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Apple TV (Page 3)
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awaspaas  (op)
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Jan 10, 2007, 01:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by stwain2003 View Post
I have on sitting in my living room. ANd I was so excited that I had component video and then I found out it has to be widescreen!!!!!!
Actually we now hear 4:3 is okay - there's a setting for aspect ratio. But it has to accept 480p signals, not just 480i.
     
MaxPower2k3
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Jan 10, 2007, 01:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by ink View Post
You can decode more than 2 channels in software; I sincerely hope that Apple is allowing at least 5.1 audio out from the iTV. If not, then why would they bother putting an optical out port
As was said several times, that's not possible without a Dolby or DTS encoder in the mix as well. Decoded 5.1 + SPDIF doesn't do anyone any good. It would have to be reencoded to Dolby for any receiver to decode it.

The only exception to this may be if it passes 5.1 PCM over HDMI, which is possible. That would make 5.1 AAC a possibility, but only to those using audio via HDMI, not the optical port.

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ink
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Jan 10, 2007, 01:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
If it's that simple, then AppleTV should be able to do it. It should be able to stream the whole DVD stream, right ?

So Apple just doesn't want to do that ?
Yep, it make NO sense at all.

The only explanation that can even comes lawn-dart close to explaining their decision is that they're afraid of being sued by the MPAA...

Maybe they'll come out with iTunes8 that allows ripping DVD, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. If not, then Apple isn't the same company that gave us Rip. Burn. Mix.

Someone else will have to be that company.
     
awaspaas  (op)
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Jan 10, 2007, 01:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by centerchannel68 View Post
But then who is this for then? People who spend lots of money on music and movies, but don't have a surround system or speakers? Who the hell does that?

I don't see the point of this thing, if you own a surround sound system, or a serious set of speakers. Any movie you watch will have shitty audio.
Again, just because apple only has SD movies with stereo sound for sale now does not mean that will always be the case.
     
awaspaas  (op)
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Jan 10, 2007, 01:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by ink View Post
Yep, it make NO sense at all.

The only explanation that can even comes lawn-dart close to explaining their decision is that they're afraid of being sued by the MPAA...

Maybe they'll come out with iTunes8 that allows ripping DVD, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. If not, then Apple isn't the same company that gave us Rip. Burn. Mix.

Someone else will have to be that company.
Actually I think it's pretty simple. They want people to use this thing to play their music and video collection that they've purchased from the iTunes store. It's another vertical product ecosystem like Apple is most famous for, like it or hate it.
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 01:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by MaxPower2k3 View Post
As was said several times, that's not possible without a Dolby or DTS encoder in the mix as well. Decoded 5.1 + SPDIF doesn't do anyone any good. It would have to be reencoded to Dolby for any receiver to decode it.

The only exception to this may be if it passes 5.1 PCM over HDMI, which is possible. That would make 5.1 AAC a possibility, but only to those using audio via HDMI, not the optical port.
An MPEG-4 file can be encoded with any audio codec (AAC included), and can support more than two channels. If the iTV decodes such a stream, there is nothing stopping it from sending all bona fide streams out the optical port. Dolby 2-channel encoding is separate; but would also work.

My receiver (Yamaha CSP Digital Cinema) can decode Dolby2, Dolby DTS and 6-channel audio on the digital ports.

Unless I misunderstand you?
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 01:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by awaspaas View Post
Actually I think it's pretty simple. They want people to use this thing to play their music and video collection that they've purchased from the iTunes store. It's another vertical product ecosystem like Apple is most famous for, like it or hate it.
Consumers don't give a rat's ass about vertical market integration. We want convenience and fun.
     
Eug Wanker
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Jan 10, 2007, 01:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by KeyLimePi View Post
1080p on a wireless system is overkill, even for 802.11n...
Why does it have to be wireless? It comes with an Ethernet port.


Originally Posted by awaspaas View Post
Is there such thing as a 4:3 tv that accepts component or HDMI?
Lots that support component, with both 480p and 1080i support.

BTW, I think 4:3 TVs are fine with TV.
     
awaspaas  (op)
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Jan 10, 2007, 01:13 AM
 
Consumers don't have to like it - but I think it's pretty obvious that's why Apple's doing it. That was the question, wasn't it?
     
MaxPower2k3
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Jan 10, 2007, 01:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by ink View Post
An MPEG-4 file can be encoded with any audio codec (AAC included), and can support more than two channels. If the iTV decodes such a stream, there is nothing stopping it from sending all bona fide streams out the optical port. Dolby 2-channel encoding is separate; but would also work.

