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Briefly: Apple TV tops best seller list at Apple Store - Page 2

post #41 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmightdothat View Post

The cost I calculated was for the average cable subscription. HD cable is way more expensive.

I'm also assuming that iTunes will be 720p in a year. The file size of movies/shows will only increase about 2.5x.

Sigh, HD cable was like $10 more from the one cable company I used to subscribe to.

The file size would only increase about 2.5? ONLY? ONLY? It takes about 30 minutes to download a 45 minute episode over my 3Mbps internet. And 2 hour movies around 1.2GB right now, about 3 GB for 720p, so I can spend 3 hours downloading one film? At that rate, I could be to Walmart and back for the DVD, or Best Buy for the 1080p HD version, and still have 2 hours to spare.
post #42 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by midfat View Post

I think people are really missing the point on this. AppleTV is nothing more than a piece of hardware. It's got a processor, a hard drive, inputs, outputs and an operating system -- the last one being easily upgradeable. Just like owners of older iPods, they have all be upgraded through years of software improvements. Why should any of think that this won't be the case for this little box?

New software upgrades mean the USB port on the AppleTV could take an external hard drive. New software upgrades mean better video capabilities. New software upgrades mean almost infinite possibilities.

As for DVR, I agree with a previous post that asks why Apple would want you recording content for free when they make money selling you the same content on iTunes. Seems pretty basic to me.

For me, I purchased Apple TV almost immediately after Job's Keynote. I love the thought of finally making my living room a seamless extension of my iMac.

How many iPod software upgrades have there been that have actually added abilities to the iPod? There's only so much you can do with a given set of hardware and given the life cycle of the iPod, I'd be hard pressed to imagine they would add anything to it without a hardware revision.

I know it's been said that Apple makes nearly no money off of the music sales on iTS. Is the same true of TV shows? If it is, then Apple offering a DVR service would not make it a real competitor to the iTS. In fact, if they charged a monthly fee like Tivo, it would be pure profit for Apple.

I wanted to like the AppleTV but it's limited to the same video formats as the iPod. And most video on the web is not iPod compatible. Why is the AppleTV so limited when Front Row and Quicktime can be made to play nice with a multitude of video formats? Toast 8 featuring TivoToGO coupled of course with a Tivo DVR had me much more excited than AppleTV.
post #43 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmightdothat View Post

@caliminius

You seem to be the exception. Despite statistics, I think most people (with jobs) watch a fraction of the television you do. 1-2 hours, every night, is freaking insane.

Greg, you are the one not familiar with the stats. People watch something like 3 to 6 hours of Tv a night.
post #44 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

I think it has no value because in the end all the AppleTV does is act like a $300 iPod video cable. The device is an iPod without a screen. Nothing more.

And the price of an iPod video + dock + remote is?

What if you don't have an iPod video?

Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Even Job's example during the Keynote with someone bringing over their laptop would be just as easy to do with a cable than through AppleTV.

Yep, and you can also use a simple cable to get the music to your stereo, but that doesn't stop people from using AirTunes.

Perhaps we don't all want to have a computer in the living room?

Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

For anyone with a Front Row enabled Mac, it's a better deal to buy the necessary video adapter and cable and run that to the TV.

Again: perhaps we don't all want to have a computer in the living room?
JLL

95% percent of the boat is owned by Microsoft, but the 5% Apple controls happens to be the rudder!
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JLL

95% percent of the boat is owned by Microsoft, but the 5% Apple controls happens to be the rudder!
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post #45 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLL View Post

Perhaps we don't all want to have a computer in the living room?

Exactly, what everyone wants (or will eventually want) is a network video player.

They're cheap and incredibly simple to use. Simpler than a PVR, way simpler, and perhaps even simpler than channel surfing. That's right, apple may have just made network video playback simpler than channel surfing.

Entering into the market at $300 is actually quite reasonable. $300 is cheaper than any first generation video source that I can remember. My current network video player cost that much but has an absolutely horrible interface. I'd pay $300 just for a NVP with a usable interface. None of them exist yet though... that is until the AppleTV is released.
post #46 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

My current network video player cost that much but has an absolutely horrible interface.

Which one?

Quote:
I'd pay $300 just for a NVP with a usable interface. None of them exist yet though... that is until the AppleTV is released.

I'd pay $300 to replace my dead EyeHome with ATV if only its apparent limitations weren't severely constraining, i.e. no support for SDTV (the real deal-killer) and most of my current A/V content (completely impractical time/quality-wise to convert for ATV-compatible formats). Even with its limitations EyeHome is/was arguably the most "Mac-friendly" network video player (especially for supported EyeTV owners) and now that it's discontinued it's really a shame ATV isn't a more compatible upgrade for it. ATV isn't the "true EyeHome killer" that it might have been for me as long as I can still get more value from EyeHome.

