Apple Provides Sneak Peak Of Media Center

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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In a rare move, Apple provided a sneak peak of the long rumored Apple media center. Currently without a final product name, it has been codenamed iTV and has the apperance of a flattened Mac mini.

Providing various audio and video outputs, it is intended to be connected to a TV, communicating wirelessly with your Mac or PC and displaying a Front Row like interface for the content on your computer.

Key features:

• Built-in power supply (no power brick)
• USB, Ethernet and 802.11 wireless connectivity
• HDMI, optical audio, component video and RCA (phono) audio outputs
• Works with the Apple Remote

The 'iTV' is to be available in Q1 2007, priced at $299.
 

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mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,776
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
So it seems from the coverage that the device has no optical drive, and no internal mass storage? Is that correct? And also that it is not itself a DVR? Don't get me wrong -- I'm reserving judgment. I just want to understand at this point. It sounds as if the basic purpose of the device is to draw high quality AV off a computer and onto a home entertainment system, sort of as the Roku SoundBridge did for the iPod's audio, but in a very Apple sort of way? In other words, it follows the computer-centric sort of model where a desktop or notebook Mac on the network is the "server"?
 

williamsonrg

macrumors 6502
Sep 8, 2004
280
1
Denver, CO
I'm really impressed with the price. Obviously they're not gonna talk about all the features this early, but so far it looks good. Will it record TV? I guess "no."
 

macenforcer

macrumors 65816
Jun 9, 2004
1,248
0
Colorado
When this thing surpasses the capabilities of my Windows media center and Xbox 360 combo then I will be impressed. Until then Apple is playing catch up to MCE and playing it poorly.
 

Silencio

macrumors 68020
Jul 18, 2002
2,471
327
NYC
Ah, now this is what I've been waiting for: the Airport Express for video, plus a little bit more. If it were shipping today, I'd high-tail it to the Apple Store and buy one. But given a few months to think about the $299 price tag, we shall see if that feeling holds up.

This is very wisely not a direct competitor to MCE. Those who don't want to buy an entire separate computer to play their digital media on their home entertainment systems don't have to. But I suppose you could get the full-featured MCE-type setup by simply adding a Mac mini to the mix (and perhaps one of those NewerTech 500GB Mac mini-shaped external drives while you're at it).
 

motulist

macrumors 601
Dec 2, 2003
4,155
467
Apple gave a sneak peak of an upcoming product. Is that a flying pig I see out my window?
 

Diavilo1

macrumors member
Apr 12, 2005
80
0
Definately has piqued my interest. I may have missed this but does it have a TV Tuner?
 

Bosunsfate

macrumors 6502
Jan 20, 2006
344
0
Silicon Valley, CA
mkrishnan said:
So it seems from the coverage that the device has no optical drive, and no internal mass storage? Is that correct? And also that it is not itself a DVR? Don't get me wrong -- I'm reserving judgment. I just want to understand at this point. It sounds as if the basic purpose of the device is to draw high quality AV off a computer and onto a home entertainment system, sort of as the Roku SoundBridge did for the iPod's audio, but in a very Apple sort of way? In other words, it follows the computer-centric sort of model where a desktop or notebook Mac on the network is the "server"?
I would make the same quess as well.

Trying to get the QT stream, but overloaded right now.
 

sososowhat

macrumors 6502
Feb 20, 2003
285
39
Palo Alto, CA
The price seems high to me - I wonder if they'll cut it to $249 or $199 before the actual release. Also, does this act like an Airport Express for extending WiFI range?
 

macorama

macrumors regular
Apr 14, 2005
105
0
the users at macpredict got the nano and shuffle update dates spot on - shouldn't be too hard to pick the iTV Release Date in the lead up to christmas.

I just hope Apple isn't going totally consumer and forgetting the computers!
 

motulist

macrumors 601
Dec 2, 2003
4,155
467
Does that usb port mean I could hook up a hard drive to the iTV and the drive would be available as a regular data storage drive available to all the computers on my wireless network?
 

jk8311

macrumors newbie
Apr 13, 2006
23
0
basically a mac mini ---> front row upgrade

This is the same thing as having a mac mini connected to your TV...though I guess it has HDMI. This leads me to believe that they will release a Software Update for Front Row upon release of the "iTV".

