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New Apple TV - still a hobby?


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New Apple TV - still a hobby?
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Mugge
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denmark
 
2010-09-01, 13:21

Just finished watching the live stream.

I'm still not convinced that this will do any better than the original Apple TV. But I definitely think it's a better way to go that start pushing HD panels in competition with Sony and friends. What I think is missing from Apple being able to take over TV is some way to integrate the existing live TV media into the Apple TV. That, and I don't think everybody will agree with the rental only model. But streaming and Air Play looks very nice, so the Appel TV will probably live to see a third revision. Oh, is Apple beginning to apply Microsoft-like resolve to entering a market?

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Stallion
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Milwaukee
 
2010-09-01, 13:24

I will buy one immediately if it does hulu. If it doesn't stream Hulu the device is worthless and a huge oversight by Apple in my opinion.
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PB PM
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2010-09-01, 13:24

I think not having a hard drive could be a mistake, but the concept of the new Apple TV isn't bad. I think it would have been nice to have two models, one with an HDD for users who are smart enough to sync (lol) and one without for consumers.
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psmith2.0
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Join Date: May 2004
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2010-09-01, 13:29

I agree. I was saying over in the chat how, four years in, I still don't quite get this, or can wrap my head around it. I'm not sure what it does that is so compelling.



I realize we're all different, so maybe I just don't feel the need to instantly have any TV show or movie "at my fingertips" (for .99) any time the mood strikes. I might not be "wired" for such a device, and I can accept that. Because, for the life of me, I cannot bring myself to give an honest damn. I thought I would've seen/heard something at today's event to "click" with me, and change my mind on it all.

Nope.

Seems like the same thing, more or less, just more affordable (which is smart). I guess I'm just not that hard-up for entertainment? Or I'm happy with the TV and the computer - and the things each of them already do - I already have?



Can you have an Apple TV in place of cable? And just have access to web stuff, your Netflix "on demand" streams, etc.? As much as I hate 95% of what's on TV, I could almost see that being a way to go. But who's using it that way? Aren't people typically adding these to their already-honkin' HD/DVR/HDMI/VD rigs?

I need to go read the specs or watch some demos. This has been the one Apple product I've never quite gotten a firm grasp on. Hell, even the iPod HiFi was more appealing to me than this (and I couldn't stand that thing).

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Maciej
M AH - ch ain saw
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2010-09-01, 13:29

What are the USB ports for? Will I be able to hook up a HDD with all my media on it?

If I get one I'll be using it for the $.99 episodes, in lieu of having cable, or a DVR.

User formally known as Sh0eWax
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BuonRotto
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2010-09-01, 13:44

Seems like the future of TV and movies in the home is a pay-per-view model rather than (or including) advertising. How does the economics of that work out versus cable?

For me, I watch:

Top Gear
Myth Busters
Dirty Jobs
Dog Whisperer
Daily Show
Colbert Report
Rachel Maddow
NewsHour
Frontline
Nova
and a smattering of other shows or specials.

I bet most people watch 10-12 shows with some regularity, probably 2-4 shows quasi-religiously. So if a season is 13-21 episodes, and you watch 2 shows in their entirety, that's about $30 right there. Now cable is looking like a bargain.

Aside from that, how much is a $1 rental for a TV edisode worth versus just signing up for Netflix? This seems like a slicker Roku player in that sense. I don't know if it's really worth paying Apple for TV episodes or movies a la carte with Netflix built in. I guess that's what Airplay is about, trying to be more portable/convenient than Netflix in this sense, but is that true?
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nikstar101
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2010-09-01, 13:48

In my opinion Yes it is still a hobby.

Firstly no 1080p output??? Ok, so iTunes is only 720 but if you can stream from our Mac or PC you may have other content which is in a higher resolution.

Secondly there doesn't seem the ability to stream from a NAS (no DNLA cert). Therefore you have to keep your computer on 24/7 if you feel the need to stream something. Or go switch your computer on and then go into the front room and watch TV?!

Finally no on board storage and you can only rent stuff?!? OK this maybe a film studios wet dream, but i think most people still like to buy items, hence the difference between iTunes and Spotify.

