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Could YouTube Be the Killer-App for Apple's iTV?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the the-dnd-psas-in-the-living-room dept.

Apple 111

mrspin writes "With Macworld Expo just over a week away, many expect Apple CEO Steve Jobs to announce further details (and the availability) of the company's yet to be released set-top-box, codenamed iTV. Powered by something similar to Apple's Front Row media center software, the iTV is designed to get the media content that's housed on a Mac (music, movies, and photos), streamed to the living room television. However, with its built-in wireless networking (suspected to be the faster 802.11n), why not bypass the Mac and have the iTV connect directly to the Internet? The combination of iTunes and DRM-free MP3s provided the 'killer app' for the iPod. YouTube could well do the same for Apple's soon-to-be released set-top box."

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Nope (1)

WiseWeasel (92224) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407698)

No, but paid subscriptions to content delivered over the net is a contender... People are not going to sit down on their couch and watch Youtube for an hour or three... For many potential customers, pirated content downloaded from P2P networks is the real killer app for the iTV... just like it was for the iPod...

Re:Nope (1)

Propaganda13 (312548) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407736)

Youtube - no
Online access/sharing of photo albums - yes
Apple owned video sharing - possibly

I do (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#17410418)

People are not going to sit down on their couch and watch Youtube for an hour or three

I do, and I know lots of people who do, too. Maybe you're just old :-)

Seriously, I used to watch youtube in the morning and in the evening while eating. Since the Wii Browser, I just use that instead. When I'm eating, I want some kind of distraction that doesn't require too much thinking on my part. Youtube works perfectly. I know people who watch youtube intead of TV. They just hang in front of the computer all evening and click from one movie to the next.

So yeah. People are going to (and already do) sit down on their couch and watch Youtube. Maybe not always for three hours straight, but that doesn't really matter for the current discussion.

Re:I do (1)

WiseWeasel (92224) | more than 6 years ago | (#17410726)

I meant normal people... : P

Seriously, though, Youtube is great, and I watch videos there all the time, but it's always videos that are linked on other sites like Digg and such. The interface just isn't conducive to being a replacement for most people's TV-watching habits. You can't just turn on the Youtube and have something to watch for the next while; instead, you have to select every little bit of video you want to see. Typically, this means having to select something new every few minutes. Then, you have the issue of crappy quality. I just got myself a shiny new 37" 1080p LCD TV, and I just know that trying to watch Youtube on it for any appreciable amount of time is going to make my eyes bleed.

Compare this to something like iTunes, where you could build yourself a playlist, and have content of your choosing, in good picture quality. You can plan out an hour's worth of programming, or have it done automatically with video podcast-type subscriptions and smart playlists, and then you can sit down and watch what you want without interruption. Really, Youtube, in its current incarnation, doesn't stand a chance.

Re:I do (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#17411926)

Typically, this means having to select something new every few minutes

Yeah, but youtube always offers links to "related" videos, so I generally just click on whatever seems most interesting after a video has stopped playing. It's simple with the Wiimote. And a hypothetical iTV youtube feature would certainly make that easy using the Apple remote, too.

But yeah, the quality is crap. Dunno if most people care too much. I don't.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17407708)

No, it's just not the Apple Way (tm)

Poor content, poor quality, no money in it.

wireless LAN broadband (4, Insightful)

ATAMAH (578546) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407712)

"Why not bypass the Mac..." - because local area networking (even 802.11) is quite a bit faster than your average broadband line? Therefore the videos on a mac could be in high resolution/high quality ones, as opposed to stuff on youtube and such.

Re:wireless LAN broadband (1)

ari wins (1016630) | more than 6 years ago | (#17409840)

Wow, two posts in and this guy's opinion has been owned.

not youtube, but another (4, Insightful)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407740)

The combination of iTunes and DRM-free MP3s provided the 'killer app' for the iPod. YouTube could well do the same for Apple's soon-to-be released set-top box.

The killer app won't be YouTube, but a youtube-like service that actually hosts full-length episodes. For example, NBC puts up their own shows for viewing on their website, 24hrs after they air. Other networks are starting to do this as well. To aggregate this content into one place for consumption by iTV owners will be the trick. Throw in a dash of quasi-legal bittorrent downloads, and you've got a winner.

Re:not youtube, but another (2, Interesting)

slart42 (694765) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407750)

[i]The killer app won't be YouTube, but a youtube-like service that actually hosts full-length episodes.[/i]

You mean like www.alluc.org ? The question is of course how long it survives until they get sued..

Re:not youtube, but another (1)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407792)

You mean like www.alluc.org ? The question is of course how long it survives until they get sued..

I was more referring to something like DailyMotion [dailymotion.com] , but yeah, alluc.org could work too.

Re:not youtube, but another (4, Insightful)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407890)

I agree it won't be YouTube for a number of reasons. The quality and suitability of content are too variable; the social networking aspect that draws people to specific videos is missing without the computer side; YouTube video quality is awful; and YouTube's pipe is too slow (I can never play movies without pausing and caching, and I have 54 mb fibre, more than 10x the standard US broadband connection).

