Cook coy on Apple TV: 'There's a lot that we can contribute in the space'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
In Apple's quarterly conference call on Wednesday, CEO Tim Cook said that the company's Apple TV set-top box continues to sell well and characterized the television segment as a space where "there's a lot we can contribute."

Apple TV


Asked about Apple's intentions with regard to the TV market, Cook avoided tipping any products in the pipeline, but assured listeners that "in terms of the product we sell today ? Apple TV ? we sold more than we've ever sold in a quarter."

This past quarter, Apple sold two million of its Apple TV set-top boxes, up 60 percent year-over-year.

"What was a small niche at one time," Cook said, "has a lot of people who love it."

Cook has previously hinted that Apple was preparing to redefine the television set, much as it has the cellular phone, but on the call he declined to give any further input on what Apple may be working on in the television sector.

"I have said in the past it's an area of intense interest for us, and it remains so. There's a lot we can contribute in this space, and we'll continue to pull the string and see where it leads."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33


    Network Attached iTunes Libraries, guys. NaiTL.


     


    It would take an iOS update on Apple TV and a firmware update to your AirPort lineup to do. But then we wouldn't need a computer on and iTunes running to be able to see your local iTunes Library on an Apple TV. And then that same library could be seen on any computer connected to that network!


     


    Come on, Apple!

  • Reply 2 of 33
    Apple R&D all wrapped up tight like a sealed bottle. I bet Samsung is pulling their hair out wondering when they can finally find out what they'll be copying next.
  • Reply 3 of 33
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Network Attached iTunes Libraries, guys. NaiTL.

    It would take an iOS update on Apple TV and a firmware update to your AirPort lineup to do. But then we wouldn't need a computer on and iTunes running to be able to see your local iTunes Library on an Apple TV. And then that same library could be seen on any computer connected to that network!

    Come on, Apple!

    Having a central hub for media, backups, and a centralized updates server would be great.
  • Reply 4 of 33
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Network Attached iTunes Libraries, guys. NaiTL.


     


    It would take an iOS update on Apple TV and a firmware update to your AirPort lineup to do. But then we wouldn't need a computer on and iTunes running to be able to see your local iTunes Library on an Apple TV. And then that same library could be seen on any computer connected to that network!


     


    Come on, Apple!



     


    I would love that. It would be great if an Apple TV or a Time Capsule could serve media to all of my devices.

  • Reply 5 of 33
    The main issue with an AppleTV is its a US'centric product. Not apples largest market.
  • Reply 6 of 33

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    Having a central hub for media, backups, and a centralized updates server would be great.


     


    As far as Apple TV goes, I'd prefer to simply have online storage from Apple that would stream my movies / TV shows from iCloud so I'd never have to store my own ginormous files (unless I specifically decide to download to view on a plane, for example).

  • Reply 7 of 33
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    cycomiko wrote: »
    The main issue with an AppleTV is its a US'centric product. Not apples largest market.

    I believe the US is still the largest single market for Apple.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    I believe the US is still the largest single market for Apple.

    It is. I think he meant it's under half Apple's business.
  • Reply 9 of 33
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member


    At $99 nothing really beats the Apple TV.

  • Reply 10 of 33
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member
    Except the WD Live box. And the base model TiVo. And the various Roku boxes. Basically all set top boxes that offer the same features of that AppleTV, plus many it doesn't. So, ya know, there's those.
  • Reply 11 of 33
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    cash907 wrote: »
    Except the WD Live box. And the base model TiVo. And the various Roku boxes. Basically all set top boxes that offer the same features of that AppleTV, plus many it doesn't. So, ya know, there's those.

    Remind me which of those include AirPlay?
  • Reply 12 of 33
    ifij775ifij775 Posts: 470member
    I think the stock will do nothing until an exciting AppleTV upgrade arrives. The sooner the better
  • Reply 13 of 33
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    Remind me which of those include AirPlay?

