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Connect 360 - The best Apple TV alternative?

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On Friday, while I was at Viddler HQ fooling around with Rob, I noticed my friend Dan Rubin twittered the following:

"if I ditch cable, buy an AppleTV and only watch shows I've BT'd (I'll pay for movie rentals), I'll save myself over $600/year (ATV included)"

Allow me, first, to decrypt this message for you.  What Dan is saying here is that if he ditched cable television, bought an Apple TV, only watched shows that he download via BitTorrent and movie rentals through the Apple TV, he'd save $600 per year even with the price of the Apple TV taken into consideration.

The part of this post that interested me most was him saying that he'd watch shows that he downloaded via BitTorrent on his TV with the Apple TV.  So on my way home from ViddlerHQ, a one and half hour drive from the office to my doorstep, I called Dan and asked if he found an easy way to accomplish this.

From my, albeit very minimal amount of, research I've found that getting the Apple TV to play most codecs is no "easy" task.  Sure if you like the command line and SSHing into the Apple TV to hack the crap out of it, then it might be right up your alley, but I am always up for the quickest, simplest solution.

That is when Dan told me how he currently solves this problem; Connect 360.

I had seen Connect 360 around the Interwebs before, but I had never given it a spin.  This weekend I downloaded the trial, tried it out, and within 10 minutes of using it on my Xbox 360, I bought it.

Connect 360, in as simplest terms as possible, tricks your Xbox 360 into thinking your Macintosh is a Windows PC - and by extension shares your iTunes, iPhoto, and Video libraries to be enjoyed on your TV.  It works like a charm too.

My Connect 360 Preference pane.

This simple preference pane is where you adjust your options for Connect 360.  From then on it runs as a background process and "just works".

If you have an Xbox 360 and, like me, have been wanting to jump onto the Apple TV in order to share music, photos, and video to your TV - consider purchasing a copy of Connect 360.  I'm really happy I did.

Thanks again Dan.

  • 12 May 2008

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