Apple TV - yum

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Jon
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Apple TV - yum

http://anandtech.com/mac/showdoc.aspx?i=2951
http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/03/24/1721233
http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=2391956

Apple TV actually shows potential for hacking. While I like the size, I do think it could use a tad more expansion - Hahaha... $299 for a 1GHz machine with 40GB and 256MB, and a nVidia GeForce Go 7300 w/ 64MB VRAM? Heck, that'd make a keen Linux machine. Even if ti was a hacked OS X on it, it'd be great. Smaller than a mini (and slower) but it'd be even easier to put out of the way, and quieter. It'd be a nice couch surfing machine and media player. Now if we can get an HDMI to DVI/VGA working and keyboard/mouse support...

Jon
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And of course [url]http://www

And of course http://www.appletvhacks.net/.

EDIT: and also http://wiki.awkwardtv.org, via http://www.statusq.org/, which is a good blog to read too.

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I checked one out at the Appl

I checked one out at the Apple Store today, they seem pretty cool. I was surprised at how responsive the menus are -- I thought there'd be a little lag, but they're quite snappy.

The problem I noticed is that video files look like crap on the thing. Probably because they had the Apple TV hooked up to a 720p Sony LCD TV, and the video files are 480p at best. For the Apple TV to be truly phenomenal, they need to release HD content in the iTS.

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According to a MacWorld article. . . .

. . . iTV can only (currently) output to 720p resolution. Supposedly it has the capability to be software upgraded, but I don't know if that includes upgrading the resolution.

I'm not sure about the marketing of this device. The MacWorld articles are worth perusing, as they have a unit and are testing it out and reporting on their findings. Also, regarding the downloading of HD video from the iTunes Store. . . I think that you could probably walk to store (that has the movie that you want on BluRay), walk home, watch the movie, and return it (if it were a rental for example), and walk home, all before the download was complete over a DSL or similar rated line.

I hear that some folks with HDTV's are eliminating their cable and satellite subscriptions. They are using this strange technology called an "antenna" to get their digital signals for something called "free".

I'm holding off on the purchase of a new mac until the write-able BluRay drives ship with them. I think that a first or second generation BluRay drive equipped PowerMac will make a truly fine basis for a digital entertainment center. C'mon Sony . . . or better yet Pioneer . . . git your drive shipments over to the Apple assembly plant.

Mutant_Pie

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Re: According to a MacWorld article. . . .

mutant_pie wrote:
. . . iTV can only (currently) output to 720p resolution. Supposedly it has the capability to be software upgraded, but I don't know if that includes upgrading the resolution.
Mutant_Pie

It'll do 1080i too. But not 1080p.

Those people who are canceling their cable subscriptions aren't doing it simply because OTA is free, it's because the only stuff they watch is on the broadcast networks, and don't feel the need to keep paying for something they don't use.

And as for Blu-ray drives in Macs, while Apple is on the BD board, I don't think they're stupid enough to start pushing it before the format war is over.

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Resolution clarification(?)

Dr. Webster, can you clarify this statement from the MacWorld site?

"Apple TV can decode up to a 720p signal and it can output up to 1080i. You may have trouble finding 720p content to display, though. The iTunes Store doesn’t sell it."

It may "output up to 1080i" but if the decoded resolution is 720p, then you would be getting a max resolution of 720p . . . yes/no?

Mutant_Pie

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That "can decode up to 720p"

That "can decode up to 720p" means that its CPU is only fast enough to handle 720p resolution video files. Its graphics chip, however, can push pixels at 1080i. TVs that support 1080i can display 720p content, but it doesn't look quite as good as 1080i content, because 720p scaled to 1080i causes a loss of definition.

In short, if you match your TV's native resolution to the Apple TV output, the menus and photos will look crisp. But 720p content will only looks its best on a 720p TV (which is the most common resolution for HDTVs).

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iTV purchased/transfered video=720p max

Thanks for the clarification Dr. W. Since iTV can only throughput 720p video (i.e. purchased, imported, etc.), although it can generate a video signal of it's own graphics at 1080i, it essentially has a max resolution of 720p.

What CPU does it use? Do you think that there will be a better/faster (CPU) version in the future?

I'm still trying to figure out the market niche/function for this product. It seems like several steps backwards from the best of what's available, image quality wise.

Mutant_Pie

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In the Anandtech link I poste

In the Anandtech link I posted, and my own writing in the OP, it's an Intel 1GHz CPU most likely. Along with a decent nVidia GeForce Go 7300. That means it includes PureVideo which has:

Quote:
* Dedicated video processing core provides astonishingly fluid high-definition video on your PC without stutter or skips.
* Programmable video processor accelerates H.264, WMV, and MPEG-2 high-definition movies.
* Discrete video processing core offloads the CPU and 3D engine of complex video tasks, freeing the PC to run multiple applications simultaneously, while consuming less power.

Which means that the dedicated GPU and it's 64MB of dedicated GDDR3 VRAM can do a lot of teh HD decoding on it's own, as long as the CPU can pull it from the HD as drop it into RAM fast enough. 1GHz is plenty for that.

Heck, the Go 7300 is Vista ready...

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