Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

David Pogue Reviews the Apple TV

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the applevision-as-the-wave-of-the-future dept.

Television 270

necro81 writes "David Pogue of the NY Times has devoted his weekly column to the newly released Apple TV. He also has a video blurb to go with it. He compares it to the XBox360 and Netgear's EVA8000, which also deliver content traditionally trapped in a PC onto a TV set. Apple TV Pros: setup is as easy as can be, it's small and silent form factor will be good for home theaters, and the interface and remote control are intuitive. Cons: HDTV only, playback is limited to formats playable within iTunes, and no internet functionality other than movie trailers."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

GOD I Wuv Apple !! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18462457)

I wuv, wuv, wuv Apple.

Re:GOD I Wuv Apple !! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18462503)

Do it! Yeah! You mah BITCH now boi!

The Apple deal (1, Insightful)

The_Abortionist (930834) | more than 6 years ago | (#18462945)

Trade freedom for interface.

While Apple makes use of OSS, it has the complete exact opposite philosophy. This is very interesting and could make a good thesis subject.

Many OSS supporters like Apple too (as seen in this forum)! I guess at the end of the day, it's all about not wasting their time too much on useless stuff. In a way, they are like someone who claims to support every environment initiative, but drives a gas guzzling SUV because of safety, power, prestige, etc.

Re:The Apple deal (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463209)

Why modded this down?

That was a good analogy (although it was a car analogy...)

Apple loves to use OSS... What OSS has it released? Why isn't OS X open sourced?

Re:The Apple deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18463293)

Because he replied to a nonsensical first post so his post would be higher on the page.

The opposite problem (1)

pvera (250260) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463469)

I got three Macs in the house, and two Xbox 360s. I use Connect360 so the Macs can impersonate media center (or whatever they are called) PCs, which lets the two Xboxes browse through the iPhoto libraries, stream anything of iTunes as long as it is not DRM'ed, and pull any movies in ~/Movies.

The only problem is that it only plays the movies if they are WMV. Everything else is perfect, it even plays MP3 and AAC's fine.

I would love an AppleTV, but that's a lot of money for just a bit more functionality than what I am getting with Connect360 and my Xboxes.

Re:The Apple deal (5, Informative)

blankaBrew (1000609) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463539)

"What OSS has it released?"

How about Bonjour, Darwin Streaming Server, XNU Kernel, Launchd Services and the forthcoming iCal Server which might help the OSS community finally have a competitor to Exchange.

"Apple loves to use OSS... What OSS has it released? Why isn't OS X open sourced?"

Oh....sure.... apple should open source their whole operating system...that makes a lot of sense for them and their shareholders. You sir are a moron or a troll.

Re:The Apple deal (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463895)

didn't realize they released stuff OS, but I wonder how much they release Open Source that they don't have to in order to comply with license restrictions? (just curious?)

Re:The Apple deal (2, Funny)

shadow349 (1034412) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463575)

What OSS has it released?

I don't know you from Eddie, but I'd be willing to bet that the answer is somewhere north of a metric fuckload [apple.com] more than you've released.

Shouldn't this be the "iTV"? (1, Funny)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#18462481)

Shouldn't this be the "iTV"?

Re:Shouldn't this be the "iTV"? (4, Interesting)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 7 years ago | (#18462565)

Already trademarked as the eye TV, I understand. I believe that this is the product that holds that trademark: http://www.elgato.com/ [elgato.com]

Re:Shouldn't this be the "iTV"? (1)

Kyeetza (927172) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463003)

it's also a British network of television stations. http://www.itv.com/ [itv.com] Besides that, when Jobs debuted the product, he said that "iTV" was only a developmental code name until they released it.

Re:Shouldn't this be the "iTV"? (1)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463181)

Yeah, but the British TV station has nothing to do with the trademark issues.

What makes these trademark shenanigans all the more peculiar is that at the same MacWorld show this week Apple introduced another product called Apple TV, which it first demonstrated last year under the name iTV. ... Well, it turned out that Elgato Systems makes a product called EyeTV (pronounced "iTV" obviously), which is a line of Macintosh video capture devices -- some with tuners -- so Apple backed off and changed the product name to Apple TV.
http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2007/pulpit_200 70111_001476.html [pbs.org]

Re:Shouldn't this be the "iTV"? (3, Insightful)

HaeMaker (221642) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463141)

Didn't stop them with iPhone.

