Apple Home Entertainment

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Microsoft just announced the third edition of Windows XP Media Center. I'm ready to buy one myself since Apple doesn't at this time offer anything of the sort, nor are they currently "a good choice" in gaming machines. They are of course bound to compete, they should I'd way rather have an Apple branded box running at the heart of my entertainment system, but with what, a new machine, fancier Ipods or more upgrade options for current products like the Imac. It's not like Apple fans are going to stop using their workstations, but if Apple?s not interested in the home market, we can still integrate XP into our current Apple networks quite easily, So maybe Apple is likely to focus on more portable devices, they seem to like following where Microsoft won't go. Meaning it's easier for them to defend a niche market theyve created than try to establish a foothold where the giant already reigns as supreme dominator, by the same train of though however Microsoft hardly has a foothold in the home entertainment market at this time,(save the gaming market) but I'm guessing it's coming quickly, If Apple's interested they'd better act quickly.



What's the general consensus of the crew? Should Apple try something New, try making innovations happen where Microsoft hasn't (ALA the Ipod) or perhaps they'll miss out or surprise us all.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 68
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Would this be the Home Media Center that is getting the reviews of 'underwhelming', 'not as good as Tivo', and 'wait for the next version'?
  • Reply 2 of 68
    You're kidding! ;-) leave it to Microsoft to take a great idea and make a mediocre product. The PC's themselves though have many great features including 7.1 Surround Sound, very large hard drive etc. and multistream SD/ HD signal streaming.



    Also, I think the important thing is not that MS sucks (we already know that) rather it's more about the impact such a move may or may not have on Apple's offerings. Lot's of people buy crappy PC's, use them and like them allot without ever thinking of the possibility of a friendlier user experience ever existing. The third revision of XP Media center in a clear indication that they are committed as they continue to dump money into the project. Will there be an Apple rebuttal within the next 3 years.
  • Reply 3 of 68
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by spliff monkey

    leave it to Microsoft to take a great idea and make a mediocre product.



    True dat.



    I think once Steve Jobs gets over the idea of watching TV on your Mac and using your Mac on your TV, he'll see that using your Mac to help manage your viewing/programming, like tying into your stereo with AirTunes, he'll jump on the TV convergence bandwagon, but from a different angle, and in a more limited, critical way. Sort of like AirTunes and Airport Express with your stereo. Something more like TiVO's WishList and Season Pass abilities, or Titan TV. Not watching from a Mac, not viewing your Mac from your TV. Your TV "jukebox." But then again, doesn't TiVO do a good job of this? Where's the tie-in to iLife?



    I sort of find the Media Center thing something of a mystery. It looks like iLife plus TV (and a few odds and ends). Am I missing something?
  • Reply 4 of 68
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Nope. It's just a PC with an MS iLife clone (read as: second rate) + an MS Tivo clone (read as: second rate).



    What could Apple add over Tivo? How about iWatch -> iMovie -> iDVD? Take those TV jukebox clips and let people edit them in iMovie, then burn to DVD for archiving. Cool beans.
  • Reply 5 of 68
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    True, just adding the ability to cut commericals (like TiVO already) and archiving them onto DVD, you can probably skips the iMovie and iDVD route. Just backing this stuff up and keeping a catalog and schedule would be good. But as I write that, is it still a solution looking for a problem since TiVo and DVD burners component systems are here for that? The trouble I have is with what you would do with these shows and movies in iMovie or iDVD. Maybe spruce up a collection of TV shows with menus and such in iDVD, but editing seems like such a rarely needed thing.



    Pardon me for thiking out loud.
  • Reply 6 of 68
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BuonRotto

    True, just adding the ability to cut commericals (like TiVO already) and archiving them onto DVD, you can probably skips the iMovie and iDVD route. Just backing this stuff up and keeping a catalog and schedule would be good. But as I write that, is it still a solution looking for a problem since TiVo and DVD burners component systems are here for that?



    Yes.



