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MacRumors
Jan 2, 2004, 04:44 PM
This week, rumors of an Apple Set Top Box appear to have been revived by at least one anonymous report (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2003/12/20031231141433.shtml)

The term "Set Top Box" typically refers to a product that sits on top of your television. Over the years, as technology advances, the meaning of the term changes somewhat with advances in technology.

In 1995, Apple actually produced a Set Top Box (photo) (http://www.macrumors.com/Media/settopfront.jpg) for a six state trial (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2000/04/20000426204518.shtml). At the time, the system used a version of Mac OS, QuickDraw and Quicktime. It was an "interactive TV set-top" box. The trial (apparently) did not succeed. Later in 2002, there were some hints (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2002/04/20020408224644.shtml) that Apple was interested in purchasing a set-top box company known as Moxi Digital.

Most recently MacOSX.com posted detailed specs (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2003/12/20031231141433.shtml) of what was claimed to be a set top box from Apple, known as the "iBox". The box is described (arist's rendition (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2004/01/20040102004405.shtml)) as a all-in-one sort of media device... running versions of iPhoto, iTunes, and iDVD. (though one discrepancy is that Apple has never supported DVD-authoring on a G3).

All in all, these rumors are suspect, but do coincide with a rumor that made our Unconfirmed/Reject list from 2003 (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2003/12/20031230043507.shtml). The full report is included for interest's sake:
Apple is said to be deep into development of a box that acts as a hub for Apple's broadcasting efforts. Movies will stream wirelessly to a television set via Apple's next generation of wireless networking. It is said to be wireless Gigabit. Similarly, users can stream music from any of their devices (computer / iPod / the "box") to their stereo via next generation bluetooth. This hub is expected to make Apple's digital life less dependent on you sitting in front of your computer. Again, devices will be able to log into this box where they can either transmit songs to, or accept transmissions from, this hub. This, too, is said to be able to log into a users machine via thin client.
Again, neither of these reports have shown themselves to be reliable, but are somewhat consistent with each other. As well, Steve Jobs has stated (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=46254) (repeatedly) that he does not feel that TVs and Computers will converge. Whether or not such a hybrid/bridge product would go against this vision, is not clear.

sethypoo
Jan 2, 2004, 04:46 PM
I assume that this "Set Top Box" has TiVo-like capabilities?

And Airport Extreme? Wow!

Somehow I don't think that this will come out tomorrw. Then again, I could be wrong.

Frisco
Jan 2, 2004, 04:48 PM
I will definately be one the first in line for an iBox. Not that I really need one, but to have the Apple Logo on top of my TV would be so cool!

VicMacs
Jan 2, 2004, 04:50 PM
anybody know the cost on this baby? around 500 would be nice and neat...

MarksEvilTwin
Jan 2, 2004, 04:50 PM
Removed

invaLPsion
Jan 2, 2004, 04:54 PM
Originally posted by VicMacs
anybody know the cost on this baby? around 500 would be nice and neat...

It says between $395 and $595.:)

AirUncleP
Jan 2, 2004, 05:05 PM
The way I see it, if you care. Apple iBox sits in you component rack and allows you to do the following.
1. Stream iTunes playlists to your tv/stereo system
2. Play iPhoto albums on your tv.
3. Switch back and forth from tv to internet via remote desktop.
4. TIVO'esq features with easy integration into iMovie or iDVD.

All for $499 and all wirelessly from your extreme capable laptop.

This is not so crazy. PS. iTracks is coming.

MarksEvilTwin
Jan 2, 2004, 05:05 PM
Removed

g30ffr3y
Jan 2, 2004, 05:05 PM
sign me up for one... if they announce it next week ill be at my local apple store [five minutes from my work] quicker than you can say "ibox" wooooooooohhhhhhhhooooooooooooo...

it would be great and sounds to be more than just a set top box for the tv but a solution for integrating the home theatre with the computer... i would certainly like the idea of streaming my itunes into my living room from my mac... or my imovies to my tv or my tv shows to my mac... drool...

is this what we havent thought of???

time will tell... either way, this is going to be a great MWSF!!!

mian
Jan 2, 2004, 05:09 PM
Communications technology?

http://www.1394ta.org/Press/2003Press/december/12.08.a.htm

White Fire
Jan 2, 2004, 05:09 PM
I am an extreme sceptic on this.

Apple introducing this would be extremely unlikely. Technology has a long way to go before we start introducing things like this. The standards just aren't there yet.

mactastic
Jan 2, 2004, 05:13 PM
Did that say wireless Gigabit???? Wipes away drool.... That can't be real! But I'd love to have a rev2 iBox for sure.

arn
Jan 2, 2004, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by MarksEvilTwin
It says in the article at MACOSX that it does not serve as a "whats on when" box like TV...probably to avoid subscription fees, but what if it got that information form the copmuter from what essentially will be a sherlock channel? an idea....

Mark

my impression is that the person didn't actually know what a Tivo does.

arn

Chisholm
Jan 2, 2004, 05:18 PM
Didn't Apple and Panasonic have some kinda "partnership" thing about a year ago?

Matty P
Jan 2, 2004, 05:23 PM
Originally posted by White Fire
I am an extreme sceptic on this.

Apple introducing this would be extremely unlikely. Technology has a long way to go before we start introducing things like this. The standards just aren't there yet.


Are you sure!

http://www.digitalnetworksna.com/replaytv/default.asp

bennetsaysargh
Jan 2, 2004, 05:24 PM
Originally posted by Macrumors
as a all-in-one sort of media device... running versions of iPhoto, iTunes, and iDVD. (though one discrepancy is that Apple has never supported DVD-authoring on a G3).


maybe they're working with Optibase and are making a special iBox version of iDVD?
Page 2 rumor says a new dvd authoring tool possibly debuting at MW.

Some_Big_Spoon
Jan 2, 2004, 05:24 PM
TiVo's OS is Linux based: TiVoSite GPL Compliance (http://www.tivo.com/linux/index.html)
TiVo was being sold at Apple Stores previously: Macminute (http://www.macminute.com/2003/05/23/tivo)
Apple released TiVo Desktop Manager, but it's barely functional and nothing more has been said about it and it seems to have been left behind in development afer some fanfare: Apple TiVo Desktop (http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/video/tivodesktop.html)
Calls have been made for Apple to Buy TiVo, Inc.: Fortune (http://www.fortune.com/fortune/alsop/0,15704,454338,00.html)


That all being said, it's (sadly) not going to happen.



Originally posted by arn
my impression is that the person didn't actually know what a Tivo does. arn

just a thought
Jan 2, 2004, 05:26 PM
As someone who has basically stopped using CDs at all and is currently plugging his iPod into his home stereo for all his music, and as someone who wants a Tivo, but can't justify it because it only does one thing and I don't watch that much TV, and as someone who has a home Airport network, and as someone who has the last two years of his life on iPhoto, I have to say that this is a product that I am very interested in. I don't have much extra money, but this would be something--especially in the pricerange specified--that I would absolutely purchase without hesitation.

In short, it must be fake, because it's a dream come true.

Matty P
Jan 2, 2004, 05:28 PM
I would like to see Apple build a DVR type box that can integrate with my home network and collection of music / photos / home movies. It would be great to have a simple and powerful interface that I'm used to with all my Apple products. I know that I could achieve what I want with lots of fussing around with 3rd party software that you have to configure to work with each other, but I don't want that! I want 'Plug and Get On with My Life' You get your Apple DVR Box and open it, Plug in Video Connections and Power up, DHCP Router gives an IP, Rendezvous kicks in and we are ready to go! Listen to your iTunes library, view photos from iPhoto, and view videos from a new iLife app a bit like Trinfinty Software's Seagull Video player, an iPhoto type app for video inc the ability to archive DVD's.

Then you decide to record a program via the auto downloaded Scheduling Guide as you get in most DVR's, but as you are enjoying your TV show the DVR auto archives the programme to your home machine (that has loads of storage). Then your sister comes home 10mins into the TV show opens her iBook and starts watching the show in her bedroom! While all that is going on your Mum who is ill in bed turns on her DVR box and decides to watch an archived DVD from her user account on the home Mac.

We need to blow the XP Home machine away and take things to the next level with a true 'Digital Hub' for the home. There is so much that could be done and Apple is the company to achieve it.

AMPrkm
Jan 2, 2004, 05:32 PM
This is probably the oldest, most persistent rumor still out there today (aside from Disney mergers, of course). IIRC, the original proponent of the Apple set-top box, labeled the "Apple Media Player," was Robert Morgan of AppleRecon (which is now apparently defunct). He seemed to have had legitimate insider connections along with whoever wrote the Mac the Knife column for MacWeek (remember that? :-)).

Back in those days, it was cool to hang out in the MTK forums on the MacWeek web site, where Knife, Morgan, and others would offer insight on a regular basis, but those forums were eventually shut down after MacWeek shifted to an online-only publication. A group of active forum members worked to salvage things, but I don't recall what happened. Hopefully all that info isn't lost forever!

Oh the memories ;-)

dongmin
Jan 2, 2004, 05:33 PM
Originally posted by AirUncleP
The way I see it, if you care. Apple iBox sits in you component rack and allows you to do the following.
1. Stream iTunes playlists to your tv/stereo system
2. Play iPhoto albums on your tv.
3. Switch back and forth from tv to internet via remote desktop.
4. TIVO'esq features with easy integration into iMovie or iDVD. Brilliant! Genius! You should patent this idea at once. And bring it to market. Wait, someone's already done that. It's called TiVo.

rdowns
Jan 2, 2004, 05:44 PM
Originally posted by Matty P
Are you sure!

http://www.digitalnetworksna.com/replaytv/default.asp

Looks nice but streaming is between ReplayTV units only. Seems like they want you to have one connected to each TV.

The last sentence here is kind of scary:

"ReplayTV 5500 requires a broadband Internet connection or a analog phone line. A home network is required for room-to-room video streaming. A PC connected to a home network is required to store and view digital photos with ReplayTV. ReplayTV reserves the right to automatically add, modify, or disable any features in the operating software when your ReplayTV 5500 connects to our server."

Hemingray
Jan 2, 2004, 05:46 PM
Nosir, I don't like it...

To me, the features mentioned doesn't seem like enough to warrant adding another box to the entertainment center. Would Apple really do this? The possibility is always there, but I don't think so.

KevinHoctor
Jan 2, 2004, 05:47 PM
Although I think Apple could do a good job with a centralized media box, they already have said that the computer is the digital hub and not anything else in the house.

Also I happen to like the way TiVo works very much and Apple would have to do an awful lot to improve on an already great product.

Lastly, the DVR market is alive but not thriving. It just has not caught on with many people because they just don't get it. I can't imagine TV without it any more, but we TiVo users are like Mac users...few and fiercely loyal. Apple doesn't need another small niche market unless they can really break new ground and get the attention of a wider audience like they did with the iPod.

My opinion anyway.

just a thought
Jan 2, 2004, 05:48 PM
Originally posted by Hemingray
Nosir, I don't like it...

To me, the features mentioned doesn't seem like enough to warrant adding another box to the entertainment center. Would Apple really do this? The possibility is always there, but I don't think so.

Add a box? For me, it would allow me to remove three boxes from my system:

My VCR
My DVD player
My CD player.

Simplifies my life significantly.

Matty P
Jan 2, 2004, 05:56 PM
Originally posted by rdowns
Looks nice but streaming is between ReplayTV units only. Seems like they want you to have one connected to each TV.

The last sentence here is kind of scary:

"ReplayTV 5500 requires a broadband Internet connection or a analog phone line. A home network is required for room-to-room video streaming. A PC connected to a home network is required to store and view digital photos with ReplayTV. ReplayTV reserves the right to automatically add, modify, or disable any features in the operating software when your ReplayTV 5500 connects to our server."


Wow! I did not see the small print.

If Apple could produce a box with no subscription we would be laughing.

I do like the idea of pausing a programme in the living-room and then continue watching it in bed. Ok you need another box, so just buy 2!!!

Hemingray
Jan 2, 2004, 05:58 PM
Originally posted by just a thought
Add a box? For me, it would allow me to remove three boxes from my system:

My VCR
My DVD player
My CD player.

Simplifies my life significantly.

