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Apple fit with early lead in "digital living room"

post #1 of 176
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While some investors may question Apple's ability to carry its lead in music into the digital living room with Apple TV, researchers at PiperJaffray & Co believe the iPod maker is entering the market with a tenfold edge over its closest competitor.

"We believe iTunes is a trojan horse media center, which will give Apple a significant early lead in the digital living room," Sr. Analyst Gene Munster told clients in research report on Friday.

Although the Cupertino-based company does not disclose its iTunes user base statistics, Munster estimated that there are at least 110 million users of the digital jukebox software which will combine to represent the preliminary addressable market for Apple TV.

By comparison, the analyst said the closest Windows-based product is Windows Media Center with an estimated 23 million Media Center-enabled PCs in the market. However, he said there appear to be only about 12 million actual Media Center users.

"In other words, Apple has a 10x headstart in the digital living room," he wrote.

PiperJaffray believes the digital living room could emerge into $4.7 billion business by 2008 if Apple is able to maintain its 70 percent share of the digital music market and one in ten iTunes users buys an Apple TV that year.One of the device's strongest selling points is expected to be the simplicity it offers consumers looking to view their iTunes content on a living room television set.

"The product answers a problem many users don't even know they have," Munster said. "Viewing downloaded content on a TV is presently too difficult for the average iTunes user. But with AppleTV, the connection with iTunes is made automatically and all of the setup takes place in the familiar iTunes environment."



On that chord, the analyst said he believes the adoption of Apple TV will arrive in three phases, starting with tech-savvy iTunes users who have pre-ordered the device and expanding over the next six months to iTunes users with large media libraries.

Looking into the longer term, Munster eventually expects that Apple TV will blossom into the de-facto standard for the widespread adoption of digital movies in the living room, helped along the way by incremental additions to the iTunes movie catalog.

"With the proliferation of digital video content, the adoption curve for the AppleTV will become steeper," he wrote.

iTunes has seen a surprisingly quick start to its video sales that supports the confident stance, according to recent statistics. Over 50 million TV shows and 1.3 million movies have been purchased from the online store since it first began selling video in October 2005.

Up close and personal: Apple TV photos from Macworld.

In his report, Munster was also careful to calm fears that the $299 price of Apple TV would scare away shoppers, who are used to receiving Windows Media Center being factored into the cost of a new PC. A media hub such as Apple's may be more expensive, he said, but owners also expect more value to come out of using dedicated hardware than they do a software bundle tied to a computer.

"Media Center is often looked at as a throw-in," the analyst commented, having been convinced that Apple could ultimately make a more compelling argument by feeding into customer expectations of where and when they can watch their content. The need for a traditional computer is also on the decline.

"Apple is betting on people wanting to watch video content on their televisions rather than their computer screens," Munster added. "We believe [that] is a strategy that consumers will prefer as the computer and the TV slowly converge."
post #2 of 176
I'm going to buy an ?tv but I have my doubts that downloadable movies are a replacement for DVR.

I'm most interested in the Audio and Photo playback abilities. I do agree that most MCE edition PCs aren't used in that fashion. My gf has a MCE Laptop and she doesn't have a clue about what it could do.
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post #3 of 176
Can Apple make a dent in the home video industry with a device that cannot playback surround sound audio?
post #4 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by filburt View Post

Can Apple make a dent in the home video industry with a device that cannot playback surround sound audio?

Isn't that what the TOSLINK output is for?

Edit: Oh, there were some problems with QuickTime and output of surround on optical, were there not?
post #5 of 176
Gene Munster is clueless. Apple needs to do "four" things to take the digital living room:

1. iTunes TV Show subscription service with some free live content (not including Podcasts, YouTube or Google video, I'm talking news)
2. Make Apple TV connect directly to the internet without the need for a computer.
3. Make Apple TV with bigger hard drive.
4. Manufacturer actual TV's with built-in Apple TV.
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post #6 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zandros View Post

Isn't that what the TOSLINK output is for?

Edit: Oh, there were some problems with QuickTime and output of surround on optical, were there not?

Nope. Apple TV only does stereo. It can therefore do Dolby Pro-Logic surround sound, as the surround-sound info is embedded in the stereo signal.

