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Apple TV To Be Revamped 132

An anonymous reader writes: This Wednesday, Apple is hosting an event in San Francisco to announce updated versions of some of its products. One device getting a lot of the attention will be the Apple TV, which has languished for several years without significant changes. Apple is making a renewed push for the living room. The company has expanded its partnerships with TV studios over the past few years, launched its own streaming music service, and also made inroads on gaming. The new Apple TV will try to do all these things, including support for apps. It will also reportedly feature universal search: "Essentially, you'll be able to search for a show or movie once, and see results from all sorts of different sources." A side effect of this ambitious goal is that the device will more than double in cost, going from $70 to $150.
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Apple TV To Be Revamped

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  • Unversal search (Score:2, Insightful)

    by whoever57 ( 658626 )

    The new Apple TV will try to do all these things, including support for apps ...."Essentially, you'll be able to search for a show or movie once, and see results from all sorts of different sources."

    You mean like owners of Roku and Tivo boxes have been able to do months/years?

    A side effect of this ambitious goal is that the device will more than double in cost, going from $70 to $150.

    Apple is trying to reproduce its success from the cellphone market in the set top box. Bring out features that were alrea

    • why would i pay 150 for something when i can get a roku which has been at it longer for only 50 bucks (roku stick)
      • by Anonymous Coward

        It's a matter of priorities. Some of us just don't care if it's 50 or 150 as the main point. That being said, I won't buy one. The Apple TV has one main weakness and it's the lack of a media server (painfully obvious with iTunes too). Sharing media between your computers, TV, tablets and phones (plays everywhere on everything) is a basic feature. That's why I'll keep using Plex for movies and TV series, at even higher cost than the Apple solution.

        • I use Airplay to stream to the AppleTV any locally stored content like this.

          AirVideoHD Server and client app makes things easy for watching media on your iOS devices and AirPlay to your Apple TV.
          Alternatively, you can mirror your Mac screen to your TV with AirPlay.

          Plenty of options here.

        • by tsa ( 15680 )

          There's Beamer [beamer-app.com]. It streams every movie I throw at it to the Apple TV with no problems.

      • Re:Unversal search (Score:5, Insightful)

        by thechink ( 182419 ) on Saturday September 05, 2015 @04:46PM (#50463767)

        Why? Because it's all about integration with the Apple eco-system. The current Apple TV is a useful companion device to the iPhone, iPad and Mac and the new one will add to that. If you're not invested in their eco-system then buying would not be useful to you.

        • Why? Because it's all about integration with the Apple eco-system.

          As a matter of principle, I do my best to avoid any products that are said to be part of some corporate "ecosystem".

        • Mostly it's just extra support for iTunes. What other integration is there with phones/pads/computers? You mean chromecast and making your phone videos go to tv? That works with other devices. So what happens if Roku or Amazon or Google get iTunes support, then where's the Apple TV advantage?

          Apple TV in the past has languished with little support from high levels at Apple, it's not the cool fad of the day so gets overlooked. So I suspect it'll get overlooked in the future as well.

          • Off the top os my head I can think of iCloud photos & videos, AirPlay, Siri, iPhone/iPads as controllers, etc. Lots more to it than just iTunes.

            In the past Apple has called the Apple TV a hobby. They maybe ready to take it more seriously now.

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          Why will it fail abysmally because the AppleTV is not a bloody TV. This now having to compete with actual big screen Android TVs http://www.trustedreviews.com/... [trustedreviews.com] rather than bullshit pretending a box with no screen is a TV. So this time Apple way off the mark and behind the times and just making a token adjustment to try to catch up. All in one computers are rapidly growing in size, dozy M$ also doesn't seem to have woken up to this.

          People do not want a box to hook up to their idiot box, they want an id

          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            People will buy this and vigorously defend their decision because it is an Apple product. You know this, right?

          • People do not want a box to hook up to their idiot box, they want an idiot box that will do all of it for them

            SeaFox makes a good point [slashdot.org] that if you have a nice display, you might not want to throw it out when your receiver breaks or becomes obsolete, and it's easier to orient an external receiver for good Wi-Fi reception than to do so with a display.

            smarter TVs mean the game console is also dying

            How well do "smarter TVs" work with two to four remote controls? How responsive are they to player actions on said remote controls? And how does one load a game onto them while living in an area with harshly capped Internet? For those who live too far from the DSLAM, c

            • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

              I did specifically note the rapid growth in size of all in one computers. Then the is question of how many years are left in optical disk drives before they are replaced by far more portable flash ram or it's equivalent. Things change and now Apple is starting to 'lag' much like M$ does.

