Apple TV hacks, reviews, and trivia roundup

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  • Reply 101 of 109
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    Thanks. I would say that I didn't help all that much right at the beginning. I was a bit too forthright.



    OK... I think you are now being a bit too self-effacing....



    Thanks for the informative posts.
  • Reply 102 of 109
    sjksjk Posts: 603member
    Disclaimer: I'm not an expert on the topic so some of my terminology might be a bit off ?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    Did you know, for example, that many of the latest GPUs feature H.264 encoding with much, much higher performance than the CPU-based QuickTime encoder.



    Is that "real-time" hardware H.264 encoding, which I've read still can't touch the quality of multi-pass software encoders?



    How might GPU H.264 encoding benefit Apple TV? Could that essentially obsolete software currently being used to convert others formats to H.264 by doing the encoding it directly on Apple TV after its received? What's a good example of when it make sense for a GPU encoder to be used rather than just a decoder?



    My EyeTV 200 does MPEG-2 encoding in hardware. Exporting to H.264 for Apple TV compatibility would be impractical. MPEG-4 (part 2) exports are faster, but quality significantly suffers (because of QuickTime's lousy codec?). Eye200 also supports MPEG-4 encoding but I wasn't impressed with its quality either when testing about a year ago.



    Does it make sense that near-future DVR products from Elgato and/or Miglia will support direct H.264 encoding or is that still further off than I'd hope, or maybe not a worthwhile at all?



    Shortage of H.264 content for Apple TV is the general issue. The iTunes Store isn't enough (for much-discussed reasons) and my hunch is Apple will face increasing pressure to extend Apple TV format support by enough customers eventually frustrated that it won't work with other sources of content. Re-encoding existing content can't be anything but a short-term solution, which most people don't have time and patience for. And there's some quality lost in that process, similar to converting between different lossy audio formats. I'm trying to get a better idea where the content for Apple TV might be coming from.
  • Reply 103 of 109
    sjksjk Posts: 603member
    Oh, is there any good reason why some people seem obsessed with adding a larger HD to Apple TV? It's not intended for permanent storage but I get the feeling people expect to use it that way. It's certainly more cost-effective to buy a larger drive for the media hosting Macs/PCs, which also doesn't void the Apple TV warranty. Am I overlooking something?
  • Reply 104 of 109
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sjk View Post


    Oh, is there any good reason why some people seem obsessed with adding a larger HD to Apple TV? It's not intended for permanent storage but I get the feeling people expect to use it that way. It's certainly more cost-effective to buy a larger drive for the media hosting Macs/PCs, which also doesn't void the Apple TV warranty. Am I overlooking something?



    Not to be cruel in any way (and I'm also targetting myself here!) - but syncing a subset of your content involves thought and planning. If iTunes can anticipate your needs perfectly then it's not an issue - but nothing is perfect.



    When I'm an Apple TV user - I'll want to have full access to ALL my computer's TV shows etc from the AppleTV. I'll sync, and I'll stream. What I'd prefer is for the Apple TV to pre-cache 30GB from any iTunes it streams from (using the same anticipatory needs that syncing would use!)



    I think the management of photos and music on a home network is getting really messy. I'm hoping iLife 07 has a new way of helping us do that, including how the AppleTV integrates with it.
  • Reply 105 of 109
    sjksjk Posts: 603member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post


    Not to be cruel in any way (and I'm also targetting myself here!) - but syncing a subset of your content involves thought and planning. If iTunes can anticipate your needs perfectly then it's not an issue - but nothing is perfect.



    That doesn't seem cruel to me at all.



    Quote:

    When I'm an Apple TV user - I'll want to have full access to ALL my computer's TV shows etc from the AppleTV. I'll sync, and I'll stream. What I'd prefer is for the Apple TV to pre-cache 30GB from any iTunes it streams from (using the same anticipatory needs that syncing would use!)



    My preference would be to use streaming and minimize synching as much as possible, avoiding the need for a larger-than-40GB synching drive cache. I haven't followed the exact details for syncing vs. streaming; might be that Apple TV requires syncing more than I'd want it to. Isn't it possible to randomly access all iTunes content via Apple TV, then select which you'd like to stream?



    I'm capable of finding sufficient answers by checking the manual and/or looking for others discussions so don't feel obligated to respond.



    Quote:

    I think the management of photos and music on a home network is getting really messy. I'm hoping iLife 07 has a new way of helping us do that, including how the AppleTV integrates with it.



    Yeah, Apple really hasn't offered any solutions for managing large media libraries with scalability in mind, especially for average folks. I think making too many things dependent on iTunes is a mistake.
  • Reply 106 of 109
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sjk View Post


    That doesn't seem cruel to me at all.



    Yeah, I think I was stronger in my original comment about mankind but toned it back (long day). Basically people don't want to _think_ about the best way to make the AppleTV work - they just want it to work the best.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sjk View Post


    My preference would be to use streaming and minimize synching as much as possible, avoiding the need for a larger-than-40GB synching drive cache. I haven't followed the exact details for syncing vs. streaming; might be that Apple TV requires syncing more than I'd want it to. Isn't it possible to randomly access all iTunes content via Apple TV, then select which you'd like to stream?



    You can stream everything except slideshows. While streaming, your limitations are your network speed and the need to have your computer connected & on (with iTunes on?) - so syncing is good for laptops.



    If you've got a desktop and good network connection then streaming seems much more useful (I assume they'll fix slideshows). If the AppleTV could anticipate your streaming needs and pre-cache, or do some sort of hybrid of stream/sync, then even better.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sjk View Post


    Yeah, Apple really hasn't offered any solutions for managing large media libraries with scalability in mind, especially for average folks. I think making too many things dependent on iTunes is a mistake.



    I'd rather have a separate program for media management to the program which actual plays and displays that media.



    The management of large media libraries is a similar problem to the management of large amounts of files (sometimes from multiple people and stored on multiple machines with different access privileges). Problems with duplicate files, lost (or hard to find) files, and backup to name a few. It's not easy to solve - and if this was the only top-secret feature of Leopard I'd be more than happy.
  • Reply 107 of 109
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,496member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chucker View Post


    70.







    After bandwidth, handling, etc., about 4 cents remain with Apple.



    More important... Apple becomes the hardware + software company of choice driving content producers to buy and use Apple's hardware+software to make content (which in turn becomes content that gets sold back to the public through iTunes).



    Content providers make sales with high margins, which drives virtuous circle of buying and selling...
  • Reply 108 of 109
    atvmanatvman Posts: 2member
    This site has a good collection of hacks: http://applehacks.blogspot.com
  • Reply 109 of 109
    yamayama Posts: 427member
    Woot! Someone got Super Mario Bros. running on an AppleTV



    http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/gadgets/s...deo-250551.php



    I was kinda planning on getting a Mac mini to do this kid of thing, but if I can dump all my emulators on an AppleTV that might be easier.
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