Oh yeah and why the chuff can i not download HD stuff on my Mac?!?!?!?!?!?! I mean i have a screen capable of showing it but for some reason i can only download it on an iPad or Apple TV!
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Robo
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2010-09-01, 13:50

Well, it's on the front page of the Apple Store now, so people will at least know it exists.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maciej View Post
If I get one I'll be using it for the $.99 episodes, in lieu of having cable, or a DVR.
But that will add up fast, especially if you watch daily shows like, uh, The Daily Show.

Yes, rentals are cheaper than iTunes downloads are, and you can rent an episode three times for the price of buying it (and how many times are you likely to watch an episode, really?). But the problem is, iTunes rentals aren't competing with iTunes downloads, they're competing with cable and Hulu and TV on DVD. They're competing with free, and they're still not exactly competitive.

It would cost $120 to rent each episode of Lost, once. You can subscribe to Hulu Plus for a year for that and get lots of other shows. Or you could buy the complete series in a super fancy DVD box set for $149 and watch it again and again. Sure, it's not HD (that would cost you $195), but you would own it, you could rewatch an episode or a part of an episode without worrying about being charged.

I like TV on DVD, but I typically don't buy box sets until they can be had for a dollar an episode or less — which isn't that hard if you're willing to wait a bit. I guess the new Apple TV is nice if you have lots of money.

The problem was never that the Apple TV was $130 too much, it was that buying shows a la carte on iTunes has never been very compelling, and I'm not sure rentals change that. For some reason nobody has gotten the "internet TV" box right yet. I suspect the cable companies won't let them, won't let the networks offer internet services a fair deal.

A $30/month subscription deal would be compelling. But rentals? I'm a fairly light TV watcher, but even an hour of Stewart and Colbert would add up to about $50 month. I'll stick to Hulu.

I mean, you're essentially paying a dollar to skip 60-90 seconds worth of ads. I know slot machines that give you a better deal than that.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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Wyatt
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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2010-09-01, 13:57

Without an SDK for additional content apps, yes, this is still a hobby. It's a shame, really. I really wanted apps for this thing. It could have been an enormous hit.

Twitter: bwyatt | Xbox: @playsbadly | Instagram: @bw317
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ezkcdude
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2010-09-01, 14:03

If I didn't already have the Roku, I would get this, but pretty much just for the Netflix.
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zippy
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2010-09-01, 14:06

My wife was kind of watching the live stream with me and when he went through and explained all the features of the new apple TV, she asked:

"Why don't we have an appleTV?"

To which I accurately replied:

"Because you wouldn't let me get one before."


I think I may no longer have that barrier. And not just because of the wonderful drop in price.

Do you know where children get all of their energy? - They suck it right out of their parents!
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psmith2.0
Mr. Vieira
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2010-09-01, 14:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by BuonRotto View Post
Seems like the future of TV and movies in the home is a pay-per-view model rather than (or including) advertising. How does the economics of that work out versus cable?

For me, I watch:

Top Gear
Myth Busters
Dirty Jobs
Dog Whisperer
Daily Show
Colbert Report
Rachel Maddow
NewsHour
Frontline
Nova
and a smattering of other shows or specials.
I'm close to that, in that I don't watch any standard network drama, reality show or sitcom.

I try to watch (when I can remember, or if I'm not doing something better), in no particular order:

- Mythbusters, Survivor Man (Discovery)
- Income Property, Divine Design, Don't Sweat It (HGTV)
- Jeopardy! (ABC, syndicated...YCMV)
- Psych, Burn Notice (USA)
- Ask This Old House, New Yankee Workshop (PBS)

And I miss a ton of all the above, so I'm not tied to anything enough to freak if a miss it (or pay an extra .99 as a "must see"). The above networks (more so than the main big four) are good about encore/repeat showings throughout the course of a day or week, so I'll often catch an episode a day or so after its initial showing, and that's fine.
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evan
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2010-09-01, 14:11

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyatt View Post
Without an SDK for additional content apps, yes, this is still a hobby. It's a shame, really. I really wanted apps for this thing. It could have been an enormous hit.
agreed. Imagine all the games that could be made that utilize iphones / ipads as controllers or even extensions of the game. Maybe a game like Clue or some other board game where the board is on the TV and everyone has their personal game info displayed on their ipod touches? It would basically be a wii (iphones/ipods as motion controllers) but the controllers would have screens too. *

holy crap I want to develop for this RIGHT NOW.