The killer apps will be probably be nice Mac apps (like Xtorrent) that automate movie downloading and streaming, making things easy for the user.

Re:not youtube, but another (1)

Pink Tinkletini (978889) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408842)

Xtorrent may be a nice Mac app, but it's certainly no more elegant and Maclike than the application to which it owes its engine, Transmission. And unlike Xtorrent, Transmission isn't developed by a fuckwad without a cause [google.com] .

Re:not youtube, but another (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 6 years ago | (#17410024)

That's funny because I have 8MB and never have to pause, and I'm all the way over in England. I had a spell about a month back where it kept pausing, but since then it's been flawless.

Now if only people would stop uploading the same videos over and over again... or uploading other people's clips, editing with some shitty song played over the top.

Re:not youtube, but another (1)

drix (4602) | more than 6 years ago | (#17410648)

You should check your connection. I have 768kb DSL, less than .5 times the standard US broadband connection, and YouTube has never lagged for me. Click-n-watch.

Re:not youtube, but another (1)

kjart (941720) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407902)

The killer app won't be YouTube, but a youtube-like service that actually hosts full-length episodes. For example, NBC puts up their own shows for viewing on their website, 24hrs after they air. Other networks are starting to do this as well. To aggregate this content into one place for consumption by iTV owners will be the trick.

I agree. I no longer watch TV live, I download the episodes at my leisure (torrents, etc) and watch them on my computer or TV via my Xbox 360. I'd love to have a central TV repository or something similar where I could go to watch TV on demand. Provided the quality was good, ads would be acceptable.

Will Apple be the first to do this? Maybe, but I'd imagine it would be a pay per download kind of service (this has been established via iTunes). The more interesting notion to me is (and it's obviously speculation) whether this might be the reason why Google bought Youtube - to make such an ad driven, central TV library/service.

Re:not youtube, but another (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17411408)

I'd love to have a central TV repository or something similar where I could go to watch TV on demand. Provided the quality was good, ads would be acceptable.

Will Apple be the first to do this? Maybe, but I'd imagine it would be a pay per download kind of service (this has been established via iTunes).


Have you not noticed the dozens of TV shows available on iTunes in 640x480 1.5Mbps H.264 (i.e., better than what you get on BitTorrent)?

better than what you get on BitTorrent (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 7 years ago | (#17412616)

speak for yourself, I know where to find HD quality tv shows on bitorrent..

Re:not youtube, but another (2, Interesting)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408728)

Would it not be easier to just expand the content available in iTunes (More TV, and please include the UK as well) and make iTV talk to that instead of a whole new system? The infrastructure is there, and having an always on Mac downloading the latest episodes independently of the iTV will make streaming over a network much faster.

My money is on Apple to become the first company to get the hang of housewide media networks. All they need is for the media producers to realise that they have potential access to a huge market by playing along, because I know damn well that I won't mind paying a couple of dollars and episode to download, keep, and watch whenever I want.

Re:not youtube, but another (1)

BMonger (68213) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408766)

Why not preloaded like Steam does with games, only to unlock at the appropriate time in your time zone so you can watch it with people that have cable? That's where this should (and probably is) headed.

Re:not youtube, but another (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#17409028)

Well I don't see watching YouTube stuff on TV. iTune TV Shows and the such are designed for TV. You sit down and watch. You Tube requires you to search select watch for a couple of minutes and switch to an other one. TV is not designed to be interactive. That is why they are 50" screens sitting at the other end of your room with speakers all around you (Ideal situation) It is ment for your to sit in your most comfortable chair or couch and just sit and relax for 1/2 hour. YouTube is designed for small screens sitting in a small chair hunched over the screen looking at some clips for a couple of minutes and switch to an other one.

Re:not youtube, but another (0, Troll)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 6 years ago | (#17411258)

Sorry but the stuff on Youtube is far better than the censored trash on NBC. More creative too. If NBC did put up mpegs of all their shows, I still would fast forward most of it. I think we need a Rhapsody-like service for movies. $29.99, unlimited movies streamed over network with Dolby 5.1. I'll be first subscriber in line. I don't want to own anything, I have no room. Just want to watch everything "once".

Re:not youtube, but another (1)

FFFish (7567) | more than 7 years ago | (#17412730)

Apple + Google's dark fiber net + Bittorrent = killer entertainment app.

DING DONG, SADDAM IS DEAD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17407756)

Hey guys where's the /. story? This is big news. You Tube is so last year.

Already doing this with my Wii (1)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407802)

The internet browser for the Wii is fantastic. Been watching YT on TV a lot more then I watch TV now.

Re:Already doing this with my Wii (1)

dotbenjamin (1034650) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407852)

Really? Without the tabbed browsing hack [blogspot.com] I'm not a fan of the Wii browsing experience. YouTube and Wii-targetted flash games are the only real reason to use it - anything else is clunky and awkward.

