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Diode
Mar 1, 2007, 03:42 PM
With still no one being able to properly review the product people's comments are begining to sound a lot like when the ipod came out. I think the initial release of the ipod and the initial release of the AppleTV are one of the same. People just don't know how to react to this device yet.

For those that don't remember when the ipod came out it was not the fist mp3 player nor was it the first hard drive mp3 player. Roxio had a rather clunky hard drive player that could even play more formats then the ipod. People cried out that it was over priced ($399 at the time) claiming they could buy a imac for only $500 or so more. People also pointed to the already existing mp3 players claiming Apple had no right to compete in the already saturated market.

What these people failed to realize at the time was while these things already existed on the market the Apple was the first product to implement the KISS method. All you needed to do was hook it up to iTunes, click sync, and walk away knowing all your music was safely downloaded. When they released the music store in iTunes Apple proved that there was a market for online content and people were willing to buy it. The video ipod then proved to apple that people were willing and able to watch video on a small, crappy screen.

Now this brings us to the present: the AppleTV. The AppleTV is not the most first media extending device nor is it the most fully featured. There are better solutions out there that will play more video codec's, but what these devices have failed is wide stream appeal - much like mp3 players did before Apple. The mass market expects to plug things in and have them work - they don't want to be hassled with the behind the scene stuff that goes on with the current devices (network settings, running additional software to communicate with the device, or even hacking it to get it working properly ala XBMC). The mass market is were the Apple product fits in just nicely. The user interface couldn't be simpler as Apple has already proven with the ipod interface. Your AppleTV just appears in your itunes ready to have content copied to it. The only people that will be turned off initially from the device are the people with hordes of media in other formats not already supported by the device such as people with DIVX/AVI files. However you got to remember that is a small proportion to the overall market. Apple is just looking for a simple way to push content from itunes to the TV much like itunes currently pushes to your ipod.

Now this leaves us with the speculation part of things. Not all is known about the AppleTV nor is it guaranteed that the formats Apple has released will be “final”. What I can assure though is this appears to me a excellent device to be hacked by the more “knowledgeable” user group to satisfy the people that are running XBMC etc. The people that care enough to only want a device that plays certain formats not supported out of the box by the AppleTV will find other ways to make it play those files. 3rd party firmware exists today that allows the ipod to play a multitude of formats as proof of this concept (as too is the large following of XBMC).

In conclusion I can see this device as having a slow start as people use the “wait and see” methodology. The ipod wasn’t a success overnight but it’s sales soon outpaced all other mp3 players. I can see the AppleTV doing the same thing.



thejadedmonkey
Mar 1, 2007, 03:51 PM
In conclusion I can see this device as having a slow start as people use the “wait and see” methodology. The ipod wasn’t a success overnight but it’s sales soon outpaced all other mp3 players. I can see the AppleTV doing the same thing.

I can't. I don't recall the iPod having a slow start (but I must admit I didn't follow Apple too closely in 2001). I can see the need for a way to stream all my music from my PC to a TV, I wish my Wii could do it like the xbox 360 can. But I'm sure after a while someone'll be able to figure out how to get the Wii to do that... and then i won't have a use for the :apple:TV. This device will (IMHO) only apply to people who have an extra $300 to spend.

People already took music with them in the form of a walkman/discman/mp3 CD player. People don't really listen to music at their TV, so I can only see this as a product for those with too much money OR a product that revolutionizes (not evolutionizes as the iPod did) the way we listen to music.

j26
Mar 1, 2007, 03:58 PM
Put in DVR and the ability to push the content TO my computer for syncing with my iPod, together with a good hd or at least the option to add an extra hd to it and I'd buy. Otherwise there is no real reason for me to buy it.

In the era where conservation of energy is going to be important (however much the deniers bleat), to me the whole model of having to have your computer running to use it seems very silly.

Diode
Mar 1, 2007, 04:03 PM
People don't really listen to music at their TV, so I can only see this as a product for those with too much money OR a product that revolutionizes (not evolutionizes as the iPod did) the way we listen to music.

I, like most people with a home theatre, have our main stereo where our tv's are. You would just need to plug the audio cable into your stereo to get music from it with the only caviet of having to have your TV on to browse your music.

When I mentioned the ipod had a slow start, I was more refering to the reaction by the mass public. It was a hit with the more know-how people before everyone and their grandma wanted one. I can remember my sister making fun of mine and then "having to have" a ipod mini in pink a year later when they were released.

While it might not be this specific revision of AppleTV that becomes the huge hit I think apple is on the right path to do something big. As I stated above people didn't think the ipod was that big when it was announced (even apple fanboys on this site). If you don't believe check out the ipod announcment thread (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=500&highlight=ipod) and see how close it compares to the discussions on the AppleTV.

Diode
Mar 1, 2007, 04:12 PM
Put in DVR and the ability to push the content TO my computer for syncing with my iPod, together with a good hd or at least the option to add an extra hd to it and I'd buy. Otherwise there is no real reason for me to buy it.


Personally the DVR market is a little tough to crack as there is no great way to hook one to your TV. I've tried the Tivo method but hated the lag in changing channels. I currently use one my cable provider has provided me since it integrates so nicely with their system.

I could see apple having seperate levels of AppleTV's much like they have different ipod's:

Driveless (or small hard drive)
Larger hard drive no DVR
DVR with large hard drive.

Only time will tell but I am excited as I think DVD's are going the way of CD's.

sigamy
Mar 1, 2007, 04:18 PM
Nice post. I agree that this is a 1.0 release of :apple: TV and we need to be patient. I would love to get one to replace my media center G4 Cube, but I don't yet have an HDTV and my DVD player is using my only component connection. The Cube works fine when I am operating it but it is still too confusing for the wife and kids to operate.

If Apple would have included an optical drive this would have been an awesome device and would have allowed many people to eliminate their standard DVD player.

As it is now, it is a great device for connected homes, people with teens downloading TV shows and movies, watching video podcasts, etc.

So, how far are we from the time when mass amounts of people just drop their cable company and get all their content from online sources?

nutmac
Mar 1, 2007, 04:34 PM
For listening to music and viewing photos, Apple TV seems to be a promising device. And for these capability alone, many people may be able to justify spending $299.

Video is its weakness. HandBrake and iSquint users notwithstanding, whom you would probably define as "a small proportion to the overall market", Apple TV is limited to viewing movie trailers hosted at Apple.com and for watching videos purchased from iTunes Store.

I am not giving Apple TV's video capability a failing grade for the exclusion of DVR. Many people would love DVR on Apple TV, of course, but at $299, it would be difficult for Apple to include HDTV tuner with CableCARD support and DVR functionality.

My critism is aimed at very limited video and audio codecs. You say video codecs (other than MPEG-4/H.264) will appeal to a small proportion of the overall market? You are obviously not familiar with just how popular DiVX format has become. Even older folks watch downloaded contents these days, especially outside US. It would be trivial for Apple to include DiVX/XViD codecs -- it just chose not to in order to promote MPEG-4/H.264.

Missing support for multi-channel audio formats (e.g., Dolby Digital and DTS) is even more puzzling, since just about every single recent DVD titles have 5.1-channel Dolby Digital soundtrack. Perhaps you and some folks find stereo and Dolby Pro-Logic to be state-of-the-art, but home theater community has migrated to multi-channel Dolby Digital more than 5 years ago.

I really want to buy Apple TV. For music and photos alone, I am very tempted. But lack of multi-channel audio makes it totally unacceptable for home theater device.

nagromme
Mar 1, 2007, 04:36 PM
I think it's a neat, and fairly-priced, product, but I also think it's only desired by a small niche of people. Now, it may have longer-term strategic importance and may grow to do more (games are one hint--why NOT have a "casual console"?) but right now, it doesn't meet a need many people have.

You can't compare it to the intro of the iPod directly. The iPod could and does play music the way most people get it: on CDs. It also plays music from iTMS, but even before iTMS the iPod was a hit.

AppleTV does NOT play video the way most people get it: on DVD or recorded from antenna/cable. It ONLY plays video from iTMS--or conversions that most people don't have the time or know-how to bother with. And iTMS video/TV/movies are much less widely-used (and have FAR less selection) than iTMS music.

Take away iTMS and the iPod is still a great device. Take away iTMS--and therefore most video--and AppleTV is nice for showing photos and playing music--which are nice, but people do both by many other means already. (In fact, an iPod can already do both AND show movies on TV. It lacks an on-screen menu, but it has an "on-controller" menu.)

So the value of AppleTV is much more tied to iTMS than the iPod is. A GREAT device if you're a heavy user of iTMS movies or TV shows, and don't have your computer in your living room like I do (thus giving me the same remote as AppleTV). Also great for SOME niche of other people, just for photo slideshows and the sheer "cool factor" of having your music controlled from your TV. (With the significant downside of having to have your TV on!) For most other people (not MacRumors posters but consumers as a whole), an iPod, Mac Mini, large computer screen, DVR, DVD player, and/or various other solutions meet their needs better. (AppleTV is simple, but simplicity that doesn't DO all you need leaves you still using other devices a lot--and there goes the simplicity.)

My solution is a 24" iMac with EyeTV. For most people, the current ideal is probably a DVD player (and maybe DVR) plus an iPod--and the more advanced ones will sometimes use that iPod to show photos or TV eps on a TV. (Note that iTunes videos aren't high-def anyway, so the digital connection from AppleTV isn't that useful--yet--except for the menus. An iPod's analog video-out is fine for iTunes videos on a TV.)

I see AppleTV as a specialized iPod--not portable, but on the other hand it synchs wirelessly and outputs a digital picture. An iPod dedicated to TV use. That's a great addition to the lineup, but it's not something many people will care that much about. Not compared to the mainstream appeal of the iPod, and not revolutionary in usability the way the iPhone is. (Remember, we already have Front Row Macs and iPods that connect to TV, and those already overlap the AppleTV's function. Both of those use a very similar menu structure and even use the same Apple remote--so they share the AppleTV's excellent usability. And Macs and iPods can be had with bigger storage too, and no need to connect multiple devices to achieve a bigger library. iPods can't access shared media like AppleTV can--but Front Row and iTunes can. Front Row is Mac-only, I know, but iTunes isn't.)

To be clear, I DO buy video from iTMS, and I WOULD want to watch it on my TV (I'd just use my iPod for this except my iMac IS my TV). I, and some people I know, would get some value from it. But I think most people won't.

That's OK--there's absolutely nothing wrong with a product that only appeals to a small niche. I would NEVER suggest that Apple cater only to the majority and neglect anything more specific. We'd have no 30" displays, 60 GB iPods, 17" MacBooks, Motion, or lots of other cool stuff if Apple took that attitude!

So I'm sure AppleTV will pay for its R&D and have a long life, but I don't see the huge demand some expect unless its functionality (and/or that of iTMS) changes. Which could happen.

And I do think it would be a MUCH more widely-appealing device if it could record TV (I love my EyeTV), and/or play movie discs. If, in other words, it embraced how people already use video, just like the iPod embraces music on CDs.

My guess: AppleTV's importance to Apple isn't mainly about cash sales--not even a gardual snowball of sales. It's about a gesture that must be made to content providers as part of a long-term strategy. A gesture that must DE-value traditional ways of getting video, even if that's against what most consumers want today. AppleTV is a kind of cart without a horse for most consumers--but Apple's looking ahead to when the horse (a LOT more content, at quality that's better than just "good") can be persuaded to show up.

THEN AppleTV (or AppleTV 2) could find a really broad audience at last. Imagine iTMS having the selection of NetFlix PLUS most current TV/cable programming PLUS high-def quality PLUS a choice to rent instead of buy (bad for music, great for video) PLUS casual games (which appeal to more people than hard-core console stuff--but seldom in the living room to date). NOW you have a product that can truly replace--and not have to embrace--the old ways of watching TV and movies.

