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View Full Version : Tim Cook: Apple TV market small, but Apple still feels something is there




zedsdead
Apr 20, 2010, 04:49 PM
Q: Any plans for Apple TV?
A: Units were up 34%, but absolute number of units still small. Still a hobby. Comparing the Apple TV's small market to that of Mac, iPhone, iPod.

He also said that Apple will continue to invest in the Apple TV because they believe something is there.

Eventually they HAVE TO update the hardware. We are on 3.5 years now...and still waiting...



Icaras
Apr 20, 2010, 04:50 PM
Deja Vu.

jaw04005
Apr 20, 2010, 04:50 PM
It’s good unit sales were up. Surely, they’ll update the hardware at the September iTunes event.

zedsdead
Apr 20, 2010, 04:56 PM
It’s good unit sales were up. Surely, they’ll update the hardware at the September iTunes event.

I've been saying that for the past two years, and last year there were even rumors of an update, but nothing happened. I learned to not hold my breath with the Apple TV, but I hold out hope nonetheless.

agentmouthwash
Apr 20, 2010, 05:05 PM
they are going to eventually release an App store for Apple TV where you can download programs like HULU and games.

richman555
Apr 20, 2010, 05:17 PM
I love my Apple TV. Apple would be absolutely crazy to give up on it. I absolutely do not buy movies on disc anymore. Its all about disk space. Once people have enough disk space to store a good library of movies and tv shows on their computer's hard drive, this will take off along with the sale of movies, tv shows, and other video.

Once things like disk space catches up, the time will be right for a new revision of Apple TV.

zedsdead
Apr 20, 2010, 05:19 PM
they are going to eventually release an App store for Apple TV where you can download programs like HULU and games.

This would be a logical way to make a new market for it, but Apple is preoccupied with the portable market right now.

Icaras
Apr 20, 2010, 05:32 PM
This would be a logical way to make a new market for it, but Apple is preoccupied with the portable market right now.

And some, like Samsung have already beaten them to the punch, in their new TVs. But of course, like iPhone OS 4.0 multitasking, Apple will make the best user experience. Though the Apple TV probably has the least predictable market for an App Store.

Regardless though, they need to dive right in. We've already speculated the use of A4 in the next revision of Apple TV, but does anyone think Apple may adopt the iPhone OS?

Aegelward
Apr 20, 2010, 06:33 PM
And some, like Samsung have already beaten them to the punch, in their new TVs. But of course, like iPhone OS 4.0 multitasking, Apple will make the best user experience. Though the Apple TV probably has the least predictable market for an App Store.

Regardless though, they need to dive right in. We've already speculated the use of A4 in the next revision of Apple TV, but does anyone think Apple may adopt the iPhone OS?

At it's core, iPhone OS is still remarkably similar to OSX.. All they really have to do is port the appleTV's front end... or design yet another one.

But switching to an ARM chip for the appleTV would be a wise move, it'd run a lot cooler for a start.

calsci
Apr 20, 2010, 06:38 PM
I hope so. I love my apple TV so much but it could really use a make over.

jaw04005
Apr 20, 2010, 06:50 PM
But switching to an ARM chip for the appleTV would be a wise move, it'd run a lot cooler for a start.

And it will likely be more secure. 10.4 is old.

DakotaGuy
Apr 20, 2010, 08:37 PM
The only thing that is holding back the Apple TV is that it is a small fish in a very large pond. For many consumers it doesn't completely replace cable or satellite so it is just another content delivery method. I can get what I want to watch from Netflix for $10.99 a month. That price gives me one Blu-ray at a time and unlimited instant viewing which I can use on my Wii, iMac or iPad. I feel I can get more bang for my buck using Netflix. I would still have cable no matter what because I want local news and live TV.

I don't see how the Apple TV is a better value. If I watch about 4 or 5 Blu-ray movies a month and watch several instant Netflix movies and TV shows I get a lot more for my money with Netflix. It would get very expensive to buy and rent all of that content on an Apple TV.

ipedro
Apr 20, 2010, 09:26 PM
tv missed the boat when Podcasts were becoming big and looked to be primed to replace traditional tv. A combination of a tv show subscription with free podcasts would have positioned tv to compete with cable.

I've been cable free for 3 years now using that formula but I understand how it doesn't yet work for the mainstream.

The Podcast hype seems to have slowed down due to the difficulty in monetizing the medium but it can be revived by pairing it with an App store. Paying for a Revision3 app for example could monetize the business that now struggles to pay its bills with advertising.

If Apple manages to leverage their LaLa purchase into a streaming service, iPhone, iPod and iPad will be the most obvious beneficiaries but tv could take off as the living room branch.

This would immediately solve the storage problem and would enable the production of a cheaper tv with no onboard storage other than for streaming. A $99 tv + monthly network subscription + podcasts would finally allow this device to enter the mainstream.

jaw04005
Apr 20, 2010, 11:25 PM
tv missed the boat when Podcasts were becoming big and looked to be primed to replace traditional tv. A combination of a tv show subscription with free podcasts would have positioned tv to compete with cable.

What? Very few people had even heard of podcasts when Apple decided to integrate them into iTunes way back in 2005.

Apple’s iPod, iPhone, Apple TV and iPad are some of the few mainstream devices that integrate podcasts directly at the top-level with other traditional media categories like movies, music and TV shows.

