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Disney chief talks up Apple's iTV media hub - Page 2

post #41 of 212
I am glad that it will include a hard drive. I have a macbook pro and I was thinking it would kind of suck to always have my computer on next to the tv or in the other room if I want to stream something. For example if I am using a bittorrent I want to be able to use the itv at the same time without any bandwith problems.
post #42 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella

I don't think the iTV needs a hard drive to do caching.
Here are my calaculations:

Assuming the typical movie on the iTunes store is encoded at 1500 kbits/sec
IF the iTV was designed to buffer 10 minutes of video for skip protection,

1500 kbits/sec * 60 seconds * 10 minutes = 900,000 kilobits = 879 Megabytes

The iTV needs only 1GB of NAND flash memory to achieve this level of skip protection.

That's 1GB per movie. I was thinking the hard drive stores the first GB for up to 100 (or some arbitrary number of) movies, so selecting any one of them leads to an instantaneous start, rather than waiting for the buffer to fill.
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post #43 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella

What if I like Jazz and Classical but my teenage daughter like Deathmetal and Ska?
Do you really think everyone wants it all jumbled together?

Ummmm.... Ya but you can just use playlists or whatever. If you could see the shared music of multiple computers you could use the iTV to make Smart Playlists of media on all the computers, for example create a Smart Playlist on the iTV of all the Music Videos, or all the Jazz music. I'd rather do that then have to sync all my libraries together.

To me it seems better to have the iTV access all shared content at once. That way the user has the most options about how they want to arrange or organize all of their content. If all the shared content was shown you could just make a "My Music" smart playlist and a "My Daughter's" smart playlist and each could contain only the genres you want. What if one day she decides she like Jazz????
post #44 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2005

That's 1GB per movie. I was thinking the hard drive stores the first GB for up to 100 (or some arbitrary number of) movies, so selecting any one of them leads to an instantaneous start, rather than waiting for the buffer to fill.

FrontRow is already capable of looking for shared movies on your local network.
Most movies began playback immediately.

802.11g has a max datarate of 54 Mbits/sec and a typical datarate of 25 Mbits/sec.
25 Mbits/sec = 3,200 kb/sec (twice the data rate of your typical iTunes movie)

So the bottleneck for most consumers will be the speed of their cable/DSL connection.
Typical broadband in the US is only 6Mbits or 768 kb/sec(half the data rate of your typical iTunes movie).

Most consumers will be able to start watching a movie they start downloading after about 20-30 minutes.
If the file is already on your local network, your iTV can start streaming without delay.
post #45 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCQ

What would be the easiest and most convenient way to get your iTunes videos and movies from your computer to your TV?

Burn to DVD. Obviously.

Why can't we? It's not the technical capability, since Apple introduced DVD burning ages ago (last millenium, IIRC).

Of course, before you could burn an iTunes movie, you'd have to convert it from H.264 to MPEG-2 which would take an hour and create a 4.7GB temporary file. (Although if Apple was clever they could convert while downloading.)
post #46 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella

What if I'm lazy and want to just browse by artist or album?

The point is, most consumers only have one computer with THEIR music on it.
Many households will have multiple computers and multiple users who DONT want to see the other users music.

If you are lazy then you are just that and why should those who are making things more functional have to work to a lazy bones person. But don't worry you will be able to be lazy one day when they just connect your brain in wirelessly. You will probably complain that you have to activate the system.
post #47 of 212
Based on some of the statements made in this forum, I would suggest that a number of you view Job's keynote and get some of your facts straightened out.

http://www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/showtime06/

I would also suggest that a lot of what has been posted and written about iTV is only conjecture. We really have no other means to determine what the actual product will have or do other than that which was described by the big guy himself.
post #48 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella

802.11g has a max datarate of 54 Mbits/sec and a typical datarate of 25 Mbits/sec.
25 Mbits/sec = 3,200 kb/sec (twice the data rate of your typical iTunes movie)

So the bottleneck for most consumers will be the speed of their cable/DSL connection.
Typical broadband in the US is only 6Mbits or 768 kb/sec(half the data rate of your typical iTunes movie).

I fear you're confusing bits and bytes here. An iTS movie is around 1.5Mbits/sec, not 1.5Mbytes/sec.
post #49 of 212
I think most people are already aware that I don't like way iTV appears to be. Actually I hate the idea, but I just wanted to note that I think it seems a bit unrealistic that Robert Iger is giving props to Apple on this. Now that Steve Jobs is the largest single shareholder at Disney it almost seems like Jobs is touting this himself. Anyone else get that impression? You know what I mean? It just feels weird.
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post #50 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core

Based on some of the statements made in this forum, I would suggest that a number of you view Jpb's keynote and get some of your facts straightened out.

That's come to mind more than once reading this and other iTV-related threads.

Btw, anyone have trouble with the audio volume/quality of the Showtime presentation? Not sure if it's a problem with the stream, QuickTime 7.1.3, and/or my iMac G5; other audio is unaffected.

Quote:
I would also suggest that a lot of what has been posted and written about iTV is only conjecture.

With been no shortage of passion, sometimes with an apparent disregard for accuracy and truth.
post #51 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross

Good article. The numbers are about to double to 18% as well.

I wouldn't be surprised if they continue to rise at a rapid rate.

According the Nielsen 90% of TV is still seen in live in real time even in homes with DVRs. Of the remainder 50% are played the same day for timeshifting puposes and the demographic is mostly that of younger couples with kids.

http://www.am-strategies.com/en/news.php?ID=149

Set to double to 18%? Meh...if that were true the advertisers would be even more up in arms. If you believe in those number and even faster uptake then you should also believe in the end of advertising based content. That CBS report is a forlorn hope and likely the effect is based on the fact that 90% of all viewing is still "live" so the commerical are seen in their entirety.

Were DVR penetration to reach 50% and were used to timeshift more aggressively then fewer ads would be seen in their entierty and with the sound off and the image zipping by you might get some sense of what was being advertised but doubtful you would know or care what.

I know that my method was always to start watching a show about 15-20 minutes after it started at a minimum. Usually I'd prefer to watch something stored and then replay the just recorded event. Ads are too aggravating to waste time watching.

Personally, if the season passes were uniformly like $15 I'd just do iTunes for prime time shows and leave cable for ESPN and CNN.

Vinea
post #52 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porsupah

I fear you're confusing bits and bytes here. An iTS movie is around 1.5Mbits/sec, not 1.5Mbytes/sec.

Bingo. So to clarify:

25 megabits/second = 25,600 kilobits/second.

Way loads for an iTunes movie of 1,500 kilobits/second, you could potentially stream 16 films over a network, assuming the working figure of 25Mbits/s is true.

I agree that they'll be a small buffer in these devices.

Personally I have been using Handbrake to rip all of my DVDs to H.264 encoded copies on an external hard drive to bring to university as I don't want all the boxes taking up space; this is EXACTLY what I want.
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post #53 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core

Based on some of the statements made in this forum, I would suggest that a number of you view Job's keynote and get some of your facts straightened out.

http://www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/showtime06/

I would also suggest that a lot of what has been posted and written about iTV is only conjecture. We really have no other means to determine what the actual product will have or do other than that which was described by the big guy himself.


UMMMMM.... which facts?
post #54 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas

As we know it today the iTV is an expensive replacement of a video and audio cable. It's not like it's a problem to connect a MacBook Pro or an iMac to a TV. It's been working fine the last couple of years. No problems.

iTV would be great if it could do EVERYTHING that iTunes could do, without a computer present. And for me who's got a powerbook, it would be perfect to have my entire music and video and movie library at a remote location (the iTV) because I don't have space on my hard drive for both music, video and work. It's simply impossible. It's tight as it is already. The iTV should represent the iTunes master Library = it should have a slim 120+GB hard drive reserved for music and movies. It would also be great to be able to buy stuff from the iTunes Store without a computer.

