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VirtualRain
Sep 14, 2009, 03:05 AM
Admin Update: 40GB Apple TV Discontinued. 160GB discounted to $229.
http://www.macrumors.com/2009/09/14/apple-drops-40gb-apple-tv-and-discounts-160gb-model-to-229/
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Update: It seems like I came across a midnight update to the store that is seeing the 40GB disappear and a price drop to the 160GB.

Currently it seems if you nav to AppleTV via the store initially, you see both models at the reduced prices but can't add the 40GB to your cart. If you nav to the AppleTV via the iPod+iTunes section of the site initially then you only see the 160GB version listed.

Original Post
I'm just browsing the Apple store (both US and Canada) and the prices seem to be much lower than I recall recently, and oddly, the new are cheaper than the refurbs, but I can't add the new 40GB to my cart.

US

40GB Refurb: $199
160GB Refurb: $279

40GB New: $179
160GB New: $229

Canada

40GB Refurb: $209
160GB Refurb: $289

40GB New: $199
160GB New: $259

What does all this mean? :eek: :confused: I'm guessing we're seeing a price drop on the 160GB and a discontinuation of the 40GB? Maybe an update is immanent? :D



kymac
Sep 14, 2009, 04:03 AM
im gaining interest in this device, but it seems too outdated for me to actually commit and find sufficient use from it.

MacGohil
Sep 14, 2009, 04:04 AM
I am waiting for the day when Apple upgrades :apple:TV to a gaming console using iPhone and iTouch as remotes.... :D

arn
Sep 14, 2009, 04:06 AM
im gaining interest in this device, but it seems too outdated for me to actually commit and find sufficient use from it.

it's essentially an iPod that connects to your TV. As long as it plays back iTunes content, I don't think it "needs" much in the way of hardware upgrades.

Obviously, it would be nice, but I don't think it follows the same rules as most consumer electronic devices.

arn

sgntscrawn
Sep 14, 2009, 04:06 AM
I'm personally waiting for the day when apple include a damn tv tuner in the thing, so it actually lives up to the name "apple tv". C'mon, how hard could it be?

macintel4me
Sep 14, 2009, 04:11 AM
I'm looking forward to The AppleTV having a Visualizer like iTunes.

designgeek
Sep 14, 2009, 04:15 AM
*cries slightly* I wonder if something is coming up this fall... like discontinuing the whole thing.

talkingfuture
Sep 14, 2009, 04:15 AM
Wonder if this is a precursor to updates or discontinuation.

I think the Apple TV will really take off when it can stream via iPlayer, Hulu etc. That part could replace broadcast tv and the iTunes downloads can replace DVD's.

GR33NIE
Sep 14, 2009, 04:16 AM
Looks to be the same price in the UK, quite fancy Apple TV too but with a PS3 i'm not sure it's worth it

Especially with Sony bringing downloadable content to the PS network :rolleyes:

designgeek
Sep 14, 2009, 04:20 AM
Just checked the refurb store. The refurb 160 is still going for 279, I wonder how much it will drop to. The 40 is going for 199 refurb, doubt it will last long.

Shookster
Sep 14, 2009, 04:22 AM
Hope it has Blu-ray! (a man can dream, right?)

Tegosaurus
Sep 14, 2009, 04:24 AM
In Europe we still have the introduction prices...
399 euro for the 160 Gb version, or 579 US$ with the current conversion rate...

GR33NIE
Sep 14, 2009, 04:26 AM
In Europe we still have the introduction prices...
399 euro for the 160 Gb version, or 579 US$ with the current conversion rate...

Yep no updates in the UK either on prices :(

djrod
Sep 14, 2009, 04:31 AM
Still available in Spain:

http://store.apple.com/es/browse/home/shop_ipod/family/apple_tv?mco=Nzk2MDUzMA

8CoreWhore
Sep 14, 2009, 04:32 AM
Remember -- Apple originally said: "If it's on iTunes, it's on AppleTV." It's an extension of the iTunes services and business model. Obviously, if it had a tuner in it or streamed Netflix or Hulu ect, it would cut into iTunes purchases/rentals. Apple doesn't sell AppleTV for the hardware sales, it's to strengthen iTunes.

Dadadada
Sep 14, 2009, 04:34 AM
The Apple TV is getting interesting. Now imagine that Apple does the following :

- replace the hard disk with a 1 or 2 TB
- add the backup functionality of Time Capsule
- increase the price, but in a reasonable way

In other words, merge the Apple TV, Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme into one single product (iServer ?). They would sell it by zillions, and it would not be anymore just a "hobby" for Apple.

Cousin Dirk
Sep 14, 2009, 04:34 AM
As much as I would love to get an TV and would find most of its features useful, there just isn't enough there for me currently to justify its price tag. Right now I'd rather plug my MacBook Pro into my TV via VGA and use Front Row - or use the media playback features built in to the TV.

motulist
Sep 14, 2009, 04:35 AM
I'm waiting for them to simply move the AppleTV's A.V. functionality on to the mac mini.

Dadadada
Sep 14, 2009, 04:37 AM
I'm personally waiting for the day when apple include a damn tv tuner in the thing
When ? Never. It doesn't fit in their business model.

And besides, this product would be US-specific, because classic TV is so much different in each country. Apple makes worldwide products, just look at the iPhone : the same hardware everywhere.

Henk Poley
Sep 14, 2009, 04:56 AM
The Apple TV is getting interesting. Now imagine that Apple does the following :

- replace the hard disk with a 1 or 2 TB
The 2.5" harddisks as used in the AppleTV don't come in anything larger than 500GB at the moment. Nice dreaming though ;-)

millypede
Sep 14, 2009, 04:56 AM
Europe price drop will come into effect from the 15th.
PS £219

nick9191
Sep 14, 2009, 04:59 AM
Should be around £165 for 160gb. Instead it's £195 for 40gb :rolleyes:

Update your crap Apple.

Dadadada
Sep 14, 2009, 05:03 AM
The 2.5" harddisks as used in the AppleTV don't come in anything larger than 500GB at the moment. Nice dreaming though ;-)
Nope : http://www.engadget.com/2009/07/27/wd-ships-industrys-first-2-5-inch-1tb-hard-drive/

May I still dream ?

sgntscrawn
Sep 14, 2009, 05:04 AM
Looks to be the same price in the UK, quite fancy Apple TV too but with a PS3 i'm not sure it's worth it

Especially with Sony bringing downloadable content to the PS network :rolleyes:

And especially with HD Play TV - http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2009/06/hd-sony-playtv-coming-to-australia-in-october/

(I'm Australia btw :D)

Full of Win
Sep 14, 2009, 05:12 AM
Do they even make 40 GB drive anymore? Serious, I think this has less to do with the magnanimous of Apple, and more to do with the lack of hard drives to populate the units.

OllyW
Sep 14, 2009, 05:15 AM
Nope : http://www.engadget.com/2009/07/27/wd-ships-industrys-first-2-5-inch-1tb-hard-drive/

May I still dream ?

Carry on dreaming.

That's a SATA drive, the AppleTV uses PATA drives.

Tegosaurus
Sep 14, 2009, 05:17 AM
Europe price drop will come into effect from the 15th.
PS £219

I would hope so, but the previous price drop (2 years ago) also was not reflected in Europe.

macinfojunkie
Sep 14, 2009, 05:17 AM
I'm personally waiting for the day when apple include a damn tv tuner in the thing, so it actually lives up to the name "apple tv". C'mon, how hard could it be?

Unless somone has e.g. a Kuro M display which has no tuners, then surely people have a built in tuner. What would having a tuner in the ATV give you that a built in tuner would not?

A PVR is another matter, but that's just not going to happen.

I think a TV tuner would be a pointless addition which would just hike up the cost of the unit.

Apple need to step up their game with the AppleTV. Something like the Pioneer Project ET is looking much more attractive as a media hub. Once managed copy is available on Blu Ray, who the hell is going to pay over the odds for a lame HD version from Apple.

UPDATE: 40Gb model is still up on the UK website.

ss957916
Sep 14, 2009, 05:20 AM
This feels to me like they're dropping ATV altogether.

Surely if there were some revisions, they'd have announced them last week? I can't believe a new ATV would just appear in the store without announcement.

And if it isn't announced as part of an event then it'll just be a memory bump which is pointless (unless it has a 1TB+ drive or (please) some sort of FW or USB interface for an external drive).

Unless somone has e.g. a Kuro M display which has no tuners, then surely people have a built in tuner. What would having a tuner in the ATV give you that a built in tuner would not?


It would let you use it as a PVR which would be bloody fantastic. It could sync with iTunes, shows recorded on it could be transferred to one's iPhone etc.

SeaFox
Sep 14, 2009, 05:24 AM
Wow, wonder what happens if you just bought the 160 at the old $329 price recently.

joshysquashy
Sep 14, 2009, 05:29 AM
The AppleTV won't be discontinued. I imagine it will be drastically improved some time soon.

At the moment, it isn't really worth getting. I recon they will improve the old AppleTV's a little, but save the best features for the new, more powerful versions. Perhaps an AppleTV inside an Apple TV?! That would be nice, but only if it also accepted Sat/Freeview input.

Does anyone think that the radio recording functionality of the iPod Nano is a precedent for live TV recording in the AppleTV?

macinfojunkie
Sep 14, 2009, 05:34 AM
Does anyone think that the radio recording functionality of the iPod Nano is a precedent for live TV recording in the AppleTV?

no. (http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/09/08/dont_expect_apple_tv_as_cable_set_top_box_apple_exec_says.html)

Shivetya
Sep 14, 2009, 05:42 AM
The Apple TV is getting interesting. Now imagine that Apple does the following :

- replace the hard disk with a 1 or 2 TB
- add the backup functionality of Time Capsule
- increase the price, but in a reasonable way

In other words, merge the Apple TV, Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme into one single product (iServer ?). They would sell it by zillions, and it would not be anymore just a "hobby" for Apple.


It was so overpriced to begin with they would have to add all those features and keep the new price to people looking.

Until it can play blu-ray in the same device they can keep it. Also it needs to come in black, white, or silver.

the silly thing was more expensive than a PS3 and at least that thing let you play games.

SeaFox
Sep 14, 2009, 05:46 AM
the silly thing was more expensive than a PS3 and at least that thing let you play games.
And Bluray and DVDs.

For about $79 more than a PS3 you can get a LG BD390 (http://www.amazon.com/LG-Network-Blu-ray-Disc-Player/dp/B001UQ6F5M/) and get a BluRay player that can stream Netflix, YouTube, and play many standard non-DRM encumbered video formats (including MKV).

taylorharris50
Sep 14, 2009, 06:00 AM
I currently own 2 40GB Apple TV's (one for the den and one for the media room). Since the ATV streams your content the size of the HD does not matter in the least. I would have preferred that they cut the 160GB version since all I sync to the local drive are pictures and the last 5 movies to my collection.

The XBox 360 with streaming Netflix is actually very enjoyable to use and can access the same library of files. Had I owned it back when I was looking to pick up the 2nd ATV I probably would have passed.

Apple needs to add Safari with flash support to enable Hulu or figure out some other trick to improve the ATV in my opinion. I can now watch Hulu on the Wii and 360 using the Playon Server but not on the ATV which could easily handle the task. Blu-Ray is slightly interesting but I prefer to avoid physical discs.

reverie
Sep 14, 2009, 06:02 AM
Yep no updates in the UK either on prices :(

You should be glad, the UK price is already 25 % lower than the Continental European price. Of course, the US price is now 55 % lower then the Continental European price (VAT adjusted). This is the most outrageous price gap I have ever seen from Apple. I've literally been waiting for 20 months now, wallet in hand, for the Apple TV price to drop here in Germany. What's the ****** problem? We have the iTunes Movie and TV stores, we have broadband, we have HD TVs. The infrastructure is there. Why is Apple still marketing the Apple TV as a luxury item?

CyberBob859
Sep 14, 2009, 06:09 AM
it's essentially an iPod that connects to your TV. As long as it plays back iTunes content, I don't think it "needs" much in the way of hardware upgrades.

Obviously, it would be nice, but I don't think it follows the same rules as most consumer electronic devices.

arn

Sometimes I think if they would've named it "iPod TV" it would describe its functionality and role within the product line a lot better, and help boost sales of the unit.

I also think having only one hard drive capacity helps avoid product confusion to a potential buyer.

I have an Apple TV and like it the way it is. A software upgrade to include iTunes LP would be nice, and make it more compelling to buy content from iTunes.

LouisBlack
Sep 14, 2009, 06:15 AM
You should be glad, the UK price is already 25 % lower than the Continental European price. Of course, the US price is now 55 % lower then the Continental European price (VAT adjusted). This is the most outrageous price gap I have ever seen from Apple. I've literally been waiting for 20 months now, wallet in hand, for the Apple TV price to drop here in Germany. What's the ****** problem? We have the iTunes Movie and TV stores, we have broadband, we have HD TVs. The infrastructure is there. Why is Apple still marketing the Apple TV as a luxury item?

I'm in the same boat. I've had my eye on the AppleTV for a year or so but it's just far too expensive for what it is. With the PS3 price drop it puts the 160GB £13 more expensive. Whilst I would quite like a PS3 for games and Blu Ray, I really like the idea of having all my iTunes media with all the playlists, podcasts and ripped DVDs presented in exactly the same format as I have already as is the case with AppleTV. I also don't want to faff about with extra MediaLink software. I will pay for this extra convenience but £263 is a little dear...

Marvin1379
Sep 14, 2009, 06:24 AM
I currently own 2 40GB Apple TV's (one for the den and one for the media room). Since the ATV streams your content the size of the HD does not matter in the least. I would have preferred that they cut the 160GB version since all I sync to the local drive are pictures and the last 5 movies to my collection.


Agree that the HD size is somewhat irrelevant, esp at the current media storage arrangement (ie atv is not a media hub, which I think it should be). I sync most of my songs and all pics, videos to my 160gig atv, bt I think it should be more of a hub, storing all the media rather than drawing it from my MBP. it should stream to my MBP or at least give that option. And a wireless iTunes sync with iPhone/iPod touch. Plug in another iPod to your computer at it syncs with your media stored on atv. All my media wouldn't eat up so much space on an internal laptop HD, although I currently have my media on an external. It would be nice to sync "only the last 5 movies" and selected playlists to my MBP for travel, instead of the other way around. Take 3 anybody?!?!

Arran
Sep 14, 2009, 06:39 AM
Does anyone here use their Apple TV as airtunes speakers? Since I upgraded to iTunes 9 on Friday, I can't stream music to either of my ATVs. If I select them as speakers in the iTunes "Multiple Speakers" dialog, I get Unknown error -15000

It's extremely frustrating since it was fine before - but it has me wondering if ATV should've got a software update for iTunes 9 compatibility along with the update for the iPods and iPhones?

Maybe it wasn't quite ready in time, and we'll see it soon? Here's hoping. The Apple Insider reference to LP content being specifically formatted for ATV is intriguing. ATV definitely needs something "interesting" to display on the HDTV screen when streaming music (other than the current - and somewhat paltry - track playing display). LP content would fit the bill nicely.

toughboy
Sep 14, 2009, 06:42 AM
The 2.5" harddisks as used in the AppleTV don't come in anything larger than 500GB at the moment. Nice dreaming though ;-)

TBH I really dont understand why Apple TV and Mac mini uses 2.5-inch HDDs in the first place..
Do we move them? No..
Do we need the 1-2 cm less thickness or the less weight? No..
Are 2.5-inch HDDs more expensive for less capacity? Yes.. :confused:

Both Mac mini and Apple TV could be far more useful with regular, faster 3.5-inch harddrives with more capacity.. :(

X38
Sep 14, 2009, 06:45 AM
I'll get one as soon as they add a DVR. Until then, no sale.

SpeedFleX
Sep 14, 2009, 06:46 AM
TBH I really dont understand why Apple TV and Mac mini uses 2.5-inch HDDs in the first place..
Do we move them? No..
Do we need the 1-2 cm less thickness or the less weight? No..
Are 2.5-inch HDDs more expensive for less capacity? Yes.. :confused:

Both Mac mini and Apple TV could be far more useful with regular, faster 3.5-inch harddrives with more capacity.. :(

well then have fun putting that in a atv then if its so easy, because you might not know this but sometimes it is about height and not just weight!

BayouTiger
Sep 14, 2009, 06:52 AM
I have a Mini and an ATV in the living room. The Mini is just not as nice an experience as the ATV. I also like to sent the ATV to the second room on my amp and sit on the patio and listen using my phone as a remote. The HD is only important if you view alot of pictures since they can't be streamed (don't understand why). I also sometimes sync a TV series when we are watching a season that I have ripped to itunes.

dernhelm
Sep 14, 2009, 06:54 AM
it's essentially an iPod that connects to your TV. As long as it plays back iTunes content, I don't think it "needs" much in the way of hardware upgrades.

Obviously, it would be nice, but I don't think it follows the same rules as most consumer electronic devices.

arn

It isn't that it has a "poor cpu" or something, it's only that they haven't upgraded it with new features in a ridiculously long time.

If it's just an iPod for your TV, why can't I play and games on it? Forget about touch games, I can play games on my nano, and I can't even play those games on my apple tv.

If apple doesn't want to add DVR or BluRay functions to the device, that's one thing. But you can't really treat this device as anything real until they start updating it on a regular basis. And no, dropping the price on outdated hardware doesn't count.

LouisBlack
Sep 14, 2009, 06:58 AM
Agree that the HD size is somewhat irrelevant

Whilst I agree with you that for what the AppleTV is designed for this is the case, I still think that offering a larger hard drive would be beneficial. Even if they just changed the PATA connection to SATA so DIYers could upgrade themselves.

I have a white iMac which connects to the network through wireless. My computer does not support wake-on-wireless which is now available in Snow Leopard and I don't particularly want to leave my computer running 24/7 just incase I want to listen to some music or watch a film because I'm a responsible person that doesn't like to waste energy.

An SATA hard drive would solve this problem for the vast majority of people.

Evangelion
Sep 14, 2009, 07:01 AM
I have two dreams...

1) That price of AppleTV would be lowered in Europe. When Apple dropped the price of AppleTV, they only dropped it in USA

2. That I could sync more than one library to AppleTV. Since Apple now allows you to sync content from other libraries to your library (as opposed to merely streaming), I could see them offering this on the AppleTV as well. It would solve just about all the problems I have with the current setup.

Tegosaurus
Sep 14, 2009, 07:01 AM
Does anyone here use their Apple TV as airtunes speakers? Since I upgraded to iTunes 9 on Friday, I can't stream music to either of my ATVs. If I select them as speakers in the iTunes "Multiple Speakers" dialog, I get Unknown error -15000

It's extremely frustrating since it was fine before - but it has me wondering if ATV should've got a software update for iTunes 9 compatibility along with the update for the iPods and iPhones?

I had that error before upgrading to iTunes 9. It can be solved by switching IPv6 on OR off in your router. Look for discussions on apple's forums, there are some. The solutions do not always work though (with the new MacBook Pro never got it to work with my LinkSys router, does work with my DLink, with the original MacBook Pro it worked on both - same software setup).

Plutonius
Sep 14, 2009, 07:02 AM
But it doesn't have a camera :).

Evangelion
Sep 14, 2009, 07:09 AM
I currently own 2 40GB Apple TV's (one for the den and one for the media room). Since the ATV streams your content the size of the HD does not matter in the least.

