Not everything Apple creates turns to gold. There has been examples in the past such as the Pippin and more recently with the iPod Hi-Fi. Have Apple created another stinker with the Apple TV? Many think so. They argue that iTunes content is too limited, too expensive and of too poor a quality to justify […]
" />

Did Apple Make a Mistake with the Apple TV?

Apple TV: Fab or Flop?

Not everything Apple creates turns to gold. There has been examples in the past such as the Pippin and more recently with the iPod Hi-Fi.

Have Apple created another stinker with the Apple TV? Many think so. They argue that iTunes content is too limited, too expensive and of too poor a quality to justify spending $299 on a basic device to watch it with.

Some say that if you can reduce the price to $150, allow the device to play all file formats, bring the capability to buy/rent content directly from the Apple TV, then maybe the device would be OK. Others say that until Apple provides HD content with 5.1 stereo they won’t touch the unit.

The renting issue is important as most people don’t watch a TV series more than once and the same goes for most films (for example, I watch Star Wars A New Hope multiple times, but not Kill Bill).

Those that do want to use an Apple device give the alternative of a Mac Mini. It comes with a DVD player and using apps such as Perian and VLC, it can play more video formats than a standard (i.e. unhacked) Apple TV. Of course, this comes with a cost: $599 instead of the Apple TV’s $299.

I have an Apple TV and love it. I use it on a 50” DLP HD television and the quality is fine for me, although I do notice the improvement in picture quality when watching HD podcast content such as Diggnation.

However, I have found myself (or more precisely, my Macs) spending many hours transcoding content from other sources to a compatible Apple TV format. Yes, I could hack the device but really, shouldn’t Apple give up and open the unit to playing DivX, Xvid, etc?

Being the “hobby” product as Steve Jobs called it, has Apple done the Apple TV a disservice and should they now turn their attention to making it a knockout product?

Can we expect an announcement at Macworld of a “Mac Nano” – an Apple TV with DVD player that comes with rental capability and iTunes 7.6 (or maybe iTunes 8 written in Cocoa rather than Carbon?). I sure hope so.

So, what do you think?

Continue reading:

TAGS: