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'Apple TV' coming to a living room near you

post #1 of 96
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The hard drive is a lot bigger than I thought it would be.
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post #2 of 96
This seems pretty cool, I need more info on what it can play before I know if it has any use in my home though, I'm the only tech savy one.
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post #3 of 96
720p and no Widget support.

I'll wait for rev. 2.1.
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post #4 of 96
I'm non-plussed by the appletv. I wasn't impressed when it was announced in September, and I'm still not impressed. It is simply a YAB (yet-another-box to crowd my already crowded AV center).

Here's what it gives me:
  • A box that can stream my iTunes content to my TV.

Here's what it doesn't give me:
  • Video on demand (nope, first I have to go to my den, purchase a movie from ITMS) then go back into my home-theater room and start streaming it from my new appletv - with my cable provider, from the comfort of my couch I just press a couple buttons on my remote and I'm RENTING a movie I want to watch once.
  • Replace my VCR or DVR; nope, still need my Tivo or VCR to record anything I watch on TV.
  • Oh yeah, and it costs me $300 for this extra box that will just stream stuff from my Mac in my den

All that said, I think a future version of AppleTV could be a killer device, but it needs to be more integrated into the living room (as in working with my Mac is cool, but I should also be able to do more without leaving the couch). Further, there is really no excuse for it not including DVR functionality. It's like WTF were they thinking???

Oh, and about the cost; I have this feeling that the streaming ability of it won't be that great on an 802.11g network, that's why they added the hard drive with the syncing, so if you do have multiple macs and want to do the live streaming from a non-synched mac, I have a feeling you'll almost need to buy a new Airport Extreme (of course this last statement is admittedly pure conjecture, but I have a strong feeling about it....)
post #5 of 96
I think that it is a good first attempt, but to get me to buy they need:

- purchace controls from the TV itself, not the computer
- rentals
- 720p movies and TV shows from iTunes store
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post #6 of 96
The funny thing is, this thing is available for pre-order on the Canadian Apple store now too... But it's not possible to purchase any commercial video content on the Canadian iTunes store. No TV shows, no movies, nothing.

What exactly can a Canadian customer do with it?
post #7 of 96
Apple TV will die a slow death. It's underpowered vs. the existing competitive products out there. No go.

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post #8 of 96
I agree, this is only just slightly more elegant than having my macbook hooked upto my 40" LCD through its PC connection. With the macbook and apple remote I can access the content on my HDD etc. With a wireless keyboard I could surf the internet too and purchase my itunes content. Put at least a DVD player or PVR and I can at least reduce the number of boxes below my TV by one.
A bit disappointed.
post #9 of 96
wow, 6ft gold plated white version 1.3 HDMI cables from Apple: $19.95. That is a bargain. Monster is $149+, the only place I've seen better is monoprice.com.

good score...
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post #10 of 96
Well, like I said in September, I don't think (in it's present form) AppleTV will fair much better than the Cube did.
post #11 of 96
To be honest, I don't see much of an incentive to replace my DVDs with this. The video quality and compression technology doesn't quite exist yet for this concept to be viable. The current videos need to get much smaller, or they have to be able to offer HD for the same file size.
post #12 of 96
I will buy one immediately if it natively support H.264 encodes that were encoded with the x.264 codec, and also if it makes playing .ts streams easy. That is my main gripe about Xbox 360 is the lack of codec support. If this thing has robust codec support, then it will be a hit.
post #13 of 96
Available in the UK too at £199 inc VAT.

I'm underwhelmed too.

Like Canada, we've no content to buy on the iTunes Store either except a few Pixar shorts and some music videos. I don't really see the point in buying video though since I generally only watch it once - rental works better for me.
post #14 of 96
Now if I could plug an eyeTV into it, or DVR features came built in, they MIGHT convince me. But as is, it doesn't do enough.

But, it does compete with a Squeezebox - which I have and paid almost as much as an aTV for.

Oh, and it'd also be nice if it functioned like an Airport Express, too. That would give it a little bit of dual use.

Anyone know how well the XBox 360 integrates with a Mac?

- Jasen.
post #15 of 96
Apple on Tuesday premiered Apple TV -- its official name for iTV -- an easy to use device for the wireless playback of iTunes content on big-screen living room television sets.

Using Apple TV's Mac OS X-based software interface, users can quickly browse and view their entire collection of digital media from across the room using the Apple Remote.

Apple said the new set-top media hub will easily connect to almost all modern widescreen televisions, and will be shipping in February for $299.