If anything Apple has fueled podcast adoption (both audio and video).

The Podcast hype seems to have slowed down due to the difficulty in monetizing the medium but it can be revived by pairing it with an App store. Paying for a Revision3 app for example could monetize the business that now struggles to pay its bills with advertising.

You don’t need a Revision 3 app to enjoy their content. Apple integrates it directly into the iTunes Store.

I don’t think you quite understand how podcast networks like Revision 3 work. Revision 3 is anything but struggling. They’re living off fat venture capital money and making revenue off their in-program advertising. If Apple offered an App Store on the Apple TV, Revision 3 would likely choose to offer their app for free anyway.

At one point this year, rumors swirled that they even made a small profit.

If Apple manages to leverage their LaLa purchase into a streaming service, iPhone, iPod and iPad will be the most obvious beneficiaries but tv could take off as the living room branch.

There we agree, but it doesn’t need to stop with cloud streaming. The iPod, iPhone and iPad lack local streaming too.

Apple needs to take the local wireless streaming technology that’s available on the Apple TV through iTunes and port it over to iPod, iPhone and iPad so you don’t need to sync all your data.

This would immediately solve the storage problem and would enable the production of a cheaper tv with no onboard storage other than for streaming. A $99 tv + monthly network subscription + podcasts would finally allow this device to enter the mainstream.

That requires participation from the studios and networks, and right now they’re trying to protect their biggest source of revenue — traditional television distribution.

veeco3110
Apr 21, 2010, 12:03 AM
i think it would be cool if they made the apple tv in a lower level gaming console. with all the added interest in the gaming market now using names like nintendo and sony psp when talking about the ipod touch/iphone it makes you wonder.

i think it would be cool adding the app store into the apple tv. then with the ipod touch remote app being able to control games using the accelerometer and touch screen to control the game via wi-fi. and what i mean by lower level i mean the graphics aren't going to match that of gaming consoles like the ps3 but to allow the user the ability to have access to thousands of games at their finger tips.

THIS would be bad ass...

GFLPraxis
Apr 21, 2010, 12:30 AM
AppleTV is simply much too expensive for what it offers right now. There are far cheaper alternatives on the market, and it's about the same price as an iPod with the same capacity.

Storage isn't nearly as necessary for the AppleTV, since you can stream. Apple needs to seriously drop the price. Offer a smaller hard drive if needed. Get it to $99-149 (if $149, then 1080p playback).

Otherwise, it'll be a niche product.

The PS3, for example, is $299. It includes a 120 GB hard drive, and plays Blu-ray, in addition to having the AppleTV's streaming capabilities and wider format support.

The XBox 360 is $249, and lacks a hard drive, but matches the streaming capabilities and has a huge gaming library.

Right now, the AppleTV's price point competes against the Playstation 3. And the Playstation 3 obliterates it, matching every feature and also including Blu-ray, 1080p playback, gaming, and in the next update, 3D movie playback.

I bought a PS3 over an AppleTV for streaming, with no regrets.

getbigg21
Apr 21, 2010, 02:34 AM
AppleTV is simply much too expensive for what it offers right now. There are far cheaper alternatives on the market, and it's about the same price as an iPod with the same capacity.

Storage isn't nearly as necessary for the AppleTV, since you can stream. Apple needs to seriously drop the price. Offer a smaller hard drive if needed. Get it to $99-149 (if $149, then 1080p playback).

Otherwise, it'll be a niche product.

The PS3, for example, is $299. It includes a 120 GB hard drive, and plays Blu-ray, in addition to having the AppleTV's streaming capabilities and wider format support.

The XBox 360 is $249, and lacks a hard drive, but matches the streaming capabilities and has a huge gaming library.

Right now, the AppleTV's price point competes against the Playstation 3. And the Playstation 3 obliterates it, matching every feature and also including Blu-ray, 1080p playback, gaming, and in the next update, 3D movie playback.

I bought a PS3 over an AppleTV for streaming, with no regrets.

how are you streaming it?

wovel
Apr 21, 2010, 02:58 AM
AppleTV is simply much too expensive for what it offers right now. There are far cheaper alternatives on the market, and it's about the same price as an iPod with the same capacity.

Storage isn't nearly as necessary for the AppleTV, since you can stream. Apple needs to seriously drop the price. Offer a smaller hard drive if needed. Get it to $99-149 (if $149, then 1080p playback).

Otherwise, it'll be a niche product.

The PS3, for example, is $299. It includes a 120 GB hard drive, and plays Blu-ray, in addition to having the AppleTV's streaming capabilities and wider format support.

The XBox 360 is $249, and lacks a hard drive, but matches the streaming capabilities and has a huge gaming library.

Right now, the AppleTV's price point competes against the Playstation 3. And the Playstation 3 obliterates it, matching every feature and also including Blu-ray, 1080p playback, gaming, and in the next update, 3D movie playback.

I bought a PS3 over an AppleTV for streaming, with no regrets.

I would like to see 1080p playback (and content). The hard drive is not a huge deal. I could see a unit with no hard disk at all. A bit like Airtunes for TV (Perhaps exactly like that). A small $99 device I can put on a couple of TVs for a nice interface to a library that is already in place.

vastoholic
Apr 21, 2010, 03:33 AM
...

alehel
Apr 21, 2010, 03:40 AM
At least they aknowledge its existance. I guess that's a good thing.

