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MacRumors
Feb 28, 2007, 07:39 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/02/28/apple-coo-on-iphone/)


Apple's Chief Operating Officer, Tim Cook, spoke at a Goldman Sachs Technology Investment Symposium today. The audio portion is available in Quicktime (http://www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/goldmansachs07/) from Apple.com.

Cook fields questions about Apple, iPhone and more. Today the cell phone industry, a lot of people pay $0 for the cell phone. Guess why? That's what its worth! If we offer something that has tremendous value that is sort of this thing that people didn't have in their consciousness, it was not imaginable... I think there are a bunch of people that will pay $499 or $599 and our target is clearly to hit 10 million and I would guess some of those people are paying $0 because its worth $0 and willing to pay a bit more because its worth more.
Regarding the Apple TV and why it doesn't have DVR functionality:It's not what it is. Our view is it's the DVD player of the 21st century, and so, we're not trying to be a DVR, be a set top box. We're all about taking the content already on your Mac or PC and watch it on your TV.
A transcript of relevant portions follows:

Q: How do you keep innovating at a fast enough pace?

A: I've been with Apple now since early 1998, and after every major product that we announce, we get this question. Can you keep it up? Will in end? Now if you think about the stretch of products that have been over this period of time. We started with the iMac. Think about how the iMac has evolved. Think about the iPod and the iPod mini. Many people asked the question after the iPod mini, and wham, the iPod nano comes in. Think about OS X and each of the major revisions of the operating system, and so what I would say is our corporate culture is a very simple culture. We hire people who want to make the best products in the world and provide an atmosphere to challenge each other to make the best products. And that's deeply embedded in the DNA of the company. .... I can tell you this is why people come to work at Apple.

Q: Some of Apple's most senior executives have been at Apple for sometime. And some have been leaving or considering leaving. While you have legions of creative people at the company, they have not been tested in the same way that some of the more experienced people have been. Can you talk about how you can keep it going... keep the trend going.

A: Apple is an amazing company, and I didn't fully understand until I got there, how amazing it was. And the feeling of not getting weighed down by bureaucracy, and politics and all the ancillary things that any businesses are. So this atmosphere is a very very unique kind of atmosphere and frankly, we don't have an issue attracting people to work there, and we have so many things going on and innovation is so deeply embedded in this place. While you may see 5-6 or 10 people being most visible, the company is full of off-the-charts smart people. We've had some executive departures, but as a grown-up company does, we planned good succession, and I think you can see from our results, the products have kept coming.

Q: The iPhone. Almost from the second Steve stepped off the stage, the press, and others, basically have come up with reasons why Apple can't succeed in the phone market. Could you talk about why you think Apple will be successful.

A: The iPhone is revolutionary project. Steve mentioned this at Macworld, Revolutionary products only come along so often. And Apple has the Macintosh in 1984 -- reinvented the personal computer industry. The iPod in 2001 which reinvented the whole music industry. And we think the iPhone is that class of product, in the cell phone industry. Step back and look at the [iPhone] and think of what it is. A very small, thin, lightweight device. A revolutionary cellphone. It has visual voicemail. It's the best iPod Apple's ever done and it's a really cool internet device that has desktop class email/browsing/maps and searching. All in one product. And so, I think people are going to be amazed and delighted of it, and we'll have to see. Obviously there are people that would prefer us not to be successful in this. I think this is a revolutionary product, we'll see what the customers think - that's most important.

Q: 10 million units is the goal. 1% of overall market. Given the functionality and price point, How do you look at the available market for the 1st generation of iPhone.

A: The traditional way that all of us were taught in business school to look at a market was you look at the products you are selling, you look at the price bands that are in the market, you think of the price band that you product is in and assume you can get a percentage of it, and that's how you get this addressable market. That kind of analysis doesn't make really great products. The iPod would not have been brought to market if we had looked it that way. How many $399 music players were being sold at that time? Today the cell phone industry, a lot of people pay $0 for the cell phone. Guess why? That's what its worth! If we offer something that has tremendous value that is sort of this thing that people didn't have in their consciousness, it was not imaginable... I think there are a bunch of people that will pay $499 or $599 and our target is clearly to hit 10 million and I would guess some of those people are paying $0 because its worth $0 and willing to pay a bit more because its worth more.

Q: Why no 3g?

A: Our thinking was first and foremost that we wanted GSM. Because GSM is a world standard and that was one of the factors in selecting Cingular. Second, the product has wifi capabilities, so many people -- like in this room, I'm sure there's wifi in this room, and there are hotspots everwhere -- they're going to use wifi. And in between these spots we're going to use EGDE which is 2.5G because its widely deployed and we're confident it will give the user a great experience.

Q: Do you expect iPhone to cannabilize iPod? If so, when?

A: It's too early to tell, but I would make this point - we've sold 90 million iPods, it still amazes me saying it. These are being sold for a wide variety of usages. There's a wide variety of form factors, wide variety of capacities and wide variety of price points. So there's a lot of people that desire the iPod. We'll see what happens.

Q: Plus/minuses using one exclusive carrier?

A: Our thinking of selecting Cingular was 1) we looked at the carriers in the U.S. and felt that Cingular was the highest quality and that was very important to us from a customer experience point of view. 2) they are the most popular - they have 61 million subscribers. 3) Our goal was to use GSM, which is what their network is based on. 4) The CEO of Cingular made this point during the keynote. The deal we struck allows Apple to do what they are good at and allows Cingular to do what they are good at. And so its really a very great partnership.

Q: When the iPhone comes to the market, will there really be a need for all 3 iPod families? And is there room for innovation on the iPod side?

A: We sold a lot of every family and people buy them for different purposes, so we'll see what people do in the future. But, every one of these lines is popular. In terms of innovation, it goes back to the earlier question. I can't stress this enough, the thing separates Apple from others is that we have this very simple culture. Our company revolves around product and we focus on making the very best. And some of you only see the ones that stick out, however, think about some of the more detailed things that were done. We had this MagSafe adapter. [explanation of MagSafe]. I only say this to say that this concept of innovation is deeply embedded. It's not just a layer of the organization. It is the organization. So is there innovation left on iPod? We don't predict, but we've been asked that question after the 1st iPod, 2nd iPod and on and on, and you can look at our track record.

Q: The number of songs sold on the iTunes is growing as are iPod sales, but our numbers per active iPod are flattening out a a bit. Besides how many total sales, what do you use as a measure the success of the iTunes store.

A: To do the kind of calculation you are trying to get, you have to make a lot of assumptions. How many people have multiple iPods, how many iPod accounts or what percentage have an account. How many of the last quarter were active in the last quarter. And so, I don't even know the answer to some of those. This is what I know. In 2005, we had over 600 million downloads. In 2006, we had 1.2 billion - so roughly double year-over-year. And about a year ago we were around the 3 million songs/day. Now we're at 5 million. Any way you look at it, it's a remarkable success.

Q: You just added Paramount and Liongate, but it seems the update from the studios have been a bit slower. Can you talk about the dynamics of that? And steps to increase the number of movies available?

A: When we announced the iTunes music store we initially had 200,000 songs in the library. Today we have over 4 million. For TV shows, we had 5. Today we have 350. We downloaded over 2 billion songs. We've downloaded over 15 million TV shows. Movies we started 75. Today we have over 400 and we are already above the 1.3 million mark. You know, the thing takes time. We're confident we'll have more studios sign up.

Q: Steve has been vocal about the Digital Rights Management. If the music was to move over to MP3, would that lower the value of your installed base and how would you react to that?

A: We would welcome it. Because we believe its the best thing for the consumers. And it refocuses the issue on what it should be focused on. And frankly, the DRM really hasn't worked. There's not a DRM system for CD which is the preponderance of the music that's on the iPod. And so, we would applaud it. Why? We're confident with our ability to innovate.

Q: There are constantly comments about the DRM. That Apple favors closed systems to force other people out and create barriers to entry. How do you respond?

A: Apple takes responsibility for the customer experience. This is why we can innovate in hardware and add easy to use software and these two things can work seemlessly together to provide the user with an awesome experience. In consumer devices, that's sometimes [ ??? ] -- that we''re control the user experience. Having said that, I think we partner with people very very well. We've partnered with Cingular in the iPhone space. We've partnered with Intel in the Macintosh space. In the iPod space, we have 3000 products in the iPod ecosystem. In the Mac space we have 12,000 applications written by 3rd party developers. We find ways to leverage others when its good for the customer and when we feel we have to own the whole experience in order to provide the customer an experience that's good for them, we do that as well.

Q: Can you talk about your philosophy regarding Mac pricing vs market share? Could you be more aggressive in pricing to take marketshare?

A: We believe in giving people great value. Many companies put a computer out and its not what the customer really wants, so they have to add this and that (wireless, video camera). The customer winds up having to jump through many hoops before they finally get something that they think they want and it, unfortunately, doesn't really work that well, then. We don't do that. We focus on what the customer wants and provide all that. That's why, as an example, our peripheral sales on the Mac are not relating to units right now. We realized that people really want a video camera built into the system. So in every Mac that we ship other than the Mac Pro, there's a camera built in, because that's what the customer wanted. That takes down our peripheral revenue, but we give the customer what they want. We're only shipping portables with the Core 2 duo. Many companies take a different path on that. We did that. It's very simple and a very key message to the customer. I think if you compare these things. You can never compare a Mac to a PC, but if you try, you'll find the Mac is very competitive. In addition it has things you can't get anywhere else. (iLife, Mac OS, and many others). I think we've made the right tradeoff to date and you can see that in growing a multiple of the market (3x, 4x).

Q: Why no DVR functionality in the Apple TV?

A: It's not what it is. Our view is it's the DVD player of the 21st century, and so, we're not trying to be a DVR, be a set top box. We're all about taking the content already on your Mac or PC and watch it on your TV.

Article Link: Tim Cook Speaks on Apple, iPhone, Apple TV (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/02/28/apple-coo-on-iphone/)



Cult Follower
Feb 28, 2007, 07:46 PM
I'm glad they are finally pushing out more details, but I will not be satisfied until the ship date.

jonharris200
Feb 28, 2007, 07:48 PM
Great to have more of the inside track from Tim.

I still wouldn't be surprised if they (a) reduce the launch price point a bit, or (b) launch the product a bit earlier than june.

Call me an optimist... :)

noone
Feb 28, 2007, 07:49 PM
My phone was $100 with two $50 mail in rebates. However, I never received the one so I only paid $50 anyways. However that is not my point. My point is that my phone was supposed to be free, but I quite like it. It is no iPhone don't get me wrong there either. Do I want an iPhone? Yes. Will I get an iPhone? I am going to try my best.

While I agree that usually the free phones are junk, I think that many people are too set in their ways to pay $600 for a phone wether it is worth it or not. But there a great many people who are willing to pay that for the iPhone so I could be wrong.

topicolo
Feb 28, 2007, 07:51 PM
Wow. Tim's a pretty awful communicator

mashinhead
Feb 28, 2007, 07:55 PM
Wow. Tim's a pretty awful communicator

yep. there is a little more that a *bit* of difference between $0 and $500 plus tax. I mean if you think about it after a year of cost for the iphone you could buy a macbook or an imac, that kinda puts things into a different perspective.

twoodcc
Feb 28, 2007, 07:57 PM
Go Tim!

thanks for cheering me on!

anyways, glad to see this. (or read i guess). can't wait for the iPhone!:apple:

VanMac
Feb 28, 2007, 08:13 PM
People will pay for the iPhone. Hope to see it soon.

Huracan
Feb 28, 2007, 08:17 PM
How do they come with the 10 million figure? I guess this has to be worldwide. Have they talked about how are they going to sell the iPhone beyond the Cingular alliance? I forgot, is this 10 million in the first year, first 5 years?
I simply don't get it, if Cingular gives you a rebate for signing up for a 2 year contract, why doesn't this happen for iPhone. I think this actually makes the iPhone cost at least two or three hundred dollars more than the 499, 599 if you take into account the missing rebates. Problem is that the iPod pricing model doesn't fit with the cellular industry devices pricing. Apple still wants to charge as if it was an iPod, and customers don't get to benefit from the usual rebates.

I am not sure what will be the future success of the iPhone, but I think the pricing strategy is not right. I am not blaming Apple. I am sure it was difficult to get a deal worked out with Cingular. Ideally Apple should have sold unlocked iPhones which would work on any GSM network, and then those 499 and 599 prices would make a lot of sense. I guess this would have made the big cellular companies like Cingular unhappy, and that's why they had to work out a deal.

Poor T-Mobile is the one who gets the worst part on the U.S. market. I am sure they would have liked to be able to offer the iPhone even if it is a pricey cell phone, but it would have given them status and visibility.

Cult Follower
Feb 28, 2007, 08:20 PM
I wish it was available on other networks such as Verizon, because AT&T doesn't have service in North Dakota :( . I might have to move.

fatfish
Feb 28, 2007, 08:20 PM
People will pay for the iPhone. Hope to see it soon.

Yes there's a whole bunch of people out there that will buy it just because it costs $ 600, don't know if there are 10 million of them though. Perhaps the slack will be taken up by those that will just buy the phone because it's from Apple.

arn
Feb 28, 2007, 08:27 PM
Updated the article with some additional Q/As.

arn

Q: Why no DVR functionality in the Apple TV?

A: It's not what it is. Our view is it's the DVD player of the 21st century, and so, we're not trying to be a DVR, be a set top box. We're all about taking the content already on your Mac or PC and watch it on your TV.

FF_productions
Feb 28, 2007, 08:30 PM
Updated the article with some additional Q/As.

arn

The :apple: TV is really overpriced. Disagree if you'd like but there is no chance in hell I will buy this for 300 dollars.

rdrr
Feb 28, 2007, 08:30 PM
Thats a bold statement for a product that hasn't even had one customer review. :eek:

Don't get me wrong, but seriously has there been one apple product that hasn't had rev A issues?

mashinhead
Feb 28, 2007, 08:33 PM
The :apple: TV is really overpriced. Disagree if you'd like but there is no chance in hell I will buy this for 300 dollars.

yea i'm with you on that. I could use one, because i have a tv but no cable. i concluded the same thing and will pass. That thing should cost max $150.

But on the other hand i do agree with tim's comment. That is what the product is. it's not a dvr and not supposed to be.

shadowfax
Feb 28, 2007, 08:37 PM
While I agree that usually the free phones are junk, I think that many people are too set in their ways to pay $600 for a phone wether it is worth it or not. But there a great many people who are willing to pay that for the iPhone so I could be wrong.

I got my RAZR for about that. And my usage pattern is (I think) pretty typical... I use it for texting and for phone calls. I messed around with the camera a couple times, just to check it out... it wasn't too hard to use, but nothing spectacular.

But the more I use my RAZR, the more I think that its UI was designed by high schoolers. the Address book is god-awful. things as common as having multiple numbers for the same person are HORRENDOUSLY un-thought-out. the date book and alarm are ridiculous: you can't set event alarms to ring at the time of the event, or more than a single ring, the ring doesn't go off if your phone is on vibe (mine often is, as much as I am in class). If you set up an alarm, you have to disable it to make it stop ringing, and then navigate through the menu to it to re-enable it if you want it to go off the next day. It's got about as much consistency as homework scraped together right before class. the UI really is trash. Texting has that great word-guessing feature that is a superb time-saver, but it's not very consistent that you enter that mode (e.g., when you're entering someone's name in the address book, or the subject line). Calling has all these stupid things about it that you just have to memorize. Bleh. It really puts me off of using any of the phone's other features, which is money lost for cingular.

Personally, I am looking for something a little bit taller, wider and skinnier than the Motorola SLVR--no huge data capacity, no camera (i keep dreaming), just a sweet phone, with some basic email/web/SMS capability... although I could go for an all-in-one when 32GB flash becomes doable and affordable, 2 years from now.

In any case, you call it the same way Cook does, with more caveats: your caveat is, damn, that thing is expensive. But you're basically saying, a bunch of people talk like they want this, and it remains to be seen if they will put their money where their drooling mouths are, yeah? It should be interesting.

