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View Full Version : A/V Streaming to Replace AirTunes in Next Airport Express (RELIABLE SOURCE)




ipedro
May 4, 2005, 08:47 PM
I have confirmed through a VERY RELIABLE source that the next version of Airport Express will support Audo AND Video Streaming!

This source claims that AirTunes will be replaced by a yet unnamed feature that will stream A/V content. The unit will have an S-Video out as well as the current optical audio outlet.

There will be a delay feature that will keep audio and video in sync so it is obvious this will be ideal for streaming DVD content.

The unit will be announced and released June 6th at the WWDC Steve Jobs keynote.

I've been looking unsuccessfuly for information on the next Airport for months and finally I hit the gold with this source.

This news shows that Apple is moving in the direction of eventually launching an Online Video Rental/Purchase store in the near future.

EDIT: Corrected launch date



iGary
May 4, 2005, 08:48 PM
I have confirmed through a VERY RELIABLE source that the next version of Airport Express will support Audo AND Video Streaming!

This source claims that AirTunes will be replaced by a yet unnamed feature that will stream A/V content. The unit will have an S-Video out as well as the current optical audio outlet.

The unit will be announced and released in July at the WWDC Steve Jobs keynote.

I've been looking unsuccessfuly for information on the next Airport for months and finally I hit the gold with this source.

Seeing as the Keynote is in June, you're not starting off on a very reliable note. :rolleyes:

ipedro
May 4, 2005, 08:54 PM
sorry, my bad. She said it was to be announced at the WWDC, the July date was my mistake.

Take the news as you want, this is after all a rumour site.

My source works for a company that will remain unnamed (but that you all know) which has a video component and was thus notified in advance to make plans for having their software become compatible with this new technology.

apple4life
May 4, 2005, 09:35 PM
Could be they are trying to move stock with the "sale." The iTunes store is advertising 30 free songs with the purchase of an AE...

Thanks for this tip...

This of course begs the question of when, not if, a video iPod will be released...

pdpfilms
May 4, 2005, 09:41 PM
What? That was..... wow. Great rumor there Pedro.... I'm not voting for you for the next class president.

PlaceofDis
May 4, 2005, 09:42 PM
interesting, but who knows if it is a reality or will just a dreamy rumor

ipedro
May 4, 2005, 09:52 PM
pdpfilms: Do I know you? Diane? lol

As for veracity, I had written about this in my blog some time ago and received confirmation from a source close to Apple that this was indeed in the pipe. Tonight I got solid confirmation from a more reliable source.

PlaceofDis: More than a dreamy rumour. Let's meet here after the keynote.

FelixDerKater
May 4, 2005, 10:10 PM
Video streaming is a logical next step.

aswitcher
May 4, 2005, 10:15 PM
I take it this wont be cheap...say $50-$100 US more???

thecow
May 4, 2005, 10:15 PM
I'm guessing that it would use h.264 for streeming the video from the mac to the airport. Apple did this before when they introduced the apple lossless encoder for iTunes. This rumor doesn't seem that unrealistic.

ipedro
May 4, 2005, 10:33 PM
thecow: thank you. You took the words out of my..uh.. fingers.

With H.264 now launched, the possibility of video streaming is now a reality.

The previous problem with streaming video was that compression technologies would never allow for full screen video streaming. With H.264, even if your "pipe" is clogged, the video can be scaled down to allow for a smooth stream.

With the delay sync feature, I would imagine that the new Airport Express will have buffer memory. This way, it can receive a/v information and only play it when sufficient matching audio and video are on the system.

As for price, my source didn't speculate as to it's price. I'm sure Apple is keeping the lid on this as much as they can but as we all know, it's impossible to keep a secret on something you need to let other parties become aware of.

PlaceofDis
May 4, 2005, 10:38 PM
I take it this wont be cheap...say $50-$100 US more???

well if they are phasing out the older express units than i dont think the price will be that outrageous

ipedro
May 4, 2005, 10:43 PM
I wonder what they'll call the new feature since AirTunes will be on it's way out.

AirTime (as in Wireless QuickTime)?

AirStream?

AirFlow?

AirA/V (unApple)

___________________________

On a sidenote, this is the continuation of making an Apple computer the media hub of the home. Have a Mac Mini and an Airport Express and you've got the perfect media hub. Wireless.
I bet this is going to tie in with the new expected WiFiPod.

snkTab
May 4, 2005, 10:49 PM
Video streaming is a logical next step.

Until Apple makes a Airport Express Photo just to spite you.

ipedro
May 4, 2005, 10:58 PM
Until Apple makes a Airport Express Photo just to spite you.

Very good point! I wouldn't be surprised to see this as a selling feature:

"Wirelessly view your iPhoto gallery on your TV"

What other possible uses can come of this?

iChat A/V on your TV? Plug your iSight into the Airport Express and sit back on your couch as you video chat with peole on the other side of the planet. INSTANT video phone!

Chip NoVaMac
May 4, 2005, 11:26 PM
I take it this wont be cheap...say $50-$100 US more???

Not bad IMO. Even better if it is the same price as todays AEX.

Video streaming does make me wonder if Apple is going to announce a Mac mini type of device with the much desired multimedia capability. I for one would want to be able to rely on Apple for a closed-ended type of system. Meaning that I did not have to rely on Elgato as an example.

Chip NoVaMac
May 4, 2005, 11:29 PM
Very good point! I wouldn't be surprised to see this as a selling feature:

"Wirelessly view your iPhoto gallery on your TV"

What other possible uses can come of this?

iChat A/V on your TV? Plug your iSight into the Airport Express and sit back on your couch as you video chat with peole on the other side of the planet. INSTANT video phone!

From your mouth to Apple's ears.

tangerineyum
May 4, 2005, 11:42 PM
Well if this is indeed true i will be buying a new airtunes unit in june, whether or not it supports video.

superbovine
May 4, 2005, 11:45 PM
iChat A/V on your TV? Plug your iSight into the Airport Express and sit back on your couch as you video chat with peole on the other side of the planet. INSTANT video phone!

iSight wasn't designed to sit on top of your tv and sit on your couch and talk. what i am saying is the lense isn't design to be focused on objects far away. there are professional video conferences device designed to do that. I don't see that as a practical application unless the iSight get redisigned. there is also latency issues. how would it work? would you use you ichat client on your mac to connect to the person then tell the airport express to use the cam and mic on the airport express. the airport express basically need a remote control if you wanted this to be possible.

t300
May 4, 2005, 11:50 PM
Well if this is indeed true i will be buying a new airtunes unit in june, whether or not it supports video.

I second that. I have been waiting and will continue to wait. But there better be a GOOD new feature(s), otherwise the present ones will seem just fine, especially with a nice price cut.

slidingjon
May 4, 2005, 11:54 PM
there are a couple of a/v streaming units out there (none using the H.264 codec, ofcourse) but they are selling in the $300 range. D-Link makes one and Microsoft is pushing this quite a bit, but they are pretty ineffective. They didn't get it right. They don't have jobs' midas touch. ;)
Would love A/V streaming! Hoping it's real.

Chip NoVaMac
May 4, 2005, 11:58 PM
iSight wasn't designed to sit on top of your tv and sit on your couch and talk. what i am saying is the lense isn't design to be focused on objects far away. there are professional video conferences device designed to do that. I don't see that as a practical application unless the iSight get redisigned. there is also latency issues. how would it work? would you use you ichat client on your mac to connect to the person then tell the airport express to use the cam and mic on the airport express. the airport express basically need a remote control if you wanted this to be possible.

But a separate A type of hook-up specifically for the iSight that would allow to place the iSight on your coffee table and connect wirelessly would sell very well IMO. In the worst case Apple finally releases iSight 2.0 with wireless capabilities.

broken_keyboard
May 5, 2005, 12:22 AM
H.264 is incredible. I had a 10GB MPEG2 file (an HDTV episode of Battlestar Galactica recorded with EyeTV) and converted it to a 500MB H.264 file with no noticable loss of quality.

That is a 20x size reduction! The guys who came up with this codec must have had some kind of new, deep insight in to the nature of video data.

LethalWolfe
May 5, 2005, 12:45 AM
That is a 20x size reduction! The guys who came up with this codec must have had some kind of new, deep insight in to the nature of video data.

I think a lot of it probably has to do w/computer processing power getting to a point where this is becoming a viable solution. I'm sure the idea for this has been on paper for a while, but they just had to wait for computers to catch up.

broken_keyboard,
Could you post like a 5 or 10 second section from each source so we could do a side by side comparison?

After hearing all about H.264 I finally got to seem some of it and, honestly, I was a bit let down. But my perspective is skewed 'cause I see production quality HD footage on a regular basis... H.264 looks awesome for what it is, but it just can't come close to the "virgin" HD source.

Anyway... dirty little secret studios/networks probably don't want you to know about HDTV is that some shows (no idea how many) that b'cast in both SD and HD will take their SD version, up-convert it to HD, and send that out as the HD.

Anyway, on topic, a streaming a/v device would be pretty cool.


Lethal

Balin64
May 5, 2005, 01:15 AM
Count me in as skeptical. While it is true that H264 may allow smaller file forms, the processing power is still needed: what is going to decode the H264 transmission? The AirTunes experience was definitely pointed at consumers: Mac and PC users alike. How is Apple supposed to support decoding for this format?

As it is, with the Macs on my sig, AirTunes likes to drop the signal once in a while.

I would love to see this: but I am very wary my possums...

ipedro
May 8, 2005, 07:31 PM
I have confirmed through yet another source the veracity of this report.

This third source confirmed that AirPort Express 2 has an S-Video out, a USB port and an optical audio out port. He could not confirm how it would be used.

