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Apple to acquire TiVo?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Today on CNBC there was a report that Apple may buy TiVO. What kind of products do you think might result from this?

[Title fixed - Jambo]
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post #2 of 41
Will Apple but Tivo what?

Pleaze spl check title of post before submitting.

No, Apple will not buy Tivo. Why when they can make their own device?
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post #3 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by Yevgeny
Why when they can make their own device?

Because Tivo has 3 Million subscribers just aching to get rid of that $12.95 monthly fee

Tivo would be the ideal purchase if Apple doesn't want to roll their own. Now that Cable Cards are here Apple has all but the red carpet rollout to get into the Set Top Box DVR device. They should make that move soon.

We should see.

1. DVR based on Quicktime 7 using AVC codecs.
this is going to allow Apple to really bundle in some nice multimedia elements. Excellent audio handling, multiple codec support etc.

2. AAC Protected playback.
A no brainer. Why it's taken this long is an amazement. An assault on eager and waiting fans of digital music should be imminent.


3. Airport and "Bonjour" support.
Easy networking is a must. Eventually I want to see 11n and maybe even Homeplug AV support. TV connections should be HDMI so that protected HDTV content can be displayed.


And maybe future Cell based product.

The Cell chip seems to be a natural for multimedia. Apple doesn't need to have OSX running on Cell but rather making QT a portable framework that runs very well on Cell. This would be the key to crunching AVC and dealing with audio and other codecs appropriately.
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post #4 of 41
Plus Tivos run Linux on a PowerPC so this should be familiar territory for Apple. Double plus the massive Apple R&D should make quick turnaround for new Tivo products.
post #5 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by WelshDog
Plus Tivos run Linus on a PowerPC so this should be familiar territory for Apple. Double plus the massive Apple R&D should make quick turnaround for new Tivo products.

I never thought of that. They would probably update that OS to a darwinian version of some sort.

I had a "Replay" (which I thought was better than Tivo because of the network ethernet card, and bigger hard drives. - you could trade shows), but using it with my cable system back in the early days was a pain, and I ended up with too many remotes, and half of the features would never work with my cable company. Tivo back then would have been the same. It may still be. I took it back.
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post #6 of 41
On the other hand Tivo is getting hammered financially as cable providers come up with their own recorders for their large captive audience. Does it make sense for Apple to take on this drain?
post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by onlooker
I never thought of that. They would probably update that OS to a darwinian version of some sort.

I had a "Replay" (which I thought was better than Tivo because of the network ethernet card, and bigger hard drives. - you could trade shows), but using it with my cable system back in the early days was a pain, and I ended up with too many remotes, and half of the features would never work with my cable company. Tivo back then would have been the same. It may still be. I took it back.

I have three Tivos and while in many ways they are wonderful they all have one major shortcoming:

They are not made by Apple.
post #8 of 41
TiVo Inc. shares jumped more than 17 percent on Wednesday, fueled by speculation that Apple might make a try to buy the digital video recorder maker, Reuters is reporting. "What we hear on the street is that Apple is interested in their business and that they are a takeout target," said analyst Steven Kroll Jr. of Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co. "TiVo's chief executive, Michael Ramsay, has said the company is not for sale. But with a market capitalization of only $300 million, analysts figure the company might be an easy target, perhaps from consumer electronics makers to media companies looking to bolster their video services."
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by OldCodger73
On the other hand Tivo is getting hammered financially as cable providers come up with their own recorders for their large captive audience. Does it make sense for Apple to take on this drain?

It wouldn't be a drain for Apple. Tivo's would eventually become yet another product available at 100+ Apple stores across the globe. Apple could bring the guide data into their own network. They could also reduce the price of the monthly fee by half and not break a sweat.

Cable Cards for those that don't know allow you to receive PREMIUM content like HBO/Showtime/etc "without" the need for a cablebox from your Cable Provider. The catch? You don't have on demand services...big whoop.

