The missing link in the digital hub

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by patton76, Nov 27, 2002.

  1. patton76 macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2002
    I'm a long time Mac user, and I really like the digital hub idea. Since some time now I have a digital camera and DV cam. I use iphoto, itunes and imovie a lot. It's very easy to connect all kind of devices to your mac. Gsm's, camera's, DV, etc... But still two are missing: home stereo and TV.

    It would be great to play your movies on your TV, mp3's on your home stereo, project jpeg's on your TV, etc.

    If there was some kind of box that did all that, it would be great and so easy!

    Now you have to connect your camera to your mac, upload the movie, edit the movie, upload it back to your camera, connect your camera to the TV. This can be easier.

    So I propose a well designed box, airport and rendezvous enabled. With a USB, firewire, SCART and digital out port.

    So if you start up your mac it sees the box over airport and rendezvous. From within iphoto, imovie and itunes, you can sent your photo's, movies and mp3's to your TV and home stereo.

    Would be a great way to look and hear your mp3's, movies and photo's.

    itunes and mp3's speak for themselves. But if you show your photo's and movies to friends on your TV that would be great!

    The usb and firewire port are for the case you want to look at your movies or photo's immediatly after tou shot them. Would be convenient, but isn't neccessary as such.

    The SCART port is for easy connection with TV and home stereo.

    The digital out of course is for the digital connection with your home stereo with DTS and Dolby Digital decoders.

    In short, it would be a great idea, and is in my humble opinion the missing link in the digital hub.
  2. Thirteenva macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2002
    Well phillips has agreed to adopt Apples rendezvous technology in future products. So playing your itunes playlist on a home stereo may not be that far off. That would be great. Phillips makes great products and i'd definetely buy a stereo from them that could integrate with itunes.
  3. patton76 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2002
    If Philips does integrate rendezvous in their TV's and stereo's that's great but they won't come out very soon and will be expensive.

    Second I won't buy a new TV and home stereo for that.

    Third, I don't like Philips products.

    Fourth people have no joice with stereo and TV they want

    So this may be great in the future, but is useless for now, and even the next few years.

    Stereo's and TV have a rather long life circle compared to computers.
  4. Computer_Phreak macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2002
    i think a new iapp that is a tv viewer and a tv-tuner built into macs is a much better idea than a whole seperate box.
  5. fleetwood macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2002
    Menomonee Falls, WI.
    MY Mac Stereo

    My Mac is hooked up to my Stereo, It's a giant Jukebox.

    My 55" is also hooked into my Mac.
    You havent seen ITunes Until you've seen ITunes on a 55"
  6. Thirteenva macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2002

    I don't think they'll be that much more, probably $100 -$200 bucks more, thats not bad considering it will be new technology

    to each his own. I personally would buy a stereo that could integrate wirelessly with my mac or be plugged into my home network and I await it eagerly

    Again, to each his own. My personal opinion of phillips is good. i have a phillips stereo at home that sounds and works great, We're very happy with it. Also purchased a phillips tv for a great price that we're also happy with. And i would buy another phillips product without hesitation.

    If you mean because only phillips has agreed to use the technology so far. Well thats not phillips fault. I'm sure if other companies wanted to do so they could use rendezvous also. Apple open sourced it.

    Its not useless now, there's just no products right now using it, its a brand new technology. That seems silly to say, that its useless now.

    I dont think it sounds useless at all, imagine being able to preview your iMovie project in your tv. Or to view home video collection of mpegs from a cd on your television by playing them in quicktime on your mac. Imagine being able to send playlists from every mac in your house to your home stereo. Sounds very usefull to me.

    Absolutely, i agree one hundred percent. Not sure how that fits into your arguement though.:confused:
  7. cubist macrumors 68020

    Jul 4, 2002
    Muncie, Indiana
    Hey I like this concept.

    Let's not rain on patton76's parade.

    Here's how I envision the box: It has black top and bottom and chrome sides. The entire front is a black plastic with multicolor LED display. (Have you seen the latest car stereos and home compact stereos? They have gobs of colored lights.) DON'T make it look like a typical computer white box with a single teeny green light. The LEDs should display some meaningful information at least some of the time, but be colorful and eyecatching. Also there are lighted buttons with easily legible legends (perhaps dynamically painted on the display?).

