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Apple TV to be a Centrally Controlled P2P Network?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the lean-on-your-neighbors dept.

Apple 165

Rolgar writes "PBS' Bob Cringely theorizes that since the Apple TV will be an always-on device with a 40GB hard drive, Apple may move to content distribution via a P2P network. The ISPs will incur higher bandwidth locally, possibly lose some subscribers to cable TV, but have fewer costs through the Tier II Internet backbone providers. Bob also expects that Google will be involved with their fiber network and advertising expertise, and my hope is that they'll bundle in YouTube content as well. The article suspects that they won't get around to announcing the full details of this plan until they hit a half million units or more, and that this Apple and Google pairing will become the equivalent of a cable TV provider with almost none of the infrastructure costs. Eventually, he hopes, we'll see a real HD revolution from Apple and Google for this service." If Apple rolled something like this out to the service, would you bite on it? What would it take you to move to this over Tivo or MythTV?

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165 comments

Learn how to spell and use proper grammer (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18042186)

e ISPs will incur higher bandwidtt locally, possibly lose some subscriber to cable TV, but have fewer cost through the Tier II Internet backbone providers. Bob also expects that

Re:Learn how to spell and use proper grammer (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18044330)

Learn to spell "grammar".

Would you? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18042194)

Would you lick my sweaty huevos?

Depends on the features (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18042208)

I love my Tivo to death, and have it set up just the way I like it. Unless Apple offers something that will offset the cost of re-installing and configuration, I won't bite.

Re:Depends on the features (4, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042674)

"I love my Tivo to death, and have it set up just the way I like it. "

I like my Tivo, and really love my MythTV box(es). My thoughts are...will be cool if they do this AND someone figures a way to adapt Myth so that it too can hook into this 'network' and be able to get content off it just like the AppleTV box.

Re:Depends on the features (1)

GuyWithLag (621929) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043444)

The network plumbing is almost in place, using UPnP, which both Apple and MythTV use to a certain extent...

No, I would not bite... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18042216)

>If Apple rolled something like this out to the service, would you bite on it?
>What would it take you to move to this over Tivo or MythTV?

I will not pay for any "service" above and beyond my normal ISP fee in order to receive content. I can get all the content I want for free just by having a connection to the internet.

The only way I would subscribe to this service is if it was free.

Re:No, I would not bite... (1, Troll)

DeHar (92476) | more than 7 years ago | (#18044400)

It appears from your statement that you will then only accept free content. So, end-user created videos on youtube?
Or are you talking about movies, tv shows and other "unapproved" content that people are distributing for free?
Big differnence - just ask the content owners.

Blah Blah Blah (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18042226)

Apple sucks.

Blah blah blah.

DRM.

No divX.

Small HD.

Steve Jobs sucks!

Microsoft sucks!

MythTV is so much better but there is no way in hell I will set it up for someone who I will tell not to buy this. Instead I will just laugh at them for being a sucker while I watch Xena reruns I downloaded and uber spliced into 1081i HD!

In Time & On... (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042230)

as soon as Apple announces it.

I'm tired of the B.S., indecipherable controls, policies, unusable channels and the need to sit down or record in real time when the content is deemed fit to be distributed by some provider that decides it knows when it is best for ME to sit and watch/record.

Re:In Time & On... (5, Insightful)

gladish (982899) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042352)

The biggest problem I have with this new device is that it's only going to work with iTunes. I want to have a media distribution box (preferrably linux) streaming audio, video, and pictures to my tv and stereo. I don't want the vendor locking that apple is trying to accomplish. By the way, this is the stuff that makes me want to wear a tinfoil hat. The idea of google and apple teaming up to take over our living rooms by selling a little white box, all the while the only thing consumers are thinking of is when can I get one.

Re:In Time & On... (4, Interesting)

mblase (200735) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043000)

The biggest problem I have with this new device is that it's only going to work with iTunes. I want to have a media distribution box (preferrably linux) streaming audio, video, and pictures to my tv and stereo.

While I agree on geek principles, I don't see how a keyboardless box like the iTV would be able to connect to any streaming software source the user might have, at least not without a lot of PC-end configuration. That sort of thing completely trumps Apple's ease-of-use principle, which is practically the First Commandment of their business.

On the other hand, iTunes is free, and Quicktime supports plugins and can handle just about any codec you want (disclaimer: I'm a Mac user and I know firsthand that there's plenty of things VLC plays better). So for the average user there's little to complain about, and for the non-average geek there's better ways to do what iTV does without buying iTV at all.

Re:In Time & On... (1)

EggyToast (858951) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043478)

the idea behind the apple TV works great for someone like me, who is familiar with codecs and also has a Pro copy of Quicktime. It's easy to spend a little time converting video into something iTunes can recognize.

But for your average user, figuring how to get that latest episode of The Office into iTunes? I get the feeling a lot of people will skip it as they'll feel it's really focused towards buying movies/shows off iTunes. And it kind of is, as iTunes doesn't really handle video conversion on its own.

I like the idea, and will probably get one once they actually ship out (barring bad reviews), but I rely heavily on iTunes for enjoying my music library already and would like to have a video device, rather than just a little airport express thing. For me, it's great. For your average Windows user? Perhaps not so much, as I'm not sure how well iTunes integrates with Windows' wireless stuff. And there's no service for Linux, although I'm sure Apple feels that Linux-heads already have such a device :D

The only saving grace for the device, as far as I can see, is that it doesn't try to do everything, and relies more on the computer for the nitty gritty. Subsequently, it has a relatively low price. How well people can get video into iTunes (without the quality going to shit) is going to be the real deciding factor for a lot of people, I think.

Re:In Time & On... (2, Interesting)

monopole (44023) | more than 7 years ago | (#18044284)

Um, Democracy Player? [getdemocracy.com] , cross platform, integrates bitorrent and VLC. Plays anything, automatically caches torrents, sweet GUI, zero configuration. All you have to do is download the installer run it and select or provide channel feeds. Search for content, get a listing and click the download arrow. When the file is ready just click on the listing and it plays. Doesn't get simpler than that!

