A sudden flurry of ATV stories in big media - what's going on?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by dmm219, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. dmm219 macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2008
  2. Tilpots macrumors 601


    Apr 19, 2006
    Carolina Beach, NC
    Neither article was that great. The first was a summary of the second, and summarized a few other articles. The second was just the writer's own ideas of what Take 3 should be. IMHO, the second writer is an idiot and doesn't understand what's needed in a living room TV device.
  3. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2006
    Whitehouse, OH
    No, I think he's right on with the intentions of Apple in regards to the AppleTV. It's not meant to be an all-in-one device; it's sole purpose is the delivery of digital media, preferably bought via the iTunes Store.

    Personally, I'd be very disappointed if they added the rumoredDVR/Bluray functionality to ATV3.0... I don't need any of it as I'm comfortable using iTunes for my content, and when I'm not I can watch it via OTA, or via Bluray in my PS3 (gotta use it for something).
  4. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    I personally think it's good news. It's generating interest for a product that has been ignored.

    Some of their suggestions are outlandish and I know deep down will never happen (Blu-ray, TiVO, etc). However, some of the more reasonable features include:

    1. "Official" support for Internet radio.
    2. SDK and codec support. (El Gato would jump on this immediately).
    3. Live video streaming "channels" (like "Internet TV" on Media Center).
    4. Kiosk and presentation mode.
    5. More MobileMe integration (on-screen calendar, etc).

    Those issues aside, either Apple needs to develop its own rental streaming model or partner with Netflix. The idea of renting movies at $4.99 and $5.99 is too much for most people. However, $9.99 per month for unlimited streaming of a fairly good catalog of movies and TV shows would be acceptable.

    Some other quirks that need to be fixed:

    1. Syncing and sharing need to be reevaluated. It's time to ditch the notion of only one machine can sync. Also, there's no excuse for not be able to stream your photos from a "synced" machine. You can stream everything else from a "synced" machine.

    2. The interface needs a redesign. Honestly, I'm not sure how the current small, text menu got past Steve Jobs. You're overwhelmed with choices and your most important content (the content you own) is placed at the very bottom.

    3. Fix playlist support for TV shows, movies and podcasts. There's also no excuse for not having on-the-go playlist support for those categories.

    4. Fix the "Apple TV's volume is turned all the way down." error.

    5. Fix the iPhone remote application so that you can build on-the-go playlists from TV shows, movies and podcasts.

    6. It needs 720p 30 fps playback support. We know it can do it.

    7. Fix the bug where if you are watching a music video and then pick a movie to play via the iPhone remote, it crashes the Apple TV or plays the movie's sound and no picture.

    Some of my more outlandish ideas:

    1. Simulated surround sound using AirTunes for movies and TV shows. I have a set of speakers that sit on a table behind my couch. They're connected to an AirPort Express. Wouldn't it be cool if the Apple TV could simulate surround sound using the TV and AirTunes speakers?

    2. Using Bonjour, have the Apple TV look for content in your home folder that may not be indexed or present in your iTunes library. (Personally, I think this should be Mac OS X goal. It's time to move away from having "libraries" and just have "content". It shouldn't matter how or where it's stored. iTunes, iPhoto and Apple TV could just "see" your content and deal with it from there. Additionally, your content should be automatically shared across multiple computers via a new "media sharing" feature in the sharing system preference pane.

    3. Instead of bogging the Apple TV down with multiple codecs, introduce built-in on-the-fly transcoding to iTunes.
  5. iSaygoodbye macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2009
    a boat
    apple wont add a blue ray drive to expensive plus that brings it even closer to being a mac mini
  6. Abernathy macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2007
    + 1,000,000!

    This would be fantastic. What a great idea!
  7. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2006
    Whitehouse, OH
    And good idea, for sure, but useful to only a small handful of people.
  8. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    One thing I would love to see (but I don't think it'll happen) is being able to stream the iTS TV shows and Movies on the Apple TV for a monthly fee. They're never going to let Netflix on the Apple TV, and they have this huge library of movies on shows on iTunes.
    Even if newer movies or shows are delayed, it'd still be worth it.
  9. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    I agree, Sky. Maybe $9.99 for unlimited "older" movies and TV shows that are currently available on DVD.

    Or charge the monthly fee, and if you want to watch a newer movie/TV show charge an additional $.50 to $1.00 per show.

