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BlizzardBomb
May 28, 2010, 09:32 AM
Linky. (http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/28/the-next-apple-tv-revealed-cloud-storage-and-iphone-os-on-tap/)

So 16 GBs of storage and iPhone OS and hardware on-board. It's been a while since I've been this excited about a (rumored) Apple product!



GoCubsGo
May 28, 2010, 09:34 AM
Wow this looks quite interesting. It almost looks like an iPhone from the front page shot they have.

ChazUK
May 28, 2010, 09:35 AM
Wow this looks quite interesting. It almost looks like an iPhone from the front page shot they have.

I think it's a mock up as no one as seen it yet.

I'm loving the idea tho. Very good news! :D (if true)

Felder71
May 28, 2010, 09:37 AM
I really hope we don't lose the streaming from iTunes functionality. I don't mind no on-board storage, but I need to be able to get stuff from my Mac down to my TV and have no interest in trying to put all my ripped movies on the cloud with my sad DSL connection.

Otherwise, sounds awesome.

DanBUK
May 28, 2010, 09:40 AM
Just saw this on Engadget. Hell of a scoop for Josh Topolsky.

From a hobby to a weapon of war. At $100 dollars this could be really big.

A much more achievable strategy than trying to tie in deals with US and international cable companies or have another big unwieldly box (a la google).

Just when we thought next week had no surprises...

smiddlehurst
May 28, 2010, 09:48 AM
This is something that makes a lot of sense to me and seems to be a logical development for Apple. iTunes is a massive advantage for Apple and taking it to the cloud would give them such a big selling point in the market it's hard to overstate just how big a jump forward it would be. Your entire content library, available on-demand to any iTunes-aware device with an internet connection with Genius working alongside for new media based on purchasing habbits? Not to mention having the ability to store it all locally if you wanted to? I really don't see how Google or even Microsoft could step up and match that right now, they just don't have the service or relationships or brand name (or combination thereof) that Apple do. Add on a subscription service (which, again, would make a great deal of sense if Apple are moving iTunes to a full cloud solution) and you've got a real monster ready to go.

The problem, of course, is not just the technical side but the content providers. They've been dragging their heels on stuff like this for a while now so it'll be interesting to see what Apple can do to get them to move. If they manage it though this could genuinely be the product that breaks through in the living room of the average consumer, especially if they price point is anything like accurate (plus with that hardware the box could be the size of.... well the size of an iPhone board without the screen or battery, especially if they off-shored the power supply).

I don't think you'll see this for a while though... maybe September at the traditional Apple media event? Would be a HELL of a selling point wouldn't it - iTunes in the cloud, your iPod Touch on wi-fi can access every song, tv show and movie ever created (and available on iTunes) and, oh yes one more thing... here's the same experience for your living room.

EthanNixon
May 28, 2010, 09:50 AM
If this were to support Netflix, I would be all over it. If it doesn't, it won't have any advantage to someone who has an Xbox, PS3, or computer...

dmm219
May 28, 2010, 09:53 AM
here's the problem:

a large majority of the US still has broad band that is too slow to support HD streaming. This is why I have concerns about the "cloud".

Maybe with the 16 GB is will be able to download and nice large buffer before it plays but thats a pretty big inconvenience. With the current, model, you can download everything and store it locally...playing it whenever you want. This model works well even with slow dsl.

Also, here's a biggie...netflix is an app now on the ipad...app for the new atv? They need it...or their rentals need to get a lot cheaper.

brentsg
May 28, 2010, 09:55 AM
It's going to need some external storage that isn't a Time Capsule.

tigres
May 28, 2010, 09:59 AM
I really like this idea.

With :apple:'s new server farm in NC, they are going to be opening up a plethora of products to stream it all.

The problem I see with it is this: MM is still weak at best, and iDisk is spotty as well. They MUST focus on cleaning up the streaming process so we can all enjoy the products to their fullest intent.

Goodbye all DVD drives in lappy's- IMO

Cynicalone
May 28, 2010, 09:59 AM
I don't like the idea of cloud based storage.

Give me local storage of my content and I'm very interested.

iTunes in the cloud is still a long way off. Not enough people have 24/7 access to the internet.

smiddlehurst
May 28, 2010, 10:00 AM
here's the problem:

a large majority of the US still has broad band that is too slow to support HD streaming. This is why I have concerns about the "cloud".

Maybe with the 16 GB is will be able to download and nice large buffer before it plays but thats a pretty big inconvenience. With the current, model, you can download everything and store it locally...playing it whenever you want. This model works well even with slow dsl.

Also, here's a biggie...netflix is an app now on the ipad...app for the new atv? They need it...or their rentals need to get a lot cheaper.

Not a problem at all as the initial market is likely to be the tech savy who don't have connection issues. If it expands over time into the consumer market (which it very well could) then it'll expand in-line with improvements in internet speed. There's something like 25% of the US that has >5Mb broadband right now and that's a VAST market to try and crack.

As for netflix, as I said above what if iTunes came out with a subscription service? Just a thought mind...

smiddlehurst
May 28, 2010, 10:03 AM
I don't like the idea of cloud based storage.

Give me local storage of my content and I'm very interested.

iTunes in the cloud is still a long way off. Not enough people have 24/7 access to the internet.

Sorry but... why do you assume that they'd move iTunes away from the desktop? That infastructure is already in place and is vital to backup and manage iPod, iPhone and iPad devices. If they were going to bring the cloud into iTunes it'd be a case of expanding it. After all right now your iTunes account lives 'in the cloud' to an extent anyway, log on to any iTunes account and you can download purchased content, apps etc (once you've authorised the PC of course). All they're basically doing (sorry for gross technical simplification that's about to happen) is changing from downloading and then playing locally to streaming.

talkingfuture
May 28, 2010, 10:05 AM
Sounds great to me. Put me down for two!

DanBUK
May 28, 2010, 10:08 AM
Would be a HELL of a selling point wouldn't it - iTunes in the cloud, your iPod Touch on wi-fi can access every song, tv show and movie ever created (and available on iTunes) and, oh yes one more thing... here's the same experience for your living room.

Steve is gutted that you just called his September 'one more thing'!

I do also agree that it will be interesting to see how Apple deals with Apps given that the Netflix App would compete head on with this on a TV screen. With seemingly every branch of Apple's business facing antitrust/anticompetitive complaints, can they justify blocking Netflix?

