AppleTV? Not for me (yet).

by Jochen Wolters

When Steve Jobs previewed AppleTV last September, I was hooked: this box had (and has) the potential to be "The One UI To Rule Them All:" a user interface both elegantly simple as well as sufficiently powerful to manage just about any type of media from the comfort of your living room sofa. I was pretty sure I'd get one as soon as it was released. But now that the actual specs of the AppleTV are out, I'll skip on this revision of the device for three reasons.

29 Comments

Mike Abdullah
2007-01-13 09:37:36
What I really don't "get" thus far is the hard disk. If you have a reasonable number of films on your computer (or even have an uncompressed music library!), it's not going to fit on that disk. That means the AppleTV is going to have to stream the media from your computer, requiring it to be switched and awake on all the time - something I thought was half the point of the damn device!


There is a USB port on the AppleTV, but they say it's only for "support and service." I really hope Apple do allow this to be used for disk space expansion soon. Then I'd consider one.


Other things I'd like:


1.
Reverse the relationship with my computer. Ideally, I'd have the AppleTV as the "master" device holding my media. Then my computer or computers sync with that.


2.
DVD player. I know Apple want me to download films from them exclusively, but no thank you. I much prefer renting movies. I really, really, really like the simplicity of the Apple remote and want to use it for my DVD player, not the monstrosity I have now. Perhaps the USB could used for this as well?

Steve
2007-01-13 10:42:13
I think Apple is not following what most people envision as the Media Center PC (a central unit holding/delivering/capturing all media) for a number of reasons:


1.) It hasn't shown any indication of a existing market - yes, the company pushing it is Microsoft, and they are not known for developing compelling interfaces and ease-of-use systems, but taking a look at what they DO have, it isn't a shabby system. Yet, the adoption rate has not been too successful- even with Dell and HP pushing the Media Center Edition of Windows XP down everyone's throat. Could it be that the mass consumer market doesn't actually want this?


2.) The battle for the living room isn't between Microsoft, Apple, Tivo, Sony, and Slingbox. It is between ALL those companies on one side and the cable companies on the other. So far, the cable companies have been winning because they offer a DVR system that is "good enough" for the mass market and only adds a few bucks to the cable bill each month. None of the competitors will be successful in the DVR business because of this. A different road must be taken to gain a foothold in the living room - which is precisely what Apple is doing. Apple TV doesn't replace your cable box, DVD player, or Tivo - it's a new input source; something different to pull up alongside all those other options.


3.) Developing a simple portal is much easier for everyone (developers and users) than re-inventing a complex server architechture. Apple TV functions as a high-tech tunnel from iTunes to the television (and in the case of the trailers, a tunnel from the internet to the television). The internal hard drive is a simple rest stop in this tunnel which allows the portal to still function when one end isn't open. This allows Apple to maintain focus on updating an existing database structure (iLife) while making simple updates to the portal to maintain compatibility. Keeping adminstrative functionality on one end is a much easier system - and the PC side is best suited for that.


Sure, I'd love there to be more functionality in Apple TV - but I don't think this device is ever going to be the "Complete One-Device Digital Media Center PC" since there are just too many obstacles to accomplishing that goal. I'd prefer for Apple to just deliver a polished system that extends my enjoyment of the media I've gathered on my Mac (which they have done) - I don't need them to solve all my entertainment needs with a box that's too expensive to buy because it replicates too many devices I already own.

jsweet
2007-01-13 11:00:14
I am also surprised that more people have not commented on the lack of a standard Composite Video port and 4:3 screen support. My only guess is that Apple did not want to take away market from iPod Video home accessory devices, but the price points are different ($50-150 vs $300) , so I think this was a key mistake. Despite the price, I think lack of standard TV support will be the biggest limitor to broad adoption of this type of device (especially since iTunes content is currently limited to 640 x 480 max).
LK
2007-01-13 11:04:45
While the hardware may be limited to 720p, don't you think that the reason for this limitation is mainly due to file size concerns? I assume that iTunes will begin to sell HD movies when the appleTV product is released. The size of a 720p file is significantly smaller than that of a 1080p file and most people do not have 1080p sets at this time and will not for a few years to come. So, the choice of a 720p limit is, I think, reasonable for downloadable HD content at this time. Besides, not all of us have super speedy broadband connections.
Dave
2007-01-13 11:08:06
Reasons for the 720p/1080i over 1080p:


