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AppleTV Hits the Streets

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the apple-toaster-available-soon dept.

Television 474

Stories are starting to pop up all over the web about the AppleTV, which evidently means that Apple has set loose the hounds of marketing and the units are (or will be tomorrow) available in Apple stores. Still no word on whether or not it plays DivX files. That will be the key to me purchasing one.

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CmdrTaco's review (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18436597)

"No wireless access to the iTunes Store. Less space than a TiVo. Lame."

Yea, but will Apple TV be more exciting than (-1, Offtopic)

xmas2003 (739875) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436613)

... watching grass grow! [watching-grass-grow.com]

Re:Yea, but will Apple TV be more exciting than (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18436645)

I highly doubt it.

I got rid of my tv in '95 or so, when I realized that the internet is all that tv ever promised and more.

No more 'idiot box' (rah) in my house, that's for sure.

Pixie rank ? WTF ?? [zataka.com]

Re:Yea, but will Apple TV be more exciting than (1)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437201)

I got rid of my tv in '95 or so, when I realized that the internet is all that tv ever promised and more.
'95? What kinds of video content was available back then? (and what bandwidth?)

About Time (0)

freedomlinux (1072142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436635)

While Apple generally produces high-quality hardware, we will have to see how AppleTV fares.
The real point is "about time!" Glad to see it available after being delayed several times.

Re:About Time (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18436909)

Thanks for your worthless post. You may want to delay hitting the submit button until you have something substantial to say.

Re:About Time (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18436935)

I know this is 'big news' and all that, but I really couldn't care less.

Beter to teach your kids how to read & use a browser than to watch TV, it's an unbelievable waste of time.

Pixie Rank ? WTF ?? [zataka.com]

Re:About Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18437255)

pixies ranking webpages, it sounds kinda logical :)

Also the nicest privacy policy in the industry, and we all know where 'do no evil' got google, so 'do good' is sure to go as far or further !

Re:About Time (5, Funny)

Simon Garlick (104721) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437099)

Correction: Apple generally produces high-quality hardware six months after the product was launched. Until then, the early adopters are just one big beta team.

Re:About Time (4, Insightful)

IdahoEv (195056) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437321)

"Still no word on whether or not it plays DivX files."

With an Apple product, "no word" definitely means it doesn't play them.

Caution from Hollywood? (2, Interesting)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436651)

The question is. When will we get (non Disney) content?

I'd imagine MPAA member execs will be a little cautious about entering a partnership with Apple after seeing Jobs' enthusiasm about music DRM turn into an about-face when confronted with interoperability regulation in the EU,

Re:Caution from Hollywood? (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436707)

When will we get (non Disney) content?

Um, you figure they'll sell many of these if ony "Disney content" is available?

I don't know about you, but I get tired of Mickey Mouse cartoons rather fast.

Re:Caution from Hollywood? (4, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436833)

I don't know about you, but I get tired of Mickey Mouse cartoons rather fast.

Disney own Miramax, Pixar, Touchstone, ABC, ESPN, Buena Vista, ABC and more. There's a little more to Disney then 40s Mickey Mouse clips.

Re:Caution from Hollywood? (0, Troll)

dedazo (737510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436915)

Whatever. Disney is not the only producer of media in the planet. If you sell a device that only provides their content it will sink faster than you can say "Cinderella". One would think Apple is slightly smarter than that.

Re:Caution from Hollywood? (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437249)

If you sell a device that only provides their content it will sink faster than you can say "Cinderella".

You're welcome to rip your own DVDs & TV shows & play them back on this thing, in much the same way that you could rip CDs onto iPods before ITMS existed.

I believe you misunderstood the point of my original post. Basically, I was trying to say Jobs may have more trouble signing content deals with Hollywood execs after they've seen the his about-face on DRM with the music industry.

Re:Caution from Hollywood? (-1, Offtopic)

Mike89 (1006497) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437275)

Whatever.
What are you, twelve?

