Why I Won't Buy an Apple iTV (or whatever it's going to be called)

by Chuck Toporek

Okay, everyone knows I'm a fan of Apple. I love all the stuff that they do, and was waiting with bated breath for yesterday's announcements from the "Showtime" event. And even though the supposed live QuickTime feed kept 404-ing, I was able to get my fix from Engadget's live updates. (To quote Elvis, "Thank you. Thankyouverymuch!"

I'm down with all the new iPods, especially the super mini iPod Shuffle. Great stuff; love it. iTunes 7...wicked f-ing cool! But the iTV? Really, seriously...the Reality Distortion Field extends only so far, man.

So, the main reason why I won't buy an iTV (or whatever Apple decides to call it later) is simple: It doesn't record. Will someone please tell me why I should get jazzed about this device, because maybe the lobotomy didn't work the first time around. I need an iTV like I need another hole in my head. If it doesn't record television, it's a useless interface to me.

And you know why it won't record? Well, you see the model Apple's going after, don't you? Don't you?! Right. Good. They want you to purchase TV shows from the iTunes Store. It's where they plan to make money. It's how they can make money. It's where they are making money. And while I can't fault them for making money -- hell, every company should be as happy to have such a successful turnaround -- but the last time I checked, wasn't Apple about the user? Apparently, that is no more.

For the iTV thingy to be useful for me, it should act as a DVR, but it doesn't so I won't buy one. It's that simple. And I won't buy an iPod Video either, because I'm already going blind from working on a computer 18-20 hours a day, why should I strain my eyes even more to squint and watch a movie on a teeny-tiny small screen?

All that Apple touches is not Gold. But I still love you, Mac.

77 Comments

JimInHolland
2006-09-13 06:51:41
I saw the same thing and I thought the same thing - why-o-why should I bother being locked into this "solution" for the iTunes store?


Sorry Steve - not biting on this one. Call me at version 2.0...

MiGrant
2006-09-13 07:20:29
Basically it's a (wireless!) pipe from your Mac to your TV, so you can watch your iTunes store movies on your big plasma TV instead of your iPod. What you're supposed to get jazzed about is not the device per se, but the prospect of being able to watch a movie without having to get off your butt to go to Blockbustard's.
TyInIndiana
2006-09-13 07:25:50
I agree at least about movies, I don't need to record TV shows but I could and would like the option, however movies are a different story. I have a large movie collection and I would like to be able to pop them into my Mac and have it encode them into H.264. I know it can be done with the right software, infact they can be up mixed somewhat as well. But even though I can convert my movies to H.264 I can't have them play through iTunes. What about all of the DVDs that I have on shelf?
NateC
2006-09-13 07:27:47
I personally like the ala-carte television approach. I feel that it provides more freedom than Echostar and DirectTV. Why do I want to pay $15 extra a month for Showtime when the only show I want to watch is Weeds. We (and the FCC) have been fighting the cable companies for ala-carte channel selection, show selection is even more flexible.


That said, the price point and show selection isn't where it needs to be to make iTunes competitive yet. They need a 20 show for $20 a month subscription type service in my opinion. But I'm not sure that they want to be competitive with Cable companies.


Hardware wise, this is just additional delivery device. It needs to be integrated in to the DVR as much as your DVD player does. iTunes main competitors as far as content is more Sony than the Cable companies. Apple needs the cable companies as carriers in order for their product to be successful so they do not want to compete with their services and DVR products.

cesjr
2006-09-13 07:27:59
All you have to do is record on the mac, there are several products available and they probably automatically add the recording to iTunes. From there, iTV can access it.


Adding recording to the iTV would increase the cost. It would be a mac mini and cost $600 or more.

Weili Wang
2006-09-13 07:29:15
iTV is essentially a crippled version of what many people wanted the Mac mini to be. It's not a full scale computer but it has all the proper video and audio ports compatible with today's TVs.


"But the last time I checked, wasn't Apple about the user? Apparently, that is no more."


When was Apple, or any company, EVER about the user? No successful, profitable company is EVER about the user. It's always about image and how much profit the company makes. If Apple ever "misled" us to think they are about the user, it's because they have a damn good marketing department.

