Can we please start a fresh topic on the AppleTV's future?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by nlivo, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2007
    Ballarat, Australia
    Okay, so as i type this, it is the 22nd of July (Australia)...and the AppleTV has recently been updated to be much more stable and the ability for the iPhone or iPod touch to use swipe gestures and some other cool features to control the AppleTV.

    There will most likely be an Apple event sometime in September mostly based around iTunes and the iPod lines. We all know this has been a regular routine and we can predict it will happen again. If the AppleTV isn't updated then, I believe it'll be updated at MacWorld, why...

    Because I think the next AppleTV update will be major. Huge. Giganormous. I would like Apple to incorporate the line into TV's as-well as the set-top box. So they can sell different size displays with AppleTV software already in there. And also just keep selling the box to connect onto already existing displays.

    I also think Apple could get quite into the gaming. I think it has been a long time coming for Apple. It seems like a natural direction for the App Store to go to the TV...but we all know gaming has been very successful in the App Store...why not get the big companies in and build a whole gaming platform?

    ...but that's me dreaming though. That's me being the CEO of Apple and not Steve Jobs. Sometimes I do think Steve Jobes is too stubborn but that's a different topic altogether...

    But those who are like me, and think that the AppleTV has a huge potential future for Apple, what are your thoughts on the AppleTV's future? Will Apple partner with another company? Will they start to incorporate an all-in display model? Tuner? Gaming? App Store?
  2. macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2008
    I don't know. People tend to neglect the sheer amount of pitfalls and problems with this market. Such as:

    1. Movie studios have far more power and say over this market than Apple does
    2. Large ISP's see a threat and are doing everything possible to slow or stall TV and movies over the internet (ie. bandwidth caps, metering, Comcast/TWC drive to move premium online content to cable subscribers only...etc)
    3. Unless broadband radically improves in the near future, most consumers are blocked from the benefits of ATV due to low speeds
    4. US consumers are just now adapting to new tv technologies and the recession is greatly slowing the transition.

    I can definitely see and app would be stupid for apple not to do this. It should be cheap and easy and something apple can totally control.

    TV's with built in ATV: Could happen, but it doesn't fit with Apple's normal business strategies...the margins are way too small on tv's meaning these tv's either won't be able to compete (they will be priced way too high), or apple won't make any money on them (something apple rarely does). LICENSING to other tv manufactures however, is far more possible. (like netflix...etc)

    I really think it could go either way. I think Apple would be fine just exiting the space altogether. They could also have a great idea to finally make a must-have device for the living room. At the end of the day, if the ATV is unable to be an economic replacement for cable tv, it will probably fail.

    If we don't see anything in Sept, it will be a bad omen. The fact that Apple hasn't move to buy netflix while other companies have, is also a bad omen.

    No one knows for sure...
  3. macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
    I could be wrong (Hope I am!) but I think its dead to truly compete it needs the following.
    A simple web browser
    Access to streaming sites like hulu or joost
    Keyboard and mouse support.

    All this has been done by hackers and since apple has not done it I fear the worst.

    Update the firmware not the hardware.
  4. macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    An AppleTV would be so much more valuable if its processor was upgraded to support 1080p playback and it gets open to the App store.
    If Apple would use iPhones/iPod Touches as controllers, the "ATV game console" would have the potential to completely overtake the Wii (Xbox 360 and PS3 aren't likely to be hurt).
    Apple opened up to games with the iPhone, and I believe they will pack more power behind their app store at some point by connecting the ATV.
  5. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 19, 2008
    Hamilton, Ontario
    Apple should open it to all file formats and give it the ability to truly play HD movies.

    None of this 5 mbps bitrate crap.
  6. macrumors regular


    Jun 15, 2008
    To stay competitive in the streamer business it will need at least a hardware update for 1080p and codec support update.
  7. macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    1st off, there is no Macworld with Apple Keynotes anymore.