Re:Caution from Hollywood? (0, Flamebait)

dedazo (737510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437353)

Not yet. Definitely closer to it than you though.

Re:Caution from Hollywood? (1)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437359)

Ummmn, how about now? As of the last Macworld, Paramount's announced they're onboard as well. Sony, of course, will be last to join (if ever), but I expect the others will join in.

Re:Caution from Hollywood? (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437475)

According to imdb [imdb.com] :

Paramount announced Tuesday that it will join Disney in providing movies for downloading from Apple's iTunes Store. However, it indicated, it will not provide its latest releases, only its older films
I stand by my contention that Jobs' is going to find convincing the movie studios harder than the music labels.... Especially given his inconsistent stance on DRM.

you can kind of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18436659)

you can convert a divx file to apple-tv friendly format with quicktime pro. you probably need the divx codec installed to do that. p.

Re:you can kind of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18436709)

transcoding sucks

Re:you can kind of (4, Interesting)

ranger5 (745804) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437197)

FYI, I have not yet used the AppleTV. On an OS X machine, running 10.4.9, with front row, there is a method to play many movie files that are not purchased from the iTunes store. For example, let's say you have digital video of your legal content, ie. kids hockey game, or a school play etc. and your Codec of choice is somewhere in the XVID or DIVX family. If you have the proper plug-ins for Quicktime/iTunes, they will play. It can get expensive in storage space if the content you are storing is in 22, 42 or 120 minute chunks, and doubly so if you have configured iTunes to copy all of your material into it's own DB. You can drag those video files directly into iTunes and edit their tags to sort them appropriately. Alas, I am not the source of this info, just one who has been able to make it work. The real trial and error - sorting out the bugs folks are here: http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20051 013124423475 [macosxhints.com] Again, I have not tried this on the AppleTV, nor have I tried it on XP or Vista - just a macbook pro.

Divx is the key in me purchasing one too. (-1, Troll)

voxel (70407) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436663)

That is, if it supports Divx, then I will NOT purchase one.

If it does NOT support Divx, then I will buy one.

Re:Divx is the key in me purchasing one too. (2, Insightful)

Bob of Dole (453013) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436685)

Me too. I hate it when I buy hardware with too many features.

I still haven't bought a DVD player, because all the models I've seen include subtitles. WTF? I'm not deaf, why should I pay extra for subtitles!

screw stereo (0)

Carthag (643047) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436755)

mono's fine

and screw color (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18436843)

black and white will do.

Re:and screw color (0)

linguizic (806996) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436991)

Hell all I need is a single pixel!

Re:Divx is the key in me purchasing one too. (-1, Redundant)

L. VeGas (580015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436801)

I still haven't bought a DVD player, because all the models I've seen include subtitles. WTF? I'm not deaf, why should I pay extra for subtitles!
Hah! That's hilarious!

I'm the same way. I won't buy a PC for myself because of that stupid "Pause Break" key on the keyboard. I'm never going to use it. Whay should I pay extra for it?

Re:Divx is the key in me purchasing one too. (0)

aiwarrior (1030802) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437057)

i dont think they charge you for that "extra", its just included be cause there may be people that:
a) are foreign(non-US) and buy ntsc region dvd's
b) there are movies that are not in english
c) its easier to make a single software for all the world, not just the U.S (that sounds very selfish and bad excuse in my opinion)

Re:Divx is the key in me purchasing one too. (0, Flamebait)

toejam316 (1000986) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437243)

Well gosh darn it. Good ol' Logic, in use eh? Have you ever considered maybe its a standard feature? You know, the the damn bit you put those little things with the shiny on one side and the pictures on the other side? What was that? YOU DONT WANT ONE OF THOSE EITHER? well, it seems your only option is to scream "DAMN THE ANTI-CONSUMER FRIENDLY MANAFACTURERS!"

Re:Divx is the key in me purchasing one too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18437349)

It was a joke, you alabaster retard.

Re:Divx is the key in me purchasing one too. (2, Insightful)

Oscar_Wilde (170568) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437387)

How the hell did this get moderated "insightful" instead of "funny"? No, really. That's bad even for the kind of moderation you tend to get around here.

