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gkarris
Sep 15, 2009, 08:41 PM
Indeed. The device has always been a joke for what it costs.

Sales will only tank further with the PS3 price drop. They need to kill this "hobby" or merge it with something else like a mini or time capsule

I bought mine used and it's been great.

I watch all my iTunes content on it and can purchase shows from my couch in my home theater instead of in front of my tiny laptop or on my desk.

Many of us love it.

Have you ever tried using one of those "Windows Media Extenders"? :eek:

(I tried setting up my XB360 as one - what a nightmare and it never worked. I got the AppleTV and had it working in about 5 minutes).



PcBgone
Sep 15, 2009, 08:44 PM
Im so on the fence about getting one. I want one. I dont care about DVR or Tv Tuners or anything like that. I simply want my ripped dvds to be able to play on my 720p Plasma. 1080p? So what? I sit about 12 feet from the set, and cant tell a difference.

I just dont want to spend the cash now, if a new one is right around the corner. Of course, Id rather have the newer model for better features, or better equipment. But Im impatient and dont want to wait for 6 months...

What would you do?

freepeacesweet
Sep 15, 2009, 10:11 PM
Im so on the fence about getting one. I want one. I dont care about DVR or Tv Tuners or anything like that. I simply want my ripped dvds to be able to play on my 720p Plasma. 1080p? So what? I sit about 12 feet from the set, and cant tell a difference.

I just dont want to spend the cash now, if a new one is right around the corner. Of course, Id rather have the newer model for better features, or better equipment. But Im impatient and dont want to wait for 6 months...

What would you do?
Well in it's current state it does everything you want with a bit of gentle hacking?

Thanatoast
Sep 15, 2009, 10:32 PM
Im so on the fence about getting one. I want one. I dont care about DVR or Tv Tuners or anything like that. I simply want my ripped dvds to be able to play on my 720p Plasma. 1080p? So what? I sit about 12 feet from the set, and cant tell a difference.

I just dont want to spend the cash now, if a new one is right around the corner. Of course, Id rather have the newer model for better features, or better equipment. But Im impatient and dont want to wait for 6 months...

What would you do?
Give it a month, then buy.

The one thing I'm looking for the ATV to do that it doesn't at the moment is show the new LP I just downloaded. We are in need of a software update. We can't really share the album experience when he computer's in a different room than the home stereo and has a much smaller screen...

VirtualRain
Sep 15, 2009, 10:48 PM
Originally Posted by VirtualRain
Give me on-demand, top-quality content at reasonable prices so I get exactly what I want, when I want it, where I want it, on the device I want to view it on, and that's the future. That's where Apple is right now with music and that's where I hope Apple is going with video next!


Again your vision is excellent. However, Apple is far from that vision right now. Because they lack a lot of content availability, the "on demand" piece fails unless a person is happy with the limited offerings that are available now.

<snip>


Give people what they want, and people will buy a lot of what you're selling. Give people what you want them to want, and people may buy a lot if you guessed their needs exactly right, but will probably buy less since you're not hitting their target. Guess wrong and wait for buyers to come around to the company way of thinking and you generally end up with very slow market penetration. Which of these seems the closest match to :apple:TV "as is"?

I completely agree that Apple has not achieved the vision. It's within their grasp if they choose to pursue it.

It's also a vision that cannot be achieved over-night. Low-cost high-quality on-demand content from an enormous library will only be achieved as critical mass is achieved. Critical mass will only be achieved when the price, selection, and quality of content is there. :(

Given that, it doesn't help Apple to achieve the vision by supporting cable, satellite and optical disk formats of content delivery since these are all working against achieving the critical mass necessary for the vision to succeed.

If Apple came out with a variation of AppleTV with DVR capability and a blu-ray player, it would be the death nail to the vision... and Apple simply won't do it for that reason.

Also, they don't care what we want... it's widely known that Apple doesn't do market research... (one good source (http://www.pragmaticmarketing.com/publications/magazine/6/4/you_cant_innovate_like_apple))

The electronic distribution of video content at this moment, seems very analogous to the period of time about 10 years ago when pirated MP3's were rampant, labels were stubbornly sticking to traditional mediums of distribution (the CD and Radio). Apple took the bull by the horns, took advantage of the chaos, and came out of it with a licensing deal with nearly every major recording label and within a few years, pretty much owned the digital music market.

Now a days, we have rampant pirating of movies via bit-torrent, networks and movie studios stubbornly sticking to traditional distribution methods (Cable, satellite, DVD, Blu-ray, etc.) and the opportunity is ripe for someone like Apple to swoop in and own this market.

I can only imagine that it's much more difficult this time around, likely because the studios and networks all witnessed what Apple did with music and they don't want a repeat where they are simply the middle-men... I assume they all want a much bigger piece of the pie and want to "own" the whole model (pure conjecture on my part). At any rate, I expect that the pure politics of the whole thing might make this revolution in digital media take a very long time.

In the mean-time, don't look to Apple for a DVR or even an AppleTV with a blu-ray player, I believe that goes against everything they believe in.

MagnusVonMagnum
Sep 15, 2009, 11:03 PM
They are about to launch more HD Movies some from Disney! :eek:

To buy or just to rent? This whole buy an HD movie thing has been beyond disappointing in terms of selection and number of available titles. Those are also the only titles you can rent in HD from anything other than Apple TV.

carlgo
Sep 15, 2009, 11:03 PM
Hoping for a nice low price soon on the discontinued 40 and note that none are shown on Apple's refurb or clearance site. Hopefully that means they will be unloaded cheap there.

I just want the basic features of playing iTunes through the home theater speakers and viewing my photos on the HDTV, all connected neatly with HDMI.

Apple could have done a better job presenting the ATV. It does what it does quite nicely and is really a valuable addition to anyone who wants a nice interface between their computer and their home entertainment system. Nothing wrong with that except the cost is too high just for those basic features and functions.

If Apple showed the Apple Guy viewing photos and listening to music in an organized and neat way, and the PC Guy entangled in wires and geeky interfaces, then people would get what the ATV actually does.

There is no reason a more capable and expensive unit couldn't also be marketed, hopefully one that offers far more than just a bigger hard drive.

VirtualRain
Sep 15, 2009, 11:08 PM
The mix tape was great for its time and technology; TiVo is still great for its. Wonder if you have one or have really seen how it works?


Don't get me wrong, I have a Motorola 6816 DVR supplied by my cable company and when I first got one about 5 years ago, I was super impressed. It gave me a new freedom to watch TV when "I" wanted and without commercials (who doesn't love commercial skip? :D).

