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ClassicMac247
Oct 24, 2007, 04:44 PM
This thread is purley specualtion for Apple TV's future.
When calling my local Apple store yesterday, I had a conversation with my buddy and we disscussed the very strong reasons why it seems likely, apple will put Apple TV to its grave. Apparently Apple TV never reached its full potential, in the early 1990's apple had working protoypes for a similar device (minus the itunes) and add cable provider/DVR. Was this what apple had in mind when originally designing apple tv? It seems to me the apple tv was just a device to market the name. Apple will eithier release a new Apple TV with more features and a new apple remote (pray people pray), or they will totally kill the apple tv line.:apple:



psychofreak
Oct 24, 2007, 04:47 PM
The biggest thing they could do now is open it up with an SDK...it will soon be the only Apple product that could use one well and doesn't have one...

QuarterSwede
Oct 24, 2007, 04:48 PM
This thread is purley specualtion for Apple TV's future.
When calling my local Apple store yesterday, I had a conversation with my buddy and we disscussed the very strong reasons why it seems likely, apple will put Apple TV to its grave. Apparently Apple TV never reached its full potential, in the early 1990's apple had working protoypes for a similar device (minus the itunes) and add cable provider/DVR. Was this what apple had in mind when originally designing apple tv? It seems to me the apple tv was just a device to market the name. Apple will eithier release a new Apple TV with more features and a new apple remote (pray people pray), or they will totally kill the apple tv line.:apple:
I don't know, the Airport Express is still around and everyone thought that was going to be killed off when the Apple TV was released.

Cave Man
Oct 24, 2007, 04:56 PM
Apple will eithier release a new Apple TV with more features...

Heck, I'd be happy with a software update that would allow it to use its current features, such as 5/7.1 surround and TV/movie content at 720.

Thanatoast
Oct 24, 2007, 05:13 PM
Can the AppleTV also be used as a wireless-N router?

neven
Oct 24, 2007, 05:16 PM
Can the AppleTV also be used as a wireless-N router?

No, not officially anyway.

Once we can rent HD movies from AppleTV directly, it will be a really, really cool device. Right now I still like it and use it, but it's very stagnant.

psychofreak
Oct 24, 2007, 05:18 PM
No, not officially anyway.

Once we can rent HD movies from AppleTV directly, it will be a really, really cool device. Right now I still like it and use it, but it's very stagnant.

I hope that means Apple is getting ready for a BIG update...

powerbook911
Oct 24, 2007, 06:28 PM
It's a great device. I don't care what people say. It's one of my favorite Apple products.

ClassicBean
Oct 24, 2007, 07:07 PM
It's a great device. I don't care what people say. It's one of my favorite Apple products.

Agreed. I've got one and love it. I couldn't give a rat's nether regions if Apple discontinued it tomorrow. It does everything I need it to do. I primarily use it for listening to music and watching movies.

irahodges
Oct 24, 2007, 07:53 PM
I love the concept of Apple TV, but I am really hesitant to buy one. I really want a product that begins to take over and consolidate things in my living room like the iPhone did with phones/music/internet/mail. If Apple is going to upgrade the Apple TV, the only reason I see them waiting is because they are waiting to implement better backend features (better iTunes movies store, downloads direct from Apple TV, etc) and the Leopard hype.

Some things I would love to see incorporated into Apple TV are:
1) DVD / Blu-ray Player - this should at least be an option if not standard
2) larger hard drives
3) purchase direct like iPhone and iTunes
4) ability to stream to wireless speakers
5) possibly DVR capabilities if done correctly
*better remote apple remote as a purchased accessory (possibly the ability to use iPhone or iPod Touch)

Just my 2 cents :rolleyes:

zedsdead
Oct 24, 2007, 08:17 PM
It seemed Apple was really supportive of the Apple TV until the Phone came out, then nothing. Jobs mentioned that an Apple TV update was coming soon back around WWDC, but nothing yet. Since the 1.1 update, mine has been navigating much slower when navigating from the internal drive (it actually is quicker when I stream for some reason).

As for the next Apple TV - option to add an external drive, possible DVD player built in, bigger hard drive capactites.