Boatdrinks
2006-09-13 07:40:13
Chuck, don't you think that eventually the feed will go both ways? Are there technical limitations to feeds from the TV going back to your mac?
Mikey T.
2006-09-13 07:40:29
Uh, what's not to understand? You have a Mac. It has your digital audio and video... Some people may want to listen to the audio on a stereo system or watch video on a TV. This device enables that. I don't even own a TV or a stereo, i watch and listen to my digital media on my iMac. This iTV is completely useless to someone like me ... but at least i understand who it's for.
Adam Turetzky
2006-09-13 07:44:41
I think the RDF clouded your perception just a little too much and you've spun all the way around to miss the obvious.


What the hell do you need a setup recorder for when you have a freakin' MACINTOSH on your desk!?


Have you not heard of TV Tuner cards? EyeTV? MythTV (I know Linux, but just wait until someone gets the iTV to work with it, which should be happening in 3...2...).


You WANT an iTV because it creates a viewing point for your media collection on your computer WIRELESSLY to anywhere you put the thing. It's AirTunes for your video.


You're not thinking far enough outside the box. Whether we like it or not, entertainment media is moving off of the airwaves and cable TV stations and onto the Internet TCP/IP protocol. Have you heard of YouTube? That doesn't come with basic cable. But it will play on your iTV (getting the picture yet?).


The future home entertainment is computer media centers which download their content from independent media producers. Places like the iTunes MEDIA store (it's got a nice ring to it huh?) and YouTube will just be aggregators.


Also Apple isn't going to make any money selling you downloadable movies. The MPAA takes almost all of that $12-$14 purchase price and whatever pitance Apple gets to keep is gobbled up twice over in bandwidth costs delivering it to you. Movie downloads are again what's known as a loss leader for selling you iPods, which Apple makes almost a 300% markup on.


Oh and the iTV @ $299? What is it really? An 802.11G receiver and an MPEG-4 decoder with an HDMI port? What's that cost to manufacture in Taiwan? $9? Remember, it doesn't physically play DVD's, or CD's or any other industry consortium standard which requires a licensing fee. They (and you) already paid that with the Macintosh you bought to use with it.


It's a win for everyone. Well, except for the cable and broadcast networks who are going to have to rethink their business models over the next 10 years.

Jamie
2006-09-13 07:50:31
Your Mac becomes a depository for all your content - music, dvd's, photos.


iTV allows you to access that in the living room.


What makes you think you HAVE to use iTunes store? Get a DVD and rip it to your Mac - its now available on iTV. Use torrents to pick up those shows. Its now available on iTV. The repercussions of this extend way beyond the movie store as we know it today. Im thinking TV studios making their shows available for free as on TV, but ad supported, sent via RSS enclosure that is managed by iTunes and accessed via iTV. That would be huge. It will work great because you are subscribed to the feed and as soon as the latest episode is available iTunes will download it even if you are not at home, ready for you when you return from a long day at work.


The movie thing is a part of it, but not the whole picture. A subscription model for both this and TV shows would change the game completely IMO. Steve would be an idiot to insist on purchase only for what is much a disposable market.

Andrew White
2006-09-13 07:54:27
I agree with you to a certain extent. However, the Airport Express has proven to be pretty successful, and this device is supposed to be only a bit more expensive. Furthermore, the success of projects like XBox Media Centre and tools like HDD enclosures with DivX players prove that there's a market for a device attached to your TV that simplifies getting digital content into your home theatre. I suspect that this may be very attractive to people who like the idea of these geekier tools, but aren't interested in the set up.
Chris
2006-09-13 08:06:51
Adam Turetzky has it exactly right. The iTV doesn't record because you have a Mac! The iTV is not supposed to be a DVR. Think of it as an Airport Express for video.
Alasdair Allan
2006-09-13 08:09:37
It has a USB port, you can presumably plug something like an eyeTV into the back of this thing, and you have your DVR. Even if that doesn't work, the iTV has Ethernet and WiFi and from the sounds of it can use Rendezvous (sorry Bonjour) to discover shared media on your local network. Record your broadcast TV on your Mac and then it'll be available on your network, and to your iTV.


But I'm starting to think that maybe Apple isn't shipping a DVR because they've decided that broadcast TV is dead. The company has bet the farm on several such off the wall propositions in the past, for instance getting rid of floppy drives which seemed like an insane move at the time. I think they're going down the video on demand route, and who can blame them?