    Now even if it has Rendezvous it either needs to connect to Ethernet or have an airport slot, preferably both. Internally it functions much like an iPod, but with a lot more storage. The computer can send it songs and/or movies, or it can TVR them from the air, or time-record from a built-in FM tuner. Also, you should be able to record onto it from the stereo, and transfer the resultant MP3, AAC or AIFF to your computer. For that matter, it can have a Firewire port to connect to an iPod. The playback/record functions are completely controllable from the front panel.

    In fact, you don't even need a computer to use this thing. You can transfer music from CDs into it, then put them onto your iPod.

    Should it display on the TV screen, and have a wireless keyboard for living room surfing? Should it play games, and allow multiplayer gaming over the Internet? I don't think so, because that will dilute its functionality which is that of a general-purpose audio-visual recording system.

    Should it allow an external CD-R to be connected to its Firewire port, and record onto it? That's an interesting question. I think it should.
  8. Timothy macrumors 6502

    Jan 2, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    No sense...

    OK, I've watched this idea of the home stereo/video component develop over the past year, and it still makes little sense to me.

    1) Watching movies on your TV? It's called iDVD. Burn your movies, photos, slideshows to a Disc, and pop it into your DVD player. Job done. Simple, no extra box needed.

    2) Listening to MP3s. Buy an iPod, and a $3 cable that plugs into your home stereo. Done. Simple.

    If Apple were to release a box such as has been described above, it would easily cost $500 or more. And, the functionality isn't so dramatically different, or even that frequently needed, that it would be a justifiable expense to many people. We're talking a miniscule market here. There is no chance at all that Apple will release such a device.

    Rather, I think the Phillips direction is where Apple will go; they will work to get Rendevous implemented into as many devices as possible, thereby accomplishing the same thing with very little investment in new products and new lines of products.

    I'm willing to bet $$ that Apple never releases anything remotely like what is listed above.
  9. iapple macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2001
    Um... you can already do this!

    Hello. I'm also a long time Mac user, and you can do those things you mentioned.

    A simple, crude way--
    All you do is attach a standard analog audio out cable (phone jack to stereo) available at any electronics store to your stereo system's audio-in port. Play iTunes music on your stereo- accomplished.

    A better way
    Buy a 100 dollar~200dollar (depends on the quality and features) USB audio output device. If it has a digital audio out port, that's even better quality.

    Hooking up to TV for video out for PORTABLES-
    If you have an iBook or PowerBook-- simple. Hook up the S-video out port on the PowerBook, or the TV composite out port to your TV, and launch iMovie or iTunes. If you don't have a DVD burner you can just play the iMovie on full screen mode and record to a video tape. It's a lot more simple than using iDVD and it takes less time if I may add.
    This is one reason I've always used portables since they always come with video outs, and you can carry'em around anywhere!

    If you have a DESKTOP Mac..
    Now, it's a little harder to take your heavy PowerMac G4 over to your living room and connect to the TV.. So I would recommend getting a TV Tuner/Video in box or a card to stick in your PCI slot.

    So it is all possible right now. Video conferencing is possible with shareware, but it, frankly speaking, sucks. I am waiting for a video conferencing software form Apple. Yea, I guess Quicktime Broadcaster does the job, but a better "i" interface would be even better.

    And of course, it would be a lot better if Apple bundled TV tuners integrated with Macs to make life easier.
  10. patton76 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2002
    Yes, I know, it's allready possible, but the options are not convenient, or user friendly. The options are a hack rather than a solution.

    Burning CD's or DVD's takes time and you can't change them after they are burned.

    A Tibook is a rather expensive hack for this to accomplish.

    Also, each time you have to connect and disconnect those things.

    I have an ibook and a G4. Sometimes I hook up my ibook to my stereo and stream my mp3's from my G4.

    So first I have to put on my G4, then I have to hook up my ibook with my stereo, connect to my G4, open itunes, and finnaly play my tunes. Then my battery runs out of juice.

    Laptops may be great, but all my jpeg's, mp3's and movies are on my G4, since I have more storage there. A dv movie takes a lot of space.