Re:Already doing this with my Wii (1)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407884)

Depends a lot on what sites you visit. Sure I would prefer tabs, I'd also prefer smaller buttons at the bottom of the screen but for the moment the browser is in Beta.

Re:Already doing this with my Wii (1)

Br'fin (170009) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408494)

Heh. Youtube was one of the first things we ended up doing with the Wii browser. Nice to sit back and watch and browse the videos and the Wii plays them back quite well. I do happen to kvetch that of all places, wii.ign.com's videos do not work currently under the Wii browser (They need a later version of the flash plugin)

Certainly helpful since my love wanted to watch the videos, but her own computer was a bit antiquated to be up to date on all plug-ins and have the necessary horsepower.

Wii browsing can be a little hit or miss, and still has some bugs. (My Wii freezes trying to visit http://cuteoverload.com/ [cuteoverload.com] for instance) but works pretty well. Don't forget that the 2-button can fit pages into a cell-phone style single column mode which can work beautifully on long articles so you don't need to be scrolling side to side to read thing after zooming in on them.

And on the freezes, I did submit that as a bug/feedback to Nintendo. As to IGN, I just complained about that to them in their feedback.

Re:Already doing this with my Wii (1)

somethinghollow (530478) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408618)

Been watching YT on TV a lot more then I watch TV now.


  As long as you watch TV after YouTube...

Why buy one? (2, Insightful)

Deag (250823) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407822)

From my / slashdot reader's perspective, not general consumers: It would have to be kinda cheap wouldn't it? I mean all the new consoles have some sort of ability to do this as far as I know. Some involves a bit of configuration on the pc but it works (programs like tversity are getting better at streaming anything you want to your console, youtube included). So if a wii is 250 and an xbox 360 is 350, this itv thing better be under 100 before it would be viable to this audience.

Re:Why buy one? (2, Insightful)

slide-rule (153968) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408694)

Except that the one thing we've finally established is that the slashdot demographic, taken as an average, exists completely outside of any commercially oriented target market. No reason Apple (or anyone) should even bother reading our comments for their own research purposes. As for the iTV thing: last we really heard back in the Fall developer conference (?) was that it will be $299. Personally, I think its great: nice concept, nice form factor / styling, and all the usual Apple QA being done. I have already budgeted for it.

iTV? (2, Interesting)

evilbessie (873633) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407824)

I don't somehow think it will be called iTV as in the UK this is used by "Independant Television". So another branding using this name for a television service would probably not be allowed or cause confusion with consumers.

Re:iTV? (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407870)

After the problem with Apple Records, surely they must have looked into this. I

It's an abbreviation of the full title though, so possibly they can get away with it. Having the 'i' in lower case would also place the product in their 'i' line up, distinguishing it from ITV visually.

Sounds a stupid name to use all the same, do they never learn?

Re:iTV? (2, Funny)

dotbenjamin (1034650) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407932)

Whether they can legally use the name isn't really the point.

In the UK, ITV is channel 3 in most places. It's one of the most popular free channels, and has been around for over half a century. In our television-obsessed nation, no Apple product is gonna usurp the abbreviation iTV in our collective consiousness.

Calling a set top box iTV is like bringing out a new digital radio receiver box and calling it the bBC.

Re:iTV? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17407964)

It's a code name, as the article points out. It won't be released as iTV.

Re:iTV? (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408650)

It's probably a protected name in the US too - ITV do export home grown shows around the world.. all TV stations do.

It's the same problem apple has with the iPhone. Great name on paper, but somebody got there first.

Re:iTV? (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408762)

Actually thinking about it they may not bother marketing it in europe at all anyway.

ipod video has been basically killed here due to the non-availability of video for download, presumably because apple couldn't get the rights. It's marketed as a larger ipod, but of everyone I know that's got an ipod in the last few months they've gone for the cheaper version because video on its own is a bit pointless (not to mention video mobile phones are freely available and much cheaper).

xbox 360 in the US apparently has video downloads - not in europe (unless you count a couple of crappy game demos). So MS couldn't get the rights either.

If iTV has to rely on internet downloads it simply won't have any use here unless apple can get the rights to sell full length episodes etc.. It's not worth paying for a device that can browse utube and that's it.. they'd sell about 3 of them.

Re:iTV? (1)

iroll (717924) | more than 6 years ago | (#17411758)

wtf are you talking about?

ipod video has been basically killed here due to the non-availability of video for download, presumably because apple couldn't get the rights.
There has never been any such thing as an "ipod video." Apple never marketed any such product, so I think "killed" is a little presumptuous. In fact, "ipod video" is just blathering blogspeak. It started before video was available when people thought that the "ipod video" would be some kind of PSP sized crap box for dedicated video viewing. It was never meant to be that way.

