Report claims "major" Apple TV update in the pipeline

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  • Reply 101 of 154
    banchobancho Posts: 1,517member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post


    Sony loses hundreds of dollars on the PS3. They make it up in software sales. Will Apple do the same thing? Don't count on it.



    I am interested to see in 2008 how the AppleTV will compete against the PS3? Isn't Sony going to introduce DVR functionality into the PS3?



    Dave



    I'm thinking that if Steve leaves out an optical drive of any sort, my PS3 can be used to get a fair amount of that functionality.



    Again, I'm not demanding a BR drive, I just want a way to consume my discs in this thing without having to come up with an array of external drives to hold ll that content (in a less persistent way than the optical media currently does).
  • Reply 102 of 154
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by caliminius View Post


    Fine, Apple wants the future to be for me download stuff, but in the process it shouldn't obsolete my current media collection.



    It doesn't. You can continue to use your current media collection just as you always have.
  • Reply 103 of 154
    tx65tx65 Posts: 31member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pdcryan View Post


    Here's a thought that would get me to buy one... include an HDMI input on the AppleTV and push your cable boxes (or TiVo or whatever)'s output through the AppleTV. While I understand HDMI has some copy restrictions that may prevent this type of passthrough or relay, I would hope that Apple has enough industry connections to make it work.



    With this kind of setup - one would not need to bother switching TV inputs when they want to use the Apple TV... at the press of a button AppleTV would "take over" the screen (much like FrontRow does on the desktop)... or put the Cablebox's output in some kind of PIP window. Another option would have the Cablebox's output darkened a bit - with a dashboard style layer of widgets overlayed. Another choice would allow for a Safari layer to take over the screen... maybe again putting the Cablebox's output into a PIP window or a split screen. An option to scale the CableBox's feed to say, 80 to 90% of the screen with a widget boarder of custom icons alerting you to weather changes... new emails... etc. and a family bulletin board "home screen" (showing the calendar, weather, to-dos, etc.) would be killer as well.



    Include instructions for programming the extra buttons on the CableCo's remote to control the AppleTV... and I think you've got a winning solution (for me).



    Just plug your Apple TV into a HDMI switching surround receiver and the receiver controls all the inputs,,, I have a Yamaha receiver that does it just fine.



    Its no different then with one of my Mac's I have connected to a 50 inch plasma,,, audio runs into a Yamaha receiver and I am connected to the plasma with DVI.
  • Reply 104 of 154
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by markb View Post


    To those who are saying it would be too expensive to put Blu-Ray into the ATV, I was thinking it over, and doesnt the Playstation 3 cost the same as the ATV and have a Blu-ray already built into it? I know for Apple to do this would mean the 20% profit margin in the ATV (Low by Apple standards) would probably go to 0%, but its at least possible.



    Margin would be negative - which would be a silly business model for Apple. There's no way movie downloads would pay for losses on the hardware.



    Let's do some math:



    AppleTV is $299. Apple averages around 30% gross margin across product lines - or $90. The Blu-Ray drive is undoubtedly at least $150 apiece (probably very low since it would also involve other infrastructure such as a large power supply, bigger case, etc) - so Apple would LOSE $60 per unit. Let's say the average video purchase is $10. Apple makes about 60% on the audio, so for simplicity we'll say they make $6 on each video. The average person would have to buy 10 videos before Apple even breaks even on the player (assuming zero cost for maintaining the iTunes infrastructure. They'd have to buy 25 videos to cover the difference in cost for adding Blu-Ray.



    Now, logically:

    1. Having Blu-Ray in there doesn't help Apple to sell digital downloads, so why would they add Blu-Ray as a loss leader to recover money on digital downloads?

    2. In fact, Blu-Ray would probably REDUCE the number of digital downloads they could sell - so they'd be selling the device at a loss in order to sell less of one of the products they're trying to sell.



    I could make a case for adding Blu-Ray as an optional item, but only at a price high enough to justify the cost. I doubt that Apple would do that, though, because it goes against the 'Internet is everything' mentality they're trying to build.



