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back to article Cook & Co. boost Apple TV to 1080p, update interface

In addition to introducing "The new iPad" on Wednesday morning in San Francisco, Apple has upgraded its Apple TV set-top box to 1080p, given it a new user interface, and added a few bells and whistles. "Apple TV is easier than ever to use with its new icon-based interface and the ability to access your purchased movies, TV shows …

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Anonymous Coward

Comparison with the old version

Did El Reg have a copy of the old hardware specs ? Has it been upgraded much - the new one has a single core A5 but I don't know what the old one had...

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Re: Comparison with the old version

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/apple-tv/stats/apple-tv-2nd-generation-black-specs.html

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Silver badge

I don't trust those figures

I have worked in a couple of big IT companies with more than a few fanbois and have never heard of anyone having one and when I bring it up in conversation about Apple products most don't know what I'm talking about or think I am talking about the mini (which actually is the only apple product that has made me think I want (if only it wasn't so bloody expensive)).

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Silver badge

Re: I don't trust those figures

Per the linked story, an 8% share of US homes and a 7% share of European homes gives Apple 32% of the market. So by a clear margin most people you ask aren't going to have any device at all, and most people you ask with a device aren't going to have the Apple. That doesn't sound so unrealistic, does it?

I guess it's just that most people aren't buying these things — IT types probably just hook up their laptop or have a dedicated full computer, most others probably either have a TV, BluRay player, console or cable/satellite box with enough functionality already built in or else are happy using their computer directly to view Internet content.

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Re: I don't trust those figures

Especially since Intel is pushing WiDi.

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Silver badge

Re: I don't trust those figures

I've run across 3 people with WD TV, one with a Popcorn Hour (that's what I want) and a big fat ZERO with an Apple TV. I don't think the odds are good that the numbers are right.

Did they do the survey inside an Apple store?

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Thumb Up

Re: I don't trust those figures

I have a popcorn hour a-300 myself, awesome little beastie.. much better than a laptop for surround sound/interface and you can actually operate it with a remote :)

One thing though, the old models basically had a list of files that you would scroll through and select a file to play. the new models have something called NMJ (Network Media Jukebox) that gives you a wall/coverflow/category thing with pictures, synopsis, etc.

however, NMJ although it tries to do tv series as well do them disapointingly bad... kept insisting some of my who episodes were actually films and did the same with firefly.

You can download and install something called YAMJ (Yet another media Jukebox), which is awesome to use, and fully supports tv series.

One day NMJ will work properly with tv series, but until then don't make the same mistake as I did and spend half a day trying to get it to work only to finally install YAMJ :)

Oh, and it's very much a tinkerers device, you can throw files onto it and everything will work out of the box, but you can (and if you want to use YAMJ, have to) dive deep into the relatively open system and tweak things to your hearts content :)

Have a read of NMT forums for help setting everything up if you do decide to get one :)

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Silver badge

Re: I don't trust those figures

The figures are probably screwed up by people like me who have an Apple TV (2nd Gen), Popcorn Hour and a WD TV Live. (In different rooms.)

Hmm. I suppose that does give Apple about 33% market share in our household.

If you're interested, the WD has impressed me most with price/performance. Seems to play everything I throw at it.

Prices for film streaming from Apple are just plain silly. Who wants to pay DVD prices for 2 days permission to watch? With the risk of buffering pauses thrown in.

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Happy

Re: I don't trust those figures

in my department there are 6 folks with Apple TV's only 2 of them are running them in standard mode, the rest have flashed them :-)

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Re: I don't trust those figures

I know several people with Apple TV and none of them are IT professionals; rather they are doctors, dentists, managers, musicians, and entrepreneurs ... ordinary ABs in demographics terms.

They don't have them flashed for XBMC, rather they use them for Netflix and renting movies from iTunes -- one thing they have in common is they hate BSkyB (or at least the fees).

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Silver badge

Re: I don't trust those figures

Plus you need raw numbers. 32% of 100 is 32. so if only 100 people bought these types of devices in the UK then only 32 would have apple TVs. Odds are you wont know someone.

Percentages are a shitty way to show these things without the data.

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Meh

Re: I don't trust those figures

Call me cynical, but I think you'll have to muster a sample size of a little more than 3 if you want to keep the mathematicians happy when calling foul on the statistics.

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Re: I don't trust those figures

I have one...

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Go

One minor detail still missing...

..and that would be the option to connect a USB hard disk to the Apple TV, the first generation supported it, but the 2nd generation left that feature out it relies on connected "computers" [of any genre] to store the media.

Personally I'd much rather have the content on a USB disk than having to leave any of the computers running whilst watching any downloaded content.

Just a nitpick at hat I think is still an excellent, discreet and easy to use product.

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Silver badge

I'd still prefer a vendor-neutral solution

If I were to buy anything, I'd want one with no vested interest in where I obtain my content. I know that's going to lock me out of iTunes (including the iTunes Match music collection I pay to keep) but for television and movie content I really want to be able to use services like Hulu with a cheap subscription model — I know Apple provide interfaces to Netflix and some other competitors but they also appear to be locking others out.

It can wait until the next television upgrade though; I've no interest in having yet another box with yet another cable, no matter now diminutive.

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Re: I'd still prefer a vendor-neutral solution

That leaves any Apple product out.

