Apple's living room strategy a multi-year venture

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM


    The living room is an untapped consumer electronics market? Given that DVD players, TVs, game consoles and other boxes are already there in many homes, this is a usage of "untapped" that I'm totally unaware of.



    Not to mention the good ol' TiVo 8)
  • Reply 22 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fabsgwu


    The iTV has a USB 2.0 port.

    Let me repeat this.

    The iTV has a USB 2.0 port.



    What can you connect to a USB 2.0 port? A tuner perhaps, but what about storage? Well, that's where Apple could design a complimentary box, with tuner and 80+ GB hard drive for $200+ extra.



    And/or, rework the MacMini to be a little more iTV friendly (cable card slot/tuner option?), and presto, the Mac DVR





    I think that the USB port is for connecting your iPod (esp. the forthcoming video iPod) so that you can download movies to your iPod and then connect it to the device for watching on your TV. I get too much interference for streaming songs to my stereo and so I can't see how I will ever stream movies. This would be a nice way around this.



    Plus, if I store my movies on my iPod, I can watch them on the device, connect them to my iTV, or connect it to any other iTV (such as at a friends house). I realize that 80 gb's isn't alot of space when considering movies, but since this is a multi-year strategy, the capacity of these devices will be extended dramatically - when the iPod was first introduced, the maximum capicity was only 10 gb's and we are now at 80.



    I'm just guessing, but I think that Apple will try to create a relationship between iTV, iPods, and iTunes that will create a unique value proposition that can't easily be duplicated by Cable/Satelite TV or other players like Tivo, Microsoft, Creative, etc. For example, what if you could DVR the shows directly to your iPod or purchase songs and synch them to the iPod from within your living room, bedroom, etc?



    Thanks
  • Reply 23 of 41
    I wonder if the following would be a possibility for Apple. It would require an assumption (which might not be true), and some convincing for the studios.



    We all know that we can rip CDs and we can't (legally) rip DVDs. We can all get software that will fix this problem, even if it may not be technically legal. It would be great to have iTunes to be able to do this. And then we get to the problem, and the reason that you can't do this in iTunes (and may never be able to do this). But wouldn't it be nice for Apple to be able to get around this?



    The assumption: is every DVD printed identified by a unique serial number that is digitally included on the DVD? I would think this is true because my computer's DVD player resumes playback at where I left off (even months later). I have, of course not tested to see if another of the same movie would do just the same (for instance, if I put my girl's copy of FotR in instead of mine, would it treat them as the same?).



    If this unique serial number does exist, could not Apple set up a registration (and DRM) for your copy of the DVD that would allow you to rip your movies to your computer (and share it in the same way that you can share files purchased on iTMS)? You would only have to key in the info once, then rip all of your movies to your heart's content. If you try to rip a movie that has already been registered, then you have to authorise the new computer in the appropriate way.



    I have no idea whether this is even possible, and it really hinges on the original assumption. I just think that it would be nice to get away from using 3rd party aps to do something that I feel I ought to be able to do anyway, and it would make me much more likely to invest in something like the iTV.
  • Reply 24 of 41
    The usb 2 port on the itv is placed on the back side, this means it's not primary for ipod connection cuz it's hard to reach, and iPod goes in and out on a daily basis. It means you would connect something that stays connected I think. (Since it's a thing on the dvd/tv shelf.) A hard drive would be good for storing movies. Apple can't assume that we have space on the computer's internal hard drive.. especially not us with laptops. I could probably mount the itv hard drive over airport and move data onto it if I want to.
  • Reply 25 of 41
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Mmm...dare we call it Convergence? Take any buzzword, add 10 years and it finally doesn't suck but it becomes a bad word.



    iTV...Digital Convergence that hopefully doesn't suck.



    Vinea
  • Reply 26 of 41
    mark2005mark2005 Posts: 1,158member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1


    I really don't see myself buying an iTV. Why is Apple making watching a movie so damn complicated? And iTV doesn't even record. I just can't understand why Apple's first living room technology can't even touch a Tivo?



    I have my Tivo, TV, DVD player and Netflix. Simple.



    This is just the first step. In the long run, Apple aims to offer Internet content delivery as the alternative to cable/broadcast TV, and the alternative to physical media. Rather than pay the subscription fees to ad-filled cable and Tivo, Apple will offer RSS-like downloads of the things you want to see. So scheduling or recording will no longer be necessary. Apple could even be begin subscriptions (such as $40 a month for unlimited downloads) with access to new episodes and archives, which could be stored in your digital locker and streamed to you when you click play. There are lots of possibilities and Apple will figure out the ones that resonate with most people. Generally speaking, download prices will move lower, not higher. In the long run, as long as there is competition, the savings from physical production, distribution, and stocking will be squeezed out of the process, with some of it going to the consumer.