    Playstation is a terrible example. First, they make more than enough money on games to justify seling the player at a loss. Second, they've gotten themselves into a very competitive situation where consumers are buying on price (except for some Wii purchasers) so the competitive situation forces the prices down. Finally, Playstation needs an optical drive, anyway. Even more importantly, it's not hard to imagine future games which are too large to fit on a standard DVD (we may already be there), so Blu-Ray is actually an advantage for Playstation, rather than hurting it.
  • Reply 105 of 154
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,354member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by caliminius View Post


    You seem to be missing what everyone is saying. Since you realize most people already have a DVD player (I'd say probably 100% who'd consider an AppleTV), then buying an AppleTV just adds yet another box into the mix. Another box hardly simplifies the process.



    Fine, Apple wants the future to be for me download stuff, but in the process it shouldn't obsolete my current media collection. Adding DVD functionality to the AppleTV at a minimum would cost Apple mere dollars and would allow everyone to continue to use their current DVD library. Sure, some small fraction on these sites are willing to rip their entire DVD collection, invest in the storage that requires, and live with the current loss of discrete surround and features (like even simple features like subtitles). If nothing else, that is one of the selling points of Blu-Ray that you can still use your DVD collection.



    Again, I think the best thing for Apple to do is let it do all the things people want it to do. Why can't Apple offer different models? The basic with no optical drive, one with just DVD, and a premium model with Blu-Ray support? Maybe make DVR completely external that is bought separately. Or use a build-to-order system where DVR would be an add-on feature.



    The arguments about why Apple won't support DVR are confusing. Some people argue that it eats into iTunes Store profit. Then people state Apple makes little to no more on iTunes purchases. Or it goes against Apple's business model. Isn't Apple primarily in the hardware business?



    One of the biggest issues I have with digital downloads is that the iTunes or Amazon Unbox purchases aren't just competing platforms, they are competing formats as well. These formats also, unfortunately, lock the purchaser into one platform as well. Until the studios get it together and create one FORMAT to launch digital downloads, the market will continue to be an utter mess.



    If AppleTV remains a digital download/streaming box only, I don't it will ever have mass appeal. I would personally never touch it in this version. It seems like there are many people here who agree. Apple is free to keep its overly locked down device.





    No he's not missing the point at all but rather just being realistic.



    1. The "I don't want to hook up another device is a strawman argument. My HD DVD player hooks up FINE with one HDMI cable. Lemme see...ahhhh check! The Apple TV has a HDMI connecter.



    2. If the future is indeed Blu. People have their DVD playback right there with DVD upscaling. No need for the Apple TV to become redundant.



    3. A DVR is an anethma to the promotion of iTunes as a media store. When you use a DVR typically you are paying for a cable or satellite package. Apple's goal is to wean you from those packages and buy in special bundles or a la carte.



    4. I totally agree with you on the many standards of DRM. You'd think after iTunes vs "The World" they'd have gotten the message. We need interoperable DRM.



    People wonder why the iPod has been able to keep its success and my thought on this is because it's a one two punch with iTunes and iPods offering such a harmonious connection. The Apple TV will go as far as iTunes can take it. Opening up too much to DVD and cable providers does nothing but dilute the value.
  • Reply 106 of 154
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    No he's not missing the point at all but rather just being realistic.



    1. The "I don't want to hook up another device is a strawman argument. My HD DVD player hooks up FINE with one HDMI cable. Lemme see...ahhhh check! The Apple TV has a HDMI connecter.



    It's yet another device that adds yet another level of complexity to home theater - and that device has yet to embody more than a tiny fraction of its true potential, because there is far too little variety of media available for it without resorting to inconvenient, questionable or illegal sources. In short, in its current incarnation, ATV isn't doing nearly enough to justify a place in the typical home theater, it's a good device but it is largely limited by its media store. The rumors make it sound like that might change soon, but that's an entire year after its initial sale.



    Quote:

    3. A DVR is an anethma to the promotion of iTunes as a media store. When you use a DVR typically you are paying for a cable or satellite package. Apple's goal is to wean you from those packages and buy in special bundles or a la carte.



    The Apple TV will go as far as iTunes can take it. Opening up too much to DVD and cable providers does nothing but dilute the value.



    I don't think it's really about pushing the media store. While the media store makes some money, Apple's real money is in the hardware. I think it is just that the path they chose is part a path of least resistance and another, to legitimize their product. There's not much money in DVD players, last I heard, the $30 DVD players don't pay their license fees, but Apple can't escape those fees, a DVD player would increase the price by $100, and I doubt they can touch the Oppos in quality. Cable support is a hornet's nest of compatibility problems, too many set top box designs to try to control, or if you do CableCard, well, that's not living up to its promise either.
  • Reply 107 of 154
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    People wonder why the iPod has been able to keep its success and my thought on this is because it's a one two punch with iTunes and iPods offering such a harmonious connection. The Apple TV will go as far as iTunes can take it.



