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Third-Generation Apple TV Lands With a Thud 222

Posted by timothy
from the that-dog's-not-so-shaggy dept.
DeviceGuru writes "Although generally overshadowed by the iPad 3 debut, Apple also introduced the third incarnation of its Apple TV streaming media players this week. Sporting a revamped icon-based UI, the third-generation Apple TV doesn't add much to its predecessor beyond a truly-HD 1080p video output mode. Although Apple TV is still not supported by an Apple Apps Store plug-in apps ecosystem, its new UI (available as a free update for 2nd-generation Apple TVs) does seem to imply that this capability is coming soon. Meanwhile, Roku is gearing up for a $50M IPO, so this cord-cutting story is far from over."
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Third-Generation Apple TV Lands With a Thud

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  • Dear Apple... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10, 2012 @05:35AM (#39310387)

    Give it an app store so I can have Plex just like on my iPhone and iPad.

    I promise to buy like 3 of them minimum.

    • Exactly! Agree completely. That's the only reason I won't buy it and get rid of my HTPC

    • I already bought one, although if it had an app store, I would buy another one immediately. I wish it also had Amazon Prime, and Hulu support, but that's obviously out of the question.

    • by Wild_dog! (98536)

      You can put plex on the apple TV since 2010 or something.
      Also check out:
      http://firecore.com/atvflash-black [firecore.com]

      I plan on buying an Apple TV this weekend.
      It finally has 1080P which is what I have been waiting for as have a lot of other people.
      The only thud is the thud of my cash in apples coffers. ;-}

    • by tooyoung (853621)
      You do realize that you can mirror your iPad to your AppleTV and use any app that you want.
      • by jedidiah (1196)

        ...at which point you might as well just spend the $600 grand total on a Mac Mini instead. It's kind of sad to tie up another more expensive device just so you can have yet another one do the actual decoding. That's a 3 device chain because the iPad can't cut it either.

        Nevermind the sad excuses. Just get something that is capable of doing the job. Plus you will be able to install any "app" or use any web based service (no Google lockout).

        Just jailbreaking the ATV is a remarkably less pathetic option. Then y

    • by mmarlett (520340)

      It's available. You just have to jailbreak it.
      http://wiki.plexapp.com/index.php/PlexNine_Client_ATV [plexapp.com]

  • by Hadlock (143607) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @05:36AM (#39310389) Homepage Journal

    It seems like all the headlines since CmdrTaco left have been really negative, misleading headlines. Do negative headlines really bring in that much more traffic? I stopped reading boing boing because of their terrible headlines, and it looks like Slashdot is headed down that route too.
     
    I used to come here for my daily dose of news and interesting topics, now all the headlines are used to cast doubt on company's futures, failed products and missed deadlines.
     
    I don't mind hearing about "Your Rights Online" and the negative aspects of SOPA, etc, but it's gotten to the point where slashdot is no longer that shining beacon of interesting, exciting NEWs. Why would you spin a minor product improvement (720p->1080p) as a negative headline? What do your readers get out of it? Does it really improve traffic that much? Slashdot goes from being interesting and standing out as a good source of news, to just another "me too" BoingBoing style blog. Please don't do that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by robably (1044462)
      But it's the readers who supply the stories and write the headlines - if you think there's a bias and want to see a change then start submitting stories with cheerier headlines.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Thorhs (794130)
        It doesn't matter how many positive articles get submitted if the editors never accept them, now does it?
        • by robably (1044462) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @09:10AM (#39310949) Journal
          Wait until you've actually tried to make a change before damning the editors for something they might not be doing, though. Again, it's the readers who influence which stories get published by voting them up or down on the firehose. If you want to see a change, start there.
          • by phayes (202222) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @10:45AM (#39311373) Homepage

            I agree with Hadlock. The editors are choosing the articles with negative spin more often. The same subject is often submitted multiple times by different people with different slants, yet the editors are picking out the negative articles more often than the positive ones even when the positive ones come out first.

            • by robably (1044462)
              Although of course what we want is no spin at all, positive or negative. Just report the facts. One step in the right direction would be for the submission form to say something like "Submissions which put a spin on the facts will be rejected." and for the editors to enforce it.
      • by afabbro (33948)
        Editors don't change headlines here? I guess you've never had an accepted submission.
        • by robably (1044462)
          I had an accepted submission three days ago. Nothing was changed. Firehose submission [slashdot.org], Posted story [slashdot.org].

