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Google TV hardware delayed as the Apple TV competitor struggles - NYT - Page 2

post #41 of 64
ATV is a great little media extender that expands your iTunes/iOS ecosystem - if you have one - to your living room TV. at the moment, that is all it does. there is a modest market for this - maybe 5% of US households. no, it's not a "hobby" anymore.

ATV is also a $100 iOS mini-computer with a lot of possibilities - apps, games, etc. we will see how far Apple takes this next year. full integration with the iPad in particular would immediately double its market potential, at least.

but - all STB's are too complicated for 2/3 of consumer households. the cables, the inputs, the settings, universal remotes - truth is, most people just don't get this stuff. that's why the cable companies are smart and send out a "cable guy" to install them - they have too!

so the big market is for the product that gets rid of the STB (and receiver) entirely, and integrates the STB functions seamlessly, like additional channels. the Sony version of Google TV kinda does this, but poorly (Sony couldn't simplify its own butt and Google didn't help).

thus, Apple needs to sell its own brand of HDTV's with ATV built in (and decent speakers). that would be a huge new market for Apple growth, and it would be a big hit. (the cable guy will still hook you up to the wall jack).

Apple already sells quality 27" monitors. it already modified all its display aspect ratios to the HDTV-standard 16:9 in the last two years. so it could launch a 27" Apple Television right now, but of course larger screens are needed for the living room.

so i gotta think Apple Television with ATV built in will be the big new Apple product of 2011.
post #42 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post

I doubt very much that TV executives (i.e., Hollywood) went begging to Steve to be a part of his insular, 99-cent world.

You are right...

They would much rather be part of Google's open, "Hey, we know you told everyone you would be releasing your new products at CES. But, NO Google TV for you!".
post #43 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

They don't have the experience in hardware design and GUI design that Apple does. They have the content, but a lot of it is just scraped from the Internet. Apple partners with professional content providers (e.g. studios). I think Apple is more likely to win this fight.

Agree. A TV is a TV, a computer is a computer... and ne'er the twain shall meet.

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post #44 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

I just can't see myself ever wanting to interract with my TV using a keyboard. The TV is there for me to consume and consume only.

Yeah I can relate to what your saying. I bought a mac mini for my sons Xmas box this year and loaded some software on it through a 37 inch TV. Using a wireless keyboard and mouse just didn't feel right to me. I also found the distance from eye to screen unnatural and a bit of a strain when browsing the web. Needless to say it went back.

TV is for video, tv shows and the like.
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post #45 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLiver View Post

Has anybody yet figured out why Apple refuses to update the 1st gen AppleTV for NetFlix compatibility besides trying to rope you into buying a new one?

I'm guessing there's a hardware limitation that prevents this. I'm not sure how the 2nd gen does it, but on many devices Netflix playback is tied to Silverlight. Netflix is supported on (I believe) all Boxee implementations except for the AppleTV. The Boxee team stated a year or so ago that they were close to getting it work, but simply ran into too many performance issues.

Unfortunately, my other media device (the WDTV HD Live) has been superseded by the HD Live plus, the only difference being Netflix support. They state the firmware updates will keep coming for the older device, but that (due to, again, hardware limits) Netflix support will never come to the device.
post #46 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLiver View Post

Has anybody yet figured out why Apple refuses to update the 1st gen AppleTV for NetFlix compatibility besides trying to rope you into buying a new one?

I suspect that the older Apple TV does not have a robust enough CPU and GPU to satisfactorily handle concurrent Internet streaming and Playing of video (ala NetFlix).

Internet streaming is less predictable than streaming within the home on a WiFi network.

Rather than do something marginally or poorly, Apple will choose to do nothing at all.
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post #47 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLiver View Post

Has anybody yet figured out why Apple refuses to update the 1st gen AppleTV for NetFlix compatibility besides trying to rope you into buying a new one?

My guess would be is that it's not worth it since the product is EOL.
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post #48 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Google has reportedly asked makers of upcoming Google TV-powered television sets to cancel plans to show off devices as the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show, as the search giant is working to refine its software. ...

