Why you should get AppleTV

Michael Markman has the best reason that I should be pushing Apple TV. Sold me! I’m getting one anyway.

Oh, and lots of broadcasts are done in 1080i. Yeah, no one is broadcasting in 1080p yet, but the difference between the two is very small (I can tell the difference between 720p and 1080i, but it’s a lot harder to see the difference between 1080i and 1080p).

67 thoughts on “Why you should get AppleTV

  1. I keep hearing most of the comments – it does not matter that it does not support 1080p as the content isnt there. I would add a VERY important word to the end of this “yet”. I bought my 720p/1080i Sanyo Z4 projector only 12 months ago and at the time I was thinking – 1080p content is a long way off. Well as we know a year in tech terms is nothing and now I’m wishing I had a 1080p capable projector. I still believe not going for 1080p support is a big mistake – not enough to hit too many sales but for future proofing (and by that I mean 12 months) its a mistake. Will I get one ? Nah, I have the media center PC hooked up to the PJ and do all my video podcasts on thay. Now my biggest question (slightly un-related) is how I do video podcasts on the move. I dont yet own a video ipod and I think that would be the simplist, but perhpas the latest generation of Archos (Ive always been an archos man) is the way to go.

    Nige

  2. I keep hearing most of the comments – it does not matter that it does not support 1080p as the content isnt there. I would add a VERY important word to the end of this “yet”. I bought my 720p/1080i Sanyo Z4 projector only 12 months ago and at the time I was thinking – 1080p content is a long way off. Well as we know a year in tech terms is nothing and now I’m wishing I had a 1080p capable projector. I still believe not going for 1080p support is a big mistake – not enough to hit too many sales but for future proofing (and by that I mean 12 months) its a mistake. Will I get one ? Nah, I have the media center PC hooked up to the PJ and do all my video podcasts on thay. Now my biggest question (slightly un-related) is how I do video podcasts on the move. I dont yet own a video ipod and I think that would be the simplist, but perhpas the latest generation of Archos (Ive always been an archos man) is the way to go.

    Nige

  3. Robert, I enjoy your blog a lot, but when you delve into this kind of a territory, I think you are a little out of your normal turf.

    First, most HDTV experts (as in, those who work in the industry) cannot easily peg the difference between 720p and 1080i visually. It’s very hard for most people with most content.

    Second, most HD cable/satellite boxes do a great job with their upscalers (better than most TVs do in fact), making the difference even less noticable.

    Third, there is almost no announced broadcast content for 1080p at present, making the current push to 1080p more a marketing issue than a content/quality issue. In fact, DirecTV’s CTO announced during their press conference at CES that they were explicitly not support the format at present. http://www.livedigitally.com/2007/01/13/a-tale-of-two-satellite-press-conferences-part-2/

    Bottom line is the majority of consumers should expect to enjoy their 720p and 1080i content (the most important aspect here, by the way, is the native resolution capability of your display, and nothing else) for a long time. It is, in fact, possible to see 1080p get skipped as a “mainstream” format as companies such as Hitachi are working on resolutions with over 4000 lines already!

  4. Robert, I enjoy your blog a lot, but when you delve into this kind of a territory, I think you are a little out of your normal turf.

    First, most HDTV experts (as in, those who work in the industry) cannot easily peg the difference between 720p and 1080i visually. It’s very hard for most people with most content.

    Second, most HD cable/satellite boxes do a great job with their upscalers (better than most TVs do in fact), making the difference even less noticable.

    Third, there is almost no announced broadcast content for 1080p at present, making the current push to 1080p more a marketing issue than a content/quality issue. In fact, DirecTV’s CTO announced during their press conference at CES that they were explicitly not support the format at present. http://www.livedigitally.com/2007/01/13/a-tale-of-two-satellite-press-conferences-part-2/

    Bottom line is the majority of consumers should expect to enjoy their 720p and 1080i content (the most important aspect here, by the way, is the native resolution capability of your display, and nothing else) for a long time. It is, in fact, possible to see 1080p get skipped as a “mainstream” format as companies such as Hitachi are working on resolutions with over 4000 lines already!

  5. Personally, I greatly prefer football on NBC, CBS and NFL Network (all 1080i) to Fox and ABC/ESPN (720p). Despite ABC/ESPN’s marketing verbiage, Fox and ABC/ESPN use 720p because the broadcast costs for 720p are less than for 1080i. And for several years, Fox only broadcast it’s digital signals in 480p.

    Many 1280×720 (and 1024×768) max tv sets use an interpolation method known as ‘bob’ that converts a 1080i60 image into a 540p60 image before upconverting that to 720p60, instead of properly reconstructing a 1080p30 image and then doubling and downconverting that to 720p60. Film-based sources are what really suffer with this conversion method, as a 1080i film source can be converted to 1080p by reversing 3:2 pulldown.

    Of course, all of this is academic when discussing Apple TV, which is not capable of 720p60 anyway, but only a max of 720p24, which removes any motion/temporal advantage 720p60 has over 1080i60.