Dont Hurt Me
May 28, 2010, 10:14 AM
If this were to support Netflix, I would be all over it. If it doesn't, it won't have any advantage to someone who has an Xbox, PS3, or computer...True, if its a closed system and knowing apple it will be then your locked into itunes and only itunes. Netflix rules

steviem
May 28, 2010, 10:15 AM
I love this idea and feel that my purchase of a 16GB wifi+3G iPad is more justified than a 32GB wifi only (and 32GB wifi +3G) :D

FSUSem1noles
May 28, 2010, 10:16 AM
While I love the idea of a new Apple TV. I'm hoping this cloud based storage isn't going to replace the streaming function of the Apple TV. I have all my media stored on an external hd that is connected to my computer losing the streaming feature would be a huge blow...

I just don't get a comfortable feeling having to rely on cloud based storage for the Apple TV.

Cynicalone
May 28, 2010, 10:16 AM
Sorry but... why do you assume that they'd move iTunes away from the desktop? That infastructure is already in place and is vital to backup and manage iPod, iPhone and iPad devices. If they were going to bring the cloud into iTunes it'd be a case of expanding it. After all right now your iTunes account lives 'in the cloud' to an extent anyway, log on to any iTunes account and you can download purchased content, apps etc (once you've authorised the PC of course). All they're basically doing (sorry for gross technical simplification that's about to happen) is changing from downloading and then playing locally to streaming.

If they give you the option to d/l or stream then I'm fine with that. Nothing lives in the cloud right now. You download it to your computer and sync it to your iDevices. Your account data is in the cloud but nothing else is.

People who push for streaming must live in some very nice places for internet. Here in Tulsa, Oklahoma I have 25Mbps broadband internet. But less then 30 miles from my house people are still forced to use dial up. Streaming content is still years off for the majority of the country.

iTunes in the cloud as an add on to iTunes is okay. But moving everyone to the cloud as the only option is a terrible idea. Streaming and Subscription models have never worked.

DanBUK
May 28, 2010, 10:16 AM
Thinking about this some more, I can see parallels to Apple's Airport and Airport Express.

People already using ATV will not want to take a step down from 500Gb to 16Gb storage, even with cloud access- what would happen to all their stored and purchased content?

I can see two parallel systems, with the one talked about here, the portable or 'lite' model.

PS MR now has the thread continuing here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=9991880&posted=1#post9991880

smiddlehurst
May 28, 2010, 10:18 AM
Steve is gutted that you just called his September 'one more thing'!

I do also agree that it will be interesting to see how Apple deals with Apps given that the Netflix App would compete head on with this on a TV screen. With seemingly every branch of Apple's business facing antitrust/anticompetitive complaints, can they justify blocking Netflix?

I honestly don't think they'd block it. Why would they after all, they'll still be making a profit on the hardware and we've seen instances (spotify springs to mind) when Apple have been quite happy to let competing services on the app store.

smiddlehurst
May 28, 2010, 10:23 AM
If they give you the option to d/l or stream then I'm fine with that. Nothing lives in the cloud right now. You download it to your computer and sync it to your iDevices. Your account data is in the cloud but nothing else is.

People who push for streaming must live in some very nice places for internet. Here in Tulsa, Oklahoma I have 25Mbps broadband internet. But less then 30 miles from my house people are still forced to use dial up. Streaming content is still years off for the majority of the country.

iTunes in the cloud as an add on to iTunes is okay. But moving everyone to the cloud as the only option is a terrible idea. Streaming and Subscription models have never worked.

Uh, yeah, sorry if I wasn't clear but I was refering to your account info.

As for the rest, it makes ZERO sense for Apple to move away from the desktop model they currently use. It's FAR too much of a shift and has way too many problems associated with it. Anyone that thinks they might do that in the short term hasn't thought things through properly to be frank. And the big barrier to subscription models has tended to be ease of use and choice rather than anything else. If Apple can bring a subscription service to market which a) works on any device with that iTunes account, b) has access to the vast majority of content already available on iTunes and c) has Apple's usual software design ease-of-use then it'll work. Remember it's dropping that service into the iTunes store which is already a well-established product where people are willing to spend money on digital content.

Cave Man
May 28, 2010, 10:29 AM
If it only has a single output (presumably HDMI) then that kills all of us who have optical input on our receivers. No go for me.

rdowns
May 28, 2010, 10:51 AM
If this were to support Netflix, I would be all over it. If it doesn't, it won't have any advantage to someone who has an Xbox, PS3, or computer...


As much as I'd love that, it would make no business sense for Apple to offer that.

reebzor
May 28, 2010, 10:58 AM
As long as I can stream from my nas and Plex makes a port for it, put me down for 3

tommylotto
May 28, 2010, 11:08 AM
The simplicity is attractive, but I think as described it will be way too limiting. Sounds like just a power port and an HDMI port. Where is Ethernet? Where is optical sound? Where is component? Let alone attached USB... 1080p is great but with no wired Ethernet plug it will rely on streaming 1080p content!?! WILL NOT WORK. 16 gig would be enough for buffering, but then you rely on your network connection for all content. Given the randomness of wireless network activity, what happens when the sunspot activity picks up or other unexplainable events interrupt your wireless network?

Make it a glorified Airport Express with just an HDMI port added. That would rock. (I'll sacrifice the component)

AWDBat
May 28, 2010, 11:46 AM
Sounds cool, but....

1) Needs local storage (Time Capsule is okay, but what about hooking up to your in-car entertainment system, or those without Time Capsule). Cloud storage is a bit questionable (call me paranoid) and what about all those DVDs/Blu-rays? Or how about just a lot more internal storage (64-180GB)?
2) QWERTY keyboard (bluetooth or iPhone/iTouch would be fine)
3) Should support all video codecs (yes, I am dreaming here)
4) Will it allow browser based viewing and Flash video (Hulu, etc)?
5) DVR capabilities (now I'm really dreaming!).

EthanNixon
May 28, 2010, 11:47 AM
As much as I'd love that, it would make no business sense for Apple to offer that.

Apple has a way of surprising people. If it runs on the iPhone OS, maybe there will be a Netflix application capable of Hzd streaming.

omegaphil6
May 28, 2010, 12:19 PM
This is NOT happening... sorry.

ChrisRyan
May 28, 2010, 12:49 PM
As much as I hope it does happen as the device is due update, I guess it will be cutting off the existing owners considering how completely different it's going to be? Operating system for one.
So what happens to our Itunes content that we have purchased? They expect us to buy a new device to watch something we already bought?
Maybe they don't care considering how statistically few of us there probably are?

dynaflash
May 28, 2010, 12:54 PM
While this rumor is fun for speculation, I think trying to divine its final form and features from this tidbit is quite premature. I think at most it points to the the fact that *something* is likely coming down the road and its quite possible that all of the naysayers suggesting apple is abandoning the living room might be wrong. But arguing details about anything until apple announces it officially is pretty much a fools game imo. I am reminded of the months of iPad speculation before it was even officially announced.

Bevz
May 28, 2010, 01:26 PM
Love the fact there is a new rumour about ATV; really hope it's true just because i don't want apple to forget about the device.... BUT... I moved to local storage (an external USB drive enabled via a patchstick) to avoid problems with WiFi; the ATV was a bloody nightmare loosing sync with iTunes regularly and driving my partner nuts, which in turn caused me serious grief :(

So, basically... Yes... BUT... PLEASE apple, if you go down this route, make the WiFi streaming STABLE!!

dmm219
May 28, 2010, 01:35 PM
As much as I'd love that, it would make no business sense for Apple to offer that.

True, but netflix is already on the iPad and directly competing with itunes already...its not a huge stretch....

dmm219
May 28, 2010, 01:39 PM
Love the fact there is a new rumour about ATV; really hope it's true just because i don't want apple to forget about the device.... BUT... I moved to local storage (an external USB drive enabled via a patchstick) to avoid problems with WiFi; the ATV was a bloody nightmare loosing sync with iTunes regularly and driving my partner nuts, which in turn caused me serious grief :(

So, basically... Yes... BUT... PLEASE apple, if you go down this route, make the WiFi streaming STABLE!!

same here...i HAVE to sync to the atv's...streaming never works well...itunes always dropping one or both atvs...lots of stuttering. The streaming itself slight improved when i went to an all N 5Gz network, but the range got so bad half the house couldn't see the TC...and extending a 5Ghz N network is WORSE that just sticking with a 2.4network....plus, the older macbooks in the house cannot see the router at all when at 5ghz...(even tho they are N macbooks)...

in short...apple's wifi solutions tend to suck and not work very well. (not really apple's fault wifi technology itself is about as sloppily developed as you can get).

Dan--
May 28, 2010, 02:35 PM
I really hope that this rumor represents only part of the new Apple TV solution.

I had previously said I'd like to see a hard disk version and a streaming only version. I'm ok with this part. But the lack of connections has me worried. What I want the device for first is for music, and I need optical for that. How about ethernet? USB?

They really need to enable on-board or nearby storage, or at the very least - networked storage.

VTMac
May 28, 2010, 03:24 PM
This thread cracks me up. On the one hand, everyone loves the $99 price point. On the other hand, just about everybody is saying "but what about ...."

Guess what, if the $99 price point is correct, and assuming there is only a single model, then you're going to get a small box with 16MB flash, 802.11N, and a single hdmi output.

Actually this sounds exactly like what Apple would do.

<channeling steve>
Component? Forget about that - it's like a floppy drive. Yesterdays technology.

Ethernet? You can't be serious. Wires are so like built in modems.

Larger storage? What planet to do you live on? The cloud is where it's at. Hard drives are like laptops with removable batteries.....
</channeling steve>


Anyway, I find the specs totally believable. And per usual, Apple won't really care that people have these "legacy" items.

Bubbasteve
May 28, 2010, 03:37 PM
Well there's your Apple Game Console

dynaflash
May 28, 2010, 03:48 PM
This thread cracks me up. On the one hand, everyone loves the $99 price point. On the other hand, just about everybody is saying "but what about ...."

Guess what, if the $99 price point is correct, and assuming there is only a single model, then you're going to get a small box with 16MB flash, 802.11N, and a single hdmi output.

Actually this sounds exactly like what Apple would do.

<channeling steve>
Component? Forget about that - it's like a floppy drive. Yesterdays technology.

Ethernet? You can't be serious. Wires are so like built in modems.

Larger storage? What planet to do you live on? The cloud is where it's at. Hard drives are like laptops with removable batteries.....
</channeling steve>


Anyway, I find the specs totally believable. And per usual, Apple won't really care that people have these "legacy" items.

LOL good one. And believable. I am just hoping for some way to connect a large drive .... or hope my set of screwdrivers can pop it open and hack it like the last model. Only time will tell.

tommylotto
May 28, 2010, 04:14 PM
Ethernet? You can't be serious. Wires are so like built in modems.

I agree with your post except for the wired connection. We need the option to have a wired network. Streaming 1080p wirelessly is not going to work.

A dual analog/optical audio output would be nice too. Apple easily could make this device with a wall plug, a mini jack, an Ethernet plug, and an HDMI port in the same size and form factor as the Airport Express. I would pre-order 5 on the day it was announced.

elppa
May 28, 2010, 04:28 PM
I love the way that the MacRumors community has added the need for at least four more ports to a device which has first been rumoured today.

An Apple device could never have enough ports to keep some people happy. And yet amazingly people find a way to cope.

zen.state
May 28, 2010, 05:20 PM
I just need to say that the term "cloud" is silly and used far too much. Words we all use deserve a little more thought behind them.

Dagless
May 28, 2010, 05:32 PM
here's the problem:

a large majority of the US still has broad band that is too slow to support HD streaming. This is why I have concerns about the "cloud".

It's not even the US. My home in the UK can only get 512kbps broadband... money isn't an issue, there just isn't a fast service here. Same with our place in Poland.

Which is a shame because I'd love a really good streaming box for my TV.

trip1ex
May 28, 2010, 06:04 PM
IF it's $99 then you can be sure the device will be subsidized by an itunes cable subscription right?

I mean 16gb iPad with same specs is $499. Only difference being battery and screen.

BlizzardBomb
May 28, 2010, 06:38 PM
It's not even the US. My home in the UK can only get 512kbps broadband... money isn't an issue, there just isn't a fast service here. Same with our place in Poland.

Which is a shame because I'd love a really good streaming box for my TV.

Have you tried mobile broadband? I know there are some murderous caps, but if you don't use it that much, the speed is pretty decent in my experience, even in mediocre reception areas.

IF it's $99 then you can be sure the device will be subsidized by an itunes cable subscription right?

I mean 16gb iPad with same specs is $499. Only difference being battery and screen.

Well the cost to Apple per iPad is around $270. The battery and display alone cost about $120. I imagine that as they wouldn't have to house a massive display in such a unit, casing materials could be about $15 less. Take out the accelerometer, compass and all the other fripperies and Apple could probably hit break-even at a push.

andrew0122
May 28, 2010, 08:32 PM
If this were to support Netflix, I would be all over it. If it doesn't, it won't have any advantage to someone who has an Xbox, PS3, or computer...

Not true it will be able to play Apple Lossless where as the 360 nor the PS3 can do that. . . Which is for me a MAJOR selling point. Oh, and can you search your songs and control a 360 or a PS3 without having to be in front of the TV / Monitor? iPhone and iPod Touch over wifi. There are several advantages.

J&JPolangin
May 28, 2010, 09:40 PM
...this sounds cool unless you live in a place like where I was just TDY for 4.5 months that didn't even have the bandwidth to skype well on...

trip1ex
May 29, 2010, 10:37 AM
Well the cost to Apple per iPad is around $270. The battery and display alone cost about $120. I imagine that as they wouldn't have to house a massive display in such a unit, casing materials could be about $15 less. Take out the accelerometer, compass and all the other fripperies and Apple could probably hit break-even at a push.

Yeah except break even is higher than the material cost which doesn't include design, testing, manufacturing, marketing, support, etc. And Apple likes to make 20% profit on these costs.

Apple wouldn't sell break even or take a loss unless they are going to a new business model and plan on making their money on content through a subscription or something.

MowingDevil
May 29, 2010, 11:46 AM
Yeah except break even is higher than the material cost which doesn't include design, testing, manufacturing, marketing, support, etc. And Apple likes to make 20% profit on these costs.

Apple wouldn't sell break even or take a loss unless they are going to a new business model and plan on making their money on content through a subscription or something.

It very well could be a loss leader, Apple has the billions in reserves to do just that and gamble they can make it up elsewhere like digital content. If this takes off it will stick it to Google a bit plus give them the leverage w/ the film studios that the iPod gave them w/ the record labels.

John Kotches
May 29, 2010, 12:14 PM
As much as I'd love that, it would make no business sense for Apple to offer that.

If they got a cut from netflix it would make business sense... say 10% of netflix rental fees for each ATV rental?

BlizzardBomb
May 29, 2010, 12:41 PM
Yeah except break even is higher than the material cost which doesn't include design, testing, manufacturing, marketing, support, etc. And Apple likes to make 20% profit on these costs.

Apple wouldn't sell break even or take a loss unless they are going to a new business model and plan on making their money on content through a subscription or something.

I included manufacturing as judged from iSuppli's BOM of the iPad from my $270 ballpark. But yes you are correct, it doesn't include design, testing, marketing and support. However, components and materials alone could be break-even. I'm then imagining iTunes revenue would claw back any losses from other departments.

Billy Boo Bob
May 29, 2010, 01:02 PM
If it's based on iPhone OS then it should play ball games from mlb.com just fine, as their iPhone app seems to do well. That should keep dad happy.

canyonblue737
May 29, 2010, 06:54 PM
1. $99 is outstanding, THIS will sell like hotcakes.
2. Apple clearly will open it up via the App Store. Think: Hulu, Netflix, ABC, Pandora, even Amazon. Music like Last.fm, Pandora and more. Smaller streamers like the Twit.tv network and Rev3.
3. Think gaming. This is Apple's gaming console, it will be a Xbox Arcade like experience which will work with the new Apple gaming network to debut later this year on the phones also.
4. It will still stream any of your ripped movies in iTunes on your computer or Time Capsule, so the lack of onboard or directly connected storage isn't a concern for me.

If it has the above 4, and I think it will, count me in for 3 of them day 1.

three
May 29, 2010, 09:28 PM
If it offers streaming from Netflix, Hulu, ABC, Pandora, etc. I'm all for it.

gkarris
May 29, 2010, 09:39 PM
I haven't replaced my burned out AppleTV yet - waiting for an update... ;)

AppleTV App Store?

Bluetooth for gaming controllers, or maybe a USB port? USB can also be used for external storage or Bluray or DVD drives?

ooooh, I feel all "tingly"... :eek:

rajendradhakal
May 29, 2010, 10:26 PM
interesting information
thanks for sharing with us

fpnc
May 30, 2010, 01:39 AM
If it offers streaming from Netflix, Hulu, ABC, Pandora, etc. I'm all for it.
...Apple clearly will open it up via the App Store. Think: Hulu, Netflix, ABC, Pandora, even Amazon. Music like Last.fm, Pandora and more. Smaller streamers like the Twit.tv network and Rev3...
You can probably forget Hulu and ABC since those providers would most likely block any direct output to a TV (that's what they do now, so why would it change?). Netflix and Pandora could happen but I wouldn't put money on it. As for Amazon, probably not since that service competes directly against iTunes.

As for TWIT and Rev3, most of that is already available on the current Apple TV via instant-on and downloadable podcasts. I watch several different shows on TWIT and Rev3 each week on my Apple TV. You can also select from a wide range of internet radio on the current Apple TV, so that kind of substitutes for Pandora and Last.fm.

roidy
May 30, 2010, 02:47 AM
You can probably forget Hulu and ABC since those providers would most likely block any direct output to a TV (that's what they do now, so why would it change?).

I haven't used it myself as I'm in the UK and we don't get Hulu but reading the Boxee forums it seems that Hulu works fine on a TV for Boxee users so why wouldn't it for Apple.

fpnc
May 30, 2010, 03:40 AM
I haven't used it myself as I'm in the UK and we don't get Hulu but reading the Boxee forums it seems that Hulu works fine on a TV for Boxee users so why wouldn't it for Apple.
This is a widely known issue with the Hulu service. You need to read up on the history of Hulu and their practice of blocking the service when used on anything other than a PC. Also, Google has already admitted that services like Hulu might be blocked on Google TV.

Of course, this could change if Hulu begins to charge for access, which they are already suggesting may happen quite soon. In that case, Hulu might be the same as any pay-TV service and I'd expect that its popularity would plummet rather quickly. Sure, people like "free" (or with limited commercial interruptions) but you shouldn't expect that Hulu will remain "free" or that it will be available on every internet-connected device.

Mach1.8
May 30, 2010, 07:01 AM
If it offers streaming from Netflix, Hulu, ABC, Pandora, etc. I'm all for it.

I see this reiterated a lot in discussions about this topic. ARS had a write up basically saying the same thing. I just don't get it though. Granted, it's a matter of opinion, but I don't see either of these services as compelling reasons to get a media device. In fact, if they were present on the current :apple:TV I doubt I would even use them.

Since the advent of the DVR, anything ad based gets the snub from me. Watching ABC.com or Hulu offerings just annoys me. I guess the PQ is OK, but still not great in comparison. I guess I would say that my DVR is a far better way to consume TV content...and get away from those annoying (but granted, necessary) ads. I'm willing to bet that it's going to get worse when Hulu transitions to a pay model.

As for Netflix, I've been using it on my Xbox for a while, but I find the selection anemic. Until we see a preponderance of new releases showing up in the instant queue I can't see using that service too much either. We did watch the last season of Heroes on it (the PQ was really good, BTW) though.

At the end of the day, these are all pretty cool services in and of themselves. But, I don't see the success of a new :apple:TV dependent upon them. To watch TV shows, the DVR offers a far more ubiquitous, economical and useful way to watch. For everything else, the iTunes store would suffice...especially if the resolutions got a bump up to 1080p.

macabouttobe
May 30, 2010, 07:53 AM
As long as there is an "ATV Flash" type app that lets me play DVD's I've burned like ATV would do today, I'm good with the new developments. I have to stay close to what 3rd parties are planning on doing before I pull the trigger.

