[mythtv-users] Apple TV FE with DVD Player?

Jeff Walther trag at io.com
Sun Jun 22 16:51:22 UTC 2008

>Date: Sun, 22 Jun 2008 07:08:57 -0600
>From: "Brian Phillips" <brian.phillips at gmx.net>

>From: Josh White
>I'd recommend against the Apple TV. <snip> To begin with, you need
>to do a fairly involved hack job just to get the thing to boot linux.  It
>seems to me that you'd be better off with a Mac Mini or something more more
>suited to installing linux without jumping through hoops.  I'm not saying
>that the hack is difficult, but it just seems like starting off on the wrong
>Like you said, and I'd like to emphasize, you're not saying the hack is
>difficult.  I'd call it very easy.

>As for starting off on the wrong foot.  After getting linux up and running
>on the ATV, I'm going to say it's actually not a bad foot to be starting off

>Like you say though, the ATV can only do 1080i using MPEG2 with XvMC and you
>can forget about 1080p (From tests I've heard).  So if you are looking for
>something that has a little more power and a DVD player in it, get a Mac
>Mini.  I'd also give that recommendation.

We are unlikely to be using 1080p any time soon.  Both of our 
televisions are CRT models and neither is terribly large, so until 
and unless we buy new televisions, I think that the lower resolutions 
will be perfectly adequate.   In fact I don't think there'd be any 
advantage at all in being able to output 1080p, except as a hedge 
against future needs.

The ATV has a high WAF, except we're not married, so maybe that 
should be SOAF.   It's small, quiet, reasonably attractive, etc. 
The only issue is that I can see my SO wanting to bring home a DVD 
and just stick it in a drive under the TV and play it.   We'll store 
stuff we've had for a while on the back end, but she will not want to 
stick the DVD in the back end and wait for it to rip and then go to 
the front end to play it.   She'll want it to be like it currently is 
with a drive under the TV where she can insert the DVD and push a few 

>Though the ATV is SUHWEET sitting under my TV, silent as a mouse.  They say
>it has a fan in it...  I wouldn't know unless I cracked it open, it's _that_

All of those qualities plus the price at $199 refurbished or $229 new 
make it hard to beat, if it will function properly--and it sounds 
like it will.    I don't think I could build a small quiet PC with 
similar abilities for much less than $400.  It might end up with a 
bit more processing power, but I'm not sure  there's any use for the 
extra processing power, and it almost certainly would not be as quiet 
and inoffensive.

The only other issue is how tricky configuring the remote will be and 
whether it will remain simple enough to get a high SOAF.   From 
reading the postings here it sounds like that could take a bit of 

The Mac Mini is attractive, but at $599, I'd be more inclined to 
build my own system from components--that's fun too.

Jeff Walther

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