P.S. - I'm also in the "don't want/need a full-blown 'media center' computer in the living room" camp. And I understand why certain people want to do that, but some them don't seem to understand why others of us don't.
post #47 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjk View Post

Which one?

I'm using an I-O Data AVeL LinkPlayer2. It plays just about anything and integrates with iTunes and iPhoto... but the interface is completely pathetic.

The market definitely has room for PVRs, NVPs, and HTPCs. Apple has specifically chosen to sell a NVP. It isn't what some people want, and that is entirely justifiable.

But what I don't understand is people saying that it lacks features because it isn't a HTPC or PVR. This is like complaining that a motorcycle can't carry as much as a truck. This motorcycle sucks because it has less cargo capacity.
post #48 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjk View Post

I'd pay $300 to replace my dead EyeHome with ATV if only its apparent limitations weren't severely constraining, i.e. no support for SDTV (the real deal-killer) and most of my current A/V content (completely impractical time/quality-wise to convert for ATV-compatible formats). Even with its limitations EyeHome is/was arguably the most "Mac-friendly" network video player (especially for supported EyeTV owners) and now that it's discontinued it's really a shame ATV isn't a more compatible upgrade for it. ATV isn't the "true EyeHome killer" that it might have been for me as long as I can still get more value from EyeHome.

P.S. - I'm also in the "don't want/need a full-blown 'media center' computer in the living room" camp. And I understand why certain people want to do that, but some them don't seem to understand why others of us don't.

The limited capabilities of the AppleTV is my point. It's far less limited on the audio side, but it's video compatibility is pretty pathetic. I'm not advocating putting an iMac in the living room (although the 24" iMac wall mounted would make a fine TV stand-in), but AppleTV in many ways competes with Front Row except it's not as good. With a couple of downloads, Front Row will play most any standard video file you throw at it: mpeg, wmv, asf. Would it be too much to want Apple to allow this same ability to extend AppleTV, except of course that it will at least partially break the dependence to the iTunes Store for content.

I could download a program to spend time re-encoding my videos but with what results? I honestly don't know enough about the proper settings to ensure that the audio/video output will be acceptable. I've tried on a couple of videos, and most like fine but the audio has been severely compromised. And Apple isn't providing anything with AppleTV to make this any easier.

I have the Airport Express with AirTunes and I enjoy it alot; if I lived in something larger than an apartment, I'd even consider buying a couple more to get music all over the house. But Airport Express actually provides more function than the AppleTV at 1/3 the cost: it's a wireless router, allows easy network printer sharing, and streams music to a stereo.
post #49 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

The limited capabilities of the AppleTV is my point. It's far less limited on the audio side, but it's video compatibility is pretty pathetic. I'm not advocating putting an iMac in the living room (although the 24" iMac wall mounted would make a fine TV stand-in), but AppleTV in many ways competes with Front Row except it's not as good. With a couple of downloads, Front Row will play most any standard video file you throw at it: mpeg, wmv, asf. Would it be too much to want Apple to allow this same ability to extend AppleTV, except of course that it will at least partially break the dependence to the iTunes Store for content.

I could download a program to spend time re-encoding my videos but with what results? I honestly don't know enough about the proper settings to ensure that the audio/video output will be acceptable. I've tried on a couple of videos, and most like fine but the audio has been severely compromised. And Apple isn't providing anything with AppleTV to make this any easier.

I have the Airport Express with AirTunes and I enjoy it alot; if I lived in something larger than an apartment, I'd even consider buying a couple more to get music all over the house. But Airport Express actually provides more function than the AppleTV at 1/3 the cost: it's a wireless router, allows easy network printer sharing, and streams music to a stereo.

Don't forget that this is software upgradeable. It's quite possible that Apple will add to the feature set over time.

It's also possible that third parties will be able to as well. We'll have to see.

But, Apple has made a calculation that most people will simply want to stream their iTunes purchases through a wireless network to their audio/video system.

They may be correct.

We have all noticed that most of the complaints about Apple's offerings come from technically involved people who post on websites like this.

However, the buying public doesn't seem to care about these complaints, and buy the products anyway.

I think that we will have that happening here as well.

Now that iTunes offers video quality that is more than good enough for the vast majority, remembering that most people still do not have a widescreen, hi def. set, this product should inspire people to buy more Tv shows, music video's, and movies. Understand that ALL Tv's with SD tuners can only accept 332 x 480 signals. The tuner limits it to that. So, even if you have cable, or even satellite, if your set requires you to go through the tuner input, you will find no difference in quality from this. If you can go through S-Video, or analog component inputs, there will be the same, or slightly better quality through this. Even if your Tv has DVI or HDMI, you may see better quality, depending on the compression used by the providers. Satellite is the worst here.

Apple is going for the large majority of the market now.

Over time, Apple can upgrade their service to 720p, and allow other file types to be streamed, if they find a big enough demand.