Re:Shouldn't this be the "iTV"? (1)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463331)

Didn't stop them with iPhone.
True, but I would bet that move cost them a lot of money:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iphone#Trademark_disp ute [wikipedia.org]

I guess that in their cost benefit analysis and corporate negotiations with Cisco they found a way to make it pay off, but the iTV fight was not worth the price...

Give me a call when it plays my MYTHTV recordings (0, Troll)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18462519)

Until then its not a very useful piece of equipment to me.

Re:Give me a call when it plays my MYTHTV recordin (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18462545)

No problem. I'll need your phone number, of course, and just to be safe your home address, social security number, mother's maiden name and place of employment. Wouldn't want to miss notifying you.

Re:Give me a call when it plays my MYTHTV recordin (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#18462611)

seconded. i hadnt really been paying attention to this thing, i just assumed it was a DVR, but it actually looks like it's just a media streaming device. even if it was a DVR, you're not gonna fit jack on 40GB. the 200GB in my DVR didnt last me long, even with compression. i plan on getting a 500 or 750, so i can leave the shows as mpeg2.

Re:Give me a call when it plays my MYTHTV recordin (1)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 6 years ago | (#18462899)

Well, from reading some of the open-box reviews, it seems that it'll be easy to swap out the HD on it. Now, what that'll do to your OS, etc, God alone knows.

But in general, yes, I agree, DVR functionality is sorely needed, or at least a better, clearer way to turn, say, the iMac in my den into a DVR. I've been trying to sort out for a month what EyeTV/ Miglia add-on I need for my cable setup and which is the most compatible with AppleTV/iTunes. The door is WIDE open for 3rd party vendor to come charging thru on this.

Re:Give me a call when it plays my MYTHTV recordin (1)

wass (72082) | more than 6 years ago | (#18462993)

People have already upgraded their AppleTV boxes to 120 GB HD [gizmodo.com] , so larger sizes should be possible too.

Re:Give me a call when it plays my MYTHTV recordin (4, Interesting)

wizbit (122290) | more than 6 years ago | (#18462867)

I was going to ignore, but I had to plug Myth2iPod [myth2ipod.com] . Singly the greatest hack I've seen come out of the MythTV community. And, it should work with AppleTV - AppleTV plays DivX content, and Myth will happily transcode to DivX. Setup a feed in iTunes, and fiddle with the encoding settings in myth2iPod (e.g., better quality, maybe encode to h.264) and leave iTunes running on a computer in the basement with a network share. Bingo, instant MythTV feed to AppleTV via iTunes and myth2iPod. And that's available *now*. I'm sure some Mac developer will come up with an even slicker solution - you can run the frontend on a Mac these days, after all.

Re:Give me a call when it plays my MYTHTV recordin (1)

zero1101 (444838) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463771)

Shouldn't the fact that we now know how to get into the AppleTV OS (via the SomethingAwful hack) mean that it's trivial to install the OSX version of MythTV frontend? Or am I missing something important?

Re:Give me a call when it plays my MYTHTV recordin (1)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 6 years ago | (#18462963)

Since no consumer that this product is aimed would have the know how to setup a MythTV box, don't hold your breath waiting for a call.

If you have MYTHTV? (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463011)

Why would you want to play your videos on another device rather than on the MythTV box? Just out of curiosity.

Re:If you have MYTHTV? (1, Insightful)

wizbit (122290) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463117)

Ever tried to setup a remote frontend for Myth? Fiddled with lirc for freakin days to get it right? NFS shares? This stuff is probably trivial to some, but for me it was a major pain in the ass. If the AppleTV is really as easy to setup as Pogue is claiming - literally plug in an HDMI cable and the power cable - I'm buying one for every room in the house. Let the MythTV backend do the recording. Apple has apparently made a really spectacular frontend.

Re:If you have MYTHTV? (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463175)

Ah okay, for multiple TVs it would definitely be easier and probably less expensive. That makes sense. Thanks.

IT'S A USELESS PIECE OF SHIT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18463119)

BUT IT'S APPLE ...so there's lots of masturbation to be done.

(5+, INSIGTHFUL):

In other news, since you're already wasting all your time with Linux, you might as well look for some kind of hack/plugin for iTunes and maybe buy another computer to act as a middle man running that stupid iTunes. You know, something that's complicated but doable if you read enough forums and figure out the non-working explainations.

