Why iPad can be good for ATV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by tdmac, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. tdmac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    #1
    There has been allot of disappointment in the forums regarding the iPad. Don't want to rehash too much of what I said in other topics but…. all we saw was the hardware and a glimpse of the software based on some Apple redesigned Apps to take advantage of the larger screen real estate. Since no one really had their hands on this device besides Apple, nothing tangible could be created to really show it off. All that was taken away was that this is an ipod touch with a larger screen since it runs pretty much all of the current Apps.
    I think this is also why there is a 60 day window before the first product is on store shelves. Leaves a long window to make tons of announcements to keep this device front and center and allow developers & Apple to show what this device REALLY can do.

    But where does that leave us ATV owners or Mac Mini Owners who are looking for a ways to show off and control our content in home theater settings. Yes you can control the ATV or Mac Mini's iTunes via the current Remote App on an iPod Touch/iPhone. It’s nice and portable but not the most elegant thing to control your media.

    In the scheme of touchscreens, the iPad is dirt cheap compared to what other Home Technology companies charge for a touchscreen. Apple's Remote App or another 3rd party App could easily take advantage of the larger screen real estate to create a much better & richer control experience. I can see cool stuff like bring up DVD cover art and do a flick gesture forward toward the screen to "throw" it on the TV to play. Easily add a jukebox functionality showing what's playing in the room, add to Queue, etc. There could really be a cool wow factor and unique ways to play and control your media. Nice large screen real estate for development of a third part remote control app to control all your AV gear. I guess we will have to wait and see but I can see potential for great things.

    For those using a Mini, using the iPad virtual keyboard and allow easier text entry with the nice large virtual keyboard. Or use a VNC app and nice large screen to control the Mini if you want without having to use a computer to manage your iTunes library (Although an app for this would be better option).

    The iPod Touch & iPhone opened the door for this sort of control but the screen isn't large enough to take advantage of great functionality. There is only so much that could fit on a screen and you can only make icons so small. I think Apple also realized this as well and saw a benefit for the use of a large screen to make certain Apps way more functional, just like Apple did with the Mail, Photo and Safari Apps shown. The ability to have instant on functionality and a large battery life is key to using this as a control platform for Home theater / Home automation. I think the take way for the iPad is that it will be different things for different people. For some it may be sitting on the coffee table to control the Home Theater and media. Let you surf the web on the couch if needed and show off your photos as a digital picture frame while sitting in the dock. For others it may be a book reader and a way to surf the web. The price point is low enough that it can appeal to people many different ways. I think its also why the device comes with or without 3g. If you are using it in the house for control do you have a need for 3G? The price point is one where households could potentially purchase multiple units.

    BTW, I can also see this hardware making its way into the Next generation ATV. Lower power consumption (more energy efficient), Instant On (So you can actually turn the device off) and a faster processor. I think the iPad will pave the way for the ATV and turn a future version from a "hobby" in Apples eyes to a central part of a full home media experience. If what I conceive is true it would then help drive sales in both directions. Those with an ATV to buy an iPad for the unique control experience and iPad owners to get an ATV for use with their iPad for a rich media experience on the big screen.
     
  2. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #2
    Interesting ideas.

    I have a hard time seeing a big application of this iPad as a principle remote, though I agree it could be a spectacular one. Why? Because as soon as you take it with you to use it for its other features, the "good remote" has left the house. If you are single living alone, that's just fine. But if anyone else lives with you, you're going to be very unpopular when you force them to revert back to the old, crappy remotes.

    Besides, remotes take a beating. They get dropped on the floor. They are in the dog's mouth. They get sat upon. They get tossed from person to person. Do you really want a big glass surface device trying to survive all those very real scenarios.

    I certainly expect one or more "wow" ultimate remote APPs to come out for the iPad. But I have a really hard time seeing it as a good fit for that use for the crowd (especially if the crowd is not a single, living alone).

    On a related note, I'm somewhat disappointed to learn that the advanced chip inside this Tablet is also limited at 720p (not 60 fps), so it is still a pretty minimalist incarnation of HD playback. I'm also disappointed that it is not powering a 16:9 iPad screen, instead working on a more (backward) roughly square screen (1024x768). It appears decisions were made to aim this more at replicating virtual printed paper (8.5 x 11) than for video enthusiast purposes. Sure, you'll be able to watch your widescreen movies on this thing, but can you say thick black bars? Very thick? Wait until you try a movie with a widescreen aspect ration well beyond 16 x 9. It is going to be a very thin strip of movie.

    I had hoped that the chip in the iPad could potentially be the 1080p chip in a next-gen :apple:TV. But this one is apparently NOT it, unless- perhaps- it is paired with a separate, dedicated graphics chip that can cover the 1080p needs.

    And apparently this iPad can't even be the mobile :apple:TV as some had hoped, as I think I read it can't even output 720p to- say- a friends HDTV when you are visiting, just a lower resolution. That means you can still transport your movies to a friends house, but playback resolution may be even less than you can realize on your 3-year+ old Apple TV.
     
  3. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    #3
    If there ever is a atv hardware update anyone taking bets it would have that A4 chip in it ? Seems possible.

    The iPad can do 720p at 30fps. That would be nice on the atv.
     
  4. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    #4
    That's exactly what I was thinking yesterday as I was following the live blogs.
     
  5. GSX macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    #5
    It seems to me that Steve has been so focused on the iPad, and before that the iPhone, that the Apple TV had been forgotten.

    Hopefully now that the iPad has been released Steve can focus some of his energies back on to the Apple TV.

    Unfortunately I think Apple will need to work fast. A lot of other companies are coming out with media boxes, and if Apple wants to stay relevent they need to update the Apple TV soon.
     
  6. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #6
    But the Apple TV is just a "hobby". ;)
     
  7. sanPietro98 macrumors 6502a

    sanPietro98

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Location:
    28.416834,-81.581214
    #7
    The 60-day window is probably also because (as stated in the iPad video) the FCC hasn't yet rated the device. If the FCC rated the device, it would have had to make its results public, thus letting the cat out of the bag prematurely.
     
  8. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Location:
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
  9. GSX macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    #9
    Oh right!

    I forgot.

    :rolleyes::(:mad:
     
  10. moneyman118 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    #10
    I apologize in advance but what is the EDR?
     
  11. jwnelson301 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #11
    I 100% agree! I really hope to see some iPad and AppleTV functionality. If they threw in some multifunction ability on the iPad, I could keep the remote app running while I surf the web (I hate waiting for the remote app to start up). The iPad keyboard would be awesome for people with large collections (like me).


    Here's what I was hoping for (and maybe it's in there): When I saw the iPod/iTunes interface on the iPad, I was looking for a "sharing" tab similar to my AppleTV. I want to be able to stream music and movies from my iMac to the iPad, just like the AppleTV. I have way too much music and movie to sync to the iPad. I have no problem with the iPad being a media consumption device, as long as my media can be shared (instead of syncing) between home devices.
     
  12. Flynnstone macrumors 65816

    Flynnstone

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    Cold beer land
  13. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #13
    Really? After 3+ years, 720p at 30fps would be nice??? When lots of other little boxes are in the marketplace priced well below :apple:TV equipped with 1080p chipsets?

    I'm am the biggest dreamer (and ready buyer) of a next-gen :apple:TV, but if it is just capable of 720p at 30fps, it will be another ho hum (and not get my waiting money).

    What's best about the :apple:TV vs. all these other little boxes is the UI. It is (still) great. Very easy to use. Hooked to the breadth & depth of iTunes and the iTunes store, it is quite a terrific little piece of technology.

    But, lacking 1080p when it could so obviously be in there- especially at Apple's price- is ridiculous. I know, I know, "until iTunes movies are available at 1080p" and "until the U.S. broadband infrastructure could deal with 1080p" and "until there are ways to store humongous 1080p files", blah, blah, blah, why should Apple build one with 1080p?