I think the problem with the Apple TV is not the unit, but the lack of software updates from Apple. We need:

(1) Chapter Selection menus for movie's - There are some ridiculously long pauses between chapter markers when trying to skip around movies.

(2) Wi-Fi iTunes Store w/ Movie Rental Service

(3) HD Downloads from iTunes (with real Surround Sound, which the Apple TV is more than capable of outputting given it's 7.1 Audio Chip).

(4) Be able to use the iPhone / iPod Touch as a remote (or stream content from them to the Apple TV as well)

(5) Lyric Support when listening to music.

These are just a few things...the device I feel is really designed well, it is the lack of attention from Apple at this point. I love my Apple TV, and it can have some great potential for them if they finally market it correctly and give it some attention.

For the record: I do no think the Apple TV is dying. Apple has simply been busy with the iPhone, Leopard, new iMac's, iWork and iLife '08, Logic Studio, and all the other stuff (maybe the redisgned Macbooks too). I have a feeling the Apple TV will see some cool stuff soon, but we might have to wait until Macworld.

ClassicMac247
Oct 24, 2007, 08:28 PM
All very valid points, i can see how the hype of other products is slowing down a minor products development. That idea with the iPhone and iPod touch as remotes is genius, that would be an awesome feature because i cant stand my apple remotes.

irahodges
Oct 24, 2007, 08:44 PM
All very valid points, i can see how the hype of other products is slowing down a minor products development. That idea with the iPhone and iPod touch as remotes is genius, that would be an awesome feature because i cant stand my apple remotes.

One of the things I do on a regular basis is send my feedback to Apple via their product feedback website. http://www.apple.com/feedback/

Jot a little paragraph down about certain products (hardware or software) that you would like to see upgraded, and hope they will take notice. I have not been doing this long enough to see if Apple does anything, but I find myself doing it about once a week for little ideas that come to my head.

One example I sent in this week: I think the wireless music streaming concept can be broadened with newer technologies. One thing I suggested was that Apple allow for wireless streaming of all System sounds rather than just streaming music through iTunes using airport express.

Digital Skunk
Oct 24, 2007, 09:16 PM
Just let me download movies from iTunes and do it directly from the Apple TV and I am happy. Although I may get one for the 60 or so movies I Handbraked and haven't seen yet.

eddyg
Oct 25, 2007, 06:42 AM
(1) Chapter Selection menus for movie's - There are some ridiculously long pauses between chapter markers when trying to skip around movies.

Maybe due to the way the movie was encoded, maybe there is no I frame on the chapter boundary. When scanning maybe there are not enough I frames to present the scanning well.

Not all problems are directly the fault of Apple, however, I'm sure if Apple provided decent specs for their devices there would be fewer issues with material on their devices.

Cheers, Ed.

eddyg
Oct 25, 2007, 06:45 AM
Although I may get one for the 60 or so movies I Handbraked and haven't seen yet.

Curious what the difference between HandBrake used for DVDs and iTunes when used with CDs is. Seems like the same issue, not sure why Apple is avoiding it so much.

Cheers, Ed.

aswitcher
Oct 25, 2007, 06:46 AM
Apple TV + AirportExtreme + Mac Mini = 2nd Gen AppleTV

samh004
Oct 25, 2007, 06:54 AM
I don't know, the Airport Express is still around and everyone thought that was going to be killed off when the Apple TV was released.

However it's not been made 802.11n yet, which is annoying as it slows down the whole network if you only have 802.11n macs...

Apple TV + AirportExtreme + Mac Mini = 2nd Gen AppleTV

I don't think they'd include the Airport Extreme in the package, as they can make money off it, but I do see the Mac mini and the Apple TV merging. It'd be useful if you could browse the web from your couch from the same device etc... that sort of functionality would help.

Paulsan
Oct 25, 2007, 07:10 AM
Can someone tell me why I would want an AppleTV instead of just using a Mini? Besides the price, is there an advantage to the AppleTV that I don't see?