I think Apple just needs to sell a small number at first. 10 million is more than enough. enough to have people on the streets using them (making people jealous), raving to their friends how cool and worth it they are, and also demoing their features to friends. I know that Wi-Fi is going to be a jealousy-inspiring feature for me! Then they need to get some market control, leverage their iPod-massive-supply influence to negotiate favorable component pricing, etc, to drive price down. hopefully in 1-3 years we'll see some much more decent, direct competitors (I think the phone market will be much more robust than the MP3 Player market), along with a very affordable, wide range of iPhones. Like others, I am an optimist about this :)

runninmac
Feb 28, 2007, 08:39 PM
Im still upset with the reason of why they chose cingular to be their EXCLUSIVE carrier! :(

tribulation
Feb 28, 2007, 08:43 PM
I still do not see a point to the Apple TV. If it was also a DVR, I'd toss my Tivo in the trash instantly. Without it, what on earth would I want to watch? I'm not going to buy TV episodes that I can watch with Tivo for free, how many YouTube videos can you really want?

Ok so my family comes to visit for Hanukkah once a year. So I can play a few videos and show a couple pictures, neat. Besides that, what is this thing really good for? Am I just completely missing the point of it? :confused:

TC2COOL
Feb 28, 2007, 08:45 PM
Apple TV seems to be a misnomer. If it was truely 'TV' it should play what is on my TV, not what's on my Mac. A true Apple TV should be able to use ALL media.

stephenli
Feb 28, 2007, 08:49 PM
well, yes i think i am willing to pay $499 and contribute to their 1% market share....
but I totally disagree Tim's point for $0 phone worth $0.

some of them are quite nice, even equip with 3mp camera, optical zoom and full web browser...and some great designer phones in japan will be selling at $0 for several months after release!

iPhone is great, and we all know its great. It just doesnt make sense to promote your product by insulting the others.
We are not paying $0 and take away the phone. We need to pay a higher monthly service fee to the provider.

rumplestiltskin
Feb 28, 2007, 08:57 PM
...and it's called the 5G iPod. Drop your H264/MP4 content in your iPod, plug it into your TV and sit back.

The 5G iPod does, however, have one distinct advantage: It will play standard definition TV whereas the AppleTV, apparently, will not. So if I don't own a big-screen LCD/Plasma display, the AppleTV holds no interest for me.

merge
Feb 28, 2007, 08:59 PM
yea i'm with you on that. I could use one, because i have a tv but no cable. i concluded the same thing and will pass. That thing should cost max $150.

But on the other hand i do agree with tim's comment. That is what the product is. it's not a dvr and not supposed to be.

I think it was the wrong question to ask...
They should go beyond that it isn't a DVR because it isn't one.

They should have asked why they chose to make it a set top box alone and not include DVR functionality.

It is a strange product in my opinion. Way overpriced for what it is.
The ONLY way this product will succeed is if they throw in a bigger HD and DVR functionality... or they develop a rental service to download movies...
and even in that case... it is still too expensive.

mpstrex
Feb 28, 2007, 09:00 PM
No DVR? I think that'd make the :apple:TV a big hit...

mpstrex

Lucy Brown
Feb 28, 2007, 09:07 PM
People are going to buy into the hype of the expensive new iphone. How many? Who knows. I thought the Razr was cool but not worth the money they wanted for it. I suspect I'm not going to buy the iphone either. If they offer my a rebate for switching carriers I may think about it but if they dont I'll pass.

I have no interest in :apple: tv unless I can rent movies and they play them in 5.1 surround. I think they missed the boat by not launching it with rentals and with a tuner so i can record and watch tv shows on my mac or my tv.

ravenvii
Feb 28, 2007, 09:13 PM
I still do not see a point to the Apple TV. If it was also a DVR, I'd toss my Tivo in the trash instantly. Without it, what on earth would I want to watch? I'm not going to buy TV episodes that I can watch with Tivo for free, how many YouTube videos can you really want?

Ok so my family comes to visit for Hanukkah once a year. So I can play a few videos and show a couple pictures, neat. Besides that, what is this thing really good for? Am I just completely missing the point of it? :confused:

It's for the content you got from the iTunes Store. The basic idea is that you replace your DVD collection with your iTunes collection, and all of your movies, TV shows, music, and yes, your own photos, media, and more, are accessible from the :apple:TV, right in your living room, all with a single tiny remote.

...and it's called the 5G iPod. Drop your H264/MP4 content in your iPod, plug it into your TV and sit back.

The 5G iPod does, however, have one distinct advantage: It will play standard definition TV whereas the AppleTV, apparently, will not. So if I don't own a big-screen LCD/Plasma display, the AppleTV holds no interest for me.

The :apple:TV has component. Many current SD TVs have component, so the :apple:TV isn't only for HD TVs.

starbase17
Feb 28, 2007, 09:35 PM
Clearly, the iphone is worth more than zero, which he claims is what some phones on the market are worth. Also clearly, the iPhone is not worth $499.00 and $599.00, no matter what the device does. Apple is making a huge profit on these phone. They want to sell 10 million? Crazy! I predict, at these prices, they won't even clear 1 million. This phone needs to be subsidized just like any other phone on the market. I'd say that $299.00 and $399.00 are more reasonable prices. Apple is way over estimating the appeal of the iPhone. Its a neat device, but at the end of the day, several other devices already on the market do what the iPhone does, just not as easily or elegantly. I am a Mac user and love my Mac, but no way am I spending $500.00 on a phone (and I am already a Cingular customer!)

flir67
Feb 28, 2007, 09:36 PM
as with the modern ipods, I don't think apple has a clue on how many movies people own. I'm just starting to backup my movies from my collection to my mini. I got 25 and my harddrive is full this is in addtion to 20gb of music.


the 40gb just isn't going to cut it, I'm going to fill it up in 20 minutes once I get one. with the average of a handbrake movie at 1gb, thats just 40 movies. people have hundreds that they want to digitize...

first step upgrade to a 100gb appletv

skellener
Feb 28, 2007, 09:37 PM
iPhone...I'm sure there are plenty of people willing to pay for it. I'm just not one of them. I use the phone for talking and that's pretty much it. I think it's a pretty cool phone, but for me, just not at that price point. I don't use AT&T either.

As far as AppleTV - it is EXACTLY what I expected it to be. NO DVR to be found. Apple is not about recording content. It has NEVER been about that. Why let you record what they can charge you for to download? I knew they would not include a DVR.

My questions is this - where's all the HD content? Steve has never talked about when that will roll out.

Why not simply add component connectors to the Mac-mini? My HDTV needs component connectors which no one has successfully gotten to work with the Mac-mini. I'd rather use that since it does everything else through Front Row and offers web browsing and DVD playback. I could even get DVR functionality with some third party solutions. Then I could use that as my one box for the TV. I don't think the AppleTV will fit my needs.

We'll see when it ships.

starbase17
Feb 28, 2007, 09:44 PM
Yep, I agree with most people: the Apple TV is way over priced. Here is another new Apple product that Apple is over-hyping. It would have been worth $300.00 if it offered DVR functionality. It doesn't. Its really just a set top version of a video 5G iPod. You can do pretty much the same thing if you already have a 5G iPod. How hard would the DVR part have been? They could have licensed the technology from El Gato (assuming El Gato would license their technology). Anyways, I would buy an Apple TV if it was priced at 199.00 or below. No way will I pay $299.00 for it.

MacNut
Feb 28, 2007, 09:46 PM
It's for the content you got from the iTunes Store. The basic idea is that you replace your DVD collection with your iTunes collection, and all of your movies, TV shows, music, and yes, your own photos, media, and more, are accessible from the :apple:TV, right in your living room, all with a single tiny remote.



The :apple:TV has component. Many current SD TVs have component, so the :apple:TV isn't only for HD TVs.I would rather have my DVD collection. Better quality and I can play it where ever I want. If I want to lend a movie to a friend what am I gonna do send him the whole :apple:TV.:rolleyes:

QCassidy352
Feb 28, 2007, 09:50 PM
They should go beyond that it isn't a DVR because it isn't one.

They should have asked why they chose to make it a set top box alone and not include DVR functionality.

It is a strange product in my opinion. Way overpriced for what it is.
The ONLY way this product will succeed is if they throw in a bigger HD and DVR functionality... or they develop a rental service to download movies...
and even in that case... it is still too expensive.

I'm glad to finaly find someone who agrees with me. $300 to watch content on one screen rather than another? Pass.

Frankly, I just don't get this product. Maybe it's because my computer monitor (20") is bigger than my TV (19") and I'd "get it" if I had a 42" widescreen TV. But I still don't think so. The :apple: TV should be the device that brings all of your digital entertainment together in your living room, but right now it doesn't do anything that hooking my tv up to my macbook wouldn't do. Yes it's more convenient than that, but it's also $300. If it had DVR functionality I'd be intrigued, but as it is, I just don't see the point. As merge says, it needs to offer something beyond remote access to digital content that I already have one room away.

MacNut
Feb 28, 2007, 09:53 PM
What the :apple: TV needs is the ability to burn my current DVD library just like iTunes can rip my CD's. Then it would be worth it. Let me dump everything I own into the box, music,video,pictures and TV in high quality then I would buy it.

azajohns
Feb 28, 2007, 09:56 PM
I see the Apple TV as jumping too far ahead of its time. It will make sense in 10 years time when we all have HD plasmas, terabytes of hard drive space, when 1000's and 1000's of movies & shows are available for RENT and purchase on IT - worldwide, and when internet speeds are sufficient for quick downloads, or even live streaming of HD TV.

Right now, I think it would have made more sense to include a built in DVD player so we could use our EXISTING media, and replace our existing player. Even better, if we could 'rip' our DVDs to the hard drive that would be something (legal arguments aside). It could have also included some support for 3rd party tuners such as EyeTV (couldn't be that hard surely).

Failing that, the Apple TV as it stands merely replaces the S-video cable I have running through the roof from my back room. Cost me $15 and 20 minutes work. And with that setup I CAN use my EyeTV.

And what does the AppleTV do that the Xbox doesn't do for the windows world?. And the Xbox is ALSO a games console!

What am I missing?

tribulation
Feb 28, 2007, 10:11 PM
It's for the content you got from the iTunes Store. The basic idea is that you replace your DVD collection with your iTunes collection, and all of your movies, TV shows, music, and yes, your own photos, media, and more, are accessible from the :apple:TV, right in your living room, all with a single tiny remote.

At 7+ GB a disc (dual layer DVD movie), you'd have to have a dedicated computer (to make any worthwhile use of it, to be "always on") and terabytes of hard drive space. And then what's the point? I'll just hook up my mac to a TV if I wanted that. On the other hand, if it had DVR functionality I'd get one in a heartbeat. It's Apple for god's sake, couldn't they just partner up with Tivo to provide the TV guide part, assuming they don't want to deal with it?

I still see no good reasons to buy one of these things......

gugy
Feb 28, 2007, 10:14 PM
I see the Apple TV as jumping too far ahead of its time. It will make sense in 10 years time when we all have HD plasmas, terabytes of hard drive space, when 1000's and 1000's of movies & shows are available for RENT and purchase on IT - worldwide, and when internet speeds are sufficient for quick downloads, or even live streaming of HD TV.

Right now, I think it would have made more sense to include a built in DVD player so we could use our EXISTING media, and replace our existing player. Even better, if we could 'rip' our DVDs to the hard drive that would be something (legal arguments aside). It could have also included some support for 3rd party tuners such as EyeTV (couldn't be that hard surely).

Failing that, the Apple TV as it stands merely replaces the S-video cable I have running through the roof from my back room. Cost me $15 and 20 minutes work. And with that setup I CAN use my EyeTV.

And what does the AppleTV do that the Xbox doesn't do for the windows world?. And the Xbox is ALSO a games console!

What am I missing?


You said it all.

I like the concept of :apple: TV but is not ready for primetime now.
I wish Elgato had a partnership with Apple and create a DVR solution that integrates with :apple: TV. That would make sense to me. you record shows on the fly and stream it right away to :apple: TV.
Right now :apple: TV is only good for me to streaming music to my stereo. The lack of HDTV support and lack of DVR makes a no-no product to me. plus the current quality of tv shows and movies on iTunes is just to low to justify paying for it. I much rather buy a DVD have a hard copy and much better quality.
Maybe :apple: TV 2.0 might address some of these issues and make me a believer.

tribulation
Feb 28, 2007, 10:19 PM
As far as AppleTV - it is EXACTLY what I expected it to be. NO DVR to be found. Apple is not about recording content. It has NEVER been about that. Why let you record what they can charge you for to download? I knew they would not include a DVR.

That might be true, but I don't see it as a sustainable revenue source. Why would *anyone* buy a TV show for $3 or whatever it costs [$.20 is too much if on a per-show basis]? Maybe the very, very seldom chance of missing an episode [which doesn't happen with a DVR anyways], and 1/1000 people would maybe buy that single episode. But that's about it. While Apple can make miracles, there's no way, absolutely no way that they will make money off of charging for TV shows, per show, when I can get them via cable [all TV shows, 1 price].

On the other hand, if they did build in DVR functionality as well - they could sell me on the movie part, possibly. At least they'd have my attention and I'd be using the box daily to watch all TV content. They wouldn't be loosing any money, because again - there will never be many people paying for TV shows unless cable goes to utter hell. But they would be making money from my original Apple TV purchase, possibly more iTunes music purchases, and possible movie purchases.

No DVR = totally pointless still for my needs. And I think for most people's needs as well from looking at the comments on here.

Rocketman
Feb 28, 2007, 10:27 PM
Im still upset with the reason of why they chose cingular to be their EXCLUSIVE carrier! :(

I believe the real reason is EDGE is far more widely deployed than any other broadband cellular format. It is ATT after all (even before Cingular). Sprint is faster but not as widely deployed. Cingulars more modern cellular broadband is deployed in half again fewer places as Sprint.

The principal of iPhone using wifi as the primary contact method (VioP) is the point. When wimax becomes widely deployed and an element of iPhone it will replace cellular entirely.

Sprint is deploying wimax. Is ATT too?

Rocketman

CJD2112
Feb 28, 2007, 10:28 PM
Thats a bold statement for a product that hasn't even had one customer review. :eek:

Don't get me wrong, but seriously has there been one apple product that hasn't had rev A issues?

I must concede I agree with your comment. As a huge Apple supporter, I still think it is just an overpriced Video/Audio hub for television. If the specs are correct, there isn't much justification for playing iTunes videos on your TV. If it could record and then send those recordings via the internet, that would be interesting, and justifiable for a $300 price tag. :(

CJD2112
Feb 28, 2007, 10:34 PM
I would rather have my DVD collection. Better quality and I can play it where ever I want. If I want to lend a movie to a friend what am I gonna do send him the whole :apple:TV.:rolleyes:

Exactly. I'll stick to my DVD collection.

Cult Follower
Feb 28, 2007, 10:48 PM
I think the :apple: TV will start out slow but eventually take off as more and more movies are sold. It really is the future in entertainment, not dealing with discs, but a nice UI.

matticus008
Feb 28, 2007, 11:06 PM
The :apple:TV has component. Many current SD TVs have component, so the :apple:TV isn't only for HD TVs.
Why on earth would an SDTV have component input? Component is HD-only (EDIT: only offers benefits for HDTV resolutions, but supports inputs as low as 480i--:apple:TV still requires a 480p minimum). SDTVs often have composite inputs (the yellow RCA plug on the back), but that doesn't provide Apple TV connectivity. Apple TV requires a HD set.

tribulation
Feb 28, 2007, 11:27 PM
I think the :apple: TV will start out slow but eventually take off as more and more movies are sold. It really is the future in entertainment, not dealing with discs, but a nice UI.

Probably will be some day, but the prices will have to shift along with the technology. I'm still sticking to my position on "No DVD = Useless to 99.8% of customers". :cool:

I think that if they don't add dvr functions quickly, they'll end up loosing a Microsoft/Apple-war-to-the-end problem, and someone else will come in (Tivo maybe? Would be an excellent time to develop something that works like that, I think Tivo actually has the stronger hand with an Apple TV type of product than Apple itself.

