or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPod + iTunes + AppleTV › Analyst urges Apple to add cable box support to Apple TV
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Analyst urges Apple to add cable box support to Apple TV - Page 2

post #41 of 62
The major PITA with Tivo or a Home Theater PC, or an AppleTV as this guy suggests, is the CableCARD.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CableCARD
You have to rent it from the Cable Co. - set up an appointment for them to install it. You don't know if it will work for awhile so the tech leaves. Then you find out he did something wrong (it's much more involved than simply plugging it in). So you run around with them on the phone and set up another appointment. And MAYBE it will work next time. Trying to replace that STB (set top box) is a major pain. Jobs would have to get the tuner built in to avoid the CableCARD. It wasn't explained in the article how Tru2Way does away with the tuner.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tru2way

Tivo DVR requires the CableCARD.

There is definitely a market for providing the long anticipated "Convergence Technology". Nobody knows how to do it. There is MythTV and such, but you still need the damn CableCARD for a monthly fee, etc.

AT&T U-verse uses IPTV. I could see Jobs warming up to that. Apple already has a relationship with AT&T and they certainly trust his vision and business model. If the AppleTV ever competes with the much beloved Tivo, it would be through a partnership with AT&T U-Verse.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT%26T_U-verse

One question comes immediately to mind: How many subscribers does AT&T have and what is their potential growth rate? It has to reach a tipping point for Jobs to launch. I believe I read that they have about 1 million subscribers. What's the magic number for Jobs?

But does Jobs want to use the AppleTV to deliver content that doesn't come from iTunes? I doubt it. AppleTV is an iTunes delivery system. Selling the hardware is not the goal. The goal as stated by them has been, 'If it's on iTunes, it's on your TV".
2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
Reply
2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
Reply
post #42 of 62
I've been saying this for a while and I'll say it again: If AppeTV allows you to connect it to your satellite/cable box and also has DVR functionality... I'll buy it the second it comes out! It would also be nice to have a Blu-Ray player in it, but seeing as how every thing is going, I doubt that.
post #43 of 62
to: themoonisdown09

Why you want a BLue Ray on the Apple TV??? You can rent film directly from the internet with the Apple TV. I don't know why people want two way to rent film.

Did the Blue Ray player on the market got streaming film from internet?? no
post #44 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by gigi View Post

to: themoonisdown09

Why you want a BLue Ray on the Apple TV??? You can rent film directly from the internet with the Apple TV. I don't know why people want two way to rent film.

Did the Blue Ray player on the market got streaming film from internet?? no

Because AppleTV is a bag of hurt and Blu-ray is a hobby.
Why rent when you can own.
post #45 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post


AppleTV is an iTunes delivery system. Selling the hardware is not the goal. The goal as stated by them has been, 'If it's on iTunes, it's on your TV".

That's the problem- as an iTunes Digital Juekbox , the AppleTV has a very limited appeal.
post #46 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmoeser View Post

Have you ever seen an AppleTV?

As has been pointed out by another poster, sales have increased 3 fold over the last year. They don't need to change anything.

Yeah- right. Everybody was clamoring to buy one (ATV) this holiday season and not a Blu-ray.
A 3 fold increase don't mean squat unless you see the figures- Statistics 101.
post #47 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by gigi View Post

to: themoonisdown09

Why you want a BLue Ray on the Apple TV??? You can rent film directly from the internet with the Apple TV. I don't know why people want two way to rent film.

How about, because 1080P coming off of a Blu-Ray onto a decent monitor looks and sounds better than anything coming from the ITMS? Because I don't want to download 20 GB of data to watch a movie without horrible compression artifacts? Because the quality of the content is also important?

Much the same reason that for me (and many others) buying lossy-compressed MP3s or AACs from ITMS isn't as compelling as buying a CD or better for roughly the same money.

