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2nd gen AppleTV owners - what's your opinion now that you've used it a while?
Posted by: olnacl
Date: February 19, 2011 11:44AM
Poll
What's your opinion as a user?
Only registered users are allowed to vote for this poll.
11 votes were received.
Love it 9
 
82%
Good but could be better - (Post the shortcomings) 1
 
9%
Only Fair (Tell me why, please) 1
 
9%
Wouldn't recommend it (Ditto) 0
 
0%
Sold it and bought something else (What?) 0
 
0%



I sold my 1st gen ATV and worked with Plex 9 for a while, then xbmc. Now I'm thinking of going back to an Apple TV but 2nd gen (I saw the post about refurbs). I have no need for music or playing anything other than movies and TV shows that I already have ripped as m4v files and a few full rips saved as either .dvdmedia files or VIDEO_TS. I have Netflix, Hulu, etc through my TiVos, TV and BD player, so internet streaming is a non issue.
While I liked the interface of Plex and to a lesser degree, xbmc, getting either of them to work as reliably as the ATV did has eluded me.
Presently I am playing the m4v files with Quicktime via my Mac Mini and the full rips using DVD Player but I miss the features of Plex, xmbc or the ATV. I'd consider the ATV the minimum interface having tried a WD whatever it's called and the Seagate media player (I gave both of those away after trying them - not interested in a DOS like interface - I can just use the Mini for that)
What is everybody else using for their media center? I want something that says "Wow" yet works reliably and doesn't take a computer science degree to keep working.
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Re: 2nd gen AppleTV owners - what's your opinion now that you've used it a while?
Posted by: Uncle Wig
Date: February 19, 2011 11:51AM
Funny timing - I just posted a question about the value of the 1st gen ATVA.

I just got a 2nd gen and I think it's a big improvement. Netflix is the biggest plus for me, of course. The remote is WAY better. I hated the old one. In general it seems more responsive and snappier.

Edit: I stuck with ATV instead of another device mainly because I want iPhoto and iTunes. Both work well but I really wish you could search iPhoto by keyword.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/19/2011 11:52AM by Uncle Wig.
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Re: 2nd gen AppleTV owners - what's your opinion now that you've used it a while?
Posted by: Seacrest
Date: February 19, 2011 12:10PM
I only bought mine for Netflix, and it works as expected.
My only complaint is that my DSL is awful, and getting awfuller.
I have considered switching to cable broadband, but that flies in the face of my reason for having Netflix in the first place.





I am not Ryan Seacrest, and I do not approve this message.
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Re: 2nd gen AppleTV owners - what's your opinion now that you've used it a while?
Posted by: Spock
Date: February 19, 2011 12:11PM
Very happy with my ATV.


Perhaps the 50 years of Playboy front covers and centerfolds that I use as a screensaver could have something to do with it. Awesome on a 50" plasma.



Comedy Central: Best news channel that isn't a news channel.

Fox News: Best comedy channel that isn't a comedy channel.
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Re: 2nd gen AppleTV owners - what's your opinion now that you've used it a while?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: February 19, 2011 12:13PM
I like my second-gen quite a lot but didn't vote---I think each person's expectations of what ATV is, and of what if "should" be vary so much as to make such a poll less than helpful.

And for what it's worth, you're not a candidate for one if you have VIDEO_TS folders /.dvdmedia or other MPEG2 videos to play. Or if you'd miss certain aspects of Plex or xmbc. You won't find one box to rule them all unless you don't need any of them to do much or very well, depending on what "it" is.

I have a first-gen as well and think I want to sell it, mostly because mine's flakey and requires reboots or "loses" the computer's iTunes whereas the new one doesn't. But ... I have to buy a new TV first for that second location, as the one connected to the 1st-gen ATV lacks HDMI.
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Re: 2nd gen AppleTV owners - what's your opinion now that you've used it a while?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: February 19, 2011 12:15PM
Quote
Seacrest
... I have considered switching to cable broadband, but that flies in the face of my reason for having Netflix in the first place.

How so? You'd then have enough bandwidth available for Netflix.
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Re: 2nd gen AppleTV owners - what's your opinion now that you've used it a while?
Posted by: Seacrest
Date: February 19, 2011 01:16PM
Quote
deckeda
Quote
Seacrest
... I have considered switching to cable broadband, but that flies in the face of my reason for having Netflix in the first place.

How so? You'd then have enough bandwidth available for Netflix.

But I'd also have "cable" bills, and probably cable TV.
The only reason I have Netflix is to have fodder for this big screen I never watch, without paying north of $100-$150/mo.

DSL [was] $20 plus $13 for Netflix.
Cable BB is generally 3x as much around here, but if you "bundle" it's nominally more, but you get TV, which I am content to live without.

My DSL seems to be an abberation, though.
Friends seem to have fine enough service with my same level.

Really, really slow speeds are intermittent with mine.

I have tried troubleshooting it with tech support, but that's too much hassle.
Now I just reconnect and then it works again.