The big advantage of using cpu enabled products is to have the ability to adjust the feature mix as demands for those features change.

I see people jumping ahead of what is happening. Once we see what the actual demand for this product is over the next couple of quarters, we will see who is correct.
post #50 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

I'm using an I-O Data AVeL LinkPlayer2. It plays just about anything and integrates with iTunes and iPhoto... but the interface is completely pathetic.

Worse than EyeHome, if you're familiar with it? Are you using the most current version of AVeL Link Server or tried any other that works with Syabas-based players? I briefly tested an older version ALS, and Neuston Media Centre, with my EyeHome when I first got it. All of 'em seemed fairly comparable, i.e. meh. Maybe only EyeHome's handled EyeTV recordings, though, which was reason enough to keep using it. And it may have been lack of unexported EyeTV playback that kept me from seriously considering an AVLP2 over an EyeHome at the time.

Anyway, I'm more than ready to replace that dead EyeHome with a new NVP once I've sufficiently looked at the alternatives, including Apple TV or another EyeHome (for the right price; eBay prices got ridiculously high right after I started watching, sigh).

Quote:
The market definitely has room for PVRs, NVPs, and HTPCs. Apple has specifically chosen to sell a NVP. It isn't what some people want, and that is entirely justifiable.

I agree there's a market for all those categories, and not too surprised NVP popularity isn't better represented on Apple/Mac-centric forums. Personally, I think it's ultimately the most "elegant" solution if you don't need the other capabilities. It might be interesting to relate computing/living environments to peoples' PVR/NVP/NTPC preferences.

I'll keep borrowing NVP, if you don't mind, since I already prefer that term to "media extender".

Quote:
But what I don't understand is people saying that it lacks features because it isn't a HTPC or PVR. This is like complaining that a motorcycle can't carry as much as a truck. This motorcycle sucks because it has less cargo capacity.

If only that could be mandatory reading (with quiz afterwards) before people were allowed to post "X sucks because it's not Y" comments. Heck, AI could pioneer personalized AI to automagically detect various flavors of comments we'd prefer not to see and mark or quarantine them so we wouldn't have to at least not after a certain threshold of tolerance is exceeded.
post #51 of 106
Apple also has to consider current and possible future relationships with content providers, both network based, and content (music companies, movie studios, etc.) based.

None of those are happy to be bypassed with these various tuners etc.

If Apple wants to do deals with them, they can't compete with them at the same time.
post #52 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Now that iTunes offers video quality that is more than good enough for the vast majority, remembering that most people still do not have a widescreen, hi def. set, this product should inspire people to buy more Tv shows, music video's, and movies. Understand that ALL Tv's with SD tuners can only accept 332 x 480 signals.

I don't understand your reasoning there since Apple TV (as far as the specs claim) doesn't support SDTV, only EDTV/HDTV.

I think we've pretty much exhausted fresh ideas for what might make ATV a better and more compelling product. For me that's SDTV and more pre-existing content compatibility, both which keep it in dfiler's NVP product category that I'm most interested in. Adding other functionality, like 1080 output, still keeps it within that boundary. Others folks want or compare it with PVR/HTPC capabilities, which seems (and I could well be wrong) to reclassify the product beyond what it's intended to be. Certain things, like adding a DVD drive, are kind of on the cusp.

That ATV could be(come) a "best in class" NVP is where I see more potential. The PVR/HTPC aspirations for it might do better considering alternatives, some already proposed.
post #53 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

The limited capabilities of the AppleTV is my point.

I don't disagree at all, especially with any reasons within the "NVP boundary" I attempted to define earlier which most (if not all) of yours were. (yikes, grammar police)
post #54 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjk View Post

I don't understand your reasoning there since Apple TV (as far as the specs claim) doesn't support SDTV, only EDTV/HDTV.

I think we've pretty much exhausted fresh ideas for what might make ATV a better and more compelling product. For me that's SDTV and more pre-existing content compatibility, both which keep it in dfiler's NVP product category that I'm most interested in. Adding other functionality, like 1080 output, still keeps it within that boundary. Others folks want or compare it with PVR/HTPC capabilities, which seems (and I could well be wrong) to reclassify the product beyond what it's intended to be. Certain things, like adding a DVD drive, are kind of on the cusp.

That ATV could be(come) a "best in class" NVP is where I see more potential. The PVR/HTPC aspirations for it might do better considering alternatives, some already proposed.

It supports the Apple iTunes product line. What is that? Have you evidence that Apple plans to suddenly upgrade its recently upgraded video download standard?
post #55 of 106
I think what he means is that the Apple TV hardware doesn't support SDTV. I currently use my TV system to distribute audio through out the house and been wanting to add photos and video it. The Apple TV doesn't support this. It needs an SDTV output that I can connect to a modulator.
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post #56 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by aresee View Post

I think what he means is that the Apple TV hardware doesn't support SDTV. I currently use my TV system to distribute audio through out the house and been wanting to add photos and video it. The Apple TV doesn't support this. It needs an SDTV output that I can connect to a modulator.

