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MacRumors
Jan 15, 2008, 12:35 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/01/15/apple-announces-appletv-take-2-price-drop/)


Now there's no computer required - you can now rent movies directly on the Apple TV in your choice of DVD quality or HD + dolby 5.1 surround sound. Podcasts are available in audio and video format, as well as photos from Flikr and .Mac and sync with iTunes. AppleTV allows you to preview movies from the interface, and see what other users who have rented that movie have rented. Photo screensavers can be retrieved from .Mac web galleries. Music can be purchased from the iTunes Store from within the Apple TV.

The update is available as a free software update that should be available in two weeks for current AppleTV owners. Entry price for the AppleTV also drops from $299 to $229.

HD rentals are $4.99, with 100 titles available today.MacHeist (http://www.macrumors.com/c.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fmacheist.com/track/id/macrumorslive/&t=1200412826) is providing full sponsorship for our MacRumorsLive feed today. Buy their 14 application bundle (http://www.macrumors.com/c.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fmacheist.com/track/id/macrumorslive/&t=1200412826) for $49 and support MacRumorsLive.

Article Link: Apple Announces Apple TV Take 2 + Price Drop (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/01/15/apple-announces-appletv-take-2-price-drop/)



CWallace
Jan 15, 2008, 12:35 PM
Solid update that is enough to convince me to buy one.

twoodcc
Jan 15, 2008, 12:44 PM
i do like this update. maybe i'll buy one someday

SthrnCmfrtr
Jan 15, 2008, 12:47 PM
Refurbs for $199 now.

BobVB
Jan 15, 2008, 12:48 PM
How are they doing the DD5.1 in the HD movies and will Handbrake be able to do the same thing? An AppleTV is going to be used for digitizing my DVD collection and DD5.1 capability is mandatory.

ShavenYak
Jan 15, 2008, 12:52 PM
It still can't do 1080p or lossless surround sound, so my next disposable $250 is still earmarked for a Blu-Ray player. Maybe the next hardware update to the little box will be the one that gets me to splurge. Until then, I'd just as soon hook up the HDMI and optical cable to my MacBook. It does 1080p and Dolby Digital (thanks to Perian).

I hope Apple is planning on adding the iTunes store interface and on-screen movie rental functionality to FrontRow. That would be a big oversight if they don't.

HiRez
Jan 15, 2008, 12:53 PM
When they say HD, is it 1080 or 720? I wonder how good the compression will be. If it's good I may finally buy into this scheme.

Still think the 24 hour limit is terrible, 30 hours would be much more useful. It's fine for people who don't work, have no kids or other interruptions in their life. But it's not enough for a lot of people.

CWallace
Jan 15, 2008, 12:54 PM
How are they doing the DD5.1 in the HD movies and will Handbrake be able to do the same thing?

I am guessing it is just an update in the audio codec to enable it (assuming it was always there in the content).

And I fully expect Handbrake and VisualHub will update to support it, as well.

Evangelion
Jan 15, 2008, 12:56 PM
Price hasn't dropped in the Finnish store :(. I hope it will drop soon. It would be a travesty if they dropped the US price, while keeping the Euro-prices steady at 299e and 399e! With these exchange-rates, it should be about 199e and 299e in Europe!

slu
Jan 15, 2008, 12:58 PM
This is great news. My biggest gripe with AppleTV has been lack of decent movie content (read: not enough studio support), lack of a rental option and the inability to buy/rent from the couch. Now that all of these have been addressed, I am going to buy one! HD content is just a big plus for me as I think the DVD quality looks fine on my HDTV.

IMO, this is a GREAT update and is exactly what this device needs. And it's good that this will apply to current AppleTV owners as well.

Now to wait for all the DVR wishers to complain!

nubero
Jan 15, 2008, 12:58 PM
I can't shake the feeling that Apple looses touch with their clients more and more...
Playing the same music in three rooms in synch is a great feature but why only in the AirPort Express? This so keeps me from buying an Apple TV...

And btw: What's going on with all that talk about digital downloads of Music and Movies recently? If you buy the CD you get the highest quality Audio and the long-life backup for free...
Don't even get me startet about HD Movie downloads.

SthrnCmfrtr
Jan 15, 2008, 12:59 PM
Is the AppleTV interface going to change to match its appearance at, say, http://www.apple.com/appletv/features.html#movies ?

If so, yuck.

Rocketman
Jan 15, 2008, 01:01 PM
So here's what I don't get. You have airport extreme with wifi, gigabit ethernet, and external USB disc plug. You have Apple TV with internal drive, video and audio out, and wifi. You have Time Capsule with wifi, internal drive and who knows what else. Much of the differentiation of the devices is software toggles.

Why not make one device? Call it Apple TV Plus and simply combine all those features into one. The only concern I can see is having two devices competing for a limited stream. That could be reduced by having the ability to "chain" any existing devices you already have so they are physically plugged or virtually plugged to Apple TV Plus. Also that device could have an ethernet cable to your primary internet connection. Sort of a multi-homing device.

As it is now to get all the functionality Apple wants to sell you a little at a time you have to spend around $600. Am all in one could be profitable at $400 and would fill the landfills with oddball devices less quickly.

Heck, add a "stack" option where you have a populatable unit for optical drive, spare HD, dock, other I/O options. The "new cube".

Rocketman

ShavenYak
Jan 15, 2008, 01:01 PM
How are they doing the DD5.1 in the HD movies and will Handbrake be able to do the same thing? An AppleTV is going to be used for digitizing my DVD collection and DD5.1 capability is mandatory.

I'd assume they're adding real AC3 (Dolby Digital) support to Quicktime. Handbrake can already rip the AC3 track into an AVI container, and if you have Perian and QT Pro you can open an .avi file with AC3 audio and "Save As" a Quicktime .mov which can then be imported into iTunes. It then can play in FrontRow, but it won't work on a stock AppleTV. Perhaps once the AppleTV updates are done it will.

If that is the case, I'm sure Handbrake will get updated to allow it to rip the AC3 straight into a .mov or .mp4 file.

Evangelion
Jan 15, 2008, 01:01 PM
And btw: What's going on with all that talk about digital downloads of Music and Movies recently? If you buy the CD you get the highest quality Audio and the long-life backup for free...
Don't even get me startet about HD Movie downloads.

Let's see.... I could spend about 20e to buy a CD that has maybe 2-3 songs I like, or I could spend about 2-3e and buy just the songs I like, and they would be delivered to my computer in few seconds.

Now, this is a difficult choice... not!

mandoman
Jan 15, 2008, 01:02 PM
Price drop, stand-alone operation, movie rentals, hd content + 5.1 surround = enough
to get me to buy one finally...

goroboto
Jan 15, 2008, 01:02 PM
Am I reading this right? The movie will have been in Blockbuster and on Netflix for an entire MONTH before I can access it w/ an Apple TV?

notjustjay
Jan 15, 2008, 01:03 PM
I'm really glad to see that this is a free downloadable update and not a new device, or worse, something you have to pay for (say..... $20 :mad:)

I don't have an Apple TV, but with this and the new price drop, it is now within the realm of consideration. I want a flat panel TV to watch DVDs and rabbit ears to pick up local HD signals, without a subscription to cable or satellite. The Apple TV may be just the thing to fill in the gap.

Now, the only thing I need to do is find a way to hide it completely (it looks slim enough, maybe I can actually tuck it in behind the TV?) and program a universal remote with the Apple remote buttons.

odedia
Jan 15, 2008, 01:03 PM
Wow, is that girl from the guided tour on apple.com how or what?? :eek:

And she finishes her presentation with "go to an apple store, maybe I'll see you there!"

Nice marketing, Apple! :D

SthrnCmfrtr
Jan 15, 2008, 01:05 PM
As it is now to get all the functionality Apple wants to sell you a little at a time you have to spend around $600

You just answered your own question.

Heck, add a "stack" option where you have a populatable unit for optical drive, spare HD, dock, other I/O options. The "new cube".

I agree.

CWallace
Jan 15, 2008, 01:06 PM
So here's what I don't get. You have airport extreme with wifi, gigabit ethernet, and external USB disc plug. You have Apple TV with internal drive, video and audio out, and wifi. You have Time Capsule with wifi, internal drive and who knows what else. Much of the differentiation of the devices is software toggles.

Why not make one device? Call it Apple TV Plus and simply combine all those features into one.

Many people likely already have one or two of these components, so paying more for redundancy could be a turn-off. People would rather spend $200 for the final piece they need then $400 and duplicate the $400 they already had.

That being said, offering the base parts at $200 each as well as the "package deal" in one unit for $400-450 would be nice. I don't have any of the three, and plan to get two (:apple:tv and Time Capsule), so getting an Airport Express as part of the deal to replace my Linksys router would be a bonus. :cool:

blackbones
Jan 15, 2008, 01:12 PM
No chance that the "share" optical drive that is available on the new macbook air will make its way to the apple tv i'm guessing...

HiRez
Jan 15, 2008, 01:12 PM
So here's what I don't get. You have airport extreme with wifi, gigabit ethernet, and external USB disc plug. You have Apple TV with internal drive, video and audio out, and wifi. You have Time Capsule with wifi, internal drive and who knows what else. Much of the differentiation of the devices is software toggles.

Why not make one device? Call it Apple TV Plus and simply combine all those features into one. The only concern I can see is having two devices competing for a limited stream. That could be reduced by having the ability to "chain" any existing devices you already have so they are physically plugged or virtually plugged to Apple TV Plus. Also that device could have an ethernet cable to your primary internet connection. Sort of a multi-homing device.

As it is now to get all the functionality Apple wants to sell you a little at a time you have to spend around $600. Am all in one could be profitable at $400 and would fill the landfills with oddball devices less quickly.I agree, it would be nice to integrate a lot of these overlapping features. And they probably will, and suck another $300-$500 out of us while doing so, for the same stuff we already bought in one box instead of 4. Not including AirTunes with the Airport Extreme base station is a terrible oversight.

nubero
Jan 15, 2008, 01:12 PM
Let's see.... I could spend about 20e to buy a CD that has maybe 2-3 songs I like, or I could spend about 2-3e and buy just the songs I like, and they would be delivered to my computer in few seconds.

Now, this is a difficult choice... not!

I like about 90% of the tracks on my 500+ CDs, thank you (I don't do Britney and Shakira).

I see your point though. It is nice to be able to select just a few specific songs or just one for that matter. I even did it myself.

My point is that I don't get how anyone can talk about a replacement of Optical Media when talking about downloads...

sjjordan
Jan 15, 2008, 01:13 PM
Watched the guided tour...

"HD is available for just $1 more."

Translation:

Only HD-New releases are $4.99
Non-new releases are $3.99

Definitely worth it

BobVB
Jan 15, 2008, 01:16 PM
I am guessing it is just an update in the audio codec to enable it (assuming it was always there in the content).

And I fully expect Handbrake and VisualHub will update to support it, as well.

Well there hasn't been HD content before other than movie trailers and it used 6 discrete channels that were inexplicably dumbed down to Pro Logic II. The new AppleTV tech spec page says it does DD5.1 pass-through so maybe an AC3 track? We shall see.

Hopefully Handbrake can handle it - I have almost 800 DVDs in 2 Sony jukebox players and would like to digitize them to make room for the inevitable Sony Blu-ray jukebox ;)

Got off easy - no voice dial on iPhone so that's a no go, don't need a new laptop no matter how light (especially with a built in battery - I've gone through 2 already on my MBP) and I'll never be renting a 'baby' HD movie or one without DD5.1 sound. So an AppleTV it is - once I find out if the DD5.1 is doable by other than Apple.

Oh and as far as your eventual blu-ray player be warned: http://www.betanews.com/article/Bluray_Early_adopters_knew_what_they_were_getting_into/1199841379

Evangelion
Jan 15, 2008, 01:17 PM
My point is that I don't get how anyone can talk about a replacement of Optical Media when talking about downloads...

downloads have all but replaced optical media in my case. Discs are a hassle, and while they might have better audio-quality than 128kb AAC (although 128kb AAC is "good enough" in most cases), there is no real difference between 256kb AAC and CD.

Downloads are just way more economical, ecological and convenient than CD's are. The last CD I bought (Dark Passion Play by Nightwish) was because it was released first on CD and only a bit later in iTunes, and I wanted to have it ASAP, and the CD contained a second disc that had instrumental version of the album, while iTunes only had the regural version.

Graphis
Jan 15, 2008, 01:19 PM
The update now makes it look interesting to me, and I might consider getting one when cash flow allows. Prior to this, i couldn't see the point, it was just a box that plugged in and lit up and very little else.
At least now it will save me the walk to Blockbuster:)

samh004
Jan 15, 2008, 01:20 PM
This still feels like a bad move. I said earlier I wanted more of a convergence device, and this isn't it. Someone told me to get a Wii, but I want an AppleTV. Maybe Apple will get my money next year when they release the 3rd version.

Bubbasteve
Jan 15, 2008, 01:24 PM
This IMO was the best part of the keynote

Very solid update

Eidorian
Jan 15, 2008, 01:26 PM
I believe that the AppleTV and iTunes were the most solid updates of the keynote as well.

$199 for the old 40 GB isn't that bad but I'm sure you can find a better deal elsewhere. I just wish the new lowend $229 model was say 80 GB instead.

dogtanian
Jan 15, 2008, 01:27 PM
What's up with the new crappy interface...? Looks cheap and squary... if that is a word. I like the art in the background though.

Still not mega worth it but I'll be buying one soon regardless. What a fool.

ShavenYak
Jan 15, 2008, 01:28 PM
I don't have an Apple TV, but with this and the new price drop, it is now within the realm of consideration. I want a flat panel TV to watch DVDs and rabbit ears to pick up local HD signals, without a subscription to cable or satellite. The Apple TV may be just the thing to fill in the gap.

Now, the only thing I need to do is find a way to hide it completely (it looks slim enough, maybe I can actually tuck it in behind the TV?) and program a universal remote with the Apple remote buttons.

Since Charter's internet has become unreliable and we're switching to DSL, we might be cutting off our cable TV and doing the same. There's also the local library, where DVD rentals are FREE. :)

The Apple remote is standard IR, so any learning remote will work, although I'm partial to Logitech's Harmony remotes.

Well there hasn't been HD content before other than movie trailers and it used 6 discrete channels that were inexplicably dumbed down to Pro Logic II. The new AppleTV tech spec page says it does DD5.1 pass-through so maybe an AC3 track? We shall see.

Oh and as far as your eventual blu-ray player be warned: http://www.betanews.com/article/Bluray_Early_adopters_knew_what_they_were_getting_into/1199841379

Actually the Pro Logic II mixdown isn't "inexplicable". The problem was simply that no other piece of audio hardware on Earth could decode the AAC audio. So they had to convert it to something - and stereo with PLII matrixed surround was the easy way out. Doesn't even require the users to fiddle with settings, because stereo-only equipment will play it back as well. A better choice would have been to transcode it to AC3, and I'm wondering now if maybe the new AppleTV will do that with older movies that have the 5.1 AAC tracks - that would be nice.

I already knew about the imminent arrival of Blu-ray 2.0, which is why I don't have a player yet. :)

Flyinace2000
Jan 15, 2008, 01:29 PM
Is there a hardware difference between the new unit and the old? I am asking because i am thinking of getting a refurb unit at 199. But if the new one is "better" then i will spend the extra $30.

Flyinace2000
Jan 15, 2008, 01:31 PM
Is there a hardware difference between the new unit and the old? I am asking because i am thinking of getting a refurb unit at 199. But if the new one is "better" then i will spend the extra $30.

I answered my own question. The new on has a part number of MA711LL/A and the refurb on is FA711LL/A. They must be the same.

bmb012
Jan 15, 2008, 01:31 PM
When they say HD, is it 1080 or 720? I wonder how good the compression will be. If it's good I may finally buy into this scheme.

Still think the 24 hour limit is terrible, 30 hours would be much more useful. It's fine for people who don't work, have no kids or other interruptions in their life. But it's not enough for a lot of people.

*sigh* Seriously, you have a MONTH to press play. If don't have the time within a 24 hour period to watch a 2 hour movie, I don't think those extra 6 hours are going to make or break the deal.

As for 5.1 audio... "Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound pass-through" from the tech specs of the AppleTV page. I'm guessing they're updated... That doesn't sound like 5.1 aac converted to Dolby to me...

Eidorian
Jan 15, 2008, 01:31 PM
Is there a hardware difference between the new unit and the old? I am asking because i am thinking of getting a refurb unit at 199. But if the new one is "better" then i will spend the extra $30.Looks the same on Apple's page.

http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html

Slip
Jan 15, 2008, 01:34 PM
Price hasn't dropped in the Finnish store :(. I hope it will drop soon. It would be a travesty if they dropped the US price, while keeping the Euro-prices steady at 299e and 399e! With these exchange-rates, it should be about 199e and 299e in Europe!