I have bought such compressed content, certainly. But if it's music I care about, I buy an uncompressed version. Same with movies. I don't think there's anything unreasonable about that position.
post #48 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCO3 View Post


I have bought such compressed content, certainly. But if it's music I care about, I buy an uncompressed version. Same with movies. I don't think there's anything unreasonable about that position.

Not at all but there's little reason for Apple to pursue Blu-ray/ATV integration. Most consumers will enjoy 720p content and future TV will upscale SD and HD content.

I want a Blu-ray player as well but the smarter thing to do IMO is buy a solid player and augment it with ATV. With HDMI you're talking two connections
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
Reply
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
Reply
post #49 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by bubba451 View Post

What'd be far more useful and forward-looking is interfacing with Hulu and ABC.com and other places where on-demand, streamable content is freely available.

That's what I'd most like to see.

There are more and more sources of free streaming TV (although with ads), or things like netflix streaming. Until aTV can bring this content to a TV (and it would just need a software update, there's no reason the hardware can't do it), there's not much reason for me to get one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by camper View Post

Over on the apple.com support forum, the highly-rated members will waste no time to tell you that AppleTV is a low-end consumer device, incapable of anything approaching quality reproduction of the media it plays. Mediocrity rules.

Does Apple plan to change AppleTV's design goal of striving for mediocrity?

So far, it does 720p. What is it missing besides 1080? Looking at the box, quality seems to be the least of its shortcomings.
post #50 of 62
Content is king. Netflix leads the way here, for movies. ATV + Netflix = the perfect storm.
post #51 of 62
We all like to dream but some people have missed the whole point of the Apple TV.

1. Apple will not add PVR functionality because they want you to buy content from iTunes rather than record it from the TV and watch it for free.

2. Apple will not add a DVD or Blu-Ray player because they see iTunes as an alternative to physical media in the long run.

3. Apple will not add TV/Cable support because there is no benefit to Apple - it would add to the cost of the box and for what? Apple want you to buy iTunes content rather than spend money on cable TV subscriptions. Plus, are they going to add cable support for each country? I don't think so.

AppleTV is what it is - essentially a relatively cheap and simple way of watching content (movies, tv shows, etc) purchased from iTunes on your big screen TV rather than your computer. The reason they haven't sold more is simple - the video content available to buy on iTunes is limited and what there is is still mostly in 'near DVD' quality. Once there is more HD content and Apple updates the SD content to 'true DVD' quality then more and more people will buy content from iTunes rather than on DVD. Then AppleTV will make more sense and have a wider appeal.

The areas where I can see Apple adding functionality to AppleTV are:

1. Something like Sonos functionality where you can stream your music/video content to other TVs or speaker systems around the house.

2. Some form of Slingbox type technology allowing users to stream their content stored on the AppleTV to their iPhone.

3. A better built in amplifier (or compatible external unit) so you can listen to music through your TV or attached speaker system as if you were listening to a CD on your hi-fi rather than having to attach it to a home theatre system to get the best sound quality.

4. A display on the front so that together with the better amplifier and a set of external speakers plugged directly into the AppleTV you can use it as a replacement hi-fi unit for just listening to music, without having to connect it to your TV.
post #52 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

1. Apple will not add PVR functionality because they want you to buy content from iTunes rather than record it from the TV and watch it for free.

I agree, and it's the reason I wanted the AppleTV. I don't want to pay $100/month to Comcast (or any other provider) for "all I can eat" when 99% of what's available is crap. I'd rather pay ala-carte for the 1% I actually want. It's cheaper that way, no commercials, and I can rewatch when I want.

Quote:
1. Something like Sonos functionality where you can stream your music/video content to other TVs or speaker systems around the house.

Not entirely sure why this would need to be added to the AppleTV as it's sort-of already available via iTunes (if you've got airtunes). With the iPhone/touch as a remote, you get Sonus capability at a fraction of the cost.

Quote:
2. Some form of Slingbox type technology allowing users to stream their content stored on the AppleTV to their iPhone.

Yes please!

