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Apple TV sales up 300% over year-ago quarter - Page 2

post #41 of 79
I've had my ATV since it was announced at Macworld two years ago and I love it. When I have a group of friends over its great to whip through the music library while we are all sitting around the living room talking. Several friends have purchased for just this purpose. Wish Apple would provide the visualizer from iTunes though.

The poster is correct in that it is really just a iTunesBox. Because iTunes is so limited in its movie selection, and you really need a 3 Mb download internet connection for speedy, uninterrupted download, I don't use it much for movies unless they are already on iTunes.

BUT, it could be sooo much more:

1. It does a decent job of photo slideshows, but could also stream iWork and iLife projects (think school project presentations and family projects) and other program output from the Mac.
2. Upgrade the hardware slightly and open it up to Netflicks and streaming internet video channels such as BBC, CNBC, HLN, etc. (several posters have proposed this)
3. Add a BlueRay disk player option to provide an upgrade path for folks to dump their old DVD players.
4. The iPhone remote is great. Expand upon it and make that the keyboard for interacting with the TV/internet through the TV.
a. Read/ answer text and voicemail messages
b. display internet pages that are interactive with the iPhone remote
5. Add telephone answering/managing software to your Mac and stream results to the TV. Video voicemail is around the corner, and it will be done on the iPhone and the TV at home. So also add camera and mic inputs to ATV.

I think its great that Apple is "allowing" folks to hack ATV. But Apple needs to go beyond this and encourage hacking (publish some specs and provide more input/outputs to ATV). Remember that an infinite number of monkey can create great works of literature!
post #42 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by eAi View Post

I've heard it doesn't work terribly well with some video (too slow?)... I'm also not sure I want to invest in such a 'closed' system... I'll investigate some more. Either way, I might wait for the Mac Mini update and see what happens. If we've not seen one by the end of March, I might just get whatever available now...

It works great with XBMC. I might add that the Mini also works great with Plex. The Mini is similar to an Apple TV with added computer capability. It goes very well with an HDTV. On the other hand the Apple TV is more in the spirit of what most non-gamers want from a TV. Both are excellent choices (even the current Mini) but the Apple TV is much less expensive.

philip
post #43 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

No...but many of us don't want to pay some cable company $80 a month. Apple TV with a satellite or cable package is a bit redundant.

I think they go well together. Apple TV does give you a nice way of getting digital media unto the bigger screen. While the component video cables will do the same for the iPhone it is a real hassle and the resolution is not as good. I tried the universal dock with my iPhone and kept wondering what the point of the remote was. The Apple TV is really nicely integrated and with XBMC it's very interesting.

philip
post #44 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

1.) You can't stream DVD playback from your computer through the ATV.
2.) You can't search your own music or video files direct -only iTunes mUsic to buy- IMAGINE? NO netflix or any other rental service - ONLY iTunes.
3.) You can't rip your own DVDs to it- only rent or buy- It's an iTunes DIgital Jukebox.
4.) NO disc drive- your DVDs are obsolete. AT least you can rip your CD's to iTunes.
5.) NO recording allowed. I know - blame the studios- never Apple.
6.) NO on or off switch on the machine itself-WTF?
7.) NO repeat or playlists for videos.
8.) N0 INTERNET

You got some wrong statements mixed in with the good points here.
1.) You got a good point here.
2.) I see my complete iTunes Library. And very little of my library comes from the iTunes Store. You just have to be aware of the ATV file limitations.
2a.) I do wish that Apple would open up the ATV so that Boxee, Netflix and the BBC could all provide ATV plugins for their services.
3.) I've done this using Handbrake.
4.) Using Handbrake I can rip to iTunes just as I can CD's. -- Because of the legal uncertainty of this, do not expect an Apple solution anytime soon.
5.) Works just fine when you use your computer. -- But that's just your point about using the Mini.
6.) Until Apple fixes it network syncing issue this defiantly a problem. As a minimum the ATV needs a front panel reset switch.
7.) The last update added video playlists. And joy, joy, the ATV does not interrupt video playback by doing a syncing operation when playing video from a playlist.
8.) Unless your talking about streaming off of the internet, I do not see this as a problem.
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post #45 of 79
AppleTV sales could have increased way beyond 300% and even become more than a hobby if TV shows and movies would be made available on iTunes worldwide.

Apple's quarter was good because of international sales, so I wonder if this will push them to talk to content creators to deliever iTunes video content worldwide.
The EU, always keen in forcing Apple to open up it's music business to competitors and uniform it across Europe, doesn't seem to mind at all about the movie industry.