Oooh, my pet hate :rolleyes:

Is the AppleTV interface going to change to match its appearance at, say, http://www.apple.com/appletv/features.html#movies ?

If so, yuck.

I can imagine it looking pretty swish on a nice flat panel ;)

ShavenYak
Jan 15, 2008, 01:34 PM
Wow.. I just noticed in the Tech Specs it says "HDMI (video and audio)". I wonder if it can do multichannel PCM over HDMI? That would be the ideal way to handle both future HD movies and old 5.1 AAC iTMS movies. But knowing Apple, it's probably stereo only.

Another thing they ought to consider is an option to apply the rental price toward a future purchase of the same movie - kind of like "Complete my album" works now.

carlivar
Jan 15, 2008, 01:34 PM
Was seriously considering dumping Netflix until I read that HD titles cost more.

Ugh. I would think Apple wouldn't play the "penalize the HD users" game. HD should be the new standard, not some sort of special high-end price.

So I guess I'll still wait for a cheap blu-ray player and stick with Netflix, who will send me HD discs at day of release for no extra charge.

nubero
Jan 15, 2008, 01:34 PM
downloads have all but replaced optical media in my case. Discs are a hassle, and while they might have better audio-quality than 128kb AAC (although 128kb AAC is "good enough" in most cases), there is no real difference between 256kb AAC and CD.


until you buy speakers by Dynaudio...

But more important: What do you do about Backup? I mean if you really have a good solution please tell me, I'm eager to hear...

And long term storage? ten years, twenty?

Slip
Jan 15, 2008, 01:35 PM
Looks the same on Apple's page.

http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html

Yeah I think it's the same, there was no mention of an update anyway. And also the software update being available for current users kinda points that way aswell

zedsdead
Jan 15, 2008, 01:37 PM
They didn't mention if HD was able to be purchased though did they?

Scarpad
Jan 15, 2008, 01:38 PM
Is the AppleTV interface going to change to match its appearance at, say, http://www.apple.com/appletv/features.html#movies ?

If so, yuck.

you got that right brother.

I much prefer the older interface. Why not make it customizable.

Intarweb
Jan 15, 2008, 01:40 PM
720p or 1080p/i?

Calling 720p and touting as HD is a bit of a stretch these days. If it ain't 1080p/i it ain't HD.

j26
Jan 15, 2008, 01:42 PM
Sorry, but 299 ($443) for the small one and 399 ($591) for the large one?

That's surely an excessive price difference between Ireland and the US.

overcast
Jan 15, 2008, 01:43 PM
until you buy speakers by Dynaudio...

But more important: What do you do about Backup? I mean if you really have a good solution please tell me, I'm eager to hear...

And long term storage? ten years, twenty?
I love my DynAudios and Totem Acoustics <3 Unfortunately this is how such services are so successful. No one else has any idea what we are talking about.

kainjow
Jan 15, 2008, 01:43 PM
Was seriously considering dumping Netflix until I read that HD titles cost more.

Ugh. I would think Apple wouldn't play the "penalize the HD users" game. HD should be the new standard, not some sort of special high-end price.

So I guess I'll still wait for a cheap blu-ray player and stick with Netflix, who will send me HD discs at day of release for no extra charge.

Yep, Netflix is IMO a way better option. I can see renting an HD movie every once in a while when you want it now, but I don't see that happening too much. I'll stick with Netflix :)

overcast
Jan 15, 2008, 01:43 PM
720p or 1080p/i?

Calling 720p and touting as HD is a bit of a stretch these days. If it ain't 1080p/i it ain't HD.
720p is part of the HD spec. So, you're wrong.

gotohamish
Jan 15, 2008, 01:44 PM
Looks the same on Apple's page.

http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html

Yes, but the Apple tech specs page still only lists "Intel Processor" and what a lot of people want to know is whether Apple will be quietly upgrading that anonymous processor for the version that comes boxed with the new software, allowing a smoother display of the 720p HD content from iTunes Rentals.

Scarpad
Jan 15, 2008, 01:45 PM
Am I reading this right? The movie will have been in Blockbuster and on Netflix for an entire MONTH before I can access it w/ an Apple TV?

Similar PPV window I'm sure some will be less, because some movies show up on PPV Day and Date. I think the Xbox has the same conditions. I can do the same from Direct TV.

CWallace
Jan 15, 2008, 01:45 PM
Sorry, but 299 ($443) for the small one and 399 ($591) for the large one? That's surely an excessive price difference between Ireland and the US.

Apple is likely operating under the assumption the US dollar will not stay so low or the Euro/Pound will not stay so high. So I imagine they expect the price disparity to adjust a bit more favorably for EU customers in the near term.

The alternative would be to start low, see the exchange rate adjustment happen, and then have to raise the EU price. And I imagine that would go over not so well. ;)

MikeDTyke
Jan 15, 2008, 01:45 PM
Ah so many bitchin moaners, wouldn't be macrumors without em.

Well i'm here to stake a real complaint! Just been on the ukstore and those sons a b*tches ain't dropped the price one red letter cent.

God darn it, i'm all fired up and ready run those lilly livered lefties oot a Cupertino. Yeah am a gunnin fer u Steve. Sort it lest i pistol whip ya.


:D

Kelmon
Jan 15, 2008, 01:46 PM
Looks like Apple TV finally became useful, or at least it will when the international release happens (US-only release = BOOO!). If you live in the UK then you have a limited selection of TV shows but outside of the US and UK (not sure about Canada) the Apple TV today is entirely useless since there is no damned content to play on it. The release of the rentals store, if it works as advertised, and if the rental prices are at least comparable to the local rental shop, makes the device a much more attractive purchase and one that I would consider now if I had a widescreen television.

Overall details of the rental period seems pretty reasonable and comparable to what the local shop does. Sure, I can watch the movie multiple times over a 2-day period from the shop but in reality we only tend to watch the film once so watching it all in 24-hours is fine with the option of not watching it at all until later.

j26
Jan 15, 2008, 01:47 PM
Apple is likely operating under the assumption the US dollar will not stay so low or the Euro/Pound will not stay so high. So I imagine they expect the price disparity to adjust a bit more favorably for EU customers in the near term.

The alternative would be to start low, see the exchange rate adjustment happen, and then have to raise the EU price. And I imagine that would go over not so well. ;)

So why is the MBA 1699 on the Irish site when it's $1799 on the US?
It doesn't add up



Plus, the dollar is going down the toilet :p

Bubbasteve
Jan 15, 2008, 01:48 PM
Was seriously considering dumping Netflix until I read that HD titles cost more.

Ugh. I would think Apple wouldn't play the "penalize the HD users" game. HD should be the new standard, not some sort of special high-end price.

So I guess I'll still wait for a cheap blu-ray player and stick with Netflix, who will send me HD discs at day of release for no extra charge.

It costs $1 more...

matticus008
Jan 15, 2008, 01:49 PM
Why not make one device? Call it Apple TV Plus and simply combine all those features into one. The only concern I can see is having two devices competing for a limited stream.
The bigger problem is that people who just want a router won't want to pay $600 for one, just like people who just want a network hard drive, or people who just want to add some remote speakers to their existing network.

The product you're describing is a Mac mini. Almost literally. Front Row, expandable storage, network sharing, connection to home theaters.

As it is now to get all the functionality Apple wants to sell you a little at a time you have to spend around $600. Am all in one could be profitable at $400
Not a chance. The consumer electronics products work because each one can be run on lean, cheaper hardware. Adding functions together and expecting them to run simultaneously ups the hardware requirements right into the Mac mini range and provides a single point of failure, along with requiring that all the desired services/connections be located in one place in your home. It also makes expansion cost-prohibitive. Tremendously so.
Heck, add a "stack" option where you have a populatable unit for optical drive, spare HD, dock, other I/O options. The "new cube".
That's not a bad idea, but cooling the stack would become a serious problem.

Not including AirTunes with the Airport Extreme base station is a terrible oversight.
I disagree. I think AirTunes should literally be a wireless device to add to a current network, and much cheaper. People don't necessarily keep their routers near their speakers, and most anyone who buys one of these already has a wireless network, so making it function as a base station seems superfluous to me. I'd much rather see a $49 AirTunes device (and kill the Airport Express) than see it added to the Airport Extreme.


$199 for the old 40 GB isn't that bad but I'm sure you can find a better deal elsewhere.
Not really, though I wish it were so. They're still going for $200 on eBay, and before this update, $250 was about the lowest price for a new one. This is an even tighter margin product now, which you can tell from the closeness of the refurb price (and the fact that the product was already Apple's thinnest, margin-wise).

$229 undercut all the other Internet resellers--and doesn't leave much, if any, room for anyone else to squeeze out a better price. Most of those deals were because the stock was slow-moving. At the new price, sales will pick up and remove the incentive for third parties to discount.

Intarweb
Jan 15, 2008, 01:49 PM
720p is part of the HD spec. So, you're wrong.

No ***** sherlock. Nobody cares about 720p, unless you're trying to defend a piss poor movie deliver service ;)

Eidorian
Jan 15, 2008, 01:50 PM
Yes, but the Apple tech specs page still only lists "Intel Processor" and what a lot of people want to know is whether Apple will be quietly upgrading that anonymous processor for the version that comes boxed with the new software, allowing a smoother display of the 720p HD content from iTunes Rentals.This is entirely possible. We'll have to wait to see when someone opens an AppleTV up. :p

alexandr
Jan 15, 2008, 01:50 PM
all this and no new displays??? WTF???

gotohamish
Jan 15, 2008, 01:52 PM
This is entirely possible. We'll have to wait to see when someone opens an AppleTV up. :p

It's the only thing stopping me from picking one up right now. I'm sure it'll be fine anyway, if they're confident, I'll believe them I suppose!

overcast
Jan 15, 2008, 01:53 PM
It costs $1 more...
Per movie, and after 4 movies, I've already exceeded the cost of Netflix. Which offers unlimited streaming, and unlimited movies sent to you. And much higher resolution / sound quality for HDDVD and BluRay.

overcast
Jan 15, 2008, 01:54 PM
No ***** sherlock. Nobody cares about 720p, unless you're trying to defend a piss poor movie deliver service ;)
Millions of people already waste money on a music delivery service that delivers less than CD quality sound. What makes you think they won't gobble up crappy video streams? 720P is far better than SDDVD movie rentals, but the price is ridiculous.

yetanotherdave
Jan 15, 2008, 01:54 PM
Hang on :apple:TV starts from $229 in the US which is about 115. But the UK store has the lower model for 199!! Even with sales tax the absolute most it should be after adjusting upwards for ripping off the UK is 149.
That's too much of a discrepancy to ignore this time!

nickane
Jan 15, 2008, 01:54 PM
Price hasn't dropped in the Finnish store :(. I hope it will drop soon. It would be a travesty if they dropped the US price, while keeping the Euro-prices steady at 299e and 399e! With these exchange-rates, it should be about 199e and 299e in Europe!

same in UK. We are still paying 200 / 270, which is pretty much double what they cost in the US. Maybe the price will come down once we get rentals? F-^& it. It's useless until then anyways.

Specs still say only 720p so I don't get why it has "New" next to it. Its the same thing with different firmware and existing users are getting a free upgrade.

Rocketman, I totally agree with you. At least Time Capsule looks like good value when u factor in the cost of a 500 gig lacie and the original Airport Extreme (but then even that's still limited by the lack of audio out you mentioned, and the exclusion of a broadband modem). I might get that anyways and hold out for the midrange tower at MWSF '09/'10/whenever. I'm not making any major purchases until I can get a neat looking machine that can upscale DVDs respectably on the fly and sit next to my projector without looking ugly. Once rentals become available in the UK I'll just stream them using the 5m VGA cable solution I've got going at the moment...

Hawkeye44
Jan 15, 2008, 01:55 PM
Well there hasn't been HD content before other than movie trailers and it used 6 discrete channels that were inexplicably dumbed down to Pro Logic II. The new AppleTV tech spec page says it does DD5.1 pass-through so maybe an AC3 track? We shall see.

Hopefully Handbrake can handle it - I have almost 800 DVDs in 2 Sony jukebox players and would like to digitize them to make room for the inevitable Sony Blu-ray jukebox ;)

Got off easy - no voice dial on iPhone so that's a no go, don't need a new laptop no matter how light (especially with a built in battery - I've gone through 2 already on my MBP) and I'll never be renting a 'baby' HD movie or one without DD5.1 sound. So an AppleTV it is - once I find out if the DD5.1 is doable by other than Apple.

Oh and as far as your eventual blu-ray player be warned: http://www.betanews.com/article/Bluray_Early_adopters_knew_what_they_were_getting_into/1199841379

Handbrake already can, actually. Quicktime cannot (including 7.4 fresh off the updater just now), despite all Apple claims, iLounge claims, and all that... I just used the experimental build of Handbrake which does support all those features you're looking for, 0.92 isn't far away from release. Now VLC, will playback 6 channel discreet and AC3 passthrough. That being said, AppleTV doing dolby has yet to be seen... I'm sure of what I just said, I have a G5 with a optical sound system that is totally apple supported, dvd player does support dolby already. Go figure.

If you want the experimental build go visit http://trac.handbrake.fr/wiki/CompileGuide

Heads up, use jam, not make, to do so, in the terminal, type ./configure and then after that type ./jam, and your computer will manually compile it for yah, enjoy.

Eidorian
Jan 15, 2008, 01:55 PM
It's the only thing stopping me from picking one up right now. I'm sure it'll be fine anyway, if they're confident, I'll believe them I suppose!I'd wait a little bit and see if anything updates here.

http://support.apple.com/specs/

http://support.apple.com/kb/index?page=search&q=kspec%20appletv

Ibjr
Jan 15, 2008, 01:55 PM
Was seriously considering dumping Netflix until I read that HD titles cost more.

Ugh. I would think Apple wouldn't play the "penalize the HD users" game. HD should be the new standard, not some sort of special high-end price.


BluRay DVDs don't cost more to mail, but HD does cost more to send over the internet (bandwidth). Don't blame Apple.

Evangelion
Jan 15, 2008, 01:57 PM
until you buy speakers by Dynaudio...

I have listened to my mp3/AAC-collection through a pair of Genelecs (same company that propably made the speakers that were used to _record_ your favourite music), and they sounded just fine.

quoteBut more important: What do you do about Backup? I mean if you really have a good solution please tell me, I'm eager to hear....

External HD for all my media, and that HD gets continuosly backed up to another separate HD.I believe the feature is called "Time Machine" or something like that....

And long term storage? ten years, twenty?

Hard-drive. What makes you think that CD's are 100% safe? How do you plan to save your CD's if your house burns down? I need to grab hold of one external hard-drive and I'm all set, you can carry maybe dozen or so CD's with you at best.

shiseiryu1
Jan 15, 2008, 01:58 PM
I'm still disappointed that they didn't give AppleTV internet radio (although I know it'll be a cold day in hell before that happens). Anyways, this is a decent start. I'm sure that the crummy terms (1 day viewing time...etc) was the only way that Apple could get all the major studios to sign on. If the terms were really great (like first rumored...30 days for $2.99) probably only Fox would be on board. I'm optimistic that as people get on board with this the terms will get better.

fiaz2468
Jan 15, 2008, 01:58 PM
So does this My Movies thing mean that you can view your own movies e.g. Divx, Avi, etc????

overcast
Jan 15, 2008, 01:58 PM
Hang on :apple:TV starts from $229 in the US which is about 115. But the UK store has the lower model for 199!! Even with sales tax the absolute most it should be after adjusting upwards for ripping off the UK is 149.
That's too much of a discrepancy to ignore this time!
Why do you people continue to act like the UK isn't the ripoff country of the world? I mean seriously, EVERYTHING is overpriced. Get over it already.

matticus008
Jan 15, 2008, 02:00 PM
Calling 720p and touting as HD is a bit of a stretch these days. If it ain't 1080p/i it ain't HD.
720p is hands-down better quality content than 1080i, and 1080-anything downloads are still overly burdensome for networks and Internet connections. If you want 1080p ("Full HD"), rent BD movies.

For the foreseeable future, network content will be at least one step behind from the best available consumer formats, because it's optimal. More customers, lower cost, better overall presentation (720p looks good on any set), and lower hardware requirements. It's an overall win from a business perspective.
Yes, but the Apple tech specs page still only lists "Intel Processor" and what a lot of people want to know is whether Apple will be quietly upgrading that anonymous processor for the version that comes boxed with the new software, allowing a smoother display of the 720p HD content from iTunes Rentals.
Smoother display? It displays perfectly as-is. It's putting out 1280x720 images at 24 or 30fps consistently. Once you get past that, there's not much to do. RAM and disk storage bumps are far more likely. Your 1080p TV is working with less hardware power than the AppleTV, and it manages fine.