Re:Divx is the key in me purchasing one too. (1)

traveller604 (961720) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437409)

So you only watch movies with English audio tracks huh? Or are you fluent in all the languages of the world? If not, fuck that's just pathetic!

Re:Divx is the key in me purchasing one too. (0)

ampathee (682788) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436705)

Why?

Re:Divx is the key in me purchasing one too. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18437101)

fucking jews

Better than TiVo? (1)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436671)

Does this beat Tivo, is my question. I'm certain the interface is way way better than TiVo, but Apple loves its DRM. I'm just hoping it does what TiVo does eventually -- then I'll buy it. If it's just a glorified iTunes video player, then I don't really care much.

Re:Better than TiVo? (3, Interesting)

namityadav (989838) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436739)

Tivo is not necessarily the right product to compare it against. I think comparison between AppleTV and XBox 360 based IP TV will be a better apples to apples comparison (Saw what I did there? Saw what I did there?)

IP based TV is one area where I don't see Apple making a dent on Microsoft's solution. There are many things going Microsoft's way here:
(a) Microsoft's 10 million or so install-base
(b) The fact that unlike most other Microsoft products, 360 has decent reputation and following in it's field
(c) Xbox Live is also very much "alive" already
(d) There will be a huge intersection of gamers and early adopters of IP based TV
(e) Xbox 360 is already connected to your TV and your home-theatre

Re:Better than TiVo? (1)

Keys1337 (1002612) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436785)

Or compare it to an original dirt cheap XBOX modded with XBMC.

Re:Better than TiVo? (2, Insightful)

ischorr (657205) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436905)

Or the many, many products (from a variety of companies) that do similar things but typically with more features (like DVD player, the mentioned AVI/DivX support, etc).

For example, the only thing that the Apple TV has that the D-link DSM-520 doesn't is the snazzy interface and the ability to play iTunes-protected media. On the other hand, the D-link gives you the ability to play a huge range of media formats (including DivX, WMV, MPEG-2/MPEG-1), has the S-video output, video up to 1080i, doesn't have that horrendous tiny remote and is $50 cheaper.

I'm sure the interface will be nice and the fact that it's the only system (outside of a cheap Mac Mini) that plays iTunes content will be a selling point for some, but I just don't see this taking off. I buy a lot of Apple gear and I've even bought my share of videos off of iTunes, but this just isn't on my list.

Re:Better than TiVo? (2, Interesting)

elbobo (28495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437221)

While I agree that the Apple TV is severely limited in functionality, your attack on the remote I think is misguided. Personally I've found the Apple remote to be one of the best things to happen to media viewing since TV remotes went wireless. Navigating through Front Row with the remote is elegant and simple and a far superior experience to using any traditional media remote. Everything can be achieved with far less buttons, in a much smaller and neater remote than any other TV/media device offers. It's more intuitive and has almost zero learning curve. That's the sort of innovation that Apple are famous for, and the Apple remote is not an exception.

Less buttons == better.

Perhaps you haven't actually tried using it?

Re:Better than TiVo? (1)

jdray (645332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437491)

I agree, except that on my iMac (Intel, 2 GB RAM), it is sometimes slow as hell to do what seems to be a simple thing, like enter the "Movies" directory. WTF? It's essentially running ls.

Re:Better than TiVo? (2, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437223)

As a Mac user, fully agreed. My question is though: Why haven't other manufacturers clued into Apple's techniques?

Case in point: AppleTV vs. D-link DSM-520. Which sounds sexier? Why do manufacturers keep insisting on using freaking SKUs for product names? It does not work! Especially when your brand name has no style cachet in existence!

