The BIG letdown - Airport & Apple TV

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I already ordered my Apple TV, so I can't really complain about it...



I'm surprised, however, by how un-Apple-like the launch of Apple TV and the new Airport Extreme are. I have an Airport Express that I use as my Wireless Router as well as to stream music to my home stereo when I DON'T want or have my TV on.



I can sort of understand if Apple wants to limit the Apple TV to NOT being a router simple because they feel they can ensure better performance for streaming HD video, but at least give it the ability to play via iTunes streaming like the Airport Express (without the need to turn on my TV every time).



OR, give it the ability to act as a router.



OR, give the new Airport Extreme Airtunes capability.



Instead, if I buy an Airport Extreme to upgrade my network to n (for the sake of the Apple TV), I lose Airtunes. If I just get Apple TV, I don't have a true n network (just point to point from my iMac to Apple TV). If I buy both, I still don't have an Airtunes solution...



So, I have to keep all 3. Setup a network with Airport Extreme for n Speeds. Keep Airport Express right beside it for Airtunes without turning on my TV. And finally, keep the Apple TV right beside them both for Video content.



Is it me, or should Apple's new Apple TV do all these things?



It doesn't really help Apple either, since I'll likely just buy the Apple TV and forgo the n network (or create it from my iMac) and keep my Airport Express. They don't gain an incremental sales opportunity, but they lose A TON OF SALES to people who don't want or know how to integrate 3 different devices. Airport Express made sense, Apple TV won't.



Here's hoping Apple just isn't telling use that the Apple TV is a router and functions with Airtunes.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    Then why did you buy it??
  • Reply 2 of 14
    Sport73 brings up a good point; one which I've wondered, too.



    Does the apple tv have AirTunes capability, and Apple have just failed to mention it? There are times when I will not want to turn on my TV to listen to songs from my iTunes library. I don't see the point of having the Airport Express sitting 2 feet away from a device that, on the surface, would appear to allow the same functionality.



    I'd prefer to move my Airport Express to another room, when my apple tv arrives. The poor man's Sonos system.
  • Reply 3 of 14
    sport73sport73 Posts: 438member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post


    Then why did you buy it??



    Um, because neither the Airport Express or Airport Extreme will play Video or Photos on my TV?



    I'm not arguing that the Apple TV works, is cool, or worth having. I'm simply saying it's pretty ugly and un-Apple that I will likely have 3 wireless boxes within a few feet of my TV and eachother. Each serving a slighly different purpose and creating confusion with my wife.
  • Reply 4 of 14
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    No doubt AppleTV has Airtunes functionality; the trick would be navigating to the music folder without seeing the interface.



    It's funny, because the big gripe about Airtunes was "no remote", which led to the problem of "no display".



    Now we have too much display.



    I believe we may soon see a remote from Apple that uses the iPhone interface paradigm, if they don't add remote capacity to the iPhone itself.



    Touch the AppleTV soft-button, choose iTunes, navigate through songs as per usual.



    Actually, the context sensitive change-o control surfaces of the iPhone are perfect for a universal remote. Apple could offer a broad selection of downloadable device widgets, customized to the very model of third party machine you're controlling.



    I realize there are a lot of devices out here, but device control is a pretty trivial job.



    OK, I've talked myself into it: Apple is going to release a touchscreen universal remote with the iPhone interface to run all their living room lifestyle stuff and everybody else's as well.



    Now I'm going to go start a thread about it.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    No doubt AppleTV has Airtunes functionality; the trick would be navigating to the music folder without seeing the interface.



    The times that Airtunes is useful to me is when I'm working on my computer (when I have the iTunes interface already in front of me).
  • Reply 6 of 14
    Why wouldn't you connect the line-out audio on your Apple TV to your receiver, and the video to your television?



    I ordered three Apple TV's, and will wire the HDMI to my receiver (HDMI Switching) and send the Digital Optical Out to the Audio on the receiver (HDMI Audio signal is not so great, and in my application, an Adcom GFR-700HD, it's the better way to wire it).



    Regardless, even if you had an old two channel stereo receiver and an old tube TV, run the Video to the TV, and the audio to the receiver...
  • Reply 7 of 14
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    The concept behind the Apple remote is that the interface is mostly on the screen rather than a tiny remote, and that makes a lot of sense to me. Why cram a bazillion buttons and cryptic symbols on a remote when everything can be intuitively selected on a large screen? I don't see what's wrong with turning on the TV when you can get that kind of interface.



