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Apple vs. Google TVs 403

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the can-there-be-only-one dept.
This SFGate article begins, "Apple and Google just kicked off the first round of their battle for the living room. Based on what we've seen so far, Apple is in the lead. It's still early, and this could change, but it looks like Apple is making an all-around smarter bet than Google." I haven't tried out the Google device yet. The Apple unit is decent, but it's so focused on TV rental that it makes it difficult to work with an existing library of media; between the transcoding, and tedious menu navigation... well, it's a good thing it's only $99. It's a dang cheap way to get your stuff on your bigger screens, provided you're willing to jump through the necessary hoops.
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Apple vs. Google TVs

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  • by Culture20 (968837) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @12:53PM (#33826358)
    "Based on what we've seen so far, Apple is in the lead"

    Really? Based on what I've seen so far, regular television manufacturers are in the lead.
    • by Wrexs0ul (515885) <mmeier.racknine@com> on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:02PM (#33826452) Homepage

      If I don't buy a palm-sized AppleTV, Steve Jobs may crush me with it. Seriously, billion-dollar company and that's the best picture they'd allow?

      Although in all honesty, why are we talking AppleTV? Mac mini's are a little more expensive, but that (+boxee) has been my awesome set-top box for over a year now.

      -Matt

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by the_one_wesp (1785252)
        I agree. I took one look at that picture of Jobs and my first thought was, "Watch out for crazy Steve!"
      • by rinoid (451982)

        I'm with you -- still running a core duo 2 generation Mini with upgraded RAM I bought as a refurb from Apple as my tv, radio, dvr, dvd player, rental place, netflix, and occasional web surfing device.

        Lo so many years (seriously, right after iTunes appeared) ago I ripped an extensive collection of CDs and put them on an external firewire drive that's always connected to a host machine. The drive stays awake but the machine goes to sleep.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by sl0ppy (454532)

          i'm curious what you're using for netflix on the device. i've tried understudy and boxee, and was sorely disappointed with the issues of both. i purchased the appletv solely for netflix support, but would still be happy to go back to just my mac mini (which is used for playing audio/video off the local network, hulu, boxee, sapphire, etc via front row).

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by similar_name (1164087)
          I use a computer I found next to the dumpster as my media box.
      • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:32PM (#33826890) Journal

        >>>why are we talking AppleTV? Mac mini's are a little more expensive

        Little? The article says the V2 AppleTV is just $99. MacMini + Boxee is about 8 times more. As for the picture, Steve Jobs can't help that he got old. Someday you & I will look the same.

      • A little more? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by wiredog (43288) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:35PM (#33826948) Journal

        About 7 times the cost.

      • by name_already_taken (540581) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:37PM (#33826984)

        Or buy a device that actually fits your needs, right out of the box?

        I just bought a second Apple TV (the old model, it's only $149 on clearance with a 160GB hard drive)*.

        The first thing I did was patch it using the readily-available patchstick software and it now has Boxee and XBMC on it. I get way more usage out of XBMC than Boxee, but that's just me. Presumably the new Apple TV will have similar hacks available for it real soon now.

        The thing is, our main use for the Apple TV boxes is to use them as designed - to play our iTunes library of music, and look at our pictures from iPhoto. Honestly I've never even tried to watch anything other than a music video via the Apple software on the box. We have a library of videos and movies on a 1TB WD MyBook World Edition on our network, and we use XBMC to watch those.

        The Apple TV is a great product, if you want to use it for what it's designed for. If, on the other hand, you want an open, hackable device, look elsewhere.

        I have never understood why people think it's worthwhile to complain that a product that is marketed as a closed box, is actually a closed box, especially when there are other alternatives out there. It's like if I went out and bought a really expensive electronic toothbrush and then complained to everyone that it can't be easily modified to wash my car or polish furniture.

        * I wanted the older model of the Apple TV because it actually stores all of your iTunes/iPhoto content on its internal hard drive, so you don't need a computer to be on in order to watch that content.

        • by Chyeld (713439) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .dleyhc.> on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:54PM (#33827222)

          No, it's as if you went out and bought a really expensive electric toothbrush and found out that half the cost was the extra gadgetry they've introduced to ensure that you can only use their brand replacement heads and toothpaste.

          I don't mind closed boxes being closed. I mind extra effort being put into keeping the closed box closed, after I buy it, for no good reason and plenty of bad ones.

          If I decide to turn my toothbrush into an electric buffer, I'll take the heat for the appropriateness of the task. If I can't decide to turn my toothbrush into an electric buffer, simply because the manufacturer has included a sensor that detects the surface being brushed and refuses to allow the motor to run if the composition is anything other than calcium, then that's not a problem with my expectations, that's a problem with the manufacturer.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by babyrat (314371)

        a 'little' more expensive? $700 vs $100? That sounds like a LOT more expensive to me.

         

      • by mldi (1598123) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @04:00PM (#33828792)
        I have an Asus Eee nettop box (atom+ion) running XBMC that's running fantastic for me. Costed me about $250. Plus, it can actually output 1080p, not to mention being able to play literally everything I've tried to throw at it, including all my MythTV recorded content. I looked at AppleTV, but it couldn't do hardly anything I needed it to do, but I guess that's what I'd expect out of something that costs $99. For that price, I'd opt for an even cheaper streaming media player (like O!Play) that can play a lot more content but with less of a pretty interface.
    • by cgenman (325138) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:29PM (#33826844) Homepage

      Don't forget that if we're talking about set-top boxes to access network content, the Xbox 360 is in the lead, followed by the PS3. Way behind them are the Apple and Google TV's.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bhcompy (1877290)
        Really? You have the 360 over the PS3 in this regard? PS3 works with standard media servers, has a great freeware media server that transcodes on the fly, doesn't double dip your wallet for netflix like the 360 does, and has a much smoother multimedia interface
      • by Optic7 (688717) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @03:59PM (#33828780)

        They are actually in the lead in internet set top boxes right now, at least for internet streaming. If you haven't heard of them or haven't checked them lately (I thought until recently that they were only Netflix boxes), they start at $60 for similar features to the new Apple TV, they already have 75+ apps/channels available (including Netflix, Amazon VOD, Pandora, MLB, NBA, NHL, etc), expected to increase to 100 by the end of the year, DLNA local media streaming feature is coming soon, Hulu+ also coming soon. It's really thriving and unquestionably the best deal for this type of device right now.

        Oh, since this is Slashdot, you may also like to know that anyone can develop an app for it, with free tools in Windows/Mac/Linux, according to their developer page: http://www.roku.com/developer [roku.com]

        Unfortunately, Apple's marketing might and fanboy army are probably going to crush them in the marketplace. Google probably won't be far behind either. Roku are also not helped by (to my understanding) not being available at brick and mortar retail stores, but you can get them at their own website, at Amazon.com and probably at other online retailers as well.

  • FTFS (Score:5, Informative)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @12:56PM (#33826386) Homepage

    It's a dang cheap way to get your stuff on your bigger screens, provided you're willing to jump through the necessary hoops.

    Roku Box [roku.com] or WDTV [wdc.com], anyone? No hoops to jump through there...or, if you have an Xbox 360 or PS3, TVersity [tversity.com] is a FANTASTIC solution.

    • Re:FTFS (Score:4, Informative)

      by KillaGouge (973562) <gougec17&msn,com> on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:05PM (#33826504)
      for the 360, I've found that PS3Media Server is better than TVersity. At least with PS3MS I can choose to use subtitles and alternate languages in MKVs.
    • by gbjbaanb (229885)

      not just that, if you have a Sony BDP-s370 [sony.co.uk] blu-ray player, you can (apart from play blueray discs of course), plug a USB HDD into it and play movies on that (even in mkv format), or stream vids from your PC (using a DNLA server like PS3MediaServer, Tversity, Twonky, Mezzmo or any of the others). Or you can stream video from iPlayer, GoogleTV or similar, and even LoveFilm [lovefilm.com] (not sure if you get some of these in the USA, but there's bound to be alternatives).

