Mossberg confirms: Apple TV runs Mac OS

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
In the first known review of Apple TV published by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Walt Mossberg reports that the wireless streaming media hub indeed runs a modified version of Apple's Mac OS X operating system.



"Apple TV is tiny, just about eight inches square and an inch high, far smaller than a typical DVD player or cable or satellite box, even though it packs in a 40-gigabyte hard disk, an Intel processor and a modified version of the Mac operating system," the columnist wrote. "And it has a carefully limited set of functions."



Mossberg, who for the past 10 days has been been toying with an Apple TV sent his way by pal Steve Jobs, concludes that the $299 device is a "beautifully designed, easy-to-use product that should be very attractive to people with widescreen TV sets and lots of music, videos, and photos stored on computers."



"It has some notable limitations, but we really liked it," he wrote. "It is classic Apple: simple and elegant."



In his tests, Mossberg said the Apple TV performed perfectly over a standard Wi-Fi wireless network with a Pioneer plasma TV and six different computers -- three Windows machines from Hewlett-Packard and Dell, and three Apple Macs. "Setup was a breeze, the user interface was clean and handsome, and video and audio quality were quite good for anyone but picky audiophiles and videophiles," he wrote. "We never suffered any stuttering, buffering or hesitation while playing audio and video from distant computers."



One of the limitations of Apple TV, according to the review, is that it while it can stream video content, it cannot yet stream photos. Photos can only appear on Apple TV after having first been synced to the device's hard drive, though Mossberg claims "Apple plans to enable photo streaming later."



The Wall Street Journal columnist also drew attention to Apple TV's inability to purchase content direct from the iTunes Store and, similarly, its lack of access to material on the Internet. "In its usual secretive fashion, Apple refuses to say if or when this direct-to-the-Internet capability will be expanded," he said. "But we fully expect Apple to add the capability to stream or download a variety of content directly from the Internet, and that this new capability will be available on current Apple TV boxes through software updates."



All in all, Mossberg calls Apple TV "a very well-designed product that easily brings the computer and the TV together."



Prior to its launch, AppleInsider had reported that, like iPhone, Apple TV would run a scaled down variant of Apple's Mac OS X operating system.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 89
    His article may be found here...



    http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/solution-20070321.html
  • Reply 2 of 89
    bdj21yabdj21ya Posts: 297member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by davidosus View Post


    His article may be found here...



    http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/solution-20070321.html



    Great first post, very informative and helpful. Welcome to the forum.
  • Reply 3 of 89
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    This article fails to answer whether:

    A) Walt concludes this through educated guesses

    B) Walt says so because this is what an Apple rep told him

    C) Walt has found enough evidence to actually make this assertion.



    Since Walt ?*while a great technical writer ?*isn't exactly an expert, and since this is an embedded device, access to which has to be rather difficult, I think we can rule C out.
  • Reply 4 of 89
    Since Walt is friends with Jobs, that might be where he got it from. Kind of like an official 'leak'.
  • Reply 5 of 89
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by davidosus View Post


    His article may be found here...



    http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/solution-20070321.html



    Very nice! Thanks for the link. Article updated with free link.



    Welcome to the AI forums,



    K
  • Reply 6 of 89
    Time to start shopping for a widescreen TV
  • Reply 7 of 89
    abster2coreabster2core Posts: 2,501member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by davidosus View Post


    His article may be found here...



    http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/solution-20070321.html



    Thank you for the link. Better that everybody read this prior to make some of the assertions that have started to appear.



    As a developer, I find Mossberg's reviews and opinions great for addressing the masses (as he so wisely outlines). Suggest that those who seem to immediately start shooting the messanger, perhaps a quick review of his bio* is in order. Mossberg is well respected in his field and those of us in the know feel it is well deserved. I find that he is open minded, certainly more than we often see in some of these discussions.



    *http://ptech.wsj.com/walt.html
  • Reply 8 of 89
    nufasenufase Posts: 24member
    does anyone think you will be able to get a full-blown version of OsX on the Apple TV?



    It has USB right? so you could use a keyboard and mouse.



    I guess one could just easily buy a mac mini, but then you wouldn't have HD.



    Also, will this ONLY stream movies that are in itunes? What if I keep my movies ina different folder on my Mac, will I be able to stream these as well? Or will I have to convert them into an iTunes compatible format to stream them. Right now they are all divx files....
  • Reply 9 of 89
    physguyphysguy Posts: 915member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    Thank you for the link. Better that everybody read this prior to make some of the assertions that have started to appear.



