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dmm219
Aug 13, 2009, 10:50 PM
Here's my prediction. Same as always. Feel free to flame away when I'm proven wrong :)

In your Dreams: Brand New ATV, decently priced with TB hard drive, BR player, DVR functionality, tuner, BR drive, Netflix and Hulu.

Not Likely: Brand New ATV, with all updated specs and components, but with same basic functionality. 1080p.

Fairly likely: Apple completely ignores the ATV, once again.

More Likely: No new hardware, ATV 3.0 update.

Most Likely: Apple discontinues ATV was we know it. Partly replaced by new or break out product (tablet), or Apple exits the living room space all together.

Apple has fallen way behind when it comes the the living room. The 360 now does everything the ATV does, with far better quality, and a whole lot of stuff that the ATV can't do. Its only weaknesses now are noise, size and controller. These are all minor and can be mitigated somewhat. The new interface is just as easy and pleasing to use as the ATV. I haven't really touched my ATV since getting the 360. On one box I have all the same movies and shows that itunes has, that play on more devices...movies tend to be a $1 cheaper and look better in HD. Netflix on 360 is incredibly good. Hulu on the 360 via playon destroys hulu on ATV via boxee...

The 360 is the one, (and only) thing I have to give MS a lot of credit for......



JW008
Aug 13, 2009, 11:24 PM
Using your likert scale:

In Your Dreams: Apple discontinues the AppleTV
Not Likely: Big update with lots of bells and whistles
Fairly Likely: 3.0 Update without new hardware
More Likely: New AppleTV with just updated specs
Most Likely: We hear nothing

Of course, all these events are mutually exclusive and there's a huge jump between "more likely" and "most likely."

I think there's a really slim chance that Apple discontinues a product that: A) received a software update (albeit minor) so recently and B) is the way we'll consume media in the future (although, not right now apparently).

I don't really see a huge hardware update until the market really calls for one. I also don't see a 3.0 update without some kind of spec bump on the machine (I can see it happening once, but definitely not twice). Apple won't give time to the AppleTV unless it really has something big to announce and that will have to be accompanied by a hardware update. Thus, if we hear anything about the AppleTV, it will be because of a hardware update.

But of course, as always, my money is on us hearing nothing about the product. I hope I'm wrong. I use mine quite often, but I don't think I am.

In the end,

Michael CM1
Aug 14, 2009, 01:23 AM
I hope the hint of Blu-ray support in iTunes means BD might be an option for a future ATV device. As I've rambled on before, it's kind of stupid to NOT have an optical disc in this thing. Add that and you're an instant competitor with the array of DVD players on the market. Without it, you're another one of the add-on boxes that hardly anybody has.

I have a BD player with built-in Netflix (and Pandora) streaming. I'd rather see Apple ditch its physical product and instead work with Samsung, LG, Sony, etc. to add the ATV software to BD players. I mean you can add $100 for these special models (with about 32GB of flash memory added) and sell way more than the ATV units.

The whole thing is kind of annoying when you can almost have the perfect ATV with a Mac Mini. Add a non-sucky remote (iPhone app is pretty good, but not perfect), install Hulu Desktop and use Netflix streaming via a Web browser and you're golden.

I have seen suggestions about including Safari in ATV so you could use stuff like Hulu that is Web-only. That would be the bomb as long as some iPhone-like remote was included and/or the Remote app could be used. The problem with the iPhone is it's not really a remote, meaning you can't open iTunes with it. A little multitouch pad and the right OSD will work wonders.

I wish Steve would hire me to work on his hobby because I could fix it so darn quickly.

Sol
Aug 14, 2009, 02:24 AM
The 360 is the one, (and only) thing I have to give MS a lot of credit for......

It says a lot about Microsoft if their best product is one that is plagued with a system killing bug/design fault.

Maybe the XBox360 fulfills all your needs because it has millions of features but the Apple TV experience is so much simpler and better in a lot of ways eg. operating noise, interface, design, power efficiency, compatibility with iTunes... Microsoft may have positioned XBox360 as the console that does it all but from day one the main focus of the Apple TV has been digital movies and it does that very well.

If the Apple TV is a hobby then the XBox360 is a toy.

kiranmk2
Aug 14, 2009, 02:41 AM
I think Apple really need to either release an new ATV or eek out a bit more power from the 7300GO GPU - the whole 720p-so-long-as-it's-under-4Mbps-and-not-30fps thing is a bit silly, especially as more and more devices are capturing 720p30 and beyond now.

I wonder if Intel Crofton cpus, 7300GPUs and PATA hard drives are still easy to find - The switch to a slightly beefier cpu (like a ULV-not ATOM), 9400GPU (or dual core ARM with GPU) and SATA drives (esp 3.5") would make the ATV so much more useful, in terms of being able to sync large libraries (I don't want to leave my computer on 24/7 in case I want to watch a film on the ATV). Who knows, maybe iTunes 9 will will tie in with updated ATV software.