Seoras
Oct 25, 2007, 07:34 AM
My Apple TV replaced my docked iPod sitting on top of my amplifier.
No longer did I have to get up and go over to select a song or browse.
Then there were the video's I had on my 2 Mac's which I could now show friends using the Apple TV on my wide screen plasma.
Apple starts selling TV shows and movies in the UK and I buy Lost Season 3.
Things just keep get better.

Software updates dont seem to figure much here.

Content does.

Apple is making seriously good $$'s but it's R&D has limits like anyone else.
They have a single source approach to their products.
Leopard was delayed due to the iPhone launch, Job's said so himself.
Why would they want to work on a $299 low volume product's software when they are launching a new OS & mobile phone product line?

I agree that a SDK for the Apple TV would be cool.
I'd love to see it using my Miglia DVB digital television dongle for recording and play back.
Apple arent good at making it easy for others to make money in their space.

They could add a DVD player to it, but why? You can pick up a cheapo DVD player for the price of lunch in your local supermarket.

Apple are only interested in keeping cheap a product they want lots of us to buy that will encourage us to purchase content provided by them.

The Apple TV will live so long as iTunes has content to push on us that makes use of it.

ftaok
Oct 25, 2007, 07:38 AM
Curious what the difference between HandBrake used for DVDs and iTunes when used with CDs is. Seems like the same issue, not sure why Apple is avoiding it so much.

Cheers, Ed.
My opinion is that Apple is avoiding DVD ripping due to the DCMA. Apple being an American company, they need to follow US laws.

So, because DVDs typically have copy-protection on them, breaking it is a violation of the DCMA. To rip DVDs, you have to break the copy-protection.

CDs typically do not have copy-protection, and thus does not fall under the DCMA.

Can someone tell me why I would want an AppleTV instead of just using a Mini? Besides the price, is there an advantage to the AppleTV that I don't see? Hmmm, besides price ...

1. HDMI output. Yes, I know that DVI is essentially the same as HDMI, but with HDMI you get audio. In some set-ups, that can be a big deal.

2. Out of the box support for HDTV formats. Not every TV plays nicely with computers. Theres issues with overscan, etc. With an aTV, you plug it in, select the format (1080i, 720p, 480p) and your done.

3. Component outputs. Some older HDTVs don't have HDMI/DVI. Or maybe all of the HDMI/DVI ports on your TV are used up.

4. Simplicity. The bottom line with a mini is that you need a keyboard/mouse set-up. Not everyone wants that in their living room. The aTV has a simple remote that can do everything it needs to.

If those features appeal to you and you don't mind losing the flexibility that a mini provides, then the aTV may be something you want.

milo
Oct 25, 2007, 08:16 AM
Can someone tell me why I would want an AppleTV instead of just using a Mini? Besides the price, is there an advantage to the AppleTV that I don't see?

Price.

There's no question that appleTV is halfbaked in its current version, and that it has been really stagnant for a long time.

Apple can either dump it or improve it. Personally, I think apple realizes that products like this will be huge in the next few years, and dumping it would give up a big chunk of the market. I think it's just an issue of timing, apple just has higher priorities right now, and the market isn't showing that much demand yet for this sort of box. I think once iPhone and Leopard are out the door, they'll make this a new priority and we'll hopefully see an update in the next few months.

boss1
Oct 25, 2007, 09:38 AM
I think Apple TV has no long term future. Within 5 years It will eventually be integrated as something built into all Macs sold as a built to order option or standard just like they did with Bluetooth EDR 2.0 and airport cards.


They may keep it alive as an external device for the PC users but all the rave and news will be about how the "new imac comes with built in Apple TV"

irahodges
Oct 25, 2007, 10:13 AM
I think Apple TV has no long term future. Within 5 years It will eventually be integrated as something built into all Macs sold as a built to order option or standard just like they did with Bluetooth EDR 2.0 and airport cards.


They may keep it alive as an external device for the PC users but all the rave and news will be about how the "new imac comes with built in Apple TV"

that argument doesnt really make sense to me, because the Apple TV is designed to connect your already owned and separate home theater system with your computer's content. unless, of course, you are saying that the iMac WILL BE our home theater systems in 5 years?

slu
Oct 25, 2007, 10:16 AM
They may keep it alive as an external device for the PC users but all the rave and news will be about how the "new imac comes with built in Apple TV"

Uhhh, you mean Front Row? Unless you hook up your iMac to your TV, this makes no sense.

