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ipedro
May 25, 2010, 06:09 AM
With the almost absolute certainty (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=920559) that AppleTV will be taken seriously by Apple now that Google has so publicly entered the TV space thumbing its nose at Steve Jobs, those of us with original AppleTVs find ourselves in a bitter sweet situation:

AppleTV is about to be taken to the next level and finally get its day in the spotlight that fans have long been awaiting. At the same time, new hardware, intended to run more sophisticated software, 1080P decoding and streaming from an iTunes cloud will likely leave the original AppleTV unsupported.

What will you do with your AppleTV when a hardware upgrade arrives?



ipedro
May 25, 2010, 06:28 AM
I've been giving this some thought and I think I will hack mine to run OSX and become exclusively the central iTunes server in my home.

Unless Apple releases a better solution (iTunes cloud), my main computer, a MacBook Pro isn't the best solution for a large video library.

I'll likely install:

- OSX Leopard
- iTunes
- EyeTV

I'm thinking about framing an old monitor and putting the AppleTV on the back and hanging the whole apparatus. When I'm not navigating the computer, it'll be a digital picture frame.

miles01110
May 25, 2010, 06:32 AM
Google's offering doesn't look much better than the ATV. Sounds like what your planning on doing is turning a waste of money into an even bigger waste of money, honestly.

keeper
May 25, 2010, 06:38 AM
I don't think Apple will provide any new hardware.
They can't compete or deliver bluray quality.

GroundLoop
May 25, 2010, 06:41 AM
I will demote mine to the small bedroom TV and put the new one in the home theater.

Simple.

Hickman

ipedro
May 25, 2010, 06:48 AM
Google's offering doesn't look much better than the ATV. Sounds like what your planning on doing is turning a waste of money into an even bigger waste of money, honestly.

My AppleTV was the absolute opposite of a waste of money. I converted my $100 p/month HD cable subscription into an occasional purchase of an iTunes card every few months. I've been cable free for 3 years.

The AppleTV has become so much a part of my TV viewing habits that I'll be first in line to get the next version.

I don't watch TV in my bedroom and my living room TV is large and close enough to be viewed from the kitchen and dining room so I don't need a second AppleTV.

What I do need is an iTunes server because my MBP can no longer effectively handle my growing video library. The alternative -- buying a Mac Mini -- would involve spending a considerable amount of money to get the job done. Instead, I'm repurposing a device that has paid itself many many times over. How is this a waste of money? That's rhetorical: It's not.

mattr 76
May 25, 2010, 08:03 AM
Stick it in the bedroom and buy a new one, or if its that good I like the idea of an itunes server hack and buying 2+ new ones.

munkees
May 25, 2010, 09:43 AM
I don't think Apple will provide any new hardware.
They can't compete or deliver bluray quality.

they could put in new hardware that does 1080p and allow apps, this would allow people like netflix, VUDU (1080p online) and others to produce players.

the device would be awesome.

forget bluray, having physical medium is a think of the past, the future is coming from a cloud.

munkees
May 25, 2010, 09:50 AM
My AppleTV was the absolute opposite of a waste of money. I converted my $100 p/month HD cable subscription into an occasional purchase of an iTunes card every few months. I've been cable free for 3 years.

The AppleTV has become so much a part of my TV viewing habits that I'll be first in line to get the next version.

I don't watch TV in my bedroom and my living room TV is large and close enough to be viewed from the kitchen and dining room so I don't need a second AppleTV.

What I do need is an iTunes server because my MBP can no longer effectively handle my growing video library. The alternative -- buying a Mac Mini -- would involve spending a considerable amount of money to get the job done. Instead, I'm repurposing a device that has paid itself many many times over. How is this a waste of money? That's rhetorical: It's not.

that is what I did, I have an old iMac (Core Duo), that I changed it process (Core 2 Duo) and put in a 1.5TB drive, with a 2TB external backup. It only runs iTunes, has all the content for the whole house, so all the desktops and :apple:TV's can see it (:apple:TV's are on their own 802.11n wireless network, iMac connects to the router view 10base1000T ethernet).

accept I put up a HDTV antenna outside, and run the feed though the cable wire, to my downstairs TV, so I get all the local, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX etc etc.

ipedro
May 25, 2010, 10:11 AM
^ Me too munkees.

For a while, my AppleTV was the exclusive provider of content for my TV. I was happy buying only the episodes of shows that I watched and renting movies (together, less than $100 every few months) plus I'd view a bunch of podcasts regularly but I was missing out on live TV for local news.

I built a UHF antenna that I disguised as a magazine rack hanging on the wall. I pick up all the US networks (even though I'm in Canada) in beautiful HD. The only cable channel I miss is CNN but I get my fix with Anderson Cooper and Larry King Podcasts.

As for building an iTunes server, those of you who've done it, what OS did you install and is there a way to do it without opening the box? Can I jailbreak the AppleTV and then SSH into it to run the OSX installer?

espanta
May 25, 2010, 03:30 PM
I'd love to see new hardware but don't think they want to overshadow a new iPhone model (I know they released the aTV with the first iPhone) and I think we'll have to wait for the September iTunes event...

