Is Apple Late to the Party with the Same Tech Everyone Else Has?


apple itv sneak peekI was just reviewing Engadget’s coverage of Apple’s “It’s Showtime” event, and I’ve got to say I’m not impressed by iTV or iTunes integration of downloadable movies. I think anyone who sat through the presentation must have been thinking: “Been there. Done that.”

In respect to iTV, Media Extenders for Windows Media Center and third party digital media adapters have been doing this duty for over two years now. What’s so revolutionary (at least these days) about a device that streams videos from your PC to your TV wirelessly? (Personally, I like the no PC required model by MediaMall.)

And what’s up with the 640×480 movie downloads? Like anyone believes that they’re really “near DVD” quality (true DVDs display 720×480 video at 4Mbps). I guess there’s a sucker born every minute. And the worst part is they want you to pay “near” retail price for a movie ($14.99 for new releases, $9.99 for catalog) that has no DVD extras and is encumbered by DRM. Oh, I’m sorry… movies that have the same “usage rights” as TV shows. NO THANK YOU!

If this were a rental service which had drastically reduced prices (see GUBA | Video Interview) or had subscriptions available for unlimited downloads (see VONGO), I’d be more open-minded. But at this point, downloading movies from any online service to keep is just an ugly proposition.

It’s Showtime:

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Filed in: Industry Buzz


  • kadosh

    I think, actually I know, Apple will sell a lot of these. I’ve been in and around the mac industry for many years and I’ve learnt that Apple rarely innovate but they do package technology very well.

    Us gadget hounds will look at specs and wonder why they haven’t included bleeding edge and legacy compatible technologies, but we’re not the real audience. What they understand is that a successful product is not necessarily the best solution to a problem, but the best understood and accepted one. Technically I’m sure they could have launched a product like this sometime ago, but you rarely get a second chance at winning consumers over to ‘new’ technology . . ask Microsoft about their ROI on Media Center.

    Apple came to the digital music market later than many but packaged the technology for the masses and we know how that went. Now they judge that same market is ready for video in a similarly pre-packaged, big brand way . . . and much as that rubs me the wrong way, I think they may be right.

  • Andrew McLaughlin

    I would have titled this post “Apple Must Innovate, Not Imitate”. This is what they do best but it’s clear that this whole iTunes 7 solution is a collection of compromises: hardware, software distributoin…. I still think there is time to correct everything before this hits mass adoption, but there is nothing here that makes you want to run out and buy any of these new products.

    The UI on the new ipod looks a little quirky and I’m not sure they haven’t departed from the clean UI that they are typically known for. Games on the iPod? Is this for real? Is this a signal that Apple is going to get into the games business? Probably not, but its a sign that they are starting to cram too much into this device and its losing its appeal. What’s next? A phone, oh wait!!!! That’s 2q 2007. Great.

    All this aside, where do I place my pre order for the iTV? This seems a pretty big risk. You better not throw an HDMI port on your box and claim that it will run wireless via 802.11 (notice the lack of appendage b,g,N) and have it not work, or only work on a wired connection. Why not just integrate this thing into OEM hardware. Cram that box into an HDTV display and get rid of all the wires. Now that would be innovative. That would change the game.

    All Apple did today was start to look like a normal company where their “Showtime” events are slightly more interesting than the basic news release of Amazon UnBox that went off last week.

    You know, Bill Gates said that the last format war would be Blu Ray and HD DVD, but the reality is that the next war is going to be DRM standards. Except worse, since everyone and anyone can come up with their own standard. Leaving consumers with content trapped on one device and tied to another.

    About the only thing Apple DOES have going for them is that they have the one solution that basically encompases all devices (tv, ipod, pc) and things purchased via iTunes will work accross all devices. Sony and Microsoft now have an opportunity to not get left in the dust. But not for long. Steve is clearly hoping that others jump on this bandwagon and his solution is the one that takes off. Probably not a bad idea,:-)

  • Jotham

    I have to say that I don’t really understand the point either as it doesn’t seem particularly radical but it also hasn’t been released yet. I wouldn’t count apple out yet until they actually release it. It seems to me that most of the time when they release a new product is has unique improvements that seem obvious but which no one has done yet. I’m still blown away by the magnetic power connector for a laptop.

    Anyhow, this could be a wedge product. Sure 640 X 480 is lame but at least they actually included an HDMI connector which my XBOX 360 left out. Perhaps they can increase the resolution over time as the onboard electronics may support higher resolutions. I’m not sure how they will do that over wireless but 802 11N (not pre-N) coupled with H.264 might be enough, especially if it is adaptive video. If the streaming video accomodated available wireless bandwidth, that would be pretty slick.