Cave Man
Oct 25, 2007, 10:31 AM
Can someone tell me why I would want an AppleTV instead of just using a Mini? Besides the price, is there an advantage to the AppleTV that I don't see?

802.11n.

boss1
Oct 25, 2007, 11:33 AM
that argument doesnt really make sense to me, because the Apple TV is designed to connect your already owned and separate home theater system with your computer's content. unless, of course, you are saying that the iMac WILL BE our home theater systems in 5 years?

you pretty much summed it up.. apologies if my post wasn't really clear. right now apple TV is a periph. in 5 years it should be built in.... I don't see why not. It's not like it's a scanner periph where only small margin of computer consumer would want one. Apple's iMac is imaged and developed as an all in one device that plays music, movies, iLife, airport express etc etc. why not stick Apple TV inside the iMac.

imlucid
Oct 25, 2007, 11:38 AM
One other advantage is that you don't have to burn one of your iTunes authorizations to play back DRM'd music on them.

In my situation, I have five machines already authorized to my iTunes account but can then still playback music and video on my three Apple TVs as well.

why not stick Apple TV inside the iMac
Well it is in a way with Front Row.

Kevin

ftaok
Oct 25, 2007, 11:46 AM
you pretty much summed it up.. apologies if my post wasn't really clear. right now apple TV is a periph. in 5 years it should be built in.... I don't see why not. It's not like it's a scanner periph where only small margin of computer consumer would want one. Apple's iMac is imaged and developed as an all in one device that plays music, movies, iLife, airport express etc etc. why not stick Apple TV inside the iMac.

Personally, I feel that the iMac is/won't be a suitable replacement for the aTV. The reason is that the iMac has a small screen. Most people (well people that I know) don't want their living room TV to be a 24" job.

The mini form factor would be a better device for connecting to a TV. Maybe a Mac mini+ that has component and HDMI outputs instead of DVI. Maybe a wider case to match typical DVD players and other AV components. I just don't know if there's a market for an OS X machine specifically designed to be connected to an HDTV.

ft

psychofreak
Oct 25, 2007, 11:55 AM
Uhhh, you mean Front Row? Unless you hook up your iMac to your TV, this makes no sense.

It can also stream media from networked computers (as someone mentioned, this includes people stealing your bandwidth) :)

VideoFreek
Oct 25, 2007, 01:45 PM
you pretty much summed it up.. apologies if my post wasn't really clear. right now apple TV is a periph. in 5 years it should be built in.... I don't see why not. ... why not stick Apple TV inside the iMac.

Because, as ftaok suggests, only geeks -- er, um technology enthusiasts -- will care about this. This is something routinely missed on this forum, probably because most of us are geeks! :D "Normal" people don't want to watch TV and movies on a computer screen, and certainly wouldn't dream of setting up and configuring a computer to run home entertainment in their living rooms. We're talking about a population here that 10-15 years ago had 12:00 flashing on their VCRs because they weren't able to figure out how to set the time! What Joe Average wants is something dead-simple to operate--a black box like a DVD player or cable box. And he wants to watch his media in the living room on his new 42" or 50" plasma TV. Hence, the :apple:TV. Hence the X-Box.

Apple know full well that if they want to become a major force in digital media distribution, they need a consumer-friendly bridge to the home theater. Whether they actually desire this is debatable--many people think iTMS exists only to boost iPod sales--but I believe that their experience with the iTMS has opened their eyes to the possibility that they could become a major player in what will certainly be the dominant form of media distribution in the future. (What about HD-DVD and Blueray? Forget it--the battle is already over, and both sides have lost (http://www.audioholics.com/news/editorials/10-more-reasons-hd-dvd-failed/). These will never be more than specialty niche products--more like Laserdisc than the DVD.)

