Apple iTV Impressions and Details

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Besides announcing the number of movies that Disney has sold, iPod Observer notes that CEO Bob Iger also provided some impressions of Apple's pre-announced iTV device which is due in the first quarter of 2007.

Iger describes the device's functionality:

It's wireless. It detects the presence of computers in your home; in a very simple way you designate the computer you want to feed it and it wirelessly feeds whatever you downloaded on iTunes which include videos, TV, music videos, movies or your entire iTunes music library to your television set.
And also explains that it is very easy to control and the appeal to content developers is to provide them a way to sell content to the DVR/TVR audience.

...if they've forgotten to set their TiVo device or their TVR or they just have no plan to do it but they want to watch an episode that they missed, they can go to iTunes, buy it for $1.99, [send it] to the set-top box source wirelessly and watch it on the television."
Iger also indicates that the device does indeed contain a hard drive... a fact that was not entirely clear from the preview.

MacCentral has posted a question/answer article for iTV which gives an overview of the device, in case you missed the original preview.

Long term Apple fans will remember that Apple almost launched an Apple Set Top Box years ago but it was never officially released. Interestingly, the system was described as "Apple's ITV system" in a press-release, indicating that Apple has recycled this codename (iTV). The final name for the upcoming system has not yet been decided.
 

spicyapple

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2006
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Woohoo a hard drive! :D

I wasn't planning on buying CenterStage, but the DVR functionality(?) would make it very appealing.
 

mdntcallr

macrumors 65816
Aug 1, 2000
1,449
120
Sounds like a very cool device.

But to be honest, I am hoping this is just one device of many TV integrated services for apple.

ie,
1- more dvr hdtv functionality
2- hdmi output in 1080p for television of computer and hdtv content
3- blu-ray drive for movies and for data use
4- Apple Televisions/monitors (yes tv's with speakers and hdmi inputs in addition to computer inputs)
5- Itunes movie shop with HDTV Rentals, not have to purchase everything, but instead be able to rent with unlimited views for 1 week. and viewing window can start when user initiates, ie, download lots of movies for a trip, then go view

well i can always hope. :)

lets hope for a 60" Apple tv/monitor is coming for release soon. this would power a home theater and be usable for much more
 

rcm3

macrumors member
Sep 19, 2006
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0
spicyapple said:
Woohoo a hard drive! :D

I wasn't planning on buying CenterStage, but the DVR functionality(?) would make it very appealing.
I hope that I can replace my Tivo with this. I'm sick of paying monthly fees for an outdated, overburdened, restrictive, and paternal computer.

I hope that the functionality of what spawns from iTV will allow for full use of data, ie. the ability to make high quality recordings and then manipulate them using a computer.

My Tivo has a DVD-burner. Its great but all I can do is copy the shows onto a disc. There is no ability to edit, remove commercials, change the file size... anything. I know that if I really wanted to mess with stuff I could get a dedicated media PC, but this iTV business has the potential to be as user-friendly as Tivo, but as functional as a computer and as cheap as a DVR.
 

EricNau

Moderator emeritus
Apr 27, 2005
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San Francisco, CA
If it contains a HDD (a fact I am not entirely convinced of), I doubt it would be used for recording TV shows.

Programming such a device with a basic remote like the ones Steve Jobs previewed would be near-to-impossible.

If Apple did introduce the ability to record TV shows (which I also doubt), I believe it would be at the computer, only to be streamed to the iTV later.
 

coal

macrumors regular
Oct 22, 2005
135
0
Portland, OR
So this can play any video file in iTunes then? Great, that's what I was waiting to hear. For some reason I convinved myself that Apple would only permit videos tagged as originating from their store. I know it sounds ridiculous, but as media companies keep pushing for control over content, it seemed inevitable that such restrictions would be enforced (particularly since Tivo Series 3 is such a closed system).

