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jeremy.king
Jan 14, 2008, 11:11 AM
Given all the rumors, I'll add my own unoriginal speculation.

Apple TV will no longer be just a hardware device, it will become the latest entry into the world of IPTV (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPTV). Hook it up to your network wirelessly ("something in the air") and have both TV programming and iTunes content to choose from. I think it could be a good alternative to Cable/Dish assuming it will do HD and is priced reasonably.

Thoughts?

I heard all the craze at CES was IPTV and OLED and given Apple's track record of entering early to market, could this be what's in the air?



CWallace
Jan 14, 2008, 01:05 PM
At least here in the US, I believe IPTV is mostly a closed system. AT&T has their U-verse IPTV system and I believe the other telcos are working on similar systems to combat cable and satellite providers.

Also, I am not sure how open IPTV systems are in terms of just connecting a device (as CableCard allows with cable systems). One might very well be required to use the telco's box to receive and decrypt IPTV which means it could not be added to the :apple:tv.

Now, there is the "rival" Internet Television initiative, but bandwidth could very well be an issue there since you're sharing the pipe with all other internet traffic as opposed to the dedicated transmission paths used in IPTV.

ccortez
Jan 14, 2008, 01:10 PM
Before I started hacking around the AppleTV using awkward, nito, etc. I took at face value everybody's claims that Apple restricted the ATV's network access to iTunes in order to drive everybody to iTunes for content purchasing.

That may have been part of their thinking... but in general, I now believe they limited the AppleTV's functionality in order to guarantee the quality of the user experience. Once you tell people they can "simply" mount a network drive (choose your poison: AFP, SMB, NFS/Windows?!) and play the content on it (choose more poison: MP3, FLAC, AIFF, MPEG1/2/3/4, DIVX, MKV)... well, that's going to be a really hard user doc to write and a harder support call to solve. Given what I've been through to enable the "basic" (ha) functionality I require, I can't imagine it will be easier for them to make AppleTV more useful on the network w/o giving out free Linux classes with every purchase... :p

gkarris
Jan 14, 2008, 01:14 PM
Interesting, as IPTV around here is AT&T, and they are the iPhone providers...

trip1ex
Jan 14, 2008, 01:15 PM
Your typical CableModem connection ain't fast enough to handle IPTV let alone a DSL connection.

CWallace
Jan 14, 2008, 01:18 PM
I now believe they limited the AppleTV's functionality in order to guarantee the quality of the user experience.

Bingo.

Especially the experience for the "non-technical user". People who like the idea of iTunes, but not the idea of connecting a Windows PC or Macintosh to their television.

This is what I feel the folks who are calling for an :apple:tv with a DVR and Blu-Ray and full video/audio codec support are missing. They want a cheaper Mac Mini HPTC with all the dongles contained inside. They already know OS X so installing and configuring TV scheduling and DVR applications and maintaining the whole environment is child's play to them. If it blows up, they know how to reboot OS X and then re-launch all the apps. They're happy to hack the software to provide more functionality. Applying fixes and patches is something they can do blindfolded.

Those people are very different from the target market of the :apple:tv. One of the reasons the :apple:tv has been so slow to update is because Apple doesn't want to "change things" and "confuse" those people.

jeremy.king
Jan 14, 2008, 01:20 PM
Interesting, as IPTV around here is AT&T, and they are the iPhone providers...

Didn't think of this angle. Some sort of partnership???

Your typical CableModem connection ain't fast enough to handle IPTV let alone a DSL connection.

I think that may rule out HD, at least til fiber in the home becomes common. But SD seems possible with the scalabilty of H.264.

SthrnCmfrtr
Jan 14, 2008, 03:47 PM
Those people are very different from the target market of the :apple:tv. One of the reasons the :apple:tv has been so slow to update is because Apple doesn't want to "change things" and "confuse" those people.

I'm beginning to think that's an excuse. I'd love to build a simple product with no real feature depth to speak of and have everyone make excuses for its lack of functionality so I don't have to.

