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Apple updates Apple TV, Remote app to allow multi-touch control

post #1 of 65
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Apple breathed some new life into its Apple TV media hub on Wednesday with upgrades to both its firmware and the iPhone's Remote app that let owners control the wireless media hub through multi-touch input on their handheld's touch-screen. [Updated with additional feature info.]

The combination of Apple TV 2.4 and Remote 1.3 (free, App Store) provides a new Control button that can be dragged into the bottom icon bar and serves as an alternative to the regular navigation controls on the iPhone or iPod touch.

In the main menus, users can flick or drag a finger across the screen to scroll through items; a tap selects the current item. Pressing and holding on a "menu" item moves back up one level in the Apple TV's interface.

Controls are significantly more complex within playback but mimic actions that would normally require a mouse on a computer. In testing, it works extremely well compared to both the earlier iPhone system and the Apple remote bundled with the Apple TV at first. Apple so far provides a list of the following commands:
Tap: play or pause the current song or video.
Flick left or right: skips to the next track (music), fast-forwards or rewinds (video).
Drag left or right: fast-forward or rewind.
Flick down (video only): show chapter markers, then flick left or right to skip chapters.
Drag two fingers left (video only): invoke a 10-second replay.



Update:

Apple on Wednesday evening finally got around to updating its support documents with a list of other features delivered by the Apple TV 2.4 update. They include:
Flickr Search: Search Flickr photo tags to find recently updated photos of interest. Save searches to quickly find new photos or use as a screen saver for Apple TV.
New view options: View movies By Genre, By Movie, or Unwatched. View TV Shows and Podcasts By Date, By Show, or Unwatched.
Updated transport and chapter modes: During video playback, click right or left to fast forward or rewind. Additional clicks increase the speed. Click down to show chapter markers.
post #2 of 65
And Apple still hasn't figured out that we should be ably to search our own music files using the white remote that comes in the box.
Now that you can buy Blu-ray machines with internet access to rent from both Netflix and Amazon included on them- like what is the point?
post #3 of 65
Awesome!

Now give me new Apple TV hardware and i'm in.
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post #4 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Awesome!

Now give me new Apple TV hardware and i'm in.

Hahah. Yeah no kidding. In fact all I'd ask for is a bigger HD!! 160GB is nowhere near enough space to host music, photo & video libraries!

Jimzip
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post #5 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Awesome!

Now give me new Apple TV hardware and i'm in.

Well let's see:
1.) It's not gonna come with Blu-ray because that's "a bag of hurt".
2.) Maybe a TV itself, since Apple is now also an electronics giant like Sony. but I doubt it.

So exactly what would that new hardware be?
I know-
It will come with an on and off switch on the machine itself because that would make it environmentally friendly!
post #6 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

And Apple still hasn't figured out that we should be ably to search our own music files using the white remote that comes in the box.
Now that you can buy Blu-ray machines with internet access to rent from both Netflix and Amazon included on them- like what is the point?

Can't stream my music from my computer with one of thos e blu-ray players. Can't stream photos either.

Come to think of it, can't really store anything on that blu-ray player.

Not knocking blu-ray. I love Blu-ray. Got over 100 movies right now.
post #7 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Awesome!

Now give me new Apple TV hardware and i'm in.

Yeah, and give that a high-quality plasma screen and I'm in.
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post #8 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by msantti View Post

Can't stream my music from my computer with one of thos e blu-ray players. Can't stream photos either.

Come to think of it, can't really store anything on that blu-ray player.

Not knocking blu-ray. I love Blu-ray. Got over 100 movies right now.

I got both but rarely use the AppleTV. Love Blu-ray too.
I don''t need an AppleTV to stream music from my computer - I have Airport express.
Photos? Meh. I'd rather view on the computer.
Give me Safari on the ATV and then I would embrace it. It makes absolutely no sense why we can't have that.
post #9 of 65
Great.

Now I can get to my frozen screens or "syncing with iTunes" with more elegance and verve.
post #10 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Well let's see:
1.) It's not gonna come with Blu-ray because that's "a bag of hurt".
2.) Maybe a TV itself, since Apple is now also an electronics giant like Sony. but I doubt it.

So exactly what would that new hardware be?
I know-
It will come with an on and off switch on the machine itself because that would make it environmentally friendly!

Already have a Blu-ray player.

I need something that's going to display my photos once I get around to gettings a good camera that shoots RAW.

Other than that I'd love to see ARM processing and 1080p playback for my own content at the very least.

Oh yes better routing options so that I can take any content and pause and send to another room (zone).

I'm thinking about keeping my 32" HDTV and adding a 55" pretty soon so I'd need two Apple TV.

