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SoCoder -> Blogs Home -> Blogs

Created : 08 May 2013
System : Android


To say I was marginally disappointed by the features of an X360 is an understatement.
As a basic example, to use YouTube, (in a shit substandard style with a crap controller which has a n insanely shit Dpad) you need to pay for an Xbox Live Gold account.
To use the Internet Explorer (again, with the crappy controller setup) you also need an Xbox Live Gold account..

Essentially, in order to do things which are free, and good, everywhere else, you need to pay.. To have a shit experience..


... So. I thought about it for the past week or so. I mulled it over.
And I eventually decided that, rather than pay for a substandard shitty experience, I might as well pay for a good one!

So I bought an Apple TV.

And what a lovely little device it is!

Here's my experience, so far.

1. Connect.
HDMI cable goes in, plug goes in, Ethernet goes in.
(Note, no HDMI cale is supplied.. Had to get one separately)

2. Connect.
Having to type in my Apple Login details with just a tiny remote wasn't a great experience, but hopefully it only needs doing the once!

3. Update
An update was available, so had to wait about 20 minutes for that.. Hmmm..

4. iTunes
All my iTunes purchases are "in the cloud",so ready to play was my Pulp archive, along with the odd two or three silly bits of music that came with that 12 Days of Xmas app.
Also, all the free TV shows, that also came with the Xmas app are also available, including a nice big high quality streaming episode of Sherlock! Mmmm... Luvly stuff!!
You can buy TV shows and Rent Movies straight from the box, but I'm too cheap to do that!

5. iPhoto Stream
I'd kinda forgotten about Photo Stream! I'm so used to using it, now, that I kinda forget it's there..
It's there, and it's here, too!
All my photos lovingly collected in the right places, and all big and juicy on my nice new telly!!

6. Radio
Not entirely sure where it plucks the stations from, seems to be a Shoutcast directory, or something, but there's a TON of streaming radio on the thing. That's nice

7. YouTube/Netflix/otherwise
Hmmm.. Trying to navigate YouTube with a piddly tiny remote isn't much fun, so forget that, it's time to dig out the iPad and see how easy it is to connect...

8. BBC iPlayer
I decided to start with Doctor Who.
I opened iPlayer app on the iPad, and clicked this week's eppy.
Clicking play starts the eppy as normal, except there's now a new little button on the bottom right.
.. Could it really be that easy?
I tapped it, and up popped a new menu, with Apple TV listed.
Doctor Who was on my telly.

No setup, no fiddling, no nothing.
Literally just a tap.

7. YouTube
Same rules apply here. Start a video and there's the AirPlay icon to send it to your telly.
Additionally, if you find a video elsewhere, like on Facebook, or online, they also give you the icon, too.
I can't believe how simple this is to work!!

8. Mum
The true test of any technology is whether your mum can do it!
I started by posting a video of Molly to Facebook, then told her to go to the vid using her iPod. She found it, clicked it, then I told her "Now click that new icon to send it to the telly", so she did.
No setup, no settings, no faffing, no hand-guiding, no nothing.
She just managed it!

9. AirMirror
I had to look this one up! I was hunting through the iPad's settings and couldn't find it..
Turns out, it's part of the "multitask" menu thing.. double tap the home button, and it's the AirPlay icon on the left.
Once you switch it on, everything on your iPhing gets sent to your telly.
There's about a 1/4 second delay, and the framerate seems to drop to 30fps, but otherwise it's a case of "iOS on your telly!"

Top=iPad, Bottom=iPod Touch. Note that the iPod fits the widescreen better!

I must admit, I'm really chuffed with this, so far!
Fantastic quality video, great feature set, and really amazingly simple to use!

My network needs sorting, now, since my NAS drive is annoyingly on a seperate network to the AppleTV, but I've ordered an Ethernet Coupler to connect the two. Once that's here, I'll be stress testing all the other media capabilities.
For now, I'm a happy bunny



Wednesday, 08 May 2013, 10:32
Just watched the Titanic 3D trailer on Youtube, in 3D, with 3D glasses!!

... Doesn't add anything, though, but woot!!!
Thursday, 09 May 2013, 10:40
After a little Network jiggery pokery, I got my NAS on the same network as my AppleTV!!
It'll be better once the Coupler arrives, but for now it is at least vaguely working.. Albeit without the NAS being able to do any nice BitTorrent features anymore.

For testing, though, it works a treat, and everything does indeed work!

You use 8Player to select a video from your DLNA compatible NAS drive, and then it AirPlay's it to the telly via the Apple TV.
Anything goes, from HD Season 16 South Park, to gnatty looking episodes of Quantum Leap!
All at the push of a button, or the tap of a screen!!
Great stuff!