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Apple ready to flick switch on Apple TV revolution - Page 4

post #121 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I'm amazed that some people can actually say that they only watch two or three series a year. It's actually unbelievable.

So, you watch no news, no specials. Don't get the itch to see whats on that's different. Never check out other channels. That amazing. Such restraint!

I get the daily news off the Internet, the "news" on TV these days consists mostly of product-placement advertisement and tabloid human interest stories. Brittany and Anna Nichole have little bearing to me in the realm I call "reality".

I receive ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, WB, and PBS for free Over-The-Air (in high definition). Broadcast TV has plenty of sitcoms, dramas, sports, and reality TV garbage... we watch maybe an hour or two (tops) each night. That leaves plenty of time for cooking dinner, chores, working out, reading...

Quote:
What a limited field of interest! As I said, it's unbelievable.

Not sure whether I should be insulted or flattered by that remark.

Frankly there isn't enough good original programming on cable to warrant a subscription.

Once upon a time I had the DirecTV platinum package (free job perk) and I was able to watch every channel known to man. After I grew accustomed to it, I was mostly watching the broadcast networks just like everybody else does, premium movie channels, and not much else. Marathons of 'Law and Order' reruns just don't appeal to me. YMMV.
post #122 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

This is true, but I think people mentioned the XBox so much it was being forgotten that most of us are using Macs and the XBox isn't an option.

Huh? Why all these comments about incompatibility between Macs and Xbox Media Center? I use XBMC on the first gen Xbox and it streams all my movies/music/photos from my iMac, regardless of whether my iMac is booted into OSX or into Windows XP. After installing XBMC, it took literally 10 minutes to configure XBMC to find all my shared data - you just use the Xbox controller to tell the media center to find any shared folders, give them a name (e.g. My Movies etc) and you're away.

All this for way less money than the iTV, and you can play AVI/DivX files, which the iTV probably won't.
post #123 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

This is true, but I think people mentioned the XBox so much it was being forgotten that most of us are using Macs and the XBox isn't an option.

Even in the PC world I wonder how many people are actually actively using Media Center, own an XBox, and actually use the XBox as a media extender. I bet the number is pretty small.

A lot of MPC's have been sold. But that's mostly because they have been installed by default on many home systems at the factory. But the USE of them as such is considered to be very small, on the order of a few percent. Those who combo that with the XBox are an even smaller minority.


Quote:
Yes when we were all discussing iTunes movie resolution. There was a lot of argument from those with HDTV's that they deplored SD resolution. I said HD broadcast is better but you are still watching highly compressed video. Ultimately what broadcast HD gives you is the ability to have larger television screens.

You really haven't seen HD until you've watched it uncompressed from the source. A lot of the luster is gone by the time its broadcast or on DVD.

I have an Hp 65" 1080p DLP with 1080p inputs, which was very rare when I bought mine a bit over a year ago.

While 1080p looks great, you do have to be pretty close to notice. The links to the charts say it all. People mostly fool themselves into thinking they are seeing hi def from 12 feet away with most all screens.
post #124 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco Underpants View Post

I get the daily news off the Internet, the "news" on TV these days consists mostly of product-placement advertisement and tabloid human interest stories. Brittany and Anna Nichole have little bearing to me in the realm I call "reality".

I receive ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, WB, and PBS for free Over-The-Air (in high definition). Broadcast TV has plenty of sitcoms, dramas, sports, and reality TV garbage... we watch maybe an hour or two (tops) each night. That leaves plenty of time for cooking dinner, chores, working out, reading...



Not sure whether I should be insulted or flattered by that remark.

Frankly there isn't enough good original programming on cable to warrant a subscription.

Once upon a time I had the DirecTV platinum package (free job perk) and I was able to watch every channel known to man. After I grew accustomed to it, I was mostly watching the broadcast networks just like everybody else does, premium movie channels, and not much else. Marathons of 'Law and Order' reruns just don't appeal to me. YMMV.

You aren't average, which should please you.

But you don't make up much of a customer base since you are so far off from average. Therefore, your demographic will be ignored when companies think about how they are going to do this.

It's like the way they rate programs. If they are popular with the 18 to 48 year old male, then they are doing just fine. Well, I am a 57 year old male with more money to spend than most 18 to 48 years olds. But, my needs aren't as important to the Tv programmers, because they believe that most 57 year olds don't spend as much on what they want to advertise.
post #125 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsmells View Post

Huh? Why all these comments about incompatibility between Macs and Xbox Media Center? I use XBMC on the first gen Xbox and it streams all my movies/music/photos from my iMac, regardless of whether my iMac is booted into OSX or into Windows XP. After installing XBMC, it took literally 10 minutes to configure XBMC to find all my shared data - you just use the Xbox controller to tell the media center to find any shared folders, give them a name (e.g. My Movies etc) and you're away.

All this for way less money than the iTV, and you can play AVI/DivX files, which the iTV probably won't.

even that's too complex for most people.

And few people watch DivX files.
post #126 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsmells View Post

Huh? Why all these comments about incompatibility between Macs and Xbox Media Center? I use XBMC on the first gen Xbox and it streams all my movies/music/photos from my iMac, regardless of whether my iMac is booted into OSX or into Windows XP. After installing XBMC, it took literally 10 minutes to configure XBMC to find all my shared data - you just use the Xbox controller to tell the media center to find any shared folders, give them a name (e.g. My Movies etc) and you're away.

All this for way less money than the iTV, and you can play AVI/DivX files, which the iTV probably won't.

There's actually two separate products being talked about here:

1) XBMC. That's what you're using-- sounds pretty interesting, actually. That's an open source product/hack running on top of the original xBox... I'm assuming it plays all the different video/audio formats except the ones that are DRM'ed. I don't know to much about that...