1) bandwidth required to support 1080p -- 802.11n won't do the job
2) scalability of 640x360 iTunes video is better to 1280x720 than 1920x1080
2) NO over-the-air (or cable, so far as I know) 1080p content

tji
2007-01-13 11:09:06
So, because they don't support 1080p, which your TV doesn't even support, you'll stick with 480i? Great logic there. 720p is a huge step forward from standard TV, or the iPod resolution stuff apple is pushing now. There is also the major issue of data size.. we have to download these movies over broadband lines. Downloading 720p will be quite a bit faster than the 1080p equivalent. 720p seems to be a good compromise on quality and usability.


Which is not to say that the AppleTV is great.. But, my biggest problem is the lack of codec support. It supports only Apple's preferred format, H.264. It doesn't support MPEG2, used in al DVDs and broadcast HDTV. It's basically locked down to Apple/iPod/iTMS content, nothing else.

Zac
2007-01-13 11:56:27
I have two problems with the AppleTV myself.


No composite or 4:3 support. I may be a gadget nut, but I am also poor, and an HD TV has never seemed worth the extra cash to me and the market seems to be too volatile still (do I get HDMI, component, 720p, 1080p, plasma, LCD, SED, projection?). So I still have a bulbous 27" 480i CRT that cost me less that $200. Maybe when this one breaks I'll invest in an HD TV, but that is probably at least a year off, and I am incompattible with an AppleTV until then.


Limited codec support. You said it. I can get over this one, and convert all my AVIs and WMVs and whatever else I have, but it will be a real pain. Quicktime is an extensible program and they should work on the codec compattibility, as well as make sure it transfers to other programs. For example, even though I have Flip4Mac so Quicktime can now play all of my WMV files, iTunes still will not hold them and Front Row does not play them. I assume the AppleTV will have the same issues. Apple has always made their money off of the hardware, not the software, so it makes me wonder why they seem so focused on pushing iTunes Store content at the expense of their hardware's usability.

Mark
2007-01-13 14:00:27
Processing power may not be the only reason we don't see 1080p. Have you considered how much larger a 1080p film would be when compared to a 720p version?
robert
2007-01-13 15:19:55
I am not sure why anyone would want this besides just "needing" another gadget. Had this device been like Tivo I would be lining up to get one. However, this is little more than an AirPort Express with a hard drive.
Jochen Wolters
2007-01-14 07:40:17
Mike:


Thanks for your comment.


I agree: the AppleTV should, indeed, be the media hub, and not just the relay station that it is now. But, as you already point out, it would need a considerably bigger hard drive for that.


As for DVDs, wouldn't it be grand if the Apple TV had a built-in optical drive and would allow you to just rip those movies onto its internal hard drive for easier access? Oh well...

Jochen Wolters
2007-01-14 08:50:23
Steve:


That's an interesting point of view, because the market situation in the US apparently differs substantially from the European one.


Over here, standard cable TV does not require any set-top box, and even the set-top boxes sold for on-demand services usually don't offer any DVR functionality at all. Apart from maybe Britain's SkyTV, a feature-rich device like the TiVo is un-heard of.

Jochen Wolters
2007-01-14 08:55:30
A number of your comments address the size and required data rate for 1080p vs. 720p. Let's have a look at some real-world numbers taken from the sample movies at Apple's HD Gallery to sort this out.