Re:In Time & On... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18042478)

If they can deliver a good product I'd bite. Right now cable sucks ass bad. A few local channels, a couple handfuls of national channels, and then a bunch of useless crap that NO ONE WANTS. All for a high price...and I am just talking about basic cable.

Give the consumer more control, more choices, and an easy to use interface and they would crush all of the cable services out there.

The only potential draw back would be without their own network we are still stuck with relying on over priced cable and FiOS. Even if Google were to put in some ginormous fiber backbone what about the last mile? The ISP/infrastructure companies would still have the consumers by the bits-N-pieces.

40 GB HD (1)

beckerist (985855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042232)

...or... Maybe it's there so Apple can incorporate an "offline mode." I don't necessarily need to be connected to the internet to enjoy my movie, similar to the XBOX LIVE marketplace and their "rentals."

I'm paying for distribution now, too? (5, Insightful)

Erwos (553607) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042266)

Why should I waste my bandwidth on distributing Apple's movies and music for them?

Re:I'm paying for distribution now, too? (3, Interesting)

mtec (572168) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042308)

Perhaps for a potential discount on movies?

Re:I'm paying for distribution now, too? (2, Insightful)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042954)

This comment keeps popping up in these types of discussions but unless the company gives a rate for a direct download, and then provides a discounted rate for the P2P download, how are we, the customers, able to confirm that we are indeed getting a discount on what we download? How do we know they are not just pocketing the savings as profit? The problem is there is not sufficient transparency in this equation, and when I'm using my bandwidth that I pay for to support the business of some company, then I had sure as hell better be privy to that information.

Re:I'm paying for distribution now, too? (3, Insightful)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043184)

You give credits on the online store for "uploads". Say 1 penny per MB (or whatever). Feed 20 songs @ 5 MB, get $1, buy a song for "full price". What could be more transparent than that?

Re:I'm paying for distribution now, too? (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043014)

Perhaps for a potential discount on movies?

If by discount you mean free after someone figures out how to share movies to people that didn't pay for them?

Re:I'm paying for distribution now, too? (1)

needacoolnickname (716083) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042358)

Good question.

I think I remember reading a rumor before they came out with tv shows on itunes that the next itunes was to going to have something built in to let people share like bittorrent and get itunes store credit for doing this with the files they had bought.

Now:
1) It was a rumor a long time ago.
2) If you don't purchase anything from the iTunes store you probably could care less if the rumor was true or not.

I'm not falling for this scam. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18042490)

You're absolutely right. This is nothing more than them moving their responsibility onto their customers.

It's not something I'll stand for, and thus I won't bother with this service, just as I don't bother with cable or satellite.

Re:I'm not falling for this scam. (3, Insightful)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042992)

This is just one idiot columnist, with a poor track record of predicting Apple's decisions, saying what he thinks Apple should do.

Of course, if Apple had listened to him in the past they'd either be another PC manufacutrer, or just plain bankrupt.

My tag for this article is 'makingstuffup'. That's all he's doing. Don't attach anything in this article to Apple, as if they support, endorce, or have even considered it. They haven't, as far as we know.

Re:I'm paying for distribution now, too? (1)

mblase (200735) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042730)

Why should I waste my bandwidth on distributing Apple's movies and music for them?

Assuming Apple would implement such a thing, I'm pretty sure it would be voluntary. After all, all current file-sharing software makes it optional to share your downloads with others--on the other hand, others have the option of not sharing with you under those circumstances.

Re:I'm paying for distribution now, too? (1)

gladish (982899) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043110)

great, you mean youtube was just promoted from website to on-demand cable channel.

Faster (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042902)

Faster download of HD content?

Re:Faster (1)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042978)

Faster download of the core mainstream HD content. Won't do shit if you aren't glued to Lost, 24, or Heroes. Democracy is a stupid mechanism to decide how much leverage this kind of thing gets.

Re:I'm paying for distribution now, too? (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043458)

"Why should I waste my bandwidth on distributing Apple's movies and music for them?"

First, unless you're running a botnet or torrent server from your house [both bad ideas] most of the bandwidth is "wasted" (i.e. unused) anyway. Second, by participating in the system you get your own movies faster as well.

If improved performance for yourself (getting your movie when you want it) isn't a big enough benefit, then don't buy one.

better than ... how? (3, Interesting)

jamienk (62492) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042306)

How is this better than the following workflow (which is what many do now, and more will do soon):

* Find content on the Internet or other places (via whatever means)

* Download/aquire (again, however you need to)

* Watch on your TV (via any network-attached device or stand-alone DVD player that supports lots of codecs and can be controlled with a remote)

The only things outlined in TFA that differs from this is

* What is available is controlled by some bullshit companies who will have your worst interest at heart

* You have to watch ads

* You have to pay for downloads

* Apple and Google spy on you

Er, um ... no thanks!

Re:better than ... how? (1, Insightful)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042380)

I guess it's high time these companies got their act together and figured out a way to provide content for free without ads just to keep people like you, who represent absolutely nothing of value to them, happy and contented. I can't imagine why they would do that, but what the hell, I'm with you. It's just crazy enough to work.

Re:better than ... how? (1)

Megajim (885529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042460)

Ah, but this is the new no-DRM version of Apple! User friendly ad infinitum. Anti-DRM, yet I doubt I'll be able to use that nifty box to play my DivX files (without a hack or laborious batch conversion). I agree with your perspective on workflow, with the caveat that Apple's approach will probably be legal.

iTunes CAN do DivX (2, Interesting)

alexhmit01 (104757) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043470)

iTunes plays anything that is in Quicktime Format, and Quicktime will happily store MPEG-4 video. Once you install the DivX Codec for Quicktime (a free download), you can play your DivX movies in Quicktime. All you have to do is save the new file with the Quicktime wrapper (that stores the meta-information) and copy it into iTunes. Remember, Quicktime is Apple's media playing system. The Quicktime Player is just a small front-end for playing Quicktime moves (on Mac), or an embedded Quicktime + Player for Windows.

I've been debating ditching my DirecTV + Tivos system, because I can't get the new HD content without MPEG-4, and once I go MPEG-4, I can't use my HD Tivo, and the new software seems crappy. The Wife and I realized that the amount of non-network television we watch is miniscule (the 6 networks, even pretended MyNetworkTV is a Network) cover 90% of our viewing... add Battlestar Galactica, Daily Show, and Colbert Report, and that's pretty much hit, save a one-two shows a year on HBO/Showtime that come out on DVD later anyway.

This raises the Question: instead of Satellite boxes all over the place, could a MythTV recorder with a nice fat RAID Array + 6 HDTV cards that record EVERY OTA prime time show in HDTV (why bother selecting programming when you can grab them all), with a Mac Mini running an Automator Script and/or a simple Applescript running hourly to add the Quicktime Wrapper + Meta Data get all my Content into nice and happy iTunes, for easy playback on Apple TVs in the house... doesn't sound far fetched, does it?

Re:iTunes CAN do DivX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18044080)

iTunes may well play divX, but it will not stream it, making it useless for gigabytes of files we have encoded/downloaded with it.
appleTV, likewise does not support the SD resolution, but only HD, making it pretty useless for all of us still stuck with SD TVs.

I had high expectations for appleTV, but since it does nothing for my video collection, or won't play with my TV, I think I'll pass.
I don't think I'm the only one.

Re:better than ... how? (5, Insightful)

siegesama (450116) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042560)

Because some people wouldn't mind getting their movies legally. You realize you've stepped far, far out of fair use, right? If you want to rip your own movies, fine, but that's not at all what you just suggested. Apple is at the head of that "updated business and distribution model" that everyone has been harping on about for a while now.

Re:better than ... how? (1, Interesting)

jamienk (62492) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042710)

Fair use? Fair use is about reviewing, satirizing, or otherwise quoting or mildly incorporating someone's legally protected monopoly on some expression. It's an interesting edge case in the history of "US copyright court decisions" if you're into studying that academically.

No, what I'm talking about is the act of watching filmed scenarios, or whatever else the good artists of the world create in their infinite inventiveness in order to have people see.

What I'm talking about is participating in culture, and about benefiting from expression, and about enjoying art.

If that's illegal, then the laws are seriously broken. You can't break something that is broken. All you can do is try to fix it, and in the meantime, help spread the wonderful bounty of entertaining, enlightening, and thought-provoking artistic expression.

All the good people in the world share in this way. Many others would sacrifice their own and everyone else's children to try to grab some cheap, revolting, reactive power for a fleeting moment.

Re:better than ... how? (0, Flamebait)

siegesama (450116) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043742)

Er, personal medium copies are part of that fair-use as well.

You're living in a magical fantasy world where dreamtime images trickle down to everyone, and nobody can control what they've created because we're all connected as a culture. Thankfully, that's just a psycho-reactive induced daydream. This device is for purchasing a copy of a filmed production from its distributors and storing and viewing it. Unless your "download from anywhere" bit was all about content made explicitly for free, which I doubt, then you're deliberately infringing copyright, and hoping that since you personally feel we're a giant hive mind it's ok. The rest of your post can be written of as *extremely* full of shit.

Re:better than ... how? (2)

jamienk (62492) | more than 7 years ago | (#18044462)

I disagree with you. You belong to the tradition of philosophical laborer; you take what is given to you and find the logic, history, attitudes, and glory that support that thing. If we were in 10th century Ireland, you'd be arguing that no one should be able to read the gospels except the monks. "How are the monks supposed to make money then?" you'd demand. Or if we were in old China, you'd aggressively argue for foot-binding.

Am I claiming that the current "content distribution system" as you see it is as bad as foot-binding, slavery, or Nazi-ism? Not at all. But no matter: you'd defend them anyway, like you defend this.

You say I have a "hive mind" because I think that art shouldn't be put into a box and denied any meaning except that imposed on it by the person who wants to sell it to you. But my idea isn't some hippy vision of a perfect world, it's just a simple description of the way things actually work -- people like art; they like to share art; they like to transform the substance and meaning of the art into something different. Your vision is one where the seller dictates the meaning of the object to a passive recipient, who must then be forced to accept those terms by law and (as you try to make clear) by members of the crowd using coercive and ridiculing language to prop up those laws and the interests of the "sellers."

Apple wants to replace the monks with reading machines. I prefer that we all learn to read. Is that idealistic? Was that an encouragement to break the laws? Perhaps, but it is what happened -- people did learn to read -- and I claim that it was good thing.

Re:better than ... how? (1)

stillachild (1057156) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042724)

In a couple of words: live programming. If Apple is smart, they will provide quality access to live television events (News, Sports, etc.) I would have loved to watch the early matches from the Australian Open tennis tournament last month, but for some reason there was no global internet site offering live video streams. So, since I don't live in Australia I missed out. There is obviously a huge demand for watching events like this on a pay-per-view basis all around the world. Charging $1-2 per program would be a fair price, and that would add millions of viewers and huge revenue gains. It's really surprising how this hasn't been done yet. However, I am sure it is just a matter of time.

Re:better than ... how? (2)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042796)

How is this better than the following workflow...* Watch on your TV (via any network-attached device or stand-alone DVD player that supports lots of codecs and can be controlled with a remote)

Currently most people don't have an easy way to perform this step. Most people do not have their computer connected to their TV. Geeks like us do, normal people don't. Most people don't want to burn a DVD or VCD every time they want to watch something. Apple's device is a way to connect the computer to the TV, without burning DVDs or any other nonsense.

Re:better than ... how? (1)

Anthony Baby (1015379) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043498)

We would be silly to think Apple TV would prevent download and streaming of illegally acquired video anymore than the iPod could illegally acquired MP3s, so once again you're on your honor. I have to agree, go with a high quality upscaling DVD player with Faroudja chip and component and HDMI outputs such as those made by OPPO [oppodigital.com] . I own a 970HD and I love it. It'll be the last standard definition DVD player I'll own and it does DivX/XviD as well as a few other formats. No WMV, MOV, or MS-MPEG4v1/2 as of my firmware. It has USB input that supports reading from a USB drive, but that's really slow for streaming an DivX/XviD recording.

The answer then would be as you said, a quality DVD player with additional video support, but which also takes FireWire. People just need to be willing to burn their porn site sample vids to disc first.

"Bob"? (3, Informative)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042310)

Has everybody forgotten "Cringely" just a pen name for Mark Stephens?

Re:"Bob"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18042580)

Probably. They seem to have forgotten he's a fucking idiot.

Re:"Bob"? (1)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042708)

Never mind that, he's actually a fraud [wikipedia.org] .

Re:"Bob"? (2, Informative)

Panaflex (13191) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043778)

Fraud is a bit harsh - assumung your speaking of his "PhD" here which he explains in the slashdot interview: [slashdot.org] I think he misrepresented the facts... when you're a PhD candidate often people assume PhD, and he didn't correct everyone he ran into. It's his fault of course - but nevertheless it's not as if he "bought" a degree online or something of that nature.

Cringely:

Of course this is a long story, but the compressed version is that I did every bit of my PhD including the paper and the defense. Coming out of the defense, my committee, chaired by Nobel laureate Kenneth Arrow, asked for some changes to the paper. All I had to do was make those changes and I'd be finished! Well it was a busy time in my life. I was writing my first book, soon to be followed by a job or two and, before I knew it, I had missed the five-year deadline. I was stupid, of course, not only for wasting all that time but especially for not asking for an official leave-of-absence, which would have frozen the clock. How the lie got started was that first book called me a PhD on the jacket.

Simple. (3, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042340)

What would it take me to move to this over MythTV? Let's see... it'd have to be FOSS by people who aren't entangled in various dealings with all the media companies, it'd have to run on Linux, and it'd have to be something I could tweak to my needs and system specs without too much trouble.

Basically, it'd have to be MythTV.

Re:Simple. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18042420)

Hear hear! I am personally sick and tired of the mindless pro-Apple-hype, when it is APPLE (along with Microsoft and their friends in the entertainment cartels) who are primarily responsible for a huge amount of DRM hassles that we face today.


I moved away from Windows because I was sick of not having control over my own computer. I will NOT switch to another closed source proprietary system just because a bunch of mindless sheep have declared it to the new trendy platform over the last closed source proprietary system.

Re:Simple. (4, Insightful)

sabinm (447146) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042586)

I hear you. But MythTV is a pain to setup. FOSS and all, but if I can't get grabber info reliably outside of the U.S., then I'm not interested. I set up a MythTV (went with knoppmyth) and then went to actually download settings from my cable, to find out they don't have XML grabber in my country. Don't even think about 'Zap2It'. So because I didn't have grabber info, it wouldn't allow me to watch tv?!? No option to enter the channels in manually, huh? No, MythTV is still just a myth. I don't watch my cable TV as it is. If apple and google can offer the tv shows (and they do) and interactive data on a three hundred dollar box that works with me pressing the 'on' button, with RSS feeds replacing XML grabbers for show listings and recordings, then THAT is the Mythical convergence I'm looking for. And no, don't tell me that MythTV is just not mature yet and to wait. This is TV, not heart surgery. I don't have the inclination to wait for features that have been implemented on my TV for the past 25 years.

Re:Simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18042772)

Dude WTF are you smoking? MythTv works fine without a grabber. Took 2 seconds on google to find the procedure:
http://www.a1ontheweb.co.uk:8080/mythtv-doc/mythtv -HOWTO-9.html#ss9.4 [a1ontheweb.co.uk]

Do you not have digital TV where you are at all? MythTV can also grab from ATSC channel data, DVB data, etc. Or you can just set it up manually. The developers can't help if you live somewhere ass backwards, but the've created all the tools for you to do it on your own...

Re:Simple. (1)

sabinm (447146) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043012)

Ah, yes. I'm sorry. I meant that I couldn't achieve that with a flick of my remote. See, it's TV, like I said. If I have to do more than a few button clicks, I'd rather not do it. BTW, I was aware of Mythfill --manual settings. I even tried to use it. Sorry, it didn't work. I'm no slouch when it comes to the command line, either. I built mythtv from the command line, so it should tell you something that I gave up at the point of getting my channels set up manually.

BTW. No one is blaming the developers for not adding features. I've in fact, never asked for features. But don't expect me to wait for the developers just to have a product I can use.

Re:Simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18043176)

You're just full of contradictions today. First you say you installed knoppmyth, now you say you built it from the command line.
Whatever.

Try out the latest version, sounds like you haven't used it in a while. They have a built in channel scanner as of MythTV 0.20, it does all the work for you. Really if you are building stuff from the command line MythTV should be simple to get going, I suspect you tried it once and failed in someway and so now badmouth it as hard. Kinda like a lot of people to to linux in general.

Re:Simple. (1)

sabinm (447146) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043486)

You're just full of contradictions today

Not really. I've been (attempting) building MythTV boxes for several years now. I've tried Knoppmyth, vanilla debian, redhat, gentoo, ubuntu, none work for me. KnoppMyth is just my last straw and the one I tried to use because I figured (incorrectly) a mythfill --manual might have better luck on a system that claims functionality out the gate. Don't get me wrong, I've never purchased windows and I use Ubuntu and OSX at home. I am a long time proponent of Open Source software (and even have a soft spot for RMS' total software freedom). I watch TV on my computer without the PVR capabilites right now. I watch YouTube clips from my self-modded XBox. All these things worked for me with a little bit of effort on my part. MythTV is a beast. There's no one here who will tell you otherwise. I like the idea of MythTV, I will probably build a box in the future. But what we're talking about now is the idea of something that will work for me by plugging it in and turning it on. MythTV is NOT that.

Re:Simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18044106)

Ok whatever then. I can have a knoppmyth box up and functioning in an hour or so. So can many other people. I suspect if you got off your high horse and posted in their forums your problems, you would have a solution quickly. Do you really think your the only person in your nameless country to setup a mythtv box?

I also highly doubt the Apple TV will have much if any functionality if you just press the on button, there are too many variables to make it that simple. Yeah you might be able to buy shit and watch movies stored on your OS X machine, but at a minimum you would have to configure your wireless network, tell it where your movie files are stored, punch in you itunes account info, and configure it to work with your tv. I think most non tech savvy people might have a problem doing even that.

