back to article Apple TV goes to the movies

Sure, Apple TV is pretty close to useless if you wanna watch stuff on your television. But it's a godsend to at least one independent filmmaker. This weekend, at a neighborhood movie theater in Brooklyn, New York, an Apple TV made its way into the projection booth, streaming a high-def digital flick onto the big screen. And …


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  1. Webster Phreaky
    Jobs Horns

    Face It, Apple TV is another FLOP like Newton, Cube and iPhone

    NO ONE is buying Apple TV's, BestBuy even STOPPED inventorying them for store shelves. NO ONE is writing any 3rd party software for it and I don't know a single person that has ever bought one.

    Face Apple Kool Aid Drinkers, this is a MEGA FLOP!

    It wasn't even a First! It's an Apple iNOvation! I have had a D-Link High Resolution 1080 HD model 802.11g Media Lounge for 18 MONTHS before Apple even showed the Apple TV! It does everything that the Ape TV does and a LOT MORE! It links to D-Links network home Network Drives ... does Apple TV? NOT!

    Make room on that dusty flop shelf at Apple, right next to all the others.... here comes Apple TV.

  2. Jim
    Dead Vulture

    Why is it...

    That the Phreakster always seems to be the first to comment on a Cade Metz story? Maybe it's because of the author's propensity to submit late and this coincides with this particular commentator's Reg habit? Nah! Why waste a good conspiracy theory.

    Dontcha just find yourself feeling sorry for someone so filled with hate (or just hopelessly deranged)?

  3. t3h
    Jobs Halo

    ... and we get called fanboys?

    >NO ONE is writing any 3rd party software for it

    Perhaps because it doesn't support third party software.

    >and I don't know a single person that has ever bought one.

    Would you? Considering you're a mindless hater, you wouldn't be friends with anyone who owned anything Apple, because that's all that matters to you.

    And what makes you think the iPhone is a flop? The sales figures are nothing short of amazing. They sold more in the opening weekend than Palm sells Treos in an entire year.

    You are right however that the flop shelf is dusty. It doesn't see much usage :)

    It's always fun when the Apple haters accuse us of all being mindless koolaid-drinking fanboys, and we get posts like this.

    Oh, and fix your caps lock key.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    netgear sucks balls

    i know various people that own an apple tv including myself and we all use it to play our torrent movies, have checked out the d-link media lounge but like all netgear products the software and interface sucks balls,

    netgear still has a lot to learn.

  5. Ian

    Apple TV is great for !TV, though

    I played with a couple of Netgear MP3-by-802.11 boxes, and bought an MP101. Aside from only supporting WEP, hence killing it when I went WPA2 at home, it relied on the server being up, fast and lightly loaded and had the user interface from hell. The Apple TV caches all ~50G of my music and all ~20G of my photographs, drives the cheap-o Dell 1280x768 LCD TV I've got at essentially its native resolution via an HDMI-DVI cable and sounds as good as it's going to get because I can take the TOSLink into the Hi-Fi. Hopefully it's a bridgehead for video rental, but for me it's earning it's corn as an up-market iPod. Yes, I could have plugged an iPod in, but I can't get digital out of it (I don't think) and the interface is much nicer using the TV.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Not a flame...

    ...but wtf is that box? What is 'Apple TV'? Yeah Im about to google but I know you guys give much better feedback :)

  7. Rob Crawford

    Here I am for once

    about to say I'm glad that an apple product is associated with something more useful than looking nice and paying for misleading advertising campaigns and what comments do I find pointless hatred and fan boys :(

    I'm just glad that there are independant film makers out there doing their thing.

    D-link & Netgear enough said for their teabagging abilities

  8. Paul van der Lingen

    Oh, good ol' phreaky

    Haven't heard from you for a while there Webster - you been holed up at evangelical school doing a firearms course in case you come across any apple totting homosexuals? (or democrats, the same thing, of course).

  9. Stuart Van Onselen

    Save my sanity

    In order to preserve my tenuous grasp on sanity when surfing the 'net, I invoke various defense mechanisms.

    For example, when characters like Phreaky appear, I convince myself that they can't possible *mean* what they're saying. No-one could be that retarded and still be able to *breathe*, let alone work a keyboard.

