December 10, 2012
So this weekend I went ahead and bought the Apple TV device so that I could stream movies and music from my PC to my 47-inch flat screen television. I currently have a large 2TB HDD that holds my music and movies along with just about any other odd files that I do not want on my main C drive.
First impression is, wow is that thing small. It always amazes me with how small the newer hardware is getting. My second impression was that Apple could have made the font on the manual a bit larger. I wear glasses to see things far away and I keep the font on my computer pretty small for more real estate, but reading the troubleshooting was a pain. Next I have to say that setting things up to work with a Mac book pro was really simple since all I really had to do was make sure I had "Home Sharing" turned on. Home Sharing allows for all of your local computers to see each other and share the files (movies, music, books, etc) that you allow others to see.
The main issue I found was that my PC with iTunes 11 installed was not being seen by the Apple TV. I google'd the issue and everything people were saying was that it was a firewall issue. Internally there is no firewall on my network. My firewall only protects things going in and out of my network. So after many attempts and checking to make sure I was up to date on all of my software I fell back to my last resort on any software issues. Reboot. Tada! Now the Apple TV was able to see my PC iTunes and we were able to stream movies.
I have to say that I was pretty impressed at the quality of the video and sound with no lag across my wireless network. The picture quality was just as good as if I put the DVD into my PS3 and played it from there. The music was another matter though. The quality was great once it started, but I tried to play a song and five minutes later I walked away frustrated that the system was just sitting there with the spinning wait circle. Then after about five minutes or so the song started to play. Of course by then I had moved on to just playing the music on my PC with my 5.1 speakers. I thought maybe this was wireless so I plugged a Cat-5 cable into the Apple TV and restarted it. I then made sure it was using the hard wired connection and not wireless and tried the music again, same problem.
So besides the music delay in starting I have to say that I really like the Apple TV and its capabilities. I still might have to build a computer that is dedicated to holding all of the movies and music so that I do not have to worry about my main machine having to run iTunes all the time just in case someone in my family wants to watch a movie while I am not around. Of course since my main system is a beast of a system it has no issue doing this, but just the same I think I would rather things like movies and music be on more of a server type machine.