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View Full Version : 5 Ways To Save Apple TV




charlesju
Jul 23, 2008, 10:25 AM
Hey guys,

I just posted a new entry on my new blog: http://www.charlesju.com/2008/07/5-ways-to-fix-apple-tv.html

I thought of 5 ways to improve (save) the Apple TV, and I just wanted this community's input. Because I don't want to be a troll and force you to click through to my blog-spam, I'll repost the gist of it here.

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1. Leverage alternative video types.

This is so simple. The reason why mp3 players were successful was because they played the most popular audio codec. If you go to piratebay.org, you can see that almost every movie has tens of thousands of seeds, with upwards of hundreds of thousands for popular anime like Naruto or Bleach. This is EXACTLY why XMBC was so popular, it was able to play any video file, streamed from any computer. In order for Apple to facilitate this, they need to open up iTunes to different types of videos, specifically .avi and .mkv files. Further, they have to make it as easy to drag-and-drop new files into the library as mp3s.

From a legal stand point there should be no differentiation between .avi files and .mp3 files. The same case can be brought for both. From a viral standpoint, this is the number one and most important step.

2. Subscription all-you-can-view videos

There was unanimous acclaim for Netflix's new streaming box, Roku. It's priced at $100 and leverages existing subscription fees to allow unlimited access to Netflix's online library. Apple has enough leverage to port the exact same model, and it should.

3. Ads stitched into mainstream movies and videos.

This will mimic Hulu. Even the exact same content is a good start. The inherent problem with watching Hulu is that the quality is sub-par and it's not as comfortable as watching on the TV. These things can be fixed by predownloading videos with stitched in ads. Hollywood and Apple need to understand that viewers are not adverse to ads, we're adverse to ****** content and having good content isolated in a very limited viewing window.

4. Opening up the Apple TV platform and power

The Apple TV is basically a full-fledged Mac OSX machine. They should leverage that and allow the Apple TV to run in OSX mode. Then they can merge the Mac Mini and the Apple TV into a single product. This should sell well to developers and consumers on a tighter budget. If that is too cannibalistic, I would suggest at least porting a couple of the more popular applications to Apple TV. Specifically, Safari and Preview.

5. Enable Timemachine

Apple TV has pretty good size HDD. Some people might not want to store hundreds of videos at a time. It seems to me that if Timemachine were enabled, it would make the Apple TV exponentially more useful.



themanfromvlad
Jul 23, 2008, 10:50 AM
Hey guys,
-----------------------------------------------------------

1. Leverage alternative video types.

This is so simple. The reason why mp3 players were successful was because they played the most popular audio codec. If you go to piratebay.org, you can see that almost every movie has tens of thousands of seeds, with upwards of hundreds of thousands for popular anime like Naruto or Bleach. This is EXACTLY why XMBC was so popular, it was able to play any video file, streamed from any computer. In order for Apple to facilitate this, they need to open up iTunes to different types of videos, specifically .avi and .mkv files. Further, they have to make it as easy to drag-and-drop new files into the library as mp3s.

From a legal stand point there should be no differentiation between .avi files and .mp3 files. The same case can be brought for both. From a viral standpoint, this is the number one and most important step.


I really don't get why this hasn't been done. Both the PS3 and the xbox360 have this support. I don't see any reason, legal or otherwise to not support .avi or anything else. No one is buying TV shows from the iTunes store because of this.

P-Worm
Jul 23, 2008, 10:50 AM
Some interesting ideas. I'll give my take on them.

1. Leverage alternative video types.

iTunes lack of playing ability can be pretty annoying, but opening the video format accomplishes (almost) nothing but increased piracy. The only place that I run across AVI's that aren't playable in iTunes (some AVI's are) or MKV files is from torrent sites. I wonder if Apple's hands are tied a bit by the movie studios?

2. Subscription all-you-can-view videos

I would absolutely love this. Jobs is right when he says that people want to own their music instead of subscribe to it, but I think that it is completely different with movies (and especially TV shows).

3. Ads stitched into mainstream movies and videos.

I don't want ads in the content unless the content providers are REQUIRED to offer a paid version without ads. Doing this just opens the door for the AppleTV to become another TV.

4. Opening up the Apple TV platform and power

I honestly don't see the point. AppleTV knows what it is and does it well. I could see Apple adding an RSS reader or something, but I would never want to surf the net on my TV. Remember Microsoft's WebTV?

