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Latest post 09-06-2008 5:05 PM by Sal. 13 replies.
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  • 09-03-2008 7:41 AM

    APPLE TV

     

    Following previous discussions in the forum I invested in Apple TV perhaps a month back. Great gadget and it strikes me probably one of the best front ends for stored multimedia content currently on the market.

    Initially I intended using this for music and spent a couple of exciting weeks ripping about 700 CD's onto the system. Who says accountants aren't exciting people ?

    All music was stored in Apple Lossless format.

    I have been thinking of also loading DVD's onto my network but haven't previously found a nice - and reasonably priced - front end to access the stored video files. The PC being used is windows based rather than an apple.

    Again the Apple TV struck me as a good option. I purchased Cucusoft Apple TV / DVD convertor and used this in conjunction with AnyDVD to remove copyprotection issues. At this point I should stress that all DVD's have been bought and the intention is to put them beside the CD's in my garage !

    The video quality on the conversions was however not great.

    I have now used Handbrake. This results in good picture quality but can take 3-4 hours to encode one DVD. At present I only have a handful of DVD's stored on the AppleTV.

    Has anybody found a better solution ?

    Also I now have a number of Bluray discs. Presupposing I get a bluray PC is there a way to convert these discs into Apple TV friendly files ?

    Final question relates to NAS drives. As an easy solution I went for the Apple Timemachine which in theory works seemlessly with AppleTV.

    This only appears to be accessible by the apple TV when the laptop - which stored data as an Itunes library -is switched on. Is this correct or should the Apple TV be able to access the drive content even when no computer is logged onto the network.

     

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  • 09-03-2008 10:41 AM In reply to

    • Michael
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    Re: APPLE TV

    Handbrake is the best solution that I have found.  It took alot of experimentation ( and a lot of internet misinformation about settings) to find a a combination of settings that met my expectations of quality and compatibility.  My encodes also take about 3-4 hours but I felt that was an acceptable tradeoff for the quality that I would get vs. the high speed encodes that produce mediocre results. 

    Unfortunately, the Apple TV requires a host to function properly.  Try watching a movie that is playing from the internal ATV hard drive and then quit iTunes on your laptop and see what happens.  That being said, you are much better off using a dedicated computer to manage ATV media if you want it to be a robust solution.  

    AFAIK there is no 'good' way to get Bluray content off the disk yet.

    -Michael

  • 09-03-2008 11:08 AM In reply to

    Re: APPLE TV

    I am using an older version of handbrake. One DVD with poor quality takes little less or more then 40 minutes. No 5.1 though, 1000 default rate.

     Quality is poor but file is around 1GB and I can watch the movies on my ipod as well.

     

    Cheers

    JK

    BS9000, BS2300, BC2, BL2500, BL3, Bl2, BS1, BV8, BC4, A8

  • 09-03-2008 11:21 AM In reply to

    Re: APPLE TV

    Re handbrake I have been using the Apple TV preset. It seems ok for picture quality. I wasn't a 100% sure whether it handled the surround sound on "King Kong" well when I tested it last night.

    The problem is that I have a BV 7-32 and since I am playing music it is connected to the Apple TV using L/R connections rather than digital. If I tried playing music through a digital connection the BV 7-32 would not recognise it.

  • 09-03-2008 1:23 PM In reply to

    Re: APPLE TV

    For the NAS question. I have this setup. The ATV needs to be paired with a computer running itunes. If Itunes can "see" a movie, it can allow the ATV to play it. So yes, Itunes needs to be running somewhere.

    There are a few hacks available that would allow the ATV to connect straight to the NAS and play the movie from there, but I havent played with that.

