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New Apple TV 3.0 software.

#1 Guest_coaten_*

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 05:48 AM

Downloading my update now.

"Now Apple TV users can enjoy Genius Mixes through their home theatre system and listen to up to 12 endless mixes of songs that go great together, automatically generated from their iTunes library. Customers can also enjoy Internet radio, allowing them to browse and listen to thousands of Internet radio stations, as well as tag favourite stations to listen to later. Apple TV’s support of HD photos is enhanced with iPhoto Events, which simplifies finding your favourite photos on Apple TV, as well as iPhoto® Faces, which gives access to photos organised by people identified in iPhoto. "

Discuss.
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#2 User is offline   David Braue 

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 06:26 AM

QUOTE (coaten @ Oct 30 2009, 06:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Downloading my update now.

"Now Apple TV users can enjoy Genius Mixes through their home theatre system and listen to up to 12 endless mixes of songs that go great together, automatically generated from their iTunes library. Customers can also enjoy Internet radio, allowing them to browse and listen to thousands of Internet radio stations, as well as tag favourite stations to listen to later. Apple TV’s support of HD photos is enhanced with iPhoto Events, which simplifies finding your favourite photos on Apple TV, as well as iPhoto® Faces, which gives access to photos organised by people identified in iPhoto. "

Discuss.

Meh. More of the same, little new to recommend ATV except to existing users. If this is the best Apple can do with ATV, they're going to fall flat. Which would be a shame because it could be so much more.
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#3 Guest_coaten_*

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 07:00 AM

Also an improved interface. The little box enclosing the choices has gone (thankfully) and menus sprawl across the whole screen, with dropdowns for each media type. It's much easier to use.

You're right, though, because there's nothing here to stop someone from thinking a TiVo is the better choice.

The Apple TV could be so much more. My spidey sense is still tingling about the device's potential and that Apple will meet it one day, once they've got some undisclosed element shaped to their liking. Or that could be just wishful thinking.
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#4 User is offline   Bungs 

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 08:22 AM

QUOTE (coaten @ Oct 30 2009, 08:00 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also an improved interface. The little box enclosing the choices has gone (thankfully) and menus sprawl across the whole screen, with dropdowns for each media type. It's much easier to use.

You're right, though, because there's nothing here to stop someone from thinking a TiVo is the better choice.

The Apple TV could be so much more. My spidey sense is still tingling about the device's potential and that Apple will meet it one day, once they've got some undisclosed element shaped to their liking. Or that could be just wishful thinking.


what does this software update mean for theories of a general ATV update: in hardware in particular. I guess it means it won't happen too soon, otherwise they would have done them together...
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#5 User is offline   David Braue 

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 08:48 AM

QUOTE (coaten @ Oct 30 2009, 06:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Discuss.

I have posted my more detailed thoughts on the new Apple TV in this week's blog.

Am I being too harsh? Expecting too much? Or do we agree?

Personally, I was considering buying an Apple TV for the household for Christmas but it may now morph into something more fully-featured, like the TVIX I've referred to in the story. It's frustrating waiting for Apple to come to its senses.
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#6 User is offline   Bungs 

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 09:19 AM

QUOTE (David Braue @ Oct 30 2009, 09:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have posted my more detailed thoughts on the new Apple TV in this week's blog.

Am I being too harsh? Expecting too much? Or do we agree?

Personally, I was considering buying an Apple TV for the household for Christmas but it may now morph into something more fully-featured, like the TVIX I've referred to in the story. It's frustrating waiting for Apple to come to its senses.


I have been considering my options as well. I'd like some form of media server, but ideally with recording (PVR) functions as well. Mac Mini/HTPC of some form seem to be my main options. Price seems to be my main obstacle...
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#7 Guest_coaten_*

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 09:27 AM

QUOTE (David Braue @ Oct 30 2009, 08:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Am I being too harsh? Expecting too much? Or do we agree?


What is it we expect from Apple TV, anyway? My expectations are of a networkable device that I can use to house a library of movies and music or download content from the iTunes Store, so my beef is less with ATV and more to do with iTunes Store because the Oz store is limited for choice.

I don't expect more than that. Our family's life doesn't revolve around what's happening through the television medium to such an extent that I need my ATV to be a PVR. In any case, I've already got one of those. Well, I've got two of those. An LG PVR and EyeTV. I have those solutions covered and, you know what? We barely use them for the purpose they are intended. Do I need my ATV to be a TiVo or similar PVR device and have it sit there not actually fulfilling that function? No. I don't. I certainly don't need a third device of this kind.

So, given my expectations of what the Apple TV should be to suit my needs, I'm pretty happy about the update. I get a much-wanted interface/navigation enhancement, and so I'm happy.

If, however, you want the Apple TV to be so much more, my advice is stop bitching and go and buy something that does so much more. TiVo is good. Beyonwiz? Foxtel iQ2? EyeTV? Topfield? It's not like Apple has exclusive rights to this product category or your wallet.

