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My local Futureshop finally got these in stock (wanted to take advantage of employee pricing - thanks to my wife) so I picked one up. I have an old gen AppleTv that I have been relatively happy with, but really wanted to have access to the netflix app. Its too bad Apple couldn't make this available on the older version. IMO this is the killer app for the new AppleTV.

From my limited testing so far, I am very impressed. Netflix was nearly flawless, and combined with the ipad remote app its very easy to search and navigate. Playback quality was much better than I was expecting on a 42" LG plasma. My only wish is that there was some form of "bookmarking" for movies/show we would like to watch at a later time.

It also appears that integration with home sharing works better on the new AppleTV. My old AppleTV would often lose its connection to my itunes and I could never get the remote app on the ipad to recognize my old AppleTV but it had no problem seeing the new one. Streaming from my itunes library was great. No issues at all.

Lastly the size, and lack of heat (the old AppleTV ran very hot) are big improvements. I never used the hard drive on my old AppleTV, everything was streamed from my iMac, so I don't miss that.

I haven't rented a movie through the apple store, and don't plan to, so this aspect has no interest for me.

At the end of the day, this device, combined with the $8/month netflix plan, makes it an extremely good value for me.
 

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Picked one up today at the Victoria FS; here are my very early first impressions:

-If you have anything but a solid internet connection, you will be frustrated with renting movies. Rented a 90-minute HD movie tonight. When it said "Ready", I pressed play and it said "ready to play in 61 minutes." Um, no thanks. It then jumped to 142 mins, then 191 mins, back to 140 mins...when it finally did start to play, it takes several seconds (up to a minute?) to actually start playing. My girlfriend became annoyed and went to bed. No movie for us tonight...

-Screen saver during radio playback is 4:3. Other screen saver is 16:9. Why?

-Radio bit rate is not provided. Nitpick, but still...it's displayed in iTunes, why not here? If a station is 64 kbps, I'd like to know so I don't listen to it!

-Dolby Digital Out set to Auto did not engage 5.1 surround sound. Had to be turned to "On" in order to work. This is with an optical cable connected to my AVR.

-For some reason, my Harmony remote didn't have any commands set up for the AppleTV. I had to go through and assign each button (up, down, left, right, menu, etc.)
 

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Larry, I did that, which is why I was surprised there were no buttons assigned. Yet, on the ATV & Harmony I set up for a client last week, his Harmony 650 worked fine. Same setup. Wonder why mine was different...

Using the ATV's wireless-N seems to work much better than an Ethernet cable thru an Airport Express N, which is how my PS3 was wired. I was able to start watching the movie more quickly and it appeared to be downloading faster too. More experimentation needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Right, no buttons assigned but all you need are the arrow keys and the select button (thats all the apple tv remote have).
 

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Really disappointed in ATV2 so far for one big reason - it doesn't work with my HDTV.

A little searching on the Apple discussions site and it seems to be a firmware issue with the ATV2 and DVI inputs. The TV I want to use it with supports 480i, 480P, 720P and 1080i via DVI and my PVR and Blu-Ray players have no problems with it via a HDMI->DVI cable. But plug in the ATV2 and no-dice :(
Since the firmware update it now works on my older DVI TV. Although it displays 480p (you can tell if you go to the "about" menu option). Still 480p looks good enough to my poor eyes. I'm not expecting Blu-Ray quality from Netflix on a TV that only goes up to 1080i anyway. 720p (which the TV supports) would have been better but I'll settle with the 480p and it actually working. It does take a few second to handshake and get the picture worked out though but that's ok.

Sadly my first impressions of it were frustration and anger. But I'm happier with it now. It's a nice little device. Not the best thing in the world but pretty darn nice and at a good price point. And now I can move it to whichever TV I want. Although I'd must prefer to keep it on the 480p TV and have a Roku for the other one. If only Roku would support Netflix Canada. I guess I better write Santa about that ASAP (given the speed of Canada post). ;)
 

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Man I'm getting tired of this new ATV2. I cannot believe how inconsistent the streaming is from Apple. Last night we rented the Expendables and no problems. Rented Charlie St. Cloud right after that one and the movie stopped at least 10 times to refill the buffer.

We almost never had problems with our original ATV and I'm thinking that one is going to have to go back into service again. We rented 2 or 3 HD movies almost every weekend for over 2 years and for the most part, no issues at all with the original ATV.

Anyone else seeing these wild swings in performance? I have no issues streaming from my iMac to the ATV2 and Netflix is fine as well. 15Mbps bandwidth from Shaw and using an Airport Extreme router with full signal bars on the ATV2 using 5ghz radio.

I've updated to the latest firmware in the ATV2 and it hasn't helped. I'm all ears for suggestions but I've tried mostly everything I can think of short of getting it replaced just in case I actually have a cranky ATV2. I just don't get how some movies are perfectly fine and then some are a complete pain and there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to when it's going to act up. I power cycled the ATV2 last night as well but that didn't help either. Apologies for the rant, just very frustrated as we usually enjoy our movie nights.

James
 

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And therein lies the reason I'm not in any huge rush to trust my movie-watching to streaming video. I don't know if it's Apple's fault, or the ISP's, but either way, our internet service just isn't rock-solid enough for my liking to go to streaming.

I might keep Netflix just to have movies available, but streaming for me will come from another computer on my home network.
 

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Have you tried downloading the rental into your rental into your itunes library and streaming it that way? (My understanding is that you can do this) At least you'd be able to see if the stuttering during the download is via your isp or something internal.
 

