Externally, the Apple TV 3 (1080p 3rd-Gen Apple TV) is virtually indistinguishable from the Apple TV 2nd generation. The real change again is that the Apple TV 3 now supports 1080p50 and 1080p60 over HDMI, where the previous Apple TV 2 only supported 720p50 and 720p60 at maximum over HDMI. The new Apple TV gives you access to HD movies and TV shows from iTunes and the entire Netflix streaming catalog. You can even play content from your iOS devices like iPad 3, iPhone 4S or iPod Touch on your TV using AirPlay.
The 1080p video playback really attracts most folks. But here’s your concern: will Apple TV 3 be able to support playing back 1080p H.264 MP4 movies with the AC3 5.1 (Dolby Digital) audio?
Most of you may have many Full HD 1080P MP4 movies ripped/converted from your Blu-ray discs with a Blu-ray Ripper for Apple TV 3 just for personal entertainment only. You may usually watch the movies on a 60″ HD TV through NAS streaming but not sure if Apple TV 3 will be able to play back the movies with AC3 5.1 if home sharing. From the specifications of the new Apple TV it just says “H.264 video up to 1080p, 30 frames per second, High or Main Profile level 4.0 or lower, Baseline profile level 3.0 or lower with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats”. So can the Apple TV 3 support AC3 5.1 audio? READ MORE »