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Cook coy on Apple TV: 'There's a lot that we can contribute in the space'

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
In Apple's quarterly conference call on Wednesday, CEO Tim Cook said that the company's Apple TV set-top box continues to sell well and characterized the television segment as a space where "there's a lot we can contribute."

Apple TV


Asked about Apple's intentions with regard to the TV market, Cook avoided tipping any products in the pipeline, but assured listeners that "in terms of the product we sell today ? Apple TV ? we sold more than we've ever sold in a quarter."

This past quarter, Apple sold two million of its Apple TV set-top boxes, up 60 percent year-over-year.

"What was a small niche at one time," Cook said, "has a lot of people who love it."

Cook has previously hinted that Apple was preparing to redefine the television set, much as it has the cellular phone, but on the call he declined to give any further input on what Apple may be working on in the television sector.

"I have said in the past it's an area of intense interest for us, and it remains so. There's a lot we can contribute in this space, and we'll continue to pull the string and see where it leads."
post #2 of 33

Network Attached iTunes Libraries, guys. NaiTL.

 

It would take an iOS update on Apple TV and a firmware update to your AirPort lineup to do. But then we wouldn't need a computer on and iTunes running to be able to see your local iTunes Library on an Apple TV. And then that same library could be seen on any computer connected to that network!

 

Come on, Apple!

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #3 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Network Attached iTunes Libraries, guys. NaiTL.

It would take an iOS update on Apple TV and a firmware update to your AirPort lineup to do. But then we wouldn't need a computer on and iTunes running to be able to see your local iTunes Library on an Apple TV. And then that same library could be seen on any computer connected to that network!

Come on, Apple!

Having a central hub for media, backups, and a centralized updates server would be great.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #4 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Network Attached iTunes Libraries, guys. NaiTL.

 

It would take an iOS update on Apple TV and a firmware update to your AirPort lineup to do. But then we wouldn't need a computer on and iTunes running to be able to see your local iTunes Library on an Apple TV. And then that same library could be seen on any computer connected to that network!

 

Come on, Apple!

 

I would love that. It would be great if an Apple TV or a Time Capsule could serve media to all of my devices.

post #5 of 33
The main issue with an AppleTV is its a US'centric product. Not apples largest market.
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post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Having a central hub for media, backups, and a centralized updates server would be great.

 

As far as Apple TV goes, I'd prefer to simply have online storage from Apple that would stream my movies / TV shows from iCloud so I'd never have to store my own ginormous files (unless I specifically decide to download to view on a plane, for example).

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by cycomiko View Post

The main issue with an AppleTV is its a US'centric product. Not apples largest market.

I believe the US is still the largest single market for Apple.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I believe the US is still the largest single market for Apple.

It is. I think he meant it's under half Apple's business.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #9 of 33

At $99 nothing really beats the Apple TV.

post #10 of 33
Except the WD Live box. And the base model TiVo. And the various Roku boxes. Basically all set top boxes that offer the same features of that AppleTV, plus many it doesn't. So, ya know, there's those.
post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

Except the WD Live box. And the base model TiVo. And the various Roku boxes. Basically all set top boxes that offer the same features of that AppleTV, plus many it doesn't. So, ya know, there's those.

Remind me which of those include AirPlay?

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #12 of 33
I think the stock will do nothing until an exciting AppleTV upgrade arrives. The sooner the better
post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Remind me which of those include AirPlay?

There are alternatives like Plex.
Edited by dasanman69 - 1/23/13 at 6:34pm
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post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Remind me which of those include AirPlay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cash907 View Post

Except the WD Live box. And the base model TiVo. And the various Roku boxes. Basically all set top boxes that offer the same features of that AppleTV, plus many it doesn't. So, ya know, there's those.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

There are alternatives like Plex.

Exactly. I like AirPlay, but plex is a solid alternative. Really, the main thing Apple TV offers is mirroring... Although I never use it.

If they would just allow developers and apps, it'd be the best. I just want to listen to pandora and watch my amazon and HBO go on it. That would be very helpful and at least get it up to snuff with ALL the other competitors. Add apps and unified search and Siri remote and it's out of this world. Adding uverse would be a dream.... But I don't count on it.

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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
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post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post



Exactly. I like AirPlay, but plex is a solid alternative. Really, the main thing Apple TV offers is mirroring... Although I never use it.

If they would just allow developers and apps, it'd be the best. I just want to listen to pandora and watch my amazon and HBO go on it. That would be very helpful and at least get it up to snuff with ALL the other competitors. Add apps and unified search and Siri remote and it's out of this world. Adding uverse would be a dream.... But I don't count on it.

