Greg's bite: hands on with the Apple TV
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Greg's bite: hands on with the Apple TV

By Greg Mills

FedEx delivered my Apple TV device Friday. It was such a small package it sort of surprised me.  When when the packaging came off it was even smaller than I had even first thought. Slickly packaged in the typical Apple retail box, the cord, remote controller and instructions were artfully packed.  

Note that this is the 187th remote control in this house. Due to controller command conflicts with my great but discontinued Apple HiFi sound system, I had to put some black electrical tape over the window air conditioner's RF eye. Remote controllers reproduce like rabbits around here.  Turning the sound system on and off with the remote used to also turn the window air conditioner on and off as well. Reminds me of a time in my youth when I installed a radio in my cousin's car and turning the radio on also opened the passenger window. Oops, I guess I drilled a hole into a hidden wiring harness.   

It was a snap to hook the Apple TV up to the HDTV TV through an HDMI cord and power via the provided 110-volt power cord supplied. The on-screen set up was easy, and I first picked the house Wi-Fi network and input the access password. The menu selections and on-screen keyboard reminded me a lot of the PlayStation3 operating system, but Apple's was graphically better. Next I went to my iTunes account input and hooked up with my Apple iTunes account.  

I synced up the Apple TV system to access my MacBook Pro with "Home Sharing," which is not in the Mac OS system preferences as I expected, but rather under "Advanced" in iTunes 10, which is required for AppleTV. That allows AppleTV to share my music and movie library residing on my MacBook Pro via Wi-Fi.  The DVD Player on the MacBook should also allow DVDs to be played over WiFi to Apple TV, and, thus, on the HDTV but I haven't tried that yet.  Then I went to the NetFlix settings and input my account information and password. Bingo,  the Apple TV was all set up.

My 11 year old techno-junkie-daughter, jaded by her vast experience with everything electronic, and Apple devices in particular, assures me the Apple TV is "awesome." There you have it, $100 well spent.

I was worried that the 720p picture wouldn't be that good, but it is nice and sharp.

I was surprised that in some respects, Apple TV might just as well have been a NetFlix TV device. Frankly, since we have Dish for unlimited TV network offerings, a Dish DVR to record anything we want to see later that comes over 100 cable channels and we have HBO for fairly recent movies, we already have good access to most anything we want to see. The notion of AppleTV as a full replacement for cable or satellite TV is not realistic.  

Apple TV is a addition to current content offerings, but not a replacement due to the high cost of content. Viacom's CEO notwithstanding, pay-for-view TV shows are not worth $1 each, when the very same programing is available at no extra charge on cable networks that are included in monthly cable channel packages.

NetFlix is sort of like an "all you can eat" pay-for-view on demand channel. I can't see myself paying Apple 99 cents to view a TV show or $5 to view a movie. If we wait a few months for movies show up on DVD, we can order the disk via NetFlix through the mail or just stream it when they put it up on the streaming servers. Apple really doesn't have a competitive "go to market" offering, yet. Ground-breaking new technologies need a strong economic or functional advantage to work. For movies and TV shows, Apple TV is not there yet from a price standpoint.  Why pay Apple $5 to see "Up" when we can stream it for free now on NetFlix? Streaming songs from my computer network to the TV audio system is neat, but not a game changer.  

As I have predicted, there must be more to come that Apple TV will support that is yet unannounced. iOS Games with iPhone or iPad as a game controller with the game displayed on the HDTV is an example. The iOS platform will process 720p and a slew of other video formats, which look great on a big screen TV, and the Apple TV processor is powerful enough to run cool games we could rent or download from Apple.  

Much has been written about Apple not really getting into games in a serious way. Nintendo would be quick to tell you that the iPhone and iPad have gotten Apple into the game through the thousands of iOS games available on the Apple App Store. Apple TV may end up being the platform that finally allows Apple to compete with PlayStation, XBox, Wii and Nintendo.

The approach to the game business has taken a far different path, but the results are going to be dramatic. When you buy a game disk for the existing game platforms the game developers pay a percentage to the platform owner. With Apple's App store the same thing happens; when you pay for a game Apple keeps 30%. Not requiring a game media disk allows easy distribution of games through the Internet and will allow Apple to get into the games market in a big way without writing a single game, in house.  

At $99 the AppleTV device has too much costly electronic horsepower built in for Apple to make any money selling the device at that price, so we know Apple plans to make money on it down the line -- or make that "on-line." It is just not Apple to not follow the money. That is why I don't expect Apple to launch their own TV sets. HDTV prices are dropping like rotten apples falling off a tree in a wind storm. Steve Jobs will not chase a market without a tidy bottom line.  