I'm pretty dumbfounded that the ATV doesn't do proper 5.1/6.1 surround sound, or natively decode MPEG-2. If the ATV supported AC3, DTS, MPEG-2 and DVD's CSS copy-protection system (all of which are easily technically achievable), Apple would be able to provide a solution to watching ripped DVDs from your computer without them contravening the DMCA.

iTunes could just copy the data from DVDs, with the CSS and region coding etc. still in tact, then stream that info to the ATV which would de-scramble the content, decode it, and show it on your TV.

As it stands, users in America who want to watch their own legally-purchased DVD content via an ATV would have to risk breaking the law (I believe removing CSS for personal use purposes still hasn't been tested in court) by ripping the content to disk, removing CSS, converting the video to MPEG-4 (losing quality) and the audio to Stereo AAC or MP3 (again losing quality).

I honestly can't believe the ATV sucks so badly and hardly anyone's noticed.
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post #7 of 176
This article is about right.
post #8 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


I honestly can't believe the ATV sucks so badly and hardly anyone's noticed.

Well, I guess the people who have ordered it are not buying it to watch DVDs streamed from their computers... Most of us do have DVD players already!

Furthermore, there are millions of us who never had "proper 5.1/6.1" sound. For those of us, this will not be a step down at all.

I don't doubt that Apple will offer better sound output some day, but many of us don't see it as an earth shattering omission.

My biggest problem is still content. Like hmurchison said, if I got it now, it would be for photos and iTunes streaming. Course, at $300 I don't see that happening. I would do it in a heartbeat, however, with a near DVD quality movie rental/streaming service. I like Netflicks fine (I hate Blockbuster) but I would drop them in a sec for this. $10 a movie will not fly for me--not for casual watching.

I am intrigued, but I will just wait and see for now...
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post #9 of 176
AppleTV only needs one thing to be a success - good ol' American porn.

If we look back on VHS vs. Betamax, porn was available on VHS but not Betamax. If we look at the earliest success of media and the net, it was porn.

My guess is that there are a large number of people who would also love to watch their internet porn on their TV and many would purchase an AppleTV to do so (although I doubt many would admit this). Look at how many TV shows and movies have been downloaded from iTunes. These statistics are nothing compared to the amount of porn consumed over the internet.

Apple, as a fortune 500 company can't get distribute porn? The large hotel chains do and no one seems to care. I also don't think that we would see the DRM issue from the porn studios (if we can call them that) - my gut feeling is that most of us wouldn't admit to consuming porn, let alone sharing it with our friends.
post #10 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Well, I guess the people who have ordered it are not buying it to watch DVDs streamed from their computers... Most of us do have DVD players already!

But do a lot of people not also have a CD player and yet have all their CDs ripped to iTunes?

This is what is so frustrating about the AppleTV - all the technology (hardware wise) is right there for iTunes + AppleTV to do for video from DVD what iTunes + iPod did for music from CD, and yet Apple is not doing it.

Imagine a small, low power server with large storage capacity hidden away somewhere, that has all the household's music and video content, most ripped from CD and DVD and some bought from iTunes, stored on it, that can then share that content to clients around the house - e.g. Airport Express or Roku Soundbridge for music, AppleTV for music and video, or computers running iTunes for music and video.
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post #11 of 176
Whatever... I think my TiVo's place in my living room is safe.
post #12 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Gene Munster is clueless. Apple needs to do "four" things to take the digital living room:

1. iTunes TV Show subscription service with some free live content (not including Podcasts, YouTube or Google video, I'm talking news)
2. Make Apple TV connect directly to the internet without the need for a computer.
3. Make Apple TV with bigger hard drive.
4. Manufacturer actual TV's with built-in Apple TV.

The AppleTV to be ubiquitous has to be industry compliant and not give a crap about the output device. Apple should not make a Television for it.

There is always an external drive option.

Freelive content is up to the producers of such content. Apple is not a Broadcasting Company that produces Film/TV.

Google Video for AppleTV ala .Mac where people can upload and vend their AppleTUBE broadcasts is an interesting idea and somehow I imagine Apple would put uploading such content on a staging system. If the content isn't ripped from other copyrighted material and is proven to be yours then I can see it happening. Otherwise, Apple will wait for Google to either go down in flames with Viacom to get that gutsy.
post #13 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

The AppleTV to be ubiquitous has to be industry compliant and not give a crap about the output device. Apple should not make a Television for it..

You don't really get it, I'm not talking about a TV for Apple TV.. I'm talking an Apple TV that is a TV, as in a TV screen with a built-in Apple TV box - a TV from Apple with a 250GB hard drive, a slot load DVD drive and wireless Apple TV-like connection.
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post #14 of 176
As a first gen machine the AppleTV is about right.