I was going to buy an ATV to start playing my burned DVD's to hook up to my new Plasma, but waited until there were new announcements. Looks like I'll wait a while longer...

If I'm locked down to re-purchasing my DVD's through iTunes I just may consider purchasing a similar device (Google, whatever comes out next) to perform that function.

miklovo
May 30, 2010, 10:24 AM
I love the idea of cloud based storage!! At $99 w/an iPhone OS and a smaller footprint I would buy one for every TV in my house...I already have my iTunes and iPhoto libraries on my TC. It would be awesome to be able to stream anything to any TV in the house (including my garage!!)

Here's to a long awaited ATV hardware update!!!!!!!!!

aced411
May 30, 2010, 01:46 PM
If this rumor is true, I think it's retarded. Just update the OS, give us netflix and an iTunes subscription model. I for one would not buy that $99 piece of garbage

2contagious
May 30, 2010, 02:36 PM
I think it should at least have a USB connection so that you can connect any storage device..

Billy Boo Bob
May 30, 2010, 04:57 PM
I'm not sure about everything being streamed from the cloud. I'm thinking of delays. Have you bounced around a bunch of HD trailers lately? What about if you want to spot check a few episodes of a show looking for a certain one (that the description doesn't tell you)?

As an alternative (instead of replacement) for streaming from a computer, that's fine. I'd still like to have on-board storage, though, so some items can be synced and then you don't have to have iTunes running. Many times I've needed to restart my machine for one reason or another and have had to hold off until whatever someone else is watching is done.

canyonblue737
May 30, 2010, 09:27 PM
I guess my point when I said "Hulu" wasn't to imply it will or will not appear, but rather I suspect Apple has decided to allow it too should Hulu itself want.

Up until now Apple TV is a very closed experience, it is all Apple all the time with the exception of YouTube. To get any other content from the 'net you have to jailbreak it for Boxee etc. That is why people say things like the $99 Roku are better as they continue to add services. Well it seems Apple has seen the light, thanks to the success of the iPhone/iPad App store and the general failure of Apple TV and is going to fix this.

Summary: Apple is going to open up the next Apple TV to *any* (other than porn) media content a provider could provide via an App Store app (subject to whatever charge the media provider wants to put with that app.) So yeah, Hulu could decide to sit out, or op in, with or without a fee. Surely Netflix will be in, they want to be in everything and already practically are. Rev3, Twit, and other smaller players are going to be in for sure. Maybe even Boxee will create an App, and then finally Apple will be fine with it.

The new Apple TV will be different from Google TV in that it won't try to blend different sources of media via search and control your primary TV signal but rather it will be all about the Apps, each bringing you content to a tiny $99 device you can leave attached to your entertainment center or throw in a bag for the road.

fpnc
May 31, 2010, 02:49 AM
...Up until now Apple TV is a very closed experience, it is all Apple all the time with the exception of YouTube. To get any other content from the 'net you have to jailbreak it for Boxee etc. That is why people say things like the $99 Roku are better as they continue to add services...
All Apple and YouTube? You either don't have an Apple TV or don't use it much. I guess you've never tried any of the thousands of free video and audio podcasts or any of the dozens of free internet radio stations that are currently offered on the Apple TV.

I actually watch several hours of podcasts each week and frankly some of the content that is available through podcasts is better than what you'll find on the network TV stations. If you want to see something from the major networks you can watch news and views related podcasts from NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, CNN, etc. all on demand and usually only delayed by a few hours from the original broadcast time (but with fewer commercial interruptions). Then you have nature and science focused podcasts from the likes of National Geographic, Discovery Channel, PBS, NASA, ESO, TED, etc.

I'm not certain why people continue to complain about the "limited" content on iTunes. The Apple TV probably has access to just as many movies and TV shows as any other payed service and the prices are pretty much the same as with everyone else. Apple has a lot more streaming content than does Netflix, and you're not likely to find much different from Amazon video or from anywhere else. Hulu and similar services are targeted at playback on computer screens and mobile devices and these services are usually blocked whenever someone attempts to use them on a media extender connected to a TV (so that eliminates them from devices similar to the Apple TV).

Bye Bye Baby
May 31, 2010, 09:34 AM
How would the cloud work?

I have 2 TBs of media on a drobo. Do I upload all that and then stream to my ATV, iPad, iPhone, iMac etc?

What about updating my stuff?

Maury
May 31, 2010, 11:46 AM
Make it a glorified Airport Express with just an HDMI port added. That would rock. (I'll sacrifice the component)

Wouldn't a HDMI->component/composite/whatever dongle be a good solution for this? Most TV's have HDMI now, for those people without one, is $50 too much to ask? It would only effect a small number of people.

Maury

dagomike
Jun 1, 2010, 11:46 AM
I expect to see iTunes transcode the media libraries to Apple TV. I would love a background app, but iTunes will be the app to organize it all. And then if you don't need transcoding you can serve it up from a NAS/Time Capsule. And then of course everything you bought on iTunes can be streamed on-demand.

Basically you could have one hooked up to each TV in the house and pull all your music, photos, videos from your computer, in addition to stream stuff from the Web and the iPhone OS app platform. This will be sweet.

The problem with Roku and Boxee is it's difficult for content creators to add their content, and then it's difficult for users to manage it. iTunes basically has this figured out. Everyone enjoys the sport of beating Apple on being "closed" but it's very simple to get content into iTunes' Podcast system and anyone can do it.

dynaflash
Jun 1, 2010, 12:04 PM
I expect to see iTunes transcode the media libraries to Apple TV.
To be honest if you expect iTunes to convert your video files (including your dvd's that you own) I think you can expect to be disappointed. That is not likely to happen.

dagomike
Jun 1, 2010, 12:18 PM
To be honest if you expect iTunes to convert your video files (including your dvd's that you own) I think you can expect to be disappointed. That is not likely to happen.

I didn't say convert and I didn't say anything about DVD.

drunet
Jun 1, 2010, 12:41 PM
Do we know if the new software for the new device will work on the old :apple:TV's?

Maury
Jun 1, 2010, 12:46 PM
I didn't say convert and I didn't say anything about DVD.

Pffft, new here?

iTunes is going to play its own formats and its own formats only. If you think they're going to do transcode, convert, whatever, prepare to be disappointed.

Apple has no incentive to make it do anything else. Why would they want you to get media in some other format when it, by definition, comes from some other "vendor"? They don't, that's why.

Maury

Maury
Jun 1, 2010, 12:47 PM
Do we know if the new software for the new device will work on the old :apple:TV's?

If...

1) this really exists
2) it's based on the A4
3) it runs the iPhone-like OS

...then the answer is an emphatic "no".