Quote:
4. A display on the front so that together with the better amplifier and a set of external speakers plugged directly into the AppleTV you can use it as a replacement hi-fi unit for just listening to music, without having to connect it to your TV.

Used to think this would be a good idea, but I find that using my iPhone as a remote to the AppleTV is insanely great, and far better than what a tiny display on the front of the unit would provide (not that I'd complain about having a time display, much like DVD players have).
post #53 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by God of Biscuits View Post

Apple has a history of creating its own channels for content, not dipping into current ones. The iTunes Music Store. iTunes Movies. iTunes Rentals. The iTunes App Store.

True as this may be, there is a very big difference in viewing and listening habits. Everyone is used to BUYING music and RENTING video.

For the former, the iTunes Store works perfectly, and the failure of the subscription services demonstrates that people just think about music that way.

For the later, not so much. Episodic TV has an immediacy that next-day downloads don't have. Additionally, you can't channel-surf iTunes.

Note that you CAN use EyeTV on the AppleTV (with some hacking) and it works great. If Apple offered downloadable software for the ATV then it would already be a cable box.

Maury
post #54 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

1. Apple will not add PVR functionality because they want you to buy content from iTunes rather than record it from the TV and watch it for free.

True, but I think that misses the point. The point is that there is a bug pipe of TV coming into the set, and iTunes is NOT a replacement for it. iTunes IS a replacement for PVR.

This actually makes things easier for Apple. What I want is a box the same size as the current ATV that plugs into the ATV via the USB. It has two tuners with tru2way on one of them. A H264 hardware encoder would be nice, but not required.

Quote:
2. Apple will not add a DVD or Blu-Ray player because they see iTunes as an alternative to physical media in the long run.

In the long run, yes. In the short term the ability to play a DVD or BluRay through a network connection would make the device seriously more attractive.

Maury
post #55 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maury Markowitz View Post

Additionally, you can't channel-surf iTunes.

You say that as if it's a bad thing
post #56 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

The areas where I can see Apple adding functionality to AppleTV are:

1. Something like Sonos functionality where you can stream your music/video content to other TVs or speaker systems around the house.

2. Some form of Slingbox type technology allowing users to stream their content stored on the AppleTV to their iPhone.

3. A better built in amplifier (or compatible external unit) so you can listen to music through your TV or attached speaker system as if you were listening to a CD on your hi-fi rather than having to attach it to a home theatre system to get the best sound quality.

4. A display on the front so that together with the better amplifier and a set of external speakers plugged directly into the AppleTV you can use it as a replacement hi-fi unit for just listening to music, without having to connect it to your TV.

Forget all that. What about the basic ability to search your own music files- Fast?
post #57 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lun_Esex View Post

Apple adding a TV tuner and/or DVR functionality to Apple TV has as much chance as them adding a built-in radio tuner (analog, digital, satellite, or otherwise) to iPods. It's simply not going to happen. The same goes for adding a DVD or BluRay drive.

The content for Apple TV, like the content for an iPod, comes from or through iTunes and the Internet (including ripped CDs, YouTube, Flickr, podcasts, etc.).

More likely are deals with studios to get their TV show content available through iTunes without the 24 hour waiting period that currently exists.

Imagine that you've purchased a season pass to a show you like on iTunes. Then a few minutes before the show is first scheduled to air in the U.S. your Apple TV and/or iTunes starts buffering the download of that show and allows you to stream it just like watching a movie through Apple TV. Voila, you get to watch the show starting at the same time as everyone else (the buffered part will be "locked" until the time the show is supposed to start airing on broadcast). To make up for the lack of commercial revenue for the studios you'll have to pay an extra "Plus pass" type fee (like $5 on top of the season pass), and/or there will be single commercials inserted into the commercial breaks a la Hulu (and just like on Hulu, you WON'T be able to skip past them!). Fortunately, those commercials won't actually be saved on disk with the show, so subsequent viewings (or maybe viewings after the first 24 hours) will be commercial free.