Second: Apple spent a lot of time on that UI, and it's slick as hell and looks easy enough to use for a grandma. Why can't other DVR, set-top box, or any other electronics manufacturer for that matter, clue into this and start designing beautiful and functional UI?/p>

I may be an Apple fan, but I know that if these other companies started spending some actual effort on their packaging, presentation, and UI, they would have Apple in a world of pain. SanDisk did pretty well with the Sansa in that regard, IMHO, and I recently played with a Sony Ericsson K790, which is a hella slick phone. Why aren't other manufacturers doing this?

Re:Better than TiVo? (4, Interesting)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437309)

The only thing that the Apple TV has that the D-link DSM-520 doesn't ...

You're wrong about the UI being the most important, the most important thing it has that the DSM doesn't is an Intel CPU. The AppleTV will be become the modders box du jour for video because of this fact alone. This is the FIRST Intel based media PC that is both silent and affordable. I'm expecting mine friday and the first thing I'm doing is popping the case open, pulling the drive, and seeing what I can do with this thing.

Re:Better than TiVo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18437401)

Less formats than the DSM-520. No 1080i. Lame.

Apple TV advantage (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436933)

1) Steve Jobs reality distortion fields.
2) It looks really cool
3) iPod is a great marketing tool showing that Apple makes easy to use products.
4) Stand alone.
5) Steve Jobs field that distorts reality.

Re:Better than TiVo? (2, Interesting)

thammoud (193905) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436967)

Is this the Xbox 360 that can not sync your computer music to its harddrive for whatever bizzare reason? To listen to music on my 360, I have to turn on my computer (Laptop) in my family room. The user interface stinks and it does not play any of my iTunes stuff. No thank you.

Re:Better than TiVo? (1)

no_opinion (148098) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437131)

Don't forget no PVR functionality in the Apple box.

Re:Better than TiVo? (1)

Simon Garlick (104721) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437141)

Let's be clear on what the Apple TV unit is: a very big Ipod video with wifi and no screen of its own. It can play back content purchased through the Itunes store or ripped from source media on a separate computer and copied on to the Apple TV unit. You can't watch broadcast TV; you can't record broadcast TV; you can't watch DVD discs or Blu-Ray discs or HD-DVD discs.

Re:Better than TiVo? (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437175)

Hmmmm. I'm struggling to find a record TV function on the AppleTV. Oh there doesn't seem to be a cable tuner in it. Ok, so then the answer is no. It doesn't beat Tivo since Tivo is firstly a DVR used for recording TV programs and the Apple TV can't do that.
I don't know why you think just because it's Apple the interface will be way way better. Tivo has a great interface and is very simple to use (yes even your grandma can use it). I'll also take Tivo's remote over Apple's any day. Tivo's is both easy to use and packs in advanced features. Apple's is seriously over simplified. About the only thing I like better is the Wii remote for menu selection.

No chance! (1, Funny)

NekoXP (67564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436681)

DivX won't be supported. The thing will play specially encoded H.264 movies from iTunes with DRM bolted onto, end of story. There's no way Apple would have been able to secure the licensing to sell stuff on iTunes if they didn't.

I guess you won't be getting one, but think of how many hookers you can get for the same price. A lot more fun!

Re:No chance! (4, Informative)

n6mod (17734) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436777)

The thing will play specially encoded H.264 movies from iTunes with DRM bolted onto, end of story

Or, you know... not.

There's an "Export to [apple]tv..." option in the latest quicktime that produces unencumbered H.264 files. So DRM is not a requirement for it to play. The apple specs only declare a smallish subset of H.264 and MPEG4 files, but 720p H.264 isn't bad at all.

Re:No chance! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436851)

From Apple:
"When you download movies from iTunes, you get near DVD-quality, 640-by-480-pixel video(1)"

WHy is this Widescreen only?

Can I import any movie quicktime can play into iTunes?

I couldn't find the answer on Apple.com

Re:No chance! (1)

linguizic (806996) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437069)

You actually have to buy quicktime pro to export anything.

Re:No chance! (2, Informative)

GizmoToy (450886) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436815)

iPods, iTunes, and AppleTV all support MP3s. You could probably have made the exact same argument for that. I don't think them selling protected videos in their store would preclude them from supporting Divx. At the same time, I think the chances of it supporting Divx out of the box are slim as their computers don't even support it natively (needs a codec download).