Most people are going to use it to play audio through the TV and speakers.

A second gen machine should address more demanding options.
post #15 of 176
<On that chord, the analyst said he believes the adoption of Apple TV will arrive in three phases, starting with tech-savvy iTunes users who have pre-ordered the device and expanding over the next six months to iTunes users with large media libraries.>

Tech savvy iTunes users or just plain tech savvy computer users in general did not pre-order this device, as they have already configured a way to view their iTunes and other media on their TVs.

This is just more proof that analysts are idiots.
post #16 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Gene Munster is clueless. Apple needs to do "four" things to take the digital living room:

1. iTunes TV Show subscription service with some free live content (not including Podcasts, YouTube or Google video, I'm talking news)
2. Make Apple TV connect directly to the internet without the need for a computer.
3. Make Apple TV with bigger hard drive.
4. Manufacturer actual TV's with built-in Apple TV.

You hit the nail on the head perfectly. Youtube/googlevid type stuff is crap. Nothing worthwhile besides a few minutes of laughter twice a year. No real content of value whatsoever. I've already said in previous statements how pointless I think the iTV is at this stage so I won't go into it again [hence no DVR type support, no point to having it in my living room. I'm not going to pay $2-$10 for a TV show that I can get on my cable for free. And yes my cable service fee is being factored into this as "free" because unless there is massive free content or an AppleCable-type subscription service with hundreds of live channel/feeds, there's no way I could cancel my cable tv service]. 3 shows at $3.00 each or whatever just isn't going to cut it. What a total waste of money.
post #17 of 176
With estimates of 110 million iTunes users, if Apple is able to gain just 10% of that market the first year then this is significant. Heck even 5% of that market would make this a success.
post #18 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribulation View Post

I've already said in previous statements how pointless I think the iTV is at this stage so I won't go into it again [hence no DVR type support, no point to having it in my living room.

The AppleTV has "DVR type support".

EyeTV/Migilia hardware connected to Mac; encode in H.264; auto-load into iTunes when complete; available via AppleTV. Using your Mac as a DVR is cheaper than buying TiVo/subscription or renting DVR from your cable company, and comes with many many other benefits.
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post #19 of 176
im going to agree here and say that porn really will help this alot. It'll provide a very easy solution to watching porn on some really good screens and if I had to pick watching porn on my 12'' iBook or my 32'' Sony Bravia I'm going to pick my sony bravia as long as i have a lock on my door and can keep the volume at a...personal level.
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post #20 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Nope. Apple TV only does stereo. It can therefore do Dolby Pro-Logic surround sound, as the surround-sound info is embedded in the stereo signal.

I'm pretty dumbfounded that the ATV doesn't do proper 5.1/6.1 surround sound, or natively decode MPEG-2. If the ATV supported AC3, DTS, MPEG-2 and DVD's CSS copy-protection system (all of which are easily technically achievable), Apple would be able to provide a solution to watching ripped DVDs from your computer without them contravening the DMCA.

iTunes could just copy the data from DVDs, with the CSS and region coding etc. still in tact, then stream that info to the ATV which would de-scramble the content, decode it, and show it on your TV.

As it stands, users in America who want to watch their own legally-purchased DVD content via an ATV would have to risk breaking the law (I believe removing CSS for personal use purposes still hasn't been tested in court) by ripping the content to disk, removing CSS, converting the video to MPEG-4 (losing quality) and the audio to Stereo AAC or MP3 (again losing quality).

I honestly can't believe the ATV sucks so badly and hardly anyone's noticed.

will police come to each ATV users' home and check?
post #21 of 176
The $299 itself wouldn't scare me away. The $299 for almost DVD quality when I already have DVD quality along with 5.1 surround sound would scare me away. Buying media offered by only one company on a device offered by only one company scares me. What would I do with the movie if Apple ever discontinued Appletv?
post #22 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

Well, I guess the people who have ordered it are not buying it to watch DVDs streamed from their computers... Most of us do have DVD players already!


Yep and you hit the nail on the head.... This is just one (of the many) problems people have (or will have) with the AppleTV.