*edit: instant competitor to microsoft Kinect and the playstation alternative too
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Robo
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2010-09-01, 14:12

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezkcdude View Post
If I didn't already have the Roku, I would get this, but pretty much just for the Netflix.
At $99, it's decent for a tiny Netflix box with a nice remote/interface and the option to rent an episode/movie if you were ever really desperate.

With Hulu Plus, it'd be better than decent. But I have no idea why someone without Netflix would buy it, which obviously isn't Apple's intention.

I mean, for $199 you could get something with the same Netflix/media downloading/PC extending capabilities that also happened to play DVDs and, uh, high definition video games. People in the chatroom were saying that most people would never consider a game console. That might be true, but what do you think the average TV watcher is going to be more familiar with, or see more ads for? The Xbox, or the Apple TV?

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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ezkcdude
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2010-09-01, 14:15

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
At $99, it's decent for a tiny Netflix box with a nice remote/interface and the option to rent an episode/movie if you were ever really desperate.
Sure, but this time Apple really didn't think outside the box (literally). This is essentially exactly the same device as the Roku streamer ($99 for the 802.11N). The Roku also has other channels like mp3tunes, Pandora, MLB.tv, radioparadise, and many others.
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jdcfsu
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Location: Florida
 
2010-09-01, 14:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
That might be true, but what do you think the average TV watcher is going to be more familiar with, or see more ads for? The Xbox, or the Apple TV?
Well, if Apple decides this is no longer a hobby and starts actually advertising it like they do iPods, etc then you'll see the AppleTV everywhere. But if they continue to keep it on the back burner then they loose the advertising game for sure.

I think the box is cool, but it's still got a ways to go. If they could land HBO as a rental stream, it'd sell like hotcakes. Or if they had a deal with ESPN for live sports ala carte. Game over. Until then it's still a niche product.

90% of statistics can be made to say anything 50% of the time.
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Frank777
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto
 
2010-09-01, 14:30

I love Apple gear, but this space cries out for a standards-based chip and software combo that can be integrated by TV manufacturers and allows every HD-capable TV to receive free streamed video channels and standards-based pay-per-view or all-you-can-eat rental services.

The new AppleTV simply shows that the tech is small enough to be rolled into modern TVs.
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2010-09-01, 14:41

I do really like the design, though. Can I just say that? It really doesn't look like any other Apple product, which is appropriate, because it sucks it's got completely different aims. It's all about blending into people's TV shelves and being not gorgeous, but invisible. I kind of expected that Apple would try to make the new Apple TV feel less like another set top box to add to the stack and more like something you just bought, almost without thinking about it, something that "didn't count" as yet another set top box for spousal approval purposes. And both the small size and the matte color accomplish this beautifully. I mean, it's smaller and less obtrusive (and cheaper!) than the Kinect, which isn't even usable without another box.

That said, it's bullshit that it doesn't come with an HDMI cable. I know it's $99, but still, how many people are going to buy an Apple TV and drive home and realize its useless without another cable? It's like the printer/USB cable thing. And Apple has no excuse on this one. It's not like the old Apple TV where they didn't know what kind of cable you would need. The new Apple TV only works with HDMI. There's no reason not to include a freakin' cable.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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Luca
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2010-09-01, 14:50

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
Well, it's on the front page of the Apple Store now, so people will at least know it exists.

But that will add up fast, especially if you watch daily shows like, uh, The Daily Show.

Yes, rentals are cheaper than iTunes downloads are, and you can rent an episode three times for the price of buying it (and how many times are you likely to watch an episode, really?). But the problem is, iTunes rentals aren't competing with iTunes downloads, they're competing with cable and Hulu and TV on DVD. They're competing with free, and they're still not exactly competitive.

It would cost $120 to rent each episode of Lost, once. You can subscribe to Hulu Plus for a year for that and get lots of other shows. Or you could buy the complete series in a super fancy DVD box set for $149 and watch it again and again. Sure, it's not HD (that would cost you $195), but you would own it, you could rewatch an episode or a part of an episode without worrying about being charged.