    A couple hundred dollars for the Tivo. A couple hundred dollars for the DVD burner. A *few* hundred ($500-1000) if you want both in one component... which is desirable, since otherwise you're going from digital content (TiVo) -> analog transport -> recompression -> DVD. Ouch. Artifacts anyone?



    The current systems are crude or expensive.
  • Reply 7 of 68
    Editing the recorded shows would be kind of silly I agree, (except for editing out commercials but we can do that already) but by the same token people really like to have control over their media libraries. Itunes really changed the way people listen to music. It's great because it's not like other hadn't been making mp3 software and players before, Apple just did a great job of making accessible to the "layman". I've used many of the DVR's, DVD Writers, tried recording stuff using DV to my computer. It's cool, but lacks finesse. What is job's hang -up with TV anyway. BuonRotto's point is well taken and I agree. Anything to get me and my family from surfing channels and watching what we really want to watch, when we want to watch it. Save it, Archive and find it with a super cool Apple application and even burn it to DVD with an improved menu ( I really hate generic DVD recorder Menus) It's the perfect thing for Apple. It's out there, just waiting for someone with some great ideas to make it better. I hope it's Apple, but I don't think they're ready for it. Do you Guys? If not are they going to miss this boat; perhaps they already have secrets locked away deep in the catacombs below 1 infinite Loop, to bring us I-cinema plus download service, but there's another issue entirely, cuz of the download times. Maybe QT 7's release will help clarify the issue.
  • Reply 8 of 68
    tuttletuttle Posts: 301member
    I love my Tivo, but the interface is pretty clunky. An Apple iTunes-ish interface to Tivo or like device would be killer.



    The only people I've known to mess with the MS Media Center stuff have been a few die-hard MS freaks. I watched one spend weeks researching,ordering, and building an x86 box to use in his living room. It seemed excessive to the ten minutes or so I spent online ordering my Tivo. I plugged my Tivo in a couple of years ago and it has been running untouched ever since. I can't imagine the MS Media Center stuff 'just works.'
  • Reply 9 of 68
    One thing Tivo and DVD burners don't have is video iPod integration. If the vPod actually comes to pass (whether it involves viewing on a the vPod itself, or simply as a handy way to carry show to a different tv), that's something Apple can throw in. And, of course, the iTunes Movie Store...
  • Reply 10 of 68
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by TrevorD

    One thing Tivo and DVD burners don't have is video iPod integration. If the vPod actually comes to pass (whether it involves viewing on a the vPod itself, or simply as a handy way to carry show to a different tv), that's something Apple can throw in. And, of course, the iTunes Movie Store...



    The video iPod is without a doubt one of the worst ideas ever to cross these forums.

    Why would you watch TV in your hand for a few hours. The Watchman is cheap, affordable, of good quality, and they still don't sell. Neither do Portable DVD players. THere are cheap ones that work just as good as the name brands, but there is just a limited market for these. (people who fly a lot). There is no need to increase the price of the iPod to add useless features that are hardly going to get people to buy them. If anything adding video to the iPod would ruin something good that they have already done.



    This is one of those ideas that are just senseless in reality. It sounds like Oh yeah... add more, but when you think about what your adding, and the potential consequences that could occur it looks bad from every angle. Leave the TV off the pod.



    Adding something useless is exactly what would ruin the iPods 80+% market share. Let everyone else try it, and see if theirs will sell. I'm doubting it.
  • Reply 11 of 68
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by spliff monkey

    Editing the recorded shows would be kind of silly I agree, (except for editing out commercials but we can do that already) but by the same token people really like to have control over their media libraries. Itunes really changed the way people listen to music.



    Exactly: iTunes for your TV and movies. A video jukebox.



    Jobs' reticence regarding pulling TV into the iApp mix seems to be a reaction against the idea of watching TV on your Mac, or the opposite, using your Mac on your TV. I agree with his refutation of that idea. But this is different. Maybe he thinks there are some technical hurdles that make the idea not quite ready for primetime. (I wonder if he even has a TiVO, or for that matter, a TV!)