Jamie
2006-09-13 08:10:07
I mean, how much is the little Elgato product these days? Not much. If Apple doesnt provide a solution im certain Elgato would that can hook into the iTV UI. You then have a killer setup.
DC1974
2006-09-13 08:10:15
Hmm... I guess I'm in the minority here. That was the whole promise of the VCR -- record shows! And you know what? I did it like twice. In 1986. And I still can't figure out what the big deal is. Part of the DVR problem is that for a lot of us: recording shows is a non-idea. It just not something we do. Need to do. Or want to do.


I watch too much TV as it is. Much less want to watch shows from 3 years ago. Or even last week's show. Chances are, they'll play it again anyway. But I would like to watch more movies, and I hate how inflated going to theater has become. Netflix was sort of a pain. And going to the video store isn't always that convenient, nor do they always have what I want. Downloadable movies, though, sounds like a good idea. We'll see. I like having the DVDs, though.

jk
2006-09-13 08:15:01
Dumb, dumber, dumbest.


You can already record video to your Mac with EyeTV. You can view that video with Front Row. You'll almost certainly be able to view it with iTV, too.


A $300 wireless video/audio connection to your Mac with HD-quality video output? Bargain.


Short-sighted blogger? Priceless.

nickinVictoria
2006-09-13 08:18:44
I don't know why everyone doesnt use Mythtv.org? Until ver 2 of iTV is out and a whole bunch of other wireless tools, just recycle you old pc and use it.....
william
2006-09-13 08:24:31
Maybe you want a DVR, but I do not. Instead of paying $x/month for cable, I'd rather just buy a few shows that I want to see. I don't need a DVR for that.


I'd also like to rip my DVDs to a Mac server and stream them to any of the televisions in my house. I think I'll be able to do something like that with the iTV (or a few of them).

Brad
2006-09-13 08:24:44
You use your computer as the DVR... I am already doing it with a Mac Mini but it doesn't make sense to dedicate a computer to the home entertainment system. It does make sense to have a device which can access media from any computer source in your home. Very cool. I will buy one on day one!
Chris
2006-09-13 08:30:09
I think it's a safe assumption that anyone that needs DVR functionality, and has a fancy HiDef TV (that only accepts component or HDMI inputs) that you probably already have a Tivo or DirectTV/Comcast/other provider DVR. iTV was meant to add your iTunes content to you existing content sources, whether they be DVDs, cable, satellite feeds, or DVR content. Steve even went so far as the give the example that iTV was "input 4" after inputs 1-3 of cable, dvd, etc. You are mentioning a use case that Apple doesn't, and shouldn't, care about. I will be buying an iTV, like most people, because finally all of my media will be viewable from one location.
Christopher Pelham
2006-09-13 08:32:33
I don't understand why you need it to record. I don't. I already have a DVR that's built into my Time Warner set-top box. I imagine lots of other people do, too. Or they already have a Tivo. My TV experience is already fine. iTV just adds to it, seamlessly. It's not going to replace my set-top box and it doesn't need to duplicate its functionality. Maybe in a couple of years if and when two-way cable cards completely replace set-top boxes, it might make sense for Apple to create a do-everything box--who knows? Frankly, I don't want to give up so much of my home laptop's hard drive to storing TV shows. and i don't want to have to tether it to an external drive. so i actually prefer having the separate set-top/dvr box for now.


also, if my cable were routing into my computer rather than my set-top box, i (or anyone else in my house) would presumably have to use the computer (or the computer's remote at least) whenever they wanted to change channels. This may be fine if one has a dedicated media center computer, but a lot of people don't, so your solution would involve asking people to buy a 2nd computer in addition to their iTV, making the solution a LOT more expensive than just using their existing set-top box/dvr. and this more expensive solution gives you what, really? onen less remote control?


2006-09-13 08:33:44
Wow, way off the mark. Don't buy the iTV because it is not innovative at all. Get an xbox for 50 bucks and install XMBC. You now have everything the iTV can do and much more. This has been around for years. If you wanted to record, that's fine, but you'll need to install either a fast CPU or a dedicated hardware encoder device. This is going to make the unit more expensive and bigger. And, unlike the music player space, someone actually does DVR well. Apple would have a hard time not looking second rate to Tivo if it decided to enter the DVR space.
pauldwaite
2006-09-13 08:51:33
> "the last time I checked, wasn't Apple about the user? Apparently, that is no more. For the iTV thingy to be useful for me, it should act as a DVR, but it doesn't so I won't buy one. It's that simple."