              • by tepples ( 727027 )

                Then the is question of how many years are left in optical disk drives before they are replaced by far more portable flash ram or it's equivalent.

                It'll probably be a long time before 32-64 GB of removable flash memory is cheaper than stamping out one BD-ROM.

                • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

                  Beware the cost demons of packaging, shipping, transport, retail and delivery. Small is cheap to get from the producer to the end user. Small consumes far less resources all along the way, so the last remaining cost difference is not production costs but the completely artificial impost of patent costs. So basically governments of the world are conspiring to burn it to the ground in order to pump up patent profits. No second thought about, hey wait dudes, it is really, really fucking stupid to serve patent

      • If it simplifies the TV-to-TV peripheral interface, I'm in, regardless of what new streamed content we may get.

      • why would i pay 150 for something

        That's a pretty stupid question to posit before you know anything about what the $150 model does.

      • You probably wouldn't because hating Apple is a major part of who you are as a person.

        However, for normal people, I suspect the clincher will be that the Apple TV will have an App Store. Obviously that makes it a cheap console with cheap apps. Plus all the many more things that the third party app developers will come up with.

        You don't get that with a Roku.

    • Re:Unversal search (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MouseR ( 3264 ) on Saturday September 05, 2015 @04:15PM (#50463643) Homepage

      Hum. Apple TV has existed for years. They just never marketed it.

      This new one is just a a 3rd gen.

      It's always been an internet device. And it can access content off your networked Macs. I use RipIt to rip my DVDs into iTunes for access off all my devices (iOS, Apple TV & other Macs).

      The Apple TV is simply a purpose- specialized screen-less iPhone, essentially.

      • You know, I just don't understand why so many of these vendors make this so difficult. Roku hugs the peripheries of the future IMHO with internet channels, etc all merged together under an early version cohesive search engine on the TV. WD Live offers awesome local media streaming and supports just about any codec I throw at it. Yet neither of these vendors, nor countless others, seems to be able to simply take these two approaches that exist TODAY and present a single cohesive media player. If I wanted
    • by frnic ( 98517 )

      Why would we mod you down? Of course Apple waits a few years and lets other companies invent the wheel. Then they take it and make money with it by making it easy to use and BORING. So far it seem stop work for them, I realize that you are only interested in really cool products that you can tweet and that the company making it has no interest in profits. Personally, I will take the Apple product which will work, be supported and be improved over time... They may be late to the game, but if winning means ma

    • it's a stupid summary. you won't pay more just because of the universal search function. still, apple, will sell it as a major feature, although it's "just" software. but they will charge double the price because of the new motion/voice controller, better cpu, and added storage - so you can play and download games with it. i'd guess, universal "text" search, and a new, revamped "tv" service (where i could imagine one could get either single channels or packages for a reduced price) will come to the old 70
      • universal search? On my ROKU if i go to the main search it will show me from which channels i have installed the program is on, and if there is a free option or only paid.
        • The "main" search? You mean there are multiple searches?

          Can you just speak to search for something and play it on a Roku, without so much as picking up a remote? Pretty sure you will be able to on the new Apple TV. It's trivial if they put Siri on it.

          "Siri! Play me last weeks American Odessey."
          "OK"

          • So.... Exactly like Amazon Fire TV?

            • a) No. With Amazon Fire you need to pick the remote up and press a button to speak to it. Experience of Siri is that for a plugged in device, simply saying "Hey Siri" is enough.

              b) No. Their speech search only works with Amazon's own content. It's not universal search. Experience of Siri (and Apple generally) is that it will be universal search.

              c) You're attempting to play that game where Apple's device has to beat not only the feature list of the device that everyone is arguing about, but every single other

    • by fermion ( 181285 )
      Tivo requires a monthly subscription. I think they are trying to be more like Amazon Fire TV, which seems to be not available anymore, but was only $100. It was used to promote Amazon videos, just like the Apple TV sole purpose was to promote Apple videos.

      The saving grace of Amazon was that Amazon had a lot free content if you were a Prime Subscriber. It also had a Plex Client. I guess if Apple has Apps now, and one of those is a Plex client, then that would be good.

      At the end of the day, though, I

  • "It wasn't reporting a steady stream of passwords, search terms, and just generally overheard words while listening for "Siri" back to Apple for passing through their corporate analysis and sales partitioning algorithms, and NSA's computers in those mysterious buildings whose costs rival the Apollo program and Manhattan project.