It works great for what I need it to do, but needs vary greatly, and the Apple TV isn't suited for a lot of needs.

JonathanU
Apr 21, 2010, 04:30 AM
how are you streaming it?

+1. Surely you have to leave your laptop on, or could you stream from External HDD's connected to an AEBS?

dernhelm
Apr 21, 2010, 06:58 AM
+1. Surely you have to leave your laptop on, or could you stream from External HDD's connected to an AEBS?

You can stream from an external NAS that supports DNLA streaming, or if you have a PC or Mac always on and the right software installed you can stream from there.

It isn't that uncommon to have a system that you rarely if ever turn off. Most people I know have one.

NightStorm
Apr 21, 2010, 07:56 AM
What's amazing to me is that unit sales are still increasing even though the current platform is three years old now. While Apple may consider this product to still be a "hobby", its likely one of the best selling standalone media extenders (i.e. not including gaming consoles, Tivo, etc). Cook's comment that they will continue to invest in the space is good news to all of us who would like to see the AppleTV continue to grow.

JonathanU
Apr 21, 2010, 08:23 AM
You can stream from an external NAS that supports DNLA streaming, or if you have a PC or Mac always on and the right software installed you can stream from there.

It isn't that uncommon to have a system that you rarely if ever turn off. Most people I know have one.

That's good to know. Presumably it would need to be a dedicated NAS - I couldn't just install some freeware on the HDD's attached to an AEBS I mentioned earlier?

So basically the choice is:

1. playstation streaming from NAS/ Ex HDD's (if poss)
2. Apple TV streaming from NAS/ Mac or playing content synced from these
3. Other.

Since I'm unlikely to be downloading much from the iTunes store, but rather ripping my DVD's to the Hard Drive, I guess it comes down to interface. How the the PS3 interface for managing large media collections? the ATV one looked pretty nice when I saw it...

Steve247
Apr 21, 2010, 09:43 AM
My Apple TV connected to my 52" Sony LCD, streaming content from my Buffalo NAS. The Buffalo NAS even has a built in bittorrent client.

JonathanU
Apr 21, 2010, 10:27 AM
My Apple TV connected to my 52" Sony LCD, streaming content from my Buffalo NAS. The Buffalo NAS even has a built in bittorrent client.

Sounds good, but how are you backing up your Buffalo NAS?

1. Can you designate the Buffalo as a destination drive for Time machine
2. How do you then backup the NAS (offsite through Memeo? or through an external HDD you take offsite, or don't you bother?)
3. Is that wireless streaming to the ATV from your NAS connected to a hub by ethernet or some other way?

Cheers!!

ceraz
Apr 21, 2010, 02:33 PM
I'm an ATV fan because it's the most simple media hub device that all family members can use.

But Apple is really losing out where it excelled: meeting consumer needs and making life simple.

HD is in the consumer market with incredible camcorders but Apple HD editing is poor, exporting proper HD footage is not straightforward ....

Within the Apple "eco-system" I want: AVCHD footage > 1 simple HD editing program > sync ATV for TV display.

For the price of ATV you can find incredible new Blu-ray players with outstanding streaming/codec features, DLNA etc. (even more than patched ATVs).

Apple hurry up, it's becoming ridiculous. Bring out the HD ATV so I can stay with my Mac!

fpnc
Apr 21, 2010, 04:21 PM
AppleTV is simply much too expensive for what it offers right now. There are far cheaper alternatives on the market, and it's about the same price as an iPod with the same capacity...
Okay, name one other device that includes at least a 160GB hard drive and built-in networking with 802.11N wireless that is "far cheaper" than the Apple TV $229 (U.S.).

Here's one example (Amazon prices):

Western Digital TV Live: $119
Western Digital My Passport Essential 160GB hard drive: $80 (larger capacities can be had for similar costs)
Cheap, no-name 802.11N USB-based wireless adapter: $13 (name-brand units are two to three times as expensive)
-----------------------
Total: $212

Thus, I wouldn't call this $17 difference "far cheaper." Besides that, comparing the Western Digital TV Live GUI to the Apple TV is kind of like comparing DOS to Mac OS X (I own both a WD TV Live and an Apple TV). I also have a Playstation 3 (largely for its Blu-ray player) and while in some respects the GUI on the Playstation is superior to the WD TV Live I'd still rate the overall media playback experience on the Apple TV as better than on either of those two devices.

People keep on trotting out the Playstation 3 and XBox but while those are good deals for the consumer they don't make much sense for Apple from a business perspective. I mean, Apple isn't going to invest billion of dollars just to make the Apple TV a loss leader (as has been the case with Sony for the Playstation and Microsoft for the XBox).

In any case, yes, the Apple TV is overdue for a hardware update (I'm not trying to argue that it is now perfect). But, the whole marketplace for media players is a pretty complex. There is the issue of the content providers (movie and TV studios) who are still dragging their feet in an attempt to prop up their traditional distribution systems. Then there are the bandwidth limitation on the internet, too many people are still on connections that run no faster than a few megabits per second (not really fast enough for HD streaming), and even if speeds were higher I doubt that the current infrastructure could carry the load that would result from widespread use of HD video streaming.