          If editors are changing stories or headlines to give them a negative spin it will be simple to prove: just link to a firehose submission and the accepted story where it occurred.
    • by Sepultura (150245) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @06:22AM (#39310533)

      It's an attempt at appealing to the smug, baseless superiority that everyone seems to want to get in on these days. And it's not all negative - stories about things that are "in" with the crowd but that others don't understand/get, like the Raspberry Pi, are being fawned over.

      This attitude, then, leads to 2 basic themes that I've noticed: "We're better than everyone else because what they like we hate for various esoteric reasons, and we are always right", and "We're better than everyone else because we know about stuff that they don't, even though our own estimation of our knowledge is blown up out of proportion". Neither of these viewpoints tends to be based on logic.

      And this isn't new. Slashdot's been going this way for years, well before Rob left. It's just more blatant now. Personally, I think it coincides with the rise of social media, with everyone thinking the world must hear and respect their opinions about even the most mundane things. But I have only anecdotal evidence to support that theory...

    • by Blaskowicz (634489) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @06:40AM (#39310581)

      apple bashing is fine. this is a website with a freaking Borg icon for bill gates and a slant against other entities perceived to be against freedom (SCO, oracle etc.). crappy groupthink maybe but we're all intelligent and know to exercise critical judgement, and comments often show respect towards our "enemies". it's on slashdot that I learnt how much technically advanced and well integrated microsoft solutions are, or how apple succeeds by mostly giving their customers what they fucking want.

      I didn't thought the headline was negative really. but that's because I didn't know what a "thud" was. so I'm pissed at the editor for using a very rare anglo-saxon word I've never seen anywhere :D.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by jcr (53032)

        this is a website with a freaking Borg icon for bill gates

        That is a bit of an anachronism, but it was entirely appropriate when it was made. We had no idea ten years ago that the Window monopoly was going to be breaking up within our lifetimes.

        -jcr

        • by Kjella (173770)

          That is a bit of an anachronism, but it was entirely appropriate when it was made. We had no idea ten years ago that the Window monopoly was going to be breaking up within our lifetimes.

          "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss", first it was IBM, then Microsoft, now it's Apple. Don't get me wrong, I think Apple makes some pretty damn good products that have contributed hugely to progress, but they're just as much control freaks as the old boss. The only real change I believe in is that now there's Android which is open source, even though many lock it down there'll at least be an open platform for the mobile. As has been reported here, there'll be no dual booting/migrating a Windows ARM ph

          • by bsane (148894)

            "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss", first it was IBM, then Microsoft, now it's Apple. Don't get me wrong, I think Apple makes some pretty damn good products that have contributed hugely to progress, but they're just as much control freaks as the old boss. The only real change I believe in is that now there's Android which is open source

            The difference is: there's no longer a iron fist monopoly on the pc world. I can get a Mac as my computer at a significant percentage of employers- up from 0 ten years ago. Software companies have actually started writing osx apps. Windows may have lost mindshare, but it's in no way comparable to the situation I've dealt with for 25 years as a Mac user.

            Mobile devices- apple doesn't even come close to having a monopoly. Android is very successful, and iProducts are better off for it.

            Basically it sounds Ike y

        • by Microlith (54737)

          We had no idea ten years ago that the Window monopoly was going to be breaking up within our lifetimes.

          It hasn't broken up yet. last I checked, Windows was still on some 90% of desktops worldwide. And Microsoft's tactics haven't changed much, if anything they're more subtle and insidious now that they have to keep the DoJ and EU off their back.

          • by ceoyoyo (59147)

            They might still have most desktops (it's a smaller percentage of PCs though, because notebooks outsell desktops) but the monopoly isn't there anymore. It used to be you HAD to have a Windows machine because all the software you needed only ran on it. Now most people can be quite happy with whatever OS they like.

            • by jedidiah (1196)

              Native binaries still remain a problem for the same reason they were always a problem. The real monopoly breaker is the web. That's why Microsoft tried to cut off Netscape's air supply to begin with.

    • by Lussarn (105276)

      I don't understand why there are shiny new massmarket hardware stories on slashdot at all. And the resulting flamy discussion about market shares, so bloddy boring...

    • by osgeek (239988)

      Yeah, I found a browser add-on that makes reading Slashdot a lot more palatable. It works in Chrome and Firefox. I haven't tried it in IE.

      http://news.ycombinator.com/ [ycombinator.com]

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        ...and it got nowhere until it addressed some of those criticisms.

        On the other hand we have it straight from the horse's mouth: "It's just a hobby".