    Actually, it doesn't take much to convince me that W.P. is simply a troll, and not a very good one, at that. I would say "Don't feed the troll" but then I'd be a hypocrite, now wouldn't I? :-)

    And I just *love* Jim's implication. Grand Conspiracy theories are boring, but Petty Conspiracy innuendos can be very funny.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle



    T3h is right. All the haters should leave Britn^H^H^H^H^H Apple alone.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @netgear sucks balls

    You can play DivX on the Apple TV? How?

  12. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Oh my goodness !

    Almost 300GB for a film ?!? Wow ! Is this a special case, or do all HD films reach that size ?

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Apple TV owner here

    Yes, out of the box the AppleTV is only good for streaming/syncing music from iTunes and any flicks in iTunes. However, after a hack you can have it playing DivX files and plugins like Sapphire are the best I've seen on any platform for organising content such as tv episodes.

    I now have taken my MacMini out of the living room where it was connected to the TV and replaced it with the Apple TV and done the same in my bedroom. Meanwhile the MacMini lives in the study happily serving up content.

  14. Ascylto

    Why is it...

    Cade Metz ... IS ... Webster Phreaky!

  15. Tim

    Nothing to do with Apple TV

    But that's my old local cinema. I used to live round the corner and I miss the neighbourhood and that place. It's a lovely, friendly, small place that shows mainstream movies and independents in equal measure.

    Mind you I did once see a girl riding around on a Segway shortly before I left so maybe the place has gone downhill.

  16. Martin Saunders

    Apple TV isn't perfect, but my wife can use it

    I got a fairly stern look from my better half when I bought an Apple TV, as she was expecting it to be another bit of AV kit in our house she doesn't like to use.

    ..and for the first time I can remember she proved herself wrong. It works.

    ..OK it is annoying that it won't as standard play anything but H.264 in an .mp4 wrapper, but I now export everything we record in EyeTV on the media mac-mini downstairs into iTunes which automagically shoves it on the AppleTV upstairs. No issues with poor wifi performance or busy NAS devices, it just works.

    Like all things, it's not everyone's cup of tea, but this has nothing to do with being made by Apple and everything to do with a bit of technology that works.

  17. Marvin the Martian
    Thumb Up

    Phreaky Thursday

    I for one love semantic innovation, so

    <Face Apple Kool Aid Drinker>

    is this week's favourite comment/ Engrish/ Web2.07/ insult. Big userage it will gonna get!

  18. Anonymous Coward

    i hope the AppleTV flops...

    ...because then i'll be able to pick one up dirt cheap, hack the beastie and have a really portable multimedia PC for next to nothing.

    bring on the flop!

    'webster phreaky'. that name is the funniest. well done, chump.

  19. Thomas

    The AppleTV is a sales disappointment...

    ... but probably not a flop. But doesn't the existence of Apple flops such as the Cube prove that many people who buy Apple products are actually interested in products, not branding?

    Just one other comment on the article:

    "Apple's Apple-centric H.264 video format"

    Is the author aware that H.264 wasn't invented by Apple and is used by both Blu-ray and HDDVD discs? That doesn't sound very Apple-centric to me.

  20. Stewart Knight


    I can't believe that El Reg is now displaying Spam advertising from Apple, and dressing it up as news!

    I feel cheated and exploited.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    'And what makes you think the iPhone is a flop? The sales figures are nothing short of amazing'

    Most sales have been in the US because the Americans all go wooo something shiny and fall for all they hype. Americans always go silly for something that is hyped beyond belief. It doesn't have to be any good, they just need to be made to believe it is. Meanwhile, in the UK the shops have been all but deserted and while Apple have shipped 100,000 to stores, most of them are still sat there. It looks like this is going to be the case across the rest of Europe too. Meanwhile the N95 has sold more in the same period of time, and is barely available in the US. It hasn't had all the hype, no huge launch parties, no £10,000,000 advertising budget. When Apple can shift something in those quantities without having to appeal to those who follow the hype, then I will think it has been a success. Until then, I am quite happy for the Apple and fashion sheeple to have their expensive, shiny but very underwhelming toys while the rest of us spend our hard earned money on something far superior and laugh at those who think shiny and high priced=good.

