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post #121 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrtotes View Post

Indeed, with the number of deals Apple has with content providers I can't see them including tuners ever again with a view to recording content. Much more likely we'll see more deals to provide TV and film content to Macs, iTunes and AppleTV.

Then again, if a few more networks do something stupid like NBC and started pulling their TV content from iTunes, Apple should add a tuner and recording capability to AppleTV...just to teach them a lesson.

But really, until Apple starts selling (renting!) movies that are at least DVD quality in sound and video (it meets neither, right now), the Apple TV will be a pretty poor option for most folks. That leaves the mini as the only legitimate home theater option. If FrontRow in 10.5 gets an AppleTV makeover and retains the ability to play DVDs and ANY video content in your Movies folder (not just the pathetically limited formats that AppleTV plays), I'll probably be adding a mini to my setup. Add the ability for FrontRow to browse, select, and play video TS folders (DVD disk images) and it would seal the deal. (or play a DVD ripped to H.264 with Handbrake with AC3 pass through...)
post #122 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

I don't really think it's a myth that Mac's are more expensive. Just playing around building systems at dell.com and comparing them with the iMacs, I was averaging about $2-300 savings on any system I built. And of course the obvious thing is that I could remove things I might consider unnecessary from the Dell to save even more money (bluetooth, firewire, etc.). You can easily widen the margins well beyond the $2-300 margin (especially if you already own a monitor you are happy with). If you absolutely want everything that is in the iMac the difference isn't that great, but remove the extraneous bits and the Dell is much cheaper (and if you happen to be stuck on dial-up, Dell tosses in a modem for free instead of $49 like Apple).

The thing is that I'd rather build my own PC, it is (was, see below) much cheaper than any Dell or HP with the quality and spec of components I got.
post #123 of 151
Since we're less than two weeks out from October 26, and since the OS just went GM (or didn't), I don't expect that that's the day Leopard will be released. Two weeks is hardly enough time for duplication, boxing, and shipping to stores in enough quantities for release date.

Instead, I expect that sometime during the last week of October we'll have announcements of hardware updates (including an updated Mac Pro), an announcement that Leopard will ship in early November, and a shrug and a grin from Steve.
post #124 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by parker63 View Post

I don't know why Apple just can't release a regular mini-tower in a smaller Mac Pro style case. While the above specs are impressive, it would probably be cost-prohibitive. How about the following...could it be done for a decent price?

MicroATX size/style motherboard with matching Mac Pro style casing, or something better?
Core 2 Duo processors (same speed offerings as iMac)
1GB RAM standard, 4 slots, 4GB RAM Max
250GB SATA drive standard, 320GB or 500GB drive options
1 Superdrive
2 PCI slots
One 16x PCI Express slot occupied by 128MB Video Card standard, 256MB Video option
Two USB 2.0 ports (ind.), One Firewire 800 (ind.), One Firewire 400 (ind.) and one eSATA port (bootable)
Keyboard and mouse

If I hadn't gotten impatient and purchased an iMac, I would have jumped all over something like this...if it was only available.

This would truly be a sweet machine. I just wonder how it would fit into Apple's price structure. Making it even within, say $100 of an iMac would probably have someone thinking that for just a bit more they could buy a machine that comes with a monitor. Including the keyboard and mouse would be a leg up on the mini.

Yeah, I'd like to see a consumer level tower, too. I'd also like to see consumer level displays from Apple. As nice as they might be, it'll be cold day in August in New Orleans before I buy an Apple display. They are simply too expensive.
Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.
-Walter Lippmann
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-Walter Lippmann
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post #125 of 151
Sounds like a business opportunity...someone should manufacture a headphone jack cover to put in there when not in use.
post #126 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post

It's rather absurd that Apple isn't selling one of the most popular form factors in the PC world. They're loosing a lot of sales, particularly to small and home businesses.

The mini-tower is only popular because it's cheap, not because there is great customer demand. The demand for a mini-tower is so overblown on these forums. The Mac buying public at large is not crying out for a mini-tower. And I'll bet if you showed a Mac mini to most PC owners (i.e. not the hard core gamers and geeks), they'll wish their PC was that small too.
post #127 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Someone else already pointed out that the mini has optical out (I think all Macs have it now?), but also, the AppleTV can not do 5.1 surround, which is a MAJOR drawback. It can do 4 channel matrix surround (mixing it down to a 2 channel signal), but that technology is decades old. It can not do discrete, 5.1 channel sound, at least not in any way that current home theater receivers can work with (it can theoretically do 5.1 AAC, I think, that that will get you nothing).

