Me and the (Apple) TV

13 04 2007

It took me ages to think of the title of this post. Yesterday I went and had my first ever play around with Apple TV. And I have to say it almost shut me up. Not quite, but almost. I was in the Apple store in Regent Street, London and I was waiting for someone, so I thought I would wait behind someone who was trying it out for the first time, huffing and sighing until they moved along and let me have a go.

So the remote is exactly the same as the one you get with a new mac these days, the only downside being you can’t control the volume of a TV with the remote, so those two buttons are a bit pointless and maybe that idea was a bit rushed. the interface is like a much more polished version of Front Row if that is possible. Pictures look very nice displayed in HD as you can imagine, but I can’t see much value in slideshows, maybe others can. Anyway, the Wii can do music slideshows so there. It also plays all your iTunes music with crystal clear Album Art, but that isn’t why you bought it either.

Getting to the TV section, and there was no TV stored locally on the machine, or available to stream over the network. They do have handy “iTunes top 10” feature that will let you watch 30 seconds of any of the current chart-topping shows. the quality is about as good as the fullscreen version on an imac. Nothing to show off on your new LCD, but as good as a normal freeview or cable channel broadcast over the air. As soon as iTunes start selling content at 720p, it will be very interesting.

Right now the only HD content are podcasts from The Washington Post, and some (no indication to which) of the trailers in the movies section. and of course, DivX, Xvid and Mkv files are a no-no out of the box, although hackers have found a way around this. When it doesn’t involve opening the box up and messing with the insides, you will find one of these babies under my bravia.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

7 responses

13 04 2007
Kimberly

I think it’s great for the Podcast form that it’s the first HD content available on the AppleTV. I’m sure a lot them will get downloaded just for that reason alone.

Here’s hoping the Store gets HD shows sooner than later.

As for the AppleTV, I was a little skeptical at first. Now, I realize that this little box is very “big” indeed. It took AppleTV – Just What The Doctor OrderedShelly Palmer’s essay on Media 3.0 to convince me — the Apple TV is going to cause some pain for the cable companies.

Which is probably good for us.

Kimberly

13 04 2007
Kimberly

I think it’s great for the Podcast form that it’s the first HD content available on the AppleTV. I’m sure a lot them will get downloaded just for that reason alone.

Here’s hoping the Store gets HD shows sooner than later.

As for the AppleTV, I was a little skeptical at first. Now, I realize that this little box is very “big” indeed. It took Shelly Palmer’s essay on Media 3.0 to convince me — the Apple TV is going to cause some pain for the cable companies.

Which is probably good for us.

Kimberly

13 04 2007
Marc

Someone – or four people? In your defence – I’m sure I told you there were three of us – not four!)

Like I said at the time – some of the video looked downright awful on there i.e. the 24 clip that we watched. Even if it wasn’t using the best connection, no amount of work was gonna save that video – hence our discussion about the 1GB 720P HD .mkv files that we ‘acquire’ each week.

Get that badboy playing divx files and I’m sure there will be a boost in sales!

When are we all chilling out at the Apple Store next anyway?? lmao

14 04 2007
McDave

Shame about the lack of HD content but that should change quite quickly.

I don’t know why people keep complaining about DivX/Xvid compatibility. All content needs to be converted as Apple TV, like everything else, is quite sensitive to profiles which results in playback glitches. With the perian plugin, Quicktime understands these formats and exports, with 3 mouse-clicks, to a profile Apple TV can use. What’s the problem?

Better still, just get the content in Industry-standard MPEG4 AVC rather than MPEG4 copies like DivX, Xvid & WMV

McDave

14 04 2007
Corrupted Mind

The reason people keep complaining about xvid/divx is the same reason that people complain about any other music format apart from Mp3. While the Studios (music companies) whined about what to do and buried their heads in the sand, users found their own preferred format for video (Mp4 is making a bit of a comeback) but largely anywhere you go – anywhere you look… Your favourite TV/Film is in xvid/divx. Because the Studios were behind the game (just like the music companies) they are now facing the prospect of convincing users who now have their favourite format – to switch (“U gotta Switch!!!”). That is no easy business. There are plently of people out there who still swear by MP3 despite using iTunes or WMP. DRM is the cover for some of these people, but the vast majority just have huge collections of media in one format and are locked in. I’m staring at around x hundred CD’s and y hundred DVD’s all of Divx content (i.e. around 6 yrs worth) that would be incomaptible at a stroke were I to buy an iTv. In truth, it’s less of a problem for me – as I have begun the slow process of buying my favorite bits and pieces (on DVD for now, but probably in Blu Ray once the Ps3 comes) so the pain is taken out of the process. But I’m in the position of having transitioned from Student to Employee so I’m quite happy to buy originals… for joey teenager or tommy uni student it is still v.much all about the freeness.

14 04 2007
Corrupted Mind

One last point, – I dunno if I’m thinking about this like an old fogey… but my good friend Ed always used to chastise me for my sky-high mobile phone bills – saying “these telcos have pulled the wool over your eyes, charging you the world for something you cannot see like fresh air!” This new digital age gives me the same feeling – I mean, because of the current b-model, once I purchase something the supplier washes their hands of me (if the file corrupts, or the computer/ipod/pmp/mp3 player self destructs – or even you upgrade, you’re on your own). I laugh at a good friend of mine who still buys CD’s as if he is John Henry – but what if my PC dies. (When my last one died I lost over 5,000 songs and spent 7 days of my life pushing CD’s into my computer to re-rip them) but what happens to all those itunes purchases and the programming they want me to buy… to some TV/Films/Music is disposable… but I come from a family of collectors books/records etc (hence my ridiculous divx/mp3 archive) the digital age for me still involves DVD’s and CD’s (yes-really) for me – everyone talks about the internet one day becoming the worlds hard disc (no archiving required) I thought Itunes/store might help but it hasn’t.

14 04 2007
ebarnieh

-McDave
People complain that things aren’t in DivX because they don’t want to mak the three clicks that you speak of!

If you can show me where I can get Mpeg AVC versions of my favourtie shows an hour after they air so i can download them in the shower before work, I’m on bored.

-Corrupted mind
DivX isn’t really similar to MP3, because itunes can still play MP3, and emusic and a few other music etailers sell MP£’s as standard. Nobody needs to re-encode their music.

And if you lose any of your iTunes collection, Apple let you re-download it for free.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: