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View Full Version : The next gen Apple TV will be a big deal




spydr
Jul 21, 2010, 08:09 AM
It will escalate from a 'hobby' to becoming another cash cow.

It will feature iOS4 and yes will run most of you apps. At least the ones like HULU and Netflix, taking Apple TV to the next level.

It will play some of your iPhone/iPad games on your obscenely large screen TV and you may be able to control it with the magic track pad and possibly with your iPhone or iPad App for Apple TV.

Throw in an optional blu-ray player (not gonna happen!) and that will be just the icing on the cake.

I cannot wait for this fantasy to come true!



jimsowden
Jul 21, 2010, 08:18 AM
Take front page rumors from the last month. Put into blender, secure top, and mix for 5 seconds. Enjoy!

MacBoobsPro
Jul 21, 2010, 08:29 AM
Well I still cant browse all the films on the UK store on the AppleTV and sending feedback to the iTunes team many a time and emails to both SJ and Eddie Cue hasn't fixed it. I don't think they give two ****s about it!

I'm a big believer in not hacking/modding stuff but the AppleTV pisses me off so much with its limitations that I have used ATV Flash to enable external storage.

If they would just let me browse the entire library of films available I'd buy a hell of a lot more. It's their loss.

darkgroove
Jul 21, 2010, 10:54 AM
So you think that they are going to scale 720x480 games to 1920x1080 for your television? And that all those games that require that we, you know, look at the screen, will somehow magically work?

While I do believe that Apple may have something in store for the next Apple TV. It will probably feature it's own app store, if any. To just say, okay, you can use all these apps now, will certainly not happen.

poloponies
Jul 21, 2010, 11:02 AM
I gotta think that with all the rumors and truths as of late, there's going to be a shake-up in the ATV world. Apple just announced that their NC data center will come online before year-end. It's no secret that cloud computing will be a feature and the rumors of ATV in that cloud are very likely going to come to fruition. Add to that their "new devices in the pipeline " teasers and I'm inclined to say that we'll definitely see some worthwhile ATV changes in 2010.

HobeSoundDarryl
Jul 21, 2010, 01:09 PM
dark groove is right. The seduction in the idea of all of these apps (available now) running just fine on an HDTV via a next-gen :apple:TV sorely disconnects when you think it through. Many apps have a pretty good dependency on staring at the screen and interacting with it via touch. When you separate the screen from the touch (such as using a TV for the screen and a touch remote control), precision of where you touch will be lost (unless the remote control also has a screen).

If the remote has a screen, then in heavily interactive apps like games, you'll need to spend much of the time looking at the tiny screen in your hands (so you touch the right spots) vs. the big screen nearby.

And the resolution will be a mess when it is upscaled to a screen many times taller & wider than an iPad and at several times the iPad's resolution.

And that will probably be a pretty expensive remote. Etc.

"But, we'll just use our iPhones, iPads, iPods as this remote!". That's great if you are single living alone, but for those customers that share a home with others, the others are going to be mad at you every time you take the "good remote" with you. So then you are almost forced to turn your mobile device into a stationary, dedicated device for the family (not exactly the dream use you had in mind when you bought that iDevice, right?)

As to "the future is the cloud" and all this hope for the NC data center, the biggest problem with that whole concept is the pipe between that cloud and the devices accessing it. The NC data center could be 2050 technology for all I know, but it will still need to pump all this incredible video & audio through pipes that are increasingly constrained by physical limitations, geographical limitations, or concepts like ever-emerging tiered pricing for heavier users (for which many will be heavier users if they are downloading much 1080p video from the NC data center).

Apple's main problem is connecting users to that particular "cloud". Ideally, the prime solution bypasses the DSL & Cable broadband pipes, because the owners of those pipes have ZERO interest in allowing Internet video programs (maybe even the rumored iTunes subscription plan) to cut into their lucrative Video subscription services. Should Apple get any traction with some kind of iTunes video subscription service such that a Comcast, Charter, Time Warner, et all (providers of broadband service) feels any pain in their cable TV revenues, they'll simply raise the price of broadband (because they control the pipes).

And since a person is pretty lucky to have 2 choices for broadband provider where they live (usually the choice is ONE), take a good look at the video offerings of your alternative broadband provider. Even the DSL players like AT&T, Verizon, etc are in the video subscription game now. They also have zero interest in an Apple undercutting their lucrative video subscription plans while using their own pipes to do so. Case in point: even as I typed this this likely Verizon rumor hit this website: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=973387 (of course, that's 3G and not your wired broadband pipe, but just wait if you aren't already hearing- or experiencing- tiered pricing and/or download caps in your own "unlimited" broadband plan).

