Apple TV...

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
I thought Apple was going to announce something about the Apple TV yesterday but no word...Does anybody know whats going on with the Apple TV, are they going to stop making them...
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,358member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Adjei View Post


    I thought Apple TV was going to announce something about the Apple TV yesterday but no word...Does anybody know whats going on with the Apple TV, are they going to stop making them...



    I've always felt that the next ATV revision would be MWSF 08. This allows Apple to deliver Leopard and then focus on tailoring a version for ATV. I'd also like to see Gigabit ethernet on the next model and faster performance. I'm wondering aloud if they should look to transitioning the product to a cheaper SoC (System on Chip) solution rather than use a CPU/GPU/ config.
  • Reply 2 of 24
    But what about enhancements to the current lineup via a software update. I am not complaining as I really like my AppleTV, but... there is so much more that they could do with it besides adding the obligatory youtube support....



    Shame, as it has so much potential. On the other hand, Apple HAS been busy. On yet another hand, maybe they need to hire some more engineers if projects keep needing to be put on hold... (Leopard delay due to iPhone, etc...)





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    I've always felt that the next ATV revision would be MWSF 08. This allows Apple to deliver Leopard and then focus on tailoring a version for ATV. I'd also like to see Gigabit ethernet on the next model and faster performance. I'm wondering aloud if they should look to transitioning the product to a cheaper SoC (System on Chip) solution rather than use a CPU/GPU/ config.



  • Reply 3 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    I've always felt that the next ATV revision would be MWSF 08. This allows Apple to deliver Leopard and then focus on tailoring a version for ATV. I'd also like to see Gigabit ethernet on the next model and faster performance. I'm wondering aloud if they should look to transitioning the product to a cheaper SoC (System on Chip) solution rather than use a CPU/GPU/ config.



    Two things from the iPod announcements point to at least a software update to the AppleTV, closed caption support and the WiFi music store. I think that Apple is also going to come out with HD video sometime soon, before the holidays. An update to the product itself would also be a wise move for Apple in October/November to boost sales. The problem right now with AppleTV is not the device itself but in the lack of [content] services such as UTube and movie rental on demand as well as the lack of HD video available for the device. There are probably contract negotiations going on now to rectify the HD video but there is a need to get more content out there for it that does not require purchasing or transcoding pirated material. If I could link into Hula and watch video, even with commercials, it would add a lot of value to the device. Also, adding a video rental service into the mix would make it a viable alternative to a DVD player.
  • Reply 4 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ebolagp View Post


    But what about enhancements to the current lineup via a software update. I am not complaining as I really like my AppleTV, but... there is so much more that they could do with it besides adding the obligatory youtube support....



    Shame, as it has so much potential. On the other hand, Apple HAS been busy. On yet another hand, maybe they need to hire some more engineers if projects keep needing to be put on hold... (Leopard delay due to iPhone, etc...)



    The thing is that Apple doesn't need a big engineering project to add more value to AppleTV, they need lawyers and executives looking for more ways to get content available for it and negotiating with the content holders to get access to it for AppleTV owners. The bulk of the engineering work is done. For rentals they may have to rework the DRM to allow for it, but not for streamed content. If they had more streams such as UTube available then that alone would add value to the device, add in HD downloads and there is more value. Most of what they need they have to get through negotiation, not through engineering, unless they change their strategy and make it a DVR due to the lack available content.
  • Reply 5 of 24
    Question: if Apple gets HD programs and eventually 1080p, can Apple supply a software/firmware update that allows the AppleTV to play 1080p?



    Or would this require a whole new AppleTV box?



    I purchased one last Friday and haven't had a chance to use it. (waiting on hdmi cables from Amazon) I have 30 days to return it and I wonder if I should return and wait for a possible update?
  • Reply 6 of 24
    jcgjcg Posts: 777member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OSXaddict View Post


    Question: if Apple gets HD programs and eventually 1080p, can Apple supply a software/firmware update that allows the AppleTV to play 1080p?



    Or would this require a whole new AppleTV box?



    I purchased one last Friday and haven't had a chance to use it. (waiting on hdmi cables from Amazon) I have 30 days to return it and I wonder if I should return and wait for a possible update?



    Do you have a 1080p TV? if you have a TV that just does 720p then you don't really need the extra resolution so don't worry about it.



    I doubt that there will be a firmware upgrade for the current AppleTV to boost the resolution, there is probably a hardware limitation either in the video system or the processor speed that keeps it from doing "acceptable" 1080p, and that was an intentional choice by Apple to keep the price down since when it was released there was very little content available above DVD quality let alone 1080p, I think that about the only way you could get it was buying a BlueRay/HD DVD or recording OTA signals. Even today this is the case.



