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MacRumors
Mar 20, 2007, 11:59 PM
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Walt Mossberg writes (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117443716237743525.html) in the Wall Street Journal a first review of the just-shipping Apple TV.

Apple TV is tiny, just about eight inches square and an inch high, far smaller than a typical DVD player or cable or satellite box, even though it packs in a 40-gigabyte hard disk, an Intel processor and a modified version of the Mac operating system.

Mossberg had 10 days with the Apple TV and notes that while it has some notable limitations, "it worked great, and we can easily recommend it for people who are yearning for a simple way to show on their big TVs all that stuff trapped on their computers."

His testing involved "standard" Wi-Fi connecting to three Windows machines and three Apple Macs. Even with "standard" (g) Wi-Fi, they experienced no buffering/stuttering on streaming content. The main limitation was felt to be the inability to stream much content from the internet. According to Mossberg, beyond streaming movie trailers, the Apple TV can also preview short clips of songs, TV shows and movies directly from the iTunes Store. Despite this "preview" capability, the Apple TV can not (yet?) purchase this content through Apple TV.

The Apple TV can be set to automatically synchronize with a designated computer, mirroring content onto the 40GB Apple TV hard drive. Meanwhile, up to five additional computers can be used as streaming sources for the Apple TV.

Other limitations include the inability to adjust volume from Apple's simple remote, and only support for televisions capable of taking Component or HDMI inputs. Mossberg also addresses one question on the minds of some customers: despite having a USB port, it can not be used to add additional external hard drives to expand storage.

In the end, he describes it as a "very well-designed product that easily brings the computer and the TV together".



Jon'sLightBulbs
Mar 21, 2007, 12:02 AM
Wow. Talk about minimizing huge limitations.

Basically limited to watching itunes content. Can you imagine how neat this machine would have been had they implemented Slingbox functionality?

laidbackliam
Mar 21, 2007, 12:02 AM
thats awesome.

i'd like an apple tv, yet lack both finances and the tv

Grimace
Mar 21, 2007, 12:02 AM
it's going to need a lot of good reviews to get beyond the lack of 1080p support and streaming of only iTMS material....

Pants Dragon
Mar 21, 2007, 12:02 AM
I love how the main criticism of a device made for people with nice TVs is that it only works with nice TVs. :p

savar
Mar 21, 2007, 12:03 AM
Good to hear a favorable review. I can't wait to see what people here think about it.

I was assuming this would be of no interest to me since I have a G network at home, but if it can buffer adequately maybe this will replace the old G4 I have in the living room!

mlochm
Mar 21, 2007, 12:07 AM
2nd or 3rd revision and this thing might have the features to bring the computer to the living room. The current offering won't cut it, imo.

iMikeT
Mar 21, 2007, 12:07 AM
I wonder what all the anti-:apple:tv people are going to say.

mjonson
Mar 21, 2007, 12:10 AM
i would have loved to have seen slingbox like functionality :( oh well.

pip11
Mar 21, 2007, 12:11 AM
Walt Mossbert writes in the Wall Street Journal a first review of the just-shipping Apple TV.

;)

Mossbert! That's hilarious! There are always old-looking guys with beards in Dilbert, and I just realized that they're inspired by the biggest 'Bert of them all.

darwen
Mar 21, 2007, 12:13 AM
I wonder what all the anti-:apple:tv people are going to say.

why wonder? they are already talking....

garzaroger
Mar 21, 2007, 12:13 AM
Wow. Talk about minimizing huge limitations.

Basically limited to watching itunes content. Can you imagine how neat this machine would have been had they implemented Slingbox functionality?

What¡¡¡ can´t adjust the volume????
So what´s the point of a minimalist sexy remote if you still need you ugly TV remote on the other hand???

gonnabuyamac
Mar 21, 2007, 12:18 AM
the :apple: tv seems like a good idea, i'm just not fully convinced that it's worth it yet. i'd have to buy a new t.v., which is no big deal, i'm just trying to convince my wife. but, if i get a new HDTV, i really don't want to watch movies on it that aren't that great in terms of resolution - especially when i could just go out and get dvd's for the same price with better picture quality.

i think that after a few revisions and improvements to movie quality, upping the amount of playable content, and possibly adding features like being able view other desktop items (say Keynote presentations?), i would be all for buying one.

nagromme
Mar 21, 2007, 12:19 AM
It's a great product for a LIMITED audience.

That's not slamming it in any way: 30" displays aren't for everyone either! AppleTV is not for me, or for most people, but it's a great option for a small group. I'm sure it will sell enough to pay for it's own R&D, but I don't expect it to have big success at first.

I would guess that AppleTV, in its current form, is intended as a small but vital strategic step, rather than as an immediate top-seller with broad appeal. Where the rest of the steps may lead, only Apple knows for sure!

High-def content on iTunes, video rental options on iTunes, and a MUCH broader selection of iTunes content (rivaling even Netflix?), could one day make AppleTV a much more appealing product. Those changes won't happen overnight.

Or Apple could add entirely new functions--like DVR and games and better support for other video formats--but it really seems like AppleTV is meant to be about iTunes purchases. So I see it as a gesture to the industry and to content owners--a gesture Apple must make in order to keep moving forward toward something better. (Remember, iTunes for music started out small too.)

Meanwhile, if you're one of the few who finds $299 of value in what AppleTV does NOW, then more power to you :)

twoodcc
Mar 21, 2007, 12:20 AM
not a bad review. clearly 1080p would be better....but it's a start i guess

tdwlehman
Mar 21, 2007, 12:21 AM
it's going to need a lot of good reviews to get beyond the lack of 1080p support and streaming of only iTMS material....

Is that really the case? I was under the impression that any media in your iTunes library could be streamed, regardless of whether it was purchased from iTMS or not. I have ripped many television shows from DVDs and added them to my iTunes library; if I can't access those, then I have very little reason to purchase an AppleTV and will continue to use an s-video cable hooked to my laptop to view content on my TV.

neven
Mar 21, 2007, 12:24 AM
To address a minor, if important, point:

"no High-def content on iTunes..."

Sure there is. Plenty. Guess what it is? Video podcasts. Price? Free.

Just like audio podcasts are a great way to add plenty of cheap, versatile content to your iTunes and iPod, I predict that video podcasts will be big. I know people who have separate "podcast iPods" just for those.

Here's an idea for the future: for-pay video podcasts of TV shows, so you don't have to go and download each episode (or wait for the whole season).

neven
Mar 21, 2007, 12:26 AM
I was under the impression that any media in your iTunes library could be streamed, regardless of whether it was purchased from iTMS or not.

Any videos in the iTunes library will play, provided that they are encoded in a way standard QT (i.e. without plugins) can decode. Apple's official line is, AppleTV will play anything a video iPod will. This includes properly encoded videos from any source. As long as your videos aren't referenced DivX or something like that, you're good.

tk421
Mar 21, 2007, 12:28 AM
According to Mossberg, beyond streaming movie trailers, the Apple TV can also preview short clips of songs, TV shows and movies directly from the iTunes Store. Despite this "preview" capability, the Apple TV can not (yet?) purchase this content through Apple TV.

That's the first I've heard of that. Hope this is a sign of things to come. It would be great to make purchases right from the Apple TV. That would seem ideal for rentals, but will Apple ever allow that?

benbow
Mar 21, 2007, 12:29 AM
Soon the fog of uncertainty will lift and Mac Rumors postings will reveal the limits of Apple TV.

If there is OSX embedded inside as Mossberg claims then we should be able to run non iTunes programs including games. Plug in a USB mouse and keyboard or some still secret wireless remote that provides user control.

Just wondering?

neven
Mar 21, 2007, 12:35 AM
Other limitations include the inability to adjust volume from Apple's simple remote

Can somebody paste the relevant paragraph from the original article? I find this hard to believe. The remote has volume up/down buttons. Why wouldn't this work?

simX
Mar 21, 2007, 12:35 AM
What¡¡¡ can´t adjust the volume????
So what´s the point of a minimalist sexy remote if you still need you ugly TV remote on the other hand???

This isn't exactly surprising, as there's probably no standard way to change the TV volume via some input cable, and doing it directly via the remote would mean you would have to program your Apple remote like you would do a universal remote -- i.e.: a pain in the butt.

skellener
Mar 21, 2007, 12:39 AM
AppleTV will NEVER have DVR functionality. Get over it. It is what it is. Sure they may introduce new features as the device matures, but recording television will NEVER be one of them. Apple wants to be your source of content. They want to kill cable and satellite and DVD. Downloading content from iTunes is their business model. Period.

IJ Reilly
Mar 21, 2007, 12:43 AM
This isn't exactly surprising, as there's probably no standard way to change the TV volume via some input cable, and doing it directly via the remote would mean you would have to program your Apple remote like you would do a universal remote -- i.e.: a pain in the butt.

No, but the output from the Apple TV could be adjusted. But Apple apparently elected to go with line-out audio, just like a DVD player, VCR, etc. Nobody expects their DVD player to have a separate volume control. Why should the Apple TV have one?

arn
Mar 21, 2007, 12:43 AM
Can somebody paste the relevant paragraph from the original article? I find this hard to believe. The remote has volume up/down buttons. Why wouldn't this work?


"Also, the tiny, simple Apple remote control can't control the volume on either Apple TV or your TV set or audio receiver, so you have to keep reaching for the TV or audio receiver remote."

This is not a big deal for home-theatre folk. Those people will program their Apple remote into their universal remote and throw the Apple remote away. :)

arn

poppe
Mar 21, 2007, 12:45 AM
Can somebody paste the relevant paragraph from the original article? I find this hard to believe. The remote has volume up/down buttons. Why wouldn't this work?

I imagine what he meant was that the remote does have a volume up and down button, but it does not turn the volume on the TV up and down no? Otherwise yeah that would be stupid.

Honestly I still think it's stupid the remote they have. It's great for my MBP and what not but not for a Living room TV area. I still think it'd be better if it came with a better updated remote perhaps a few more buttons so that it could then be turned a universal remote for the TV and :apple:TV...

What would be cool if Apple did:
If they made a rental service upon the buying service on iTunes. And you made a queue like blockbuster, and then at night it downloaded a couple of your top picks or something. Once those were deleted then you got another couple. (it wouldn't have to be downloaded at night, it could be downloaded right at that moment, but also at night while you were asleep)

Multimedia
Mar 21, 2007, 12:48 AM
Talk about a whitewash. :rolleyes: This guy is owned and operated by Apple Inc. :confused: :eek: :apple:

But I can see the niche Apple is going after and for that limited market of early adopters it's definitely a winner. :)

Small White Car
Mar 21, 2007, 12:51 AM
it's going to need a lot of good reviews to get beyond the lack of 1080p support

1080p? For who? It only makes much of a difference if you're buying a TV that's 60" or larger. Ok, so that's already a small segment of the population.

But maybe it would be worthwhile if all those 60+" owners are out there sitting on tons of 1080p video footage. Except there really ISN'T much 1080p footage available anywhere.

Why should this device have a feature that virtually no one will be using anytime soon? That's certainly a feature that can be added later once it has some use for more than a handful of people.

tk421
Mar 21, 2007, 12:52 AM
1080p? For who? It only makes much of a difference if you're buying a TV that's 60" or larger. Ok, so that's already a small segment of the population.

But maybe it would be worthwhile if all those 60+" owners are out there sitting on tons of 1080p video footage. Except there really ISN'T much 1080p footage available anywhere.

Why should this device have a feature that virtually no one will be using anytime soon? That's certainly a feature that can be added later once it has some use for more than a handful of people.

I agree with you. I have an HDTV, and it's just 720p. I think most people still don't even have that, do they?

A future Apple TV will have 1080.

kjs862
Mar 21, 2007, 12:53 AM
I'm almost certain that high deff content will come to the itunes store; it's just a matter of time. Why else would apple make the apple tv only compatible with TV's that have component and HDMI interfaces? (Connectivity that supports high deff)

So the apple tv might not seem like a bargain now, but just wait, once iTunes starts selling high deff content I think that the apple tv will seem more attractive to buyers.

Ken

samh004
Mar 21, 2007, 12:55 AM
A good first review, but I want to wait for some mods, if it's possible, as 40GB while still being a decent size, isn't what I would want at this stage.

Does anyone know if, when playing music through it, it has a visualizer for some extra eye-candy on your HDTV ? That'd be a really cool feature.

garzaroger
Mar 21, 2007, 12:56 AM
No, but the output from the Apple TV could be adjusted. But Apple apparently elected to go with line-out audio, just like a DVD player, VCR, etc. Nobody expects their DVD player to have a separate volume control. Why should the Apple TV have one?
Well, part of the interest is that the Apple TV would be a media hub, including music, podcast, etc. So all this media will unfortunately have different volumes. Besides if the remote has 6 buttons I would expect all of them to work... at least for music. Hope that is fixed in the shipping release.

BobbyDigital
Mar 21, 2007, 01:04 AM
i hope leopard will bring all the extra stuff that the :apple: TV has to front row (like the updated interface). However, I still think a mac mini would be more useful.

Avatar74
Mar 21, 2007, 01:07 AM
Well, part of the interest is that the Apple TV would be a media hub, including music, podcast, etc. So all this media will unfortunately have different volumes. Besides if the remote has 6 buttons I would expect all of them to work... at least for music. Hope that is fixed in the shipping release.

There's only one volume level I touch... my receiver's. Everything going into it is line-level from each respective source. The consequence of this is that I've tried programming a universal remote to do everything but the fact of the matter is that my individual remotes have so many unique functions that no one universal remote can be programmed with all of them... so inevitably I'm using multiple remotes anyway.

If the Apple remote is a standard remote then here's your answer to the multiple remotes...

Program the Apple remote functions into a universal remote that also controls your TV and, if applicable, your receiver.

That's the right way to do it.

But... if you're really antsy, let me just say that I have a very, very strong suspicion that the iPhone will serve as a "universal remote" to AppleTV using CoverFlow via multitouch as your content navigator and possibly some programmable functions.

As for people worried about not having all the functionality they want in Rev 1 of AppleTV, I'd relax... The hardware is quite sufficient and it's largely just a matter of software updates which will come. Based on the hardware specs, I don't think rev 1 of the AppleTV hardware will need to be replaced for some time.

brofski
Mar 21, 2007, 01:08 AM
Yep, give me video rentals and I'll go get an Apple TV right now.... or um, when they're in my store.

LimeiBook86
Mar 21, 2007, 01:09 AM
This is not a big deal for home-theatre folk. Those people will program their Apple remote into their universal remote and throw the Apple remote away. :)

arn

Yeah, it makes sense. I was surprised to find the Apple Remote listed on some Universal Remotes like one of the programmable Logitech ones. I'd like to save one of those remotes from the trash hehe :D

A future Apple TV will have 1080.

A future Apple TV may...but 1080i resolution downloadable content would be another big step to take. Well...unless you're just downloading movie 1080i HD trailers :p, or saving your own 1080i content...wow that would be a big file! :eek:

Steven1621
Mar 21, 2007, 01:14 AM
AppleTV will NEVER have DVR functionality. Get over it. It is what it is. Sure they may introduce new features as the device matures, but recording television will NEVER be one of them. Apple wants to be your source of content. They want to kill cable and satellite and DVD. Downloading content from iTunes is their business model. Period.

Skellener seems right in his assessment. Those wanting a DVR solution should look to El Gato to come out with some product to integrate the capability.

1984
Mar 21, 2007, 01:20 AM
I love how the main criticism of a device made for people with nice TVs is that it only works with nice TVs. :p

The criticism is that it is a low-end device that requires a high-end TV.

1984
Mar 21, 2007, 01:21 AM
AppleTV will NEVER have DVR functionality. Get over it. It is what it is. Sure they may introduce new features as the device matures, but recording television will NEVER be one of them. Apple wants to be your source of content. They want to kill cable and satellite and DVD. Downloading content from iTunes is their business model. Period.

They won't be killing Cable and Satellite then.

virduk
Mar 21, 2007, 01:43 AM
The criticism is that it is a low-end device that requires a high-end TV.

High end? I wouldn't call requiring component or DVI or HDMI highend. Recent perhaps, but not high end.

artpease
Mar 21, 2007, 02:05 AM
All of those whinning about 1080p, where are you going to get your 1080p source; PS3 games, HD-DVD or Blu-ray?

AppleTV has nothing to do with any of those...

DannyBoye
Mar 21, 2007, 02:05 AM
No, but the output from the Apple TV could be adjusted. But Apple apparently elected to go with line-out audio, just like a DVD player, VCR, etc. Nobody expects their DVD player to have a separate volume control. Why should the Apple TV have one?

Well mine does. The fact that people would not "expect" this is INSANE! For $300.00 it had better control my volume. I'm really lost on this product, much hype and little delivery. So what your saying is that for $300.00 you get a lil box that does nothing more than stream content that apple has dubbed streamable and nothing more. Something dosent seem right about this. This man has had this thing for 2 weeks, prior to them shipping directly from japan. Think maybe he had a test unit that was not fully finished?

Multimedia
Mar 21, 2007, 02:06 AM
A future :apple: TV may...but 1080i resolution downloadable content would be another big step to take. Well...unless you're just downloading movie 1080i HD trailers :p, or saving your own 1080i content...wow that would be a big file! :eek:720P might be the right place for this application exactly because of the reasons LimeiBook86 explains. 1080i/p might be overkill. Some producers think 720P is better than 1080i. So it's not an inevitability that AppleTV will EVER be 1080i/p until a lot more and inexpensive bandwidth (fiber to home) is commonplace in most households.

OR

:apple: TV could be 1080P real soon but the downloads would remain 720P and the module would be interpolating all of them up to 1080P as well as your own non-iTunes 1080i files up to 1080P. That would make sense. I might buy that model if I wasn't directly connected to my 40" HDTV already. ;)

sw1tcher
Mar 21, 2007, 02:09 AM
Good to hear a favorable review. I can't wait to see what people here think about it.

I don't think Walt has ever given an Apple product a bad review. He's like an Apple whore.

If he ever wrote anything less than positive about an Apple product, Apple would probaby stop sending him products to review.

redAPPLE
Mar 21, 2007, 02:11 AM
i hope leopard will bring all the extra stuff that the :apple: TV has to front row (like the updated interface). However, I still think a mac mini would be more useful.

so i guess, this is the starting post for the :apple: tv Vs. mac mini discussion on this thread. :D

Evangelion
Mar 21, 2007, 02:13 AM
it's going to need a lot of good reviews to get beyond the lack of 1080p support and streaming of only iTMS material....

While the latter is a real limitation, 1080p is quite marginal problem. Yes, there are 1080p televisions for sale. But overwhelming majority of televisions are NOT 1080p. And if you compare install-base, 1080p is TINY. Maybe next year 1080p will sell as much as 720p, but it will take a LONG time before it will reach the sold number of 720p.

Evangelion
Mar 21, 2007, 02:15 AM
Good to hear a favorable review.

Have we EVER had a review of Apple-product by Mossberg that WASN'T "favorable"?

Manuel Moreno
Mar 21, 2007, 02:20 AM
AppleTV will NEVER have DVR functionality. Get over it. It is what it is. Sure they may introduce new features as the device matures, but recording television will NEVER be one of them. Apple wants to be your source of content. They want to kill cable and satellite and DVD. Downloading content from iTunes is their business model. Period.

And this sucks. they should give free this box for play their content on my tv. m:apple: ·nop·o·ly

Poff
Mar 21, 2007, 02:21 AM
I love how the main criticism of a device made for people with nice TVs is that it only works with nice TVs. :p

I guess it's because there's no reason it shouldn't work with other TVs.. :)
And how do you know it's made for people with nice TVs? Because :apple: uses nice TVs in their ads?

jamesfabin
Mar 21, 2007, 02:25 AM
I'll be buying at least one, even though it won't support any of my TVs full resolution. I see it as a great way to control my iTunes library (Videos, Vodcast, Music) from my other rooms. It's only $299 - so even if it just turns into a toy for gatherings it'll be worth it.

I must say though, I'm shocked at home many people complain that they would need to update their TVs. I can see people having the old 1080i TVs, but having a TV that doesn't accept the old component hook-ups, come on people! If you can't afford a decent modern TV, you don't need to be dreaming of owning an Apple TV, you need to be taking night classes to increase your skillset and increasing your income with a better paying job. Flipping burgers at the local fast food isn't going to afford you extra toys like the Apple TV. Just my 2 cents - I'm sure many will complain how I don't understand how hard it is to go to college, how all the "good" jobs are taken, etc.

But back to the Apple TV - it's cheap, it looks like it's cool and easy to use, would make a great interface from the computer to your TVs during gatherings or parties at the house. What's not to like? If you want a DVR buy a DVR - don't moan about how expensive a $299 box is that doesn't do all these other things.

James

SunRiser
Mar 21, 2007, 02:30 AM
Can somebody paste the relevant paragraph from the original article? I find this hard to believe. The remote has volume up/down buttons. Why wouldn't this work?

Actually, the Apple Remote does not change the volume of the digital optical audio. This is true with any mac running Front Row or any other video software.

If you connect your mac to analog speakers, the remote will work.

Poff
Mar 21, 2007, 02:34 AM
Or Apple could add entirely new functions--like DVR and games and better support for other video formats--but it really seems like AppleTV is meant to be about iTunes purchases.

