Tuesday, February 12, 2008

New TV Setup

I've been itching to write about this for the past few weeks, but kept wanting to wait for the apple tv update before passing judgment. It came out today, so here's my new tv setup:

I traded my NetFlix membership in for an apple tv and a new airport with faster wireless and the ability for NAS. While I was frustrated when apple didn't push out the "Take Two" update as promised two weeks ago, I've been toying with the setup a bit.

I've ripped the few DVDs I own onto the hard drive attached to the router, and I've moved my iTunes library onto the drive as well. This has freed up quite some space on my laptop, and while I can't claim to notice a improvement in speed, it is nice to know that when this thing bricks (which is only a matter of time) I'll have my important files somewhere else. While this means that I can't access my music on my laptop when I'm away from home, I've come to the conclusion that I usually have an iPod handy, so really I was carrying it around in duplicate.

The files are also copied onto the apple TV, which means I have access to them when the computer is off, which is a plus. Also, having my dvd's "on demand" is nice, and I suspect it will result in some of them getting watched more than they otherwise would have. I used handbrake to rip them, and while this was largely painless a few of them are apparently in a format not supported by the apple tv (although they were all ripped with the same settings), so I'll need to play around with this somewhat.

Today the new software was pushed out, and it completes the setup very nicely. While the movie library is not yet huge, there's a decent selection. The interface is intuitive and everything seems to start right quick. I am currently using wireless, but as the thing sits on top of my router I plan on running a cable just to prevent any possible hic-ups here.

My one complaint so far is that I will loose my netflix queue. Often enough I stumble across movies and think I'll want to watch it later, as far as I can tell this isn't accounted for yet on the apple TV.

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