Obviously I don't know much...but I'm telling you, if they don't put DVR functionality in the box, and lower the price a tad, the Apple TV won't live past 2-3 revisions max. And the longer they wait, the more competitors that will knock them out of the race for waiting around. The winner will be a one-trick-pony (And Apple COULD do it best, just for some unknown reason is choosing not to, which I feel is a horrible mistake that will cost them dearly). Newton? Duo?...

Just make the darn v1.5 release spectacular. Add DVR features into it, and keep the rest. that's all your customers are asking for (me, most of this board it looks like, and most likely everyone in the market to buy a "plain" current DVR). They're going to miss the boat on this one I strongly feel. And once they do, it's basically over. One shot, one kill. nighty night!:D

stealthman1
Feb 28, 2007, 11:34 PM
Your kidding right? My Mitsubishi 32 inch CRT type SD TV bought in 1991 had component video input.
DVR is so 2000s! I love streaming content off my MP to my TV...I just hate having to hook up my MBP to the TV to do it. Getting all those damn DVD cases out of my living room will be a dream! They can go right into the same boxes with my 45s, albums, cassette tapes, and CDs. Get rid of all the stupid packaging...hurray!!! Give me digital packaging on my 60 inch TV, now that's more like it. Another year or so and 5tb home file servers won't raise but the novice computer users eyebrows and if they can get the bandwidth up a bit more on phone lines you won't even need the fat HDD space, you can just stream from the great server farm in the sky:) .
Indies will flock to iTMS and Hollywood can suck my :eek: !!!

Lucy Brown
Feb 28, 2007, 11:43 PM
Being an Apple fan I want to see this succeed but I dont have much faith in it as it stands. I hope they dont lose there ass on this but I have a feeling this is going to fail. At best it will flounder around unless some significant changes are made to it. From all the forums I've read the majority of the people dont see the point to this product and wont be buying it. At this point public opinion does not look good for :apple: tv

At this point I'm not even clear on this thing being able to play movies in 5.1 surround. Why would I buy a movie from itunes with no extra content that I get with a dvd and no 5.1 audio. Not to mention the fact that the movie is now bound to the cpu vs having a hard copy that you can sell, trade, lend to a friend, etc.

darwen
Feb 28, 2007, 11:43 PM
All of the responses were very well stated. Not very much new information here yet I still feel rather informed. Glad to read this, thanks for the reassuring info Apple!

Xaimous
Mar 1, 2007, 12:05 AM
I don't understand the Apple TV. For $249 I can buy an iPod and take it everywhere I go and then use a $39 universal dock to watch iTunes content on my TV.

I can also use my Apple Remote from my iMac with the dock and while it won't have pretty menus it's the same thing for $10 less with mobility.

Also if a friend has the dock I can just bring my iPod loaded with some movies over and watch them at his house. *wouldn't want to disconnect my dock, it's a mess behind the tv.

puuukeey
Mar 1, 2007, 12:06 AM
great until the last answer. then my heart sank. more confirmation that apple is shifting focus from the Macintosh.

The sad fact is that in spite of it being a great platform, it's got growing to do as an eco system. We need serious innovation done by developers. Apple can not buy/steal all the good software. They have to encourage experimentation. I find it so sad that Apple thinks the only people who can innovate on a Mac is themselves.

If this is the mac's golden age, then why does it feel like the mac is the art and not the canvas?

pseoudynman
Mar 1, 2007, 12:07 AM
I think Apple is either making assumptions concerning these two products based on its past successes with the ipod (I'd call this attitude "hubris"...) or it's basing its rush to market these two products (tv and phone) on information that we don't have -- that, or a combination of both these things.

OS X 10.5 , 10.5.1, .mac, or ichat might have added functionality that would make either or both of these products more attractive to most people, but in their current stand-alone iterations I can't see most people rushing out to buy either of them unless they are some kind of an early adopter AND apple fanatic. I'd be very surprised if itunes movies/tv show sales take off in the near term but can see that its not in apples best interests to bundle dvr functionality in the apple tv due to the current reliance on itunes for revenue -- they'll make more overall hardware sales if an apple-tv-based dvr app is integrated in the OS and especially if an updated and price-tiered .mac service is part of the equation. Integrating visual voicemail into ichat and/or .mac would also boost sales. But personally, I have no desire for a combined ipod/phone (I rarely use my ipod) and I intend to buy a MythTV box and add 1TB of hdd space rather than use an Apple.

Yes, this is my first post. I've been a reader for years but could never sign up with a yahoo address. Gmail is your friend.

jialuolu
Mar 1, 2007, 12:24 AM
It's hard to believe that they're selling the :apple:TV at all in Canada when the only video content we can purchase are those freaking Pixar shorts and music videos

But I see the :apple:TV getting Slinbox-like features before becoming a DVR. Watch your content from any internet connected device in the world? Like the iPhone? Yeahh I wish :p

NewSc2
Mar 1, 2007, 12:41 AM
If the :apple: TV had a DVD player, I'd get it. Why they didn't put one on makes me :confused:. A good DVD player costs what, around $100? I'd pay an additional $100 or so to have extra functionality added on. As it stands I'd much rather have a Mac Mini instead of the :apple: TV.

NicP
Mar 1, 2007, 12:51 AM
Why on earth would an SDTV have component input? Component is HD-only. SDTVs often have composite inputs (the yellow RCA plug on the back), but that doesn't provide Apple TV connectivity. Apple TV requires a HD set.

Component is NOT HDTV only

We have 4 SD tvs that all have component in

shadowfax
Mar 1, 2007, 12:54 AM
If the :apple: TV had a DVD player, I'd get it. Why they didn't put one on makes me :confused:. A good DVD player costs what, around $100? I'd pay an additional $100 or so to have extra functionality added on. As it stands I'd much rather have a Mac Mini instead of the :apple: TV.

SERIOUSLY. that's a cool idea. It would look so much like a mac mini you would confuse it for one! But yeah, I think :apple:TV is a mistake--it's foraging new ground in terms of online content on your TV, and DVD RIPPING is a total pie in the sky dream--labels would NOT deal with apple if they did that, but a player would be a FANTASTIC transitional feature, plus it would save all kinds of trouble.

Moreover, a DVD player isn't near that much. I have a crummy $30 player that's progressive scan. I don't think the issue is the media reader, more the DSP that's going on... I am sure that there's enough of that crap on the :apple:TV already...

no_name
Mar 1, 2007, 01:30 AM
I think a lot of people are going to buy an iPhone regardless of how much it costs. You forget that the original iPod (10GB) was 500 bucks, and people still bought that, and it didn't do nearly what the iPhone can. Also, if you wait a couple of years, it'll only get better and cheaper (80GB iPod is now only 350)

Warning - Promotion of Microsoft product to follow (please dont kill me) :eek:

On the other hand, while I do love pretty much everything Apple makes, and the :apple:TV is no exception (I mean, just look at it :) ) the fact is, most people have thier movies either on DVD or in DivX format (yaaarrr!). These are of no use if you own an :apple:TV. I'd love to buy one, but I just cant justify the 300 bucks, when, for about 200, I got a used Xbox, modded it (no mod-chip), and tossed in a 300GB hard drive. It plays SD and HD video and easily stores all of my movies and TV shows. Sure it's big, ugly, and Microsoft, but it beats the pants off the :apple:TV in terms of overall functionality, and it's cheaper.

chatster18
Mar 1, 2007, 01:34 AM
I'm glad they are finally pushing out more details, but I will not be satisfied until the ship date.

I agree, I just want to hold it and work with it to see how all the features work, then ill worry about the price

skellener
Mar 1, 2007, 02:12 AM
Also, if you wait a couple of years, it'll only get better and cheaper

Which is what I suspect most people will do.

And let's not forget, the industry isn't static. Expect to see many other companies copy features from the iPhone and offer competitive pricing especially with carriers other than AT&T.

bearbo
Mar 1, 2007, 02:21 AM
oh i dont know about you, but i did not like the attitude of tim cook...

oh sure iphone might provide a bit more value than those sold at $0 (after rebate or not), but the difference not 500... it might be 50, 100 than some of them, but surely not 500... i dont know what's he cooking :rolleyes:

provided the smartphones aren't cheap, they generally don't get that expensive with contract.

edit:

i was just reading the Q n A, he is so full of himself

Q: Why no 3g?

A: Our thinking was first and foremost that we wanted GSM. Because GSM is a world standard and that was one of the factors in selecting Cingular. Second, the product has wifi capabilities, so many people -- like in this room, I'm sure there's wifi in this room, and there are hotspots everwhere -- they're going to use wifi. And in between these spots we're going to use EGDE which is 2.5G because its widely deployed and we're confident it will give the user a great experience.

he said why they had GSM, but he didn't mention a word about why no 3G... just completely avoided the question with all that junk :rolleyes:

Q: Plus/minuses using one exclusive carrier?

A: Our thinking of selecting Cingular was 1) we looked at the carriers in the U.S. and felt that Cingular was the highest quality and that was very important to us from a customer experience point of view. 2) they are the most popular - they have 61 million subscribers. 3) Our goal was to use GSM, which is what their network is based on. 4) The CEO of Cingular made this point during the keynote. The deal we struck allows Apple to do what they are good at and allows Cingular to do what they are good at. And so its really a very great partnership.

again, avoided the question... he pretty much said: if we were to choose a exclusive carrier, it'd be cingular because of the following reasons... but why exclusive carrier to begin with? he doesn't know

Q: Can you talk about your philosophy regarding Mac pricing vs market share? Could you be more aggressive in pricing to take marketshare?

A: <snip> We realized that people really want a video camera built into the system. So in every Mac that we ship other than the Mac Pro, there's a camera built in, because that's what the customer wanted. <snip> We're only shipping portables with the Core 2 duo.

apparently he doesn't know his company well, i remember a mac calld mac mini, does he?

lets not forget how long it took them to ship portables with C2D

.. i think he's trying to be prideful, unsuccessfully...

Porco
Mar 1, 2007, 02:46 AM
Interesting discussion. I'm quite happy with the way the iPhone is looking, I think it'll sell millions and the first revision will be fine. I know some are dubious of Apple's Rev A products, but actually the first iPod was fine, I still have one and never had any issue with it at all, so there's a Rev A that is fine. I also think the point that it's billed as an iPod in its own right is a point well made.

However I think it's a shame he wasn't pressed more on a couple of other points, in particular;

1) If Apple are so opposed to DRM, then why do all tracks on the iTunes Store have it when giving content providers/ independent music labels the option to go DRM-free would provide a great opportunity to proved to the biggies that sales can go up as a direct result of being DRM free.

It's easy to speculate that there may be good reasons as to why this isn't the case right now - maybe the big companies dictated to Apple that all tracks must have DRM if they wanted to sell theirs. Maybe it's a user experience thing and Apple wants an easy, clear-as-possible policy on the DRM they have to use right now and don't want to confuse the issue by having to explain which tracks do and don't have DRM. It would just be nice to get an official comment on this issue, because I think it's a very common reaction to Steve's 'Thoughts On Music' and does seem strange.

2) The :apple: TV issues everyone has already raised since its preview but weren't properly addressed either - the strange limitations on connectivity and video format playback don't jive with the "21st century DVD player" tag.

Cook says "We're all about taking the content already on your Mac or PC and watch it on your TV." but really it's more like they're 'partially about taking some of the content on your Mac or PC and watch it on your TV as long as it's an oddly specific mid-range HDTV'

-Why no proper SDTV support when current iTunes video isn't even HD in any way?!
-At the other end of the scale, why limit the HD output to 720p when 1080p TVs are out there already? Maybe 1080p on the iTunes Store is a distant prospect, but the thing does photos which are way past that and hey, some nice upscaling chips for future HD content of any description at 1080p would be a nice selling point regardless.

I think the concept of :apple: TV is great but as others have said I think it's a little underdeveloped. Maybe Apple is banking on selling enough of this version to plough money into future updates. But I think the limitations of even this first version are just baffling to many of us. It's not a "21st Century DVD player" yet - it's more like a 20th Century media player with H.264 playback and HDMI output right now.

ddubbo
Mar 1, 2007, 03:06 AM
Wow. Tim's a pretty awful communicator
Something that will end Apple in near future - it is limitless arrogance and assuming that they know better than the customers , what they should use.

SeaFox
Mar 1, 2007, 03:12 AM
Why is this article formatted different on the website than the other ones?

matticus008
Mar 1, 2007, 03:25 AM
Your kidding right? My Mitsubishi 32 inch CRT type SD TV bought in 1991 had component video input.
Component input didn't EXIST in 1991, so no, it doesn't.

Component is NOT HDTV only

We have 4 SD tvs that all have component in
Which ones? There are no consumer SDTVs with Y-Pb-Pr component video to my knowledge.

I think you are all confusing component video with composite video. Component video consists of 3 RCA-style jacks for video only, with one red, one green, and one blue plug. Alternately, a VGA DB15 plug may be used.

This is DIFFERENT from the red-yellow-white set of RCA audio inputs plus composite video (the yellow RCA plug).

mdriftmeyer
Mar 1, 2007, 03:26 AM
Wow. Tim's a pretty awful communicator

He's horrific. If this were a job interview on why he should be CEO then he just failed the interview.

I left shortly after he arrived and it's not a surprise that this gets passed for being "insightful."


Q: Can you talk about your philosophy regarding Mac pricing vs market share? Could you be more aggressive in pricing to take marketshare?

A: We believe in giving people great value. Many companies put a computer out and its not what the customer really wants, so they have to add this and that (wireless, video camera). The customer winds up having to jump through many hoops before they finally get something that they think they want and it, unfortunately, doesn't really work that well, then. We don't do that. We focus on what the customer wants and provide all that. That's why, as an example, our peripheral sales on the Mac are not relating to units right now. We realized that people really want a video camera built into the system. So in every Mac that we ship other than the Mac Pro, there's a camera built in, because that's what the customer wanted. That takes down our peripheral revenue, but we give the customer what they want. We're only shipping portables with the Core 2 duo. Many companies take a different path on that. We did that. It's very simple and a very key message to the customer. I think if you compare these things. You can never compare a Mac to a PC, but if you try, you'll find the Mac is very competitive. In addition it has things you can't get anywhere else. (iLife, Mac OS, and many others). I think we've made the right tradeoff to date and you can see that in growing a multiple of the market (3x, 4x).

How about, "Since we were in transition many of our current offerings weren't able to capture our current base and new user base at a level we were comfortable with; and instead of cannibalizing our profit margins we decided to integrate peripherals to increase our selling power. The peripheral that optimized our profit margins and increase sales was an integrated camera. This way we could leverage FrontRow out-of-the-box and hint at our future directions in Home Entertainment.

From the response it is clear our choice has proven to be a winning strategy."

I'm glad I did Engineering and Professional Services. The Reality ************ spewing from his thoughts is mind-numbing in the worst sense.

koobcamuk
Mar 1, 2007, 03:49 AM
I got my RAZR for about that. And my usage pattern is (I think) pretty typical... I use it for texting and for phone calls. I messed around with the camera a couple times, just to check it out... it wasn't too hard to use, but nothing spectacular.

But the more I use my RAZR, the more I think that its UI was designed by high schoolers. the Address book is god-awful. things as common as having multiple numbers for the same person are HORRENDOUSLY un-thought-out. the date book and alarm are ridiculous: you can't set event alarms to ring at the time of the event, or more than a single ring, the ring doesn't go off if your phone is on vibe (mine often is, as much as I am in class). If you set up an alarm, you have to disable it to make it stop ringing, and then navigate through the menu to it to re-enable it if you want it to go off the next day. It's got about as much consistency as homework scraped together right before class. the UI really is trash. Texting has that great word-guessing feature that is a superb time-saver, but it's not very consistent that you enter that mode (e.g., when you're entering someone's name in the address book, or the subject line). Calling has all these stupid things about it that you just have to memorize. Bleh. It really puts me off of using any of the phone's other features, which is money lost for cingular.

