High costs limiting adoption of Apple's AirPlay and Thunderbolt technologies

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 47
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    So the chip costs $25 but they are saying that they have to charge an extra hundred for the speakers?



    Wow, these guys are so reasonable and honest I really feel for them and totally understand why they aren't making AirPlay speakers. Assholes.



    What "R&D" do you have to do to implement a fully documented, solution on a chip in a new speaker product? Sweet F*ck All.



    You sound like an expert. Do you work in R&D for an electronics company? With your incredible insight, why don't you undercut the competition? You could make a killing.
  • Reply 22 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    So the chip costs $25 but they are saying that they have to charge an extra hundred for the speakers?



    Wow, these guys are so reasonable and honest I really feel for them and totally understand why they aren't making AirPlay speakers. Assholes.



    What "R&D" do you have to do to implement a fully documented, solution on a chip in a new speaker product? Sweet F*ck All.



    Spot on, Prof!



    What R&D requirement is there for what is essentially a Zero Configuration technology?



    Not content with passing on the entire chip cost to the user, the vendors appear to be simply attempting to cash in heavily on the "Apple device users are willing big-spender saps" mythos to carve out huge profits.



    Just wait for the outrage when independent experts like iFixit and iSuppli start to tear down the components and costs thereof, especially in comparison to DLNA products.



    It's always greed like this that holds up the advance of technology.
  • Reply 23 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post


    These idiots need to listen to Steve. ThunderBolt is the future. They want to wallow in the past, like the record companies. Fools.



    From the outset, Light Peak / Thunderbolt has always looked like a high-end solution for video and audio heavy lifting in its current usage.



    As usual, with the progress of technology and the kick-in of economies of scale, costs will drop and the real benefits to users (and profits to vendors) will come with commoditisation.



    10GbE and 100GbE seem like unattainable consumer bandwidth ranges with no infrastructure or applications supporting them today, but one can guarantee that in a future Terabyte and Exabyte Ethernet infrastructure, we will giggle condescendingly just like we do at 1Mbps and 10Mbps Ethernet today.
  • Reply 24 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    You sound like an expert. Do you work in R&D for an electronics company? With your incredible insight, why don't you undercut the competition? You could make a killing.



    For the time being, BridgeCo appears to be the only game in AirPlay Town...



    But nothing lasts forever.



    If they cared to borrow a leaf from Apple's own iPad playbook (?) it would make more sense to start off with a more aggressively-placed, cheaper price point to make it that much steeper a catch-up curve for the eventual competition.
  • Reply 25 of 47
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by airmanchairman View Post


    one can guarantee that in a future Terabyte and Exabyte Ethernet infrastructure, we will giggle condescendingly just like we do at 1Mbps and 10Mbps Ethernet today.



    Except 40Gb Ethernet just got certified and 100Gb is far enough off that Thunderbolt will supplant it (in short range situations) long before it ever gets deployed.



    And obviously Terabit Ethernet won't exist for decades.
  • Reply 26 of 47
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jonamac View Post


    Forgive me the question: If it adds $100 to a system's cost to incorporate AirPlay, how does Apple offer AppleTV for $99?



    Obviously, it simply indicates that all the people whining about TB's cost are just complaining. We've seen the same thing every time a new technology was introduced if it wasn't free. Back when Firewire came out, there were people complaining that it cost $0.25 per port. BFD on a $2,000 computer or $800 camcorder (at the time). Too many people expect things to be free and if they're not, the scream to high heavens like the FUD you're referring to.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    There is a reasonable question about what is up with AirPlay. It shouldn't cost much at all unless Apple is real greedy with licensing.



    Apple has stated that they will not be charging a licensing fee. The only license fee will be to Intel and, given Intel's history, that is likely to be nominal.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Thunderbolt is a whole different ball game. I've said repeatedly in these forums that TB will not be competing with USB. At least not anytime soon. It is a high end interface that has yet to be integrated into a SoC. Due to that and the need to have both input and output ports on peripherals I suspect it will be some time before anything TB based is cost effective.