There are adapters available for under $20 or so that will allow this. They are use in the video world all the time.

Don't forget that HDMI is just DVI with audio. That can easily be broken out to DVI and audio, then the DVI can use Apple's, or anyone's DVI to VGA or S-Video adapter. If you have a really old Tv, you can even adapt S-Video to composite.

At one time or another I've had to do all of those things for people.

You can do a quick search on the web for the adapters. Cyberguys, Newegg, and others, should carry at least some of these.

As far as Europe is concerned, I'm not familiar with what they mostly use these days other than the SCART adapter Aegis has been talking about.
post #57 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

There are adapters available for under $20 or so that will allow this. They are use in the video world all the time.

Those are physical adapters (svideo/vga and vga/dvi). The graphics hardware and drivers have to support the output or the physical adapter is worthless.
post #58 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfiler View Post

Those are physical adapters (svideo/vga and vga/dvi). The graphics hardware and drivers have to support the output or the physical adapter is worthless.

In my experience, it hasn't been a problem. We don't as yet know just what the thing is doing to the signal.

We don't know if it upscales all video or not. We don't k ow what it does to SD proportions, etc.

Even if one does need a widescreen Tv, the rest of the argument holds.
post #59 of 106
Will these adapters work with 480p? If I recall correctly I had to set my Mac Mini to Interlace in order to used the S-Video adapter. (The picture was so awful I quickly bought a dedicated display for it.)
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post #60 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by aresee View Post

Will these adapters work with 480p? If I recall correctly I had to set my Mac Mini to Interlace in order to used the S-Video adapter. (The picture was so awful I quickly bought a dedicated display for it.)

It's an interesting question. Most Tv's that produce 480p will take a 480i signal and turn it into 480p. There are Tv's with 480p that have analog component and S-Video inputs as well.

Don't forget that the AppleTv also has analog component outputs as well. They can also be combined in an adapter to S-Video, though those adapters are more expensive.
post #61 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Don't forget that the AppleTv also has analog component outputs as well. They can also be combined in an adapter to S-Video, though those adapters are more expensive.

It's these analog connections I've been looking at. And what I think will be the problem is interlace and progressive. Those adapters will probably work with an interlaced input but not with a progressive input. I have a DVD player that has 480i/p component and s-video outputs. The s-video output displays a picture when the player is set for interlace. It does not display a picture when progressive is selected.

And if it was this easy then why am I returning an A/V receiver I just bought. The sells people said that it could do all the conversions I wanted. But its manual explicitly stated that it will not down convert component (analog inputs) to s-video/composite. It will cross convert s-video and composite, and it will up convert s-video/composite to component. If it is as easy as you think, why wasn't the capability put in there?
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post #62 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by aresee View Post

Will these adapters work with 480p? If I recall correctly I had to set my Mac Mini to Interlace in order to used the S-Video adapter.

It's isn't the physical adapter that we need to worry about. The metal and plastic needed to change the shape of a plug and location of pins is dirt cheap. All of the potentially useful physical adapters already exist and are relatively cheap.

What remains to be seen is if the AppleTV video hardware and drivers support the various output types people desire. Apple's spec sheets don't indicate support but this omission isn't conclusive.
post #63 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by aresee View Post

I think what he means is that the Apple TV hardware doesn't support SDTV.

Yep, that's part of it. I was specifically addressing Mel's seemingly contradictory comment:

Quote:
Now that iTunes offers video quality that is more than good enough for the vast majority, remembering that most people still do not have a widescreen, hi def. set,

If, as he's claiming, "most people still do not have a widescreen, hi def. set" why is it even relevant "that iTunes offers video quality that is more than good enough for the vast majority" if Apple TV is incompatible with their existing SDTV (480i) sets according to the current specifications on Apple's site?

In that context I don't see the correlation between iTunes video quality and Apple TV being compatible (or not) with any particular type of TV. The "vast majority" or "most people" with SDTV won't be able to use ATV at all, period. And I don't understand why certain Apple reps have been telling people that ATV is compatible with their "standard" TVs.

Hopefully that makes it clearer why I questioned Mel's remark.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

We don't know if it upscales all video or not. We don't k ow what it does to SD proportions, etc.

Even if one does need a widescreen Tv, the rest of the argument holds.

But we do know what the published specs say and that's what my comments are based on. For sake of further discussion let's say we don't ignore them? (the specs, that is; you can ignore my comments if you want to. )

Although my ~3-year-old TV has component video input the manual explicitly says it doesn't support a progressive scan frequency and to switch any attached DVD player to interlace mode. That's been a non-issue with my older Pioneer DVD changer since it doesn't have progressive output.