While streaming might be OK in some cases, sometimes it's not. Take my situation for example:

There are two iTunes-libraries in the household: me and my wifes. How do we play both of those in AppleTV? Streaming would be ideal, since the size of our libraries is bigger than 160GB. But that has the problem that we need to have iTunes up & running on our laptop all the time. We could try to build an iTunes-server that streams the library, but adding content to the server is a pain (Home Sharing ALMOST fixes that problem, but it only works with purchased content, so it wouldn't work).

bergmef
Sep 14, 2009, 07:11 AM
I wonder how much it would cost to make it flash based? I store music and photos, everything else streams. For me, I just need enough memory for that. I have a 16G ipod touch and have 4G free. Maybe a 32G flash version?!?

I just don't want an upgrade that forced more air cooling (fans). I like how quiet it is. Maybe a lower power sleep mode. OK, better graphics too. :-)

Bubba Satori
Sep 14, 2009, 07:11 AM
Hobby fail bag of hurt. Sold four in two years.

GoCubsGo
Sep 14, 2009, 07:16 AM
That is a very substantial price drop. I paid $330 when I bought mine 3/2008. I sold it at what I'd consider a loss in May 2009 for $250 shipped. I think now I made a great move. I moved to the Mac Mini and have not regretted it since.

page3
Sep 14, 2009, 07:16 AM
But it doesn't have a camera :).But it does have space for a camera ;)

bergmef
Sep 14, 2009, 07:17 AM
While streaming might be OK in some cases, sometimes it's not. Take my situation for example:

There are two iTunes-libraries in the household: me and my wifes. How do we play both of those in AppleTV? Streaming would be ideal, since the size of our libraries is bigger than 160GB. But that has the problem that we need to have iTunes up & running on our laptop all the time. We could try to build an iTunes-server that streams the library, but adding content to the server is a pain (Home Sharing ALMOST fixes that problem, but it only works with purchased content, so it wouldn't work).

Personally for me, adding the content just got a whole lot easier with home sharing. I can see and move everything, purchased, home movies or my ripped cd collection. My issue is the 'automatic' syncing works only with purchased. That part sucks. As a side note, I've been using supersync for a while now and it has worked well for me. I would recommend it if you want the nuts and bolts info on everything that is being synced.

LazersGoPEWPEW
Sep 14, 2009, 07:18 AM
it's essentially an iPod that connects to your TV. As long as it plays back iTunes content, I don't think it "needs" much in the way of hardware upgrades.

Obviously, it would be nice, but I don't think it follows the same rules as most consumer electronic devices.

arn

HA! My panasonic came with a dock that connects to the TV as plays everything straight off my iPod and I didn't have to pay extra. :D

bergmef
Sep 14, 2009, 07:20 AM
But it does have space for a camera ;)

I chat .... hmmmmm

better yet, Steve could use the face recognition in iphoto to prove you are you and allow you to watch the right library :rolleyes:

vin
Sep 14, 2009, 07:20 AM
I'm in the same boat. I've had my eye on the AppleTV for a year or so but it's just far too expensive for what it is.

Same here. Here in The Netherlands we don't have the ability to download movies or TV shows from the iTunes store and there hasn't been any news on this subject for waaay too long. On top of this, the ATV is so encredibly overpriced that it's just not funny anymore. Sure, I'll pay the usual Apple Added Tax, but come on... €399 ($580) for the 160Gb ATV while it's US price was $329 (€226)!

Is this Apple's way of trying to make up for loss in revenue, since they don't generate any from Movie/TV show downloads over here?

Looking forward to see how the lowered ATV prices will be reflected in the EU stores.

markfc
Sep 14, 2009, 07:22 AM
Nope : http://www.engadget.com/2009/07/27/wd-ships-industrys-first-2-5-inch-1tb-hard-drive/

May I still dream ?

Yep keep dreaming those are SATA only. The AppleTV is PATA

jellomizer
Sep 14, 2009, 07:29 AM
I am still waiting for 1080p myself.

sanPietro98
Sep 14, 2009, 07:39 AM
Ugh. I just bought a new 40GB :apple:TV three weeks ago! I wish I waited.

Love the device though.

Bubba Satori
Sep 14, 2009, 07:55 AM
Ugh. I just bought a new 40GB :apple:TV three weeks ago! I wish I waited.

Love the device though.

What's the reutrn policy where you bought it ?

jonnysods
Sep 14, 2009, 07:55 AM
Very cool. I have been looking at these for a while now, but wondering what Apple is going to do with them. Here's hoping for an update so I can pull the trigger on a new unit! And maybe with some higher quality content, or cheaper movies!

Gotta convince the wife you see...:D

Dadadada
Sep 14, 2009, 07:59 AM
Gotta convince the wife you see...:D
I guess the Apple TV has a good WAF (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woman_acceptance_factor)

Tilpots
Sep 14, 2009, 07:59 AM
An update is WAY overdue.

amammad
Sep 14, 2009, 07:59 AM
Carry on dreaming.

That's a SATA drive, the AppleTV uses PATA drives.

So it's not directly swappable but with the physical size, it's still feasible that Apple could use these in a future Apple TV... which I think is what the OP meant.

irun5k
Sep 14, 2009, 08:00 AM
I enjoy reading all the posts that say that this "device isn't worth buying." Classic. I find that I'd get little value out of a gaming console, since I don't play games. However, I'd be an idiot to run around saying that a PS 3 isn't "worth buying."

I have an Apple TV and did plenty of research on it before buying. It satisfies these major goals:

1) Delivers my entire iTunes library into my living room. Long ago I ripped my CD and DVD collection and put the physical media in storage, so having access to my iTunes lib is a must-have.

2) Integrates well with my other hardware/software. I run all Macs at home, and have an iPhone and iPods. Sure, I could go with a set top box from another vendor, but why?

3) Experience is totally painless. Syncs occur automatically and without any effort on my part.

Honestly, after having the ATV for a few months, it makes the act of swapping physical DVDs seem like my memories of my dad futzing around with 8-tracks in the car when I was a kid. Having quick access to your entire video library is great when you have kids.

Of course the device does a lot more and I intend to try renting a flick when we finally have time to watch one. But you might pay a couple hundred bucks for a cheap BluRay player or good DVD player... and they do pretty much one thing.

If the ATV would take a cable card and had a DVR and Blu Ray player, it would be a killer. However, it is still a very useful device without those things.

blybug
Sep 14, 2009, 08:00 AM
The Apple TV is getting interesting. Now imagine that Apple does the following :

- replace the hard disk with a 1 or 2 TB
- add the backup functionality of Time Capsule
- increase the price, but in a reasonable way

In other words, merge the Apple TV, Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme into one single product (iServer ?). They would sell it by zillions, and it would not be anymore just a "hobby" for Apple.

That is EXACTLY what I am waiting for...and if the :apple:TV part of its brain could simply use the backed up media from the TC part of its brain...:D

cube
Sep 14, 2009, 08:01 AM
Hobby.

They should merge AppleTV with Mac mini and give it Blu Ray and a 3.5" hard disk.

MacTV

Evangelion
Sep 14, 2009, 08:05 AM
Personally for me, adding the content just got a whole lot easier with home sharing. I can see and move everything, purchased, home movies or my ripped cd collection. My issue is the 'automatic' syncing works only with purchased. That part sucks. As a side note, I've been using supersync for a while now and it has worked well for me. I would recommend it if you want the nuts and bolts info on everything that is being synced.

Home Sharing ALMOST fixed my problems. While it's a big step forward, it doesn't quite fix my problem. What I would like to have is a iTunes-server that contains all contents of my and my wifes libraries. The key would be that when either of us adds content to our library, it would also be added to the server. Home Sharing would fix that if it worked with all content. But it doesn't, it only works with purchased content.

iTunes 9 took me closer to the solution, but it's not quite the solution I'm looking for.

blybug
Sep 14, 2009, 08:08 AM
Honestly, after having the ATV for a few months, it makes the act of swapping physical DVDs seem like my memories of my dad futzing around with 8-tracks in the car when I was a kid. Having quick access to your entire video library is great when you have kids.

Yes!! Handbraking our DVD collection and keeping the discs popcorn-finger free is wonderful!!

Also took the time to digitize all our old VHS tapes and iDVD collection of family home movies to mp4, which I have painstakingly tagged and categorized as a "TV Show". It's actually the most popular thing the kids love to watch now, 15 "Seasons" of watching themselves grow up. There's no other way that these types of videos would ever have done anything but collect dust otherwise. I continue to be surprised with each new version of iTunes (including 9) that "Home Movies" is left out as a media category.

Every person who has ever seen the :apple:TV in action at my house is astonished by it, and surprised that such a cool thing exists. Not really sure why Apple hasn't hyped it a little more.

Bubba Satori
Sep 14, 2009, 08:19 AM
Hobby.

They should merge AppleTV with Mac mini and give it Blu Ray and a 3.5" hard disk.

MacTV


+1

Won't happen.

irun5k
Sep 14, 2009, 08:19 AM
Also took the time to digitize all our old VHS tapes and iDVD collection of family home movies to mp4, which I have painstakingly tagged and categorized as a "TV Show".

Ah, yes, I forgot that part. We're not big on camcorders and so forth, but every several months I usually make a new HD iMovie of still frames, music, and short videos captured from our digital camera. I used to burn these to DVD (using iDVD of course) just to get them on our living room TV. What a pain!

Well, forget that! These movies have never looked better than when viewed though the Apple TV. This is the only way I know of to get better than DVD resolution from something you create in iMovie, since Macs don't yet come with Blu Ray burners.

I actually created a Genre called "Home Movie" and that has worked out well for us.

Le Big Mac
Sep 14, 2009, 08:21 AM
This feels to me like they're dropping ATV altogether.

Surely if there were some revisions, they'd have announced them last week? I can't believe a new ATV would just appear in the store without announcement.


I agree. The combination of the two events strikes me as "clear stock" not "get ready for an update". If it weren't ready to announce, then why the price drop? Usually apple just leaves the price where it is and then releases the new one at the same or similar price point.

bbydon
Sep 14, 2009, 08:26 AM
The Apple TV is getting interesting. Now imagine that Apple does the following :

- replace the hard disk with a 1 or 2 TB
- add the backup functionality of Time Capsule
- increase the price, but in a reasonable way

In other words, merge the Apple TV, Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme into one single product (iServer ?). They would sell it by zillions, and it would not be anymore just a "hobby" for Apple.

Your backup device needs to be separate from the iserver.... because otherwise if the HD fails your screwed

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 14, 2009, 08:27 AM
well then have fun putting that in a atv then if its so easy, because you might not know this but sometimes it is about height and not just weight!

What? Isn't just about every other piece of home AV equipment taller than :apple:TV? If you walk through a Best Buy or similar, and tour all of the home theater components, I challenge anyone to find even 15% of all the related stuff with less height than :apple:TV.

Obviously, I think the idea of a slightly taller (and next-gen) :apple:TV to accommodate up to 2TB SATA now (bigger soon) would be a big positive. While they're at it, why not also make it a bit wider like the vast majority of other AV hardware, so there would be room for more than ONE 3.5" hard drive inside? Apple could still get their thinner & slimmer jollys by coming in below the vast majority of widths & heights of much AV equipment, while making it possible for many BUYERS to do things they want to do (such as store it all on :apple:TV, and maybe make it the Apple-friendly media hub for all computers in the household).

Tiny size for a device that one rarely picks up- just for the sake of being small- doesn't seem to have a lot of practicality.

While they're at it, much cheaper devices have the hardware that can playback 1080p video. Much cheaper devices have gigabit ethernet. Etc. And hackers of the current version show that Apple could- if it wanted to- enable massive external storage, enable access to content from other sources (boxee, etc), etc.

Yea, yea, I understand that Apple wants to sell iTunes content. But Apple keeps saying that iTunes is about selling HARDWARE. So if true, making the existing device more functional (as the hacker solutions do) and/or making a next-gen device with a few more of the most requested features of BUYERS seems like a no brainer. Hobby or not, there seems to be an awful lot of posts that say: "if it just had..." "...I would buy one". Many of those "just hads" are features in the market place in other devices priced well below :apple:TV. So, Apple can make many dreams come true if only they would choose to do so.

Gregintosh
Sep 14, 2009, 08:27 AM
******** THIS MEANS NO HARDWARE UPDATE IS IMMINENT ********

Chances are because of this price drop, Apple will wait several months for inventories to deplete before upgrading the hardware.

That means the soonest we can see a new AppleTV will probably be after the holidays. We may see a software upgrade soon though so they can take advantage of the new iTunes features like the LP and movie extras.

My guess is the next hardware revision will come after the new year, include the software upgrade, but also throw in an extra feature or two though I doubt it. Probably nothing groundbreaking because I don't see Apple doing major revisions to the software in such a short span of time. Most likely it will be a speed upgrade to allow 1080p and more storage.

Unless they hold off on the software upgrade until the new hardware is announced.

rcha101
Sep 14, 2009, 08:38 AM
I had a PS3 for a few weeks however streaming functionality was not good enough so I sold it and got the Apple TV.

Now I can sync my dvd resolution movies to Apple TV and stream photos, music and ipod formatted movies (these still look great on the HDTV so I assume there is some upscaling) from both my mac and my GFs vista laptop.

I've recently hacked my apple tv to add transmission (with web interface) and a web client. This has given me everything I need (though I may look at mounting shared drives when I get a time capsule).

I hope to see another update to bring extra features however I have everything I need for now.

LazersGoPEWPEW
Sep 14, 2009, 08:39 AM
I enjoy reading all the posts that say that this "device isn't worth buying." Classic. I find that I'd get little value out of a gaming console, since I don't play games. However, I'd be an idiot to run around saying that a PS 3 isn't "worth buying."

I have an Apple TV and did plenty of research on it before buying. It satisfies these major goals:

1) Delivers my entire iTunes library into my living room. Long ago I ripped my CD and DVD collection and put the physical media in storage, so having access to my iTunes lib is a must-have.

2) Integrates well with my other hardware/software. I run all Macs at home, and have an iPhone and iPods. Sure, I could go with a set top box from another vendor, but why?

3) Experience is totally painless. Syncs occur automatically and without any effort on my part.

Honestly, after having the ATV for a few months, it makes the act of swapping physical DVDs seem like my memories of my dad futzing around with 8-tracks in the car when I was a kid. Having quick access to your entire video library is great when you have kids.

Of course the device does a lot more and I intend to try renting a flick when we finally have time to watch one. But you might pay a couple hundred bucks for a cheap BluRay player or good DVD player... and they do pretty much one thing.

If the ATV would take a cable card and had a DVR and Blu Ray player, it would be a killer. However, it is still a very useful device without those things.

I don't know about that one. I have this really awesome piece of equipment called a PS3 and it's essentially a computer and it plays blu-rays.

alent1234
Sep 14, 2009, 08:40 AM
I had a PS3 for a few weeks however streaming functionality was not good enough so I sold it and got the Apple TV.

Now I can sync my dvd resolution movies to Apple TV and stream photos, music and ipod formatted movies (these still look great on the HDTV so I assume there is some upscaling) from both my mac and my GFs vista laptop.

I've recently hacked my apple tv to add transmission (with web interface) and a web client. This has given me everything I need (though I may look at mounting shared drives when I get a time capsule).

I hope to see another update to bring extra features however I have everything I need for now.

unless you rip a DVD for full quality, the streaming will always be subpar. I've seen blu-ray play in the store and it kills DVD in video quality so i'll probably be buying a PS3 slim later this year. and supposedly Netflix is going to come to it as well as the X-Box

ob81
Sep 14, 2009, 08:44 AM
At least we know that they are at least bringing the Apple Tv up in meetings. Really hasn't gotten much attention.

Maury
Sep 14, 2009, 08:47 AM
I'm personally waiting for the day when apple include a damn tv tuner in the thing, so it actually lives up to the name "apple tv". C'mon, how hard could it be?

I'd personally prefer they just support EyeTV. I don't know exactly how they would do this, but I imagine something like a daemon that looks for known devices appearing on the USB2, and when those appear a stub installer runs that downloads and installs the latest version from the EyeTV web site. Basically just use the "there is an update available" code that everyone already has, but embed it into a program that has nothing else in it, so that you don't actually have to ship anything with the system.

If you did that, then anyone out there could build a tuner. One with dual tuners, built-in compression, and CableCARD gets you the same thing as a normal HD cable box, which costs $200 street here in Toronto. I'd happily pay that, or more, if it meant that I could ditch the POS General Instrument box that Rogers hands out and use the ATV for everything from channel surfing to downloading movies.

Maury

seedster2
Sep 14, 2009, 08:50 AM
Hobby fail bag of hurt. Sold four in two years.

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

FoxHoundADAM
Sep 14, 2009, 08:51 AM
I'm still trying to understand what the point of Apple TV is. Why not just spend an extra $300 and get a mini? Gets you the same thig but much more.

Anyone care to enlighten me?

Maury
Sep 14, 2009, 08:54 AM
Obviously, I think the idea of a slightly taller (and next-gen) :apple:TV to accommodate up to 2TB SATA now (bigger soon) would be a big positive.

Actually I'd prefer if they would also include a separate Flash "drive" for the OS and apps. It doesn't have to be that large, the entire system fits into 900MB so a 2GB Flash would be more than enough. Apple gets those for pennies.

That way they can leave the HD turned off, which would make the system practically silent when it's not actively being used. As it is, I can hear it across the house when it's "sleeping", and I find it very annoying. It would also lower the power use in idle, a massive 13W as it is.

SATA is a no-brainer, but I hope they'll think outside the box on this one.

Maury

alent1234
Sep 14, 2009, 08:55 AM
Of course the device does a lot more and I intend to try renting a flick when we finally have time to watch one. But you might pay a couple hundred bucks for a cheap BluRay player or good DVD player... and they do pretty much one thing.

If the ATV would take a cable card and had a DVR and Blu Ray player, it would be a killer. However, it is still a very useful device without those things.

good DVD players are less than $100 and play a variety of formats including DIVX. YOu can get a cheap Blu-Ray player for under $150, good ones with features like BD-Live for $250 or the PS3 for $299.

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 14, 2009, 08:57 AM
unless you rip a DVD for full quality, the streaming will always be subpar. I've seen blu-ray play in the store and it kills DVD in video quality so i'll probably be buying a PS3 slim later this year. and supposedly Netflix is going to come to it as well as the X-Box

This reads like you're addressing 2 entirely separate issues. A DVD should pretty much always be subpar to BD video, because DVD is SD resolution while BD is HD. Even the DVD itself (unripped) can't make up for it's resolution limitations vs. BD.

Streaming on the other hand works just fine as long as the stream can reach the rendering engine fast enough to keep up with what should be rendered to the TV right now. More simply, streaming works like buffering internet video- if you get enough into the buffer so that you never "catch up" to what should be showing on screen right now, the internet video plays back smoothly and as intended.

Streaming video on the :apple:TV yields a lower quality of video vs. a dedicated BD player because :apple:TV is limited to "handicapped" 720p HD at best, while a BD player can render 1080p video. While both can be marketed as HD, 720p can send about 921K pixels to your HDTV screen, and 1080p can send about 2M pixels to your HDTV screen. While other factors such as bandwith, bitrate, etc also come into play, the 1080p format obviously sends a LOT more picture detail information than 720p.

Stepping that on down to DVD rips- which aren't even 720p, and it's even less picture detail getting pumped to your HDTV. This is true whether you rip it and play it back via :apple:TV or just play the DVD in a DVD player.