ShavenYak
Jan 15, 2008, 02:01 PM
No ***** sherlock. Nobody cares about 720p, unless you're trying to defend a piss poor movie deliver service ;)

I think everyone would have preferred it to be able to do 1080p, Jobs included. But the movies would take double the bandwidth, and you're already going to have folks on the bargain-basement broadband complaining about download times. It's also possible that the processor in the AppleTV isn't quite stout enough to decode 1080p in realtime smoothly. The thing is, would you want to pay $50 more for the box and have the movies take twice as long (and possibly be more expensive to compensate for the extra storage space and bandwidth required on Apple's end)?

Some of us would. I would, for instance. But many wouldn't. You'd be utterly amazed at the sheer quantity of people who neither know nor care whether they're watching 720p or 1080p. Some are sitting around watching regular TV but seeing the "in HD where available" message, and they think they're watching HD. Hell, how has Apple sold 4 billion lossily-compressed songs for basically the same price/song as a CD? By making it good enough for the average Joe and by making it simple and convenient. That's what they're going to do with movie rentals, too.

Is there anyone else out there doing it better? Who is providing 1080p movie rentals for <= $4 ($5 new release) over the internet on a <=$230 box attached to a TV?

gotohamish
Jan 15, 2008, 02:02 PM
I'd wait a little bit and see if anything updates here.

http://support.apple.com/specs/

http://support.apple.com/kb/index?page=search&q=kspec%20appletv

It's the exact same product number, so I think it might be the exact same thing.

gotohamish
Jan 15, 2008, 02:03 PM
Why do you people continue to act like the UK isn't the ripoff country of the world? I mean seriously, EVERYTHING is overpriced. Get over it already.

It's not overpriced, it's a different economy. People tend to earn more in the UK too, but you don't hear people complaining about that.

Evangelion
Jan 15, 2008, 02:05 PM
The Euro-price HAS to be an error. Think about it:

Mac Pro
US-Price: starts at $2799
Euro-price: starts at 2499e

MacBook Air:
US: $1799
Euro: 1699e

Pod touch:
USA: $299
EU: 289e

BobVB
Jan 15, 2008, 02:05 PM
That being said, AppleTV doing dolby has yet to be seen... I'm sure of what I just said, I have a G5 with a optical sound system that is totally apple supported, dvd player does support dolby already. Go figure.…

Thank you muchly! Now we just need someone with an AppleTV to:

1) do the software update
2) rent an HD movie with DD5.1
3) examine the movie sound format, and
4) confirm that it is truly DD 5.1 when played.

Who ever you are scoot now and report back as soon as possible ;)

overcast
Jan 15, 2008, 02:10 PM
It's not overpriced, it's a different economy. People tend to earn more in the UK too, but you don't hear people complaining about that.
So you're just reaffirming what I've stated. K.

Small White Car
Jan 15, 2008, 02:11 PM
720p or 1080p/i?

Calling 720p and touting as HD is a bit of a stretch these days. If it ain't 1080p/i it ain't HD.

Boy, somebody ought to call ABC and Fox! I bet they had no idea they weren't actually broadcasting HD.

LionMage
Jan 15, 2008, 02:19 PM
No ***** sherlock. Nobody cares about 720p, unless you're trying to defend a piss poor movie deliver service ;)

Actually, many of us have LCD flat panels that are either 720p native, or they're some weird "in-between" resolution -- my Sharp Aquos has 768 scanlines, for example. Looks great displaying 1080i content and 720p from OTA antenna. When I download HD movie and game trailers on my PS3, I typically download them in 720p, because the quality difference between 720p and 1080i/p on my display isn't so great (but the difference between 480i/p and 720p is pretty obvious).

I should also note that 1080p isn't a broadcast standard -- it was only ever meant for pre-recorded media (i.e., next-generation high def DVD discs).

There are many cases where 1080i looks inferior to 720p -- this is why ESPN and the Fox TV network only broadcast in 720p. 1080i looks bad for scenes with lots of motion in them -- action movies, car races, athletic events, etc.

Personally, if I am going to be downloading HD content online as a movie rental, I would prefer progressive over interlaced, so 1080i is a no-go for downloaded content. That leaves 720p and 1080p. And the bitrate for 1080p is double that of 1080i for the same frame rate; considering how 1080i has a higher bitrate than 720p, imagine how much longer it would take to download a 1080p movie versus a 720p movie? There are significant costs associated with serving up lots of rich high-def media, and they have to do with bandwidth. So 720p is a good compromise, and is still considered high definition.

beaster
Jan 15, 2008, 02:20 PM
Boy, somebody ought to call ABC and Fox! I bet they had no idea they weren't actually broadcasting HD.

Yeah, no kidding. And ESPN, and a ton of HD-DVD and Blu-ray movies, and video games... the notion that 720p isn't as good as 1080i is basically erroneous. The two are withing a few percent of each other in terms of #of pixels on screen at any given moment. Essentially imperceptible, with the exception that fast-motion content (like sports) generally displays a bit better in 720p, and static content like the nightly news generally looks a bit better in 1080i.

Now, 1080p content is in a different league, but 720p/1080i are basically equivalent, all else equal. On a 1080p native display, you could also make an argument that 1080i content might display better than 720p content if you believe that scaling is typically harder than deinterlacing, but it's a stretch.

-Sean

Neuro
Jan 15, 2008, 02:21 PM
720p is part of the HD spec. So, you're wrong.

If you go into a high-street TV shop in the UK, a 'Full HD' sticker means it's 1080p (ie the current basic standard of HD technology). I think many people will feel cheated to buy a new AppleTV and find it doesn't meet the current standard.

Explorz
Jan 15, 2008, 02:22 PM
When they say HD, is it 1080 or 720? I wonder how good the compression will be. If it's good I may finally buy into this scheme.

According to Apple's website it's 1280 x 720. Bummer. Sounds like it's still best to rent DVDs to enjoy the full HD expereince in 1080P.
http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html#movierentals

Dang!!!!

gkarris
Jan 15, 2008, 02:23 PM
720p is hands-down better quality content than 1080i,

Nope, my BD and HD DVD's I watch in 1080i beat the 720p content downloaded from XBLive hands down...

trip1ex
Jan 15, 2008, 02:23 PM
For an extra $130 you get a 500gb hard drive in your Airport Extreme.

For an extra $100 you get a 160gb hd instead of a 40gb one in your ATV.

The ATV got more attractive, but still not sure why content prices are less attractive than renting DVDs from Redbox machines ($1/night) or subscribing to Netflix.

beaster
Jan 15, 2008, 02:24 PM
*sigh* Seriously, you have a MONTH to press play. If don't have the time within a 24 hour period to watch a 2 hour movie, I don't think those extra 6 hours are going to make or break the deal.

My wife and I typically take 2 nights to get through a 2-hour movie (we only have about an hour after the kids go to bed, we've clean up the kitchen, etc. before she's asleep). 30 or 36 hours would make a big difference for us.

-SEan

matticus008
Jan 15, 2008, 02:27 PM
If you go into a high-street TV shop in the UK, a 'Full HD' sticker means it's 1080p (ie the current basic standard of HD technology). I think many people will feel cheated to buy a new AppleTV and find it doesn't meet the current standard.
1080p is not the "current basic standard" of HD. 720p remains the most widely used format. It is the best broadcast standard, the only viable streaming standard, the most prodigious content format, and the most popular television set standard. All but the highest-end HDTV units are limited to 720p/1080i, even today. The price of 1080p has fallen dramatically, but the only 1080p content is on physical media, where it will remain for the foreseeable future.

Nope, my BD and HD DVD's I watch in 1080i beat the 720p content downloaded from XBLive hands down...
That's likely because your discs are scaled down from 1080p and your downloaded content is scaled up from compressed 720p sources. The comparison is faulty because of both of those factors. It's also unimaginable to find 1080i superior for fast-action scenes on account of the interlacing.

Evangelion
Jan 15, 2008, 02:27 PM
According to Apple's website it's 1280 x 720. Bummer. Sounds like it's still best to rent DVDs to enjoy the full HD expereince in 1080P.

Um, DVD's are not 1080P...

ShavenYak
Jan 15, 2008, 02:28 PM
My wife and I typically take 2 nights to get through a 2-hour movie (we only have about an hour after the kids go to bed, we've clean up the kitchen, etc. before she's asleep). 30 or 36 hours would make a big difference for us.

-SEan

You could stay up an hour later the first night and then go to be an hour later the next night instead. Or upgrade your wife to one with a longer battery life. :p

nubero
Jan 15, 2008, 02:28 PM
I have listened to my mp3/AAC-collection through a pair of Genelecs (same company that propably made the speakers that were used to _record_ your favourite music), and they sounded just fine.

i have genelec speakers too at my editing station. you shouldn't use those "used to _record_ your favourite music" though to listen to music at home since they are linear in the way they reproduce the sound. but then again genelec also makes home systems don't they...



External HD for all my media, and that HD gets continuosly backed up to another separate HD.I believe the feature is called "Time Machine" or something like that....

I think I saw that feature when I tested the Leopard Beta...



Hard-drive. What makes you think that CD's are 100%

Nothing is 100% safe of course but I have a few early CDs from 1982 & 1983 which still work fine



How do you plan to save your CD's if your house burns down? I need to grab hold of one external hard-drive and I'm all set, you can carry maybe dozen or so CD's with you at best.

That is the one good point you're making. Then again when my house burns down I will probably worry about other things first...



Funny how we ended up here... all I asked or was AirTunes on the AppleTV (and every AirPort branded Product from Apple that doesn't have it yet :-) )

overcast
Jan 15, 2008, 02:31 PM
Actually, many of us have LCD flat panels that are either 720p native, or they're some weird "in-between" resolution -- my Sharp Aquos has 768 scanlines, for example. Looks great displaying 1080i content and 720p from OTA antenna. When I download HD movie and game trailers on my PS3, I typically download them in 720p, because the quality difference between 720p and 1080i/p on my display isn't so great (but the difference between 480i/p and 720p is pretty obvious).

I should also note that 1080p isn't a broadcast standard -- it was only ever meant for pre-recorded media (i.e., next-generation high def DVD discs).

There are many cases where 1080i looks inferior to 720p -- this is why ESPN and the Fox TV network only broadcast in 720p. 1080i looks bad for scenes with lots of motion in them -- action movies, car races, athletic events, etc.

Personally, if I am going to be downloading HD content online as a movie rental, I would prefer progressive over interlaced, so 1080i is a no-go for downloaded content. That leaves 720p and 1080p. And the bitrate for 1080p is double that of 1080i for the same frame rate; considering how 1080i has a higher bitrate than 720p, imagine how much longer it would take to download a 1080p movie versus a 720p movie? There are significant costs associated with serving up lots of rich high-def media, and they have to do with bandwidth. So 720p is a good compromise, and is still considered high definition.
You realize that unless you have some old CRT based display, 1080i is deinterlaced to 1080P on 1080P tvs. Assuming the 1080i signal is at 60hz, and your tv doesn't have a garbage deinterlacer, it's the same thing.

Evangelion
Jan 15, 2008, 02:33 PM
i have genelec speakers too at my editing station. you shouldn't use those "used to _record_ your favourite music" though to listen to music at home since they are linear in the way they reproduce the sound. but then again genelec also makes home systems don't they...

Yes they do, which is why I said that the same company made the speakers used to record the album. Some people do use Genelec-monitors as part of their HT-setup, and they seem to do a good job at it. But Genelec makes other products that are better suited for the task, while taking advantage of their knowledge in making hi-end monitors.

CEO of Sony has Genelecs in his office ;).

Huracan
Jan 15, 2008, 02:36 PM
I find it funny how people make apologies for the AppleTV not having support for 1080p. I think AppleTV is due for a hardware/software upgrade to support 1080p. I am trying to convince myself that an AppleTV is a useful gadget but I can't convince myself. Believe me, I like Apple, but for high quality video I think it is better to watch 1080p from a HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. I wonder whether Apple is delaying adding HD-DVD or Blu-Ray support to their SuperDrive in order to push online video down our throats and against our best interest. Believe me, I understand that 1080p video means longer download times, bigger files, but still, the way it goes it won't be long before it becomes easy to download 1080p content from the internet and would be good to have AppleTV be able to display this on your TV.

Conclusion: Apple needs to update the AppleTV hardware to support 1080p.

My 2 cents

petvas
Jan 15, 2008, 02:37 PM
I can only say thanks to Apple for delivering this great update. I thought they would bring a new model, but Apple showed respect to all of us that went and bought the AppleTV, despite its limitations. The things I love in this new update are:

Dolby Digital!!!! YES!!!!!
HD 720p! That's really great! I know people are complaining for the lack of 1080p but I think that 720p is great too.
Movie Rentals look cool. The prices are ok. I hope they bring them in Europe too...Now I have to use Gift Cards to fill my US iTunes Account...
The new interface looks great. I watched the guided tour and it's really a big improvement over the previous one.


I also hope that Apple will offer HD movies for purchase and not only for rental.

Handbrake and Visual Hub developers please start working on an update that will offer Dolby Digital support.

nubero
Jan 15, 2008, 02:38 PM
Yes they do, which is why I said that the same company made the speakers used to record the album. Some people do use Genelec-monitors as part of their HT-setup, and they seem to do a good job at it. But Genelec makes other products that are better suited for the task, while taking advantage of their knowledge in making hi-end monitors.

CEO of Sony has Genelecs in his office ;).

And the CEO of Bose Switzerland has Dynaudio in his home :-)
No kidding... Steve Jobs is probably the only CEO that has his own products in his home... That's wh I like him... recently though I wonder: Would he really want a glossy Screen on his mac??

well... ;-)

EDIT:
these you should take a look at since you seem to like good stuff:
http://www.dynaudiousa.com/products/audience/52se/aud52se.htm

bilbo--baggins
Jan 15, 2008, 02:38 PM
*sigh* Seriously, you have a MONTH to press play. If don't have the time within a 24 hour period to watch a 2 hour movie, I don't think those extra 6 hours are going to make or break the deal.


Get home from work 6pm, cook a meal, sit down to watch a movie at 8pm, press play. Suddenly there is a power cut [ insert any other unforseen event here ], so you plan to watch it the following evening after work.

24 hour limit means you cannot.

30 hour limit means you can.

gkarris
Jan 15, 2008, 02:39 PM
It's also unimaginable to find 1080i superior for fast-action scenes on account of the interlacing.

"King Kong" looked stunning and "Flyboys", both with fast action, looked great to me.

My projector projects a 16:9 image to 55" diagonal...

GeekLawyer
Jan 15, 2008, 02:39 PM
Conclusion: Apple needs to update the AppleTV hardware to support 1080p.

I would agree with your conclusion if everyone had fiber running to their router. But since they don't, 720p makes the most sense from a content-delivery perspective.

Also, on a personal note, I don't want to buy an HD-DVD player or a BD player.

GQB
Jan 15, 2008, 02:39 PM
720p or 1080p/i?

Calling 720p and touting as HD is a bit of a stretch these days. If it ain't 1080p/i it ain't HD.

Oh give me a break. Only the most pickey HD fanatics (aka AVSforum types) can even tell the difference between 720 and 1080 on < 100" screens.

This has gotten to the point where audio has been for 20 years as vinyl types rant about how unacceptable CD quality is.

The point of diminishing returns has arrived folks, and its name is 720p... anything more is dandy, but it is essentially conspicuous consumption.

GeekLawyer
Jan 15, 2008, 02:41 PM
Get home from work 6pm, cook a meal, sit down to watch a movie at 8pm, press play. Suddenly there is a power cut [ insert any other unforseen event here ], so you plan to watch it the following evening after work.

24 hour limit means you cannot.

30 hour limit means you can.

Contact Apple, receive a credit, and re-rent the movie. Simple as that.

nubero
Jan 15, 2008, 02:41 PM
I'm pretty positive that anyone that gives a **** about video/audio quality is not buying an AppleTV. The rest simply don't care or are clueless like the majority of this forum.

Truer words were never spoken... well... written actually

BobVB
Jan 15, 2008, 02:41 PM
Handbrake already can, actually.

Ok so with them saying it can do DD5.1 'passthrough' you're guessing they will use the .mkv H.264/AC3-pass thru format?

Guess we really do need to have someone can get an HD rental and reports. Apple web page says they are available today but to whom? AppleTV units with the upgraded software? Are there any out in the wild yet?

gkarris
Jan 15, 2008, 02:42 PM
I also hope that Apple will offer HD movies for purchase and not only for rental.

I would agree with your conclusion if everyone had fiber running to their router. But since they don't, 720p makes the most sense from a content-delivery perspective.

Also, on a personal note, I don't want to buy an HD-DVD player or a BD player.

