Future of the Apple TV?

What should happen to the Apple TV?

  • Nothing, it's fine as it is.

    Votes: 4 3.0%
  • Update the software inline with iPods/iTunes

    Votes: 9 6.7%
  • Update the hardware, it's a bit dated

    Votes: 9 6.7%
  • Both software and hardware need significant updates

    Votes: 104 77.0%
  • Beyond hope - scrap the idea

    Votes: 9 6.7%

  • Total voters
    135
  • Poll closed .

bilbo--baggins

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 6, 2006
702
1
UK
I have strong opinions of the Apple TV, but wondered what the general consensus was. Is it so bad it should be scrapped, fine as it is, or just need a few bug fixes?
 

brewno

macrumors 6502
Jun 8, 2007
459
17
Montreal, Canada
It's my next Apple purchase but I will wait undefinitely up to the moment they update it. The price drop for the 160Gb doesn't justify the purchase. Meanwhile, I'm transforming all my DVDs on m4v.
 

SurfMacJpMtb

macrumors member
Nov 19, 2008
72
0
USA
The hardware and software both need updates, but I am not sure about significant. It does a great job of extending my iTunes and iPhoto collection to my television. The addition of YouTube is fun, along with flickr and mobileme. I just wish I could customize the menus to reduce the emphasis on the iTunes Store.
 

boston04and07

macrumors 68000
May 13, 2008
1,527
460
Menu customization would be nice. The current look of the interface works, I think. It's simple and elegant enough, but if we could only move all the iTunes Store stuff, and focus on the media we already have, it would make it worthwhile in my opinion. Until that happens, I don't need an expensive device that only focuses on more purchasing. :rolleyes:

Growing media libraries need wayyyy more than 160 gb, in fact I can't believe they let the 40 gb version stay for so long - that's way too small! Even with the streaming capabilities it's just not enough. I would really like to see them make use of the USB drive for extra storage. And...an app store, perhaps?? I don't know, I just think that this device has sooo much potential and it's kind of sad that it's being wasted.
 

pdmpolishing

macrumors member
Sep 18, 2007
77
17
ATV is a fantastic device, I personally use it all the time, but it does need updating.

It needs 1080P, DTS passthrough and defiantly the ability to play other video codec.

I only hope Apple can eventually see this, because at the moment they only sell ATV to sell media from iTunes.
 

Chaszmyr

macrumors 601
Aug 9, 2002
4,265
76
I have two AppleTVs and I use both of them every day, but I still think both the software and hardware need significant updates.

I would also love for Apple to make an "audiophile grade" AppleTV with a very high quality DAC (since I'm assuming the onboard DAC has to be used for Apple Lossless, because pre-pros don't have the ability to decode Apple Lossless... kind of undermines the whole point), but I recognize there is no chance of that.
 

rld1971

macrumors newbie
Sep 10, 2008
3
0
I have an ATV and am very happy with it. Use it mostly for music, browsing pictures, and renting movies every so often.

I'd like to see some changes though:
- ability to use safari in it (out of the box), including flash please.
- widgets so that I have easy access to weather, scores, stocks, etc while watching movies, pics, etc.
- I'd love a CD drive on it... to rip all my music directly there (and keep it there).
 

JYork23

macrumors member
Jan 16, 2008
51
0
Connecticut
Many people have already posted my concerns with the ATV such as limited access to media providers (officially limited to just iTunes Store & YouTube). One thing that I haven't heard mentioned is just how unbearably hot the device runs. Something that hot must be using a ton of juice and if you're not using it all the time, you'll want it off. There no on/off switch. So I've had to put mine on a power strip by itself that has a switch. Now I've lost the convenience of having it on and ready when I have the normal TV configuration on. I go through the bother of turning it on perhaps monthly now. It has substantially less value in my living room than I thought it would have.
 

rogervzv

macrumors member
Aug 18, 2009
38
0
Huntington Beach, CA
About the only thing that I care about that they could do to the ATV is make it easy to use an outboard USB drive. 160GB is not enough for my boat when we go cruising. Otherwise the streaming capability pretty much negates the need to have content directly on the ATV HDD. I have two ATVs and love them!:eek:
 

jaw04005

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2003
4,369
15
AR
Menu customization would be nice. The current look of the interface works, I think. It's simple and elegant enough, but if we could only move all the iTunes Store stuff, and focus on the media we already have, it would make it worthwhile in my opinion.
The "Take 2" menu is elegant? Everything is crammed into a small, bland menu box with no differentiation of features other than white text. Now, once you get past the home menu it's nice.

The original (FW 1.x) menu was elegant, and it focused on just what you wanted - your media. Apparently, nobody wanted an "iPod for your TV." :(

It needs a complete overhaul, but I love mine to death.

Apparently, Jobs has better things to worry about. It held his attention for about a year (he pre-announced as 'iTV' in September '06, announced it formally in January '07, focused most of his 'All Things D' presentation on it in May '07 and re-introduced it in January '08 with the 'Take 2' update.) Since then, he's called it a hobby every chance he's gotten

It's a forward-looking device that's hard to sell to consumers, but I don't think it's going anywhere. Sales would pick up tremendously if they updated it to 1080p and offered a TV show/Movie subscription service.

One thing that I haven't heard mentioned is just how unbearably hot the device runs. Something that hot must be using a ton of juice and if you're not using it all the time, you'll want it off. There no on/off switch. So I've had to put mine on a power strip by itself that has a switch. Now I've lost the convenience of having it on and ready when I have the normal TV configuration on. I go through the bother of turning it on perhaps monthly now. It has substantially less value in my living room than I thought it would have.
Its maximum wattage is 48 watts, normal usage is around 19 watts and it idles around 14 watts, so no it's not using a "ton of juice." The reason it's warm to the touch is because it only has a small fan and uses the top aluminum shell as a heat sink.

And not all Apple TVs are hot. I have a 40GB (original) model that you could rub all day long without it bothering you, and a 160GB model that's actually cooler than the 40GB. However, I used to have one of the hotter 40GB models, so I know what you and may others are complaining about. Apple replaced it under warranty.
 

zedsdead

macrumors 68040
Jun 20, 2007
3,233
530
My guesses:

(1) Either updated at this next event before Christmas, or

(2) Early next year at a "Media-Centric" event with the new Tablet (which I think is more likely).
 

pjarvi

macrumors 65816
Jan 11, 2006
1,282
174
Round Lake, IL
Update the hardware and software, I use mine every single day.

The changes I would like to see are:

-3.5" hard drive, at least 1TB
-Proper sleep mode that turns off the HDMI port and re-does the handshake when waking up
-Option to turn off the white LED in front when sleeping
-Support for Apps designed just for the AppleTV (I would like to see stuff like: weather, movie times for the local theater, web browser, games, etc...)
-Faster processor/GPU
-Larger buffer for all streaming content (movies, tv shows, podcasts, YouTube, etc...)
-Option to initiate synchronization with a Mac from the AppleTV itself (utilizing Wake on LAN support for a sleeping Mac)
-Fix the issue with genres not showing all movies available for purchase
-Add a category in each genre that shows anything added over the last 7 days (I would buy more if I knew what had just been added, but all too often have to search or browse via iTunes to find stuff that was added to the store)
-Support for external drives (USB)
-Bluetooth keyboard support
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,172
2,051
Strong possibilities:
  • Firmware update for iTunes Extra and iTunes LP.

Likely:
  • Larger hard disk (probably SATA flavor).
  • Faster processor (CPU/GPU): full 1080p video output.
  • Redesigned user interface: nothing major, but I anticipate some level of redesign to improve usability.

Somewhat possible:
  • Video subscription contents, either Apple-flavor or 3rd party (e.g., Hulu, Netflix).
  • Newly redesigned remote control.
  • Support for external USB hard disk.

Not likely:
  • App Store: Given Apple TV's limited success, I personally don't see it happening. Minimally, I would love to see support for Dashboard widgets though.
  • DVR: this market is highly political and indirectly competes with iTunes business model.
  • DVD, Blu-Ray: I would love to see Blu-Ray or even upscaling DVD player. But the last thing Apple TV needs is a price increase.

I would also love for Apple to make an "audiophile grade" AppleTV with a very high quality DAC (since I'm assuming the onboard DAC has to be used for Apple Lossless, because pre-pros don't have the ability to decode Apple Lossless... kind of undermines the whole point), but I recognize there is no chance of that.
Doesn't Apple TV output Apple Lossless audio as PCM via HDMI and Toslink?
 

trip1ex

macrumors 68000
Jan 10, 2008
1,970
328
Rumor is Apple will lower the price to $30 and replace the insides with 2 halves of a brick. The Apple logo will breathe in and out to distinguish it from other paper weights.
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,172
2,051
I could be completely wrong, but it was my understanding that Apple Lossless is downconverted before being output.
On a friend's Apple TV, Apple Lossless audio stream (HDMI) was identified as 16-bit 44.1 kHz LPCM. Since CD audio is also 16-bit 44.1 kHz LPCM, I wouldn't think any downconversion is happening. If your source is something better than CD, perhaps Apple TV would downconvert.
 

Chaszmyr

macrumors 601
Aug 9, 2002
4,265
76
On a friend's Apple TV, Apple Lossless audio stream (HDMI) was identified as 16-bit 44.1 kHz LPCM. Since CD audio is also 16-bit 44.1 kHz LPCM, I wouldn't think any downconversion is happening. If your source is something better than CD, perhaps Apple TV would downconvert.
I don't think that means anything. I have a lot of music, some Apple Lossless, some ripped to MP3, some ripped to AAC, and some downloaded from iTunes. It's all 44.1 khz, and I think it's probably all 16-bit as well.
 

Metatron

macrumors 6502
Jul 2, 2002
383
47
Give me Blu-ray specs....I would actually buy movies.

Also, for the love of God, why can't content providers still provide rentals for some movies...maybe it is not worth buying.
 

uraniumwilly

macrumors 6502
Apr 7, 2007
315
2
Just curious about any recent developments.

1) Does Apple TV have the hardware to support blu-ray specifications? Is it possible that the current Apple TV could receive a software update to make that happen?

I ask because I want my blu-ray disc collection on my Apple TV with full resolution. I'm hoping I won't have to buy a new Apple TV, just for that reason. I'm aware of the alternative applications, Plex, etc. I'm currently using the rip/processing software, MKV & beta Handbrake, and procedures posted on this forum, with mixed results. Understandably.

2) Is there any solid business reason for Apple to support blu-ray on Apple TV?

From the iTunes store perspective, it seems like downloading movies at such resolution would be seriously problematic. So, I don't really see a big advantage for Apple to spend resources for blu-ray fans, other than bragging rights.

3) Based on recent tech advances, does anyone have updated thoughts on what's happening with storing blu-rays on Apple TV?
 

Andy348

macrumors 6502
May 18, 2009
421
0
Montreal
I think they should just implement it into the Mini line. We were looking at an Apple TV, but it's quite useless for those who want to watch movies online. The Mac Mini is a much better option.