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Apple releases Apple TV "Take 2" software update

post #1 of 180
Thread Starter 
Apple on Tuesday quietly released its much-anticipated Apple TV "Take 2" software update, which introduces a brand new on-sreen interface and allows users to rent high definition movies directly from their widescreen TVs.

The update is available for existing Apple TV owners by selecting the "Update Software" option under the "Settings" menu. Once selected, the software requires approximately 6 minutes to download on a broadband connection and another 10 to 15 minutes to install. During the install process, it appears as if the Apple TV runs through three distinct update sessions in which the Apple logo and update progress bar will appear, complete an update, and then disappear three times.

With iTunes Movie Rentals and the new Apple TV software update (AppleInsider's First Look), users will be able to just click a button on their remote to rent movies from a catalog of over 1,000 titles, including over 100 titles in high definition video with 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound, with no computer required.

DVD-quality iTunes Movie Rentals are $2.99 for library titles and $3.99 for new releases, and high definition versions are just one dollar more with library titles at $3.99 and new releases at $4.99.

The Apple TV software take 2 software update is available as a free automatic download to all existing Apple TV customers, and will subsequently appear on all newly manufactured versions of the wireless set-top-box.

Apple TV, which includes the Apple Remote, is available for a suggested retail price of $229 for the 40GB model and $329 for the 160GB model (US and Canada). However, Mac Mall is offering free shipping, a $5 instant savings, plus a three percent added discount at checkout (via this link), which brings the cost of the 40GB model down to $217.28 (reflected at checkout).

Apple TV requires an 802.11g/n wireless network or 10/100 Base-T Ethernet networking, a broadband Internet connection and a high definition widescreen TV.

AppleInsider readers are discussing the "Take 2" update in this forum thread.
























post #2 of 180
Hmm I haven't seen any of the other Mac sites report this yet.
post #3 of 180
Thank God

Now ATV owners can shutup about it.
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post #4 of 180
Yay!
post #5 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Hmm I haven't seen any of the other Mac sites report this yet.

I checked my appletv and the update is there.
post #6 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Thank God

Now ATV owners can shutup about it.

We'll be forever blessed with lengthy discourse on the merits and quality (or lack thereof) of HD movie rentals at 720p.
post #7 of 180
Nice
MacPro 12 core
30" & 23" Apple Cinema HD Displays
PowerBook G4 550, MacBook Pro 2.2
Ipod 1G and 5G, Shuffle 2G, iPhone 3G
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MacPro 12 core
30" & 23" Apple Cinema HD Displays
PowerBook G4 550, MacBook Pro 2.2
Ipod 1G and 5G, Shuffle 2G, iPhone 3G
Reply
post #8 of 180
Two minutes left on my download. Anyone know how big the update is? what it weighs in at?
post #9 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by eodchop View Post

Two minutes left on my download. Anyone know how big the update is? what it weighs in at?

well i read it would take 10 minutes to download but it didnt even take a minute im about 3 minutes into the update and its almost done.
post #10 of 180
Quote:
...HD movie rentals at 720p

...compressed down to a size that would fit on a DVD, except with worse sound than a DVD...
post #11 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

...compressed down to a size that would fit on a DVD, except with worse sound than a DVD...

most of them movies have 5.1 dolby how is that worse then a dvd?
post #12 of 180
Ahhh sound is overrated.

720p can deliver the goods on fairly large HDTV IMO.


I'm going to indulge myself by buying a larger LCD for my computer first and then my next AV purchase will be the ATV.
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
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He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
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post #13 of 180
I watched the trailer for WALLe in HD, looks very crisp. The download and buffering times have been dramatically reduced too. Awesome

So when is the next update due? \
post #14 of 180
Pretty good week for Apple software/application releases and it's still only Tuesday.
post #15 of 180
Whilst its great news for our US cousins, we Brits just have to be Green Eyed Monsters for the time being
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #16 of 180
Now that HD rentals are out, Is the bandwidth closer to 3 mbps or 5 mbps,
to motivate those who are gauging how much money to give to an ISP
for this service. If much higher than 3 mbps, there won't be much
instant gratification to be had amongst most DSL users.
post #17 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Underhill View Post

Whilst its great news for our US cousins, we Brits just have to be Green Eyed Monsters for the time being

It was released here in Finland but I have a US account.
post #18 of 180
Installed my update.