I don't think that's a limitation of the AppleTV. I believe it's a limitation of the content shared from iTunes.
post #128 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

Dual monitors that aren't the same brand let alone panel suck when trying to match colors.

1. Colour calibration can alleviate that.
2. Not everyone needs accurate colour.
post #129 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

1. Colour calibration can alleviate that.
2. Not everyone needs accurate colour.

Calibration is very difficult between 2 different panels / manufacturers for the common consumer.

It's not about having accurate color, it's about having the SAME color between the 2.

 

 

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The reason why they are analysts is because they failed at running businesses.

 

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post #130 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

The mini-tower is only popular because it's cheap, not because there is great customer demand. The demand for a mini-tower is so overblown on these forums. The Mac buying public at large is not crying out for a mini-tower. And I'll bet if you showed a Mac mini to most PC owners (i.e. not the hard core gamers and geeks), they'll wish their PC was that small too.

No, no, no, no....

PC mini towers are popular because the consumer can START with a cheap box, and upgrade it over time, and end up with a much higher end machine inside the same box. It easier, cheaper, AND more flexible.

And every PC user I've shown the Mac Mini to has thought is must be crap because it's so small. They flat out refuse to believe that something that small could be any good at all, AND the first question they ask is, "how easy is it to upgrade?". When I tell them most of it can't be upgraded, they burst out laughing. A mid range user upgradeable mini tower is what the overwhelming majority of all computer users want, regardless of the vendor, intended use, or operating system.

I personally LIKE the Mac Mini form factor, I just think it's too expensive for what it is. A couple hundred bucks cheaper, and I wouldn't care about upgradeability any more, because it actually would be worth it to just buy a new one every few years.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post



This is an interesting mini mockup.

OK, this I want. It's retro and futuristic at the same time. I love it, great concept. I'd want most of the ports on the back though, rather than the side.
post #131 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

The mini-tower is only popular because it's cheap, not because there is great customer demand.

It IS popular because it's cheap. And if apple made one, they could make it fairly cheap, and it would be popular. If something is possible, there's customer demand for it, by definition.

While there may be other form factors that people would like as much as a mid tower, apple doesn't sell one. And I haven't really seen an alternative suggested here either.
post #132 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by starrius View Post

This would truly be a sweet machine. I just wonder how it would fit into Apple's price structure. Making it even within, say $100 of an iMac would probably have someone thinking that for just a bit more they could buy a machine that comes with a monitor. Including the keyboard and mouse would be a leg up on the mini.

Hmmm...very good point. I liked an idea that an earlier poster had...making it sort of Shuttle XPC sized, only with Apple styling rather than the cheap tin can look that most of those XPC's have. Making the following changes, I wonder if it could be closer to mini pricing than iMac pricing?

"Shuttle" like XPC size/style motherboard with matching MacMini style casing to cut cost...or something cool looking while low cost!
Core 2 Duo processors (2.0GHz standard, upgrade options available)
Keeping 1GB RAM standard, 4 slots, 4GB RAM Max
Keeping 250GB SATA drive standard, 320GB or 500GB drive options
1 Superdrive
1 PCI slot, and one 16x PCI Express slot, both unoccupied
Intel GMA950 64MB Graphics onboard standard, PCI Xpress video upgrade cards optional
Three USB 2.0 ports (ind.), One Firewire 800 (ind.), One Firewire 400 (ind.) and one eSATA port (bootable)
*No* Keyboard or mouse included

This would give you: even smaller form factor than a mini-tower; ability to upgrade many components if desired later (video, DVD-RW drive, standard sized hard drive, memory, etc.); and a lower cost??? I think that's what people want...something that works fine for now, but the comfort of knowing that they *could* upgrade later should they choose to do so. Not that it's gonna ever happen, but making the possible above amendments might get the cost down a little bit to make a bigger gap between this and an iMac.
post #133 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

I don't think that's a limitation of the AppleTV. I believe it's a limitation of the content shared from iTunes.

The AppleTV has been shown to be able to pass the surround sound signal through... though it requires some interesting tricks in the encoding (interesting enough that the various transcoders don't let you easily do it afaik)

It would be quite easy for Apple to open up a pass through of the signal (like a DVD player), though apparently the mp4.10 file standard doesn't accept Dolby Digital... so most amps wouldn't know how to decode the AAC surround. Some people have said the AppleTV has a transcoding chip onboard that will convert the AAC surround to Dolby Digital surround, I'm not sure if it's true, or if that's an easy enough process.
post #134 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

It IS popular because it's cheap. And if apple made one, they could make it fairly cheap, and it would be popular. If something is possible, there's customer demand for it, by definition.