It's marketed as a larger ipod,
Yeah, see what they did is they added video playback to the (near) original form-factor iPod, which has always been the largest capacity unit in the family. They were already selling these "larger ipods," because THAT WAS THE ORIGINAL PRODUCT.

but of everyone I know that's got an ipod in the last few months they've gone for the cheaper version because video on its own is a bit pointless (not to mention video mobile phones are freely available and much cheaper).
Even before video playback was a feature on the iPod, it was being outsold by another product called iPod Mini because (gasp!) the Mini was smaller and cheaper! Guess what? The iPod Nanos that your friends bought have always outsold the full-sized iPod, and it has nothing to do with people opting out on "ipod videos" because there aren't any videos. Apple has ALWAYS marketted them as the highest tier of a family of music players, with a bonus feature (video).

If iTV has to rely on internet downloads it simply won't have any use here unless apple can get the rights to sell full length episodes etc.. It's not worth paying for a device that can browse utube and that's it..
That is about as lame as arguing that the iPod relies on songs downloaded from ITMS. It does not. The "iTV" is intended to play ANY content on your computer--pictures, video, audio--on your home entertainment system. It bridges the gap. Any content sales will piggyback on this idea, just like ITMS piggybacks on iTunes capability to play ANY content that you give it (CDs, pirated MP3s, etc).

they'd sell about 3 of them.
Yeah, just like they only sold 3 original iPods before ITMS was available. Have you forgotten that online sales came AFTER the iPod was already selling like hotcakes?

Re:iTV? (1)

randomblast (730328) | more than 6 years ago | (#17411396)

Free? No it isn't. You still need to pay the BBC for your TV license, even if you just want to watch ITV/Channel 4/5.

Re:iTV? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408030)

The bigger problem, from a trademark perspective, is that there is already a device called an eyeTV made by Elgato for streaming video from a Mac to a TV.

The name 'iTV,' however, is only a pre-release name. It is expected to change before it ships.

Re:iTV? (1)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408422)

As if Apple ever cared about other people's trademarks or designation. "Apple" itself had a predictable conflict. "Dashboard" conflicts with Gnome. Etc.

Re:iTV? (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408666)

Apple wasn't a conflict until Apple computers went into music distribution. Dashboard isn't a trademark, only a product name (Techically Gnome could be sued because Apple now have the trademark on that, even though Gnome was first).

Re:iTV? (1)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408986)

Dashboard isn't a trademark, only a product name (Techically Gnome could be sued because Apple now have the trademark on that, even though Gnome was first).

Yes: Apple has a choice in the naming of their products, and they choose names that conflict with existing usage. Of course, it's more likely ignorance and stupidity on Apple's part, rather than deliberate strategy, given that they have gotten burned by it before (cf Rendezvous/Bonjour).

And, technically, Apple should get their butt kicked if they try to sue Gnome because the logical end result would be that the name was generic for software long before Apple applied for a trademark. I hope they do.

Re:iTV? (1)

slide-rule (153968) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408714)

Steve Jobs said, back in the Fall when he teased us with the box, that "itv" was just an in-house product code name. An official for-market name is likely forthcoming -- note that, iLife suite notwithstanding, Apple seems to be slowly moving away from the "i*" naming convention.

Re:iTV? (1)

iroll (717924) | more than 6 years ago | (#17411596)

I somehow don't think it will be called iTV in the USA, because Jobs said that was just an internal project name and that it would be called something else at release.

PS3 (4, Insightful)

News for nerds (448130) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407836)

Why buy this Apple set-top box when another set-top box called PS3 can happily browse YouTube on its web browser?

Re:PS3 (2, Informative)

paniq (833972) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408474)

So can the Wii, just tried it.

Re:PS3 (1)

rmccann (792082) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408882)

Correct. And the PS3 isn't even out yet*. * Remember not everyone lives in North America

Re:PS3 (1)

iroll (717924) | more than 6 years ago | (#17409672)

I was going to make a joke about how the PS3 can barely be said to be "out" in North America, but then I was at Target yesterday and they had PS3s but no Wiis... so I guess the joke is "And the Wii isn't even out yet..."

Re:PS3 (1)

llamaxing (895844) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408624)

why buy it, you ask? because you can afford it!

Re:PS3 (1)

slide-rule (153968) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408760)

To each their own. If you buy a PS3 and like it, great. But in counterpoint, why spend over $600 on a PS3 when I have a PS2 (and a huge library of games available I haven't played yet), a TV that won't benefit from blu-ray (etc) anyhow, and otherwise have a library of photos, music, and a mildly growing collection of home/kid movies already on my Mac in the various iLife titles -- will the PS3 stream this stuff to my TV? That's basically the reason the ~ $300 iTV box exists ... get your in-Mac media libraries onto your TV with no more fuss than a click of a remote control. If someone adds internet-streaming options, thats just an extra I'm not really counting on.