There's simply no way Apple is going to do something with Apple TV that just gives revenue to the cable/satellite/etc. providers, when *they're the competition.*

Notice how the current sources of content for the Apple TV and iPods are largely non-commercially supported (the exceptions are some podcasts, and maybe with some Internet streaming radio apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch).

Bear in mind that unlike Apple's other products Apple TV is hardware designed to sell content, which is a reverse of Apple's usual content/software to sell hardware model. This is a large part of why Apple still considers it only a hobby.

Other makers of set top boxes, PC tuner hardware, etc. are actually selling their gear more like Apple's non-Apple TV products where the majority of their revenue comes from the hardware (TiVo is in-between, trying to make money off both hardware sales and subscription fees for their guide). Those other hardware makers are more likely than Apple to add cable/satellite/etc. functionality as a result.

A big problem these so-called "analysts" (and many followers of tech) have is that many of them simply can't see Apple TV as anything but just another set top box. For some reason they just don't grasp the fundamental differences I've described above.

Lun Esex

Best post I've seen in a while. Thought I should quote you just so it appears again on this page.

I might also add, that despite all this recent hoopla over adding outdated technology to AppleTV, TV-land is in trouble. They (the networks) are not even able to calculate how many people are watching their own content because they've sat idle and slipped so far behind the curve. People themselves have actually created new means to find and enjoy this content (bittorrent, DVR etc), and the fact that the networks have so little faith in downloads and freeing said content means that television as programming is doomed. May take five years, may take ten, but 'on demand' will win, and Apple has positioned itself to be there at that forefront. If I'm wrong, there are many crows in Vancouver...

Jimzip
"There's no time like the present, and the only present you'll never get, is time." - Me
Reply
"There's no time like the present, and the only present you'll never get, is time." - Me
Reply
post #58 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by WIJG View Post

When you consider that Apple TV requires: a computer, a flat-screen TV, and WiFi...
and offers very little functionality...
I think a cable box is a great idea.

It requires neither a computer nor wifi

Quote:
Originally Posted by WIJG View Post

It would offer cable that works with any TV, opening up sales to a vast number of people. Consumers that already have a flat-screen and a computer would get to use Apple TV as originally envisioned. They wouldn't have to shell out extra bucks for a wireless router either (provided it's included in Apple TV).

True, AppleTV's objective is the fourth leg, to reinforce the iTunes eco-system but when have they ever gone after the mass-markets by emulating someone else's business model?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WIJG View Post

It's worth remembering that a lot of would-be Apple consumers just can't afford it. With iPods, Apple started to change that. All the requirements of Apple TV are impediments to its success. I understand Apple wants to sell content in addition to hardware, but it will have to do it like they did with the iPod--by first making it ubiquitous, relatively cheap, and compatible with content appart from iTunes.

This is entirely subjective. Had the market of 2001 been flooded with cheap, reasonably functional digital music players iPods too would have been deemed too expensive (Apple's usual mistake of doing the job too well) but instead they were able to the public's perception of quality and create a perceived standard few/none have have matched.

I agree AppleTV deserves to be more than a hobby (I bought mine a week before Steve's quote - nice!) but your posts show the public need to be educated as to what it actually is, it's true weakness is it's marketing. For my money:-
  • The movie rental browser needs to be re-worked - it's too hard to home in on rentals
  • Half-price, rental TV show season passes need to be added (we rent more TV shows than we buy)
  • The iPhone/Touch Remote App needs to be extended to cover all features of AppleTV (maybe automatically when selecting the AppleTV)
  • Most importantly, Apple need to re-think how people decide what we want to watch. Most of us still listen to radios, watch music TV and watch TV show trailers/ads to make these decisions. Though I like ad-free content it does eliminate the self-promotion that's crucial to this decision-making. This challenge is head & shoulders above any tech-challenge.

McD
Why does somebody ask me a question, I can never understand, I can never provide the answer, but believe I can.
Reply
Why does somebody ask me a question, I can never understand, I can never provide the answer, but believe I can.
Reply
post #59 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley View Post

Every single person I know has satellite service.