CWallace
Jan 14, 2008, 05:22 PM
I'm beginning to think that's an excuse. I'd love to build a simple product with no real feature depth to speak of and have everyone make excuses for its lack of functionality so I don't have to.

If Apple did not offer the Mac Mini, I'd agree with you.

But a Mac Mini will do anything an :apple:tv will (and far more). It just won't be as simple or elegant.

joeshell383
Jan 14, 2008, 07:04 PM
Interesting, as IPTV around here is AT&T, and they are the iPhone providers...

Didn't think of this angle. Some sort of partnership???
I think that may rule out HD, at least til fiber in the home becomes common. But SD seems possible with the scalabilty of H.264.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=308927&highlight=at%26amp%3Bt+u-verse

blehpunk
Jan 15, 2008, 10:26 AM
Already HD podcasts for AppleTV HD on iTunes.

MovieCutter
Jan 15, 2008, 10:54 AM
AppleTV already does HD.

CWallace
Jan 15, 2008, 11:36 AM
Yes, but we would also like to be able to get the shows we watch via OTA/cable/sat in HD from the iTunes Store in HD. :)

And it looks like Steve may just have delivered it with the AppleTV Take 2...

aswitcher
Jan 15, 2008, 11:46 AM
Nice. AppleTV will survive

CWallace
Jan 15, 2008, 11:49 AM
Well we did indeed get a new :apple:tv...

HD content and Dolby Digital 5.1.
Rent directly from the :apple:tv - no Mac required. HD for $4.99 with 100 rentals.

peeaanuut
Jan 15, 2008, 11:51 AM
I am on limited internet here at work. is it a new box or is it a software update for the old box? *crossing fingers for software update*

jeremy.king
Jan 15, 2008, 11:53 AM
Well we did indeed get a new :apple:tv...


No IPTV.....yet :o

Looks like the air is going to be the MBA with AT&T wireless card built in.

Cooknn
Jan 15, 2008, 11:55 AM
As cool as this is, Netflix is still a better deal. Why rent by the unit? Apple needs to have a monthly subscription. I suppose the movie studios dictated that, though. To me it's no different than cable on-demand which I don't use either (because of price).

CWallace
Jan 15, 2008, 11:56 AM
I am on limited internet here at work. is it a new box or is it a software update for the old box? *crossing fingers for software update*

UPDATE - It is a free software update. :D

And the price dropped $70 on the base unit - $229.

Available within two weeks.

sebf
Jan 15, 2008, 11:56 AM
There better be a firmware upgrade for existing Apple TV owners or my Apple TV that I got for Christmas will be smashed with a large axe!

Edit:
10:00 am The new Apple TV is a free software update.

Pheeew! :D

peeaanuut
Jan 15, 2008, 11:59 AM
As cool as this is, Netflix is still a better deal. Why rent by the unit? Apple needs to have a monthly subscription. I suppose the movie studios dictated that, though. To me it's no different than cable on-demand which I don't use either (because of price).

it depends on your usage. This is dating myself a little bit, but I remember when AOl started offering unlimited access for a flat fee. But you could still do the hourly rate if you wanted. Well by that time i was down to using AOL only for e-mail. So dialing in, getting e-mail only for the month worked out to about maybe an hour. So I only payed $4 or whatever it was instead of 20. If I only rent 1 or 2 movies a month, single payment is better than a subscription for me.

peeaanuut
Jan 15, 2008, 12:02 PM
YES!!!! Software update!!!!!! WOOHOo!!!!!

dmr727
Jan 15, 2008, 12:02 PM
Don't even need a firmware upgrade - it's a free software update.

jeremy.king
Jan 15, 2008, 12:03 PM
There better be a firmware upgrade for existing Apple TV owners or my Apple TV that I got for Christmas will be smashed with a large axe!

Free! Nice.

Looks like all that madness about 5.1 support was true, it only needed a software update?

synth3tik
Jan 15, 2008, 12:03 PM
I was really hoping they would have done more with the AppleTV.

What AppleTV price drop at $299. Wasn't it always $299?

jeremy.king
Jan 15, 2008, 12:05 PM
What AppleTV price drop at $299. Wasn't it always $299?