Please explain to me how this will replace a VCR. And as for replacing a CD/DVD player, that's great as long as your computer is close to your entertainment center...

sxtxixtxcxh
Jan 2, 2004, 06:00 PM
steam movies wirelessly? like www.moviebeam.com a disney owned technology?

:) more fuel for the fire.
http://www.spacey.net/tshaw/Images/Pokes/mickeyg3.jpg

jwtseng
Jan 2, 2004, 06:06 PM
Originally posted by rdowns
Looks nice but streaming is between ReplayTV units only. Seems like they want you to have one connected to each TV.


Actually, this statement is false. I just got my wife (hehe...) a couple of ReplayTV boxes. The stuff they say about never watching TV the same way again really is true. I really think we watch *more* TV now than we ever did.

Streaming shows from one ReplayTV box to another definitely is cool and works. But the *really, really, really* cool thing I like to show off is a little java (read: platform agnostic) application called DVarchive that lets me see all the shows on my two ReplayTV boxes AND lets me stream any show in the highest quality setting *wirelessly* to my PowerBook!!!

It is too cool, especially when I am sitting on the couch IN MY NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR'S HOUSE! I can also download shows from the ReplayTV to my iMac and using DVarchive the iMac shows up in the ReplayTV network as another ReplayTV box to stream from!!!

So streaming most definitely works to and from Macs, and judging from what I have read in other message forums, it works better than on PCs. I guess it would suffice if I summed it up this way: On a Mac, it just works. It really seems like RTV was made for the Mac.

HERE (http://dvarchive.sourceforge.net/) is more information about DVarchive.

It would be great if Apple entered the DVR market, at least for us existing Mac users. I agree with the article that doing away with subscription fees (like Tivo and RTV) and having a box that basically is a digital version of the tried and true video tape recorder would be excellent. I also think a previous poster is correct in imagining the integration of Sherlock and possibly something like iCal. That would surely delight people!

See you guys at MacWorld!

Gyroscope
Jan 2, 2004, 06:16 PM
They better sort out their consumer desktops. Couldn't care less about some weird set top box. iMac eMac look really bleak these days and something must be done about it.

mactastic
Jan 2, 2004, 06:20 PM
Originally posted by KevinHoctor
Lastly, the DVR market is alive but not thriving. It just has not caught on with many people because they just don't get it.

For $250 plus another monthly subscription cost they might not be getting it, but Charter cable just started offering DVR boxes here for $9.99 a month, no up front cost. For that price they have been flying out the door apparently. I'm gonna go pick one up myself sooner or later.

That said, I'd still rather have an Apple-branded box in my entertainment center.

Matty P
Jan 2, 2004, 06:20 PM
Originally posted by jwtseng
Actually, this statement is false. I just got my wife (hehe...) a couple of ReplayTV boxes. The stuff they say about never watching TV the same way again really is true. I really think we watch *more* TV now than we ever did.

Streaming shows from one ReplayTV box to another definitely is cool and works. But the *really, really, really* cool thing I like to show off is a little java (read: platform agnostic) application called DVarchive that lets me see all the shows on my two ReplayTV boxes AND lets me stream any show in the highest quality setting *wirelessly* to my PowerBook!!!

It is too cool, especially when I am sitting on the couch IN MY NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR'S HOUSE! I can also download shows from the ReplayTV to my iMac and using DVarchive the iMac shows up in the ReplayTV network as another ReplayTV box to stream from!!!

So streaming most definitely works to and from Macs, and judging from what I have read in other message forums, it works better than on PCs. I guess it would suffice if I summed it up this way: On a Mac, it just works. It really seems like RTV was made for the Mac.

HERE (http://dvarchive.sourceforge.net/) is more information about DVarchive.

It would be great if Apple entered the DVR market, at least for us existing Mac users. I agree with the article that doing away with subscription fees (like Tivo and RTV) and having a box that basically is a digital version of the tried and true video tape recorder would be excellent. I also think a previous poster is correct in imagining the integration of Sherlock and possibly something like iCal. That would surely delight people!

See you guys at MacWorld!

I have only just discovered the RTV box and read that it was possible to archive the recorded shows to store on your home server. Is it really that easy to network all that lot together and stream over 802.11.g

If there is no Apple box I'm going to get a RTV shipped to the UK!

MEJ
Jan 2, 2004, 06:23 PM
Originally posted by Hemingray
Please explain to me how this will replace a VCR. And as for replacing a CD/DVD player, that's great as long as your computer is close to your entertainment center...

Simple. It's a "digital VCR." Record broadcast material onto a hard disk. No tapes. Therefore no VCR. Wait, you're not still renting movies on *tape* are you? =) As someone who has a PVR, I can tell you I can't remember the last time I used my VCR. However, I must say I find the lack of a program guide to be a very bad idea...

And I don't understand your comment about the proximity of the computer and the entertainment center, and how this relates to replacing a CD/DVD player... If you had read the [macosx.com] article, you would've seen the device has an optical drive.

Awimoway
Jan 2, 2004, 06:25 PM
So far MWSF news has been so ho hum, I kind of expected something sexier like this. I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility. But I thought Jobs had been outspoken on this kind of thing being bad idea. Anyone remember this?

mactastic
Jan 2, 2004, 06:25 PM
Originally posted by Gyroscope
They better sort out their consumer desktops. Couldn't care less about some weird set top box. iMac eMac look really bleak these days and something must be done about it.

Look bleak??? Maybe at the moment, but once the PowerMacs are shipping with dual 2.4/2.6Ghz processors I'm sure we will see the iMac line move to G5s in all but the low-end model. The eMac I'm not so sure about, since it is geared towards the education market where a G4 can still handle the daily grind of email, word processing, and web surfing that is the fate of most college computers. But at some point Apple will cut Moto loose, and will be using only IBM chips. Whether that means all G5s (at 90nm or less), G5s/G6s or the rumored 'Gobi' altivec-enabled G3 remains to be seen.

centauratlas
Jan 2, 2004, 06:26 PM
Originally posted by rdowns
Looks nice but streaming is between ReplayTV units only.

A couple of points, but that is somewhat incorrect. I have two Replays (well three, but one is 4.5 years old). The two current ones (5516 and 5532) work great together. I also have a older G4 (867) that sits upstairs. I use to to archive shows from the Replays.

There is a program (runs under Java - dvarchive) that looks to the other Replays like another replay. I have a 500GB drive on it, that is quite handy.

The main thing missing is a way to import into DVarchive and therefore into the Replays. There is software, but it is not easy, and it often isn't successful.

That is the main problem with the ReplayTV/TiVo solution: they are *closed*. They don't support a common format like mp3. Yes, they support mpeg (mpeg2?) but it is VERY tempermental and the one solution is not plug and play.

What Apple needs is a unit like ReplayTV/TiVo except:
1. Quicktime support of standards - this is a KEY because then it allows inter-operability.
2. Something like iTunes for DVDs.
3. Apple's user interface design.

centauratlas
Jan 2, 2004, 06:28 PM
>convergance

Regarding Steve saying that they won't converge, in many ways he is correct. Here is what I think will happen:
* The VCR/PVR will be subsumed by the computer. Just like iTunes has completely subsumed my CD collection. The only time I listen to CDs is in the car because it is just easier than iTrip, unless it is a really long trip. If I had a dock in the car that might be different.

* People will only rarely watch TV on their computers. I still listen elsewhere to my iTunes collection, just via the iPod. Same for the computer. It doesn't mean you won't store your DVDs or record your shows onto the hard disk.

I use my Mac, and my two Replays over a Cat 6/1000T (although the Replays only run 100T) network. It is great. Wherever you are, you can pull up the shows you have on it.

jwtseng
Jan 2, 2004, 06:29 PM
Originally posted by Matty P
I have only just discovered the RTV box and read that it was possible to archive the recorded shows to store on your home server. Is it really that easy to network all that lot together and stream over 802.11.g

If there is no Apple box I'm going to get a RTV shipped to the UK!

Look at the link I provided above for more details. It is also fairly easy once you have a show downloaded to put it on a CD (VCD) or DVD, playable in any consumer DVD player.

Networking the two ReplayTVs that I have couldn't have been easier. I took the opportunity to upgrade my entire wireless network to 802.11g using Buffalo's WBR-G54 router/bridge/repeater. You can find my account of the whole process and a host of other ReplayTV information HERE (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=310930).

Good luck, though you may run into problems with activating a RTV and getting channel guide info across the pond there.

rdowns
Jan 2, 2004, 06:29 PM
Originally posted by jwtseng


Streaming shows from one ReplayTV box to another definitely is cool and works. But the *really, really, really* cool thing I like to show off is a little java (read: platform agnostic) application called DVarchive that lets me see all the shows on my two ReplayTV boxes AND lets me stream any show in the highest quality setting *wirelessly* to my PowerBook!!!



Pretty cool but I don't want to watch TV on my computer.

centauratlas
Jan 2, 2004, 06:30 PM
Originally posted by Matty P
Wow! I did not see the small print.


I forgot to mention that DVArchive lets you VIEW video from the Replays on the Mac. I think it uses the regular video player.

I never do it though. I want to be on my couch or bed or someplace more comfortable.

So, the Replays aren't limited to streaming between units, it just needs an extra (FREE) piece of software.

If Replay improved their software to allow importing from DVD or Apple did it to co-exist with Replay (and TiVo) then that would be one solution.

One of the nice things that Replay has that TiVo doesn't is the 100T ethernet. It makes a big difference with video.

If Apple didn't have a charge for directories too, that would be good. With my two, they came with 3 years service, which isn't too bad, then it is $1/month thereafter. Pretty cheap, but since it is so cheap they should just get rid of it.

jwtseng
Jan 2, 2004, 06:35 PM
Originally posted by centauratlas
The main thing missing is a way to import into DVarchive and therefore into the Replays. There is software, but it is not easy, and it often isn't successful.

Yeah, it would be cool if I could put (import) MPEG2 streams back into RTV format easily, but DVarchive is still very useful. And it is only one of many open-source type of tools written for the ReplayTV platform.

centauratlas
Jan 2, 2004, 06:37 PM
Originally posted by rdowns
Pretty cool but I don't want to watch TV on my computer.

That's the beauty of it, you don't have to. I listen to music 10% of the time on my computer, mostly as background.

DVArchive lets you use the Mac as a storage server for your TVs that have ReplayTVs connected to them. You can also import your DVDs (as I said, it is NOT easy) into it. So, I have about 30 disks of old movies (home movies) going back to the 1930s of my grandparents, and once they are on-line, I can pull them up any time from any of the TVs. All by remote. No hunting the DVDs etc.

DVArchive also lets me share my iPhoto library (I haven't tried it yet, but it said it could - just lack of time) with the Replays. So, it can be a slide-show or whatever. I don't want to look at pics on my computer - I want to on my 50 inch Plasma. I want them out where the TVs are, not where the computer is. I want them handy like a photo album on the book shelf.

I don't want to watch TV on my computer, and I don't, but what I do, is to use the computer to enhance the use of the TV.

bennetsaysargh
Jan 2, 2004, 06:39 PM
Originally posted by just a thought
Add a box? For me, it would allow me to remove three boxes from my system:

My VCR
My DVD player
My CD player.

Simplifies my life significantly.

DVD and CD player is easily done if it has an optical drive. one thign is it could have
support to plug in VCRs
iMovie the VHS tapes ono the HD, and burn them onto a DVD.

that would be kickass!

centauratlas
Jan 2, 2004, 06:44 PM
Originally posted by Hemingray
Please explain to me how this will replace a VCR. And as for replacing a CD/DVD player, that's great as long as your computer is close to your entertainment center...

It is a digital VCR - it records to a big hard disk (the Replay 5516 has a 160GB drive, the 5532 a 320GB drive).

The computer doesn't have to be near the TV. It just has to be near and ethernet jack or in AirPort Extreme range.

I have had one since 1999 and the old one was great although does show its age now. I now have two new ones that allow networking and it is even better. Particularly by tying in with my Mac via DVArchive.

A box near the TV is an enabling device for the computer being the digital hub. Kind of like the computer is the music hub here, with the iPod being the enabling device.

It sounds odd, but it really does change how you watch TV. I never watch TV live now (except sporting events sometimes). It records it and I watch when I want. Generally when I work out. I don't see commercials either with the quick skip button.