AFAWK (again, based on published specs) Apple TV can't be "switched" to output 480i and I have no idea if there's some sort of adaptor/converter that can do it. Or, alternatively, somehow make a 480i SDTV compatible with ATV's 480p EDTV specification. Either way, would that be sufficient to satisfy ATV's "widescreen" requirement? None of that seems promising to me but maybe someone else here understands the technical details enough to know for sure what is/isn't possible. The most recent posts seem to already be heading in that direction
post #64 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjk View Post

AFAWK (again, based on published specs) Apple TV can't be "switched" to output 480i and I have no idea if there's some sort of adaptor/converter that can do it. Or, alternatively, somehow make a 480i SDTV compatible with ATV's 480p EDTV specification. Either way, would that be sufficient to satisfy ATV's "widescreen" requirement? None of that seems promising to me but maybe someone else here understands the technical details enough to know for sure what is/isn't possible. The most recent posts seem to already be heading in that direction

sjk, I think we have the same issue with the Apple TV. No SDTV support. Now others say as it not yet a shipping product that it might yet do 480i. I'm not putting any hope in this. Cause if it does support 480i why isn't Apple saying so. That feature would be in the chip set they are buying which is already in place.

I think there will be a lot of screams when this starts arriving in peoples hands and they find that it won't work with their component capable, but interlace only, TVs.
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post #65 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by aresee View Post

It's these analog connections I've been looking at. And what I think will be the problem is interlace and progressive. Those adapters will probably work with an interlaced input but not with a progressive input. I have a DVD player that has 480i/p component and s-video outputs. The s-video output displays a picture when the player is set for interlace. It does not display a picture when progressive is selected.

And if it was this easy then why am I returning an A/V receiver I just bought. The sells people said that it could do all the conversions I wanted. But its manual explicitly stated that it will not down convert component (analog inputs) to s-video/composite. It will cross convert s-video and composite, and it will up convert s-video/composite to component. If it is as easy as you think, why wasn't the capability put in there?

Component outputs can be combined into an S-Video output. As I said, the adapter is more expensive. It can also be turned into composite, same way. S-Video can be turned into composite, no problem.

Component output is USUALLY interlace. S-Video is always interlace.

Remember, we're talking about Tv output, not computer output.

Honestly, the specs Apple gives for the AppleTv are incomplete. Sometimes Apple will say that something is required, but it turns out to be not so.

For example, the real specs for the component output are not stated.

I have a lot of experience in these matters, and I can only go by what I know.

But, really, we won't find out until these get into the hands of the reviewers, or tech sites.
post #66 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjk View Post

Yep, that's part of it. I was specifically addressing Mel's seemingly contradictory comment:


If, as he's claiming, "most people still do not have a widescreen, hi def. set" why is it even relevant "that iTunes offers video quality that is more than good enough for the vast majority" if Apple TV is incompatible with their existing SDTV (480i) sets according to the current specifications on Apple's site?

In that context I don't see the correlation between iTunes video quality and Apple TV being compatible (or not) with any particular type of TV. The "vast majority" or "most people" with SDTV won't be able to use ATV at all, period. And I don't understand why certain Apple reps have been telling people that ATV is compatible with their "standard" TVs.

Hopefully that makes it clearer why I questioned Mel's remark.


But we do know what the published specs say and that's what my comments are based on. For sake of further discussion let's say we don't ignore them? (the specs, that is; you can ignore my comments if you want to. )

Although my ~3-year-old TV has component video input the manual explicitly says it doesn't support a progressive scan frequency and to switch any attached DVD player to interlace mode. That's been a non-issue with my older Pioneer DVD changer since it doesn't have progressive output.

AFAWK (again, based on published specs) Apple TV can't be "switched" to output 480i and I have no idea if there's some sort of adaptor/converter that can do it. Or, alternatively, somehow make a 480i SDTV compatible with ATV's 480p EDTV specification. Either way, would that be sufficient to satisfy ATV's "widescreen" requirement? None of that seems promising to me but maybe someone else here understands the technical details enough to know for sure what is/isn't possible. The most recent posts seem to already be heading in that direction

What I've saying is that Apple doesn't always publish complete, or even true specs. Component makes me think that this DOES support SD, even though they are hinting that it does not.

Adapters can convert "p" into "i", but they are expensive.
post #67 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by aresee View Post

sjk, I think we have the same issue with the Apple TV. No SDTV support. Now others say as it not yet a shipping product that it might yet do 480i. I'm not putting any hope in this. Cause if it does support 480i why isn't Apple saying so. That feature would be in the chip set they are buying which is already in place.

I think there will be a lot of screams when this starts arriving in peoples hands and they find that it won't work with their component capable, but interlace only, TVs.

Apple IS saying that it will only support "p" when they give supported Tv formats, but it may not be entirely true.

It could be that the HDMI only supports "p", but the component supports SD, and they are glossing over that.

There could be a good reason for that.