How about mounting and playing DVD ISOs? (1)

swb (14022) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463477)

That would make much more sense to me, as would a front slot for ripping them to the backend storage.

Not quite (4, Informative)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 7 years ago | (#18462525)

It will play on 480i, you just need component video to do it [tuaw.com] .

Re:Not quite (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18462853)

That's true, but the 480i mode is 16:9 only. If you don't have a 16:9 TV, or one of the 4:3 ones with a "squeeze" mode, everything will look wrong.

Re:Not quite (1)

Kyeetza (927172) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463137)

If you have a 4:3 tv, you'll also need component inputs. I'm not a big tv person, so I don't know if newer 4:3 TV sets have component inputs, but I know older ones (i.e. - mine) certainly do not. This might be the excuse I need to get that 1080p 42" westinghouse that I've been salivating over.

Re:Not quite (1)

amper (33785) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463207)

I've got a Sony KV-32FS100 that I bought about 4.5 years ago that has both squeeze and component (even supports 480p). I'd like to get an Apple TV, but it supposedly doesn't work with all 480i and 480p sets.

Component - Composite (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463239)

It's very easy to convert component video -> composite (single video cord) -- simply mix the signal off all three component outputs into one line. This causes a loss in image quality but it's no worse than you have with any other composite signal.

Re:Component - Composite (1)

johnmat (650076) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463755)

This is not true. While you can mix S-video this way as the chroma is still NTSC/PAL encoded on a sub-carrier frequency; but the Cb/Cr (aka Pb/Pr) signals on component video are simply levels, so if you mix them you will get black-and-white.

hacked (5, Informative)

jamienk (62492) | more than 7 years ago | (#18462529)

AppleTV can now play Xvid -- http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?s= &threadid=2391956 [somethingawful.com]

Re:hacked (4, Insightful)

JimDaGeek (983925) | more than 7 years ago | (#18462637)

That is a lot of crap to do just to support a non-DRM encrusted format. The blurb even said you need QT Pro, which means more money for Apple to just play a file. No thanks, I will stick to MythTV.

Re:hacked (3, Insightful)

ocelotbob (173602) | more than 7 years ago | (#18462841)

The AppleTV's been out for 1 day, obviously the hacks at this point are at the quick and dirty level. If you fully RTFA, you'll learn that they're working on ways to streamline the process, and should have something a lot nicer soon.

Re:hacked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18462983)

In fact it is not a "hack", it is basically installing a Quicktime Codec to OS X based system. It is the most legit, hassle free way of getting your media to play on Mac systems.

Re:hacked (4, Insightful)

JimDaGeek (983925) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463833)

While as a geek I think it is cool to hack the hardware to offer more features, I don't think you should have to do that for a device you pay for to just watch some content that you record. Xvid [xvid.org] is open, so there is no reason for Apple to not at least include Xvid playback support. The only thing I can think of is that Apple wants the AppleTV to be nothing more than a player for iTMS content. If that is the case, then no thanks.

Interesting. (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 6 years ago | (#18462925)

I didn't read your link (somethingawful.com and work computer don't mix). Would someone mind explaining what they did. I would think that it should be fairly easy to get any format that has a Quicktime plugin (like from flip4mac or Perian) to work with the AppleTV.

Re:Interesting. (1)

yuvi (943064) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463097)

That's exactly what they did, but they needed to remove the HD and mount it on a Mac to get at it to copy Perian to the AppleTV.

Re:Interesting. (1)

dubbreak (623656) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463493)

They used a mac since that was easiest for them to mount HFS, but I wouldn't be surprised if you could do the same with linux (you are just dropping the perian plugin in the correct folder right?).

Re:Interesting. (3, Informative)

astrosmash (3561) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463481)

They pulled the HD out of the Apple TV unit and attached it to an existing OS X system. The disk apparently contains a pretty standard OS X 10.4.7 install, so they just added the additional QuickTime plug-ins to /Library/QuickTime/.

Apparently they also enabled ssh. My speculation: They reconfigured launchd and the firewall to allow ssh connections to sshd, and presumably they configured the local user account (whatever it is) to allow public-key authentication so they don't have to futz around with any passwords. All of that can be done by simply editing text configuration files.

Re:hacked (1)

jspayne (98716) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463013)

Mod Parent: +1 - more interesting that the lame review

Re:hacked (1)

Kyeetza (927172) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463347)

Instead of going through all that hassell, you could just use Visualhub http://www.techspansion.com/visualhub/.com/ [techspansion.com] to convert it to an .h264 file that would be of equal or greater quality while keeping the file size the same or lower depending on the settings you use. The downside - it's OS X only, but it's the best $23 I ever spent.

