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CES: Samsung eyes Smart TV as center of 'digital hub' as it takes on Apple

post #1 of 96
Thread Starter 
Following its weakest profits outlook in six quarters, South Korean electronics giant Samsung is banking on copying Apple's strategy from ten years ago, albeit positioning its TVs in place of the Mac as the center of a digital hub.

In a lavish, hour long stage production featuring teenage dancers at CES, Samsung outlined an aggressive new push behind smart TVs, as reported by Engadget.

Company president B. K. Yoon was joined on stage by Zoll, a dancing teen dressed up in a fur hat and goggles, who introduced the concept of a future based on "emotional technology" in a series of skits.

"To satisfy customers, technology must embed the human emotion," Yoon said. "How can we take digital humanism a step further? How do we envision the future of our digital devices? These are the questions I struggle with on a daily basis."

"I am confident that the Samsung smart TV will become the leader in integrating services and content," Yoon said, adding that "Samsung plans to develop a cloud-based platform[] we are dedicated to making our devices the best gateway to storing, sharing, and playing content from the cloud."

Samsung brought the rival chief executives of Comcast (Brian Roberts) and Time Warner Cable (Glenn Britt) on stage, then referenced a partner who would "provide the essential tools for cross-platform app development."

Roberts announced that "Glenn and I are thrilled to team up with Samsung," saying that the company's Smart TV would be a "revolution." The trio demonstrated an app that enabled users to change the channel using the $600 Galaxy Tab as a remote. Samsung's tablet device will eventually be able to watch cable programming directly.

Jason Kilar of Hulu appeared on stage to demonstrate the company's Hulu Plus app running on Samsung's Android-based Galaxy S smartphone. The app should be available soon.

Samsung then greeted Adobe's chief executive Shantanu Narayen, who presented the company's Flash-based AIR platform as the basis for Samsung's app development across its Smart TVs, smartphones and tablet devices.

"Samsung is the first device manufacturer in the world that's making these developments a reality across all the screens," Narayen said.

Yoon said Samsung's Smart TVs will support Flash as a "must-have for anyone playing web-based content."

Taking an apparent stab at Google and its currently stagnant Google TV initiative with Sony and Logitech, Yoon stated, "The biggest misconception people have about Smart TV is that it's just a TV with a PC inside [] A TV does not become smart just because it can access the internet."

The company also demonstrated its 3D TV technology and detailed its efforts related to green initiatives before ending the production with more dancing.



On page 2 of 3: This all happened before.

This all happened before

Samsung's 2011 CES production, minus the dancing, is familiar in that it copies the strategy Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs presented a decade ago at Macworld Expo 2001. Back then, Apple positioned its flagship product, the Macintosh, as the center of a digital hub, with connections to moible phones, digital cameras, camcorders, music players, DVD players and PDAs--at a time when PCs were losing steam and failing to attract enthusiasm from consumers, much as Samsung's TV business is today.

Jobs cited a quote from Wall Street Journal writer Walt Mossberg, who Jobs called "one of the smartest journalists in our business," who had recently written that "The PC, which has carried the digital revolution for 24 years, has matured into something boring."

After noting comments from Compaq ("we don't think of it in terms of thePC business anymore") and Gateway ("we are clearly migrating away from the the PC as the centerpiece") chief executives, Jobs countered, "we don't think the PC is dying at all. We don't think the PC is moving away from the center at all. We think it's evolving."

Jobs laid out a path of PC evolution that defined the early 80s as an initial "golden age" of computing based on productivity software, which began to wane in the early 90s. A "second golden age" began in the mid 90s with the rise of Internet, Jobs said, but it too had began to lose its momentum by 2000. Jobs said he believed a third age would focus on a digital lifestyle, driven by an "explosion of digital devices."

"The Mac," Jobs said, "can become the 'digital hub' of our emerging digital lifestyle, adding tremendous value to our other digital devices." Jobs said PCs could be the center of this digital hub because they had the horsepower to run complex applications that other devices lack, and provide large, inexpensive disk storage, can burn discs, and offer big screens and fast networking.

Jobs touted iMovie as "adding tremendous value to your camcorder," an example of how Apple could combine its hardware and operating system technology with application development, internet access and marketing to present a solution that enabled users to edit their own videos and then stream them over the web to their friends.

Jobs said Apple was unique in the industry in being able to put together all of these components, and noted that the company saw apps as the "glue" used to attach digital devices to the Mac hub, citing the existing iMovie, iTunes and iDVD and noting that Apple was working on new ones.



On page 3 of 3: Apps without a place.

Apps without a place

Ten years later, if Jobs could update his 2001 presentation, he might define a fourth golden age of computing oriented around mobile devices now able to run complex apps and store as much content as desktop computers could a decade ago, while also connecting to fast wireless networks.