At the very least, we'll see a TV or another display being used with the Airport Express as either an iPhoto presentation streamer or even an iTunes information controller (you can see which song is playing and album art on your tv).

If my first two souces are correct though, we'll be seeing H.264 video streaming which is the logical next step in the Airport Express.

Stay tuned as I try to get more info.


Note: To add some credibility to this story, I can mention how this souce knows about the S-Video port, but to portect the souces identity, I have to limit what I can tell you.
He works in a position that requires him to know how the circuit board of Apple Hardware will be configured. He knows there will be an S-Video port, but doesn't know how it will function. He knows for a fact that this circuit board is in production as we speak. This lends plausibility to the WWDC release date.

ipedro
May 8, 2005, 07:49 PM
I just thought of yet another awesome feature that might branch out! :eek:

True wireless capability. Hook up your LCD display to the AE2 and use it as a second wireless screen for your Powerbook or iBook. :D

StarbucksSam
May 8, 2005, 08:23 PM
Note: To add some credibility to this story

Thank God SOMEBODY did that. THANK YOU. I commend you. Go YOU.

superbovine
May 8, 2005, 08:32 PM
Note: To add some credibility to this story, I can mention how this souce knows about the S-Video port, but to portect the souces identity, I have to limit what I can tell you.
He works in a position that requires him to know how the circuit board of Apple Hardware will be configured. He knows there will be an S-Video port, but doesn't know how it will function. He knows for a fact that this circuit board is in production as we speak. This lends plausibility to the WWDC release date.

Your'll prove your credibility when your story pans out to be true. Either way you aren't a journalist, and probably won't be protected under the 1st amendment or your sources.

btw: http://www.dansays.com/archives/2004/06/19/airport-express-2/

t300
May 8, 2005, 09:04 PM
Your'll prove your credibility when your story pans out to be true. Either way you aren't a journalist, and probably won't be protected under the 1st amendment or your sources.

btw: http://www.dansays.com/archives/2004/06/19/airport-express-2/

Harsh. Especially considering he is just lending to the thing that our whole community is based on...rumors.

wwooden
May 8, 2005, 09:37 PM
I am having a tough time figuring out what type of video you would be streaming to this unit. I mean, if I want to watch a DVD, I think it would be a lot easier to just put the DVD in my DVD player connected to the TV, then put it in the computer and stream it there. The only quick time videos I have on my computer are the stuff i ripped from my DVD's to play on my PSP (family guy, futurerama, Seinfeld).

I agree with one of the posters that they might take an idea from the iPod Photo, being able to stream photo slide shows with music to the TV. This would only require another connector for the express unit and wouldn't require a great deal of bandwidth.

What kind of video stuff do you have in mind for streaming to the unit?

ipedro
May 8, 2005, 09:43 PM
I find it funny how people bite the hand that feeds them information, only to praise that person the minute their information proves to be true.

The first source wasn't somebody I could say without a shadow of a doubt that he was speaking the truth. The second, she is definitely VERY reliable since she told me well in advance what new features would appear on Adobe CS2 .. and this third source has given me info regarding previous Apple products in the past which turned out to be true. 2 out of 3 reliable sources saying the same thing is all I need to believe the news.

But thats me... everybody else can be left sucking their thumbs until THEY find their OWN sources so they believe without a shadow of a doubt that AE2 will have an S-Video port.

weldon
May 8, 2005, 10:23 PM
I'd like to see the iTunes Visualizer work through AirTunes so you could see the song playing and watch the visualizations on the TV. Of course, my main stereo is connected to the Projection TV/Home Theater. It would work great for me. Combine this with a remote that can pull up the party shuffle list while the visualizer is going and you have a winning combo.

I think a photo slide show (set to music, of course) would be another great idea. I might actually look at some of my photos that way, instead of just letting them sit on the computer. The remote would be useful here too - pick the photo album, pick the song or playlist, etc.

Streaming a DVD over wireless is a dumb idea. I'd much rather get the best PQ from the component video connectors on my DVD player. Recompressed DVD via S-Video is of no use to me.

ipedro
May 8, 2005, 10:29 PM
All good points. The news states that there's an S-Video connector while the second source claims it will be for streaming video. DVD quality video, I admit will be hard to pull off.. but streaming QuickTime video encoded in H.264 is perfectly plausible if you think ahead. Apple seems to want to get into the video store market. Playing any QuickTime movie wirelessly on your TV seems like a desirable function.

Koodauw
May 8, 2005, 10:48 PM
Well Im usually pretty gung-ho about new apple products, but I just have no interest in streaming video at the moment. Although I do love to stream audio. I hope this doesn't turn out to be some lame picture viewer streaming crap. We have iPod Photos for that.

Flying Llama
May 8, 2005, 11:13 PM
Hmm maybe someone should put this on page 2, since the source doesn't even have a reputation, no offense to ipedro :) , and since the evidence is pretty clear...