"Apple TV is like a DVD player for the 21st century -- you connect it to your entertainment system just like a DVD player, but it plays digital content you get from the Internet rather than DVDs you get from a physical store," said Apple chief executive Steve Jobs. "Apple TV plays the same iTunes content that users enjoy on their computers and iPods, so now they can even watch part of a movie in their living room, and watch the rest later on their iPod."

Apple TV will ship with a 40GB hard drive to store up to 50 hours of video, 9,000 songs, 25,000 photos or a combination of each and is capable of delivering high-definition 720p output.

Apple said the device is easy to connect to a broad range of widescreen TVs and home theater systems and comes standard with HDMI, component video, analog and optical audio ports.



Using high-speed AirPort 802.11 wireless networking, Apple TV will auto-sync content from one computer or stream content from up to five additional computers right to a users' TV without any wires.

The seamless integration of Apple TV and iTunes lets users choose from over 250 feature-length movies and 350 TV shows in near DVD quality; four million songs, 5,000 music videos, 100,000 podcasts and 20,000 audiobooks.

Users can enjoy their favorite music on a home entertainment system and view slideshows of their photo albums on a widescreen TV simultaneously.



Apple TV also makes it easy for users to explore their entire media collection from up to 30 feet away with an easy to use and intuitive new interface that include the Apple Remote.

Pricing & Availability

Apple TV, which includes the Apple Remote, will be shipping in February through the Apple Store, Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $299.

Apple TV requires iTunes 7 or later running on a Mac with Mac OS X version 10.3.9 or later, or a Windows PC with Windows XP Home/Professional (SP2). An 802.11b/g/n wireless network using AirPort, AirPort Extreme or 10/100 Base-T Ethernet networking required. Internet access is required and a broadband connection is recommended. Apple TV requires an enhanced-definition or high-definition widescreen TV. iPod games will not play on Apple TV.
post #16 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

Available in the UK too at £199 inc VAT.

I'm underwhelmed too.

Like Canada, we've no content to buy on the iTunes Store either except a few Pixar shorts and some music videos. I don't really see the point in buying video though since I generally only watch it once - rental works better for me.

I think there is a widespread "missing-the-point" here.

The hardware of the Apple TV is not really the big thing. Anyone can now make a network device which streams video to a TV.

There's a bunch of them. Snazio, Netgear and now Apple. All cost about the same, although only Apple will have a hard drive. Although I suspect the user-experience of the Apple product will knock the others into a cocked hat.

Speaking of cocked hats... the killer App for such streaming devices is, of course, internet porn. At last we can watch our bit-torrented oversized 36" double Ds our oversided 42" LCDs. Hallelujah!

The only other real contender is I guess is Microsoft's XBox 360 which also has the added benefit of Gears of War and Halo 3. So I am conflicted. But the 360 does sound like a hair-dryer preparing for take-off.

I think Apple's long-term plan is more significant. The Apple TV - in conjunction with iTunes (or Bit Torrent) can provide us with Hi Def content (and by content I mean Lost / Deadwood / Battlestar / 24 and so froth ) without the requirement to give money to NTL, advertisers or Rupert Murdoch.

Now that's worth a couple of hundred portraits of Her Majesty in anyone's currency.

C.
post #17 of 96
Quote:
The hard drive is a lot bigger than I thought it would be.

People doubted it would have a HD at all.

Quote:
Apple TV will die a slow death. It's underpowered vs. the existing competitive products out there. No go.

I can agree Apple needs to get it up to 1080i playback.
post #18 of 96
I just don't understand - will this let me watch DIVX tv shows I've downloaded from the bittorrrent network? If not, I can't watch anything as I live in Canada...

Also, it simply won't work on a non-widescreen TV, or will it work and just show a wide aspect ratio on a 4:3 screen? Anyone know? I realize this is not yet out, but I thought maybe someone might know...
post #19 of 96
Questions:
  1. AirPort: Can it be used as an AirPort Base Station? Or at least WDS for extending Wi-Fi range?
  2. Video: Only MPEG-4 and H.264 video codecs? It does not stream DVD from a remote Mac (similar to Front Row) nor support MPEG-2?
  3. Audio: No 5.1-channel Dolby Digital and/or DTS?
  4. Photos: Since iPod can view photos from Aperture, hopefully Apple TV can, too?
  5. What kind of Intel CPU? GPU? How much internal RAM?
  6. Apple Disk: Can I hook up external hard disk to its USB port and have it recognized as Apple Disk (Bonjour) or at least expand its disk space?
  7. iPod: Can it be used to sync iPod?
  8. iTunes Store: 720p video coming soon?
  9. Size: Why 7.7" by 7.7" instead of Mac mini and new AirPort Extreme's 6.5" by 6.5" width and depth?
post #20 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by lfmorrison View Post

The funny thing is, this thing is available for pre-order on the Canadian Apple store now too... But it's not possible to purchase any commercial video content on the Canadian iTunes store. No TV shows, no movies, nothing.