    "Cost effective"? So you're going to stick with USB 2.0 because TB adds $0.50 to the cost of a computer? Maybe you should stick to doing everything with parallel or serial ports since there are no licensing fees for those.



    I don't think anyone ever said that TB will replace USB entirely any time soon. There are too many people with too many legacy devices for that to happen. But TB could easily become the preferred method for high speed transfers for a large number of users.
  • Reply 27 of 47
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Obviously, it simply indicates that all the people whining about TB's cost are just complaining.



    Actually what it really indicates is that you need to brush up your reading comprehension. Apple-TV doesn't have thunderbolt so clearly Prof Pea was talking about AirPlay. Sounds like the estimate for T-Bolt is more like $30, which is still a lot compared to the cost of a consumer external drive but isn't much for a prosumer NAS.
  • Reply 28 of 47
    djmikeodjmikeo Posts: 178member
    Why is the author making poor comparisons of hardware costs and licensing fees which are two completely different items? Sure, the iDock licensing fees are only $1 - $4, but that is just the license. It doesn't include the cost of the components and chips needed to make the ipod compatible device. Likewise, the airplay licensing fee may be only a couple of bucks, so in reality, the cost to license may be similar. Why doesn't AI actually do a little digging to provide more information than what iLounge has reported instead of essentially reposting their story. If AI has truly corroborated the report, it would make sense to ask the device makers how much the airplay licensing fees are, so we get a true comparison.

    I like AI a lot, but it seems that lately, they seem to be reposting more and more stories from other sites, rather than doing their own investigating. If you are going to repost, show us your journalistic skills and do some added research to provide us with additional information. I'm afraid you may be losing a little of the "Insider" part of your domain name.
  • Reply 29 of 47
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by djmikeo View Post


    Why is the author making poor comparisons of hardware costs and licensing fees which are two completely different items? Sure, the iDock licensing fees are only $1 - $4, but that is just the license. It doesn't include the cost of the components and chips needed to make the ipod compatible device.



    The physical cost of the connector is extremely low, a dollar or two at most, since it's effectively just the end of a male ipod cable stuck into a plastic enclosure. The components needed are negligable. The iPod connector provides a direct audio left & right, and you supply power through the power pins - you don't have to do more than that unless you want to get fancy. So really, no other components required except maybe a few discretes. It's entirely possible that in the case of docks the license fees are the bulk of the cost.



    The amount of system integration that would be required for adding a dock connector to a device would seem to be a fraction of that required for AirPlay.
  • Reply 30 of 47
    galbigalbi Posts: 968member
    There is a thing called DLNA.



    Its an industry standard that does everything the "Airplay" does.
  • Reply 31 of 47
    jonamacjonamac Posts: 384member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post


    So I did some checking. Here's what it supports:





    Audio codec



    Codec\tApple Lossless (ALAC)

    Sample size\t16 Bit

    Channels\t2

    Sample rate\t44100







    2 Channels only? Fail.

    16 bit max? Fail.

    44k max? Fail.







    Seemingly, it is appropriate only for low-fi applications, and not even for the crappiest of home theater setups.



    Meh.



    I don't know where you buy your music but all my CDs are 16-bit, 44.1k, 2 channel recordings...



    Off iTunes all my purchases are...16bit, 44.1k, 2 channel recordings...and they aren't ALAC either!



    This is a music technology, not a cinema technology.



    I'm sure the Beatles and Led Zep will be mortified to learn that their 7.1 surround sound, 96k 48-bit recordings are being hacked apart by AirPlay!! Yes, that is sarcasm.



    If you need more than 44.1k, 16b stereo then there are solutions out there that cost a great deal more than AirPlay and you can enjoy the sound while sipping on your cuppa made using the $5000 coffee machine you bought because you can 'taste the difference'. AirPlay does what it's intended to do.
  • Reply 32 of 47
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,663member
    All true Joseph. It seems there are so many now who not only cannot discern the difference between excellence and mediocrity, they actually seem hostile to the idea of even trying. This is what the bean-counter driven, corporate culture has done to our people. It feeds them crap and tells them it is great. The psychological warfare of advertising ensures that the hook will be taken.