Then there is the issue of cost, I think $200 is about the "sweet spot" for a device like the Apple TV (it would be nice if it could be cheaper, but it couldn't be much more expensive than that). I've posted before that I don't think we will see a hardware update until Apple can design an improved unit that has higher profit margins than the current Apple TV. We should be getting close to that point (or even at or somewhat beyond it), and I'm hoping that we'll see new hardware before the end of this year.

dynaflash
Apr 21, 2010, 06:29 PM
Well said. Like the old saying " it is what it is " but this bs about how "it's overpriced for what it has to offer " is patently b.s. imho. As far as connectivity and outputs to an hd tv it has no equal anywhere near its price point afaik.

Due for a hardware upgrade ? Most obviously yes. But a rip off for what it is advertised to do (albeit little to no advertising to speak of) I would say that is ridiculous. It does what it is said to do .. and in some cases a bit more.

The mere fact that apple is (apparently according to Tim Cook) not abandoning the platform is good news anyway you cut it. I remember just pre atv 3.0 a long thread bemoaning its abandonment. There is no money in trying to predict what apple will do. That has been proven time and time again. This playing field is still developing on many fronts imho. While being a dedicated atv user its frustrating not to see hardware advancements I can respect the fact that the requirements for the device have yet to be defined. In this case I believe patience to be a virtue.

Otoh just my $0.02. :)

Steve247
Apr 23, 2010, 05:57 AM
Sounds good, but how are you backing up your Buffalo NAS?

1. Can you designate the Buffalo as a destination drive for Time machine
2. How do you then backup the NAS (offsite through Memeo? or through an external HDD you take offsite, or don't you bother?)
3. Is that wireless streaming to the ATV from your NAS connected to a hub by ethernet or some other way?

Cheers!!

1. According to the specs the Buffalo Nas can be used with Time Machine. I don't and instead use the software supplied with the Nas. It's called Memeo, more info here: http://www.memeo.com.

2. The Nas is my backup, my photos are also backed up on another drive, and online with a flickr pro account ($20/year).

3. My setup is all wired. Wireless works, but wired works better.

Steve

PS

I first had a Time Capsule and ebayed it, then a LaCie Nas and Craig's Listed it, and now have the Buffalo Nas which I love!

GermanSuplex
Apr 23, 2010, 08:24 AM
I really do love my Apple TV. I find myself watching my iTunes content more than my digital cable. The quality of the HD offerings is great (sure, not as good as Blu-Ray, but the tradeoff is in quality is negated by not having to change discs, smaller load times, etc). The upscaler is really nice, making my DVD mp4 encodes look great.

Ever since I got my Apple TV, iTunes has become my focus of storing my video and audio content... I am in the process of ripping all of my DVD's to mp4.

I've been content with software updates, if they update the hardware, great, if not, I'm still content with what I've got.

Flynnstone
Apr 23, 2010, 09:31 AM
I think AppleTV is part of a bigger picture.
Otherwise it would have died long ago.

Its not about the hardware its about the media.

iPods, Apple makes money on them AND the media. Its mostly music, but also video.
iPad is a foray into more video.
AppleTV is even more into video.

I suspect Apple is taking on the task of changing how we get media (video), music is well on its way.
Apple is going for the cable/satellite sort of , ...
250+ channels & nothing on!

trip1ex
Apr 23, 2010, 01:37 PM
Get an ATV along with a Tivo and antenna.

You get some sports on network tv as well as some news and you get the network tv shows with Tivo and a small monthly fee. (Tivo of course lets you get it "on-demand.")

ATV lets you purchase most of the cable shows you would otherwise miss and is the better device for music playing, photos, streaming video from the computer, youtube, ...

Only thing really missing is cable sports. Might be able to do get some of that from the 'net with a paid pass from the sport of your choice. But would have to watch them on the 'puter.

Tilpots
Apr 23, 2010, 01:43 PM
Get an ATV along with a Tivo and antenna.

A Mac Mini with Plex and EyeTV is the cheaper option and it's way more useful. No subscription fee except the $20 a year TV Guide Listings fee with Elgato.

Only thing really missing is cable sports. Might be able to do get some of that from the 'net with a paid pass from the sport of your choice.

ESPN 3 is an excellent way of getting a lot of sports on the internet. You do need to have an internet provider that partners with ESPN or at least the password of someone who does. TWC is my provider and they are not partners, but when I called ESPN to ask about it, they told me to use a friends password. I did and it's awesome! Lots of other sports are available thru other websites, too. I've use JustinTV quite a bit for these NHL playoffs.

Revels
Apr 23, 2010, 01:55 PM
An AppleTv with an iTunes subscription service like Netflix and it would sell like hot cakes.

mprofit
Apr 23, 2010, 02:28 PM
I've been wishing for a new Apple TV for quite some time now. With the release (and success) of the iPad, I think Apple is in prime position to upgrade their Apple TV hardware and market it just as they did the iPad.

I see a lot of similarities between the current Apple TV and what people thought the "Apple Tablet" would be before it became the iPad. The Tablet was labeled a "niche" device that would fail to appeal to the masses much like the Apple TV did. Instead Apple has sold nearly a million iPads and continues to market it as a "content-driven" device, focusing on what it does better rather than what it lacks with regard to its competitors. The formula has worked, and it should be expanded further (much like the iPad was expanded from the iPod Touch) to where it can create a true living room device.