:apple:TV needs a hardware upgrade so that it can completely compete with the modern playback standards of HD. Since there are many devices much cheaper than :apple:TV with playback hardware capable of this, this is well within Apple's reach, and shouldn't jack up the price of :apple:TV.

Besides a purely competitive and future-proofing reasons, Apple does "include" iMovie with all their systems, and it is capable of rendering 1080p video such as what you might shoot with HD camcorders readily available (for several years now). So even if iTunes doesn't get 1080p content for many years (studios, broadband pipe limitations, etc), giving BUYERS the ability to do what they want when it won't really affect Apple pricing, margins, etc seems like a reasonable thing to do. How about it, Apple?

Evangelion
Sep 14, 2009, 08:59 AM
I'm still trying to understand what the point of Apple TV is. Why not just spend an extra $300 and get a mini? Gets you the same thig but much more.

Anyone care to enlighten me?

While mini is more versatile, it's also a more of a hassle. AppleTV is designed to be used with the remote, mini less so .AppleTV is just another device you can sync content to, mini is not. With the mini you need to pull content from the source, with AppleTV you can push content to it. AppleTV can also be used as a destination for AirTunes, min can not.

And, of course, mini costs more. $300 is quite a bit of money.

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 14, 2009, 09:01 AM
Actually I'd prefer if they would also include a separate Flash "drive" for the OS and apps. It doesn't have to be that large, the entire system fits into 900MB so a 2GB Flash would be more than enough. Apple gets those for pennies.

That way they can leave the HD turned off, which would make the system practically silent when it's not actively being used. As it is, I can hear it across the house when it's "sleeping", and I find it very annoying. It would also lower the power use in idle, a massive 13W as it is.

Maury

Maury, I'm completely with you on this one. At the same time, why not put a little bigger flash stick inside all Mac computers for the Operating System, and roll out an "instant on" marketing spin? I can see Steve now talking about how long it takes for all computers to boot up. Then, he pushes the on switch for a new Mac to demonstrate the new "instant on" feature.

Why they don't have this (long ago), I just don't know. It's not like they don't have TONS of flash ram inventory for use in iPods & iPhones.

mikes63737
Sep 14, 2009, 09:04 AM
The Apple TV is getting interesting. Now imagine that Apple does the following :

- replace the hard disk with a 1 or 2 TB
- add the backup functionality of Time Capsule
- increase the price, but in a reasonable way

In other words, merge the Apple TV, Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme into one single product (iServer ?). They would sell it by zillions, and it would not be anymore just a "hobby" for Apple.

If they found a way to do this without having it look like a huge cube or overheat, then I would definitely buy one.

And maybe it could use your iTunes DB files and media files from your time machine backups.

ronwasserman
Sep 14, 2009, 09:12 AM
Products like ROKU are going to hurt ATV sales if Apple doesn't create some sort of subscription service in the near future. I just got a ROKU and am pretty surprised at how easy it is to use. Looks just as good as ATV (non hd) as well.

Technology certainly keeps us all on our toes.

dernhelm
Sep 14, 2009, 09:17 AM
The Apple TV should move most of it's back-end functions into a media server (where ALL your media on your home network is placed) and a bunch of small $80-$100 roku-like devices that have just enough guts to stream from the media server to any TV in your home. Connect it to your main "ripping" server via firewire (USB, whatever) for performance via ripping, and let it stream everywhere else using wireless-n. Or simply rip your CDs to your local system, and have this one be updated via "automated copying" in iTunes 9.

The server could accept "plugins" to pull from internet sources (major networks, hulu, youtube, netflix, whatever) as well as your own photo/music/video libraries. Put it on the content providers to write the plugins if Apple doesn't want to mess with it.

The server could use multiple hardened hard drives in a RAID configuration to prevent loss of data.

It could even be used as a time machine backup (although I like to keep my time machine backup separate from my media drives for performance reasons).

Michael CM1
Sep 14, 2009, 09:19 AM
unless you rip a DVD for full quality, the streaming will always be subpar. I've seen blu-ray play in the store and it kills DVD in video quality so i'll probably be buying a PS3 slim later this year. and supposedly Netflix is going to come to it as well as the X-Box

Blu-ray is uncompressed 1080p video. DVD is compressed 480p video. Oh yah, it kicks the pants way off. If you want good movies to check out, try The Dark Knight, The Matrix and other similar stuff. I have a BD player with Netflix streaming, which sounds like basically a PS3 without the game-playing features. Netflix streaming is awesome, although I see a lot of recent TV shows are expiring at the beginning of October. It's still a great service as long as you don't expect new releases on it.

Simon R.
Sep 14, 2009, 09:19 AM
Maury, I'm completely with you on this one. At the same time, why not put a little bigger flash stick inside all Mac computers for the Operating System, and roll out an "instant on" marketing spin? I can see Steve now talking about how long it takes for all computers to boot up. Then, he pushes the on switch for a new Mac to demonstrate the new "instant on" feature.

Why they don't have this (long ago), I just don't know. It's not like they don't have TONS of flash ram inventory for use in iPods & iPhones.

Because that's not how it would work? Even with flash memory (I'm sure you heard about SSD's) it takes some time to boot up. It still has to run through a truckload of big and small files, negotiate various hardware handshakes etc. so I doubt it'll even be instant. If you want instant on use sleep.. :)

solideliquid
Sep 14, 2009, 09:20 AM
So I purchased the 40GB model on Aug 22 do I have any options to return for the 160GB?

NightStorm
Sep 14, 2009, 09:23 AM
Blu-ray is uncompressed 1080p video. DVD is compressed 480p video.

Bluray video is still compressed, but utilizes newer encoding standards like VC-1 or MPEG4/H.264 AVC. DVDs (and actually some early Blurays) use MPEG2. Uncompressed video is still way to large to fit on an optical format.

bergmef
Sep 14, 2009, 09:23 AM
If they found a way to do this without having it look like a huge cube or overheat, then I would definitely buy one.

And maybe it could use your iTunes DB files and media files from your time machine backups.

My guess is it would sound like a vacuum cleaner. Who wants a server and backups together?

Eduardo1971
Sep 14, 2009, 09:25 AM
Originally Posted by Dadadada
The Apple TV is getting interesting. Now imagine that Apple does the following :

- replace the hard disk with a 1 or 2 TB

The 2.5" harddisks as used in the AppleTV don't come in anything larger than 500GB at the moment. Nice dreaming though ;-)


Nope : http://www.engadget.com/2009/07/27/wd-ships-industrys-first-2-5-inch-1tb-hard-drive/

May I still dream ?

Oh snap!

dont24
Sep 14, 2009, 09:27 AM
Glad I waited. Was having issues upgrading the firmware on my 1st gen airport express, so I sold it as is on ebay yesterday. New ones $99, I figured I could get a used 40Gb Apple TV for not much more $$. Glad I didn't pull the trigger yesterday. Will wait to see what happens.

McGiord
Sep 14, 2009, 09:28 AM
I have one 160GB and would love to see software update to:
1- Resize the You Tube videos to whatever video size I want to.
2- Play games from App Store using my iPhone or any other :apple: or 3rd party controller
3- Be able to watch any other streaming content over the internet
4- Browse the web
5- Able to connect external HDD

martint84
Sep 14, 2009, 09:37 AM
After skimming over this thread and other :apple:tv threads, I feel like I have to mention a few things about the :apple:tv and PS3. I own both and have no reason to prefer one over the other.

1. I haven't seen anyone talk about video podcasts on the :apple:tv. For me, it's by far the feature I use the most. I know you can set up the PS3 and other devices, but I find :apple:tv to have the best interface. Anyone who doesn't know about TED Talks needs to check it out right now! Revision3 also has some great shows.

2. The PS3 is a great device. For $299 you get Blu-Ray, a great gaming system, and a good digital media player. I think the biggest advantage the PS3 has over the :apple:tv (in terms of media) is its ability to play lots of different video formats and external USB support. But the advantages stop there. Personally, I never use my PS3 as a media player. I find the UI to be extremely cumbersome. I love the organization of :apple:tv. I also don't mind converting my media to mp4 since I have a few iPod touches and iPhones in the house.

3. If you're looking to get the most bang for your buck, the PS3 is the clear choice. However, if you are a mac user and have all of your content on iTunes, the :apple:tv is awesome. Yes, it is probably over-priced, but I don't care. I really hope Apple continues to support it and am hoping for some additional features.

Vulpinemac
Sep 14, 2009, 09:43 AM
... that only people who have one have any idea of what it does.

I have one of the 160GB models, and its capability to synchronize with iTunes in my desktop computer means that my collection is available for listening and viewing in my Home Entertainment Center. It allows me to listen to my music on high-end analog speakers within a component system that makes any of your computer speaker systems sound sick and tinny. The point is, we've gotten so used to listening to our portables that we've forgotten what music should sound like.

Add to this that I can watch all my music videos, all my downloaded movies and even 'rent' movies from the iTMS to view on my 52" HDTV and I get a sound and picture package hard to beat in a consumer-friendly package. An interesting side note is that not only does it come with its own remote, but you can use your iPhone/iPod Touch as a remote as well. It's a great way to view that downloaded TV show you always loved,too, like Star Trek or Top Gear.

martint84
Sep 14, 2009, 09:58 AM
The only problem with :apple:tv is... that only people who have one have any idea of what it does.

I totally agree. When I explain it to my friends, they tell me all about how they can hook up their laptops to their tv or play their media on their PS3/XBOX360. They just don't get it...

postbreak
Sep 14, 2009, 09:58 AM
If you hack the device you can use a TV tuner and EyeTV however the remote doesn't work most of the time. It's infuriating. Standard definition plays back nicely, HD not so much but that's to be expected. Everything works except for the damn remote. If the remote worked it would be perfect.

madog
Sep 14, 2009, 09:59 AM
So I purchased the 40GB model on Aug 22 do I have any options to return for the 160GB?

If you bought it within 2 weeks of this release, mmmmmmmaybe. Their official policy is no, their return policy for most items is 14 days, but if you were within that time it never hurts to go and talk to a store manager at your local Apple store. They don't have to help you at all, but they have the power to do anything.

nutmac
Sep 14, 2009, 09:59 AM
Nope : http://www.engadget.com/2009/07/27/wd-ships-industrys-first-2-5-inch-1tb-hard-drive/

May I still dream ?
Yes, since the drive retails for whopping $250. Even with volume discount, it wouldn't be feasible as it would go against your "increase price in a reasonable way" dream.

With PS3 and Xbox 360 coming down in price, Apple cannot raise the price.

LAS.mac
Sep 14, 2009, 10:05 AM
Well, just checked here in Mexico: only the 160 Gb model is shown, at 3,589 mexican pesos (current exchange rate of 13.4 MXN for 1 USD, it means 268 USD). This price includes 15% VAT, which means the price is almost the same as the 229 USD of the US store.
Only BIG difference: the mexican store does not allow to download movies from itunes.

ChrisA
Sep 14, 2009, 10:06 AM
When ATV can do 1080i/p I'll buy it. I don't care about movies. I want a good way to put photos and video I shot on my 1080p TV.

DougB541
Sep 14, 2009, 10:07 AM
Yes, since the drive retails for whopping $250. Even with volume discount, it wouldn't be feasible as it would go against your "increase price in a reasonable way" dream.

With PS3 and Xbox 360 coming down in price, Apple cannot raise the price.

And I think many would agree the 360/PS3 are substantially better and more open media streamers.

SimonTheSoundMa
Sep 14, 2009, 10:08 AM
Unless somone has e.g. a Kuro M display which has no tuners, then surely people have a built in tuner. What would having a tuner in the ATV give you that a built in tuner would not?

I have no tuners in my Fujitsu screens.

blybug
Sep 14, 2009, 10:13 AM
I'm still trying to understand what the point of Apple TV is. Why not just spend an extra $300 and get a mini? Gets you the same thig but much more.

Anyone care to enlighten me?

While mini is more versatile, it's also a more of a hassle. AppleTV is designed to be used with the remote, mini less so .AppleTV is just another device you can sync content to, mini is not. With the mini you need to pull content from the source, with AppleTV you can push content to it. AppleTV can also be used as a destination for AirTunes, min can not.

And, of course, mini costs more. $300 is quite a bit of money.

I have a mini running as an :apple:tv using this software hack ATV4Mac (http://www.macgeekblog.com/blog/archive/2008/03/25/atv4mac-1-2-available-2.html) which installs :apple:TV as a replacement for the standard Front Row.

OS X Front Row is kludgier than the :apple:TV interface, mostly because it does not do a good job of separating TV shows into seasons in a useful way. Also prefer to manage my content from my computer and have it automatically pushed to the :apple:TV rather than having to manually keep the mini's library updated and mucking around with the device attached to my television (though I often do manage it via remote control VNC).

However, as you say, there are advantages to having the mini running "underneath" the :apple:TV, the main one being I have a 1TB firewire drive connected to sync and (therefore backup) my entire media library. Also can run the mini as a server of sorts with shared documents, network backup, syncing services all chugging in the background.

Best of Both Worlds :p

http://www.bly.cc/images/itunesappletv1tb.jpg

OptyCT
Sep 14, 2009, 10:18 AM
... that only people who have one have any idea of what it does.

I have one of the 160GB models, and its capability to synchronize with iTunes in my desktop computer means that my collection is available for listening and viewing in my Home Entertainment Center. It allows me to listen to my music on high-end analog speakers within a component system that makes any of your computer speaker systems sound sick and tinny. The point is, we've gotten so used to listening to our portables that we've forgotten what music should sound like.

Congrats on listening to your compressed (and heavily degraded sonic quality) music library on your "high-end analog speakers." :rolleyes:

While I agree that listening to .mp3 music files through a decent hi-fi stereo system is an upgrade over listening to your iPod via bad earbuds, it still leaves a lot to be desired. At the very least, we should be listening to music using the lossless format. As memory prices continue to drop, lossless should become the standard. What's really pathetic is that now college-aged people prefer the sound of compressed music over lossless. There was a college professor who has been polling his students' music quality listening preferences for the last 10 or so years. At the beginning of each semester, he would take a CD and play it to the class. He would then take an .mp3 version of that same CD and play that. He would then ask his students which version sounds better. In past years, his students were pretty much split down the middle over which one they preferred. However, the last few years, the vast majority preferred .mp3. When asked why they thought .mp3 sounded better, they said that they couldn't hear the "hiss" (aka noise) on the CD versions, so it didn't sound as good. WTF???

anthonylambert
Sep 14, 2009, 10:18 AM
Released an Apple TV product that had all the same functionality as the current one with:

1. BlueRay drive.
2. Based around some top end Arm processor(s) not Intel.
3. Based it around the Phone OS including apps such as Safari.
4. Ran Phone OS Apps at Phone resolution
5. Ran yet to be announced TV/Tablet Apps at 720P
and 1080i/p resolutions!
6. Used Ipod Touch and Phones as game controllers.
7. Had cutdown game controller with all the Phone sensors/WIFI but no
screen.

Hmmmmm.........

that would give xbox etc. a run for their money.

mattwolfmatt
Sep 14, 2009, 10:21 AM
Na na na na, hey hey hey, good-bye. Discontinued soon.

reallynotnick
Sep 14, 2009, 10:25 AM
Blu-ray is uncompressed 1080p video. DVD is compressed 480p video.

The only thing that could be called uncompressed on BD is the audio otherwise the video is compressed. Of course it uses a better compression algorithm (H.264 and VC-1) vs Mpeg-2, and has a higher bitrate but since it has 6 times the resolution all of that is necessary. If you played a BD at 480p vs a DVD at 480p you would be hard pressed to find a difference.
But yes I agree BD looks ***** amazing.

I just want Apple to come out with a hardware update to support 1080p video and either allow external storage or users to upgrade the HDD (I know it is possible with hacking). And heck while you're at it might as well create an App store for the new Apple TV, think of the possibilities!

GQB
Sep 14, 2009, 10:31 AM
it's essentially an iPod that connects to your TV. As long as it plays back iTunes content, I don't think it "needs" much in the way of hardware upgrades.

Obviously, it would be nice, but I don't think it follows the same rules as most consumer electronic devices.

arn

Precisely.
iPhone/touch technology has a long way to go before it catches up to that available on the AppleTV (even as old as it is), and its pretty obvious that the OS (and app base) for AppleTV will more resemble iPhone OS than OS X.

BeyondtheTech
Sep 14, 2009, 10:32 AM
Regarding my AppleTVs, I stated this before, but it's so important to me that I hope someone in the deep depths of Cupertino will channel this to the right people:

1. Take 3 on the UI. It maybe a gateway to the iTunes Store, but please get the front end out of my face, burying my current media at the bottom right corner of each menu. Most of the time, I'm accessing the media I purchased or synced into it, so I'd like to get access to it first before having to sift through a bunch of menu options that are trying to get me to buy and rent.

2. Speed it up. You made good optimizations for Snow Leopard, put some of that expertise in the direction of the AppleTV group. It's just slow as balls since 2.0 came out.

3. Make it a portal to the Internet. Unlike many others, I don't want to hack my AppleTV the same reason I don't want to hack my iPhone. I trust you'll add value to the device that it won't need unofficial third-party support: how about news feeds (RSS), stocks, weather, alarm clock (heck, even just the time will do!). License a voice or two from the Acapela group and get my AppleTV to be my first wave of information in the morning: have it read me the latest news (think Tick Talk on the App Store), or how about news on demand? If my TV can power itself at 5AM, you can schedule the AppleTV to do something at 5:05. Even if you don't put a full-on browser, make it at least show the Weather Channel and show some current headlines.

4. Open the doors for other services. If you won't offer an all-you-can-eat subscription, how about giving the keys to Netflix, so they can do it? How about Skype or iChat with the ability to add a USB webcam mountable on the top of your LCD display? Right there, you expand the possibilities of grandparents in Florida watching movies and photos you're sharing with them from your AppleTV or iTunes/iPhoto/iWeb and being able to do a video chat. No complicated UI's, just a screenname you can scroll down to and click with the AppleTV remote, and initiate a video call. And, you can offer the ability to do surveillance on your house. Watch the babysitter, or watch your kids (think iCam on App Store).

I have two 160GB AppleTVs in my house, only because 1. connecting and disconnecting iPods/iPhones to the TVs were cumbersome and not that instant to my entire iTunes library, and 2. the Wife Acceptance Factor (WAF) hit an all-time high. You guys couldn't have made the interface and remote much easier to use. Have you seen some of these Windows Media Center and Logitech Harmony remotes? It's a nightmare to the technically challenged.

I still think you've got your hands on a winner in terms of hardware. Now, let's get that software up to snuff, and you'll be AOK in my book.

Dan--
Sep 14, 2009, 10:34 AM
The Apple TV should move most of it's back-end functions into a media server (where ALL your media on your home network is placed) and a bunch of small $80-$100 roku-like devices that have just enough guts to stream from the media server to any TV in your home.

ATV Server and ATV Satellites
Connect it to your main "ripping" server via firewire (USB, whatever) for performance via ripping, and let it stream everywhere else using wireless-n. Or simply rip your CDs to your local system, and have this one be updated via "automated copying" in iTunes 9.

The server could accept "plugins" to pull from internet sources (major networks, hulu, youtube, netflix, whatever) as well as your own photo/music/video libraries. Put it on the content providers to write the plugins if Apple doesn't want to mess with it.

The server could use multiple hardened hard drives in a RAID configuration to prevent loss of data.

It could even be used as a time machine backup (although I like to keep my time machine backup separate from my media drives for performance reasons).

+1, no
+10, and a h*ll yeah! (been thinkin the same thing for long term).

But for now, just a spec bump would be nice (bigger HD, faster CPU/GPU to enable 1080p and good Boxee stuff, and also throw in external/networked drives OOTB).

Cliff3
Sep 14, 2009, 10:43 AM
What does all this mean? :eek: :confused: I'm guessing we're seeing a price drop on the 160GB and a discontinuation of the 40GB? Maybe an update is immanent? :D

It probably means Apple is having a heck of a time finding a supplier for 40GB PATA drives. If they do update this device, a switch to SATA would sure be welcome.

mdntcallr
Sep 14, 2009, 10:46 AM
i am hoping this is just a prelude to a hardware and software update.

160gb, is starting to be a little light on storage with all the HD Movies itunes is selling.

and... well there could be alot of advancements, ie making the apple tv like the Wii, an amazing entertainment center, with gaming at same time.

that would be a winner.

well, also if Apple finally opened up the device.

Allow Netflix, Amazon, Blockbuster, Vudu and others to stream/download content to the device.

moneyman118
Sep 14, 2009, 10:47 AM
I just sold my 40gb :apple:TV on ebay for $150. I can purchase the 160gb and not worry about the possible increase in storage b/c I have a 500GB Time Capsule. Should I purchase the 160gb :apple:TV now or does one think there will be a hardware upgrade. And why is it not listed in the Buyers Guide?

Vulpinemac
Sep 14, 2009, 10:48 AM
I don't know about that one. I have this really awesome piece of equipment called a PS3 and it's essentially a computer and it plays blu-rays.

The PS3 is nice, but it's a game machine first, then media. The Apple TV handles the multimedia aspect a lot better and handles more of it. My Nintendo Wii, XBox 360 and PS2 handle all my gaming needs.

McGiord
Sep 14, 2009, 10:51 AM
Just reading some of your posts I wonder about the Mac Mini.
How you connect it to the TV video input? What is the screen resolution you get and response time?
What software you use to use it?
What remote control you use?
How you browse the we from your couch?

Any cons?

Cave Man
Sep 14, 2009, 10:51 AM
The only thing that could be called uncompressed on BD is the audio otherwise the video is compressed. Of course it uses a better compression algorithm (H.264 and VC-1) vs Mpeg-2

A lot of Blu-ray discs, especially older titles, are encoded in MPEG-2. What's even more pathetic is that they were made by upscaling the original DVD MPEG-2 to 1080p MPEG-2. They really look crappy. Fortunately, most movies made in the last 5 years really are 1080p on Blu-ray.

Hattig
Sep 14, 2009, 10:53 AM
They're either selling out the remaining hardware in anticipation of new hardware (hopefully a cheaper, ARM-based device that runs quieter and cooler, with all the nice specs that have been speculated on before many times), or this is the AppleTV lineup for 2009/10. The latter would make me sad.

Cave Man
Sep 14, 2009, 10:55 AM
If there's an update, I'll bet serious money the gpu will be the 9400m.

Hattig
Sep 14, 2009, 10:56 AM
A lot of Blu-ray discs, especially older titles, are encoded in MPEG-2. What's even more pathetic is that they were made by upscaling the original DVD MPEG-2 to 1080p MPEG-2.

No they weren't. The initial discs were MPEG2, and of dubious quality, but as soon as the H.264 mastering processes were done everything switched to that. Some of the earlier movies used the HD-DVD media file, which is also lower quality than a dedicated BluRay stream which has a higher bitrate.

Old movies on film don't translate well, but anything that's been nicely digitised/restored/modern looks great.

moneyman118
Sep 14, 2009, 11:00 AM
I hope they update :apple:TV in the October event, if there is one this year, that way the January event can be all Tablet and LCD's!

hayesk
Sep 14, 2009, 11:01 AM
Wow, wonder what happens if you just bought the 160 at the old $329 price recently.

Hmm... my guess is that it will still work, and you will be satisfied because you agreed to pay that price at the time of purchase.

Hattig
Sep 14, 2009, 11:02 AM
If there's an update, I'll bet serious money the gpu will be the 9400m.

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.

The modern ARM SoCs run fast, offload media processing and more to dedicated units, and more. I just think that Apple are waiting for PA Semi's first designs to come out of the oven, although a full-speed version of the iPhone 3GS SoC could suffice.

ARM SoC: ~$20
Atom + Ion: $80+

Surely Apple want to hit that $199 price point they talk about a lot? AppleTV has to mature some day and come out of hobby status, and the hardware switch will be the right time, so the price has to be right.

hayesk
Sep 14, 2009, 11:05 AM
I'll get one as soon as they add a DVR. Until then, no sale.

A DVR for what? An SD analog DVR? Not really useful since the AppleTV connects to HD TVs and most people who own HD TVs want HD content. A digital DVR? That works with what? Dish Network? Comcast? Rogers? Bell ExpressVu? CableCard? Cable companies either poorly or just don't support cablecard.

Until there's a universal TV decoding standard with provider buy-in, there will never be a module that Apple would put in the AppleTV. I wish people would understand this.

Or, do what I do - connect an EyeTV to my Mac and do the recording there, and watch it on my AppleTV. It's SD only but I don't mind.

hayesk
Sep 14, 2009, 11:06 AM
I have a white iMac which connects to the network through wireless. My computer does not support wake-on-wireless which is now available in Snow Leopard and I don't particularly want to leave my computer running 24/7 just incase I want to listen to some music or watch a film because I'm a responsible person that doesn't like to waste energy.

An SATA hard drive would solve this problem for the vast majority of people.

Yep, but Apple's not going to spend R&D to support old Mac models. Eventually, you'll get a new Mac and won't have that problem any more.

Vulpinemac
Sep 14, 2009, 11:07 AM
Congrats on listening to your compressed (and heavily degraded sonic quality) music library on your "high-end analog speakers." :rolleyes:

While I agree that listening to .mp3 music files through a decent hi-fi stereo system is an upgrade over listening to your iPod via bad earbuds, it still leaves a lot to be desired. At the very least, we should be listening to music using the lossless format. As memory prices continue to drop, lossless should become the standard. What's really pathetic is that now college-aged people prefer the sound of compressed music over lossless. There was a college professor who has been polling his students' music quality listening preferences for the last 10 or so years. At the beginning of each semester, he would take a CD and play it to the class. He would then take an .mp3 version of that same CD and play that. He would then ask his students which version sounds better. In past years, his students were pretty much split down the middle over which one they preferred. However, the last few years, the vast majority preferred .mp3. When asked why they thought .mp3 sounded better, they said that they couldn't hear the "hiss" (aka noise) on the CD versions, so it didn't sound as good. WTF???

While I don't disagree with you, you yourself admitted that currently-available music sounds a lot better on a decent system. However, digital music is improving, and I have the capability to rip my old LPs at a significantly higher bit rate and -depth, preserving some, albeit not all, of the original fidelity. This means that at least a fair portion of my music is at a higher resolution than mere mp3 or even Aiff. I will admit that the average CD and mp3 is poor quality, but at the time CDs at least sounded decent in portable devices (with good headphones) and mp3 let you carry significantly more music in the device than a single CD or compact cassette could carry. I expect eventually you won't be able to tell the difference from listening in the studio or the recording made from that studio session. Vinyl showed what could be done then; digital is finally catching up.

What the RIAA needs to do is get back into setting the recording standards--the purpose for which they were created--rather than spending all their money trying to sue individuals for copyright infringement. If they feel they have to go after pirates, go after the ones making money off the pirated recordings, they're the ones profiting right now.

richardhunt
Sep 14, 2009, 11:09 AM
The value for me of the :apple:TV is that I only encode the movie once and I can use it for all my ipods/iphones and :apple:TV. Sure cuts down on replacing scratched DVD's when you have kids, plus you can just give them the remote and have them choose the movie.

hayesk
Sep 14, 2009, 11:10 AM
While streaming might be OK in some cases, sometimes it's not. Take my situation for example:

There are two iTunes-libraries in the household: me and my wifes. How do we play both of those in AppleTV? Streaming would be ideal, since the size of our libraries is bigger than 160GB. But that has the problem that we need to have iTunes up & running on our laptop all the time. We could try to build an iTunes-server that streams the library, but adding content to the server is a pain (Home Sharing ALMOST fixes that problem, but it only works with purchased content, so it wouldn't work).

Home Sharing only support automatic transfer for purchased content. You can still manually copy unpurchased content through the Home Server mechanism. There's a setting to view uncopied content only so you can see what hasn't been copied.

hayesk
Sep 14, 2009, 11:11 AM
I'd personally prefer they just support EyeTV. I don't know exactly how they would do this, but I imagine something like a daemon that looks for known devices appearing on the USB2, and when those appear a stub installer runs that downloads and installs the latest version from the EyeTV web site. Basically just use the "there is an update available" code that everyone already has, but embed it into a program that has nothing else in it, so that you don't actually have to ship anything with the system.

If you did that, then anyone out there could build a tuner. One with dual tuners, built-in compression, and CableCARD gets you the same thing as a normal HD cable box, which costs $200 street here in Toronto. I'd happily pay that, or more, if it meant that I could ditch the POS General Instrument box that Rogers hands out and use the ATV for everything from channel surfing to downloading movies.


Except that Rogers doesn't support CableCard and encrypts all of their digital channels. There's no way to record HD content from Rogers except through their own PVR box which is $600.

TheAshMan
Sep 14, 2009, 11:14 AM
I am very interested in a device like the Apple TV, but will never buy it in the current state of configuration. This coming from someone who recently spent $2,400 on a loaded iMac! If they would make it with 1 or 2 of the following, I would buy it this upcoming holiday season:


DVR
Cable Card/ability to watch free tv
Blu-ray (unlikely to ever happen, would add too much $$ to the device)


The smart play for Apple is to have a premium device for your television that lets you do everything, or at least a few things. I think the cable card issue is in better shape than it was previously (correct anyone?) making that an option or something consumers can plug in after purchase. The same way people load up their iPods with music they already have on CD, people want to use a TV appliance mainly to consume content they have already paid for through a cable TV provider. The ability to record and view on demand is already there and it is decent, but, I want a better experience managing it and getting on-demand content for an additional fee. More storage would be a great thing too. I think there is a lot of potential here.

If Apple would convert their TV product to something that we could really use, I bet they would sell a lot of them. Apple could also make a few bucks when people do purchase premium content or other services on the Apple TV. Plus there would be potential for growth in the digital living room.

hayesk
Sep 14, 2009, 11:15 AM
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

Merge with Time Capsule? I would think the worst place to put your wireless router would be in a cabinet surrounded by electronics and wires.

The only thing I'd like to see from the AppleTV is for it to become the iTunes Home Server. Put all your media there and let other Macs sync to that. That's the only reason to put a giant hard disk in it that I can see.

hitekalex
Sep 14, 2009, 11:18 AM
I'd personally prefer they just support EyeTV. I don't know exactly how they would do this, but I imagine something like a daemon that looks for known devices appearing on the USB2, and when those appear a stub installer runs that downloads and installs the latest version from the EyeTV web site. Basically just use the "there is an update available" code that everyone already has, but embed it into a program that has nothing else in it, so that you don't actually have to ship anything with the system.

EyeTV already supports automatic export of its DVR recordings to AppleTV format and it automatically puts it into iTunes library. So you can easily stream or sync it TV recordings with your Apple TV.

There is no need for Apple to include DVR into Apple TV's directly.

mdwsta4
Sep 14, 2009, 11:18 AM
have been thinking about an ATV for a few years now. originally planned on buying the small model and installing a new HD, but maybe now i'll just get this.someone please jog my memory. if i have shows that are not in itunes can i play them on ATV? for example, i have a lot of shows that are in .avi format. typically i connect my MBP to my tv using HDMI cables, but this would be more convinient. can i just drag and drop things onto ATV and play them without an internet connection? pretty sure i'd have to hack it to play avi files, but so be it. i don't think i'd really use it to stream anything, just watch what i've already downloaded.

Vulpinemac
Sep 14, 2009, 11:19 AM
While streaming might be OK in some cases, sometimes it's not. Take my situation for example:

There are two iTunes-libraries in the household: me and my wifes. How do we play both of those in AppleTV? Streaming would be ideal, since the size of our libraries is bigger than 160GB. But that has the problem that we need to have iTunes up & running on our laptop all the time. We could try to build an iTunes-server that streams the library, but adding content to the server is a pain (Home Sharing ALMOST fixes that problem, but it only works with purchased content, so it wouldn't work).

Apparently you overlook one point--you don't need to have both machines running full-time. I'll grant that doing so keeps both libraries accessible all the time, but you're not a couch potato, are you? If you want your wife's library accessible, then simply boot up her laptop and start iTunes; the ATV will take care of the rest as soon as it finds her signal. At 160 GB, you can store a lot of music or video on the ATV itself, but don't forget, you also have the ability to synch only specific portions, too. Why play with libraries that overlap 65% of their content when you could pick and choose the videos and audio content between them?

CWallace
Sep 14, 2009, 11:20 AM
RoughlyDrafted (http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2009/09/14/new-itunes-lp-and-extras-built-using-tunekit-framework-aimed-at-apple-tv/#more-3788) this morning talks about how the new TuneKit features were likely designed to leverage :apple:tv and lay the groundwork to increase future adoption of the product.

madog
Sep 14, 2009, 11:21 AM
The AppleTV should just not exist.

Not only is that more likely than it ever getting a true update or it ever being worth it's price, but it would avoid all of this disappointment I see with the product.

MikeDTyke
Sep 14, 2009, 11:24 AM
The modern ARM SoCs run fast, offload media processing and more to dedicated units, and more. I just think that Apple are waiting for PA Semi's first designs to come out of the oven, although a full-speed version of the iPhone 3GS SoC could suffice.
.

I'm with you on every other point, but the SoC in the iPhone could only replace like for like with the current AppleTV ie. only 720p decoding, even then i think it would struggle with some of the faster scenes, which is one of several reasons why the iPhone 3G S is not advertised as supporting HD.

I'm fully expecting 2 chips out of PA Semi next year. One for iPhones/iPods and another for AppleTV/Tablets. Just hoping it's nearer the start of the year rather than than the 2nd half. March would be nice. :)

TheAshMan
Sep 14, 2009, 11:25 AM
EyeTV already supports automatic export of its DVR recordings to AppleTV format and it automatically puts it into iTunes library. So you can easily stream or sync it TV recordings with your Apple TV.

There is no need for Apple to include DVR into Apple TV's directly.

That's interesting, I didn't know you could do that, really? So I could get an EyeTV and stream all of my recordings to the Apple TV? The only problem I would have then is I don't have a cable box upstairs where the office/computer is. I know I could just get another one, but that is more $ per month that I don't want to spend ($144 per year now that I check). Is there another solution that might address that scenario? I haven't researched this yet, but now I want to look into it in light of this new information.

Thanks!

ghostwriter
Sep 14, 2009, 11:26 AM
Wow, wonder what happens if you just bought the 160 at the old $329 price recently.

Good question. I just bought one two days. Guess I'll head back to the Apple store and see what they're willing to do.

martint84
Sep 14, 2009, 11:30 AM
All of this talk about DVR and CableCARD makes no sense. Apple is in the business of selling you content from the iTunes store. Why would they make a device to let you get your content from someone else? There is absolutely no way they would consider adding a DVR/CableCARD. Furthermore, why would they add a Blu-Ray player? So you can buy your Blu-Ray discs from Walmart instead of buying/renting from iTunes?

Apple will never add these features. What you can expect, however, is higher quality of content from the iTunes store in the future. Remember the music video quality when the store first opened? 320x160? Audio quality has also improved. Apple will be obligated to keep the quality of its media on iTunes up to par (or close to it). While 1080p isn't realistic today, it will be in the future. Whether you will be able to play 1080p using an updated :apple:tv or some other new device remains to be seen.

dmm219
Sep 14, 2009, 11:34 AM
Merge with Time Capsule? I would think the worst place to put your wireless router would be in a cabinet surrounded by electronics and wires.

The only thing I'd like to see from the AppleTV is for it to become the iTunes Home Server. Put all your media there and let other Macs sync to that. That's the only reason to put a giant hard disk in it that I can see.

I agree. It makes total sense to merge with a TC, but it doesn't need to be a router. My guess is that apple tv is dead. Apple will most likely release (at some point), some kind of home server that will incorporate the ATV and TC into one unit, with very cheap, plug and play extenders for each TV. They would probably design it so current ATV's will work as these extenders, and the new extenders will have no hard drives and stream everything from the server.

I'm pretty sure apple has realized they essentially went down the wrong road with the ATV...whatever is coming next, will not resemble much at all of what we currently know as the ATV...

mattwolfmatt
Sep 14, 2009, 11:36 AM
I hope they update :apple:TV in the October event, if there is one this year, that way the January event can be all Tablet and LCD's!

What and when is THE October event? I haven't heard one advertised.

moneyman118
Sep 14, 2009, 11:40 AM
What and when is THE October event? I haven't heard one advertised.

I've read in other post that Apple sometimes has a media event in October. I believe last year they introduced the unibody macs. If i am incorrect please let me know.

DipDog3
Sep 14, 2009, 11:42 AM
it's essentially an iPod that connects to your TV. As long as it plays back iTunes content, I don't think it "needs" much in the way of hardware upgrades.

arn

Yea, but there isn't much of a market for a "connected" iPod. If Apple wants to corner the market, they need to copy Boxee and provide a wider range of content. Most people probably only get the AppleTV to “hack” it and put Boxee on it anyways.

hitekalex
Sep 14, 2009, 11:45 AM
That's interesting, I didn't know you could do that, really? So I could get an EyeTV and stream all of my DVR's to the TV? The only problem I would have then is I don't have a cable box upstairs where the office/computer is. I know I could just get another one, but that is more $ per month that I don't want to spend ($144 per year now that I check). Is there another solution that might address that scenario?

I don't know what "all my DVRs" you are referring to.. If you're talking about proprietary Cable/Satellite DVR boxes - EyeTV won't work with them. Go to Elgato website, they list all of the tuners that are compatible with EyeTV. I use HD HomeRun for OTA channels, which works with EyeTV.

Other than that - yes anything that EyeTV can record can always be streamed to any number of Apple TV's.

hitekalex
Sep 14, 2009, 11:48 AM
The AppleTV should just not exist.

Not only is that more likely than it ever getting a true update or it ever being worth it's price, but it would avoid all of this disappointment I see with the product.

If you don't like Apple TV, buy a PS3 or whatever else. There are thousands of us who use and love our Apple TV's.

MikeDTyke
Sep 14, 2009, 11:54 AM
The AppleTV should just not exist.

Not only is that more likely than it ever getting a true update or it ever being worth it's price, but it would avoid all of this disappointment I see with the product.

What a pessimistic point of view! :(

People that own one and understand that it's "An iPod for your telly" tend to think it's a fine device. A lot of uninformed whiners spend endless energy berating Apple for not adding, DVR, tuners, Blu-ray, Terabytes, kitchen sink, cocker spaniel, french maid option, etc etc, ad infinitum.

Usually with some open threat of boycott/kitten bashing.

Apple have stated on many occasions that it's a hobby project. ie. it's not a business proposition for them right now. What does that mean? that means they're experimenting with the design and sticking something out there so they have a foot in the market place.

When will it not be a hobby? When the right combination of hardware/software/UI & Content make it a viable mainstream device.

