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Could YouTube Be the Killer-App for Apple's iTV? 111

Posted by Zonk
from the the-dnd-psas-in-the-living-room dept.
mrspin writes "With Macworld Expo just over a week away, many expect Apple CEO Steve Jobs to announce further details (and the availability) of the company's yet to be released set-top-box, codenamed iTV. Powered by something similar to Apple's Front Row media center software, the iTV is designed to get the media content that's housed on a Mac (music, movies, and photos), streamed to the living room television. However, with its built-in wireless networking (suspected to be the faster 802.11n), why not bypass the Mac and have the iTV connect directly to the Internet? The combination of iTunes and DRM-free MP3s provided the 'killer app' for the iPod. YouTube could well do the same for Apple's soon-to-be released set-top box."
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Could YouTube Be the Killer-App for Apple's iTV?

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  • No, but paid subscriptions to content delivered over the net is a contender... People are not going to sit down on their couch and watch Youtube for an hour or three... For many potential customers, pirated content downloaded from P2P networks is the real killer app for the iTV... just like it was for the iPod...
    • Youtube - no
      Online access/sharing of photo albums - yes
      Apple owned video sharing - possibly
    • by LKM (227954)

      People are not going to sit down on their couch and watch Youtube for an hour or three

      I do, and I know lots of people who do, too. Maybe you're just old :-)

      Seriously, I used to watch youtube in the morning and in the evening while eating. Since the Wii Browser, I just use that instead. When I'm eating, I want some kind of distraction that doesn't require too much thinking on my part. Youtube works perfectly. I know people who watch youtube intead of TV. They just hang in front of the computer all eveni

      • by WiseWeasel (92224)
        I meant normal people... : P

        Seriously, though, Youtube is great, and I watch videos there all the time, but it's always videos that are linked on other sites like Digg and such. The interface just isn't conducive to being a replacement for most people's TV-watching habits. You can't just turn on the Youtube and have something to watch for the next while; instead, you have to select every little bit of video you want to see. Typically, this means having to select something new every few minutes. Then, you ha
        • by LKM (227954)
          Typically, this means having to select something new every few minutes

          Yeah, but youtube always offers links to "related" videos, so I generally just click on whatever seems most interesting after a video has stopped playing. It's simple with the Wiimote. And a hypothetical iTV youtube feature would certainly make that easy using the Apple remote, too.

          But yeah, the quality is crap. Dunno if most people care too much. I don't.

        • This is a good point. I think that depending on what you want to watch, YouTube could be a viable source of media for the iTV, but the fact that it's uploaded by private individuals, and most of it is horribly low-quality could be the one thing that stops this idea dead in it's tracks. However, the same sort of problem could apply to private media using iTunes, the only difference being that iTunes would be more convenient then YouTube, as far as consecutive clips goes.
      • by iamhassi (659463)
        like parent said, Youtube works great on the Nintendo Wii [youtube.com].

        I think Apple should scrap the iTV and work out a partnership with Nintendo to have iTunes as a free download for the Wii.

        Think about it: the iTV and Wii are nearly identical. Both don't have hard drives (Wii has a SD slot though), both have built-in wifi, both have USB ports for additional devices, the Wii (and probably the iTV) is incredibly easy to navigate and use, and both are small white boxes. Hundreds of thousands (and soon, millions
  • by ATAMAH (578546) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @05:39AM (#17407712)
    "Why not bypass the Mac..." - because local area networking (even 802.11) is quite a bit faster than your average broadband line? Therefore the videos on a mac could be in high resolution/high quality ones, as opposed to stuff on youtube and such.
    • by ari wins (1016630)
      Wow, two posts in and this guy's opinion has been owned.
    • by LWATCDR (28044)
      You could store the video on any home NAS. You could also store them on a USB/Firewire Harddrive.
      No Mac or PC needed.
      I agree that Youtube as a source of video is... interesting at best but the idea of not needing a mac or pc for this device is very logical.
  • by macadamia_harold (947445) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @05:53AM (#17407740) Homepage
    The combination of iTunes and DRM-free MP3s provided the 'killer app' for the iPod. YouTube could well do the same for Apple's soon-to-be released set-top box.

    The killer app won't be YouTube, but a youtube-like service that actually hosts full-length episodes. For example, NBC puts up their own shows for viewing on their website, 24hrs after they air. Other networks are starting to do this as well. To aggregate this content into one place for consumption by iTV owners will be the trick. Throw in a dash of quasi-legal bittorrent downloads, and you've got a winner.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by slart42 (694765)
      [i]The killer app won't be YouTube, but a youtube-like service that actually hosts full-length episodes.[/i]

      You mean like www.alluc.org ? The question is of course how long it survives until they get sued..
    • You mean like www.alluc.org ? The question is of course how long it survives until they get sued..

      I was more referring to something like DailyMotion [dailymotion.com], but yeah, alluc.org could work too.
    • by Rocketship Underpant (804162) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @06:29AM (#17407890)
      I agree it won't be YouTube for a number of reasons. The quality and suitability of content are too variable; the social networking aspect that draws people to specific videos is missing without the computer side; YouTube video quality is awful; and YouTube's pipe is too slow (I can never play movies without pausing and caching, and I have 54 mb fibre, more than 10x the standard US broadband connection).

      The killer apps will be probably be nice Mac apps (like Xtorrent) that automate movie downloading and streaming, making things easy for the user.

      • Xtorrent may be a nice Mac app, but it's certainly no more elegant and Maclike than the application to which it owes its engine, Transmission. And unlike Xtorrent, Transmission isn't developed by a fuckwad without a cause [google.com].
      • by drsquare (530038)
        That's funny because I have 8MB and never have to pause, and I'm all the way over in England. I had a spell about a month back where it kept pausing, but since then it's been flawless.

        Now if only people would stop uploading the same videos over and over again... or uploading other people's clips, editing with some shitty song played over the top.
      • by drix (4602)
        You should check your connection. I have 768kb DSL, less than .5 times the standard US broadband connection, and YouTube has never lagged for me. Click-n-watch.
        • Interesting -- I wonder if you get served off a different server than I do? I'm overseas, but I can download files off my US-based Usenet server at 600 KB/sec. YouTube definitely has a bandwidth bottleneck problem whenever I visit.
    • by kjart (941720)

      The killer app won't be YouTube, but a youtube-like service that actually hosts full-length episodes. For example, NBC puts up their own shows for viewing on their website, 24hrs after they air. Other networks are starting to do this as well. To aggregate this content into one place for consumption by iTV owners will be the trick.

      I agree. I no longer watch TV live, I download the episodes at my leisure (torrents, etc) and watch them on my computer or TV via my Xbox 360. I'd love to have a central TV repos

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jacksonj04 (800021)
      Would it not be easier to just expand the content available in iTunes (More TV, and please include the UK as well) and make iTV talk to that instead of a whole new system? The infrastructure is there, and having an always on Mac downloading the latest episodes independently of the iTV will make streaming over a network much faster.

      My money is on Apple to become the first company to get the hang of housewide media networks. All they need is for the media producers to realise that they have potential access t
    • by BMonger (68213)
      Why not preloaded like Steam does with games, only to unlock at the appropriate time in your time zone so you can watch it with people that have cable? That's where this should (and probably is) headed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jellomizer (103300) *
      Well I don't see watching YouTube stuff on TV. iTune TV Shows and the such are designed for TV. You sit down and watch. You Tube requires you to search select watch for a couple of minutes and switch to an other one. TV is not designed to be interactive. That is why they are 50" screens sitting at the other end of your room with speakers all around you (Ideal situation) It is ment for your to sit in your most comfortable chair or couch and just sit and relax for 1/2 hour. YouTube is designed for small sc
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      Sorry but the stuff on Youtube is far better than the censored trash on NBC. More creative too. If NBC did put up mpegs of all their shows, I still would fast forward most of it. I think we need a Rhapsody-like service for movies. $29.99, unlimited movies streamed over network with Dolby 5.1. I'll be first subscriber in line. I don't want to own anything, I have no room. Just want to watch everything "once".

