Apple TV said to be worthy of overtaking both TiVo and Netflix

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  • Reply 61 of 114
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,849member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brianus View Post


    While you may be correct about the tech geekery of the naysaysers getting in the way of their analysis (no tech geek, myself included, thought much of the iPod when it was released), the trouble here is that Apple TV is supposed in the article to be a "Tivo killer" or a "Netflix killer". Unlike the early, clunky MP3 players the iPod replaced, these two services are very easy to use already and they fill needs that Apple TV simply can't (DVR and rental, respectively).



    Also, while Apple could conceivably add a rental service with a simple software patch, or perhaps not even that, I would think adding DVR functionality (which would benefit the iTunes store.. how??) would require a hardware upgrade, which again falls into the "tinkering tech geek" category.



    Apple is trying to do an end run around Tivo. If you are ABC TV, which is more attractive to you, viewers time shifting your programming using a DVR or viewers time shifting them by BUYING them off iTunes? If you are a TV content producer, there is no downside to making your shows available for sale on iTunes since anytime somebody time shifts your programs using a DVR you get paid the princely sum of zero, that's zero, dollars. An additional advantage for iTunes is that yo don't need to determine in advance what shows you wish to time shift. And episodes that were broadcast weeks ago are available.



    I also wonder whether Apple can resist offering a Movie subscription service. My guess is they'll try sales first but Plan B is waiting in the wings. But long as the bandwidth is not there, movie downloads will remain a niche market, sales or rental. When the bandwidth becomes available though, Netflix's DVD mail service will die its long expected natural death and whoever has his internet infrastructure in place and offers the simplest user experience will take over.



    This is where iTunes earns its keep. Seemingly little individual consumer decisions driven by 'laziness' becomes a near insurmountable barrier for Apple's competition. Yes, it's sheer inertia. People are comfortable with iTunes. They don't want to bother having to familiarize themselves with another content and device management site as long as iTunes remains fairly simple to navigate and stays current by continually expanding its media scope. This is the boat that Sony, Samsung, Creative, Sandisk, Microsoft Zune, and all the other failed MP3 mfrers missed. [If you don't believe me, ask Yahoo and MS how hard it is to get people to try something else other than Google for their internet searches.]



    Yeah Netflix has a nifty website that can easily transition to a full-on download service. But compare the 8.8 million subscribers that Netflix reports on their website to the 100 million iPods whose owners are regularly accessing iTunes to manage all those iPods. Okay, if it's an overestimate, let's say 50 million iPod owners. Once the high bandwidth spigots are turned on, Netflix will suffer AOL's fate. Subscribers will start leaving because "I can get movies at iTunes but I can't configure my iPod on Netflix. So why bother with Netflix?"
  • Reply 62 of 114
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by physguy View Post


    Actually everyone in my family finds the Tivo Music interface (series 2) very bad and not worth it since it doesn't play the ACC (I assume your talking about installing LAME on TiVo which is beyond the scope of most). I find ACC much better quality than MP3. Also, the photo quality on TiVo I find unacceptable. Color is bad and contract too high. I'm hoping (don't know I'll be the first to admit) that given component out on the ATV that photos will actually be nice to look at. So I don't count Tivo for this function.



    Um, if you hate the Tivo music interface, you're not going to like AppleTV's any better. I just did a comparison between the Tivo and Front Row interface (which clearly seems to be the basic interface used for AppleTV). They are essentially identical except that Tivo doesn't display album artwork. Basically, you're navigating an iPod interface. Otherwise navigation is the same except that Tivo allows the use of page up and page down to faster move through the selections. Maybe Apple has added a Coverflow mode.



    I haven't gotten AAC to work with LAME, but most of what I've read has been fairly technical and I'm new to the Mac to begin with. I doubt I'd use it very much regardless (I have an Airport Express and just use AirTunes) but it's there for people if they want it. To me, both MP3 and AAC sound lacking coming out of real speakers to begin with.



    As for photos, they looked okay on my TV via Tivo. I don't know if it matters, but I'm using an S-Video connection to the TV so that might help. The only photos I had handy are fairly low-res images from the web, but I was fine with it. Photos aren't a feature I'd really ever use on AppleTV or Tivo.
  • Reply 63 of 114
    wally007wally007 Posts: 121member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jnaina View Post


    Hold on there billybob. This is still version 1.0 and the game has just begun. Once content distribution systems have matured, fast (>30 Meg) broadband adoption rate goes up, and more households have HDTV, you will HD quality offered on ITMS. It's about addressing the major segment of your market.



