Future Apple TV as PVR?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by MarkW19, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I currently have a Tivo, which is hacked to upload shows to my Mac, which I then put on my iPhone or burn onto DVD.

    But, I was thinking recently, wouldn't it be great if Apple released a brand new Apple TV, which was also a PVR? You connect it to your satellite/cable etc. box, and it records onto its harddrive, and full integrated wirelessly with your Mac. Apple could come up with a great UI. And essentially making the Apple TV fully two-way, taking content from your TV back to your Mac.

    Does anyone think this is even remotely possible, in the coming couple of years?
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    adrianblaine

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    Pasadena, CA
    #2
    It seems to me that this has been talked about for quite awhile. Most of the time, the conclusion comes down to that they won't, because it would cannibalize their iTunes TV show sales...
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Yeah, makes sense I suppose.

    It would be great though, maybe using the iPhone/iPod Touch UI to control it!
     
  4. macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #4
    :apple:TV is for downloads (purchases or soon, rentals).

    Apple leaves it up to third parties for PVR capabilities on the Mac.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Yeah. It'd still be nice to have your whole "entertainment" fully integrated though.
     
  6. macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #6
    I think that's where the Mac Mini comes in for a lot of people...
     
  7. macrumors regular

    dapetrun

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    #7
    I'm waiting two more weeks for MacWorld to buy (hopefully, a new updated AppleTV w/new features) but I already have the rest of what you speak with my HD Home Run from Elgato and the EyeTV software. I record 2 shows at once on my MacBook Pro (wirelessly or via Ethernet) sometimes remove the commercials, encode to Apple TV or iPod, then watch on my 52" Sony HD. Or don't encode and watch straight from the EyeTV program instead of Front Row/iTunes. Currently, I have to hook up my MBP to the Sony with cables but that will change when I get the AppleTV. My TiVo is the old analog and I rarely watch it anymore. The HD HomeRun records in digital clarity from satellite recvr or cable box but I have mine hooked to aerial TV for HD reception. EyeTV software works well with Apple hardware/software and even the dinky Apple remote. I have a 320 GB Western Digital hard drive coming any day now for the MBP.:D:D:D Life is good!
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #8
    I see the iTunes TV shows as only a short term fix. You're never gonna be able to download the 'big game' from itunes, and even if you could, its not live.

    I thought last year when the AppleTV came out that Apple would use the USB port for 3rd party dongles for incoming TV. Steve Jobs said that it would be very difficult to integrate TV in the AppleTV because every country has so many formats, receivers, connections etc. Here in the UK, we have the old analogue TV, free to air digital, digital satellite, digital cable and soon we'll have free to air satellite. Thats a lot for one box to cope with, especially if the signal needs to be re-encoded into an AppleTV compatible codec.

    The problem can be solved by buying a third party USB dongle to convert the signal. So your cable company could sell a dongle, your satellite company could sell one, etc etc. Companies such as Elgato and Miglia could convert their existing products. The key is that the interface would be consistent, and it would be AppleTV in style. Basically the AppleTV says "you give me the signal, I'll do the rest. I'll do the interface, the PVR functionality, etc etc.

    Sub-contracting out the TV encoder will also allow the user to convert to HD in the future as well, without buying a new AppleTV.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #9
    That's my three step recommendation right now to Apple. Just 3 things they need to do...

    1. Support USB devices (through the existing port)
    2. Open the Platform for Plugin Development
    3. Lower the Price

    That would totally change the value proposition without causing much trouble. Apple already lets you "restore" the device to factory condition if there's a problem. PVR by Apple would then be unnecessary and El Gato can pick up the slack with a plugin.

    ~ CB
     
  10. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #10
    I don't understand why Apple are holding back on this to be honest. If it were a DVR as well as a streaming media box, suddenly it opens up a massive new market: People who don't have computers (or at least don't use them for music/films/photos etc). My Gran is 85 and she could buy an AppleTV with USB TV-Tuner to watch and record TV without a Mac in sight. I could then bring my MacBook round and WiFi my holiday snaps to her Apple TV.
    I would buy an AppleTV for every room in the house!
     
  11. macrumors demi-god

    CWallace

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    Seattle, WA
    #11
    The :apple:tv would need to add a CableCard slot as well as a television listing guide on top of the DVR part, but this might be where Apple buying Tivo could help bring about such a device.
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #12
    I can. DVR functionality is not only detrimental to Apple's content partner relationships, the entire independent DVR concept is in FLUX right now. In order to do DVR "right", Apple needs to support "cable cards" and that needs to be settled with media companies and consumers before Apple lunges forward into a possible quagmire of mistakes.