      Nice review here. [cnet.co.uk]

      LoveFilm for example, is £10 a

    • by arbiter1 (1204146)
      roku has the online streaming content but their local media playing is limited to mp4 files jpg and png. WD tv has great local media but its online is a little lacking. i havn't owned a roku but i did own wd tv.and top roku box and wd around about same price as apple's device. Boxee box comes out, will be a little bit more at 200$ but looks to be wd tv and roku rolled in to 1.
    • The problem with TVersity and PS3Media Server is that they require your desktop to be on to transcode everything. I store my media on a NAS and I even have to run Twonky on the NAS to get it to talk to the 360's custom uPnP thing. I'm holding out for the Boxee Box so it can stream online and local network content without having a go-between.
    • Roku Box [roku.com] or WDTV [wdc.com], anyone? No hoops to jump through there...or, if you have an Xbox 360 or PS3, TVersity [tversity.com] is a FANTASTIC solution.

      By "hoops", I'm assuming the OP means "transferring your physical media to networked storage".

      And you'll have to do that no matter what solution you use. The only difference is in what "hoops" you have to jump through. Some only need the DVD to be ripped. Others want it in divx or h.264 format.

      I started out ripping all my movies to h.264, so I have very few "hoops" to jump through, and my files play on almost all devices out there, including ATV.

    • by Nursie (632944)

      My tv has built in streaming stuff, I can watch directly from NAS to screen via the network. No need for another device and it seems to support more formats than the PS3 too.

    • WDTV (Score:3, Informative)

      by SiChemist (575005)

      I've had the WDTV for over a year and it's an awesome device for playing your own media (works with almost any type of video file you throw at it including DVD .iso files). The Plus version adds netflix streaming and would be the one I would get now if I were purchasing it for the first time. I have mine hooked up to an external USB drive with my media stored on it.

  • Missing the point. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tackhead (54550) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:02PM (#33826458)

    initially available as part of a $300 set-top box from Logitech, or as part of a high-end line of TV sets from Sony.

    ...initially available as something that costs more than a decent HTPC, or as part of a $2000 TV that (given that you paid $2000 for it) you'll probably keep for 5-10 years, or long after Google TV has been replaced with something else.

    Desktop: I run a formerly high-end 1600x1200 CRT that I could get for free at the curbside these days. The computer to which it's attached has been replaced (motherboard) at least three times during that CRT's life. We just had our discussion of "why can't I find LCDs at 1200 vertical pixels" a few days ago.

    Connectivity: Dialup, DSL, cable, 4g wireless. Even these technologies have tended eclipse each other over periods of 3-5 years - still shorter than the time period you'd expect to get out of a $2000 TV.

    Content Distribution: Ten years ago, you'd want Napster built into your stereo. Five years ago, you'd want a Gnutella client built into your TV. Three years ago, people who bought subscription music offerings got PlayedForSure.

    Content Playback: Ten years ago, it was .MPGs and .AVIs. Five years ago, a DiVX at sufficiently high resolution could drag a single-core CPU to the ground. You really think that Google TV's gonna be able to render 3D-mega-HD-whatever in 2015-2020? :)

    The things you use to get content have far shorter lifecycles than the products you use to view content. Embedding one within the other is a WOMBAT: Waste Of Money, Brains, And Time.

    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:11PM (#33826584)

      Content Playback: Ten years ago, it was .MPGs and .AVIs. Five years ago, a DiVX at sufficiently high resolution could drag a single-core CPU to the ground. You really think that Google TV's gonna be able to render 3D-mega-HD-whatever in 2015-2020? :)

      And you really think your TV that is 1080p is going to support 4320p content when its released? So long as the GoogleTV box can play 1080p back on your 1080p TV its not going to matter if it can play 4320p or whatever content because the extra resolution would be lost because your TV is only capable of supporting 1080p.