Personally, I am looking for something a little bit taller, wider and skinnier than the Motorola SLVR--no huge data capacity, no camera (i keep dreaming), just a sweet phone, with some basic email/web/SMS capability... although I could go for an all-in-one when 32GB flash becomes doable and affordable, 2 years from now.

In any case, you call it the same way Cook does, with more caveats: your caveat is, damn, that thing is expensive. But you're basically saying, a bunch of people talk like they want this, and it remains to be seen if they will put their money where their drooling mouths are, yeah? It should be interesting.

I think Apple just needs to sell a small number at first. 10 million is more than enough. enough to have people on the streets using them (making people jealous), raving to their friends how cool and worth it they are, and also demoing their features to friends. I know that Wi-Fi is going to be a jealousy-inspiring feature for me! Then they need to get some market control, leverage their iPod-massive-supply influence to negotiate favorable component pricing, etc, to drive price down. hopefully in 1-3 years we'll see some much more decent, direct competitors (I think the phone market will be much more robust than the MP3 Player market), along with a very affordable, wide range of iPhones. Like others, I am an optimist about this :)

Try Sony Ericsson. I just got the W880i in black, for free. 3G, great battery, 2MP camera for snaps, instant blogging, push email, 1GB M2 card in box (expandable) headphones and adaptor, oh - and it's less than 1cm thick. INSANE. Weighs about 70-80 grams. Got the best UI out there in my opinion, uses Salling clicker (google it), bluetooth remote, isync ready... need I say more...

In the UK we still have to wait ages for the iPhone, but I am not sure I want to go forward in some features (touch screen etc) to go back in others, GSM only (3G on the way is a good thing) and the size of the handset. This SE is so small it's perfect. A normal 2MP camera (if you can still buy them) wouldn't be this small.

Anyway, it's awesome so get one whilst you wait for iPhone.:)

Porco
Mar 1, 2007, 04:28 AM
Component input didn't EXIST in 1991, so no, it doesn't.


Which ones? There are no consumer SDTVs with Y-Pb-Pr component video to my knowledge.

I think you are all confusing component video with composite video. Component video consists of 3 RCA-style jacks for video only, with one red, one green, and one blue plug. Alternately, a VGA DB15 plug may be used.

This is DIFFERENT from the red-yellow-white set of RCA audio inputs plus composite video (the yellow RCA plug).

No offence but you are wrong, component inputs on SDTVs do exist. Google it yourself and you'll find some. Try the Samsung TX-R2035 for starters if you like. Also component is not HD only (wiki it, it ranges from 480i (not HD) right up to 1080p)). I own two (SD, non upscaling)) DVD players with component outputs on myself, not that my TV has component inputs, but why would they be there otherwise? Anyway, I'm sure some of the previous posters could tell you the models of TVs they have if you still don't believe it.

matticus008
Mar 1, 2007, 05:21 AM
No offence but you are wrong, component inputs on SDTVs do exist. Google it yourself and you'll find some. Try the Samsung TX-R2035 for starters if you like. Also component is not HD only (wiki it, it ranges from 480i (not HD) right up to 1080p)).
Thanks for the link. The only other sets I'd been aware of are the Sony WEGA (not strictly SDTVs). The Samsung you indicate does not support the Apple TV, however, nor does it have any reason to have component inputs as it cannot display any progressive signals. The one possibility is that in the past two or three years there have been changes made to accommodate digital tuners.

I own two (SD, non upscaling)) DVD players with component outputs on myself, not that my TV has component inputs, but why would they be there otherwise? Anyway, I'm sure some of the previous posters could tell you the models of TVs they have if you still don't believe it.
Most DVD players have them because they're capable of progressive scan (480P)--there is no benefit to their use otherwise over S-Video. Any television set capable of resolutions starting at 480p are high definition sets (or EDTV in some cases if you need to be absolutely specific). DVD players should be expected to have component outputs, but traditionally there have not been SDTV sets with component, as SDTV sets are incapable of progressive scan and max out at 480i at best. Certainly none of the analog SDTV sets produced through the 1990s would have had component inputs.

The fact remains Apple TV requires 480p or better--it is not compatible with SDTV sets.

Porco
Mar 1, 2007, 06:07 AM
The Samsung you indicate does not support the Apple TV, however, nor does it have any reason to have component inputs as it cannot display any progressive signals.

Regardless of the motivation, I was merely pointing out that such TVs do exist, as I'm not actually sure people are confusing component with composite, and I can't see any reason why Apple couldn't have made the :apple: TV work with such TVs.


Any television set capable of resolutions starting at 480p are high definition sets (or EDTV in some cases if you need to be absolutely specific).

Hmm... Personally I think it's a nonsense to call 480p HD. Otherwise that makes the SD DVDs we've been buying for years HD already. I just don't know why Apple didn't make it compatible with CRTs as well, it seems a pointless limit on potential customers at this point, especially when they don't have any content that goes above 480p yet! I don't mind the EDTV term so much, but it's not HD, and I don't think the difference between 480p and 720p is small enough to call it being 'absolutely specific'. But I guess it's just down to what you consider HD.

My iBook G3 can output video to a CRT at 480i (albeit over a composite lead), so why can't this? In fact I can output video at 576i (PAL here in the UK) on my very-much SD CRT TV, so that's more than HD resolution according to Apple. I don't think so. It's just my opinion maybe, but I think HD should mean 720p and up. I think the same about Apple's HD movie trailers when they have them at 480p - they used to be 'large' trailers, now they're HD, apparently.

petvas
Mar 1, 2007, 06:11 AM
Apple TV is a nice idea with many limitations though.

Can please someone explain to me why Apple Tv has an optical output for sound? The mp4 container format DOESNT support Dolby Digital and DTS!

Apple TV can only play mp4 files in a very limited way...

Now, Apple says the AppleTV is for widescreen TVs. Why then does it mainly support 640x480???? Is it just me thinking that the Apple TV is a total failure???

Why should I give up my DVDs with DTS sound for the Apple TV? Please don't tell me that it is convenient. I like the idea of having everything controlled by a small set top box, but I won't accept inferior quality products. I do not want Stereo or Dolby Surround sound, I want Dolby Digital and DTS. I dont want to have two devices to handle all my Media, I want one!!!
When the Apple TV grows up, I will consider buying it.

matticus008
Mar 1, 2007, 06:25 AM
Regardless of the motivation, I was merely pointing out that such TVs do exist, as I'm not actually sure people are confusing component with composite, and I can't see any reason why Apple couldn't have made the :apple: TV work with such TVs.
The :apple:TV uses progressive signals to display its interface, aside from 1080i (since it does not currently support 1080p). It is aimed at people with expensive HD sets as a high-quality interface. 480i and lower outputs are of abysmal quality, with fuzzy text and washed out color from digital sources.

I'm sure they could have come up with something that would work with older analog sets, but they've chosen not to bother. An iPod will sort of fill the gap for people with SDTVs.

Hmm... Personally I think it's a nonsense to call 480p HD. Otherwise that makes the SD DVDs we've been buying for years HD already. I just don't know why Apple didn't make it compatible with CRTs as well, it seems a pointless limit on potential customers at this point, especially when they don't have any content that goes above 480p yet!
I also do not consider 480p to be high-definition; it is, however, an HDTV standard. The whole situation is a mess. SDTV technically refers only to the successor to NTSC/PAL/SECAM--though people, including myself, often use it to refer to any old analog set. "HD" is generally 720p/1080i/1080p, but then that leaves 480p undefined, and all progressive scan resolutions are technically part of the HDTV set. EDTV has this sort of nebulous definition that might include 480i and 480p depending on who's answering.

It boils down to this: component video has no practical use for anything less than 480p; it does apparently exist on late-model CRT sets to connect ATSC tuners (but since the sets do not support progressive scan, there's no reason to connect anything else to that input), but it was introduced around 1999 as an HD connection method, which has been supplanted by HDMI. The :apple:TV requires a television that does at least 480p. That is, a progressive scan CRT or an HDTV with either Y-Pb-Pr component inputs or an HDMI input.

Porco
Mar 1, 2007, 06:41 AM
I'm sure they could have come up with something that would work with older analog sets, but they've chosen not to bother. An iPod will sort of fill the gap for people with SDTVs.


That's all I'm saying dude! Which means every potential customer who doesn't have a HD TV yet is going 'meh'. Steve Jobs himself made the point that an iPod hooked up to a TV looks watchable when he introduced the 5th Gen iPods, didn't he? But not through an :apple: TV it seems.

I just don't believe it would have harmed profit margins that much to have supported pretty much any TV at this stage. On the contrary, I think it would have improved total sales. By all means when Apple are actually selling HD content (by which I mean 720p +!) then use it as an incentive for people to upgrade to HDTVs to enjoy that content, but I just think it's kind of putting the cart before the horse to block off what might well have been half the sales of the 1st :apple: TV because they didn't want to put in a chip that did less than 480p.

At the other end of the scale, I'm looking to buy a 1080p HDTV this year sometime, but the fact the :apple: TV won't support that high a resolution puts me off it for that.

I was quite positive about the :apple: TV when it was introduced, and I still think it has a lot of potential as a product line for future revisions, but this first version seems a little half-baked.

Morky
Mar 1, 2007, 07:20 AM
Apple TV seems to be a misnomer. If it was truely 'TV' it should play what is on my TV, not what's on my Mac. A true Apple TV should be able to use ALL media.

Are you daft? What plays on your tv is what is input into your TV, either from the airways, cable, and now fiber. Apple is adding wifi from your PC as a new source of input to watch PC-based content on your TV. What don't you get?

Konradx
Mar 1, 2007, 07:58 AM
"Content already on your Mac or PC and watch it on your TV.
Transcript of relevant portions follows."

Doesnt he mean content already on your Itunes to watch on your TV?

joemama
Mar 1, 2007, 08:06 AM
No DVR = totally pointless still for my needs. And I think for most people's needs as well from looking at the comments on here.

I completely agree with you. I've been saying this from day one - Apple TV will not sell if it does not have a DVR. No one is going to pay for shows they can watch for free - or already paid for through a cable subscription.

The only problem I see is most cable companies offer a DVR/cable box, so how wouls Apple's DVR work with an existing one?

Lucy Brown
Mar 1, 2007, 08:36 AM
Are you daft? What plays on your tv is what is input into your TV, either from the airways, cable, and now fiber. Apple is adding wifi from your PC as a new source of input to watch PC-based content on your TV. What don't you get?

I think your daft! The poster obviously meant tv as the usual inputs. Cable, SAT or air. When somebody says I'm watching TV they dont mean a dvd, they mean they're watching a broadcast. Duh! When I first heard of the name apple tv thats what I thought of, TV, not downloading movies from itunes so I can watch them on my tv. I quickly learned that apple tv (in it's 1st incarnation) will be useless for me.

Frazzle
Mar 1, 2007, 09:15 AM
Basically, I don't get Apple TV either. Who is Apple targeting with this thing?

Personally, I'm in the enthusiast category. I have a home server with all of my DVDs in their original (PAL MPEG2) format and all of my CDs in FLAC lossless format. That server also carries a DVB-C cable tuner which is able to stream any feed (including HD) in its original MPEG2 or H.264 format over the network.

Never will I buy any device that can not provide 1920x1080p full HD to my LCD screen, will not let me view HD content from other sources and will not support open standards or read DVDs off network drives.

Apple has this weird idea that iTunes truly is the centre of people's media experience. Yeah right. It's a device for the clueless.

Frazzle
Mar 1, 2007, 09:44 AM
What's all this I'm reading about component inputs/outputs as only being progressive and only useful in that case? That's incorrect. The connection and the formats it carries are not related. Even an HDMI or DVI connection can run an interlaced signal.

Interlaced component inputs/outputs have been around for ages and they *do* exist in non-progressive devices. Usually, they're labeled as RGB or Y-Cb-Cr in that case, instead of Y-Pb-Pr. Even in the interlaced formats, the quality of a component or RGB connection is far better than S-Video.

In Europe, most sources have component RGB available through the 21-pin SCART connector. In the US and Asia, the separate cinch connectors became more popular. My Sony DVD player and recorder have both and neither of them offers progressive scan or upscaling. They predate the whole HD evolution at any rate.

Of course, a HD screen will not like interlaced component input, but many home theatre receivers can de-interlace the signal for you.

Likewise, hooking up the Apple TV to a non-progressive screen will not work. so even if you do have an older screen with component inputs - if it's from 1991 and not a progressive-capable computer CRT, you're probably out of luck as your component inputs are Y-Cb-Cr connections.

BiikeMike
Mar 1, 2007, 09:49 AM
Matticus,

You are very mistaken. There are PLENTY of SD TVs with component inputs I have one sitting at home right now. I believe its made by Sharp. There is a HUGE difference in quality if I plug my DVD player in with 3 cords or 5. component inputs have been around for a LONG time, and have been on a good ol' regular TV.

As for the price of the iPhone, considering all it does, I don't think its that outrageous. I just payed $500 for my Palm Treo 700P, (which I am typing on right now) and it does not have an integrated iPod. I think people will pay it, and its not that much higher than other 'smartphones' on the market.

halse
Mar 1, 2007, 10:10 AM
WiFi calling with iPhone?: COO Tim Cook said
"Second, the product has wifi capabilities, so many people -- like in this room, I'm sure there's wifi in this room, and there are hotspots everwhere -- they're going to use wifi."

sounds like it will/can do some variant on skype (maybe via iChat?), this is one of the key unknowns (the other being price) about the iPhone

shadowfax
Mar 1, 2007, 10:14 AM
Try Sony Ericsson. I just got the W880i in black, for free. 3G, great battery, 2MP camera for snaps, instant blogging, push email, 1GB M2 card in box (expandable) headphones and adaptor, oh - and it's less than 1cm thick. INSANE. Weighs about 70-80 grams. Got the best UI out there in my opinion, uses Salling clicker (google it), bluetooth remote, isync ready... need I say more...

In the UK we still have to wait ages for the iPhone, but I am not sure I want to go forward in some features (touch screen etc) to go back in others, GSM only (3G on the way is a good thing) and the size of the handset. This SE is so small it's perfect. A normal 2MP camera (if you can still buy them) wouldn't be this small.

Anyway, it's awesome so get one whilst you wait for iPhone.:)
Eh, I am fresh out of a contract, and I'm actually sharing a family plan with my wife, and her sister and brother in law. together, my wife and I pay $35/month for our plan. just about any plan we switch to would double that.

You're right though. I had an SE T637 before my RAZR, and it was a pretty design as well, PLUS the UI was pretty intuitive. It had some stupid mMode crap on it forced on by the carrier (AT&T at the time), but it was much easier to use overall. Anyway, the iPhone's lack of 3G doesn't concern me--I couldn't use it if they had it, it's not available in Norman, OK. What tempts me is the ability to leverage wifi in my home/on campus. That is just kickass.

I think I'll just survive the razr while I wait. Someone should hack up the OS and give it a proper UI, then it could be an iPhone competitor, inasmuch as it'd be an intuitive, easy to use phone.

Krevnik
Mar 1, 2007, 10:20 AM
That might be true, but I don't see it as a sustainable revenue source. Why would *anyone* buy a TV show for $3 or whatever it costs [$.20 is too much if on a per-show basis]? Maybe the very, very seldom chance of missing an episode [which doesn't happen with a DVR anyways], and 1/1000 people would maybe buy that single episode. But that's about it. While Apple can make miracles, there's no way, absolutely no way that they will make money off of charging for TV shows, per show, when I can get them via cable [all TV shows, 1 price].

I disagree... I am actually very seriously considering throwing out my cable subscription and using OTA for HD simply because I will save myself a couple hundred dollars a year if I use iTunes for the handful of cable series I actually watch, and stick with broadcast for the rest. That money can easily go into new content... HD discs, a DVR, etc, etc...

Save money, and get some of my TV series commercial free? Sounds like a win-win to me. While it would be nice to get ad-supported free episodes so you can sample a series first... I don't need it to save money over my current cable subscription.


On the other hand, if they did build in DVR functionality as well - they could sell me on the movie part, possibly. At least they'd have my attention and I'd be using the box daily to watch all TV content. They wouldn't be loosing any money, because again - there will never be many people paying for TV shows unless cable goes to utter hell. But they would be making money from my original Apple TV purchase, possibly more iTunes music purchases, and possible movie purchases.