Thus the "all inclusive" device could handle your music, video files and access your cable service with one remote. It's a bonanza in the waiting for the company that can do it right and affordably. Consumers are sooo ready to get rid of the proliferating remotes that seem to procreate like jackrabbits.

I'm sure Apple has something like this coming. It makes too much sense. The pieces are coming together.

Security-

HDMI supports the FCC mandated copy prohibit flags and MPAA approved encryption. It supports full bandwidth HDTV video and fullbandwidth Audio. Check.

Processing power-

Cell processing is just what we need. Something that is a bit more Multimedia oriented than the general CPU with SIMD. Cell if it can become cheap to fab, will form the backbone of the Multimedia STB.

Software Framework-
Quicktime or linux. We need something flexible and very portable to power the device. Kormac has repeatedly refrenced Quicktime becoming an OS for multimedia devices. QT7 has to be morphing more into a seperate ecosystem that is becoming unbundled from the OS and able to thrive on its own.

Networking-
Rendezvous technology, better wireless technology coming, Homeplug AV and good ole Ethernet will form the tentacles that will weave this device easily into your home network. Consumer right now think of portability as burning a CD and taking it over to the CD player. They haven't yet made the connection that like the passing of sneakernet...eventually it'll make more sense to simply route or stream or send the datafile to the device you want playback on. Beats waiting for an optical drive to burn a disc that you will have to "sneaker" on over.
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post #10 of 41
people people....

It is perfect for Apple to slap TiVo into a Mac mini, and they add the QuickTime Movie Store... it is a conspiracy!

Also, it is a prefect chance for Apple to have TiVo service free is bundled with a .Mac account! And a kick ass codec.... and then Apple will capture the PVR market like it did with the iPod


it is so simple!
post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by Nebagakid
people people....

It is perfect for Apple to slap TiVo into a Mac mini, and they add the QuickTime Movie Store... it is a conspiracy!

Also, it is a prefect chance for Apple to have TiVo service free is bundled with a .Mac account! And a kick ass codec.... and then Apple will capture the PVR market like it did with the iPod


it is so simple!

And all for a mere $4 per share! Chump change I tell ya! Chump change!
post #12 of 41
I think the Mac mini needs to stay a Mac. The new Apple'ized Tivo needs to be a multimedia workhorse.

I really like the idea of future version using Cell. Cell is made for this type of stuff. Quicktime 7 is such a large architectural improvements with a new easier API to write for I can only hope that it's ready to power small devices like a DVR.

If Apple can leverage the 3 million subscribers. If Apple can keep the Strangeberry talent that Tivo aquired. If Apple can make a hot product that leverages AVC and AAC and other Apple promoted tech. They would blast off into the stratosphere in consumer electronics.

I want a Tivo bad but I have a feeling that things are going to change rapidly in the next 2 years. An Apple-Tivo makes more sense than an Apple iPhone right now.
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post #13 of 41
this would be great, jsut because all my PC friends that hate mac's would be using an apple product.
post #14 of 41
Not gonna work.

The reason TiVo is dying is because it can't interface with cable boxes in any meaningful way, and because it charges a monthly fee for tv guide--something you can now get for free online. Even the totally antiquated miglia software will have an integrated TV guide soon.

Cox digital cable (not even HD, mind you) is spectacularly annoying to use with a TiVo, unless it's a cox TiVo and has the "digital" tuner built in.

All the cable companies are doing this so they can kill off the 3rd party competition, and then program their boxes (most of which can be done remotely) to automatically delete shows more than 1 week old. Some companies are already doing this.

TV technology is so crappy and proprietary right now it's not even funny. All the big cable providers are taking a dump on HD programming. Cox here in the 6th largest city in the US has something like 10 channels, 5 of them premium and 4 of them local, and nothing else.

They don't want their shows stolen or distributed, and they have the power to stop all those who stand in their way.
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post #15 of 41
And could TiVo technology be squeezed into a G5 iMac ?

A digital TV-ready (or even co-ax arial broadcast for we backward Brits) iMac/TV/Recorder has me drooling already.

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post #16 of 41
Slughead

You're forgetting one thing though.

The FCC has mandated that all Cable Ops have to support CableCARDS which are available today. CableCARDS allow you to access "Premium" contect without the need for a cable box from your provider. The catch?

The current CableCARD is only one way meaning you can't do some nifty things like On Demand and other guide functions. However {trumpets sounding} CableCARD 2.0 coming out soon will support 2-way communication allowing things like full Guide Data, PPV and multiple simultaneous streams. Say goodby to Comcast if Apple can add in more than just basic DVR functions and a very low monthly cost.
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post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by slughead
Not gonna work.

The reason TiVo is dying is because it can't interface with cable boxes in any meaningful way, and because it charges a monthly fee for tv guide--something you can now get for free online. Even the totally antiquated miglia software will have an integrated TV guide soon.

Cox digital cable (not even HD, mind you) is spectacularly annoying to use with a TiVo, unless it's a cox TiVo and has the "digital" tuner built in.

All the cable companies are doing this so they can kill off the 3rd party competition, and then program their boxes (most of which can be done remotely) to automatically delete shows more than 1 week old. Some companies are already doing this.


Tivos and the cable DVRs can also be programmed to FORCE you to watch certain commercials. Advertisers would pay more to the cable company to force you to view their ad. The box would then not let you fast forward over the ad (DVDs sometimes won't let you skip certain things like th FBI warning). I think Murdock did something like this in the UK for a while on the satellite service. No one has implemented this on a large scale so it remains to be seen if customers would put up with it.

Would Apple do this?

We have no troubles with our Time Warner service and the Tivos, but we don't have a cable box.
post #18 of 41
Quote:
Would Apple do this?

Apple doesn't have to do this because unlike Tivo they wouldn't need to kowtow to advertisers to make their money. In fact the Copy Prohibit flags that HDTV broadcasts will have are being scrutinized by Federal Judges who think that the FCC may not have the power to require companies to support these flags. Vewy vewy intewesting.

All Apple needs to do is utilize their DVR to push AVC and iTunes Music Store. This in turn helps them sell more Final Cut Pro seats and other Pro apps. Apple is sitting pretty here and right now Steve Jobs can do no wrong. I'm awaiting Apple's Masterstroke here.
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post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by Nebagakid
people people....

It is perfect for Apple to slap TiVo into a Mac mini, and they add the QuickTime Movie Store... it is a conspiracy!

Also, it is a prefect chance for Apple to have TiVo service free is bundled with a .Mac account! And a kick ass codec.... and then Apple will capture the PVR market like it did with the iPod


it is so simple!

What about the installed base? do you drop 'em like a brick? do you push a whole new os as an update? do you sell/distribute an updated OS on USB mass storeage devices that the tivo can boot from?

And how would apple handle shareing of recorded programs without massive DRM while at the same time not totally pissing off the movie+TV companies? A TiVo is one thing, but a TiVo+pc+wifi+lan+broadband+an open standard codec(h.264)? that will not fly - but if any one can pull it off, it is Steve Jobs
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post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by a_greer
What about the installed base? do you drop 'em like a brick? do you push a whole new os as an update? do you sell/distribute an updated OS on USB mass storeage devices that the tivo can boot from?

And how would apple handle shareing of recorded programs without massive DRM while at the same time not totally pissing off the movie+TV companies? A TiVo is one thing, but a TiVo+pc+wifi+lan+broadband+an open standard codec(h.264)? that will not fly - but if any one can pull it off, it is Steve Jobs

That's the whole problem with this rumor. Tivo as it is now would die a quick death, just like what Apple does with all the other stuff they buy. They'll also dump some of the current features that make Tivo good, pissing off some of the users as well.

I have absolutely no idea why people think an Apple Tivo would somehow be better then Tivo. Tivo is easy to use, good interface, and an overall good box. How does Apple make it better? Just by slapping a logo on it? You "Apple makes god machines" people need to get a grasp on reality.
post #21 of 41
people are forgetting an important cog in all this... the netflix partnership. apple could tie up quite a bit of loyal subscribers, media content and the path between points a and b in one fell swoop, BUT...

the cable companies have made dvr's total fiefdoms, and tivo suffers fromt he fact that their box will never work quite right with a cable company's box unless they beg and plead with said company. apple wants to work the whole widget. the ipod, at first, was an interesting project which saw what people were doing with their digital content, but it became a million times more interesting with the itunes music store, and gave them a convenient way to add to, NOT REPLACE, their existing content.

if steve sees a way to repeat that exact same process, he'll jump. otherwise, no...
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post #22 of 41
I could see a really interesting product here.

Tivo box connected to:

Cable Modem
Satellite TV
DSl

You then can access your Tivo/Apple box via the web and "order" your movies via Itunes music store. Remotely from work or directly from a TV interface.

Download times would be on the order of say 2 hours. Then you have the option of saving for a period of time or burning to DVD for extra.

This solves some of the time to download problems.
Also all of your music can be centrally stored on the set top box and accessed via your networked (bonjour/rendevous) computers. Keeping only the music you want on the laptop for example or being able to serve to your laptop remotely a song or a movie that you own. This frees up laptop space and allows all members of a household to share the common music photos and movies.

It also puts .mac out in front as an internet service. Bundle that with Tivo and you have the winner. The all purpose media appliance.

boom!
post #23 of 41
Quote:
I have absolutely no idea why people think an Apple Tivo would somehow be better then Tivo. Tivo is easy to use, good interface, and an overall good box. How does Apple make it better? Just by slapping a logo on it? You "Apple makes god machines" people need to get a grasp on reality.

I don't think that's it I just think that people realize that DVR tech is being commoditized and that Tivo cannot survive by "only" offering this function. Tivos leave a lot to be desired. They still don't have ethernet(USB networking blech) and they don't have two tuners. They are underpowered and I've used the HMO option at my mothers house and it's NOT intuitive. What could Apple do? Well pretty much integrate iLife right into the core. iLife + DVR would rock. Add a DVD burner and would you really need anything else but an amplifier?

Apple has all the ingredients to make it work.
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post #24 of 41
TiVo's real strength is in its software, the harware is ubiquitous. The company will not be able to go on in its current state.

And TiVo is probably too small to survive from software alone.

TiVo needs to team up with a bigger company so its software can thrive and grow, otherwise we'll say "remember TiVo."

Save for the iPod Apple doesn't really make limited function consumer devices like a TiVo. Music is a far different medium than TV.

If Apple did buy TiVo it would be for the software, not to make a TiVo box. TiVo already does that and it isn't working.

The maximum value of this venture would be for Apple to sell a separate DVR application that integrates into OS X, and can turn any Mac into a DVR.
post #25 of 41
it could work, Apple+Tivo = Aivo !! Hey.. wait, sounds too much like Sony's Aibo.... Hey, wait, a robot dog that also records your TeeVee programs ... good boy..!

um.. oh yeah Steve must have a strong strategy in place in dealing with content providers if he is going to go and buy Tivo, otherwise, all rumors fall apart.

Tivo probably works fine for now. But Apple+Tivo will make Tivo better, come on, just admit it !!
post #26 of 41
in your ravenous thirst for domination all of you Noobs have obviously forgotten that Steve hates TV.
post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by nathan22t
in your ravenous thirst for domination all of you Noobs have obviously forgotten that Steve hates TV.

Yes, but Steve LOVES Movies....

Pixar anyone?

Or that Sony Rumor??
post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by sunilraman
Tivo probably works fine for now. But Apple+Tivo will make Tivo better, come on, just admit it !!

That is what I thought was implied when I said

Quote:
I have three Tivos and while in many ways they are wonderful they all have one major shortcoming:

They are not made by Apple.

Don't forget, Tivo has a deal with Netflix to develope an online movie service. Can't see any reason Apple wouldn't want to continue down that path.

