Steve Jobs isn't convinced new Apple TV will be a mainstream hit

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  • Reply 101 of 203
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ktappe View Post


    Well, if SJ would add DVR capabilities to the AppleTV/iTV as some of us have been waiting years and years for, perhaps he'd sell a lot more of them. As it is, I'm recording my shows on a Windows 7 Media Center that needs rebooting every few days because it's so unstable. I'd punt it out the door in a heartbeat if Apple offered an off-the-shelf DVR solution. But Steve is being stubborn Steve and still won't provide what the customers want.



    I can only assume there are numerous patents that prevent them from doing this without paying an exorbitant licensing fee.
  • Reply 102 of 203
    mbmcavoymbmcavoy Posts: 157member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post


    The problem is I watch Formula 1 on Speed TV, as much hockey as I can get away with, and the baseball from time to time, so that needs to be resolved as well.



    Formula 1 and service pricing are the sticking points for me personally. I'm not a big fan of traditional ball-and-stick sports, but I agree they are a bigger issue overall.



    I'm currently a Dish Network subscriber, and am quite happy with the quality of service and their DVR, but pay about twice what it's worth. Unfortunately, the alternatives (Comcast and FIOS) cost about the same, and don't have any clear advantages for me.



    Everything else we watch (and care about) is currently available via Netflix (which we are already paying for) or iTunes, for a lot less money. F1 is the main thing keeping me from switching now. Unfortunately, money is an issue these days, and I figure that I spend about $11 per hour to watch F1 - more than seeing a movie in a theater! I've already agreed to drop the dish at the end of the F1 season, get an OTA antenna (no DVR), and use Netflix/iTunes for a few months. If we find that we are getting along just fine, I may simply have to do without F1 in the spring...



    I am hopeful (but not holding my breath) that the AppleTV can fill in the gap. My thoughts:
    • Support streaming but also the current download-then-watch method. internet bandwith isn't always adequate for a high-quality picture. If I plan to watch something, I'd rather have it downlaoded at full quality ahead of time than hope I've got bandwidth. It's OK my me it it needs to run via a computer for storage to do this.

    • Support IR remote controls, with directional-key based UI. I would prefer it to have full media control function with just my Harmony remote.

    • Also support an Airport express remote speaker mode. I'd like to listen to music without the TV on, using my iPhone as a remote.

  • Reply 103 of 203
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bettieblue View Post


    I will laugh my arse off when it either does not come out, or comes out for $149 and has major limitations like lack of 1080p, and only some content providers support 99 cent rentals. All this hype is funny.



    The rumor is that it will only do 720p and most people won't care. I wouldn't be surprised if not all shows were available for $0.99 either. Those factors and a $149 price tag would do little to dampen the hype about this device. The major factor is really the potential that iOS would bring to Apple TV.
  • Reply 104 of 203
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post


    I still think the new AppleTV is going to look and work a lot like an AirPort Express for TV.



    That makes a lot of sense. I hadn't thought of that since most of us think "set top box" means a box that sits near the TV set. The main detractor from going this route would be that Apple likely wouldn't be able to do any interesting things with an audience facing camera built into the box - as some would like. It certainly would be neat for FaceTime and other video conferencing solutions. But other Natal-esque applications of using an audience facing camera are probably too much for the hardware Apple will deliver anytime soon in this type of device.



    -Blurp
  • Reply 105 of 203
    grkinggrking Posts: 533member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I agree. I stated in a thread yesterday on this site (I think) some of pitfalls networks may have to overcome when negotiating with Apple. I don?t think the pricing with Apple is the real issue, it?s the long term profits if they burn bridges with other distributors and ad companies. This is a very complex issue for all parties as the inevitable paradigm shift could destroy some key players.



    They currently offer TV shows the next day, ad free. It would be great if they could offer that for rental with ads, but with the local ads being a part of most networks I doubt it.





    I agree with much of what you said. The networks are not going to ink a deal with Apple right now if they are going to lose money, and they will because the installed base would be small compared to cable.



    However, I do not think the paradigm shift, as you call it, is inevitable. In the other thread, you raised issues of local content, which are critical.



