Why should people outside US buy Video Ipods/iTV (WHY THEY MIGHT FAIL IN UK!!!!!)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mrploddy, Sep 12, 2006.


Is it worth buying a video iPod / iTV in the UK at the minute???

  1. YES! - I'll buy anything and everything that Apple sells despite little or no available content

    8 vote(s)
  2. No - Apple really needs to make a MUCH wider range of content available

    12 vote(s)
  1. mrploddy macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2006

    I just wanted to point out a very fundamental flaw in Apples grand plan at the minute (at least as far as the UK is concerned).

    I'm a recent convert...I love Apple....I breathe Apple ...I buy their products everyday but at the minute I see no compelling reason to buy a Video Ipod or buy the iTV.

    Theres one simple answer....CONTENT

    Tell me what content there is that makes the iTV or the Video Ipod a worthwhile buy for UK users and I'm not counting music video's here as not everyone likes that.

    TV Shows - Why doesnt iTunes UK have TV shows yet ????. The BBC *loves* new digital media and is spending loads of $$$ on it. They're launching simulcast 3G streaming on UK mobile networks (Virgin Mobile) so it seems silly to me that Apple hasn't at least negotiated a contract with them. For UK users, who here would love to be able to pay 99p to put last nights Eastenders episode on their iPod ?. Or what about paying for premium shows like Dr Who or the X-Factor from iTV. The fact that Apple is still to talk to the BBC and ITV and sort out *something* seems ridiculous to me. Also I'd love to pay for stuff like 24 and Lost and Battlestar Galactica and I'd prefer to not have to mess around buying itunes gift cards from the states. While it's technically feasible it's WAY too much hard work to buy gift cards off ebay or to find someone who will send you itunes US gift vouchers :/. If these shores were available in the UK store chargeable to my own CC's the chances of me getting a video iPod would skyrocket.

    Note - the BBC has stuff available online for FREE including shows like Dragons Den !!!!

    Films - We HOPE to go international in 2007. There is no cast iron guarentee that the UK itunes store will ever have movies.

    So really the question is..

    What does Apple have in terms of CONTENT that makes either a Video Ipod or an iTV a wortwhile purchase at this time?

    The answer is NOTHING

    As much as I love Apple and their products (I have a Macbook and a Nano) I see no compelling reason to buy either of these products at this time.
  2. mcmadhatter macrumors 6502


    Sep 6, 2005
    Bath, UK
    I would have thought the bbc would have been well up for it (selling their tv shows) at least in the uk, But i would think that shows would be released at least a week after their uk showing as the bbc is developing a free watch again feature that will be like their listen again one (they already do this via telewest and with some shows via the bbc website). I doubt they would want to sell shows whilst they are available for free download, but after that You would think they would as they like making money form selling things

    It wouldn't supries me if apple are having trouble with both american and uk networks over american shows e.g. lost being sold on uk itms, as they are shown in the uk well after they have started (an even finished sometimes) in america. So the US networks wouldn't want to have it on itunes internationally until they have sold it to as many other networks as possible, equally well channel 4 wouldn't want people to download episodes 4 weeks before they show them in the uk.
  3. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    You think you have it bad? We don't even have the music shop in NZ (although you can piggyback on the Aussie one).
  4. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    allot of people are more than capable of ripping their own dvd's and putting them into ipod format.
  5. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    I dont like a lot of stuff on TV, and I have a long backlist of DVDs.

    I'd love to be able to have my baby daughter watch kids films without having to sling DVDs around.

    I'm seriously thinking of buying a PVR, but they dont have what I want yet (dual tuner, integrated freeview, large HD, DVD burner, iLink etc etc) and the ones that are nearly there are so expensive that I might not get enough use out of them before BlueRay / HD DVD goes mass market.

    I already have a 1TB storage array, so this would fit quite well with that.
  6. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Yeah... but given I still get questions from 'average' users on how to import a CD into iTunes, it's not that easy to do for normal users. Not least since when people ask how to do it, they're told that it's piracy and therefore shouldn't be discussed...

    Until it's easy to do and in a mainstream app, it ain't going to happen. I do wonder whether perhaps Apple will try to get round it by adding a localised DRM to placate the studios - you can rip your DVD in iTunes (or whatever) but you can only play it under the Fairplay guidelines on the same devices as your music?
  7. sunfast macrumors 68020


    Oct 14, 2005
    I don't buy anything from iTMS. Nothing. Yet my iPod is loaded and I have a 100GB+ iTunes library. And this is all without pircay.

    I buy everything from Amazon and import. iTunes rips my CDs, Handbrake/iSquint do the job for DVD.

    So I get to choose my quality, get a lot of stuff that's not available on iTunes anyway, get physical backups, no %£(^ing DRM, and in most situations it's cheaper too.

