iTV: No Tuner

by Erica Sadun


I am so hyped about today's keynote, it's hard to know even where to begin. iPhone. Apple TV, neé iTV. And so forth. There's even a brand new Airport Extreme base station over at the Apple Store, shipping with 802.11n and which may or may not support USB hard drives. (I've got to check on this fact-wise.) Just right to go along with the iTV. (Forgive me. I'm used to the old name.) I really wish that iTV had a tuner. (It does not.) And that it could record on the TV end. (It does not.) But it does have a 40 GB hard drive in there, which can store "up to 50 hours video". Which of course, I'm going to swap out for a much bigger drive as soon as I get my hands on it. Because I'm a geek. And we geeks do that. Let's just say "bye bye" to the warranty already. The remote control looks very frontrowish, as does the graphical on-screen interface. The syncing capabilities make it a kind of headless video iPod, if you follow what I'm saying. Anyway, I'm still too freaked and excited by the whole thing to post coherently. More later when I collect my thoughts.


2007-01-09 12:55:00
Doesn't your TV already have a tuner? why do you need a second one?
2007-01-09 13:26:40
Yeah, I'm confused about why you need a tuner for the tv. if you just want to click channels, the tv can do that just fine. and if you're thinking it'd be cool to have it integrated with the menus with extras... well it seems a bit much for apple to integrate that with all the content options out there (local, cable providers, directtv, etc.).
2007-01-09 13:38:00
No tuner or baseband analog video input, so you can't record to it.

I'm keeping the EyeTV 200 and the Mac mini, thankyouverymuch.

2007-01-09 14:07:12
Why no gigabit ethernet? Without that, the output of the in-theory-much-more-capable 802.11n wireless cannot be more than what is coming into it, which is 100 Mbps from the ethernet jacks.

Unless the 802.11n wireless in current manufacture Macs can pump out data wirelessly at bandwidths in excess of 200 Mbps -- meaning that folks who would like to push more bandwidth to their AppleTV units than the 100 Mbps apparent limit will need to buy new Macs with the 802.11n wireless cards.

This despite the fact that Macs have had standard gigabit ethernet for quite a while now.

2007-01-09 14:43:28
Apple says USB hard drives are good to go on the new Airport Extreme.
2007-01-09 20:38:36
This new iTV is a load. Tivo just came out with a mac compatible software for MyTIVO, so TIVO would be the way to go. The iTV is just a way for you to get your iTunes purchases to your TV. Apple should have made this happen before now. You should be able to burn your iTunes movies to DVD, but you can't do it easily or exactly legally. I thought that iTV was going to be something like TIVO, but it is nothing like TIVO and just another overpriced gadget.
2007-01-10 11:53:58
So the big question - can we get it to play Video_TS folders from a networked Mac? Or Airport Express (N) hard drive? Or even the quasi-ripped movies a-la Flip4Mac's Drive-In app?

If not, it's definitely more compelling to go with a Mini and Media Central...

Erica Sadun
2007-01-10 12:02:13
I'm pretty sure it won't play Video_TS because you can't play them in iTunes.

Counting down to AppleTVLinux in 10...9...8....

2007-01-10 21:25:47
Y'know ... ElGato has a Macworld Expo sale going on until the 12th and they're selling their eyeTV hybrid for $99.95 (I am *not* a shill for elgato, just a *very* satisfied customer, having purchased one of the first eyeTV 500 units).

While it would have been nice for Apple to have included a tuner in the AppleTV, I don't see how they could have done a nicer job with it than el gato has done.

2007-01-11 08:13:50

Google for HDHomeRun. It is a dual digital tuner set top box that basically streams content through ethernet port using TCP/IP (may be UDP). This is a potential product for the Apple TV if Apple could interface with it using TCP/IP. You can hang the tuner anywhere in the home network and hook it up to digital cable (unencrypted) or over the air antenna. It has both ATSC and QAM tuners. Apple TV could change the channel by issuing control signals through TCP/IP packets. It works with macs, windows, etc. It even works with VLC I think. Just a thought.

2007-01-17 20:06:00
Colour me disappointed. No tuner, no record of free to air, no dice fellas. Us folks down in Australia cannot get TV shows or movies via iTunes so the Apple TV has almost no place in our market.
I'll stick with my set top box with 120gb drive, and wide berth the Apple TV until it actually is useful.