AppleTV: Xbox without the “X?”

Phil Waligora, who works at Microsoft, is watching Steve Jobs’ keynote (I’m not, but am trying to check in here and there) and calls me out, wondering if I’ll say the just announced AppleTV is innovative.

Oh, Phil, haven’t you gotten the memo? Everything Apple does is innovative. Even if Microsoft’s stuff is better (and three years earlier). Sorry to break the news to you.
But, seriously, I’m not throwing away my Xbox 360. It does that and lets me play games and look at the photos stored on the box upstairs.

Now, I am gonna take a look at iPhone and seriously consider upgrading to that. Gizmodo and Engadget are going nuts with coverage.

Is Engadget right? Is the Apple TV only 720p HD? That really, really, really sucks. If that’s true this thing is dead on arrival. Apple, the entire industry is ahead of you if that’s true.

The iPhone looks really cool, though.

Comments

  1. As long as this thing is not as loud as the Xbox 360 when powered on, it IS a winner for streaming videos, photos and music to TV and stereo…

  2. As long as this thing is not as loud as the Xbox 360 when powered on, it IS a winner for streaming videos, photos and music to TV and stereo…

  3. Scoble, you’re such a tool and so completely divorced from reality.

    “dead on arrival” pfft. Good luck with the prognostication equivelant of shooting yourself in the foot.

  4. Scoble, you’re such a tool and so completely divorced from reality.

    “dead on arrival” pfft. Good luck with the prognostication equivelant of shooting yourself in the foot.

  5. I think the thing about the iPhone is that it’s probably a stealth initiative to take on Microsoft’s UMPC strategy. The iPhone runs OS X for crying out loud. It’s not a phone, it’s a computer, Jobs said as much in his speech. And he got Yahoo and Google together! You have to be impressed. If everyone is running OS X because they’re using it in their phones…then why not use it on the desktop too?

    Oh and Robert, 720p is Good Enough for most of us anyway. I don’t think it’s DOA if that’s true. If it was 480p I’d agree with you. Oh and did you get my email?

  6. Scoble,

    It’s not so much that MS is behind Apple in features, they just always get beat in presentation and marketing.

    Apple just seems to find the right way to get their message across when presenting new products. I think Apple TV and the iPhone exemplify this. The each individual aspect of the iPhone is evolutionary, but rolled together with the presentation of the entire product and people’s eyes just fall out in disbelief.

  7. I think the thing about the iPhone is that it’s probably a stealth initiative to take on Microsoft’s UMPC strategy. The iPhone runs OS X for crying out loud. It’s not a phone, it’s a computer, Jobs said as much in his speech. And he got Yahoo and Google together! You have to be impressed. If everyone is running OS X because they’re using it in their phones…then why not use it on the desktop too?

    Oh and Robert, 720p is Good Enough for most of us anyway. I don’t think it’s DOA if that’s true. If it was 480p I’d agree with you. Oh and did you get my email?

  8. Scoble,

    It’s not so much that MS is behind Apple in features, they just always get beat in presentation and marketing.

    Apple just seems to find the right way to get their message across when presenting new products. I think Apple TV and the iPhone exemplify this. The each individual aspect of the iPhone is evolutionary, but rolled together with the presentation of the entire product and people’s eyes just fall out in disbelief.

  9. The iPhone is very sexy. It is more about bringing then net to mobile than WAP or the other ‘dos-like’ mobile interfaces have been thus far.

    I do question the wisdom of Cingular-only. I’d have thought they’d go ‘unlocked’ and let you pick your own carrier. Maybe Cingular fronted the R&D or agreed to a massive purchase of units to make it worthwhile.

  10. The iPhone is very sexy. It is more about bringing then net to mobile than WAP or the other ‘dos-like’ mobile interfaces have been thus far.

    I do question the wisdom of Cingular-only. I’d have thought they’d go ‘unlocked’ and let you pick your own carrier. Maybe Cingular fronted the R&D or agreed to a massive purchase of units to make it worthwhile.

  11. Apple TV is priced @ $299. Pretty good price point. 720p is probably good enough for the mass market right now. Looks a nice product for those that have a big investment in iTunes.

    As for iPhone – well, on the surface, it looks like Apple has just jumped right into the lead. Of course, it really has to work as advertised. But, if it does, this will be the best phone on the market, bar none. 3G is the only big omission. Obviously, it’s high-end phone, so won’t be truly mass-market. But, I would expect iPhones to be outselling iPods in less than two years from now.

    I expect Apple will launch an “iPhone nano” in 9 to 12 months from now. And that will be a truly mass market device.

  12. Apple TV is priced @ $299. Pretty good price point. 720p is probably good enough for the mass market right now. Looks a nice product for those that have a big investment in iTunes.

    As for iPhone – well, on the surface, it looks like Apple has just jumped right into the lead. Of course, it really has to work as advertised. But, if it does, this will be the best phone on the market, bar none. 3G is the only big omission. Obviously, it’s high-end phone, so won’t be truly mass-market. But, I would expect iPhones to be outselling iPods in less than two years from now.

    I expect Apple will launch an “iPhone nano” in 9 to 12 months from now. And that will be a truly mass market device.

  13. Ralph – I noticed the Xbox 360 is only loud when the DVD drive is spinning for playing games. For watching regular DVD movies or just using the Xbox to browse through Marketplace content, the noise is not noticeable. At least for me. YMMV

  14. Ralph – I noticed the Xbox 360 is only loud when the DVD drive is spinning for playing games. For watching regular DVD movies or just using the Xbox to browse through Marketplace content, the noise is not noticeable. At least for me. YMMV

  15. Jobs said that Apple is shooting for 1 per cent market share with iPhone in its first year. Fair enough—it’s nice if you want to pay for the privilege of being tied to your job 24 hours a day.

  16. Jobs said that Apple is shooting for 1 per cent market share with iPhone in its first year. Fair enough—it’s nice if you want to pay for the privilege of being tied to your job 24 hours a day.

  17. 720p is good enough for right now, however by the time this is wide spread in the market it won’t be.

    The PS3 and Xbox are pushing new buyers to invest in 1080p TV’s. Most people who will be interested in devices like the iTV within the next 2 years will be early adopters who are already at 1080p.

    An advantage that Microsoft also has is that third party developers can create plugins for media center and its extenders. Although I do not know whether the iTV will allow this it is doubtful.

  18. 720p is good enough for right now, however by the time this is wide spread in the market it won’t be.

    The PS3 and Xbox are pushing new buyers to invest in 1080p TV’s. Most people who will be interested in devices like the iTV within the next 2 years will be early adopters who are already at 1080p.

    An advantage that Microsoft also has is that third party developers can create plugins for media center and its extenders. Although I do not know whether the iTV will allow this it is doubtful.

  19. As far as I can make out, Apple TV has a single, simple mission: to allow you to browse and play photos and stuff from iTunes and QuickTime movie trailers on your big TV. It will do that very well.

    The phone seems to epitomize the difference between the Billnote and the Stevenote.

    Bill: pout a headless server (whatever that means) in your closet.
    Steve: Put the world’s coolest phone, video player, and communicator in your pocket.

    I’m in New York, where Times Square is ringed with billboards that try to make Treo cool. And yesterday they did make it look cool. Today, not so much.

    I think if I were Treo, Blackberry, Chocolate, Motorola Q, etc. I’d be looking for a gas pipe to suck on about now. But maybe I’m just thinking that’s because of yesterday’s stinktacular in New York.

  20. As far as I can make out, Apple TV has a single, simple mission: to allow you to browse and play photos and stuff from iTunes and QuickTime movie trailers on your big TV. It will do that very well.

    The phone seems to epitomize the difference between the Billnote and the Stevenote.

    Bill: pout a headless server (whatever that means) in your closet.
    Steve: Put the world’s coolest phone, video player, and communicator in your pocket.

    I’m in New York, where Times Square is ringed with billboards that try to make Treo cool. And yesterday they did make it look cool. Today, not so much.

    I think if I were Treo, Blackberry, Chocolate, Motorola Q, etc. I’d be looking for a gas pipe to suck on about now. But maybe I’m just thinking that’s because of yesterday’s stinktacular in New York.

  21. 720p is fine, Robert. How much 1080 content is available right now?
    iTV has an HDMI connector which is nice too.

    And given the choices for video on the 360, this is not DOA. I mean come on, the video marketplace on the 360 is complete suction. Think about the oft abused idea of convergence too, it means I can watch video on my Mac, Ipod and TV. That is a far more meaningful trio to me than the XBOX 360 with Media TV extender, plus Zune (LOL) and a PC with XP or Vista.

  22. 720p is fine, Robert. How much 1080 content is available right now?
    iTV has an HDMI connector which is nice too.

    And given the choices for video on the 360, this is not DOA. I mean come on, the video marketplace on the 360 is complete suction. Think about the oft abused idea of convergence too, it means I can watch video on my Mac, Ipod and TV. That is a far more meaningful trio to me than the XBOX 360 with Media TV extender, plus Zune (LOL) and a PC with XP or Vista.

  23. Mr. Scoble… The phone is a Cingular only deal. Not sure you’re gonna like the taste of that. Although, the tech behind it is awfully sweet. Needs a bigger drive if it’s going to run OSX + Apps + act as storage for all those pix, movies and such.

    On the AppleTV… I’ll drop $299 to see if it lives up to expectations. We’re not a 1080p household (yet). So, it’s a good entry point for us to start stepping into the land of HD goodness.

    The announcements in today’s keynote were cool, wholly anticipated. What didn’t happen was attn on the upcoming Leopard release (OS X 10.5) and nada on MacBooks, Servers or the desktop lineup. Odd.

    Still, very exciting stuff unleashed today. And, once this deal is shipping… Safari (WebKit) is going to be taken a WHOLE lot more seriously as a browser agent. Imagine all the River of News apps you’ll load on this baby!

  24. Mr. Scoble… The phone is a Cingular only deal. Not sure you’re gonna like the taste of that. Although, the tech behind it is awfully sweet. Needs a bigger drive if it’s going to run OSX + Apps + act as storage for all those pix, movies and such.

    On the AppleTV… I’ll drop $299 to see if it lives up to expectations. We’re not a 1080p household (yet). So, it’s a good entry point for us to start stepping into the land of HD goodness.

    The announcements in today’s keynote were cool, wholly anticipated. What didn’t happen was attn on the upcoming Leopard release (OS X 10.5) and nada on MacBooks, Servers or the desktop lineup. Odd.

    Still, very exciting stuff unleashed today. And, once this deal is shipping… Safari (WebKit) is going to be taken a WHOLE lot more seriously as a browser agent. Imagine all the River of News apps you’ll load on this baby!

  25. Agree with Andrew on the iPhone – would have liked to see it unlocked. And since it is Cingular/AT&T we likely will not get true open IP access from the iPhone.

  26. Agree with Andrew on the iPhone – would have liked to see it unlocked. And since it is Cingular/AT&T we likely will not get true open IP access from the iPhone.

  27. Apple is linked to Intel’s chip refresh cycles. If the market wants (read: is willing to pay a price premium) to get 1080, they’ll get 1080 within 3-6 months of launch with improved processor speed and storage. Ditto for HD disk playback.

    720 vs 1080? It’s just like the poor bitrates on AAC files. Real audiophiles don’t want those, but they are good enough to sell millions of tunes. A difference that can only be perceived through side by side comparisons is not a difference you can market against.

    If the primary thing the customer wants is a way to extend their media collection to the living room, now they have more options: appleTV, xbox360, or media center. Which one costs less? appleTV. Easy pick for the nongamer. Most likely it just works without crashing, patching, rebooting, or taking up much space, also a consideration for nongamers, or any one of the folks who have been bolting a mac mini to the wall behind their plasma screens. It’s not like you can unobtrusively fit a 360 between wall and mounting brackets, and they don’t really like the heat, either.

    Advantages: price, size, heat tolerance/reliability, familiar UI, can talk to windows or mac.
    Disadvantages: not SDTV/EDTV compatible, not divx compatible.

    As Tycho says: “this isn’t for you”, Mr. Scoble. This is for the rest of us, it’s a mass market device.

    (Can your 360 playback video or audio files from a mac on your home network?)

  28. Apple is linked to Intel’s chip refresh cycles. If the market wants (read: is willing to pay a price premium) to get 1080, they’ll get 1080 within 3-6 months of launch with improved processor speed and storage. Ditto for HD disk playback.

    720 vs 1080? It’s just like the poor bitrates on AAC files. Real audiophiles don’t want those, but they are good enough to sell millions of tunes. A difference that can only be perceived through side by side comparisons is not a difference you can market against.

    If the primary thing the customer wants is a way to extend their media collection to the living room, now they have more options: appleTV, xbox360, or media center. Which one costs less? appleTV. Easy pick for the nongamer. Most likely it just works without crashing, patching, rebooting, or taking up much space, also a consideration for nongamers, or any one of the folks who have been bolting a mac mini to the wall behind their plasma screens. It’s not like you can unobtrusively fit a 360 between wall and mounting brackets, and they don’t really like the heat, either.

    Advantages: price, size, heat tolerance/reliability, familiar UI, can talk to windows or mac.
    Disadvantages: not SDTV/EDTV compatible, not divx compatible.

    As Tycho says: “this isn’t for you”, Mr. Scoble. This is for the rest of us, it’s a mass market device.

    (Can your 360 playback video or audio files from a mac on your home network?)

  29. I don’t see the problem with Apple TV, other than the stupid name. ABC/NBC/Fox all broadcast 720P routinely. Only CBS & PBS use 1080i commonly and there is no great outcry from the people using HDTVs. Further, it’s a software device with a HD and CPU/GPU of it’s own. I’m sure Apple has allowed for the ability to update it’s capabilities.

    As to the iPhone, which CNBC is reportedly causing ongoing negotiations with Cisco, it’s not so much a cell phone or smart phone as it is a whole new product niche. It uses an embedded version of OS X, draws on their API set and is a smack across the mouth of Windows Mobile/CE/Pocket PC, RIM and Palm. A look at the SDK should reveal where they intend to take this new platform. It could also destroy the PSP at the high end.

  30. I don’t see the problem with Apple TV, other than the stupid name. ABC/NBC/Fox all broadcast 720P routinely. Only CBS & PBS use 1080i commonly and there is no great outcry from the people using HDTVs. Further, it’s a software device with a HD and CPU/GPU of it’s own. I’m sure Apple has allowed for the ability to update it’s capabilities.

    As to the iPhone, which CNBC is reportedly causing ongoing negotiations with Cisco, it’s not so much a cell phone or smart phone as it is a whole new product niche. It uses an embedded version of OS X, draws on their API set and is a smack across the mouth of Windows Mobile/CE/Pocket PC, RIM and Palm. A look at the SDK should reveal where they intend to take this new platform. It could also destroy the PSP at the high end.

  31. One thing about Scoble: he’s never too red-faced to be wrong over and over and over again.

    Unless Microsoft can figure out some way to violate antitrust law and use some kind of illegal bundling method, most people would rather purchase an easy-to-use, intuitive device that outputs at 720p than a device that’s ugly, hard to use, and outputs at 1080i.

    You ex-softies are like members of a satan-worshipping cult. You haven’t been at Microsoft for how long and the bootlicking continues.

    If stats are the most important thing, why deny the superiority of Sony Playstation 3′s higher-capacity hard drive, the higher-capacity optical storage, and its 1080p vs xbox 360′s supposed 1080i (does the xbox 360 have a single game that renders natively in 1080 resolution)?

  32. The specs say:

    It works with a broad range of widescreen TVs capable of:

    * 1080i
    * 720p
    * 576p (PAL format)
    * 480p

  33. One thing about Scoble: he’s never too red-faced to be wrong over and over and over again.

    Unless Microsoft can figure out some way to violate antitrust law and use some kind of illegal bundling method, most people would rather purchase an easy-to-use, intuitive device that outputs at 720p than a device that’s ugly, hard to use, and outputs at 1080i.

    You ex-softies are like members of a satan-worshipping cult. You haven’t been at Microsoft for how long and the bootlicking continues.

    If stats are the most important thing, why deny the superiority of Sony Playstation 3′s higher-capacity hard drive, the higher-capacity optical storage, and its 1080p vs xbox 360′s supposed 1080i (does the xbox 360 have a single game that renders natively in 1080 resolution)?

  34. The specs say:

    It works with a broad range of widescreen TVs capable of:

    * 1080i
    * 720p
    * 576p (PAL format)
    * 480p

  35. FACT: Most HDTV owners have a 720p television. 1080p is a niche within a niche.

    The AppleTV might have some traction as an iPod accessory more than a separate device in and of itself. The 360 is the 360. The AppleTV is selling against (and is pretty much superior to) multimedia 3rd-party iPod attachments. This thing is being sold to iPod owners, not the enthusiast tech market. So, really, it doesn’t matter if competing devices are pushing 1080p. Apple has a 70 million strong market to work with.

    As for the iPhone, has the Windows Mobile team committed seppuku yet? All that time dominating the mobile smartphone space and all they could do was a pretty Windows CE update. The iPhone and its OS just totally and utterly outclasses Windows Mobile. It’s like looking ten years into the future.

  36. FACT: Most HDTV owners have a 720p television. 1080p is a niche within a niche.

    The AppleTV might have some traction as an iPod accessory more than a separate device in and of itself. The 360 is the 360. The AppleTV is selling against (and is pretty much superior to) multimedia 3rd-party iPod attachments. This thing is being sold to iPod owners, not the enthusiast tech market. So, really, it doesn’t matter if competing devices are pushing 1080p. Apple has a 70 million strong market to work with.

    As for the iPhone, has the Windows Mobile team committed seppuku yet? All that time dominating the mobile smartphone space and all they could do was a pretty Windows CE update. The iPhone and its OS just totally and utterly outclasses Windows Mobile. It’s like looking ten years into the future.

  37. holy shit.. watch how the accelerometer in the iPhone tools the zune ..

    vids on apple.com/iphone… *drooooool

  38. holy shit.. watch how the accelerometer in the iPhone tools the zune ..

    vids on apple.com/iphone… *drooooool

  39. Ok, a few notes:

    On the iPhone – that’s an impressive devise, but the price (particularly since it requires the 2 year contract), with data plan also required, makes it unfeasable. Particularly without an expansion port such as an SD slot. However, if development for it is doable, then it becomes FAR more interesting. If you could program your own content, games, etc. then this is the Nokia 800 on crack. Either way though, there’s not enough information to tell whether this has enough features, clean enough interface, ease of development, to outweigh the tremendous costs.