I own an AppleTV, and am really happy about the product (even if I cannot buy any video content from iTunes). But the adoption rate would really increase if people were given such ability.

AppleTV needs:
- web browser
- widgets
-CONTENT, CONTENT...
- some games? An AppStore? Maybe.
post #46 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

I expect that if Apple can hit a $149 pricepoint with the Apple TV they will see sales improve by %1000.

First they should hit the US$ 229 price point.

German price:
40 GB 299,00 = US$ 390 (without VAT 328)
160 GB 399,00 = US$ 520 (without VAT 437)
post #47 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by stw View Post

German price:
40 GB 299,00 = US$ 390 (without VAT 328)
160 GB 399,00 = US$ 520 (without VAT 437)

Agreed, the prices in Europe are horrific. We never got the last round of ATV price cuts in the UK so I assume mainland Europe missed out on them too.

It makes the Mac mini a no-brainer for Europeans. A thousand times more functionality for only a third more money.
post #48 of 79
I used to own one, sold after a couple of months of ownership. To add to the list of problems with the unit:

- There is no hierarchy for your movies. They are listed as one big list. This I still find ridiculous.

- The remote sucks (especially when you need to type to search something). Apple should have produced a real remote or keyboard as an accessory.

- HD Podcasts are cool. But most of them are too infrequently updated (maybe this problem has been fixed).

- The AppleTV still can't read my iMovie project and play them on my television.

- The USB port needs to be enabled already. Whether or not a user needs to add a larger external drive or even to act as a pass through to play content on your television from you iPod. This needs to be enabled.

- The whole streaming/sync thing is flawed. If I have all of my content on my Mac, why cant' I stream everything from my computer or remove movies from my iTunes library to be housed on my AppleTV?

It will be interesting where Apple takes this product... I don't think Apple really knows which direction to take with the product that is why is called a hobby.

Hacking a AppleTV may be fun, but its not practical if this will someday be a flagship product.

Dave
post #49 of 79
I've also had one since it was announced. The only flaw I see continues to be codec support \ I know that can be hacked, but I'm not in to all of that.

That being said, the AppleTV experience if flawless, and leagues ahead of any other device on the market.

Since new agreements were recently made with the content providers, I assume more features will be coming soon.
post #50 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

No...but many of us don't want to pay some cable company $80 a month. Apple TV with a satellite or cable package is a bit redundant.

You are obviously not a sports Fan.
post #51 of 79
Everyone wants the AppleTV to do what it wasn't designed to do. Apple saw that there were billions of songs, millions of TV shows, movie rentals, and movie purchases off iTunes. There was no good way to get those from your Mac or PC to your TV. So this is why there is AppleTV. To get your iTunes content to your TV. Its not designed to be a DVD player, blu-ray player, stream from Netflix, or BBC, ESPN, etc. Its for iTunes only. Its a simple and fairly cheap device to do a simple task, nothing more. If you don't like, then don't buy it. I just love how something is a piece of shit because it doesn't suit your needs and it never was meant to. You should have researched before you bought and not just assumed that just because there's an Apple logo on it, that it will work for you. Go buy what does suit your needs and stop bitching. Apple can't make everything for everyone...some people just can't face that fact.

Building a widescreen TV with AppleTV built in wouldn't necessarily be the great thing it seems to be. Now you have someone who already has a big screen TV who has to go out and get an Apple branded one just to get iTunes content? Doesn't make any sense. Plus, you now have a $3,000-$5,000 device to buy instead of a $299 device. There's a huge difference there. Not everyone has a money tree in their backyard.

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post #52 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacOldTimer View Post

You are obviously not a sports Fan.

I am for my local teams but I'm not paying $$$ a month for ESPN support to watch other games. I can go to the local pub and watch the good games for free or the cost of a beer and lunch and feel a bit more electricity.

In the end it is "I" that choose my media consumption. With the "all you can eat" method it can make you feel like you "must" sit in front of the boob tube and get your money's worth.
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post #53 of 79
I've sold enough AppleTV's and seen enough people interested in them to have an idea that the sales are actually pretty decent. It could benefit from a renewed marketing push, though.

Having owned one since Christmas, I would say the only thing I would fix is software based: It's really hard to get a list of just HD movie rentals, or new rentals period. There's a "new releases" section, but it includes movies that are for sale and might not be up for rental until a couple weeks later (I also wish they'd allow you to rent a movie the day it comes out: that's the sole reason we've kept our Netflix subscription).

But it's a slick little machine, and we've gotten a ton of use out of it already, and we'll get even more once we get our DVD library on there.
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16 GB iPhone 4
80 GB iPod Classic
1 GB 2nd Gen iPod Shuffle

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Apple TV (1st gen 40 GB)
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post #54 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

I really don't have ApplTV yet because I am still thinking of either buying a PS3 or an AppleTV with PS2/XBoX/or Wii.

I'd say skip the AppleTV and get the PS3. It's really not that much more than an AppleTV but can do so much more than the AppleTV (and doesn't require hacking to get there).
post #55 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

I love the convenience of my AppleTV:

Call my gf over
Order up a pizza
Hop in the shower
Cuddle up
Rent

All those things... It's amazing how versatile the Apple TV can be!
post #56 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetzel1517 View Post

I've sold enough AppleTV's and seen enough people interested in them to have an idea that the sales are actually pretty decent. It could benefit from a renewed marketing push, though.

Having owned one since Christmas, I would say the only thing I would fix is software based: It's really hard to get a list of just HD movie rentals, or new rentals period. There's a "new releases" section, but it includes movies that are for sale and might not be up for rental until a couple weeks later (I also wish they'd allow you to rent a movie the day it comes out: that's the sole reason we've kept our Netflix subscription).

But it's a slick little machine, and we've gotten a ton of use out of it already, and we'll get even more once we get our DVD library on there.

Apple would have also sold more ATV by now if they had included an S-video output for older sets. When ATV came out, an HD TV was still pretty expensive. HD TV's has come down over 50% since the introduction of ATV and I image this is why there's a surge in ATV sales. More people now own a TV that ATV can hook up to.
post #57 of 79
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post #58 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifterus View Post

To me there's no value in it unless you put Boxee with Hulu on it (which Apple kills every update)......

aTV doesn't make much sense unless you prefer iTunes because you have a strong need to watch movies on your iPhone or iPod Touch. In other words, if you have no intention of taking the movies with you on the go with your iPhone, then there's no good reason whatsoever to go with aTV. You're just being a foolish consumer.

You started off good by explaining why you didn't feel it was a good value but then your final summary you start making judgment about how everyone should feel. I want the Apple TV no just for watching movies but for viewing my photographs and playing back my purchased music and my own creations. Though the device has "TV" in the name it's not solely a video playback device and the naysayers always seem to forget about the other options (which mean nothing to them often but something to many other people)
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post #59 of 79
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post #60 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifterus View Post

That's like saying "I want the AppleTV because it has HDMI output" - so what? They all have that. You can view photos on the other devices as well. The only thing the aTV does exclusively is that your movie rentals/purchases will work on your iPhone or iPod Touch. That's it. Meanwhile there's whole bunch of things it doesn't do, and it's really expensive. And even if portable iTunes content is important to you, you can get still get that with a Mac Mini. It's more expensive, but with a Mac Mini you can have the real Boxee with Netflix & Hulu, and you can do plenty of other things with it like watch ripped DVDs. So again, I don't see any value in aTV. Don't get me wrong, i think it's a cool device. But it needs to be $99. Otherwise it's just an unwise purchase decision when you compare it to all the other options.

Yeah and I can whip out the photoalbum on the shelf and view my photos there. When we discuss what we "can" do it's easy to distill it down to the most basic. Sure other devices view photos and videos and music but what many users are looking for and Apple's raison d'ĂȘtre is making these types of tasks easier than the next guy. Consumers don't give a shit about Boxee or XBMC or Hulu and Netflix. CE devices are meant to be easy to setup ...many of you are taking your Geek ethos and applying that to a CE device that's meant to be easy.

So no Apple's not going to make a device that is the hardware equivalent of VLC that plays what in God knows codec you've downloaded from the internet. Boo hoo. Build a HTPC and put whatever software you want but Apple is right in being somewhat conservative here.

I do think the people that want to get all the other stuff should get a Mac mini.
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post #61 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

Everyone wants the AppleTV to do what it wasn't designed to do. Apple saw that there were billions of songs, millions of TV shows, movie rentals, and movie purchases off iTunes. There was no good way to get those from your Mac or PC to your TV. So this is why there is AppleTV. To get your iTunes content to your TV. Its not designed to be a DVD player, blu-ray player, stream from Netflix, or BBC, ESPN, etc. Its for iTunes only. Its a simple and fairly cheap device to do a simple task, nothing more.

I happen to think the single task should be "playing video content from your computer on your TV". Whack it full of codecs, make it play anything I have on my computer.

As it happens, I have hacked my AppleTV to do this. I bought it knowing that it would be useless until I hacked it. (That, and my TV doesn't have component in, so I needed a hack there too.)