My receiver (Yamaha CSP Digital Cinema) can decode Dolby2, Dolby DTS and 6-channel audio on the digital ports.

Unless I misunderstand you?
Optical/SPDIF does not support uncompressed PCM 5.1, only Stereo. The iTV can certainly decode a 5.1 AAC stream in a video, but then it'll have nowhere to put it with only an Optical output. That's where something like a Dolby Digital Live chip would come in, offering real-time encoding to a more SPDIF-friendly Dolby Digital stream for virtually any receiver to decode. Hell, encoding DD in real time is pretty light on the CPU, it'd probably even be possible for the tv's "Intel Processor" to do the work, but they'd still have to license it and pay Dolby for it.

As I said before, though, HDMI may change that a bit because it does support uncompressed 5.1 PCM.

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awaspaas  (op)
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Jan 10, 2007, 01:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug Wanker View Post
Why does it have to be wireless? It comes with an Ethernet port.

Lots that support component, with both 480p and 1080i support.

BTW, I think 4:3 TVs are fine with TV.
Wireless because few people have an ethernet plug in their living room. And yes, we've now learned that 4:3 is okay, as long as the tv supports 480p.
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 01:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by awaspaas View Post
Consumers don't have to like it - but I think it's pretty obvious that's why Apple's doing it. That was the question, wasn't it?
Yeah, I was just hoping that I'd missed something, and one of our famous MacNN pedants would correct me.
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 01:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by MaxPower2k3 View Post
Optical/SPDIF does not support uncompressed PCM 5.1, only Stereo.
Does the coax "digital" audio port support more than stereo?
     
awaspaas  (op)
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Jan 10, 2007, 01:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by ink View Post
Yeah, I was just hoping that I'd missed something, and one of our famous MacNN pedants would correct me.
Believe me, nobody wants an Apple version of MythTV more than I do, but I'm afraid it's not the time. Sorry, man.
     
MaxPower2k3
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Jan 10, 2007, 01:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by ink View Post
Does the coax "digital" audio port support more than stereo?
Doesn't matter whether it's an optical Toslink or an RCA coaxial connection, it's the same signal.

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awaspaas  (op)
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Jan 10, 2007, 01:26 AM
 
But hey, let's think positive. Since this thing is essentially a computer, we can assume that software updates will add support for whatever surround sound format Apple would include in movies they'll sell... I think that's reasonable to anticipate.

For now, I don't think its main emphasis is for a real serious movie-watcher. More for a music-listener, a photo-viewer, a TV-show watcher, though - those all will work great!!
     
MaxPower2k3
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Jan 10, 2007, 01:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by awaspaas View Post
But hey, let's think positive. Since this thing is essentially a computer, we can assume that software updates will add support for whatever surround sound format Apple would include in movies they'll sell... I think that's reasonable to anticipate.

For now, I don't think its main emphasis is for a real serious movie-watcher. More for a music-listener, a photo-viewer, a TV-show watcher, though - those all will work great!!
See a few posts above: I'm sure whatever "Intel Processor" in the tv that can decode 720p H.264 is capable of fairly simple Dolby Digital encoding, it's just a matter of Apple getting the device approved by Dolby and paying those licensing fees on however many devices have already been sold up to that point, if they do decide to support it retroactively with a software update.

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cwest91
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Jan 10, 2007, 04:13 AM
 
In my opinion there is one thing that is missing from the AppleTV that will limit its success compared to the iPod. The problem is that there is no easy way to add movies that you already own to your iTunes library. The iPod was successful because not only could you add content that you bought from the music store, but you can also add content from the CD's you already owned. I for one am not interested in AppleTV until there is a way to easily add my current collection of movies to iTunes and play them through iTV without a real loss in quality.

Still waiting...
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englandmademe
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Jan 10, 2007, 04:58 AM
 
It's hard to get too excited by yesterday's announcements living in the UK. It's ridiculous that Apple still do not offer any TV shows/films in UK or Europe. Not only did they not announce any new partnerships yesterday (it would have been the ideal opporunity) but they introduce hardware that is basically does not have a function outside the US. Just to top it all off the iphone is probably 10 months away. Hooray!!
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 07:00 AM
 
I would love to hear more about the .srt/.sub support for the foreign users. I know that many foreigners would love to use this product if it had subtitles support.