I think the main problem is that A) people believe cable hasn't already gone to utter hell, and B) that cable is cheaper than a la carte TV. For me, Comcast is a thorn in my side, offering SD quality worse than iTunes, and offering HD quality worse than OTA. I don't have any other options...

No, I won't buy Lost or something like that over iTunes (instead if I really wanted to own a copy, I'll get the DVDs and rip them)... but Stargate or Battlestar at 35$/season so I don't have to pay Comcast nearly a grand a year for the privilege to watch SciFi which only has a couple shows worth watching?

Sad thing is, I have been disappointed with the content of my cable subscription, and I don't feel like paying an extra 20 bucks on an even crappier package so I get the 'privilege' of being able to select/buy a premium channel.

I used to think like you do, and agree that Apple has in a couple different ways mis-priced or mis-featured the product. They could shoehorn it into the 200$ range, and remove the HDD in it... which would better meet the needs of some customers, or they could make it a DVR at a higher price point (unless they swapped out the laptop drive for a desktop drive to counter-balance the price difference).

Smaller, better, cheaper... pick any two... but always expect Apple to pick smaller, every time.

Seasought
Mar 1, 2007, 11:05 AM
Today the cell phone industry, a lot of people pay $0 for the cell phone. Guess why? That's what its worth! If we offer something that has tremendous value that is sort of this thing that people didn't have in their consciousness, it was not imaginable... I think there are a bunch of people that will pay $499 or $599 and our target is clearly to hit 10 million and I would guess some of those people are paying $0 because its worth $0 and willing to pay a bit more because its worth more.

This just sounds like BS to rationalize high price points on the iPhone. Maybe the wording just rubbed me the wrong way. :mad:

CJD2112
Mar 1, 2007, 11:52 AM
He's horrific. If this were a job interview on why he should be CEO then he just failed the interview.

I left shortly after he arrived and it's not a surprise that this gets passed for being "insightful."



How about, "Since we were in transition many of our current offerings weren't able to capture our current base and new user base at a level we were comfortable with; and instead of cannibalizing our profit margins we decided to integrate peripherals to increase our selling power. The peripheral that optimized our profit margins and increase sales was an integrated camera. This way we could leverage FrontRow out-of-the-box and hint at our future directions in Home Entertainment.

From the response it is clear our choice has proven to be a winning strategy."

I'm glad I did Engineering and Professional Services. The Reality ************ spewing from his thoughts is mind-numbing in the worst sense.

VERY well said. You should have been in PR =).

CJD2112
Mar 1, 2007, 11:57 AM
Try Sony Ericsson. I just got the W880i in black, for free. 3G, great battery, 2MP camera for snaps, instant blogging, push email, 1GB M2 card in box (expandable) headphones and adaptor, oh - and it's less than 1cm thick. INSANE. Weighs about 70-80 grams. Got the best UI out there in my opinion, uses Salling clicker (google it), bluetooth remote, isync ready... need I say more...

In the UK we still have to wait ages for the iPhone, but I am not sure I want to go forward in some features (touch screen etc) to go back in others, GSM only (3G on the way is a good thing) and the size of the handset. This SE is so small it's perfect. A normal 2MP camera (if you can still buy them) wouldn't be this small.

Anyway, it's awesome so get one whilst you wait for iPhone.:)

I switched to Cingular from Verizon, and my few complaints with Motorola's software as opposed to Verizon's is 1) Verizon's software was intuitive, meaning it automatically knew how the address book entry should sound when pronounced, so there was no needing in voice programming each entry for handsfree calling 2) Multiple entries for one name 3) the incredibly slow UI (especially in texting, it is PAINFUL).

Those complaints are enough for me to drop $499 on a new iPhone, even though I want to wait for version 2.0 (no 3G, external battery, third party apps, bigger flash drive).

sccaldwell
Mar 1, 2007, 12:26 PM
I still do not see a point to the Apple TV. If it was also a DVR, I'd toss my Tivo in the trash instantly. Without it, what on earth would I want to watch? I'm not going to buy TV episodes that I can watch with Tivo for free, how many YouTube videos can you really want?

Ok so my family comes to visit for Hanukkah once a year. So I can play a few videos and show a couple pictures, neat. Besides that, what is this thing really good for? Am I just completely missing the point of it? :confused:

Partly, I think. :) I also wish the Apple TV was a DVR and/or less expensive, but it's not. So, what is it?

I compare it to the Airport Express, because the wireless music streaming is the #1 reason I've considered buying an Airport Express.

The Apple TV provides ALL music-related functions of an Airport Express (which sold for $129 prior to Apple TV being announced), but with VIDEO and CONTROL over the music, so that you can select your music FROM your Entertainment Center instead of having to run back to your home office or wherever to change what's playing. That's worth a lot. Granted, it doesn't have the wireless router functions of the Airport Express, but I already have a wireless router, as do many people.

Unlike Airport Express, it also lets you play VIDEOS, MOVIES, including home movies, TV shows and movies you've downloaded, etc (that's worth another $100, IMHO) and lets you view PHOTOS (maybe worth a little more...$20-30?). It has a hard drive in it to buffer these movies (and possibly photos, too?) so that they'll play smoothly...that's an expensive component. It's also 802.11n, which is more expensive. Components to support HDMI are hardly cheap, I'd guess.

Is it worth $299? Maybe, maybe not. But it's clearly worth more than $150...that's only $20 more than the Airport Express, and adds video.

I fully expect that they'll do one of the following within a year:
(1) Allow you to run Mac OS X (or a limited version) from Apple TV using a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse (there is a USB port on it for a dongle) either with OS X running directly on Apple TV *or* using something like Remote Desktop or VNC to access a remote session on your Mac (or maybe PC, too, if they used VNC).
(2) Add DVR support
(3) Sell games that play on it, again using the USB port for a controller connection.
(4) Drop the price by at least $50.

I really think Apple is primarily targetting people who are tired of paying $50-100 per month for cable TV or satellite when all they really watch or care about is 1 or 2 shows. Drop the cable/satellite, buy an Apple TV, and now you pay $1.99 per episode (typically $8 per show, per month) and can watch them any time you want, easiliy streamed to your big TV without dealing with a DVR, VCR, or big cable bill. Just like iTunes allowed consumers to cherry pick the GOOD songs off of a CD, iTunes+AppleTV allows consumers to cherry pick the GOOD shows off of TV, instead of paying $50-100 and having to sort through (and pay for) all the crap.

I also think AppleTV is an obvious stepping stone for Apple supporting video RENTALS. Remember....Apple TV can stream QuickTime previews DIRECTLY from Apple's web site. What's to say they won't announce that you can now stream MOVIES directly from Apple's web site (via Apple TV), for let's say $3 each. The movies could be stored on Apple TV's internal hard drive, which makes it harder for people to illegally pirate them (similar to people renting a DVD/VHS tape and copying it before returning it). Apple TV could manage the "rental" process, storing the movie for the agreed-upon rental time. You can watch it as many times as you want during that time, then it's automatically deleted. Perhaps as an option, you can pay and extra amount of money to be able to keep it (ie. rent-to-own).

Personally, I think that's where they're headed, and this first release is just "Part 1" of the plan.

We'll see!

Craig

Lucy Brown
Mar 1, 2007, 12:32 PM
I disagree... I am actually very seriously considering throwing out my cable subscription and using OTA for HD simply because I will save myself a couple hundred dollars a year if I use iTunes for the handful of cable series I actually watch, and stick with broadcast for the rest. That money can easily go into new content... HD discs, a DVR, etc, etc...

Save money, and get some of my TV series commercial free? Sounds like a win-win to me. While it would be nice to get ad-supported free episodes so you can sample a series first... I don't need it to save money over my current cable subscription.



I think the main problem is that A) people believe cable hasn't already gone to utter hell, and B) that cable is cheaper than a la carte TV. For me, Comcast is a thorn in my side, offering SD quality worse than iTunes, and offering HD quality worse than OTA. I don't have any other options...

No, I won't buy Lost or something like that over iTunes (instead if I really wanted to own a copy, I'll get the DVDs and rip them)... but Stargate or Battlestar at 35$/season so I don't have to pay Comcast nearly a grand a year for the privilege to watch SciFi which only has a couple shows worth watching?

Sad thing is, I have been disappointed with the content of my cable subscription, and I don't feel like paying an extra 20 bucks on an even crappier package so I get the 'privilege' of being able to select/buy a premium channel.

I used to think like you do, and agree that Apple has in a couple different ways mis-priced or mis-featured the product. They could shoehorn it into the 200$ range, and remove the HDD in it... which would better meet the needs of some customers, or they could make it a DVR at a higher price point (unless they swapped out the laptop drive for a desktop drive to counter-balance the price difference).

Smaller, better, cheaper... pick any two... but always expect Apple to pick smaller, every time.

Looks like apple tv may work for you then. But what about people who actually watch tv. Sports, news, weather, reruns. For somebody that watches 2 shows and nothing else cable does seem to be a waste for you. From what I've been reading your in the minority though and that doesnt bode well for this product.

tribulation
Mar 1, 2007, 12:34 PM
The only problem I see is most cable companies offer a DVR/cable box, so how wouls Apple's DVR work with an existing one?

With Tivo, I still have the cable co's digital tuner box, but don't use it's guide or any of it's functionality other than it just being there to do the actual tuning. Tivo has the guide, season passes, etc, and just tells the tuner box to tune into the channel via IR or a direct connection cable. I don't see why :apple: TV couldn't do that to?

sccaldwell
Mar 1, 2007, 12:38 PM
I have no interest in :apple: tv unless I can rent movies and they play them in 5.1 surround. I think they missed the boat by not launching it with rentals and with a tuner so i can record and watch tv shows on my mac or my tv.

Many companies try to release products that are everything to everyone, that try to do too much, and fail miserably.

Apple had great success with the iPod, making incremental updates to it. Furthermore, they've sold WAY more of them by doing it that way than they would have if the 5G iPod had simply come out in 2001. Why? UPGRADES. I'd bet that half of the sales of 5G iPods were to people who already owned an early model. People loved their 1G and 2G iPods, but wanted color...or video...or more storage space, so they upgraded.

Also, I think that Apple's being smart by not trying to be everything to everyone with Apple TV. Why? Several reasons:

(1) They'll sell less initially. How is that a good thing? It's a BRAND NEW type of product for them, so fewer initial sales minimizes the effect (and possible bad press) of any problems.
(2) Gives time to add more features. Like the iPhone, Apple TV is just hardware...basically a computer with nice software. Adding DVR functionality, games, remote desktop access, etc can all be done with software....later.
(3) Maximize profits. If it sells like hotcakes at $299, I can't blame them for keeping the price there. If it doesn't, and they can still make a profit at $249 or $199, they'll drop it to there, as needed. You never advertise a house or car for sale at your "rock bottom" price...you test the waters....price it for what you THINK someone might pay. If you're wrong, you lower the price.

Craig

tribulation
Mar 1, 2007, 12:38 PM
Looks like apple tv may work for you then. But what about people who actually watch tv. Sports, news, weather, reruns. For somebody that watches 2 shows and nothing else cable does seem to be a waste for you. From what I've been reading your in the minority though and that doesnt bode well for this product.

Exactly. I get 150+ channels and enjoy a ton of shows, most aren't even offered on iTunes store anyways. Just like you said, local news, any random show, random Discovery channel shows, history channel shows, etc etc etc. I watch a heck of a lot more than 2 shows. When I'm bored, I can always just browse the guide and tune into something new, if I don't like it, I just go to something else. With :apple: TV, I would have to browse their catalog, pay $3 for every show, even if I didn't like it, and be stuck with all of this crap.....doesn't make any sense at all to me. Plus, a show that was just on some off-channel, like A&E (just an example) won't most likely be on iTunes immediately, let alone probably ever.

Hunts121
Mar 1, 2007, 12:39 PM
Component input didn't EXIST in 1991, so no, it doesn't.


Which ones? There are no consumer SDTVs with Y-Pb-Pr component video to my knowledge.

I think you are all confusing component video with composite video. Component video consists of 3 RCA-style jacks for video only, with one red, one green, and one blue plug. Alternately, a VGA DB15 plug may be used.

This is DIFFERENT from the red-yellow-white set of RCA audio inputs plus composite video (the yellow RCA plug).

I have had two tvs (SDTV) that have/had component, one a cheap philips the other a nice toshiba....so I'm gonna have to say you're wrong...I know the difference. Its how my XBOX 360 is hooked up to the TV in my bedroom, via the same color plugs it is when its on the plasma in my living room (PS3 is on that now).

Hell my 8 year old DVD player had component outs and that was way before the HD craze

tribulation
Mar 1, 2007, 12:48 PM
I disagree... I am actually very seriously considering throwing out my cable subscription and using OTA for HD simply because I will save myself a couple hundred dollars a year if I use iTunes for the handful of cable series I actually watch, and stick with broadcast for the rest. That money can easily go into new content... HD discs, a DVR, etc, etc...

Save money, and get some of my TV series commercial free? Sounds like a win-win to me. While it would be nice to get ad-supported free episodes so you can sample a series first... I don't need it to save money over my current cable subscription.

I mentioned this above, but how could the majority of people who watch more than 1 or 2 shows, ever, toss their cable box?? I only pay for basic cable, and get about 150 or so channels (changes all the time). I watch lots of shows. Tivo's season pass gets them all on my DVR and I watch as needed. A season pass on iTunes for a single show, say "24" is $45. That's about 2 months of FULL cable access for my basic cable, in which I also get the other 149 channels, plus the other 1 channel (fox)'s content that's playing all day, not just 1 hour, 1 time a week.

I don't see how Apple could **loose** any money by adding in DVR support. I want 1 box to control my main TV viewing. Now if my DVR could play a few movies from my Mac now and then, cool. All the better. But the majority of the time, I want to use it for "normal" TV purposes, watching TV channels, channel surfing, etc.

Another thing is, I don't want to have to be forced to leave my Mac on all the time. If you add in the extra power consumption for a Mac into your equation of savings, that's actually a significant amount of cash every year. Without your Mac turned on, the iTV is useless. The built in 40gb drive won't hold much worthwhile, so it requires your Mac being on. While this would be nice when I want to view some home movies or such from my Mac, what about the rest of the time?

They could have at least built in something cool into the iTV. Why not a web browser? It runs some sort of stripped OS X, heck even the iPhone has a webkit browser, I'm sure they could fit one onto the iTV. At least that would offer some incentive (I could check my email or such from upstairs). As it stands, I still really just don't get it, at all.

tribulation
Mar 1, 2007, 12:55 PM
I really think Apple is primarily targetting people who are tired of paying $50-100 per month for cable TV or satellite when all they really watch or care about is 1 or 2 shows. Drop the cable/satellite, buy an Apple TV, and now you pay $1.99 per episode (typically $8 per show, per month) and can watch them any time you want, easiliy streamed to your big TV without dealing with a DVR, VCR, or big cable bill.

I agree. I see that as the only real audience that would see any benefit for it. But are there really that many people that only watch 2 or 3 shows? What about news, and all the other stuff? I'm not a TV-addict, but I certainly watch more than 2 shows. And with basic cable + Tivo, I get them all for about $26/mo.

The argument about just adding the iTV to your TV setup just seems like a big waste. Why would I want another box, that provides so very little, with it's own little remote? If it had a DVR, I could toss Tivo, and use it full time to do everything, including the current iTV features (streaming a couple videos from my mac, which I'd probably do like once a month, if that). Add on a web browser (which would be so easy for them) and that would triple the incentive to get one.

But as it stands it is just another box that basically does nothing except sell some ad space for Apple. I think they could have seriously revolutionized the industry if they'd have added a DVR in ADDITION to the current feature set. But that single missing feature will be a killer.