Plus I'm just as interested as watching my own creations as I am with major motion picture content.
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post #11 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

I need something that's going to display my photos once I get around to gettings a good camera that shoots RAW.

Please, this is a family website.
post #12 of 65
Anyone else think this just might be paving the way for apps on the Apple TV? Imagine an ATV app store, using your iPhone as a multi-touch interface. I think this could be HUGE and finally make the ATV the killer living room device that it could be.
post #13 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

I'm thinking about keeping my 32" HDTV and adding a 55" pretty soon so I'd need two Apple TV.

Plus I'm just as interested as watching my own creations as I am with major motion picture content.

So do you own one now? If not, are you in for an ordeal trying to get your own creations up on there. I hope to god the new Quicktime simplifies this nightmare.
post #14 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by bspears View Post

Now I can get to my frozen screens or "syncing with iTunes" with more elegance and verve.

For me that mostly happens when I have my iPhone connected to iTunes while I am trying to use the AppleTV. I don't think that iTunes does well when trying to deal with more than one device, or when you have more than one iTunes syncing to the same AppleTV (particularly two iTunes sessions running at the same time on the same computer in different user accounts).

Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

So do you own one now? If not, are you in for an ordeal trying to get your own creations up on there. I hope to god the new Quicktime simplifies this nightmare.

I had no problem, just use handbrake to convert to mp4/AppleTV, and drag into the iTunes window.
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post #15 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by OCJake View Post

Anyone else think this just might be paving the way for apps on the Apple TV? Imagine an ATV app store, using your iPhone as a multi-touch interface. I think this could be HUGE and finally make the ATV the killer living room device that it could be.

Right- I want to hear farts in 5.1 Dolby Digital.
post #16 of 65
I just wish they'd put a damn power off button on the damn thing -- tired of having to mess with the TV input and put it to sleep. Waste of HD spinning energy.
post #17 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Right- I want to hear farts in 5.1 Dolby Digital.

He actually makes an intriguing observation and your response really does it no justice. Yes, there are dozens of farting apps, but some developers are turning out quality products.
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post #18 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by OCJake View Post

Anyone else think this just might be paving the way for apps on the Apple TV? Imagine an ATV app store, using your iPhone as a multi-touch interface. I think this could be HUGE and finally make the ATV the killer living room device that it could be.

I hope so...I don't need Playstation/Xbox quality ..but just something fun that shows off my mondo home theater

Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

So do you own one now? If not, are you in for an ordeal trying to get your own creations up on there. I hope to god the new Quicktime simplifies this nightmare.

Nope..I've almost pulled the trigger on a few used ones. I've decided to wait for more CE like hardware (meaning low power chips and hopefully some sort of NAS support)
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post #19 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I got both but rarely use the AppleTV. Love Blu-ray too.
I don''t need an AppleTV to stream music from my computer - I have Airport express.
Photos? Meh. I'd rather view on the computer.
Give me Safari on the ATV and then I would embrace it. It makes absolutely no sense why we can't have that.

For the first time ever I completely agree with teckstud. It's amazing! He's absolutely right though. Give me a larger hard drive, the ability to hookup an external drive for movie playback and Safari for watching Hulu, Amazon video etc... and I'm there. Sold my Apple TV since it was far less than me hooking up my MacBook Pro via HDMI --> Mini Display Port and Tos Link Cable for audio.

I'm still thinking an HD flat screen tv hooked up to a Mac Mini running Elgato's Eye TV hooked up via HDMI --> Mini Display Port and Tos Link Cable for audio is honestly the best scenario and a hell of a home theatre system to boot.
post #20 of 65
Love the update... navigating is so much easier.
post #21 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Awesome!

Now give me new Apple TV hardware and i'm in.

I am just waiting for 500GB hdd, which won't happen anytime soon. The current hdd capacity is a joke. I was thinking about buying a used AppleTV with 40GB, replace it with my MBP 250GB hdd, and upgrad MBP hdd to 500GB. Turn out Apple uses older ATA hdd.
post #22 of 65
I installed the new Remote App on my iPhone to control iTunes but it doesn't look any different...
post #23 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

I am just waiting for 500GB hdd, which won't happen anytime soon. The current hdd capacity is a joke. I was thinking about buying a used AppleTV with 40GB, replace it with my MBP 250GB hdd, and upgrad MBP hdd to 500GB. Turn out Apple uses older ATA hdd.

Yup ...a user upgradable HDD would be lovely though I still pine for centralized storage and easy access to music, photos and movies.

An Apple home server makes low cost Apple TV a better prospect. IMO
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post #24 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Now that you can buy Blu-ray machines with internet access to rent from both Netflix and Amazon included on them- like what is the point?