    I've been using my XBOX to watch classics like Ghostbusters and Father of the Bride on Netflix streaming. The back catalog is just fine to start off the service.
  10. d21mike macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    Server Side DVR Service

    You can now play some previous days Network TV Shows on your computer. Examples: Fringe, Greys Anatomy, Private Practice, Heroes.

    I would like to see this within the AppleTV. Allow you to play past episodes. This would eliminate 90% of what I use my DVR for. Free if they include commercials and a cost (like now) for commercial free and/or live TV.

    I would like for a way to get rid of Cable and my DVR. I would like everything to be on demand and streamed.

    I know that some Cable Companies want to be able to do the DVR Stuff at the distribution point instead of having expensive DVR's at each house but for some reason the studios and fighting this.

    I believe on demand streaming is the future. I think it is a natural for the AppleTV.
  11. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Nov 20, 2002
    I love both of these ideas. TVersity uses a PC to transcode codecs to the PS3, so I don't see why Apple couldn't do the same. We could be using our Macs for the heavy lifting so the :apple:TV can keep it's cheap cpu, and hopefully see a price break. Maybe beef up the gpu, and we could see real HD content.
  12. dernhelm macrumors 68000


    May 20, 2002
    middle earth
    Build in an optical device (prefer BR but whatever) and allow netflix/hulu streaming and you've got a sale! Or better yet, work with Boxee to make it really good, and you've got even more sales.

    The ATV would go through the roof if Apple would open up and let it stream from other services.
  13. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I'm all for adding those services. I gave up on iTunes rentals because I often get slack and won't watch something within 24 hours once I've started. With Netflix, that's no big deal. With iTunes rentals, that's a $3 or $4 issue.

    The big studios are hopping onto the streaming bandwagon, and a box that would allow you to connect to them on a TV would be killer. I'm sure Universal would rather you watch their streaming video with ads than TiVo or another DVR service getting your monthly fee to skip right past the TV ads.
  14. ipedro macrumors 68040


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    I'm glad to see that somebody's got some sense of what the tv is. Instead of wishing and hoping for Blu-Ray and DVR, or in other words, a complement to cable tv and satelite, look at the tv as a replacement. And to those suggesting Apple allow Netflix on tv... you surely have no business sense: Apple runs iTunes... Netflix's competition. :rolleyes:

    I think we'll begin to see Apple take tv seriously after a dedicated home media event later this year.
  15. gvegastiger macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2007
    Nothing in the roughlydrafted article makes me want to buy an apple TV. And some of it is downright stupid.

    Adding internet radio is suddenly going to cause it to be a huge sensation? Why would I want to pull up my contacts on television or pull up iwork.com??? Are you freaking kidding me? Whose going to edit word documents on their big screen in the living room?

    Maybe the ATV doesn't need to supplement cable, but it certainly doesn't need to try to replace a computer. Its supposed to deliver digital content that you want to watch on your television, not give me another opportunity to do work. Nobody wants to work on their tv, or check their email or look at keynote presentation. They want to be entertained.

    If Apple put a DVR into the ATV I'd buy it that day. It may not make as much business sense bc they are selling content through iTunes but that would make me want to buy one. If they allowed more third party development that might make me want to get one.

    Apples problem is selling tv shows in iTunes is always going to get in the way of ATV being more than a hobby. The mainstream wants to replace boxes, not add another one which means if you want the ATV to become more popular, you need to make it capable of replacing DVR boxes and Netflix streamers and cable boxes. Right now on its own its just a toy.
  16. dmm219 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2008
    I always love watching these arguments on these boards about what ATV should be. Its like watching all the arguments on how stupid and absurd Nintendo's concept for the Wii was before it launched. If Apple wants this to be successful and if Apple thinks its WORTH it to make the ATV successful (there is still a BIG IF on this question), then they will have to market it to the mainstream.

    The mainstream is not BR. The mainstream is not DVR. As of today the mainstream is not even HDTV yet.

    If Apple can find a way to position the ATV as a potentially cheaper alternative to cable services, by allowing people to CHOOSE how much money to spend on only the shows they want to watch, via an ala carte system, it will succeed. Otherwise, it will fail. Apple can not compete in the streaming movie biz, they can not compete in the home console biz.

    Apple has been slow to get into this market because this market is far from mature. And it is FAR from mainstream currently. A prudent business decision is wait until the market matures, and then see if you can compete in a space or gap others have missed.