Apple has been sued more than once for not supporting something that they stated that they supported.
If Apple is intending to have 720p downloads soon, they wouldn't be playable at full rez on an SD set. Lawsuit ensues.

People try to download hi def "p" movie trailers and shorts from Apple's site, and it either doesn't work, or again, looks bad. Lawsuir ensues.

Remember the bruhaha about 801.11n? Did Apple mention it was there? No! Why?
post #68 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by aresee View Post

sjk, I think we have the same issue with the Apple TV. No SDTV support.

That's correct.

Quote:
Now others say as it not yet a shipping product that it might yet do 480i. I'm not putting any hope in this. Cause if it does support 480i why isn't Apple saying so. That feature would be in the chip set they are buying which is already in place.

Is it possible 480i might be supported in the hardware, disabled by default but technically feasible to enable? Similar to how the 802.11n enabler will activate 802.11n in supporting hardware, for lack of a better analogy. Obviously all the ATV hardware components aren't exactly known yet; I'm just wondering if disabled 480i support and reactivation makes sense technically.

Quote:
I think there will be a lot of screams when this starts arriving in peoples hands and they find that it won't work with their component capable, but interlace only, TVs.

Uh, huh. And I've already speculated a similar thing could happen with iTunes-compatible content that ATV won't support, added to iTunes libraries before and/or after ATV's purchase. It doesn't take much imagination to see how such scenarios might occur. Less of an impact than if the iPod didn't support MP3, but still possibly significant.

Oh, I just noticed Mel showed up before I'd finished this so nothing I've written is intentionally related to what he's written.
post #69 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Component outputs can be combined into an S-Video output. As I said, the adapter is more expensive. It can also be turned into composite, same way. S-Video can be turned into composite, no problem.

Component output is USUALLY interlace. S-Video is always interlace.

Remember, we're talking about Tv output, not computer output.

I thought we were talking about TV input compatibility with Apple TV output.

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Honestly, the specs Apple gives for the AppleTv are incomplete. Sometimes Apple will say that something is required, but it turns out to be not so.

What would it take to satisfy your definition of complete? Right now that's all Apple's given us to work with (plus the keynote demo) so that's my baseline for this discussion. I'm aware they omit certain details from specs, for whatever reason.

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For example, the real specs for the component output are not stated.

In what way are they incomplete and is that genuinely or speculatively relevant to the SDTV/480i compatibility issue?

My questions are sincere, btw.

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I have a lot of experience in these matters, and I can only go by what I know.

I've included the published ATV specs because that's the only official reference point myself and many other potential buyers have to go by right now.

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But, really, we won't find out until these get into the hands of the reviewers, or tech sites.

Of course. And I've been hoping you'd see that I'd just like to best understand the feasibility of certain things to whatever extent that's currently possible within boundaries I've tried to clearly establish. I've intentionally omitted reasons for doing this pre-shipping research, which I wouldn't be pursuing now if it didn't matter.
post #70 of 106
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Originally Posted by melgross View Post

What I've saying is that Apple doesn't always publish complete, or even true specs. Component makes me think that this DOES support SD, even though they are hinting that it does not.

And that's still an unknown, regardless of what you or I or anyone else thinks.

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Adapters can convert "p" into "i", but they are expensive.

Surely less expensive than any new ATV-compatible widescreen EDTV/HDTV?

I'm completely unfamiliar with those type of adaptors so any reference(s) would be appreciated.
post #71 of 106
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Originally Posted by sjk View Post

I thought we were talking about TV input compatibility with Apple TV output.

AppleTv output is Tv monitor input. That's what you mean, isn't it?

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What would it take to satisfy your definition of complete? Right now that's all Apple's given us to work with (plus the keynote demo) so that's my baseline for this discussion. I'm aware they omit certain details from specs, for whatever reason.

Complete would detail all of the resolutions the device is capable of outputting, through ALL of its outputs, at what frequencies. Alternatively, they could list the min, and the max, stating that all in between values are supported (or not, as the case may be), at which frequencies.

That is the way we see them stated on video equipment, video cards, and computer monitors.

Apple gives less than minimal specs. They aren't even specs as industry standards go. Saying what Tv's you "need" is not stating specs, neither is the way they present the resolutions. They are supposed to break out those specs for each output, as I've said.

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In what way are they incomplete and is that genuinely or speculatively relevant to the SDTV/480i compatibility issue?

See above, and yes, they are.

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My questions are sincere, btw.

If I didn't think they were, I wouldn't bother to answer. I've gone down that road here before.

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I've included the published ATV specs because that's the only official reference point myself and many other potential buyers have to go by right now.

They are the only thing we have to go by right now. That's the problem.

But, I could get this to work with any monitor, regardless of the specs. It just depends on how much you want to spend, and why you would want to do it.