The Mac has also evolved, with this year's release of Mac OS X Lion expected to adopt major facets of its interface and behaviors from iOS (including downloadable apps that save documents automatically, quit instantly, and keep themselves updated).

While Samsung delivers products that are modeled after Apple's past successes, ranging from its iPhone-like Galaxy S to its new iPod touch doppelgänger Galaxy Player and the iPad nod of the Galaxy Tab, Samsung lacks Apple's operating system and development platform technology and focus.

The company builds smartphones using a wide range of platforms, from Windows Phone 7 to Android to its own Bada. Its Smart TVs and Blu-ray players run web apps that run on the Maple Browser using web standards, and also support Flash 8.0 and Flash Lite 3.1 content. Future Smart TVs will run AIR 2.5 and support Flash 10.1.



In theory, Adobe AIR should enable developers to build an app they can port across multiple devices, from Android devices to RIM's new PlayBook to Samsung's new Smart TVs and Blu-ray players. However, according to a report by ZD Net, RIM developers eying the PlayBook have said that "AIR apps can be tough to port," and that "BlackBerrys biggest developers are unlikely to use AIR," preferring instead to wait for RIM to deliver a Java development kit.

Android developers have historically been attracted to that platform because of the familiarity of working with its familiar, Java-like virtual machine. Meanwhile, neither AIR nor Java nor Android has delivered a sustainable business model like the one Apple has built around its own custom App Stores for the iOS and, as of this week, the Mac.

Apple has not, notably, extended its iOS App Store to deliver software for the new iOS-based Apple TV. This has left room for Samsung and other Smart TV vendors, including LG and the Google TV platform embraced by Sony, to take a shot at beating Apple into that market with a first mover advantage.
post #2 of 96
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Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple has not, notably, extended its iOS App Store to deliver software for the new iOS-based Apple TV. This has left room for Samsung and other Smart TV vendors, including LG and the Google TV platform embraced by Sony, to take a shot at beating Apple into that market with a first mover advantage.

Apple needs to address this issue soon. They also need to step up content acquisition and build subscription services for both music and TV content.
post #3 of 96
Why do all these big electronic companies seem so rudderless? Yea, I know, SJ brings a vision to Apple, but what are the other, paid more then a dollar a year, CEO's doing?

We always poke fun at Balmer, but the rest of them seem to be in the same boat and of the same breed. Creating a culture that your infrastructure supports seems not to be an easy thing to do, even if they pay you a lot.

TV as the hub of your business model? This is a first year marketing class case study, not something to expect from the head of an electronic company. Yeesh.

No Vision. Thats what these companies produce.
post #4 of 96
Samsung just in it for the money, trying to copy Apple with no love for the products they produce.
post #5 of 96
The whole thing based on Flash. Don't hold your breath.
post #6 of 96
Nothing but me-too in this industry with Apple leading the way.
post #7 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

Apple needs to address this issue soon. They also need to step up content acquisition and build subscription services for both music and TV content.

You address it when it's ready.
post #8 of 96
Samsung is just a very uninteresting company when it comes to product development and marketing. "Digital humanism?" Just inventing catchy (or corny) phrases to say that they want to be like Apple? Samsung is certainly on the cutting edge when it comes to semiconductors and display screens, but as far as the whole package of finished goods and ecosystem are concerned, they just have no clue. They're simply all over the place with no coherent strategy or vision: throw anything and everything at the wall and let's go with what sticks.

I agree that Apple needs to get a little more serious with the ATV in terms of getting apps on there and more content, etc. But I can tell that Apple is being patient looking for the right moment with the right product(s) to make a splash on the TV scene. This isn't going to be like the music industry at all; it'll be much more complicated and there'll be a lots of more serious and formidable players in this space to contend with. I don't foresee a dominant player in the Internet TV space; it's too convoluted for one or even a few companies take control.
post #9 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

Apple needs to address this issue soon. They also need to step up content acquisition and build subscription services for both music and TV content.

More importantly Apple have failed to make the ATV multi-functional. They should expand media options (though under a consistent UI) but TV as a single justification is not strong enough and Apple alone aren't filling in the gaps. Where are the games that use your iPod/Phone/Pad as a dual screen/controller? MS are getting there first. Where's the video chat? Apple got this down before Skype! Where's the super easy Bluetooth/WiFi access point for guests?

Samsung have followed Apple in making functionality device-independent though with weaker design & aesthetics. They are on the right track with a non-computer as the digital hub, as our computers come with us local storage actually decreases and the internet cloud proves to be less than robust where's Apple's digital hub now?

Time for ATV to come of age. McD
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post #10 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

You address it when it's ready.