Doesn't look like you'd be able to buy HD or have 1080 content from Apple - would make the Blu-ray group (Sony and Disney mainly) unhappy with that...

whatever
Jan 15, 2008, 02:42 PM
Downloads are just way more economical, ecological and convenient than CD's are. The last CD I bought (Dark Passion Play by Nightwish) was because it was released first on CD and only a bit later in iTunes, and I wanted to have it ASAP, and the CD contained a second disc that had instrumental version of the album, while iTunes only had the regural version.

iTunes now has the double album.

foneschlomo
Jan 15, 2008, 02:44 PM
I'm pretty positive that anyone that gives a **** about video/audio quality is not buying an AppleTV. The rest simply don't care or are clueless like the majority of this forum.

I think there is a difference between giving a **** and making sacrifices in one area to gain something in another, which is how the real world works. I can appreciate a 1080p signal (actually, i think the Batman Begins DVD looks too realistic in Blu-ray, but that's a different discussion), but I am willing to sacrifice some quality to the fact I can sit in my living room when I have a date over the house and casually browse thousands of movies without leaving the house. The quality difference isn't going to matter for a date movie enough to negate the convenience.

My favorites I'll buy in true hi-def because I watch them again and again. Similar to my music collection- some is in AAC, some is on vinyl, some is on CD.

GeekLawyer
Jan 15, 2008, 02:45 PM
Doesn't look like you'd be able to buy HD or have 1080 content from Apple - would make the Blu-ray group (Sony and Disney mainly) unhappy with that...

I also don't want to buy 1080p content, and certainly not from iTunes. How quickly would you fill up even the 1TB Time Capsule with that much data?! I just want to download my 720p rental, watch it, and get on with my life. And getting on with my life doesn't include caring if Sony or Disney are unhappy with my choices as a consumer of their content.

aidanpendragon
Jan 15, 2008, 02:47 PM
I've yet to see any real comments here comparing AppleTV 2 to the Pay-Per-View services generally available from cable & satellite alike. I seem to recall that their prices are not too far off Apple's mark - and this is equipment already in many homes. So why would you pay $229 for another box that duplicates those features you already have?

BobVB
Jan 15, 2008, 02:48 PM
Oh give me a break. Only the most pickey HD fanatics (aka AVSforum types) can even tell the difference between 720 and 1080 on < 100" screens.

Oh I can't agree with that - I'm an old fart with trifocals but the difference between 720 and 1080 on my 65" Sony is VERY noticeable. But I'm not a renter anyway - I'd much rather own most movies but I'm a movie 'rewatcher' which of course the 'only watch once' crowd just can't understand ;)

But with DD5.1 possible now it does make the AppleTV a great way to digitize and get rid of the DVD collection which is why I'll be getting one. As for HD I'll be buying my content for the foreseeable future - recently got the first 4 Harry Potter movies (as well as a number of others ) from Amazon for less than $10 each.

j26
Jan 15, 2008, 02:48 PM
...Or upgrade your wife to one with a longer battery life. :p

If she's made by Apple she probably doesn't have a user replaceable battery :D

MrMoore
Jan 15, 2008, 02:49 PM
The update looks nice, but I'm still not hooked. First, I don't have a HD Television and don't have plans to purchase one yet. To take full advanatage of HD I would need to get service from Comcast, update my Tivo Series 2 [I LUV my Tivo]. The cost ain't worth it at the moment.

I guess I could connect it to a monitor, but if I have to do that, I might as well watch it from my iMac. Maybe when the day comes I get a HDTV, I'll look at the :apple:TV

EDIT: Wait! I noticed that the AppleTV can now connect via RCA connectors. I've been connecting my MacBook Pro to my TV. Now I might consider the AppleTV. Damn you Apple ;)

whatever
Jan 15, 2008, 02:49 PM
Well there hasn't been HD content before other than movie trailers and it used 6 discrete channels that were inexplicably dumbed down to Pro Logic II. The new AppleTV tech spec page says it does DD5.1 pass-through so maybe an AC3 track? We shall see.

Hopefully Handbrake can handle it - I have almost 800 DVDs in 2 Sony jukebox players and would like to digitize them to make room for the inevitable Sony Blu-ray jukebox ;)

I'm hoping you joking about getting a Blu-Ray jukebox. I don't know if they even make such a beast, but if they didn't I can only assume the price. Wouldn't it be smarter to invest in hard drives now and once all the bugs are worked out rip Blu-Ray discs to the hard disk?

nubero
Jan 15, 2008, 02:50 PM
Oh give me a break. Only the most pickey HD fanatics (aka AVSforum types) can even tell the difference between 720 and 1080 on < 100" screens.

The problem is another one (if I understand you right):
In most tests they take test subjects and let them compare 720p50 with 1080i25 (or make that 720p60 vs. 1080i30).
So they make you compare a higher framerate in a small resolution to a lower framerate in a higher resolution that is interlaced as well...

No wonder people like 720 more.

For Video Captured content we will have to wait for 1080p50 / 1080p60

Then again for Movies shot on Film you can already have true 1080p24 (on BluRay Disc only) which is the same 24fps the film material is created in. And appart from 4K there's nothing really out there that could beat that quality wise.

It's actually a small revolution: The first time you really get the same framerate at home as you have in the Cinema...

GeekLawyer
Jan 15, 2008, 02:50 PM
I've yet to see any real comments here comparing AppleTV 2 to the Pay-Per-View services generally available from cable & satellite alike. I seem to recall that their prices are not too far off Apple's mark - and this is equipment already in many homes. So why would you pay $229 for another box that duplicates those features you already have?

My ultimate hope and goal is the banish rented satellite and/or cable boxes from my life (and monthly budget) forever. The promised updates to the :apple:TV get me a step closer to achieving that goal.

ChrisA
Jan 15, 2008, 03:02 PM
Let's see if I understand this? You pay $229 upfront for a set top box and then for each movie there is a pay per view charge of between $3 and $5. Is that right?

If Apple was serious about this they'd offer a subscription service and a FREE set top box with a payed up subscription. The $229 up front cost will be a killer for most people.

What the industry needs is a stands based network protocal for streaming video over Ethernet. Then the converter box (Ethernet to HDMI) becomes a standardized commodity item, like routers are today. I really, really do NOT want to have more set top boxes than I have remotes.

BobVB
Jan 15, 2008, 03:04 PM
I'm hoping you joking about getting a Blu-Ray jukebox. I don't know if they even make such a beast, but if they didn't I can only assume the price. Wouldn't it be smarter to invest in hard drives now and once all the bugs are worked out rip Blu-Ray discs to the hard disk?

Not with the size of the files for HD, even today's minimal storage costs, and the number of blu-ray discs I'll eventually have. I have two 400 DVD jukeboxes that came out to less than a buck a disc for easy storage and convenient playing. Sure they were a couple hundred each more than just a player unit but that should be the premium over a blu-ray player too, I mean the jukebox mechanism is the same, right? And I have no problem paying more for getting what I want especially when its pretty much a one time cost. Its rental fees that give me no 'equity' that cause me pause.

GQB
Jan 15, 2008, 03:04 PM
I'm pretty positive that anyone that gives a **** about video/audio quality is not buying an AppleTV. The rest simply don't care or are clueless like the majority of this forum.

Or recognize that throwing $$$ after such microscopic increments of quality is essentially being a bleeding edge sucker in the consumer culture.

Neuro
Jan 15, 2008, 03:06 PM
1080p is not the "current basic standard" of HD. 720p remains the most widely used format. It is the best broadcast standard, the only viable streaming standard, the most prodigious content format, and the most popular television set standard. All but the highest-end HDTV units are limited to 720p/1080i, even today. The price of 1080p has fallen dramatically, but the only 1080p content is on physical media, where it will remain for the foreseeable future.


My point is that in the public mind in the UK, 1080p is the standard. Almost any new TV you can buy is 1080p. All the marketing in the shops reflects this and anyone looking for a new TV wants 1080p (regardless of whether they know what it is). So why would Joe Public they think a 720p AppleTV is a good match for their 1080p TV?

As far as I know - the AppleTV is supposed to be a mass-market consumer TV device, not especially for computer monitors.

nubero
Jan 15, 2008, 03:09 PM
Or recognize that throwing $$$ after such microscopic increments of quality is essentially being a bleeding edge sucker in the consumer culture.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a2/Common_Video_Resolutions_2.svg/700px-Common_Video_Resolutions_2.svg.png

1080 is 2.25 x the resolution of 720...
Based on European PAL (which is slightly more than NTSC as you can see in the chart) Where PAL is factor 1, 720 is factor 2,2 and 1080 is factor 5...

define microscopic

whatever
Jan 15, 2008, 03:09 PM
Conclusion: Apple needs to update the AppleTV hardware to support 1080p.


Apple TV can today support 1080P. The problem lies with the enduser experience. A 1080P movie (esp. in the US land of the worst Internet Speeds in the world (based on my experiences and nothing else) will take hours to download. Now is it really worthwhile to spend hours downloading a movie that you only be able to watch over a 24 hours period. The answer is no.

GQB
Jan 15, 2008, 03:10 PM
The problem is another one (if I understand you right):
In most tests they take test subjects and let them compare 720p50 with 1080i25 (or make that 720p60 vs. 1080i30).
So they make you compare a higher framerate in a small resolution to a lower framerate in a higher resolution that is interlaced as well...

No wonder people like 720 more.

For Video Captured content we will have to wait for 1080p50 / 1080p60

Then again for Movies shot on Film you can already have true 1080p24 (on BluRay Disc only) which is the same 24fps the film material is created in. And appart from 4K there's nothing really out there that could beat that quality wise.

It's actually a small revolution: The first time you really get the same framerate at home as you have in the Cinema...

I guess my point is that we talking tiny margins here. And for anyone other than videophiles (i.e. 99% of the market) these differences are academic.

Frankly, I had HD on a 32" tube for 2 years before I went plasma.
At that point I was restricted to 37" and after research, opted to go with ED over HD because I found (on AVSforum) that the viewing experience between ED and HD on a < 42" screen at > 10 feet was indistinguishable. And I've found that to be the case.

What I object to is this hyperbole of 720p 'sucking'. That's just silly consumerism (and probably dissonance reduction) on the part of those who have shelled out big $$ to be first on their block.

SthrnCmfrtr
Jan 15, 2008, 03:13 PM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a2/Common_Video_Resolutions_2.svg/700px-Common_Video_Resolutions_2.svg.png

1080 is 2.25 x the resolution of 720...

define microscopic

Except a 1080 display is not necessarily 2.25 x the area of a 720 display. You're not really talking as much about resolution as you are pixel density, and that's a lot more difficult to distinguish than screen size.

That's what people are talking about with diminishing returns. You put 50 billion pixels in a 3" display and it's not really going to look all that much better than a 1 megapixel 3" display or even a 640x480 3" display.

BillyG
Jan 15, 2008, 03:14 PM
Add
Safari
Mail
Wi-Fi keyboard

This would make it a very interesting product to buy for those who do not need a computer but would like to email and browse internet.

gkarris
Jan 15, 2008, 03:15 PM
????????????????????????????

How did this AppleTV Take 2 thread become a discussion about HD Pixel Density (or whatever...)?

Go get it, download stuff, enjoy...

GQB
Jan 15, 2008, 03:17 PM
[IMG]

define microscopic

Well, that's a pretty misleading graph because it makes it look as if 1080' is 3 times sharper than 480p.
Video to DVD was clearly a monumental step up, and consumers were able to see that easily.
DVD to 720p/1080i often leaves (again) most consumers scratching their head about what the big deal is. Get familiar (as we are) and its obvious, but that's not what retailers are finding with most users.
720p to 1080p is even more 'marginal'. That's how I'm defining it.

I don't think that graph squares with human perception.

I'm framing this in the context of 'what is the sweet spot in the market for Apple to be chasing to have the biggest impact.'
I just think they have it right in that context.

whatever
Jan 15, 2008, 03:19 PM
I've yet to see any real comments here comparing AppleTV 2 to the Pay-Per-View services generally available from cable & satellite alike. I seem to recall that their prices are not too far off Apple's mark - and this is equipment already in many homes. So why would you pay $229 for another box that duplicates those features you already have?

Being stuck home sick last week, I found myself looking for something to watch OnDemand and I have to tell you in the HD department there wasn't much (less than 15 in the PayPerView area and less than 50 total). And as far as new releases go, there were only two movies that were released the same day as the DVD.

I ended up spending the afternoon watching various Podcasts and YouTube on my AppleTV.

mileHighness
Jan 15, 2008, 03:19 PM
When they say HD, is it 1080 or 720? I wonder how good the compression will be. If it's good I may finally buy into this scheme.


Just pulled down the iTunes update, which states that the HD movies are 720p. Oh well, there's always 2009 Macworld...

iindigo
Jan 15, 2008, 03:20 PM
I just wish Apple would add DVR capability already... my TiVo and the dumb monthly fees that accompany it are just itching to be replaced.

GQB
Jan 15, 2008, 03:20 PM
????????????????????????????

How did this AppleTV Take 2 thread become a discussion about HD Pixel Density (or whatever...)?

Go get it, download stuff, enjoy...

:)
I agree.
And I'm much more concerned about how AAPL tanked today, and whether that was keynote related or just a by product of Citibank's bomb today along with the rest of the market.
We'll see next week.

nubero
Jan 15, 2008, 03:21 PM
Except a 1080 display is not necessarily 2.25 x the area of a 720 display. You're not really talking as much about resolution as you are pixel density, and that's a lot more difficult to distinguish than screen size.

That's what people are talking about with diminishing returns. You put 50 billion pixels in a 3" display and it's not really going to look all that much better than a 1 megapixel 3" display or even a 640x480 3" display.

Of course.

You will have to rearrange how you sit if you want to go through the trouble of doing that.
In my case it's 40" 1080p from almost exactly 2 meters away. that's pretty close though a 50" would probably be ideal. I do however see the resolution difference from 720 to 1080 and it does make quite a difference.

stompy
Jan 15, 2008, 03:21 PM
No ***** sherlock. Nobody cares about 720p, unless you're trying to defend a piss poor movie deliver service ;)

<edit> Summing up your reasoning: </edit>
1080p > 720p : 720p is for idiots.

This website (http://www.engadgethd.com/2008/01/08/1080p-tvs-dont-always-look-better-than-720p-tvs/) is stupid.

So is this one (http://s3.carltonbale.com/resolution_chart.html).


(BTW, I'm not endorsing Apple TV's resolution, just tired of blanket statements about 720p vs 1080p.)

Maclomaniac
Jan 15, 2008, 03:22 PM
My point is that in the public mind in the UK, 1080p is the standard. Almost any new TV you can buy is 1080p. All the marketing in the shops reflects this and anyone looking for a new TV wants 1080p (regardless of whether they know what it is). So why would Joe Public they think a 720p AppleTV is a good match for their 1080p TV?

As far as I know - the AppleTV is supposed to be a mass-market consumer TV device, not especially for computer monitors.

It may be "the new standard" as far as displays, but it's definitely not as far as content. Do those people realize nothing is broadcast in 1080p? Considering half the people who buy HDTVs are watching 480i stretched into 16:9 and think they are watching HDTV, it's doubtful.

Also, a conversation on 720p v 1080i and which is better is irrelevant and a waste of space here. Each one may be a little better for certain kinds of content, but it's really difficult to compare because quality depends on so many things, including how it was originally recorded, the display you're using, etc. No one can say definitively 1080i is better than 720p or vice versa, though lots of people may say they prefer one or the other, which is likely dependent on what types of content they tend to watch.

DakotaGuy
Jan 15, 2008, 03:23 PM
No ***** sherlock. Nobody cares about 720p, unless you're trying to defend a piss poor movie deliver service ;)


It's funny you say that, yet the US broadcasting standard is 720p or 1080i. When I watch a football game in 720p or 1080i and they say I am watching it in HD are they lying to me?

There is a reason that they don't broadcast in 1080p. It would take way too much bandwidth. This is the same reason why Apple is using 720p. Maybe when things speed up they can go the next level, but for now many people will be very happy with the quality of 720p HD. That is much better then DVD quality. Yes HD DVD and Blu-ray will give you 1080p, but this is the next best thing to those and it is very convenient. I have always SLAMMED Apple hard for making a dud like the Apple TV, but this is a big improvement and I give them credit. If you don't like watching anything that isn't 1080p you should probably turn off the TV because that is what you get from every network and yes IT IS HDTV.

gkarris
Jan 15, 2008, 03:24 PM
:)
I agree.
And I'm much more concerned about how AAPL tanked today, and whether that was keynote related or just a by product of Citibank's bomb today along with the rest of the market.
We'll see next week.

Definitely the stock market overall...