    • by FFFish (7567)
      Apple + Google's dark fiber net + Bittorrent = killer entertainment app.
  • The internet browser for the Wii is fantastic. Been watching YT on TV a lot more then I watch TV now.
    • Really? Without the tabbed browsing hack [blogspot.com] I'm not a fan of the Wii browsing experience. YouTube and Wii-targetted flash games are the only real reason to use it - anything else is clunky and awkward.

      • Depends a lot on what sites you visit. Sure I would prefer tabs, I'd also prefer smaller buttons at the bottom of the screen but for the moment the browser is in Beta.
    • by Br'fin (170009)
      Heh. Youtube was one of the first things we ended up doing with the Wii browser. Nice to sit back and watch and browse the videos and the Wii plays them back quite well. I do happen to kvetch that of all places, wii.ign.com's videos do not work currently under the Wii browser (They need a later version of the flash plugin)

      Certainly helpful since my love wanted to watch the videos, but her own computer was a bit antiquated to be up to date on all plug-ins and have the necessary horsepower.

      Wii browsing can be
    • Been watching YT on TV a lot more then I watch TV now.


        As long as you watch TV after YouTube...

  • Why buy one? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Deag (250823) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @06:15AM (#17407822)
    From my / slashdot reader's perspective, not general consumers: It would have to be kinda cheap wouldn't it? I mean all the new consoles have some sort of ability to do this as far as I know. Some involves a bit of configuration on the pc but it works (programs like tversity are getting better at streaming anything you want to your console, youtube included). So if a wii is 250 and an xbox 360 is 350, this itv thing better be under 100 before it would be viable to this audience.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by slide-rule (153968)
      Except that the one thing we've finally established is that the slashdot demographic, taken as an average, exists completely outside of any commercially oriented target market. No reason Apple (or anyone) should even bother reading our comments for their own research purposes. As for the iTV thing: last we really heard back in the Fall developer conference (?) was that it will be $299. Personally, I think its great: nice concept, nice form factor / styling, and all the usual Apple QA being done. I have alre
  • iTV? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by evilbessie (873633)
    I don't somehow think it will be called iTV as in the UK this is used by "Independant Television". So another branding using this name for a television service would probably not be allowed or cause confusion with consumers.
    • by rucs_hack (784150)
      After the problem with Apple Records, surely they must have looked into this. I

      It's an abbreviation of the full title though, so possibly they can get away with it. Having the 'i' in lower case would also place the product in their 'i' line up, distinguishing it from ITV visually.

      Sounds a stupid name to use all the same, do they never learn?
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by dotbenjamin (1034650)

        Whether they can legally use the name isn't really the point.

        In the UK, ITV is channel 3 in most places. It's one of the most popular free channels, and has been around for over half a century. In our television-obsessed nation, no Apple product is gonna usurp the abbreviation iTV in our collective consiousness.

        Calling a set top box iTV is like bringing out a new digital radio receiver box and calling it the bBC.

        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          It's a code name, as the article points out. It won't be released as iTV.
        • by Tony Hoyle (11698)
          It's probably a protected name in the US too - ITV do export home grown shows around the world.. all TV stations do.

          It's the same problem apple has with the iPhone. Great name on paper, but somebody got there first.

          • by Tony Hoyle (11698)
            Actually thinking about it they may not bother marketing it in europe at all anyway.

            ipod video has been basically killed here due to the non-availability of video for download, presumably because apple couldn't get the rights. It's marketed as a larger ipod, but of everyone I know that's got an ipod in the last few months they've gone for the cheaper version because video on its own is a bit pointless (not to mention video mobile phones are freely available and much cheaper).

            xbox 360 in the US apparently h
            • by iroll (717924)
              wtf are you talking about?

              ipod video has been basically killed here due to the non-availability of video for download, presumably because apple couldn't get the rights.

              There has never been any such thing as an "ipod video." Apple never marketed any such product, so I think "killed" is a little presumptuous. In fact, "ipod video" is just blathering blogspeak. It started before video was available when people thought that the "ipod video" would be some kind of PSP sized crap box for dedicated video viewing. It was never meant to be that way.

              It's marketed as a larger ipod,

              Yeah, see what they did is they added video playback to the (near) original form-factor iPod, which has

        • Free? No it isn't. You still need to pay the BBC for your TV license, even if you just want to watch ITV/Channel 4/5.
    • The bigger problem, from a trademark perspective, is that there is already a device called an eyeTV made by Elgato for streaming video from a Mac to a TV.

      The name 'iTV,' however, is only a pre-release name. It is expected to change before it ships.

    • by oohshiny (998054)
      As if Apple ever cared about other people's trademarks or designation. "Apple" itself had a predictable conflict. "Dashboard" conflicts with Gnome. Etc.
      • by Tony Hoyle (11698)
        Apple wasn't a conflict until Apple computers went into music distribution. Dashboard isn't a trademark, only a product name (Techically Gnome could be sued because Apple now have the trademark on that, even though Gnome was first).
        • by oohshiny (998054)
          Dashboard isn't a trademark, only a product name (Techically Gnome could be sued because Apple now have the trademark on that, even though Gnome was first).

          Yes: Apple has a choice in the naming of their products, and they choose names that conflict with existing usage. Of course, it's more likely ignorance and stupidity on Apple's part, rather than deliberate strategy, given that they have gotten burned by it before (cf Rendezvous/Bonjour).

          And, technically, Apple should get their butt kicked if they try t
    • Steve Jobs said, back in the Fall when he teased us with the box, that "itv" was just an in-house product code name. An official for-market name is likely forthcoming -- note that, iLife suite notwithstanding, Apple seems to be slowly moving away from the "i*" naming convention.
    • by iroll (717924)
      I somehow don't think it will be called iTV in the USA, because Jobs said that was just an internal project name and that it would be called something else at release.
  • PS3 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by News for nerds (448130) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @06:17AM (#17407836) Homepage
    Why buy this Apple set-top box when another set-top box called PS3 can happily browse YouTube on its web browser?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by paniq (833972)
      So can the Wii, just tried it.
      • by rmccann (792082)
        Correct. And the PS3 isn't even out yet*. * Remember not everyone lives in North America
        • by iroll (717924)
          I was going to make a joke about how the PS3 can barely be said to be "out" in North America, but then I was at Target yesterday and they had PS3s but no Wiis... so I guess the joke is "And the Wii isn't even out yet..."
    • by llamaxing (895844)
      why buy it, you ask? because you can afford it!
    • To each their own. If you buy a PS3 and like it, great. But in counterpoint, why spend over $600 on a PS3 when I have a PS2 (and a huge library of games available I haven't played yet), a TV that won't benefit from blu-ray (etc) anyhow, and otherwise have a library of photos, music, and a mildly growing collection of home/kid movies already on my Mac in the various iLife titles -- will the PS3 stream this stuff to my TV? That's basically the reason the ~ $300 iTV box exists ... get your in-Mac media librar
    • I have this thing called a "compute-er" with "aych tee pee see" software called MythTV that can browse YouTube in several different "web browsers." It can also record TV, let me know what will be playing on TV later that day, play tons of old console games (as well as some new games), rip and play DVDs, rip and play CDs, and even tell me the weather (for god's sake, it KNOWs the weather!).

      Why would I need a "PS3" "console gaming system"?

      Because it is a novelty item. It never claims to be the be-all and

      • by DarthBart (640519)
        Because I have better things to do with my time than dick around with finding hardware that MythTV plays well with, then getting a "distro" installed, then screwing around getting it all set up. Sure, if I was a single geek who lived in mommy's basement I could give it a go. However, like most of the people who would buy one of these, I have a full time job, a full time family, and a full time household to contend with.
    • by Xymor (943922)
      Even better:

      1- install azureus in ps3's linux, your distro of choice;
      2- install rss feed scanner;
      3- select your favorite shows;
      4- ...;
      5- Watch them when ver you want;

      It's like TiVO, but better, it's DRM free and supports any pirated tv show, movie or whatever.
      That's something I'd pay for, even when I'm already doing for free.
    • Because it's cheaper (nudge nudge wink wink)
    • Why buy the overpriced PS3 when you can softmod an original Xbox to do the same and more using XBMC for under £50? I've been watching streaming content from the net directly on my TV, along with playing DivX (and prety much all known audio/video formats) from a SMB share for well over a year now. This is not big new and exciting, this is just the way that entertinment is consumed now. This story would have been exciting a year ago, but now it just shows how far behind apple and the rest really are.
  • Powered by something similar to Apple's Front Row media center software, the iTV is designed to get the media content that's housed on a Mac (music, movies, and photos), streamed to the living room television.

    Why the excitement? Ignoring all HTPC's completely (which can do the above and more), the Xbox 360 can do the above with a Windows box with ease (especially with Vista).

    However, with its built-in wireless networking (suspected to be the faster 802.11n)

    What is this based on? Apple sitting on a wir

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I think 802.11n is suspected because a number of Macs have shipped with 802.11n chipsets - currently not enabled.

      I'm not saying that it's proof, but it is an interesting decision by Apple.
      • by kjart (941720)

        I think 802.11n is suspected because a number of Macs have shipped with 802.11n chipsets - currently not enabled.

        D'oh! I misread that - I read 'faster than 802.11n'; my mistake. I clearly need some sleep :)

    • Why the excitement? Ignoring all HTPC's completely (which can do the above and more)

      I dispute that the HTPC "can" do anything; my experience with it is that it works for a few months and then things gradually stop working. I eventually erased mine completely and it's running Linux now. My home is Windows-free now, except for the rare occasion when I boot into Windows for playing some particular game.

      the Xbox 360 can do the above with a Windows box with ease (especially with Vista).

      Xbox 360 is itself a rip
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Tony Hoyle (11698)
        If Apple can come up with a box that (a) can control external boxes, (b) has an EPG equivalent in functionality to Tivo, and (c) has HD capture via component it'll clean up (especially in this country where Tivo died in 2002 and we were left with the crappy DVR wannabe Sky+).

        The third one is the killer. No MCE box currently available will do that.

  • by rindeee (530084) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @06:28AM (#17407880)
    I don't get it. So you can watch crap quality videos of other people or ripped content. How is this at all appealing for a set-top box? Give me DVD quality full length movies and TV shows on demand. That's something worth having. So far as I'm concerned, a Mac Mini with a fat external hard-drive, Hand Brake installed and the FrontRow remote is the set top box for me. If I want to watch some retarded YouTube content, I'll grab the wireless keyboard, open firefox and watch it.
    • My girlfriend is a reality tv nut. And while I do prefer to watch my HD torrents on my 32"TV with screen spanning and VLC, she's perfectly happy watching YouTube episodes in the Wii Internet Channel.
  • DRM-Free? (Score:2, Funny)

    by halex-ab (1045040)

    The combination of iTunes and DRM-free MP3s provided the 'killer app' for the iPod.
    Since when was iTunes legally providing DRM-free music?
    • Since never. Lying makes the argument that the article puts forward more convincing though, doesn't it?
      • Article might not be worded the best way, but is not lying. An iPod can play stuff from iTMS : check. An iPod can play non-DRMed MP3 files that I rip from my own CDs : check. OP is entirely correct. My own iPod has a mixture of both. If you insist on think the OP was saying just one thing, you'd first have to observe that iTMS sells AAC files, not MP3 files. Stop feeding the FUD machine.
    • 'iTunes' and 'DRM-free MP3s' are separate concepts in the sentence. As are 'YouTube' and 'paid for downloads' in the prediction for the iTV.
    • Re:DRM-Free? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by oohshiny (998054) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @09:12AM (#17408446)
      Since when was iTunes legally providing DRM-free music?

      The iTunes store isn't, but the iTunes software is: when you rip your CDs. All the music I have is DRM free, and it's all music that I paid for.
  • by Peter Bonte (919202) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @06:46AM (#17407950)
    All YouTube clips get downgraded to the familiar size and quality we know now but they keep the original content on servers unused, same for Google's movies and other sites. Streaming them in high quality to the iTV would make the big difference, it all depends how well they can handle the enormous data transfers.
    • by kjart (941720)

      All YouTube clips get downgraded to the familiar size and quality we know now but they keep the original content on servers unused, same for Google's movies and other sites. Streaming them in high quality to the iTV would make the big difference, it all depends how well they can handle the enormous data transfers.

      Is there some reason why Youtube (for example) would make this higher quality content available via iTV when it's not available through any other method?

      • Google and Apple are good friends now, there are many options i think. Google advertising specially tailored for a TV audience (a new market), a cut on each iTV, content providers paying for a top spot on the main page. Or a combination but a monthly fee won't work, it has to be something 'free'.
      • The next revolution in TV is probably going to be user generated content, think of different TV channels for different genres or big sites like Google and Youtube having there own channels with daily shows. Think of worldwide broadcasting, worldwide advertising, user generated content, a new way of watching TV. In short, a revolution in TV land.
  • The combination of iTunes and DRM-free MP3s provided the 'killer app' for the iPod.
    Ether the submitter is ignoring that there is DRM on Itunes music and thus lying or doesn't know. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FairPlay [wikipedia.org] for those who may not know.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by LordVader717 (888547)
      No, the point is that the iPod can play DRM-free music, wheras the Sony alternatives, at least at the time, couldn't. (The software slapped DRM all over your files as soon as you imported them).
    • As has already been pointed out to another commenter: the ability to play DRMed iTunes files and the ability to play non-DRMed MP3 files are separate concepts. The article might have worded this better, granted.
      • '' As has already been pointed out to another commenter: the ability to play DRMed iTunes files and the ability to play non-DRMed MP3 files are separate concepts. The article might have worded this better, granted. ''

        Just wanted to mention non-DRMed AAC files, which probably keep many people away from any player that doesn't play AAC.

        Somehow, nobody making portable music players dared putting AAC capability in their player, probably to avoid upsetting Microsoft (I'd love to be corrected if I am wrong). And
        • by PenGun (794213)
          I'm waiting for a player that will do .flac. Why it's a problem to do this is DRM. Still anyone who makes one will get my business.
    • by warrigal (780670)
      I think you have iTunes and the iTunes Music Store confused in your mind.
      The music I load on my iPod from iTunes (from cds and other sources)
      carries no DRM. Never used the iTunes Music Store.
  • XBMC has this (Score:4, Informative)

    by lthown (737539) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @07:05AM (#17408004)
    The last few builds of Xbox Media Center have included a add-on script for Youtube watching (that's where I first saw the "Pachelbel Rant"), not to mention the Launch.com one for music video watching. Incidentally, have you noticed that "pre-owned" Xbox1s are down to $99. So we're talking no DRM, expandability and you can get the hardware for just under $100.
    • I love being able to playback avis whether off the local Xbox hard drive or via streaming off a SMB share on a computer. I've been considering buying another Xbox before they disappear just to have a backup unit.
  • As great as YouTube is, I wouldn't want to sit down in the living room and watch it like normal TV. Maybe it works for people with a 5 minute attention span but it doesn't really offer movies or TV shows.
  • by evilgrug (915703) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @07:35AM (#17408136)
    I've watched a fair amount of YouTube content via my TV (both with the Wii's internet browser and the Xbox's XBMC) and it really is nothing more than a gimmick. In its current state (low resolution and bitrate, 10 minute length restriction), YouTube is only really suited for PC use, ie "check out this video" links being passed via forums and IMs.

    No one is seriously going to sit down in front of their TV and "watch YouTube", and it's hardly going to convince owners to buy a $250 device. Apple's store, on the other hand, if they actually managed to secure content from studios other than Disney, is another story.
  • ...by the Nintentdo Wii. Download the internet channel preview and voila! YouTube in your living room. And I assure you that worldwide, there'll probably be more Wii's sat by TVs than Apple iTV boxes.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by natd (723818)
      By your argument there was no market for the Airport Express or similar.

      The iTV, to me, is worth putting beside my Wii, my Neuston (and quite possible PS3 once they come down in price in AU) simply because it promises to be a seamless consumer experience. Well integrated to both your local library and an online source (in this case we're speculating YouTube), which anyone can use much like they can use the cable and DVD boxes to watch stuff.

      I've had a http://www.neuston.com/en/mc500.php [neuston.com] Neuston for abou

  • I hooked up my Wii with the browser into the Internets, and showed my wife - look, we can get YouTube on here!

    Meh. As a non-geek, she couldn't care less - and I think that's most people. Youtube is useful for "Hey, Bob - did you see this video?" And maybe if there's a series you like (like Chad Vader or the shaving series by Mantis I like) - but typically, Youtube is a great idea, but I don't see the casual person sitting there going "Oh - look, I can surf Youtube!"

    The two killer apps as I see it:

    1. See
    • '' 2. Any show, any time - with commercials. I wouldn't mind commercials on shows if I could pick whatever show I wanted, whenever I wanted - even if I couldn't skip them (or, if they forced a few at the beginning/middle or something like that). Then, if I want to watch "Veronica Mars", I just go right to the episode. No worried about my schedule - I just watch it. ''

      Actually, that's an excellent idea. For everyone who doesn't know it yet: You pay for TV by watching the advertisements. That's why TV compani
  • Youtube video looks bad enough as a 2 inch square on my laptop display. Scale that up to my 50 inch HDTV, and it will be complete garbage. But, maybe now that they are in Google, they have the resources to allow storage and transfer of HD video.

    If so, then the second quality issue comes into play, the quality of the content. I personally find the vast majority of internet video to be worthless. But, with the seeming success of YouTube, and all the video links that end up on Digg, I guess many others
  • As long as you can can install a WoW addon to the iTV so you can play through your TV simple and sweet. Now that would make me purchase one.
  • The Venice Project will be the competitor to iTV andas a Beta tester the UI is PVR like so you can see the direction is to get TVP on Set top boxes maybe with a remote and a wireless keybaord.
  • by trimbo (127919) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @02:20PM (#17410812) Homepage
    Why would I want to spend $2000 on an HDTV, another $500-$1K or whatever iTV will cost, to watch crappy Flash Video? The novelty will wear off when the new season of "24" starts.

    The killer app for any of these set top boxes is well compressed HD programming on demand. Right now on Xbox Live, HD movies run about 6 GB, which takes a long time to download at 1.5 Mbs or even a cable modem's top speed of 8 Mbs.

    Comcast, on the other hand, has the bandwidth and set-top boxes to deliver HD on demand right now. I'm not sure how Apple is going to compete against this unless they have some awesome new codec to do it. Comcast has already rendered the Tivo Series 3 POA (Pointless On Arrival). Comcast's HD DVR solution, while crappy, is $10 a month; the HD Tivo is $800 plus another $20 a month for dual CableCards and can't do on demand HD at any point. When I click on an HD movie using Comcast's On Demand, it plays within a second or two. I'm just don't see Apple--or Microsoft, or Tivo or anyone--competing in the face of this bandwidth juggarnaut, even if their equipment is superficially nicer to use.
  • Been done. (Score:3, Informative)

    by goldcd (587052) on Saturday December 30, 2006 @03:02PM (#17411158) Homepage
    I have an old Xbox with Xbox Media Centre - and I can play all the YouTube stuff I want on my TV.
    As a person able to do this I can tell you:
    a) You don't want to sit on your couch f'in about with millions of crappy little clips.
    b) The crappy little clips look REALLY crappy on a big TV.

    Proper IPTV is here and will only grow. Multicast handles all the broadcast stuff, what we need is a P2P addon that'll handle the OnDemand stuff (I don't just mean conventional PayPerView, I mean providerless YouTube style stuff) and I want a nice Open front end that'll let me view all this on anything (and if MS will support it in MCE2, then I'll buy MCE2)
    • by nblender (741424)
      What you want is already mostly there, albeit illegally. Private torrent networks coupled with an RSS plugin for Azureus running on my mythbackend, automatically dropping files into my videos folder... Newest episodes of stuff just appear for me.

      The technology is there, the networks just have to figure out that people will pay to have this and companies like Apple just have to figure out how to package it so you can plug and view. If someone writes a DAAP plugin for MythTV, then I'm all over that itv th

  • I like the prospect of an "iTV" I would like to see a 30" iMac with the following: a) a pair of hot swappable raided hard drives that slide in from the bottom, b) a built in international HDTV tuner, two perhaps? c) full featured 1080p capability with a BlurRay/HD DVD player, d) suitable ports to connect the iMac to and from my stereo system. e) the ability for the iMac to function as a full blown DVR/TiVo/Media Center etc... f) all that tied into all that iTunes goodness. Mahkno

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