How NBC Made the Real Apple TV

by Joshua Scott Emmons

I love my Apple TV. At first I thought it was pointless technology that didn't fill a niche. Then I got my iPhone and made two realizations. First, the iPhone has a drop-dead gorgeous screen that begs for video. Second? If I'm going to download the entire third season of House, chances are I won't want to watch the whole thing on my iPhone. Ah ha! The Apple TV finds purpose!

But even as much as I now care for the little set-top box and the function it performs, I can't help but wonder as I lie awake some cold, lonely nights how it could have been. It could have been a DVD-ripper. A DVR for the rest of us. A TiVo killer. But Steve made it pretty clear at D that DVR functionality isn't on the road map for the Apple TV. And far from being a DVD player or ripper, Apple sees the tiny TV appliance as the successor to DVDs.

Of course, that was before NBC's announcement that they're pulling out of iTunes.


2007-09-05 09:11:31
What a fantastic post! I'm glad I've not bought the AppleTV yet. Now I'll get Hero's for free when the new one comes out.
2007-09-05 14:00:45
I like the idea, but Apple has to be careful too. They don't want to piss off the other networks that are playing nice. Personally, I stuffed a mac mini in my A/V cabinet and record the shows I want. EyeTV dumps right to iTunes so I can watch from an Apple TV elsewhere in the house. I do buy some content, but nothing from NBC now. Thanks NBC. Maybe if you can get Seinfeld to come back to do a reunion show you'll have people watching your network again.
2007-09-05 15:19:58
Ripping DVDs is legal? Doesn’t the DMCA make it illegal to circumvent DRM, which DVDs have? (I’m in the UK and am not a lawyer, so I may well have this all backwards.)