Well the market is ready and waiting. And I have to believe that Apple foresaw the potential for apps on the ATV so I would like to see some announcements.
post #11 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

Well the market is ready and waiting. And I have to believe that Apple foresaw the potential for apps on the ATV so I would like to see some announcements.

That doesn’t mean that an SDK is ready. We have only to look at Palm’s first attempt at a WebOS SDK to see how that can hinder app development on a platform.

Also, the AppleTV is still a hobby. They might have waited to see how sales were before making the investment. If they do make an SDK and App Store (which I think they will) they also have to release it at the right time. This means an event with a demo and beta release of the SDK. Right now the AppleTV is under iTunes/iPod umbrella. This might mean waiting until the September event or it might mean announcing it now and making it proper member of the Apple product line, or anything else you can think of, but the "I want it so Apple should release it" market is not a viable market to back.
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post #12 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexkhan2000 View Post

I agree that Apple needs to get a little more serious with the ATV in terms of getting apps on there and more content, etc. But I can tell that Apple is being patient looking for the right moment with the right product(s) to make a splash on the TV scene. This isn't going to be like the music industry at all; it'll be much more complicated and there'll be a lots of more serious and formidable players in this space to contend with. I don't foresee a dominant player in the Internet TV space; it's too convoluted for one or even a few companies take control.

I agree with your assessment that there will be no dominant player in internet TV but I do think Apple needs to decide soon if the ATV will continue to be a hobby or a real product with the appropriate marketing support and expanded entertainment options.
post #13 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by McDave View Post

Time for ATV to come of age. McD

Exactly! Hobby or real product?
post #14 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

That doesnt mean that an SDK is ready. We have only to look at Palms first attempt at a WebOS SDK to see how that can hinder app development on a platform.

I understand and agree but I would like some evidence that this is a priority for Apple.
post #15 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

I understand and agree but I would like some evidence that this is a priority for Apple.

Since its all software at point I doubt that will happen. I think the best well get is a leak from a developer Apple contacted about making AppleTV apps, and I think that is unlikely..
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post #16 of 96
Apple doesn't need to rush this. Getting an Airplay API out to developers for video would allow developers to develop apps for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch that could then be outputted to Apple TV. I believe someone's already demonstrated an "Apple TV-optimized" example of this in the jailbreak community. That'll give them an in right away without having to worry about an Apple TV specific SDK. Nobody in the industry has got much figured out for TV yet anyways. You just want to be able to stream movies/TV/music/pictures and maybe games and that's about it. Oh, and videochat, which they could work out with Facetime. Who needs to run calendars or alarm clocks or flashlights or to do apps on a TV? Anyone. There'll be a market for TV apps at some point that go beyond this, but it's not entirely necessary yet.

Oh yeah, everyone does Netflix about the same and that's the biggest "smart" thing people need or want on TV right now. I have Apple TV. I have TV's/Blu-Ray players that stream Netflix. I have game systems that stream Netflix. I have computers that stream Netflix. Everybody's system is similar and comparable. I actually think the best interface right now is the Wii's, though it only outputs at 480p which is noticeable if you're used to HD streaming. But again, their interface does little things that most others don't and it's FAST. Definitely superior to Apple TV in this sense, though again, no 720P or higher unfortunately.

I just give Samsung credit here for dropping Google and the idea that "Smart" somehow just means internet connected. So far from the truth as Google TV proved. Samsung does do a good job for a consumer electronics manufacturer in this sense. Their quality control has been iffy at times on Blu-Ray, but they and LG are trying hard to do the right thing in their own way with TV's and Blu-Ray devices that might qualify as "smart."
post #17 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

I agree with your assessment that there will be no dominant player in internet TV but I do think Apple needs to decide soon if the ATV will continue to be a hobby or a real product with the appropriate marketing support and expanded entertainment options.

What do you want to see?
post #18 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexkhan2000 View Post

Samsung is just a very uninteresting company when it comes to product development and marketing. "Digital humanism?" Just inventing catchy (or corny) phrases to say that they want to be like Apple? Samsung is certainly on the cutting edge when it comes to semiconductors and display screens, but as far as the whole package of finished goods and ecosystem are concerned, they just have no clue. They're simply all over the place with no coherent strategy or vision: throw anything and everything at the wall and let's go with what sticks.

I agree that Apple needs to get a little more serious with the ATV in terms of getting apps on there and more content, etc. But I can tell that Apple is being patient looking for the right moment with the right product(s) to make a splash on the TV scene. This isn't going to be like the music industry at all; it'll be much more complicated and there'll be a lots of more serious and formidable players in this space to contend with. I don't foresee a dominant player in the Internet TV space; it's too convoluted for one or even a few companies take control.

