Apple TV vs Every Other DVR

When Apple first announced their Apple TV product, I was interested but not excited. Years later, that interest has completely warn off – largely because of the lack of updates and killer features. Admittedly, I do already have a TiVo (and a few Comcast DVRs to boot).

Still, why has Apple seemingly abandoned the Apple TV? There’s a new report suggesting that Apple is working on a connected television. I’m not so sure that’s even interesting to me. Who knows? Maybe they’ll knock that one out of the park.

Do you have an Apple TV, or do you feel like you’re missing out because you don’t have one? I asked my Twitter followers, and some of them responded:

Vividlydrawn: what&#39s an AppleTV?

about 47 minutes ago

jmccullough108: I agree. I am perfectly fine without one.

about 46 minutes ago

Condawg: I feel the same way. Hooking up my iMac to my TV gives me basically the same thing… It just seems worthless, IMO.

about 46 minutes ago

Schlomo: AppleTV is not nearly as interesting as my xbox!

about 46 minutes ago

robertrosenfeld: I agree. I like Apple, but I don&#39t need them handing my entire media experience.

about 46 minutes ago

ericpratum: Agreed. Honestly, I don&#39t sit in front of the TV enough to make it worth it. If I did, I don&#39t know that I&#39d choose AppleTV

about 46 minutes ago

MikeMathia: I don&#39t own one, and I don&#39t wish that I had one. It&#39s a good idea, just not for me.

about 46 minutes ago

dVoka: AppleTV rocks! You can connect a Terrabyte drive to it where your backed up DVDs reside, run Boxee (hulu), and much more.

about 45 minutes ago

unclespeedo: i don&#39t believe you&#39re in the target audience for apple tv….. you shouldn&#39t feel like you&#39re missing anything, you&#39re not

about 45 minutes ago

gregskidmore: Yes I do too. I keep wanting to get an AppleTV. I don&#39t know why I haven&#39t bought one yet. Maybe it&#39s lacking something?

about 45 minutes ago

roehmholdt: iTMS + 30in Cinema Display > AppleTV… now to go get that Cinema display…

about 44 minutes ago

Outsanity: It&#39s just more Apple crap that&#39s more likely not worth the money unless you&#39re that into Apple swag

about 44 minutes ago

xKevinx: I&#39m with you on that

about 44 minutes ago

maddogdom: you said that about the iPhone and you loved that!

about 44 minutes ago

andrewmundy: you&#39re totally not the only one. I promise

about 44 minutes ago

AppleNerd: I don&#39t see anything in the AppleTV. Seems boring…

about 44 minutes ago

JessePB: Considering you can accomplish the same thing by buying directly in iTunes and streaming with any number of other devices, no.

about 44 minutes ago

yenra: AppleTV is excellent at displaying photos on a big HDTV – smooth & great quality; also Flickr, Podcasts, YouTube.

about 44 minutes ago

shedtroll: I don&#39t feel I&#39m missing out. Boxee is a better alternative.

about 44 minutes ago

cpedraza: I&#39m an Apple fan but in the world of DVRs AppleTV doesn&#39t make sense for me.

about 43 minutes ago

findingnewo: Yeah, I don&#39t get the appeal. I think WinMCE extenders are much more worth it.

about 43 minutes ago

jbone66: My ATV was humdrum until XBMC/Boxee was available for it. It&#39s our main method to accessing video content now…

about 43 minutes ago

VxJasonxV: It&#39s very interesting. It&#39s just that the most of us have computers to do everything the AppleTV does, and more.

about 43 minutes ago

biss13: if you don&#39t own an AppleTV how do you know what is it you are missing? 😉

about 43 minutes ago

robpickering: And that statement shows everyone you don&#39t have one. Hulu on my TV – &#39nuff said

about 42 minutes ago

EricCAnderson: Agree: it&#39s basically just another iPod for your TV (even with boxiee on it)…

about 42 minutes ago

Knunez: yeah I dont need one.. no point in having one anyways

about 42 minutes ago

wolrah: i agree they&#39re not that interesting out of the box, but patchstick them and they&#39re great. XBMC and Boxee ftw

about 42 minutes ago

Christyxcore: i agree. I thought it was cool when I saw it at my friends house but now that I think about it, it&#39s also overpriced 4 watitis

about 42 minutes ago

tjohansen: AppleTV alone isn&#39t great, but AppleTV + @boxee is great!

about 42 minutes ago

johnbarta: just buy it chris! Even if you dont use it it could be a fancy drink holder

about 42 minutes ago

iGeekW: AppleTV is not worth the money 😛

about 42 minutes ago

jefflundberg: A DELL Studio PC w/ Blu-ray and Windows Media Center Edition is much more interesting.

about 41 minutes ago

benhigham: I guess that depends on your current setup. I think it appeals to a different audience.

about 41 minutes ago

easy_way: there a waste of money i got one and its kinda useless

about 41 minutes ago

LisaBarger: Yes, Chris. Yes you are.

about 41 minutes ago

yesitsmedoug: I once walked into Apple and asked them Why I would want one. They didn&#39t sell me on the idea so I also don&#39t have or want one

about 40 minutes ago

chrisutley: #AppleTV with @boxee is great. I rent a lot of movies from #Apple, and watch TV shows over Hulu.

about 40 minutes ago

themacinjosh: no you&#39re not, I don&#39t feel like I&#39m missing much. All of the media is available whether you own an apple tv or not.

about 40 minutes ago

TarasI: I don&#39t think so. One of my friends has one and it&#39s really not that useful, especially if you have Media Center Extensions.

about 39 minutes ago

idarknight: you might be – between the hacks and the core functions, it is a device whose tipping point may have come

about 37 minutes ago

anansie: Its cheaper than a mac mini and has boxee going for it , Also it&#39s the only game in town for renting movies in hd on iTunes

about 35 minutes ago

amarvin: i didn&#39t feel that i was missing out on Apple TV until Boxee popped up. now i want to roll my own Atom-based version w/ boxee.

about 35 minutes ago

kevinbriody: I bought an early model AppleTV. I&#39d call it “neat” but definitely not compelling. Cool to show family vids, some DL&#39d TV.

about 35 minutes ago

jay1one: we might be the only two, but you are definitely not the only one.

about 34 minutes ago

ahaslach: Functionality of AppleTV can be replicated/exceeded w/ a laptop and video cable. Not a compelling product.

about 34 minutes ago

ipodtouch15: I agree!:)

about 33 minutes ago

wmchamberlain: Why would I buy a AppleTV when I can do more with a mac mini? Even the Cult of Mac would have a hard time explaining.

about 32 minutes ago

calebh: nope I feel the same way

about 32 minutes ago

schmenzer: Chris, I was a lot more interested before I started using Boxee.

about 31 minutes ago

seanwolter: The true media hoarder has a mac mini and a drobo hooked up to his big screen

about 30 minutes ago

mikekochansky: I agree. As much as I love Apple, I have little to no desire/need for AppleTV

about 29 minutes ago

ricorick: Boxee has made mine more interesting and better.

about 28 minutes ago

Zanoryt: Running Boxee on Apple TV is a compelling replacement for a cable connection. It&#39s not 100% ideal, but Boxee is really awesome

about 27 minutes ago

adamkmiec: I love mine – it&#39s a fixture of our house

about 25 minutes ago

MicrosoftWin7: RT: ByronSmartMicrosoftWin7 Yeah my hacked Xbox1 W Media Center(720p) is far more intresting then Apple TV, + the 360

about 24 minutes ago

blogbloke: I&#39m with you Chris

about 24 minutes ago

JessLoebig: Well maybe it is because you have a TiVo 😉

about 23 minutes ago

cogwisewill: Well, if you get the atv flash and are able to put hulu on the appletv along with a other things…

about 23 minutes ago

RobinBoyWonders: I like it a lot

about 22 minutes ago

color_me_pink: You&#39re not the only one. Until there is DVRcapability, I won&#39t even consider it.

about 21 minutes ago

gurubrandon: Yes.. but Boxee makes that genre of devices very interesting. ( )

about 21 minutes ago

PassTheBoll: seeing as you can accomplish the same thing using less money, I won&#39t get one. Just take a computer and connect it to the tv.

about 21 minutes ago

webdrifter: This frugal tech guy is all ATO man! No AppleTV, no DirecTV and no cable TV. Just a cheap Techno who has seen and likes HULU

about 20 minutes ago

gailelaine: I don&#39t own an Apple TV because I just don&#39t see the need. I own a Mac and I&#39ve looked at the Apple TV.

about 19 minutes ago

LoganPayne: I don&#39t feel that like I&#39m missing out. But I do want one….to stop buying DVDs and discs…

about 16 minutes ago

Sebbbb: how isn&#39t it intresting? it comes in a shiny apple box 😛

about 15 minutes ago

sideswipe70: I feel the same way. It just seems like a glorified media server.

about 9 minutes ago

swichi293: I own everything apple, but I refuse to own the apple tv. It really is quite pointless

about 8 minutes ago

aaron_bennett: It&#39s just not exciting enough for the price OR the inevitable inoperability with my other devices.. You are not alone.

about 7 minutes ago

What are your thoughts on Apple TV and the general state of DVRs?

15 thoughts on “Apple TV vs Every Other DVR”

  1. I love my Apple TV. I use it to watch all my Youtube and Podcast subscriptions, rent HD movies, connect my itunes media for excellent audio quality on my new HD receiver. It’s not an HTPC, but then again it’s cheaper and easier to use. It could be a much better appliance if you could download apps to play u-stream, hulu, etc. The iPhone wasn’t a remarkable phone until the App Store afterall!

  2. AppleTv + Boxee + Netflix is a game changer. Here is the Netflix hack.

    You do not need to open the appletv and you may reset it at any time using factory restore.

    The patchstick will plug into the appletv USB and install programs like Launcher (XMBC and Boxee) NitoTV and Couch surfer – this allows you to use SSH, SMB, Play DVD’s, and mount drives from remote computers.

    Items you need:

    a mac to use the console

    1 flash drive – to make patchstick
    2. usb hub
    3. keyboard and mouse

    1. Make an atvusb-creator patchstick, then install it

    2. Install Firefox and the Silverlight 2.0 plugin from Awkward TV, using the SSH capabilities unlocked by the atvusb-creator patchstick.

    (skip the instructions down to install firefox as the patchstick will set up the keyboard and mouse pointer for you)

    A. You do not have to install core-audio for this to work.

    B. The keyboard and mouse only work in boxee and firefox so you will need your remote

    3. Stream Netflix Watch Now through Firefox on Apple TV, using a keyboard and mouse

    (since flash is not installed “you can install flash” the join Netflix item will not appear put you can sign in as a member and all is good).

    The Firefox app will appear in NitoTV under applications. I installed the game emulators so my picture will show these.


  3. Bro,

    Apple TV is so sick.

    Just get one Captain Cheapo. Heck, you already got some movie screen sized monitors. You can obviously afford it. Just fork out a couple bucks and see for yourself.

    It’s sick!

    Heck, I’d buy it just to let my pictures in iPhoto float across my big screen. It’s wicked cool!

    Tivo and DVR destroy the quality as well.

  4. All this “Chris! Chris! Chris! Windows!” puppy dog theology is making it really difficult for me to keep my dinner down. Anybody — even a Windows fanboy — who would argue the superiority of Windows as a PVR platform needs a C/T scan — and that’s just the beginning. I hope you have good insurance.

    I agree that Apple TV is not what it could be. I do not own one. I do not intend to own one.

    But to suggest that Windows MCE could whoop an Apple TV’s butt is just…. laughable.

    There are times I smile and nod at the Windows crowd and let them have “a moment”. This isn’t one of them.

    I also agree with the posters who said that Chris is not the target audience for the Apple TV. The Apple TV (like the Mini) is a conversion item. It’s meant to turn people. Chris has already turned.


    Once you go Mac…. you never go back. 🙂

    Sorry PC people. We’re not giving him back. 🙂

  5. Apple TV gives me all my 500 DVDs on demand, all my music, photos, every video I’ve ever made, everything on Boxee, and everything I record on EyeTV. I can’t imagine anything easier or more comprehensive. Plus I can pipe my music to every Apple TV and Airport Express. Works like a charm.

  6. I tried to get excited by Apple TV at first. But it seemed so darned limited.

    I don’t really care for what little features it offered. I don’t see that they really added that many since I first heard about it.

    I like the idea of something small that could handle my multimedia and connect to my LCD HD TV.

    But a Mac Mini would offer more, and cost more.

    In the end, I got a Multimedia Quad Core PC for the price Apple charges for the Mac Mini.

    It’s too bad the case is really too big to sit on the same level as the TV.

    Maybe I’ll stick it on the lower level of the multimedia center.

    I just need to watch out for heat.

  7. I have AppleTV and I think it is a really good appliance. Add Boxee to it and it becomes a great appliance. My wife uses it for dinner parties and sets up music playlists on iTunes to play through our surround sound. People love it. Plus, I love watching movie trailers on it!!

  8. I like the way you included your responding followers to the article. If any of your blog readers were not on Twitter before, I see a surge coming. While this is an article about the AppleTV (which I love), it is even more an article about Twitter (which I love even more).

  9. I own one and use it daily to serve up podcasts and tv shows. Also serves my music playlists. I can also sync it with my mac in my office and pipe music sound my entire house.

    Very intuative UI which is nice and easy to explain to non-techie guests..

  10. I <3 my AppleTV. Works great, syncs with iTunes, let’s me play my music from my computer (remote speakers), Boxee runs on it… Love it.

  11. apple TV is crap! I just want a DVR so I can record my shows instead of paying $2 for each episode.

  12. I think AppleTV has promise but the key features (TV tuner, DVR, Optical Drive) would need to be added to make it a “must have” product. Until that happens I’ll keep using my MacMini.

  13. I was going to get an AppleTV to replace my Windows Media Center box. Ended up getting a Mac Mini. Mac Mini sold me on Macs. Now I have a MacBook Pro as a primary machine and the Mini has been repurposed as my Home Entertainment Server. (Connected to a 4TB drobo, and my LCD TV) Try getting 4TB on an AppleTV! Plus I can surf the net from my Sofa. Apple TV<Mac Mini.

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