Apple did great things today:

1. iTunes Rentals
2. AppleTV sw update and price reduction
3. Awesome Sub-Notebook
4. iPod Touch software to make it the greatest PDA

The Windows and PC fanboys are fuming right now...

stompy
Jan 15, 2008, 03:26 PM
delete double post... weird

jettredmont
Jan 15, 2008, 03:27 PM
*sigh* Seriously, you have a MONTH to press play. If don't have the time within a 24 hour period to watch a 2 hour movie, I don't think those extra 6 hours are going to make or break the deal.

As for 5.1 audio... "Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound pass-through" from the tech specs of the AppleTV page. I'm guessing they're updated... That doesn't sound like 5.1 aac converted to Dolby to me...

Umm, actually, it's the 25th hour that typically breaks the deal for folks with kids. You put the kids to bed at 8:30, watch an hour of the movie, then need to put it aside for whatever reason. The next night you put the kids to bed at 8:30, and the movie just vanished. Sorry. You either go to be pissed off or you pay again to watch the second half of the damned movie then pitch the :apple:tv into the sewer so you don't make that mistake again.

25, 26, 27, 30 hours. Any of those would cut in half the number of annoyances with the 24-hour window. 24 hours is expertly designed to annoy customers, and (tinfoil hats on) slow the adoption of digital downloads as a medium.

toshiba1
Jan 15, 2008, 03:34 PM
Umm, actually, it's the 25th hour that typically breaks the deal for folks with kids. You put the kids to bed at 8:30, watch an hour of the movie, then need to put it aside for whatever reason. The next night you put the kids to bed at 8:30, and the movie just vanished. Sorry. You either go to be pissed off or you pay again to watch the second half of the damned movie then pitch the tv into the sewer so you don't make that mistake again.


Exactly correct. Apple needs to extend to 30 hrs.

Howmanoid
Jan 15, 2008, 03:37 PM
I'd assume they're adding real AC3 (Dolby Digital) support to Quicktime. Handbrake can already rip the AC3 track into an AVI container, and if you have Perian and QT Pro you can open an .avi file with AC3 audio and "Save As" a Quicktime .mov which can then be imported into iTunes. It then can play in FrontRow, but it won't work on a stock AppleTV. Perhaps once the AppleTV updates are done it will.

If that is the case, I'm sure Handbrake will get updated to allow it to rip the AC3 straight into a .mov or .mp4 file.

Can you get AC3 encoded audio into an MP4 container? My understanding was that the only multi-channel audio format supported by MP4 was AAC 6 Ch. AC3 in AVI is no problem but MP4???? Thought the MPEG guys had open standards theology pretty exclusively.

jettredmont
Jan 15, 2008, 03:38 PM
1080p > 720p : 720p is for idiots.

This website (http://www.engadgethd.com/2008/01/08/1080p-tvs-dont-always-look-better-than-720p-tvs/) is stupid.

So is this one (http://s3.carltonbale.com/resolution_chart.html).

(BTW, I'm not endorsing Apple TV's resolution, just tired of blanket statements about 720p vs 1080p.)

The first link shows that there are more factors than just resolution in picking a TV. I agree. This doesn't speak to digital downloads, but the same holds true there: compression artifacts are far more likely to be an issue than the difference in resolution between different services and physical disks. For instance, a download service at 720p will often look worse than a DVD (at 480p) because of blockiness introduced by the level of compression required to make the movie download in "better than realtime" across as wide a variety of connection speeds as possible.

The second link shows that, on my 50" screen, so long as I am sitting less than 10 feet from the screen I'll easily see the difference between SD and 720P, and that if I'm between 6.5 and 9.8 feet from the screen I'll see some benefits with 1080P. My chair is about 8 feet from the screen, so I sit right in the middle of that range. When the kids lay out on the floor in front of the screen, they are more like 4-5 feet away, well within the "obvious differences" range. His science is a little off (treating eyes like fixed-position digital sensors), but even going by his numbers, a 1080p movie will be perceptibly higher quality than a 720p movie in my house.

joemama
Jan 15, 2008, 03:45 PM
Now to wait for all the DVR wishers to complain!

And here they come. This update is boring....yawn...nothing to see here.

It's still not going to sell well because there is no DVR. Maybe one day Jobs' business model will work, but not just yet.

People want DVRs. Plain and simple.

GQB
Jan 15, 2008, 03:46 PM
1080p > 720p : 720p is for idiots.

This website (http://www.engadgethd.com/2008/01/08/1080p-tvs-dont-always-look-better-than-720p-tvs/) is stupid.

So is this one (http://s3.carltonbale.com/resolution_chart.html).


(BTW, I'm not endorsing Apple TV's resolution, just tired of blanket statements about 720p vs 1080p.)

My my... was THAT ever a well thought out and articulated argument.
The links you point to are absolutely correct as they apply to human perception.
Go have a talk with Nigel about 11 being well, LOUDER, than 10.

/dev/toaster
Jan 15, 2008, 03:46 PM
I love the fact you can pull images directly from .Mac. Yes, I do use my .Mac account a lot for my picture galleries. I have close to 300 pictures on my AppleTV, and its a pain to maintain all of that.

Too bad you can't browse and download podcasts, that would be a sweet feature. Again, its another thing I have to maintain. Most of the video podcasts I download I watch on my TV. Very rare I watch it on my Mac or my iPhone. (However, I listen to audio podcasts all day at work)

Although I don't own a surround sound system (yet), having an HD video with "SD" audio is ... well, strange and missing. I know it would increase the download size, but come on ... give people the option.

ChargerSteve
Jan 15, 2008, 03:51 PM
I think a lot of folks here are missing the point of AppleTV. I don't think it is meant to satisfy a hardcore videophile's need to critically watch movies anymore than an iPod is meant to satisfy a hardore audiophile's critical listening needs. It is not just a movie rental box(like VuDu, etc). It's about convenience, simplicity and elegance. For $229-$300 you can:
- play movies, TV shows, podcasts, etc you buy or rent from iTMS (or other sources)
- play your existing ripped DVDs (whether or not this is officially supported)via a beautiful interface
-play all your iTunes music on your living room system via a beautiful interface on your TV
-show pictures and slideshows on your HDTV

$229 seems like a good value for the large audience that this would appeal to. To put it in perspective, I know many people who happily paid $200+ for a box to just stream music from their computers to their stereos (with a crappy little interface on the box). It may not be perfect, but it's pretty damn good!

Just my 2 cents.

Maclomaniac
Jan 15, 2008, 03:51 PM
I love the fact you can pull images directly from .Mac. Yes, I do use my .Mac account a lot for my picture galleries. I have close to 300 pictures on my AppleTV, and its a pain to maintain all of that.

Too bad you can't browse and download podcasts, that would be a sweet feature. Again, its another thing I have to maintain. Most of the video podcasts I download I watch on my TV. Very rare I watch it on my Mac or my iPhone. (However, I listen to audio podcasts all day at work)

Although I don't own a surround sound system (yet), having an HD video with "SD" audio is ... well, strange and missing. I know it would increase the download size, but come on ... give people the option.

I think you can do this. At least, you can browse the podcasts, according to their press release:

http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2008/01/15appletv.html

ShavenYak
Jan 15, 2008, 03:54 PM
Can you get AC3 encoded audio into an MP4 container? My understanding was that the only multi-channel audio format supported by MP4 was AAC 6 Ch. AC3 in AVI is no problem but MP4???? Thought the MPEG guys had open standards theology pretty exclusively.

Actually I'm not sure about MP4. I know you can in .mov, as long as you have Perian installed.

djellison
Jan 15, 2008, 03:55 PM
Contrary to what that previous poster said - I would say that 90% of TV's on sale in the UK are 'HD Ready' which means they only do 720p. They can handle a 1080 signal, but the screen itself is only able to show 720p.

Is 199 the same price that the A-TV was before the keynote? 199 vs $229 is a bit harsh even by Apple standards. I was expecting something like 169

Doug

GeekLawyer
Jan 15, 2008, 03:58 PM
I think a lot of folks here are missing the point of AppleTV. I don't think it is meant to satisfy a hardcore videophile's need to critically watch movies anymore than an iPod is meant to satisfy a hardore audiophile's critical listening needs. It is not just a movie rental box(like VuDu, etc). It's about convenience, simplicity and elegance. For $229-$300 you can:
- play movies, TV shows, podcasts, etc you buy or rent from iTMS (or other sources)
- play your existing ripped DVDs (whether or not this is officially supported)via a beautiful interface
-play all your iTunes music on your living room system via a beautiful interface on your TV
-show pictures and slideshows on your HDTV


Finally! Someone who gets it! The people who are the market for this device will find it meet their needs well. And that's a very large market.

GQB
Jan 15, 2008, 03:58 PM
I think a lot of folks here are missing the point of AppleTV. I don't think it is meant to satisfy a hardcore videophile's need to critically watch movies anymore than an iPod is meant to satisfy a hardore audiophile's critical listening needs. It is not just a movie rental box(like VuDu, etc). It's about convenience, simplicity and elegance. For $229-$300 you can:
- play movies, TV shows, podcasts, etc you buy or rent from iTMS (or other sources)
- play your existing ripped DVDs (whether or not this is officially supported)via a beautiful interface
-play all your iTunes music on your living room system via a beautiful interface on your TV
-show pictures and slideshows on your HDTV

$229 seems like a good value for the large audience that this would appeal to. To put it in perspective, I know many people who happily paid $200+ for a box to just stream music from their computers to their stereos (with a crappy little interface on the box). It may not be perfect, but it's pretty damn good!

Just my 2 cents.

Give the man a cigar! :)
Someone who gets leaving the videophile/audiofile market to the fringe players who want to pay big $$ for the bragging rights, and concentrate on satisfying the bulk of the market with excellent quality and ease of use.

stompy
Jan 15, 2008, 03:59 PM
The first link shows that there are more factors than just resolution in picking a TV. I agree. This doesn't speak to digital downloads, but the same holds true there: compression artifacts are far more likely to be an issue than the difference in resolution between different services and physical disks. For instance, a download service at 720p will often look worse than a DVD (at 480p) because of blockiness introduced by the level of compression required to make the movie download in "better than realtime" across as wide a variety of connection speeds as possible.

The second link shows that, on my 50" screen, so long as I am sitting less than 10 feet from the screen I'll easily see the difference between SD and 720P, and that if I'm between 6.5 and 9.8 feet from the screen I'll see some benefits with 1080P. My chair is about 8 feet from the screen, so I sit right in the middle of that range. When the kids lay out on the floor in front of the screen, they are more like 4-5 feet away, well within the "obvious differences" range. His science is a little off (treating eyes like fixed-position digital sensors), but even going by his numbers, a 1080p movie will be perceptibly higher quality than a 720p movie in my house.

Certainly, and you're saying the same thing that I wanted to illustrate: many factors create the final result. 1080p vs 720p is not meaningful without any other points of reference.

nubero
Jan 15, 2008, 04:02 PM
Well, that's a pretty misleading graph because it makes it look as if 1080' is 3 times sharper than 480p.
Video to DVD was clearly a monumental step up, and consumers were able to see that easily.
DVD to 720p/1080i often leaves (again) most consumers scratching their head about what the big deal is. Get familiar (as we are) and its obvious, but that's not what retailers are finding with most users.
720p to 1080p is even more 'marginal'. That's how I'm defining it.

I don't think that graph squares with human perception.

I'm framing this in the context of 'what is the sweet spot in the market for Apple to be chasing to have the biggest impact.'
I just think they have it right in that context.

There was only a difference in perceived sharpness when people moved from VHS to DVD due to less/no noise in a well mastered DVD. Which is good in it's own right...

Everyone friend that came to my place yet though is stunned by what HD can really be when they see it.

When the combination of physical distance and screen size is right, everyone sees the difference...

I do get how you defined marginal in your previous post and i still can't get my head around that...

I am working with Sony's HDCam format in Video Post Production and I can tell you that 720 is dead meat. In three ears of HD workflow I have yet to see something that was intended to be 720... that conversion only happens when the station is broadcasting. Capture happens at 1080 since the studios and stations want to fill their footage libraries with only the best possible material.

The only reason the send 720 through at the moment is bandwidth constrains. So if you have a 720 TV that's good. But I tell you that in 5 years from now you won't even be able to buy them anymore.

skiwhitman
Jan 15, 2008, 04:04 PM
Actually, many of us have LCD flat panels that are either 720p native, or they're some weird "in-between" resolution -- my Sharp Aquos has 768 scanlines, for example. Looks great displaying 1080i content and 720p from OTA antenna. When I download HD movie and game trailers on my PS3, I typically download them in 720p, because the quality difference between 720p and 1080i/p on my display isn't so great (but the difference between 480i/p and 720p is pretty obvious).

I should also note that 1080p isn't a broadcast standard -- it was only ever meant for pre-recorded media (i.e., next-generation high def DVD discs).

There are many cases where 1080i looks inferior to 720p -- this is why ESPN and the Fox TV network only broadcast in 720p. 1080i looks bad for scenes with lots of motion in them -- action movies, car races, athletic events, etc.

Personally, if I am going to be downloading HD content online as a movie rental, I would prefer progressive over interlaced, so 1080i is a no-go for downloaded content. That leaves 720p and 1080p. And the bitrate for 1080p is double that of 1080i for the same frame rate; considering how 1080i has a higher bitrate than 720p, imagine how much longer it would take to download a 1080p movie versus a 720p movie? There are significant costs associated with serving up lots of rich high-def media, and they have to do with bandwidth. So 720p is a good compromise, and is still considered high definition.

Well said. This has been the most intelligent post so far. I have the ability to choose between 720p and 1080i on my HDTV and find that 720p is better for most things I watch; sports, action. Discovery HD Theater looks incredible at 720p, too!

I am very excited for the ATV update. I have been using it mainly for music and photos without much movies, so this will be PERFECT!!!! Yay Apple!!!

stompy
Jan 15, 2008, 04:09 PM
My my... was THAT ever a well thought out and articulated argument.
The links you point to are absolutely correct as they apply to human perception.
Go have a talk with Nigel about 11 being well, LOUDER, than 10.

Sorry I wasn't clear, I was replying to the post that basically said "if it's not 1080p, it's not HD." For many sizes of TV and viewing distance, there's nothing wrong with 720p, as referenced in the links.

BabyFaceMagee
Jan 15, 2008, 04:10 PM
720p or 1080p/i?

Calling 720p and touting as HD is a bit of a stretch these days. If it ain't 1080p/i it ain't HD.

That's a ridiculous statement. Most people can't tell the difference between a 720 image from 1080 anyway whether interlaced or progressive on any screen 50 inches or smaller from the distance people sit from a tv. You have to walk up and really compare to even see the difference. Considering standard tv definition is 240 lines/inch, 480p is even considered pseudo hd these days. 720 is fine for 95% of viewers and for those that it isn't, i'm sure there will be an Appletv2 in the next year or two to handle 1080p.

GQB
Jan 15, 2008, 04:10 PM
There was only a difference in perceived sharpness when people moved from VHS to DVD due to less/no noise in a well mastered DVD. Which is good in it's own right...

Everyone friend that came to my place yet though is stunned by what HD can really be when they see it.

When the combination of physical distance and screen size is right, everyone sees the difference...

I do get how you defined marginal in your previous post and i still can't get my head around that...

I am working with Sony's HDCam format in Video Post Production and I can tell you that 720 is dead meat. In three ears of HD workflow I have yet to see something that was intended to be 720... that conversion only happens when the station is broadcasting. Capture happens at 1080 since the studios and stations want to fill their footage libraries with only the best possible material.

The only reason the send 720 through at the moment is bandwidth constrains. So if you have a 720 TV that's good. But I tell you that in 5 years from now you won't even be able to buy them anymore.

Oh, I don't say there's no difference.
As a matter of fact, now that my Panny commercial monitor's price has dropped down to $950 for the HD model, I'm trying to figure out a way of dumping my ED for 3 or 4 hundred and swapping in the HD without my wife knowing it. :)
I'm just saying that this is not a new issue.
Just last month a good friend of mine was showing off his $20K speakers to me. Yeah, I heard a marginal difference. Really nice.
But I'm perfectly thrilled with the sound through my $2000 sound system and could not be happier with my 256K AAC files on my touch.
And I've been a musician all my life (with 20/20 hearing, thank you.)

My wife is a visual artist, yet spends zero time looking for a HD version of a movie she wants to DVR... she wants the content and isn't all that driven by high resolution.

My point is that all this pissing and moaning about AppleTV not supporting 1080p is irrelevant. Those ;for whom its critical should get another product, and shouldn't be bad-mouthing Apple for making a product based on ease of use, which is the critical issue here in terms of mass acceptance.

Sparced
Jan 15, 2008, 04:17 PM
Why do you people continue to act like the UK isn't the ripoff country of the world? I mean seriously, EVERYTHING is overpriced. Get over it already.

We all accepted the original price thats remained that way since its launch but when Apple discounts the existing hardware in the US but STILL expects us to pay the exact same cost for a firmware update they are taking the ****ing piss.