Well, games will obviesly come. With 25+ lines of iTunes code related to :apple:TV-games, that's a given. Question is when. And are the games 720p? And will someone pop up the :apple:TV soon and find out if it has any 3d-acceleration, or if it will provide simple TIVO-like games at best..?

Analog Kid
Mar 21, 2007, 02:48 AM
I think Apple made a mistake by showcasing this thing so heavily. I agree with the folks that see it as a niche device to handle very specific things. I'd probably use it for displaying my Aperture library, for example. It'll probably boost the number of people who download TV episodes. It's testing the waters to see if Apple wants to play in this space.

It's not a media center, it's a bridge. It's a fatter airport express.

There's no reason to have 1080p when there's no 1080p content that it can stream. Even if you're looking for forward compatibility, we're a long way from 1080p downloads. A long, long way...

Maybe I'd be interested if I were a TV junkie, but I'm not. Throw in a disk player and maybe I'd look at it as an alternate to to an HD movie player.
Actually, the Apple Remote does not change the volume of the digital optical audio. This is true with any mac running Front Row or any other video software.

If you connect your mac to analog speakers, the remote will work.
Can OS X do this for general audio? One of the frustrating things to me is that the volume keys on my keyboard are useless now that I've gone optical to my amp. I can use the volume slider in iTunes, but that won't adjust my system beep volume or mail chime.

macinfojunkie
Mar 21, 2007, 02:57 AM
it's going to need a lot of good reviews to get beyond the lack of 1080p support and streaming of only iTMS material....

Why? 1080p is after all the highest HD spec and not too widely adopted yet. Most of the people I know who bought a new HDTV in recent years don't have a clue whether their new flat panel TVs are 720p or 1080p. They just know the screen is large and that the picture looks great.

As I see it: the D5 is inferior when compared to a 1Ds Mrk II, but does not mean that the D5 is not a fine camera and perfectly capable of satisfying the needs of most hobbyists. Same goes for the ATV. It is not the most capable media centre device on the market, but it is good enough for the time being. If it evolves at the pace of the iPod, then just imagine where it will be in 5 years time.

nagromme
Mar 21, 2007, 03:05 AM
Well, games will obviesly come. With 25+ lines of iTunes code related to :apple:TV-games, that's a given. Question is when. And are the games 720p? And will someone pop up the :apple:TV soon and find out if it has any 3d-acceleration, or if it will provide simple TIVO-like games at best..?

I don't expect much beyond Bejeweled and the like. Which actually is a market (casual gamers) that is huge, growing, AND not well served by current consoles.

Also, just to throw this out there: someone on another site (no link, sorry) identified the AppleTV strings in iTunes as an exact clone of existing iPod-related strings. So it's possible a "find and replace" was done on those strings without weeding out a couple useless ones. I don't think this is likely--and EA did mention AppleTV games--but it's something to consider. MAYBE games are not coming.

Have we EVER had a review of Apple-product by Mossberg that WASN'T "favorable"?

Yes. He used to be anti-Apple quite often. Now he still gives bad Apple reviews, but they're the minority--he tends to like Apple stuff, as do may of us :) That COULD be because he actually honestly finds value in most Apple products. (Related phenomenon: I've always been facsinated by those who say, in essence, "you say you like Macs, but you're biased--you only say that because you like Macs!" As though good reviews of Apple products can only be valid if they come from people who don't like Apple products?)

Mossberg also gives good reviews to Apple competitors. And his even his generally-positive Apple reviews raise negatives too.

So while Mossberg may "get" Apple's products in a more positive light than some, that doesn't make him one-sided, nor "in Apple's pocket."

I don't think Walt has ever given an Apple product a bad review. He's like an Apple whore.

If he ever wrote anything less than positive about an Apple product, Apple would probaby stop sending him products to review.

Mossberg does criticize Apple products. Apple sends products to him anyway--and to others who are far more critical. Big media outlets like the WSJ get those kinds of privileges :)

Xeem
Mar 21, 2007, 03:29 AM
I must say though, I'm shocked at home many people complain that they would need to update their TVs. I can see people having the old 1080i TVs, but having a TV that doesn't accept the old component hook-ups, come on people! If you can't afford a decent modern TV, you don't need to be dreaming of owning an Apple TV, you need to be taking night classes to increase your skillset and increasing your income with a better paying job.

I'm certainly not suggesting that the :apple: TV should support coaxial output for use with really old televisions, but it should really have an S-Video output.

I do have a 15" LCD EDTV (as well as a 20" ACD) that could be hooked up to the :apple: TV, but my aunt recently gave my family her 50" rear-projection TV made in 2000 because the speakers were broken (the picture quality is great for a projection SDTV, and it works fine with external speakers) and it only has S-Video, comp, and coax inputs. Although my ACD and LCD TV offer a better picture, the sheer size advantage of the 50" TV would make me want to use it with the :apple: TV depending on what I'm watching, and I wouldn't want to have to hunt down and pay for a converter to make it work.

Padriac
Mar 21, 2007, 03:37 AM
A lot of you seem to be quite confused as to the point of the Apple TV. It is NOT a niche product. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Let's come at it from the other end: Apple wants to be your content provider for ALL media. Music, TV shows, Movies. Not a bad goal, and Apple seems poised to be able to do it.

BUT...

People aren't ready to crowd around their computer monitors for TV shows and Movies. People want to watch these things in the living room with their families. Cable companies have a way to get their content to your TV: cable boxes. Apple needs a box that does the same thing.

THEREFORE

Before Apple has any hope of becoming your standard content provider they need to give people a way to watch that content in the living room. This is why the Apple TV exists.

Many of you say you don't see the point of the Apple TV without more content on the ITMS. I say: how do you expect to get more content without the Apple TV?

And the reason you do this instead of a mac mini, even though the mini-route is more fully featured, is $300 in your pocket and increased simplicity.

IscariotJ
Mar 21, 2007, 03:43 AM
Well mine does. The fact that people would not "expect" this is INSANE! For $300.00 it had better control my volume. I'm really lost on this product, much hype and little delivery. So what your saying is that for $300.00 you get a lil box that does nothing more than stream content that apple has dubbed streamable and nothing more. Something dosent seem right about this. This man has had this thing for 2 weeks, prior to them shipping directly from japan. Think maybe he had a test unit that was not fully finished?

Eh? I wouldn't expect the AppleTV to have a seperate volume control anymore then I would expect my DVD/VCR to have one. Does that make me insane? TBH, I wouldn't use it, even if it did.

For the market the AppleTV is aimed at, it sounds ideal. I did briefly consider it, but the lack of PVR pointed me in the direction of a MacMini/EyeTV combo.

JloR
Mar 21, 2007, 04:07 AM
Good review - all I'm wondering now is when Apple will put movies/TV shows on iTMS in Europe (or at least Denmark).

Seems mighty pointless to own an ?TV when you can't buy video material to stream to it.
But as many has said, it's just a very very expensive cable.. The ?TV basically does the same thing as a cable connected from your TV to your mac. I'd have to watch the power consumption on the mac mini compared to the ?TV before deciding on which product to buy.

Poff
Mar 21, 2007, 04:19 AM
Good review - all I'm wondering now is when Apple will put movies/TV shows on iTMS in Europe (or at least Denmark).

Seems mighty pointless to own an ?TV when you can't buy video material to stream to it..

Because you've got Handbrake (http://handbrake.m0k.org/)

avkills
Mar 21, 2007, 04:37 AM
I'll be buying at least one, even though it won't support any of my TVs full resolution. I see it as a great way to control my iTunes library (Videos, Vodcast, Music) from my other rooms. It's only $299 - so even if it just turns into a toy for gatherings it'll be worth it.

I must say though, I'm shocked at home many people complain that they would need to update their TVs. I can see people having the old 1080i TVs, but having a TV that doesn't accept the old component hook-ups, come on people! If you can't afford a decent modern TV, you don't need to be dreaming of owning an Apple TV, you need to be taking night classes to increase your skillset and increasing your income with a better paying job. Flipping burgers at the local fast food isn't going to afford you extra toys like the Apple TV. Just my 2 cents - I'm sure many will complain how I don't understand how hard it is to go to college, how all the "good" jobs are taken, etc.

But back to the Apple TV - it's cheap, it looks like it's cool and easy to use, would make a great interface from the computer to your TVs during gatherings or parties at the house. What's not to like? If you want a DVR buy a DVR - don't moan about how expensive a $299 box is that doesn't do all these other things.

James

A little snobbish sounding of you. Apple could have included at least a Y/C output which is probably already supported by the underlying hardware.

I'd get one but my TV (yes it is an old ancient Sony Trinitron) does not have the required inputs, and me not owning a modern TV is not from lack of funds. I have a 30" Cinema Display, which is better looking than most HDTVs anyway.

Besides that, 95% of the HDTVs being sold only have a resolution of 1366x768, hardly even close to 1080p. 1080 just gets scaled down. So not supporting 1080p really isn't that big of a deal right now.

I like the device, but Apple was stupid for not putting a Y/C output on it.

-mark

avkills
Mar 21, 2007, 04:40 AM
Obviously the people whining about no volume control don't ever hook stuff up using Toslink cables or other forms of digital signaling. ;)

DVD players act the same. And who the hell controls the volume from playback sources going into a receiver anyway?

-mark

jonharris200
Mar 21, 2007, 04:48 AM
:apple: tv is all about positioning - and what a piece of positioning.

nsbio
Mar 21, 2007, 04:58 AM
Yeah, so far the product target audience is mostly the geeks who get kicks out of the very fact of gadgets working wirelessly. I myself will wait until they come up with the wireless cable :eek: .

But seriously, even if one wants to be a geek, the limiting factor is the lack of content in iTMS: there are almost no movies available, despite all the hype. Whatever titles I searched for were unavailable so I ended up renting the actual DVDs.

A second thing is that the quality of video downloaded from iTMS is enough for regular, standard definition TV, but is not sufficient for HDTV. Sure, I can watch beautiful movie trailers, but that's about it for now.

Anyway, the concept of iTV is good, but it is a transition/revision A product, and at this point the price of iTV (IMO) seems too high for the functionality it delivers. Until then, I will stick with my 30-dollar cable, which, incidentally, allows me to watch anything on the TV screen, including DVDs etc, without tying me to iTunes contents.

Passante
Mar 21, 2007, 05:23 AM
I ordered an :apple:TV instead of buy a Mac Mini. I had planned to use the Mini with an ETV as a DVR and a music server but choose to spend $300 less on Apple TV and do the same. My G4 tower which has plenty of hard drive storage does the recording upstairs in my office and soon will stream recorded TV shows and music to my main TV and audio system. The only downside that I can see is the need to convert EyeTV programs into MPEG 4 or H.264. MPEG 4 does not look as good H.264. But H.264 takes forever to encode at 640 x 480.

matticus008
Mar 21, 2007, 05:45 AM
What¡¡¡ can´t adjust the volume????
So what´s the point of a minimalist sexy remote if you still need you ugly TV remote on the other hand???
Because, as others have alluded, if you have a surround receiver, a universal remote, or have already set the preferred volume on your TV speakers, the Apple remote would be useless. Having two variable volume controls would be unnecessarily redundant.
No, but the output from the Apple TV could be adjusted. But Apple apparently elected to go with line-out audio, just like a DVD player, VCR, etc. Nobody expects their DVD player to have a separate volume control. Why should the Apple TV have one?
Funny you should say that. My DVD players do have separate volume controls (which I of course never use, except for the one that's been reprogrammed to control that TV as well).
The criticism is that it is a low-end device that requires a high-end TV.
I wouldn't call it a low-end device at $299. There are lots of people who will pay more for something that does a few things well rather than buying something cheaper that does a lot of things only acceptably. Sort of like the $30 blenders that have food processor attachments--they don't blend as well as $100 blenders, and they don't do the processing part as well as even $40 food processors. To each his own, though.
A little snobbish sounding of you. Apple could have included at least a Y/C output which is probably already supported by the underlying hardware.
The problem isn't one of connection type--it's one of resolution. If the UI doesn't support analog 640x480 (or 720x480 or the PAL equivalents), then they need to find a way to cut out TVs which would provide suboptimal performance or would refuse to display anything at all. Since it requires a digital TV (or at the very least, one with a DAC attached to the component inputs for digital sources), there's no reason to assume that it degrades its output to analog in any format.

I like the device, but Apple was stupid for not putting a Y/C output on it.
Or they just decided not to waste time supporting analog output given that analog TV will be killed forever in 2009. Sooner or later everyone will have to buy a new TV or an ATSC box with an adapter--there's no need to support a dying market of old technology. Apple has never been one for legacy support; they cut the cord when the market is about to move.

derboy
Mar 21, 2007, 05:47 AM
How long before front row gets the upgrade to the itv interface (2.0)

I'm buying a mac mini for my lcd tv. itv may turn out to be a good product but in its present form it is not.

MarcelV
Mar 21, 2007, 06:08 AM
.....for all those that think 1080p is necessary. Here's some fact finding. :apple:TV is a new way to watch multimedia content. Most media is not in 1080p at all. Only a very tiny share of the market (HD-DVD and BluRay). 1080p is not part of the broadcast standard at all, so (even worldwide) it will not be supported for a long, long time. 720p for movies is great, a big step of from 480p, and can reach mass market fast if Apple would allow downloads in 720p. It is supported by ALL hdtv's in the market place. If you have Bluray or HD-DVD, for most HDTV's it will downgrade it back to 1080i, or 720/768p (NTSC/PAL). This is seperate from the argument that 1080p on TV's smaller than around 52" can't be noticed by alomst anyone. :apple:TV is made to bring iTunes to a large consumer base, 720p and 1080i (contrary to some, 1080i is supported according to Apple) is a perfect positioning. Again, it doesn't need to be niche, it doesn't need to be new, as long as it does the things it does easier and more simple than anything else. (They learned that with the iPod success).

boer
Mar 21, 2007, 06:16 AM
Because you've got Handbrake (http://handbrake.m0k.org/)

Yes. Personally I cannot wait to spend a month ripping a shelf-full of DVDs just to be able to stream the content wirelessly (as opposed to the serious trouble of moving the disc around in my hand) with STEREO AUDIO and NO SUBTITLES. How's that for an option? :eek:

AidenShaw
Mar 21, 2007, 06:19 AM
...1080p is quite marginal problem. Yes, there are 1080p televisions for sale. But overwhelming majority of televisions are NOT 1080p. And if you compare install-base, 1080p is TINY. Maybe next year 1080p will sell as much as 720p, but it will take a LONG time before it will reach the sold number of 720p.
So, the best that you can say is that the iTV won't be obsolete until next year?

I think a lot of people are disappointed that Apple is releasing a new product line, and the first instance is clearly short of state of the art. They expect Apple to lead, not follow. (There are 1080 media center extenders on the market already.)

ppc_michael
Mar 21, 2007, 06:43 AM
I give it two months before someone puts Linux on that thing. :p

spicyapple
Mar 21, 2007, 06:44 AM
Yes. Personally I cannot wait to spend a month ripping a shelf-full of DVDs just to be able to stream the content wirelessly (as opposed to the serious trouble of moving the disc around in my hand) with STEREO AUDIO and NO SUBTITLES. How's that for an option? :eek:

I never understand people who want to Handbrake their DVDs, let alone their entire DVD collection. I love movies enough to give them my undivided attention for two hours, enjoying them in front of large TV and surround sound, and for that, Handbraking seems totally unnecessary.

How about watching movies on iPod or laptop? No thanks. I have better ways to entertain myself than watching a movie while on the road.

Evangelion
Mar 21, 2007, 06:44 AM
Yes. He used to be anti-Apple quite often.

Could you link to one of his negative reviews?

FleurDuMal
Mar 21, 2007, 06:46 AM
Wish I had an excuse to buy one, but as I only live in one room, and that room is tiny, the 24" iMac makes for more sense for me as a media centre (or a Mac Pro when/if it gets Front Row). But given the option, I can't help but think I'd just fork out the extra £100 quid for a Mini and have all the extra functionality instead :confused:

SPUY767
Mar 21, 2007, 06:46 AM
it's going to need a lot of good reviews to get beyond the lack of 1080p support and streaming of only iTMS material....

Over 80% of Plasma televisions sold lack the ability to run native 1080i content, and this trend will continue as the prices for 1080i plasmas and LCD's far outpace those which only support 720p, with a few notable exceptions, i.e. the Hitachi Ultravision series. The difference between 720p and 1080i/p is not terribly noticable, I have a 1080p Pioneer Unit, and both resolutions look phenomenal.

Regardless, I don't really understand the limitations placed on the AppleTV, as Apple would make much more money selling Hardware than content and the state the box is in right now seems to be more designed to push the purchase of iTunes content. Although, I don't think it only streams iTMS content, maybe live streaming, but it will read any media that can be catalogued in iTunes, of course, if you use custom QT components to play file formats like OGG and FLAC, you're out of luck as the AppleTV only has the standard fair of codecs.

SPUY767
Mar 21, 2007, 06:48 AM
Wish I had an excuse to buy one, but as I only live in one room, and that room is tiny, the 24" iMac makes for more sense for me as a media centre (or a Mac Pro when/if it gets Front Row). But given the option, I can't help but think I'd just fork out the extra £100 quid for a Mini and have all the extra functionality instead :confused:

I use my MacPro with frontrow software that I downloaded, I guess illegally. I think apple will cut me some slack as ai dropped 4 G's on a computer. I run it through the aforementioned plasma using DVD and the MacPro's D/O out into my Surround sound system. One of my favorite things that I did, was to encode all of the DTS CD's that I own into Apple Lossless and play them through the surround unit.

buckjohnbuck@ya
Mar 21, 2007, 06:51 AM
All of those whinning about 1080p, where are you going to get your 1080p source; PS3 games, HD-DVD or Blu-ray?

AppleTV has nothing to do with any of those...

apart from
"Apple is pleased to join the Blu-ray Disc Association board as part of our efforts to drive consumer adoption of HD," said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. "Consumers are already creating stunning HD content with Apple’s leading video editing applications like iMovie HD and are anxiously awaiting a way to burn their own high def DVDs.
(http://www.macworld.com/news/2005/03/10/bluray/index.php)
or
Apple is committed to both emerging high definition DVD standards—Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD. Apple is an active member of the DVD Forum which developed the HD DVD standard, and last month joined the Board of Directors of the Blu-ray Disc Association
(http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2005/apr/17hd.html)

boer
Mar 21, 2007, 06:53 AM
They expect Apple to lead, not follow. (There are 1080 media center extenders on the market already.)

You mean like they lead the mobile revolution by incorporating their mobile phone with a previous generation radio? IPhone will not sell outside US and other 3rd world mobile network countries for this reason.

Apple is putting a lot of faith to their capability of spinning major successes out of less than leading egde technologies. Let us hope they will not fail.

That said, I still do not believe Apple TV is lacking anything without 1080p support. Internet forums are crowded with people who have eaten the full-hd-is-the-only-hd-pill but that does not change the reality that very few customers have access to such content in near future. And it is not like these devices have a life expectancy any longer than three years anyway.

FleurDuMal
Mar 21, 2007, 06:57 AM
I use my MacPro with frontrow software that I downloaded, I guess illegally. I think apple will cut me some slack as ai dropped 4 G's on a computer. I run it through the aforementioned plasma using DVD and the MacPro's D/O out into my Surround sound system. One of my favorite things that I did, was to encode all of the DTS CD's that I own into Apple Lossless and play them through the surround unit.

Well, I think Front Row 2.0 will be coming as standard on all Mac's, so I'm gonna wait to see if that comes true. Still, Front Rows no fun to me without a remote. I do have a Macbook which I wanted to use as a pseudo-media centre, but getting home at night, plugging the external monitor into it, as well as my speakers and external hard drive is just too much of a hassle.

I assume you've found no way of getting surround sound from ripped movies though?

Evangelion
Mar 21, 2007, 06:59 AM
So, the best that you can say is that the iTV won't be obsolete until next year?

it wont be obsolete even then. 720p will be relevant for years to come. MAYBE next year 1080p might match the sales of 720p, but even then, the installed-base of 720p will be HUGE when compared to 1080p. Just because some newer tech manages to match sales of the older tech, does NOT mean that the older tech is suddenly "obsolete".

Supporting 1080p would cost them more, and the benefits would be marginal at best. Yes, the benefits would be quite substantial to those with 1080p-capable gear. But the problem is that those people are a miniscule minority when compared to those who have 720p-capable gear.

Hell, DVD is not even 720p, then surely by your logic DVD is already "obsolete"? Only problem is that... it's not. It's in fact doing better than ever before.

I think a lot of people are disappointed that Apple is releasing a new product line, and the first instance is clearly short of state of the art.

There's more to "state of the art" than some specs that are irrelevant to majority of consumers.

They expect Apple to lead, not follow.

Apple has always been about ease of use and design. Technical specs have been a secondary issue to them.

displaced
Mar 21, 2007, 07:00 AM
Yes. Personally I cannot wait to spend a month ripping a shelf-full of DVDs just to be able to stream the content wirelessly (as opposed to the serious trouble of moving the disc around in my hand) with STEREO AUDIO and NO SUBTITLES. How's that for an option? :eek:

Yep -- that's the killer for me too...

In fact, ripping the DVDs isn't too much of a problem for me. It's a hassle certainly, but I'd get through it eventually. The deal-breaker is that the resulting file is not functionally equivalent to the source. No 5.1/6.1 Dolby Digital/DTS audio. No subtitles. No menus. No bonus features. Even though the interactivity of the DVD standard is limited, sometimes it's really nicely implemented (multiple angles, etc.) - I'd lose that too.