Now, who wants to start speculating when this device will become the long-rumored TiVO killer? Doesn't look like there's much room back there to fit in a coax - seems like Apple missed out on a decent opportunity...
 

ccrandall77

macrumors regular
Jan 6, 2004
241
0
Franklin, WI
This was the product I was really waiting for. It's cool, but I'm disappointed it doesn't have a DVD player and it looks like it probably won't work with EyeTV. So, I guess I'm sticking with my MacMini on the TV and hoping for a better version of FrontRow soon.

Of course, if this is like the Airport Express and can be used as a WiFi router (and hopefully it's 802.11n compliant), then I could see moving the iMac out of the bedroom and just hooking this baby up to a small LCD TV. I can always use Handbrake to create a streamable video file.
 

gugy

macrumors 68040
Jan 31, 2005
3,401
4,152
La Jolla, CA
I think it's a great device.
The big question is about if the wireless transmission is good enough.
I had Airtunes and it was horrible using it from 40 feet from my computer to my living room. I don't have brick walls.
I guess it's safe now to buy Elgato use as PVR and transmit the show wirelessly to ITV hookup up to my TV.
That's sweet!:)
 

slu

macrumors 68000
Sep 15, 2004
1,636
107
Buffalo
I agree with most of the comments thus far.

I am excited at the prospect of an Apple "Media Center", but this just seems like wireless front row for your TV. Which is nice, but I want a DVR and I want to be able to slide a DVD in there. I don't want to have to go to my Mac in another room to watch a DVD. But I suppose Apple does not want you to buy DVDs anymore. And if you can't order movies from the couch, then it will also suffer.

And if it works as well as my airport express does for audio (which is just OK, a lot of skips, but then I am still on 802.11b because of my TiVo), then I will pass altogether.

Good price point though. And I wonder if it'll be Mac and PC?
 

mdntcallr

macrumors 65816
Aug 1, 2000
1,469
176
While this certainly is a nice interface to a entertainment system.

this certainly isnt a full function media center.

Why no computer with all of this functionality? this is kinda like front row, but not much extra?

Why can't we buy a mid sized tower (in stereo size) which can have HDMI 1080p output? with blu-ray drive built in?

hey just asking. i know blu-ray is just getting started, but i'd like apple to be on it from the get go.
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
38,267
4,686
Los Angeles
Apple may need to take steps to avoid confusing consumers. Their multiple consumer products make it complicated for people who don't know Apple's product line, aren't particuarly technical, aren't sure which are products Mac-only and which are cross platform, and don't know how their hardware, software, and O.S. fit together.

There are plenty of people out there who don't realize iPods are made by Apple, and iTV (whatever it's true name turns out to be) will confuse them further.
 

Derekasaurus

macrumors member
Oct 24, 2003
31
0
motulist said:
Apple gave a sneak peak of an upcoming product. Is that a flying pig I see out my window?
I think they did it because iTV doesn't really threaten any existing Apple products, so people aren't likely to hold off buying something while they wait for it. It's still odd behavior from Apple, but I'm not complaining.
 

gugy

macrumors 68040
Jan 31, 2005
3,401
4,152
La Jolla, CA
jk8311 said:
This is the same thing as having a mac mini connected to your TV...though I guess it has HDMI. This leads me to believe that they will release a Software Update for Front Row upon release of the "iTV".

Now, who wants to start speculating when this device will become the long-rumored TiVO killer? Doesn't look like there's much room back there to fit in a coax - seems like Apple missed out on a decent opportunity...

I think Apple had to compromise to be able to get TV shows on itunes pledging not to have a pvr to networks.
Elgato is here and they are good, so it's just a matter to buy it and use it to stream videos to your TV via ITV.
 

slu

macrumors 68000
Sep 15, 2004
1,636
107
Buffalo
gugy said:
I think Apple had to compromise to be able to get TV shows on itunes pledging not to have a pvr to networks.
Elgato is here and they are good, so it's just a matter to buy it and use it to stream videos to your TV via ITV.
Elgato is OK. Until it is able to change channels on my digital cable box like my TiVo can, there is no a chance in hell of me ever buying one.
 

200paul

macrumors member
Jan 5, 2004
42
0
San Francisco, CA
There's no need for DVR functionality. Apple will replace your cable subscription. You just subsribe to the shows you want and al la carte other shows after that. Networks will probably even do the season premieres free to get you hooked or add sponsor the shows to make them free. TV on demand is obviously the next wave - even the cable companies know it and have on demand etc. I mean not to be racist but I'm happy to stop paying comcast for the 10+ stations that are in languages I don't even speak. I barely speak english - hahaha.

In conclusion - its the same data - just different timing.
 
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