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AppleTV Hits the Streets 474

Stories are starting to pop up all over the web about the AppleTV, which evidently means that Apple has set loose the hounds of marketing and the units are (or will be tomorrow) available in Apple stores. Still no word on whether or not it plays DivX files. That will be the key to me purchasing one.
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AppleTV Hits the Streets

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @07:36PM (#18436597)
    "No wireless access to the iTunes Store. Less space than a TiVo. Lame."
  • by Whiney Mac Fanboy ( 963289 ) * <> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @07:40PM (#18436651) Homepage Journal
    The question is. When will we get (non Disney) content?

    I'd imagine MPAA member execs will be a little cautious about entering a partnership with Apple after seeing Jobs' enthusiasm about music DRM turn into an about-face when confronted with interoperability regulation in the EU,
    • by dedazo ( 737510 )

      When will we get (non Disney) content?

      Um, you figure they'll sell many of these if ony "Disney content" is available?

      I don't know about you, but I get tired of Mickey Mouse cartoons rather fast.

      • by Whiney Mac Fanboy ( 963289 ) * <> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @07:57PM (#18436833) Homepage Journal
        I don't know about you, but I get tired of Mickey Mouse cartoons rather fast.

        Disney own Miramax, Pixar, Touchstone, ABC, ESPN, Buena Vista, ABC and more. There's a little more to Disney then 40s Mickey Mouse clips.
    • Ummmn, how about now? As of the last Macworld, Paramount's announced they're onboard as well. Sony, of course, will be last to join (if ever), but I expect the others will join in.
      • According to imdb []:

        Paramount announced Tuesday that it will join Disney in providing movies for downloading from Apple's iTunes Store. However, it indicated, it will not provide its latest releases, only its older films

        I stand by my contention that Jobs' is going to find convincing the movie studios harder than the music labels.... Especially given his inconsistent stance on DRM.

    • by Jeremy_Bee ( 1064620 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:06PM (#18437561)
      This whole article is an embarrassment to SlashDot. The OP starts off by "wondering" if Apple TV will support DivX when the information on supported formats has been posted on the Apple TV web site for months.

      Most of the responders seem to know nothing about the product. Asking embarrassingly stupid questions like "does it have a keyboard?", "When are they going to have non-Disney movies?" and telling us that you can only play DRM'ed video on it???

      There is hardly a question posed here that would not be answered by a ten second trip to the Apple TV website and anyone following the product even the slightest bit would know the answer to them. Most of the "opinions" on the product here are ill-informed nonsense at best. On top of that, there is a lot of bitter, mean-spirited, childish banter that one would expect on kids sites like Digg or Gizmodo, not SlashDot. I am truly embarrassed to see this kind of junk here.

      For those who want to know:

      - doesn't support DivX
      - a keyboard would make it a computer, not a set-top streamer
      - non-Disney movies already available (have been for a while)
      - *does* play non DRM'ed music and video (just like iPod)

      I am not going to bother trying to refute every point made here or talk up the device, but for a cool techie site populated by intelligent IT people who are supposed to be in the know on stuff like this... this article and most of the related comments are a joke.
      • by Cryptnotic ( 154382 ) * on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:53PM (#18438011)
        Welcome to Slashdot, you must be new here.

      • - doesn't support DivX
        - a keyboard would make it a computer, not a set-top streamer
        - non-Disney movies already available (have been for a while)
        - *does* play non DRM'ed music and video (just like iPod)

        My additions:
        - it *does* play H.264 and *only* H.264 video (protected and unprotected)
        - it plays a myriad of audio formats (probably all the ones the iPods do) but, again, only 1 video format
        - it has *no* video/audio inputs on the device, and cannot record *anything*, ever.
        - it can connect to any copy if iTun
        • by damiam ( 409504 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @11:36PM (#18438899)
          You can rip any DVDs you happen to own/rent to H.264. You can download pirated HD shows in H.264 (probably a lot more when this becomes more popular). And, probably not too long from now, you'll be able to buy HD shows and movies from the iTunes store.

          Compare the cost of your cable bill + netflix account + tivo service to that of just buying episodes of the shows and movies you watch. Maybe it doesn't work out well for you, but there are some people who would do very well with something like this.

          • by realisticradical ( 969181 ) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @09:25AM (#18442061) Homepage
            That's actually a pretty interesting point. I'll give it a try.