2) xBox 360 + Windows Media Center. This is the offical, Microsoft supported method for streaming your media from your PC to xBox 360 console-- which supports Windows DRM but not Fairplay. This requires a newer Windows PC and an xBox 360...

Most of the responses in this thread are about the second, Microsoft-only solution.
post #127 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

This is true, but I think people mentioned the XBox so much it was being forgotten that most of us are using Macs and the XBox isn't an option.

http://www.nullriver.com/index/products/connect360

But I agree that 720p will be the selling point for aTV...if Apple fails to up iTunes to 720p the aTV is a dumb product to release at this time.

If 720p is offered on iTunes then its a brilliant product introduced at the right time with the ongoing format war.

Vinea
post #128 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

You aren't average, which should please you.

But you don't make up much of a customer base since you are so far off from average. Therefore, your demographic will be ignored when companies think about how they are going to do this.

It's like the way they rate programs. If they are popular with the 18 to 48 year old male, then they are doing just fine. Well, I am a 57 year old male with more money to spend than most 18 to 48 years olds. But, my needs aren't as important to the Tv programmers, because they believe that most 57 year olds don't spend as much on what they want to advertise.

The absolute need of the advertising model to reign supreme in the face of subscription VOD and IPTV is IMHO questionable. If Apple is able to offer good shows at a competitive price why couldn't they become the online version of HBO? Want a movie? Buy it. Want a show? Buy it. Want to browse? Buy an episode for $2, watch the trailers, whatever. Why surf when you get just drill down and get the exact programming you want right now? Why Tivo when they're trying to stuff ads in anyhow? Plus you have to wait 15 minutes before you start watching to be able the FF through commercials.

VOD that works would kill this business model but I've been less than impressed with VOD from Comcast nor does it have all the breadth of programming on it as you might see on iTunes.

Vinea
post #129 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

even that's too complex for most people.

And few people watch DivX files.

Dude, A LOT of people watch DivX. We're talking in the realms of hundreds of thousands, going into millions. It is the MP3 of video. It's obvious why Microsoft and Apple aren't supporting it on their devices, but I don't understand why. Every DVD player these days plays it. And I would buy an AppleTV alone if it did, and for that reason I'm happy to burn DivX to a re-writeable CD/DVD and play it on my HDTV.

And yes you can get 720p content online, IN DivX.
post #130 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferazel View Post

The problem with this box isn't that it COULD be useful, it is that there is not the cohesion that there was with CDs, .mp3, iTunes, and the iPod.

If I could rip my DVDs and have them "on demand" queued up on my desktop/laptop pc or in an external drive on my Airport basestation, plus augmentation of the impulse buy from the iTunes store, this could be useful. Unfortunately, right now we can do everything except for one important aspect of the chain. It's the ripping of the DVDs onto a digital medium that is easily stored and accessed! If it was not for the DMCA preventing ANY sort of ripping including into another format I would LOVE to get an AppleTV ASAP. Unfortunately, the product is missing a key feature that made the iPod so popular, the ability to use your old format on the device in a convenient way!

In the future, when there is a universal high-def video format that is available to store the digital media in I can imagine this kind of product doing very well. This is not the case today, people have physical media and some digital downloads. If you can not put both of these formats in an accessible device it is going to be hard to justify buying either this device or a large number of digital downloads just for putting your digital media on the TV.

At least that's what I think.

You can do this, it's just not quite legal which has nothing to do with Apple. There is also the new software from Flip4Mac Drive-in which looks to be a legal way to do this, however at least in it's beta form there is no way to look through your catalog in front row. It might be possible that if Apple has a plug-in archetecture, automator, widgets, and or Apple Script support that a method could be developed to look through a catalog and mount the chosen DVD, if Apple TV can gain access to a mounted DVD for viewing. There is also nothing keeping Apple from adding a feature like this in the future even if it is not supported in the first generation.
post #131 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by @homenow View Post

they saw the competition for the Apple TV as the DVD and not the DVR. It is a little hard for them to compete today with a $299 device against DVD players that sell for $49 or less so I assume that he was talking about the newer HD DVD and Blue Ray devices. Based on that and the specs for Apple TV I would guess that 720p content is coming very soon

I hope you're right.

Based on Steve Jobs saying that it does 720p, and that home photos are already in high definition and look great, and NOT saying anything about high def tv or movies.... I'm worried the AppleTV isn't up to it.

I take it, however, that the graphics card has been looked at and found capable by people!
post #132 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I'm amazed that some people can actually say that they only watch two or three series a year. It's actually unbelievable.

So, you watch no news, no specials. Don't get the itch to see whats on that's different. Never check out other channels. That amazing. Such restraint!

Totally nailed it on the head
I think the people that watch only a few shows per year, say BSG, 24, and Happy Days, would save money. Though I would be very curious to see what an average day in the life of someone like this is? Seems quite odd.

I'm not on the TV 24 hours a day, and don't even consider myself to be an "avid" watcher or couch potato. But I definitely watch more than a few shows (grab them on Tivo of course, watch whenever -- even download them onto my Mac to watch from Tivo). And as you mentioned, without the option of being able to go through a few channels at will, wtf would I watch? How would I even know if I wanted to watch a new show without paying for it on iTunes (the 30 sec trailer or whatever it is isn't useful at all).

For people with kids, how about the hours of random Disney channel and Cartoon Network shows? That'd be a ridiculous amount of money per-episode. For a normal person with an average or even below average TV watching schedule, the iTV makes no monetary sense. The numbers just don't add up, it would be lunacy to buy them like that.

Another thing I hate about it is that it's so tied to a Mac. Obviously for sharing photos or something like that you'd need your Mac on. But when I'm in the other room watching TV (with no channels available since I don't have cable with iTV), and have to go boot up my Mac Pro (with 150 watts of wasted electricity) just to stream a TV show off of it that's wasting space on my computer......um why? If it had a DVR feature too, I'd get my shows, have cable (and no it wouldn't hurt Apple's iTunes TV plan because I wouldn't be buying them anyways except they may make a random sale here or there on impulse - which is a bonus on top of their initial hardware sale). Then they would get me hooked on the iTV idea and maybe in a few years when they have some type of realistic TV service/fees, they'd convert me full time. But in the meantime, they'll be loosing out on 98% of the TV watching population.