5. Enable Timemachine

Again, I don't really see the point.

However, I think the biggest thing missing from this list is a DVR attachment or something built in. This has been beaten to death so I don't really want to start the "this would negate the iTunes store" argument, but this is a feature that is really sought after.

P-Worm

themanfromvlad
Jul 23, 2008, 10:55 AM
I wonder if Apple's hands are tied a bit by the movie studios?


I'd like to think that, but why are Microsoft and Sony getting a free ride with their devices?

kjr39
Jul 23, 2008, 11:02 AM
I really don't think you'll ever get subscription on an Apple TV. The entire model of iTunes is based on buying content. (BTW, rename iTunes please...)

I'm adverse to ads. Very adverse to them. If you add ads, I have no reason to ever buy content from Apple.

Really though, does Apple TV need saving? I don't think so. It does what it does well.

I do agree with 1., but this is my gripe for the entire industry. I want to buy content once and be able to play it on all of my devices. I don't share what I have with others, so don't punish me by restricting my portability...

darklyt
Jul 23, 2008, 11:17 AM
I really don't think you'll ever get subscription on an Apple TV. The entire model of iTunes is based on buying content. (BTW, rename iTunes please...)

I'm adverse to ads. Very adverse to them. If you add ads, I have no reason to ever buy content from Apple.

Really though, does Apple TV need saving? I don't think so. It does what it does well.

I do agree with 1., but this is my gripe for the entire industry. I want to buy content once and be able to play it on all of my devices. I don't share what I have with others, so don't punish me by restricting my portability...

Technically iPods were never going to play video and there was going to be only one network in each country with iPhone exclusivity, so there's hope yet!

Technically, if we rename the iTunes store, we'd have to rename places like Circuit City since DVD's and CD's have no circuits and it's not actually a city lol.

dbwie
Jul 23, 2008, 11:31 AM
I agree with point #1. Not sure about the others. Jobs billed the AppleTV as a DVD player for the internet age. This works for me, since I am far from a video rental place and I don't want to buy or pirate movies. But for most, it's not a compelling replacement for your DVD player. This may change if digital distribution wins the battle against DVD/Blu-Ray. We will see.

almostinsane
Jul 23, 2008, 11:43 AM
The AppleTV is an iPod for your TV. It does everything an iPod does and more.

Changing the ATV would mean changing the entire iPod/iPhone/iTunes lineup.

wPod
Jul 23, 2008, 12:02 PM
I do agree with 1., but this is my gripe for the entire industry. I want to buy content once and be able to play it on all of my devices. I don't share what I have with others, so don't punish me by restricting my portability...

yeah, look at the music industry. how many different companies came out with how many different types of music that only played on certain portable players??? but now what are they all doing? they are getting rid of the disabling DRM and settling down on the mp3 format. I think the same thing will have to happen with the movie industry. they will have to find the best format to deliver high-def content. once they find this, then they will be able to compete with blue-ray.

Tilpots
Jul 23, 2008, 12:11 PM
I'll save my usual :apple:TV needs this and that rant here (search my posts if you really want my opinions:eek:) but I'll add this article I found on CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/ptech/07/22/electronics.signals.ap/index.html) today.

It's Wirieless household Hi Def. Pretty interesting technology. Nobody's got it perfected yet, and it seems to be along way off, but if they could implement it, the :apple:TV would really make a leap.

kjr39
Jul 23, 2008, 01:59 PM
Technically iPods were never going to play video and there was going to be only one network in each country with iPhone exclusivity, so there's hope yet!

Technically, if we rename the iTunes store, we'd have to rename places like Circuit City since DVD's and CD's have no circuits and it's not actually a city lol.


In that case, Best Buy would absolutely need to change its name!

almostinsane
Jul 23, 2008, 07:45 PM
yeah, look at the music industry. how many different companies came out with how many different types of music that only played on certain portable players??? but now what are they all doing? they are getting rid of the disabling DRM and settling down on the mp3 format. I think the same thing will have to happen with the movie industry. they will have to find the best format to deliver high-def content. once they find this, then they will be able to compete with blue-ray.

This will never happen. The movie industry is all about DRM and protecting their content. Their adding more DRM to the cable industry as we speak.

Thanatoast
Jul 23, 2008, 08:20 PM
I don't think the AppleTV needs saving, it works great for me.