Re:PS3 (1)

somethinghollow (530478) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408856)

I have this thing called a "compute-er" with "aych tee pee see" software called MythTV that can browse YouTube in several different "web browsers." It can also record TV, let me know what will be playing on TV later that day, play tons of old console games (as well as some new games), rip and play DVDs, rip and play CDs, and even tell me the weather (for god's sake, it KNOWs the weather!).

Why would I need a "PS3" "console gaming system"?

Because it is a novelty item. It never claims to be the be-all and end-all. It's trying to fill a niche, just like the iTV is, or whatever else. If you think the PS3 is the best "convergence" system for home entertainment, there are always better.

Re:PS3 (1)

DarthBart (640519) | more than 6 years ago | (#17410196)

Because I have better things to do with my time than dick around with finding hardware that MythTV plays well with, then getting a "distro" installed, then screwing around getting it all set up. Sure, if I was a single geek who lived in mommy's basement I could give it a go. However, like most of the people who would buy one of these, I have a full time job, a full time family, and a full time household to contend with.

Re:PS3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17411656)

I have a full time job, a full time family, and a full time household to contend with.

So do I as do probably 50% of all people. I have time for a figuring out MythTV. It is called a hobby. Maybe your hobby is something different. Associating my hobby with a geek that lives in mommy basement just shows how much of an asshole or blind you really are to everyone in the world that is not exactly like you are. On a side note, some people like to get things going to gain a sense of accomplishment and to learn how things work. I am able to to handle the job, family, house, kids, cars, and yard as well.

Re:PS3 (1)

Xymor (943922) | more than 6 years ago | (#17409430)

Even better:

1- install azureus in ps3's linux, your distro of choice;
2- install rss feed scanner;
3- select your favorite shows;
4- ...;
5- Watch them when ver you want;

It's like TiVO, but better, it's DRM free and supports any pirated tv show, movie or whatever.
That's something I'd pay for, even when I'm already doing for free.

Because (1)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 6 years ago | (#17410566)

Because it's cheaper (nudge nudge wink wink)

Not innovative (1)

kjart (941720) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407842)

Powered by something similar to Apple's Front Row media center software, the iTV is designed to get the media content that's housed on a Mac (music, movies, and photos), streamed to the living room television.

Why the excitement? Ignoring all HTPC's completely (which can do the above and more), the Xbox 360 can do the above with a Windows box with ease (especially with Vista).

However, with its built-in wireless networking (suspected to be the faster 802.11n)

What is this based on? Apple sitting on a wireless technology faster than the newest standard which is allegedly consumer ready and they're saving it for a home theater device? Give me a break. I guess no Apple rumor is complete without completely outrageous claims, though.

Re:Not innovative (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17407948)

I think 802.11n is suspected because a number of Macs have shipped with 802.11n chipsets - currently not enabled.

I'm not saying that it's proof, but it is an interesting decision by Apple.

Re:Not innovative (1)

kjart (941720) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407980)

I think 802.11n is suspected because a number of Macs have shipped with 802.11n chipsets - currently not enabled.

D'oh! I misread that - I read 'faster than 802.11n'; my mistake. I clearly need some sleep :)

it's not about "innovation" (0, Flamebait)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408442)

Why the excitement? Ignoring all HTPC's completely (which can do the above and more)

I dispute that the HTPC "can" do anything; my experience with it is that it works for a few months and then things gradually stop working. I eventually erased mine completely and it's running Linux now. My home is Windows-free now, except for the rare occasion when I boot into Windows for playing some particular game.

the Xbox 360 can do the above with a Windows box with ease (especially with Vista).

Xbox 360 is itself a rip-off of other boxes and functionality. And if it only works with Windows, I'm not interested.

In any case, the point of such a product is not innovation, it's price, design, form factor, reliability, and functionality. Personally, I'd rather have an Apple iTV sitting on my TV than any box by Microsoft.

Re:it's not about "innovation" (2, Informative)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408708)

If Apple can come up with a box that (a) can control external boxes, (b) has an EPG equivalent in functionality to Tivo, and (c) has HD capture via component it'll clean up (especially in this country where Tivo died in 2002 and we were left with the crappy DVR wannabe Sky+).

The third one is the killer. No MCE box currently available will do that.

Why all the hub-bub over YouTube? (2, Insightful)

rindeee (530084) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407880)

I don't get it. So you can watch crap quality videos of other people or ripped content. How is this at all appealing for a set-top box? Give me DVD quality full length movies and TV shows on demand. That's something worth having. So far as I'm concerned, a Mac Mini with a fat external hard-drive, Hand Brake installed and the FrontRow remote is the set top box for me. If I want to watch some retarded YouTube content, I'll grab the wireless keyboard, open firefox and watch it.

Re:Why all the hub-bub over YouTube? (1)

not-enough-info (526586) | more than 6 years ago | (#17412030)

My girlfriend is a reality tv nut. And while I do prefer to watch my HD torrents on my 32"TV with screen spanning and VLC, she's perfectly happy watching YouTube episodes in the Wii Internet Channel.