Part of me thinks Apple was waiting to see how the iPad sold in order to gauge how well a "bigger" version of their App Store would fare with customers. Now that it is succeeding, it may be time for Apple to reconsider Apple TV, a device that when upgraded and connected to the App Store would be a home run.

mprofit
Apr 23, 2010, 02:33 PM
Only thing really missing is cable sports. Might be able to do get some of that from the 'net with a paid pass from the sport of your choice. But would have to watch them on the 'puter.

The MLB At Bat App from the App Store would fill a void here perfectly. An MLB.tv subscriber who bought MLB At Bat would be able to watch live baseball games of their choosing with an Apple TV. Assuming the next Apple TV has App Store connectivity, of course.

trip1ex
Apr 23, 2010, 03:40 PM
A Mac Mini with Plex and EyeTV is the cheaper option and it's way more useful. No subscription fee except the $20 a year TV Guide Listings fee with Elgato.



Not that much cheaper. Tivo is $700 w/lifetime max. ATV is $230. Mini is $600. EyeTV is $100ish at least. $150 maybe. plus your $20/yr for the guide. And that's for 1 tuner. There's 2 on the Tivo. NOt to mention with a Mini you're going to need an adapter or two to get the signal to your TV. Another $50 or so for adapter(s.)

More useful? Depends on your usage. ATV and Tivo are much slicker and more elegant than anything you're going to be putting on the Mini. YOu don't have to make those 2 devices a hobby like you do with a Mini and eye tv etc. ATV and Tivo have best in class 10 ft interfaces. You're giving that up with the Mini setup.

Also you could put the ATV in one room and the Tivo in another if you wanted to. That gives you some flexibility one Mini can't give you. Plus you can stream media to your Tivo although that part isn't in the same league as the ATV. And you can send Tivo shows to the 'puter for encoding and playback on the ATV if needed although not ideal and certainly not to be looked as a primary function.

Obviously with a Mini it's a black box of sorts. I mean you can send any internet video to your TV if you want. It has that sort of flexibility. But that doesn't meant all these experiences are otherwise equal to the ones on a Tivo or ATV. Quality of that content is going to be lesser. So is the 10' interface.

GFLPraxis
Apr 23, 2010, 04:29 PM
how are you streaming it?

PS3 Media Server. It's free, works with all UPnP clients, and will transcode unusual formats (like MKV, DivX AVI, Ogg) to MPEG-4 while streaming to recognized clients (like the PS3 or XBox 360).

RedTomato
Apr 23, 2010, 05:28 PM
I see some of you are streaming to ATV from a NAS or other device. What do you think of electricity bills?

I set up a home streaming system some years ago, but as I work, I felt it hard to justify having a home server on 24/7, sitting unused while I was alseep or at work.

I tried turning it off, but it was just too much hassle to turn TV on, turn frontend (ATV or Xbox) on, and turn backend on just to watch something.

Sleep didn't seem to be handled very well - I think the frontend was unable to wake the streaming server. Another issue was if the server had powered down the HDs, it took a while to spin them up and get everything up and working.

I ended up dismantling the system and using it for other things.

If you have a server / NAS and an ATV, what's your personal usage - do you leave one or both on all the time? Is your NAS able to spin down its HD? Does it take a while for everything to wake up?

Tilpots
Apr 23, 2010, 06:50 PM
Not that much cheaper. Tivo is $700 w/lifetime max. ATV is $230. Mini is $600. EyeTV is $100ish at least. $150 maybe. plus your $20/yr for the guide. And that's for 1 tuner. There's 2 on the Tivo. NOt to mention with a Mini you're going to need an adapter or two to get the signal to your TV. Another $50 or so for adapter(s.)

So you agree then that $930 for the ATV Tivo combo is > than the $750 for the Mine EyeTV combo. And the total cost for a DVI->HDMI and an audio cable was about $10-$15 dollars. The $20 Guide fee for a year of service is extremely cheap, too.

More useful? Depends on your usage. ATV and Tivo are much slicker and more elegant than anything you're going to be putting on the Mini. YOu don't have to make those 2 devices a hobby like you do with a Mini and eye tv etc. ATV and Tivo have best in class 10 ft interfaces. You're giving that up with the Mini setup.

It's definetly more useful. It's a full blown computer. Your setup needs a computer to run it also, and that's not factored in to the above costs. Tivo and AppleTV's interface are very nice, but Elgato's provided me with a great wife friendly solution, I still use Frontrow, and Plex's interface is awesome!


Also you could put the ATV in one room and the Tivo in another if you wanted to. That gives you some flexibility one Mini can't give you. Plus you can stream media to your Tivo although that part isn't in the same league as the ATV. And you can send Tivo shows to the 'puter for encoding and playback on the ATV if needed although not ideal and certainly not to be looked as a primary function.

You're right here, the Mini is a one room solution.



Obviously with a Mini it's a black box of sorts. I mean you can send any internet video to your TV if you want. It has that sort of flexibility. But that doesn't meant all these experiences are otherwise equal to the ones on a Tivo or ATV. Quality of that content is going to be lesser. So is the 10' interface.

The internet video is where this really shines. Since I've canceled cable, I haven't missed one show that I used to pay $100 a month for. ESPN, Comedy Central, HGTV, Food Network, and Hulu have got me covered, all for free. You're also right about the lesser quality, but I'm amazed at how good it actually is. I've really been pleasantly surprised.