    Here's what I don't get (to change subjects): Why is there a hard drive on this thing? I have all my music and videos on an iMac, and I access iTunes with my laptop through wireless. I never have any problems, and it's very fast. Even large videos stream just fine - there's no wait at all*. Is it just the lack of speedy processor on the AppleTV that prevents it from decoding as fast? Is it so people can let their computer sleep (it is annoying having to keep my iMac on and awake at all times)?



    *I should note that I haven't tried anything above the 640X480 available on the iTunes store. But that's literally instantaneous, so I have a hard time believing larger files would show that much lag time.
  • Reply 8 of 14
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell View Post


    The concept behind the Apple remote is that the interface is mostly on the screen rather than a tiny remote, and that makes a lot of sense to me. Why cram a bazillion buttons and cryptic symbols on a remote when everything can be intuitively selected on a large screen? I don't see what's wrong with turning on the TV when you can get that kind of interface.



    Here's what I don't get (to change subjects): Why is there a hard drive on this thing? I have all my music and videos on an iMac, and I access iTunes with my laptop through wireless. I never have any problems, and it's very fast. Even large videos stream just fine - there's no wait at all*. Is it just the lack of speedy processor on the AppleTV that prevents it from decoding as fast? Is it so people can let their computer sleep (it is annoying having to keep my iMac on and awake at all times)?



    *I should note that I haven't tried anything above the 640X480 available on the iTunes store. But that's literally instantaneous, so I have a hard time believing larger files would show that much lag time.



    Yeah, I wondered about that myself. The Apple info specifically says that it will "sync with your iTunes" and that it streams. I had assumed that the drive was there as a big-ass buffer of some sort, but apparently not.



    The whole sync with iPod HDD thing is because the iPod is portable, a fixed device with high bandwidth streaming doesn't need that, I wouldn't think. Maybe for something we don't know about yet?
  • Reply 9 of 14
    sport73sport73 Posts: 438member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sarge_ View Post


    Why wouldn't you connect the line-out audio on your Apple TV to your receiver, and the video to your television?



    I ordered three Apple TV's, and will wire the HDMI to my receiver (HDMI Switching) and send the Digital Optical Out to the Audio on the receiver (HDMI Audio signal is not so great, and in my application, an Adcom GFR-700HD, it's the better way to wire it).



    Regardless, even if you had an old two channel stereo receiver and an old tube TV, run the Video to the TV, and the audio to the receiver...



    I will, but how do you select a song, skip, pause or go back without having your TV on. You can do that with Airtunes; it's a whole lot harder if I have to turn on a TV (especially since I'm one of the MILLIONS with a Big-screen HD digital projection set that uses a lamp and takes time to cycle when turning on/off).
  • Reply 10 of 14
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sport73 View Post


    I will, but how do you select a song, skip, pause or go back without having your TV on. You can do that with Airtunes; it's a whole lot harder if I have to turn on a TV (especially since I'm one of the MILLIONS with a Big-screen HD digital projection set that uses a lamp and takes time to cycle when turning on/off).



    Apple remote with iPhone magic. Bet on it.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by audiopollution View Post


    The times that Airtunes is useful to me is when I'm working on my computer (when I have the iTunes interface already in front of me).



    That's annoying, because that is the point where it is almost completely irrelevant. Airtunes would be wasted if your sound system is next to the computer, a short cable would do. It would be nice if you have your sound system across the room, but not so nice if it's to control the sound in the next room.



    The only alternative I can think of is to have a much smaller second display that uses the other video port.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    At which point, it almost doesn't matter, does it? Airtunes would be useless if your sound system is next to the computer, nice if you have your sound system across the room, but not so nice if it's to control the sound in the next room.



    I currently use my Airport Express with Airtunes. I control it from my computer, which is in the same room as my stereo. The TV does not have to be on.



    With the information that Apple has supplied, so far, it looks like I will have to have the AppleTV and the Airport Express hooked up if I want to play music and navigate my itunes library without having the TV on.



    I see no need to have my TV on, in order to listen to music, as I currently can with the Airport Express.



    I have no idea why a new piece of hardware, which I believe should offer Airtunes, doesn't appear to be capable of such a feat. I hold on to the hope that it shows in iTunes in the Airtunes drop-down menu and that Apple are just being coy.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    jlljll Posts: 2,709member
    Turn TV on, choose the music you want to hear, turn TV off.



    Btw. the harddrive is for storing contents so you don't have to have your computer turned on.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JLL View Post


    Turn TV on, choose the music you want to hear, turn TV off.



    Someone already suggested that that idea would not be so convenient with some types of TVs. LCOS, CRT and DLP HDTVs take a little while to turn on.
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