    So that's why iTV would (and my 5G iPod does) make sense outside the US.
  8. crap freakboy macrumors 6502a

    crap freakboy

    Jul 17, 2002
    nar in Gainsborough, me duck
    Perhaps we were separated at birth? If so just be grateful for small mercies.:)
  9. Lau Guest

    Yep, same here. I've only ever downloaded the free track from iTunes once in a while. I can see the odd occasion when iTunes might be useful — impulse buying, need a song immediately for a project, or the album isn't available on CD, but I really don't think it's for me. I'd much rather buy a CD or DVD, and as you say, it's often cheaper or very marginally more for much higher quality and DRM free. I loves me some Fopp. :D

    I just don't use the iTunes store at all. If it wasn't there I wouldn't even notice, and to be honest, I wish you could customise iTunes to remove things like the store and bloody party shuffle, especially now you can't collapse the menus at the side any more. What the hell is party shuffle anyway? :p

    By the way, this thread wins the title of "Most one-sided poll of the year". :p "Do you a) agree with me, or are you b) an idiot for not agreeing with me?"! I don't buy everything Apple sells, but the new iPods and store do everything I want them to do for me, as I'd never use the download service anyway, so yes, I do intend to buy one.
  10. tyr2 macrumors 6502a


    May 6, 2006
    Leeds, UK
    Wandering off topic here...

    Have you considered a TopField. Seems to fit most of your requirements but does lack a DVD burner. However it does have a USB port that enables you to pull the shows off the box then convert them and burn to a DVD. You can also connect it to a network if you're happy to hack around with the Linksys 'slug'.

    The user community for this at http://toppy.org.uk is absolutely excellent and the main reason I chose this device, you can download a whole bunch of end user modifications to do things like changing the epg display, display photos and so on.

    Back on topic.

    I wonder what the deal with BBC and programme licensing is. Their 'radio player' and the soon(?) to be launched video player only make shows available for 7 days after air for contractual reasons.

    For some radio shows they have secured a more liberal license (or just produced themselves) which enables the mp3/podcasts downloads to happen, but these are still a fraction of the total radio shows available. I'm not aware of any video service the bbc offers where you can keep the shows, I hope this is in the works but I expect the licensing for these is even more frought that the radio shows.

    The BBC, especially with Mark Thompson in the chair, is really keen on 'new media' and new methods of delivering their content so I expect we'll see a variety of things from them, if any of these fit with the ITMS we'll have to wait and see..
  11. dunc85 macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2006
    BBC surely could not sell programs, as you've already bought anything they produce with your TV licence?
  12. mrploddy thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2006
    But the problem is that the iTunes software doesnt really have good integrated ripping software.

    Show me the expert integrated software for ripping DVD's in to iPod compatible format. Show me the expert software for converting other digital video's in to ipod compatible format.

    Untill the itunes software can do that easily OR the video ipod can play stuff apart from it's own custom h264 format it CANT go mainstream without content from Apple.

    I do digital video encoding, I've worked with h264 and there are lots of different flavours of h264. Apples h264 decoder won't play the h264 I encode because they don't support all the profiles. The other problem is to make GOOD h264 video it takes a lot of time to encode it like it takes my machine 6 hours to encode a 24 minute episode using the x264 binaries.

    So yeah it's possible to put your own stuff on the ipod but is it mass market accessible NO. Only techsavy users who know a little about video encoding can do that.

    Thats why I'm saying the video ipod / iTV are doomed to fail in the UK unless

    a) Apple adds TV Shows / Movies to the store

    b) Conversion of ones own digital media to ipod format is integrated and made EASY to appeal to the non tech savy consumer.

  13. ncfcstar macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2006
    Near Ipswich, UK
    The BBC wouldn't be able to charge for them, it is against their charter. This is due to the fact that we all have to pay for our TV License, which in turn is taken partly by the BBC in order to produce channels without adverts and 'quality' programming.

    I'll be buying my first TV license soon, unfortunately the government seems to want to take students for every single penny they have.
  14. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    This is sorely lacking, but I would be shocked if the video content labels with which Apple has already signed have not extracted a promise that this would not happen from Apple.

    I'm sorry for you all not having content over there. I think it would be a good gesture for Apple to come up with a way to offer free BBC videos in iTunes compatible .h264 (to respect BBC's charter and simultaneously make this content available to one of the largest portable media player markets available).
  15. damiboy macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2006
    BBC, Scart and the rest

    There is nothing in its charter to stop the BBC selling content on iTunes. You can wander into any HMV and buy episodes of popular shows on DVD for example and the money raised by the commercial arm gets ploughed back into the non-commercial part of the BBC.

    However, it is against the new media strategy of the BBC to charge for digital content to UK users. Unfortunately, with the exception of a few penguins currently unrepresented by agents, much of the content you might want from the BBC may be several years of rights negotiations away.