    There are alternatives like Plex.
  • Reply 14 of 33
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    Remind me which of those include AirPlay?

    cash907 wrote: »
    Except the WD Live box. And the base model TiVo. And the various Roku boxes. Basically all set top boxes that offer the same features of that AppleTV, plus many it doesn't. So, ya know, there's those.

    dasanman69 wrote: »
    There are alternatives like Plex.

    Exactly. I like AirPlay, but plex is a solid alternative. Really, the main thing Apple TV offers is mirroring... Although I never use it.

    If they would just allow developers and apps, it'd be the best. I just want to listen to pandora and watch my amazon and HBO go on it. That would be very helpful and at least get it up to snuff with ALL the other competitors. Add apps and unified search and Siri remote and it's out of this world. Adding uverse would be a dream.... But I don't count on it.
  • Reply 15 of 33
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    andysol wrote: »


    Exactly. I like AirPlay, but plex is a solid alternative. Really, the main thing Apple TV offers is mirroring... Although I never use it.

    If they would just allow developers and apps, it'd be the best. I just want to listen to pandora and watch my amazon and HBO go on it. That would be very helpful and at least get it up to snuff with ALL the other competitors. Add apps and unified search and Siri remote and it's out of this world. Adding uverse would be a dream.... But I don't count on it.

    Aren't Pandora and HBO allowed to use the APIs for AirPlay? I don't understand what Plex offers me as someone with Macs, iPhones and iPads that is more feature rich and convenient than using AirPlay.
  • Reply 16 of 33


    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

    I don't understand what Plex offers me as someone with Macs, iPhones and iPads that is more feature rich and convenient than using AirPlay.


     


    I'm trying to figure out what Plex even offers. Their website seems dedicated entirely to you. download. now. I see six screenshots, and they show me functionality equal to—but not exceeding—some of the Apple TV's. And with a more confusing interface that seems to revolve around enjoying showing me meaningless information like this:


     



     


    I don't care what season and episode it is, save for sorting. I shouldn't care about seeing that; show me the episode title or something else, but show it to me where it should be. I don't care about the stupid sort name for the image, just show me the image.


     


    Nothing really about functionality. So I go to "Help", yeah? Figuring there'll be help. "Guides", okay, we're getting there. First guide: "Media Naming and Organization Guide".


     


    … 


     



     


    So apparently they've never heard of file metadata? The stuff that we shouldn't care about seeing at all, but which should exist for background organization, that is. I don't want my stuff to show up as "Name (Year)", Just give me the name. 


     


    I mean, really, why do people even use MKV if you have to keep all this stuff separate? Can't even apply artwork; you have to keep it as a separate image file, named identically, in a folder in the tree.


     


    I see guides for media servers, I see guides for Linux, subtitles… what does the software DO?!


     


    From the six images, I gather music, TV, movies, pictures. And I can search for them. That's it. The Apple TV looks MIGHTY enticing, given that it at least tells me about the other things it can do. Can Plex even do any more than that?

  • Reply 17 of 33
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I'm trying to figure out what Plex even offers. Their website seems dedicated entirely to you. download. now. I see six screenshots, and they show me functionality equal to—but not exceeding—some of the Apple TV's. And with a more confusing interface that seems to revolve around enjoying showing me meaningless information like this:

    <img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="19562" data-type="61" height="47" src="http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/19562/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 267px; height: 47px;" width="267">
    <img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="19563" data-type="61" height="42" src="http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/19563/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 64px; height: 42px;" width="64">


    I don't care what season and episode it is, save for sorting. I shouldn't care about seeing that; show me the episode title or something else, but show it to me where it should be. I don't care about the stupid sort name for the image, just show me the image.

    Nothing really about functionality. So I go to "Help", yeah? Figuring there'll be help. "Guides", okay, we're getting there. First guide: "Media Naming and Organization Guide".

    … 

    <img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="19564" data-type="61" height="551" src="http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/19564/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 551px;" width="500">


    So apparently they've never heard of file metadata? The stuff that we shouldn't care about seeing at all, but which should exist for background organization, that is. I don't want my stuff to show up as "Name (Year)", Just give me the name. 