The thing is, now I've bought it, I may well buy some things from the iTunes store. But if I couldn't hack it to play things like DivX and FLV, I wouldn't have bought it. It's all well and good saying "Don't buy it", but we would all win if the AppleTV gained functionality such as this.
post #62 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

So no Apple's not going to make a device that is the hardware equivalent of VLC that plays what in God knows codec you've downloaded from the internet. Boo hoo. Build a HTPC and put whatever software you want but Apple is right in being somewhat conservative here.

Why are they right? Tons of non-techie people download video. Which is going to be a better device for such a consumer: one that just happens to play everything they have (it just works!) or one that can only play what seems to be a proprietary format? (I know H264 is standard, but your non-techie consumer doesn't. They just see it as "Apple hardware only works with Apple format video".)

Amorya
post #63 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amorya View Post

Why are they right? Tons of non-techie people download video. Which is going to be a better device for such a consumer: one that just happens to play everything they have (it just works!) or one that can only play what seems to be a proprietary format? (I know H264 is standard, but your non-techie consumer doesn't. They just see it as "Apple hardware only works with Apple format video".)

Amorya

Because CE device generally got to people that want ease of setup. It's easier to say

"Everything you get from iTunes will play on this device" Apple owns the pipeline.
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post #64 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Because CE device generally got to people that want ease of setup. It's easier to say

"Everything you get from iTunes will play on this device" Apple owns the pipeline.

You don't need to add any stages to the setup process to add codecs! Apple could still make the same guarantee, and to someone who never tries to play any other format, they would never know the difference.

But when someone drags a DivX AVI into iTunes, they'll notice... when it just plays on the AppleTV with no fuss.

I completely get the ease of setup thing. I'm not proposing any new options on the AppleTV menu, for example. I just don't believe that this particular feature request would make setup any more difficult.

Amorya
post #65 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames42 View Post

(snip) What I thought was funny was reading all the things he said couldn't be done with an Apple TV -- and with very few exceptions, I do all of them (surfing, playing DVDs, searching my media [okay, so it's an add-on of sorts to use my iPhone], etc).


Having just hooked up my Apple TV yesterday, and looking through some of the posts to this thread, I have to ask: Where is the manual for those of us who DON'T want to go to night school to learn how this thing works? Apple's website offers zilch. Surfing -- how does that work? If you have your Apple TV hooked in to your home theater (HDMI to TV, audio out to receiver), why would using Apple TV be better for watching a DVD than the DVD player already a part of the stereo setup?

My entire music library is AIFF, and syncing it to Apple TV uses up almost ALL of the disk space. I haven't yet been able to see how I can stream (rather than sync) the music and/or photo libraries.

It's frustrating that there isn't even a PDF user manual available from Apple.
post #66 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by thisisdon View Post

My entire music library is AIFF, and syncing it to Apple TV uses up almost ALL of the disk space. I haven't yet been able to see how I can stream (rather than sync) the music and/or photo libraries.

It's frustrating that there isn't even a PDF user manual available from Apple.

Take those AIFF and convert them to Apple Lossless and you'll gain nearly half your space back yet the fidelity will be the same.
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post #67 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Take those AIFF and convert them to Apple Lossless and you'll gain nearly half your space back yet the fidelity will be the same.

Dare I say it, but surely they knew the capacity of the Apple TV when they bought it?
post #68 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Take those AIFF and convert them to Apple Lossless and you'll gain nearly half your space back yet the fidelity will be the same.

I appreciate how much smaller Apple Lossless is. And, yes, I was well aware of the Apple TV's drive size. That's why I'd tried to phrase my original question as: how do you set up the device to stream instead of sync? Up until now, my library has been all-AIFF because I burn a lot of CDs and when I rip old vinyl, it all goes AIFF. Until now, I've never needed smaller formats, and I'd like to be able to stream audio until I have a chance to convert AIFF to Apple Lossless, or more likely AAC.

I'm assuming that because nobody pointed me towards documentation for Apple TV, there isn't any.
post #69 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by thisisdon View Post

Until now, I've never needed smaller formats, and I'd like to be able to stream audio until I have a chance to convert AIFF to Apple Lossless, or more likely AAC.

If your music is already in iTunes, it's a no-brainer. You can convert the whole lot in one go. Just set it going, it'll be done in a few hours.

Quote:
I'm assuming that because nobody pointed me towards documentation for Apple TV, there isn't any.

It's pretty usual for Apple to not really bother with any or much documentation. I guess they think their equipment just speaks for itself. Mostly it does. What is it you want to know? Apple TV cannot stream audio at present as far as I know. For that you need an Airport Express or a Mac Mini. Another reason I'm not going for an Apple TV (yet).
post #70 of 79
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post #71 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by jowie74 View Post

Apple TV cannot stream audio at present as far as I know..

