AppleTV in da house

AppleTV in the box

My AppleTV box arrived today. As a media center and HTPC freak it is pretty mandatory to give this box a try. I guess I’ll be back here with more info as I try it out. My first impression is very positive. The box is quite limited compared to other similar solutions, but the stuff that this box actually does is done very, very well. If you want music, movies, podcasts and images from your computer to your TV screen and the stereo in you living room this is the only box I have tried that I can recommend to non geeks.

At this point it’s not a complete home theatre solution. No traditional live TV support (recording and PVR functionallity) and no DVD, BlueRay or HD DVD player. Traditional live TV and media files on plastic disks are already pretty old school, but it’ll stick around for still a couple of years.

AppleTV in the box

AppleTV will be something that you have in addition to some sort of PVR. Of course, there are rumors of an upcoming TV tuner for the AppleTV, but nothing yet. The rumors build on the fact that a company called Miglia have done some strange moves lately and have had meetings with Apple. In addition to this hackers have found some scripts called “New Audio Capture” and “New Video Capture” in the files on the AppleTV…

Because I had ordered a box I have been following the AppleTV scene on the internet for the last week. Interesting stuff. It was opened and modified only hours after people started recieving them. In other words, hackers are hard at work adding stuff they miss. I have also found some detailed answers to the question about 5.1 surround sound from the AppleTV.

So far I can say that the box was extremely simple to set up, works well, looks good and is easy and intuitive to use. More on AppleTV later!

Apple TV connected

AppleTV in da house

16 thoughts on “AppleTV in da house

  1. Tor Erik says:

    A wish for the “more on AppleTV later” promise:
    An user interface comparison between AppleTV and Windows XP MCE or Vista MCE would be interesting. Which is easiest to use? What is the most clever features of the UI? Which is most annoying after a while?

  2. “New Audio Capture” and “New Video Capture” in the files on the AppleTV, as well as the known presence of iChat icons adds up to an interesting bit of speculation.

  3. I just got the Apple TV demonstrated by one of my collegues. Very impressing. Now if it just gets a TV tuner and PVR functionality I can switch my big, noisy PC with GBPVR installed into a goodlooking, silent, cheap and cool Apple equipment :-)
    Until then it doesnt have the most important features I need.

  4. This is a bit like the first version of iPod; very cool but not quite there. When version 2 is out, I’m sure there will be a “TV” button, and maybe also a DVD-player.

  5. I know that Apple likes clean uncomplicated product lines, but they need to make the AppleTV product line a bit more complicated than one product:

    1. Basic version, 40 GB
    2. Big basic version, 160 GB
    3. Big DVD version, AppleTV with DVD player and 160 GB
    4. Big TV and DVD version, AppleTV with DVD, TV-tuner and 500 GB

    …or something like that.

  6. Lasse Elden says:

    So how does it realy work? Can you post some screenshots from different use and some comments along with them?

    Whats the price and how have you contected it?

    Have you considered other alternatives when it comes to functions as well as price?

  7. I know. Haven’t really posted anything about the AppleTV yet. I will give my thoughts on it when I’ve had the time to test it. Some quick answers:

    So how does it realy work?

    Mossberg on the AppleTV
    TUAW – AppleTV the first 24 hours
    Ars Technica – In depth review

    Can you post some screenshots from different use and some comments along with them?

    Engadget – Interface gallery

    Whats the price and how have you contected it?

    AppleTV – US Store
    AppleTV – Norway Store

    I have currently connected it through component to my LCD. Mainly because the DVI input is already taken by my Windows MCE box. The audio is connected to my amp through toslink (optical digital).

    Have you considered other alternatives when it comes to functions as well as price?

    No. This box is mandatory for a geek like me. :-)

  8. I don’t think Apple will include a TV tuner inside their box.
    There are just too many TV standards (PAL, NTSC, DVB-C, DVB-T, DVB-C)

    Much more logical is the option to connect a separate tuner like Elgato’s EyeTV series.
    Whose products work very nicely with the Mac Mini already.

    Meanwhile, I’ll keep struggling to get a decent user experience on my dual-DVB-C tuner PC setup. Neither MCE (poor DVB-C support), MediaPortal (buggy, hard to configure), nor DVB-Viewer (good TV function, but not much more) is working very well.

  9. I agree. If they add a TV-tuner to the AppleTV it will be in the form of a USB add on. And yes, the TV-tuner part is difficult to complete in a way that is user friendly because of all the different standards.

    And, I am very interested in your progress on the DVB-C HTPC you have made.

    I am currently running MCE with a FireDTV DVB-C tuner. Works quite well, but not perfect. With a couple of small hacks you can trick MCE into treating the DVB-C tuner like one of the DVB-T tuners that it actually supports.

  10. I have the same FireDTV tuner. Two of them. Floppy version.
    One of the main problems is that MCE needs completely different drivers than all the other software solutions.
    Another is that MCE does not support the three high definition h.264 encoded channels on my cable.
    Currently DVBViewer is the only software that handles this codec well.
    Discovery HD in 1920×1080: Great picture!

    Next step for me is to make the system dual boot, so I don’t have to uninstall and install different drivers all the time (MCE BDA )

    Send me a private message if you have any specific questions.

  11. Me again!

    What would you recommend? a laptop pc or a Mac? Think i’ll use it mostly for pictures, video-editing and web/mail. But this time more flexible in the living room for example!

    Might want to use it for conecting to tv as well!

    And in the light of HDTV av the “bakkenettet” in the furture here in Norway, what is your predictions on what hardware to use for HTPC? Thinking of tv-cards etc. Have Hauppauge 500 now on my desktop!

  12. Spend some extra money and buy a MacBook!
    I just did last week and transplanted my corporate Windows laptop into this beautiful MacBook Pro.
    Now I have in fact two laptops in one (using Parallels)
    The corporate Windows laptop with Outlook, so I can still see who’s available for meetings.
    The MacBook Pro wich I use for all the cool stuff like photo’s, movies, music, etc.

  13. So how do I get these podcast’s?
    I have subscribed to “Kurer” and “Beatles” over at NRK, but they does not dowload by them selves. How do I do it? I use Winamp! Is it possible to download old podcasts. The Beatles podcast f.ex.???

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