    The iTV thing is useless. TOTALLY useless. There’s a few cases where it becomes a consideration – if it does a pull vs. a push system. If the only media it displays has to be pushed to it, save the time & money and buy a Mac MINI or some other device. I don’t intend to buy a device and then have to get up, walk to my bedroom to turn on my computer to stream stuff to my living room.

    The other way the iTV could become useful is as an integrated media library. This would require supporting external harddrives. Even then though, it’s limited in functionality, without having DVR abilities or a lot more functionality than listed. If the thing supported external harddrives, then syncing the media from my desktop, ripping my dvd library to it, etc. etc., then that would be worthwhile, because I dont’ have to dig through piles of CD’s or go to half a dozen places to find my information – it’s all in one place, easily browsable.

    SO, the iTV is kinda worthless without some serious modifications and external harddrive support. Maybe only half worthless if it does pulls instead of pushes. The iPhone could rock, could suck, depending on interface, pricing, and how well development works for it (still say it needs an expansion slot!).

    Here’s the thing to keep in mind too – I love apple products, own only an iMac and a Powerbook, but these products were just a total disappointment from what they could have produced. PARTICULARLY for the price/feature comparison and particularly for the keynote.

  40. Ok, a few notes:

    On the iPhone – that’s an impressive devise, but the price (particularly since it requires the 2 year contract), with data plan also required, makes it unfeasable. Particularly without an expansion port such as an SD slot. However, if development for it is doable, then it becomes FAR more interesting. If you could program your own content, games, etc. then this is the Nokia 800 on crack. Either way though, there’s not enough information to tell whether this has enough features, clean enough interface, ease of development, to outweigh the tremendous costs.

    The iTV thing is useless. TOTALLY useless. There’s a few cases where it becomes a consideration – if it does a pull vs. a push system. If the only media it displays has to be pushed to it, save the time & money and buy a Mac MINI or some other device. I don’t intend to buy a device and then have to get up, walk to my bedroom to turn on my computer to stream stuff to my living room.

    The other way the iTV could become useful is as an integrated media library. This would require supporting external harddrives. Even then though, it’s limited in functionality, without having DVR abilities or a lot more functionality than listed. If the thing supported external harddrives, then syncing the media from my desktop, ripping my dvd library to it, etc. etc., then that would be worthwhile, because I dont’ have to dig through piles of CD’s or go to half a dozen places to find my information – it’s all in one place, easily browsable.

    SO, the iTV is kinda worthless without some serious modifications and external harddrive support. Maybe only half worthless if it does pulls instead of pushes. The iPhone could rock, could suck, depending on interface, pricing, and how well development works for it (still say it needs an expansion slot!).

    Here’s the thing to keep in mind too – I love apple products, own only an iMac and a Powerbook, but these products were just a total disappointment from what they could have produced. PARTICULARLY for the price/feature comparison and particularly for the keynote.

  41. Yes, the iPhone is out of this universe and all that, blows away everything since sliced bread, la la la.

    It has no tactile interface. Did anyone hear that? The phone has no tactile interface. One of the great things about phones is that you can operate them with your fingers alone. And before anyone gets all on about how this is a computer, not just a phone, because it runs OSX after all, well then they shouldn’t have named it the iPhone.

    And $600!! for the 8GB model? That’s WITH a 2-year contract with Cingular? And no options for any other provider?

    I sure think it’s pretty, but there are some big flaws with this iPhone that I think a lot of people are shrugging aside merely because Apple is the one presenting it.

  42. Yes, the iPhone is out of this universe and all that, blows away everything since sliced bread, la la la.

    It has no tactile interface. Did anyone hear that? The phone has no tactile interface. One of the great things about phones is that you can operate them with your fingers alone. And before anyone gets all on about how this is a computer, not just a phone, because it runs OSX after all, well then they shouldn’t have named it the iPhone.

    And $600!! for the 8GB model? That’s WITH a 2-year contract with Cingular? And no options for any other provider?

    I sure think it’s pretty, but there are some big flaws with this iPhone that I think a lot of people are shrugging aside merely because Apple is the one presenting it.

  43. This is why I like Apple (sometimes). They didn’t just slap a round virtual keyboard thingy and call it revolutionary ;)
    iPhone runs OSX but the GUI is entirely different?

    I am not going to buy it anytime soon though. Cingular (+ data plans)+ 8gb + battery life (unless it has two batteries in it) stops me from spending $600 now. Hell I didn’t even buy the PS3 :)

  44. This is why I like Apple (sometimes). They didn’t just slap a round virtual keyboard thingy and call it revolutionary ;)
    iPhone runs OSX but the GUI is entirely different?

    I am not going to buy it anytime soon though. Cingular (+ data plans)+ 8gb + battery life (unless it has two batteries in it) stops me from spending $600 now. Hell I didn’t even buy the PS3 :)

  45. Having just watched the scobleshow with gates talking about the xbox1 being a first step into the market, that’s how AppleTV looks to me. If Apple want to develop a much higher spec device, they can and will. I don’t know of anyone who thinks they can’t.

  46. Having just watched the scobleshow with gates talking about the xbox1 being a first step into the market, that’s how AppleTV looks to me. If Apple want to develop a much higher spec device, they can and will. I don’t know of anyone who thinks they can’t.

  47. 720p is a good start. If it takes off, Apple can always push for 1080i/p in version 2when the wireless technology matures as well as 1080p sets become the standard.

    I think the presentation was sexier than anything else I saw out of CES. Whats the coolest innovation from MS this year? Seriously?

    iPhone with Bluetooth and WiFi on OS X is destined to be a hacker’s dream come true. :-) This is convergence at its best imho.

    I wonder how the production quality iPhone stacks up against the Moto Qpro or best MS smartphone in real world results. Lets face it there is nothing like it on the market or on the horizon from anyone else. That to me, is the definition of innovation. Lets give credit where credit is due (and cash as well) :-).

    The only thing MS has going for it, is tight integration with OutLook 2007 for the next gen of Windows Mobile, which may appeal to biz users who switch to Vista and the new Office for Vista.

    If it wasnt a Cingular only deal, I would want one today! Oh and if I was rich! :-) 599$ is enough to buy a good laptop!

    I have seen Vista running on a UMPC but to get it onto a Zune like device (but sexier) with all the bells and whistles from Live integration is a tall ask for MS, if they were not expecting this. If they were it would have made sense to reveal it at CES. Maybe they have something planned but its not quite there. In any case the bar just got raised and if they do manage a clone/similar product they will be branded as copy cats (again).

    cheers
    SandmaX

  48. It was kind of an unusual Macworld keynote. Steve Jobs managed to go from the dull (AppleTV, I can’t think why I’d want one, but then in the UK we have none of the iTunes downloadable movies or television the US has), to the fantastic (I can’t get myself an iPhone quick enough, which is a shame because it won’t turn up in Europe until Q4).

    Even if you put aside all that, and that I’ll believe the iPhone when I see something other than a mockup doing the many tasks it’s supposed to be able to, isn’t it odd that nothing else was covered? No new updates to their annual software packages, no Mac updates, no monitor updates…

    Is Steve Jobs going to gather the press monthly right the way through 2007 to dribble out everything else?

  49. 720p is a good start. If it takes off, Apple can always push for 1080i/p in version 2when the wireless technology matures as well as 1080p sets become the standard.

    I think the presentation was sexier than anything else I saw out of CES. Whats the coolest innovation from MS this year? Seriously?

    iPhone with Bluetooth and WiFi on OS X is destined to be a hacker’s dream come true. :-) This is convergence at its best imho.

    I wonder how the production quality iPhone stacks up against the Moto Qpro or best MS smartphone in real world results. Lets face it there is nothing like it on the market or on the horizon from anyone else. That to me, is the definition of innovation. Lets give credit where credit is due (and cash as well) :-).

    The only thing MS has going for it, is tight integration with OutLook 2007 for the next gen of Windows Mobile, which may appeal to biz users who switch to Vista and the new Office for Vista.

    If it wasnt a Cingular only deal, I would want one today! Oh and if I was rich! :-) 599$ is enough to buy a good laptop!

    I have seen Vista running on a UMPC but to get it onto a Zune like device (but sexier) with all the bells and whistles from Live integration is a tall ask for MS, if they were not expecting this. If they were it would have made sense to reveal it at CES. Maybe they have something planned but its not quite there. In any case the bar just got raised and if they do manage a clone/similar product they will be branded as copy cats (again).

    cheers
    SandmaX

  50. It was kind of an unusual Macworld keynote. Steve Jobs managed to go from the dull (AppleTV, I can’t think why I’d want one, but then in the UK we have none of the iTunes downloadable movies or television the US has), to the fantastic (I can’t get myself an iPhone quick enough, which is a shame because it won’t turn up in Europe until Q4).

    Even if you put aside all that, and that I’ll believe the iPhone when I see something other than a mockup doing the many tasks it’s supposed to be able to, isn’t it odd that nothing else was covered? No new updates to their annual software packages, no Mac updates, no monitor updates…

    Is Steve Jobs going to gather the press monthly right the way through 2007 to dribble out everything else?

  51. There are several essays on the web that describe why 720p is smarter for storing and streaming video via wifi (most of our legacy of TV viewing is not even that sharp, and 720p also is near equivalent to the DVD standard of the past decade.

    If you want a sharper image, you watch BluRay, HD DVD, or the sattelite or cable signal directly. (You can even use your Xbox 360 or PS3 if you like).

    If you want convenient storage and streaming of viewable content, 720 is fine, actually, almost necessary, to work with current technology, from a bandwidth
    perspective. Recording and burning removeable media for 1080i is currently past the point of convenience.

  52. There are several essays on the web that describe why 720p is smarter for storing and streaming video via wifi (most of our legacy of TV viewing is not even that sharp, and 720p also is near equivalent to the DVD standard of the past decade.

    If you want a sharper image, you watch BluRay, HD DVD, or the sattelite or cable signal directly. (You can even use your Xbox 360 or PS3 if you like).

    If you want convenient storage and streaming of viewable content, 720 is fine, actually, almost necessary, to work with current technology, from a bandwidth
    perspective. Recording and burning removeable media for 1080i is currently past the point of convenience.

  53. Robert, Most people can’t tell the difference between 720p and 1080p. Apple is not going for the high end they are going for the market. People complained about itunes 128bit songs and 2 billion songs later no one cares.

    I don’t get the video portion of the iphone. with only 8GB of storage I guess it is cool for a show or two. Where is the video iPod with a hard drive and without the phone features?

  54. Robert, Most people can’t tell the difference between 720p and 1080p. Apple is not going for the high end they are going for the market. People complained about itunes 128bit songs and 2 billion songs later no one cares.

    I don’t get the video portion of the iphone. with only 8GB of storage I guess it is cool for a show or two. Where is the video iPod with a hard drive and without the phone features?

  55. It will seem like a long wait for us Europeans, but we’ve got one big bonus which is that we haven’t got this linked to provider stuff a lot ;). And then again, I haven’t seen a phone which I also couldn’t buy without any contract. (is actually in the long run cheaper…). By the time when it reaches Europe, I’m fairly confident that G3 will be added, as most network operators in Europe will ask for it.

    What makes it interesting is that it runs OS X, though I would like to know what’s under the hood of this little computer..

    As far as Apple TV goes, I can understand your viewpoint about “i’ll use the Xbox” but can you imagine the market place that is out there that has no Xbox…. You might not agree, but game consoles are AFAIC a niche market. And in most homes it won’t be on the main television mind you…

  56. It will seem like a long wait for us Europeans, but we’ve got one big bonus which is that we haven’t got this linked to provider stuff a lot ;). And then again, I haven’t seen a phone which I also couldn’t buy without any contract. (is actually in the long run cheaper…). By the time when it reaches Europe, I’m fairly confident that G3 will be added, as most network operators in Europe will ask for it.

    What makes it interesting is that it runs OS X, though I would like to know what’s under the hood of this little computer..

    As far as Apple TV goes, I can understand your viewpoint about “i’ll use the Xbox” but can you imagine the market place that is out there that has no Xbox…. You might not agree, but game consoles are AFAIC a niche market. And in most homes it won’t be on the main television mind you…

  57. Does 1080p require a different connector (i.e. not component)? I don’t have one so I’m not sure, but I suspect that by the time this Apple TV is ‘end of life’ the majority of HDtvs will STILL NOT be 1080p

  58. Does 1080p require a different connector (i.e. not component)? I don’t have one so I’m not sure, but I suspect that by the time this Apple TV is ‘end of life’ the majority of HDtvs will STILL NOT be 1080p

  59. The content is 720p, so what’ the point of supporting 1080p, ‘eh? Sounds like MS bloat to me. I wish it would shave my llama too, everyone has a llama, right?

    It run OS X. That’s so cool. BTW, you rock Scob!

  60. The content is 720p, so what’ the point of supporting 1080p, ‘eh? Sounds like MS bloat to me. I wish it would shave my llama too, everyone has a llama, right?

    It run OS X. That’s so cool. BTW, you rock Scob!

  61. I haven’t seen a whole lot of discussion thus far about the form factor of the iPhone. Besides the very high price point of the phone+contract+data plan, I really see the fact that the iPhone is not going to be a device that you can just slip into your pocket for a night out or worry terribly about damaging the touch screen is going to turn it off the the vast majority of the consumer market. Thoughts?

  62. I haven’t seen a whole lot of discussion thus far about the form factor of the iPhone. Besides the very high price point of the phone+contract+data plan, I really see the fact that the iPhone is not going to be a device that you can just slip into your pocket for a night out or worry terribly about damaging the touch screen is going to turn it off the the vast majority of the consumer market. Thoughts?

  63. Andrew: no. Xbox 360 does 1080p through composite connectors. HDMI connectors are better, though.

    Regarding 1080p: if you walk the halls here at CES you realize that a vast majority of the sets that people will buy this year are 1080p.

    To me it’s a marketing thing. If you buy a set that’s 1080p, you want devices that hook up to it at 1080p.

    Also, people who buy new sets are far far far more likely to buy this than someone who has a three-year-old TV.

  64. Andrew: no. Xbox 360 does 1080p through composite connectors. HDMI connectors are better, though.

    Regarding 1080p: if you walk the halls here at CES you realize that a vast majority of the sets that people will buy this year are 1080p.

    To me it’s a marketing thing. If you buy a set that’s 1080p, you want devices that hook up to it at 1080p.

    Also, people who buy new sets are far far far more likely to buy this than someone who has a three-year-old TV.

  65. One thing about iPhone – it ( probably ) get dirty. Touch your ear with this huge screen :) It looks cool but usability of the touchscreen controlled phone might be ( in my opinion ) not so good

  66. One thing about iPhone – it ( probably ) get dirty. Touch your ear with this huge screen :) It looks cool but usability of the touchscreen controlled phone might be ( in my opinion ) not so good

  67. Only 3% of Americans have an HDTV. Not all of those people have greater than 720p resolution. That leaves a potential market of over 97%. Until good HDTVs get in the neighborhood of $500, they will not take off, and therefore worrying about 1080(x) is not necessary.

    The iTS was created to sell more iPods. The Apple TV is the opposite: it was created to sell more video/movie content in the iTS. If there is no 1080(x) content in the iTS, then why bother?

  68. Jason: Worrying about damage would be more of a turn off then size I would think. It’s expensive and it’s not much bigger then a SLVR. In fact it’s only a little bit wider and just as tall. So it’s sleek, but if you drop it…uh…that’s alot of dough out the window.

    Sorry for the double post, if Scoble could delete the other one…

  69. Jason: Worrying about damage would be more of a turn off then size I would think. It’s expensive and it’s not much bigger then a SLVR. In fact it’s only a little bit wider and just as tall. So it’s sleek, but if you drop it…uh…that’s alot of dough out the window.

    Sorry for the double post, if Scoble could delete the other one…

  70. Only 3% of Americans have an HDTV. Not all of those people have greater than 720p resolution. That leaves a potential market of over 97%. Until good HDTVs get in the neighborhood of $500, they will not take off, and therefore worrying about 1080(x) is not necessary.

    The iTS was created to sell more iPods. The Apple TV is the opposite: it was created to sell more video/movie content in the iTS. If there is no 1080(x) content in the iTS, then why bother?

  71. jrj: Discovery channel is 1080i. ESPN is 1080i too. My HD-DVD is 1080. BlueRay is 1080. My camcorder is 1080.

    By the way, my Media Center sends 1080 over my 802.11 wireless network to my Xbox and it rocks. Everyone who sees it says “Microsoft did that?”

  72. jrj: Discovery channel is 1080i. ESPN is 1080i too. My HD-DVD is 1080. BlueRay is 1080. My camcorder is 1080.

    By the way, my Media Center sends 1080 over my 802.11 wireless network to my Xbox and it rocks. Everyone who sees it says “Microsoft did that?”

  73. year2: in 1977 no one had PCs. TOday everyone does.

    So?

    It’s funny to see the Apple fans defending Apple being behind the curve. When they are ahead of the curve you all love that. It’s fun to watch you realize Apple is a “me too” company when it comes to HDTV.

  74. The iPhone has got the Apple mystique, but it has a whiff of some of Apples more dubious “innovations.” I can’t help but think Newton 2.0. Macigami? Looks like the Mac Cube of phones, i.e. lovably beautiful and cool, but over-priced and over-designed.

  75. year2: in 1977 no one had PCs. TOday everyone does.

    So?

    It’s funny to see the Apple fans defending Apple being behind the curve. When they are ahead of the curve you all love that. It’s fun to watch you realize Apple is a “me too” company when it comes to HDTV.

  76. The iPhone has got the Apple mystique, but it has a whiff of some of Apples more dubious “innovations.” I can’t help but think Newton 2.0. Macigami? Looks like the Mac Cube of phones, i.e. lovably beautiful and cool, but over-priced and over-designed.

  77. Question for all you guys? Apple TV is so much like Windows XP Media Center edition/Vista Ulitmate Media center running on a small DVD player like box.

    Do you think it will take M$ ages to figure that out… A stripped down Vista Ultimate Media center running on a slim box from dell, toshiba, samsung etc will be really lucrative.

