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View Full Version : Chance of Web Browsing on AppleTV?




awright07
Mar 25, 2007, 12:47 AM
With the wireless connection there, a mysterious USB port, and rumored Bluetooth, how long until we see a version of Safari running on this thing? Is this even in the realm of possibility? Just think- web browsing on your TV from your couch.



zap2
Mar 25, 2007, 01:31 AM
Unlikely...and honestly not needed.


Nothing I've seen for web browsing from the couch was been all that good....I'll stay with my Mac for that.


Also people have open the AppleTV...did they talk about finding BT in there or no?

evilgEEk
Mar 25, 2007, 02:24 AM
I don't see it happening.

How would you interact with the web browser? It would be a pain to use.

MacAnkka
Mar 25, 2007, 03:03 AM
They've managed to get VLC and some other apps to boot up on the AppleTV, so I don't see why Firefox/Safari/Opera would be much different. The only problem so far has been to get the USB-port working with external mouse and keyboard, so using the programs is a little hard at the moment. I doubt it will take long for them to figure it out, though.

localoid
Mar 25, 2007, 03:29 AM
They've managed to get VLC and some other apps to boot up on the AppleTV, so I don't see why Firefox/Safari/Opera would be much different. The only problem so far has been to get the USB-port working with external mouse and keyboard, so using the programs is a little hard at the moment. I doubt it will take long for them to figure it out, though.

With an underclocked 1Ghz cpu and only 256MB of (non-user upgradeable) RAM in :apple: tv any graphical Web browser would be running in ultra s-l-o-w motion. I suppose you could run Lynx, a text-based Web browser, if you positively had to access the Web for some compelling reason, e.g., to save the planet from alien invasion from outer space. Otherwise, don't count on it. :p

:apple: tv (w/256MB) should prove to be adequate for running most text-based server daemons, such as Apache, MySQL, PHP, FTPD, etc., but as far as running memory-intensive graphical applications requiring a GUI, you can pretty well forget it unless you'd be able to setup and use :apple: tv as a VCN client, etc.

biturbomunkie
Mar 25, 2007, 03:56 AM
you might be better of w/ a mac mini next to your TV.

Nermal
Mar 25, 2007, 04:21 AM
With an underclocked 1Ghz cpu and only 256MB of (non-user upgradeable) RAM in :apple: tv any graphical Web browser would be running in ultra s-l-o-w motion.

Err... you could EASILY run a Web browser with 1 GHz and 256 MB. Remember that there's much less overhead, eg. no Finder running in the background.

Ladybug
Mar 25, 2007, 05:59 AM
I highly doubt, at least in the current configuration, that web browsing will ever be an option. I seriously hope that :apple: TV doesn't become a "does everything" type device. I like that its simple and hope they put all their efforts into streamlining and improving whats there already.

My reason for feeling this way comes from past experience with my Tivo. When I first purchased my Tivo it did just a few things, very well. After they added many new features to the device, the unit slowed down considerably. To make matters worse we never got a choice on whether we wanted all these extra features.

My hope is that they keep it simple. Better to do a few things very well than to try to do more than the hardware is designed for.

tominated
Mar 25, 2007, 06:12 AM
With an underclocked 1Ghz cpu and only 256MB of (non-user upgradeable) RAM in :apple: tv any graphical Web browser would be running in ultra s-l-o-w motion. I suppose you could run Lynx, a text-based Web browser, if you positively had to access the Web for some compelling reason, e.g., to save the planet from alien invasion from outer space. Otherwise, don't count on it. :p

:apple: tv (w/256MB) should prove to be adequate for running most text-based server daemons, such as Apache, MySQL, PHP, FTPD, etc., but as far as running memory-intensive graphical applications requiring a GUI, you can pretty well forget it unless you'd be able to setup and use :apple: tv as a VCN client, etc.
tominated browser...

localoid
Mar 25, 2007, 08:05 AM
tominated browser...

Doesn't help to just trim down the Browser's RAM footprint. You'd still need the full-blown OS X GUI running. There goes your RAM. You don't have the luxury of running the full blown GUI w/the 256MB limit imposed, unless you could really, really trim the kernel and the GUI down to icevm's size in Linux for example. Apple's apparently not running Aqua, Finder on itv... they got the GUI crapola cut to the bare bones. The terms of things GUI, this machine is good only an extention, not as an separate, standalone platform. By design, the "platform" is iTunes. By hackerdom, it may be more, but not much more... the (text) stuff of servers would work however.

