Many were very excited about the Apple TV finally offering HD rentals as we all ran around comparing HD quality with other download services like Vudu and the Xbox360 Live Marketplace. But there is one thing the Apple TV can do that services like Vudu can't, play whatever you got from wherever you want. As much as we love the ultimate in HD picture and sound quality, we also like convenience so the idea of ripping all of our HD movies and DVDs to be stored on the network for consumption is real nice. And no sooner did Apple add Dolby Digital 5.1 support to the Apple TV, developers rushed to add the feature to their conversion software. The Mac favorite swiss army knife of video conversion, VisualHub was very quick with an update that does just this, and based on the latest nightly builds of HandBrake, the feature is iminent for DVD rips as well. So if Apple doesn't offer the HD movie you want to see, find it yourself and convert it. In our experiences, the movies we encoded looked as good, if not better, than those Apple offered -- and with no 24 hour limit of course.
[Thanks, Randy H.]