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View Full Version : Did Apple just lose the living room?




droz
Sep 10, 2009, 11:08 AM
I've been sooooo hoping Apple would see the light and at the very least add DVR capability to the AppleTV to really compete in the living room. I know it's possible to record on the mac using eyetv and stream to the appletv, but I think the beast (MS) has finally awakened. I was going to shift to a complete mac home (already have MBPro and was going to add a mac mini to replace my PC), but now I'm thinking the PC looks pretty darn good with Win 7 and streaming to the xbox in the living room.

What is everyone's thoughts here? I'm just really tired of apple's stance that tv tuner functionality in the mac is not a priority because it doesn't fit their business model. And the AppleTV is still a hobby. It's just a darn shame because apple could have dominated the living room. I know the future is digital delivery but that future's not completely here yet, and not everyone wants to pay to watch a show that they could record in HD for free.

Frustrating.

************

This just in from our team at Microsoft's MCE event at CEDIA -- the OEM requirement on CableCARDs has been officially lifted, freeing Joe Six Packs all over from having to buy whole systems. The photo above pretty much says it all -- enthusiasts (hey, that's us!) can add CableCARD tuners to their PC. Even though a DIY workaround has been around for a while, it's nice not to have to break/bend the rules to get your shows recorded, isn't it?

http://www.engadgethd.com/2009/09/09/media-center-cablecards-freed-from-oem-requirement/



thegoldenmackid
Sep 10, 2009, 11:10 AM
The Apple TV is a weird device to begin with. I doubt they were "winning the living room" to begin with.

littfam
Sep 10, 2009, 11:28 AM
I agree it is a weird device. I have one and love it for what it does. I think too many companies and various media interests would have to join together to create a device that could dominate the media serving needs in a household, and that device would be incorporated into the television set. We are a long ways yet from seeing an "all-in-one" a device, and perhaps should hope the day never comes.

sanPietro98
Sep 10, 2009, 11:35 AM
I think the big problem is the licensing obligations that go into a DVR. Look at TiVo. It has a fantastic DVR, but the company can barely stay alive. TiVo can't compete with the cable and satellite companies' DVRs because they already have licensing agreements with content providers and use that licensing to make their DVRs a loss. They make the money off the content.

That is what iTunes is for... to make money off of content. To make a DVR would hurt the iTunes sales and they'd have to renegotiate with all the content providers.

spice weasel
Sep 10, 2009, 11:37 AM
DVRs are expensive. And it's not like the ATV is the only media extender that doesn't have one. In fact, none of them do. If you want a DVR, you either buy a TiVo, rent one from your cable or satellite provider, or build/add your own to your HTPC.

The ATV is a media extender. If you want a HTPC, buy a mini and an EyeTV.

BORIStheBLADE
Sep 10, 2009, 11:58 AM
To be honest I don't want one device to do everything. In the past we have all had something that "does everything" but not as much as we like. I like having separate devices. I think they are more reliable like that.
If you really wanted it to take over your living room it would need a DVD player too. DVD players were around before the Atv was made and they still didn't put one it.

The Atv would have more momentum if these updates they have rolled out let it play more codecs. I'm not talking about what you get when you torrent. I'm talking about ripping your movies and digital camcorders. People don't want to spend hours converting their 300+ dvd collection. Yes the Atv was built so you can rent movies and buy movies off Itunes. If you were able to play your file even easier people that wanted a streamer would consider the Atv because of Apples nice stuff. This would be more sale for Apple.



I have used the Xbox 360 for streaming with Media center and the Xbox has a noticeable tone that would drown out my center channel on my surround sound. It bothered me.

cmcbridejr
Sep 10, 2009, 12:16 PM
I've been sooooo hoping Apple would see the light and at the very least add DVR capability to the AppleTV to really compete in the living room. I know it's possible to record on the mac using eyetv and stream to the appletv, but I think the beast (MS) has finally awakened. I was going to shift to a complete mac home (already have MBPro and was going to add a mac mini to replace my PC), but now I'm thinking the PC looks pretty darn good with Win 7 and streaming to the xbox in the living room.