And for sports, if you want to see a replay of something, you hit a button and it jumps back 10 seconds (this is with live TV). You can jump back even more if you want. While watching it continuously records some (20-30 minutes?) of it so you can rewind 'live' TV. Kind of cool.

jwtseng
Jan 2, 2004, 06:45 PM
Originally posted by rdowns
Pretty cool but I don't want to watch TV on my computer.

Exactly the point of a product like the rumored iBox. The computer would simply be hooked up to your TV and as easy to use as a regular old VCR.

Actually, I have a Windows PC hooked up to my giant front projection system (106" Picture (http://homepage.mac.com/jwtseng/PhotoAlbum10.html)) and use it to play DVDs, surf the internet (what a geek, I know), receive and watch HDTV and regular TV, and listen to my itunes library and FM radio. Though it works really really well, I am always saddened that my Mac can't do EVERYTHING like this HTPC can (Home Theater PC - not Microsloth's Media Center...ick). Some strides have been made, though, with digital optical audio out recently and the new version of SwitchResX.

I'm a big fan of convergence. I agree with a previous poster who said that maybe Steve Jobs shudders at the though of the Mac being married to a VCR or some other device...strung together is the picture I get. But maybe what Steve has planned out for us is that the Mac becomes or takes over the function of these devices allowing for new functionality in a "whole is greater than the sum of the parts" kind of way.

I won't hold my breath for MacWorld, but I really and sincerely hope that there is some developer out there (if not Apple itself) who is looking at Microsoft's Media Center and thinking that it can't help but be better on a Mac.

centauratlas
Jan 2, 2004, 06:47 PM
Originally posted by Matty P
Is it really that easy to network all that lot together and stream over 802.11.g


It is easy over ethernet. Very easy. Connecting it with DVArchive was also easy. I haven't tried 802.11g, but it shouldn't be hard since the Replay will just see it as an ethernet connection. I would be suprised if it even knew it wasn't talking over a wire.

rdowns
Jan 2, 2004, 06:47 PM
Originally posted by jwtseng
You can find my account of the whole process and a host of other ReplayTV information HERE (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=310930).



Thanks for posting that forum link. Very interesting as I am considering Replay TV and going wireless (one bedroom condo, shouldn't be too hard).

I must say that that could be the ugliest, gaudiest site I have ever seen. It the administraotr color blind?

centauratlas
Jan 2, 2004, 06:51 PM
Originally posted by jwtseng
Yeah, it would be cool if I could put (import) MPEG2 streams back into RTV format easily, but DVarchive is still very useful. And it is only one of many open-source type of tools written for the ReplayTV platform.

The "ReplayTV tools" (free) let you do that. BUT, they are command line, have a billion parameters and are certainly not 1.0 quality. I have tried it with them, but it is not Mac friendly yet. They acknowledge that all too, btw. What it needs to be is: stick a DVD in. Open the app. Select the DVD and be done.

I can find the link to them if you need it.

This is from the readme:
* Edit downloaded shows without reencoding; stream them with DVArchive
* Convert RTV files for use with DVD Authoring
* Convert RTV4K MPEGs for streaming to a RTV5K
* Convert MPEG-2 streams and stream to a RTV5K with DVArchive

ReplayTV tools are a collection of command line utilities to work with MPEG-2
streams for the ReplayTV 5000 series Personal Video Recorder. This document
also refers to another third party software package called "DVArchive" which
is a Java based application for downloading video from a ReplayTV and
streaming video back to one (along other things).

Flowbee
Jan 2, 2004, 06:52 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
For $250 plus another monthly subscription cost they might not be getting it, but Charter cable just started offering DVR boxes here for $9.99 a month, no up front cost. For that price they have been flying out the door apparently. I'm gonna go pick one up myself sooner or later.

That said, I'd still rather have an Apple-branded box in my entertainment center.

Comcast is also supposed to be rolling out DVR cable boxes to its customers this year. As much as I LOVE my Tivo, I think they're going toi face some very stiff competition in the next 12 - 18 months.

The question is... with cable companies being able to saturate the market with their own DVRs, where does this supposed iBox fit in? And how well will it integrate with Windows machines and networks?

jwtseng
Jan 2, 2004, 06:54 PM
Originally posted by rdowns
Thanks for posting that forum link. Very interesting as I am considering Replay TV and going wireless (one bedroom condo, shouldn't be too hard).

I must say that that could be the ugliest, gaudiest site I have ever seen. It the administraotr color blind?

Haha...if you register, you can change the white or orange on black to something a little more easy to read.

As far as wireless 802.11g goes, I felt bad recommending the Buffalo router over Apple's Airport Extreme, but the Airport cost over three times the Buffalo unit ($50 right now at CompUSA after rebates). And the Buffalo unit is completely compatible with the WDS bridging of the AEBS and additionally allows repeating and shared-bridging (bridge+AP function) AND has a built in 4 port switch in the back. Buffalo has always been a Mac supporter!

The ReplayTVs or Macs or whatever just see an ethernet connection. Very slick.

cubist
Jan 2, 2004, 06:58 PM
I think Tivo isn't that popular because people don't understand it. I was at a friend's house and she was backtracking and skipping around and looking at the program guide, and I couldn't figure out what she was doing. I got the impression the user interface was very complicated.

The proposed iBox includes an optical drive to record shows onto. I think this will make a big difference. Sure, it's no 320GB, but people like recording onto something they can take to a friend's house and play.

That said, I don't believe the rumor either. If someone made a Tivo with a DVD-R drive in it, I can't believe it wouldn't sell for less than $800. And I would expect lawsuits from the paranoid anal-retentive MPAA. Since Apple is making nice with the RIAA these days, I don't picture them turning around and tweaking the MPAA.

mactastic
Jan 2, 2004, 07:00 PM
Well, I'm guessing here, but I doubt the Charter PVR will be able to show my iMovies, iPhotos, or play my iTunes. In fact, I don't know if it is networkable at all, let alone wirelessly. Assuming it will be able to be networked over 10/100, I doubt it will play well with my Apple computers. My goal is to be able to stream audio/video signals from any WIFI device (which hopefully will include the iPod soon) to my stereo. I don't have a desktop system to use as a hub, I only have laptops here for portability reasons. I guess I see a lot of room for Apple to work their magic to take an existing technology and improve the heck out of it here.

The nice thing about the cable company PVRs is that if new ones come out I can get one for the same $9.99 a month. If I'm buying my set-top box, I'm stuck with it as the technology matures.

centauratlas
Jan 2, 2004, 07:04 PM
I'd like to see someone (Apple) do it ALL *right*. Just like there were other MP3 players pre-iPod, Apple did it right and that is the key. Just like the Mac. They did it right and were copied. And still are being.

I am skeptical that we will see it, but I believe this is a key point for Apple where they can leverage their iPod success into their digital hub success by absorbing a bunch of devices into on - e.g. CD, DVD, VCR, PVR, Photo album, calendar etc. All visible on your TV when you want it, but not when you don't.

It doesn't mean that the TV and computer converge, just like iSync doesn't mean that the phone and computer converge.

It means that you have access to your information where you are. Contacts, calendar etc on my phone via bluetooth. On my TV with this (calendar, DVDs, music, photos, etc). And face it people spend lots of time with their TVs, just like with their phones. Whatever your information is, tying it in to where you are makes it usable.

The key is to make the information you have *usable* to you and to do that you need ease of use and convience.

Your information (photos, contacts, music, calendars, videos, anything digital that *you* find important) needs to be where you are. It needs to be where you are and go with you easily.

The convergance that will occur (eventually) is having all *your* information when you need it, wherever you are and using various devices to get at it: a stereo for music, a TV for your shows or photos, a computer for email etc. Everything available when and where you want it.

Who knows sometime perhaps we'll see the "Home on iPod" feature, with a huge (5TB drive) with a dock on the iBox (or whatever). You plug it in, have all your 'stuff' there. Watch it on that TV, stream it to other TVs in the house, stream it to a computer. Sync it etc.

Replay and TiVo aren't portable outside the house. With an iPod type dock on a ReplayTV or TiVo type device, then they are portable just as MP3s are on the iPod.

Things won't converge (at least not right away) in the sense of TVs and computers being one. But this is a good opportunity for Apple to change a niche "techie" market into a non-techie market as they did with the iPod.

jwtseng
Jan 2, 2004, 07:11 PM
Originally posted by Flowbee
The question is... with cable companies being able to saturate the market with their own DVRs, where does this supposed iBox fit in? And how well will it integrate with Windows machines and networks?

The problem is one that centauratlas referred to in another posting. All these DVR boxes rely on some sort of subscription model for TV listings and the data that gets recorded is "closed" in nature. If there is such a thing as this iBox, I imagine it to be sort of a "dumb" terminal with a stripped down version of OS X or at least stripped down versions of the iLife apps running on a Linux OS.

So it doesn't matter if you subscribe to Comcast cable or DirectTV or Dish....whatever AV output you can find to plug into this iBox can and will be recorded, just like if you hit the record button on a VCR. Now, you can hit this button manually, or you can do it virtually over a home network or even over the internet. You can use Sherlock to hook into iCal with some kind of TV Guide-like channel lineup info and schedule when you'd like to hit this record button.

Now that you have something recorded to your iBox, you can then watch it on your TV or any of your Macs or your iBox in the Bedroom or your friend's iBox in Guadalajara. Better yet, you can import the data seamlessly onto your Mac and manipulate it...cut out commercials, make a best of compilation, keep an archive of your favorite Simpson's episodes complete with Menus and Scene Selections a la DVD. Heck, go ahead and burn it to a DVD with your Superdrive and then watch it with your iBox! Ha.

The possibilities are endless...and all without a subscription fee. Well, except for .Mac...which offers so much more than just EPG functionality, which is what you pay TIVO, ReplayTV, and the cable companies for. The iBox could really replace a couple of boxes (DVD, CD, VCR, etc) and complement the existing DVR boxes that will saturate the market. Like with the iPod and its relationship with iTMS, no one makes any money from the service, but the service can drive people to buy another box.

And did I forget to mention network media sharing of iTunes and iPhoto? And it can still play your CDs and DVDs, wash your car, and pickup the dry cleaning?

Network Digital Media boxes are gaining in popularity...witness the Roku HD-1000 which I am watching, as well as boxes from PrismIQ, Neuston, and Audiotron...and others. Not one of these boxes has everything that I am looking for. I think the time is right for Apple to make this EVERYTHING box to drive further adoption of the platform and brand. Apple has a knack for making products that not only do the things you expect, but also showing people unexpected ways of doing those things.

rdowns
Jan 2, 2004, 07:16 PM
Originally posted by cubist

That said, I don't believe the rumor either. If someone made a Tivo with a DVD-R drive in it, I can't believe it wouldn't sell for less than $800. And I would expect lawsuits from the paranoid anal-retentive MPAA. Since Apple is making nice with the RIAA these days, I don't picture them turning around and tweaking the MPAA.

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/pna/product/detail/0,,2076_4139_22912926,00.html

http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/pna/product/detail/0,,2076_4139_37530022,00.html

Last I checked, the latter was available for under $800.

Flowbee
Jan 2, 2004, 07:18 PM
Originally posted by cubist
I was at a friend's house and she was backtracking and skipping around and looking at the program guide, and I couldn't figure out what she was doing. I got the impression the user interface was very complicated.

The Tivo interface is very simple to use.

bennetsaysargh
Jan 2, 2004, 07:27 PM
another idea is add firewire and then people who want an iPod, but don't have enough money for a computer can rip their cd's onto their iBox and update it like you would if your music was on a regular computer. use the TV as a moniter to organize iTunes, stream other people's iTunes libraries on the same network. this could be the headless mac some people need. with bluetooth, you can use the wireless keyboard and mouse and have mail safari iChat. this could be much much more than people are thinking.

jwtseng
Jan 2, 2004, 07:45 PM
Originally posted by bennetsaysargh
another idea is add firewire and then people who want an iPod, but don't have enough money for a computer can rip their cd's onto their iBox and update it like you would if your music was on a regular computer. use the TV as a moniter to organize iTunes, stream other people's iTunes libraries on the same network. this could be the headless mac some people need. with bluetooth, you can use the wireless keyboard and mouse and have mail safari iChat. this could be much much more than people are thinking.