Re:Why all the hub-bub over YouTube? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17412902)

Get a fucking tv you nub.

DRM-Free? (2, Funny)

halex-ab (1045040) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407914)

The combination of iTunes and DRM-free MP3s provided the 'killer app' for the iPod.
Since when was iTunes legally providing DRM-free music?

Re:DRM-Free? (1)

dotbenjamin (1034650) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407936)

Since never. Lying makes the argument that the article puts forward more convincing though, doesn't it?

Re:DRM-Free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17407972)

My iTunes has provided me with hundreds of DRM-free AAC tracks. I could have chosen MP3 as the format.

Are you confused about the difference between iTunes and the iTunes Music Store? Or am I lying?

Of course, if you'd RTFA you would have understood this from the context of the comment .

Re:DRM-Free? (1)

slide-rule (153968) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408776)

Article might not be worded the best way, but is not lying. An iPod can play stuff from iTMS : check. An iPod can play non-DRMed MP3 files that I rip from my own CDs : check. OP is entirely correct. My own iPod has a mixture of both. If you insist on think the OP was saying just one thing, you'd first have to observe that iTMS sells AAC files, not MP3 files. Stop feeding the FUD machine.

Re:DRM-Free? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408038)

'iTunes' and 'DRM-free MP3s' are separate concepts in the sentence. As are 'YouTube' and 'paid for downloads' in the prediction for the iTV.

Re:DRM-Free? (4, Insightful)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408446)

Since when was iTunes legally providing DRM-free music?

The iTunes store isn't, but the iTunes software is: when you rip your CDs. All the music I have is DRM free, and it's all music that I paid for.

YouTube also has the high quality somewhere (3, Interesting)

Peter Bonte (919202) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407950)

All YouTube clips get downgraded to the familiar size and quality we know now but they keep the original content on servers unused, same for Google's movies and other sites. Streaming them in high quality to the iTV would make the big difference, it all depends how well they can handle the enormous data transfers.

Re:YouTube also has the high quality somewhere (1)

kjart (941720) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408404)

All YouTube clips get downgraded to the familiar size and quality we know now but they keep the original content on servers unused, same for Google's movies and other sites. Streaming them in high quality to the iTV would make the big difference, it all depends how well they can handle the enormous data transfers.

Is there some reason why Youtube (for example) would make this higher quality content available via iTV when it's not available through any other method?

Re:YouTube also has the high quality somewhere (1)

Peter Bonte (919202) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408528)

Google and Apple are good friends now, there are many options i think. Google advertising specially tailored for a TV audience (a new market), a cut on each iTV, content providers paying for a top spot on the main page. Or a combination but a monthly fee won't work, it has to be something 'free'.

Re:YouTube also has the high quality somewhere (1)

Peter Bonte (919202) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408680)

The next revolution in TV is probably going to be user generated content, think of different TV channels for different genres or big sites like Google and Youtube having there own channels with daily shows. Think of worldwide broadcasting, worldwide advertising, user generated content, a new way of watching TV. In short, a revolution in TV land.

*Sigh* (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407960)

The combination of iTunes and DRM-free MP3s provided the 'killer app' for the iPod.
Ether the submitter is ignoring that there is DRM on Itunes music and thus lying or doesn't know. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FairPlay [wikipedia.org] for those who may not know.

Re:*Sigh* (2, Informative)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 6 years ago | (#17407988)

No, the point is that the iPod can play DRM-free music, wheras the Sony alternatives, at least at the time, couldn't. (The software slapped DRM all over your files as soon as you imported them).

Re:*Sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17408002)

You didn't read the article.

Here's the context:

Only a fraction of the songs on an iPod originate from the iTunes store. So why would Steve Jobs adopt a different strategy for the iTV? The combination of iTunes and DRM-free MP3s provided the 'killer app' for the iPod, and YouTube could well do the same for Apple's soon-to-be released set-top box.

See, there's a difference between iTunes and the iTunes Music Store. The article makes that pretty clear.

Re:*Sigh* (1)

slide-rule (153968) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408790)

As has already been pointed out to another commenter: the ability to play DRMed iTunes files and the ability to play non-DRMed MP3 files are separate concepts. The article might have worded this better, granted.

Re:*Sigh* (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408950)

'' As has already been pointed out to another commenter: the ability to play DRMed iTunes files and the ability to play non-DRMed MP3 files are separate concepts. The article might have worded this better, granted. ''

Just wanted to mention non-DRMed AAC files, which probably keep many people away from any player that doesn't play AAC.

Somehow, nobody making portable music players dared putting AAC capability in their player, probably to avoid upsetting Microsoft (I'd love to be corrected if I am wrong). And guess what Microsoft does: Makes a portable music player that plays AAC.