Re:No chance! (1)

kosmosik (654958) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437143)

> At the same time, I think the chances of it supporting Divx
> out of the box are slim as their computers don't even support
> it natively (needs a codec download).

I guess you can decode most DivX files with ffmpeg and other open decoders. But I can see that this has some legal implications so it can't be done in Apple TV.

Actually I find it quite funny that lowend $20 supermarket player from China has no problems with playing just anything that it can play (processing power) while some hi-spec hardware from US can't.

I guess in this case you are more free in China than in US. Isn't it something curiosal?

Re:No chance! (2, Informative)

TeraBill (746791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436903)

I guess if one takes the word of the Apple spec sheet for the Apple TV box, it plays:

H.264 and protected H.264 (from iTunes Store): Up to 5 Mbps, Progressive Main Profile (CAVLC) with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps (maximum resolution: 1280 by 720 pixels at 24 fps, 960 by 540 pixels at 30 fps)

iTunes Store purchased video: 320 by 240 pixels or 640 by 480 pixels

MPEG-4: Up to 3 Mbps, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps (maximum resolution: 720 by 432 pixels at 30 fps)

So, it isn't quite as limited as so seem to say that it is. I'm willing to take a look, but I'm happy streaming to my Buffalo LinkTheatre and am looking forward to trying out the Galaxy Metal Gear 3500IPTV box when it gets here. I may try out the Apple TV just because I own a Mac and I like to tinker with such things, but at this point I wouldn't described myself as excited about it. I don't see it giving me much that I don't get with my Elgato EyeHome unit, except for the iTunes content access and the EyeHome has other nice features. (I wonder why Elgate quit selling it.)

But that's just my $0.00 worth. (Yeah, it's free and worth every penny.)

Re:No chance! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18437005)

From my experience as the president of the United States, the more fun the hookers are ---> expensive.

I believe that Apple TV does play non-DRM files, but Apple supports only a limited number of video formats.
Since Apple ignores most video formats, people have been using VLC & MPlayer on the Mac forever for their video playback needs instead of a QuickTime+iTunes.

Re:No chance! (1)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437219)

Alternately, you could use FFMpegX (or similar) to transcode video from its source format to h.264, or rip DVDs directly to h.264 using e.g. Handbrake. The thing doesn't support your pirated bittorrent downloads of TV shows, but that's hardly something that would make sense for them to bother doing anyway.

If you can import video into iTunes, it'll play on the AppleTV. Nothing wrong with that.

From the apple website (5, Funny)

pklinken (773410) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436697)

Then you pull up a seat, put up your feet, and pick up the included Apple Remote to play your movie on TV. Give yourself a hand: You've just changed the way you watch digital media.
Hmmm.

Re:From the apple website (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18436725)

Oh, I'll give myself a hand alright... and not by clapping... if you know what I mean... masturbation... you know, podding the i.

Re:From the apple website (1)

pklinken (773410) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436961)

Supported by some i Tunes ?

not for me i guess (5, Insightful)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436719)

I'm a bit disappointed that it doesn't have some basic tivo functionality. You can't control a cable or satellite box, you can't tune in over-the-air broadcasts, analog or digital. All you can watch is iTunes content, most of which you have to *pay* for.

I would have snapped up an "HD iTivo" in a second but that's not what it is.

Re:not for me i guess (2, Insightful)

elysian1 (533581) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436929)

Probably because Tivo has a patent on DVR technology. See Tivo v. Echostar.

Re:not for me i guess (2, Interesting)

stubear (130454) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437045)

Then explain Windows Media Center. I'm able to not only record and pause live TV, I have a well designed guide for finding programs and setting them to record whenever that show comes on, all for free (well, the cost of the MCPC anyway). I can even use my XBOX 360 as a MCPC extender and keep my MCPC in anotehr room altogether.