HDTV (component 480i counts) only? (5, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18462557)

Moronic. Turns out it's not that much more useful than my Xbox 360, and infinitely less useful than a hacked xbox media center.

I mean OH MY GOD APPLE I LOVE THIS YOU HAVE REINVENTED MY TV! It now has YOUR STORE ATTACHED TO IT!

Re:HDTV (component 480i counts) only? (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 7 years ago | (#18462781)

Wait, you're saying its more useful than the 360, which pretty much does everything the AppleTV does as a secondary feature. Hopefully the AppleTV will "also play games" as well as the Xbox "also streams video" to be worth $300.

Re:HDTV (component 480i counts) only? (2, Informative)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 6 years ago | (#18462937)

I should have qualified "no more useful than 360 wrt video"

I also should have noted that the 360 costs just as much. And the hard drive on the appletv isn't much bigger, 40 gig isn't much when you're talking HDTV movies at 7-9 gigs-ish each (based on my 360 marketplace experience).

Also, Apple doesn't say (they never do... PART OF THEIR HIP MYSTIQUE!!). I see one single lonely USB port on the back. Can that be to attach storage, or just for iPod syncing? I know I stuck a fat-formatted 80 gig usb drive filled with wmv files into my 360 and they play fine. The wmv-only is my only gripe with the 360 (its a big one, though).

Are you supposed to have all your purchased video on your Mac (sold seperately), and leave it running non-stop?

They way underdelivered here. I mean, REINVENTED HOW I WATCH TV.

Re:HDTV (component 480i counts) only? (3, Informative)

bestinshow (985111) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463061)

Take AppleTV. Take out 40GB hard drive. Image onto 160GB hard drive. Put 160GB into Apple TV. Kappow, extra storage space.
Whilst the drive is out you can also install a SSH server so you can get access to the filesystem. The username/password on the AppleTV is frontrow/frontrow. I guess you could install Apache or Postgresql or whatever here as well, assuming the BSD layer is intact. People are working on getting the USB port fully active, and remote desktop active.
And via the SSH server you can install divx/xvid codecs into Quicktime on the AppleTV to support this common video format for backups (of DVDs, or Cinema showings, hehe).

It'll kill your warranty though. But it's looking to be a very hackable consumer BSD box right now...

Re:HDTV (component 480i counts) only? (2, Insightful)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 6 years ago | (#18462885)

It didn't take long for someone to start bashing Apple or mock its users. Jeez..

Besides Apple TV seems to be easily modifiable (Probably more so than your xbox media center).

Anyway, Apple delivers a product that works AS ADVERTISED. Nobody is forcing you to buy one. If you need DVR, Tivo has a product for you.

Or just maybe, you can have a media server in another room and just use the Apple TV to view the content remotely (and without the noise of cooling fans). I think it works out of the box this way (just import your video into iTunes).

I'm sure a neat hack is coming real soon that will provide more features. I know I may get one just to play with and try to merge it with elgato's eyeTV.

Re:HDTV (component 480i counts) only? (0)

FuckTheModerators (883349) | more than 6 years ago | (#18462891)

...infinitely less useful than a hacked xbox media center...

Damn straight. Mod parent up.

Re:HDTV (component 480i counts) only? (4, Informative)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#18462957)

Sorry, but no, 480i is not HDTV, even if it is in component video form. The connector type doesn't define whether it is HD.

I had an SDTV that I bought in 2000 had 480i component, and that TV was not capable of progressive or HD video.

Re:HDTV (component 480i counts) only? (1)

Dirk Pitt (90561) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463345)

OP was responding to this part of the story summary:

"Cons: HDTV only"

He's saying that the Apple TV will support *normal def* with component, it already supports 720P out-of-the-box.

Re:HDTV (component 480i counts) only? (1)

Thrudheim (910314) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463473)

infinitely less useful than a hacked xbox media center

For you, that's probably true at this point in time, but the very fact that you have a hacked xbox media center and are reading Slashdot puts you out on the fringe of the target market. Apple is very good at delivering products that non-techies can use, and it turns out that there are a lot of non-techies out there.

Re:HDTV (component 480i counts) only? (2, Interesting)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463555)

The 360 is a gigantic, noisy Windows PC designed to spread the Win32 monopoly into the living room. The Apple TV is a tiny, silent iTunes streaming device. I'll take the Apple TV.

