Do you think Apple TV is ever going to really take off?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by GMTGuy, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. GMTGuy macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2012
    I feel like it has a lot of potential, and obviously no lack of funding behind it, but it seems like to me that it's just been kind of limping along instead of galloping like the stallion it could be. Hopefully Apple makes some new deals happen soon and Apple TV reaches new heights.
  2. rbrian macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2011
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    I don't think it'll ever be as good as it should be, because it needs content, and the content comes from people who just don't seem to want my money.
  3. Moccasin macrumors 6502a


    Mar 21, 2011
    Newcastle, UK
    Sadly it's almost ahead of it's time because the content providers are too set in the old ways, desperate to hang on to what they have. Too scared of losing control. History tends to suggest that they may regret that.

    Apple haven't exactly helped - if they had pushed ATV a bit more aggressively, it could be far more than a hobby device.
  4. irfan22 macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2009
    Really not sure why apple hasn't opened an app store yet
  5. s15119 macrumors 65816


    Nov 20, 2010
  6. kagharaht macrumors 6502a

    Oct 7, 2007
    Add Netflix Feature except have a real robust content. Real New Releases, not six months later or never. Netflix is great for old content, documentaries and obscure B movies, but the release for new movies is simply pathetic.
  7. A2DY macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2011
    I love mine.

    Netflix covers most of what I need to watch (until I run out) iTunes match sorts my music. Being able to stream purchased tv programmes really helps.

    Only things missing for me are streaming purchased iTunes movies (none here yet in the UK) other apps (like iplayer, 4od etc) maybe even a safari browser to be used with an iPhone or iPad as a remote?

    Only downfall in my opinion is having to have a computer on to stream from if on your network and also (although not the ATVs fault) the fact I'm waiting for a letter from my ISP as using over 20gb of data a day I'm sure they are getting fed up with.
  8. dcains macrumors regular

    Mar 27, 2007
  9. WoodNUFC macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2009
    A Library
    I think an app store would make the ATV a killer product. Until then, it isn't fully living up to what it can be as a device (IMHO).

    I use mine daily, but would love to see some sort of live tv experience. I'd LOVE to be able to stream my EyeTV content straight to the box instead of using airplay with the EyeTV app.
  10. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    I love my Apple TV. I have 2 of them an ATV2 and an ATV3. I'm also thinking of getting a third one.

    It has some bugs yet and more work to be done, but overall it's been a good experience and it can only get better from here.
  11. Tminusg macrumors member

    Apr 18, 2011
    Ya it can only get better, lol
  12. HobeSoundDarryl, Jun 3, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    I've owned both the 1st generation and now the 3rd generation. I think it's market is both HUGE and Apple's to take (but they need to get with it). I very much enjoy what :apple:TV can do and think it could be the next "leg of the table" if Apple would give it some serious focus (which should be easy to do for the largest company in the world (which means they could put a lot of focus on this without taking focus away from the small mix of other products Apple produces)).

    Those are key "ifs" though. Relative to the question, I find it frustrating that:
    • the latest & greatest has the stuttering problem on playback (Apple, you've been at this for 5+ years now; smooth video playback should be in the bag now; there should be no more software releases where smooth video playback is lost. Hire a guy or two to test software updates to insure this; you can afford them).
    • features that worked well in prior versions of the UI are removed (for example, how does it make sense to take away the "show" folders so that you could put all of the Star Wars movies in one "Star Wars" folder, all of the Harry Potter movies in one "Harry Potter" folder, etc. That worked very well between about 2009 and 2011. Then, that feature got killed for a "new" version of the UI (so now every movie- including those in a natural group like Star Wars, Star Trek, LOTR, Alien, Rocky, etc- are all individual line items resulting in a longer list).
    • Poster art for TV shows used to be able to be unique for each episode. Now it's one poster for all episodes in a season. It worked great (for years!) with the former. How does taking that away so that the same poster shows for all shows make for a better UI?
    • the last version of the gen 1 UI had our own movies under "movies", our own TV shows under "TV shows", etc. That was perfect, intuitive, logical, etc. The newer UI puts all of our own media under "Computers". Isn't it more intuitive (Apple) to find our movies under "Movies" and our own TV shows under "TV shows"? What happened to "just works" thinking with this product?
    • even gen 3 is still not fully toe-to-toe with the "bag of hurt". If you (Apple) want to stick with the case that BD is NOT the way to go, how about giving us a full replacement that matches up on both video and audio quality... even if what can go into the iTunes store for now is not quite BD-level stuff. For example, Dolby Digital- while certainly better than no surround at all- has been a standard since about 1992. There's been HUGE progress in movie audio standards since then but nothing better than DD is built into this box's software.