While there may be other form factors that people would like as much as a mid tower, apple doesn't sell one. And I haven't really seen an alternative suggested here either.

The mini-tower would cause Apple to lose that cool factor and it's not worth the risk. In addition, the reason some people want mini-towers is so they can upgrade their systems. This just increases support costs. It's just not going to happen. If you want to play the build your own game the PC world is the place to do that. In fact it's a great hobby. I love doing it. Almost noone else does. People simply don't want to deal with upgrades. Even the idea of installing ram is unappealing.

Here is the PC version of the Mac Mini.

http://www.thebookpc.com/product_inf...roducts_id/394

It has the Core Duo cpu at 1.8GHz, 512megs ram, 80 gig sata, no OS (add $125 for Vista Premium), no wireless, no keyboard, no mouse, no screen. One year warranty with no equivalent of AppleCare. With the OS is is $925. It is from AOpen. Will the people who are complaining about the Mini please come down to earth.

What some people want is for Apple to become a distributor of clone boxes. No cool factor, support costs through the roof, etc... That's what happens when you mass market open systems. It makes sense to have the Mac Pro open. There you are dealing with a small very elite group who can tackle problems on their own.

In short, NeXT never had an open system (my NeXT Cube was as close to that as one might think). Apple is not about to return to the days of the Performa's. I even had a 3400mini-tower or whatever it was called and it was ugly, but had a nice woofer built in. The mini-tower form factor is ugly. The Shuttle, like my MicroFly, is still ugly. Apple stuff is beautiful. Open implies ugly.


philip
post #135 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by sequitur View Post



This is an interesting mini mockup.

Yeah I want one too... but the obvious omission is the Mini-DVI port and the audio ports. Kind of a silly oversight, if you ask me...

Still, I'd rather if it included the keypad. Perhaps I'll make a mockup of my own...

Also, an observation... why the HELL does Apple put all the USB ports for their laptops on the left side? Where do you plug in a mouse if you're right-handed?
post #136 of 151
I just ordered a new Mac Mini, because after all of these rumors circulating, I'm afraid that I'll miss out on getting a Mini at all if I don't grab one now. This will be my third Mini (I sold my first, a G4, and will sell my current Intel model probably). I really like the Mini.

Of course, I'll feel totally silly if Apple comes out with something newer and more fabulous to replace the Mini. But that's how these things go. You take the gamble. Anyway, I'm not sure I'd want to be an "early adopter" on a new Mini Nano or whatever. (And I'd like to be able to run Tiger as well, just because.)

Right now the Apple Store is down, and I'm wondering what it means!! Did I get my order in for the Mini just in time? (Naw, I'm sure they'll keep it around until later this month.)
Intel Mac Mini Core 2 Duo, 2.0 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD (total). Two aging G4 Towers, 1 GB RAM each. Several Windows-based PCs.
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Intel Mac Mini Core 2 Duo, 2.0 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD (total). Two aging G4 Towers, 1 GB RAM each. Several Windows-based PCs.
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post #137 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by parker63 View Post

Hmmm...very good point. I liked an idea that an earlier poster had...making it sort of Shuttle XPC sized, only with Apple styling rather than the cheap tin can look that most of those XPC's have. Making the following changes, I wonder if it could be closer to mini pricing than iMac pricing?

"Shuttle" like XPC size/style motherboard with matching MacMini style casing to cut cost...or something cool looking while low cost!
Core 2 Duo processors (2.0GHz standard, upgrade options available)
Keeping 1GB RAM standard, 4 slots, 4GB RAM Max
Keeping 250GB SATA drive standard, 320GB or 500GB drive options
1 Superdrive
1 PCI slot, and one 16x PCI Express slot, both unoccupied
Intel GMA950 64MB Graphics onboard standard, PCI Xpress video upgrade cards optional
Three USB 2.0 ports (ind.), One Firewire 800 (ind.), One Firewire 400 (ind.) and one eSATA port (bootable)
*No* Keyboard or mouse included

This would give you: even smaller form factor than a mini-tower; ability to upgrade many components if desired later (video, DVD-RW drive, standard sized hard drive, memory, etc.); and a lower cost??? I think that's what people want...something that works fine for now, but the comfort of knowing that they *could* upgrade later should they choose to do so. Not that it's gonna ever happen, but making the possible above amendments might get the cost down a little bit to make a bigger gap between this and an iMac.

This would be just perfect, and a really good move on Apple's part (and let them keep their beloved margins by using cheaper, more powerful desktop components). Please, please, please can we get the message out to them? I don't care about them making the iMac one inch thinner (which saves NO desk space, since the stand fixes the depth of desk-space it takes up, and can't be shrunk much without making the damn thing topple over).
post #138 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmcd View Post

In short, NeXT never had an open system (my NeXT Cube was as close to that as one might think).