I think I'll stick to using my Mac Mini, outputting at my HDTV's native resolution and with Front Row. Sure, I might have to walk a few metres to retrieve and insert DVDs, but I'll live with that.

However... what's a guy got to do to make Apple add VIDEO_TS or DVD ISO support to Front Row? Who do I need to bribe/stalk/hug to make this happen? Seriously. Although I might pass if it turns out to be Bertrand Serlet (http://www.apple.com/pr/photos/execs/serletphotos.html) I'd have to hug. He weirds me out a little bit. Schiller I'd probably high-five.

MobyIck
Mar 21, 2007, 07:00 AM
720P 1080P

Who cares.

What I want to know....

Is there a way to play dolby 5.1 encoded into the video files. I'd love to rip all my dvds but whats the point if we can only have the audio dumbed down to stereo.

The lack of a volume button is a non issue. I feel for all you gear-heads that have a dvd player, vhs, tivo etc and havent yet purchased a universal remote. I've used a harmony for two years and NEVER pick up anything but. It drives my apple remote, xbox-hd ETC. If you haven't gotten one, they work great with the mac....

outlyer
Mar 21, 2007, 07:07 AM
People seem particularly fixated on the $299.99 price point, but that's about average for a product in this category. Netgear just released a similar product; it supports more codecs - though not well according to AVSForum. It also has no hard drive, only does 802.11g and has a pretty nasty looking UI. It is priced higher than the AppleTV unit.

If you don't want HD or modern codec support, you might be able to save $50.00-$100.00, but I think this is pretty much where the price point is right now.

Chupa Chupa
Mar 21, 2007, 07:09 AM
I'm somewhat of an admitted Apple fanboy, owning almost one of every piece of hardware Apple has come out at some point (I think Xserve might be the exception -- that would truly be overkill :D ) but AppleTV really doesn't interest me - as-is today and here is why:

iTunes movies are too expensive for what they are. If they were high res, I'd be more interested, or if you could rent std res on demand I'd go for that too.

Even though you can stream anything iTunes will play to AppleTV why would anyone rip a DVD just to stream to AppleTV? I've got a lot of Vodcasts on my iTunes, but I'm perfectly happy watching them on my Mac. Most are only 5-15 min long anyway.

As for 1080p support, that is really putting the horse before the cart. What 1080p content is there other than Blu-Ray and HD-DVD? And if you did spring for a 1080p TV, then certainly you can afford a BRD. Why hassel with AppleTV?

Bottom line is that the AppleTV just isn't all that exciting right now. Maybe there are features in Leopard that will bring it to the next level, and turn it into some sort of slingbox/DVR beast but right now it's just a crippled Airport Express w/ Video.

Avatar74
Mar 21, 2007, 07:09 AM
I like the device, but Apple was stupid for not putting a Y/C output on it.

-mark

So you can do what exactly... connect it to a standard-definition TV only to find out your TV can't display the progressive signal?

Trying to support interlacing introduces myriad problems because of the extended codec support needed. Also, because the datacenters would need to carry interlaced files as well as progressive files or the hardware would have to interlace and re-map the fields on the fly (changing the frame rate of their own content from 24p to 30i)... basically just making AppleTV more expensive so that the shrinking number of displays without Component or HDMI can be supported.

SPUY767
Mar 21, 2007, 07:15 AM
Well, I think Front Row 2.0 will be coming as standard on all Mac's, so I'm gonna wait to see if that comes true. Still, Front Rows no fun to me without a remote. I do have a Macbook which I wanted to use as a pseudo-media centre, but getting home at night, plugging the external monitor into it, as well as my speakers and external hard drive is just too much of a hassle.

I use a Interlink Electroics wireless mouse which I've mapped specific keys to to control frontrow, and I use a long DVI cableto ru to the television. The mac is not physically that far from the TV, it just has to go through a wall to get there. I can use the Mac normally, with front row only chewing up about 3% of the processor cycles on a second display, but when I want to watch movies, i just change the TV input and it works like a champ.

I assume you've found no way of getting surround sound from ripped movies though?

If I rip a movie and put the uncompressed DTS stream as the Audio, when played without a DTS decoder it will sound like static, but when run out of the D/O port, into the surround sound, it comes out perfectly. I don't know if that helps. You can't do that with Handbrake from what i've seen, I have to use Mac The Ripper and Some other App whose name I can't remember because it's too early. Oh, and I had to use VLC for playback when i did that, although, I'm sure that quicktime would do it properly if I just re-encoded the audiotrack to some other lossless format like AIFF.

jk8311
Mar 21, 2007, 07:20 AM
AppleTV will NEVER have DVR functionality. Get over it. It is what it is. Sure they may introduce new features as the device matures, but recording television will NEVER be one of them. Apple wants to be your source of content. They want to kill cable and satellite and DVD. Downloading content from iTunes is their business model. Period.

They won't be killing Cable and Satellite then.

DVR's won't KILL the cable and satellite market. It feeds off the cable and satellite market. What the DVR kills is the current advertising model using standard 30-second commercials. DVR's need the cable and satellite market in order to be of any use. iTunes and YouTube (i.e. the beginnings of Internet TV) won't even kill the cable/satellite market...it simply introduces a disruptive technology that will spur competition.

SPUY767
Mar 21, 2007, 07:22 AM
it simply introduces a disruptive technology that will spur competition.

Did you read The Innovator's Solution, or Dilemma, because the term disruptive technology is used extensively in both.

GregA
Mar 21, 2007, 07:26 AM
I have an HDTV, and it's just 720p. I think most people still don't even have that, do they?Most HDTVs are 768 lines.

I watch off an old tele, so this won't be for me. But my parents will enjoy it. Long story short, my parents get a HDTV installed tomorrow (replacement for old plasma).

It is 768lines - so 720p will be great. But it does that at 50 or 60Hz - not at 24Hz. I checked multiple plasmas and they don't list 720p24 as an option - just 720p50 and 720p60.

Does this have any effect? Will Apple's 720p24 work on most 720p HDTVs??? Or is it a smaller portion?

koobcamuk
Mar 21, 2007, 07:27 AM
How many people have worked out that the iphone will be able to control the :apple: TV right out of the box? Maybe even stream content to the iphone/save to iphone directly. That would be cool. A multitouch remote control. :cool:

e-coli
Mar 21, 2007, 07:47 AM
For the life of me I don't understand this product. I get what it does, but I'm not impressed. A missed opportunity to do somethiing revolutionary.

Simon R.
Mar 21, 2007, 07:49 AM
It can't even play DivX (or MPG1/2 for that matter as far as I know). for crying out loud... If it could stream my DivX movies from my Mac/PC I would get one. For now, it's useless until Apple lets it stream all kinds of files in all resolutions. Can it even stream MP4 in PAL/NTSC or is that limited to 640x480?

sailnavy
Mar 21, 2007, 07:54 AM
I think people are looking at the Apple TV wrong. Apple is putting this little box that has all kinds of potential built in right next to the TV. Its only the beginning. It's OS X based, so it will be easily upgradable. It has Video and Audio connections, a Remote input, and USB Port and can stream from the Mac.

What possibilities does that offer?
-Play DVD's from your Mac through to the TV (I think allowing people to toss their DVD player would be huge, ripping it causes content protection problems, that streaming doesn't).
-Stream Video from iTunes
-Access any copy of iTunes in your house
-Open the door to iTunes on PC's
-Don't have to string cable's to the TV
-Why not pop your laptop screen up on the big screen for some work?
-Why not use the BT Keyboard and BT Mouse with the laptop on the Big Screen?
-Use the Apple TV to put up iPhoto slideshows at parties
-Control and Access all your music from your good home theatre system
-Buy movies from the TV
-Buy TV shows from their TV
-Host a printer
-Host a RAID drive
-Attach a USB Hub

That's just where I'm thinking they're going to go, and I'm not all that creative. Some of those options are supported, none are impossible, or really much of a stretch. Once you buy it, it's all about the software.

GregA
Mar 21, 2007, 07:54 AM
If it could stream my DivX movies from my Mac/PC I would get one.Where do you get your DivX movies from?

* Can you already got what you're looking for in a 480p iPod version?
* If they became available in a 720p AppleTV version would you use it instead of your DivX?

Seriously - is there a reason, for you, to stay using DivX?

arn
Mar 21, 2007, 08:03 AM
Here's a link to the full review

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB117443716237743525-AC8bUe8X978hZmC7A85mAccsld8_20080320.html

Poff
Mar 21, 2007, 08:06 AM
Yes. Personally I cannot wait to spend a month ripping a shelf-full of DVDs just to be able to stream the content wirelessly (as opposed to the serious trouble of moving the disc around in my hand) with STEREO AUDIO and NO SUBTITLES. How's that for an option? :eek:

Don't know about the audio, but at least you can have subtitles.

paulyras
Mar 21, 2007, 08:07 AM
I have no idea about the prospects for an appleTV DVR, but keep in mind that everyone who has appleTV in it's current manifestation must have a computer somewhere in the house. If you want a DVR, plug an eyeTV in to your computer, and have it format for iPod / appleTV. You lose the ability to pause live TV, but for someone who travels all the time for work, all I care about is being able to see best week ever, the soup, and the rest of my (even more embarrassing) addictions when I get home.

I do have two predictions though...

1. Expect to see a lot more QT encoded stuff on TPB and torrentspy

2. As for the appleTV / and the iTunes store, expect to see a la carte CHANNELS on the store. You want MTV's shows? Perhaps $15 per month. All of the Viacom content? Perhaps $30. Broadcast networks, eh, say $10. The ability to DL and view any show any time from a given network would be incredible. Far less than subscriptions for individual shows, but if they can get massive adoption, it will more than make up for it.

The FCC and congress has been threatening the cable industry for years if they didn't make a la carte channels possible. Perhaps apple has visions of leapfrogging the cable industry altogether.

Even better. Remember the rumors about a bittorrent like network for distribution of iTunes content and software updates? Well, there's your potential live channels (important for sports, news, etc...)

A guy can dream...

CoreWeb
Mar 21, 2007, 08:13 AM
You mean like they lead the mobile revolution by incorporating their mobile phone with a previous generation radio? IPhone will not sell outside US and other 3rd world mobile network countries for this reason.

You are assuming, of course, that Apple won't add 3G before shipping to other countries. And did you mean 3rd world, or simply non-US, such as Europe? Because do real 3rd-world countries have much of a cell phone system, yet alone 3G?

I'm not convinced that 3G won't be in the FIRST revision of the iPhone. Apple hasn't said that it won't be, they've simply not said it was.

Now, as for the AppleTV, I agree that the lack of 1080p is not really a problem. Interesting to note, the AppleTV does actually support 1080i as an output resolution, but not only is 720p supposed to look better, Apple doesn't support 1080 anything for video decoding.

spicyapple
Mar 21, 2007, 08:15 AM
<regular consumer>
Nobody seems to be excited by the fact it's only 8 inches square and 1 inch high! This is AppleTV's biggest selling point! That fact it syncs effortlessly with iTunes is gravy.
</regular consumer>

justflie
Mar 21, 2007, 08:18 AM
Hey folks

Head on over to engadget (http://www.engadget.com/2007/03/21/mossberg-reviews-apple-tv-simple-and-elegant/) to see a video review of the ATV from Walt and company, I'm watching it now. See the ATV in action!

pale9
Mar 21, 2007, 08:24 AM
no divx, no avi, no mpg2, no deal. sorry apple, you messed up.

syklee26
Mar 21, 2007, 08:26 AM
technically you can have an external HD to be used for Apple TV but it will require

1. Airport Extreme N

2. movies from the external HD imported to iTunes (not the whole content but the list)


so $179 + $299 = $478.

Apple website has refurbished Mac Mini for $519.

we know what's a better deal here if you want more than 40gb of contents.

pale9
Mar 21, 2007, 08:31 AM
<regular consumer>
Nobody seems to be excited by the fact it's only 8 inches square and 1 inch high! This is AppleTV's biggest selling point! That fact it syncs effortlessly with iTunes is gravy.
</regular consumer>

uh, hello....

size doesn't matter!

;)

sandau
Mar 21, 2007, 08:33 AM
WHAT? it doesn't support 4k ? who cares about 720p and 1080i/1080p, I want 4k!!

the whole 720p/1080i argument is lame. As an HDTV consumer (52" LCD HDTV), 99% of what I watch on my tv is SD (standard definition). It looks like crap.

of the 10-12 HD (1080i) cable channels I get, only 3 or 4 consistently have 1080i HD content, the rest are 720p - which is very nice indeed.

The best picture is from the HD DVD player, which does 1080i and it looks amazing. Even 480p standard DVD's look incredible upscaled to 1080i.

Apple TV at 720p is a non issue, its sure better than 99% of what is available out there through cable or other means.

Apple TV will drive content, so expect 720p from iTunes very soon. That will be fantastic. And it only goes up from there.

And that whole remote thing? WTF are you doing using that remote? If you have a home theater system, you are an idiot if you have more than one remote that controls everything. your argument of 'it doesn't support changing the volume' is pretty significantly stupid. Now, yes, I WOULD buy a universal remote from Apple if they made one, but until then, Harmony does a sack kick to everyone else's.

Chupa Chupa
Mar 21, 2007, 08:40 AM
<regular consumer>
Nobody seems to be excited by the fact it's only 8 inches square and 1 inch high! This is AppleTV's biggest selling point! That fact it syncs effortlessly with iTunes is gravy.
</regular consumer>

No, I think that pretty much says it all. The fact AppleTV's size IS the biggest selling point is why it's hard to get excited about it. I'd rather the AppleTV be the size of a TiVo box, Sling, DVD, etc, and have more functionality, than to be microsized and fairly crippled as-is now. iTunes video content is pretty weak w/ titles, pricing, and resolution.

sycho
Mar 21, 2007, 08:44 AM
The problem isn't one of connection type--it's one of resolution. If the UI doesn't support analog 640x480 (or 720x480 or the PAL equivalents), then they need to find a way to cut out TVs which would provide suboptimal performance or would refuse to display anything at all.



You do know that both 480i and 480P have a 720x480 resolution, right? If 480P is supported on the AppleTV, there is no reason what so ever that 480i can't be supported.

Since it requires a digital TV (or at the very least, one with a DAC attached to the component inputs for digital sources), there's no reason to assume that it degrades its output to analog in any format.

Ummmm, Component video is analog... Why would a set need a Digital to Analog Converter on an analog input?

Hugin777
Mar 21, 2007, 08:54 AM
What I would like to know is how (and if) you connect to protected wireless networks (WEP/WPA)... Is that even possible with the :apple:TV ?

shigzeo
Mar 21, 2007, 08:56 AM
thats awesome.

i'd like an apple tv, yet lack both finances and the tv

something tells me you won't be in for one then... shame

sycho
Mar 21, 2007, 08:57 AM
So you can do what exactly... connect it to a standard-definition TV only to find out your TV can't display the progressive signal?

Trying to support interlacing introduces myriad problems because of the extended codec support needed. Also, because the datacenters would need to carry interlaced files as well as progressive files or the hardware would have to interlace and re-map the fields on the fly (changing the frame rate of their own content from 24p to 30i)... basically just making AppleTV more expensive so that the shrinking number of displays without Component or HDMI can be supported.

Supporting interlaced is not that hard, notice that the AppleTV can output 1080i, which is interlaced. Why would there need to be progressive and interlaced versions of the content? I guess you are unaware how this works, I'll give an example:

DVD's are Interlaced. But they can have a Progressive output. This is done by only encoding the 24frames per second, and then using a repeat field flag. Same with 1080i movie channels, encoding of 24fps, but output of 1080i.
Setting my MacBook Pro to output 1080i works pretty much the same, all HD Trailers come through at 1080i with no loss of resolution, same with low resolution clips, they are scaled to 1080 then piped out the DVI port as interlaced. Quite simple, computers have been doing this for many many years.

Two versions of the content would not be needed for an interlaced output, all content will be either 24fps or 30fps, both of which perfectly convert to either 1080i60 or 480i60.

Diode
Mar 21, 2007, 08:57 AM
technically you can have an external HD to be used for Apple TV but it will require

1. Airport Extreme N

2. movies from the external HD imported to iTunes (not the whole content but the list)


so $179 + $299 = $478.

Apple website has refurbished Mac Mini for $519.

we know what's a better deal here if you want more than 40gb of contents.

If you can watch 40GB of content (where a typical movie is 1~2GB) without leaving your chair then my hats off to you. I for one don't mind setting it up to only have stuff I want to see while leaving the rest on more safe storage (raid 5). You can set it up where the AppleTV only has stuff that you want / haven't seen yet and it will update as you watch things.

Diode
Mar 21, 2007, 08:59 AM
What I would like to know is how (and if) you connect to protected wireless networks (WEP/WPA)... Is that even possible with the :apple:TV ?

I would assume yes but don't know 100%. Their airtunes can so I would think the AppleTV could too.

Bubbasteve
Mar 21, 2007, 09:14 AM
I guess I'm the minority when I say I can't wait to get my hands on an :apple: tv....

1080p would be nice but one 2 hour movie would be about 5GB itself would it not (maybe even more...I'm just guesstimating right now)...

I do like the idea of a subscription based method where I could rent the movies rather than buy them...but I'll take what I can get

boer
Mar 21, 2007, 09:17 AM
You are assuming, of course, that Apple won't add 3G before shipping to other countries. And did you mean 3rd world, or simply non-US, such as Europe? Because do real 3rd-world countries have much of a cell phone system, yet alone 3G?

I am defining US as a "developing country" what comes to mobile networks there. I hope this clears my previous comment up.

What comes to the iPhone, why would I assume Apple to ship things they could have announced if existed? If they had a roadmap to launch iPhone with 3G radio in Europe right from the start, they would have announced it already. There is no point downplaying such an important feature.

hcuar
Mar 21, 2007, 09:19 AM
Apple isn't a company to "give the customer what they want." Apple dictates what they think the customer "will want." I think it's an interesting concept that keeps all the products small/simple/easy to use.

I think the iPod would be far different if they implemented features that groups of people are complaining about. I purchased an :apple: TV because I dropped satellite and plan on purchasing the 4 shows i watched off "pay" channels on the :apple: TV. I now watch my local channels via over the air HD. If i miss a show, i can easily watch it on the :apple: TV.

IMHO this device has the possibility of a new iPod effect where many people don't see where this device can fit, but ends up being a very successful product.

AidenShaw
Mar 21, 2007, 09:22 AM
MAYBE next year 1080p might match the sales of 720p, but even then, the installed-base of 720p will be HUGE when compared to 1080p. Just because some newer tech manages to match sales of the older tech, does NOT mean that the older tech is suddenly "obsolete".

Do you have a black-and-white TV, or did you make the leap to color technology? Did you wait until all content was color before making the switch?

Whether you use the term "obsolete", or "trailing edge", or whatever - Apple missed an opportunity here. Or, they're keeping their hands on your credit card with planned early obsolescence.

If the iTV supported 1080p, that wouldn't mean that it couldn't play 720p as well.

morespce54
Mar 21, 2007, 09:23 AM
Can somebody paste the relevant paragraph from the original article? I find this hard to believe. The remote has volume up/down buttons. Why wouldn't this work?

I guess it's basically for the same reason that I can't set the volume on my TV with the sat remote... I still need two remote (one for volume, one for channels). :( Cheap remote...

AidenShaw
Mar 21, 2007, 09:29 AM
1080p would be nice but one 2 hour movie would be about 5GB itself would it not (maybe even more...I'm just guesstimating right now)...

A typical 480i movie is about 5-7 GB on DVD.

A lot depends on the size of your TV - highly compressed video looks better on a smaller screen (or at a larger distance from a large screen).

If you're happy with VHS quality, you can go to 1 GB/hour or so - but on a big screen you'll see the difference.

MrCrowbar
Mar 21, 2007, 09:31 AM
I guess I'm the minority when I say I can't wait to get my hands on an :apple: tv....

1080p would be nice but one 2 hour movie would be about 5GB itself would it not (maybe even more...I'm just guesstimating right now)...

I do like the idea of a subscription based method where I could rent the movies rather than buy them...but I'll take what I can get

Errr... a 720p movie in decent quality is already 8GB when using H2.64. 1080p is tremendously bigger than that. As a reference, A standard DVD-movie is about 3,5GB, and that's crappy standard definition :-)

notjustjay
Mar 21, 2007, 09:31 AM
Well mine does. The fact that people would not "expect" this is INSANE! For $300.00 it had better control my volume. I'm really lost on this product, much hype and little delivery. So what your saying is that for $300.00 you get a lil box that does nothing more than stream content that apple has dubbed streamable and nothing more. Something dosent seem right about this. This man has had this thing for 2 weeks, prior to them shipping directly from japan. Think maybe he had a test unit that was not fully finished?

I'm only two pages into reading this thread, so maybe it's already been said, but...

NO! For a "high end" type product I expect quality audio and quality video! This means I do NOT want the Apple TV attenuating my audio signal prior to the amplification stage!