Maccus Aurelius
Mar 1, 2007, 12:58 PM
If one can actually use the WiFi to the fullest potential...imagine being free from Cingular and using the iPhone as the world's most expensive cordless VoIP phone at home! :eek:

I've yet to find a single person that can convince me that purchasing $2 TV episodes is a bad thing. The DVD sets are almost or over $50, at least $2 every now and then has a significantly smaller impact on my wallet. Also, if I'm somewhere far away and I don't have the luxury to watch my show as it airs, I can always download it and watch it later on my laptop. Since I have a US iTunes account I can purchase this content anywhere I please.

Ok, where the hell are people getting this idea that you pay $3 for content you don't like? You purchase them; you're not forced to buy it.

tribulation
Mar 1, 2007, 01:00 PM
Many companies try to release products that are everything to everyone, that try to do too much, and fail miserably.

I just feel that the iTV is providing nothing to anyone. In my opinion, it wouldn't take much at all for them to have added DVR features. It doesn't even need to have a tuner - my Tivo doesn't. All it does is take the video signal out from a cable box and then control the cable box (which isn't hard to do at all). For round 1, they would have needed to have a TV Tuner, cablecard, or anything complicated like that. Just the simple support of showing a guide (there are free ones like elgato uses), and record. That's it.

Scarpad
Mar 1, 2007, 01:03 PM
At 7+ GB a disc (dual layer DVD movie), you'd have to have a dedicated computer (to make any worthwhile use of it, to be "always on") and terabytes of hard drive space. And then what's the point? I'll just hook up my mac to a TV if I wanted that. On the other hand, if it had DVR functionality I'd get one in a heartbeat. It's Apple for god's sake, couldn't they just partner up with Tivo to provide the TV guide part, assuming they don't want to deal with it?

I still see no good reasons to buy one of these things......

I've given up on the Whole HTPC scene. I currently rip my TV and Movies Disks to play on my various Portables, but I see no sense in investing Hundreds of Dollars for Storage, to what?, Have a movie I might watch twice a Year at my Beckon Fingertips? So I can show them all off on a TV Screen?
I don't see the point. The Actual DVD upconverted by my DVD Player thru HDMI is still going to maximize the potential of my TV, a 640x480 encode won't, not very hard and it's much cheaper to grab the disk and load it up.

Peace
Mar 1, 2007, 01:04 PM
I just feel that the iTV is providing nothing to anyone. In my opinion, it wouldn't take much at all for them to have added DVR features. It doesn't even need to have a tuner - my Tivo doesn't. All it does is take the video signal out from a cable box and then control the cable box (which isn't hard to do at all). For round 1, they would have needed to have a TV Tuner, cablecard, or anything complicated like that. Just the simple support of showing a guide (there are free ones like elgato uses), and record. That's it.


Maybe the reason Apple didn't do that is because they have some deals in the works with cable companies.

Maccus Aurelius
Mar 1, 2007, 01:05 PM
I agree. I see that as the only real audience that would see any benefit for it. But are there really that many people that only watch 2 or 3 shows? What about news, and all the other stuff? I'm not a TV-addict, but I certainly watch more than 2 shows. And with basic cable + Tivo, I get them all for about $26/mo.


Actually, yes there are tons of people who care for only a small handful of television shows. People that generally work and are not home to be with their TV's don't watch much more than their favorite prime time stuff, which usually only comes once a week and only spans over 1, 2 or even 3 channels aren't really concerned about other stuff unless they're avid sports fans or couch potatoes. I can't remember the last time I've actually had enough time to watch that much television since I work every weekday and have only a few hours of my evening for it. So the shows I really care about are very few, and generally one's favorite shows are small in number.

tribulation
Mar 1, 2007, 01:07 PM
Ok, where the hell are people getting this idea that you pay $3 for content you don't like? You purchase them; you're not forced to buy it.

You don't have to buy things you don't like, but I think you are in a very small minority of users that watch that few shows. Do you ever watch local news, or even something like The Tonight Show, or some random show on at 3am? With cable, you can. With iTV, you can't, you would have to keep continuously buying shows, a very limited supply of them at that currently as well.

I also never miss a show with my DVR. It records them all for me, and I can go back and watch them anytime. My Tivo records about 20 different shows this season alone, not to mention the news and mentioned random shows. For even 10 series through iTunes, at $50 per season, that's $500.

For that price, it buys me 20 months of FULL cable access. That's everything, including those series, thousands of other series as well, live news (multiple channels of course), and over a hundred other channels of content. There's just no comparison.

And again, since my Tivo DVR records the all for me, I don't have to watch them live. I can watch them whenever I want, and not pay a per-episode fee.

Peace
Mar 1, 2007, 01:11 PM
You don't have to buy things you don't like, but I think you are in a very small minority of users that watch that few shows. Do you ever watch local news, or even something like The Tonight Show, or some random show on at 3am? With cable, you can. With iTV, you can't, you would have to keep continuously buying shows, a very limited supply of them at that currently as well.

I also never miss a show with my DVR. It records them all for me, and I can go back and watch them anytime. My Tivo records about 20 different shows this season alone, not to mention the news and mentioned random shows. For even 10 series through iTunes, at $50 per season, that's $500.

For that price, it buys me 20 months of FULL cable access. That's everything, including those series, thousands of other series as well, live news (multiple channels of course), and over a hundred other channels of content. There's just no comparison.

And again, since my Tivo DVR records the all for me, I don't have to watch them live. I can watch them whenever I want, and not pay a per-episode fee.

What do you do if say..A family member has this great HD video/Movie on his/her computer and you want to watch it on the HDTV in the living room?

tribulation
Mar 1, 2007, 01:13 PM
Actually, yes there are tons of people who care for only a small handful of television shows.

Ok :)
You are the market that I think Apple must be going after then. I just don't think it's a very big market, but maybe so. When I watch TV, if all I saw on it were 2 shows and no chance of seeing anything else (without forking over another $3 to watch just one more episode of something), I would be pretty annoyed and would probably just give up on TV ;)

I see your point, but also think that they could have targeted 98% of the population by adding something very simple, rather than alienating the 98% of the audience and only serving the other small few - which I have no data to back up, but I really think that most people would rather see a TV guide full of channels with instant access to anything, rather than just 1 or 2 recorded shows. Maybe I'm completely wrong.

tribulation
Mar 1, 2007, 01:18 PM
What do you do if say..A family member has this great HD video/Movie on his/her computer and you want to watch it on the HDTV in the living room?

For that yes, the :apple: TV would be great. But at least for me, that would only happen a few times a year. So I would never buy the iTV box for that. On the other hand, if it had normal TV/DVR features also (the key is *also*) then I'd have it, and access to the other features as well.

I'm not saying that it doesn't have a purpose. I'm only saying that that purpose isn't something that's so needed that you wouldn't need a DVR also, and that most people would probably not use the iTV's features for much after the initial, "Wow I got this thing and can see some youtube movies", 2 weeks later, how often most people with need that, I can't say for sure, but am guessing not much.

The feature would be nice to have, but not by itself. Especially not with it's own box taking up space, power, and yet another little remote. Like I said above, basic DVR features would have been very very easy to add, they just chose not to for some unknown reason.

mattibek
Mar 1, 2007, 01:23 PM
What I don't understand is all the complaints about having to pay for the initial unit of the iphone + the cost of the phone service. If you buy an ipod for $350 that is not the final cost that you pay. The ipod is useless without the music or videos that you purchase to play on it (except for podcasts). I have over 60 Gb of music and video which I purchased legally at a cost that is easily over the $3,000 mark. But the music industry doesn't send me rebates or offer me free music players. I am not convinced that iphone is the greatest product... yet.

But this is a product that is revolutionary, meaning it will change how the cellphone industry works. We have to stop thinking how units were sold prior to the iphone. The understanding I have is that the seperation of the cost of the phone from the service allows mac to have complete control over the design of the units hardware and software. This is not something that bothers me as mac does things right and protects its products so that it can continue to do things right. As we should keep in mind this is only the beginning for iphone and it will innovate evolution as all apple products do. So if you want a free phone then get one, if you want a mini computer that runs OSX and has the ability to expand within itself with the creation of aps then shell out some money.

I'll buy one... in a couple of years.

mattibek
Mar 1, 2007, 01:28 PM
What I don't understand is all the complaints about having to pay for the initial unit of the iphone + the cost of the phone service. If you buy an ipod for $350 that is not the final cost that you pay. The ipod is useless without the music or videos that you purchase to play on it (except for podcasts). I have over 60 Gb of music and video which I purchased legally at a cost that is easily over the $3,000 mark. But the music industry doesn't send me rebates or offer me free music players. I am not convinced that iphone is the greatest product... yet.

But this is a product that is revolutionary, meaning it will change how the cellphone industry works. We have to stop thinking how units were sold prior to the iphone. The understanding I have is that the seperation of the cost of the phone from the service allows mac to have complete control over the design of the units hardware and software. This is not something that bothers me as mac does things right and protects its products so that it can continue to do things right. As we should keep in mind this is only the beginning for iphone and it will innovate evolution as all apple products do. So if you want a free phone then get one, if you want a mini computer that runs OSX and has the ability to expand within itself with the creation of aps then shell out some money.

I'll buy one... in a couple of years.

lazyrighteye
Mar 1, 2007, 02:25 PM
I think Apple is either making assumptions concerning these two products based on its past successes with the ipod (I'd call this attitude "hubris"...) or it's basing its rush to market these two products (tv and phone) on information that we don't have -- that, or a combination of both these things.

OS X 10.5 , 10.5.1, .mac, or ichat might have added functionality that would make either or both of these products more attractive to most people, but in their current stand-alone iterations I can't see most people rushing out to buy either of them unless they are some kind of an early adopter AND apple fanatic. I'd be very surprised if itunes movies/tv show sales take off in the near term but can see that its not in apples best interests to bundle dvr functionality in the apple tv due to the current reliance on itunes for revenue -- they'll make more overall hardware sales if an apple-tv-based dvr app is integrated in the OS and especially if an updated and price-tiered .mac service is part of the equation. Integrating visual voicemail into ichat and/or .mac would also boost sales. But personally, I have no desire for a combined ipod/phone (I rarely use my ipod) and I intend to buy a MythTV box and add 1TB of hdd space rather than use an Apple.

I too wonder if we just aren't in-the-know enough to understand the full picture. I'm guessing (or is it hoping?) we are not.

As stated above, today, I am not seeing a good reason to go out and buy a new HD set so I can watch what little the iTunes Store has to offer. Nor am I interested in breaking any contracts with current carriers just so I can get an iPhone.

While I agree that DVDs are done, there is a huge gap between what the iTunes Store offers and what I want to watch/own/lend/etc. Again, maybe there are aspects of Leopard, dot Mac, iTunes, etc. that will change my mind.

And if Apple is serious about that 10M stat, at&t better offer not only to cover my broken contract fee but also some tasty packages if they even THINK they have a chance at hitting 10M. Again, we know nothing about what at&t will offer - contracts, fees, etc. That too could change my mind, once public.

The short of it: we're ALL going to have to wait and see how this plays out. Something tells me these 2 products aren't as completely "neat but how?" as we all seem to think.

But what do I know?

Maccus Aurelius
Mar 1, 2007, 02:49 PM
If the ATV was able to actually play VIDEO_TS files, that would be sweet. Rip and play DVD's! :eek:

Of course....it would need a much much larger HD, and perhaps even a FW port for an external HD since regular DVD movies can be up to 8GB in size.

Krevnik
Mar 1, 2007, 02:51 PM
Looks like apple tv may work for you then. But what about people who actually watch tv. Sports, news, weather, reruns. For somebody that watches 2 shows and nothing else cable does seem to be a waste for you. From what I've been reading your in the minority though and that doesnt bode well for this product.

I may be in the minority, but I hardly watch just two shows. :)

The thing that tipped it for me was that I decided to do the actual math, of what I was getting, and how I used it... and how much I could get if I switched over to the a la carte model. It worked out to about 24 seasons of TV a year a la carte... or a year of cable.

So, I follow maybe about 10 shows 'loyally' at any one time, for about 20 a year. Remove the half (likely more, but I am being general) that are on the broadcast... and huh... I can cut my TV bill *in half* just by using rough numbers. I would call that a success. While there will be plenty of people who don't pull out the numbers I do, the savings for some could be quite substantial. While I will miss services like On Demand, they never worked well enough in my area to be worth the price I am paying. Regularly, I would wind up having to wait to see something, because On Demand wasn't working, and two whole areas stopped working about 3 months after I got cable, and haven't worked right since (for over a year)... and was one of the key things that I wanted On Demand for.

Now, if you are a sports nut that need live broadcasts of the game, you have my condolences. Until IPTV hits, there is no way to escape the cable cartel on that one. :/

ChrisCarr
Mar 1, 2007, 02:59 PM
I think they missed the boat by not launching it with rentals and with a tuner so i can record and watch tv shows on my mac or my tv.

I would definitely buy :apple:Tv if it had DVR functionality. The thing that really gets me going is that Apple really doesn't have a great DVR solution. Elgato's EyeTV isn't as nice as Vista's media center and since I won't go near a MS PC I only have the one choice. Apple knows how to make an interface that works... why not finally clean up the DVR world? I am trying to figure out how to build a MacMini to be the all-in-one box for my TV... that isn't looking to pretty either.

I truly think Apples missing the ball on the TV experience. They are not making it easy...

Lucy Brown
Mar 1, 2007, 03:12 PM
I cant imagine that we will never see these options implemented in :apple: tv. They only make sense. I would buy one if it had the capabilities that we have been discussing here. I might even pay more than $300. I think the feedback on this item is overwhelmingly negative. If the sales reflect that then the ball will be in Apples court. Time will tell.

Aequitas17
Mar 1, 2007, 03:26 PM
I love Apple and I love even more that Apple is getting out there and really starting to turn the market. However, the new ad and marketing campaign that Apple has taken up is poor at best IMO. Part of what makes Apple so great is that they have always been better without necessarily having to get in your face about it. It was sort of a graceful and quiet superiority. Now, the best way for Apple to get the word out and open to the general public is to insult the opposition to the point of petty criticisms and to make people feel like they are stupid for even considering another option.

Other phones being worth $0?? Wrong Tim. These companies have been in this game a LOT longer than Apple has and although the iPhone is a great product and revolutionary in some regards, it does not negate the utility or value of other products. The reason those phones come so cheap is because the carriers eat the cost in order to get customers to sign on. Apple wasn't willing to undertake that strategy. Fine. But don't go insulting every other phone manufacturer out there just because you're taking a different avenue.

Again, I miss the old, more humble but still better Apple...

tribulation
Mar 1, 2007, 03:53 PM
I might even pay more than $300. I think the feedback on this item is overwhelmingly negative. If the sales reflect that then the ball will be in Apples court. Time will tell.

At least make maybe a basic and full model - even if it's on the expensive side. Look at the Tivo series 3 boxes, they go for about $800 right now. Even if Apple charged the same, they would in no way loose money on the development, and people would hoard it.

I totally know what you mean on the Mac vs Win DVR options. Elgato is neat but it's just not there. Apple could do so much with it, plus make it into a set top box format = all the streaming :apple: TV parts as it has now, plus a complete DVR experience-Apple-fied, and a web browser would be great. The technology is there, it was there years ago. They totally missed the boat on this one I think. As so many have said, sales will tell it all......

I also still think that the elgato solution type of thing [like the many windows media center boxes] with a cable jack built in, or cablecard compatible are nice, and would be ideal. But, in the interim, a simple RCA or composite video in/out [to/from your normal cable box], and a method for :apple: TV to control your cable box [mainly just change the channel] via IR wand or using the direct cable connection - which actually does work excellently on my Tivo would be so darn nice. Something so simple would open the box up to so much more potential. With that, I'd pay $600-700 [like a series 3 tivo is now] without hesitation.

And on Friday nights when I wanted a new movie, they would most likely get my business from buying a new movie through iTunes. But without that essential dvr feature, it will never make it into my home theater setup, and they'll never have the chance to get my money. A total shame.

Maybe :apple: TV 2 will have it, maybe they'll learn their lesson with this release [or maybe I will, who knows, but I doubt it on this issue]. But version 2 is at least a year away, which is way too long. sucks.