AliensAreFuzzy
May 8, 2005, 11:19 PM
Did anyone stop to think about the processing power you would need to encode h.264 at real time? I hope this happens, but I don't think it will.

ipedro
May 9, 2005, 12:01 AM
Did anyone stop to think about the processing power you would need to encode h.264 at real time? I hope this happens, but I don't think it will.

Then perhaps Apple's intention isn't to encode DVDs in real time but to play content already in H.264 and stream that information to AE2 and to your TV.

Jobs always said he wasn't interested in a Media Center box. He wants to see a Macintosh as the center of your home media. Having your Mac stream HD video to watch on your TV follows his philosophy.

Flying Llama
May 9, 2005, 12:10 AM
...Having your Mac stream HD video to watch on your TV follows his [Steve Jobs'] philosophy.

Ya but it is possible things get passed his philosophy:
-iPod shuffle: Jobs said people just stuff them somewhere, but they came!
-iPod photo

And maybe some others... anything is possible... :eek:

superbovine
May 9, 2005, 12:46 AM
Harsh. Especially considering he is just lending to the thing that our whole community is based on...rumors.

What does that have to do with the truth?

GregA
May 9, 2005, 07:23 PM
Then perhaps Apple's intention isn't to encode DVDs in real time but to play content already in H.264 and stream that information to AE2 and to your TV.The encoding is certainly part of the problem. Decoding is another part of that problem though. I know h264 scales for mobile phones, so there are certainly ways - but we want to maintain the quality right?

[edit: I do think it's possible to find that sweet spot - just not sure how much it would cost today.]
Very good point! I wouldn't be surprised to see this as a selling feature: "Wirelessly view your iPhoto gallery on your TV" This should certainly be possible, they've already got video output chips in iPod-Photos.
iChat A/V on your TV? Plug your iSight into the Airport Express and sit back on your couch as you video chat with peole on the other side of the planet. INSTANT video phone!There was a related rumor recently - that iSight was being updated to have some h264 encoding onboard the camera. I thought it was a stupid idea as the computer should do the compression, but maybe there's more to it. Then again, maybe this just helps iChat AV use less processing power (good for all the G4s out there!)
Jobs always said he wasn't interested in a Media Center box. He wants to see a Macintosh as the center of your home media. Having your Mac stream HD video to watch on your TV follows his philosophy.Where'd you hear this? Jobs said he didn't want to use a Mac to watch TV, that people would be annoyed if they couldn't use their Mac because they were recording something etc. He didn't negate the possibility of different TV-specific devices that worked with Macs (just as iPods work with Macs but don't require a Mac). This seems to be the oppositve of what you're saying?

edit: Thanks for the rumour iPedro, very interesting :)

eva01
May 9, 2005, 08:05 PM
if you wanted to stream HD to your TV, you would have to have a HD television or it wouldn't work, correct?

how much do HD TVs go for these days anyways? 400-500

weldon
May 9, 2005, 08:31 PM
The encoding is certainly part of the problem. Decoding is another part of that problem though. I know h264 scales for mobile phones, so there are certainly ways - but we want to maintain the quality right?
[edit: I do think it's possible to find that sweet spot - just not sure how much it would cost today.]
We won't really know for a little while. The H.264 AVC HP spec is still pretty new and the silicon isn't quite ready yet. Manufacturers are working to have chips ready to go in the summer or late fall that can do decoding in hardware, but there could still be bumps in the road. Look for the cost to fall dramatically over the next couple years as the next-gen disc format ramps up.

There was a related rumor recently - that iSight was being updated to have some h264 encoding onboard the camera. I thought it was a stupid idea as the computer should do the compression, but maybe there's more to it. Then again, maybe this just helps iChat AV use less processing power (good for all the G4s out there!)
This is actually a good idea because encoding can be done very efficiently in hardware. I would only question the rumor because the chips aren't really ready yet for a device at the price point of an iSight. Maybe next year.

GregA
May 9, 2005, 08:52 PM
Manufacturers are working to have chips ready to go in the summer or late fall that can do decoding in hardware<snip>The other issue is that there is a big difference between mobile phone decoding chips and HDTV receiver decoding chips - Apple may want SDTV quality (who knows). Also, I imagine that highly compressed h264 is more difficult to encode, and more difficult to decode - an Apple decoder at the TV could be custom designed to handle a certain level of compression and resolution supplied by an Apple machine. Potentially.
(iSight encoding) is actually a good idea because encoding can be done very efficiently in hardware.Yeah, I meant to say that while I thought it was stupid originally (why increase the cost of the iSight?), taking some pressure off my computer is a good thing.

(edit: error in quote)

GFLPraxis
May 9, 2005, 09:23 PM
Can't SD resolution video be encoded at H.264? H.264 doesn't necessarily HAVE to be HD, does it?

