Apple seeks user feedback on Apple TV

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple has set up an online survey to find out more about how recent buyers of Apple TV make use of their box and what they do and don't like about it in an effort to improve the system.



The online survey asks for demographic information, then asks users about how frequently the use Apple TV for various tasks, from renting movies to viewing photos to using it for home movies and with MobileMe Gallery.



Apple also asks users "what percentage of the content on your Apple TV comes from the following sources: iTunes Store; home videos (camcorder); short clips from the internet such as YouTube, email, downloads; movies or TV shows from the internet (Peer 2 peer, Bittorrent, other sources for downloading); video from your own DVD collection; or other sources."



That indicates the company has its eye on the shadowy market for ripped DVDs, both those created by users themselves from their own DVDs via a tool such as Handbrake (a potentially legitimate practice that the studios still oppose due to piracy fears), and the wholesale piracy of content obtained illicitly over the Internet.



Apple eyes users' equipment



Apple also asks users what type (LCD, CRT, Plasma) of display they use with Apple TV, what screen size, and the best resolution supported (480i SDTV, 480p EDTV, 720p HDTV, or 1080p HDTV), what type of audio system they use (TV speakers, 2 speakers, 2.1, 4.1, 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound speakers), whether they use the supplied Apple Remote or if they have programed a universal remote to work with the system, and whether users also own an iPhone or iPod touch, both of which can be used to control Apple TV using the company's free Remote software. Apple also specifically asks if users have downloaded the Remote software to use with Apple TV.



The survey also asks how many desktop and notebook computers the user has, and how many are Macs versus Windows PCs. It also asks if the user has paired Apple TV with iTunes on their computer, what type of system it is, and how many gigabytes of data they keep in sync with iTunes.







One freeform question asks "If you could change one thing about your Apple TV, what would that be?" Another asks respondents to check off all of the other devices they own, including a Blu-ray or DVD player; Tivo or other DVR; GameCube or Wii; PlayStation 2 or 3; and Xbox or Xbox 360.



Apple also asks how users how many movies they rent per month, and where they obtain them, providing Amazon, Apple TV, Blockbuster online and store locations, Cable, iTunes, Netflix DVD rental by mail, the Netflix streaming box, Vudo, Xbox 360 Live, the local video store, other Internet rentals, or "mail rental order." The survey then asks how many movies the user buys per month, and asks where they are bought: WalMart, Target, local video store, other physical retail store, Amazon, iTunes, or some other online store.







The future of Apple TV



The survey should provide useful information on what users want and how they are currently using Apple TV, enabling the company to improve the device and its software, as well as its marketing. Apple currently does very little promotion of the device, leaving it almost entirely positioned as a way to watch iTunes movie rentals, TV shows, and photos. The company's website only makes relatively brief mention of the system's ability to play free podcasts and present home videos and albums from Flickr and the company's own MobileMe Gallery service.



Many observers have stated that the success of the iPod was in large part due to its ability to work with content users already had, particularly the tight integration with iTunes' ability to rip CDs. Apple TV lacks any ability to play back DVDs remotely, and requires a more complex, do-it-yourself process to transcode DVDs into playable files. That might change if the company could convince labels to allow iTunes to rip DVDs (or play them remotely using the company's Remote Disc drive sharing technology), but any progress on that front has been complicated by licensing terms and the much longer and complex task of ripping DVD data, relative to the much simpler task of copying and compressing the unencrypted audio files from CDs. Studios have acted to include a mobile version of movies that now appears on many new DVD titles, however.



Analysts also jumped on Apple's recent revelation that its December quarter sales of the device were up three times over sales a year ago, and have tried to suggest a number of ways the company could apply that mounting interest in future products. Commonly offered ideas include Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi's recommendation to turn the media player into a DVR and cable box, and the recent report by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster that suggests Apple might want to enter the TV set business.



Fortune cited a report in RoughlyDrafted Magazine that recommended Apple open the box to third party developers similar to the iPhone App Store, offering an SDK for building mini games, interactive web widgets, and productivity apps tied into online services such as iWork.com, all navigated using a handheld iPhone or iPod touch. It also suggested improved promotion free content such as Internet radio, podcasts, and iTunes U.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 180
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,114member
    Apple TV is dooooooooooooomed.



    j/k as always



    Ok I don't own one yet but Hulu support and other freebie streamers would be nice.



    Make'em cheaper too.
  • Reply 2 of 180
    trip1extrip1ex Posts: 109member
    Cheaper content is what it needs. I don't know why Redbox can deliver $1/night DVDs and Netflix can do 2 at a time DVDS with free streaming of older content for $15/month while iTunes has $4/night rentals and $15 to buy a movie.