            Netflix $15/Mo * 12 Mo = 180/Yr
            Cable $40/Mo * 12 = 480/Yr (I get some crazy package deal with cable and internet so I'm not sure if suddenly my internet bill will go up, worth considering.)
            No Tivo :(
            Total = 660/Year

            Shows I watch regularly: Lost, Heroes, random junk

            iTunes store: Lost = 34.99/Season
            Heroes = 42.99/Season
            Total = 78/Year
            Leaving me with $582 to buy my iTV and random junk...

            The OP has an interesting point. On the other hand it'd make it mighty hard for me to watch sports, CNN and other live programming only found on cable.

        • Apple TV and Divx (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <> on Thursday March 22, 2007 @12:20AM (#18439259) Homepage Journal
          I think the reason why it doesn't support Divx is obvious. Apple wants to try and kill Divx as a de facto standard, if they possibly can. They would much rather have people using H.264 inside .mp4 container files, than Divx video inside .avi or .divx containers.

          It's my understanding though that at least in recent versions, Divx is essentially ISO-compliant MPEG-4 Part 2 ASP video, albeit in a nonstandard container. So it seems like it ought to be possible to 'recontainerize' a Divx .divx or .avi into an .mp4 file without decompressing and recompressing it, thus avoiding loss. I'm not aware of any software tools that do this, though, and I might be misunderstanding ways in which Divx diverges from the standards.

          Although I would really like to see Apple and .mp4 win this one, I'm not sure that they're going to; the installed base of divx-playing equipment may just be too big, and they may be forced to release an update to add support for it later.

          I find it odd that so many Slashdotters seem in love with .divx or Divx-containing .avis, which are just as much of a closed, single-vendor, proprietary format as MS Word's .doc is, and everyone loves to just shit all over that. The .mp4 container format is the video equivalent of ODF, and although I'm not going to buy one, I hope that the Apple TV is popular enough to get the script kiddies and release groups that push TV shows and movies out on bittorrent using it (because, lets face it, the main driver of Divx is "unauthorized" content, to put it politely).
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by DrXym ( 126579 )
          It does *nothing* and I mean *nothing* else.

          Which makes me wonder why the hell anybody would want one. It doesn't play DVDs, it doesn't play DVDs, it doesn't offer any significant online service, and requires a computer to stream / cache from. What is the point of this thing? Who is insane enough to buy one of these just to be able to watch iTMS purchased movies on their TV. If you're going to fork out $300 + the price of a computer, I can think of much better ways to do it. An XBox 360 for example is mor

  • Does this beat Tivo, is my question. I'm certain the interface is way way better than TiVo, but Apple loves its DRM. I'm just hoping it does what TiVo does eventually -- then I'll buy it. If it's just a glorified iTunes video player, then I don't really care much.
    • Re:Better than TiVo? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by namityadav ( 989838 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @07:47PM (#18436739)
      Tivo is not necessarily the right product to compare it against. I think comparison between AppleTV and XBox 360 based IP TV will be a better apples to apples comparison (Saw what I did there? Saw what I did there?)

      IP based TV is one area where I don't see Apple making a dent on Microsoft's solution. There are many things going Microsoft's way here:
      (a) Microsoft's 10 million or so install-base
      (b) The fact that unlike most other Microsoft products, 360 has decent reputation and following in it's field
      (c) Xbox Live is also very much "alive" already
      (d) There will be a huge intersection of gamers and early adopters of IP based TV
      (e) Xbox 360 is already connected to your TV and your home-theatre
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ischorr ( 657205 )
        Or the many, many products (from a variety of companies) that do similar things but typically with more features (like DVD player, the mentioned AVI/DivX support, etc).

        For example, the only thing that the Apple TV has that the D-link DSM-520 doesn't is the snazzy interface and the ability to play iTunes-protected media. On the other hand, the D-link gives you the ability to play a huge range of media formats (including DivX, WMV, MPEG-2/MPEG-1), has the S-video output, video up to 1080i, doesn't have that
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by elbobo ( 28495 )
          While I agree that the Apple TV is severely limited in functionality, your attack on the remote I think is misguided. Personally I've found the Apple remote to be one of the best things to happen to media viewing since TV remotes went wireless. Navigating through Front Row with the remote is elegant and simple and a far superior experience to using any traditional media remote. Everything can be achieved with far less buttons, in a much smaller and neater remote than any other TV/media device offers. It's m
          • by jdray ( 645332 )
            I agree, except that on my iMac (Intel, 2 GB RAM), it is sometimes slow as hell to do what seems to be a simple thing, like enter the "Movies" directory. WTF? It's essentially running ls.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by p0tat03 ( 985078 )

          As a Mac user, fully agreed. My question is though: Why haven't other manufacturers clued into Apple's techniques?