Maury

dynaflash
Jun 1, 2010, 01:15 PM
I didn't say convert and I didn't say anything about DVD.
My apologies ... "convert" and "transcode" are generally considered the same thing in video transcoding afaik. My bad.

dagomike
Jun 1, 2010, 01:17 PM
Pffft, new here?

iTunes is going to play its own formats and its own formats only. If you think they're going to do transcode, convert, whatever, prepare to be disappointed.

Apple has no incentive to make it do anything else. Why would they want you to get media in some other format when it, by definition, comes from some other "vendor"? They don't, that's why.

Maury

I have a lot of content in iTunes and iPhoto that didn't come from Apple. Trying to convert that into an Apple TV friendly format wouldn't be something I would do, nor would I want to do it again with the next upgrade to the iPad, Apple TV, etc, etc.

I meant exactly what I said. I expect iTunes to transcode the media libraries to Apple TV. If you interpret that as being something else, don't get all snarky with me.

dynaflash
Jun 1, 2010, 01:23 PM
I expect iTunes to transcode the media libraries to Apple TV. If you interpret that as being something else, don't get all snarky with me.
Um, Maury is right imo. If you are "expecting" iTunes to transcode all of your media to work on it ... I would agree you might be sadly disappointed. Again just an opinion and only time will tell. As well have you ever used qt to transcode video ??? It takes *forever* at best. Not the fastest encoder on the planet to be sure.

mkcoo
Jun 1, 2010, 03:08 PM
Like the idea as an option to have some media in the cloud. Also think that apps (or widget like) would be a nice touch.

aixporter
Jun 1, 2010, 03:26 PM
local storage limited to only Time Capsule? That's a **** load $$$$ for apple

GollumBoy
Jun 1, 2010, 03:54 PM
I think it's a mock up as no one as seen it yet.

I'm loving the idea tho. Very good news! :D (if true)

That is the current UI of Apple TV.

Mach1.8
Jun 1, 2010, 05:55 PM
I have a lot of content in iTunes and iPhoto that didn't come from Apple. Trying to convert that into an Apple TV friendly format wouldn't be something I would do, nor would I want to do it again with the next upgrade to the iPad, Apple TV, etc, etc.

I meant exactly what I said. I expect iTunes to transcode the media libraries to Apple TV. If you interpret that as being something else, don't get all snarky with me.

Sounds something like transcode360 for the Xbox. You have a bunch of files in various formats, iTunes transcodes it on the fly to a format playable by the :apple:TV. Is that the gist of your stance? If so, I'll eat my hat if that actually comes to pass;). I was never a fan of transcoding solutions anyway...I hate the thought of my HD content getting processed anymore than I already do with HB. Again, I'm picky though...each to his own.

newagemac
Jun 1, 2010, 06:10 PM
Pffft, new here?

iTunes is going to play its own formats and its own formats only. If you think they're going to do transcode, convert, whatever, prepare to be disappointed.

Apple has no incentive to make it do anything else. Why would they want you to get media in some other format when it, by definition, comes from some other "vendor"? They don't, that's why.

Maury


So why is Netflix on the iPad's App store then and fully approved by Apple?

The reality is it is the content producers that don't want the ability to transcode, convert, play ripped mkv files, or "whatever". Not Apple. The reason why the Apple TV has more HD content available to purchase and download than just about any other device (including Apple's own Macs) is BECAUSE you can't rip, play ripped files in the popular ripped formats, etc. The content producers simply don't want to make their content available on devices that can do that so Apple has to design it in such a way that they will agree with.

That's why you don't see any content partnerships on a device like the WD TV Live. Even though it can play 1080p, handle pretty much any format you throw at it, and doesn't have any DRM restrictions, you can't buy any movies or tv shows on it FOR THAT EXACT REASON.

So again, that is not Apple's fault. Your beef is with the content providers. Apple wants to sell the hardware. That's their business model. They can't do it without any content so they have to play ball with the content producers.

Hopefully eventually Apple will convince them to be a little more fair with their content so you can easily make copies of or download the content you own like they convinced the music industry to open up. And they really do need to convince them to lower their prices. I wouldn't hold my breath though because Big Media are very slow to adept to change.

fpnc
Jun 1, 2010, 06:27 PM
That is the current UI of Apple TV.
It's not even the current UI, it's the one they used a few years ago. The Apple TV has been improved greatly since its original introduction through software updates. In fact, it's pretty obvious that it still has capabilities that have not yet been utilized (such as direct-connect external storage, 720p30 video playback, and Bluetooth).

Mach1.8
Jun 1, 2010, 07:00 PM
So why is Netflix on the iPad's App store then and fully approved by Apple?

The reality is it is the content producers that don't want the ability to transcode, convert, play ripped mkv files, or "whatever". Not Apple. The reason why the Apple TV has more HD content available to purchase and download than just about any other device (including Apple's own Macs) is BECAUSE you can't rip, play ripped files in the popular ripped formats, etc. The content producers simply don't want to make their content available on devices that can do that so Apple has to design it in such a way that they will agree with.

That's why you don't see any content partnerships on a device like the WD TV Live. Even though it can play 1080p, handle pretty much any format you throw at it, and doesn't have any DRM restrictions, you can't buy any movies or tv shows on it FOR THAT EXACT REASON.

So again, that is not Apple's fault. Your beef is with the content providers. Apple wants to sell the hardware. That's their business model. They can't do it without any content so they have to play ball with the content producers.

Hopefully eventually Apple will convince them to be a little more fair with their content so you can easily make copies of or download the content you own like they convinced the music industry to open up. And they really do need to convince them to lower their prices. I wouldn't hold my breath though because Big Media are very slow to adept to change.

You bring up an interesting point in this discussion. I think a lot of people consider the WDTV and the :apple:TV in the same category. As such, they get irked that the WDTV can do 1080p in a wide variety of formats and our beloved :apple:TV can't. But these two products are in different categories. WDTV is a media player and the :apple:TV is an extension of the iTunes store.

That said, I don't think the content providers care about the format. With applications like handbrake, it's trivial to change containers, formats, etc. They may not condone the practice but certainly they are aware the capability exists. The real reason you don't see 1080p downloads for purchase is that file sizes make downloading said files impractical.

eleven59
Jun 1, 2010, 07:18 PM
this doesn't sound any different than what's already in place- the rental store... with the exception that the content you buy you can view again and again without paying $4.99 each time... SD stuff plays within min or 2 and HD takes longer... you just might not get to keep it locally

is that more or less the idea?

fpnc
Jun 1, 2010, 07:32 PM
Could it be that this $99 price rumor is just a slightly revamped AirPort Express that offers music streaming via a new Apple service based on Lala? They could use an app on the iPod touch/iPhone/iPad to control the playback on the AirPort Express (i.e. the AirPort Express hardware wouldn't need its own UI). Seems like it would be a logical extension of the current AirTunes setup.