  • app store (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Saturday September 05, 2015 @04:17PM (#50463653)

    The App Store on the Apple TV should be just as revolutionary as it was on the iPhone 3 when it came out. Instead of making a deal with Apple or Comcast or Roku to get your content on TV, you'll just write an app. This should open up TV to a whole new universe of niche providers and accelerate the trend of shrinking audiences for cable and broadcast shows.

    I'm looking forward to all the new choices.

    • Re:app store (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Saturday September 05, 2015 @04:20PM (#50463677)

      People on Slashdot seem dismissive (as usual) but I also am pretty excited about what third party apps mean for the TV space. I think it could be really exciting, and it's pretty easy for anyone to have a go at it if they like.

      • There's nothing new here. Other devices already have apps, and those apps are the ones that get the content. It's how Roku, Google TV, Chromecast, FireTV, and smart televisions work. Though with greater or lesser amount of ability to add new apps. They may be called "channels" but they're really the same as apps.

        The only thing in the announcement that sounds new is the move to talk to TV content providers directly. That sounds a bit bad actually, as it may mean that content partners with Apple may get

        • Other devices already have apps, and those apps are the ones that get the content.

          If "content" is all you think AppleTV apps will do, the Force is not the only thing facing an awakening in a few months...

      • I will be dismissive for a different reason: content of the app store.

        If you look at platforms like Kodi you'll find a very feature rich plugin section. A large number of these plugins feature things that facilitate piracy, make that piracy automatic, allow easy content searching for piracy, and improve cataloging of the pirated content. Then when you're not pirating things you're downloading aftermarket program guides from non approved sources, accessing streaming services not typically available on the de

    • That's how Roku works. Roku does not make deals to get content, instead it has lots and lots of apps .Apple sounds like it is playing catch up.

  • Bit of an omission at this point in the game I think.
    • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Saturday September 05, 2015 @06:26PM (#50464223)
      And at what point is that? You mean at a point where most people don't have 4k TVs and most content is barely 1080p and most people don't have connections that support 4k streaming?
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Or eyes/viewing distances that make 4k even useful?

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        And at what point is that? You mean at a point where most people don't have 4k TVs and most content is barely 1080p and most people don't have connections that support 4k streaming?

        Well, Apple likes to target the people with money which significantly increases the odds. I really don't understand why TV can't take a few pages from Spotify and Steam though like offline mode (download now, view later) and automatic pre-release caching of content, it's not like the next episode of Game of Thrones is broadcast live. No stuttering, no degradation, no broken connections and even if they don't want to do full offline mode even a shitty cell phone connection should be enough to authenticate an

        • Well, Apple likes to target the people with money which significantly increases the odds.

          And how will targeting richer people help with the fact that there isn't a lot of content at 4k? There's no excuse not to have 1080p right now but 4k is years away maybe even a decade. At that point, if rich people want to replace their $150 1080p Apple TV with a 4K version, it's not a huge cost

          I really don't understand why TV can't take a few pages from Spotify and Steam though like offline mode (download now, view later) and automatic pre-release caching of content, it's not like the next episode of Game of Thrones is broadcast live

          Because most people who want to see a show or a movie want it instantly. And the decision to watch that video is more or less spontaneous and not planned.

        • Well, Apple likes to target the people with money which significantly increases the odds.

          No apple targets zealots who like to buy the latest Apple product. Yes they have money, but having money does not mean people will instantly go out and just upgrade everything on a whim. If they did they likely would not have money. I know of lots of people who disposed of perfectly fine iPhone 5 to get the iPhone 6, but not a single one of them would throw out a functional 1080p TV for an equivalent 4K model. I'd wager that when content is available in 4K people still wouldn't do it. TVs in general are tre

  • Can i host my own content on my own server with having to use iTunes?
  • It is a bit misleading to say that the price has doubled. While the ATV is currently at $69, it has traditionally sold at $99. The $30 drop was in anticipation of its originally scheduled debut in late Spring, which got delayed.

    So it is more like a 50% increase than a 100%+ increase.

  • Give me a doohickey that I can plug into my TV's HDMI/USB/Firewire/whatever port. This doohickey lets me stream whatever from my PC to my TV. Wanna watch a show? Fine. Wanna listen to music? Fine. Wanna put a DVD into the PC DVD drive and watch on my 60" TV? Fine. Wanna play a game? Urm, I can see how that could be a problem.

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