In this video shot at my home I show the new Apple TV and explain why the product falls so short of expectations. Apple TV is not TV. It is just a way of connecting your PC to your TV to listen to music (but sounds systems on TV are generally very poor) to see movies (but you have to transform all movies to formats compatible with iTunes which is a lot of work). The hard drive is pathetic, only 30 something GB. Frankly if you are going to get an Apple TV better get a cheap PC and leave it always connected to your TV. You will be able to do many more things.

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Jens on September 17, 2007  · 

Hola Martin!

First things first. You have a really beautiful place!

The Apple TV indeed falls short. Besides the limitation in media access and content it has some hardware and software limitations which are very yesterday. I don’t get it that the Apple TV gets so much coverage. There are streaming clients out there since years with broader media format support. Even the XBOX 360 is quiet a good media center, but I am sure your son will argue that if I recall the New York footwalk console conversation correctly :). As I could see a Wii and a PS3 in the video you have two more Gadgets. I am not so sure about the PS3 media center features, but from a personal experience I can report that the Wii thanks to the Wii Opera Browser and Orb is a nice media center, too. The downside is you need to have a Windows PC running Orb in the background streaming the media to the Wii. But that is the same downside which the Apple TV shares as well. As you said, a Windows or Linux media center PC would be the top notch solution. But boot-up time and controls are not TV like.

There are LCD TVs with built in media centers coming (e.g. Loewe Connect) which stream media files from e.g. a network harddisk, no need for computers running in the background wasting energy. I haven’t heart of projectors with built in media centers yet.

And so we are all still waiting for the perfect small-form-factor and easy-to-use Über-Media-Center. Let’s just call it The Ring, one to play them all ;).


3.0 rating

pacopalmas on September 17, 2007  · 

Good review but some points to rethink:

Although it´s not legal downloading P2P copyrighted movies, I don´t think it´s a good idea to promote it in a video blog. (SGAE is not friendly, Martin).

Second, an apple TV is like an ipod with WIFI. MP3 is universal audio format for digital music (I know about Fraunhofer license) but quicktime (H.264) is NOT UNIVERSAL for video. What would you think if it would play Divx/Xvid?

Third, what about wifi connection, HDMI, RGB, SPDIF, remote control? It´s easy, isn´t it? Then it´s an Apple hardware.

Opening the Apple TV to Divx/Xvid and a huge hard disk drive would be worth of every euro, in the meantime, iTunes is the only option…or NOT?

3.0 rating

Dario Cukier on September 17, 2007  · 

MythTV is the way to go!

3.0 rating

andres on September 17, 2007  · 

Nice multimedia room Martin, is bigger than my garden, but my garden is greener…

And the reflections about apple’s products again: walled garden (like mine), and perfect product with a couple of hacks: a 500 GB HD and a non walled software…

People thinks that windows is the monopoly, but the efforts that apple are making lately to become a monopoly and being a tirany with their own customers will take them to the point that at the end they will have as customers people that think that they are smart, not the really smart users…

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Antoin O Lachtnain on September 19, 2007  · 

Martin, it would be great to get your views on mythtv (in your copious spare time).

3.0 rating

Ernest Otte on September 20, 2007  · 

Why would you buy a product like Apple TV? Never stumbled upon a product called the TVIX 5×00 series? It’s made by the folks of DVICO. Try their new 4100/5100 series. Plays everything. No more conversion. Add your own harddisk or play through a NFS NAS.

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alex on September 21, 2007  · 

Tienes muy buen gusto, me encanta la sala multimedia. La idea fue tuya o del arquitecto? (siento que el comment quede tan asquerosamente pelota).

3.0 rating

Riviera on September 21, 2007  · 

Vaya chabola! Besides that, I agree with many others. MythTV is a superior product, and much more flexible.

3.0 rating

Martin Varsavsky on September 23, 2007  · 

Great info Jens, thanks!

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