Apple iTV availability to escape Macworld Expo

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  • Reply 121 of 188
    pmjoepmjoe Posts: 565member
    Well, I'd like to hold out hope that this will run some specialized version of OS X (probably with a GUI based around Front Row) and have a means for developers to add their own plug-ins (that would also work with Front Row on a regualr Mac). I think this is still a reasonable expectation, given that I think otherwise Apple would be setting themselves up for OS maitenance overload, with different operating systems for the iPod, Mac, iTV, iPhone. Unlike what other's have suggested, I think basing the iTV's OS around the iPod seems unlikely. OS X already has HDTV support, a TCP/IP stack with drivers for various networking hardware, Front Row and iTunes sharing which all seem essential for the iTV. Putting all that into the iPod OS would be a major undertaking.



    An "embedded" consumer-oriented Mac for half the cost of a Mac mini would be a huge boon for Apple. Running OS X would allow for them to reuse much of the existing software to support networking, QuickTime, iTunes and Front Row features. I expect the device to have a low cost Intel (or compatible) chip along with dedicated hardware for H.264 decompression, and minimal graphics hardware to handle playback on up to 1080p HDTV displays. It'll have as small and low-cost as possible hard drive to handle the OS while storing/buffering a movie or two, like 10 or 20GB max. With both a hardwired and wireless networking hardware, and thanks to OS X, it could act as your home's wireless router. So, you just have your cable modem by your TV, hook to the iTV, and instant wireless home network without running cables anywhere else.



    The USB port is to connect your iPod (though I suppose other external drives would be possible). Remember how for a while the Mac mini motherboard had a place designed for an iPod dock? Now the icing on the cake ... the iTunes Store will be accessible from the iTV through its Front Row interface. Buy directly from the store and save on your connected iPod, no Mac or Windows PC needed. Get the picture? You no longer even need to have a computer to get music and movies, just and iTV and an iPod or iPods (for the family). You get music and video "on-demand" right at your TV. With a connected iPod, if you're not done watching it on the TV, you just grab the iPod, go and keep watching.



    Well, that'd be my vision anyhow. I'd even buy one if it did all that. Sure, it'd still let you share iTunes content from the other Macs and PCs on your network, but the point would be to provide an easy to use, low-cost, media center entry point to new customers who just want to have and iPod and access to their media. They'd be selling you a Mac that no longer looks like a Mac (a media Mac that isn't quite a Mac). The nice thing about this design is that I could see it also being sold for applications outside of the iTV realm, such as for kiosk applications (program it just like a Mac and hook it up to any TV with component/HDMI inputs).



    Now, if they could just provide live, streaming news and sports coverage ... well, you could start thinking about dropping your cable plan and just buy the programs you want to watch, when you want to watch them.



    It seems like all the building blocks for exactly what I described are already there. I just hope Apple has the vision to go beyond the current media network device offerings that D-Link, HP, etc. have already offered.
  • Reply 122 of 188
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Something to add to the fire....



    WiQuest apparently makes specialized wi-fi chips that are dedicated for streaming uncompressed HD data. Up to 1Gb/per sec. I wonder if you can have several working in tandam to get 1080p60? The wireless specifications are NOT 802.11a/b/g/n, but this wouldn't matter to existing Macs if the iTV came with a dedicated relay via an external USB plugin.



    http://wiquest.com/docs/WQST100-WQST...0Ver%202.3.pdf
  • Reply 123 of 188
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I don't see this a a server. I see it as possibly a front end to the computer itself being used as a server.



    Remember that this is a $299 device!



    Some of the things being called for it to do by some are well out of its price range.



    A TiVO box is only $170 for their middle product of 180 hours... and they don't have near the economy of scale or technical resources as does Apple. Also remember, there is a MONTHLY revenue component which is an attractive addition to any business model let alone Apple's. (Potential Consumer Sized - Like iPod - Cross-Platform Market!)