Lets look at what "most of us have" (those that have better than average TVs)

- HDTV and/or some other quality device that has component video input or better.
- Cable TV or Satellite TV set top box (providing HD programming)
- DVD Player, maybe an up-converting unit or perhaps even a Blu-ray or HD-DVD
- XBox 360 or PS3 (quite a few I'll bet)
- Maybe a TiVO 3

How many component inputs does most of our 'better quality' TVs have? 1 maybe 2...
How many HDMI inputs does most of our 'better quality' TVs have? None to 1 perhaps if its really new it'll have 2...

Sorry but AppleTV (IMHO) will easily get pushed out when it comes time to decide what gets connected to the TV....

If it perhaps REPLACED the TiVO then MAYBE it would have a chance
If it perhaps REPLACED the DVD player then MAYBE it would have a chance

The way it stands AppleTV just isn't going to find a home in most family rooms.... not until people start buying tvs that have half a dozen HDMI or component inputs...


Dave
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post #23 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by pt123 View Post

The $299 itself wouldn't scare me away. The $299 for almost DVD quality when I already have DVD quality along with 5.1 surround sound would scare me away. Buying media offered by only one company on a device offered by only one company scares me. What would I do with the movie if Apple ever discontinued Appletv?

1) it's highly unlikey that Apple would up and stop supporting your Protected H.264 and AAC content.

2) What do think will happen to your movie if Apple ever discontinued AppleTV? It will still be your movie, your AppleTV will still be your AppleTV.
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post #24 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The AppleTV has "DVR type support".

EyeTV/Migilia hardware connected to Mac; encode in H.264; auto-load into iTunes when complete; available via AppleTV. Using your Mac as a DVR is cheaper than buying TiVo/subscription or renting DVR from your cable company, and comes with many many other benefits.

Spoken like someone who has never had the pleasure to use a DVR....

Nobody in their right mind would unplug the DVR they have now (tivo or whatever) and replace it with an AppleTV (oh and ANOTHER computer with an overpriced and buggy Elgato hardware & software that can ONLY record one program at a time and even if I was willing to do such a strange thing I'm still loosing out on...

PAUSING LIVE TV when the inlaws call (usually in the last 5 minutes of Hero's or Lost)

REWINDING LIVE TV when my wife says 'what did he just say?' (usually due to the fact that she was playing with the dog or cat instead of paying attention)

SPONTANEOUS recording because we wanna go out and we'll just watch the end of whatever we were watching later.

So, AppleTV has DVR support... Sorry but I don't think so... and neither will any other DVR users.

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post #25 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

If it perhaps REPLACED the TiVO then MAYBE it would have a chance
If it perhaps REPLACED the DVD player then MAYBE it would have a chance

I believe AppleTV will succeed for the reasons you mention above.

1) If AppleTV tried to replace your DVR it would fail because: One, people who want a DVR already have a TiVo or a monthly rental from their cable company. Two, Apple isn't really going after people who are using DVRs, they're going after people who want to see their iTunes compatible content on their TVs.

2) Again, Apple would lose a good deal of potential early adopters who already have a DVD, up-converting DVD, HD-DVD, or Blu-ray player. Remember, they aren't competing with, they are complimenting.

Imagine Apple trying to create multiple flavors of AppleTV that cover the various optical media types that are popular and trying to gain ground and then imagine Apple trying to make various size DVRs in them that fit various input types (I'm not even going to get into how that would negatively affect the iTS video partners), then add in the extra hardware requirements to support all this extra functionality and the price point well beyond most people's budget.

Apple has always done a great job of making an OS that is well rounded and an all-in-one computer that fits many people's needs, so perhaps we now expect this all-in-one device from a media extender... but it really makes no sense at all. As much as I'd love to have a an Apple branded TV with a built in AppleTV, Blu-ray/ucDVD drive and 2TB HDD for HD recording it just isn't practical.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

The way it stands AppleTV just isn't going to find a home in most family rooms....

Apple has no intentions to be in over 50% of homes. The iPod HiFi had it's market, and though the AppleTV's market is quuite abit larger, most is certainly not what Jobs is expecting, unless it is being compared to other media extenders.
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post #26 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

Spoken like someone who has never had the pleasure to use a DVR....

I have 5 DVRs in my home. I REALLY LIKE TV! I have a Series 2 TiVo, which I no longer subscribe to, I have two Scientic Atlanta HD-DVRs (bedroom and living room), an external Elgato DVR and one that I no longer use in a tower PC.