    This is really only slightly different from a media center extender, which is already out there. Also keep in mind that 80% of windows SKUs sold to consumers last year were Media center editions.

    Microsoft has all the expertise both in terms of Software and partner channels to trump this. I think they are already ahead in the game on this one with the success of XBOX, XP Media Center and now Vista Ultimate in PCs… I am sure they’ll figure out a strategy around iTV, if they already haven’t… Robbie Bach is smart you know and so is JAllard…

  78. Question for all you guys? Apple TV is so much like Windows XP Media Center edition/Vista Ulitmate Media center running on a small DVD player like box.

    Do you think it will take M$ ages to figure that out… A stripped down Vista Ultimate Media center running on a slim box from dell, toshiba, samsung etc will be really lucrative.

    This is really only slightly different from a media center extender, which is already out there. Also keep in mind that 80% of windows SKUs sold to consumers last year were Media center editions.

    Microsoft has all the expertise both in terms of Software and partner channels to trump this. I think they are already ahead in the game on this one with the success of XBOX, XP Media Center and now Vista Ultimate in PCs… I am sure they’ll figure out a strategy around iTV, if they already haven’t… Robbie Bach is smart you know and so is JAllard…

  79. I don’t know man. Did anybody else find it highly ironic that Jobs made it a point to poke fun at Zunes measely 2% marketshare of the digital music player market, and yet tout iPhones goal of 1% marketshare by 2008 as a great achievement?

  80. I don’t know man. Did anybody else find it highly ironic that Jobs made it a point to poke fun at Zunes measely 2% marketshare of the digital music player market, and yet tout iPhones goal of 1% marketshare by 2008 as a great achievement?

  81. Robert, 720p working on Macs is better than 1080p working only on Windows. The story is simple. My Xbox 360 doesn’t let me watch the videos on my Mac. It only allows wmv, which is lame. Not because wmv is bad, but because the videos I have are not in wmv. If the Xbox 360 team abandon the attempt to strengthen the Windows monopoly (which doesn’t need any help), the Xbox 360would go from great to kick ass. I’d still recommend an Xbox 360 or a Slingcatcher over the Apple TV… Slingcatcher is probably the most appropriate one for most applications (but if you already have an Xbox 360 and a Windows Box, you don’t need anything else). Of course, I also recommended not to buy video that you couldn’t burn on a DVD, but you see how many people didn’t listen to me…

  82. Robert, 720p working on Macs is better than 1080p working only on Windows. The story is simple. My Xbox 360 doesn’t let me watch the videos on my Mac. It only allows wmv, which is lame. Not because wmv is bad, but because the videos I have are not in wmv. If the Xbox 360 team abandon the attempt to strengthen the Windows monopoly (which doesn’t need any help), the Xbox 360would go from great to kick ass. I’d still recommend an Xbox 360 or a Slingcatcher over the Apple TV… Slingcatcher is probably the most appropriate one for most applications (but if you already have an Xbox 360 and a Windows Box, you don’t need anything else). Of course, I also recommended not to buy video that you couldn’t burn on a DVD, but you see how many people didn’t listen to me…

  83. You guys went to the wrong show! The boring Gates keynote didn’t make you aware of that? :)

    The iPhone makes the Zune look like a clunky 1980′s piece of hardware.

  84. You guys went to the wrong show! The boring Gates keynote didn’t make you aware of that? :)

    The iPhone makes the Zune look like a clunky 1980′s piece of hardware.

  85. The main thing going for Apple TV is that it is linked to iTunes. Lots of people already have a lot of music (read: money) tied up in the iTunes proprietary cloud. This is where the “lock in” occurs. The race is not necessarily to sell the best devices, or provide the best features, but to be the SERVICE that will OWN YOUR DIGITAL ASSETS. Sales of devices and features will naturally follow.

  86. The main thing going for Apple TV is that it is linked to iTunes. Lots of people already have a lot of music (read: money) tied up in the iTunes proprietary cloud. This is where the “lock in” occurs. The race is not necessarily to sell the best devices, or provide the best features, but to be the SERVICE that will OWN YOUR DIGITAL ASSETS. Sales of devices and features will naturally follow.

  87. Robert, thanks for your reply. I am not an Apple fan; I don’t own a Mac, nor do I plan on purchasing an iTV. I’d rather build a home media network myself (and Windows Home Server looks awfully appealing to me for that purpose).

    I think it’s the same decision as not making the Nintendo Wii have HD: it saves some money on the components that go into it. The difference is that Nintendo probably did it to make the Wii price lower whereas Apple probably did it to increase the profit margin on the product.

    HD is a huge story among the tech-savvy, but I don’t think it will reach major market penetration for a few more years. 1977 was 30 years ago, and I doubt anyone really expects their current-gen HD products to last that long.

    Computers are the wrong analogue for HD; I think CDs are a better comparison point. They hit the market in 1982, but it took more than 10 years for them really to start replacing cassettes for most people. HD still has a few more years before every entertainment device produced should have it.

  88. Robert, thanks for your reply. I am not an Apple fan; I don’t own a Mac, nor do I plan on purchasing an iTV. I’d rather build a home media network myself (and Windows Home Server looks awfully appealing to me for that purpose).

    I think it’s the same decision as not making the Nintendo Wii have HD: it saves some money on the components that go into it. The difference is that Nintendo probably did it to make the Wii price lower whereas Apple probably did it to increase the profit margin on the product.

    HD is a huge story among the tech-savvy, but I don’t think it will reach major market penetration for a few more years. 1977 was 30 years ago, and I doubt anyone really expects their current-gen HD products to last that long.

    Computers are the wrong analogue for HD; I think CDs are a better comparison point. They hit the market in 1982, but it took more than 10 years for them really to start replacing cassettes for most people. HD still has a few more years before every entertainment device produced should have it.

  89. Given your 360 lovefest, I find it hilarious that most of the game related content, trailers for instance, that I can download from the xbox, are 720p.

    And I thought this was a Microsoft vs. Apple discussion Robert? Who cares if discovery Channel and ESPN are 1080i?

  90. Given your 360 lovefest, I find it hilarious that most of the game related content, trailers for instance, that I can download from the xbox, are 720p.

    And I thought this was a Microsoft vs. Apple discussion Robert? Who cares if discovery Channel and ESPN are 1080i?

  91. For Advertisers iPhone is a Game Changer, Apple TV Isn’t

    Unless you live in Guam, you probably know by now that Apple announced its long anticipated iPhone and shipped the Apple TV extender. You can read about the devices on a bazillion other sites, but start with Engadget. Let’s instead

  92. “Is the Apple TV only 720p HD?”

    Written like a true technosnob. Some of us still have projection TVs. You know, the ones that that have 3 times the viewing area for 1/4 the price.

    I even use mine with the PS3. They didn’t include the high def cable, and let’s face it, a lot of people don’t need it. I am one of them.

    If you run a company you don’t market to 5% of potential customers. If you can trade off an expensive part and lower the definition and price, or you can get a discount on overstocked parts, then that is the way to go.

  93. “Is the Apple TV only 720p HD?”

    Written like a true technosnob. Some of us still have projection TVs. You know, the ones that that have 3 times the viewing area for 1/4 the price.

    I even use mine with the PS3. They didn’t include the high def cable, and let’s face it, a lot of people don’t need it. I am one of them.

    If you run a company you don’t market to 5% of potential customers. If you can trade off an expensive part and lower the definition and price, or you can get a discount on overstocked parts, then that is the way to go.

  94. A) The box will be always powered on. My wife doesn’t really want to launch the xbox each time she uses it.
    B) now Robert, that’s a little white lie. Just because the Xbox was out that early doesn’t mean it had that functionality that early. I urge you not to slip back into your MS apologist ways.
    c) 1080p won’t do you any good on the device at this point. On the Xbox either. Because you don’t have the bandwidth to pull that video down.
    Is it really THAT great, No. But is it cool, yes. It will also get people to use it that wouldn’t have before. Honestly people are only going to buy an Xbox if they want to play games.

  95. A) The box will be always powered on. My wife doesn’t really want to launch the xbox each time she uses it.
    B) now Robert, that’s a little white lie. Just because the Xbox was out that early doesn’t mean it had that functionality that early. I urge you not to slip back into your MS apologist ways.
    c) 1080p won’t do you any good on the device at this point. On the Xbox either. Because you don’t have the bandwidth to pull that video down.
    Is it really THAT great, No. But is it cool, yes. It will also get people to use it that wouldn’t have before. Honestly people are only going to buy an Xbox if they want to play games.

  96. over-priced… yes. But for the mac-mac early adopters, it’s a price they will pay gladly.

    I’m more interested in how this will evolve with eventual lower prices in the long run, potential for the phone to divorce itself from traditional carriers via wi-fi connectivity (Skype, Vonage, and other VoIP services on iPhone is a possible future)

    Future versions of the iPhone could include an economy version (like the Nano and Shuffle are to the iPod line).

    Since OS X runs on it, developers could create slimmed down versions of their apps to run on the iPhone. (Anyone waiting for a tablet Mac? We may have just seen it.) If there is a lot of development for the iPhone, expect a non-phone version of this device to become a seller (look out Palm, and Windows Mobile, a full strength OS will be going up against you)

    Also note that the use of the iPod’s dock connector means that the accessory market for the iPhone already exists. many devices made to be used with the iPod will be easily used with the iPhone as well.

    It’s going to start with a limited appeal, but it’s well positioned to take off like the iPod did.

    All this using the same OS that runs regular Macs and X-Servers, while MS has different OS’ for every occasion. (Hey, somebody has to fill in for John Welch, while he’s busy at Macworld Expo)

  97. Diego: if you want the “big news” then, yes, I’m at the wrong show. But, let’s face it, they didn’t let you play with it. The ones I’ve seen are behind glass.

    1080 won’t do any good? You guys need to come to CES and get educated and see what the difference is. I can tell the difference. It’s why most of us with HD sets watch so much Discovery channel.

  98. over-priced… yes. But for the mac-mac early adopters, it’s a price they will pay gladly.

    I’m more interested in how this will evolve with eventual lower prices in the long run, potential for the phone to divorce itself from traditional carriers via wi-fi connectivity (Skype, Vonage, and other VoIP services on iPhone is a possible future)

    Future versions of the iPhone could include an economy version (like the Nano and Shuffle are to the iPod line).

    Since OS X runs on it, developers could create slimmed down versions of their apps to run on the iPhone. (Anyone waiting for a tablet Mac? We may have just seen it.) If there is a lot of development for the iPhone, expect a non-phone version of this device to become a seller (look out Palm, and Windows Mobile, a full strength OS will be going up against you)

    Also note that the use of the iPod’s dock connector means that the accessory market for the iPhone already exists. many devices made to be used with the iPod will be easily used with the iPhone as well.

    It’s going to start with a limited appeal, but it’s well positioned to take off like the iPod did.

    All this using the same OS that runs regular Macs and X-Servers, while MS has different OS’ for every occasion. (Hey, somebody has to fill in for John Welch, while he’s busy at Macworld Expo)

  99. Diego: if you want the “big news” then, yes, I’m at the wrong show. But, let’s face it, they didn’t let you play with it. The ones I’ve seen are behind glass.

    1080 won’t do any good? You guys need to come to CES and get educated and see what the difference is. I can tell the difference. It’s why most of us with HD sets watch so much Discovery channel.

  100. “Apple TV is so much like Windows XP Media Center edition/Vista Ulitmate Media center running on a small DVD player like box.”

    Not really. It’s more like a big-screen version of the iPod where you bring your own big screen, and ethernet and wi-fi is the connection method instead of the dock connector.

  101. “Apple TV is so much like Windows XP Media Center edition/Vista Ulitmate Media center running on a small DVD player like box.”

    Not really. It’s more like a big-screen version of the iPod where you bring your own big screen, and ethernet and wi-fi is the connection method instead of the dock connector.

  102. >If you run a company you don’t market to 5% of potential customers.

    No, you market to where the potential customers will BE. And if you’re at CES it’s pretty clear that nearly all customers in the future will get 1080 sets.

    Look at what Steve Jobs said about getting rid of the name “computer.” He wants to go to where the puck is going to be. Not where it is today. The problem is his product (AppleTV) is where everyone was three years ago.

  103. >If you run a company you don’t market to 5% of potential customers.

    No, you market to where the potential customers will BE. And if you’re at CES it’s pretty clear that nearly all customers in the future will get 1080 sets.

    Look at what Steve Jobs said about getting rid of the name “computer.” He wants to go to where the puck is going to be. Not where it is today. The problem is his product (AppleTV) is where everyone was three years ago.

  104. Thanks for the daily reality-check.

    Of course, 1080 is as “standard” now as Ogg Vorbis and LAME compression were when the iPod came out – better, sure; the choice of ubergeeks, and even geekier collegiates, sure – but nowhere near the needs of the average buyer.

    Apple doesn’t tune to “the industry,” they tune to the consumer. That’s why they’ve been so successful, and that’s why it took the other MP3 player manufacturers – most of whom were in business before Apple – 5 years to catch up. (Guess what: as of today, they’re behind again.)

  105. Thanks for the daily reality-check.

    Of course, 1080 is as “standard” now as Ogg Vorbis and LAME compression were when the iPod came out – better, sure; the choice of ubergeeks, and even geekier collegiates, sure – but nowhere near the needs of the average buyer.

    Apple doesn’t tune to “the industry,” they tune to the consumer. That’s why they’ve been so successful, and that’s why it took the other MP3 player manufacturers – most of whom were in business before Apple – 5 years to catch up. (Guess what: as of today, they’re behind again.)

  106. Not everyone has 1080 sets…

    Not everyone even has HDTV yet! The “puck” hasn’t arrived at HD yet.

    The AppleTV will get to 1080 soon enough. But to keep its price down to the 200-300 range, it starts off only at 720, to preserve disk space and processing power.

    Remember, Apple’s big hook is not an attraction to the bleeding edge of technology, but in how they make that technology accessible and easier to use. (to steal Canon’s slogan, “So advanced, it’s simple.”)

  107. Not everyone has 1080 sets…

    Not everyone even has HDTV yet! The “puck” hasn’t arrived at HD yet.

    The AppleTV will get to 1080 soon enough. But to keep its price down to the 200-300 range, it starts off only at 720, to preserve disk space and processing power.

    Remember, Apple’s big hook is not an attraction to the bleeding edge of technology, but in how they make that technology accessible and easier to use. (to steal Canon’s slogan, “So advanced, it’s simple.”)

  108. Michael: OK, so you’re saying the market is always being “behind the curve, but with better design?” Got it.

    Well, everyone who I’ve talked to today says “iPhone rocks, but I’m not buying AppleTV.” So, if that holds, the market will go somewhere else. There’s a reason that most of the world comes to CES instead of going to Apple’s conferences.

  109. Michael: OK, so you’re saying the market is always being “behind the curve, but with better design?” Got it.

    Well, everyone who I’ve talked to today says “iPhone rocks, but I’m not buying AppleTV.” So, if that holds, the market will go somewhere else. There’s a reason that most of the world comes to CES instead of going to Apple’s conferences.

  110. Shawn: you’re right. But people with eight-year-old TV’s (like my dad) haven’t even bought Tivo’s yet. The folks who go into Best Buy this year and buy a new set buy probably 80% of the market.

    This is something you guys don’t get. If you go after yesterday’s technology you’ll fail.

    It’s sort of like coming out with a plugin for Microsoft Outlook. That owns 90% of the market. But no one is buying new stuff for it.

    Hell, if Steve Jobs took your advice he’d be building stuff for Windows XP instead of the Macintosh. After all, it has 90% marketshare.

  111. Shawn: you’re right. But people with eight-year-old TV’s (like my dad) haven’t even bought Tivo’s yet. The folks who go into Best Buy this year and buy a new set buy probably 80% of the market.

    This is something you guys don’t get. If you go after yesterday’s technology you’ll fail.

    It’s sort of like coming out with a plugin for Microsoft Outlook. That owns 90% of the market. But no one is buying new stuff for it.

    Hell, if Steve Jobs took your advice he’d be building stuff for Windows XP instead of the Macintosh. After all, it has 90% marketshare.

  112. Dead on arrival? The Appletv device will allow me to stream photos, videos and music from my computer (where they’re all stored) to my tv. There are a few devices that allow some of that now, TiVO and Eyehome come to mind, but there aren’t any that do it all seamlessly. Appletv will work on both pcs and macs. It has a small form factor and neutral styling. Compare that to the xbox, which is pc only (for media uses) and ugly enough that I don’t want one in the living room. And the 720p isn’t a big deal for me. The big plasma in the living room is only 720p and I can wait till Apple upgrades to 1080 to buy one for the smaller LCD in the bedroom.

  113. Dead on arrival? The Appletv device will allow me to stream photos, videos and music from my computer (where they’re all stored) to my tv. There are a few devices that allow some of that now, TiVO and Eyehome come to mind, but there aren’t any that do it all seamlessly. Appletv will work on both pcs and macs. It has a small form factor and neutral styling. Compare that to the xbox, which is pc only (for media uses) and ugly enough that I don’t want one in the living room. And the 720p isn’t a big deal for me. The big plasma in the living room is only 720p and I can wait till Apple upgrades to 1080 to buy one for the smaller LCD in the bedroom.

  114. Michael: but you’re an Apple fanboy, which is only, what, 5% of the market (last quarter)?

    So, according to other commenters in my comments you don’t matter.

    By the way, my Xbox does all that too. But in 1080 glory.

  115. Michael: but you’re an Apple fanboy, which is only, what, 5% of the market (last quarter)?

    So, according to other commenters in my comments you don’t matter.

    By the way, my Xbox does all that too. But in 1080 glory.

  116. 1080 won’t do any good? You guys need to come to CES and get educated and see what the difference is. I can tell the difference. It’s why most of us with HD sets watch so much Discovery channel.

    How many people really have HD sets? There’s a huge market right now for flat-screen low-definition tv sets. Go to the best buy or Wal-Mart where real people shop and see how many different models there are for less than $300 (27-inch and higher). TV stations aren’t required to go fully digital for another two years. Do you know how many people are gladly going to pay $400 for a 30-inch tv vs. $800 or up for a 15-inch HDTV?

    And the reason most with HD watch discovery channel is *not* because of the resolution, but because of the nature of the audience. Don’t equate correlation with causation.

    CES is fairy tale land for tech geeks, but there’s a wal-mart reality that apple is going to be appealing to as well.