Different folks have different needs. I wanted the ATV to get a serious upgrade, but I got tired of waiting. I'm very pleased with the Mini HTPC route and reccommned it for those looking for more than the ATV can provide.

michaelgbarrett
Apr 23, 2010, 10:40 PM
The only thing that is holding back the Apple TV is that it is a small fish in a very large pond. For many consumers it doesn't completely replace cable or satellite so it is just another content delivery method. I can get what I want to watch from Netflix for $10.99 a month. That price gives me one Blu-ray at a time and unlimited instant viewing which I can use on my Wii, iMac or iPad. I feel I can get more bang for my buck using Netflix. I would still have cable no matter what because I want local news and live TV.

I don't see how the Apple TV is a better value. If I watch about 4 or 5 Blu-ray movies a month and watch several instant Netflix movies and TV shows I get a lot more for my money with Netflix. It would get very expensive to buy and rent all of that content on an Apple TV.

Completely agree. I haven't even plugged the AppleTV in since I signed up with Netflix. Apple TV was cool 3.5 years ago but nothing has changed and it's pretty outdated. Needs a internet browser, screen share ability, Netflix-like service, DVD/BluRay ingestor (where it can rip and store movies from a disc to the internal hard drive like iTunes does from CDs), social networking and iChat capabilities. It does have potential but a bit disappointed that Apple has let it slip this far behind.

fpnc
Apr 24, 2010, 03:34 AM
Completely agree. I haven't even plugged the AppleTV in since I signed up with Netflix. Apple TV was cool 3.5 years ago but nothing has changed and it's pretty outdated. Needs a internet browser, screen share ability, Netflix-like service, DVD/BluRay ingestor (where it can rip and store movies from a disc to the internal hard drive like iTunes does from CDs), social networking and iChat capabilities. It does have potential but a bit disappointed that Apple has let it slip this far behind.
There are problems with just about everything you mention.

Internet browser? Not without a 10-foot GUI and that's not likely to please many people (zooming in and out will get old pretty fast).

Screen share ability? Over wireless -- not useful for anything other than text and simple 2D graphics.

Netflix-like service? Yes, that would be fine except I'm sure that the content providers are really going slow on this as they don't want Apple to dominate here like they have for music downloads. There have been lots of rumors that Apple is working on some type of subscription service so we may eventually see something like this.

DVD/BluRay ingestor? Not going to happen as that would be illegal in the U.S.

Social networking and iChat capabilities? Okay, there are some possibilities here but you've still got the 10-foot GUI issue and you'd have to add text input via a keyboard or some other method (should they expect everyone to have an iPhone/iPad/iPod touch for wireless, virtual keyboard input?).

The Apple TV should probably remain one thing and one thing only -- a content consumption device. Given that, there are lots of things that Apple could do to make the current unit better. It does need a "tweak" but I'm thinking more along the lines of measurably faster hardware (for a really snappy GUI and for better HD decode support) and larger or more varied storage options. Beyond that, a greater variety of content and lower costs for purchases and rentals on the iTunes Store. Frankly, I think the latter may be the most important factor in determining the long term success or failure of the Apple TV. Unfortunately (for Apple) that factor may be almost completely out of Apple's control (i.e. the content providers aren't really interested in enabling Apple to have yet another hit product).

One other area that Apple may be working on is going to a completely "cloud-based" service. That would eliminate the need for large amounts of storage at the consumption end and make it easier to share content between devices (buy or rent it once or upload your own content and it becomes available to all of your iTunes-compatible devices via streaming over the internet). Of course, the infrastructure for such a system may not really be here yet but I suspect that once we have relatively cheap and truly high-speed broadband everywhere this will be the method by which devices like the Apple TV and iPhone/iPod/iPad will operate.

kultschar
Apr 24, 2010, 05:16 AM
Have had ATV for a while.

My plan was to setup a NAS however I believe unless you hack the ATV (did this once but didnt like the look of the other 3rd party media players) then your restricted to keep streaming from iTunes. i.e. computer always on and external storage always on.

With Hard Drives getting bigger i.e. 2TB in the 27 iMacs then all my media can be held on the computer - the whole leaving computer on idea doesnt seem too bad as I guess it can sleep (save power) and be woken by ATV on demand.

I think ATV had huge potential (still does) but could have been something huge from the start. I guess the iPhone thing has reduced development time with the ATV.

Glad to hear sales are up!! I recently tried a HD series from iTunes (normally only use to watch my ripped dvds) and it was very good on my 52" TVand satisified me quality wise, not as good as Blu ray obviously but blew DVD quality away.

trip1ex
Apr 24, 2010, 09:47 AM
So you agree then that $930 for the ATV Tivo combo is > than the $750 for the Mine EyeTV combo. And the total cost for a DVI->HDMI and an audio cable was about $10-$15 dollars. The $20 Guide fee for a year of service is extremely cheap, too.

So after 3 years you're looking at $750 plus $60 for the guide fees and $20 for the cables or a total of $830 after 3 years compared to $930 for the ATV/Tivo setup. That's $100 difference.

Add in a remote that works with the Mini setup. Not sure any remote will do. The cost could be $20 or $50 or more. Not sure.