I mainly have the Scientific Atlanta DVRs so I CAN pause and rewind content when I'm interupted of just want to hear Melinda Doolittle sing again on American Idol. Like I said, I really like TV; she is really talented, I hope she wins.

As much as I like the convenience of my integrated dual-tuner, cable box/DVRs, it's impossible to convert the files without severly reducing the quality by outputting via composite video and stereo.

Hence my lovely Elgato HD DVR that records my favorite shows in H.264 and adds to iTunes so I can play on my iPod or computer when I travel.



PS: When Apple releases a better quality resolution Video iPod I would really like to get some of those stereo, video goggles to use while flying. i think that would just rock!.
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post #27 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The AppleTV has "DVR type support".

EyeTV/Migilia hardware connected to Mac; encode in H.264; auto-load into iTunes when complete; available via AppleTV. Using your Mac as a DVR is cheaper than buying TiVo/subscription or renting DVR from your cable company, and comes with many many other benefits.

That's not what I'm looking for, and what I was hoping the iTV would do all by itself(!)
My G5 runs wayyyy hot and sucks up enough power as it is to use it in the day, but to leave it on 24 hours a day to catch my 2am show - I'd end up paying 10x the amount on my electricity bill. Plus, what a waste of HD space. I want my iTV to do the heavy lifting, storing, and recording. Pulling a few movies or photos off my Mac would be seldom used; nice to have when it's there, but hardly a feature that I'd take as a single function.

Apple says, "Your TV is the center of your entertainment life". True. So make me a box that makes it work like the center of my life. If I'm paying $300+ for a new addition to my already cluttered home theater, it'd better do something useful. So far, streaming a few youTube movies would come in somewhere between my most unwanted feature and not wanted feature.

The more I look into the iTV, the more it's beginning to look really.......naked. It in of itself doesn't really do....anything.....I mean, if I bought a MacMini and had it set to remote desktop all the time permanently - I could access everything too; and I mean EVERYTHING. Web browsing, email, YouTube in all its glory, my porn, hell, even play full on games with it.

With the iTV in its current incarnation, it seems to only slap a really simple interface on top of (something?) and just pull a few streams of data off of your main mac, instead of a full screen-stream of your main mac. I'm slightly going off topic, but am just trying to understand who this device really makes sense for. If anything, if you buy it - you're limiting yourself.

In fact, a MacMini with an Elgato tuner, big HD, and wireless keyboard would be fantastic. They should've built *That* into the iTV. Then add the Apple UI stuff to make it extra simple. Did I just make any sense? LOL [I sure thought so]
post #28 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by filburt View Post

Can Apple make a dent in the home video industry with a device that cannot playback surround sound audio?

Most users who buy an HD TVs watch SD on it (and streched most of the time ) and don't even know it! You think they know what surround sound is?
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post #29 of 176
Its all a matter of opinion.

Personally, I think that this is just a set-top iPod. The iPod needs a computer (not necessarily iTunes if you know what you are doing) to get music, podcasts, and video on the device. It has no built in CD-Player that will allow you to rip cd's into the device, has a 30-60gb hard drive, and can also playback to the TV... even wirelessly if you want to consider its really a good old fashioned "SneakerNet" system. Price point: 300+ for video ipods, about the same as the aTV.

Really, the aTV is the same type of device, a device that Apple has had tremendous success from (and saved them from impending doom back in the day of the original PPC chips and the Performas...) Why not capitolize on the same device again? Hence, the aTV with the same lackluster features as we expected.

For those more enthusiastic people, a Mac-Mini and ElGatoTV tuner would be the replacement for the DVD player, TiVo, and aTV. just spend more than twice the cost of the aTV ($760 or so) to get this system, with the same type of interface and such.

Apple won't sell a DVR in their aTV's since it goes against their iTunes purchases, and they wouldn't put in a DVD player for the same reason.

Sadly, I won't be buying one, just upgrading my Mac-Mini which does a heck of a lot more than the aTV ever could. Pair it up with VLC, and I can even watch Windows MCE encoded videos on my mac in the living room.


The aTV is for the simple setup, an addition to your TiVo/DVD Player/Game Station. It will not replace those items for a long time.

Just my two cents.
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post #30 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by tribulation View Post

<snip>
In fact, a MacMini with an Elgato tuner, big HD, and wireless keyboard would be fantastic. They should've built *That* into the iTV. Then add the Apple UI stuff to make it extra simple. Did I just make any sense? LOL [I sure thought so]

I've truncated your post, but it's funny that almost everything you mentioned is the reason why i'm looking forward to AppleTV's arrival.