    Oh, and 1080p24 is part of the ATSC standard; however, no one is broadcasting it, nor have I heard any plans for anyone to use it.

  6. Personally, I greatly prefer football on NBC, CBS and NFL Network (all 1080i) to Fox and ABC/ESPN (720p). Despite ABC/ESPN’s marketing verbiage, Fox and ABC/ESPN use 720p because the broadcast costs for 720p are less than for 1080i. And for several years, Fox only broadcast it’s digital signals in 480p.

    Many 1280×720 (and 1024×768) max tv sets use an interpolation method known as ‘bob’ that converts a 1080i60 image into a 540p60 image before upconverting that to 720p60, instead of properly reconstructing a 1080p30 image and then doubling and downconverting that to 720p60. Film-based sources are what really suffer with this conversion method, as a 1080i film source can be converted to 1080p by reversing 3:2 pulldown.

    Of course, all of this is academic when discussing Apple TV, which is not capable of 720p60 anyway, but only a max of 720p24, which removes any motion/temporal advantage 720p60 has over 1080i60.

    Oh, and 1080p24 is part of the ATSC standard; however, no one is broadcasting it, nor have I heard any plans for anyone to use it.

  7. The nicest thing about 1080i is that it can be deinterlaced into true 1080p. However, most screen sizes at most viewing distances don’t make for a “spectacular” jump in quality. Certainly not enough for the price. 1080p is /technically/ better, and will eventually be the standard, but I give it another 3-5 years, until then 720p is more then good enough.

  8. The nicest thing about 1080i is that it can be deinterlaced into true 1080p. However, most screen sizes at most viewing distances don’t make for a “spectacular” jump in quality. Certainly not enough for the price. 1080p is /technically/ better, and will eventually be the standard, but I give it another 3-5 years, until then 720p is more then good enough.

  9. You can see the difference between 1080i and 1080p when you are watching a fast-moving film or playing video games, since p is basically double the refresh-rate of i

  10. Robert: 720p being more desirable than 1080i is one of the major reasons people are frustrated with the PlayStation 3. I’m [finally] an HDTV owner. I have a fantastic Vizio that I settled on after months of research, but it only does up to 1080i (very limited budget).

    Now, when I put a Blu-Ray movie into the PS3, which I normally keep set on 720p for my games, it chokes on it, sputters a bit, and then downgrades the signal to 480p. It’s got no scaler. Obviously, I’ll take 1080i over 480p, but it’s quite annoying to have to play with the display settings. And it’s something literally hundreds of thousands of PS3 owners are coping with right now because most HDTVs out there can’t do 1080p and most informed consumers (of which many PS3 early adopters are) know that 720p is preferable to 1080i.

    I’m sure you don’t need any more justification for 360 over PS3, but there you go ;)

  11. Robert: 720p being more desirable than 1080i is one of the major reasons people are frustrated with the PlayStation 3. I’m [finally] an HDTV owner. I have a fantastic Vizio that I settled on after months of research, but it only does up to 1080i (very limited budget).

    Now, when I put a Blu-Ray movie into the PS3, which I normally keep set on 720p for my games, it chokes on it, sputters a bit, and then downgrades the signal to 480p. It’s got no scaler. Obviously, I’ll take 1080i over 480p, but it’s quite annoying to have to play with the display settings. And it’s something literally hundreds of thousands of PS3 owners are coping with right now because most HDTVs out there can’t do 1080p and most informed consumers (of which many PS3 early adopters are) know that 720p is preferable to 1080i.

    I’m sure you don’t need any more justification for 360 over PS3, but there you go ;)

  12. I definately think that this device has the potential to do very well in the market and I think it will be a much more impactful one than the iPhone.Its the perfect extension of their iPod metaphor, will leverage that strucure and is facing an underdeveloped market at the time when technology has finally come together for such devices. I think technically its an inferior setup when compared to an Xbox 360 married to a PC (never mind one coupled with a Media Center)but that wont matter in the present environment. Apple has a much better marketing group and Microsoft can’t get its story together, at least for now. So I think they will see deep penetration in the market with this if they execute well against it which I anticipate they will.

  13. I definately think that this device has the potential to do very well in the market and I think it will be a much more impactful one than the iPhone.Its the perfect extension of their iPod metaphor, will leverage that strucure and is facing an underdeveloped market at the time when technology has finally come together for such devices. I think technically its an inferior setup when compared to an Xbox 360 married to a PC (never mind one coupled with a Media Center)but that wont matter in the present environment. Apple has a much better marketing group and Microsoft can’t get its story together, at least for now. So I think they will see deep penetration in the market with this if they execute well against it which I anticipate they will.

  14. I don’t watch video podcasts, so for me it’s a non-issue. Music and videos…..I prefer to use WMP vs iTunes just due to the silo approach (ala AOL) mentioned above. I have much more freedom by NOT using iTunes and its walled off world. For me, using a media center extender (or XBOX 360) works a lot better for me.

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