    Straying from the hardware/software/processor arguments - we now know that the device will be using an embedded OSX Lite and we know (thanks Disney CEO) that there will be a hard drive. Given those revelations, let's examine the product/market from a macro point of view and see if we can determine the actual functional concept of the thing. Obviously, Steve wouldn't introduce a product not ready for prime time and tip his hand to competitors (Microsoft) the real innovation, so we also know that steaming media is NOT the whole story.



    MARKET CONSIDERATIONS

    Market: Consumer - Not Technical.

    Application: Living Room Entertainment

    (Replace DVD/CD Player, Slide and Movie Projectors, plus Time-Shift Television?)

    ITunes: Will be the local network/Database vehicle and... it's cross-platform.



    My questions, from a consumer point of view:

    1.) Do I have to have my computer, which is probably in another room, on at all times to watch a movie, to simply play a song or view a picture? (This would seem to be a decidedly non-Apple solution and non-starter for Apple, who is very consumer conscious.)



    2.) What happens if my computer, which is vulnerable to virus attacks and other maladies, crashes - my media is now lost? (Obviously, back-up is the solution, but now you have gotten a little too technical for me (consumer) and 98% of my friends (market)).





    My point is: Look at the combination - the interplay between streaming and locally stored. Focusing on streaming, I guarantee you is not what the iTV is all about.



    As I complete this entry, I see a recent post by pmjoe and my vision is more like his. OSX lite is a given and answers a lot of the questions you are trying to resolve with hardware/processors. I also believe there could be room for a second box, maybe a high-volume external hard drive in the same form factor in addition to the iPod scenario proposed by pmjoe? After all, this solution is replacing the entire living room media stack. Now think about Time-Machine, a consumer friendly way for people to manage/back-up their media that's on their computer, to be redundantly stored and accessed by other devices via Apple's other networking technologies like Rendez-Vous.



    I just believe the vision is much broader than a video-airport express/router.
  • Reply 124 of 188
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jumpflip View Post


    - we now know that the device will be using an embedded OSX Lite

    - Replace DVD/CD Player, Slide and Movie Projectors, plus Time-Shift Television?



    I hope you are kidding. There is no need for OS X Lite to be on a media APPLIANCE. If you need a current media appliance to put Apple's iTV into some perspective then try the D-Link DSM-520. It has no mass storage, no coax inputs, and no CD/DVD drive; yet it's more money than the TiVo you mentioned. The reviews of the device aren't very good, but with Apple's seamless integration it should succeed where the others have failed.





    PS: Amazon is listing iLife and iWork 2007 on their site. It looks like there will no .Mac 5.0. Instead, it will be called .Mac 2007. Perhaps there is a major .Mac change to go with it.
  • Reply 125 of 188
    jlljll Posts: 2,709member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post


    SCART sockets still ship on pretty much every bit of AV kit here in Europe because by law they have to have it and it just makes sense anyway to have one connector standard instead of the gazillion different ones you have in the USA.



    I don't think that there are many non HD Ready tvs being sold, and HDMI is required in HD Ready tv sets.



    And what are the gazillion standards in the US? Component and HDMI? S-Video and composite are in European tvs too - and have been for many years (component are in many newer tvs too).



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post


    HD is pretty rare in Europe too so it's not like we've a pressing need for HDMI. Most of the digital TV boxes come with analogue SCART sockets still and of course out analoque signal is still a better resolution than SD digital anyway.



    If the box handles HD is has to have HDMI, and the analog SD signal does not have a better resolution. Many tv stations have a digital backbone, and the analog signal is made from the digital signal.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post


    Which is probably why the EU made the HDMI the digital interface spec in 2005 mandating that all products saying they were 'Digital Ready' were HDMI and HDCP compliant.



    You mean EICTA and not EU don't you?
  • Reply 126 of 188
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jumpflip View Post


    A TiVO box is only $170 for their middle product of 180 hours... and they don't have near the economy of scale or technical resources as does Apple. Also remember, there is a MONTHLY revenue component which is an attractive addition to any business model let alone Apple's. (Potential Consumer Sized - Like iPod - Cross-Platform Market!)