    As a developer, I find Mossberg's reviews and opinions great for addressing the masses (as he so wisely outlines). Suggest that those who seem to immediately start shooting the messanger, perhaps a quick review of his bio* is in order. Mossberg is well respected in his field and those of us in the know feel it is well deserved. I find that he is open minded, certainly more than we often see in some of these discussions.



    *http://ptech.wsj.com/walt.html





    And I think the most telling quote from the article that applies to the discussions that have been going on in these forums is...



    Quote:

    Apple TV isn't for that small slice of techies who buy a full-blown computer and plug it directly into a TV, or for gamers who prefer to do it all through a game console. And it's not for people who are content to watch downloaded TV shows and movies directly on a computer screen. Instead, it's for the much larger group of people who want to keep their home computers where they are and yet enjoy their downloaded media on their widescreen TVs.



  • Reply 10 of 89
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nufase View Post


    It has USB right? so you could use a keyboard and mouse.



    The USB port isn't currently usable for this.



    Quote:

    I guess one could just easily buy a mac mini, but then you wouldn't have HD.



    You would have DVI up to 1920x1200 and optical audio out, so effectively, yes, you could output HD.
  • Reply 11 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nufase View Post


    does anyone think you will be able to get a full-blown version of OsX on the Apple TV?



    I don't



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nufase View Post


    Also, will this ONLY stream movies that are in itunes? What if I keep my movies ina different folder on my Mac, will I be able to stream these as well? Or will I have to convert them into an iTunes compatible format to stream them. Right now they are all divx files....



    It has to be in iTunes to work. I've got several AVIs from XTorrent I'm looking to convert to an iTunes compatible format. Anyone know of a good program for that?
  • Reply 12 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chucker View Post


    This article fails to answer whether:

    A) Walt concludes this through educated guesses

    B) Walt says so because this is what an Apple rep told him

    C) Walt has found enough evidence to actually make this assertion.



    Since Walt ?*while a great technical writer ?*isn't exactly an expert, and since this is an embedded device, access to which has to be rather difficult, I think we can rule C out.



    The article states Walt has been using it for 10 days... seems like that is enough time to discern his "opinion". At least far from educated guesses or because an Apple rep told him to.
  • Reply 13 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DeaPeaJay View Post


    I don't







    It has to be in iTunes to work. I've got several AVIs from XTorrent I'm looking to convert to an iTunes compatible format. Anyone know of a good program for that?



    Quicktime Pro? It now has an "export to Apple TV" function...
  • Reply 14 of 89
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by socokid View Post


    The article states Walt has been using it for 10 days... seems like that is enough time to discern his "opinion".



    Maybe he has been watching all of the 400+ movies on it ?
  • Reply 15 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fastred View Post


    Quicktime Pro? It now has an "export to Apple TV" function...





    Quicktime doesn't play AVIs, unless you set it up to. And I've had trouble getting it to play them. Some play just fine and others don't. I have to use VLC.
  • Reply 16 of 89
    a-mazea-maze Posts: 65member
    Isn't the movie trailer function a direct download from the net?



    a-maze



    edit: "It can also pull a very limited amount of music and video directly off the Internet onto the TV." - WSJ
  • Reply 17 of 89
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Exactly what did people THINK it was going to be running on... DOS?
  • Reply 18 of 89
    w00tw00t Posts: 3member
    divx/xvid codecs would make this a killer app. Nobody wants to goto the bother of having to reencode all their stuff. I predict that some genius will devise a method to make this play divx/xvid, .ts. Until then it doesn't make any sense to purchase the unit.
  • Reply 19 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DeaPeaJay View Post


    Quicktime doesn't play AVIs, unless you set it up to. And I've had trouble getting it to play them. Some play just fine and others don't. I have to use VLC.



    Get the Flip4Mac plugin. Works fine, and it's free.
  • Reply 20 of 89
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DeaPeaJay View Post


    Quicktime doesn't play AVIs, unless you set it up to.



    1) Install Perian and an other codecs that might be needed.

    2) Export for ?tv.

    3) Done.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by socokid View Post


    The article states Walt has been using it for 10 days... seems like that is enough time to discern his "opinion".



    How?
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