  117. 1080 won’t do any good? You guys need to come to CES and get educated and see what the difference is. I can tell the difference. It’s why most of us with HD sets watch so much Discovery channel.

    How many people really have HD sets? There’s a huge market right now for flat-screen low-definition tv sets. Go to the best buy or Wal-Mart where real people shop and see how many different models there are for less than $300 (27-inch and higher). TV stations aren’t required to go fully digital for another two years. Do you know how many people are gladly going to pay $400 for a 30-inch tv vs. $800 or up for a 15-inch HDTV?

    And the reason most with HD watch discovery channel is *not* because of the resolution, but because of the nature of the audience. Don’t equate correlation with causation.

    CES is fairy tale land for tech geeks, but there’s a wal-mart reality that apple is going to be appealing to as well.

  118. “Discovery channel is 1080i. ESPN is 1080i too. My HD-DVD is 1080. BlueRay is 1080. My camcorder is 1080.”

    And none of them but the HD-DVD drive (which isn’t a part of the XBox so really all of them) have anything to do with the XBox… Thanks for playing.

    And today, for the real geeks, Apple just unleashed 802.11n on the home! That’s actually significant geekery and far ahead of the curve.

    So Scoble pick your fights and stand to them… But realize that, yes, 98% of us truly don’t give a sh!t about 1080i and Tablets. And attempting to make this event and launch, one of the most stunning keynotes even though there were essentially no surprises, one where Steve was close to tears and during which Apple made almost 7 billion dollars over a couple of hours… make it about 1080i/p (though you won’t make it about p since XBox lacks that too) and claim it’s “dead in the water.” Please. 7 billion dollars in a few hours and you’re claiming the XBox enables you to watch the Discovery channel. Have fun with that.

  119. “Discovery channel is 1080i. ESPN is 1080i too. My HD-DVD is 1080. BlueRay is 1080. My camcorder is 1080.”

    And none of them but the HD-DVD drive (which isn’t a part of the XBox so really all of them) have anything to do with the XBox… Thanks for playing.

    And today, for the real geeks, Apple just unleashed 802.11n on the home! That’s actually significant geekery and far ahead of the curve.

    So Scoble pick your fights and stand to them… But realize that, yes, 98% of us truly don’t give a sh!t about 1080i and Tablets. And attempting to make this event and launch, one of the most stunning keynotes even though there were essentially no surprises, one where Steve was close to tears and during which Apple made almost 7 billion dollars over a couple of hours… make it about 1080i/p (though you won’t make it about p since XBox lacks that too) and claim it’s “dead in the water.” Please. 7 billion dollars in a few hours and you’re claiming the XBox enables you to watch the Discovery channel. Have fun with that.

  120. 5% market share of what? Music sales? Computer sales? Phone sales? If Apple were irrelevant, then you wouldn’t be writing columns about their product announcements and they wouldn’t be responding all within minutes of those announcements being made. A 5% market share of computer sales is huge. What is Dell’s or Gateway’s market share? Comparing Apple’s operating system market share to Microsofts is pretty much meaningless. The Mac OS is a feature of Apple computers (and phones). It would make as much sense to compare the number of Microsoft computers sold to Apple computers.

    Xbox won’t work with my mac. TiVO interoperability will cost me another $100, when the same thing is free for Windows users. We already use the mac for all our music, and now we’ll be able to do so with a visual interface on the tv.

  121. 5% market share of what? Music sales? Computer sales? Phone sales? If Apple were irrelevant, then you wouldn’t be writing columns about their product announcements and they wouldn’t be responding all within minutes of those announcements being made. A 5% market share of computer sales is huge. What is Dell’s or Gateway’s market share? Comparing Apple’s operating system market share to Microsofts is pretty much meaningless. The Mac OS is a feature of Apple computers (and phones). It would make as much sense to compare the number of Microsoft computers sold to Apple computers.

    Xbox won’t work with my mac. TiVO interoperability will cost me another $100, when the same thing is free for Windows users. We already use the mac for all our music, and now we’ll be able to do so with a visual interface on the tv.

  122. “But people with eight-year-old TV’s (like my dad) haven’t even bought Tivo’s yet.”

    Because it really hasn’t been marketed well to them. It takes several paragraphs to explain TiVo. Most people don’t “get it” yet.

    The AppleTV is different as it is positioning itself as an evolution of the iPod. Remember, price points are important for profit margin reasons, and marketing reasons. The first generation iPod and the iPhone could be expensive machines because they are revolutionary. The AppleTV is merely evolutionary, building the iPod market into the video world, as opposed to redefining a market.

    And as to that “8-year TV”… My TV is a 10 year old big screen standard definition TV. I have stereo speakers, not surround sound. Yet I got my first TiVo in 2000, and two years ago upgraded to a series 2 TiVo with DVD burner.

    Image sharpness and sound quality isn’t the holy grail of TV. It’s about the stories, the drama, the information shared, and not how pretty the pictures are. Content management, and being able to time shift my TV viewing is of greater value than greater resolution or having more speakers than I have ears to listen with.

    Easily managing content, and using it when and where you want it is the “killer app” here. Not resolution or sound quality. That’s how the iPod became the success it is, and that’s why the resolution on the AppleTV isn’t such a big deal.

  123. “But people with eight-year-old TV’s (like my dad) haven’t even bought Tivo’s yet.”

    Because it really hasn’t been marketed well to them. It takes several paragraphs to explain TiVo. Most people don’t “get it” yet.

    The AppleTV is different as it is positioning itself as an evolution of the iPod. Remember, price points are important for profit margin reasons, and marketing reasons. The first generation iPod and the iPhone could be expensive machines because they are revolutionary. The AppleTV is merely evolutionary, building the iPod market into the video world, as opposed to redefining a market.

    And as to that “8-year TV”… My TV is a 10 year old big screen standard definition TV. I have stereo speakers, not surround sound. Yet I got my first TiVo in 2000, and two years ago upgraded to a series 2 TiVo with DVD burner.

    Image sharpness and sound quality isn’t the holy grail of TV. It’s about the stories, the drama, the information shared, and not how pretty the pictures are. Content management, and being able to time shift my TV viewing is of greater value than greater resolution or having more speakers than I have ears to listen with.

    Easily managing content, and using it when and where you want it is the “killer app” here. Not resolution or sound quality. That’s how the iPod became the success it is, and that’s why the resolution on the AppleTV isn’t such a big deal.

  124. Robert,

    I don’t think you should get this product. But here’s why you should encourage me to get it.

    Apple TV is a way to get stuff from iTunes onto my TV in the living room.

    What does that mean to you? Finally, I can browse all the unwatched Scobleshows that sit on a hard drive in my home office, while I’m sitting on those wonderful reclining chairs you sat in in my living room.

    Liking Apple TV any better?

    BTW… are those podcasts in 1080p? Behind the curve much are you? DOA much are you? Suck much do you?

    I’ve got even more “defending Apple behind the curve” fun for you later, but this is getting long.

  125. Robert,

    I don’t think you should get this product. But here’s why you should encourage me to get it.

    Apple TV is a way to get stuff from iTunes onto my TV in the living room.

    What does that mean to you? Finally, I can browse all the unwatched Scobleshows that sit on a hard drive in my home office, while I’m sitting on those wonderful reclining chairs you sat in in my living room.

    Liking Apple TV any better?

    BTW… are those podcasts in 1080p? Behind the curve much are you? DOA much are you? Suck much do you?

    I’ve got even more “defending Apple behind the curve” fun for you later, but this is getting long.

  126. Notice how much the iPhone resembles the Haiku UMPC prototype? Not that Apple is ripping off the design, but whereas we won’t see that kind of form factor (all screen & THIN) out of an MS product for years. I overheard tons of ooh’s and ahh’s over the iPhone today, and while I cannot see why it’s THAT big of a deal per se (a lot of those features remind me of the Audiovox blog posts Scoble did ages ago), the form factor and aesthetic is going to be in people’s hands rather than in a model’s hands in a concept photo, and that’s a big deal. Consumer electronics are hitting that magic point of fulfilling that future vision, and Apple more than anyone else expresses that in their visual designs.
    On the other hand, I just got a 71″ DLP for my 360, and Apple is in over their head on this one, IMO. Not being a console (much less a cutting edge one) will really hurt them when that AppleTV is targeted at the whole family, and not only does MS have that, but the Live experience is awesome and getting better almost monthly (for instance, stuff I have today that I didn’t have a year ago: true 1080p and output video-on-demand of HD video content). All in a clean, slick, and easy-to-use interface (although I still can’t understand why a multi-core, high 3d throughput video console would have tearing when blades slide on/off screen

  127. Notice how much the iPhone resembles the Haiku UMPC prototype? Not that Apple is ripping off the design, but whereas we won’t see that kind of form factor (all screen & THIN) out of an MS product for years. I overheard tons of ooh’s and ahh’s over the iPhone today, and while I cannot see why it’s THAT big of a deal per se (a lot of those features remind me of the Audiovox blog posts Scoble did ages ago), the form factor and aesthetic is going to be in people’s hands rather than in a model’s hands in a concept photo, and that’s a big deal. Consumer electronics are hitting that magic point of fulfilling that future vision, and Apple more than anyone else expresses that in their visual designs.
    On the other hand, I just got a 71″ DLP for my 360, and Apple is in over their head on this one, IMO. Not being a console (much less a cutting edge one) will really hurt them when that AppleTV is targeted at the whole family, and not only does MS have that, but the Live experience is awesome and getting better almost monthly (for instance, stuff I have today that I didn’t have a year ago: true 1080p and output video-on-demand of HD video content). All in a clean, slick, and easy-to-use interface (although I still can’t understand why a multi-core, high 3d throughput video console would have tearing when blades slide on/off screen

  128. So I got home and fired up my 360 to check out the video and TV offerings. After scrolling through the first four movie offerings, I couldn’t find a single one that was in 1080. The same was true for the CBS TV shows I checked. Most were 720p. There must be 1080 content somewhere, but I can’t find a way to check for only 1080 content. Or maybe it is on the way?

    The other thing that Apple gets right is that they use normal currency not Points.

  129. So I got home and fired up my 360 to check out the video and TV offerings. After scrolling through the first four movie offerings, I couldn’t find a single one that was in 1080. The same was true for the CBS TV shows I checked. Most were 720p. There must be 1080 content somewhere, but I can’t find a way to check for only 1080 content. Or maybe it is on the way?

    The other thing that Apple gets right is that they use normal currency not Points.

  130. Smells like the Scoble is trolling for hits.

    FWIW I know several videographers that _want_ to work in 720P. In this case, less pixels equals better compression, and, in their eyes, overall better quality.

    I could make a joke about Blu-Ray but I’ll refrain.

  131. Smells like the Scoble is trolling for hits.

    FWIW I know several videographers that _want_ to work in 720P. In this case, less pixels equals better compression, and, in their eyes, overall better quality.

    I could make a joke about Blu-Ray but I’ll refrain.

  132. For those of you wanting to connect your 360 to your Mac, you may want to consider a program called Connect 360 by Nullriver Software. It allows you to stream all types of media to the 360 from your Mac.

    As far as being dead on arrival because of 720p? What? That’s absolutely ludicrous especially considering the fact a lot of people prefer 720p to 1080i (1080p isn’t even a consideration at this point). Plus, I haven’t looked at all the media on the 360 but I could have sworn most of the HD content is in 720p. Where’s your disdain for MS?

    And the 360 does 1080p via COMPOSITE cables? I wasn’t aware that anyone could get high-def with COMPOSITE cables.

  133. The Apple TV thing fills the void in my home setup!! Steaming content to my cheap and small CRT TV is perfect. Price isn’t too bad either. I would love the phone but not in the budget for the time being and I just upgraded my phone recently.

  134. The Apple TV thing fills the void in my home setup!! Steaming content to my cheap and small CRT TV is perfect. Price isn’t too bad either. I would love the phone but not in the budget for the time being and I just upgraded my phone recently.

  135. For those of you wanting to connect your 360 to your Mac, you may want to consider a program called Connect 360 by Nullriver Software. It allows you to stream all types of media to the 360 from your Mac.

    As far as being dead on arrival because of 720p? What? That’s absolutely ludicrous especially considering the fact a lot of people prefer 720p to 1080i (1080p isn’t even a consideration at this point). Plus, I haven’t looked at all the media on the 360 but I could have sworn most of the HD content is in 720p. Where’s your disdain for MS?

    And the 360 does 1080p via COMPOSITE cables? I wasn’t aware that anyone could get high-def with COMPOSITE cables.

  136. Apple is being smart about targeting the high volume unit opportunity, as opposed to MSFT. MSFT has made it clear that they are targeting the Information Worker with large PIM requirements..with multimedia stuff being secondary. Hopefully that will change. Apple are a great design company, a great marketing company, and very good at value prop’s and making things simple for customers. I take my hat off to them…BUT, they have a Halo that is much bigger than reality. Reality is that the last two things i can remember them showing any innovation in are a) the Newton (years ahead of its time…maybe to far ahead), and the i-Tunes/IPOD business model (pure genius). However, even the Video IPOD was not anything new….Microsoft and its PMC partners had devices that could do all of this years ago, but the sad fact was that Microsoft and its OEM partners did a terrible job telling the world about it. Same goes for Media Center PC’s. Microsoft has done an “ok” job marketing these, but still Apple announced their Apple TV products as “revolutionary” and world first….again they took the high ground on a Microsoft innovation. Tablet PC is another one…Apple is rumoured to be announcing its Tablet Apple this week….and once again they copied Microsoft. Ajax rocks, but how many people know that Ajax was invented by Microsoft?, oh and what about Web Services and Web 2.0? Anyone remember Billg’s .NET announcement 7 years ago, and the Hailstorm work? Smells a lot like what eventually has lead to this great new connected everything world we like in today online…rant, rant.

    On the partner front, the only people that make $$ in the Apple world is Apple. Totally opposite to Microsoft, who have armies of partners, ISV’s and developers making good dosh on their platform. Maybe in the OEM area Microsoft makes too many bets on OEM capabilities to deliver breakthrough design…(Mac’s are way sexier than any laptop out there IMHO…) When Microsoft has decided to go it alone, such as with XBox and Zune we have done a pretty dam good job. I think the integration of XBox Live and XBox is world class, and the new services coming down the pipe with XBox like IPTV, and Videomarket place is a great addition.

    The list goes on…..Yes, i am a MSFT fanboy, but credit should be given where credit is due. MSFT is innovative, but their marketing could be better :o)

  137. Apple is being smart about targeting the high volume unit opportunity, as opposed to MSFT. MSFT has made it clear that they are targeting the Information Worker with large PIM requirements..with multimedia stuff being secondary. Hopefully that will change. Apple are a great design company, a great marketing company, and very good at value prop’s and making things simple for customers. I take my hat off to them…BUT, they have a Halo that is much bigger than reality. Reality is that the last two things i can remember them showing any innovation in are a) the Newton (years ahead of its time…maybe to far ahead), and the i-Tunes/IPOD business model (pure genius). However, even the Video IPOD was not anything new….Microsoft and its PMC partners had devices that could do all of this years ago, but the sad fact was that Microsoft and its OEM partners did a terrible job telling the world about it. Same goes for Media Center PC’s. Microsoft has done an “ok” job marketing these, but still Apple announced their Apple TV products as “revolutionary” and world first….again they took the high ground on a Microsoft innovation. Tablet PC is another one…Apple is rumoured to be announcing its Tablet Apple this week….and once again they copied Microsoft. Ajax rocks, but how many people know that Ajax was invented by Microsoft?, oh and what about Web Services and Web 2.0? Anyone remember Billg’s .NET announcement 7 years ago, and the Hailstorm work? Smells a lot like what eventually has lead to this great new connected everything world we like in today online…rant, rant.

    On the partner front, the only people that make $$ in the Apple world is Apple. Totally opposite to Microsoft, who have armies of partners, ISV’s and developers making good dosh on their platform. Maybe in the OEM area Microsoft makes too many bets on OEM capabilities to deliver breakthrough design…(Mac’s are way sexier than any laptop out there IMHO…) When Microsoft has decided to go it alone, such as with XBox and Zune we have done a pretty dam good job. I think the integration of XBox Live and XBox is world class, and the new services coming down the pipe with XBox like IPTV, and Videomarket place is a great addition.

    The list goes on…..Yes, i am a MSFT fanboy, but credit should be given where credit is due. MSFT is innovative, but their marketing could be better :o)

  138. “Everything Apple does is innovative. Even if Microsoft’s stuff is better (and three years earlier). ”

    Microsoft’s stuff is better? By whose definition? Better is in the eye of the beholder, in this case the customer. If the average customer finds the Apple products easier to use, then aren’t they “better”. The iPod must be pretty good, since the Zune all but copies it.

    It isn’t about the best technology, or 1080, or some measure that matters to only a few people. It’s about making life easier for the average person, which is why Microsoft became successful with Windows originally. The average person is not even watching HD programming regardless of what kind of TV they have.

    And skc, 2% of the digital player market is a couple hundred players. 1% of the phone market is millions of phones.

  139. “Everything Apple does is innovative. Even if Microsoft’s stuff is better (and three years earlier). ”

    Microsoft’s stuff is better? By whose definition? Better is in the eye of the beholder, in this case the customer. If the average customer finds the Apple products easier to use, then aren’t they “better”. The iPod must be pretty good, since the Zune all but copies it.

    It isn’t about the best technology, or 1080, or some measure that matters to only a few people. It’s about making life easier for the average person, which is why Microsoft became successful with Windows originally. The average person is not even watching HD programming regardless of what kind of TV they have.

    And skc, 2% of the digital player market is a couple hundred players. 1% of the phone market is millions of phones.

  140. What all of you dumb asses proclaiming the superiority of 1080 vs 720 fail to realize that most consumers still think HD comes in the form of 480P. That buying an ED (enhanced definition) Plasma gets then into the world of HD. Secondly, most consumers are not interested in setting up servers, game systems, or media centric computers to access their content, rather they want a simple (mindless) quick way to access their photos and movies they acquired. Last, 1080P in theory is a great standard, but your’re not going to see networks switching their equipment over from 720 or 1080i, just b/c technology has advance.