This all makes me think that Apple should for the 20th Anniversary of the Mac just put a bunch of us in a room and make a box with everything we Mac users want. Unfortunately, there are plenty of us who no matter how many arms and legs we have, just can't do with one less.

The challenge for Apple is finding the right price/feature ratio. Also, as the iPod showed us, Apple is striving to find ways to drive platform adoption. A mac-user showing off how nice this "expensive" box is and how nice that box works can convince a few PC-users to switch. But the better tact is to get a nice Apple box into the PC-user's hands (inexpensive) and show that user how nice a SUBSET of features is and how much nicer the whole package would be with the whole kit and kaboodle.

Timothy
Jan 2, 2004, 08:14 PM
I don't believe this rumor.

As an owner of Tivo, with the home media option, I regularly stream my iTunes and my iPhotos through my Tivo. It is a great setup, which I suspect is made possible through Apple's Rendevous.

Third-party licensing of Rendevous is the path I'd like to See Apple take. This way, they can increase the value of the platform without having to enter entirely new product markets.

My only complaint with my mac/Tivo combination is that Tivo currently doesn't recognize AAC files. So, no ITMS songs. But, I suspect that if Apple cultivates this relationship correctly, they'll add the functionality soon.

I don't believe it. This market is to disparate from the main mission of Apple.

Awimoway
Jan 2, 2004, 08:17 PM
Originally posted by Timothy
I don't believe it. This market is to disparate from the main mission of Apple.

Well, so was the portable mp3 player market.

kainjow
Jan 2, 2004, 08:33 PM
I want an iCardboardBox

imamacguy17
Jan 2, 2004, 08:40 PM
what sense does it make for apple to enter this digital hub market place (i thought apple found the puter to be the hub while sony and others are betting on the tv). if this must come to pass wouldnt the g4 cube make an excellent sized box? basically i gather that this box is supose to be a computer with a tv monitor. and the problem with product revolution is you cant remember how you lived with out it (but the idea is ingenous and "obvious" after the fact) so as a digital hub (continuing on apples computer based notions) an "ibox" should bring something we all take for granted to a new level (not Tivo) instead the notion of any input instead of subscription is right on the money in my opinion. but i dont think this machine will be a computer nor should it be. instead a device (like some one mentioned before) with ical and sherlock integration and most definately a Superdrive (the dvd kind not the 1.44 in floppy) but i dont think this is going to change the way people live (tivo hasnt done it yet so what would make an apple box any different?) sorry to be a nay sayer but im not seeing this (but then again i didnt see the ipod and now i have 2)

JoeRadar
Jan 2, 2004, 09:02 PM
Originally posted by KevinHoctor
Lastly, the DVR market is alive but not thriving. It just has not caught on with many people because they just don't get it.
Apple has always done a good job of taking concepts and making people "get it". GUI personal computers, desktop publishing, iPod, 99 cent songs, etc. Maybe Apple can help people "get it" for PVRs.

However... One major problem I see is that the cable and satellite companies want to control this market, and most of them have or plan to introduce their own set-top boxes with hard disks. Apple will have to do a delicate dance with the likes of Rupert Murdoch.

PretendPCuser
Jan 2, 2004, 09:17 PM
Originally posted by Frisco
I will definately be one the first in line for an iBox. Not that I really need one, but to have the Apple Logo on top of my TV would be so cool!

Dude, buy a sticker. :rolleyes:

JoeRadar
Jan 2, 2004, 09:18 PM
Originally posted by Macrumors as a all-in-one sort of media device... running versions of iPhoto, iTunes, and iDVD. (though one discrepancy is that Apple has never supported DVD-authoring on a G3).
TechTV's number one gift idea this year was the Pioneer DVR-810H-S with TiVo (http://www.techtv.com/holiday/story/0,23008,3576483,00.html). Its primary advantage is that you can archive your recorded shows on DVD, but that also bumps up the price.

Since many Macs shipped today come with DVD burners it would be nice to use Rendevous to zap the recorded shows over to the Mac to store, organize, and archive on DVD. Think of iTunes for managing your recorded video.

Without the DVD burner in the box, Apple could bring down the price of an iBox to a standard TiVo.

Integrate iPhoto, iTunes (apparently already available with TiVo), iTMS, and Apple's marketing, and you could have a winner.

Imagine watching MTV and seeing a song you like. You could archive the video of the song with your PVR, and then you could connect to iTMS and buy the song for your iPod and stero.

iLilana
Jan 2, 2004, 09:23 PM
isn't that the name of the company that attempted clones?


looks like the box they made.

http://www.wired.com/news/images/0,2334,58310-6952,00.html

eric_n_dfw
Jan 2, 2004, 09:30 PM
Originally posted by Timothy
I don't believe this rumor.

As an owner of Tivo, with the home media option, I regularly stream my iTunes and my iPhotos through my Tivo. It is a great setup, which I suspect is made possible through Apple's Rendevous.
Yes, it does use Rendevous - I believe that is why the Windows manager software is 7 MB and the Mac is only 186 KB (I'd guess that they had to provide the x86 port of Rendevous with it while OS X comes with it already) (see http://www.tivo.com/4.9.4.1.asp )

Originally posted by Timothy
Third-party licensing of Rendevous is the path I'd like to See Apple take. This way, they can increase the value of the platform without having to enter entirely new product markets.They don't need to license it; quoting from the Apple Rendezvous page (http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/rendezvous/):
"Indeed, all of the technologies driving Rendezvous are open and part of the standards creation process of the IETF, as is Rendezvous (http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2002/sep/25rendezvous.html) itself."

Originally posted by Timothy
My only complaint with my mac/Tivo combination is that Tivo currently doesn't recognize AAC files. So, no ITMS songs. But, I suspect that if Apple cultivates this relationship correctly, they'll add the functionality soon.
I'm with you - I also hope DirecTV and/or Tivo get off there butts and get the Home Media Option for my DirecTivo (series 2) box some time before I die too!

Phobophobia
Jan 2, 2004, 10:11 PM
Apple will not make this product. Not only is there not much demand, THERE IS NO PROFITABILITY!

ITR 81
Jan 2, 2004, 10:14 PM
Originally posted by PretendPCuser
Dude, buy a sticker. :rolleyes:

Can't make a sticker glow unless it's a glow in the dark sticker.

I believe in the other iBox listing the box having a G4 processor around 1GHz range.

alset
Jan 2, 2004, 10:16 PM
I know it's been said, but so many people are buying into this farce that I thought I should take a moment to make an announcement.





This isn't real. It's not going to happen.



How do I know? If you need me to lay it out than I guess you aren't paying attention the market, the nature of rumors, and Apple's history. Doesn't make it impossible, but this particular story is complete garbage.

Dan

jwtseng
Jan 2, 2004, 10:59 PM
Aren't we allowed to dream and vent? I personally don't believe any rumors about Apple, but I still find them especially entertaining. Too many people here get so caught up with who's right and who's wrong, that they forget that the same reason has brought us all here, naysayers and rumormongers alike. It's this curiousity and desire to be part of the unexplainable and sometimes irrational love/hate relationship that it means to be a Macintosh user.

I'll believe this buzz about the iBox when I can order one with my credit card AND it arrives at my doorstep. I remember my first Titanium PB was about 4 months in the coming. I didn't think I would ever get it.

But isn't it fun to wish and hope?

haiggy
Jan 2, 2004, 11:17 PM
iBox Information and Specs (http://www.macosx.com/content/article.php?cid=53)

If you haven't seen this link yet, you should see it now.
If the iBox has lots of storage and a superdrive, I'll definately be getting it.

rogozhin
Jan 3, 2004, 12:08 AM
Put a DVI in/out and an HD Tuner on it (as well as the other goodies other people have mentionned) and it may be worth considering.

Kingsnapped
Jan 3, 2004, 12:11 AM
I doubt that this is too likely. There would be too many copyright issues with such device.

iMovie the VHS tapes ono the HD, and burn them onto a DVD

How would the ibox know that the content is from a home movie, or something similar. The input would have to be component or S-Video (to allow easy hook up from older systems), and that would make it way too easy to burn and resell copyrighted material. All it would take is one rent or borrow of a dvd for you to "own" it. And as nice as season 4 of the Simpsons on DVD would be, I don't think foxdvd would be too happy with people burning these mixes and reproducing them.
TiVo and other DVRs have been purchaced by whomever is in the market for them, and it would be very suprising to see the cutting edge, different prioritys of apple and bring them to such a stale market. If Apple were to do something like this, it would take us in a totally unexpected direction. Maybe a merge with Nintendo to create the next Gamecube. As XBox proves, Internet Access and a built in Harddrive are useful components of a game system. Wouldn't it be nice to sync that HD with iTunes for background tracks and update your games via the web? I can see Apple taking it in a total off-kilter direction like that before joining the decades-old ranks in Television recording.

Lazzyass86
Jan 3, 2004, 12:26 AM
What would be neat if you could use a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and use it as a mac, or at least browse the web.

And there is a market for it, if Apple can price it right.

Lazzyass86
Jan 3, 2004, 12:30 AM
How would the ibox know that the content is from a home movie, or something similar. The input would have to be component or S-Video (to allow easy hook up from older systems), and that would make it way too easy to burn and resell copyrighted material. All it would take is one rent or borrow of a dvd for you to "own" it. And as nice as season 4 of the Simpsons on DVD would be, I don't think foxdvd would be too happy with people burning these mixes and reproducing them.
TiVo and other DVRs have been purchaced by whomever is in the market for them, and it would be very suprising to see the cutting edge, different prioritys of apple and bring them to such a stale market. If Apple were to do something like this, it would take us in a totally unexpected direction. Maybe a merge with Nintendo to create the next Gamecube. As XBox proves, Internet Access and a built in Harddrive are useful components of a game system. Wouldn't it be nice to sync that HD with iTunes for background tracks and update your games via the web? I can see Apple taking it in a total off-kilter direction like that before joining the decades-old ranks in Television recording. [/B]

You can do that with a DV convertor any way, and no has said any thing yet

I have clips from DVD's on my Mac, that i recorded with my formac studio TVR

Lazzyass86
Jan 3, 2004, 12:34 AM
Another Idea:

What if you could connect a iSight to it, and set up a web cam, and/or use it as a video confracing tool, perfect for family's to talk to each other, for free!

rDLr
Jan 3, 2004, 12:45 AM
Originally posted by cubist
That said, I don't believe the rumor either. If someone made a Tivo with a DVD-R drive in it, I can't believe it wouldn't sell for less than $800. And I would expect lawsuits from the paranoid anal-retentive MPAA. Since Apple is making nice with the RIAA these days, I don't picture them turning around and tweaking the MPAA.

I had received an email from Costco last month with a link to a Panasonic Tivo device with a DVD-R drive in it for $800. Oddly enough I have been unable to find it at Costco.com since then. I was excited to see this though. The first time I saw the Tivo, I said I would get it as soon as it had a DVD-R drive. Apple...bring it on!!

lindmar
Jan 3, 2004, 12:53 AM
If you check google.
iBox is the same name that John , the creator of the recent g4 mac clones and his low cost laptop.
Also, his design is quite close to the 'artist renditions' on mac osx claims....

Perhaps the rumors are that Apple has decided to stop threatening to sue John at www.2khappyware.com and will allow him to produce his low priced mac clones.

Wired Magazine has also written on this guy.

http://www.macosx.com/content/article.php?cid=55

http://www.2khappyware.com/ibox/

So, I don't know. The pictures to me are quite similar.
I thing people are just blowing smoke around.

I do know this, there has been more speculation and rumors regarding this MW Expo then ever. I hope we are not dissapointed,, although I doubt this could happen :-)

On the contrary, if an iBox does come out. I will be buying one. If a mini iPod is released rest assured I will be buying.. If a new cube comes out,, yup im buying.. Cinema Displays,, I dont have enough money. But if a mac tablet comes out as well.. ok... credit cards are handy!

JDOG_
Jan 3, 2004, 12:55 AM
Why does the MacOSX.com "review" (http://www.macosx.com/content/article.php?cid=53) seem to know so much about this "ibox" and not even have the picture to prove it? It would be cool if Apple would come out with this, but completely impractical for 97% of most folks...