    For example, I'm geeked up beyond your average home. I've got a 60" Panny 1080P plasma, a DLP 1080I capable projector, Blu-Ray, Mediacenter, 100Meg DOCSIS 3.0 cable based broadband (FTTH coming soon) etc, etc. Apple is not targeting folks like me. Most folks have standard def CRT's still with perhaps component video inputs at best. This is where Apple is targeting. Once the HD owners segment increases (along with faster broadband speeds) you bet that Apple will have AppleTV HD edition for sales. It is part of the plan.



    first off, keep billybob to yourself.



    2nd , even though this is v1.0 of AppleTV , does anyone think Netflix/Tivo is going to just sit there for another 1-2 years waiting for Apple to upgrade while doing nothing ?



    AppleTV once released and reviewed , and is in a state we're told ( ie. will play only your iTunes library , etc ), will take beating like there's no tomorrow( in my opinion). They're pretty much making widescreen TV a must , which in most instances are also HD sets. Why would anyone accept less than SD on HD when they can have much better if they go other route. (Netflix and Tivo ) This is no iPod where design sells , nobody looks at their set up box , they look at the TV.
  • Reply 64 of 114
    irelandireland Posts: 17,794member
    This is going to end up looking like the other thread. iTunes TV Show iPTV subscription service is on the way - I soooo know it
  • Reply 65 of 114
    sport73sport73 Posts: 438member
    I actually agree that IPTV is likely Apple's eventual move to cut off the call for PVR services and/or live TV content. Whether Apple TV will be the device to enable it or it will take Apple TV 2.0 I don't know, but I think Apple is betting on the long term viability of live TV over the web in HD.



    IPTV negates the need for a PVR, a small local HD is all that's required to cache the content and allow for rewind/pause/ff. The data resides on the web and can be started/stopped/ff/etc. in IPTV without a local HD.



    TV programming as we know it will change forever. Forget about the Monday night premiere of the new Heroes at 9PM (set your PVR), it will become the Monday night posting of the new Heroes next to a ton of other content from that week. Watch what you want when you want - with each show coming at a fee (much like iTunes today).
  • Reply 66 of 114
    macgregormacgregor Posts: 1,434member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post


    Am I the only one who thinks the Apple TV might be a huge flop? After the initial coolest factor of Apple's newest toy is gone, I can't really see the point of this product.



    - Nobody is going to cancel their Netflix/BlockBuster DVD subscription over this.

    - Nobody is going to cancel their TiVo/Cable Company DVR service over this.

    - I can't imagine that many iTunes users buying as much TV/Movie content as they do Music content.

    - At best the iTunes/Apple TV is an awkward solution to a personal on-demand DVD center.



    Even if Apple adds a DVR and rental services (and that is a very big if) will they be enough for you to cancel your membership to another service?



    I just don't get it?? What I am missing?



    Dave



    The only thing that you are missing is that, unlike this analyst, Apple doesn't care about DVD's, so don't knock down that strawman. aTV ain't about DVD on-demand, it IS about ANYTHING ON THE INTERNET or ANYTHING ON YOUR COMPUTER to be made available on-demand - on your TV. Maybe that doesn't account for much for many people right now, but this has nothing to do with competing with NetFlix or BlockBuster.



    Except for the strangely small harddrive, the aTV is for synching media of all types from your computer to the TV and stereo. It is not just an expensive iPod cable as described above, it is an Airport Extreme, iPod-like box that wirelessly synchs everything EXCEPT rental video on to the number one entertainment device of the home, the TV.



    This will only be useful for music, podcasts (vidcasts will get better and better), TV subscriptions, and movies you already know you want to own. Video rental makes more sense to me with physical media that can be reused over and over, for a while longer. Eventually this will not be true.



    The BlueRay box that Apple will make next year will be a part of this - for your rental needs. And the Miglia DVR device (MaxTV) as pointed to above will deal with your DVR needs. Those are all content that are best done as physical media and as streaming cable signals (separate from the computer) ... for now. However in a few years when bandwidth and DRM's become better and more sophisticated, NetFlix and TiVo will be less efficient and everything will move to permanent or temporary downloads. THAT is when the small market of aTV owners will be the foundation for Internet 4.0. THAT is when streaming media and files will truly scale from iPhone, to iPod, to HDTV. The future is in getting media to be transparently available across all of the devices (iPod, iPhone, iTV and who knows what else). That is the true goal, I believe, and that transparent transportability with iTunes-like ease of use will give Apple the long term advantage.



