Apple VP: No current plans for TiVo-like Mac mini

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Despite earlier assertions from other publications, Apple Computer is currently not interested in releasing a version of its Mac mini with digital video recording (DVR) capabilities, a high level company executive explained on Thursday.



Commenting on the company's new Intel-based Mac mini to USA Today's Jefferson Graham, Apple Senior Vice Present of Worldwide Marketing, Philip Schiller, squashed rumors of a Mac mini with built-in DVR capabilities.



Adding video recording functionality would have made the Mac mini too complicated, Schiller told the publication. "We're not trying to replace the TiVo," he said. "This is about taking the media from your computer and accessing it via the TV."



Those statements should enable TiVo to "breathe easier," says The Motley Fool's Tim Beyers. He believes Apple might have given TiVo a run for its money, but notes the newly announced Mac mini offers the most compelling evidence yet of the DVR pioneer's continued health and survival.



In the weeks leading up to January's Macworld, as well as Apple's late-Feb. media event, anticipation of a Mac mini with DVR integration ran extremely high due to a number of unsubstantiated Web and analyst reports.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 99
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,227member
    Apple's not stating that they won't do a DVR. They are simply saying "don't expect the Mac mini to morph into a DVR"



    This makes sense because a DVR circa 2007 should have.





    a. The right form factor. 17 inches wide with capable remote.



    b. Cablecard 2.0 support for direct linking to CableCo service



    c. Low cost dedicated chipset. There's a company that makes a low cost realtime h.264 encoder. Intel ICD/ICS chips are too expensive. You need focused hardware for a DVR not a general use CPU.





    I'd rather Apple make a DVR when the ingredients are there. And I think they will.
  • Reply 2 of 99
    eckingecking Posts: 1,588member
    They probably won't make a dvr because they have itunes and soon movies. Why would they want to make a dvr when people can buy tv show from them, and movies from them?



    That being said if you need something like that a core duo mini and some sort of eyetv shouldn't be more expensive than a win media center pc anyways.



    What I think apple should do is make the above combination in a deal with elgato and sell bundles as well as demo that at apple stores that way people that don't have downloads from itunes don't think they have to look elsewhere. Because many people don't know about eyetv and won't buy a mini at all thinking there is nothing for it.
  • Reply 3 of 99
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    This is Apples biggest FU¢K-UP in years.



    What the people want, and what the people have to choose from are the worst of both worlds.



    Obviously we like the Video iPod



    Obviously we like the TIVO.



    Best of both worlds. Bring back the Apple Cube with DVR, and be able to transfer your TV shows off the CUBE. Create Video compatible iPod movies that you missed because you need to go to bed before 24 comes on, and watch them on the subway, (or where ever) on your way to work, or in a plane. You could do this from within the CUBE I guess, but I would prefer transfer it to my PowerMac, and reduce it there instead. But you should be able to dock an iPod into the CUBE (Media CUBE), and it should encode your selections that you want in your iPod by the time your ready in the morning. YOu could preset the shows you want encoded for iPod and have them ready to load (or already loaded if you left it docked overnight) every morning when your ready to leave.



    But now Apple is selling video from the iTMS so Mac users are now confined like Apple has never let them be before. It's not in Apples best interest to have a DVR because they are selling TV shows, but it is also not in the Mac users best interest to use a Mac if what I said above is what they want to do. Apple painted themselves into a corner, and they painted us in there with them. What a FU¢K-UP.
  • Reply 4 of 99
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:

    This is Apples biggest FU¢K-UP in years.



    Not really people need to peek their heads up from the internet and out into the real world. There really is not much of a viable DVR market right now.



    Tivo is not a profitable company, they loose money most of the time, and barely break even at the best of times.



    Microsoft is going to include Media Center with Vista because that's the only way they are going to sell. Extremely few people are actively buying a Windows Media Center. Most people that have bought it don't even know they did and don't use it.



    On top of that Windows Media Center is not plug and play in the least. You have to go through a number of steps to synch everything up. From what I understand can be difficult for the average consumer to navigate.



    What motivation does Apple have to enter a market that is not making much money?
  • Reply 5 of 99
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by TenoBell

    Not really people need to peek their heads up from the internet and out into the real world. There really is not much of a viable DVR market right now.



    Tivo is not a profitable company, they loose money most of the time, and barely break even at the best of times.



    Microsoft is going to include Media Center with Vista because that's the only way they are going to sell. Extremely few people are actively buying a Windows Media Center. Most people that have bought it don't even know they did and don't use it.



    On top of that Windows Media Center is not plug and play in the least. You have to go through a number of steps to synch everything up. From what I understand can be difficult for the average consumer to navigate.



    What motivation does Apple have to enter a market that is not making much money?






    Tell me. How much money was in the MP3 player market before Apple entered it? It was dying. Apple made the market. Don't throw TIVO, and Microsoft Media Centers at me when you know that is totally irrelevant when it comes to Mac users, and Apple.



    Apple just painted us in with them on this, and it was a fu¢k up on their part. I doubt they planned it, but they did it.
  • Reply 6 of 99
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,227member
    Quote:

    They probably won't make a dvr because they have itunes and soon movies. Why would they want to make a dvr when people can buy tv show from them, and movies from them?