So when's that likely to happen, well what sucks about it right now?
Hardware - Too hot, too expensive (for aapl and you) Fixed with an embedded arm platform due in 2010.
Software - Mostly constrained by the UI, but definitely needs a snow leopard makeover for teh Snappy (TM). As the SL boys and girls have now finished SL i'm sure they are putting more time in on that hobby project of theirs.
UI - That damn remote, the single most damning part of the package. There's been wondrous patents filed for wii like wands, coverflow UI's and embedded web content on AppleTV for the last 2 years. I can only wonder why Apple's been sitting on them and my guess is they are waiting on the new hardware platform.
Content - It's getting pretty close, they do charge far to much to own a tv series though, there needs to be rental or similar model to watch TV and have it evaporate. Also opening up a webkit like SDK to the BBC iPlayer and Hulu crowd would bring major interest to the platform. Whilst a full on SDK for casual gaming and apps would blow all the other internet video platforms away. Note there is zero point in releasing an SDK on the current hardware, if you are going to replace it in a year.

So my reasonable expectation is that next year is the year of AppleTV, just a question of when. :D

OllyW
Sep 14, 2009, 11:56 AM
I've read in other post that Apple sometimes has a media event in October. I believe last year they introduced the unibody macs. If i am incorrect please let me know.

Before last years Unibody MacBook event, you need to go back to 2005 (http://www.macrumors.com/2005/10/19/updates-from-new-york-media-event/) for an Apple Media Event in October.

str1f3
Sep 14, 2009, 11:58 AM
Yea, but there isn't much of a market for a "connected" iPod. If Apple wants to corner the market, they need to copy Boxee and provide a wider range of content. Most people probably only get the AppleTV to “hack” it and put Boxee on it anyways.

I have to agree with arn. This reason why the tv has been so unsuccessful has been because of hardware and not software. If there is an intent to make it into the mythical gaming console that 9to5 Mac always talks about , then I could see a hardware upgrade as being necessary but I don't think Apple is interested in that market. My questions are:

1. How come there is no App Store for the tv?
2. Why is there no Netflix-style subscription service for movies?
3. Why can't you rent TV shows?
4. Why can't you sign with either services like Hulu or stream channels through iTunes for a monthly price?

As of right now Apple has put very little effort into the Apple TV After the first year there hasn't been any significant software upgrades.

Tilpots
Sep 14, 2009, 12:00 PM
A DVR for what? An SD analog DVR? Not really useful since the AppleTV connects to HD TVs and most people who own HD TVs want HD content. A digital DVR? That works with what?

Until there's a universal TV decoding standard with provider buy-in, there will never be a module that Apple would put in the AppleTV. I wish people would understand this.

Or, do what I do - connect an EyeTV to my Mac and do the recording there, and watch it on my AppleTV. It's SD only but I don't mind.

The OTA standard in North America is ATSC. Look in to it. You might be able to get HD for free OTA.



There is no need for Apple to include DVR into Apple TV's directly.

Yes, there is. Why pay for what you're already getting for free?

All of this talk about DVR and CableCARD makes no sense. Apple is in the business of selling you content from the iTunes store. Why would they make a device to let you get your content from someone else? There is absolutely no way they would consider adding a DVR/CableCARD. Furthermore, why would they add a Blu-Ray player? So you can buy your Blu-Ray discs from Walmart instead of buying/renting from iTunes?


Apple is in the business of making hardware. iTunes is a side business. By making better hardware, capable of doing what the customer wants, they make more money.

By making it an iTunes storefront, just look at how successful they've been.:rolleyes:

Aidoneus
Sep 14, 2009, 12:03 PM
The UK Apple TV page has just been updated. The price has been "slashed" to £219. That's a grand total of $362.

Trivial rock
Sep 14, 2009, 12:07 PM
Should be around £165 for 160gb. Instead it's £195 for 40gb :rolleyes:

Update your crap Apple.

If that was the price here, I would buy one pretty soon. One can dream...... although saying that 160Gb is still far too small, I really wouldnt buy one with less than 500GB. My movies alone come to 220GB and I have c. 12GB of music.

MikeDTyke
Sep 14, 2009, 12:11 PM
The OTA standard in North America is ATSC. Look in to it. You might be able to get HD for free OTA.

Yes, there is. Why pay for what you're already getting for free?

Apple is in the business of making hardware. iTunes is a side business. By making better hardware, capable of doing what the customer wants, they make more money.

By making it an iTunes storefront, just look at how successful they've been.:rolleyes:

Apple is a global company that given the option builds 1 global product. They are not going to compete in the zero return, bag o pain world of tuners.

iTunes maybe a side business, but that doesn't mean Apple won't protect it by not implementing a competing technology/service. The stronger iTunes store is the more power they have to negotiate with content providers on price/availability. I worry about this as it might prevent the Hulu/iPlayer crowd getting onboard.

You'd be surprised at how focused their feedback is. I guarantee you anything fringe is expunged rather quickly. I suspect you and i are in the fringe.... :p

MikeDTyke
Sep 14, 2009, 12:22 PM
On the topic of iTunes LP & iTunes Extras.

If we don't see an update to the existing AppleTV in the next 2 months to support these features (which by the way its totally capable of), then it's a clear sign of a replacement hardware/software platform in 2010. :D

Doctor Q
Sep 14, 2009, 12:22 PM
it's essentially an iPod that connects to your TV. As long as it plays back iTunes content, I don't think it "needs" much in the way of hardware upgrades.
I guess I'm not going to get a camera and an accelerometer in my Apple TV. :(

But I've been pleased with the features they've added via software updates, even thought it always surprised me that Apple TV software updates were free while iPod touch updates required paying a fee. Business accounting is a mysterious art understood only by wizards.

Hemingray
Sep 14, 2009, 12:23 PM
Nope : http://www.engadget.com/2009/07/27/wd-ships-industrys-first-2-5-inch-1tb-hard-drive/

May I still dream ?

Technically, he's correct. Since the 2.5" 1TB is 12.5mm versus the standard 9.5, it probably wouldn't fit inside the AppleTV.

Edit: Not to mention the newer 2.5" drives are SATA, vs. PATA in the AppleTV.

Tilpots
Sep 14, 2009, 12:24 PM
Apple is a global company that given the option builds 1 global product. They are not going to compete in the zero return, bag o pain world of tuners.

iTunes maybe a side business, but that doesn't mean Apple won't protect it by not implementing a competing technology/service. The stronger iTunes store is the more power they have to negotiate with content providers on price/availability. I worry about this as it might prevent the Hulu/iPlayer crowd getting onboard.

You'd be surprised at how focused their feedback is. I guarantee you anything fringe is expunged rather quickly. I suspect you and i are in the fringe.... :p

The tuner situation isn't as big of a headache as you'd think. Most of North America and Japan (in 2012) use this standard.

The biggest gainer from a tuner would be iTMS. People pay $X for cable already. AppleTV should be competing for those dollars. You get the free programming from your local networks, and you supplement all of your other content from iTMS. They would see a huge leap in sales of the hardware and the content. I also look at the addition of FM recievers in the Nano's and possibly the iPod Touch as direct evidence that they see the potential in letting users use what they're getting for free. They've added the FM tagging so it'll drive you to the iTMS. It's brilliant and it's portable to the AppleTV.

blybug
Sep 14, 2009, 12:26 PM
Just reading some of your posts I wonder about the Mac Mini.

What software you use to use it?
Intel mini running Tiger and ATV4Mac (http://www.macgeekblog.com/blog/archive/2008/03/25/atv4mac-1-2-available-2.html) software

How you connect it to the TV video input? What is the screen resolution you get and response time?
DVI to HDMI cable purchased at Amazon for less than $5. Previously used an Apple DVI to RCA converter on my old TV. Both ways need to fiddle with the resolution as it often gets wonky when switching between :apple:TV and the Mac UI. Best method is via SwitchRes X (http://www.madrau.com/) which can selectively enable/disable certain resolutions and keep specific apps from changing the resolution on their own. I've set mine to run at 1360x768 on my 720p TV.

Sometimes the response time is a little laggy. From what I've read that may not really be a function of running the ATV4Mac software on the mini, the actual :apple:TV interface is often sluggish.
What remote control you use?

Apple Remote, the original Intel Mac minis came with one, not 100% sure they do anymore. There is an updated version of ATV4Mac that works with the iPhone Remote app, but this with update iTunes syncing is broken, which defeats the whole purpose. So I've stuck with the older version and the little white guy.

How you browse the web from your couch?
Can be done within :apple:TV software plugins with just the little white remote (very klunky). I have a wireless keyboard to use with Safari and other Mac apps when not :apple:TV-ing. However I've come to the conclusion that web browsing is simply not meant to be a "from the couch" experience. With some internet-savvy sanctioned plugins (think widgets or iPhone apps), the :apple:TV could be useful to snatch some quick tidbits of info, but traditional web browsing just doesn't work from the couch for me.

Any cons?

Sometimes it seems 2 instances of ATV4Mac end up being launched, while you are watching one video, you can hear another in the background. Backing out of the video and selecting it again usually fixes it. Haven't figured that one out yet. Sometimes ATV4Mac won't launch at all after using the underlying Mac, and computer needs restarted to get it launched again.

Even with SwitchResX installed, every so often the resolution gets whacked, or no picture is displayed on the TV at all. Usually unplugging and replugging the HDMI from the back of the TV will fix it, but every so often I have to go back into the SwitchRes control panel and reset the resolution, occasionally even requires a restart before it "sticks".

The WAF is very high as long as the :apple:TV interface is up and running, which by and large is the case. But when it gets sluggish or occasionally crashes back to the Mac desktop, the WAF dips below zero as I pull out the wireless keyboard and "troubleshoot" to get it back to the menu.

Cannot access the Apple Store directly from ATV4Mac any longer, I think the store requires a higher :apple:TV software version than I have, and I am not updating as described above. However content purchased from iTMS on computer and synced over works fine, including rentals.

redgaz26
Sep 14, 2009, 12:27 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7C144 Safari/528.16)

There is no app store partly because not a lot of people own an atv. Most non apple fans have never heard of it. It's not like the iPhone. But I have one and use it all the time. Apart from YouTube which isn't worth watching due to picture quality everything else is fantastic.

wizard
Sep 14, 2009, 12:29 PM
it's essentially an iPod that connects to your TV. As long as it plays back iTunes content, I don't think it "needs" much in the way of hardware upgrades.

Sorry but on this one I have to disagree.

First; as a device to playback purchased movies and audio it is massively thin on storage. Frankly such a device needs room for two disks internally. Of course if you look at AppleTV as a device to cache movies then it is a different story. I believe this is one of the reasons that so many implement the Mini as a home theater PC.

Second; no matter how you look at the device it's hardware performance leave a lot to be desired. I actually believe that AppleTV would perform much better with a dual core Atom and a 9400m, especially with a Snow Leopard compatible OS. I would even go further and say that AppleTV could see benefit from a multi core ARM approach and a SL like OS. Or maybe an iPhone OS tweaked for the platform.

Third; one of the reasons to consider Arm and iPhone OS is for Apple to have a unified gaming environment. This could be huge for them and would make AppleTV very attractive to many of us.

In any event one of the reasons I've avoided AppleTV, besides the lack of a high speed Internet connection, is that it really doesn't do anything especially well. It is a system designed for 720P when the world has quickly moved to 1080P. Further it has little in common with the two OSes that Apple is focused on. Give us some of the features of iPhone OS including the calendar and mail syncing functions.

Say what? I can hear you all now, but think about it would it not be niceto have your AppleTV notify you of personal appointments at home. There would be no need to check your laptop in the morning either, just pop up your scedule at breakfast and go. Same thing for E-Mail which should be easier to read on a large screen than the iPhone. Web browsing, YouTube and a few others also have potential on a large screen. The point is Apple could have a common software base across the iPods and AppleTV. This could lead to even more software development on the associated platforms.

Yes i realize this would require Apple to innovate with respect to an input device. But that could be done with Blutooth and an iPhone app and alternatively with a cheap Bluetooth track pad.

So yeah the hardware could use a little work.


Dave



Obviously, it would be nice, but I don't think it follows the same rules as most consumer electronic devices.

arn

xraydoc
Sep 14, 2009, 12:49 PM
Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry9630/4.7.1.40 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

My prediction is 160GB and 250GB models at the old price points and AppleTV 3.0 with some spit & polish, maybe more iPhone/touch integration, maybe some music-centric new software options, but no major new features.

Just my prediction.

jeremy.king
Sep 14, 2009, 12:50 PM
I'm all for more storage - hopefully, its forthcoming. Also, I'd love to see an App Store for :apple:TV so I don't have to keep hacking it with Boxee :) That would truly enable the hobbyists...

BTW, I'd very much appreciate a HW spec bump -RAM and CPU.

I could care less about the french maid/kitchen sink options.

gugy
Sep 14, 2009, 12:50 PM
if this is all Apple is going to do regarding :apple:TV this year then I guess this product is approaching the end of it's life and they want to get rid of the remaining inventory.
In the other hand they could be doing this because maybe there is a new hardware model coming soon. Who knows? It's just too bad it takes so long for Apple to do something about this device.

MikeDTyke
Sep 14, 2009, 12:53 PM
The tuner situation isn't as big of a headache as you'd think. Most of North America and Japan (in 2012) use this standard.

The biggest gainer from a tuner would be iTMS. People pay $X for cable already. AppleTV should be competing for those dollars. You get the free programming from your local networks, and you supplement all of your other content from iTMS. They would see a huge leap in sales of the hardware and the content. I also look at the addition of FM recievers in the Nano's and possibly the iPod Touch as direct evidence that they see the potential in letting users use what they're getting for free. They've added the FM tagging so it'll drive you to the iTMS. It's brilliant and it's portable to the AppleTV.

It's a massive headache for a global manufacturer like Apple. As you said yourself that's America, Canada & Japan to support 1 standard in 2 years time.

What about:
Australia - DVB-T
UK & Ireland - DVB-T over various freqs, DVB-T2 for HD, DVB-S (Satellite)
Rest of Europe - Mostly DVB-T but, many countries slow to roll out)
China - DMB-T/H (totally different to everyone else)
Japan's ISDB standard (doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon)
Brazil - SBTVD

Plus many others i'm sure i'm missing. Just because they say they are using a standard like DVB-T, doesn't mean the frequency or encoding of the video is like anyone else's.

At a minimum Apple would have to build 4 models of AppleTV by however many capacity sizes (currently 2) ie. 8 sku's to deliver what? Something that most people get built in to the TV (tuner) or a DVR again which most people can buy for 60 quid or so. Something that ultimately compete's with purchases from the iTunes store.

Forget it. The AppleTV is an internet platform not a broadcast one. It may very well become an IPTV platform once Apple's http streaming tech filters down from the iPhone, but it'll never support the kind of engineering resource you expect to give you a DVR with an Apple UI.

jeremy.king
Sep 14, 2009, 12:55 PM
*SNIP*

Do other countries use CableCARD? I know nothing....

MikeDTyke
Sep 14, 2009, 12:58 PM
Do other countries use CableCARD? I know nothing....

US only.

hitekalex
Sep 14, 2009, 01:04 PM
"Originally Posted by hitekalex:
There is no need for Apple to include DVR into Apple TV's directly."


Yes, there is. Why pay for what you're already getting for free?


What do you mean "for free"? At a minimum, an integrated ATV DRV would need to come with some tuner hardware to capture TV content. It will also need scheduling/recording software, EPG, etc. Even if Apple were to include all that into ATV as we know it, it would certainly not be "free"!

Elgato spent years getting a Mac-based DVR (EyeTV) right and it still has some kinks. And they sell it for a very reasonable price, and offer all the integration you need with iTunes/ATV/iPods.

There is just no way Apple is going to get into this business, and like I said - they simply don't need to.

Tilpots
Sep 14, 2009, 01:05 PM
It's a massive headache for a global manufacturer like Apple. As you said yourself that's America, Canada & Japan to support 1 standard in 2 years time.

What about:
Australia - DVB-T
UK & Ireland - DVB-T over various freqs, DVB-T2 for HD, DVB-S (Satellite)
Rest of Europe - Mostly DVB-T but, many countries slow to roll out)
China - DMB-T/H (totally different to everyone else)
Japan's ISDB standard (doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon)
Brazil - SBTVD

Plus many others i'm sure i'm missing. Just because they say they are using a standard like DVB-T, doesn't mean the frequency or encoding of the video is like anyone else's.

North America is their bread and butter. Not everything apple is available world wide.



At a minimum Apple would have to build 4 models of AppleTV by however many capacity sizes (currently 2) ie. 8 sku's to deliver what? Something that most people get built in to the TV (tuner) or a DVR again which most people can buy for 60 quid or so. Something that ultimately compete's with purchases from the iTunes store.

If it's as successful as it could be, they'll make as many versions as it takes. They already have to build different models for separate things like power anyway.


Forget it. The AppleTV is an internet platform not a broadcast one. It may very well become an IPTV platform once Apple's http streaming tech filters down from the iPhone, but it'll never support the kind of engineering resource you expect to give you a DVR with an Apple UI.

So why have they patented DVR software?

Tilpots
Sep 14, 2009, 01:11 PM
What do you mean "for free"? At a minimum, an integrated ATV DRV would need to come with some tuner hardware to capture TV content. It will also need scheduling/recording software, EPG, etc. Even if Apple were to include all that into ATV as we know it, it would certainly not be "free"!

Elgato spent years getting a Mac-based DVR (EyeTV) right and it still has some kinks. And they sell it for a very reasonable price, and offer all the integration you need with iTunes/ATV/iPods.

There is just no way Apple is going to get into this business, and like I said - they simply don't need to.

I think you misunderstood me. I'm talking about local TV stations broadcasting the major networks into your home. It's free. You just need the tuner and a TV to enjoy. Apple should build this tuner into the AppleTV.

As I said above, Apple has patented DVR software. If you buy elgato's products, you're not spending with Apple. Don't you think Apple wants your money?

VirtualRain
Sep 14, 2009, 01:18 PM
It seems all AppleTV refurbs have disappeared... either sold out, or being updated with new pricing? :confused:

Bevz
Sep 14, 2009, 01:21 PM
LOL - I wonder what the chances are of the 160gb model being £195 on the UK store?

I hope this does mean a software update soon... I don't care about hardware... I'd rather have some half-decent software for this thing than new hardware!

jettredmont
Sep 14, 2009, 01:26 PM
Carry on dreaming.

That's a SATA drive, the AppleTV uses PATA drives.

Yeah, and it's beyond possibility that Apple would change to using the same SATA interface all their other products use when they next do a hardware refresh ...

Primarily, though, the reason the ATV and Time Capsule can't merge is that they have different reliability needs. The AppleTV is a peripheral device; if the HD crashes and is replaced, all the data can be pulled again from your main computer. The Time Capsule is intended as a fast, reliable, always-on NAS device. If that fails, there are serious consequences.

I can't see Apple going to a notebook-format HD in a Time Capsule type of device. I also can't see them going to a server-format HD in an AppleTV type device (not without seriously cutting down on all the other components in there and making it bigger as well).

So, likelihood of the Time Capsule and ATV merging is a bit slim, and probably wouldn't be the best thing for us consumers anyway.

hitekalex
Sep 14, 2009, 01:31 PM
I think you misunderstood me. I'm talking about local TV stations broadcasting the major networks into your home. It's free. You just need the tuner and a TV to enjoy. Apple should build this tuner into the AppleTV.

Right, but the proper DRV/tuner is going to cost money to implement. So you're going to pay that money, whether it's to Apple or Elgato. I personally like the idea of DVR running on my Mac server, rather than ATV. This way I can store all the DVR recordings centrally and distribute them to multiple ATV's around my house.