You're really going to be limited to a text Browser, like lynx unless you have the patience of a saint. Try running Tiger on a 256MB machine... it ain't pretty. :p

localoid
Mar 25, 2007, 08:37 AM
Err... you could EASILY run a Web browser with 1 GHz and 256 MB. Remember that there's much less overhead, eg. no Finder running in the background.

Try it @256MB in Tiger. It sucks. Kill Finder. Kill Spotlight. Kill Dashboard, etc. Play with run levels. It still will suck.

Try it in Linux, which is leaner than OSX since it has tiny GUIs. It still sucks. (But not exactly big time.)

It's like trying to "tweak" an old PII @400Mhz machines to run the latest games by adding 32MB PCI graphic card. The results will be better, but it will still suck.

Try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear... well, the result will suck.

Learn to live within what life (or the hardware) limits you to... it doesn't suck (as much.) :p

MacAnkka
Mar 25, 2007, 08:47 AM
Umm.. I have a VIA EPIA Mini-ITX motherboard with an integrated 800mhz processor (that struggles at playing a simple DivX file), 256mb ram and an integrated video-card. It can run a slightly stripped-down Windows 2000 (!) with Firefox quite decently. If it can work that well at web browsing, I don't see how AppleTV couldn't.

localoid
Mar 25, 2007, 09:13 AM
Umm.. I have a VIA EPIA Mini-ITX motherboard with an integrated 800mhz processor (that struggles at playing a simple DivX file), 256mb ram and an integrated video-card. It can run a slightly stripped-down Windows 2000 (!) with Firefox quite decently. If it can work that well at web browsing, I don't see how AppleTV couldn't.

I didn't say it couldn't be done... just said it sucks compared to the current "entry level" system of today. Anyone used to a "modern" computer couldn't stand it...

I've been doing this stuff since 4K (not M) of RAM was considered "huge" amount of memory, and everything in between, and there's no way I'd go back to the "good old days" of slow cpus and less than 1GB of RAM.

If you want to check Google mail, it'd be ok. But hit any site with any amount of flash, animations, scripting and you'd finding yourself growing old waiting for pages to load.

This is a perfect "client" machine... an extension of a platform. For much of anything else, it'd suck.

mduser63
Mar 25, 2007, 09:18 AM
You guys are funny. It wasn't long ago at all that Macs shipped with 256 MB of RAM. Sure, people on this forum would have universally upped the RAM, but there were millions of "regular" buyers who don't even know what RAM is, and they're using their Macs with 256 MB of RAM. It's not necessarily pleasant, but it's most certainly doable.

localoid
Mar 25, 2007, 09:35 AM
You guys are funny. It wasn't long ago at all that Macs shipped with 256 MB of RAM. Sure, people on this forum would have universally upped the RAM, but there were millions of "regular" buyers who don't even know what RAM is, and they're using their Macs with 256 MB of RAM. It's not necessarily pleasant, but it's most certainly doable.

Geesh. I thought Commodore 64 and 2400baud modems were pretty cool... once upon a time.

That was then. This is now. This isn't the time of OS9, it's the OS X era. It's not Windows 98, it's Vista. It's not 1984. It's 2007. Time, and technology marches on! :p

panoz7
Mar 25, 2007, 09:44 AM
It really wasn't that long ago that macs shipped with only 256 MB of ram. The late 2004 early 2005 iBooks only had 256 MB or ram standard. Admittedly that was with 10.3 instead of 10.4, but I'd imagine a stripped down version of 10.4 would use less resources then a full install of 10.3.

I bought my grandma an old clamshell iBook so that she can check email and do occasional web browsing. It only has a 333 mhz processor and I think 320 MB of ram. It's not the fastest web browser but it's certainly still functional for the kind of sites she'd want to check.

I'd mostly be interested in using the apple tv to check the weather, maybe a little google maps, and occasional wikipedia. Hell, if an iPhone has the processing power to browse the web, why can't an apple tv?

localoid
Mar 25, 2007, 09:55 AM
Why struggle with trying to make this thing into something it'll never be good at? Heck, why even bother if it's not great at it?

Absolutely, positively need to turn the :apple: tv a device to effectively browse the Web?