I think that is the problem. With FrontRow on the iTV itself, it could be a media hub that is totally independent of your laptop and yes, I'd prefer that as well. I have maxxed out my PowerBook storage and have most of my music sitting on an external drive as it is now. But looking at the iTV specs and the size and shape of the box makes me thing Apple still wants you to run the iTV via a Mac ... a Mac mini. Either that or you get to upgrade your laptop and turn your old one into a portable media server that sits on the coffee table - not a bad option.

Maybe in time the studios and DRM technology will allow a little box that size to be an all-in-one media device without the computer, but not yet. It seems to me though that the Macmini, the iTV and the MacMini-looking external drives can do everything you want (oh, yeah you need PVR software) - just for a little bit more than you may want to spend.
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post #55 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcstewart38

UMMMMM.... which facts?

Like "Works with iTunes on PC or Mac", since there was some doubt about PC compatibility here earlier.

I think Abster2core's point was that the presentation can answer at least a few of the questions people have been asking. Well, at least get Jobs' answer since, as we know, he's not always entirely accurate.
post #56 of 212
Quote:
UMMMMM.... which facts?

He's talking about much of the criticism levied at iTV as being useless or a bad idea because it cannot do X, Y or Z. At this point iTV is vaporware and Apple is still free to give it any functionality it choses. We are pretty slim on the facts.

All we know for sure is that iTV's primary function is to stream media from the Mac to television. It will use 802.11 technology. Jobs did not say g, I think this is an obvious indication they intend to use n. Because n will future proof iTV as a device that can stream HD. iTV will have an HDMI port, USB port, component ports, optical audio port, and a hard drive.

That's pretty much all we know for sure. If iTV were literally only limited to streaming media from the Mac to the television and that was its only function there would be no need for the USB port. So I would gather there is more to the story than we currently know.
post #57 of 212
It seems to me that once a wireless standard is created for streaming video to HD plasma screens that this would be integrated into every TV that costs more than $700 anyway. I mean how much more can that chipset be compared to a $4000 Phillips TV? Seems to me in two years the iTV as we've seen would be redundant.

THUS it has to be more than we have seen. Apple has a window of opportunity - with the iTunes user base and lack of all-in-one systems that my mom could operate - to be the leader in the field and set the standards for the last 10 feet.
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post #58 of 212
I still think its 802.11n. N has the QOS to support media streaming. G doesn't.

Many G routers can't sustain the data rates required. I have issue with Vonage over G (and its not all THAT big a bandwidth hog) because the cheap D-Link wireless router stalls after a while. It's very easily seen by running any bandwidth tests...I can get the full 5MB download speed for about half the test and then it just slams to a halt.

Plugged into the wired network I get 5MB sustained as many times as I want to bang the test server. Wireless...I get great numbers for a while and then screeeching halt. Then it blazes throught the finish. Its not the FIOS end that's throttling. Its the wireless part router. I figure its some buffer getting hammered.

Vinea
post #59 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell

Because n will future proof iTV as a device that can stream HD.

Maybe, though I don't recall Jobs ever mentioning HD any time during the iTV segment of the presentation, if at all. Pretty sure he consistently said big or flat screen TV though I'd have to double-check.

And according to Hands-on with the Apple iTV prototype (@ Engadget) the Apple rep wouldn't reveal the TV resolution submenu settings.

Those two items got me wondering if iTV will really be HD-capable.

Quote:
iTV will have an HDMI port, USB port, component ports, optical audio port, and a hard drive.

That's pretty much all we know for sure.

The hard drive is still doubtful since so far that only seems a rumor based on what Iger said.

Quote:
If iTV were literally only limited to streaming media from the Mac to the television and that was its only function there would be no need for the USB port.

iPod connectively seems the most obvious immediate purpose for the USB port.

Quote:
So I would gather there is more to the story than we currently know.