As I said above, Apple has patented DVR software. If you buy elgato's products, you're not spending with Apple. Don't you think Apple wants your money?

Apple already stated that DVR goes against their iTunes business model. So whatever extra costs they will charge for DVR will be offset by loss in iTunes content revenues (or so they think). The fact that they have patented some DVR interface components means absolutely nothing - Apple (as other companies) file for hundreds and thousands of patents for different concepts. Only a few ever become products that see the light of day.

shuggy1972
Sep 14, 2009, 01:34 PM
Pure speculation but...

Apple TV to be discontinued. Replaced by the new tablet device, which looks like a 10" version of the ipod touch, 64GB or 128GB SSD, runs iphone OS, can access web-based streaming media over wi-fi, can synch with itunes (audio, video, podcasts etc), download from iTunes Store, download/play content from the App store (optional b/tooth wireless controllers or iphone/touch as remote), email, ...and can connect to your HD TV via a dock.

Priced at $600 (64GB model) and $800 (128GB model).

Now the people who understand this technology can tell me why it won't work...but it sound like fun, right?!

McGiord
Sep 14, 2009, 01:34 PM
Thanks for your comments blybug

jettredmont
Sep 14, 2009, 01:43 PM
Home Sharing ALMOST fixed my problems. While it's a big step forward, it doesn't quite fix my problem. What I would like to have is a iTunes-server that contains all contents of my and my wifes libraries. The key would be that when either of us adds content to our library, it would also be added to the server. Home Sharing would fix that if it worked with all content. But it doesn't, it only works with purchased content.

iTunes 9 took me closer to the solution, but it's not quite the solution I'm looking for.

Just to clarify: Home Sharing does work with non-Apple-purchased content (Amazon.com downloads, CD rips, etc), but the automatic synching of purchased content is an iTunes-Store-specific feature. Same as the identical feature on iPod synching (you can only synch an iPod with one computer, but if you connect it to a second on the same iTunes account it will ask if you want to copy purchased music back from the iPod to the second computer).

IMHO, I don't add content often enough for this to be a really big deal. If I rip a CD on one box then home-share it up to the server, that's good.

Again IMHO, the key killer feature missing with Home Sharing is ratings synching. I use the "ratings" feature on iTunes / iPods perhaps more than most (every song in my library has a rating within a few weeks of it being added), and am constantly updating ratings. I've got a bunch of smart playlists which feed off this info, but not having that synch over to the "server" makes the server kinda non-authoritative and defeats the purpose of it being there at all.

hitekalex
Sep 14, 2009, 01:48 PM
Pure speculation but...

Apple TV to be discontinued. Replaced by the new tablet device, which looks like a 10" version of the ipod touch, 64GB or 128GB SSD, runs iphone OS, can access web-based streaming media over wi-fi, can synch with itunes (audio, video, podcasts etc), download from iTunes Store, download/play content from the App store (optional b/tooth wireless controllers or iphone/touch as remote), email, ...and can connect to your HD TV via a dock.

Priced at $600 (64GB model) and $800 (128GB model).

Now the people who understand this technology can tell me why it won't work...but it sound like fun, right?!

This has been discussed ad infinitum.. But no, a Tablet is NOT going replace Apple TV. A $600 large screen device with a dock does not replace a $200 permanently connected small-footprint media extender.

The two devices serve different purposes and different use cases, pure and simple.

jettredmont
Sep 14, 2009, 01:51 PM
Yes!! Handbraking our DVD collection and keeping the discs popcorn-finger free is wonderful!!

Also took the time to digitize all our old VHS tapes and iDVD collection of family home movies to mp4, which I have painstakingly tagged and categorized as a "TV Show". It's actually the most popular thing the kids love to watch now, 15 "Seasons" of watching themselves grow up. There's no other way that these types of videos would ever have done anything but collect dust otherwise. I continue to be surprised with each new version of iTunes (including 9) that "Home Movies" is left out as a media category.

Every person who has ever seen the :apple:TV in action at my house is astonished by it, and surprised that such a cool thing exists. Not really sure why Apple hasn't hyped it a little more.

I agree. Our last DVD player (a not-cheap Sony, bought just over a year ago) crapped out last month so rather forced the issue of handbraking everything into iTunes / ATV. It's worked very well for us, although the 4-hour wait between popping open a new DVD and letting the kids watch it wasn't sustainable (we went and bought another DVD player last night ... maybe this one will last longer than the Sony, but reading reviews online of new DVD players I'm not overly optimistic; seems like if you wanted a DVD player to last 3-4 years you needed to have bought it a year and a half ago, as they've downgraded components drastically over the past year).

In any case, for those who want to do this, what I do is this:

1. Handbrake all the video bits (unless you just want the movie itself, in which case you can skip most of the rest)
2. Import everything into iTunes
3. For all the Extras, change the Media Type to TV Show, change the Show Name to match the title of the DVD (perhaps plus "Extras")
4. If you are feeling adventurous, name the extras according to what they're labeled in the DVD menus.

If you skip steps 3 and 4 you end up with all the extras in your Movies list and that quickly becomes unmanageable.

I hadn't thought of putting our home videos in as TV Show as well. That will help declutter things too!

RazHyena
Sep 14, 2009, 02:03 PM
Blu ray, perhaps?

Or maybe they're merging it with the Mini?

jettredmont
Sep 14, 2009, 02:05 PM
good DVD players are less than $100 and play a variety of formats including DIVX. YOu can get a cheap Blu-Ray player for under $150, good ones with features like BD-Live for $250 or the PS3 for $299.

Browse reviews for those "good" DVD players and you'll see a disconcerting proportion of "broke after 6 months!" and "no longer recognizing disks" complaints. I can speak from personal experience, having bought a high-end $90 Sony DVD upscaling DVD player less than a year ago which is now nothing more than a light box of electronics on its way to the electronics recycling center. DVD player manufacturers, either intentionally or by market driven, are putting cheap components in there which will force you to rebuy far more quickly than previous generation devices did.

Contrast this to the AppleTV we bought a few months before that Sony DVD player, which is still in use more than any other home entertainment component we've ever had (except the stereo receiver, which is of course always on when the ATV is in use). A year of not breaking isn't exactly a stellar review, but if you're comparing the ATV to a crap DVD player (and, again, I'm pretty certain there is no other kind for sale out there), a year and still running is a major endorsement.

Evangelion
Sep 14, 2009, 02:15 PM
Apparently you overlook one point--you don't need to have both machines running full-time.

Negative, I did not overlook that. And weinlu haveonemachine with two user-accounts. But the idea if streaming one if the librariesis not appealing because I might then have the situation where I would first have to walk over to the laptop, wake it ip, log in and start iTunes before I could use AppleTV. O would much rather just use AppleTV andnothing worry about other computers.

So that leaves me with two options:

A) sync from both libraries

b) stream from an iTunes-server

A is not supported, and I'm not sure how to build an iTunes-server that "just works" with zero hassle.

shuggy1972
Sep 14, 2009, 02:27 PM
This has been discussed ad infinitum.. But no, a Tablet is NOT going replace Apple TV. A $600 large screen device with a dock does not replace a $200 permanently connected small-footprint media extender.

The two devices serve different purposes and different use cases, pure and simple.

Yup, I know there have been extensive discussions on the tablet. And I also agree that, in terms of a product matrix, this would not be replacement for a permanently connected media extender device at a $200 price point. I guess all I am thinking is that Apple has tested the market for such a product at that relatively low price point, and while it has made some sales it hasn't really set the world on fire in the way that, for example, the iphone has, the touch has, or the original ipod before those.

So, in keeping with Apple being about premium prices for premium quality, innovative products, perhaps they've decided that the world is touch, the world is mobile, and that the home media hub also needs to be a portable device.

I currently use a mac mini, in addition to having a couple of mac laptops of varying vintages kicking around the house. I bought the mini rather than an Apple TV precisely because I liked the fact it gives me access to Netflix, Hulu, my email, web browsing etc on top of my itunes content. I paid around $800 for it. If Apple brought out the type of tablet device with dock I described in my last post, I almost certainly swap the mini out for that. Maybe I'm the only person in that segment/mind set, but I'm not so sure.

jettredmont
Sep 14, 2009, 02:36 PM
Regarding my AppleTVs, I stated this before, but it's so important to me that I hope someone in the deep depths of Cupertino will channel this to the right people:

1. Take 3 on the UI. It maybe a gateway to the iTunes Store, but please get the front end out of my face, burying my current media at the bottom right corner of each menu. Most of the time, I'm accessing the media I purchased or synced into it, so I'd like to get access to it first before having to sift through a bunch of menu options that are trying to get me to buy and rent.



++ Completely second that.


2. Speed it up. You made good optimizations for Snow Leopard, put some of that expertise in the direction of the AppleTV group. It's just slow as balls since 2.0 came out.


Underneath, the ATV is running OS X 10.4 (Tiger) still, albeit in a "streamlined" form. It's now two full major OS versions behind. Now, many of the Snow Leopard improvements (like removing all PPC code binaries) are already there, but it's gotta cause problems for anyone trying to work on Apple TV software that they can't use any of the best tools which have come available in the past couple of years. As a Mac developer myself, let me assure you that it's always really hard to continue developing software for an OS older than the one you have installed (and as a Mac user it's impossible to not want to install the latest OS on your dev box).


3. Make it a portal to the Internet. Unlike many others, I don't want to hack my AppleTV the same reason I don't want to hack my iPhone. I trust you'll add value to the device that it won't need unofficial third-party support: how about news feeds (RSS), stocks, weather, alarm clock (heck, even just the time will do!). License a voice or two from the Acapela group and get my AppleTV to be my first wave of information in the morning: have it read me the latest news (think Tick Talk on the App Store), or how about news on demand? If my TV can power itself at 5AM, you can schedule the AppleTV to do something at 5:05. Even if you don't put a full-on browser, make it at least show the Weather Channel and show some current headlines.


There are a few directions Apple could go there. One is bringing in the Internet one piece at a time. You saw this with YouTube and Podcast integrations. The other direction is getting Safari working on the ATV.

I think the major thing stopping Apple in the second approach are hardware limitations. The processor in the ATV was slow when it was introduced, a few years ago. It's just not powerful enough to handle things like Flash playing currently (the anemic processor is helped out by a respectable GPU, allowing the ATV to play high-def content easily, but that GPU isn't available to Flash player and I'm not so certain Apple would want to promote Adobe's tech on their platform anyway). Which puts a damper on the "just give them Safari" line of thought. OTOH, a processor as underpowered compared to top-of-the-line processors today as the ATV's processor was at launch would go a long way towards making Safari and Flash work well on the device. Existing customers would get the shaft, of course, which hurts, but it'd be good for the ATV in general.


4. Open the doors for other services. If you won't offer an all-you-can-eat subscription, how about giving the keys to Netflix, so they can do it? How about Skype or iChat with the ability to add a USB webcam mountable on the top of your LCD display? Right there, you expand the possibilities of grandparents in Florida watching movies and photos you're sharing with them from your AppleTV or iTunes/iPhoto/iWeb and being able to do a video chat. No complicated UI's, just a screenname you can scroll down to and click with the AppleTV remote, and initiate a video call. And, you can offer the ability to do surveillance on your house. Watch the babysitter, or watch your kids (think iCam on App Store).


While I can appreciate the desire for video chat, mounting a camera there has a few drawbacks.

First, of course, unless you're dramatically increasing the resolution on the camera, one person's face occupying say 400 pixels across in front of the MacBook is now occupying about 40 pixels across across the room sitting on the couch. If you've ever used an existing MacBook Pro's camera to do video chat and showed someone the "room", you've probably got a good idea of how craptacular such a wide-angle view can be. To get more resolution you'd need to up the iChat AV "pipes" to handle it, which in turn would rule out a lot of grandparents' homes (my in-laws Quest service has a hard time keeping up with iChat AV as it is, often going to low-res mode and periodically just crapping out altogether).

Second, most webcams have fixed focal lengths. Not only would people across the room be squished into a small number of pixels, those pixels are blurry because they are out of focus too.

Not to say it couldn't be done, but I think the ability to see Grandma 50" across instead of 15" across isn't really that beneficial to me.

... To the main point, though, of allowing third-party development: I think that's a natural step for Apple here. The original ATV (and Take 2) was before the iTunes App Store was open for business. I think Apple's been very pleased with the App Store success and will likely want to expand on that.


I have two 160GB AppleTVs in my house, only because 1. connecting and disconnecting iPods/iPhones to the TVs were cumbersome and not that instant to my entire iTunes library, and 2. the Wife Acceptance Factor (WAF) hit an all-time high. You guys couldn't have made the interface and remote much easier to use. Have you seen some of these Windows Media Center and Logitech Harmony remotes? It's a nightmare to the technically challenged.

I still think you've got your hands on a winner in terms of hardware. Now, let's get that software up to snuff, and you'll be AOK in my book.

As soon as ATV Take 3 comes out (presumably with upgraded hardware) our existing 160GB ATV will go up to our bedroom and a new one will be bought for the living room.

kdp.slider
Sep 14, 2009, 02:41 PM
Nope : http://www.engadget.com/2009/07/27/wd-ships-industrys-first-2-5-inch-1tb-hard-drive/

May I still dream ?

Yeah i just saw those. great for my blacX sata dock.http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Product.aspx?S=1268&ID=1642

Perrumpo
Sep 14, 2009, 02:51 PM
The Apple TV is getting interesting. Now imagine that Apple does the following :

- replace the hard disk with a 1 or 2 TB
- add the backup functionality of Time Capsule
- increase the price, but in a reasonable way

In other words, merge the Apple TV, Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme into one single product (iServer ?). They would sell it by zillions, and it would not be anymore just a "hobby" for Apple.

hah, or just let us connect a hard drive for flips sake. :rolleyes:

I went with the 40GB when I got mine. No need for me to have everything on the tv when it streams so well. Plus, I got mine new for ~$115 from Circuit City. Was worth it.

Tilpots
Sep 14, 2009, 02:56 PM
Right, but the proper DRV/tuner is going to cost money to implement. So you're going to pay that money, whether it's to Apple or Elgato. I personally like the idea of DVR running on my Mac server, rather than ATV. This way I can store all the DVR recordings centrally and distribute them to multiple ATV's around my house.

Sure, it may add to the base price, but to save $X dollars per month on a cable bill, it'd be well worth it. As in your situation, you had to buy a whole other Mac to act as a server and DVR. That's really not cheap.

Apple already stated that DVR goes against their iTunes business model. So whatever extra costs they will charge for DVR will be offset by loss in iTunes content revenues (or so they think). The fact that they have patented some DVR interface components means absolutely nothing - Apple (as other companies) file for hundreds and thousands of patents for different concepts. Only a few ever become products that see the light of day.

I've been following the AppleTV for a long time and I've never seen the statement to which you refer. As for the patents meaning nothing, well, I'll just have to disagree there. As you mentioned above, it took Elgato a long time to get it right. I'm sure apple wouldn't have put the time in unless there was some tangible benefit we've yet to see.

blackpond
Sep 14, 2009, 03:09 PM
Pure speculation but...

Apple TV to be discontinued. Replaced by the new tablet device, which looks like a 10" version of the ipod touch, 64GB or 128GB SSD, runs iphone OS, can access web-based streaming media over wi-fi, can synch with itunes (audio, video, podcasts etc), download from iTunes Store, download/play content from the App store (optional b/tooth wireless controllers or iphone/touch as remote), email, ...and can connect to your HD TV via a dock.

Priced at $600 (64GB model) and $800 (128GB model).

Now the people who understand this technology can tell me why it won't work...but it sound like fun, right?!

Please, tell me how a 10" iPod Touch is going to replace my 52" plasma and Apple TV? Why would I want to pay for yet another screen when I already have one? And I don't recall the last time I wanted to tote my home theater around in my pocket. :rolleyes:

Bevz
Sep 14, 2009, 03:24 PM
I have a mini running as an :apple:tv using this software hack ATV4Mac (http://www.macgeekblog.com/blog/archive/2008/03/25/atv4mac-1-2-available-2.html) which installs :apple:TV as a replacement for the standard Front Row.

OS X Front Row is kludgier than the :apple:TV interface, mostly because it does not do a good job of separating TV shows into seasons in a useful way. Also prefer to manage my content from my computer and have it automatically pushed to the :apple:TV rather than having to manually keep the mini's library updated and mucking around with the device attached to my television (though I often do manage it via remote control VNC).

However, as you say, there are advantages to having the mini running "underneath" the :apple:TV, the main one being I have a 1TB firewire drive connected to sync and (therefore backup) my entire media library. Also can run the mini as a server of sorts with shared documents, network backup, syncing services all chugging in the background.

Best of Both Worlds :p


You Sir, are the dogs bollox! ;)

What a great setup! :)

TheAshMan
Sep 14, 2009, 03:35 PM
All of this talk about DVR and CableCARD makes no sense. Apple is in the business of selling you content from the iTunes store. Why would they make a device to let you get your content from someone else? There is absolutely no way they would consider adding a DVR/CableCARD. ...

Apple will never add these features. What you can expect, however, is higher quality of content from the iTunes store in the future... I hear you and I know that is what Apple would want, but if they never add any of these features, the Apple TV will remain a small-time niche "hobby" that in the view of many is not a good buy. Apple's biggest business is selling hardware, not the amount they make off of iTunes, but that is good income too. That is my opinion and I am anxious for a living room unit. I have an iMac, there are 3 iPods in our house and there is no way I would spend money on the Apple TV the way it is now. You have to remember that 90% of the content on iPods is music/stuff that people did not buy from Apple (Apple is the source on that) through iTunes. That percentage will grow over time, but it is fantasy to think that people buy the Apple TV unless Apple adds a new key feature. It is NOT selling now as is, that is a fact.

There is a gaping hole in this area in the consumer market and Apple is one of a few companies that could deliver a real winner. TiVO create a huge market and sold a lot of units this decade, the next great product has to have that same capability, but better features on top of a DVR.

blybug
Sep 14, 2009, 03:52 PM
Please, tell me how a 10" iPod Touch is going to replace my 52" plasma and Apple TV? Why would I want to pay for yet another screen when I already have one? And I don't recall the last time I wanted to tote my home theater around in my pocket. :rolleyes:

Tablet aside, Apple could "make an App for that" that would allow any docked-to-the-TV iPhone/Touch to function exactly like an :apple:TV, playing content from the device's internal drive or streaming content from any computer on the local network.

bilbo--baggins
Sep 14, 2009, 03:59 PM
Wake me up when they announce new Apple TV hardware.

Bevz
Sep 14, 2009, 04:17 PM
Wake me up when they announce new Apple TV hardware.

Wake me up when they announce new Apple TV software ;)

Cliff3
Sep 14, 2009, 04:26 PM
Tablet aside, Apple could "make an App for that" that would allow any docked-to-the-TV iPhone/Touch to function exactly like an :apple:TV, playing content from the device's internal drive or streaming content from any computer on the local network.

I would much prefer Apple hold AT&T's feet to the fire and get them to deliver a robust and reliable phone network than waste time turning a cellphone into a home theater appliance.

blybug
Sep 14, 2009, 04:34 PM
I would much prefer Apple hold AT&T's feet to the fire and get them to deliver a robust and reliable phone network than waste time turning a cellphone into a home theater appliance.

