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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussion.

I just don't understand the attraction


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D3v1L80Y

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric View Post
hmm, apple set top box with a narrow audience that apple probably should have outsourced or stayed away from in the first place?

sounds familiar.
:black:
That is one of the things I was alluding to when I said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y View Post
Apple does make great products but they do release a few goose eggs now and then.

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was that a newton that Veruca was following?

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D3v1L80Y

 
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Oh, and don't forget these blunders:

Macintosh TV

and

Apple Interactive Television Box
At least they wised up and never released this one for mass production.

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Great find eric, in fact when I wrote my previous post I was thinking of how the Newton messed things up, and other products such as the Apple Interactive Television Box.

The iPod worked because of the simple fact that it played any MP3 file, even pirated ones. I would wild guess that 90% of todays iPods worldwide carry stolen music for the most part. Apple can't afford to limit compatibility on Apple TV unless they provide s with viable options to obtain content.

The iTunes Music Store has a good selection of songs across the globe, but the video store is in the US only, and this is partly Apple's fault (that they release such a product in the first place) and that of the television studios who are unwilling to unify laws and releases world-wide.

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Actually, the Newton was a pretty solid device. Its only problem was it came out way ahead of its time. After the Newton was gone, Palm entered the game and ended up dominating. There was no way for Apple to really recoup after that.

Same with digital cameras. The Apple QuickTake was revolutionary, but it never really caught on.

Apple has always tried to dip their toes into other markets and (with the exception of the iPod) has always failed.

You would think that they would learn from past mistakes, but they keep on trying. I guess you have to give them some credit for not giving up.:black:

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I've been playing with my Apple TV for about a day now. While I do agree that it sucks that there's no HD content right now, I would point out two things:

(1) I'm certain that Apple will be releasing HD content soon. It would be absolutely moronic to create a hardware set-top box that connects through component and HDMI without plans to create HD content. My guess is that the first group of videos to shift over to HD content will be TV shows -- what's the point, though, in shifting videos over to HD content in the middle of a season? My guess is that they will be releasing HD content in September to coincide with the new season.

(2) I've downloaded a couple of things from the iTunes video store, including the second season of Monk and the free episodes of Andy Barker, P.I. and Raines. Now, Monk is not HD content and I'll agree that it doens't look pristine on my 20" iMac, but when I put it on my 42" plasma, it looks really good. (Remember that the plasma supports a lower resolution than your computer.) I'd say it looks better than digital cable, but not as good as HD. (I've only seen a few episodes of Monk in HD anyway since it's a USA show.) Andy Barker and Raines actually look rather close to their HD counterparts -- I switched between my Apple TV and my recorded HD cable set-top box, and the difference was there, but negligible.

----

As for the people to which the set top box is targeted -- I guess I'm part of that group. I pay about 80 dollars a month (in Washington, DC) for a bunch of channels, but I really only watch about 6 shows. When I move up to NYC this May, I'll be able to get satellite for about 50 dollars a month. Now, even using the NYC number of 50 a month for 12 months a year, I'll be paying $600 a year for cable. But I really only care about watching 6 shows.

Switch now to Apple TV. The cost of Apple TV was $300. The HDMI cable was $20. Assuming that each show's season pass costs approximately $35. Then I'm paying $210 for content. The total I'll be paying for my next year's worth of content is going to be $530, a savings of $70. The next year, my costs will just be for content -- $210.

Lets assume that we get HD content at a pricing scheme that's the same as that on Microsoft's Xbox. The price for content is $2 for standard definition and $3 for HD. Then I'll increase the costs of my season passes to $53 per show. This will change this next season's costs to $320 + ($53 x 6) = $320 + $318 = $638. So slightly over. The year after, the cost will drop to $318. Either way, I end up saving money.

But, of course, this is dependent on each individual's own television watching habits.

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I have no need for an Apple TV because I already have a Toshiba HD-A1 HDDVD player (I know the format is supported by Microsoft, but oh well, I like it) and a DirecTV HD Receiver. So, I don't need any more viewing mediums for my Home Theater.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric View Post
hmm, apple set top box with a narrow audience that apple probably should have outsourced or stayed away from in the first place?

sounds familiar.
I see the parallels as well. The set-top box has been a tough sell from the start. Phillips, Commodore, Apple, Gateway and a long list of others have tried and failed over the years. Unless it's billed as a dedicated gaming box, the prospects have been bleak for everyone who's attempted it. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that the ergonomics of a computing device attached to a TV are difficult, if not impossible, to work around. Witness the difficulty people have had in entering WEP/WPA passwords on the AppleTV - the answer has been "use a less complicated password" - not a good one in my opinion.