Now give me a thinner iPod with a color screen and 20+ hour battery life and I'll be impressed :)

jwtseng
Jan 3, 2004, 01:48 AM
Originally posted by Kingsnapped
All it would take is one rent or borrow of a dvd for you to "own" it. And as nice as season 4 of the Simpsons on DVD would be, I don't think foxdvd would be too happy with people burning these mixes and reproducing them.

Do you think this isn't possible today already? Not to start a flame war or anything, but there are free tools out there for Macs and PCs that can make bit for bit copies of DVDs. At the very least, it is a trivial matter to copy a DVD to your hard drive and watch it from the hard drive at your leisure. The tools are already made available to then demultiplex (demux) and re-encode the MPEG2 video and AC3 audio files to DVD. That is, if you don't want to just copy the whole DVD bit for bit.

jwtseng
Jan 3, 2004, 01:52 AM
Originally posted by Lazzyass86
What would be neat if you could use a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and use it as a mac, or at least browse the web.

And there is a market for it, if Apple can price it right.

Ugh. Browsing or reading text of any kind on a standard definition TV is horrid. What this would require would be a HDTV display and a source capable of 1:1 pixel mapping to the native resolution of the HDTV (minimum 1280 x 720).

BTW, specifying this kind of custom resolution is now possible on the Mac with SwitchResX.

LethalWolfe
Jan 3, 2004, 02:00 AM
Originally posted by rDLr
I had received an email from Costco last month with a link to a Panasonic Tivo device with a DVD-R drive in it for $800. Oddly enough I have been unable to find it at Costco.com since then. I was excited to see this though. The first time I saw the Tivo, I said I would get it as soon as it had a DVD-R drive. Apple...bring it on!!

Was it this? Panasonic DMR-T3040 (http://www.panasonic.com/pbds/subcat/products/dvd/f_dmr-t3040.html)


Lethal

macnews
Jan 3, 2004, 02:06 AM
Originally posted by KevinHoctor
Lastly, the DVR market is alive but not thriving. It just has not caught on with many people because they just don't get it. I can't imagine TV without it any more, but we TiVo users are like Mac users...few and fiercely loyal. Apple doesn't need another small niche market unless they can really break new ground and get the attention of a wider audience like they did with the iPod.

I think Apple's proven themselves with the iPod and iTunes. The iPod changed the mp3 market and iTunes created a legal market for music downloads. Just because the current DVR market isn't alive doesn't mean it isn't ripe for the picking. The DVD player market is just starting to boom finally out pacing VCR sales in most, if not all, age brackets. This is the key I think. Apple doesn't need to pitch it as a DVR. To the average Jow Blow they could call it a super DVD player. I keep a VCR on one of the TV's at home just in case I want to record a TV show I might miss. It sits right next to the DVD player and my DirecTv box. I would love to be able to ditch the DVD player (to another room) and the VCR so all I had was this Apple DVR machine. Play itunes/ipod - great! Play the special movies I created of my daughters birthday for family w/o having to burn a DVD - would love it!

The TiVo market sucks because of the subscription. I love the idea of it but I just don't want to pay a re-curring subscription fee (hmmm, didn't Steve say that is way the $0.99 with iTunes, something about market research). I think the sub fee, more than anything else, is why the TiVo hasn't done well. Does it make sense? No, a DirecTv Tivo runs $100-$150 (depending on sales) plus a sub fee. This "ibox" runs twice as much (supposed pricing) at least! But pyschologically, I can justify the one-time expense. To see a month-to-month reminder makes me doubt each time and brings back that good 'ol buyers remorse. Plus, it seems like every one wants you to just add a simple $5-$10/month for their widget. It all adds up.

Logically, Apple could do something like this. The margins are there assuming the $150 Tivo vs a $350-$500 ibox sounds like a "normal" Apple margin range. I also think a it makes sense in the overall digital hub strategy. Realistically, I don't think they will come out with one any months soon just because of Murphy's law. I would be happy and buy one with 3/4 of the features mentioned. Thus, since I want it, Murphy ain't going to let it happen.

Anonymous Freak
Jan 3, 2004, 03:27 AM
Well, the Linksys Media Adapter doesn't support the Mac, but it's basically this, only without a CD drive.

An Apple set-top box with the ability to view iPhoto libraries, listen to iTunes libraries, and maybe even view videos (new iApp for video collections?) would be great. No optical drive necessary, but a DVD-ROM drive so you can play DVDs, or iPhoto-created photo discs or iTunes-created music discs would be cool.

Finally, a remote control standard, with bluetooth so you can use the standard Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mouse would be awesome. Of course, it has to have AirPort Extreme as it's method of talking to your Macs, and it should use Rendezvous to find them. Lastly, since you've got everything else already, why not add in Safari, so you can browse the web?

(I already use my PowerBook this way. In fact, I'm writing this message while viewing it on my TV.) iChatAV is 'perfect' when video chatting with someone on your TV screen, and your iSight sitting right on top of your center channel speaker..... Ooh, yet another use of the iBox!! (P.S. I've used iChat AV's video chat over a 56k modem, and it was acceptable.)

desdomg
Jan 3, 2004, 03:56 AM
I like this rumor and hope it is true. What is clear however is that Apple are going to need to bring out other AAC/Fairplay compatible hardware or allow other players to license if they are going to successfully defend their market share. The iPod is great but not matter how good the device people are going to want to play their legally DL'd tunes elsewhere without having to re-rip.

Titanium31
Jan 3, 2004, 04:00 AM
Hello, and Best Wishes to all for 2004

I live in France and we doesn't have Tivo like in Europe i think.. So I greatly appreciate if this rumors come true, but I think that it is too great to be true for a near release...

Titanium

maxterpiece
Jan 3, 2004, 04:12 AM
Originally posted by rdowns
I must say that that could be the ugliest, gaudiest site I have ever seen. It the administraotr color blind?
(http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=310930)
god damn you are so right...

maxterpiece
Jan 3, 2004, 04:18 AM
Originally posted by Flowbee
The Tivo interface is very simple to use.
It's simple like you might say Mac OS X is simple, but it is by no means easy as pie. You can't just sit down and do what you want to do if you have no experience with it. For a person who takes 20 minutes to figure out how to make their VCR record something at a certain time, it seems simple from then on, yet no one has a clue. That remote has a lot of buttons... ouch, my brain hurts.

Beowulf
Jan 3, 2004, 04:50 AM
Originally posted by cubist
"If someone made a Tivo with a DVD-R drive in it, I can't believe it wouldn't sell for less than $800. And I would expect lawsuits from the paranoid anal-retentive MPAA. Since Apple is making nice with the RIAA these days, I don't picture them turning around and tweaking the MPAA."

It's already on the market. (http://www.pioneerburner.com/)


-rtc

Sincere
Jan 3, 2004, 04:59 AM
I have a feeling that the black removable square they spoke of (for RAM, they thought) could be optical audio. if it had this ability, I would consider it, as would many audio professionals. The implications of having optical and surround sound information recordable with video in realtime are interesting though the amounts of storage considerable. Promising news, look forward to more. And I wanna know if this mystery iApp is audio, dammit.

kangaroo
Jan 3, 2004, 05:30 AM
Originally posted by macnews
...

The TiVo market sucks because of the subscription. I love the idea of it but I just don't want to pay a re-curring subscription fee (hmmm, didn't Steve say that is way the $0.99 with iTunes, something about market research). I think the sub fee, more than anything else, is why the TiVo hasn't done well. Does it make sense? No, a DirecTv Tivo runs $100-$150 (depending on sales) plus a sub fee. This "ibox" runs twice as much (supposed pricing) at least! But pyschologically, I can justify the one-time expense. To see a month-to-month reminder makes me doubt each time and brings back that good 'ol buyers remorse. Plus, it seems like every one wants you to just add a simple $5-$10/month for their widget. It all adds up.

...

I have DirectTV (TIVO/Sat Receiver-in-one) (the only way to do Tivo, btw) and I purchased the subscription up front for ~$150 several years ago. If buying it up front is still an option it's the way to go over a monthly plan--buy it once and then forget it.

The remote in the artist's rendition reminds me of a Bose remote. Another brilliant Tivo feature is the remote--I call it the 'peanut'. Of all the remotes I've palmed (and there have been many) the Tivo remote wins for best form, function and comfort.

Perhaps, instead of replacing a Tivo, this 'iBox' will allow you to stream media content (photos, video, music) to your TV and (if you've got a Tivo) allow you to stream content to/from Tivo to your computer. I find Tivo easy to use but its UI and program management model could be improved. Bringing that control under an 'iApplication' and/or iCal would be cool. Also, it would be nice to be able to archive Tivo media to your HD/backup device or burn it.

rdowns
Jan 3, 2004, 06:16 AM
Originally posted by JoeRadar
Imagine watching MTV and seeing a song you like.

MTV plays videos?

dstorey
Jan 3, 2004, 06:21 AM
I look at that artists render and can't imagine its an apple design (look at the controls on the remote for a start..I'd expect more ipod like wheel for a start) but I can see two/three good reasons why they would make one of these/

First of all there is the ITMS. Having a low cose box interface with the tv and hifi, that is a iTunes store client would open up the market for those people that only want to play music on their existing stereo and don't want to pay the cost or preceived complexity of a PC (or Mac).

Second is Movies. Theres been talk of renting or buying movies for a while since the ITMS. The tech is there in Quicktime but there is no device or application currently t odo this right. A movie store doesn't seem to fit into DVD Player or Quicktime player very well, nor iTunes without a name change (unlikely). Steve Jobs has always aid people want to watch TV on the tv, not a computer. Well having a box plugged into the tv that connects to the Movie Store and downloads what you want to watch would put the content right where it belongs. It could then intergrate with the digital hub to allow for greater functioanlity like further storage space, backups etc. I could see Jobs giving a speach about how m$ want people to put tv onto their computer and how bad that that idea is, but then say, 'well we've just done it right' Then not only will the Mac platform have the missing spoke of the hub, but do it better. Of course the box would have to intergrate with a windows network too, to open up the 95% of the market that doesnt own a mac, but it would work better on a Mac. And of course post iPod, people would accept a Apple box in thier home I would think.

I would be suprised if they don't add Tivo functionality to it as part of .Mac, maybe as an added extra and also standalone.

If done right this could be huge, not that it means this rumour is true.

eric_n_dfw
Jan 3, 2004, 07:45 AM
I also have the DirecTV-Tivo and agree that it is the only way to go. Having 2 DSS tunners in one box so you can watch a live satelite feed while it records off the other is nice, but once you start getting a few things programmed, being able to record two shows at the same time becomes very nice. (As with most Tivo users, I almost never watch live TV any more, it's too anoying to not be able to fast forward past the commercials!)

IMO, a DVR without dual DSS or Digital Cable tuners is a waste of my time. In case you are not aware, the DirecTV Tivos, unlike the standalone ones, do not take analog AV input - for this reason, they also do not have MPEG-2 compressors on board. They directly record the MPEG-2 comressed signal from the satelite channel onto the hard drive. This means you have shows that were professionaly compressed all of the time - IMO it's a much cleaner picture than that of the stand-along boxes with cheap, consumer quality MPEG-2 chips in them. BTW, this is the only way to watch Pay-Per-View or Premium chanel movies with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound -- it preserves the 5.1 signal on the hard drive. I may be mistaken, but I don't believe any stand alone DVR offers digital audio inputs to record that signal.

This sticky point with this is that DirecTV is very anal about that stream getting pirated, so the Tivo scrambles it as it saves it. Without some pretty adept hacking, extracting that stream onto your Mac/PC and getting it unscrambled is near imposible. (See www.dealdatabase.com/forums for how to do it) In fact, with the series 2 DirectTV Tivo's they've encrypted the Linux kernel to make it even harder to do.

As for the subscription fee, I basically pay for the 2nd DSS tuner in the Tivo, $4.95 a month, just as I would for a 2nd DirectTV tuner in another room. I don't have a problem with it, really. The advanced features Tivo gives (Wishlist searching, auto-suggestion recording and season passes) are worth it - not to mention the 2 tuner abilities I mentioned above. They no longer offer the "lifetime" subscription on DirectTV Tivo, BTW.

