New ATV2 (AppleTV2) verses old ATV1 (AppleTV1) with or without Broadcom Crystal HD?

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ssss25 Offline
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Post: #16
Hi

I want to build apple TV with XBMC. I have the choice to buy from ebay apple tv1 or 2. I know the differences one major one being apple tv 2 doesn't have a disk...

Which ones will run XBMC better? 1 ATV 1 or 2?

I will be mostly playing 720P and some 1080P. HDMI is ok. will space be of any use on ATV1?

Looking for a smooth experience and ability to play 1080P, let me know. I goolged around but didn't find a good comparison with XBMC in mind.

Thanks,
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dan1son Offline
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Post: #17
ATV1 without a CrystalHD card will struggle with 720p and is hopeless with 1080p. If you get a crystalHD card it'll be capable of 1080p blu-ray rips. ATV1 can have Linux installed on it and is then capable of 1080p/24hz output. With the OSX software it only does 720p output.

ATV2 seems to struggle right now with some 1080p (from forum posts... not my experience) but it seems as though that should change anyway. ATV2 can only output 720p right now.

ATV2 uses less power and is smaller and cheap new. ATV1 doesn't use a ton of power, but is larger.

I can't answer for ya... but there are pros and cons either way.
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darkscout Offline
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Post: #18
If you want to take movies with you, ATV1 is the only one with an internal hard drive.

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ssss25 Offline
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Post: #19
CrystalHD is a hardware addon that adds cost and effort.

I guess if apple tv2 can do 720p out of the box.... maybe I'll have to live with that.

How is apple tv 1 playing 720P movies (stock apple tv software) if it struggles with it...

Thanks for your help and suggestions guys.
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pmcd Offline
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Post: #20
ssss25 Wrote:CrystalHD is a hardware addon that adds cost and effort.

I guess if apple tv2 can do 720p out of the box.... maybe I'll have to live with that.

How is apple tv 1 playing 720P movies (stock apple tv software) if it struggles with it...

Thanks for your help and suggestions guys.

I have both an ATV1+CHD card and ATV2. The ATV2 plays 720p ( with limits) just fine. The ATV1 plays 720p with the CHD card and best under Linux or 720p mp4 files which are within some reasonable limitations. Without the CHD card it has trouble with mkv files at 720p.

Both players are silent, use small amounts of electricity, etc... No on/off switch. ATV1 has component. XBMC on the ATV2 is not as developed and can lead to reboots requiring a tethered boot. XBMC on the ATV1, especially under Linux, is stable and works great. ATV2=beginning of a future path. ATV1=end of an era.

philip
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pmcd Offline
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Post: #21
superdust Wrote:Does not a ATV1 output 1080P with the Crystal HD card?Anybody got both boxes and can say anything about startup time (both the box itself, and starting XBMC), audio/video quality (with Crystal HD) etc.

Startup times are fast for either. You don't turn them off in any case. ATV1 will output 1080p with the CHD card under Linux ( check out OpenElec).

The ATV1 with OpenElec is a pretty neat unit.

XBMC on the ATV2 seems unstable to me. It plays files very well, but has caused a couple of reboots when I was playing around with skins. And reboots=tethered boot which is a pain.

They are both neat players. The ATV2 is neat but is less flexible.

philip
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Shoesy Offline
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Post: #22
Two weeks ago we didn't even have xbmc for atv2. To label it 'unstable' at this early stage is frankly ridiculous. Who knows how far it can be pushed over the coming months and years.

ATV1 with CrystalHD is great but essentially a hack to make the older hardware usable. Reinstalling the OS with a linux based system to make the interface smooth is a step too far for the majority of users. Jailbreaking on the other hand is (fairly) simple and well within the reach of most people. I'm pretty certain that development for atv2 will continue for a long time and take xbmc in an exciting new direction.

Unless you need the storage space or 1080 right now I cannot in any way recommend an original atv over atv2.

Check out my stationery blog- http://www.tailormadeinvites.co.uk
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aicjofs Offline
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Post: #23
Shoesy Wrote:Two weeks ago we didn't even have xbmc for atv2. To label it 'unstable' at this early stage is frankly ridiculous. Who knows how far it can be pushed over the coming months and years.

ATV1 with CrystalHD is great but essentially a hack to make the older hardware usable. Reinstalling the OS with a linux based system to make the interface smooth is a step too far for the majority of users. Jailbreaking on the other hand is (fairly) simple and well within the reach of most people. I'm pretty certain that development for atv2 will continue for a long time and take xbmc in an exciting new direction.

Unless you need the storage space or 1080 right now I cannot in any way recommend an original atv over atv2.

I must agree that labeling ATV2 as unstable, sluggish, and crashing is a bit premature considering the timeline. However the question of the thread resides in the present not the future. If someone wants to go buy something today, and have it fully working tomorrow the unstable portion of XBMC, the currently disabled features, plugins, etc on ATV1 vs ATV2 should be admitted as a talking point. In general what you are saying is correct, I expect an excellent XBMC build in the coming year, and Apple TV2's flying off shelves for the sole purpose of XBMC, but to label the feedback of stability, and features to someone purchasing today as "ridiculous" seems to be a little much.

It's kind of weird because I'm in agreement with your general premise but not so much the argument as laid out. It's not that one hardware is older then the other, it's that it's different. In fact I could probably make an argument that the ATV1 CPU and GPU in the raw are more powerful then the ATV2.