Maccus Aurelius
Mar 1, 2007, 04:02 PM
I agree about the marketing. Apple needs to reconsider the way they market their computers. The ads can be amusing, especially the Vista one, but in the end they only end up being a somewhat immature approach to creating better brand awareness. All of the commercials focus more on emphasizing faults rather than boasting on merits, which is what they should be doing. The iPod ads are far better because they focuz only on that product, and give only that positive image to associate with the product while leaving competition out of its advertising. This is just like those stupid AMD v Intel competitions that AMD has on their website.

Llewellyn
Mar 1, 2007, 06:18 PM
I think Apple is gearing this product towards a market that is not as tech savy as most of the people on these forums. These consumers want something really simple & elegant which just plain works. Like the iPod & iTunes. Its a product designed to bring people who don't currently download any kind of movies or tv into the download market.

If Apple was going to do a DVR then the product would need to be far more complicated. They would have to support a wide variety of communication and equipment standards from around the world (ie PAL) or limit the markets they enter.

How would they interact with existing premium services from cable and satelite providers? I had a lot of trouble making my EyeTV work with my Shaw Cable box because the DVR didn't have the ability to control the cable box which was needed to unscrambled my channels.

Sure there are solutions to these problems, but why bother when there is an enormus market of people who don't need to have a dvr at all?

As the market develops I think apple will expand to meet the needs of consumers. AppleTV is just a start.

pubwvj
Mar 1, 2007, 07:31 PM
I would pay $499, IF it allows me to run my normal Macintosh applications. I want a palm sized Macintosh for on the go to replace my Handspring Visor Deluxe (PalmOS). It must have open development and applications just as I have on the Mac.

I would pay $699 IF it ALSO had 80GB of storage. Then I could do like I do with my iPod and use it for nightly backup of my desktop system (PowerBookG4).

The phone contract is not actually all that interesting.

Cheers

-Walter
Sugar Mountain Farm
in the mountains of Vermont
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/blog/
http://NoNAIS.org

matticus008
Mar 1, 2007, 08:03 PM
There is a HUGE difference in quality if I plug my DVD player in with 3 cords or 5. component inputs have been around for a LONG time, and have been on a good ol' regular TV.

They've been around about 10 years and didn't make the transition from high-end to maintstream until recently. The quality difference between composite and component at 480i is pronounced, but there is no advantage over S-Video, which many more sets have.
I
Hell my 8 year old DVD player had component outs and that was way before the HD craze
Y-Pb-Pr came into the mass market in late 1997. It was available exclusively on high-end sets. It was before the HD craze, certainly, but it's only been in recent years that it's been added to additional sets. WEGA screens and other CRTs with the input are not strictly SDTV. It was the de facto standard for HDTV connections through the early 2000s, and now it is used for ATSC input and for progressive scan-capable sets. Second-generation DVD players included the outputs for progressive scan and HDTV sets.

I was mistaken when I said that there were no consumer SDTVs with the connection; I haven't looked at the CRT television market since around 2002. Component input has taken over as the ATSC tuner input method of choice, for SDTV broadcasts in anticipation of the switch to full digital TV.

hampy
Mar 1, 2007, 09:05 PM
Very interesting discussion, it's good to see the ATV (can't bring myself to pimp for Apple with the symbol) and the iPhone discussed side by side. Also good to see that the general feeling is one of disappointment/surprise/disgruntlement about Apple's decision to avoid DVR functionality. The COO's reply on that question was hilarious: "It doesn't have DVR because it's not that kind of product," is the gist of it. Um, that's the question, dude -- why isn't it that kind of product?

I think we have to face up to the fact that Apple is moving from being a company that makes great hardware/gadgets (Apple Computer) to a company that tries to control the content played on great gadgets and the means by which you link them to the outside world (the new 'Apple'). I find this shift to be very disheartening, and I hope that we can all make some noise about it because it definitely threatens the soul of the Apple we love.

Take the ATV: everyone has a computer, everyone should have a DVR. But millions of people have a computer and no DVR, and still rely on their VCR instead. So why not just create an elegant and totally user-friendly DVR that's linked to your Mac, then no-one needs to use a VCR any more? That's a huge market right off the bat -- but you only make money from selling the box. It's not a content revenue stream, it's a one-off hardware sale.

Instead, Apple wants to use iTunes to support a boutique/a la carte model of content provision. Since most people are reasonably happy with some kind of cable package -- or, in countries like the UK, you get a very good slate of channels simply through paying the (compulsory) TV license fee -- this new 'a la carte' model is all about Apple's revenue and nothing to do with customer convenience. If Apple cared about customer convenience, then they'd provide the DVR with the ATV and also sell the TV shows and movies through iTunes. The more functions, the better the device -- right? Wrong, because they're trying to push the a la carte model and they want to make a ton of money from it.

Ditto for the iPhone. If you're going to charge $600 for a phone, and it's going to do so many other cool things (esp. the audio and video iPod capabilities), why in God's name would you force people to sign up with Cingular for two years? Sell us the phone for what it costs, then let us decide whether to go with Cingular, or with a prepaid option, or whatever else. Cingular may be the best/only GSM option for the USA, but in the rest of the world there are options and prepaid is very popular. But, again, Apple is looking to limit your choices and to lock you into content/access provision that Apple either directly controls or profits from.

I hope we can send a strong message to Apple by boycotting the ATV -- and I'll certainly be boycotting the iPhone as long as it's locked to one of these rapacious carriers. Let's not lose sight of the big picture here -- in spite of Steve's pious comments about DRM, Apple is moving in a very unappealing direction. I'm all for a company that designs fabulous gadgets from the ground up, and provides all the hardware and software solutions I need. But I don't want Apple to tell me how I should get my TV shows, I don't want Pixar/Disney to make all my movies, and I don't want the company to lose sight of the individuals who actually consume their products. It's time to make a stand!

dcranston
Mar 1, 2007, 11:03 PM
That might be true, but I don't see it as a sustainable revenue source. Why would *anyone* buy a TV show for $3 or whatever it costs [$.20 is too much if on a per-show basis]? Maybe the very, very seldom chance of missing an episode [which doesn't happen with a DVR anyways], and 1/1000 people would maybe buy that single episode. But that's about it. While Apple can make miracles, there's no way, absolutely no way that they will make money off of charging for TV shows, per show, when I can get them via cable [all TV shows, 1 price].

I think you're completely missing the point. When was the last time you looked at Season Passes on iTunes? They:

1. Cost less than $1.99 (often substantially less : Daily Show is ~ 50 cents)
2. Automatically download as they become available (no maintenance on your part)

This is what makes Apple TV work. DVR is a solution to a temporary problem: Cable & TV Networks give us shows on arbitrarily defined "networks" that have a linear time schedule they need to fill up. iTunes + Apple TV makes it all about the content. You could care less what network its on, what a "conflict" is, what advertisers try to push, you just buy content you think is worth your time to watch.

You can see the value proposition start to add up already if you only watch some TV daily... For example, I watch Monk, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The Office, and Psych. With iTunes, I pay around $25 / month, depending on how many episodes are released. I also occasionally buy other shows, so my monthly total generally winds up at about $30. I dropped Cable immediately : why? Because cable *starts* at $55/month here, and that's for basic cable. I agree that if you come home and veg out for hours watching television, the Apple TV + iTunes solution doesn't make sense, but you've got to agree that when all the major companies really want you to have a subscription model, that's probably because they make more money off of the consumer (ie: you, the consumer, are getting screwed).

Just my 2 cents. I agree $299 is a bit much, but for $299 I'll have all my iTunes TV Shows, auto-downloaded, available to me, all the time on my television, for $25 / month less than I paid for basic cable. Guess what? In a year (plus however long it takes before this darn thing ships), I'll have saved $25 x 12 months = $300 off of Cable.

Turns out, my Apple TV is free.

dcranston
Mar 1, 2007, 11:08 PM
I hope we can send a strong message to Apple by boycotting the ATV

Yes. That will show the world. Long live cable companies, the true heros in fighting for consumer rights!

Glad your priorities are in order.

skellener
Mar 1, 2007, 11:09 PM
Expect to see many other companies copy features from the iPhone....

Even the home brewers are getting in on it already!

Pocket PC gets iPhone makeover
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpP1_79rhQ8&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eengadget%2Ecom%2F2007%2F03%2F01%2Fpocket%2Dpc%2Dgets%2Diphone%2Dmakeover%2F

hampy
Mar 1, 2007, 11:13 PM
Yes. That will show the world. Long live cable companies, the true heros in fighting for consumer rights!

Glad your priorities are in order.

Very sardonic. Not everyone lives in the US and depends on cable companies. I imagine a lot of people in the UK and Europe would be totally perplexed by the ATV.

And regardless, why not have the freedom to choose whether to buy shows directly through iTunes or simply to have a cable package and record your shows onto a DVR? It's Apple that is preventing us from doing both by designing a device with limited functionality. That's the issue here.

marktesssing
Mar 1, 2007, 11:16 PM
Basically, I don't get Apple TV either. Who is Apple targeting with this thing?

Personally, I'm in the enthusiast category. I have a home server with all of my DVDs in their original (PAL MPEG2) format and all of my CDs in FLAC lossless format. That server also carries a DVB-C cable tuner which is able to stream any feed (including HD) in its original MPEG2 or H.264 format over the network.

Never will I buy any device that can not provide 1920x1080p full HD to my LCD screen, will not let me view HD content from other sources and will not support open standards or read DVDs off network drives.

Apple has this weird idea that iTunes truly is the centre of people's media experience. Yeah right. It's a device for the clueless.

First of all, I agree with you..its a device for the clueless. But do you know how many clueless there are out there? a lot.
For your setup ATV is not for you. its for the people who already buys from iTS and watches on their computer screen. Thats why there is no tuner or dvr. soon get rid of cable, sat and tivo. watch only what you want when you want. tivo is, watch what you rec after a broadcast.

1080p.. It will have to be widely broadcasted before it will be available on iTS, or an option on ATV. another 2 year. But by the time ATV is released or soon after 720p will be avail from iTS.

dcranston
Mar 1, 2007, 11:22 PM
Very sardonic. Not everyone lives in the US and depends on cable companies. I imagine a lot of people in the UK and Europe would be totally perplexed by the ATV.

Fair enough, point taken. I just felt 'boycott' was a bit of an overuse.

And regardless, why not have the freedom to choose whether to buy shows directly through iTunes or simply to have a cable package and record your shows onto a DVR? It's Apple that is preventing us from doing both by designing a device with limited functionality. That's the issue here.

That's quite a fallacy. Apple is not "designing a device that prevents" anything. Show me why you can't use a TiVO in your home entertainment system? Is Apple blocking your ability to use a DVR? Couldn't you have.. *gasp*... both?

By your logic, I could argue that TiVO is designing a device with limited functionality since it forces me to get tv shows through broadcast tv or cable and won't let me buy season passes that auto-sync without ads, or auto-update as I receive new podcasts.

The real issue is that you want Apple to design everything, and the Apple TV doesn't fit your needs entirely. That's the issue here.

hampy
Mar 2, 2007, 12:00 AM
That's quite a fallacy. Apple is not "designing a device that prevents" anything. Show me why you can't use a TiVO in your home entertainment system? Is Apple blocking your ability to use a DVR? Couldn't you have.. *gasp*... both?

By your logic, I could argue that TiVO is designing a device with limited functionality since it forces me to get tv shows through broadcast tv or cable and won't let me buy season passes that auto-sync without ads, or auto-update as I receive new podcasts.

The real issue is that you want Apple to design everything, and the Apple TV doesn't fit your needs entirely. That's the issue here.


Well, for me the question here is straightforward. Tivo can't do both, since it's not linked to iTunes. Apple can. But Apple chooses not to, because they've made a cold financial decision to focus on content delivery rather than producing one simple gadget that does it all. There's no technical obstacle or cost issue here preventing Apple from including DVR, hence the weird obtuseness of Tim Cook's statement about the ATV. For me, it simply reflects a new desire on Apple's part to limit functionality and accessibilty and to funnel the consumer toward Apple-controlled content delivery systems.

It would be like not including an optical drive in a laptop, on the understanding that Apple would rather have you pay for movie downloads on iTunes than play the DVDs you already own. (Hence the comments of some people here that the ATV should have included a DVD player.)

I'd love a box that combines a DVR with the ability to send my videos/recordings wirelessly around the house. And since I love Apple products, I'd like it to be made by Apple. I don't feel as if I'm some kind of speciality user, or I'm being picky here. I've used Elgato's Eye TV pretty happily in England (connected to a Mac Mini), but the ATV seemed like a more promising and user-friendly device that would bring the added bonus of video streaming. From the responses of many people on this thread, I'd judge that I'm not alone in feeling underwhelmed at what Apple is offering. Though perhaps I'm whistling in the wind with my broader fear about the kind of company Apple may become in the next few years.

joepunk
Mar 2, 2007, 12:39 AM
"A lot of people pay zero for the cell phone. Guess why? That's what it's worth,''

Harsh words, Mr. Cook, harsh words.

Please don't be blurting harsh words about our cheap (and long lasting) phones that make basic calls because that is all we need.

skellener
Mar 2, 2007, 01:53 AM
1080p.. It will have to be widely broadcasted before it will be available on iTS, or an option on ATV. another 2 year.

As far as I know, there are no plans for any broadcast networks to use 1080p. It's either 720p or 1080i. The bandwidth is far to high to broadcast 1080p. It was originally to be used as a production format only. Things change.

To get 1080p content it will most likely be in the form of HD media (Bluray/HD-DVD) or internet downloads (Apple TV only uses a 720p spec).

See Apple's website - 1280 by 720, 24 fps, Progressive Main Profile.
http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html

iEdd
Mar 2, 2007, 04:28 AM
Im still upset with the reason of why they chose cingular to be their EXCLUSIVE carrier! :(

Same reason they limit OS X to macs: Compatibility. :)

Oh, and money :D

mrthieme
Mar 2, 2007, 05:13 AM
The real issue is that you want Apple to design everything, and the Apple TV doesn't fit your needs entirely. That's the issue here.

Yes. I fall squarely into that description. I have owned a great deal of AV equipment, and never have I found one peice that has the ease of use, and attention to usability that Apple products have. IMHO the major problem with AV systems is having multiple remotes, components, and interfaces that make interacting with it harder than it has to be. I know Apple could help with that problem, it is just condensing and refining existing tech, nothing revolutionary. ATV solves a very narrow problem in my view, and probably does it very well, but I'm hoping for a fix that is more broad in scope in the future. Hopefully Apple does it for me before someone else does.

mattibek
Mar 2, 2007, 08:13 AM
I am finally understanding the use of the :apple: TV. If I choose to get rid of my cable service then it could save me money and I don't have to watch commercials. But I'm still in the camp of include more. I don't see why :apple: thinks we want just another device to stack on the TV. I agree with others, wheres the DVD drive, and DVR combo. It's not got anything to do other than elegance for me. One device with one (tiny) remote and the ease of Frontrow, instead of ugly DVR's and DVD players. Just take a mac mini and cram in a DVR and your set.

Macitis
Mar 2, 2007, 09:30 AM
Check this out. :eek:
1. Goldvish “Le million” = $1,000,000
2. Vertu Signature Cobra = $310,000
3. Sony Ericsson Black Diamond = $300,000
4. Vertu Diamond = $88,000
5. Motorola V220 Special Edition = $51,800

X. Apple iPhone $499 - $599 :cool: :apple:

Which, would you buy ?

Evangelion
Mar 2, 2007, 09:41 AM
Check this out. :eek:
1. Goldvish “Le million” = $1,000,000
2. Vertu Signature Cobra = $310,000
3. Sony Ericsson Black Diamond = $300,000
4. Vertu Diamond = $88,000
5. Motorola V220 Special Edition = $51,800

X. Apple iPhone $499 - $599 :cool: :apple:

Which, would you buy ?

I'm sorry, but that's one of the most pointless comparisons I have seen.

tribulation
Mar 2, 2007, 11:36 AM
That's quite a fallacy. Apple is not "designing a device that prevents" anything. Show me why you can't use a TiVO in your home entertainment system? Is Apple blocking your ability to use a DVR? Couldn't you have.. *gasp*... both?