For the NC thing to really work (as many dream), Apple will need to be able to bypass the owners of the current broadband pipes. Just building the facility in NC is only a small piece of that puzzle. There was a rumor a few years ago that Apple might buy someone like Dish Network, which would give them a great way to connect directly to individuals without flowing multi-gigabyte video files (files are really huge when you are moving 1080p without too much compression) through Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, etc broadband pipes. That's along the lines of what else will be necessary to make the "cheaper than cable" iTunes subscription dreams have a better chance of coming true.

Until those rumors start flying again, each time you get fired up about this idea of cutting your cost of cable, while getting all your favorite shows via iTunes and a iOS-equipped next-gen :apple:TV, all you need to do is put yourself in your broadband provider's shoes and think through what you (they) would do to protect the very profitable cable TV subscription revenues they are so accustomed to receiving.

Personally, I can hardly wait for a next-gen :apple:TV myself, but I don't hold a lot of hope for the "cloud" for at least the next few years, at least as long as Comcast (provider of Comcast Cable) or AT&T (provider of U-Verse) are my choices for broadband. How about you?

sportster
Jul 21, 2010, 01:13 PM
I'm actually really happy with my old 40gig AppleTV. I only use it to stream meada/photos from my iMac. Does what I want and works great.

GFLPraxis
Jul 21, 2010, 01:20 PM
So you think that they are going to scale 720x480 games to 1920x1080 for your television? And that all those games that require that we, you know, look at the screen, will somehow magically work?


iPad games are 1024x768, iPhone 4 are 960x640, both higher than the SDTV resolution you quoted.

Though I don't disagree with your point, since many games require you touch objects on the screen; more likely that AppleTV won't run iPhone/iPad games, but that they can be very, very easily ported by a developer.

gkarris
Jul 21, 2010, 01:35 PM
iPad games are 1024x768, iPhone 4 are 960x640, both higher than the SDTV resolution you quoted.

Though I don't disagree with your point, since many games require you touch objects on the screen; more likely that AppleTV won't run iPhone/iPad games, but that they can be very, very easily ported by a developer.

They're easy ports - especially the ones that were available on other systems or in the arcade (Super Monkey Ball, Pacman, etc.).

They can just make it so you can use a BT game controller and you have the long-awaited Apple "Gaming Console"

I hope it's not going to be a "Big Deal" - long wait times for one and a huge price tag... :(

markdu
Jul 21, 2010, 04:56 PM
I've not rented any videos from iTunes since I don't have my Mac hooked up to my home theater.

Anyone with a big screen (mines 103") notice any compression artifacts? I've heard Apple's compress isn't good.

I would love to get an Apple TV if it does 1080p, 5.1 sound, less compression artifacts (if the above is true). I would get rid of the premium channels I have on DirecTV and Netflix. I would get rid of Netflix because it takes so long to get new releases. Plus I could watch what I wanted when I wanted. And not have to wait for a Blu-Ray DVD to arrive.

I have tried Netflix streaming and it looked awful on my front projector.

HobeSoundDarryl
Jul 21, 2010, 08:25 PM
They're easy ports - especially the ones that were available on other systems or in the arcade (Super Monkey Ball, Pacman, etc.).

They can just make it so you can use a BT game controller and you have the long-awaited Apple "Gaming Console"

I hope it's not going to be a "Big Deal" - long wait times for one and a huge price tag... :(

While I agree that they can port the games for an iOS :apple:TV, the more hardware that gets put in the box, the more it's going to cost.

There was a recent rumor that cast the iOS next-gen :apple:TV as a $99 (Apple) retail product. While I have a hard time picturing that price, it gets harder when it comes with a remote and a game controller, even harder when it is is a touch screen remote and a game controller.

I love the idea of a next-gen :apple:TV open enough (unlike the current one) for third-party software apps. I really like the current one, but it definitely needs a hardware refresh (1080p chipset) and if we're all fantasizing, I'd also love to see:

open platform for third party software apps
open hardware platform for third party hardware add-ons (so that companies like Elgato could feed the desire for those that want a tuner and/or DVR in THEIR OWN PERSONAL :apple:TV unit) This would also make it possible for those craving dual functionalities like BluRay (via an add on) and so on, without forcing those options on everyone in the stock unit
it would come with the option to connect to (home) network storage instead of having to have a computer on
Apple would update software like iMovie with an Apple TV 1080p rendering option (as easy to use as the current Apple TV render) that might also properly cover the 5.1 audio increasingly common in consumer HD camcorders (not merging it down to 2-channel stereo as it does now)