Has anyone heard anything about this?
     
ajprice
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Jan 10, 2007, 07:16 AM
 
Because of the lack of iTunes TV shows and movies in the rest of the world, the only media this would stream for people outside America is iTunes songs, music videos, movie trailers, podcasts and photos (as well as anything that was ripped and placed in the iTunes folder, i suppose). If they pulled their finger out and got TV and movies outside America, they would make the tv a lot more saleable. At the moment, I'd rather pay more for a Mac mini and an EyeTV.

It'll be much easier if you just comply.
     
screamingFit
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Jan 10, 2007, 08:06 AM
 
No thanks. I'll stick with a modded XBOX and XBMC which can run rings around Apple TV.
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Jan 10, 2007, 10:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by cwest91 View Post
In my opinion there is one thing that is missing from the AppleTV that will limit its success compared to the iPod. The problem is that there is no easy way to add movies that you already own to your iTunes library. The iPod was successful because not only could you add content that you bought from the music store, but you can also add content from the CD's you already owned. I for one am not interested in AppleTV until there is a way to easily add my current collection of movies to iTunes and play them through iTV without a real loss in quality.

Still waiting...
Good point about being able to import music you already own into iTunes.

Importing DVDs would be nice, but the problem there is the tradeoff - loss of quality, or the need for massive amounts of drive space. An uncompressed DVD video with all special features and surround sound can run as large as 8GB. If you have even fifty DVDs, that's 400GB, which is a lot of space, even with hard drive prices where they are today. Not only that, but importing DVDs would take forever, and as there's no good standard yet for doing so, the technology is a bit of a hindrance, as well. Even though you can (so I've been told) import videos/DVDs into your iPod Video, that's playback on a little tiny low-resolution screen. Converting that to a 60" LCD or plasma, and you'll start to notice a serious degradation in quality.

If it would be possible to connect a 100-disc DVD changer or something similar via USB, that would be really spectacular, I think. Develop one specifically for the AppleTV (obviously it would be considerably larger than the TV device..) with some kind of software/firmware update on the AppleTV to browse the DVDs in the changer.

Then again, that would require the AppleTV's SDK/API to be available to developers, which I'm sure is unlikely.

Oh well.
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awaspaas  (op)
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Jan 10, 2007, 10:16 AM
 
Are you forgetting that ripping DVDs is illegal in the US? As long as that is the case, there will not be support for adding your own DVDs into iTunes. It sucks, but that's the way it is.
     
Eug Wanker
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Jan 10, 2007, 10:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by awaspaas View Post
Are you forgetting that ripping DVDs is illegal in the US?
I always find the laws a bit weird on this in the US. Technically it is not illegal to backup DVDs apparently. What is illegal is selling software to do the ripping.
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 10:39 AM
 
Yeah this is a product that totally gets a MEH from me. I currently have a large DVD collection and a up-converting DVD player for my 720p HDTV. I have a ton of music on my Mac but I have an ipod & ipod playing station and can get a Airport express if I want wireless audio directly to my receiver.

I don't have nor do I see a point in putting gigs of movies on my Mac just so I can play it without getting up to put in a DVD.

In the future I see me buying/netflixing HD DVDs and doing the same thing I do now.

I wish this worked into my flow because I already have gigabit networking behind my TV that is going to waste, and I would love some Apple in my Living Room.

I have a DirecTiVo that does Music/Photos from iTunes/iPhoto already so no need for that novelty.
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 10:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug Wanker View Post
I always find the laws a bit weird on this in the US. Technically it is not illegal to backup DVDs apparently. What is illegal is selling software to do the ripping.
Even so, I tend to doubt Apple, with all of its MPAA tie-ins now, will turn around and pack a CSS decryptor into iTunes.

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zerostar
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Jan 10, 2007, 10:43 AM
 
Well when you rip your DVDs typically I would assume your rip them and remove the CSS, then its just an mpeg to itunes. Same as how it accepts your "home movies"

Sorry... trying to convince myself why in the world I would want this.

I would need a 4TB Raid to hold all my DVDs for movies on-demand, that is just SD movies, forget HD!
     
Eug Wanker
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Jan 10, 2007, 10:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by MaxPower2k3 View Post
Even so, I tend to doubt Apple, with all of its MPAA tie-ins now, will turn around and pack a CSS decryptor into iTunes.
I am not a lawyer, but my understanding is that CSS decryption in iTunes may be illegal in the US. What I meant to say is that the concept of backing up DVDs isn't the problem. It's getting around the decryption.

eg. Perhaps backing up Cars is illegal since you have to break CSS, but backing up those few DVDs out there that don't have CSS may not be illegal.

But dammit Jim, I'm not a lawyer.


Originally Posted by zerostar View Post
Well when you rip your DVDs typically I would assume your rip them and remove the CSS, then its just an mpeg to itunes. Same as how it accepts your "home movies"

Sorry... trying to convince myself why in the world I would want this.
Anyways, what I do is use MacTheRipper to decrypt movies, then use the universal binary of the Handbrake alpha to encode it to 640xXXX with H.264 for the iPod and import it into iTunes.

The quality is reasonable, but obviously not as good as the original DVD. I do output that stuff to TV once-in-a-while, but only when I'm at a friend's place or something with my iPod and didn't want to bring the DVDs with me. I would not actually watch these on my own TV since I already have the DVDs anyway.

So, I can't figure out any reason to get this AppleTV either, especially since my Xbox 360 already streams AAC and MP3 from my iMac.
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 10:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug Wanker View Post
I always find the laws a bit weird on this in the US. Technically it is not illegal to backup DVDs apparently. What is illegal is selling software to do the ripping.
Technically, what is illegal is selling any software that circumvents an encryption algorithm meant to protect access to copyrighted work, like CSS. So, you still in theory have the fair-use right to rip a DVD to a device for later playback, just like you do with CD's. It's just that it's illegal to own the software you need to exercise that right, at least in the US.

Translation: expect someone to come up with Free Software, hosted from non-US servers, that enable you to rip DVD's directly to the aTV (and give all the features that a store-bought iTunes movie would being) within a month of the device being shipped....
     
zerostar
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Jan 10, 2007, 11:19 AM
 
So does this store movies as well? Wonder why they went with 40GB that seems really weak, IF this stores movies I would pop a 750 Drive in there and store some content on this puppy, that may make it reasonably useful.
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 11:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by zerostar View Post
I wish this worked into my flow because I already have gigabit networking behind my TV that is going to waste, and I would love some Apple in my Living Room.
It is interesting that Apple released a fairly major upgrade to the Airport Extreme base station (three LAN ports, first time ever...new design, first time ever...802.11n networking) and it still doesn't have gigabit. Kind of odd, considering every Apple computer on the market, including the mini, now has gigabit.

You will never get 600mbps sustained throughput via N-wireless, and while you'll likely never get 1000mbps sustained throughput on a gigabit network, it's definitely faster and more secure (nobody can leech off your internet connection when it's all wired). Not only that, but gigabit inherently supports crossover connections with regular CAT5 cable, so setting up an incredibly fast connection between two macs for file transfers is quite easy.

Disappointing, at any rate. I'm not about to spend $180 on a wireless router that doesn't do gigabit, especially when Linksys has a gigabit 802.11n wireless router with four LAN ports, two external antenna, and an MSRP of $179, just like the new Airport Extreme base station. It may not look as sexy, but you can find it cheaper and it's got an extra LAN port (which may or may not be useful to you).
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zerostar
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Jan 10, 2007, 11:23 AM
 
Yes that is odd no gigabit, I run a WRTSL54GS for my wireless and just a switch for all my gigabit devices (2) right now.
     
centerchannel68
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Jan 10, 2007, 12:28 PM
 
That's my question, ink.
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 02:26 PM
 
elgato's eye tv 2 does anything the apple tv can do and now with a twin tuner digital box and pip in does it better

just plug into the usb 2 port on a mac mini and you have a superb mini media centre
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 05:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by eddiecatflap View Post
elgato's eye tv 2 does anything the apple tv can do and now with a twin tuner digital box and pip in does it better

just plug into the usb 2 port on a mac mini and you have a superb mini media centre
Except playback ITS content, n'est pas?

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Jan 10, 2007, 10:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dork. View Post
Translation: expect someone to come up with Free Software, hosted from non-US servers, that enable you to rip DVD's directly to the aTV (and give all the features that a store-bought iTunes movie would being) within a month of the device being shipped....
Any video that plays on an iPod (and more) will play on the tv, so i don't see how it will ever be an issue from Day 1 to play back your own ripped DVDs on the device...