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Bronze badge

Hmmm

1080p, huh? Might finally be worth rooting one of these suckers, installing MythBuntu and hooking it up to my fileserver.

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Silver badge

You might be better with XBMC.

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XBMC box

In my immediate family, we have 6 Apple TV2s

All running XBMC

Great little boxes for this.

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Go

I dislike apple as much as the next freetard but the ATV is the most affordable bit of kit for playing media on your tv from network storage. Just jailbreak and install XBMC and you have a fantastic htpc with a remote for $100.

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Anonymous Coward

If you've got a little patience.

You can get it on a r-pi for £25 (plus about £6 for a pack of tabs to enclose it in).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If you've got a little patience.

Th R-Pi with Ethernet port is $35 + shipping (shipping is currently uncertain, quoted at $20 originally)

Also the R-Pi doesn't have a remote. Once you add that in, plus all the necessary extras (case, power supply, wifi dongle) you run into more than $100.

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Re: If you've got a little patience.

$35 = £22 according to google. HD over wifi has always been a struggle unless you've got a shit-hot signal (at both ends, remember), the psu, according to the website is pretty much any usb phone charger, and as for the remote ios/android both have apps that'll control it better than any remote control (directory browsing, etc) so in my case, that point is moot.

The thing's so small you could just blu-tac it to the back of the telly anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If you've got a little patience.

$35 = £26.55 delivered according to my Farnell pre-order. US buyers were being quoted far greater shipping costs.

I do 720p H.264 over 802.11n over to my Panny smartTV all the time. No problems.

Remote control exclusively on the phone is not such a great idea, I'd like something separate, not everyone on my family has a smartphone for example, or for when I have my phone charging.

Not all microUSB phone chargers are suitable, you need one that supplies 700mA. Most chargers top out at 500mA - if that. See Raspberry Pi design guide here

Also add the cost of a SD card for the software. Not all SD cards are suitable, read the Rasperry Pi Wiki, there's problems especially with cards above Class 4. Recommended is Sandisk Class 4.

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Bronze badge
WTF?

Re: If you've got a little patience.

The Raspberry-Pi can use your TV remote control if your TV supports HDMI CEC (many do) so potentially no additional cost there, and considering a Media Centre remote only costs around $15 it would still be pretty hard going to reach that $100 figure - a case and mobile phone PSU cost peanuts.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If you've got a little patience.

Pretty hard? Are you serious?

Rasperry Pi: 35 + 20 shipping (as quoted to me and remains unchanged) = 55

Remote: 15

1000mA PSU: 5

8GB Class 4 SD card (not Kingston): 8

Case: 5

Compatible USB 802.11n dongle: 15

Total: US$103

HDMI CEC doesn't work like you seem to think - e.g. It won't magically grow playback/ffw/rwd buttons on my TV remote - but nice try.

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Bronze badge

Re: If you've got a little patience.

Am I serious? Totally.

First of all, there is no $20 shipping - you're making that up, it's been explained as an administrative error on the Raspberry Pi site several times.

Remote: Not really needed, use HDMI CEC unless you've got a really crap TV

1000mA PSU: don't need it, already got one spare.

8GB Class 4 SD Card: Don't need it, already got one spare. And do you really think booting from an oversized and expensive SD card will be the only way to boot the Pi in future? The SD card is only needed to bootstrap the GPU (which is what loads the OS), so once the GPU is up and running the OS can be hauled in from anywhere, including USB and ethernet.

Case: Seriously?

Compatible USB 802.11n dongle: Wifi is shit at the best of times. I'll be connecting mine with Homeplug and RJ45, works just peachy. No extra cost, unless you want to claim a ridiculous $5 for an ethernet cable? Fortunately I have one of those spare, too.

Total: $35, possibly $50 if your TV doesn't support HDMI CEC and you need a cheap remote.

So yes, seriously - $100 is totally far fetched.

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Anonymous Coward

WhatNApps?

No App Store?

Imagine if your parents got to see that you spent your pennies on games from the 80's?

Obvious innit?

No Apps = No ridicule.

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Anonymous Coward

Airplay is the Apple TV's killer app

HiDef iPad -> Airplay -> TV Screen (and with Mountain Lion, you can do this from your Mac). Why bother making a TV with a screen when you can push your iPad to the big screen

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Thumb Up

Re: Airplay is the Apple TV's killer app

I agree. That's how I use it, too. Download to iPad or use iPlayer straight off, though it is a pity that iPlayer isn't directly installable on the AppleTV...

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I rarely do it.

But Jailbreak the ATV2 and install Plex and you've got a great little product!

That said the WDTV is also an excellent product - extremely good value for money!

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Anonymous Coward

Where the heck is iPlayer, etc?

We don't want US baseyball, we want iPlayer (itv player, all the players).

Epic Fail

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FAIL

still wont play MKVs = still worthless

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Coat

We love ours

We got our AppleTV as a Christmas gift and we thought "Oh, okay." We're not into tv or movies, but it did let us watch youtube and stream music ... and now we can stream Netflix and we're hooked. In fact, I just found that Cosmos is on Netflix and I'm going to watch it BILlyunz and BILlyunz of times.

Mine's the one with the Vangelis 8-track in the pocket.

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