Yes it can. It works as an airtunes device, since 2.3 update . This even works when your atv is on standby...
post #72 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevermind50 View Post

Yes it can. It works as an airtunes device, since 2.3 update . This even works when your atv is on standby...

Oooh that's pretty cool.
post #73 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by jowie74 View Post

Apple TV cannot stream audio at present as far as I know. For that you need an Airport Express or a Mac Mini. Another reason I'm not going for an Apple TV (yet).

The AppleTV can currently receive audio AirTune streams like an Airport Express and send audio AirTune streams to AirPort Expresses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thisisdon View Post

If you have your Apple TV hooked in to your home theater (HDMI to TV, audio out to receiver), why would using Apple TV be better for watching a DVD than the DVD player already a part of the stereo setup?

It's not. That's been a long standing complaint with the AppleTV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thisisdon View Post

I haven't yet been able to see how I can stream (rather than sync) the music and/or photo libraries.

You do nothing, as long as the iTunes library it is synced to is up and running. The AppleTV will display all the songs and stuff in the library even if they are not stored locally on the AppleTV HD. It will automatically go to the iTunes app and stream any file that it needs.
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post #74 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by aresee View Post

It's not. That's been a long standing complaint with the AppleTV.

I'm not so sure about that. I've been ripping some DVDs with Handbrake using the default AppleTV setting, and I swear the picture quality compares with the upscaling my HD-DVD player does to standard DVDs. Somebody else in this thread mentioned something similar, so I'm glad to know I'm not the only one seeing it.

It's also incredibly convenient to be able to stream a library of movies and store the DVDs somewhere out-of-sight!
post #75 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames42 View Post

I'm not so sure about that. I've been ripping some DVDs with Handbrake using the default AppleTV setting, and I swear the picture quality compares with the upscaling my HD-DVD player does to standard DVDs. Somebody else in this thread mentioned something similar, so I'm glad to know I'm not the only one seeing it.

It's also incredibly convenient to be able to stream a library of movies and store the DVDs somewhere out-of-sight!

I do the same thing, but it's not the same experience as using the DVD. No menus, no sub-titles, no extra features and no slipping the disk in and quickly playing the DVD. Sure you can do all that with Handbrake. After you carefully planned what you wanted and created separate files for each feature you wanted to send to the AppleTV. A better solution would be the AppleTV playing the Video_TS files directly.
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post #76 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by aresee View Post

I do the same thing, but it's not the same experience as using the DVD. No menus, no sub-titles, no extra features and no slipping the disk in and quickly playing the DVD. Sure you can do all that with Handbrake. After you carefully planned what you wanted and created separate files for each feature you wanted to send to the AppleTV. A better solution would be the AppleTV playing the Video_TS files directly.

You can play the VIDEO_TS folders with the AppleTV using one of the various hacks. I've not tried it myself. Frankly, while I'm glad to have the special features on DVDs, I don't watch them more than once (generally) and so I'm happy to pull out a DVD for those, keeping just the movie on the AppleTV with the audio track of choice, and the subtitles hard coded if needed for foreign language films.

I'd rather just watch the film without having to use a menu.
post #77 of 79
To each their own.

While watch Boxee, I have resisted hacking my AppleTV so far.
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post #78 of 79
i think everyone in the world, except maybe Steve Jobs, agrees AppleTV needs to do more functionally than it does now. then we all have various ... suggestions.

but stepping back, i think the big problem with all the "boxes" - all brands, types, and models - meant to bring computer/web content and applications to your TV screen is the old fashioned move-the-cursor UI that began - when? with DVD's in the -80's? i forget. and if you need to enter text, it's murder.

Apple could revolutionize this by linking the iPhone/Touch to AppleTV (or a Mini HTPC) as a touch screen remote control. not the way the current Remote App does, which uses the old approach, but instead by replicating the same image on the iPhone display and TV screen at the same time. so you can use multitouch controls instead, and the virtual keyboard when needed.

Back to functionality, the other huge step Apple could then take with this kind of remote control linkage is to "clone" the iPhone's capabilities to run apps on the AppleTV. in other words, you could run the 15,000+ iPhone apps on ATV too. that would be a sensation ...

other folks have suggested this too. but Jobs ... unfortunately i don't think he'll ever allow it.
post #79 of 79
I think the whole AppleTV name is a misnomer as it gives the impression of a device that can watch and/or record TV on, neither of which it can do. AppleMediaBox or AppleMedia would be much better names until they integrate a TV tuner into this thing.
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