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Roku's Netflix Player vs. Apple TV: unboxing and first impressions

post #1 of 136
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Netflix and Roku are stepping up to the plate with a media hub that promises a much less expensive way to watch movies online without a per-movie cost. In this preview ahead of our full review, we unpack the device and give our first impressions on how it stacks up to Apple's offering.

Like Apple TV, the partnership between Netflix and Roku has given way to a compact box for streaming select movies and TV programs directly to your television. The $100 box serves up unlimited content from Netflix's "Watch Instantly" section as part of the standard subscription price of its DVD by mail service. The 10,000 Watch Instantly "movies and TV episodes" include many documentaries and older films, but provide a wide range of options that were previously only viewable from a Windows PC, due to the use of Windows Media DRM that is incompatible with Macs.

Roku's box is simple to setup and use, and essentially stands in as a substitute for having to hook up a Windows laptop to view the Watch Instantly titles. Here's an unpacking and setup tour of the new device, which we'll review in greater depth and compare to Apple TV in a future article.



Inside the simple blue box is the unit itself, about the size of short stack of CDs, along with a remote control and a brief getting started guide.



Also included in the box is a small external power supply and stereo audio and composite video cable (below).



The unit itself includes output jacks (below) for composite, S-Video, and component video, along with an HDMI port for both video and audio output. It also supplies optical audio and stereo audio outputs. In addition to the wired Ethernet port, it also supports 802.11 b/g wireless networking, but not the faster 802.11n used in Apple TV.



The Roku box is smaller and lighter but taller than the Apple TV (below top) and supplies roughly the same outputs (below bottom), although it lacks USB (which Apple TV currently does not use), and provides a composite video output that the Apple TV does not support.





Setup and configuration

Configuring the Roku Netflix box is simple and straightforward: once plugged in, it boots up and presents an easy to follow series of pages that connect the device to an existing wired or wireless network. It then talks to the Netflix server to download a software update and finally presents a code that needs to be entered into a computer logged into the Netflix website. Once completed, the activation allows the user to select programs from the Watch Instantly section of the Netflix website on a Mac or PC. The selected programs are then made available from the box. It is not currently possible to browse for other content directly from the box; everything needs to be queued up from a web enabled computer first.















The device seems to work well as an appliance for watching streamed content for Netflix subscribers. The video quality is close to what you'd expect from digital cable and seemed to play smoothly over our fast cable Internet connection, which is rated at 16 megabit. Over slower connection rates, the system dials down video quality automatically. Because there's no hard drive storage in the system, all programs are streamed when played, so the device needs a constant connection and takes a few moments to begin playing. It also takes some time to skip ahead in the program being watched.

The device challenges Apple's iTunes strategy of selling video programs Ã* la carte, as the cost of all content viewable from the Roku device is included in a Netflix membership. At the same time, the box doesn't currently support online shopping, direct purchases, HD rentals, PC audio streaming, photo and home movie access, podcasts, YouTube, and the other features of Apple TV. The significant differences and minimal overlap between the two may make both devices attractive to users who want a variety of options. We will present a more in depth comparison of the Roku Netflix box to Apple TV in a followup article.
post #2 of 136
Its hardly a rival to the Apple TV. All it does is stream media from Netflix, which you need to subscribe to and at this time its only SD content.

The Apple TV lets you store your music and video content on the device itself, you can stream your own content to it or use it standalone for the iTunes store.

The Netflix box is cheaper but all it does is stream media not store anything so of course its cheaper.

A pretty stupid comparison to be honest.
post #3 of 136
Hopefully Apple will consider lowering the price of AppleTV now that it is a constant stream of income instead a just a hardware.
post #4 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by irnchriz View Post

Its hardly a rival to the Apple TV. All it does is stream media from Netflix, which you need to subscribe to and at this time its only SD content.

The Apple TV lets you store your music and video content on the device itself, you can stream your own content to it or use it standalone for the iTunes store.

The Netflix box is cheaper but all it does is stream media not store anything so of course its cheaper.

A pretty stupid comparison to be honest.

It's a rival if the public think it's a rival. Since the AppleTV started offering movie rentals people were comparing it to Netflix.

"Why would I pay $5 for an HD movie on the AppleTV when I can get it for free from Netflix with much higher quality, extras, etc.?"