Re:Simple. (1)

What'sInAName (115383) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042704)

I have to agree wholeheartedly. I had never tried a DVR until I visited my folks shortly after they got one (from their satellite provider). After that, I decided that I really wanted to be able to do whatever I want with my DVR, so I went with MythTV. There were some challenges to getting it up and running (I'm running MythTV 0.20 on Kubuntu Dapper), but I have enough Linux experience that they were relatively minor. I had (almost) everything working in one day.

Now I have a box (and LCD monitor) that I can watch all my video content, listen to my music (located on another machine and NFS mounted), look at photos, etc. etc. Now there is no way I would give this box up! Really, for me there is just no way Apple's offering could ever appeal. Clearly though I am not going to be their target market.

re: switching from Myth? (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042942)

Truthfully, the *main* reason my MythTV is a superior solution to all of the commercial offerings (Apple included) is because I'm not feature-constrained, artificially, by copyright legislation.

I'm not a programmer/developer, so the fact Myth source is available means about zilch to me. I'm just as "stuck" relying on others to add new features to Myth as I would be if I was waiting for Apple or some other company to add them.

But the ability to rip and store compressed versions of all my movie DVDs, ready for instant play on demand (complete with cover art auto-downloaded as thumbnails to browse, etc.) is awesome. The top-notch commercial filtering/skipping support is great. The integration of multiple game console and coin-op arcade emulators is cool too. These are just some of the things I don't see ANY commercially sold products ever offering, since they'd prefer not to fight the legal battles that would be involved.

What the iTV needs (1)

Trojan35 (910785) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042368)

All I need is the iTV to allow me to rent HD movies at a reasonable price ($5). They can destroy Netflix and HD/Blu-Ray in one quick move.

Right now though, I have to buy them off the iTunes store for a much higher price. Given I can get rent 2 DVD's from hollywood for $4 and don't need to buy an iTV, I'm sticking with that option.

why would you want HD movies w/out surround snd? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18042916)

The appleTV only supports 2-channel stereo. Why would you want to watch High-Def video with just-blah audio?

Re:why would you want HD movies w/out surround snd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18043182)

Despite nearly a decade of tech companies doing their best to sell me "surround sound", I have yet to evolve more than two ears.

Re:why would you want HD movies w/out surround snd (1)

penguinchris (1020961) | more than 7 years ago | (#18044508)

You must have a unique mutation that allows your two ears to only hear things coming from straight in front of you, and I pity you for it.

I personally have two ears as well, as I'm guessing most here do, and yet I can hear things coming from all directions and can easily distinguish which way a sound is coming from.

Your hearing is 2-channel stereo, yes, but your microphones ("ears") are not omni-directional.

My guess is you've never actually listened to a properly configured surround sound system, which is not too hard to believe since movie theaters are usually set up in a way that you don't get good directional audio (which doesn't make sense, but that's how they're built for some reason) and those silly displays at Best Buy or Circuit City with the speakers hanging from above you are set up in a way that you don't hear the rear channels there either.

Suddenly it doesn't seem like such a waste (4, Insightful)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042370)

$299 for a 720p (only) display extender? Meh.

$299 for a 24/7 torrent node that replaces a PVR? Hmmm.

I'd buy THAT for $299.

Re:Suddenly it doesn't seem like such a waste (2, Informative)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042510)

A 40 Gig disk doesn't go very far towards replacing a proper PVR, unless it's expandable.

Re:Suddenly it doesn't seem like such a waste (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042688)

If it gets hacked to run your torrents, you can damn well bet they'll also hack the rear USB port to let you plug in a huge external drive.

Leave TiVo? No Way (2, Insightful)

Crispin Cowan (20238) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042392)

They can have my TiVo when they pry it from my cold dead hands.

Apple TV, from all the reports I've read, sounds spectacularly weak. I don't expect it to ever succeed.

Conjecture: "Apple TV" is the Newton of Apple's play into the convergence market. A cute idea, nice try, but they totally blew it. Apple will likely go back to the lab and come out with something that doesn't suck so much, just as they did with the iPod.

Crispin

Re:Leave TiVo? No Way (1)

mblase (200735) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043082)

Apple TV, from all the reports I've read, sounds spectacularly weak. I don't expect it to ever succeed.

That's because you're thinking it should be a PVR, and it's not. Apple could easily build in that functionality, and IMO probably wants to--but Apple doesn't want to step on the toes of those media providers hosted by the iTunes Store.

Basically, they can offer old TV for sale on iTunes or record new TV via PVR software, but not both. Not without the blessings of those media companies, anyway, and that's not very likely right now.

Re:Leave TiVo? No Way (2, Interesting)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18044522)

They can have my TiVo when they pry it from my cold dead hands.

A few years back I was looking at a device to record TV and basically function as a Tivo. I looked at MythTV, Tivo, Windows Media Edition, and a couple of others. When I looked into Tivo, I was pretty disappointed. They want you to pay a monthly subscription or a big chunk of change up front, with no guarantee the service will be any good in future. You have to jump through hoops to enable the skip ahead/back and the times are not easily configurable? There is no easy way to easily export the video to my laptop for viewing on the plane, and burning DVDs and VCDs is a pain. The interface was okay, but it seemed like some of the these features were no-brainers. What was going on? A little research showed Tivo's biggest customers are cable providers who ship them as cable boxes. Suddenly it made sense. They were not making features customers wanted easy, because it was not something their big partners wanted. That's a smart business move, but sure does not make me want one.

For the same reason I'm somewhat skeptical that Apple will ever ship a good PVR. They are also partners with some of the same content providers. I ended up going with an Elgato EyeTV unit. I had an old mac sitting around as a Web and media server already, so adding the functionality was cheap by comparison. It lets me skip commercials nicely without any easter eggs and burning a DVD of a show I want to archive is as easy as selecting the export menu item and dropping a blank DVD in. If I want to save some shows as mpegs for my next plane ride, it is easy as cake. I can pick from a variety of scheduling services, including free ones so there is no monthly fee.