I had been using a PPC Mac mini with the Elgato DVR connected to my living room HDTV. for about a year. I had a hacked copy of FrontRow running and it was okay. It was really a pain in the ass to navigate everything with a a keyboard, and except for FrontRow, the entire interface was quite annoying to use as computer displays are not optimized to be used on a couch from 10 feet away.

I recall thinking the iPod was quite naked when it debuted as it had no FM tuner, voice recorder, or built-in can opener. I was sure it was going to fail miserably; boy, was I wrong.


PS: I really think we will start to see a lot more 720p H.264 content on torrent sites once the AppleTV takes off.
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post #31 of 176
I'm not convinced that the Apple TV can't do 5.1 sound. While there may not (yet) be content available from the iTMS encoded with digital sound, it doesn't appear to be technically impossible.

5.1 is digitally encoded, and actually can require less work from the playback device than analog audio, since the digital bit stream is output raw and de-encoded by your SS Receiver. I can see no reason that films from Apple couldn't be encoded with digital and output as such over the Fiber connection.

Someone want to explain why I'm wrong (PS-AAC and Apple Lossless would - I believe - both be able to carry the 5.1 signal in there encoding).
post #32 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Although the Cupertino-based company does not disclose its iTunes user base statistics, Munster estimated that there are at least 110 million users of the digital jukebox software which will combine to represent the preliminary addressable market for Apple TV.

By comparison, the analyst said the closest Windows-based product is Windows Media Center with an estimated 23 million Media Center-enabled PCs in the market. However, he said there appear to be only about 12 million actual Media Center users.

"In other words, Apple has a 10x headstart in the digital living room," he wrote.

"The product answers a problem many users don't even know they have," Munster said. "Viewing downloaded content on a TV is presently too difficult for the average iTunes user. But with AppleTV, the connection with iTunes is made automatically and all of the setup takes place in the familiar iTunes environment."

I find this analysis quite flawed. I don't understand how they came to the conclusion that iTunes compares to Windows Media Center. A more accurate comparison would be iTunes to Windows Media Player or Front Row Equipped Macs with Windows Media Center PCs. Either of those comparisons would quickly wipe out that "10x headstart." How can you do an analysis when you clearly don't understand the products you're talking about?

(I'd written up a lot more but my login expired before I submitted and it all went away. And I'm too tired to retype it. Suffice it so say I consider the AppleTV ultra-limited and barely worth anyone's attention at this junction unless Apple decides to release peripherals for it like a networked DVD changer or DVR module that allow for easy access of non-iTunes video content.)
post #33 of 176
Seems like anyone with a Macbook or a Macbook Pro can do everything ATV can do with a 19.99 cable. Am I missing the point of Apple TV. I've been using my MBP to watch my dowloaded TV shows and movies for several months now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Gene Munster is clueless. Apple needs to do "four" things to take the digital living room:

1. iTunes TV Show subscription service with some free live content (not including Podcasts, YouTube or Google video, I'm talking news)
2. Make Apple TV connect directly to the internet without the need for a computer.
3. Make Apple TV with bigger hard drive.
4. Manufacturer actual TV's with built-in Apple TV.
post #34 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I believe AppleTV will succeed for the reasons you mention above.

Okay, fair enough response... but I have some followup questions. (I've already written on this point a few posts back)



1. Do you plan on owning an AppleTV?

2. Where will you be installing it (what TV)?

3. What else do you already do with that TV?

and the ultimate question....

4a. How on earth are you going to explain to your wife, kids, inlaws & the family dog how to unplug (some other device and then plug-in the AppleTV.

or

4b. If you plan on getting an HDMI remote controlled switcher - how are you going to explain how to use that remote on top of the TV remote and the Cable remote and the tivo remote and the audio receiver remote...

or

4c If you plan on getting a new audio receiver that truly supports hdmi inputs (not just pass-thru like many of the current units have) how are you going to explain... etc etc etc

The truth is.... short of having a TV (with 2 HDMI inputs) and with ONLY having a need to connect a cable box and AppleTV and thats it.... every other solution is FAR FAR FAR from elegant and very UN-APPLE-LIKE.

