Reviewers find Google's answer to Apple TV chaotic, complicated

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  • Reply 61 of 107
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post


    Well, I have this thing called a computer where I process and analyze large amounts of information. Once I identify and either subscribe or bookmark what I am interested in, I consume it with my Apple TV.



    Pretty simple and very effective. And if I want something spontaneous and ad-hoc, I can search for it. Companies other than Google can search too





    So do you set it to record stuff on the dvr then?
  • Reply 62 of 107
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Does Google TV have an implementation of Netflix?



    That is the single feature of aTV that I use all the time. I am not the type of person who likes to watch the same movie over and over so the fact that I have several ripped movies on my Mac that I can stream to aTV, I rarely do. I'm with Pogue on this one. When I watch TV I don't want to fiddle with complex controls, I just want to sit back and enjoy. If the mood strikes me to surf the net for a moment while I'm watching TV, I have my iPad right there beside the couch.
  • Reply 63 of 107
    Until recently, I've only been mildly curious about TV. But now, TV, like many other Apple products, is about integration. To be fair, so is Google's attempt with Google TV. But Apple, more than many other manufacturers, has the better track record of balanced and useful integration with their products. Even more importantly, Apple is better at User Interfaces than everyone else.



    I've been using AirPlay (formerly AirTunes) through an AirPort Express to stream iTunes content to my home theater for a while, controlling it with the Remote app on my iPhone (which also can control my Verizon FiOS HD DVR, FTW!!). My new Blu-ray player can stream Netflix and YouTube (the first device I've owned that can stream content from these providers) to my home theater, which I've really been enjoying. The interface is functional enough, but it's a bit clunky.



    I suspect TV would not only handle all these tasks, but perform them more efficiently and with a better on-screen UI. And, of course, I can still use the Remote app on my iPhone. From everything I've read, everyone who has an TV, absolutely loves it. I definitely want to give it a more serious look now.
  • Reply 64 of 107
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post


    Especially with cheap devices like the iPad, why would I want to clutter up my TV display with PIP for search?



    I never got PIP when it started as a fad in the 80's, and I really don't get it today. I would much rather leave the content of what I am watching front and center, and do supplemental activities like search on a secondary device. Only google would have the hubris to emphasize search over the content you are watching



    Very, very good point. My wife likes to surf while watching TV, and so do I upon occasion, but why subject each other to that process?
  • Reply 65 of 107
    tjwaltjwal Posts: 404member
    With Netflix coming to Canada I picked up an ATV. I did look at a few other options but ended up with an ATV after trying one the Apple store. The remote is a work of art. Won't have to worry about lost battery covers with it. It is a bit of a pain typing with it but OTH it is the only remote that my wife actually understands how to use.



    Almost every day I find a few more things that the ATV will do, Iuniversity, podcasts, TV stations etc. I won't say it is perfect but I don't have time or patience to fiddle with setting up a media box. The ATV pretty much worked from the moment it was powered up. There's probably a fairly big market segment that has similar needs.



    WTH is google voice?? I'll have to get my kids to try to explain it to me. LOL
  • Reply 66 of 107
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DanaCameron View Post


    Until recently, I've only been mildly curious about TV. But now, TV, like many other Apple products, is about integration. To be fair, so is Google's attempt with Google TV. But Apple, more than many other manufacturers, has the better track record of balanced and useful integration with their products. Even more importantly, Apple is better at User Interfaces than everyone else.



    I've been using AirPlay (formerly AirTunes) through an AirPort Express to stream iTunes content to my home theater for a while, controlling it with the Remote app on my iPhone (which also can control my Verizon FiOS HD DVR, FTW!!). My new Blu-ray player can stream Netflix and YouTube (the first device I've owned that can stream content from these providers) to my home theater, which I've really been enjoying. The interface is functional enough, but it's a bit clunky.



    I suspect TV would not only handle all these tasks, but perform them more efficiently and with a better on-screen UI. And, of course, I can still use the Remote app on my iPhone. From everything I've read, everyone who has an TV, absolutely loves it. I definitely want to give it a more serious look now.



    Like many that have posted here, I did not see any reason to get ATV. After all, I have 2 TiVO HD units which stream Netflx pretty well. But at $99, I figured I'd give it a shot, just for grins. While I am a big TiVO fan, their implementation of Netflix, while adequate comes nowhere close to what you get with ATV. Things like ff/rw work really well on ATV whereas are really hit or miss on TiVO. Also, you can search and watch instantly on ATV without having to go through the computer first.



