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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Apple TV: A Rotten Idea

Apple continues its quest to extract every last cent of disposable income from its legion of followers with a new TV box that offers almost nothing new at a higher price than available alternatives.

For $300 for the Apple TV, plus $99 for the Airport wireless station, you can watch TV shows or movies, or stream your iTunes collection to your television/home entertainment system.

Wow, only $400 to pick from a whopping 250 movies that you have probably seen before and can only buy. I'd rather rent from NetFlix oir Blockbuster for a fraction of that price, or buy the DVD and be able to play it anywhere. Talk to me when you have a few thousands movies to choose from.

And if you really want to listen to your iTunes music library on your home stereo, you can buy a $39 dock and plug it in without messing with a wireless network.

Apple's closed iTunes-based TV box misses the Internet opportunity completely. If I'm going to invest in a wireless network and box to stream Web content, I darn better well be able to watch YouTube videos or vlogs that are saved via RSS, and not just the smattering of content that I have to buy from Apple.

You gotta admire the cojones on Mr. Jobs in peddling this. I'll bet that in a year more people will be using the SlingCatcher or TiVo product for sharing web content with the TV than the overpriced under-delivering Apple TV.

Apple TV, your lifespan is that of a mosquito.

Update 1/10: I did not see any reference to playing movies or video downloaded in any other format in Apple's press release. If the Apple TV can stream all kinds of video it would be more useful, but still there are more versatile products available that cost less.

By John Gartner at 08:03 PM | Comments (9)

(9) Thoughts on Apple TV: A Rotten Idea

I agree completely. What's the use of an AppleTV to me when I have Netflix and the great wide internet itself? Besides, topping out at 720p isn't that impressive in 2007.

Comments by Reechard : Tuesday, January 09, 2007 at 09:19 PM

I agree. The iTunes store says that the movies are 640x480, which is a far cry from the 720p that Steve mentioned in the keynote. Sure, they are upconverting the video. You can upconvert VHS to 1080i, but that doesn't make it HD.

Comments by Richard Perry : Tuesday, January 09, 2007 at 09:27 PM

Well it's not all bad I mean you don't have to stick to just stuff you buy from the iTunes store. It's actually quite simple to put your illegal coppies of whatever onto iTunes and therefore watch them in your living room and also with better resolutions if you find the right files to download.

Comments by Sunquai : Tuesday, January 09, 2007 at 09:54 PM

Oh Puh-lease
Didnt you read the specs? This thing will play ANY movie from your PC besides the stuff from iTunes, including music.
DVD as a format is DEAD people. movie delivery over the internet is the future.
Netflix and such have one great disadvantage - snailmail. You actualy have
to think in advance if you want to see a movie as opposed to spur of the moment "hey, lets see what can we get of of iTunes in approx 5-10 minutes."
Grant you this, quality of the movies is not all that yet but hey, 99% of people still dont have LCD or high-def TV's and my 27" Panasonic still plays pretty good.
Brace yourself for onslaught of on-demand online movie rental sites.
If you build them they will come.
Pick your article:

even the big guys are starting to realise that online video distribution is the way.

oh, BTW, if you STILL dont have wireless
network in your home (LOL) you can hook this baby up the old fashioned way


Comments by Cucumber : Tuesday, January 09, 2007 at 10:39 PM

Yes but...

No one is arguing against the internet as the movie delivery medium of the future; they are arguing whether the Apple TV is the way to do it. This thing appears to work w/ iTunes, and iTunes only. Other things (i.e. home movies) would need to be converted before play.

This thing is too crippled to be a hit.

That iPhone was mad sweet, tho!

Comments by whatev : Tuesday, January 09, 2007 at 10:51 PM

Just like you can use your own CDs with iTunes, you can rip your own DVDs to H.264/AAC and add them into your iTunes library.

Besides, it'd be pretty dumb of Apple to require people to purchase movies and TV shows to use their new box since you can only buy those in the USA for now.

Comments by Tomato : Wednesday, January 10, 2007 at 12:36 AM

I'm afraid this blog is factually inaccurate - the Apple TV will let you play any video on your PC, not just ones bought from the iTunes music store. Also, the blog sneers at the "250 movies", but yesterday there was also the announcement that Paramount movies are about to start being available on the store too. Finally, a lot of people have wireless networks already at home, so the idea that it will cost $400 is a little disingenuous.

Comments by Alex Singleton : Wednesday, January 10, 2007 at 03:14 AM

isn't the 250 with Paramount on board?

Apple TV is for users who have no idea what torrent is.

the iPhone on the other hand is sick, can't wait till June.

Comments by texasex2k : Wednesday, January 10, 2007 at 03:34 AM

"Apple TV is for users who have no idea what torrent is"

Apple TV is a means of playing videos you already have on your tv. You could say itunes if for people who have no idea what a torrent is, but then you would be saying that only educated people pirate media.

Comments by Psylancer : Saturday, January 20, 2007 at 12:04 PM

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