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New Apple TV device

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#1 of 5 OFFLINE   craig_curtis


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Posted January 10 2007 - 03:53 AM

I jsut did a quick peek, and no one mentioned the new Apple TV device?!


here are some thoughts (I also posted this on macworld, but it has some relevance here...)

"I was in the camp of wanting one right out of the gate, but I've since rethought that after taking a closer look at the specs. This thing is obviously geared and marketed toward those of us that have a video enabled ipod, considering its minimal format support (the ipod can only display what, 2 formats?). It would be nice if it read other formats but that isn't a deal breaker for me. One of the deal breakers for me is its lack of a DVR function, especially at this price point. I'm better off getting apple's ipod video connection kit for $200 less, since it will pretty much do most of the same thing.

The other problem I have with it is that it doesn't support 1080 (i or p) which I think is odd for several reasons. First - tv manufactures are mostly releasing tv's with 1080p now, or at the minimum 1080i. There are still a few 720p sets and projectors out there, but they are a minority. Heck, Apple's cheapest computer monitor is higher resolution than 720p. Second - Apple made a hugh push in getting even its consumer video applications HD ready, as iMovie will even do 1080i. As someone mentioned before- those people that actually have 1080i HD camcorders can't even watch their edited movies at full resolution using the (Apple Logo) TV. That said - why put an HDMI output on the back, as at this resolution I doubt there would be any difference between that and the component cables.

And as far as audio goes, lack of at least Dolby Digital 5.1 is pretty shocking, although the Dolby Surround which is encoded into the movies and shows in the ITMS sounds pretty good if you run it through a good Dobly Pro Logic II receiver. But to put a digital/toslink audio connection in it? What's the point if the audio isn't digital to begin with.

It is my hope that they address some of this with Apple TV v2.0, or at the minimum someone like Miglia or ElGato Eyetv come out with a new widget that adds at least an aftermarket add-on. I'm sure they are looking at integrating at least the format issues as we all sit here and complain about the DVR functions. In reality, I doubt Apple will put a DVR into this device for fear of cannibalizing ITMS video sales.

Oh, and I didn't get the impression that you have to BUY your videos from the ITMS, only that it will play them. It sounds to me that as long as ITMS can manage/support the files, than the Apple TV will see it...
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#2 of 5 OFFLINE   AllanN


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Posted January 10 2007 - 04:40 AM

I for one am looking forward to the device. What has kept me from buying a set top digital media device is lack of iTunes support for music. Although the limited suport for Video codec's might be a hamper as most of the video I have now is MPEG-2 or DivX/xVid. Future productions and conversions can be done in H264 and favoriate old media can be converted. If ITS starts offering 720p downloads I could be tempted to get a few of my fav shows from them as I live in the HDTV wasteland that is NE Ohio! FYI iTunes Music Store is now iTunes Store, as they sell more than music. Also now that Apple is moving beyond computers Jobs renamed the company Apple Inc. from Apple Computer Inc..
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#3 of 5 OFFLINE   craig_curtis


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Posted January 10 2007 - 04:49 AM

yea, Steve usually does things like that and ties them all together. In retrospect, I'm sure its why he crippled the companies like DLO and Griffin Tech (apparently they won't give you a visual interface when showing the movies and whatnot) edit: the only problem with offering 720p HD programming on ITS is that those videos most likely won't play on the video iPods, and people are going to get pretty angry if they have to re-buy movies and TV in the higher def format yet AGAIN (as they did when they changed the video size from 320x240 to the newer 640x480). I mean, in reality I'll probably get one because I already have the ipod video and was holding out on getting the connection kit. I was looking at the Griffin Tech product, which is half the cost, but it doesn't do the on screen stuff for video.
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#4 of 5 OFFLINE   Brian Glaeske

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Posted January 11 2007 - 11:34 AM

I don't think it will only show content purchased from the iTunes store, as the iPod can play lots of content not purchased. The only key is the iTunes application must "manage" the media as it is the element that is providing the sync support.

I have to admit that I'm a bit underwhelmed by the abilities as well.

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#5 of 5 ONLINE   Josh Steinberg

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Posted January 12 2007 - 03:37 AM

The video iPod is a lot pickier for what video formats it will play than it is about what audio formats it will play. I was really looking forward to the AppleTV device, but if it's as limited in what it will play as a video iPod currently is, I think I'll just continue to plug the iPod into the TV.

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