And didn't Phil say they would transition the ATV to a SnowLeopard-based OS? What would be the point of that without a multi-core proccessor or OpenCL-capable GPU?

liketearsinrain
Aug 14, 2009, 06:21 AM
Hi all,

I just joined Mac Forums after lurking for a while as I am very interested in the Apple TV and what everyone has had to say about it so far. I am very keen to buy an Apple TV, and it suits my needs as a device in two main ways at the moment if it were used solely to play back my Apple lossless CD rips through DAC to my hi-fi, but would like to also use it as a movie/TV player for Itunes bought stuff (fed up with DVDs and bluray discs cluttering up everywhere and taking up precious space). Also I would be interested in some video podcasts. I am holding off buying till they have refreshed the line however, as I personally feel it will get an upgrade in the next few months time. I personally think it will just be a bigger HDD, and possibly 1080p output, I don't see them doing the DVR thing (too messy for the simplicity the device is to offer) and I do see it more solely as an iTunes portal - but I could well be wrong.

Not sure if anyone read this, but recently Barclay's Capital execs met with Apple in Cupertino and Barclay's released a paper touching on updates that they expected Apple to make in the next few months. A link to the story is here:
http://brainstormtech.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2009/08/13/barclays-talks-to-apple-execs-raises-target-to-208/

There is a mention of an upgrade to Apple TV in 2010 there, and they think it's a key factor in Apple's line-up. I think there is a huge battle to be fought in the TV area, and I think Apple is well placed to build on iTunes customers who just want the functionality of the Apple 'walled-garden-model' accessible on their TVs. That's why I don't really see the bluray thing happening with the ATV specifically, more just a refresh of the model's basic features for iTunes and maybe app store functionality. Just my thoughts on the matter though. Interesting to read what everyone has written. Thanks.

Sol
Aug 14, 2009, 06:36 AM
I think there is a huge battle to be fought in the TV area, and I think Apple is well placed to build on iTunes customers who just want the functionality of the Apple 'walled-garden-model' accessible on their TVs. That's why I don't really see the bluray thing happening with the ATV specifically, more just a refresh of the model's basic features for iTunes and maybe app store functionality.

A BD player in Apple TV would make it a Mac Mini; when Apple eventually offer the option you could just get one and have it in Front Row mode all the time. The DVR is optional.

Power-wise these days there seems to be parity between the Apple TV and iPod Touch. The two devices could easily be merged into an iPod on a HDMI enabled dock.

Shuttleworth
Aug 14, 2009, 07:19 AM
Power-wise these days there seems to be parity between the Apple TV and iPod Touch. The two devices could easily be merged into an iPod on a HDMI enabled dock.

I just don't think a removable item is gonna cut it as an appleTV replacement. It's fine if you live on your own, but if your family share the AppleTV it's no good if one of you is out of the house with it.

An app store for AppleTV would be a good thing, but it needs a better controller than the iPhone/iPod touch, as they run batteries down too quickly for serious use.

The biggest hurdle for Apple is probably the film studio's isn't it? TV show rentals would be great, but there must be a conflict with cable/satellite TV suppliers, using their lines to download content devalues their own product to the advertisers. If Apple could convince studios to allow iTunes ripping of DVD's it'd be mega!

I can't see 1080 unless they put that on iTunes, which is probably a way off yet, and also Joe Public is still pretty happy with DVD quality, do normal people (i.e. not macrumors geeks ;) ) really need more than 720? I don't, content quality is more important if the picture quality is 'excellent' rather than 'stunning' IMO.

bohbot16
Aug 14, 2009, 07:49 AM
I think we're going to get a 3.0 software update to go along with iTunes 9.

Back in February there was a rumor about Apple working on a new iTunes Replay feature that would let you stream iTunes content instead of download it. Since then, Apple has added the HTTP live streaming feature to QuickTime X and iPhone OS 3.0. Akamai has created a site that demos this technology @ http://iphone.akamai.com/.

I think that Apple is going to make a change across the iTunes Store to let you stream any audio and video that you've purchased in addition to the existing download option. Users would also be able to delete content from their computer and re-download at a later time. This is in line with what Amazon VOD offers today.

By adding iTunes Replay to iTunes 9/QuickTime X, iPhone/iPod Touch 3.0 and Apple TV 3.0 Apple can keep everyone purchasing iTunes content beyond their hard drive storage capacity while locking them in for more hardware purchases in the future.

Thoughts?

Sol
Aug 14, 2009, 07:53 AM
An app store for AppleTV would be a good thing, but it needs a better controller than the iPhone/iPod touch, as they run batteries down too quickly for serious use.

