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Reviewers find Google's answer to Apple TV chaotic, complicated - Page 3

post #81 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

Hopeless???

I think you're being a little premature with your pronouncement.

250,000 units isn't quite hopeless. Wait until the next quarter (at least). Then we can decide if it's hopeless.

(there are a lot of companies (like almost all) that would love to sell 250,000 units of anything.)

It's been out for years and has done nothing. In the same time period (at least in the UK) the Xbox 360 has gained tv content, the Wii/Cable Box's/Sky Box's have all gained BBC iPlayer and BT (a telecoms company) launched a popular set top box with on demand, iPlayer and regular free and subscription tv. What's there to be premature about, Apple may call it a hobby but at the same time there are lots of other company's entering the same market and actually selling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newbee View Post

Hmmmm..... so you want a box that sits on your TV that can play TV content ??? Isn't that like driving a car around ..... while towing another one to make sure the first one is working ??? \

Very true, ultimately as tv's are getting the functionality that the set top box provide built in the set top box will eventually die.
post #82 of 108
i actually liked the google tv better than the apple tv because i would have let me dump my DVR and save $13 a month. but with the networks blocking web video to google TV users it's useless.

can't blame them since google wants to hijack their advertising revenues
post #83 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

i actually liked the google tv better than the apple tv because i would have let me dump my DVR and save $13 a month. but with the networks blocking web video to google TV users it's useless.

can't blame them since google wants to hijack their advertising revenues

Yep. That's the difference between Google and Apple in this case - Apple will play nice with the studios, whereas Google is trying to overtake them. That's why Apple's method will probably win out in the end.
post #84 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

AppleTV being an iOS device only means it will get better and better with support for games and apps. GoogleTV may fade away.

Interface aside I think the real issue with this is that it's integrated with a TV. People are probably not very likely to upgrade a google TV's built in hardware to get more features, but they'd probably swap out for a new AppleTV in a heart beat. My personal opinion, for what little it's worth, bad business move for both google & TV manufacturers. Integrating with a Blu-Ray player would have been a far better move.
post #85 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Why is tech getting more complicated when it's supposed to make our lives easier? Everyone's fawning all over these new new new ideas but no content content content.

It's amazing, you make this TV show or movie, it's in digital format, it should be just one step from that to watching on whatever device you want. It's like a Zerg infestation complicating that simple, basic one step. All these DRM, rules, rights, regions, devices, protocols, manufacturers, systems... RIDICULOUS.

Exactly, but its because the media industry is so locked into the old world way of doing things. Theyre only just coming to terms with buying MP3s online. It'll take a decade more of psycotherapy before they can face the reality of doing the same with TV shows.
post #86 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by hezetation View Post

Interface aside I think the real issue with this is that it's integrated with a TV. People are probably not very likely to upgrade a google TV's built in hardware to get more features, but they'd probably swap out for a new AppleTV in a heart beat. My personal opinion, for what little it's worth, bad business move for both google & TV manufacturers. Integrating with a Blu-Ray player would have been a far better move.

yes, Apple choose to target ATV for an auxiliary input on your TV/Receiver, rather than provide a HDMI passthru like GTV does so it could be connected to your main TV input, in between your CATV box/receiver/DVR. that might be GTV's best feature, because it gets rid of input switching, always a minor nuisance. and with PIP to display both sources at once, it comes in handy when you want to check something out immediately on IMDB, etc.

but ... in an Apple ecosystem household, you'll be using an iPad on the sofa instead to access that extra web stuff anyway while you're watching TV, which is much better than PIP. the really big question that will be answered soon is what kind of iPad/iPhone app content will AirPlay allow ATV owners to display on their TV? that's the wildcard that will have a lot to do with ATV's potential. and/or apps or course.

all efforts to sell "one box that does everything" have failed in the market so far. TiVo, those Sony HTPC's, and so on. they are just too complicated and with too many choices to work through for 90% of the market. GTV has the same problem.

so i think the simplest and therefor the best thing would be for Apple to sell its own brand of HDTV's with ATV built in.
post #87 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill-G View Post

The IP address thing works very well.

Of course, you can always reregister from a different location. But then it might be interesting to see where you're posting from.......
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #88 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Of course, you can always reregister from a different location. But then it might be interesting to see where you're posting from.......