          Case in point: AppleTV vs. D-link DSM-520. Which sounds sexier? Why do manufacturers keep insisting on using freaking SKUs for product names? It does not work! Especially when your brand name has no style cachet in existence!

          Second: Apple spent a lot of time on that UI, and it's slick as hell and looks easy enough to use for a grandma. Why can't other DVR, set-top box, or any other electroni

          • by jdray ( 645332 )

            Why can't other DVR, set-top box, or any other electronics manufacturer for that matter, clue into this and start designing beautiful and functional UI?

            Well, to be fair, Front Row isn't the entire interface for the AppleTV; it's just the front end for the player. iTunes on your "general purpose computer running Windows or MacOS" has all the controls for acquiring the content.

          • by suv4x4 ( 956391 )
            Case in point: AppleTV vs. D-link DSM-520. Which sounds sexier?

            Imagine AppleTV produced around 100 models of AppleTV. Ok, now make them all sound sexy... good luck with that.

            Apple's rule of thumb is to "dumb it down" and make it "marketing ready". They don't want or need to cater to the masses with lots of features, or low price, they just put out a single (or distinct few) simple products and concentrate all their marketing to pronouncing those the best thing since hot water.

            Whether it'll work again we're
        • Re:Better than TiVo? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by molarmass192 ( 608071 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @08:42PM (#18437309) Homepage Journal
          The only thing that the Apple TV has that the D-link DSM-520 doesn't ...

          You're wrong about the UI being the most important, the most important thing it has that the DSM doesn't is an Intel CPU. The AppleTV will be become the modders box du jour for video because of this fact alone. This is the FIRST Intel based media PC that is both silent and affordable. I'm expecting mine friday and the first thing I'm doing is popping the case open, pulling the drive, and seeing what I can do with this thing.
      • 1) Steve Jobs reality distortion fields.
        2) It looks really cool
        3) iPod is a great marketing tool showing that Apple makes easy to use products.
        4) Stand alone.
        5) Steve Jobs field that distorts reality.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by thammoud ( 193905 )
        Is this the Xbox 360 that can not sync your computer music to its harddrive for whatever bizzare reason? To listen to music on my 360, I have to turn on my computer (Laptop) in my family room. The user interface stinks and it does not play any of my iTunes stuff. No thank you.
      • Don't forget no PVR functionality in the Apple box.
    • Let's be clear on what the Apple TV unit is: a very big Ipod video with wifi and no screen of its own. It can play back content purchased through the Itunes store or ripped from source media on a separate computer and copied on to the Apple TV unit. You can't watch broadcast TV; you can't record broadcast TV; you can't watch DVD discs or Blu-Ray discs or HD-DVD discs.
    • by snuf23 ( 182335 )
      Hmmmm. I'm struggling to find a record TV function on the AppleTV. Oh there doesn't seem to be a cable tuner in it. Ok, so then the answer is no. It doesn't beat Tivo since Tivo is firstly a DVR used for recording TV programs and the Apple TV can't do that.
      I don't know why you think just because it's Apple the interface will be way way better. Tivo has a great interface and is very simple to use (yes even your grandma can use it). I'll also take Tivo's remote over Apple's any day. Tivo's is both easy to use
  • by pklinken ( 773410 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @07:45PM (#18436697)

    Then you pull up a seat, put up your feet, and pick up the included Apple Remote to play your movie on TV. Give yourself a hand: You've just changed the way you watch digital media.
  • not for me i guess (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fred fleenblat ( 463628 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @07:46PM (#18436719) Homepage
    I'm a bit disappointed that it doesn't have some basic tivo functionality. You can't control a cable or satellite box, you can't tune in over-the-air broadcasts, analog or digital. All you can watch is iTunes content, most of which you have to *pay* for.

    I would have snapped up an "HD iTivo" in a second but that's not what it is.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by elysian1 ( 533581 )
      Probably because Tivo has a patent on DVR technology. See Tivo v. Echostar.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by stubear ( 130454 )
        Then explain Windows Media Center. I'm able to not only record and pause live TV, I have a well designed guide for finding programs and setting them to record whenever that show comes on, all for free (well, the cost of the MCPC anyway). I can even use my XBOX 360 as a MCPC extender and keep my MCPC in anotehr room altogether.
      • by dabraun ( 626287 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @11:56PM (#18439093)

        Probably because Tivo has a patent on DVR technology. See Tivo v. Echostar.