I think they're thinking WAY too ahead on this one. But they need an interim product to hook people now, and when it's truly ready for a home theater device, then they'd get us all. Otherwise it's just another dumb box taking up space with a really stupid remote with only a couple buttons (another remote to add to the pile!).
post #133 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I'm amazed that some people can actually say that they only watch two or three series a year. It's actually unbelievable.

I watch even less. Colbert Report (and the Daily Show if I get my daughter to bed early enough), Battlestar Galactica (although I'm finding the show less compelling right now), and Robot Chicken (when I both remember and can stay up that late).

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

So, you watch no news, no specials. Don't get the itch to see whats on that's different. Never check out other channels. That amazing. Such restraint!

Not restraint. Just a busy life. And the realization that, after watching TV for years and years, nothing is in fact on.

For news, I do something crazy and read feeds from AP, Reuters, NYT, the BBC, and the Guardian (UK). Plus I read alternative/independent sites like Counterpunch and listen to Democracy Now podcasts during my commute home. It's faster. I find what I want right away. I don't have to endure endless local "news breaks" covering the latest murder/car chase/apartment fire, commercials, or mind-numbing "entertainment news" or "human interest" garbage. I can also freely ignore the latest wobbles in the stock market that are treated as if they were signs from the gods. If anything interesting does manage to make it onto TV, a station's website will often post the video (not to mention the YouTube feeds). And no commercials (did I mention that?)!

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

What a limited field of interest!.

Huh? Because he sits in front of the TV less than a typical American? Maybe he paints. Or gardens. Or exercises. Or knits. Or plays with his son. Or has sex with his lover. Or reads. Is the extent of our interests now measured soley by the type and variety of TV we watch? Does being well-rounded now mean that we watch both SciFi and ESPN? (Well, people like that are often well-rounded...at least physically.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

As I said, it's unbelievable.

"There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The average American watches 4 and one half hours of Tv a night. That's from a recent NYTimes article.

The average American is also uninformed and overweight. Coincidence?

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

While you may be a Tv hermit, few others are. Watching Tv the way you would want to, would cost far more than cable would ever charge.

But he just explained that it would cost him less.

Now, it would actually cost me a bit more, but that's only because I get basic cable for "free" (with my cable modem subscription). We actually cancelled our TV subscription last year when we realized how little TV we actually watch. But when Ido watch TV, I have to endure commercials (how much is my time worth?), plus conform to the network's schedules, missing episodes, staying up late, etc. And the quality is often low (not digital).

Mel, I usually like what you have to say, but this just struck me as wildly off-base.
post #134 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribulation View Post

Totally nailed it on the head
I think the people that watch only a few shows per year, say BSG, 24, and Happy Days, would save money. Though I would be very curious to see what an average day in the life of someone like this is? Seems quite odd.

I get up at 5am and exercise. Get ready for work and help get my daughter up and ready for daycare. I get to work (high school) at 8am and teach until 4:00. Then I coach soccer until 6pm, getting home by 6:30. Cook and eat dinner. Talk with wife and child about our days, and play with daughter until 7:30-8pm. Bathe and put daughter to bed (30-60+ minutes). Talk, etc with wife or watch Colbert Report. More talking, playing games, etc (~1 hour). Wife goes to bed by 10-10:30pm. Check email/websites, and pay bills (30 minutes). Grade quizzes, tests, papers, etc. (1-2 hours if I'm lucky) and plan next day's lesson (15-30 minutes if I'm lucky). In bed by 12-1am (if I'm lucky).

Quote:
Originally Posted by tribulation View Post

How would I even know if I wanted to watch a new show without paying for it on iTunes (the 30 sec trailer or whatever it is isn't useful at all).

Word of mouth. I heard some good things about BSG, and decided to put the DVDs on my Netflix list. Watched the miniseries and season 1 in about a week. Downloaded the first few eps of season 2 (not on DVD or iTunes yet, so I BitTorrented them), and began watching the next week. We're losing interest in the show now. But have heard good things about Heroes. So that's now on our list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tribulation View Post

For people with kids, how about the hours of random Disney channel and Cartoon Network shows? That'd be a ridiculous amount of money per-episode.

Simple solution. Our daughter doesn't watch TV. She draws and paints. Plays with toys. Plays with us. We're not luddites by any means. (She loves watching DVDs (generally Pixar & Disney movies, but they're really the only game in town). And when time is short we do have Season 1 of the Muppet Show.) But we actually have fun playing and like spending time together. Call us crazy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tribulation View Post

For a normal person with an average or even below average TV watching schedule, the iTV makes no monetary sense. The numbers just don't add up, it would be lunacy to buy them like that.

Possibly. But then why do people buy DVDs of TV shows? (And most people do this in addition to paying for cable.) Are these people all lunatics?
post #135 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribulation View Post

Totally nailed it on the head
I think the people that watch only a few shows per year, say BSG, 24, and Happy Days, would save money. Though I would be very curious to see what an average day in the life of someone like this is?

Productive?

Vinea
post #136 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCQ View Post

Word of mouth. I heard some good things about BSG, and decided to put the DVDs on my Netflix list. Watched the miniseries and season 1 in about a week. Downloaded the first few eps of season 2 (not on DVD or iTunes yet, so I BitTorrented them), and began watching the next week. We're losing interest in the show now. But have heard good things about Heroes. So that's now on our list.