    There is a significant opportunity over the next year for downloads, as people begin to switch to HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. It's a discontinuity; people have to make a choice to buy a high-cost HD disk player, or wait. While they wait for the price of these players to come down, and knowing that HD is the future, they will become more hesitant to keep buying more standard DVD disks. As studios push to make greater profits off of the HD disks (priced at $35 or more), and with limited shelf space in brick and mortar stores, they may be willing to sell standard DVD quality as downloads at a bigger discount. With DVD disks squeezed out of stores, downloads will be found money and almost all profit. If the movie download price can come down to the $5 to $7 range, when compared to the $35 for HD, the downloads will be seen as throw-away, the way 1.99 TV shows have already become.



    So there is much still to be determined, but the opportunity is there and Apple fully intends to exploit it.
  • Reply 27 of 41
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,510member
    This is one area where I have to agree with Gates. He said that the Blu-Ray and HD-DVD formats are going to be the last physical media that we will have for getting movies and other recorded content.



    Jobs knows this as well. Years from now those players will go the way of VHS.



    Everything will be downloaded. Home networks will be ubiquitous. Chance is they won't be wired Ethernet, but either over the air, or through the power wiring.



    The iTv is just the beginning as he stated.



    But that time is not now, so a full system wouldn't sell. People sometimes have to be brought slowly, and gently, into a new mode of thinking. This is a good start. It eliminates one of the biggest disappointments about the Mini that people had here on AI when it came out, and through subsequent incarnations. No hi quality outputs for video. Now it has them with this.



    Connect this to the Mini (with a short 7" Ethernet cable), which it matches, and can sit on top of it. Then put a LaCie or other matching unit under that with a big 500GB, or so, HD, and you've got a pretty good A/V system. If you really need a tuner, there is, as a possible short term solution (perhaps the next step for Apple?), the Elgato.



    Next year, Apple might come out with most rolled into one unit. They may even come out with their own Tv's with a wireless unit built-in.
  • Reply 28 of 41
    Good points, Mel. Forgot about connecting the mini to the iTV... this could happen.
  • Reply 29 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1


    I really don't see myself buying an iTV. Why is Apple making watching a movie so damn complicated? And iTV doesn't even record. I just can't understand why Apple's first living room technology can't even touch a Tivo?



    I have my Tivo, TV, DVD player and Netflix. Simple.



    That doesn't sound simple to me. I don't have cable. I refuse to pay the $40 for regular channels or the $65 plus for digital cable. It's a rip off. So obviously I don't need a Tivo and whatever their fee is. I don't have a monthly fee for movies that I have to put in the mail and return but I do have a DVD player. It's on the side of my MAC. With iTV or whatever it'll be called I would think you could stream your DVD's and not just your downloaded movies to your TV so I can get rid of yet another device, just like I tossed my VCR a while back.



    And as for storage, I'm wondering if maybe Apple could make .mac a place where people could "back up" their digital content and then access it when they need it. That might actually make that service useful for me. Online storage as on demand with one annual fee.
  • Reply 30 of 41
    Apple wants to replace your DVD and DVR devices. They may even want to replace your TV.



    I see Apple marketing their own line of integrated products for your living room. I see a hybrid Mac Mini/iTV that has storage ability, a DVD read/write drive and Bluetooth so the Internet gets integrated into the package. I see Apple doing what Dell is doing and coming out with their own TV/Monitors. Maybe the HD tuner is built in or in the computer. It's the perfect opportunity for Apple to market an "all in one" solution of flatscreen TV/ DVD/ DVR / Internet/ Music/ Photo/ Movie device that will realize finally what we have been edging up to the last 5 years.



    It's Steve Job's visionary view of the future of our living rooms and Apple.



    Apple will use their superior software/interface to lock up your living room and prime it for on demand TV. It's the natural progression of the "Digital Hub".



    Further, with increased speeds in wireless transmission ("N") I see wireless iPods, digital cameras and other traditonal input devices being developed.



    Right now we have an infant, Version 1.0. In a year ort wo it might be the hottest product on the market.
  • Reply 31 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JimmyTJ


    when the iPod was first introduced, the maximum capicity was only 10 gb's ...





    No, the first iPod was only 5 GB, with a b&w screen, Mac only, Firewire connection.



    But the rest of what you say is right. This iTV is just the beginning. In two years, you'll see it coming out with a Universal dock for any iPod (using the iPod's included adapters), Dolby Surround Sound, Bose Speakers (Harmon Kardon for the cheap version) and who knows what else.



    But don't look for an HDD or an Optical drive. Apple's main center is the Mac. That's Steve's Digital Hub. Get a Mac Pro and you can have 2 TB of storage, not a measly single drive, as you'd have to have with either an internal HDD on the iTV or an attached usb drive. Plus, a Mac Pro'll get you TWO optical drives, not one.



    Don't try to make this thing out to be what it's not, people.
  • Reply 32 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fabsgwu


    The iTV has a USB 2.0 port.

    Let me repeat this.

    The iTV has a USB 2.0 port.



    What can you connect to a USB 2.0 port? A tuner perhaps, but what about storage? Well, that's where Apple could design a complimentary box, with tuner and 80+ GB hard drive for $200+ extra.



