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MacBytes
Nov 29, 2004, 01:53 PM
Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Apple Seen Building Entertainment Servers (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20041129145335)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

edesignuk
Nov 29, 2004, 01:56 PM
Standard misleading MacBytes title I see :rolleyes:

No one has "seen" them doing anything of the sort, analysts just *think it *might* happen.

2GMario
Nov 29, 2004, 02:26 PM
definately miss leading

should be titled "microsoft prime to shoot self in foot due to strong hold on pc market"

would make sense thow, and if apple "did" made a media center of sorts, id probably be in line

as the article says, between itunes, iphoto, etc... they have everything a media center box does, they just need to package it in classic apple style and reliability.

or at the least, id enjoy a airport express that could stream video. svideo minimum, but i wouldnt mind component

-Mario

shamino
Nov 29, 2004, 02:44 PM
or at the least, id enjoy a airport express that could stream video. svideo minimum, but i wouldnt mind component
I assume you're really talking about HD resolutions.

S-Video and component video are analog standards that are not really applicable to streaming. A streaming-receiver will probably provide these as output (plus, possibly DVI), but that's not what you would be streaming over the network.

The data streamed over the network would likely be QuickTime video (using a variety of possible codecs, probably including Sorensen, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4) at different resolutions. With TV as the intended output device, you would want to support the five standard HD resolutions (480i, 480p, 720i, 720p and 1080i). The streaming-receiver (or maybe the transmitting side) would have to be able to downsample the higher-resolution formats into lower-resolution formats, to be compatible with non-HD-ready televisions.

Unfortunately, cramming all this into a brick the size of an Airport Express is unlikely. Even if you can make the electronics fit, there isn't enough space to cramk all those physical connectors onto such a small box. But I suspect you'd be happy with such a device even if they did have to make it a little larger or switch to a 1" high set-top-box form factor.

dtsfanohio
Nov 29, 2004, 02:52 PM
I could see Apple with an Eyehome-like device (www.elgato.com) that would work with EyeTV or maybe have both product types?

2GMario
Nov 29, 2004, 03:31 PM
well, oviously you wouldnt be streaming the actual svideo or component, u would stream quicktime or something and the "receiver" would convert it into whatever

size is allways a issue, but i have a G5 sitting here, and a 12 inch ibook. so i have from the smallest, to the biggest

as long as it wasent much bigger than a modern suround sound receiver (8 inches high, 18 inches wide), no , i wouldnt mind.

on the other hand, i wouldnt doubt apples technical skill either. this is, after all, the company that got 60gb of space into something little bigger than a paper weight, and the same functionality only for audio in something slightly bigger. and lets not forget the new iMac G5 which is a technical acheviment in itself.

its all out of need and time. the same legal issues that come into play with ripping a dvd i own to my macs and streaming them to a airport express for video are the same legal issues as ripping a dvd i own to a ipod video.

once those are delt with, i could see this happening.

but as i've said in the past. no one is stoping u from defacing a website, stealing credit cards, etc... with ur g5, as the same, apple shouldnt tell me not to put video on my ipod. if its possible to give the functionality and is economical from a business view to make it, then apple should leave it to me what kind of video i wanna put on it, not wait till holiwood fells fit to allow apple to allow me to do it.

my view
-Mario

combatcolin
Nov 29, 2004, 03:52 PM
um, Pippen?

Nermal
Nov 29, 2004, 04:04 PM
Well, that article (nyse: ATCL - news - people) was actually really (nyse: RLLY - news - people) hard to read (macbytes: READ - news - people) :rolleyes:

I agree with your comments though :)

Daveway
Nov 29, 2004, 04:07 PM
I can just see a storm of speculation and rumors starting from now till January 10th because of this article. If you think about it this really makes sense. With H.264 it really isnt that hard to stream HD signals. I'm willing to say this will happen but i think it is still far off.

nagromme
Nov 29, 2004, 04:37 PM
Sounds reasonable, and I'm sure Apple is considering going in hundreds of directions if the moment is right. Most of which are plans that won't see the light of day. Maybe this one will, but I agree--I doubt it will be soon. Doing something right is more important than doing it first sometimes.

Ambrose Chapel
Nov 29, 2004, 05:04 PM
Doing something right is more important than doing it first sometimes.


like making mp3 players
;)

Flynnstone
Nov 29, 2004, 05:40 PM
Apple Entertainment Server. What is it?

I can see a gap that Apple can fill. The Airport Express will connect my computer to my home theatre sound system. But there isn't anything for my photos. A device that will take a high resolution digital photo and display it on a HDTV at full HD resolution would be great!