    Because 1080p camcorders out for several years now can feed their movies into iMovie, be rendered as a 1080p MP4, which will insert into iTunes and play in iTunes... but can't get pumped on to the HDTV via :apple:TV (as is, nor in this new 720p 30fps either).

    Because HD vodcasts are only limited to 720p because they can't be played on :apple:TV if they were rendered at 1080p. Deliver a 1080p :apple:TV and vodcasts might lead the way in adding 1080p content to iTunes.

    Because until there is enough 1080p :apple:TVs in place, there is NO reason for the Studios to test 1080p iTunes movies for :apple:TV, and find out if people will buy them, wait for the long downloads, etc.

    Etc.

    Let's not hope for a barely incremental step in the next-gen :apple:TV. Let's hope they go all the way... so that their new box can directly compete with much cheaper and increasingly plentiful solutions coming out from many other players. Else, as soon as one of those other players sufficiently rips off the :apple:TV UI experience, we may be overly tempted to just buy from someone else. Com'on Apple. We know you can do it.
     
  14. tdmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    #14
    But given the price points, one could buy one principaly for use as a control device and a second or third for other applications. Not everyone will spend that kind of $$ but if you put it in context to what some other Home Multi-room audio system costs and the fact that Touchscreens for those system sell for over $1500 each for a much small size screen and serves a single purpose this could be a game changer.

    Yes Apple has been consumed with the development of this device. I'm sure other product enhancments have also been in development as well. If you look at the video they have on the site, you can see that the heads of many dept's were involved in the makeup of this device. I think the iPad can play a central role. I think what will come next are product refreshes both Apple software and hardware (ala ATV) that can take advantage of the iPad.
     
  15. tdmac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
  16. kiranmk2 macrumors 6502a

    kiranmk2

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    #16
    I think it's too early to be discussing what the iPad can and can't do. Remember, the specs for the iphone video playback haven't changed since the G1, but we know the 3GS can play back 720p content (if you can get it onto the phone). It's likely that 720p30 is quoted as the maximum as it matches the screen size of the iPad. Once people get hold of the iPad, they'll certainly try and push the boundaries of what it can do. It seems logical that the latest PowerVR gpu cores can decode 1080p and coupled with the ARM chip in the iPad, the low-power, instant-on aspects would find the perfect home in the ATV.

    Still time for more features to be announced (i.e. streaming media rather than syncing as part of iPhoneOS 4.0), but if Apple can clinch the video deals it wants, then expect an updated ATV. If they don't, we're in for a wait.
     
  17. Revelation78 macrumors 68000

    Revelation78

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #17

    I think you'll see Apple support 1080p when one of two things happen:

    1) iTunes and internet bandwidth can handle 1080p content (US mainly)

    2) Managed Copy(R) is fully released - think of how you import your music into your iTunes library now.
     
  18. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #18
    iTunes can handle 1080p NOW. I have plenty of 1080p home movies I've shot myself with consumer 1080p camcorders that work just fine in iTunes.

    Waiting until a country as big as the U.S. has the bandwidth for heavy flows of big files like 1080p movies means it will almost never come. The owners of those pipes won't expand them until they start losing money as people quit to get their broadband from somewhere else. Since there is generally monopolies in broadband throughout the U.S., there is no competitive force to draw away their broadband customers. Thus, no loss of revenues. Thus, very little incentive to even work on expanding the pipes, except to insert other services such as Cable VOIP into freed-up bandwidth to add new streams of revenues from the same constrained pipe.

    My opinion is that Apple must LEAD (just like building Tethering and MMS into the iPhone even though AT&T's "pipes" could not yet handle it or building grand central and quad core chips into Macs before most of the supporting pieces like popular software could make good use of it)... not follow. Else, a 1080p :apple:TV is a long, long way off while we wait on the Broadband pipes to be expanded (for what profit reason exactly)?

    Meanwhile, competitors seem to be building little 1080p boxes galore. Apparently, the iTunes and broadband limitations do not constrain their product development innovations.
     
