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Apple, Google and Microsoft to face off for 'digital living room'

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
Apple has taken an early lead in the race for seamless access to content, but Google and Microsoft remain close contenders, according to a new analysis.

Maynard Um with UBS Investment Research issued the report as a note to investors Wednesday. After analyzing each of the key players in the race for the "Global Digital Living Room," Um views Apple as a front runner because of its "head start in media-generated content" and strong ecosystems such as the App Store.

Um sees the "Global Digital Living Room," defined as the "ability to move and access content anywhere in the world," as the next step in the consumer market. It's a "holy grail" of seamless cloud-based access to "all types of content across all types of devices anywhere and at all times."

The race for this level of access is still in its "early stages," but Apple, Google, and Microsoft have emerged as the key players. Amazon, Samsung, and Sony are seen as "dark horses," and HP, Nokia, and Research in Motion are "challenged."

Google's strength lies in its early advances in cloud-based access and the accelerating growth of Android, but the company risks fragmentation at the hands of multiple hardware partnerships with varying specifications, Um wrote.

Microsoft has made early inroads into providing content on the TV with the Xbox and can leverage its domination of the PC OS market, but Um believes that Microsoft needs much tighter integration between platforms in order to succeed.

According to the report, Apple is the current winner of the "In-Home Digital Living Room battle," i.e. the "ability to move and access content within the home," and has a head start on going "global." The Cupertino, Calif., company "offers the most seamless access to one of the largest libraries of media-generated content (music & apps, in particular) on multiple screens in the home through iTunes."

UBS' breakdown of Apple's ecosystem highlights the well-established Mac, iPad, and iPhone platforms and the iTunes Music, Video, and App stores as strengths. TV integration, Cloud-based services, Social Networking, and Apple's Office Suite offerings are listed as "Needs Improvement."



UBS expects front-facing cameras in the next iteration of the iPad as part of Apple's push to ship FaceTime on even more devices. Um also predicts that FaceTime will get support for 3G networks in 2011 and spread to all Apple devices with front-facing cameras (including Macs).

Despite Apple's attempts to reinvent the Apple TV, UBS still views the updated device as "limited." In the future, however, UBS expects Apple TV to "evolve and offer more functionality."

Regarding Apple's weakness in cloud-based services, Um views Apple's nearly-completed North Carolina data center as an important investment for "the battle for the Global Digital Living Room." Without it, Apple would continue to fall behind Google and Microsoft on "cloud computing abilities."

Apple maintains a significant hardware advantage over its competitors. Recent attempts by Microsoft and Google to "get into the hardware game" resulted in failure. Google's Nexus One phone failed to meet expectations. Microsoft's youth-oriented Kin smartphone was short-lived, surviving just 48 days on the market.

On the downside, UBS views Apple's "closed ecosystem" as a potential risk for the company. Additionally, the difficulty of fully integrating all of Apple's platforms and services is another hurdle for the company.
post #2 of 61
They both look very solid at this point, as Microsoft Media Center is already very skilled in this area, and Google TV shows great promise and pending support for Android apps, one can only hope that Apple has greater plans in the future for Apple TV, because as it stands, it's seriously lacking - IMO.
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #3 of 61
Apple have gone backwards with the release of the new appletv.

Renting? yeah, great... 99cents to rent the video? naw thanks.

But then, I cant get tv shows where i live, and the movies are all over priced for rentals or purchase.

MS media centre is great, and its going to be available in an embedded model, with all of hte general PC makers producing product. Plus it will play... 1080
Household: MacBook, iPad 16gb wifi, iPad 64gb wifi, iPad Mini 32gb, coming iPhone 5S, iPhone 4S 32gb, iPhone 32gb, iPod Touch 4th gen x1, iPod nano 16gb gen 5 x2, iPod nano gen 3 8gb, iPod classic...
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Household: MacBook, iPad 16gb wifi, iPad 64gb wifi, iPad Mini 32gb, coming iPhone 5S, iPhone 4S 32gb, iPhone 32gb, iPod Touch 4th gen x1, iPod nano 16gb gen 5 x2, iPod nano gen 3 8gb, iPod classic...
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post #4 of 61
Large brains sitting on couch watching reruns... get outside, ride a bike, put some paint on a canvas, play some guitar, TV is Satan.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #5 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

On the downside, UBS views Apple's "closed ecosystem" as a potential risk for the company.



the same reason why the iphone was doomed to fail is why this will fail to...