By your logic, I could argue that TiVO is designing a device with limited functionality since it forces me to get tv shows through broadcast tv or cable and won't let me buy season passes that auto-sync without ads, or auto-update as I receive new podcasts.

Obviously Apple can do whatever they wish, just like Tivo can. With a new device, they could have gone the route to provide an all-in-one box that would be *it* for everyone. Having "everything" doesn't mean it's confusing, bloated, and overloaded, it's a simple task that works hand in hand with the current offering they have planned for iTV.

While of course I *can* keep my Tivo (and guess I'll have to), but I'd be much happier with a single box, and 1 remote. Another box + remote that does so little just isn't worth it to me - there's nothing in the iTV that I'd want to use.

I guess as a few have mentioned, if you watch 2-4 shows or so, maybe buying them per episode is ok. I still don't really see how you get along without at least basic cable for news, etc. The online news and local news websites are just another step (especially since the iTV doesn't have a web browser to even let me view it). Almost all news sites that do provide video are just little clips of a single story, not an easily downloadable video that I could even sync with iTunes even if I wanted to. You miss all of the live coverage of anything. With Tivo/DVR, I get everything and more - and am free to explore new shows and spontaneous new series whenever I feel like it.

tribulation
Mar 2, 2007, 11:46 AM
By your logic, I could argue that TiVO is designing a device with limited functionality since it forces me to get tv shows through broadcast tv or cable and won't let me buy season passes that auto-sync without ads, or auto-update as I receive new podcasts.

In addition to my last post - if you have your Tivo connected to your network (wirelessly also - it's easy), you can listen to podcasts, Live365 radio stations, weather, local traffic, a few games, and more. It also supports live streaming of your iTunes songs and iPhoto library (pretty neat actually). Plus if you have more than 1 tivo in a house, you can transfer any show(s) between them.

BUT it's Tivo. It's not all that pretty, and not the most integrated experience I could envision. Apple could sure do it better, which is what I was hoping for with iTV. So much lost potential. I would like nothing better than to have the nice Apple UI on top of all of those features, it would top Tivo's more 80's interface by leaps and bounds. I want 1 box, 1 remote, with the majority of features I use the most. Currently that is the DVR functionality. With an iTV it would be DVR functionality (if it existed) and possibly a few purchases of movies from iTunes now and then, and their nice UI. Otherwise, no sale from me.

gauriemma
Mar 2, 2007, 03:06 PM
Are you daft? What plays on your tv is what is input into your TV, either from the airways, cable, and now fiber. Apple is adding wifi from your PC as a new source of input to watch PC-based content on your TV. What don't you get?

That would be fine and dandy of it played ALL of the video content that's on my computer, not just what I got from iTunes (which would be...nothing). But as it stands now, I'm not going to have much luck playing avi, divx, or mov files. So no Apple TV for me.

dcranston
Mar 3, 2007, 07:45 PM
BUT it's Tivo. It's not all that pretty, and not the most integrated experience I could envision. Apple could sure do it better, which is what I was hoping for with iTV. So much lost potential. I would like nothing better than to have the nice Apple UI on top of all of those features, it would top Tivo's more 80's interface by leaps and bounds.

The problem here is that I don't think you're giving Apple enough credit. I don't purchase an Apple product for it's nice UI, I purchase it to enable me to do things in ways that improve my experience and make my life simpler. While you could certainly argue a nicer UI is that way, I feel like given the argument that you and others are making, the real push should be for TiVO to make a better UI.

My point is that Apple gets the future: DVRs are a temporary solution to a larger issue. I don't see TiVO in 10 years still existing. While they do fit a need, and do it reasonably well, it's akin to arguing that something that automatically records NPR's Fresh Air is superior to simply pulling the show whenever you want it. While the former may serve your needs, it's not difficult to imagine a scenario in which it was much less convenient or useful.

On another note, I find television news quite appalling, and live TV seems to only suck away my time. :-)

I think the Apple TV is attempting to balance two acts:

- You are better served for active seeking by using a computer. A laptop is a better interface for active tasks than a television ever has been... despite this ideal people have been arguing for for decades.

- Consuming media is a passive act. The Apple TV does not try to pretend that browsing the web on a television makes sense, but instead attempts to provide you with the core basics: something apple is good at. This allows you to continue to use your computer for discovering and managing new tv shows, exploring web information (weather, news, etc), while allowing you to veg out on your couch watching Lost or Zoolander.

So I disagree that Apple should be providing everything to everyone, but I do agree that this solution may not fit everyone's needs as an inherent result. Whether or not it fits enough peoples needs and will adapt over time to be a better fit for some who don't find this product to fit their needs, remains to be seen.

mrthieme
Mar 3, 2007, 08:45 PM
The problem here is that I don't think you're giving Apple enough credit. I don't purchase an Apple product for it's nice UI, I purchase it to enable me to do things in ways that improve my experience and make my life simpler. While you could certainly argue a nicer UI is that way, I feel like given the argument that you and others are making, the real push should be for TiVO to make a better UI.

My point is that Apple gets the future: DVRs are a temporary solution to a larger issue. I don't see TiVO in 10 years still existing. While they do fit a need, and do it reasonably well, it's akin to arguing that something that automatically records NPR's Fresh Air is superior to simply pulling the show whenever you want it. While the former may serve your needs, it's not difficult to imagine a scenario in which it was much less convenient or useful.

On another note, I find television news quite appalling, and live TV seems to only suck away my time. :-)

I think the Apple TV is attempting to balance two acts:

- You are better served for active seeking by using a computer. A laptop is a better interface for active tasks than a television ever has been... despite this ideal people have been arguing for for decades.

- Consuming media is a passive act. The Apple TV does not try to pretend that browsing the web on a television makes sense, but instead attempts to provide you with the core basics: something apple is good at. This allows you to continue to use your computer for discovering and managing new tv shows, exploring web information (weather, news, etc), while allowing you to veg out on your couch watching Lost or Zoolander.

So I disagree that Apple should be providing everything to everyone, but I do agree that this solution may not fit everyone's needs as an inherent result. Whether or not it fits enough peoples needs and will adapt over time to be a better fit for some who don't find this product to fit their needs, remains to be seen.
Very well stated. I simply wonder if this product is aimed towards an era that has not begun. Believe me, I am waiting for the day when I can throw away my crappy Comcast set top, and stop paying high monthly fees for tons of crappy shows I don't watch to be piped into my home 24/7, just to get the few I do. I also don't particularly like storing stacks of plastic discs.

I want this new age of media to start asap, and I'm glad to see Apple taking steps towards this end. I just wonder how well a product that is totally geared toward the future can do when the majority of the population is still struggling to catch up to what's currently available.

CoreWeb
Mar 3, 2007, 09:33 PM
Very well stated. I simply wonder if this product is aimed towards an era that has not begun. Believe me, I am waiting for the day when I can throw away my crappy Comcast set top, and stop paying high monthly fees for tons of crappy shows I don't watch to be piped into my home 24/7, just to get the few I do. I also don't particularly like storing stacks of plastic discs.

I want this new age of media to start asap, and I'm glad to see Apple taking steps towards this end. I just wonder how well a product that is totally geared toward the future can do when the majority of the population is still struggling to catch up to what's currently available.

It is possible; the :apple:TV may be aimed at an era which hasn't yet begun... Apple could possibly be making the same mistake as they seemed to make with the Newton. (I do not have first-hand knowledge of this, but to me, it appears that they made one of the first PDAs, and at the time, there wasn't much of a market for it. Now, though, PDAs are everywhere...)

But, I think Apple may have actually planned for this. They aren't creating a new field, they are making it work; people like Microsoft have already tried with cumbersome "media extenders" that don't "just work." Apple, however, probably aims to do something much bigger than "media extenders."

I think Apple plans not to take over DVD, but to take over Blu-ray and HD-DVD before they have a chance to spread. Why bother with optical media, after all? Disk space is cheap, so why not simply store everything on disks, and back them up (say with Time Machine?).

To do this, I think Apple will do one simple thing: I think Apple will allow 720p w/surround sound content to be downloadable from the iTunes store, and playable on the :apple:TV, all for significantly less than it costs to buy an HD-DVD or Blu-ray disc (isn't that ~$30+?). If Apple does this, people may start asking, "Why should we pay more for these high-definition disks, when we can download it, without even having to leave our computer?"

Apple could further enhance this by allowing movies to be downloaded (and watched while downloading) from the :apple:TV, much like they do with iTunes. Then people will ask, "Why bother going to the store to buy HD media, when we can download it and start watching it within a few minues?"

Apple could potentially be the surprise player in the HD-DVD/Bluray wars. The only weakness they would have is that they do not support the extra features in HD-DVD and Blu-ray. I wonder if Apple has something up their sleeves for this as well?

CoreWeb
Mar 3, 2007, 09:42 PM
Check this out. :eek:
1. Goldvish “Le million” = $1,000,000
2. Vertu Signature Cobra = $310,000
3. Sony Ericsson Black Diamond = $300,000
4. Vertu Diamond = $88,000
5. Motorola V220 Special Edition = $51,800

X. Apple iPhone $499 - $599 :cool: :apple:

Which, would you buy ?

At first I thought you were just being silly, comparing the iPhone to obscenely priced phones. But then I thought about it for a minute, and this does make a good point...

The iPhone is clearly way underpriced compared to other luxuy phones. :D

tribulation
Mar 3, 2007, 09:53 PM
My point is that Apple gets the future: DVRs are a temporary solution to a larger issue. I don't see TiVO in 10 years still existing. While they do fit a need, and do it reasonably well, it's akin to arguing that something that automatically records NPR's Fresh Air is superior to simply pulling the show whenever you want it. While the former may serve your needs, it's not difficult to imagine a scenario in which it was much less convenient or useful.

Ya I definitely see your point, and see that it can be useful for some people. While someone has to innovate to change industries, cable in this example, it would be great if there was an interim solution along the way. I too buy things that help fulfill a need, a nice UI is just one part, I totally agree. So far, Tivo is fulfilling most of my needs, but it could be better by far. One nice *extra* feature would be the streaming parts that make up the current iTV. I think they could still innovate while giving current users something now (lets face it, it will be years before anything major happens with the way broadcasts are sent/received). If they don't quickly and vastly improve the feature set of it, I strongly feel that it will go the way of the Newton, cube, Mac TV, and so on.

But I see your side of things, where you only want a few shows and the iTV I guess would provide a pretty good module for that. I would love nothing more than to toss my DVR and cable subscription and have all my favorite stuff beamed to me right away. But I also realize that this can't physically happen in the next couple/few years [network speeds, licensing deals, and the rest of the mess]. So instead of Apple loosing out completely on the extremely large audience of DVR owning people, they could have added a fairly simple DVR feature in there and attract millions upon millions of Tivo users. I just looked on Tivo's site and they reported over 4.4 million users as of Oct 2006. With Apple's brand, marketing, and vision on top of a similar product, it could easily become king.

Some people say that it just isn't "that" type of device. But, it could, and should be. Because I don't think that "their" type of device is going to really catch on unless they can completely change the entire TV industry as it is now, overnight. The idea behind it is nice, but at this point in time, is just totally unfeasible. On the other hand if I could subscribe to Apple as a cable-type provider and get on demand downloaded shows of anything on cable, at anytime, for a single monthly fee - I'd be there. But show-for-show, no way.

CoreWeb
Mar 3, 2007, 10:15 PM
Some people say that it just isn't "that" type of device. But, it could, and should be. Because I don't think that "their" type of device is going to really catch on unless they can completely change the entire TV industry as it is now, overnight. The idea behind it is nice, but at this point in time, is just totally unfeasible. On the other hand if I could subscribe to Apple as a cable-type provider and get on demand downloaded shows of anything on cable, at anytime, for a single monthly fee - I'd be there. But show-for-show, no way.

I kind of agree with you here... even with iTunes, Apple allows ripping of CDs. I think, though, that if they allowed ripping of DVDs, that the :apple:TV would be a very, very big hit. It's all that is needed, and we would have an iPod for TV, a new paradigm, much like there was with music.

Right now, people will say "I have to buy everything over again." Unless the new content is HD, this could potentially hurt Apple. But if everyone could instead say, "I have nothing to lose - all the DVDs I have go right onto my computer!" then Apple would probably have an very, very big hit. Especially, of course, if DVD ripping was as easy as CD ripping is. I think that Apple would, in fact, like to do this, but I doubt that they will - the movie companies will not let them. (I wonder if Apple can legally do it anyway?)

However, if Apple allows HD content on iTunes, ripping will be much less necessary, the question "Why should I buy everything over again?" will be offset by "I'm getting HD conveniently and inexpensively." Still not as powerful as if Apple allowed DVD ripping, but strong enough that the Apple TV would still succeed in the long run, and possibly (if it is done right), compete and or completely make irrelevant Blu-ray and HD-DVD. The format wars might be ending.

Lucy Brown
Mar 3, 2007, 10:52 PM
I have to agree with the above posts. I would have liked to buy an itv. At least I have my xbox360 for HD rentals. I can download HD movies in 5.1 for 6 bucks. They dont have a huge selection but then again neither does itunes. I'll make due with my 360 until Apple comes out with something worth buying.

tribulation
Mar 4, 2007, 11:28 AM
I think that Apple would, in fact, like to do this, but I doubt that they will - the movie companies will not let them. (I wonder if Apple can legally do it anyway?)

I remember seeing Flip4Mac, the company that makes the WMV plugin for Macs, has some new product coming out that lets you rip DVDs legally and store them on your HD. I haven't tested it out, but I think it leaves the DVD's DRM/macrovision stuff intact so it would be legally ok. Maybe Apple could've done something like that.

But there's also the storage issue. Bluray discs are what, 30GB or so I think? That would add up really quick on any currently available HD. I don't think that's really possible to store them on HD for a few years until there is a major innovation in storage technology. Even a 1-2 TB drive would only hold a small movie collection, and that would be too expensive for an entry level new Apple product. Full res stuff is going to be really hard to do without removable discs I think anytime soon.

CoreWeb
Mar 4, 2007, 03:11 PM
But there's also the storage issue. Bluray discs are what, 30GB or so I think? That would add up really quick on any currently available HD. I don't think that's really possible to store them on HD for a few years until there is a major innovation in storage technology. Even a 1-2 TB drive would only hold a small movie collection, and that would be too expensive for an entry level new Apple product. Full res stuff is going to be really hard to do without removable discs I think anytime soon.

Bluray does store around 30GB (I think it stores 25 on a layer, 50 on two), so yeah space would run out quick... maybe. It depends what is taking up all that space. If it is features which no one will use, or something like that, then all that is needed might be 4GB, or at most 8GB. The current movies are about 1.5GB for 640x272 (a widescreen movie, 2 hours 15 minutes), and 720p is twice the resolution of that (approximately 1280x544 for this movie), so that leaves us with 6 GB for a 720p movie. Add a GB or so for sound, so leave it at around 8 GB.

This might seem a bit much, but on a 300GB hard drive, which costs $100-200, you could store at least 30, probably 40 movies. Better compression technologies might also help. In addition, companies like Microsoft are already allowing downloads of a very small number of high-def movies (even 1080p!), so the proof-of-concept has already been completed anyway. Disk space may still be a problem. Maybe Apple has a way to deal with this? A new compression format, perhaps, new in Quicktime 8? I know, not likely, but...

I think that the reason that the AppleTV doesn't have this large of a hard drive is because it doesn't really need it; the AppleTV's hard drive is meant (I think) to store one or two movies which you would want to watch on it without having to turn iTunes on.

I have been using 720p in my examples here. I have been doing this because 1080p does not seem to be ready yet (not many TVs support it), and anyway, the AppleTV will not support it (yet). In a few years it may be, but as far as I can tell, it is not yet. I'm not saying that the AppleTV will have movie quality as good as Bluray and HD-DVD, but it may be less expensive and easier, meaning that the market for the other two could shrink greatly. (Not necessarily go away).