    The good news is that by the time they do upgrade the system to support 1080p the price and specs should be no more than what they are now, and there is a chance that they will be lower. I think that Apple should really by trying to get the cost down to $199, or even as low as $149 to get a more mass market appeal. Also consumers are more likely to purchase 2 at $149 than they are at $299, and having more than one in the home may help the consumer "GET" the idea of storing the content in a central location rather than on the box.
  • Reply 7 of 24
    Actually yes, I do have a 1080p plasma TV. (Panasonic TH-42PZ700U)
  • Reply 8 of 24
    bg_nycbg_nyc Posts: 189member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by @homenow View Post


    ...The problem right now with AppleTV is not the device itself but in the lack of [content] services such as UTube and movie rental on demand as well as the lack of HD video available for the device...



    I'm not so sure. I think the problem is the product's shortcomings (lack of true HD and 5.1, hard drive limitations, storage expansion, etc), as well as the lack of strategic direction when it comes to the product.



    iTMS music content is enhanced to drive sales of iPods. Buying a $16.99 album is much easier to walk away from when you can get similar bitrates for cheaper at the iTMS. So they get a double benefit - people buy music, and they buy ipods to put their music on.



    I don't think movies offer the same value. $9.99 for a severely reduced-quality 1.2GB film doesn't make sense to most people. I personally would rather pony up an extra $10 to have a hard copy which I can then rip and transfer to MP4/h.264 at will. And as HD arrives at iTMS, the value will not improve. They will probably charge 15.99 or 19.99 for that file, with blu-ray discs selling for 24.99. I'm assuming 3rd party software will learn how to rip HD movies from disc by then. Movie studios have also proved to be much more stubborn. They saw what happened to music, and refuse to let it happen to movies. They wont let prices drop to a level that encourages impulse buys at iTMS, which is another one of the reasons its become the 3rd largest music retailer in the U.S.



    So is Job's movie strategy to primarily drive Apple TV sales, or iTMS sales? If he wants to drive Apple TV sales (a good idea in my opinion), he needs to make it easy for 3rd party developers to get high-quality video on the Apple TV. I'm no tech guy, but I imagine it means teaching it to play multiple formats (DIVX, XVID, VOB, etc) and allowing direct net accessibility. Also allowing for the attachment of an external hard drive with a buffer to allow for seamless play, 5.1 audio, and true 1080p HD.



    If he just wants to drive iTMS salles, he has an uphill battle with studios. Either way, Jobs is showing that he still has a lot to learn when it comes to consumer electronics. Unlike computers, we want all the technology NOW when it comes to our electronics, and we are willing to pay for it. 'Supe' that Apple TV up, and watch people come running. Come with a lackluster, under-featured product, and all but diehard Apple enthusiasts will walk away.
  • Reply 9 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bg_nyc View Post


    If he wants to drive Apple TV sales (a good idea in my opinion), he needs to make it easy for 3rd party developers to get high-quality video on the Apple TV. I'm no tech guy, but I imagine it means teaching it to play multiple formats (DIVX, XVID, VOB, etc) and allowing direct net accessibility. Also allowing for the attachment of an external hard drive with a buffer to allow for seamless play, 5.1 audio, and true 1080p HD.



    Vudu.
  • Reply 10 of 24
    bg_nycbg_nyc Posts: 189member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JCG View Post


    ...I doubt that there will be a firmware upgrade for the current AppleTV to boost the resolution, there is probably a hardware limitation either in the video system or the processor speed that keeps it from doing "acceptable" 1080p, and that was an intentional choice by Apple to keep the price down since when it was released there was very little content available above DVD quality let alone 1080p, I think that about the only way you could get it was buying a BlueRay/HD DVD or recording OTA signals. Even today this is the case.



    The good news is that by the time they do upgrade the system to support 1080p the price and specs should be no more than what they are now, and there is a chance that they will be lower. I think that Apple should really by trying to get the cost down to $199, or even as low as $149 to get a more mass market appeal. Also consumers are more likely to purchase 2 at $149 than they are at $299, and having more than one in the home may help the consumer "GET" the idea of storing the content in a central location rather than on the box.



    Thats a good point. Marketing it as a cheaper system that will pipe music, movies, and pics into multiple rooms makes more sense to me than how it is now. And 720p is sufficient to keep up with the future of HD. You can get 1080i on NBC HD, CBS HD, and also on HDNET and HDNET Movies, Discovery HD, and PBS HD. But most say its not much different from 720p, which is on ABC and ESPN HD.



    The challenge is to get people to have 2 boxes in each room - a cable box and an Apple TV. Thats the part that doesnt make sense to most. I can understand having an Apple TV in the children's room where you can give them access to a plethora of disney movies, but adults and teens want a TV tuner and the ease that comes with a DVR.
  • Reply 11 of 24
    jcgjcg Posts: 777member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bg_nyc View Post


    Thats a good point. Marketing it as a cheaper system that will pipe music, movies, and pics into multiple rooms makes more sense to me than how it is now. And 720p is sufficient to keep up with the future of HD. You can get 1080i on NBC HD, CBS HD, and also on HDNET and HDNET Movies, Discovery HD, and PBS HD. But most say its not much different from 720p, which is on ABC and ESPN HD.



