Friday, March 23, 2007

"Getting" why Apple TV is revolutionary

It is stunning to me that some people don't "get" the Apple TV. But Carl Howe at the does and nicely explains it for those that don't.

I have written about this before here and here about when Apple TV was called iTV and what was still missing in iTunes 7 to make iTV really take off.

Then there is Paul Thurrott in his WinInfo Short Takes. He hasn't written a full review, and he will, but he calls Apple TV an iPod for your living room and his quick hit thought is:
In short, it's good but not excellent. It doesn't have DVR capabilities and you can't even change the volume with the limited Apple remote. Eh.
So once again, let's reiterate why Apple TV does what it does and nothing more:
  • Apple TV has no DVR for my cable/satellite!iTunes is you DVR, stop worrying about programming a DVR and paying cable/satellite for programming you never use (Home Shopping Network I am talking about you).
  • Apple TV doesn't have a DVD player! No, and neither did your VCR or DVD player. Did your iPod come with a CD player? No. iTunes can't rip your DVDs yet, but a lot of tools can. Just add the files to iTunes and enjoy on your Apple TV
  • Apple TV's remote doesn't control my TV/Xbox/PS3/VCR/Dolby Digital Receiver/Kitchen Sink! No, that's why those things have their own remotes. As a rule, Universal remotes usually suck and only geeks can program them anyway.
  • Apple TV doesn't play my Divx/WMA/WMV/ETC files! Right, reencode them, MP4 or H.264 work just fine.
  • Apple TV only works with Widescreen EDTV or HDTVs! May not exactly be true, if you have a SDTV with component video input, the Apple TV has a 480i setting (this is what you need) so it may work. This would be how I start using the Apple TV, so I am going to try this first
  • I have to use iTunes and Apple TV can only play content from the iTunes Store.!Yes you have to use iTunes, it serves content and syncs the Apple TV just like an iPod, but any content you import into iTunes formated for the Apple TV can play (say video podcasts, ripped DVDs), not just stuff bought from the iTunes Store
  • I can't rely on Apple TV because iTunes doesn't have insert your special content here or it's not in HD. It's only a matter of time before all content is on iTunes, and in HD. Buy the DVDs instead, rip them.
  • There is no live TV!No radio didn't slow down the iPod. Use HD free over the air TV broadcast. It worked for your dad