I think the issue is not just "refine its software", which definitely needs refining, as does the hardware it is on, but there's also the issue that pretty much everyone started blocking Google TV within a few days of its release, so what exactly is it good for?
post #49 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLiver View Post

Has anybody yet figured out why Apple refuses to update the 1st gen AppleTV for NetFlix compatibility besides trying to rope you into buying a new one?

More likely: The number of current users using the original AppleTV HW released almost 4 years ago may not make it worth developing a Netflix app for two units. When you consider the new one only costs $99 and Apple reportedly sold 250k in the first two weeks it makes sense.

Less likely: Netflix may have required video paths that were completely HDCP compliant which excluded the old AppleTV which has analog connections and Apple didnt want to have to exclude those ports from accessing Netflix as it would be more confusing for customer setups than simply using a demarkation point between new and old HW.


PS: No wonder the original AppleTV failed, analysts called it a DVD killer ensuring its demise. LOL
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post #50 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I suspect that the older Apple TV does not have a robust enough CPU and GPU to satisfactorily handle concurrent Internet streaming and Playing of video (ala NetFlix).

I was going to put that as a Somewhat likely point but then I remembered YouTube. Of course, using encryption and higher bitrates (or even plans for higher bitrates from Netflix) can alter that, but I didnt have any solid evidence to back up that hypothesis.
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post #51 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

More likely: The number of current users using the original AppleTV HW released almost 4 years ago may not make it worth developing a Netflix app for two units. When you consider the new one only costs $99 and Apple reportedly sold 250k in the first two weeks it makes sense.

Hey now! I personally know four or five people who have them. Isn't that enough to justify it? ;-)

Quote:
Less likely: Netflix may have required video paths that were completely HDCP compliant which excluded the old AppleTV which has analog connections and Apple didnt want to have to exclude those ports from accessing Netflix as it would be more confusing for customer setups than simply using a demarkation point between new and old HW.

Not sure about that. Doesn't the Roku have HDCP-less connectivity? I know the Wii does and it's got Netflix support.
post #52 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I was going to put that as a “Somewhat likely” point but then I remembered YouTube. Of course, using encryption and higher bitrates (or even plans for higher bitrates from Netflix) can alter that, but I didn’t have any solid evidence to back up that hypothesis.

Well, I hacked the original AppleTV (with a lot of help from Erica Sadun) and had it streaming all sorts of non-HD video from the web.

It worked, barely, but there was no h264 compression/decompression involved -- just straight streaming at unpredictable IP carrier speeds.

There were lots of hangs and aborts. It just didn't work predictably.

To be honest, at that time, AppleTV hackers were shooting in the dark -- there was no iOS; no SDK, etc. The AppleTV hacking community was doing a lot of investigative work to see what existed in the AppleTV OS and what could be ported from Mac OS X.

Then.. this thing called the iPhone came along... Overnight, it sucked the air out of AppleTV hacking.

Today, with known AppleTV hardware, an SDK for the iPhone/iPad APIs for that same hardware, I suspect we'll see a revival in hacking for the AppleTV -- the AppleTV 2.
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post #53 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I suspect that the older Apple TV does not have a robust enough CPU and GPU to satisfactorily handle concurrent Internet streaming and Playing of video (ala NetFlix).

Internet streaming is less predictable than streaming within the home on a WiFi network.

Rather than do something marginally or poorly, Apple will choose to do nothing at all.

So iTunes steaming, which it already has, would be quicker?
post #54 of 64
Speaking of "hacking" the Apple TV 2...

Erica Sadun is doing some neat stuff:

This is her second non-hack, hack related to AirPlay and the AppleTV.