        Truely you jest.

        Windows Media Center
        MediaPortal (open-source backport of XBMC with added TV functionality)
        DirectTV PVR (in house, current generation)
        MS TV (closed box PVR for cable in use by major cable companies)
        MS IPTV (NYR but shown at CES - closed box PVR for IPTV - xbox 360 and standalone)
        UltimateTV (defunct)

        I'm sure the list goes on. They all support recording, trick play, guide etc. and none of them infringe on any patent Tivo has. I'm sure Tivo's got a patent on a lot of aspects of their implementation, but nothing so all-encompasing that it would prevent Apple from including this functionality.

        The reality is that it is HARD to provide a global (or even across the US) solution for TV which includes guide listings for everywhere, works with cable, satellite, etc. and is as reliable as a cable box. Apple is not interested in this (yet at least) and this is never what AppleTV was purported to be. It's more like a media center extender, except that it doesn't require a media center PC, or a windows media connect device with a better UI and no windows requirement.

        That's a gross simplification of course, and I know they've made choices around local caching and PC-independent operation that differ from MCX and WMC - and choices around PC/Mac interop that differ from Tivo and all the closed box PVRs.
    • by Josuah ( 26407 )
      Then you should probably buy an HD TiVo and use it with Amazon's Unbox (which I believe will expand into other areas than just movies).
      • by snuf23 ( 182335 )
        Unbox has some TV shows as well. The selections a bit odd and not all of it can be used on Tivo as of yet.
    • Pirate a shitload of TV shows into iTunes and you won't have to bother paying for Tivo. And you get to wirelessly stream your stuff anywhere you have an AppleTV.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bwalling ( 195998 )
      It's not supposed to be a DVR or a Tivo. It's supposed to eliminate the need for them. I'm buying one to get rid of my cable bill. At $85/month (factor in digital cable, HD service, DVR box rental, DVR service, etc), my cable bill comes to $1020 on the year. Take out $300 for the AppleTV and $100 for an OTA HDTV antenna, and I've got $620 to spare on buying shows. I don't watch nearly enough shows for that, so the AppleTV pays for itself in the first year. Starting in year two, I have no hardware cost
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Well... I don't know about that.

        I spent the last year watching "TV" via iTunes season passes of shows I liked. Then I got a smokin' deal on a Sony LCD TV and got cable hooked up. My bill comes out to the same $85 a month as yours and I *vastly* prefer my Comcast service over watching TV via iTMS.

        - I get much broader access to content. Yes, iTMS has a lot of shows I watch; but cable has all of those shows plus a whole slue more that iTMS doesn't offer and probably won't for a while (various Discovery shows,
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          I get much broader access to content. Yes, iTMS has a lot of shows I watch; but cable has all of those shows plus a whole slue more that iTMS doesn't offer and probably won't for a while (various Discovery shows, Good Eats, How Its Made, etc).

          It is true content is king, but with your Comcast service you can watch what is playing on a channel now, what your PVR knew to grab for a while, and stuff you pay for each viewing. The future will tell if that collection is better than whatever content Apple pulls together, including no longer running shows and exclusive content.

          If not, I can grab first run movies that I am to impatient to wait for via NetFlix.

          Netflix is offering streaming now (in some areas) so you don't have to wait. It will likely be one more channel for content.

          I like to throw The Office on in the background to remind me why I work at home

          This is why I don't see "channels" going away. P

    • by bahwi ( 43111 )
      lol, not to be an apple fanboy, but most of the rest of us have to *pay* for Cable/Satellite. My Daily Show + South Park subscriptions from iTunes is WAAAAAAY less than what I was paying for cable that never had anything good on. Thye're even getting more Anime now a days.

      Of course, I have a mac mini for the projector, and so I can get OTA, that cost me 2 months worth of cable except I can actually watch it, and it's real HD, not compressed cable hd.

      You're just thinking it's a different product than it is,
  • OK (Score:4, Funny)

    by lucabrasi999 ( 585141 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @07:46PM (#18436721) Journal
    So when are they releasing the iRack []?
  • Too bad (Score:4, Interesting)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @07:50PM (#18436769) Homepage Journal
    I was set to buy one, but it is fro wode screen only. II can watch widescreen movies on my standard TV, why couldn't the include s-Video and two analog plugs for sound? or wuold ahve making 9" to a side just been too big?