Frankly, from a cost perspective I can't see Apple offering an A4-based, 16GB Apple TV for only $99.

BeachChair
Jun 2, 2010, 10:03 AM
I have a lot of content in iTunes and iPhoto that didn't come from Apple. Trying to convert that into an Apple TV friendly format wouldn't be something I would do, nor would I want to do it again with the next upgrade to the iPad, Apple TV, etc, etc.

I meant exactly what I said. I expect iTunes to transcode the media libraries to Apple TV. If you interpret that as being something else, don't get all snarky with me.

Thats the beauty of an app-capable Apple TV, it would have apps like Air Video that will transcode video on the fly.

steviem
Jun 5, 2010, 08:16 AM
I put 'appletv ichat' into google and this patent application (http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/08/02/07/apple_filing_depicts_apple_tv_with_ichat_widget_interface.html) appeared.

It's from 2 years ago though...

godslabrat
Jun 5, 2010, 04:10 PM
local storage limited to only Time Capsule? That's a **** load $$$$ for apple

Indeed. I'm hoping that merely means it'll be an option, and not that AppleTV will be totally unable to stream from computers in my home. I like owning and managing my own media, and for Apple to do anything contrary to that would be beyond stupid.

Mach1.8
Jun 5, 2010, 07:16 PM
Indeed. I'm hoping that merely means it'll be an option, and not that AppleTV will be totally unable to stream from computers in my home. I like owning and managing my own media, and for Apple to do anything contrary to that would be beyond stupid.

I wouldn't sweat it. The current :apple:TV streams from both Mac and PC with no problems. I can't believe they would axe that capability.

fpnc
Jun 5, 2010, 11:10 PM
local storage limited to only Time Capsule? That's a **** load $$$$ for apple
Indeed. I'm hoping that merely means it'll be an option [Time Capsule], and not that AppleTV will be totally unable to stream from computers in my home. I like owning and managing my own media, and for Apple to do anything contrary to that would be beyond stupid.
I wouldn't sweat it. The current :apple:TV streams from both Mac and PC with no problems. I can't believe they would axe that capability.
I think the real concern is that this rumor says that the new Apple TV will only have a limited amount of internal flash memory for storage. Sure, you could always stream from a Mac/PC, but today's Apple TV has 160GB of built-in storage which allows it to function standalone with a fair amount of content. So, if this rumor is true how will Apple support additional storage for standalone operation? Will it only be available through Apple's fairly expensive Time Capsule?

Earlier I proposed the following cost comparison if Apple actually required the Time Capsule to extend local storage on the new Apple TV:

Today's Apple TV with 160GB storage = $229
Rumored Apple TV ($99) + Time Capsule ($299) = $398

Of course, you'd be getting significantly more storage with the Time Capsule (1TB@$299) but this cost increase would certainly be a barrier to many potential customers.

The only other option would appear to be the direct connection of just any USB-based hard drive to the new Apple TV. That would be really great, but I'm worried that it won't be allowed since it could introduce some DRM issues on rented HD movies.

Maury
Jun 6, 2010, 09:05 AM
I have a lot of content in iTunes and iPhoto that didn't come from Apple.

And, so, Apple doesn't care about you.

I meant exactly what I said. I expect iTunes to transcode the media libraries to Apple TV.

Why would they spend one scintilla of effort making this task easier for you? The mathematics is simple: for $x you would rather just buy it again than sit there watching it convert the format. All they have to do is calculate x.

Maury

Maury
Jun 6, 2010, 09:15 AM
I think the real concern is that this rumor says that the new Apple TV will only have a limited amount of internal flash memory for storage.

Well I always wanted SOME flash in there so the OS and main apps wouldn't need to spin up the drive just to do some YouTubeing.

So then the question is this: if there's a USB port and you can plug in your own drives, is everyone OK with it at that price point?

Maury

Billy Boo Bob
Jun 6, 2010, 05:39 PM
There's talk about using a Time Capsule for local storage, but how about the Airport Extreme with it's USB port. It seems like we should be able to use it and not be forced into buying another one with Time Capsule attached.

fpnc
Jun 6, 2010, 11:15 PM
...So then the question is this: if there's a USB port and you can plug in your own drives, is everyone OK with it at that price point?
There's talk about using a Time Capsule for local storage, but how about the Airport Extreme with it's USB port. It seems like we should be able to use it and not be forced into buying another one with Time Capsule attached.
I think the problem may be that the movie studios don't want Apple to allow customers to attach a standard hard drive to any system that supports HD movie rentals. They (the movie studios) probably think that users will detach the drive and move the HD rentals to another system where they can defeat the copy protection/DRM. If you look at the current hardware market for media extenders you'll find that systems that offer premium content usually don't enable external storage through generic, USB-attached hard drives. That may be why the USB port on the current Apple TV has never been enabled (it's a DRM/copy protection thing).

Of course, there are ways around this problem, such as additional encryption at the file-system level. But probably the easiest method is to provide a form of physical protection which makes it more difficult for users to transfer the drive to another system (sealed cases with no easily accessible physical ports, etc.).

The other solution is to use a pure streaming model for the content delivery itself. That way the system would never have the entire movie stored locally on the playback device itself. IMO, this is the reason why HD content delivery will transition to a pure streaming model (it's a form of copy protection which the movie studios probably like very much).

wysinawyg
Jun 7, 2010, 04:38 AM
Why are people expecting Apple to chuck away their entire ecosystem and current (cross product) method of doing things just for this new AppleTV?

Existing AppleTV, iPhone, iPod and iPad all function off of an iTunes library running on a Mac/PC. Thats how you buy / catalog the content and how Apple sorts your authorisations.

I can't imagine for a minute you're suddenly going to get TimeCapsule as a direct storage device when they haven't offered that for anything up to now. iTunes sits there as a useful buffer to check your content is compatible with a particular device and to assemble everything under one roof so you aren't running separate libraries / having to drag and drop everything for your various Mac devices.

I can see the possibility of a cloud based "iTunes" on top of local iTunes, but can't see them completely reinventing their current working method for no (as far as they are concerned) good reason. Surely it would defeat a lot of the point of cross platforming (hardware and software) the iPhone, iPad and AppleTV if they then start putting custom file access onto the AppleTV.

fpnc
Jun 7, 2010, 11:10 AM
Why are people expecting Apple to chuck away their entire ecosystem and current (cross product) method of doing things just for this new AppleTV?...I can see the possibility of a cloud based "iTunes" on top of local iTunes, but can't see them completely reinventing their current working method for no (as far as they are concerned) good reason. Surely it would defeat a lot of the point of cross platforming (hardware and software) the iPhone, iPad and AppleTV if they then start putting custom file access onto the AppleTV.
I'm not sure that anyone has suggested that the current method of obtaining content from the iTunes Store is going completely away. They could continue with the current methods and just offer expanded content availability with the streaming-only model.