    My college age son has indicated that once live sports is available to be streamed, perhaps with a NFL/MLB type app, he will probably give up cableTV in favor an ATV device. I am unlikely to go this route since I would rather not have to wait close to a year to watch my favorite cabletv shows such as "Weeds", "Dexter" etc.



    I ended up getting a Mac Mini to use as a headless media server. All of our iTunes content is stored on it, and it runs headless and streams to the various Macs and the ATV, plus is backed up using TimeCapsule.
  • Reply 67 of 107
    alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    ATV is a very nice little product. at $99 you can get one for every TV in the house. or even just your sound system (bye bye Sonos). add Remote and AirPlay on your iOS devices and lots of stuff pretty much "just works" anywhere in the house.



    but it is still basically an iTunes media extender + Netflix/YouTube. when Apple adds apps for it, then it will be a great little product. you'll be able to turn any TV in the house into a info portal to whatever you and your family are into in a much more focused way via specialized apps than searching the web and hoping to find a good website. and the games of course.



    Google TV's approach is the opposite - unfocused search ... except for the ads targeting you! and Google hoped to add to that the same rip-off-the-content strategy it has used to kill newspapers - grabbing television shows from mediaco websites to repackage them for your viewing with Google's ads.



    but this time the mediacos aren't going to let Google rip them off like that - ever. instead we will see network subscription deals available thru anything - GTV, ATV, Roku, TiVo, etc. Netflix has shown that business model can work. Hulu Plus is the first of these, more will come.
  • Reply 68 of 107
    newbeenewbee Posts: 2,055member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post


    The only way any of these have a change of succeeding is if they actually start to play your regular tv content, until then it's hopeless.



    Hmmmm..... so you want a box that sits on your TV that can play TV content ??? Isn't that like driving a car around ..... while towing another one to make sure the first one is working ??? \
  • Reply 69 of 107
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gcom006 View Post


    I can't wait for the next step in home media consumption to become a bit more concrete, but going off of the latest offerings, it's still a long ways off. It'll be tinkerers only until someone comes along and puts out a truly revolutionary product. No one has come even remotely close to doing so yet.



    You nailed it, gcom. We just aren't there yet. Current devices are to what will come as PDA's were to today's iPhone--a pale precursor. And I am an owner of the latest ATV.
  • Reply 70 of 107
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,664member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bill-G View Post


    People like us need Apple.



    Hey look, serial douche-bag "Steve-j" gets banned and a few days later "Bill-G" registers and immediately begins multiple postings in the same manner. Let's see if the IP addresses match....
  • Reply 71 of 107
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gcom006 View Post


    I think I have just figured out how to best summarize my thoughts on Apple TV.



    Apple TV is as groundbreaking and necessary as this recent Apple product:



    http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC...co=MTY3ODQ5OTY



    (If you must be that guy living the perfect little iLife to the max, you might end up buying an Apple TV. Everyone else will give it a glance at most and move on.)



    So interestingly a large number of my colleagues rushed out to buy several of these for in their homes - multiple sets require multiple ATVs. They report that streaming content has never been easier and they have multiple sources to supply to the devices.



    A large number of these people are engineers and geeks. How do you square those purchases with your commentary? Not that you need to or are even required to do so. It;s just that your commentary is dismissive from an acutely personal perspective it seems. These exemplars are a practical counterpoint to your objections.



    I haven't purchased an Apple TV because I do not use the television that much. However I did buy the Apple battery system to supply rechargeable batteries for my mouse and BT keyboard (and the darn Wii remotes too). Much, much better battery use life, charged and set-aside batteries don't need to be "topped-off" - they hold a charge for a long time in the drawer and the doggone charger doesn't suck current when not in use - unlike previous chargers. Six months of use have been significantly better than any other recharge system we've used - and we've tried most of them.



    Again, your disdain seems acutely personal with no actual experience to support it - no?
  • Reply 72 of 107
    This is just my humble opinion, but I have owned the Apple TV and have used the Google TV.



    The Apple TV is very nice. It is easy to use; something that any Mom/Pop or Grandparents could use. BUT, it is SO LIMITED because the shows that can be rented are but a small portion of the iTunes TV and Movie library.



    We bought the Apple TV (and got rid of it) so as to cut our U-verse TV from the U-200 package to the U-basic. We planned on renting 4 shows that we cannot get on the local channels but after the purchase we learned that those shows (and many others) can only be purchased for $1.99 (not the $.99 rental price). So if we continued down this route we would end up paying not much less than what it costs just to have a U-200 account with AT&T. If Apple would allow ALL of its shows to be rented, things would be different. Yes, yes...it is the networks. Well, if Jobs had spent as much time, energy and money trying to get this accomplished as he did pursuing the Beatles on iTunes...then just maybe the Apple TV would be worth the cost. I love the Apple in theory, but not in execution.