    I respectfully disagree.



    As I said in an earlier post, the ability to rip one's existing content through iTunes played a large part in its success. Otherwise it would have been a niche product. People don't want to repurchase their content.



    Whether supporters of ATV want to admit it or not, some sort of optical support is necessary until digital downloading of content is the primary means of obtaining content. We're not there yet and I'm guessing optical media will be around for another 10 years.
  • Reply 108 of 154
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    I respectfully disagree.



    As I said in an earlier post, the ability to rip one's existing content through iTunes played a large part in its success. Otherwise it would have been a niche product. People don't want to repurchase their content.



    Whether supporters of ATV want to admit it or not, some sort of optical support is necessary until digital downloading of content is the primary means of obtaining content. We're not there yet and I'm guessing optical media will be around for another 10 years.



    There's just one minor difference.



    The iPod it a PORTABLE media player. You can't easily carry all your CDs with you.



    AppleTV is meant to be hooked to the TV in your living room - right next to your DVD player and DVD collection. There's absolutely nothing to be gained by ripping your DVD collection to a device connected to your TV-that is unless it's really your friend's DVD collection you want to copy. In that case, of course, Apple has no desire to aid criminals.
  • Reply 109 of 154
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member
    Check out this NetGear device:

    http://www.netgear.com/Products/Powe...ers/XE102.aspx



    Imagine this: you plug your AirPort Base Station in to the wall, and not only does it get power from there, it creates a network there also.



    Now any device such as Apple TV has instant network access just by plugging it in. I think this would make the Apple TV so much better than wireless. It is much faster, fast enough for HD. And I agree with the others who said it should have a DVD player. It can drop the DVD player in a later revision, once downloads are a success.
  • Reply 110 of 154
    I have an HTPC now that let's me play every format under the sun. I have dual HD tuners as well. I never use the DVD player as I have all videos stored on the hard drive. And I have easy access to a variety of IPTV. If an apple tv can do all that I may switch. Maybe.
  • Reply 111 of 154
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by archer75 View Post


    I have an HTPC now that let's me play every format under the sun. I have dual HD tuners as well. I never use the DVD player as I have all videos stored on the hard drive. And I have easy access to a variety of IPTV. If an apple tv can do all that I may switch. Maybe.



    The ATV can be made to do all these things and I am sure that Apple have seen what people are actually using the ATV for once they buy it they are going to have to evolve the ATV more in this direction.



    I have an ATV connected via its USB port to a 1tb hard drive where i store all my ripped DVD's as DivX. It works perfectly as a media server. I can browse to my AppleTV via the finder on my MBP and copy files directly on to my Hard Drive - It is sweet.



    see - http://wiki.awkwardtv.org/wiki/Main_Page



    What the ATV is really missing that I would like to see Apple address is an On/Off switch because at moment there is no way to turn it off without unplugging it.
  • Reply 112 of 154
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by murphyweb View Post


    The ATV can be made to do all these things and I am sure that Apple have seen what people are actually using the ATV for once they buy it they are going to have to evolve the ATV more in this direction.



    I have an ATV connected via its USB port to a 1tb hard drive where i store all my ripped DVD's as DivX. It works perfectly as a media server. I can browse to my AppleTV via the finder on my MBP and copy files directly on to my Hard Drive - It is sweet.



    see - http://wiki.awkwardtv.org/wiki/Main_Page



    What the ATV is really missing that I would like to see Apple address is an On/Off switch because at moment there is no way to turn it off without unplugging it.



    Processing HD video takes alot of CPU or GPU power. I doubt the apple tv can do it. Even should I hack it and put in support for my files. I looked over the wiki and see no mention of playing files other than ripped DVD's. My files are mostly x264 in a MKV wrapper. I also need support for AC3 audio. And of course avi, divx, wmv, xvid, vc-1, etc.
  • Reply 113 of 154
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    There's just one minor difference.



    You're right. It is a MINOR difference.



    The ATV doesn't allow users to utilize their existing collection of content. That's why its a niche product. If it allowed users to utilize existing content, it would have much broader appeal.



    It's ahead of its time. By about 10 years.
  • Reply 114 of 154
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:

    I totally agree with you on the many standards of DRM. You'd think after iTunes vs "The World" they'd have gotten the message. We need interoperable DRM.