Apple's name alone doesn't make things better, but Apple the company does.
post #29 of 41
I think a couple of people are forgetting something.

Steve Jobs said this only last year: "People watch TV to turn their brains off. People use their computers to turn their brains on."

And, in fact, it's Microsoft that looks more likely to aquire TiVo:
http://www.microsoft.com/athome/morefun/default.mspx

Click on the Movies and TV link.
About 1 minute 25 seconds in.

Just some food for thought.


Jimzip
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post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by Jimzip
I think a couple of people are forgetting something.

Steve Jobs said this only last year: "People watch TV to turn their brains off. People use their computers to turn their brains on."

And, in fact, it's Microsoft that looks more likely to aquire TiVo:
http://www.microsoft.com/athome/morefun/default.mspx

Click on the Movies and TV link.
About 1 minute 25 seconds in.

Just some food for thought.


Jimzip

actually, steve has made that statement several times in the past few years, even as far back as the original iMac debut. and honestly, any corporate entity these days is fodder for the microsoft money machine. in a way, though, it kinda depends on how much pride the tivo folks have in their brand and product and company atmosphere. there are a choice few people out there who will not put a price on selling their souls to cash out quick. most people can't resist the number of zeros microsoft can write on a check, but others are just crazy enough to go "yeah, but unless i can sleep at night, it's not worth it."

here's to the crazy ones...
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Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.
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Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.
Gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight.

-...
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post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by WelshDog
Don't forget, Tivo has a deal with Netflix to develope an online movie service. Can't see any reason Apple wouldn't want to continue down that path.

hey, i didn't! (see above).

Quote:
Originally posted by WelshDog
Apple's name alone doesn't make things better, but Apple the company does.

those of us who have watched apple as a company realize that there's more to the logo since steve came back. tivo has gotten backed into a corner, fighting just to keep up with competition on features and price alone, and i think they have lost sight of what made them the awesome product they were in the first place, before anyone else. the apple company attitude might just be the "vision" tivo needs right now to see past the bottom line.
When you're lovers in a dangerous time,
You're made to feel as if your love's a crime.
Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.
Gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight.

-...
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When you're lovers in a dangerous time,
You're made to feel as if your love's a crime.
Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.
Gotta kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight.

-...
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post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
I don't think that's it I just think that people realize that DVR tech is being commoditized and that Tivo cannot survive by "only" offering this function. Tivos leave a lot to be desired. They still don't have ethernet(USB networking blech) and they don't have two tuners. They are underpowered and I've used the HMO option at my mothers house and it's NOT intuitive. What could Apple do? Well pretty much integrate iLife right into the core. iLife + DVR would rock. Add a DVD burner and would you really need anything else but an amplifier?

Apple has all the ingredients to make it work.

No, I was blasting the stupid statement of
I have three Tivos and while in many ways they are wonderful they all have one major shortcoming:

They are not made by Apple.


They're wonderful, but don't have an Apple logo. Like an Apple logo makes everything better (better not tell that to people who own those Windtunnel macs, or the Powerbooks with lame Airport reception, or the people who can't use their monitors with their iMac minis, or the iMac G5 owners with the power supply problems, or the fan problems, or whatever else problems they have. Apple ain't some heaven-sent company that only puts out good stuff, and the only company that does so. They have the rep, but Tivo is pretty Apple-like as it is (easy to use, no complexity involved, etc). Apple ain't going to somehow make it better just by being Apple.
post #33 of 41
Turns out the whole thing is a mix up. Today's Steve's birthday. He had made the statement that he wanted "a" Tivo for his birthday. The board mistook the quote and thought he wanted Tivo, the company.

Happy Birthday, Steve!
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post #34 of 41
I doubt Apple will buy TiVo. It doesn't fit in at all with the "digital hub" idea. If anyone's gonna buy it, it will be Microsoft. They've been touting that Media Center idea forever and here's their chance to buy out their competitor.
post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by yikes600
I doubt Apple will buy TiVo. It doesn't fit in at all with the "digital hub" idea. If anyone's gonna buy it, it will be Microsoft. They've been touting that Media Center idea forever and here's their chance to buy out their competitor.