    It is highly likely that US users of iTunes could be downloading British shows first because there would be no problem with charging them for the content. The DRM the BBC plan to use could also be abandoned in favour of Apple's.

    Now for the bit where I get to ask a question, how will the iTV player connect to British TVs with their use of SCART plugs?
  16. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    Its only the reasonably old tvs that dont have component video in favour of scart. My parents new tv has scarts, hdmi, component s-video, and some more.

    There are some component to scart adapters out there. Like this onehttp://www.tvcables.co.uk/cgi-bin/tvcables/YUV-RGB-SCART.html
  17. Chupa Chupa macrumors G4

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    I live in the U.S. I have a 5G iPod. I have a few TV shows and movies on my iPod. I have NEVER EVER, NOT ONCE bought a video off the iTMS. I just rip my own DVDs. Easy enough. Stop whining.
  18. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

    Apr 2, 2006
    Well at least you actually have an ITMS...:)

    I struggle to buy anything off the USA ITMS:(
  19. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003

    s-video/composite can both be connected to SCART sockets, and HDTV's are not too rare so people can use component and HDMI.

    also the BBC is giveing stuff away free is it can change a tv licence to anyone who has a PC as they are broadcasting over that medium, this is flat out wrong.
  20. viperguy macrumors 6502

    Nov 3, 2005
    I don't live on any of the countries supported by apple but still buy lot's of stuff on the US iTms :p
  21. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    First off, the iTV is not even on the market yet. The anticipated release date is 2007. Second, it's not restricted only to Apple content.

    Do you understand? it's not restricted to content from Apple.

    Also, you do not need to buy from Apple in order to play video on your iPod. There is software out there that you can use to convert DVDs and other forms of video so they can be played on an iPod.

    I don't own a TV so will never buy an iTV and see no point in watching a movie on an iPod screen, however, I despise people who make ignorant and ill-informed comments about things they know nothing about. The BBC's talk back section on the iTV was filled with the same drivel you've posted.
  22. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    That slightly annoys me. I paid my licence fee, I paid for that content to be produced free, I have the right to watch it for free.

    But I can't just walk into HMV and take an Eastenders DVD, flash my TV licence, and walk out without paying. Despite the fact that I've already paid for that content.

    If I put that same DVD (or my reccording from the BBC broadcast) on a theoretically UK-only torrent server, I'm probably also guilty of copyright breach, even tho all the people downloading have already paid their licence fees.

    At the moment, this is just nit-picking. However, these questions are becoming more relevant by the month.

    I remember there was an experiment recently with downloading a program or a preview, and it was only open to UK IP addresses.

    One question raised by this is how they will know which UK IP address has paid their licence fee, and which one hasn't. At the moment, they're ignoring these tricky questions, but expect to see changes in the nature of the TV licence fee in a few years.

    BBC will never abandon their own DRM. They've spent millions developing it; it's on the way to meeting their needs while meeting their charter public service requirements and they're pretty proud of it. Also the BBC has a history of not liking things that they didn't invent themselves. They will certainly have different DRM restrictions for UK and outside UK downloads, and might be happy to tweak a 3rd version for the Apple store.
  23. mrploddy thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2006
    I'm not disputing that software for converting isn't available but look at your average joe consumer, will they want to waste hours ripping their DVD collection / their other digital video's to iPod? No they won't.

    I know how long encoding video's take, encoding xvid takes 2 hours for a 2 pass encode, encoding (non iPod compatible) h264 mp4's takes 6 hours.

    Thats why I'm saying the iPod video might struggle in the UK UNLESS

    a) they make TV shows / movies avaiable via the iTMS

    b) They support other digital media formats natively eg Divx / xvid / ALL h264 (not just Apples own h264 format)

    I have hours upon hours of video's which I'd love to put on an ipod video but I'm not gonna leave my computer on for hours at a time converting videos.

  24. ®îçhå®? macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2006
    TBH, i would never use the iTMovieS because i cant justify the price for it. I would much rather go down to HMV and snap up like 3 DVDs for £10 or something ridiculous like that. Thjat way, i get the film and all the extras for less than i would normally.

    Also, when peopel i know go to Singapore, Thailand etc, they get films for like 79p so that is that sorted out.
  25. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    Like most people here (and most people i know), most of my songs are from CDs. I just hate the fact that buying a song means i have to use an iPod...not cool. Only do impulse buying when i've searched all around and cant find the song as well as the Coka Cola free songs.

    If im not using the music then chances are i wont be using the movie store either. Not for me sorry, i usually miss tv series, i just buy/rent the whole thing on DVD. If i want to watch a movie i have a cinema 5 mins away from me. In fact i only use iTunes/iPod because of the simplicity of managing my tunes. I used to own iRiver but got exhausted, managing/manipulating songs with winamp is like trying to solve a rubix puzzle.

    Maybe when a widescreen PSP like iPod is released i might reconsider but i doubt it

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