I've owned the 160GB after it got announced and was prepared to order another one today. If the US store didn't get the reduction it may not have bothered me but I refuse to be exploited.

Unless it gets lowered when the late iTunes rentals appear which is unlikely, I'm holding off.

jbellanca
Jan 15, 2008, 04:17 PM
Oh give me a break. Only the most pickey HD fanatics (aka AVSforum types) can even tell the difference between 720 and 1080 on < 100" screens.

No, give me a break! I have a Sony 60" SXRD set, and don't consider myself any extra picky, and the difference is huge. I've even tested 720p vs 1080p video on my parents and they can pick the difference each time.

GQB
Jan 15, 2008, 04:17 PM
Sorry I wasn't clear, I was replying to the post that basically said "if it's not 1080p, it's not HD." For many sizes of TV and viewing distance, there's nothing wrong with 720p, as referenced in the links.

Ah.
Missed the sarcasm. :)

ChrisA
Jan 15, 2008, 04:20 PM
So here's what I don't get. You have airport extreme with wifi, gigabit ethernet, and external USB disc plug. You have Apple TV with internal drive, video and audio out, and wifi. You have Time Capsule with wifi, internal drive and who knows what else. Much of the differentiation of the devices is software toggles.

I think you are saying "why doesn't Apple make something called a "Mac Mini". They do and it has all the features you ask for plus a lot more.

w00master
Jan 15, 2008, 04:22 PM
Just to let everyone know, all this fighting over "720 vs 1080" is kinda pointless. Why? iTunes Movie HD Rentals are *only* available to the AppleTV. Check out Gruber's analysis of the updated iTunes Terms of Service:

"(aa) Movies are viewable only on your Mac or Windows computer (using iTunes 7.6 or later), iPhone, video-enabled iPod (iPod touch, iPod nano (3rd generation), or iPod classic), or on TVs using your Apple TV. Movies in high definition resolution (HD) are viewable only on TVs using your Apple TV and must be downloaded directly to your Apple TV. Movies are viewable only on one device at a time."

http://daringfireball.net/2008/01/itunes_movie_rental_tos

Sucks.

w00master

zedsdead
Jan 15, 2008, 04:23 PM
Just to let everyone know, all this fighting over "720 vs 1080" is kinda pointless. Why? iTunes Movie HD Rentals are *only* available to the AppleTV. Check out Gruber's analysis of the updated iTunes Terms of Service:

"(aa) Movies are viewable only on your Mac or Windows computer (using iTunes 7.6 or later), iPhone, video-enabled iPod (iPod touch, iPod nano (3rd generation), or iPod classic), or on TVs using your Apple TV. Movies in high definition resolution (HD) are viewable only on TVs using your Apple TV and must be downloaded directly to your Apple TV. Movies are viewable only on one device at a time."

http://daringfireball.net/2008/01/itunes_movie_rental_tos

Sucks.

w00master

It really does...I do not understand why no HD movies can be purchased either...

stompy
Jan 15, 2008, 04:26 PM
Ah.
Missed the sarcasm. :)

n/p. You weren't the only one, so I obviously need some work. (edit: BTW, the reference to Nigel was perfect: his blank look is identical what you see when discussing this with most people. )

BenRoethig
Jan 15, 2008, 04:30 PM
Today was a step in the right direction, but aTV isn't ready for primetime yet. As long as it exists only as a step top box with an all too easy to loose tiny remote. AppleTV technology needs to be licensed to other companies for inclusion in their devices and Apple really needs to think about a universal remote an/or TV line.

ChrisA
Jan 15, 2008, 04:31 PM
I just wish Apple would add DVR capability already... my TiVo and the dumb monthly fees that accompany it are just itching to be replaced.

Just what you asked for and yes it is free and runs on a Mac,
http://www.mythtv.org/modules.php?name=MythFeatures

I was waiting until today to decide to get this or not. It looks like I'll be setting up my own Myth TV system. My plan is to start small with just one video input and grow from there.

j26
Jan 15, 2008, 04:32 PM
...

My wife is a visual artist, yet spends zero time looking for a HD version of a movie she wants to DVR... she wants the content and isn't all that driven by high resolution.
...

A very important point in all this discussion about resolutions. People want to see a good story - resolution, while not irrelevant, is secondary

w00master
Jan 15, 2008, 04:34 PM
Just what you asked for and yes it is free and runs on a Mac,
http://www.mythtv.org/modules.php?name=MythFeatures

So where's the Cablecard/satellite support then? Until these HTPC products (MythTV, Elgato, etc) has Cablecard and/or Satellite support, I won't even consider any of these options.

It's why (besides the iTunes store) Apple will *NEVER* put a DVR in the AppleTV. Too messy and too convoluted.

w00master

nubero
Jan 15, 2008, 04:34 PM
Oh, I don't say there's no difference.
As a matter of fact, now that my Panny commercial monitor's price has dropped down to $950 for the HD model, I'm trying to figure out a way of dumping my ED for 3 or 4 hundred and swapping in the HD without my wife knowing it. :)
I'm just saying that this is not a new issue.
Just last month a good friend of mine was showing off his $20K speakers to me. Yeah, I heard a marginal difference. Really nice.
But I'm perfectly thrilled with the sound through my $2000 sound system and could not be happier with my 256K AAC files on my touch.
And I've been a musician all my life (with 20/20 hearing, thank you.)

My wife is a visual artist, yet spends zero time looking for a HD version of a movie she wants to DVR... she wants the content and isn't all that driven by high resolution.

My point is that all this pissing and moaning about AppleTV not supporting 1080p is irrelevant. Those ;for whom its critical should get another product, and shouldn't be bad-mouthing Apple for making a product based on ease of use, which is the critical issue here in terms of mass acceptance.

well in that case we speak more or less about the same thing. sure you can always get better speakers and tvs if you just throw around a lot of money...

my point is, that these 1080p tvs have become so cheap recently (and i'm still talking about brands) that it would just be a shame to still buy a 720 set... 1 1/2 years ago ok... but now? not anymore.

as for the apple tv, that thing has a whole lot of other problems... starting with the content makers / studios.

for me personally even 1080p downloads over tripple fiber would be uninteresting since they will (99% chance) only offer localized (meaning dubbed and edited) movies regarding where you live in europe. so ok i may be living in the german speaking part of switzerland but i want my films in their original languages (which is not only english but japanese, french, italian - you name it)
... and that problem gets perfectly solved by bluray...
again: this is just me (and hopefully a few other people)

MickeyMac22867
Jan 15, 2008, 04:35 PM
Has anyone even RENTED a movie yet.

I thought they said that some titles were available today through iTunes. Am I Blind? I sure can't find them.

inkswamp
Jan 15, 2008, 04:37 PM
What's going on with all that talk about digital downloads of Music and Movies recently? If you buy the CD you get the highest quality Audio and the long-life backup for free...
Don't even get me startet about HD Movie downloads.

Being a lifelong Pink Floyd fanatic and having grown up in the era when cassette tapes were the norm for music sales, I can tell you without any doubt that downloads beat this living @#$%& out of physical media. If I had a nickel for every copy of The Wall or Dark Side of the Moon I had to buy to replace one that was stolen or lost or mangled in the tape player or otherwise damaged in some strange way, I would have enough money to hire the band to play at my next birthday party.

That CD "backup" is only as good as the material it comes on. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell you that a thin piece of plastic with microscopic bits written on its surface is hardly the be-all end-all when it comes to data security. And anyway, the last time I checked, you can back up iTunes purchases on that same piece of plastic.

Your point eludes me. :rolleyes:

Madame Defarge
Jan 15, 2008, 04:39 PM
It still can't do 1080p or lossless surround sound, so my next disposable $250 is still earmarked for a Blu-Ray player. Maybe the next hardware update to the little box will be the one that gets me to splurge. Until then, I'd just as soon hook up the HDMI and optical cable to my MacBook. It does 1080p and Dolby Digital (thanks to Perian).

I hope Apple is planning on adding the iTunes store interface and on-screen movie rental functionality to FrontRow. That would be a big oversight if they don't.

Re: iTunes functionality, me too. Right now, the number of TV and movies up on iTunes, is small, but if they're going to compete with Nexflix, they will need to add thousands of titles to make it worth while. If they do beef up their selection it seems like the only practical solution for most people, would be to choose through iTunes.

However, the Apple web site claims that you don't need a computer to access the library. Scrolling through hundreds of titles, without a search function, probably isn't going to work for most people.

Being able to download movie rentals, would be fabulous. But if Apple doesn't have a large and wide ranging content, that's easily browsed, it won't be the "great leap forward", that it could be.

rogerm
Jan 15, 2008, 04:40 PM
I'm glad to see that the Apple TV still receives plenty of focus at Apple. Not only are they bringing it up to par with the latest features of iTunes (Movie rentals) and iPhone/iPod Touch (iTunes store), they're also adding a brand new feature with flickr support, which the iPhone and iPod Touch don't have yet.

I'm hoping that Apple will add internet radio as a feature to the Apple TV. I'd even be willing to pay for a software upgrade if includes that.

It would also be great if Apple released an official plugin SDK for the Apple TV, similar to what they are releasing for the iPhone, to allow third party developers to implement some of the features that Apple TV users have been requesting.

jettredmont
Jan 15, 2008, 04:42 PM
There was only a difference in perceived sharpness when people moved from VHS to DVD due to less/no noise in a well mastered DVD. Which is good in it's own right...


Ummm ... VHS offered 230 horizontal lines of resolution at 30 frames per second (essentially, it captures one interlaced "field" and repeats that on the second field). DVD offers 480 (initially interlaced due to the TV only accepting interlaced signals, but eventually progressive). While vertical lines of resolution are squishy on an analog signal, you would be hard pressed to find a VHS player capable of resolving half as many pixels across as the DVD player (640-720)!

There was, indeed, a "real" resolution jump going from VHS to DVD, of about 4x as many pixels, roughly on par with going from DVD to HD (slightly less than the jump to 1080p, slightly more than the jump to 720p)!

Of course the most notable advances were in pixel accuracy/color bleed, tape degradation, media size, and audio capabilities.

skellener
Jan 15, 2008, 04:44 PM
So no HD "TV" content? Only movies?

nubero
Jan 15, 2008, 04:46 PM
Your point eludes me. :rolleyes:

if you had read my other posts it wouldn't have.

i'm not saying it's perfect but it's still the best option out there. seems i have to repeat myself that i have a few very well alive discs from 1982, 1983. mind you that the CD came out in '82 so i think that's not too shabby...

btw maybe i should clarify: digital storage isn't bad per se. but downloads in worse than CD quality (even if marginal) that you pay for, that's what bugs me.

again: i'm not talking about the occasional song. but your whole library??

skellener
Jan 15, 2008, 04:47 PM
I just wish Apple would add DVR capability already... my TiVo and the dumb monthly fees that accompany it are just itching to be replaced. Never gonna happen. That's not their market. Why would they let you record for free what they can charge you for to download?

nubero
Jan 15, 2008, 04:50 PM
Ummm ... VHS offered 230 horizontal lines of resolution at 30 frames per second (essentially, it captures one interlaced "field" and repeats that on the second field). DVD offers 480 (initially interlaced due to the TV only accepting interlaced signals, but eventually progressive). While vertical lines of resolution are squishy on an analog signal, you would be hard pressed to find a VHS player capable of resolving half as many pixels across as the DVD player (640-720)!

There was, indeed, a "real" resolution jump going from VHS to DVD, of about 4x as many pixels, roughly on par with going from DVD to HD (slightly less than the jump to 1080p, slightly more than the jump to 720p)!

Of course the most notable advances were in pixel accuracy/color bleed, tape degradation, media size, and audio capabilities.

well in that case i'm wrong there. it is some time ago now... though personally i always had the impression that a good quality VHS in a decent deck looked better than tv broadcasts you could get through cable receiver... (depending on station of course)

hatfinch
Jan 15, 2008, 04:52 PM
*sigh* Seriously, you have a MONTH to press play. If don't have the time within a 24 hour period to watch a 2 hour movie, I don't think those extra 6 hours are going to make or break the deal.

*sigh* As the original poster said, you OBVIOUSLY don't have kids.

Phil A.
Jan 15, 2008, 04:54 PM
Another solid positive from the Keynote: Was holding off to see what would happen today, and will probably buy one now :)

zedsdead
Jan 15, 2008, 04:59 PM
*sigh* As the original poster said, you OBVIOUSLY don't have kids.

Many people need to watch movies over the course of two days...this 24 hour business is horrible for the price.

I don't think it will affect me, but it will affect others.

sonofcolin
Jan 15, 2008, 05:03 PM
What about support for ripped DVD's? With Leopard and frontrow, you can watch ripped DVD's, so there is a solution (plug in your computer to a HDTV) Would be great if ATV2 supported this as well. I have no interest in renting movies.

babyj
Jan 15, 2008, 05:04 PM
Now that iTunes supports video rentals, I'm hoping that Apple and the BBC will sort something out so that Mac users can download programmes rather than having to watch them online.

I guess it would mean Apple would have to offer everything via iTunes and they won't be able to charge for it, but I reckon they'd sell a boat load of iPods and Apple TV's off the back of it.

As the BBC are already under pressure to support other operating systems I reckon they'd have problems if they didn't at least try to sort a deal out.

Allanf
Jan 15, 2008, 05:07 PM
This is great news. My biggest gripe with AppleTV has been lack of decent movie content (read: not enough studio support), lack of a rental option and the inability to buy/rent from the couch. Now that all of these have been addressed, I am going to buy one! HD content is just a big plus for me as I think the DVD quality looks fine on my HDTV.

IMO, this is a GREAT update and is exactly what this device needs. And it's good that this will apply to current AppleTV owners as well.

And access to 50 Million+ YouTube videos which is a great educational tool for $229.

mrkramer
Jan 15, 2008, 05:12 PM
I haven't read through all of the thread, but does anyone know if there is an option to buy the movie after you have rented it for a reduced price? that is the only way I can see myself using online rentals.

cet2055
Jan 15, 2008, 05:17 PM
Everyone arguing about the benefits of various resolutions is missing the point--the most important thing is how cute the girl in the ATV guided tour is:

http://www.apple.com/appletv/guidedtour/index.html?size=medium

Holy cow.

Explorz
Jan 15, 2008, 05:39 PM
Love Apple, but I'm wondering why anyone would rent a regular movie that they can only play in Stereo and not 5.1.

Anyone know why normal movies aren't available in 5.1?

Now, for an HD title, I get it. But it seems a real downgrade to watch ANY movie in less than 5.1.

HD Shooter
Jan 15, 2008, 05:43 PM
Well, that's a pretty misleading graph because it makes it look as if 1080' is 3 times sharper than 480p.
Video to DVD was clearly a monumental step up, and consumers were able to see that easily.
DVD to 720p/1080i often leaves (again) most consumers scratching their head about what the big deal is. Get familiar (as we are) and its obvious, but that's not what retailers are finding with most users.
720p to 1080p is even more 'marginal'. That's how I'm defining it.

I don't think that graph squares with human perception.

I'm framing this in the context of 'what is the sweet spot in the market for Apple to be chasing to have the biggest impact.'
I just think they have it right in that context.


Sorry but this post stopped me in my tracks so I have not read the other three pages after this.

I will call BS on that DVD to 1080P BR or HD DVD is leaving "most" consumers scratching thier heads. The single biggest hurdle with people was the rediculous format war. The side by side comparison yields a blow you away difference.

720 or 1080 may be less noticeable, I'll give you that but the last time I went into a big box store that sells TVs the game is all about the FULL 1080 HD "eperience".

The guy who said something like sitting in front of the TV (with date) with "thousands" of movies to choose from was dead on and sold me on this unit. That is the difference between Apple TV and PPV....! BAM. The entire catalog available without leaving the house! SWEET

I have to say overall I was really dissapointed there was no talk of BLURAY burners for me to deliver HD material to the end user.

Maybe I can shoot in 720 and deliver in an apple tv?

I will buy one of there just to screw around with it but it may wind up on ebay if the vid quality really does come in under par.

Claytoniss
Jan 15, 2008, 05:55 PM
This is an awesome update. Screw seeing something "better than real life" My eyes can't tell the difference between formats unless I squint or get close.

I try and think of blind people, then I stop whining about rez...:D

dparri526
Jan 15, 2008, 05:57 PM
No ***** sherlock. Nobody cares about 720p, unless you're trying to defend a piss poor movie deliver service ;)
:)
Not true!

Most people only have HDTV's that support 720p/1080i. The apple TV is capable of supporting up to 1080i. 99.9% of movies output at 1080i anyway. Even if it says 1080p. In fact 1080p would really help, say a sporting event, but doesn't really help movies at all. Thats why alot of people say they can't see any diff when comparing 1080i and 1080p side by side.