It's $70 cheaper now ($229) - the same price as the refurbs.

goormart
Jan 15, 2008, 12:05 PM
Is this HD 720p or Full HD?

CWallace
Jan 15, 2008, 12:06 PM
Is this HD 720p or Full HD?

It might end up being 1080p since they could use the Blu-Ray and HD-DVD content, but bandwidth might be an issue.

Dimwhit
Jan 15, 2008, 12:49 PM
So...I really, really like all the changes to the Apple TV. I just might get one. But shouldn't they have done something about the hard drives? How many HD movies can you fit on a 40GB hard drive?

I guess the thing to do is buy the 40GB version, then drop a 500GB drive into it.

MotionxxUSxx
Jan 15, 2008, 12:50 PM
this may be a dumb question, but they say they are shipping the software update in 2 weeks. Will this be something that can be downloaded or do we need a actual cd or something to update?

jeremy.king
Jan 15, 2008, 12:54 PM
this may be a dumb question, but they say they are shipping the software update in 2 weeks. Will this be something that can be downloaded or do we need a actual cd or something to update?

I assume they will be using the Software Update already on the device. Settings > Update Software from your Apple TV.

Duffinator
Jan 15, 2008, 12:59 PM
Nice. AppleTV will surviveYeah!

baronbuzby
Jan 15, 2008, 01:06 PM
Apple TV in the UK has not had a price drop. Still 199 compared to $229 in the US.


SURELY A MISTAKE????????

dmr727
Jan 15, 2008, 01:24 PM
I like it. This will finally get me off my butt to go order one. :)

Sonicjay
Jan 15, 2008, 01:34 PM
I'm really excited about this! I don't even mind the price drop, as I got mine the first week they were out, so it's not like I got it a week ago and now it's cheaper. I'm very happy that it was a software update and not a hardware update!

ftaok
Jan 15, 2008, 01:37 PM
Is this HD 720p or Full HD?

My guess is that it will be 720/24p at around 5 Mbps. This is based on the specs for the XBox Marketplace HD Movies.

ft

kevinbal
Jan 15, 2008, 01:37 PM
I'm perfectly content with the Software Upgrades. We knew from the start that the audio chip on the board was capable of 5.1, it was just disabled. I'm glad that it will be made operational with this update - hopefully any encodes already done in DD 5.1 will carry over without any problems.

Rentals are better than expected - not my market, but for what they are, certainly beats everyone else (until Netflix with their set top box comes around.) 2.99, 3.99/4.99 for HD is a good price point.

I'm curious to see how long until HD movies for purchase start showing up... if the rentals work, I would hope that studios would begin to offer 720p downloads to own as well.

Realistically, this makes a great product even better. Hopefully now people will begin to understand where the :apple:TV fits in Apple's big plan.

rj1974
Jan 15, 2008, 01:40 PM
Well I'm dissapointed with the update. Again europe is left behind (rentals; at least for a while... I'm still waiting for the introduction of the iPhone too) and also there is no hardware update. DVR features and/or Blu-ray would have been nice, this update just doesn't cut it. Even with the price drop I'm not tempted to buy one. :(

benpatient
Jan 15, 2008, 01:43 PM
the HD rentals are 720p based on the updated appleTV spec page.

I wouldn't hold your breath for 1080p. Basically 1 or 2 movies would fit on the smaller AppleTV at a decent bitrate.

this is good news and makes the appleTV less of a dumb purchase (sorry people who have purchased one in the past, but it is true), but without some sort of DVR functionality, I don't see what this does that you can't already get from an xbox or a ps3.

If you don't have either one of those, and you never ever plan on buying a gaming console, then that's fine, i suppose, but it tells you just how off-base the appleTV was that steve jobs had to brag about the fact that it is no longer tethered to a computer.

kevinbal
Jan 15, 2008, 02:01 PM
Well I'm dissapointed with the update. ...DVR features and/or Blu-ray would have been nice, this update just doesn't cut it.