I think that as long as DirecTV (and it's content suppliers like HBO and the like) is worried about piracy, you'll not see any supported ReplayTV-like streaming from a DirecTV-Tivo box.

PS: The Tivo, "Peanut" remote is awesome - I thought I'd hate it, but it has become my main remote - replacing my Sony 2-Way, LCD panel reciever remote. It's very ergonomicaly laid out - it "just works".

wiesel2000
Jan 3, 2004, 08:33 AM
I believe this iBox called system would be great and very important for Apple's strategy to get back some of the 95% Windows Users. The iPod was the first gadget that can be used by windows users as well. Actually Apple even made the best app for windows ever written (iTunes Music Store). Just to show how iPod works on windows users I can tell you that three of best friends, windows users infact, recently bought an iPod. And two of them already bought an iMac or PowerBook. The iBox could show all the people out there how easy and good the Mac is so they loose their fear of switching and become mac users as well.

DaveGee
Jan 3, 2004, 09:03 AM
Originally posted by rdowns
MTV plays videos?

Back in my day they really DID play videos... REALLY! :)

Feeling very old now...

D

centauratlas
Jan 3, 2004, 09:12 AM
Originally posted by jwtseng
Roku HD-1000

It would be phenomenal to have HD recording too particularly for HDNet. ;-)

Don't think we'll see it next week, but as long as we are designing what we want...

widesky
Jan 3, 2004, 09:25 AM
The ipod is the walkman of the 21st century - I have never bought one because I listen to music in the home and an ipod doesn't serve me well (I know you can plug it in etc but it doesn't have a proper remote etc). This mystery product is the one I've been waiting for. It allows me to ditch the cd but still have my hifi setup in my front room.

The market for music systems is bigger than the portable market so I can't understand people saying this is a mistake for apple to venture into. For me the price is right for only a music replay and storage system (comparable to the ipod). However the larger form factor allows integration of tv services (iphoto, imovie streams, tivo style recording) so it would be logical for these to be included.

I hope apple tackles the international market by putting tv tuners on pci cards to allow peripheral manufacturers to produce region specific tuners (dsat, digital terrestrial, analogue etc).

I hope this ibox rumor is true - my cd collection is waiting for this

Photorun
Jan 3, 2004, 09:57 AM
Originally posted by widesky
The ipod is the walkman of the 21st century - I have never bought one because I listen to music in the home and an ipod doesn't serve me well (I know you can plug it in etc but it doesn't have a proper remote etc). This mystery product is the one I've been waiting for. It allows me to ditch the cd but still have my hifi setup in my front room.

The market for music systems is bigger than the portable market so I can't understand people saying this is a mistake for apple to venture into. For me the price is right for only a music replay and storage system (comparable to the ipod). However the larger form factor allows integration of tv services (iphoto, imovie streams, tivo style recording) so it would be logical for these to be included.

I hope apple tackles the international market by putting tv tuners on pci cards to allow peripheral manufacturers to produce region specific tuners (dsat, digital terrestrial, analogue etc).

I hope this ibox rumor is true - my cd collection is waiting for this

Good god man, what planet are you from?

Kingsnapped
Jan 3, 2004, 10:10 AM
Do you think this isn't possible today already? Not to start a flame war or anything, but there are free tools out there for Macs and PCs that can make bit for bit copies of DVDs.

It's very possible, and already happenineg. This device would just make it too easy for a less tech-savy consumer to start pirating video. I'm sure it can be done with my powerbook, but it doesn't say anything about how in the user's manual. That wouldn't really be the case with a device who's main function would be to integrate video and video recordings throughout a network.

bennetsaysargh
Jan 3, 2004, 10:19 AM
i think this should be a low end box that plugs into the TV. can't do powerful stuff like photoshop, but it can run the iLife suite, safari, iChat AV, plug in an iSight.
figure
1 Ghz G3 or maybe 1 Ghz G4.
100GB HD to start maybe
bluetooth
airport extreme
1 firewire
2 usb 2.0
tons of ports for audio and video
superdrive.

i seriously think that if you can plug in a VCR like you would a dv camcorder you can edit your old home video on VHS in iMovie and burn it to a DVD with the special version of iDVD.

piracy might be an issue, but i think it will do more good than bad. you can already do this, plug a vcr into an adapter or something and use a camcorder as a bridge to import movies onto a computer, but this would be good for my dad and his want to put some home videos on DVD, even though i probably wouldn't get an iBox:(

Aphelion
Jan 3, 2004, 10:38 AM
jwtseng was the first to mention .mac as part of this "iBox" concept. It's the perfect tie in to provide scheduling capability to this device.

Imagine a TiVo/ReplayTV/WebTV combination on steroids, all with the Apple attention to detail and simplicity.

You wouldn't even need a computer to take advantage of this. It is a gateway product to make you want to buy a Macintosh to further extend the functionality of the product.

Your subscription to .mac allows you to browse the web, send and receive emails and program the box for recording TV programs.

djjon
Jan 3, 2004, 10:50 AM
Maybe this is the headless iMac that there were rumors about. It is virtually another computer judging by the pictures. It has everything that the iMac/eMac has, just no screen.

bennetsaysargh
Jan 3, 2004, 10:53 AM
It could be Apple's counter to all the "Media PCs" that are in the market today.
they all claim they're built for your entertainment so you can watch and edit your home movies. this is what it shouuld be.
mediaMac
catchier title besides iBox please. sounds too like xBox.

macMaestro
Jan 3, 2004, 11:42 AM
Originally posted by JDOG_
Why does the MacOSX.com "review" (http://www.macosx.com/content/article.php?cid=53) seem to know so much about this "ibox" and not even have the picture to prove it? It would be cool if Apple would come out with this, but completely impractical for 97% of most folks...

Now give me a thinner iPod with a color screen and 20+ hour battery life and I'll be impressed :)

Uhh, try looking at the follow-up.

The picture (http://www.macosx.com/images/iboxview.jpg)

jettredmont
Jan 3, 2004, 01:01 PM
Originally posted by Matty P
and view videos from a new iLife app a bit like Trinfinty Software's Seagull Video player, an iPhoto type app for video inc the ability to archive DVD's.

Then you decide to record a program via the auto downloaded Scheduling Guide as you get in most DVR's, but as you are enjoying your TV show the DVR auto archives the programme to your home machine (that has loads of storage). Then your sister comes home 10mins into the TV show opens her iBook and starts watching the show in her bedroom! While all that is going on your Mum who is ill in bed turns on her DVR box and decides to watch an archived DVD from her user account on the home Mac.


Um, yeah, if you have a Gigabit wired ethernet port in back of your TV, that would all work just fine. But on Airport Extreme, you'll have issues just streaming one video stream through the ether at a time, much less 3+!

Don't expect video streaming over wireless. It just isn't here yet. Maybe next year, but then again maybe not even then.

Flowbee
Jan 3, 2004, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by maxterpiece
It's simple like you might say Mac OS X is simple, but it is by no means easy as pie. You can't just sit down and do what you want to do if you have no experience with it.

Ok, you obviously have never used Tivo. It takes maybe 5 minutes to learn what the buttons are (there are only 3 Tivo-specific buttons that you use most often). The other buttons are either standard remote control buttons, or are clearly labeled. All of the menus are self-explanitory. My 70-year-old grandmother uses it. My 8-year-old niece uses it.

There is almost no tech product that has *zero* learning curve. Even the iPod takes a liitle while to figure out if you've never used one before. But, as with Tivo, once you know what the buttons do, it's as easy as pie.

desdomg
Jan 3, 2004, 02:23 PM
Would Wireless FireWire do the trick?

http://www.1394ta.org/Press/2003Pre...ber/12.08.a.htm

1394 Trade Association Completes New 1394 Wireless Specification; “Wireless FireWire” Ballot Set for January 2004

Wireless 1394 Adapted for 802.15.3 WPAN™ Can Link Multiple 1394 Devices in a Network

Dallas, December 8, 2003 – The 1394 Trade Association’s Wireless Working Group today announced that the specification for Wireless 1394 applications is functionally complete and ready for a ballot as early as January 2004. Formal approval of the new Protocol Adaptation Layer (PAL) standard will move consumers one significant step closer to controlling home networks, HDTVs, and other advanced electronics systems wirelessly, just as they now use remote controls to change TV channels or audio output.

1394 Trade Association Chair:
Eric Anderson, Apple
1 Infinite Loop, MS 306-3FW
Cupertino, CA 95014
Phone (official business only): 1/408-974-1394
Customer information: www.apple.com/firewire

I love this rumor. It is all about connectivity which is what the digital hub is all about

k2k koos
Jan 3, 2004, 02:26 PM
mmmmm, I 'm not sure what to think of this, what would Apple gain by releasing such a box?
I am always interested in new technology, but not sure how it would aid me, or make my life more comfortable whatever...

Take a PDA, I've always tought it woudl be a usefull little gadget, adn bought a Palm 505 two years ago, only to sell it 8 months later... I didn't use it as I thought I would, and found that a small notepad was still very much faster to operate.
Now if Apple was to redevelop the Newton (they have the INK technology build in OSX) and haver true handwriting recognition, it might gain the fnctionality and speed of a treu notepad, and much more besides, but I believe Steve had pronouned the Newton as dead ages ago....


Nevermind, he might change his mind, as he might on the subject on the iBox....
it would probably take a person like Steve to confince me of the usefulness of such a device, we'll see......NEXT TUESDAY :-)

k2k koos
Jan 3, 2004, 02:28 PM
i do realy need a new keyboard, look at the spelling errors in my posts......al over the place.....

(and a few typing lessons might aid me too...)

Flowbee
Jan 3, 2004, 02:32 PM
Originally posted by k2k koos
i do realy need a new keyboard, look at the spelling errors in my posts......al over the place.....

(and a few typing lessons might aid me too...)

Try using the 'edit' button next time you notice spelling errors in your posts. Double posting is more annoying than bad spelling.

JoeRadar
Jan 3, 2004, 02:35 PM
I like all the links to the Panasonic (http://www.panasonic.com/pbds/subcat/products/dvd/f_dmr-t3040.html) and Pioneer (http://www.pioneerburner.com/) PVR/DVR devices, TiVo capabilities, the Rendevous standards, and the various pro and cons discussed.

I wonder if Apple will occasionally let a rumor like this out just to test the waters before devoting additional resources for R&D, productization, and marketing.

Does anyone know if Apple employees (other than their lawyers) read the rumor sites?

Dippo
Jan 3, 2004, 02:43 PM
I'll stick with MythTV on my old PC running Linux.

This combined with my homemade networked RAID server makes for good TV watching.

GregA
Jan 3, 2004, 02:46 PM
Originally posted by jwtseng
Exactly the point of a product like the rumored iBox. The computer would simply be hooked up to your TV and as easy to use as a regular old VCR.
<snip>
I'm a big fan of convergence. I agree with a previous poster who said that maybe Steve Jobs shudders at the though of the Mac being married to a VCR or some other device...strung together is the picture I get. But maybe what Steve has planned out for us is that the Mac becomes or takes over the function of these devices allowing for new functionality in a "whole is greater than the sum of the parts" kind of way.Well maybe it'd be marketed as just that - an Apple DVD recorder. People keep the VCR for recording TV and home movies right now - so there's room for an Apple DVD-RW recorder to replace the VCR entirely (after converting existing video tapes).

Of course, there are several things Apple could add to this concept. Built in iTunes is the most obvious, and iPhoto is close behind. Maybe a function to remotely login to your Mac in the next room (as a second user SIMULTANEOUS with the person already on that Mac). Plug-in your home movie DV camera via firewire to make a copy to DVD.

The iBox would need a local hard disk just to cache the show while the system was compressing it for the DVD. Maybe even distribute the DVD compression so that the Mac in the next room (or PC?) help compress. Of course, most users wouldn't realise this was happening at all.

I'm trying just to keep the idea simple. There are many other simple things that could be added like
- pausing live TV, and
- caching of the previous 30 minutes.
- Control remotely from work (get through your firewall using iChat?), etc.
- Version 1 has an IR control changing your cable box channel, how about using firewire direct to your cable box or digital terrestrial broadcast?