    A monthly what? TiVo subsidizes the cost of their hardware with the monthly subscription for channel guides. There was no tuner jack on the back of the Apple device and they don't have a subscription service to anything except .Mac. Apple also tends to use more expensive hardware to do their tasks. There is not much one is going to put into a 3/4" thick slab and slide under a $299 price point, especially when there's the potential that this is an HD device. EyeHome was SD, had no hard drive and was priced at $199. A 160GB notebook hard drive is $150 and the entire manufacturing cost of this device probably has slide in at around $150. I'll grant there might be a hard drive in it, but it's probably not going to be impressive.



    That comment by the Disney guy should not be taken as a guarantee that it will have a hard drive inside it. It read like some sort of throwaway comment to throw competitors off or a hypothetical impression, combine that with a journalist's misinterpretation of a comment, it just doesn't mean much to me. He may be referring to the possibility that one can connect an external hard drive to it as well, iTV can probably hook up with something like the miniPal.
  • Reply 127 of 188
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,980member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jumpflip View Post


    A TiVO box is only $170 for their middle product of 180 hours... and they don't have near the economy of scale or technical resources as does Apple. Also remember, there is a MONTHLY revenue component which is an attractive addition to any business model let alone Apple's. (Potential Consumer Sized - Like iPod - Cross-Platform Market!)



    You answered the question yourself.



    TiVo sells its boxes at a loss. That is their business model. Apple will never do that. That is their business model. They can't be compared that way. The TiVo box might go for $400 if sold for a profit.



    Quote:

    Straying from the hardware/software/processor arguments - we now know that the device will be using an embedded OSX Lite and we know (thanks Disney CEO) that there will be a hard drive. Given those revelations, let's examine the product/market from a macro point of view and see if we can determine the actual functional concept of the thing. Obviously, Steve wouldn't introduce a product not ready for prime time and tip his hand to competitors (Microsoft) the real innovation, so we also know that steaming media is NOT the whole story.



    We don't actually know that yet. We think it's so.



    Quote:

    MARKET CONSIDERATIONS

    Market: Consumer - Not Technical.

    Application: Living Room Entertainment

    (Replace DVD/CD Player, Slide and Movie Projectors, plus Time-Shift Television?)

    ITunes: Will be the local network/Database vehicle and... it's cross-platform.



    My questions, from a consumer point of view:

    1.) Do I have to have my computer, which is probably in another room, on at all times to watch a movie, to simply play a song or view a picture? (This would seem to be a decidedly non-Apple solution and non-starter for Apple, who is very consumer conscious.)



    The assumption is that the computer must be on. We really don't even know if there is a HD in the unit or not. That is also guesswork right now.



    Quote:

    2.) What happens if my computer, which is vulnerable to virus attacks and other maladies, crashes - my media is now lost? (Obviously, back-up is the solution, but now you have gotten a little too technical for me (consumer) and 98% of my friends (market)).



    You've again answered the question. like it or not, you must back-up your files. If you don't, you stand the chance of losing them all someday.



    Quote:

    My point is: Look at the combination - the interplay between streaming and locally stored. Focusing on streaming, I guarantee you is not what the iTV is all about.



    Do you know something we don't?



    Quote:

    As I complete this entry, I see a recent post by pmjoe and my vision is more like his. OSX lite is a given and answers a lot of the questions you are trying to resolve with hardware/processors. I also believe there could be room for a second box, maybe a high-volume external hard drive in the same form factor in addition to the iPod scenario proposed by pmjoe? After all, this solution is replacing the entire living room media stack. Now think about Time-Machine, a consumer friendly way for people to manage/back-up their media that's on their computer, to be redundantly stored and accessed by other devices via Apple's other networking technologies like Rendez-Vous.



    I just believe the vision is much broader than a video-airport express/router.



    I HOPE X Lite is present, because that means that Apple cam, and might be using it for other things as well.