    More importantly though is what happens with the "unconnected" the "computerless" and people with poor service. For better or worse, most Americans consider TV a necessity, not a luxury, and if TV switches to streamed service, a VERY large proportion of the population will be disenfranchised. Then there are the technical issues that inevitably arise - is Granny really going to call Apple service and is a Genius Bar person going to go out to Granny's house to fix the issue.
  • Reply 106 of 203
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bagman View Post


    Actually, I think most people can tell the difference, given a large screen (>40 inches). 480 or 720 just seems a bit blurry, compared to 1080, unless you have a small screen. I agree that to have AppleTV limited to less than 1080 would be a non-starter for me. Does providing 1080p really run the price of the hardware up that much? Is Apple limiting this for some reason other than cost?



    If nothing else, the bandwidth demands have to be much greater. One of the dirty little secrets of the cable industry is image compression. They are already conserving limited bandwidth by compressing some broadcasts more than others.
  • Reply 107 of 203
    ajmasajmas Posts: 584member
    For me the problem is simple: closed ecosystem. For this to work it needs to be like the iOS: extensible with third party apps and channels. Until I can choose between options such as iTunes store, Netflix, Blockbuster and pure web based streams, then solutions like XBMC and Plex will still be more appealing, despite the need for better hardware.
  • Reply 108 of 203
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mbmcavoy View Post


    Unfortunately, money is an issue these days, and I figure that I spend about $11 per hour to watch F1 - more than seeing a movie in a theater! I've already agreed to drop the dish at the end of the F1 season, get an OTA antenna (no DVR), and use Netflix/iTunes for a few months. If we find that we are getting along just fine, I may simply have to do without F1 in the spring...



    See, I'm the same way about baseball, but fortunately the MLB At Bat app is a very worthwhile purchase as it has many added features that the regular TV doesn't have. I think there is a huge market for highly functional dedicated sports league apps like MLB. So far they appear to be the only one. We need good apps for all the major sports. That would overcome one of the most noted shortcomings of Internet based TV - Live broadcasts.
  • Reply 109 of 203
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joe hs View Post


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by extremeskater

    Most people don't want to watch season 1 of a series after its over,

    they want to watch it as its happening.



    TV shows are available on iTunes 24 hours after they first air.



    And yet there's series that have whole season-spanning arcs that don't become apparent until midway through, which make much better sense when watched as the whole story they are. "Episodic" TV is giving way to longer stories. There's shows I thought were just ok when watched weekly but once I sat down and watched the boxed set of DVDs I thought they were fantastic.
  • Reply 110 of 203
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jm6032 View Post


    I really like the sound of this one. I'm sure I echo the feelings of everyone here when I say that the user interface on my setop box is one of the most obtuse and unintuitive interfaces I've ever seen. I keep wishing someone like Apple could do SOMETHING. (It's even worse than that monstrosity Microsoft Sync in my car. Don't get me started...)



    I also agree with this one. This is something I've talked about numerous times but I had not thought about making it exclusive. That might be a good idea with Dish. Then again, I have Dish so I really like the idea But imagine the program guide in an Apple interface. Imagine watching TV and seeing a little email notification pop-up (if you have enabled in your settings) and then being able to quickly go to your email app and view and reply to emails like you can on your iPad. Then imagine being able to browse the App Store on your big screen. Done with the TV, go to your iTunes and listen to music or watch movies you've purchased. The thing would be sweet! :
  • Reply 111 of 203
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maciekskontakt View Post


    @ktappe



    Do not worry. Apple TV also needs reboot every some time.... especially when it has problem with content and hickups. It ain't high quality either.



    I don't know what you do with your Apple TV, but mine almost never needs rebooting. I do have the server scheduled to start up and shutdown periodically, but the Apple Tv itself doesn't have a power button for a reason.
  • Reply 112 of 203
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    If nothing else, the bandwidth demands have to be much greater. One of the dirty little secrets of the cable industry is image compression. They are already conserving limited bandwidth by compressing some broadcasts more than others.