Are there any Cubes out there that can output to a stereo receiver optically and have a DVI connector to connect to a HDTV? oh and a remote too.

Has anyone connected a computer to a HDTV?

Mainyehc
Nov 29, 2004, 05:50 PM
on the other hand, i wouldnt doubt apples technical skill either. this is, after all, the company that got 60gb of space into something little bigger than a paper weight, and the same functionality only for audio in something slightly bigger.

Humm... no. Apple did that with the first iPod, and it had a 5GB hard drive. From then on, it was almost as easy as waiting for Toshiba to release new hard drives. Sure, the iPod underwent an internal redesign when the 4G and 4G Photo were developed, but still... So, Apple should be praised especially for the iPod's stunning interface and excellent usability (and no, the 1mm differences in thickness between the 3G and 4G aren't significant, and in fact, the 60GB iPod Photo is thicker than any other 3G or 4G iPod...).

Talking about interfaces... Earlier today, I played with a Zen micro at a store (it was right under a Powerbook on display, wtf?), and even though it does a lot more than an iPod mini, all I have to say is: :eek: (I thought it looked cool at the first glance, but those back-lit buttons look VERY cheap when compared with the 3G iPod's buttons and even the clickwheel... And that "superfluously cool" blue-lit ring around its face looks... superfluous?).

By the way, I did a very naugty thing :o (Santa won't bring me any iPod Socks because of that one :D) : I kind of sabotaged it... I set the volume to minimum, the auto-shut-down-when-idle time (btw, that thing takes AGES to turn off!) to minimum (5min), I found a neat recording of radio static accidentally made by someone and set it to play (and paused), I set the interface to Japanese, I shut it down, and then turned on the hold switch... Whew! It took sooo long to do all that (it would have taken less if I attempted it with a mini, really) that now I think I'd have done better if I left it the way it was, so people could see how crappy it is!

Because I've actually tried using them (and I mean exploring their interface and features) instead of only reading some reviews, now I have an un-biased opinion against two "major" iPod "competitors" (I won't even bother calling them "killers" :p) : it's this Zen Micro, and that horrid Phillips HD player... It's roughly the size of an iPod, looks reasonably good (hey, its black and chrome! :rolleyes: ), but has an interface even worse than the Zen's (If there were no iPods around, I'd actually find the Zen's interface quite nice... As it is now, it's just a somewhat inferior knock-off). Imagine the iPod's graphical interface, only with 10x slower screen transitions, and an unintuitive file-system-like navigation structure. And those stupid microscopic buttons are so hard to find and press :eek:

Honestly, if these "entertainment hubs" will be as good as these great iPod competitors, or work like Microsoft's products, Apple will be able to blow them away if they want (and if they can meet the goddam demand so they can advertise their stuff properly). Media-Center PC's, consoles? Bah, just wait. It may take a while, but when it happens... Remember, Apple wasn't the first company to develop an mp3 player ;) And from now on, Apple's stuff will be presented as being "From the creators of iPod"! :rolleyes:

Anyway, besides the iPod, hardware-wise, they did manage to squeeze a G5 on the back of a flat panel. I sometimes still have that odd feeling that something's missing on/under my desk. It really makes me think "Where did the computer go??" :D

combatcolin
Nov 30, 2004, 10:12 AM
These "Entertainment Hubs" will have to be 100% error free as people may tolerate (even if it does piss them off) crashs and hangs on a computer they won't with a box sitting underneath there tv.

And the last time Apple tried it was the Pippen....

shamino
Nov 30, 2004, 10:58 AM
These "Entertainment Hubs" will have to be 100% error free as people may tolerate (even if it does piss them off) crashs and hangs on a computer they won't with a box sitting underneath there tv.
Agreed. I have a cheap RCA CD changer with a firmware bug (it keeps on rebooting and spinning the CD carousel if I put it in standby mode with a disc in the drive) and it's incredibly frustrating.

I've had to attach the device to a switched outlet on my amplifier, so it loses power altogether when I turn the amp off, so I can power-down without removing media every time.

nagromme
Nov 30, 2004, 11:47 AM
like making mp3 players
For instance...

Nermal
Nov 30, 2004, 01:50 PM
Agreed. I have a cheap RCA CD changer with a firmware bug (it keeps on rebooting and spinning the CD carousel if I put it in standby mode with a disc in the drive) and it's incredibly frustrating.

You'd think they'd notice something like that during testing! :eek: