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View Full Version : A simple idea, maybe im just being dumb




peeaanuut
Oct 30, 2007, 12:56 PM
A lot of people think that the AppleTV is dead. I am certain it is not because they are still selling them. While it may not be many they are still being sold. I also expect Apple to make some changes to it and for it to gain some market share. In the mean time what can be done to improve it?

I have a simple idea and Iím sure I'm not the first. An optical drive. All of the parts are there to add an external optical drive. It could be the same form factor. It would not need to burn, it would just need to read. Think about it. The CD is not dead and neither is the DVD. While there are other options gaining speed, those 2 are still alive and kicking.

This is also something that can be implemented quite easily. The unit already has a USB port. There is enough bandwidth there to pass audio and video without problem and we can add some neat features as well. Auto track listing and cover art for cds and full dvd playback with menus would not be a difficult software add-on either.

Now this part I am not certain on, but the AppleTV has enough horsepower to even up convert dvd video to 720p or 1080i right? So now you have an up converting dvd player and a cd player. Iím sure you can add ripping of audio to it but that gets to be a bit more complicated. Iím looking for simplicity. I have 2 dvd players and I plan to get rid of neither of them. If someone wanted to get a little advanced they could make a dual drive (blu-ray and hd-dvd plus dvd up conversion) unit that could take it one step further.

I know people say to just rip your dvds, but think about it. You begin to rip your dvds and than you fill your hard drive. So you get another hard drive. Next thing you know you have a whole bank of hard drives sitting in your entertainment center. Most people already have hundreds if not thousands of dvds and probably 2x as many cds. Those take time and a little know how to rip, convert and organize. For plain ol Joe that doesnít know a thing about ripping, encoding or storing on a computer, can still get his itunes content (because just about everyone knows how to do that right? Lol) but still not have a problem watching a dvd or cd. Plus the form factor looks great. 2 little stacked items vs. an AppleTV and DVD player.

But I am not saying to put this all into one. Make the AppleTV modular to fit the needs of whoever is using it. Some people just want to place shift, some people want to add a media drive, some people want to add a hard drive, etc.

Of course there is a fair argument that the :apple:tv does not have an optical drive to "force" people to buy from the iTMS, but obviously that is not 100% but it could lead to that. I know that I will be buying from the iTMS for movies once I get my unit installed but that still doesnt fix the need for a good player for my 1500 or so DVD movies I have now.

What do you think? Am I just crazy?



mkaake
Oct 30, 2007, 01:19 PM
No, not crazy, but it's already being made - the mac mini. Instant upscaling via DVDplayer.app (which from what I hear, they've improved the deinterlacing and upscaling, which requires the heftier processor), support for 5.1 out of the box in DVD player, front row interface, only slightly larger than the current apple tv.

You loose out on the completely wireless interface, but gain a lot...

peeaanuut
Oct 30, 2007, 01:36 PM
That is a $300 solution to a $30 problem.

n-abounds
Oct 30, 2007, 02:35 PM
That is a $300 solution to a $30 problem.

These people are mac addicts...that sounds totally reasonable to them...:rolleyes:

peeaanuut
Oct 30, 2007, 03:26 PM
were not talking about the computer savy here. We are talking about the other 80% of the world that is not computer savy. That is who the :apple:TV needs to marketed to.

MikieMikie
Oct 31, 2007, 07:07 AM
were not talking about the computer savy here. We are talking about the other 80% of the world that is not computer savy. That is who the :apple:TV needs to marketed to.

Yeah, well, time to start all over again. Sorry:
[FLAME ON]
What AppleTV needs to be successful, as an interface between the computer and the entertainment center, is more media on the computer side. Adding a DVD player to the box does nothing but turn it into a DVD player.

What Apple needs to do is win this media content war they are fighting. While they aren't exactly losing it, they aren't exactly winning it, either. The loss of NBC/Universal will hurt their uber-plan to make content available to download, sync, and play.

The ITMS is the cornerstone of the AppleTV's success or failure.