    But, again, we don't KNOW that it is present.
  • Reply 128 of 188
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,980member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JLL View Post


    I don't think that there are many non HD Ready tvs being sold, and HDMI is required in HD Ready tv sets.



    The Times todays said that LCD Tv's were massive sellers this year. It looks as though it will only take another year before most Tv's sold in this country will be large widescreen hd models. Perhaps sooner.



    Quote:

    And what are the gazillion standards in the US? Component and HDMI? S-Video and composite are in European tvs too - and have been for many years (component are in many newer tvs too).



    That's true. I wonder just how many people even use the SCART output.
  • Reply 129 of 188
    pmjoepmjoe Posts: 565member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jumpflip View Post


    A TiVO box is only $170 for their middle product of 180 hours...[...]



    My questions, from a consumer point of view:

    1.) Do I have to have my computer, which is probably in another room, on at all times to watch a movie, to simply play a song or view a picture? [...]



    2.) What happens if my computer, which is vulnerable to virus attacks and other maladies, crashes - my media is now lost? [...]



    My point is: Look at the combination - the interplay between streaming and locally stored. Focusing on streaming, I guarantee you is not what the iTV is all about.



    As I complete this entry, I see a recent post by pmjoe and my vision is more like his. [...] I also believe there could be room for a second box, maybe a high-volume external hard drive in the same form factor in addition to the iPod scenario proposed by pmjoe? After all, this solution is replacing the entire living room media stack. Now think about Time-Machine, a consumer friendly way for people to manage/back-up their media that's on their computer, to be redundantly stored and accessed by other devices via Apple's other networking technologies like Rendez-Vous.



    I just believe the vision is much broader than a video-airport express/router.



    I think the huge contrast in my opinion on this and yours and others here is that everyone here sees this as a way of sharing content on computer hard drives or your vision of having content on a local drive connected to the iTV. Although I think the iTV will support that, I think the whole point of this device is that those things are no longer necessary. Apple is already storing all this content, why should you need to? As others have pointed out, TiVo boxes are effectively "loss leaders". They're selling you the box at or below cost to get you to buy a subscription. Putting a large hard drive in this like TiVO would be a non-starter due to cost. Answer to all of the above: get rid of the hard drive, or make it as small as possible.



    If, as I suggested, this is more of a cheap entry point to the iTunes Store then I could see Apple selling this for close to cost. You don't need a large hard drive for that though, they know what movies and music you own. No need to store them locally if you don't want to. That is why I see this as more of an on-demand type device. Enough disk space to buffer some music, TV shows, podcasts or a movie ahead by a little is all they need. I could certainly see some subscription-like services come out of this: buy a subscription to your favorite TV shows and get them on demand when a new show comes out. It is basically the anti-TiVO. Instead of a large hard drive, low bandwidth modem, and storing your content locally, the iTV allows you to not worry about a the hard drive size (Apple already stores all the content for you) and uses broadband to get the content on demand.



    That is why I also see them selling this as more of a high-end iPod accessory (much like that stupid "HiFi" speaker they sell). The USB port is to hook your iPod up. They aren't going to try to sell this like like the D-Link media appliance; that'd be a guaranteed failure. Nobody (general public) understands those devices or why they should shell out $100's for one. Sell this as an iPod for the TV (which only Apple can do), and they can sell this. Use the iTV, just like iTunes, to manage what goes on your iPod. Of course that leaves the question of what families with multiple iPods do, and there would likely have to be something in the iTV interface to account for this.



    Of course, they can do all the above without using some kind of OS X "lite". If you wanted me to guess on the odds, I see the "on-demand" and iPod connectivity type stuff above as very likely (>75%), the odds that they'll use OS X to implement it, well less than 50%. So, IMHO, my best guess answers to your questions are: 1.) nope, no computer is required, 2.) you would lose any media that wasn't purchased through the iTunes Store and possibly other media you backed up to your .mac account.



