AppleTV Alternatives.... if it sucks

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Anamonde
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Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:11 pm

AppleTV Alternatives.... if it sucks

Post by Anamonde »

So, I think I will be waiting it out and seeing if the appleTV sucks as much as I suspect it will (no AC3 sound).

As far as I understand it Quicktime mixes down AAC 5.1 to stereo when you output to your awesome 5.1 system, so I can only assume the appleTV will do the same, as it is based on Quicktime.

So... as alternatives I have found a few neat systems:

1. Mvix Wireless Hi-Definition Media Player.
2. Netgear Digital Entertainer HD
3. Linksys KiSS 1600 - no specs yet.

Anyone know of any more options in this realm?

#1 looks the best by far to me... same price as the appleTV and more options for video and audio.

Good with Handbrake?

ugp
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:59 pm

Post by ugp »

I really thought about getting one but then I wondered why even get one to begin with...I am so undecided about the AppleTV and how it will be. I am waiting to see one in person in action.

maurj
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Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 5:31 pm

Post by maurj »

Hi Anamonde,

It remains to be seen if the AppleTV will encode 5.1 AAC to AC3 - sometimes I think it will, sometimes I don't :) Certainly it has an optical output, but as yet there's been no mention of Dolby Digital Live encoding in any of the media materials, and the AppleTV export setting in QuickTime Pro 7.1.5 mixes 5.1 soundtracks down to stereo, so who knows.

There's a good article here arguing the pros and cons of if it might be forthcoming:

http://www.thismuchiknow.co.uk/?p=24

Nonsanity
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Post by Nonsanity »

My receiver has discrete 5.1 inputs (6 RCA inputs), so Griffin's Firewave works for me. I just installed it a few days ago, and HandBrake's 5.1 AAC files work great from Quicktime player, as does DVD playback from DVD Player.

I don't use Front Row though, but I'm sure it would work fine. Instead, I use our laptops to select videos through a LAN web page which can also start and control playback. There's also a Keyspan remote receiver hooked up to the TV Mac so we can use the regular universal remote to control it all too.

For the video connection, my TV has VGA inputs, but i could also hook it up via DVI->HDMI.

Anamonde
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Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:11 pm

Post by Anamonde »

Nonsanity wrote:HandBrake's 5.1 AAC files work great from Quicktime player, as does DVD playback from DVD Player.
you have a version of Handbrake that rips to AAC 5.1? I thought that only coming out on the next release?

Nonsanity
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Post by Nonsanity »

I'm using the the latest code and building it myself as an honorary developer. (That is, I could work on it - as I am a programmer by trade - but haven't had the time to do more than glance at it so far.)

But yes, it WILL have 5.1 AAC in the next release.

Anamonde
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Post by Anamonde »

Sweet!

Anamonde
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Post by Anamonde »


That is a great article. Thanks Maurj.

cbud
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Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:24 am

Re: AppleTV Alternatives.... if it sucks

Post by cbud »

Anamonde wrote:So, I think I will be waiting it out and seeing if the appleTV sucks as much as I suspect it will (no AC3 sound).

As far as I understand it Quicktime mixes down AAC 5.1 to stereo when you output to your awesome 5.1 system, so I can only assume the appleTV will do the same, as it is based on Quicktime.

So... as alternatives I have found a few neat systems:

1. Mvix Wireless Hi-Definition Media Player.
2. Netgear Digital Entertainer HD
3. Linksys KiSS 1600 - no specs yet.

Anyone know of any more options in this realm?

#1 looks the best by far to me... same price as the appleTV and more options for video and audio.

Good with Handbrake?
Looks like none of them support h.264.

Anamonde
Regular User
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:11 pm

Re: AppleTV Alternatives.... if it sucks

Post by Anamonde »

cbud wrote:Looks like none of them support h.264.
H.264 is a MPEG4 codec is it not?

cbud
Bright Spark User
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:24 am

Re: AppleTV Alternatives.... if it sucks

Post by cbud »

Anamonde wrote:
cbud wrote:Looks like none of them support h.264.
H.264 is a MPEG4 codec is it not?
It is based on MPEG4. Spec sheets usually list h.264/AVC separately.

Here is another alternative, Pixel Magic Systems, it does not support h.264, or a Mac for that matter.

I also found a better link for the KiSS 1600. It looks like it supports h.264 and Macs. It is new, with limited availibility, but it could be a very good substitute for the Apple TV.

sjk
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 3:22 am

Re: AppleTV Alternatives.... if it sucks

Post by sjk »

cbud wrote:I also found a better link for the KiSS 1600. It looks like it supports h.264 and Macs. It is new, with limited availibility, but it could be a very good substitute for the Apple TV.
Good find; H.264 support is still uncommon in similar devices. I wonder if they'll release this or something comparable in the US.

MacFly
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:33 am

Post by MacFly »

For now i use a tvix m5000u.
Only one thing is missing in this multimedia Hard Disk Drive: H264 support.
Next revision will probably support H264, or perhaps a new line of product from TVIX.

If apple Tv could read what this drive can do i would buy one.

Apple TV has probably the best integration :D

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