  141. What all of you dumb asses proclaiming the superiority of 1080 vs 720 fail to realize that most consumers still think HD comes in the form of 480P. That buying an ED (enhanced definition) Plasma gets then into the world of HD. Secondly, most consumers are not interested in setting up servers, game systems, or media centric computers to access their content, rather they want a simple (mindless) quick way to access their photos and movies they acquired. Last, 1080P in theory is a great standard, but your’re not going to see networks switching their equipment over from 720 or 1080i, just b/c technology has advance.

  142. Yep. The 360′s HD is 720P, just checked it out before playing a little GoW. Guess it’s dead in the water ehh Robert 1080P is cool but is way too early and is simply a buzzword hype machine at this point. Did I make sure my new TV had it, yes. But is it necessary now, no. The current 360 has no HDMI cable so it can’t even do 1080p. Like TT said, the masses just want something cool and easy. This might be it, might not be it.

  143. Yep. The 360′s HD is 720P, just checked it out before playing a little GoW. Guess it’s dead in the water ehh Robert 1080P is cool but is way too early and is simply a buzzword hype machine at this point. Did I make sure my new TV had it, yes. But is it necessary now, no. The current 360 has no HDMI cable so it can’t even do 1080p. Like TT said, the masses just want something cool and easy. This might be it, might not be it.

  144. Why is MS Research so consistently unable to come up with stuff like this? They throw billions toward research, surely many billions more than Apple (if Apple is even in the billions), yet who’s going to be patenting the spectacular innovations in the iPhone?

  145. Why is MS Research so consistently unable to come up with stuff like this? They throw billions toward research, surely many billions more than Apple (if Apple is even in the billions), yet who’s going to be patenting the spectacular innovations in the iPhone?

  146. Aaron – the Xbox 360 very much can do 1080p. And if you have a 1080p display hooked up, EVEYTHING is output at 1080p (unlike, say, the PS3).

    However, both of Apple’s announcements today have managed to slip some pretty ugly limitations past the eyes of the Apple-adoring press.

    Can you honestly tell me you expected Apple to launch the iPhone without any 3G support? What a joke. I can’t believe they appear to have gotten everything else so right but not that!

    And a 720p limitation on a media extender in 2007? Lame, especially for the price. Is it the end of the world? No, lots of people still only have 720p sets, and still more of them can’t tell the difference anyway. But it doesn’t make sense to ship something (again, at that price) that’s so limited.

  147. Aaron – the Xbox 360 very much can do 1080p. And if you have a 1080p display hooked up, EVEYTHING is output at 1080p (unlike, say, the PS3).

    However, both of Apple’s announcements today have managed to slip some pretty ugly limitations past the eyes of the Apple-adoring press.

    Can you honestly tell me you expected Apple to launch the iPhone without any 3G support? What a joke. I can’t believe they appear to have gotten everything else so right but not that!

    And a 720p limitation on a media extender in 2007? Lame, especially for the price. Is it the end of the world? No, lots of people still only have 720p sets, and still more of them can’t tell the difference anyway. But it doesn’t make sense to ship something (again, at that price) that’s so limited.

  148. Apple TV is a poor substite for the XBox 360. The 360 can do every single thing iTV can, minus the iTunes Video support. Of course that may be what helps the iTV in the long run.

    Some people won’t buy an XBox 360 simply because they only view it as a game machine or say, “Oh fiddle sticks, I don’t play games” yet they’ll end up plunking down the same amount of cash for fewer features.

    For the record #90, the Zune interface on the device is *much* better than the iPod’s. I was messing around with a friend’s iPod the other day and that interface looks like stick figures and ASCII art. So Microsoft does surpass Apple at times.

    For #88, the XBox 360 is cool and easy, they can get that today.

  149. Apple TV is a poor substite for the XBox 360. The 360 can do every single thing iTV can, minus the iTunes Video support. Of course that may be what helps the iTV in the long run.

    Some people won’t buy an XBox 360 simply because they only view it as a game machine or say, “Oh fiddle sticks, I don’t play games” yet they’ll end up plunking down the same amount of cash for fewer features.

    For the record #90, the Zune interface on the device is *much* better than the iPod’s. I was messing around with a friend’s iPod the other day and that interface looks like stick figures and ASCII art. So Microsoft does surpass Apple at times.

    For #88, the XBox 360 is cool and easy, they can get that today.

  150. Angus, Brandon and Shawn, did the call for Micro$oft fanboys to launch a desperate defense go out late or something? You guys are as day late/dollar short as Vista.

  151. Angus, Brandon and Shawn, did the call for Micro$oft fanboys to launch a desperate defense go out late or something? You guys are as day late/dollar short as Vista.

  152. @92: Shawn, what media do you think the Apple TV is extending? It’s meant for movie downloads from the iTunes store.

    This product is not meant to be a general purpose extender. It’s simply the last 30 feet from the iTunes store and your TV.

    The product to criticize is movies from iTunes, not the Apple TV.

    The constraint on iTunes movie resolution is bandwidth: how much are customers willing to buy from their ISPs. How much is Apple willing to buy to send them the bits? It will be years before Apple TV is called on to handle anything over 720p.

    XBox Live is ahead of Apple in resolution of movie DLs. But even they’e only at 720p.

    When we get to the day that TV broadcasts go up to 1080p, then you can call Apple TV behind the curve.

  153. @92: Shawn, what media do you think the Apple TV is extending? It’s meant for movie downloads from the iTunes store.

    This product is not meant to be a general purpose extender. It’s simply the last 30 feet from the iTunes store and your TV.

    The product to criticize is movies from iTunes, not the Apple TV.

    The constraint on iTunes movie resolution is bandwidth: how much are customers willing to buy from their ISPs. How much is Apple willing to buy to send them the bits? It will be years before Apple TV is called on to handle anything over 720p.

    XBox Live is ahead of Apple in resolution of movie DLs. But even they’e only at 720p.

    When we get to the day that TV broadcasts go up to 1080p, then you can call Apple TV behind the curve.

  154. Robert: content from iTunes is 720P, if that. Did you notice the tight integration between iTunes and Apple TV? Guess where the content is going to initially come from? Right, iTunes. Anywho. There’s plenty of other reasons posted here why 720P is fine.
    I just think your comment, “…DOA…” was a little over-the-top.

  155. Robert: content from iTunes is 720P, if that. Did you notice the tight integration between iTunes and Apple TV? Guess where the content is going to initially come from? Right, iTunes. Anywho. There’s plenty of other reasons posted here why 720P is fine.
    I just think your comment, “…DOA…” was a little over-the-top.

  156. skc wrote in comment #48 “Did anybody else find it highly ironic that Jobs made it a point to poke fun at Zunes measely 2% marketshare of the digital music player market, and yet tout iPhones goal of 1% marketshare by 2008 as a great achievement?”

    skc is forgetting that the phone market is much larger than MP3 player market.

    Or another way to look at is: 9.5 million iPhones (~1% of the estimated sales of mobile phones) represents about 15% of this year’s estimated iPod sales. So Apple expects every sixth iPod they sell next year to be an iPhone.

  157. skc wrote in comment #48 “Did anybody else find it highly ironic that Jobs made it a point to poke fun at Zunes measely 2% marketshare of the digital music player market, and yet tout iPhones goal of 1% marketshare by 2008 as a great achievement?”

    skc is forgetting that the phone market is much larger than MP3 player market.

    Or another way to look at is: 9.5 million iPhones (~1% of the estimated sales of mobile phones) represents about 15% of this year’s estimated iPod sales. So Apple expects every sixth iPod they sell next year to be an iPhone.

  158. @63. God, Scoble! Your myopia never ceases to amaze. What does ESPN and the discovery channel have to do with that AppleTV device? It never fails with you and strawman arguments. So what if all the displays at CES are in 1080 capable. OF COURSE THEY ARE. They wouldn’t be relevant to show if they weren’t. No one goes there to see current technology. But all that doesn’t obviate the fact that very little of what normal people (of which you are not one) want to watch is broadcast in 1080p. Apple device is about getting content from iTunes displayed on displays the NORMAL PEOPLE own today! What part of that is difficult for you to figure out.

    And, again showing your myopic ignorance…not EVERYONE owns a PC today. Been to China lately? How about Africa? Not even everyone in the US owns a PC.Do the words “digital divide” mean anything to you? So, enough with your hyperbole.

  159. @63. God, Scoble! Your myopia never ceases to amaze. What does ESPN and the discovery channel have to do with that AppleTV device? It never fails with you and strawman arguments. So what if all the displays at CES are in 1080 capable. OF COURSE THEY ARE. They wouldn’t be relevant to show if they weren’t. No one goes there to see current technology. But all that doesn’t obviate the fact that very little of what normal people (of which you are not one) want to watch is broadcast in 1080p. Apple device is about getting content from iTunes displayed on displays the NORMAL PEOPLE own today! What part of that is difficult for you to figure out.

    And, again showing your myopic ignorance…not EVERYONE owns a PC today. Been to China lately? How about Africa? Not even everyone in the US owns a PC.Do the words “digital divide” mean anything to you? So, enough with your hyperbole.

  160. From Engadget…regarding the Xbox360..

    “pushing the full 60 megapixels per second of visuals to your compatible HDTV. Sorry, no HDMI cable yet (or ever?), though, this is only over component and VGA. Users can expect 1080p upscaling immediately on current games and DVDs and native 1080p on compatible HD DVD titles, but Microsoft hasn’t yet announced future games that will rock 1080p natively.”

    http://www.engadget.com/2006/09/20/xbox-360-adds-1080p-hd-dvd-drive-for-november-17th-in-japan/

  161. From Engadget…regarding the Xbox360..

    “pushing the full 60 megapixels per second of visuals to your compatible HDTV. Sorry, no HDMI cable yet (or ever?), though, this is only over component and VGA. Users can expect 1080p upscaling immediately on current games and DVDs and native 1080p on compatible HD DVD titles, but Microsoft hasn’t yet announced future games that will rock 1080p natively.”

    http://www.engadget.com/2006/09/20/xbox-360-adds-1080p-hd-dvd-drive-for-november-17th-in-japan/

  162. @Steve @ 100
    1% (10M phones) is also $5B in revenue at $500/unit. Not bad for a company doing $20B in sales per year right now.

  163. @Steve @ 100
    1% (10M phones) is also $5B in revenue at $500/unit. Not bad for a company doing $20B in sales per year right now.

  164. I’m not 100% sure why everyone is talking about Microsoft with regards to the iPhone. The iPhone doesn’t (yet) step on their turf, which as far as I can tell is the corporate market. Judging by the obvious success that this thing will be (even tho I’m not impressd) Apple has basically just put Nokia on death notice. Should be interesting to see if Nokia can keep up with them.

  165. I’m not 100% sure why everyone is talking about Microsoft with regards to the iPhone. The iPhone doesn’t (yet) step on their turf, which as far as I can tell is the corporate market. Judging by the obvious success that this thing will be (even tho I’m not impressd) Apple has basically just put Nokia on death notice. Should be interesting to see if Nokia can keep up with them.

  166. Robert,

    One small point – as was pointed out, though Steve didn’t tout it, the AppleTV can handle 1080i output.

    So this device is really intended as an ‘iPod for your HDTV’ and bridges that gap from your computer to the living room. It is designed for simplicity and elegance, vs. breadth of functionality. No one (especially at Apple) will gainsay that a Media Center PC has far more features…but that’s not the point. It’s about making the 85% of features you use on a regular basis simply and easily accessible.

    So it is a difference of goal vs. viewing Apple’s offerings as simply ‘me too’ dreck. Apple’s naturally vast market of iPod customers would very much like a way to get that content onto their TVs.

    BTW, for those unhappy with the price of the iPhone, how much is a Windows Smartphone and Zune combo going to set you back? I am not saying iPhone is a bargain, but you need to take a moment and look at your assortment of ‘toys’ lying about and how much you spent on those vs. a single device that can do the rest well. The only difference being the greater storage capacity of the Zune (in that combo – replace Zune with iPod if your preference).

    The fun part is watching it all play out, of course ;-)

  167. Robert,

    One small point – as was pointed out, though Steve didn’t tout it, the AppleTV can handle 1080i output.

    So this device is really intended as an ‘iPod for your HDTV’ and bridges that gap from your computer to the living room. It is designed for simplicity and elegance, vs. breadth of functionality. No one (especially at Apple) will gainsay that a Media Center PC has far more features…but that’s not the point. It’s about making the 85% of features you use on a regular basis simply and easily accessible.

    So it is a difference of goal vs. viewing Apple’s offerings as simply ‘me too’ dreck. Apple’s naturally vast market of iPod customers would very much like a way to get that content onto their TVs.

    BTW, for those unhappy with the price of the iPhone, how much is a Windows Smartphone and Zune combo going to set you back? I am not saying iPhone is a bargain, but you need to take a moment and look at your assortment of ‘toys’ lying about and how much you spent on those vs. a single device that can do the rest well. The only difference being the greater storage capacity of the Zune (in that combo – replace Zune with iPod if your preference).

    The fun part is watching it all play out, of course ;-)

  168. The Xbox 360 is incredibly noisy. I’ll bet that the appleTV runs almost silently. That alone is a good reason to want it.

    Other reasons include the fact that it can run xbox360 and Wii games (the iphone accelerometer can be used as a controller), it can give you trendy haircuts and it can convert your stripey work shirts into wonderful cashmere turtlenecks.

  169. The Xbox 360 is incredibly noisy. I’ll bet that the appleTV runs almost silently. That alone is a good reason to want it.

    Other reasons include the fact that it can run xbox360 and Wii games (the iphone accelerometer can be used as a controller), it can give you trendy haircuts and it can convert your stripey work shirts into wonderful cashmere turtlenecks.

  170. Macworld Musings: Killer App, Next Frontier, Wedge, and Leopard

    I had a chance to visit Macworld today. It was packed. All the public parking garages around the Moscone Center were still full at two in the afternoon. The woman handing out badges said they had over thirty five thousand people attend today, some arri…

  171. Regarding 1080p: if you walk the halls here at CES you realize that a vast majority of the sets that people will buy this year are 1080p.

    To me it’s a marketing thing. If you buy a set that’s 1080p, you want devices that hook up to it at 1080p.

    1080p input capable? Just because a TV can display a 1080p signal doesn’t mean it can accept it as an input. I think your second sentence is the real point. It’s a marketing thing at this point.

    Also remember that 720p is actually higher quality than 1080i. 1080i video looks noticeably worse than 720p — even on an HDTV that actually has 1080 lines of resolution.

    1080p > 720p > 1080i > 480p > 480i

    1080p isn’t supported for broadcast video. The bandwidth isn’t there. 1080p, right now, only matters for Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. And only for TVs with HDMI and HDCP and 1080p capable inputs and 1080 lines of vertical resolution. If you have all that, you have my envy, but that’s a very small market, one that won’t matter for at least two years, by which time AppleTV will have iterated.

    720p is a perfectly acceptable choice. Apple TV supports 1080i, but it is inferior to 720p, so Jobs noted the highest quality that Apple TV can output.

  172. Regarding 1080p: if you walk the halls here at CES you realize that a vast majority of the sets that people will buy this year are 1080p.

    To me it’s a marketing thing. If you buy a set that’s 1080p, you want devices that hook up to it at 1080p.

    1080p input capable? Just because a TV can display a 1080p signal doesn’t mean it can accept it as an input. I think your second sentence is the real point. It’s a marketing thing at this point.

    Also remember that 720p is actually higher quality than 1080i. 1080i video looks noticeably worse than 720p — even on an HDTV that actually has 1080 lines of resolution.

    1080p > 720p > 1080i > 480p > 480i

    1080p isn’t supported for broadcast video. The bandwidth isn’t there. 1080p, right now, only matters for Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. And only for TVs with HDMI and HDCP and 1080p capable inputs and 1080 lines of vertical resolution. If you have all that, you have my envy, but that’s a very small market, one that won’t matter for at least two years, by which time AppleTV will have iterated.

    720p is a perfectly acceptable choice. Apple TV supports 1080i, but it is inferior to 720p, so Jobs noted the highest quality that Apple TV can output.

  173. Two Apple Fanboy points about the appleTV:

    1. For watching movies shot on film, 720p will be superior to 1080i unless you’re a big fan of either interlacing artifacts or reduced resolution due to deinterlacing. 1080p would be superior, it’s a newer standard though and not supported by nearly as much hardware.

    2. The reason Apple announced the iTV (now AppleTV) when they announced the sale of movies in the iTMS many moons ago was because customers and analysts would be more likely to think the purchase of such content is a good idea if they have a good way to play back said content on a TV set. Apple is now delivering on that promise. It’s not necessarily a device meant to be the best ever HD media player, but merely a simple conduit connecting people’s iTunes libraries and their TV. I suspect the iTV will be convenient enough to be successful in that regard. To criticize the device for not being the absolute best media player is fair, but ignore’s its purpose for existence.

    Three Apple Fanboy comments about the iPhone:

    1. PalmOne always seems to launch their phones exclusive to one carrier, it doesn’t mean they aren’t available at other carriers a couple of months later. People who gripe that the iPhone is Cingular-only should take heart, I’m sure a CDMA model for Sprint users is in the wings. The Cingular model will also likely be unlocked in short order, and should then work with any GSM provider.

    2. $499 for a 4Gb phone with 2 year contract doesn’t seem bad when compared to Cingular’s $399 for a 128Mb Treo 750 with 2 year contract. How much more is the additional memory, a high-res screen, and built-in WiFi worth?

    3. The iPhone looks pretty sweet.

    Two non-Apple Fanboy comments about the iPhone:

    1. The lack of tactical feedback on the iPhone could be a detriment for typing text. I’ll reserve judgment until I’ve actually tried one. I do like the fact that I can feel my Treo 650s buttons beneath my fingers while typing. To be fair, there are so many buttons on the thing that it’s practically impossible to do anything accurately without looking at the screen.

    2. No iPhone memory expansion slot? Must I fill up the internal memory with big videos?

  174. Two Apple Fanboy points about the appleTV:

    1. For watching movies shot on film, 720p will be superior to 1080i unless you’re a big fan of either interlacing artifacts or reduced resolution due to deinterlacing. 1080p would be superior, it’s a newer standard though and not supported by nearly as much hardware.