AppleTV is not a mistake, just a first step. I truly think it will prove to be only a small step--but there will be others.

Transic
Mar 1, 2007, 04:42 PM
*

Diode
Mar 1, 2007, 04:53 PM
You can't compare it to the intro of the iPod directly. The iPod could and does play music the way most people get it: on CDs. It also plays music from iTMS, but even before iTMS, the iPod was a hit.

I do agree; a one touch DVD rip would be a killer feature in iTunes but I don't think the industry will allow it.


My critism is aimed at very limited video and audio codecs. You say video codecs (other than MPEG-4/H.264) will appeal to a small proportion of the overall market? You are obviously not familiar with just how popular DiVX format has become. Even older folks watch downloaded contents these days, especially outside US. It would be trivial for Apple to include DiVX/XViD codecs -- it just chose not to in order to promote MPEG-4/H.264.


Walk down any street and quiz people about DIVX and record how many people know what it is. Then ask those same people if they have heard of a mp3. I bet you will be surprised; I am talking in terms of the mass population. MP3's existed long before the ipod came out, but it wasn't until the ipod that my dad knew what one was. I use him as a refrence point since he is techniclly inclined but is not a computer expert. Most people browsing this site are so you have to "dumb" your self down a bit in order to grasp what I am trying to get at.




Missing support for multi-channel audio formats (e.g., Dolby Digital and DTS) is even more puzzling, since just about every single recent DVD titles have 5.1-channel Dolby Digital soundtrack. Perhaps you and some folks find stereo and Dolby Pro-Logic to be state-of-the-art, but home theater community has migrated to multi-channel Dolby Digital more than 5 years ago.


I agree completly which is why I am holding my breath. I feel apple is still holding a lot of cards close to them with the AppleTV. How can you claim to have a hd box and not support 5.1 - its got optical so the only thing I can come up with is maybe they will release a new version of mpeg that has 5.1 bundeled in (Or can decode 5.1 AAC into raw PCM).

Roy Hobbs
Mar 1, 2007, 06:49 PM
I can't. I don't recall the iPod having a slow start (but I must admit I didn't follow Apple too closely in 2001). I can see the need for a way to stream all my music from my PC to a TV, I wish my Wii could do it like the xbox 360 can. But I'm sure after a while someone'll be able to figure out how to get the Wii to do that... and then i won't have a use for the :apple:TV. This device will (IMHO) only apply to people who have an extra $300 to spend.

People already took music with them in the form of a walkman/discman/mp3 CD player. People don't really listen to music at their TV, so I can only see this as a product for those with too much money OR a product that revolutionizes (not evolutionizes as the iPod did) the way we listen to music.

The Wii can transfer media, check out........
http://www.riverfold.com/software/wiitransfer/

Currently only streams Music and Photos but the developer hope to have Video streaming in the next month or so.

kavika411
Mar 2, 2007, 12:25 PM
I completely agree with the original post. Apple TV will do well over time; it will do very well. The technical ability of the people who frequent these forums is high - so high that a large population of the macrumors-type crowd won't need Apple TV, as they have already dug in deep with other video formats or have created alternative systems of getting content where they need it to be. As for the rest of the population - the people who show off at work because they learned you can download Lost on your computer - will embrace this device. Then there are people like me, who value their iTunes music libraries far more than their iPod, and look forward to streaming it to the stereo (with something much better than the often-dismal Airport Express).

The video quality will be amped up over time; that is a certainty. Just as Apple Lossless wasn't available with the first iPod release, so will the video quality increase with time. As for multi-channel sound, a poster named chicagdan has set out instruction on how you can currently do multi-channel in iTunes, although it appears to take a small amount of effort to get it there. Regardless, it is inevitable effortless multi-channel sound will get there, that HD will get there and perhaps even Apple/industry sanctioned DVD ripping-to-iTunes will get there.

I am not making the point that Apple TV is for everyone. Again, many - if not most - of the tech savvy people who visit these forums have created alternatives to Apple TV that work well, or even better, for them. It's the rest of the population who want the ease-of-transfer created by this device.

nateDEEZY
Mar 2, 2007, 01:00 PM
*Wonders if you'll be able to stream 1080i/720p recordings from eyeTV to :apple:tv*

patrick0brien
Mar 2, 2007, 01:19 PM
*Wonders if you'll be able to stream 1080i/720p recordings from eyeTV to :apple:tv*

-nateDEEZY

According to ElGato, you can 'push a button' to put recordings to iTunes for service.

Linkypoo (http://www.elgato.com/index.php?file=products_eyetv)

redAPPLE
Mar 2, 2007, 02:02 PM
People already took music with them in the form of a walkman/discman/mp3 CD player. People don't really listen to music at their TV, so I can only see this as a product for those with too much money OR a product that revolutionizes (not evolutionizes as the iPod did) the way we listen to music.

i was told that the :apple: tv can do AirTunes. so you don't have to have your tv on to listen to music.

needthephone
Mar 3, 2007, 05:16 AM
I agree a lot of people were sceptical about the ipod-I admit I was and thought it was another apple folly (in fact I didn't really notice apple that much, they made the first computer I used at Uni but I thought they had gone to the wall-The ZX81 was the first computer I ever used though-Sinclair and the UK computer Industry, ahhh what a wasted opportunity, ARM remains though, PSION were always far far better than Palm but you knew it was doomed by the sheer numbers of the inferior Palm machines in use)

Anyway I was wrong about the ipod but you could listen to the songs you already owned by burning your existing CD's into itunes. I don't think the itunes store had anything to do with its uptake, am probaly wrong but thats my feeling

The apple TV doesn't offer a way of adding your existing DVD colection into itunes. OK there are all those ilegal ripping applications but it seems to much hassle for me (KISS- I agree is apples forte, once you have to start messing about I'm not intereted as I'm stupid)

ilounge say that apple are now the new sony, obsessed with selling content to the detriment of the products they sell.

http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/will-apple-tv-succeed-our-views-your-views/

I love the iphone (well it LOOKS good from down here) but the apple TV smacks of being forced by apple to buy their content and it 'smells wrong' . Add a DVD player so I can play and record to itunes and my order is in but otherwise no way.

HiRez
Mar 3, 2007, 07:13 AM
There are three basic problems that I have with it right now:

1. Not enough studios and content providers signed up. Getting someone other than Disney was a good thing (and long overdue), but it's not enough. They're going to need everyone to make this device truly take off. Imaging iTMS with offerings from only one or two music labels.

2. No way to rent movies, you have to buy them. They need to figure out a way to make movies rentable for say $4-$6, with reasonable access provisions (length of time you have to watch it, number of viewings, etc.). Buying movies is fine, it needs to be there, but rentals are the killer app. And they need to do it before other companies get a foothold on this market, because that's coming very soon.

3. No multichannel audio capabilities.

I'd love to buy one of these things, but right now those things are dealbreakers for me. And yeah, they should have a DVR in them with Applerific DVR software (there's another subscription revenue stream for them), even if that model costs more, sheesh. I keep wanting to give Apple my money, but they thwart me at the finish line.

Blue Velvet
Mar 3, 2007, 07:19 AM
At release, I wouldn't be surprised if they announce a big deal, maybe more than one, with some of the studios. Maybe there will be more content on iTMS, maybe even for non-US audiences. Maybe also a new version of iTunes...

From a marketing point of view, they desperately need something more than just the product release, something to help hit the general headlines over and above the tech press, because there's very little we don't know about it at this stage...

Perhaps tying up negotiations with some studios delayed the shipping? ;)

MacBoobsPro
Mar 3, 2007, 07:26 AM
At release, I wouldn't be surprised if they announce a big deal, maybe more than one, with some of the studios. Maybe there will be more content on iTMS, maybe even for non-US audiences. Maybe also a new version of iTunes...

From a marketing point of view, they desperately need something more than just the product release, something to help hit the general headlines over and above the tech press, because there's very little we don't know about it at this stage...

Perhaps tying up negotiations with some studios delayed the shipping? ;)

I agree. This is backed up by the fact they did a pre-release sneak peek to show the studios what they were up to and to build anticipation to tempt the studios even further.

Dont Hurt Me
Mar 3, 2007, 08:55 AM
I disagree, one the MP3 market was just starting when Apple got into it and there was nothing to compete with mp3's in portability.

The Tv media business is way different, 1st we are in a home setting and portability doesnt reallyfactor in.

2nd People have had DVDs for years along with Cable,Satellites & etc.

3rd PCs have had something thats very scarce in Apples world and thats PVRs. I have been using a PVR for years in my Dell and though buying a movie over the net is nice its just not needed because with a PVR you can record any movie now and year ago with cable. Plus I still like the idea of a hard copy, a booklet and trinkets with the movie. I dont see Apple TV as all that and you still cant even hook it up to your cable. It wont being doing all that for Apple because Apple has for years DISSED 2 Huge segments in Media. One the TV watcher and the other the Gamer. Apple TV isnt going to be Pods in any fashion in my view. Way to late to this party.

GFLPraxis
Mar 3, 2007, 03:58 PM
I have only one reason I'm not buying an Apple TV.

It won't hook up to my TV.

Our house has a huge TV and sound setup, but surprise...it has no component hookups. People on this forum call it outdated, but it's a very nice high quality SDTV and everyone likes using it and there is no reason to buy a new one.

Not one TV in my house has component.

The AppleTV has no composite, which is the stupidest thing I've ever seen; no iTunes content is in HD, so why does it only have HD outputs?

nagromme
Mar 3, 2007, 04:41 PM
iTunes content is in HD, so why does it only have HD outputs?

This is a very good question--and there may be some future answer we have not yet seen. Right now, the only answers are "photo slideshows" and "sharper menu text."

As for the "only" part, that does seem odd since cost for S-video would have been small. Maybe Apple doesn't care AS much about the people without component, but you think they'd still care some. It would be nice if the final product has some adapter in the box, but I doubt it.

yagran
Mar 4, 2007, 03:27 AM
the best thing about :apple: tv for me is that my tv downstairs is linked up tp my bose system, whereas my mac upstairs is linked to crappy creative speakers. this will be what i will use it for mainly i think, as well as playing across all my family guy and peepshow episodes. SEEING AS THE UK HAS NO TV SHOWS OR MOVIES ON ITUNES YET!!!!! :@:@:@

Blue Velvet
Mar 4, 2007, 04:03 AM
...SEEING AS THE UK HAS NO TV SHOWS OR MOVIES ON ITUNES YET!!!!! :@:@:@



And you know what? I'm pessimistic about this.

One look at what is going on between Sky and Virgin Media (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6390655.stm) at the moment gives you an idea of the stakes involved.

Murdoch (Fox et al) isn't going to hand over rights to Apple just like that, nor are other producers... not only have these players seen the speed at which the iPod has become a dominant platform, they're wary of the eventual power of Apple, locked in as many of them are to Microsoft video delivery solutions.

And you can bet that Microsoft are whispering into everyone's ears about this... video is also the long-term direction of the Zune IMO, unless it crashes and burns.

I think Apple has bitten off more than they chew on this one. Their failure to license FairPlay, in the long-term, may be seen as history repeating itself twice... which is possibly why the iPhone and its descendants is the long-term bet on wireless and the phone networks rather than traditional copper wire and broadcasting, and the organisations that control them.

OllyW
Mar 4, 2007, 04:17 AM
And you know what? I'm pessimistic about this.

One look at what is going on between Sky and Virgin Media (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6390655.stm) at the moment gives you an idea of the stakes involved.

