Good news for (American) Apple TV owners

by Volker Weber

apple tv

Free update will give you movies on demand, starting from $2.99. Price of the Apple TV drops from $299 to $229.

It's still utterly useless for European users.


And when it get's useful over here it will only have dubbed movies, I bet. Who could imagine that Germans may want to see movies not exclusively in German?

Martin Hiegl, 2008-01-15

I can't wait to get the software update for my AppleTV

Chris Pepin, 2008-01-15

IR Remote to control a complex software ... I'v expected more.
Why not control the Apple TV from the iTouch or iPhone (that both have WiFi)?
I can't understand why IR still exist in these days of WiFi and Bluetooth.

Wolfgang Schmidetzki, 2008-01-16

Martin, you can create an US iTunes-Account and use the rental system then:

Not the official way, but I also guess, that once the system is available in Germany, you're stuck with dubbed movies. So, using the German store will probably never we an option for me.

Dirk Olbertz, 2008-01-16

I still don't get it. What should I do with an "Apple TV" device if I cannot view and record TV with it?
What should I do with it when that means I'm locked into the iTunes ecosystem?

As far as I understand that means that I need to have some computer running iTunes to push media to the Apple TV device. But what if I just have storage somewhere in my network (like a NAS) which contains music, videos and photos. When I add something to that storage, Apple TV doesn't know about that until I start iTunes somewhere. That would be too complicated for me.

And: when Apple wants me to rent movies through this device, they should give it away for free, I'm pretty sure they will get enough money from the rental rates...

Julian Buss, 2008-01-16

>I still don't get it. What should I do with an "Apple TV" device if I
>cannot view and record TV with it?

Meh, I record TV with my Tivo. It already does it better then anything else I have seen. I have Popcorn 3 which automatically downloads shows from my Tivo, transcodes them into MP4 and shrinks them, and loads them in iTunes. Not much could be done to improve on that - perhaps not having to transcode? But it happens automatically so really, it's not a big deal. Ripping content from live TV is a ugly and PITA - Tivo already does it quite well - I don't want Apple waisting resources doing something that will hopefully die anyway with IPTV on the horizon.

Since I don't mind iTunes - having a database and metainfo is a much easier way to manage media then pawing through folders - the requirement of iTunes is not a big deal for me. I long ago passed the point where manually managing files was appealing, and iTunes does a great job of maintaining all my stuff. SmartPlaylists are very, very cool.

I originally got my AppleTV to play music on my main stereo and listen and watch podcasts (audio and esp. video). With podcasts like The Rest of Everest, you really start to appreciate the power of podcasts married with your television.

My only gripe was the tiny 40 GB hard drive and maintaining what is on the AppleTV vs. your computer. Another major feature of version 2 that is just mentioned in passing is there is no longer any distinction between content on the AppleTV vs. what is on your desktop. It's seamlessly presented - if it's cached locally, it will automatically serve it from there, otherwise it will stream. I now no longer care about having a larger hard drive on my AppleTV - I'm very happy. Perfect solution. Now if they let me connect more then one iTunes library at a time, that's the last feature I am really desiring. The price cut doesn't hurt, either!

About the only other thing I would love for my AppleTV is a slingplayer client plugin - then everything in my main home entertainment center would be available anywhere I want in my house - like say in my basement near the pool table :)

Eric Eskam, 2008-01-16

@ Eric, is this all possible in Europe already, or do you live in the United States?
I would be interested in similar set-up but, I admit, have very limited knowledge (nothing really) about Tivo. I would love to learn more about what you just described.

Any links please?

Pieterjan Lansbergen, 2008-01-17

@Eric: nice to hear it works for you :-)
At least in germany we don't have Tivo or something comparable. And even if we would have, I would not want two devices. I want one device doing all media stuff.

Personally I have a mac mini running Windows XP and Mediaportal. I have a server in the basement having two TV cards which serves Mediaportal. With that setup I can use every kind of media with just having one small piece of hardware in my living room. That is quite nice, but way too complicated for standard users.

I bet if Apple would put a TV receiver (analog and DVB-T) in the Apple TV and provides recording, EPG and watching with timeshift it would be a huge success in europe.

Julian Buss, 2008-01-17

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