    2. The reason Apple announced the iTV (now AppleTV) when they announced the sale of movies in the iTMS many moons ago was because customers and analysts would be more likely to think the purchase of such content is a good idea if they have a good way to play back said content on a TV set. Apple is now delivering on that promise. It’s not necessarily a device meant to be the best ever HD media player, but merely a simple conduit connecting people’s iTunes libraries and their TV. I suspect the iTV will be convenient enough to be successful in that regard. To criticize the device for not being the absolute best media player is fair, but ignore’s its purpose for existence.

    Three Apple Fanboy comments about the iPhone:

    1. PalmOne always seems to launch their phones exclusive to one carrier, it doesn’t mean they aren’t available at other carriers a couple of months later. People who gripe that the iPhone is Cingular-only should take heart, I’m sure a CDMA model for Sprint users is in the wings. The Cingular model will also likely be unlocked in short order, and should then work with any GSM provider.

    2. $499 for a 4Gb phone with 2 year contract doesn’t seem bad when compared to Cingular’s $399 for a 128Mb Treo 750 with 2 year contract. How much more is the additional memory, a high-res screen, and built-in WiFi worth?

    3. The iPhone looks pretty sweet.

    Two non-Apple Fanboy comments about the iPhone:

    1. The lack of tactical feedback on the iPhone could be a detriment for typing text. I’ll reserve judgment until I’ve actually tried one. I do like the fact that I can feel my Treo 650s buttons beneath my fingers while typing. To be fair, there are so many buttons on the thing that it’s practically impossible to do anything accurately without looking at the screen.

    2. No iPhone memory expansion slot? Must I fill up the internal memory with big videos?

  175. Woa Scoble.

    DOA bit strongly worded.

    I think 99% of consumers couldnt care less whether its 780 or 1080. In time it will support 1080. In time it will have a larger HDD. In time you will do VOD streaming directly from iTunes. In time you can buy music from iTV.

    In time. Apple is about incremental evolution and leverage.

    Thats something MS doesn’t get. MS preaches to the geeks. Apple preaches to the mass-consumers.

    Who wins?

  176. Woa Scoble.

    DOA bit strongly worded.

    I think 99% of consumers couldnt care less whether its 780 or 1080. In time it will support 1080. In time it will have a larger HDD. In time you will do VOD streaming directly from iTunes. In time you can buy music from iTV.

    In time. Apple is about incremental evolution and leverage.

    Thats something MS doesn’t get. MS preaches to the geeks. Apple preaches to the mass-consumers.

    Who wins?

  177. [...] Scoble says the entire industry is ahead of Apple, and calls it “Xbox without the ‘X’”. Tis true, given that it costs the same as an Xbox 360 Core, and doesn’t play games or go online. Hard to argue innovation or price value when a little plastic $300 box is going up against a $300 box with a powerful CPU and graphics engine that plays amazing games and throws in the media extender feature as a bonus (a bonus with more features than Apple TV). [...]

  178. I couldn’t agree more with Scoble. AppleTV is expensive and nothing special compared to media centre/xbox. And it is funny a lot of Apple fanboys here try to prove appletv is better. They just “think” apple is “always” better. They only live in their little world. So sad.

  179. I couldn’t agree more with Scoble. AppleTV is expensive and nothing special compared to media centre/xbox. And it is funny a lot of Apple fanboys here try to prove appletv is better. They just “think” apple is “always” better. They only live in their little world. So sad.

  180. The more Mac products you own, you understand less and less about who is doing the real innovating. Take the iPhone for example, much nicer looking gadget than any other phone on the market.But My XDA Exec can do ten times what the iPhone can do, has 3G and was released over a year ahead of the iPhone. I think I’ll keep my investment in software not bother with the iPhone.

    Now, Steve likes to cry fowl, he thinks his products are so good that no one else in the market should even try to compete. Him and his buddy Al Gore also give themselves way too much credit for doing the innovating. Now, I like how many patents there are for the iPhone… Let’s give it to Apple they did a great job with it. However, 95 percent of the innovation that went into that phone DIDN’T come from Apple. Steve just takes all of that for granted, including not giving credit to all of the other guys out there for building the market and bringing down the price so that phones like that are even affordable.

    Steve Jobs would have had me as a customer a long time ago if he would have stuck to his products merit alone. I have a hard time liking a product, when the company is as full of itself as Apple. As a general rule, you shouldn’t like yourself or your product anymore than your customers do, and Steve loves his products better than the most rabid “knocks old people over and tramples them to death, to get to the front row of the MacWorld Stage” bitter MacFreak.

    Having said that good for you Microsoft, for doing more convergence in the living room than Apple will ever do. Scoble, you are usually right on, is Apple paying you to have that opinion or something?

  181. The more Mac products you own, you understand less and less about who is doing the real innovating. Take the iPhone for example, much nicer looking gadget than any other phone on the market.But My XDA Exec can do ten times what the iPhone can do, has 3G and was released over a year ahead of the iPhone. I think I’ll keep my investment in software not bother with the iPhone.

    Now, Steve likes to cry fowl, he thinks his products are so good that no one else in the market should even try to compete. Him and his buddy Al Gore also give themselves way too much credit for doing the innovating. Now, I like how many patents there are for the iPhone… Let’s give it to Apple they did a great job with it. However, 95 percent of the innovation that went into that phone DIDN’T come from Apple. Steve just takes all of that for granted, including not giving credit to all of the other guys out there for building the market and bringing down the price so that phones like that are even affordable.

    Steve Jobs would have had me as a customer a long time ago if he would have stuck to his products merit alone. I have a hard time liking a product, when the company is as full of itself as Apple. As a general rule, you shouldn’t like yourself or your product anymore than your customers do, and Steve loves his products better than the most rabid “knocks old people over and tramples them to death, to get to the front row of the MacWorld Stage” bitter MacFreak.

    Having said that good for you Microsoft, for doing more convergence in the living room than Apple will ever do. Scoble, you are usually right on, is Apple paying you to have that opinion or something?

  182. “I’m not 100% sure why everyone is talking about Microsoft with regards to the iPhone.”

    Because it is a massive blow to them…. Maybe not in SmartPhone OS sales… but it is to their media/Zune strategy.

    Because Apple has been here for the entire development of the portable media strategy, they have lost a high-end $500 (+) product because of their own success. (Even a VERY large 1.8″ HD based player will be $400 or less.) They have now regained it.

    Likewise, Apple has lost the massive y-over-y, q-over-q growth because they have made it a mature market for themselves. They just tapped and opened up for themselves a new market orders of magnitude larger. And they can start with the puniest marketshare, and it will translate to huge gains for them.

    That’s the basic market dynamics for them. (This doesn’t directly affect Microsoft, but I think you can see how it does indirectly.)

    As a product, Apple showed what real innovation is. It showed how to do an actual widescreen video-capable portable device. And even though Apple will not show, and probably won’t do, anything to show the true connectivity capabilities (because it has to court the carriers for a time), the mere possibilities of what could be done with the device make Microsoft’s “social” efforts laughable.

    Additionally, we see the pace of innovation. After four months of talking about how “frequent updates” will be a good thing for Zune, we’ve had one update to fix bugs, despite an apparent unfixed bug that causes skipping, and a promise to add simple games in a year or more… That’s what Microsoft delivers in this space: no availability outside the US, no video content, a bug fix, maybe games…

    This is a massive blow to Microsoft. It makes whatever puny gains in mindshare in the market of portable media it had gained with Zune go completely bye-bye. They should just fold it up now.

  183. “I’m not 100% sure why everyone is talking about Microsoft with regards to the iPhone.”

    Because it is a massive blow to them…. Maybe not in SmartPhone OS sales… but it is to their media/Zune strategy.

    Because Apple has been here for the entire development of the portable media strategy, they have lost a high-end $500 (+) product because of their own success. (Even a VERY large 1.8″ HD based player will be $400 or less.) They have now regained it.

    Likewise, Apple has lost the massive y-over-y, q-over-q growth because they have made it a mature market for themselves. They just tapped and opened up for themselves a new market orders of magnitude larger. And they can start with the puniest marketshare, and it will translate to huge gains for them.

    That’s the basic market dynamics for them. (This doesn’t directly affect Microsoft, but I think you can see how it does indirectly.)

    As a product, Apple showed what real innovation is. It showed how to do an actual widescreen video-capable portable device. And even though Apple will not show, and probably won’t do, anything to show the true connectivity capabilities (because it has to court the carriers for a time), the mere possibilities of what could be done with the device make Microsoft’s “social” efforts laughable.

    Additionally, we see the pace of innovation. After four months of talking about how “frequent updates” will be a good thing for Zune, we’ve had one update to fix bugs, despite an apparent unfixed bug that causes skipping, and a promise to add simple games in a year or more… That’s what Microsoft delivers in this space: no availability outside the US, no video content, a bug fix, maybe games…

    This is a massive blow to Microsoft. It makes whatever puny gains in mindshare in the market of portable media it had gained with Zune go completely bye-bye. They should just fold it up now.

  184. Some things about 1080p: You can view native 1080p content on composite instead of HDMI. HOWEVER

  185. Some things about 1080p: You can view native 1080p content on composite instead of HDMI. HOWEVER

  186. I couldn’t agree more with Scoble. AppleTV is expensive and nothing special compared to media centre/xbox. And it is funny a lot of Apple fanboys here try to prove appletv is better. They just “think” apple is “always” better. They only live in their little world. So sad.

    Hmm, Im afraid the rest of the free world doesn’t agree with you.
    Most people see this and feel sorry for the competition.
    Most people see this and think the Zune is dead meat.

    As for the AppleTV… it’s a home media server. The exact same thing MS trotted out, only it’s about 10% the size. Are you saying the Home Media Server is a waste of time? Interesting…

  187. I couldn’t agree more with Scoble. AppleTV is expensive and nothing special compared to media centre/xbox. And it is funny a lot of Apple fanboys here try to prove appletv is better. They just “think” apple is “always” better. They only live in their little world. So sad.

    Hmm, Im afraid the rest of the free world doesn’t agree with you.
    Most people see this and feel sorry for the competition.
    Most people see this and think the Zune is dead meat.

    As for the AppleTV… it’s a home media server. The exact same thing MS trotted out, only it’s about 10% the size. Are you saying the Home Media Server is a waste of time? Interesting…

  188. Guys you can scrap the idea of games on the Zune… it doesn’t have enough buttons. It’s for … watching TV shows…I guess… Whatever glimpse it had of turning a profit is now gone.

    And any phone maker – Including MS – Is now a second-class citizen.
    That’s gotta sting.
    Thankfully, the iPhones are only selling in select stores, so MS can keep selling to the same idiots it always has…

  189. Guys you can scrap the idea of games on the Zune… it doesn’t have enough buttons. It’s for … watching TV shows…I guess… Whatever glimpse it had of turning a profit is now gone.

    And any phone maker – Including MS – Is now a second-class citizen.
    That’s gotta sting.
    Thankfully, the iPhones are only selling in select stores, so MS can keep selling to the same idiots it always has…

  190. You know what the difference between watching TV shows on Xbox and Apple TV (or iPod, or iTunes, since it’s all the same)? The Apple box let’s me take the file where ever I want. And it’s not the nasty Windows DRM. And I can back it up. And I’m not stuck on a device with a 20 gig hard drive.

    Get a grip about the 720p, too. If I put up 720p next to 1080i on identical TV’s, you wouldn’t know the difference. I watch 1080p trailers on my TV and even that is only marginally better. Buy a Panasonic HVX200 and do your own tests, you’ll see.

    Don’t drink the Microsoft Kool-Aid here, Scoble. 360 is a fantastic device, but just because they started selling TV shows last month doesn’t mean they innovated anything.

  191. You know what the difference between watching TV shows on Xbox and Apple TV (or iPod, or iTunes, since it’s all the same)? The Apple box let’s me take the file where ever I want. And it’s not the nasty Windows DRM. And I can back it up. And I’m not stuck on a device with a 20 gig hard drive.

    Get a grip about the 720p, too. If I put up 720p next to 1080i on identical TV’s, you wouldn’t know the difference. I watch 1080p trailers on my TV and even that is only marginally better. Buy a Panasonic HVX200 and do your own tests, you’ll see.

    Don’t drink the Microsoft Kool-Aid here, Scoble. 360 is a fantastic device, but just because they started selling TV shows last month doesn’t mean they innovated anything.

  192. Jeff, you lost all credentials when you said that 1080p is only marginally better than 720p. Like most mac fans (not sure if you are really one or not) you are talking without doing your fact checks.
    Seriously, it’s possible you are watching content that wasn’t designed for 1080p. 1080p is leaps and bounds greater than 1080i and/or 720p. MUCH MUCH MUCH more data with 1080p. I’m not sure where you arrived at your conclusion. Oh, and btw, Microsoft has done all of the innovation in the living room, Apple has done nothing but follow Microsoft’s path.

    Don’t call me a fanboy either because I run Linux, and so I don’t want to hear anything about DRM either because both M$ and Apple are infested with it. If you own a macbook do yourself a favor and install yellow dog or something. :)

  193. Jeff, you lost all credentials when you said that 1080p is only marginally better than 720p. Like most mac fans (not sure if you are really one or not) you are talking without doing your fact checks.
    Seriously, it’s possible you are watching content that wasn’t designed for 1080p. 1080p is leaps and bounds greater than 1080i and/or 720p. MUCH MUCH MUCH more data with 1080p. I’m not sure where you arrived at your conclusion. Oh, and btw, Microsoft has done all of the innovation in the living room, Apple has done nothing but follow Microsoft’s path.

    Don’t call me a fanboy either because I run Linux, and so I don’t want to hear anything about DRM either because both M$ and Apple are infested with it. If you own a macbook do yourself a favor and install yellow dog or something. :)

  194. One possibility I didn’t think of is that your screen is too small… 1080p really shines above the rest when you get the really large screens.

  195. Have you considered the idea that Apple is marketing the Apple TV as a device to non-gamers?

    The XBox360 isn’t marketed as a media center – it’s marketed as a gaming machine. Sure, it might do everything the Apple TV does, but people who don’t play video games don’t know that.

  196. One possibility I didn’t think of is that your screen is too small… 1080p really shines above the rest when you get the really large screens.

  197. Have you considered the idea that Apple is marketing the Apple TV as a device to non-gamers?

    The XBox360 isn’t marketed as a media center – it’s marketed as a gaming machine. Sure, it might do everything the Apple TV does, but people who don’t play video games don’t know that.

  198. Scoble, I read your paragraph really fast and didn’t pick up the sarcasm. You are absolutely right. People don’t want to give Microsoft credit where it’s due.

  199. Scoble, I read your paragraph really fast and didn’t pick up the sarcasm. You are absolutely right. People don’t want to give Microsoft credit where it’s due.

  200. I, for one, am excited about the new Apple TV. In part because now there’s a Web site out there that collects high-quality vides (soon music, printed word and photos as well) that can be downloaded to “personal media devices.” DiDGU.com just went live — actually had its beta launch — on Dec. 19. There’s still a lot of bugs and it needs lots more content, but the capability is there not only to view videos at much higher quality than YouTube, but soon with much more interactivity between producers and visitors to the site. Advertisers don’t link their ads to the shows — they link to visitors so the ads people see are relevant. Producers share the revenue every time an ad-connected visitor watches their show.

    I hesitate to mention the site because it’s a very rough, basic version. But when this site takes off, it’s going to make Apple TV a very useful tool. People will be able to download their favorite shows — whether it’s how to knit an afghan to a funny, clever comedy bit — and watch them at their leisure on Apple Tv. Great idea. Of course, I expect it will get better with age, but it’s truly the wave of the future. As is DiDGU.com. By the way, as full disclosure I will note here that I work at DiDGU.com.

  201. I, for one, am excited about the new Apple TV. In part because now there’s a Web site out there that collects high-quality vides (soon music, printed word and photos as well) that can be downloaded to “personal media devices.” DiDGU.com just went live — actually had its beta launch — on Dec. 19. There’s still a lot of bugs and it needs lots more content, but the capability is there not only to view videos at much higher quality than YouTube, but soon with much more interactivity between producers and visitors to the site. Advertisers don’t link their ads to the shows — they link to visitors so the ads people see are relevant. Producers share the revenue every time an ad-connected visitor watches their show.

    I hesitate to mention the site because it’s a very rough, basic version. But when this site takes off, it’s going to make Apple TV a very useful tool. People will be able to download their favorite shows — whether it’s how to knit an afghan to a funny, clever comedy bit — and watch them at their leisure on Apple Tv. Great idea. Of course, I expect it will get better with age, but it’s truly the wave of the future. As is DiDGU.com. By the way, as full disclosure I will note here that I work at DiDGU.com.

  202. “As a product, Apple showed what real innovation is.”

    Well, it’s sleek, but I’d be hard pressed to point out somthing innovative about the iPhone. Maybe the fact that it has an accelerometer..I think.

    Anyway, my point was, crushing MS in this space isn’t exactly a great achievement. I’m pretty sure Steve Jobs aims alot higher than that. It’s pretty easy to swipe aside MS in this space considering their offerings. So thats not interesting to me at all. The king of the hill is Nokia and I think thats where the real story is. Nokia vs Apple. I’m surprised this has turned into a MS vs Apple discussion.

  203. “As a product, Apple showed what real innovation is.”

    Well, it’s sleek, but I’d be hard pressed to point out somthing innovative about the iPhone. Maybe the fact that it has an accelerometer..I think.

    Anyway, my point was, crushing MS in this space isn’t exactly a great achievement. I’m pretty sure Steve Jobs aims alot higher than that. It’s pretty easy to swipe aside MS in this space considering their offerings. So thats not interesting to me at all. The king of the hill is Nokia and I think thats where the real story is. Nokia vs Apple. I’m surprised this has turned into a MS vs Apple discussion.

  204. Robert,

    I find it interesting that people said the same things about Apple selling TV shows (which you can get for free). Why would anyone want to do this?

    Strangely enough, about 50,000,000 times, people have done exactly that. 1,300,000 times people have downloaded a movie.

    To date, I’ve only bought two TV shows from the iTMS, so I’m an unlikely candidate for an AppleTV. Regardless, this would be such a cool way to stream music from my iTunes library, I may have to think about it some more.

    Tim

    P.S. My youngest son has an XBox360, so I’m fully aware of what that product can do. I just find the interface for things outside of games to be clumsy.

  205. Robert,

    I find it interesting that people said the same things about Apple selling TV shows (which you can get for free). Why would anyone want to do this?

    Strangely enough, about 50,000,000 times, people have done exactly that. 1,300,000 times people have downloaded a movie.