    • I reread the article, and it does allow from component video. Excellent.
    • Re:Too bad (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mmeister ( 862972 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:49PM (#18438533)
      Apple is known to not cling to old technology. They would rather ride/drive the HDTV wave than cling on to S-Video or composite past.
      See dropping the floppy on iMac, dropping ADB & SCSI in favor of USB and FireWire.

      I have a feeling there will be more coming that takes advantage of the HDTV than exists in this 1.0 product.
  • by hack slash ( 1064002 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @07:53PM (#18436791)
    Will the remote only have one button?
  • With such a well-connected machine, it seems like it should be easily capable of general web browsing, but I can't seem to find any mention of it - does anyone know if it has a browser, or is this a big "duh" that they intentionally left out?
  • GoogleTV (Score:5, Funny)

    by biocute ( 936687 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @07:58PM (#18436841) Homepage
    Personally I will be waiting for GoogleTV, where it streams 24/7 YouTube videos produced by amateurs.

    Obviously with Google's advanced technology in search and category, these videos will be sorted into different categories, genre, rating etc.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @07:58PM (#18436845)
    My laptop is nearly as big as my tv and has a much nicer screen, and my DVD player handles .avis and jpgs pretty well, and will be good if I ever get a better TV. But lots of people have nice TVs and not so convienent computers, this will be good for them.

    For thoseof us who use our computers near-constantly there doesn't seem to be a point of making it easier to go from computer to TV, I don't think this box is for us. Now, if iTunes gets more movies and/or better pricing on movies and TV shows, then that may help.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Before people get too attached to this notion, remember that the same was said about the iPod mini. And the iPod. And probably the original iMac.
  • Geeky question (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kosmosik ( 654958 ) <> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @08:03PM (#18436891) Homepage
    What operating system it runs?
  • Just use your 360 (Score:4, Informative)

    by davevr ( 29843 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @08:31PM (#18437203) Homepage
    The XBOX 360 makes a great Apple TV replacement for people who use PCs intead of Macs. It costs a little more, but it will play DVDs and cool games in addition to streaming your music, photos, downloaded shows, and TV (including live TV). Works properly with HDTV and all the DRM crap as well for those with digital cable. And it even comes in white!

    If you are trying to save cash, you can also use your classic XBOX or third-party dedicated device. We call them "Media Center Extenders" here at the 'Soft.
  • by TheSHAD0W ( 258774 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @08:39PM (#18437271) Homepage
    No, seriously, I can't wait 'til someone makes a Linux hack for it.

    One feature they really ought to add, and it could be done all in software, would be the ability to stream video off network shares or NAS devices rather than relying solely on its internal HD.
  • Tivo records any program I want, even pay-per-view movies that are cheaper than iTunes movies. If I opt for premium channels I can record all the movies I want from HBO, Showtime, etc for a low monthly fee.

    My DVD player allows me to play DVDs I rent from a local video store that rents DVDs cheaper than iTunes sells downloadable movies. All I have to do is wait for a DVD release, and I have half-off membership to rent the DVD for $1.25 instead of $2.50 for a new movie because I am a loyal customer and get the discount as a result.

    I don't need to have an Internet connection to use the Tivo or DVD players. In the case of Tivo most of the programming is due to a low cost monthly fee, and I get the Tivo player/recorder for free if I sign up for a year contract.

    I don't really use iTunes, so I wouldn't benefit from an AppleTV box. I think that iTunes is ruining the market and locking down what we can and cannot play on our own equipment. We no longer can buy a movie, and we no longer have control over how we can play it and on what device we can play it on. For example my Linux box and third party MP3 player cannot play iTunes files, nor can my Amiga box. Ironically that my G3 iMac runs Mac OS9, and does not have the latest iTunes software for it to use with the AppleTV had I bought one.

    AppleTV is a nice idea, I suppose if one buys a lot of iTunes files. I except Microsoft to have a MSNTV in a year or two to compete with AppleTV. I'd suspect they use some sort of Windows CE type device at the $299 or $199 price range, or maybe offer a discount on an XBox 360 if the buying agrees to a one year contract with media subscriptions and get $200 in rebates from the XBox 386 sale.

    The limitations of the AppleTV is that it cannot get my satellite programming, cannot play my DVDs (do they expect me to rip them into some format and violate that MPAA agreement?), cannot work with my Linux and Amiga boxes, and limits how many times I can play a file or how long I can play a file due to DRM that isn't present on my Tivo or DVD players.