    The aTV only needs to be useful to early adopters and Linux hackers and lazy folks with the extra money - basically the iPod buyers of a few years ago - until content hits a critical mass in a couple more years.



    Until then Apple gets to tweak the GUI and play with its pay-to-own business model and try out new contracts with content providers - especially the growing Indie industry - and all the while Apple will get marginal profits and hopefully good customer response. Then once it has created some de facto standards for the infrastructure, the aTV ecosystem will be ready for the broader market.



    Apple needs to wait it out a few years to jump past NetFlix, not try and compete with it head-to-head.



    Apple needs to see how the DVR/TiVo market evolves in parallel to its own pay-to-own market and as long as it lets Miglia make boxes that fit beautifully with the aTV and MacMini, so much the better. Apple can walk side by side TiVo until the bandwidth makes TiVo redundant.



    BTW, C-SPAN today is showing a Commerce Department Public Hearing regarding the future industry transition to digital TV and the digital TV coupon program. This transition will be putting alot of things up in the air with stores like Best Buy, etc., trying to educate their customers regarding where their broadcast source comes from and what it means. Best Buy gets alot of returned HDTV's because they don't automatically work with their cable provider. This point of education and making the transition painless is another point for Apple to exploit!
  • Reply 67 of 114
    @homenow@homenow Posts: 998member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tundraboy View Post


    Apple is trying to do an end run around Tivo. If you are ABC TV, which is more attractive to you, viewers time shifting your programming using a DVR or viewers time shifting them by BUYING them off iTunes? If you are a TV content producer, there is no downside to making your shows available for sale on iTunes since anytime somebody time shifts your programs using a DVR you get paid the princely sum of zero, that's zero, dollars. An additional advantage for iTunes is that yo don't need to determine in advance what shows you wish to time shift. And episodes that were broadcast weeks ago are available.



    That isn't quite true, networks don't make money off of the average person watching a program, they make money off of the Nielson families (or whatever) ratings which as I understand it determine the some form of sliding scale that advertisers pay by, and is not a full representation of the American viewing audience. Even if they did have a chip in every TV, OTA/Cable/Satelite, then you would still be counted as "viewing" the program if you recorded it because there is a tuner somewhere in your system that is tuned to the program to do the recording. The advantage for the networks in selling their shows via iTunes, DVD, or some other means is that it is an additional revenue source to the traditional advertising and syndication that they are able to take advantage of. In fact it is a source of revenue in between the original airing (paid for by advertising) and syndication, which usually doesn't happen for a few years after the show has been out allowing for reruns by the original network during off season which gains more advertising revenue.
  • Reply 68 of 114
    oberpongooberpongo Posts: 176member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Feynman View Post


    I am already starting to encode my entire DVD (300 plus movies) collection to get ready for the AppleTV but it will be some time before I get one.



    How do you encode it (what quality/Codec) and how much space do you need for it? I've got 400+ DVDs and think i will need to wait 2more years for a 2TB Harddisk
  • Reply 69 of 114
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wally007 View Post


    Why would anyone accept less than SD on HD [...]



    Paraphrasing Gretzky, "Skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it is."



    That is the current state of things. iTunes video started 09-MAY-2005, the G5 iPod (video) was released 12-OCT-2005 with 320x240 (QVGA) resolution. That was fine for the small device. On 12-SEPT-2006 Apple quadrupled its iTS video resolution to 640x480 (VGA) with the release of movies.



    I think it's pretty obvious that Apple is planning to increase the max resolution even higher for the release of the AppleTV. I even feel that the delay of the appliance was not a manufacturing on, but a software and/or content related issue. I expect the resolution to go to 1280x720 (720p HD) the day of the AppleTV release.
  • Reply 70 of 114
    porchlandporchland Posts: 478member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post


    ROTFLMAO!



    I mean please folks. April Fools Day isn't for two more weeks.



    The possibility of Apple overtaking Tivo and Netflix is April Fools material?



    Hmm, let's see... Tivo has a market cap of about $580 million and competes in a market with cable and satellite carriers that all have their own DVR boxes.



    Netflix, which has a market cap of about $1.5 billion, is bleeding market share to Blockbuster and is trying to rework its business plan to do exactly what Apple is already doing, which is deliver movies to customers online.



    If Apple thought these two companies were such threats, why hasn't it bought either of them? Both are relatively cheap and have been for more than a year. Answer: Neither have intellectual property that Apple needs to carry out an Apple TV strategy, Apple doesn't need a DVR to record programming broadcast by its competitors or 30 mail drop centers.