Murdoch (Fox et al) isn't going to hand over rights to Apple just like that, nor are other producers... not only have these players seen the speed at which the iPod has become a dominant platform, they're wary of the eventual power of Apple, locked in as many of them are to Microsoft video delivery solutions.

And you can bet that Microsoft are whispering into everyone's ears about this... video is also the long-term direction of the Zune IMO, unless it crashes and burns.

I think Apple has bitten off more than they chew on this one. Their failure to license FairPlay, in the long-term, may be seen as history repeating itself twice... which is possibly why the iPhone and its descendants is the long-term bet on wireless and the phone networks rather than traditional copper wire and broadcasting, and the organisations that control them.


BBC & Channel 4 have also signed up for Windows Media distribution so I can't see there being any UK TV content available through iTunes.

Blue Velvet
Mar 4, 2007, 04:40 AM
BBC & Channel 4 have also signed up for Windows Media distribution so I can't see there being any UK TV content available through iTunes.


At least the BBC are bound by their charter and will have to pursue openly-accessible means in the long run; their ventures into YouTube show some of their intentions. Channel 4 also has a charter, but I'm not sure what requirements are laid upon them in this regard... Channel 4 isn't much of a producer these days, anyway, preferring to rely on independent producers or commissioning where necessary.

What Apple need to do is to pursue partnerships where they might not necessarily have the upper hand... something which I understand they're not inclined to do, which is shortsighted in my view. Still, what do I know? :D

yagran
Mar 4, 2007, 07:39 AM
i want tv sows through itunes in the uk! or movies atleast. then i will buy an :apple: tv, promise. ARE YOU LISTENING APPLE?!

Mord
Mar 4, 2007, 07:53 AM
If it plays divx then I could be sold, but aparently it won't so I'm not.

I have too many computers with all types of media on them, if I could consolidate it all into itunes and then consolidate all of that over the network to an :apple:tv then it'd be fab, but it's not looking like I'll be able to.

Krevnik
Mar 4, 2007, 10:57 AM
I disagree, one the MP3 market was just starting when Apple got into it and there was nothing to compete with mp3's in portability.

The Tv media business is way different, 1st we are in a home setting and portability doesnt reallyfactor in.

2nd People have had DVDs for years along with Cable,Satellites & etc.

3rd PCs have had something thats very scarce in Apples world and thats PVRs. I have been using a PVR for years in my Dell and though buying a movie over the net is nice its just not needed because with a PVR you can record any movie now and year ago with cable. Plus I still like the idea of a hard copy, a booklet and trinkets with the movie. I dont see Apple TV as all that and you still cant even hook it up to your cable. It wont being doing all that for Apple because Apple has for years DISSED 2 Huge segments in Media. One the TV watcher and the other the Gamer. Apple TV isnt going to be Pods in any fashion in my view. Way to late to this party.

I disagree, they are actually early to a party about to start. In the tech industry, even in the cable companies... IPTV is being heavily researched. All your TV content, distributed over IP instead of antiquated VHF/UHF signals (for digital cable, anyways, basic cable will likely remain as-is for some time to come). Companies like Comcast would only need to distribute new STBs, and they can reclaim chunks of bandwidth currently devoted to OnDemand and PPV channels. IPTV has a fairly fixed bandwidth requirement, regardless of the channel count, unlike current solutions.

And in this new technology, you have no need for the DVR as we know it today. The Apple TV hardware, as it is now, could provide IPTV if Apple chooses, including DVR capability.

Apple is trying to get in on the ground floor by entering mindshare of potential customers now, so they can wedge themselves in as a competitor when IPTV starts to arrive.

nagromme
Mar 4, 2007, 12:16 PM
Apple is trying to get in on the ground floor by entering mindshare of potential customers now, so they can wedge themselves in as a competitor when IPTV starts to arrive.
AppleTV (first out now) : Apple :: Prius (first out in the 90s) : Toyota?

Diatribe
Mar 4, 2007, 12:55 PM
If Apple really lowered the price by $50 as suggested by the CompUSA thread and offered HD content, I see this thing flying off the shelves.

GFLPraxis
Mar 4, 2007, 03:05 PM
This is a very good question--and there may be some future answer we have not yet seen. Right now, the only answers are "photo slideshows" and "sharper menu text."

As for the "only" part, that does seem odd since cost for S-video would have been small. Maybe Apple doesn't care AS much about the people without component, but you think they'd still care some. It would be nice if the final product has some adapter in the box, but I doubt it.

Why cut out a market segment for absolutely no benefit? Adding S-video wouldn't make the menu text less sharp for HDTV owners.
I know, it's not a question anyone here can answer. I just find it silly.

GFLPraxis
Mar 4, 2007, 03:06 PM
If it plays divx then I could be sold, but aparently it won't so I'm not.


Replace DivX with Ogg Vorbis and change the subject to iPod.
The normal consumer has never seen a DivX file; only us internet nerds have. Especially people who download illegal torrents; and Apple doesn't want to encourage that.

Krevnik
Mar 4, 2007, 04:18 PM
AppleTV (first out now) : Apple :: Prius (first out in the 90s) : Toyota?

Not quite the best analogy, but pretty close. Toyota was already a contender in cars before hybrid technology started to materialize into something that could be sold. Here, Apple and Microsoft are both new contenders to the content distribution market... and Microsoft already sees the 360 as a vehicle for IPTV on their terms. I wouldn't be surprised if the Apple TV is an IPTV vehicle for Apple, just that they don't want to sell it based on what it eventually might, possibly, maybe do.

Diode
Mar 5, 2007, 11:41 AM
I disagree, they are actually early to a party about to start. In the tech industry, even in the cable companies... IPTV is being heavily researched. All your TV content, distributed over IP instead of antiquated VHF/UHF signals (for digital cable, anyways, basic cable will likely remain as-is for some time to come). Companies like Comcast would only need to distribute new STBs, and they can reclaim chunks of bandwidth currently devoted to OnDemand and PPV channels. IPTV has a fairly fixed bandwidth requirement, regardless of the channel count, unlike current solutions.

And in this new technology, you have no need for the DVR as we know it today. The Apple TV hardware, as it is now, could provide IPTV if Apple chooses, including DVR capability.

Apple is trying to get in on the ground floor by entering mindshare of potential customers now, so they can wedge themselves in as a competitor when IPTV starts to arrive.


You also got to remember that AppleTV is essentially running a dumbed down copy of OSX on a scaled down computer (well as the rumors claim). If IPTV takes off all apple would need to do is push a update to allow that sort of content. Some very cool posibility's await this device - but Apple doesn't want to say it will do something when the industry behind it never takes off.

Just like anything apple, the speculation kills us all :D . I for one see the delay as Apple trying to work last minute talks with the movie industry about releasing content to itunes.

Krevnik
Mar 5, 2007, 01:54 PM
You also got to remember that AppleTV is essentially running a dumbed down copy of OSX on a scaled down computer (well as the rumors claim). If IPTV takes off all apple would need to do is push a update to allow that sort of content. Some very cool posibility's await this device - but Apple doesn't want to say it will do something when the industry behind it never takes off.

Which is why I said the hardware is ready. The catch is that we don't know that the Apple TV runs a Darwin OS on it, so while the firmware is upgradable, I won't make a comment on what it runs, because it may or may not be Darwin. I don't see evidence either way.

Just like anything apple, the speculation kills us all :D . I for one see the delay as Apple trying to work last minute talks with the movie industry about releasing content to itunes.

I personally hope not. Thanks to Handbrake, and a few other tools, I am just shy of the 100 movie mark in my iTunes library (with only 4 actually purchased via iTunes, the rest are from my personal DVD collection). I even am importing HD content myself which meets the specs we know so far. But I have held off going whole hog on HD until I know what will actually play.

I actually hope the delay is for bug fixes. I actually just opened a bug around Feb 20th on iTunes, because it cannot stream movie files larger than 2GB, making HD content and long content (LotR Extended Editions) unusable from iTunes on my laptop. And Quicktime being unable to flatten MP4 files bigger than 4GB is frustrating as well when it comes to HD as it forces me to use bitrates lower than I would like on HD content.

APPLENEWBIE
Mar 5, 2007, 02:10 PM
-nateDEEZY

According to ElGato, you can 'push a button' to put recordings to iTunes for service.

Linkypoo (http://www.elgato.com/index.php?file=products_eyetv)

I think this is a big deal! I like it! I have been holding off appletv because I was not sure how it would "compete" without a DVR. I've been wanting a DVR. A question though... why doesn't apple own elgato by now?

Also, (someone above said something similar) maybe the delay in shipping is to address both bugs as well as to add features?

Diode
Mar 6, 2007, 09:39 AM
As for the "only" part, that does seem odd since cost for S-video would have been small. Maybe Apple doesn't care AS much about the people without component, but you think they'd still care some.

I see this more with what apple did with the original imac. People groaned about it only having USB connections and they would have to replace all their perephrials. Apple simply anticipated that most people will be using usb in the near future.

They are anticipating more people will have HDTV's. The more they simplify the less they have to worry about things going wrong / not working. Apple likes taking the KISS aproach and doing a few things very well rather then having a do everything, connect with everything device.

They also like chosing the formats for their consumers but thats a whole different thread :p

roland.g
Mar 6, 2007, 10:02 AM
AppleTV does NOT play video the way most people get it: on DVD or recorded from antenna/cable. It ONLY plays video from iTMS--or conversions that most people don't have the time or know-how to bother with. And iTMS video/TV/movies are much less widely-used (and have FAR less selection) than iTMS music.

Take away iTMS and the iPod is still a great device. Take away iTMS--and therefore most video--and AppleTV is nice for showing photos and playing music--which are nice, but people do both by many other means already. (In fact, an iPod can already do both AND show movies on TV. It lacks an on-screen menu, but it has an "on-controller" menu.)

I have over 7300 items in my iTunes librabry. Almost all of that is music. Of that music most of it came from CD. Maybe 100-150 iTMS songs. I only have 5 or 6 music videos. And less than 10 tv shows/shorts, all of which were freebies. I have yet to purchase a movies. But I have every movie I have made in iMovie in my library to view through :apple:tv. And that is something that a lot of people can and will do.

ijimk
Mar 6, 2007, 10:28 AM
As for myself I do plan on getting one of these. As far as the DVR is concerned I would expect some sort of Mod/hack to enable this soon after the product is released.

This device will fit perfect in my living room as I dont have cable and have alot of my movies backed up into itunes. :D

nagromme
Mar 6, 2007, 10:51 AM
I have over 7300 items in my iTunes librabry. Almost all of that is music. Of that music most of it came from CD. Maybe 100-150 iTMS songs. I only have 5 or 6 music videos. And less than 10 tv shows/shorts, all of which were freebies. I have yet to purchase a movies. But I have every movie I have made in iMovie in my library to view through :apple:tv. And that is something that a lot of people can and will do.

Home movies are a great use of AppleTV. But people who have a lot of those--and who share them often enough to have the desire to beam them to TV--are a small niche. So this usage doesn't make AppleTV cross over into mainstream appeal the way the iPod has.

Note that in the iTunes update thread, it seems to be confirmed that AppleTV will have games. (And speculation, therefore, that some kind of USB controller may be an option?)

And THERE's a subject where I will defend AppleTV's broad appeal. People will say AppleTV lacks the horsepower or technical specs of a PS3 or Wii--but this isn't for Halo 2. It's games as "an extra," the way they are on iPod. Casual games, I expect, which are a HUGE market--even if one sneered at by the smaller market of hardcore "gamers." (AppleTV is of course not a game machine for hardcore gamers.)

Expect hardcore gamers to put down AppleTV games. They probably put down Bejeweled too. Won't stop the games from selling though...

whooleytoo
Mar 6, 2007, 11:13 AM
I do agree; a one touch DVD rip would be a killer feature in iTunes but I don't think the industry will allow it.

What about 'one touch DVD rip with DRM'?

i.e. iTunes rips the DVD and encodes it with the user's Fairplay user ID such that it's subject to similar usage restrictions as that bought through iTMS.

nagromme
Mar 6, 2007, 11:27 AM
What about 'one touch DVD rip with DRM'?

i.e. iTunes rips the DVD and encodes it with the user's Fairplay user ID such that it's subject to similar usage restrictions as that bought through iTMS.

Sounds doable--iTunes already adds the DRM after the download has arrived.

At the very least--later when the selection of iTunes movie is huge--maybe allow people to download the iTMS version of a movie for a .99 cents or free, upon inserting the real movie disc. An indirect kind of "rip."

But I still think the industry wouldn't cooperate :(

I own almost no DVDs (I'd rather rent most movies once or twice) but there are some TV series I plan to own some day (Twin Peaks, Buffy/Angel, Firefly, the new Galactica, maybe some BBC stuff like Peepshow and One Foot In The Grave). When I do, having them in an iPhone-ready iTunes style library, ripped from the box sets, would be ideal. The easier the better!

nutmac
Mar 6, 2007, 12:11 PM
Walk down any street and quiz people about DIVX and record how many people know what it is. Then ask those same people if they have heard of a mp3. I bet you will be surprised; I am talking in terms of the mass population.

These people may not know what DiVX is, but many are watching them anyway. Probably more so than H.264. Do people know what CDMA and GSM mean? But mass population carries cell phone anyway.

The normal consumer has never seen a DivX file; only us internet nerds have. Especially people who download illegal torrents; and Apple doesn't want to encourage that.

You'd be surprised how prevalent DiVX is. If you recall, MP3 took up largely through illegal music sharing (Napster). Illegal video sharing is not as popular as music was (largely due to file size), but it is more popular than most people think. DiVX is particularly popular among foreigners (in the US), as it is one of the most popular methods of watching international programmings.

One may argue why include something (DiVX/XViD) that promotes illegal video sharing? Because DiVX is the reality.

Diatribe
Mar 6, 2007, 12:18 PM
I don't think this comes really down down DivX or DVR functionality.
This comes all down to content. If Apple offered more movies at the right prices and more importantly increases the quality of the content by upping resolution and adding 5.1 audio, I think a lot more people would buy things at the iTS, which in return would make a lot more people interested in apple tv.

dextertangocci
Mar 6, 2007, 01:57 PM
I would love to get one, but I first need to know if it will work with my 5 year old Sony tv, you know, those old non LCD or Plasma tv's? It has about 7 sets of those red, yellow and white ports, can I use it with that?:confused:

Sorry, I don't know much about tv's:o

patrick0brien
Mar 6, 2007, 02:02 PM
I would love to get one, but I first need to know if it will work with my 5 year old Sony tv, you know, those old non LCD or Plasma tv's? It has about 7 sets of those red, yellow and white ports, can I use it with that?:confused:

Sorry, I don't know much about tv's:o

-dextertangocci

I hate to say it, but probably not.

First, HDMI is relatively new, and we can pretty much throw out this as an option for you right now.

Look at the ports of the TV, you should see something for video that is actuall three RCA conectors colored Red, Green and Blue and labeled the funky: Y'PbPr.

But you also need to be Hi-Def, of have a converter.

GFLPraxis
Mar 6, 2007, 03:48 PM
I would love to get one, but I first need to know if it will work with my 5 year old Sony tv, you know, those old non LCD or Plasma tv's? It has about 7 sets of those red, yellow and white ports, can I use it with that?:confused:

Sorry, I don't know much about tv's:o

It needs the one with the five colored ports (red, green, blue, red, and white). That's called Component.

I'm in the same boat; I have no component inputs.

VespR
Mar 14, 2007, 06:51 AM
These people may not know what DiVX is, but many are watching them anyway. Probably more so than H.264. Do people know what CDMA and GSM mean? But mass population carries cell phone anyway.



You'd be surprised how prevalent DiVX is. If you recall, MP3 took up largely through illegal music sharing (Napster). Illegal video sharing is not as popular as music was (largely due to file size), but it is more popular than most people think. DiVX is particularly popular among foreigners (in the US), as it is one of the most popular methods of watching international programmings.

One may argue why include something (DiVX/XViD) that promotes illegal video sharing? Because DiVX is the reality.


I'm having the same conversation with somebody on AppleInsider. DivX is massive. Perhaps not so in the states, but certainly on a worldwide appeal. Why do all DVD players these days come with a DivX sticker on the front? Even Sony support it. Apple has shot themselves in the foot with this and it's cost them my £200.

Krevnik
Mar 14, 2007, 10:53 AM
I'm having the same conversation with somebody on AppleInsider. DivX is massive. Perhaps not so in the states, but certainly on a worldwide appeal. Why do all DVD players these days come with a DivX sticker on the front? Even Sony support it. Apple has shot themselves in the foot with this and it's cost them my £200.

The funny thing about this is that DivX and XviD are both implementations of MPEG-4 (oddly enough). The only thing that makes Apple incompatible with the files are the odd use of AVI (which breaks the AVI spec) for the most part.

Something has to eventually replace the AVI part of the equation, if digital media is to take off in the mainstream like MP3s. ID3 tags already working with MP4 files (something you can't do with AVI) and MKV files are a start. I personally dislike the idea of having untagged movies, much like my dislike for untagged MP3s.

Diode
Mar 16, 2007, 10:20 PM
These people may not know what DiVX is, but many are watching them anyway. Probably more so than H.264. Do people know what CDMA and GSM mean? But mass population carries cell phone anyway.

You sort of proved my point. The mass population doesn't care what video format its , just that it looks good and they can get what they want (content wise). It's only use geeks that care about divx.

This is exactly why your average joe puts mp3's on his ipod while I put apple lossless. He doesn't care how his audio gets on his ipod - just that it's half-way decent sounding. I, on the other hand, use shure e5 headphones and do care.

All I am stressing in my main post is this device it targeted at the average joe who is familiar with itunes / ipods. Apple has sold millions of them so its potentially a huge audience. There are other devices out there that target the small niche groups so why should Apple's?.

Yurtra
Mar 18, 2007, 08:50 AM
I was just wondering if anybody has brought up the possibility of the USB port on the back of the Apple TV being used as a plug for an iPod, which would then be used as a controller (well, the click wheel at least) for full screen iPod games... (Yes, I know it has been stated that it's only for, "diagnostic" purposes.)

It seems like it could be a possibility, but then again, I'm not the most well-read when it comes to the Apple TV.

nagromme
Mar 18, 2007, 08:55 AM
I was just wondering if anybody has brought up the possibility of the USB port on the back of the Apple TV being used as a plug for an iPod, which would then be used as a controller (well, the click wheel at least) for full screen iPod games... (Yes, I know it has been stated that it's only for, "diagnostic" purposes.)

It seems like it could be a possibility, but then again, I'm not the most well-read when it comes to the Apple TV.

Interesting thought. Or, it could be for an Apple-branded BT dongle that accompanies a simple wireless controller you buy as an option.

Or, who knows... a controller (wired or wireless) might be in the box :) We will know that very soon....

(The IR remote would be slow to respond, awkward, and requiring an annoying amount of force for games that are time/speed-dependent like Bejeweled or Tetris. Things like Solitaire could be played with the little remote. Not as nicely as with an iPod wheel or special controller, though.)

Diode
Mar 18, 2007, 03:06 PM
I was just wondering if anybody has brought up the possibility of the USB port on the back of the Apple TV being used as a plug for an iPod, which would then be used as a controller (well, the click wheel at least) for full screen iPod games... (Yes, I know it has been stated that it's only for, "diagnostic" purposes.)

It seems like it could be a possibility, but then again, I'm not the most well-read when it comes to the Apple TV.

I can not list how many devices came with some sort of "mystery" port that after the product was released , products were released that used it.

While USB is not really a mystery as in term of uses, apple still can use it for anything if they so choose later down the line.

zen
Mar 20, 2007, 05:45 AM
I have only one reason I'm not buying an Apple TV.

It won't hook up to my TV.

Our house has a huge TV and sound setup, but surprise...it has no component hookups. People on this forum call it outdated, but it's a very nice high quality SDTV and everyone likes using it and there is no reason to buy a new one.

Not one TV in my house has component.

The AppleTV has no composite, which is the stupidest thing I've ever seen; no iTunes content is in HD, so why does it only have HD outputs?
Yep, that's a great point - as I said in another thread, it makes the Apple TV useless in Europe for a lot of people, as component isn't used here, unless you have a VERY expensive set. The equivalent system in Europe is RGB, which is the same quality, but totally incompatible with component.

So very few sets in Europe have component, it means you've got no choice but to go HD. I have a very very VERY nice Loewe SD TV set, but it has RGB, not component. There is no way I can afford to buy an HD set anytime soon.

I would have thought Apple would build a European Apple TV with SCART RGB output.

AENAON
Mar 20, 2007, 07:15 AM
Hi all, I don't recall posting here before, but let me contribute a bit :)

My opinion on this is that its going to be a complete flop. We all love macs, and the rest of Apple gadgets, and personally the culture behind them all, but believe me, the ppl who read these posts are not the typical consumer, which is:
1. A windows user
2. A novice user, knowing a bit about windows, word, google, emule, limewire and a couple of games
3. An iPod user
4. A person that has an average amount of mp3s scattered around his hard drive, and trying to figure out what are these exclamation points all over his iTunes library. (oh apple when will u decide that copy to library should be the default action)
5. And most important a person that has little to NONE legally purchased music! itms is not even even an option for most ppl (no itms in the country/no credit card)

Why did windows succeed? Content was widely available for free (as in pirated)
Why mp3 players succeed? Content was widely available for free through tens of p2p programs
Why did broadband became mainstream? Cause kids love to download anything as long its pirated all day long.

AppleTV's content is a no-go area for most users, and I mean allmost all users, except that tiiiny little percentage of ppl who have the cash for the device and even more cash for ITMS.
I guess u can say there is no tv tuner and recorder and dvd player and u r right but the age of all digital, all in the media belong to my hard drive is allready here! I really dont know one single person anymore that buys or rents cds and dvds, seriously!
Apple got it right with extending ur media from ur pc/mac to ur tv in a simple, semi-independent, elegant way. But whhere is the content? Everyone has filled his hard disk with movies nowadays and believe me, none is a quicktime movie.
Unless this becomes a serious media player, and not an itunes extention-toy, this will fail in no time

Let's put this next to airport extreme and isight...

AENAON
Mar 20, 2007, 07:31 AM
Hi all, I don't recall posting here before, but let me contribute a bit :)

My opinion on this is that its going to be a complete flop. We all love macs, and the rest of Apple gadgets, and personally the culture behind them all, but believe me, the ppl who read these posts are not the typical consumer, which is:
1. A windows user
2. A novice user, knowing a bit about windows, word, google, emule, limewire and a couple of games
3. An iPod user
4. A person that has an average amount of mp3s scattered around his hard drive, and trying to figure out what are these exclamation points all over his iTunes library. (oh apple when will u decide that copy to library should be the default action)
5. And most important a person that has little to NONE legally purchased music! itms is not even even an option for most ppl (no itms in the country/no credit card)

Why did windows succeed? Content was widely available for free (as in pirated)
Why mp3 players succeed? Content was widely available for free through tens of p2p programs
Why did broadband became mainstream? Cause kids love to download anything as long its pirated all day long.