Re:not for me i guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18437149)

...all for free (well, the cost of the MCPC anyway)

Isn't it amazing how many things in this world are "free" when you factor out the cost of them?

Re:not for me i guess (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18437033)

So, I guess you are one of the few people that would prefer to pay for cable rather than downloading content over a P2P network. Who needs cable when all the shows are on the local hard drive?

Re:not for me i guess (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18437133)

Some people prefer to not break the law. I'd submit that *most* people do *not* download P2P content. Geeks who don't like to pay for anything are the main consumers there.

Re:not for me i guess (1)

Josuah (26407) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437043)

Then you should probably buy an HD TiVo and use it with Amazon's Unbox (which I believe will expand into other areas than just movies).

Re:not for me i guess (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437225)

Unbox has some TV shows as well. The selections a bit odd and not all of it can be used on Tivo as of yet.

Re:not for me i guess (1)

shawnbutts (449657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437195)

You don't understand the concept of the Apple TV.

Forget standard DVR model of "record what I want to watch when I'm not there so I can watch it later". Oh, and being able to fast forward through commercials is a must have feature.

Apple TV (or iTunes really) allows you pay for the content you want and watch it when and how you want without commercials.

I don't listen to the radio anymore because I buy the music I want or subscribe to the podcasts I want. I'm not forced to listen to something I don't want to. If I don't like it, I unsubscribe and/or delete. Simple.

I want the same for all my media and I'm perfectly willing to hand over a few buck to Apple (or anyone else) that will let me do it without getting in my way.

Re:not for me i guess (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437251)

So at two dollars a show you get a whopping 10 shows for the cost of basic cable. Or 20 for the cost of digital cable. Versus a DVR which will allow you to record hundreds if you so choose. Oh and of course your selection of shows is limited to whats available on iTunes which is a tiny subset of the programming out there.
Why does one model preclude the other? How about a DVR which also allows you to access "pay to play" content such as movies and TV shows? Oh wait, I just described the Tivo + Amazon.com business model.
 

Re:not for me i guess (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437263)

Pirate a shitload of TV shows into iTunes and you won't have to bother paying for Tivo. And you get to wirelessly stream your stuff anywhere you have an AppleTV.

Re:not for me i guess (2, Insightful)

bwalling (195998) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437295)

It's not supposed to be a DVR or a Tivo. It's supposed to eliminate the need for them. I'm buying one to get rid of my cable bill. At $85/month (factor in digital cable, HD service, DVR box rental, DVR service, etc), my cable bill comes to $1020 on the year. Take out $300 for the AppleTV and $100 for an OTA HDTV antenna, and I've got $620 to spare on buying shows. I don't watch nearly enough shows for that, so the AppleTV pays for itself in the first year. Starting in year two, I have no hardware costs, so I'm saving even more money.

OK (4, Funny)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436721)

So when are they releasing the iRack [youtube.com] ?

Too bad (3, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436769)

I was set to buy one, but it is fro wode screen only. II can watch widescreen movies on my standard TV, why couldn't the include s-Video and two analog plugs for sound? or wuold ahve making 9" to a side just been too big?

My bad (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436803)

I reread the article, and it does allow from component video. Excellent.

Obligitary question (5, Funny)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436791)

Will the remote only have one button?

Re:one button remote (1)

Peter Bonte (919202) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437235)

6 buttons on the remote like usual but the 2 for the sound don't work :/

Web Browsing? (1)

skelly33 (891182) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436797)

With such a well-connected machine, it seems like it should be easily capable of general web browsing, but I can't seem to find any mention of it - does anyone know if it has a browser, or is this a big "duh" that they intentionally left out?

GoogleTV (4, Funny)

biocute (936687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436841)

Personally I will be waiting for GoogleTV, where it streams 24/7 YouTube videos produced by amateurs.

Obviously with Google's advanced technology in search and category, these videos will be sorted into different categories, genre, rating etc.

Re:GoogleTV (0, Offtopic)

kosmosik (654958) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437259)

> Personally I will be waiting for GoogleTV, where it streams 24/7
> YouTube videos produced by amateurs.

