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View Full Version : What apps would make the Apple TV a 'killer'?




steviem
Sep 14, 2010, 03:35 AM
I ordered a new Apple TV, because of a few present reasons and a few 'future' reasons.

Present:
-I have 1TB TV, Movies and music all in a format readable by Apple devices.
-My home network is strong enough to support streaming
-The form factor looks really nice
-£99 vs £250 of the old one is a no-brainer, even if we do get stung for price here *I realise it's dropped to a clearance price now, but I'm not interested in old hardware, and it leads me on nicely to...

Future:
-Apps!

What apps would make the Apple TV a £/$99 purchase for you?

For me, I would love to have MLB At Bat, ESPN3, NFL Gamepass, BBC iPlayer and, of course, Facetime on my Apple TV in the future.



kramerica2
Sep 14, 2010, 06:33 AM
The ability to play 1080p and install apps could have been the killer...

Most people don't want to transfer all their media to itunes, if only Apple had let us install apps like AirVideo (ipad/iphone) or Boxee/Plex (OSX), the ATV would have killed all the other streamers...

UKBorgs
Sep 14, 2010, 07:39 AM
Who is to say that a forum like this is not being monitored by Apple. They may take this to heart, listen. and make some improvements.

I have just ordered mine, based on the fact that going to the cinema now is wayyyyyy tooo expensive when I could be in the comfort of my own home watching the films for a fraction of the price. Based on the current pricing scheme (please Apple, you can make this cheaper too!) and the cost of the unit, I will only need to see 5 films and I would have recouped the cost of the unit.

But additional apps to go on the ATV? As it has no harddrive, I would suspect that would be difficult to achieve, unless the USB is released. But I would love to see iPlayer and all the other TV channels on there.

In that respect, when I get it, is there a way of possibly accessing US channels too? I saw a YT video that utilised the USB to hack into the software and allow you, but what are the legal opportunities that Apple may provide?

jimsowden
Sep 14, 2010, 08:07 AM
- Pandora is pretty obvious
- an open video player, like vlc for the ipad, which would accept my .mkvs and .ts without any transcoding
- The ability to stream my screen from my mac, preferably with quality that would support video
- Not just in network streaming, but the ability to stream from other internet sources (set up my own server, view a live stream of an apple event, etc)

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 14, 2010, 08:27 AM
Simple really:


A 1080p "app" because that (platform) would give all the "720p is good enough" people every bit of the 720p experience they desire with no compromises, while also feeding the hunger of the "1080p or bust" crowd. By "killer", I'm assuming some of the definition is about what will sell a lot of units, so building in some hardware overkill (per the 720p'ers) will completely cover the desires of both camps (and I doubt it would have added any tangible cost to each unit since there are lots of 1080p set-top boxes out there priced higher, at, and lower than $99).
A genuine app store encouraging third parties to fill in the software blanks left by Apple, and/or to go where Apple does not want to take the thing themselves. Apple really does seem to treat it like a hobby. Third parties could do the grunt work to make it a lot more.
An app that normalizes the USB port so that those that want a little local storage AND those that want a lot of local storage could get the exact amount of local storage they want, and easily hook it up. A normal USB port(s) would also give the third party hardware guys (like Elgato) the ability to extend the hardware to cover functionality that Apple apparently does not want to provide, nor has interest in providing in the future


These 3 things- at least 2 of which could be done by merely enhancing the software- would make this new :apple:TV a true "killer".

That said, I'm guessing the original poster is looking for specific apps such as network apps, MLB, etc. Sure, the more sources of content, the better. However, the above 3 would top my list as they would unlock the fullest potential of this little box, giving us everything that Apple is interested in building in, as well as the flexibility via third parties to fill in the blanks. It is how it should have been this time. Apple has seen the very positive impact (to sales) via third party contributions to iDevices. They should have capitalized on that same power to make this a "killer".

If there is a desire for a list of specific (content) apps, I'd suggest taking a look at what companies like Samsung are offering as apps built into their new HDTVs (Netflix, Blockbuster, Vudu, Cinema Now, Pandora, etc) and being sure to offer those apps on any set top box that needs to be desirable as a stand alone purchase. Adding Netflix to this new box is great, but there's an awful lot of set top box competition that already has Netflix built in. Apple needs to roll out- or let third parties roll out- apps that cover all the competitive bases and then a few others NOT available on other set top boxes.