The ATV2 PowerVR GPU happens to be tuned for offloading all 264,VC1,MPG2 content, where the GeForce 7 in ATV1 was only partial 264,MPG2(and hence the CrystalHD to even it out). This is obviously in the wheel house for what we want in our XBMC. Still XBMC UI needs render and the GeForce 7 has more power for that. topfs2 says as much here. http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid...ish&page=2

The CPU of ATV1, a Pentium M Dothan at 1Ghz out performs the Cortex A8(Apple A4) here. Even with Apple being all secretive you could speculate the CPU is the ATV2 is no more then a 1Ghz clocked CPU from the iphone 3GS(600Mhz) with some extra L2 cache, the technology is almost 2 years old.

http://browse.geekbench.ca/geekbench2/view/269530

http://browse.geekbench.ca/geekbench2/view/276786

Take the benchmarks for what you will, I'm a bit skeptical of the exact accuracy, but it's a set of data none the less. The ATV2 is a way for Apple to take the same hardware and make a smart phone, tablet, and settop box, while using less engineers, less research and development and thus a better profit margin for the share holders. Personally I feel it's almost like the ATV2 was an after thought to the development. A "Hey the guts of this smart phone will fit in this little black box", and now we have a moderately powered little black box to all play with, but the guts are just the guts of a smart phone, not the development tree of making full feature media center.

I guess all I'm saying is that, I'm not sure I expect the ATV2 can achieve all that much more the XBMC experience then the ATV1(linux). What's exciting is that I think we will be using this type of architecture(ATV2) going forward and all the XBMC development in this area will lead me to the ideal playback solution by next hardware revisions.

The main reason I'd advocate buying an ATV2 this very second, is that it's possible Apple could change the bootrom like they did on 3GS iphone, thus breaking Limera1n exploit. Maybe the SHAtter would work, maybe it wouldn't. Either way you'd still be able to pick one up used. Other then that pick your pony, I don't think either has the clear as a bell advantage on the other. As far as the ATV1 on linux like you said, it is a bit of work, you are so correct and not for the average user. Sam was working on a one click solution there to add the install to the hard drive, that would even things even a bit more. Tough call. I do agree with the poster who said ATV2 beginning of an new era.

EDIT: Actually I say ATV2 is the easy choice for those wanting Netflix support, forgot that.
(This post was last modified: 2011-01-30 05:37 by aicjofs.)
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nmat Offline
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Post: #24
Nice post. I agree.

As for me, I am going for the ATV2 because it's cutter! =P That also counts, right?
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aicjofs Offline
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Post: #25
nmat Wrote:Nice post. I agree.

As for me, I am going for the ATV2 because it's cutter! =P That also counts, right?

That too!!! Big Grin Cute FTW. Thing is so small though, my ATV1 just sits there like a brick, the ATV2 is so light that the thick HDMI cable dictates how the ATV2 sits.
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interceptor121 Offline
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Post: #26
I have an ATV1 with OSX and a USB stick with Pin87a Ubuntu that I use for 1080p
The issue I see is storage, some 1080p files are quite large and at high bit-rate they would stutter because of network performance unless you use an ethernet and you have a Gbit NAS
If they can connect an external USB drive to the new ATV I see that as possible option for 1080p otherwise I would not bother.
So if you are after proper 720p for for ATV2 if you want 1080p for for ATV1 with Ubuntu
If you already have an ATV1 get a crystalHD card as the ATV2 is not quite there yet
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klixen Offline
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Post: #27
Hi!

In the last days I was looking for information regarding the Apple TV and it's possibility to run 720p movies, particularly .mkv files.

As far as I know, the solution Crystal HD only works with 1G ATV, and apparently the 2G version handles 720p quite well (after jailbreak and XBMC install). But before I buy it I have some doubts, and hopefully someone here could help me.

I have a WD MyBookWorld NAS with all my movies there connected to my router. And to play the movies on my TV, I plug my mac to it, use Plex (or other player) and they run smoothly (even via wireless, but generally I use ethernet connection). But I was looking for another solution.

And here are my doubts:

- The ATV 2g can access to the NAS? The NAS is connecter to the router, and apparently there's no possibility to plug in directly to the ATV.
- Can it play .mkv containers files directly, i.e., without any transcoding from any other computer?
- Can it handle almost any codec? (H264, DTS, MP4, AC3 and so on).
- Does it play 720p movies smoothly?

Thanks in advance for any help!Laugh
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T800 Offline
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Post: #28
I don't have an ATV1 with XBMC so I can't comment on that but I have two ATV2's now with XBMC on and it works very well for me.

All my TV content and 80% of my movies are 720p.mkv.
I used to use a C/A-200 Popcorn Hour+YAMJ for TV and Movies. Now I use my ATV2+XBMC for everything except 1080p movies (full BD rips).

It's pretty much as stable as the popcorn has been for the last two years.
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klixen Offline
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Post: #29
Tks for the reply! Your files are stored in a NAS, or some storage shared via domestic lan?
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Maetrik Offline
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Post: #30
My opinion: I own both models, an ATV1 w/CrystalHD and an ATV2, both running XBMC. Sure, 1080p output on the ATV1 is nice, but i have a 42" Plasma and i'm sitting around 4 meters away of it, so i did not notice a very big difference when comparing 1080p to 720p. The ATV2 is a real energy saver and in fact that i have all my stuff on a NAS i dont mind about the harddisk the ATV1 has. The ATV1 has to be shutdown manually because it has no real sleep function like the ATV2. It just turns screen black but that doesnt safe energy at all. Also, the ATV1 is getting very warm, even in idle mode. In mid-summer month, i sometimes had to switch it off to cool down while watching movies, because it really got to hot.
I dont mind about the limited 720p output with that cute little black box, i will sell my ATV1 shortly and get another ATV2. Its cheap, saves energy, works fine (for my requirements) and i really fell in love with it.
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