    The challenge is to get people to have 2 boxes in each room - a cable box and an Apple TV. Thats the part that doesnt make sense to most. I can understand having an Apple TV in the children's room where you can give them access to a plethora of disney movies, but adults and teens want a TV tuner and the ease that comes with a DVR.



    If you had access to NBC's Hula streaming service, a steam from CNN, other networks then it makes sense even if those streams have commercials like traditional broadcase. If they add in VOD type programing which should be possible then it makes even more sense and begins to compete with traditional broadcast and cable delivery systems. Add in a rental service and now starts to really compete with DVD. It won't be for everyone but there are people who would look at it as an alternative to cable.
  • Reply 12 of 24
    jcgjcg Posts: 777member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bg_nyc View Post


    I'm not so sure. I think the problem is the product's shortcomings (lack of true HD and 5.1, hard drive limitations, storage expansion, etc), as well as the lack of strategic direction when it comes to the product.



    As I recall AppleTV supports 5.1 it is the Quicktime file format that does not at this time. This could be remedied with an update to Quicktime (with Leopard maybe?) and re-encoded files on iTMS (at 720p?). I think that it is quite possible for Apple to have this out and available to the public (at least in the US) by Thanksgiving which would allow them to take advantage of the holiday buying season.
  • Reply 13 of 24
    adjeiadjei Posts: 738member
    I think Apple should get back to putting some focus onto the Apple TV because now it seems they are focused on other things...



    - As some have said they should implement some sort of IPTV service which can challenge the cable and satellite companies...

    - flickr service

    - implement the itunes store into the device like has being done with the ipod touch and iphone

    - ability to play games

    - some sort of widgets

    - needs more content

    - rental service

    - design the remote control to be touch screen and can be used to control the games

    - something similar to what the slingbox has so you can watch content from anywhere including on the iphone and ipod touch

    - widgets

    - some sort of plug in websites can use to deliver media to Apple TV...
  • Reply 14 of 24
    screedscreed Posts: 1,077member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Adjei View Post


    I think Apple should get back to putting some focus onto the Apple TV because now it seems they are focused on other things...



    These are good ideas but there are some caveats:



    Quote:

    - As some have said they should implement some sort of IPTV service which can challenge the cable and satellite companies...



    This would involve a lot of deal making (and maybe moneyhatting) but more importantly would compete directly with iTunes video sales

    Quote:

    - flickr service



    Apple would more likely want to steer people to .Mac

    Quote:

    - implement the itunes store into the device like has being done with the ipod touch and iphone



    Heck yes! Wireless iTunes Store is a strong sign in this direction.

    Quote:

    - ability to play games



    I really hope Apple doesn't shy away from this. But who knows? I don't know if iPod games will run even on the iPod touch. A common game library/platform for iPods/iPhones/AppleTV would be really needed.

    Quote:

    - some sort of widgets



    Heck yes again! The weather widget on a high def screen? Sold.

    Quote:

    - needs more content



    Always.

    Quote:

    - rental service



    Apple has been luke warm to cold about renting content.

    Quote:

    - design the remote control to be touch screen and can be used to control the games



    Pricey, but the current remote inhibits games and more complex interaction.

    Quote:

    - something similar to what the slingbox has so you can watch content from anywhere including on the iphone and ipod touch



    Maybe. It would be an answer to what Sony is doing with digital television in Europe with the PS3 and PSP.

    Quote:

    - widgets



    Added for emphasis?

    Quote:

    - some sort of plug in websites can use to deliver media to Apple TV...



    Already done with YouTube. Google and Apple are BFF.

    However, Safari on AppleTV?? Hm.
  • Reply 15 of 24
    adjeiadjei Posts: 738member
    [QUOTE=sCreeD;1139620]



    [QUOTE]This would involve a lot of deal making (and maybe moneyhatting) but more importantly would compete directly with iTunes video sales
    Quote:



    The way I see it Apple will find it harder to compete with the cable and satellite companies who can give us live programming...I mean if I was to throw away my digital cable service and get an Apple TV, how would I be able to watch the Super Bowl or other live programming...This is what is missing from Apple TV...I believe Apple holds alot of power and would be able to make deals with the content providers, I mean they could change the way we watch television...The thing about the videos on itunes if not mistaken I don't believe they are live programs so I don't think they would be that much affected...I mean look how successful shows that sell on dvds are, don't see why the ones on itunes can't do the same....



    Quote:

    Apple would more likely want to steer people to .Mac



    Then Apple should find a way to implement this service into the Apple TV using .Mac for those who have an account....It might also even bring more users to .Mac...



