleted their gear the way MS did.

Now, it's hard to say that. 

I can't believe they have gone and made a new OS that doesn't fully support computers that are less than 2 full years old.

To say that you can't do something on a Mac that was built before, what, August of 2010? that you can do on a September 2010 Mac seems both arbitrary and a push to force consumers to buy up every 2 years!

 

I think they are trying to say that they either aren't writing the -ware to run on SLIGHTLY older devices, or that the older devices don't have the CPU to run it?

 

I also have a gen 1 iPad. With the unlimited data plan because I was an early subscriber.

Now THERE'S an even more irritatingly obsoleted device......

 

 

 

p.s.

get the NHL subscription on your TV. TOTALLY worth it.

;)

post #52 of 55
How can I have missed this DED pearl: "interactive games that present one scene on your HDTV while showing a control interface on the iOS device itself. Examples include (..) Apple's own Keynote."

That's what I had missed: Keynote isn't a productivity software... it's a game!

Thanks for enlightening me, Daniel.

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

Reply

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

Reply
post #53 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by hosshead View Post

I think they are trying to say that they either aren't writing the -ware to run on SLIGHTLY older devices, or that the older devices don't have the CPU to run it?

The newest Mac's that support AirPlay have direct h.264 encoding support built into the CPU's. AirPlay relies on h.264.

Have an older Mac? Get AirParrot and see why Apple doesn't support older Mac's. It works - mostly. But not smoothly!
post #54 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by hosshead View Post

I think they are trying to say that they either aren't writing the -ware to run on SLIGHTLY older devices, or that the older devices don't have the CPU to run it?

The newest Mac's that support AirPlay have direct h.264 encoding support built into the CPU's. AirPlay relies on h.264.

Have an older Mac? Get AirParrot and see why Apple doesn't support older Mac's. It works - mostly. But not smoothly!

 

Running my imac at 720p and sending 720p via airparot to an ATV2 made everything smooth. Not a perfect solution and likely why apple doesn't support this iMac for airplay. But if you're willing to change resolution prior to using airparot, it works perfectly, no dropped frames.

post #55 of 55

Same here... iTunes radio sound is harsh through a pair of M-Audio Bx5a's - not the greatest speakers but ok - not enough bass on ATV2.

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