Then develop the OS X version of the The Linux Terminal Server Project (http://www.ltsp.org/) and make use of the :apple: tv as a client workstation. It'd do great.

Using the "we'll force that square peg into a round hole" approach is simply doing things the "Microsoft way", e.g., doing things in a 3rd-rate way.

princealfie
Mar 25, 2007, 10:28 AM
Geesh. I thought Commodore 64 and 2400baud modems were pretty cool... once upon a time.

That was then. This is now. This isn't the time of OS9, it's the OS X era. It's not Windows 98, it's Vista. It's not 1984. It's 2007. Time, and technology marches on! :p

Geewhiz if you're using Vista as the benchmark I'm afraid that technology has been going backwards like devolution! :p :p :p :p

localoid
Mar 26, 2007, 11:19 PM
Geewhiz if you're using Vista as the benchmark I'm afraid that technology has been going backwards like devolution! :p :p :p :p

I didn't use Vista as a "benchmark" of "quality"...

I used it as a example of (ever increasing) RAM requirements. :rolleyes:

For M$ example, you could run Win98 in 64 or 128MB, Win200 in 128MB o4 256MB, WinXP in 512MB or 1GB, but Vista needs at least 1GB and really needs more to be decent. Do you see a (RAM) trend occurring in this example?

The (RAM requirement) story is not that much different OS X or Linux (those OS's just make more effective use of RAM, cleaner code, etc.)

Doesn't matter what the OS is -- as more bells and whistles are added to the GUI, the RAM requirements increase. I could get by with 4K (not M) of memory in the '70. But that was then and this is now. :o

pilotError
Mar 27, 2007, 08:21 AM
Some of the hacks have Firefox running on it.

I don't see it being practical, although it reminds me of those microsoft@home internet devices from way back when.

stab
Nov 26, 2007, 05:08 PM
Regardless of people's strong opinions; you can do it!

I'm using my atv as the browser on this forum right now...

The bottom line is that some people like to tinker/hack/mod ie personalise their technology.

I've had a ball hacking my ATV ... its been like Apple's rubic's cube at times. So what if it isn't a Mac Pro with 2billion gigs of memory?

And of course it wasn't intended to be able to web browse- and for people who just want to use it as it was intended out of the box and don't intend to mod it- well fine.

But if you like 'pushing the boundaries' this little atv box can do heaps more than it was intended too!

dogtanian
Nov 27, 2007, 10:50 AM
Correct me if i'm wrong but doesn't the PS3 Firefox browser cruise along on 256mb of RAM? I think if Apple included a web browser (Which I doubt) it would be implemented similarly to the PS3. Why on earth would they have to run all the other parts of OS X?

I'm hoping for a new Apple TV. As a recent Cnet article stated, it certainly hasn't lit the world on fire but at the same time, nor have any other comparable devices.

peeaanuut
Nov 27, 2007, 11:46 AM
I never understood the novelty of browsing the web on the TV. It just doesnt make sense to me. Its like taking a crap in an outhouse. You really dont want to do it unless you absolutely have to. Media delivery is great but sitting on your couch reading a website is really just annoying. Adding something like video or audio news clips from RSS or podcasts sounds good. So a news feed like they do the youtube would be a welcome addition. But being able to pull up stupid stuff like myspace and just about most other crap on the internet just seems unnecessary for the appleTV.

Its not a computer, its a device to placeshift audio and video media. All in one devices are nice when you keep the all in one to a limited number but once you blow it out it just becomes stupid.

Printer/copier/fax/scan = good
printer/copier/fax/scan/coffeemaker/blender = just ridiculous

rhpenguin
Nov 27, 2007, 01:10 PM
I use my AppleTV with MythTV and the plugins suite. I do web browsing from the couch as well as watch live satellite tv, PVR functions, watching downloaded media, RSS feeds, etc..

It's made the Apple TV actually worth having. If you don't like the options you've been given, explore your own.

Mindflux
Nov 27, 2007, 01:20 PM
I use my AppleTV with MythTV and the plugins suite. I do web browsing from the couch as well as watch live satellite tv, PVR functions, watching downloaded media, RSS feeds, etc..

It's made the Apple TV actually worth having. If you don't like the options you've been given, explore your own.


How are you running MythTV on it? Are you running a full version of OSX?