AirFlick turns Macintosh into an AirPlay data server

http://www.tuaw.com/2010/12/20/airfl...y-data-server/
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post #55 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

Hey now! I personally know four or five people who have them. Isn't that enough to justify it? ;-)

Must be that to some folks $99 is like chump change.
If it could happen- that's a pretty lame excuse that a new one- cost ONLY $99.
I own both and would like the 1st gen upgraded now that I have a NetFlix account. Seems fairly basic to me.
post #56 of 64
For those who find ATV2 too limited in what it can do, the beta of aTVFlash "black" is available now.

aTVFlash never worked consistently great on the underpowered ATV1. have to wait to hear how it does this time. but i would prefer real iOS apps.

Apple is not going to update ATV1 (except maybe a bug/security patch). sorry folks, that's history. they want you to buy a new one.
post #57 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

Not sure about that. Doesn't the Roku have HDCP-less connectivity? I know the Wii does and it's got Netflix support.

I think you are correct.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Well, I hacked the original AppleTV (with a lot of help from Erica Sadun) and had it streaming all sorts of non-HD video from the web.

It worked, barely, but there was no h264 compression/decompression involved -- just straight streaming at unpredictable IP carrier speeds.

There were lots of hangs and aborts. It just didn't work predictably.

But Netflix, just like YouTube, will stream H.264 that can be decoded on chip. I dont see a technical reason why it wouldnt work, only a cost to benefit reason to not include it.

Quote:
Today, with known AppleTV hardware, an SDK for the iPhone/iPad APIs for that same hardware, I suspect we'll see a revival in hacking for the AppleTV -- the AppleTV 2.

Its already been hacked and there is already Cydia, but I have to think Apple will be releasing an SDK for the AppleTV in the too distant future.
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post #58 of 64
1st thing - sorry for the long post, but...

I don't know about all this... I think Google has the successful long term solution here, the big question is about buy-in from networks and studios. Having the Internet (and a computer of sorts) built right into the TV is a huge advantage if implemented properly.

There are just some things AppleTV is no good at, like surfing on over to Hulu to watch missed TV shows. That's why I've skipped the AppleTV (and all its competitors) all together, and have a Mac mini as my entertainment center. Unlike a set-top box, the Mac does all the AppleTV functions (movies, music - iTunes/Front Row), does all the TV functions plus handle input from the Wii (EyeTV), does all the Internet media functions (Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, etc. via Safari), provides my phone service (MagicJack), plays DVDs, and does what set-top boxes can't - be a full computer (pictures, presentations, video conference, etc), all on a single device. I use the Apple remote (90% of the time), and Apple Bluetooth keyboard/mouse (10%).

Don't get me wrong here, this setup is all about entertainment, NOT computing. I don't do computing on the TV, but rather I use a computer to manage all the media for the TV.

AppleTV is thiiiiiis close to being the perfect device, but there are some major things lacking: A full web browser, no 1080p output (yes it is a big deal), no way to run regular HD 'TV' thru it (can't be a DVR), a severe (100%) lack of full HD content, and no 'screen sharing' (aka remote desktop).

The AppleTV doesn't need to be a full computer to manage all the media one would like to throw at it. All it has to be capable of doing is to stream anything I want from any computer in the house through it. That way, if I'm playing a Keynote presentation on my laptop, I can send the image on my laptop screen to the AppleTV for display on the big screen. Right now, the AppleTV will only receive streamed iTunes media, not the actual image on the computer screen, so streaming one's desktop, a DVD playing on the computer, a video conference, a Keynote presentation, etc. is not possible.

One of the other big goals in my opinion is to eliminate the dozens of boxes one has to connect to the TV (nest of wires) and switch between/control them all with complex remotes. It's silly! The idea that you have to switch and only view one input at a time is also silly! What if I want to watch something like Jeopardy! (without sound) while I listen to music? Regular TV/entertainment system? No way. But a computer does this just fine. This is where Google could win. Having the computer inside the TV, you eliminate another box connected to a fixed 'input', and you stream everything to the TV, either directly (web/apps) or from other computers in the house.