    I mean, really, why do people even use MKV if you have to keep all this stuff separate? Can't even apply artwork; you have to keep it as a separate image file, named identically, in a folder in the tree.

    I see guides for media servers, I see guides for Linux, subtitles… what does the software DO?!

    From the six images, I gather music, TV, movies, pictures. And I can search for them. That's it. The Apple TV looks MIGHTY enticing, given that it at least tells me about the other things it can do. Can Plex even do any more than that?

    So it lets me use the existing file structure of my Mac to play content? That's like PMP players before the iPod and all the others that tried to compete after it but couldn't.

    I recently used iVI ($10 on Mac App Store) to encode and/or switch containers, add metadata to my content, and add to iTunes. It's much better this way than my previous method of opening up ~/Movies in Finder.
  • Reply 18 of 33


    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

    I recently used iVI ($10 on Mac App Store) to encode and/or switch containers, add metadata to my content, and add to iTunes. It's much better this way than my previous method of opening up ~/Movies in Finder.


     


    How well does it add the metadata? Do you have an offhand estimate of its accuracy in finding both your content and the right content for it?


     


    I use iDentify, which is free, but it's ugly, old, has a non-standard interface, and I think it might be out of support. But it gets the job done pretty darn well… most of the time. And then 90% of the time when it doesn't, it refuses to then work (as it's supposed to) after I've manually given it the correct IMDB listing (but that's a neat feature when it does work).


     


    iDentify adds metadata, artwork, and even chapters (but I've yet to give it something for which it will actually add those chapters…), so really, it's a great, two-click solution for that stuff as opposed to something bloated like that cow one. What is it, media… cow. iGr… no… Nothing medically wrong with me, my foot; this isn't psychology screwing up my memory… 

  • Reply 19 of 33

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    I'm trying to figure out what Plex even offers. Their website seems dedicated entirely to you. download. now. I see six screenshots, and they show me functionality equal to—but not exceeding—some of the Apple TV's. And with a more confusing interface that seems to revolve around enjoying showing me meaningless information like this:


     


    So apparently they've never heard of file metadata? The stuff that we shouldn't care about seeing at all, but which should exist for background organization, that is. I don't want my stuff to show up as "Name (Year)", Just give me the name. 


     


    I mean, really, why do people even use MKV if you have to keep all this stuff separate? Can't even apply artwork; you have to keep it as a separate image file, named identically, in a folder in the tree.


     


    I see guides for media servers, I see guides for Linux, subtitles… what does the software DO?!


     


    From the six images, I gather music, TV, movies, pictures. And I can search for them. That's it. The Apple TV looks MIGHTY enticing, given that it at least tells me about the other things it can do. Can Plex even do any more than that?



     


    With just a couple of exceptions, I've not had to mess with any of this stuff. Content gets added to various media folders and the plex server figures out what it is. A few items that are not in tvdb, for example, had to be set up in specific folder hierarchies for Plex to organise them properly. Plex also adds capabilities well beyond simple media streaming - there are plugins, for example, for dozens of third-party services. I have used YouTube (because the Roku doesn't have a YouTube channel), TWiT, ScreenCastsOnline, NASA, Apple Movie Trailers, White House, and most importantly, Spotify (you can access your Spotify playlists as well as search for content. I suspect this requires a premium Spotify account, but then I have that anyway so I can use Spotify on the go). If only the Lynda.com plugin worked, I'd be super happy.


     


    As a AppleTV 1st-gen owner, I swore I'd always stick with the devices. The interface (at least the older Take 2 interface) blows away everything else I've used, and the remote control app for the iPhone makes it infinitely better. But this year I picked up a Roku on-sale for $40 just to try it out, and I find myself missing the AppleTV less. I still want one for paid iTunes content (I will continue to subscribe to iTunes season passes before I'll give the bastards at Comcast any money for their overpriced TV service), but the Roku (especially with Plex) does so much more.

  • Reply 20 of 33
    richl wrote: »
    I would love that. It would be great if an Apple TV or a Time Capsule could serve media to all of my devices.

    Unless we had time capsules with SSDs in them, all that use would burn out a rotational fast.
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