Why not an app store for OS X then? The iTunes Store could have everything from Photoshop to Pet Shop Boys. It would be a good way to cover the installation, backup and update process from the user. Not sure how the Windows version of iTunes would fit in this scenario. Depends on the value of PC users to Apple.

uberamd
Aug 14, 2009, 07:58 AM
Honestly my ATV was one of my favorite devices until I got a PS3 and realized how crappy media playback on the ATV was. PS3 supports a massive variety of codecs, can play media not in iTunes (not a huge +, but still), has a remote that isn't total trash, and yeah, it has multiple codecs!

I used to convert all of my downloaded TV shows and movies to ATV format with joy but now that I have a PS3 (and I have a 360 also, but I never tried playback with that device) I don't need to convert, making my ATV a mostly useless device.

I guess it looks cool, short of that, its very underpowered and massively under-featured. Apple better do something, either hardware or software wise. And adding storage doesn't count, since I streamed everything from my computer anyways.

Sol
Aug 14, 2009, 08:07 AM
And adding storage doesn't count, since I streamed everything from my computer anyways.

Before it came out I imagined the Apple TV would have no on-board storage. That would not only bring down the price but also get rid of the most troublesome component. Airport Express with HDMI; that sort of thing.

dbwie
Aug 14, 2009, 08:26 AM
I'm hoping a software update brings mlb.tv to the AppleTV. The mlb.tv streams to my iPhone already. I tried watching through Boxee on my AppleTV, but that requires mlb.tv Premium, boo hoo! Just a plain old mlb.tv subscriber account is needed for the iPhone app video stream. This must be using H.264 to be streamed to the iPhone?

I'm amazed that I can watch a game through WiFi on my iPhone, and it barely pushes the processor, but when I watch on my new MacBook, the temperature of the CPU gets quite hot. That damn Adobe Flash.

TheCheapGeek
Aug 14, 2009, 09:45 AM
1080p Support wont happen untill 1080 p content is available via iTunes. I think the Apple tv is great for what it is, the thing Apple really should do is release a widget model for the Apple TV platform. I would love to have constant onscreen widgets and even a dashboard a la OSX. I for one don't care about streaming video from hulu/netflix but I think thats what the apple tv needs to push it into the mainstream. I just don't know if that fits into the iTunes model. Theses services however would sell more hardware and that is exactly how apple makes money.

magikgeek
Aug 14, 2009, 10:20 AM
Apple TV's Future

STAGE II

Time Capsule + Apple TV (i.e. Soreage Solution + USB 2.0 Expansion + Router + Media Player + Gigabit Ethernet + 802.11n AP + TV Tuner) = Apple TV 3.0 (January 2010)


1. Better Controller Included (iPod Touch-like)
2. Gigabit Ethernet
3. Dual Core Processor
4. Sold State Hard Drive: 64GB
5. Smaller Packaging
6. Mini-Display Port and HDMI Support

Software
1. Seamless Singular Audio and Video Library Presentation which supports NAS Systems, iTunes Servers, iTunes Sharing from any PC or Mac, or sharing from your iPhone or iPod Touch
2. Ability to Display Library and Playlists by Source / Device and turn off devices you wish to not include.
3. Apple TV Applications and Games
4. Support for more internet TV Media: Hulu, PBS, CBS, etc.
5. Create an internet Syncing / Sharing Experience for pictures with your Families and Friends Similar to Dropbox or add support for Dropbox.
6. Better Interface with Touch and Cover Flow in Mind (Like iPhone but focused on HDTV’s size)
7. Better Interface to incorporate pictures from many computers or NAS.
8. Better Subtitle and Menu Support for all video.
9. 1080p Video Streaming Support
10. More Codec Support (includes MPEG-2 support)
11. Better integration of iPod Touch, iPhone and new Mac Tablet.
12. Better Video Tagging built into a redesigned iTunes.
13. Better Music Lyrics support in Audio Tagging in a redesigned iTunes
14. Support for Karaoke with Lyrics and wireless microphone.
15. Monthly Rental Subscription Plan (Optional)


STAGE III

Time Capsule + Apple TV (i.e. Soreage Solution + USB 3.0 Expansion + Router + Media Player + 10 Gigabit Ethernet + 802.11n AP) = Apple TV 4.0 (2011)


STAGE IV

Storeage Solution (Solid State Hard Drive) + USB 3.0 Expansion + Router + Media Player All Built into a TVs = Apple TV 5.0 (2013)

bbydon
Aug 14, 2009, 11:37 AM
To me all i want is:

itunes to work like hulu (ad supported free videos that stream) or hulu

an itunes server


i have no need for a dvr if its got hulu-esque on demand.