    Yes, once you see uncompressed OTA HD you really notice the difference on cable. Plus I get a lot of frozen frames and giant green blocks of digital garbage whenever I watch high demand programming like local major league sports. I actually asked for and received a refund for the NBA play offs when the program became completely unwatchable on cable last season due to massive pixelation.
  • Reply 113 of 203
    ezduzitezduzit Posts: 158member
    officially, cablevision no longer owns the msg et al. that doesn't mean that they have severed all their ties (family).
  • Reply 114 of 203
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Yes, once you see uncompressed OTA HD you really notice the difference on cable. Plus I get a lot of frozen frames and giant green blocks of digital garbage whenever I watch high demand programming like local major league sports. I actually asked for and received a refund for the NBA play offs when the program became completely unwatchable on cable last season due to massive pixelation.



    I think some of this is due to compression but the freezing and blocking you describe is probably more due to signal dropouts. What I've noticed in baseball games in particular is pixelation, particularly in large black areas, as such as night sky. The question of 720 vs 1080 is a minimal issue when the images are already being compressed to the point where artifacts are showing up in the images. Based on what I've seen, I'd rather have uncompressed 720p than compressed 1080p.
  • Reply 115 of 203
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joe hs View Post


    Dear Mr jobs,

    Make a $99 tiny set top box with wifi, Bluetooth, 16gb NAND, iOS + apps, USB for HDDs and iDevices and 720p or higher with $0.99 movie rentals..

    and I can guarantee this will be an overnight success



    EDIT: support for MacBook air SuperDrive over USB would be nice too.



    you can talk about 16gb this, and bluetooth that. none of that matters. it's the content. if the content isn't there it really doesn't matter what the technical specs of the box are or how cheap the rentals are.
  • Reply 116 of 203
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,675member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mbmcavoy View Post


    ... I may simply have to do without F1 in the spring...



    Well, there is an app for that, although, not really the same as watching the actual race. I usually watch it on Speed, too (Except when they inconveniently move it to Fox in the middle of the season for several races. Much better when it broadcasts early in the morning or the middle of the night when I don't have other things to do. Who needs sleep?), but I'd guess you can find a streaming video source you could access.
  • Reply 117 of 203
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by scoates View Post


    I wouldn't be surprised if we got something akin to an Airport Express with an HDMI output



    The problem with that is it would need to have non-line-of-sight (NLOS) remote, as opposed to the current setup utilizing line-of-sight (LOS) infrared (IR). Do we have Bluetooth protocols and chips that are adequate for this use?



    Of course it can handle the bandwidth but we have we made it to a point that short-range omnidirectional radio waves can go from being in-use to not0in-use as quickly and with such a lower power draw? My Jawbone 2 takes a few seconds to pair even when after it comes in range.



    Then there is interference issues. What kind of distances can we get compared to line-of-sight remotes? How would the electromagnetic waves from all the other equipment and power cables affect the TV in a wall plug, that is likely hidden behind some other objects.



    If Apple can pull it off, great, but I have doubts at this point.



    PS: Personally, I?d really likely to rid of the separate TV remote and all these different device sensors altogether. Meaning, i?d like to utilize the data streams on all these digital cables and have the TV?s IR sensor tie into with whatever digitally connected device is current being used. This would mean the TV could be the only physical media center device that I see and everything else would be controlled through it. But we need open protocols for this and financially sound reasons for vendors to support this so this means it?ll remain in the land of make-believe for now.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by grking View Post


    I agree with much of what you said. The networks are not going to ink a deal with Apple right now if they are going to lose money, and they will because the installed base would be small compared to cable.



    However, I do not think the paradigm shift, as you call it, is inevitable. In the other thread, you raised issues of local content, which are critical.



    More importantly though is what happens with the "unconnected" the "computerless" and people with poor service. For better or worse, most Americans consider TV a necessity, not a luxury, and if TV switches to streamed service, a VERY large proportion of the population will be disenfranchised. Then there are the technical issues that inevitably arise - is Granny really going to call Apple service and is a Genius Bar person going to go out to Granny's house to fix the issue.



    That?s the rub. When does the scale tip? We?ve seen this be huge issue with something much less drastic; the switch from analog to digital? and that didn?t involve the networks in any way. I don?t see them letting go of the cable companies for a long time. There is just too much money on that end and even Apple can?t negotiate that well.







