iMac with TV functionality seen as stepping stone to Apple television

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  • Reply 61 of 72
    Just in case any readers are from Germany and have read my previous post re: how great EyeTV is with a Mac...



    PLEASE BE ADVISED: you must have the right tuner paired with the proper CI-module and CI Card either from Sky or from KabelDeutschland. Please check out the MacWelt.de forums for more info.



    PS. OK... see? It's not as easy as it "should" be here either. I can only imagine the nightmare you folks in the states have. Regardless... I'm still curious
  • Reply 62 of 72
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post


    Sorry, I think that might have been me.











    Heh. I think I picked that example because I vaguely remembered someone suggesting it (although I'm pretty sure you're not the only one that ever figured that would be a good idea).



    But I honestly think that your idea has every bit the merit of most of the analyst predictions AI has been running lately-- better, really, because at least it thinks big and goes out on a limb, as opposed to some lame "Apple to sell more iPhones" or "Apple seen to be planning on introducing new devices sometime" type stuff.
  • Reply 63 of 72
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post


    Are you laughing at your own post???



    Not 'at' what I said, no.
  • Reply 64 of 72
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post


    Just in case any readers are from Germany and have read my previous post re: how great EyeTV is with a Mac...



    PLEASE BE ADVISED: you must have the right tuner paired with the proper CI-module and CI Card either from Sky or from KabelDeutschland. Please check out the MacWelt.de forums for more info.



    PS. OK... see? It's not as easy as it "should" be here either. I can only imagine the nightmare you folks in the states have. Regardless... I'm still curious



    In the states the major cable co's fought and did everything they could to torpedo the cable card. Even after being legally required to support them getting one from the major cable companies was a pain if not impossible. To make matters worse Comcast and others are pushing some of the basic cable channels to digital. So you can use a simple tuner to access basic cable but many of those channels are being pushed to digital and will not accessible without their equipment or a cable card.



    The satellite companies were left out of the standard. And due to the fact that the two major's (Direct tv and Dish) use different signal modulation and encryption no one makes (to the best of my knowledge) after-market equipment for them.



    Apple could make something that supports whatever our current cable card standard is but if they don't have the caco's support it probably wont work well. Then they would need separate designs for each of the satellite systems. I don't think Apple will want to touch this mess with a 10 foot pole ( three meters for our metric friends ).
  • Reply 65 of 72
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post


    In the states the major cable co's fought and did everything they could to torpedo the cable card. Even after being legally required to support them getting one from the major cable companies was a pain if not impossible. To make matters worse Comcast and others are pushing some of the basic cable channels to digital. So you can use a simple tuner to access basic cable but many of those channels are being pushed to digital and will not accessible without their equipment or a cable card.



    The satellite companies were left out of the standard. And due to the fact that the two major's (Direct tv and Dish) use different signal modulation and encryption no one makes (to the best of my knowledge) after-market equipment for them.



    Apple could make something that supports whatever our current cable card standard is but if they don't have the caco's support it probably wont work well. Then they would need separate designs for each of the satellite systems. I don't think Apple will want to touch this mess with a 10 foot pole ( three meters for our metric friends ).



    Thanks for the insightful post! .... well actually... I guess that emoticon should be , since my sympathies go out to ya all for having to deal with that BS.



    Now I can understand why a large number of people on this and on other forums are calling the new Apple TV rumors BS.



    BTW: a large number of the flat-screens being sold here also have built-in CI-module card slots for PayTV channels.... do you have those in America? How does that work with everyone using a different encryption card or receiver



    As I stated to the Germans above, we do have to take care which module works with which card, but that's largely due to the encryption system being recently ( a year ago) mandated by law to include Parental Control PINs. That regardless of the fact that most receivers, as well as TVs have those controls built in regardless whether PayTV or not.



    Anyway... I'm thinking that Apple should try and make a better AppleTV box, and leave the big-screens for the loss-leader manufacturers.
  • Reply 66 of 72
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post


    BTW: a large number of the flat-screens being sold here also have built-in CI-module card slots for PayTV channels.... do you have those in America? How does that work with everyone using a different encryption card or receiver



    As I stated to the Germans above, we do have to take care which module works with which card, but that's largely due to the encryption system being recently ( a year ago) mandated by law to include Parental Control PINs. That regardless of the fact that most receivers, as well as TVs have those controls built in regardless whether PayTV or not.