As for using something like the Time Capsule for content storage, if this $100 Apple TV rumor is true then Apple will most likely have to offer something that would enable expanded local storage (beyond the rumored 16GB). If it could only come from a Mac/PC running iTunes then that would be a definite step back (IMO) from the current Apple TV.

What I've suggested in the past is that a Time Capsule-like device could be used as a standalone iTunes server that could also be accessed and configured with a Mac/PC, iPhone/iPod/iPad, or Apple TV. Thus, the Time Capsule could be the central repository for content and you would either stream or copy from that server to your other playback devices.

wysinawyg
Jun 7, 2010, 11:32 AM
I agree going to such a limited on board storage is a step back. I was hoping for something bigger / cheaper that could at least take all my music (as can the current) on board to give AirTunes server ability. Losing that will be a blow for me.

But non-centralized storage operating without a PC/Mac is something they could have offered for the AppleTV, iPod, iPhone etc. long ago but haven't. They don't need it for the iTV (even if the geekier segment of the fanbase would like it) and its easier for everyone else (including Apple and all the developers) if it remains as it is with all the various iDevices needing an active iTunes instance to update and access media which isn't held locally.

If we're into wishlist rather than what we'll get I'd love an iServer. Stripped down ultra low power MacMini with hot swap 4 bay RAID drives and an inability to do anything other than run the latest version of iTunes (but a much more affordable price than the MacMini as a result).

Would be great for my needs but never going to happen.

munkees
Jun 7, 2010, 11:58 AM
really no need for storage on the :apple:TV, I have 3 and do not use the internal storage, but stream to each device from my iTunes. All my data kept central. The only time I need to download is when I send that device a rented movie.

idunn
Jun 7, 2010, 05:56 PM
The introduction of a new ATV must be in context to the existing, broader market and where it is headed. It will succeed or fail in how well competing with anything else that presents media on any screen you have.

Consider the Samsung 55" LED HDTV for instance:
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-UN55C7000-55-Inch-1080p-Black/dp/B0036WT4JW/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=tv&qid=1275943715&sr=1-3

Right out of the box it offers access to eBay, RallyCast, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Yahoo! Weather, Yahoo! News, USA Today Sports, not to mention Amazon video on demand, etc.

Amazon is a good example, as at least in video a direct competitor to iTunes. Movies and other video content can be rented or purchased, downloaded or retained on Amazon's servers. Thus cloud computing. And not a device to buy, figure out, or plug in; it is included and simple to use. One shouldn't overlook the simplicity factor, and that many customers may opt for the easiest solution over technically best.

With iTunes and Hulu I've grown accustomed to watching what I want when I want. With iTunes one has a built-in DVR of sorts. But it is not as simple or adept as that offered via cable or satellite providers. One reason conventional television remains king may be in no more than ease, in that one program flows into the next as seamlessly, and as simple to choose among them. Such as Hulu are better at having what you want right now, with thus far far fewer commercials, but otherwise simply are not as easy to use. In short, and this applies to everyone, media remains very fragmented, certainly not all together, and ease of access various considerably.

VUDU is also built into a number of HDTVs and BlueRay players. Or available as a low-cost stand-alone box. iTunes competes with them as well. VUDU does offer full 1080p. There are of course bandwidth requirements, but all providers bump up against this. Most basic DSL connections are sufficient for streaming SD content, anything more will require an urban address and better connection. Enough people capable and willing and bitching to their ISP's and something might happen.

I've read this MacBook is not capable of dealing with 1080p media. News to me, and maybe true. But whether that or ISP's with a 20th century mentality, no reason not to offer and promote such capability. This is a chicken and egg story, with the happy ending for those looking to the future rather than some present technical limitations. If waiting for everyone to catch up at once, iTunes and other online services would still be in a holding pattern.

As before, it would make sense for the capability of local storage. As it stands, one may not always have a proper connection, or any connection at all. Cloud computing only works with reliable high bandwidth connections. And some may just prefer to have and control their files. It can easily work either way. Anyone having purchased any number of movies via iTunes will shortly have realized the limitations of 160GB of storage on the present ATV. So it will not matter if a new ATV only offers 16GB for buffering; any media files should obviously reside elsewhere, if for no other reason than backup redundancy. This implies streaming to the device, or a USB or better connection to external drives.

VUDU offers a good case in point of a good complement of various input/output options. Apple is known for dropping certain standards before people thought they were ready, then proved correct. But if forsaking some legacy functionality, they must still provide necessary options for proper video and audio.

If a new ATV retails for $99, great. A truly capable one might sell for appreciably more. Figure this: if $99, and retaining wi-fi, adding 1TB of external storage could cost only $99 more. That is appreciably more than 160GB presently offered at $229. If Apple is smart this will be a seamless plug and play scenario whether one wishes local storage or streaming, or from the cloud.

As for streaming, I've had good results streaming media via wi-fi from a TC to this MacBook. Even Apple's HD media at 720p. The Samsung HDTV mentioned is capable of wireless DLNA. Meaning in principle that one needn't deal with mini-DVI ports and cables, and that on your computer can be seamlessly mirrored to the HDTV big screen.

No idea how this affects Hulu and others, but the implications should be clear. All content providers are justly concerned with copyright protection and being properly paid. They are also operating in a world and market increasingly online and synced, expecting anything to be available at the press of a button. Movies from iTunes with DRM will play on external drives, still linked to iTunes. There are other scenarios possible, but if rightly concerned with piracy, nevertheless any content provider making it difficult to access their wares on any device or screen of the customers choosing will shortly find themselves quite out of the picture. The ability to do this easily will be expected.

Netflix might as easily have an app on the new ATV as any iPad. Their online content is minuscule compared to iTunes. There is simply no comparison, and Netflix would have to seriously step up its game to compete head to head in such a market.

From Apple's standpoint they probably needn't be as concerned with a Netflix or Amazon, or with a VUDU or Google, or even if providers such as ABC wish to be intransigent. All are potential competitors. From the standpoint of the ultimate user, the customer, the wish and expectation is for a simple, enjoyable experience. The provider that can combine as many of these disparate pieces together into an understandable whole with the least hassle and best price should prevail. iTunes already combines many of the elements. Apple shines in innovation and attractive interfaces. There is no reason they cannot do this.

The new ATV should not only be highly capable and simple to use, but look forward to where this market is heading: what you want, when you want, where you want. Otherwise DOA on arrival.