GregA
May 9, 2005, 09:35 PM
Can't SD resolution video be encoded at H.264? H.264 doesn't necessarily HAVE to be HD, does it?Yes (yes - SD resolution video can be encoded using H.264).

If you get a chance to play back some h264 videos from Apple's site, you'll notice that the lower resolution ones play nicely on machines a few years old (mine is a G4-800Mhz). The HD ones won't run on mine.

So if Apple is making a streaming device, the decoder required in that device will depend on the resolution of the video, but also probably (my previous question) on the way it is compressed.

Greg
ps. Note if you have a HD movie via an S-Video out (as rumoured) you won't get HD quality anyway. You want DVI-D or Component (preferably RGBVH) output

weldon
May 9, 2005, 10:58 PM
The other issue is that there is a big difference between mobile phone decoding chips and HDTV receiver decoding chips - Apple may want SDTV quality (who knows). Also, I imagine that highly compressed h264 is more difficult to encode, and more difficult to decode - an Apple decoder at the TV could be custom designed to handle a certain level of compression and resolution supplied by an Apple machine. Potentially.
There's not as much difference as you might think. There is a big difference in the encoding of AVC HP because of some different techniques used to get the absolute best PQ out of HD video, but the decoding of H.264 is essentially the same, no matter the resolution or bitrate. It's just a question of how much you have to do at once. Kinda like how MP3 works where you can have big differences in the encoding, but almost any device can decode anything in MP3 from 16kbps mono to 320kbps stereo because it's done in hardware or on fast computers that can cut through MP3 like a hot knife through butter.

And you've kinda got highly compressed mixed up with high bitrate. If it's highly compressed, it's a lower bitrate and it's EASIER to decode. If it's less compressed and at a higher bitrate it's MORE intensive to decode. You have to consider that with resolution as well, so high resolution at high bitrate is really intensive and low resolution at low bitrate is relatively simple.

Still, I doubt we're going to see any hardware solutions for movies until the Blu-ray / HD-DVD camps work out their compromise. Apple might still do a proprietary implementation for specific applications (iTunes, iPhoto), of course.

GregA
May 9, 2005, 11:37 PM
the decoding of H.264 is essentially the same, no matter the resolution or bitrate. It's just a question of how much you have to do at once. So higher quality will require more decoding-per-second, so to speak. Right?

Kinda like how MP3 works where you can have big differences in the encoding, but almost any device can decode anything in MP3 from 16kbps mono to 320kbps stereo because it's done in hardware or on fast computers that can cut through MP3 like a hot knife through butter.The cheap mp3 players weren't able to decode stuff faster than 128kbps at first - they simply weren't fast enough. These days any mp3 player is fast enough to do the job at whatever bitrate. When our playback devices are fast enough to handle ANY h264 signal I'd agree - but I don't think you can make that analogy at this point. Or am I missing something?

And you've kinda got highly compressed mixed up with high bitrate. If it's highly compressed, it's a lower bitrate and it's EASIER to decode.I can speak only from what makes sense to me, but it IS a slight stretch from where I'm making my assumptions. I'm assuming that the MPEG4-10/h264 standard has multiple techniques for maximising the compression of a given movie.

So, if I create a movie clip using 10 compression algorithms (for instance), I might have a nice small file. If I create the same movie clip using 5 compression algorithms, the file will not be as small (Please tell me if this logic holds for h264!?). On decoding there is more data, but "less to do", for the larger file. This is a separate issue to the resolution of the file.

You are saying explicitly that this isn't so. Let me make it clear that I'm just guessing based on number of passes required to decode the compressed file - would you mind telling me where you're basing your statement from?

I dare say that an 8Mbps SDTV clip will be easier to decode than an 8Mbps HDTV clip - even though they have the same bit rate. The question is whether an 8Mbps SDTV clip is easier to decode than a 7Mbps SDTV clip.

Of course if you're saying every chip will easily decode every h264 signal then it wouldn't matter. I just don't share your optimism.

Still, I doubt we're going to see any hardware solutions for movies until the Blu-ray / HD-DVD camps work out their compromise. Apple might still do a proprietary implementation for specific applications (iTunes, iPhoto), of course.Well, the h264 chip is standard in both Blu-ray and HD-DVD, along with HD boxes in the new french PayTV system, and News Corp's BSkyB HD soon - the h264 format is finalised. Of course, we need chip production to ramp up before the costs go down, and the next-gen DVD compromise will certainly help that!

Greg

weldon
May 10, 2005, 12:28 AM
So higher quality will require more decoding-per-second, so to speak. Right?
Yep.

The cheap mp3 players weren't able to decode stuff faster than 128kbps at first - they simply weren't fast enough. These days any mp3 player is fast enough to do the job at whatever bitrate. When our playback devices are fast enough to handle ANY h264 signal I'd agree - but I don't think you can make that analogy at this point. Or am I missing something?
You're right. We're not there yet with H.264. I was just thinking about how you can do multi-pass encoding with MP3 and take all the time you like to create the file, but when you're done it's still MP3 and the decoding is essentially the same and can be done in real-time by anything out there today. With H.264, you can use all kinds of fancy tricks in AVC HP to create optimized video, but when you're done it's still just H.264.