Re:*Sigh* (1)

PenGun (794213) | more than 6 years ago | (#17410870)

I'm waiting for a player that will do .flac. Why it's a problem to do this is DRM. Still anyone who makes one will get my business.

Re:*Sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17411706)

The iAudio X5 supports open formats like .org and .flac. It comes in 20, 30, and 60 GB sizes.

Re:*Sigh* (1)

warrigal (780670) | more than 6 years ago | (#17412240)

I think you have iTunes and the iTunes Music Store confused in your mind.
The music I load on my iPod from iTunes (from cds and other sources)
carries no DRM. Never used the iTunes Music Store.

XBMC has this (4, Informative)

lthown (737539) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408004)

The last few builds of Xbox Media Center have included a add-on script for Youtube watching (that's where I first saw the "Pachelbel Rant"), not to mention the Launch.com one for music video watching. Incidentally, have you noticed that "pre-owned" Xbox1s are down to $99. So we're talking no DRM, expandability and you can get the hardware for just under $100.

I don't see it (1)

PhotoBoy (684898) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408120)

As great as YouTube is, I wouldn't want to sit down in the living room and watch it like normal TV. Maybe it works for people with a 5 minute attention span but it doesn't really offer movies or TV shows.

YouTube just isn't suited for TV viewing (3, Insightful)

evilgrug (915703) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408136)

I've watched a fair amount of YouTube content via my TV (both with the Wii's internet browser and the Xbox's XBMC) and it really is nothing more than a gimmick. In its current state (low resolution and bitrate, 10 minute length restriction), YouTube is only really suited for PC use, ie "check out this video" links being passed via forums and IMs.

No one is seriously going to sit down in front of their TV and "watch YouTube", and it's hardly going to convince owners to buy a $250 device. Apple's store, on the other hand, if they actually managed to secure content from studios other than Disney, is another story.

iTV's been beaten to it... (1)

Aphrika (756248) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408150)

...by the Nintentdo Wii. Download the internet channel preview and voila! YouTube in your living room. And I assure you that worldwide, there'll probably be more Wii's sat by TVs than Apple iTV boxes.

Re:iTV's been beaten to it... (2, Insightful)

natd (723818) | more than 7 years ago | (#17413044)

By your argument there was no market for the Airport Express or similar.

The iTV, to me, is worth putting beside my Wii, my Neuston (and quite possible PS3 once they come down in price in AU) simply because it promises to be a seamless consumer experience. Well integrated to both your local library and an online source (in this case we're speculating YouTube), which anyone can use much like they can use the cable and DVD boxes to watch stuff.

I've had a http://www.neuston.com/en/mc500.php [neuston.com] Neuston for about 3 years but still use my Airport Express for music to the living room Hi-Fi. I'm even willing to either walk down the hall to my PC or pop open my notebook to turn on or change music in preference to fighting with the Neuston remote http://www.neuston.com/Images/MC500/MC500_in_10.jp g [neuston.com] and 'technically good enough' software interface. The cheaper (than projected iTV price) Neuston has been doing the network streaming of video for years too, but it just isn't good enough to be bothered with.

The iTV will do for Video what Airport Express does for music but WITH a decent 'on TV' software interface and remote. Just like the iPod, they aren't the first on the market with the general idea, but they will be the first to do it RIGHT.

It's a nice idea - for geeks (0)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408190)

I hooked up my Wii with the browser into the Internets, and showed my wife - look, we can get YouTube on here!

Meh. As a non-geek, she couldn't care less - and I think that's most people. Youtube is useful for "Hey, Bob - did you see this video?" And maybe if there's a series you like (like Chad Vader or the shaving series by Mantis I like) - but typically, Youtube is a great idea, but I don't see the casual person sitting there going "Oh - look, I can surf Youtube!"

The two killer apps as I see it:

1. Seemless iTunes integration - and this includes the store. If I realize I forgot to Tivo Battlestar, or "House" for my wife, then I should be able to just pick up the iTunes remote, click, click, $2 later I got my show.

2. Any show, any time - with commercials. I wouldn't mind commercials on shows if I could pick whatever show I wanted, whenever I wanted - even if I couldn't skip them (or, if they forced a few at the beginning/middle or something like that). Then, if I want to watch "Veronica Mars", I just go right to the episode. No worried about my schedule - I just watch it.

I don't see 2 happening - networks I think are too obsessed with "time slow", even though such a "select the show" system would be a more accurate demonstration to commercial vendors of how effective a show is at getting eyeballs (and maybe that's why the networks don't do it ;) ).

But while Youtube/Google Video integration would be nice, I don't buy that it would be the "killer app".