    As for Apple TV - Only streams iTunes and YouTube content; current crop of iTunes movies and TV shows look much worse on a big-screen TV; very limited HD content on iTunes Store; no support for surround sound audio tracks; can't connect to older non-wide-screen TVs; oversimplified remote can't control other devices; no ability to purchase iTunes Store content directly through Apple TV; no A/V cables included; no Internet radio support.

    Apple TV - Yet another shiny Apple product that fails to deliver but will be defended to the hilt by the Church of Jobs

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Flame on!

    Haven't any of you realised?

    Cade Metz = Webster Phreaky = Paris Hilton = Britney Spears.

    BTW, if I mention Fedora 8, will I get flamed?

  23. SImon Hobson Bronze badge

    @ Pascal Monett

    Yes, HD films in the raw uncompressed form are huge - actually 300G isn't that big. They are kept in uncompressed form during editing to avoid the loss in quality that would be caused by repeated compression and decompression, and only compressed at the end to fit on whatever media they are going out on.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Apple Centric H.264??? What the F***

    How is H.264 aka AVC aka MPEG4 part 10 Apple centric?

    Its the codec used for Blu-ray, HD-DVD, European HD broadcasting on satelite, cable and terrestrial, HD consumer camcorders, PS3, PSP and probably Xbox 360. Its also included in the recent Flash platforms and there are many other uses which I haven't mentioned. It also happens to play on Apple products including the Ipod.

    Its about as industrial standard as you can get. Its not completely free as there is a patent license managed by the MPEG-LA but it is an open standard and not particularly Apple centric.

    Who do you get your information from; Paris Hilton?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    I love my Apple TVs

    I simply can't udnerstand what everyone hates so much about Apple TV. It streams my 1.5 Tb collection of videos and 250 Gb of music perfectly. I was so impressed I bought a second one for the kitchen and that work flawlessly over 11n wifi. I use one or other every single day, it's by far the most used gadget in the house now. Everyone I show it to loves it. In contrast I bought an Elgato media streamer and it was hard to set up, hard to connect and extremely flaky. I really wonder whether any Apple TV haters have ever actually used one?

  26. DrXym

    Apple TV is such a flawed concept no wonder it flopped

    Apple are usually known for their user friendly designs but the Apple TV has a fundamentally broken design. What genius in Apple thought it would be a great idea to produce a device that *requires* owners to first download a movie to a PC, and then download content from the PC to the Apple TV in order to watch it? Contrary to what some manufacturers think, not everyone is going to want to have a PC turned on in another room and networked in order to make the device beside the TV be able to work. Talk about stupid design. On top of that, the device is a terrible player, doesn't play DVDs and barely qualifies as "high definition".

    It is basically a dumb terminal to iTunes running on a PC somewhere. It's a complete waste of money, cumbersome and not even good value.

    An XBox 360 or PS3 cost $50-100 more and both are far, far more capable multimedia devices than the Apple TV. Oh and they play games. The 360 also allows users to rent movies and the PS3 will even be getting DivX and DVB-T PVR functionality. If you absolutely must stream content they both do that too.

    The only way Apple can salvage the pigs ear that Apple TV has become is to merge the MacMini and Apple TV into a single device. i.e. make the next Mac Mini sport an HDMI output so that it is both the set top box and the computer all in one. Even so I don't see the value when both consoles will still come in at a cheaper price.

    Still, Apple have been known to turn things around on hype and shiny before so who knows? Some people like the Mac Mini despite its high price (in relation to its performance) so a new model could be popular, especially if it contains a blu-ray drive. Its really the only chance they have of making an impact because the gen 1 device is a piece of crap.

  27. Harris Upham

    getting away with what?

    Doing post on an HD feature right now, and I'm surprised to hear that this actually worked out. I'd think that the H.264 playback would be way too chunky for a big screen blowup. At least, I know I would personally hate the experience, getting distracted by video artifacts all evening...

    We've been recording and editing in the pana dvcprohd format with some encoder tweaks to substantially reduce our storage bandwidth, and we maintain excellent image quality throughout.