Would it have killed them to stick in a freakin $10 dvd rom drive *and* make the effort to support 5.1 sound.... Then the AppleTV coulda taken the place of my upconverting dvd player as it stand today I simply can't justify using up a valuable HDMI connection on a $300 box that'll be relegated to play movies that are almost as expensive as a DVD contains crappy DRM (something we should be trying to kill... NOT promote!) and is of lesser quality than dvd.

Dave
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post #35 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

1. Do you plan on owning an AppleTV?

I've already pre-purchased two, though I'm giving one away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

2. Where will you be installing it (what TV)?

Living room. 42" LG HDTV. A nice value IMO and a Consumer Reports "best buy".

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

3. What else do you already do with that TV?

HD Cablebox w/ DVR (Component). Replacing Mac mini with AppleTV (DVI-to-HDMI w/optical audio). I don't recall the last time I played a DVD on there. I usually only play DVDs on my laptop while traveling. I am not a gamer but if I ever find a Nintendo Wii (Component)I'll surely hook it up out there too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

4a. How on earth are you going to explain to your wife, kids, inlaws & the family dog how to unplug (some other device and then plug-in the AppleTV.

No wife, no kids, no dog. I have a kitten and he doesn't care (personally, I regret finally getting a pet despite his cuteness).

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

4b. If you plan on getting an HDMI remote controlled switcher - how are you going to explain how to use that remote on top of the TV remote and the Cable remote and the tivo remote and the audio receiver remote...

No need. Cable box

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

4c If you plan on getting a new audio receiver that truly supports hdmi inputs (not just pass-thru like many of the current units have) how are you going to explain... etc etc etc

Since AppleTV only does 720p I'm going to use Component and move the Cablebox to HDMI even though I really see any difference between the HD analog and digital signals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

Would it have killed them to stick in a freakin $10 dvd rom drive

By the same token:

* Would it have killed Apple to add a VGA port, floppy drive, serial port to their computers?
* Would it have killed Apple to add an FM transmitter to their iPods?
* Would it have killed Apple to add a voice recorder and internal mic to their iPods?
* Would it have killed Apple to add 3G and GPS to the iPhone?

I generally see three reasons that Apple doesn't include things:

*

Old tech - regardless of it's saturation it needs to be retired.
* New tech - functionality is too costly (Blu-ray), it's not ready for seamless integration (802.11n 18 months ago) or there isn't enough usage to make it viable (HSDPA-3G in US).
* Bloat tech - adding functionality just to win some imaginary specifications contest despite not being very useful (Zune WiFi Squirting).
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

make the effort to support 5.1 sound

As mentioned by another poster in this thread, it's possible that 5.1 can be supported.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

a $300 box that'll be relegated to play movies that are almost as expensive as a DVD contains crappy DRM (something we should be trying to kill... NOT promote!) and is of lesser quality than dvd.

I have no intention of buying content from the iTS. I also have high hopes that Apple will make it possible to play my .MOV encapsulated DivX/XviD/3viD files stored in iTunes via AppleTV. I've wanted a Media Extender appliance for some time. Every review I've read says that the codec support and specs are great but the software's functionality and the hardware's ability to do what is advertised has made for many poor ratings. I think Apple has the right formula to make it work.
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post #36 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

1. Do you plan on owning an AppleTV?

2. Where will you be installing it (what TV)?

3. What else do you already do with that TV?

and the ultimate question....

4a. How on earth are you going to explain to your wife, kids, inlaws & the family dog how to unplug (some other device and then plug-in the AppleTV.

1. yes, i need to get rid of all that stereo equipment and the rack of cd's my wife has. This is a good excuse to easily play it through the home theater.

2. 52" LCD HDTV

3. Watch HD cable, HD DVD player, plug in iPod and play content (TV, SD crap) (rarely, its a PITA), and Half Life 2/Counterstrike when I want to get immersed (bootcamp Macbook Pro and plug it in).

4. Bought a HDMI switcher from Monoprice.com and a Harmony remote. Yeah, both of them added $200 to the overall cost of the system, but well worth it. Remote is configurable through USB on my Macbook Pro, 1 time set up, 1 button for Watch DVD, 1 button for Watch TV, etc. IT figures out what to do, which item(s) to turn on or off and in what order, which switch to switch. Flawless. Wife is impressed and LOVES it. Heck, I'm impressed at how easy it is. Couldn't live with a any other remote.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2 $88. Works great
or
http://www.extrememac.com/audio/av_cables/switcher.php $99. Nice look.