The H.264-encoded sample movies typically have a file size of about 50Megs per minute at 720p and about 75Megs per minute at 1080p. That means, the 1080p movies are some 50% bigger. I don't know: would you consider that significantly bigger, especially when compared to the 125% increase in screen real estate?


Based on these figures, a 5-minute music video would weigh in at 250Megs and 375Megs, respectively, and a 45-minute TV-show at 2.2GB and 3.3GB. Those are some serious file sizes, but for those lucky ones whose internet connection has a bandwidth of, say, 16Mbps or more, they should be manageable.


Finally, the data transfer rates for those sample movies of around 7Mbps for 720p and 10Mbps for 1080p (HD-DVD has 36.55Mbps and Blu-Ray 54Mbps) can be handled easily by 802.11n, which has a theoretical maximum bandwidth of 540Mbps.


In fact, there are competing devices like NetGear's EVA8000 that support 1080p already, so, no, I don't think that the difference in size and data rate sufficiently explain the lack of 1080p in the Apple TV.


Then again, there's always that "upgrade path construction by limitation" thing: trust me that, as soon as the AppleTV does support 1080p, Steve Jobs will apply his Reality Distortion Field and convince all those Apple TV 1.0 buyers that they will need to replace the unit with a new Apple TV 2.0, because, when compared to 720p, 1080p is so much more ["awesome"|"amazing"|"cool"|"insanely great"]. Boom!;)


2007-01-14 11:16:06
Hi ,


Wait ??? like we were all waiting for the Powerbook G5 ??? , You can wait , I'll buy one


Daniel

Adam Rice
2007-01-14 12:51:34
My chief gripes:
1. Includes a hard drive. What's the point? It's too small for my music collection alone, much less video. And it would be yet another storage location to manage.


2. Doesn't include an optical disc drive. Perhaps Apple felt like they'd be obliged to choose sides in Blu-Ray vs HDDVD and didn't want to. I don't blame them. Still, the thing should be able to play CDs and DVDs.


3. Limited format support. There's no good reason this thing shouldn't play every video format in popular use (there is, of course, a bad reason: to tie you to Apple's walled garden of media).


I want to like this thing, I really do. But I'm holding out for something else.

Aaron
2007-01-15 08:42:55
I had been considering getting a Mac Mini to replace my hacked XBox as a media PC (XBMC), but I'm going to give the AppleTV a try first. One thing I'd really like to do though is control a DVD changer ala Escient, which would be a "killer app" for a media center.


I'm hoping for the best.

Buddy
2007-01-15 09:54:22
I already have a DVD player and a VCR. Why should I pay extra to have those included in the appleTV just because someone who spent too much money on a "home theatre" system wants them?
Rubin Safaya
2007-01-15 11:06:13
I think several things are being overlooked here.


AppleTV is constantly being booed for not being the swiss army knife of multimedia devices. I don't think it was ever intended to be. I've been using Airport Express for at least a year now to stream music from my computer network to my home audio equipment. The primary input into my library is iTunes, but occasionally I acquire CDs and transcode them to AAC, AIFF or Lossless. I even incorporate 24-bit master recordings I've made in my own studio of my own music. The primary storage for my library is in the hard drives of the computers streaming to my home audio.


Just as I find people nitpicking the individual details of iPhone and missing the larger strategy, people are missing the larger strategy concerning AppleTV. I can't count how many people have asked "Why doesn't it have a DVR?" The answer is simple. Who the hell needs a DVR when you're buying your movie and television programming a-la carte over the internet?


Everything one needs to ditch conventional movie rentals, Netflix physical distro, and the cable companies is already, in principle, there on your internet-connected computer. There's tons of firepower in most desktops going to waste for piddly tasks like e-mail and word processing. Why not harness the computer as the point of acquistion, storage and playback? This makes AppleTV really nothing more than an interactive receiver.