I don't really see how those two are interconnected or mutually exclusive. Writing an :apple:TV app for the iPhone would take all of about 10 minutes of modifying the iPhone->External Display function that has existed since v1.0 for Steve's keynote demonstrations.

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 14, 2009, 04:49 PM
All of this talk about DVR and CableCARD makes no sense. Apple is in the business of selling you content from the iTunes store. Why would they make a device to let you get your content from someone else? There is absolutely no way they would consider adding a DVR/CableCARD. Furthermore, why would they add a Blu-Ray player? So you can buy your Blu-Ray discs from Walmart instead of buying/renting from iTunes?

It cracks me up to see this kind of thinking. When ipod came out, did Apple lock us into just music purchased from iTunes? No, we could take advantage of content we already had. Do you think ipod would have been nearly as big if we would have had to pay (again) for songs we already had in our CD collections because Apple wanted to lock us into content only from iTunes?

I would think just about everyone who owns an :apple:TV or would be interested in owning one, probably has a cable or satt subscription now. If :apple:TV emulated the DVR/VCR (an ability to record such signals), it would immediately gain a very popular feature many BUYERS want to see added to it. Yes, if we are given the ability to record a TV show or movie, we probably would not buy that movie from iTunes, just like if we could record (import) a CD we already had into iTunes, we'd be unlikely to buy that same music (again) from iTunes. Still, if we could get some of our content for "free" (cable/satt subscription costs are costs we probably pay anyway), :apple:TV for television programming becomes a lot more like iPod for music "programming"- POPULAR.

Apple would sell more :apple:TVs if they had features that people want. Trying to withhold desirable features won't move the world to an iTunes content model for video distribution unless Apple sells a whole lot more :apple:TV units. Waiting on the world to see the (Apple just buy everything from iTunes) light is going to be a very LONG wait.

Would a DVR kill all sales/rentals from iTunes. NO! Just like the ability to import any music that we can lay our hands on hasn't killed iTunes music sales, leveraged desirable technology into a next-gen :apple:TV so that Apple can sell a whole lot more of them will simply lead to more people being enticed to rent a movie on :apple:TV, or subscribe to the commercial-free season of their favorite shows, instead of putting up with the commercial-loaded versions recorded on the DVR.

As to BD discs, I also wouldn't be that excited about them building in a BD player, but I would like an :apple:TV that can match BD video output specs (meaning full bandwith 1080p). However, again, a lot of people finally getting around to buying an HDTV are probably buying one that is "true HD":rolleyes: at 1080p. Since iTunes HD is handicapped 720p, they can't really show off their new toy to the fullest unless they BUY something else that lets them show 1080p.

Unless they're satisfied with what they can get from cable/satt HD, that means they're going to buy a BD player. A BTO option :apple:TV with built-in BD drive means Apple could get that money instead of some other company. So, while I personally wouldn't be interested in a BD option, I can easily understand the idea of wishing they would build one into the next-gen :apple:TV.

Cliff3
Sep 14, 2009, 05:00 PM
I don't really see how those two are interconnected or mutually exclusive. Writing an :apple:TV app for the iPhone would take all of about 10 minutes of modifying the iPhone->External Display function that has existed since v1.0 for Steve's keynote demonstrations.

My point was that product management/development resources are finite and have to be allocated wisely. The iPhone still has considerable room for improvement as a communication device. My Apple TV, on the other hand, pretty much does everything I envisioned for it when I purchased it.

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 14, 2009, 05:06 PM
The only problem I would have then is I don't have a cable box upstairs where the office/computer is. I know I could just get another one, but that is more $ per month that I don't want to spend ($144 per year now that I check). Is there another solution that might address that scenario? I haven't researched this yet, but now I want to look into it in light of this new information. Thanks!

Cheapest would be a cable run from your downstairs cable box up to where you have your computer. If your walls are hollow, you could possibly do this drop yourself pretty easily from upstairs to downstairs. I've also seen some wireless video sender technologies (a wireless cable drop), but I've generally doubted the quality (so if you try something like that, I would definitely keep the receipt).

The big thing though is remembering that DVR functionality is most fluid when you can simply use automation. Using a programming schedule in Elgato's solution makes it a lot easier to record shows vs. trying to insure that the cablebox downstairs in on the right channel when you are ready to record. For automated recording to work well, you want to pull your cable feed right into the Elgato device so that your Mac is- essentially- working like a cable box (selecting the channel you want to record when you've set it up to record it).

If you still have a lot of unencrypted channels in your cable feed, there will be plenty of programming that can be recorded for "free" with Elgato (and if you have the will & patience, Elgatos software makes it pretty easy to chop out the commercials before you render the Apple TV version). If your cable company has switched every channel to encrypted digital (you can't get any channels by just plugging your cable straight into your TV), you'll probably only be able to get your local networks at best, though you can probably get an even better signal from local channels with an antenna- even rabbit ears- and thus no cable run required.

hitekalex
Sep 14, 2009, 05:13 PM
Sure, it may add to the base price, but to save $X dollars per month on a cable bill, it'd be well worth it. As in your situation, you had to buy a whole other Mac to act as a server and DVR. That's really not cheap.

My Mini "server" is my main home desktop, I didn't buy it for the specific purpose of a DVR. Surely Apple TV is not the only/primary computer in your household ;)


I've been following the AppleTV for a long time and I've never seen the statement to which you refer.

It's been widely reported: Apple CFO Oppenheimer says not to expect Apple TV with DVR, cable box functionality (http://macdailynews.com/index.php/weblog/comments/22340/)

While some have wondered whether Apple might ultimately try to integrate traditional cable set-top box (decoding) functionality into its Apple TV product, Mr. Oppenheimer pretty much killed that concept and said that it just doesn't fit Apple's business,' the report said

happydude
Sep 14, 2009, 05:15 PM
I'm waiting for them to simply move the AppleTV's A.V. functionality on to the mac mini.

+1 and throw in a blu-ray player and i'll make the leap!!:D:apple::D

hitekalex
Sep 14, 2009, 05:20 PM
Tablet aside, Apple could "make an App for that" that would allow any docked-to-the-TV iPhone/Touch to function exactly like an :apple:TV, playing content from the device's internal drive or streaming content from any computer on the local network.

It may be theoretically possible, although I am not sure iPhone/Touch's ARM processors have the chops to output 720p video/digital audio..

But even then, this would be fine for a casual one-off use (while traveling etc), but it would not replace a low-cost stationary appliance, which is Apple TV.

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 14, 2009, 05:32 PM
It's been widely reported: Apple CFO Oppenheimer says not to expect Apple TV with DVR, cable box functionality (http://macdailynews.com/index.php/weblog/comments/22340/)

Apple does have a reputation of putting something down until they launch their implementation of it, and then it is the greatest thing ever.

Remember how inferior Apple implied the intel platforms were before Apple switched to Intel.

Remember how Steve Jobs put down video in an iPod, until releasing iPods with video, which were then super cool.

Etc.

Apple has spent some money to secure DVR concept patents. BUYERS want such functionality. Apple apparently wants to sell lots of hardware. By giving buyers what they want...

Arran
Sep 14, 2009, 05:46 PM
Hmm. Maybe the next ATV will degenerate into a simple, cheap, UI-less box that simply provides a streaming-video-output destination to iTunes (much like an airport express provides a UI-less streaming audio destination).

Then you'll use your iphone/Touch/tablet like an iTunes remote control to direct video from iTunes to one of these streaming video destinations (one for every TV in your house)?

No heat, no disk drive, no pain-in-the-neck-UI driven by a tiny remote control with a fixed number of unconfigurable hardware buttons.

Who knows?

kiranmk2
Sep 14, 2009, 06:11 PM
As someone who is involved in filing patents occasionally, the first rule is never believe anything you read in them. Some are red herrings designed to throw off competitors and some act as spoilers to stop competitors using an idea.

I personally think a hardware refresh is coming with an arm chip. There are reports of the 3gs chip being capable of playing back 1080p video when iTunes is bypassed and remember, that chip is underclocked. A computer setup of CPU, northbridge, southbridge and gpu doesn't make sense (especially) given how intel price the atom.

In the past I've suggested the atv could have airport express functionality (ie itcoul act as a wifi bridge), buthowabout if it goes the other way... Apple release a home server that holds all the media and the atv is simply a next-gen airport express with an hdmi socket and a low power arm chip? It'd be discreet, could be controlled by iPod/iPhone or a Bluetooth remote (no line of site required) and a couple of gigs of flash for the firmware. Rename AirTunes to airmedia (or add airvideo), price it right (server and two client bundles) and you tie people into your hardware ecosystem. The cuurent hard disk version could be sold alongside for people who didn't want the server or who wanted to sync content.

xIGmanIx
Sep 14, 2009, 06:59 PM
not sure what the appeal is when you can buy NAS for a little more or less in some cases and have all the functionality and more. To me, the ATV doesn't interest me because of Apple's close system model. I would love a box that i could hook up to my Directv and store all my shows on and access using my home network and be able to stream not only my stored shows, but netflix, video and audio, plus have some WHS elements. That would be something i would buy even at a $700 price point. A lot of close but not enough efforts out there. 1 box, all media, the home hub. To me there is no out of the box solution for this right now for all consumers.

Tilpots
Sep 14, 2009, 07:07 PM
My Mini "server" is my main home desktop, I didn't buy it for the specific purpose of a DVR. Surely Apple TV is not the only/primary computer in your household ;)

My main computer is a MBP. We have two laptops in the house. It wouldn't make sense to use either with Elgato's products. We'd have to buy a mini for the purpose and it lacks a tuner and an HDMI output. Then I'd have to upgrade or buy a separate HDD.


It's been widely reported: Apple CFO Oppenheimer says not to expect Apple TV with DVR, cable box functionality (http://macdailynews.com/index.php/weblog/comments/22340/)

Yes I saw this report but give it zero credibility, but I do believe Oppenheimer answered honestly.

From the report:

"'While some have wondered whether Apple might ultimately try to integrate traditional cable set-top box (decoding) functionality into its Apple TV product, Mr. Oppenheimer pretty much killed that concept and said that it just doesn't fit Apple's business,' the report said," Hughes reports.

This analyst (:rolleyes:) asked the wrong questions. The AppleTV should not get along with cable boxes, it should replace them. Cable companies already make DVR's so there's really no sense to play that game. This analyst should stick to numbers, and not reporting.;)

TheAshMan
Sep 14, 2009, 08:03 PM
Right, but the proper DRV/tuner is going to cost money to implement. So you're going to pay that money, whether it's to Apple or Elgato. I personally like the idea of DVR running on my Mac server, rather than ATV. This way I can store all the DVR recordings centrally and distribute them to multiple ATV's around my house.
The point I raise is that not everyone wants to spend money on an entire computer to put in their living room --especially a Mac which is more. The other problem I have with that approach is that if I have to rent another set top box every month to decode content to a media server, that is more money. What I would like is an Apple TV that gives me iTunes content and interface and also replaces my HD-DVR from Verizon FIOS. I already make enough of an investment every month (2 STBs) on television and movies. If I could just get those features in an Apple TV so I can drop the other stuff that is what I want and would buy.


Apple already stated that DVR goes against their iTunes business model. So whatever extra costs they will charge for DVR will be offset by loss in iTunes content revenues (or so they think). The fact that they have patented some DVR interface components means absolutely nothing - Apple (as other companies) file for hundreds and thousands of patents for different concepts. Only a few ever become products that see the light of day.[/QUOTE]

weaponofgod
Sep 14, 2009, 08:15 PM
It seems like what a lot of you here is wanting is a Tivo Series 3. It has DVR functionality, it has Netflix streaming, it plays audio and video files and you can download web content. I personally would like to see Apple acquire Tivo, now that would be something.

hitekalex
Sep 14, 2009, 08:33 PM
Yes I saw this report but give it zero credibility, but I do believe Oppenheimer answered honestly.

This analyst (:rolleyes:) asked the wrong questions. The AppleTV should not get along with cable boxes, it should replace them.

OK, first it's "you've never seen anyone from Apple making the statement that DVR doesn't fit their business model". Then "you had seen the report but gave it zero credibility". And yet you believe what Oppenheimer said, but the analyst "asked the wrong questions".. You lost me.

At any rate, believe what you want to believe. Best of luck waiting for Apple to include a DVR into ATV. My bet is you will be waiting for a very long time :D

Stenar
Sep 14, 2009, 08:34 PM
I wish Apple would upgrade the processor speed so :apple:TV can properly play HD video, which it struggles with currently.

jeremy.king
Sep 14, 2009, 08:43 PM
I personally would like to see Apple acquire Tivo, now that would be something.

I agree - makes sense in my head.

Tilpots
Sep 14, 2009, 08:46 PM
OK, first it's "you've never seen anyone from Apple making the statement that DVR doesn't fit their business model". Then "you had seen the report but gave it zero credibility". And yet you believe what Oppenheimer said, but the analyst "asked the wrong questions".. You lost me.

As I said, he was talking about a cable integrated DVR, not an OTA DVR. MAJOR difference. With me now? Cable, no. OTA, yes. Very simple.

At any rate, believe what you want to believe. Best of luck waiting for Apple to include a DVR into ATV. My bet is you will be waiting for a very long time :D

I won't be waiting too long, I'll spend my money elsewhere.:)

TJRiver
Sep 14, 2009, 08:55 PM
It seems to me that a lot of the ATV wish lists incorporate some ability to deal with non-iTunes video files. Not gonna happen folks. All "user ripped" video content exists in violation of the DMCA (unlike the gigs of ripped audio CDs, which Apple actively and legally encourages).

Due to Apple's position as software & hardware manufacturer, as well as conduit for film & TV studio products, it is not going to do anything to jeopardize that relationship by encouraging use of home ripped video created in violation of the DMCA on ATV. (How Handbrake has survived to date is a mystery)

DEATH TO THE DMCA. Write your congressman and lets get this stupid law changd.

Chicagomac08
Sep 14, 2009, 10:24 PM
Seems like that would be a bad move to me.

As a current :apple:TV owner I can easily say that I spend more money through Itunes with :apple:TV than if I didn't.

I love to watch old tv shows/movies and apple TV makes it very user friendly.

I think integrating it somehow into an all purpose media center that could do things like update you on new e-mails, more involvement with sites like twitter or facebook and doing more with news/sports information would make this a great product.

I would love a page with Widgets that I could leave on when I am doing things around the house but don't need the distraction of tv or music.

Bottom line is that the little box increases itunes sales so it's here to stay.

Why not team up with Vizio or make their own TV's that integrate this technology why they are at it?

MagnusVonMagnum
Sep 14, 2009, 11:41 PM
They should have dropped the price a whole heck of a lot more than that for that old aging hardware. A hobby? Find uses for it? How about 1080P support and enough oomph to actually run real applications smoothly? It's ridiculous that I have to limit HD material to around 4500kbps or suffer glitches. You cannot currently attach DTS to M4V files so I have to run XBMC to watch my DTS movies, but XBMC runs even slower than Apple's own software so forget about any 720P MKV files. Games are pretty popular on the iPod Touch and AppleTV could EASILY be made to run iPhone/Touch games on your big screen while using your actual iPhone or Touch as a joystick (or better yet, include a wireless USB joystick with the thing). Apple cannot figure out what to do with Apple TV, yet anyone else on the planet CAN. Go figure.

VirtualRain
Sep 14, 2009, 11:42 PM
It cracks me up to see this kind of thinking. When ipod came out, did Apple lock us into just music purchased from iTunes? No, we could take advantage of content we already had. Do you think ipod would have been nearly as big if we would have had to pay (again) for songs we already had in our CD collections because Apple wanted to lock us into content only from iTunes?

I would think just about everyone who owns an :apple:TV or would be interested in owning one, probably has a cable or satt subscription now. If :apple:TV emulated the DVR/VCR (an ability to record such signals), it would immediately gain a very popular feature many BUYERS want to see added to it. Yes, if we are given the ability to record a TV show or movie, we probably would not buy that movie from iTunes, just like if we could record (import) a CD we already had into iTunes, we'd be unlikely to buy that same music (again) from iTunes. Still, if we could get some of our content for "free" (cable/satt subscription costs are costs we probably pay anyway), :apple:TV for television programming becomes a lot more like iPod for music "programming"- POPULAR.

Apple would sell more :apple:TVs if they had features that people want. Trying to withhold desirable features won't move the world to an iTunes content model for video distribution unless Apple sells a whole lot more :apple:TV units. Waiting on the world to see the (Apple just buy everything from iTunes) light is going to be a very LONG wait.

Would a DVR kill all sales/rentals from iTunes. NO! <snip>

Here's an alternative view... :)

To use your own analogy, adding a DVR to the AppleTV would have been like Apple adding an FM Radio recorder to the iPod so that all those people who loved listening to FM radio at the time could just record their favourite songs and listen to them anytime they want. Sure that feature might have helped a few luddites give up their pocket radios and walkman's for an iPod but Apple was already way beyond that.

Apple has never been about supporting legacy models of content distribution, or they would have made a cassette tape walkman equivalent back in the day when they were all the rage. :rolleyes:

Apple is all about defining new models of distribution.

The Tivo is today's equivalent of the mixed tape of a couple of decades ago. Let it go. :p The idea of recording content that's blasting down a pipe at a time chosen by the source is so archaic, I can't believe Apple enthusiasts are actually in favour of such a distribution model. :confused:

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! :o

Lukeyboy01
Sep 15, 2009, 01:46 AM
When ? Never. It doesn't fit in their business model.

And besides, this product would be US-specific, because classic TV is so much different in each country. Apple makes worldwide products, just look at the iPhone : the same hardware everywhere.

Not in china tho

OllyW
Sep 15, 2009, 02:21 AM
They have updated the UK Apple Store, the 160GB AppleTV is now £219.

They must have an even more special exchange rate than usual for the Apple TV as the US price is $229. Just to compare similar items, the iPod classic costs $249 in the US and £189 in the UK store. :rolleyes:

Evangelion
Sep 15, 2009, 03:30 AM
Home Sharing only support automatic transfer for purchased content. You can still manually copy unpurchased content through the Home Server mechanism. There's a setting to view uncopied content only so you can see what hasn't been copied.

Just to clarify: Home Sharing does work with non-Apple-purchased content (Amazon.com downloads, CD rips, etc), but the automatic synching of purchased content is an iTunes-Store-specific feature.

That is what I mean. While just about all of my music is from ITMS these days, same does not apply to my wife. And we have no movies or tv-shows in ITMS in Finland, so those are all self-ripped. When my Mrs. adds content to her library, should I expect her to log in to the server with Screen Sharing, and manually sync her new content to the server-iTunes?

I really don't understand why this feature only works with ITMS-purchased content. that content is DRM-free, so there really is no difference when compared to self-ripped content. There's no technical reason for it to not work.

IMHO, I don't add content often enough for this to be a really big deal. If I rip a CD on one box then home-share it up to the server, that's good.

While I could do it, I can't really expect the Mrs. to do it as well.

Oh well, I think that I will still go ahead with it, and just sync manually. Home Sharing is A LOT better than what we had with previous iTunes'es, but it's not perfect solution.

mkjj
Sep 15, 2009, 04:10 AM
I'm going to Florida next week. can I buy an ATV and use back in the UK, what is the power supply like, is it custom to the ATV and does the unit detect correct voltage etc?

Still miffed that is is still £50 cheaper in the US, Apple missed a chance here, £199 and they would have flown off the shelves, (well ambled off!)


