Disney chief talks up Apple's iTV media hub

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  • Reply 101 of 211
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,033member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich


    Are you suggesting 2 models at launch (or a second model sometime thereafter)?



    iTV & iTV-HD?



    I'm not suggesting anything. The article speaks for itself.
  • Reply 102 of 211
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DCQ


    I'll wager good money that the iTS will not offer HD movies anytime soon. I'm expecting that they'll up the res to 480p (full dvd res, if not full dvd bitrate), maybe at MWSF07, maybe when iTV is released, maybe at WWDC or Paris Expo 07, but sometime within the next year.



    Define "soon"? I would expect HD within a year (of launch) if Apple doesn't launch iTV with HD.



    Quote:

    Why the HDMI port? For future proofing, for one (so when you upgrade to an HDTV, you can still use the iTV...remember most people have not even thought about buying an HDTV yet). But the iTV will also "upscale" video in the same way DVD player now do.



    And component would be fine for that. Most (if not all) HDTVs will some with component in, most AV receivers have component in but few have HDMI switches, HDTVs only have 1 or 2 HDMI ports. So, after your cable box eats one of 2 ports (lower end receivers with HDMI like the Sony only have 2 HDMI ports) and the 360/PS3 or HD-DVD or BR player takes the other that HDMI port on the iTV doesn't seem like much value added for a product that won't expect to see HD "anytime soon".



    Quote:

    - files are too big (20+GBs per movie)



    Mmm...then those single layer HD-DVD discs are in impossible. I don't remember the exact numbers but encoding at 15-16 mbps is considered close to master quality and some HD-DVDs I believe encoded to around 12mpbs which equates to less than 11GB for a 2 hour movie.



    720p will be smaller still.



    Quote:

    - too long to download (10 hours given the best conditions)



    Lets see...the BEST conditions are 100Mbps in some FTTH setups but these I believe are limited to a very small number of folks in some trial buildouts.



    The most commonly available best is 30 Mbps with FIOS for $179.95/month which is too pricey.



    So lets go for the cheapest "best" scenario: 15mpbs from FIOS for $44.95/month. Should take around an hour to download (depending on my sometimes questionable math skills).



    Note that both Comcast and Time Warner has doubled their max speed (to 16mpbs) in some areas that FiOS serves.



    Whether Verizon, Comcast or TW's infrastructure could handle everyone trying to DL HD movies at the same time from Apple is debatable but I know some folks report 14Mpbs sustained downloads if the other end of the pipe can handle it.



    Quote:

    - competition with hard media (BDs/HDDVDs) which movie studios have invested billions in



    Which Sony and Toshiba have invested billions in. Studio investments have probably been modest to non-existant.



    Quote:

    - won't be 1080p (so all the early adopters, who want the best of the best, would turn their noses up)



    Well if it's not 1080p then it sure smaller than 15GBs. Probably smaller than 8 GBs. The numbers above (1 hour DL times) are for the expected 10-11 GBs size.



    Quote:

    - too few people have HDTVs at the moment anyway



    They can DL SD movies. I would expect HD movie pricing to start at $20 (if not higher) and not have many titles (to reduce server loads). I would also expect a few HD TV shows available but higher than the $2/episode.



    But I can easily handle and desire 720p resolution on my MBP. HDTV penetration will only rise.



    Quote:

    It may happen in 2009 or 2010 when we have deeper broadband penetration, faster connections, mainstream HDTV adoption, 2TB HDDs that cost $250, a better video codec, and Wal-Mart is selling overstocked BDs in their bargain bin for $5.99. Before then though, forget about it.



    I'll wager a HD movie on seeing HD movies on iTunes it before 2009. If we're both still around (and remember) you can arrange gifting me a ITS HD movie download or I can buy a HD-DVD/BR movie for you from Amazon for XMas 2008 (call it max of $30). That's not "good money" but its a cut above a gentlemen's bet and I think appropriate for the topic.



    Vinea
  • Reply 103 of 211
    dcqdcq Posts: 349member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea


    I'll wager a HD movie on seeing HD movies on iTunes it before 2009. If we're both still around (and remember) you can arrange gifting me a ITS HD movie download or I can buy a HD-DVD/BR movie for you from Amazon for XMas 2008 (call it max of $30). That's not "good money" but its a cut above a gentlemen's bet and I think appropriate for the topic.



    Vinea



    Well, Xmas 2008 is around the time I'd expect Apple to intro HD movies, if it's being aggressive. My point was that anyone expecting HD movies in Jan07 or even summer 07 was smoking something I'd like to try.