  • What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by romanval (556418) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @05:45AM (#39310415)
    Apple never pushed or stated that the Apple TV was anything revolutionary; Especially compared to their Phone, Tablets, and Laptops, they consider it a hobby.
    • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Saturday March 10, 2012 @08:31AM (#39310859) Homepage

      More to the point, Apple doesn't need the Apple TV to be revolutionary. What they need is a way to get their content onto your TV. They're selling these iPads and iPhones with all this ability to play media, and they're also selling the media to play on them. If there were no easy way to get that media onto your TV, that would be a gaping hole in their product lineup.

      Besides, if there's an upcoming revolutionary change in TV, I don't tank it'll be a new technology or device, but instead a service. If someone can get a new distribution method in place which effectively replaces cable TV providers with an Internet service, providing access to first-run TV shows and sporting events, it has the potential to change the entire industry.

    • by Wild_dog! (98536)

      Seems to me Apple has only treated the apple TV as a footnote.
      I hardly see anything about this niche appliance.

      Yet.... I am getting one this weekend.

    • by billtom (126004)

      I never bought that "it's just a hobby" line. That's all just PR spin.

      Apple wants every product to be a runaway success; but they also like to project an aura of infallibility.

      So what they do, after they launch a product, is very quickly gauge the market success of the product and carefully calibrate their public comments about the product to match the market success.

      Runaway hits get the "we worked really hard to revolutionize the world" treatment. And relative duds get the "oh, that's just a hobby" treatme

  • by Coward Anonymous (110649) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @06:21AM (#39310525)

    The iPad now has all the technical bits in place to become the household computing center for most people. It has built in e-mail, web, video consumption, photo and video management, music, basic document creation and, critically, built in always available cheap broadband internet connectivity (via LTE).
    The final nail for the iPad is to get decent dependable TV and movie programming. Once that is in place, iPad covers most people's media needs and the Apple TV is an accessory for the iPad like the Camera Connection Kit but for displaying content on a traditional TV.

    Assuming Apple gets its programming, the cable (and DSL) companies are going to get wiped out without ever realizing what hit them.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It still doesn't have a USB port

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Traiano (1044954)
        Remind me again, what is USB for? I remember it did something back before every device in my home came with built-in wireless Ethernet.
        • by Cronock (1709244)
          I think that's what we use to charge the iPad.
        • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @10:17AM (#39311241)

          Except my smartphone. And my calculator. And my keyboard, mouse, controller, blood pressure meter, AHCHD camera, calibrator, flash drive, remote, headphone amp, and so on. No nothing at all.

          These by the way are just devices laying around my house I can think of. There's more, and more at work as well. USB is kinda of used by, well, damn near everything that likes to plug in to a computer which is damn near everything. As I said, even my blood pressure monitor has USB (so you can download the history of your BP).

          But hey if you want to add to the cost and complexity of every device, and reduce the battery life, as well as require an AP for them to work, sure let's go all 802.11.

          • by PNutts (199112)

            You'll find that when a device is designed without something, either the manufacturer or third parties first find a way to work around it then design their solutions for it.

            But hey if you want to add to the cost and complexity of every device, and reduce the battery life, as well as require an AP for them to work, sure let's go all 802.11.

            You're assuming it doesn't already have 802.11. If the choice is USB only then I'll pass. In your world you claim a device cannot have both without adding to cost, complexity, low battery life, etc. Duh.

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          Oddly enough, USB could provide faster networking.

          There are all manner of interesting things you can plug into a USB port including cameras, storage, scanners, printers, video capture devices and whatever else someone could come up with.

          Not everything is wireless. Nor would you reall want it to be.

      • by pknoll (215959) <slashdot.pk@nosPam.grapefish.org> on Saturday March 10, 2012 @10:28AM (#39311301)

        It still doesn't have a USB port

        Why do you need one? That's a serious question.

        With the exception of charging the battery, everything I do with my iPad I do wirelessly. Connecting a cable to it for any reason seems like a step backward.

    • by PNutts (199112)

      I agree because it's a compliment, and I'll also say it's true the other way around. ATV2 is my media center and everything else is an accessory to it. iTunes and all my iOS devices can play to it, and it can pull media from iTunes, my PC/Mac, NAS or Internet. I don't buy / rent movies or TV shows, but we stream lots 'o Netfix and some YouTube. The screensaver is my photos stored on the Internet. HMDI / Optical audio out. Wireless. Plug and Play. And there's a bunch more stuff I don't use. The kids can use

    • The iPad now has all the technical bits in place to become the household computing center for most people.

      As an iPad owner myself, I have to emphatically disagree. If people are satisfied by the computing experience offered by the iPad, their expectations are way too low.

      It has built in e-mail, web

      It's simply not good at browsing the web. It's slow, it's full of ads, it crashes so goddamn much (responding to the Slashdot poll crashes mine about 2 out of 3 times). Compared to a laptop, or certainly a desktop, it's a terrible browsing experience.

      video consumption, photo and video management, music

      It does video alright, but lots of web video outside of youtube just won't load properly half t

  • looks like the Apple TV 2 was 720p so that the next one would bring 1080p as an incentive for adopters to upgrade or buy a second one.

    really? who would believe being limited to 720p was a real technical limitation? I guess you would have no trouble getting 1080p output from a graphics card made in 1999. that said it's a cheap and tiny computer with an ethernet port. it's tempting to get, but does it support the standards (DLNA, samba shares etc.) or is it locked into iTunes, I don't know.

    • by tgibbs (83782)

      looks like the Apple TV 2 was 720p so that the next one would bring 1080p as an incentive for adopters to upgrade or buy a second one.

      More likely, the Apple TV2 was 720p because that was the capability of the processor that made it possible for Apple to achieve its price and design goals, and since all of the content then available from Apple and Netflix was 720p, there was no disadvantage. Apple's newer processors now make it possible to bump up to 1080p, using a level of compression that prevents an exces

    • it's tempting to get, but does it support the standards (DLNA, samba shares etc.) or is it locked into iTunes, I don't know.

      It would after putting XBMC on it ;)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10, 2012 @08:49AM (#39310913)

    Pre orders sold out less than 8 hours after its announcement. Just because a few tech geeks can't twist the hardware to perform all their desires doesn't mean it still isn't a popular consumer good with a much larger buying public. You can't please everyone, and Apple runs a business so they please the largest buying group first.

    • by Smurf (7981)

      Pre orders sold out less than 8 hours after its announcement. Just because a few tech geeks can't twist the hardware to perform all their desires doesn't mean it still isn't a popular consumer good with a much larger buying public. You can't please everyone, and Apple runs a business so they please the largest buying group first.

      Yup. Hours after the announcement [macrumors.com] the shipping estimate for the Apple TV slipped from "Delivers on March 16" to "1-2 weeks".

  • The lack of major improvement in AppleTV features makes me think perhaps something else is coming. Recall how Steve Jobs was saying he had finally cracked integrated television [forbes.com]? It is hard to believe he would make that statement with respect to what is currently on offer from Apple.
  • Buy Roku. ( and any other major competitor ) It works for other huge companions with billions in the bank. Instant customer base.

  • Clearly, the killer feature for the AppleTV would be access to the App store. But doing it right is not trivial. Ideally, the AppleTV would run most iPhone apps, with the capacity to use a separate iPhone or iPad as a touch (and voice for iPhone 4s) controller (or a separate extra-cost hand-held version of the Magic iPad for those without an Apple touch-enabled device). Specially enabled apps would run simultaneously on AppleTV and iPhone/iPad, providing a dual display.

    Maybe with the next generation of Appl

    • by tooyoung (853621)
      Are you being sarcastic, or do you not know that you can mirror your iPhone or iPad to the AppleTV?
      • by tgibbs (83782)

        No, I'm not talking about mere mirroring (with a bit of a delay) of the iPhone or iPad display as is currently possible, but about apps running on the AppleTV itself, and possibly using the iPhone or iPad as a peripheral.

  • Apple doesn't care if this device gets much fanfare. It's user-subsidized research for them. You pay Apple $99, and they put a little media box on your shelf that studies how you use it. This is just a way for them to do a mass-study on how to best go about tackling the TV project. Better to get it right first on a cheap, tiny box than jump straight into selling a big, expensive TV.

    The new "app" layout and the fact that Netflix can bill directly to your iTunes account is a pretty clear sign that they're now

  • What's the point of e.g. a YouTube channel if all you have to navigate with is the minimalist Apple Remote? And no Bluetooth or USB so you can't connect a keyboard for doing text searches.

    Basically, you need an iPad for this to be useful, and then why bother with the AppleTV Youtube channel at all? Just find what you want on the iPad and use AirPlay.

  • > Meanwhile, Roku is gearing up for a $50M IPO, so this cord-cutting story is far from over." Wow! You mean Roku might be worth a speculative 50m? Apple has nearly a trillion dollars IN THE BANK. Think on that a moment. This post is junk. AppleTV has made an incremental step forward, not bad for a hobby.
  • they spent about 3 and a half seconds covering the new ATV (2 seconds were spend on the new UI), the rest was ipad demos and bashing phone apps stretched to tablet size (they were not hesitant at talking a few jabs @ Android).

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