The ATV is what it is, and if it ain't what you need, get over it, and spend your money elsewhere. Or... explore the possibilities that come from hacking your ATV.
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#8 User is offline   lumeswell 

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 09:41 AM

QUOTE (coaten @ Oct 30 2009, 10:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What is it we expect from Apple TV, anyway?


To be flippant - something that lets me watch TV ......

I don't have one, and have never really be attracted to it. My impression is that it is aimed at people who want to download their movies or TV series - not something I am in the market for (don't have time to watch the movies, and don't have the bandwidth to make it worthwhile) - so I have never looked seriously at it.

There is nothing in the upgrade that gets my attention.

I survive fine on FTA TV, and Im with the dinosaurs in that I like having something physical when I buy a movie. I still prefer to shoot on tape as well (particularly for domestic uses), so based on the reviews in the current AMW Im really out of touch biggrin.gif

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#9 Guest_coaten_*

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 10:19 AM

QUOTE (lumeswell @ Oct 30 2009, 09:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I survive fine on FTA TV, and Im with the dinosaurs in that I like having something physical when I buy a movie. I still prefer to shoot on tape as well (particularly for domestic uses), so based on the reviews in the current AMW Im really out of touch biggrin.gif


I still shoot on HDV. Flash memory is great and all that but I still think HDV pips AVCHD for the "warmth" factor.

BTW, the best 25-words-or-less definition for the ATV that I've heard is" "It's an iPod for your TV." That pretty much says it all.
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#10 User is offline   mickdevlin 

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 10:22 AM

QUOTE (coaten @ Oct 30 2009, 10:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
BTW, the best 25-words-or-less definition for the ATV that I've heard is" "It's an iPod for your TV." That pretty much says it all.

That's one of the reasons I held off buying an iPod until it was more than a media player. I don't own an tv (as you've probably guessed wink.gif.)
Mick
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#11 User is offline   Bungs 

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 10:24 AM

QUOTE (coaten @ Oct 30 2009, 11:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I still shoot on HDV. Flash memory is great and all that but I still think HDV pips AVCHD for the "warmth" factor.

BTW, the best 25-words-or-less definition for the ATV that I've heard is" "It's an iPod for your TV." That pretty much says it all.


Once I get over what I actually want (which is not Apple is offering, fair enough), I think the best way to describe it the ATV is pretty much what you say above. I was beginning to think about 'linking iTunes with your TV', which is close, but then you have those pesky photos...
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#12 User is offline   Molecule 

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 10:39 AM

QUOTE (David Braue @ Oct 30 2009, 09:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have posted my more detailed thoughts on the new Apple TV in this week's blog.

Am I being too harsh? Expecting too much? Or do we agree?

Personally, I was considering buying an Apple TV for the household for Christmas but it may now morph into something more fully-featured, like the TVIX I've referred to in the story. It's frustrating waiting for Apple to come to its senses.

I disagree about BD being included in Apple TV. Or Apple products at all for that matter. Why? It's a fad, pure and simple.
It may have "Hit the mainstream" as it were, but it's not going to stay there for long. Digital distribution is where it's going. It will only take Apple's Tablet to cement that. In the interim, DVD works just fine. There simply isn't the same motivation for the switch to BD as there was from VCR to DVD (non-degrading medium, random access, vastly superior quality, and so fourth). The only one of those points that BD has is better quality, and even then that's not quite the case - DVD is perfectly capable of holding HD content. BD is simply capable of storing more data. But my hard drive stores even more...

Molecule
“Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.” - Terry Pratchett
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#13 User is offline   Bungs 

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 12:27 PM

QUOTE (Molecule @ Oct 30 2009, 11:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Digital distribution is where it's going. It will only take Apple's Tablet to cement that. In the interim, DVD works just fine.

Molecule


I only got a BDplayer when our DVD player died and i got the BD very cheaply indeed. So not that wedded to it. I think you are right that digital distribution is where things are going, but nor for quite a bit of time. if you want to download a few HD movies, under current Australian arrangements, you will very quickly kill your download quotas. In fact, there are going to have to be a lot faster internet services with much bigger download limits.
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#14 User is offline   Some Random Bloke 

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 02:00 PM

We're considering buying a TV this Christmas, after not having one most of the year. We've used a Mac and EyeTV when we wanted TV, and mostly watched DVDs or iTunes movie rentals which, being with iiNet, are great b/c they don't count towards my quota.

Wondering what are the options for getting iTunes Store movies onto the tele?

ATV
Mac Mini set up
iPod?
Any other suggestions?