That's kinda like saying for the iPod to be useful to you, it should be a portable TV. Fair enough, but that's not the product that Apple designed. The iTV is simply an Airport Express that does video as well as audio. I'm not interested in buying one either.


If you want an iTV plus DVR, I'd suggest a Mac mini with an Elgato EyeTV (or alternative DVR thing that integrates with Front Row). Given Apple's heavy advertising of Elgato's products on its online store (like their advertising Parallels for people who want to run Windows alongside OS X), I'd guess that's what Apple would suggest as well.

Jeff
2006-09-13 08:52:25
Chuck, you are dead on! I refuse to buy an Airport Express for exactly the same reason -- it won't record FM radio for me!!
Mohan
2006-09-13 08:56:33
Why can't you just use your mac as the dvr and then send it via the iTV decice to your TV. I would think that would work well.
Chuck Toporek
2006-09-13 09:03:48
Quick summary...


* Right, I know you can buy an EyeTV device and plug it in to a Mac to record from your TV, but that requires yet another expenditure.


* And I know the iTV is just a Video AirPort Express that lets you stream from a Mac in your office through to your home theatre. Great. Lovely. Got it. Knew it.


* jk: Thanks for pointing out that I'm dumb. Beautiful. (Like I didn't know that already.)


* And you're right, iTV and the iTunes Store does let you get around having to pay Godcast an exorbitant fee every month for cable. Download the shows you want, save them on your Mac, sync to iPod, stream through the iTV to your home theatre. Yippee! Got it. Knew it. But for those of us who do have cable and want to keep it for the things we don't get on iTunes (for example, watching the Tour de France on OLN), a DVR set up would be nice. Instead of being able to purchase one device to do this, I still have to purchase two devices. As they used to say at MacHack: "Not useful."


* I shouldn't have to buy a TiVo and pay to subscribe to their service. iTV does not do that; I understand. MythTV might be the way to go. But still, Apple is protecting its "turf" by hobbling the iTV and not making it the end-all-be-all home theatre device it could be.


Rich
2006-09-13 09:08:47
The goal here is not to sell a whole new computer but to continue to make the computer the hub of entertainment. People aren't hooking their computers up to the TV/flatscreen (even though they probably can) because the computer is two rooms away. But if you can store all this entertainment content in one place, and watch it anywhere, how cool is that? If you've already got DVDs, use your DVD player. Buy new content on your Mac/PC and then watch it wherever you want.
Bean
2006-09-13 09:11:45
I can tell you never owned an eyehome. It allows eyeTV recordings to play via ethernet to your TV. The problem is that eyehome does not support Apple music, videos, H.264 compression or HD content. If Apple releases a high quality interface that allows me to play all of my QT videos, apple music and video downloads (DRM), HD recordings and MPEG-2, MPEG-1, .VOB and DiVX files on a home theatre it would be awesome. I hope it is wired and has a wireless option. This is the last leg of the Apple media application that Apple is missing. Who wants to drag a computer to the TV just to watch a show. The iTV could allow users to watch Apple content and EyeTV recordings with the Home Theatre. You already have an EyeTV video recorder. Why would you want to buy it again in a pricey iTV version? I would much rather have a iTV that is just an ethernet delivery system to the Home Threatre.


Have fun!

Vlad Sanchez
2006-09-13 09:34:30
Hi,


I envision that Apple will extend iTV's life by adding recording capabilities sooner than you realize. There are devices out there that do this but not in the same aesthetically pleasing and integrated fashion that an iTV would do.


Next version will be the "iTVR" (Recordable). Look at the form factor! Dont you agree it would only require you to plug a storage device or macMini underneath it and voilá!


It has the same form factor as the macMini and it wouldn't surprise me when they announce that it can be hooked to one not only for recording but for all the macMini does, IN YOUR LIVING ROOM. Think about playing online games, email, movies, music, slideshows, video conferencing (iChat), and more all in your plasma (I have a 50") or flat screen TV????