    Those are all within Apple's control and most of those are features that they engineered in and then took away (not for the better IMO).

    Then, there is the need for other features that Apple seems reluctant to develop (for this "hobby"). No problem, just launch an app store and let the third party developers build out the missing pieces. An app store worked so incredibly well at making the other iDevices very appealing products to own. Learn (Apple) from your massive success. An app store for this :apple:TV would likely pop it's popularity in a big way.

    Then, there's the camp that misses the local storage of gen 1 (the version that had a decent amount of hard drive storage on board). I grasp why they wanted to remove an internal hard drive. However, the latest version comes with a USB port. Why not normalize that USB port so that those that want local storage could attach whatever size storage they want to it? Gen 1 jailbreakers brought this functionality to Gen 1 (so that those interested could attach massive local storage if desired). So it could be done there with just some different software. Do it here. Then, those happy with "stream everything from iCloud" can still get exactly what they want and those missing/wanting local storage could optionally get what they want too.

    If they normalize that USB port AND launch an app store, then pockets of people who would like it to double as a DVR can get what they want (Elgato hardware in the USB port and Elgato apps in the app store). Pockets of people who would like it to also be their BD player could get what they want (a BD player attachment hooked to the USB port and a BD player app in the app store). Etc. In short, there are pools of people that would like it to be a "2 birds with one stone" product. If Apple doesn't want to go there, leave those solutions for the innovative third party developers.

    Speaking of jailbreaking, stop limiting the device. Stop making it a "wait for the jailbreak so that it can really do what we want" box. Just do it. Make the jailbreak obsolete by either giving it that functionality OR letting the app store submissions cover those bases. Lots of other, competing boxes have all kinds of added features like these so it's not an issue of can it be done. It's just a choice to not do it (thus building the desire for jailbreak software). Should a WD or Roku box be able to play just about anything you throw at them but an :apple:TV be so narrowly limited? Utility breeds market demand.

    It seems like Apple is overly fixated on trying to make this an iTunes content-centric device at the expense of a "just works", intuitive UI. If Apple wants us to rent/buy through iTunes, win that battle on content & cost in the store (not in limiting a UI or overly biasing a UI to try to push iTunes too hard).

    All that said, I love the little box. I think it could be a fantastic product for Apple. The question is about "really taking off" which I interpret to mean "with people who are not techies and/or overly enamored with Apple". I think stuff like the above is how to turn on that much larger crowd. The hardware is close now. The UI needs to go back and resurrect some jettisoned features from the past, adopt the well proven lift that comes with an app store, and basically eliminate the "wait for the jailbreak" by making it possible for the bulk of those jailbreak features to be realized in an app store. Then it can thoroughly own the space.

    2 more very narrow requests I'd love to see: 1) add analog stereo audio out (gen 1 had this) so that those of us with Zone 2 receivers can use the Zone 2 feature (which usually requires an analog audio feed) and 2) how about making it also work native with 24fps and 60fps (the former being what just about all movies use and the latter being increasingly available in consumer level camcorders: 1080p 60fps, yielding "full HD" with "buttery smooth" motion) instead of locking it in at 30fps for everything?
  13. From A Buick 8 macrumors 68040

    From A Buick 8

    Sep 16, 2010
    Ky Close to CinCinnati
    We have two of the ATV's and have been able to cut out cable we have an antenna on our roof for any live TV viewing (what little we do).

    I wish there was an ATV simulator app for the Mac OS (Desktop). I have gone through my personal collection of movies and TV shows and have all of them ripped to an ext hdd, that has breathed new life into my collection. Just the ease of use and browsing through my collection to find stuff I forgot I had.

    Would love more apps or even a Netflix type of subscription service for the iTunes content.
  14. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    love mine does all i need it to do, and $99 makes it that much better what else can you get for $99 these days
  15. d21mike macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    I think it needs Apple to stop treating it like a hobby. If Apple made it a priority then yes I believe it would take off.