    And/or, rework the MacMini to be a little more iTV friendly (cable card slot/tuner option?), and presto, the Mac DVR



    Did anyone notice on the presentation how quickly Jobs acknowledged the USB port? It was like: includedpowerbrick, USB2.0HDMI output. It was weird enough to be deliberate, especially since it is the x-factor in other respects. We're all wondering whether this puppy is just to drive a printer a la Airport Express or for something like a hard drive (finally, the 8-lb set top headless ipod/media server he joked about), or some sort of "player to be named later" like a tuner, etc. etc.



    To me, as long as there is a hot, fancy microprocessor that has to be turned on to stream, waited for patiently to boot up, etc, then the LivingRoom takeover will also require the den computer being on, and that is inconvenient and (albeit less so for macs) a little more crash-prone (computer crashes from being on for days at a time, or your movie freezes when you pop the microwave popcorn). Sure, you have to own a computer in your house somewhere; just don't make me have to keep it on while I watch TV, oh and fill up the harddrive too. I'd like the 8-lb Ipod, preferably with daisychainable RAID-able HD's that isn't running OSX. Frontrow is just the OSX version of the ipod interface, anyway! Build this thing with cheaper components and sell it at a profit but make the movies cheap (ipod/itunes model), not like the xbox 360 with pricy components you have to subsidize to get into people's lives.
  • Reply 34 of 41
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,510member


    sort of. But hp doesn't have the totality. As has been pointed out by observers in the industry, only Apple has the entire ball of wax.



    Hp doesn't have that, nor do they have the mindshare that Apple now has.



    And I can say that despite the fact that I have a 65" hp Tv.
  • Reply 35 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kim kap sol


    I'm actually about to rip all my DVD movies (I know...not legal...so sue me. ) and put them in my iTunes Library (I wish iTunes would use the proper folders but whatever.) The sheer fact that I won't have to touch the DVDs ever again will keep them in near-mint condition and will save my optical drive from wear and tear of playing the same movies over and over again.



    I'll be able to stow the DVDs away like I did with my CDs and make shelf room for other things.



    How would I go about doing that. Itunes doesn't recognize any of the video formats I have so I can't upload any to the video ipod. I thought about ripping a few DVD's for taking on the road, but dont want to go to the trouble of ripping one and and then have to sync the audio, convert to the correct format ect... Is there an easy way?
  • Reply 36 of 41
    Interesting debate. For me it's simple: it would be nice to have one box connected to my TV and HiFi that could play my download music, movies, tv shows, etc. That way I could do away with my CD and DVD collection, which seem to be taking over my living room. The media content would have to be true CD/DVD quality though. If it could do anything else like TV on Demand then all the better.
  • Reply 37 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AaronHarmon


    How would I go about doing that. Itunes doesn't recognize any of the video formats I have so I can't upload any to the video ipod. I thought about ripping a few DVD's for taking on the road, but dont want to go to the trouble of ripping one and and then have to sync the audio, convert to the correct format ect... Is there an easy way?



    Handbrake has always worked beautifully for me on DVDs. I haven't had any of those audio problems that you mention. There's also a program called iSquint that will take most video formats and make them compatible with the iPod/iTunes.
  • Reply 38 of 41
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BRussell


    Handbrake has always worked beautifully for me on DVDs. I haven't had any of those audio problems that you mention. There's also a program called iSquint that will take most video formats and make them compatible with the iPod/iTunes.





    Thanks for the info, should have mentioned I'm on a PC though. I've been considering a MBP, but Im waiting for the Dual core, hyperthreading, 64-Bit systems with the new Flash hybrid Hard drives before I make the move. The Laptop I'm on is less that a year old and cost almost $3000.00 so its hard to justify the move untill a few more pieces are in place.
  • Reply 39 of 41
    sjksjk Posts: 603member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JimmyTJ


    I think that the USB port is for connecting your iPod (esp. the forthcoming video iPod) so that you can download movies to your iPod and then connect it to the device for watching on your TV.



    It makes sense that iTV's USB port might be used for connecting an iPod, especially*with iTV being an Apple product. Whether or not non-Apple peripherals will be able to use it is more speculative. Apple would be foolish not to provide some method for using iTV "offline", without a remote wired/wireless content source.



    Quote:

    I get too much interference for streaming songs to my stereo and so I can't see how I will ever stream movies.



    Is that interference problem with Airport Express and AirTunes? I agree that if you can't get that working reliably then streaming movies will definitely be unreliable. I was initially skeptical whether my non-optimal 802.11g WLAN could support video streaming through EyeHome, especially DVD content, but it's been rock solid reliable for the past year-and-a-half. AirTunes, too.
  • Reply 40 of 41
    sjksjk Posts: 603member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AaronHarmon


    I thought about ripping a few DVD's for taking on the road, but dont want to go to the trouble of ripping one and and then have to sync the audio, convert to the correct format ect... Is there an easy way?



    If disk space isn't a concern the easiest way is probably using MacTheRipper for DVD ripping and DVD Player for playback from VIDEO_TS folders it creates. There are ways to just extract the main feature, leaving menus and extras behind, but you'll need some other app than DVD Player for playback (e.g. VLC; you'll typically lose audio with QuickTime Player).



    VideoHelp.com's Mac subforum is a popular resource if you want more information or help.
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