A long time since my last post. I was occupied traveling to India and having some arrangements done for my marriage. Well, here I’m back again waiting to write about my newly purchased Apple TV.
It is a great product provided you are ready to have it hacked(cracked) to playback XViD movies and have third-party applications installed. I used a neat installer called aTVFlash. It does come at a price, and must say it is a complete package bundled with everything you need. It makes running Google Earth possible, gives you bluetooth support, a media center application and ability to mount network shares.
I have a PC, dedicated for my downloads, and the AppleTV just plays on along pretty well. My dad has got used to XBMC, a media center application, and plays Hindi movies, and watches movie trailers without bothering me much.
Update (7 Jul, 2010): Having it for now almost 8 months, I haven’t been able to make Bluetooth work as yet, the built-in remote just works fine. Did I mention that you could also use any other remote to work with Apple TV. It has a learning system where it catches the infrared signals and stores them in its memory. Lucky for me, I use my home theatre’s remote which has multiple modes to operate.
One thing to keep in mind is that the AppleTV is an under-powered Mini. Which means playing 1080p movies is a partial fantasy. They do play, but since the processor is not able to deocde so much data on the fly, the frames skip and you have a crisp-clear movie with bouncing frames.
Even H264 and x264 encoded movies skip a lot of frames. aTVFlash comes with its own version of the codec which can be disabled or enabled. But on these codecs and resolution the Apple TV just canot cope up. The max resolution that I have been able to work with flawlessly is 720p with XViD encoding video and AC3 sound. Anything beyond this and you have a frame skipper.
Thing that work (after my aTVFlash):
- XViD @ 720p
- VNC Remote Control
- External USB Storage
- AC3 Passthrough
- iTunes Syncing/Sharing
- Stream from DVD
Things I could not make work:
I hope the documentation of aTVFlash becomes more extensive. Any case, kudos to the aTVFlash Team for their continued development on the product.