That can be your wish but in fact it is right now impossible. No matter how you love Google the facts are that:

1. It is not possible to deliver such streaming via Internet - it is possible to handle that via backbones but on the client side DSL lines (the end line) are quite limited. And also I've read that DSL adoption is not so well in the US. Also 3G mobile telephony is not happening in the US.

2. Google is not in consumer electronics space. Google is not even in REAL WORLD space. Google is all about online business while they have nothing in real world - I mean when it was that you saw Google product in store? I bet that you have seen Apple computers and stuff quite a lot times. But Google stuff - you have seen it in your browser. So the point is that Google is not (and probably it never will) into selling something that you can touch. They sell service.

Re:GoogleTV (1)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437267)


"I will be waiting for ... videos produced by amateurs"

Then you should check out Democracy (internet TV program):
http://www.getdemocracy.com/ [getdemocracy.com]

Re:GoogleTV (1)

mysterx6509 (1078657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437293)

You can already do this with a modded Xbox, XBMC, and the YouTube script. It works well.

This is so not for the /. crowd (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18436845)

My laptop is nearly as big as my tv and has a much nicer screen, and my DVD player handles .avis and jpgs pretty well, and will be good if I ever get a better TV. But lots of people have nice TVs and not so convienent computers, this will be good for them.

For thoseof us who use our computers near-constantly there doesn't seem to be a point of making it easier to go from computer to TV, I don't think this box is for us. Now, if iTunes gets more movies and/or better pricing on movies and TV shows, then that may help.

Re:This is so not for the /. crowd (2, Insightful)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437369)

Before people get too attached to this notion, remember that the same was said about the iPod mini. And the iPod. And probably the original iMac.

Does this thing... (1)

srikan2 (110605) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436855)

Can this thing be used to construct a home movie library? i.e, get a terrabyte external harddrive, host the itunes library there, rip dvds into itunes, stream them to the appletv and watch it on my tv?

(or was this the whole divx discussion above about?)

thanks!

Re:Does this thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18436937)

I believe it supports mp4 and h.264 (with and without Fairplay drm).

Re:Does this thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18436939)

Yes you could do that, but you'd have to be sure that you're ripping your dvds to h.264 encoded .mov files, rather than xvid or divx avi files. At the moment, i'm not sure if any of the popular dvd ripping/encoding tools do that directly, but it's possible to convert any video file (including ones you already have) to the compatible format using something like ffmpeg or probably quicktime pro. Expect the (.mov h.264) option to become more prevalent once appletvs become popular.

Re:Does this thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18437097)

Yes, you should be able to use Apple TV as a home media frontend.

Use something like Mediafork/Handbrake to rip your DVDs to your terabyte drive as H.264 and add them to itunes the same way you add your MP3s.

Plugin your AppleTV to the TV and home theater and your network. AppleTv will sync with iTunes and you can watch your movies or listen to your music through it.

Geeky question (4, Interesting)

kosmosik (654958) | more than 7 years ago | (#18436891)

What operating system it runs?

Has Jobs jumped the couch? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18436911)

After all these years Apple finally manages to release a product that even Sony can almost compete with. The IPTV tech behind it might be cool as all get out but to the average consumer it is going to look a lot like a broken Tivo.

DivX to Challenge Apple's iTV with 'DiVX Connected (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18436917)

XBMC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18436951)

For ~$50, you can get: an Xbox + softmod + XBMC, which is guaranteed to play pretty much everything you can throw at it.

It's an iPod you can't take with you. (1)

DemonWeeping (849974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437061)

I was considering this device this morning and wrote a little editorial [thoughtfix.com] in my personal blog about this - comparing it to an iPod with the AV Connection Kit. Feedback?

I hate TV (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18437073)

Television, American Television, is the most anti-educational substance in the Universe. It's ludicrous, you can carry it in your pockets, on your hats, in the walls, in your body, all over your home, and watch it 7 hours out of your already small 24 hour day.