    There's not really a conflict here. I'm a Comcast subscriber which means that I have bundled channels in which I can record to my DVR. This makes sense to me but buying my shows a ala carte doesn't make sense because it's far too limiting. And my bandwidth isn't free..I pay per month and I do have a capped limit. Apple and others are attempting to utilize the internet for free and that simply isn't going to last. The RBOCS are already complaining about companies basing services on free internet infrastructure (VOIP, Skype, IPTV etc) and offering no money. They do have a point.



    Downloads and DVR can and should co-exist naturally. I would be surprised if Apple decided not to persue a DVR simply because it's one of those technologie that you simply cannot live without. iTunes simply offers downloads of Music and Video and IMO doesn't have the same impact. One thing I've learned is that you don't trust the new Apple. They'll downplay something until their ready to ship (flash based MP3 players, integrated graphics etc).



    The Mac mini just isn't the right form factor and hardware. Nvidia just announced PureVideo h.264 acceleration. Apple need custom hardware to do a DVR correctly.
  • Reply 7 of 99
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    With iPod and iTMS Apple figured out a better way to make the whole system work that was better than their competators.



    I'm sure Apple would implement a DVR if it had a better way than Tivo or Microsoft.



    But then again I don't think iPod and music are analogous to DVR and television. They are two different markets with different problems to over come.
  • Reply 8 of 99
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,227member
    It seems like people don't fully understand why Tivo is struggling.



    Tivo and ReplayTV both have excellent products but the reason why they are struggling is because of this.



    Most people are getting their service from Cable or Satellite. This means as of today they are are the whim of the Cable/Sattelite Ops for their hardware because premium channels are encrypted necessitating a Set Top Box(STB) for decoding.



    The FCC realized that this was unfair. Why should consumers have to take whatever their provider chooses to give so they mandated CableCard support for all Cable Ops. These cards allow you to access premium and standard channels sans STB.



    The catch?



    The 1st generation of Cablecards only supported simplex communication. Features like Video On Demand and Guide Data require duplex bidirectional data sends. Thus you haven't seen a lot of excitement about Cablecards.



    The future



    Cablecard 2.0 has been completed and it does indeed support the multistream technology that is required for the extra features. So by next year instead of taking whatever crappy STB your provider has linked with you'll be able to access your Cable with any Cablecard 2.0 enabled device and get full functionality.



    Tivo has a Generation 3 device with two Cablecard 2.0 slots. It will be the only device you need atop your TV. It will change your channels and record them all faithfully. One less device...no repeaters necessary.



    Thus Apple could be waiting for the moment in which they can offer a STB that has



    CC 2.0 slots.

    multiple tuners

    h.264 encoding in real time (required)

    h.264 acceleration

    Low cost supporting chipsets

    UDI connection for audio and video over one connection.



    If Apple doesn't offer this someone will and that's where I'm going. Apple doesn't have enough locking that I can't get around with my files.
  • Reply 9 of 99
    chris cuillachris cuilla Posts: 4,825member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by onlooker

    Don't throw TIVO, and Microsoft Media Centers at me when you know that is totally irrelevant when it comes to Mac users, and Apple.



    Ummm...totally irrelevant how?



    Secondly, what does this have to do with "Mac users"? Television/video media is a market onto itself. It has nothing to do with Mac, OS X, Windows, Linux, PC, etc. It is a function and a specific market.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by onlooker

    Apple just painted us in with them on this



    What in the heck are you talking about?
  • Reply 10 of 99
    eckingecking Posts: 1,588member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    There's not really a conflict here. I'm a Comcast subscriber which means that I have bundled channels in which I can record to my DVR. This makes sense to me but buying my shows a ala carte doesn't make sense because it's far too limiting. And my bandwidth isn't free..I pay per month and I do have a capped limit. Apple and others are attempting to utilize the internet for free and that simply isn't going to last. The RBOCS are already complaining about companies basing services on free internet infrastructure (VOIP, Skype, IPTV etc) and offering no money. They do have a point.



    Downloads and DVR can and should co-exist naturally. I would be surprised if Apple decided not to persue a DVR simply because it's one of those technologie that you simply cannot live without. iTunes simply offers downloads of Music and Video and IMO doesn't have the same impact. One thing I've learned is that you don't trust the new Apple. They'll downplay something until their ready to ship (flash based MP3 players, integrated graphics etc).



    The Mac mini just isn't the right form factor and hardware. Nvidia just announced PureVideo h.264 acceleration. Apple need custom hardware to do a DVR correctly.




    Maybe but at least I suggested an answer to the problem.
  • Reply 11 of 99
    gargar Posts: 1,201member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    I would be surprised if Apple decided not to persue a DVR simply because it's one of those technologie that you simply cannot live without.





    Yes, you can...
  • Reply 12 of 99
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,227member
    Quote:

    Maybe but at least I suggested an answer to the problem.



    No doubt, no one really knows what Apple will do but..



    Quote:

    Yes, you can...