I am not Ryan Seacrest, and I do not approve this message.
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Re: 2nd gen AppleTV owners - what's your opinion now that you've used it a while?
Posted by: Kramerica
Date: February 19, 2011 01:29PM
I like mine very much. The interface is a little more responsive, the remote is much nicer, and Netflix is great on it, if you use that. I do wish they would bring back the album art screensaver!
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Re: 2nd gen AppleTV owners - what's your opinion now that you've used it a while?
Posted by: flareslow
Date: February 19, 2011 01:36PM
This is related, because I would like to have an ATV too, but....

Back in January, we got several voicemails from our ISP, Charter, concerning some "security issues". I finally returned the call and the CSR had to look up the reference number from our voicemail. She came back finally and asked what we were doing on our internet, because in November we had used over 500GB of data download. My wife had discovered Netflix streaming and Hulu and CBS and ABC.com and all that HD content streaming added up in a hurry. The CSR stated maybe we should use SD settings instead of HD to lower the data rate requirements. 8GB/hr vs. 2 GB/hr. of content. We are on the $29.95 +$5.00 modem rent per month plan and she said our plan allows for only 100GB per month. I researched the online user agreement, and to get to 500GB per month, we would need a $99.95 per month plan. We don't get cable TV, we use the 26 ATSC channels available by antenna.

In closing, the CSR stated that if we cannot keep our usage down, they would have to disconnect our internet. I guess if that happens I will be going back to DSL from AT&T. The providers are fighting to increase revenue by any means possible, but I refuse to pay the exorbitant cable tv rates, especially with HD ATSC signals available, and will not go much higher on my internet bill. If I can't stream to an ATV, then it has little value to me. This throttling issue could affect more users of these devices as more ISP's adopt similar tactics.
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Re: 2nd gen AppleTV owners - what's your opinion now that you've used it a while?
Posted by: TheTominator
Date: February 19, 2011 01:53PM
Quote
flareslow
My wife had discovered Netflix streaming and Hulu and CBS and ABC.com and all that HD content streaming added up in a hurry. The CSR stated maybe we should use SD settings instead of HD to lower the data rate requirements. 8GB/hr vs. 2 GB/hr. of content.

I too am hovering over the "Add to Cart" button on the 2nd Gen ATV refurb.

On our smallish TV, we are perfectly happy watching the SD settings of streaming content and reducing bandwidth use for that one device in our household.

Is there a setting on the ATV to specify a lower bandwidth Netflix stream?
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Re: 2nd gen AppleTV owners - what's your opinion now that you've used it a while?
Posted by: DharmaDog
Date: February 19, 2011 02:52PM
I like mine a lot. But I see a lot more potential.

I'm eagerly waiting for apps on the ATV. I'd love to see ABC, PBS and NPR apps and the like. And I think it would be great for simple games like Angry Birds using the iPhone as the controller. Would also be good for educational apps. My kids and I love some of the iPhone/iPad educational apps and I think it would be nice to see some on the ATV as well.

We'll see what the future holds, but I'm pretty happy as is.
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Re: 2nd gen AppleTV owners - what's your opinion now that you've used it a while?
Posted by: Seacrest
Date: February 19, 2011 04:08PM
Netflix automatically adjusts your stream's resolution based on your connection's speed at the time.





I am not Ryan Seacrest, and I do not approve this message.
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Re: 2nd gen AppleTV owners - what's your opinion now that you've used it a while?
Posted by: olnacl
Date: February 19, 2011 04:12PM
I'm running Boxee for Mac on my Mini as we speak, and so far it seems good. Of course I said that about Plex, but I was mesmerized by the graphics, I guess, and when it came down to doing the actual setup I found it lacking. While Boxee doesn't have the flash that Plex has, I found it very intuitive to set up and it displays the couple thousand m4v files I have on my RAID 5 external.

One issue is that it seems to have a problem with VIDEO_TS folders - crashed immediately and suggests a reinstall, but plays .dvdmedia files fine, without a reinstall. For the nonce, it's better than Quicktime/DVD Player so I'll give it a good shakedown. Comments welcomed.
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Re: 2nd gen AppleTV owners - what's your opinion now that you've used it a while?
Posted by: sekker
Date: February 19, 2011 04:30PM
I'm happy with our ATV2. My wife added two more to the house because she really loves it.

Ever since we used the learn remote function, it's super easy to use..
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Re: 2nd gen AppleTV owners - what's your opinion now that you've used it a while?
Posted by: Fritz
Date: February 19, 2011 08:20PM
I wish it could remote the whole Mac or at least Safari and email.
Haven't tried NetFlix yet.
So far really just remote iTunes, music, old films, radio.
Wish it would at least start iTunes on it's own, though I use my iPhone and RowMote for that kind of thing and to shut down at night.
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Re: 2nd gen AppleTV owners - what's your opinion now that you've used it a while?
Posted by: Rolando
Date: February 20, 2011 01:11PM
Quote
DharmaDog
I'm eagerly waiting for apps on the ATV. I'd love to see ABC, PBS and NPR apps and the like. And I think it would be great for simple games like Angry Birds using the iPhone as the controller. Would also be good for educational apps. My kids and I love some of the iPhone/iPad educational apps and I think it would be nice to see some on the ATV as well.

If there was a hack that would make the ATV another IOS device (add a trackpad and make your TV a iOS screen) With full function of course!
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