What exactly can a Canadian customer do with it?

I'm not too impressed... yet! I prefer purchasing my movies when they go on sale from places like Futureshop and store copies anyway (and I won't wait for Apple Canada to get it's act together). Considering the price of AppleTV and lack of available content to Canadians, I may spend the extra cash and go with a basic Mac Mini and video adapter, load all of my purchased as well as personally created music, photos and video on it and use Front Row (as well as its streaming capabilities) to hook up to my "old" non widescreen tubed television and stereo. In the end (and in addition to a vasic multimedia setup), I'll have and additional computer that I can use at home as well as bring elsewhere. At least Apple will still be happy enough to take my money....
post #21 of 96
I like that it has the hard drive to store things but £199, no thanks. £99 would have been great 'cos here's the thing. I just got a PVR with a digital tuner in it, built-in tv guide and 160GB hard drive for £199. I can record movies by just selecting the item in the guide and it has dual tuners so I can record two channels and watch another. I can transfer movies from it via USB to the computer albeit via Windows but I can't put anything onto it. This would have been an ideal solution for watching stuff off my computer but I'm not prepared to pay what I did for my PVR to get a feature I can live without given that I don't like Front Row anyway and I can cheaply burn a DVD to watch my computer movies.

I like it and I may get one but it needs to come way down in price first.
post #22 of 96
Wow, this is a really boring product.

720p output - the lowest format you can output and still call it HD (someone did say it upconverts 1080i but I can't find that on the product specs)
40GB hard drive-so it's got a lower capacity than my current 5G 60GB iPod
widescreen TV's only

So for $299 + the cost of a new widescreen TV, I can watch non-HD 640x480 videos from iTunes or manage to get 720p video from another source. I just bought an Airport Express so I can already wirelessly send iTunes music to my stereo (which I enjoy doing).

Well, I noticed on the product website that the TV shows were shown in CORRECT alphabetical order. Maybe that means an update will be available soon for Front Row that will allow it to have that same magical feature.

I'm by far much more excited about getting a Tivo DVR and Toast 8 with TivoToGo. At least the new Airport Extreme Base Station offered some interesting features like the wireless hard drive sharing.

Like others have said, maybe the 2.0 version will be better (assuming it survives to get to 2.0).
post #23 of 96
Give it DVR and I'm all over it like stink on poo, otherwise, no thanks.
post #24 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by Propofol View Post

I just don't understand - will this let me watch DIVX tv shows I've downloaded from the bittorrrent network? If not, I can't watch anything as I live in Canada...

Also, it simply won't work on a non-widescreen TV, or will it work and just show a wide aspect ratio on a 4:3 screen? Anyone know? I realize this is not yet out, but I thought maybe someone might know...

Excellent question and no definitive answer. I would have naturally thought that it could hook up and be used via component video to a standard television that is component video capable (as is done with my present DVD player) with typical 4:3 ratio issues but Apple seems adamant that widescreen is necessary, no exceptions. I wouldn't risk the cash. I suppose more answers will appear once the device begins to ship....
post #25 of 96
I ordered one but I think I will have to cancel the order. My television is from 1999 and Im guessing does not fit the requirements. Its not "widescreen" and no one at Apple can tell me if it will still work (through a receiver).

I tried one of the help people in the Apple store online and she just sent me links and could not answer anything...
post #26 of 96
Boy, nothing but disapointment from Apple today. Itv = the suck, no DVR even though it has an HDD. The phone, while elegent and stylish is 6 bills for an 8 gig model, no thanks (I think they forgot a zero). Last and certainly not least, no video Ipod. What a bummer. If Apple wants to know what will sell, why don't they just ask us. Instead, they assume that we'll jump all over what ever they throw at us. I was looking forward to all 3 of the products I mentioned (and would have gladly bought them all, had they met my needs/expectations). For now, I'll stick with my 360 and see what IPTV has to offer. I'll also be keeping my PPC 6700 and 80 gig Ipod.
post #27 of 96
I for one, am happy to plunk down money for this device. I am tired of shuffling physical DVD's and want control of my iTunes library in my media room. For those two reasons alone, this device is worth the price. It will, provide dolby digital, as that is what the Toslink audio port is intended to do. Waiting for the "perfect" hardware means, you may wait indefinitely. I will enjoy the benefits until the ultimate device arrives.
post #28 of 96
What benefits? Have you ever ripped DVD's to Itunes. I have done it many times so I can take stuff on the road. It's a pain in the ass. I sure as hell aint doing it to watch at home, 3 feet from my dvd player.
post #29 of 96
Funny, with people complaining that it is 720 instead 1080, my problem is exactly the opposite -- I can't hook it up to my analog television. $300 is too much to spend on this device, but I was still probably going to do it. Not any more, as I'm not getting a new television any time soon.

