Stephen Hackett of 512 Pixels has shared how he's deployed and continues to manage over 40 Apple TVs in education:
When the original Apple TV launched in 2007 with a stripped-down version of OS X Tiger and a hard drive on board, there was some hope it could be used as an ultra-low-cost Mac. Not much came of it. In 2010, Apple switched the Apple TV to iOS and streaming, and while massive media power can still be found (or hacked) therein, dreams of the commodity Mac seemed to evaporate.
While the little black boxes obviously can't replace a Mac mini -- or any Mac -- for general purpose computing, Hackett shows how the technologies it uses, including Home Sharing, can be a good solution for very specific things. And he includes both the downsides and the trade-offs.
Give it a read.
Source: 512 Pixels
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.
That thing is pretty useless in countries without Netflix, unless you extensively use the iTunes media store. I'd like to buy one to stream my Plex library, but in order to do that it needs a Jailbreak (boo Apple, the AppleTV needs apps!). So I'm waiting until either the ATV3 gets a jailbreak or the ATV2's on eBay start dropping in prices (they're still much more expensive than ATV3's because of their jailbreakability).
Avahi is a good open source alternative to managing Bonjour services over multiple vLANs, but if you want a version that is web-managed and free they are available. My company published one that is managed through a web interface: http://www.aerohive.com/products/software-management/bonjour-gateway
I wish I had an Apple TV for my classroom, it would be great to use with my iPad so everyone can view whats on the iPad together.
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