But none of these things are going to happen.... i've given up hope. :(
Oh well, soon it will be mini and plex

liketearsinrain
Aug 14, 2009, 11:53 AM
I think Apple really need to either release an new ATV or eek out a bit more power from the 7300GO GPU - the whole 720p-so-long-as-it's-under-4Mbps-and-not-30fps thing is a bit silly, especially as more and more devices are capturing 720p30 and beyond now.



Quick query regarding above file size and fps limitations - at present is this a hardware imposed (or restricted by) limitation or OS-based limit? Thanks.

Tallest Skil
Aug 14, 2009, 11:55 AM
Quick query regarding above file size and fps limitations - at present is this a hardware imposed (or restricted by) limitation or OS-based limit? Thanks.

The hardware can do 1080. The software prevents it.

hitekalex
Aug 14, 2009, 11:56 AM
The 360 is the one, (and only) thing I have to give MS a lot of credit for......

Are you kidding me? Xbox-360 is a terrible product. I had 3 of them at one point, acting as Media Center extenders.. Had to go through 4 replacements due to the infamous RROD (red ring of death) failure.

Codec support was non-existent outside of MS media, they just recently added half-baked support for H.264. The box is big, noisy and consumes a lot of power. It's very poor suited for a living room media purposes in my opinion.

VirtualRain
Aug 14, 2009, 12:26 PM
While I really hope they update the box to support 1080p playback (ideally H.264 in a MKV container - wishful thinking, I know)... this will likely only happen if the decision makers at Apple wish they had 1080p playback and they think 1080p movies can be stored and delivered over the internet without breaking the bank on their hosting services and without enough delays to create a negative viewing experience. To otherwise support 1080p is basically a move in support of piracy although I guess you could argue that it is to support people ripping their blu-ray discs for digital playback.

As for Blu-ray... I don't think Blu-ray will ever find it's way into an AppleTV. Apple is all about delivering content digitally over the wire. In addition, if they offer 1080p playback, there is really no need for Blu-ray support.

HobeSoundDarryl
Aug 14, 2009, 12:40 PM
The hardware can do 1080. The software prevents it.

Do you have a source for this statement (that is hopefully not: "The interface can output 1080p")?

With all the whining about lack of 1080i/p (myself included), and the multitude of :apple:TV hacks, I've seen nothing at all about the hardware being able to output anything about a weak variant of 720p.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love it if you comment were true, but I'm thoroughly convinced that if I want to see 1080i or 1080p video (not interface) playback via :apple:TV, it will require new :apple:TV hardware.

VirtualRain
Aug 14, 2009, 12:42 PM
If you do a search on Nvidia's 7300M chip which the AppleTV apparently uses, you will find that it does support 1080p playback. Whether there are other bottlenecks in the hardware that are preventing 1080p playback or just a software issue, I don't know... I'd like to hear Tallest's comments on this as well.

Tallest Skil
Aug 14, 2009, 12:46 PM
Do you have a source for this statement (that is hopefully not: "The interface can output 1080p")?

With all the whining about lack of 1080i/p (myself included), and the multitude of :apple:TV hacks, I've seen nothing at all about the hardware being able to output anything about a weak variant of 720p.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love it if you comment were true, but I'm thoroughly convinced that if I want to see 1080i or 1080p video (not interface) playback via :apple:TV, it will require new :apple:TV hardware.

http://www.anandtech.com/mac/showdoc.aspx?i=2951&p=6

HobeSoundDarryl
Aug 14, 2009, 12:49 PM
While I really hope they update the box to support 1080p playback (ideally H.264 in a MKV container - wishful thinking, I know)... this will likely only happen if the decision makers at Apple wish they had 1080p playback and they think 1080p movies can be stored and delivered over the internet without breaking the bank on their hosting services and without enough delays to create a negative viewing experience. To otherwise support 1080p is basically a move in support of piracy although I guess you could argue that it is to support people ripping their blu-ray discs for digital playback.

No, no, no. There are more sources of 1080 HD video than just movies on Blu-ray disks. HD (including 1080p) camcorders are hot sellers for the last few years (I'm on my 2nd one already). I would LOVE to be able to display the family video I've shot (edited in Apple software like iMovie and Final Cut) at the full resolution in which it was recorded. Instead, if I want my homemade HD to show on my HDTV in its full "glory"(?), the only option for me is to connect the camcorder directly to the TV.

And before someone chimes in with, "you can't see the difference," yes we can (and it's quite obvious).

My biggest wish for a :apple:TV update continues to be 1080p video playback, so that my other (not iTunes store) Apple software edited video can be enjoyed at its full resolution. That iTunes doesn't have 1080 HD video yet (or that most broadband pipes couldn't handle the downloads) doesn't need to be the excuse to justify why Apple can't give customers what they want. Apple can simply add 1080 downloads when the studios allow them to do so.