    2nd, we have had threads on this topic, and there have been absolutely no rumors as of late that show what Apple plans to do with the Apple TV. The last bit of info came at the release of the 1st quarter finances, where Apple said they would continue to invest in the Apple TV (and since then we received the recent 2.4 update w/ remote features).

    Hopefully tomorrow someone will again ask about it (not that Apple will say much, but to hear that it still is in the future of the company will be a good sign.

    I agree that the best date for an update to the Apple TV will be at the iPod Event in September, largely because at this point what can they fill the event with. An iPod Touch / Nano with a camera is not going to take up a whole lot of time.

    I personally expect a much better processor that can handle 1080p, and an App Store.
  8. macrumors 604


    Jan 24, 2008
    HD refers only to resolution, not bitrate.

    How big would a 1080p movie be at an acceptable bitrate? I don't mean that question to be rhetorical. It has been mentioned that 1080p would be limited by current average bandwidth in the US. I'm wondering how big the actual files would be.
  9. macrumors 65816


    Mar 4, 2009
    That's what I expect. With the iPhone/Touch controller, I wouldn't be surprised to see some web browsing as well. I'm sure there will be a few innovative features that people haven't imagined yet as well.

    I love my Apple TV and the anticipation of a new one is killing me!
  10. macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    Apple will not support any other codecs. See the iPod.
    If you think it is because of the cost of licensing, think again. Apple has refused Ogg (an open source codec) in HTML5, instead pushing for the royalty driven h.264

    1080p movies can range in size between 3GB to 8GB on average.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    May 20, 2009
    When debating whether to purchase an Apple TV the only major setback for me was the lack of 1080p resolution support. If apple is going to keep up on this they really need to be able to play 1080p movies. It is just hard to dish out the money on a nice 1080p plasma and then have to settle with a 1080i or 720p movie player.
  12. macrumors 604


    Jan 24, 2008
    At what bitrate?
  13. macrumors regular

    Dec 23, 2008
    The problem with iPod touch's as game controllers would be battery life. When I use the 'Remote' app with the 'Stay Connected' option, the battery drains very quickly. I don't think it'd last for a few hours of gaming.
  14. macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    If you ask me all it needs is support for external HD.

    The ATV is supposed to "free you from your computer" but it does exactly the opposite. If I want to stream anything, which I always have to do because the HD is so small :rolleyes: I need to fire up my Time Capsule (large drive) and my MacBook. So that I can stream a signal from the MB to the TC, to get the file from the TC to go via the MB to the ATV. :mad:

    Why can't I just stick a HD in the USB port and have done with it?

    Yes I can hack it but thats not the point.

    I used to love my ATV but now its a PITA and I rarely use it now because it drops out all the time because the signal is being bounced from once thing to next before eventually arriving at the TV. Because I rarely use it I now hardly ever make any purchases on it. Its apple shooting themselves in the foot if you ask me.
  15. macrumors regular


    Nov 29, 2005
    Regina, SK, Canada
    gaming/app store

    1080p would be great, but like was said earlier, I'm not sure where the bandwidth is going to come from. For now, Blu-ray is the way. Which is why I got my PS3.

    I'd like to see an App Store for AppleTV, that would add some value. Gaming is the obvious direction to go in, but I don't know what they'd use for controls...using the iPhone is ok for a remote, but I dunno, would we want to play entire games on the TV with this method?

    But yeah, if we don't hear in September anything new, then it might be curtains.

    I don't see them adding it to regular TVs or monitors. Apple wouldn't want to compete in that market price-wise. Plus I hate these new TVs with Yahoo widgets and more thing to go wrong.
  16. macrumors 65816


    Mar 4, 2009
    My view of the ATV was the opposite. I wanted to bring my digital media to my TV. I bought an iMac and turned off sleep mode. I can plug in all the external hard drives I need. I ran an ethernet cable from my office to my main TV so I wouldn't have any connection issues with the ATV. Now I pick my content and within a few seconds it's playing. No fumbling through shelves (or boxes in my case) of DVD's looking for one to watch. It's all there, cued up, organized with artwork and ready to play at the touch of a button. Once I have another one, I'll have the same viewing freedom in my bedroom. For now I just unplug it, carry it upstairs and plug it in to my other TV and I've just made all my content available on that TV.