AppleTV's content is a no-go area for most users, and I mean allmost all users, except that tiiiny little percentage of ppl who have the cash for the device and even more cash for ITMS.
I guess u can say there is no tv tuner and recorder and dvd player and u r right but the age of all digital, all in the media belong to my hard drive is allready here! I really dont know one single person anymore that buys or rents cds and dvds, seriously!
Apple got it right with extending ur media from ur pc/mac to ur tv in a simple, semi-independent, elegant way. But whhere is the content? Everyone has filled his hard disk with movies nowadays and believe me, none is a quicktime movie.
Unless this becomes a serious media player, and not an itunes extention-toy, this will fail in no time

zen
Mar 20, 2007, 08:21 AM
Let's put this next to airport extreme and isight...
What makes the Airport Extreme a flop? It's a wireless base station, 802.11n, and you can hook up a USB2 hard drive to it to have a networked shared drive.

Sounds good to me. And don't say that 802.11n and networked wireless shared drive are too complex for the average computer user, because they aren't.

iSight? I guess you mean the stand-alone iSight camera? Well, Macs didn't use to come with built-in cameras, so Apple made one you can buy separately. I'm not sure why you'd call this a flop - sure, probably not many were sold, but then that wasn't the point. I'm sure the sales figures for the VGA to DVI adaptor aren't in the millions either, but that's not the intention.

Diode
Mar 20, 2007, 09:08 AM
Why did windows succeed? Content was widely available for free (as in pirated)


Windows succeeded because Apple stumbled in the 80's and IBM / clones were standing by to take the slack. Then Apple began releasing crappy computers for about a decade before finally being resurected by Steve in the 90's. Harsh but true. No worthy business wants to buy a computer from a company who can't post a profit (Apple 90's). Same thing happened to IBM in the early 90's and they are now finally begining to recover.



AppleTV's content is a no-go area for most users, and I mean allmost all users, except that tiiiny little percentage of ppl who have the cash for the device and even more cash for ITMS.
I guess u can say there is no tv tuner and recorder and dvd player and u r right but the age of all digital, all in the media belong to my hard drive is allready here!


So just about all of the ipod users then? This thing has the same price tag as a video ipod AND moves are not that much more the songs today. Itunes has had record sales for a online store since it was released and I don't see it slowing down.


I really dont know one single person anymore that buys or rents cds and dvds, seriously!


Then how come Netflix is posting record profits and has Wall Street in a buzz?

Apple got it right with extending ur media from ur pc/mac to ur tv in a simple, semi-independent, elegant way. But whhere is the content? Everyone has filled his hard disk with movies nowadays and believe me, none is a quicktime movie.

Only people who download stuff illegaly has content on their pc. Most people (besides internet savy) didn't download MP3's until the ipod came out.


Unless this becomes a serious media player, and not an itunes extention-toy, this will fail in no time


Isn't that what the ipod is? You can't get content to it other then through itunes and you can only play mp3, AAC and apple lossless. Granted you can download tons of mp3's, but as soon as the ipod video was released, content began poping up on torrent sites for the ipod. The same thing will happen with the AppleTV once it hits mainstream.


Let's put this next to airport extreme and isight...

First how can you call a product released one month ago a flop? The isight was targeted at Macs that didn't have built in camera's. Since mac's have had them built in for a while now they are no longer needed. I wouldn't call that a flop.

To be honest, I see you as a teenager who has little to no income and can only get what he needs by begging mom/dad. You are not apple's targeted customer by any standards.

Again I stress this is not the do everything device. Apple is testing the waters to see what kind of market share they will gather with this device. When apple first released the ipod, they only had one version and it was white only. Now you can get them in all shapes, forms and colors. If apple gets the response it is expecting from the AppleTV you will be coming back here to say I was right :p

Krevnik
Mar 20, 2007, 09:41 AM
So very few sets in Europe have component, it means you've got no choice but to go HD. I have a very very VERY nice Loewe SD TV set, but it has RGB, not component. There is no way I can afford to buy an HD set anytime soon.


The US doesn't magically use component everywhere. The situation is almost exactly the same between the US and the EU. Component is primarily for HD, HDMI is only for HD... and the Apple TV is listed as only for HD TVs. It saves them from having to support different connection standards in each region, since every region uses the same HD connections.

dan-o-mac
Mar 20, 2007, 05:52 PM
One day this can mature and become a great product. As it stands right now, it's just alright.

AENAON
Mar 21, 2007, 06:03 AM
What makes the Airport Extreme a flop? It's a wireless base station, 802.11n, and you can hook up a USB2 hard drive to it to have a networked shared drive.

Sounds good to me. And don't say that 802.11n and networked wireless shared drive are too complex for the average computer user, because they aren't.

iSight? I guess you mean the stand-alone iSight camera? Well, Macs didn't use to come with built-in cameras, so Apple made one you can buy separately. I'm not sure why you'd call this a flop - sure, probably not many were sold, but then that wasn't the point. I'm sure the sales figures for the VGA to DVI adaptor aren't in the millions either, but that's not the intention.

Airport Extreme -> sales
iSight tiny sales before integrading them in the computers, and they stopped them even though the mac pro still has not camera.

and again im not talking about apple loyals, its not that small user base that can make a product successful


Diode: Ur points r valid, but u see this from ur obviously american point of view. Netflix is doing well, and itms as well, but thats only in their own ground, being the ppl that are willing to give money for content. And that is only a very very small part of how ppl enjoy digital media, dont forget that we dont have riaa nazis raiding our houses. And thats all good and growing, but in reality what drives the industry towards media is pirated content. And exactly because this is a device with an ipod-like price point it will lift off if it has response from the broke teenagers as u say, just like the ipod. Serious cinema lovers will go with a quality choice like blue ray. appleTV's target group is clearly the same as the ipod's, but I can see this as another "it was a great product but its closed platform doomed it to oblivion" typically apple story in a few years...

Btw, just 10min ago I had a discussion with a kid that wants me to make him an uber gamig-media center pc. His parents will drop gladly 3k pounds for it, but the guy will never even consider buying a single song online... Maybe sad, but thats the state of the market man

spicyapple
Mar 21, 2007, 07:22 AM
I'm excited about using the AppleTV as a glorified DVD player so I can use it in my presentations to show off video clips, picture slideshows and such without carrying around a notebook.

It might be great for kiosk-type display booths.

Even from a non-consumer use standpoint, it should do extremely well. :)

patrick0brien
Mar 21, 2007, 11:24 AM
I like the fact that I can retire my VCR, CD player, and projector.

Should be here tomorrow...

Diatribe
Mar 21, 2007, 11:52 AM
I like the fact that I can retire my VCR, CD player, and projector.

Should be here tomorrow...

How exactly is it going to retire your projector? :confused:

patrick0brien
Mar 21, 2007, 11:56 AM
How exactly is it going to retire your projector? :confused:

-Diatribe

Glad you asked! It is bizarre huh?

iPhoto baby. For those "And here is our trip to the bahamas. And here is our trip to that big ball of yarn in Nebraska." nights with distant family.

Don't need to whip out the projector, MBP, and take two outlets anymore.

Diatribe
Mar 21, 2007, 12:00 PM
-Diatribe

Glad you asked! It is bizarre huh?

iPhoto baby. For those "And here is our trip to the bahamas. And here is our trip to that big ball of yarn in Nebraska." nights with distant family.

Don't need to whip out the projector, MBP, and take two outlets anymore.

Ah ok, I thought you had a home theater projector. I can see where you can retire your office projector.

I have a home theater projector that I use for pretty much everything, I don't even have a TV, so for me to buy an :apple:tv I'd have to buy a TV first. :(

patrick0brien
Mar 21, 2007, 12:04 PM
Ah ok, I thought you had a home theater projector. I can see where you can retire your office projector.

I have a home theater projector that I use for pretty much everything, I don't even have a TV, so for me to buy an :apple:tv I'd have to buy a TV first. :(

-Diatribe

Interesting. I just did this. That projector was my TV until January, sounds very much like your setup.

nickweston
Mar 21, 2007, 12:14 PM
Sure, there are other streaming devices out there, but NONE of them use iTunes to stream.
When people critiqued the iPod, not many saw that it was the way the content went into the iPod that made the product. Has anyone seen the Zune software? Geez what a cluster*$&*@.

People in the mainstream are starting to learn what us insiders have known for decades: that nobody on the planet makes technology more intuitive and easy to use as Apple.

Anyway, I'd be really careful about dissing Apple TV, it's the software, stupid....

NW

Diatribe
Mar 21, 2007, 12:29 PM
-Diatribe

Interesting. I just did this. That projector was my TV until January, sounds very much like your setup.

Yeah it's a fixed setup, projector and 5.1 audio. I just can't see myself watching movies on a TV again. So I don't know yet what I am gonna do. Probably get a small TV just for music and iTMS content.

patrick0brien
Mar 21, 2007, 12:46 PM
... Zune...what a cluster*$&*@.

-nickweston

Apparently MS agrees with you, ever seen the install screens? I'm thinking of the one with the women in pain...

Yeah it's a fixed setup, projector and 5.1 audio. I just can't see myself watching movies on a TV again. So I don't know yet what I am gonna do. Probably get a small TV just for music and iTMS content.

-Diatribe

That's just eerie. Same setup. I'd been w/o a TV since 2001, hoping to ride the HDTV gap. Decided that it was time in January - that, and I'm a Bears fan ;)

If I may suggest, because I know this is very subjective, the HDTVs out now are pretty much there, may wish to give them a look-see.

I for one am happy to relegate the projector, and it's heat, fan noise and Mercury-vapor bulb to incidental use anymore.

Diatribe
Mar 21, 2007, 01:07 PM
-nickweston

Apparently MS agrees with you, ever seen the install screens? I'm thinking of the one with the women in pain...



-Diatribe

That's just eerie. Same setup. I'd been w/o a TV since 2001, hoping to ride the HDTV gap. Decided that it was time in January - that, and I'm a Bears fan ;)

If I may suggest, because I know this is very subjective, the HDTVs out now are pretty much there, may wish to give them a look-see.

I for one am happy to relegate the projector, and it's heat, fan noise and Mercury-vapor bulb to incidental use anymore.

Yeah, I was thinking about it. My projector is already HD and makes very little noise. The only disadvantage is that you can't turn it on for a sec to switch the music and then turn it back off... so I don't know. I get around a 85" diagonal, so I am not sure I want to trade that in for some 50-60" TV.

I might get a 40" TV just for the TV and media via :apple:tv. At least that is the idea. Besides, the prices for a decent 60" HDTV are crazy compared to what my projector cost. :(

patrick0brien
Mar 21, 2007, 01:28 PM
Yeah, I was thinking about it. My projector is already HD and makes very little noise. The only disadvantage is that you can't turn it on for a sec to switch the music and then turn it back off... so I don't know. I get around a 85" diagonal, so I am not sure I want to trade that in for some 50-60" TV.

I might get a 40" TV just for the TV and media via :apple:tv. At least that is the idea. Besides, the prices for a decent 60" HDTV are crazy compared to what my projector cost. :(

-Diatribe

Oh, holy crap. You're projector is HD? Those aren't cheap either. What's the res? You sure :apple: TV isn't useful for you?

To be honest, the most use I will get out of mine is the music - which is currently being served by a Mini that's really intended for home security.

Diatribe
Mar 21, 2007, 01:51 PM
-Diatribe

Oh, holy crap. You're projector is HD? Those aren't cheap either. What's the res? You sure :apple: TV isn't useful for you?

To be honest, the most use I will get out of mine is the music - which is currently being served by a Mini that's really intended for home security.