    In other words, why would they show us all the cards when it isn’t shipping. I’ll save my flames until they actually ship something :)

  • http://www.alexandergrundner.com Alexander Grundner

    Here’s what Michael Gartenberg wrote up on his blog about iTV and iTunes. No surprises because he’s such an Apple fanboy. I think it’s funny how he doesn’t look at any of Apple’s offerings with the same critical eye he gives Windows-based services (just look through his archives). Also, check out the languange he uses in the following blurb — it’s like he’s part of Apple Marketing.

    iTunes/iPod/iTV – First Take on Apple’s Announcements

    It’s important to understand the three parts to Apple’s news in relationship to each other. It’s not just about a new movie section in the iTunes music store but new iPods/iTunes and a way to get content from iTunes to the largest screen in the home. They key to the announcement is understanding that there’s a seamless end to end experience for consumers for consuming digital content both within the home and outside the home. It also re-enforces the Apple vision of the universe with the PC serving as a hub for digital content in the home and it all works together seamlessly. The iPod/iPod are no longer only about music and that’s going to move the bar higher for new competitors from getting into the market.

    Movie Download Service – iTunes now has a nice selection of about 75 movies from Disney (Disney, Pixar, Touchstone and Mirimax) coming in at prices of $12.99 for new titles pre-ordered and in their first week and $14.99 after that. Library titles are $9.99. Don’t look at the initial selection as meaning all that much. When the music store opened, it barely had 200,000 songs. When they added TV shows last year, it started with just a handful of ABC shows. This will change fast. We believe that Apple will have greater success than other players have had here. First, unlike competing DRM technologies, Apple has shown that theirs works. Period. No qualifications, it just works. Second, when you’re talking about PC based video downloads you need to tell a complete story for mobility as well as getting content to TVs in the home (which is really just a euphemism for the largest, passive display in the home). At the moment, it’s hard for competitors to tell that complete story without support for the iPod and without a credible way to get content from the PC to the TV. This is where that hardware and software integration really come into play.

    iTv – In a move that we haven’t seen from Apple in a long time, Apple pre-announced a product that they’re calling iTV. It’s not a set top box per say, but it is a small device with every type of digital input you’d want to get all your iTunes content to your TV set, including music and pictures. While Apple wouldn’t go into details about the wireless technology, they did confirm that this product is designed to work wirelessly and that they are taking the onus on them to make sure the home network works. That’s a pretty big responsibility but we’ll have to wait until Q1 of 2007 to see it working. The price point is $299, which is a bargain if it works as well as it demoed. In the short term, the iPod can still connect directly to TV sets using the dock feature but now there’s a more complete and elegant solution for getting content from iTunes to other places in the home

    New iPods and iTunes – Nice update to iTunes. Easier organization of video and music content and iTunes will fetch album art for you from the store. Very cool navigation called cover flow that can only be described as the 21st Century version of flipping through your milk crate of vinyl albums. Video is now encoded at 640×480 which will make it much more watchable on the PC as well as through iTV.

    Post continues….

    Like everyone else here, I’m interested in seeing how Apple’s new offerings will all work out. But I don’t like getting preached to (or told to “understand”) by someone who is supposedly a “technology analyst” who doesn’t feel the need to compare these announcements with what’s currently available to all consumers. Enthusiasts aren’t as naive as you may think, Gartenberg.

  • http://www.alexandergrundner.com Alexander Grundner

    Here’s another post against the iTV concept by O’Reilly Mac DevCenter blogger, Chuck Toporek. He brings up the point many of us have been discussing online and off about Apple’s strategy to be the only outlet of premium downloadable content. Hence, the reason Apple will most likely never realease a DVR device.

    Why I Won’t Buy an Apple iTV (or whatever it’s going to be called)

    Okay, everyone knows I’m a fan of Apple. I love all the stuff that they do, and was waiting with bated breath for yesterday’s announcements from the “Showtime” event. And even though the supposed live QuickTime feed kept 404-ing, I was able to get my fix from Engadget’s live updates. (To quote Elvis, “Thank you. Thankyouverymuch!”

    I’m down with all the new iPods, especially the super mini iPod Shuffle. Great stuff; love it. iTunes 7…wicked f-ing cool! But the iTV? Really, seriously…the Reality Distortion Field extends only so far, man.

    So, the main reason why I won’t buy an iTV (or whatever Apple decides to call it later) is simple: It doesn’t record. Will someone please tell me why I should get jazzed about this device, because maybe the lobotomy didn’t work the first time around. I need an iTV like I need another hole in my head. If it doesn’t record television, it’s a useless interface to me.

    And you know why it won’t record? Well, you see the model Apple’s going after, don’t you? Don’t you?! Right. Good. They want you to purchase TV shows from the iTunes Store. It’s where they plan to make money. It’s how they can make money. It’s where they are making money. And while I can’t fault them for making money — hell, every company should be as happy to have such a successful turnaround — but the last time I checked, wasn’t Apple about the user? Apparently, that is no more.

    For the iTV thingy to be useful for me, it should act as a DVR, but it doesn’t so I won’t buy one. It’s that simple. And I won’t buy an iPod Video either, because I’m already going blind from working on a computer 18-20 hours a day, why should I strain my eyes even more to squint and watch a movie on a teeny-tiny small screen?

    All that Apple touches is not Gold. But I still love you, Mac.

  • Jotham

    I’m not sure that I agree. I assume that the iTV is more of an extension of existing macs as a MCE type of thing. So the macs (or PCs) will be acting as the DVR. The idea being that you plug your computer into the cable box, etc and the iTVs will handle the multiple displays throughout the house. You’ll be able to schedule recording on the iTV via the UI but it’s the host computer that will be doing the actual work. What would be cool would be a USB driven DVD streamer to add to your computer but more likely would be DVD/DRM ripping to the host computer.

    Basically, the iTV is the grown up form of the Airport Express.

  • http://www.alexandergrundner.com Alexander Grundner

    Jotham said: You’ll be able to schedule recording on the iTV via the UI but it’s the host computer that will be doing the actual work.

    How do you figure? Frontrow & iTV’s UI doesn’t allow users to record TV with an electronic programming guide from your cable service. The only way that your model would work is if Frontrow/iTV allowed plugins, say from elgato, to enable this functionality — of course, this requires seperate hardware from elgato. Until then, users will have to jump back and forth between two devices and two rooms if they want DVR capabilities (yuck).

  • http://www.alexandergrundner.com Alexander Grundner

    There’s further discussion at CNET Alpha Blog about the iTV — see “Apple’s iTV: promise and peril“. John P. Falcone raises some interesting points, areas of concern, and speculation on what we might see in the future.

    I also liked the following comment by AdamElteto on the post:

    A Mac Mini can do the same thing iTV can, AND it has a hard drive, albeit at a higher price. You can find numerous how-to pages all over the Web helping you set up a Mac Mini as the center of your home entertainment. Wait, it also has a CD/DVD player, you can attach a TV tuner to it, it runs fairly quietly, consumes low levels of power, and is compatible with the Apple Remote. You can also surf the Web on it. With all those features, if I can just download iTunes content onto it, then I am having a hard time buying into the iTV idea.

    And this one by tommylaws1:

    My hope would be that (if they really want to deliver Apple’s next ‘knockout’ product), Apple’s engineer’s and marketing/ development staff would be reading commentaries like this and try to include/diminish/rectify as many positive benefits they can while addressing the very real limitations the author described.

    More questions:

    • Anyone notice that iTV only supports HDMI and Component video out — no S-Video or Composite? Can we assume that HDCP is making its way into Apple’s product line?
    • Also doesn’t having only two high-end video outputs limit the adoption of this product?
    • How attractive will the iTV be if can’t stream/playback your non-iTunes compatible media — i.e. DivX, WMA, WMV, AVI, XviD, OGG?

  • Andrew McLaughlin

    Steve J is getting a lot of Internet flack for pre-announcing this iTV product. Everyone ‘knew’ Apple was working on this thing, just like we ‘know’ there is a widescreen iPod in the works. Now you know why Apple doesn’t release things in preview. Apple is getting some “great” feedback on the product development side for iTV. I just hope they don’t listen to any of it.

    The fact is that HTPC’s are for geeks. Media Extenders make a lot more sense for the average consumer. This is Apple’s target market. I can buy one MacMini and 5 iTVs and stream this all over my house. I don’t want 5 MacMini’s. And I’m sure Apple will increase the resolution on the iTV when its released to widescreen HD (or upscaled 480i); just like they increased resolution for their DVD’s. It’s only natural.

    Announcing this product let’s the studios know that Apple is serious about winning this medium. It should help the adoption rate of the studios signing up for the movie service.

    Lastly, as for the “no DVR” therefore I wont buy it thought process……. I’m sick of hearing this story. I pay $130/month for what amounts to about 25 channels (local, basic and premium) and about 100 hours of programming per month; 90% of which is DVR’d; and 40% of that is ABC,NBC,CBS,Fox,WB and local OTA (all of which are FREE). So, if Apple can figure out a way to sell / stream me the 90% of the programming I watch DVR’d for less than $99/month, and figure out a solution to live programming, than I’d gladly give up my DVR and cable bill.

    In order for the cable model to die, and better solution must rise. Linear programming is a dinosaur, and the only purpose of a DVR is to record stuff when you’re not actually there to watch it. So what does anyone care about a DVR if you can get the same content streamed to you on demand? This is the future.

    Andrew

    PS: Alex, nice observation about the lack of SD ports on the iTV. That just seems crazy and either there is a breakout cable in the works, or thisis really a prototype with many changes to be worked out.

  • http://www.alexandergrundner.com Alexander Grundner

    Andrew McLaughlin said: Apple is getting some “great” feedback on the product development side for iTV. I just hope they don’t listen to any of it.

    Great line. I hope they take your advice and do it their way. Apple will have a 50/50 chance of being mildly successful or a big failure in this regard. I guess we’ll have to see in 5 years what the result was.

    Andrew McLaughlin said: Announcing this product let’s the studios know that Apple is serious about winning this medium. It should help the adoption rate of the studios signing up for the movie service.

    Can’t argue there. In this case, pre-announcing the product is a smart move if you want to bring other studios on board.

    Andrew McLaughlin said: Lastly, as for the “no DVR” therefore I wont buy it thought process……. I’m sick of hearing this story. I pay $130/month for what amounts to about 25 channels (local, basic and premium) and about 100 hours of programming per month; 90% of which is DVR’d; and 40% of that is ABC,NBC,CBS,Fox,WB and local OTA (all of which are FREE). So, if Apple can figure out a way to sell / stream me the 90% of the programming I watch DVR’d for less than $99/month, and figure out a solution to live programming, than I’d gladly give up my DVR and cable bill.

    Dude, you’re paying way too much. Plus, anyone who spends $130 a month for a service he uses only 4 hours or less a day on is throwing his money away. No offense.

    If you were being honest with your arguement, you would have jumped on the iTunes video download train a long time ago. You can do what you’re proposing TODAY with a basic cable account ($12.99 w/ Comcast) + iPod and A/V dock.

    Personally, I’m leaning towards cable/satellite on-demand services filling most consumer entertainment needs (and, if they integrate MediaMall functionality on top of that, users will tap into the same content providers MCE’s Online Spotlight has access to, as well as, content stored on network devices). Again we’ll have to wait a few years to see the result.

    The big thing to remember is that a major shift is taking place on how consumers consume media. We’re moving from a ownership model to a rental/subscription model in the digital age.

  • http://net-K.us/blog kaseiffert

    No the product isn’t revolutionary, but what Apple does for it is it makes it simple and seemless. This product belive it or not isn’t all about the iTunes movies. This thing will play anything you can get into iTunes, including video podcasts. So whats that make this?

    The “iTV” is the first affortable, consumer directed IPTV device. With a device like this, someone could concievable disconnect from regular programming (satalite, cable) and get all their tv programming over the net (paid or otherwise aquired).

    There are quite a few video podcasts worth watching on the “big screen” that is your home theater system. Who needs “must see tv” when I can create my own programming lineup. A mix of amature and professional content, all downloadable to my pc, and simply accessed by my iTV.

  • http://www.alexandergrundner.com Alexander Grundner

    You Apple guys can do what you like. Like I’ve said before, it’s nothing that hasn’t been already accomplished on Windows through Media Extenders or third party digital media adpaters. Heck, any platform (Windows/Mac/Linux) at this point has software for downloading content from any audio/video blog and bitorrent site which can then be accesssed through a TV with any UPnP enabled media adapter — bonus: generic media adapters have better codec support than an iTV will ever have (and some have been offering HDMI & composite video out for quite a while).

    Just ask yourself one question: Is it really in your benefit as a consumer to back a technology/service that only provides you with ONE option for obtaining premium content (i.e. studio created movies, music, and TV shows)? Where’s the choice? Where’s the competitive spirit of the marketplace that will bring consumers lower prices and better service? I already pointed out GUBA and VONGO, how long do you think it will take Apple to add similar services (if they ever decide it’s good idea for their bottomline)?

    kaseiffert said: No the product isn’t revolutionary, but what Apple does for it is it makes it simple and seemless.

    That’s not hard to do when consumers have limited choices and the company offering the service and the hardware is one in the same.

    Different strokes for different folks. I personally like choice and lots of it.

  • http://net-K.us/blog kaseiffert

    Apple doesn’t stop you from putting bit torrent content into itunes, tho I admit you are limited to mp4 and h.264 codecs. But as its a quicktime powered product I susupect it will be possable soon to support other codecs. But, I hear ya Alex. I like the choices as well, but we are the geeks.

    Its the masses that are the targeted consumers. If there is one thing Apple does now how to do, its make quality hardware “that just works” and a simple gui that anyone can use. The masses need it simple and Apple knows how to give it to them.

  • http://www.alexandergrundner.com Alexander Grundner

    Looking for something simple, cool, powerful, and extensible? Have a look at the following Xbox 360 + Microsoft Vista demo. I just wished he showed off Online Spotlight as well.

    What’s more, the Xbox 360 Core is selling for $299 (same price as Apple’s iTV) and the Premium version for $375.

  • http://net-K.us/blog kaseiffert

    mmm I do love my 360.

  • Jotham

    So do I. It’s got the elegance of design that Apple has in the iPod. I just have zero inclination to tie it to Windows Vista as Vista is not in my future. When I take the time to tie my 360 into my XP box, I’ll be a happy camper.

    I wish all Microsoft products were as well designed. Though I am still upset they didn’t include HDMI on the first ones.

  • flamaest

    The market passed these features by years ago, this is a bad attempt to gain market share.

    Of course, it is an apple “i” product so they will sell million to mindless apple followers.

    The informed consumer will simply know better, and will streer clear of this garbage.

    F.

  • http://www.alexandergrundner.com Alexander Grundner

    Not to beat a dead horse… I just found this post by Ed Bott at ZDNet (via Guardian Unlimited) that might strike a cord:

    So, let me get this straight. I can pay $300 for a device [ref. to iTV] that allows me to play content from a computer located elsewhere in the house. Cool! It’s about time someone invented a “media extender” like this.

    Oh. Wait. Microsoft already did. I have three Media Center extenders in this house, two first-generation models and an Xbox 360. On any of these extenders, I can play my entire music collection (browsing it by album cover) through my home theater system using a wired or wireless connection to my Media Center computer. But unlike Apple’s device (which won’t be available until January 2007) the Xbox 360 also streams live or recorded TV and downloaded high-definition content. It plays games and DVDs in full 5.1 surround sound. And in January, when Vista ships, I’ll be able to get a CableCARD-equipped Media Center that will stream HDTV programs over the network to my Xbox 360 with no extra charges.

    So, will someone please tell me why I want to replace my Xbox 360 with an Apple-branded device that only plays tunes from one music store, allows me to pay $15 for a movie encoded at 640 by 480 that looks like crap on my widescreen HDTV, and is unable to record or stream TV programming?

    It must take a lot of Kool-Aid to understand what a great deal that is.

    And Blake Krikorian, CEO of Sling Media, had this to say:

    TG: Apple announced the launch of its movie download offering this week. What do you think about that?
    BK: This is how we see the world: people love their living room TV programming and they want it more and more on their terms. More and more consumers are spending time in front of displays other than their television sets and the number of displays are increasing. Nowadays during a day, you’ll look at four or five different screens. So wouldn’t companies like ourselves and Apple try to use these screens? We decided, isn’t it just cool to take your home TV and make it a seamless experience across all these displays. The last thing I want is X type of content on one display and Y type of content on another display. People want the familiarity right down to the channel line-up. So, for me, I know that Comedy Central in the US is channel 249 and I can bring that up with a Slingbox on my phone or on my PC. Whereas with another device, I might not be able to get it or I might have to pay somebody else to get a clip of it. We welcome other products that have open internet connectivity, but the only thing that you can hope with a company like Apple is that they won’t continue to be proprietary and continue to not allow inter-operability. People are expecting convergence and that means all my stuff starts to work together. But unfortunately in our industry, we have companies who have incredibly religious technical beliefs or who are in constant battles with other companies and the consumer suffers. They have lost sight of what the consumers are looking for. We are trying to be a company that embraces and not replaces new products. That’s why we sling to mobile devices as well as PCs. It means you don’t have to also buy a SlingTV and a SlingPhone and a SlingPC. I could probably make a more seamless experience that way because it would be all controlled under me, but I believe in the future it won’t be just one company that provides all that. People want choice and if we can be the company that provides that, then that in itself can be a different form of proprietary. Actually, by being the most open system can end up being a core differentiator and that is something we’re focused on.