Aren't Pandora and HBO allowed to use the APIs for AirPlay? I don't understand what Plex offers me as someone with Macs, iPhones and iPads that is more feature rich and convenient than using AirPlay.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #16 of 33
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
I don't understand what Plex offers me as someone with Macs, iPhones and iPads that is more feature rich and convenient than using AirPlay.

 

I'm trying to figure out what Plex even offers. Their website seems dedicated entirely to you. download. now. I see six screenshots, and they show me functionality equal to—but not exceeding—some of the Apple TV's. And with a more confusing interface that seems to revolve around enjoying showing me meaningless information like this:

 

 

I don't care what season and episode it is, save for sorting. I shouldn't care about seeing that; show me the episode title or something else, but show it to me where it should be. I don't care about the stupid sort name for the image, just show me the image.

 

Nothing really about functionality. So I go to "Help", yeah? Figuring there'll be help. "Guides", okay, we're getting there. First guide: "Media Naming and Organization Guide".

 

… 

 

 

So apparently they've never heard of file metadata? The stuff that we shouldn't care about seeing at all, but which should exist for background organization, that is. I don't want my stuff to show up as "Name (Year)", Just give me the name. 

 

I mean, really, why do people even use MKV if you have to keep all this stuff separate? Can't even apply artwork; you have to keep it as a separate image file, named identically, in a folder in the tree.

 

I see guides for media servers, I see guides for Linux, subtitles… what does the software DO?!

 

From the six images, I gather music, TV, movies, pictures. And I can search for them. That's it. The Apple TV looks MIGHTY enticing, given that it at least tells me about the other things it can do. Can Plex even do any more than that?


Edited by Tallest Skil - 1/23/13 at 8:05pm

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I'm trying to figure out what Plex even offers. Their website seems dedicated entirely to you. download. now. I see six screenshots, and they show me functionality equal to—but not exceeding—some of the Apple TV's. And with a more confusing interface that seems to revolve around enjoying showing me meaningless information like this:





I don't care what season and episode it is, save for sorting. I shouldn't care about seeing that; show me the episode title or something else, but show it to me where it should be. I don't care about the stupid sort name for the image, just show me the image.

Nothing really about functionality. So I go to "Help", yeah? Figuring there'll be help. "Guides", okay, we're getting there. First guide: "Media Naming and Organization Guide".

… 




So apparently they've never heard of file metadata? The stuff that we shouldn't care about seeing at all, but which should exist for background organization, that is. I don't want my stuff to show up as "Name (Year)", Just give me the name. 

I mean, really, why do people even use MKV if you have to keep all this stuff separate? Can't even apply artwork; you have to keep it as a separate image file, named identically, in a folder in the tree.

I see guides for media servers, I see guides for Linux, subtitles… what does the software DO?!

From the six images, I gather music, TV, movies, pictures. And I can search for them. That's it. The Apple TV looks MIGHTY enticing, given that it at least tells me about the other things it can do. Can Plex even do any more than that?

So it lets me use the existing file structure of my Mac to play content? That's like PMP players before the iPod and all the others that tried to compete after it but couldn't.

I recently used iVI ($10 on Mac App Store) to encode and/or switch containers, add metadata to my content, and add to iTunes. It's much better this way than my previous method of opening up ~/Movies in Finder.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #18 of 33
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
I recently used iVI ($10 on Mac App Store) to encode and/or switch containers, add metadata to my content, and add to iTunes. It's much better this way than my previous method of opening up ~/Movies in Finder.

 

How well does it add the metadata? Do you have an offhand estimate of its accuracy in finding both your content and the right content for it?

 

I use iDentify, which is free, but it's ugly, old, has a non-standard interface, and I think it might be out of support. But it gets the job done pretty darn well… most of the time. And then 90% of the time when it doesn't, it refuses to then work (as it's supposed to) after I've manually given it the correct IMDB listing (but that's a neat feature when it does work).

 

iDentify adds metadata, artwork, and even chapters (but I've yet to give it something for which it will actually add those chapters…), so really, it's a great, two-click solution for that stuff as opposed to something bloated like that cow one. What is it, media… cow. iGr… no… Nothing medically wrong with me, my foot; this isn't psychology screwing up my memory… 

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #19 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

I'm trying to figure out what Plex even offers. Their website seems dedicated entirely to you. download. now. I see six screenshots, and they show me functionality equal to—but not exceeding—some of the Apple TV's. And with a more confusing interface that seems to revolve around enjoying showing me meaningless information like this:

 

So apparently they've never heard of file metadata? The stuff that we shouldn't care about seeing at all, but which should exist for background organization, that is. I don't want my stuff to show up as "Name (Year)", Just give me the name. 