    Put some facts where your mouth is.
  • Reply 71 of 114
    i had no idea tivo only has 4.4m users, while ?tv is not equal it its specifications, it has the potential to capture a larger global market, and as others have said, it will be improved,

    from what i see, it looks like apple could become a "cable content provider" on a world wide scale, huge potential there if they get it right, i mean here in oz we have 2 cable providers, optus and foxtel/austar, and soon ?tv via itunes, what a sneaky way to get in the cable industry without paying the license fee, and again on a world wide scale......wow
  • Reply 72 of 114
    filburtfilburt Posts: 398member
    I am surprised by the number of responses. ThinkEquity seems to be totally ignorant of what Netflix and TiVo represent. Although there are some overlaps and potential for greater overlap exists, Apple TV, Netflix, and TiVo serve different needs.



    As it currently stands, Apple TV is designed for:
    • Those wanting to stream music and/or photos to TV/home theater

    • Heavy iTunes Store video users

    • Die hard Apple fans

    Markets it does not set out to serve (not in the present form anyway):
    • Home theater enthusiasts: lack of multi-channel surround sound (e.g., AC-3) and 1080p

    • Video streaming: does not support DiVX/XViD, FLV (YouTube), WMV, Real, MPEG-2 (DVD) -- you can transcode many of these, but often tedious process

    • Joe-six-pack: does not support older TV sets, no video rental model -- Netflix addresses this need better

    • Media server: limited hard disk space without expansion capability

    • DVR: Apple will not be make Apple TV to record TV shows.

  • Reply 73 of 114
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,503member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by filburt View Post


    I am surprised by the number of responses. ThinkEquity seems to be totally ignorant of what Netflix and TiVo represent. Although there are some overlaps and potential for greater overlap exists, Apple TV, Netflix, and TiVo serve different needs.



    As it currently stands, Apple TV is designed for:
    • Those wanting to stream music and/or photos to TV/home theater

    • Heavy iTunes Store video users

    • Die hard Apple fans

    Markets it does not set out to serve (not in the present form anyway):
    • Home theater enthusiasts: lack of multi-channel surround sound (e.g., AC-3) and 1080p

    • Video streaming: does not support DiVX/XViD, FLV (YouTube), WMV, Real, MPEG-2 (DVD) -- you can transcode many of these, but often tedious process

    • Joe-six-pack: does not support older TV sets, no video rental model

    • Media server: limited hard disk space without expansion capability




    What is stopping Apple's QuickTime embedded in the AppleTV from transcoding to the system, on-the-fly?



    HDMI Audio out handles the multi-channel support.



    http://www.monstercable.com/MonsterW...icle_hdmi.html
  • Reply 74 of 114
    dm3dm3 Posts: 168member
    I think these analysts are getting way ahead of themselves. Makes me worry that the stock is overpriced in a bubble.



    The analyst is smoking something or a total idiot if he thinks a firmware update will give it DVR capability. You need a tuner, for either analog or digital TV. You need horsepower to encode the video (if from analog) which means hardware encoding or a much more powerful CPU than is included in the aTV. Current HDTV tuners for the Apple run $150. Hardware compressing analog tuners run $200. Hardly a trivial price increase for a $299 device.



    I agree with others, that given no rental model there isn't much aTV is really going to affect. I'm afraid it will show up tomorrow as a non-event. Lots of hype that is likely going to fall flat. I hope I'm wrong.
  • Reply 75 of 114
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wally007 View Post


    They're pretty much making widescreen TV a must, which in most instances are also HD sets. Why would anyone accept less than SD on HD when they can have much better if they go other route. (Netflix and Tivo ) This is no iPod where design sells , nobody looks at their set up box , they look at the TV.



    Yes...since we assume Apple is composed of bright folks they might have come to the same conclusion...SD on HDTVs suck.



    So the logical answer is?



    Granted Apple might end up not being able to offer 720p movies for whatever reasons, in which case aTV will be a fairly niche product at launch.



    However, if they can offer 720p movies at a reasonable price (ie less than HD-DVD/Blu-Ray, not much above DVD) then it becomes a nice product with the potential of offering HDTV owners the ability to own (rather than rent or subscribe to) "good enough" HD content in comparison to HD-DVD/Blu-ray with a lower cost of entry than HD-DVD/Blu-Ray and Apple branding/iPod halo effect. 720p Cars is a nice title with lots of replay potential.



    Niche vs Nice hinges on the H of HD.



