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View Full Version : What the Apple TV is missing.




starnox
Feb 4, 2007, 11:31 AM
There is one thing that the Apple TV is missing which would make it a truly great product.

You know the USB port on the back which is used for 'servicing', well they should make it so you can connect your iPod up to it va the data cable or universal dock. Then access your iPod library through the Apple TV interface. The Universal Dock is OK for connecting you iPod to your TV and stereo but lacks the TV interface Apple TV offers, and the support for higher quality connections like HDMI and optical audio.

If Apple add this functionality at a later date then I may think about buying the Apple TV. That way instead of your friends bringing their laptop over to watch the latest episode of 24, they will only need to bring their iPod.

Yah?



MacWalk
Feb 4, 2007, 01:57 PM
I'd say the biggest part missing or maybe more like something that I'd like Apple TV to do is record shows. i know it pretty much sabotages the whole iTunes TV show model they have, but then it would make a true Media Center for a big high-def TV

Verto
Feb 4, 2007, 02:01 PM
There's a lot of things Apple TV is missing...like a compelling reason to buy it.

grapes911
Feb 4, 2007, 02:08 PM
I wish it had a PVR build-in, but it's still a nice product. I have a $500 Mac Mini connected to my TV for the sole purpose of watching iTunes downloads. The Apple TV does the same thing and would have cost me much less.

Lord Blackadder
Feb 4, 2007, 02:11 PM
I think it's too conservative in terms of features, but I like the overall concept, so I'm on the fence for now.

plunar
Feb 4, 2007, 11:40 PM
it's too locked into itunes. which means if itunes can't play it, neither can apple tv. rather useless for me, and quite a few others, i'd think.

the new spring box or whatever it's called coming out this summer is promising to be what apple tv tries to be: a device that turns your tv in a second display. none of this sync stuff and itunes restriction - if it shows up on your computer, it'll show up on the tv. wirelessly. that is what i, at least, am waiting for.

toneloco2881
Feb 5, 2007, 07:12 PM
it's too locked into itunes. which means if itunes can't play it, neither can apple tv. rather useless for me, and quite a few others, i'd think.

the new spring box or whatever it's called coming out this summer is promising to be what apple tv tries to be: a device that turns your tv in a second display. none of this sync stuff and itunes restriction - if it shows up on your computer, it'll show up on the tv. wirelessly. that is what i, at least, am waiting for.
Agreed. If the Apple TV could play avi, divx, video_ts folders,etc... I would have bought one yesterday. In its current incarnation the Apple TV seems absurdly limiting. Why in the hell with a 40gig hard drive can we not download directly to the device itself and sync back to iTunes wirelessly? For all its proclamation about separating iTunes content from the pc, this seems counterintuitive.

wwooden
Feb 5, 2007, 07:20 PM
I would have also liked to have seen a more "heavty" remote, something that fits for a living room. The little apple remote they have now is great for computers, but I would loose it in a second in my living room. It will seem very outa play among the other remotes.

Passante
Feb 5, 2007, 08:58 PM
it's too locked into itunes. which means if itunes can't play it, neither can apple tv. rather useless for me, and quite a few others, i'd think.

the new spring box or whatever it's called coming out this summer is promising to be what apple tv tries to be: a device that turns your tv in a second display. none of this sync stuff and itunes restriction - if it shows up on your computer, it'll show up on the tv. wirelessly. that is what i, at least, am waiting for.

:apple:TV plays MPEG 4 and H264 files which means that it will play anything I record using handbrake or my eyeTV 250. Its not locked into playing itunes media only. You only need to put these files into itunes in order to stream or down load them.

In my situation where my G4 Tower is upstairs with my entire music and video collection on it and my HD TV is downstairs I no longer have to buy a Mac Mini for $700 to play content on my HD TV (or try to connect my laptop on the TV). I can pay 300 and do the same thing.

plunar
Feb 5, 2007, 09:07 PM
$300 + tax is asking a LOT just to bypass the 30 second hassle of moving my macbook to the tv and plugging up the dvi and audio.

You are suggesting that, in addition to the $300, I re-encode most of everything I watch so that it will be iTunes friendly?

hmm.... $0 + 30seconds, or $300 + encode time, everytime, plus trying to explain to my wife why we just paid $300 for more hassle....

