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I just don't see the point of Apple TV - why is it not a PVR too?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by joefinan, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    I don't understand why I would part with £199 in order to pay even more to rent films. Lovefilm.com, blockbuster etc. let me do all that without the massive outlay.

    Or am I missing something?

    But if Apple TV was also an off-air recorder I'd get one this afternoon.

    With plenty of free tv channels, film rental stores, postal DVD rental services etc., why would I want Apple TV?
  2. macrumors 6502a

    I parted with my money a while ago, without thought to film rentals. I have little/no desire to rent from the ITMS. I agree that, but for immediate gratification (seeing a movie the instant I want to), the ITMS rental model makes little sense to me, too. I prefer to keep my Blockbuster (may they rot in hell) account. My rentals work out to a little over $1 each.

    Elgato offers a DVR solution for Mac owners and those files can be moved to an :apple:TV. But see my response to your other post and you'll understand why I own one.
  3. macrumors 68000

    I'd be upset if I had to buy an AppleTV with DVR functionality as I'm trying to get away from relying on cable to deliver the content I want (from a TV perspective). I think having the DVR functionality on the computer (via Elgato or otherwise) is a better approach from Apple's standpoint on this.
  4. macrumors member


    I agree with this. I am trying to get away from Cable which dictates what content I watch. I gladly paid my $229 US dollars to get one yesterday. I buy TV show episodes through iTunes Store and I love the idea of the movie rental. My wife and I are very busy both work and we have a 18 month old daughter. The rentals will be perffect for those nights after we put the little one down for bed and want to watch a movie. No running out to the movie store, just browse from the comfort of our living room and start watching a movie within minutes.

    I also like the AppleTV for showing home movies to guests.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Maybe I was unclear - by PVR (Personal Video Recorder) I mean a hard-drive recorder to record free-to-air programmes on over-the-air terrestrial broadcasts. I didn't mean cable or satellite subscription-based services.
  6. macrumors member


    I don't know about Europe or other parts of the US but where I am unless you wanted to record hours of PBS there is really nothing on the Air. Also in 2009 broadcast TV in the US goes away.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    So am I right in thinking that, in the US, you pay for your TV and have to sit through adverts?
  8. macrumors 6502a

    It depends. Small towns (villages), out of range of broadcast towers, offer no over-the-air broadcasts. Those people typically opt for a mini-dish system. In towns, there may be a few broadcast stations as well as a cable (pay) system. People wanting more that a few stations typically opt for cable or mini-dish systems. In large towns/cities, there are many broadcast stations.

    Cable companies receive their content from networks, and these contain adverts.

    Free or pay, broadcast, cable or satellite, we are blessed with adverts.

    I pay $40 for HD Cable, that has only about 30 useful channels. (I ignore the MTV/Viacom group, Spanish-language, Home shopping, etc.)
  9. macrumors demi-god

    With your workflow (i.e. you're OK with manually hooking your PowerBook to your TV each time you want to watch something), it doesn't sound like you would want the AppleTV.

    Some thoughts:

    Lugging their Mac into the living room and manually hooking it to their TV each time they want to watch a file isn't something that most people are willing to do.

    In the US, the majority of people subscribe to cable TV or satellite, so an OTA (free-to-air) PVR would be pointless.

    Up until the AppleTV Take 2 software is released, a computer is required to use the AppleTV, so you can achieve PVR-like actions with an AppleTV by having the computer record the OTA shows (using one of the many devices that do so), encode the recorded show for the AppleTV, and then add them to iTunes automatically (so that the shows sync out to the AppleTV).

    Again, doesn't sound like the AppleTV is a good fit for your particular situation. Hopefully you're able to see that for others, it works quite well.