I have no plans to upgrade my tv to 1080p until my 1080i dies a slow death.

My problem with the new rental program is that I can already do all of this much cheaper from netflix, why pay more. Handbrake is a great program. I have so much content and not enough time to watch any of it. I will probably try one of the HD flicks just to see, but I can't see making a habit of renting from apple.

PS. I have had my Apple TV for a year now and I love it.

lowonthe456
Jan 15, 2008, 06:00 PM
close , so close to buying one now....is it HDMI? and is it possible to use this to display your screen (on my MBP for example) on my HDTV? if so I will buy one FOR SURE.

It would be nice to be able to keep the movies on the ATV hard drive for more than 1 day. Like maybe 2-3 would suffice. My only other gripe is that there should be a subscription movie service. I pay 18 a mo for NetFlix, I'd pay say 25 for HD DL's like say 10 a month capped.

Also, can I hookup an external to pluck from?

FreeState
Jan 15, 2008, 06:06 PM
Funny how we ended up here... all I asked or was AirTunes on the AppleTV (and every AirPort branded Product from Apple that doesn't have it yet :-) )

According to Engaget the AppleTV update brings AirTunes to it:

http://www.engadget.com/2008/01/15/apple-tv-take-2-ipod-touch-and-iphone-yep-more-details-her/

Apple TV updates
The update adds AirTunes support for the Apple TV for streaming directly to the device.

Your average HD movie download for the ATV is going to be about 4GB -- but if you've got a reasonably fast connection it should start streaming and playing within a minute.

Standard SD movies should be a bout 1.2GB.

Just to be clear about how rentals work, they can't move OUT of the Apple TV if acquired ON the ATV. If you need to finish your movie on the go but bought from ATV, you have to rent it again on iTunes with your computer.

You've also now got "favorites," which act as pseudo-subscriptions. These aren't synced or the same as the subs in iTunes.

Front Row is NOT undergoing any UI changes (at this time). Don't expect it to look the same as the new Apple TV.

Search isn't alphabetical, it's predictive and recommendation based. So if you're looking up a letter, the results will seem out of order, but will actually be calculated to be the most likely hit based on popularity.

There's Dolby Digital 5.1, as we saw, but otherwise there are no codec changes in the ATV.

ashawley
Jan 15, 2008, 06:08 PM
Love Apple, but I'm wondering why anyone would rent a regular movie that they can only play in Stereo and not 5.1.

Anyone know why normal movies aren't available in 5.1?

Now, for an HD title, I get it. But it seems a real downgrade to watch ANY movie in less than 5.1.

Er, because the vast majority of people out there (by far) don't have 5.1 systems. That's why. When the market demands it it will come.

But it's not there. Heck, the majority of US households don't even have HD.

ipedro
Jan 15, 2008, 06:12 PM
Today's news sold me on the Apple TV. I picked one up right after the keynote.

Prior to today, I was trying to decide between Mac Mini vs Apple TV.

The fact that the Mac Mini only reads DVDs will soon render the optical drive useless for me as I'll be picking up a Blu-Ray anyway.

The Mac Mini still wins on being able to attach an EyeTV and record tv programming.

The HDMI connection, the YouTube videos, the Flickr albums and of course the ability to subscribe to podcasts and purchase music, tv shows and rent movies from the couch puts the AppleTV way ahead.

The only quirk is that I still have to keep my TV's big remote lying around for the sole purpose of controlling the volume.

Is there a good reason why the AppleTV can't control the volume?

I wonder if that was fixed in today's update.

FreeState
Jan 15, 2008, 06:13 PM
Anyone know why normal movies aren't available in 5.1?

Probably because iPods and most Macs do not support it.

hvfsl
Jan 15, 2008, 06:15 PM
I was really looking forward to this until I found out it only works with AppleTV. I have a perfectly good media centre at the moment with a BluRay drive, so there is no chance I will be getting an AppleTV.

I just hope someone comes up with a way of renting the HD movies with regular iTunes (or Apple decide to enable the feature).

matticus008
Jan 15, 2008, 06:19 PM
EDIT: Wait! I noticed that the AppleTV can now connect via RCA connectors.
No, it can't. Where would you get that idea?
My point is that in the public mind in the UK, 1080p is the standard. Almost any new TV you can buy is 1080p.
No, not by a long shot. Most HDTVs sold are 720p native sets--1080p isn't even available on anything much smaller than 46" or so for the most part, and it doesn't become "standard" until the 55" range or so, and only as of the past couple years. The most popular models remain 720p native--1080p sets are still high end and generally $2000+/1200+. Accepting 1080p signal does not mean displaying a 1080p picture.
Is there a good reason why the AppleTV can't control the volume?

I wonder if that was fixed in today's update.
It's not changed in the update, and I wouldn't count on it ever changing. The lack of internal volume control is intentional--Apple TV leaves audio processing to the external components and just acts as a pass-through. This minimizes conflicts with AV components, since most customers are using AV receivers and manage the volume for their entire system that way.

Cable boxes are the biggest offenders to the rule of deferring to the AV receiver--TVs go on internal mute, DVD players don't mess with volume, and the AppleTV follows this trend.

FreeState
Jan 15, 2008, 06:20 PM
Most HDTVs sold are 720p native sets--1080p isn't even available on anything much smaller than 46" or so for the most part, and it doesn't become "standard" until the 55" range or so, and only as of the past couple years. The most popular models remain 720p native--1080p sets are still high end and generally $2000+/1200+. Accepting 1080p signal does not mean displaying a 1080p picture.

Been to Costco lately? Almost all of the went 1080p two months before Christmas. I just got a 19" 1080p set from them (edit cant remember the exact price... it was a gift)

jettredmont
Jan 15, 2008, 06:23 PM
Er, because the vast majority of people out there (by far) don't have 5.1 systems. That's why. When the market demands it it will come.

But it's not there. Heck, the majority of US households don't even have HD.

Take the market of television-watching households, shrink to the subset willing to add another set-top box to their system, shrink that to the subset who are even remotely willing to think of a movie as something that needn't come on a disk ... I'm pretty sure the resulting set has a very high fraction of 5.1 (or 6.1 or 7.1) systems at their disposal. Sony et al have been selling a hell of a lot of "home theater in a box" systems to folks willing to connect a few wires together.

In any case, offering 5.1 is a no-brainer. It adds virtually nothing to the download size (audio is so incredibly small compared to video), doesn't increase production costs at all (it's the same mix you put on the DVD), and it makes the small but influential subset of audio fanatics very happy. The only possible reason you'd exclude it is if you didn't want digital downloads to seem like a viable option for your high-end, discriminating customers.

matticus008
Jan 15, 2008, 06:26 PM
Been to Costco lately? Almost all of the went 1080p two months before Christmas. I just got a 19" 1080p set from them (edit cant remember the exact price... it was a gift)
There has never been a 1080p 19" HDTV.

mtbdudex
Jan 15, 2008, 06:28 PM
Many people need to watch movies over the course of two days...this 24 hour business is horrible for the price.

I don't think it will affect me, but it will affect others.

I also agree here, 24 hours is not enough time.

I have 3 kids; 6,4, and 2 years old.

By the time their teeth brushed, read books/etc, and we start a movie there's been countless times we've paused it until the next day.....
So, 24 + 6 for that next day cycle would so much make a difference, and should still suit their business model/contractual arrangmemts with the major studios.

So, that being said I'm going to buy one of these when my bonus check comes, April-08.
I've Been waiting for this upgrade, and my 1st floor family room 42" HDTV will just love the 720p and also the 5.1 surround sound. :D:D
http://lh3.google.com/mtbdudex/R4GHHFVhq3I/AAAAAAAAA1U/Qc8MNn1xStM/s800/IMG_5882.JPG

Now, my basement HT is another matter.
That is just being completed drywall this week, I've got a Sony VPL-WV60 projecting onto a 125" screen for cinemawide format 2.35:1 via an amphormopic lens, which will also show 16:9 content 100" diag.

So, for downstairs I really do need 1080p, maybe AppleTVRev 3 or Rev 4 will be able to handle that?? :confused: :confused:
http://lh6.google.com/mtbdudex/R41Mq1VhrQI/AAAAAAAAA7w/yIQ8mS8PgBM/s800/HT%20screenSize.jpg

http://lh6.google.com/mtbdudex/R4nWH1VhrHI/AAAAAAAAA5Y/qx0jISEJVCY/s800/IMG_5912.JPG

Yea, that will include a 4 x 15" IB subwoofer array.
http://ibsubwoofers.proboards51.com/index.cgi?board=projects&action=display&thread=1198261510&page=1

Ah, the Paradigm 7.1 speakers are just waiting to be installed!!!!
http://lh3.google.com/mtbdudex/R4GHZFVhq7I/AAAAAAAAA14/w0c9ggHzuDM/s400/IMG_5886.JPG http://lh4.google.com/mtbdudex/R4GHdVVhq8I/AAAAAAAAA2A/J90PiPN3kdM/s400/IMG_5887.JPG

Greydog
Jan 15, 2008, 06:35 PM
I just got an Apple TV for Christmas and was (very) glad to hear this was not a hardware or pay-only upgrade. I have been very pleased with the unit up until now, and this is only icing on the cake. Now my theater can take advantage of the 5.1 surround.

What's even better, I think, is that the HD downloads solves another problem for me (I hope) - the Format War. I have a PS3 in the HT and got a Netflix account to rent BD movies. But I am missing out on HD-DVD. Now, it seems I will be able to get the occasional HD movie on HD-DVD that I would have had to buy another player for. And I don't have to increase my Netflix account to get get a few extra movies when I needs them (I'll stick to the $4.99 plan as I only have time to watch a few feature films a month anyway).

Nice job Apple, using your head.

BobVB
Jan 15, 2008, 06:39 PM
Take the market of television-watching households, shrink to the subset willing to add another set-top box to their system, shrink that to the subset who are even remotely willing to think of a movie as something that needn't come on a disk ... I'm pretty sure the resulting set has a very high fraction of 5.1 (or 6.1 or 7.1) systems at their disposal. Sony et al have been selling a hell of a lot of "home theater in a box" systems to folks willing to connect a few wires together.

I have to agree - the people that might buy an AppleTV have all their sound going through a central amp that is DD5.1 capable. I can't think of anyone I even know who doesn't have their main tv set up this way.

Sure those with the old CRT setups might not but they aren't the ones looking to view digital films via a $200+ set top box bought just for the purpose.

Its great that the AppleTV finally supports DD5.1 - I would just like some confirmation on how that's being done and some assurances that it won't be locked to the purchased HD movies only somehow before I get one.

HiRez
Jan 15, 2008, 06:40 PM
*sigh* Seriously, you have a MONTH to press play. If don't have the time within a 24 hour period to watch a 2 hour movie, I don't think those extra 6 hours are going to make or break the deal.Actually it makes a huge difference. Most people only have a short window of time each night to watch tv/movies, between when they come home from work, after dinner is made and the dishes washed, and when it's time to go to bed (even shorter if there are kids involved). That window is typically 4 hours or much less, even assuming nothing "comes up" (doesn't something always?). So the extra 6 hours gives you TWO days (windows) in which to watch the movie, instead of one.

That's why it's important. For students or people with no jobs, flexible schedules, tons of time on their hands it doesn't matter. But to most people leading a typical chaotic adult life where time is at a premium, it does.

ipedro
Jan 15, 2008, 06:45 PM
It's not changed in the update, and I wouldn't count on it ever changing. The lack of internal volume control is intentional--Apple TV leaves audio processing to the external components and just acts as a pass-through. This minimizes conflicts with AV components, since most customers are using AV receivers and manage the volume for their entire system that way.

Cable boxes are the biggest offenders to the rule of deferring to the AV receiver--TVs go on internal mute, DVD players don't mess with volume, and the AppleTV follows this trend.

Thanks for answering my question. I still think that there should be an option to control the volume. The up and down buttons aren't in use at all. In the meantime, I still need to keep my big remote around for one purpose only: volume control.

I guess I'll put the remote away and control the volume on the TV itself.
An alternative would be to get the simplest, smallest universal remote I can find. Anybody know a good one?

matticus008
Jan 15, 2008, 06:47 PM
Actually it makes a huge difference. Most people only have a short window of time each night to watch tv/movies
Absolutely. But I think a better solution is a reduced rate to extend the rental.

New releases are often on 24-hour loan, too. Combined with studio stupidity and misplaced fear of the "too long" rental, wouldn't it be nice to be able to extend the rental an additional 24 hours for $1?

It's not an ideal solution, since many would complain about the "late fee"--but this is offset by an ability to re-rent the same title later at the reduced rate, which would also promote less pirating--it'd be far easier to pay $1 for a movie you've already seen and might want to watch twice in a year than to torrent it.
Thanks for answering my question.
No problem!
An alternative would be to get the simplest, smallest universal remote I can find. Anybody know a good one?
Unfortunately the only ones I know that can reproduce AppleTV signals are the Logitech Harmony remotes (which are quite nice and Mac-compatible...but start at $85 on Amazon).

davewolfs
Jan 15, 2008, 06:48 PM
What is the quality like? Can it display 1080i output?

Buran
Jan 15, 2008, 06:48 PM
Any sign of closed captioning?

BobVB
Jan 15, 2008, 06:56 PM
So the extra 6 hours gives you TWO days (windows) in which to watch the movie, instead of one.

And of course the really important point is it costs the movie studios NOTHING to extend the time a bit. Does their business model think they are going to lose money because from all those people who were going to buy the movie twice in a 36 hour period? Or that they are going to invite other potential customers over in the few extra hours for a second showing?

But then I'm never going to rent a single movie so do what you will - but accepting too little for your money is NOT to your advantage especially since you aren't asking for anything that costs anything.

gnasher729
Jan 15, 2008, 07:03 PM
My point is that in the public mind in the UK, 1080p is the standard. Almost any new TV you can buy is 1080p. All the marketing in the shops reflects this and anyone looking for a new TV wants 1080p (regardless of whether they know what it is). So why would Joe Public they think a 720p AppleTV is a good match for their 1080p TV?

You must live in a different UK than I do.

gnasher729
Jan 15, 2008, 07:05 PM
What about support for ripped DVD's? With Leopard and frontrow, you can watch ripped DVD's, so there is a solution (plug in your computer to a HDTV) Would be great if ATV2 supported this as well. I have no interest in renting movies.

That was always supported on Apple TV and remains supported. Apple TV plays everything that is in your iTunes library and all the photos in your iPhoto library.

gnasher729
Jan 15, 2008, 07:10 PM
There has never been a 1080p 19" HDTV.

Although I have seen a TV _advertised_ as 19", 1080p, with 1366 x 768 resolution :eek:

It seems that some people advertise not what the TV can display, but what it accepts as input. For example, you won't find a TV anywhere that can _display_ 1080i but not 1080p. However, there are many TVs that are advertised as 1080i because they can handle 1080i input and convert it to 720p.

EricBrian
Jan 15, 2008, 07:14 PM
Still won't buy this thing because still can't attach external harddrives to it. And, still can't record TV.

HiRez
Jan 15, 2008, 07:14 PM
Absolutely. But I think a better solution is a reduced rate to extend the rental.

New releases are often on 24-hour loan, too. Combined with studio stupidity and misplaced fear of the "too long" rental, wouldn't it be nice to be able to extend the rental an additional 24 hours for $1?I'd rather have more time (as BobV says, it's not like they need the disc back to rent out again), but yes, that wouldn't be a bad compromise. I'd be OK with that.

jaw04005
Jan 15, 2008, 07:15 PM
What is the quality like? Can it display 1080i output?

This has been answered numerous times, as this product has been out for almost an entire year—but NO it does not support 1080i video playback. However, the menu system is outputted in 1080i (if selected).

On a side note, why does it even matter? Can you honestly tell a difference between 720p and 1080i content? I would bet not especially considering these HD rentals will be heavily compressed.

Your TV converts the HD signal whether it's 720p, 1080i or 1080p to be compatible with its native display (timing, refresh, color balance, etc) no matter what. There is NO true video passthrough (on HDTVs, HD "monitors" is another story) as all resolutions are processed internally via the TV.

For example, a 1080p HDTV will process a 1080p HD signal (from say a Blu-ray player) no matter what. You can turn some of the more noticeable image-enhancement processing off (on most TVs, not Samsung), however it's still processing the video.

I would bet most consumers don't realize that they need an HD signal to get HD content on their televisions. Let alone know the difference between 720p, 1080i and 1080p.