    It's a lot of hassle, and it can be easier and better. The box I propose doesn't has to have more utilities then I said above. It has to do what it should, not more, not less. A bit like an ipod.

    Think of all the families who have an imac. For them it would be a great solution!

    If Apple made this for € 500, I bought it immediatly!

    This is what Apple does, making things we didn't knew we needed them, but if we have them, we can't miss them for the world.

    It's something that doesn't exist yet, and with itunes, imovie, iphoto, rendezvous and airport Apple has an opportunity nobody else has.

    The box should be invisible, just like an airport base station, it works, and it works great!

    How great wouldn't it be if you could just click in itunes "play on stereo" and you instantly hear your mp3's through your stereo. The same for iphoto "show on TV". And immediatly you can see all your photo's on your TV.

    The thing shouldn't have any controls, or the ability to surf the net or record. It's just a digital hub ...
  11. Thirteenva macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2002
    Thats exactly what i'm excited about :D :cool: :D :)
  12. FelixDerKater Contributor


    Apr 12, 2002
    Nirgendwo in Amerika
    Since you're already talking about a system that would be quite expensive, why not throw in Bluetooth. A nice set of Bluetooth headphones would be nice, without the static of the 900MHz wireless headphones.
  13. Raiden macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2002
    I like the digital hub idea. But I think apple should put as much features as possible into the thing. As someone said, there might not be enough features to justify the cost.

    Connecting the living room is the jist of this device. Well I say let there be all the ports and things needed to connect the PS2 and Gamecube in the back.

    Let the thing have the same funtionality of a airport base station, therefore people wont have to buy a mac, a airport base station and a airport card just to use this hub. Windows users could possibly use it? It would open up a bigger market for the device.

    Bluetooth installed into it. Then people could sync their T68i and palm devices from their couch instead of next to their computer.

    Have a DVD drive in it. Many people dont have DVD players yet. (Like me). With a DVD drive in it, I could play DVDs. I could even remotely burn DVDs via the mac with iDVD.

    Have a large hardrive with space for more hardrives. Maybe 60 Gigs. That way, I could save my favorite DVD that I barrowed onto the ihub hardrive and watch it later.

    I would loooove for it to have a VCR player too. My family used to videotape everything. It would be so great for the device to watch VCR tapes, and transfer them digitaly onto the hardrive. All of our old family memories stored forever.

    This is all just a dream machine in my opinion, but it would be innovative device years ahead of anything the windows world puts out. Tell me if my ideas are stupid and wont work, or if you like them. Thanks

  14. NHMac macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2002
    This is an interesting idea. Right now the literal hub of my set up is my Airport Base Station and Cable Modem. If would make sense for the Digtal hub to include things like a Cable Modem (intoducing the Apple ease of use) and Wireless Networking. Does Phillips make digital Cable boxes like the big Motorola thing that sits below my TV?
  15. Fall macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2002
    People use their computers to get things done, and sit up close to it.

    People use their TV's to lounge around and do nothing in front of, from a distance.

    So there's no real integration between the two there, it's been done and failed.

    If apple start making TV's, Stereo's, Toasters and Fridges, (the last two maybe not), we all know what would happen.

    1) They'd look nice
    2) They'd cost more.
  16. springscansing macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2002
    New York
    Oh come now, these are not hacks. Pluging an audio out into an audio in or a video out into a video in is not a hack: It's intended use. Yeah, we'd all love some magic wireless electronics, but for the record wireless audio sounds a LOT worse than corded for obvious reasons, and at least for me quality is a lot more important than 5 seconds with a cable. And as for not being able to change CDs or DVDs.. you do know they make CD-RWs and DVD-RWs, right? The audio over airport is going to sound like crap compared to a real stereo setup, and I don
    't think you can send anywhere near the amount of data that a high-quality movie would require over airport and have it played in realtime. Now sure we could keep the audio in the digital domain entirely then have the player decode it, but then it needs special software and whatnot and would basically limit you to one model from Phillips or something, and being limited to one consumer-level option is not something anyone serious would want. Okay I'm freakin bored...
  17. Natron macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2002
    I have to admit that I am really liking the "media center" idea. I would love to be able to easily play music, watch movies, and view photos on my TV or stereo from my Mac. The ability to do it wirelessly would be great, but I would much rather have a cable connected. Now I do get tired of hooking my TiBook up to the stereo (as there is really no good place to put it), and would much rather leave it on a desk. If such a device came out, I would think wireless would be a good addition, but it would also need a wired connection (probably ethernet). You just can't get the same quality out of wireless connectons...yet.