In a nutshell, Apple has handsomely profited from opening up the iPhone via the app store, leveraging outside developers to create thousands of uses for the iPhone well beyond what it could do when it initially shipped. Hardware add ons for iDevices and Macs give them functionality beyond what Apple builds in as standard hardware features, making them appeal to buyers with needs (or wants) beyond stock hardware functionality. If Apple would apply the same capabilities (more open software and hardware flexibility for the next-gen :apple:TV), they can leave it to third parties to build it out beyond what Apple would like it be as a stock unit, facilitating the opportunity for it to become whatever each buyer would like it to become (instead of trying to make the world like it the way that Apple wants to serve it). THAT is an :apple:TV I want to buy- probably several- the day it comes out.

HobeSoundDarryl
Jul 21, 2010, 08:33 PM
Anyone with a big screen (mines 103") notice any compression artifacts? I've heard Apple's compress isn't good.

I've only got a 65" screen, but I find even DVD conversions look pretty good via :apple:TV.

It has a 720p option, but it's 720p at only 24 frames per second and with pretty tight compression. I find that that looks pretty good on the 65" too, but I consider it barely HD. It is FAR from what BD 1080p quality looks like, so I would expect that to be even more noticeable at 103".

Basically, if DVDs look acceptable on your screen, :apple:TV conversions of those DVDs will probably be acceptable as well. And if so, Apple 720p "HD" will also look acceptable. If you want "wow" quality though, right now you have to look to BD. I have high hopes that a next-gen :apple:TV will at least put 1080p hardware inside, which would then make it a solid contender for "wow" on such big screens (even if at first you had to feed it with BD rips).

gkarris
Jul 21, 2010, 10:28 PM
There was a recent rumor that cast the iOS next-gen :apple:TV as a $99 (Apple) retail product. While I have a hard time picturing that price, it gets harder when it comes with a remote and a game controller, even harder when it is is a touch screen remote and a game controller.


I don't think it will come with a game controller - you'd be able to use a BT wireless one or a USB one.

There's rumors of a newer Apple Remote with more functions or even that MagicPad.

If they decide to go further with the design like the Mini, the price of the unit can go up to $199 for one with only 16 Gigs memory (used mainly for downloading purchases that would then be loaded to a home server or just store your content in that new Data Center of Apple's).

newagemac
Jul 22, 2010, 09:13 AM
Apple's 720p is better than the 720p rips people are used to. The reason is that they don't get the Bluray version and then convert from there, they get the actual source from the content providers. Blu-ray discs aren't actually source files. They're just the highest quality sources that are commercially and widely available currently.

In other words, when you do a Blu-ray rip, you are actually processing the source a second time. Apple's "rips" have only been processed once and therefore have fewer artifacts and better quality. It's not just about the bitrate.

markdu
Jul 22, 2010, 04:17 PM
I've only got a 65" screen, but I find even DVD conversions look pretty good via :apple:TV.

It has a 720p option, but it's 720p at only 24 frames per second and with pretty tight compression. I find that that looks pretty good on the 65" too, but I consider it barely HD. It is FAR from what BD 1080p quality looks like, so I would expect that to be even more noticeable at 103".

Basically, if DVDs look acceptable on your screen, :apple:TV conversions of those DVDs will probably be acceptable as well. And if so, Apple 720p "HD" will also look acceptable. If you want "wow" quality though, right now you have to look to BD. I have high hopes that a next-gen :apple:TV will at least put 1080p hardware inside, which would then make it a solid contender for "wow" on such big screens (even if at first you had to feed it with BD rips).
I do have BD and that's what I've been renting from Netflix. Some DVDs look ok and some don't. I think I'll and see what Apple does with a new ATV if/when they release it. On rented movies it doesn't have to be BD quality. But the closer the better. 720p would even be fine if it wasn't over-compressed.

dynaflash
Jul 22, 2010, 05:41 PM
Apple's 720p is better than the 720p rips people are used to. The reason is that they don't get the Bluray version and then convert from there, they get the actual source from the content providers. Blu-ray discs aren't actually source files. They're just the highest quality sources that are commercially and widely available currently.

In other words, when you do a Blu-ray rip, you are actually processing the source a second time. Apple's "rips" have only been processed once and therefore have fewer artifacts and better quality. It's not just about the bitrate.
Totally correct. Even if you could get your hands on the sources used to encode the hd stuff on itunes it would take forever. They are huge.

Source files make a monstrous difference in quaility vs. size on output. Its one of the reasons you can use about rf 19 on sd dvd and still get worse quality than using like rf 23 or even 24 on blu ray rips.