After all, Apple keeps saying they don't make hardly anything in iTunes content anyway; iTunes is (apparently) there to help sell more hardware. How many :apple:TV threads are packed with people saying they won't buy an :apple:TV until it can playback video at full 1080 HD?

dynaflash
Aug 14, 2009, 12:57 PM
The hardware can decode limited 1080p, just look at the software hacks that allow it (bypassing itunes) and in most cases that is without decent utilization of the gpu.

mkv support on an appletv is a fools dream imo.

HobeSoundDarryl
Aug 14, 2009, 12:59 PM
http://www.anandtech.com/mac/showdoc.aspx?i=2951&p=6

OK, so the chip inside apparently can output 1080. The article was posted over 2 years ago. Hacks galore since then, yet no one has hacked a 1080 playback option. Maybe the chip can do it but the rest of the system can't?

If we assume that Apple at least follows users comments about their products (which sometimes it appears that they might), they've seen the whining about no 1080p (and why not make the USB port into an external storage option) for the last few years. They've got 1080 HD out since iMovie HD (2006?) and HD camcorders have been out for longer than that (that's what iMovie HD was supposed to work with). So, why not flip that switch and sell a lot more :apple:TVs?

And the hackers have made the USB port work, so why hasn't anyone (beyond Apple) tackled the 1080 out challenge at all?

I'm still in the camp that believes that the current :apple:TV hardware platform cannot output 1080 HD video, and that it will take new hardware- not just a software update with the existing :apple:TV- to give us that capability.

But, that said, I WOULD LOVE TO BE WRONG ABOUT THIS. If a version 3.0 can give us good 1080 playback, it would be a terrific "wow" surprise.

edit: since posting, I've seen Dynaflash's comment just before this one. So, again I'll welcome the massive surprise if Apple will just make it happen via a software update. It seems a company so focused on using iTunes almost entirely to move hardware wouldn't let such a small thing as software stand in the way of knocking one of the biggest buyer obstacles (no 1080 capability) out of the way.

dynaflash
Aug 14, 2009, 01:10 PM
Remember originally the atv could not play 720P nor could it play the DD AC3 soundtrack. What changed ? Software (not unlike the original 5g ipod could only do a variation of 320 x 240 until a firmware update magically brought 640 x 480).

I am not suggesting that the atv could handle a 1 for 1 blu ray rip. But strictly speaking the hardware can decode 1080p. How well of course is up for debate and only time would tell *if* they ever try it.

dynaflash
Aug 14, 2009, 01:14 PM
Hacks galore since then, yet no one has hacked a 1080 playback option. Maybe the chip can do it but the rest of the system can't?
Or its because the API to access the gpu is proprietary. Hackers have to reverse engineer it. Apple doesn't since they are a customer and have access to the api. The xbmc devs have acknowledged as much. So the irony is while they can allow 1080P playback (by bypassing iTunes) they have less access to the atv's hardware that can make it realistic than apple does.

VirtualRain
Aug 14, 2009, 01:46 PM
I wonder if 1080p playback is prohibited by studios and has nothing to do with Apple?

Are other legitimate online content provides (netflix, etc.) stuck at 720p as well? Perhaps this will take a lot longer to change than we would all like?

Tallest Skil
Aug 14, 2009, 01:47 PM
I wonder if 1080p playback is prohibited by studios and has nothing to do with Apple?

I can't imagine studios wanting less money.

zedsdead
Aug 14, 2009, 02:14 PM
Remember originally the atv could not play 720P nor could it play the DD AC3 soundtrack. What changed ? Software (not unlike the original 5g ipod could only do a variation of 320 x 240 until a firmware update magically brought 640 x 480).

I am not suggesting that the atv could handle a 1 for 1 blu ray rip. But strictly speaking the hardware can decode 1080p. How well of course is up for debate and only time would tell *if* they ever try it.

The Apple TV was always able to play 1280x720p at up to 25fps. Apple just didn't have any content available then. You are right about the surround sound and the iPod restrictions though, but I don't expect 1080p coming to the current models.

Really hoping for a new one in September, it's about time.

dmm219
Aug 14, 2009, 02:37 PM
Are you kidding me? Xbox-360 is a terrible product. I had 3 of them at one point, acting as Media Center extenders.. Had to go through 4 replacements due to the infamous RROD (red ring of death) failure.

Codec support was non-existent outside of MS media, they just recently added half-baked support for H.264. The box is big, noisy and consumes a lot of power. It's very poor suited for a living room media purposes in my opinion.

Simply look at the latest stats of console usage...360 is killing everything else out there. It is big, it is noisy and it does consume a lot or power...each are MINOR issues compared to USAGE and CONTENT. You can always isolate/hide the box.

I haven't had a RRoD yet. But yes, quality is not the 360's strong suit. The 360 Xbox LIVE experience is by far the BEST thing in the living room right now.

