PDA

View Full Version : Apple TV... Why is there a HDD?




Clive At Five
Mar 19, 2007, 11:31 AM
There has been talk about :apple:TV competing against NetFlix and TiVo... niether of which is remotely similar to :apple:TV. The one I want to weigh in on is TiVo:

Now I highly doubt that AppleTV will be released with DVR capabilities but there has to be a reason they put a HDD in there. I mean, if you can stream with 802.11n, there's no reason to store anything onboard.

Apple may or may not someday give it the opportunity to become a DVR, but all it *should* need is a Firmware update to make it possible. You can almost gaurantee, however, that someone will hack the unit, teach it to run linux, and write some DVR software for it. I mean, look at what they can do with the iPod and the PSP. Lots of crazy stuff. (How much content can you store on 40GB, though?)

So I think AppleTV will someday have DVR capabilities... the only question is whether they will be Apple-endorsed.

Anyone care to weigh in on this?

-Clive



MacAnkka
Mar 19, 2007, 11:49 AM
AppleTV has no video/audio inputs, so I doubt we will see a DVR-capable AppleTV without a major change in the hardware.

And ofcourse there is use for the hard drive. What if you don't want to start up your mac to watch a movie/listen to music? You could have your music collection and most watched/latest movies or TV-shows automatically transferred to the AppleTV.

Yvan256
Mar 19, 2007, 12:16 PM
I mean, if you can stream with 802.11n, there's no reason to store anything onboard.

The AppleTV can stream via 802.11n but that doesn't mean your Mac or PC can. You do have to remember that the AppleTV supports Wi-Fi 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n and 10/100BASE-T Ethernet network. I'm pretty sure 802.11b and 10BASE-T Ethernet aren't fast enough for real-time streaming. Even 802.11g will choke, depending on the bitrate. And as MacAnkka said, the hard drive is also there so you don't have to keep your computer running to watch content, you only have to sync it to your AppleTV, the same thing as syncing your iPod when you want to listen to music when you're not close to your computer.

So I think AppleTV will someday have DVR capabilities... the only question is whether they will be Apple-endorsed.

You can throw all the firmware and software updates you want on the AppleTV, it doesn't have any inputs to record anything. You'll still need something from Elgato or Miglia connected to your Mac to have a DVR setup (or an equivalent product to your PC).

ChrisA
Mar 19, 2007, 12:41 PM
... if you can stream with 802.11n, there's no reason to store anything ....

You answered your own question. See where you wrote "if".

"if" is a big word. It means that a PC or Mac running iTunes would have to be powered up AND there would have to be a very fast network in place AND the network would have to be free of other traffic AND the PC or Mac would not be running other applications at the same time that might slow it down. So there is a good chance that content can't be streammed. So Apple put in a small drive to act as a local cache.

About only a firmware change required for recording. No. You still need some way to capture the TV show. Either a tunner for NTSC or ASTC or possably a digitizer for a composite or component video signal or maybe an HDMI input. Either way some hardware is required.

If I cared about this I'd build a MythTV system.
http://www.mythtv.org/docs/mythtv-HOWTO-1.html#ss1.1
http://www.mythtv.org/modules.php?name=MythFeatures

Clive At Five
Mar 19, 2007, 01:11 PM
About only a firmware change required for recording. No. You still need some way to capture the TV show. Either a tunner for NTSC or ASTC or possably a digitizer for a composite or component video signal or maybe an HDMI input. Either way some hardware is required.

Ah yes. I forgot about the lack of input...

But it does have a USB port, which, if correctly modified, could allow the :apple:TV to communicate with an eyeTV, no?

-Clive

fakename
Mar 25, 2007, 10:12 AM
As mentioned before the HD is for storing local content so your iTunes and your computer don't have to be running all the time to use appleTV. This enables me to leave my office computer (apple tv content source) off and still allow my family to enjoy the family-friendly music and programs I've synced to appleTV.

Streaming video isn't always accurate. Playing TV shows locally has been seemless. Streaming TV shows from my Mac has been mixed with problems in the way of video/audio not being in sync.

Streaming the audio has been fine.