  • http://net-K.us/blog kaseiffert

    heh.. I guess we’ll have to see how the public reacts to it, but I am still betting that the apple out sells all the existing media center extenders, because it will be a no brainer to install, and get running.

    It will be fun to watch.

  • Jotham

    I completely agree with the argument that the iTV seems ridiculous. But since it isn’t actually shipping, and since all we’ve seen is a cute little prototype, I think it’s a little early to be drawing conclusions (though it is entertaining to do so).

    Using a Windows Vista Cable card equipped solution as the model of an open architecture seems like a real stretch to me. Why does my beautiful Xbox 360 not stream video from my XP box, could it be because Microsoft wishes to sell more copies of Media Center or the bloated Vista? If my Xbox was UP&P compatible for video, then I wouldn’t be so suspicious of Microsoft but I am.

    Let’s be realistic, most of the solutions on the market suck for one reason or another. They are either inelegant, require a standard computer next to my stereo, can’t show decent video or cost a ton of dough.

    It’s the Oppos and Helios of the world that have the potential to shake things up. They will probably remain niche like the Squeezebox but they will meet my objectives: Stereo-like components with computer-like connectivity and streaming and open standards.

  • Andrew McLaughlin

    I also don’t think its fair to compare the yet unreleased iTV to the long delayed, still unreleased and significantly untested Vista/ MCE / HD CableCard solution. Yes Apple is an also-ran in this category, but they will succeed in this venture and take over the competition; and they will likely corner the market in dumb devices for video streaming. Would Apple ever attempt to create something called UPnP and try to explain it to their customers. No. that’s what Airport, BonJour, Roundesvouz (sp?) and SuperDrive; are for and that’s what makes Apple closed market work for them. About the only self-titled technology / standard they use is Bluetooth.

    Good discussion all around. Thanks.

  • http://www.alexandergrundner.com Alexander Grundner

    Jotham said:  Why does my beautiful Xbox 360 not stream video from my XP box, could it be because Microsoft wishes to sell more copies of Media Center or the bloated Vista? If my Xbox was UP&P compatible for video, then I wouldn’t be so suspicious of Microsoft but I am.

    Let’s be realistic, most of the solutions on the market suck for one reason or another. They are either inelegant, require a standard computer next to my stereo, can’t show decent video or cost a ton of dough.

    I couldn’t agree more. That’s why I bend over backwards looking for products and services that don’t tie me to a certain platform and give me lots of flexibility. I might be missing out on some cool bells and whistles, but in the long run I feel better about my purchase decisions. With that being said, there are certain instances like video on-demand and subscription services where you have to jump into one camp or another. But here again, I look for the camp that gives me the most choices with both hardware and service offerings.

  • http://www.alexandergrundner.com Alexander Grundner

    This post maybe of interest to all of you:
    Macworld – iTV: What you need to know

    It’s basically a recap of the what the iTV is and is not. The lucky folks at Macworld got a sneak preview of the device.

  • http://net-K.us/blog kaseiffert

    Alexander Grundner said: This post maybe of interest to all of you:
    Macworld – iTV: What you need to know

    It’s basically a recap of the what the iTV is and is not. The lucky folks at Macworld got a sneak preview of the device.

    Hey Apple send me one for testing!!!! I’d even give the review to you Alex for posting here.

    Hahaha wishful thinking.

  • Andrew McLaughlin

    Maybe I misread the article, but I don’t think they got any more of a sneak peak than anyone else. Nothing in the article is anything beyond what is obvious from the design. I find it hard to believe that the box will only work with TVs capable of taking a HD signal.

    As much as I think Apple is on the right track here, I can see this move as a BIG risk. I can see the complaints already…. it doesn’t record, playback is choppy, why can’t i play by Dvix files, no chapter navigation on dvds?, it takes too long to cache the buffer, this thing sucks!, apple is going downhill….

    This is a dangerous market for Apple. For their sake, this thing better be a “set it” and “forget it” type box. Even if they have to strip the functionality way down to make it stupid-proof. Which is what I suspect they will have to do to get this “right”

    Andrew