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MacBytes
Jul 30, 2009, 04:28 PM
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Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Whatever happened to the Apple TV? (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20090730172825)
Description:: Recently in a PC Mag post, columnist Sascha Segan asked a very good question: whatever happened to the Apple TV. He correctly pointed out that the device (Apple’s “hobby,” according to CEO Steve Jobs) “is getting no respect from its own creator.”

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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clayj
Jul 30, 2009, 04:45 PM
Being able to have widgets (weather, news, stocks, etc.) would be a great addition to Apple TV. I've really been enjoying mine.

happydude
Jul 30, 2009, 04:46 PM
right on. i'm awaiting an update to see where the apple tv is going before buying one. we'd like to add this as the "hub" as apple has always promoted itself, but in its current form, the apple tv can't do what we want. it's nice it can stream from computers, but with our camcorder hd, we don't get full value for our home movies. it needs a physical media drive - blu ray - since that is established and will be around for a while. yeah, have the option to download from itunes, but also the option to play a blu ray disc. consumers like options. not being locked into the way steve jobs sees the world. the apple tv is out of date for what others are providing. let's go, apple. make this hobby the next greatest thing!!

markfc
Jul 30, 2009, 04:57 PM
Umm, was it not updated last month V2.4???

Which brought the great new touch remote system on the iPod Touch and iPhone????

james1078b
Jul 30, 2009, 05:01 PM
Being able to have widgets (weather, news, stocks, etc.) would be a great addition to Apple TV. I've really been enjoying mine.

I'm still waiting for Netflix integration!! Then I would consider one. Until then, a Mini would be much more likely to be connected to my TV

Chris Blount
Jul 30, 2009, 05:05 PM
I've had mine for over a year and use it all the time. I can't imagine my home theater without it!

SteveSparks
Jul 30, 2009, 05:09 PM
I use my 2 Apple TV's everyday.

I have ton's of sitcoms and self generated content that I watch all the time. It is awesome!

tyson12zoll
Jul 30, 2009, 05:23 PM
I use mine daily. I don't know what I would use it for without boxee though....

askewed
Jul 30, 2009, 05:24 PM
We love ours!

zacheryjensen
Jul 30, 2009, 05:34 PM
I use my Apple TV every day. I'm perfectly happy with the features it provides. That doesn't mean I wouldn't like to see an improved version, in terms of both hardware and software though.

I agree with another post about having blu-ray built in. That would be so nice. Also upgrade it to 1080p output.

Finally, my biggest complaint about Apple TV is that, because of its diminutive storage capacity and my nearly 1 terabyte of media, I must have my computer on at all times to make use of the Apple TV most comfortably. I, however, would like my iMac to last more than a couple years and therefore would like it to be *OFF* more often.

So I can see two acceptable solutions to this problem that suit me. First, the one I'd love the most, is actually an enhancement to the time capsule line. Make the time capsules into an iTunes server product! Let this integrate with both the Apple TV, and my desktop iTunes app. Let me sync content from my iTunes server directly to my iPhone through my local iTunes app on my computer. Let me stream content off the iTunes Server to my Apple TV or any computer with iTunes (that is registered for DRM access, or whatever, just like normally required) and of course, allow the full storage capabilities of the time capsule to be used so I can attach a couple extra 500GB drives to expand my library space.

This would give me everything I've wanted for my media-connected home built around apple products. Of course, you could go off and use DLNA certified products and hope for the best, but the reality of that is that 1) the players have bad interfaces and poor usability compared to the apple tv, plus they lack nice features like tracking podcasts that I've watched or not watched, etc. 2) There are huge gaps in compatibility between DLNA devices with regards to supported media formats and you can't always work around these issues (for example, AVI is not a codec, but most media servers use the same mime type for every avi file regardless of what's really in it.)

Here's a simpler, alternative solution that would be acceptable if it's the only way to go about this... let me attach external storage to my apple tv to which the apple tv will synchronize data. It's not my favorite solution but it would let me sync all my movies, etc. to the Apple TV then not worry about whether the PC was on for those impulse watching moments, especially when a family member wants to watch and I do not want them touching my iMac.