I understand people who really liked Tivo back in the day, but isn't it clear by now that they sold out and are no longer doing what is best for users, in favor of doing what is most profitable for cable companies? Brand loyalty i something I'll never really get I suppose.

Maybe, depends on Fees (1)

ZOMFF (1011277) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042402)

I may bite at such a service if Apple included the functionality in their monthly fee to use the device. If it was an added feature that carried a separate charge, I certainly would not be interested.

Re:Maybe, depends on Fees (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18043286)

I may bite at such a service if Apple included the functionality in their monthly fee to use the device. If it was an added feature that carried a separate charge, I certainly would not be interested.
In their monthly fee? What monthly fee?

(Apple)TV does not require any subscription to use. The media supported by the device are in the form of open formats and the only DRM supported is FairPlay, which is used only by iTunes Store, which sells contents and not subscription.

Mod the parent FUD.

Not a replacement for Tivo (4, Insightful)

tattood (855883) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042458)

The iTV is not meant to be a replacement for Tivo, at least by my understanding. Essentially what it is, is the same thing that the AirportExpress does. It allows you to stream the movies/TV shows from your PC (using iTunes) to your nice big TV instead of your computer monitor. It doesnt have a built-in tuner, so you can't watch live TV. I was really excited about it when I first saw it, but then realized that it's not a DVR.

Re:Not a replacement for Tivo (1)

tashpool (919935) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043730)

I think that is one of the future points for Apple TV though - to replace your cable TV so it will essentially become a DVR. You buy your TV Shows through iTunes, then you own the show and can fast forward, pause, or whatever just like on a DVR. I don't think Apple intends for people to subscribe to cable and buy an Apple TV at the same time.

And...? (1)

MatrixCubed (583402) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042502)

Great, more FUD delivered by one of the internet's favorite soothsayers, delivered with all the smarm of a Starbucks-toting liberal arts blogger. Granted, it's no Continuum Transfunctioner, but its mystery IS only exceeded by its power. Get over it, fanboy.

I would use it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18042604)

But only if it's free.

I've got content out the wazoo... $15/month gets me loads of movie rentals.

......would you bite on it? (1)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042648)

No. Apple is nothing more than a wanna be Emperor without clothes. About 90% of the crap that is already available from cable, satellite, internet I don't watch anyway and can't see Apple offering ANYTHING that would prompt me to pay them.

Fully clothed (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042974)

Apple is nothing more than a wanna be Emperor without clothes. About 90% of the crap that is already available from cable, satellite, internet I don't watch anyway and can't see Apple offering ANYTHING that would prompt me to pay them.

SO what you are saying is in fact the Emperor has plenty of clothes, you just don't like what they are wearing.

Fine but do not dismiss the fact that there are plenty of do like what they (and other studios) have to offer.

The battle is not over a small group of art-house fanatics.

Cost (2, Interesting)

DesertBlade (741219) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042676)

I have DVR through Comcast for about $75 with digital cable plus. Now if I watch 10 shows a week, and the dowload costs $2 each that is $80 a month (10 shows * 4 weeks * $2), toss in the cost of the unit and then subscribtion costs and it is even less appealing. I won't replace my DVR.

Re:Cost (1)

archdetector (876357) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043236)

You're assuming new content for 52 weeks. Season passes for those 10 shows on iTunes might cost you $480/yr. max., or $40/month. There are no subscription costs. So, are you willing to pay $35 extra per month for what cable offers apart from those 10 shows? That's the real question.

Re:Cost (1)

DesertBlade (741219) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043972)

Agreed that is true, but you are also assuming that I am watching the same 10 shows year round. I might watch 30 different shows throughout the year. I also might miss hidden gems because I don't want to spend $2 on a show, or I never see a commercial. If I have more than one viewer , i.e. kids (I do) they may watch another 5-10 shows also adding to the overall costs. DVR records them all for the same price, whether it is 1 show or 100 shows a year.

Re:Cost (1)

CDarklock (869868) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043340)

I have my digital cable loaded for bear with every premium channel, three dual-tuner DVRs, two bare receivers, an average of two PPV movies a week at $4 a pop, and thirty hours a week of recorded programs for time-shifting. That costs me roughly $200 a month. What would it cost with AppleTV?

The offerings just coming on the market are targeted at "average" usage, but the drivers of this technology are not average. I have hundreds of videotapes and thousands of CDs. If you try to restrict me to "average" habits and charge me $400 to do what I'm already doing, I won't switch - and if I don't switch, nobody I know switches, because they look to me for guidance. If I say AppleTV sucks, they don't even evaluate it.

Obviously hasn't seen Apple's presentations (5, Informative)

ironring2006 (968941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042716)

The basis of the article title, wondering what the 40GB HD is doing, is easily answered if you watched the Apple keynote. The AppleTV, while has the ability to stream from any device on the network, is primarily more intended to be used like an iPod, syncing your latest tv shows/movies, etc. from your main computer that you would usually use to get your new content. Heck, the AppleTV is even listed as part of the iPod store option. Since its always on, it can do the syncing constantly and becomes more network connection agnostic. You don't have to worry about your wireless connection crapping out in the middle of a stream if you've got what you want to watch already on the HD. That along with standard buffering/cache/OS stuff, is all I see the HD being for.

If Apple really wanted to put out a p2p distribution node, an easier solution would be to just release it as an update to iTunes. Then they aren't limited to only the AppleTV nodes.

40 GB + Hi Def? (2, Insightful)

Asten (674521) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042748)

Somehow, I don't think a 40GB drive will suffice for storing enough HD video to have a sufficiently large P2P base.

P2P buzzword swarming (3, Funny)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042754)

I think Cringely used the power of P2P to combine random buzzwords, product names, and company names faster than ever. Is there any evidence that this particular combination is actually likely to happen?

