Apple TV goes to the movies
May be useful after all
Sure, Apple TV is pretty close to useless if you wanna watch stuff on your television. But it's a godsend to at least one independent filmmaker.
This weekend, at a neighborhood movie theater in Brooklyn, New York, an Apple TV made its way into the projection booth, streaming a high-def digital flick onto the big screen. And when we say big screen, we mean the really big screen.
With the New York premiere of his debut feature, The Insurgents, writer-director Scott Dacko is using Apple's video contraption in place of a digital tape deck, bypassing so many of the hassles that plague poorly-funded digital filmmakers struggling to reach an audience.
"As far as I know, we're the first people to have ever done this," Dacko told us. "And it looked great." Well, it looked good. Dacko acknowledges that the image is "a little flawed" in places, thanks to some heavy compression from Apple's web-centric video codec. But his Apple TV kludge is cheap. And it's easy.
Apple TV makes its big screen debut?
Since shooting The Insurgents with an HD camera in early 2006, Dacko has shown the topsy-turvy political thriller in film festivals across the globe, and each time, he was forced to squeeze the flick onto a different breed of digital media. He's shown on DVD, DVcam, DigiBeta, Beta SP, D5 and HDCam.
"For an indie filmmaker, this is a huge cost, and it's a huge pain in the ass," Dacko explained. "And you never know if they're really going to be able to play. The theater might say they take HDCam, but then you get there and they don't take HDCam SR. Or you've got 4.4.4 HDCam, and they only play 4.2.2."
Then, when the film was picked for a week-long run at the Cobble Hill Cinemas in Brooklyn, he was faced with a new problem. More comfortable screening films the old-fashioned way - on film - the theater wasn't fully equipped for digital projection. It had an LCD projector - a Sony VPL FX52 - but no tape deck.
Dacko thought about renting a deck for the week. But even a low-quality DigiBeta setup would cost him $1000. And if he upgraded to an HDCam deck - which would require an HDCam projector - he'd end up shelling out a cool ten grand.
Next page: Projection on the cheap
Apple TV getting better by staying the same
AppleTV was a ccused of being a flop because TV & Film pilferers did so in MPEG-4/ASP (XviD et al). Now they do it in MPEG-4/AVC (H.264) many of the 720p downloads work directly & gorgeously.
AppleTV was way ahead of it's time & now the world's catching up it better than ever!
Apple TV is just an iPod
You could have an ipod or Zen and a pile of cables and adaptors to do this job. However the Apple TV does it and has a load of outputs.
It's simply an ipod for people with a static screen and is therefore useful for this moviemaker, or for attaching to an in-car screen. It's just a hobby for apple.
There's little chance of it becoming a mainstream thing unless a miracle occurs and they add a DVD Rip programme to itunes or PVR functionality to the AppleTV.
did you write that on an iPhone or iPod Touch?
cause they both seem unable to start a new sentence or line without insisting on caps. like they don't let you copy & paste. and they get REALLY slow when you write more than a couple paragraphs of text. and if you hit delete when it's running slow, it deletes half of what you've written because the key buffer is faster than the screen response...
21st Century my tits.