Oh, and I agree with the person who brought up rentals. Jobs may be right that people want to own their music, but I certainly don't want to own every movie that I watch. $10 (and more) is too much for one viewing.
post #30 of 96
Agreed, I can rent High-Def stuff on my 360 now though, with no additional investment. What does Itv bring to the table. Nothing.
post #31 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckirkeby View Post

I for one, am happy to plunk down money for this device. I am tired of shuffling physical DVD's and want control of my iTunes library in my media room. For those two reasons alone, this device is worth the price. It will, provide dolby digital, as that is what the Toslink audio port is intended to do. Waiting for the "perfect" hardware means, you may wait indefinitely. I will enjoy the benefits until the ultimate device arrives.

But what about the TV requirements? I was a bit shocked it wouldn't work on just about any TV a direct tv box would work on.

iTV = the big suck because of TV requirements
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post #32 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckirkeby View Post

I for one, am happy to plunk down money for this device. I am tired of shuffling physical DVD's and want control of my iTunes library in my media room. For those two reasons alone, this device is worth the price. It will, provide dolby digital, as that is what the Toslink audio port is intended to do.

No sign than this will help you with physical DVDs without extra software/effort on your part.

I thought people were still complaining that movies in the iTunes Store weren't Dolby Digital. Nothing in the specs for this mentions Dolby Digital. I wouldn't assume anything, unless it's in the specs. TOSLINK doesn't guarantee Dolby Digital.
post #33 of 96
Itv = the suck for more reasons than that. I own a 1080i TV and still think it sucks.
post #34 of 96
Well, I was hoping at a minimum it'd be able to decode 1080p content so that I wouldn't feel the need to upgrade my PPC Mac mini, other more interactive features were negotiable. If you could stream decent HD content to it, then at least it would always be a useful box to have around. As it is, I'll pass.

Looks like they're counting on people who want a bare-minimum media device for their TV to buy it.
post #35 of 96
I'm curious about what kind of upscaling capabilities this thing has, if any.

Either this will be a decent device for which Apple is providing insufficient content or it can upscale like mad.

Most people do not own a 720p HDTV let alone a 1080i/p one. This is a safe play, but perhaps too safe.
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post #36 of 96
I really am concerned about the limitation that it only seems to work with content native to iTunes sync. No custom codecs, no Creative Commons-licensed videos, no YouTube or video.*.com bridge, and no support for (as others have mentioned) most of the Torrented content out there -- even though all the rumors point to a Torrent fabric being part of 10.5.

Add to this that the high-end buffs get locked out of true 1080p, the mass market can't use their S-Video TV (or, heaven help them, the composite monoplug), and no DVR even though it has a HD (which I understand, Apple Legal and/or Steve's Awesome Fist of Market Power might not have been able to viably get that arranged yet)... it becomes a pigeonholed product that only the zealots and rabid early adopters will grab (and they can't even impulse buy it today).

I hope they come out with 2.0 fairly soon, or I'd be worried that we would have another MacTV on our hands (although, darn, a black Mac was cool).
post #37 of 96
anyone know if this will play videos not downloaded from the iTunes store?
post #38 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by filburt View Post

Questions:
  1. Size: Why 7.7" by 7.7" instead of Mac mini and new AirPort Extreme's 6.5" by 6.5" width and depth?

Exactly! Really strange in my eyes.

Also I'm missing a digital TV-tuner and harddisk recording for this to be the ultimate HTPC system in close collaboration with my Mac mini.
post #39 of 96
I can't understand why people continually expect (or hope) that Apple will release a product with DVR functionality.. DVR's go against Apple's whole philosophy of content distribution..

In case you haven't noticed, Apple is in the business of SELLING you content for a $1.99 an episode or $9.99 for a movie.. Why would you expect them to release a DVR that records for free the same content they are trying to sell? Answer: They WON'T,

If you're holding your breath for an Apple DVR, I hope you have some very big lungs.
post #40 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by fantastic happy dinner man View Post

anyone know if this will play videos not downloaded from the iTunes store?

It will play anything the iTunes will play... So yes, if you rip a movie into iTunes, then Apple TV will play it.
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