Yep, real killer app that apple tv is.

plunar
Feb 5, 2007, 09:16 PM
What is most absurd about apple tv is that it is software limited by design. i can think of no reason, from a hardware perspective, that you cannot stream a DVD/mpeg2, wmv, divx, or anything else that quicktime can play.

i have no problem with the itunes store/ipod drm deal. the ipod can still play all the media i have. that's workable. apple tv is ass-backwards restricted... i thought the business model was break even on the tv shows, make money on the apple tv; not the other way around.

I'm confident apple's sales numbers will rectify this debacle, but until then, i guess i'll just have to take those 30 seconds in stride.

holamiamigos
Feb 6, 2007, 12:26 AM
i agree

bluebomberman
Feb 6, 2007, 12:44 AM
$300 + tax is asking a LOT just to bypass the 30 second hassle of moving my macbook to the tv and plugging up the dvi and audio.

You are suggesting that, in addition to the $300, I re-encode most of everything I watch so that it will be iTunes friendly?

hmm.... $0 + 30seconds, or $300 + encode time, everytime, plus trying to explain to my wife why we just paid $300 for more hassle....

Yep, real killer app that apple tv is.

The :apple: TV's essentially a stripped-down Mac Mini. In addition, it has a lot in common with the iPod in what content it can run and how it syncs.

Want more functionality? Pay more for a Mac Mini. Or do your Macbook 30-second plugging-in routine. I think this clearly is a case of "you get what you pay for."

EDIT: Finally. 500 posts!

pengu
Feb 6, 2007, 02:06 AM
$300 + tax is asking a LOT just to bypass the 30 second hassle of moving my macbook to the tv and plugging up the dvi and audio.

You are suggesting that, in addition to the $300, I re-encode most of everything I watch so that it will be iTunes friendly?

hmm.... $0 + 30seconds, or $300 + encode time, everytime, plus trying to explain to my wife why we just paid $300 for more hassle....

Yep, real killer app that apple tv is.

re-encode everything? From DivX or something simmilar? Do you have a lot of home movies or something? Because last time i checked, it's still illegal to break DVD encryption.. so, either you have one buttload of home movies, OR you want apple to make it easier for you to view illegal copies of movies.

I currently have a DVI cable connecting my G5 to the plasma in my apartment, and an RCA cable for the audio (cant find optical cables that long :( ) but i definitely plan to buy an :apple:TV, even at $A449. I figure that one days pay is worth it to have the interface on tv. even FrontRow on a mini doesnt give you the same UI features, nor the easy streaming/synch features of the :apple:TV.

ezekielrage_99
Feb 6, 2007, 03:53 AM
I was really hope the Apple TV would be more in the philosophy of a the TV, I was expecting a SD or HD digital tuner with it.

I really do think Apple has done a very nice job in regaurds to features/price/connectivity but I do believe it needs a digital tv component to make it complete.

a456
Feb 6, 2007, 04:12 AM
There is one thing that the Apple TV is missing which would make it a truly great product.

You know the USB port on the back which is used for 'servicing', well they should make it so you can connect your iPod up to it va the data cable or universal dock. Then access your iPod library through the Apple TV interface.

Following the iPhone the iPod will go Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and sync with Apple TV in this way. The older generation iPod owners will have to use their computers - let's call it an incentive to upgrade.

Passante
Feb 6, 2007, 05:24 AM
$300 + tax is asking a LOT just to bypass the 30 second hassle of moving my macbook to the tv and plugging up the dvi and audio.

You are suggesting that, in addition to the $300, I re-encode most of everything I watch so that it will be iTunes friendly?

hmm.... $0 + 30seconds, or $300 + encode time, everytime, plus trying to explain to my wife why we just paid $300 for more hassle....

Yep, real killer app that apple tv is.

First you don't have to re-encode. I just have eyetv place it in the correct iTunes folder.

I consider having my entire music collection, photos and recorded TV shows available when I want them at my TV worth $300. Its far better than dragging the laptop out plugging in the DVI dongle, pulling out the DVI cable into the TV, plugging in the power brick and hoping that no one trips over the wires and trashes my laptop.