Re:HDTV (component 480i counts) only? (1)

shipbrick (929823) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463677)

To turn the 360 into a useful media center use this program http://www.tversity.com/ [tversity.com] . It takes a little bit of effort to set up, i.e. must have codecs and such (install help - http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/1002/playing_div x_and_xvid_content_on_xbox_360_an_easy_guide/index .html [tweaktown.com] ), . It runs on a networked PC and transcodes, on the fly, various video formats from your PC (including xvid) into wmv so the 360 will play them (assuming the 360 has a reasonably recent firmware update). It does what I thought the 360 should have done out of the box. After getting this working on my 360, I have since canceled my cable.

hmm (5, Informative)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18462687)

Right now my Xbox with Xbox Media Center is more functional than this. It will play just about anything. Including realmedia files inside of a rar.

Re:hmm (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18462807)

It will play... realmedia files
that goes in the con column

Re:hmm (1)

astrosmash (3561) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463723)

But it can't play iTunes playlists, which makes it useless to the apparently 110 million iTunes users out there.

Geeks have been hooking up their PCs to their home entertainment systems since the late 90s, so excuse my while I yawn at your XBox hack. But what we haven't seen yet is a successful product that does this for the average consumer in an elegant manner, which is why Apple TV is interesting. That is, to see how well it works and if it succeeds or not.

Eh (2, Interesting)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18462705)

TV as we know it is a rapidly dying market. More than half of the people I know don't have an antenna/cable/satellite TV. I haven't had a "TV" for anything other than games and DVD's for 5+ years. The quality of the content on "TV" is consistently "lowest common denominator" and it's beyond absurd to pay for TV (cable or satellite), and then have to sit through advertisements.

Re:Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18462997)

how can you comment on the content of TV if you claim you haven't watched any in 5 yrs?

Re:Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18463051)

Fortunately for advertisers, cable/satellite, and television companies, the "lowest common denominator" apparently has a very large constituency. Television viewership is still more than high enough for the business model to continue to sustain itself despite your anecdotal claims to the contrary. If anything, I'd bet that some channels of the absurdly priced cable packages like Discovery, History, etc have increased in viewership due to a larger quantity of entertaining (but still interesting) programming. Eh.

Re:Eh (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463053)

Depending on how cheaply you can get your Internet access and how much TV you watch, buying a season pass on iTunes could wind up being cheaper than paying for cable.

Unfortunately for me, the only reliable broadband in my area is from Comcast, who charges you an extra $15/month for broadband if you don't get it bundled with their $15/month basic cable.

Re:Eh (4, Funny)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463295)

TV as we know it is a rapidly dying market. More than half of the people I know don't have an antenna/cable/satellite TV. I haven't had a "TV" for anything other than games and DVD's for 5+ years. The quality of the content on "TV" is consistently "lowest common denominator" and it's beyond absurd to pay for TV (cable or satellite), and then have to sit through advertisements.
I've read about you! [theonion.com]

Re:Eh (1)

Klaus_1250 (987230) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463849)

You underestimate the indecisiveness and laziness of people. TV will take a blow the next few years, but it won't be as catastrophic as some predict. And as long as people don't have 100mbps internet connections, IP-based solutions won't be to offer the same quality anyway.

I guess I spend too much time at work .... (4, Funny)

nbvb (32836) | more than 7 years ago | (#18462797)

I saw "Netgear EVA8000" and thought of HP's midrange disk array.

I'm actually surprised that Netgear chose the name, since it's blatantly similar to this [hp.com] .

Re:I guess I spend too much time at work .... (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 6 years ago | (#18462887)

i thought of an EVGA 8800 gts [evga.com] .

but does it run linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18462799)

Well, I mean is apple's implementation of linux (os x) under the hood... or could one install regular os x on it? It would make for a really cheep mac mini with HD video.

I could use a super cheap video editing station much more than an expensive portal to itunes....

What's the point? (4, Interesting)

rizzo420 (136707) | more than 6 years ago | (#18462909)

i'm not sure i understand the point of apple tv. i have a tivo that no only lets me play files off my computer, but also let's me record tv. what's the point of the apple tv (only 50 hours), which costs more than an 80 hour tivo with dual tuner that comes with a 1 year subscription? with my tivo, i can move movies to my computer (currently only windows, but possibly macos as well, i'm not sure), record tv on 2 stations at the same time, have a nice tv guide, watch movies from my computer on my tv, play music on my computer through my tv, show picture slideshows from my computer on my tv, download amazon unbox videos, and watch tivo casts that i get off the internet. what's the point of apple tv if it doesn't even do half of this, yet costs the same? i just don't get it.