Also, hard drive? Wow.
 

spicyapple

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2006
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The hard drive (if not used as DVR) will likely be used as temporary storage buffer. So if you buy a movie off iTS, it automatically streams to iTV and saved to the hard drive until you consume it.
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
14,499
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ya, seems unlikely the hard drive is for DVR functionality [as someone pointed out, there are no video inputs ont the device]... but the hard drive could prove useful in other ways.

It brings an interesting thoughts though how it complements the DVR. Wonder if Apple has thought about licensing the streaming componenet of it to Tivo, for example. It seems like it might be nice if Tivo could play protected itunes content on your home network.

Or on the flip side, Apple could license Tivo in a box of their own.

arn
 

randyharris

macrumors regular
Jul 10, 2006
134
2
What most bothers me about the iTV is that it is a workaround to a PVR instead of embrassing it.

I'm looking for an integtated system for music, movies and TV, not just downloading a show as needed, but with the inclusion of a full blown PVR.

I don't think this is too much to ask for.
 

Peace

macrumors Core
Apr 1, 2005
19,509
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Space--The ONLY Frontier
I always thought it would have a hard drive.Even though MacCentral says it doesn't I don't think Bob Iger is so dumb to not know it does.

Watch for EyeTV and Apple coming together over the next 3 months!!

This WILL be a killer box.
 

hondaboy945

macrumors member
Apr 25, 2006
39
0
Orlando
I really hope that someone from Apple reads these forums, I am sure it gets back to Apple, anyway I hope they do it right. Or there will be alot of disappointed people and money lost.
 

darwen

macrumors 6502a
Apr 12, 2005
668
12
California, US
Did I read Hard Dive? Yay for apple putting a DVR in it!

Oh..... you mean they didnt say there was also a DVR program.... well then. It is time to upgrade that Hard Drive and rewrite the OS so it can run EyeTV (haha - EYETV on iTV... That is funny).
 

mahonmeister

macrumors 6502
Jun 9, 2006
297
0
Redlands, CA
I am looking forward to this device but it seems I need a new TV.:)

I really hope they add more buttons to the remote. There needs to be a better balance between simplicity & elegance vs functionality & practicality.
 

Kalmia

macrumors member
Jul 6, 2006
45
0
Florida, USA
TV show recording would be REALLY nice, but it's probably wishful thinking, considering it could potentially cut into profits from iTunes. Still, one can dream...

In addition, I would really love a movie rental option, though that's probably even more farfetched. It would save us a TON of money on late fees, though.

My main concern is how big of a hole this is going to leave in my wallet. I guess it's still pretty early to be speculating, given that we don't know much about it. So I should probably try not to get my hopes up in the meantime. :p


~Kalmia
 

EricNau

Moderator emeritus
Apr 27, 2005
10,648
31
San Francisco, CA
I didn't notice any TV inputs on the prototype, so unless Apple changes the design significantly and adds major features not discussed at the event, DVR is not a possibility (as far as this device is concerned).

...I suppose there is a small chance Apple could do this, but I'm tired of getting my hopes up only to be disappointed by Apple (again).
 

Kingsly

macrumors 68040
EricNau said:
I didn't notice any TV inputs on the prototype, so unless Apple changes the design significantly and adds major features not discussed at the event, DVR is not a possibility (as far as this device is concerned).

...I suppose there is a small chance Apple could do this, but I'm tired of getting my hopes up only to be disappointed by Apple (again).
I don't think it would make sense to make a totally great™ device and then cripple it by excluding DVR functionality (IMO they already crippled it by excluding DVD player)
 

dduff617

macrumors newbie
Sep 19, 2006
3
0
skeptical about hard drive

given what i know of the device, including it's form factor, i am skeptical about the report the it contains a hard drive.
 