    To date, I’ve only bought two TV shows from the iTMS, so I’m an unlikely candidate for an AppleTV. Regardless, this would be such a cool way to stream music from my iTunes library, I may have to think about it some more.

    Tim

    P.S. My youngest son has an XBox360, so I’m fully aware of what that product can do. I just find the interface for things outside of games to be clumsy.

  206. I guess Scoble doesnt want anyone to watch his Scoble tv shows on their big screens via apple tv.
    Oh well.

  207. I guess Scoble doesnt want anyone to watch his Scoble tv shows on their big screens via apple tv.
    Oh well.

  208. I think a lot of people are missing the point. MS might do it better with Xbox and Media Center, it’s normally technically superior or at least the same. But Mac products are like Tivo, I could use my Time Warner cable box but Tivo makes it easier and friendlier to use. My parents, wife, and non-techie friends want it to be easy. This will make it EASY. Don’t try to say that the Xbox is as easy, it’s not. This is also being sold as an entertainment appliance, not as a game device. Xbox is automatically going to lose out with non-gamers because of that. There is a difference between the geek market and the core market. Robert, and others, seem to forget that. I might not by the Apple TV but I can see why people will. I want the control and huge feature set, the advanced mode, but most people don’t they just want to listen to music or watch a movie.

  209. I think a lot of people are missing the point. MS might do it better with Xbox and Media Center, it’s normally technically superior or at least the same. But Mac products are like Tivo, I could use my Time Warner cable box but Tivo makes it easier and friendlier to use. My parents, wife, and non-techie friends want it to be easy. This will make it EASY. Don’t try to say that the Xbox is as easy, it’s not. This is also being sold as an entertainment appliance, not as a game device. Xbox is automatically going to lose out with non-gamers because of that. There is a difference between the geek market and the core market. Robert, and others, seem to forget that. I might not by the Apple TV but I can see why people will. I want the control and huge feature set, the advanced mode, but most people don’t they just want to listen to music or watch a movie.

  210. I ordered the ITV yesterday. Why? Because of it’s simplicity and interface. This will do what I wanted to do with my media center pc. The media center pc connected to my Sharp LCD TV is a pain. Slow boot up, and then after boot up check for updates, install updates, update anti virus, restart, and so on.
    And I am guessing that third party hacks and add-ons will appear soon after shipment. Don’t forget that this is really a computer with and OS.

  211. I ordered the ITV yesterday. Why? Because of it’s simplicity and interface. This will do what I wanted to do with my media center pc. The media center pc connected to my Sharp LCD TV is a pain. Slow boot up, and then after boot up check for updates, install updates, update anti virus, restart, and so on.
    And I am guessing that third party hacks and add-ons will appear soon after shipment. Don’t forget that this is really a computer with and OS.

  212. Heya

    I could be very wrong, but in terms of impact, I think that the iPhone wipes the floor with iTV. There is more innovation packed into one of the three main functions of the iPhone than in the whole iTV deal put together. I suspect that in a few years time we will be talking as much about the iPhone halo effect as we do about the iPod halo effect now. There are other devices around which compete more on the same level as the iTV, but nothing comes within a thousand years of the iPhone. As Aaron says, the user experience is what will sell the iTV, and I dare say it’ll be pretty cool, but it will struggle much more to compete in the market slot it occupies. People have their TiVo right now and they like it, but there’s not a phone owner who’s seen the iPhone who doesn’t honestly dribble either at the product or the implications on where the phone market is headed.

  213. Heya

    I could be very wrong, but in terms of impact, I think that the iPhone wipes the floor with iTV. There is more innovation packed into one of the three main functions of the iPhone than in the whole iTV deal put together. I suspect that in a few years time we will be talking as much about the iPhone halo effect as we do about the iPod halo effect now. There are other devices around which compete more on the same level as the iTV, but nothing comes within a thousand years of the iPhone. As Aaron says, the user experience is what will sell the iTV, and I dare say it’ll be pretty cool, but it will struggle much more to compete in the market slot it occupies. People have their TiVo right now and they like it, but there’s not a phone owner who’s seen the iPhone who doesn’t honestly dribble either at the product or the implications on where the phone market is headed.

  214. A bigger issue than the HD thing is file formats: it only plays H.264 files. Many people have a lot of video files in Divx, WMV, and other formats. In order to play them over the AppleTV, they will have to import them into iTunes and have it convert them into H.264.

    Even on a dual-core processor, video conversion is slow. On a P-III or P-4 machice (which many, many people still run) it would take forever to transcode a decent number of video files. The Xbox streaming has the same problem: it only does WMV as far as I know. The AppleTV does have the advantage of being able to play FairPlay DRM-locked video files from the most popular TV and movie downloading store on the Internet.

    Neither really is ideal, though there apparently are programs that can stream many formats on a modded Xbox. I’ll be interested to see what hackers will do with the AppleTV; maybe something like Rockbox will come around offering more options for those who don’t mind voiding their warranties. Unless a video format becomes ubiquitous like MP3 did for audio, the video streaming battle will be won by someone offering flexibility, not file format lock-in.

  215. A bigger issue than the HD thing is file formats: it only plays H.264 files. Many people have a lot of video files in Divx, WMV, and other formats. In order to play them over the AppleTV, they will have to import them into iTunes and have it convert them into H.264.

    Even on a dual-core processor, video conversion is slow. On a P-III or P-4 machice (which many, many people still run) it would take forever to transcode a decent number of video files. The Xbox streaming has the same problem: it only does WMV as far as I know. The AppleTV does have the advantage of being able to play FairPlay DRM-locked video files from the most popular TV and movie downloading store on the Internet.

    Neither really is ideal, though there apparently are programs that can stream many formats on a modded Xbox. I’ll be interested to see what hackers will do with the AppleTV; maybe something like Rockbox will come around offering more options for those who don’t mind voiding their warranties. Unless a video format becomes ubiquitous like MP3 did for audio, the video streaming battle will be won by someone offering flexibility, not file format lock-in.

  216. Hmm, Im afraid the rest of the free world doesn’t agree with you.
    Most people see this and feel sorry for the competition.
    Most people see this and think the Zune is dead meat.

    As for the AppleTV… it’s a home media server. The exact same thing MS trotted out, only it’s about 10% the size. Are you saying the Home Media Server is a waste of time? Interesting…
    ====================================

    God, 1st I didn’t mention zune. And as for appltTV, did you just call appleTV a “server”? Check http://www.winsupersite.com/reviews/whs_preview.asp this out, then you know what is a “server”. Xbox appeared in the market far earlier than appletv and can do far more things (eg games) than appletv.

    And who is “the rest of the world”? That is interesting.

  217. Hmm, Im afraid the rest of the free world doesn’t agree with you.
    Most people see this and feel sorry for the competition.
    Most people see this and think the Zune is dead meat.

    As for the AppleTV… it’s a home media server. The exact same thing MS trotted out, only it’s about 10% the size. Are you saying the Home Media Server is a waste of time? Interesting…
    ====================================

    God, 1st I didn’t mention zune. And as for appltTV, did you just call appleTV a “server”? Check http://www.winsupersite.com/reviews/whs_preview.asp this out, then you know what is a “server”. Xbox appeared in the market far earlier than appletv and can do far more things (eg games) than appletv.

    And who is “the rest of the world”? That is interesting.

  218. Jeff-

    Oh my. Did you just imply that Apple/iTunes does not have “nasty DRM” AND 720/1080 look identical? I think you need to step away from the tech blogs for a while…or maybe spend more time reading vs posting. Apple’s DRM (and crappy codec) on iTunes is one of the main reason many of us are sticking with devices from Creative (and similar) for now.

  219. Jeff-

    Oh my. Did you just imply that Apple/iTunes does not have “nasty DRM” AND 720/1080 look identical? I think you need to step away from the tech blogs for a while…or maybe spend more time reading vs posting. Apple’s DRM (and crappy codec) on iTunes is one of the main reason many of us are sticking with devices from Creative (and similar) for now.

  220. 720 p… I’m an Xbox guy as well, but isn’t the Xbox maxed out at 1080i and don’t a lot of people believe 720p is better than 1080i anyway?

  221. 720 p… I’m an Xbox guy as well, but isn’t the Xbox maxed out at 1080i and don’t a lot of people believe 720p is better than 1080i anyway?

  222. I agree that 720 is not cool, just as I agreed with most that 128 bit was not cool for iTunes AAC files.
    But, Im a tech geek, as are most of your readers, so we all try to do a bit of future proofing, or we just get high end stuff because we can or just because we want. Having said that I still think the Apple-TV will be a hit with iTunes store users, or at least the Mac base, therefore it will do ok. So 18 months from now when there is a ton of 1080 content and screens, Im sure we will be at AppleTV V.3.0 With RSS reader, 1080p, Solitaire, : ) , calendar, ect ect…….
    Its good enough for now and if you have a few dollars of purchased iTunes content then its attractive. Even though its physical form factor disappoints as well.

    Did I hope for better out of this version 1.0 product? yes i did, is it DOA? Now thats just silly.

    BK

  223. I agree that 720 is not cool, just as I agreed with most that 128 bit was not cool for iTunes AAC files.
    But, Im a tech geek, as are most of your readers, so we all try to do a bit of future proofing, or we just get high end stuff because we can or just because we want. Having said that I still think the Apple-TV will be a hit with iTunes store users, or at least the Mac base, therefore it will do ok. So 18 months from now when there is a ton of 1080 content and screens, Im sure we will be at AppleTV V.3.0 With RSS reader, 1080p, Solitaire, : ) , calendar, ect ect…….
    Its good enough for now and if you have a few dollars of purchased iTunes content then its attractive. Even though its physical form factor disappoints as well.

    Did I hope for better out of this version 1.0 product? yes i did, is it DOA? Now thats just silly.

    BK

  224. iPhone has ziltch to do with Zune or any other media player. A $600 device is not in the same market as a $200 device. Only a complete moron walks into a store looking to by a $200 media player and instead decides on a $600 phone.

  225. iPhone has ziltch to do with Zune or any other media player. A $600 device is not in the same market as a $200 device. Only a complete moron walks into a store looking to by a $200 media player and instead decides on a $600 phone.

  226. “iPhone has ziltch to do with Zune or any other media player.”

    It has everything to do with it.

    That’s the problem with MS fanboys and geeks: you look at a product and compare it feature for feature and price to price…

    The point is this: Apple has been in the market for 5 years, hits every segment of the handheld market, the livingroom, the phone, its store is the largest and sells music, videos, TV, and films… The iPhone seals the highend cake, it shows innovation. It closes the circle and makes Zune look pathetic.

  227. “iPhone has ziltch to do with Zune or any other media player.”

    It has everything to do with it.

    That’s the problem with MS fanboys and geeks: you look at a product and compare it feature for feature and price to price…

    The point is this: Apple has been in the market for 5 years, hits every segment of the handheld market, the livingroom, the phone, its store is the largest and sells music, videos, TV, and films… The iPhone seals the highend cake, it shows innovation. It closes the circle and makes Zune look pathetic.

  228. I can’t believe I read through this lengthy thread in its entirety… one thing became obvious though, you’re all hung up about a tech spec. Take a step back and realise that not implementing the absoulte bleeding edge alternative of every feature isn’t the end of the world. The Wii is so technically pwn3d by ps3 and xbox360 but last i read it was selling like hotcakes, just as appleTV isn’t going to be dead in the water cos of 720p. I read through the tech specs of every electronic device I buy. One spec that is not the latest and greatest doesn’t bother the average consumer.

  229. I can’t believe I read through this lengthy thread in its entirety… one thing became obvious though, you’re all hung up about a tech spec. Take a step back and realise that not implementing the absoulte bleeding edge alternative of every feature isn’t the end of the world. The Wii is so technically pwn3d by ps3 and xbox360 but last i read it was selling like hotcakes, just as appleTV isn’t going to be dead in the water cos of 720p. I read through the tech specs of every electronic device I buy. One spec that is not the latest and greatest doesn’t bother the average consumer.

  230. I don’t get the point why 1080i should be better than 720p and also not the point why AppleTV shouldn’t be capable of 1080i when it already does 720p. From a complexity point of view (counting CPU cycles necessary to decode & display a single frame) 720p is more complex than 1080i by about 33%.

    Some people might also claim now that with a good deinterlacer in the TV set you should have higher resolution with 1080i, but that’s only true for still images. Overall image quality should be roughly comparable between 1080i and 720p. 1080i is slightly better with still images, 720p slightly better with motion pictures.

  231. I don’t get the point why 1080i should be better than 720p and also not the point why AppleTV shouldn’t be capable of 1080i when it already does 720p. From a complexity point of view (counting CPU cycles necessary to decode & display a single frame) 720p is more complex than 1080i by about 33%.

    Some people might also claim now that with a good deinterlacer in the TV set you should have higher resolution with 1080i, but that’s only true for still images. Overall image quality should be roughly comparable between 1080i and 720p. 1080i is slightly better with still images, 720p slightly better with motion pictures.

  232. I think everyone is missing one big point. Some folks made the big mistake of thinking Steve Job’s Stole the show at CES when the only thing he stole was a Cisco trademark. The partnerships what were made at this CES alone will amount to more installed Microsoft home ecosystems than Apple TV’s sold all next year. If you look at the hotels out there, if you look at the new 1million dollar homes, they are all running Microsoft.

    Steve jobs in his “I love myself more than even my own mom” kind of way forgot one important thing. To think you are too good for the “CEDIA” market is a big mistake. Once these gear heads learn about media center, that’s all they’ll talk about, when the new homeowner looks at his options that the builder gives him, Microsoft will be the only vendor on the sheet. I said it once before and I’ll say it again, Microsoft will remain the leader in the living room for the foreseeable future. Al Gore fanatic types with an Apple logo on their minivan are the target audience for this type of thing, people who need Apple to feel special as far as I can tell. Or I guess that’s the best I can make of it. If you try to tell me the 360 is hard to operate (when working) then we need to get you a VCR.

  233. I think everyone is missing one big point. Some folks made the big mistake of thinking Steve Job’s Stole the show at CES when the only thing he stole was a Cisco trademark. The partnerships what were made at this CES alone will amount to more installed Microsoft home ecosystems than Apple TV’s sold all next year. If you look at the hotels out there, if you look at the new 1million dollar homes, they are all running Microsoft.

    Steve jobs in his “I love myself more than even my own mom” kind of way forgot one important thing. To think you are too good for the “CEDIA” market is a big mistake. Once these gear heads learn about media center, that’s all they’ll talk about, when the new homeowner looks at his options that the builder gives him, Microsoft will be the only vendor on the sheet. I said it once before and I’ll say it again, Microsoft will remain the leader in the living room for the foreseeable future. Al Gore fanatic types with an Apple logo on their minivan are the target audience for this type of thing, people who need Apple to feel special as far as I can tell. Or I guess that’s the best I can make of it. If you try to tell me the 360 is hard to operate (when working) then we need to get you a VCR.

  234. Here’s some decent info on 1080p:
    http://editorials.teamxbox.com/xbox/1544/The-Facts-and-Fiction-of-1080p/p1/

    I think it’s fair to complain that the appleTV doesn’t do 1080p at launch, and it’s also fair to note that the XBox360 also launched without 1080p and gained this ability later in a software update. 1080i is a non-issue for me, as I’d prefer 720p for progressive content, though 1080p would kick ass when paired with a nice 1080p monitor (if you’ve got an older 1080 set, it is 1080i not 1080p). ‘Course, it’s all a non-issue for me right now as I don’t have any HD content to watch at the moment and am living in a country where VCDs are still in circulation :)

    Speaking of 720p, it’d be amazing if the XBox360 supported 720p60. Now that would be fluid motion (anyone ever see a Showscan demo?).

    I’m amused that somehow Al Gore ended up in this discussion. Can someone please try to tie other relevant politicians like Nixon, Zachary Taylor, Hillary, and Hubert Humphrey into this thread?

  235. Here’s some decent info on 1080p:
    http://editorials.teamxbox.com/xbox/1544/The-Facts-and-Fiction-of-1080p/p1/

    I think it’s fair to complain that the appleTV doesn’t do 1080p at launch, and it’s also fair to note that the XBox360 also launched without 1080p and gained this ability later in a software update. 1080i is a non-issue for me, as I’d prefer 720p for progressive content, though 1080p would kick ass when paired with a nice 1080p monitor (if you’ve got an older 1080 set, it is 1080i not 1080p). ‘Course, it’s all a non-issue for me right now as I don’t have any HD content to watch at the moment and am living in a country where VCDs are still in circulation :)

    Speaking of 720p, it’d be amazing if the XBox360 supported 720p60. Now that would be fluid motion (anyone ever see a Showscan demo?).

    I’m amused that somehow Al Gore ended up in this discussion. Can someone please try to tie other relevant politicians like Nixon, Zachary Taylor, Hillary, and Hubert Humphrey into this thread?

  236. You’re right of course. It is a deficiency, especially for people who have or are considering the purchase of 1080i monitors. I was just picking nits by pointing out that for watching movies, I’d choose 720p (esp. 720p24) over 1080i. For this reason I don’t think the lack of 1080 support is a complete disaster, but it is a minor one.

    There are other, bigger deficiencies I see to the unit. The appleTV looks to be designed for a single purpose –to play media purchased in the iTMS on the user’s TV. The fact that it doesn’t do much else is an issue for those of us who have other needs or like our devices flexible and complex. appleTV is just the Airport Express for video.

    Here are some details on the device’s limitations:
    http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2007/1/9/6543

    Then again, when the Airport Express launched I was similarly dismissive of its built-in limitations, and after recently seeing and using one at a friend’s have entertained the thought of purchasing one. Even though I know there are devices out there with twice the features, or that I could hack together a linux box out of old parts for free and do all the same things with some scripting at both ends, the simplicity and form factor of the Airport Express wins out (the limiting factor for me on that one is the price).

  237. You’re right of course. It is a deficiency, especially for people who have or are considering the purchase of 1080i monitors. I was just picking nits by pointing out that for watching movies, I’d choose 720p (esp. 720p24) over 1080i. For this reason I don’t think the lack of 1080 support is a complete disaster, but it is a minor one.

    There are other, bigger deficiencies I see to the unit. The appleTV looks to be designed for a single purpose –to play media purchased in the iTMS on the user’s TV. The fact that it doesn’t do much else is an issue for those of us who have other needs or like our devices flexible and complex. appleTV is just the Airport Express for video.