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Good suggestion and no I haven't. Not really sure why I would have to do this though and/or why I should do this. As mentioned, my previous ATV worked almost flawlessly but movies on the ATV2 sometimes work, sometimes don't work. It's literally like playing Russian roulette lately renting from iTunes. Streaming anything from my iMac to ATV2 is 100% no problem and Netflix is no problem either which pretty much narrows it down to iTunes as far as I can tell.

As a test, I tried the Charlie St. Cloud movie again the next morning and yep, no problem. 100% reversal of the problems experienced the night before. This very much reminds me of almost two years ago when Apple was having MAJOR streaming issues to ATV's and even added a network test feature to the firmware so that Apple could see what was going on. That was fixed about a month later and I'm assuming as a result of the data they got back from all the ATV's confirming where the bottleneck was. Never had an issue since that point on the original ATV.

I'm still going to try a reset of the box back to factory and see if that helps at all but I'm not holding my breath. If this isn't resolved shortly then the ATV2 is being taken out of service. The WAF (wife acceptance factor) on this is dropping rapidly and she was a diehard ATV junkie with our original ATV. Looks like I'll have to put the old unit back if the reset doesn't work and we'll keep using the PS3 for Netflix. Cheers!

James
 

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Discussion Starter #52
On the old Apple TV, did the movies start right away, or did they buffer a lot before starting? The new Apple TV has no hard drive, so it can't buffer much of the movie before playing.
 

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The old ATV started right away. I have a 15Mbps connection and HD movies were typically ready to go in around 15 seconds. The new one does have an 8GB flash buffer and it is "supposed" to start right away as well. The difference however is that the old one would continue to stream to the hard drive and then store it on the hard drive for 30 days unless you started playing the movie and then it would store for 48 hours.

I've noticed on the new one that I can authorize the movie, start playing it and then pause it and it will continue to stream into the 8GB buffer. If I don't authorize the movie, it doesn't continue streaming so I have to trick it with my little pause trick. That way I can let it build up a bigger buffer before I press play again. If you hit play and then pause you can see how much of the movie has downloaded and buffered. I can usually tell right away if I'm going to have issues with a particular download or not depending on how fast it starts up at the beginning.

Once you have downloaded and played the complete movie, it looks like it sits in the buffer for the full 48 hours unless you rent another movie and then it will flush the buffer to make room for the new one. Cheers!

James
 

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Well, the slow HD rental downloads from iTunes have made the news finally. Apple Insider has this article up:

http://www.appleinsider.com/article...eport_long_rental_wait_times_hdmi_issues.html

A couple of posts on Apple forums by different individuals yesterday also confirmed that after calling Apple tech support they were finally told "we're aware of the problem and we're working on it" instead of getting the usual "reboot your router and your ATV" or "there must be something wrong with your network setup".

Fingers are crossed that they'll get this resolved sooner rather than later! I'm tired of getting the stink eye from my wife when a movie rental fails.... (just kiddin' babe!) :D

James
 

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it will flush the buffer to make room for the new one
That is my observation too. My son was watching Apple Trailers and I noticed ones that he went back to re-watch would play instantly. So I image all content that is streamed not just the movies reside on the 8GB. I suppose you could have 3 or 4 SD movies sitting in the buffer at any given time.
 

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Have you tried downloading the rental into your rental into your itunes library and streaming it that way? (My understanding is that you can do this) At least you'd be able to see if the stuttering during the download is via your isp or something internal.
That's not a bad suggestion and I actually did consider this as a temporary solution. The problem is that I went into iTunes on my iMac and a bunch of the movies I wanted to rent are listed as SD only. Then I looked at the fine print on the movie description and it says "Also available in HD on iPad and Apple TV". Dohhh!!!

James
 

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IMHO Apple does not save anything aside from its OS in that 8Gb Flash. My guess is they're saving it for app storage in a future iOS update. I'm sure they could store rented videos there but that would put a limit on app space (assuming that's what Apple's planning for the ATV2).

Apple trailers are not very large, a handful could easily fit into available RAM, that's why you might get instant replay.

Rant: Why on earth can't apple add Netflix and AirPlay to the original ATV?
 

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IMHO Apple does not save anything aside from its OS in that 8Gb Flash. My guess is they're saving it for app storage in a future iOS update. I'm sure they could store rented videos there but that would put a limit on app space (assuming that's what Apple's planning for the ATV2).

Apple trailers are not very large, a handful could easily fit into available RAM, that's why you might get instant replay.

Rant: Why on earth can't apple add Netflix and AirPlay to the original ATV?
I'm pretty sure they are using the 8GB to do movie buffering. If you start a movie and authorize it and then pause it right away the movie will still continue to download. You can check that on the progress bar when you hit play and then pause. As most of the HD movies are anywhere from 3 to 5GB each it's a safe bet the movie has to buffer somewhere. If everything is working correctly, the movie "should" be streaming as fast as your network will allow and buffering while playing.

On my original ATV, I could start an HD movie for playback within about 10 seconds and by the time we were at the 40% watched mark in the movie it had already finished downloading/buffering to the hard drive. I would imagine the ATV2 should work the same way. The only difference I've seen with the ATV2 is that if you don't start or authorize the movie, it doesn't start to stream or buffer at all where the original ATV would download it regardless and left it sitting on the hard drive. Cheers!

James
 

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I'm pretty sure they are using the 8GB to do movie buffering.
Discussed on this thread already and the answer appears to be no.
 

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is there any way to permanenty register the Apple TV with nexflix to eliminate the need to enter email and UN each time you want to enter netflix from apple tv.
 
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