With Roku the comparison comes more into full swing as Netflix is now offering free videoand I believe considerably more titles, including TV Showsto those with a Netflix account. On top of that, the device costs less and connects to more TVs. Of course, it doesn't have nearly the usefulness of the AppleTV but if you only want to watch movies and you already have a Netflix account then Roku is probably the only choice for you.
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post #5 of 136
The Netflix box is better because it works on non HDTV's. You also don't need to pay for every single movie or show you rent if you all ready have Netflix. I haven't been to a video store in years and I love Apple but I refuse to pay for every single movie rent when i could watch non stop movies through the Netflix box.
post #6 of 136
Never going to survive without a hard drive to cache the content. When the connection craps out and you have to start the movie over again there will be some pissed off people.
post #7 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

It's a rival if the public think it's a rival. Since the AppleTV started offering movie rentals people were comparing it to Netflix.

"Why would I pay $5 for an HD movie on the AppleTV when I can get it for free from Netflix with much higher quality, extras, etc.?"

With Roku the comparison comes more into full swing as Netflix is now offering free videoand I believe considerably more titles, including TV Showsto those with a Netflix account. On top of that, the device costs less and connects to more TVs. Of course, it doesn't have nearly the usefulness of the AppleTV but if you only want to watch movies and you already have a Netflix account then Roku is probably the only choice for you.

Netflix may have more titles available for the Roku, but not many of them are new releases or popular titles. Only a few of the top 100 movies on its own site are available for streaming with this box. Apple actually has them beat on the new release front.

There are also no HD titles available via this box, either. It's all standard def, and the quality decreases even further if your Internet connection can't keep up.

And since when is Netflix free? Pay that monthly fee for a year, and you've paid the difference for an Apple TV.

Bottom line, this is an interesting device, but no competitor to Apple TV. This box may be fine for some people, but for all the people who complained about Apple TV's quality when it came out, this is far inferior. Sure, the initial box is cheaper, but it gives you far less. The 802.11n on the Apple TV alone almost justifies the cost difference. Especially if you're sharing that wireless bandwidth with another computer or two in the house. Plus, you get a hard drive, access to any networked machines and their media content, a far better user interface, Flicker and .Mac photos, YouTube, Music and Videos from iTunes. You can't tell me that all isn't worth $129 more.

Since I don't pay for cable or a Netflix account anymore, I'm getting plenty of entertainment for less money with my Apple TV. All the shows I actually want to watch, with no commercials, whenever I want to watch them. A decent, albeit far from perfect, selection of movies that will only improve over time. No more waiting for DVDs to show up in the mail. Works for me.

I'm glad Netflix is getting into this game. But they're going to have to do better than this box.
post #8 of 136
That was like undressing an ugly chick and posting the pictures as some kind of triumph. Nasty beyond words. Disappointed to see unboxing pictures of something so ugly and uneventful.
post #9 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoec123 View Post

And since when is Netflix free? Pay that monthly fee for a year, and you've paid the difference for an Apple TV.

It's free if people perceive it as free. Most people have signed up for the DVD's by mail, the streaming media is just a bonus. They can watch it on their PCs or with the Ruko device which extends the quality and range of their Netflix account.

You may have paid the difference for the AppleTV after a year, but that doesn't include at content outside YouTube, Podcast and the occasional iTunes Store promo. That, unfortunately, is what people are going to focus on.
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post #10 of 136
Initially I was interested in the device, considering plopping our 40GB TV in the bedroom and the Roku in the living room. After further inspection, this device is not what I wanted.

First off, we have a Netflix account, and to see whats available for streaming on Windows (yes they still don't support OS X streaming) and the Roku was an eye opener! Pretty much all garbage, nothing recent or worthwhile to me. Secondly, it only has the ability to stream their content, so pretty much anything I rip or *ahem* acquire cannot be played back on the device. Makes me wonder what HD content they will provide in their "Take 2".

So this devices reaffirms a second, 160GB TV later this year. I am enjoying the 99¢ weekly iTunes movie, renting an occasional HD movie, instant access to kids shows for my son, and listening/watching my favorite podcasts. Also, I've got all my music for iTunes hooked up through TosLink digital sound, with a slick UI and not to mention integrated YouTube. That's the device for me, and the Roku just can't compete.

Probably gonna get flamed, but that is my take on this device war. And really this isn't going to be, they will serve two different markets. It just feels like Netflicks is riding the TV coattails with the Roku, but really not offering anything spectacular.
post #11 of 136
As long as I can't play my own personal content, the Apple TV will always be a bigger bargain in my eyes. Some speak of the limited iTunes store choices but the point is that I have those movie rentals & purchases and TV shows on top of my own burned/downloaded content in my iTunes library. It's that range of choice that makes the Apple TV more attractive. While I'm not surprised the Roku is considered a competitor, I'm surprised there's not widespread agreement that the Apple TV is head and shoulders above it.