However, I now find it constraining. I can't take my TV shows with me... anywhere... on the plane, on my iPhone, over to my girlfriends place, etc.

The device is so locked down it makes an AppleTV look as open as 7-Eleven. If you want HDTV, you have no choice but to buy the cable company box. :mad:

It forces me to be sure I setup recordings in advance... No retro-active downloads if I missed or forgot to set a recording (series or otherwise). It has limited capacity. I can't archive anything to another storage device. I can't integrate it with content from other sources (eg. the internet). Occasionally it will miss the start time of something I want because a previous sports or news item ran over it's allotted time. And to make matters worse (when I purchased this latest model a couple of years ago) it costs twice as much as an AppleTV... for the same basic hardware and a crappy UI, and on top of that, I have to pay $45 per month whether I use it or not even though I only watch about 3 or 4 programs that run for perhaps 20-25 weeks a year. If it wasn't for the occasional live hockey game, I'd probably have sold it a long time ago and started bit-torrenting my favourite shows out of spite! :mad: :rolleyes: ...Actually hockey is moving more and more to PPV so it may happen sooner than later! :(

So yeah, I'm intimately familiar with DVR's and I can't wait to get rid of mine! :p

blybug
Sep 15, 2009, 11:59 PM
However, I now find it constraining. I can't take my TV shows with me... anywhere... on the plane, on my iPhone, over to my girlfriends place, etc.

The device is so locked down it makes an AppleTV look as open as 7-Eleven. If you want HDTV, you have no choice but to buy the cable company box. :mad:

Guess that's why I love the TiVo. It's the "Mac" of the DVR world in that it just works...sounds like your cable box DVR is very "PC". TiVo shows can be copied and converted to iTunes format via http://tdm.sourceforge.net/ or with Toast Titanium. I've got it automated so that The Daily Show is on my iPhone every morning.

Evangelion
Sep 16, 2009, 02:35 AM
$229 = 219 my arse.

Ridiculous. A PS3 Slim costs 239. Apple really do not want to sell any of these in Europe.

Why are people constantly comparing AppleTV to PS3? I own a PS3, am I missing something? Just to remind everyone:

- AppleTV works seamlessly with iTunes. PS3 does not

- AppleTV has simple and easy UI, PS3 is a confusing mess

- AppleTV is silent, PS3 is not

- You need an add-on remote (using DualShock for this is crap) for PS3 and additional software to make it work with iTunes, and those cost extra. And even then it's not a seamless experience, and the UI still sucks

- AppleTV has youtube and it works as an AirTunes-terminal. PS3 does not.

Don't get me wrong, I like my PS3. For games and bly-ray. I have also tried to use it as a device to use with my iTunes-library (thanks to software from Null River). And while it worked, it was still less than perfect solution. They UI still sucked and I could not stream movies to the device.

mkjj
Sep 16, 2009, 03:25 AM
Most of my Apple gear has come from the States (entirely due to cost / last visit exchange was 1.88) and I either use adapter plug with no problems (as is the case with ATV) or pick up UK cable with no probs so far.


Great thanks for the info, very tempted, now if only the exchange rate went back up to 1.88!!!

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 16, 2009, 12:14 PM
Given that, it doesn't help Apple to achieve the vision by supporting cable, satellite and optical disk formats of content delivery since these are all working against achieving the critical mass necessary for the vision to succeed.

If Apple came out with a variation of AppleTV with DVR capability and a blu-ray player, it would be the death nail to the vision... and Apple simply won't do it for that reason.

In the mean-time, don't look to Apple for a DVR or even an AppleTV with a blu-ray player, I believe that goes against everything they believe in.

VR, while I can appreciate your own point of view, I can easily counter these quoted argument snippets. It is simple chicken vs. egg. If Apple sticks to what they believe in (720p, buy it from itunes only, etc) they don't sell many :apple:TVs. If they don't sell many :apple:TVs, there isn't a lot of natural pressure on the content producers to do deals with Apple in support of the vision. Until :apple:TV is dominating like iPods dominate music, the equivalent revolution cannot be realized.

Suppose then that Apple does something novel and actually reads the endless threads regarding :apple:TV. There is enough product development nuggets in threads and critical reviews to effectively map out several next-generation :apple:TV platforms. By building what mass market BUYERS want to buy, Apple can sell a lot more :apple:TVs, which then strengthens their momentum toward the vision.

An :apple:TV with DVR and/or Blue Ray doesn't kill the vision. Either and both will apparently give a whole lot more people reason to buy :apple:TV. With deep penetration will come ever-greater leverage in working deals with content producers, making content pricing from iTunes much more appealing and getting much more desirable content into the iTunes store.

There would come a point where you just let the math fulfill the vision. For example, the monopolist cable companies pretty much raise rates every year. As iTunes content became cheaper, households would notice, eventually deciding they don't want cable anymore. Sure, this would give the DVR functionality a lot less to do, but there's a tangible step toward the vision.

Similarly, BD video right now is as good as it gets in mainstream video distribution. It's not fun to buy a "true HD":rolleyes: HDTV and be limited to only iTunes handicapped 720p programming (at best) to show it off. Thus, cable/antenna feeds video (not on demand) that delivers a better quality picture now. And BD delivers a maximum quality picture for mainstream TV products.

The only legal way to get 1080p quality professional content on your new 1080p HD is BD (other than limited 1080p VOD options via cable/satt). So, someone who wants to watch their favorite movies at the maximum resolution of their HDTV is pretty much going to have to BUY a BD player; iTunes and :apple:TV is NOT a solution at all for these people.

So, if they are going to spend that money anyway, build a BD option into a next gen :apple:TV and that money can be spent on an Apple product (with a bunch of other great features) instead of a BD player. And by getting more penetration into living rooms, content producers will be increasingly enticed to make 1080i and even 1080p content available via iTunes (current US broadband bandwith issues set aside). As such content is added at attractive pricing, it will sell/be rented via iTunes.

Next-gen :apple:TV owners will see they can then buy or rent BD equivalent movies via iTunes. They'll be able to choose whether they want to continue buying old technology (discs) or "vision" technology (itunes files). And again, with ever-growing penetration of :apple:TV, Apple can negotiate better and better deals such that the latter could be meaningfully less expensive than buying the BD disc. Naturally, the public can get comfortable with buying the digital file instead of paying more for the BD disc, and demand for BD can fade away.