He's pretty easy to identify regardless of the IP.
post #89 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

He's pretty easy to identify regardless of the IP.

Going from "Steve J(obs)" to "Bill G(ates)" isn't terribly subtle. It would be nice if we could nuke him before a few hundred "Yes, you're right, Apple knows best" posts.

I really wonder after the sanity of this type. Surely there are things to do that involve stuff you actually like?
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #90 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill-G View Post

The IP address thing works very well.

Go away.
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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post #91 of 108
I don't blame Google per se. Sony designs UIs like it was done by their engineers. For example: Blu-Ray remotes have all these tiny buttons, the majority of which you will never touch, and some have no consistent meaning like the red, green, yellow, blue buttons. Apple would never do that.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #92 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

It's been out for years and has done nothing. In the same time period (at least in the UK) the Xbox 360 has gained tv content, the Wii/Cable Box's/Sky Box's have all gained BBC iPlayer and BT (a telecoms company) launched a popular set top box with on demand, iPlayer and regular free and subscription tv. What's there to be premature about, Apple may call it a hobby but at the same time there are lots of other company's entering the same market and actually selling.

What part of 250,000 units in the last quarter did you miss...
na na na na na...
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na na na na na...
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post #93 of 108
Google TV may be a failure, at least so far, but Apple TV is no better. At least Google aimed high with their device, while Apple seemed happy to aim very, very low.

For me here in the UK the best media box around by far is the PS3. The combination of blu-ray support with a bunch of streaming services (BBC iPlayer, MUBI, LoveFilm, PSN Video Store) with more to come, and crucially DNLA support makes it unbeatable. I imagine for those in the US the combo of Netflix in 1080p, Hulu Plus, and VUDU is stunning.

Plus it plays games too, and it even has a (crappy) web browser for emergencies.

And I say this as someone who has owned an Apple TV for a good while now, and use it about once every 3-4 months. It's just a movie rental box for me, but the video quality is just too poor to make it worth bothering with if I can get the same content elsewhere. Plus the interface is absolutely hideous, I mean come on Apple, it's basically a black screen with a plain white font on it most of the time. I get 1980s 8-bit flashbacks every time I power it on.
post #94 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

Have you ever tried to use DNLA? There is a reason only geeks know what it is.

It's also why within a couple of years AirPlay will rule the roost and DNLA will be (thankfully) forgotten.

DNLA is comically easy to use. It even comes with every PC sold, it's in Windows Media Player. Or you can download any one of dozens of free or virtually free DNLA clients. They're all just a google away, and take a few minutes to set up.

Anyone who thinks it's too difficult must also struggle with other similarly complex tasks, such as brushing their teeth, walking their dog, or reading a newspaper.
post #95 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post

TiVo, those Sony HTPC's, and so on. they are just too complicated and with too many choices to work through for 90% of the market. GTV has the same problem.

People like us are so lucky that Apple makes equipment that we are able to use easily.
post #96 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

Well, I have this thing called a computer where I process and analyze large amounts of information. Once I identify and either subscribe or bookmark what I am interested in, I consume it with my Apple TV.

Pretty simple and very effective. And if I want something spontaneous and ad-hoc, I can search for it. Companies other than Google can search too

Or, if the content originates from audio/video podcasts, you can, from the appleTV, add the podcast to your favorites. You can then browse the grid of podcast icons to jump quickly to each one. You can organize the icons on the grid per your preference (very much like you organize apps on an iPhone springboard).

Furthermore, the icon for each podcast will have a badge to indicate how many new episodes were not viewed/listened to.

You can do all this from the Apple TV without a computer with iTunes.
post #97 of 108
WebTV tried it, they failed, were bought by Microsoft who renamed it MSN. It seems that being bought by Microsoft is the kiss of death for any tech company and/or technology. (Danger, anyone?)

Even if adding "computer stuff" and using it on your HDTV were easy (which is isn't and never will be) the basic concept of living room TV clashes with the basic concept of personal computing. The big-screen TV in the living room is used for communal TV and movie viewing and gaming. Personal computing (browsing, emailing, texting, individual gaming etc.) is not a communal experience.

For example, let's say the family is watching Wall-E on their big screen TV, and let's say that TV has "the full internet." (Could be on DVD, Blu-Ray, over AirPlay from an iMac hard drive, or streamed from Netflix. Doesn't matter.) Mom won't be allowed to interrupt the movie to check her email. Dad won't be allowed to interrupt the movie to browse Amazon's power tool selection. Little Billy won't be allowed to interrupt the movie to tweet about his favorite scene.

All those individual internet tasks are better handled by each family member individually. With their own MacBook, iPad, iPod touch, or iPhone. Because they don't take over the big, communal HDTV screen in the living room.

Let's look at the opposite scenario: one person using the "full internet" on TV. The same family is all home together, and there is no family movie viewing happening. So, Mom turns the HDTV on and connects to the internet to catch up with her correspondence. Now she has taken over the big screen TV with a task that only she cares anything about.

Nobody else wants to see her type a message to Mrs. Jones next door about the best prices on orchid fertilizer. Nobody else cares that her high-school friend in Omaha likes to walk her dog in the mornings instead of the afternoons in the summer because of the hot afternoon sun. Mom has blocked communal use of the huge, expensive, power-hungry HDTV. The biggest screen in the house is now being used for trivial tasks that could have been handled using less power, less screen real estate, and with more privacy, using a smaller more personal device.

Internet usage, so far, has proven to be a more personal, individual experience. Not one that requires a big screen for multiple people to see. Gaming is the exception to the rule here, but there are plenty of game consoles out there already.

So, the "full internet" on TV sounds like a great idea. And it's actually pretty trivial to implement, on a technical level. But it's one of those ideas that simply doesn't work well in practice. In the 1950s everyone thought flying cars would be common by the 21st century. Didn't happen.

Maybe, if you live alone or if your significant other or family members are rarely around, you might get a kick out of the "full internet" on your big-screen TV. For about a week. Just until the novelty wears off and the inconvenience of using a massive keyboard remote (or multiple remotes) starts to become annoying.

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post #98 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill-G View Post

So do you set it to record stuff on the dvr then?

No, because my DVR does just fine on it's own. I don't know about other DVR's, but my Tivo would certainly not be enhanced by the layering of a Google TV (or any other device) on top of it
post #99 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

WebTV tried it, they failed, were bought by Microsoft who renamed it MSN. It seems that being bought by Microsoft is the kiss of death for any tech company and/or technology. (Danger, anyone?)

Even if adding "computer stuff" and using it on your HDTV were easy (which is isn't and never will be) the basic concept of living room TV clashes with the basic concept of personal computing. The big-screen TV in the living room is used for communal TV and movie viewing and gaming. Personal computing (browsing, emailing, texting, individual gaming etc.) is not a communal experience.

For example, let's say the family is watching Wall-E on their big screen TV, and let's say that TV has "the full internet." (Could be on DVD, Blu-Ray, over AirPlay from an iMac hard drive, or streamed from Netflix. Doesn't matter.) Mom won't be allowed to interrupt the movie to check her email. Dad won't be allowed to interrupt the movie to browse Amazon's power tool selection. Little Billy won't be allowed to interrupt the movie to tweet about his favorite scene.

All those individual internet tasks are better handled by each family member individually. With their own MacBook, iPad, iPod touch, or iPhone. Because they don't take over the big, communal HDTV screen in the living room.

Let's look at the opposite scenario: one person using the "full internet" on TV. The same family is all home together, and there is no family movie viewing happening. So, Mom turns the HDTV on and connects to the internet to catch up with her correspondence. Now she has taken over the big screen TV with a task that only she cares anything about.

Nobody else wants to see her type a message to Mrs. Jones next door about the best prices on orchid fertilizer. Nobody else cares that her high-school friend in Omaha likes to walk her dog in the mornings instead of the afternoons in the summer because of the hot afternoon sun. Mom has blocked communal use of the huge, expensive, power-hungry HDTV. The biggest screen in the house is now being used for trivial tasks that could have been handled using less power, less screen real estate, and with more privacy, using a smaller more personal device.

Internet usage, so far, has proven to be a more personal, individual experience. Not one that requires a big screen for multiple people to see. Gaming is the exception to the rule here, but there are plenty of game consoles out there already.

So, the "full internet" on TV sounds like a great idea. And it's actually pretty trivial to implement, on a technical level. But it's one of those ideas that simply doesn't work well in practice. In the 1950s everyone thought flying cars would be common by the 21st century. Didn't happen.

Maybe, if you live alone or if your significant other or family members are rarely around, you might get a kick out of the "full internet" on your big-screen TV. For about a week. Just until the novelty wears off and the inconvenience of using a massive keyboard remote (or multiple remotes) starts to become annoying.

mostly agree with you. but ... having an HTPC hooked up to my TV, i know there are times when looking at, especially, shopping websites on the big screen with several people at once comes in handy. whereas three or four people trying to look at one small computer screen at the same time just doesn't work.

this was true for YouTube once too, but now all the set top boxes have direct access YouTube web apps built in. Netflix likewise is really a web app. and Flickr, etc, etc. web apps for all the shopping sites could replace that kind of TV web browsing activity as well. so eventually there will be little reason to display a conventional browser on your TV screen.
post #100 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shogun View Post

I have an AppleTV, and I'm not sure how to get to half of that stuff. How do I do it? I know it has my iTunes library on there and photos, and surfing the movies and tv store is obvious, but how do I get to radio stations and the free kids stuff, news, etc.

BTW, I really enjoy the ATV. The interface is nice, the movies are very crisp -- even the SD movies look amazing on the HD set, unlike the SD movies that get pushed through the cable box.

Prices are about equal to other places. I like the Tomato Meter and Reviews, though wish I could see more of them (you only see the top 3 or 4, and only the first line or two of the reviews).

My wife and I were enjoying some YouTube content the other day. We like the screen saver that shows our photos.

To rent from iTunes I was looking at a $50 adapter to connect the MBP to the tv. That was when I realized that for $50 more I could have a dedicated box. So far, I'm glad I did it. Partly because I know they'll keep improving.


1. The advanced AV features are accessible via iPhone, iPodTouch, iPad or iTunes or second ATV.
2. The iTunes University is part of iTunes, everything on iTunes is available on AppleTV.
3. The variety of shows from all over the world are under Podcasts in iTunes/AppleTV.
4. Be sure to get the Album Arts from your music and make use of Genius, it works well.
5. Try using iTunes DJ to Queue music and handle special music requests at your next party.

Enjoy!
post #101 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill-G View Post

People like us are so lucky that Apple makes equipment that we are able to use easily.

Indeed. I recently brought out my PC out of cold storage to play Starcraft 2 (pretty impressive single player campaign). As for browsing the web, iTunes, file sharing and email, I kinda gave up on that part. Just games is fine, other than that, rubbish.
post #102 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by vexorg View Post

Like many that have posted here, I did not see any reason to get ATV. After all, I have 2 TiVO HD units which stream Netflx pretty well. But at $99, I figured I'd give it a shot, just for grins. While I am a big TiVO fan, their implementation of Netflix, while adequate comes nowhere close to what you get with ATV. Things like ff/rw work really well on ATV whereas are really hit or miss on TiVO. Also, you can search and watch instantly on ATV without having to go through the computer first.

This confirms my expectations. Our digital lives have evolved in such a way, particularly with the advent of reliable streaming, that a little-percieved void has been created that multiple devices have been (clumsily) filling for us, but TV spans this void by design, and does so with Apple's usual panache. And like you said, for only $99, there's little reason not to fit TV into one's digital life and see how it performs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vexorg View Post

My college age son has indicated that once live sports is available to be streamed, perhaps with a NFL/MLB type app, he will probably give up cableTV in favor an ATV device. I am unlikely to go this route since I would rather not have to wait close to a year to watch my favorite cabletv shows such as "Weeds", "Dexter" etc.

I agree; I can't see myself completely unplugging from Verizon FiOS just yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vexorg View Post

I ended up getting a Mac Mini to use as a headless media server. All of our iTunes content is stored on it, and it runs headless and streams to the various Macs and the ATV, plus is backed up using TimeCapsule.

That's a good idea I hadn't really considered. I've been planning to upgrade my home computer for a while and one of the considerations was storage space for my ever-expanding iTunes library. I'll look into that option when I get closer to replacing my current gear.

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post #103 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

I never got PIP when it started as a fad in the 80's, and I really don't get it today. I would much rather leave the content of what I am watching front and center, and do supplemental activities like search on a secondary device. Only google would have the hubris to emphasize search over the content you are watching


PinP is a pre-DVR technology. You put the commercials in the little window and watch something else until they are over. They you switch back to the regular channel.

In addition to PinP, my old TV also did split screen and other configurations which were handy for various purposes. For example, one kid watched TV while the other used the XBOX.