    Anyway... I'm thinking that Apple should try and make a better AppleTV box, and leave the big-screens for the loss-leader manufacturers.



    We do have the cable card slots in tv's, but its vary rare for a tv to have them, and even more rare for the cable companys to actually get you one(and heaven forbid if you want a dual tuner setup and want two cards for one set). Thats why i am excited by the RVU standard. I am planning a switch to Directv(satellite), and planning on getting their 5 tuner dvr that supports RVU. I was planning on buying a samsung that supports RVU that is coming out either this month or early next year so I wouldn't have to deal with additional boxes and remotes. I would love to see an apple set for the color accuracy and (im assuming) wonderful interface. But I think you are right, they should update the Applte tv to support RVU, cable card, or whatever the standard of choice is in a country.
  • Reply 67 of 72
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,114member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post


    Just saw your post after already stating the same: EyeTV is really great stuff.



    So if you see this: what makes the EyeTV so difficult to program in the US?



    We just slide our cards in either the EyeTV/Sat or a Terratec H7 Cable receiver (each about 4.5x7x2") equipped with a CI-module, do a channel scan.... and Voila!... it's all there to organize into favorites, smart lists, smart recording, etc. etc. Including HD channels and ESPN America/Classic.



    I personally don't watch any "live" TV at all any more, excluding footy (soccer to y'all . Even NFL and CFB games I respectfully start to watch about 30-45 minutes into the game after starting a recording, just to skip all of the commercials.



    The direct answer to your question (as other recent posts have noted) - is the encryption practices of various cable and satellite companies. There's one word to describe the content distribution landscape that exists today in the U.S. - chaotic. Content creators and content distributors (local signal broadcasters, cable companies, satellite delivery services, Internet streamers and God knows who else) are in the middle of a barroom brawl armed with knives and out to slit their competitors' throats.



    Another individual noted that cable card technology is essentially kaput in the U.S. Years ago our previous digital recording set-top box had a slot. The latest model does not.



    The cable provider named Comcast has a monopoly in my city. If you want cable, it's gotta be Comcast. Your only competitive option with a large menu of channel choices is one of two direct satellite services, either Dish Network or Direct TV. Whether cable or satellite, the signal is encrypted and you're stuck with a set-up box that is by and large unfriendly to channel selection using EyeTV. Elgato offers some workarounds but only with limited success.



    Almost two years ago, Comcast started encrypting a large portion of its digital content like CNN and ESPN, which meant that subscribers had to install one of their small set-top decrypting boxes called a DTV Receiver. The first two for a household account are free, but after that you have to rent them for $1.99/month each. Just another small way to nickel-and-dime customers while further restricting content.



    The Elgato tuners can tune in a number of local ATSC standard digital broadcast stations that Comcast is required by law to feed into its cable unencrypted (it's a broadcast standard called Clear QAM). These include local stations that belong to the PBS (Public Broadcasting System) network, which (fortunately for me) offer the kinds of quality programs (science, documentaries, music and drama performances) that I'm interested in saving and watching.



    Again, circling back to your "difficulty" question - EyeTV software works fine for selecting Clear QAM stations, using an online TV Guide program subscription ($20/year) that updates daily all the upcoming content on Comcast Clear QAM channels in my service area. For these Clear QAM channels, EyeTV makes it easy to find and select programs for recording up to two weeks ahead.



    Altogether, it's just not pretty in the U.S., with all the providers pursuing a "Screw the customer - I want mine" approach to doing business. That's what Apple and Steve Jobs were contending with.
  • Reply 68 of 72
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post


    Thanks for the insightful post! .... well actually... I guess that emoticon should be , since my sympathies go out to ya all for having to deal with that BS.



    Now I can understand why a large number of people on this and on other forums are calling the new Apple TV rumors BS.



    BTW: a large number of the flat-screens being sold here also have built-in CI-module card slots for PayTV channels.... do you have those in America? How does that work with everyone using a different encryption card or receiver



    As I stated to the Germans above, we do have to take care which module works with which card, but that's largely due to the encryption system being recently ( a year ago) mandated by law to include Parental Control PINs. That regardless of the fact that most receivers, as well as TVs have those controls built in regardless whether PayTV or not.



    Anyway... I'm thinking that Apple should try and make a better AppleTV box, and leave the big-screens for the loss-leader manufacturers.



    I haven't looked closely at new tv sets for a while but I don't think the cable card slots are common, certainly in the past they were a rarity. Last I looked some tivo's (aftermarket cable/broadcast dvr) had two slots that supported cable cards.