I may still jump at an ATV, but was hoping for more, dunno what though. Maybe PVR...
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...Sometimes you just wanna duct tape her mouth and dump her in the hold for a month."
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#15 User is offline   Gillymaru 

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Posted 30 October 2009 - 06:54 PM



We have just bought a new Panasonic TV which is 720 not full HD. I reasoned the extra cash needed for full HD wasn't worth the extra for our families veiwing habits i.e DVDs and free to air TV.
I was going to get an Apple TV and rip some dvds for my daughter and to play a few downloaded movies. I would like the ability to record free to air Tv although that isn't a deal breaker, so what is my best option? Do I go for the ATV or something like the device David B wrote about in his blog post?
The ability to work wirelessly is a feature I want and also to play my itunes libary and photos would be great. Will these other devices do this or should I just go down the ATV route? I need something simple for my wife and daughter to use and something that is going to work well with my Imac. I would love a mac mini solution but that is out of my price range.
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Posted 31 October 2009 - 06:40 AM

I think for your purposes you won't be disappointed with an tv - we love ours for watching movies and TV shows, as well as playing music (playing the music off its internal drive rather than streaming to the AirPort Express means it doesn't drop out when we turn on the microwave!)
Never owned a PC...
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#17 User is offline   Some Random Bloke 

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Posted 31 October 2009 - 06:48 AM

QUOTE (Gillymaru @ Oct 30 2009, 04:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We have just bought a new Panasonic TV which is 720 not full HD. I reasoned the extra cash needed for full HD wasn't worth the extra for our families veiwing habits i.e DVDs and free to air TV.


BTW, a Choice review earlier this year ranked a couple of Panasonic 720HD teles above the competition, including Full HD (80cm I think, so not the really big ones). I can't find those particular models on the web anymore, but you I'm considering this option as well.

"I don't believe there's a power in the 'verse that can stop Kaylee from being cheerful...

...Sometimes you just wanna duct tape her mouth and dump her in the hold for a month."
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#18 Guest_coaten_*

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Posted 31 October 2009 - 07:15 AM

My 2c on the ATV as a PVR.

It's not a great solution, but it's not a bad one if you can plan your recording and viewing times.

If you're the kind of slavish TV watcher who wants to be able to watch two shows at the 7.30pm timeslot by viewing one live as the other one records and then watch the recorded show just as soon as the live viewing ends, then timeshift the two-hour movie that started at 8.30pm, which you were recording while watching the second show from the 7.30 timeslot... well, the ATV will suck at that. It just ain't gonna fly. For this kind of heavy duty consumption, you're gonna need a dedicated device, such as the Panasonic dual-tuner, DVD/BD, HDD PVR I'm using at the moment. (Damn, it has to go back, too.)

If, however, you're the kind of TV consumer who finds there are a handful of shows through the week that are actually worth watching, and you can handle scheduling a time to watch them, such as on a weekend, or a given weekday evening when you don't have any recordings scheduled, the ATV, coupled with Eye TV and the right export and sync settings, will be an adequate solution. Oh, and you'll need to be satisfied with 720p encoding, so if it was a spectacular natural history doco you recorded off Nine HD, it's gonna lose something in translation by the time you view it on your TV.

In other words, the ATV by comparison to dedicated high-def PVRs is pretty much gimped.

So why go for it? Because it costs less than other solutions. The Panasonic mentioned earlier is listed at $1979. David's suggested device, the TVIX, is $699, though you get a 1TB drive compared to the ATV's lightweight 160GB. But the keyword there is lightweight. Lightweight price tag. Lightweight capabilities. Lightweight hard drive. But for some of us, lightweight is OK. Lightweight is adequate. And because it's an Apple product, it plays nice with our Macs.

That's my 2c.
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#19 Guest_coaten_*

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Posted 31 October 2009 - 07:22 AM

QUOTE (Xenophos @ Oct 31 2009, 07:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
BTW, a Choice review earlier this year ranked a couple of Panasonic 720HD teles above the competition, including Full HD (80cm I think, so not the really big ones). I can't find those particular models on the web anymore, but you I'm considering this option as well.


What I'd like to see is a 40in 720p OLED TV. Part of the reason my "adequate" ATV is a good solution for us is because it's plugged into a 32in 720p, so movies off the ATV look pretty good.

Why such a low-end TV set-up? I'm of the view that 50in high-def panels border on being obscene for their price tag and ostentatiousness. But that's just me. I'm not a big fan of TV. Movies are a different matter, of course, but those that deserve to be seen on a big screen will be seen on a big screen. At the cinema.
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#20 User is offline   pmoeser 

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Posted 31 October 2009 - 01:48 PM

David B, you just don't get the AppleTV. It's just not what you need so don't get one and learn to stop living with disappointment!

Gilly and Xen if you used it with a networked Mac and an eyeTV iceTV combo like Chris O and I use you would be pleased with what it does.

I also looked around for ages for a big TV even taking the AppleTV with me to stores to test out the picture. I went with a 900 odd pixel count screen, so HD just not full HD.

Full HD is only good for BlueRay. Free to air HD still looked fuzzy on them. You are wasting money on 1080 unless you plan on replacing all of your DVDs and VHS with BRD
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