It is not a fad - it has been an available feature for decades.
post #104 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdjlexky View Post

Yep. That's the difference between Google and Apple in this case - Apple will play nice with the studios, whereas Google is trying to overtake them. That's why Apple's method will probably win out in the end.



Apple is well known for playing nicely with their partners.
post #105 of 108
Interesting (sarcasm) posts on here but I doubt most of them are from people have used the Google TV. I've been accused of being an Apple fan boy due to owning so many of their products. And while I'm an owner of the now "old" ATV, I was disappointed by the direction the new iteration went in.

When Google TV came out, I was interested but also confused about exactly what it would and wouldn't do. Well, since I'm a Dish TV customer and Dish allows the Logitech Revue to interface with their DVR's AND is selling the Revue for $179, I bit. The main thing I was looking forward to was a better/easier interface than the DVR. Here's what I've found so far:
* Set up was extremely easy. You definitely don't need to be a "geek."
* The Dish DVR and Logitech Revue communicate seemlessly. They seem to be a part of each other and don't interfere with one another.
* I like hitting the little search button on the keyboard and typing "Myth" for example, and a list pops up showing a folder with all my episodes of mythbusters on my DVR, future shows coming up, an area to search the web for it and a couple other options.
* Searching for a sporting event is a lot easier than doing it through the DVR remote.
* Generally very pleased with the web performance with the one caveat that the bookmarks are stored outside of Chrome and back on the GTV homepage. But web pages are easy to read and resize as there is a dedicated button on the keyboard.
* The keyboard is VERY light, responsive and easy to use. The track pad also works well. Dragging two fingers on it lets you scroll web pages.

The one bad thing I can mention is that there is no Gmail app. I assumed that there would be and that maybe I could even set it up to display a little box showing when I get an email from someone. But there is no such app. You can access it through the browser but that takes too many clicks. In fact, there are very few apps. Not even a little weather app. If apps or widgets are what you're looking for, GTV doesn't have them yet. If you're looking for DVR interface and light web browsing, it is good.

GTV is still in its infancy but so far I like it a lot. The price was reasonable and performance has been perfect. Not laggy at all. I had REALLY hoped ATV would eventually partner with Dish, DirectTV and cable and interface with them but alas they have not. I also don't like that the new ATV doesn't allow me to store my media on it, but rather I must have my computer on all the time.

Anyway, just my two cents from someone that is currently using both...although my ATV is getting much less use these days. Hoping Apple will step it up here

iPod, iPad, iPad2, iPad 3, iPad Mini, iPhone, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, AppleTV (1,2 & 3), 13" MacBook Pro, 24" Cinema Display, Time Capsule, 21.5" iMac (Mid 2011)

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iPod, iPad, iPad2, iPad 3, iPad Mini, iPhone, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, AppleTV (1,2 & 3), 13" MacBook Pro, 24" Cinema Display, Time Capsule, 21.5" iMac (Mid 2011)

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post #106 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

WebTV tried it, they failed, were bought by Microsoft who...

WebTV was in the early 90's when the internet was in its infancy and everyone had extremely slow dial up and no wifi. That makes quite a big difference.

iPod, iPad, iPad2, iPad 3, iPad Mini, iPhone, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, AppleTV (1,2 & 3), 13" MacBook Pro, 24" Cinema Display, Time Capsule, 21.5" iMac (Mid 2011)

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iPod, iPad, iPad2, iPad 3, iPad Mini, iPhone, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, AppleTV (1,2 & 3), 13" MacBook Pro, 24" Cinema Display, Time Capsule, 21.5" iMac (Mid 2011)

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post #107 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by oneaburns View Post

GTV is still in its infancy but so far I like it a lot.



Do they pay you to post here?
post #108 of 108
The ability to stream from my iTunes media collection to my living room, using either my iPod Touch as a remote, or the TV interface by itself, is well worth the $99 price of admission for the TV. The rest is just bonus.

Those of you who think the TV is a useless or underfeatured device for that price must have really shitty iTunes media collections. You're the same people who don't understand the iPad and you're the same people who think Android is better than iOS. If you built your media collection around iTunes, you would understand all of these things immediately.

Now, if only I could buy the TV in Hong Kong for less than $150...

Anyone traveling from the US to Hong Kong? I'd be willing to pay you $120 to bring me one.
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