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Of course. And I've been hoping you'd see that I'd just like to best understand the feasibility of certain things to whatever extent that's currently possible within boundaries I've tried to clearly establish. I've intentionally omitted reasons for doing this pre-shipping research, which I wouldn't be pursuing now if it didn't matter.

I do see. We're all in the same boat on this. Your reasons can be kept to yourself. The mere fact that you have questions is enough.
post #72 of 106
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Originally Posted by sjk View Post

And that's still an unknown, regardless of what you or I or anyone else thinks.

Well, yes, that's part of what I'm saying.

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Surely less expensive than any new ATV-compatible widescreen EDTV/HDTV?

I'm completely unfamiliar with those type of adaptors so any reference(s) would be appreciated.

Yes, less expensive. Perhaps you see why people might be interested, at least, until they decide to spend the big bucks. But, these can cost as much as the AppleTv, or more, depending on the quality.

Check here. It's the CV131A Component to NTSC. I don't remember offhand if that model is S-Video or composite. But, there are others.

http://www.hrx.com/order.htm


You can check here directly. This is one of the largest pro dealers around. I buy most of my equipment from them.

http://www.markertek.com/
post #73 of 106
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Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Apple IS saying that it will only support "p" when they give supported Tv formats, but it may not be entirely true.

It could be that the HDMI only supports "p", but the component supports SD, and they are glossing over that.

That's the kind of speculation I'm trying to minimize.

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There could be a good reason for that.
<examples snipped>

I understand that and your possible scenarios.

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Remember the bruhaha about 801.11n? Did Apple mention it was there? No! Why?

Yes. No. Because.

I've always realized the possibility of ATV hardware/software having more features than Apple's publicly announced us so far. I'm just interested in culling information from the published specs, pretending it's true while being aware it might be incomplete or inaccurate, and applying it to relevant issues such as SDTV (in)compatibility.
post #74 of 106
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Originally Posted by sjk View Post

That's the kind of speculation I'm trying to minimize.


I understand that and your possible scenarios.


Yes. No. Because.

I've always realized the possibility of ATV hardware/software having more features than Apple's publicly announced us so far. I'm just interested in culling information from the published specs, pretending it's true while being aware it might be incomplete or inaccurate, and applying it to relevant issues such as SDTV (in)compatibility.

We are really on the same wavelength here (heh, appropriate for the discussion).
post #75 of 106
Re: current specs.
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Originally Posted by melgross View Post

They are the only thing we have to go by right now. That's the problem.

No problem, just an acknowledged constraint.

Yeah, I see what you mean about how vague and general the specs are. They're intended as "good enough" for the mainstream market. Other folks will need, or have interest in, the kind of information from field testing or covered in more detailed product or repair manuals.

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But, I could get this to work with any monitor, regardless of the specs. It just depends on how much you want to spend, and why you would want to do it.

That's a possibility I*was seeking to understand, thanks. Now I get how there could be quality/expensive factors that would make it impractical for this application. And thanks for the links in your next post.

I'm satisfied for now and it's a good place to stop since I'm leaving soon for the evening so my time here's short anyway.
post #76 of 106
melgross, I also want to thank you for the links. We will have to wait and see what Apple is providing.
What goes online stays online. What is online will become public.
Reply
What goes online stays online. What is online will become public.
Reply
post #77 of 106
From where I sit, AppleTV is a good product for the people for which it's intended; those people with fairly new TVs who are buying TV shows and movies from the iTunes Store.

What I don't get, is the stated specification that AppleTV outputs 720P. What 720P, from where? Except for a few movie trailers, I don't know of any legal MP4 content available at such high resolution. So, while I think AppleTV is a good box, the video available at the iTunes Store is not.

It seems unlikely, since Apple only recently upgraded the resolution of the TV shows at the store, that they'd be planning another upgrade soon. What's available there now is pretty poor. When comparing a purchased iTS TV show to a TV show from a DVD, the difference is startling. And, the DVD show can be ripped (illegally) to a smaller file size than the same show from iTS and it will still look much better! What gives?
post #78 of 106
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Originally Posted by iDave View Post

From where I sit, AppleTV is a good product for the people for which it's intended; those people with fairly new TVs who are buying TV shows and movies from the iTunes Store.

That's the intent. To build a market for themselves out of people buying content from iTunes, and then streaming it to their Tv.

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What I don't get, is the stated specification that AppleTV outputs 720P. What 720P, from where? Except for a few movie trailers, I don't know of any legal MP4 content available at such high resolution. So, while I think AppleTV is a good box, the video available at the iTunes Store is not.

The output is not only to 720p. It's also listed as working with EDTV, which is 854 x 480p. But, it could have a built-in scaler, which will bring the content up to 720p (or possibly even 1080i, as that's mentioned), if the Tv can deliver that.