    No I'm serious. I'm afflicted with TimeSensitivitus. If I can't use a DVR I'll perish in a matter of days It's absolutely dreadful but I make do where I can.
  • Reply 13 of 99
    19841984 Posts: 955member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    It seems like people don't fully understand why Tivo is struggling.







    TiVo is struggling because they constantly shoot themselves in the foot. See today's "new initiative" for example. If you thought Apple's event was a letdown... Anyway, the TiVo interface is great. It just works. Sound familiar? Apple should just buy TiVo out, polish the interface a bit with the Apple touch (not to mention the addition of Front Row) and include streaming to and from Macs and the TiVo box. Then they will have a true media hub without having to build it around a computer.
  • Reply 14 of 99
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    I agree Tivo hurt themselves in many ways.



    The strength of Tivo is in its software the hardware is ubiquitous.



    Tivo attepted to tie its software to its box. Which is the same thing Apple does. But it doesn't work as well in Tivo's market, because Tivo's software could easily dominate the DVR market.
  • Reply 15 of 99
    bergzbergz Posts: 1,045member
    Rumors are generally "quashed."



    --B
  • Reply 16 of 99
    Didn't Apple say there wouldn't be a video ipod ?



    and a few months later,, there was a video ipod....
  • Reply 17 of 99
    icfireballicfireball Posts: 2,594member
    I think the major things about a DVR Mac Mini right now is:



    1) It reduces profit margins or increases price.

    2) If you add it to the mini, would you have to add it to the iMac G5?

    3) Lack of iTunes/FrontRow/DRM Support at the current time.

    4) A future grand plan regarding video and iTunes and iTMS.

    5) Waiting for capitolize on the initial intel transition before making radical changes.

    6) Making the intel transition without new and potential confusing features.



    Although I think a DVR would be very easy and not confusing. Put "Digital Video Recorder" in FrontRow under the "Video" section and then when you select that, TV listings pop up from the reception of the TV tuner card in the Mac Mini OR possibly by virtue of a Mac Mini being hooking up to a TV that has a TV tuner (could this be acheived through HMDI or another digital port?). Once the TV listing pops up you navigate through it (not a new concept here) and select programs to be recorded. Recorded programs are automaticly added to iTunes or possible a seperate small peice of DVR/Video organizing software.
  • Reply 18 of 99
    solsunsolsun Posts: 763member
    As long as Apple sells video content for $1.99 on the ITMS there will not be a Mac with DVR that can record that same content for free.



    Apple (Steve) worked hard to get the network partners that they have on board.. They are still working with others trying to woo them over..



    What I'm saying is, they'd be shooting themselves in the foot and pissing off their network partners.. In a big way..



    Macs with DVR = NO.

    Macs with the ability to BUY content = YES
  • Reply 19 of 99
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Chris Cuilla



    quote:

    Originally posted by onlooker

    Don't throw TIVO, and Microsoft Media Centers at me when you know that is totally irrelevant when it comes to Mac users, and Apple.





    Ummm...totally irrelevant how?



    Secondly, what does this have to do with "Mac users"? Television/video media is a market onto itself. It has nothing to do with Mac, OS X, Windows, Linux, PC, etc. It is a function and a specific market.



    quote:

    Originally posted by onlooker

    Apple just painted us in with them on this





    What in the heck are you talking about?




    What you can't read. It was all in reference to my previous post, but I'll spell it out for you.



    Quote:

    Ummm...totally irrelevant how?



    Secondly, what does this have to do with "Mac users"? Television/video media is a market onto itself. It has nothing to do with Mac, OS X, Windows, Linux, PC, etc. It is a function and a specific market."




    Totally irrelevant. Just like the dying MP3 player market was irrelevant when Apple came along. Mac users don't care what the rest of society likes, or doesn't. It does not matter as much to us to do what every one else is doing. That is proven time, and again to be totally irrelevant to us. We like what we like. We don't conform to the norm. Usually the norm conforms to us. They all follow. We do not. We usually do what we want to do if it's trendy or not we could care less.



    And your second point of what it has to do with Mac users was basically what I just said. Mac users all over the web are statistically 90%+ in favor of a PVR from Apple. If they make it. It will sell. We will buy it. Once we start yammering on about how damn cool it is I imagine it would be a huge hit just like the iPod. Those who follow will be lining up for one.





    Quote:

    quote:

    Originally posted by onlooker

    Apple just painted us in with them on this





    What in the heck are you talking about?





    Also explained in my first post. Apple started selling TV shows from iTMS, and it's a conflict in many ways for them to make a great PVR product that the users want.



    It conflicts with their sales of shows, it conflicts with the providers that have already given them shows. They painted themselves into a corner by selling the shows from the store, and not making a PVR from the get go.

    THey should have thought about our best options from the beginning, but now they are painted into a corner, and we unfortunately are stuck with them. THey should have done a home Media cube with *iTunes, and AirTunes capabilities (*If you have an internet connection) from the get go, but they rushed down the wrong path thinking to get something to market before thinking about what would suit us best. Now we are stuck with it.



    They need get us out of it. They shouldn't have limited us to this store option for what are essentially free TV shows.
  • Reply 20 of 99
    solsunsolsun Posts: 763member
    tried to delete this
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