    One thing I thought of is introducing iCal into the mix. Why not have a way for iCal to display a message on your TV when it is time for something, such as leaving for an appointment. It could even notify you when someone has sent you a message on iChat. Often times, I will leave my computer active in my bedroom, and wander out to the living room to watch some TV or just hang out.

    I do think a device like this would be good in the home, as well as good in the work environment. In a main meeting room, coworkers could drop presentations, files, or pictures onto a central device for meetings. This may not be so feasible for large corporations where many of these devices may be needed, but in a work environment like mine, where it is a dozen or so people with one central area for meetings, this could be quite nice. If Appleworks 7 is going to compete with MS Office (and I hope it does), being able to run presentations or slideshows on a TV would be good as well.

    I'm not sure this would need a DVD/CD player as I would rather just play audio or video from my computer, or the CD and DVD players already present in my living room. With the price of CD-R's and CD-RW's, burning CD's isn't a huge problem or hindrance, but I would still prefer all my songs be available, not just the ones that are on the current CD. A device like this would definitely need a universal remote that could control all current electronics.

    Anyway, just some thoughts.

  18. BenderBot1138 macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2002
    Rare Flare

    Wow... I rarely see such a complete misunderstanding. The responders to your post have done their best to be nice and play along but I can't see your real problem here. If only you had asked "is this possible to do" rather than make some blanket declaration of impossibility based in ignorance about the digital hub. Also, I could find absolutely NOTHING "humble" about your opinion (as you put it).

    Our Newbie laments:
    It would be great to play your movies on your TV, mp3's on your home stereo, project jpeg's on your TV, etc.

    The Problem
    You don't understand your Hardware; That's first. Second, you don't understand your software needs. Third it is totally unclear, other than your statement that you are "... a long time Mac user..." what makes you the digital hub expert in town? I've seen some absolutely brilliant posts here from the regulars here about the digital hub, and yours - newbie - is not anything like those. Cubist makes a good point we shouldn't rain on your parade, I would agree that we should wet your parade with anything that isn't yellow ...

    And Now For This Intermission...
    I must admit to some degree of agrivation at your foolishness here. You come in and immediately start threads rather than integrating a little into the community and make a post that has been solved at least 10 times by my count after having done a simple search in the forums at MacRumor. It probably only took you 10 minutes of thoughtless writing to come up with a declaration of what "macs" (i.e. Apple Computer Inc.) cannot do. :mad:

    What Can Be Done Despite Your Thoughtless Post
    It is very easy to connect to and play movies of ANY kind on a TV. A five dollar cable is all it takes to help you be more in tune with the world. If you want to broadcast radio waves to your TV, they have a name for that, it's called a "Television Station". That said, I do have a setup to send wireless to my television just fine. If you want Televisions to be Rendevous enabled, your beef isn't with Apple is it ... :mad:

    Get A Life
    You're not using Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro and those are Apple's Solutions for your demands. I spent the money to get these programs, and just because you are unwilling to, don't expect apple to suddenly make iMovie your solution. It's good business and I think you are deluding yourself first of all by making such statments here, and second by expecting anyone to think you are anything but a total maniacal megalomaniac. :mad:

    The only "well designed box" I want to see is the one that should be placed around you and your lack of understanding. I plug in my DV Camera and shoot on demand, straight to disk; It is possible to do so, and even run straight to TV and/or stereo's of any kind, if you are willing to do more than run off at the mouth like you are doing. You yak and yak and yak about oh how difficult it is to upload to this and upload to that and then and only then do you have to get up off your couch potato like backside and plug in your DVC so you can watch on your TV. I mean c'mon!!! Who do you think you are fooling. If you want, just plug your Camcorder into your TV and watch it; if you want to edit it... what are you suggesting ?huh? that the TV should do that for you???? That's not a "digital hub" problem, that you being a damn dirty ape... stop walking on your knuckles. :mad:

    Apple sells hardware to accomplish everything you THINK it can't do. Apple recommends what DV "Camcorders" to get along with other hardware that meets its "Specifications". If you do have an iBook and a G4 and a DV Camcorder, I can only say "What a waste of technology".:mad:

    You Need To Learn This Word
    Specifications: of which the definition of is something you obviously don't care about. :mad:

    Why didn't you just ask some questions here rather than make a foolish post newbie? There are real Apple Geniuses here, and experts in exactly what you are confused about. Moreover, I suggest you don't "propose" anything more without first asking.