Ta

LEStudios
Sep 15, 2009, 07:14 AM
They are about to launch more HD Movies some from Disney! :eek:

blybug
Sep 15, 2009, 07:19 AM
iTunes'es
:p

NightStorm
Sep 15, 2009, 07:55 AM
They are about to launch more HD Movies some from Disney! :eek:
Have they released a list of titles yet (I can't check iTunes from work)?

Evangelion
Sep 15, 2009, 08:23 AM
:p

Since we are talking about all the previous versions of the app, what would be the correct spelling? Ituneses? iTunes'es? I honestly don't know :o

womble2k2
Sep 15, 2009, 08:26 AM
Ideally Apple would turn the :apple:TV into a full home media centre with;
1. A larger (500 gig min) hard drive
2. Add a blu-ray drive
3. Add a Safari browser optimised for viewing the internet on TV
4. Built in 7.1 surround decoder card (could be a second, optional, box).
5. SD card slot
6. USB / Firewire ports for video camera input
7. Wireless keyboard / mouse / games controller
8. Access to an :apple:TV specific App Store for games to play on the device.
9. Ability to add sub-boxes in different rooms of your house, accessing the :apple:TV wirelessly for content. The :apple:TV would need the ability to stream maybe 4 streams of content.

Ideally they would also include a Digital TV tuner, but given that there are different standards, modulation schemes, encoding profiles, etc, all around the world, it would be difficult to implement a universal tuner. Hence, I agree, that this is one feature that will never happen.

But, could Apple implement Tivo type functionality better than Tivo? Possibly. I would suspect that Apple would define an interconnect format and APIs and leave it to set top box manufacturers to provide connectivity accordingly.

Then, there's the ultimate :apple:TV. Combine a 42 inch cinema display with :apple:TV.

Phil

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 15, 2009, 08:40 AM
Here's an alternative view... :)
The Tivo is today's equivalent of the mixed tape of a couple of decades ago. Let it go. :p The idea of recording content that's blasting down a pipe at a time chosen by the source is so archaic, I can't believe Apple enthusiasts are actually in favour of such a distribution model. :confused:

I can appreciate your point of view. Again though, dismissing the DVR idea because it is old tech makes sense when old tech is actually on its way out. The fact is that we (almost) all still have television being pumped into our homes in one way or another (cable, satt, etc) and that is likely to continue for a long time. We already pay for that content and the law allows us to record that content for personal enjoyment at a later date.

I would much rather the distribution model be more along the lines of how you envision it. But it is not that way. And it probably won't be that way for a long time- if ever; there's simply too much money in it as is for the entities that largely control the pipes so one way or another- they will get theirs.

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! :o

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.

Because Apple chooses to limit the quality of the content to handicapped 720p at best when there is an awful lot of the same content available at higher resolutions and higher bitrates, means we can't get "top quality" now from Apple's system. And if by "top quality" you mean quality of the programming (NOT quality of the audio/video), Apple fails there as well because a lot of highly-rated content is NOT available from iTunes.

Lastly, do you actually think Apple's pricing for programming via iTunes is "reasonable prices"? If so, you appear to be in a minority. In a good number of situations, it is cheaper to buy the same programming on DVD or BD than to buy the iTunes (more compressed) versions. And again, if a person doesn't mind the commercials, or doesn't mind editing the commercials out, a great deal of most popular network programming can be had for "free" via over the air- free being the most "reasonable price" of all. Options like netflix delivers a lot of catalog content for much less than renting or buying individual movies via iTunes. Etc.

Now, I'm a huge Apple fan and I own an :apple:TV AND I completely appreciate your stated vision of how things could/should be. But I also argue that Apple is far from that vision now (and they are not alone), and it also seems unlikely that sticking to their guns as they continue to do with a tired hardware platform and a "buy it all from iTunes only" distribution concept will result in us ever getting to fully realize your stated vision.

The best shot at getting there would be to build a next-gen :apple:TV with the features that BUYERS want to buy (whatever they are), get an :apple:TV in every home, then phase out the "archaic options" as those lose favor with the customer base over time. If :apple:TV was in every home, content providers would want every bit of video ever created available in iTunes (that would cover everyones "on demand" needs), competition (and ROIs on such a massive amount of cheap distribution) would pressure content providers to compete on (lower) prices, and higher qualities (that would cover "reasonable prices" and "top quality").

There would still be issues to overcome. For example, those in control of the pipes that deliver such content- generally the cable & communications industry who compete with similar content- might simply raise prices of broadband delivery to make up for falling television subscription revenues. But nevertheless, only by getting massive adoption of a next-gen :apple:TV does it seem favorable that the vision- as stated- could be realized (for everyone). In your case, that vision may be realized now with things as is, but there seems to be plenty of people commenting in this thread that are looking for more from Apple & :apple:TV.

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"?

NightStorm
Sep 15, 2009, 08:44 AM
Ideally Apple would turn the :apple:TV into a full home media centre with;
1. A larger (500 gig min) hard drive
2. Add a blu-ray drive
3. Add a Safari browser optimised for viewing the internet on TV
4. Built in 7.1 surround decoder card (could be a second, optional, box).
5. SD card slot
6. USB / Firewire ports for video camera input
7. Wireless keyboard / mouse / games controller
8. Access to an :apple:TV specific App Store for games to play on the device.
9. Ability to add sub-boxes in different rooms of your house, accessing the :apple:TV wirelessly for content. The :apple:TV would need the ability to stream maybe 4 streams of content.

Ideally they would also include a Digital TV tuner, but given that there are different standards, modulation schemes, encoding profiles, etc, all around the world, it would be difficult to implement a universal tuner. Hence, I agree, that this is one feature that will never happen.

But, could Apple implement Tivo type functionality better than Tivo? Possibly. I would suspect that Apple would define an interconnect format and APIs and leave it to set top box manufacturers to provide connectivity accordingly.

Then, there's the ultimate :apple:TV. Combine a 42 inch cinema display with :apple:TV.

Phil

I would not buy said box, as it is completely overkill for what I need. Take out #1 and replace it with a small SSD for OS/streaming buffer/apps, #2, #4 (why would you want this?), #5 (I have iPhoto/Aperture for photos... and my cameras use CF anyways), #6, and make #9 a piece of software that runs on a central network point (Airport, base iMac, etc) -- then I might be happy.

I'd also really like a smaller LCD with an AppleTV built-in for bedrooms/kids rooms/etc, but I'm content with buying them seperately.

HobeSoundDarryl
Sep 15, 2009, 09:00 AM
Ideally they would also include a Digital TV tuner, but given that there are different standards, modulation schemes, encoding profiles, etc, all around the world, it would be difficult to implement a universal tuner. Hence, I agree, that this is one feature that will never happen.


You shared a lot of interesting ideas for a next-gen :apple:TV. This one (quoted) keeps coming up as a bona-fide challenge. Rather than dismissing it though, it could be simply addressed by leaving a slot space open in which individual country tuners could be added into the system, much like turning a Mac computer into a TV by adding a small USB-based solution from Elgato. The computer was NOT a TV in any way before plugging in the Elgato. But after it becomes a TV, DVR, etc.

Within a next-gen :apple:TV this could be set up like a card slot in a Mac Pro (some internal space to accommodate the tuner device). Device makers could build the end so that it flushes very nicely with the back of the :apple:TV, resulting in something that looks like it was meant to be there (blending in with the other connections on the back of the box- just like a computer card does in the back of a Mac Pro).

Apple then ends up with a tuner-optional device, leaving the implementation of the various world standards for television tuners to other companies (like Elgato). Apple doesn't have to build multiple versions of :apple:TV in support of all of these standards, because they've isolated the unique functionality into an optional plug-in device. For those that don't want :apple:TV to become a tuner and/or DVR, they simply don't buy that plug in. And since the next-gen ships without the added cost of a built-in tuner, this solution shouldn't involve much of a pricing change (probably manifested as simple as having a USB port inside the :apple:TV box, acting as the card connector).

Doing this would be easy for Apple. BUT, it would involve Apple opening up the next-gen :apple:TV to outside development. They’ve shown that they can do this with all of the rest of their principal hardware offerings, so why not :apple:TV? And if they go there, then it's easy to envision other discrete wishes like (optional) BD player, (optional) iSight camera, (optional) mass storage, etc being fulfilled through the same basic "open" options.

This idea highlights one of the things- perhaps the biggest thing- working against the mainstream appeal of :apple:TV. It is such a "closed" system. It has a USB port that hackers show can be used for much larger storage, but Apple doesn't allow it to be a "normal" USB port such that hacks would not be required. My guts say the processor is too weak to support unlocking that USB such that other options like Elgato, BD add on, etc could be implemented with the existing platform. But the point is, if Apple doesn't really care to do much with their "hobby" right now, why not open it up and see where others might take it? Let the Elgatos of the world take the risk and prove that demand for tuners in :apple:TV is sufficiently high enough to consider building it into a future generation. It's hard to picture how Apple could lose via this kind of thinking.

blybug
Sep 15, 2009, 09:09 AM
The Tivo is today's equivalent of the mixed tape of a couple of decades ago. Let it go. :p The idea of recording content that's blasting down a pipe at a time chosen by the source is so archaic, I can't believe Apple enthusiasts are actually in favour of such a distribution model. :confused:

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! :o

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?

TiVo season passes for a program provide exactly what you suggest above, set it up once and you're done. There's even smart passes to record anything with your favorite actor or keyword. Every episode of the show is recorded when it is broadcast, and I can watch it on demand whenever I want. I'm never tied to the "source's choice" of time, I can watch Jon Stewart when he comes on at 10pm, or an hour later, the next morning, or the entire previous week's episodes on Saturday. There is freeware as well as official software to automatically convert TiVo to iTunes format, so I can and do occasionally copy a recorded program to my iPhone.

For the present time I'd much rather have a fixed monthly cable bill + a TiVo bill and let the TiVo do all the work of grabbing any or all episodes of any show I want on any of dozens of channels for me to watch at my leisure. With TiVo nobody in my family cares what time or day their favorite show is on...when they want to watch it they just watch it (well, I do watch LOST "live" because I'm a junkie). I don't think my kids have a concept that shows actually air on a certain schedule, they just watch the latest Zack & Cody or Mythbusters off the Tivo.

Paying à la carte for each individual episode or season via the iTunes model would surely add up to more than what I'm currently paying for my mix-tape model...and I don't want a Zack & Cody or Mythbusters bill. I'll be interested when there's a model with a fixed monthly fee for a certain number of shows/episodes/GB of downloads that is price competitive with cable+TiVo, and has a user interface as intuitive as TiVo. Apple could do this with an updated paradigm for :apple:TV that would be functionally indistinguishable from the way TiVo works now, but instead of "recording" the show when it airs, it would "download" the show when available.

What's the difference, really?

nick9191
Sep 15, 2009, 09:14 AM
$229 = £219 my arse.

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

jersey10
Sep 15, 2009, 09:43 AM
It seems to me that a lot of the ATV wish lists incorporate some ability to deal with non-iTunes video files. Not gonna happen folks. All "user ripped" video content exists in violation of the DMCA (unlike the gigs of ripped audio CDs, which Apple actively and legally encourages).

Due to Apple's position as software & hardware manufacturer, as well as conduit for film & TV studio products, it is not going to do anything to jeopardize that relationship by encouraging use of home ripped video created in violation of the DMCA on ATV. (How Handbrake has survived to date is a mystery)

DEATH TO THE DMCA. Write your congressman and lets get this stupid law changd.

This is one of the primary reasons why AppleTV has not been a big hit - Apple can't advertise the best, most helpful use for it. Anyone who has an AppleTV will tell you that what makes it amazing is the fact that you can take all the many DVDs you own or rent from Netflix, rip and convert them via Handbrake, and then have them ready to watch with a push of a button, never having to deal with the physical DVDs again. If you have a lot of DVDs, or have kids who like to watch a lot of movies, this is an amazing feature. But unfortunately, because of legal restrictions, Apple can't market this use of their product. But everyone who has seen my AppleTVs is blown away by them.

It seems that everyone on here complaining about features that AppleTV is missing doesn't own an AppleTV and wants it to be something that it is not. While many of those features would be nice, ask those of us who have AppleTVs and we will tell you that it is a great product for watching all your DVDs or those you rent (with the movie posters visible on screen), viewing all your photos on a big screen (with music), listening to all your music (with album covers on screen), as well as YouTube, podcasts, etc. And you get all this for right around $200 in a product that is incredibly easy to install and operate and with a very intuitive user interface. The alternatives people propose on here, simply don't match the ease of installation and operation. Before I bought my AppleTVs I was looking for a product that could enable me to digitize all my DVDs so that I wouldn't have to deal with the physical DVDs anymore. The only solution at that time that seemed to do what I wanted was the Kalaeidescope system, which costs $20K. Then the AppleTV was released, doing basically everything I wanted for $200. Sure, it could do more, but what it does now is pretty fantastic.

NightStorm
Sep 15, 2009, 10:05 AM
This is one of the primary reasons why AppleTV has not been a big hit - Apple can't advertise the best, most helpful use for it. Anyone who has an AppleTV will tell you that what makes it amazing is the fact that you can take all the many DVDs you own or rent from Netflix, rip and convert them via Handbrake, and then have them ready to watch with a push of a button, never having to deal with the physical DVDs again. If you have a lot of DVDs, or have kids who like to watch a lot of movies, this is an amazing feature. But unfortunately, because of legal restrictions, Apple can't market this use of their product. But everyone who has seen my AppleTVs is blown away by them.

This is the exact reason we have things like the DMCA.

DJS1234
Sep 15, 2009, 10:35 AM
I tried to rip my DVD collection a few months back but there were some discs that would just not play ball. I'd really like to rip them all like I rip my CD's to iTunes and then put all the DVD's up in the attic. I'm in the UK so luckily don't have to care about the DMCA (Yet....)

RealDVD was looking promising but then the legals got involved and it's been shelved.

Tempted again by an AppleTV now the price has gone down but then are they clearing the stock to make room for AppleTV 2.0?

alent1234
Sep 15, 2009, 10:52 AM
This is one of the primary reasons why AppleTV has not been a big hit - Apple can't advertise the best, most helpful use for it. Anyone who has an AppleTV will tell you that what makes it amazing is the fact that you can take all the many DVDs you own or rent from Netflix, rip and convert them via Handbrake, and then have them ready to watch with a push of a button, never having to deal with the physical DVDs again. If you have a lot of DVDs, or have kids who like to watch a lot of movies, this is an amazing feature. But unfortunately, because of legal restrictions, Apple can't market this use of their product. But everyone who has seen my AppleTVs is blown away by them.

It seems that everyone on here complaining about features that AppleTV is missing doesn't own an AppleTV and wants it to be something that it is not. While many of those features would be nice, ask those of us who have AppleTVs and we will tell you that it is a great product for watching all your DVDs or those you rent (with the movie posters visible on screen), viewing all your photos on a big screen (with music), listening to all your music (with album covers on screen), as well as YouTube, podcasts, etc. And you get all this for right around $200 in a product that is incredibly easy to install and operate and with a very intuitive user interface. The alternatives people propose on here, simply don't match the ease of installation and operation. Before I bought my AppleTVs I was looking for a product that could enable me to digitize all my DVDs so that I wouldn't have to deal with the physical DVDs anymore. The only solution at that time that seemed to do what I wanted was the Kalaeidescope system, which costs $20K. Then the AppleTV was released, doing basically everything I wanted for $200. Sure, it could do more, but what it does now is pretty fantastic.

by the time you rip a DVD to look good on a good sized TV you're using as much hard drive space where it makes sense to just play the disc.

randy98mtu
Sep 15, 2009, 11:05 AM
by the time you rip a DVD to look good on a good sized TV you're using as much hard drive space where it makes sense to just play the disc.

How much space is that? I rip using Apple Universal, the files come out to about 1-1.5 gig on average, and you'd be hard pressed to see a difference from the DVD on my 61" screen.

blybug
Sep 15, 2009, 11:18 AM
by the time you rip a DVD to look good on a good sized TV you're using as much hard drive space where it makes sense to just play the disc.

Storage is cheap my friend. I just bought a 1TB hard drive from Fry's for $99 and hooked it up to my :apple:TV mini running ATV4Mac. So far it contains:


All my family's home videos from our wedding 15 years ago through the present day (2 1/2 days worth of content)
Every episode of the Brady Bunch, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Heroes, It's Garry Shandling's Show, LOST, The Office, Seinfeld, Star Trek Original Series Remastered, Schoolhouse Rock
292 Handbraked movies (many I own on DVD, many from my Blockbuster Online subscription...a little sheepish about those but I figure as long as I continue to pay the monthly subscription I could go to Blockbuster and get the disc in my hands at no cost, so I've just timeshifted it and allowed Blockbuster to rent the disc to someone else). Most are kids movies and not ripped at the highest possible quality, but absolutely watchable without distracting artifacts, roughly 1GB each.
My entire iTunes Music Library of over 15,000 songs and 1,000 music videos (all legit)
Nearly 10,000 family photos
1 movie I just rented this morning from iTunes

Still have over 300GB to spare, in any easy to use intuitive interface that the kids can manage and the wife loves, with an automatic content backup as a bonus. I'm pretty sure in a few years when it's full I can upgrade to a 5 or 10 TB drive for another $99. Why would I want to mess around with all those discs?

Cliff3
Sep 15, 2009, 11:22 AM
by the time you rip a DVD to look good on a good sized TV you're using as much hard drive space where it makes sense to just play the disc.

The size ratio is more like 4 or 5 to 1 between the m4v file and the ts_video folder. Plus, I can select any of my movies from the Apple TV's menu and not have to retrieve it, insert it into the DVD player, wait for it to spin up and be mounted, scroll through all the trailers, etc.

TheBritishBloke
Sep 15, 2009, 12:50 PM
At least Apple UK has finally got the price cut. But instead of being £195, we get the 160GB for £215? Wtf???

We're getting screwed by Apple Tax again...

ecopod
Sep 15, 2009, 02:00 PM
I'm going to Florida next week. can I buy an ATV and use back in the UK, what is the power supply like, is it custom to the ATV and does the unit detect correct voltage etc?

Still miffed that is is still £50 cheaper in the US, Apple missed a chance here, £199 and they would have flown off the shelves, (well ambled off!)


Ta

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.

Bevz
Sep 15, 2009, 02:27 PM
LOL - what a surprise, ATV now £219 in the UK store, not £195 which was the old price of the 40gb model... Yet again, the UK apple store seems to run a different planet that the US store... This is really gonna encourage people to buy it, idiots :(

I wouldn't mind if they gave you something really cool, like better hardware, or even, god forbid.... better software!!!! (are you listening apple???)

DJS1234
Sep 15, 2009, 02:48 PM
So do we think there's a 250/500GB etc ATV on the way or a whole new model and Apple is trying to clear stock?

dynaflash
Sep 15, 2009, 03:32 PM
lol. this thread is a hoot. wtf knows ?

mprofit
Sep 15, 2009, 05:28 PM
160 GB Apple TV listed for $199 on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Apple-TV-160GB-Hard-Drive/dp/B000RQHAUA/ref=pd_rhf_shvl_3

freepeacesweet
Sep 15, 2009, 05:49 PM
160 GB Apple TV listed for $199 on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Apple-TV-160GB-Hard-Drive/dp/B000RQHAUA/ref=pd_rhf_shvl_3

Yeah saw that and just ordered one for the bedroom (have mac mini hooked up downstairs). I figure even with a possible refresh coming round the corner the patchstick available for this one from Google code that installs XBMC and Boxee so easily is worth $199.