Apple has also offered preview or postview's of BattleStar Galactica, and the occasional "Free" content which could be expanded to get people started on a new series if Apple and the network want to and write off the expense on their taxes.
post #137 of 260
In response to the other post and the shows you watch. Here's how it would roughly add up if you got it from the iTMS:

Colbert Report [I don't watch it and don't know how many new episodes there are per month]. But it's on 4 days a week, so:
4 episodes week * 4 weeks = 16 episodes per month
$1.99 per episode = $31.84 per month
...for 1/2 hour show. Apple seems to offer a "Multi Pass" for this, but again, every time I want to watch TV, I don't want to be thinking about how much each episode costs or figuring out a package to buy it.

Battlestar Galactica
One season costs $34.99 (current price for iTMS season pass to the show, my estimation is about 20 shows total at the end of season)

Robot Chicken (only 1/2 hour per episode)
One season costs $19.99 (19 episodes total)

Grand Total for just 3 shows = $86.82


How many total hours of TV did you just buy?
Colbert = 8 hours per month (16 1/2 hour episodes)
Battlestar = 20 hours per...6 months or so since there will probably be reruns
Robot Chicken = 10 hours per 6 months or so, even rounded up [whatever their season lasts]

Total number of TV show hours you have to watch = 38 hours

And remember, these shows aren't running continuously, if you're up to date with the season, your iTV will be empty most of the time anyways since you watched the show.

So for say 6 months worth of time (which is about what a normal season lasts), you've paid $86.82. Not much money I guess, but with 4,032 hours in a 6-month period, even if you watched only 1/2 hour of TV a day - you'd be out of content within 19 days (and who wants to watch just 1/2 of a Battlestar Galactica episode at a time without even finishing up the episode?)

This is the part I don't know. What then? What do you do with your TV? Since you don't have cable, you have nothing to watch, nothing. If you add even 1 more season pass of another show, that's going to be around another $34.99 (again, just for a single season). Maybe you have like millions of iPhotos to stream that will tie up that time, I have no clue. I sure don't.
post #138 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCQ View Post

"so I BitTorrented them"

...Apple is really going to make money from you then

"Simple solution. Our daughter doesn't watch TV. She draws and paints."
My children do lots of art also, but Saturday morning cartoons are their favorite. With iTV that's out of the question.

"Possibly. But then why do people buy DVDs of TV shows? (And most people do this in addition to paying for cable.) Are these people all lunatics?"
I personally don't, but for the people that do, at least they're getting a hard copy. Most people that buy them I assume just do it more for collecting (but I have no idea).

As for missing shows, staying up late, etc etc......
That's what a DVR is for. It records them for you, whenever they're on. Keeps them on its hard drive, and lets you play them back whenever you want. With Tivo you can burn them to DVD if you choose, transfer to any other Tivo in the house, or your computer.

Obviously none of us have a clue what Apple has planned or what the original vision for the thing was. We'll all be seeing how it goes. I feel strongly that after the initial hype is over [the first round of early adopters, and probably not even all that many for this device due to its limited functionality], that it won't sell very well at all unless some major changes are done to the iTMS prices and offerings. On the other hand, I'd be more than happy to subscribe to an Apple Cable service for even $50/month if it was an all access pass. That would <almost> equal cable; but even then, not entirely. Since you would miss out on all live events, local news [which is important, not sure how you dismiss that], etc.
post #139 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blascock View Post

The appletv is just like the xbox360, because if you have windows media center or new vista you have access to all your computer's movies, pictures, etc. just like apple tv, the only difference the xbox harddrive is for the games, and the internals of the x360 are a lot more advanced and worth the price.

You really don't know what you're talking about do you?!

Why would anyone want Vista, or a MS Media Centre PC? This is an Apple forum for people who know the difference between a games console and a wireless media storage device. I would even be happy to argue your comment regarding the Xbox "internals" being more advanced than those in the Apple TV.
post #140 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribulation View Post

...Apple is really going to make money from you then

"Simple solution. Our daughter doesn't watch TV. She draws and paints."
My children do lots of art also, but Saturday morning cartoons are their favorite. With iTV that's out of the question.

"Possibly. But then why do people buy DVDs of TV shows? (And most people do this in addition to paying for cable.) Are these people all lunatics?"
I personally don't, but for the people that do, at least they're getting a hard copy. Most people that buy them I assume just do it more for collecting (but I have no idea).

As for missing shows, staying up late, etc etc......
That's what a DVR is for. It records them for you, whenever they're on. Keeps them on its hard drive, and lets you play them back whenever you want. With Tivo you can burn them to DVD if you choose, transfer to any other Tivo in the house, or your computer.

Obviously none of us have a clue what Apple has planned or what the original vision for the thing was. We'll all be seeing how it goes. I feel strongly that after the initial hype is over [the first round of early adopters, and probably not even all that many for this device due to its limited functionality], that it won't sell very well at all unless some major changes are done to the iTMS prices and offerings. On the other hand, I'd be more than happy to subscribe to an Apple Cable service for even $50/month if it was an all access pass. That would <almost> equal cable; but even then, not entirely. Since you would miss out on all live events, local news [which is important, not sure how you dismiss that], etc.

These arguments over the logic behind the ATV are absolutely ridiculous. If you are in need of 4 hours of DVR programming on your TiVo to make you happy and fulfill your entertainment requirements for the day, then the Apple TV may not be for you.

I only care to watch Heroes and Lost, and the Apple TV will deliver them to me commercial free, and without a cable subscription/tivo subscription, etc. You are also forgetting that the Apple TV is more than just a portal to recorded television. It also plays my music library, which happens to be well organized through iTunes. It plays back the thousands of pictures I have stored on my hard drive, and I can watch video podcasts as well.

