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View Full Version : Future of the Apple TV?




bilbo--baggins
Oct 11, 2009, 03:16 AM
I have strong opinions of the Apple TV, but wondered what the general consensus was. Is it so bad it should be scrapped, fine as it is, or just need a few bug fixes?



brewno
Oct 11, 2009, 11:53 AM
It's my next Apple purchase but I will wait undefinitely up to the moment they update it. The price drop for the 160Gb doesn't justify the purchase. Meanwhile, I'm transforming all my DVDs on m4v.

uraniumwilly
Oct 11, 2009, 12:13 PM
My vote: Update the software to blue-ray specs.

SurfMacJpMtb
Oct 11, 2009, 12:19 PM
The hardware and software both need updates, but I am not sure about significant. It does a great job of extending my iTunes and iPhoto collection to my television. The addition of YouTube is fun, along with flickr and mobileme. I just wish I could customize the menus to reduce the emphasis on the iTunes Store.

boston04and07
Oct 11, 2009, 01:27 PM
Menu customization would be nice. The current look of the interface works, I think. It's simple and elegant enough, but if we could only move all the iTunes Store stuff, and focus on the media we already have, it would make it worthwhile in my opinion. Until that happens, I don't need an expensive device that only focuses on more purchasing. :rolleyes:

Growing media libraries need wayyyy more than 160 gb, in fact I can't believe they let the 40 gb version stay for so long - that's way too small! Even with the streaming capabilities it's just not enough. I would really like to see them make use of the USB drive for extra storage. And...an app store, perhaps?? I don't know, I just think that this device has sooo much potential and it's kind of sad that it's being wasted.

aross99
Oct 11, 2009, 03:53 PM
Fix all of the things that are making the current unit sluggish, and give me Safari, so I can watch Hulu, etc...

pdmpolishing
Oct 11, 2009, 04:14 PM
ATV is a fantastic device, I personally use it all the time, but it does need updating.

It needs 1080P, DTS passthrough and defiantly the ability to play other video codec.

I only hope Apple can eventually see this, because at the moment they only sell ATV to sell media from iTunes.

Chaszmyr
Oct 11, 2009, 04:21 PM
I have two AppleTVs and I use both of them every day, but I still think both the software and hardware need significant updates.

I would also love for Apple to make an "audiophile grade" AppleTV with a very high quality DAC (since I'm assuming the onboard DAC has to be used for Apple Lossless, because pre-pros don't have the ability to decode Apple Lossless... kind of undermines the whole point), but I recognize there is no chance of that.

rld1971
Oct 11, 2009, 04:39 PM
I have an ATV and am very happy with it. Use it mostly for music, browsing pictures, and renting movies every so often.

I'd like to see some changes though:
- ability to use safari in it (out of the box), including flash please.
- widgets so that I have easy access to weather, scores, stocks, etc while watching movies, pics, etc.
- I'd love a CD drive on it... to rip all my music directly there (and keep it there).

JYork23
Oct 11, 2009, 04:51 PM
Many people have already posted my concerns with the ATV such as limited access to media providers (officially limited to just iTunes Store & YouTube). One thing that I haven't heard mentioned is just how unbearably hot the device runs. Something that hot must be using a ton of juice and if you're not using it all the time, you'll want it off. There no on/off switch. So I've had to put mine on a power strip by itself that has a switch. Now I've lost the convenience of having it on and ready when I have the normal TV configuration on. I go through the bother of turning it on perhaps monthly now. It has substantially less value in my living room than I thought it would have.

rogervzv
Oct 11, 2009, 05:32 PM
About the only thing that I care about that they could do to the ATV is make it easy to use an outboard USB drive. 160GB is not enough for my boat when we go cruising. Otherwise the streaming capability pretty much negates the need to have content directly on the ATV HDD. I have two ATVs and love them!:eek:

jaw04005
Oct 11, 2009, 06:13 PM
Menu customization would be nice. The current look of the interface works, I think. It's simple and elegant enough, but if we could only move all the iTunes Store stuff, and focus on the media we already have, it would make it worthwhile in my opinion.

The "Take 2" menu is elegant? Everything is crammed into a small, bland menu box with no differentiation of features other than white text. Now, once you get past the home menu it's nice.