Price wise I think it would help if the cheaper Apple TV was $199 like I wanted it to be in the first place.
post #12 of 136
I think it's pretty strange that so many people just come up with the opinion that one brand (Apple) is automatically better than another and that the other companies are probably lying if reviews challenge an Apple product.

As of now, the iTunes store lists about 1,000 rentable titles. Netflix touts 10,000+.

Clearly iTunes and all those other things are nice, but friendly competition are exactly what make businesses and their products and services get better.

That is my opinion.
post #13 of 136
This has been brought up before - Apple should either partner with or buy outright Netflix. The timing may be right. The studios have been wary of Apple's dominance in the music field, and thus haven't cut the expansive deals that they might have in the past. Netflix, as a separate entity with almost no online presence, seems to have a different (non-threatening) relationship. If Apple were to now partner with Netflix they might be able to leverage that relationship. Of course, this is all speculation, and the million-page legal contracts probably prohibit too much leeway, but one can dream.

As it is now, Apple recognizes that YouTube is THE site for online personal video, and supports it directly in AppleTV. The same goes for Flickr for photos. If Netflix becomes the go-to place for mainstream movies (which is currently the case for physical DVD rentals) then Apple could merge Netflix's inventory into their own iTunes rental space as a separate service (available for existing Netflix customers) while still offering the one-shot, non-subscription rentals to everyone else.

The other reason to do this is for Apple to get their foot in the door for future Netflix media encoding. Much as YouTube has added H.264 for the iPhone market, Netflix could do the same - with Apple's assistance - for their library. Otherwise Apple leaves the media format choice open to Microsoft or Flash, which would be strategically detrimental if Netflix online takes off.


Oh, and 'Prince', you full name appears on the grab of the Netflix activation screen
post #14 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Oh, and 'Prince', you full name appears on the grab of the Netflix activation screen

Prince McLean = Danielle Dilger?

poor man's apple tv. Limitations aside, i do think there's a market for it. Not everyone loves itunes, but i agree that no HD has the potential to be a headache.
post #15 of 136
They are different but similar. For some, one or the other will be a "no brainer", but for a good many, they are in the same ballpark and will be compared. For many, paying by the viewing is no big deal, for many others, a subscription is a better value. I'm in the later. I love getting DVD's at home for what averages out to be less than a dollar a pop. Netflix has hundreds of Blu-ray titles now. (or is it thousands?) I use bootcamp to watch the streaming stuff. I can get The office at no additional cost for SD which still looks great. Getting The office in HD is just not worth the extra expense. (I have a faster speed now if anyone remembers me saying it was choppy - a problem for a small minority) I'm paying about 10USD a month, I get DVD's coming all the time, and UNLIMITED viewing of thousands of programs streaming. That's a great value. Not to mention the benefits of having a physical DVD in hand. P.S. HD streaming from Netflix is on the way.
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post #16 of 136
Doesn't netflix have a limit on how many hrs of streaming i can watch?
post #17 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Never going to survive without a hard drive to cache the content. When the connection craps out and you have to start the movie over again there will be some pissed off people.

I agree. I have used Netflix' stream feature via my PC to TV connection and the quality wasn't that great as my connection that evening seemed slow. I would have gladly waited 20 minutes for it to download at least half the movie in best quality and then watch it.

Some sort of storage system is a must. But I think by the time these things really take off it won't be hard drive any more, pure SD for sure. But at the same time these devices just prove that the Blue Ray HDDVD war was bogus. It's gonna go from DVD to stream media.
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post #18 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by MySchizoBuddy View Post

Doesn't netflix have a limit on how many hrs of streaming i can watch?

Not on most plans. As of recently, "watch instantly" is unlimited.

So, to discuss Netflix "watch instantly." I have had a flu the past couple of days, so I had the chance to use the hell out of Netflix watch-instantly. I used my work PC, a dell laptop, over my 6Mbps cable connection. It works great. There's a little bit of buffer, fore and aft, to mitigate connection jitters. Netflix's system is at least as good as the "video on demand" run by most cable providers. In fact, it's better, since it's cheaper and the catalog has more diversity.

