Apple's next steps in the "digital home"

in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
A few thoughts, from someone excited by the prospects and possibilities.

Let's start with some basics, and then get into some more complex stuff. (Note: Actually, as I compiled this list, some things struck me for the first time, even thought they were simple; so there's no order to this any more.) Add your own "next steps," or tear mine apart.

1) Make iTunes movies full DVD resolution (720x480p). Apple can still argue with Walmart and other DVD pushers that the bitrate is lower, there are no extras, subtitiles, or commentaries, and people have to back up their purchases for why it should be able to charge less. (BTW, I think this is all crap, and think Walmart should be brought to court for anti-trust violations for its actions. Apple should be able to offer all the flexibility it currently offers with music.)

2) Open up the @TV. Even just a bit. I know it just came out, but it is disappointing a lot of people/reviewers. Let people plug in their iPods, for crissakes. Let them attach a larger, external HDD and use that as the sole source (rather than having to have it synched with a computer). Allow an unlimited number of sources (computers, HDDs, iPods, and iPhones, instead of the five it currently allows (allowing it to be a useful tool in school and corporate environments). Let it display Keynote and PowerPoint presentations, and stream photos. Hell, give it a "screen-sharing feature" (like the new iChat) and allow it to mirror your own computer screen. Let it play different video codecs (whatever Quicktime can), even if this is only upgradeable by the user.

3) Give the @TV 5.1 sourround.

4) Allow people to burn watchable DVDs of their iTunes purchases. (The ability to burn albums and custom CDs did not stop people from buying iPods; but if iTunes hadn't allowed people to do that, one could argue that people wouldn't have adopted iTunes nearly as readily. Instead, giving people the option allowed people to migrate from their old habits of carrying around a portable CD player and a stack of CDs to the iPod model.)

4) Following form above, allow people to burn "mix DVDs" of their videos (music videos, TV episodes, movies, shorts, and home movies).

5) Allow people to buy movies "from the couch." When browsing, instead of a preview portion of the movie, the @TV could show your the trailer.

6) Allow the @TV to show YouTube videos. Granted, this may actually look like crap, but at least people could do it.

7) Allow people to hook up an iSight and do video chats from the LR.

8) Give people a way to get actual HD content onto the @TV, particularly ripping content from HDDVD and Blu-Ray disks. Both are supposed to allow this via their respective MMC protocols. Allow people to rip this content at whatever bitrate and rez they want (HD, DVD, VHS, custom, etc.)

9) Allow the @TV to view photocasts.

10) Let the @TV act as a wireless router, just like the Airport Express.

11) Whether there is a separate @TV, or the next gen just comes this way: the @TV should have a disk drive. Honestly, even if the 1st gen @TV just had an upscaling DVD drive in it, I would have been sorely tempted to get one (replacing my current DVD player). But as is, I'd have to add a box and more cables. It would complicate my life, not simplify it. Obviously, including a BR (or combo BR/HDDVD) drive would be a next step.

12) 1080p output for the @TV.

13) Allow the iPhone to act as a remote for the @TV.

14) Allow "On-the-Go" playlists and party shuffles to be created on screen with the @TV.

15) Load up the iTunes movies with user-editable metadata like director, producers, actors, year, genre and subgenre, etc.

16) <insert next killer app here>


  • Reply 1 of 2
    filburtfilburt Posts: 398member
    I think that's where Mac mini comes into play.

    Mac mini does #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #9, #11, #12, and #14 already (possibly #13). It really needs an update though (802.11n, Core 2 Duo, HDMI, etc.).
  • Reply 2 of 2
    dcqdcq Posts: 349member
    Originally Posted by filburt View Post

    I think that's where Mac mini comes into play.

    Mac mini does #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #9, #11, #12, and #14 already (possibly #13). It really needs an update though (802.11n, Core 2 Duo, HDMI, etc.).

    True. But it lacks the "appliance-icity" of @TV.

    And, as it is, can Front Row serve content from a networked comp in the same way (with the same simplicity) @TV can? If true, I wasn't aware of that.

    Now if it gains that ability with Leopard, plus an internal power brick, plus a 3.5" HDD, plus component, HDMI, and DVI video output, then we're in business.

    Of course, we may have to stop calling it a "mini."

    I wonder if the whispered changes to the iMac (and the rumored 42" chinless iPhone-inspired monstrosity (<drool>)) will go this route?
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