The original (FW 1.x) menu was elegant, and it focused on just what you wanted - your media. Apparently, nobody wanted an "iPod for your TV." :(

It needs a complete overhaul, but I love mine to death.

Apparently, Jobs has better things to worry about. It held his attention for about a year (he pre-announced as 'iTV' in September '06, announced it formally in January '07, focused most of his 'All Things D' presentation on it in May '07 and re-introduced it in January '08 with the 'Take 2' update.) Since then, he's called it a hobby every chance he's gotten

It's a forward-looking device that's hard to sell to consumers, but I don't think it's going anywhere. Sales would pick up tremendously if they updated it to 1080p and offered a TV show/Movie subscription service.

One thing that I haven't heard mentioned is just how unbearably hot the device runs. Something that hot must be using a ton of juice and if you're not using it all the time, you'll want it off. There no on/off switch. So I've had to put mine on a power strip by itself that has a switch. Now I've lost the convenience of having it on and ready when I have the normal TV configuration on. I go through the bother of turning it on perhaps monthly now. It has substantially less value in my living room than I thought it would have.

Its maximum wattage is 48 watts, normal usage is around 19 watts and it idles around 14 watts, so no it's not using a "ton of juice." The reason it's warm to the touch is because it only has a small fan and uses the top aluminum shell as a heat sink.

And not all Apple TVs are hot. I have a 40GB (original) model that you could rub all day long without it bothering you, and a 160GB model that's actually cooler than the 40GB. However, I used to have one of the hotter 40GB models, so I know what you and may others are complaining about. Apple replaced it under warranty.

zedsdead
Oct 11, 2009, 07:01 PM
My guesses:

(1) Either updated at this next event before Christmas, or

(2) Early next year at a "Media-Centric" event with the new Tablet (which I think is more likely).

kymac
Oct 11, 2009, 07:50 PM
new hardware! new software! i'm looking to buy an appletv but not until an overhaul.

http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/9480/appletv.png

pjarvi
Oct 12, 2009, 09:31 AM
Update the hardware and software, I use mine every single day.

The changes I would like to see are:

-3.5" hard drive, at least 1TB
-Proper sleep mode that turns off the HDMI port and re-does the handshake when waking up
-Option to turn off the white LED in front when sleeping
-Support for Apps designed just for the AppleTV (I would like to see stuff like: weather, movie times for the local theater, web browser, games, etc...)
-Faster processor/GPU
-Larger buffer for all streaming content (movies, tv shows, podcasts, YouTube, etc...)
-Option to initiate synchronization with a Mac from the AppleTV itself (utilizing Wake on LAN support for a sleeping Mac)
-Fix the issue with genres not showing all movies available for purchase
-Add a category in each genre that shows anything added over the last 7 days (I would buy more if I knew what had just been added, but all too often have to search or browse via iTunes to find stuff that was added to the store)
-Support for external drives (USB)
-Bluetooth keyboard support

nutmac
Oct 12, 2009, 01:53 PM
Strong possibilities:

Firmware update for iTunes Extra and iTunes LP.


Likely:

Larger hard disk (probably SATA flavor).
Faster processor (CPU/GPU): full 1080p video output.
Redesigned user interface: nothing major, but I anticipate some level of redesign to improve usability.


Somewhat possible:

Video subscription contents, either Apple-flavor or 3rd party (e.g., Hulu, Netflix).
Newly redesigned remote control.
Support for external USB hard disk.


Not likely:

App Store: Given Apple TV's limited success, I personally don't see it happening. Minimally, I would love to see support for Dashboard widgets though.
DVR: this market is highly political and indirectly competes with iTunes business model.
DVD, Blu-Ray: I would love to see Blu-Ray or even upscaling DVD player. But the last thing Apple TV needs is a price increase.


I would also love for Apple to make an "audiophile grade" AppleTV with a very high quality DAC (since I'm assuming the onboard DAC has to be used for Apple Lossless, because pre-pros don't have the ability to decode Apple Lossless... kind of undermines the whole point), but I recognize there is no chance of that.
Doesn't Apple TV output Apple Lossless audio as PCM via HDMI and Toslink?

dubhe
Oct 12, 2009, 01:55 PM
Just buy a Mac mini

trip1ex
Oct 12, 2009, 03:30 PM
Rumor is Apple will lower the price to $30 and replace the insides with 2 halves of a brick. The Apple logo will breathe in and out to distinguish it from other paper weights.