    Everyone has a slightly different vision for their viewing habits. Some people talk about replacing cable with the ATV. When i did the math, I figured I could if I just watched my core shows. But my wife and babysitter channel surf and watch a lot of shows that I would not buy through the iTunes store. So I still have value for my Dish.
  17. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 19, 2008
    Hamilton, Ontario
    I've seen HD movies hit as high as 25-30 mbps in terms of bitrates.

    And in terms of what HD really means, yes I know it refers to the resolution, but a 1080p HD movie running at 5 mbps will not look nearly as good as a 1080p HD movie running at 25-30 mbps.
  18. macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2009
    it needs a web browser... add that, and a huge hdd, and ill get one
  19. macrumors regular


    Jun 15, 2008
    Its not so much the actual codec its more of the CONTAINER. They only files they will let you use are .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats.

    Everything is pretty much going in the .MKV direction so it would be nice for them to allow that container.

    IF you ONLY want to buy movies from itunes then the Appletv is fine. Since its a streamer people would like to put their own videos without spending tons of hours converting it.

    If they only want people to rent movies and buy movies on itunes then then the Atv should be free.
  20. macrumors 604


    Jan 24, 2008
    If you want 1080p at 25 mbbs, you are looking at file sizes upwards of 20Gb for a two hour movie. How would you expect Apple to make a business of something like that?

    If you understand what HD is, why did you say that an AppleTV cannot "truly play HD movies"? Why not just ask for support for a higher bitrate?
  21. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 19, 2008
    Hamilton, Ontario
    Yes I understand how big files get at those kind of bitrates, thats why god invented streaming.

    EDIT: And if you are naive enough to think people only have content purchased from iTunes on their AppleTV's, then you got another thing coming. Apple doesn't have to sell movies that have 25 mbps, but at least enable the AppleTV to be able to handle that kind of bitrate.

    I'm not going to sit here and defend what I said. If you're happy watching 'HD' content at 5 mbps and stuck at 720p, then go ahead.
  22. macrumors 68000

    Mar 18, 2009
    first off, you dont have to go up to 20 GB for a movie. i've seen plenty with variable bit rates that are anywhere from 8 to 12 GB and have bit rate hit as high as 30 mbps.

    second, apple doesnt have to make a business out of it. its a piece of hardware that needs to improve. i dont know too many details about the appleTV, but if its truly hardware limited to 720p and/or 5mbps then that kinda sucks no. regardless of how high a bitrate you think is good, or what apple sells, would you not want an appleTV ability to stream higher quality video?

    with networked streamers like this around, i'd hope apple is working on updated hardware
  23. macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    1080p content would need a bitrate of 10mbps at least.

    Apple really needs a new remote that connects via Bluetooth. The remote app is cool and all, but it needs a more dedicated and stable solution.
  24. macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2009
    Maybe I'm missing something....

    I looked into the Apple TV a few months ago and quickly dismissed the idea of purchasing one. I think it has so much potential, but due to the stubborn, closed nature of apple products, that potential with never be realized. The ATV should have been developed into a full media center by now, but its remained nothing more than a very limited streaming device. Maybe that's all it was meant to be, I dunno, but I think that it will need to be much more than what it currently is if hopes to survive.
  25. macrumors 604


    Jan 24, 2008
    I didn't say you have to go to 20GB, I said "If you want 1080p at 25 mbbs..." which is what the poster I was responding to requested.

    Of course I would want better hardware, but I don't think Apple is behind the times in video quality on the AppleTV. Until the 1080p content is more feasible, 1080p support is more of a "nice to have" feature.

    Is there even a source of 1080p commercial content without the legal issues of ripping a blu-ray movie?

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