Plenty. I'm waiting to know if iTV will have any integration with existing EyeTV devices, essentially obsoleting EyeHome. And maybe, hopefully, they held back mentioning HD to have something left as a surprise when it's released. Mentioning it during the presentation could have been counterproductive to the announcement of non-HD movies on the iTunes Store.
post #60 of 212
I just got latest Battlestar Galactica 2.5 DVD from Netflix. Watching it on my 42" plasma, picture quality is okay, not great. The dark scenes don't look very good. Almost DVD quality? I don't think that is for me.
post #61 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmf

Of course, before you could burn an iTunes movie, you'd have to convert it from H.264 to MPEG-2 which would take an hour and create a 4.7GB temporary file. (Although if Apple was clever they could convert while downloading.)

Would it still take an hour on current machines? I have no experience in converting h264 into mpeg2. I know that when I copy my DVDs, my old single-core, single-processor 867Mhz G4 Quicksilver can compress a typical 90-120 min movie (8GB mpeg2 file) into a 4.3GB file in about 45 minutes, and then create a disk image in an additional 6 minutes. Granted, this is mpeg2-to-mpeg2 and translating from h264 to mpeg2 may take longer. But I was under the impression that compressing was more resource intensive than decompressing (small h.264 to larger mpeg2 file).

In any case, even if it takes as long as encoding DV into mpeg2, Apple already does this with iDVD. Apple made it less painful by allowing iDVD to encode in the background. iTunes could do this as well, and with the rapid proliferation of dual-core chips, it wouldn't even have to slow your system significantly. (On my ancient machine, which is probably at best a quarter of the speed of today's iMacs, iDVD's background encoding doesn't really affect my system speed to badly.)

Unfortunately, the movie studios have a stranglehold on the content. And they're all standing shoulder-to-shoulder against anything that threatens their way of doing things (even if it means that they'll make more money). So I'm pessimistic of gaining the freedom to burn iTunes movies or videos that I legitimately own for my own use.
post #62 of 212
On the subject of the hard-drive in the iTV. I don't believe it for a second. Iger was probably guessing, or misunderstood when the exact specs were given to him (I can imagine him getting the same glazed-over look in his eyes that my mother gets when I try to explain things to her).

It'll obviously have to have some sort of persistent storage where Front Row will sit and where it can be updated. I'm guessing that it'll probably have a few gigs of flash memory--maybe 2GB and probably a max of 4 GB, for combined OS/Front Row storage and buffering.
post #63 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALPICH

Play Lists

The software in the iTv would have to make sense of all of the playlists on all of the machines in order to be able to combine them into one large, understandable list.

If it just lists the individual playlists, then we're back to square one.
post #64 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass

The problem with the "10% of households with DVRs", and that it's doubling in the next year, is that any computer with Windows Media Center edition counts as a DVR, at least in the forbes report. Presumably, that doubling could occur once Vista comes out, as it will also have full Digital Video Recording capabilities, and lots of people will be upgrading from pre-media centre edition XP. The thought that 10% of Americans have Tivo or the other set-top boxes is totally ridiculous. That would put it up to about half the market penetration of mobile phones...

On the other hand, I don't think everyone with XP media centre edition or Vista will use it to record TV, so it's hard to get real numbers as to how many people are regularly recording TV shows and using their DVRs, although I wouldn't doubt that Microsoft is collecting the information somehow right now.

I think what iTV will do is be a cost effective, and hopefully user friendly (not to mention well-branded) way to connect the computer to the home theater, something Microsoft still hasn't really accomplished. There's still not many people watching TV and movies on their computers except on flights,etc. (computer in the living room will just never be cozy) If Apple can make "iTV" a part of the vernacular like they have with "iPod", "podcasting", etc., they'll automatically be at the forefront of the public's consciousness in the area. Unlike TiVO...

you'd better check your numbers. Everyone I know has a DVR of some type.