Why would I want this? Well, first of all you have to assume that the product isn't merely aimed at tech-savvy people. I can call up music currently on my laptop, and stream it to my stereo. But for the average consumer even this might be a little cumbersome. How about an onscreen UI, simply designed, that when connected just works? Scroll, select, click, play... boom, you're watching that one episode of Law and Order in 720p you wanted without having to subscribe to umpteen million channels of crap just to get the teeny HD package from your cable provider. Instant payoff... for many customers.


But not every customer is going to have 802.11n network bandwidth just yet. So enter the 40GB HD. 802.11g I suspect might have some issues with 720p streaming. So, you sync your most recent programs to the drive. Over g wireless it should take 3-5 minutes to pop a movie over. That's faster than going to Blockbuster or waiting for Netflix to arrive in the mail... and it's your choice of programming (selection notwithstanding) and not whatever the cable company feels like feeding you.


The key target market Apple has that plays into this is the affluent set who are, by and large, tech crazy but not tech savvy. They want their Crackberries and their iPods but they also want them to just work and without having to read an engineering manual to set up and operate these devices.


Most of these affluent people might already have a computer network and they'll be damned if they're going to put some convoluted Media PC type thing in their living room. They already bought a laptop or desktop with many times more firepower than they need for their daily tasks... but while they're watching TV, one of those machines might just be idling. So why not harness that thing and put its capacity and processing power to some use?


THAT is what AppleTV does. It is not a DVR. It is not a cable box. It is not a DVD player. It is not any of these things because it facilitates a link between home entertainment and your computer network in such a fashion that it, in principle, has the power to, eventually, eliminate all of these other devices.


Setting aside the bandwidth issuess, file size issues, resolution issues, for the moment because these are all things that can and will be improved over time. But, again, the IDEA behind this device in this particular configuration, with its horrendously easy navigation and simple set up is this: To drive a change in the way we purchase, store and access our home entertainment.


To be frank, I have tons of hardware... which I keep in my office. I don't want to see this hardware. I don't want a $600 Mac Mini sitting in my living room with umpteen cables.


I don't even have umpteen audio cables... I've stripped it down to just three fiber optic cables.


Maybe back when I was a nerd in a dorm I wouldn't have cared, but back then I also couldn't afford an Apple TV and therefore what I would have wanted then would be irrelevant to Apple's goals. They are not trying to appease techheads who want boxes they can hack... and this also applies to the iPhone.


If they stuck in the technology to make this 1080p, and I guarantee you their product people did the math on this, there isn't enough of a 1080p television owner base to justify how much higher the price point would have to be on the device to remain profitable. Everybody wants something for nothing and that's simply not realistic... for every other thing they'd add to the device, what's the marginal benefit?


Most people already have DVD players. If they saw a $400 AppleTV with a DVD player, many would stop at, "I already have a DVD player," and ignore the other features. Someone remarked about DVD burning. Well, here's the tradeoff... Apple doesn't own the content that they use on the iTunes Music Store to help facilitate demand for their own products. If they added a DVD burner, they'd lose some studios... Which is more important to you? A DVD burner (for what exactly? to burn to disc the movies for which you just paid $299 to stream directly to your TV from your computer?!)... Or having a selection of movies to choose from?


That being said, you probably already have a DVD burner on the very computer you'd store your iTunes-purchased movies on. The only thing is that iTunes will not help you burn them to give to your friend down the street. So? They just made a device that eliminates the need. Not only that, but there's nothing stopping you from moving those movies onto your iPod or iPhone to give you mobile access to them. There's no need to burn these movies to disc unless you're surreptitiously asking Apple to help your homegrown piracy business... which is patently absurd.


What they do not have, and want (according to many customer surveys), almost more than anything else right now, is a device that can allow them to bring the content on their computer to their living room... seamlessly and easily. These last two words are key. NO device fills this need right now. Not seamlessly, not easily.


Lastly, there's the issue of integrating other content. I backed up one of my own DVD's to H.264 to see if iTunes could access it. It can. The file now resides on my iTunes library and, in principle, there's no reason I can't now play this to my TV when I get Apple TV. The same should hold true for anything that you convert from another file format.