What is everyone's thoughts here? I'm just really tired of apple's stance that tv tuner functionality in the mac is not a priority because it doesn't fit their business model. And the AppleTV is still a hobby. It's just a darn shame because apple could have dominated the living room. I know the future is digital delivery but that future's not completely here yet, and not everyone wants to pay to watch a show that they could record in HD for free.

Frustrating.

The AppleTV is just a low-cost, headless iPod.

It seems to me that you are asking for a product Apple already makes; a Mac mini with an eyetv connected, which is no more expensive than having a PC running Windows 7 that is streaming to an XBox.

droz
Sep 10, 2009, 12:40 PM
all very good points. I have a HDHomerun and I love love love it. But now that they are unlocking the digital cable card tuners I am so very tempted hold out and set up a PC based HTPC. I could use my HDHomerun to get HD on the network channels and use the ATI DCT as a second tuner to get everything else in HD (including HBO, etc). That's pretty hard to beat.

Just wish they had developed the appletv a little more.

ottawaapplefan
Sep 10, 2009, 01:12 PM
I think if they went the dvr route it could have done more harm then good.It likely could have been limited where it could be sold then where it could be sold would have to compete with alot.Adding a dvr to the atv is alot harder then its sounds apple would have to work deals out with all cable and dish companys etc not an easy task.I know some people have the mind set they can add anything with out thinking it may not be avaible in other countrys etc.The other factors is the costs and so on.

Dan--
Sep 10, 2009, 01:22 PM
There's so much they could do.

But all I really want is a quiet spec update. Mostly a faster processor/GPU for full HD and more codecs with Boxee, but also a bigger HD and more memory, and a FW update to allow direct connect external drives (out of the box). That's not so much to ask, is it?

(More complete post here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=8457137#post8457137 )

wunderboy
Sep 10, 2009, 02:02 PM
Not worried about a DVR, especially if I want to drop cable. However, I would like Hulu and Pandora along with more codec support. BluRay DVD wouldn't be bad either.

Currently use ATV to stream to whole house audio and Pandora would make it complete for me, I also rent movies which I like, play home movies, have all our music and pictures on the system. The pictures alone have made a few of my friends purchase the unit. Xbox is used for Netflix, PlayOn (so I get Hulu that way) and for streaming some of my Archived DVD's. ATV is of course quieter and the UI is better.

I am sure there will be an update soon for ATV given the new iTunes, but I wouldnt' expect anything grand.

I would purchase a new fantasy upgraded unit for the living room and put the old one in the bedroom. I am currenlty experimenting with the new Home Sharing option in iTunes 9 since I have a NAS.

It would be nice to eventually drop cable.

cmcbridejr
Sep 10, 2009, 02:15 PM
There's so much they could do.

But all I really want is a quiet spec update. Mostly a faster processor/GPU for full HD and more codecs with Boxee, but also a bigger HD and more memory, and a FW update to allow direct connect external drives (out of the box). That's not so much to ask, is it?

(More complete post here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=8457137#post8457137 )

It's called a Mac Mini!

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 10, 2009, 02:40 PM
Apple didn't just lose the living room by doing nothing with :apple:TV on 9/9/9, because no one else stepped in to take it. What Apple lost was merely opportunity to plant a much bigger, more impressive claim to the living room starting that day.

The existing :apple:TV is pretty nice in many ways. The problem is that we intuitively know how much better it could be. Worse, some of those "betters" could be accomplished without having to add significant cost- and thus price- to it. Because we can easily see other, similar platforms with certain capabilities, it is natural to recognize that Apple could build them in too. Because hackers have been able to add some much desired functionality to the existing platform, obviously Apple could at least do that stuff.

So, we have this dated Apple product with knowledge that it could be a lot better in many ways (at lower prices, the same price and higher prices). And we know that Apple has the capabilities to enhance it far beyond where it still stands, so it is merely a matter of Apple needing the will to deliver a next-gen :apple:TV. And that- IMO- is the most frustrating bit of the situation, because it can be translated into "do they NOT want the money I- or we- would immediately pay to buy the next gen?"