VirtualRain
Aug 14, 2009, 02:54 PM
I can't imagine studios wanting less money.

I think you are exactly right, which is why they may prohibit electronic distribution of 1080p content in an attempt to promote Blu-ray sales and limit piracy.

kiranmk2
Aug 14, 2009, 03:35 PM
Regarding the 1080p issue, I'm not sure the ATV can do it. It probably could do 1080p MPEG2, but consider that the crofton CPU hasn't been cutting edge since 2004 (I got a Pentium M 1.7 GHz in 2005 and it was nowhere near cutting edge then) and the Geforce 7 series was from 2005. Remember when 1080p material started being available, you needed a dual core to get decent playback on a PC, so I think an underpowered 1 GHz CPU and bottom end Geforce 7 card is doing well to get 720p. I mea,n why wouldn't Apple enable 720p30 if they could? It makes no sense to limit the ATV to "certain kinds" of 720p.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nvidia_PureVideo#The_First_Generation_PureVideo_HD

2nd generation PureVideo decoding didn't come in until the Geforce 8 series.

HobeSoundDarryl
Aug 14, 2009, 03:42 PM
I think you are exactly right, which is why they may prohibit electronic distribution of 1080p content in an attempt to promote Blu-ray sales and limit piracy.

OK, but then why pick on just the :apple:TV. Things like the much cheaper Western Digital device and similar are all launching with 1080p...
http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?driveid=572
It seems like the pirates would buy one of these cheaper boxes that is equipped to play their blu-ray rips. Why single out Apple?

paduck
Aug 14, 2009, 03:43 PM
Why not an app store for OS X then? The iTunes Store could have everything from Photoshop to Pet Shop Boys. It would be a good way to cover the installation, backup and update process from the user. Not sure how the Windows version of iTunes would fit in this scenario. Depends on the value of PC users to Apple.

I think one of the big challenges is the input device - ATV really has none. Another is horsepower - certainly not enough to run Photoshop. I thunk a widget-based application set to make it an information appliance would be ok.

Remember the whole thing is based on Tiger...

VirtualRain
Aug 14, 2009, 05:14 PM
OK, but then why pick on just the :apple:TV. Things like the much cheaper Western Digital device and similar are all launching with 1080p...
http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?driveid=572
It seems like the pirates would buy one of these cheaper boxes that is equipped to play their blu-ray rips. Why single out Apple?

All the devices that play 1080p content, don't actually deliver any content... you have to supply your own. In other words, their vendors have no agreements with the studios to violate. Apple and Netflix are two I can think of that deliver content... does Netflix offer 1080p movies? Does anyone? I don't think so.

bohbot16
Aug 14, 2009, 07:21 PM
All the devices that play 1080p content, don't actually deliver any content... you have to supply your own. In other words, their vendors have no agreements with the studios to violate. Apple and Netflix are two I can think of that deliver content... does Netflix offer 1080p movies? Does anyone? I don't think so.

Microsoft will be delivering 1080p content to the Xbox 360. With any luck that will motivate Apple to innovate on the Apple TV more.
http://www.engadget.com/2009/06/01/xbox-live-gets-live-tv-streaming-netflix-browsing/

VirtualRain
Aug 16, 2009, 08:54 PM
Microsoft will be delivering 1080p content to the Xbox 360. With any luck that will motivate Apple to innovate on the Apple TV more.
http://www.engadget.com/2009/06/01/xbox-live-gets-live-tv-streaming-netflix-browsing/

Good news indeed!

MowingDevil
Aug 20, 2009, 12:53 AM
OK, but then why pick on just the :apple:TV. Things like the much cheaper Western Digital device and similar are all launching with 1080p...
http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?driveid=572
It seems like the pirates would buy one of these cheaper boxes that is equipped to play their blu-ray rips. Why single out Apple?

The reason is they're scared ******** of Apple. Just look at the music business, the record labels have fought Apple tooth & nail the whole way instead of embracing new realities like iTunes, P2P filesharing etc Now Apple distributes 50% of all music. Thats huge and a great benefit to the labels as they no longer need to manufacture a physical product...but they don't see it that way; they've lost *control* and that is what this is about.

Music labels aren't suing downloaders anymore but the movie studios are... I know of people who were dragged through court to a huge expense due to getting caught d/Ling torrents. The studios want to be in the Blu-Ray business with iTunes being the cherry on top, not the other way around.

My guess is the studios are behind the fact that 1080p isn't already the norm on iTunes or Apple TV. I highly doubt Apple is behind it. What Apple is behind however is the fact you'll never see an optical drive in the aTV. They're in the iTunes business and *thats* where they want you to get your content from.

munkees
Aug 20, 2009, 01:23 AM
MowingDev

Music labels aren't suing downloaders anymore but the movie studios are... I know of people who were dragged through court to a huge expense due to getting caught d/Ling torrents. The studios want to be in the Blu-Ray business with iTunes being the cherry on top, not the other way around.