As far as Saturday morning cartoons, they come free of charge over broadcast TV.
post #141 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

The absolute need of the advertising model to reign supreme in the face of subscription VOD and IPTV is IMHO questionable. If Apple is able to offer good shows at a competitive price why couldn't they become the online version of HBO? Want a movie? Buy it. Want a show? Buy it. Want to browse? Buy an episode for $2, watch the trailers, whatever. Why surf when you get just drill down and get the exact programming you want right now? Why Tivo when they're trying to stuff ads in anyhow? Plus you have to wait 15 minutes before you start watching to be able the FF through commercials.

VOD that works would kill this business model but I've been less than impressed with VOD from Comcast nor does it have all the breadth of programming on it as you might see on iTunes.

Vinea

Because there are hundreds of shows being broadcast at the same time, plus specials, sports, etc.

Apple would have to carry most of them for that to work. They would have to have free samples of each show, possibly two episodes, so that people could check them out without paying. When I was in advertising, we knew that people don't like to pay for something they aren't sure about.

That's a lot of content. What Apple has now barely scratches the surface.
post #142 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by vespr View Post

Dude, A LOT of people watch DivX. We're talking in the realms of hundreds of thousands, going into millions. It is the MP3 of video. It's obvious why Microsoft and Apple aren't supporting it on their devices, but I don't understand why. Every DVD player these days plays it. And I would buy an AppleTV alone if it did, and for that reason I'm happy to burn DivX to a re-writeable CD/DVD and play it on my HDTV.

And yes you can get 720p content online, IN DivX.

No, few people watch DivX, Dude.

In the hundreds of millions out there who watch video in the USA and Canada alone, your numbers are insignificent.

If you use worldwide numbers, it rises to billions. DivX is a mere dustmote in the air between the viewer and their content. Few people beyond those who are more techinicial even know about Divx.
post #143 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcoop25 View Post

These arguments over the logic behind the ATV are absolutely ridiculous. If you are in need of 4 hours of DVR programming on your TiVo to make you happy and fulfill your entertainment requirements for the day, then the Apple TV may not be for you.

I only care to watch Heroes and Lost, and the Apple TV will deliver them to me commercial free, and without a cable subscription/tivo subscription, etc. You are also forgetting that the Apple TV is more than just a portal to recorded television. It also plays my music library, which happens to be well organized through iTunes. It plays back the thousands of pictures I have stored on my hard drive, and I can watch video podcasts as well.

As far as Saturday morning cartoons, they come free of charge over broadcast TV.

In your case, why not get a free Tivo? Pay $12.95 per month for the Tivo service, and use your broadcast/antenna cable - the Tivo box is free. $12.95 * 12 (a year of service) = $155.40.
Apple TV is $299.00. You'd be saving $155.40!
Plus, then you can record anything on any of your free channels, at anytime. Including Heros and Lost, and thousands of others. Is a quick fast forward on a Tivo really that big of a deal? It's not like you have to sit there and watch the commercials?!

BTW: Did you know Tivo's can also listen to your iTunes library, view your iPhotos, check live traffic, weather, listen to any internet radio station, listen to any podcast, play a few games, get movie listings (and even buy movie tickets), view yahoo photos, schedule remote recording of any show from any computer that's online, and tons more. They even have a developer SDK available.

With free downloadable addons, you can even add stock quotes, weather radar, live sports scores, and even instant messaging.

So why wouldn't I just want a Tivo? [I have 2]. Because Apple could do it so much nicer, more integrated, and Apple-ized. I'm not saying the current iTV offering aren't neat. They are, just not by themselves. They could easily open the product up to an enormous market by adding that one simple functionality to it; and they would loose nothing. People that aren't using iTMS yet, that would only with an iTV are most likely small. The chance of hooking new people to the service if they had the option (while using it as a useful DVR) however, is great. Add in a web browser, email client, IM client even, and I might get it just for that.
post #144 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCQ View Post

I watch even less. Colbert Report (and the Daily Show if I get my daughter to bed early enough), Battlestar Galactica (although I'm finding the show less compelling right now), and Robot Chicken (when I both remember and can stay up that late).

Not restraint. Just a busy life. And the realization that, after watching TV for years and years, nothing is in fact on.

For news, I do something crazy and read feeds from AP, Reuters, NYT, the BBC, and the Guardian (UK). Plus I read alternative/independent sites like Counterpunch and listen to Democracy Now podcasts during my commute home. It's faster. I find what I want right away. I don't have to endure endless local "news breaks" covering the latest murder/car chase/apartment fire, commercials, or mind-numbing "entertainment news" or "human interest" garbage. I can also freely ignore the latest wobbles in the stock market that are treated as if they were signs from the gods. If anything interesting does manage to make it onto TV, a station's website will often post the video (not to mention the YouTube feeds). And no commercials (did I mention that?)!



Huh? Because he sits in front of the TV less than a typical American? Maybe he paints. Or gardens. Or exercises. Or knits. Or plays with his son. Or has sex with his lover. Or reads. Is the extent of our interests now measured soley by the type and variety of TV we watch? Does being well-rounded now mean that we watch both SciFi and ESPN? (Well, people like that are often well-rounded...at least physically.)

"There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

The average American is also uninformed and overweight. Coincidence?

But he just explained that it would cost him less.

Now, it would actually cost me a bit more, but that's only because I get basic cable for "free" (with my cable modem subscription). We actually cancelled our TV subscription last year when we realized how little TV we actually watch. But when Ido watch TV, I have to endure commercials (how much is my time worth?), plus conform to the network's schedules, missing episodes, staying up late, etc. And the quality is often low (not digital).

Mel, I usually like what you have to say, but this just struck me as wildly off-base.

What I said isn't off base. It's simply the facts of life. People who watch such little Tv are very unusual. I'm not commenting on the quality of life they may have, though not watching Tv doesn't mean that they are doing anything worthwhile either. They could be spending their hours in strip joints for all I know, or in a bar. Or they could be teaching others how to do something worthwhile, or helping out in a nursing home. I don't know, and it doesn't matter.