Personally, I'm watching for reviews of the Samsung 65" LED: http://www.samsung.com/us/consumer/tv-video/televisions/led-tv/UN65C8000XFXZA/index.idx?pagetype=prd_detail&returnurl=, particularly with regards to the UI and how it works with the same media I push through :apple:TV now. If it turns out to be a pretty good UI, that may be my "new :apple:TV" that just happens to be built right into the HDTV. I'll need a new HDTV pretty soon anyway, and at least they have a genuine app "store": http://www.samsung.com/us/samsungapps/ with lots of desirable apps. It comes with a couple of USB ports for attaching local storage, so the Macs in the house wouldn't even have to be on, and the home network bandwidth would be completely available when someone is "streaming" content from a big fat USB drive(s) to the HDTV. Right now the (full) retail price is scary, but it will drop fast, as all such things do.

steviem
Sep 14, 2010, 08:37 AM
I feel like there is going to be some flash storage on there. Apple isn't advertising it as having any, because they don't want people to think of it as a syncable device.

Micro USB was a slightly strange call, a dock connection could've been more appropriate, but we will soon see how that goes, I would love Apple to bring out an iSight with Micro USB connection :)

DavidLeblond
Sep 14, 2010, 08:56 AM
There is flash storage on there, there has to be to cache the streaming and probably some for the OS which is probably iOS.

The possibility of apps in the future? I wouldn't bet $100 on it. I highly, highly doubt it will happen. Maybe if they're included in a firmware upgrade, they'll come (as in Apple adding features not adding an App store.)

I'd love it if it played Hulu... I'd buy one in a second. But since Steve is on the board at Disney, and Hulu is owned by Disney's rivals, there is a snowballs chance in hell of that happening.

edk99
Sep 14, 2010, 09:07 AM
I feel like there is going to be some flash storage on there. Apple isn't advertising it as having any, because they don't want people to think of it as a syncable device.

Micro USB was a slightly strange call, a dock connection could've been more appropriate, but we will soon see how that goes, I would love Apple to bring out an iSight with Micro USB connection :)
There is no doubt that there is internal storage on it. How else would the operating system exist? I wouldn't be shocked if there was 2gb or 4gb or more storage available for the OS to function. There is just no "user" storage available.

Not sure if this has been confirmed but I would bet the house that the new ATV is running iOS. Of course the GUI looks similar to the old ATV but it is running on the iOS platform. With that I would expect down the road in future updates that an app store will be available. I'm betting that Apple did not want to rush out an app store along with the new ATV running the new version of iOS.

Remember this thing is not a huge seller so it has nowhere near the priority in getting new functionality and bug fixes as the iPhone and iPad. iOS4 is a huge update for both the iPhone and even more so for the iPad so I'm sure apple development was focusing most resources on those initiatives.

I have no doubt that ATV will see some sort of apps coming down the road. Until then I will continue to enjoy my original ATV.

tallyho
Sep 14, 2010, 10:44 AM
UK tv on demand options:
iPlayer, 4oD, ITV player (in that order of importance!)

I can do these via Boxee on my old AppleTVs but the performance is not great (especially annoying as someone at the BBC actually wrote a brilliant plugin that put iPlayer content in the AppleTV UI (http://jonathan.tweed.name/2010/02/09/bbc-iplayer-for-apple-tv-an-update/)--I had it working for all of about two days before the BBC broke XBMC compatibility :mad:)

Once people get their hands on the new AppleTVs we'll have to wait and see what, if anything, is possible.

bigpatky
Sep 14, 2010, 11:58 AM
there have been a couple reviews of the apple tv that call the new apple tv the "16 gb model". i think macworld was one of them. no idea how they would know or if that description is at all accurate. that's enough storage for future apps.

haganaga
Sep 14, 2010, 12:24 PM
...and Hulu is owned by Disney's rivals
Actually Disney is a part owner of Hulu along with NBC Universal and News Corp. Disney signed on after the fact.http://www.hulu.com/press/disney_press_release.html

cube
Sep 14, 2010, 12:26 PM
Music server with no TV required. Oops, there's no hard disk.

The OLD one is the killer.

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 14, 2010, 12:37 PM
Music server with no TV required. Oops, there's no hard disk.

The OLD one is the killer.

Again, that's why to normalize that USB port so that people interested in local storage can attach whatever size they desire. That would be a massive improvement over the old one which was capped at 40Gb or 160Gb stock, 320Gb in a pretty easy (self) upgrade, and bigger capacities with some software and/or hardware hacks.

The complaints with the old one was always "too much" or "not enough" storage, or "my hard drive died". Normalize that USB port on the new one and build in the software rather than waiting on the hackers to enable local storage through it, and the new one could be much better than the old one in this regard. It could still be "only $99" but have the user flexibility to build it out to taste (just like Macs and all of the other iDevices).