My guess is the studios are behind the fact that 1080p isn't already the norm on iTunes or Apple TV. I highly doubt Apple is behind it. What Apple is behind however is the fact you'll never see an optical drive in the aTV. They're in the iTunes business and *thats* where they want you to get your content from.


interesting theory on the studios,

The main reason why you do not see much 1080p being served is bandwidth, cable does not do 1080p, due to the face it eats so much bandwidth, I don't see this changing for a few more years, I think for HD content we are stuck mainly with 720p/1080i, until bandwidth can deliver the quality of a blueray.

the only way I can see 1080p coming though an :apple:TV is if apple has some cloud computing system to deliver the content, or a VUDU client setup (basically cloud computing, apple currently using a Akamai and Limelight technology on the back end).

just my thoughts.

I found this interesting read comparing Netflix, VUDU and Apple TV boxes, it is from last year

http://www.popsci.com/gear-gadgets/article/2008-06/battle-internet-video-boxes-netflix-vs-apple-tv-vs-vudu

Michael CM1
Aug 20, 2009, 03:12 AM
While I really hope they update the box to support 1080p playback (ideally H.264 in a MKV container - wishful thinking, I know)... this will likely only happen if the decision makers at Apple wish they had 1080p playback and they think 1080p movies can be stored and delivered over the internet without breaking the bank on their hosting services and without enough delays to create a negative viewing experience. To otherwise support 1080p is basically a move in support of piracy although I guess you could argue that it is to support people ripping their blu-ray discs for digital playback.

As for Blu-ray... I don't think Blu-ray will ever find it's way into an AppleTV. Apple is all about delivering content digitally over the wire. In addition, if they offer 1080p playback, there is really no need for Blu-ray support.

/facepalm

OK, I'll at least give you a break for not suggesting that Blu-ray is a dead technology or there's no need for it on a Mac. But I contend that what's holding ATV back is the lack of an optical drive. People are on here mentioning the great streaming abilities of the PS3 and Xbox 360, both of which also play movies (yes, I know the 360 only does HD DVD). My BD player streams Netflix. I would love to get an ATV when I move so I can move my computer to another room, but I really can't justify that purchase with such an outdated and now-overpriced unit.

I wouldn't personally bite for this now, but had the ATV been coupled with a BD player and had some sort of app store where you could add stuff like Hulu and Netflix, I would have jumped all over it. People don't want many boxes that only do one thing. Hell, that's what notebook computers are all about. It's a computer that I can carry around, play movies and music on, yadda yadda yadda. I would love to have one device that receives Dish Network TV, plays BDs and streams almost anything (music, other iTunes media, Netflix, Hulu, other TV streams). Hell, the iPhone keeps moving toward this, yet the ATV sits there without any major change in forever. It's got such possibility yet it's soooo ignored. At the very least, a price drop would indicate that Apple knows we know that HDD prices actually drop over an 18-month period.

TheCheapGeek
Aug 20, 2009, 09:31 AM
All I need in my Apple TV ecosystem is the ability to stream from a file system, IE I want a piece of software that can look at wither the itunes database, the itunes file structure, or a combination of the two and stream video and audio to multiple apple tv's without having to have iTunes running.

HobeSoundDarryl
Aug 20, 2009, 11:07 AM
interesting theory on the studios,
The main reason why you do not see much 1080p being served is bandwidth, cable does not do 1080p, due to the face it eats so much bandwidth, I don't see this changing for a few more years, I think for HD content we are stuck mainly with 720p/1080i, until bandwidth can deliver the quality of a blueray.


This is one of the more popular reasons why we don't have an :apple:TV capable of 1080p playback. The core of the reason is generally true. Yes, American internet infrastructure is hobbled by relatively slow broadband speeds. Some say this is a function of America being such a big place compared to- say- Japan or Korea while I tend to lay the blame on the cable & phone companies owning the pipes, and not wanting to upgrade them to outpace the world for fear of disrupting their very lucrative cell phone and cable subscription business models.

After all, if the pipes were not "constrained", we could all probably dump our cable & cell phone subscriptions, getting all of our television entertainment directly from the companies that make the shows (cutting out the cable middleman) and all of our phone communications could quickly switch to wireless wiMax VOIP (cutting out a lot of the phone company's thievery).

But regardless of that, a high percentage of computer users don't need the power in the steady advances being presented as the latest Macs, but apple keeps advancing them anyway.

A high percentage of the public doesn't need the full power of the latest iphones or ipods, but Apple keeps advancing them anyway.

A high percentage of the public may not need 1080p playback functionality now, or even in the next few years, but since many competitors are able to build it into their variations of an :apple:TV, why doesn't Apple advance this technology anyway?