Because for me, subscribing to television shows via iTunes is much cheaper than paying $1200/year for cable. On top of that, I don't have commercials and can rewatch programs whenever I want. I can also rip my DVDs using Handbrake and keep a library of often-watched films online. The AppleTV is the best device I've ever added to my home theatre.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

So exactly what would that new hardware be?

I'd go for a larger hard drive (at least500gb, although I understand anything larger would require a 3.5" drive and would force Apple to increase the size of the box itself).

I'd also like a faster processor so that I can play HD content that's not in h.264 format.

I don't care about a power switch. I do hope the HD spins down when it's not needed however.
post #25 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesJpn View Post

I installed the new Remote App on my iPhone to control iTunes but it doesn't look any different...

Did you upgrade the firmware on your AppleTV too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Yup ...a user upgradable HDD would be lovely though I still pine for centralized storage and easy access to music, photos and movies.

Good point - I wish the USB port was enabled out of the box so that I could place a ministack on top and give it more storage
post #26 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

He actually makes an intriguing observation and your response really does it no justice. Yes, there are dozens of farting apps, but some developers are turning out quality products.

Can the apple TV stream hulu ?
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post #27 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanhauer View Post

For the first time ever I completely agree with teckstud. It's amazing! He's absolutely right though. Give me a larger hard drive, the ability to hookup an external drive for movie playback and Safari for watching Hulu, Amazon video etc... and I'm there. Sold my Apple TV since it was far less than me hooking up my MacBook Pro via HDMI --> Mini Display Port and Tos Link Cable for audio.

I'm still thinking an HD flat screen tv hooked up to a Mac Mini running Elgato's Eye TV hooked up via HDMI --> Mini Display Port and Tos Link Cable for audio is honestly the best scenario and a hell of a home theatre system to boot.

Have you tried the ROKU box with NETFLIX ?
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post #28 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

He actually makes an intriguing observation and your response really does it no justice. Yes, there are dozens of farting apps, but some developers are turning out quality products.

Sorry- you're right- my apologies to the poster. Sometimes I post too fast before I actually think it through. I still believe more than Apps, just Safari added would be a much better solution.
post #29 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

Can the apple TV stream hulu ?

No. It used to support Hulu after a quick hack to get Boxee up and running, but unfortunately Hulu's content providers forced them to block Boxee. I believe there is a workaround that involves setting up a RSS feed, but I haven't bothered. It's such a shame, because Hulu made the already wonderful (IMHO) AppleTV infinitely more useful. As it is, Boxee is a great addition even without Hulu.
post #30 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

Can the apple TV stream hulu ?

delete
post #31 of 65
I've got my iTunes library on a USB drive connected to my AirPort Extreme. All the computers in the house can share one library containing everything. Next step is getting a Mac mini connected to the TV.

It would save me a lot of money if the AppleTV could grab data from that same hard drive instead of needing a host computer running iTunes. Talk about a waste of energy leaving a computer on 24/7 so the AppleTV can get content from it.

For those thinking about upgrading their AppleTV hard drive, forget it. Apple uses 1.8" iPod hard drives in the AppleTV.
post #32 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

I've got my iTunes library on a USB drive connected to my AirPort Extreme. All the computers in the house can share one library containing everything. Next step is getting a Mac mini connected to the TV.

It would save me a lot of money if the AppleTV could grab data from that same hard drive instead of needing a host computer running iTunes. Talk about a waste of energy leaving a computer on 24/7 so the AppleTV can get content from it.

For those thinking about upgrading their AppleTV hard drive, forget it. Apple uses 1.8" iPod hard drives in the AppleTV.


Ah nope. 2.5 notebook drive.
post #33 of 65
Every time AppleTV is mentioned people always say they want a bigger HD. I just don't understand this. I have the original 40GB Apple TV, yet my iTunes library is nearing 200GB (including music, audiobooks, podcasts, tv shows, movies and videos) and I've never had any trouble enjoying my content through streaming. I think paying the extra money for a larger AppleTV HD is a waste of money and I never advise people to splurge for the space.

It may be a niche product, but I use my AppleTV nearly every day. Sure it has room for improvement, but turning it into a DVR or BD player goes against the grain of how Apple has so far positioned it and or giving us more HD space doesn't improve the experience of using it. Where the AppleTV needs improvement is in the types and sizes of files it is compatible with. The addition of 1080p support. More content from the iTunes store.

Now, to get back on topic the new Apple Remote app seems like a fantastic idea. The touch interface opens up so many possibilities. Choosing the audio track, turning captions on and off could be made much more intuitive with it. Looking forward to trying this out tonight.