Man, at what point do people start realize what "content delivery" means as a business model? If Apple's goal is to sell you your content via iTunes downloads, why in the bloody hell would they provide for you a way to record tv (providing no income for them) and watch movies from an aging physical media-based system (again, providing no income for them)?

Anyone who seriously believed that they would actually see the AppleTV become a TiVo or a Blu-ray player (when still no macs have Blu-ray, even as a BTO) are living inside a reality distortion field greater than the one parked in Cupertino :-P

dmr727
Jan 15, 2008, 02:02 PM
Man, at what point do people start realize what "content delivery" means as a business model? If Apple's goal is to sell you your content via iTunes downloads, why in the bloody hell would they provide for you a way to record tv (providing no income for them) and watch movies from an aging physical media-based system (again, providing no income for them)?

Anyone who seriously believed that they would actually see the AppleTV become a TiVo or a Blu-ray player (when still no macs have Blu-ray, even as a BTO) are living inside a reality distortion field greater than the one parked in Cupertino :-P

Amen.

Mac In School
Jan 15, 2008, 02:06 PM
I don't care what anyone else says, I'm friggin' stoked!!!

Sure, they could have beefed it up with BluRay and DVR functionality, and maybe even figured out a way to add an iSight so we could .Mac video chat from our living rooms, but did anybody expect any of that stuff? As unpopular as :apple:TV has been, I was fairly confident that they would not revolutionize the device.

I'm just excited that it will finally support 5.1. That's all I was hoping for.

For me, though, a nice bonus is the rental service. I'm a Juniper credit card holder, so I get about $150/year in free iTunes gift cards. I'm not a fan of the iTunes music files, so I finally have something to buy with them. The fact that they're HD is just that much better.

rj1974
Jan 15, 2008, 02:11 PM
Man, at what point do people start realize what "content delivery" means as a business model? If Apple's goal is to sell you your content via iTunes downloads, why in the bloody hell would they provide for you a way to record tv (providing no income for them) and watch movies from an aging physical media-based system (again, providing no income for them)?

Anyone who seriously believed that they would actually see the AppleTV become a TiVo or a Blu-ray player (when still no macs have Blu-ray, even as a BTO) are living inside a reality distortion field greater than the one parked in Cupertino :-P

That's funny :)

I'll settle for a Mac Mini update (802.11n) too and turn that into the :apple:tv I would prefer to have and add the Blu-ray player/writer later on (once they are less expensive). But I'm afraid it will be EOL before that happens :(

kevinbal
Jan 15, 2008, 02:16 PM
That's funny :)

I'll settle for a Mac Mini update (802.11n) too and turn that into the :apple:tv I would prefer to have and add the Blu-ray player/writer later on (once they are less expensive). But I'm afraid it will be EOL before that happens :(

I'm not so sure the Mini will be EOL'd any time soon... right now it serves really as the dumping ground for excess and price reduced macbook parts. It's a great low cost device that has plenty of uses (and functions very well as a main computer, I really like mine as my home desktop complimenting my MBP)

The N thing annoyed the F out of me when the revised mini's were announced, but I just ended up using a physical ethernet connection to deliver the content to the AppleTV from my office. (That would be wires through the walls, not a long cable going through the house visible ;) )

PlayWithTV
Jan 15, 2008, 02:23 PM
Any rumors on whether Front Row for Leopard will be updated to handle Rentals?

pjarvi
Jan 15, 2008, 02:24 PM
The 160GB model got the price drop as well: $329.

wake6830
Jan 15, 2008, 02:32 PM
Wow, still a whopping 40gig hard drive.

gkarris
Jan 15, 2008, 03:08 PM
Wow, still a whopping 40gig hard drive.

I stream everything...

Mine says 39.7 Gig still free.

rj1974
Jan 15, 2008, 03:16 PM
Any rumors on whether Front Row for Leopard will be updated to handle Rentals?

That would be a cool feature and maybe the final push in the back to finally update the Mac Mini to 802.11n (why is it taking so long anyway? ;))

OllyW
Jan 15, 2008, 03:19 PM
Apple TV in the UK has not had a price drop. Still 199 compared to $229 in the US.