    The Google TV is a geek's wet dream. That Sony remote is so very cool, but when I come home I just want to veg for an hour or two (once in a while), not fight with a ginormous remote and a cobbled-together OS. The Google TV sounds great, but I always thought that it would have problems since it doesn't provide any of the content and instead relies upon simply pulling it from the net. I am rarely right, but I just knew that the networks would play games and block Google TV just as Hulu Plus is limited on non-desktop OS computers.





    After returning the Apple TV and passing on the Google TV (friend owned it and returned it) we have gone back to the U-200 package on Uverse, using our slim Xbox 360 as our DVR (it will pay for itself in a year) and Netflix streaming device.



    I hope Apple and Google can both get their devices to do more, but right now they are just not ready for primetime and/or too limited.
  • Reply 73 of 107
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,426member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox View Post


    Hey look, serial douche-bag "Steve-j" gets banned and a few days later "Bill-G" registers and immediately begins multiple postings in the same manner. Let's see if the IP addresses match....



    I often wish a MAC address could be used to block certain people here.
  • Reply 74 of 107
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gcom006 View Post


    There's nothing really horrible about Apple TV, but given it's limited functionality, even at $99, it begs the question, "why do I need this?" It's the only Apple product that is, well, in my opinion, how should I say this...wholly unnecessary? Wasteful? Laughable? Utterly forgettable?



    Oh God! Here we go again. ATV doesn't fit your needs so it's "wholly unnecessary? Wasteful? Laughable? Utterly forgettable?". It's not a matter of your opinion. It's a matter of Apple rethinking the original ATV and possibly taking it in a different direction and making it more of a logical choice for someone like me and others.



    I have a Netflix account. I wanted to be able to watch their streamed content on my TV instead of my Mac. I didn't want a Wii or an Xbox or a new BD player and especially a new TV just to get my Netflix content. For $99, it's what I've been waiting for. And with all my media stored on my Mac, I can stream my music and view my photos and movies on my home theater as well. It sits in my media cabinet totally unnoticeable unless I actually point it out to someone. At $99??? Perfect!



    Sorry that you don't happen to need one of these.
  • Reply 75 of 107
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tjwal View Post






    ... It is a bit of a pain typing with it but OTH it is the only remote that my wife actually understands how to use.



    ... I don't have time or patience to fiddle with setting up a media box.



    WTH is google voice?? I'll have to get my kids to try to explain it to me. LOL





    People like us are so lucky that Steve makes the devices so simple to use.
  • Reply 76 of 107
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I often wish a MAC address could be used to block certain people here.



    The IP address thing works very well.
  • Reply 77 of 107
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bill-G View Post


    People like us are so lucky that Steve makes the devices so simple to use.



    "hey ma, run down to the general store and fetch us one o them thar apple tv thingys, i hear they are as easy to setup as opening a six pack of coors light. but check make sure we can get dukes of hazzard reruns too before you go spending all that money, ya hear?"
  • Reply 78 of 107
    piotpiot Posts: 1,346member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bill-G View Post


    People like us are so lucky that Steve makes the devices so simple to use.



    Welcome back Steve-J!



    Mods, do we have to have this troll post another two or three hundred posts before you cut him?
  • Reply 79 of 107
    2oh12oh1 Posts: 503member
    I think Apple TV is brilliant. What it needs to be perfect is apps. By "apps" I'm not talking about facebook or games. I'm talking about apps that would be similar to Plex plugins. I want a Comedy Central app, or at least a Daily Show app. And I'd love to be able to get live channel apps. Then I'd be rid of cable for good!
  • Reply 80 of 107
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by island hermit View Post


    Hopeless???



    I think you're being a little premature with your pronouncement.



    250,000 units isn't quite hopeless. Wait until the next quarter (at least). Then we can decide if it's hopeless.



    (there are a lot of companies (like almost all) that would love to sell 250,000 units of anything.)



    It's been out for years and has done nothing. In the same time period (at least in the UK) the Xbox 360 has gained tv content, the Wii/Cable Box's/Sky Box's have all gained BBC iPlayer and BT (a telecoms company) launched a popular set top box with on demand, iPlayer and regular free and subscription tv. What's there to be premature about, Apple may call it a hobby but at the same time there are lots of other company's entering the same market and actually selling.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by newbee View Post


    Hmmmm..... so you want a box that sits on your TV that can play TV content ??? Isn't that like driving a car around ..... while towing another one to make sure the first one is working ??? \



    Very true, ultimately as tv's are getting the functionality that the set top box provide built in the set top box will eventually die.
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