    • The things you use to get content have far shorter lifecycles than the products you use to view content. Embedding one within the other is a WOMBAT: Waste Of Money, Brains, And Time.

      At least until they really standardize things and everyone gets onboard and the technology gets worked out. MP3, FLAC, and WAV are all pretty old, and all are still being used for audio. The problem is in thinking you want *Napster* built into your stereo. The truth is, you probably do want some kind of MP3 streaming built into your stereo so you can house your library in a central server, but you want that streaming to be open and platform agnostic.

      Standardized and open formats and protocols are the ke

    • by ADRA (37398)

      Um, the logitech box is running Linux under the hood, so until we see the tear down to prove otherwise, the device could get updates for the foundation of the system in the future at any point. My PS3 which I pretty much just use for Media consumption (BluRay/DLNA) get regular updates to improve my use cases with the device. The fact that the platform supports applications means there's going to be an ecosystem outside of a Google/Logitech's control/interest. This specific model may not last for 10 years wi

    • by cgenman (325138)

      While I'd normally agree, the pace of content format changes has slowed down significantly over the years. MP4's and DiVX seem pretty solidly ensconced as the video formats to play, and sticking them on USB drives seems like a safe bet for the next 10 years.

      The bleeding edge of HDMI supports 1080p60+3D. That's a pretty hard limit for any output or input. Your TV won't get better than that, and your current devices won't do any better either. Really, the question is about if there are any specific networ

  • TV? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:10PM (#33826564) Homepage

    What's that? Is it some new form of torrent delivery system?

  • slanted author (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:14PM (#33826600)

    The author already had his mind made up even before he compared them.

    - There is some rambling about input 1 and 2 and I'm not quite sure what he is getting at with that but the conclusion was Apple uses input 2 and that made it easier and therefore better. His criteria for "easier therefore better" gets lost when he talks about the Sony with built in Goolge functionality. With that, there is no external input 2 or what ever needed at all, it is built in! You can't get any more easier to hook up and use than that but somehow that simplicity gets no mention.
    - He mentions that an official "Apps store" is in the works for the G device but Apple hackers will probably have something unoffical as well. So Apple hackers making an unoffical app store is a postivie or a negative? He did not clarify but was leaning toward a positive. I'm sure that unofficial app store will be seemless and easy to use for all of those people that bought the Apple device because it was simplar because the Google device using input 1 was too hard for them to figure out.

    Bottom line... He cherry picked things and used different criteria to compare them. There is no technical content and no specs or options are even considered in his comparison of which is better. It was a useless and biased article from start to finish and 30 seconds of my life i will never get back. It is similar to a paid advertisement "editorial".

    He was right on the cost, the Apple device appears to be $200 cheaper. We all know Apple made it's inroads from being cheaper.

    Here's a thought, check out some already available embedded devices for home entertainment. They have some decent features, they are cheap and some can stream netflix, youtube, rss feeds, audio feeds, and even PPV movies from the large distributors like Paramount.

    • Re:slanted author (Score:4, Insightful)

      by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:47PM (#33827118) Homepage

      There is some rambling about input 1 and 2 and I'm not quite sure what he is getting at with that but the conclusion was Apple uses input 2 and that made it easier and therefore better.

      The point he's trying to make is that Google seems to be trying to get in the middle of your primary TV viewing-- I gather from the article that it's supposed to sit between your cable box and your TV. He's saying that might be scary for some people, since part of the continued success of cable TV is that it's "the devil you know" and people are comfortable with it, so they may not want Google screwing around with that experience.

      Meanwhile, the AppleTV (in the author's view, at least) is not supposed to screw with your cable TV experience. Instead, it's an additional device, perhaps taking the place of a DVD player. So the author is saying that this is less scary, and probably more likely to work.

      So that's what the "input 1 vs. input 2" thing is about.

      There is no technical content and no specs or options are even considered in his comparison of which is better.

      In fairness, it's probably not the technical specs that are going to make these devices more or less successful. Qualitative experience and availability of content are much more important for most people.