SURELY A MISTAKE????????

Even allowing for rip-off Britain, this can't be right.

Come on Apple, sort the price out :mad:

ccortez
Jan 15, 2008, 03:28 PM
I guess my only question is... will the update break some/all of the hacks I'm currently running? I might occasionally buy an album or rent a movie, but I use the parts of it they never intended me to do every day.

The Dolby 5.1 is pretty attractive tho...

Duffinator
Jan 15, 2008, 07:02 PM
Is there anybody besides me that thinks 24 hours to watch a movie is too short? Many times my wife falls asleep while watching movies after our kids have gone to bed and we finish the movie the following night. That takes us out to maybe 27 hours after starting watching the movie. So that's a deal killer for me. Same with Netflix and I'm sure it's the movie studios being really anal about the whole download thing. :eek:

mkaake
Jan 15, 2008, 07:12 PM
The 24 hours doesn't bug me too much. When we sit down to watch a movie, we watch it all the way through. The thing that bothers me is the release '30 days after the DVD release'.

Ugh. When I want to rent a movie (rare), it's usually because it just came out on DVD, and I am either really stoked to see it (again, if we saw it in theaters), or I want to see if it's worth spending money on purchasing.

So most of the time, I'm not really in the mood to wait 30 days after it's available down the street at Blockbuster to pick it up.

2 viewings would have been nice too, as movies like (insert any Pixar movie) the family likes to watch more than once before it goes back (and over more than a 24 hour period).

All told, I think it's a huge step in the right direction - the price is on par with what I'd pay if I drove to the store (well, $0.50 more, but I don't have to drive to the store, and save that much in gas, and don't have to worry about there being copies available). After apple proves that it is (or is not) a valid model, I expect to see terms slowly change.

We'll see.

imlucid
Jan 15, 2008, 07:13 PM
Is there anybody besides me that thinks 24 hours to watch a movie is too short? Many times my wife falls asleep while watching movies after our kids have gone to bed and we finish the movie the following night. That takes us out to maybe 27 hours after starting watching the movie. So that's a deal killer for me. Same with Netflix and I'm sure it's the movie studios being really anal about the whole download thing. :eek:

That's a pretty standard industry limitation.

Kevin

Duffinator
Jan 15, 2008, 07:15 PM
That's a pretty standard industry limitation.

KevinI know but that doesn't mean I have to like it. :D

The Netflix model works well for me so I probably won't be downloading movies to my ATV but I'll try it just to test it out. The 30 days after DVD release is not good. Jobs spun that well like it was really cool but it's not.

kevinbal
Jan 15, 2008, 07:31 PM
The 24 hours doesn't bug me too much. When we sit down to watch a movie, we watch it all the way through. The thing that bothers me is the release '30 days after the DVD release'.

I think you misunderstood what Jobs said. The rentals aren't going to show up on iTunes 30 days after the DVD is released. You -have- 30 days to watch the movie you rented. Once you start watching it within the 30 days, you have 24 hours to finish it. I haven't done this, so I might be mistaken, but MS has the same 30 day policy with xbox marketplace downloads.

phuong
Jan 15, 2008, 07:48 PM
the feature i'm most interested in with this version is subtitles and HD support for movies.
now it might be a good time to replace my 1st gen XBOX with XBMC

Duffinator
Jan 15, 2008, 08:13 PM
I think you misunderstood what Jobs said. The rentals aren't going to show up on iTunes 30 days after the DVD is released. You -have- 30 days to watch the movie you rented. Once you start watching it within the 30 days, you have 24 hours to finish it. I haven't done this, so I might be mistaken, but MS has the same 30 day policy with xbox marketplace downloads.I just watched the video again and he clearly states they will be available 30 days after DVD release. Then when he talks about the rules of renting he states you can watch the movies during the 30 days after the download.

imlucid
Jan 15, 2008, 08:19 PM
I just watched the video again and he clearly states they will be available 30 days after DVD release. Then when he talks about the rules of renting he states you can watch the movies during the 30 days after the download.

You are correct.

Kevin