Most people DO spend that amount of time in front of their Tv, and it isn't just in the US either.

When we are talking about an economic model, that's what we have to think about.

I have a friend who has no Tv at home, and only listens to opera, and only allowed his daughter to listen to opera. I have nothing against opera. I have had seasons tickets at the MET for almost 30 years. But, I think that was too much for him to do. When his daughter graduated high school and went off to college, she said that she would never listen to another opera the rest of her life.

I won't restrict my daughter's interests that way.

I suspect that most people who feel so determined to watch only a couple of shows aren't married, and have no kids.

But then, my mailman has no computer, and has no intention of getting one, even though his kids have begged him for one.

I know that it would cost HIM less. I was saying that to have everyone else buy shows rather than to be able to watch them with commercials, if they would prefer to do so, would cost THEM far more, because most people watch a dozen or more shows, plus everything else I mentioned, while he only watches three.
post #145 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Productive?

Vinea

That's an assumption.
post #146 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribulation View Post

In your case, why not get a free Tivo? Pay $12.95 per month for the Tivo service, and use your broadcast/antenna cable - the Tivo box is free. $12.95 * 12 (a year of service) = $155.40.
Apple TV is $299.00. You'd be saving $155.40!
Plus, then you can record anything on any of your free channels, at anytime. Including Heros and Lost, and thousands of others. Is a quick fast forward on a Tivo really that big of a deal? It's not like you have to sit there and watch the commercials?!

BTW: Did you know Tivo's can also listen to your iTunes library, view your iPhotos, check live traffic, weather, listen to any internet radio station, listen to any podcast, play a few games, get movie listings (and even buy movie tickets), view yahoo photos, schedule remote recording of any show from any computer that's online, and tons more. They even have a developer SDK available.

With free downloadable addons, you can even add stock quotes, weather radar, live sports scores, and even instant messaging.

So why wouldn't I just want a Tivo? [I have 2]. Because Apple could do it so much nicer, more integrated, and Apple-ized. I'm not saying the current iTV offering aren't neat. They are, just not by themselves. They could easily open the product up to an enormous market by adding that one simple functionality to it; and they would loose nothing. People that aren't using iTMS yet, that would only with an iTV are most likely small. The chance of hooking new people to the service if they had the option (while using it as a useful DVR) however, is great. Add in a web browser, email client, IM client even, and I might get it just for that.

Well, I honestly plan on owning my Apple TV for more than one year, so it really isn't saving me $150. Its obvious that there is plenty of arguments proving that the TiVo is more economical. You could use the same reasoning for the iPod as well as any Apple product for that matter, as there is always a cheaper alternative. What I am paying for is ease of use. I also don't like the idea of being forced to pay monthly fees for a service if at all possible. When summer finally rolls around in Minnesota, I can honestly say that I won't be spending even 1 hour in front of the TV a week, and it will be nice to not be paying $15 a month to TiVo.

Honest question because I have no idea, does TiVo pull your playlists, etc. off of iTunes....also, does it play AAC? I thought it didn't. About all that weather, and news stuff, I have a Wii for that!
post #147 of 260
If nothing else, this whole thing will make for some interesting census statistics
Only Apple users would be this passionate about a device. Says much about their community and I respect both sides of the argument and see why the iTV will be good for some and not for some. From my point of view though, I just have a strong feeling that they are going after a market that doesn't exist in the numbers they are hoping for [though they have a ridiculous amount of market research to back it up I'm sure, I'm very curious to see how it plays out in the real world]
post #148 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcoop25 View Post

Well, I honestly plan on owning my Apple TV for more than one year, so it really isn't saving me $150. Its obvious that there is plenty of arguments proving that the TiVo is more economical. You could use the same reasoning for the iPod as well as any Apple product for that matter, as there is always a cheaper alternative. What I am paying for is ease of use. I also don't like the idea of being forced to pay monthly fees for a service if at all possible. When summer finally rolls around in Minnesota, I can honestly say that I won't be spending even 1 hour in front of the TV a week, and it will be nice to not be paying $15 a month to TiVo.

Honest question because I have no idea, does TiVo pull your playlists, etc. off of iTunes....also, does it play AAC? I thought it didn't. About all that weather, and news stuff, I have a Wii for that!

You still get to keep the Tivo box after the year, it's yours. They just want to be sure they make at least a year's worth of service from you. From then on, if you have free cable/air you can record it. I guess I'm at the opposite end, I'd much rather pay a fixed monthly fee rather than a per-episode charge which I think I would run into trouble with really quick - the fact of just racking up charges left and right scares me. I like not having to think about changing the channel or show.

Yes the Tivo does pull your playlists off of iTunes, for me it's worked perfectly. For AAC, no - you are stuck there. I have everything in MP3 format anyways, but for iTMS purchases it wouldn't work [again, why I wish Apple would make the ultimate killer box to give us the best of both worlds]. I don't have a Wii, but would be neat
I honestly don't even use the majority of the features I mentioned, though I'm sure some people do. The weather and traffic are nice, as are the movie times. I would LOVE the ability to go the web with a full on Safari-lite though, and a nice email client that keeps everything synced. I'd totally pay for that alone, in fact I wish they'd focussed on that instead of what they have now. Unless of course they will have it in the final release, who knows? If the iPhone gets it on a 3" screen, shouldn't a TV?
post #149 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpinDrift View Post

You really don't know what you're talking about do you?!

Why would anyone want Vista, or a MS Media Centre PC? This is an Apple forum for people who know the difference between a games console and a wireless media storage device. I would even be happy to argue your comment regarding the Xbox "internals" being more advanced than those in the Apple TV.

You are right. This IS an Apple forum.

But Apple is not selling this product to Apple computer owners, they are selling it to everyone who has a computer.

At last check, 95% of people had Windows computers.