    It's unclear to me if Time-Machine is actually any kind of "backup" solution. From what I understand, it just keeps a version history of things you've done. IMHO, that just creates more stuff to actually backup (your current content PLUS the history).
  • Reply 130 of 188
    plusplus Posts: 54member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jumpflip View Post


    Straying from the hardware/software/processor arguments .... let's examine the product/market from a macro point of view and see if we can determine the actual functional concept of the thing. ...



    [...]



    I just believe the vision is much broader than a video-airport express/router.



    The one key point about "the market" (as you so rightly urge us to consider) that I think is being overlooked throughout these discussions is that nearly every household has multiple TVs. Back in the '90's, when I was immersed in such market analysis, the U.S. average was something like 3.4 TVs per household. And I believe there are currently (on average) more TVs per household than people!



    So, whatever it is that the iTV is going to be, I believe it is something that will (over time) accompany each TV in the household. And (this being Apple we're talking about ) it will make sense to have this many units per household.



    To me, this points towards the iTV being more towards the pass-through/adapter type device, rather than the master media-storage center device that some seem to imagine/desire. But yes, something more significant and impactful than "just" a video Airport Express.



    Paul



    P.S. Due to various factors (including bandwidth/latency on the technical side and perceived sense of control on the psychological side), I don't think the market is (yet) ready for the full media storage to be "in the network". So I think we'll have a mid-point in the ecosystem's evolution with a media server (a Mac using TimeMachine!) differentiated from the media access point (an iTV/display cluster in each room), but both types of network element will still (for now) be in the home.
  • Reply 131 of 188
    pmjoepmjoe Posts: 565member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post


    That is why I also see them selling this as more of a high-end iPod accessory (much like that stupid "HiFi" speaker they sell). The USB port is to hook your iPod up. They aren't going to try to sell this like like the D-Link media appliance; that'd be a guaranteed failure. Nobody (general public) understands those devices or why they should shell out $100's for one. Sell this as an iPod for the TV (which only Apple can do), and they can sell this. Use the iTV, just like iTunes, to manage what goes on your iPod. Of course that leaves the question of what families with multiple iPods do, and there would likely have to be something in the iTV interface to account for this.



    And while I'm on a roll describing this ... I can already see a TV ad campaign where you have an iTV connected to a TV, whipping through a Front Row-like interface, getting content on-demand from the iTunes Store, watching it on your TV. Setting up playlists and moving stuff to/from a iPod. Playing stuff from your iPod on your TV. Exciting!!!



    Bring iTV home connect to TV and existing network, share existing content from computers you already own. No new iTunes Store revenue. Where's the ad campaign in that? Boring!!!



    Which of these do you think is more likely to be a vision from Apple?
  • Reply 132 of 188
    pmjoepmjoe Posts: 565member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by plus View Post


    So, whatever it is that the iTV is going to be, I believe it is something that will (over time) accompany each TV in the household. And (this being Apple we're talking about ) it will make sense to have this many units per household.



    Well there's the answer to my question about the multiple iPod home ... your kids all now need an iTV to go with their iPod and the TV in their room.
  • Reply 133 of 188
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post


    If, as I suggested, this is more of a cheap entry point to the iTunes Store then I could see Apple selling this for close to cost.



    The iTunes store only operates at slightly above cost, it's probably the closest to a loss-leader that Apple has ever done. I don't see the point of selling both halves of the ecosystem at close to cost, that's not a good business model.



    Also, Time Machine really was presented as a backup system. In the WWDC presentation, the presenter noted that if the main drive failed, you could install a new drive and Leopard would be able to restore from the drive stored the TM data. It's kind of a backup and revision system all in one.
  • Reply 134 of 188
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,980member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    The iTunes store only operates at slightly above cost, it's probably the closest to a loss-leader that Apple has ever done. I don't see the point of selling both halves of the ecosystem at close to cost, that's not a good business model.