While they're at it, it would be nice to add network storage options too (for example, hook up a big media drive to your router/time capsule/AEBS) and have the new one find that media and use it whether any computer is turned on.

Either or both of these options would go a long way toward making the old :apple:TV look more like an obsolete model, and the new one look more like a true replacement. As is, I cling to my old version, hoping there will be some great surprises (unmentioned capabilities) found when people actually can lay their hands on the new ones.

dongmin
Sep 14, 2010, 08:02 PM
I'd love it if it played Hulu... I'd buy one in a second. But since Steve is on the board at Disney, and Hulu is owned by Disney's rivals, there is a snowballs chance in hell of that happening.

Hulu has, so far, been limited to the PC, iPads, and iPhones. The networks are against putting it on TV which, in their minds, overlaps with other revenue streams. So I don't see that happening anytime soon.

My feeling is that it's not Apple that's limiting the functionality, but rather the content providers that Apple has to make the deals with.

But Pandora, YouTube, and a few others seem like obvious candidates for future additions. FaceTime would be really really cool. And of course, GAMES!!!

bigpatky
Sep 14, 2010, 08:12 PM
Hulu has, so far, been limited to the PC, iPads, and iPhones. The networks are against putting it on TV which, in their minds, overlaps with other revenue streams. So I don't see that happening anytime soon.

have you missed the announcement of hulu plus? its entire point is to get hulu on the tv- with the $10/month subscription. i'm actually very surprised that hulu isn't included in this new apple tv at launch.

SCLlama
Sep 15, 2010, 05:56 AM
- A streaming app for all major sports (MLB at bat, NBA League Pass, NHL Center Ice, etc --- Doubt they could get NFL)
- Pandora
- Hulu Plus (would consider the subscription and ditching cable, but this would be tied to my first note)

I would be thrilled with those alone.

1080p would obviously be great, though I will go for the blu-ray if I need perfect quality. 1080p for menus/text would certainly be nice though. And I can't think of a single good reason why you shouldn't just be able to hook up a USB drive and play content off of that.

BoulderBum
Sep 15, 2010, 11:16 AM
Live streaming TV apps for big events and sports.
Hulu+
Games that interact with other iOS devices (quiz show for the family, Wii-like games that use newer devices' gyroscopes)
FaceTime app with camera accessory for making calls from TV.
A continuous play app for subscription content from various sites
Apps that support more video codecs/playing backed-up DVDs (a guy can dream)


The possibilities are pretty endless!

Pandora I wouldn't care too much about, since I use my TV for video, not music.

notjustjay
Sep 15, 2010, 12:06 PM
I just want the ability to stream videos and music from a NAS (with iTunes daap support, and/or DLNA) without the need for a server.

jaw04005
Sep 15, 2010, 12:27 PM
I have no doubt an App Store is coming. Jobs alluded to it in his Bloomberg interview.

Right now, Apple is strapped for OS resources. Where’s 10.7? They also have a problem with developer attention. While new apps are being added each day, the iPad App Store is nowhere near as rich as the iPhone App Store.

Maybe once iOS 5 ships next summer, they’ll be able to secure some content deals and finally add the App Store to Apple TV.

cube
Sep 15, 2010, 02:29 PM
Again, that's why to normalize that USB port so that people interested in local storage can attach whatever size they desire. That would be a massive improvement over the old one which was capped at 40Gb or 160Gb stock, 320Gb in a pretty easy (self) upgrade, and bigger capacities with some software and/or hardware hacks.

The complaints with the old one was always "too much" or "not enough" storage, or "my hard drive died". Normalize that USB port on the new one and build in the software rather than waiting on the hackers to enable local storage through it, and the new one could be much better than the old one in this regard. It could still be "only $99" but have the user flexibility to build it out to taste (just like Macs and all of the other iDevices).

While they're at it, it would be nice to add network storage options too (for example, hook up a big media drive to your router/time capsule/AEBS) and have the new one find that media and use it whether any computer is turned on.

Either or both of these options would go a long way toward making the old :apple:TV look more like an obsolete model, and the new one look more like a true replacement. As is, I cling to my old version, hoping there will be some great surprises (unmentioned capabilities) found when people actually can lay their hands on the new ones.

The new one has no analog audio output, so you would also need an USB interface + a USB hub.

Apple's "elegance" at work again.

TheBritishBloke
Sep 15, 2010, 03:56 PM
In the UK:

BBC iPlayer
ITV Player
4oD
Demand Five
LOVEFiLM Online

That'd be BEAST.