cartwagon

macrumors newbie
Sep 19, 2006
1
0
iTV

I hate to be the first to post a negative but here it is. I don't think this will be overly expensive, but I also think we will be underwhelmed with it's features. Wireless is not that important to me. There are many wires back there already. It sounds like it will not have HDMI or TiVo features, and it will play movies out of iTunes, which screams to me that it will only play .mp4 and .m4v files much like my 5G iPod. If it cannot browse my my mac or firedrive, cannot stream from them, cannot play .avi, .wmw, .rm or VCD, then it will not replace my 4 year old xbox. Which itself has a 120Gig drive and a remote. Unless we are all sorely mistaken about what iTV will end up being, and it ends up adding these features (as someone above me noted, hoping Apple would read this forum) I will wait. Honestly, I am far more excited over the prospect of the MacBook Pros hopefully switching to Core 2 Duos before year end. Then I will have a much more powerful machine slung to my firedrive, router, xbox and tv. :)

Edit:
@Ino: Yes, you are correct, I wrote this yesterday before seeing that diagram. However, it has an HDMI output, but the iTunes store only puts out normal TV quality(currently). In essence, unless you are using Handbrake to make your own rips above 640x480, you can use your HDMI output and it does not matter. Since Job's whole plan here is to make us buy iTV and then only be able to buy from iTunes, this is very relevant. I know this release is months away and things may change before then. Whom do you think apple will bed with, HD-DVD or Blu-Ray?

@ Project: Quicktime can do .wmv with Flip4Mac, but cannot play .avi. (or .bin or .rm) . The 3ivx codec patch only works for some avi files. There is a convoluted way to use DivX doctor to make .mov files, but there is no reason to bother. MPlayer and VLC take care of everything. My point is that I don't think I need to pay $299US for something that does only a third of what my xbox already does, and I also don't need to pay this exorbitant amount for the privilege of boxing myself into a corner where I can only buy movies from the iTunes store. Even if I wasn't using my xbox to stream and play everything, I'd still save my money and press play on MPlayer and then sit down. Know what I mean? We all have a way of playing media on our TVs already, even if it's a total welfare solution like $6 worth of RCA cable. I am usually pretty pro-apple, but I need to be more impressed to drop that kind of money on something like this.
Much love for you all,
cartwagon
 

Project

macrumors 68020
Aug 6, 2005
2,298
0
cartwagon said:
I hate to be the first to post a negative but here it is. I don't think this will be overly expensive, but I also think we will be underwhelmed with it's features. Wireless is not that important to me. There are many wires back there already. It sounds like it will not have HDMI or TiVo features, and it will play movies out of iTunes, which screams to me that it will only play .mp4 and .m4v files much like my 5G iPod. If it cannot browse my my mac or firedrive, cannot stream from them, cannot play .avi, .wmw, .rm or VCD, then it will not replace my 4 year old xbox. Which itself has a 120Gig drive and a remote. Unless we are all sorely mistaken about what iTV will end up being, and it ends up adding these features (as someone above me noted, hoping Apple would read this forum) I will wait. Honestly, I am far more excited over the prospect of the MacBook Pros hopefully switching to Core 2 Duos before year end. Then I will have a much more powerful machine slung to my firedrive, router, xbox and tv. :)
Its Front Row. Which can play whatever Quicktime can play. Which means it can play avi, wmv etc. Just install the codecs.
 

Ino

macrumors member
Aug 11, 2005
71
0
cartwagon said:
It sounds like it will not have HDMI or TiVo features, and it will play movies out of iTunes, which screams to me that it will only play .mp4 and .m4v files much like my 5G iPod.


But it sure looks better than it sounds...;)
 

Bonte

macrumors 6502a
Jul 1, 2002
934
142
Bruges, Belgium
iTV is basically a limited Mini with better remote control software, if i can use an Elgato eyeTV on it to record i'm buying for sure. Ideally would be an eyeTV with a USB 2 connection to add a big HD.
 

liketom

macrumors 601
Apr 8, 2004
4,157
24
Lincoln,UK
to make this work better and for apple to take the number 1 slot of internet download movies - they need an TV ad like the mac/pc ones

movie trailer then apple text - jack Sparrow+ Apple - download from $12.99 - iTunes store. simple infact i just made one as a looksy

Apple might also do well in selling the DVD + download for $19.99 - 24.99 as an option.

they have proved this concept works with the 125k downloads in 1 week now they need to feed people with movies for there iTV device


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFwhVsSDr_4