    I certainly have seen that my German made power tools do a better job than their Black and Decker competition. They will last longer and are a joy to use. Kind of like a Mac.
  • Reply 33 of 47
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post


    All true Joseph. It seems there are so many now who not only cannot discern the difference between excellence and mediocrity, they actually seem hostile to the idea of even trying. This is what the bean-counter driven, corporate culture has done to our people. It feeds them crap and tells them it is great. The psychological warfare of advertising ensures that the hook will be taken.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post


    I have a substantial collection of 96 bit FLACs, ripped from either the analog master tapes or specially mastered and pressed heavyweight vinyl using a superior machine to decode the vinyl.



    Do the two of you also use green magic markers on the edges of your CDs?



    Maybe you feel that your vinyl records sound better if you stand on your head and rotate your left arm in a counterclockwise direction, too.



    Every single double blind study with proper controls has shown that normal people can not tell the difference between equivalent vinyl and cd music (yes, I'm aware of the audiophile 'tests' where they never bothered to match volumes precisely - and then said "See how easy it is to tell when they switch from vinyl to CD?"). A very tiny number of individuals can hear frequencies well above 'normal' (I have a friend who was tested to 26,000 Hz), and they MIGHT be able to tell a difference, but since there's so little sound in that range, even that is unlikely.



    Just a few sources for you:

    http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-b...etter-than-CD-

    http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-b...-refuse-to-die
  • Reply 34 of 47
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,755member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post




    "Cost effective"? So you're going to stick with USB 2.0 because TB adds $0.50 to the cost of a computer? Maybe you should stick to doing everything with parallel or serial ports since there are no licensing fees for those.



    I don't think anyone ever said that TB will replace USB entirely any time soon. There are too many people with too many legacy devices for that to happen. But TB could easily become the preferred method for high speed transfers for a large number of users.



    Are we dense or what. The point is TB will never be cost-effective where USB works fine. If don't understand that then please think about it a bit.



    USB is a simple two wire interface that can be built into very simple 8 bit micros. TB is an entirely different ball game. We aren't talking about sticking with USB just that USB and TB don't compete. It makes no sense at all to try to stuff TB into a mouse or keyboard for example. TB is a port that takes off from where USB starts to have issues. The two ports will coexist for a very long time.



    One would have to be a blooming idiot not to see where TB will be positioned.
  • Reply 35 of 47
    gary54gary54 Posts: 169member
    multi port Thunderbolt hub would be just fine. ESata/FW/USB/Display/Enet



    Thanks
  • Reply 36 of 47
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post


    No doubt. Likewise, normal people can not tell the difference between a fresh lobster from the icy waters off of Maine, and the frozen stuff fresh from the microwave at Red Lobster. I have no problem with those folks, so long as they enjoy.



    The difference is that even trained 'audiophiles' can't tell the difference between CD and vinyl in a properly conducted test. Every time you see someone bragging about the difference, they're either conducting the test very badly - or comparing Apples to Oranges.
  • Reply 37 of 47
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Are we dense or what. The point is TB will never be cost-effective where USB works fine. If don't understand that then please think about it a bit.



    USB is a simple two wire interface that can be built into very simple 8 bit micros. TB is an entirely different ball game. We aren't talking about sticking with USB just that USB and TB don't compete. It makes no sense at all to try to stuff TB into a mouse or keyboard for example. TB is a port that takes off from where USB starts to have issues. The two ports will coexist for a very long time.



    One would have to be a blooming idiot not to see where TB will be positioned.



    I'm not. You seem to be, though.



    Why don't you tell us the exact cost of licensing TB. I'll start it for you - Apple isn't charging anything for TB licenses. So tell us how much TB adds to the cost of a system - and explain how it will never be cost competitive.



    Yes, I realize that there are some people who buy the cheapest of everything. If a system is 20 times better but costs $0.05 more, they'll never buy it. But that's not the measure of whether something is cost competitive.



    So just how do you come to the conclusion that TB will not be cost competitive? Let's have some facts instead of your inane assertions.
  • Reply 38 of 47
    jonamacjonamac Posts: 384member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post


    Actually, I make my coffee in a narrow-neck Silex vacuum pot manufactured in 1938. Every day. And I roast my own beans in a home-made roaster that includes a programmable PID which allows precise temperature control over the incoming air flow.



