Apple TV Update?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by ScottishMac, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. ScottishMac macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2010
    Deepest darkest Devon
    First time post from a newish member...

    I'm thinking of getting myself an Apple TV but if its likely to get a refresh in the not too distant future then I'd be willing to wait a while to see what that brings. Is a refresh likely in the next month or two?

    How have people found the Apple TV to be? Does / did it live up to your expectations?

    Thanks in advance for any responses.
  2. FearlessFreep macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2008
    Northern Virginia, USA
    My $.02 - The ATV2 has an A4 chip in it (same as iPhone 4) which is sufficient to run most everything needed. Apple could put an A5 in it and upgrade the output to 1080p, but given the 'niche' status currently I'd say it's highly likely that the major advances in the near future are software-related and not hardware. Examples include the ability to pair with a bluetooth device like a keyboard (!) or even game controller. iOS5 will bring full mirroring from iPads (works great). In addition I think we'll see more content deals like and the like which allow the device to tap into different streams - think iTunes but with streaming services. That's a model that could definitely work.

    I think we'll see an integration of the ATV into the overall Apple universe (Airplay is a start).

    I had a first gen ATV and now have two ATV2's that I really like.
  3. levander macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2011
    Apple TV is currently a niche product, designed for people who want to watch iTunes (and Netflix) content on their television. Too many developments going on to consider the very simple Apple TV product a long term product.

    1.) No DVD player. Some think these are going obsolete anyway, but this is silly. At least not for next 5 years. You could buy a separate DVD player, but then you've got an extra device hanging off your television cluttering things up.

    2.) Can't run user installed apps. Even the pie-in-the-sky DVD obsolete people surely see that apps will be desirable on your STB in the next couple of years.

    3.) Sony has ported the Playstation platform to Android and iOS. Eventually Sony will stop making Playstation hardware and you'll just have Playstation games on your Android or iOS set-top box. (Not everyone wants games though).

    If you just want to watch Netflix and iTunes on your television right now, it's a fine product.

    I've seen very mixed reviews of these DVD players that stream video. I just had to return a Sony BDP S580 because of its shoddy Wifi streaming. And the Netflix interface on it was easy enough to navigate, but speed of responsiveness was slow and clunky. CNet says a Panasonic one was the best they tested. Maybe try that one if that's what you're wanting?
  4. DrEnalg macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2011
    East Bay, CA
    I think DVDs are going to be a niche product in probably about two years. Netflix raising the price of the DVD subscription and bifurcating it from their streaming-only solution is IMHO the beginning of the end for DVDs, and it'll probably happen quicker than we think. Remember when Apple got rid of the floppy drive and everyone gnashed their teeth and thought this was a stupid move? Now I challenge anyone to find a mass-market new computer these days with an included floppy drive. They may be out there, but they're increasingly hard to find, I'm guessing. What Netflix did to DVDs is a perfect analogue to what Apple did to the floppy - they've hastened it's already preordained death. Apple TV and products like it represent the future of TV, and DVDs the past. Hollywood HATES that. :)

    I think within two years you'll see Netflix being able to offer movies from their streaming service that are still in theatres. Not because Hollywood wants to, but because Netflix has Hollywood by the short hairs.

    This is true, and I can't imagine Apple isn't seriously laying out plans for an ATV App Store within the next year or two.

    I can't comment on Sony or Panasonic, but I've seen several of the Netflix interfaces on various competitors to ATV2 and I think it's pretty fair to say Apple has the best Netflix browser out there. I have a Samsung Blue Ray player and it's reasonably well-reviewed and it's not bad, but my ATV2 blows it away.
  5. Topfry macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2011

    I like the atv2, there's a few issues I have with it but as a quickish and dirty way to rent a movie ( as long as you have fast broadband) it's pretty good.