    Also, Time Machine really was presented as a backup system. In the WWDC presentation, the presenter noted that if the main drive failed, you could install a new drive and Leopard would be able to restore from the drive stored the TM data. It's kind of a backup and revision system all in one.



    Yes. Apple is not in the loss leader business. Even iTunes either turns a small profit, or at a minimum, breaks even.



    Apple won't do that unless it's feeding a much more profitable line.
  • Reply 135 of 188
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    You can't say that it isn't passing decoded streams across.



    We really don't know just what is inside. This is all guessing on our part.



    Based somewhat on what we would like to see it do.



    No you CAN say its not passing along uncompressed decoded HD HDMI streams and probably not even SD streams. The bandwidth is just too large for even draft-N to support. Compressed is required for wireless. Therefore iTV must be "rendering" the video to HDMI. While which H.264 chip it uses is up for speculation the price constraints pretty much means a < $30 SOC solution for video decode.



    You're simply trying again not to have to admit you're wrong about yet another throw away statement. Why is it so hard to call it a hardware oriented device like a router, hardware MCE or other small consumer electronic device?



    Vinea
  • Reply 136 of 188
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea View Post


    No you CAN say its not passing along uncompressed decoded HD HDMI streams and probably not even SD streams. The bandwidth is just too large for even draft-N to support. Compressed is required for wireless. Therefore iTV must be "rendering" the video to HDMI. While which H.264 chip it uses is up for speculation the price constraints pretty much means a < $30 SOC solution for video decode.



    You're simply trying again not to have to admit you're wrong about yet another throw away statement. Why is it so hard to call it a hardware oriented device like a router, hardware MCE or other small consumer electronic device?



    Vinea



    No you can't. There is existing hardware--I'm mentioned a couple companies on these forums--that is specifically made for streaming uncompressed HD video wirelessly. There are pros and cons regardless of where the decompression is rendered.
  • Reply 137 of 188
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    But you do have more than one standard. The DIN plugs, for example are also used.



    I've not seen them on UK TV sets in years. 1980s maybe. Occasionally you might see one with an s-video socket but most don't bother since you can plug s-video into SCART anyway on most TVs.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Most people still expect their Tv's to last 10 years (or more). By then SCART will be gone (effectively). Without HDMI, people won't be able to use those models they bought earlier, and will have to buy new ones. The long term cost to the consumer will be higher.



    We now have a date in 2009 when analog will be gone officially.



    Is there a date for that in Europe as well, or are they still dithering?



    In the UK analogue is being switched off progressively from 2008 onwards till the last people being switched over in 2012. But that's a red herring since most of the Digital set-top boxes have Digital to Analogue convertors and SCART sockets on them anyway so that they work with today's TVs. All DVD players and Sat boxes I've come across have SCART sockets on also.



    My TV is probably coming up to 12 year old and I'm keeping it as long as I can as I can't stand to watch digital TV. That might change with HDTV but at the moment squished low bandwidth digital distorted into widescreen format TVs are vastly inferior to old style analogue PAL on a 4:3 screen. But then I find watching some DVDs unbearable too.



    The problem for me though is decent HD sets cost more money than I'm willing to spend on a TV set for the 10-15 hours a week I watch and low cost LCDs are still horrible.



    So, getting back to iTV, if they're doing analogue in Europe, I'll take SCART please anyday over s-video or one of the other analogue connectors since everything else I've got is SCART too. When HD sets come down to a sensible price (ie. couple of hundred quid), maybe I'll be ready with HDMI. I'm probably a likely candidate for iTunes downloads as I pick and choose my viewing rather than waste my time watching crap but if I've got to pay thousands to get it....no thanks. I also tend to watch stuff on my iMac's LCD screen too since it's probably better than most TVs.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross


    That's true. I wonder just how many people even use the SCART output.



    The answer is EVERYBODY that has a video recorder or DVD player. It's the normal way people connect them to their TV here.



    We've two DVD players in the house. The only outputs on them are SCART and audio RCA.



    We've 1 VCR - it has 2 SCART connectors. Nothing else.