    As much as you would like to pretend, you can taste the difference too.



    I have a substantial collection of 96 bit FLACs, ripped from either the analog master tapes or specially mastered and pressed heavyweight vinyl using a superior machine to decode the vinyl.



    If you think that only assholes appreciate delicious beverages and good audio, then you should guzzle your instant coffee and listen to a transister radio, and leave people who know the difference in peace. Live and let live.



    McDonalds and Dry-Aged Prime Beef are not the same thing. But if you cannot appreciate the difference, then by all means, enjoy yourself. Just don't put down others, please.







    And one more thing. I listen to a LOT of music through my little computer sound system. It uses two-way speakers with 4 inch woofers, a simple transistor preamp (no "tone controls", no balance, no craptastic digital effects to "improve" the sound by adding lots of out-of-phase artificial bullshit) and a simple direct tube-type amplifier. Analog inputs. No DAC. It has an iPod dock, But I hook it up to the laptop mostly.



    The difference between a good recoding and a mediocre recording is like night and day, even on that system - which I got for $89.00 off of eBay. So the remark that anything better than Airplay is going to be hugely expensive is just ... incorrect.



    And when I listen using my high fidelity system? Please. That system really lets you hear what is going on, deep down in the recording. Everything, including the fact that Annie Lennox uses multiple overdubs of her voice. With most of the crap that the know-nothings buy, you can't even tell the difference between the bass drum and the bass guitar. My main system has a 12 inch passive subwoofer hooked up to a 500 watt mono amp. the bass is no louder than some crappy system. Instead, it is deeper and tighter. If you listen, and you notice, it enhances the music greatly. Not only that, but the simple two-way main speakers are accurate and tight. One could replicate my setup, which uses early-1980's components, for very short money.



    Sorry for the rant. But I felt I really had to respond to the ignorance and condescention.



    I'm starting to think you are my eldest brother! I don't deny being able to taste a good cup of coffee, but I don't waste hundreds of pounds on getting the difference every single morning because I've told myself "I just can't drink instant anymore." If you enjoy your coffee THAT much then fair enough, I can respect that. I was being condescending as is my want when someone posts 'x: FAIL, y: FAIL' comments.



    'Just don't put down others, please.' - Don't pretend your original comment was some nobel minded appraisal. It was a silly comment with wording unworthy of your subsequently revealed erudition and warranted the response I gave it.



    You can surely understand that you are in a very small minority in owning 96bit FLAC recordings in any quantity. I also have to question how any amount of 'decoding the vinyl' (I think you mean encoding the vinyl sound) could add anything into the recording that wasn't already there. By that I mean that unless the original recording done in the studio was 96bit then it's a pointless exercise. You could quote Nyquist but that would only be valid if there had been no digitalisation of the stream during the mastering process which is unlikely these days and in the past low-quality digital effects would have been used even in many analogue recordings done to master tapes, god help you if you're a Pet Shop Boys fan! Perhaps you think Annie Lennox had a sampler from the future when she recorded 'Why' back in 1992? I am certainly an audiophile, but some people just take it beyond what is justifiable and spend more time worrying about bit rates than they do enjoying the music. The Beatles recorded onto a 4-track and bounced down. I don't think the resulting sound is worthy of 96bit FLAC encoding whoever does it, a shame though that is.



    You compare your eBay recording gear to a wireless streaming protocol. How are the two the same? Do you have an audio streaming system that you got off eBay too?



    I'm right with you on the joys of listening to a good recording on a great system. I have two 96bit audio interfaces which I use to record my music and the first time I listened to a song through my monitors with sub -100dB noise and crystal clear studio grade audio I was bouncing around in my chair on an adrenaline rush. It's wonderful. But that sound came from a 44.1k, 16bit stereo source. The equipment you choose to play the sound out with is just more important. If I used AirPlay through that interface, the same audio would come through and it would sound great (theoretically, according to the numbers you quoted.)