I have a Hitachi PJ-TX300 with a res of 1280 x 720 that I am quite happy with.

The thing I guess, I'd use :apple:tv for most would be the music. And being unable to switch the projector on just to switch songs, or whatever, makes it kind of useless without a TV.

That's why I'll probably either get a small TV to run just the music part of it (like 20" or something) or a 40" that I'll use for TV and the music. Movies I think will stay forever on a projector.

All depends on whether Apple releases HD content. With HD content I'd get an :apple:tv in a sec and just get the small TV for the music.

patrick0brien
Mar 21, 2007, 01:59 PM
All depends on whether Apple releases HD content. With HD content I'd get an :apple:tv in a sec and just get the small TV for the music.

-Diatribe

I think this is inevitable considering the device is only HD. Heck it's basically a thin client, I see great extensibility - maybe even 1080i some day.

BTW- We like Hitachis ;)

Diatribe
Mar 21, 2007, 03:56 PM
-Diatribe

I think this is inevitable considering the device is only HD. Heck it's basically a thin client, I see great extensibility - maybe even 1080i some day.

BTW- We like Hitachis ;)

Hehe, you have one too?

Anyway, after seeing the specs (http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html) today, I must say I am reconsidering the probabilty of a purchase. No multi-channel audio is a deal breaker for me.
Just for listening to music this is not worth the price of admission. Too bad, could've been something. :(

Edit: And on top of that it doesn't support the minimum HD spec which is 60fps. No multi-channel audio AND no HD content? Lol, this is worse than I thought. :(

patrick0brien
Mar 21, 2007, 04:34 PM
Hehe, you have one too?

Anyway, after seeing the specs (http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html) today, I must say I am reconsidering the probabilty of a purchase. No multi-channel audio is a deal breaker for me.
Just for listening to music this is not worth the price of admission. Too bad, could've been something. :(

Edit: And on top of that it doesn't support the minimum HD spec which is 60fps. No multi-channel audio AND no HD content? Lol, this is worse than I thought. :(

-Diatribe

Yes, just for music would be silly.

However, after rereading the specs you linked to, I see something funny. Nowhere in there does anything indicate that there is hardware limitation keeping it from 5.1(and 7.1 woohoo!). It's got HDMI which, by definition of it's own spec, supports multichannel quite well (I can speak to this), as well as optical audio which is ideal for it as well. It seems that the :apple:TV's perceived limitations are software/firmware and content based.
(*one possible exception - what are the upper limitations of the video card? The Mini Solo I have now struggles a bit with 1080p)

Additionally H.264 and MPEG-4 codecs do support multichannel (I should hope so, MPEG-2 for DVD's sure does)

What encourages me is the fact that the hardware supports everything we want, so do the codecs. And those little disclaimers: "Actual capacity varies by content."

This is just what I see though, with a generous dollop of 'Knowing His Steveness and His Sneaky Ways' (c). Apple rarely ships a full product already at the wall of obsolescence - good example is the C2D 'books with hidden 802.11n functionality.

I think you're right - they're underpromising right now. But I believe through firmware updates, we'll see capacity deeper than advertised - or at last, that's my wishful thinking. ;)

Of course, I'll report findings, as well as a bunch of other folks here in this little thread of ours.

As for the Hitachi, sure CPX345, bought mainly for presentations. Oh, and I work for an Hitachi ;) (see profile)

Diatribe
Mar 21, 2007, 04:41 PM
-Diatribe

Yes, just for music would be silly.

However, after rereading the specs you linked to, I see something funny. Nowhere in there does anything indicate that there is hardware limitation keeping it from 5.1(and 7.1 woohoo!). It's got HDMI which, by definition of it's own spec, supports multichannel quite well (I can speak to this), as well as optical audio which is ideal for it as well. It seems that the :apple:TV's perceived limitations are software/firmware and content based.
(*one possible exception - what are the upper limitations of the video card? The Mini Solo I have now struggles a bit with 1080p)

Additionally H.264 and MPEG-4 codecs do support multichannel (I should hope so, MPEG-2 for DVD's sure does)

What encourages me is the fact that the hardware supports everything we want, so do the codecs. And those little disclaimers: "Actual capacity varies by content."

This is just what I see though, with a generous dollop of 'Knowing His Steveness and His Sneaky Ways' (c). Apple rarely ships a full product already at the wall of obsolescence - good example is the C2D 'books with hidden 802.11n functionality.

I think you're right - they're underpromising right now. But I believe through firmware updates, we'll see capacity deeper than advertised - or at last, that's my wishful thinking. ;)

Of course, I'll report findings, as well as a bunch of other folks here in this little thread of ours.

As for the Hitachi, sure CPX345, bought mainly for presentations. Oh, and I work for an Hitachi ;) (see profile)

Yeah, let me know how it works out for you. :)

AAC-LC is capable of multiple channels, there is just no receiver that decodes that so the :apple:tv would have to do that. Also it would have to up-convert the 24fps to 60fps, so it works on TVs (at least that always was my understanding). I am just hoping that the processor in this is up to the task.

I would just love to buy HD content with 5.1 audio. I would probably buy no more DVDs if Apple sold 720p with 5.1 audio and I would get the :apple:tv in a second.
I guess those are the only two wishes I have, as you said, just for audio it seems kind of silly. We will see what the future brings. Again, I am looking forward to seeing how it works for you. :)

As for the job, nice, I bet you get great deals. :D

patrick0brien
Mar 21, 2007, 05:41 PM
AAC-LC is capable of multiple channels, there is just no receiver that decodes that so the :apple:tv would have to do that. Also it would have to up-convert the 24fps to 60fps, so it works on TVs (at least that always was my understanding). I am just hoping that the processor in this is up to the task.

-Diatribe

Ah ha! I think I see the disconnect here! You’re right, there aren’t any 5.1 direct-to-speakers out from the box itself. You are absolutely right, you’d need to decode it somewhere else. I have a receiver that does all that for me, so it’s never occurred to me that that was a limitation for people. Sorry about that.

And that sir, is a very interesting point.

I will say this though: some TV’s are capable of being an audio decoder as well. Like,
|-:apple:TV HDMI OUT-->TV HDMI INPUT-->TV AUDIO OUT-->5.1 Speakers-|

I would just love to buy HD content with 5.1 audio. I would probably buy no more DVDs if Apple sold 720p with 5.1 audio and I would get the :apple:tv in a second.
I guess those are the only two wishes I have, as you said, just for audio it seems kind of silly. We will see what the future brings. Again, I am looking forward to seeing how it works for you. :)

Yeah, I’m not terribly worried about the upconversions of fps or anything els, these HDTVs anymore are getting pretty good at that – heck I throw full DVD 720-480p (yes progressive) through the receiver to the TV and everything is hunky-dory.

As for the job, nice, I bet you get great deals. :D

Would it surprise you to know that it may be our drive in that box? ;) Yeah, we get our own private online Apple store.

BTW- one thing I found out about the :apple:TV that’s a drag – its 7.7” square, and the Mac Mini is 5.5” square. Rats – they won’t nest well.

My :apple:TV is in Anchorage right now – I expect it Friday. Going to be setting shelfspace aside for it tonight – tearing out all my optical cables too. All HDMI from here on out.

I'd like to add that I think this is an extremely on-topic conversation - I was worried I was straying a bit at the beginning there. :D

Krevnik
Mar 21, 2007, 06:09 PM
AAC-LC is capable of multiple channels, there is just no receiver that decodes that so the :apple:tv would have to do that. Also it would have to up-convert the 24fps to 60fps, so it works on TVs (at least that always was my understanding). I am just hoping that the processor in this is up to the task.

TVs display at 60Hz, but there is no requirement in HD that content be provided at 60Hz. There are a couple different 'specs' regarding framerate. IIRC, 24, 25, and 30 are all supported framerates for HD video as per ATSC specs.

Just that now, like before, the TV displays at 60Hz because of interlaced video.

/dev/toaster
Mar 21, 2007, 06:35 PM
Not supporting 480i was a poor choice on Apples part. It didn't really occur to me until mine shipped. Yes, I have an HD TV ... but, it won't be here until my move is complete (3+ weeks).

Even worse then waiting for it to ship, is now I get to stare at the box for a few weeks before I can use it.

I think Apple is going to have a lot of returns when people realize they can't use it on a SD TV. I have a friend who called me up today cursing me out because I recommended him getting an AppleTV but didn't realize it had no support for SD TVs.

I don't think the lack of support for 480i is going to kill it, but it could have made things better.

Oh well, back to a few more weeks of waiting ... *sigh*

Diode
Mar 21, 2007, 07:06 PM
Edit: And on top of that it doesn't support the minimum HD spec which is 60fps. No multi-channel audio AND no HD content? Lol, this is worse than I thought. :(

60 FPS? Huh? Most stuff is shot at 24FPS including HD. Where did you get 60 from?

patrick0brien
Mar 21, 2007, 09:20 PM
Not supporting 480i was a poor choice on Apples part. It didn't really occur to me until mine shipped. Yes, I have an HD TV ... but, it won't be here until my move is complete (3+ weeks).

Even worse then waiting for it to ship, is now I get to stare at the box for a few weeks before I can use it.

I think Apple is going to have a lot of returns when people realize they can't use it on a SD TV. I have a friend who called me up today cursing me out because I recommended him getting an AppleTV but didn't realize it had no support for SD TVs.

I don't think the lack of support for 480i is going to kill it, but it could have made things better.

Oh well, back to a few more weeks of waiting ... *sigh*

-/dev/toaster

Apple is just looking ahead - they've always done this. Never afraid to toss serial, floppies, AAUI, OS 9 out the window in favor of the next step - even if it's Somewhat painful.

It's less than two years before the death of 480i, it'll be here before you know it. You may not be in the market now, but that may change.

/dev/toaster
Mar 21, 2007, 10:02 PM
-/dev/toaster

Apple is just looking ahead - they've always done this. Never afraid to toss serial, floppies, AAUI, OS 9 out the window in favor of the next step - even if it's Somewhat painful.

It's less than two years before the death of 480i, it'll be here before you know it. You may not be in the market now, but that may change.

Its going to take a lot longer then 2 years to see the death of 480i. I suppose your right about Apple looking towards the future on it.

patrick0brien
Mar 22, 2007, 12:32 AM
Its going to take a lot longer then 2 years to see the death of 480i. I suppose your right about Apple looking towards the future on it.

-/dev/toaster

Perhaps practically, yes, the legacy 480i equipment and content in people's homes and rental stores will live on for a while, but the FCC has mandated that all analog (e.g. 480i) broadcasts cease in 2009, this would require a set top box for any legacy 480i sets to continue to receive analog content over the air. Cable will follow - in fact, it's largely there already, a switchover is academic at this point.

It'll be messy, but 480i will begin to die, February 18 2009 in the US.

Other countries have already begun, or actually completed the switchover.

Linkypoo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_television)

and as for the date... (one source) Linkypoo (http://www.benton.org/index.php?q=node/1257)

Diode
Mar 22, 2007, 08:10 AM
It'll be messy, but 480i will begin to die, February 18 2009 in the US.

Aye hopefully the FCC won't push that date back again as they did for the earlier round. The big channels are still dragging their feet while screwing over the PBS channels. When I was in high school my local PBS channel (where I worked) was HD ready in 2000 while the local networks were complaining about the cost.

/off topic
I see you worked for KPMG consulting ... I'm with bearingpoint now ;-) I've heard some stories on how wild it was back then.

corona47
Mar 22, 2007, 09:03 AM
Why are so many supposedly clued-up people insisting that itunes can't play Divx/avi files. Have you people never heard of versiontracker.com. I suggest that anyone wishing to purchase an Apple TV or indeed watch avi files via itunes, go to versiontracker.com and download a piece of free software called "movie2itunes". Once installed, launch it and drop any avi file onto the window and it will be imported into itunes.