But specifically in regards to #3... NO!!! I loathe ads. I hate having my show interrupted every three and a half minutes to try and sell me something I don't need at 90 decibels.

ihabime
Jul 23, 2008, 08:55 PM
Hi, glad you decided to join just to advertise your 3 post blog.

Apparently you have little to no knowledge of Apple or it's products so I'll be nice.

points 1 + 4:
Try looking at the AppleTVs price, notice something strange? It's cheaper than some iPods. It is probably the only device Apple sells that has little to no margin, why do you think that is? Yup, they expect to make the money back from the iTunes store, supporting avis and mkvs makes them no money.

Point 3:
Are you joking? You want to pay for a something and have them insert ads? I have never heard anyone say, "I liked that movie, but I wish they had chopped it up and stuck some ads in the middle". That's one of the worst ideas I've ever heard.

Point 5:
Did you even look at the AppleTV product page? Because the one I'm looking at only has 40gb or 160gb drives, unless it's suddenly become 1999 again, no one considers that a "pretty good sized HDD". You do understand what time machine does right? It keeps sequential backups of your entire HDD, (think really large).

other than that, thanks for the spam.

DeFett
Jul 23, 2008, 09:09 PM
I'd like to see Apps for Apple TV ...perhaps a DIVX/XVID one.

...oh and maybe a FrontRow app so I could stream a DVD from my iMac to my Apple TV.

gadabout
Jul 23, 2008, 11:35 PM
The AppleTV is an iPod for your TV. It does everything an iPod does and more.

Changing the ATV would mean changing the entire iPod/iPhone/iTunes lineup.

um. no.

why would it mean that?

charlesju
Jul 23, 2008, 11:40 PM
Hi, glad you decided to join just to advertise your 3 post blog.

Apparently you have little to no knowledge of Apple or it's products so I'll be nice.

points 1 + 4:
Try looking at the AppleTVs price, notice something strange? It's cheaper than some iPods. It is probably the only device Apple sells that has little to no margin, why do you think that is? Yup, they expect to make the money back from the iTunes store, supporting avis and mkvs makes them no money.

Point 3:
Are you joking? You want to pay for a something and have them insert ads? I have never heard anyone say, "I liked that movie, but I wish they had chopped it up and stuck some ads in the middle". That's one of the worst ideas I've ever heard.

Point 5:
Did you even look at the AppleTV product page? Because the one I'm looking at only has 40gb or 160gb drives, unless it's suddenly become 1999 again, no one considers that a "pretty good sized HDD". You do understand what time machine does right? It keeps sequential backups of your entire HDD, (think really large).

other than that, thanks for the spam.

Thanks for the criticism, I'm really just trying to learn more about what people think about my ideas. I'm not trying to spam the forum, I'm just looking for opinions on my opinions. Isn't that what a forum is designed to do?

Rebuttal to #1 + 4: If your logic was correct, the iPod wouldn't have sold anything because most people use it to play pirated music. BUT, that's how you get people into using a technology then slowly get them to adopt legal alternatives. That's my argument at least.

Rebuttal to #3: Hulu has 2 million unique visitors a month, and we've grown up having to watch advertisements our whole lives. If that was the worst idea you've "ever heard" how do you think major TV networks have survived the last 50 years?

Rebuttal to #5: It only saves the difference between the backups, so really it should only require about 2 x the size of the computer HDD.

almostinsane
Jul 24, 2008, 10:15 AM
um. no.

why would it mean that?

Because they all play the same formats. It would be a support nightmare if each one played different formats. You'd have to add xvid/divx/mkv support to the entire lineup.

AliensAreFuzzy
Jul 24, 2008, 11:10 AM
3. Ads stitched into mainstream movies and videos.

This will mimic Hulu. Even the exact same content is a good start. The inherent problem with watching Hulu is that the quality is sub-par and it's not as comfortable as watching on the TV. These things can be fixed by predownloading videos with stitched in ads. Hollywood and Apple need to understand that viewers are not adverse to ads, we're adverse to ****** content and having good content isolated in a very limited viewing window.

No. No no no no no. No no no no no no no no no. I do not want ads. No.

I am VERY adverse to ads. They completely take you out the show. There is nothing worse than getting into a very intense part of a show suddely to see an ad for some crap product that I'm not gonna buy. If they were to do this they would have to provide a pay for version with no ads for me to even consider using the service.