PC means personal computer.  

i have processing issues, mostly trying to get my ideas into speech and text.

if i say something confusing please tell me!

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PC means personal computer.  

i have processing issues, mostly trying to get my ideas into speech and text.

if i say something confusing please tell me!

Reply
post #6 of 61
I have been using DLNA to stream content to an Xbox and to and from both Sony and Samsung mobiles. In the case of the Xbox I have been doing so for over year. Suddenly Apple decides to hypocritically eschew the existing open standard - DLNA - and introduce a competing propritry system which is all of what - 2 weeks old? - yet it is immediately declared the 'leading contender.

Honestly, Steve Jobs' 'reality distortion field' appears to have mutated and is now contagious. i hope someone comes up with a vaccine soon.
post #7 of 61
The funny thing is, no two people are going to agree on what this so-called digital living room should look like. No matter how hard some analysts try to find it, there is no holy grail, just a bunch of different corporate ideas about how to package, provide and move content around, all of the players in constant competition with each other, all wanting control, all suspicious of each other. Nobody, not even Apple, can throw a single net over this -- even if consumers really knew what they wanted out of all this portable content. Which, they don't. It's a hopelessly fragmented market that nobody can even define, let alone dominate.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #8 of 61
Funny how when Apple doesn't do so well the trolls quiet down and leave the forum I guess they feel that in those cases people would agree with them, and what's the point of being a troll if you're not a contrarian, right?
post #9 of 61
Is there really anything worth watching on television? Certainly Fareed Zakaria-GPS, Christiana Amanpour-This Week, David Hobbs-Formula One, some tennis tournaments, but seriously that's about it!

The first two I can get as video podcasts...I miss Formula One, though. Tennis not so much. Like the comment above I'd rather be out and about playing tennis rather than sitting on the couch watching it and the incessant commercials!

Best
post #10 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

Funny how when Apple doesn't do so well the trolls quiet down and leave the forum I guess they feel that in those cases people would agree with them, and what's the point of being a troll if you're not a contrarian, right?

You need to consider time zones. If you live on the East Coast of the US it is roughly 1 am in NY and 7 am in Amsterdam. A lot of people will be asleep.
post #11 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

They both look very solid at this point, as Microsoft Media Center is already very skilled in this area, and Google TV shows great promise and pending support for Android apps, one can only hope that Apple has greater plans in the future for Apple TV, because as it stands, it's seriously lacking - IMO.

I agree. I see Google TV having the advantage with their deals with TV manufacturers. Unless Apple started manufacturing TVs (well outsourcing their designs to a manufacturer) I think Google will dominate.
post #12 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by cycomiko View Post

Apple have gone backwards with the release of the new appletv.

Renting? yeah, great... 99cents to rent the video? naw thanks.

But then, I cant get tv shows where i live, and the movies are all over priced for rentals or purchase.

MS media centre is great, and its going to be available in an embedded model, with all of hte general PC makers producing product. Plus it will play... 1080

I don't understand why people are saying this about the new Apple TV; I have read this a couple of places. Backwards? Why, because it doesn't have a spinning harddrive?

Apple just announced AirPlay with it; and I think, as usual, analysts like this author aren't quite catching on to what Apple has in store here. I mean, for one thing, how can he say "the difficulty of fully integrating all of Apple's platforms and services is another hurdle for the company"? These are obviously hurdles for everyone else, regardless, "open" or not. Apple is the only one which has any significant amount of integration! But back to AirPlay... sounds like you can send any of your media to the Apple TV from any of your devices seamlessly... kids walk in with their iPods, their stuff is on the TV; wife walks in with her iPhone, her photos are on the TV; I walk in with my iPad, my presentations are on the TV; friend visits with their own movie, no problem.

I'd get one of these AppleTV's... if we had a TV. We consume our media via computer and mobile devices only. We have an iMac on the coffee table and no TV in sight, which is how we like it.

Now, I wake up this morning to find that the new iWork for iPad updates are going to provide some seamless integration between my iPad files and my Mobile Me account! Can't wait to get started! Looking forward to hearing more about iWork.com, which I already use for feedback. I guess this article had already gone to print. No, Apple TV is just one checkpoint on down the road for Apple. Apple is running a cross-country tri-athalon all by itself while the others are still tripping over hurdles of their own making in the stadium. They think they are on the home straight, look over their shoulders to see where Apple is. Huh? No Apple. They look up on the big screen and see Apple rising up out of the water and dashing for a bicycle.
post #13 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

I have been using DLNA to stream content to an Xbox and to and from both Sony and Samsung mobiles. In the case of the Xbox I have been doing so for over year. Suddenly Apple decides to hypocritically eschew the existing open standard - DLNA - and introduce a competing propritry system which is all of what - 2 weeks old? - yet it is immediately declared the 'leading contender.

Honestly, Steve Jobs' 'reality distortion field' appears to have mutated and is now contagious. i hope someone comes up with a vaccine soon.

I think people honestly don't know what DLNA is.

This really hit home when I was reading an article the other day where the author wrote that the "killer feature" of the Apple TV that would see it purchased for every home in the country was the ability to share media across screens.

Imagine how great it will be, they said, when everyone has an Apple TV and you can walk into a friends home and push the photos off your iOS device directly to their TV.

I initially had a mixed reaction of confusion and disbelief. How could anyone think that Apple AirPlay is a new killer feature that is going to sweep the country when DLNA has been around for years, has already done the ground work and has the backing of just about anyone who is anyone (250+ member companies from their website).

I think it's just that people don't understand what DLNA is, which isn't exactly their fault considering there is basically no advertising for DLNA at all.
post #14 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Is there really anything worth watching on television? Certainly Fareed Zakaria-GPS, Christiana Amanpour-This Week, David Hobbs-Formula One, some tennis tournaments, but seriously that's about it!

I watch Revision 3 on the interwebs exclusively, I watch family guy, house and futurama mostly on the interwebs. My TV is limited to sports and that's about it.

What I want from Google TV, now that Apple TV has not delivered, is the ability to sub to podcasts, watch "channels" like Rev3, watch hulu, youtube and a la carte sports programming. If all of that is delivered I think cable would be quite useless to me.
--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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--SHEFFmachine out
Da Bears!
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post #15 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by krabbelen View Post

I don't understand why people are saying this about the new Apple TV; I have read this a couple of places. Backwards? Why, because it doesn't have a spinning hard drive?

I just think people like the idea of being able to store media in a central place.

Of course the cloud will eventually serve this purpose, but I'm not sure we are quite there yet.

It would be nice to see Apple release a cheap iOS based NAS server (the "iHub"?). Something that runs locally on the network an acts as an iTunes server, stores all of my families pictures/movies, operates as a shared time machine and also syncs to iDisk for offsite backup.

I think Microsoft should do something similar as well using Win7 Embedded, Media Center, Home Server and Skydrive.
post #16 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

I just think people like the idea of being able to store media in a central place.

No. The "people" are tech geeks in forums likes it. (I know I do) At the event, Jobs said their average costumers feedback show that they want it.
post #17 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

On the downside, UBS views Apple's "closed ecosystem" as a potential risk for the company. Additionally, the difficulty of fully integrating all of Apple's platforms and services is another hurdle for the company.

The "closed ecosystem" destroy the iPod. Its destroying the iPhone and App Store. Apple has never been able to intergrate the iPod, iTunes Store, iPhone, or AppleTV with the Mac, Nike fitness or MS Enterprise. Why does the morons think they can do it in the living room! Stream has been a big failure. Valve was absolutely nuts. Blizzard should wait 6 months to get their games working right instead of have both versions on the same disk. !!!!!Apple is such a mess you can't even clean it up with the Sham-WoW.!!!!!
post #18 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightstriker View Post

The "closed ecosystem" destroy the iPod. Its destroying the iPhone and App Store. Apple has never been able to intergrate the iPod, iTunes Store, iPhone, or AppleTV with the Mac, Nike fitness or MS Enterprise. Why does the morons think they can do it in the living room! Stream has been a big failure. Valve was absolutely nuts. Blizzard should wait 6 months to get their games working right instead of have both versions on the same disk. !!!!!Apple is such a mess you can't even clean it up with the Sham-WoW.!!!!!

Not sure how the iPod was "destroyed". It remains the most popular player on the planet. Now it is morphing into something much more than an MP3 player since the iPod touch is becoming the most popular model; and even the Nano now has iOS to some degree. Yes, the initial sync preferences are set through one interface, iTunes; but photos sync directly with albums and slideshows set up in iPhoto; whatever videos you put in your Movies folder, etc. can go directly into the iPod. iPhoto syncs directly with FB and Flikr, etc. ...How un-integrated is that?

Of course, you don't get the exact piece of software on your mobile device that you get on your Mac, because there are hardware limitations. Likewise, you also have to deal with two different versions of Office or Photoshop if you have a Windows PC and a Mac, both desktop based. And yet, file formats and networking protocols have been standardized (thanks largely to Apple). I can open the same Photoshop or Office file on a Mac or on Windows... assuming I have the program on both. Likewise, you need some comparable software on your mobile device -- inevitably it will not have the same features and it will have some shortcomings.

Meanwhile, there are more and more clients of different kinds available on iOS. I can have FileMaker/Bento, I can have DropBox; I can have Keynote, Pages and Numbers (now with Office support). What kind of integration are you talking about?

I find Google Docs, etc. unusable. It is a pretty poor imitation of the better web apps that are out there (take a gander at http://appvita.com for some inspiration). Every thing Google does seems to be rather hurried and seems to remain in Beta. There are developers out there making much more usable and polished web apps. And if you want to "integrate" your MS stuff, then it seems you need a full-time IT person with a degree in BS Certifications. I help a load of non-profit orgs and they can't get a full-time IT person, and thus they suffer from barely any integration between anything they do. They don't know WebDav from a website. They might just about manage to use Google Docs as horrible as it is.

Indeed, there are loads of great, innovative OpenSource solutions out there -- which have great iOS and OS X clients! Usually the developers give you both clients for use with their service. And these are fully integrated with each other. These also integrate fully with the personal data sync'ing and email services from Apple and also integrate into custom websites with little effort (as long as you use Open standards and not some closed, proprietary crap like .net or Adobe Air). The iOS platform is not "closed" by any meaningful definition of the word. The use of the term Open by other platforms has been completely corrupted. Yes, the App Store is a "walled garden", thankfully. But iOS fully supports HTML5 web apps, javascript, etc, and companies can develop and deploy their own iOS native apps without going through the App Store. I happen to do most of my work in online webapps, so I am very happy.

I am working online probably 14 hours a day, developing CMS sites and web services, etc. through online interfaces; and I make sure I am outside in the garden using my iPad as much as possible -- because everything I do is so integrated. I don't find a particular lack of integration between my work on the desktop OS X and iOS. And as for your complaint about Nike app -- I believe you can access your data on the desktop, either in iTunes or on the web (http://www.apple.com/ipod/nike/sync.html); so I am not sure what your issue is. Do other platforms even have such a thing in the first place? What are the others using bluetooth for? Yeah, some mess Apple is.

Another "open" thing about iOS is the ability to develop and program for integration with external hardware devices. Have you seen that little square doohickey that plugs into the 30-pin port for swiping credit cards? Now every Dick and Jane can make instant sales at Garage Sales, Fairs, Boot Sales, Conventions, etc. This is just the start. There have been lots of case studies for unique corporate uses of iOS on the web every week. Where are the stories about Android or RIM or or Symbian or Windows Phone? Yay, they can still connect to their messy corporate servers and get sales information! Whoopeedoo! And iOS and OS X still has more user-friendly and better built-in support for these things than Windows does itself. What a mess!
post #19 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

They both look very solid at this point, as Microsoft Media Center is already very skilled in this area, and Google TV shows great promise and pending support for Android apps, one can only hope that Apple has greater plans in the future for Apple TV, because as it stands, it's seriously lacking - IMO.

post #20 of 61
I tend to agree with you. Xbox has been able to stream content for some time now, yet when Apple releases a new ATV and the new iPhone, it's decided now Apple is the winner in the living room? I know about 20x more people who own an Xbox over the ATV. Pa-leez! If you just look at the eco-systems, Apple may have an advantage, but as far as popularity goes, MS has won that one with the XBox. All they really need to do is allow Apps, which it kind of does already, and come out with a rockin' phone and they would be pretty much neck and neck with Apple. MS does need to market the Windows Media Center better. They have had this (in one form or another) well before iTunes was a glimmer in SJ's eye, yet it fails to gain much attention. Marketing and UI need improvement.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

I have been using DLNA to stream content to an Xbox and to and from both Sony and Samsung mobiles. In the case of the Xbox I have been doing so for over year. Suddenly Apple decides to hypocritically eschew the existing open standard - DLNA - and introduce a competing propritry system which is all of what - 2 weeks old? - yet it is immediately declared the 'leading contender.

Honestly, Steve Jobs' 'reality distortion field' appears to have mutated and is now contagious. i hope someone comes up with a vaccine soon.
post #21 of 61
IMHO, components are what's killing the idea of the Holy Grail as you describe it. They're tried over the years (with various degrees of success) to minimize the amount of components, but there is no one solution as you have noted. Just think about all the (eye-sore) components you own in your living room:

TV
DVD/BD
Cable Box
Xbox/PS2-3/Wii
Tuner/Pre-amp/HTiB
Speakers
now ATV/Roku/HTPC

Not to mention remotes for all these...unless you buy into one of those crappy universal remotes that controls maybe play/pause/FF&RW channels and volume only.

If Apple would combine at least 3-4 of these components in the Apple TV, then you'd really have something.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

The funny thing is, no two people are going to agree on what this so-called digital living room should look like. No matter how hard some analysts try to find it, there is no holy grail, just a bunch of different corporate ideas about how to package, provide and move content around, all of the players in constant competition with each other, all wanting control, all suspicious of each other. Nobody, not even Apple, can throw a single net over this -- even if consumers really knew what they wanted out of all this portable content. Which, they don't. It's a hopelessly fragmented market that nobody can even define, let alone dominate.
post #22 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by cycomiko View Post

Apple have gone backwards with the release of the new appletv.

Renting? yeah, great... 99cents to rent the video? naw thanks.

But then, I cant get tv shows where i live, and the movies are all over priced for rentals or purchase.

MS media centre is great, and its going to be available in an embedded model, with all of hte general PC makers producing product. Plus it will play... 1080

Renting? yeah, great... 99cents to rent the video? yeah, baby, bring it on!
post #23 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Large brains sitting on couch watching reruns... get outside, ride a bike, put some paint on a canvas, play some guitar, TV is Satan.

Completely agree with this! That's why the new Apple TV is so great. You pay as you go, and you don't own what you watch. So, every rerun will cost you extra. You will finally control how much you are spending on watching TV, and you will choose the best content and ignore the mediocrity.
post #24 of 61
Given that Google loves to talk and talk about all these great things they plan on doing, yet we haven't seen a physical product yet worries me. They are probably running into the same problems Apple did with the Media Giants. However, I agree with you, when they actually come around to produce something (i.e. Android with Apps) they really have a strong case for themselves. Although I'm a little unclear to how they plan to run Apps from our TV's? Will TV's have hard drives that store data on them? Will it all be over this mysterious cloud? If we have inclement weather, will my MMORPG session be dropped because of my crappy cable or SATV? Given i don't "Game" i wouldn't know if this is already a problem...but you see my point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

I agree. I see Google TV having the advantage with their deals with TV manufacturers. Unless Apple started manufacturing TVs (well outsourcing their designs to a manufacturer) I think Google will dominate.
post #25 of 61
You are one RARE BREAD IMO...

99.9% of people who consume media, own a TV. Although, I do agree that the Integration aspect of all these systems needs some work. And I don't think that Airplay with take content that is not part of your home Eco-system, unless your friends Movie is also in your iTunes Library or his/her account is already sync'ed in your system. Now I need to look into this more, but I believe that's the case as it sits today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krabbelen View Post

I don't understand why people are saying this about the new Apple TV; I have read this a couple of places. Backwards? Why, because it doesn't have a spinning harddrive?

Apple just announced AirPlay with it; and I think, as usual, analysts like this author aren't quite catching on to what Apple has in store here. I mean, for one thing, how can he say "the difficulty of fully integrating all of Apple's platforms and services is another hurdle for the company"? These are obviously hurdles for everyone else, regardless, "open" or not. Apple is the only one which has any significant amount of integration! But back to AirPlay... sounds like you can send any of your media to the Apple TV from any of your devices seamlessly... kids walk in with their iPods, their stuff is on the TV; wife walks in with her iPhone, her photos are on the TV; I walk in with my iPad, my presentations are on the TV; friend visits with their own movie, no problem.

I'd get one of these AppleTV's... if we had a TV. We consume our media via computer and mobile devices only. We have an iMac on the coffee table and no TV in sight, which is how we like it.

Now, I wake up this morning to find that the new iWork for iPad updates are going to provide some seamless integration between my iPad files and my Mobile Me account! Can't wait to get started! Looking forward to hearing more about iWork.com, which I already use for feedback. I guess this article had already gone to print. No, Apple TV is just one checkpoint on down the road for Apple. Apple is running a cross-country tri-athalon all by itself while the others are still tripping over hurdles of their own making in the stadium. They think they are on the home straight, look over their shoulders to see where Apple is. Huh? No Apple. They look up on the big screen and see Apple rising up out of the water and dashing for a bicycle.
post #26 of 61
I agree with you, it's all in the Marketing. MS Media Center was around well before iTunes ever was. You could put Music, media and Movies on you computer back in the late 1990's, yet it never caught on until Apple made it popular through the iPod and the "idea" of an Ecosystem.

MS and others dream up the ideas that Apple make popular. MS and Others make components, and Apple makes Ideas. It's always been my POV about Apple, they're not great inventors, just great Marketers...they make existing ideas so good you have no choice but to buy them

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

I think people honestly don't know what DLNA is.

This really hit home when I was reading an article the other day where the author wrote that the "killer feature" of the Apple TV that would see it purchased for every home in the country was the ability to share media across screens.

Imagine how great it will be, they said, when everyone has an Apple TV and you can walk into a friends home and push the photos off your iOS device directly to their TV.

I initially had a mixed reaction of confusion and disbelief. How could anyone think that Apple AirPlay is a new killer feature that is going to sweep the country when DLNA has been around for years, has already done the ground work and has the backing of just about anyone who is anyone (250+ member companies from their website).

I think it's just that people don't understand what DLNA is, which isn't exactly their fault considering there is basically no advertising for DLNA at all.
post #27 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by krabbelen;

Not sure how the iPod was "destroyed". It remains the most popular player on the planet... Etc, etc, etc!

Mate, he was being ironic. You were preaching to the converted. You get an "A" for effort though...
post #28 of 61
I would call this "iHome". I agree with you, and have myself been posting this idea for at least 2-3 years now. ATV/MS Xbox et all others need to evolve to be home media hubs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

I just think people like the idea of being able to store media in a central place.

Of course the cloud will eventually serve this purpose, but I'm not sure we are quite there yet.

It would be nice to see Apple release a cheap iOS based NAS server (the "iHub"?). Something that runs locally on the network an acts as an iTunes server, stores all of my families pictures/movies, operates as a shared time machine and also syncs to iDisk for offsite backup.

I think Microsoft should do something similar as well using Win7 Embedded, Media Center, Home Server and Skydrive.
post #29 of 61
This (IMO) is on purpose! Google loves to think up new ideas and let the "open" community figure out how to make it work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krabbelen View Post

I find Google Docs, etc. unusable. It is a pretty poor imitation of the better web apps that are out there (take a gander at http://appvita.com for some inspiration). Every thing Google does seems to be rather hurried and seems to remain in Beta. There are developers out there making much more usable and polished web apps. And if you want to "integrate" your MS stuff, then it seems you need a full-time IT person with a degree in BS Certifications. I help a load of non-profit orgs and they can't get a full-time IT person, and thus they suffer from barely any integration between anything they do. They don't know WebDav from a website. They might just about manage to use Google Docs as horrible as it is.
post #30 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple has taken an early lead in the race for seamless access to content

Not quite...

If Apple sold half as many AppleTVs as MS sold XBOX 360s, I am sure they would be very happy.

Apple has always been playing catch up...
post #31 of 61
The winners in the Digital Living Room are still the cable companies and TV networks. They're going digital and they're doing a good job of fending off online distribution. No one can seem to get a decent deal with the content providers because of them.

As for AppleTV, the fact they paired it back and reduced it's price, rather than adding functionality, makes me think they are finally setting the stage for the iHub/iHome device - the centre of the household's media and where all that extra functionality lives. (If Steve can't beat them he might join them and add DVR functionality to it as well). Then you can stream any content from any source to any iOS screen. It's the ideal setup when everyone has multiple TVs (and soon iPads) in the house.
And managing TV recordings and Timers on it with an iPad rather than using a remote and 10ft interface will be amazing.
post #32 of 61
As long as the media creators (networks and the like) continue to do what they can to limit how and when we can watch what they air (through use of DRM, HDCP, and other things), we will never see the "holy grail" of the living room.

The closest I have is a Linux server with MythTV, a networked HD tuner, a Linux HTPC with XBMC, and a Wii. OTA plus internet plus netflix, and I get all the media I like to watch. No holy grail, but its getting close. The new aTV would only serve one of the functions: streaming media (and getting recorded media to the aTV in a pretty format would be more time consuming and user intensive than the XBMC setup. At the moment it is all automatic!)
Go Linux, Choose a Flavor!
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Go Linux, Choose a Flavor!
"I aim to misbehave"
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post #33 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

Not quite...

If Apple sold half as many AppleTVs as MS sold XBOX 360s, I am sure they would be very happy.

Apple has always been playing catch up...

And if MS was currently selling XBOX 360s at the same rate that Apple is currently selling iPads ... they would be happy. What is your point?
Apple is not Appl ...... Please learn the difference!    
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Apple is not Appl ...... Please learn the difference!    
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post #34 of 61
This new Netflix experiment in Canada. Might it just be a prelude of what Netflix has in store for the U.S. market.
Give me the new AppleTV & Netflix streaming only for $6.00-$7.00. Would be great.
post #35 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

I think it's just that people don't understand what DLNA is, which isn't exactly their fault considering there is basically no advertising for DLNA at all.

Or because it's just another buzzword feature in a very buzzword feature-rich environment? Few consumers comprehend much if any of this, so constantly cranking out new features with cryptic acronyms, no matter how cool they might look on paper, isn't the solution, it's the problem.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #36 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


Yes, what else is there to say.
post #37 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

I agree with you, it's all in the Marketing. MS Media Center was around well before iTunes ever was. You could put Music, media and Movies on you computer back in the late 1990's, yet it never caught on until Apple made it popular through the iPod and the "idea" of an Ecosystem.