I once envisioned what is happening right now with Apple. It was the week of February 2006 when they announced the new mac Mini when I shared this email with some of my team mates:


"At first I agree I was also surprised with the price jump. But after careful thought I beg to tell you my impression. Here's how I see it and why I'd definitely buy one or more. :)


The new Mac Mini comes bundled with Front Row. Along with it's unbeatable form factor, this is just what I hoped/waited for. I swear I thought about it while I researched about a replacement home media system this past weekend. I found myself telling the sales rep: "I'll wait until Apple comes out with something to put FrontRow in my living room". My prayers were heard.


With a FrontRow-featured Mac Mini I can network all my media (Music and Movies) without paying the price of a "jukebox" component usually costing thousands of dollars. Need to scale?, hook up another drive and you're set. Need to expand the system (another room)? Just buy another Mini ($600) and hook it up to your stereo system and/or TV and you can still access shared media stored somewhere around the house.


FYI, the Bose Lifestyle ($4000) with the BoseLink system features a wireless sound system that allows you to enjoy streamed music in up to 14 different zones throughout the house with a single controller unit. This versatility and scalability is not affordably available from other high end manufacturers. The cost is aprox $599 (minimum) per zone. The catch is: $599 just for music, not media.


I think Apple, with the Mac Mini, just made another hit as big or bigger than the iPod itself. Nobody cant touch the Mac Mini. You have computing power and media services at the most competitive price in the market right now.


In preparation to my move to the new house, I've personally researched such capabilities in varied "affordable" systems ranging from Onkyo to Yamaha to JBL, and nobody IMO would be able to beat Apple in price vs. value at $600. I don't doubt for a second that iTunes will become the preferred distribution channel for Hollywood. They have the best distribution with an added bonus, DRM. Think about it! This may not be available now, but this is something the movie industry wont be able to stop, as it happened with the music industry.


Picture this. Buy your movies, download them to your computer and share them across the house on up to 5 additional devices (Macs or iPods). That easy! Why do u need the DVD disc for??? I don't need it. If you loose/erase it, just download it again.


I think that's what Apple is going after. They will be in your living room sooner that you think and in more homes than what Microsoft planned for. That's vision, a la Apple!


How do u like it? ;)


-Vladimir


P.S. Buy their stock while you can. It will fly once people realize this."


I am very excited to see these products. No offense, but you gotta have vision to see all this coming. It is the same vision that has guided Steve Jobs to turn Apple in the 1000-lb gorilla they are now.


Buy your shares, cause I am certain that Apple wont be the 3-4% market share company anymore. I wish I bought mine in (pre iPod era) '01 when they were at $8. |:(


Thanks for promoting the discussion.

BC
2006-09-13 09:39:55
Got to get the foot in the door before you expand the features......... I'm buying esp. with HDMI to my new 46inch 1080p LCD. Just hope they make it upconverting to at least 720p/1080i. If not then they will have a problem!!!!
Jack Cheng
2006-09-13 09:41:08
But for those of us who do have cable and want to keep it for the things we don't get on iTunes (for example, watching the Tour de France on OLN), a DVR set up would be nice.


It's a power move on Apple's part for sure. If enough people get iTV and ditch their cable subscriptions (which is exactly what I plan to do myself), then that gives networks and content providers more incentive to put up their programs on iTunes.


You might not be able to download Tour de France/OLN on iTunes at this very moment, but if Apple's video strategy starts to snowball... then maybe you will in the near future.

Frank
2006-09-13 09:43:51
Your missing the point of it all.... iTV is not an interface to the iTunes store, it is an inteface to iTunes. Elgato allready creates great DVR hardware and there are many more DVR products for Windows. iTunes can catalog, store and deliver to iTV many different kinds of video including, DVR recordings,Ripped DVD's, Video Podcasts, and of course iTune purchased video. Building DVR into a box like this makes no sense for Apple considering
1.The allready crowded market for DVR funtionality.
2. Tivo's new found ability to assert it's patent rights on DVR products
3. The switch over to digital cable.


Exactly what kind of TV tuner will would you suggest Appe ship in a DVR right now?? Analog, Digital, Cable Card, Cable Card 2?? The reality is that there is tom many options availible and to many problems associated with building a DVR currently.


