DVDs on the new Apple TV 4
This week our new Apple TV 4 arrived. Set up was simple, we are up and running in just three minutes.
Lots of our customers have been emailing us about the new ATV 4. Will their DigiRAW created mp4 video files play nicely?
The answer is YES!
With Home-Sharing activated in just the same way as the ATV2 and ATV3, iTunes displays and plays wonderfully, thanks to our H.264 / AAC & AC3 codecs.
Our mini review focusses on your ripped personal collection, namely mp4 files loaded in iTunes and streamed to the new Apple TV 4th generation. Naturally, we downloaded a few apps along the way and played a couple of games too. Delightful and as the ATV app world opens up, the fun will surely grow.
But, and it is a BIG BUT! There are a few dislikes we'd like to mention before introducing the new Plex App as a strong contender!
Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling! Click, and holding down the relevant button as we do on the silver remote for the ATV2 & 3 is no more! Instead one must keep swiping a finger over and over again on the touchpad to find your title.
For a small collection of videos and music titles, that's probably ok, but for the average library, and no visible search feature, it's a shocking oversight on the part of Apple! Some suggest the streamer was rushed out!
If their intention is for us to rely on Siri, coupled with buying/renting/subscribing to music and videos from the iTunes store then another failing here is recognising that sometimes we can't always remember the full name of a track, movie or TV show to voice that request. "Siri, I know it begins with S" ...I think you get the gist!
We did find a large number of people online reporting this same dissatisfaction, so maybe Apple will listen and work on an upgrade we can download. Hope so!
Siri activation is a bit hit or miss, but we expect this to improve over time. Siri won't search/play a title from your physical-to-digital collection, but you can ask Siri to pause, play, fast forward/rewind a few seconds or minutes, and even say "What did she say" to back up automatically by a few seconds and replay part of that scene! Great feature.
The remote is sleek, light and pleasant to use in the daytime/with the lights on. Dim those lights and get comfy on the couch and you soon struggle to find or even feel around for the button you need. Not helped either by unknowingly holding the remote upside down.
In a dimly lit room, there is no way of knowing which way up is correct because the buttons are centrally placed and evenly presented. Next versions need to overcome this, perhaps buttons that glow would be useful.
No Chapters for TV Shows! Again, many negative posts online and within the Apple community about this missing feature which we are sure a future update will overcome, needs too and fast!
As yet, there is no ATV 4 Remote app for your iPad or iPhone.
When all said and done... Apple does need to make some immediate improvements, and until they do, we don't think £169 for the 64GB Apple TV 4th generation is a worthy price if you intend to play only your disc-to-digital content using iTunes on your computer. For now, at least, you are probably better off sticking with the ATV3 at £59.
If it weren't for the Plex tvOS app, we would have boxed up our ATV4 within 24 hrs and sent it back for a refund. Preferring instead to play the waiting game for subsequent updates and corrections before perhaps recommitting.
Apple, you have Plex to thank for keeping our money and gaining an order for a further 24 units on-be-half of some of our clients.
Introducing Plex Media Server - Now we're rocking!
All be it light, we have in the past looked at Plex but always desired it to be available on the Apple TV.
Ok, we could have moved over to Roku, Google's Chromecast or the Amazon Fire TV streamers, and to be honest, had we been encouraged to explore deeper just how fantastic the Plex app is, we may have shifted over from iTunes much sooner.
...But given we occasionally, let it be said again "occasionally" purchase an iTunes video, moving to an alternative brand meant losing the ability to play said DRM protected video. That is unattractive because showcasing a line up of differently branded hockey style pucks (TV Streamers) around each TV will never be an option. Ahh to the world of lock-in when one purchases content from online providers!
Return to Blog Central >