The Netflix device and its successors will bury the Apple TV and the iTunes video rental service unless Apple makes a way to use Netflix with the AppleTV. I can't see how Netflix would care, since it seems likely that they are selling the units at cost -- perhaps even below cost.

Netflix is also now competing with the cable companies, which will have a much harder time pushing their premium channels, since it doesn't take but a few months for movies and TV series to hit DVD/Netflix. Netflix has here a great product that may well change the way people think about (and buy) video content. It's a great step forward since it really raises the level of competition for cable companies and video services alike.
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post #19 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by emoeric87 View Post

I think it's pretty strange that so many people just come up with the opinion that one brand (Apple) is automatically better than another and that the other companies are probably lying if reviews challenge an Apple product.

As of now, the iTunes store lists about 1,000 rentable titles. Netflix touts 10,000+.

I'm no Apple fanboy and I think the competition is nothing but healthy and will force the AppleTV to become better and better.

That being said - this 1,000 vs 10,000 argument is pure hogwash. The 10,000 Netflix claims includes TV shows, Documentaries, Movies, Shorts, etc. - everything in the barn!

If you add up all the movies, TV Shows, Documentaries, Music Videos, etc. in the same manner on the AppleTV (essentially the whole iTunes library...), Apple actually has Netflix hammered in the content arena.

The whole cost thing is irrelevant to me in some regards - when 9,950 of the 10,000 items Netflix offers are not something I'd spend an hour of my life watching.
post #20 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by emoeric87 View Post

I think it's pretty strange that so many people just come up with the opinion that one brand (Apple) is automatically better than another and that the other companies are probably lying if reviews challenge an Apple product.

As of now, the iTunes store lists about 1,000 rentable titles. Netflix touts 10,000+.

Clearly iTunes and all those other things are nice, but friendly competition are exactly what make businesses and their products and services get better.

That is my opinion.

And how many of those 10,000+ Netflix titles are stuff you're actually interested in watching? Be honest. ;-)

I cancelled Netflix a year ago, but signed up again for a free trial when I saw this Roku and streaming 10,000+ titles to see if it was a viable option for canceling my Time Warner Video Lover Extreme monthly package. My thinking was that despite having 10 different feeds each of HBO, CineMax, Starz, Showtime, Playboy, and The Movie Channel, there's really not a lot on those channels to justify the monthly cost, and I'm stuck with their decision on what's available right now.

After checking the titles of what's on there for instant viewing, it's not going to be an ideal replacement unless you're into older titles or anime, etc.

And SD? Ugh. SD's fine on a small screen, but butt ugly if you're over 40".


edit:

By the way, Netflix HD may be coming, but I'm not sure that the "current" releases of movies are coming any time soon. I read something on the Netflix blog about the studios having multi-year deals with television networks (unamed, but probably HBO, etc) for first grab on new releases. Anyone thinking of buying the Roku thinking that HD streaming of current releases is on the way any time soon should do some serious research on what and when before plonking down the $100 for this thing.

Also, I'm no AppleTV lover, I've tried to love it, and it has its uses, but for all the hassle and limitations of even a hacked AppleTV, I think the best decision would have been to just go with a Mac Mini or laptop hooked up as an all in one media center for the Home Theater. All formats supported, Parallels for Netflix streaming (the guy above booting into Boot Camp for Netflix, why not try Parallels or VMWare?), iTunes if you want it, etc, etc.
post #21 of 136
What's the point of having an HDMI port when you won't be able to stream HD videos? Doesn't make much sense to me.
post #22 of 136
Hardware, software, integration in home theater, hard drive, wireless technology, new release content and overall usability makes Apple TV the clear winner when compared with the ROKU.

HOWEVER, the one area and possibly the most important where the Roku clearly wins for most users is the NetFlix/Roku subscription plan..

Apple Tv NEEDS an all you can view montly flat rate plan to effectively compete with Netflix and Blockbuster online services.

I have an Apple TV, and I love it.. But quite honestly, I think $4.99 for a 24 hour HD rental is to steep a price for me to cancel my Netlix membership which allows me unlimited rentals (3 at a time) for $15 a month..

I rent an occasional HD title from Apple TV, but I'd be broke if I paid $4.99 for the amount of movies (Blu-Ray and standard DVD) I view with my Netflix subscription.

$229 is a very fair price for Apple TV, even compared to the $99 ROKU box.. But yeah, iTunes needs a subscription plan if it really wants to win big in the downloadable content war. I think it will remain a niche product until this happens.
post #23 of 136
Oh Boy, they really went to town with the product design on that bad boy didn't they?
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post #24 of 136
It's a black box, that streams videos.