It's good to see Apple continuing to move forward with this "hobby" of theirs.
post #34 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by OCJake View Post

Anyone else think this just might be paving the way for apps on the Apple TV? Imagine an ATV app store, using your iPhone as a multi-touch interface. I think this could be HUGE and finally make the ATV the killer living room device that it could be.

Welcome to the forum! That wouldnt be a bad idea for moving the media appliance forward. Right now the HW is severally lacking in many ways, but with Nvidias Ion platform, the addition of bluetooth for controllers, OS X and an AppleTV SDK Apple could press the casual console market gamers in a similar way that its pinching the handheld gaming market and make the AppleTV the most compelling media extender on the market.

Jobs stated during the Take 2 launch (AppleTV OS X v2.0) that no one has done it right so far, and so far no one still hasnt done it right. For the device to truly be the iPod for your home it doesnt have to best any of the major consoles in gaming abilities, it simply would have to allow developers to do what they are doing now for the iPhone OS X platform. Of course, this extends well past gaming. I can think of a few iPhone apps I wouldnt mind scaled for the AppleTV.
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post #35 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by yensid98 View Post

Every time AppleTV is mentioned people always say they want a bigger HD. I just don't understand this. I have the original 40GB Apple TV, yet my iTunes library is nearing 200GB (including music, audiobooks, podcasts, tv shows, movies and videos) and I've never had any trouble enjoying my content through streaming. I think paying the extra money for a larger AppleTV HD is a waste of money and I never advise people to splurge for the space

For whatever reason, some people either want to store all their files locally or none at all. Weve been hearing of the complaints about this on the iPod for 8 years. I dont get this either but to each their own.

What Id like to see from Apple is an Apple branded home server. MS makes a decent home server OS but it doesnt have the polish of an Apple product. The HP HW it is in does have a firmware patch so you can use some of the drive space for Time Machine backups.

With so much data often needing to be accessible to ones entire home network having such a setup that fit the Apple TVs footprint so it could sit on top. It would mean that it could hold all your media in a RAIDed setup and have immediate access to it. Id like such a product, but my needs dont necessarily meld with Apples plans or the general populations wants.
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post #36 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by yensid98 View Post

Every time AppleTV is mentioned people always say they want a bigger HD. I just don't understand this. I have the original 40GB Apple TV, yet my iTunes library is nearing 200GB (including music, audiobooks, podcasts, tv shows, movies and videos) and I've never had any trouble enjoying my content through streaming. I think paying the extra money for a larger AppleTV HD is a waste of money and I never advise people to splurge for the space.

If you have a desktop then it might not be a problem. Most of us who want bigger hdd use a notebook as our main computer. My MBP is 250GB and is almost full. I have to move most of my movies to my TC, which is also running out of space. Why do I need to keep my MBP on to play a song or watch a movie? What if I am not at home and my my family want to watch something? Right now, I have more than 6 vacation movies converted using iMovie and each is between 2GB to 3GB not to mention pictures, music, and many movies. The retail price of 250GB HDD is almost the same as 40GB (search newegg,com for 40GB ATA and 250GB ATA) and I am sure Apple can get it much cheaper than that.
post #37 of 65
I have a Mac Mini hooked up to a 500gb external drive (that's about to be replaced with a 1TB drive, 'cause all my media is quickly filling the existing disk). The 160gb drive in the Apple TV would be fine if I was only streaming music and SD video from the Mini upstairs via iTunes. I have a fair bit of HD content now, and while that does stream okay over wireless-N, it saturates my network to the point where any other heavy activity causes the video streaming to stutter. I also cannot scrub through the video very well when playing remote content.

Further, those who have used Boxee know it's a wonderful interface for playing back content that's not compatible with iTunes. While that does stream okay (as the ATV processor is too slow to play back HD content that's not h.264-encoded, due to the fact that its hardware accelerator only supports that format), I find it simply more reliable to play back local content. Boxee seems to periodically drop my external, remote drive.
post #38 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Well let's see:
1.) It's not gonna come with Blu-ray because that's "a bag of hurt".
2.) Maybe a TV itself, since Apple is now also an electronics giant like Sony. but I doubt it.

So exactly what would that new hardware be?
I know-
It will come with an on and off switch on the machine itself because that would make it environmentally friendly!

Apple did just buy LG so I bet you are not too far off on #2

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post #39 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by techno View Post

Apple did just buy LG so I bet you are not too far off on #2

I wouldn't read too much into that investment. LG makes a
many different panels. If such a device were to come I think it would be nothing more than a port and place for the module to sit on their line of TVs. Similar to the HP MediaSmart TVs.
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post #40 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

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