The incentive I gave to my wife is that she will be able to play the recordings she wants when I'm not around. ;)

Apple TV became much more attractive to me because I use on of my Macs as a DVR. You don't so its not as attractive to you.

erikamsterdam
Feb 6, 2007, 05:55 AM
re-encode everything? From DivX or something simmilar? Do you have a lot of home movies or something? Because last time i checked, it's still illegal to break DVD encryption.. so, either you have one buttload of home movies, OR you want apple to make it easier for you to view illegal copies of movies.

.

It is NOT illegal to make copies for your own use, for example to watch them on your stupid :apple: TV that cannot handle MPEG2.

pengu
Feb 6, 2007, 06:16 AM
It is NOT illegal to make copies for your own use, for example to watch them on your stupid :apple: TV that cannot handle MPEG2.

No, it isnt. but, tell me, how do you make a personal copy without breaking the CSS encryption (which IS illegal)?


Im not saying that ripping DVD's you own SHOULD be illegal. i will do it myself once i have an extra HDD, however I will use MP4/H.264 because a) they're open standards and b) they work with itunes/:apple:TV/ipod

jruc4871
Feb 6, 2007, 07:14 AM
It is NOT illegal to make copies for your own use, for example to watch them on your stupid :apple: TV that cannot handle MPEG2.

You might want to check on that. Breaking the DVD encoding is certainly illegal. That might be different in the Netherlands, but I doubt it.

plunar
Feb 6, 2007, 07:22 AM
Regardless, the fact is AppleTV cannot play DVDs streamed from the mac. we routinely use the macbook as our dvd player. In fact, the only 2 things ever on the TV in our house are DVDs, and my wife's japanese tv shows (which come in some variant of avi). Apple TV does neither, and is a painfully teasing and insulting abomination of media standards.

I'll wait for my slingbox.

BornAgainMac
Feb 6, 2007, 07:22 AM
You know the USB port on the back which is used for 'servicing', well they should make it so you can connect your iPod up to it va the data cable or universal dock. Then access your iPod library through the Apple TV interface. The Universal Dock is OK for connecting you iPod to your TV and stereo but lacks the TV interface Apple TV offers, and the support for higher quality connections like HDMI and optical audio.


I think you nailed it. That would have made it so much better and still keep the price about the same and keeping it simple.

pengu
Feb 6, 2007, 08:07 AM
I think you nailed it. That would have made it so much better and still keep the price about the same and keeping it simple.

Right. because being able to play the content on your ipod (which came from itunes) with your itv (which plays content from itunes) would be Über great. hey, wait a second....

failsafe1
Feb 6, 2007, 08:28 AM
Um. How about a $299 rebate coupon for early adopters or $200 iTunes music card?

nutmac
Feb 6, 2007, 11:35 AM
Apple TV is for die-hard iTunes users with HDTV and plain stereo audio setup. In other words, it's designed for kitchen and bedroom TVs. Without multi-channel surround audio, it is ill-suited for home theater.

Transcoding video from other formats is not only time consuming (less so if you queue the task overnight) but will noticeably degrade video and audio. Personally, I think Apple TV is a ploy to get more serious users pay more for Mac mini. I will wait for updated Mac mini, which hopefully will add some of Apple TV features (mainly HDMI and updated Front Row).

P.S. I think Apple made a mistake in making Apple TV larger than Mac mini and 802.11n AirPort Extreme Base Station. Perhaps it is done to intentionally make sure people won't plug in external hard disk designed for Mac mini form factor?

Phobophobia
Feb 6, 2007, 12:59 PM
I will be getting an :apple: TV, love the concept, and can't wait to see more movie studios join iTunes.

petvas
Feb 6, 2007, 01:22 PM
I dont mind the iTunes integration, guess this was the only feasible way to make it compatible with Windows also...

The Apple TV offers inferior resolutions in comparison to a DVD and the sound can only be Dolby Surround...What happened to DTS and Dolby Digital?

I want to move on to better things, not get inferior quality for a bit of convenience...

Apple TV also lacks a DVD player...

j26
Feb 6, 2007, 01:22 PM
You might want to check on that. Breaking the DVD encoding is certainly illegal. That might be different in the Netherlands, but I doubt it.