I like TV on DVD, but I typically don't buy box sets until they can be had for a dollar an episode or less — which isn't that hard if you're willing to wait a bit. I guess the new Apple TV is nice if you have lots of money.

The problem was never that the Apple TV was $130 too much, it was that buying shows a la carte on iTunes has never been very compelling, and I'm not sure rentals change that. For some reason nobody has gotten the "internet TV" box right yet. I suspect the cable companies won't let them, won't let the networks offer internet services a fair deal.

A $30/month subscription deal would be compelling. But rentals? I'm a fairly light TV watcher, but even an hour of Stewart and Colbert would add up to about $50 month. I'll stick to Hulu.

I mean, you're essentially paying a dollar to skip 60-90 seconds worth of ads. I know slot machines that give you a better deal than that.
Furthermore, some of the shows you mention (including the Daily Show and the Colbert Report) are free to watch online. Yes, you have to go through whatever web-based media player they use, and yes, you have to watch ads, but $1 for a 22-minute episode is a bit steep.

The best way to get TV without TV is still an HTPC. There's just no competition. Sure it's a bit more of a hassle and it's more expensive, but there are no limits to what you can do.

iTunes just isn't a compelling way to watch TV. $1 per episode is a horrible deal when Hulu Plus is $10/mo.
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Boomerangmacuser
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
 
2010-09-01, 15:05

I would buy this. TELUS VOD rentals are $8 for HD with a pathetic selection. I'd drop 0.99 on a missed episode of something or other. I have no desire to own movies or TV shows. Music, yes, video, no. I never saw the logic of a HDD if it was just a synced copy of what's on my computer unless it was a matter of lag. That will be the true test of this machine.

I DO want to rent on demand. After dinner and a half a bottle of wine I don't want to get in a car and go to the video store for the evening movie. I want to plop on the couch, pick up the remote and find something good to watch. If it buffers in the time it takes for me to make a batch of popcorn, I'm happy.
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ezkcdude
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Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2010-09-01, 15:11

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
I do really like the design, though. Can I just say that? It really doesn't look like any other Apple product, which is appropriate, because it sucks it's got completely different aims. It's all about blending into people's TV shelves and being not gorgeous, but invisible. I kind of expected that Apple would try to make the new Apple TV feel less like another set top box to add to the stack and more like something you just bought, almost without thinking about it, something that "didn't count" as yet another set top box for spousal approval purposes. And both the small size and the matte color accomplish this beautifully. I mean, it's smaller and less obtrusive (and cheaper!) than the Kinect, which isn't even usable without another box.
Just curious. Have you seen a Roku player in person? It's also just a really small (5") unobtrusive black box. I'm telling you robo, Apple is not on the leading edge here.

That's why I am now really interested to see what Google has to offer.
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Frank777
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto
 
2010-09-01, 15:20

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezkcdude View Post
That's why I am now really interested to see what Google has to offer.
Yes, Apple has stayed in the game, but not taken it over. Google's play will be interesting to watch.

To those who are uncomfortable with the rental model, understand that Apple knows that this machine will not replace daily TV watching.
All-you-can-eat cable remains a nut that Apple knows it cannot yet crack.

Look at the remote that comes with the Apple TV.
That tells you all you need to know as to whether the machine is meant for daily couch potato users.
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Robo
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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2010-09-01, 15:23

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca View Post
Furthermore, some of the shows you mention (including the Daily Show and the Colbert Report) are free to watch online. Yes, you have to go through whatever web-based media player they use, and yes, you have to watch ads, but $1 for a 22-minute episode is a bit steep.
Exactly. I mean, you can watch Colbert online and there's, what, three fifteen-second ads? I'm not paying a dollar an episode to skip those. I often end up pausing my DVDs at the "commercial breaks" anyway, to have a breather or grab a drink or discuss whatever just happened or laugh at the joke or whatever. The 15-30 second ad breaks on Hulu don't feel like "wasted time" as much as necessary mental breaks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca
iTunes just isn't a compelling way to watch TV. $1 per episode is a horrible deal when Hulu Plus is $10/mo.
$1 would probably be okay if you got to keep the episode. I've always felt like $2-3 an episode was too much. That might seem weird, because freaking songs are $1.29 on iTunes now, but they're really different universes.

Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but I still think that the file should always be cheaper than the disc that has to get pressed and placed in a box and shipped and sold at a retailer who makes their own profit on it. But Apple doesn't really price their content competitively, which is why I don't really use iTunes or iBooks. Again, buying the complete series of Lost in HD would cost $262 on iTunes. That rivals the full retail price of the aforementioned ultra fancy Blu-ray set, and of course nobody actually sells movies at full retail (except maybe FYE).

My sister buys TV shows on iTunes every once in a while, like before the DVDs come out. I just don't get it. Maybe I'm a cheapass.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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2010-09-01, 15:24

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezkcdude View Post
Just curious. Have you seen a Roku player in person? It's also just a really small (5") unobtrusive black box. I'm telling you robo, Apple is not on the leading edge here.
Why do you think I think they are? You seem to be reading too much into my comments.
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Luca
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2010-09-01, 15:30

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
$1 would probably be okay if you got to keep the episode. I've always felt like $2-3 an episode was too much. That might seem weird, because freaking songs are $1.29 on iTunes now, but they're really different universes.

Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but I still think that the file should always be cheaper than the disc that has to get pressed and placed in a box and shipped and sold at a retailer who makes their own profit on it. But Apple doesn't really price their content competitively, which is why I don't really use iTunes or iBooks. Again, buying the complete series of Lost in HD would cost $262 on iTunes. That rivals the full retail price of the aforementioned ultra fancy Blu-ray set, and of course nobody actually sells movies at full retail (except maybe FYE).

My sister buys TV shows on iTunes every once in a while, like before the DVDs come out. I just don't get it. Maybe I'm a cheapass.
Wait, it's $1 just to rent an episode and songs on iTunes are $1.29? I haven't used iTunes in forever, I had no idea!

The essential problem with the AppleTV and devices like it is that they tend to hook into one provider or another. You get no choice. There is therefore no competition. An HTPC can access all video-on-demand sources so you can pick the one you like. Or you can find free alternatives like with all of the shows on Comedy Central or anything on the free version of Hulu.
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ezkcdude
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2010-09-01, 15:35

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca View Post
Wait, it's $1 just to rent an episode and songs on iTunes are $1.29? I haven't used iTunes in forever, I had no idea!

The essential problem with the AppleTV and devices like it is that they tend to hook into one provider or another. You get no choice. There is therefore no competition. An HTPC can access all video-on-demand sources so you can pick the one you like. Or you can find free alternatives like with all of the shows on Comedy Central or anything on the free version of Hulu.
How do you get that stuff onto a large screen HDTV?
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rampancy
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2010-09-01, 15:36

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maciej View Post
What are the USB ports for?
I assume that it'll still be for testing purposes, just like the USB ports on the AppleTV before.

At first I thought it was really strange for them to do away with any local storage, until I realized that the local storage is intended to be your computer, and wasn't that the point of AppleTV in the first place?

"The things that will destroy us are: politics without principle; pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without character business without morality; science without humanity; and worship without sacrifice."
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Robo
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2010-09-01, 15:46

Quote:
Originally Posted by ezkcdude View Post
How do you get that stuff onto a large screen HDTV?
I'm guessing he's assuming that the "HTPC" would go in the, um, home theater.
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Luca
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2010-09-01, 15:51

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
I'm guessing he's assuming that the "HTPC" would go in the, um, home theater.
Yeah. HTPC = home theater PC = you build/buy a computer and hook it up to a TV via HDMI, DVI, VGA, whatever. My computer's "monitor" is actually a 32" LCD TV, 1080p resolution. It's awesome to use just as a computer, but when I want to kick back and watch a show I can do that too. It's in a small enough room that 32" is just big enough. I also have an antenna hooked up so I get live TV as well. I only really use it for sports but it's just another way of getting free entertainment.
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nikstar101
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2010-09-01, 15:51

The thing is that this piece of technology is already out-of-date. Sony are already making TVs that can stream video/music/pics from computers/net and require no additional box.

They also connect to catch-up and rental services on the net. So this product will disappear pretty soon unless Apple add some substantial new features.
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