No, they did not lose the living room. But if they could finally summon up the will, it appears favorable they could take a much bigger bite out of that pie. My dollars- like many others- continue to wait for them- or someone else- to give us a (next-gen) product that we want to buy. We know they can do it. So, how about it, Apple?

BORIStheBLADE
Sep 10, 2009, 03:21 PM
Apple didn't just lose the living room by doing nothing with :apple:TV on 9/9/9, because no one else stepped in to take it. What Apple lost was merely opportunity to plant a much bigger, more impressive claim to the living room starting that day.

The existing :apple:TV is pretty nice in many ways. The problem is that we intuitively know how much better it could be. Worse, some of those "betters" could be accomplished without having to add significant cost- and thus price- to it. Because we can easily see other, similar platforms with certain capabilities, it is natural to recognize that Apple could build them in too. Because hackers have been able to add some much desired functionality to the existing platform, obviously Apple could at least do that stuff.

So, we have this dated Apple product with knowledge that it could be a lot better in many ways (at lower prices, the same price and higher prices). And we know that Apple has the capabilities to enhance it far beyond where it still stands, so it is merely a matter of Apple needing the will to deliver a next-gen :apple:TV. And that- IMO- is the most frustrating bit of the situation, because it can be translated into "do they NOT want the money I- or we- would immediately pay to buy the next gen?"

No, they did not lose the living room. But if they could finally summon up the will, it appears favorable they could take a much bigger bite out of that pie. My dollars- like many others- continue to wait for them- or someone else- to give us a (next-gen) product that we want to buy. We know they can do it. So, how about it, Apple?


I couldn't agree more.

Dr.Buzz
Sep 10, 2009, 04:13 PM
After reading everyone's posts, it seems obvious what the want of the public is. An integrated device that includes the media channels we all watch, is interactive like the web and is basically on-demand.

I totally agree again with those last couple posts. This device could easily be much more than it is. I see iTunes being the focus though. With new streaming technologies being applied we hopefully will see an apple TV linked to a subscription based iTunes model. That, however, is less up to apple than it is the media companies. I hope those rumors come true though. I know apple patented tech recently that helps stream hi res video through firewalls, I wonder if this would help them with this model.

That would make AppleTV a direct competitor to cable companies that own the pipes, meaning they have to likely negotiate for bandwidth and profit sharing as they did in the cell phone industry with AT&T.

Look up details on Zillion.tv
This company is attempting to do EXACTLY what apple should do, but apple's content should sync to ipods seemlessly and not always have to be stored locally. That would be SICK.:D

almostinsane
Sep 10, 2009, 04:19 PM
lol, when did Apple even have the living room? ATV is a one trick pony and consumers wont buy it unless they can replace their cable box and/or DVD player with it.

Mac N Tosh
Sep 10, 2009, 04:27 PM
I too like it for what it does..

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 10, 2009, 04:31 PM
That would make AppleTV a direct competitor to cable companies that own the pipes, meaning they have to likely negotiate for bandwidth and profit sharing as they did in the cell phone industry with AT&T.

Well, while we're dreaming of the possibilities, there is another thread in which someone speculates Apple could take a little bit of their cash reserves and buy DISH network. If that would somehow happen, it would give them a way to bypass the "constraints" of having to work through the Cable monopolists pipes, policies, & practices. I don't see Apple doing it, but would it ever shake up the Cable industry!

Now, if only they- or Google- would have bought the recently-freed up television channel spectrum instead of the same old cell-phone monopolists. That would have given them the spectrum to create a next-gen iPhone service without having to do deals with AT&T or Verizon. Imagine those possibilities!

Either or both would have been "end to end" control options for Apple, which seems like something they would love. But one is already over, and the other is just a wild rumor.

Consultant
Sep 10, 2009, 04:35 PM
I know a lot of people who bought a Mac Mini for the living room, or connect their Mac laptop to their TV or a big monitor.

All recent macs are remote control capable, and there are apps such as Plex media player.

dmm219
Sep 11, 2009, 11:51 PM
lol, when did Apple even have the living room? ATV is a one trick pony and consumers wont buy it unless they can replace their cable box and/or DVD player with it.

This is the correct response.