Once the Apple server farm goes on line, much more content of all sorts is certainly coming from Apple. With the pile of cash Apple has on hand, I can't understand why Apple doesn't just buy NetFlix outright. The only other alternative is Apple figures they can build up the iTunes library and simply out maneuver NetFlix.

At some point a system upgrade to the Apple TV device might simply do away with support for NetFlix and leave users with Apple's movie deals alone. The fact that the AppleTV device has the big "A" in the name, means Mr. Jobs controls the system contents of that shinny little black box.  Partnering with Apple is sort of like swimming with a friendly great white shark. Sooner or later your new friend is going to eat you, as that is his nature.

A quick note on the Microsoft Windows Stuxnet worm: The Russians are fleeing Iran in droves as angry Iranian authorities are suspecting anyone and everyone of planting the Stuxnet worm in the new nuclear reactor's control systems. Iran, not known for gentle interrogations, is trying to "interview" all the Russians who built the reactor and had access to the computer. Thumb screws, blowtorches, red hot irons and the skillful use of razor blades tend to "loosen up" the conversation in discussions with Iranian security officials. The Russians engineers are running for the airport in genuine fear. This isn't  helpful in starting up the new reactor, anytime soon. The very experts they need to fire it up are going home. 

The Iranians fear is that the actual target of the worm is the cooling system of the new reactor.  f the worm turns off the cooling system water pumps and then tells the operators everything is just fine, a Chernobyl type nuclear reactor meltdown is sure to occur. Since the worm can reproduce and reinfect control systems if only one copy remains on any computer that will ever be connected to the reactor's computers, they can never be sure it is safe to start the reactor. Very clever sabotage. There is still no way to determine who actually wrote the worm, but the results have been delightful for those who rightly fear an Iranian Nuclear Bomb.   

That's Greg's Bite for today

(Greg Mills, is a Faux Artist in Kansas City. Formerly a new product R&D man for the paint sundry market, he holds 11 US patents. He's working on a solar energy startup, www.CottageIndustrySolar.com using a patent pending process of turning waste dual pane glass into thermal solar panels used to heat water. Greg writes for intellectual web sites and Mac related issues. See Greg's art web site at www.gregmills.info ; His email is gregmills@mac.com )