    Here are some details on the device’s limitations:
    http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2007/1/9/6543

    Then again, when the Airport Express launched I was similarly dismissive of its built-in limitations, and after recently seeing and using one at a friend’s have entertained the thought of purchasing one. Even though I know there are devices out there with twice the features, or that I could hack together a linux box out of old parts for free and do all the same things with some scripting at both ends, the simplicity and form factor of the Airport Express wins out (the limiting factor for me on that one is the price).

  238. Is ESPN lame, Robert?

    Are all the movies that Xbox Live starting selling just a few months ago lame, Robert?

    You should really give up this whole 720p and 1080i game. You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about. The Apple TV has much bigger problems than the 720p “issue”.

  239. Is ESPN lame, Robert?

    Are all the movies that Xbox Live starting selling just a few months ago lame, Robert?

    You should really give up this whole 720p and 1080i game. You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about. The Apple TV has much bigger problems than the 720p “issue”.

  240. “Also remember that 720p is actually higher quality than 1080i. 1080i video looks noticeably worse than 720p — even on an HDTV that actually has 1080 lines of resolution.
    “1080p isn’t supported for broadcast video.
    “720p is a perfectly acceptable choice. Apple TV supports 1080i, but it is inferior to 720p, so Jobs noted the highest quality that Apple TV can output.” –Comment by Mark Jaquith
    -

    No, it’s not. The argument that 720p60 (1280x720x60=55MPps)is somehow superior to 1080i60 (1920x1080x30=62MPps) based on the fact that the total number of unique pixels/second is similar to 1080i60 with fewer interlace-induced motion artifacts. 720p60 also does not look better on a 1080-native device. Anyway, the 720p60 vs. 1080i60 argument becomes academic with respect to the Apple TV device, which is only capable of 720p24.

    1080p24 is also in the ATSC standard for broadcast, but to my knowlege, no one has announced its use.

    You also give Steve Jobs too much credit– he didn’t choose 720p24 because it provides higher quality than 1080i60 (and it doesn’t, not by a longshot), but rather because it has much lower hardware requirements for playback, which was needed to get to the $299 price point while still being able to call the box ‘HD.’

    -

    “For watching movies shot on film, 720p will be superior to 1080i unless you’re a big fan of either interlacing artifacts or reduced resolution due to deinterlacing. 1080p would be superior, it’s a newer standard though and not supported by nearly as much hardware.” –Comment by ZF
    -

    Also not true. For film-based sources, 1080i60 can be deinterlaced to a true (not interpolated) 1080p24 image. And for video-based sources, 1080i60 can be deinterlaced to a true 1080p30 image. Both of these are very much superior to a 720p24 image. And converting 720p60 video to 720p24 requires 3:2 pulldown, which introduces the same motion artifacts as are present in 1080i60, only larger.

  241. “Also remember that 720p is actually higher quality than 1080i. 1080i video looks noticeably worse than 720p — even on an HDTV that actually has 1080 lines of resolution.
    “1080p isn’t supported for broadcast video.
    “720p is a perfectly acceptable choice. Apple TV supports 1080i, but it is inferior to 720p, so Jobs noted the highest quality that Apple TV can output.” –Comment by Mark Jaquith
    -

    No, it’s not. The argument that 720p60 (1280x720x60=55MPps)is somehow superior to 1080i60 (1920x1080x30=62MPps) based on the fact that the total number of unique pixels/second is similar to 1080i60 with fewer interlace-induced motion artifacts. 720p60 also does not look better on a 1080-native device. Anyway, the 720p60 vs. 1080i60 argument becomes academic with respect to the Apple TV device, which is only capable of 720p24.

    1080p24 is also in the ATSC standard for broadcast, but to my knowlege, no one has announced its use.

    You also give Steve Jobs too much credit– he didn’t choose 720p24 because it provides higher quality than 1080i60 (and it doesn’t, not by a longshot), but rather because it has much lower hardware requirements for playback, which was needed to get to the $299 price point while still being able to call the box ‘HD.’

    -

    “For watching movies shot on film, 720p will be superior to 1080i unless you’re a big fan of either interlacing artifacts or reduced resolution due to deinterlacing. 1080p would be superior, it’s a newer standard though and not supported by nearly as much hardware.” –Comment by ZF
    -

    Also not true. For film-based sources, 1080i60 can be deinterlaced to a true (not interpolated) 1080p24 image. And for video-based sources, 1080i60 can be deinterlaced to a true 1080p30 image. Both of these are very much superior to a 720p24 image. And converting 720p60 video to 720p24 requires 3:2 pulldown, which introduces the same motion artifacts as are present in 1080i60, only larger.

  242. Since Apple TV is 720p, we can all agree that it should be the standard resolution for HDTV. After all it is Apple Inc., they can’t miss anything.They are always ahead.

    On the other note, iphone’s ui is slap on user’s face. How come those icons are so huge? Apple users are still breastfed babies I guess.

  243. Since Apple TV is 720p, we can all agree that it should be the standard resolution for HDTV. After all it is Apple Inc., they can’t miss anything.They are always ahead.

    On the other note, iphone’s ui is slap on user’s face. How come those icons are so huge? Apple users are still breastfed babies I guess.

  244. “Also not true. For film-based sources, 1080i60 can be deinterlaced to a true (not interpolated) 1080p24 image.”

    That sounds good, and is a fairly easy process. Hopefully all the 1080p monitors out there will have such pulldown removal in hardware (as I’m sure do the HD DVD players). However, I’d be very surprised if the vertical resolution of the film image isn’t deliberately degraded a during the telecine or encoding process so it doens’t flicker on interlaced displays. Even so I’d expect film converted to 1080i60 to at least hold more horizontal information than 720, and for this detail to be apparent –assuming that the consumer’s output device can actually display the additional horizontal resolution. The consumer DLP 1080 HD monitors that are going to sell like hotcakes this year use micromirror arrays that are 960×1080 native resolution and use “wobbulation” to draw 1920 horizontal pixels. I don’t expect this to hold the detail as well as that which would be produced by a real 1920×1080 array. It’d be interesting to compare 1280×720 and 1920×1080 images produced on these 960×1080 sensor driven sets. In any case, point taken, with caveats.

    “And for video-based sources, 1080i60 can be deinterlaced to a true 1080p30 image. Both of these are very much superior to a 720p24 image.”

    I agree in theory, but it’s a little more complicated than that. 1080i wins in terms of horizontal resolution(*), but its vertical resolution is not necessarily any better even after the most perfect deinterlacing process because the vertical resolution of each set of fields was deliberately lowered in camera to reduce interlace flicker. Progressive images also degrade less from mpeg-2 compression (a common broadcast, satellite, and cable format) than interlaced ones (also true for h264?). And if we’re discussing video-based sources, I wonder if 720p24 is nearly as common as 720p60 for video acquisition. But yours is a fair comparison if the appleTV only can output 720p24, other devices on the market play 720p60, and 720p60 videos are available for playback on those devices.

    “And converting 720p60 video to 720p24 requires 3:2 pulldown, which introduces the same motion artifacts as are present in 1080i60, only larger.”

    True, but I’d guess not very relevant for most videos currently available online. The movies people buy in the iTMS and watch on their 720 playback devices and 720-capable monitors will all be 720p24, not 720p60, hence no motion artifacts (unless 720 capable monitors only run at a multiple of 60Hz and can’t do multiples of 24Hz). I’d agree that people who want to watch more 720p60 sports videos and other material originating in 720 would be better served by a player that can output 720p60 than one that has to convert the video to 720p24. If the XBox 360 with media extender plays 720p60, that’s another mark in its favor for such videos.

    There are so many compromises built into the HD capture, transmission/distribution, and display pipeline that the resolution advantage of 1080i formats over 720p is exaggerated in practice (at the current time), and the appleTV unit would likely not be the weakest link in one’s HD-viewing chain. But the v1 appleTV in offering only 720p does seem less than future-proof.

    Enough hair-splitting on my part. The point I’m trying and failing to make is: Scoble thinks the appleTV is “dead on arrival” due to the lack of 1080 support. I think the lack of 1080 support is a true but not deal-breaking deficiency, that the device has other, bigger deficiencies, that it won’t meet my needs, but I also think there might be a market for it and it may work well for that market segment. My disagreement extends mostly to the idea that the product deserves the DOA moniker.

    -Z

    * (few if any HD cameras commonly used for broadcast actually have 1920×1080 sensors, some commonly-used telecine devices are not truly 1920×1080, and most HD tape recording formats also use a lower horizontal resolution–both these caveats likely also apply to the 720 formats, I’m not sure to what degree –there may be more broadcast cameras that shoot full-res 720 and formats that record it, or there may not)

  245. “Also not true. For film-based sources, 1080i60 can be deinterlaced to a true (not interpolated) 1080p24 image.”

    That sounds good, and is a fairly easy process. Hopefully all the 1080p monitors out there will have such pulldown removal in hardware (as I’m sure do the HD DVD players). However, I’d be very surprised if the vertical resolution of the film image isn’t deliberately degraded a during the telecine or encoding process so it doens’t flicker on interlaced displays. Even so I’d expect film converted to 1080i60 to at least hold more horizontal information than 720, and for this detail to be apparent –assuming that the consumer’s output device can actually display the additional horizontal resolution. The consumer DLP 1080 HD monitors that are going to sell like hotcakes this year use micromirror arrays that are 960×1080 native resolution and use “wobbulation” to draw 1920 horizontal pixels. I don’t expect this to hold the detail as well as that which would be produced by a real 1920×1080 array. It’d be interesting to compare 1280×720 and 1920×1080 images produced on these 960×1080 sensor driven sets. In any case, point taken, with caveats.

    “And for video-based sources, 1080i60 can be deinterlaced to a true 1080p30 image. Both of these are very much superior to a 720p24 image.”

    I agree in theory, but it’s a little more complicated than that. 1080i wins in terms of horizontal resolution(*), but its vertical resolution is not necessarily any better even after the most perfect deinterlacing process because the vertical resolution of each set of fields was deliberately lowered in camera to reduce interlace flicker. Progressive images also degrade less from mpeg-2 compression (a common broadcast, satellite, and cable format) than interlaced ones (also true for h264?). And if we’re discussing video-based sources, I wonder if 720p24 is nearly as common as 720p60 for video acquisition. But yours is a fair comparison if the appleTV only can output 720p24, other devices on the market play 720p60, and 720p60 videos are available for playback on those devices.

    “And converting 720p60 video to 720p24 requires 3:2 pulldown, which introduces the same motion artifacts as are present in 1080i60, only larger.”

    True, but I’d guess not very relevant for most videos currently available online. The movies people buy in the iTMS and watch on their 720 playback devices and 720-capable monitors will all be 720p24, not 720p60, hence no motion artifacts (unless 720 capable monitors only run at a multiple of 60Hz and can’t do multiples of 24Hz). I’d agree that people who want to watch more 720p60 sports videos and other material originating in 720 would be better served by a player that can output 720p60 than one that has to convert the video to 720p24. If the XBox 360 with media extender plays 720p60, that’s another mark in its favor for such videos.

    There are so many compromises built into the HD capture, transmission/distribution, and display pipeline that the resolution advantage of 1080i formats over 720p is exaggerated in practice (at the current time), and the appleTV unit would likely not be the weakest link in one’s HD-viewing chain. But the v1 appleTV in offering only 720p does seem less than future-proof.

    Enough hair-splitting on my part. The point I’m trying and failing to make is: Scoble thinks the appleTV is “dead on arrival” due to the lack of 1080 support. I think the lack of 1080 support is a true but not deal-breaking deficiency, that the device has other, bigger deficiencies, that it won’t meet my needs, but I also think there might be a market for it and it may work well for that market segment. My disagreement extends mostly to the idea that the product deserves the DOA moniker.

    -Z

    * (few if any HD cameras commonly used for broadcast actually have 1920×1080 sensors, some commonly-used telecine devices are not truly 1920×1080, and most HD tape recording formats also use a lower horizontal resolution–both these caveats likely also apply to the 720 formats, I’m not sure to what degree –there may be more broadcast cameras that shoot full-res 720 and formats that record it, or there may not)

  246. ZF– all excellent points. The biggest being that progressive images degrade less in the encoding process, which is why bit rate is often more important to perceived resolution w/re picture quality than actual picture resolution. And as you pointed out, actual horizontal resolution of a broadcast 1080i60 images works out to a real world max of around 1400 pixels.

    So far, the only place where I’ve seen 720p24 used is in video cameras marketed primarily to independant filmmakers a couple of years ago (Panasonic and JVC). The advantage touted is that the progressive 24fps image is more film-like than a 1080i60 image.

    The best way to display a 720p24 image would be to triple the refresh to 720p72, and while most computer monitors (and higher-end projectors) should be able to display this refresh rate, it would require an outboard video processor that would end up costing several times the Apple’s $299 price. I don’t think any consumer television monitors perform this internally or even have the bandwidth to accept a 72hz progressive signal.

    It could also be doubled, but I know people who claim headaches from the flicker from a 48hz image. Of course this is in the home theatre world where such images are viewed in a completely light-controlled room, which would magnify such effects. And that’s also not the target market for this device.

    I’m more inclined to think of the device as DOA, but I tend to think that if I don’t want something, nobody else does, either. However, some of the vitrolic and woefully uninformed comments (not yours obviously) here are making me think that there may be a market for it. And there’s always hope for version 2.

  247. ZF– all excellent points. The biggest being that progressive images degrade less in the encoding process, which is why bit rate is often more important to perceived resolution w/re picture quality than actual picture resolution. And as you pointed out, actual horizontal resolution of a broadcast 1080i60 images works out to a real world max of around 1400 pixels.

    So far, the only place where I’ve seen 720p24 used is in video cameras marketed primarily to independant filmmakers a couple of years ago (Panasonic and JVC). The advantage touted is that the progressive 24fps image is more film-like than a 1080i60 image.

    The best way to display a 720p24 image would be to triple the refresh to 720p72, and while most computer monitors (and higher-end projectors) should be able to display this refresh rate, it would require an outboard video processor that would end up costing several times the Apple’s $299 price. I don’t think any consumer television monitors perform this internally or even have the bandwidth to accept a 72hz progressive signal.

    It could also be doubled, but I know people who claim headaches from the flicker from a 48hz image. Of course this is in the home theatre world where such images are viewed in a completely light-controlled room, which would magnify such effects. And that’s also not the target market for this device.

    I’m more inclined to think of the device as DOA, but I tend to think that if I don’t want something, nobody else does, either. However, some of the vitrolic and woefully uninformed comments (not yours obviously) here are making me think that there may be a market for it. And there’s always hope for version 2.

  248. Who the hell wants to take the time to download a movie, to then play on an iPod, to then sit in front of the computer and watch it, to then connect the computer to that expensive new Plasma screen …. only a Mac fanatic would do that, and then only to brag that he could do it.

    Well I can shit and fall back in it, I wouldn’t suggest bragging about that.

    No, bragging about useless gadgets is sort of like inflating one’s ego. I always sort of thought that men of small stature that insist on owning huge pick up trucks, you know the type, probably (just guessing here), are trying to some how make up for the fact that they feel they are lacking in other arenas that may be of greater interest to the ladies.

    So I sort of think that this is a parallel situation of an electronic nature. Computer nerds and hippies in SF can wooo about their iTV and their iPhone, and their iPod.

    Good gawd, we put a man on the moon with less computer technology than is in a typical 1998 Chrysler, and the friggen “ithis” makes people nearly orgasm? All I can say is that you people who enjoy these products probably don’t get much work done at work, probably have a very boring life, and probably are simply making up for some other area that you feel you are lacking in.

    Grow up, there is a real world out there and Steve Jobs ain’t god. Ha ha ha!

  249. Who the hell wants to take the time to download a movie, to then play on an iPod, to then sit in front of the computer and watch it, to then connect the computer to that expensive new Plasma screen …. only a Mac fanatic would do that, and then only to brag that he could do it.

    Well I can shit and fall back in it, I wouldn’t suggest bragging about that.

    No, bragging about useless gadgets is sort of like inflating one’s ego. I always sort of thought that men of small stature that insist on owning huge pick up trucks, you know the type, probably (just guessing here), are trying to some how make up for the fact that they feel they are lacking in other arenas that may be of greater interest to the ladies.

    So I sort of think that this is a parallel situation of an electronic nature. Computer nerds and hippies in SF can wooo about their iTV and their iPhone, and their iPod.

    Good gawd, we put a man on the moon with less computer technology than is in a typical 1998 Chrysler, and the friggen “ithis” makes people nearly orgasm? All I can say is that you people who enjoy these products probably don’t get much work done at work, probably have a very boring life, and probably are simply making up for some other area that you feel you are lacking in.

    Grow up, there is a real world out there and Steve Jobs ain’t god. Ha ha ha!

  250. Jason B.: I’m going to politely as possible tell you to bite me, because I shoot HD for money. I have my own gear. Your silly Mac insults don’t grant you any more credibility.

  251. Jason B.: I’m going to politely as possible tell you to bite me, because I shoot HD for money. I have my own gear. Your silly Mac insults don’t grant you any more credibility.

  252. I would buy an AppleTV if it had 1080i.
    I would buy an Airport Express if it had gigabit.

    The good news is, I guess, that nobody seems to be doing these things well. I have been thinking about buying an XBox 360, but I am scared of the fact that most Microsoft products are not compatible with things not made by Microsoft. Microsoft can rarely get their own stuff to be compatible.

    Linksys, D-Link, and Netgear all don’t seem to be able to make a reliable 802.11n router with gigabit. Apple’s router may be reliable, but it doesn’t have gigabit. I suppose I could buy a gigabit switch, but I don’t think I should need to.

  253. I would buy an AppleTV if it had 1080i.
    I would buy an Airport Express if it had gigabit.

    The good news is, I guess, that nobody seems to be doing these things well. I have been thinking about buying an XBox 360, but I am scared of the fact that most Microsoft products are not compatible with things not made by Microsoft. Microsoft can rarely get their own stuff to be compatible.

    Linksys, D-Link, and Netgear all don’t seem to be able to make a reliable 802.11n router with gigabit. Apple’s router may be reliable, but it doesn’t have gigabit. I suppose I could buy a gigabit switch, but I don’t think I should need to.