Just out of curiosity, what do you mean by illegal?
Do you mean criminal offence (the true meaning of illegal), or a breach of a licence agreement (not illegal - a breach of contract issue).
If you mean criminal, is there a statute?

I have a suspicion a lot of people are using the word illegal incorrectly.

plunar
Feb 6, 2007, 01:29 PM
Jesus i saw the digital optical port on the back and assumed it supported dts and dolby... but if not, this thing is just a complete trainwreck. badly done apple, badly done.

bwv1060
Feb 6, 2007, 01:55 PM
Jesus i saw the digital optical port on the back and assumed it supported dts and dolby... but if not, this thing is just a complete trainwreck. badly done apple, badly done.

One of the many reasons I canceled my order. I'm hoping that improvements can be made with future firmware updates. For now I'm considering the benefits of a Mac Mini DVR solution.

grapes911
Feb 6, 2007, 02:02 PM
Just out of curiosity, what do you mean by illegal?
Do you mean criminal offence (the true meaning of illegal), or a breach of a licence agreement (not illegal - a breach of contract issue).
If you mean criminal, is there a statute?

I have a suspicion a lot of people are using the word illegal incorrectly.

In the US, under the DMCA, it is illegal of circumvent copyright protection even if it is for personal use. That includes ripping many DVDs because many DVDs have copyright protection. And yes, I mean illegal as in a criminal (jail time) offense.

plunar
Feb 6, 2007, 02:13 PM
In the US, under the DMCA, it is illegal of circumvent copyright protection even if it is for personal use. That includes ripping many DVDs because many DVDs have copyright protection. And yes, I mean illegal as in a criminal (jail time) offense.

And at the same, it has also been ruled that rentals may be ripped to accommodate "time-space use;" eg, renting a 3-day dvd to watch on the airplane on your flight to hawaii, but not paying 2 weeks of rental fees. Though, as can be expected from the judicial's weariness of making anything too vague, I do not believe cracking CSS was referenced in that ruling.

It's basically all a load of buearacraptic nonsense anyway. I don't know anyone who actually buys DVDs (we all rent), but then again, I don't know anyone who goes to walmart either.

plunar
Feb 6, 2007, 02:15 PM
I suppose if the software did not copy the actual the MPEG 2 data on a dvd, but simply "recorded" what was displaying in the window and saving it as an h.264 or what have you.... well technically, that would be perfectly legal, so long as your use of that recording was strictly personal.

again, buearacraptic nonsense.

grapes911
Feb 6, 2007, 02:20 PM
And at the same, it has also been ruled that rentals may be ripped to accommodate "time-space use;" eg, renting a 3-day dvd to watch on the airplane on your flight to hawaii, but not paying 2 weeks of rental fees. Though, as can be expected from the judicial's weariness of making anything too vague, I do not believe cracking CSS was referenced in that ruling.

It's basically all a load of buearacraptic nonsense anyway. I don't know anyone who actually buys DVDs (we all rent), but then again, I don't know anyone who goes to walmart either.

I don't know about any of that, but there are defiantly people being held in jail for violating the DMCA, so it is a little more than just 'bureaucratic[sic] nonsense'.

Oh and by the way, I do buy DVDs and I do shop at Walmart.

grapes911
Feb 6, 2007, 02:22 PM
I suppose if the software did not copy the actual the MPEG 2 data on a dvd, but simply "recorded" what was displaying in the window and saving it as an h.264 or what have you.... well technically, that would be perfectly legal, so long as your use of that recording was strictly personal.

again, buearacraptic nonsense.

I'm not a layer, but it could be argued that even though you didn't break the copyright protection, you did circumvent it which is against the DMCA.

DeFett
Feb 7, 2007, 08:17 PM
I't would be great if sometime in the future they could make it stream games off you mac to your TV as I'm in the game system cross roads of XboX 360 or PS3 at the moment.

hegor
Feb 8, 2007, 01:16 AM
I't would be great if sometime in the future they could make it stream games off you mac to your TV as I'm in the game system cross roads of XboX 360 or PS3 at the moment.

Its specs do blow away the original Xbox. But what games could you play with the Apple Remote. Unless by service and diagnostics use for the USB port, Apple means USB gamepads.