Anyone else excited for the new Apple TV?

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kornchild2002

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I know Apple's media event earlier this week was pretty much just about the iPad 3 (I know that isn't the official name but I don't care). I was initially anxious for new iPad 3 news but I don't really think it offers that much of an upgrade for current iPad 2 owners. Yes, the display looks nice and the camera needed a boost but the SoC is still the same A5 chip just with two added graphical cores (it is still a dual-core CPU).

Anyway, I was excited to hear about the Apple TV update. It will be using only a single-core A5 SoC but Apple finally gave it 1080p output and a menu that is a lot better than the previous version (I updated my Apple TV almost instantly after the keynote). Am I the only one excited that Apple gave some attention to their little "hobby" device and upgraded it to match other devices by adding 1080p support?

Now my only issue is that there aren't nearly enough apps for it. Netflix is nice but Apple really needs to put Hulu Plus and HBO Go on there. The additions of those two apps (I would be fine with still only 720p Hulu Plus and Netflix support, I think HBO Go is max 480p) along with 1080p streaming from the iTunes Store and 1080p capabilities from my iPad 2 (along with the iPhone 4S and iPad 3) really make it a nice upgrade.
 

bwh79

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Is this a software update to the current Apple TV 2, or is there a version 3 coming out? I just bought an ATV2 a few weeks ago, so I'd be sad if there's a brand-new one coming out right away...
 

dknowle

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Sorry not at all excited about the Apple TV. Once they add native App support, I'll get one for sure.

The only feature of interest to me would Air Play, but that 1 feature isn't quite enough for me to buy one.

Add native App support and ship with touch pad rf remote and you've got a descent gaming console. Sort of boggles my mind that Apple has still not done this.
 

Sparkee

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Is this a software update to the current Apple TV 2, or is there a version 3 coming out? I just bought an ATV2 a few weeks ago, so I'd be sad if there's a brand-new one coming out right away...
There is a software update for the ATV2. The ATV 2 will still only support 720p where the ATV 3 has a processor upgrade and will support 1080p.

My tv only has a 720p screen so updating to a ATV 3 will do me no good. It probably wouldn't make a big difference anyways as I only have a 40" TV, the difference between 720p and 1080p at this size of TV is not that noticeable. File sizes will also be much larger for a 1080p video. If you have a marginal internet connection already it will take longer for rentals to download. We'll have to wait to see the quality of the videos available on the ATV whether the upgrade will be worth it. Even though the 720p video supplied by Apple looks good on my TV you can still tell it is not the best of quality since it is compressed so much. As for other online services, new and old, I would suspect they will stick more to 720p or highly compress 1080p for bandwidth constraints to lessen drop outs and buffering. So for now I won't be running out to buy an ATV 3.
 

jackmarting

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Well I am not very must interested in new Apple TV but reviews are good for it and it is good to use it.
 

kornchild2002

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Add native App support and ship with touch pad rf remote and you've got a descent gaming console. Sort of boggles my mind that Apple has still not done this.
Although I would like to see more app support (not necessarily for every app but many of the media ones), the addition of a touchpad controller would drastically increase the price of the Apple TV and put it way beyond the $99 price point and put it up towards game console prices. Additionally, Apple would have to increase the hardware power in the Apple TV if they want to even compete with the Wii.

Either way, I just don't see that happening (or even being a remote possibility) as it would turn the Apple TV into a completely different device and take out it of its current price point. The Apple TV 2's saving grace was the $100 price. Earlier Apple TV models were nice but they were also extremely expensive. By taking out internal storage, component output, and analog audio output (along with adopting ARM SoC's instead of Intel hardware), Apple was able to make a $100 hockey puck that has enough features to entice some consumers and be at a price level that is not much of a gamble.

For me, I am mainly interested in the addition of 1080p video. I am glad that Apple finally added 1080p video support so that I can now sync some of my 1080p content (mainly from my digital camera) to my iPad 2 and watch it wirelessly on my HDTV. It is only 47" but I sit close enough to distinguish between 720p and 1080p content.

It will also come in handy whenever I purchase my next iPhone and iPad (likely the iPhone 5 and iPad 4) so that they will be able to stream video content to my HDTV through the Apple TV without downscaling.

The firmware update was greatly needed and I think it is an improvement but the main thing that has me salivating is the addition of true 1080p output (instead of just 1080i/p menu output).
 

dknowle

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I don't think a touchpad controller would drastically increase the cost (talking touch pad only - no display).

Better hardware would increase the price drastically. But then Apple could offer different models at different price points. Or create a completely new product line. It would be very easy for Apple to step into the console type gaming market and I think they are missing out on a lot of extra revenue.
 

kornchild2002

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Apple already tried the console gaming market and flopped. Given the extreme success that both MS and Nintendo have experienced, Apple would have a steep hill to climb. This isn't like the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad going up against the Nintendo DS and PSP (which had sold a lot but mainly to kids and gamers, not the everyday person). An Apple home console would be a product for gamers, not Joe Public. That right there puts them at a big disadvantage and they would have to compete with what will be coming out next year.

Either way, I just don't see it happening or how it would even increase the value of the Apple TV other than adding new features just for the sake of adding new features. An external trackpad would cost an additional $69 (just pulling the price from Apple's Magic Trackpad) almost doubling the price of the current Apple TV putting it in Xbox 360 and PS3 territory.

I do think that Apple could support more apps but I don't see a need for it to become some type of half-assed gaming console when there are already plenty of dedicated gaming consoles that have well established markets and consumers.
 

dknowle

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I don't think my point came across right. I'm not saying Apple should make a dedicated game console, they should just open up the Apple TV to natively support Apps (which includes games). This is something that would very much appeal to the average Joe, not dedicated gamers. So they would not have to compete with current consoles.

Apple has already started down this path with Air Play. They just need to take it a step further. And mark my words, they will. I'm just surprised it hasn't happened yet. The single core A5 in the Apple TV can handle any of the games currently available in the App store, but ram and storage fall a little short for games like Infinity Blade. But it is currently perfectly capable hardware-wise to run most Apps (for instance, Angry Birds). This is where they can have different models at different price points. A trackpad controller could be sold as a separate accessory as the Apple TV remote app could be programmed to function as the controller for any games/apps.
 

kornchild2002

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I don't agree. I think some games might be nice especially if they properly adopted them for the IR remote but I just don't see the point in using a touchpad with an Apple TV that would cost almost as much as the unit itself just to play iOS games (which tend to be simpler than traditional console titles). I think Apple should add more apps that focus on media (Hulu Plus, HBO Go, etc.) and maybe games that they could get away with but I don't see a need to complicate the matter by adding support for games that would require at least a touchpad. Save those for the iPad, iPod touch, and iPhone.
 

dknowle

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They could easily price a controller in the $20-$40 price range ( typical for game controllers). No where near the price of the ATV.
 

kornchild2002

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Which is my main argument. Microsoft may put an MSRP of $30 on a wireless controller for their Xbox 360 but this is Apple. If they were to implement some wireless trackpad for the Apple TV, it wouldn't just be a piece of plastic with a AAA popped in there. Apple would follow the design they used for the Magic Trackpad but modify it (so that it can be clicked without setting it on a hard surface) meaning it would be aluminum and have a glass surface. The Magic Trackpad is $70 therefore any wireless trackpad that Apple would release for this hypothetical Apple TV model that keeps popping up would likely be around the same price.

As previously pointed out, the standard IR remote is $20 and there isn't anything special about it. Why would Apple release something that is more complex with more technology for around the same price? They won't. Hence why I keep saying that adding a wireless trackpad would drastically increase the costs of owning an Apple TV and experiencing all the apps. Sure, adopt apps if you can for use with the IR remote (which mainly limits it to media apps like Hulu, HBO Go, Pandora, etc.). However, forget about more complicated app support (Dead Space comes to mind) as that would require a touchpad. You can also forget about office app compatibilites as that would require an external keyboard for text input and we all know how much Apple charges for their current bluetooth wireless keyboard ($70).

All-in-all, if you were to open up the Apple TV to have the same app capabilities as the iPad, iPod touch, or iPhone, it would be a costly venture. $100 for the Apple TV, $70 for the trackpad, and another $70 for a wireless keyboard. You are looking at $240 in all, the same price as an 8GB 4G iPod touch. Not only that but Apple would have to increase the storage capacity of the Apple TV thus further increasing its price.

So, I think I have made my point very clear about why Apple likely won't move the Apple TV beyond what it currently is: a streaming media device. Adding support for more complex apps would require the purchase of additional accessories and put the Apple TV out of its current comfortable price range. After all, Apple didn't start to really push out Apple TV's until they dropped the price to $100. Prior to that, it was an extremely niche product that many people didn't want to buy as it was too expensive (up around $200).
 

hamz9561

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Can't an iPhone or iPod Touch or iPad be used as a touch screen remote for the newer AppleTV? I know the 1st gen version supported the app.

Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk
 

kornchild2002

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Yes, the Remote app allows iOS devices to run the Apple TV (even the 2010 and 2012 models). It has the same basic functionality as the IR remote that comes with the Apple TV.
 

dknowle

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I see these arguments that Apple wouldn't do anything cheap, but isn't that exactly what they did with the Apple TV?

Forget about the controller for a moment (this would just be necessary to run Apps if you didn't own an iDevice). Today, with an update to ios for Apple TV and the Remote app, you could be controlling apps running directly on the ATV using your iPhone, iPad, or iPod. This has been done already with the previous ATV via jailbreaking.

The demand for such a device is there. The hardware is there. It's only a matter of time before Apple takes this on. I assure you, Apple will find a way to make money on it.
 

kornchild2002

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Not really. They took out support for analog audio and video along with having built-in storage turning the Apple TV into a streaming device (which is primarily what people were using their expensive previous gen Apple TVs for anyway). They also added HDMI and now have 1080p support and streaming from an iPad 2/iPad 3, computer, or iTunes Store. Apple was able to decrease the cost by taking those older aspects out along with focusing on ARM architecture (which is a move everyone seems to be doing and shying away from Intel, even Google TV is making the switch to ARM over Intel).

In order to add more app support, Apple would have to increase the amount of storage on an Apple TV. There is already 8GB for buffer space but that would have to increase to at least 16GB for app storage but they would likely offer different capacities (just like with the old Apple TV). iCloud isn't up to the point yet where you can access apps live without any delay. Now, if Apple could figure that out, the Apple TV's capacity wouldn't need to be upgraded.

Additionally, the Remote app for the Apple TV is just a simple remote. I don't really see how that means a market is there for a more complex setup but whatever. Essentially more complex apps are supposed to be consumed on the iPad or iPhone and the Apple TV can act as a larger display (essentially wireless HDMI out). There are some games that link the Apple TV and an iDevice so that the Apple TV supplements the iDevice by offering a different view. Those games represent an extremely small niche. That was a big feature when the iPad 2 came out but it has kind of fizzled so I really don't think the market for that is as large as you are implying. Even Roku isn't having that much luck and their devices come with Angry Birds and offer a few other choices.

My point is that these small set top boxes are great for media consumption but still can't compete with even an iPod touch when it comes to gaming mainly because most games are developed around a more complex controller input or for touch input and that is best experienced when you can actually see what you are touching. Games that take advantage of the Apple TV and use it to augment what's happening are few and far between while having little success.
 

Johnny Depp

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Can't an iPhone or iPod Touch or iPad be used as a touch screen remote for the newer AppleTV? I know the 1st gen version supported the app.
 
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