Youtube on Apple TV

31 05 2007

Didn’t I write about this a few months ago? Or at least, something very similar. Yesterday Steve Jobs announced new functionality for his floundering Apple TV product. With a firmware update due in mid-June, Apple TV users will be able to watch Youtube videos from the comfort of their sofa. “But I can already do that with my Wii, and it’s pixelated crap”, I hear you cry. Well Apple are in the process of transcoding all videos on Youtube into H.264, their codec of choice. And if it appears in a window like the interface above, that shouldn’t look too bad at all. Apple also announced a HDD upgrade, with a 160gb Apple TV available to order in readiness for all the HD episodes they could/should be offering by the start of the new season. No sign of it on the UK apple store though.

And if you have read about all of this already (and lets face it you probably have), you will be happy to know that TV episodes on the UK itunes store are a mere “weeks” away. I can’t reveal my sources but from the looks of things there will be quite a selection.

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Apple TV commercial

10 04 2007

Yesterday Apple started airing a commercial for their Apple TV product. To those who don’t yet know, this is a little box that sits under your TV and plays all the TV and movies in your itunes library, either streamed over wifi or stored locally on it’s pathetically small HDD. Nothing that an ipod and an RCA cable couldn’t do almost as well, if slightly less conveniently. The commercial makes no attempt to explain the products capabilities either, leaving people emailing me to ask if they can watch Newsnight on Apple TV.

But recently there has been great effort to hack the Apple TV box, and certain dedicated fanboys have managed to install a larger hard drive, make it run OS X, install the xviD/divX codecs, even get NES emulation up and running, although why you would want that is anyones guess. Anywho, its starting to look like a the cheapest mac available. If any of these things floats your boat and you have a large collection of TV/movies on iTunes waiting to be unleashed on some humungous LCD, Apple TV might be worth the $299/£199 Steve Jobs is asking for it. Watch the commercial after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Apple TV for all!

22 03 2007

Just a quick note to say that after a short delay, Apple TV started shipping today. For the unaware, this is the set-top box that streams all your music, photos, podcasts, TV and movies from itunes on your PC/mac to your TV. There is a review in the Wall Street Journal here. As much iTunes content as I now have, this product still doesn’t appeal to me. If you read ilounges top 10 reasons not to buy Apple TV, I stopped at 10 because that’s what I sometimes do. But for someone with a small iMac in a bedroom and a huge LCD in their living room, this could be the thingie that unleashes all their DRM’ed media! Huzzah!

Google TV

1 03 2007

I read about this a few weeks ago, and I thought it had been proved to be a hoax. In fact, looking at the comments that accompany the video, it seems that everybody is sure it’s a hoax. But I got to thinking (now I sound like Carrie from Sex and the City), would it be so far fetched that Google launch a product like this? And then with all their links with Apple, embed software like this in apple TV? That would shut up all the people bothered with Apple TV’s lack of TV tuner and/or PVR.

Obviously this is all rampant speculation, but if you are listening Apple, Google… think about it. Furthermore, I would like to say this is the most elaborate hoax I have ever witnessed. Watch the video after the jump, and admire the effort and thought behind it.

Read the rest of this entry »

itunes video content for Europe at last

31 01 2007

Yesterday the Government of Luxembourg confirmed that Apple inc were setting up their European base there to start video distribution over itunes. Luxembourg is already home to a few other European headquarters of major corporations like Amazon and AOL (hey, wait a minute, they all start with A as well). Apparently it’s because Luxemborg have the lowest rates of VAT in Europe. So anyway, the economy minister Jeannot Krecke blabbed and I’m sure Apple are resisting the urge to sue the pants off the whole country.

Read the rest of this entry »

BBC link up with Google

23 01 2007

Yesterday MediaGuardian revealed that the BBC are in “advanced negotiations” to make their programming available via a branded channel on Google’s video portal. So I went over to their UK website, and I noticed that Google have already signed up Channel 4 and Sci-fi channel in the UK, as well as kids TV channel Jetix (where are Nickelodeon???). With ITV and five moving rapidly into the digital age, and Apple firmly in cahoots with Google, could this development lead to British TV content appearing on Apple TV when it arrives on these shores? Or at the very least, the ability to watch Google Video and Youtube on our TV screens through the Apple TV box? Click here for the full story.