Whoever figures out how to properly implement a computer inside the TV, a network connected one that can manage all your sources of media, receive any type of stream from connected computers, and be remotely controlled by a device like a laptop or iPod (cause remote controls with itty-bitty keyboards suck), then they will crack the market wide open and become the de-facto standard.
post #59 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Thank you, Apple Advertising Department!


And YOU?

Troll from Android, or Windows??????
post #60 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorpit View Post

My guess would be is that it's not worth it since the product is EOL.

EOL? Why is that? Apple doesn't support or have no love for prior gen products?
Maybe because Apple makes very little money from NetFlix as their CEO was named Fortune's person of the year?
post #61 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLiver View Post

EOL? Why is that? Apple doesn't support or have no love for prior gen products

Support != upgrades though. Support on discontinued products tends to be limited to repairs - not R&D to redesign things from the ground up which is what you are talking about. And that applies for different hardware revisions regardless of capability.
post #62 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by mytdave View Post

1st thing - sorry for the long post, but...

There are just some things AppleTV is no good at, like surfing on over to Hulu to watch missed TV shows.

That can be fixed in one software update.

Quote:
AppleTV is thiiiiiis close to being the perfect device, but there are some major things lacking: A full web browser, no 1080p output (yes it is a big deal), no way to run regular HD 'TV' thru it (can't be a DVR), a severe (100%) lack of full HD content, and no 'screen sharing' (aka remote desktop).

I'm with you on the browser. Seems like a logical addition in the near future. Thankfully all it would take is a software update to add Safari. I'm not to worried about 1080P content though. I have FIOS and have problems streaming 720P and 480P content during peak times. I would rather be able to watch a movie without multiple pauses (or at least minor ones) at 720P than with them at 1080P



Quote:
Originally Posted by iLiver View Post

EOL? Why is that? Apple doesn't support or have no love for prior gen products?
Maybe because Apple makes very little money from NetFlix as their CEO was named Fortune's person of the year?

Apple is a business not a charity. Yes they will support older hardware until the product is EOL which the original Apple TV is. I never saw the appeal for the original version so I never bought one. From the numbers I don't think I was alone in that decision process. While there are probably a high number of people on this site who do own one, those percentages fall off the map drastically when you start working in the average household. Do you think it would be wise to pull engineers from iOS5, 10.6, or iWork projects so a 3 year old hobby can have Netflix, when there is a solution for those who really want it available for $99? (Not to mention the additional things it is and will be able to do very shortly.)

I can see where you can be bummed about Apple's decision, but don't be mad about it.
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post #63 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by mytdave View Post

I don't know about all this... I think Google has the successful long term solution here, the big question is about buy-in from networks and studios. Having the Internet (and a computer of sorts) built right into the TV is a huge advantage if implemented properly.

I thought Googles idea of working alongside the networks, not trying usurp or avoid them completely was sound, but the networks dont think so.

Having your typical internet in your TV has never been a good idea and never will be. You have one display, and using it like you would for a desktop browser will never be viable.

Quote:
Unlike a set-top box, the Mac does all the AppleTV functions (movies, music - iTunes/Front Row), does all the TV functions plus handle input from the Wii (EyeTV), does all the Internet media functions (Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, etc. via Safari), provides my phone service (MagicJack), plays DVDs, and does what set-top boxes can't - be a full computer (pictures, presentations, video conference, etc), all on a single device. I use the Apple remote (90% of the time), and Apple Bluetooth keyboard/mouse (10%).

Thats like saying that a Swiss army knife does more than any separate tool, but I bet youd choose the dedicated tool if it was available. Same goes for all set top boxes. Sure, you use a PC for your HEC but its certainly no the most ideal or convenient solution for most people.

Quote:
AppleTV is thiiiiiis close to being the perfect device, but there are some major things lacking: A full web browser, no 1080p output (yes it is a big deal), no way to run regular HD 'TV' thru it (can't be a DVR), a severe (100%) lack of full HD content, and no 'screen sharing' (aka remote desktop).

