What’s the big deal with Apple TV?

20Mar07

Apple TV
Macworld: News: Analysis: Will Apple TV be bigger than iPhone?
With all the news surrounding the Apple TV, and the fact that it’s finally supposed to be shipping soon I felt compelled to revisit this topic. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Apple TV, who cares?! Here are some of the main points from the Macworld article:

there are millions of video iPods already in circulation, which will boost the chances of success for Apple TV, Heynen said. Video iPod users can load their devices with videos downloaded to Apple TV.

This is possibly true, but personally I wouldn’t buy videos (movies and TV shows) from iTunes to stream to my 46″ HDTV because they are all offered at a measly 640×480 resolution. Playing an iTunes show on my 17″ Macbook Pro at full screen does not look good at all. I don’t want to imagine what it would look like on my TV. Hopefully, Apple will start offering HD content since Apple TV will support resolutions up to 1280×720 (720p). Even if they did, people who want the best quality on each device will have to purchase two copies of each video (HD for their TV and a lower 640×480 resolution copy for their iPod) unless Apple will transcode the HD video during the sync process. Even if iTunes did trancode on the fly that would probably be painfully slow to sync several HD videos to your iPod.

Another potential benefit to Apple is that success for Apple TV could lead to increased sales of its Mac computers.

Really? Apple TV will work with a Mac or a PC, running iTunes 7 or higher. Why would a PC owner drop all that cash on a Mac when his/her PC will work with Apple TV and an iPod just fine?

“Apple is going after the early video on demand market, while the XBox is limited only to service providers that support it,”

That’s not completely true. Xbox 360 has their Marketplace where people can download movies and TV shows (some in HD) from the comfort of their own couch. Apple TV will require people to browse and purchase content from iTunes on their Mac or PC. The problem here, and in their Zune Marketplace, is that Microsoft doesn’t have nearly the amount of content that Apple does, which leads into the next point.

In the end, though, the success of Apple TV or similar technology by other vendors will depend on how much video content is available.

I absolutely agree here. Content is king, and Apple is reigning this area with an iron fist. They have a lot of great content, some that hasn’t even aired on TV yet (ex. Full seasons of “Andy Barker P.I.” and “The Winner”). Sadly, none of which is offered in HD. Microsoft gets the quality aspect as they are trying to offer HD content where possible, but they simply do not have the amount of content to offer like Apple does. Apple recommends a widescreen TV for use with Apple TV, which will be equipped with HDMI and component outputs, but so far there is no HD content on iTunes. They must be planning on offering HD content if they are providing an HD-capable streaming device, which I’m sure many people are looking forward to. If they can offer a wide variety of HD content that can be found no where else, then they just might earn my money. However, until then, who cares?

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3 Responses to “What’s the big deal with Apple TV?”

  1. I totally agree. It won’t act as a PVR and do TV as in Apple TV. It dosn’t do DVD’s. I’m still scratching my head on this one.

  2. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a
    really well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.


  1. 1 Apple TV: First impressions are in (video not so hot) « Project HTPC

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