  19. mychetboy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    #19
    If the A4 is really a A9 chip disguised...then it is more than capable running 1080p, it has been software or hardware limited by designed. The A9 was demoed at the CEC easily running 1080p, with the Boxee Box will have in it as well. Hopefully its software disabled. Then if a new ATV comes out with that chip, then the box would be ready and able to run 1080p due to any hacks or any releases by Apple once iTunes is 1080i/p compatable.

    I was really hoping an AppleTV but will focus on doing handbreak rips of my current dvds until the new ATV v3 is released, if ever..or go with the boxee box.
     
  20. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #20
    I believe the A9 an the A4 are two completely different chips, from different sources. The A4 is apparently a custom chip from PA Semi, acquired not long ago by Apple. I doubt that it is an A9 in disguise as Apple would want to tout the higher specs of the A9 for this "best thing I've ever done" iPad product.

    But, it is possible that the A4 is more capable than as it is used in this iPad, and thus it could be key in the guts of a next-gen :apple:TV. If nothing else, it could be paired with a dedicated 1080p chipset so that the heavy lifting for the video is offloaded to the latter, while the A4 manages the rest.

    I'm very hopeful for a 1080p :apple:TV. It seems way past due. And I could care less about 1080p content in the iTunes store, or fatter broadband pipes. I'd really just like to make the weakest link in the mostly Apple chain (camcorder, iMovie, iTunes, :apple:TV, HDTV) capable of pumping those home movies to the TV without having to heavily downgrade the quality to "as is" :apple:TV capabilities. Make no mistake, "as is" still looks very nice- better than DVD- but it's pretty tough when you compare raw 1080p camcorder to HDTV vs. that same camcorder video downrezzed to current :apple:TV capabilities and then played on that same HDTV... especially when all the other Apple parts handle the 1080 video just fine.
     
  21. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    #21
    well, considering it cannot do it right now ... yes.
     
  22. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    #22
    Um, which other Apple parts are you referring to ? Afaik, none of the apple mobile devices can do 1080p. I agree 1080p would be great, why not ? I just don't see where 1080p is a barrier to entry. I do see you're point on home movies though.
     
  23. kiranmk2 macrumors 6502a

    kiranmk2

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    #23
    I'm not certain, but I think the way ARM chips work is that companies licence designs from companies and then contract their composite design to a fab to actually produce the chips. In this case, it seems Apple/PA licensed the A9 core cpu and then another gpu. In this respect you could probably argue that it is "custom" as Apple chose the parts. For example I believe nVidia's Tegra2 is the A9 with an nVidia designed GPU.

    It's not inconceivable that an ATV2 would pair the A9 with a GPU designed for heavy decoding.
     
  24. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #24
    the other parts I referenced in green in #20:
    • Apple gives us the tool (iMovie) to convert 1080p video from the camcorder and render a 1080p MP4 from it
    • Apple gives us the library tool (iTunes) which can database that render and even play it back- no problem at all
    So the weakest link in this chain is what: 1080p camcorder : iMovie : iTunes: :apple:TV : 1080p HDTV?

    For me, that's why the next-gen should be 1080p. For Apple, it should be to compete with all the other, often cheaper :apple:TV-like boxes that keep coming out with 1080p chipsets. Besides, Studios can't possibly test the revenue potential of 1080i or 1080p content for :apple:TVs until there are :apple:TVs in homes capable of 1080p. Waiting for it to come to iTunes first is putting the cart before the horse.

    Waiting for suitable broadband pipe expansion throughout the whole U.S. is waiting (almost) forever.

    Apple can't control the Studios or the Broadband Goliaths. But they have total control over what they build into a next-gen :apple:TV. Apple should LEAD, not follow.
     
  25. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    #25
    I think he was referring to the iTMS going 1080p, not the iTunes software. The point being that Apple doesn't really care about people putting their own content onto the ATV. They think of it as a delivery vehicle for the iTMS offerings. And until they decide to offer 1080p content, there is no reason for the ATV to need to handle it.
     

Share This Page