[mythtv-users] AppleTV with Linux

Scott D. Davilla davilla at 4pi.com
Fri Feb 8 19:21:16 UTC 2008

>Does Apple plan on using the AppleTV to play 1080i/p content?  If so, will
>they need to increase the power of the hardware in the AppleTV anytime in
>the future?

Apple does not care about mpeg2. H264 is the decoder of choice across 
all their platforms.  The AppleTV can not do either 1080i nor 1080p 
without hardware decoder assist.

Since 1080i content tends to be mpeg2 and 1080p tends to be 
mpeg4/h264, you will never see an Apple supplied 1080i (mpeg2) 
hardware assisted decoder on any of their platforms. 1080p is 
possible but not likely.

You have to think where does the 1080p content come from. Right now, 
1080p is ripped HD-DVD or Blue-ray and some BBC HDTV feeds.  Apple 
can easily stream 720p (that's their movie rental stuff) but who 
streams 1080p -- no one. So no Apple supplied 1080p hardware assist 
decoders for the AppleTV.

It's not a problem of the power of the hardware, with GPU hardware 
assist, the AppleTV could do 1080p full bit stream decode. Apple does 
not see a market for this so it will not happen under the native 
AppleTV OS. There might be cpu bumps in the future but don't plan on 
seeing a 2GHz Core2 Due inside. Wrong component price point.

Even under linux, 1080p is a software decode solution which means 
plenty of cpu. There are no 1080p hardware assisted decoders for 
mpeg4/H264 under Linux at the current time. Maybe under the new Intel 
video driver push.  Best bet is a +2GHz MacMini for a similar 

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