You can achieve what you want by buying a the type of DVR that you need, (different types have different prices) and then store that content in iTunes there by making it availible on the iTV. The Computer is the Hub of the digital world and Apple is giving you the tools to manage use that digital content with iTunes, iPod and iTV So it's all about media management and use. The iTunes Store exists for people who don't want to purchase then Rip a CD, people do not want to break the law and RIP a DVD or buy and setup a computer based DVR, etc. It's not the only way to put video in iTunes, just one convienent way.

Robert Jung
2006-09-13 10:51:44
I don't care if the iTV doesn't record, since I have no interest in PVRs, and I imagine anyone who does already has one, whether from TiVo or El Gato or whoever. All I want is an effortless way to get my digital media on my computer into the living room, and iTV does that in spades.


One thing I would like to see Apple do is to include a DVD player with the iTV, maybe as a separate SKU (iTV-DVD?). That way I can just replace my existing DVD player, instead of adding Yet Another Box to my cabinet. Steve, are you listening?

RedLantern
2006-09-13 11:08:50
iPod Video = $249
iPod AV Connection Kit = $99 (dock, cables, remote, power).
Total = $348.


This is what I'm using, now, to watch movies and TV shows from iTunes on my TV. For less money than the iPod solution above, I get more functionality, and I save time, because I don't need to make sure the show is on the iPod before I watch it.


Tell me again how this is "not useful?" Geez, add a TVMicro for $99, and get your DVR capability.

VicInCA
2006-09-13 11:40:41
Chuck,


You're still assuming everyone wants dvr. iTV keeps the cost down for people who don't want it, and provides a key component for people who do (with eyeTV).

mcloki
2006-09-13 11:46:47
WOW talk about completely missing the point. The reason Apple talks about legal downloaded content is because "ta-da". That's the new business they are in. Legally downloaded content.
Nothing in his keynote said you can't stream a purchased DVD or BlueRay movie to the iTV. But since they don't sell DVD's why would they do the Wal-Marts of the world a favour.
It's a video Airport Express.
Why add recording, DVD or BlueRay capabilities when they are in the host mini. It keeps cost down.

2006-09-13 11:49:04
So iTV won't do what you want and it's useless? I know you are speaking for youself personally, but still you are making it sound like it's a complete junk. "Wha wha! this digital camera doesn't record video, WTF are they thinking! It sucks!" Not everybody want to watch TV you know. Do you still love your Mac because it doesn't come with built in media reader like my PC does? Or it doesn't play thousands of games?


I know it's your blog and it's a good one. Just saying it sounds kinda whiny. (I am not a Mac user or Apple fan BTW)

Steve 2.0
2006-09-13 11:51:42
So now I have to buy a TV too ... What about the "computer-replaces-tv" story ?
Guess they'll call it iFront.
Brian Yamabe
2006-09-13 12:10:21
Does this thing actual solve a problem? Or solve the problem better than anybody else?

The mp3 player solved the problem of people wanting to carry a lot of music/audio with them.
The iPod, because of its style and ease-of-use, did this better than any other solution and was a success. If the problem this thing solves is to bring your iTunes content to your TV, it solves a limited problem and will have limited success. If the problem it solves is the need for a conduit to all your media then, while solving a large problem, it fails because the implementation doesn't support all the media you can own.

So what's the problem definition that makes iTV a success?

2006-09-13 12:13:58
Wow, I just found out my post got deleted. Nice. Taking back what I said about you having a good blog.
Terrin
2006-09-13 12:26:02
May be your just too shortsighted. iTV is great. It does for video, what Airport Express did for music. I will be able to watch ANY video I have on my Mac now on my television. I do not need the iTV to record, when the idea behind the deveice is to send video already recorded on a computer to your television.