Apple has figured this into their business model, as they later did with the iPod, and iTunes. Therefore, is it very important how Windows users will react to this. Much more important than how Mac users will.

In fact, if not even one Mac user bought this product, but just 1% of Windows users did per year, Apple would sell 6.5 million of these devices within the US this year alone. That would be much more than they need to sell to make their numbers, and make this a very successful product.

Mac users have to stop being so parochial.

If we want this product to be a success for Apple, even if we personally may not feel a need for it, but most specially if we do, then its success in the Windows world is paramount.

Many of Apple's new products over the coming years will depend more on non Apple users accepting it, than Apple users.

Get used to it!
post #150 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcoop25 View Post

Well, I honestly plan on owning my Apple TV for more than one year, so it really isn't saving me $150. Its obvious that there is plenty of arguments proving that the TiVo is more economical. You could use the same reasoning for the iPod as well as any Apple product for that matter, as there is always a cheaper alternative.

One difference is that it's trivial to get non-iTunes music into the iPod. It accepted the dominant audio format, as well as Apple's prefered format, aTV doesn't do that so much. I don't think it would be where it is now if they pulled a Sony on the iPod and only played their single preferred format. Most music on an iPod doesn't come from iTunes.

Getting video into the aTV is a lot more costly, either in money to Apple or CPU cycles to transcode existing video, be it MPEG, MPEG-2, AVI to something aTV will bother to play. Transcoding or importing audio wasn't nearly so hard.

Quote:
I also don't like the idea of being forced to pay monthly fees for a service if at all possible. When summer finally rolls around in Minnesota, I can honestly say that I won't be spending even 1 hour in front of the TV a week, and it will be nice to not be paying $15 a month to TiVo.

I'm pretty sure you can pay up-front, at least they used to offer that as opposed to a monthly fee. That service fee allows them to cut the price to subsidize the hardware, so that's why it is important to figure all the costs in.
post #151 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribulation View Post

You still get to keep the Tivo box after the year, it's yours. They just want to be sure they make at least a year's worth of service from you. From then on, if you have free cable/air you can record it. I guess I'm at the opposite end, I'd much rather pay a fixed monthly fee rather than a per-episode charge which I think I would run into trouble with really quick - the fact of just racking up charges left and right scares me. I like not having to think about changing the channel or show.

Yes the Tivo does pull your playlists off of iTunes, for me it's worked perfectly. For AAC, no - you are stuck there. I have everything in MP3 format anyways, but for iTMS purchases it wouldn't work [again, why I wish Apple would make the ultimate killer box to give us the best of both worlds]. I don't have a Wii, but would be neat
I honestly don't even use the majority of the features I mentioned, though I'm sure some people do. The weather and traffic are nice, as are the movie times. I would LOVE the ability to go the web with a full on Safari-lite though, and a nice email client that keeps everything synced. I'd totally pay for that alone, in fact I wish they'd focussed on that instead of what they have now. Unless of course they will have it in the final release, who knows? If the iPhone gets it on a 3" screen, shouldn't a TV?

Since the HD Tivo costs $800, people would get pretty pissed if they couldn't keep it. Of course they can.
post #152 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

You aren't average, which should please you.

But you don't make up much of a customer base since you are so far off from average. Therefore, your demographic will be ignored when companies think about how they are going to do this.

It's like the way they rate programs. If they are popular with the 18 to 48 year old male, then they are doing just fine. Well, I am a 57 year old male with more money to spend than most 18 to 48 years olds. But, my needs aren't as important to the Tv programmers, because they believe that most 57 year olds don't spend as much on what they want to advertise.

I honestly don't think you have a clue as to what you are talking about. He said he watches broadcast network programming for free over the air. Nearly all of the top 100 series programs are available that way. At best there are sometimes 2-4 cable programs that manage to get into the 80-100 spots. Outside of a handful of cable series (and we're talking about less than ten), cable sports, and stuff for children on Disney, Nickelodeon and ABC Family Channel, almost none of the rest of cable programming has any serious viewership.

The same is basically true for me as well. The only non-broadcast network programs I watch are probably Battlestar Galactica and South Park.

Unfortunately, the Apple TV is still an overpriced, underpowered piece of hardware that I won't be buying. It's too bad Apple didn't get it right the first time, because I was excited about it right up until they announced it.
post #153 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post

I honestly don't think you have a clue as to what you are talking about. He said he watches broadcast network programming for free over the air. Nearly all of the top 100 series programs are available that way. At best there are sometimes 2-4 cable programs that manage to get into the 80-100 spots. Outside of a handful of cable series (and we're talking about less than ten), cable sports, and stuff for children on Disney, Nickelodeon and ABC Family Channel, almost none of the rest of cable programming has any serious viewership.

The same is basically true for me as well. The only non-broadcast network programs I watch are probably Battlestar Galactica and South Park.

Unfortunately, the Apple TV is still an overpriced, underpowered piece of hardware that I won't be buying. It's too bad Apple didn't get it right the first time, because I was excited about it right up until they announced it.

If you think that, then you aren't paying attention.

It's not what he does, but what he WOULD do.
post #154 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

One difference is that it's trivial to get non-iTunes music into the iPod. It accepted the dominant audio format, as well as Apple's prefered format, aTV doesn't do that so much. Most music on the typical iPod didn't come from iTunes. I don't think it would be where it is now if they pulled a Sony and only played their single preferred format.

Getting video into the aTV is a lot more costly, either in money to Apple or CPU cycles to transcode existing video, be it MPEG, MPEG-2, AVI to something aTV will bother to play. Transcoding or importing audio wasn't nearly so hard.



I'm pretty sure you can pay up-front, at least they used to offer that as opposed to a monthly fee. That service fee allows them to cut the price to subsidize the hardware, so that's why it is important to figure all the costs in.