    • by cgenman (325138)

      I think his point with port 1 vs port 2 is that the google box requires people to essentially replace their cable box, whereas the Apple TV is in addition to a working system. The Apple TV is less of a risky change, as you don't need to gut your setup to make it work. Plug it in to a spare empty port, or unplug it if you don't like it. The Google Box needs you to rewire quite a bit, and if you don't like it you need to rewire your original setup.

    • by c++0xFF (1758032)

      I think the author's point about "input 1 and 2" is that users will prefer to plug something in like a DVD player over their cable box. Meaning, Google TV is a "primary" source of video, while Apple TV is a "secondary" source.

      And I say ... really? That's your main point? Contrary to what the author thinks, no user will have a preference -- trust me. (Although I'll admit that Apple has a knack for giving its users a preference they wouldn't have otherwise.)

      If that and price are the best thing Apple TV's

  • Can the Apple TV device stream un-DRM'ed video/audio from a NAS box? All I see are rent, rent, rent and stream from my laptop running iTunes. I DON'T WANT TO RENT - I already have my CDs and DVDs ripped for my own use. Can the Apple TV box play them?

    • by metamatic (202216)

      No. You can only pull media from a device running iTunes.

      • What NAS box with iTunes do you recommend? Is a Mac mini better enough than an ION nettop to justify the price difference? Or what point am I missing?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by cynyr (703126)

          http://www.deleet.de/projekte/daap/daapd/ [deleet.de] any NAS box that is open enough to let you run linux on it. I'm not sure DAAPD works well anymore, or for videos, i have no idea if it does videos or anything, i hvan't needed to talk to an apple only client in years now.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Some NAS boxes have iTunes sharing.

    • by aclarke (307017)
      My understanding is that it can't. I believe you need to have your content in an iTunes library on your computer. Furthermore, I have read that an Apple TV won't stream content on a NAS that can otherwise host an iTunes library; the library actually needs to be on a computer.
      • by sl0ppy (454532)

        I have read that an Apple TV won't stream content on a NAS that can otherwise host an iTunes library; the library actually needs to be on a computer.

        correct. the appletv uses the home sharing system instead of shared itunes libraries or a NAS. not optimal, but you can import other media into itunes as long as it is tagged correctly. (you can use lostify for this).

      • by frinkster (149158) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @03:17PM (#33828278)

        My understanding is that it can't. I believe you need to have your content in an iTunes library on your computer. Furthermore, I have read that an Apple TV won't stream content on a NAS that can otherwise host an iTunes library; the library actually needs to be on a computer.

        This is a myth that Apple themselves have been perpetuating. I don't know why they make it so hard to find this information on their website [apple.com] but it is there.

        The Apple TV can subscribe to video podcast channels and happily stream your media library from anything that can run a basic Apache installation. Just dump your media library information into an XML file (as described in the above link) and point your Apple TV at it.

        I find it absolutely amazing that the actual Apple TV section of their website makes no mention of this feature. You do not need to submit it to iTunes for review/approval. You just host it on your own home network.

    • The AppleTV can stream un-DRMed audio/video from iTunes. I think you need iTunes, though, unless there's an open-source project that can replicate iTunes sharing/streaming. Apple doesn't require that video content be DRMed in order to play, and the music they sell doesn't even contain DRM anymore.

      You will need to have the audio/video be in a format that's supported. For now, that probably means H264 for video and AAC or MP3 for audio. However, the new AppleTVs are iOS devices, meaning that we may see V

  • Prey.. meet bait. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EasyTarget (43516) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:20PM (#33826686) Journal

    it's a good thing it's only $99

    Oh no it isn't....

    That's merely the entrance fee.. Admission to individual attractions, food, beverage and use of toilets is all extra.

    • How is that different from any other google tv or roku? other than google tv is more expensive
      • Go to Apple and look what accessories cost (in general).

        There is no way that Apple will be the low cost option.