    The ability to redownload content any time if needed would be nice too. It's a pain to store video and back it up. They can be reasonable about it so folks aren't hogging bandwidth left and right, but it would bring much peace of mind.



    It needs more content too. It would be nice if they could plug some gaps in the content lineup.



    Hulu etc would be nice.



    Anyway give me a better reason to replace my DVD player, cable box and Tivo. The stuff I have now is cheaper than going to with an TV and buying content from it. And yet ATV can't replace all of the above either.



    A user-replaceable hard drive would be quite appealing as well. Hell sell it without a hard drive and let the customer add one. Put 2 gigs of flash in there to get them started.



    Make it a built-in router as well if not too much more costly. And there shouldn't be a reason that I can't plug in an external hard drive to it either.



    Overall Apple has to add some value to the device to get the ball rolling further.
  • Reply 3 of 180
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Apple TV is dooooooooooooomed.



    j/k as always



    Ok I don't own one yet but Hulu support and other freebie streamers would be nice.



    Make'em cheaper too.



    Hulu can be watched on the AppleTV via Boxee. Alpha stage but yeah.





    I could see the AppleTV being more of a gaming device/dvr/music/media/internet portal. Aka, an iPod Touch that works on the TV. I would like to see how they would do games though... click wheel remote? Apple remote with accelerometers like a Wiimote?



    I think they are looking to see the value in going after other kinds of media and sources.
  • Reply 4 of 180
    iansilviansilv Posts: 283member
    If Apple allows the playing of ripped dvd structures over a network, specifically it allows me to play ripped dvds from my windows home server for MyMovies, i buy four of them. It's that simple.
  • Reply 5 of 180
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,114member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trip1ex View Post


    Cheaper content is what it needs. I don't know why Redbox can deliver $1/night DVDs and Netflix can do 2 at a time DVDS with free streaming of older content and iTunes has $4/night rentals and $15 to buy a movie.




    The pricing makes me believe that the studios are just not serious about digital downloads.



    Let's see i'm paying a monthly fee for my bandwidth which they get damn near a free ride. They're not warehousing content yet the best they can do is $2.99 and $3.99 rentals and higher than DVD pricing for purchasing?



    Sigh
  • Reply 6 of 180
    Add an inexpensive subscription plan ($20 or less a month) and I'm there.



    and/or



    Add hulu streaming support and I'm there.



    That's all it would take.
  • Reply 7 of 180
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,114member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iansilv View Post


    If Apple allows the playing of ripped dvd structures over a network, specifically it allows me to play ripped dvds from my windows home server for MyMovies, i buy four of them. It's that simple.



    The MPAA is simply as idiotic as the music industry. Their sales would jump if they simply got in league with computer manufacturers and said



    "Ok, our content encryption has been broken forever" We want to allow you to create encrypted DVD rips that only play on a LAN.



    Problem solved. I get to buy DVDs and not have them glitch because my son left a chocolately fingerprint or scratched the he double hockey sticks out of the disc. The family gets easy access to a media server.



    Apple TV goes to places where Macs don't reside and iMacs and Mac mini become playback nodes.



    It makes so much freakin' sense which is precisely why the MPAA doesn't get it.
  • Reply 8 of 180
    I've had to restart the survey twice so far. It keeps crashing (no response when I click the ~go to next page~ arrow).



    It looks like I may have to start over yet again.....
  • Reply 9 of 180
    It really doesn't make much sense that a season pass to a show cost more than the hard copy (DVD or Bluray). I think they need to fix that problem before they ever will succeed with the AppleTV.



    In fact, here's what they really need to do. Roll the season's pass into a DVD/Blu-ray purchase of the season when it comes out the year after and only charge $5-$10 more for it when you get the DVD/Bluray in your hands.



    Right now a PS3 is more useful than an AppleTV for playing shows, because it does HD without much effort, and supports more formats out of the box (especially MKVs remuxed to the PS3-native M2TS format for HD video + high-def audio in 5 min or less).
  • Reply 10 of 180
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,114member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post


    It really doesn't make much sense that a season pass to a show cost more than the hard copy (DVD or Bluray). I think they need to fix that problem before they ever will succeed with the AppleTV.



    In fact, here's what they really need to do. Roll the season's pass into a DVD/Blu-ray purchase of the season when it comes out the year after and only charge $5-$10 more for it when you get the DVD/Bluray in your hands.



    Right now a PS3 is more useful than an AppleTV for playing shows, because it does HD without much effort, and supports more formats out of the box (especially MKVs remuxed to the PS3-native M2TS format for HD video + high-def audio in 5 min or less).