You missed my point. You can buy thousands of other media players that play more formats than the iPod for a fraction of the price, but they don't have the ease of use. you can buy many other laptops for a fraction of the price of a macbook, but they don't have the experience of a mac. The reason the iPod is so successful is because of its ease of use and visual appeal. This is the same as the Apple TV....lots of other options to choose from that are a fraction of the price.

I agree that getting video onto the Apple TV is going to be more of a pain in the ass than the iPod, but mediafork and others are making this easy. Also, if the ATV catches on, you can expect ATV formatted videos to start popping up all over torrent sites (not that I would download them)

As far as TiVo, if you want to use it, you have to pay a monthly fee. They used to have an up front $300 lifetime membership, but I think they got rid of it (I may be wrong). Its like a cell phone, you can get the old crappy phones for free, but you still have to pay a monthly fee, and if you want the good phones, you pay more for them and still have to pay a monthly fee.
post #155 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post

Nearly all of the top 100 series programs are available that way.

Which is why it would be "free" with an iTV DVR. You could record them at any time of the day/night, and watch whenever. I do this in my house on 2 tivos that don't have digital boxes, just plain old cable into the box and it records perfectly. When I can get them for free, why would anyone pay for them through iTMS? Most people that know better wouldn't. Though they might buy other things that they *can't* get on their basic cable, which is where Apple would have the chance to make money, branding, and hook them. But since they'll never make it into these homes in the first place (since anyone who knows this has a DVR to get it for basically free), Apple will never get the chance to pitch anything of this, in essence making $0 instead of ongoing $some.
post #156 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcoop25 View Post

As far as TiVo, if you want to use it, you have to pay a monthly fee. They used to have an up front $300 lifetime membership, but I think they got rid of it (I may be wrong). Its like a cell phone, you can get the old crappy phones for free, but you still have to pay a monthly fee, and if you want the good phones, you pay more for them and still have to pay a monthly fee.

I'm pretty sure they did cut the lifetime subscription part on Tivos. But $13/month for tivo gets you everything you can get on basic cable (recorded for you at anytime and kept to watch anytime). $13 worth of iTV/iTMS TV shows gets you about 6 1/2 episodes of something. That's it. I'd rather have it all personally, how can you beat that?
post #157 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

What I said isn't off base.

I wasn't disputing the facts. 4.5 hours is about right, if my students are anything to judge by. And they don't watch nearly as much TV as their parents. I was critiquing your sarcasm and incredulity at his statement that he only watches a few shows a year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I have a friend who has no Tv at home, and only listens to opera, and only allowed his daughter to listen to opera. I have nothing against opera. I have had seasons tickets at the MET for almost 30 years. But, I think that was too much for him to do. When his daughter graduated high school and went off to college, she said that she would never listen to another opera the rest of her life.

I won't restrict my daughter's interests that way.

You have permission to beat me senseless with a blunt instrument if I ever do that. I don't know when my daughter will start watching TV (and as I said, she does watch movies). But I do know I will encourage her to do other things. Hopefully by example more than anything else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I suspect that most people who feel so determined to watch only a couple of shows aren't married, and have no kids.

Married for 9 years. My daughter is 3-1/2 and we're expecting a son next month. And it's not about being "determined" only to watch a few shows. Look at my schedule above. Who has time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I was saying that to have everyone else buy shows rather than to be able to watch them with commercials, if they would prefer to do so, would cost THEM far more, because most people watch a dozen or more shows, plus everything else I mentioned, while he only watches three.

I'm actually not a proponent of the @TV right now, or of Apple's video media/iTS strategy. I think $2 a pop is entirely too expensive for a single episode of a show, especially considering the lack of portability (e.g., can't burn your own disks and watch in the old family truckster). But this strategy is dictated more by the demands of money-grubbing studios than of Apple itself.

Of course, for someone who watches a gagillion hours of TV--like the typical American--the iTS is not an ideal solution. (I think it is a good thing for music; though I would like a higher bit-rate encoding, I think the flexibility of buying per-song, its cheaper prices relative to a CD, and portability options (iPod, CD, or re-encode to MP3, WAV, etc.) outweight that right now.)

But maybe we should stop thinking of the competition for iTS as broadcast subscriptions, but TV-on-DVD sales.
post #158 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribulation View Post

I'm pretty sure they did cut the lifetime subscription part on Tivos. But $13/month for tivo gets you everything you can get on basic cable (recorded for you at anytime and kept to watch anytime). $13 worth of iTV/iTMS TV shows gets you about 6 1/2 episodes of something. That's it. I'd rather have it all personally, how can you beat that?

That is 13 dollars a month for Tivo. Where I live, you need to add at least another 30 dollars a month for basic cable. $43 a month worth of iTMS TV shows is more than I would watch anyway.
post #159 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcoop25 View Post

That is 13 dollars a month for Tivo. Where I live, you need to add at least another 30 dollars a month for basic cable. $43 a month worth of iTMS TV shows is more than I would watch anyway.

You can grab most network channels over analog cable connections or via antenna (even HD). So it's just the Tivo fee, that's all.

[updated]
Also I believe in the UK and possibly much more of Europe [maybe even more] has much more extensive free over-the-air broadcast standards. In the US I think that all major networks are mandated to broadcast OTA for free, now even in HD. So that would cover most of the major popular shows.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the iTV is completely pointless. It just seems half-a** to me. Doesn't seem like a product that benefits the consumer, being instead just a pure forced revenue source for Apple. Of course they're in it for the money like any business. But there is a fine line between useful/profitable vs extremely limited/profitable. In the iTV case I think it is just a very straightforward direct revenue stream for Apple to force you into buying their own shows. The only other option is to not use it at all, since it's a one-feature-wonder box. For me, it's not to use it at all I guess.
post #160 of 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

PS: only wish is that there will be a way to play my AVIs, even it means I have to create a simple Reference Movie with QT Pro and then importing that file into iTunes.

I'd like MPEG-2 compatibility.
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