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, 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 ; His email is )


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

AirPort Utility 6.3.6 - Set up and manag...
Note: Most recent release available only within OS X 10.11 El Capitan update. Use AirPort Utility to set up and manage your Wi-Fi network and AirPort base stations, including AirPort Express, AirPort... Read more
Quicksilver 1.3.1 - Application launcher...
Quicksilver is a light, fast and free Mac application that gives you the power to control your Mac with keystrokes alone. Quicksilver allows you to find what you need quickly and easily, then act... Read more
Tidy Up (Five Users) 4.1.5 - Find duplic...
Tidy Up is a complete duplicate finder and disk-tidiness utility. With Tidy Up you can search for duplicate files and packages by the owner application, content, type, creator, extension, time... Read more
Mellel 3.4.3 - The word processor of cho...
Mellel is the leading word processor for OS X and has been widely considered the industry standard since its inception. Mellel focuses on writers and scholars for technical writing and multilingual... Read more
Skype - Voice-over-internet p...
Skype allows you to talk to friends, family and co-workers across the Internet without the inconvenience of long distance telephone charges. Using peer-to-peer data transmission technology, Skype... Read more
Bookends 12.6.0 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Access the power of Bookends directly from Mellel, Nisus Writer Pro, or MS Word (... Read more
Apple iBooks Author 2.4 - Create and pub...
Apple iBooks Author helps you create and publish amazing Multi-Touch books for iPad. Now anyone can create stunning iBooks textbooks, cookbooks, history books, picture books, and more for iPad. All... Read more
Web Snapper 3.3.9 - Capture entire Web p...
Web Snapper lets you capture Web pages exactly as they appear in your browser. You can send them to a file as images or vector-based, multi-page PDFs. It captures the whole Web page - eliminating the... Read more
Tunnelblick 3.6beta10 - GUI for OpenVPN...
Tunnelblick is a free, open source graphic user interface for OpenVPN on OS X. It provides easy control of OpenVPN client and/or server connections. It comes as a ready-to-use application with all... Read more
EtreCheck 2.5.1 - For troubleshooting yo...
EtreCheck is a simple little app to display the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It is meant to be used with Apple Support... Read more

Camel Up (Games)
Camel Up 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
The Martian: Bring Him Home (Games)
The Martian: Bring Him Home 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Based on the best selling novel and critically acclaimed film, THE MARTIAN tells the story of Astronaut Mark... | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: September 21-30, 2...
Leap Into Fall With 148Apps How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you're looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above... | Read more »
Tweetbot 4 for Twitter (Social Networki...
Tweetbot 4 for Twitter 4.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Social Networking Price: $4.99, Version: 4.0 (iTunes) Description: *** 50% off for a limited time. *** | Read more »
Mori (Games)
Mori 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Stop, rewind and unwind with Mori. Time is always running, take a moment to take control. Mori is an action puzzle game about infinitely... | Read more »
100 Years' War (Games)
100 Years' War 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Tower in the Sky (Games)
Tower in the Sky 0.0.60 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 0.0.60 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
hocus. (Games)
hocus. 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: New, polished, mind-bending, minimal puzzle game with dozens of levels and extra-ordinary design Features:- Beautifully crafted... | Read more »
Mos Speedrun 2 (Games)
Mos Speedrun 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Mos is back, in her biggest and most exciting adventure ever! Wall-jump to victory through 30 mysterious, action packed levels... | Read more »
3D Touch could be a game-changer, but it...
Were you one of the lucky/financially secure enough ones to buy a new iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus over the weekend? Yup, me too (I’m not convinced I was either of those two things, but let’s go with lucky for now), so I thought I’d delve into just... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

Apple refurbished iPad Air 2s available for u...
Apple has Certified Refurbished iPad Air 2s available for up to $140 off the price of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 128GB Wi-Fi iPad Air 2... Read more
Save up to $100 on Mac AppleCare Protection P...
Adorama has 3-Year AppleCare Warranties on sale for up to $100 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: - Mac Laptops 15″ and Above: $249 $100 off MSRP - Mac Laptops 13″ and... Read more
Updated Mac Price Trackers
We’ve updated our Mac Price Trackers with the latest information on prices, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers: - 15″ MacBook Pros - 13″ MacBook... Read more
12-inch MacBooks in stock for up to $120 off,...
Adorama has 12″ Retina MacBooks in stock for up to $120 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. For a limited time, Adorama will include a free Apple USB-C to USB Adapter,... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for... has the 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1799 including free shipping. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model (except for Apple’s $1699... Read more
iPhone 6s and 6s Plus Feature Improved Durabi...
Upgraded components in the new iPhone 6s Plus cost $16 more than the components in the earlier iPhone 6 Plus according to a preliminary estimate from IHS Inc. The bill of materials (BOM) for an... Read more
13-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
Adorama has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $130 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax for NY & NJ residents only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1199.99 $... Read more
Apple refurbished 2014 13-inch Retina MacBook...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2014 13″ 2.6GHz/128GB SSD Retina MacBook Pros available $979, $320 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.6GHz/128GB... Read more
iOS 9 Reflections Ten Days In – The ‘Book Mys...
I’ve never been much of an early adopter by philosophy or temperament, although I did buy the iPad Air 2 I’m typing this column on last fall only about a month after Apple unveiled it. However, my... Read more
Apple refurbished Time Capsules available for...
Apple has certified refurbished Time Capsules available for $120 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each Time Capsule, and shipping is free: - 2TB Time Capsule: $179, $120 off - 3TB... Read more

Jobs Board

Senior Payments Security Manager - *Apple*...
**Job Summary** Apple , Inc. is looking for a highly motivated, innovative and hands-on senior payments security manager to join the Apple Pay security team. You will Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
*Apple* Site Security Manager - Apple (Unite...
**Job Summary** The Site Security Manager is a high-profile security position at Apple . The Site Manager is the face of Apple Global Security (GS) and primary point Read more
*Apple* Fulfillment Operations Execution Ana...
**Job Summary** The AMR Apple Fulfillment Operations Team is seeking a talented team player to drive the Apple Online Store (AOS) fulfillment performance to ensure a Read more
*Apple* Distinguished Educator (ADE) Communi...
**Job Summary** Apple is seeking candidates for a new position on the Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) Program team as ADE Community Support Manager. Join a team Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.