So the :apple:TV is not so much about hardware strategy as it is about creating a new business model. But of course, this is in an embryonic stage right now; the current generation hardware will certainly be improved, and it is crucial that they get HD content up on iTMS. Microsoft has shamefully jumped ahead of them in this regard with X-Box Live. So they need to get cracking--in fairness they've been a little distracted this year with the iPhone, the iMac refresh, and Leopard--but to answer the original question, I think the :apple:TV will soon change from "hobby" status to core development area, and its successors will be an important part of Apple's future.

Superman07
Oct 25, 2007, 02:42 PM
I too find myself waiting to buy into ATV. I actually did leave feedback through their website, although I'm not sure how much good it will do.

My two main issues with it right now are:

1) No support for surround audio codecs (DD5.1 and DTS - let's not even get into next gen formats right now...)

2) Necessity to have a client running even if your iT database resides on a network storage device (although I suppose internal is an option...)

...this actually beggs the question - can one ATV access directly content from another ATV?! I never thought to ask this, but I imagine the answer is no.

Honestly, I don't think Apple would have put the product out at all if they didn't/don't intent to stick with it - at least for the foreseable future. 2-3 years perhaps?

Honestly, it's a lot like Ferrari. I don't know the order, but they likely knew they could build a great car. For whatever reason they released their F360, only to follow it up with a better model a few years later at a higher cost - F360 CS. That was then followed by the F430 as the next true model. No, a few years after that was released they announced the F430 SF. More money, and more power!

I know computers don't exactly follow this paradime, but if Apple has indeed committed to ATV, I don't think it's a stretch that they decided to release the current model with the intent to release a better one later down the road. Heck, they may already have had it in house, or at least the specs! Now we're left asking, was the HD bump v1.5 or 2.0?

milo
Oct 25, 2007, 04:06 PM
I think Apple TV has no long term future. Within 5 years It will eventually be integrated as something built into all Macs sold as a built to order option or standard just like they did with Bluetooth EDR 2.0 and airport cards.


They may keep it alive as an external device for the PC users but all the rave and news will be about how the "new imac comes with built in Apple TV"

That completely misses the point of aTV. You can't just build it into a mac, the whole point is to have a cheap little box that you can have next to your tv, in a separate room from your computer. And they already have front row in macs, I don't see what would be "built in" to macs that's not there already.

you pretty much summed it up.. apologies if my post wasn't really clear. right now apple TV is a periph. in 5 years it should be built in.... I don't see why not. It's not like it's a scanner periph where only small margin of computer consumer would want one. Apple's iMac is imaged and developed as an all in one device that plays music, movies, iLife, airport express etc etc. why not stick Apple TV inside the iMac.

Again, that makes no sense. The whole point of aTV is being a separate unit, otherwise you'd have to have your computer in the living room next to your TV. It's like saying a TV remote would be better if it were built into the TV.

Eckels
Oct 25, 2007, 04:09 PM
I havent seen anyone else suggest this, so if someone has... well sorry...

But, something that would bring me on board, and perhaps a broader range of "simpler" users, like me... would be to actually run my cable tv into Apple TV, and be able to browse through television stations with coverflow, or something similar - on top of being able to use it as it currently exists. Apple can figure out how, i'm sure.

Superman07
Oct 25, 2007, 04:50 PM
I havent seen anyone else suggest this, so if someone has... well sorry...

But, something that would bring me on board, and perhaps a broader range of "simpler" users, like me... would be to actually run my cable tv into Apple TV, and be able to browse through television stations with coverflow, or something similar - on top of being able to use it as it currently exists. Apple can figure out how, i'm sure.

I think there was something out there that already does this. I think it would show screen shots of every consecutive channel (programable) at 30 second intervals. I don't remember what it's called, or what service you could get it through. Perhaps one of the cable companies.

That could be modified to be coverflow like, but honestly whenever I'm flipping through guides on cable/sat it tends to lag when you do the page +/- function. If this is a matter of the processor in the unit, that is something I'm sure a PC/ATV update could handle. However, to be frank this isn't something I'd want from my cable/sat box, letalone an ATV unit.