Once there is a critical mass of content, the "average/non-hobbyist" person will consider purchase -- rentals from the ITMS, purchases, season passes, etc. Without this, AppleTV will remain a hobby.
[FLAME OFF]

Ok, so to answer your question, "am I crazy," no -- you're not crazy. Just wrong. :D The only reason to add a DVD player to an AppleTV is to auto-rip/encode. And that's not happening for legal reasons.

-- Mikie

Bodypainter
Oct 31, 2007, 07:54 AM
you forget, that :apple: always wants to ear money with what they "invent". where would THEY make money if you'd buy a dvd somwehre in any store? :apple: wants the control, so there's no dvd slot - YOU have to buy it at the :apple: store, and :apple: earns money. there's a reason why there is no dvd slot in the :apple:tv. ask yourself why you can't even record any content from normal TV with your :apple: tv. :apple: wants you to pay for whatever you watch, even if it is the simpsons that you can watch for free if you just switch on your TV at the right time. every VCR records that for free, but :apple: TV can't do it, simply because they avoid helping the user to create free content. the simplest solution to your problem would be that itunes itself can "read" dvds and converts them to its library and updates the :apple:TV - just like they do it with CDs. but :apple: doesn't do that. they just don't WANT that. it's similar to the iPhone ringtones. i asked in a discussion why :apple: charges the user another 1$ for a ringtone and people said that the bad record industry forces apple to do that. i don't believe that - they want to make money, that's it! every nokia, sony ericsson or samsung phone can use ANY mp3 as a ringtone. the mp3 is YOURS, the iphone is YOURS, you own the right to use it. however, with the same sadness that you can't easily play your bought DVDs on your :apple: tv a friend on mine in NYC is upsette that he can't use his self composed ringtone with his girlfriend singing on it. :apple: doesn't want it. you can only accept it, or leave it. as long as people are accepting apples "rules", :apple: will continue acting that way - no matter if some clients are upsette with it.

Spock
Oct 31, 2007, 10:43 AM
you forget, that :apple: always wants to ear money with what they "invent". where would THEY make money if you'd buy a dvd somwehre in any store? :apple: wants the control, so there's no dvd slot - YOU have to buy it at the :apple: store, and :apple: earns money. there's a reason why there is no dvd slot in the :apple:tv. ask yourself why you can't even record any content from normal TV with your :apple: tv. :apple: wants you to pay for whatever you watch, even if it is the simpsons that you can watch for free if you just switch on your TV at the right time. every VCR records that for free, but :apple: TV can't do it, simply because they avoid helping the user to create free content. the simplest solution to your problem would be that itunes itself can "read" dvds and converts them to its library and updates the :apple:TV - just like they do it with CDs. but :apple: doesn't do that. they just don't WANT that. it's similar to the iPhone ringtones. i asked in a discussion why :apple: charges the user another 1$ for a ringtone and people said that the bad record industry forces apple to do that. i don't believe that - they want to make money, that's it! every nokia, sony ericsson or samsung phone can use ANY mp3 as a ringtone. the mp3 is YOURS, the iphone is YOURS, you own the right to use it. however, with the same sadness that you can't easily play your bought DVDs on your :apple: tv a friend on mine in NYC is upsette that he can't use his self composed ringtone with his girlfriend singing on it. :apple: doesn't want it. you can only accept it, or leave it. as long as people are accepting apples "rules", :apple: will continue acting that way - no matter if some clients are upsette with it.

Thats alot of :apple:

MikieMikie
Oct 31, 2007, 11:15 AM
Thats alot of :apple:

Amen, brother.

peeaanuut
Oct 31, 2007, 11:39 AM
mikiemikie: I dont think thats exactly it. The common person is NOT ripping movies to their computer. They may be making copies to another disc but not ripping for storage. People like to feel comfortable with a disc as a tangible item. The regular person is buying a tv without a surround system for simplicity. An apple tv and a small optical unit would fit that bill quite nicely but still add a large bit of functionality. No ripping needed, just some cover and track retreival and upconversion for standard dvds. I know it could work. The :apple:TV is simply ahead of its time.