At that point, assuming both scenarios, the public would have a next-gen :apple:TV that has a DVR function that might be completely- or mostly unused, and a BD player that might be completely- or mostly unused, but guess where we are then: the vision is realized.

- OR -

Apple sticks to its guns waiting for the world to decide that Apple's way is THE way to go,
-settling for handicapped 720p quality content at best for their 1080p HDTV sets,
-settling for paying a lot more for the mix of their favorite shows via iTunes vs. getting such shows- and substantially more programming availability- as part of their cable/satt bills,
-settling for the general lack of availability of some of their favorite shows & movies on iTunes
-pretty much caring less about the whole live event/live sports programming
-generally caring less about their local news/local programming

Now, how does Apple achieve the vision when it basically forces the market to make all these sacrifices now to do it the Apple way? Worse, not only would the public need to make these sacrifices now, but they would also have to PAY for Apples box so that they can embrace making these sacrifices. If Apple chooses to wait for the market to come around to the Apple vision- rather than taking tangible steps they most certainly can deliver to grease the wheels- I just can't envision them ever getting there.

A company casts a "vision" as something to aggressively go after and make happen. A company who casts a vision and then waits on it to magically come to them is only making a wish, and relying on hope.

McGiord
Sep 16, 2009, 01:35 PM
I don't see 720p as handicapped.
Handicapped: Seeing YouTube videos on a 40" HDTV via :apple:TV

The BluRay will be a feature that will allow users to see BluRay discs, and :apple: don't like that we use the :apple:TV mainly to watch BluRay discs.

Like other posted before watching HD podcasts is a nice feature.

Most HD TV broadcasted is in 720p and 1080i, even that the 1080p is the 'best' we can have nowadays and I would love to have more content in 1080p in the :apple:TV, I find OK 720p or 1080i.
My point is that I do prefer to see other features like: better UI to quickly get to your Videos instead of having the iTunes store as the main thing.

Capability to see other internet media, and adjust the video size, and more space, DVR, games, etc...

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 16, 2009, 02:44 PM
I don't see 720p as handicapped.
Handicapped: Seeing YouTube videos on a 40" HDTV via :apple:TV

By handicapped, I mean :apple:TVs version of 720p is not even full on 720p. In other words, it would be reasonably fair- IMO- to call it barely- or partially- HD. Technically, it is HD (and certainly better than SD), but the bandwith is really pinched (by Apple's design) which means other sources of 720p could be a lot better than the best of what we get out of :apple:TV 720p.

The biggest arguments for 720p as a standard (vs. 1080i) was high action scenes like live sports. 720p rendering high resolution images at twice the speed of classic methods would yield a much more fluid video presentation. Now, shoot a little HD video with an HD camcorder, and render it at MAX :apple:TVs version of 720p and observe what a "great" job is does with even slowly panning the camera (hint: stutter, stutter, stutter). Why? That's the handicapped part.

The BluRay will be a feature that will allow users to see BluRay discs, and :apple: don't like that we use the :apple:TV mainly to watch BluRay discs.
I completely agree that Apple would prefer that people buy their HD content from iTunes. However, people interested in showing maximum quality content on their 1080i or 1080p content can choose between an :apple:TV, which will be able to deliver handicapped 720p at best OR a BD player which can deliver 1080p. If a next-gen :apple:TV had a BD player option, the buyer could choose one box to cover both bases- and end up with so much more than just a BD player.

My point is that I do prefer to see other features like: better UI to quickly get to your Videos instead of having the iTunes store as the main thing. Capability to see other internet media, and adjust the video size, and more space, DVR, games, etc...
I have an :apple:TV myself, so I appreciate many of the same things about it. IT IS GREAT in many ways "as is". My beef is that with just a little effort to give BUYERS what they want to buy, Apple could sell a whole lot more of them. And with much greater (ipod like) penetration, all the rest will logically fall into place.

However, ignore BUYER wants and you don't get many buyers. Without big adoption, the other stuff doesn't logically fall into place.

Apple is so close to turning hobby into another category killer. If they would just "think different" and actually open their ears to buyer inputs, it appears that another home run success is just a step or three away.

Cave Man
Sep 16, 2009, 03:55 PM
No they weren't. The initial discs were MPEG2, and of dubious quality...

Like I said, a many of the older Blu-ray titles were in MPEG-2. ;)

No, it's too expensive for the class of device, although it can do everything that is required. You'd need to connect it up to an Atom chip (relatively expensive when bought to use with Ion) or a more expensive Intel chip. It's not on, the current AppleTV is expensive because of its horrible Intel CPU + NB + SB + NVIDIA GPU configuration.

I guess we'll have to wait and see. But considering Apple already has optimize code for the 9400m (e.g., OpenCL, Quicktime hardware acceleration), I think the 9400m is at the top of their list.

VirtualRain
Sep 16, 2009, 04:02 PM
However, ignore BUYER wants and you don't get many buyers. Without big adoption, the other stuff doesn't logically fall into place.

Apple is so close to turning hobby into another category killer. If they would just "think different" and actually open their ears to buyer inputs, it appears that another home run success is just a step or three away.

I suspect the lack of investment in AppleTV has more to do with practical implications - not a lack of desire to own the space. It's hard to imagine that Apple doesn't see the opportunity.

First, Apple, like most companies, has limited resources. Right now, they are investing heavily in the iPhone and likely it's derivative tablet. So much so, that arguably, all other product lines are suffering from a lack of serious attention... Not just the AppleTV. Their pro line is suffering just as bad. In my opinion this is a sound strategy. There's no sense spreading themselves thin and doing a poor job on several things instead of absolutely nailing one. Once the iPhone/tablet has matured, they will be onto the next thing.

Next, As I mentioned in an earlier post, the political landscape for negotiating killer licensing deals with networks and studios is a nightmare now compared to what it was when Steve Jobs tied up the digital music rights. Sony has it's own agenda and owns a lot of content. It's likely all the other studios have equally big egos and want to do things their own way. Networks also want to own a bigger piece of the pie. It's a mine field now... making any attempts to offer a really broad catalog of high-quality content extremely difficult if not impossible. In light of this, Apple has done an admirable job. Note that NO ONE has distribution rights to 1080p content outside of the Blu-ray format.

Finally, I won't be surprised if the tablet's killer app is viewing video content. If so, it may very well redefine the whole market for playback of video content for both mobile viewers and couch potatos. With a slick dock or wireless HDMI capabilities, it could easily leave the AppleTV and all competitors in the dust. Who wouldn't want an AppleTV you could put in your pocket?