    But sure, we've got a deal (even tho I'm not christian). I just put it in my iCal for Dec 24, 2008.
  • Reply 104 of 211
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1


    Why get excited about a hard drive if there's no TV tuner? If there's no tuner, what's there to record?



    I have to ask this again and yes I'm shouting. WHY WOULD I BUY THIS IF IT DOESN'T HAVE DVR FUNCTIONALITY?



    Because Disney and Apple want you to buy the programming. If there were a DVR ala Tivo, we could simply record the episodes for free instead of paying $2.00 a pop, then stream it to your TV. Ya think the head of Disney got excited because iTV is a way to watch programming for free? They are going to leave that to an Elgato device which has these capabilities so you can use it for aquiring the content, then stream it through iTV.
  • Reply 105 of 211
    The obvious reason for a HDMI port is that it is the current technology and most TV's today are using them, so the iTV needs it for connectivity plain and simple, and this is the same reason that it has component video out and both optical and analog sterio out. I'm suprised they only have the two types of video out.



    As to the resolution, near DVD quality is good enough for most people and is the most economical choice for now. Also, since the studio's are investing in HD DVD or Blue Ray releases right now the lower resolution downloads will not compete with these. The Studio's will want to sell as many HD DVD's as possible before a wholesale switch to online. They also will want to sell you a near DVD quality movie today, and in a year or two sell you the same movie in full 1080p, thus making money off of repeat buyers just like they did with the switch from video tape to DVD.



    The real question is if the hardware sold today supports HD quality video streams even if Apple is not selling movies with this resolution, or can be upgraded to support them with a software/firmware patch in the future. I'm not sure that we know the answers to these questions. Looking at the event again I didnt hear him specify what resolution the device supports or the resolution of the video that he was playing. I'm sure that Apple has full 1080p files of all the moves and television shows that they offer whether they sell them at that resolution or not. Steve could have the HD files that he is linking up to, which would make sense since they will look better on that large projection than the DVD quality files do.
  • Reply 106 of 211
    After a week with my video iPod I don't really see iTunes competing with DVD or HDVD/BluRay sales. I downloaded Pirates of the Caribbean from iTunes, and tried watching it on my TV via the video out on my computer, and it was noticeably lower resolution and framerate than a DVD would be. It actually kind of sucked. I don't know if I'm just used to DVDs now, but it felt worse than watching it on VHS - the action sequences were very difficult to follow, maybe because they were intended to be higher-resolution and better framerate? I don't think it's my hardware, as I'm running from a G5.



    Anyways, while this kind of quality might be okay for a romantic comedy or for TV shows, I don't see iTunes taking over the home movie market. $12 seems like a waste for a low-quality version of the product, and the 3 1/2 hours it took to download is about 3 hours longer than it would've taken to rent it from Blockbuster...



    I won't even mention how shitty it was to try to watch the first 15 minutes of this movie on my new iPod...
  • Reply 107 of 211
    Quote:

    I downloaded Pirates of the Caribbean from iTunes, and tried watching it on my TV via the video out on my computer, and it was noticeably lower resolution and framerate than a DVD would be.



    No the frame rate was the same. NTSC only has one frame rate. Your computer is not really ideal for judging video quality of NTSC.



    NTSC is 720x480 pixels if you are watching that full screen on a computer monitor, you spread 720x480 pixels over 1280x1024 pixels (or even more) the image is going to be degraded.



    I watch cable television on my computer. At full screen the picture is noticeably worse than on my television for this very reason. On top of that not all computer monitors are created equal some are crappier than others.



    If the iTunes movies are being encoded from an HD source MPEG 4 is much more efficient at compressing video and maintaining good quality than the MPEG 2 DVD's are being encoded with.



    Quote:

    I won't even mention how shitty it was to try to watch the first 15 minutes of this movie on my new iPod



    I would go further. Pirates of the Caribbean is a big movie that had views of large ocean vistas. It was framed and composed and intended for the big screen. Because of this it is not very satisfactory to watch on television. Unless you have a large enough screen to watch it in its proper 2.40:1 aspect ratio.
  • Reply 108 of 211
    It just occurred to me, what if the USB port is for attaching an optional Blu-ray or HD-DVD drive.
  • Reply 109 of 211
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell


    I would go further. Pirates of the Caribbean is a big movie that had views of large ocean vistas. It was framed and composed and intended for the big screen. Because of this it is not very satisfactory to watch on television. Unless you have a large enough screen to watch it in its proper 2.40:1 aspect ratio.