Remind me again, how were their computer sales?
post #139 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Yeah I want one too... but the obvious omission is the Mini-DVI port and the audio ports. Kind of a silly oversight, if you ask me...

Still, I'd rather if it included the keypad. Perhaps I'll make a mockup of my own...

Also, an observation... why the HELL does Apple put all the USB ports for their laptops on the left side? Where do you plug in a mouse if you're right-handed?

I assume the DVI and audio ports could be along the back edge.
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post #140 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by tog View Post

Remind me again, how were their computer sales?

I think they sold 50,000 units before they discontinued the hardware and went to a software only strategy, which was also failing.

This was a typical Jobs fantasy.

When I was looking for a new computer (and OS) in the beginning of the '90's, I looked at Next. My work involved publishing, photography, and graphics.

They had three models. All very expensive compared to even Mac's. The least expensive model, the B/W, cost more than Apple's highest end machine by a good margin.

The first was an 8 bit B/W model. The second was a 16 bit color model, and the last was a 24 bit color model.

In typical Jobsian fashion, none of the models could be upgraded to any of the higher end models. What you bought was what you ended up with.

I bought a Mac 950 instead. Good thing too.
post #141 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

why the HELL does Apple put all the USB ports for their laptops on the left side? Where do you plug in a mouse if you're right-handed?

I never noticed that before on the MacBook. My MacBookPro has a USB on left and right
post #142 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by tog View Post

Remind me again, how were their computer sales?

Not bad given the constraints they were under. Obviously NeXT did well enough to eventually take over Apple

philip
post #143 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I think they sold 50,000 units before they discontinued the hardware and went to a software only strategy, which was also failing.

This was a typical Jobs fantasy.

When I was looking for a new computer (and OS) in the beginning of the '90's, I looked at Next. My work involved publishing, photography, and graphics.

They had three models. All very expensive compared to even Mac's. The least expensive model, the B/W, cost more than Apple's highest end machine by a good margin.

The first was an 8 bit B/W model. The second was a 16 bit color model, and the last was a 24 bit color model.

In typical Jobsian fashion, none of the models could be upgraded to any of the higher end models. What you bought was what you ended up with.

I bought a Mac 950 instead. Good thing too.

I don't know about that 50k number. In any case you do realize that NeXT was not allowed to sell models that might compete with Apple products. The Cube and NeXT Stations were sold to academics for whom they were bargains. The software alone made it worthwhile and certainly far more cost effective than Apple's "high-end" stuff running OS7. In all probabilty OpenStep ended up saving Apple. Not bad for a fantasy.

The Cube was in fact upgradeable in the sense that one could easily swap out the mainboard. Thus you could go from the original to the 040. Wonderful system, way ahead of its time.

I can't understand this obsession with upgradeability. It works for PC hobbyists (of which I am one) but the support costs for a company like Apple would be huge.

I'm still "mad" at NeXT for going white but I must admit that Jobs has been right more often than not. The software only route that NeXT took (and the transition was incredibly fast) led to Rhapsody and what we now call OSX.

philip
post #144 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmcd View Post

I don't know about that 50k number. In any case you do realize that NeXT was not allowed to sell models that might compete with Apple products. The Cube and NeXT Stations were sold to academics for whom they were bargains. The software alone made it worthwhile and certainly far more cost effective than Apple's "high-end" stuff running OS7. In all probabilty OpenStep ended up saving Apple. Not bad for a fantasy.

The Cube was in fact upgradeable in the sense that one could easily swap out the mainboard. Thus you could go from the original to the 040. Wonderful system, way ahead of its time.

I can't understand this obsession with upgradeability. It works for PC hobbyists (of which I am one) but the support costs for a company like Apple would be huge.

I'm still "mad" at NeXT for going white but I must admit that Jobs has been right more often than not. The software only route that NeXT took (and the transition was incredibly fast) led to Rhapsody and what we now call OSX.

philip

The 50k number is about right.

I just looked it up in the Wiki, to confirm what I had said, and it is correct.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NeXT

Swapping must have come right at the end of the hardware era, because you certainly couldn't upgrade them for most of the time they were available.
post #145 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Someone else already pointed out that the mini has optical out (I think all Macs have it now?), but also, the AppleTV can not do 5.1 surround, which is a MAJOR drawback. It can do 4 channel matrix surround (mixing it down to a 2 channel signal), but that technology is decades old. It can not do discrete, 5.1 channel sound, at least not in any way that current home theater receivers can work with (it can theoretically do 5.1 AAC, I think, that that will get you nothing).