    I agree. For the video downloading market to flourish. Everyone needs to use the same DRM. All of this technology would be adopted sooner if any download service could be used with any hardware. Fragmenting the hardware and services only keeps it all a niche market.



    The flip side is that there would be no way to truly secure a widely used DRM. It would be quickly broken. Because so many services use the same DRM would be virtually impossible to patch all of the holes.



    Quote:

    In short, in its current incarnation, ATV isn't doing nearly enough to justify a place in the typical home theater, it's a good device but it is largely limited by its media store. The rumors make it sound like that might change soon, but that's an entire year after its initial sale.



    I agree. Apple should open ATV to a wide variety of content and services. Perhaps they will in the near future, they may have delayed other partnerships until after securing studio deals for iTunes.



    Quote:

    The ATV doesn't allow users to utilize their existing collection of content. That's why its a niche product. If it allowed users to utilize existing content, it would have much broader appeal.



    Your repeating this doesn't make it any more true The ATV and iPod perform the exact same function. In that neither directly uses optical disc. You can rip content from the disc to be used in both. True enough ripping music takes minutes or even seconds. Ripping a movie and its extras take a great deal more time. But the option still exists.



    The legal status of ripping content is the same for both music and movies. The record labels argue its just as illegal as the movie studios do. As long as you are ripping for your own personal use and not distributing the material there is virtually no chance legal action will be taken against you.
  • Reply 115 of 154
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    Ripping a movie and its extras take a great deal more time.



    I can't put a DVD in my computer and have iTunes "rip" it onto my hard-drive/library. The process needs to be THAT easy for the product to be accepted like the iPod.

    But Apple can't do that without being sued, so the solution is to put an optical drive in the aTV.



    In any case, we'll find out what they've planned in just a couple days
  • Reply 116 of 154
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    In that neither directly uses optical disc. You can rip content from the disc to be used in both. True enough ripping music takes minutes or even seconds. Ripping a movie and its extras take a great deal more time. But the option still exists.

    .



    You know this isn't true. CDs are directly ripped within iTunes.



    No such option exists for ATV.
  • Reply 117 of 154
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    You're right. It is a MINOR difference.



    So the difference between a portable device that's meant to be carried with you all the time and one connected to your big screen TV is insignificant? Amazing.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    The ATV doesn't allow users to utilize their existing collection of content. That's why its a niche product. If it allowed users to utilize existing content, it would have much broader appeal.



    User can continue to use their existing content - on the DVD player that they already have connected to their TV. There's little (or no) benefit to ripping the videos to the Apple TV - unless you're just too lazy to get off the couch to change a disk.
  • Reply 118 of 154
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    That may be true but two questions:



    1. Where's the HD content for download?

    2. Who's got enough bandwidth to download HD content?



    Those are the obstacles that ATV has yet to overcome. An integrated blu ray player would be a way for the ATV to again entry into homes until the content and bandwidth 'catch up' to the market but its probably cost prohibitive to do so.



    As i said earlier, I think the device is ahead of its time.



    AppleTV is ahead of it's time in terms of market, but behind in terms of functionality. Take a gander at the competition and try to convince me that ATV is the best solution out there. Not a chance.
  • Reply 119 of 154
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aquatic View Post


    If it could record TV I'd buy one. Oh well.



    Not only that, it needs to be backwards compatible with non-HD televisions. Most people have not gone digital. Apple really screwed the pooch on their market research.
  • Reply 120 of 154
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    So the difference between a portable device that's meant to be carried with you all the time and one connected to your big screen TV is insignificant? Amazing.









    User can continue to use their existing content - on the DVD player that they already have connected to their TV. There's little (or no) benefit to ripping the videos to the Apple TV - unless you're just too lazy to get off the couch to change a disk.



    I stand by my belief that its a minor difference. From a users perspective the ablity to utilize one's existing content trumps the neat interface and other features of the ATV. Do you think the iPod would be as successful today as it is if iTunes didn't allow you to rip cds so easily? I can't find the link but I remember seeing an article at ars where 70% of the content on iPods was ripped from existing cds.



    What's the must have feature to get people to buy an ATV? Most people don't have much content they want or need to get from their Mac to their HDTV. Lackluster sales of the ATV support this belief. Increasing the storage on the ATV isn't going to change things much either.
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