 

I mean, really, why do people even use MKV if you have to keep all this stuff separate? Can't even apply artwork; you have to keep it as a separate image file, named identically, in a folder in the tree.

 

I see guides for media servers, I see guides for Linux, subtitles… what does the software DO?!

 

From the six images, I gather music, TV, movies, pictures. And I can search for them. That's it. The Apple TV looks MIGHTY enticing, given that it at least tells me about the other things it can do. Can Plex even do any more than that?

 

With just a couple of exceptions, I've not had to mess with any of this stuff. Content gets added to various media folders and the plex server figures out what it is. A few items that are not in tvdb, for example, had to be set up in specific folder hierarchies for Plex to organise them properly. Plex also adds capabilities well beyond simple media streaming - there are plugins, for example, for dozens of third-party services. I have used YouTube (because the Roku doesn't have a YouTube channel), TWiT, ScreenCastsOnline, NASA, Apple Movie Trailers, White House, and most importantly, Spotify (you can access your Spotify playlists as well as search for content. I suspect this requires a premium Spotify account, but then I have that anyway so I can use Spotify on the go). If only the Lynda.com plugin worked, I'd be super happy.

 

As a AppleTV 1st-gen owner, I swore I'd always stick with the devices. The interface (at least the older Take 2 interface) blows away everything else I've used, and the remote control app for the iPhone makes it infinitely better. But this year I picked up a Roku on-sale for $40 just to try it out, and I find myself missing the AppleTV less. I still want one for paid iTunes content (I will continue to subscribe to iTunes season passes before I'll give the bastards at Comcast any money for their overpriced TV service), but the Roku (especially with Plex) does so much more.

post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

I would love that. It would be great if an Apple TV or a Time Capsule could serve media to all of my devices.

Unless we had time capsules with SSDs in them, all that use would burn out a rotational fast.
post #21 of 33

Open up an App Store, I'm aware that many disagree but for local content such as BBC in the UK it would be a killer feature. The Apple TV would easily move 10 times more a units a quarter if it had an app store.

iPad, Macbook Pro, iPhone, heck I even have iLife! :-)
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post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Remind me which of those include AirPlay?

Exactemundo! I love AirPlay; easier than opening the YouTube 'channel' on my Apple TV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I'm trying to figure out what Plex even offers. Their website seems dedicated entirely to you. download. now. I see six screenshots, and they show me functionality equal to—but not exceeding—some of the Apple TV's. And with a more confusing interface that seems to revolve around enjoying showing me meaningless information like this:


I recently used iVI ($10 on Mac App Store) to encode and/or switch containers, add metadata to my content, and add to iTunes. It's much better this way than my previous method of opening up ~/Movies in Finder.

1. That web designer should find a different line of work! Including the product manager, R&D... and so on.

2. Yep, bought it too. Actually the 'wrong version' because the one in the MAS doesn't convert .vob, but you can buy it from iVI's website. Nice tool, though I still use Handbrake as well, which has it's own advantages.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

How well does it add the metadata? Do you have an offhand estimate of its accuracy in finding both your content and the right content for it?

I don't as I'm currently only converting concerts, taped by fans. But it does integrate with IMDB (don't know what kind of plug-ins can be used...)

Quote:
I use iDentify

Thanks; I'll take a peek.
Quote:
...as opposed to something bloated like that cow one. What is it, media… cow. iGr… no… Nothing medically wrong with me, my foot; this isn't psychology screwing up my memory… 

You crack me up TS!
Quote:
Originally Posted by btracy713 View Post

Unless we had time capsules with SSDs in them, all that use would burn out a rotational fast.

I love SSD, but wouldn't want to store my ≈ 1TB of iTunes media on it.

When can we expect 1080p@60 in the Apple TV? v4? v5? Or will it depend on iTunes movie store?
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Aren't Pandora and HBO allowed to use the APIs for AirPlay? I don't understand what Plex offers me as someone with Macs, iPhones and iPads that is more feature rich and convenient than using AirPlay.
HBO is sound only- not video (same with amazon). And I don't want to have to stream from my iPhone for pandora, slacker, spotify, name your service. It should be built in via apps. At this point, there is no excuse. The new ATV box should absolutely have it.

AirPlay > plex. For sure- but it's an alternative, and if you have amazon instant video and not netflix, the combo of AIV + Plex might be better than AirPlay alone for some people. I just don't get why apple won't allow some developers but every other streaming box does. A music streamer (not dumb radio stations), amazon, and HBO is a must. Literally- every other streamer has them.