I hope they "think different" and come out with a category killer, but not by building a Bluray/Tivo/Popcorn box... I want something revolutionary.

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 16, 2009, 04:44 PM
First, Apple, like most companies, has limited resources. Right now, they are investing heavily in the iPhone and likely it's derivative tablet. So much so, that arguably, all other product lines are suffering from a lack of serious attention... Not just the AppleTV. Their pro line is suffering just as bad. In my opinion this is a sound strategy. There's no sense spreading themselves thin and doing a poor job on several things instead of absolutely nailing one. Once the iPhone/tablet has matured, they will be onto the next thing.
While I appreciate the sentiment, I wholly disagree with this argument. Apple is a BIG company (hopefully) not depending on some tiny little group of key people who can only manage ONE thing at a time. Apple has the cash resources to easily hire some additional talent to build in features as simple as those described as popular :apple:TV features desired in a next gen version. If hard drive manufacturers can engineer these little boxes with additional features we want in the :apple:TV, I'm pretty sure just a few of the capable talents at Apple could be dedicated to at least matching some of what those hard drive companies are doing. Sure WD, etc can't approximate the Apple UI, and sure we ALL know that Apple can do it much better, it's just a matter of wishing that Apple had the will to do it much better NOW. I have great confidence that Apple is not a focus-all-resources-on-one-thing-at-a-time company. However, if I find out that's not true, I'll be quick to sell all my Apple stock.

Next, As I mentioned in an earlier post, the political landscape for negotiating killer licensing deals with networks and studios is a nightmare now compared to what it was when Steve Jobs tied up the digital music rights. It's a mine field now... making any attempts to offer a really broad catalog of high-quality content extremely difficult if not impossible.
Again, this is chicken vs. egg... and no excuse for Apple to be slow in rolling out a next gen :apple:TV with more market-driven features. It's not the lack of available content in iTunes right now that is holding up broad adoption of :apple:TV; iTunes has a great deal of available content (does any other comparable source have more???).

But, build an :apple:TV with some additional BUYER-desired functionality so that it wins massive adoption, and the content creators will be the ones deactivating those mines. You'd be surprised how quick big profit motivators help get very difficult business arrangements worked out. All those content providers want to make as much as they possibly can from all of their content. Give them various new (secure) ways with a lot of realistic potential for profit, and they'll jump all over each other to work a deal.

On the other hand, waiting until the mine field clears itself up does nothing but gives other companies a chance to eat up the living room.

In light of this, Apple has done an admirable job. Note that NO ONE has distribution rights to 1080p content outside of the Blu-ray format.
Agree on the admirable job. Relative to distribution rights, give them another (secure) way to deliver 1080p that costs less than packaging their content in physical media and giving a cut to retailers, if they sell it near the same price as BD, they make a lot more profit. Even if they cut the price by- say- half of the money that would otherwise go to retailers, they still make fatter margins, while the lower price might drive some additional volume.

BD is familiar territory- a replay of selling their content on tape, then DVD. They know it is at least as secure as selling it on DVD. They know a disc distribution model can be very lucrative. However, the Internet gives them a channel to offer every bit of content they own to many more potential customers vs. current disc retail schemes.

Finally, I won't be surprised if the tablet's killer app is viewing video content. If so, it may very well redefine the whole market for playback of video content for both mobile viewers and couch potatos. With a slick dock or wireless HDMI capabilities, it could easily leave the AppleTV and all competitors in the dust. Who wouldn't want an AppleTV you could put in your pocket?
I have tremendous hope that a major application of the tablet will not be either the new, replacement :apple:TV or an ultimate fancy remote. If the former, I can't grasp how it makes sense to have a device keying on portability also be a device that needs constant connection to the home entertainment system (for all but single people living alone). If the latter, we're talking about an $800??? (think about Apple pricing) remote control needed to be left in the living room to control the base station, which again kills the portability if the buyer lives with other people- NOT to mention what happens when someone drops or sits on the iTablet remote.

Sure, it's fantastic to think about the iTablet facilitating taking the show with you, etc. But if it is the next-gen :apple:TV, then it would seem to come with enormous classic functionality sacrifices for anyone other than the single person living alone.

I find it much easier to picture an iTablet with a remote control app as an option- just like iPhones and iPod Touch has their remote control apps. But pretty much for the same kinds of portability reasons that one doesn't imagine an iPhone or iPod touch being a replacement for :apple:TV, I don't see a iTablet being one either. Instead, I see the tablet and the next-gen :apple:TV as two pretty separate products, overlapping with certain optional functionality in the tablet.

But what do I know; maybe Apple has had almost their whole team on the next-gen :apple:TV tablet super device since they finished up that original iPhone. Obviously, I'm pretty hot for a next-gen :apple:TV (not so much for this tablet device- even considering some of the wildest speculations of how it might work).

VirtualRain
Sep 16, 2009, 06:55 PM
@HobeSoundDarryl

I've suggested a ton of reasons why Apple is not delivering what you want... such as their strategy, priorities, and industry challenges, but you don't seem to buy into any of them.

Why do you think Apple is not meeting your demands?

CWallace
Sep 16, 2009, 08:54 PM
First, Apple, like most companies, has limited resources.

The end-users have limited resources, as well, in terms of download speeds and capacity caps.

I'm with Comcast so I have a 250GB a month limit - if an Apple TV was "Near Blu-Ray Quality" at 15GB an hour of content, I could only download 20 hours of content a month - and that assumes I did absolutely nothing else with my Internet connection. So a more reasonable limit is maybe 15 hours of content a month. So that's 7 movies or 20 TV episodes (taking into account commercial breaks - if I'm downloading premium channel content, it would be closer to 15 hours).

And then it takes some time to download 15GB of content, or enough to start a stream without the real-time content broadcast catching up to the currently downloaded content. I have an "8MB connection" on my cable modem, but at best I clear around 1MB/sec from a solid source. So that means about a half-hour to download a one-hour program and probably 15-20 minutes before it could stream. And that's under "ideal conditions".

Until recently, BR players were also pretty expensive - easily the price of the :apple:tv, itself. I've recently seen some off-brands for $99 on sale at Best Buy so Apple could possibly add it in to the current 160GB unit for $299 and still make a nice profit, though it would need a taller case to hold the drive mechanism.