1. Apple never HAD the living room
2. The ONLY way a box will EVER have the living room is when it can replace and be a cheaper alternative to cable. Period. The cable companies and studios are well on their way to making sure this doesn't happen.
3. Due to the above, I doubt Apple wants (or ever wanted) the living room.

This isn't a market conducive for Apple. As apple likes to say "it doesn't make sense". The ATV is gonna be mostly abandonware, and eventually morph into something completely different, or split the segment (low cost ipod extender, no HD...uber cheap AND a tablet).

stagi
Sep 12, 2009, 01:14 AM
I agree with the posts that Apple never had the living room, but have to say that I really do love my Apple TV. Use it pretty much every day, sometimes to just play music when in the living room or browse some photos and perfect for movies. Never have to look for a DVD again.

jeremy.king
Sep 29, 2009, 03:51 PM
Sorry I'm late - great thread. I don't know that anyone "HAS" the living room or that it's a space that anyone player can win due to all the different standards globally. So many players, no one dominant player other than cable boxes.

The idea that opening up CableCARD will add options is a little misleading. CableCARDs (at least in Chicago) are intentionally feature crippled - and guess who provides them? yep, the cable company - so this won't change without more legislation.

My thoughts: DVR will become a thing of the past as everything will be available on demand (prices would have to come down). Apple is developing a home server appliance (analagous to a database) and it will serve all itunes content to various devices (iPhone, laptops, apple tv, etc) and televisions (Apple branded perhaps???). That rumored "Apple TV" remote would make sense if you could control many devices, not just an Apple TV. The fact that DRM is on the way out seems to support the feasibility of such a device/appliance/server.

rhett7660
Sep 29, 2009, 04:29 PM
My thoughts: DVR will become a thing of the past as everything will be available on demand (prices would have to come down). Apple is developing a home server appliance (analagous to a database) and it will serve all itunes content to various devices (iPhone, laptops, apple tv, etc) and televisions (Apple branded perhaps???). That rumored "Apple TV" remote would make sense if you could control many devices, not just an Apple TV. The fact that DRM is on the way out seems to support the feasibility of such a device/appliance/server.

I hope you are right on this one. I would love something like this. Something that can help me with my music video's, movies, music and pictures. This would be great. I have a feeling this won't be coming soon. I think Apple took a step in the right direction with home sharing in iTunes 9 but it is so limited and crippled in my view that we are still a long ways off.

Mexcelsior
Sep 29, 2009, 04:33 PM
Folks, ..... Apple is doing everything correctly.... just not catering to our impatience. Darn it all anyway! There are 3 main computing markets that Apple is adjusting to...
1) Desktop/Laptop Computer
2) All-in-one Handheld/mp3 player/pda/camera/video camera/phone/portable gaming/general utility ... probably going to replace the wallet soon by acting as license and credit card. : )
3) Living room all-in-one media device gaming console, internet, home-phone-video, dvr, cable-internet content provider, blue ray, over the air with even linking to potential home automation. As of yet, this market is really thin and hasn't developed yet. Apple is correctly waiting to position itself with a device and so far, even MS and other TVs or consoles are still lacking and are as far behind. The market for the living room will be potentially be a very big market (we all know how much time we spend in front of the TV). But Apple needs to gain momentum in both gaming and more importantly, content providers (cable providers) need to better reinvent their business models before the all-in-one living room computing device becomes real.

ME

Benicio10
Sep 29, 2009, 05:01 PM
great thread ...

so what do i do in the meantime?

buy more blurays? rent from :apple:TV? rip my blurays to store on my 500GB internal PS3 drive? rip them to :apple:TV format?

decisions decisions!

Will MKV's become the MP3's of video where they will eventually become accepted as a standard?

I don't want to dive into 1 practice and have to change it up again in 6 months. At least with music we know MP3 is here to stay. 320kbps are going to last a long, long time, IMO.

Whats the most sustainable practice for movie/tv show/portable viewing?

mavfan11
Sep 29, 2009, 06:04 PM
I bought my first game console in years, a new PS3, a few weeks ago and had no idea at the time that it could play content from my home network. It works really well and even if Apple came out with some great improvement for the ATV I wouldn't be interested now that I see what the PS3 can do.