Yesterday – in an impulse that defied logic, I used my Woolworths Gift Card to buy an Apple TV3 (ATV3). To the uninitiated (or what Jessica would call noob), an ATV3 is a media player and not a TV. This is the 4th Apple TV in our house, but before you judge me, know that since 2009 (see Media Player Hunt), I have been experimenting on Media Players. It has become my sideline project.
The ATV3 will be useless for a while. I’m waiting and watching the Apple forums when it gets jailbroken and able to run the XBMC. Until then, it can only play MP4 videos shared via iTunes. Well, we can rent HD Movies but we don’t do that. Most of our iTunes Movies are digital copies of Bluray movies as part of a bundled promo. But if you have the BD copy, why bother watching it on iTunes.
Currently, we still use our Popcorn Hour (PCH) A200 to watch 1080p encoded videos. The ATV2 can only play up to 720p videos. With so many other devices connected to our TV (Wii, XBOX, BlueRay, Foxtel) it would be good if we can replace both the PCH and the ATV2 with just one device – the ATV3. I’ve also spent a lot of time building my XBMC video database that it is too time consuming to Handbrake all of the movies and re-index it in iTunes – not gonna happen. I’m hoping too that the ATV3, when jailbroken, will play the ISO backup of DVDs – better than the ATV2 now. ISO backup are still unwatchable in ATV2. What would cap it though as a single multi-media device, is when it is able to play AVCHD formats used by the JVC Video Camera. Only then will it replace the PCH A200 in usability and with the XBMC as a user interface – it’s a dream entertainment system.
What a nerd!