It's not a beauty contest.

As far as the ATV, it's just an extension of iTunes, and iTunes has a terrible selection of movies, so I don't see how Apple could complain at the moment. As far Netflx, I've only rented DVD's, and it was awesome - streaming video be damned, Apple's movie rental prices be damned.

I'd rather hook up a Mini to large TV, that waste time with either of these offerings, but that's me.
post #25 of 136
Another key difference between the Netflix and Apple TV download services is the available content. While Netflix offers more movies, most are older movies from the Netflix back catalogue. Apple's list of offerings is still in its growing phase, but includes many more recent releases.
post #26 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by guinness View Post

It's a black box, that streams videos.

I'd rather hook up a Mini to large TV, that waste time with either of these offerings, but that's me.

The main problem with the mini is even if you rent directly from iTunes, you can not download HD content without an Apple TV. Direct iTunes rentals are only in SD.
post #27 of 136
I think that the Roku device looks like a reasonable solution for a number of people, with an elegant lack of complexity. Ugly duckling, yes... but nice and simple.

Personally, I think the hard drive is overrated on the Apple TV (failure rates?)-- but it is a shame it can't cache content to a flash drive to support at least 4-5 movies being local. I picture the ISPs killing this business model pretty quickly, as it will add to bandwith usage during already peak periods. With chaching, they could have pushed much of the load to off-peak periods.

The extra $100 for a 16GB flash drive soldered into the thing would seem like a good investment to make it more of a long-term solution.

As for looks, My appleTV just sits in a notch in the back of the flatscreen. Tilted just right, I can still use the remote without a problem. Make it hidden and who cares what it looks like... just don't let it overheat with a hard drive that can't go into energy savings mode.
post #28 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by guinness View Post

It's a black box, that streams videos.

It's not a beauty contest.

It may not be a beauty contest, but c'mon, if it's sitting out in your living room in plain view, some consideration for aesthetics should be given the design. aTV wins hands down there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guinness View Post

I'd rather hook up a Mini to large TV, that waste time with either of these offerings, but that's me.

AMEN. Wish I'd thought of that route before plunking down for the aTV.
post #29 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by solsun View Post

Hardware, software, integration in home theater, hard drive, wireless technology, new release content and overall usability makes Apple TV the clear winner when compared with the ROKU.

HOWEVER, the one area and possibly the most important where the Roku clearly wins for most users is the NetFlix/Roku subscription plan..

Apple Tv NEEDS an all you can view montly flat rate plan to effectively compete with Netflix and Blockbuster online services.

I have an Apple TV, and I love it.. But quite honestly, I think $4.99 for a 24 hour HD rental is to steep a price for me to cancel my Netlix membership which allows me unlimited rentals (3 at a time) for $15 a month..

I rent an occasional HD title from Apple TV, but I'd be broke if I paid $4.99 for the amount of movies (Blu-Ray and standard DVD) I view with my Netflix subscription.

$229 is a very fair price for Apple TV, even compared to the $99 ROKU box.. But yeah, iTunes needs a subscription plan if it really wants to win big in the downloadable content war. I think it will remain a niche product until this happens.

Wow, you summed up EXACTLY what I wanted to say!
Really the Apple TV is an amazing piece of hardware, though it fails when it comes to pricing. $2 a pop for non HD TV shows, buying the DVD box set is cheaper and if you hunt you could probably get the BD box set for the same price!
$5 for an HD rental, my local store charges ~$2.50 (old movies are a $1 and yes these are DVDs) and they have to have physical media that can run out and have an actual building to up keep.

Why can't Apple take out the cable guys, $40-$60 a month for unlimited TV shows and Movies all in 720p and 5.1 surround. Now THAT I would rush out to get and replace my cable with!
post #30 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by reallynotnick View Post

Wow, you summed up EXACTLY what I wanted to say!
Really the Apple TV is an amazing piece of hardware, though it fails when it comes to pricing. $2 a pop for non HD TV shows, buying the DVD box set is cheaper and if you hunt you could probably get the BD box set for the same price!
$5 for an HD rental, my local store charges ~$2.50 (old movies are a $1 and yes these are DVDs) and they have to have physical media that can run out and have an actual building to up keep.

Why can't Apple take out the cable guys, $40-$60 a month for unlimited TV shows and Movies all in 720p and 5.1 surround. Now THAT I would rush out to get and replace my cable with!