Read the full specs:

http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html

"Compatible with enhanced-definition or high-definition widescreen TVs capable of 1080p/1080i 60/50Hz, 720p 60/50Hz, 576p 50Hz (PAL format), or 480p 60Hz, including popular models from these manufacturers: HP, Hitachi, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, NEC, Olevia, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Polaroid, Samsung, Sony, Sharp, Toshiba, Vizio, Westinghouse"

davidwes
Jan 15, 2008, 07:35 PM
*sigh* Seriously, you have a MONTH to press play. If don't have the time within a 24 hour period to watch a 2 hour movie, I don't think those extra 6 hours are going to make or break the deal.

As for 5.1 audio... "Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound pass-through" from the tech specs of the AppleTV page. I'm guessing they're updated... That doesn't sound like 5.1 aac converted to Dolby to me...

Umm. You come home at 6, start the movie. Your child get sick, You cat pees on the carpet, anything really. You stop the movie and after dealing with everything decide your to tired to finish the movie that night. Well guess what, your movie will be gone when you get back from work the next night. Adding just 6 hours would fix this problem.

sonofcolin
Jan 15, 2008, 07:42 PM
That was always supported on Apple TV and remains supported. Apple TV plays everything that is in your iTunes library and all the photos in your iPhoto library.
Really? Never knew you could add Video_TS folder to itunes, let alone VOB files.

bommai
Jan 15, 2008, 07:44 PM
Now that AppleTV supports Dolby Digital 5.1, what kind of container file are they using. MKV I hope. Does this mean Quicktime is going to get an update to play MKV files with AC3 stream for audio. MP4 cannot do it.

BobVB
Jan 15, 2008, 07:56 PM
Now that AppleTV supports Dolby Digital 5.1, what kind of container file are they using. MKV I hope. Does this mean Quicktime is going to get an update to play MKV files with AC3 stream for audio. MP4 cannot do it.

Yeah I was hoping the QT update today added that but an MKV rip didn't play. I wonder if only the AppleTV will be able to play the new HD DD5.1 films?

Eriden
Jan 15, 2008, 07:57 PM
Never gonna happen. That's not their market. Why would they let you record for free what they can charge you for to download?

Quite true. Though if broadcasters like NBC continue to hemorrhage from iTunes, El Jobso may just rethink the AppleTV hardware and swap in a TV Tuner or two.

In any event, I'm sticking with Netflix for the time being.

http://www.engadget.com/2008/01/02/netflix-developing-movie-set-top-box-with-lg/

http://www.engadget.com/2008/01/13/netflix-to-loosen-restrictions-on-internet-viewing-option/

winterspan
Jan 15, 2008, 08:31 PM
Was seriously considering dumping Netflix until I read that HD titles cost more.

Ugh. I would think Apple wouldn't play the "penalize the HD users" game. HD should be the new standard, not some sort of special high-end price.

So I guess I'll still wait for a cheap blu-ray player and stick with Netflix, who will send me HD discs at day of release for no extra charge.

According to a few sites I've read including engadget/engadgetHD, many many people are not receiving HD movies on any kind of decent timeschedule... And supposedly they are not going to be increasing their HD volume until the format war is undeniably over...

Fast Shadow
Jan 15, 2008, 08:33 PM
If only this device were also a hi-def PVR as well as a media center. I would buy one tomorrow if I could make it the center of all things media for my home theater.

winterspan - as of last week the HD format war is undeniably over.

winterspan
Jan 15, 2008, 08:37 PM
720p or 1080p/i?

Calling 720p and touting as HD is a bit of a stretch these days. If it ain't 1080p/i it ain't HD.

Ha.. you expect 1080P via your average 2mbit cable connection? Yeah no thanks, I would much rather have the movie begin as fast as possible then wait for that... And by definition, 720P is HDTV. Screw 1080i... Interlaced anything sucks and should have NEVER been carried over to ATSC. What a joke, interlacing was meant to increase picture size via broadcast 60 years ago... Why is it still around???

winterspan
Jan 15, 2008, 08:38 PM
If only this device were also a hi-def PVR as well as a media center. I would buy one tomorrow if I could make it the center of all things media for my home theater.

winterspan - as of last week the HD format war is undeniably over.

yea I hope so.. <shudder>. god forbid microsoft pulls some ********, Ill freak out!

jaw04005
Jan 15, 2008, 08:55 PM
According to a few sites I've read including engadget/engadgetHD, many many people are not receiving HD movies on any kind of decent timeschedule... And supposedly they are not going to be increasing their HD volume until the format war is undeniably over...

You're talking about Netflix, not Apple.

gvegastiger
Jan 15, 2008, 09:06 PM
As long as Apple is selling TV shows and movies on iTunes you will never have an Apple PVR device. It just wouldn't make sense. Who would pay for the tv show if they could just record it on their Apple TV? Apple has made a name for themselves in the digital media arena bc they made selling digital content a viable revenue stream. Why on earth would they canibalize that after all the hard work with the studios by bringing out a PVR?

zedsdead
Jan 15, 2008, 09:42 PM
Ha.. you expect 1080P via your average 2mbit cable connection? Yeah no thanks, I would much rather have the movie begin as fast as possible then wait for that... And by definition, 720P is HDTV. Screw 1080i... Interlaced anything sucks and should have NEVER been carried over to ATSC. What a joke, interlacing was meant to increase picture size via broadcast 60 years ago... Why is it still around???

I feel the same way...Interlacing should not be here anymore, I think it had something to do with Sony. 720p looks better than 1080i in my opinion. 1080p of course is better than both, although the higher you get in resolution, the less difference you can really see on the average tv set.

davewolfs
Jan 15, 2008, 09:56 PM
This has been answered numerous times, as this product has been out for almost an entire year—but NO it does not support 1080i video playback. However, the menu system is outputted in 1080i (if selected).

On a side note, why does it even matter? Can you honestly tell a difference between 720p and 1080i content? I would bet not especially considering these HD rentals will be heavily compressed.

Your TV converts the HD signal whether it's 720p, 1080i or 1080p to be compatible with its native display (timing, refresh, color balance, etc) no matter what. There is NO true video passthrough (on HDTVs, HD "monitors" is another story) as all resolutions are processed internally via the TV.

For example, a 1080p HDTV will process a 1080p HD signal (from say a Blu-ray player) no matter what. You can turn some of the more noticeable image-enhancement processing off (on most TVs, not Samsung), however it's still processing the video.

I would bet most consumers don't realize that they need an HD signal to get HD content on their televisions. Let alone know the difference between 720p, 1080i and 1080p.

Read the full specs:

http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html

"Compatible with enhanced-definition or high-definition widescreen TVs capable of 1080p/1080i 60/50Hz, 720p 60/50Hz, 576p 50Hz (PAL format), or 480p 60Hz, including popular models from these manufactures : HP, Hitachi, JVC, LG, Mitsubishi, NEC, Olevia, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Polaroid, Samsung, Sony, Sharp, Toshiba, Vizio, Westinghouse"

I can definitely tell the difference between 1080i and 720P on my 60" Pioneer. I am asking about whether or not it supports 1080i natively because it DOES make a difference.

Frankly, I am tired of HD DVD and BR and if 1080i was supported without too much compression, I would drop both disc formats.

crackermac
Jan 15, 2008, 10:04 PM
Anyone know what the USB port is for on the Apple TV?

John Musbach
Jan 15, 2008, 10:35 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

Now there's no computer required - you can now rent movies directly on the Apple TV in your choice of DVD quality or HD + dolby 5.1 surround sound. Podcasts are available in audio and video format, as well as photos from Flikr and .Mac and sync with iTunes. AppleTV allows you to preview movies from the interface, and see what other users who have rented that movie have rented. Photo screensavers can be retrieved from .Mac web galleries. Music can be purchased from the iTunes Store from within the AppleTV.

The update is available as a free software update that should be available in two weeks for current AppleTV owners. Entry price for the AppleTV also drops from $299 to $229.

HD rentals are $4.99, with 100 titles available today.



Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2008/01/15/apple-announces-appletv-take-2-price-drop/)

The AppleTV is starting to sound more and more like a alternative DVR, this is good but is the AppleTV really giving the TiVO and tv provider provided DVRs a run for their market share? Especially once Netflix fully works out their program with tv providers and their dvr manufacturers I will have to wonder how well this product will do. There may be no need to worry since all things Apple carry a "cool factor" which significantly helps products that otherwise wouldn't sell sell, Apple macs have been continuing to have good sales despite the economic troubles so perhaps the "cool factor" will allow the AppleTV to give its competitors a run for their market share. Who knows... :)

C-Dubs
Jan 15, 2008, 10:39 PM
I hope Apple is planning on adding the iTunes store interface and on-screen movie rental functionality to FrontRow. That would be a big oversight if they don't.

I dont think so. I think if you're already at your PC you can use a mouse and keyboard to go through iTunes and get your material, then if you have to use FrontRow just enter the program from there. Although it would be nice, it's not a huge oversignt IMO

C-Dubs
Jan 15, 2008, 10:40 PM
Anyone know what the USB port is for on the Apple TV?

according to Apple, it's only use is for Apple to diagnose and repair the :apple:TV. Some people have been able to use it to hack the :apple:TV and even install other O/S systems on them. I believe others have been able to allow it to use external HD's.

organic bond
Jan 15, 2008, 10:46 PM
Solid update that is enough to convince me to buy one.

I agree.

C-Dubs
Jan 15, 2008, 10:47 PM
Still won't buy this thing because still can't attach external harddrives to it. And, still can't record TV.

Good points, and I won't buy one because it can't play DVD's. Once they come out with a bit more of an all-in-one :apple:TV device, say with blu-ray, then I'll put it on my "things to get with a tax refund" list

Jonescobbs
Jan 15, 2008, 11:16 PM
I haven't read anyone post this yet (I didn't read every post) but my fav feature is having the ability to browse and watch podcasts directly from the Apple TV. That's pretty awesome!

TPALTony
Jan 15, 2008, 11:37 PM
My point is that in the public mind in the UK, 1080p is the standard. Almost any new TV you can buy is 1080p. All the marketing in the shops reflects this and anyone looking for a new TV wants 1080p (regardless of whether they know what it is). So why would Joe Public they think a 720p AppleTV is a good match for their 1080p TV?

As far as I know - the AppleTV is supposed to be a mass-market consumer TV device, not especially for computer monitors.

Could you list 10 TVs including links that sell in the UK with 1080p support? I just did a ton of research for my father and most are 720p/1080i but almost none support p. Those that do are 42" where you could argue it wouldn't really show up.

Myself I have a 1080p 42" and a projector that does 720p onto a 96" screen. I am a "tech spec" freak and I can't tell the difference!

Also, no disrespect, but let's not pretend ANY of us that post here, with such a passionate defense of our opinions, is in any way representative of the market they are targetting. "Convenient, looks good, not too expensive, apple product so likely good (I love my iPod.)" that's about the level of thought process that will go into this in any country. You and I are not examples of that. :-)

Be well

t

ShockTroop
Jan 15, 2008, 11:42 PM
Am I reading this right? The movie will have been in Blockbuster and on Netflix for an entire MONTH before I can access it w/ an Apple TV?

This doesn't make sense to me either. If I want to rent a newly released movie, I can't with AppleTV. This is the only drawback that will force me not to purchase this item. Give me equal availability and I will buy.

Don't panic
Jan 15, 2008, 11:48 PM
*sigh* Seriously, you have a MONTH to press play. If don't have the time within a 24 hour period to watch a 2 hour movie, I don't think those extra 6 hours are going to make or break the deal.


you are wrong.
8:30 get the kids to sleep
- mail, work, various crap
10:30 start watching movie
11:30 crash on the sofa
- next day:
8:30 get the kids to sleep
- mail, work, various crap
10:15 re-start watching movie
10:30 the frigging movie expires and you miss the end

redfirebird08
Jan 15, 2008, 11:55 PM
Some of the rentals on iTunes are in full screen format. Obviously, the HD downloads will be widescreen but what if the regular downloads on :apple:TV are the same as the iTunes fullscreen downloads?

Two prominent examples are 300 and Live Free or Die Hard, both of which are 2:35:1 and pan/scan crops a lot of the films. Looks like the Disney movies such as Ratatouille and Pirates: AWE are in widescreen like the ones available for purchase.

http://img337.imageshack.us/img337/6049/300itunestz2.jpg

http://img212.imageshack.us/img212/2392/livefreegi5.jpg

ekdor
Jan 16, 2008, 12:25 AM
-

ekdor
Jan 16, 2008, 12:26 AM
-

redfirebird08
Jan 16, 2008, 12:39 AM
Maybe they will give you a refund for the pixels you didn't see! :)

Someone reported on another thread that 300 is indeed WIDESCREEN. So looks like iTunes has a glitch in their product info. Thank goodness. And the :apple:TV versions will be DVD or HD quality. Pretty good. Hopefully the iPod is updated to DVD quality sometime in the near future and iTunes is updated as well. No excuse to still have less than 720 horizontal lines at this point.

Cleverboy
Jan 16, 2008, 12:40 AM
Solid update that is enough to convince me to buy one.I agree.
Me too. Mmm... $199 refurbs. (Should have been the new price, but oh, well.. can't beat free shipping either!)
http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wa/RSLID?nplm=FA711LL/A

~ CB

matticus008
Jan 16, 2008, 12:41 AM
Some of the rentals on iTunes are in full screen format. Obviously, the HD downloads will be widescreen but what if the regular downloads on :apple:TV are the same as the iTunes fullscreen downloads?
What do you mean, "what if"? They are the same. Most iTunes video content is full frame at present.

I'm not sure I see where you're trying to go with this factoid, unless you're concerned about aspect ratio of viewing--Apple TV adds the boxes to the sides, or you can change the output mode to 480p or play with the zoom settings of your TV.

Cleverboy
Jan 16, 2008, 12:50 AM
Someone reported on another thread that 300 is indeed WIDESCREEN. So looks like iTunes has a glitch in their product info. Thank goodness. And the :apple:TV versions will be DVD or HD quality. Pretty good. Hopefully the iPod is updated to DVD quality sometime in the near future and iTunes is updated as well. No excuse to still have less than 720 horizontal lines at this point.Meh. Some people prefer the faster download and smaller file sizes... as horrifying as that might sound. :D

~ CB

RazorWriter
Jan 16, 2008, 12:58 AM
I was just walking thru Costco tonight, before I browsed this thread, and noticed 160GB AppleTVs for the same price as Apple advertises the 40GB version with the price cut - 239?! Was this a deal they had going before today or just now? I admit I was not that interested in the appletv until they finally announced HD content as they have today, but I guess I know where to go to buy it now.
Is this at all costcos? Better than refurb price for the larger disk!

RazorWriter
Jan 16, 2008, 01:16 AM
So I read this site and many comment threads every day for 4 years but I'm still a Newbie? :o lol.

redfirebird08
Jan 16, 2008, 01:27 AM
What do you mean, "what if"? They are the same. Most iTunes video content is full frame at present.

I'm not sure I see where you're trying to go with this factoid, unless you're concerned about aspect ratio of viewing--Apple TV adds the boxes to the sides, or you can change the output mode to 480p or play with the zoom settings of your TV.

Most iTunes content? I take it that you're referring to TV shows eh? Well I'm talking about movies. Most movies released in the last oh 40 years or so are in widescreen and most of them on iTunes are released in widescreen format.

Evangelion
Jan 16, 2008, 01:39 AM
Really? Never knew you could add Video_TS folder to itunes, let alone VOB files.

I don't think you can, but if you rip the DVD with Handbrake (like I have done), it will work just fine.

Evangelion
Jan 16, 2008, 01:40 AM
Everyone arguing about the benefits of various resolutions is missing the point--the most important thing is how cute the girl in the ATV guided tour is:

http://www.apple.com/appletv/guidedtour/index.html?size=medium

Holy cow.

She's such a tease! "You can buy AppleTV from Apple online store, or visit your local Apple Store. Maybe I'll see you there."

bentoms
Jan 16, 2008, 02:26 AM
I can't shake the feeling that Apple looses touch with their clients more and more...
Playing the same music in three rooms in synch is a great feature but why only in the AirPort Express? This so keeps me from buying an Apple TV...

I really want this too... Hopefully it will come out in another upgrade or maybe it's an unannounced feature?:cool:

carts44
Jan 16, 2008, 02:38 AM
I'm still disappointed that they didn't give AppleTV internet radio .
:(
I agree completely. I won't buy :apple:tv until it has this feature

matticus008
Jan 16, 2008, 02:39 AM
Most iTunes content? I take it that you're referring to TV shows eh? Well I'm talking about movies. Most movies released in the last oh 40 years or so are in widescreen and most of them on iTunes are released in widescreen format.
Yes, that's true. But that's not what you said. You said some iTunes rentals are in full screen. Then you asked, "what if they're the same on the Apple TV?" There is no 'what if'. If they are full frame rentals, they're full frame rentals.

Full frame rentals are, well, not widescreen. They'll play as such, like most iTunes content, with black bars on the Apple TV. I'm still not understanding what you were getting at with the earlier comment or what your confusion was.