Bitch, please. I don't want TV. I don't want DVDs, I don't want my home to be invaded by the media, billboards, advertisement or any other bullshit. I just want to live my life like (what used to be) an ordinary person.

FUCK POPULAR CULTURE, or with all the inane insane Trekkie like fandom, POPULAR OCCULTURE??

Anyways, that's just my ten cents.

Oh and uh fuck apple too, they used to be cool, like 20 years ago. And no, I'm not a troll, I'm not here to crash the party here at slashdot, I'm just pissed off. And it isn't illegal to be pissed off while using this machine we call the internet. ..........yet............

Just use your 360 (3, Informative)

davevr (29843) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437203)

The XBOX 360 makes a great Apple TV replacement for people who use PCs intead of Macs. It costs a little more, but it will play DVDs and cool games in addition to streaming your music, photos, downloaded shows, and TV (including live TV). Works properly with HDTV and all the DRM crap as well for those with digital cable. And it even comes in white!

If you are trying to save cash, you can also use your classic XBOX or third-party dedicated device. We call them "Media Center Extenders" here at the 'Soft.

Linux available on it in 3... 2... 1... (2, Interesting)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437271)

No, seriously, I can't wait 'til someone makes a Linux hack for it.

One feature they really ought to add, and it could be done all in software, would be the ability to stream video off network shares or NAS devices rather than relying solely on its internal HD.

Its Great (0, Offtopic)

josemayor1 (1070508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437389)

Apple would have to change its policy of sales, deberia to think but about consuming means. Their prices are crazy and amd or pentium will not be able to compete with. http://www.dovoyeur.com/ [dovoyeur.com] DoVoyeur

My Tivo and DVD Players are still better values (2, Insightful)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437393)

Tivo records any program I want, even pay-per-view movies that are cheaper than iTunes movies. If I opt for premium channels I can record all the movies I want from HBO, Showtime, etc for a low monthly fee.

My DVD player allows me to play DVDs I rent from a local video store that rents DVDs cheaper than iTunes sells downloadable movies. All I have to do is wait for a DVD release, and I have half-off membership to rent the DVD for $1.25 instead of $2.50 for a new movie because I am a loyal customer and get the discount as a result.

I don't need to have an Internet connection to use the Tivo or DVD players. In the case of Tivo most of the programming is due to a low cost monthly fee, and I get the Tivo player/recorder for free if I sign up for a year contract.

I don't really use iTunes, so I wouldn't benefit from an AppleTV box. I think that iTunes is ruining the market and locking down what we can and cannot play on our own equipment. We no longer can buy a movie, and we no longer have control over how we can play it and on what device we can play it on. For example my Linux box and third party MP3 player cannot play iTunes files, nor can my Amiga box. Ironically that my G3 iMac runs Mac OS9, and does not have the latest iTunes software for it to use with the AppleTV had I bought one.

AppleTV is a nice idea, I suppose if one buys a lot of iTunes files. I except Microsoft to have a MSNTV in a year or two to compete with AppleTV. I'd suspect they use some sort of Windows CE type device at the $299 or $199 price range, or maybe offer a discount on an XBox 360 if the buying agrees to a one year contract with media subscriptions and get $200 in rebates from the XBox 386 sale.

The limitations of the AppleTV is that it cannot get my satellite programming, cannot play my DVDs (do they expect me to rip them into some format and violate that MPAA agreement?), cannot work with my Linux and Amiga boxes, and limits how many times I can play a file or how long I can play a file due to DRM that isn't present on my Tivo or DVD players.

My Tivo and DVD players allow me to play any media any time I want for as long as I want for how many times I want to play it. AppleTV does not, so I don't need AppleTV.

TV (0, Offtopic)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 7 years ago | (#18437429)

The real question is does it support actual streaming TV? I just bought a Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1600 and use it with Media Center, and planned on getting an Xbox 360 anyway which just so happens to be a Media Center Extender. Does Apple's new little toy stream TV over the network?
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