Works good, looks good, sounds good. BUT... here I go...

The new horizontal screen layout only applies to iTunes Store rentals. One of my biggest gripes with the Apple TV has been that it requires a widescreen, Hi-Def TV, but the Movie/TV Show menus are laid out vertically. You get 4-5 small lines of text (this is at the highest resolution setting) to describe the movie and the rest of the text is cut off, usually by up to 50%, and you get room enough for only 2 actors.

Search only applies to the iTunes store and YouTube. You can't search your own library.

The horizontal iTunes Store layout would have been common sense for the whole interface and I'm floored that Apple of all companies did not realize this.
post #19 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by zanshin View Post

We'll be forever blessed with lengthy discourse on the merits and quality (or lack thereof) of HD movie rentals at 720p.

Except that the AppleTV now supports 1080p.
post #20 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobaby View Post

It was released here in Finland but I have a US account.

You lucky @@//****
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #21 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

...compressed down to a size that would fit on a DVD, except with worse sound than a DVD...

Precisely!!! People see 720p and think that's the quality of the image. I can create a 1080p image that looks worse than a 720p image, those numbers just refer to the dimensions of the frame, not the quality of the image within it. They see 5.1 surround and don't realize that, like mp3s, the audio streams have been compressed. It's all about the quality of the compression. You can't take a 25GB HD movie, compress it down to 2GB(?) and expect it to look just as good. It adds mosquito noise, color banding (and heavy dithering to compensate), loss of detail, and loss of color data.

People who say "Looks good enough to me" need to rent the same movie on both systems (Blu-ray or HD-DVD vs download) and compare. Freeze frame the same frame and jump back and forth. Play your favorite scene back on both systems (and crank up the surround). Then when you're done, you can spend the rest of the week watching the extras off of the DVD before you send it back to Blockbuster or Netflix.

AppleTV is great for missed programming. There are 3-4 times in the last year where I missed Tivoing a show. AppleTV makes a lot of sense there. Same with catching up on a series. AppleTV offers a much better viewing experience than sitting in front of your computer screen in those cases.
post #22 of 180
Seriously, what good is that fancy tv stand with all those cables going everywhichway.....
post #23 of 180
For those few movies that I really, really want in the best possible quality, you're absolutely right pixelcruncher.

...for the other 99.9%, downloaded 720p will be more than adequate
post #24 of 180
Anyone know if this update also applies to front row on macs?
post #25 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by babasyzygy View Post

Except that the AppleTV now supports 1080p.

But it only upscales to 1080, right? Doesn't it still only support 720p content?
post #26 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Thank God

Now ATV owners can shutup about it.

That's easy for you to say- you haven't been waiting 8 months for it.
post #27 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gee4orce View Post

...for the other 99.9%, downloaded 720p will be more than adequate

99.9% of the movies you want to see are available from Apple? You my friend, have obviously found true happiness with your AppleTV. Enjoy!
post #28 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelcruncher View Post

AppleTV is great for missed programming. There are 3-4 times in the last year where I missed Tivoing a show. AppleTV makes a lot of sense there. Same with catching up on a series. AppleTV offers a much better viewing experience than sitting in front of your computer screen in those cases.

I disagee. When I DVR TV programming(Colbert Report) it looks exactly like when it was broadcast. When I pay Apple iTunes for Colbert report it actually looks worse. This is on a 42" HDTV with HDMI inputs.
post #29 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelcruncher View Post

99.9% of the movies you want to see are available from Apple? You my friend, have obviously found true happiness with your AppleTV. Enjoy!

I am looking forward to rent HD movies to spare the cost of a blu-ray disc before viewing it first. However I wish I had an option to buy HD movies as well.
post #30 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I disagee. When I DVR TV programming(Colbert Report) it looks exactly like when it was broadcast. When I pay Apple iTunes for Colbert report it actually looks worse. This is on a 42" HDTV with HDMI inputs.

