Apple TV

Tested at £100
80100
4

Great if you like Apple-shaped content, some now in Full HD, but the latest Apple TV is frustrating in other regards

Comments

If you were to have, for instance, a synology diskstation with itunes server you could get all your media from that. There are loads of ways to stream local files you just have to do it the itunes way. This is a box for people who use itunes in all its various aspects. Clearly not so useful for people who download loads of illegal files but even that's not impossible if you were to transfer them to an itunes library.

Last time I looked you could do all of this without a mac.

I use mac airport expresses to stream music round my home. This is a way to ad visuals for not much more cost but using the same system I'm already using.

If you use itunes this is in many ways a perfect streaming device.

Maybe the ATV3 has been deliberately limited so the features of the Apple TV look good in comparison.  Or maybe Apple have become so greedy, they'll ship a lemon to the fanbois.

I would have to agree with the 4 stars but not for the reasons why, supporting 3D on a media streamer are there any films out yet for 3D media streamers? BBCi Player will get there in there eventually . No DNLA support, it has Airplay why does it need DNLA ? 

You don't find other media streamers with Airplay and not to mention most people that download for a DNLA streamer download illegal stuff thats why they like DNLA supported products, as there are not many sites you can buy films from without DRM. O and ripping you'r own DVD's or even rented stuff to your media streamer which is still currently illegal.

 

 

The AppleTV only supports low bitrates at 720/1080 so its not very good as a media streamer.

 

Plenty of better products around

These are pretty much useless without a jailbreak IMO and it is my understanding that there won't be a jailbreak for quite some time for the ATV3. 

You should take a look at reveiwing the Firecore upgrade for Atv, it makes it in to the product everyone wants.  Retains the slickness, but can access Nas, play obscure file formats, web access etc.

"...there's no scope for playing files over your home network.

Obviously, Apple wants you to spend money in the iTunes Store. That's a given - but to deny you access to, say, your own home movies or stuff you've recorded on a PVR, seems churlish...

We see no reason why Apple couldn't maintain the same ease of use it offers with online content, but for local files."

 

Sorry guys, but that's just wrong. Whilst you can't playback DVR- stored content, you can stream local files just fine over the network. 

Scroll to 'Computers', select your PC/Mac and you'll see a complete list of all the locally stored content in iTunes. I've ripped thousands of hours of DVDs, and have tons of home-recordings, and they stream just fine over the network. 

With a Mac and AirPort WiFi base station, you can even leave your computer asleep. It'll wake on demand when needed by Apple TV, then go back to sleep when you're done (based on the Mac's sleep settings). 

To say that there's "no scope" for this is totally misleading.

We were a bit unclear with that - sorry! We were referring to content dumped on a NAS device, as opposed to stuff in an iTunes library. Review duly clarified. Laughing

You can also obtain NAS servers (QNAP, Iomega, Netgear etc.) that have iTunes media servers built in so no need to keep a PC/Mac switched on.

The use of such a NAS is advantageous as it saves power and makes it easy for multiple users to access the media stored in one central place. If you use a NAS with RAID 1 support you will also get the security of a backup in case of disk failure.

The Apple TV can also be hacked to add the XBMC software so increasing its functionallity.

I agree with others that 720p is more than enough for most domestic situations. Streaming 1080 is still some way off for the majority.

What makes you say that? What a weird thing to say.

iTunes is only needed to play stuff that is on your computer. You don't need it to play TV or movies that have been bought on the iTunes store (which you can do on the Apple TV or an iOS device) or music that is stored in the cloud via iCloud/iTunes Match. Of course to do that you'd have had to have an iTunes library and signed up for iTunes Match but once that's done, the computer can be switched off.

1080p films aren't that much bigger than 720 according to the comparisons I've seen, due to the compression algorithm being used

Or you can stream the film from iPhone/iPad via AirPlay if you have one shreader, negating the need to have the computer on.

No, somethingbrite

I really don't see the the lack of 1080p being a downer to be honest firstly because you can't buy ( legally )1080p films as yet and the 1080p ones you can rent are huge in size, 720p seems to me a a better option and personally yes there is a slight drop in quality over 1080p but  if your not sitting the two side by side then you would never notice unless your a complete nerd. Not to mention the time it takes to download a 1080p film with only a 1mb download speed . The only gripe i have with apple tv is that they don't sell HD movies ( as yet ) but neither does the xbox or ps3 but they do in the states so there must be some sort of legality in the UK to do this

Was this review written for What Mac User?

But then you'd have to transfer the film/s from your computer to iPhone/iPad each time, negating the whole concept of a more streamlined interface.  It would be easier to just put a DVD/Bluray on.

I think one must accept that to use this and AirPlay properly with a media library, you need a computer running iTunes.

I've had mine for a month now,connected up to my yamaha 1065 streaming music  is an absolute doddle.you can watch youtube on your big screen telly very impressed.Only downside you have to open itunes in order to access your media and when your watching a film your computer running all the time

I bought this to give it a try and must say I found it pretty disappointing.

On the plus side its gui is pretty slick. Its functionality is what lets it down though.

Its need of having an itunes account, and itunes running on a computer in order to stream just got too annoying.

I replaced it with a Asus play hd2 after about a couple of months.

The Asus also has its faults but they are far less annoying than the apple tv.

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