I can speak only from what makes sense to me, but it IS a slight stretch from where I'm making my assumptions. I'm assuming that the MPEG4-10/h264 standard has multiple techniques for maximising the compression of a given movie.
This is true. There are different techniques that can be used in encoding.

So, if I create a movie clip using 10 compression algorithms (for instance), I might have a nice small file. If I create the same movie clip using 5 compression algorithms, the file will not be as small (Please tell me if this logic holds for h264!?). On decoding there is more data, but "less to do", for the larger file. This is a separate issue to the resolution of the file.
This is a little off. When you are finished encoding, you have a H.264 video stream. There aren't multiple layers of compression that need to be pulled apart to reconstruct the video. You still have I, B, and P frames. However, you do have some complexity choices in the number of frames that an i-frame can reference, the size of luma compensation blocks, motion adaption, CABAC, etc. All those choices are going to influence decoding complexity. Still, I guess that the biggest influence is always going to be resolution and bitrate. The more data to handle at once, the more complex the decoding task.

You are saying explicitly that this isn't so. Let me make it clear that I'm just guessing based on number of passes required to decode the compressed file - would you mind telling me where you're basing your statement from?
I'm not outright disagreeing with you. There are complexity choices made in encoding that influence the complexity of decoding. I'm just saying that to the decoder, H.264 is still H.264. I've seen general numbers that say encoding with AVC main is 8x more complex than MPEG-2, but decoding is only 3-4x as complex. CABAC is maybe an order of magnitude more complex for encoding, but only a little more complex for decoding. You asked for sources - I didn't take the time at this hour to list any. Sorry.

I dare say that an 8Mbps SDTV clip will be easier to decode than an 8Mbps HDTV clip - even though they have the same bit rate. The question is whether an 8Mbps SDTV clip is easier to decode than a 7Mbps SDTV clip.
Good question. While there are encoding options that increase decoding complexity at any bitrate, I still think the main influence on performance is going to be bitrate. I would expect an 8Mbps stream to be more intensive to decode than a 7Mbps stream because it demands more resources from the hardware.

Of course if you're saying every chip will easily decode every h264 signal then it wouldn't matter. I just don't share your optimism.
I'm saying that this summer we will have finalized silicon that can decode H.264 AVC HP up to 1080p/30 at bitrates up to 35Mbps in real-time. How do I know that? Because that's what the Blu-ray and HD-DVD specs call for.

Well, the h264 chip is standard in both Blu-ray and HD-DVD, along with HD boxes in the new french PayTV system, and News Corp's BSkyB HD soon - the h264 format is finalised. Of course, we need chip production to ramp up before the costs go down, and the next-gen DVD compromise will certainly help that!
Except the chips for Blu-ray and HD-DVD aren't final yet. And H.264 is just recently locked down. Main profile has been done for a while but High Profile has been in flux to try and match up better with VC-1. The CABAC stuff is just in the last few months really, from what I understand.

ipedro
May 10, 2005, 02:02 AM
... as the front page news states, iTunes is now selling VIDEOS. Yet another fact that lends credibility to this rumour and the sources who I've stated.

The next AirPort Express, to be launched at WWDC will most certainly stream video from iTunes using a yet unamed feature that will replace AirTunes.

ReanimationLP
May 10, 2005, 04:53 AM
It seems our friend heres rumor is starting to become more and more true, which is awesome. :) No more wires to watch my DivX anime fansubs on my TV! Can take it wherever I wanna watch around the house. F***in SWEET DUDE! :D :D :D :D :D

ipedro
May 10, 2005, 10:34 AM
It seems our friend heres rumor is starting to become more and more true, which is awesome. :) No more wires to watch my DivX anime fansubs on my TV! Can take it wherever I wanna watch around the house. F***in SWEET DUDE! :D :D :D :D :D

I bet Apple would get around playing all types of video because of compression technologies. I'm betting that all video that would be streamed oved AirPort ExpressAV would have to be in Quicktime H.264. I guess you'd have to convert your DivX files into .MOV

GregA
May 10, 2005, 06:26 PM
I bet Apple would get around playing all types of video because of compression technologies. I'm betting that all video that would be streamed oved AirPort ExpressAV would have to be in Quicktime H.264. I guess you'd have to convert your DivX files into .MOVIf Apple had a movie-server for your ExpressAV, the chip in the ExpressAV could be far simpler. They'd need to transcode your signal to their standard on the fly, and decode at the AV. I guess they could send it in whatever format they wanted.