I don't think Apple's just waiting for the right moment. There just isn't a lot of room to move in this arena period. There probably never will be, so I just think they're putting out "something" to get iTunes to the TV. They've done a lot with a little and as flawed and frustrating as the new Apple TV is in many ways, it's also pretty cool for what it is at the price.

I'd be almost entirely satisfied with it if it output at 1080p. I don't get why they skipped over that ability in many ways. Well, I kinda get it, but in this day and age, I don't. They likely wanted to stick with one output format for everything, and most of the iTunes HD stuff is at 720p, so that wouldn't need to be "scaled" and it's less intensive to scale lower res stuff to 720p than to 1080p, but really, it's not that bad either. Surprisingly, I don't mind it as much for video as I do for photos that could really benefit from the extra resolution. But anyways, For the majority of users, that 720p output is getting scaled to 1080p on the TV, so why not just scale everything to 1080p out of the box so anything that's going through the box up to 1080 horizontal lines isn't scaled down and then scaled up again? Makes sense to me, and again, at $99 with 1080p output, I'd have no gripes. It's a nice little device.

I give Samsung a bit more credit than you. For a consumer electronics company, they're actually a ways ahead of many of the others. The fact that they have any sort of app store is ahead of the curve as usually your stuck with what a company decides to give you. Sony makes real nice Blu-Ray players, but you can only use what they give you, which in truth is quite a bit. They've had Hulu Plus for a long while already even. But you can't get rid of what they give you which can also be annoying.

My biggest pet peeve with all of these TV manufacturers comes down to one thing: "wireless ready." Stupid. People just get pissed when they need an $80 adapter. With Blu-Ray, wi-fi built in players tend to cost $20-30 more than a wi-fi ready model too. It's stupid. Just include wi-fi with everything at this point. Don't make it any more complicated. Maybe you make more money but you alienate the customer and make them dread buying these products. It's just a dumb move.
post #19 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by 801 View Post

Why do all these big electronic companies seem so rudderless? Yea, I know, SJ brings a vision to Apple, but what are the other, paid more then a dollar a year, CEO's doing?

We always poke fun at Balmer, but the rest of them seem to be in the same boat and of the same breed. Creating a culture that your infrastructure supports seems not to be an easy thing to do, even if they pay you a lot.

TV as the hub of your business model? This is a first year marketing class case study, not something to expect from the head of an electronic company. Yeesh.

No Vision. Thats what these companies produce.

It really has more to do with the culture and Wall Street. It's not like these guys are wholly oblivious, but most of these companies are public companies that have to answer to shareholders that don't want the boat rocked. You take big chances, and sure, you might succeed, but you also stand a strong chance of failing. Plus, the "people," including shareholders usually don't know what they want. This complicates things immensely. Apple got lucky because they've got a CEO that doesn't give a rip at this point and in turn, he can get away with it because they got the ball rolling when they were already at the bottom. They've gone up on that momentum so Jobs is able to get away with a lot more now that others simply can't. It's unfortunate, but it's not as simple as suggesting that these companies are completely out of touch or just plain stupid.
post #20 of 96


You push what works for you. If it's a TV, then it's the Center of your Universe. It's your "hub".

You stop becoming a "me too" company when you stop copying. All these iPad-killers all look like the iPad. Aren't there other colors and materials for a tablet besides black, chrome, rounded edges and glass? What Samsung should do to push their "hub" is to give away their Tab with every TV, washing machine, DVD player, whatever. That would sell product and get a leg up on Apple. I just read how Sony is pushing to be Number 2 to Apple's iPad. Apple's iPad is unbeatable. All these giveaway Tabs would link back to the Samsung TV "Hub". That would be great for Samsung and Adobe.

The new Apple AppStore is amazing.

Apps download and install like a dream. The store itself is well designed- cleaner and better than MacUpdate.com! I'll bet an AppStore for AppleTV is already done. Who's to say you won't be able to use that flat screen TV you got for Christmas to use Aperture on your Holiday photos or use Pages and Keynote to edit your company newsletter or create slides for your next business presentation. All you need is a keyboard.

We don't need no stink'n Surfaces!

Samsung, Apple's got yer "hub"!
post #21 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

That doesnt mean that an SDK is ready. We have only to look at Palms first attempt at a WebOS SDK to see how that can hinder app development on a platform.

Also, the AppleTV is still a hobby. They might have waited to see how sales were before making the investment. If they do make an SDK and App Store (which I think they will) they also have to release it at the right time. This means an event with a demo and beta release of the SDK. Right now the AppleTV is under iTunes/iPod umbrella. This might mean waiting until the September event or it might mean announcing it now and making it proper member of the Apple product line, or anything else you can think of, but the "I want it so Apple should release it" market is not a viable market to back.