Think about it: Your typical DVD player, CD player, Apple TV, whatever, sends a line-level audio signal to your TV or receiver. There is no concept of volume except how much your TV or receiver ends up amplifying this signal. Put another way, the signal going through the audio outputs is the "maximum" signal level. To have a "volume" control built into the Apple TV means it would only be able to turn the line-level signal down... which drops the signal-to-noise ratio. Then your TV or receiver ends up amplifying the weaker signal -- noise and all.

Also, now you have TWO places to change volume: the Apple TV device AND your TV or receiver. Imagine the confusion if your friend turns the volume down on your Apple TV without you knowing, and next thing you know you're turning up the TV volume straining to hear anything, and all you hear is 60 Hz hum noise, and you finally realize what's going on and turn up the volume on the Apple TV and YIKES! It's loud, and ...

No, they did the right thing.

princealfie
Mar 21, 2007, 09:33 AM
apart from
"Apple is pleased to join the Blu-ray Disc Association board as part of our efforts to drive consumer adoption of HD," said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. "Consumers are already creating stunning HD content with Apple’s leading video editing applications like iMovie HD and are anxiously awaiting a way to burn their own high def DVDs.
(http://www.macworld.com/news/2005/03/10/bluray/index.php)
or
Apple is committed to both emerging high definition DVD standards—Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD. Apple is an active member of the DVD Forum which developed the HD DVD standard, and last month joined the Board of Directors of the Blu-ray Disc Association
(http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2005/apr/17hd.html)

That's completely worthless because there aren't any HDCP-compliant Mac graphics cards or displays yet.

brianus
Mar 21, 2007, 09:33 AM
Whether you use the term "obsolete", or "trailing edge", or whatever - Apple missed an opportunity here. Or, they're keeping their hands on your credit card with planned early obsolescence.

Specs-wise, the iPod has fairly consistently been well behind the rest of the mp3 player industry since its inception. There's nothing I can think of off the top of my head that they did first (maybe 'better', but certainly not first). I'm not sure why we'd expect anything different from the Apple TV. It's how they do. As somebody else said, they define what they think the consumer will want. On a related note, then, isn't it long past time to get rid of that "Kentsfield mini tower" thing in your sig? :rolleyes: Not gonna happen.

mahashel
Mar 21, 2007, 09:33 AM
I'm excited to see how this pans out.
I have a 1080i TV, and a TON of H264-encoded video pulled from my DVD library.
However, the rumored lack of multi-channel audio is the real deal-breaker for me. As folks on here start getting their hands on AppleTV, I'd love it if someone could verify/refute this rumor. Seriously, this is pretty much the only feature preventing me from getting one.

CaptainScarlet
Mar 21, 2007, 09:33 AM
clearly 1080p would be better

You all have been brainwashed into thinking you MUST HAVE 1080p to watch anything good on TV. TV is just that...TV...Channels are SO limited at 1080p it not even funny. It's just a marketing ploy to get you to buy the next best thing and trash your old TV. Which could go another 15 years without replacing....

I mean come on people, how defined do you need Debbie doing Dallas, really...

MrCrowbar
Mar 21, 2007, 09:34 AM
I guess it's basically for the same reason that I can't set the volume on my TV with the sat remote... I still need two remote (one for volume, one for channels). :( Cheap remote...

I guess most people buying an AppleTV have a $1000+ TV and a $400+ surround sound system already. You have one giant remote for the sound system anyway, which is good if it sports audio-compression (makes sound levels more even, i.e. reduces dynamics) so you can watch movies late at night without having to make it louder for dialoges and wake up your neighbor in action sequences.

pilotError
Mar 21, 2007, 09:37 AM
I never understand people who want to Handbrake their DVDs, let alone their entire DVD collection. I love movies enough to give them my undivided attention for two hours, enjoying them in front of large TV and surround sound, and for that, Handbraking seems totally unnecessary.


Sorry, late to the discussion :o

I agree somewhat. My only disagreement with this is Kids movies. My kids manage to pretty much kill most DVD's through scratches, unknown sources of goo from their hands, etc.

With an :apple: TV, I rip their DVD's and put them away. They can watch content at will instead of having to find the DVD, clean it (remember the goo?) and get it going. Saves me from having to buy the same DVD over and over (did I mention kids like to watch the same show a billion times?).

I think they are marketing this to the iTunes segment of the market (duh!). They already have broadband (in most cases). They already have the Computer and iTunes. It doesn't matter if you have wireless since the thing already has an ethernet adapter built in. You can get you iTunes library to your stereo if you haven't already done so and not have to plug in your iPod to a special doc. Plus, if you buy more than one, you can stream to multiple TV's throughout the house.

720P output is a non-issue, as most have stated. If your a videophile (is that a real term?) you either have a media PC already or an upconverter if you own a high end 1080P set.

It has a lot of potential, we'll see what Apple Marketing has up their sleeve. It should be simple enough of a product that the general population understands what it does. Go ask the average Joe what a media PC does for you or for that matter, a slingbox. Most folks I know still don't know what a Tivo (or DVR) is. OK, I'm a closet Geek... But these same people do have Flat panel EDTV or HDTV's sitting in their living room.

CaptainScarlet
Mar 21, 2007, 09:46 AM
Do you have a black-and-white TV, or did you make the leap to color technology? Did you wait until all content was color before making the switch?

Thats such an absurd analogy here...Totally different in every way possible...


BW to Color changed EVERYTHING for TV...


720 to 1080 changes NOTHING for TV...

ObsidianIce
Mar 21, 2007, 09:49 AM
you need this (http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/products/detailsharmony/US/EN,CRID=2084,CONTENTID=9933) or the 980 perhaps. It handles everything and you can add all functions since it learns as well.

There's only one volume level I touch... my receiver's. Everything going into it is line-level from each respective source. The consequence of this is that I've tried programming a universal remote to do everything but the fact of the matter is that my individual remotes have so many unique functions that no one universal remote can be programmed with all of them... so inevitably I'm using multiple remotes anyway.

If the Apple remote is a standard remote then here's your answer to the multiple remotes...

Program the Apple remote functions into a universal remote that also controls your TV and, if applicable, your receiver.

That's the right way to do it.

But... if you're really antsy, let me just say that I have a very, very strong suspicion that the iPhone will serve as a "universal remote" to AppleTV using CoverFlow via multitouch as your content navigator and possibly some programmable functions.

As for people worried about not having all the functionality they want in Rev 1 of AppleTV, I'd relax... The hardware is quite sufficient and it's largely just a matter of software updates which will come. Based on the hardware specs, I don't think rev 1 of the AppleTV hardware will need to be replaced for some time.

Ibjr
Mar 21, 2007, 09:50 AM
I kept hoping that they would release "hidden" features. The author keeps referring to future expansion giving the reader absolutely no reason to purchase it now. iTV seems to be a high priced solution in search of a problem.

APPLENEWBIE
Mar 21, 2007, 09:51 AM
If apple wants to be in the home entertainment hardware business, how about a killer universal remote?

syklee26
Mar 21, 2007, 09:53 AM
i thought with normal human eyes you can't differentiate between 720p and 1080p.

eenu
Mar 21, 2007, 09:53 AM
This isn't exactly surprising, as there's probably no standard way to change the TV volume via some input cable, and doing it directly via the remote would mean you would have to program your Apple remote like you would do a universal remote -- i.e.: a pain in the butt.

NO HDMI carries audio. You should be able to change the Apple TV output volume up to the maximum setting you have your TV at. If you wanted to increase the max you would then have to up your TV setting. Much like i do on my iMac with my speaker volume. I haven't touched the speaker volume button on them for 2 yrs, i simply shange the output on the Mac.

gnasher729
Mar 21, 2007, 09:53 AM
That's completely worthless because there aren't any HDCP-compliant Mac graphics cards or displays yet.

You wouldn't need that for an iMac or a MacBook/MacBook Pro.

NightStorm
Mar 21, 2007, 09:54 AM
You all have been brainwashed into thinking you MUST HAVE 1080p to watch anything good on TV. TV is just that...TV...Channels are SO limited at 1080p it not even funny. It's just a marketing ploy to get you to buy the next best thing and trash your old TV. Which could go another 15 years without replacing....

I mean come on people, how defined do you need Debbie doing Dallas, really...

Actually, there are no channels currently broadcasting at 1080p, only 1080i. I'd be surprised if we ever saw 1080p be broadcasted; a lot of the infrastructure that was upgraded to support 720p/1080i would need to be upgraded/replaced, and the broadcasters are not likely to want to go through that additional expense anytime soon. Also, I'm not sure if 1080p is even an ATSC-approved spec.

MarcelV
Mar 21, 2007, 10:04 AM
NO HDMI carries audio.I may misunderstand your comment, but HDMI does carry audio. It carries both the video and audio signal digital. In fact, it can carry up to 1080p and 8 channel audio at this time. DVI does not carry audio.

Rocketman
Mar 21, 2007, 10:06 AM
it's going to need a lot of good reviews to get beyond the lack of 1080p support and streaming of only iTMS material....

Doesn't that capability merely require the upgrade from a $299 Apple TV to a $599 Mac-Mini or equivalent PC computer?

I suspect Apple TV will display any "unprotected" content including any content a consumer unconcerned with protection schemes might have ripped.

Rocketman

uNext
Mar 21, 2007, 10:10 AM
Like i will actually consider a review by a person that is on apples payroll??

Get real-is like actually finding bad news about -exploding batterys,hum noises ,overheating, dropped wifi signals, aiport extreme nto delivering like it should etc on apples hot news page.

I will wait for REAL people to actually test this out and provide feedback.
Because only REAL people not on the medias payroll will have a review worth reading or considering.

So far the macmini with displayconfigx is working perfectly for me.
And if the apple tv proves to be something worth 299.99
then the mini will be my media server.

bbrosemer
Mar 21, 2007, 10:11 AM
That is on below 30'' screens... Moreover I think that the real reason that 1080p is not being supported by apple is becasue they plan on putting 720p on there iTMS. 1080p videos would be even more giganitic in size. The hidden features said the be awaiting the iTV could just be the 720p content with the support of an external HD. Moreover that also leads me to believe that a hidden feature on the iTMS/Leopard will be bit-torrent iTMS file sharing after purchase to lower the bandwith costs for apple...

i thought with normal human eyes you can't differentiate between 720p and 1080p.

roland.g
Mar 21, 2007, 10:13 AM
Wow. Talk about minimizing huge limitations.

Basically limited to watching itunes content. Can you imagine how neat this machine would have been had they implemented Slingbox functionality?

it's going to need a lot of good reviews to get beyond the lack of 1080p support and streaming of only iTMS material....

2nd or 3rd revision and this thing might have the features to bring the computer to the living room. The current offering won't cut it, imo.

i would have loved to have seen slingbox like functionality :( oh well.

Just to list a few.

Sometimes I call my wife Captain Negatron.

If you don't like it, don't buy it.

:apple:tv wasn't designed to be complicated or cater to your personal desire. If you want to get an XBox 360 or a Slingbox or a Mini to tailor your personal content delivery setup, then do it.

Honestly no other company innovates as much as Apple and yet gets so much criticism over how they do it.

IJ Reilly
Mar 21, 2007, 10:15 AM
Well mine does. The fact that people would not "expect" this is INSANE! For $300.00 it had better control my volume. I'm really lost on this product, much hype and little delivery. So what your saying is that for $300.00 you get a lil box that does nothing more than stream content that apple has dubbed streamable and nothing more. Something dosent seem right about this. This man has had this thing for 2 weeks, prior to them shipping directly from japan. Think maybe he had a test unit that was not fully finished?

I'd pay extra to not have the superfluous volume control. It's useless. More than useless, it's an annoyance.

winglian
Mar 21, 2007, 10:24 AM
The ideal situation for me actually involves pulling content from my Tivo using TivoDecode Manager back to my Mac which then can be pushed to the AppleTV in another room. Thus I can watch my recorded show when and where I want.

TivoDecode Manager converts Tivo content into iTunes compatible content and supports queuing, so there is really not much effort involved and the AppleTV paradigm is to move iTunes content away from the computer back to the TV, so I believe this is one of the "ideal" situations for the few Mac+Tivo+:apple:TV owners out there. Just my $0.02.

vincebio
Mar 21, 2007, 10:27 AM
Wow. Talk about minimizing huge limitations.

Basically limited to watching itunes content. Can you imagine how neat this machine would have been had they implemented Slingbox functionality?

'export to apple tv' from quicktime means you can export anything to it for playback...so no, not just your iTunes library.

AidenShaw
Mar 21, 2007, 10:40 AM
That is on below 30'' screens... Originally Posted by syklee26
i thought with normal human eyes you can't differentiate between 720p and 1080p...


...and it depends on the original source. An SD signal upconverted to 720p, 1080i or 1080p looks like crap unless the screen is small (or equivalently, far away).

On a big screen with superb source, 24-bit 1080p looks like crap compared to 30-bit or 36-bit 1080p.

The people who say that 1080p does nothing over 720 haven't seen a side-by-side comparison on a good, large screen with superb original source.

gugy
Mar 21, 2007, 10:42 AM
three things for AppleTV to get a big foot on the entertainment room.

1) 1080p support
2) 5.1 audio
3) cool, new universal remote.

on the side, I would love a seamless integration between AppleTV, iTunes and Elgato software and hardware to use it as DVR. That would be crazy cool.

Another thing that would be awesome is that AppleTV being self-sustained. Meaning that we do not have to have the Mac on all times to record content out of a dvr solution.

I guess all the above on version 5.0 seven to ten years down the road. :(

nagromme
Mar 21, 2007, 10:42 AM
Could you link to one of his negative reviews?

3 seconds in Google :)

http://www.ocregister.com/ocr/2005/08/15/sections/business/article_634323.php

Microsoft's mouse is better than Apple's

Clashing design goals make the Mighty Mouse harder to use than competing mice.

By WALTER S. MOSSBERG
Wall Street Journal

A trickier challenge: find a Mossberg Apple review (a full review, not an excerpt) that fails to mention any negatives! He disses Apple on particulars all the time. Or for that matter, find a reviewer you prefer: one who is more likely NOT to say nice things about Apple products. The fact is, irritiating as it may be, Apple stuff tends to please reviewers in general, not just Mossberg. And like Mossberg, most will also point out negatives along the way.

"Mossberg usually likes Apple products, therefore when he likes Apple products his opinion is paid for by Apple under the table" is always a good stance to parrot, though :) People should keep that one in the arsenal for sure :) Reviewers who sometimes appreciate ease and simplicity and great industrial design, and sometimes don't appreciate it, are MUCH more to be trusted than ones who are consistent ;)

A lot of you seem to be quite confused as to the point of the Apple TV. It is NOT a niche product. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Let's come at it from the other end: Apple wants to be your content provider for ALL media. Music, TV shows, Movies. Not a bad goal, and Apple seems poised to be able to do it.

Apple WANTS it, yes :) And it could even be a good enough system to appeal to a lot of people. Someday!

For now, it IS a niche product, beacuse Apple canNOT be provider of all (or even most) video content. They simply don't have the content.

It's a step towards something more in future, but what they can offer AppleTV users right NOW will meet the needs of only a small niche.

So "it's a niche product" is true. And "it's much more than that" may also be true--eventually.

EDIT: And no, there's no technical reason the device could not cheaply support older TVs. Apple's simply not interested in that (not-so-tiny) market it would seem. Maybe so the menu text can be smaller and still readable? :confused: I know Apple probably wants to push HD at some point (maybe even soon) but they could still sell units to people without HD sets.

BigHat
Mar 21, 2007, 10:45 AM
I guess most people buying an AppleTV have a $1000+ TV and a $400+ surround sound system already. You have one giant remote for the sound system anyway, which is good if it sports audio-compression (makes sound levels more even, i.e. reduces dynamics) so you can watch movies late at night without having to make it louder for dialoges and wake up your neighbor in action sequences.


I certainly can appreciate those on a tight budget or with other competing priorities, but it's clear to see, based on this thread, that there is little connection between the Home Theater (HT) crowd and Mac lovers.

For one, many don't even understand the basics of HT and what constitutes a good addition.

I stream lossless iTunes music to an optical out of an Airport Express and pump it into about $60K worth of audio and video gear. I have to control the playlists from a laptop.

To gain a video link to those playlists and select cuts remotely without a laptop is easily worth $300 to me. The fact that I can sync up photos and maybe show a movie or movie trailers now and then is just an added benefit. Actually show selected previews before showing movies to friends is kind of an interesting idea to me.

If you don't have a use for this device I understand. But to assume no one possibly could because you don't is pretty naive.

tk421
Mar 21, 2007, 10:46 AM
Trying to support interlacing introduces myriad problems because of the extended codec support needed. Also, because the datacenters would need to carry interlaced files as well as progressive files or the hardware would have to interlace and re-map the fields on the fly (changing the frame rate of their own content from 24p to 30i)... basically just making AppleTV more expensive so that the shrinking number of displays without Component or HDMI can be supported.

Well, in addition to sycho's comment (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=3465391&postcount=109), let me point out that an iPod over a year old can output video to an interlaced TV. There are no problems or limitations to outputting to older TVs other than throwing the ports on the back.

BigHat
Mar 21, 2007, 10:48 AM
[QUOTE=gugy;3465688]three things for AppleTV to get a big foot on the entertainment room.

1) 1080p support
2) 5.1 audio
3) cool, new universal remote.

QUOTE]

No, a cool universal remote is a mistake. Most people already have one. It's not an Apple core competency and good ones begin around $500 and go into the thousands. Expand the HD capacity etc, but don't add needless redundancy.

1080P support? maybe useful in 5 years. The BluRay - HD DVD battle rages, 1080P TVs are few and in sizes under 65" viewed at more than 8 feet the human eye can't detect a difference. Add to those the massive data content stream required and one must quickly acknowledge that this presently makes ZERO sense either.

guzhogi
Mar 21, 2007, 10:49 AM
Actually, there are no channels currently broadcasting at 1080p, only 1080i. I'd be surprised if we ever saw 1080p be broadcasted; a lot of the infrastructure that was upgraded to support 720p/1080i would need to be upgraded/replaced, and the broadcasters are not likely to want to go through that additional expense anytime soon. Also, I'm not sure if 1080p is even an ATSC-approved spec.

According Wikipedia, HDMI supports up to 1440p. At this point, that's just ludicrous. Companies that produce TV are so used to doing things in standard def, they'd have to change a bit so higher resolutions look good. I forgot where I heard it, but on standard def, it looks good, but with high def, you can see distortions in makeup and different problems w/ the human body (moles, zits, veins, etc.). Kinda bad for porn. :p

Doctor Q
Mar 21, 2007, 10:54 AM
But... if you're really antsy, let me just say that I have a very, very strong suspicion that the iPhone will serve as a "universal remote" to AppleTV using CoverFlow via multitouch as your content navigator and possibly some programmable functions.How many people have worked out that the iphone will be able to control the :apple: TV right out of the box? Maybe even stream content to the iphone/save to iphone directly. That would be cool. A multitouch remote control. :cool:The iPhone as remote isn't suited to multi-person households, unless each person has an iPhone. iPhones go where you go, and you're not going to leave one sitting on the coffee table for the kids and everyone else to use as a remote.

If there are special features like transferring or ordering content via the iPhone, that's another story!

DaveGee
Mar 21, 2007, 10:55 AM
This is not a big deal for home-theatre folk. Those people will program their Apple remote into their universal remote and throw the Apple remote away. :)

arn

Fair enough but how about this scenario:

customer: The AppleTV looks pretty nice

apple-sales: It sure does! Oh, and it connects right up to your HDTV!

customer: Gee... really... How? I have 1 cable-box, 1 dvd player and my kids xbox 360! I've exhausted the 2 HDMI and 1 Component inputs* that are available on my $1K + HDTV (not an outrageous number of devices for someone to have and in fact I'd say most people with HDTVs have that many if not more boxes) so how exactly would I even be in a position to use this box?

(* Many older 1st/2nd gen and/or cheaper current gen HDTVs don't even have that many inputs)

It's a real problem and one the Apple sales reps better have a reasonable** answer to.

** and no a reasonable answer isn't to just unplug and replug the devices as you use them... The wife/kids/inlaws/outlaws/family dog just ain't gonna do it! Not to mention the constant plugging/unpluging of cables puts lots of stress on the connectors that are in the TV.

** and no a reasonable answer isn't to go somewhere else and try to find an HDMI switcher... First the prices (in the stores, if you can find one) are outrageous and the cheap switchers found on monoprice have many reports of devices and/or TVs simply not working with them and even if those were NOT issues do you really want to have to explain YET another REMOTE to your other-half? As it is most people have (and are using) distinct remotes for each of their devices since the vast majority of the 'universal remotes' simply suck or are missing out on functions that I need (like accessing the tv/dvd/cablebox/etc setup menu or DVR functions.

Finally the idea that anyone will be happy with setting the TV remote to 'input x' (whatever input # you have the hdmi switcher hooked up to) and then having to dig out the remote for the hdmi switcher (to then choose the input # that the AppleTV is connected to) and then digging out the remote for the AppleTV to turn it one and then having to dig out the remote for the HDTV to adjust the volume (since it was WAY TOO LOUD)... :eek:

While I was a big proponent of Apple doing something like this... they really screwed up by not including a function that would have allowed me to RETIRE ONE OF MY EXISTING DEVICES with the easiest being the upscaling DVD player I have connected now...