I too have wondered about the usefulness of the AppleTV. At first glance, it looks like a cool idea to be able to bring iTunes content directly to your TV. I just don't like the fact that I have to stream it from another machine. No thanks! It certainly has no appeal to anyone other than Mac users. I could imagine a market for it if in addition to the streaming capabilities, it doubled as a DVR box or even if it pulled down content directly from iTunes (sort of like a pay-per-view or "OnDemand"-like system). But as it stands, I don't see the killer app - especially since it requires a widescreen TV, but doesn't display HD content.

FWIW, I think I agree 100% with the sentiment of the OP. Until iTunes and this box can provide HD-content, I'm just not interested and even then, I would buy it as a curiosity more than as a killer new bit of tech.

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Wow, a lot of Apple products I completely forgot about. One thing is certain about those past products, Apple was always way ahead (too far ahead) of the curve in great tech ideas. Hopefully this first gen is just the beginning of something greater and doesn't flop like past products. Maybe what Apple needs to learn is to stick with the product, keep innovating and improving, and good things will happen down the road.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fleurya View Post
Wow, a lot of Apple products I completely forgot about. One thing is certain about those past products, Apple was always way ahead (too far ahead) of the curve in great tech ideas. Hopefully this first gen is just the beginning of something greater and doesn't flop like past products.
In all fairness, considering the three flops that were already mentioned in this thread, that would make this their 4th gen try at this.
They haven't got it right yet, nor do I think they will.
They need to simply leave it go and forget about it.

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I guess I am part of the narrow audience who the apple TV is targeted to. I received my apple TV last Thursday and I am very happy with it. I really wanted it for playing music and giving me control of my music collection where I want to play it - on the stereo attached to the TV. I used the airport express to do the same thing but I really hate running upstairs to change the song/playlist when I got tired of a song - especially during a party. During the party last Saturday, we were serving up music in style in the living room. Even my drunk friends could figure out how to play it.

I do have a few free vids I have downloaded from iTunes and they actually look good on my 50" TV. There are clearly limitations to the product, but overall, I am pleased with it.
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Originally Posted by studio34 View Post
Even my drunk friends could figure out how to play it.
Drunk friendly. I love it!!!!!!!!!! <*sips glass of cold sake*>

So. My question is, can it do Dolby Surround Sound 5.1 or better?

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fleurya a troll? please. the guy with 10 posts not contributing to the discussion? hmmm.
My post count really shouldn't matter seeing as, well, everyone is new at some point.

But, OK, I apologize. My knee jerk reaction was based on other forums where a post like that is definitely meant to stir up trouble. I'll try and get a better read on the crowd next time before reacting.
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Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
IF it did a few more things, for the price I would buy it.
Exactly. For $299, I'm not touching that thing unless someone gets it for me as a gift. I love the idea of being able to watch movies and tv shows purchased through iTunes on my TV though. Before Apple TV, you would either need to connect your computer to the TV or burn the content onto a CD/DVD. This makes things a lot easier. But, when I saw the price, I immediately decided it was not something I needed.
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I want to add a couple of cents worth.

Firstly, the lack of HD content on iTunes has nothing to do with this product, so I am not sure why the two have been connected. The lack of HD content is more down to how most people still view iTunes content (i.e. on iPODs) and the bandwisth needed to get this content up and available. Incidentally, what's available on the Xbox Marketplace is exceptionally limited and the Xbox360 HDD can only store one, or at best 2 movies - transferring 2 gig movies between a media centre PC and the Xbox is not exactly fun either.

On media centre, it's all a matter of taste, but whilst media centre apparently offers more functionality, it's no where near as stable and sometimes doesn't even get the basics right, compared to Front Row.

Finally on Apple TV, the attraction is the design and convenience of the unit, but it's a bit of a rich boy's toy I agree. I have failed miserably to hook up my MacBook to my 1080i TV satisfactorally - the image is always blurry and doesn't scale well - so this might be something I look into. BTW, iTunes content on a standard TV does actually look acceptable, slightly better than say standard cable transmissions but not quite as good as HD content.

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