MS and others dream up the ideas that Apple make popular. MS and Others make components, and Apple makes Ideas. It's always been my POV about Apple, they're not great inventors, just great Marketers...they make existing ideas so good you have no choice but to buy them

You're selling Apple way short. Marketing is only as good as the product it's promoting.
And the secret to great products isn't dreaming up big ideas - these forums are full of them. It's about making the right decisions. Apple has the ability and the conviction to make the right decisions at the right time and executes them properly to ship a product that makes money.

None of the large tech companies make money with big leaps in technology these days, it's lots of little steps. And when you're taking little steps execution becomes real important. If you take the easiest path, aren't focused on what's around, or executing each step really well, you're walking, but you could be going round in circles, or putting your desktop OS under TVs and in tablets.
post #38 of 61
Thanks for the added point. Like lots of posters on the forums, we post before we think of all the possibilities, but it doesn't change my POV about Apple. They take the existing technologies and combine them into ideas that are so compelling, that the decision is easy to go Apple. It's marketing and combining the right technologies to produce compelling products. My point was really more that everyone likes to say that Apple was the first and best at everything, which in most cases they really are just very successful innovators and Marketers. I have nothing against Apple, I love their products and own many in the ecosystem, I just don't like the apologists and fanboys that deify them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Smuggler View Post

You're selling Apple way short. Marketing is only as good as the product it's promoting.
And the secret to great products isn't dreaming up big ideas - these forums are full of them. It's about making the right decisions. Apple has the ability and the conviction to make the right decisions at the right time and executes them properly to ship a product that makes money.

None of the large tech companies make money with big leaps in technology these days, it's lots of little steps. And when you're taking little steps execution becomes real important. If you take the easiest path, aren't focused on what's around, or executing each step really well, you're walking, but you could be going round in circles, or putting your desktop OS under TVs and in tablets.
post #39 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

IMHO, components are what's killing the idea of the Holy Grail as you describe it. They're tried over the years (with various degrees of success) to minimize the amount of components, but there is no one solution as you have noted. Just think about all the (eye-sore) components you own in your living room:

TV
DVD/BD
Cable Box
Xbox/PS2-3/Wii
Tuner/Pre-amp/HTiB
Speakers
now ATV/Roku/HTPC

Not to mention remotes for all these...unless you buy into one of those crappy universal remotes that controls maybe play/pause/FF&RW channels and volume only.

If Apple would combine at least 3-4 of these components in the Apple TV, then you'd really have something.

I wonder. My point was that no one company, no matter how good their ideas may be, can hope corral all of this rangy growth in the consumer tech underbrush. Probably no ten companies can, either.

In the not-so-old days, TV was entirely standardized. Limited content (at most seven channels in any given market), one broadcast method, one receiving and display method. The only big change for about 40 years was black-and-white to color sets, which didn't require changing anything but the display method. That took a few years, but meanwhile the entire system was backwards compatible to people who hadn't bought color. The system didn't provide much choice or variety, but it was simple and comprehensible on the consumer end. So people bought into it if they wanted to watch TV. It was a yes/no proposition. Overwhelmingly, people said yes.

Today, every aspect of what was once a simple system has been complicated by orders of magnitude. Vastly more players in the content side. Multiple broadcast methods. Many display methods. Some if not most of these methods are constantly evolving, or less generously described as half-baked. Consumers are rightfully confused. I think we're way past the point of no return to a simpler system that people actually understand. From here on in, the appeal is going to be to a fragments of the audience. Apple may get part, and Microsoft and others may get part. But nobody is going to beat the world. I don't see where that's possible any longer.

BTW, "holy grail" was the term used by Maynard Um. It should be clear that I don't believe that such a thing exists.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #40 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Smuggler View Post

Mate, he was being ironic. You were preaching to the converted. You get an "A" for effort though...

Nuts, I usually have a pretty good detector for that. Must be all the nutty trolls on here lately.
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