But in the end price isn't an advantage for the Mini setup. If you add a second tuner it certainly isn't.


It's definetly more useful. It's a full blown computer. Your setup needs a computer to run it also, and that's not factored in to the above costs. Tivo and AppleTV's interface are very nice, but Elgato's provided me with a great wife friendly solution, I still use Frontrow, and Plex's interface is awesome!

You're right here, the Mini is a one room solution.

Well seeing as how everyone has a computer I'm not including the cost of a computer in the ATV/Tivo setup. I mean otherwise you have to factor in the hassles of using your Mini to surf and listen to music and type up papers on it while its also recording tv shows and playing back a show for your wife. :)

Also one can use an ATV and Tivo without a computer btw.

The interface? I think even you will admit ATV's and Tivo's interfaces are best in class.

Also saying it is definitely more useful and then saying a Mini is only a one-room solution cancels out the "definitely more" part.

Ease of use and plug and play and slickness of interface are useful. Mini is a hobby in comparison. Not as useful.



The internet video is where this really shines. Since I've canceled cable, I haven't missed one show that I used to pay $100 a month for. ESPN, Comedy Central, HGTV, Food Network, and Hulu have got me covered, all for free. You're also right about the lesser quality, but I'm amazed at how good it actually is. I've really been pleasantly surprised.

Yeah you get crappy quality though. And the hassles of operating a 1' interface with a 10' interface.


Different folks have different needs. I wanted the ATV to get a serious upgrade, but I got tired of waiting. I'm very pleased with the Mini HTPC route and reccommned it for those looking for more than the ATV can provide.

Well you got the first part right. That's why a Mini isn't definitely more useful than the ATV/Tivo setup.

Some folks want what they have to be a joy to use. Not have "more" only to have the "more" be a hassle to use.

godslabrat
Apr 24, 2010, 06:17 PM
I look at AppleTv, and I see a device that's focused on doing the bare minimum WITH the bare minimum. That's not a flaw in and of itself, but as other companes get more alternatives on the market, AppleTv is definatley losing it's edge. At some point, you're buying it just for the sake of having an apple product.

Funny... The iPods and iPhones get sold on being the one-device-is-all-you-need items that they are... But AppleTV is crippled from being anything beyond an iTunes bridge? Where is the sense in that?

Tilpots
Apr 24, 2010, 08:20 PM
That's why a Mini isn't definitely more useful than the ATV/Tivo setup.

Some folks want what they have to be a joy to use. Not have "more" only to have the "more" be a hassle to use.

So today I watched Sesame Street with my daughter, Skyped with her grandparents, rocked out to the Black Eyed Peas, played a Slideshow in iPhoto of our day at the beach, recorded CSI, checked my email, and am watching Law and Order Live as I type this post, all using my Mini from the couch.

It's a joy to use. Try that with your Tivo and AppleTV combo.:)

trip1ex
Apr 25, 2010, 10:09 AM
So today I watched Sesame Street with my daughter, Skyped with her grandparents, rocked out to the Black Eyed Peas, played a Slideshow in iPhoto of our day at the beach, recorded CSI, checked my email, and am watching Law and Order Live as I type this post, all using my Mini from the couch.

It's a joy to use. Try that with your Tivo and AppleTV combo.:)

Sounds like a great dorm room setup for one person on a budget.

I'd be divorced with that setup. My kids would disown me too.

Plus the reality of that setup is alot more of a hassle than the paper version you have given.

Hey but after my wife divorced me then I'd be using it. ;)

trip1ex
Apr 25, 2010, 10:36 AM
I look at AppleTv, and I see a device that's focused on doing the bare minimum WITH the bare minimum. That's not a flaw in and of itself, but as other companes get more alternatives on the market, AppleTv is definatley losing it's edge. At some point, you're buying it just for the sake of having an apple product.

Funny... The iPods and iPhones get sold on being the one-device-is-all-you-need items that they are... But AppleTV is crippled from being anything beyond an iTunes bridge? Where is the sense in that?

Where are these alternatives you're talking about. AT least I don't see how they beat the ATV at its own game. Sure some offer things the ATV doesn't, but do any best the ATV at what it does? I haven't seen it.


I'm not saying the ATV is the end all, be all, but .....

You have those WD media boxes.
You have Roku.
You have videogame consoles.
You have a Mini.
You have laptops.
You have internet-connected BR players.
You have Tivo.

Where's the alternative that is so much better than the ATV? I don't see it.

I don't see it because everyone has their own needs. All these devices have their place and appeal depending on what you want to do. ATV included.

jumanji
Apr 25, 2010, 10:41 AM
but it needs to be able to stream netflix. i know you could easily consider that an apple competitor but i use them for different things. i buy movies with the apple tv. i even rent movies off and on when i don't feel like waiting. i use netflix to rent and stream.

a dvd player would be nice also. a blu ray would be a bonus but it doesn't sound like apple is going to do that. nonetheless, a dvd player of some kind would be nice.

i'm waiting but if apple keeps putting off the big update, i'm just going to buy a mini instead and use that.

alehel
Apr 25, 2010, 10:56 AM
or apple could try and compete with netflix. if they made such a service, all we would need is a software update. also if it were also possible to register and setup the service without using a computer, you might even get the kind of people who don't otherwise use itunes.

godslabrat
Apr 25, 2010, 10:59 PM
Where are these alternatives you're talking about. AT least I don't see how they beat the ATV at its own game. Sure some offer things the ATV doesn't, but do any best the ATV at what it does? I haven't seen it.