I guess you don't know anybody that I know. Amazing - a parallel universe.
post #60 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCO3 View Post

How about, because 1080P coming off of a Blu-Ray onto a decent monitor looks and sounds better than anything coming from the ITMS? .

Ultimately this will come down to how the vast majority of people view the superiority of 1080P over, say 720. Believe it or not, most people really don't see the difference, or if they do, don't consider it to be so mind-boggling better that the eschew all non 1080P.
Videophiles just won't accept that, and insist that that small difference (and compared to VHS->DVD which is the improvement most people consider 'significant') is the be-all-end-all.
And its the big market target that's going to determine winners, not videophiles.

I was neck deep in HD enthusiasm for the first couple of years I had my new monitor, and I've slowly found myself less and less worried about it.
- when recording via DVR, the storage space of HD content really forces serious choices on me.
- when downloading movies from iTunes, I've found lately that choose HD only for movies where the visuals are the dominating feature. If its a character-based movie, I really only care that it's 16:9.
- I really don't even know that HD vs 720 is that big of a deal for, say, something like Wall-e.
The 'wow' of the 'pop' lasts for about a minute, and maybe for on occasional suprise visual. Its the writing and content that last the whole 2 hours.
- ok, for golf, I want the best HD I can get, but that's not downloadable via any source, and sports have to be real-time to be worth watching.
post #61 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

You must live in Alaska on in some other boonies where satellite makes sense. I see the occasional dish in the Bay Area, but I don't know anyone without cable. I do know that once AT&T gets their act together with FIOS here (starting to roll out) we might have a semblance of competition. I'll personally start ping-ponging them to death once a year to get switching specials.

I live in Miami 3/4 of the year and Los Angeles during the summer.

Satellite make sense for EVERYONE, except those living in an apartment that only faces north.

I have many friends in NYC that have satellite also. Have you ever taken a trip to Toronto? I have never seen so many satellites in my life. Literally dozens on every single apartment building.
post #62 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by McDave View Post

It requires neither a computer nor wifi

Yeah, somebody else mentioned that too. I have to concede my ignorance. I just remember the original concept being: watch videos on your computer from your gorgeous flat screen!!! That notion certainly requires: a flat screen TV, a computer, WiFi.

Apparently, the ATV can do more now. I agree its marketing is bad. However, I still don't know anybody who owns one and I don't know anyone who even wants one. What's the point of it? There is none except to enrich Apple's bottomline in content delivery. --Not a bad thing if they can get a working business model. Apple's problem with this thing is that they're too focused on their own content service. Frankly, it seems like a Microsoft-like move to me. They have to trust that people will want to use iTunes for video once they buy an ATV that can do something the user actually cares about. E.g. BluRay, DVR, cable box, whatever.

I'm not making a predictioun; I'm not saying Apple will do any of these things. And the notion of "should" is dependent on one's aims. If Apple is content to keep ATV a hobby, they're doing all the right things.

I have Comcast cable. I hate my remote. I pay $3.65 a month to rent my hideous cable box. I'm not getting rid of my cable service and I would gladly buy an Apple TV to improve my experience. Thereafter, I might even buy video content from iTunes. But there is no way in hell I'm going to buy an ATV for the privilege of paying Apple for a video--it's just stupid. Further, I don't own an HDTV. I will eventually buy one--about a year after the digital conversion is completed--but until that time, ATV is a non-starter for me--even if I wanted one. There are lots of people who won't be buying an HDTV anytime soon. On the other hand, ATV as a cable box could be sold as a stylish way to save money by not having to rent a cable box, plus it can do other stuff too!
When will the governments realize it's got to be funky, sexy ladies?
-Flight of the Conchords
Reply
When will the governments realize it's got to be funky, sexy ladies?
-Flight of the Conchords
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPod + iTunes + AppleTV › Analyst urges Apple to add cable box support to Apple TV