Tag Archives: apple-tv

Apple Special Announcement Event on September 1st

Apple sent out invitations to the press this morning, asking them to attend a special event on September 1st. There’s zero information in the invitation on the nature of the event, and the only hint is the photo of the guitar with the Apple-logo shaped cut out.

There has been much speculation floating around in recent weeks, with everyone trying to figure out what may be coming out of Cupertino. Some rumors claim we will see the unveiling of a new television episode rental service through iTunes. Others say there will be a new version of Apple TV and a refreshed iPod Touch model. A small percentage of people who haven’t moved beyond Antennagate yet insist that Jobs will discuss some miracle cure they have found for the death grip issue.

Your guess is as good as ours at this point. We are all going to have to wait until Wednesday to find out what glorious new things Steve and his team have for us this time around.

Google TV Thoughts

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Someone in the live chat room asked me last night what my thoughts are about Google TV… bringing the Google experience to your television instead of just the Internet. It makes sense to me, given that Google owns YouTube. They are working with manufacturers to bring the Google TV experience into your homes around the world. Some people compare Apple TV to Google TV, and I don’t feel that’s exactly fair.

Apple has their content locked up in their Universe, much like iTunes itself. Google is more like “HEY! It’s out there, so let’s throw it in here!” It’s a more open approach to deliver content to your doorstep. The more interesting idea to me is Clicker.TV.

If you head over there right now, you’ll see a web experience that runs right within your web browser. You can navigate shows using your keyboard, instead of a mouse. The idea is that you could use a device connected to your television and control your experience without having to use an actual keyboard. What Clicker is doing is aggregating all of these shows you can find across the Internet. It’s an application that doesn’t rely on Flash. It runs off of HTML5, which is more open. Some of the videos themselves may run off of Flash, but not the interface itself. If you’re wondering what a Google TV experience may be like, check this out first. I have a feeling they’re going to be pretty close.

If anything, I think Google TV would compare favorably to Boxee. I expect a lot of development over the coming months (and even years) from Google with this idea, and I have a feeling it’s something that could end up in many of our homes before all is said and done.

What are your thoughts on Google TV, or even Apple TV? Do you feel these types of services are what we will be using in the future, instead of traditional cable or satellite programs?

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Am I the Only One Who Doesn’t Feel Like They are Missing Out on Anything by Not Owning an Apple TV? They are not that Interesting!

I recently wrote a blog post talking about the Apple TV. I just don’t get what all the fuss is about. There are very few updates, and virtually no awesome features. There’s no WOW factor involved. I had to get some other opinions on this matter. It’s not just me… right? What do you think… love it or hate it? Take it or leave it? Buy it or skip it?

some people buy it to put boxee on it. – Alfredo

nope, you’re not. – Carlos Ayala

I have no need for it. – Rochelle

I want an AppleTV and YES I would definitely put Boxee on it asap – Susan Beebe

I’m waiting for Boxee for windows – Chacha102

I have a mac mini connected to the tv. I dont see the need for an Apple tv as well. – Simon Wicks

I’ve never understood the need for the AppleTV, although it might be interesting for the Hackability Factor(TM). – Tyson Key

I don’t know it’s full potential yet. – Josh Haley

Is it 1080p yet? If not, wake me when it is. I’d prefer a Mac Mini or the similar Dell for doing this though. – Alex Scoble

@simon I never thought of plugging my minimac to my tv set, good stuff – xavier vespa

not the only one. – .LAG

Nope, Apple TV is still max 720…extremely uber lame. No thanks. – Alex Scoble

@xavier – DVI – HDMI cable, and you get HD video, just need a second cable for the audio. Works a treat, got one off the refurb store just to do this with. – Simon Wicks

I don’t have an Apple TV, whatever that is. – Morton Fox

Morton, it’s Apple’s weaksauce attempt at a DVR. – Alex Scoble

Haha. Don’t buy it! – "Joefy"

@simon thanks! – xavier vespa

I didn’t find Boxee that interesting. AppleTV would be much more interesting if paired with a DVR (with CableCard or satellite decoder) and analog inputs. Until then (yeah I know it will never happen), I’ll stick to a full-fledged Mac. – Logical Extremes

I love my Apple TV. You need to own one to see why they are handy. I own two, in addition to two TiVos, a Media Center PC with 4 CableCARD tuners, etc. Apple TV fits right in, and is great at what it does. – Andru Edwards

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? πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜›

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 πŸ˜‰

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… http://bit.ly/LDL8

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. ( http://boxee.tv )

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 πŸ˜›

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?

Recommendations for Formatting Video Podcasts

Apple’s iTunes Podcasting Team (nameless, faceless people) sent me the following tips for getting along with Apple TV:

If you’re encoding your video podcast at 320×240, please increase the resolution to either 640×480 or 640×360 (depending on the aspect ratio of your source files). Why? Because video podcasts at this resolution look great on Apple TV and still port to video iPods. Lower resolution podcasts might also work on both platforms, but they don’t look nearly as good on a widescreen TV. As always, make sure to test any encoding changes you make to ensure device compatibility. QuickTime 7.1’s “Export to iPod” function will ensure that a video file is encoded at a width of 640 and is iPod-compatible.

It’s best not to create two different podcast feeds for different resolutions. By doing so, you dilute the popularity of your podcast and reduce exposure in our charts. It’s better to have one feed high in the charts than two that are lower.

If your source files are 16:9, stick with that aspect ratio. Don’t add letterboxing to make them 4:3. By doing so, you prevent the video from expanding to fill a 16:9 widescreen TV and instead end up with black space on all four sides. Also, your original source files should be at least 640 pixels wide.

Of course these are just recommendations. We understand that there are good reasons for 320×240 (bandwidth bills) and 720p (looks fantastic). Do whatever makes the most sense for your show. For more information on formatting video, see the recently updated spec.