I just feel to use the Apple TV I shouldn't trade off "this" feature for "that" feature. They should match the others and have things exclusive to you if you have other apple products to grow the ecosystem (mirroring, iTunes Store, AirPlay as the "added" items). Then there'd be no reason to get another box unless you want less features for less money. Right now Roku is more features for less money.
Edited by Andysol - 1/24/13 at 6:48am

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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
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post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Aren't Pandora and HBO allowed to use the APIs for AirPlay? I don't understand what Plex offers me as someone with Macs, iPhones and iPads that is more feature rich and convenient than using AirPlay.

For someone like you Airplay is by far the way to go, but not everyone is Apple only. For those that have a PC, a Roku, a iPhone,and or iPad there are still ways to mirror the media on one device to another on a different platform.
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"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #25 of 33
Cute little gadget but useless without Pandora. Every modern TV, Blu-ray, AV Receiver has Netflix and Pandora.
post #26 of 33
Originally Posted by Andrey View Post
Cute little gadget but useless without Pandora.

 

Keep it up; you people are making me feel a lot happier, at least for a short time.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #27 of 33
We're so different, Tallest. You would gratefully accept whatever they give you. I won't. But I'm very interested in this product. I'm looking for replacement for aging LG BD620 and expecting to have even more what it has. And Pandora was deal breaker for us since 90% of time when our TV is on it plays Pandora. It can play music/video over local network, but I want it to look like iPod interface on my car and don't want to replace one dumb BD player with another. In ideal world I would pay 4-5 more of its current cost to have integrated ecosystem with own subtree of apps/widgets on iTunes to let TV networks to develop apps like we have for iPad.
Edited by Andrey - 1/24/13 at 6:58pm
post #28 of 33
Originally Posted by Andrey View Post
We're so different, Tallest.

 

Right, you dismiss the hundreds of uses of a product as useless simply because it doesn't have one feature that is truly non-critical.

 

Perhaps they don't WANT that on the product. Perhaps the product isn't designed to be that.

 

Perhaps I should reevaluate my stance on the iPad mini. I still hate it; never would buy one for myself or others, but I think I see one point to it now.


You would gratefully accept whatever they give you.

 

There's plenty Apple does that I don't accept. lol.gif There's plenty for which I pine. But knowing that what I'd like isn't necessarily what is essential is what apparently separates us. The Apple TV is for managing video content, first and foremost. Music isn't at all essential.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Perhaps I should reevaluate my stance on the iPad mini. I still hate it; never would buy one for myself or others, but I think I see one point to it now.

I'm not sure what the one point is.  I for one prefer the mini.  We just recently purchased our first iPad and went with the bigger screen because it was what my wife wanted.  I prefer the greater portability and lighter form of the mini and don't mind the screen resolution.  My wife will be using it for some classes she is taking though and she preferred the larger screen.  We got the wifi only because I realized we always have our iPhone 5's with us and can just use the personal hotspot if we need data and aren't near a wifi.


Edited by ndirishfan1975 - 1/24/13 at 1:00pm
post #30 of 33
The reason Apple's full scale TV is taking its time could be related to this:
http://m.techcrunch.com/2013/01/25/h265-is-approved/
Apple could create a lot if buzz being the first h265 solution around.
post #31 of 33
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post
The reason Apple's full scale TV is taking its time could be related to this:
http://m.techcrunch.com/2013/01/25/h265-is-approved/
Apple could create a lot if buzz being the first h265 solution around.

 

Now here's some thinking. I still don't buy that they're wasting their time with a TV, but this is an idea

 

Building a device with dedicated hardware designed specifically for efficient decoding of HEVC, switching over all iTunes content to HEVC to be served to this device, and winding up with the fastest and highest quality 1080p video content store yet made? 

 

I like it. I particularly like that the dedicated hardware can also be just a little box, or not even dedicated at all.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #32 of 33

Apple has very recently hired an industry expert on OLED technologies, particularly focused on TV application. Just noting FWIW.

 

http://oled-a.org/news_details.cfm?ID=774

melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #33 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Apple has very recently hired an industry expert on OLED technologies, particularly focused on TV application. Just noting FWIW.

http://oled-a.org/news_details.cfm?ID=774

1) To be clear, no one reasonable would say that OLED as a tech is bad or a dead end, just specific uses of OLED and the buzzword desire for it has been questioned. I've stated many times that I'd love for the trackpad for Macs to be replaced with an OLED display so that certain functions that are easier to use with an occasional touchscreen can be employed. This could happen with LCD, too, but OLED means that you could also have a display at the top that is showing the time, date, WiFi, etc. when using full screen windows and the rest of the display could be black when not used which means no power draw over most of the panel most of the time.

2) Are OLED panels for HDTVs something that appears to be on the rise that are favorable in cost to LCD?

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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