    See the difference between the U.S. and Europe is that your regulators actually enforced the rules and ours could not get the cable monopolies that they're supposed to mange to follow the rules.



    What I currently do for tv is use a rooftop antennae to receive broadcast tv. Mac mini and iTunes for the few shows that are on cable that I want to watch. And for my addiction to british sic-fi and top gear its off to the torrents. Movies I either buy the dvd and rip to my hard drive or buy off of iTunes. Then access using front row.
  • Reply 69 of 72
    @bigdaddyp & @Kibitzer



    Thanks for the detailed run down on what is going to make bringing out a TV from Apple, just a rumor.



    I can't believe for a minute that Apple would jump into that jungle... UNLESS... they had every single distributor on board from the beginning. Basically, they have to cut out "the other" middle-man, which is the cable co.'s and satellite broadcasters.



    Considering that Apple's largest market is still, apart from China, America... I doubt seriously that they would forge ahead for the "rest of us". Even with ClearQAM or better, RVU which looks very promising, without the content NOW and from the day of the launch, I can't see the Big-Screen TV being better than AppleTV is now. There's just too much that Apple "could" add to the AppleTV now, in a smaller, stockable package, than dealing with the cut-throat pricing and associated costs of an actual all-in-one TV package.



    If SJ meant anything by his quote, "I've cracked the TV problem".... I think it was only to state that the problem has been identified... and he knows there's a way to tackle it. Whether he or Apple alone can do that, that's the million $ question.... and again, I don't think he meant creating a TV to do that.



    If we're down to talking about a box... is it possible that Apple's engineers have found a way through various technologies, to intercept the signals through HDMI or S-cable, and IR from the cable remote, to take over the functions of just about anything that passes through it? Thus having the ability to present it, record it, time-shift it using a familiar Apple UI? Naturally connected through the Internet to facilitate the EPG functions, and remote control from any iOS device?



    Is that possible... or even legal within the HDMI and DMCA laws in place?



    Basically, from what I can imagine, what with the mess in America re: standards... the only possible way would be to intercept the signals on their way to the AppleTV.



    They don't need.... but could include an integrated webcam for Kinect-like motion control and of course Facetime; plus Siri would be available to directly control the box through any iOS device. Yes, albeit only the iPhone 4S for now while Siri is in Beta... but they "could" roll out an update for older devices once out of Beta. Again... Apple does not need to creat an entire all-in-one to do this.



    Sorry for the ramble... it's basically written brainstorming



    Curious as to your thoughts, if any of ya come back to check this thread.
  • Reply 70 of 72
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTac View Post


    The second is to get rid of 16:9 and go 16:12.



    Hmmm ... is 16:12 anything like 4:3? Just asking, 'cause that's been tried before ... besides, the reason they overlay those ads is (at least partially) so if you really like a show, you'll buy it on DVD/Blu-ray so you can watch it without those crappy ads - no way they're going to get rid of that.
  • Reply 71 of 72
    tnsftnsf Posts: 203member
    Anyone interested in learning Apple's long-term goal for Apple TV just needs to go back to the original introduction in 2006/2007. Count how many times Steve Jobs refers to "widescreen TV" in his presentations. Oddly specific, that term "widescreen TV."



    Apple is playing the long game with Apple TV. They call it a hobby because the Apple TV box we can buy today is not the end game.



    widescreen TV

    widescreen TV

    widescreen TV
  • Reply 72 of 72
    Considering how people continue to argue about whether or not an iPhone, an iPad or an iPod Touch is a "computer", wonder if (before or after that argument in semantics is settled) we will be arguing about what constitutes a "computer" vs. a "TV"? If that will be a topic of debate soon, I think that will be very interesting.



    It's interesting (to me) because so many arguments seem based on how various devices were seen 10-20+ years ago. Yet we see how quickly technology has moved forward in that time. My iPod Touch is many times more powerful and capable than my circa 1986 Mac Plus. I guess that's why it doesn't bother me when/if it's referred to as a computer.



    Though I would wait for some level of stability before buying one, I do hope that Apple is able to disrupt the TV and broadcast industries (including the distribution side), and can successfully deliver a device that will spark arguments about what it is (reminding us of the old Steve Martin/Bill Murray routine "What the heeell is that?!"). Apple has been very good at that: moving into an area where others have failed and redefining the space... turning an assumed loss into a surprise win.
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