I do agree that apple wants to keep control of the content but that is going to end up getting them in the end I think.

trule
Oct 31, 2007, 06:27 PM
mikiemikie: I dont think thats exactly it. The common person is NOT ripping movies to their computer. They may be making copies to another disc but not ripping for storage. People like to feel comfortable with a disc as a tangible item. The regular person is buying a tv without a surround system for simplicity. An apple tv and a small optical unit would fit that bill quite nicely but still add a large bit of functionality. No ripping needed, just some cover and track retreival and upconversion for standard dvds. I know it could work. The :apple:TV is simply ahead of its time.

I do agree that apple wants to keep control of the content but that is going to end up getting them in the end I think.

Its easier just too buy a DVD player if you have an attachment to physical disks, actually most people already have one...so whats the point of adding it to the ATV? There is no point.

The whole point of the Apple TV is that it streams data from other computers. People seem to be pretty happy to download songs, forgoing the tangible CD, they will do the same with video content soon enough.

peeaanuut
Oct 31, 2007, 08:35 PM
unlke some people. I like things that match. Which is why I specifically spent time finding a reference sized av/switch (of course I might buy the :apple:tv sized hdmi switch that is out there). But I am also in the market to minimize in size. So if I can get rid of a large dvd player and get one that loads and upconverts through the appletv I would be game. It could also be used as a tool to sell online movies, kind of like a recommendation list. I could use it as a cd player to rip to the apple tv or at least have it show track list and album art on the tv. I see it having many uses.

MikieMikie
Nov 1, 2007, 07:23 AM
mikiemikie: I dont think thats exactly it. The common person is NOT ripping movies to their computer. They may be making copies to another disc but not ripping for storage.

And I said:
What AppleTV needs to be successful, as an interface between the computer and the entertainment center, is more media on the computer side. Adding a DVD player to the box does nothing but turn it into a DVD player.

What Apple needs to do is win this media content war they are fighting. While they aren't exactly losing it, they aren't exactly winning it, either. The loss of NBC/Universal will hurt their uber-plan to make content available to download, sync, and play.


You got my position flipped, somehow. We're in violent agreement. When I said "more media on the computer side" I was not referring to ripped DVD content, but rather, iTunesMS content.

As a consumer device, ripping is a non-starter. For hobbyists, we're good where we are. For mainstream acceptance, we need ITMS media, downloadable/rentable. And this is the war Apple needs to win, and most likely will lose.

My point is that putting a DVD player into the box does nothing to help Apple win the real battle they need to win in order to bring :apple:TV into the mainstream.

-- Mikie

kresh
Nov 2, 2007, 02:01 AM
And I said:


As a consumer device, ripping is a non-starter. For hobbyists, we're good where we are. For mainstream acceptance, we need ITMS media, downloadable/rentable. And this is the war Apple needs to win, and most likely will lose.

-- Mikie

I agree with you that Apple is going to lose the Video content war. NBC is just a sign of what's coming.

Legal and ethics aside, and I'm not promoting this, but I wonder how many people would buy an AppleTV if it would play any video format that could be downloaded via torrent? Just look how popular HandBrake and MacThe Ripper are in the US.

If an enterprising hacker created a nice and stable program, TVtorrent, that downloaded torrent files. If this TVtorrent program managed and streamed the content to AppleTV, like iTunes does, then I think there would be a huge spike in AppleTV sales. I know this can be done now, but I'm talking about something as easy as iTunes. Just drag the torrent file you want to download into iTVtorrent and forget it, the program does everything else.

I used to think that torrent downloads were a tiny group of people living in the shadows. I have come to change my mind on this, after seeing how many people I know that download movies.

While I'm convinced that Apple will lose the content war, I'm also sure that video piracy is going to continue to boom.

Consultant
Nov 2, 2007, 06:45 AM
Apple TV can be made to support other formats. Until there is an official solution, then do this:

http://www.engadget.com/2007/04/10/how-to-play-divx-and-xvid-on-your-apple-tv/

But yes, a optical drive might be useful. Perhaps the Apple TV USB hack can let you attach a USB optical drive?
http://wiki.awkwardtv.org/wiki/Main_Page