    It's still interesting to learn that we might not need to go to all that bother...

    appletv may have a lot of terrible shortcomings as a home media appliance, but it does seem to be the one file playback device any cinema house can actually afford to standardize on- and we never had that before.

  28. Mike Moyle

    Re: Phreaky Webster

    I had no intention of buying an AppleTV - not my thing, really - but after reading Webster's screed, I'm tempted to go out and buy one. Anyone who can be so wrong about so many things deserves to know that his voice has been heard.

    BTW, Web-: Whatever its failings, and it has some, the big Newton screen is STILL the easiest PDA screen for these 50-year-old legally-blind/nearsighted (and now getting farsighted, too, dammit) eyes to read when taking notes at a staff meeting.

    I'm not insisting that what works well for me must work well for you, or that you're deluded because what works for ytou doesn't work for me - how about growing up and doing the same...?

  29. Anonymous Coward

    @ Webster

    Hey man, long time no see? What've you been up to? Ran out of places to hide the bodies so it's back to trolling? Either way, keep up the good work, your flames bring a smile to my face!

  30. Shun Fukuda

    Enough with the pro/anti Apple stuff already

    OK, you either love or hate Apple. We understand. Did anyone get the subtext? I'll spell it out for you: This is the future of film-making.

    If the pirates win, and Hollywood crumbles, and the oceans reclaim the coasts, this is what we will be left with: independent film-makers walking from theatre to theatre, showing their films, asking, "So, what did you think?", collecting a little charity, and on to the next theatre. It's going to be like a punk band, only a little more sedate.

    Whether it's Apple TV, or a kludged together Kubuntu box, or a custom system built with solder and bailing wire, films are not going to be created by these mega corporations, sold to huge distribution companies, etc. They'll be made by small shops, sold discretely, if at all, and "toured" around.

    You say, "Never...Hollywood will never go away." I believe that like I believe "The Sun Never Sets on the British Empire" (Ooh...that smarts, doesn't it?) I know. I'm hitting below the belt. Face it. Everything has a shelf life. The center cannot hold. It is already crumbling.

    I don't care who provides me with the hardware. This particular film-maker solved his particular problem in his own way. That's what like. That, and he didn't whine about it to anyone in IT.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NOT a mega flop

    while the other items you mentioned were flops, AppleTV was a minimal investment ...

    Qt? Already done.

    ITunes. Already done.

    ITnes store. Already done.

    wifi - cheap chip.

    OSX - already got.

    hardware form - it's a shorter mini.

    How much could they have spent building this thing? A few million in R&D? The rest is off the shelf parts. No special chips, no special molds ...

    It's not a huge seller, sure but it's like adding MINT to the line - if it works great, if not - no biggie.

  32. Nexox Enigma

    720p on a Big Screen?

    God I hope that screen wasn't too huge. I have a 100 inch screen with a 720p projector connected to my computer via HDMI, and even the highest quality 720p videos that I can find end up with disturbingly large pixels. Maybe I'm just overly picky, or maybe I sit too close, but I can't imagine 720p looking too great at all on a 20-30 foot wide screen.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Re: t3e


    did you write that on an iPhone or iPod Touch?

    cause they both seem unable to start a new sentence or line without insisting on caps. like they don't let you copy & paste. and they get REALLY slow when you write more than a couple paragraphs of text. and if you hit delete when it's running slow, it deletes half of what you've written because the key buffer is faster than the screen response...

    21st Century my tits.

  34. Matthew Johns
    Jobs Halo

    Apple TV is just an iPod

    You could have an ipod or Zen and a pile of cables and adaptors to do this job. However the Apple TV does it and has a load of outputs.

    It's simply an ipod for people with a static screen and is therefore useful for this moviemaker, or for attaching to an in-car screen. It's just a hobby for apple.

    There's little chance of it becoming a mainstream thing unless a miracle occurs and they add a DVD Rip programme to itunes or PVR functionality to the AppleTV.

  35. McDave

    Apple TV getting better by staying the same

    AppleTV was a ccused of being a flop because TV & Film pilferers did so in MPEG-4/ASP (XviD et al). Now they do it in MPEG-4/AVC (H.264) many of the 720p downloads work directly & gorgeously.

    AppleTV was way ahead of it's time & now the world's catching up it better than ever!


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