    Just like how I find the idea of watching a video on your iPod or viewing photos on your iPod, I think the idea of huddling around a computer screen (one with much higher resolution than the TV can fill) to watch movies, or sitting 8 feet away and trying to open a Quicktime file from your desktop on a TV screen are all rather silly propositions. But if you take the old cliche idea of a digital hub to mean that the computer is "home base" for perihperals like the iPod, your stereo and your TV, then I think a photo/video iPod becomes viable as a transport device. (though wireless tech might someday make it obsolete, that's in the not-too-close future.) Recording TV to your Mac while watching something TV sounds great. Finding, archiving and marking up your saved programs sounds great.



    I guess the $64,000 question is whether Apple has considered the Mac as a video librarian, or whether they still think of the idea in terms of viewing only.
  • Reply 12 of 68
    m01etym01ety Posts: 278member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    Nope. It's just a PC with an MS iLife clone (read as: second rate) + an MS Tivo clone (read as: second rate).





    Um, actually, MCE (Media Center) is one of Microsoft's better products. This baseless bashing is rather immature and silly. Have you tried the product yourself, Kickaha?



    I assume not.



    I, however, own a Windows Media Center PC from HP next to my PowerBook G4, and I can attest that Media Center actually is pretty decent.



    For one, it's not an iLife clone. That statement is ludicrous. Media Center DOES NOT include any content creation applications -- it's all about content consumption.



    Media Center is basically an extra application with system-wide hooks that's slapped onto XP Pro. All it does it let you watch TV, DVDs and the pictures on your computer in a manner that works well when hooked up to a large television.



    True, it's not Tivo, but then again, it doesn't want to be. The scheduling and conflict resolution interface is excellent, recorded show quality is divine, and the latest version allows you to burn shows onto DVDs from the Media Center application itself.



    I haven't tested the very latest version, but I have used the initial and the 2004 editions. They're not bad, and the UI team responsible for it seems to be differet from the general Windows UI team, creators of the pathetic Luna and other interface abhorrences.



    (If you can put up with Thurrott's gaudy and dubius writing style, see this for a review of the latest version.)



    I'm not advocating for Microsoft here in any way. Their UI and products are very lacking in *many* areas. Just today Windows Update downloaded some dubius new tool called "Windows Media Connect" to my computer with a UI sooooo bad I wanted to commit ritual seppuku right then and there.



    =============================================



    However, it pains me to see intelligent people, particularly modertors, lash out in baseless "oh, it's an iLife clone!" type of tirades without having used a product, or even being aware of what it does and is. It's just embarrassing to see.



    As stated, there is __no__ content creation in Media Center, just consuption. And it makes for a pretty good TV viewer app. Certainly beats elGato's eyeTV. In fact, when full-screen, you almost forget you're using Windows.



    I guess that's about all I wanted to say for now.



    *goes back to trying to install Gallery G2 on his Powerbook*
  • Reply 13 of 68
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by m01ety

    Media Center is basically an extra application with system-wide hooks that's slapped onto XP Pro. All it does it let you watch TV, DVDs and the pictures on your computer in a manner that works well when hooked up to a large television.



    Well, it sounds like the answers to a lot of people's dreams around here. IMHO, the concept alone is completely off-base though. Sounds exactly like what I described about Jobs' apparent disinterest in bringing the TV to the Mac or vice-versa. But I'm not that familiar with it, so maybe my opinion of it is still uninformed.
  • Reply 14 of 68
    garypgaryp Posts: 150member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by m01ety For one, it's not an iLife clone. That statement is ludicrous. Media Center DOES NOT include any content creation applications -- it's all about content consumption.





    As stated, there is __no__ content creation in Media Center, just consuption. And it makes for a pretty good TV viewer app. Certainly beats elGato's eyeTV. In fact, when full-screen, you almost forget you're using Windows.