Re:What's the point? (4, Insightful)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#18462969)

1) Cheaper because it has no subscription costs
2) Easier because it does less

Both of these points were very salient to the iPod's success. Apple expects them to be key drivers for the AppleTV as well.

Re:What's the point? (1)

rizzo420 (136707) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463115)

the tivo is cheaper if you don't pay for the subscription, which is not needed to record shows. you just need to know the time and date of what you want to do and you don't get the guide feature. tivo's interface is extremely easy to use.

i just don't see the point. there's other products out there (like tivo) that do a lot more. i just don't see the point in buying one.

Re:What's the point? (2, Informative)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463221)

I'm trying to answer your question, but you seem to keep misunderstanding.

What is the point of an iPod when the Creative Nomad was cheaper, in 2001?
iPod was smaller (same as AppleTV vs TiVo.)
iPod was easier to use (There is no need to schedule, program, or search the AppleTV. Just click and watch.)

The point YOU keep making is there are more features on the TiVo.

The point I am making is that those extra features aren't important. The person who wants an AppleTV doesn't want to "know the time and date", don't want to "program the TiVo", don't want to "Subscribe to get the guide", don't want to "Network the TiVo".

For an AppleTV all you do is:
1) Plug into TV
2) Turn on PC
3) Allow the AppleTV to synch to the PC

This is the same as the iPod:
1) Plug into headphones
2) Plug into PC
3) Allow the iPod to synch to the PC

Re:What's the point? (1)

rizzo420 (136707) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463357)

yeah... sounds like a waste of money to me. more DRM'd stuff from apple who claims they don't like DRM.

Re:What's the point? (2, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463837)

The point YOU keep making is there are more features on the TiVo.

The point I am making is that those extra features aren't important.


They are important when you're dealing with video rather than music.

The really important thing that either Apple failed to realize or just discounted for whatever reason is that while there has always been something of a defacto standard in music formats (mp3), there has never been a similar standard in video formats. They are now trying to impose h.264 as a standard, while supporting their own earlier QuickTime formats, but seriously - other than stuff you've purchased on iTunes (which can't be that much because they don't offer that much), how much video do you really have stored in these formats?

Mac owners probably have more than PC owners but even they probably have all sorts of .wmv and other files lying around. PC owners have a mixture of divx, xvid, .wmv, avi files of various types, some quicktimes, some mp4's, some mpeg1 and 2's, etc.

What would be "easiest" for most people would be to have a device that supports all of these formats equally, so they don't even need to think about video formats anymore. What Apple is doing is not easy; they're forcing you to ensure that all of your video is in a format that they support, either through transcoding or by purchasing it from them.

If the Apple TV supported all of these formats and supported up to 1080p through HDMI, then yes, you'd have a useful device there. As it is, it is not a very useful device, nor is it particularly easy to use for anybody that already has a lot of video on their computers.

I mean, when you have to hack the thing to get it to recognize the most popular downloadable video format on PC, something is not right.

Re:What's the point? (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463337)

the tivo is cheaper if you don't pay for the subscription, which is not needed to record shows. you just need to know the time and date of what you want to do and you don't get the guide feature. tivo's interface is extremely easy to use.

So you can either have a crappy interface that makes you manually look up and program in the times, or you can pay an expensive subscription. No thanks. My PVR lets me choose any subscription program guide I want, including Web based, one that are free with a few banner ads. Also, with the Tivo you need a Cable TV subscription to get the shows in the first place, while with the AppleTV you buy the individual shows you want (more granularity but higher prices per show although at there are no ads.)

i just don't see the point. there's other products out there (like tivo) that do a lot more. i just don't see the point in buying one.

The AppleTV and the Tivo both target people who are looking for really, really easy to set up and use stuff. The AppleTV does not do a lot I want, but my parents could use it. Tivo, likewise only has half the functionality I want and is crazy expensive. I'm not going to buy either, but they are both in the same boat as far as I'm concerned.

Re:What's the point? (0, Troll)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463077)

Dude.

It's Apple.

Whats the point of an iPod? What's the point of a mac? Whats the point of a Newton? Whats the point of Pippin? What's the point of Lisa? Whats the point of iPhone?

It's trendy. It's branded. Apple fans are loyal to the brand. They are itching to buy something with an Apple logo for their entertainment center.

Also I like tivo too, but it's not high def. Unless you bought a high def one, and those sure aren't cheaper than AppleTV. I've never used it's movie service, does it sell HD content to HD tivos? Not that I need it, I can get it on 360.

Re:What's the point? (1)

rizzo420 (136707) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463145)

i don't know if unbox sells HD stuff to HD tivos. the HD tivo costs more, but it also does a whole lot more than apple tv and it holds 300 hours and records HD content off tv in HD.

i still don't see the point of apple tv.

Re:What's the point? (1, Informative)

varmittang (849469) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463139)

Think of it this way. Here in NJ where I live I can get HDTV service with all the channels that I would need to be able to watch my show for about $100. Now, if I cancel my service I will save about $1000 dollars a year. These are very rounded number people. Take out a 300 dollars for the AppleTV and I have about $700 worth of iTunes TV content that I can purchase. Then the next year I will have $1000 of iTunes purchases that I can make. This is more than enough money to purchase the TV shows that I want to watch and also keep them for ever. That is what will drive people to the AppleTV over time, the ability to pick and choose the shows they want to watch and only pay for those shows. And also take them on their computer where ever they go and their iPods. To some, its really just simply purchasing only what they want to watch.

Re:What's the point? (3, Interesting)

jfengel (409917) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463195)

Mostly this is Apple's way of leveraging the video capability of its iTMS out to your TV, exactly the way TiVo does for Amazon Unbox.

I'll admit I'm mystified why they didn't make it a general DVR at the same time. My best guess is that it's coming but that the software wasn't ready yet; Apple's got very high standards for such things. But I haven't heard any complaints from TiVo customers, and my limited experience with them has been pleasant.

On the other hand I've heard much bitching about Unbox. Maybe Apple felt that they could get ahead of that and make people prefer to download rather than record; they'd rather sell you Lost for $2 than record it for free. They're certainly being way forward-looking by aiming at HDTVs, but they're not selling HDTV content yet, so they seem to be premature or out of touch.

Re:What's the point? (1)

rizzo420 (136707) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463279)

what sort of bitching about unbox? i rented a movie once so far just to try it and the movie was really good quality, but it took about an hour and a half to arrive.

i've had tivo now since christmas and i have to say that i absolutely love it and can't imagine watching tv without it.

Re:What's the point? (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463641)

I'm just repeating what I read on the Web. I know some people were griping about its software, which you presumably bypass with your TiVo. Plus there are the usual "DRM is teh 3v1L" comments all over the place.

MPEG4/AVC (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 6 years ago | (#18462959)

[...] playback is limited to formats playable within iTunes [...]

I sincerely hope that Apple TV would succeed - if only to additionally indirectly support MP4 format wider adoption.

It's not the best, but among other formats it is only one which is open, free and platform independent.

Re:MPEG4/AVC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18463753)

What part of MPEG4-10 is free? It costs money to even look at the standard to implement http://www.iso.org/iso/en/CatalogueDetailPage.Cata logueDetail?CSNUMBER=43058&ICS1=35&ICS2=40&ICS3= [iso.org] . Then it also costs money in order use http://www.mpegla.com/avc/AVC_TermsSummary.pdf [mpegla.com] . Not to mention that the mpegla doesn't guarantee that all the patents they license you for are sufficient to implement the standard. It is only open in that you don't have to have a secret handshake to view it.

It is small and silent form factor? WTF?!? (1)

edittard (805475) | more than 6 years ago | (#18462961)

it's = it is.

Huh? (2)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463089)

Apple TV Pros: setup is as easy as can be, it's small and silent form factor will be good for home theaters, and the interface and remote control are intuitive. Cons: HDTV only, playback is limited to formats playable within iTunes, and no internet functionality other than movie trailers."


Sounds worse then a regular TV, am I missing something? Whats the big deal with this thing?

Re:Huh? (2, Funny)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463189)

I know! And the iPod has no wireless and less space than a Nomad! They'll never catch on.

You Fail iRt (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18463127)

become li/ke they creek, abysmal practical purposes,

Here is what is going to make it worth it.. (4, Interesting)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463169)

What is going to make AppleTV worth the money is this:

Video Podcasting.

