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Old 02-24-2008   #18
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Robinson_A's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 395
Default Re: AppleTV Take 2 Impressions

Okay, so the girlfriend and I rented another HD movie from iTunes via the AppleTV and I found a few things I'd like to share with you. First, this little service is addicting. It's perfect for movie watching on a rainy day (which we've had nothing but for the past week). So we rented The Heartbreak Kid in 720p HD for $3.99. Again, it took about 45 seconds before it was ready to play and once it started it never missed a beat. Video quality was good. Most of the film takes place outdoors with plenty of light which helps with the natural color saturation, edge fidelity, depth and overall HD-ness of the picture. The black levels were good however, not quite as vivid and deep as I would've preferred. Motion was smooth and for a downloaded HD image being streamed to my source device, all artifacts and macro blocking were pretty much non-existant. I truly believe one would be hard pressed to tell downloaded HD media (in 720p) from a disc spinning the exact same thing. The compression is such that you really don't feel like you're watching a sub-par image. Sound quality was also good, however The Simpson's movie was better. Now, I had not seen Heartbreak Kid before last night so I have no true basis of comparison however, I enjoyed the film and felt that it looked very good given the circumstances and appreciated the connivence of the whole transaction.

Now, one thing that did tick me off was that downloaded HD content via the AppleTV stays on the particular AppleTV you rented it from. There is no sharing between multiple boxes. THIS IS A MAJOR OVERSIGHT and a HUGE BUMMER. I have an AppleTV in every room in my house and the ability to move from one TV to the next in streaming HD is cool, but during late night viewing somewhat a necessity as I've often started a film in my main theater only to finish it in my bedroom. Every other device I have (including the AppleTV with SD material) can achieve this feat, but not the AppleTV HD. Made me mad. If you rent via iTunes on your computer (which is SD only) you can share it with your AppleTV network same with all iTunes purchases as well. I hope this is just a version 2 omission and will be rectified in the near future. other than that, I have little to complain about when it comes to the HD rentals through AppleTV. Although I do wish I could purchase them. I didn't think that would be a big deal, and it's not, but last night after watching the film I did want to add it to my library permanently and Apple could've made a few more bones if they allowed me to do so. I'm sure HD ownership is coming..
Andrew Robinson

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