Totally bone headed move and because of it I fear the AppleTV may be doomed. :(

Dave

gugy
Mar 21, 2007, 10:55 AM
No, a cool universal remote is a mistake. Most people already have one. It's not an Apple core competency and good ones begin around $500 and go into the thousands. Expand the HD capacity etc, but don't add needless redundancy.


what?
I have a Sony UR and it's a piece of ****!
I heard the Harmony is cool. But I would not mind have something well designed and easy to use ala Apple style.
So I would say bring it on and sell it separately from AppleTV if it's that expensive!

tk421
Mar 21, 2007, 11:00 AM
...I forgot where I heard it, but on standard def, it looks good, but with high def, you can see distortions in makeup and different problems w/ the human body (moles, zits, veins, etc.). Kinda bad for porn. :p

Have you ever noticed these problems in a movie theater? Because film is better than HD and has been that way for about a century.

IJ Reilly
Mar 21, 2007, 11:06 AM
customer: Gee... really... How? I have 1 cable-box, 1 dvd player and my kids xbox 360! I've exhausted the 2 HDMI and 1 Component inputs* that are available on my $1K + HDTV (not an outrageous number of devices for someone to have and in fact I'd say most people with HDTVs have that many if not more boxes) so how exactly would I even be in a position to use this box?

So, now it's Apple's responsibility to solve the problem of HDTVs having an insufficient number of inputs for all the video gadgets we can buy? When Apple figures out how to get the TV manufacturers to address that problem, then they can move onto peace in the Middle East, global warming, and flatulence.

Nanaki
Mar 21, 2007, 11:13 AM
This thing could have been so cool, but the final product is just a waste of time. There are so many more things that it canNOT do that you would expect it to than it CAN do. I'm sticking with my Airport Express.

mahashel
Mar 21, 2007, 11:14 AM
Fair enough but how about this scenario:
...
customer: Gee... really... How? I have 1 cable-box, 1 dvd player and my kids xbox 360! I've exhausted the 2 HDMI and 1 Component inputs* that are available on my $1K + HDTV (not an outrageous number of devices for someone to have and in fact I'd say most people with HDTVs have that many if not more boxes) so how exactly would I even be in a position to use this box?
(* Many older 1st/2nd gen and/or cheaper current gen HDTVs don't even have that many inputs)
Dave

Absolutely.
I have a 55" 1080i Mitsubishi TV. Very nice television for its day, but it is (unfortunately) very much a 1st or 2nd-gen HD product. HDMI didn't publicly exist at the time this TV was built. It has one, that's right, ONE component input that supports HD. The other 3 component inputs are capped at 480p. A travesty by today's standards. However, considering that the only HD content available at the time the set was purchased was digital cable, the one lone HD input makes a bit more sense.
This is not Apple's problem, to be sure. However, it is discouraging that I have to go spend another $100 on a component-video switchbox so I can connect more HD devices to my set. I'd like to see AppleTV evolve into a slightly more robust convergence device so I can get rid of all the other junk I have plugged into my set, and just have the gleaming Apple box on my TV. :D

glennyboiwpg
Mar 21, 2007, 11:16 AM
So, now it's Apple's responsibility to solve the problem of HDTVs having an insufficient number of inputs for all the video gadgets we can buy? When Apple figures out how to get the TV manufacturers to address that problem, then they can move onto peace in the Middle East, global warming, and flatulence.

I totally Agree! I'm kinda sick of hearing people rip this product apart. The Semis have hardly left the warehouses and people are just bashing it!

Everyone heard ":apple: TV" and thought. WOW THIS DEVICE IS GOING TO BE WHATEVER I WANT IT TO BE.

NO its not. This device is designed to watch content from your ITUNES library (or ITMS) on your TV/Stereo. Thats it.

Its not a PVR, its not a media center... or SlingBox, or whatever you decided it should be without even reading the documents on apple.com before making judgments..

I think this will be a great product, i'm looking forward to buying it, and i'm sure i'll love it.

Although... I may wait until they start offering movies/TV show downloads in Canada. :)

Rant Over.

johnee
Mar 21, 2007, 11:20 AM
This thing could have been so cool, but the final product is just a waste of time. There are so many more things that it canNOT do that you would expect it to than it CAN do. I'm sticking with my Airport Express.

Like what? please be more specific...

BigHat
Mar 21, 2007, 11:22 AM
Fair enough but how about this scenario:

customer: The AppleTV looks pretty nice

apple-sales: It sure does! Oh, and it connects right up to your HDTV!

customer: Gee... really... How? I have 1 cable-box, 1 dvd player and my kids xbox 360! I've exhausted the 2 HDMI and 1 Component inputs* that are available on my $1K + HDTV (not an outrageous number of devices for someone to have and in fact I'd say most people with HDTVs have that many if not more boxes) so how exactly would I even be in a position to use this box?

Totally bone headed move and because of it I fear the AppleTV may be doomed. :(

Dave

So why is this different from HD Tivos, Blu-ray DVD players etc competing for inputs? Many of us have access to 5 or six HDMI / component inputs on a pre-pro and never send more than a single cbale to the TV or projector?

So what do you suggest they do? Include a non-HD or even decent composite video output? Then you'd be complaining that it didn't sent 1080P.

Why your absence of understanding about this dooms the device is beyond me.

BigHat
Mar 21, 2007, 11:26 AM
what?
I have a Sony UR and it's a piece of ****!
I heard the Harmony is cool. But I would not mind have something well designed and easy to use ala Apple style.
So I would say bring it on and sell it separately from AppleTV if it's that expensive!


There are 10 great universal remote companies in existence. It would be stupid for Apple to compete in this market - sold separately or not.

sandau
Mar 21, 2007, 11:26 AM
While I was a big proponent of Apple doing something like this... they really screwed up by not including a function that would have allowed me to RETIRE ONE OF MY EXISTING DEVICES with the easiest being the upscaling DVD player I have connected now...

Totally bone headed move and because of it I fear the AppleTV may be doomed. :(

Dave

its not up to apple to manage your devices or how many inputs you have plugged into your tv.

anyway, anyone that has spent many thousands upon thousands on an HDTV, surround sound, and multiple components without a PROPER switch and a PROPER remote to guide all of them is an idiot. Less than $200 covers your scenarios with both a good remote and switch - and that is a minor price compared to the rest of the equipment but I might say a VERY important part of your setup.

tk421
Mar 21, 2007, 11:26 AM
I totally Agree! I'm kinda sick of hearing people rip this product apart. The Semis have hardly left the warehouses and people are just bashing it!

Well, remember what people said about the 1st iPod in these forums.

uNext
Mar 21, 2007, 11:28 AM
i have a 720p & 1080p sets at home.

To be honest i dont see a diffrence.

The diffrence is the 1080p is a sony xbr3 47" and the 720p is a phillips ambilight 37".

Why are people so into 1080p? i dont know they actually fell or the whole
FULL HD crap. If anything 720p is the most popular format now because 80p sets are still expensive-720p is becoming if not a standard on t.v.s so while i think apple TV IS A PIECE OF S*** IS SMART ON APPLES PART TO GO after 720p sets because thats what is looking around millionsw of homes.

glennyboiwpg
Mar 21, 2007, 11:29 AM
Well, remember what people said about the 1st iPod in these forums.

Well I wasn't a reader of these forums back then, but I can only imagine.

So how about we give Steve Jobs some time, and in a few REVs, i'm sure this device will simply ROCK!

DaveGee
Mar 21, 2007, 11:33 AM
So, now it's Apple's responsibility to solve the problem of HDTVs having an insufficient number of inputs for all the video gadgets we can buy? When Apple figures out how to get the TV manufacturers to address that problem, then they can move onto peace in the Middle East, global warming, and flatulence.

Don't be a goof! :rolleyes:

What Apple NEEDED TO DO was make it so a user could REPLACE AN EXISTING DEVICE that was already using one of those valuable and it would seem limited connections.

How about throwing a dvd player in the freakin thing so I could replace my up-converting DVD player (problem solved) and for an 'upgraded unit for a few extra bucks' they could throw in a DVD-R so people could then replace any existing DVD recorder.

Why don't you list for me home many successful devices that require a quality connection to your HDTV. HD/BR etc DVD Player/recorder, Cable Box or TiVO & A game system.

Thats pretty much it - DVD, CABLE & GAME so TV makers have in most cases built TVs with 3 or 4 HD inputs (at the most)...

Now Apple rolls out a new box that can't in any way replace the functionality of any of the 'top 3 device categories' and yet they expect for it to be a success???

Apple shoulda thought this one out just a wee bit more... :mad:

Dave

tk421
Mar 21, 2007, 11:33 AM
Well I wasn't a reader of these forums back then, but I can only imagine.

So how about we give Steve Jobs some time, and in a few REVs, i'm sure this device will simply ROCK!

Here's the link (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=500). Enjoy!

SPUY767
Mar 21, 2007, 11:34 AM
Have you ever noticed these problems in a movie theater? Because film is better than HD and has been that way for about a century.

That's just plain silly, i think the previous poster was referring to the fact that news anchors are bitching cause now we know how ugly they actually, are. monica Kaufman in Atlanta could scare the rats off of a garbage barge.

Avatar74
Mar 21, 2007, 11:34 AM
Supporting interlaced is not that hard, notice that the AppleTV can output 1080i, which is interlaced. Why would there need to be progressive and interlaced versions of the content? I guess you are unaware how this works, I'll give an example:

DVD's are Interlaced. But they can have a Progressive output. This is done by only encoding the 24frames per second, and then using a repeat field flag. Same with 1080i movie channels, encoding of 24fps, but output of 1080i.
Setting my MacBook Pro to output 1080i works pretty much the same, all HD Trailers come through at 1080i with no loss of resolution, same with low resolution clips, they are scaled to 1080 then piped out the DVI port as interlaced. Quite simple, computers have been doing this for many many years.

Two versions of the content would not be needed for an interlaced output, all content will be either 24fps or 30fps, both of which perfectly convert to either 1080i60 or 480i60.

Did you forget that AppleTV primarily does not support MPEG-2 content which is one of the few codecs that supports interlaced video signals? For MPEG-4, including H.264 variant, content is either encoded as progressive or interlaced... not both.

In the case of MPEG-2 for DVD content, the MPEG-2 bitstreams under NTSC spec are encoded as interlaced, lower-field first. The process of converting 29.97fps interlaced back to 24fps progressive is done by hardware in a process called reverse pulldown or reverse telecine.

But in the case of computer-based content this is a different animal entirely because you're not implementing a decoder that knows how to do reverse telecine. You could, in principle, but the current specs for H.264 decoders don't include reverse telecine algorithms to the best of my knowledge.

1080i/60 to 1080p/30 is a different matter entirely because one has exactly double the fields of the other. No reverse 3:2 pulldown is needed.... merely a collimation of odd and even fields back into a 30fps progressive bitstream. Although 1080i/60 to 1080p/24 does require a reverse pulldown process.

Again I'm talking about signals that are transmitted digitally where there are some discrete requirements in the transmission of the digital signal. If you're talking about feeding video from an iPod as one user did, note that S-Video is analog signal output... different beast.

BigHat
Mar 21, 2007, 11:39 AM
Don't be a goof! :rolleyes:

What Apple NEEDED TO DO was make it so a user could REPLACE AN EXISTING DEVICE that was already using one of those valuable and it would seem limited connections.

How about throwing a dvd player in the freakin thing so I could replace my up-converting DVD player (problem solved) and for an 'upgraded unit for a few extra bucks' they could throw in a DVD-R so people could then replace any existing DVD recorder.

Why don't you list for me home many successful devices that require a quality connection to your HDTV. HD/BR etc DVD Player/recorder, Cable Box or TiVO & A game system.

Thats pretty much it - DVD, CABLE & GAME so TV makers have in most cases built TVs with 3 or 4 HD inputs (at the most)...

Now Apple rolls out a new box that can't in any way replace the functionality of any of the 'top 3 device categories' and yet they expect for it to be a success???

Apple shoulda thought this one out just a wee bit more... :mad:

Dave

Not bad points. But I wonder if you wouldn't be in the crowd whining " I already have a DVD player" or now it's too expensive.

I have 12 HDMI / component inputs and don't care.

gauriemma
Mar 21, 2007, 11:39 AM
no divx, no avi, no mpg2, no deal. sorry apple, you messed up.

Yep, that pretty much sums it up for me, too. I was planning to be first on my block with one of these puppies, but without the ability to stream those formats natively from my computer, there's no value to me.

[Closes wallet]

donlphi
Mar 21, 2007, 11:42 AM
i would have loved to have seen slingbox like functionality :( oh well.

I agree wholeheartedly. The slingbox is one of the greatest inventions out there today. If you haven't seen one, you gotta get it.

I bought a sling box pro (with it's multiple inputs) thinking I MAY be able to (later) hook up an APPLE TV. No more lugging around a laptop or portable DVD player. Then all we need is a slingbox app that works in my iPHONE and I am set.

Has anybody had any success using a universal remote with their Mac infrared sensor? Accessing Frontrow... etc. I'd like to know. If you have, this would be the way to go.

slffl
Mar 21, 2007, 11:43 AM
Looks like a great product to me. And all of the neg voters really should find another website and/or computer platform.

moodipaper
Mar 21, 2007, 11:45 AM
I certainly can appreciate those on a tight budget or with other competing priorities, but it's clear to see, based on this thread, that there is little connection between the Home Theater (HT) crowd and Mac lovers.

For one, many don't even understand the basics of HT and what constitutes a good addition.

I stream lossless iTunes music to an optical out of an Airport Express and pump it into about $60K worth of audio and video gear. I have to control the playlists from a laptop.

To gain a video link to those playlists and select cuts remotely without a laptop is easily worth $300 to me. The fact that I can sync up photos and maybe show a movie or movie trailers now and then is just an added benefit. Actually show selected previews before showing movies to friends is kind of an interesting idea to me.

If you don't have a use for this device I understand. But to assume no one possibly could because you don't is pretty naive.

I couldn't have said it better myself; these are my sentiments EXACTLY.

For me, the :apple: TV will transform my HT setup into an easy-to-navigate home jukebox. When I have parties, I will be able to let my guests select the music without worrying that someone might spill their drink on my iBook. I'm reallly excited about this product!

whatever
Mar 21, 2007, 11:45 AM
it's going to need a lot of good reviews to get beyond the lack of 1080p support and streaming of only iTMS material....

It does support 1080p. However, the current software does not (which makes sense since there isn't a hell of alot 1080p content available).

Do you actually have a TV that supports 1080P, if so what do you watch on it?

I find the discussion of Apple TV needing to support 1080P out of the box ridiculous, escpicially since 1080P is just starting to creap into the mainstream (it will happen, but it's taking time).

There's nothing wrong with 720P (except, again for the lack of content!), it's better than 1080i.

tribulation
Mar 21, 2007, 11:45 AM
AppleTV will NEVER have DVR functionality. Get over it. It is what it is. Sure they may introduce new features as the device matures, but recording television will NEVER be one of them. Apple wants to be your source of content. They want to kill cable and satellite and DVD. Downloading content from iTunes is their business model. Period.

Which is why they MUST figure out a better way than paying $2.99+ per episode for a TV show. Otherwise, it might be a nice fantasy, but guaranteed to fail miserably. Actually, they only thing they can do to ensure it doesn't turn into a miserable failure is to add a subscription service for TV content and network streams. That's it, period. Without that, doomsday it will be.

ChrisA
Mar 21, 2007, 11:48 AM
i thought with normal human eyes you can't differentiate between 720p and 1080p.

I have a 1080p TV. Yes you can notice. The best 1080i content has a kind of "snap" that 720 lacks but 720 is still very good. Even "plain old DVDs" look good if you have one of those fancy DVD players that combines fields and upscales the image. People who don't know can be fooled that the DVD is HD.

It's like Audio. Most people after a certain point can't notice the difference between "acceptable " and "really good" unless they have spent time listening critically. So if you look, you can learn to see the difference between 720 an 1080. If you are using the TV as a computer monitor and put text on the screen you can see 1080p is by far better

As for what the human eye can see. It all depends on the geometry. How far back are you from the TV and how large is the screen? Having your nose one foot from a 60 inch screen is not the same as watching a 40 inch screen from 12 feet. Kind of depends on your age too if you are 25 or 55. So the answer is "it depends"

moodipaper
Mar 21, 2007, 11:48 AM
Well, in addition to sycho's comment (http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=3465391&postcount=109), let me point out that an iPod over a year old can output video to an interlaced TV. There are no problems or limitations to outputting to older TVs other than throwing the ports on the back.

Except that the Apple web page for the AppleTV states that the ONLY requirement of the TV is that it is WIDESCREEN. All of this talk about analog/digital doesn't matter. It's all about one thing: 16:9 vs. 4:3.

slffl
Mar 21, 2007, 11:50 AM
i have a 720p & 1080p sets at home.

To be honest i dont see a diffrence.

The diffrence is the 1080p is a sony xbr3 47" and the 720p is a phillips ambilight 37".

Why are people so into 1080p? i dont know they actually fell or the whole
FULL HD crap. If anything 720p is the most popular format now because 80p sets are still expensive-720p is becoming if not a standard on t.v.s so while i think apple TV IS A PIECE OF S*** IS SMART ON APPLES PART TO GO after 720p sets because thats what is looking around millionsw of homes.

I have a 1080p LCD flatpanel. I downloaded 1080p and 720p trailers from apple. I had a macmini hooked up to the tv via HDMI at 1080p and 720p and VGA at 720p.

I tested out all of the combinations of source content and connection types. From my observations, the single factor that makes the most difference is the resolution of the SOURCE. Which basically means 1080p content looked a lot better. 1080p content is the way to go, whether you are displaying it on a 1080p display or 720p display.

TheEdisonEffect
Mar 21, 2007, 11:50 AM
As it is, the thing's pretty cool, but not really up to what I'd hoped for from all the hype. But then again, it's rare that the actual Apple product lives up to the rumors and hype, just because there's so much speculation going on. Though... lack of DVR functionality and other such things kinda kills it for me at its price, considering I can build a basic HTPC for about the same cost.

What does interest me, and I'm surprised it hasn't been brought up yet, is what it will become once it gets reverse engineered. I mean, hell, even the Xbox has been turned into a pretty serious media center, and from the specs on the Apple box I think the hardware is capable of a lot more than that. And if it is indeed running a modified OSX as the article says, which would imply that it's mostly software limited, it prolly won't take too long before someone comes up with a way to enable all sorts of unofficial features.

And I sure wouldn't mind having a tiny media center/DVR/whatever for $299, even if it is unsupported. But of course, this is all just hypothetical, and I wouldn't actually condone such a thing happening in the next couple months, and I wouldn't immediately rush out to buy one just because they were hackable. :D

tribulation
Mar 21, 2007, 11:50 AM
Well, part of the interest is that the Apple TV would be a media hub, including music, podcast, etc. So all this media will unfortunately have different volumes. Besides if the remote has 6 buttons I would expect all of them to work... at least for music. Hope that is fixed in the shipping release.

Agreed with earlier post, the Apple tiny remote is decent for a laptop. But NOT for a home theater, more like a joke. "Hey, we have this mini remote already made for laptops, let's just toss it in the box to make it sound like a better deal. Ok!"

More evidence that this box is just a thrown-together, overhyped, and very poorly planned and executed piece of junk.

DaveGee
Mar 21, 2007, 11:54 AM
its not up to apple to manage your devices or how many inputs you have plugged into your tv.

anyway, anyone that has spent many thousands upon thousands on an HDTV, surround sound, and multiple components without a PROPER switch and a PROPER remote to guide all of them is an idiot. Less than $200 covers your scenarios with both a good remote and switch - and that is a minor price compared to the rest of the equipment but I might say a VERY important part of your setup.

Get a grip... if Apple expects to sell a device that can't in any way REPLACE one of the TOP 3 connection grabbers (cable-box, DVD & game box) then it certainly IS up to Apple to design an EASY way to CONNECT AND USE their new 'connection grabber'.

You say a switcher... (HA YOU MUST NOT BE MARRIED!)

Okay lets add a switcher to the mix...

$299 Apple TV
$150 Switcher (yea you can go real cheap (ala monoprice) but then you run into HDCP compatibility issues) oh and if you want a remote controllable switcher that works reliably expect to pay even more.
$30 extra cables (needed for the switch)

I'm getting near 500 but okay...

1 - pick what device you want to remove from the TV
2 - Connect the switcher
3 - Connect removed device to the switcher.
4 - Connect the AppleTV to the switcher.

Lets assume we don't have an HDCP issues.

Now lets explain to your wife / mom how to get the AppleTV on the TV screen.

1 - Turn on the TV with the TVs remote controller
1a - Turn on the switcher (if required) you may have to get up if its a manual switcher.
1c - Turn on the AppleTV using the AppleTV remote

Don't worry mom you probably won't see or hear the AppleTV but instead you'll either have a blue screen or maybe the DVD screen or maybe the cablebox screen (you'll see whatever the unit was last used for)

2 - put down the AppleTV remote and use the TVs remote control to select input # (whatever number you connected the swichbox to)

3 - put down the TV remote and walk over to the switch box or use the switch-box remote and select input # (whatever you connected the AppleTV to)

If all goes well you should now see the AppleTV menu screen and can return to using the AppleTV remote to play any iTunes video you purchased.

Oh yea if the TV is to loud (or soft) you'll need to find that TV remote again and use the volume buttons on that remote)

Sure this work out just fine!

SO FREAKIN APPLE ELEGANT IT ALMOST SCARRY!!!!