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Jan 10, 2007, 11:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by MaxPower2k3 View Post
tv
Stupid question, but is there an actual HTML or ASCII code for the Apple logo?!
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MaxPower2k3
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Jan 10, 2007, 11:20 PM
 
option + shift + K = 

edit: that glyph only exists on OS X system fonts. Other fonts and PC fonts will have some other symbol there.

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shifuimam
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Jan 11, 2007, 09:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by MaxPower2k3 View Post
option + shift + K = 

edit: that glyph only exists on OS X system fonts. Other fonts and PC fonts will have some other symbol there.
Interesting. I just realized as I read this that I was reading this thread on my iBook last night. I suppose windows DOES have the same thing in the WingDings font...
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May 20, 2008, 01:12 AM
 
I had to top this because this vindicates people who were bashing Apple TV 1.0. Just thought the people who said it was revolutionary should be called out. That's all.
     
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May 20, 2008, 01:51 AM
 
huh?
     
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May 20, 2008, 02:42 AM
 
Eh, the AppleTV just doesn't do everything I want in a device plugged into my TV.

If it did HD DVR off cable along with a decent guide interface, I'd snap it up in a heartbeat, but I'd rather spend me $300 on other things. Sucks for Apple too, because as it turns out, i DO rent movies off of Amazon and watch it on my TiVo.
     
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May 20, 2008, 11:50 AM
 
Would be cool if Apple did a DVR. If anyone could make a really slick looking show guide interface, it'd be Apple.
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May 20, 2008, 11:52 AM
 
I'd be all over it too, but anything like adding a DVR or a Blu-Ray drive would contradict their strategy of promoting digital downloads, so I think it's unlikely.
     
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May 20, 2008, 12:08 PM
 
There is a reason why nobody has come up with a DVR that works with all systems: there are serious technical, and possible legal obstacles.

To my knowledge, the channel changing/control systems are as follows:

1) RF
2) Infrared w. proprietary smart card

RF is no problem, but getting into these other systems (e.g. Dish Network) involves reverse engineering an infrared remote control designed to work with their little set-top box. There is no way Apple or anybody else could keep up with all of these combinations, and even if they could, there is no way they could verify that once the Infrared signal was sent to the box that is actually worked and accepted and acted upon the input.
     
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May 20, 2008, 02:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
Would be cool if Apple did a DVR. If anyone could make a really slick looking show guide interface, it'd be Apple.
The interface in the patents they filed back in October 2006 look pretty slick. I would by an AppleTV in a heartbeat if it had these features.

Electronista | Apple developing live Apple TV recording?

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May 20, 2008, 07:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
There is a reason why nobody has come up with a DVR that works with all systems: there are serious technical, and possible legal obstacles.

To my knowledge, the channel changing/control systems are as follows:

1) RF
2) Infrared w. proprietary smart card

RF is no problem, but getting into these other systems (e.g. Dish Network) involves reverse engineering an infrared remote control designed to work with their little set-top box. There is no way Apple or anybody else could keep up with all of these combinations, and even if they could, there is no way they could verify that once the Infrared signal was sent to the box that is actually worked and accepted and acted upon the input.
Just implement CableCard and an NTSC tuner and they've got 90%+ of the realistic userbase covered. Like, you know, TiVo HD.

For the same money, you can get an Apple TV or a TiVo HD + the new Netflix set-top box. Personally I see a lot more value and functionality in the latter combination, but I acknowledge that the latter two require subscriptions.
     
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May 20, 2008, 07:48 PM
 
Thanks for topping the thread, interesting to read my own comments from back then! I actually DID get an Apple TV back when it was 1.0, did a 160GB upgrade to it and some hacks, now with AppleTV 2.0 I have it stock and I can't imagine a better way to view my HD content and digital (legit & otherwise) downloads.

I LOVE storing all my beautiful HD moves online and live ready whenever I am, I love the movie rentals and the surround sound is great! I am hoping with the Netflix box they realize the market for unlimited rentals is there, I would use that if/when the library is larger.

All in all I love my Apple TV and it saved me from buying an HD-DVD or BD player last year, now I can wait for a very long time if needed.
     
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May 20, 2008, 07:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Just implement CableCard and an NTSC tuner and they've got 90%+ of the realistic userbase covered. Like, you know, TiVo HD.
In theory this is PERFECT, in play not so much, there were so many problems with cable cards (not to mention monthly fees for 2 of them!) it was not worth the trouble. There are horror stories all over the net, but when it works I guess its pretty great, except you get no on-demand, for that I will stick with my DirecTV that I can take with me state-to-state
     
 
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