For years Apple has championed Quicktime and more recently various iterations of MPEG-4 (a format based on Quicktime's own scalar, layered structure), two formats that have pushed us out of the multimedia dark ages AND encouraged competing formats to emerge when Windows 16-bit sound was still in its infancy (compared to Macintosh).


The least they could do they've already done... they're not stopping you from re-coding other files into H.264. They just don't see it as wise for them to tell you how because, well, that would look suspect to RIAA and MPAA as piracy-encouraging activity and would jeopardize the size of their selection on the iTunes Music Store.


In all honesty, iPhone is not really the "killer app" this year because it only revolutionizes the way we use cell phones. But Apple TV takes various technology concepts that have been in scattered use by us tech nerds, packaged them together in an extremely easy to use, simple design... and is bringing to the masses a device that won't simply change the way we watch movies, but will dramatically change the way we use home entertainment.


Most importantly, and often forgotten, is the fact that whatever niches Apple doesn't cater to will have Apple to thank anyway. They're out there pushing the boundaries of product design and causing competitors to go back to the drawing board and think up more innovative ways of doing what they've been doing.... The end result is more variety of products at lower prices. So who cares if Apple doesn't include the kitchen sink now? Someone eventually will... and largely because Apple provoked them to think about it.


Think about the state of computing more than ten years ago before Steve Jobs brought Apple back from certain death. Think about the bland range of product offerings in computers and consumer electronics. Ad agents will tell you Apple put the sex back in computers and technology, and they're absolutely spot-on.

chad
2007-01-16 08:54:40
@Dave: there is NO 1080p OTA content because there is no 1080p OTA standard -- the major networks are deciding between 720p and 1080i. 1080p wasn't considered because of the bandwidth required (at all stages of the game -- OTA, satellite feeds, video cards, output to the TV, etc). As computer guys, we're likely to think ``what, it's a cable.. just make bigger pathways'' but these pathways need to be built into every television (and every box that connects to TVs), so changing the standards is a huge effort. For the US, for now, for TV, you pretty much have 720p and 1080i.


Most of them have chosen 720p over 1080i, for a few reasons. First, it's a big improvement over NTSC, but managable bandwidth-wise, of course. Secondly, network trials determined that a key sub-market prefered 720p over 1080i, even though the picture is `smaller' -- Sports. As it turns out, the interlacing of 1080i means that sometimes the small, fast moving object (baseball, hockey puck, etc) seems to `jitter' back and forth, as it moves across scan frames. Sports fans are typically a huge upscale market for high-end TV equipment (sports sales drive PPV and Satellite TV services; more large TVs are sold right before the Super Bowl than any other time), and if they want 720p... well, that's a market that the networks can't ignore. Since 720p is also easier to shoehorn into the network's bandwidth, it was the winner for most networks.


Even today, you'll find a fair number of large screen TVs that have the resolution of 1080p (1920x1080), but their internal hardware can only handle 1080i, not 1080p.


As an additional aside, you might have noticed that many of the large LCD TVs you see in stores support a resolution of 1366x768, which is bigger than 720p (1280x720) but smaller than 1080i[p] (1920x1080).. that's because Japan (and probably Korea, another big source of these displays) has an active 768i/768p standard, and many of the display panels are designed/made by companies from those markets. Maybe someday you'll see that format in the US as well, but the standards bodies though (probably not incorrectly) that the US market wouldn't really want to build a long-term standard based on the 8 or 9 optional sizes that exist in those markets. Given the confusion that exists now over the terms HD, TrueHD, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p... it's hard to say that they were totally wrong.

Jochen Wolters
2007-01-20 11:06:09
Wow, Rubin: that's not a blog comment. That's a full-blown essay. ;)


Who the hell needs a DVR when you're buying your movie and television programming a-la carte over the internet?