    We've 2 TVs - 1 has 1 SCART, the other 2. Nothing else.



    I don't have any satellite set-top box, I don't have digital terrestrial TV and I don't have a widescreen TV though so the lack of other connectors is no surprise. I consciously skipped this generation of digital because it sucks.



    The future for me is IP based TV anyway IMHO not the current broadcast systems. That's what interests me with iTV.
  • Reply 138 of 188
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    No you can't. There is existing hardware--I'm mentioned a couple companies on these forums--that is specifically made for streaming uncompressed HD video wirelessly. There are pros and cons regardless of where the decompression is rendered.



    Uncompressed HD takes anywhere from 1.4 Gbps (720p/60) to 3 Gbps (1080p/30) not including error correction, packetization or I believe audio. Given the file sizes are too large for 1080p from iTunes my expectation is that 720p will be the most iTunes will offer which is nicely above DVDs and below HD-DVD and BluRay.



    But no, you can't do 1.4 Gbps wireless on a $300 box or EVERYONE would own one and wired ethernet would be effectively dead. The point to point wireless solutions are expensive and meant for...well point to point where you can't or don't want to get a fiber run to.



    The pros of uncompressed HD is lower latency and error resiliency. The cons are it can't be done with current consumer grade gear at consumer prices.



    The best hope for iTV is reliable wireless 720p streaming which I believe to be within the current consumer grade capabilities. What would be really nice is the ability to sync audio playback from the Mini and video playback on the iTV so that you can stick the iTV next to your display device and all it needs then is power. No other wires.



    Vinea
  • Reply 139 of 188
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post


    I think the huge contrast in my opinion on this and yours and others here is that everyone here sees this as a way of sharing content on computer hard drives or your vision of having content on a local drive connected to the iTV. Although I think the iTV will support that, I think the whole point of this device is that those things are no longer necessary. Apple is already storing all this content, why should you need to?



    First, I'd like to clarify that what I am I suggesting has more to do with sharing our own user generated content (pictures, iMovies, garage band music, etc.) - as well as the commercial content - locally throughout our home; to multiple devices. So, iTV is the linchpin to making this work, but how? As a side note, I admit that I am accepting rumors of a hard drive and OSX Lite.



    My wishful thinking is simply that we have a media server, a central place/device where all of our [to be shared] content can be served to all other devices on our local network. I am not locked in to the idea of storing everything on the iTV itself, it could be, as I have stated before, connected to a same form factor external hard drive. (possibly with a TiVo like-option, where users could record TV (another form of user generated content). The ONLY reason I desire this is so that I don't have to run around the house turning on computers or even worse, require that I keep all of my computers running.



    I am of the mind set that we have a local network that contains our content, of which iTV would be the one device that in addition to it's networking function, manages the content database and delivers the GUI. With this in mind, it wouldn't be necessary to have a central storage device, just nice to have as an option. Also, it wouldn't be necessary for everyone in the house to have an iTV, there could be an iTV express as well.



    Turning to your idea, I think we should keep in mind the way Steve Jobs thinks about content - we, the consumer own it... just as we have with records, tapes and cd's. This is what made iTunes/iPod (coupled with the right price point) hugely successful over subscription plans like the new Napster. Also, consumers don't want to give up their ability to record content themselves, whether it be from free TV or other content we have purchased, for personal consumption. Steve just seems to get this about us. There is a resistance to having all of our purchased content stored solely on a commercially trusted (Apple) server.



    This idea of yours that the network will store your purchased media is intriguing, and I think that Robert Cringely has suggested this in detail as well, but I am trying to square it with consumer behavior/ desire. I will concede that given the fact we have weened ourselves from storing all of our email content locally - a la Google - that it's not so much of a stretch. But keep in mind, email isn't purchased content.



