Tag Archives: appletv

Giveaway of an Apple TV


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Streaming content into your home is more than just some passing fad. Thousands of people have already “cut the cable cord” in favor of set-top boxes such as the Apple TV. Using a device like this gives you more control over the content you are watching. It’s also cost effective – it will cost far less than traditional cable or satellite programming. The Apple TV is a fantastic device – and this one could be yours.

This tiny little black box (it’s just under 4″ square, sits about an inch high off the table and weighs just .6 ounces!) packs a lot of punch. Inside, you’ll find the A4 CPU, the same chip that powers the iPhone 4, iPad, and iPod touch. There’s a built-in 6-watt universal power supply and several ports: HDMI2, Optical Audio, Ethernet, IR receiver and a Micro-USB slot that Apple claims is for service and support.

It supports a slew of different formats. For video, you have:

  • H.264 video up to 720p, 30 frames per second, Main Profile level 3.1 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats.
  • MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats.
  • Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format.

Audio files supported include HE-AAC (V1), AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV; Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound pass-through. And for photos, you can browse anything ending with .JPEG, .GIF and .TIFF.

So what can you DO with an Apple TV? I’m so glad you asked! Turn your TV into an HD photo album. Listen to your extensive music collection. Browse and play YouTube videos, watch your favorite HD podcasts, and listen to Internet radio through your home entertainment speakers. Watch Netflix movies and television on the device in HD and with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound when available. Rent your favorite TV shows on the spot, commercial free and in HD for just 99ยข per episode as soon as the day after they are aired. And of course, with the Apple TV, you get instant access to all of the best movies – usually the same day they are released to DVD.

Are you drooling yet? Are you ready to win?! Anyone in the United States is eligible to enter. I apologize to those of you in other countries. International laws and restrictions prohibit us from running contests worldwide.

Jump over to your Twitter account and make sure you are following the Lockergnome account as well as the one for the Frugal Geek. Once you’re following both of us, send out a Tweet stating the following: LockerGnome is Giving Away an Apple TV http://bit.ly/fcyJRE @LockerGnome @FrugalGeek. The giveaway is open from now until April 15th. One winner will be chosen at random who meets all qualifications laid out in this paragraph.

Are you using a set-top box? Which one do you prefer – and why?

Am I the Only One Who Doesn’t Feel Like They are Missing Out on Anything by Not Owning an Apple TV? They are not that Interesting!

I recently wrote a blog post talking about the Apple TV. I just don’t get what all the fuss is about. There are very few updates, and virtually no awesome features. There’s no WOW factor involved. I had to get some other opinions on this matter. It’s not just me… right? What do you think… love it or hate it? Take it or leave it? Buy it or skip it?

some people buy it to put boxee on it. – Alfredo

nope, you’re not. – Carlos Ayala

I have no need for it. – Rochelle

I want an AppleTV and YES I would definitely put Boxee on it asap – Susan Beebe

I’m waiting for Boxee for windows – Chacha102

I have a mac mini connected to the tv. I dont see the need for an Apple tv as well. – Simon Wicks

I’ve never understood the need for the AppleTV, although it might be interesting for the Hackability Factor(TM). – Tyson Key

I don’t know it’s full potential yet. – Josh Haley

Is it 1080p yet? If not, wake me when it is. I’d prefer a Mac Mini or the similar Dell for doing this though. – Alex Scoble

@simon I never thought of plugging my minimac to my tv set, good stuff – xavier vespa

not the only one. – .LAG

Nope, Apple TV is still max 720…extremely uber lame. No thanks. – Alex Scoble

@xavier – DVI – HDMI cable, and you get HD video, just need a second cable for the audio. Works a treat, got one off the refurb store just to do this with. – Simon Wicks

I don’t have an Apple TV, whatever that is. – Morton Fox

Morton, it’s Apple’s weaksauce attempt at a DVR. – Alex Scoble

Haha. Don’t buy it! – "Joefy"

@simon thanks! – xavier vespa

I didn’t find Boxee that interesting. AppleTV would be much more interesting if paired with a DVR (with CableCard or satellite decoder) and analog inputs. Until then (yeah I know it will never happen), I’ll stick to a full-fledged Mac. – Logical Extremes

I love my Apple TV. You need to own one to see why they are handy. I own two, in addition to two TiVos, a Media Center PC with 4 CableCARD tuners, etc. Apple TV fits right in, and is great at what it does. – Andru Edwards

What are the Implications of using Video Services?

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How do you guys out there watch tv these days? Do you still watch it on an actual television set? Do you watch it through the Internet? More to the point… how do you watch video? I have a question here that was sent to me in an email. That’s why I’m bringing this up. “What is the social and political impact of services such as iTunes and Adobe Media Player?”