I'm not sure what you disagree with - your response didn't contradict anything he said.
post #31 of 180
Could someone who has the update check and see if, under the "music" menu, the Apple TV supports streaming Internet radio at long last? Much obliged!
post #32 of 180
Is that a MBA drive attached to an <Insert Apple logo>TV?
is that even possible?

(apparently the one stacked under the <Insert Apple Logo>TV*)

*i seriously hate that product's name
post #33 of 180
Was looking forward to being able to browse my movie collection by genre (and maybe search for a specific movie)...

Alas - Selecting a movie by genre only appears to be possible when you want to rent one. I guess Apple thinks most people will have no more than a handfull of movies on their system (I have about 400 now, having converted a large selection of my DVD collection to .mp4 and streaming this from a Mac mini)

Waiting on ATV Take3 . . . !

(and now after connection to my iTunes on the Mac mini the whole movie rental section seems to have disappeared completely...?)

post #34 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by babasyzygy View Post

Except that the AppleTV now supports 1080p.

That's good, but just to make it clear, that is OUTPUT. Not the incoming file. It's not going to play a 1080p data stream. Many DVD players can also output 1080p, but the player only has 480p data to use, so it's just an upscale.

You probably can hack in 1080p file playback, but it probably won't do it without occasional, if not frequent video stuttering or dropped frames.
post #35 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

I'm not sure what you disagree with - your response didn't contradict anything he said.

OMG- here we go again. I'm beginning to feel like Miss Sally in a kindergarten class.
He said"AppleTV is great for missed programming."
And I disagree. I'm saying I disagree because they quality is not a good as the original- if anything, it's worse. If it's a digital copy it should look the same as when recorded on a DVR. Also, when you buy a DVD of a TV show/series, if anything, it looks better than the originally broadcast not worse. I think the main reason is that Apple TV show downloads should be optimized for large HD TV's not iPods.
post #36 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjtooke View Post

Waiting on ATV Take3 . . . !


Take 3- Let's us buy HD!!! And gives us Safari!!!!
post #37 of 180
Anyone has tested Dolby 5.1?
post #38 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

OMG- here we go again. I'm beginning to feel like Miss Sally in a kindergarten class.
He said"AppleTV is great for missed programming."
And I disagree. I'm saying I disagree because they quality is not a good as the original- if anything, it's worse. If it's a digital copy it should look the same as when recorded on a DVR. Also, when you buy a DVD of a TV show/series, if anything, it looks better than the originally broadcast not worse. I think the main reason is that Apple TV show downloads should be optimized for large HD TV's not iPods.

The quality issues are all well and good, but if you miss a TV show on wednesday night, catching that missed episode on DVD before the next epsiode a week later is not an option. It doesn't matter how good the quality is of some other alternative if you can't actually get the show to watch in a timely manner.

Considering that there are few if any alternative ways to catch a missed TV show the next day, using aTV and iTunes to watch on a TV seems like a pretty good option.
post #39 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by shady104 View Post

most of them movies have 5.1 dolby how is that worse then a dvd?

Because most DVDs have DTS 5.1, which has several times the bandwidth of Dolby 5.1. And <i>it's all about bandwidth</i>. This seems like a hard thing for some people to understand, but generally the more bandwidth you give something, the higher quality you get. iTMS HD rentals give their media streams about the same bandwidth as DVDs... so if you upconvert a DVD to 720p (or 1080i or 1080p or 2160p or 17200p.. the output resolution is irrelevent) you'll probably get similar results.
post #40 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

The quality issues are all well and good, but if you miss a TV show on wednesday night, catching that missed episode on DVD before the next epsiode a week later is not an option. It doesn't matter how good the quality is of some other alternative if you can't actually get the show to watch in a timely manner.

Considering that there are few if any alternative ways to catch a missed TV show the next day, using aTV and iTunes to watch on a TV seems like a pretty good option.

'

Quality indeed does matter if you are a videophile which you obviously are not. Why did you buy an ATV? You should stick with a VCR- it does exactly what your looking for if quality is not an issue for you.
ATV was made for high-end equipment. Quality is exactly what it is all about.
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