:p :p :p

Dave

P.S. Any before you say 'universal remote' you've got two choices the first being a cheap remote that just as complex to use and explain that you'd of been better off just using ALL of the existing remotes you were trying to replace... The second being a really well done universal remote with a nice clean and bright LCD touch screen... Now you wanna tell me how much more THAT it gonna cost the potential AppleTV buyer - if you say anything under 200 bucks you're just kidding yourself... :)

IJ Reilly
Mar 21, 2007, 11:56 AM
Don't be a goof! :rolleyes:

What Apple NEEDED TO DO was make it so a user could REPLACE AN EXISTING DEVICE that was already using one of those valuable and it would seem limited connections.

How about throwing a dvd player in the freakin thing so I could replace my up-converting DVD player (problem solved) and for an 'upgraded unit for a few extra bucks' they could throw in a DVD-R so people could then replace any existing DVD recorder.

Why don't you list for me home many successful devices that require a quality connection to your HDTV. HD/BR etc DVD Player/recorder, Cable Box or TiVO & A game system.

Thats pretty much it - DVD, CABLE & GAME so TV makers have in most cases built TVs with 3 or 4 HD inputs (at the most)...

Now Apple rolls out a new box that can't in any way replace the functionality of any of the 'top 3 device categories' and yet they expect for it to be a success???

Apple shoulda thought this one out just a wee bit more... :mad:

Dave

Oh, but I'm a total goof. Everybody knows that. (:rolleyes: yourself!)

You're still expecting Apple to solve an industry-wide problem, which is quite out of their reach. If an HDTV owner feels the need to own every video toy available, including the Apple TV, and hook all of them up to the TV simultaneously, then there's nothing Apple can do about it. Even the TV manufacturers can't do much to help a person who demands 6, 7 or ten inputs. Yes, a person might even have to make a choice. Big deal!

tribulation
Mar 21, 2007, 11:56 AM
And this sucks. they should give free this box for play their content on my tv. m:apple: ·nop·o·ly

LOL :D
Totally agree! Seriously guys, what does the CUSTOMER gain from buying an iTV? Absolutely nothing. It's a total sham. You're buying a very expensive box that basically does nothing but a slimmed down Remote-Desktop connection to play Apple's hugely overpriced content. Even more than getting an iTV for free, Apple should be paying us to use this thing.

Gee4orce
Mar 21, 2007, 11:57 AM
It looks like a great product to me. I'd mostly be interested in getting my photos and music onto my TV, as well as video podcasts and episodes of TV shows that I currently download because they aren't aired in the UK at the same time as US (Lost, Heroes, etc). We don't even have an option of buying TV content on the iTMS here, and I still think the Apple TV is a good product.

To be honest, I think the Apple TV is a year or so ahead of it's time. A bit like the iPod was. Online distribution is THE future for media - all media. The actual mechanism of how you obtain that and watch it is what Apple are pioneering here. At some point, maybe sooner rather than later, all you media will be delivered down your broadband connection, and guess what : Apple will be the market leader in the kit that gets that media onto your TV, your computer, your iPod, your phone...

You know what, I think Apple TV is a great name. I wonder if we'll see the Apple Mac and the Apple Pod too ?

sonnys
Mar 21, 2007, 11:58 AM
Here are the things that keep me from getting this new gadget:


Lack of 1080p support
No easy way to expand hard drive
Installed base of video programming too small to make this compelling.


I want a box that will show me a menu of all available programming RIGHT NOW off the internet -- not what's in my iTunes on my PowerMac downstairs. I want to be able to tell it to show me the newest episode of Desperate Housewives RIGHT NOW, on demand, and I want to be able to do that with every program on every channel. Sort of like TiVO, but with instant availability off a server somewhere.

I think it's a cute idea, I just don't see why anyone would buy it to watch the few videos that are available through iTunes? And music -- who wants to listen to an AAC track on their home theater system? The negative effects of AAC or MP3 compression will be quite obvious, and ruin the experience -- this is not the case when listening to the same music using desktop speakers.

All in all, I think the AppleTV will be a big yawn.

pilotError
Mar 21, 2007, 11:58 AM
What Apple NEEDED TO DO was make it so a user could REPLACE AN EXISTING DEVICE that was already using one of those valuable and it would seem limited connections.

I think Apple did the right thing. Everyone has a DVD player why replace something that works? When HD-DVD / Blu-Ray play out, people may buy one of those. People already have a DVR or Tivo (usually comes as an add on to Sat/Cable for the general population) , but the on-line content market from your TV is pretty much untapped.

A few have multimedia PC's or have built up home-brew solutions that are expensive and most likely difficult to use. Here's a cheap device that is geared toward bringing the internet to your TV, is reasonably priced, and something the general population can understand without being much more computer literate than they already are. Apple already has an infrastructure, this was the next logical step.

The only thing that hasn't happened yet is a Google video or Youtube delivery, which will probably happen at some point in the future. I'm sure the video content isn't as far along as they would have liked

CoreWeb
Mar 21, 2007, 11:59 AM
Well, remember what people said about the 1st iPod in these forums.

I'm sure that if Thread 500 were unlocked, people would still be arguing on how successful the iPod will be, and complaining constantly about it.

In the end, the specs matter relatively little. What matters is how easy or not easy to use it is. People tend to want something simple, not something which can do everything. So it can't do 1080p - not many have that anyway - and it doesn't support a few formats which aren't supported by the iPod either. Big deal. If it "just works", as Apple things almost always do, the device will be a success.

That was why the iPod succeeded - not because of its features or specs, but because of how simple it was. Microsoft and other's things almost always don't (don't make me recount horrors of dealing with Windows, Linksys, etc.).

Now, one might ask, why has Windows succeeded where OS X has not? But this argument is invalid. Mac OS 9 and below was probably (in my opinion, from what I know about it, which is relatively little) not as good as Windows. This allowed Windows to get a user base, which is now really all Windows has going for it. Most people who argue for Windows being better than Mac (not all, necessarily) only do so because they don't use Macs and want to defend what they do use, or work for Microsoft.

Microsoft, however, has failed to get much of a user base with their "media extenders", (I think people find them a bit too difficult to use - if it is like networking anything else on Windows, they will) and therefore, Apple has an opportunity.

If there is any market for devices like "media extenders" and the AppleTV, and the AppleTV is as easy-to-use as it appears to be, then Apple will take that market.

The market for this kind of device would definitely exist if Apple did either or both of the following: allowed the AppleTV/iTunes to play VIDEO_TS folders, or put 720p movies on the iTunes store at a price equal to or not much more expensive than current prices for movies. If the first, everyone can put their library of DVDs onto their computer (much like they would do with CDs for the iPod). If the second, high-definition video will be available easier and cheaper than buying them in Bluray or HD-DVD.

If Apple does either of those, I think it is almost guaranteed success.

Clive At Five
Mar 21, 2007, 12:03 PM
Well, remember what people said about the 1st iPod in these forums.

People always say that, and I think it's a lame defense of a product. The iPod was the first piece of technology in a new vein of products to be released by Apple. In fact, the only thing preceding the iPod was iTunes. When debuting the iPod Steve Jobs didn't really give any direction to it, but only said "it's going to be a real big hit."

:apple:TV WAS given a direction. We know exactly what it's for and who can use it. We know SO much more about the history of :apple:TV than we did about the iPod... because the iPod had no history. Well here it is: :apple:TV is basically an extension of the iTunes platform for your HDTV.

I am not in the camp that says :apple:TV sucks. I'm in the camp that says it isn't for me (yet). The iPod wasn't for me until 4G. I bought one and have been happily using it ever since. Someday I'm confident that :apple:TV will also be useful to me. It'll gain capabilities, become more user-friendly, so on and so forth, until one day I will say, "as soon as I replace this circa 1987 Mitsubishi TV, I'm'a buy one of these things."

So anyway, the "iPod"/"500 thread" argument is not valid. We know where Apple is try to take us with :apple:TV, whereas we didn't with the iPod. So there. Stop bringing that up.

-Clive

koobcamuk
Mar 21, 2007, 12:03 PM
LOL :D
Totally agree! Seriously guys, what does the CUSTOMER gain from buying an iTV? Absolutely nothing. It's a total sham. You're buying a very expensive box that basically does nothing but a slimmed down Remote-Desktop connection to play Apple's hugely overpriced content. Even more than getting an iTV for free, Apple should be paying us to use this thing.

I agree (to a point).

I gain nothing from this. I live in the UK and don't have a huge TV, but in the lounge is a huge 24" iMac. I will just watch things on there ;)

I don't know why people don't just get a Mac mini. It does all this and more.

:D

BigHat
Mar 21, 2007, 12:06 PM
Which is why they MUST figure out a better way than paying $2.99+ per episode for a TV show. Otherwise, it might be a nice fantasy, but guaranteed to fail miserably. Actually, they only thing they can do to ensure it doesn't turn into a miserable failure is to add a subscription service for TV content and network streams. That's it, period. Without that, doomsday it will be.


The ABSOLUTE last thing this device is dependent on is pay per view TV shows. They will have little bearing on success or failure.

Tivos and DVRs do it for free, so why should I pay Apple for it. Now I have paid for some archival stuff that was worth to me. At little more cost than the compiliation TV show DVDs that fly off the shelves. I pay it so I can watch it on flights etc.

Streaming music with a video interface is worth the price, iPhoto shows and movies will be close seconds.

NightStorm
Mar 21, 2007, 12:07 PM
Not bad points. But I wonder if you wouldn't be in the crowd whining " I already have a DVD player" or now it's too expensive.

I have 12 HDMI / component inputs and don't care.
That's exactly what would have happened.

DaveGee
Mar 21, 2007, 12:13 PM
So why is this different from HD Tivos, Blu-ray DVD players etc competing for inputs? Many of us have access to 5 or six HDMI / component inputs on a pre-pro and never send more than a single cbale to the TV or projector?

So what do you suggest they do? Include a non-HD or even decent composite video output? Then you'd be complaining that it didn't sent 1080P.

Why your absence of understanding about this dooms the device is beyond me.

Difference is we have 3 major connection grabber device types...

TV: Cable-box or TiVO or Satellite, TiVO is not unique since it connects INLINE with the cablebox or REPLACES the cablebox if you're talking about the T3.

MOVIE: Be in bluray, hd-dvd , up-converting std def dvd, dvd recorder.

GAME: Xbox, xbox360, PS2, PS3, etc etc etc...

Yea people can and sometimes do have multiples of each device category connected at the same time but it's not all THAT common and if it is then those buyers would be expected to deal with those connection issues.

For most people they either:

INLINE (in the case of TiVO) as in Cable-wire --> cable-box --> TiVO --> TV (only the last device is grabbing a connection)

OR

Replace as in move the upconverting dvd player to the kids room and then connect that uber-cool bluray player (that can play both br and sd dvds) or get rid of the dvd player and replace it with a DVDR.

Apple is totally out on the outs... Many people will be forced into paying for very complex and expensive (and unsupported by Apple) if they want to connect an AppleTV...

Either that or just dump your DVD or GAME or CABLE-BOX (yea this just isn't gonna happen)

Dave

CoreWeb
Mar 21, 2007, 12:13 PM
I agree (to a point).

I gain nothing from this. I live in the UK and don't have a huge TV, but in the lounge is a huge 24" iMac. I will just watch things on there ;)

I don't know why people don't just get a Mac mini. It does all this and more.

:D

Two reasons why people don't just get Mac Minis: ease to set up and use, and price. I have no idea what cable's I'd need to use, I don't want to put a keyboard and mouse in my family room, and don't really feel like spending $600+.

With the AppleTV, it is easy to set up (supposedly), and very easy to use (supposedly), and I know exactly what cable I need - one HDMI cable. It costs only $299, which is similar to some other wireless streamers I believe, and has a simple remote.

eople always say that, and I think it's a lame defense of a product. The iPod was the first piece of technology in a new vein of products to be released by Apple. In fact, the only thing preceding the iPod was iTunes. When debuting the iPod Steve Jobs didn't really give any direction to it, but only said "it's going to be a real big hit."

TV WAS given a direction. We know exactly what it's for and who can use it. We know SO much more about the history of TV than we did about the iPod... because the iPod had no history. Well here it is: TV is basically an extension of the iTunes platform for your HDTV.

I am not in the camp that says TV sucks. I'm in the camp that says it isn't for me (yet). The iPod wasn't for me until 4G. I bought one and have been happily using it ever since. Someday I'm confident that TV will also be useful to me. It'll gain capabilities, become more user-friendly, so on and so forth, until one day I will say, "as soon as I replace this circa 1987 Mitsubishi TV, I'm'a buy one of these things."

So anyway, the "iPod"/"500 thread" argument is not valid. We know where Apple is try to take us with TV, whereas we didn't with the iPod. So there. Stop bringing that up.

-Clive

I agree that you can't use the 500 thread as a defense of a product. But it does show that some people will bash a product for no apparent reason. If you think the AppleTV is not for you, that's fine. But there is no reason to say it "sucks" and is "useless" before it even arrives in anyones home! That is the big similarity to the 500 thread.

I think that the AppleTV is on the edge of a knife - stray but a little and it will fail, to the ruin of the device. If everyone used programs like Handbrake, there would be a very large market for it already. Apple needs to get people to put TONS of movies into iTunes somehow. If they do that, then the AppleTV will succeed. (Or, as someone pointed out, TV shows could help...)

EagerDragon
Mar 21, 2007, 12:14 PM
Good to hear a favorable review. I can't wait to see what people here think about it.

I was assuming this would be of no interest to me since I have a G network at home, but if it can buffer adequately maybe this will replace the old G4 I have in the living room!

It should, since it is making one single trip on the wireless. Using a G network I have connected two laptops one sharing itunes and the other sucking the movies from the other iTunes library and it seems to work fine. A few times we did notice that the voice and lips did not sync, but it was not frequent. Perfect for dup movies, they don't match either, LOL.

So Apple TV should have little problem with standard content over the G network. Larger videos (different flavos of HD) may really stress it so you may need the N network.

BigHat
Mar 21, 2007, 12:16 PM
Here are the things that keep me from getting this new gadget:


Lack of 1080p support
No easy way to expand hard drive
Installed base of video programming too small to make this compelling.


I want a box that will show me a menu of all available programming RIGHT NOW off the internet -- not what's in my iTunes on my PowerMac downstairs. I want to be able to tell it to show me the newest episode of Desperate Housewives RIGHT NOW, on demand, and I want to be able to do that with every program on every channel. Sort of like TiVO, but with instant availability off a server somewhere.

I think it's a cute idea, I just don't see why anyone would buy it to watch the few videos that are available through iTunes? And music -- who wants to listen to an AAC track on their home theater system? The negative effects of AAC or MP3 compression will be quite obvious, and ruin the experience -- this is not the case when listening to the same music using desktop speakers.

All in all, I think the AppleTV will be a big yawn.


You want it to rub your feet during movies too? Don't blame a device for non-existent software options. Bet you want it to sell for $49.99 too.

Regarding music, you obviously know very little about lossless compression schemes that exist. Additionally, even on a VERY good system, a 512 AAC is difficult to discern from the original without a direct A to B comparison. For fun listening and browsing my entire music collection with constantly popping CDs in and out it is well worth it.

This thread has really disappointed me. I have coexisted peacefully with my Mac buddies here for years, but the ignorance displayed in this thread regarding HT is truly shocking.

DaveGee
Mar 21, 2007, 12:21 PM
Oh, but I'm a total goof. Everybody knows that. (:rolleyes: yourself!)

You're still expecting Apple to solve an industry-wide problem, which is quite out of their reach. If an HDTV owner feels the need to own every video toy available, including the Apple TV, and hook all of them up to the TV simultaneously, then there's nothing Apple can do about it. Even the TV manufacturers can't do much to help a person who demands 6, 7 or ten inputs. Yes, a person might even have to make a choice. Big deal!

Gimme a break... Apple could have come up with something to make connecting the AppleTV easy, elegant and inexpensive... I'm no engineer but hows about a 'built in' HDCP compliant HDMI switcher so you can connect say.. Your DVD into the AppleTV and then the AppleTV gets to connect to the TV. If you wanna get really fancy it could even AUTO DETECT the video signal thats coming in from the DVD player and auto-switch to the DVD signal when present and back to the AppleTV signal when you turn the DVD player off (and the signal goes away).

Gee Mr. Wizard that sure sounds like MAGIC to ME! :rolleyes:

Dave

nagromme
Mar 21, 2007, 12:22 PM
So anyway, the "iPod"/"500 thread" argument is not valid. We know where Apple is try to take us with :apple:TV, whereas we didn't with the iPod. So there. Stop bringing that up.

Thread 500 isn't evidence for a product being good, but it IS valid evidence for MacRumors people shortsightedly bashing products they don't personally need and have never even tried :) This is why I say the AppleTV is a niche product (for now), rather than a BAD product.

I for one do NOT know where Apple is trying to take us with AppleTV. I find it a much more open-ended product than the iPod.

motulist
Mar 21, 2007, 12:22 PM
What¡¡¡ can´t adjust the volume????
So what´s the point of a minimalist sexy remote if you still need you ugly TV remote on the other hand???

In the first second I heard that I thought it was kinda lame, but then I realized it's actually pretty smart. On many occasions I've checked out other people's media systems and wondered why the audio didn't sound as good as it should, then when I checked it out I found that they had one device's volume on 23 out of 25 and the other device on 2 out of 25 so that the audio was hissy. Having 2 volume controls in the same signal chain can cause serious degradation of sound quality unless you're really knowledgeable about audio hook ups. And if if you do know a lot about audio hook ups, it's still an unnecessary hassle.

BigHat
Mar 21, 2007, 12:23 PM
Difference is we have 3 major connection grabber device types...

TV: Cable-box or TiVO or Satellite, TiVO is not unique since it connects INLINE with the cablebox or REPLACES the cablebox if you're talking about the T3.

MOVIE: Be in bluray, hd-dvd , up-converting std def dvd, dvd recorder.

GAME: Xbox, xbox360, PS2, PS3, etc etc etc...

Yea people can and sometimes do have multiples of each device category connected at the same time but it's not all THAT common and if it is then those buyers would be expected to deal with those connection issues.

For most people they either:

INLINE (in the case of TiVO) as in Cable-wire --> cable-box --> TiVO --> TV (only the last device is grabbing a connection)

OR

Replace as in move the upconverting dvd player to the kids room and then connect that uber-cool bluray player (that can play both br and sd dvds) or get rid of the dvd player and replace it with a DVDR.

Apple is totally out on the outs... Many people will be forced into paying for very complex and expensive (and unsupported by Apple) if they want to connect an AppleTV...

Either that or just dump your DVD or GAME or CABLE-BOX (yea this just isn't gonna happen)

Dave


Sorry Dave,
Not buying into your 3 box limit theory. Just doesn't hold water to me. Heck, I don't even have a game player in my system and I have twice as many devices.

EagerDragon
Mar 21, 2007, 12:25 PM
Sounds good, however I think I will pass for now. Waiting a little longer for better HD tv's, More HD content, Rev 2 or 3 of Apple TV.

Its cute, but I can effortlesly wait, not loosing sleep over this, now Leopard is another matter.

gugy
Mar 21, 2007, 12:26 PM
There are 10 great universal remote companies in existence. It would be stupid for Apple to compete in this market - sold separately or not.

what are they?

drake
Mar 21, 2007, 12:34 PM
Never heard of this clown before Jobs started to invoke his name every time he got on stage. Is he the only reviewer who ever has anything nice to say about apple products? You'd think so.
:o

Blink7551
Mar 21, 2007, 12:36 PM
Apple has laid down the first brick in the construction of a glorious technologically advanced home with AppleTV. Today, AppleTV is not entirely useful. We see it as restricting. It has a lack of features. But in the future, Cable will die. Who would subscribe to cable if you can get all the shows you would ever want to watch on your computer and have them streamed to your TV? There are many advantages there. Like anything, this technology takes time to develop. Technology moves at the rate that people are willing to accept it. Right now, people are not comfortable with canceling their cable, nor is there really the resources out there that would make it beneficial (Apple does not offer ALL TV shows). But the iTMS will get cheaper and more reliable. AppleTV will be refined and more useful. And trust me, all of you will be glad Apple created this little device in 5 years. This is all about having our media accessible to us no matter where we are in the home. I stand by my opinion that the AppleTV is a great product from Apple and although not as important today, with time this will be a very, very useful piece of technology.

BigHat
Mar 21, 2007, 12:37 PM
what are they?


Lexicon, Phillips (pronto), Harmony, RTI, H&K, Crestron, UEI Nevo come instantly to mind as very good. Add Sony, Memorex and others less good ( but all likely to be more robust than Apple's) and you see my point.

gazelips
Mar 21, 2007, 12:41 PM
Does anyone know if you can put an actual dvd in your computer and stream it to :apple: TV? It'd have more value to me if I could use my iMac's drive and get that dvd player off my tv.

*Apologies if this has been answered - too many posts to sift through at work :)

GryphonKeeper
Mar 21, 2007, 12:42 PM
It looks like a great product to me. I'd mostly be interested in getting my photos and music onto my TV, as well as video podcasts and episodes of TV shows that I currently download because they aren't aired in the UK at the same time as US (Lost, Heroes, etc). We don't even have an option of buying TV content on the iTMS here, and I still think the Apple TV is a good product.