Apple TV does need more (1)

joetheguy (1048262) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042762)

Honestly, I think the Apple TV does nees something more than what it is now to be a compelling device. Its $299, for $349, I can get a 80gb ipod which plays video, can hook up to my tv, and fits in my pocket. It just isn't high def and it doesn't have the fancy menu system. But the current iTunes store videos aren't hi-def anyways, and since the DRM doesn't let you burn them to DVD so I have a future proof backup, I am not so interested in buying them. Although if I could burn DVDs, and most network shows were on iTunes, I would consider canceling my video cable, as it would be cheaper for me to just buy subscriptions to the few shows I actually watch. If there was a lot of good, affordable, and/or free HD content I could stream or download and watch on an Apple TV I might consider it. P2P is something a device like this could uniquely do, but as a user I don't really care if it uses P2P, I just want something good to watch. (BTW, I wouldn't put YouTube into the category of "good", but a well curated YouTube like system, like the Zed show on CBC, I'd go for) It has a USB port, but I don't really see what for. What does it do? Can I attach extra storage? Can I attach an eyeTV and turn it into a DVR? Or hook up a mouse and keyboard and browse the web? Without the above, I'd be more inclined to buy a mac mini for my living room. Its more money, but since its a full computer, I would get a lot more value out of it, and it comes with the Front Row software and remote too. Without more content and features, I don't see the Apple TV being all that compelling for me beyond the "wow, Apple makes cool stuff" factor. I still think they will sell a ton of them, but there really is a lot more potential in the set top box area I hope they develop. I love ranting. I'll sit back for a while and see what version 2 of apple tv ends up being.

Downloadable TV is the future, bye bye networks. (1)

Gray (5042) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042784)

I'm not sure it's going to be Apple, but something like this is going to kill cable television networks like Comedy Central, Cartoon, SciFi, etc very soon (3 years).

Channels buy the rights to syndicated repeats and programming made by outside production companies, then sell ads during these programs to make money. It's all very inefficient.

Downloadable television cuts out the network middle man. You can buy content directly from the producers, ad free if they want to offer it that way. In such a world Futurama never would have been canceled.

How this is delivered technically remains to be seen, but I wouldn't buy any Viacom stock.
 

Re:Downloadable TV is the future, bye bye networks (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043092)

I agree, but there is a complication. hugh speed Internet access in the US is a pile of dog crap. The only reasonable choice I have is to go with my local cable provider (half the price of DSL). Cable internet+basic TV service is $10 cheaper than just cable internet access; so I'm forced to buy programming to get internet. Downloadable television may cut out the middle man, but for many people like myself, only after they've already been paid once.

Here's how I see the market changing. Right now the US is the center of content creation. Slowly, other countries with affordable, non-monopolized internet access will get more and more TV and movies over IP and more of it will be locally and tailored to them. Eventually, a significant amount of content will only be available this way and US citizens will be paying for that content separately, or it will be licensed to TV channels who will rerun it. A lot of that content will be free or ad supported so some people will not wait and will view it via a Web interface. After a decade of this, the US will finally catch up enough in the network space via wireless or something, by which time we'll be way behind the curve on both content creation and the technological delivery mechanisms, effectively ceding our dominance in both those spaces and putting the momentum behind foreign companies. Once again US laws written by greedy corporations will have squashed innovation here and resulted in the US losing another huge market and slipping a little further away from being the biggest economic powerhouse as China, India, and the EU take over.

Re:Downloadable TV is the future, bye bye networks (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18044190)

No, it will never kill TV.

TV is a passive experience. People (like me) want to flip channels until I settle on something interesting. I do not have a list of shows I want to watch, and I don't want the experience you describe.

Movie rentals are a thing of the past. HDDVD vs BLURAY is a non issue. I already decided I needed neither - I can download HD movies on my xbox 360.

Besides, an ad supported model like this wouldn't fly. The advertising, on a global or even national scale, is too hard to sell. Watch your local fox affiliate (or whoever), notice that most of the ads are cheaply produced ads for local businesses and services? You'd cut all those little guys out of the picture - and they make up the lions share of most stations budget.

Conventional passive "push" tv is here to stay.

IPTV is going to be the next "big" thing. XBox 360 will function as an IPTV client, this year. Apple TV sounds, well, like a piece of useless shit. Too bad MSFT has it's head up it's ass. If they'd let the 360 playback Divx (or hell, anything other than WMV), it'd already do everything AppleTV does as well as do cool IPTV stuff, play games, etc.

Internet killer. (1)

bobs666 (146801) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042912)

TV should be Broadcast. You should use your MythTV( not Tivo ). We don't need to fill the Internet backbone with copies of the same old thing over and over. It will be worse then spam. clogging the Internet.

At best your ISP's should Work TV like it was Usenet and store the Broadcast shows locally. But that would only add the the Monopoly. And we don't need that. But rather we need to bypass the ISP's and use the "NII BAND" [warpspeed.com] that the FCC would not let us have.

Does Cringely even read? (1)

mblase (200735) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043130)

The new Apple TV media extender is supposed to ship this month, perhaps even by the time you read this column, and if you are like me you are wondering what that 40-gig hard drive is doing inside.

Um, it's called "caching". From Apple's own website:

Open iTunes and Apple TV appears in your devices list, ready to sync. Set iTunes to sync unwatched TV shows, movies, and podcasts. Set it to sync new purchases. Or manually select what you want to watch. Set your syncing preferences once and Apple TV automatically updates as your iTunes library changes.

Apple TV streams as well as it syncs, so you can pair up to five additional computers and let friends and family stream their iTunes libraries to your TV. Apple TV stores up to 50 hours of video, ready to watch when you are.


No SD output. (4, Informative)

acwork2 (267001) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043230)

The thing that KILLS the Apple TV for me is the lack of SD output. I don't have an HDTV right now and don't plan on getting one anytime soon. I'd love to buy this but its few features aren't enough to convince me to buy an expensive TV that I have no need for otherwise. It would have been really simple to add a composite or s-vid out. Sure it wouldn't look quite as nice but it would open up their potential customer base but a large amount.

Not Usable (1)

BGatesFan (1065072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043260)

I probably wouldn't use it unless Microsoft came out with the same service. Then I'd use Microsoft's version.

What a bunch of crap... (1)

tcoop25 (808696) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043694)

"...perhaps even by the time you read this column, and if you are like me you are wondering what that 40-gig hard drive is doing inside. I'm guessing we won't know for sure until later this year, though of course I also think I know the secret answer, too."

Since when did this become a secret? Steve Jobs made it pretty obvious in his last keynote when he said that you can sync your TV shows/movies to the Apple TV (from 1 computer), and you can stream from up to 5 computers. He even went into detail about the syncing process, and how you could have it automatically store your latest 5 unwatched TV shows to your Apple TV hard drive.

Democracy Player (1)

monopole (44023) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043914)

Already does this in a decentralized fashion w/o the DRM. Check it out http://www.getdemocracy.com/ [getdemocracy.com] .

Of course Bob's saying that this is going to not be DRMed. So if Apple is sending me pre-release videos which aren't DRMed without my consent, how do they charge me for it? If Suncoast did this via fedex they wouldn't have a leg to stand on when they billed me.

Moving to Apple TV (2, Insightful)

JM78 (1042206) | more than 7 years ago | (#18044006)

If Apple rolled something like this out to the service, would you bite on it? What would it take you to move to this over Tivo or MythTV?

  1. Be A Free Service
  2. Support 1080p (with the way HD is advancing I want something that scales. They've currently lost this consumer with their current HD offering)
  3. Give absolute control over content once I have it - don't force me into a proprietary service of any kind or cripple it with DRM schemes.


My 2 cents.

would i bite? (1)

zyzzx0 (935520) | more than 7 years ago | (#18044186)

If Apple rolled something like this out to the service, would you bite on it? What would it take you to move to this over Tivo or MythTV?

I watch t.v. on my laptop which i connect to the t.v. I've tested through movielink and cinemanow. I get battlestar galactica on itunes regularily (you HAVE to support those guys... don't get it via bittorrent... my $.02).
Will I get a set-top apple box? probably not. Will I get a set-top box that supports movielink, cinemanow, future netflix downloads, pbs shows from their site, itunes, and any/all 3rd party projects/applications, such as the venice project? Yes. Apple's box probably won't do this, so I probably won't get it. The key is open support for 3rd party apps and movie/t.v. downloads.

tivo and apple might be competing with this box in your eyes, and they might be economic competitors when you see the potential of clients dropping cable/satelite (and thus tivo) and opting for a set-top box similar to apple's, but they really are two different products in my eyes. It's not whether or not i'd move from one to the other... I'll never get tivo and probably never build a myth box. I do, however, watch t.v. via my computer, so my laptop-to-t.v. setup is in direct competition w/ apple. I don't see them getting it right.

Free Content and Live Events (1, Insightful)

Internet Ronin (919897) | more than 7 years ago | (#18044198)

The technology is rapidly approaching a point when I would consider purchasing almost all of my viewed content from Apple.

There are two small issues that I think should be addressed before I ditch Basic Cable, although there are enough perks to make me start thinking about ditching anything above and beyond that.

1.) Free Content.
I know the iTunes store has some 'Free' content that it bandies about, but sometimes I just need to throw the TV on to have something playing in the background. It doesn't have to be high quality stuff, but sometimes I just want to thumb through the channels. I'm not going to buy CSPAN's "Yet another Eighteen Hours with the House of Representatives" but I might thumb through the channels and see what's on, and stick around for 20 minutes on a debate on Net Neutrality.

For shows I watch regularly (The Office, Heroes, House, [adult swim]) I can safely leave all those commercials behind and download and watch the content at my leisure. It's not a complete solution, yet, but with Apple TV coming, and more shows (hopefully, where ARE you House??) showing up on iTunes, as well as movies, I'm at least considering swallowing the bait.

2.) Live Events.
I don't want to watch the Falcons game on Monday. I don't want to see NFL Network highlights or re-airs. I want to watch it live. When it's happening, with a chance to pause and rewind it. Same thing with other sporting events. If I can't watch live sporting events I can't fully buy the Apple ecosystem.

And therein lies the rub: if you can't buy ALL of the Apple TV ecosystem, it's way to expensive to buy any of it.

If I could get my TV service from Apple, a la Apple TV and iTunes, I want to see something like this:
I spend $30-$40 on basic cable. (you'll pay more for a digital solution)
I spend $50-$60 on high speed internet.
I spent $400 on my Tivo/service.
I watch all the shows I want, that are available, when I want to watch them, including random B.S. that happens to be on, and live sporting events.

I want to repeat that last line, but have the cost ratio look something like this.
I spend $30-$50 per month at the iTunes store, including season passes for my most watched shows.
I spend $50-$60 on my high speed internet service, no cable, no phone line (use VoIP and Cell)
I spent $300 on Apple TV.

As it stands I couldn't continue paying Basic Cable and feeding similar revenue to Apple and Co. That means that Apple would be getting a tremendous portion of the monthly revenue that I had allocated for other people, but I think realistically, my needs as a consumer also include an ability to quickly and cheaply access mind-numbing content as well as live events.

It's getting closer though, and my attempts to completely and totally ditch any and all cable/satellite provider and ALL wired telco companies are sounding less and less far-fetched.

It all comes down to content (1)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 7 years ago | (#18044452)

Currently, I'm very happy with my TiVo. I have many hours of my favorite TV shows, all in HD, available any time.
So if Apple continues to offer just a few shows, the way they do now, with limited resolution, I'd have to think whether I really have a use for this device. After all, I can buy shows to download to my XBox 360 (often in HD), and TiVo is about to start offering a similar service, so if Apple is offering just another video download service with a fairly limited inventory (like what they now offer), I'll probably pass. On the other hand, if I could get any TV show (movies are of less interest to me; I'd rather go to the video store or get them through NetFlix), any time, it would certainly be worth it to me to buy the Apple box.

H.264 Chip...why does it matter? (1)

indigest (974861) | more than 7 years ago | (#18044556)

FTA:

My wish list for those hackers, by the way, isn't to know the clock speed or the type of processor or the amount of memory installed. I want to know the identity of the Apple TV's H.264 decoder chip. There's a lot to be learned from the identity of THAT chip.
Why does he care who makes the video decoder chip? I don't see how it fits in with the rest of the article.
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