    Don't forget UK users don't get tv shows, (or Netflix), and will probably remain 720p, which is a bit of a poke in the eye, and I wish apple would address this for this version; you may draw a sharp breath with the price of the films, too. There's an issue with some 50hz TV's that introduces an intermittent stutter into playback, which would render it pointless if your tv is one of these.

    I have to say I was hoping for some apps to appear within the last year, the box is capable of it, or at least some extra functions targeted at the UK to make up for the lesser range of use compared to the US, but its looking like Apple are saving it for another generation.

    I use it fairly often, but slightly disappointed, even bored that it hasn't been developed a bit more in the software dept. Perhaps look at jail breaking if you get one...
  6. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    I disagree. It costs Netflix too much money right now to mail out physical discs. It's why they want to move to the streaming-only model. That, however, requires Hollywood being completely on board. And that is a complicated proposition, one that involves not only the content producers but other content providers such as the cable companies, networks, etc.

    Aside from some creative end-games they've been able to run (licensing content from Starz, for example), Netflix is at the mercy of Hollywood, not the other way around.
  7. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    I find the aTV2 to be everything I need it to be. I bought it mainly as a way to play movies. I don't want tons of DVDs cluttering up my closet, so I rip them and store them away in the basement. Playing movies using the Macbook and an HDMI cable worked, but was too kludgy for my wife, so the aTV2 works wonderfully. I convert the ripped DVDs to h264 and load them into iTunes on a networked PC.

    It's easy to use for the wife, and when the kids get older, they'll be able to use it too.

    I just wanted to comment on this one. I have serious doubts that Netflix will be able to exert any kind of control over Hollywood. Hell, the cable providers could easily cripple Netflix by throttling data traffic from Netflix's servers or put a bandwidth cap to limit consumer enthusiasm for streaming movies.
  8. PNutts macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    I disagree with that as a recommendation. The OP can look at all the features and make an informed decision, but the remote control from an Device, the screensaver that can use pictures from Flicker and Picasa, AirPlay (my PC in the basement with iTunes was shut off so I just streamed from an iPhone), YouTube, iTune rentals, (I'm drawing a blank but I think there are more I don't use).

    Nobody knows about a refresh. I just bought mine a month ago and couldn't be happier. And at the price it's amazing. Much better than a new DVD player I bought recently (OK, Blu-Ray and I've never played one). It's interface was slow and clunky. The ATV2 is sexy!
  9. DrEnalg macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2011
    East Bay, CA
    I think Netflix did what they did in part because of cost - but also in part because they see the DVD as a legacy product that's on it's way out, much like the floppy disk was on it's way out back in the 90s when Apple first introduced the blueberry iMac. Netflix just is exerting it's (growing) power to help hasten it's death - and I think it's doing so deliberately.

    If cable companies could do that, I think they would - but they've got regulation (in the form of an aggressive, pro network-neutrality FCC) and competition (e.g., DSL, satellite, and increasingly 3G, possibly other products) that prevent them from being able to do that. The FCC won't allow throttling and the market won't allow capping.

    What Netflix knows (and what Hollywood is increasingly finding out) is that if consumers want streaming and digital content (which they increasingly do), they will either go to a viable paid subscription system like Netflix, or they will go elsewhere (e.g., gray markets, piracy, etc.), and they don't want that. Apple has had the same tussles with the music industry regarding licensing for years regarding iTunes - and the music industry tried to resist iTunes but now they realize they can't, because the alternative that consumers have and will exercise is piracy.

    They hate playing ball with Apple and giving Apple power but they hate the alternative more. The same dynamic is at play with Netflix and Hollywood.

    Seems pretty clear to me.
  10. MonkeyCookie macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2008
    It's also possible to jailbrake the Apple TV 2 and install Plex or XBMC. Either of those will make the Apple TV 2 way more functional and useful that how it comes out of the box.

    I suspect that the Apple TV won't be updated until sometime in 2012, so I wouldn't be holding my breath for an update. I think they'll get all the new iPods, iPhones, and iPads out first before they pay attention to the Apple TV.

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