Apple's customer base may be affluent and tech savvy, but they're still saddled by the infrastructure available to them. The media is tailored to the delivery system - when most people have 100MB/s fiber coming out of the wall, we'll see "true HD" content come over that cable.

bkonings
Sep 17, 2009, 09:21 AM
I had just bought an appletv 40gb in the apple store, a week later the 160gb dropped in price.
Thanks to the topicstarter i was able to contact the applestore and name the price the 40gb dropped to just before it was removed.

I'm not getting a refund for the price difference, confirming the $179,99 price.
(I typed $179.00, they confirmed $179,99 however ;) )

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 17, 2009, 10:42 AM
@HobeSoundDarryl

I've suggested a ton of reasons why Apple is not delivering what you want... such as their strategy, priorities, and industry challenges, but you don't seem to buy into any of them.

Why do you think Apple is not meeting your demands?

I think it is merely a factor of will. I don't believe a company as big as Apple lacks the resources to deliver a next-gen :apple:TV. I don't believe any of the chicken vs. egg (wait on broadband expansion, wait on iTunes to get more content, wait on content deal misery to work itself out (how exactly?), wait on...), when, in fact, Apple says their #1 business is selling HARDWARE. If they deliver a next-gen :apple:TV (hardware) that has some mainstream features that people say they want (before they buy one), they will sell more. And by developing an :apple:TV with enough mainstream features (or even add-on options), they seem best suited to dominate this space. Dominate the space and the content providers will make the deals, experiment with 1080i/1080p download, find that it can be as profitable as packaging them on plastic discs and giving a big cut to retailers, and...

All of my feedback is not so much directed at you, as it revolves around an idea of how passionate I am about a next-gen :apple:TV being soooo within Apple's reach, how I soooo wish they would seize the opportunity, and how I know they can do it by seeing elements of it done at many other (less capable) companies. I love the :apple:TV I have now, but I also recognize very obvious shortcomings that are easily rectified with a hardware refresh.

I also pay attention to news, stories, crits, etc and see that a lot of prospective BUYERS are waiting on a next-gen :apple:TV that will hopefully have a few other features they seek before they'll buy one. So the frustration is in knowing that Apple could dominate this space if it only had the will, and wondering why they choose to NOT get this money (so within their reach).

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 17, 2009, 10:54 AM
The end-users have limited resources, as well, in terms of download speeds and capacity caps. I'm with Comcast so I have a 250GB a month limit - if an Apple TV was "Near Blu-Ray Quality" at 15GB an hour of content, I could only download 20 hours of content a month - and that assumes I did absolutely nothing else with my Internet connection. So a more reasonable limit is maybe 15 hours of content a month. So that's 7 movies or 20 TV episodes (taking into account commercial breaks - if I'm downloading premium channel content, it would be closer to 15 hours).

Apple's customer base may be affluent and tech savvy, but they're still saddled by the infrastructure available to them. The media is tailored to the delivery system - when most people have 100MB/s fiber coming out of the wall, we'll see "true HD" content come over that cable.

But again, if we allow these kinds of excuses to justify not delivering hardware that people want to buy, why should we ever get there? Why build multicore processors until the "crowd" can use every bit of processing on every core? Why build 3G cell phones when Edge serves the needs of the "crowd"? Why build bigger capacity iPods, when the "crowd" can only listen to so many songs in a given period of time?

More on point: just because a next-gen :apple:TV could playback ALL HD formats doesn't mean that all iTunes content would automatically become ONLY 1080p bandwith-hogging files. Those people with slower connections could simply download the 720p or SD versions instead of the 1080i or 1080p version.

iTunes is not the only source of content for :apple:TV. One of my biggest peeves is shooting precious home movies with a 1080p camcorder, having the computer and software tools from Apple to render it at the full resolution I captured it, but not being able to play it back at full resolution on the TV via :apple:TV. The difference in what :apple:TV can display and what I see with a direct connection of the camcorder is strikingly obvious. Very simply, the weakest link in the Apple chain is the handicapped hardware within the current :apple:TV. Unlike broadband infrastructure, content creators fears of Apple/iTunes, etc, that particular issue is COMPLETELY within Apple's power to rectify. Apparently, I'm not the only ready buyer of a next-gen :apple:TV that includes a few features that we know could be there. So how about it Apple?

VirtualRain
Sep 17, 2009, 11:55 AM
I think it is merely a factor of will. I don't believe a company as big as Apple lacks the resources to deliver a next-gen :apple:TV. I don't believe any of the chicken vs. egg (wait on broadband expansion, wait on iTunes to get more content, wait on content deal misery to work itself out (how exactly?), wait on...), when, in fact, Apple says their #1 business is selling HARDWARE. If they deliver a next-gen :apple:TV (hardware) that has some mainstream features that people say they want (before they buy one), they will sell more. And by developing an :apple:TV with enough mainstream features (or even add-on options), they seem best suited to dominate this space. Dominate the space and the content providers will make the deals, experiment with 1080i/1080p download, find that it can be as profitable as packaging them on plastic discs and giving a big cut to retailers, and...



I see. I appreciate your frustration and share it to some extent. However, I've spent a lot of time considering Apple's product strategy and vision and so my expectations are different.

I think its very possible Apple will refresh the AppleTV either in Oct. or Jan. However, I suspect the changes would be limited to incremental hardware improvements like GigE support, perhaps a new CPU/GPU, larger HD, etc. On the software side I would expect support for the recently announced movie extras, iTunes LP's, and possibly better subscription packages and pricing.

Although I would love to be proven wrong, I don't think you will ever see a cable tuner, PVR, blu-ray player, or an ability to play MKV's, AVI's, or any content other than that supported by iTunes. There's no doubt they could make such a device... and it would be damn good... I won't debate that. However, I believe, they never will make such a device.

So I agree with you that it's a lack of will on their part, but underlying that lack of will is the fact that such a device does not fit within their vision or strategy of driving a digital distribution model.

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 17, 2009, 12:33 PM
Although I would love to be proven wrong, I don't think you will ever see a cable tuner, PVR, blu-ray player, or an ability to play MKV's, AVI's, or any content other than that supported by iTunes. There's no doubt they could make such a device... and it would be damn good... I won't debate that. However, I believe, they never will make such a device.

Much of that is just fine with me. I personally don't want a cable tuner or BD player, nor an ability to play pirate video formats, etc. But other BUYERS do want some of those things, and won't buy until they can get them. So, if Apple doesn't want to give buyers what they want, why not make a next-gen :apple:TV have enough openness that others (like Elgato for example) can fulfill those needs?