    • it's a good thing it's only $99

      That's like saying:
      Comcast cable boxes are FREE!!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nine-times (778537)
        No, it's a little more like saying "An iPod nano costs $150". Sure, you have to buy albums from somewhere if you want to play music on it, but the device is $150, and you have no obligation to pay anything on top of that if you don't want to.
  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:21PM (#33826722)

    "I don't own/watch a TV. PRAISE ME!" comments in 3... 2... oh, wait. Already happened.

  • How easy are they? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:23PM (#33826758) Journal

    If I bought the GoogleTV or AppleTV for my nearly 80-year-old parents would it (1) be able to connect to their old composite-only set? What about S-video?

    (2) How easy would it be for them to use? Right now they barely comprehend how to change channels on the Digital-to-analog Converter box ("How do I get this damn TV Guide off the screen???"), so I'm a bit skeptical they could operate either of the internet-based boxes.

    (3) Does it work over a 1000 kbit/s line? Or would they need to download first and watch later?

    • by vux984 (928602)

      If I bought the GoogleTV or AppleTV for my nearly 80-year-old parents would it (1) be able to connect to their old composite-only set? What about S-video?

      Buy an HDMI to composite adapter for $10.00.

      2) How easy would it be for them to use? Right now they barely comprehend how to change channels on the Digital-to-analog Converter box ("How do I get this damn TV Guide off the screen???"), so I'm a bit skeptical they could operate either of the internet-based boxes.

      If they can manage an iPod they can probably m

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dzfoo (772245)

      There's a lot of misinformation out there, so let me try to answer this with as many facts as I can:

      1. No, only HDMI is supported.

      2. It ranges from the "very easy" to the "virtually impossible" depending on what you expect them to use it for. First, it comes with a very simple remote control with only 4 navigation buttons (up, down, left, right) and one "Enter" button, organized in a circle like the old iPod scroll wheel. The remote control also has two comfortably large sound volume buttons. Second, the

  • the transcoding... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by QuietLagoon (813062) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @01:23PM (#33826760)
    The Apple unit is decent, but it's so focused on TV rental that it makes it difficult to work with an existing library of media; between the transcoding,

    .
    Apple needs to support more of the non-Apple open codecs, e.g. FLAC for audio. There are too many websites offer high-quality audio (96/24 resolution) in FLAC. Apple is trying to get the web to conform to Apple's desires, instead of Apple supporting what is already out there on the web.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by yabos (719499)
      Apple's A4 chip that powers the new Apple TV, iPhone and iPod Touch only supports certain formats in the hardware decoder. They don't seem to like allowing software decode which is why there's no mkv, divx, etc. support.
    • by dzfoo (772245) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @02:47PM (#33827906)

      Not true. From the AppleTV web page:

      Audio formats supported:

      • HE-AAC (V1), AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV; Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound pass-through

      If what you want is for Apple to support specifically FLAC, then say so. Do not taint your comment with inferences that Apple only supports its own proprietary standards.

      Many of the standards supported by iOS devices in general, and AppleTV in particular, are indeed what is already out there on the web and supported by many other major consumer device vendors, including Television Sets and media players.

      They may not be royalty-free or have an open source implementation available, but that is hardly the same as trying to get the web to conform to Apple's desires. Besides, this is a device to be used with a TV, not a web browser.

              -dZ.

  • While it may not have new release TV shows (at this time), it serves me quite well for entertainment and only cost $8/month. What would that buy me on AppleTV or Google TV? Not as much media to watch, that's for sure.

    At this point I'm not interested in apple tv or google tv. If I want new tv shows cable is still a better deal (or simply torrenting them.. it isn't illegal everywhere btw, we don't all live in the US). Netflix lets me watch all the older movies and tv series I want to watch more conveniently
  • Apple TV is primarily meant to drive traffic to ITMS with the result of revenue for rental. Google is going to be another method to drive traffic to Google with the result of revenue from ads. Both have the markets, and both are far from ideal.