    Quote:

    Apple has been luke warm to cold about renting content.



    Do you know why...I mean they could compete with the likes of Blockbuster & Netflix...



    Quote:

    Pricey, but the current remote inhibits games and more complex interaction.



    I agree it would be pricey but it would be nice if they were able to do it at a resonable price and if also it was a universal remote replacing your other remotes...



    Quote:

    Already done with YouTube. Google and Apple are BFF.

    However, Safari on AppleTV?? Hm.



    I think you misunderstood my point....Sorry if I was not clear enough....Example I support a soccer club (FC Barcelona) and they have a television channel available on their website which you can subscribe to for a yearly fee, now if I want to watch the content on my television, there's no possible way...I was wondering if the Apple TV could be used to stream the video from their website to my television...Also some other different websites I whose content I want to watch on my television which the Apple TV could help in doing that...I hope I'm clear...



  • Reply 16 of 24
    There are lots of things that Apple can do to boost AppleTV's attraction to the average consumer. There are lots of ideas here.



    I like the widgets. Make one for Weather.com for weather reporting, or for Pizza Delivery (Apple gets .25¢ for every pizza sold through the widget, now that is a potential gold mine). The problem I see with this is the UI for AppleTV and the limitations of the remote. It would be a pain interrupt a movie and go back to the main menu to get to your widgets to order a pizza or check the weather or whatever. It really needs to come up on top of the video. The problem is that the remote now needs more buttons.



    This brings up another limitation to the AppleTV remote, why have the volume buttons when I can't control my TV's volume with it? Or maybe you can and I just haven't looked into it as much as I should, which I will admit that I haven't.



    I know that Apple has been reluctant to move into rentals or subscription services (except for .mac) before. I agree with them. I think that it is bad business to force a subscription service on a consumer after they have spent good money on a product. Movie rentals for the Apple TV are different though, and I can't see AppleTV truly succeeding without it whether it is supplied by Apple or another vender.



    I think that one of the most important things that Apple could do to make the Apple TV attractive to consumers though is to open up the platform to development in some way so that the content producers have an avenue to use the AppleTV as a way of getting content to consumers. Sure that opens up some competition to iTMS, but it can survive quite well with competitive pricing, but they can't deliver all the content to the consumer that the consumer will want, be it movie rentals, current news streams, network and internet TV streams, or porn. Having some form of Plugin format for other web services to stream to AppleTV makes sense in the long run.



    Will Apple do any of these things? I wouldn't hold my breath. I like my AppleTV but realize that it is not a perfect product. I think that Apple is going to go down the iPod/iTMS route though and keep it a closed system and something better will come along before Apple can really establish the product. I hope that I am wrong, and I hope that the system I have can be upgraded with software updates to add the new consumer friendly features, but I don't see the commitment from Apple for the product that it should have close to a year since its announcement. Maybe now that the iPhone and the new iPods are out and with Leopard almost ready for Golden Master that innovation and commitment will come. I'm not confident that it will because so much of what it will take depends not only on Apple but also other companies willing to partner with Apple to make it a reality and there seems to be a bit of reluctance in the video industry to do that right now.
  • Reply 17 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by @homenow View Post


    I think that one of the most important things that Apple could do to make the Apple TV attractive to consumers though is to open up the platform to development in some way so that the content producers have an avenue to use the AppleTV as a way of getting content to consumers. Sure that opens up some competition to iTMS, but it can survive quite well with competitive pricing, but they can't deliver all the content to the consumer that the consumer will want, be it movie rentals, current news streams, network and internet TV streams, or porn. Having some form of Plugin format for other web services to stream to AppleTV makes sense in the long run.



    If the iTMS profit margins are as low as claimed opening up the AppleTV to other streams shouldn't be that big of a problem. I like the idea of going to an on-line video service and getting video on demand (like CNN and BBC news shows).
  • Reply 18 of 24
    Rentals coming, if this makes it soon then that would be a boon to Apple TV. Possibly waiting for Leopard and an update to Quicktime which would allow for timed DRM for rentals to work?
  • Reply 19 of 24
    adjeiadjei Posts: 738member
    Apple needs to shift focus back to Apple TV...
  • Reply 20 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by @homenow View Post


    Rentals coming, if this makes it soon then that would be a boon to Apple TV. Possibly waiting for Leopard and an update to Quicktime which would allow for timed DRM for rentals to work?



    Nice!



    But when can we BUY movies in 720p? What's the hold up? What's the matter, doesn't Apple like money? Streaming VHS-quality movies to HDTV sets isn't exactly appealing, so it's no wonder the Apple TV hasn't taken off.



    If they act now, then all of us fence-sitters will have an alternative to buying new players and media amidst this format war. A High-Definition version of a film that I can play both on my computer and my HDTV sounds very very appealing.
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