What kind of hair brained logic is this?

It doesn't fit in at all with the "digital hub" idea

Really? So a Tivo that plays back video(iMovie) and plays back photos (iPhoto) and music files(iTunes) somehow doesn't fit in with Apple's Digital Hub strategy. I guess next you'll tell me pigs can actually fly

Why would microsoft buy Tivo after spending over a billion dollars on UltimateTV and now Media Center technology? Microsoft's rich but they would have to explain "very" well why they spent 400 million dollars on a product that duplicates what they already have.

Come on people don't but a bloodvessel thinking too hard. Apple needs to play in this space regardless on whether they create a homegrown project or buy Tivo. MS is already there.
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post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by nathan22t
in your ravenous thirst for domination all of you Noobs have obviously forgotten that Steve hates TV.

UHG. steve jobs does not hate tv. the comment about turning your brain off when you go to watch tv is not saying tv is fucking stupid and a waste of time, it's saying they have different usage and interaction with the user than a computer. Jobs makes his living right now off of the entertainment industry....movies and music. I really think the last thing he'd do is be a dipshit and say I hate tv, fuck it.
post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by applenut
UHG. steve jobs does not hate tv. the comment about turning your brain off when you go to watch tv is not saying tv is fucking stupid and a waste of time, it's saying they have different usage and interaction with the user than a computer. Jobs makes his living right now off of the entertainment industry....movies and music. I really think the last thing he'd do is be a dipshit and say I hate tv, fuck it.

Thank you. The capacity people have to misconstrue what Jobs really means is nearly limitless.

He didn't say they built a PDA and decided not to release it. (Myth 1)

He didn't say he hates TV. (Myth 2)

Quote:
Well, we've always been very clear on that. We don't think that televisions and personal computers are going to merge. We think basically you watch television to turn your brain off, and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on.

Well, they want to link sometimes. Like, when you make a movie, you burn a DVD and you take it to your DVD player. Someday that could happen over AirPort, so you don't have to burn a DVD -- you can just watch it right off your computer on your television set. But most of these products that have said, "Let's combine the television and the computer! have failed. All of them have failed.

The problem is, when you're using your computer you're a foot away from it, you know? When you're using your television you want to be ten feet away from it. So they're really different animals.
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post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by applenut
UHG. steve jobs does not hate tv. the comment about turning your brain off when you go to watch tv is not saying tv is fucking stupid and a waste of time, it's saying they have different usage and interaction with the user than a computer. Jobs makes his living right now off of the entertainment industry....movies and music. I really think the last thing he'd do is be a dipshit and say I hate tv, fuck it.

'nut...you can be a prick sometimes but you do have good ole fashioned common sense most of the time. %100 point on point here. If I never heard "Steve Jobs hates TV" again I wouldn't mind.
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
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He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
Reply
post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
'nut...you can be a prick sometimes but you do have good ole fashioned common sense most of the time. %100 point on point here. If I never heard "Steve Jobs hates TV" again I wouldn't mind.

thanks....i think
post #40 of 41
The iLife integration with Tivo could be really cool. Just like iMovie now has a quick edit option to automatically create a movie from the clips on your camera, an update to iDVD could automatically burn tv shows to DVD: Select the TV show(s), select the theme, and click "Burn". Commercials could be automatically removed, replaced by chapter stops (since commercials are often placed near important parts of an episode). Pretty much no thought is required by the user, and you get a "professional quality" DVD, with only a couple clicks on your click-wheel remote.

Would this functionality be on the Mac (with the TV shows beaming from the Tivo over Airport), or on a Tivo with built-in SuperDrive? A Tivo-SuperDrive-iLife combo would be an all-in-one solution, meaning you'd only need to add a TV (and an amp, if you want decent sound). Plus, you wouldn't have to leave the living room to do anything. Of course, having the Mac handle most of the iLife stuff would keep the Tivo simple and cheap.
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