    The iPhone is so popular because they are still leading with new features and new hardware. The Apple TV still does not even have an App Store. Think of where the iPhone would be without an App Store.

    I predict that once the App Store is available for the Apple TV then it will become extremely popular.
  16. godslabrat macrumors 6502

    Aug 19, 2007
    This. In trying to make iTunes content the format of choice, Apple is making some very poor decisions on how to design and implement the AppleTV. It's as if Apple has made the digital equivelant of a Swiss Army knife, but has locked out every tool except the corkscrew, since "That's the future and that's all you really need."

    I really think that it would take less effort and expense to enable these features, instead of finding clever ways to say the features are worthless and shouldn't be tried.
  17. AppleInMyBlood macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2012
    In what contexts are you getting stuttering? I have never had anything but silky smooth video since I bought the Apple TV on the day the 3rd gen was released, using Wi-Fi with internet coming in via a cable modem. Perhaps you're having an ISP issue?
  18. AppleDApp, Jun 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012

    AppleDApp macrumors 68020


    Jun 21, 2011
    Because last years sales of 2.7 million units and this years sales of 3 million units to date. Coupled with the variety of Apple HDTV rumours and the fact that once Mountain Lion is released we will be able to stream the desktop to the TV and the implementation of Airplay are all clear signs that the Apple TV isn't taking off.:rolleyes:

    Edit Apple has also pushed iCloud downloads and partnerships with Netfiix,NHL, NBA, MLB.
  19. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    When it's compared to the sales of other iOS devices it hasn't taken off.

  20. AppleDApp, Jun 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012

    AppleDApp macrumors 68020


    Jun 21, 2011
    True but Apple is definitely increasing it's sales figures. Considering how fast Lion was adopted among mac users, I could see many interested ML users getting an apple TV after that release. I know once ML is released I will be purchasing a few myself. Airplay for the mac should increase the use of apple products in education and businesses.

    There seems to be something off with your chart. The Apple TV hasn't been on the market for 17 years.
  21. comatory macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    That is so true and you'd feel my pain if you'd live in Europe as I do. We don't have Netflix or Amazon Instant Video, yet we have this wonderful device called Apple TV.

    So yes, it's ahead of it's time but I think that Apple TVs are really succesful. For example my father bought one just for a single purpose: to have a quick way to show his photographs on his plasma TV when visits come over to his house. He just has his collection on 64gig iPad and beams it there.

    I think many people would be surprised where ATV is used. I believe that it could really take off in education market given its low price tag - you know for showing Keynote presentations and playing educational videos from projector when ATV is fetching its data from central iTunes server somewhere.

    With iBooks Author this seems like the next logical step. At least for US market but I can see this getting big everywhere else. Now they just need to cut down price on entry level iMac a bit and it's there.
  22. heisenberg123 macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario
    is the blue bar appletv?

    if so why has it been around for so many years on the chart
  23. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    Playing back 1080p via wired connection. I've shot this video at 1080p with good consumer camcorders, imported it into FCP X and rendered it as Pro Res 422. Then I've used Handbrake with the stock high profile to yield a final file. I've checked things like Mbps, etc to be sure the final render fits below :apple:TV3 specs (and it does by a long way).

    The video plays fine in Quicktime on my Macs with no stuttering, but stutters on :apple:TV3. No ISP involvement (it stutters with the local stream from Mac to :apple:TV3 with an AEBS as the "middle man"). I've tried everything already and am increasingly convinced it's a software playback bug... possibly tied to that latest software update as I don't remember (or didn't notice it doing this) before the update.

    It's not an overwhelming stutter making it unwatchable, just not the "silky smooth" you describe. Apparently the issue is tied to buffering while playing back and stops once the video file is fully buffered (and no it's not "catching up" to the buffering). It also seems to be most prevalent at 1080p (I'm not seeing it in 720p or SD files).

    I'm not the only one with the problem. Do a search for "Apple TV 3 stutter" and read the threads. If you have no stutter with 1080p content, consider yourself lucky. Some people aren't noticing until they look for it and it seems it's more noticeable on bigger screens.
  24. ThisIsNotMe Suspended

    Aug 11, 2008

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