Simple really.

corona47
Mar 22, 2007, 09:07 AM
If it plays divx then I could be sold, but aparently it won't so I'm not.

I have too many computers with all types of media on them, if I could consolidate it all into itunes and then consolidate all of that over the network to an :apple:tv then it'd be fab, but it's not looking like I'll be able to.

Just download "movie2itunes" from versiontracker.com.

It imports avi files into itunes just by dropping them onto this programmes window.

zen
Mar 22, 2007, 09:09 AM
Why are so many supposedly clued-up people insisting that itunes can't play Divx/avi files. Have you people never heard of versiontracker.com. I suggest that anyone wishing to purchase an Apple TV or indeed watch avi files via itunes, go to versiontracker.com and download a piece of free software called "movie2itunes". Once installed, launch it and drop any avi file onto the window and it will be imported into itunes.

Simple really.

That probably won't work - all movie2itunes does is create a mov linking file to the original DivX file. That linking mov can then be imported into iTunes - I've done it manually using Quicktime, movie2iTunes just automates the process.

To play the DivX file you still need to keep the original DivX file, plus you need to have whatever DivX codec you want installed on your computer.

I assume it won't work on the Apple TV, even if you play it via iTunes having made your shortcut with movie2itunes, because the DivX codec is not installed on the AppleTV box itself.

I imagine it will be possible to hack the Apple TV and install the DivX codec on it, but we'll need to wait and see.

Diatribe
Mar 22, 2007, 09:18 AM
-Diatribe

Ah ha! I think I see the disconnect here! You’re right, there aren’t any 5.1 direct-to-speakers out from the box itself. You are absolutely right, you’d need to decode it somewhere else. I have a receiver that does all that for me, so it’s never occurred to me that that was a limitation for people. Sorry about that.

And that sir, is a very interesting point.

I will say this though: some TV’s are capable of being an audio decoder as well. Like,
|-:apple:TV HDMI OUT-->TV HDMI INPUT-->TV AUDIO OUT-->5.1 Speakers-|

Yeah, I’m not terribly worried about the upconversions of fps or anything els, these HDTVs anymore are getting pretty good at that – heck I throw full DVD 720-480p (yes progressive) through the receiver to the TV and everything is hunky-dory.


These two are from the other thread, don't know if you saw. I found that pretty interesting:

I'd like to address this since I have a trademark service agreement with Dolby Laboratories to use Dolby Digital logos/trademarks in conjunction with content I produce that meets their fidelity criteria...

Both AAC and AC-3 are perceptual coding schema. In fact, AAC is partially a descendant of AC-3, and was co-developed by Dolby Laboratories, Fraunhofer-IIS and a few other partners.

AAC supports multichannel audio, but it's not readable by an AC-3 decoder. In order for this to happen, the multichannel content must be transcoded.

There are hardware and software transcoders. One that strikes me as a distinct possibility for future AppleTV application is Dolby Digital Live. It was specifically designed to transcode multichannel output from, e.g., gaming platforms and other platforms that generate dynamically-changing multichannel audio (an operating system could be one example).

The advantage of this is that AppleTV as it is, is only a software upgrade away from incorporating such a transcoder.

The current bandwidth limitation of 160kbps for H.264-embedded AAC bitstreams are not really relevant to the question because that support too is essentially a software upgrade away. Less powerful processors have been used to decode DVD bitstreams in DVD players that range from 6 to 8 Mbps on a two-pass VBR encoded disc.

5.1-channel AC-3 is generally encoded into bitstreams ranging form 320 to 640kbps, with 448kbps being the fidelity standard for DVD and 320kbps being the standard bitstream encoded for theatrical application of Dolby Digital. Yes, you heard me correctly... Dolby Digital for DVD uses a higher bitrate than the theatrical variant.

It should be noted, however, that AAC's performance as a perceptual coding schema is superior to AC-3 at every bitrate. Put another way, an AAC bitstream would not need to be 448kbps to be perceptually transparent relative to AC-3.

At bitrates from 448kbps to 640kbps, AC-3 is perceptually transparent relative to an uncompressed multichannel stream. That is to say it's indiscernible from the uncompressed equivalent at those bitrates because of the way the encoding algorithm, low pass filtering, and other features reduce the bandwidth requirements for perceptible fidelity in the spectrum of human hearing.

A good reference measure is the performance of AC-3 stereo to AAC stereo. At 192kbps, 2.0-channel AC-3 is perceptually transparent. However, AES states that AAC is perceptually transparent at 128kbps.

The right transcoding algorithm combined with the right AAC parameters could, in principle, be capable of reconstructing a high-fidelity surround mix from 448kbps AAC or less. And this is not including any design improvements or new perceptual coding schema succesors to AAC.

In short, there's no fundamental hardware gap here... Just a software one.

Some will want to wait until that gap is bridged. Others, including myself, see this as an opportunity to support a very promising convergence of technologies that will drive the future of how we purchase, store, distribute, access, and experience home entertainment.

Any way you slice it, this technology is going to move forward and surpass the current fixed media schema. It was done with music recording (DAT is out, HDD is in), it's being done with digital cinematography (Thomson ViperStream, Panavision Genesis HD) and digital theatrical projection (Barco Cinema Projection HD, Texas Instruments DLP), and it continues with AppleTV and its inevitable emerging competitors.

The LAN is emerging as the backbone of home leisure/entertainment activity and all of Apple's efforts since 1997 have been sharply focused on broadening the original "hub" strategy from computer software/hardware integration with digital peripherals (iTunes, iMovie, iPhoto) to design and manufacture of digital peripherals (iPod) to datacenter distribution of content (iTunes Music Store) for digital peripherals to total household integration via the LAN and very soon WAN integration with digital peripherals (Mobile Mac).




While I don't think AppleTV in its current form can accomplish this, but HDMI 1.1 spec allows for upto 8 channels of uncompressed lossless audio in the form of PCM (pulse code modulation). This can actually support 24-bit 192kHz sampling rate. In fact, the PS3 has HDMI and it supports PCM output. So, instead of worrying about good quality DACs in the AppleTV, in a future iteration, Apple could go with multi channel PCM output through HDMI. This is the only way to achieve lossless surround sound through PS3. Optical only provides lossy DD or DTS.

Most mid range receivers today and even lower end receivers of tomorrow will offer HDMI sound processing (including PCM support). In fact, Sony has just released lower end receivers (<$400) that does PCM over HDMI.

So, Apple could use AAC 5.1 encoding in the file and then decode them to PCM and send them out through HDMI. This way, you can avoid DACs and all the analog baggage that comes with it.

The reason the frame rate for the movies is 24fps is because that is the frame rate for movies. It will be converted to 60Hz for 720p and 60 fields for 1080i by AppleTV. The method they use for this could be the 3:2 telecine. In fact, premium TVs and projectors support 24Hz but most consumer TVs don't. Some of the expensive Bluray players support 24Hz. This avoids the entire 3:2 pulldown issue.

I believe Apple might have restricted it to 720p and not 1080p because of cost/processing issues. Remember the PS3 is taking a loss of each device, while AppleTV is not. I have a PS3 and love it, BTW.

Many video cards with fancy features are more than $299. The video card in the AppleTV is a pretty low end one. I am sure they are still optimizing. The next gen should have better capabilities.





Would it surprise you to know that it may be our drive in that box? ;) Yeah, we get our own private online Apple store.

BTW- one thing I found out about the :apple:TV that’s a drag – its 7.7” square, and the Mac Mini is 5.5” square. Rats – they won’t nest well.

My :apple:TV is in Anchorage right now – I expect it Friday. Going to be setting shelfspace aside for it tonight – tearing out all my optical cables too. All HDMI from here on out.

I'd like to add that I think this is an extremely on-topic conversation - I was worried I was straying a bit at the beginning there. :D


Hehe, in any case I don't think anyone would've cared that much. But your own Apple store? :eek: That's pretty cool. :D

Wolfpup
Mar 22, 2007, 10:18 AM
From it's announcement I've seen the Apple TV as a very niche market. It's basically just for people who own large libraries of videos purchased from the iTunes store...

but the iTunes store is a rip off. If I'm going to buy a movie or show, I'm going to get it (probably for the same price or sometimes cheaper) on DVD, with better video quality, much better portability, availability, etc.

On top of that, I hardly ever buy movies or shows. I don't want to watch most stuff more than once.

I doubt Apple can do it, but I've been intrigued by the idea that Apple could offer essentially a "TV service" that's just a flat monthly fee for all you can watch. As a RENTAL service, the iTunes store would be solid, but Apple has shown no interest in rentals. With such a service, the Apple TV could really be great. Apple could have essentially their own TV service, and instantly be directly competing with regular providers...

but it's not going to happen. Apple's shown no interest in it, and even if they did, content providers would have to agree to it, and the cost couldn't be too high.

As it is, the vast majority of people out there would be far better served by a DVD player than an AppleTV. I think at this point if it sells well, it will actually be because of the Apple name. People buying it without any real idea of what they're going to use it for.

Sidenote-IMO it's inexplicable that AppleTV doesn't support composite and S-Video, especially since it doesn't really even have any HD content (yet anyway). Baffling. But then the entire product is baffling.

Comparisons to the iPod are flawed. The iPod solved an actual problem better than other MP3 players on the market. Other hard drive players were much larger at the time. Flash players were very small in capacity. The iPod had a better screen and interface than most if not all competitors.

Apple TV doesn't solve any problem, except for the small niche of people who have decided to tie themselves to Apple's hardware and software for video, instead of just buying DVDs, which are superior in virtually every regard.

I've also found analysts who compare Apple TV to Tivo or Netflix baffling. Apple TV competes much more directly with Best Buy than it does Tivo or Netflix, both of which essentially provide a ton of great content for a low monthly price (versus providing limited content for a high price).

Personally the DVR market is a little tough to crack as there is no great way to hook one to your TV. I've tried the Tivo method but hated the lag in changing channels. I currently use one my cable provider has provided me since it integrates so nicely with their system.

With Tivo there's no reason to actually change channels. There's no need to "channel browse" on any regular basis. The only reason there's a lag is because it begins recording, and then plays it back from the drive, so you get a second or two while that happens...but like I said, 99% of the time you shouldn't even be directly tuning channels anyway.

Driveless (or small hard drive)
Larger hard drive no DVR
DVR with large hard drive.

I've long thought Apple would be in a position to make a GREAT DVR, and have been surprised that they've never pursued it at all. Unfortunately, the Apple TV is almost contrary to a DVR-since they're now trying to sell content, they're less likely to build a device that lets us capture content from a different source. Someone mentioned a blog about Apple becoming like Sony and losing sight of the big picture-that really may be the case here.

I disagree, they are actually early to a party about to start. In the tech industry, even in the cable companies... IPTV is being heavily researched. All your TV content, distributed over IP instead of antiquated VHF/UHF signals (for digital cable, anyways, basic cable will likely remain as-is for some time to come). Companies like Comcast would only need to distribute new STBs, and they can reclaim chunks of bandwidth currently devoted to OnDemand and PPV channels. IPTV has a fairly fixed bandwidth requirement, regardless of the channel count, unlike current solutions.

Unless Apple starts up their own rental service with a flat fee, Apple TV is nothing like an IPTV service. IPTV won't even be noticed by most users. They'll just switch service providers, or get a new box, or whatever, and not even understand/know they're getting IPTV now.