    We'll see an update to ATV this year probably, but it will remain a hobby. It it most likely wont be catering to videophiles who are screaming for BR, DVR and HD streaming. Sony knows first hand what happens when you listen too much to the hardcore audience, and don't understand the reality on the ground.
  17. gvegastiger macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2007
    The reality on the ground is that an ala carte system is too expensive for most people, and most people don't want to store gigs of tv shows just to watch tv. I dont see Apple building a DVR bc it will hurt the iTunes business, but they also won't move the ATV past a hobby anytime soon either.
  18. tigerten45 macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2009
    What Apple could really do is to release an SDK and create an App store for the Apple TV...Let everyone else decide what the little box could do.
  19. gvegastiger macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2007
    Thats the one good idea, but I bet if they did that, they'd put restrictions on the apps so people couldn't create full on Hulu.com or other television streaming applications.
  20. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Honestly, I think you missed most of the points in his article. He was talking about branching the Apple TV out to the business world. Specifically, he was talking about making the Apple TV double as a thin client device that powers projectors, store displays and HDTVs in boardrooms.

    For whatever reason, "looping video" or what I call a kiosk mode seems to be one of the more requested features here on Macrumors and on Apple's discussion board.

    Internet Radio is already supported on the Apple TV. It's just sort of hidden (you have to manually drop an Internet Radio station link into a playlist). No, it's not going to cause a huge sensation but why hide a feature that's already there?

    Again, he was talking about group collaboration in a corporate environment with regards to iWork, not a home user.

    Who wants to instant message using the TV? But Microsoft added Windows Messenger support to the XBOX 360. Apparently, it's a pretty popular feature.

    I could see where having a presentation mode would be useful in the home. If you have children, and they wanted to show off their school presentation it would be much easier to export the Keynote presentation to your Apple TV than have the family huddle around the computer screen. You can build pretty powerful presentations with Keynote complete with video.
    You can actually already export Keynote presentations to an Apple TV compatible format. However, it's not a built-in preset like the iPod export preset. It requires manual settings.

    It's not about pleasing everyone. It's about making the Apple TV more feature rich. Most of the ideas mentioned appear to be relatively simple compared to trying to incorporate Blu-ray or turn the Apple TV into a TiVo.

    With all the contradictory brainstorming that's happening in our Apple TV forum, you can just imagine the debate that is going on in the Apple TV group at Cupertino. This is not a simple device to define.

    In fact, I think the reason they keep referring to it as a hobby is because they don't exactly know where they plan on taking it.
  21. gvegastiger macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2007
    And those features will not come anywhere close to making this a mainstream device past just being a hobby. That was my point. Apple wants to be the main focal point of the living room, not the board room. I doubt there strategy is to get more keynote presentations displayed from the ATV.
  22. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    Remember when people used to say, "What's an iPod?"... :eek:

    Apple's, yet again with their "Forward Thinking", has positioned themselves very well.

    With the economy going the way it is - people are just using the "over the air" free DTV, and can use a device, such as the AppleTV, to supplement content with video downloads. I know of people that have cancelled their dish/cable, and just purchase for download the show here or there that they really like. It also pays off later if they are happy with the download and don't have to purchase the DVD (for TV shows).

    My example is "My Own Worst Enemy", which has been cancelled. I actually downloaded the HD version. They announced the DVD's recently, but I'm more than happy with having it downloaded on HD, for a Blu-ray release is unlikely.

    I wish I had downloaded "Journeyman" when it was available at the time. :(

    Ingenious, Apple. :D
  23. mr1970 macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Very sadly I can't see them putting a BR drive in as it takes out part of the revenue stream.

    But a DVR could be a new revenue stream for Apple - identify what you're watching and put it top of the list of programmes you can buy. Liked this Doctor Who? Why not buy the whole of the last series with no adverts...etc.

    I have a PS3 as well as an ATV, and with the Play TV add-on, the only thing that's stopping the PS3 wiping the floor with the ATV is the monumentally abysmal user interface. My elderly parents came to stay last weekend and within 30 seconds of picking up the remote they were looking at the photos of our wedding on the ATV, watching Jamie Oliver cook on video podcast and listening to music - I couldn't get the damn remote off them! When presented with the PS3 and its 16 button remote, however, it's glaze over time. The PS3 is an astonishing bit of kit, it's just a shame that they still think of it as a games machine.
  24. ipedro macrumors 68040


    Nov 30, 2004
    Toronto, ON
    CNN has the topic on their front page:



    The looming switch from Analog to Digital TV is causing people to think of alternatives and Internet TV is finally making its way into the mainstream spotlight.

    Apple will have to catch up if they want to compete in this emerging field.

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