Monthly Archives: December 2011

Longstanding Issues With Home Sharing and AppleTV2?

We have been made aware of what appears to be some significant issues with Home Sharing and AppleTV 2.  Initially reported in March 2011, complaints have been piling up in various forums (Apple Discussion, MacRumors, MacWorld), reaching 37 pages and and over 550 replies on Apple’s own forums with a solution still yet to be found.

Users report that when playing media from their Apple TV, the media may begin to play but will “drop out” after a few minutes of playing, with the loading cursor appearing and never recovering.  The issue appears on both Mac and Windows versions of iTunes 10.2.1 and above.  The issue persists regardless of wired or wireless networks, firewall or no firewall, antivirus or no antivirus.  The only workaround is for users to have to close iTunes or disable home sharing and then reconnect the Apple TV, at which time the “clock restarts”.

Apple has yet to acknowledge the issue.  Apple has made periodic changes to the Apple TV 2 software, with the most recent software update (4.4.4) bringing only minor “performance and stability improvements” as well as addressing an issue with displaying some video content.

Home Sharing is a critical part of the AppleTV 2.  With only minimal on-board flash storage, users are use Home Sharing to stream content from an iTunes library on their local area network in order to play their content using the AppleTV interface.  Alternatively users can use AirPlay, however that requires controlling the content from another iOS device or the iTunes computer.

Top Tech Perfect Stories of 2011

Tech Perfect has only been online for less than a year, but some of the stories that we’ve run have gained some traction.  Here’s a highlight of some of the most popular stories linked to and searched on this past year:

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading over the past half-year or so!  Here’s some of the things we’re looking forward to covering next year (as well as things that happen to pass our way):

  • Ivy Bridge
  • The emergence of the “Ultrabook” and Apple’s next laptop designs
  • A TV Revolution coming? (reference)
  • Tablet computing evolution
  • ARMv8 – 64bit ARM

Where Are The ARM-Based SBCs?

I’ve had a good deal of experience with Single Board computers (SBCs).  Single Board Computers are smallish embedded computers, often coming in a 3.5″ form factor and used heavily in embedded industrial environments.

Advantech is a leading supplier of Embedded Single Board Computers, but as you may note, the only SBCs available are based on an x86 instruction set.  While dual-core Atom equipped SBC will set you back $304 (before adding RAM),  the Cortex-A9 based Pandaboard is available for under $200.

It’s important to note that the Pandaboard is not a direct replacement for the above-noted Atom-based SBC as the SBC has multiple network interfaces as well as support for higher speed serial I/O — such features are critical in the SBC market.  However, it does make one wonder why we haven’t seen ARM based SBCs?

One of the key requirements of an SBC is low power draw.  SBCs are often used in UL-certified environments, which they will be required to run for a certain period of time on backup batteries if primary power fails.  SBCs also may be used when the total available power for the entire system isn’t unlimited – think flight computers (link references a PPC based system).  Meanwhile, I have also witnessed first-hand how data computation requirements of SBCs can escalate as products mature.  ARM is a perfect solution for such a scenario.