A movie-server style service makes sense, as it's how iTunes does it now (iTunes controls the Airport-Express). And yet, Steve Jobs said he didn't want to tie up the home computer to have a TV work. Hmmm. I'm more willing to base probabilities on Apple's past product (iTunes+Express) than Steve's comments :)

ipedro
May 15, 2005, 12:47 PM
Further information is available regarding the AirPort Express AV launch and its repercussions: The AirPort Extreme Base Station is on it's way to becoming discontinued.

Apple's new strategy is to make a WiFi component that is easily transportable. If a user requires further distance, a second AirPort Express will extend the range (it does this now).

I suspect Apple's vision is to have an AirPort Express in every room of the house where there is a tv. This negates the reason d'Ítre of the AirPort Extreme.
From a central location, you can stream Audio/Video to any part of the house or using a PowerBook or iBook or potentialy a Wi-Fi iPod, you could wander wirelessly around the house streaming music and video to the room where you are.

ipedro
May 17, 2005, 01:51 AM
It's very clear now: Apple is phasing out the current model of the AirPort Express.

1 - 30 iTunes offer with the purchase of an AE (http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore?promo=AirPortExpressiTunes&cid=AOS1000brick1)

2- Several stores have sold out or their AirPort Express units recently.

The announcement of the AirPort Express AV must be imminent.

dongmin
May 17, 2005, 02:58 AM
You guys should really check out El Gato's EyeHome (http://www.elgato.com/index.php?file=products_eyehome_wireless). I haven't seen a demo of it in person--so i can't vouch for the quality--but EyeHome supports MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4, and DIVX at 480p, which is DVD quality. Maybe they'll add H.264 support in the near future. (I imagine they use a pretty standard decoding hardware you find in DVD players that support DIVX and VCDs. So H.264 support will have to wait until hardware decoders for it becomes affordable.)

In addition to video, EyeHome receives iTunes and iPhoto streams. The nice thing about EyeHome is that you can control what you stream from your Mac using an IR remote. The downside, of course, is that you need two pieces of hardware to make this work:

mac <--> airport express <--> eyehome --> TV
(user controls eyehome via a remote)

My guess is that if Apple adds S-video to airport express, it'll still be just a one-way system:

mac --> airport express --> TV
(user controls the mac)

I assume iTunes will be THE interface for both audio and video (and probably photo). The recent discovery of video capabilities in iTunes 4.8 supports this possibility. Yes, the pieces are finally starting to come together. Maybe we'll even see iTunes 5.0 released with support for purchasing videos through the iTMS. So, to wrap up, we can expect the following:

1. Airport Express 2.0 with S-video out
2. iTunes update
3. iTunes Video Store (a bit of a reach)
4. AirTunes remote (also a bit of a reach)
5. Apple DVR (my pipe dream)

It'd be nice if Apple provides the complete solution, and not just bits and pieces. Macs + CD burners + iPods + iTunes + iTMS is the complete solution for listening, ripping, buying, and carrying music. It'd be nice if Apple released something like that for video content.

ipedro
May 17, 2005, 09:25 AM
The 30 songs coupon expires the day before D: All Things Digital Conference. Last year, Steve Jobs announced the first AirPort Express at this conference.


TERMS & CONDITIONS
To qualify for a coupon, you must purchase the AirPort Express Base Station (Part number B9762LL/A) via the U.S. iTunes Music Store in conjunction with the U.S. Apple Online Store from May 2, 2005, to May 23, 2005.

I'm assuming that with AE's being nearly sold out everywhere and the 30 free songs coupon expiring the day before the conference, it's becoming pretty obvious that a new replacement AirPort Express will be launched on Tuesday, May 24.

killuminati
May 17, 2005, 10:45 AM
Noooo! Just yesterday I ordered an Airport Express. I would be really disappointed if if it arrived and then a couple days later they came out with an A/V version.

t300
May 17, 2005, 11:17 AM
Noooo! Just yesterday I ordered an Airport Express. I would be really disappointed if if it arrived and then a couple days later they came out with an A/V version.

Cancel it! Cancel it!

tinydancer
May 17, 2005, 02:07 PM
If this has been mentioned, I'm sorry.

Keep in mind that now it looks like Macs will ship with Airport cards built-in, which lends creedance to the possibilty of streaming video. People wouldn't want to stream video and then learn they need an airport card. Hacing it built-in solves this problem

wheezy
May 17, 2005, 02:59 PM
Well has this gone all over and back! Just to add my 1/2 bit (I'm not near credible for 2!) I'd like to think it'll be iPhoto Slideshow player on your TV, and then with a remote scroll your playlists, etc on your TV. The Salling Clicker for BT Phones can do this very easily, so maybe they'll put BT on it as well for a BT remote that will work locally with the AE...if it was BT with your computer in a far reaching part of the house, the range might not be sufficient.

