AppleTV Take 2: New Software, Same Hardware
By Mike Curtis | January 31, 2008
I very carefully and duly noted when Steve Jobs, during an interview, said that Apple had 3 businesses (Macs, iPods/iTunes, and iPhones) and a hobby (AppleTV).
If that wasn't a tacit, explicit admission that a product hadn't done as well as they'd hoped, I don't know what is. To launch a product and then call it a hobby, you might as well say "Dude - it tewdally tanked."
And with good reason - more expensive than a DVD player, with less content available, AppleTV didn't add up to the sum of its parts in consumers eyes.
For high end users, it made for a nice way to have a good interface to their iTunes library that was constantly available, and also display pictures in high def on an HDTV. As bonus round, it could play movies in a pricey, low quality format, and Oh Cool! - it also could play back purchased TV episodes if you missed them. This was how I perceived it when I bought mine, and quickly realized I wanted a MUCH bigger hard drive than the 40GB unit it came with. * I was enamored and excited about it enough I even started a blog about it called AppleTV Hacker (which I haven't updated since last August).
So I was pleasantly surprised to Steve Jobs spend some time talking about AppleTV again at this year's MacWorld, as he described it as AppleTV Take 2.
The Good News: MAJOR update to functionality and interface, with price drops to boot. Even better, FREE software update for existing users such as myself.
The Bad News: It is a free update because the hardware, other than revamped hard drive capacities, IS EXACTLY THE SAME.
So perhaps a more fair and accurate description would be to say it is AppleTV SOFTWARE Take 2, NOT AppleTV Take 2.
The rules aren't easy to figure out - quirky and restrictive but easy is what Engadget called it.
Ars Technica has had good coverage of all things AppleTV, and they have a nice round-up of the new features in particular in this post.
The big new announcements were as follows:
-movie rentals - via iTunes as well as DIRECTLY from the AppleTV
-some of these will be high def movie rentals
-the UI has be revamped to be better and easier and prettier
-new, bigger hard drives available - 160GB in addition to stock 40GB
This article isn't to rehash that news, but to take a look at where this will put the AppleTV.
Apple at one time stated they wanted this to be the DVD player for the internet. Now that they can directly download movies (rentals anyway), especially in HD (FINALLY!), it puts them in competition with the following:
-cable DVR (for TV shows, but not HD)
-HD DVD & Blu-ray discs
-VCR (anybody still use these? I have 3 or 4, haven't in years)
-Xbox360 movie downloads
-and perhaps regular TV/HDTV...maybe
So how does it stack up against these? Lets look at what it does do:
Apple claims you can now watch HD movies on AppleTV. OK, but here's the biggie:
Just how "HD" is AppleTV?
For starters, think of AppleTV as a super cheap computer playing back QuickTimes - because that is exactly what it is, with a customized version of Front Row.
AppleTV can play back HD content...sorta.
Get articles like this in your inbox: Sign Up
freshdv - Sun, May 19 2013 - 5:24 pm
RT @jasondiamond: @OFFHOLLYWOOD yeah except that video says literally nothing except we're gonna make a cool gimball that will look great & a good price.
freshdv - Sun, May 19 2013 - 5:21 pm
RT @OFFHOLLYWOOD: Move over MOVI - here comes the DEFY 3-axis camera gimbal http://t.co/Yd4ZBUfNG4 #r3d