AppleTV is able to pass 5.1 sound through the Toslink port, as long as it is encoded as "lossless". I'm not quite sure what you have to go through when ripping a dvd to get to that point. You would think that either handbrake or QuickTime Pro could do that. That's either DTS or AC3, which your reciever should be able to handle the input provided it has the requisite port.

The four channel sound gets mixed down to 2 channel, but a reciever that can handle pro logic surround can "unmix" the signal. It then separates the back channel into two individual channels and sends the low freq to the subwoofer channel. In theory, this is almost like 5.1. Almost being the operative word.

Itunes uses 4 channel for file size considerations, from what I've read.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

The AppleTV has been shown to be able to pass the surround sound signal through... though it requires some interesting tricks in the encoding (interesting enough that the various transcoders don't let you easily do it afaik)

It would be quite easy for Apple to open up a pass through of the signal (like a DVD player), though apparently the mp4.10 file standard doesn't accept Dolby Digital... so most amps wouldn't know how to decode the AAC surround. Some people have said the AppleTV has a transcoding chip onboard that will convert the AAC surround to Dolby Digital surround, I'm not sure if it's true, or if that's an easy enough process.

Apple has got its preferred h.264 and 5.1AAC formats adopted for HD-DVD and Bluray. You would expect receivers in the future to handle the AAC format without issues, if it is the new standard.

So, it should handle all of the major formats.
post #146 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by mh71 View Post

AppleTV is able to pass 5.1 sound through the Toslink port, as long as it is encoded as "lossless". I'm not quite sure what you have to go through when ripping a dvd to get to that point. You would think that either handbrake or QuickTime Pro could do that. That's either DTS or AC3, which your reciever should be able to handle the input provided it has the requisite port.

The four channel sound gets mixed down to 2 channel, but a reciever that can handle pro logic surround can "unmix" the signal. It then separates the back channel into two individual channels and sends the low freq to the subwoofer channel. In theory, this is almost like 5.1. Almost being the operative word.

It's definitely a lossy process, but a lot of people seem fine with it.

Quote:
Apple has got its preferred h.264 and 5.1AAC formats adopted for HD-DVD and Bluray. You would expect receivers in the future to handle the AAC format without issues, if it is the new standard.

I have yet to see any Blu-Ray or HD-DVD use 5.1 AAC. With the availability of TrueHD and DD+ formats, it really doesn't make that much sense yet to push a new home theater audio codec. I think decoded lossless surround can be pushed through HDMI, then Apple can still use AAC even if it doesn't become a popular feature in receivers.
post #147 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I have yet to see any Blu-Ray or HD-DVD use 5.1 AAC. With the availability of TrueHD and DD+ formats, it really doesn't make that much sense yet to push a new home theater audio codec. I think decoded lossless surround can be pushed through HDMI, then Apple can still use AAC even if it doesn't become a popular feature in receivers.

I might be all messed-up, but....

MPEG-4 is one of the madatory "container" formats for both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. My understanding is that AAC is the audio "sub-container", but not an actual codec like TrueHD,etc.

So, AppleTV decodes only a few formats (aac, mp3, wav and apple lossless) but can pass-through others without decoding them.

Don't know about surround being pushed through HDMI, other than it's supposed to be a standard feature of HDMI. Knowing Apple, they could have changed the implementation.
post #148 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by mh71 View Post

Apple has got its preferred h.264 and 5.1AAC formats adopted for HD-DVD and Bluray. You would expect receivers in the future to handle the AAC format without issues, if it is the new standard.

So, it should handle all of the major formats.

I don't know of many receivers which decode 5.1 AAC natively. And while it _may_ be true that future receivers will handle AAC, the expense of changing my existing system would mean that I'd buy a different media player. And in 5 years time I'd re-evaluate the AppleTV.

Besides, AAC 5.1 is supposed to be convertable into DD 5.1, satisfying exactly this problem.

Apple often is 'forward thinking', but sometimes this can be a problem. Making the AppleTV 16:9 only is an example of this.
post #149 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post

OK, this I want. It's retro and futuristic at the same time. I love it, great concept. I'd want most of the ports on the back though, rather than the side.

Sure. Till you spill beer on it.
post #150 of 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by daratbastid View Post

What do you do for audio from the mini? The AppleTV with its toslink is supposidly able to produce the 5.1 from ripped content....being the mini dosnt have fiber, are you limited to stereo only from the audio out port?

The MacMini as the MacBook, have dual Analog/Digital In/Out ports.

You get 5.1 just as the AppleTv.
post #151 of 151
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