Then, Apple gets to sell a whole lot more :apple:TVs because there is a way for it to cover many of the various mainstream wishes shared by BUYERS. And by getting a lot more :apple:TVs into homes, Apples preferred distribution model would be able to gain strength too. People like you & I who could care less about a BD or cable card option- could enjoy a next-gen :apple:TV that fulfills some missing features fully compatible with Apple's preferred distribution model. And BUYERS on the sidelines- apparently there are many of them- would have little reason to delay their buying decision.

So that's what I hope for: either Apple decides they want to completely knock us out with a solution that covers most of the mainstream wants and/or a fully 1080p capable hardware revision that is sufficiently open for others to grant the wishes that fall outside of Apples digital distribution model. Either way, it would seem like a win:win for everyone.

hitekalex
Sep 17, 2009, 01:01 PM
I personally don't want a cable tuner or BD player, nor an ability to play pirate video formats, etc.

There is no such thing as "pirate" video format. Just because we have content in XViD or MKV format - don't make an assumption that content is pirated.

So that's what I hope for: either Apple decides they want to completely knock us out with a solution that covers most of the mainstream wants and/or a fully 1080p capable hardware revision that is sufficiently open for others to grant the wishes that fall outside of Apples digital distribution model. Either way, it would seem like a win:win for everyone.

I am sure it's been mentioned in this thread before.. But people who keep asking for "kitchen sink" Apple TV feature strategy do not understand what Apple TV is, and what it isn't. And what it is an extension of iTunes ecosystem into a living room.. and a vehicle for Apple to deliver iTunes Store content into the living room. And what it is not is a general purpose media extender designed to support every format, feature and codec out there.

Those of us who understand and embrace this concept - are perfectly happy with Apple TV even in its current form.

So.. until Apple starts supporting MKV/DiVX content in iTunes store and MacOS in general - we aren't going to see it on Apple TV. Same goes for other things like 1080p. I am sure at some point Apple is going to start selling/renting 1080p movies - and have no doubt, Apple TV support will then be extended to support 1080p with appropriate hardware/software updates. But not a day sooner.

MagnusVonMagnum
Sep 17, 2009, 01:02 PM
I'm not sure I even like some of the "improvements" they've already given us in the software updates. For example, in the latest 2.4 version, the photo viewing mechanism now "slides" from one picture to the next like an iPhone/Touch would when you manually go to the next picture. On a 93" screen, this very quickly becomes DIZZYING.

While there are options for which transitions you get during a slide show, there is NO OPTION for the behavior when manually moving between photos. Before, it would just bring up the next picture. That worked great for manual viewing; no dizziness occurred. But I'm sure someone in Apple thought more eye-candy is always better and how great it would be to bring an iPod Touch-like look to the manual photo changes. But I guess they never actually used the feature for very long on a big screen or they'd notice the motion effects on one's brain. If I degrade to 2.3, I lose the improved iPod Touch remote control options and viewing tags. If they just offered an option for this, it wouldn't be an issue. Unfortunately, I use the viewer quite a lot for my large photo collections so it definitely is an issue.

Another change seems like an improvement at first. The left right buttons on the remote now fast forward and rewind by default. To skip chapters, you have to push down first and then left and right (it brings up a different time-line). But now when you're at say the credits of a movie and you want to make sure it's marked watched, if you either skip or fast forward to the end, it will just stop there and not exit, requiring another button push. In 2.3, I could just skip to the end and it would quit. But then I didn't have to watch anything to the end in 2.3, because there was no "partially watched" icon to contend with anyway.

On the other hand, Apple's interface is still light-years ahead of something like XBMC, which is definitely not optimized for quickly and easily using the Apple remote to control things. It involves way too much having to push a button to pop-up a visual menu and then move the cursor around and then select the option you want. Pushing the left and right buttons doesn't skip any significant distances into a video and often feels clunky. XBMC does not recognize any MP4/M4V tags or chapter markers so forget about moving around the movie that way and expect all your MetaX data to be ignored. The point is that as outdated as Apple TV's hardware is, I don't think I'm going to get a very good experience with some of the other hardware out there. And none will easily work with iTunes, let alone let me use AirTunes to synchronize music around 4 different rooms in my house at the same time, which I can easily do now.

All Apple needs to do is update the hardware to handle all the different bit-rate 1080P and 720P encodings out there and maybe adding H264 hardware decoding would be helpful. Finalizing DTS support for M4V would be nice as well, as I have no choice but to encode to MKV and watch the DTS movies with XBMC right now if I want to preserve DTS instead of having to convert it to Dolby Digital. Any other options like support for iPod Touch games on a big screen would be a bonus. I just want a media player that will be good for the next 10 years or so.

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 17, 2009, 02:31 PM
But people who keep asking for "kitchen sink" Apple TV feature strategy do not understand what Apple TV is, and what it isn't.

If you read through this thread and many others related to :apple:TV, and if you read the reviews, etc, it is easy to see that there are just a few main features not there now, that- if added- would be very likely to drive a lot of additional BUYING of this device.

For myself, it is merely 2: full 1080p capability and some openess for others to be able to add on select options for those that desire those options.

Very few posts, critics, etc. demand "kitchen sink." And of those who do, some of them also want all those features for about the same price as now (so there's no pleasing them either way).

And what it is an extension of iTunes ecosystem into a living room.. and a vehicle for Apple to deliver iTunes Store content into the living room. And what it is not is a general purpose media extender designed to support every format, feature and codec out there. Those of us who understand and embrace this concept - are perfectly happy with Apple TV even in its current form.

I'm one of those "us" people, and I am NOT perfectly happy with it even it's current form. When iTunes launched, all the music was encoded at 128k. Apple's hardware- ipods- were capable of much higher quality settings in spite of the fact that iTunes content didn't yet offer those options. iTunes did not drive hardware capabilities. And those who wanted higher quality music had the option to rip their own CDs at almost any quality level they desired.

I think Apple hardware leads iTunes, not the other way around. By this, I refer to another chicken vs. egg problem. If there's no way to play iTunes content greater than handicapped 720p via :apple:TV, there's little reason to add such content to iTunes (ever). However, we have Apple tools (like iMovie) that lets us create such content ourselves (just like iTunes let us rip CDs at better than 128k). Again, I want to enjoy my HD camcorder movies at their full resolution. Apple gives me the tools to render them as such. I can even import those 1080p renderings into iTunes, so iTunes DOES SUPPORT what I want. The weak link...