Hope I am wrong:confused:

ipedro
May 25, 2010, 03:53 PM
I think that the next revision of AppleTV might depend on iPhone OS 4.0 so it would need to be announced at or before WWDC.

As I discussed in the "AppleTV: no longer a hobby" (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=920559) thread, Apple's best shot at upstaging GoogleTV is in leveraging the huge built in base of iPhones, iPods and iPads that can push apps and content to the new AppleTV.

The first opportunity to announce AppleTV 2 to the masses would be at All Things Digital on June 1st where Jobs is scheduled to make an appearance. With the hardware and feature set announced on June 1, a week later at WWDC, the developer side of things could be discussed.

Regardless of when it's announced, Apple simply can't afford to do nothing because GoogleTV will be launching in October. From the attention it received at the I/O conference and the importance it has in monetizing YouTube (i.e. rentals, ad supported video), it seems that Google has a big stake in gTV and will go for the kill if Apple just sits on their hands like they've been pretty much doing for the past 3 years. A new AppleTV (or at the least a major revision of the OS) between now and October is a given.

VTMac
May 25, 2010, 05:56 PM
Regardless of when it's announced, Apple simply can't afford to do nothing because GoogleTV will be launching in October. From the attention it received at the I/O conference and the importance it has in monetizing YouTube (i.e. rentals, ad supported video), it seems that Google has a big stake in gTV and will go for the kill if Apple just sits on their hands like they've been pretty much doing for the past 3 years. A new AppleTV (or at the least a major revision of the OS) between now and October is a given.

Apple only enters businesses where it can be profitable with margins approaching 50% on the hardware side of things. This is what Apple means when they say it's a "hobby". It's not a real business because neither volume nor margins exists to make it a real business. At $250, Apple isn't making close to those 50% margins. Nor would they with new AppleTV hardware that could do bluray / 1080p / solid state storage / whatever else has been thrown out there -- at least not if they were to price it in the $250 range. Because of the mess that licensing rights are for all forms of Video, it virtually impossible for anybody (including the networks) to make (significant) money on selling video online.

Until these things are resolved, ATV will remain a hobby and Apple won't care what google or anybody is else doing. The fact is, Apple has a history of letting others do it first, and then coming behind them and doing it so much better that it doesn't matter that they were late. (See iPhone - palm / windows mobile for example #1.) So I don't think they ever really feel much pressure. The biggest surprise about ATV at all is the Jobs let it out when it clearly wasn't ready to meet his own definition of a business.

As for GTV, ignoring what Apple may or may not do, I think it's a fatally flawed product from the start. Not surprisingly, the search company thinks the biggest problem with TV today is you can't easily find and schedule stuff. Search to the rescue!! (They have a hammer and everything looks like a nail...) That is a woefully flawed starting point and perspective, IMO. Consequently I believe it's doomed to be nothing more than a niche product, just like ATV.

Fundamentally the biggest issues for any ATV / GTV like products are the arcane licensing and outsized profits relative to value provided that todays' content producers receive. Until that structural issue is resolved the best technology in the world won't matter much.

ipedro
May 25, 2010, 06:31 PM
Good analysis but there are other ways for Apple to make money other than selling AppleTVs and that is through turning AppleTV into an incentive to sell more iPads, iPhones and iPods.

If AppleTV becomes a conduit to push media content and apps from mobile devices to living room TVs, AppleTV then becomes a strategic piece in an arena that Apple can't sit down and watch Google dominate.

Apple hasn't been entirely successful in convincing content owners to play the game by their rules which in turn hasn't allowed AppleTV to take off as Jobs would like it to. Flipping things around, if Steve Jobs can build an installed base of AppleTVs so big that content owners can't ignore, then they'll fall in line with his previous requests. The way to sell more AppleTVs is to make it an accessory for the millions of Apple mobile devices already in users' hands.

kiranmk2
May 25, 2010, 06:55 PM
I've said it before and I'll say it again - users need to be gently introduced to new ideas.

When the iPod launched, there was no iTunes music store. Apple encouraged people to rip their CDs and start carrying around their whole collections. Then 3 or so years later, people were used to that and thought "this is really convenient - why not just buy music this way?" and the iTMS took off.

With the AppleTV, Apple can't really promote ripping of DVDs as:
(i) It's illegal in most countries (in the US it's illegal to break DRM, and it's illegal in the UK, but the government turn a blind eye so long as it's a personal backup)
(ii) It takes ages to reencode films on all but the fastest computers

All of us know the potential of the AppleTV as a home media server, but unless it's something Apple can slap a friendly gui on and market to everyone it's not going to go mainstream.

Ironically, BluRays have a Managed Copy in their spec which is supposed to allow ripping a full resolution copy for media services (this is authorised online and the file retains DRM), but Apple don't even support BluRay!

http://www.engadget.com/2009/06/12/blu-ray-gets-managed-copy-next-year-requries-new-hardware/