That, of course, is what Apple would like to see: that Apple TV users won't ever need a DVR or any other media playing device, because they exclusively buy movies, TV shows, and music from the iTunes Store.


Unfortunately, the choice of content on the iTunes Store is still very limited compared to DVDs or even TV. Heck, there must be more movie trailers on Apple's QuickTime site than there are movies on the iTunes Store. What's more, with the exception of a handful of Pixar animation shorts, you cannot buy a single movie or TV show on the non-US iTunes Stores.


Apple has proven that non-physical media distribution is feasible even for feature-length movies, but the DVD is here to stay for quite some time, and Apple's product strategy should take that into account.


[t]he key target market Apple has that plays into this is the affluent set [...]
[m]ost people already have DVD players.


The "affluent set" don't just have DVD players; they also have the 7.1 AV Receivers and other home entertainment devices to go with them, too. Most importantly, though, they often have an extensive media library to feed that system. Do you see these people throwing out all of these devices (except the 7.1 receiver, of course), and re-stock their whole media library with replacements from the iTunes Store just because Apple TV has arrived on the market?


Lastly, there's the issue of integrating other content. I backed up one of my own DVD's to H.264 to see if iTunes could access it. It can. The file now resides on my iTunes library and, in principle, there's no reason I can't now play this to my TV when I get Apple TV.


Which, thanks to the ever-greedy media tycoons, is not only illegal; it may not be a workable solution for that non-tech-savvy "affluent set" you mention, either, since ripping a DVD still requires additional software (like Handbrake, etc.) and is not really non-geek friendly. Also, if I feel like watching a movie, I'd rather just slide the DVD into the player than having to first grab the DVD, head over to my home office, pop it into my computer, rip it, sync it to the Apple TV, and then watch it.


Bottom line for me: for those of us who already have a considerable media library on their computer, the Apple TV may very well be a great product as is. For other potential buyers, adding an HD-compatible DVD player, full 1080p video, integration with existing home entertainment components, or just support for external hard-drives could make the difference between "I'll buy" and "I'll pass."


I'm certain that Apple will eventually address this by offering several versions of the Apple TV and by supporting third-party add-ons like they did with the iPod. And that has turned out to be a very succesfull strategy, hasn't it? ;)

Jochen Wolters
2007-01-20 11:07:57
chad:


That's some fascinating background info on the subject. Thanks a lot for sharing it!

FireWire
2007-02-15 15:28:46
Certainly our TVIX - M4000P would out perform this Apple TV:
http://www.datoptic.com/cgi-bin/web.cgi?product=M4000P&detail=yes
Featuring:
- 2x USB host expande media
- HDMI supports up to 1080p
- Support WMV HD, TS, TP, MPEG1/2/4, and H.264 (AVC)
- and lot more
Jochen Wolters
2007-02-20 11:10:55
Thanks for the pointer to your media player, which I hadn't heard of before.


Judging from what's on your web page, it does have some advantages over the AppleTV like support for HD video up to 1080p, but I also see short comings, e.g., the lack of an HDMI connector.


As a Mac-head, though, I find the design and ease-of-use of the user interface just as important as technical specs. Unfortunately, your website does not provide all that much information — like screenshots, etc. — on what using the device feels like, and the pdf manual you link to on the product page apparently is for a different model device (manual shows TViX M5000, whereas the web page lists the M4000P).


All in all, it would definitely be interesting to see a side-by-side comparison between your device and the AppleTV.


P.S.: As an aside, I am positively sure that you won't find all that many customers among Mac users as long as your manuals exclusively show Windows-based setups...

