Sunday, March 25, 2007
Apple TV: Why?
I'm as much of a gadget freak and Apple fanboy as anyone, but I don't understand why anybody would spend $300 on an Apple TV.
The iPod makes sense: you manage all your music and movies on a PC, then copy what you want to the iPod and take it with you. But the Apple TV isn't portable: it sits next to one's television set, presumably right next to your DVD player and DVD collection, your cable or satellite box, your video game console, and countless other sources of content that don't require long download times and aren't restricted by Apple's DRM.
I suppose it's convenient to be able to download movies and TV shows from the iTunes Music Store, but with Blockbuster, Netflix, and zillions of video stores, but why would anyone spend $15 to download a movie? I can get the same movies cheaper at the local Wal-Mart.
If the Apple TV could replace my TiVo, I'd buy one today. But it doesn't—it only holds stuff you can copy from your computer. I can envisage a future where all my video content comes over the Internet, in which case the Apple TV would serve the same purpose that my TiVo does today, but I think that future is a few years away.
Are there really that many people who currently have lots of video content stored on their computers? Or am I missing something about Apple TV's usefulness?
That's one piece of Apple hardware I'm just not terribly excited about.
For us hackers, it is pretty unimpressive, because we know how to do this if we want to.
If you are a typically iTunes junkie though, you likely use it because it works with a nerdy pre-requisite. Apple TV's appear is about the same. Plug it in, press the sync button, and you can run the thing from the remote.
I bought a 20 dollar part, and I can now do anything the AppleTV can do with my MacBook.
I smell a kayaking post coming up??
I'd like a way to view broadcast TV, Cable TV, and Playstation 2 on my 20-inch iMac screen.
The screen is big enough, but I have to keep a TV around to do these things.
The last time I looked at these kind of items they had a latency issues that precluded running my PS2 through one.
It looks like they fixed that problem, so I'm looking to buy one soon. (TODO: do they deliver to APO addresses??)