Re:It's a nice idea - for geeks (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408320)

'' 2. Any show, any time - with commercials. I wouldn't mind commercials on shows if I could pick whatever show I wanted, whenever I wanted - even if I couldn't skip them (or, if they forced a few at the beginning/middle or something like that). Then, if I want to watch "Veronica Mars", I just go right to the episode. No worried about my schedule - I just watch it. ''

Actually, that's an excellent idea. For everyone who doesn't know it yet: You pay for TV by watching the advertisements. That's why TV companies and advertisers don't like Tivo: Because it lets you watch TV without advertisements which means to them: Without paying. There is no reason for them not to make TV shows available for free, as long as you cannot remove the advertisements, and as long as they don't have any costs. Apple could distribute things for free as well, counting the bandwidth cost as cost to promote sales of iTVs. And they could allow you to make and distribute copies, as long as the advertisements are not skipped.

Only if quality is not an issue (1)

tji (74570) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408358)

Youtube video looks bad enough as a 2 inch square on my laptop display. Scale that up to my 50 inch HDTV, and it will be complete garbage. But, maybe now that they are in Google, they have the resources to allow storage and transfer of HD video.

If so, then the second quality issue comes into play, the quality of the content. I personally find the vast majority of internet video to be worthless. But, with the seeming success of YouTube, and all the video links that end up on Digg, I guess many others actually watch that junk.

iTV + Broadcom Chip = HD/H264 Movies On Old TV (1)

cannuck (859025) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408780)

HD movies will now be watchable on old TVs and old/slower computers [ maybe 8^) ]. Never have to upgrade computer again - unless a geek or doing transcoding video! In fact don't need TV - just buy big wide screen LCD monitor (Apple's widescreen 48 inch monitor - of course. I wonder if iTV are allowed in jail cells? 8^)

Re:iTV + Broadcom Chip = HD/H264 Movies On Old TV (0, Troll)

cannuck (859025) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408832)

Actually I am sure that iTVs will be allowed in jail cells - Jobs will still want to watch via his iTV. (SCORE 5)

Don't Care (1)

Horibu (690736) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408902)

As long as you can can install a WoW addon to the iTV so you can play through your TV simple and sweet. Now that would make me purchase one.

Re:Don't Care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17411056)

That add-on would need a harddrive, RAM, a mid- to high-range graphics card, and a faster processor. Not to mention the fact that you can't play World of Warcraft with the Apple Remote. >_>

The Venice Project vs iTV (1)

microbrewer (774971) | more than 6 years ago | (#17408928)

The Venice Project will be the competitor to iTV andas a Beta tester the UI is PVR like so you can see the direction is to get TVP on Set top boxes maybe with a remote and a wireless keybaord.

Re:The Venice Project vs iTV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#17410062)

Please make sense.

Flash video? You're joking right? (4, Insightful)

trimbo (127919) | more than 6 years ago | (#17410812)

Why would I want to spend $2000 on an HDTV, another $500-$1K or whatever iTV will cost, to watch crappy Flash Video? The novelty will wear off when the new season of "24" starts.

The killer app for any of these set top boxes is well compressed HD programming on demand. Right now on Xbox Live, HD movies run about 6 GB, which takes a long time to download at 1.5 Mbs or even a cable modem's top speed of 8 Mbs.

Comcast, on the other hand, has the bandwidth and set-top boxes to deliver HD on demand right now. I'm not sure how Apple is going to compete against this unless they have some awesome new codec to do it. Comcast has already rendered the Tivo Series 3 POA (Pointless On Arrival). Comcast's HD DVR solution, while crappy, is $10 a month; the HD Tivo is $800 plus another $20 a month for dual CableCards and can't do on demand HD at any point. When I click on an HD movie using Comcast's On Demand, it plays within a second or two. I'm just don't see Apple--or Microsoft, or Tivo or anyone--competing in the face of this bandwidth juggarnaut, even if their equipment is superficially nicer to use.

Been done. (2, Informative)

goldcd (587052) | more than 6 years ago | (#17411158)

I have an old Xbox with Xbox Media Centre - and I can play all the YouTube stuff I want on my TV.
As a person able to do this I can tell you:
a) You don't want to sit on your couch f'in about with millions of crappy little clips.
b) The crappy little clips look REALLY crappy on a big TV.

Proper IPTV is here and will only grow. Multicast handles all the broadcast stuff, what we need is a P2P addon that'll handle the OnDemand stuff (I don't just mean conventional PayPerView, I mean providerless YouTube style stuff) and I want a nice Open front end that'll let me view all this on anything (and if MS will support it in MCE2, then I'll buy MCE2)

Re:Been done. (1)

nblender (741424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17413114)

What you want is already mostly there, albeit illegally. Private torrent networks coupled with an RSS plugin for Azureus running on my mythbackend, automatically dropping files into my videos folder... Newest episodes of stuff just appear for me.

The technology is there, the networks just have to figure out that people will pay to have this and companies like Apple just have to figure out how to package it so you can plug and view. If someone writes a DAAP plugin for MythTV, then I'm all over that itv thing. I just spent 2 days building a replacement mythfrontend. I'd have rather just spent the money for something that worked.

Well ..... (1)

PenGun (794213) | more than 7 years ago | (#17412548)

No
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