    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    I think you may have confused him with the use of the word "successful." Buying market share has to result in an endgame in which money is made, otherwise the strategy hasn't been successful by any meaningful definition. In any case, I don't know that Apple has ever engaged in a loss-leader strategy, and I wouldn't expect them to start now.



    In his defense I should have qualified my use of the word success to refer specifically with marketshare success, even though that should have been evident in the scope of my reply to the OP.
  • Reply 118 of 203
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,471member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I don?t think having money in the bank is a good excuse to start losing money on a product.



    Now, I can see Apple wanting to get a foothold in the living room by selling a cheap TV at lower net profit margin than their other products because they can?t command their typical margins in this ?hobby? area. If they also plan to sell this as an entry TV and/or for your additional TVs (as I?ve mentioned previously) then it would make sense, but it would still behoove them to make a profit on the HW as renting TV shows is not a guarantee, unlike other loss leader HW that comes with a contract.



    I agree, losing money isn't in SJ's DNA. By leveraging a product they already make in a new way with an OS they own and running a chip they make, Apple do have certain cost advantages over most. I suspect he is downplaying this after the wild claims on certain blogs. This is one product Apple can let grow over time.
  • Reply 119 of 203
    newbeenewbee Posts: 2,055member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by striker_kk View Post


    1)Apple TV be renamed iTV-- NO

    2) iOS apps -- Yes

    3) 99$ -- Yes

    4) 99 cent shows -- Yes

    5) Instant hit -- NO



    Although I can't say this often ... I find myself agreeing with you almost 100% on this post.



    The one area I would see as something to watch with interest is iOS apps. Personally, I see this as almost the equivalent of "a Trojan horse".



    By having the ability to run all iOS apps on the living room TV, I would think this would bring the device closer yet to "a dedicated game box". Obviously, game quality won't be equal... yet, but given the amount of game apps being developed by indies ... and now will be available to TV sets everywhere, as well as iPads and iPhones .... it's an even more attractive OS to develop for. I can see more and more "pro" developers (for want of a better word) setting their sights on iOS. Obviously, scalability will have to be addressed.



    If that happens, and I think it will, AppleTV or whatever it winds up being called, will have an increased value to the consumer and maybe, just maybe, will take it from the hobby stage to something more important to Apple.



    Lastly, increasing the "installed base" for iOS gives Apple more leverage in dealing with the content providers .... and that has to be "a good thing" and is vital in bringing the "big boys" to the table in a meaningful way.
  • Reply 120 of 203
    i have an apple tv and it's a decent movie rental box; however we've got into the bad habit of buying tv shows we miss. it's stupid, most shows are rerun on cable a few days later or eventually and buying tv shows is a waste of money. i bought a few tv season dvd boxsets - true blood season 1 and 2 , john adams, and band of brothers. i watched them once; good, but i will most likely never watch them again. this is true for most movies too. renting is the way to go but even renting shows at 99 cents will rack up fast. i just don't see apple tv being able to replace cable / satellite programming. the cable companies own the pipe into most homes. of course if they bought direct tv, i guess then i'd have to eat my words.



    more crucially for the time being, apple tv will struggle to get market share in the movie rental business with netflix, amazon, sony and more! in fact i'm thinking of trying out netflix. i wanted to rent wolverine and it is suddenly not available to rent on itunes anymore as it was a month ago? this is happened many times... itunes / apple just hasn't solidified all the programming/ movie deals that amazon and netflix have - this is a bigger deal than the actual specs of the next apple tv box. i hear a lot of people on here and around the tech blogs gripe about lack of 1080p - i say how many films (or any tv) warrant watching in 1080p anyway?! avatar, the matrix, yeah but what about dodge ball or date night? does anyone need to watch a romantic comedy in 1080p?!



    i'm going to say it again, just combine apple tv and time capsule into 1 box and work on getting the best deals with all the major and minor film companies. in the meantime, i'll still rent movies from apple tv but i'm going to try out netflix, maybe amazon if i can hack it in to my apple tv...
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