I'm not saying the ATV is the end all, be all, but .....

You have those WD media boxes.
You have Roku.
You have videogame consoles.
You have a Mini.
You have laptops.
You have internet-connected BR players.
You have Tivo.

Where's the alternative that is so much better than the ATV? I don't see it.

I don't see it because everyone has their own needs. All these devices have their place and appeal depending on what you want to do. ATV included.

Point taken, and I agree with you in part-- that the ATV has its niche and it fills it well. I'm not arguing that. But what I'm seeing in the list above is that (aside from the Roku) all of the devices are serving as many functions as they can within the limitations of their specs. AppleTV isn't.

AppleTV (depending on how you look at it) is either deliberately crippled to prevent it from doing anything more than its base function, or it's begging for an upgrade so that it can not only do its current job well, but can start playing ball against other boxes on their own terms. Again, I go back to the iPod analogy-- if the AppleTV can master its current job, why on earth wouldn't you see if it could maybe cram a few more popular functions into it? Again, there was a time when saying the iPod could be used for something other than music was blasphemy... but once the musical capabilities of the iPod were essentially maxed out, the only way to improve it was to add more features.

Steve247
Apr 26, 2010, 08:19 AM
Hello,
FYI many of today's NAS devices can be scheduled to turn on and off at will. With my beloved Buffalo Link Station Pro (I swear I'm not on their payroll) I have it scheduled to turn on M-F from 11:55 till 13:05, in case I want access to it from work, and then again in the evenings. This is similar to how the Mac can be scheduled to start up and shut down.

Steve

RedTomato
Apr 26, 2010, 08:53 AM
Hello,
FYI many of today's NAS devices can be scheduled to turn on and off at will. With my beloved Buffalo Link Station Pro (I swear I'm not on their payroll) I have it scheduled to turn on M-F from 11:55 till 13:05, in case I want access to it from work, and then again in the evenings. This is similar to how the Mac can be scheduled to start up and shut down.

Steve

Thanks for that. I'd forgotten about that capabilty.

trip1ex
Apr 26, 2010, 09:43 AM
In Apple's mind they have the Netflix base covered with their own movie renting service.

It still could happen because they do allow the Netflix app on the iPad, iPhone and Touch, but, the other hand, the ATV is positioned as an iTunes movie renting device.

They could hook it up to its own app store, but what are you going to see there?

Competitors to iTunes and what else......?

Now I'm sure the thought has crossed their mind.

But ... they are probably working on improving their own rental service instead.

adbe
Apr 26, 2010, 12:36 PM
Sounds like a great dorm room setup for one person on a budget.

I'd be divorced with that setup. My kids would disown me too.

Plus the reality of that setup is alot more of a hassle than the paper version you have given.

Hey but after my wife divorced me then I'd be using it. ;)

This.

dynaflash
Apr 26, 2010, 01:24 PM
Point taken, and I agree with you in part-- that the ATV has its niche and it fills it well. I'm not arguing that. But what I'm seeing in the list above is that (aside from the Roku) all of the devices are serving as many functions as they can within the limitations of their specs. AppleTV isn't.

AppleTV (depending on how you look at it) is either deliberately crippled to prevent it from doing anything more than its base function, or it's begging for an upgrade so that it can not only do its current job well, but can start playing ball against other boxes on their own terms. Again, I go back to the iPod analogy-- if the AppleTV can master its current job, why on earth wouldn't you see if it could maybe cram a few more popular functions into it? Again, there was a time when saying the iPod could be used for something other than music was blasphemy... but once the musical capabilities of the iPod were essentially maxed out, the only way to improve it was to add more features.

I would agree ... but submit that the atv is not there yet for whatever reason .... some of which is probably legitimately "defining the space" the rest of which is likely " brighter ... shinier objects taking valuable developer resources etc.".

I do also believe in the age old axiom "Jack of all trades .... master of none". Right now within its rather narrow band of input capabilities (obviously be design) I would argue that the atv is (even in its rather crusty hardware incarnation) in fact the master of all other devices. For what thats worth. As always just my .02.

Nitromaster
May 2, 2010, 01:42 PM
Wirelessly posted (Nokia N70-3 Ireland-Opera: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7A341 Safari/528.16)

All they have to do is:
Update interface and/or some way to install Plex.
Larger Hard drive
App store - games, media plugins, etc.
USB support, and for app store apps.
DVR function or USB Eyetv + software possibly would do it?
And bang...apples got the market sorted.

MrMister111
May 2, 2010, 04:44 PM
Hello,
FYI many of today's NAS devices can be scheduled to turn on and off at will. With my beloved Buffalo Link Station Pro (I swear I'm not on their payroll) I have it scheduled to turn on M-F from 11:55 till 13:05, in case I want access to it from work, and then again in the evenings. This is similar to how the Mac can be scheduled to start up and shut down.

Steve
That might be handy for me, I have a Linkstation Live 1Tb, can i do this?

I was wanting my NAS to be "Asleep" and only woken when needed. Not sure if I can with a Apple TV (with ATVFlash), or my iPhone, so this may be a compromise?

cheers