    It's not quite the right time for them to do a DVR. They can add SUPPORT for someone ELSE to do it though, and not add expense to the device that makes it less useful to many people who already have DVRs that are integrated into their cable service already. They need to determine how to best handle HiDef and Standard Def signals, as well as unscrambling signals and providing a whole infrastructure of tuning and program guide subscriptions. It's a huge commitment.

    If it were as simple as receiving a video signal, it'd be a no-brainer... but people expect it to change channels and understand scheduling complexities as well.

    ~ CB
     
  13. macrumors newbie

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    #13
    As i've already said, thats what Steve Jobs sai last year, so many different types of TV signals. Hence my third party USB stick idea. I use EyeTV on a Mac Mini and its brilliant, so it is perfectly possible. I even use the Apple remote with it in a Front Row style interface. It would be nice nice is the AppleTV did this instead.
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #14
    Well... maybe your question was rhetorical. --But, that's why they're "holding back". Opening the platform has been my solution of choice for a while too.

    ~ CB
     
  15. macrumors 6502

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    #15
    None of this seems to take into account market realities.

    The stand-alone DVR market is dead. Tivo is barely hanging on. ReplayTV is dead. The reason? The content delivery companies have delivered their own DVRs. Inferior products? Sure. But the general public has never understood the power of time-shifting programming, and the networks certainly don't want them doing that.

    Between that and the fact that Apple generally isn't interested in competing with itself means that the idea is a non-starter.
     
  16. macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Hmmm... Not in the UK its not. Its massive here. Its the biggest selling point for the digital switch over.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

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    #17
    And are they units provided by the cable/satellite provider?
     
  18. macrumors 603

    aswitcher

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    #18
    I think the AppleTV is trying to be for TVs what the iPod was for music. 10 years from now much of the video media we watch will come from the Net so Apple is positioning itself now for that. AppleTV is about making it easy to get your media - for anyone.

    The next step for AppleTV is to become your iTunes rather than just syncing/streaming from you Mac. That way you dont even need a dedicated Mac to be able to purchase and watch your media. A second gen AppleTV might even be able to use the rumoured new external DVD drive to play DVDs!

    Or it could get a little more weight and have a bigger HDD and a DVD drive, be basically the MacMini reincarnation (even boot to FrontRow), and also provide access the main interface for Safari and Mail. Something mum and pop can handle. But that option bumps the price and complexity.
     
  19. macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    #19
    This has been discussed since the aTV first shipped.

    It's a simple answer - the content providers only provide their content on the condition that apple not put DVD ripping or DVR features into iTunes.

    Makes perfect sense. If you're a studio, you only let apple get your content if they agree not to include DVR.

    So apple is basically in a position where they could ship a box without DVR with some content for sale, or ship a DVR and have little or no content for sale in the iTunes store.
     
  20. macrumors 6502

    dogtanian

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    #20

    I'll answer the question for you, yes they generally are. Sky is the biggest satelite provider, then Virgin are the UK's cable provider, both offering popular pvr's.
     
  21. macrumors 603

    aswitcher

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    #21
    I am not suggesting a DVR. Just a DVD player to make it a better rounded machine.
     
  22. macrumors newbie

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    Jan 15, 2006
    #22
    But the Freeview (Free to air digital TV) PVR's are also extremely popular. Everyone in the UK has to upgrade to digital between now and 2012 when analogue is switched off, so many people are buying a digital box with either a Hard disk or (and i have to admit the slightly more popular) DVD-R. Many products have both a HDD and a DVD-R. These PVR's are made by Sony, LG, JVC, Panasonic, Philips etc. Such as this one . I will be buying this product if Apple don't release a ATV with DVR next week.
     
  23. macrumors 6502

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    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    Bloomington, MN
    #23
    That's exactly the way the US market has gone. The stand-alone DVR market is, for all intents and purposes, dead here. It's impossible to compete against cable and satellite providers who offer DVRs as part of their package for relatively small amounts of money--not much, if any, more than the cost of the guide service from stand-alone DVR companies.

    I've had a DVR since 2003, and I really can't imagine TV without it. AppleTV is not, and never will be, a DVR. The very idea is completely counter to Apple's vision for the product. They're very different services.
     
  24. macrumors 604

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    Sep 23, 2003
    #24
    I was responding to all the posts suggesting a DVR (the thread is called "Future Apple TV as PVR?").
     
  25. macrumors newbie

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    Jan 15, 2006
    #25
    The point, in the UK at least, is that 40% of households don't have a cable or satellite provider - they use free to air TV. Which doesn't come with a DVR.
     

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