    BS9000, BS2300, BC2, BL2500, BL3, Bl2, BS1, BV8, BC4, A8

  • 09-03-2008 9:43 PM In reply to

    • BeoNut1
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    Re: APPLE TV

    Dear Gang,

    As some of you know, I'm an Apple whore.  I've been using the Apple TV as the sole input to my televisions for some time now as I feel it the ultimate digital media hub.  And, at the risk of starting a heated forum debate, I believe the Apple ecosystem (i.e. using the beautiful iTunes software to sort, store and buy media) is the best software solution in terms of "future-proof-ness".  With the time and effort put in to "importing" media files (particularly video media files), I thought long and hard before starting to encode my DVDs via Handbrake as I only want to go through this arduous process once.  The concept of a "light" hardware unit in the "front" having media "pushed" to it via a more "heavy" computer / server in the background is appealing.  I also like that people in white coats in Cupertino are constantly updating the software across all the aforementioned pieces of hardware to keep the experience easy and up-to-date (as opposed to people in Struer occasionally finding the time to update the media software - ONLY FOR WINDOWS MACHINES).

    I'm very happy having made this a decision to proceed with this solution.  A side benefit that I didn't consider much originally, but that has proven especially nice, are the economic benefits of making this transition.  I've gone from paying at least a few hundred dollars a month to several different companies (cable, telephone, internet, Netflix, etc.) to having fewer bills (one for my fiber internet connection, one for internet telephony, and one from Apple each time I purchase media) and lower costs.  Plus, when I purchase media, it's mine forever.

    That last point might not sound too pertinent, particularly with digital video media, as a common belief is that we want to own our music and "rent" or "subscribe" to all our video media.  In general, I think this statement is true, and I find myself renting rather purchasing most of the new movies on iTunes.  However, there's one advantage to "owning" the video content, too:  if you have more than one home, you can set up an Apple TV at any other location and enjoy all your video and music content (assuming you own it).  We have two vacation home, which may sound extravagant, but we actually own them with other couples.  At each of these locations, I plan on placing an Apple TV in the near future.  I'll either wait until the Apple TV gets more space (i.e. 1TB and above) or Apple allows for the use of an easily integrated media server (something that I believe is coming soon).  I'll thus have the majority of my media, which includes a lot of Disney and Pixar videos as I have small children, at these locales.

    With this concept in mind, I found it odd that some of you are suggesting that iTunes has to be running on a background computer for an Apple TV to truly function well.  I disagree with this assertion.  I find the Apple TV to function extremely well with the computers in the background (to which it's synching) shut "off".  Now, ideally, it's best to have internet connections to the Apple TV running, particularly when wanting to buy or rent new media or play back previously purchased media.  However, if you're using the Apple TV to simply play back stuff that you've "imported" from physical media, you don't need the internet connection (which is the beauty of using it in a vacation home as you don't have to pay a cable or internet bill to access your digital media library).

    You may argue that "protected" media purchased via the iTunes store can only be played with an internet connection.  I've only found this to be true the first time an individual "protected" file is played via an individual Apple TV.  Once you've at least initiated that, it even plays the protected files without an internet connection (i.e. it's the perfect stand-alone media solution for a second home IMHO).

    Beonut1 / Mark D

    P.S. As an aside, I want to repeat my previously mentioned belief that B&O would serve themselves well to stop putz-ing with digital media hub stuff (i.e. trying to design digital hub hardware and software), leave that part to Apple (remember: iTunes works with both Apple machines AND Windows machines!), and concentrating on building great end-experience technology like their beautiful self-amplified speakers and TV flat panels.

    Mark D
  • 09-03-2008 10:03 PM In reply to

    • Sal
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on 04-30-2007
    • Indianapolis, USA
    • Posts 261
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    Re: APPLE TV

    Although I don't own an ATV (yet)... I would suggest and wholeheartedly recommend Drobo for everyone who have large libraries of music and movies. Currently I use a Drobo to back up me and my wife's Macs (along with another external drive).

    I have been using Drobo for it's seamless and redundant storage, as well as it's expandability.

    Has anyone hacked their Apple TV to allow for connection of a USB external HD? if so, something like Drobo is perfect! Finally connecting a Drobo to your AEX basestation also serves the same purpose, the drobo can act as your time machine backup as well as media server (if you have two partitions).

    Back to B&O. I agree with Mark. Allow B&O to "partner" with Apple by staying out of Apple's way. I love B&O, but I seriously doubt that our friends in Denmark can corner the market on media services / servers / UI, than our friends in Cupertino.

    B&O has historically had little if any Mac support, and had to rely on external vendors (read: Anders with BM-Link) for Mac support. B&O can make great hardware and interfaces, but please allow Apple to be the "brains."

    Love B&O, but no longer addicted.
  • 09-04-2008 4:30 PM In reply to

    • expoman
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    Re: APPLE TV

    I just tried Handbrake on Casino Royal and the sound and the picture do not sync correctly?  Any ideas?  The picture quality seems acceptable on my Avant but not the sound.  I only have the Apple TV connected with right and left audio as the TV does not have extra speakers connected.
  • 09-04-2008 4:35 PM In reply to

    • Alex
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    • Joined on 04-16-2007
    • Bath & Cardiff, UK
    • Posts 2,990
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    Re: APPLE TV

    Not sure about Audio & Video syncing with Handbrake - I've never had any issues. Maybe try a different ripping preset?

    As far as the time it takes to rip a DVD goes, this is where it really helps to have the fastest computer possible. Something like the MacPro can rip a DVD in good quality in around an hour, wheras my MacBook Pro on the same preset can take up to six hours.

     Weekly top artists:                   

  • 09-04-2008 5:11 PM In reply to

    • BeoNut1
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on 08-19-2007
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    Re: APPLE TV

    Expoman,

    Two thoughts regarding your Handbrake experience with this particular movie:

    -there's an area in the Handbrake forums that shows DVDs that have trouble being burned on to your hard drive with Handbrake.  I seem to recall the newest James Bond movie as being one of those DVDs that has copyright protection (or whatever) in place that makes it not natively "burnable" via the Handbrake software.  Go check the forums to find out if this is true.  If so, you could consider trying Mac The Ripper software to get a copy of the DVD on your hard drive that you'd then encode using Handbrake.

    -if you're burning a DVD that's in Dolby Digital 5.1, make sure that you have the software correctly configured to allow for this (AAC & AC3?) as I've sometimes not allowed the sound info to go through the encode properly and subsequently ended up with an audio / video disconnect.

    I hope this helps.

    Mark 

    Mark D
  • 09-04-2008 9:46 PM In reply to

    Re: APPLE TV

    I think some movies have copy protection and I recall Casino as one of the tricky ones. But that aside since you ripped it, what you describe happens to me when I play the handbrake movies from my movie folder through front row and do not have them in my Itunes library (both will show up in Front Row). It also happened on the DVD player of a friend when we played a handbrake movie that we burned through it.

    You may want to rip the movie again, use the handbrake default settings. Maybe that helps.

     

    Cheers

    JK 

    BS9000, BS2300, BC2, BL2500, BL3, Bl2, BS1, BV8, BC4, A8

  • 09-06-2008 11:57 AM In reply to

    • expoman
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    Re: APPLE TV

    I moved the movie file from the movies section of my places into the movie folder inside of iTunes music and the sound now sync's perfectly.  

    Thanks for the tip.

  • 09-06-2008 12:07 PM In reply to

    Re: APPLE TV

    Another hint in regards to ripping DVDs with Handbrake. I've found that the encode time is significantly less if I copy the DVD to the computer first, and then point Handbrake to those files. Of course that takes time as well, but then I don't have to listen to the disc drive spinning for an hour while Handbrake does its thing.

    Chip 

  • 09-06-2008 5:05 PM In reply to

    • Sal
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on 04-30-2007
    • Indianapolis, USA
    • Posts 261
    • Bronze Member

    Re: APPLE TV

    That's a great tip, Chip... I think it's worth the initial "hassle"

    -Sal 

    Love B&O, but no longer addicted.
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