    I don't have much faith in Blu-ray doing anything beneficial for consumers beyond taking more out of their wallet. The BD consortium hasn't made a peep about the ability to do "Managed Copies" which is exactly what you ask. A way to have a more flexible digital copy of a movie.



    So the real problem with the Apple TV is price and dealing with the shenanigans that studios cause willfully. IMO of course.
  • Reply 11 of 180
    The AppleTv is a great device. I really like mine. However, the device fails miserably when it comes to TV. $1.99 is just too much money. I don't really care if I get to keep it, it just takes up a bunch of space.



    I would much prefer a streaming service whether it be subscription or a'la carte (for less than $1.99). Basically, if TV shows were set up like the podcast section of iTunes, with hulu type ads, I would be more than happy with the device.
  • Reply 12 of 180
    It needs 7.1 surround, HDMI 1.3a, decode Dolby True HD and DTS-HD and support more video and audio formats and more containers.



    Then I wouldn't have to hack it.
  • Reply 13 of 180
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by camper View Post


    I've had to restart the survey twice so far. It keeps crashing (no response when I click the ~go to next page~ arrow).



    It looks like I may have to start over yet again.....





    Looks like I need to start over again...





    [CENTER]The page you requested is temporarily unavailable





    We're very sorry for the inconvenience.

    Please try again in a few minutes. [/CENTER]
  • Reply 14 of 180
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post


    Right now a PS3 is more useful than an AppleTV for playing shows, because it does HD without much effort, and supports more formats out of the box (especially MKVs remuxed to the PS3-native M2TS format for HD video + high-def audio in 5 min or less).



    Really? Where do I find out more about that?
  • Reply 15 of 180
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Studios have acted to include a mobile version of movies that now appears on many new DVD titles, however.



    Has anyone else noticed that the DVDs "with digital copy" seem to be across the board $10 about cheaper than the same DVD without it? I think WALL-E is actually offered in two identical versions, with near-identical packaging, and the only difference if you read closely is the Digital Copy, which apparently costs $10.



    It's a rediculous gimmick. if studios were serious about pursuing this, they'd bundle it into DVDs at existing prices.
  • Reply 16 of 180
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,079member
    I would love if they would allow ripping of your purchased DVDs to it. It would be like a movie server. I would definitely get one if they did that. With my internet connection at home (satellite internet) it would be hard for me to buy movies off iTunes. Being able to store all of my movies on one box and showing it on my TV would be great.



    I agree though, I would like to see cheaper movies. Especially change the renting plans.
  • Reply 17 of 180
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post


    Hulu can be watched on the AppleTV via Boxee. Alpha stage but yeah.



    And the image quality is horrendous. Some way to at least add a USB external drive for starters would be nice.
  • Reply 18 of 180
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Apple TV is dooooooooooooomed.



    j/k as always



    Ok I don't own one yet but Hulu support and other freebie streamers would be nice.



    Make'em cheaper too.



    If they add Hulu and Netflix streaming and I would probably put down the asking price right away.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post


    Hulu can be watched on the AppleTV via Boxee. Alpha stage but yeah.



    It's technically a hack though.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SUJovian View Post


    Has anyone else noticed that the DVDs "with digital copy" seem to be across the board $10 about cheaper than the same DVD without it? I think WALL-E is actually offered in two identical versions, with near-identical packaging, and the only difference if you read closely is the Digital Copy, which apparently costs $10.



    It's a rediculous gimmick. if studios were serious about pursuing this, they'd bundle it into DVDs at existing prices.



    For DVD, I only see the single disc edition and three disc edition. The Amazon description only shows 6 special features for the single disc, 14 on the three disc edition. Maybe you confused a Blu-Ray edition? The Blu-Ray editions only show a $5 difference in list price for Digital copy vs. without.
  • Reply 19 of 180
    Apple taking a survey, instead of simply talking to their customers indicates that Steve has truly left the building. As I suspected, AppleTV was never a concept that Jobs bought into and now that he's out of the picture, every division of Apple will be taking their product in whatever direction THEY want.



    This is the beginning of the end. If I'm lucky enough to see AAPL rise again to the neighborhood of $160-$180, I'm dumping everything.
  • Reply 20 of 180
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Apple taking a survey, instead of simply talking to their customers indicates that Steve has truly left the building. As I suspected, AppleTV was never a concept that Jobs bought into and now that he's out of the picture, every division of Apple will be taking their product in whatever direction THEY want.



    This is the beginning of the end. If I'm lucky enough to see AAPL rise again to the neighborhood of $160-$180, I'm dumping everything.



    LOL, okay Mr. Jump to conclusions based on nothing but speculation and emotion.
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