People want a full web browser yet dont consider how this would need to be redesigned to function for an HEC. Do you want to have remote control like GoogleTV? Maybe you do, but most people dont. Apples iDevices offer a potential solution with using a virtual keyboard, but I bet any solution will be more sophisticated than that. For example, find a site on your Mac or iDevices and then use AirPlay to push it to your TV. No superfluous address bar or bookmarks. Something more inline with Safari 5s Reader option to create rich, beautiful webpages.

*The I need 1080p / 720p sucks comments always ride me because they never express what is truly important: birate. You want 1080p, which you can get from YouTube even though the bitrate is lower than the 720p from iTS pushes more data per frame. You are stuck in a marketing loop, which isnt about the best overall quality. Personally, Id like to get 1080p, and its possible with the Imagination decoders, but I also want it with a bitrate that betters the experience.

*It has HD content. Stop falling for silly marketing jargon.

A DVR? Really? :sigh:

I dont even know where to begin in why youd think remote desktop into your AppleTV from your Mac makes any sense for this $99 product.

Quote:
The AppleTV doesn't need to be a full computer to manage all the media one would like to throw at it.

That sounds like exactly what you asked for.

Quote:
Right now, the AppleTV will only receive streamed iTunes media...

Not true.
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post #64 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I thought Google’s idea of working alongside the networks, not trying usurp or avoid them completely was sound, but the networks don’t think so.

Having your typical internet in your TV has never been a good idea and never will be. You have one display, and using it like you would for a desktop browser will never be viable.


That’s like saying that a Swiss army knife does more than any separate tool, but I bet you’d choose the dedicated tool if it was available. Same goes for all set top boxes. Sure, you use a ‘PC’ for your HEC but it’s certainly no the most ideal or convenient solution for most people.


— People want a “full web browser” yet don’t consider how this would need to be redesigned to function for an HEC. Do you want to have remote control like GoogleTV? Maybe you do, but most people don’t. Apple’s iDevices offer a potential solution with using a virtual keyboard, but I bet any solution will be more sophisticated than that. For example, find a site on your Mac or iDevices and then use AirPlay to push it to your TV. No superfluous address bar or bookmarks. Something more inline with Safari 5’s Reader option to create rich, beautiful webpages.

—*The I need 1080p / 720p sucks comments always ride me because they never express what is truly important: birate. You want 1080p, which you can get from YouTube even though the bitrate is lower than the 720p from iTS pushes more data per frame. You are stuck in a marketing loop, which isn’t about the best overall quality. Personally, I’d like to get 1080p, and it’s possible with the Imagination decoders, but I also want it with a bitrate that betters the experience.

—*It has HD content. Stop falling for silly marketing jargon.

— A DVR? Really? :sigh:

— I don’t even know where to begin in why you’d think remote desktop into your AppleTV from your Mac makes any sense for this $99 product.


That sounds like exactly what you asked for.


Not true.

I repeated your entire post, but want focus on this:

Quote:
— People want a “full web browser” yet don’t consider how this would need to be redesigned to function for an HEC. Do you want to have remote control like GoogleTV? Maybe you do, but most people don’t. Apple’s iDevices offer a potential solution with using a virtual keyboard, but I bet any solution will be more sophisticated than that. For example, find a site on your Mac or iDevices and then use AirPlay to push it to your TV. No superfluous address bar or bookmarks. Something more inline with Safari 5’s Reader option to create rich, beautiful webpages.

This is prescient!

But, it may be even better than you are betting/asking for.

It appears that an iDevice can use AirPlay to push an URL to AppleTV 2, and the AppleTV 2 can receive a stream from that URL -- as opposed to the iDevice acting as an intermediate,

See the discussions at:

http://www.tuaw.com/2010/12/20/airfl...rver/#comments

If this is what I think... an app like Mobile Safari, Mobile YouTube, Mobile NetFlix, etc. could locate a URL of a http streaming server, push that URL to the AppleTV via AirPlay -- then get out of the loop -- say, continue to surf, act as an AppleTV remote, etc.
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