I guess it really comes down to this: A next gen :apple:TV that could play back up to the highest HD standard we have is a future proof device that would probably serve every BUYER well for a very long time. Those satisfied with 720P and below could still enjoy everything that the current incarnation delivers too. However, there is NO way to make it work the other way... that is, those of us who would like to push our 1080p content in iTunes to our TV via something as easy-to-use and elegant as the :apple:TV platform have no option to do so.

Why? Not because Apple can't deliver such an option. Only because they choose not to (yet). I'm hopeful that VR is right and that a hardware revision comes in Oct or Jan. My cash is waiting to flow to Apple as soon as it happens (but not before). And I'm not apparently the only one who feels that way.

Tilpots
Sep 17, 2009, 02:55 PM
I am sure it's been mentioned in this thread before.. But people who keep asking for "kitchen sink" Apple TV feature strategy do not understand what Apple TV is, and what it isn't. And what it is an extension of iTunes ecosystem into a living room.. and a vehicle for Apple to deliver iTunes Store content into the living room. And what it is not is a general purpose media extender designed to support every format, feature and codec out there.

I think everyone in this thread understands exactly what the AppleTV is and isn't. Some of us want it to be more than what it is, which is an iTunes storefront. We want it to be a full fledged TV device, as it's name implies.


Those of us who understand and embrace this concept - are perfectly happy with Apple TV even in its current form.

Those of us who expect more will wait.

hitekalex
Sep 17, 2009, 03:17 PM
I think Apple hardware leads iTunes, not the other way around. By this, I refer to another chicken vs. egg problem. If there's no way to play iTunes content greater than handicapped 720p via :apple:TV, there's little reason to add such content to iTunes (ever).

In some cases it's Hardware leading the way, in other cases it's Software/content availability. Take the latest iTunes LP format as an example of the content availability leading the way. I guarantee you that the next update to Apple TV (either software-only or hardware/software refresh) will support that format.

1080p is tricky. When Apple TV hardware first came out, supporting 1080p would have been prohibitively expensive, and most people didn't care about it anyway. Today, lack of 1080p is a more significant gap, as that's pretty much a standard for media players. Still, I don't see Apple TV supporting it until we see 1080p content in iTunes (as much as I'd want to see it myself, as I rip/encode a lot of Bluray movies).

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 17, 2009, 04:07 PM
Still, I don't see Apple TV supporting it until we see 1080p content in iTunes (as much as I'd want to see it myself, as I rip/encode a lot of Bluray movies).

OK, so why should there ever be 1080p content in iTunes if the only way to watch it will be on little tiny computer screens? And that's definitely software leading hardware. Apple has little control over content producers choosing to add 1080HD content to iTunes. But Apple has total control over making :apple:TV (next gen) 1080p capable. Why not step forward with either the chicken or the egg, so that one can lead to the other?

Apple is a hardware company. They roll out new hardware features and then software is created to take advantage of them. Advances in iPhone hardware yield advances in iPhone software. Advances in hardware for Macs, yields advances in software for Macs. It is not the other way around, except apparently, with :apple:TV, where the software must come first???

I see little reason for content houses to offer 1080HD content on iTunes unless they see that it can be profitable to do so. I see little reason to buy or rent 1080HD content via iTunes if I can only play it back on small computer screens (or by going to the trouble of hooking our computers to our TVs, and working out the tech challenges in that). BUT... if the dedicated piece of hardware designed especially for pumping iTunes video to that big screen HDTV was going into homes like ipods went into pockets, it is very easy to imagine production houses offering better than handicapped 720p content on iTunes.

Bottom line: hardware- not software- leads the way. Apple is a hardware company. They can definitely make at least half of the goal happen now if they do it one way. Otherwise, the wait may be near forever if the content must be in iTunes before the hardware that can play that content is created.

hitekalex
Sep 17, 2009, 04:14 PM
OK, so why should there ever be 1080p content in iTunes if the only way to watch it will be on little tiny computer screens?

What "little computer screens" are you talking about? My 24" LED Cinema is a 1920 x 1200 screen, and can display 1080p and then some. Most modern computer screens are perfectly capable of 1080p resolution.

Xbox Live has been supporting 1080p movies (http://www.engadget.com/2009/06/01/xbox-live-gets-live-tv-streaming-netflix-browsing/) for some time, why can't iTunes Store?

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 17, 2009, 04:25 PM
What "little computer screens" are you talking about? My 24" LED Cinema is a 1920 x 1200 screen, and can display 1080p and then some. Most modern computer screens are perfectly capable of 1080p resolution.
I'm not denying that some computer screens can display HD content. I'm suggesting that someone buying such content might prefer to watch it on their big(ger) screen HDTV, and the current, ideal box to make that happen just can't seem to do it.

Xbox Live has been supporting 1080p movies (http://www.engadget.com/2009/06/01/xbox-live-gets-live-tv-streaming-netflix-browsing/) for some time, why can't iTunes Store?

First, iTunes CAN support 1080p. I can put my own 1080HD content right into iTunes. iTunes is NOT the problem. Getting it from iTunes onto a 1080 HDTV is the problem

Second, is the typical xbox hooked to a computer screen- even a 24"er like yours- or a (bigger) TV screen? If the latter, then perhaps Apple can learn something from Microsoft. Yikes!

Third, doesn't Xbox hardware display 1080HD content on the HDTV to which it is hooked?

hitekalex
Sep 17, 2009, 05:00 PM
We're getting into "chicken and egg" conversation. My point is simply this. With the Apple positioning the Apple TV as an "iTunes extension" there is very little reason to suspect that we will see major hardware updates to ATV without the accompanying iTunes Store content availability (be it iTunes LP in my example, 1080p, or whatever else).

In that sense, Apple TV is very different from any other Apple product (Mac, iPhones, iPods) which, unlike ATV, are all designed to operate as almost completely standalone products.

Whether you and I think it's "the right" strategy is unfortunately irrelevant. That's been Apple's strategy since they released Apple TV.. and unless that strategy changes, to expect major Apple TV hardware refreshes completely divorced from accompanying iTunes content offerings is simply unrealistic.

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 17, 2009, 05:36 PM
In that sense, Apple TV is very different from any other Apple product (Mac, iPhones, iPods) which, unlike ATV, are all designed to operate as almost completely standalone products.

How do iPhones & iPods work without iTunes? Isn't iTunes completely required to get an iPod classic to do anything? And, while I don't have an iPhone myself, I thought you had to dock a new iPhone with iTunes to even get it up & running? If not, I know you have to dock it for each software upgrade.