    Correct. No licensing for TVs over here, so shows are supported by ads, regardless if the source is satellite, cable, or OTA. The exceptions are the pay movie channels like HBO.
  10. macrumors regular

    Am I the only one who digs the ATV? I watch all my podcasts on it and when I entertain it's much easier to monitor the music selection/volume/whatever than having to switch cds or walk over to my computer/cd player/mp3 player. Think about what is going to come later on down the line. They're totally trying to create a lifestyle with this. They have the phone, they have the beginnings of solid media center with ATV, they've already been talking about a camera with the touch screen features like the iPhone. Later on down the line the ATV, I'm sure, will be well worth it. It's still in its infancy. Look at the very first version of iTunes compared to it now. I used to think winamp was the ****! hahaha.
  11. macrumors 6502

    Just to elaborate - Analogue TV goes away in 2009 in the US, digital broadcast TV (ATSC) will continue. And yes, other areas do get a heap of broadcast channels (mostly crap, but the 5-6 useful ones too such as NBC, ABC, Fox etc). I don't have cable at all, and I'm constantly amazed how many people here don't realise that they don't HAVE to get cable to watch TV (at least here).

    I wonder if a contributing factor to the AppleTV being PVR-less is the difference in digital TV standards around the world. If they end up doing it, they could do it as an add-on USB stick in order for easy localisation, although Jobs' aesthetic standards may prevent this.
  12. macrumors member

    I agree with this guy ^^^^ I love the ATV. My kid can't scratch the movie or try and stick a piece of toast in it :D. Just wish there was a better way to search through them. Such and genre, rating, and even parental control on certain ratings so it's kid friendly.
  13. macrumors regular


    Exactly...yes, there are improvements that need to be made...and Im sure there will be in time. We are only scratching the surface of this little guy. I think the fact that the iPhone was released shortly after this was, made people forget about it.

    They are so consumed with their iPhones and iPod touches. U think apple wont come up with a way to integrate those 2 devices with the apple tv??? of course they will. :)
  14. macrumors 65816


    We will have to see how the parental controls plays out with the update. Does it only apply to rentals or all movies in your library?
  15. macrumors member

    For all movies in my library. I would like it if the they implemented parental controls so if it's OFF [ON] then you would have to enter a password or combination of buttons (up down left right). Right now I have nearly 700 dvds in itunes for apple tv (love it).
  16. macrumors 65816


    Question... what do you watch these rentals on? My guess is it's a device of some sort that costs a lump sum to purchase.

    And an off-air recorder, what's that cost? Add the cost of a PVR with the cost of your DVD or VHS player (what was paid, not fair market value)... Now how much are we up to? Even if it's less than 200 but greater than zero I hope you're beginning to see my point. These conveniences aren't free, even if the programming is.

    We don't have "plenty" of free channels... Not sure what country you live in, but all you get here over the air is public broadcasting and a handful of worthless networks.

    But there are thousands of free podcasts on iTunes that will stream directly to AppleTV as of this week's forthcoming update. Granted, we pay for an internet connection but seeing as you already have one... I don't think that's a point of debate.

    Apple TV is also a different paradigm entirely. Let's turn this around for a moment, just for fun:

    Why would I want to subscribe to 900 channels of garbage when I can get the programming that I want, when I want, how I want, where I want?

    Why would I buy a PVR that can only record from a broadcast signal, and only if and when that specific program airs, when I can get the program I want, when I want, where i want, how I want?

    Why would I use a PVR and/or DVD player to play back content when it can be stored dynamically on the very computers I use to post these messages, and managed much more elegantly by a central system that can merge it from anywhere on my LAN to my HDTV in my living room?

    Isn't it more convenient to be able to search through a self-organized listing in an onscreen menu than it is to search through discs on a wall, or navigate through an awkward PVR interface that has dozens of other functions I don't use?

    Why would I go to blockbuster to see if they have a particular movie in stock to rent, get home, and play the DVD-roulette game where I find out if this is the one out of twenty discs that isn't scratched beyond playability, when I can just rent the program/film off the internet, start watching it in 30 seconds and view it in pristine quality every time I see it?

    Why would I want the conundrum of DVDs, CDs, photo albums, and the like cluttering up my house (unless I spend hours to days organizing it all) when I can have access to any kind of media from anywhere on my network, or the internet, have it in a self-organized hierarchical file management system that keeps a database of everything I need to know about any given song, movie, tv show, podcast, photo, etc. AND have it accessible all in my living room whether it's movies, music, photos, podcasts, etc?
  17. macrumors regular


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