Edit: Now if we're talking saved/dvred content, then I could see the utility since it isn't in realtime. Although I think I'd still rather just use Tivo. ;)

ClassicMac247
Oct 25, 2007, 09:27 PM
Cover flow this, cover flow that, remember the good old days when that was just a viewing option/feature on iTunes? I have had iphones and ipod touchs and they make me sick everytime i see cover flow. it was cool when it was an option, now its forced upon us on even our ipods!!!:mad: You have to admit it can get annoying, very cool, but getting old quick. Please apple, dont incorporate it heavily into any new apple tv product!

magicmoof
Oct 25, 2007, 09:54 PM
Price.

There's no question that appleTV is halfbaked in its current version, and that it has been really stagnant for a long time.

Apple can either dump it or improve it. Personally, I think apple realizes that products like this will be huge in the next few years, and dumping it would give up a big chunk of the market. I think it's just an issue of timing, apple just has higher priorities right now, and the market isn't showing that much demand yet for this sort of box. I think once iPhone and Leopard are out the door, they'll make this a new priority and we'll hopefully see an update in the next few months.

It took nearly a year for the 2nd iPod that was compatible with windows to emerge. That's when the iPod really took off. And there's not nearly the demand for a home media manager as a next generation walkman. Apple TV's day will come when Apple starts to expand its capabilities and offer more options to consumers. I'll be shocked if we dont get bargain rentals/subscription (killer app) in the next few months. We also need more macs that can store and stream a library of movies. Your average mac can hold about 100 hours of high quality h.264 assuming it has a decent # of apps and documents on it. That is really not much. I think it will never be the ipod, but it has potential to be a success maybe next year it will ramp up.

irahodges
Oct 25, 2007, 10:45 PM
Cover flow this, cover flow that, remember the good old days when that was just a viewing option/feature on iTunes? I have had iphones and ipod touchs and they make me sick everytime i see cover flow. it was cool when it was an option, now its forced upon us on even our ipods!!!:mad: You have to admit it can get annoying, very cool, but getting old quick. Please apple, dont incorporate it heavily into any new apple tv product!

coverflow is not forced at all. in all cases (iTunes, leopard, iPhone, and iPods) you can choose to view in cover flow if you want, but it is not forced.

eric55lv
Oct 25, 2007, 11:05 PM
i think that hty just made apple tv for no reason it sort of seems stupid :mad::mad:

mr_matalino
Oct 26, 2007, 12:39 PM
Apple's iMac is imaged and developed as an all in one device that plays music, movies, iLife, airport express etc etc. why not stick Apple TV inside the iMac.

The whole point of the ATV is to wirelessly move your content FROM your computer TO your tv. Unless you can hookup your comptuer to your TV, why would they combine both?

You can install the ATV OS on your iMac and boot from it. Then what? You have a glorified FrontRow but no way to get the content to your TV...

Digital Skunk
Oct 26, 2007, 01:12 PM
Cover flow this, cover flow that, remember the good old days when that was just a viewing option/feature on iTunes? I have had iphones and ipod touchs and they make me sick everytime i see cover flow. it was cool when it was an option, now its forced upon us on even our ipods!!!:mad: You have to admit it can get annoying, very cool, but getting old quick. Please apple, dont incorporate it heavily into any new apple tv product!

I used to get a bit annoyed by Apple putting cover flow into everything, it really bugged me when I saw that it was going into the Finder? on Leopard? I though, "WTHell is Jobs thinking?" When I got my iPod Classic and used it to surf through some songs I started to come over to it, and grow to like it. I wouldn't use it for any normal music playing, but it's a breath taking relief from that outdated iPod UI of the 5G iPod and previous models. If I am just browsing, cover flow is awesome, especially when you have all of your album art.

I think I may even grow to use it in the finder when looking through photos or graphic files I have that can show me previews of some kind. That was one of Tiger's weakest links, previews. There weren't any in most circumstances and when there was it wasn't much help because you had to have your icons huge in order to benefit from it. With cover flow in the finder, (and if I can set certain windows/files to view only in CF) using previews of certain files may just be a great new way to search for my files.

As for the Apple TV, I will always say that Apple should just kill off the Mac Mini and combine the two. The mini is a great machine, as is the Apple TV, but both have their problems, and both problems can be solved by combining the two. The ATV would become a much more powerful computer and the Mini would become a much more powerful media box. Give the Apple TV a bigger HDD, an optical drive, and a regular computer UI and BAM! Instant hit. Let the 3rd party devos cook up the DVR software and the ATV would be a hit at $400.

Thanatoast
Oct 26, 2007, 01:25 PM
Sounds like some are longing for the mythical 47" iMac.

gkarris
Oct 26, 2007, 01:39 PM
As for the Apple TV, I will always say that Apple should just kill off the Mac Mini and combine the two. The mini is a great machine, as is the Apple TV, but both have their problems, and both problems can be solved by combining the two. The ATV would become a much more powerful computer and the Mini would become a much more powerful media box. Give the Apple TV a bigger HDD, an optical drive, and a regular computer UI and BAM! Instant hit. Let the 3rd party devos cook up the DVR software and the ATV would be a hit at $400.

I finally put my :apple:TV in my bedroom. I have a Tivo in my home theater. It is great with Amazon Unbox and Yahoo.

After Leopard's release today, I do see them as converging EVERYTHING together.

I can see an updated :apple:TV/Mini converged computer. A bluetooth adapter (for keyboards and game controllers) for the current :apple:TV, then the "fun" begins.

Imagine developers making a widget or small app or game that, after you download from iTunes (for free or for a fee), you can use on:

Any Mac
Any newer iPod (Classic, Touch, 3rd Gen Nano)
Any :apple:TV
Any iPhone

Now that would be awesome. Buy a TV episode, and you can now REALLY watch it on any device. Check the weather, stocks, or your Notes? Same...

The weather widget I think is my most used app. I check weather on my Tivo with Yahoo!, but would LOVE to have that app on my :apple:TV...

janstett
Oct 26, 2007, 06:18 PM
From 2002-2006 I worked for a company that was in this space -- streaming content from your PC to a set-top box, it was called Digital5.

I joined the company because when you think about it, people are getting more and more digital content and want to enjoy it on their big screen TVs, home theaters, good amplifiers, etc. They have MP3s they buy from iTunes and similar stores or rip from CDs, they have digital pictures they take with their cameras, and digital video is starting to happen. And now everybody has a home network. Apple didn't invent this stuff folks, there is a wide world of such devices that go by the name and standards of UPnP and DLNA. I think my company was ahead of its time, but it ran out of money and went out of business.

Apple senses the same thing with Apple TV (in fact, I had heard that Apple hired the team from one of our competitors to do the Apple TV). But I think it's still an idea ahead of its time. The big problem Digital5 had was content -- you need it. Apple has it, and it's still struggling. Steve Jobs recently called Apple TV a "hobby" not a "business". Many people think something will happen but it might still be too early. Everybody knows online distribution is the future, and everyone knows the personal computer is pushing its way into the living room.

I have an Apple TV and I ended up using it to stream my lossless music collection sitting on my Mac Mini into my bedroom sound system. It's the only set top device I know of that will play ALAC. Here's what I think is wrong with it:

(1) No true 1080p (it's scaled 540), 720p max isn't good enough in today's market.
(2) No dolby digital on the digital output. Why the hell do they downmix it? People like me are hooking the Apple TV to a home theater receiver.
(3) Movie rentals (I think Apple is working on this). I refuse to buy movies on iTunes because they are inferior quality to a DVD and cost as much, I'd rather get the DVD. XBox Live already has HD movies available for downloaded rentals, Apple needs to follow suit. There are already movie rental download devices like Vudu and Amazon Unbox, Apple will follow.
(4) Bigger hard disks. They made a good move by increasing from 40gb to 160, but keep going.
(5) Add more formats -- AVI/Divx, Matroska, etc.
(6) Support industry-standard UPnP in addition to Apple's proprietary Rendesvous.
(7) Consider TV tuning/PVR. Becomes a problem for those of us with HD cable boxes.

imlucid
Oct 26, 2007, 07:44 PM
in fact, I had heard that Apple hired the team from one of our competitors to do the Apple TV

Nope, that rumor is untrue.

Kevin