Oh yeah, I totally vote for Pedro! I'm actually going to Big J's Drive In this weekend! (It's where Kip and Rico ate a few times while discussing the new product and Lafawnduh)

ipedro
May 18, 2005, 10:55 PM
I called 4 popular Apple stores. All of them were sold out of AirPort Express units! I asked each one when they could expect to have them in stock. One said in a couple of weeks, the other 3 mentioned the online promotion where you get 30 songs, suggesting I should buy it at the online Apple store. Looks like Apple is giving Apple Stores instructions to forward customers to the online store to finish the remaining stock of 1st generation AE's.

I'll bet the house that we'll get a new AirPort Express ... AV or not next Tuesday! :D

TreeHugger
May 19, 2005, 01:40 AM
It would be really cool if you could use it to stream as a second monitor... That be wicked fun. Run it as an extended desktop or mirror of the current desktop.

superbovine
May 27, 2005, 10:55 PM
http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=951


Updated AirPort Base Stations

According to sources, the company is expected to introduce updates to both its AirPort Extreme and AirPort Express products in the coming months.

While specifics are lacking, sources said the new base stations would sport minor component and software revisions while continuing to support the current AirPort Extreme Card.

One hot, but unconfirmed, rumor is that Apple may be considering the addition of a standard optical audio out port to its AirPort Express product. The current version ships with a 3.5mm mini-Audio jack for analog or optical digital sound, but requires that users purchase a $40 kit to tap the optical interface.

sakasune
Jun 6, 2005, 02:27 PM
So, I guess this wasn't true after all...

superbovine
Jun 6, 2005, 03:19 PM
So, I guess this wasn't true after all...

Lets see what Pedro has to say about it.

killuminati
Jun 6, 2005, 08:00 PM
So, I guess this wasn't true after all...

maybe some new products will be announced tomorrow cuz steve wanted to spend the whole keynote talking about intel. Idno, just an idea

jelloshotsrule
Jun 6, 2005, 08:41 PM
Lets see what Pedro has to say about it.

the question is will he even show his face again? hah

superbovine
Jun 6, 2005, 08:45 PM
maybe some new products will be announced tomorrow cuz steve wanted to spend the whole keynote talking about intel. Idno, just an idea

my post above from appleinsider said the new airport express with an optical out. i trust them more than ipedro, but never the less we must wait and see.

Rangerhall6
Jun 7, 2005, 12:45 AM
I just noticed that the shipping time has gone to 1-3 days now... i dont know if that means much but i think the times just changed today

sakasune
Jun 7, 2005, 02:41 PM
I'm thinking if they still release an A/V Airport, it might be until Quicktime 7 for Windows is no longer a preview. I don't remember for sure, but wasn't iTunes released for Windows, then the Airport Express came out? So, if the new A/V Airport supports H.264, Apple might want Quicktime for Windows to be final first.

Just a thought...

superbovine
Jun 7, 2005, 06:25 PM
I'm thinking if they still release an A/V Airport, it might be until Quicktime 7 for Windows is no longer a preview. I don't remember for sure, but wasn't iTunes released for Windows, then the Airport Express came out? So, if the new A/V Airport supports H.264, Apple might want Quicktime for Windows to be final first.

Just a thought...

Have you looked at the system requirements to decode H.264? I highly doubt, any networking device is going to have that much processing power, and be priced reasonabley.

http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/ichat/

weldon
Jun 7, 2005, 08:28 PM
Any networked device that will decode H.264 will use a specialized ASIC that will decode in hardware. Considering that all next-gen high def players (HD-DVD or Blu-ray) are going to have hardware decoding, these chips won't be expensive for very long after the introduction of the next-gen players.

pdpfilms
Jun 7, 2005, 09:47 PM
So it looks like we won't be seeing this for a while. Now that you've been mostly disproved, care to share your "sources" pedro?

Oh, WAIT!!!!

My Magic 8 ball says the Mactels are to be released next tuesday! Confirmed by my most recent fortune cookie!

tomgreever
Jun 8, 2005, 09:11 AM
Hey, wasn't pedro suppossed to meet us back here after the keynote. I'm here. Where's Pedro. Do you think it has anything to do with the fact that he was wrong, that his sources mislead him, or... [brace yourself]... he was lying?

I think it's a great idea, but you can all remove the wool now.

ipedro
Apr 28, 2006, 10:59 PM
Hey guys. I accept the bashing ... looks like this wasn't released after all. However, I'm confident that it exists and is set for release. I guess the timing was wrong ... I know I know it's been quite a bit of time.

A possible reason for not releasing this when it was initially scheduled to be released could be the fact that iTunes video content is not yet that widespread. I'm guessing this will be part of the itunes movie store and iPod w/ touch screen video capabilities release strategy.

I do stand by my source: she's been right about many things in the past.

Nonetheless, I do accept that she was wrong about timing.

EDIT: Some of you want to know who my source is. Of course I can't reveal her identity for obvious reasons, but I'll give you some information: she works for Adobe and thus has several Apple insiders who confide with her. This isn't a big secret within Apple by the way. Most people know this device exists and according to my source, it made the rounds in Cupertino offices for both hardware and software testing.