As much as that started sounding like a rant, I really like Apple TV. I like the UI, I can accept the 720p output limit, I don't even mind the limited file type support because I like h.264 quite a lot and use it for all of my personal encodes (I even, *gasp* transcode non-h.264 files to h.264, not so much because I am obsessed with h.264 but because it seems like the general population of video encoders can't manage to avoid choppy, inconsistent video and so I fix that with a re-encode)

So other than the storage space/tethering issue I described, I'm a fan.

zacheryjensen
Jul 30, 2009, 05:36 PM
I use mine daily. I don't know what I would use it for without boxee though....

But boxee is so horribly slow and crashy, you must be very tolerant :)

I can't even stand the streaming video on there because the CPU on the apple tv just isn't up to the task of running flash video players since they do not take advantage of the hardware accelerated video decoding on the device.

At least it's very easy to reset the apple tv. When I added apple tv to my harmony remote one of the soft buttons it added was an instant reset heh, very handy indeed when mussing around with boxee.

mgridgaway
Jul 30, 2009, 05:49 PM
But boxee is so horribly slow and crashy, you must be very tolerant :)

I can't even stand the streaming video on there because the CPU on the apple tv just isn't up to the task of running flash video players since they do not take advantage of the hardware accelerated video decoding on the device.

At least it's very easy to reset the apple tv. When I added apple tv to my harmony remote one of the soft buttons it added was an instant reset heh, very handy indeed when mussing around with boxee.

Really? I had heard that Boxee was awesome... guess that strikes my plans of buying one at some point.

iOrlando
Jul 30, 2009, 06:13 PM
Being able to have widgets (weather, news, stocks, etc.) would be a great addition to Apple TV. I've really been enjoying mine.


i rarely remember to use the widgets on my mac. i still just go to weather.com for the weather and not my handy widget etc. Probably would do the same thing if they were on apple tv.

GottaLoveApple4
Jul 30, 2009, 06:19 PM
I love my Apple TV. I use it every day as well. An update at the September event adding an app store would be nice though.

mrr
Jul 30, 2009, 06:26 PM
All Apple has to do is add DVR capabilities ala TiVo and boom, instant hit!

A DVR is something everybody can and would use.

Right now AppleTV is too wonky.

In fact you can't even watch TV on the AppleTV.

You can watch "media" if you knew what that was, or download films but if you want to watch just plain old BROADCAST TV (which is what a lot of people still want) you can't do.

So include a DVR and a HDTV tuner if you are so inclined and boom, Apple controls the living room!!!

Speedy2
Jul 30, 2009, 06:26 PM
Really? I had heard that Boxee was awesome... guess that strikes my plans of buying one at some point.

Compared to the sleek+easy Frontrow, Boxee is a mess designwise.

If all you wanna make your Apple TV do is watch DivX, AVI, WMV etc you better use ATVFiles(+Perian), which seamlessly embeds itself into Frontrow AND has a better decoding performance.

Boxee is alright for playing ComedyCentral streams and such things, the interface however is a real PITA. And it does like to crash now and then, true. But hey, it's free and it IS useful in the end.

Speedy2
Jul 30, 2009, 06:33 PM
So include a DVR and a HDTV tuner if you are so inclined and boom, and Apple controls the living room!!!


Not gonna happen.
HDTV is real mess internationally, since there are loads of encryption standards, and there's cable, satellite etc. Apple is not stupid enough to dip into that pool of sharks.

And, Apple isn't making a penny if you record your stuff from TV. Hell, even TiVo isn't making any money with it. Apple already sells the box for a good price because of the rental business. At least in the US.

Same reason why the box won't get a BluRay drive. Apple doesn't want to compete in that market. You have to buy something else then.

Speedy2
Jul 30, 2009, 06:38 PM
Also, AppleTV will never become a gaming console. This would require huge investments with doubtful margins. They would have to fight a very innovative opponent (Nintendo) and couldn't just come out with a product that everyone would prefer over the existing stuff.


Well, I should add, that it COULD become some sort of gaming device for cheap AppStore games. But I doubt that this would have a major impact, neither in the short nor in the long run. Meaning, that no one will buy an AppleTV because of that one feature. And Apple will not make money with the games, like Nintento does.