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It seems unlikely, since Apple only recently upgraded the resolution of the TV shows at the store, that they'd be planning another upgrade soon. What's available there now is pretty poor. When comparing a purchased iTS TV show to a TV show from a DVD, the difference is startling. And, the DVD show can be ripped (illegally) to a smaller file size than the same show from iTS and it will still look much better! What gives?

I have a 65" 1080p Hp DLP. I have found that the difference between Apple's iTunes movie content and the actual DVD to be small, most of the time. It's not the difference in rez that matters (basically, there is none, for most purposes), but the transcoding. This is not done by Apple. Just as many DVD's are much worse than the actual movie, so can Apple's content be.

I'm not willing to make a blank statement about thew quality, because I've only compared about a dozen films so far, and that's enough for me to buy for test purposes. I haven't tried any Paramount films.

If you've ripped a (already compressed) DVD, and it looks better than iTunes content, then something is wrong. Possibly, your subjectivity is getting in the way.
post #79 of 106
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Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The output is not only to 720p. It's also listed as working with EDTV, which is 854 x 480p. But, it could have a built-in scaler, which will bring the content up to 720p (or possibly even 1080i, as that's mentioned), if the Tv can deliver that.

The resolution of iTS TV shows is 640x480. Tell me how you can scale 480 up to 720 and retain the same quality. It can't be done. Resolution is fixed; not scaleable as some people believe.

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Originally Posted by melgross View Post

If you've ripped a (already compressed) DVD, and it looks better than iTunes content, then something is wrong. Possibly, your subjectivity is getting in the way.

I agree, it seems like something must be wrong. I experimented with an episode from the second season of "Lost" of which I own the DVD. I purchased the episode from iTS after the resolution upgrade announcement in August. Then I ripped the same episode from my DVD for comparison. The ripped file looks far, far superior. Details such as people and trees on the beach in the distance are much sharper in the ripped DVD file. This is the case even though the iTS file is about 500MB and the ripped file is 350MB. Perhaps only that "Lost" episode is of particularly bad quality on iTS. I haven't felt like wasting money comparing any others.
post #80 of 106
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Originally Posted by iDave View Post

The resolution of iTS TV shows is 640x480. Tell me how you can scale 480 up to 720 and retain the same quality. It can't be done. Resolution is fixed; not scaleable as some people believe.

No, it's not that simple. Rez is not fixed.There are (so far) 18 different standards in digital Tv, any of them can be converted (and are!) into any of the others. Proportion CAN be fixed, but even that is often changed. If you've ever used PS, or another program, that allows you to interpolate up and down, you know how this is done.

Case in point. Many widescreen Tv's automatically widen 4:3 to 16:9 by widening the edges of the content while leaving the middle third, or so, untouched. Most people actually prefer that. You concentrate on that middle, but your peripheral vision doesn't pick the distortion up, unless you look for it.

You can scale to any point, up or down. This is being done all the time. I'm surprised you don't know this!

Look at the specs for almost any DVD player capable of "p" output. You will see that they will scale SD DVD's to 720p or 1080i. The more expensive models will even go to 1080p.

The widescreen Tv's themselves will scale SD to the native rez as well.

Check that out.

When I watch a DVD on my Mac, through my Sony 24" crt, at 1920 x 1080p, scaling is involved. Despite what some say, it looks great!

You can buy scalers separately, if you wish. They go from about $300 to $50,000, depending on what the scaling factor must be, and the quality needed.

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I agree, it seems like something must be wrong. I experimented with an episode from the second season of "Lost" of which I own the DVD. I purchased the episode from iTS after the resolution upgrade announcement in August. Then I ripped the same episode from my DVD for comparison. The ripped file looks far, far superior. Details such as people and trees on the beach in the distance are much sharper in the ripped DVD file. This is the case even though the iTS file is about 500MB and the ripped file is 350MB. Perhaps only that "Lost" episode is of particularly bad quality on iTS. I haven't felt like wasting money comparing any others.

It's odd. But there can be reasons for it.

Tv's have a sharpening control. When these controls are set to the middle, so that one side says "softer", and the other says "sharper", one is led to believe that the center position is set of "none". Not so. "None" is almost all the way to the end of "softer". On my Sony 36" XBR, it turns it off alltogether. Similarly on my Hp 65" 1080p model. When you do that, the "video" appearance of the content changes to a more film-like look. Not as sharp, but far more natural. Many people prefer the sharp, hard edges. I don't.

I bring this up because it's very likely when you are doing the transcending from the already compressed, sharpened, file on DVD, the program is not only re-compressing, but giving it additional sharpening to overcome the natural degradation that occurs from any compression.

Now you have double compression, and sharpening over sharpening. As most companies believe (correctly) that most consumers are not sophisticated enough to understand that less sharpening is actually better, and want the sharpest image possible, the sharpening applied is rather high. Often it is not adjustable. They may not even mention that is is being done! Why worry you with little things like that?

That, as well as our unconscious desires, affect what what we see, and think we see.
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