Anyone that buys an HDTV and spends a few bucks should probably invest in the right goodies to make it look and sound good, and make it easy to control with a decent remote that is easily configured. Otherwise, don't bother.
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post #37 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackSummerNight View Post

Seems like anyone with a Macbook or a Macbook Pro can do everything ATV can do with a 19.99 cable. Am I missing the point of Apple TV. I've been using my MBP to watch my dowloaded TV shows and movies for several months now.

Yes, you can and should. I on the other hand want to leave my macbook pro in my briefcase after work while I sit on the couch, grab the remote and sip on a cold one while perusing the latest sync'd content on the Apple TV or regular or HD TV. Its about convenience and hidden wiring that I don't have to pull out continuously. For me, that's worth the wages lost ($299) for the convenience gained. I'm very lucky to be able to buy some of these trifles which no one really needs anyway. We'd all probably be better off sitting out front of the house and meeting our neighbors while scratching the dog's fuzzy head. Moral of the story is: nobody needs this. We just want it.
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post #38 of 176
I keep skimming this thread, and keep seeing mention of TiVo, and such DVR devices. I also see a lot of mention of 5.1.

In my mind I don't think AppleTV is trying to replace DVR. If anything, it is trying to join the competition with HD-DVD and Blueray. Personally, I feel they are moving in the right direction.

We have seen with iTunes and other file sharing programs that the need for tangibility for the average user is not really there. That's why Tower Records, Coconuts, Sam Goody, etc are closing. Everyday listeners are not so in-tune with the fidelity of a recording, or the compression format of a video. They are instead focused on content, even if it's a little dirty. I mean, iTunes music store songs are degraded from original format. But this has not prevented people from making it the number one method of purchasing legal digital audio. I believe that this comes down to accessibility and usability. Apple makes an intuitive product. My mother has an iPod and rocks it hard.

It just seems to come down to market. HD-DVD / BlueRay is great for are focused on quality, and clarity. But for the vast majority of users are so frustrated that devices don't talk to each other. They hate TV remotes have more buttons than computer keyboards. Enter AppleTV, the solution for the average Joe.
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post #39 of 176
I can't help but think that "early lead in digital living room" pretty much missed the idea that many electronics in the living room have been digital for years, even decades., CD, DVD, cable, satellite and game consoles are already there. Apple's a late comer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StElmo View Post

<On that chord, the analyst said he believes the adoption of Apple TV will arrive in three phases, starting with tech-savvy iTunes users who have pre-ordered the device and expanding over the next six months to iTunes users with large media libraries.>

Tech savvy iTunes users or just plain tech savvy computer users in general did not pre-order this device, as they have already configured a way to view their iTunes and other media on their TVs.

This is just more proof that analysts are idiots.

Replace "tech-savvy" with "early adopter" and maybe they have it right. You'll probably find some people that will buy the latest little gadget because it's there and it has some amount of novelty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The AppleTV has "DVR type support".

EyeTV/Migilia hardware connected to Mac; encode in H.264; auto-load into iTunes when complete;

Yes, if you want your computer to spend 2-3 hours per hour of recorded media just doing the transcoding. The transcoding does not begin until the show is done, and the transcoded video is not entered into iTunes until the transcoding is done. You wouldn't be able to start watching it until several hours after it's been done. With a good DVR, you can play a recording a few minutes after it's begun. EyeTV software doesn't offer an option to have it automatically delete the original recording once it's been put into iTunes, which really inflates the space needed, requiring a lot of media management with two different apps and two different machines. The appleTV requires the most convoluted way media handling for faking DVR that I have seen proposed so far. The only thing worse that I can conjure is maybe a D-VHS deck and a tape handling robot, anything worse would be analog.
post #40 of 176
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

But do a lot of people not also have a CD player and yet have all their CDs ripped to iTunes?

This is what is so frustrating about the AppleTV - all the technology (hardware wise) is right there for iTunes + AppleTV to do for video from DVD what iTunes + iPod did for music from CD, and yet Apple is not doing it.

Unfortunately, I don't think Apple has any influence in those matters because the DVD is more political and legal than technical. With the right knowledge of the right programs, a person can probably set up a network streaming DVD system in a few minutes. Either fixing the laws or getting the license to stream DVD media is probably out of reach. The DVD forum isn't very accommodating of new ways of playing their format. I haven't figured out if anything happened with the legal action between the MPAA and Kaleidescape.
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