    I think the one that will win is the one that will allows a harddisk with content to be wireless networked to all the boxes in a house. I already know people who have content centralized and can watch whatever wherever they are. If you dedicate a computer to se

    • by AndrewNeo (979708)

      Where does it say Google is making money from ads? During Logitech's presentation yesterday they said Google was making no money from the user experience, except from normal ads inside the built-in Chrome browser (to be expected). They're probably licensing it to the hardware manufacturers.

  • by Myopic (18616)

    Huh, nope, not willing to jump through any hoops. Either the device works, or it doesn't go in my living room. If it comes bundled with shenanigans, I don't pay for it. Despite their really awesome products, I had to stop buying Apple gear a few years ago for that reason: the shenanigans made me feel like a chump, and that feeling wasn't worth the slightly nicer products.

  • ... except in the sense that they both work through the TV. Apple's device is more of a media gateway for stuff you've already got through iTunes, as I understand it. Without significant internal storage, it doesn't seem like it can really stand as a platform on its own, with app support and development efforts. Even coupled with the TV rentals, it's mostly a quick and dirty way of making iTunes content useful through the TV.

    On the other hand, Google TV seems like it's designed to be a real extension of the

  • I like the idea of these things but am not sure my 30GB cap will be of much use. Highspeed caps are an issue in my area.
  • "Apple and Google just kicked off the first round of their battle for the Internet speedlane subscription bundles. Based on what we've seen so far, Apple is in the lead. It's still early, and this could change, but it looks like Apple is making an all-around smarter bet than Google." I haven't tried out the Google Internet bundle yet. The Apple 'net is decent, but it's so focused on TV rental that it makes it difficult to work with... well, it's a good thing it's only $99/month. It's dang cheap...

  • A lot of commentators say that this tech needs to be built into the TV, but I disagree. Chipsets, storage and networking hardware are less expensive than display tech, but they also change and improve much more rapidly. People don't want to have to replace their entire TV just because some new networking standard came on the market, or because a new app requires more storage or a more powerful chipset than the TV has built in. In fact, I think the even digital tuners built into most HDTVs are obsolete because they only decode MPEG2, not H.264. We'll never see higher picture quality in traditional broadcasts or cablecasts no matter how cheap H.264 decoding hardware gets because that part of the TV is set in stone. It's most economical and convenient for the customer to only replace their set top box.

    So another reason why Apple's ahead of Google is that they're not bothering with TV integration for now. It's bad news for TV makers who had hoped to get customers to replace their entire TVs because one part had become obsolete, but that's such a bad value for customers that it wouldn't work even in a good economy.

  • What is so difficult about running iTunes?

    In fact, Handbrake just made my life grand by allowing me to rip my entire DVD collection to an AppleTV format.

    Don't want (or can't because you're pirating AVIs) to use iTunes, wait for 4.2 next month and push your library from AirTunes.

    In the meantime, I have to reset my Xbox360 and DLNA server every other show because of a hiccup in the network that completely stalls feeds and registers files incorrectly as unplayable. AppleTV made my life easier. I don't rent

  • by Junior Samples (550792) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @02:14PM (#33827478)

    GoogleTV and AppleTV are low end devices that do not play back all file formats.

    Popcornhour http://www.popcornhour.com/onlinestore/index.php?pluginoption=catalog [popcornhour.com] is was ahead of the game. The model C200 networked media player will play back any file format and has provision for a local hard drive or blue ray drive.

    The C-200 supports NFS, SMB, FTP, and multiple streaming protocols. It also has a built in bit torrent client for media downloads.

    I've had mine for a year and am very satisfied. It probably won't work with iTunes, but then, I'm not in to proprietary formats that cost money and are infected with DRM.

  • by loufoque (1400831) on Thursday October 07, 2010 @05:19PM (#33829850)

    is all you should ever need
    I personally use one of those devices from Western Digital which are $50.

    Why would you want to purchase crappy VoD services full of DRM and only providing a handful of stuff when you can get whatever you want and more in true high quality and without restrictions?

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