To some degree, I could care less that the American pipes are not big enough to sell me 1080p movies via iTunes. In my own case, I have shot home movies in 1080p, edited them in Apple software, and can export them in Apple-friendly video containers. But I can't watch those on my HDTV unless I hook something other than :apple:TV to that TV.

Apple regularly suggests that iTunes content is about selling more hardware. Apparently, Apple makes its money by selling more hardware, not movies via iTunes. The next :apple:TV that I want to buy needs to be able to match the output capabilities of cheaper devices like the Western Digital HD box, and that is the same capability being promoted by the CE industry as "true HD" (presumably we have "false HD" in anything less than 1080p:rolleyes:)

Apple's own software, including the "free" one (iMovie) that comes with any computer purchase can read 1080p video and write 1080p video. So, the weak link in the chain is that the :apple:TV can't actually show that video.

Someday, maybe America will finally be able to access higher capacity bandwith. There are other markets in the world where :apple:TV could be sold, and where average bandwith far exceeds what we get in the U.S.

Certainly, Apple has the capability to somewhat futureproof a new version of :apple:TV by giving it a capability that may not be needed by many Americans for a few more years, much like my Macs don't utilize every bit of hard drive space, nor every cycle of their processors, nor every bit of their RAM today.

The new iphone 3GS has advanced features like tethering and MMS that we don't get to enjoy in the U.S. yet because AT&T says no, not because it can't be provided. Apple built these features in anyway, even if the (AT&T) "pipes" may not be able to handle them today.

If the logic is that since the bandwith limitations would impede our ability to buy 1080p movies from iTunes, there is no need for an :apple:TV that can playback anything more than limited 720p, that same logic should work against advancing every other Apple product that has features beyond the needs of what many customers can utilize today.

Long rant short, obviously my biggest wish for September is still 1080p playback hardware without compromises. And no 1080p iTunes content, studio approval, or enhanced broadband infrastructure is required to grant this wish. All that is needed is for Apple to simply decide to build it and let that other stuff happen when it happens.

randy98mtu
Aug 20, 2009, 11:25 AM
I've been expecting 1080p capability and an app store. As a streaming device, I'd be happy with a smaller SSD to keep temps down. And the long shot is a built in Bluray drive, but I'm not holding my breath on that one. Whether they update it or not, I'm buying another one after the event. It suits my needs perfectly.

BaldiMac
Aug 20, 2009, 11:59 AM
Simply look at the latest stats of console usage...360 is killing everything else out there. It is big, it is noisy and it does consume a lot or power...each are MINOR issues compared to USAGE and CONTENT. You can always isolate/hide the box.

I haven't had a RRoD yet. But yes, quality is not the 360's strong suit. The 360 Xbox LIVE experience is by far the BEST thing in the living room right now.

I have any Xbox 360 and an AppleTV. I have two big problems with the Xbox that keep me from using it for anything but games.

1. Ads. They are everywhere and dominate the user interface. It's hard to find what you are looking for because there are so many, and they are not visually distinguishable from actual features and content. I do acknowledge that the AppleTV has too many links to the iTunes Store, but the problem on the Xbox 360 is another order of magnitude.

2. Microsoft points. They are a scam. They are designed to confuse the consumer and make things seem cheaper than they really are. As long as they are part of the interface, I will not purchase anything from the marketplace.

kiranmk2
Aug 20, 2009, 02:57 PM
Wasn't everyone jumping up and down crowing about how they'd worked out how to use adaptive bitrates for streaming to iphones over EDGE, 3G and WiFi? - well I'm sure that would work over fixed lines - a simple measure of the bandwidth and adjust the file quality on the fly.

If the iphone 3GS chip really is capable of 1080p as has been suggested, then this ARM setup (or even two!) would move the ATV2 nicely away from the ancient power-inefficient Crofton/7300Go combination. Add in the 6 year old SATA standard and either let us rent TV shows or start supporting regional catchup services (such as BBC iplayer) and we have a winner.

bohbot16
Aug 20, 2009, 03:39 PM
Wasn't everyone jumping up and down crowing about how they'd worked out how to use adaptive bitrates for streaming to iphones over EDGE, 3G and WiFi? - well I'm sure that would work over fixed lines - a simple measure of the bandwidth and adjust the file quality on the fly.

Yes. There's a demo from Apple's CDN Akamai @ http://iphone.akamai.com/

I'm hoping that Apple applies this to both the iPhone and Apple TV for iTunes content.

MacFanUK
Aug 20, 2009, 05:14 PM
What about the PS3? I think that's what I'll most likely go for if there's no update to the ATV. I read an article today saying that the PS3 was being updated one 1st September with a new slimmer model with 120GB hard drive for £249. Seems a bargain to me, considering it has BR.