    I believe that iTV will support what you suggest, it's just not the complete solution. The problem I see with your model is that it assumes that the Apple HAS all of the content, from TV shows to Movies (not to mention user generated content), and we know that this is not the case. In fact, it has been an issue for them. Obviously, more content announcements are to come, but you just can't assume that all of the content I want to share is going to be in [Apple's] network. Remember I want to share my self-generated content as well.



    So... you still haven't answered the question of how to retrieve all my content from the other computers in my home network without first activating those computers. I realize that this is my acid test, but I believe if the solution doesn't answer this problem, it's not going to have the same instant, wild success as did the iPod/iTunes solution did for music downloads.



    Perhaps iTV is only one piece of the ecosystem Apple is going to propose to replace our living room entertainment systems. We shall soon see.
  • Reply 140 of 188
    pmjoepmjoe Posts: 565member
    Well, I stand corrected about Time Machine. I don't remember this from any of the presentations I've seen, but it's right there on Apple's website. This will certainly make Leopard worth the money by itself. I still doubt it has anything to do with iTV.



    Anyhow, even at a penny a song, Apple still would pull in millions of dollars from the iTunes Store. No, not the cash cows that the iPod and Mac are, but I suspect it turns a profit.



    I think the open questions are obvious:

    1.) Will it have a built-in hard drive?

    2.) Will it run Mac OS (lite)?

    3.) Will it have on-board decompression?

    4.) Will it have gigabit Ethernet and/or Draft-N wireless?

    5.) Will it be able to access content directly from the Internet?

    6.) Will it support other codecs (DiVX, etc.)?



    My opinion on answers:

    1.) A hard drive above a few gigabytes would be size and cost prohibitive for this type of device. A small drive for the OS and some buffering would certainly be nice, but I wouldn't assume that either.

    2.) If you asked me to put money down on this one, I'd say it will not run OS X (or a "lite" variant of it). It'd be nice if it did, and I think it'd be great for Apple to have an OS X embedded device in their pocket, but I suspect it'd be cheaper to not do this and cost won out in that decision. If it was me, it'd run OS X, and Front Row on the Mac and the iTV would be the same software. But my investors would probably be disappointed in my small profit margins (likely cheaper to throw together a Front Row like interface on top of an existing embedded network device, than to do a low cost OS X device from scratch, manage a rather specialized OS X builds, etc.).

    3.) I think if this device is going to really handle HD video, it has to support on-board decompression. The bandwidth required to push uncompressed HD video over a network is too great, and I think it's a huge stretch to assume average people will have gigabit networks in their homes anytime soon for this. That said, Apple does not currently sell any HD content ... so maybe this device won't even support true HD (now there would be a huge disappointment for everyone here, though the average consumer might not notice).

    4.) I think the Ethernet port on this will be gigabit, everything else Apple now sells has it. I don't see Apple "officially" supporting Draft-N in a product. That's something network product companies do, not computer companies. They may include hardware that might eventually have the possibility of supporting a future standard, but such things won't be advertised as features.

    5.) Well, I've already said my peace on this one. I fully suspect the big surprise about the iTV is that it'll be able to access the iTunes Store and your purchased content directly over the Internet ... no computer required.

    6.) Wow, hate to say it, but probably no codecs outside of Apple's usual ones will be supported. Only two ways I see something else happening. One would be if the iTV does run OS X (or otherwise has an "open" API), and developers are allowed to write their own codecs for it. Second would be if there was some kind of automatic conversion on the machine where the source content is coming from. I don't see Apple providing support for either of those. They want you to buy stuff from the iTunes Store. The first option seems unlikely because of the same reasons I gave for not using OS X, mainly (support) cost. The second option just seems like a kludge, maybe some 3rd party could provide it, but what's it going to do? A live decompress/recompress to the network from the computer and then re-decompress on the iTV? That'd suck up most/all of your computer's CPU and thus probably not work in realtime. Have the computer decompress and push uncompressed video to the network? That'd still suck up a fair amount of CPU and saturate your network bandwidth once you start looking at HD content. The latter (just decompress at the computer) might be some kind of fallback mode, but neither is appealing.
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