I'm excited to see photos on my widescreen, with the whole family sitting in nice comfy chairs. Right now, my wife's family crowds around a laptop. Which sucks. Also, I have videos of trips and my kids that are available. My complete library of iTunes songs and videos is streamed to my living room. I also have and iTunes purchased movies and TV shows. I'm tired of buying DVDs that my kids destroy.

Mine should arrive tomorrow!

seashellz2
Mar 21, 2007, 12:42 PM
hmmm...if it hasnt been mentioned already...behold

http://www.caseapps.com/sofacontrol.html

BigHat
Mar 21, 2007, 12:43 PM
Gimme a break... Apple could have come up with something to make connecting the AppleTV easy, elegant and inexpensive... I'm no engineer but hows about a 'built in' HDCP compliant HDMI switcher so you can connect say.. Your DVD into the AppleTV and then the AppleTV gets to connect to the TV. If you wanna get really fancy it could even AUTO DETECT the video signal thats coming in from the DVD player and auto-switch to the DVD signal when present and back to the AppleTV signal when you turn the DVD player off (and the signal goes away).

Gee Mr. Wizard that sure sounds like MAGIC to ME! :rolleyes:

Dave

Great idea, I want to pay for an HDMI switcher I have NO use for. Heck, 90% of US TVs and pre/pros and rcvrs don't even support HDMI .

Keep it simple and buy what else you need to make it work FOR YOU.

IJ Reilly
Mar 21, 2007, 12:45 PM
Gimme a break... Apple could have come up with something to make connecting the AppleTV easy, elegant and inexpensive... I'm no engineer but hows about a 'built in' HDCP compliant HDMI switcher so you can connect say.. Your DVD into the AppleTV and then the AppleTV gets to connect to the TV. If you wanna get really fancy it could even AUTO DETECT the video signal thats coming in from the DVD player and auto-switch to the DVD signal when present and back to the AppleTV signal when you turn the DVD player off (and the signal goes away).

Gee Mr. Wizard that sure sounds like MAGIC to ME! :rolleyes:

Dave

I'll give you a break when you give me a break. Deal?

If this is such a trivial problem, then why hasn't anybody solved it yet? Why didn't Microsoft do it with the Xbox? Why haven't the cable box manufacturers done it? Why haven't the DVD player manufacturers done it? How about the TV manufacturers? So why complain about Apple not solving this problem, when nobody else has? Why is Apple, which has just released their first and so far only TV product, singled out for responsibility?

Incidentally, one of the first questions I asked an Apple rep on the floor at MWSF in January is if the Apple TV had an HDMI pass-through (though I'm not sure if this is even technically possible). So I certainly know about and am interested in the problem of limited video inputs. The difference is that I was not shocked, shocked, shocked when the Apple rep answered "no."

glennyboiwpg
Mar 21, 2007, 12:45 PM
Don't be a goof! :rolleyes:

What Apple NEEDED TO DO was make it so a user could REPLACE AN EXISTING DEVICE that was already using one of those valuable and it would seem limited connections.

How about throwing a dvd player in the freakin thing so I could replace my up-converting DVD player (problem solved) and for an 'upgraded unit for a few extra bucks' they could throw in a DVD-R so people could then replace any existing DVD recorder.

Why don't you list for me home many successful devices that require a quality connection to your HDTV. HD/BR etc DVD Player/recorder, Cable Box or TiVO & A game system.

Thats pretty much it - DVD, CABLE & GAME so TV makers have in most cases built TVs with 3 or 4 HD inputs (at the most)...

Now Apple rolls out a new box that can't in any way replace the functionality of any of the 'top 3 device categories' and yet they expect for it to be a success???

Apple shoulda thought this one out just a wee bit more... :mad:

Dave

LOL :D
Totally agree! Seriously guys, what does the CUSTOMER gain from buying an iTV? Absolutely nothing. It's a total sham. You're buying a very expensive box that basically does nothing but a slimmed down Remote-Desktop connection to play Apple's hugely overpriced content. Even more than getting an iTV for free, Apple should be paying us to use this thing.

If thats how you feel, i've got a great suggestion for you. DON'T BUY ONE!

There you go. :) Problem solved.

dgtlchild
Mar 21, 2007, 12:47 PM
Hi all,

I was very interested in the :apple: TV when it was announced last fall as I (like many of you) was looking for a way to watch content that I created or purchased on my TV. I also wanted a way to put all my DVDs (a few hundred) onto a hard drive (as uncompressed VIDEO_TS folders) so I could put 'em in a box and store them out of site, as well as organize and browse my library easily (just like we all already do with iTunes).

After reviewing the :apple: TV specs it was apparent I was not going to enjoy this kind of flexibility, so I put together a system that I'd like to share with everyone here.

While it is very flexible, the notable disadvantage as compared to :apple: TV is that it is not wireless. I'm tethered to the Mac by a DVI cable.

I've added prices to components of this system that are either specific to this setup and/or would be covered by functionality in the :apple: TV.

20" iMac Core 2 Duo
External 300GB HD (connected via USB 2.0)
Epson Projector with DVI-D input (1024 x 768)
10 meter DVI cable ($90)
Apple Mini DV -> DVI-D adaptor ($20)
Equinux's MediaCentral software (Personal Pack - $30)
Elgato Systems' EyeTV Hybrid ($100 - MacWorld show price)
Mac The Ripper ($free)
Total Additional Cost: $240

The iMac recognizes the projector as part of the extended desktop. I simply drag over anything I want to watch on it (and set it to view full-screen). This way I can watch movies, tv shows, iPhoto slideshows, and iTunes coverflow & visualizer on the big screen.

I'm hopeful that the 802.11n Airport Extreme will be fast enough to stream SD DVD content from an attached HD.

Regards,
j

dmelgar
Mar 21, 2007, 12:52 PM
While the latter is a real limitation, 1080p is quite marginal problem. Yes, there are 1080p televisions for sale. But overwhelming majority of televisions are NOT 1080p. And if you compare install-base, 1080p is TINY. Maybe next year 1080p will sell as much as 720p, but it will take a LONG time before it will reach the sold number of 720p.
This has been debunked before. Apple TV requires an HDTV, it doesn't support composite video output, yet its limited to 720p. Walk into a Bestbuy or Circuitcity and see what TV's they're pushing.

The "majority" of TVs aren't HDTV at all. iTunes doesn't even have HDTV content, so you could argue that 720p is overkill. But they require you to have an HDTV by only having HDMI and progressive.

If you're going to require HDTV, you might as well support 1080p. I doubt that the Apple TV is powerful enough to support it.

gugy
Mar 21, 2007, 12:53 PM
Lexicon, Phillips (pronto), Harmony, RTI, H&K, Crestron, UEI Nevo come instantly to mind as very good. Add Sony, Memorex and others less good ( but all likely to be more robust than Apple's) and you see my point.


I see and I don't see your point.

Yes, there are options out there, some are good some are lame, but if Apple can have a simple, yet powerful remote, why not? programming it by your Mac and with a bare bones OSX UI, could be really interesting.

If you don't want it, then don't buy it. ;)

IJ Reilly
Mar 21, 2007, 12:58 PM
This has been debunked before. Apple TV requires an HDTV, it doesn't support composite video output, yet its limited to 720p. Walk into a Bestbuy or Circuitcity and see what TV's they're pushing.

And who in their right minds would not buy whatever Best Buy or Circuit City are pushing?

We've already had several threads on 1080p vs. 720p. Not to repeat this debate, but let's put it this way: after reading these discussions, I've decided not to waste any of my dough on a 1080p TV, even if the retailers are pushing them.

NightStorm
Mar 21, 2007, 01:01 PM
Gimme a break... Apple could have come up with something to make connecting the AppleTV easy, elegant and inexpensive... I'm no engineer but hows about a 'built in' HDCP compliant HDMI switcher so you can connect say.. Your DVD into the AppleTV and then the AppleTV gets to connect to the TV. If you wanna get really fancy it could even AUTO DETECT the video signal thats coming in from the DVD player and auto-switch to the DVD signal when present and back to the AppleTV signal when you turn the DVD player off (and the signal goes away).

Gee Mr. Wizard that sure sounds like MAGIC to ME! :rolleyes:

Dave
You have really got to be kidding me at this point. Would you be willing to pay an additional $100-$150 for the box? Probably not. How is this even Apple's fault? They aren't putting a gun to your head, and most HDTVs now come with multiple HDMI and HD-component inputs, and I seriously doubt a lot of households have every single one of those filled.

I just love how lots of people in this thread want more functionality but say that it's too expensive in its current form. I'm glad Apple doesn't try to make a product to please everyone; if they tried that they would NEVER release anything, or it would cost a fortune. :rolleyes:

BigHat
Mar 21, 2007, 01:02 PM
I see and I don't see your point.

Yes, there are options out there, some are good some are lame, but if Apple can have a simple, yet powerful remote, why not? programming it by your Mac and with a bare bones OSX UI, could be really interesting.

If you don't want it, then don't buy it. ;)

It is a huge undertaking to support a universal remote. Harmony supports Mac online programming already and has invested millions in cataloging IR codes for thousands of devices and writing a simple software program to assist customers.
Go up into the Pronto, Crestron and Lexicon models and you're talking very serious programming talent required.

Your "don't want it, don't buy it" comment makes little sense (in my view anyway) here because you are asking Apple to dump millions of dollars into a area of products already well saturated with good gear and compete against them in their core competency. I think it's a bad idea. No way they'll invest enough to match the products out there already. Heck, spend the $$ on a dediciated HT based computer..:)

Evangelion
Mar 21, 2007, 01:03 PM
3 seconds in Google :)

http://www.ocregister.com/ocr/2005/08/15/sections/business/article_634323.php

Oh, wow. Mossberg gives glowing and rave reviews of every single major Apple product there is, but then gives a negative review about their.... mouse.

I like Apple as much as anyone on these forums, but I would still wait for reviews from someone else than Mossberg. Reason being that Mossberg always gives Apple good reviews. His comments regarding the Mighty Mouse does not change that.

Clive At Five
Mar 21, 2007, 01:04 PM
Apple has laid down the first brick in the construction of a glorious technologically advanced home with AppleTV. Today, AppleTV is not entirely useful. We see it as restricting. It has a lack of features. But in the future, Cable will die. Who would subscribe to cable if you can get all the shows you would ever want to watch on your computer and have them streamed to your TV? There are many advantages there. Like anything, this technology takes time to develop. Technology moves at the rate that people are willing to accept it. Right now, people are not comfortable with canceling their cable, nor is there really the resources out there that would make it beneficial (Apple does not offer ALL TV shows). But the iTMS will get cheaper and more reliable. AppleTV will be refined and more useful. And trust me, all of you will be glad Apple created this little device in 5 years. This is all about having our media accessible to us no matter where we are in the home. I stand by my opinion that the AppleTV is a great product from Apple and although not as important today, with time this will be a very, very useful piece of technology.

I agree that :apple:TV is the cornerstone in a greater structure soon to be errected. I diagree, however, that the iTS is a total solution to cable/sattelite. For one, 50% of the time, when I want to plop down to watch TV, I don't have a certain show I want to watch. I want to channel surf. There is not a equivalent function for this, yet, on the iTS. If, however, Apple had a subscription model, the iTS would be a whole lot more alluring than cable.

I still agree that there's much more to come out of :apple:TV.

-Clive

DaveGee
Mar 21, 2007, 01:05 PM
Sorry Dave,
Not buying into your 3 box limit theory. Just doesn't hold water to me. Heck, I don't even have a game player in my system and I have twice as many devices.

Name the categories of devices for me...

------------------------------------
Catagory 1 - Movie Player & TV Recorder ability

DVD / DVDR / VHS / BluRay / HD-DVD etc...
------------------------------------

------------------------------------
Catagory 2 - TV Tuning / DVR ability

Cable box, tivo, satellite, fios, etc
------------------------------------

------------------------------------
Catagory 3 - Game System

xbox, sony, nintendo, etc
------------------------------------

These THREE categories have been the NORM since the days of the 1st VCR and the first tv pong system. Most TVs are made with this in mind and except for the ultra inexpensive TV makers usually provide for ONE of EACH of those CATEGORIES to be connected.

If you have devices that DON'T fit into one of the above then I'd sure like to hear em.. but I'll tell you this much they DO NOT sell all that well.

Now as I said - TVs are made with this in mind. If you want to be able to connect MULTIPLES of those devices you either have to sacrifice your ability to use one or more of the 'other' devices so you'll have a connection available... OR buy a more expensive TV with more inputs OR buy one type of switcher or another (and yea you can opt to use your receiver that gives you 6 HD CONNECTIONS and allows you to switch between them **BUT** if your looking at getting a receiver that can SWITCH 6 HDMI connections then (last I looked) your SOL (or if one has come out expect to be paying upwards of 2 or 3 thousand bucks!

If you want a receiver that just does component and doesn't do ANY HDMI (kiss any HDMI/HDCP components goodbye) then for a 6 input unit I'd say you would be paying somewhere between 500 and 1000.

Mixed support HDMI/Component usually run in the $1,500 range.

Expecting someone who has a HDTV with a DVD & XBox to have to resort to such options (and complexities) not to mention the cost just to add an AppleTV is utterly insane.

I can't see how you don't see that?

Dave

Evangelion
Mar 21, 2007, 01:07 PM
Do you have a black-and-white TV, or did you make the leap to color technology? Did you wait until all content was color before making the switch?

Whether you use the term "obsolete", or "trailing edge", or whatever - Apple missed an opportunity here. Or, they're keeping their hands on your credit card with planned early obsolescence.

If the iTV supported 1080p, that wouldn't mean that it couldn't play 720p as well.

And fact remains, that 1070p would cost them more, while giving very limited things in return. 1070p will be a niche for years to come. 720p is the dominant standard for quite some time. You are basically asking Apple to invest money to cater to a niche. A growing niche, yes, but still a niche. It simply would not make any sense.

I don't see AppleTV becoming obsolete for at least five years. And when 1070p becomes dominant, it would still work just fine with AppleTV. So what's the problem here?

ankushpatel
Mar 21, 2007, 01:08 PM
this question is for someone who has a sdtv and is trying to connect it to the itv does it work? if yes how does it look?

gugy
Mar 21, 2007, 01:09 PM
Your "don't want it, don't buy it" comment makes little sense (in my view anyway) here because you are asking Apple to dump millions of dollars into a area of products already well saturated with good gear and compete against them in their core competency. I think it's a bad idea. No way they'll invest enough to match the products out there already. Heck, spend the $$ on a dediciated HT based computer..:)

I am not asking Apple to do anything, I am just making a suggestion on a rumors site! :eek: ;)

Padriac
Mar 21, 2007, 01:14 PM
Why no DivX
When it comes to the big picture, DivX doesn't matter at all. Not at all. Basically some people have a bunch of cobbled together solutions before this sort of product (playing your media on a TV) got standardized. Henry Ford wasn't worried about supporting your homemade motor when he mass produced the automobile for the general consumer*. Why would Apple pay money for a DivX license when there is virtually no legal Divx content sources and less than 1% of their potential buyers are using it?

Why no DVD player
This product is meant to replace DVDs, not your DVD player. If Apple's goal is to completely take content distribution away from physical discs, why would they put something to encourage their competition in their own box? How would they justify removing the DVD component in future revisions?

Remotes and inputs
Any consumer electronics device faces the problem of adding yet another remote and taking more of your TV's inputs. Hasn't seemed to stop the videogame consoles from rapid success.

Not enough iTunes content
More and higher Def iTunes content is obviously the goal. But how do you justify high def content when people are watching most of their videos on an iPod? You give them a way to watch it in their living room. The Apple TV is necessary to expand ITMS content, not the other way around

No High Def Content means Nobody will Buy It
People watch 480i/480p DVDs on their HDTVs all the time. Just look at the Blu-ray/HD DVD sales numbers and realize that the vast majority of people are sticking with 480p. If having less than 1080p or even 720p content was really a deal breaker, the DVD market would have crashed already.

This product is just like an iPod. Do you think the ITMS would be where it is with music WITHOUT the iPod? Hell no. Remember that the ITMS came AFTER the iPod was introduced. The ITMS needs a similar device for video to push the content forward. This, like the 1st gen iPod is a product that does nothing new, but does it in a more standardized, simple, and easy to use way. It's chicken vs. egg and Apple just made a chicken. Now we wait for the egg.

*please don't take this analogy too literally... I know there is a lot of baggage with standardized parts and models and such.

DaveGee
Mar 21, 2007, 01:17 PM
You have really got to be kidding me at this point. Would you be willing to pay an additional $100-$150 for the box? Probably not. How is this even Apple's fault? They aren't putting a gun to your head, and most HDTVs now come with multiple HDMI and HD-component inputs, and I seriously doubt a lot of households have every single one of those filled.

I just love how lots of people in this thread want more functionality but say that it's too expensive in its current form. I'm glad Apple doesn't try to make a product to please everyone; if they tried that they would NEVER release anything, or it would cost a fortune. :rolleyes:

End of story...

1 - Most HDTV in the home have 3 or less Comonent and/or HDMI connections.

2 - Most people have a Cable Box (using input #1) and some type of up-converting DVD player using input #2 with connection #3 going to a game box (if you have kids in the house)

Game over Apple looses....

And as to me willing to pay and extra $150 for my feature request... Sorry it wouldn't cost anywhere near that and lets pretend it does... Yea I'd be willing to pay it since a POS manual HDMI switcher will cost me over 80 bucks and a *marginally usable* universal remote will cost me another 150 bucks.

Yea to have an elegant no switch control necessary solution it would be worth your fictional $150 bucks. To be a little more realistic it shouldn't cost anywhere near that but instead closer to 10% or 15% of that cost (especially in the volumes apple is dealing with).

Dave

NightStorm
Mar 21, 2007, 01:23 PM
End of story...

1 - Most HDTV in the home have 3 or less Comonent and/or HDMI connections.

2 - Most people have a Cable Box (using input #1) and some type of up-converting DVD player using input #2 with connection #3 going to a game box (if you have kids in the house)

Game over Apple looses....

And as to me willing to pay and extra $150 for my feature request... Sorry it wouldn't cost anywhere near that and lets pretend it does... Yea I'd be willing to pay it since a POS manual HDMI switcher will cost me over 80 bucks and a *marginally usable* universal remote will cost me another 150 bucks.

Yea to have an elegant no switch control necessary solution it would be worth your fictional $150 bucks. To be a little more realistic it shouldn't cost anywhere near that but instead closer to 10% or 15% of that cost (especially in the volumes apple is dealing with).

Dave
They'd also have to deal with all the tech support calls when not all of their devices work with the switch right thanks to incomplete or incorrect implementation of HDMI/HDCP in some devices.

dante@sisna.com
Mar 21, 2007, 01:24 PM
Apple has laid down the first brick in the construction of a glorious technologically advanced home with AppleTV. Today, AppleTV is not entirely useful. We see it as restricting. It has a lack of features. But in the future, Cable will die. Who would subscribe to cable if you can get all the shows you would ever want to watch on your computer and have them streamed to your TV? There are many advantages there. Like anything, this technology takes time to develop. Technology moves at the rate that people are willing to accept it. Right now, people are not comfortable with canceling their cable, nor is there really the resources out there that would make it beneficial (Apple does not offer ALL TV shows). But the iTMS will get cheaper and more reliable. AppleTV will be refined and more useful. And trust me, all of you will be glad Apple created this little device in 5 years. This is all about having our media accessible to us no matter where we are in the home. I stand by my opinion that the AppleTV is a great product from Apple and although not as important today, with time this will be a very, very useful piece of technology.

Yes Agree -- I am so sick of $100 per month cable/satellite or $25 month "Subscription" rentals -- I am so sick of 99¢ grocery store rentals where I then screw up and pay a $10 late fee.

I say bring it on -- computer download ONLY way that makes sense for me.

I am done with Netflix, Blockbuster, etc etc etc.

I'll take my $40 DSL or Cable (I have both in my design studio) and buy what I want, when I want it.

DaveGee
Mar 21, 2007, 01:26 PM
If thats how you feel, i've got a great suggestion for you. DON'T BUY ONE!

There you go. :) Problem solved.

Don't, worry most the people who have cable tv a dvd player and a game console and a reasonably priced 1st 2nd 3rd gen HDTV will be doing just that.

Gee that can't be all that many potential customers... I'd be shocked if more than 10% or 15% of the HDTV owners... In fact.. now that I think about it, I'm sure MOST don't have a DVD player *and* a game console as well as their cable box hooked up to their HDTV! That would be almost unheard of. :p

Now yea I will admit the latest HDTV I just got (Sharp Aquos 42") has more connections but that set is a very VERY new model and it's a far cry from the norm when it comes to HD connections.

Dave

GanleyBurger
Mar 21, 2007, 01:38 PM
I'm just glad that Apple changed the picture on the main web page!!!

Finally, something new to look at besides the iphone!!!:eek:

A glimmer of hope for new products...

CoreWeb
Mar 21, 2007, 01:40 PM
Don't, worry most the people who have cable tv a dvd player and a game console and a reasonably priced 1st 2nd 3rd gen HDTV will be doing just that.

Gee that can't be all that many potential customers... I'd be shocked if more than 10% or 15% of the HDTV owners... In fact.. now that I think about it, I'm sure MOST don't have a DVD player *and* a game console as well as their cable box hooked up to their HDTV! That would be almost unheard of. :p

Now yea I will admit the latest HDTV I just got (Sharp Aquos 42") has more connections but that set is a very VERY new model and it's a far cry from the norm when it comes to HD connections.