I bought Angry Birds for the Mac. It is on all of our iDevices and quite popular.

Big hit on the iMacs.

We have a Mini connected to the HDTV, so I installed it on that too -- and planned to use a Magic Trackpad to control it.

Sadly, it will not run on the Mini -- requires a OpenGL 2.0 capable GPU.

I find this odd, because AB requires less capability on iOS devices.

The AppleTV's A4 is capable of running AB -- all it needs is to be allowed (SDK, Store) by Apple, and support for touch input devices.

C'mon Apple, let's do this now!

.
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post #22 of 96
Nobody (read: no average consumer) wants anything on their TV's other than shows, movies and sports.

I don't know what Google, Samsung and the like are smoking to think that crap like this will take off in any way.

Apple is playing it smart calling ATV a hobby. That way if nothing comes of it, then who cares?
post #23 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcom006 View Post

What do you want to see?

I think the most important thing is game apps on the ATV. I don't think it was coincidence that content (Netflix, Hulu Plus) has arrived on game consoles - the television industry understands that if a screen is used for playing a game, it is not making money for them. I think that the studios will be more amenable to content deals for iTunes or willing to provide their own app once they see that ATV presents alternative entertainment content.
post #24 of 96
I know a few people who bought one of these fancy new tv's. They have no idea that they can get Internet on it and just watch their foreign language cable channels on them.


My advice to everyone I talk to is to buy a dumb tv and get an apple tv, ps3, nice blu ray player, x box, boxee, roku or another box
post #25 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

I think the most important thing is game apps on the ATV. I don't think it was coincidence that content (Netflix, Hulu Plus) has arrived on game consoles - the television industry understands that if a screen is used for playing a game, it is not making money for them. I think that the studios will be more amenable to content deals for iTunes or willing to provide their own app once they see that ATV presents alternative entertainment content.

I believe that you are right.

Interesting that games (and other) apps on the iPad caused Comcast to develop an iPad app to receive streamed cable TV -- including live TV shows, events, etc.

Wouldn't it be interesting if the Comcast app were made to run on AppleTV -- stream from the Comcast STB to the AppleTV STB...

...That appears to be at least 1 STB too many.
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post #26 of 96


Samsung makes the new Surface. It's now "hangable" on your wall for over $7,000.

Everyone seems to have trashed their CRT TV's for flat screens and their sizes are getting bigger. There is also technology to "spray-on" TV's to accommodate various odd shapes. Can you image a Mac screensaver running on 4 walls and a ceiling when AppleTV is in sleep mode! Perfect for tripping!

When Apple comes out with their version of Kinect, we can expect voice command to be bundled with it. No having to look for that remote control.
post #27 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcom006 View Post

I don't think Apple's just waiting for the right moment. There just isn't a lot of room to move in this arena period. There probably never will be, so I just think they're putting out "something" to get iTunes to the TV. They've done a lot with a little and as flawed and frustrating as the new Apple TV is in many ways, it's also pretty cool for what it is at the price.

I'd be almost entirely satisfied with it if it output at 1080p. I don't get why they skipped over that ability in many ways. Well, I kinda get it, but in this day and age, I don't. They likely wanted to stick with one output format for everything, and most of the iTunes HD stuff is at 720p, so that wouldn't need to be "scaled" and it's less intensive to scale lower res stuff to 720p than to 1080p, but really, it's not that bad either. Surprisingly, I don't mind it as much for video as I do for photos that could really benefit from the extra resolution. But anyways, For the majority of users, that 720p output is getting scaled to 1080p on the TV, so why not just scale everything to 1080p out of the box so anything that's going through the box up to 1080 horizontal lines isn't scaled down and then scaled up again? Makes sense to me, and again, at $99 with 1080p output, I'd have no gripes. It's a nice little device.

I give Samsung a bit more credit than you. For a consumer electronics company, they're actually a ways ahead of many of the others. The fact that they have any sort of app store is ahead of the curve as usually your stuck with what a company decides to give you. Sony makes real nice Blu-Ray players, but you can only use what they give you, which in truth is quite a bit. They've had Hulu Plus for a long while already even. But you can't get rid of what they give you which can also be annoying.

My biggest pet peeve with all of these TV manufacturers comes down to one thing: "wireless ready." Stupid. People just get pissed when they need an $80 adapter. With Blu-Ray, wi-fi built in players tend to cost $20-30 more than a wi-fi ready model too. It's stupid. Just include wi-fi with everything at this point. Don't make it any more complicated. Maybe you make more money but you alienate the customer and make them dread buying these products. It's just a dumb move.

I agree that there isn't a whole lot that can be done besides making the TV a big computer screen that accesses the web and that's not what most people want on their TV. I'm not much of TV watcher at all and got the new ATV with the Netflix account to replace the Verizon FiOS TV and love it to watch a few movies and documentaries a month as well as streaming iTunes stuff (mainly music) from the iMac and a MBP I have at home. As my TV is 46" and I watch from over 10 feet away, the 720p spec seems just fine to me.

As for Samsung, as a Korean-American who grew up in Korea and have seen their dominance of Korea's economy, they still strike me as too much of a "me too" company that dabbles in way too many things - and I'm talking about stuff like refrigerators to rice cookers in their electronics division alone. As a Samsung conglomerate group, they build ships, construct apartment complexes, sell life insurance and operate department store and hotel chains amongst all kinds of other things. You can't go anywhere in Korea without their logo blaring in your face every few minutes.

I don't know... I just don't like them and how they do things. They represent over 20% of the entire South Korean economy. It's ridiculous. It's like they want to dominate every facet of the Korean citizens' lives over there (and the rest of the world as well). Their chairman Lee Kun-Hee (son of the founder and the richest man in Korea as a multi-billionaire) was indicted for tax evasion and then got a presidential pardon because of what he means to the Korean economy, national dignity and stuff like that. How sad would it have been to thrown him in jail...

But besides that stuff, you look at the sheer number of phones running Android, WP7 and their own Bada and how they just rush out things that are half-baked and they just strike you as a commodity vendor. But then, the same goes for LG, Sony, and all other other massive consumer electronics companies in Japan. That's basically what I meant in terms of their product development and marketing efforts; it's all so generic, often cheesy and sometimes outright shameless.

I read the Korean papers and browse the Korean sites and even Koreans there complain about Samsung just being an Apple copycat. Why do you figure that Apple is doing so well there (nearly 2 million iPhones sold in little over a year) despite the silly and at times vicious "let's be patriotic and buy Korean" marketing campaign that Samsung rolled out once the iPhone was announced for sale in Korea? See, that's the kind of stuff I don't like about them. Just make a better phone, damn it, instead of resorting to that kind of marketing crap to stem the sales of the iPhone there.
post #28 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmovie View Post



Samsung makes the new Surface. It's now "hangable" on your wall for over $7,000.

Everyone seems to have trashed their CRT TV's for flat screens and their sizes are getting bigger. There is also technology to "spray-on" TV's to accommodate various odd shapes. Can you image a Mac screensaver running on 4 walls and a ceiling when AppleTV is in sleep mode! Perfect for tripping!

When Apple comes out with their version of Kinect, we can expect voice command to be bundled with it. No having to look for that remote control.

Voice command? Have you ever been in a household with 3 teenagers --- voice command doesn't work on teens or TVs.
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post #29 of 96
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Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Voice command? Have you ever been in a household with 3 teenagers --- voice command doesn't work on teens or TVs.

New "sport" - extreme channel surfing.
post #30 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

New "sport" - extreme channel surfing.

I like that -- real-time scoring & insult level attainment!
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post #31 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

I bought Angry Birds for the Mac. It is on all of our iDevices and quite popular.

Big hit on the iMacs.

We have a Mini connected to the HDTV, so I installed it on that too -- and planned to use a Magic Trackpad to control it.

Sadly, it will not run on the Mini -- requires a OpenGL 2.0 capable GPU.

I find this odd, because AB requires less capability on iOS devices.

The AppleTV's A4 is capable of running AB -- all it needs is to be allowed (SDK, Store) by Apple, and support for touch input devices.

C'mon Apple, let's do this now!

This is a pretty tall order. Not so much for the way apps will look on an HDTV, but how you control it. I’ll use Angry Birds as the running example because it’s the EASIEST app of all to figure out its basic interactions.

AirPlay is the prime candidate so you can move your finger, hold/release, and tap as needed, but you need to have an app on iDevices to control it. Either an Angry Birds app given away on the iOS App Store that only works when integrating with the AppleTV, or have the AppleTV app also download a universal app that loads on iDevices so you can control the game play, and/or have an update for the regular iDevice Angry Birds app that will have a menu option for controlling iDevices or one that can sense when the AppleTV version is running. See, it’s already getting complex.

Now imagine if they make the controller require you to press and hold the display while you physically move the iDevice from the left to right and down to make it draw back the sling. That’s too much, but I wanted to cover all the major angles.

Then you just need some sort visual to show you are pulling the bird back in the sling. But not a mirrored representation of the HDTV display. Maybe an image of the bird in the sling close up, maybe with gauge to show angel and force since there is a disconnect between the device in your hand the HDTV in front of you.

This will make the feeling of interacting with the game very different, but I think it could still be viable. The problem with these simple controls for Angry Birds is there is still a lot of work that would need to go into the whole package to make it work.