JoeRadar
Jan 3, 2004, 02:47 PM
Originally posted by k2k koos
I 'm not sure what to think of this, what would Apple gain by releasing such a box?
Apple is definitely looking to broaden its revenue streams away from just new Macintoshes. Apple has had troubles breaking out of its low single digit marketshare, and the Mac profits are too closely tied to new hardware releases.

The iPod and iTMS are part of the plan to get a revenue stream that is broader, more stable, and has more upside potential. I think Apple's new software lines (Keynote, Final Cut, etc.) are also part of the plan. Moving into the PVR/DVR market may be another attempt to broaden Apple's revenue stream.

Five years ago Apple was essentially a one product company - Macintosh computers. We may be watching history in the making.

hvfsl
Jan 3, 2004, 03:01 PM
I dont care about the ibox anymore, I just downloaded the latest version of VLC on my PC, and now I stream TV accross all the computers on my network, Mac and PC.
:D

Abdesai
Jan 3, 2004, 03:03 PM
I doubt we will see the iBox since Steve is so reluctant to integrate Macs and TV's. And if they did build it, they probably would use sherlock for TiVO-like stuff and get rid of the monthly fee. However maybe they will put that fee into one's .mac membership.

centauratlas
Jan 3, 2004, 03:35 PM
Originally posted by Dippo
I'll stick with MythTV on my old PC running Linux.

It wouldn't surprise me if Apple did use something like MythTV as a basis. Like they did with Safari etc. Perhaps like they will with with KOffice etc.

Combined with VLC (http://www.videolan.net/vlc/download-macosx.html) and some of the other free things out there, polished as they did with Safari, could be interesting.

Time will tell though, and I love the speculation, just am not confident in it.

gotohamish
Jan 3, 2004, 04:03 PM
Just to add a thought on the iBox and the form factor of it - why would it be pizza box?

Firstly, more and more people are going flat screen with their tvs, and even though they're not for the masses yet, they will be within two years - so why not design a peripheral for your tv that fits the slim design of a TV?

I saw wall mounted DVD players in Tokyo - that could be an interesting hub point for Apple.

desdomg
Jan 3, 2004, 04:14 PM
iBox and 30" Screen?

They would make a good combination. And whatever way you look at this rumor I think Apple would do well to continue diversifying away from the desktop.

GregA
Jan 3, 2004, 04:42 PM
Originally posted by Abdesai
I doubt we will see the iBox since Steve is so reluctant to integrate Macs and TV's. Steve can be creative with his words, to let people fill in whatever meaning they want. From memory (please correct me) he said:
- He did not see TVs and Computers converging
(you don't want to watch TV on a computer or vice versa)
- He doesn't want someone recording or watching a TV show interfering with someone using a computer
- He did see TV gaining new functions from computers and vice versa
- The back of TV/Stereos is a mess - he doesn't want to add to that mess!
We filled in the rest.

This leaves very open things like
- Technologies to connect TVs/Stereos & Computers better
- replacing an existing appliance in the stereo shelf (just as iPod replaces a walkman)
- making deals with existing appliance makers (like the Tivo deal)
- anything which simplifies the mess of wires

Apple with iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, & iDVD must see some value in connecting with your home entertainment system. With technologies under their belt like rendezvous, Quicktime, firewire, and even their ease-of-use background - Apple has some worthwhile stuff to add.

ps. I think interfacing with Tivo style devices and set top boxes is their best bet. News corp is the biggest player now, with their Tivo-like set top box ("Sky plus") in the UK set to appear in Australia, New Zealand, and most likely their payTV networks in Asia, Italy, South America, and now the US. I wonder whether an Apple-NewsCorp-Pixar deal might be played.

cubist
Jan 3, 2004, 04:51 PM
Originally posted by bennetsaysargh
... catchier title besides iBox please. sounds too like xBox.

Of course you remember us all objecting that .Mac sounded too much like .Net.

BTW always spell .Net with Russian letters like this: .HET ;)

And I agree with JoeRadar that this has been a very educational thread. There are some really smart people in this community. Give yourselves a big hand!

bennetsaysargh
Jan 3, 2004, 05:32 PM
Originally posted by cubist
Of course you remember us all objecting that .Mac sounded too much like .Net.

BTW always spell .Net with Russian letters like this: .HET ;)

And I agree with JoeRadar that this has been a very educational thread. There are some really smart people in this community. Give yourselves a big hand!

but it is only one letter off. some people might think it's a gaming console. .Mac and .Net are only similar because of the .(dot).

either way, as long as it exists, i will be happy:cool:

jwtseng
Jan 3, 2004, 07:54 PM
Originally posted by jettredmont
Um, yeah, if you have a Gigabit wired ethernet port in back of your TV, that would all work just fine. But on Airport Extreme, you'll have issues just streaming one video stream through the ether at a time, much less 3+!

Don't expect video streaming over wireless. It just isn't here yet. Maybe next year, but then again maybe not even then.

Actually with good caching and compression algorithms, it is possible to have streaming video over 802.11g. I am doing this very thing right now with my two ReplayTV boxes. Each RTV can watch shows from the other over 802.11g at the same time. I can even be streaming video to my PowerBook using DVarchive at the same time.

greenstork
Jan 3, 2004, 08:39 PM
Originally posted by Flowbee
The Tivo interface is very simple to use.

I had heard that too but I think that your statement is a matter of opinion. I have found the TiVo program guide far more difficult to scroll through than my Sony satellite receiver. Perhaps it is my Pioneer model that has a difficult program guide but regardless, I think the digital recording process could be far easier on my brand new 810H TiVo receiver.

That said, the TiVo menu itself (not the program guide) is pretty easy but I think it still doesn't rival Mac GUI simplicity. It still has too many levels and submenus. There is plenty of room for improvement.

greenstork
Jan 3, 2004, 08:47 PM
Originally posted by JoeRadar
Apple has always done a good job of taking concepts and making people "get it". GUI personal computers, desktop publishing, iPod, 99 cent songs, etc. Maybe Apple can help people "get it" for PVRs.

However... One major problem I see is that the cable and satellite companies want to control this market, and most of them have or plan to introduce their own set-top boxes with hard disks. Apple will have to do a delicate dance with the likes of Rupert Murdoch.

Bingo, there is a lot of interest in creating a service that requires you to open your wallet every month and fork out $10-20. Even if Apple wanted to create a set top box that would record, they would face a great deal of resistance from companies that they partner with on numerous projects (read: iTMS) who want subscription fees.

While Apple could create a super cool box that does not require subscription, like ReplayTV on steroids with a Mac interface, I think it would raise quite a few eyebrows. I'd venture to guess that this is exactly why Steve Jobs publicly denounced this idea already. Quite a few companies would say to Apple, "keep your nose out of our business."

greenstork
Jan 3, 2004, 08:50 PM
Originally posted by Phobophobia
Apple will not make this product. Not only is there not much demand, THERE IS NO PROFITABILITY!

I'd have to disagree with you here. We're not talking about a super expensive piece off hardware to construct. It's a cheap chip with a modest amount of memory and a few big hard drives, there's plenty of room for profit.

greenstork
Jan 3, 2004, 08:50 PM
Originally posted by jwtseng
Aren't we allowed to dream and vent? I personally don't believe any rumors about Apple, but I still find them especially entertaining. Too many people here get so caught up with who's right and who's wrong, that they forget that the same reason has brought us all here, naysayers and rumormongers alike. It's this curiousity and desire to be part of the unexplainable and sometimes irrational love/hate relationship that it means to be a Macintosh user.

I'll believe this buzz about the iBox when I can order one with my credit card AND it arrives at my doorstep. I remember my first Titanium PB was about 4 months in the coming. I didn't think I would ever get it.

But isn't it fun to wish and hope?

Mmmm, warm and fuzzy

greenstork
Jan 3, 2004, 08:53 PM
Originally posted by Lazzyass86
What would be neat if you could use a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and use it as a mac, or at least browse the web.

And there is a market for it, if Apple can price it right.

IMO, there is absolutely no point to creating any sort of TV device that doesn't have a remote control. Any other interface for a TV device would be useless. TV usability 101, no one wants to use a mouse to watch TV.

bennetsaysargh
Jan 3, 2004, 08:58 PM
i'd have to disagree. if you were to watch TV with it, you could have a remote, and a mouse. probably not as one, but you could do both separately. mouse and keyboard won't be the only way to use it.

greenstork
Jan 3, 2004, 08:59 PM
Originally posted by bennetsaysargh
i think this should be a low end box that plugs into the TV. can't do powerful stuff like photoshop, but it can run the iLife suite, safari, iChat AV, plug in an iSight.
figure
1 Ghz G3 or maybe 1 Ghz G4.
100GB HD to start maybe
bluetooth
airport extreme
1 firewire
2 usb 2.0
tons of ports for audio and video
superdrive.

i seriously think that if you can plug in a VCR like you would a dv camcorder you can edit your old home video on VHS in iMovie and burn it to a DVD with the special version of iDVD.

piracy might be an issue, but i think it will do more good than bad. you can already do this, plug a vcr into an adapter or something and use a camcorder as a bridge to import movies onto a computer, but this would be good for my dad and his want to put some home videos on DVD, even though i probably wouldn't get an iBox:(

I'm really not sure how what you're describing is different than an eMac.

bennetsaysargh
Jan 3, 2004, 09:38 PM
im saying cut the head off the eMac and put it into a box. that could be labeled as the media mac.

yumpin yiminy
Jan 3, 2004, 10:02 PM
Don't know if this has been mentioned of not but one of the last times there was a Settop box rumor it was called "Columbus" and would bridge the Old world with the New world....
Turns out it was a CHRP-like logic board which was the bases for powerbooks and the then new iMac.
and it used a "New World" ROM.

It wouldn't surprise me if this isn't just a cheap, headless Mac which packs more of a punch than the old Perfomas did during their time.

What better way to celebrate the 20 Anniversary of the Mac than to make it cheap and desirable enough that anyone (anyONE!) would plunk down some change to buy it.
Of course, the only catch would be that it would have to be cheaper than an iPod is now and the iPod would have to be reduced in price, also.
Right now, the most expensive iPod costs more than most headless PCs do right now.

If all this happens... cool. If only some of it is the case, alright. If none of it happens...dangit, Jim, why not?

DangerDiabolik
Jan 4, 2004, 01:06 AM
i would love it if i could put the box on the tv, and transmit quicktime movies , itunes, iphoto, and record tv into my mac ....that would be perfection.

SiliconAddict
Jan 4, 2004, 02:12 AM
Originally posted by Frisco
I will definately be one the first in line for an iBox. Not that I really need one, but to have the Apple Logo on top of my TV would be so cool!


No offense but people like you scare me on multiple levels. http://www.pocketpcthoughts.com/forums/images/smiles/icon_neutral.gif

xtremdav45
Jan 4, 2004, 02:30 AM
If the iBox works with windows, I can make one prediction:

iPhoto for Windows

If the iBox streams pictures via iPhoto, I think apple will release iPhoto for windows.

also, I got one more prediction:

This is the iPod of media players, top of the line, and if it could be affordable, it will sell. But if it has a Superdrive, I dont think we will see it for under $1000 judging by the cost of the Pioneer Tivo DVD recorder.

xtremdav45
Jan 4, 2004, 02:33 AM
Originally posted by bennetsaysargh
i think this should be a low end box that plugs into the TV. can't do powerful stuff like photoshop, but it can run the iLife suite, safari, iChat AV, plug in an iSight.
figure
1 Ghz G3 or maybe 1 Ghz G4.
100GB HD to start maybe
bluetooth
airport extreme
1 firewire
2 usb 2.0
tons of ports for audio and video
superdrive.
]

That is not a low end box, that is a eMac with a TV as a monitor

lind0834
Jan 4, 2004, 04:46 AM
I don't think Apple could sell enough of these to make a profit... but I guess as a temporary Anniversary thing maybe.
Make them for 6th Months, then stop. Instant collectables.
--
My greatest wish is that this is just the rumors of the G5 cube spun way off to keep the Rumor mongers on a wild goose chase.

jettredmont
Jan 4, 2004, 05:09 AM
Originally posted by jwtseng
Actually with good caching and compression algorithms, it is possible to have streaming video over 802.11g. I am doing this very thing right now with my two ReplayTV boxes. Each RTV can watch shows from the other over 802.11g at the same time. I can even be streaming video to my PowerBook using DVarchive at the same time.