John Larson
2007-03-28 16:37:59
Well, I got one and it is great. I used MediaFork to rip my DVDs, dragged them into iTunes, and they play fine. They might not be super duper hi-res, but it is as good as my dvd player and my wife and kids are totally thrilled to not have to load and unload the dvd player. it also bookmarks where play left off so when i go back to finish a movie it gives me the option of resuming play or starting from the beginning even if it is interrupted by baby einstein. as for storage, i just let it sync unwatched tv shows, my favorite songs, and whatever movies it can. any other content i just stream. I have an 802.11g network with wpa encryption and it doesn't seem to have a problem. (Fast forwarding is not good though when streaming)


in the end:
- my dvd collection is now safely in storage
- i get to stop convincing myself that watching itunes tv shows on my 15 inch powerbook is like watching them on my 50" tv since it takes up the same field of vision if its on the coffee table
- all my family has access to our media library without risk of damage to the dvd


I imagine that Bang & Olufsen (or someone) could come up with something better, but it wouldn't cost $300.

Jochen Wolters
2007-04-02 08:16:34
John:


Thank you for your comment.


It's good to hear that you and your family are happy with the AppleTV. After seeing one in action, I have to admit that I am very tempted to buy one, after all. Your comment about watching movies and TV shows on a laptop screen is a big part of that temptation.


Then again, the total lack of video content on the German iTunes Store (with the exception of a handful of Pixar shorts) and the limitation to 720p still suffice to make me wait just a little bit longer. Now, if Apple offered "Monk" on the local iTunes Store...

FireWire
2007-04-03 13:57:12
The TViX Player does support MAC, Windows, even UPnP server networking. Here is MAC network:
http://www.tvix.co.kr/eng/faq/FAQM5000Ufirst.aspx?act=RD&id=135&pg=0&CATID=3&SCATID=2
Although the link states M5000P model, but it will work with M4000P (both have the same chip set)
Update: there is a new update on this TVix:
PVR option for HDTV tuner
SATA to IDE for using SATA HDD


As far as HDMI connector, there are plenty under $20.00 DVI to HDMI cable out there.
I'm total agree a side by side comparison.
Why don't you drop an email to Sales@DATOptic.com, they may send you a review unit

Jochen Wolters
2007-04-07 03:23:48
FireWire


According to the FAQ you link to, getting the device to work with a Mac requires downloading third-party software and stepping through an extensive setup process, in which the user has to manually edit server names and IP addresses. I don't think you need a side-by-side comparison to conclude that this process is "not quite" as user-friendly as connecting and setting up an AppleTV ...


P.S.: If you wish to send in any further feedback, please be so kind to contact me via email (you'll find the address on my author page). Thank you.

jmk
2007-05-24 02:56:14
You can find a lot of critical comments on appletv; mostly form people explaining why they dont buy one (jet). I have one in use for some time and its briliant. Most content i find for free, convert it with elgato turbo 264 real quick, and organise all in itunes. It works without any hassle, and any glitches. Quality is realy good. HD720 if you want. And finaly my home cinema system comes to life!
Sure, in 3 years it will be even better. Want to wait ? ...
Jochen Wolters
2007-05-25 05:19:44
jmk:


Now that I've had a chance to play with an AppleTV at a friend's place, I'll easily admit that it's one awesome device with a great UI, and this test drive also made me re-evaluate what I originally wrote in this blog post: the point about limited media sources is definitely worse than the resolution issue.


For video content, European iTunes Stores still offer a few Pixar shorts and some music videos, but no feature movies and no TV shows at all. I have no clue what's taking Apple so long, but as long as that doesn't change, I'll stick with juggling DVDs instead of ripping them to my Mac first and, by doing so, throwing out all the special feature goodness found on most current DVD releases just to justify investing in an AppleTV.


So, yes, for now I will wait, although I sincerely hope that it won't take three years til the next revision of the AppleTV will see the light of day. ;)

city View-Bisque fabric sofa collection
2007-11-27 10:43:29
This could be another Newton for Apple. I'm an avid Mac user, but as others have said; appleTV should be a central media server, that pushes to my other devices. laptops and PC's are already resource strained with photo's and home videos and such. This is a half-baked product. Maybe 3rd generation will get it right - if it can survive.


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