I think an AppleTV SDK and App Store will come but it will have to be well designed and interact well with iDevices (and maybe Macs since most are notebooks that have a multi-toch trackpad). The first step is already done with AirPlay and nobody is even close to matching that integration. This is where Apple can and should wait for this to be a solid 1.0 product before coming to market. Everything I’ve seen at CES is yesteryear thinking. I know you’re old but be patient.
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post #32 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I think an AppleTV SDK and App Store will come but it will have to be well designed and interact well with iDevices (and maybe Macs since most are notebooks that have a multi-toch trackpad). The first step is already done with AirPlay and nobody is even close to matching that integration. This is where Apple can and should wait for this to be a solid 1.0 product before coming to market. Everything I’ve seen at CES is yesteryear thinking. I know you’re old but be patient.

You are absolutely right that it is important that they get things right and that there is some complexity involved. It's just that the inevitability of ATV apps (and prior experience with other iDevices) should have the SDK close to at least a beta stage. You are also correct that it is just software so it can be released at any time. I just get anxious because I think this will move the ATV from hobby status to a bonafide product and, possibly, improve content acquisition.
post #33 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

You are absolutely right that it is important that they get things right and that there is some complexity involved. It's just that the inevitability of ATV apps (and prior experience with other iDevices) should have the SDK close to at least a beta stage. You are also correct that it is just software so it can be released at any time. I just get anxious because I think this will move the ATV from hobby status to a bonafide product and, possibly, improve content acquisition.

Its easy to write code, its not easy to write good code.

Apple knows iOS in and out but remember that there is an entirely new UI for this version of iOS on the AppleTV. It might be Aqua-based like in the original AppleTV running on Mac OS, but thats not the issue.

The issue is the logistics.
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post #34 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

This is a pretty tall order. Not so much for the way apps will look on an HDTV, but how you control it. I’ll use Angry Birds as the running example because it’s the EASIEST app of all to figure out its basic interactions.

AirPlay is the prime candidate so you can move your finger, hold/release, and tap as needed, but you need to have an app on iDevices to control it. Either an Angry Birds extender app given away on the iOS App Store for the AppleTV, have the AppleTV App Store app also DL the iDevice helper apps, and/ot have an update for Angry Birds that will have a menu option for controlling iDevices or one that will simply see the AppleTV on the Angry Birds app when initiated on the network. See already getting complex.

Now imagine if they make the controller require you to press and hold the display while you physically move the iDevice from the left to right and down to make it draw back the sling. That’s too much, but I wanted to cover all the major angles.

Then you just need some sort visual to show you are pulling the bird back in the sling. But not a mirrored representation of the HDTV display. Maybe an image of the bird in the sling close up, maybe with gauge to show angel and force since there is a disconnect between the device in your hand the HDTV in front of you.

This will make the feeling of interacting with the game very different, but I think it could still be viable. The problem is even with this simple controller there is still a lot of work that would need to go into the whole package to make it work.

I think an AppleTV SDK and App Store will come but it will have to be well designed and interact well with iDevices (and maybe Macs since most are notebooks that have a multi-toch trackpad). The first step is already done with AirPlay and nobody is even close to matching that integration. This is where Apple can and should wait for this to be a solid 1.0 product before coming to market. Everything I’ve seen at CES is yesteryear thinking. I know you’re old but be patient.

An iMac with a magic mouse or magic pad handles this quite nicely with BT and graphics only on the screen...

... It could work the same on ATV.
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post #35 of 96
Apple TV ships with a minimal remote-- menu, select, cursor, play/pause. That's it. Compared to every other remote in your house, it's a miracle of straight-forward ease of use.

I think the big holdup for apps on the Apple TV is the remote. We've already seen what a joke trying to ship a "fully functional" set top box remote looks like, with the Sony and Logitech versions of a keyboard plus a remote plus game controller. Apple will never do that.

And I can't see them adding functionality to the Apple TV that requires you to have an iPhone, Touch or iPad. Obviously, they will do that in addition to whatever other solution they come up with, but an Apple TV that is dependent on another expensive device to be fully functional isn't Apple's style.

So I have no idea what the solution is, unless they can make a super cheap iOS device with a touch screen that ships with the Apple TV or sells for less than $50 (really it should be closer to $30).

That's always been the problem with making the TV into a computer/internet device-- people can barely use their Comcast remotes, expecting them to master some kind of button crazy keyboard mission control thing so they can watch You Tube with the kids is a non-starter.

I've said it elsewhere, but Samsung's grotesque dog and pony show at CES is a joke. Their internet TV UIs are among the worst I've every seen, and that's just for toggling a few options. I guess they reckon Android will make everything awesome, but the more they pile on the super TV features the more likely it is that the whole thing will wind up an expensive failure-- or they'll just put the services on everything anyway and no one will ever use them.

