My New Gadget (Apple TV)

It all started when I wanted to find a way to get movies from my laptop to the TV without having to burn them onto DVD’s.  After a lot of conversation with the lovely Mark (@thelongmile), I decided to purchase an Apple TV and if you’re like me the first thing you need to know is that it’s not actually a TV.  It’s a small device that you connect to your TV which allows you to stream content from ITunes on your computer to your TV wirelessly.  Plus, you can also purchase and rent videos from ITunes and you can also make back up copies of DVDs you already own.

Prior to buying it I did do a lot of research and the reviews were very mixed.  The biggest complaint was the lack of content in the UK compared to what’s available to Apple TV users in the US.  However, I weighed up all the options, including gaming consoles as they will do a similar thing, and in the end felt that since I was already an Iphone and Ipod user and was familiar with ITunes the Apple TV would be the best for me.

The first stumbling block was when I realised that I needed to have a flat screen TV with HDMI ports on it.  We had an ancient telly so it was time to get a new one anyhow.  After a lot of research we settled on a 32″ Samsung Full HD LED TV.

After a quick trip to the local Apple Store I returned home with the New Apple TV (£99).  As usual, with most Apple product the design is sexy and it’s surprisingly small.  For the most part it was fairly straightforward to install, the only complaints I have are down to operator error.  Only two cables, one power lead and one HDMI cable.  So if, unlike me, you read the instructions you should be fine.

A few notes about installation

  • You will need to purchase the HDMI cable separately.
  • You may have to change the source using your remote.  As I had plugged the Apple TV into HDMI port 2 that’s the one I selected.
  • Have your wireless usernames and passwords to hand before you install it.  I did find the remote a bit fiddly.  My wireless password is 26 characters long with a combination of case sensitive letters and numbers, which was a nightmare to enter on the alphabetic keyboard using the ditty remote.   I just about gave up but got it after the umpteenth attempt and loads of swearing.

The good news is you should only ever have to do this once.  Plus, there is a free Iphone App that will turn your phone into a remote for the Apple TV

  • Make sure you have the latest version of ITunes as you need V10.1 or higher…I didn’t and it took me ages to work out why it wasn’t working.
  • You will also have to set up home sharing, both in ITunes and on the Apple TV.

In ITunes:

Advanced>turn on home sharing

Enter your Apple ID and Password

On Apple TV:

Settings>Computers and turn on home sharing.

I’ve now started to make back-up copies of all Madame’s DVDs.  It’s a bit of a long winded process, especially since I’m a PC user and have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m getting the hang of it.  I have to use two programmes (DVD Encrypter and Handbrake).  However, this may mean no more scratched DVDs!

I’ll keep you posted on how I get on. I’m off to watch Inception with hubby which I downloaded earlier.

Author: mediocremum

A slightly older mum of one, who drinks far too much red wine and has an unhealthy obsession with her slow cooker. During the day she's an ICT Trainer, Social Media/Online Marketing consultant and does a bit of public speaking. Full Profile on Google+

15 thoughts on “My New Gadget (Apple TV)”

  1. We’ve had ours for a few months and after much thinking ‘what are we going to use it for?’ we use it for everything, streaming movies, films, photos and music. I love it! Have fun x

  2. After DVD’s not playing the same day we bought them due to the kids scratching them, we ripped them all to an old pc hooked to the tv. Works great! We don’t have an Apple TV, but some of our family do, and it should work in a similar way but with a better remote.

    We proudly own every movie on our “movie server” btw.

    1. Most of our discs are scratched as well. If I had a spare PC I would have done so but I don’t so it seems like the best option. Have to admit I’m not a fan of the remote but the remote app on my iphone is great.

  3. We’ve got a Mark 1 Apple TV, and I think it’s a highly underrated device. I love the ease of renting movies through it, and it really solves the problem of how to get digital content from your iTunes onto your big screen TV. The new one is a gorgeous device, and great value at £99.

    We’ve now moved ours into another room as we’ve progressed to a full Mac Mini media centre connected to our big screen TV. The geekdaughter only watches digital copies of TV shows or DVDs. She’s actually scarily good at navigating with the little Apple remote already!

    1. Someone did mention the Mac Mini but I had a look and it was a bit pricey for us at the moment. I’m struggling a bit to rip all of her DVDs because they’re scratched. In future, will purchase digital copies but will be sure to back them up.

  4. How long do your MP4 conversions take? I tried this route but found waiting 4-5 hours to convert a DVD to MP4 was not for me. Maybe it was my crappy computer. Decided to go the route of the WDTV which plays DVD iso’s which take 20 mins to make but take up a lot more space.

    1. I’m with you on this…it seems to take ages 2-3 hours. I have to use Decrypter first and then put them through Handbrake…I tend to put them on at night and let them run…in future will just purchase digital copies….

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  6. Bit of a tip for all you AppleTV users. Buy a US iTunes gift card off eBay and use it to register a US iTunes account. You can then use the AppleTV to login to the US store and buy at US prices so HD rentals cost $4.99 instead of £4.49.

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