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Apple iMovie 10.1.6 - Edit personal vide...
With an all-new design, Apple iMovie lets you enjoy your videos like never before. Browse your clips more easily, instantly share your favorite moments, and create beautiful HD movies and Hollywood-... Read more
TechTool Pro 9.5.1 - Hard drive and syst...
TechTool Pro has long been one of the foremost utilities for keeping your Mac running smoothly and efficiently. With the release of version 9, it has become more proficient than ever. TechTool... Read more
Jamf Pro 9.99.0 - Powerful sysadmin/ente...
Jamf Pro (formerly Casper Suite) is the EMM tool that delights IT pros and the users they support by delivering on the promise of unified endpoint management for Apple devices. At Jamf, connecting... Read more
VueScan 9.5.78 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Adobe Lightroom 6.10.1 - Import, develop...
Adobe Lightroom is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $9.99/month bundled with Photoshop CC as part of the photography package. Lightroom 6 is also available for purchase as a... Read more
iPhoto Library Manager 4.2.7 - Manage mu...
iPhoto Library Manager allows you to organize your photos among multiple iPhoto libraries, rather than having to store all of your photos in one giant library. You can browse the photos in all your... Read more
Smultron 9.4 - Easy-to-use, powerful tex...
Smultron 9 is an elegant and powerful text editor that is easy to use. Use it to create or edit any text document. Everything from a web page, a note or a script to any single piece of text or code.... Read more
TextSoap 8.4 - Automate tedious text doc...
TextSoap can automatically remove unwanted characters, fix up messed up carriage returns, and do pretty much anything else that we can think of to text. Save time and effort. Be more productive. Stop... Read more
Merlin Project 4.2.3 - $349.00
Merlin Project is the leading professional project management software for OS X. If you plan complex projects on your Mac, you won’t get far with a simple list of tasks. Good planning raises... Read more
QuarkXPress 13.0.0.0 - Desktop publishin...
QuarkXPress 2017 is the new version that raises the bar for design and productivity. With non-destructive graphics and image editing directly within your layout, you no longer have to choose between... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Goat Simulator PAYDAY (Games)
Goat Simulator PAYDAY 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** IMPORTANT - SUPPORTED DEVICES **iPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPod Touch 5 or better Goat Simulator: Payday is the most... | Read more »
Zombie Gunship Survival Beginner's...
The much anticipated Zombie Gunship Survival is here. In this latest entry in the Zombie Gunship franchise, you're tasked with supporting ground troops and protecting your base from the zombie horde. There's a lot of rich base building fun, and... | Read more »
Mordheim: Warband Skirmish (Games)
Mordheim: Warband Skirmish 1.2.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.2.2 (iTunes) Description: Explore the ruins of the City of Mordheim, clash with other scavenging warbands and collect Wyrdstone -... | Read more »
Mordheim: Warband Skirmish brings tablet...
Legendary Games has just launched Mordheim: Warband Skirmish, a new turn-based action game for iOS and Android. | Read more »
Magikarp Jump splashes onto Android worl...
If you're tired ofPokémon GObut still want something to satisfy your mobilePokémon fix,Magikarp Jumpmay just do the trick. It's out now on Android devices the world over. While it looks like a simple arcade jumper, there's quite a bit more to it... | Read more »
Purrfectly charming open-world RPG Cat Q...
Cat Quest, an expansive open-world RPG from former Koei-Tecmo developers, got a new gameplay trailer today. The video showcases the combat and exploration features of this feline-themed RPG. Cat puns abound as you travel across a large map in a... | Read more »
Jaipur: A Card Game of Duels (Games)
Jaipur: A Card Game of Duels 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** WARNING: iPad 2, iPad Mini 1 & iPhone 4S are NOT compatible. ** *** Special Launch Price for a limited... | Read more »
Subdivision Infinity (Games)
Subdivision Infinity 1.03 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.03 (iTunes) Description: Launch sale! 40% Off! Subdivision Infinity is an immersive and pulse pounding sci-fi 3D space shooter. https://www.... | Read more »
Clash of Clans' gets a huge new upd...
Clash of Clans just got a massive new update, and that's not hyperbole. The update easily tacks on a whole new game's worth of content to the hit base building game. In the update, that mysterious boat on the edge of the map has been repaired and... | Read more »
Thimbleweed Park officially headed to iO...
Welp, it's official. Thimbleweed Park will be getting a mobile version. After lots of wondering and speculation, the developers confirmed it today. Thimbleweed Park will be available on both iOS and Android sometime in the near future. There's no... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Huawei Unveils New ‘Business-Styled’ MateBook...
Huawei has introduced a trio of new MateBook laptops, expanding its mobile portfolio and building on its success in delivering attractive and powerful high-end devices. The company claims the HUAWEI... Read more
Deal! Gold 12-inch 1.2GHz Retina MacBook for...
Amazon has the 2016 Gold 12″ 1.2GHz Retina MacBook (MLHF2LL/A) on sale for $350 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free: - 12″ 1.2GHz Gold Retina MacBook: $1249.99 $350 off MSRP We expect this... Read more
13-inch 2.0GHz MacBook Pros on sale for $100...
B&H has the non-Touch Bar 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Space... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro, Apple refu...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros available for $1699. That’s $300 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for a 15″ MacBook Pro. An Apple one-year warranty is... Read more
Apple refurbished 9-inch and 12-inch iPad Pro...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 9″ and 12″ Apple iPad Pros available for up to $160 off the cost of new iPads. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 32GB 9″... Read more
Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available f...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: - 21″ 3.... Read more
Sale! 15-inch 2.6GHz Silver Touch Bar MacBook...
DataVision has the 15″ 2.6GHz Silver Touch Bar MacBook Pro (MLW72LL/A) on sale for $2199 including free shipping. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model (... Read more
A Kaby Lake Processor Upgrade For The MacBook...
Now they tell me! Well, actually Apple hasn’t said anything official on the subject, but last week Bloomberg News’s Mark Gurman and Alex Webb cited unnamed “people familiar with the matter”... Read more
Kodak’s Camera-First Smartphone EKTRA Launche...
The Eastman Kodak Company and Bullitt Group have announced the availability of a U.S. GSM version of the KODAK EKTRA Smartphone. The U.S. launch coincides with a software update addressing requests... Read more
Apple Launches App Development Curriculum for...
Apple today launched a new app development curriculum designed for students who want to pursue careers in the fast-growing app economy. The curriculum is available as a free download today from Apple... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Systems Engineer - California Polyte...
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo Apple Systems Engineer Department: ITS - Customer & Tech Support (134900) College/Division: Academic Affairs Salary Range: Position Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**508718BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Location Number:** 001526-Odessa-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Computing Read more
Data Engineer - *Apple* Media Products - Ap...
Changing the world is all in a day's work at Apple . If you love innovation, here's your chance to make a career of it. You'll work hard. But the job comes with more Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.