Maybe you do not have a need for that, but now I can watch all my video's on my television. SOon Videocasting will take off and likely surpass Podcasting.

siva
2006-09-13 13:19:44
Apple is going for high volume right now. Fact is most of US households get their TV from cable or satellite. Both of these companies want to control their content and have successfully deployed their own DVRs. Other people have tried to get into this business and have failed. Sony, LG, etc. had their own HD-DVRs but they have discontinued them due to high costs and low demands. While an eyeTV like device will suffice for OTA TV, Apple thinks that customers will want one DVR that will record OTA as well as cable/sat channels. iTV cannot provide that elegantly. So they have completely stayed away from that mess and are pushing your media from your computer onto your TV. Leave the DVR competition to the cable and sat companies. It took this long for Tivo to come out with their first HD-DVR. It will cost $800 to buy it and $13/month for subscription. How many units can Apple sell if they came out with something like this. Not many! I rest my case.
me
2006-09-13 13:23:28
Yeah we get it. you won't buy one. Get a Tivo then. Sheesh.
Jeremy
2006-09-13 13:35:55
If I look at this as a set top box that is supposed to be a media center type thing, then yes, it's a disappointment. If I look at this as Airport Express 2 with some extra features, then I think it's pretty cool. I do like how they're not trying to be all things at once.
For an Airport Express 2 with extra features, it's pretty pricey though :p.
I wonder if it will serve as an 802.11n draft hub too.
Pete
2006-09-13 13:37:22
I won't get it, but because I've already replaced my family TV with an iMac. Sorry, but Broadcast (or cable) has had it's day, and it is time for something new.


The question is: Why go through the hassle of recording "live" tv, when the companies should just make the content free through a video podcast? A free video podcast is just as good as any live-tv-show-plus-dvr.


I don't want to bother with DVR's and shows on crazy schedules. Give me video via RSS, and then I don't need to mess with that schedule any more.

Neil Squillante
2006-09-13 13:45:24
If you stick a DVD in your Mac, can you stream it through iTV? After all, Front Row plays DVDs in your Mac. If so, it wouldn't solve Chuck's problem, but it would be great for those of us with DVDs and/or Netflix subscriptions who would like to replace our bulky DVD players with the sleeker, more functional iTV.
Dweebert
2006-09-13 13:56:55
The iTV is an interesting announcement, but not quite what I envision putting into my system. I love the cool new-age-FrontRow look it provides, but I want PVR, darn it.


The only thing Apple would have to add to it to satisfy me, though, would be a web browser that picked up bookmarks from my Mac. Then I could run a web service front-end to EyeTV or the like, and still program it from my couch, and watch the recorded shows on the iTV later on, with all of Apple's ooooh-aaaah wizz-bang groovy graphics.


Such a simple addition would give third parties the ability to add the PVR that most of us want, and still give Apple the end-to-end model for everybody else.

Christopher
2006-09-13 14:05:29
I would buy it because I don't have a need for recording television. Right now I am paying $50 a month for digital cable on the off chance that the History, Discovery, or Science channel has something good on for the 30 minutes a day I might actually be sitting in front of TV. Really the only TV shows I watch religiously are Anthony Bourdaine and Lost and I watch them on my iPod 5G on the bike, stairmaster, or eliptical machine at the gym. So, for me, iTV is perfect. I could get rid of cable, watch all the TV I want and still save myself 20-30 bucks a month, plus I have the ability now to hold all of media in a digital format. Not too bad. So, for me iTV is perfect, I get all the TV I want with all of Apple's GUI goodness.
gahlord
2006-09-13 14:05:56
The iTV is more akin to a DVD player than a Tivo or VCR.


It isn't about recording. Not yet anyway. Also, Apple doesn't make significant revenue from the iTunes music store to justify the project, they make their money in the iPod sales. This set-top thingie is likely slated to be the hardware product that justifies the existence of the iTunes Movie store.


The iTV is just a simple device to shove data from one place to another place where you can consume it in a comfortable and friendly way.


Some people still listen to cassette tapes too. For the same reason you won't get an iTV. And that's just fine.

Zac
2006-09-13 15:03:06
Wow, I do't think I've ever seen a Mac Dev post with this many comments (and in just 12 hours). I'm not sure what I can add, but, short and sweet:


What you want is an Apple DVR, and that is not this machine. Will Apple make one? I don't think it is horribly likely, but it may still happen. Turning an iTV into a DVR would require adding a heaping of components (besides the video inputs, you would need a sizable hard drive to start, and probably a CPU of some kind, and a bigger more complicated remote). As I said, it is a different product. Is it a good product for Apple to make? Quite probably yes. The iTV is not that product though. Would you ask everyone who is interested simply in streaming media from their computer to their TV to pony up for extra components they wouldn't use?