Up until recently, we didn’t have much of a choice as to how we watch our content. There’s really no choice for a lot of the programming out there now, with a television. Then again, with content that comes through something like iTunes or Adobe Media Player, is much broader. These ideas are changing the way we access content, and the way those content services exist now and into the future.

Comcast has a service that we love, called “On Demand”. We like being able to watch movies together. So, we’ll pay a small amount of money to rent the movie. With a service like AppleTV, we could download that same movie a bit cheaper. We could also use the video content services on our Xbox 360. So which one do we use to watch that one piece of media? You might argue that you could just use a DVR. But have you ever tried to use a DVR that was designed by someone other than the person who is trying to control the entire experience? It’s a painful experience, to say the least.

We have a choice. Does it matter how we get to our content and information. There’s a huge debate about the value of a connection point. I would hope that in the future, I have the opportunity to just go between any device I choose. Imagine having competing services in the home. Why does it matter which provider I have to use? I should be the one in control… not the big companies. Period. End of story.

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AppleTV

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With all the chatter about the AppleTV, it’s interesting to hear someone’s opinions on why you should NOT rush out to buy one. Dubfrog from our Live Community sent in this Top Five list of reasons not to buy AppleTV. What IS AppleTV, you ask? Apple TV lets you rent movies, buy TV shows and music, and view your .Mac and Flickr photos from the best seat in the house… yours.

  • You have a fifth-generation iPod with video and a $20 bill in your pocket. If you have a full-sized iPod with a video screen, you’re in luck: a lot of AppleTVs functionality is already sitting inside your iPod. It’s waiting to be used with literally any TV you own. All you need is a $15-20 iPod AV Cable from one of more than ten vendors, and you can play music, photos, and videos directly from your iPod, with up to 80 Gigs of storage space. Counterpoint: You’ll have to give up AppleTVs on-TV menuing and use the iPod’s screen to select content.
  • You don’t have a high-definition TV, or don’t use one as your primary set. Apple mandates that you have a widescreen television capable of at least 480P resolution, which means that you’ll almost certainly need to have a high-definition set in order to even use AppleTV. If you don’t have one of these TVs, or don’t keep it in a room where you most often watch videos, AppleTV might not be right for you.
  • You have a large movie collection that isn’t in one of AppleTVs two supported formats. For years, video files have been popularized in all sorts of file formats – DiVX, MPEG-2, WMV, and various types of AVIs. AppleTV won’t play most of them, and it won’t play your DVDs, either. Assuming you live in a country where DVD ripping is legal – take one step back, American readers – you’ll most likely need to use special conversion tools and spend a couple of hours per DVD you want to convert into an AppleTV-optimized file. Do you really want to invest that time in this format? Counterpoint: The latest AppleTV variant on Apple’s H.264 video format offers nice, high resolutions, so maybe it’s the right time to start converting your movies – unless you need 5.1-channel surround sound.
  • You’re budgeting for another Apple purchase, like a Mac mini. With the $499 iPhone, new iPods, and full-fledged computers like the $599 Mac mini out there… you have plenty of other ways to spend your cash on Apple products. Many readers think the similarly wireless-ready, more powerful Mac mini offers a much better value for home AV users – it certainly offers more hard drive space and the ability to play back any video you may have, including digital files in any format. Counterpoint: Unless you’re planning to buy a 30GB iPod, nothing Apple’s releasing is going to be much less than a $299 AppleTV, and you’ll have to shell out a lot more for one of those fancy Mac minis.
  • You want to hold out for a version with higher resolution or more hard disk space. If it’s a good Apple product, the company always releases a better one later… and if it’s a bad product, it quietly disappears from store shelves. Even if you don’t like the current AppleTV, you’ll have to concede that an updated version is likely to eventually follow, with enough horsepower to support even better video quality, and/or store more content. As nice as the first-generation iPod was, most people would laugh at paying $399 today for its 5GB disk drive. Counterpoint: Apple could update some of Apple TV’s features in firmware, or release inexpensive add-ons to enhance its capabilities. Who’d be laughing then?

Hi Chris, I’ve been subscribed to your Youtube channel for a few months, and had just watched your AppleTV video. You brought up watching Youtube videos on the AppleTV, and how Ponzi would rather watch the videos on her TV. The Wii’s Opera browser actually works very well with Youtube videos, so you could watch full-screen videos on your TV without buying a fancy apple product. It may be just a web browser, but a few people overlook their ability to watch videos from the internet on a screen bigger than their monitor.

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