Dave

How many people have a game box, a DVD player, and a cable box all hooked up to high-def ports on their TV? My setup is as such:
HDMI - currently unused (never has been used, in fact)
Composite 1 - unused
Composite 2- once used by a DVD player, now unusable because it shares composite audio with Component 2
Component 2 - used by a DVD player
Component 3 - used by cable box

This leaves HDMI open. And S-VIDEO as a matter of fact. The DVD player (as it isn't really high-def anyway), could be moved if we wanted (which we wouldn't even need to do to use the AppleTV.

Our game console is connected to a different TV. What percentage of people have consoles plugged into the same TV? Maybe I'm way off-base though. Though, our TV is relatively old, and thus probably has fewer connections than many others.

Now... it would still be very neat if Apple allowed pass-through of whatever port it was not using for output... say, allow you to view HDMI when component was being used for output or allow you to view component when HDMI was...

BigHat
Mar 21, 2007, 01:47 PM
Name the categories of devices for me...

------------------------------------
Catagory 1 - Movie Player & TV Recorder ability

DVD / DVDR / VHS / BluRay / HD-DVD etc...
------------------------------------

------------------------------------
Catagory 2 - TV Tuning / DVR ability

Cable box, tivo, satellite, fios, etc
------------------------------------

------------------------------------
Catagory 3 - Game System

xbox, sony, nintendo, etc
------------------------------------

These THREE categories have been the NORM since the days of the 1st VCR and the first tv pong system. Most TVs are made with this in mind and except for the ultra inexpensive TV makers usually provide for ONE of EACH of those CATEGORIES to be connected.

I can't see how you don't see that?

Dave


Your agrument is flawed in a VERY apparent way. Why on earth do you assume "one movie player etc" supplants the desire to retain or add others? VCRS are in use in many systems with DVD players. Many hybrid DVD players need to "stick around" to play CDs as Blu Ray players don't support them. As there are no HD DVDRs in existance, you must add an SD version to record TV etc.

Many of us maintain HD and SD Tivos in the same system too.

To also assert the three inputs is somehow the magic max on the back of a TV doesn't stand up after review either.

All that aside, your desire to add capability that you need, but others don't is stupid and has been conveyed by you and others throughout this thread. You doubters b*itch about how much it costs and how it needs to have more capability at the same time.

APPLENEWBIE
Mar 21, 2007, 01:52 PM
Just noticed this on the Apple TV "Connect your TV" page:

From connecting your existing A/V receiver to selecting the right video mode, if you run into problems while setting up your Apple TV, help is just a click away. Get quick and simple setup and connection solutions from the Apple TV: Tips and Basic Troubleshooting guide.

The last is a link.... that goes nowhere:

Document 305003 not found

The article you're looking for could not be found. Please start over, search Apple's Knowledge Base, or visit the Discussion area.

schaeferz
Mar 21, 2007, 01:54 PM
This isn't exactly surprising, as there's probably no standard way to change the TV volume via some input cable, and doing it directly via the remote would mean you would have to program your Apple remote like you would do a universal remote -- i.e.: a pain in the butt.

While being a huge Apple fan, I do have to chime in and say that the lack of volume changing support is not a technical challenge, but one that was not undertaken in this AppleTV version. Case in point is Microsoft Media Center supports the following:

- DVR functions
- Support volume changes from the media center or extender (source driven volume).
- Stream video, photos, music and internet TV via plugins.

I do have macs as my home machines, but the Media Center is the device of choice and will own the living room until there is DVR functions. I find the limitation of only content from iTunes is a big no-go. I understand the drivers from Apples perspective, but if you have kids you want to record the latest kids shows without having to pay for each 30min show.

Please don't take me wrong, I'm attempting to find the reason to love the AppleTV, and the solution here is third party support to get DVR functions into iTunes. I know there are several in play and that will allow for better AppleTV viability.

Somethings that I would like to see (many have been touched on in this forum) include:
- DVR recording
- Volume support
- Singbox like support
- Email reading support on the TV
- Stream the Dashboard to the TV (this is very useful feature in OS X)
- Download rental queue (love the idea of having the device just download the next in the rental Q overnight or on demand.... That would be very cool and useful).


I'm sure there are others but these are the big items.

-t

BigHat
Mar 21, 2007, 02:00 PM
While being a huge Apple fan, I do have to chime in and say that the lack of volume changing support is not a technical challenge, but one that was not undertaken in this AppleTV version. Case in point is Microsoft Media Center supports the following:

- DVR functions
- Support volume changes from the media center or extender (source driven volume).
- Stream video, photos, music and internet TV via plugins.

I do have macs as my home machines, but the Media Center is the device of choice and will own the living room until there is DVR functions. I find the limitation of only content from iTunes is a big no-go. I understand the drivers from Apples perspective, but if you have kids you want to record the latest kids shows without having to pay for each 30min show.

Please don't take me wrong, I'm attempting to find the reason to love the AppleTV, and the solution here is third party support to get DVR functions into iTunes. I know there are several in play and that will allow for better AppleTV viability.

Somethings that I would like to see (many have been touched on in this forum) include:
- DVR recording
- Volume support
- Photo slideshows
- Support video playlists (maybe it does)
- Singbox like support
- Email reading support on the TV
- Stream the Dashboard to the TV (this is very useful feature in OS X)
- Download rental queue (love the idea of having the device just download the next in the rental Q overnight or on demand.... That would be very cool and useful).


I'm sure there are others but these are the big items.

-t

Volume support: the comments that this is a problem are moronic

Photo slideshows: Have you looked at the capabilites? This is a strong suit

Email and Dashboard: Sorry you wish it was a PC, but the informed harbored no illusions.

CoreWeb
Mar 21, 2007, 02:05 PM
Somethings that I would like to see (many have been touched on in this forum) include:
- DVR recording
- Volume support
- Photo slideshows
- Support video playlists (maybe it does)
- Singbox like support
- Email reading support on the TV
- Stream the Dashboard to the TV (this is very useful feature in OS X)
- Download rental queue (love the idea of having the device just download the next in the rental Q overnight or on demand.... That would be very cool and useful).


I'm sure there are others but these are the big items.

-t
I believe Photo slideshows and video playlists are supported. Video playlists work on the iPod, after all, and are on iTunes. (Actually, photo slideshows ARE supported, take a look on Apple's AppleTV site, under "Photos" in the demo secion.)

morespce54
Mar 21, 2007, 02:11 PM
No, I think that pretty much says it all. The fact AppleTV's size IS the biggest selling point is why it's hard to get excited about it. I'd rather the AppleTV be the size of a TiVo box, Sling, DVD, etc, and have more functionality, than to be microsized and fairly crippled as-is now. iTunes video content is pretty weak w/ titles, pricing, and resolution.

An other good question would be: In Canada (and other countries), they don't have TV shows or movies in iTMS (yet)... How could they expect to sell much AppleTV over there?

I must have missed something...

schaeferz
Mar 21, 2007, 02:23 PM
I believe Photo slideshows and video playlists are supported. Video playlists work on the iPod, after all, and are on iTunes. (Actually, photo slideshows ARE supported, take a look on Apple's AppleTV site, under "Photos" in the demo secion.)

Thanks I stand corrected. After looking at the online demo, it does have strong support for photo and video playlists. It does look like fun eye candy.

CoreWeb
Mar 21, 2007, 02:28 PM
Thanks I stand corrected. After looking at the online demo, it does have strong support for photo and video playlists. It does look like fun eye candy.

Eye candy isn't going to be what makes or breaks it, though, I believe. I think that its success depends almost solely on how easy to use it is(which, admittedly, eye candy plays a large role in), how smoothly it operates, and how many people have video in their iTunes library. If the answers are "extremely," "extremely," and "plenty," then we'll see success.

And based on what I've seen and heard of the AppleTV, the first two answers seem to be exactly that - "extremely" and "extremely." So the real question is, how many people want to/do have video in iTunes?

DaveGee
Mar 21, 2007, 02:32 PM
Your agrument is flawed in a VERY apparent way. Why on earth do you assume "one movie player etc" supplants the desire to retain or add others? VCRS are in use in many systems with DVD players. Many hybrid DVD players need to "stick around" to play CDs as Blu Ray players don't support them. As there are no HD DVDRs in existance, you must add an SD version to record TV etc.

Many of us maintain HD and SD Tivos in the same system too.

To also assert the three inputs is somehow the magic max on the back of a TV doesn't stand up after review either.

All that aside, your desire to add capability that you need, but others don't is stupid and has been conveyed by you and others throughout this thread. You doubters b*itch about how much it costs and how it needs to have more capability at the same time.

... doesn't stand up after review either.

- I never said 3 inputs was the MAX (I wouldn't ever make such a statement since my newest HDTV has 6 HD quality inputs) you musta pulled that out of the air! So, if anything your it's YOUR POST doesn't stand up after MY REVIW. :lol:

I did say that most (as in the middle of the road priced) TVs today (the ones that sell the most) are built around the premiss that people paying for a TV with 'average features' will expect to be able to connect their cable box, DVD player *AND* a game console (all connected at the same time) and most tv manufactures have built TVs to provide this functionality.

The manufacturers have also gone ahead and made TVs that may sacrifice on the number and quality of the connections and in return have price those TVs for less. Finally TV makers have gone ahead and made TVs with lots more connection options 2 HDMI + 3 COMPONENT + 2 SVIDEO + 1 DVI and in return for the greater number of connectors they charge more.

I don't really need to explain all of this do I?

A few of you seem to be hell bent on not seeing this is a problem no matter how obvious it is. So, for people who don't see my point, I can't make it any clearer... but as it would happen I stumbled on the following:

http://www.xtrememac.com/audio/av_cables/switcher.php

It goes some of the way solving my issues... Clearly not as elegant as being able to control the switcher from the AppleTV remote itself but beggars can't be choosers and it's priced right but it's also not OUT yet either and we can't speak to HDMI/HDCP issues that the switcher COULD introduce and also the remote problem is still with and the many-many-too-many remote juggling problems.... but hey it's a start. Unfortunately it'll probably come with AUWW too.... (another ugly wall wart)

But it's very EXISTENCE goes to show that others surely see that LOTS of people are going to have the problem. It also has Apples blessing (I'm guessing) since I don't think they'd be using AppleTV in their product lit and have its design so closely match the AppleTV unless they did.

"Too many HDMI devices and not enough ports on your HDTV to connect them? We feel your pain. Most displays only offer one or two HDMI ports, which isn’t enough to support all of your devices. Our 4-port HDMI switcher is a simple solution that lets you connect up to four devices to a single HDMI port on your TV."

Gee now where on earth have I heard THAT before...

Dave

BigHat
Mar 21, 2007, 02:48 PM
... doesn't stand up after review either.

- I never said 3 inputs was the MAX (I wouldn't ever make such a statement since my newest HDTV has 6 HD quality inputs) you musta pulled that out of the air! So, if anything your it's YOUR POST doesn't stand up after MY REVIW. :lol:

I did say that most (as in the middle of the road priced) TVs today (the ones that sell the most) are built around the premiss that people paying for a TV with 'average features' will expect to be able to connect their cable box, DVD player *AND* a game console (all connected at the same time) and most tv manufactures have built TVs to provide this functionality.


But it's very EXISTENCE goes to show that others surely see that LOTS of people are going to have the problem. It also has Apples blessing (I'm guessing) since I don't think they'd be using AppleTV in their product lit and have its design so closely match the AppleTV unless they did.

"Too many HDMI devices and not enough ports on your HDTV to connect them? We feel your pain. Most displays only offer one or two HDMI ports, which isn’t enough to support all of your devices. Our 4-port HDMI switcher is a simple solution that lets you connect up to four devices to a single HDMI port on your TV."

Gee now where on earth have I heard THAT before...

Dave

Well since I never claimed you said three inputs was the max, I guess we can chalk this up as a hollow retort.

Congrats !! Thanks for coming to the rescue Apple. You now make a product that 20 others already make. Appreciate the Apple logo HDMI cable too. How on earth was I ever going to hook this up without them?

By the way, switchers and cables were out long before Apple TV was released. Again, something that anyone who read a single HT magazine in the last three years would know to be a blinding flash of the obvious.

Again, if you need extra HDMI support becuase of your TV etc, buy this or any other switcher ( wonder who is making it for Apple?) Those of us with plenty of HDMI ports, however, will be spared having one integrated into the Apple TV as extra dust collectors.

CJD2112
Mar 21, 2007, 02:49 PM
reposted this in a newer thread more appropriate to the topic...

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=3466636&posted=1#post3466636

cbud
Mar 21, 2007, 02:54 PM
This has been debunked before. Apple TV requires an HDTV, it doesn't support composite video output, yet its limited to 720p. Walk into a Bestbuy or Circuitcity and see what TV's they're pushing.

The "majority" of TVs aren't HDTV at all. iTunes doesn't even have HDTV content, so you could argue that 720p is overkill. But they require you to have an HDTV by only having HDMI and progressive.

If you're going to require HDTV, you might as well support 1080p. I doubt that the Apple TV is powerful enough to support it.

Apple TV does not require HDTV, it supports EDTV as well.

cuestakid
Mar 21, 2007, 03:08 PM
I think that Apple really needs to come and say what the heck the USB port is for if it can not be used for more storage-the only other possibility is that maybe one could connect their camera to it for a slide show or something like that-I think that :apple:tv is a great piece of hardware with lots of room for new additions-but like several posters have said it wont have DVR-but I do know that maglia has mentions of getting your recorded shows on to :apple: tv-dont forget anything that will play in itunes or quicktime without codecs will work-so as long as you encode your dvds and tv shows with MPEG4, you are good

ftaok
Mar 21, 2007, 03:09 PM
The DVR market is still considerably a HUGE market Apple, Inc. is essentially ignoring through TV. If the Apple TV had DVR functionality it would essentially replace a digital cable box if the HDTV had a cable card slot.


I wasn't one of the ones that moaned about the :apple:TV's lack of DVR functions. However, I did moan and groan that the :apple:TV didn't support the MPEG-2 streams that can be recorded by Macs and PC (using EyeTv or other software).

With that said, I don't beleive that Apple will ever make a DVR. And not because they don't wan't to compete with the iTS. My reasoning is that it's too difficult to compete with the cable companies $10/month DVR. Americans, in general, do not want to outlay the cash for a product and would rather pay a smaller monthly fee. Even if the rental equipment is inferior to the buy-to-own equipment.

An Apple DVR would be fighting the cable companies offerings and would likely lose.

Also, your remark about CableCard is not correct. For it to work, the Apple DVR would need the cable card slot (or just a QAM tuner if you're not worried about premium digital channels). Whether the TV had a CC slot is irrelevant. I'm sure Apple doens't want to deal with CableCards as they seem to be very difficult to set up (mainly because the Cable companies don't like to provide them) and it would look bad on Apple if it took 3 trips by the cable guy to set-up. And there is no current solution for satellite TV users, short of having component (or better) inputs and and IR blaster to operate the Satellite box.

Anyways, I just wanted to chime in.

ft

IJ Reilly
Mar 21, 2007, 03:15 PM
A few of you seem to be hell bent on not seeing this is a problem no matter how obvious it is.

Many of us fully understand the problem, but what we can't understand is your assertion that it's somehow Apple's problem to fix, and not the responsibility of, say TV manufacturers. I've asked that question at least once already. You apparently chose to ignore it. You really should not get so annoyed with how others discuss this issue if you're going to sidestep points that you don't want to address.

godrifle
Mar 21, 2007, 03:16 PM
... and early adopter tax. :D

ftaok
Mar 21, 2007, 03:31 PM
This has been debunked before. Apple TV requires an HDTV, it doesn't support composite video output, yet its limited to 720p. Walk into a Bestbuy or Circuitcity and see what TV's they're pushing.

The "majority" of TVs aren't HDTV at all. iTunes doesn't even have HDTV content, so you could argue that 720p is overkill. But they require you to have an HDTV by only having HDMI and progressive.

If you're going to require HDTV, you might as well support 1080p. I doubt that the Apple TV is powerful enough to support it.

dmelgar,

You're slightly incorrect. Apple TV isn't limited to 720p. It can do (at least according to the specs) 1080i. It's the video that is limited to 1280x720/24p (not ATSC-720p which is 30p, but it probably won't be noticeable).

I'm thinking that watching AppleTV stuff on a 1080p HDTV will be like watching ABC, ESPN, or Fox.

ft

GregA
Mar 21, 2007, 03:32 PM
three things for AppleTV to get a big foot on the entertainment room.

1) 1080p support
2) 5.1 audio
3) cool, new universal remote.

1) 1080p support: I don't think its worth paying more for this, yet. Most plasmas out there are either older EDTV 480p, or HDTV 768 lines. I do think they should support it as soon as their graphics cards are capable.

2) 5.1 audio: Absolutely. I'll be very interested in learning if the box is capable of this now, or if the digital audio output is kind of a furphy.

3) universal remote: I'd like to see Apple compete in this area, I think there's room for a really good universal remote. But it should be a separate product to the AppleTV.

No, a cool universal remote is a mistake. Most people already have one. It's not an Apple core competency and good ones begin around $500 and go into the thousands. Nah, universal remote don't work well. They're like the music players before the iPod - they seem to do it all, but they still take intelligence to use (and especially to setup).

There are some good universal remotes, but they're expensive. Apple could make good inroads here.

cverrone
Mar 21, 2007, 03:47 PM
Currently waiting for my Apple TV to arrive (hopefully tomorrow) but was hoping I could get some knowledgable help here.

In the past week I have bought a Samsung 42 inch Plasma (comes with 2 HDMI Jacks) --- and I want to hook up my Apple TV (HDMI), Comcast Digital Cable Box (HDMI), and Phillips Home Thearte system (HDMI) ---

http://reviews.cnet.com/Philips_HTS6500/4507-6740_7-31660606.html?tag=sub

So I have three devices with HDMI capability but only 2 HDMI ports on my Samsung HD TV. To complicate things, I want the audio from the actual TV, and Apple TV to come out of the Phillips system all the time, NOT the standard Samsung TV speakers.

What is the best way to accomplish this?

Thanks guys

cracker9
Mar 21, 2007, 03:57 PM
the battle for for the successor of the DVD format is underway and though apple tv doesn't not support 1080p it does do 1080i which is quit frankly a good enough standard for now and is made up for it with the simplistic use of the interface where you no longer have to shuffle through boxes of DVD cases to find what you want. we solved this problem 10 years ago in music with the mp3/ipod revolution even though mp3 formate is inferior to the CD the mp3 one ... get ready blueray and HD DVD it's the software stupid

BigHat
Mar 21, 2007, 04:00 PM
1) 3) universal remote: I'd like to see Apple compete in this area, I think there's room for a really good universal remote. But it should be a separate product to the AppleTV.

Nah, universal remote don't work well. They're like the music players before the iPod - they seem to do it all, but they still take intelligence to use (and especially to setup).

There are some good universal remotes, but they're expensive. Apple could make good inroads here.

Well, I guess we have different viewpoints on this one. Since Apple is about 5% of the installed based of computers and from the look of this thread many Apple owners are "Jerry's Kids" on the subject of HT I see little market for a universal remote programmable on a Mac, especially when Harmony's web based program works very well across platforms.

I'd suggest you look at Harmony and Philips products before you assert "URs don't work well." I fire up and shutdown my system with a press of a single button and select inputs, adjust video inputs the same way.
The Harmony was simple to do and the Pronto allowed me to build custom pages for added flexibility. Doubtful many folks here have the time or energy to do that though no matter who sells the device.

Nothing Apple could sell under $400 would replace existing very good remotes and that's more $$$ than many people have invested in the audio eqipment in total.

ftaok
Mar 21, 2007, 04:02 PM
Currently waiting for my Apple TV to arrive (hopefully tomorrow) but was hoping I could get some knowledgable help here.

In the past week I have bought a Samsung 42 inch Plasma (comes with 2 HDMI Jacks) --- and I want to hook up my Apple TV (HDMI), Comcast Digital Cable Box (HDMI), and Phillips Home Thearte system (HDMI) ---

http://reviews.cnet.com/Philips_HTS6500/4507-6740_7-31660606.html?tag=sub

So I have three devices with HDMI capability but only 2 HDMI ports on my Samsung HD TV. To complicate things, I want the audio from the actual TV, and Apple TV to come out of the Phillips system all the time, NOT the standard Samsung TV speakers.

What is the best way to accomplish this?

Thanks guys
I'm not sure what the Philips device is, but it sounds like a DVD player/5.1 speaker system. If this is the case, I would do this.

Philips - HDMI to TV
AppleTV - HDMI to TV, optical out to Philips
Comcast Box - Component to TV, optical (if it has it) to Philips.

Since both the Apple TV and Comcast box are likely to top out at 1080i, it's really a crapshoot as to whether HDMI or component would be better for video. Try both, who knows, you might like them both on component.

Does the AppleTV come with an HDMI and component cables?

ft

EDIT - I changed my mind. I looked at the link you provided. If the Philips DVD player only upconverts through the HDMI, then what I said is OK. However, if it doesn't upconvert at all (just progressive scan), then just use the component for the DVD player and use HDMI fo rboth the cable box and aTV, unless the video looks better with component.