EDIT: Goddamnit, I finally get around to finishing this post and I see Solipsism has covered the same ground. Rest assure, I started my post first and he stole my ideas by witchcraft.
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post #36 of 96
He is forgetting that TV can't be the "hub" because it can't really edit anything without a computer inside. Camcorders can create content, but not edit. Ipods and iPhones can display content, but very limited in editing, despite iMoive and iWorks trying to change that. The Mac can edit everything, and every form of input from all of these devices, and then sync back to and between them. That is why it is a hub.
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post #37 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Apple TV ships with a minimal remote-- menu, select, cursor, play/pause. That's it. Compared to every other remote in your house, it's a miracle of straight-forward ease of use.

[]

EDIT: Goddamnit, I finally get around to finishing this post and I see Solipsism has covered the same ground. Rest assure, I started my post first and he stole my ideas by witchcraft.

Nah, you focused on the remote control and I focused on the interaction hurdles.

Could Apple update there simple remote to include a useable accelerometer and gyroscope? Probably, but Id imagine the logic board and battery would have to be bigger. The buttons could stay the same with a press/hold, drag, then release to play a game like Angry Birds, but as I stated in my previous post thats a simple game.

There is a the chance Apple could simply not include the remote but sell a wicked universal remote with a touch screen that could run all your devices and interact wirelessly with the AppleTV via AirPlay. I wonder if the new OS for the new iPod Nano could do this.

As for cost, well weve seen people dish out $150 for an accessory for an aging XBOX 360 so I dont think that would be an issue. Of course, the AppleTV is much cheaper than the XBOX 360.

Of course, people dont tend to buy accessories looking at TCO and overall usage, but the cost of the accessory in comparison of the primary device. People would be up in arms if the remote for the AppleTV cost as much or more than the AppleTV itself.
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post #38 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

There is a the chance Apple could simply not include the remote but sell a wicked universal remote with a touch screen that could run all your devices and interact wirelessly with the AppleTV via AirPlay. I wonder if the new OS for the new iPod Nano could do this.

I like the universal remote idea. As you said, price would be the issue. Maybe a bundle with the ATV for $175 or so.
post #39 of 96
Hey, Dick A: I must be misunderstanding, but I got Angry Birds for my desktop, a new Mac Mini, and it runs just fine. I use our old HDTV, a Samsung, as my monitor . . . Is yours an older Mini??
post #40 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Nah, you focused on the remote control and I focused on the interaction hurdles.

Could Apple update there simple remote to include a useable accelerometer and gyroscope? Probably, but I’d imagine the logic board and battery would have to be bigger. The buttons could stay the same with a press/hold, drag, then release to play a game like Angry Birds, but as I stated in my previous post that’s a simple game.

There is a the chance Apple could simply not include the remote but sell a wicked universal remote with a touch screen that could run all your devices and interact wirelessly with the AppleTV via AirPlay. I wonder if the new OS for the new iPod Nano could do this.

As for cost, we’ll we’ve seen people dish out $150 for an accessory for an aging XBOX 360 so I don’t think that would be an issue. Of course, the AppleTV is much cheaper than the XBOX 360.

Of course, people don’t tend to buy accessories looking at TCO and overall usage, but the cost of the accessory in comparison of the primary device. People would be up in arms if the remote for the AppleTV cost as much or more than the AppleTV itself.

But I still think that it would unlike Apple to be selling an Apple TV that is more or less crippled until you buy the even modestly expensive accessory remote (I mean more or less crippled compared to what it presumably could do with apps and an appropriate controller).

Right? I can't think of anything else they sell that does that. Everything is its own experience, and then there are accessories that somewhat enhance that experience, not create it entire.

The weird thing about Apple TV is that it is sort of an accessory, in that it extends the utility of your iOS and Mac devices, and sort of its own thing. So is it like an Airport Express, where buying an iPod Touch makes it cooler because now you can stream music from your mobile device to your stereo? Or is it like an iPod Touch in and of itself, where you're looking for accessories to make it more fun?

Apple is basically selling a headless Touch that connects to big screens, but which is pretending to be kind of a passive receiver, so its a little confusing. However, it does seem inevitable that they'll come up with something eventually to leverage the potential, but it's hard to imagine what, exactly. I'm not sure a downsized Magic Pad screenless device would work, because some UI things can't have onscreen targets- pausing movies or music, changing setting on a slide show, etc.

For that, you need to be able to look down and see a (at least virtual) button, which means an actual touch screen, which means relatively expensive.

Anyway, my guess is that its exactly these issues that are keeping apps off ATV for now.
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