    The point is, TV is crap, & increasingly irrelevant crap. Steve Jobs knows this. You have unwittingly pointed out the great divide: content creation vs. content consumption. Apple is about content creation and people communicating with each other. Who wants to watch TV on their computer?
  • Reply 15 of 68
    m01etym01ety Posts: 278member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by garyp

    The point is, TV is crap, & increasingly irrelevant crap. Steve Jobs knows this. You have unwittingly pointed out the great divide: content creation vs. content consumption. Apple is about content creation and people communicating with each other. Who wants to watch TV on their computer?



    I do (as in I want to watch TV on my computer). I also do (as in I actually do watch TV on my computer).



    It's like watching a DVD on a computer. Therefore, your arguement is flawed on several levels. Explain to me why OS X includes DVD viewing software. Shock! Moving pictures, to be consumed, on a Mac?! The blasphemy!



    Much as I respect Jobs, he is completely off-base in his philosophical justification for not including more content consumption opportunities and interfaces, like those for TV.



    As far as TV being crap... That's pathetic. Clearly you have not heard of the Discovery and History channels, public television stations with decent geo-political news coverage, or Futurama and sci fi. "Crap" indeed.
  • Reply 16 of 68
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,354member
    Quote:

    Um, actually, MCE (Media Center) is one of Microsoft's better products. This baseless bashing is rather immature and silly. Have you tried the product yourself, Kickaha?



    Ouch that's not saying much. MCE is garbage.



    480p maximum resolution...wow MS how do you manage to ride that technology wave.



    Component outputs will not pass a signal from a encrypted DVD(Read %90 of commercial DVDs)



    So basically you have a "Media Center" that cannot do what a $180 DVD player can do(Upscale beyond 480 and pass DVD content through component outputs).



    Once again the "sheeple" are getting the wool pulled over their eyes. Well it's your money to waste.



    Should Apple create a "Media Center Mac" I surely hope it's far better than MS' version...that shouldn't be too hard.
  • Reply 17 of 68
    trtamtrtam Posts: 111member
    If Airtunes and Airport Express counted as Home Entertainment, then I guess Apple has invested into it. Who knows what Apple will pull off next? (Well, we'll know early because of Apple Insider...)
  • Reply 18 of 68
    m01etym01ety Posts: 278member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    Ouch that's not saying much. MCE is garbage.



    480p maximum resolution...wow MS how do you manage to ride that technology wave.



    Component outputs will not pass a signal from a encrypted DVD(Read %90 of commercial DVDs)



    So basically you have a "Media Center" that cannot do what a $180 DVD player can do(Upscale beyond 480 and pass DVD content through component outputs).



    Once again the "sheeple" are getting the wool pulled over their eyes. Well it's your money to waste.



    Should Apple create a "Media Center Mac" I surely hope it's far better than MS' version...that shouldn't be too hard.




    Actually, MCE supports HDTV resolution, but keep marinating in your ignorance and delusion. Oh, and pray tell, please *do* enlighten me as to how I am able to watch DVDs on my TV through MCE, because, well, I can.



    You, sir, are a fool -- at least as far as this conversation is concerned. You are no better than some braindead AOL-using PC junkie coming in here and posting a "MACS SUXORS LOL LOL!!!" thread before rushing off, without ever having used a Macintosh.



    But who am I to stop you? Keep demonstrating your ignorance. While you're at it, give us reviews of the features of a some *other* products you've never used!



    Sigh. /
  • Reply 19 of 68
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Hey, did one of these people run over your dog? Chill. We're debating. Don't take it personally.
  • Reply 20 of 68
    m01etym01ety Posts: 278member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BuonRotto

    Hey, did one of these people run over your dog? Chill. We're debating. Don't take it personally.



    I don't have a canine companion, but your concern is appreciated.



    I'm not taking anything personally, and am chilling. However, flawed, baseless arguements annoy me... is that a crime?
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