    What you are doing is not exactly what Apple had in mind when it said "Think Different" although clearly you are negatively doing so.

    Quit speculating.

    Addendum After Reading Your Post Once More
    Yea, I know you don't like Philips given the GOOD relationship they have with Apple, but it seems like you don't know that.

    Dig into your empty little pockets and fill your emply little thoughts with wonder... I mean if all you want to do is have some box you can plug into your computer with a CABLE, why not just forget the BOX and plug the cable into your TV! If you first want to project waves to a box, that will then project those waves to your TV, then ... well I'm going to stop there... :mad:

    And My Final Addition
    I saw at least two responders to your post provide you with awesome suggestions, which you proceded to call expensive and "a hack" etc. When you called the TiBook and "expensive hack" well you're a TiBook would change your mind. It's well priced, affordable, and very very powerful, just like all Apple Computer Inc. products. WHAT IS IT YOU WANT??? Do you want someone to GIVE you something then? People are doing their level best here to help you do the things you want done, but you want to use your existing very capable and powerful system, with some MAGICAL box you envision to solve your lack of knowledge about your own hardware and software... read the posted responses, there are real solutions to your core problem, but no one can solve the other problems you have.:mad:
  19. Raiden macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2002

    You shot this thread to hell with your childish ranting. Go have a temper tantrum somewhere else.

    You talk about other people as being "newbies", how the hell are you not one?? Youve only been here one month benderbot!

    Is there something wrong with speculation? If you cared to look at other threads, you would notice one of the main things todo in this forum is SPECULATE about upcoming apple products.

    I have to eat breakfast, so in my final words- quit talking out of your ass, and make mature posts, or go away.
  20. alset macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2002
    East Bay, CA
    I don't imagine this will happen any time soon. The movie industry is so hell-bent out of shape about piracy that this would be shut down the moment it was proposed. That's why we don't have a commercial soft-DVD ripper.

    Also, I didn't quite agree with the addition of a VCR to the box. It's nice for compatibility, but it's an old technology that isn't necessary on an already expensive box.

  21. BenderBot1138 macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2002

    Sorry Raiden, post is not directed for you; And nope, nothing wrong with speculation. Good old Chuck Darwin said: "Without speculation there is no good and original observation." Perhaps you misunderstood my context... it's centered on specifications, of which if you attempt to work around Apples Specifications, you'll end up wanting a Magic box to do things that Apple Computers can already do with a small amount of actual effort.

    I wouldn't call it so much "childish ranting" as genuine aggrivation. Sorry you feel it's a temper tantrum. Note I refrained from telling the original thread poster to go elsewhere, which you have unfortunately done to a Macrumors regular. Also good point about checking other threads... wish I'd suggested it. ;)

    I acknowledge your comment about "newbies" Raiden. I'm not sure you understand the definition of newbie here though. Check your status, and you'll find you are a newbie. Sorry you feel insulted, none intended.

    As a final note to Raiden's defense of patton76, a few points of which make a small amount of sense, you asked me to "stop talking out of my ass". Actually if you'll note, I'm not talking at all, just typing ... see nothing to do with vocal sounds at all... and just for your information, people can't talk out of their "asses", it's there mouthes that do that, human Specifications don't allow for talking out their "asses", but maybe you can connect a magic box to yours and play mp3's out yours - wouldn't that be great! Have a good breakfast Raiden, you deserve it.

  22. Raiden macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2002
    lol at the talking out of your ass thing. :)

    And yes, I am a newbie at these forums, I have no problem saying it.

    And also, that was one hell of a breakfast.

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