Also, check out just how many people have cell phones. You will be schocked.
post #65 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by abbfan

I am glad that it will include a hard drive. I have a macbook pro and I was thinking it would kind of suck to always have my computer on next to the tv or in the other room if I want to stream something. For example if I am using a bittorrent I want to be able to use the itv at the same time without any bandwith problems.

No one knows, at this time, whether it will contain a HD. That's merely speculation by some.
post #66 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella

FrontRow is already capable of looking for shared movies on your local network.
Most movies began playback immediately.

802.11g has a max datarate of 54 Mbits/sec and a typical datarate of 25 Mbits/sec.
25 Mbits/sec = 3,200 kb/sec (twice the data rate of your typical iTunes movie)

So the bottleneck for most consumers will be the speed of their cable/DSL connection.
Typical broadband in the US is only 6Mbits or 768 kb/sec(half the data rate of your typical iTunes movie).

Most consumers will be able to start watching a movie they start downloading after about 20-30 minutes.
If the file is already on your local network, your iTV can start streaming without delay.

Please try to be less confusing by using proper abbreviations.

Mb/s is megabits per second.

MB/s is Megabytes per second.

Kb/s is Kilobits per second.

KB/s is Kilobytes per second.

25Mb/s equals (about) 3.15 MB/s

6.144 Mb/s equals 768 KB/s. But you can knock that down by about 15% for network traffic.

So far, most people have been able to start watching the movie between 1 and 10 minutes after starting downloading.
post #67 of 212
UMMMM Isn't the fact that the iTV has HDMI a pretty solid indication that it will be HD capable? Ya HDMI is backwards compatible with DVI but then what's the point of having the HDMI plug?
post #68 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea

According the Nielsen 90% of TV is still seen in live in real time even in homes with DVRs. Of the remainder 50% are played the same day for timeshifting puposes and the demographic is mostly that of younger couples with kids.

http://www.am-strategies.com/en/news.php?ID=149

Set to double to 18%? Meh...if that were true the advertisers would be even more up in arms. If you believe in those number and even faster uptake then you should also believe in the end of advertising based content. That CBS report is a forlorn hope and likely the effect is based on the fact that 90% of all viewing is still "live" so the commerical are seen in their entirety.

Were DVR penetration to reach 50% and were used to timeshift more aggressively then fewer ads would be seen in their entierty and with the sound off and the image zipping by you might get some sense of what was being advertised but doubtful you would know or care what.

I know that my method was always to start watching a show about 15-20 minutes after it started at a minimum. Usually I'd prefer to watch something stored and then replay the just recorded event. Ads are too aggravating to waste time watching.

Personally, if the season passes were uniformly like $15 I'd just do iTunes for prime time shows and leave cable for ESPN and CNN.

Vinea

I don't know anyone at this time who does not have some DVR. Do I do most of my watching real time? Sure.

Having a DVR doesn't mean that most of your watching will be delayed. But, I'm willing to bet that, as time goes on, more people will be doing that.

And when two programs are on at once that one wants to watch, a delayed viewing is required for one of them.
post #69 of 212
Here's an article to start some more speculation.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060921-7801.html
post #70 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcstewart38

Ya HDMI is backwards compatible with DVI but then what's the point of having the HDMI plug?

DRM reasons?
post #71 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross

I don't know anyone at this time who does not have some DVR. Do I do most of my watching real time? Sure.

Having a DVR doesn't mean that most of your watching will be delayed. But, I'm willing to bet that, as time goes on, more people will be doing that.

And when two programs are on at once that one wants to watch, a delayed viewing is required for one of them.

Yes, because you have better data than advertisers and Nielsen...

As I said, if you believe most folks will be using a DVR and will timeshift and will skip commercials in the near future then you also believe that advertising based TV is doomed in the near future. The advertising folks seem not to quite as skeptical for the near future so the adoption of DVRs hasn't reached the tipping point.