Apple doesn't own the content. I'm sure that Apple would be overjoyed to give you the prices and selection that you want, but the content providers aren't playing ball.
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post #31 of 136
If you think iTunes selection of movies suck, you obviously haven't used Netflix online. It's 10x worse.

Right now Apple holds the BEST position to get real movies pumped into consumers homes....
post #32 of 136
does the Roku have all released seasons of the Simpsons, Futurama, the Office, Family Guy, and South Park available for instant viewing like my AppleTV does?


Thats enough for me to decide which is of more utility. I own the DVDs of the above mentioned media but its a total PITA trying to find the dics a given episode is on, put it in the machine, wait for it to spin up, navigate the menus etc. Handbrake I cant quit you
post #33 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by solsun View Post

Hardware, software, integration in home theater, hard drive, wireless technology, new release content and overall usability makes Apple TV the clear winner when compared with the ROKU.

Apple Tv NEEDS an all you can view montly flat rate plan to effectively compete with Netflix and Blockbuster online services.

I have an Apple TV, and I love it.. But quite honestly, I think $4.99 for a 24 hour HD rental is to steep a price for me to cancel my Netlix membership which allows me unlimited rentals (3 at a time) for $15 a month..

$229 is a very fair price for Apple TV, even compared to the $99 ROKU box.. But yeah, iTunes needs a subscription plan if it really wants to win big in the downloadable content war. I think it will remain a niche product until this happens.

Very true, the flat rate-option would be highly appreciated.

I would love to have movie rentals available in Europe. I definitely see some potential here, the prices shouldnt be converted directly to Euros, 5 Euros for one HD movie is simply too expensive. 2 Euros for SD movies, 3 for HD and I am sold...! As the service expands into different countries, a language selection would also be quite convenient.

AppleTVs look is far superior to the Roku box, without any doubt. And yes, it matters if you plan on using it in your living room.
post #34 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by aresee View Post

Apple doesn't own the content. I'm sure that Apple would be overjoyed to give you the prices and selection that you want, but the content providers aren't playing ball.

Yes of course I understand that, but you see Netflix has all these movies (mind you pretty poor ones) for $10 a month plus some discs in the mail.
It is totally possible for Apple to hit within that price range, and it seems the music studios love the whole subscription thing and DRM so it makes sense.

Also a totally free ad-supported version would be pretty sweet, like Hulu except better video quality.

These movie studies can't be making much off my $1 DVD rentals.
post #35 of 136
How is this thing supposed to support HD streaming in the future, if it only has 64MB of RAM (supposedly)?
post #36 of 136
This is the approach Apple should have taken with the Apple TV: make a device that does one thing and does it well. I hope this unit is more successful than the Apple TV and it teaches them a lesson.
post #37 of 136
AppleTV is unfortunately nothing more than a conduit to buying media from iTunes and not much more -basically a jukebox to keep putting money in Apple's pocket- no wonder it hasn't taken off. If it weren't for Handbrake it would be useless for me. Oh well maybe Take3 will give us more than options to purchase and rent from iTunes.
post #38 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by DistortedLoop View Post

It may not be a beauty contest, but c'mon, if it's sitting out in your living room in plain view, some consideration for aesthetics should be given the design. aTV wins hands down there.

Are you for real? Apple has come up with some stunning designs but the the Apple TV is hardly one of them. A thing of beauty-NOT- and it is as hot as a warming plate even when off. It looks like a sushi plate. Why is that more attractive than an black box? I swear some of the posts here are simply preposterous to say the least!
post #39 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Hopefully Apple will consider lowering the price of AppleTV now that it is a constant stream of income instead a just a hardware.

That's my hope too. If they had lowered it to $199 instead of $229 last MacWorld then I would have bought one more easily. Now, my price point is $149. The hardware for the AppleTV has not changed since it was intro'd a year and a half ago. They added the option for a 160Gb drive but that's it. Apple's profits on those are a bit fat and they can afford to drop the price down a bit more for volume sake.
post #40 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

.

As for looks, My appleTV just sits in a notch in the back of the flatscreen. Tilted just right, I can still use the remote without a problem. Make it hidden and who cares what it looks like... just don't let it overheat with a hard drive that can't go into energy savings mode.

I had to put mine on a non-heat conducive wood block as to not have a thermal meltdown in my NYC apartment. All that energy that is constantly being expended - is this product even Green friendly? I swear I could melt a cheese tuna melt on it.
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