    I read an article recently that said that music video directors are purposely doing more close-ups in their videos because more videos are being watched on small screens.
  • Reply 110 of 211
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:

    It just occurred to me, what if the USB port is for attaching an optional Blu-ray or HD-DVD drive.



    You wouldn't need iTV for that.



    At the very least the USB port is for the iPod, hopefully it'll be open for an external HDD. The best case scenario is it would be open to any external device.
  • Reply 111 of 211
    sjksjk Posts: 603member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aflaaak


    Ya think the head of Disney got excited because iTV is a way to watch programming for free? They are going to leave that to an Elgato device which has these capabilities so you can use it for aquiring the content, then stream it through iTV.



    So far the reasons for Apple not becoming a PVR provider seem more convincing to me than the reasons why they would.



    A lot of people seem to be ignoring that a PVR is more than just the hardware. It's a safe bet that typical customers expect reasonably reliable program guides. Based on feedback I've heard from EyeTV customers that's not necessarily as trivial as it may seem or even impossible depending on your location. Even without being well informed on the topic I know there are technical, economic, and political issues relating to program guides. I'm not saying any are insurmountable, just doubting that Apple wants to get involved in that business, at least not while the iTunes Store is their digital media showcase and there are already third parties (like Elgato) capable of doing it or trying to.
  • Reply 112 of 211
    sjksjk Posts: 603member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DCQ


    Steve Jobs may be "obsessed" with HD (I don't know, but it may be true), but it ain't going to happen anytime soon.



    I don't recall him mentioning HD video at all during the "It's Showtime" presentation; does anyone?
  • Reply 113 of 211
    Blah, blah, blah... All I can say is that without my Series One DirectV receiver with TiVo (with storage boosted by a second HD) my TV would be all but useless



    For the life of me I can't understand people's addiction to live TV
  • Reply 114 of 211
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dale Sorel


    For the life of me I can't understand people's addiction to live TV



    My guess is that most people who don't use a tivo can't understand tivo users' addiction to TV.



    Anyway, I wonder: Would this iTV allow a purely software-based DVR? The Mac has the hard drive, the iTV has the TV connections. Would it be possible to stream recorded TV signals back and forth across this wireless network? And would you need a separate tuner for full functionality?
  • Reply 115 of 211
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell


    Anyway, I wonder: Would this iTV allow a purely software-based DVR?



    It's not a DVR at all.
  • Reply 116 of 211
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Huh? Of course iTV isn't a DVR, but it's a connection between a TV and your computer. A DVR is simply a hard drive, a connection between a TV and a computer, and the right software. iTV provides the connection, the computer provides the hard drive, and so all that's missing is the software. I'm asking if people think this would work, given the lack of tuner and the wireless connection.
  • Reply 117 of 211
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell


    Huh? Of course iTV isn't a DVR, but it's a connection between a TV and your computer. A DVR is simply a hard drive, a connection between a TV and a computer, and the right software. iTV provides the connection, the computer provides the hard drive, and so all that's missing is the software. I'm asking if people think this would work, given the lack of tuner and the wireless connection.



    I'm not following. A DVR's purpose is to take TV content and record it to make it accessible later on, as well as on other devices, such as a PC. iTV's purpose is just about the exact opposite; iTV's content is already recorded and comes from the PC, and the TV is the target, nto the source.
  • Reply 118 of 211
    Come on Chucker, work with me here. I fully understand the iTV's purpose. The question I'm asking is whether it could be used for another purpose without any additional hardware. I don't know. Obviously wifi can send from computer to iTV, but there's no reason it couldn't send from iTV to the computer as well, unless it's been specifically disabled by Apple. If that worked, you'd just need to get the TV signal into the iTV. Do the component and hdmi connectors have both input and output?
  • Reply 119 of 211
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell


    Do the component and hdmi connectors have both input and output?



    No, they're output-only.



    If you wanted DVR functionality on the iTV, you'd have to add either*adequate inputs (which would inevitably make it a lot less compact), or, better yet, a tuner. And when you add a tuner, you run into the problem of tons of different standards.
  • Reply 120 of 211
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell


    Huh? Of course iTV isn't a DVR, but it's a connection between a TV and your computer. A DVR is simply a hard drive, a connection between a TV and a computer, and the right software. iTV provides the connection, the computer provides the hard drive, and so all that's missing is the software. I'm asking if people think this would work, given the lack of tuner and the wireless connection.



    Yeah, but the iTV only outputs to TV. It's a whole nother story to pull in a signal, convert it, and send it across the network. Encoding H.264 takes a lot of computing power, and pulling in a signal as opposed to dumping it takes special hardware.
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