    Vinea
  • Reply 76 of 114
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    What is stopping Apple's QuickTime embedded in the AppleTV from transcoding to the system, on-the-fly?



    Where is stated that AppleTV uses Quicktime's frameworks? We have yet to know what OS AppleTV has. Is it a beefed up iPod oS or a slimmed down OS X, or something altogether new. I, like many, do hope that it does use Quicktime as we will then be able to play the vast many audio and video formats not directly supported by iTunes.
  • Reply 77 of 114
    filburtfilburt Posts: 398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    What is stopping Apple's QuickTime embedded in the AppleTV from transcoding to the system, on-the-fly?



    HDMI Audio out handles the multi-channel support.



    Transcoding audio on-the-fly is (1) resource intensive, (2) requires Apple to pay encoding license with each Apple TV sale, and (3) degrades audio quality unnecessarily.



    HDMI is just a link not the solution.
  • Reply 78 of 114
    pt123pt123 Posts: 696member
    Netflix has 8.8 million paying subscribers. Apple has sold 88 million ipods, 50 million TV episodes and over 1.3 million movies. So yes many itunes users but not as many itunes paying users, so there is a ways to go.



    If anything, I think people are going to keep their Netflix, rip the movie and watch it through their Appletv.



    All this talk about Appletv, it has gotten me interested in getting an ipod.
  • Reply 79 of 114
    I think the biggest clue to these questions comes from Apple itself. Look at the lack of oomph with which this product is being rolled out. I live in New York City - which is inundated with iPod ads - I've yet to see a single public ad for AppleTV. During his keynote, Jobs himself seemed unconvinced of the product's usefulness and even hardcore Apple fans were baffled by the product's handicaps.



    Apple IS just testing the waters for a new venture. They WANT this to ONLY be bought by Apple fanatics with money to burn. That allows them a small beta period during which they can earmark all of the products successes and failures and use them as a roadmap towards building the real killer app.



    As many, many people have said - movie rental is going to be the single most important key in making this thing huge. People can live without DVR - I get it through my cable company for only $6 more a month. What I really want is to have movies at my fingertips.



    Netflix has it's download service, which I've used and which, nicely, comes for free as part of their package. The movie selection is predictably crappy and it only works on Windows -- but I was able to boot my MacBook into Windows and watch a movie. The experience was similar to that of iTunes movies - mediocre.



    Tivo sort of has a download service through Unbox - haven't used it yet, but I'm sure it's similar.



    People NEED to be able to rent movies. Unless they really love a movie - people don't feel the need to own it. It's just clutter. And, unlike digital music which offers the convenience of portability -- digital movies ONLY offer the convenience of downloadability. Nobody needs portable movies, it's just a gimmicky iPod add-on (though portable TV shows are more palatable, since they are commute-length).



    I would only consider buying about 5% of the movies I see. I RENT them precisely because I don't want to buy them and didn't want to pay $11 to see them in theaters. There is no sensible reason to buy them -- why own something I don't want or get stuck owning something I didn't even like?



    If Apple launched this product with major deals for renting downloadable movies, I would have been an early adopter. If they had gone whole-hog and made it a DVR too - I would have ordered it the first day it was announced. As it stands, I'll let other folks help Apple work out the kinks. I think they DO have the opportunity to make a big impact, but I think that even they know that this isn't the time or the product for that.
  • Reply 80 of 114
    bommaibommai Posts: 24member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmjoe View Post


    ROTFLMAO!



    I mean please folks. April Fools Day isn't for two more weeks.



    Tivo has been on life support for a long time. Most of their subscribers are through DirecTV. DirecTV has terminated their relationship with Tivo and their DVRs will be phased out over the next couple of years. Tivo is deperately trying to make deals with other companies like Comcast (not yet released) and with Amazon Unbox. There are only 4.4 million tivo subscribers. This includes the directv folks. These directv folks cannot even use the Amazon Unbox. The amazon unbox works only for the series 2 and series 3 receivers with broadband connection. Guess what - people are complaining that all programs that people watch through series 3 (from amazon) are coming as 4x3 instead of 16x9. There are a lot of issues here. I can almost guarantee that in one form or another, one year from now, there will be more Apple Boxes out there than all of the installed base of Tivo.



    Apple TV is a platform of its own at Apple and they will have a constant stream of products coming out. Since AppleTV is coming out pre-Leopard, I am sure once Leopard comes out there will be another product with cool features coming out.



    So, while Apple TV may not be as big a hit as the iPod, it will easily trample Tivo.
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