    My Tivo and DVD players allow me to play any media any time I want for as long as I want for how many times I want to play it. AppleTV does not, so I don't need AppleTV.
  • Widescreen Only? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by labradore ( 26729 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:08PM (#18437579)
    OK. It's not hard to find a widescreen TV these days but my 4:3 still works. It's still good enough. How hard would it have been to just fit the stupid menus in 4:3 format as an option? Apple may be human-focused but it certainly isn't customer-focused.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GauteL ( 29207 )
      Apple TV only supports EDTV and HDTV. Are there (m)any 4:3 TV's like that around?

      It might be that the interface simply requires higher resolution than standard definition TVs. But if that is the case, the fonts are probably too small anyway.

      The real reason is probably that the people that are likely to splash out $299 for this product are very unlikely to have an old 4:3 TV and Apple probably want this product associated with 'high end'.
  • H.264 is where it's at. It's a real standard, with much better compresion and video quality.

    Please, everyone, stop using DivX and move to H.264.

    No, DivX is not the mp3 of video. H.264 is.
  • From TFA:

    And it works only with TVs that have the newer types of connectors, such as "component" jacks, and the new HDMI cables being used on most high-definition TVs.

    I'll give you HDMI as "newer" but component video? We're talking a 10 year old standard at least, here.

    And if you're going to go into the HD aspects of the box, why not address the fact that it only goes up to 720p?

  • Ahem... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by The-Bus ( 138060 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:09PM (#18438183)

    "Part of the secret of Apple TV is that, like most of Apple's products, it doesn't try to do everything and thus become a mess of complexity. It can't receive or record cable or satellite TV, so it isn't meant as a replacement for your cable or satellite box, or for a digital video recorder like a TiVo. It can't play DVDs, so it doesn't replace your DVD player. Its sole function is to bring to the TV digital content stored on your computer or drawn from the Internet."

    All this for $299? You could theoretically buy an Xbox 360 for the same price and watch video stored on your computer downloaded from the internet or DVDs, or play games. For $399 (not Mossberg's "50% more"), you can watch video stored on your computer, play DVDs, play games, download games and demos, and download episodes of shows and movies as well as trailers, etc. You don't even need to have a controller plugged in. The remote will do just fine.

    For $300, you could also buy an old Xbox, "convert" it to something similar, and still have money for a Tivo. And I'm sure there's dozens of other options (that I'm not aware of) that work just as well for less.

    I'm not a fan of useless combination of features but AppleTV is far, far away from being a killer app, as are most set-top boxes.

  • by Absentminded-Artist ( 560582 ) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:55PM (#18438591) Homepage

    Still no word on whether or not it plays DivX files. That will be the key to me purchasing one.

    By opening a Divx file into a registered version of Quicktime you can save a reference file of the movie that is loadable into iTunes and Front Row. Works with Xvid as well. I haven't tested this on an AppleTV but since it's the conduit for iTunes into your TV, I don't see why it wouldn't work.
  • by TheNetAvenger ( 624455 ) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @07:37AM (#18441269)
    $100 Media Extender Anyone, Anyone?

    I understand why a person that has a considerable investment in iTunes content would want one of these devices, but beyond that or a new market is something this is not.

    What scares me is that Media Extenders have been around for 4 or 5 years, cost about $100, and do everything this product does and more. Also considering a lot of the Media Extenders are UPnP and various other forms, they are not MS Media Center exclusive and I know people that use them with their *nix servers all the time.

    So if you can buy a Media Extender that can watch live TV from your computers, watch recorded content, watch DVDs, watch downloaded content, listen to all your music, watch early forms of IPTV, why on earth you would you buy this product instead and lock yourself into iTunes or iTunes only converted content?

    Want to play DIVX, WMV, just buy a Media Extender, even hooking it up to a freaking Windows Media Center computer or Vista will allow you to do all of this, and Vista Media Center Extenders natively support HD video out of the box, in a TRUE HD resolution, something Apple isn't even offering or planning to.

    Media Extenders are silent, wireless or wired and can access every storage device, computer or computer based Tuner in your house.

    As some have suggested, you would be smarter to spend the money on an XBox 360 which also gives you all these features and you can play a game on it once in a while as well. Again in real HD.

    Why is it everyone has seen Media Extenders at Circuit City and Best Buy for years and years now, and when Apple tries to create their 'very closed' version of one, they are seen as doing something new?

    How is their marketing team always smarter than the people buying this stuff?

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!