There are already a plethera of great video podcasts available, and with AppleTV you can sit and watch them in your livingroom, not on a computer or 2" ipod video screen.

Sure, a bit of effort every day, you can download the same content and burn it to DVD, or get it to play some other way on your TV, but with AppleTV and a smart iTunes playlist, you can have a couple hours of content that's new and interesting and commercial-free every single night.

This isn't a strike at Tivo, this is a stike at Prime Time programming of all kinds.

it's all about the 'pods? (2, Interesting)

abes (82351) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463265)

I get the fact that it's supposed to be the iPod, but for you living room. It makes sense for Apple's perspective. They have content (in this case TV shows and movies) that they want you to buy and watch. What's a primary factor keeping from people watching? They want to use their TVs.

Now in theory you can take the signal from your computer, and send it to the TV. Of course, you might have to buy some of your own cables/get hardware. Thus Apple's solution. Provide a simple box that takes care of all of that for you. It's a small box that just magically streams all your content (across your various computers) to a single point, which can be hooked up to a TV.

BUT, as a consumer this doesn't make sense. I like the idea of picking what shows I want to watch, but I actually don't want to own most of them. If the Apple TV allowed me 'rent' a show, I would buy one in a second. Or if I could pay a monthly fee (say: 10 shows subscription), again, I'd totally bite. But paying premium to own something I plan on only watching once has absolutely no appeal to me. It's too expensive. It's still cheaper in the long run to just get cable if you go above 4-5 shows (daily show, colbert report, myth busters, robot chicken .. there already).

I don't see Apple doing this anytime soon, as it seems to go against their current business model. So instead they seem to get some strange compromise. Something almost useful .. but only if you enjoy spending a lot of extra . It doesn't give unique functionality like an iPod (or any other MP3 player), where portability is essential. It just makes things a little easier.

Maybe Apple has something up their sleeves. I keep waiting, but it isn't looking too likely...

Re:it's all about the 'pods? (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463403)

XBox 360 does exactly what you just described (renting shows/movies).

Typical apple product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18463309)

Looks really pretty- small, sleek, easy-to-use.. Doesn't need to be any good or have many features as long as it is "cool".

just a note about david pogue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18463313)

i knew this guy was a rabid Apple Fan-Boy, but doesn't this article seem particularly biased. He collates information about AppleTV's shortcomings, three at a time, in a single sentence, sweeps them under the rug, and then spends entire paragraphs lambasting each flaw in the rival products (with a heavy emphasis on aesthetic and next to none on functionality).

David Pogue is a case in point on the fallacy of the myth of unbiased media. He aptly illustrates how our media is in the pocket of major corporations and does a delightful job of advancing his corporate sponsors interests while maintaining a blatant disregard for being anything remotely approaching a useful journalist.

Functionality flaws (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463385)

I'd say network connection issues in devices meant to play video over a network are not just "next to none" in terms of functionality flaws.

I wonder how many other things Pogue got wrong? (1)

stubear (130454) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463393)

I don't now where David's buying his media center remote control but ebgames has the Microsoft Media Center remote control [ebgames.com] accessory for the XBOX 360 priced at $20. I know Logitech makes a two-way uber MCPC remote for the XBOX 360 that's priced at around $100 but even the Microsoft remote has far more capability than the AppleTV remote.

S-video tv-out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18463421)

Am I the only one who has been using a tv-out s-video cable plus a wireles mouse and keyboard? I have full access to my desktop, I can play any kind of media files my PC can, surf the internet, play games and I dont have to deal with DRM or crap media center and itunes software.

Summary wrong: Apple TV doesn't support just HDTV (2, Insightful)

patiwat (126496) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463567)

The summary is wrong.

Summary: Cons: HDTV only

Article: The heartbreaker for millions, however, is that Apple TV requires a widescreen TV -- preferably an HDTV. It doesn't work with the squarish, traditional TVs that many people still have.

Apple TV will still work if you don't have an HDTV. It just requires a widescreen TV.

Another thing to put into the iRack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18463591)

Lame review (1)

wumpus188 (657540) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463603)

The damn thing runs 10.4.7 ... that alone would make it a nice firewall/router/imap home server.

AppleTV is the Apple version of Microsoft MSNTV (0)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 6 years ago | (#18463901)

At first I thought Microsoft would make MSNTV to counter AppleTV, but turns out AppleTV was created to counter MSNTV [webtv.com] instead.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?