Originally Posted by Dave K.
Am I the only one who thinks the Apple TV might be a huge flop? After the initial coolest factor of Apple's newest toy is gone, I can't really see the point of this product.
- Nobody is going to cancel their Netflix/BlockBuster DVD subscription over this.
- Nobody is going to cancel their TiVo/Cable Company DVR service over this.
- I can't imagine that many iTunes users buying as much TV/Movie content as they do Music content.
- At best the iTunes/Apple TV is an awkward solution to a personal on-demand DVD center.
Even if Apple adds a DVR and rental services (and that is a very big if) will they be enough for you to cancel your membership to another service?
I just don't get it?? What I am missing?
The only thing that you are missing is that, unlike this analyst, Apple doesn't care about DVD's, so don't knock down that strawman. aTV ain't about DVD on-demand, it IS about ANYTHING ON THE INTERNET or ANYTHING ON YOUR COMPUTER to be made available on-demand - on your TV. Maybe that doesn't account for much for many people right now, but this has nothing to do with competing with NetFlix or BlockBuster.
Except for the strangely small harddrive, the aTV is for synching media of all types from your computer to the TV and stereo. It is not just an expensive iPod cable as described above, it is an Airport Extreme, iPod-like box that wirelessly synchs everything EXCEPT rental video on to the number one entertainment device of the home, the TV.
This will only be useful for music, podcasts (vidcasts will get better and better), TV subscriptions, and movies you already know you want to own. Video rental makes more sense to me with physical media that can be reused over and over, for a while longer. Eventually this will not be true.
The BlueRay box that Apple will make next year will be a part of this - for your rental needs. And the Miglia DVR device (MaxTV) as pointed to above will deal with your DVR needs. Those are all content that are best done as physical media and as streaming cable signals (separate from the computer) ... for now. However in a few years when bandwidth and DRM's become better and more sophisticated, NetFlix and TiVo will be less efficient and everything will move to permanent or temporary downloads. THAT is when the small market of aTV owners will be the foundation for Internet 4.0. THAT is when streaming media and files will truly scale from iPhone, to iPod, to HDTV. The future is in getting media to be transparently available across all of the devices (iPod, iPhone, iTV and who knows what else). That is the true goal, I believe, and that transparent transportability with iTunes-like ease of use will give Apple the long term advantage.
The aTV only needs to be useful to early adopters and Linux hackers and lazy folks with the extra money - basically the iPod buyers of a few years ago - until content hits a critical mass in a couple more years.
Until then Apple gets to tweak the GUI and play with its pay-to-own business model and try out new contracts with content providers - especially the growing Indie industry - and all the while Apple will get marginal profits and hopefully good customer response. Then once it has created some de facto standards for the infrastructure, the aTV ecosystem will be ready for the broader market.
Apple needs to wait it out a few years to jump past NetFlix, not try and compete with it head-to-head.
Apple needs to see how the DVR/TiVo market evolves in parallel to its own pay-to-own market and as long as it lets Miglia make boxes that fit beautifully with the aTV and MacMini, so much the better. Apple can walk side by side TiVo until the bandwidth makes TiVo redundant.
BTW, C-SPAN today is showing a Commerce Department Public Hearing regarding the future industry transition to digital TV and the digital TV coupon program. This transition will be putting alot of things up in the air with stores like Best Buy, etc., trying to educate their customers regarding where their broadcast source comes from and what it means. Best Buy gets alot of returned HDTV's because they don't automatically work with their cable provider. This point of education and making the transition painless is another point for Apple to exploit!