    My post had not a hint of ignorance in it. Condescending yes, because your original post was irritating in its cynical appraisal of a perfectly adequate spec sheet for AirPlay.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WelshDog View Post


    All true Joseph. It seems there are so many now who not only cannot discern the difference between excellence and mediocrity, they actually seem hostile to the idea of even trying. This is what the bean-counter driven, corporate culture has done to our people. It feeds them crap and tells them it is great. The psychological warfare of advertising ensures that the hook will be taken.



    I certainly have seen that my German made power tools do a better job than their Black and Decker competition. They will last longer and are a joy to use. Kind of like a Mac.



    I resent that idea that I am hostile to the idea of striving for excellence. I am not. I simply believe that going through a spec sheet that matches the industry standard for optical media and putting 'FAIL' on the end of each item is manifestly silly, debates about psychological warfare and media opiates aside.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Do the two of you also use green magic markers on the edges of your CDs?



    Maybe you feel that your vinyl records sound better if you stand on your head and rotate your left arm in a counterclockwise direction, too.



    Every single double blind study with proper controls has shown that normal people can not tell the difference between equivalent vinyl and cd music (yes, I'm aware of the audiophile 'tests' where they never bothered to match volumes precisely - and then said "See how easy it is to tell when they switch from vinyl to CD?"). A very tiny number of individuals can hear frequencies well above 'normal' (I have a friend who was tested to 26,000 Hz), and they MIGHT be able to tell a difference, but since there's so little sound in that range, even that is unlikely.



    Just a few sources for you:

    http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-b...etter-than-CD-

    http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-b...-refuse-to-die



    The sentence about the arm had my laughing aloud! No disrespect to Joseph and WelshDog



    The points you make about the blind tests are very valid and I've read all kinds of similar material in the past. I fear you'll never convince some though and that's fair enough, I respect them for their view. I just don't like CD audio being looked down on as MacDonald's audio. Logic playing all the tracks to a song before mixdown is beautiful, but that quality no more makes it to vinyl than it does CD.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post


    No doubt. Likewise, normal people can not tell the difference between a fresh lobster from the icy waters off of Maine, and the frozen stuff fresh from the microwave at Red Lobster. I have no problem with those folks, so long as they enjoy.



    That's a very elitist thing to say. You're implying you have a more refined palate and we aren't understanding. That's not what's happening here. Many blind tests show that the quality you claim to hear in the vinyl simply isn't there to all but Kal-El and Peter Parker. There is a very clear difference in freshness between a fresh lobster taken from the sea bed and a frozen microwave meal.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    The difference is that even trained 'audiophiles' can't tell the difference between CD and vinyl in a properly conducted test. Every time you see someone bragging about the difference, they're either conducting the test very badly - or comparing Apples to Oranges.



  • Reply 39 of 47
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    So the chip costs $25 but they are saying that they have to charge an extra hundred for the speakers?



    Wow, these guys are so reasonable and honest I really feel for them and totally understand why they aren't making AirPlay speakers. Assholes.



    What "R&D" do you have to do to implement a fully documented, solution on a chip in a new speaker product? Sweet F*ck All.



    Is Apple the only company allowed to have fat margins for their products? Why does an Apple dock connector to USB cable cost $19? Why does that Apple USB power adapter for the iPhone cost $29? Why do the plastic universal dock inserts cost $9 each?
  • Reply 40 of 47
    bartfatbartfat Posts: 432member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Haggar View Post


    Is Apple the only company allowed to have fat margins for their products? Why does an Apple dock connector to USB cable cost $19? Why does that Apple USB power adapter for the iPhone cost $29? Why do the plastic universal dock inserts cost $9 each?



    There are third party cables and docks and adapters, you know. It's just that they are generally worse quality and well, you get what you pay for, cheap product, cheap quality. In that case, Apple's profit margins are acceptable, since the competition clearly can't compete with making cables that about as good as Apple's, even though Apple has "fat" margins.



    EDIT: I know apple's dock connector cable isn't very durable, I've seen it fray at the Apple Store and at my university's bookstore. But I'd expect something similar with third party cables too, given the abuse.
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