I see :apple:TV as very much like iPhone & iPods, relative to the relationship to iTunes. iPhone & iPod hardware is updated beyond what iTunes- and even AT&T can handle- in some cases, then the software "catches up" later. In exactly the same way, :apple:TV can be advanced as a hardware platform, allowing software (like 1080HD content in iTunes) to catch up later.

But again, it doesn't work the other way. Apple gives us the power to create our own 1080HD content, and put it into iTunes. We just can't use an elegant, dedicated solution like (the current) :apple:TV to bridge that last gap (to the HDTV).

hitekalex
Sep 17, 2009, 05:57 PM
I see :apple:TV as very much like iPhone & iPods, relative to the relationship to iTunes.

Well, they are not. iPhones and iPods were never designed around the iTunes Store (note the emphasis on the "store" as opposed to iTunes software). When iPod first came out - it was marketed as an MP3 player. Apple didn't even have iTunes Store at that time. When iPhone first came out - there was no Apps Store. It was marketed as a great smart phone, not any kind of extension of iTunes. The fact that you need iTunes software to sync the music or activate the iPhone is irrelevant to our discussion.

Contrast that with Apple TV. From the day it came out - it was marketed as iTunes Store extension into your living room. The emphasis on the Store content. When the Take 2 was announced - it was centered around movie rentals. Again, the emphasis the iTunes Store content.

So again.. Apple TV is marketed and driven by Itunes Store content. The fact that you can add your own content to it is an added bonus, but Apple never stressed this functionality as a main reason for ATV (ever noticed how 'shared library' features are the last ones on the menus?).

That makes Apple TV completely unlike any other Apple product.. and that's the reason why we won't see major hardware/software updates independent of an underlying iTunes Store ecosystem.

dynaflash
Sep 17, 2009, 06:45 PM
.. and that's the reason why we won't see major hardware/software updates independent of an underlying iTunes Store ecosystem.

Might that be why we did not see AC3 in an mp4 until the iTunes store offered it ? Coincidence ... I think not.

McGiord
Sep 17, 2009, 07:42 PM
Many of my non :apple: friends asked me if the :apple:TV allowed me to stream my Mac's screen video signal to my HDTV = major failure, that has been the only question I can't successfully answer positively and with extra bonus features like many other things they had asked me.

My question: for the MacMiniTVs out there, can you do that easily, like from your MacBook send to your MacMiniTV your MacBook's video signal and see it nice and easy without loosing resolution to you HDTV?
If YES, please share how you do it? VNC? What is the video quality you get?

gugy
Sep 17, 2009, 10:17 PM
I get disappointed every time I hear about AppleTV lack of upgrades. I guess I will just buy a MacMini and have my HTPC set up and move on.

It's absolutely a joke that at almost 3 years after it's introduction the hardware has not been upgraded. That tells me that either Apple will drop it for good soon or a new hardware model is around the corner and they are trying to get rid of the remaining inventory.

Either way, it's a pity that this still being treated as a hobby. I can't wait for a great HTPC solution from Apple.

MikeDTyke
Sep 18, 2009, 07:34 AM
I've said it before but i think it bares repeating here.

Apple is moving all of it's embedded systems design onto it's own ground up platform.

Prior to AppleTV we had front row, designed on PowerPC based Tiger it was an experiment in the 10 foot interface. As long as you could link your Mac to a TV and the audio via seperate channel it would playback media in iTunes, iPhoto and movie folder of your home dir.

Apple released the AppleTV and for a while front row got updates.

Frontrow's last update ended with the release of Leopard and every release of the AppleTV OS since then has been minor user interface, performance and itunes/iphone integration tweaks.

It's quite clear to me that the current AppleTV platform, ie. Intel Dothan processor, separate GPU and 2.5" PATA HD are no longer getting much in the way of attention. It's too hot, too expensive and there is very little in the Intel/Nvidia/AMD roadmaps that is going to fix both of these two problems. No Atom does not make a good case financially.

They are also hampered by the once elegantly simple white remote, there's just no way to deliver a next gen UI with what they have.

Whilst it might have made sense in 2007 to go with the subscription accounting model and the idea they were going to add great things to the AppleTV, i think a lot of the truly great stuff evidenced by their patent filings show that they are thinking much bigger things than are possible with a stripped down PC.

Therefore i propose that there's in integrated SoC (System on Chip) lurking in an Apple Lab somewhere that can deliver 1080p, uses milliwatts or a watt rather than 10s of watts and that the components of this chip ie. the licensable macrocells to build it did not exist until the end of 2008. ie. at the time all you could get was an onboard GPU that could do standard Def or 720p.

Couple that with the fact that they now have Quicktime 10 which is much more appropriate for an embedded solution ie. video decode offloading to a GPU means that i think early next year is the time we'll see a significant AppleTV refresh. I'll even go as far as pinning my flag on Q1 2010.

Bottom line is Apple abandoned serious development on the existing platform within a year of it's launch. Once they had the iTunes store and rental movies, they gave up and moved onto other things.

I still bought one as i know and accept what it is and what they intended it to be. It may make me a fanbois, but i'll most likely be waiting and one of the first to buy it's replacement when it appears. next year... :D

VirtualRain
Sep 18, 2009, 12:18 PM
Therefore i propose that there's in integrated SoC (System on Chip) lurking in an Apple Lab somewhere that can deliver 1080p, uses milliwatts or a watt rather than 10s of watts and that the components of this chip ie. the licensable macrocells to build it did not exist until the end of 2008. ie. at the time all you could get was an onboard GPU that could do standard Def or 720p.

Couple that with the fact that they now have Quicktime 10 which is much more appropriate for an embedded solution ie. video decode offloading to a GPU means that i think early next year is the time we'll see a significant AppleTV refresh. I'll even go as far as pinning my flag on Q1 2010.


I couldn't agree more. I firmly believe that the solution you speak of will manifest itself as the tablet. Complete with wireless UWB HDMI for playback on your TV.

If ASUS can do it in the form of a keyboard/touch screen combo, there's no doubt that Apple can do it in the form of a touch screen only.

http://media.bestofmicro.com/,R-H-210941-3.png

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/asus-eee-keyboard-wireless-hdmi,8654.html

http://gizmodo.com/5124985/eee-keyboard-an-entire-touchscreen-home-theater-pc

http://gizmodo.com/5358748/asus-eee-keyboard-confirmed-for-october-wireless-hdmi-included