Interesting. And there aren't any noticable compression artifacts introduced? Last I heard, 802.11a/g (~30Mbps usable real-life bandwidth, but little to no QOS) wasn't able to provide enough low-latency bandwidth for a DVD-quality MPEG2 stream (~6Mbps). Moreover, if you actually use your network for anything else, there is no prioritizing of the video bandwidth, which can quite quickly dip far below that required for reasonable-quality video. Granted, though, it's been a while since I've seen anyone trying to stream video over 802.11a/g networks.

But, all theory aside, if it works, it works! :)

jettredmont
Jan 4, 2004, 05:16 AM
Originally posted by gotohamish
Just to add a thought on the iBox and the form factor of it - why would it be pizza box?

Firstly, more and more people are going flat screen with their tvs, and even though they're not for the masses yet, they will be within two years - so why not design a peripheral for your tv that fits the slim design of a TV?

I saw wall mounted DVD players in Tokyo - that could be an interesting hub point for Apple.

Hmmm. Well, IMHO, doing a "wall mount" box would seriously diminish Apple's target audience. Yes, there are more and more folks with thin screens (15" rear-projections with no ledge on top for stuff to sit on or 5" plasma/LCD screens that mount on a stand or a wall), but even so the majority of these folks have their really expensive monitors hooked into some sort of multi-speaker surround sound system. Which means, even if the TV is thin, you've got a "rack" or at least a Dolby/DTS converter box sitting nearby somewhere ... which is where the iBox can sit.

Require a vertical mount, and you end up either perching that iBox on its side atop a stack of horizontal components (a guaranteed failure of a design ... ask Gateway ...), or forcing your customers to sacrifice wall space which very well may not be available.

It would be cool to be able to mount the box either way, but the optical drive makes that kind of design hard ... not many optical drives do just as well vertically as horizontally ...

bennetsaysargh
Jan 4, 2004, 09:37 AM
Originally posted by xtremdav45
If the iBox works with windows, I can make one prediction:

iPhoto for Windows

If the iBox streams pictures via iPhoto, I think apple will release iPhoto for windows.

i think the whole iLife suite is coming to windows. it has to be. they had to have another reason to start selling the boxes.
iTunes is just the first part of the puzzle. next will probably be iPhoto. not to mention the belkin media reader. if you could use it on windows like you could on a mac (with iPhoto), that'd be great.

JoeRadar
Jan 4, 2004, 03:59 PM
Originally posted by bennetsaysargh
i think the whole iLife suite is coming to windows. it has to be.
Apple has to find ways to derive revenue from the Applications. iTunes for free helps promote iPod and iTMS revenue.

I am not so certain about iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD.

I like the iBox idea. Spooling my iTunes to my living room stereo, turning on a iPhoto slideshow on my new HD TV (yet to be purchased), and pulling, on demand, movies I have created with iMovie and sitting on my Mac sounds like a great idea.

But I am concerned that moving these applications over to Windows will hurt Mac sales.

GregA
Jan 4, 2004, 05:08 PM
Originally posted by JoeRadar
I like the iBox idea. Spooling my iTunes to my living room stereo, turning on a iPhoto slideshow on my new HD TV (yet to be purchased), and pulling, on demand, movies I have created with iMovie and sitting on my Mac sounds like a great idea.

But I am concerned that moving these applications over to Windows will hurt Mac sales. There are alternatives of course. Like sell the windows versions for $50 but only to iBox owners. That kind of thing. (The same could be possible with iSight+iChatAV for Windows.) Then at least anyone who likes iPhoto has to have a Mac or an iBox.

(I'm still all for Apple software everywhere - by using Cocoa internally to minimise the development costs. Run it on multiple platforms (start with Windows & Linux), and charge an amount necessary to make a profit.

Dstreelm
Jan 4, 2004, 05:54 PM
i really hope apple does announce the ibox. i was planing to build my own out of parts scavenged from a blue and white G3 and making my own aluminum enclosure for it. i will definatly buy one when(please, please!!) they are announced.

im wondering about what kind of copyright protections apple will build into this thing? because if im thinking about this correctly, you could theoretically record anything onto the hard drive, including imput from say a dvd player. so if you wanted to, you could hook up your dvd player to it, rent a dvd, watch it(while recording it) then burn it onto another dvd via the superdrive and have it forever. sure it wont be dvd quality, but neither is divx. so this could be a numnuts way of pirating dvd's, cause i sure dont know how to do it on my powerbook.

also, will the ibox be able to be registered as a "computer" to play your iTMS purchaces?

what do you think about being able to edit the recorded streams? if i want to say, cut out the commercials from a southpark episode or something, will i have to send it to my poweerbook, edit, send back and burn? (i have a 800mhz powerbook, only a combo drive)

but like i said, id want one either way

Dstreelm
Jan 4, 2004, 06:11 PM
i really hope apple does announce the ibox. i was planing to build my own out of parts scavenged from a blue and white G3 and making my own aluminum enclosure for it. i will definatly buy one when(please, please!!) they are announced.

im wondering about what kind of copyright protections apple will build into this thing? because if im thinking about this correctly, you could theoretically record anything onto the hard drive, including imput from say a dvd player. so if you wanted to, you could hook up your dvd player to it, rent a dvd, watch it(while recording it) then burn it onto another dvd via the superdrive and have it forever. sure it wont be dvd quality, but neither is divx. so this could be a numnuts way of pirating dvd's, cause i sure dont know how to do it on my powerbook.

also, will the ibox be able to be registered as a "computer" to play your iTMS purchaces?

what do you think about being able to edit the recorded streams? if i want to say, cut out the commercials from a southpark episode or something, will i have to send it to my poweerbook, edit, send back and burn? (i have a 800mhz powerbook, only a combo drive)

but like i said, id want one either way

Matty P
Jan 4, 2004, 06:15 PM
Originally posted by Dstreelm
i really hope apple does announce the ibox. i was planing to build my own out of parts scavenged from a blue and white G3 and making my own aluminum enclosure for it. i will definatly buy one when(please, please!!) they are announced.

im wondering about what kind of copyright protections apple will build into this thing? because if im thinking about this correctly, you could theoretically record anything onto the hard drive, including imput from say a dvd player. so if you wanted to, you could hook up your dvd player to it, rent a dvd, watch it(while recording it) then burn it onto another dvd via the superdrive and have it forever. sure it wont be dvd quality, but neither is divx. so this could be a numnuts way of pirating dvd's, cause i sure dont know how to do it on my powerbook.

also, will the ibox be able to be registered as a "computer" to play your iTMS purchaces?

what do you think about being able to edit the recorded streams? if i want to say, cut out the commercials from a southpark episode or something, will i have to send it to my poweerbook, edit, send back and burn? (i have a 800mhz powerbook, only a combo drive)

but like i said, id want one either way


http://home.comcast.net/~appleguru/dvdrip.html

geeyesgee
Jan 4, 2004, 07:22 PM
The neat thing that an "iBox" could have is digital audio and video outputs and inputs, both coaxial and optical. If you could plug it into a satellite or a digital cable box, the iBox would not have to "do TV". It would also be great to have a compressed file standard that includes true 5.1 or 6 channel sound like DVD audio delivers.

agentmouthwash
Jan 4, 2004, 07:43 PM
My dream is for Apple to release this ibox with full airport capabilities, but have it work like TIVO.
It would be great to replace my TIVO and DVD player with a Pretty ibox that works with my Powerbook.

alanwrench76
Jan 5, 2004, 08:50 AM
It seems to me that the iBox that MacOSX.com mentioned is less like a TiVos and more like a Windows Media Center PC. If Apple was able to release a Media Center PC for a lot less than a Wintel based machine they would have a winner.

As someone that would like to in the near future buy a media system that would allow me to play DVDs, play MP3s, watch personal videos and pictures, I would be very interested in purchasing something like the iBox.

I do believe there is a future in Media Center PCs just based on what the average user does with a computer involves mostly viewing the internet and personal videos and photos, play music, burning CDs and DVDs. All witch can be done with something with like the iBox. What I don't like about current Media Center PCs (for the exception of the Gateway FMC-901) is that the enclosure of the devise is to much like a computer and the price. If I was going to spend money on a Media Center PC I would prefer not to spend well over $1000 and look like a PC.

Now if the MacOSX.com specs are close to what an iBox would be the iBox would kill the competition based on price and packaging (let alone a far better interface). But as a longtime Mac user (as many of you are) Mac has never been know for being a cheap alternative rather well package, different and easy to use.

That said the iBox would still be cheaper than the windows competition just based on the specs of it. Windows Media Center PCs seem to be poorly spec'd and it seems to me that Microsoft is charging an arm and a leg for the Windows Media Center OS. Just based on the specs given by MacOSX.com and the specs and price of the current eMac I would say that the Superdrive based iBox would be no cheaper than $800 which would still be way cheaper than any Wintel based Media Center.

All that said I really don't see the iBox being released on Tuesday but if it does there would be a nice new home for one at my place.

Scott

Dstreelm
Jan 5, 2004, 10:27 AM
the reason the media center PC is stupid and overpriced is that microsoft and the hardware developers didnt make the leap fully into a set top box, they made an in the middle, sitting on the fence wishi-washi excuse for a set top box. because microsoft is so anal about what they wanted the thing to do, they went the road of making a pc, that thant can do all thesee pc things(play games, run autocad ect.) and can also do these media center type things. thats why they had to include such a big processor and all that other stuff that make it a true pc.

i had the opportunity to demo a media center pc when they came to Virginia Tech last year. and it was pretty cool that you could navigate everying with the remote, but typical of microsoft, they incorporated all these blocks into it, it wouldnt even let me play this mp3 cd i brought. i mean the thing works, but its not as slick as what apple could produce

if apple rteleases this ibox, they will be much more sucessful and it will be cheaper because this isnt meant to replace your desktop and act as media center, it compliments it. they know youre not gonna be playing halo on this, because youre either gonna be playing it on your mac, or on your xbox. apple created somethng that will do only what its meant to do. therefore it can use old G3 chips because it doesnt need alot of processing power, just enough to have it do what it needs to do, and do it well.

tloder
Jan 8, 2004, 03:31 PM
ibox Redux

HP announced that they will be putting out a new Entertainment Hub that will play videos, mp3's , PVR functionality.


HP entertainment hub

Starting this fall, HP will introduce an entertainment hub designed to put consumers in control of all of their entertainment content. The entertainment hub will serve as the single, central storage repository, distribution and access point for all music, photo, video and movie collections in the home.

Additionally, consumers will be able to watch and pause live TV and record their favorite TV shows from any source, including cable, satellite or HDTV. The new device will be sleek and stylish and work great with existing devices in the home, but will offer an even better experience in combination with the other components of the HP Digital Entertainment System.



Remember the rumor of the ibox? Could this be the same animal? Maybe a reciprocation from HP to Apple?

Time will tell.

andi
Jan 8, 2004, 03:50 PM
:) iBox may be imac 2004 alu icube with internal eyetv an airport connected 20' flat screen for $ 2000. this would be a nice 20th anniv birthday present!?

Hemingray
Jan 9, 2004, 12:07 AM
Originally posted by MEJ
Simple. It's a "digital VCR." Record broadcast material onto a hard disk. No tapes. Therefore no VCR. Wait, you're not still renting movies on *tape* are you? =) As someone who has a PVR, I can tell you I can't remember the last time I used my VCR. However, I must say I find the lack of a program guide to be a very bad idea...

And I don't understand your comment about the proximity of the computer and the entertainment center, and how this relates to replacing a CD/DVD player... If you had read the [macosx.com] article, you would've seen the device has an optical drive.

Okay, I was thinking more along the lines of VHS tapes I own, not recorded off TV or rented. But to each his own! I'm only buying DVDs now, but I have tons of old VHS tapes.

Annnd, I didn't read the article so that would explain my ignorant CD/DVD comment. :D

drizahy4
Jan 10, 2004, 12:11 PM
i didn't get to read through the whole post but i saw the eyeTV product and it pretty much is what the "ibox" looks like it suppose to be. Just missing a nice dvd burner...
But you also need the eyeHome if you want to watch what was recorded on your Mac to Tv wish it could be easier but hey we all can't be happy...