TRAG
Oct 12, 2009, 04:54 PM
Just buy a Mac mini

+1
It's better to have too a Mac mini IMO.

Chaszmyr
Oct 12, 2009, 05:40 PM
Doesn't Apple TV output Apple Lossless audio as PCM via HDMI and Toslink?

I could be completely wrong, but it was my understanding that Apple Lossless is downconverted before being output.

nutmac
Oct 12, 2009, 05:54 PM
I could be completely wrong, but it was my understanding that Apple Lossless is downconverted before being output.
On a friend's Apple TV, Apple Lossless audio stream (HDMI) was identified as 16-bit 44.1 kHz LPCM. Since CD audio is also 16-bit 44.1 kHz LPCM, I wouldn't think any downconversion is happening. If your source is something better than CD, perhaps Apple TV would downconvert.

Chaszmyr
Oct 13, 2009, 01:31 AM
On a friend's Apple TV, Apple Lossless audio stream (HDMI) was identified as 16-bit 44.1 kHz LPCM. Since CD audio is also 16-bit 44.1 kHz LPCM, I wouldn't think any downconversion is happening. If your source is something better than CD, perhaps Apple TV would downconvert.

I don't think that means anything. I have a lot of music, some Apple Lossless, some ripped to MP3, some ripped to AAC, and some downloaded from iTunes. It's all 44.1 khz, and I think it's probably all 16-bit as well.

Metatron
Oct 13, 2009, 01:35 AM
Give me Blu-ray specs....I would actually buy movies.

Also, for the love of God, why can't content providers still provide rentals for some movies...maybe it is not worth buying.

uraniumwilly
Oct 18, 2009, 10:43 AM
Just curious about any recent developments.

1) Does Apple TV have the hardware to support blu-ray specifications? Is it possible that the current Apple TV could receive a software update to make that happen?

I ask because I want my blu-ray disc collection on my Apple TV with full resolution. I'm hoping I won't have to buy a new Apple TV, just for that reason. I'm aware of the alternative applications, Plex, etc. I'm currently using the rip/processing software, MKV & beta Handbrake, and procedures posted on this forum, with mixed results. Understandably.

2) Is there any solid business reason for Apple to support blu-ray on Apple TV?

From the iTunes store perspective, it seems like downloading movies at such resolution would be seriously problematic. So, I don't really see a big advantage for Apple to spend resources for blu-ray fans, other than bragging rights.

3) Based on recent tech advances, does anyone have updated thoughts on what's happening with storing blu-rays on Apple TV?

Andy348
Oct 18, 2009, 10:57 AM
I think they should just implement it into the Mini line. We were looking at an Apple TV, but it's quite useless for those who want to watch movies online. The Mac Mini is a much better option.

riotstar42
Oct 18, 2009, 11:04 AM
blu ray specs and larger hard drive.... then i'll buy one

zedsdead
Oct 18, 2009, 11:43 AM
new hardware! new software! i'm looking to buy an appletv but not until an overhaul.

http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/9480/appletv.png

I like the second one. Would fit perfectly with the rest of Apple's lineup. I'm not expecting anything until a media event in early 2010 with the Tablet introduction. It would fit the theme.

northy124
Oct 18, 2009, 12:04 PM
I voted that it is beyond hope - scrap it :( at the moment I see nothing in the TV's future and nothing from Apple hinting at the TV being updated.

I would love for it to be updated however :D Support for 1080p, DTS (although that is an MP4 limitation as well I think) and 1TB (minimum) HDD would be nice :)

brmaki
Oct 18, 2009, 04:43 PM
I was looking at an Apple TV or even a WDTV Live, but until I see a reason to do something different, I'm just going to stick with hooking up my HDD to my Xbox 360 and playing video from that.

Andy348
Oct 18, 2009, 05:49 PM
I was looking at an Apple TV or even a WDTV Live, but until I see a reason to do something different, I'm just going to stick with hooking up my HDD to my Xbox 360 and playing video from that.

I do the same. Its an easy solution.