In which case the iTS model works about as well as the cable + DVR model for the studios no? The AT&T IPTV offering is rather pathetic for the cost but perhaps that's the new model. A $1/month per channel a la cart (they offer a meager 20 ch for $20 now I believe) but that seems too low to sustain TV studio production. $1.99/ep is a bit high so perhaps $15/season works better.

Vinea
post #72 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross

Here's an article to start some more speculation.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060921-7801.html

Cool. Too much of the current speculation was getting tediously repetitive, which will happen soon enough with discussion around that article …
post #73 of 212
iTV can also stream content live through the box to a TV screen, Iger said. "Or it has a small hard drive on it so you can download what you put on the device -- on your computer on your itunes -- to the television set."

This statement does not sound like the ramblings of confusion, speculation, or uncertainty to me. He said he's seen the prototype and directly said it has a hard drive and described how the hard drive would function in the machine. We certainly shall see.

Quote:
I just got latest Battlestar Galactica 2.5 DVD from Netflix. Watching it on my 42" plasma, picture quality is okay, not great. The dark scenes don't look very good. Almost DVD quality? I don't think that is for me.

This could be from a number of reasons. The contrast on your screen may be too much. The gamma settings on your television may be adjusted to crush the blacks. Some DVD players themselves have contrast adjustment in them. Any of that could be the cause and can be corrected.
post #74 of 212
Also too with Battlestar Galactica. The cinematography in the second season wasn't all that great.

They shot it on HD. I think the look they want has way too much contrast for HDCAM.

I've heard they have shot the newest season on a newer HD camera which should be a lot better.
post #75 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell

[i]This could be from a number of reasons. The contrast on your screen may be too much. The gamma settings on your television may be adjusted to crush the blacks. Some DVD players themselves have contrast adjustment in them. Any of that could be the cause and can be corrected.

The TV set has been calibrated (poor man calibration) as the blacks looks great when watching CSI:NY or the details on Dave Letterman's suit (in HD). No contrast on the DVD player though.
post #76 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjk

DRM reasons?

HDMI carries both audio and video signals, but DVI only carries video.
post #77 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjk

DRM reasons?

HDCD DRM works over DVI.
post #78 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell

iTV can also stream content live through the box to a TV screen, Iger said. "Or it has a small hard drive on it so you can download what you put on the device -- on your computer on your itunes -- to the television set."

This statement does not sound like the ramblings of confusion, speculation, or uncertainty to me. He said he's seen the prototype and directly said it has a hard drive and described how the hard drive would function in the machine. We certainly shall see.



This could be from a number of reasons. The contrast on your screen may be too much. The gamma settings on your television may be adjusted to crush the blacks. Some DVD players themselves have contrast adjustment in them. Any of that could be the cause and can be corrected.

He didn't say that at all. Just read what you quoted.

"Or it has a small hard drive on it ".

Notice the "or". He's just guessing. He doesn't know any more about how it works than we do. Or (ha!), he's merely publicly obfuscating the issue.
post #79 of 212
"iTV can also stream content live through the box to a TV screen or it has a small hard drive on it so you can download what you put on the device -- on your computer on your itunes -- to the television set."

The way I read it is you can stream content from your computer or store content on iTV's hard drive. OR meaning you have either choice.
post #80 of 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell

"iTV can also stream content live through the box to a TV screen or it has a small hard drive on it so you can download what you put on the device -- on your computer on your itunes -- to the television set."

The way I read it is you can stream content from your computer or store content on iTV's hard drive. OR meaning you have either choice.

There has been no indication from Apple in the announcement that you had a choice of anything.

To me, his statement means that he watched it work briefly, but has no idea what it does, other than from what he saw.

Look at the device itself. It's about the size of the Mini, except for being half the height, It costs $299. It has the power supply built-in. What about heat?

How much for the HD? What about the processor to control all of this? What other circuitry will it need to display the menu? What purpose would a HD really serve here, where content will be coming from a computer?

A small amount for RAM can be used to cache incoming files while they are being played, if needed.

He has no idea about this device. It's a rambling statement.
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