Not quite the best analogy, but pretty close. Toyota was already a contender in cars before hybrid technology started to materialize into something that could be sold. Here, Apple and Microsoft are both new contenders to the content distribution market... and Microsoft already sees the 360 as a vehicle for IPTV on their terms. I wouldn't be surprised if the Apple TV is an IPTV vehicle for Apple, just that they don't want to sell it based on what it eventually might, possibly, maybe do.

Apple TV isn't anything close to IPTV. What the 360 is going to be doing is actual IPTV, just using the 360 as the box rather than a separate box.

What about 'one touch DVD rip with DRM'?

i.e. iTunes rips the DVD and encodes it with the user's Fairplay user ID such that it's subject to similar usage restrictions as that bought through iTMS.

That's something I've thought about for the last two years. Seems logical to me, and it would help iPod sales explode-even more than they are now.But I think even if they could, Apple won't as they now see themselves as a content provider. Another case like Sony...

IMO Apple's software and hardware choices are beginning to be seriously hurt by the iTunes store.

Krevnik
Mar 22, 2007, 10:27 AM
Unless Apple starts up their own rental service with a flat fee, Apple TV is nothing like an IPTV service. IPTV won't even be noticed by most users. They'll just switch service providers, or get a new box, or whatever, and not even understand/know they're getting IPTV now.

Apple TV isn't anything close to IPTV. What the 360 is going to be doing is actual IPTV, just using the 360 as the box rather than a separate box.

Before bashing my ideas by telling me what AppleTV /is/... realize those posts are speculation on what further goal Apple /could/ have for the AppleTV in future iterations.

As it stands now, the only difference between the 360's capabilities to do IPTV and AppleTV's is that MS has /announced/ it will do IPTV in the next year. Apple doesn't announce jack, they release it. So we can't say if it will or won't, we can only speculate. For the record though, the Apple TV hardware certainly is capable of IPTV, the software currently isn't.

Wolfpup
Mar 22, 2007, 10:36 AM
Before bashing my ideas by telling me what AppleTV /is/... realize those posts are speculation on what further goal Apple /could/ have for the AppleTV in future iterations.

As it stands now, the only difference between the 360's capabilities to do IPTV and AppleTV's is that MS has /announced/ it will do IPTV in the next year. Apple doesn't announce jack, they release it. So we can't say if it will or won't, we can only speculate. For the record though, the Apple TV hardware certainly is capable of IPTV, the software currently isn't.

Sure, but Apple's never shown any indication they're going to do that. And even if they did, there's no guarantee it would make as much sense as using the hardware from whatever company they would be partnering with. Regardless, that's no reason to buy an Apple TV now.
I mean my computer is perfectly capable of being an IPTV box too, but that's not going to happen either.

I have to also disagree about them not pre-announcing stuff. They did for the Apple TV itself, and even more for the iPhone-especially important since they have to partner with someone for that too.

Krevnik
Mar 22, 2007, 10:53 AM
Sure, but Apple's never shown any indication they're going to do that. And even if they did, there's no guarantee it would make as much sense as using the hardware from whatever company they would be partnering with. Regardless, that's no reason to buy an Apple TV now.
I mean my computer is perfectly capable of being an IPTV box too, but that's not going to happen either.

Microsoft is trying to make Windows the IPTV 'box' with Vista + Media Center.


I have to also disagree about them not pre-announcing stuff. They did for the Apple TV itself, and even more for the iPhone-especially important since they have to partner with someone for that too.

Yet the content deals have not been pre-announced before availability.

Also, re-read my posts, and realize I didn't say these were reasons for buying the Apple TV, and once again I point out they are speculation about where I think Apple is trying to go.

Don't read more into my posts than is already there. ;)

Right now, the only reason why I am buying one is it is a reasonable way to get my SD content ripped from DVDs to the TV, so I can put the DVDs away, and make room for my slowly growing HD disc collection (which I have refused to pay more than 20$ a disc for, so I usually wind up waiting for the sales/price cuts on certain discs I want). I have tried other solutions, and half of them aren't nearly as useful. Sure, I lose 5.1 right now, but that is a low priority on TV shows.

patrick0brien
Mar 22, 2007, 11:19 AM
I have to also disagree about them not pre-announcing stuff. They did for the Apple TV itself, and even more for the iPhone-especially important since they have to partner with someone for that too.

-Wolfpup

And these examples are a huge exception to Apple's rules. One of the reasons why they made so much news.

Can anyone think of another time Apple made a preannouncement?

/off topic
I see you worked for KPMG consulting ... I'm with bearingpoint now ;-) I've heard some stories on how wild it was back then.

Oh, yeah, lived through the transition period from LLP through becoming Inc and the IPO, then capped it off with the collapse of Andersen - why is that interesting? I was based in Chicago. Funky funky times...

Wolfpup
Mar 22, 2007, 11:49 AM
Microsoft is trying to make Windows the IPTV 'box' with Vista + Media Center.

No they aren't. At least not to my knowledge. They make a DVR solution-by all accounts one of the better ones out there (certainly compared to cable company boxes).

[quote]Right now, the only reason why I am buying one is it is a reasonable way to get my SD content ripped from DVDs to the TV, so I can put the DVDs away, and make room for my slowly growing HD disc collection (which I have refused to pay more than 20$ a disc for, so I usually wind up waiting for the sales/price cuts on certain discs I want). I have tried other solutions, and half of them aren't nearly as useful. Sure, I lose 5.1 right now, but that is a low priority on TV shows.

But why but an Apple TV at all? I mean it sounds like you're spending $300 and going through the pain of ripping, just so you can swap movies or shows without physically getting up?

I don't see that a very big market...

-Wolfpup

And these examples are a huge exception to Apple's rules. One of the reasons why they made so much news.

Yes, but they were for the two most recent products, and an IPTV tie in would also pretty much have to be pre-announced if for no other reason than their partner would need it to be pre-announced.

patrick0brien
Mar 22, 2007, 12:02 PM
Yes, but they were for the two most recent products, and an IPTV tie in would also pretty much have to be pre-announced if for no other reason than their partner would need it to be pre-announced.

-Wolfpup

I think you're on to something there...

nkadlac
Mar 22, 2007, 12:49 PM
If I burn a DVD through Roxio Popcorn, is there a format that I can save it as so that I can import it into iTunes and play through :apple: TV?

motulist
Mar 22, 2007, 02:18 PM
Not supporting 480i was a poor choice

480i is supported.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=289796

ankushpatel
Mar 22, 2007, 02:30 PM
is it really supported?

Wolfpup
Mar 22, 2007, 02:33 PM
It would pretty much have to be, if they're supporting component...

but that again makes you wonder why composite and s-video aren't supported. But then the target market for AppleTV seems to be people who throw away money, and thus probably have all of their TVs converted to HD models already...

Diode
Mar 22, 2007, 03:20 PM
It would pretty much have to be, if they're supporting component...

but that again makes you wonder why composite and s-video aren't supported. But then the target market for AppleTV seems to be people who throw away money, and thus probably have all of their TVs converted to HD models already...

With Large Plasma's/LCD tvs aproaching the 1k mark and bellow its only a matter of time before everyone jumps the gun to HD. Apple likes being ahead of the curve (USB - iMac) so the decesion to only support HDTV is just apple being Apple.

mrgreen4242
Mar 22, 2007, 03:34 PM
-/dev/toaster

Apple is just looking ahead - they've always done this. Never afraid to toss serial, floppies, AAUI, OS 9 out the window in favor of the next step - even if it's Somewhat painful.

It's less than two years before the death of 480i, it'll be here before you know it. You may not be in the market now, but that may change.

480i has a LOT longer than 2 years before it's gone. 480i TVs are still being sold, in fairly large numbers, right now. It'll be closer to 10 years before the last 480i TV is out of service.

The AppleTV MIGHT succeed, but nothing like iPod success. EVERYONE has an iPod now, the ATV isn't going to be like that. The only thing, imo, that will keep the ATV from becoming just a small, niche product is if Apple starts selling HD movies and TV shows, complete with 5.1 sound, from the iTMS. If the selection is good and the price is right they have a chance to compete with HDDVD and BR, as well as with the relatively costly HD DVRs.

Diode
Mar 22, 2007, 03:36 PM
480i has a LOT longer than 2 years before it's gone. 480i TVs are still being sold, in fairly large numbers, right now. It'll be closer to 10 years before the last 480i TV is out of service.

The AppleTV MIGHT succeed, but nothing like iPod success. EVERYONE has an iPod now, the ATV isn't going to be like that. The only thing, imo, that will keep the ATV from becoming just a small, niche product is if Apple starts selling HD movies and TV shows, complete with 5.1 sound, from the iTMS. If the selection is good and the price is right they have a chance to compete with HDDVD and BR, as well as with the relatively costly HD DVRs.

I stand corrected ... seems it doesn't support 480i. Sorry for the confusion

patrick0brien
Mar 23, 2007, 04:50 PM
-Gents

Got it! Dropped right in. And yes, the startup movie is really cool. Wish I could play it again.

Looks like it's exactly what it says it is. The hardware drive 480i all the way up through 720p to 1080p - which is what I'm running.

We'll all see the pundits barking about stuff like "the picture looks terrible" or such.

It's the content. Same thing happens when we buy HDTV's and hook them to 480i signals.

This thing is sweeeet - surprisingly heavy too! Got a lot to learn about it - one such thing is the rumor it streams DVD's.

Looking forward to Apple releasing the USB port for HD expansion...

clevin
Mar 23, 2007, 05:06 PM
my iTunes library is filled with music, no videos, My videos are all DivX/Xvid, etc. I hooked my Mini to HDTV, I can watch my videos easily from there.

Right now, I don't feel ATV is attractive, nor useful for me. But if it's price drop to <$100, would be different.

zap2
Mar 23, 2007, 06:48 PM
my iTunes library is filled with music, no videos, My videos are all DivX/Xvid, etc. I hooked my Mini to HDTV, I can watch my videos easily from there.

Right now, I don't feel ATV is attractive, nor useful for me. But if it's price drop to <$100, would be different.

If it wouldn't be able to stream your video, why would a different price point matter? Its it was going to be useful, wouldn't you buy it? It being 99 might be nice, but not needed.


Also a 99 dollar price won't be here for a long time...its has a full GPU, 1GHz intel chip, harddrive ect. Basicly its a full computer

motulist
Mar 23, 2007, 07:57 PM
Apple TV works with regular old standard def 4:3 TVs.
Check out item #2 on this site:

http://www.rogueamoeba.com/utm/posts/Article/appleTV-2007-03-22-21-30

p.s. I've already posted this on a couple of other threads because a lot of threads have been discussing the lack of standard def support.

patrick0brien
Mar 23, 2007, 09:49 PM
If it wouldn't be able to stream your video, why would a different price point matter? Its it was going to be useful, wouldn't you buy it? It being 99 might be nice, but not needed.


Also a 99 dollar price won't be here for a long time...its has a full GPU, 1GHz intel chip, harddrive ect. Basicly its a full computer

-zap2

Well, I'd say it's a bit more like a thin client. It doesn't have a traditional logic board in a computational sense. It's more specialized - like a console gaming platform.

After spending a few hours with it, the video functions are fast as crap, and I'm having it drive at 1080i - even though there's no 1080i content available aside from the pictures and screen saver functions.

A few observations, it remembers where you left off in the videos - whether watched in the iPod, or in the iTunes library, neato.

And it runs a little hot. I figured out a contributor to it's weight (heavier than it appears), is that it's actually metal. So you don't want anything within a few inches of it. Made the mistake of putting the Mini on top of it for a while, overheated both.

I used to drive the TV with my Mini, but it seemed to leave a ribbon of black around the display, and it is Core Solo so it skipped a bit on playback.

More observations later...